Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pope Emeritus Returns to the Vatican on Thursday: The Pending Encyclical on Faith

Ratzinger (with his books) back in the Vatican. Bergoglio has his encyclical for a month.
REPUBBLICA (Paolo Rodari)  

Only a few hours to the return of Benedict XVI at the Vatican. From the time Pope Emeritus sets foot in his new quarters, the monastery Mater Ecclesiae, the unprecedented "cohabitation" with his successor Pope Francis will begin within the leonine walls.

Will the two meet? Will Bergoglio, when he feels the need, leave the residence of Santa Marta to go to the other side of the Vatican gardens to find his predecessor? Difficult to answer. What is certain is that a degree of collaboration between the two has already begun, at least on a theological level.
In fact, as Ratzinger wrote his first encyclical, the "Deus caritas est" in Christmas 2005, reshaping a text he was working on from his predecessor John Paul II.  Likewise Pope Francis could soon release for the press- it is rumored by next fall - his first encyclical letter, acting on a draft dedicated the theme of faith that Benedict XVI gave him during their last meeting in Castel Gandolfo on March 23. If the publication is made, it could be the beginning of a collaboration, albeit discreet, on other issues. Ratzinger, in fact, enters Mater Ecclesiae along with most of his books - others will remain in the secret archives- for which a large study has been created, and even if he does not dedicate himself to writing, he will be well equipped to give theological advice to his successor.
The "Ratzinger draft" of this new encyclical, a text of about 30-40 folio, had a rapid origin. Last October, Pope Benedict XVI, opening the  year dedicated to the faith, asked the doctrinal office, the former Holy Office, to work on a first draft that had the central theme of faith in the light of his own works in this regard, not only the papal texts but also books, above all the 1968 volume "Introduction to Christianity".
The Vatican theologians, after a few weeks, sent a text that he sent back asking for further work.The second draft was given to him about a month before the announcement of the renunciation of the throne of Peter. He kept it with him, and then deliver it to Bergoglio - evidently satisfied with the work of the Vatican theologians- telling him to decide what to do with it. They say over the Tiber: "The text is complete. It was not written in his own hand by Ratzinger but it is thoroughly Ranzingerian. Doctrinally it is impeccable and well done. "
Faith was the main theme of Pope Ratzinger Papacy. It was no coincidence that the name he wanted to gieve his third visit to Germany in 2011 was "Where God is, there is the future". The pontificate aim was the effort to bring men back to God.  But the challenge was also about and is also about the Church, in the knowledge repeatedly made clear that the deep crisis of the Church today "is a crisis of faith." It is above all the Church to have lost her bearings, almost no longer knowing the ABCs of faith. Hence a year dedicated to the topic. Hence an encyclical now in the hands of Bergoglio that after his revision, he might make public.

Personalism's Encyclical on Faith

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI gave us and is giving us that awaited encyclical on faith, in the middle of the year of faith, not by words but by the deed: a life resigned to the will of God. His abdication of the Papacy is a letter in the history of the Church which is studied by everyone in the world today and will continue to edify men for all future ages.

Calculated silence is often the loudest and most eloquent and most instructive word a man can speak.  The most eloquent lesson given by the Son of God Himself was to silently go to the slaughter with absolute serenity and confidence in the heavenly Father and in His Own divine power to save.

Faith is not a series of intellectual maxims but rather the encounter with the living God and loyalty to Him.

N.B. 1 Kings 19:11-13

Monday, April 29, 2013

A Pope Francis Movie: Friend of the Poor

Pope Francis Film Is in the Works (2760)

REGISTER EXCLUSIVE: Producer Christian Peschken has secured $25 million in financial backing and is assembling a production team that includes prominent Vatican journalist Andrea Tornielli.

CTV/Vatican Radio/Facebook
Pope Francis smiles from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica following the announcement of his March 13 election.
– CTV/Vatican Radio/Facebook
 04/26/2013 Comments (1)
ROME — When producer Christian Peschken watched Pope Francis appear on the balcony in Rome on the day of his election, he thought: “This will make a great scene for the end of a movie about his life up to the point where he became Pope.”
In a matter of days, Peschken began turning the thought into a reality. He is already deep into the project with the working title Friend of the Poor: The Pope Francis Story.
Peschken is organizing it as a theatrical motion picture and is in the process of recruiting some prominent people in the industry to help him with the endeavor. A European investment group has already approved a $25-million budget for the film.
Projects don’t always come together so rapidly in the film industry. But Peschken is no newcomer.
In his native Germany, he was a professional cameraman, producer and director in film, television (including his own weekly TV talk show) and radio. Switching to Hollywood, he worked as a producer and was chairman of the Social Awareness Committee at the Producers Guild of America.
Things changed when Peschken became a Catholic convert. He shifted gears, and a number of his independent productions have been shown on EWTN. Also a trained actor, he is the voice of Father Robert Barron in the German-dubbed version of the acclaimed Catholicism series as well as the voice of Marcus Grodi for The Journey Home, both aired by EWTN in Germany.
Peschken regularly does language adaptations and voice-overs for EWTN’s 24-hour channel in Germany for shows like The Friar and, currently, the animated series My Catholic Family.
For the movie project on Pope Francis, Peschken has started assembling a team that includes Vatican insider Andrea Tornielli, the author of several books on popes, including the just-released Francis: Pope of a New World(Ignatius, 2013).
“He not only is the author, but knows Cardinal [Jorge] Bergoglio since 2002,” Peschken said. “We spoke in great length and discussed what type of movie that will be.”
Peschken reports that when he called Tornielli, the Vatican insider had just spoken with the Holy Father a few days earlier.

The Movie’s Theme
Peschken puts the theme of the planned movie into focus by explaining that it won’t be a strict biography.
“We will make a movie about a person who followed God’s call and then became a shepherd of men — a man with a mission and a man with a destination,” he said.
“We want to be authentic and truthful about the life of Jorge Bergoglio/Pope Francis,” he added.
“We portray him as who he is: a person who constantly points to Jesus and the message of Jesus — of love, of responsibility to neighbor — a person who puts Jesus first and everything else second.
Friend of the Poor will not be a Catholic movie per se, explained Peschken, but a movie about a man who listened to God and unconditionally has followed him, “a man who lives what he preaches and, through his humble attitude and lifestyle, directs the attention of people of all walks of life, of all religions, believers and non-believers alike, to him, but then takes always the opportunity to point to Jesus, to God, a perfect Shepherd.”
At this point in the production process, Peschken is not discussing the more detailed story lines being considered. But no secret are the people he has recruited to the project so far.
Besides Tornielli, others who have responded with official letters of interest (standard industry practice) include Spanish film director Antonio Cuadri as scriptwriter and director and Italian cinematographer Vittorio Storaro. Tornielli will be the project and script consultant. Peschken contacted Sergio Rubin, author of El Jesuita (2010), the only biography of Pope Francis before his election, to come aboard also as a script and story consultant.
Cuadri — who, among other awards, received the International Catholic Film Festival’s 2012 Mirabile Dictu Award for Best First Film — has directed major films and TV series and has been featured on Rome Reports.
Storaro is a three-time Academy Award winner. “With him on board, my film will have the highest artistic and technical level of photography a motion picture can have,” said Peschken.
He shares how the cinematographer wrote to him about how he loves Pope Francis and that he realized a film on the story of Jorge Mario Bergoglio “can be very positive for all human beings around the world.”
Said Peschken, “Keep in mind these high-profile people are interested even though we do not have a script yet.” That includes the sales agent/distributer, AMG Films, which has what is known as a “first-look deal” with Warner Brothers.
“We are confident and aiming at a major theatrical release in the U.S.,” said Peschken.

Broad Appeal
He believes this team will help him communicate the right message without making a specifically “Catholic” movie.
“I want the movie to appeal to everyone,” Peschken said. “It’s what the Pope tries to do himself. It’s what our Church does: speaking to everyone. So our movie wants to speak to everyone. … We want to reach the masses with this film. We do not want to leave anyone out.”
The producer said his approach is not to put Catholicism on a movie label, but to put Catholicism in the content of the movie.
“When we show his life, we will automatically communicate the message of the Catholic Church, of Christ,” said Peschken, who believes that doing so will make the movie a powerful evangelization tool.
At the same time, with the possibility of other secular outlets someday also producing films about Pope Francis, he wants to make sure his movie is made from an authentic Catholic perspective.
“We plan to film at Cinecitta Studios in Rome, with some on-location work in Argentina,” Peschken disclosed. Cinecitta is Europe’s largest film studio.
But despite the Rome locale for most of the production, Friend of the Poor will be filmed in English.
“We are filming in Rome for a good reason,” the producer said: He wants to be close to the source, so to speak.
“We are ‘next door’ to St. Peter’s tomb. And to make, close by, a movie about one of the successors of Peter has a spiritual significance. I believe that the Holy Spirit will love it and will help us to accomplish our mission.”
The Passion of the Christ was filmed in Rome, too. That crew was reported to have prayed each morning before filming, and Peschken envisions doing the same, so that the “production is very much driven by prayer and the Holy Spirit.”
Already, he is praying for the success of this movie with the help of St. Gabriel the Archangel, the patron saint of communication workers.

A Picture of a Humble Pope
The producer says that everyone involved would like Pope Francis’ approval of the final script, if at all possible. The teams also hopes to receive the blessing of the Holy Father for the entire project.
The plan calls for filming to start early next year and to screen the movie at the Vatican on Dec. 17, 2014, Pope Francis’ birthday.
Peschken is already confident about the reception of the project.
“This movie,” he said, “has a good chance to become an international success because of who this person — Pope Francis — is.”
He describes that first appearance of the newly elected Holy Father — high above the faithful on a balcony — as absolutely contrary to what one would expect from people in a powerful position.
It will be that vision, of papal humility and service, that this film project wants to bring to the screen.
Said Peschken, “Here was a humble person with a refreshing and humbling gesture that defines his papacy.”
Joseph Pronechen is the Register’s staff writer.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Fundata Domus, Viri Sapienti

Mt. 8:25  He who hears My word and does it is like a man with his house founded on the Rock!  Peter is the Rock! The Pope! Francis!

Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam...!  Mt.16:18

Santuario de Nuestra Señora de las Lajas

Upon your next trip to Quito Ecuador you might consider going up to this Las Lajas Sanctuary due North just over the Colombian boarder. Don't know how safe it is once you get up by the boarder: guerrilla warlord area. If you make it back you can stop at San Antonio de Ibarra to buy some of the best reasonably priced religious wood work on the planet!

N.B. The Pacific beaches in that area of Ecuador (Esmeraldas) are black. Very nice and very Catholic people, but miserably poor. You can find very cheap and safe places at the out-of-the way beaches. E.g. When I was there the room of my beach house was $5 per night right on the beach! Perfect peace, except for the abject poverty of that island town. I especially liked the fact that there was no motor vehicle access (Muisne).

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pope Francis Draws Extraordinarily Record Crowds

Normally this time of year Pope John Paul II would draw around 10-15 thousand people to the General Audience, Pope Benedict 15-25 thousand.  Pope Francis is consistently drawing more than three or four times those numbers.  Yesterday more than 70,000 auditors gathered in Saint Peter's Square to greet, listen to and be greeted and blessed by His Holiness.  Viva el Papa Francisco!  The Holy Spirit is working on the world through the papacy.

The Papal Weekly Wednesday Catechetical Audiences are certainly the grandest classroom in the world; no contest!  Weekly!  Not counting the millions who follow by multi-media.  And anyone can watch it anytime, with simultaneous translation, On Demand.  I'll be doing that right now.  Yesterday's topic?  The continuation of the Year of Faith catechesis on the creed: the seventh article: "Inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos."  The Judgement is an impetus for present action and youthful, joyful enthusiasm for the work of God in the world, without fear.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

About Wine: Men make wine and wine makes men!

Wine is of such divinity that it refuses to change its name. It has kept the same name since it was first pupped, and though it is spelt differently in all sorts of languages (Greek which started it, Latin which carried it on and English where it still hangs on by the skin of its teeth, French where it has been terribly shortened and nasalized, Belgian where it carries a nice little "g" subdued at the end of its name, and the German dialects in which it goes on being itself more or less--though the vowel has gone wrong, as vowels will), wine goes on being wine still.  Mark my words, you my readers who are destined to live for ever, it will not change. What it was in the beginning that it will be. It is the steadfast thing of this world.
  Wine, let me tell you, is unique, simple, not to be modified.  It is wholly itself and of its own nature.  When you play tricks with it, you change it not slightly but altogether.  hence also there is this about it: that being a chief Person in this world, it will be recognized for what it is or will not deal with you at all. It holds a regal state and is at once absolute and alone, yet perfectly satisfied with its won essence; for indeed wine is a god.
  Those who are wise will remark that wine will only appear on blessed land, and there is not much of such land. Here in the Old World there is a belt, rather narrow, wherein the grape, which is the parent of wine, ripens to the glory of God and to the infinite benefit of mankind. But that belt will not run as far north as the Baltic or the Channal; beyond the Mediterranean it will not run far south of the Atlas. Just as the great vineyards are confined to a very small acreage of their own country, so is the soil and climate proper to wine confined to a small part of the habitable world. There is no wine in the Tropics; there is not wine in the Arctic. There was, indeed, some sort of wine in England hundreds of years ago, but it died out after fighting hard for its life.  I never heard of wine grown in Ireland, though the soul of the Irish is well suited to wine.  When I wandered about in Poland some years ago, I found that wine was a foreign thing.
  So wine is of its own territory, and that territory is select out of all the territories of the world. I have read that the Persians know wine and were the only Mohammedans who did; also there are famous Persian poems, one of them famously translated into English, which give the right glory to wine. But for the rest it is almost wholly of Europe and of civilized Europe. There is no wine in the Baltic plain, nor do the Prussians crush the grape. There is no wine in the vast spaces of Muscovy unless you include therein the happy corner of the Euxine Chersonese. There is no wine, I am told, in China nor among the Hindoos; nor any among the peoples of the Pacific, unless you count the Australians, who have, as we all know, planted vineyards and rigorously taken to winemaking. Wine is a part of the soul of Europe and proper to ourselves. When we find it in far-off places, the Cape or California, it is but a colony of ourselves.
  Wine seems to me to be the test of things European. Were Europe--essential Europe--to perish, why, then, wine would perish too. But when wine disappears, it will be for us to cover our faces and die; for without wine we shall not be ourselves anymore. By wine came the column and the temple, the marble figures and the right colours, all that is permanent in the beauty man has created; and without wine that beauty would sink away.
  Here in England the double fate which has for so many centuries disputed the English soul is discovered in the matter of wine. Wine was necessity for whatever was cultivated in England; for the writers and the singers of England, the painters and builders of England, century after century; but it was not the familiar necessity of Englishmen at large. They preferred, when they were most themselves, a barley brew which the first writers on England, almost two thousand years ago, remarked in Kent and which you may (thank God) drink in Kent to this day. Quite lately they have taken, have the English, to many other things; and largely to alien strong waters, particularly to whisky, which came in from the outer lands. But wine still after a fashion survives among such Englishmen who are in tune with the ancient traditions of the island, and of its culture. They no longer drink it our of gold as was the royal custom of the Celtic chieftians, crying "Vin ap or" (or some such horrible noise); they drink it out of glass, a fragile thing; though the wisest of them drink it out of silver, or silver-gilt which is better still; for I will ever maintain that the mere contact with gold provokes a response in wine, which, whenever it meets gold in any form, salutes a brother and a twin. On this account, in the days when we were allowed to have gold coins in England, it was the custom of some very few to cast a sovereign into any cup of wine before they took it to their lips, much as the baser sort will put sugar into tea.
  It is pathetic but illuminating indeed to discover how strongly the barbarian has sought and desired wine. He would come hundreds of miles over the angry seas to get it and it was one of the chief objects of his piracies. He was proud to acclimatize it, as much as could be, in his own lands; and sometimes it rewarded him by giving him a very special sort of revelation, producing certain wines which, though from far beyond the boundaries of the Empire, were still worthy of Christian men.
  It has been said that 'Man Without Wine is an Ox." Would that he were as much as that! He is something much worse than an ox when he lacks wine. He is a thief, a murderer, a fool and a raving despairing fellow; or, what is much lower, a washed-out nothing; an emptiness. For wine makes man much more surely than man makes wine. Put down a colony of men where you will and you cannot be sure that they will make wine. Indeed, the greater part of them fail hopelessly in the attempt, even when they desire to reach the glory of wine-makers. but though men do not always make wine, wine always makes men everywhere. Introduce it to half men, quarter men, and the great masses of No men, and it turns them into something newer, better, stronger, more permanent, more multiple, deeper rooted, of firmer fibre, better balanced and, in a word, nourished.
  For who can be properly nourished, if indeed he be of human stock, without wine? St. Paul said to someone who had consulted him (without remembering that, unlike St. Luke, he was no physician), 'Take a little wine for your stomach's sake.' But I say, take plenty of it for the sake of your soul and all that appertains to the soul: scholarship, verse, social memory and the continuity of all culture. There may be excess in wine; as there certainly is in spirits and champagne, but in wine one rarely comes across it; for it seems to me that true wine rings a bell and tells you when you have had enough. But there is certainly such a thing as a deficiency of wine; and such deficiency is one of the most awful ravenous beasts that can fasten upon a living soul. To drink an insufficient portion of wine, leaving the whole being, body and soul, craving for a full portion, is torture. The felling of loss will pursue a man for hours. On this account our fathers were wont to leave their guests at liberty to call for wine according to their desire; and you may read in any old book, written in the days when England was England, how men called for wine at the table of a host as though that table were their own. Pray heaven this wholesome custom shall return. But like other civilized things it can only come back after great travail and strain; for our vagaries and negligence have already three-quarters ruined us.
  I call that man fortunate who, looking back over a long life (such as mine has been), can mark the various stages of his travel by experience  in wine. He will say to himself, as he turns over in his soul the memories of youth and of better times, 'Soul, do you remember the wine we drank on the hillside overlooking the Rhine in the better days? Soul, was it not on the Upper Ebro that you and I sat together with a companion wine strong and rough but nobly a friend? Soul, do you remember how, in the midst of Sicily, fainting from fatigue, a goddess came upon you, sent to you for your deliverance, and bearing a pitcher of wine which had been drawn for the gods who were carousing in a neighbouring room? Soul, have you forgotten a certain wine of Touraine which stamped itself upon history for ever, although no record of it has been written down? Soul, are you so ungrateful as to recall no more that wine which had been born in a lonely valley of Jura Hills and made the spot hallowed in aeternum? Soul, will you not retain the benediction of a certain flask produced for you by a kindly crone in the Lower Apennine, whereby this aged dame earned, and shortly after received, her entry into paradise (for when I passed that way a year later, she was in glory)?' To all these rhetorical questions the soul replies with enthusiastic gratitude, affirming that it never has and never will forget these revelations granted to it during its little passage through the daylight.
  Now at the mention of these words,'its little passage through the daylight,' I am reminded of a story which I have told by word of mouth perhaps a thousand times, and even in print too often; but it is better to repeat a good thing than to let it die. The young curate said to the bishop as he lay in his last illness, 'My lord, I have brought you a glass of that wine.' The young curate then kneeling by the be of his venerable patron burst into tears and added, 'Oh, my lord! Soon you will be drinking other and better wine in another and a better world!' To this the hierarch replied, little above a whisper, 'In a better world my faith constrains me to believe, but a better wine than this could never be.' And this, note you, was said of common port. What would he have said had they given him just when it was ripe, just when it was loudest in its praises to the Lord God, the wine of whats-its-name of the year whatever-it-was, which all just men of sufficient experience know to be the greatest wine of the greatest moment in the history of mankind? But the name of that vintage and its date I will not publish until I see my way to earning an adequate reward for the advertisement.
  All have heard the true and sufficient story of the younger man who said to the elder man, 'How does one tell good wine?' To whom the elder answered, 'By the taste.' Would that the whole world could learn the lesson of that famous reply. It is not the year, nor the vineyard that distinguishes good wine, exceptional wine. It is the taste. There is no red wine so excellent that you cannot kill it and turn it into vinegar by warming it excessively and too quickly. There is no white wine so remarkable that you cannot destroy it by drinking it after the wrong meats. There is no wine that ever was which remains the same if you leave it open too long. In other words, there is no wine that is itself alone; for all wine, like all human character (of which wine is the reflection and the symbol), is conditioned by circumstance.
  Men lay up store of many things, principally of money or the equivalent thereof. Some even lay up store of wisdom; and some, much fewer, of human affection, which is really a most valuable commodity. But few today lay up a store of wine with any knowledge, discretion, choice, intention or continuity. It used to be the common habit with all men who were worthy to consume wine; but in the general decline of the world that habit is dying out. No man can build what is called a cellar and maintain it without constant attention to one home; and most men today have been turned into pauper vagrants. No man can make a cellar who is not prepared to watch unceasingly the going and the outgoing; for this excellence is no more static than any other human excellence. Change and mortality overshadow even wine. There are other dangers and impossibilities about the making of a store of wine. It need the right temperature constantly maintained; it needs protection against violence and vibration; it needs a sort of unending diary or chart of its daily progress. Few would ever be at such pains in the past and today hardly any.
  Yet I suppose that the making of a just and adequate wine-treasure will not be wholly abandoned and that somewhere in the ends of the earth, in a dale of Northumberland or perhaps a forgotten village of Cornwall, I shall come again upon a man who has nursed, cherished and preserved an inheritance of wine. There were many such men when I was young, especially here in England. There were many also in Belgium. Such men seem indeed to be proper to territories that have no wine of their own, for what we lack we remember and we prize.
  On this account also I trust that the grave peril now hanging over us, lest continual war should destroy the continuity of wine, will make men consider again the imperative duty of saving and handing on to those who shall come after us this greatest of material things, wine.
  I am willing to believe that for what is irreplaceable there is a special providence: for good verse that rarest of flowers; for certain landscapes threatened by the greed of men; for certain songs of country people. I willingly believe, therefore, that true wine itself shall not perish either through the degradation of mankind or through oblivion. But, alas, I am none too sure.

Hillaire Belloc, Places, 1941, the final chapter.

Improving Your Cheap Brandy!

To make good old Brandy out of Vile Stuff

(1) Pour it through the air into a large receptacle, e.g. from the top of the stairs into a bath below.

(2) Put it into bottles, with a plum in each bottle.

(3) Stand it up with no corks in the bottles, for some 2 or 3 days, even a week--or 3 weeks.

(4) Put in a drop of Maraschino into each bottle.

The bottles are now old Brandy, and you can give them funny names and drink the stuff out of big glasses and roll it around, warming it with your hands and smelling it like a dog.

Hillaire Belloc, Advice, the very last page.

Cassock Comfort

I am happy to say that after twenty years of experimenting I have found the optimal cassock experience.

The most practical way to wear the cassock is with the simple (one ply) plastic collar that has the black bib in the front (rabat). You can wear it over a collarless white shirt (I buy the best bargain cotton dress shirts from any store and have the overhanging collar removed, leaving the lower part of the collar and button intact) or over a T-shirt, etc., however you wish.  You can wear it with the cassock or with the gilet (clerical vest and suit).  This style of collar is better than the double ply style which attaches to the shirt in the back for several reasons.

It is easier to clean and lasts much longer.
No hassle attaching it to the back of the shirt (it simply snaps on itself to close around the shirt, neck).
You can wear it with any style undershirt therefore.
It stays well enough in place if the shirt collar, the rabat collar, and the cassock are all properly fitted to your neck size.

N.B.  The cassock is the best clerical garb because of it's tradition, elegance, accessories (e.g. biretta, cape, ferriola, etc.) and practicality (the fastest way to go for an emergency sick call: goes quickly and comfortably over pajamas!)

They should have told us this in seminary.  Or, better, we should have worn this in seminary (as they used to do!), and they would have saved me much grief in finding the best fit!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Video Game's Virulent Anti-Catholic Defamation

Vatican Quest is a video game in which the player makes the Pope the Supreme pedophile pimp with the Cardinals as the abusing perverts.

That game actually enacts what the world wide smear campaign has been doing and is continuing to do with the Church: artificially making Her into the whore they would like her to be!  That is a game that some people play!  It is the grossest form of calumny.  They are happy with abuse, as long as it implicates the Church! Make the saints into whores in an attempt to deny the existence of true holiness (and, therefore, of God Himself) to justify yourself in your sin.

This reminds me of the Harry Potter series.  Laugh about the underworld in attempt to distort reality, to deny evil by playing off it's existence in witchcraft.  No, witchcraft in every form is always evil.  And the Papacy of our age has been remarkably beyond reproach for two centuries. Ratzinger (Pope Benedict) is at the top of that illustrious line of irreproachable government! Haven't you heard of Bishop Scicluna and Vatileaks!  So the devil is mad and throws dung at the Pope's image in order to deface it and tries with all his minions to distort the splendor of Christ's immaculate face as seen in His Holy Church's Papacy.

Vatican Quest is the height of perversion in it's reversal of logic and distortion of reality and of truth especially in bringing it to the level of shameful play.  It is no game!  Shame on anyone, especially Roundgames.com, who plays with it!

It is telling that in an age of "tolerance" the only acceptable bigotry is Anti-Christianity.  Deny the holocaust and you are immediately silenced and ostracized.  Deride homosexuality or oppose contraception, abortion and you might end up in court.  But calumniate the Church and men will praise and promote you and give you money and honors.  Some things never change: so they treated our Most Blessed Lord Jesus Christ and His Blessed Apostles.  They were killed as criminals all the while being completely innocent!

If clergymen are perverse and complicit in perversion it is because they are a reflection of the perverse age which produced them and not of their Holy Religion nor of their Sweet and Immaculate Lord, Jesus.  Jesus save us!  Save the Church!  Save the world!  May sinners turn to You this day, away from sin!...away from perverse games which hurt so many!

Oremus pro Pontifice Emerito Nostro Benedicto

V. Oremus pro Pontifice Emerito nostro Benedicto.
R. Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.   (Raccolta, 652 [ex Breviario Romano]).
     Pater, Ave.

V. Let us pray for our Pontiff Emeritus Benedict.
R. The Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him to be blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies.  (Raccolta, 652 [Roman Breviary])
     Our Father, Hail Mary.

Pope Emeritus Benedict is 86! Auguri Santissimo Padre!


A Prayer for Benedict XVI

On the day he turns 86 years old, raise a fervent prayer to God for our beloved Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who for eight years guided the Church of Christ with the wisdom and love of a father. We ask the Lord to bless and strengthen him and the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, to always protect him, as we give thanks - with the words of his successor in the Chair of Peter - for "his teaching, his goodness, his direction , his faith, his humility and gentleness ", with the certainty that "Benedict XVI has lit a fire in the bottom of our hearts, and it will continue to burn, because it is fueled by his prayer that still sustains the Church on her spiritual and missionary way. "
"I stand before the last leg of the journey of my life and I do not know what awaits me. But I know that the light of God exists, he is risen; that His light is stronger than any darkness; that God's goodness is stronger than every evil in this world. This helps me move forward with confidence. This helps us to keep going, and in this hour I give heartfelt thanks to all who continually make me perceive the "yes" of God through faith "
(Homily of Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion of his 85th birthday)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

General Audience Adjustments: Holy Father Speaks Spanish!

Today's General Audience (Pope Francis' third) included two minor readjustments.

The Pep-Rally introductions in each language group are again toned down, by the Holy Father himself introducing and greeting them (as Pope Benedict had done of late).  Then the national monsignors simply giving the translations of the Pope's remarks.

And the Holy Father addressed the Spanish speaking world in his native Spanish, the first time he has done so in His official Papal public capacity, finally.  It is his only apparent departure from his Italian only public addresses as Pope.

We seem to have in the adding of Spanish a crack in the Holy Father's hitherto "Bishop of Rome" emphasis to the implicit acknowledgment of his Supreme Pontificate?

We know he knows he's Pope, but his public testimony to that fact is at best extremely modest.  In this I would have to say that he is simply seeking out the lost sheep who do not accept or understand anything about the truth of the Papal dignity and authority.

Bergoglio once famously said that the Church has become sick in it's self-referentiality.  And it's obsession with titles and honors is a symptom of that malady.  We have reversed the parable of the Lost Sheep.  Instead of doing the turn of the Good Shepherd who leaves the comfort of the flock of ninety nine to find the one stray, we are in a Church in which ninety nine have strayed and we are content to stay with the one that remains; and we entertain ourselves by putting curlers in it's hair.  Spiritual worldliness!  Beware of spiritual worldliness in the Church, above all else!  It is Her occupational hazard!  Phariseeism!

The Church must get out of herself, and the "Bishop of Rome" leads the way.

Viva el Papa Francisco!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Eight More Latin Tweets by Pope Francis

The Papal Latin Twitter Account is more active than ever (with a total of eleven in the papacy so far) and apparently more relevant to the preaching of our new Pontifex Maximus.  Viva el Papa Francisco!

7 April
Quam est in nos blandus Iesu conspectus quantaque in illo teneritas! Ne patientis Dei umquam miserationi diffidamus!

4 April
Nos non timet Deus amare. Redamare Ipsum non verebimur nos. Ore fidem profitemur et corde, sonore quidem et amore.

31 March
Accipe in tuam vitam Iesum Qui resurrexit. Etiamsi longe eras, fac parvum gradum versus Eum: Ipse exspectat te cum brachiis apertis.

28 March
Presbyteris adhaerescitote vestris amantes sane in Domino precantesque pastores illi ad Dei ipsius affectionem ut emineant semper.

27 March
Traducere hebdomadam hanc maiorem altius usque significat cogitationem in divinam amoris nempe suique ipsius donationis traduci.

27 March
Cum Iesu persistere ipso si cupias, exeas est de temet necesse, fidei scilicet implendae de via quadam defessa atque consueta.

24 March
Credere adversario dedecet nos nihil iam superesse suadenti quod iniustitia coram ac violentia nencon malitia ipsa efficere queamus.

24 March
Mensem iam laetissimus ego Iulium Fluminis Ianuarii prospicio in urbe. Vos omnes illam consalutare magnificam volo apud Brasiliae civitatem.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Pope Francis Never Completed the Doctorate in Germany

Father Bergoglio did not complete the doctorate which he pursued for a few months in 1986 in the Jesuit Graduate School Sankt Georgen of Frankfurt, under the direction of Romano Guardini.

Some news sources have had to correct their assertion that he had obtained the doctorate there.

Click on the picture for the official 14 March statement by the university itself.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Comparing the Papacies of the New Millenium

The last three papacies to the present Supreme Pontiff are the papal fruits of Vatican I and II.

Blessed Pope John Paul II
Exorcising and baptizing the god of cinema, glamour, popularity and political atheism.

Pope Benedict XVI
Exorcising and baptizing the god of academia, reason, and enlightenment gnosticism.

Pope Francis
Exorcising and baptizing the god of the ghettos/streets, wealth/materialism/consumerism, and violence.

The Church is bringing God back into the world of actors, scholars, the poor through three great papacies.  His name is Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world because He is the only One Who saves men from their own sins!

Monday, April 1, 2013

"Spiritual Worldliness--the Greatest Danger for the Church"

The corpus of Pope Francis' magisterial terminology of the urgent need to return to evangelical simplicity is influenced by Henri de Lubac as noted in an article of Carl E. Olson on the Catholic World Report Blog.  The original article is actually from Sandro Magister.

The influence of de Lubac, one of the finest Jesuit theologians of the past century, on Bergoglio is... obvious in this 2007 interview, which ends with this remark:

[Q:] For you, then, what is the worst thing that can happen in the Church?

BERGOGLIO: It is what De Lubac calls «spiritual worldliness». It is the greatest danger for the Church, for us, who are in the Church. «It is worse», says De Lubac, «more disastrous than the infamous leprosy that disfigured the dearly beloved Bride at the time of the libertine popes». Spiritual worldliness is putting oneself at the center. It is what Jesus saw going on among the Pharisees: «… You who glorify yourselves. Who give glory to yourselves, the ones to the others».

De Lubac wrote several significant works of ecclesiology, including The Splendor of the Church(Ignatius Press, 1986, 1989; French original in 1953) and The Motherhood of the Church(Ignatius Press, 1982; French original in 1971). The quote mentioned by Bergoglio comes at the very end of The Splendor of the Church, in the chapter titled, "The Church and Our Lady":

The-Church-as-Mother is never at the end of her labor to deliver us to the life of the Spirit, and the greatest danger we are to the Church, the most subversive temptation, the one that is ever and insiduously reborn when all the rest are overcome, and even strengthened by those victories, is what Abbot Vonier called the temptation to "worldliness of the mind ... the practical relinquishing of other-worldliness, so  that moral and even spiritual standards should be based, not on the glory of the Lord, but on what is the profit of man; an entirely anthropocentric outlook would be exactly what we mean by worldliness.  Even if men were filled with every spiritual perfection, but if such perfections were not referred to God (suppose this hypothesis to be possible) it would be unredeemed worldliness."

If this worldliness of the spirit were to invade the Church and set to work to corrupt her by attacking her very principle, it would be something infinitely more disastrous than any worldliness of the purely moral order...

Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ, founder and editor of Ignatius Press, says:
In the early days of Ignatius Press, one of the most important books we published was the English translation of Fr. Henri de Lubac’s classic Meditations sur l’Eglise (The Splendor of the Church). Fr. de Lubac was my mentor when I studied theology in Lyons, France from 1969-1972 and it was he who introduced me into the great Tradition of the Church, especially the Church Fathers. I came to regard him as many others already did, as a modern Father of the Church. The translation of his works into English was one of the principal motives for founding Ignatius Press in 1978.

Fr. de Lubac was one of the only two then-living theologians cited by Pope John Paul II in his first encyclical Redemptor Hominis (the other was Fr. Hans Urs von Balthasar). Pope Benedict XVI in his short autobiography Milestones writes: “…meeting Balthasar was for me the beginning of a lifelong friendship I can only be thankful for. Never again have I found anyone with such a comprehensive theological and humanistic education as Balthsar and de Lubac” (p. 143). And now we find that de Lubac was cited by Cardinal Bergoglio in one of the final pre-conclave congregations of cardinals.

My gratitude for all that Fr. de Lubac had done for the Church and for me personally was expressed in a short dedication I wrote to the Ignatius Press edition of The Splendor of the Church:

"This re-edition is
dedicated to Cardinal de Lubac
in the year of his ninetieth birthday.

"My personal debt of gratitude to this
extraordinary scholar, loyal churchman,
gracious and patient teacher, and fellow Jesuit
is but a small part of what is owed him
by the countless numbers of men and women of every land
whose faith has been so profoundly enriched
by his life’s work.

"Cardinal de Lubac is above all else
a man of the Church, homo ecclesiasticus,
such as he himself portrays in these pages.
He has received all from the Church.
He has returned all to the Church.

"This book which, characteristically, he so humbly describes
in its introduction, is a testament which will endure
to his lifelong love of his mother and ours
the Immaculate Bride of the Lamb,
Holy Church."

For more about de Lubac (1896-1991), who was named a cardinal by Bl. John Paul II in 1983, visit his author's page at IgnatiusInsight.com.

Pope Francis' First Wednesday Audience 27 March 2013

Pope Francis' first Wednesday Audience had two immediate changes from recent audiences.

1. The pep-rally style is back (encouraged by the specific mention of the individual groups in each language group).

2.  The Holy Father spoke only in Italian (foregoing even his native Spanish, he seems to take his role as "Bishop of Rome" in a linguistically restrictive sense?..."when in Rome"...).

Vatican Radio translation via Catholic World Report Blog
Brothers and sisters, good morning!

I am pleased to welcome you to my first general audience. With deep gratitude and veneration I am taking up the "witness" from the hands of my beloved predecessor, Benedict XVI. After Easter we will resume the catechesis on the Year of Faith. Today I would like to focus a little on Holy Week. With Palm Sunday we began this week - the center of the whole liturgical year - in which we accompany Jesus in His Passion, Death and Resurrection.

But what does it mean for us to live Holy Week? What does it means to follow Jesus on His way to the Cross on Calvary and the Resurrection? In His earthly mission, Jesus walked the streets of the Holy Land; He called twelve simple people to remain with Him, to share His journey and continue His mission; He chose them among the people full of faith in the promises of God. He spoke to everyone, without distinction, to the great and the lowly; to the rich young man and the poor widow, the powerful and the weak; He brought the mercy and forgiveness of God to all; He healed, comforted, understood, gave hope, He led all to the presence of God, who is interested in every man and woman, like a good father and a good mother is interested in each child. God did not wait for us to go to Him, but He moved towards us, without calculation, without measures. This is how God is: He is always the first, He moves towards us. Jesus lived the daily realities of most ordinary people: He was moved by the crowd that seemed like a flock without a shepherd, and He cried in front of the suffering of Martha and Mary on the death of their brother Lazarus; He called a tax collector to be His disciple and also suffered the betrayal of a friend. In Christ, God has given us the assurance that He is with us, in our midst. "Foxes", Jesus said, "have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest His head" (Mt 8:20). Jesus did not have a home because His house is the people -- that is, us; His mission is to open all God’s doors, to be the loving presence of God.

In Holy Week we live the highest point of this journey, this loving plan that runs throughout the entire history of the relationship between God and humanity. Jesus enters Jerusalem to take the final step, in which His whole live is summarized: He gives Himself totally, He keeps nothing for Himself, not even His life. At the Last Supper, with His friends, He shares the bread and distributes the chalice "for us." The Son of God is offered to us, He consigns His Body and his Blood into our hands to be with us always, to dwell among us. And on the Mount of Olives, as in the trial before Pilate, He puts up no resistance, He gifts Himself: He is the Suffering Servant foretold by Isaiah, who stripped himself unto death (cf. Is 53:12).

Jesus does not live this love that leads to sacrifice passively or as a fatal destiny; certainly He does not hide His deep human commotion in the face of a violent death, but He entrusts Himself with full confidence to the Father. Jesus voluntarily consigned Himself to death to respond to the love of God the Father, in perfect union with His will, to demonstrate His love for us. On the Cross, Jesus "loved me and gave Himself for me" (Gal 2:20). Each of us can say, "He loved me and gave Himself for me." Everyone can say that "for me". 
What does this mean for us? It means that this is my, your, our path. Living Holy Week following Jesus not only with the emotions of the heart; living Holy Week following Jesus means learning how to come out of ourselves - as I said on Sunday - to reach out to others, to go to the outskirts of existence, to be the first to move towards our brothers and sisters, especially those who are most distant, those who are forgotten, those who are most in need of understanding, consolation and help. There is so much need to bring the living presence of Jesus, merciful and full of love!

Living Holy Week means increasingly entering into God's logic, the logic of the Cross, which is not first of all that of pain and death, but of love and of self-giving that brings life. It means entering into the logic of the Gospel. Following, accompanying Christ, remaining with Him requires a "stepping outside." Stepping outside of ourselves, of a tired and routine way of living the faith, of the temptation to withdraw into pre-established patterns that end up closing our horizon to the creative action of God. God stepped outside of Himself to come among us, He pitched His tent among us to bring the mercy of God that saves and gives hope. Even if we want to follow Him and stay with Him, we must not be content to remain in the enclosure of the ninety-nine sheep, we have to "step outside", to search for the lost sheep together with Him, the one furthest away. Remember well: stepping outside of ourselves, like Jesus, like God has stepped outside of Himself in Jesus and Jesus stepped outside of Himself for all of us.

Some might say to me, "But, Father, I have no time", "I have so many things to do", "It is difficult", "What can I do with my little strength?", with my sin, with so many things? Often we settle for a few prayers, a distracted and inconsistent presence at Sunday Mass, a random act of charity, but we lack this courage to "step outside" to bring Christ. We are a bit like St. Peter. As soon as Jesus speaks of the Passion, Death and Resurrection, of self-giving, of love for all, the Apostle takes him aside and rebukes him. What Jesus says upsets his plans, seems unacceptable, undermines the sense of security that he had built up, his idea of ​​the Messiah. And Jesus looks at the disciples and addresses Peter with perhaps one of the strongest words of the Gospel: "Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do" (Mk 8:33). God always thinks with mercy: do not forget this. God always thinks with mercy: our merciful Father. God thinks like a father who awaits the return of his child and goes to meet him, sees him come when he is still far away ... What does this mean? That each and every day he went out to see if his son was coming home. This is our merciful Father. It is the sign that he was waiting for him from the terrace of his house. God thinks like the Samaritan that does not approach the victim to commiserate with him, or look the other way, but to rescue him without asking for anything in return, without asking if he was Jew, if he was pagan, a Samaritan, rich or poor: he does not ask anything. He does not ask these things, he asks for nothing. He goes to his aid: This is how God thinks. God thinks like the shepherd who gives his life to defend and save his sheep.
Holy Week is a time of grace which the Lord gifts us to open the doors of our hearts, our lives, our parishes - what a pity, so many parishes are closed! - in our parishes, movements, associations, and to "step outside" towards others, to draw close to them so we can bring the light and joy of our faith. Always step outside yourself! And with the love and tenderness of God, with respect and patience, knowing that we put our hands, our feet, our hearts, but then it is God who guides them and makes all our actions fruitful.

May you all live these days well, following the Lord with courage, carrying within a ray of His love for all those whom we meet.

Father Z's Frivolity

Ordinariate of Mary, Queen of Tradition  
             (SSPX April Fool's Joke)
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