Thursday, May 28, 2009

Help Needed

A long time ago, I was reading an article at a sedevacantist website about the liturgical reforms that culminated in the Novus Ordo in 1970. The article looked back to the reforms of the early twentieth century.

What made this article memorable was that it had this graphic, a larger rectangle divided up into smaller rectangles. They each contained a specific year when a reform was promulgated (for instance '1945' for when the Psalter of Pius XII came out). The years went from left to right from earlier to later. The first box was white and as one went left, each box was greyer than the one before it, representing the supposed diminishing of the liturgy.

I'm doing some reading on the subject and if anyone knows of this website and can direct me to it, I'd appreciate it. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Central African Confusion

Reader Louis pointed this out to me yesterday in an email. I have no idea what is behind this. Perhaps some of our more knowledgeable readers could help us in figuring out why two bishops from the Central African Republic, both in their fifties and well short of retirement, have resigned this month.

Paulin Pomodimo, archbishop of Bangui, resigned on May 26 (today), just short of his fifty-fifth year.

François-Xavier Yombandje, bishop of Bossangoa, resigned on May 16 (a week ago Saturday), just short of his fifty-third year.

Both men were consecrated by Joachim N'Dayen, archbishop emeritus of Bangui.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Tu esse Pietro.

Or something. I don't remember the exact Italian quoted by Oskar Werner in his conversation with Anthony Quinn.

In case you all haven't guessed yet and don't have TCM, The Shoes of the Fisherman was on this afternoon. I was flipping back and forth between that and Family Feud. The movie has great production values. It's an MGM film made during that time when MGM still made films that looked truly epic in scope. The only part that really looked fake was the final balcony scene where the balcony was superimposed over the real thing at St. Peter's. Just not quite convincing. But aside from all that, I found the film to be slightly annoying with the annoyance growing as the movie went on.

If you haven't seen it and don't know the resolution of the plot, I won't spoil it, but I will say that it is pretty unbelievable in the first viewing and its hokey-ness only increases in subsequent viewings. Seeing it tonight and knowing it was coming, it just worked against the entire thing. The movie is a positive portrayal (to me) of the Church and I want to like the movie for that reason and because it looks so cool, but the plot just totally turns me off.

The actora were all great. About the only problem I had with the actors was the performance of Oskar Werner as the heterodox priest in his interview with the commission from the Holy Office. His views were actually not that hard to understand and his final answer to their question was actually pretty interesting, but he answered everything in such a convoluted way, he basically gave the commission no choice but to condemn his works. Father Telemond comes off as not very articulate.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Notre Dame: Those Outside Looking In

While the Catholic blogosphere has been doing its thing lately in looking at Notre Dame and all that, I've found interesting the look by 'secular' blogs at the Catholic divide.

To wit: Laura Ingraham: Notre Dame’s no longer a viable Catholic institution at has two lead bloggers, one of them Catholic and the other atheist, both conservatives. The atheist's view on ND and the Church's overall response to Obama:

The real question here isn’t whether Notre Dame is still Catholic in any meaningful sense, it’s what it means to be “Catholic” in America today. 54 percent of Catholics voted for The One last fall and 67 percent approved of his job performance as of three weeks ago; majorities approve of torture in at least some circumstances and say they’re more likely to consider common sense and experience when making decisions than Church teachings; a narrow plurality think priests should be allowed to marry. Even on abortion and stem cells, those calling themselves Catholic are almost indistinguishable from non-Catholics (although there are sharp differences between non-Catholics and Catholics who attend mass regularly). And of course the Vatican itself is as squishy as can be when it comes to taking on Obama for his stances. The Church, ironically, seems to have the opposite problem from the GOP these days: They’re so comfortable with “centrists” that it’s no longer clear what American Catholicism stands for. Which puts Notre Dame squarely inside the mainstream.

While the traditional, orthodox elements of the Church work on renewal and are seeing signs of life from the US episcopate, at the same time, what should be the Church's allies in political life look in from the outside and they don't seem that encouraged, especially by the Vatican itself and the whole deal with L’Osservatore Romano's efforts of late in wooing Obama.

Anyway, food for thought.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

L’Osservatore Romano: All the News That's Fit to Spin!

So I had a subscription to the weekly English edition of L’Osservatore Romano that I got a Christmas or so ago. It seems to have run out this spring and not a moment too soon! I had been impressed with the tenor of the paper and even had a few clippings (an essay by Ruini, etc.).

But I have missed out on the last few weeks of the paper's efforts to get along with Mr. Obama (though editorials didn't find their way into the English edition too often anyway). And so we have this latest post from Father Z:

Who else could be it be but the Vatican’s Secretariat of State?

Think about it. What could produce such a dopey article if not for the section of the Secretariat of State involved with the relations with states?

Leaving aside the personal political tendencies of many who work up there, the President is scheduled to go to Rome in, ... what is it, ... July?

The diplomat elements in the Secretariat of State probably don’t want anything to spoil the planning.

Ta da!

Cause and effect.

I could go back through and find all the links to past posts where the Secretariat of State has been documented running amok, but it would be tedious. With Cardinal Sodano's departure, one would think that with the head gone and Bertone in power... Of course, we also have reports from last year of Bertone jetting around to all kinds of meetings and acting like a papabile instead of running his dicastery like a good little soldier.

The greatest single disappointment so far of this pontificate has been the failure of the curial reform to materialize.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Off to the Holy Land

Sandro Magister has a new column out on the Pope's trip. In it, Magister determines that the biggest obstacle will be the local Christian population. By appearing evenhanded and not favoring Israel, the Pope has been attempting to earn their trust. Magister also claims that in recasting the conflict as a political one, the Pope hopes to return the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians back to its political origins...


This is one instance where I would say the Pope is flying blind. The Arab-Israeli conflict has many causes and origins. I would point out though that as my professor always reminded my class, politics and religion for the Muslims of the Middle East are one and the same given the fact that the Shariah handed down to Muhammad from God is their Law and the political Ummah (Muslim Community) was the religious and soclal Ummah. If the Christian West and the Pope want to delude themselves into thinking that politics and religion can be separated out, I hope they find their disillusionment sooner rather than later so that we can get on with it.

Let's face it. We've been reading about the alleged Palestinian majority that is tired of war and wants only peace for fifteen years and more, but it has yet to rise up to do anything against Hamas in Gaza. (The West Bank under Fatah has been flying under the radar lately.)

The US Declaration of Independence:

That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

The average, moderate Palestinian is supposedly long past the point Jefferson set out, but Hamas is still in charge and lobbing rockets as Israel.

Monday, May 04, 2009


Has anyone else noticed the tendency lately for Youtube videos to be widescreen? This video looks interesting and the quotes are nice. Could use some subtitles though.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

1,001 Posts

I was going to commemorate the 1,000th post with lots of cool things, but I just noticed that that was the last post. I guess I wasn't paying that much attention. Oh well. That spares me the obligation to get creative.

The Pope is going to Israel soon and will be visiting a Palestinian refugee camp.

Professor Glendon (I don't recall right offhand her first name) declined the Laetare Medal from Notre Dame as she didn't want to the token next to Obama. Father Jenkins has rounded up a judge who is a past recipient and the medal won't be given out this year. Nice sidestepping there, Father.

Archbishop Ranjith is said to be headed home to Colombo, but there's no official word.

Over at Rorate, they're busily commenting about curial rumblings surrounding the exile of Ranjith (whenever it eventually happens if it does). One poster, Matt, made an excellent point:

With all of this rumbling, the Holy Father should do what any Head of anything does, he or his designates walk into the office of the slacker prelate with security and tell him, "Thank you for your services but the Holy Father had decided it's time to part company." They are then given fifteen minutes to clean out their desks and are escorted out. Done. Why this is so hard for the Pope is beyond me and the reason why so much trouble exists in the Church. Do what the heck you want and no one can fire you? No wonder they act like that.

These prelates are not OWED, or ENTITLED. They serve at the pleasure of the Pope and can be dismissed at his pleasure. I suppose the Vatican has an alternate reality

If the One (Mr. Obama for you neophytes) can go around sacking top bank officials and the CEO of GM, I should think the Pope himself could do as Matt suggests.

That's enough of a round-up for now. I ask for your prayers in this hour of anxiety for me.