REVISITED: Moral Injury, traditional Catholics and burnt out priests

CP&S comment This important post from Father Z on some current disturbing issues was first published last year and revisited again on his blog a few days ago. We think it deserves as wide a readership as possible to alert the Catholic faithful to the sufferings of many of our priests at this time, so we are republishing Father’s insightful article here.

Father Z says:

“This is from last year, 2020.  It was an interesting question at the time because COVID 1984 Theater was ramping up.   It is still going on in many ways.

A follow up is due.

Two cents: I think quite a few priests found, during COVID THEATER, an uplift through learning how to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass.  That, however, also has its downside: one begins to realize how much one’s been cheated out of one’s patrimony.”

___

Originally Published on: Jun 9, 2020 

From a reader…

I am a physician and have had the opportunity to work with several burnt out priests over the years. I am concerned about the emotional well being of priests during the current situation because of a stressor being called moral injury.

This injury comes from a situation when a person can not take an action that he feels to be morally right, or is forced to do something morally wrong, by the order of a superior. I am concerned that priests are experiencing this as their bishops have prohibited the sacraments.

I am keeping this in prayer but I am hoping by alerting you to this condition it might get into some hands who are in a position to work with priests with moral injury to at least recognize this reality.

This is very interesting.  I am grateful for the information and tip about “moral injury”. Since I received this, I’ve done some reading and thinking about moral injury.  For example, good starting point summary of main points HERE

Consider this:

WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF MORAL INJURY?
Moral injury can lead to serious distress, depression, and suicidality. Moral injury can take the life of those suffering from it, both metaphorically and literally. Moral injury debilitates people, preventing them from living full and healthy lives.

The effects of moral injury go beyond the individual and can destroy one’s capacity to trust others, impinging on the family system and the larger community. Moral injury must be brought forward into the community for a shared process of healing.

In the context of a soul, with respect to the diversity of beliefs and religious perspectives held by those involved with moral injury, consider this:

Moral injury is damage done to the soul of the individual. War is one (but not the only) thing that can cause this damage. Abuse, rape, and violence may cause similar types of damage. “Soul repair” and “soul wound” are terms already in use by researchers and institutions in the United States who are exploring moral injury and pathways to recovery.

One writer defines moral injury as resulting from a betrayal of what is morally right by someone who holds legitimate authority and in a high stakes situation.

For example, priests who really believe in the cura animarum, and who are ordered, bullied, threatened by authority above them to go against what they believe is right and good for themselves and their people.   Application: being virtually forbidden to provide the sacraments to the faithful during the COVID-1984 lockdown.

I am no psychologist.  On the other hand, I didn’t fall off the turnip cart yesterday, either.

While moral injury is usually a phenomenon among warfighters in military service or veterans, it is not exclusive to them, either.  The Mayo Clinic has tracked this among physicians and found that one-third suffer from moral injury, which is sometimes taken for being burned out.

While it is highly tricky to apply a “diagnosis” to a group, much less, an individual, doesn’t think explain, in part, some aspects of more traditional Catholics?

In many cases tradition-inclined priests have been treated savagely by their bishops and other priests.  Traditional Catholic have been too.  They have been for years, even for decades, prevented by authority (usually through bullying) from doing what their consciences tell them is the right thing to do.  They are forced, year in and year out, to do what they think is, if not outright wrong, at least inferior to what could be done with a little leeway and compassion.   They are in a perpetual bind, caught between the desire to be a good member of the presbyterate and one with the bishop, while knowing that they can’t stand your “rightful aspirations”, as John Paul II called them.

Then there is the case of the priest who spends a lot of time and effort to build up something in his parish, only to be moved and see everything he built wrecked in a fortnight by some lib who succeeds him.   The lay faithful bear the brunt of the abuse and the priest who got moved is forced to watch, helplessly, from afar.

Take the example of a young priest who is, legitimately, desirous of having his whole patrimony as a Catholic priest, including tradition.   The ultra-lib pastor to whom he is assigned as an assistant will have none of it and ridicules, threatens and abuses his assistant as a result.  So the younger priest is daily forced to shove down his better instincts.

Take the example of the lay faithful who, if they want to receive Communion, have for decades been forced to receive on the hand rather than on the tongue, listen to truly horrid music, endure tragically bad homilies and all manner of liturgical abuse.  They know they are bound to go to Mass to fulfill their obligations, they truly want to worship God well, and they dread getting up every Sunday.   Otherwise, they feel guilt for going over to the SSPX “St. Joseph Terror of Demons” Chapel rather than their territorial “Sing A New Faith Community Into Being Faith Community” where Fr. “Just call me Bruce!” Hugalot perpetrates a regular catastrophe.

It takes a toll.    Warfighters sometimes will manifest moral injury after being in combat situations for only a short time.   A lot of traditional Catholics have been enduring the injury resulting from moral conflict – being forced to betray what you know is right – for unrelenting decades without an end in sight.

I don’t want to press this point beyond proposing that there could be an element of moral injury among those who have held “legitimate” aspirations regarding Tradition.  I want to avoid generalization as well.

It’s food for thought.

It seems to me that “moral injury” can, in fact, describe the plight of some priests who are thought of or think of themselves as “burnt out”.

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Sunday Readings and Reflections

Sunday, June 13 
Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Roman Ordinary calendar


St. Anthony of Padua 


Book of Ezekiel 17,22-24.

Thus says the Lord GOD: I, too, will take from the crest of the cedar, from its topmost branches tear off a tender shoot, And plant it on a high and lofty mountain; 
on the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it. It shall put forth branches and bear fruit, and become a majestic cedar. Birds of every kind shall dwell beneath it, every winged thing in the shade of its boughs. 
And all the trees of the field shall know that I, the LORD, Bring low the high tree, lift high the lowly tree, Wither up the green tree, and make the withered tree bloom. As I, the LORD, have spoken, so will I do.


Psalms92(91), 2-3.13-14.15-16.

It is good to give thanks to the LORD, 
To sing praise to your name, Most High, 
To proclaim your kindness at dawn 
And your faithfulness throughout the night. 

The just one shall flourish like the palm tree, 
Like a cedar of Lebanon shall he grow. 
They that are planted in the house of the LORD 
Shall flourish in the courts of our God. 

They shall bear fruit even in old age; 
Vigorous and sturdy shall they be, 
Declaring how just is the LORD, 
My rock, in whom there is no wrong.


Second Letter to the Corinthians 5,6-10.

Brothers and sisters: we are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 
for we walk by faith, not by sight. 
Yet we are courageous, and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord. 
Therefore, we aspire to please him, whether we are at home or away. 
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 4,26-34.

Jesus said to the crowds: “This is how it is with the Kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land 
and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. 
Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.” 
He said, “To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? 
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. 
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” 
With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it. 
Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private. 


Saint Peter Chrysologus (c.406-450)
Bishop of Ravenna, Doctor of the Church
Sermon 98 ; CCL 24A, 602 (trans. ©Friends of Henry Ashworth)

“It puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade”

The kingdom of heaven, says the gospel, is like a mustard seed (…) Christ is the kingdom of heaven. Sown like a mustard seed in the garden of the Virgin’s womb, he grew up into the tree of the cross whose branches stretch across the world (…) Christ is the kingdom, because all the glory of his kingdom is within him. Christ is a man, because all humanity is restored in him. Christ is a mustard seed, because the infinitude of divine greatness is accommodated to the littleness of flesh and blood.Do we need further examples? Christ became all things in order to restore all of us in himself. The man Christ received the mustard seed which represents the kingdom of God (…); though as God he had always possessed it He sowed it in his garden. The Church is a garden extending over the whole world, tilled by the plough of the gospel, fenced in by stakes of doctrine and discipline, cleared of every harmful weed by the labor of the apostles, fragrant and lovely with perennial flowers: virgins’ lilies and martyrs’ roses, set amid the pleasant verdure of all who bear witness to Christ and the tender plants of all who have faith in him.Such then is the mustard seed which Christ sowed in his garden. When he promised a kingdom to the patriarchs the seed took root in them; with the prophets it sprang up, with the apostles it grew tall in the Church it became a great tree putting forth innumerable branches laden with gifts. And now you too must take the wings of the psalmist’s dove (Ps 68[67]:14) (…) and fly to rest forever among those sturdy, fruitful branches. No snares are set to trap you there (Ps 91[90]:3); fly off, then, with confidence and dwell securely in its shelter.

Traditional Latin Mass Readings for this Sunday

Click here for a live-streamed Traditional Latin Mass

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MASS CONFUSION: Some Considerations on the Feared Modification of Summorum Pontificum

Editor’s Note: What follows is not just a series of considerations on the upcoming “reforms” of Summorum Pontificum. Rather it is a kind of Rosetta Stone that can help new recruits to Tradition crack the code long used by Modernists to communicate with each other as they dismantle the foundations of the Catholic Church. I urge Remnant readers to please take a few moments to read on quietly and carefully.  Why? Because the words of Archbishop Viganò are not the pablum one typically imbibes at the drive-thru window on Facebook or other fast-food platforms online. Through the words and wisdom of Archbishop Viganò, God is giving us the great gift of clarity and sound Catholic leadership, which is only enhanced by the fact that the Archbishop once traveled in the Modernist circles and thus knows exactly how they work, what their game is, how to decipher their code and, most importantly, how to unmask their agenda. Drop everything and read this if you want to know what’s going on with Francis and, indeed, with Modernist infiltrators inside the Vatican for the past half century or more. Open your ears, friends, and let the Archbishop’s words open your eyes. May God bless him and Mary keep him safe beneath her protective mantle during this unprecedented revolution against God.  MJM [of The Remnant]

Written by  + Carlo Maria Viganò

ON THE OCCASION of the Philosophy Symposium dedicated to the memory of Msgr. Antonio Livi which was held in Venice on May 30, I tried to identify the elements that constantly recur throughout history in the work of deception of the Evil One.

In my examination, I focused on the fraud of the pandemic, showing how the reasons given to justify illegitimate coercive measures and no less illegitimate limitations of natural freedoms were in reality prophasis, that is, pretexts: ostensible reasons that are actually intended to conceal a malicious intent and a criminal design.

The Second Vatican Council was also in a certain way a Great Reset for the ecclesial body, like other historical events planned and designed in order to revolutionize the social body.

The publication of Anthony Fauci’s emails (here) and the impossibility of censoring the ever more numerous voices of dissent with respect to the mainstream narrative have confirmed my analysis and allow us to hope for a blatant defeat of the supporters of the Great Reset.

In that address, you may recall, I dwelt on the fact that the Second Vatican Council was also in a certain way a Great Reset for the ecclesial body, like other historical events planned and designed in order to revolutionize the social body. Also in this case, the excuses given to legitimize liturgical reform, ecumenism, and the parliamentarization of the authority of the Sacred Pastors were not founded on good faith but on deceit and lies, in such a way so as to make us believe that we were renouncing things that were unquestionably good – the Apostolic Mass, the uniqueness of the Church as the means of salvation, the immutability of the Magisterium and the Authority of the Hierarchy – for the sake of a higher good. But as we know, not only did this higher good not come about (nor could it have), but in fact, the true intent of the Council manifested itself in all its disruptive subversive value: churches were emptied, seminaries deserted, convents abandoned, authority discredited and perverted into tyranny for the sake of the wicked Pastors or rendered ineffective for the good ones. And we also know that the purpose of this reset, this devastating revolution, was from the very beginning iniquitous and malicious, despite being clothed in noble intentions in order to convince the faithful and the clergy to obey.

The true intent of the Council manifested itself in all its disruptive subversive value: churches were emptied, seminaries deserted, convents abandoned, authority discredited and perverted into tyranny for the sake of the wicked Pastors or rendered ineffective for the good ones. 

In 2007 Benedict XVI restored full citizenship to the venerable Tridentine liturgy, giving back to it the legitimacy that had been abusively denied it for fifty years. In his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum he declared:

It is therefore permitted to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal, which was promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Church’s Liturgy. […]  For such a celebration with either Missal, the priest needs no permission from the Apostolic See or from his own Ordinary (here).

In reality the letter of the Motu Proprio and the implementing documents associated with it was never completely applied, and the cœtus fidelium who today celebrate in the Apostolic Rite continue to have to go to their Bishop to ask permission, essentially still abiding by the dictate of the Indult of the preceding Motu Proprio of John Paul II Ecclesia Dei.

In 2007 Benedict XVI restored full citizenship to the venerable Tridentine liturgy, giving back to it the legitimacy that had been abusively denied it for fifty years, the former being defined as the “extraordinary form” and the latter as the “ordinary form,” as if the Bride of the Lamb could have two voices – one fully Catholic and another equivocally ecumenical – with which to speak at one moment to the Divine Majesty and at the next to the assembly of the faithful.

The just honor in which the traditional liturgy ought to be held was tempered by its being placed on an equal level with the liturgy of the post-conciliar reform, with the former being defined as the “extraordinary form” and the latter as the “ordinary form,” as if the Bride of the Lamb could have two voices – one fully Catholic and another equivocally ecumenical – with which to speak at one moment to the Divine Majesty and at the next to the assembly of the faithful. But there is also no doubt that the liberalization of the Tridentine Mass has done much good, nourishing the spirituality of millions of people, and bringing many souls closer to the Faith who, in the sterility of the reformed rite, have not found any incentive either for conversion or even less for spiritual growth.

Last year, displaying the typical behavior of the Innovators, the Holy See sent a questionnaire to the dioceses of the world in which they were asked to provide information about the implementation of Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio (here).

There is nothing more opposed to the so-called magisterium of Vatican II than the Tridentine liturgy.

The way in which the questions were written betrayed, once again, a second purpose, and the responses that were sent to Rome were supposed to create a basis of apparent legitimacy for imposing limitations on the Motu Proprio, if not its total abrogation.  Certainly, if the author of Summorum Pontificum were still seated on the Throne, this questionnaire would have allowed the Pontiff to remind the Bishops that no priest needs to ask for permission to celebrate Mass in the ancient rite, nor may a priest be removed from ministry for doing so. But the real intention of those who wanted to consult the Ordinaries does not seem to reside in the salus animarum so much as in theological hatred against a rite that expresses with adamantine clarity the immutable Faith of the Holy Church, and which for this reason is alien to the conciliar ecclesiology, to its liturgy, and to the doctrine it presupposes and conveys. There is nothing more opposed to the so-called magisterium of Vatican II than the Tridentine liturgy: every prayer, every pericope – as liturgists would say – constitutes an affront to the delicate ears of the Innovators, every ceremony is an offense to their eyes.

Simply tolerating that there are Catholics who want to drink from the sacred sources of that rite sounds like a defeat for them, one that is bearable only if it is limited to little groups of nostalgic elderly people or eccentric aesthetes. But if the “extraordinary form” – which is such in the ordinary sense of the word – becomes the norm for thousands of families, young people, and ordinary people who consciously choose it, then it becomes a stone of scandal and must be relentlessly opposed, limited, and abolished, since there must be no counter to the reformed liturgy, no alternative to the squalor of the conciliar rites – just as there can be no voice of dissent or argued refutation against the mainstream narrative, and just as effective treatments cannot be adopted in the face of the side effects of an experimental vaccine because they would demonstrate the latter’s uselessness.

Priests and bishops who, like me, have rediscovered that inestimable treasure of faith and spirituality [Tridentine Mass] – or which by the grace of God they have never abandoned, despite the ferocious persecution of the post-council – are not disposed to renounce it, having found in it the soul of their Priesthood and the nourishment of their supernatural life. 

Nor can we be surprised: those who do not come from God are intolerant of everything that even remotely recalls an era in which the Catholic Church was governed by Catholic pastors and not by unfaithful pastors who abuse their authority; an era in which the Faith was preached in its integrity to the nations and not adulterated in order to please the world; an era in which those who hungered and thirsted for Truth were nourished and refreshed by a liturgy that was earthly in form but divine in substance. And if all that until yesterday was holy and good is now condemned and made an object of scorn, then allowing any trace of it to remain is inadmissible and constitutes an intolerable affront. Because the Tridentine Mass touches chords of the soul that the Montinian rite does not even begin to approach.

Obviously, those who maneuver behind the scenes in the Vatican to eliminate the Catholic Mass see decades of work compromised in the Motu Proprio, they see a threat against the possession of so many souls whom today they keep subjugated and their tyrannical hold over the ecclesial body weakened.

The same priests and bishops who, like me, have rediscovered that inestimable treasure of faith and spirituality – or which by the grace of God they have never abandoned, despite the ferocious persecution of the post-council – are not disposed to renounce it, having found in it the soul of their Priesthood and the nourishment of their supernatural life. And it is disturbing, as well as scandalous, that in the face of the good that the Tridentine Mass brings to the Church, there are those who want to ban it or limit its celebration on the basis of specious reasons.  Yet, if we place ourselves in the shoes of the Innovators, we understand how perfectly consistent this is with their distorted vision of the Church, which for them is not a perfect society instituted by God for the salvation of souls but a human society in which an authority that is corrupt and subservient to the elite it favors steers the needs of the masses for vague spirituality, denying the purpose for which Our Lord willed it, and in which the good Pastors are constrained to inaction by bureaucratic shackles which they alone obey.

Even in the civil sphere, during the pandemic, many people obeyed absurd and harmful rules because they were imposed on them by doctors, virologists, and politicians who should have had the health and well-being of citizens at heart.

This impasse, this juridical dead end, means that the abuse of authority can be imposed on subjects precisely in virtue of the fact that they recognize the voice of Christ in it, even in the face of evidence of the intrinsic wickedness of the orders that are given, the motivations that determine them, and the individuals who exercise it.

On the other hand, even in the civil sphere, during the pandemic, many people obeyed absurd and harmful rules because they were imposed on them by doctors, virologists, and politicians who should have had the health and well-being of citizens at heart; and many did not want to believe, not even in the face of evidence of the criminal design, that they could directly intend the death or illness of millions of people. It is what social psychologists call cognitive dissonance, which induces individuals to take refuge in a comfortable niche of irrationality rather than recognize that they are victims of a colossal fraud and therefore having to react manfully.

So let us not ask ourselves why – in the face of the multiplication of communities tied to the ancient liturgy, the flowering of vocations almost exclusively in the context of the Motu Proprio, and the increase in the frequent reception of the Sacraments and consistency of Christian life among those who follow it – there is a desire to wickedly trample an inalienable right and hinder the Apostolic Mass: the question is wrong and the answer would be misleading.

It would be absurd to hope that there could be a peaceful coexistence between the Novus and Vetus Ordo, as well as between the Catholic Mass and the Lutheran Lord’s Supper.

Let us ask ourselves, rather, why notorious heretics and fornicators without morals would tolerate their errors and their deplorable way of life being placed into question by a minority of the faithful and clergy without protectors when they have the power to prevent it. At this point we understand well that this aversion cannot fail to be made explicit precisely by putting an end to the Motu Proprio, abusing a usurped and perverted authority.

Even at the time of the Protestant pseudo-Reformation, tolerance towards certain liturgical customs rooted in the people was short-lived, because those devotions to the Virgin Mary, those hymns in Latin, those bells rung at the Elevation – which no longer existed – necessarily had to disappear, since they expressed a Faith that Luther’s followers had denied. And it would be absurd to hope that there could be a peaceful coexistence between the Novus and Vetus Ordo, as well as between the Catholic Mass and the Lutheran Lord’s Supper, given the ontological incompatibility between them. On closer inspection, at least the defeat of the Vetus hoped for by the supporters of the Novusis consistent with their principles, just as the defeat of the Novus by the Vetus should likewise be hoped for. They are mistaken therefore who believe that it is possible to hold together two opposing forms of Catholic worship in the name of a plurality of liturgical expression that is the daughter of the conciliar mentality no more and no less than it is the daughter of the hermeneutic of continuity.

I exhort my Brothers in the Episcopate, Priests, and laity to strenuously defend their right to the Catholic liturgy solemnly sanctioned by the Saint Pius V’s Bull Quo Primum.

The modus operandi of the Innovators emerges once again in this operation against the Motu Proprio: first some of the most fanatical opponents of the traditional liturgy call for the abrogation of Summorum Pontificum as a provocation, calling the ancient Mass “divisive.” Then the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith asks the Ordinaries to respond to a questionnaire (here), the answers to which are practically pre-packaged (the Bishop’s career depends on the way he goes along with what he reports to the Holy See, because the content of his responses to the questionnaire will also be made known to the Congregation of Bishops).

Then, with a nonchalant air, during a closed-door meeting with the members of the Italian Episcopate, Bergoglio says that he is concerned about seminarians “who seem good, but are rigid” (here) and the spread of the traditional liturgy, always reiterating that the conciliar liturgical reform is irreversible. Furthermore, he appoints a bitter enemy of the Vetus Ordo as Prefect of Divine Worship who will be an ally in the application of any future restrictions.

Finally, we learn that Cardinals Parolin and Ouellet are among the first to desire this downsizing of the Motu Proprio (here). This obviously leads “conservative” Prelates to come scurrying in defense of the present system of the co-existence of the two forms, ordinary and extraordinary, giving Francis the opportunity to show that he is the prudent moderator of two opposing currents by moving towards “only” a limitation of Summorum Pontificum rather than its total abrogation: which – as we know – was exactly what he was aiming for from the start of his operation.

There is also added the indecorous rudeness displayed to Benedict XVI, who is still living, by Bergoglio.

Regardless of the final outcome, the deus ex machina of this predictable play is, as always, Bergoglio, who is even ready to take credit for a gesture of clement indulgence towards conservatives as well as unloading the responsibilities for a restrictive application onto the new Prefect, Archbishop Arthur Roche, and his followers.

Thus, in the event of a choral protest of the faithful and an unhinged reaction by the Prefect or other Prelates, once again Bergoglio will enjoy the clash between progressives and traditionalists, since he will then have excellent arguments to affirm that the coexistence of the two forms of the Roman Rite causes divisions in the Church and that it is thus more prudent to return to the pax montiniana, that is, the total proscription of the Mass of all time.

I exhort my Brothers in the Episcopate, Priests, and laity to strenuously defend their right to the Catholic liturgy solemnly sanctioned by the Saint Pius V’s Bull Quo Primum, and by means of it to defend the Holy Church and the Papacy, which have both been exposed to discredit and ridicule by the Pastors themselves. The question of the Motu Proprio is not in the least negotiable, because it reaffirms the legitimacy of a rite that has never been abrogated nor is able to be abrogated.

It is not acceptable for the supreme authority of the Church to allow itself to cancel, in a disturbing operation of cancel culture in a religious key, the inheritance it has received from its Fathers.

Furthermore, in addition to the certain damage that airing these novelties will cause to souls and to the certain advantage that will come from them to the Devil and his servants, there is also added the indecorous rudeness displayed to Benedict XVI, who is still living, by Bergoglio, who ought to know that the authority the Roman Pontiff exercises over the Church is vicarious and that the power which he holds comes to him from Our Lord Jesus Christ, the One Head of the Mystical Body.

Abusing the Apostolic authority and the power of the Holy Keys for a purpose opposed to that for which they were instituted by the Lord represents an unheard-of offense against the Majesty of God, a dishonor for the Church, and a sin for which he will have to answer for to the One whose Vicar he is. And whoever refuses the title of Vicar of Christ knows that by doing so the legitimacy of his authority also fails.

It is not acceptable for the supreme authority of the Church to allow itself to cancel, in a disturbing operation of cancel culture in a religious key, the inheritance it has received from its Fathers; nor is it permissible to consider as being outside of the Church those who are not prepared to accept the privation of the Mass and the Sacraments celebrated in the form that has molded almost two thousand years of Saints.

The Church is not an agency in which the marketing office decides to cancel old products from the catalog and propose new ones in their stead according to customer requests. Imposing the liturgical revolution with force on priests and the faithful in the name of obedience to the Council, stripping away from them the very soul of the Christian life and replacing it with a rite that the Freemason Bugnini copied from Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer, was already painful. That abuse, partially healed by Benedict XVI with the Motu Proprio, cannot be repeated in any way now in the presence of elements that are all largely in favor of the liberalization of the ancient liturgy. If one really wanted to help the people of God in this crisis, the reformed liturgy should have been abolished, which in fifty years has caused more damage than Calvinism has done.

We do not know if the feared restrictions that the Holy See intends to make to the Motu Proprio will affect diocesan priests, or if they will also affect the Institutes whose members celebrate the ancient rite exclusively. I fear, however, as I have already had the occasion to say in the past, that it will be precisely on the latter that the demolishing action of the Innovators will be unleashed, who can perhaps tolerate the ceremonial aspects of the Tridentine liturgy but absolutely do not accept adherence to the doctrinal and ecclesiological structure that they imply, which contrasts sharply with the conciliar deviations that the Innovators want to impose without exception.

This is why it is to be feared that these Institutes will be asked to make some form of submission to the conciliar liturgy, for example by making the celebration of the Novus Ordo mandatory at least occasionally, as diocesan priests must already do. In this way, whoever makes use of the Motu Proprio will be constrained not only to an implicit acceptance of the reformed liturgy but also to a public acceptance of the new rite and its doctrinal mens. And whoever celebrates the two forms of the rite will find himself ipso facto discredited above all in his consistency, passing off his liturgical choices as a merely aesthetic – I would say almost choreographic – in fact, depriving him of any sort of critical judgment towards the Montinian Mass and the mens that gives it form: because he will find himself forced to celebrate that Mass.

This is a malicious and cunning operation, in which an authority that abuses its power delegitimizes those who oppose it, on the one hand by granting the ancient rite, but on the other hand making it a merely aesthetic question and obligating an insidious bi-ritualism and an even more insidious adherence to two opposing and contrasting doctrinal approaches. But how can a priest be asked to celebrate a venerable and holy rite in which he finds perfect coherence between doctrine, ceremony, and life at one moment, and at the next a falsified rite that winks at heretics and contemptibly keeps silent about what the other proudly proclaims?

Let us pray, therefore: let us pray that the Divine Majesty, to which we render perfect worship celebrating the venerable ancient rite, will deign to enlighten the Sacred Pastors so that they desist from their purpose and indeed promote the Tridentine Mass for the good of Holy Church and for the glory of the Most Holy Trinity. Let us invoke the Holy Patrons of the Mass – Saint Gregory the Great, Saint Pius V, and Saint Pius X in primis, and all the Saints who over the course of the centuries have celebrated the Holy Sacrifice in the form that has been handed down to us, so that we may faithfully preserve it.

May their intercession before the throne of God beg for the preservation of the Mass of all time, thanks to which we are sanctified, strengthened in virtue, and able to resist the attacks of the Evil One. And if ever the sins of the men of the Church should merit for us a punishment so severe as that prophesied by Daniel, let us prepare to descend into the catacombs, offering this trial for the conversion of the Shepherds.

+ Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop

9 June 2021
Feria IV infra Hebdomadam II 
post Octavam Pentecostes

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Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus


Protestantism in the sixteenth century and Jansenism in the seventeenth had attempted to spoil one of the essential dogmas of Christianity, namely the love of God for all men.
It became necessary that the Spirit of love, which directs the Church, should by some new means counteract the spreading heresy, in order that the Spouse of Christ, far from seeing her love for Jesus diminish, should feel it always increasing.

This was made manifest in Catholic worship, which is the sure rule of our faith, by the institution of the Feast of the Sacred Heart.
Yet in early Middle-Ages, the Doctors and Saints used to see in the wound of Jesus’ side the source of all graces. St. Bonaventure invites us “to enter this wound and to dwell in the quiet of this Heart”.

The two Benedictine virgins, St. Gertrude and St. Mechtilde, in the thirteenth century, had a clear vision of the grandeur of the devotion to the Sacred Heart. St. John the evangelist, appearing to the former, announced to her that “the meaning of the blessed beating of the heart of Jesus which he had heard while his head rested on His breast, was reserved for the latter times when the world grown old and cold in divine love, would require to have its fervour renewed by means of this mystery of burning love”.

This Heart, say these two Saints, is an altar on which Christ offers Himself to the Father as a perfect and most acceptable victim. It is a golden censer from which rise towards the Father as many clouds of incense as there are kinds of men for whom Christ suffered. In this Heart the praise and thanks we give to God and all our good works are ennobled and become acceptable to the Father.

But in order to make this worship public and recognized, Providence first raised up St. John Eudes, who in 1670 composed an Office and a Mass of the Sacred Heart for the so-called Congregation of the Eudists. Providence then chose one of the spiritual daughters of St. Francis of Sales, St. Margaret-Mary Alacoque, to whom Jesus showed His Heart at Paray-le-Monial, on June 16th, 1675, Sunday after Corpus Christi, and asked her to institute a feast of the Sacred Heart on the Friday following the Octave of Corpus Christi.

Lastly, God employed for the propagation of this devotion, Blessed Claude de la Colombiere. He belonged to the Company of Jesus ” the whole of which inherited his zeal in the propagation of the devotion to the Sacred Heart “.
In 1765, Clement XIII gave his approbation to the feast and the Office of the Sacred Heart, and in 1856 Pius IX, extended it to the universal Church. In 1929 Pius XI composed a new Mass and Office for this feast and gave it a privileged Octave of the third Order.
The solemnity of the Sacred Heart sums up all the phases of the life of Jesus recalled in the liturgy from Advent to the Feast of Corpus Christi.

It constitutes an admirable triptych giving us in abridgment all the mysteries, joyous, sorrowful and glorious, of the Saviour’s life devoted to the love of God and men. This feast is indeed placed on a height fr m which may be contemplated the redeeming labours of the Saviour on earth and the glorious victories He will, by the working of the Holy Ghost, achieve in souls until the end of the world.

Coming after the feasts of Christ, this feast completes them, concentrating them in one object which is materially Jesus’ Heart of flesh, and formally the unbounded charity symbolised by this Heart. This solemnity therefore does not relate to a particular mystery of the Saviour’s life, but embraces them all; indeed the devotion to the Sacred Heart celebrates all the favours we have received from divine charity during the year, and all the marvellous things that Jesus has done for us It is the feast of the love of God for men, a love which has made Jesus come down on earth for all by His Incarnation (Epistle), which has raised Him on the Cross for the Redemption of all and which brings Him down every day on our altars by transubstantiation, in order to make us benefit by the merits of His death on Calvary.
These three mysteries, which manifest to us the divine charity in a more special way, sum up the spirit of the feast of the Sacred Heart. It is ” His love which forced Him to put on a mortal body”.

It is His love which willed that the Sacred Heart should be pierced on the cross in order that from the wound should flow a spring we might draw from joyfully, whose water cleanses us from our sins in baptism and whose blood nourishes bur souls in the Eucharist. And as the Eucharist is the continuation of the Incarnation and the sacrifice of Calvary, Jesus asked that the feast should be placed immediately after the Octave of Corpus Christi.

As these manifestations of Christ’s love only show the more the ingratitude of men who only answer by coldness and indifference this solemnity has a character of reparation (Collect) demanded of us by the wounded Heart of Jesus and by His immolation in the Crib, on the Cross and on the Altar.

Let us learn from the Heart of Jesus, whose gentle and humble love turns no one away, and in it we shall find rest for our souls.

(from ‘Saint Andrew Daily Missal’j

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traditional-catholic-sacred-heart1

Consecration of the Family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sacred Heart of Jesus, You made clear to Saint Margaret Mary Your desire of being King in Christian families. We today wish to proclaim Your most complete kingly dominion over our own family. We want to live in the future with Your life. We want to cause to flourish in our midst those virtues to which You have promised peace here below. We want to banish far from us the spirit of the world which You have cursed. You shall be King over our minds in the simplicity of our faith, and over our hearts by the wholehearted love with which they shall burn for You, the flame of which we will keep alive by the frequent reception of Your divine Eucharist. Be so kind, O divine Heart, as to preside over our assemblings, to bless our enterprises, both spiritual and temporal, to dispel our cares, to sanctify our joys, and to alleviate our sufferings. If ever one or other of us should have the misfortune to afflict You, remind him, O Heart of Jesus, that You are good and merciful to the penitent sinner. And when the hour of separation strikes, when death shall come to cast mourning into our midst, we will all, both those who go and those who stay, be submissive to Your eternal decrees. We shall console ourselves with the thought that a day will come when the entire family, reunited in heaven, can sing forever Your glories and Your mercies. May the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the glorious patriarch Saint Joseph present this consecration to You, and keep it in our minds all the days of our life. All glory to the Heart of Jesus, our King and our Father!

(Indulgenced May 19, 1908.)

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What can we offer the world? ‘Not much’ according to Mr. Lewis

Posted on June 9, 2021 by Steven O’Reilly on ‘Roma Locuta Est’

Mike Lewis over at Where Peter Is has offered his ruminations on the state and future of evangelization. The lengthy essay (4,600 words plus) ponders “What can we offer the world?”  The question Mr. Lewis wants to set before the reader is how to best evangelize in the world as it is now, where there is a “cultural division between the Catholic Church and Western society—especially on moral issues—is as wide as it has been since the rise of Christendom.” This similarly lengthy essay is my critique of and response to Mr. Lewis’ article.

The Question: “What can we (the Church) offer the world?”

The “dictatorship of relativism” about which Pope Benedict XVI once warned the Church no longer exists according to Mr. Lewis. Instead, he claims, today’s progressives are not “relativists” because they “subscribe to moral dogmas just as strongly as Catholics do.” I disagree with Mr. Lewis’ view that the “dictatorship of relativism” has “fallen and been replaced.” Progressive “orthodoxy” is not a fixed thing. Not being firmly fixed to any true Christian or philosophic principle, it shifts over time in the direction of greater and greater error. 

Regardless, it is fair to say the Church has not done a good job over the last several decades in evangelizing the outside word or catechizing its own members. How does the Church evangelize then in the world as it is now? Mr. Lewis begins by citing Pope Paul VI. Mr. Lewis says:

In his 1975 encyclical, Evangelii Nuntiandi, Saint Paul VI reminded us that the Church “exists in order to evangelize, that is to say, in order to preach and teach, to be the channel of the gift of grace” (14). Later in the encyclical, he explained the importance of changing our approach to evangelization when situations require it. He wrote, “This question of ‘how to evangelize’ is permanently relevant, because the methods of evangelizing vary according to the different circumstances of time, place and culture” (40).

It is unfortunate that in quoting Evangelii Nuntiandi that Mr. Lewis did not quote Pope Paul VI’s very next line: “On us particularly, the pastors of the Church, rests the responsibility for reshaping with boldness and wisdom, but in complete fidelity to the content of evangelization, the means that are most suitable and effective for communicating the Gospel message to the men and women of our times.” If Mr. Lewis had read the above line he might have thought twice about what he wrote in his article, as it appears light – in my view – on sharing the gospel in “complete fidelity to the content of evangelization.”

‘Traditionalist’ Catholics Bad

According to Mr. Lewis, “successful evangelization” in our time “must respond creatively to unprecedented changes in the world, and should be mindful of the unique obstacles in each society.” What are the obstacles to evangelizing in the West? Well, according to Mr. Lewis, that challenge is to “show that Catholicism is not an obsolete religion filled with superstitious bigots and conspiracy theorists.” That is the challenge? Yes, according to Mr. Lewis, that is the challenge. And believe me…he will enlighten you shortly as to who he believe these “bigots” and “conspiracy theorists” are. Mr. Lewis does not disappoint (emphasis added):

The declining Church in the West has suffered serious blows to its moral credibility in recent decades. This has resulted in declines in its ability to witness in the public square, its influence in halls of power, and its capacity to evangelize the culture. Historians and sociologists will research, write, and debate what caused the fall of Christendom for ages to come, but we Christians today don’t have the luxury of centuries to take stock of what went wrong if we want to survive this crisis. More importantly, if we fail to recognize how the Church is perceived by the wider society, our beloved faith will be reduced to little more than an afterthought by the prevailing culture in a generation or two.

This is the key challenge facing Church leaders today, and it is something that Pope Francis has consistently tried to address. He has faced strong resistance in these efforts, mostly from within the Church. Many times during his eight-year pontificate, Francis’s progress has been hindered. His initiatives have been blocked repeatedly by other Catholic leaders who promote more reactionary, ideological approaches to the faith. And this has cost valuable time. Unless our Church leaders can quickly learn how to be serious voices of social and moral truth on the world stage, Catholicism will soon drift into an age of cultural irrelevance.

Back in April, I explained why dissent on the Catholic right[1] presents a unique danger to the Church. Unlike dissenters on the Catholic left, who usually express their disagreements with Church teaching openly, dissent on the right presents itself as doctrinal orthodoxy. Dissent on the left often leads Catholics to defect from the Church, whereas those on the right typically don’t plan to go anywhere.

Since 2013, particularly in North America, reactionary dissent from the right has almost always involved strong anti-papal sentiment (including accusations that even Pope Francis himself is a heretic). More recently, it has led well-meaning Catholics into doctrinal error and the embrace of dangerous ideologies, including forms of nationalismpopulism, and integralism that are incompatible with the Catholic faith.  Catholics in this group are prone to accepting conspiracy theories like QAnonCovid-19 denial, and anti-vaccine propaganda. Many have even started accepting white nationalismdubious end-times propheciesunapproved apparitions, and SSPX talking points.

At last we come to it. Mr. Lewis, having examined the question and the problem of evangelization of the West, concludes the problem is “reactionary dissent from the right.” For anyone somewhat familiar with Mr. Lewis and Where Peter Isunderstanding their political and theological leftist bent and the red-colored glasses through which Where Peter Is views the landscape of both the Church and America, puts into perspective many of its accusations against the “right” above. [NB: Mr. Lewis in his article says he uses “right” and “left” to describe “forms of dissent” in the Catholic Church. Where he uses it in citations I provide, that is the sense he wants to give to it. Generally, where I use the term “right” or ‘traditionalist’ or ‘conservative’ in theological context, I intend “right belief” or orthodoxy – i.e., acceptance of Catholic teaching; and where I use “left” I generally intend “dissent” from traditional Catholic teaching, that or ambiguous to questionable acceptance of Catholic teaching. The terms are used loosely but despite this looseness in usage, ‘most readers have a sense of what they mean in this context.’ All that said, those on the ‘right’ of Mr. Lewis reject the suggestion they are “dissenters” from Catholic teaching; and would instead question one or more theological positions held by those on some on the “left” including some at Where Peter Is, such as regarding the permissibility of the divorced and remarried receiving Holy Communion in certain cases while in an objective situation of sin.]

First, Mr. Lewis speaks of “accusations that even Pope Francis himself is a heretic” and of the “strong anti-papal sentiment” of the “right.” Personally, I do not believe the claim of “strong anti-papal sentiment” is accurate, at least in so far as it regards the Petrine Office because conservative and traditional Catholic long for the pope to “confirm the brethren” – such as by answering the Dubia. While there is strong sentiment and concern with regard to Francis, this has not occurred in a vacuum. There are things which Pope Francis has said, such as the Abu Dhabi statement, and or has failed to deny he said, such as found in various Scalfari interviews, which are troubling. There was also the controversy over the Pachamama idol, and of course, the question of Amoris Laetitiaand its true interpretation and magisterial significance, regarding which even some Francis-apologists have significant, conflicting opinions (see Confusion at Vatican Insider? and The Confusion of the Francis-Apologists). The controversy over Amoris Laetitia could have been resolved by now had Pope Francis only responded to the Dubia with five simple “yes” or “no” answers. We will return to the question of Amoris Laetitia in connection to the seeming hypocrisy of Mr. Lewis later on in this article.

But aside from the ongoing debate over things Pope Francis has said or done, Mr. Lewis wants to tar “reactionary” Catholics with a bizarre collection of errors, ranging from nationalism – even “white nationalism“(!) – populismconspiracy theories, and dubious end-time prophecies from unapproved apparitions. Later in his article, Mr. Lewis seemingly even throws in “neo-pelagianism.”[1]  All this makes it hard to take Mr. Lewis and his accusations seriously. Let us briefly consider “nationalism.” In our times, what being a patriotic American is to one person might be evil nationalism or populism to another – perhaps to the likes of Mr. Lewis. It certainly is often a false charge used by those on the political left who generally favor globalist policies. To many on the Democratic left, just being a Trump supporter qualifies one as a “white nationalist” or “white supremacist.”[2] Absurd. Does that mean there are no “white nationalists” anywhere?  No, but such accusations or that of “white privilege” or “white supremacist” more often than not are a tactic cynically employed by the political Left – infamous for playing identity politics – to bludgeon and cow their politically conservative opposition. The truth is, while “white nationalism” is indeed an evil thing, there is no real evidence it is a significant ‘thing’ among Catholics. 

Mr. Lewis’ inclusion of “integralism” as a dangerous ideology of the right is yet another example of him throwing more mud at a wall to see what sticks. Personally, I am not an integralist. My only interest here is an application of common sense. Mr. Lewis and Where Peter Is are stretching their credibility beyond the breaking point by suggesting “integralism” is a  “dangerous ideology.” Mr. Lewis need not hyperventilate. Relax, Mike…There’s no chance the USA will become an integralist society any time soon.

There are other bizarre attempts to build straw men for Mr. Lewis to knock down. I will not waste much time on these, such as Mr. Lewis’ claim the “right” is accepting “dubious end-time prophecies” and “unapproved apparitions.” Personally, I like to stick with approved apparitions. Regardless, I don’t think interest in Catholic prophecy is unique to left or right. For example, I know there are writers with views closer to those of Mr. Lewis who have a strong interest in end-time prophecy (e.g., see herehere), including not-yet-approved apparitions (e.g., here). Separately, Mr. Lewis also suggests Catholics on the “right” are prone to “accepting conspiracy theories.” One of his examples is QAnon. While, yes, there were folks on the right who accepted it, there were many on the left — and I suspect there are Where Peter Is readers among them — who accepted many of the crazy anti-Trump conspiracy theories, such as the Russian Collusion hoax. Certainly, Catholics like Nancy Pelosi believed it. The point being, conspiracy theories are found across the political (and theological) spectrum. In sum, Mr. Lewis is a victim of pareidolia. He sees a pattern where there is none.

The Solution:  Listening and Passivity?  Huh?

READ ON….

[Please go over to ‘ROMA LOCUTA EST’ to read the second half of Steven O’Reilly’s rebuttal to Mike Lewis’ attack on Traditional Catholics.]

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The Simple Path to Holiness: the Careful Performance of our Daily Duties

Blessed Anna Maria Taigi

Today (June 9) is the feast of Blessed Anna Maria Taigi. She was one of the most remarkable lay mystics in the history of the Church. Despite being favoured with many extraordinary mystical gifts, and consulted by bishops, popes and even other saints, she kept her feet on the ground, and lived the life of a busy mother in Rome in the 1800′s. In fact, she was so focused on properly fulfilling her duties that she was known to ask God to stop favouring her with ecstacies and other spiritual gifts so that she would not be distracted from her work!

The chief road to sanctity for all of us is found through the careful performance of our daily duties. Perhaps some people are called to extraordinary things, but for most of us holiness will be entirely found within our ordinary life.

Does this mean that we are not called to be great saints, and can instead live a life of mediocrity? Not at all! Jesus tell us that we should strive to be perfect as the Heavenly Father is perfect. Far from a life of mediocrity, this is a life of great holiness. Anyone with a busy job or with a family or other commitments knows just how difficult it is to perform all of our duties as perfectly as possible.

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In his work, Meditations and Devotions, the holy Cardinal, St John Henry Newman, outlines a simple path to holiness:

“It is the saying of holy men that, if we wish to be perfect, we have nothing more to do than to perform the ordinary duties of the day well. A short road to perfection – short, not because easy, but because pertinent and intelligible. There are no short ways to perfection, but there are sure ones.

I think this is an instruction which may be of great practical use to persons like ourselves. It is easy to have vague ideas what perfection is, which serve well enough to talk about, when we do not intend to aim at it; but as soon as a person really desires and sets about seeking it himself, he is dissatisfied with anything but what is tangible and clear, and constitutes some sort of direction towards the practice of it.

We must bear in mind what is meant by perfection. It does not mean any extraordinary service, anything out of the way, or especially heroic- not all have the opportunity of heroic acts, of sufferings – but it means what the word perfection ordinarily means. By perfect we mean that which has no flaw in it, that which is complete, that which is consistent, that which is sound – we mean the opposite to imperfect. As we know well what imperfection in religious service means, we know by the contrast what is meant by perfection.

He, then, is perfect who does the work of the day perfectly, and we need not go beyond this to seek for perfection. You need not go out of the round of the day.

I insist on this because I think it will simplify our views, and fix our exertions on a definite aim.

If you ask me what you are to do in order to be perfect, I say, first-

Do not lie in bed beyond the due time of rising;

give your first thoughts to God;

make a good visit to the Blessed Sacrament;

say the Angelus devoutly;

eat and drink to God’s glory;

say the Rosary well;

be recollected; keep out bad thoughts;

make your evening meditation well;

examine yourself daily;

go to bed in good time, and you are already perfect.”

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This is also called by St. Thérèse of Lisieux “the little way”, a loving commitment to the tasks and to the people we meet in our everyday lives. She took her assignments in the convent of Lisieux as ways of manifesting her love for God and for others. She worked as a sacristan by taking care of the altar and the chapel; she served in the refectory and in the laundry room; she wrote plays for the entertainment of the community. Above all, she tried to show a love for all the nuns in the community. She played no favourites; she gave of herself even to the difficult members. Her life sounds so routine and ordinary, but it was steeped in a constant and courageous denial of self. It is called a little way precisely by being simple, direct, yet calling for amazing fortitude and commitment.

St Francis de Sales tells us:

A very small virtue may be of greater value in a soul where divine love fervently reigns, than martyrdom itself in a soul where love is languishing, feeble, and dull.

That is the secret: to inject all of our actions with love, doing each simple task to the best of our possibilities Therein lies the value of our actions. Thus, even simple household duties performed with love are of greater value than heroic deeds performed with lukewarmness.

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‘Vera fraternitas’: June, the Month of Brothers

By Peter Kwasniewski: ”June is what I like to call “the month of brothers,” where we find a quartet of blood brothers who won through to heaven together.”

Gervase and Protase

June 8, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — One of the most beautiful aspects of the traditional Roman liturgy is the rich calendar of saints that it places before our view year after year. The calendar of Paul VI’s modern papal rite of 1969 removed over 300 saints; at the same time, it refocused the celebration of the first part of Mass on a more regimented march through Scripture and optionalized the use of “propers” that referred to the saints. The result is a liturgy that feels much more distant and detached from the cultus of the saints and their distinctive traits, without any compensation of feeling more close and attached to the adoration of Christ their King. In a wonderful paradox, the intense veneration of the saints in the Latin Mass — especially of Our Lady who is mentioned ten or eleven times, as compared with only one to four mentions in Paul VI’s rite — has a way of enhancing the sublime dignity of the Son of God, of whom all the saints are images and to whom they face, like heliotropes following the course of the sun. The cultus of saints, far from detracting from the Lordship of Christ, rather manifests its power and extent. He is all the greater when we see the greatness of His court.

Then there are, from time to time, special “groupings” within the great company of saints that we find arranged for us on the traditional calendar by the hidden workings of Divine Providence. An example is what I like to call “the month of brothers,” June, where we find a quartet of blood brothers who won through to heaven together.

On June 9, we celebrate the feast of Saints Primus and Felician, described thus in the Roman Martyrology:

At La Mentana in the Sabine Hills, the birthday of the holy martyrs Primus and Felician, brothers in the reign of the Emperors Diodetian and Maximian. These glorious martyrs passed a long life in the service of the Lord, and having borne severe torments, sometimes alike for them both, at others different, at length completed the course of their happy warfare, for they were beheaded by Promotus, Governor of Nomen tum. The bodies of these martyrs were afterwards translated to Rome and honourably buried in the church of St Stephen the Protomartyr on the Coelian Hill.

On June 18 comes, in addition to St. Ephrem the Syrian, the commemoration of Saints Mark and Marcellian, about whom the Martyrology says:

At Rome, on the Via Ardeatina, the birthday of the holy martyrs Mark and Marcellian, brothers, who were apprehended in Diocletian’s persecution by the judge Fabian, and bound to a stake, sharp nails being driven into their feet: and since they would not cease to praise Christ, their sides were transpierced with spears, and they passed to the heavenly realms with the glory of martyrdom.

If the Mass for the brothers be said (it is more usual to say the Mass of Saint Ephrem, which was added to the calendar later, but to add the mandatory orations for Mark and Marcellian), this very special Alleluia text would be recited or chanted: “Alleluia, alleluia. This is the true brotherhood, which never can be broken in battle: through the shedding of their blood, they have followed the Lord. Alleluia.”

On June 19, the feast of St. Juliana Falconieri, are commemorated Saints Gervase and Protase:

At Milan, the holy martyrs Gervase and Protase, brothers; the former Astasius the judge ordered to be beaten until he gave up the ghost, the other after scourging to be beheaded. Blessed Ambrose, guided by divine revelation, found their bodies, sprinkled with blood, and as incorrupt as if they had been slain that very day. At their translation a blind man received sight at the touch of the bier, and many who had been harassed by demons were set free.

Lastly, on June 26 falls the memory of Saints John and Paul, to whom devotion in Rome was so strong that their names are found in the Roman Canon. The Martyrology gives us this brief account:

At Rome, on the Coelian Hill, the holy martyrs John and Paul, brothers. The former was the governor of the household, and the second the chamberlain of the virgin Constantia, daughter of the Emperor Constantine; both of them afterwards, under Julian the Apostate, obtained the palm of martyrdom, dying by the sword.

Strikingly, the Collect of the last feast defines a new form of “blood brotherhood” that is achieved by faith in Christ who shed His blood for us, and by the shedding of one’s own blood for Him:

Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we may derive a doubled joy on this day’s festival, which proceeds from the glorification of blessed John and Paul, whom the same faith and suffering truly made to be brothers. Through our Lord Jesus Christ…

The Gradual of the Mass takes up Psalm 132: “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity,” and the Alleluia repeats that of June 9, continuing and completing the thought of the Collect: “Alleluia, alleluia. This is the true brotherhood which overcame the wickedness of the world: it followed Christ, attaining the noble kingdom of heaven. Alleluia.”

One final irony might be mentioned: Many of the saints removed by Paul VI are saints that Roman Catholics venerate in common with the Eastern Orthodox. That is true for three of these pairs of brothers in June: Mark and Marcellian (whose feast on the Eastern calendar is December 18), Gervase and Protase (celebrated by the East on October 14), and John and Paul (observed on the same day). One of the most harmful legacies of the liturgical reform was the simultaneous grafting of alien quasi-Byzantine elements into the Roman rite and the purging of genuinely common elements that had always been there — a blow against fidelity to type as well as ecclesiastical brotherhood.

Haec est vera fraternitas: This is the true brotherhood that unites the martyrs, that unites all Christians in the bonds of faith and suffering, wherever we may be, whatever our state or status. In a reversal of the logic of the world, which says blood is thicker than water, Christianity shows us that water is thicker than blood: The spiritual fellowship inaugurated by baptism joins us more profoundly and more eternally than the bonds of biological generation and family culture. Indeed, it is precisely the Christian baptism of both spouses that allows their natural human love and the act of generation to be elevated to the level of supernatural charity and fruitfulness in in the sacrament of matrimony, and it is the same baptism lived out that makes the family an image of the social life of the blessed in heaven.

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When Jesus Said, “My Flesh is Food Indeed”, He Meant It!

Incredible homily from Sensus Fidelium on the Real Presence for the Feast of Corpus Christi:

“As a priest of God, the good Lord literally listens to my voice and heeds my words. Unworthy servant that I am, the God of gods and Lord of lords obeys my voice when I utter those words of consecration – Hoc est enim Corpus Meum – This is My Body. And as soon as the Mystery of Transubstantiation occurs, where the substance bread and wine literally become the Flesh and Blood of Christ, I immediately genuflect in recognition of the Mystery and in submission to my Eucharistic King. Yet this great mystery of Transubstantiation is a difficult teaching for many to accept. When our dearest Lord taught that His Flesh was real food and that His Blood was real drink, many walked away from Him. Our senses fail to fathom this tremendous mystery, but Faith…Faith in what our Lord stated…Faith based on what we have heard…must serve to compensate. But our Lord is so good, that at times He will assist our Faith through Eucharistic Miracles. The great Church Father and Doctor of Grace, St. Augustine, once stated: I would not be a Christian if it were not for the miracles.(2X). Sacramental evidence assists our Faith in the Most Holy Eucharist and this evidence of Eucharistic Miracles remains with us.”

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by Steven Buhagiar

Friends, on this Solemnity of Corpus Christi, I want to share the attached image which shows the very moment of ‘transubstantiation’ ie when the host (bread) becomes the Body of Jesus Christ (flesh).This miracle took place in Sokolka, Poland on 12 October 2008. Scientific analysis proves that the host is truly cardiac tissue from the heart of a dying man. When Jesus said “My flesh is food indeed”, He absolutely meant it. On this Solemnity of Corpus Christi, let us thank our loving God with our whole hearts for giving us the gift of His very self. Jesus holds nothing back… He wants us to have all of Him just as spouses give themselves totally to each other. “This is My body given for you!”

For more information about the Eucharistic miracle of Sokolka, follow this link:

https://aleteia.org/…/the-eucharistic-miracle-of…/

*****

(Source, ‘Venite Prandete’)

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Pilgrims Return to Spain’s ‘El Camino’ Paths as Pandemic Wanes

Seventeen years ago, in May 2004, my sister and I walked the famous ‘Camino De Santiago’ (the Way of Saint James). We did it as a pilgrimage, in the style of the pilgrims of earlier times, carrying all our belongings in rucksacks, living frugally, praying the Rosary and singing hymns along parts of the way, and finally hobbling sore-footed into lovely little Catholic Churches for Holy Mass (whenever possible) at the end of each long day when we had reached our planned destination. It was a life-changing experience for both of us. We met some wonderful and amazing fellow pilgrims, each one with their own interesting story to relate of their motives for making the pilgrimage. There also reigned a real Christian spirit of charity and kindness among everyone towards fellow pilgrims who were suffering or in need of help along the way. We had been told that most pilgrims nowadays walk El Camino for cultural purposes rather than religious ones, but that was not our experience. We came across many pilgrims, mostly Catholics but even some Protestants, who were walking it as a tough exercise to grow closer to God through the beauty of His Creation. There were even those who saw El Camino as a symbolic physical and spiritual analogy for life’s journey towards our final destination, Heaven.

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From Spirit Daily (abbreviated and slightly modified)

Committing to the pilgrim’s path has for centuries been a source of renewal for those willing to put their lives on hold and spend days, weeks or even months crossing Spain along the Camino de Santiago, a journey that takes hikers to the reported burial place of the apostle St. James.

But after a year of being kept off the Way of St. James due to pandemic-related travel restrictions, soul-searchers hoping to heal wounds left by the coronavirus are once again strapping on backpacks and following trails marked with a seashell emblem to the shrine in the city of Santiago de Compostela.

The Camino de Santiago is actually a series of paths that fan out beyond the Iberian Peninsula and spread across Europe. Whichever route one takes, they all end at Santiago’s beautiful baroque cathedral, where believers can visit the tomb of St James the Apostle who, according to Catholic tradition, first brought Christianity to Spain and Portugal soon after the first Pentecost.

The pilgrimage has its roots in the alleged discovery of the tomb in the 9th century. Pilgrims have come to Santiago for well over a millenium, but the number of pilgrims making the trip boomed in recent decades after regional authorities revived the route. 

It is now supported by a wide network of religious and civic organizations and served by public and private hostels at prices for all pockets.

Over 340,000 people from all over the world walked “El Camino” in 2019. Only 50,000 walked it last year, when Spain blocked both foreign and domestic travel except for during the summer months.

Before a state of emergency that limited travel between Spain’s regions ended on May 9, only a handful of Spanish pilgrims were arriving in Santiago each day and registering with the Pilgrim’s Reception Office to receive their official credential for having completed the pilgrimage. Now that travel is again permitted, more people from Spain and elsewhere in Europe are walking the ancient path, although many of the hostels that cater to pilgrims are still closed. A few hundred pilgrims, having found the remainder of their way through the city’s cobblestone streets, are arriving in the Obradoiro Square of the cathedral of Santiago each day. Compare this to the several thousand exhausted pilgrims leaning on their walking sticks that used to arrive during a typical summer.

The numbers of pilgrims arriving in Santiago over the next year-and-a-half will be boosted in the 2021 holy year dedicated to St. James that has been extended through 2022. This is important for Catholics who take part in the pilgrimage, for walking it during a Jubilee Year gives us the chance to receive a plenary indulgence, which grants the full remission of the temporal punishment for sins. The last Jubilee Year for the trail was in 2010.

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Sunday Readings and Reflections

Sunday, June 6 
The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – Solemnity 

Roman Ordinary calendar

St. Norbert


Book of Exodus 24,3-8.

When Moses came to the people and related all the words and ordinances of the LORD, they all answered with one voice, “We will do everything that the LORD has told us.” 
Moses then wrote down all the words of the LORD and, rising early the next day, he erected at the foot of the mountain an altar and twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. 
Then, having sent certain young men of the Israelites to offer holocausts and sacrifice young bulls as peace offerings to the LORD, 
Moses took half of the blood and put it in large bowls; the other half he splashed on the altar. 
Taking the book of the covenant, he read it aloud to the people, who answered, “All that the LORD has said, we will heed and do.” 
Then he took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words of his.” 

Psalms 116(115),12-13.15-16.17-18.

How shall I make a return to the LORD 
for all the good he has done for me? 
The cup of salvation I will take up, 
and I will call upon the name of the LORD. 

Precious in the eyes of the LORD 
is the death of his faithful ones. 
I am your servant; the son of your handmaid; 
you have loosed my bonds. 

To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving, 
and I will call upon the name of the LORD. 
My vows to the LORD I will pay   
in the presence of all his people.   

Letter to the Hebrews 9,11-15.

Brothers and sisters: when Christ came as high priest of the good things that have come to be, passing through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made by hands, that is, not belonging to this creation, 
he entered once for all into the sanctuary, not with the blood of goats and calves but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. 
For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a heifer’s ashes can sanctify those who are defiled so that their flesh is cleansed, 
how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God. 
For this reason he is mediator of a new covenant: since a death has taken place for deliverance from transgressions under the first covenant, those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance. 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 14,12-16.22-26.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 
He sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city and a man will meet you, carrying a jar of water. Follow him. 
Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”‘ 
Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there.” 
The disciples then went off, entered the city, and found it just as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover. 
While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is my body.” 
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 
He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many. 
Amen, I say to you, I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” 
Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

——————————————————————————————————


Saint John Chrysostom (c.345-407) 
priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church 
24th homily on the 1st letter to the Corinthians, 2 ; PG 61, 199

“This is my blood (…), which will be shed for many”

The lovers of this world display their generosity by giving money, clothes and various gifts, but not one of them gives his own blood. Christ gives his. In this way he demonstrates the tenderness he feels for us and his ardent love. Under the Old Law (…) God consented to receive the blood of sacrifices but this was just to prevent his people from offering it to false gods and, already, this was proof of a very great love. But Christ transformed this rite (…); there is no longer the same sacrificial victim; it is himself he offers in sacrifice.

“The bread that we break, is it not a communion in the body of Christ?” (1 Cor 10:16)(…) What is this bread? The body of Christ. What becomes of those who communicate in it? The body of Christ: not a large number of bodies but just one body. Just as this bread, made up of so many wheat grains, makes only one loaf into which the grains disappear – for even though the grains remain in it yet it is impossible to distinguish them in such a closely compacted mass – so all of us, together with Christ, make up a single whole (…). Now, if we all share in the same bread and are united to the same Christ, why don’t we show the same love to each other? Why don’t we become one in this case too?

This is what was seen at the beginning: “The community of believers was of one heart and mind” (Acts 4:32) (…) Christ came in search of you who were far away from him to unite himself to you, but you, don’t you want to become one with your brother? (…) You violently separate yourself from him after winning from the Lord so great a proof of his love – and life! For he did not only give his body but, just as our flesh, drawn from the earth, had lost its life and died through sin, so he has introduced, so to speak, another substance like a leaven: this is his body, the body sharing the same nature as ours but free from sin and abounding in life. And he has given it to all of us so that, fed with this banquet of this new food (…) we might enter immortal life.

Traditional Latin Mass Readings for this Sunday

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Is Pope Francis Planning to Restrict Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Letter “Summorum Pontificum”?

It is ongoing news: strange plans are getting underway in the Vatican under Pope Francis’ orders that are not going to favour the spread or even the celebration of the Mass of the Ages. These plans are not taking into account either the stipulations set out in Benedict XVI’s motu propio, ‘Summorum Pontificum’, nor the growing preference among devout Catholics for the Traditional Latin Mass!

Dr. Peter Kwasniewski at RORATE CAELI informs us that: “There is still no reliable information about the “interpretations” of Summorum pontificum announced by Francis, but there are numerous conjectures. Some of them are to be taken quite seriously.

Perhaps the most interesting consideration: Since there is talk of “interpretation,” the text of the motu proprio itself could remain untouched—the planned changes would be realized through a rewrite of the 2011 Universae Ecclesiae implementing regulations. Deeper interventions would thus not be necessary for the time being; yet one would have to accept certain incongruities between the Motu Proprio, which as such has the force of law, and the implementing regulations. This is precisely what one must expect in view of the increasingly demonstrated disregard for formal law and its norms in Rome.

Current practice would be to frame the changes not as generally binding prescriptions, but—under the pretext of decentralization and strengthening episcopal authority—as “extended possibilities,” or “options,” whose implementation would be left wholly or partly to the discretion of the local bishops. It is expected as certain that local ordinaries will be given full authority as to whether and when, and in what form, diocesan clergy may celebrate in the traditional rite. But priests of the old-rite communities could also be subjected to diocesan regulations for celebrating in churches of the diocese. In this context, it could come about that the previously valid prohibition of “mixed forms” would be relativized, so that, if necessary, readings according to the new lectionary and calendar, female altar servers, extraordinary ministers of communion, and other achievements of the Novus Ordo could be expected. Also the administration of the sacraments—above all, baptisms, marriages, and confirmation—are, according to rumors, to be regulated even more strongly than before. Even now, local ordinaries have considerable possibilities of influence over access to the liturgical rites in this regard—up to making (for example) confirmation according to the old liturgy impossible in their area of authority.”

[…]

What’s In Store For Us?

“According to current information and rumours about the impen­ding restrictions on the use of the traditional liturgy, the Vatican is planning a two-step approach. In a first step, expected in weeks rather than months, the rules for the use of the liturgy in diocesan clergy and under the responsibility of local bishops are to be rewritten. In a second step, which is not expected before the autumn, the priestly communities of the old rite are to be urged, emphatically and if necessary by coercive measures, to orientate their pastoral work, their community life, and their priestly formation to the “guidelines of the Second Vatican Council.”

Such a division into two parts seems logical and also advantageous from the point of view of church politics for the forces that want to push back the traditional rite and traditional teaching and spirituality. The documents of Summorum Pontificum—that is, the Motu Proprio itself, then the accompanying letter to the bishops [Con Grande Fiducia], and finally the implementing regulations issued only after a four-year delay in 2011 [Universae Ecclesiae]—essentially deal with rules for the clergy or the faithful in the dioceses, and only in a few special cases (e.g., with regard to the conferral of holy orders) make reference to questions of practice in old-rite communities, which may not yet have been sufficiently clarified in their founding documents.

The advantage of such a division into two parts for the curial apparatus would be, above all, to split up the expected opposition and resistance with regard to the affectedness and the interest situation and to disperse it over a longer period of time.”

READ ON

———

The Remnant has independently confirmed that a Vatican document restricting Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic letter Summorum Pontificum is backed by at least two Vatican cardinals, is in its third draft, and threatens to thwart the growth of the Traditional Latin Mass and other sacraments particularly among diocesan clergy.

Two senior members of the hierarchy confirmed May 31 that the document, first reported by Messainlatino.it on May 25, is currently under review at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

Multiple sources have also told The Remnant that Pope Francis wishes to soon publish the document, and that it is alleged to be receiving backing in varying degrees from two cardinal consultors to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, and Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

The sources also said that these restrictive measures will most probably be carried out by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and its newly appointed under-secretary Msgr. Aurelio García Marcías, whom Pope Francis is said to have raised to the episcopate for the very purpose of executing these plans.

Several senior Vatican sources have also confirmed that the first draft document was preceded by an introductory letter from Pope Francis that is said to have been very harsh and acrimonious toward the Tridentine Mass. 

The document is now in the third draft, the first two having been thought to be too severe. If it is eventually published, it is likely to roll back the liberalization of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass introduced by Pope Benedict XVI’s 2007 apostolic letter, Summorum Pontificum. 

That document authorized any stable group of faithful attached to the “previous liturgical tradition” to ask their local priest for the Mass who “should willingly accede to their requests.” The decree stated that the older form of the Mass was “never abrogated” and that both the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms were “two expressions” of “one Roman Rite.”

The Remnant has learned that the first draft put strict limitations on the age of the celebrants and is described as somewhat similar to the indult of Paul VI, which allowed elderly priests to continue offering the Tridentine Mass after the promulgation of the Novus Ordo Missae by Paul VI. It also discussed whether to allow or prohibit the administration of the other sacraments in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

In its present form, communities and diocesan priests who already offer the Mass in the Extraordinary Form may continue to do so, but diocesan clergy who wish to begin offering the Traditional Mass would have to obtain authorization. Whether local bishops or the Holy See will be responsible for granting such permissions is still under discussion.

The administration of the other sacraments in the Extraordinary Form, i.e. marriage, baptism, confirmation, etc., would be maintained for those who already have permission to celebrate the Traditional Mass.

The third draft moves the office of recourse for matters pertaining to the Traditional Latin Mass and oversight of priestly societies and religious communities that use the pre-1970 Missal, from the fourth section of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly the pontifical commission Ecclesia Dei) to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

The first draft initially discussed placing these priestly societies (e.g. Fraternity of St. Peter, Institute of Christ the King, and Institute of the Good Shepherd) and other traditional communities under the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, two senior Vatican sources confirmed.

Such a move would be considered potentially more problematic for these communities, in light of the way the congregation has handled contemplative orders in the recent past, namely, through the 2018 Instruction Cor Orans, which requires autonomous female monasteries to belong to a wider federation, and asks novices and professed cloistered contemplative nuns to leave their enclosure for initial and ongoing formation, something alien to cloistered contemplative life.

Under the current plan, Msgr. García, who has served as head of office in the Congregation for Divine Worship since 2016, has been elevated to the episcopate in order to assume the responsibilities formerly carried out under Ecclesia Dei by its former president, Archbishop Guido Pozzo. A professor at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute at the Pontifical Athenaeum Sant’Anselmo, Msgr. García is not known to share Benedict XVI’s views on the sacred liturgy, one source describing him as “the most anti-Tridentine Mass person ever known.”

It is not clear yet whether the fourth section of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will continue to handle doctrinal matters and relations with the Society of St. Pius X.

Several senior Vatican sources have also confirmed that the first draft document was preceded by an introductory letter from Pope Francis that is said to have been very harsh and acrimonious toward the Tridentine Mass. Jesuit Cardinal Luis Ladaria, Prefect of the CDF, strongly opposed both the first draft and the letter, senior Vatican sources confirmed. The letter has since been revised.

Concerns over possible curtailments of the Extraordinary Form arose after the CDF sent a letter to the presidents of bishops’ conferences worldwide asking them to distribute a nine-point questionnaireabout Summorum Pontificum. Cardinal Ladaria said the questionnaire was issued because the Pope wanted to be “informed about the current application” of the apostolic letter.

Approximately thirty percent of the world’s bishops responded to the questionnaire, and more than half of those who responded had a favorable or neutral response, multiple sources confirmed.

One source familiar with the consultation document said that, although the questions were notably biased against Summorum Pontificum, or formulated in a manner that did not always elicit a clear and specific response, what emerged from the questionnaire is how the Traditional Latin Mass has taken root. It has revealed that even in unexpected places, the old Mass is embraced and loved by young people and families, is bearing fruit in flourishing parishes, priestly and religious vocations, and in greater prayer and devotion among the faithful.

On May 31, the French traditional website Paix Liturgique, which was among the first to report on the forthcoming document, published an article titled, “The Summorum Pontificum Galaxy Prepares to Resist!”

Describing Summorum Pontificum as “provisions for peace” that “sought to bring peace to a Church that was sinking deeper and deeper into crisis,” the authors note how “from the very beginning, the traditional movement has been grounded in the action of laymen.”

Their efforts, it continues, were “a surprising and providential manifestation of the sensus fidelium, of the instinct of the faith among the faithful, which defends tooth and nail the lex orandi’s expression of the doctrines of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, the Real Presence, the hierarchical priesthood, and more generally of the transcendence of the mystery: ‘Do this in memory of Me!’”

Should Pope Francis decide to restrict Summorum Pontificum by issuing such a document, Paix Liturgique asserts that “this capacity to resist ‘on the ground’… may well come to include powerful demonstrations and actions.

“Already now,” they add, “in various spots of the globe, they are being given serious consideration.”

——-

The Importance of the Holy Mass in the Prayer of the Church

by Fr. George Roth (FI)

Mary’s miraculous appearance at Knock in Ireland in 1879 was a great consolation to those who suffered through the terrible famines and extreme hardships of that era in Ireland’s history. Although Our Lady of Knock was silent, the peace and healing she brought was real and lasting.

On the 21st August, 1879, at about 8 o’clock, Our Lady, St. Joseph, and St. John the Evangelist appeared in a blaze of Heavenly light. The vision also included Christ as the Lamb of God standing on an altar surmounted by a cross – a symbol of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Holy Eucharist. St. John was standing with a gesture of teaching while holding a book, presumably the Book of the Revelation he authored, in which he described his vision of the heavenly liturgy (Holy Mass).  
Our Lady is reminding us of the importance of the Holy Eucharist and Holy Mass in the prayer of the Church.

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Old Images of Corpus Christi Processions from Previous Centuries

(Image from the Saint Andrew Daily Missal)

St. John Henry Newman, in his Sermon Notes for the Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi (May 25, 1856), expressed the following eminently Catholic sentiments, which we would do well to adopt and internalise once again as our own:

There is no feast, no season in the whole year which is so intimately connected with our religious life, or shows more wonderfully what Christianity is, as that which we are now celebrating [viz., Corpus Christi]…. The world is in wickedness. Satan is god of the world; unbelief rules. Now this opposition to us has a tendency to weigh us down, to dispirit us, to dull our apprehensions.… Now observe, How almighty love and wisdom has met this. He has met this by living among us with a continual presence. He is not past, He is present now. And though He is not seen, He is here. The same God who walked the water, who did miracles, etc., is in the Tabernacle. We come before Him, we speak to Him just as He was spoken to 1800 years ago, etc. Nay, further, He [does] not [merely] present Himself before us as the object of worship, but God actually gives Himself to us to be received into our breasts. Wonderful communion. This [is] how He counteracts time and the world. It [the Blessed Sacrament] is not past, it is not away. It is this that makes devotion in lives. It is the life of our religion. We are brought into the unseen world.

These beguiling words go straight to the heart. Although Corpus Christi festivities and processions are still publicly celebrated in many places, all too often they have become much reduced in size and even in fervour since the 70s or 80s, or the organizers are obliged by law to limit them to the Church’s private property.

We have compiled a small selection of old photos taken on the Feast of Corpus Christi from different countries in the western world. They demonstrate unashamedly the enormous love, devotion and reverence Catholics have always held for the Blessed Sacrament.

*****


IRELAND

Corpus Christi procession (ca. 1940) at St Peter’s Church, Phibsborough, Dublin.
A Corpus Christi Procession from the ’50’s on Main St., Killorglin, Co. Kerry

Video of Corpus Christi procession in 1924 at St Mary’s College in Galway

*****

ENGLAND

Corpus Christi parade, Middlesbrough – possibly Sacred Heart boys

The annual feast of Corpus Christi was a huge event in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, from 1924 until 1971. In this very Catholic area of England thousands of Catholics took part in the procession.

Corpus Christi parade, Middlesbrough

*****

SPAIN


Traditional Corpus Christi Procession at Alcala street 1890, Madrid. 

*****

POLAND

1933 print of Corpus Christi procession at Lowicz, Poland

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AUSTRIA

Feast of Corpus Christi procession. An annually major event of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Emperor Franz Joseph I. escorted by royal pages and life guards. Vienna.


*****

The USA

Corpus Christi procession late 19th century

The Los Angeles Weekly Star of June 5, 1858 carried a rapturous story on the Corpus Christi proceedings of that year in the Old Plaza. It used to take place every year.

28th Annual Corpus Christi Procession, 20 June 1954. March of more than 2,000 devout Catholics from Our Lady of Soledad Church to Our Lady of Guadalupe School — down Brooklyn Ave.

*****

CANADA

Corpus Christi procession in Montreal, Canada, ca. 1890s

*****

And finally, a hymn for this great feast:

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The Splendour and Devotion of the Corpus Christi Procession in Spain

Adapted from an article by Fr. José Miguel Marqués Campo

Spain is blessed with a deep Catholic soul. Yes, despite the gradual apostasy of Western civilization. Yes, even despite the unhappy post–Vatican II “reforms.” And yes, despite even the ever accelerating and ever deepening quagmire in which the Church finds herself of late.

The Archdioceses of Toledo (Castilla–La Mancha), Granada, and Valencia are especially renowned in their Corpus Christi festivities, most notably the monstrances used in the most solemn processions in the streets of these cities.

It was in the Year of Our Lord 1263 when Pope Urban IV instituted the Feast of Corpus Christi by publishing the bull “Transiturus Hoc Mundo,” extending it throughout Christendom. Its celebration was fixed on the first Thursday after the Octave of Pentecost which is why it does not have a fixed date and varies between 21 May and 24 June (in some Novus Ordo calendars nowadays it is commemorated the following Sunday), celebrating a solemn procession from that moment, at the sound of cloistered bells rung within the churches.

This papal bull was later confirmed by Pope Clement V at the General Council of Vienne in 1311 and by Pope John XXII in 1317. With this, the feast of Corpus Christi became, along with Easter and Christmas, the third of the great liturgical events of the year.

To celebrate the feast in a fitting way the Spanish bishops in these above-mentioned cities still promote today the creation of this beautiful procession that starts off at the cathedral. The Most Blessed Sacrament mounted on a golden throne, and over which in smaller towns altar boys sometimes hold a tasseled canopy, travels the streets of the city followed by the clergy and religious. In front of the Blessed Sacrament all the little children who have made their first Holy Communion that year lead the procession, the girls in their pretty white dresses and the boys in smart suits, scattering the ground with rose petals that they take from baskets they carry in honour of where Our Blessed Lord sacramentally present in the Holy Eucharist will tread. A lively official band usually takes up the rear of the procession. In fact nearly all the population of the city takes part, some following behind and others lining the streets where the procession passes by. A continuous chorus of prayers, songs of praise, tinkling bells and devotional acclamations from the participants accompanies the procession from start to finish.

The night before the celebration the neighbourhood’s residents had cleared the streets where the procession was going to pass, lined them with sweet-smelling herbs, grasses and aromatic herbs as a tribute, and decorated their houses by hanging typical Spanish mantillas and crocheted quilts from the balconies. Those who watch the procession from there shower down flower petals upon the Blessed Sacrament when it passes by.

The Corpus Christi procession has a long history in Spain. After it was suspended by Pedro, King of Castile, for sixteen years due to threats of war, in 1372 under Cardinal Jaime de Aragón, bishop of the diocese, grandson of King Jaime II and cousin of Pedro “the Ceremonious,” the festivity resurfaced again, taking a boom and solemnity, adding music to the feast (with instruments of the time). They also joined the numerous medieval guilds that existed, with their flowing flags and banners, and with members of each guild carrying an eight-ounce candle.

Such was the splendour of the procession that in the year 1401, Blanca of Aragón repeated it. King Martín “the Humane” and Queen Juana of Sicily came to witness it, and later, in 1414, during the coronation of the King of Aragón, Fernando of Antequera, wished that it be represented in Zaragoza, and in 1415, even Pope Gregory XII attended. In 1427, it was requested by King Alfonso “the Magnanimous,” in 1466 taking place in the presence of King Juan II of Aragón, and in 1481 — some eleven years before the taking of the last Moorish bastion in Granada, thus ending in 1492 the nearly eight-century-long Reconquista — the procession was celebrated in the presence of Their Catholic Majesties, Isabel I of Castile, “Mother of the Spanish Americas,” and Fernando II of Aragón.

After the brutal Spanish Civil War (1931–1939) — Satan’s cruel revenge against Spain’s deep Catholic soul and worldwide missionary history — the pro-Franco side in Valencia, not taking into sufficient consideration local Valencian customs and traditions, accented only the national religious dimension of the Corpus Christi feast. In the 1960s, some Valencians restored the more ample local cultural traditions that were present in the beginnings of the procession of Corpus Christi, with all its original splendour.

¡Adorado sea el Santísimo Sacramento del Altar! ¡Viva Jesús Sacramentado!

Adoremus in æternum Sanctissimum Sacramentum!

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Eucharistic miracles of Buenos Aires and Lanciano

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JUNE: Recite an Act of Reparation is for “the sins that continue to plague our world”

With many thanks to Fr Z for pointing us to the following invitation:

The District Superior of the SSPX, Fr. John Fullerton, has asked in a newsletter that people pray an Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart during the month of June.

The Act of Reparation is for “the sins that continue to plague our world”.

This is a good thing.  Will you join me?

Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

(A partial indulgence is granted to those who recite this prayer. A plenary indulgence is granted if it is publicly recited on the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. This prayer was prescribed to be recited on this feast by Pope Pius XI).

Download a printable card of this prayer

Most sweet Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before Thee, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries to which Thy loving Heart is everywhere subject.

Mindful, alas! that we ourselves have had a share in such great indignities, which we now deplore from the depths of our hearts, we humbly ask Thy pardon and declare our readiness to atone by voluntary expiation, not only for our own personal offenses, but also for the sins of those, who, straying far from the path of salvation, refuse in their obstinate infidelity to follow Thee, their Shepherd and Leader, or, renouncing the promises of their baptism, have cast off the sweet yoke of Thy law.

We are now resolved to expiate each and every deplorable outrage committed against Thee; we are now determined to make amends for the manifold offenses against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behavior, for all the foul seductions laid to ensnare the feet of the innocent, for the frequent violations of Sundays and holydays, and the shocking blasphemies uttered against Thee and Thy Saints.

We wish also to make amends for the insults to which Thy Vicar on earth and Thy priests are subjected, for the profanation, by conscious neglect or terrible acts of sacrilege, of very the Sacrament of Thy Divine love; and lastly for the public crimes of nations who resist the rights and teaching authority of the Church which Thou hast founded.

Would that we were able to wash away such abominations with our blood. We now offer, in reparation for these violations of Thy divine honor, the satisfaction Thou once made to Thy Eternal Father on the cross and which Thou continuest to renew daily on our altars; we offer it in union with the acts of atonement of Thy Virgin Mother and all the Saints and of the pious faithful on earth; and we sincerely promise to make recompense, as far as we can with the help of Thy grace, for all neglect of Thy great love and for the sins we and others have committed in the past.

Henceforth, we will live a life of unswerving faith, of purity of conduct, of perfect observance of the precepts of the Gospel and especially that of charity. We promise to the best of our power to prevent others from offending Thee and to bring as many as possible to follow Thee.

O loving Jesus, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mother, our model in reparation, deign to receive the voluntary offering we make of this act of expiation; and by the crowning gift of perseverance keep us faithful unto death in our duty and the allegiance we owe to Thee, so that we may all one day come to that happy home, where with the Father and the Holy Spirit Thou livest and reignest, God, forever and ever. Amen.

Fr. Fullerton’s message with my emphases:

Dear friends,

2020 was a challenging year for the Catholic Church and society as a whole. Many found themselves deprived of the sacraments, including Holy Mass, due to restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many more have suffered practical difficulties, including social unrest, joblessness, and the stinging isolation of being away from friends and family. 2021 continues to be a difficult time with far too many perennial problems rearing their ugly head.

In the Church, for instance, those charged with leading Christ’s flock continue to embrace ideas antithetical to the Faith. In Germany, the Catholic Church, infected by false teachings, is on the brink of schism, and there is a risk other local churches may head down the same path. Rumors continue to swirl about new restrictions being placed on the traditional Latin Mass. There are sincere worries that many Catholics may never return to church even after local governments remove their restrictions on public gatherings.

American society remains deeply fractured along ideological lines. Moral positions that most of the country considered normative only a half-century ago involving marriage, abortion, and parenting are now considered “reactionary” or “extreme.” Millions of Americans suffered dire financial consequences in the past year.

Against this sorrowful backdrop, I invite all Catholics to use the month of June, the month the Church has dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to make reparations for the sins that continue to plague our world. I encourage all of you to recite daily the Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, perhaps adding it to the end of your rosaries. (Please also remember that the Litany of the Sacred Heart is traditionally recited in our houses during the month of June, which I similarly encourage you to adopt.) Additionally, following your own conscience, I ask that you find a special penance you and your family can perform as part of this reparation. For some, it may be adding in additional days of fasting and abstinence throughout the month. For others, it could be spending an extra 15 minutes in prayer or meditation. As always, I encourage you to speak to your priest for specific guidance.

During the next month, please keep the Society of Saint Pius X in your prayers. Pray that the Sacred Heart of Our Lord continues to pour graces on our apostolate. Rest assured, our priests and religious, I included, will continue to pray for you.

In the Sacred Heart of Jesus,

Fr. John Fullerton
U.S. District Superior of the Society of Saint Pius X

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