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Friday, October 02, 2015

The Synod on the Family

From Wikipedia:

The Fourteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will take place on October 4–25, 2015, and will have a theme of "the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world."

Where will I be following the goings-on in Rome?

1. Rorate Caeli:  Of course.  Where would I be without New Catholic and his collaborators when trying to keep up with Catholic news along with the always excellent commentary and spiritual fortification?

2. What's Up With The Synod:  This is a new blog set up by Hilary White for the duration of the synod where she and a few selected bloggers will be covering events in Rome.

Yesterday, talking to some blogger friends, it was suggested that we set up a war room, a place where traditionally-minded Catholic bloggers, writers and commentators can write and comment about the Synod as it is happening.

I'm looking forward to reading their work.  If you have any suggestions, please suggest in the comments.

Angels and ministers of grace defend us!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Will the Pope Sell Out to Red China?

As with remarriage and communion, the issue of the appointment of bishops in Red China seems to be one where Francis says one thing, but his underlings do another at the expense of Benedict's past actions that Francis has claimed to support fully.  Read this from Sandro Magister and try to discern for yourself just where the Holy Father is going with relations with the PRC.

Friday, February 20, 2015

In Ukraine, what is old is new

Sandro Magister has something new at his www.chiesa website on Ukraine.  As readers may be aware, Russia has been supporting separatists in eastern Ukraine.  It has already annexed the Crimea.

The crux of Magister's article:

The fact that Bergoglio has a soft spot for Russia had already been seen with the outbreak of war in Syria, when he called for a day of prayer and fasting to oppose the armed intervention of the United States and France against the regime of Damascus, and Vladimir Putin publicly praised him.

Then there is the influence of the ecumenical factor: of the 200 million Orthodox Christians in the world, 150 million belong to the patriarchate of Moscow and “of all Rus’,” and it is therefore with Moscow above all that the pope wants to cultivate good relations.


Today the almost five million Ukrainian Catholics know very well that they are the true obstacle to the encounter between the pope of Rome and the patriarch of Moscow. But they will not agree to be sacrificed on the altar of this ecumenical dream.

Go read the rest at the link above for more background on the Roman response to events.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Lost Kingdom

Daily Mail
The event, which is understood to be taking place on June 19, will be a secular event and will instead feature just a simple proclamation, as well as a military procession, in front of Spanish politicians.

Palace and government spokesmen have already said no foreign dignitaries will be invited to the ceremony, largely due to the late notice given to plan the event.

Even Prince Felipe’s father, King Juan Carlos, has signalled he does not intend to be at the ceremony to see his son take over his throne.
When Juan Carlos was sworn in a king, pictured above, it was a much larger affair than what is expected from the imminent coronation of Crown Prince Felipe, pictured third from right as a young boy. The event included a mass after the coronation which is not expected to be held this time around
A low-key secular ceremony.....


There is a reason sovereigns are styled Majesty.   They are majestic, venerable.  By divine right, along with lineage, tradition, and pomp, building up legitimacy over hundreds and hundreds of years.  And now the soon-to-be King of Spain is seemingly detaching himself from the foundation of his monarchy, from the outset.  No great ceremony to demonstrate the King's majesty.  No mass to celebrate the connection between God and the King.  And the old king, who is still alive, will not be there to show the connection between the present, the future, and the past.

It sets a bad precedent.  Without those things that make a monarchy a monarchy, why have a monarchy at all?

Yes, times are hard in Spain.  And HM Juan Carlos I is said to be abdicating partly because his popularity has nose-dived from scandal, such as a hunting trip during a time when one-in-four Spaniards are unemployed.  But I think personal extravagance is one thing.  While spending some Euros on the coronation of the king is a necessary investment in the legitimacy of the monarchy.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Surrender in Central Europe (and Japan)

The opening summary of the latest from Sandro Magister at www.chiesa:

The responses of the Japanese and central Europeans to the questionnaire for the synod on the family register the yielding of Catholics to the dominant “uniform thought.” But also the pastors' inability to lead 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Forgotten Lore: Triumph

Awhile ago while I was hunting around the Web for something, I came across some information about Brent Bozell, Jr. and his magazine named Triumph, published from 1966 and 1976.  Since then, I've acquired Bozell's collection of essays, Mustard Seeds: A Conservative Becomes a Catholic, and a compilation of essays and editorials from the magazine known as The Best of Triumph, both currently published under the imprint of Christendom College, itself founded by a contributor to the magazine.

While hunting around the Web for more information, I came across the dissertation of Mark D. Popowski about the magazine.  I later found out that he had written a book on the same subject, published in 2011, which I obtained through interlibrary loan from Marquette University.

The following is a comment I posted today at Rorate Caeli:

Yesterday I finished reading The Rise and Fall of Triumph: The History of a Radical Roman Catholic Magazine, 1966-1976 by Mark D. Popowski.  In his book, Popowski does an excellent job of summing up the philosophical writings of Catholics Brent Bozell (not the currently living neocon son), Frederick Wilhelmsen of the University of Dallas, and many others as published in the magazine Triumph from 1966 to 1976.

Their efforts were directed towards showing that The American Experiment(tm) is fundamentally flawed (both the conservative and liberal views of it) and at war with natural law and Christianity.  Popowski writes, "The editors sought to lead an exodus of American Catholics from the American state and society and to establish a Catholic tribe—not for isolation but for confrontation—in order to fortify and order their ranks from which they could lead sallies into American society to convert it to the Roman Catholic faith."

This review looks at Popowski's book and describes well the thoughts and motives of Triumph and its parent organzation, the Society for a Christian Commonwealth.

One of the comments to that review alludes to an historical detail about which I would love to learn more.  The woman who posted the comment said that she had been in contact with one of the contributors of the magazine who had back in the day done research that including a "surprising link with Freemasons in the Irish American Church hierarchy."

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Curia: What's To Come?

When a pope dies (or in this case abdicates), most all the curial officials who hold office at his pleasure go out of office along with him (except for a few prominent exceptions).  When a new pope is elected, though he may have ideas of his own regarding whom he wants in key positions, it's usual for him to confirm his predecessor's men to continue their terms (at least until the new pope is ready to get going on his own agenda).

For instance, back in 2005, newly-elected Pope Benedict cinfirmed Cardinal Sodano as secretary of state, the job the cardinal had under John Paul II.

VATICAN CITY, APR 25, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Confirmed members of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia in their current posts until the end of the five-year period for which they were appointed by the late lamented Pope John Paul II.

I disagreed with this.  Sodano and Ratzinger were in opposing camps on a lot of issues, the most visible being Maciel and the Legion of Christ.  Sodano shielded Maciel when Ratzinger attempted to proceed against him.  Then Ratzinger was elected and he kept on his enemy in one of the chief offices of the Roman Curia for another year.  I think that had a fundamental impact on Benedict's pontificate as the Holy Father never gained any true momentum in dealing with the filth and the filth's enablers.

Cardinal Ratzinger was elected on April 19 and he didn't confirm the members of the dicasteries until six days later.  Pope Bergoglio was elected Wednesday night and it is now Saturday, so he has time yet to spare before people are expecting to get back to work.  Will things start to happen Monday (Francis has the Vatileaks report in hand now) or will the Holy Father wait for his lunch with his predecessor a week from today

UPDATE: I posted too soon.  But note that it is only provisional.

VaticanCity, 16 March 2013(VIS) – Holy Father Francis has expressed the desire that the Heads and members of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, as well as their Secretaries, and also the President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, continue "donec aliter provideatur", that is, provisionally, in their respective positions.

The Holy Father wishes to reserve time for reflection, prayer, and dialogue before any final appointment or confirmation is made.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Chinese Regards to Pope Francis

New York Times
Hua Chunying, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said that Beijing hoped the pope, who was elected on Wednesday, would work with Chinese officials on improving relations. But, she said, the Vatican “must stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, including in the name of religion."

She also said the Vatican must sever diplomatic relations with Taiwan before ties with Beijing improve. China considers Taiwan a renegade province that is part of its territory.
Sadly, with the current regime of China, I don't see much room to improve relations.  Can the Holy See do much of anything besides either take a hard line or capitulate to Chinese demands?

But perhaps there is hope for improvement on horizon.  China has only just recently installed its Fith Generation of leadership.  And I've read there is hope for real political change with the Sixth Generation.  That is still at least a decade away, though.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

It's the Argentine

The Associated Press
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis put his humility on display during his first day as pontiff Thursday, stopping by his hotel to pick up his luggage and pay the bill himself in a decidedly different style of papacy than his tradition-minded predecessor, who tended to stay ensconced in the frescoed halls of the Vatican.
The former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio began his first day as pope making an early morning visit in a simple Vatican car to a Roman basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary and prayed before an icon of the Madonna.

Reminds me of Pope Kiril from the film The Shoes of the Fisherman.

Tradition is important.  It brings meaning and structure to the past, our present lives, and the future.  But I think also we must remember there was time when we had no traditions, that our present traditions have accumulated over the course of two thousand years of history.  To survive, I think the Church must not be afraid as long as it remains true to Christ.

A personal note: I went to confession yesterday.  Confession is always a trial, not just because I am ashamed of my sins, but also because of my disability.  While I was waiting my turn, I wrote Francis in block letters on the palm of my hand.  And I was comforted by it.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Few More Thoughts

Reaction is coming out now.  Rorate Caeli has a series of reaction posts that should be read for a close look at the Holy Father.  As one person there commented, the first homily, being in the last two pontificates a sort of blueprint for the pontificate to come, will most likely tell the tale of where Francis is going.  In the meantime, the Rosary is a powerful weapon!  Pray for our Holy Father.

A Few Thoughts On Days Gone By

Pope Bergoglio has been elected and it is now the middle of the night in Rome.  I can't help feeling a sense of letdown now that it's all over.  This is my second conclave and as I compare this experience to 2005, the differences are making themselves known as I think back.

Eight years ago we had the moving experience of the last days of John Paul II taking place on the stage of Holy Week and Easter.  There was the sorrowful period of mourning with the procession of the body and the funeral Mass celebrated by Cardinal Ratzinger.  Then a time of waiting as the cardinals met before the conclave finally arrived.  Cardinal Ratzinger was elected Pope Ratzinger, Benedict XVI, and the rest is now history.

This time around though feels much different as I think back.  It seems like Benedict announced his stepping down only the other day.  There was his final public Mass, his final audiences, the flight over Rome, and his final words at Castel Gandolfo before the Swiss Guards marched away.  That was it.  Then the conclave began and boom, "Habemus Papum!"

We'll see what happens with our new Holy Father.

We have a pope!

Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, SJ is now His Holiness Pope Francis!

We have a pope!

Conclave '13 - Day Two

Yesterday the cardinals entered the conclave.  There was black smoke at the end of the first day.

Today after the morning session, there was black smoke.

Morning - after 2 ballots - 11 to12 noon Rome time - 6 to 7 am EDT
Afternoon - after 2 ballots - 6 to 7 pm Rome time - 1 to 2 pm EDT

There are two ballots in each session.  If a pope is chosen on the first ballot of the session, the white smoke will be seen at either 6 am or 1 pm.

UPDATED to reflect earlier possible times for smoke to be seen.  VIS: "The “fumata”, again black, issued forth at 11:40 this morning, around 20 minutes earlier then expected."