Sunday, June 04, 2017



One of the changes introduced into the liturgical practice of the Church in the West - the Latin Church - following the second Vatican Council was the much more frequent adoption of the concelebration of Holy Mass.

Concelebration had never really died out, surviving in the Ordination Mass for Priests and the Mass for the Consecration of Bishops. In fact it was the Venerable Pope Pius XII in the 1950s who reminded Co-Consecrator Bishops that they ought to say the words of Consecration with the principal Bishop at the Consecration of the Bread and Wine at the Mass.

The GENERAL INSTITUTION OF THE ROMAN MISSAL (GIRM) [usually mis-translated as " Instruction"] is almost casual in Chapter IV # 114 when it says:

"114. Among those Masses celebrated by some communities, moreover, the conventual Mass, which is a part of the daily Office, or the community Mass, has a particular place. Although such Masses do not have a special form of celebration, it is nevertheless most proper that they be celebrated with singing, especially with the full participation of all members of the community, whether of religious or of canons. In these Masses, therefore, individuals should exercise the office proper to the Order or ministry they have received. It is appropriate, therefore, that all the priests who are not bound to celebrate individually for the pastoral benefit of the faithful concelebrate at the conventual or community Mass in so far as it is possible. In addition, all priests belonging to the community who are obliged, as a matter of duty, to celebrate individually for the pastoral benefit of the faithful may also on the same day concelebrate at the conventual or community Mass.[94] For it is preferable that priests who are present at a Eucharistic Celebration, unless excused for a good reason, should as a rule exercise the office proper to their Order and hence take part as concelebrants, wearing the sacred vestments. Otherwise, they wear their proper choir dress or a surplice over a cassock.

We can see here that the particular application intended was for Religious Communities' communal Masses. And the principle would of course hold good for the Chrism Mass in a Diocese.

But like so many things newly introduced in the wake of the Council , a provision for a  particular situation quickly became a common practice widely applied.

I have no problem at all with concelebrated Masses in principle.Let me make that clear - it would be absurd for anyone to have such an attitude to something properly approved by the Church.


The consequences of wider use of the wider use of concelebrated Masses on a routine basis, are something else again.
CONCELEBRATION - 3 Mass times become 1 
 I recently had occasion to look at the Internet presence of the Archdiocese of Melbourne's Latin Mass Community.As I went through the various items presented so handsomely there, I came across the daily Mass schedule. 
The provision of two morning Masses each weekday -early morning for those heading out to work, and mid morning for the elderly -a little slower to rise and young mothers with kinder to get ready, brought back happy memories of times past, before the Council.Of course in a Latin Mass ( Extraordinary Form) situation there cannot be any routine concelebration.And the Parish is blessed with more than one Priest.

To-day, in our leafy North Shore of Sydney parish (where we have two Priests), it is not uncommon for the single 9.00am Mass to be concelebrated. But we might exclaim with the Trade Unionists "What about the workers?"

It seems to be the general experience that daily Masses in our churches - in my experience both in Brisbane and in Sydney - are now confined to 9.00/9.15 am. This phenomenon definitely began only after the Council. I know it so very clearly because as a 10 to 14 years old( 1950-54 , I can remember the bitterly cold Winter mornings catching the electric train to Lidcombe (then said to be in the West of Sydney - now said to be inner West)to go to 7.00 am Mass at Saint Joachim's which shared the same property as my School - Marist Brothers Lidcombe. In to-day's Church any similar "young me" would  be unable to attend daily Mass and Holy Communion.
                                          SAINT JOACHIM'S CHURCH LIDCOMBE
                                  A MARVELLOUS ACHIEVEMENT OF THE PRIESTLY 
                                LEADERSHIP OF THE LATE FATHER FRANCIS LLOYD 
                                    .A LEGEND IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY

I am thinking here of two things :

. Concelebration should be limited to Religious Communities and major celebrations - and should never be routine parochial practice, where an extra Priest is available, an additional Mass should be celebrated.

And in these days WHY NOT TWEET its availability to Parishoners? Let's " get with it"! For Heaven's sake! (Literally) Don't tell me people can get summoned to a riot or demonstration, or to crash a party by TWITTER but we don't have enough gumption to use the same means to get people to take up a special opportunity at a convenient time, to attend Mass.Father X arrives in the Parish for an overnight stay. The time for his Mass next day is tweeted / emailed to Parishoners with an invitation to them to attend. Takes 5 minutes to do and even hundreds could be contacted. To say nothing of Senior School Students all of whom have Email access at least these days. If the Church does not reach out to their Franciscan " periphery" by the means they use, can they be blamed for thinking that what she has to offfer she does not consider important?

. a return to be made in Australian Parishes to making a 6.00 am or 7.00 am Mass available daily for the benefit of workers and students.

On the latter point I am sure I can hear Priestly voices begin to say " Oh you'll never get them to come!" Obviously people will not necessarily leap at the opportunity at first. But if it is made available and the importance of more regular attendance at weekday Mass is preached sincerely  ...leave it up to God's Grace.

In fact, as I warm to my theme, I would argue for another change : bination. The term is not widely heard, and some may be unfamiliar with it.But it is the practice of Priests saying more than one Mass each day.

Now this issue has a long and varied history in the Church with custom and Law ebbing and flowing with the tide of events.But for our purposes here we can state clearly that there is nothing intrinsically wrong in a Priest celebrating two Masses in a day - in fact as we know on certain days they have long done so -Sundays, All Souls Day etc. But I am arguing for the change to meet the exigencies of the present situation brought about by the dramatic decline in religious practice, and the shortage of Priests. 

Although we like to coast along tut-tutting at things that are wrong, if we don't act : use our God -given initiative - we will only continue down hill.

I would like to see each Priest celebrate two Masses each day so that on Weekdays there would be in each Parish an early Mass - say 7.00 am , and 9.00 am -thus catering for the widest number of people in the parishes, both those employed and those at home.I believe that it would be no great difficulty for Bishops to ensure that Priests maintained a healthy and devout approach to their celebration of Holy Mass despite bination - just as they always have on Sundays.

Let's get cracking!

Saturday, June 03, 2017


(I do NOT own this picture - the last I believe taken of the Good Jesuit,
but one of many hundreds "pooled" in tribute to Father Greg after his death.)
This post was made several years ago - it makes one realise how long one has worked at the keyboard - it is as much a tribute to the now late and great Father Gregory Jordan S.J. who died on 19th July, 2015 , and who is seen here entering Saint Ignatius' Church Toowong Qld. Only minutes later he was felled by a massive stroke whilst celebrating Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form. I always think of the picture as "Introibo ad Altare Dei..."

                             Eternal Rest grant unto him O Lord, and may the Perpetual Light
                                       shine upon him, and may he rest in Peace .  AMEN

Here we present for your gentle amusement some verses, the first are quoted by Frank Sheed in one of his now out of print books,entitled "The Church and I "( published in 1974). I found the book rather unpleasant in tone in parts, but could not resist this, by an English Methodist in 1923 casting a baleful eye on Anglicans after a sly opening shot at Catholics:

(sung to the tune of "O God Our Help In Ages Past")

"The Pope who is infallible
          And seldom goes far wrong
Has always taught that time is short
          Eternity is long.

And in the East the Patriarchs

           Are singing this same song
That time's comparatively short
            Eternity quite long.

And Lambeth thinks there is a sense

            In which 'tis not too strong
To say that time to us seems short
             Eternity seems long.

But some there are who tremble lest

             The march of modern thought
May some day prove that time is long
              Eternity is short."

But, we must be ecumenical! Or in the dubious and meaningless phrase used in the Prayers of the Faithful in my Parish Church, "In the Spirit of Ecumenism"(!!) we present a single verse by the Anglo-Irish Protestant  Dean Swift (1667 -1745) aimed at the Calvinists :

"We are the sweet selected few
                The rest of you are damned
  There's room enough in hell for you
                 We can't have Heaven crammed."   

My thanks to the redoubtable Father Greg  Jordan S.J. ( the Good Jesuit) for setting me on the trail of the first.

And my heartfelt congratulations to Father Jordan on his recent 82nd Birthday. If I am able to do and achieve the tiniest fraction of Father's 
incredible workload  in ten years time when I am 82  , I shall count it a miracle- and that of course is setting aside the sacramental work for which he is Ordained, the value of which is truly inestimable. Until the day I die I shall cherish the memory of the occasions on which I had the privilege of serving Father's Extraordinary Form morning Masses and hearing his learned homilies each day. Ad Multos Annos!!"

Monday, May 29, 2017


"I shall console myself with the reflection,
that life is not long enough to do more than your best,
whatever that might be;
that they who are ever taking aim,
make no hits;
that they who never venture,
never gain;
that to be ever safe,
is to be feeble;
and that to do substantial good,
is the compensation for much incidental imperfection."

Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman - "University Sketches" 

As was noted around the time of his Beatification, Blessed Cardinal Newman was not some effete academic, but a Priest with his feet planted firmly on the ground.

Sunday, May 28, 2017


Re-posted from 2012- in to-day's Gospel reading Christ Himself emphasises the importance of loyalty to our Catholic Faith, to Truth and Sacramental validity :" 
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

Matt.28 : 18-20  RSVCE.

How appropriate to re-post this on the 112th Birthday of my dear late Mother whose marriage to my Dad restored us to the True Faith.

Saint Peter's Basilica

Catholic Again!

 I was recently reflecting on my Family Tree. On the Paternal side: Irish Catholic.

On the Maternal side: German and English Protestant. My Mother’s conversion to Catholicism brought back to the Faith branches of the Family Tree which had strayed for over 450 years.

“The evil that men do lives after them….” Shakespeare has Mark Antony say. It is so very true!

What a pity when it is even done to one's children, as must have happened.


 In the cases of Martin Luther – the drunken, blasphemous, sacrilegious and bitterly anti-Semitic beginner of Protestantism and King Henry VIII the hypocritical, sex-obsessed plunderer and persecutor of the Church, it is clear that at some stage in the late 1500’s they both set in motion forces that compelled or induced my German and English ancestors to abandon the Faith into which they were born and which had sustained their, and my, earlier ancestors for at least 1,000 years since their conversion from paganism.

The outrageous nature of such an act comes sharply into focus when we consider Our Lord’s description of our relationship in the Church to Him:

 “I am the Vine; you are the branches…..”

These two sinning, arrogant, lustful men literally tore the branches away from “the Vine.” And not just once, but on and on for generation after generation.

That was not the limit of the atrocity.The Deformation of Christ's Church rolled on and on.

 Like every person in serious error, these successive generations sought to justify their false position by greater and greater error. So we see a multiplying of the number of Protestant sects and at a constantly increasing rate-Presbyterians, Methodists, Congregationalists, Unitarians, Mormons, Latter Day (!!) Saints and on and on , at such a rate that in the U.S.A. alone the number of Protestant sects has gone from 20,000 to 40,000 in about 60 years. And Henry’s Church of England in its decrepitation, has long since gone beyond parody.

Scientists have very recently reported the discovery that Cancer cells are very much more sophisticated than they had believed. Not only do they multiply at an alarming rate, but they actively disable the defences of healthy cells adjoining them.

The cancerous growth of Protestantism has sought to invade the Church since Vatican II through the back door with false ecumenism. “”Niceness” has become prized by some in place of Truth, “Shared Values” in place of Principles and Sacred Tradition which comes to us from the Apostles, they would put aside to accommodate the inclinations of our “separated brethren”.

Thank God for our truly Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, who gently but firmly cuts through humbug and falsity and vigorously pursues authentic ecumenism which leads those in error back to unity in the Catholic Church.

The errant behavior of Luther and Henry VIII are for God Himself to judge. The sad results for hundreds of millions since their time are difficult to address and have required a long term view. The broken branches have withered where they fell and fertilized myriad coarse weeds. We need to pray for the Holy Father’s success to increase more and more, adding luster to his well earned title of the Pope of Christian Unity.

Catholic Again indeed! For my family a return to Justice and Life with Christ in the Communion of Saints. What a beautiful thought.

And now, with the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross to be established on 15th June, 2012, thousands more former Anglicans will bring their families back to the Communion of Saints in Christ's Catholic Church ! Thanks be to God and His Vicar on Earth, the Pope of Christian Unity, Benedict XVI "gloriously reigning"as the lovely old phrase goes!

That was in 2012  - how quickly and sometimes sadly things can change  . Please pray for Our Holy Father Pope Francis.


Readers unfamiliar with St. Benedict's Broadway,Sydney might care to also see:

St Benedict's as it was built - the long nave had to be shortened to accommodate the 1948 widening of the Parramatta Road ,in the foreground.

Father John Joseph Therry

Father Therry of whom His Eminence speaks with admirable candour below, was indeed a great hero of the Church by any measure. He had born the heat of the day for many years, and it is true he was not always easy to get along with. But the cause was sensitivity and volatility and never arrogance, as the following story shows.A young Priest ordained only a few years , Dr William Bernard Ullathorne  O.S.B.( 1806 -1889) was appointed Vicar General for the Colony of New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land in 1833. He had been ordained Priest in September ,1831. In less than 2 years he had responsibility for the whole of Australia as it would become, but was not yet. Born in 1806, he was about 27!

He arrived in the Colony unannounced. He already knew a great deal about the personalities and difficulties of the colonial Church via the Vicar Apostolic in London and others. He was well aware of Father Therry's reputation . Let him tell the story , he has just arrived from Van Dieman's Land ( Tasmania) and goes straight to the Priest's house, but finds Father Therry is away, travelling back from Parramatta:

"....Father Therry arrived whilst I was having some dinner and was at once, as his housekeeper had been, very patronising, spoke to me, as she had done, of my very youthful appearance for a Priest, and offered me, no doubt with kind intention, every assistance in his power to settle me in some part of the Colony. I knew that his first impulses were sound, so after the cloth was removed and we three Priests (VR : Father McEnroe was also present) were left by ourselves, I produced the document constituting me Vicar General and shewing me to be exclusively possessed of jurisdiction in New South Wales. He read it and immediately went on his knees. This act of obedience and submission gave me great internal relief....." He goes on to demonstrate that Father Therry whilst indeed volatile, was always respectful of his Authority.

I hope you will forgive that little bit of background.

150th Anniversary of the Consecration of St. Benedict's on 24/2/1862
By + Cardinal George Pell
Archbishop of Sydney
24 February 2012

Today is the 150th anniversary of the first consecration of a church in Australia, when the English Benedictine Archbishop John Bede Polding consecrated St. Benedict's church. I am wearing his ring and carrying his crozier for this Mass.

The first temporary structure was almost complete in December 1836 under the leadership of Father McEncroe.  In July 1845 the foundation stone of our church designed by the renowned English architect Augustus Welby Pugin was laid by Archbishop Polding.  In 1856 the spire was completed.

The Catholic story of this church has followed many twists and turns.  Originally the district was populated by poor Irish immigrants and the first priests were English Benedictines, who used to ring their church bells as Archbishop Polding passed by on his return from his months of missionary visitation on horseback; to welcome him of course, but also to warn the priests at the Cathedral of his approach.

At one stage there were three Catholic schools on this site and many of us remember the derelict buildings and small congregation before the arrival of Notre Dame University.

In those days the Church building had to be paid for before a consecration could occur and to be admitted to the Church for the eight hour consecration ceremony, everyone had to pay ten shillings!

The old consecration rite included Exposition of Relics, sealing of each set of relics; chanting of Matins and Lauds; singing of Prime; sprinkling outer walls and ground with holy water; entrance procession; ritual placing of ashes at the cross formed on the cathedral floor; tracing of the letters of the Greek alphabet in the mounds of ashes, along one arm of the cross; same again with the Latin alphabet on the other arm; blessing of holy water with salt, to which wine was added; consecration of all the altars; procession around the interior three times to sprinkle all the walls; and a variety of other ceremonies, involving singing Litany of the Saints, incensation; unction of all the stones to be fixed to the walls.  They concluded with a Pontifical Mass of the Dedication.  Later, Vespers and Benediction.  ETC!

Such lengthy ceremonies demonstrate to us the usefulness of liturgical reform.  Not even Ezra after the return from exile to Jerusalem, continued the reading of the Law for eight hours.  We are told the people escaped lightly as the reading only went from early morning till noon.

What was the old Church trying to say with its eight hour ceremony?  I think they were ramming home to their congregation and especially to the participating bishops and priests, those most likely to be captured by repetition, that the Church building is holy, a sacred place, a gateway to heaven, where God is worshipped through Christ and the faithful obtain the medicine of immortality.

They did too much, at least by our standards, but we have swung too far in the opposite direction.  We are losing our sense of the sacred.

Sometimes in a Church before Mass there is more friendly chatter, "community building", than there is in many homes where they eat together ranged around the television set.  This is our loss and a grievous loss. 

I am going to conclude by reading excerpts from the sermon preached at the consecration by Archpriest J.J. Therry, but before that I want to say a word or two about Therry.

Even by the harsh and exotic standards of early New South Wales, Therry was a remarkable character.

He fought with all of his religious superiors and many of his peers; he fought with the colonial authorities, and travelled incessantly to serve his poor, ignorant and often convict flock.  Transportation had only stopped in N.S.W. in 1840, but continued in Western Australia until 1868.  Convicts could be punished with 300 lashes.

Therry finished up a rich man with some confusion about what was his and what belonged to the Church.  Among other things he donated the land for Riverview College to the Irish Jesuits rather than to the English Benedictine bishop.  I am sure that it is misleading anti-Jesuit propaganda which alleges that a cordon of Jesuits surrounded him as he was dying less any approach him to change his will.

On one occasion he rode through the night to be present for the execution of a Catholic convict.  He arrived in time to help.  Unfortunately the Protestant minister who was assisting some other unfortunate wretches also under sentence fainted.  Therry was not impressed.

After his dismissal from the post of official chaplain Governor Darling summed up his formidable rival.  If we remember that Darling was an Englishman, who did not admire the Irish, he still captured much of the truth.  The Governor wrote that "Mr. Therry is a man of strong feelings and not much discretion.  He is evidently disposed to be troublesome, and, constituted as this colony is, might be dangerous ....  He is indefatigable in his endeavours to preserve his influence among his countrymen, and is constantly going from place to place with this view.  From the similarity of character, he can hardly fail to succeed ..."

For an account of some elements from the sermon also useful for us, I quote from the account in "The Empire" of February 25, 1862.
"At the conclusion of the Mass, the Very Rev. J.J. Therry, Arch-priest, preached the consecration sermon, turning his face to the people and addressing them in English".  All the prayers of course were said in Latin by the priest with his back to the people, "facing God".
Father Therry began by praising
"St. Benedict, one of the 'little ones' referred to in the words of the Blessed Saviour-humble and teachable.  He then related the early history of St. Benedict, who came to Rome to get learning, but meeting at school vicious youths, to shun their evil example fled to the wilderness.  St. Gregory said of him that he (St. Benedict) was scienter nesciens et sapienter indoctus, because he preferred purity of manners and piety to learning without these.  From the example of St. Benedict, [Father Therry] recommended that youth should be sent to schools presided over by the clergy.

"The very reverend preacher reminded his hearers of the holiness of the consecrated temple, and of the sin of profaning it.  He appealed to the example of the two sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, who were struck dead for profaning the altar of God, and of Heliogabulus, who by the order of his king Seleucus demanded of Onias, the sovereign pontiff, the treasures of the temple.  No sooner had Heliogabulus insulted the High Priest, than a horseman appearing in the temple trampled him down, and two other horseman of extreme beauty perpetually followed him, and harassed him, until Onias interceded for him in prayer, and he was forgiven.

"And Solomon's splendid temple was not so dear to God [Father Therry explained] as that [St. Benedict's] in which they were seated.  They had not, indeed, the ark of the covenant, the tables of the law, and Aaron's rod; but they had what was more precious in the sight of God, they had then the body and blood of His Son....  The very reverend preacher reminded his hearers that they, the whole company of the faithful, were the living temple of God.  As their beloved archbishop had consecrated the church to God, he called upon them to consecrate themselves to God as his temple, to shun all sin which defiles the temple, and not to let the sufferings and labours of Christ be in vain as to them; for Jesus loved them, and gave himself for them".
In these words we find the secrets to Therry's religious influence.  He was a great priest, heroic in his hard work and sacrifices, genuine in his faith and devotion to Christ and the Church, even as he fought with all and sundry with undiminished zeal until the end of his life.  His faith is the ancient faith, our faith, the source of Catholic vitality.

We thank God for all the blessings granted in this Church over 150 years in times good and bad, happy and sad.  The Church now lies at the heart of a young, expanding Catholic university; a wonderful symbol.  We thank God for this.

We pray that the worshipping community here in St. Benedict's will remain for decades and decades to come as a source of faith, hope and love, sending out streams of living water to the university and to the surrounding parishioners.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Cardinal George Pell, then Metropolitan Archbishop of Sydney
his geographical responsibilities were rather less than those of
the 27 yrs old Dr William Ullathorne!

Yes ,we might say that Cardinal Pell is "a tough cookie"but it is a compliment for the man who says that "All I do is teach what the Catholic Church teaches and do what the Catholic Church does, and let the chips fall where they may." God Bless him - if only Cardinal Ouellet could find us more like him , what a transformed Church we would have in Australia.

Thursday, May 25, 2017


Rev Deacon ONYEAGOLU, Tochukwu
 I have the privilege , and permission to re-produce here the following Reflection by Rev Deacon ONYEAGOLU, Tochukwu , on the occasion of his birthday. I believe it is insightful and inspiring and important for each one of us to absorb and reflect upon.

"I can't believe I am a human being. I have searched for the meaning of a human being in the best of literature and humanities. The findings are sobering for me. The image of man found in the sacred pages of the scripture is too exotic. The book of Genesis, that sacred volume reveals man as the image of God. With all my flaws as a man, those golden words are not meant for me. Of man Shakespeare wrote: "What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world. The paragon of animals. And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?" These ornate lines are beyond my constitution as a man. As a man, I have lived below the biblical and humanistic ideal of a real human being. Yet I am still a human being. O God! Why me?Why do I mean so much to you? The best have died. Some who could have been better than me had they existed, were not allowed to see the light of day. Yet you gave me life. It is not for any merit that I know. Life is a privilege. Let me never forget this truth.There is a saying that privilege blinds. Let me never be blinded by my privileges. As I say this, I call on history to educate me on the pitfalls of privilege. Let history always remind me of Marie Antoinette, the last Queen of France and Navarre before the French Revolution. Marie Antoinette is mostly remembered in history for one careless remark she made. When the noble French lady was told that French peasants had no bread to eat, she was quoted to have said: “Let them eat cake.” Her audience were stunned. How can poor peasants who could not afford ordinary bread be told to eat cake instead? Alas, wealth and royalty have spoiled this lady of gold and purple, this great matriarch from the bloodline of kings and rulers. The queen does not understand the poverty in the French of pre-revolution era. The remark probably reflects her majesty’s blindness from the privileges of French royalty.
As I commemorate my birthday today, this beautiful day of Ascension, I want to make it clear that I am no Marie Antoinette. Neither wealth nor royalty has spoiled this little man. I am rather overwhelmed by the full weight of my own sense of privilege. It is weighing me down like a mighty pendulum. My sense of privilege comes from the knowledge that so many factors have made my life what it is.They are factors beyond my designs and foresight of planning.
My first sense of privilege comes from the Almighty God who has made even me a human being. To him be honour and praise forever. Amen.
My second sense of privilege comes from my many fiends and well-wishers who have always stood by me despite my obvious flaws. I thank God for my family: My mother, brothers and sisters. Stanley Chinenye Mbo Arinze Onyeagolu Chekwube Onyeagolu Jessica Ani Bebra Kenechi Akunechendo Obeleagu, Ngozi, Uche, Ify.
I have the love of God and that of men before me as I celebrate my birthday today. They are indeed gifts of grace, privileges that have given this day its unique appeal. . HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME."

Re-produced with Permission. The copyright of course remains the property of Rev. Deacon ONYEAGOLU, Tochukwu.

What a great Blessing he is for the Church in Nigeria and what a great and holy Priest he will make in the coming months. God Bless him more and ,more and all to whom he ministers.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


                                                         SAINT PETER'S BASILICA

“For one must realize that the Church is at once conservative and revolutionary. Indeed the church of Jesus Christ has to be necessarily conservative. It has to preserve the deposit of revelation whole and unchangeable, since she exists for the precise purpose of keeping it and transmitting it I all fidelity. She has to preserve the full force of the sacraments, which are springs of supernatural life, and it is not in her power to suppress or add any single one because they were instituted by Christ and the Church exists in order to administer them. She has to preserve the moral norms and teach them constantly to all mankind. She has to show the way to salvation and she cannot give in to any error in any of these norms, because that would be tantamount to compromising with sin, and therefore, to opposing redemption 
which would obviously run contrary to her own essence.” 

Father Federico Suarez "The Narrow Gate" Published 1971

Memo to : Cardinals Maradiaga, Coccopalmerio and Kasper and their Patron.

Sunday, May 21, 2017



                                                                  CARDINAL ROBERT SARAH
"Ever since I first read the Letters of Saint Ignatius of Antioch in the 1950s, one passage from his Letter to the Ephesians has particularly affected me: “It is better to keep silence and be [a Christian] than to talk and not to be. Teaching is an excellent thing, provided the speaker practices what he teaches. Now, there is one Teacher who spoke and it came to pass. And even what He did silently is worthy of the Father. He who has truly made the words of Jesus his own is able also to hear His silence, so that he may be perfect: so that he may act through his speech and be known through his silence” (15, 1f.). What does that mean: to hear Jesus’s silence and to know him through his silence? We know from the Gospels that Jesus frequently spent nights alone “on the mountain” in prayer, in conversation with his Father. We know that his speech, his word, comes from silence and could mature only there. So it stands to reason that his word can be correctly understood only if we, too, enter into his silence, if we learn to hear it from his silence.
Certainly, in order to interpret Jesus’s words, historical knowledge is necessary, which teaches us to understand the time and the language at that time. But that alone is not enough if we are really to comprehend the Lord’s message in depth. Anyone today who reads the ever-thicker commentaries on the Gospels remains disappointed in the end. He learns a lot that is useful about those days and a lot of hypotheses that ultimately contribute nothing at all to an understanding of the text. In the end you feel that in all the excess of words, something essential is lacking: entrance into Jesus’s silence, from which his word is born. If we cannot enter into this silence, we will always hear the word only on its surface and thus not really understand it.
As I was reading the new book by Robert Cardinal Sarah, all these thoughts went through my soul again. Sarah teaches us silence—being silent with Jesus, true inner stillness, and in just this way he helps us to grasp the word of the Lord anew. Of course he speaks hardly at all about himself, but now and then he does give us a glimpse into his interior life. In answer to Nicolas Diat’s question, “At times in your life have you thought that words were becoming too cumbersome, too heavy, too noisy?,” he answers: “In my prayer and in my interior life, I have always felt the need for a deeper, more complete silence. … The days of solitude, silence, and absolute fasting have been a great support. They have been an unprecedented grace, a slow purification, and a personal encounter with … God. … Days of solitude, silence, and fasting, nourished by the Word of God alone, allow man to base his life on what is essential.” These lines make visible the source from which the cardinal lives, which gives his word its inner depth. From this vantage point, he can then see the dangers that continually threaten the spiritual life, of priests and bishops also, and thus endanger the Church herself, too, in which it is not uncommon for the Word to be replaced by a verbosity that dilutes the greatness of the Word. I would like to quote just one sentence that can become an examination of conscience for every bishop: “It can happen that a good, pious priest, once he is raised to the episcopal dignity, quickly falls into mediocrity and a concern for worldly success. Overwhelmed by the weight of the duties that are incumbent on him, worried about his power, his authority, and the material needs of his office, he gradually runs out of steam.”
Cardinal Sarah is a spiritual teacher, who speaks out of the depths of silence with the Lord, out of his interior union with him, and thus really has something to say to each one of us.
We should be grateful to Pope Francis for appointing such a spiritual teacher as head of the congregation that is responsible for the celebration of the liturgy in the Church. With the liturgy, too, as with the interpretation of Sacred Scripture, it is true that specialized knowledge is necessary. But it is also true of the liturgy that specialization ultimately can talk right past the essential thing unless it is grounded in a deep, interior union with the praying Church, which over and over again learns anew from the Lord himself what adoration is. With Cardinal Sarah, a master of silence and of interior prayer, the liturgy is in good hands."
Benedict XVI writes from Vatican City.
This essay was written as an afterword for, and will appear in a future printing of, Robert Cardinal Sarah’s The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise, published last month by Ignatius Press.


Cardinal blasts Cardinal Burke for defending faith: ‘A poor man’ who ‘wanted power and lost it’
ROME, May 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The head of Pope Francis’ powerful group of nine Cardinals entrusted his Vatican reforms has issued another attack on Cardinal Raymond Burke.
Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga sharply rebukes Burke in an interview with Father Antonio Carriero for the new book, Solo il Vangelo è rivoluzionario (“Only the Gospel is Revolutionary”).
Burke “is a disappointed man, in that he wanted power and lost it. He thought he was the maximum authority in the United States,” claims Maradiaga.
                                            CARDINAL RAYMOND BURKE
“He’s not the magisterium . . . The Holy Father is the magisterium, and he’s the one who teaches the whole Church. This other [person] speaks only his own thoughts, which don’t merit further comment.”
“They are the words of a poor man.”
Maradiaga then made his attacks more general: “These currents of the Catholic right are persons who seek power and not the truth, and the truth is one . . . If they claim to find some ‘heresy’ in the words of Francis, they’re making a big mistake, because they’re thinking only like men and not as the Lord wants.”
“What sense does it have to publish writings against the pope, which don’t damage him but ordinary people? What does a right-wing closed on certain points accomplish? Nothing!”

"Ordinary people are with the pope, this is completely clear.  I see that everywhere.”
“Those who are proud, arrogant, who believe they have a superior intellect … poor people! Pride is also a form of poverty.”
Maradiaga’s claims about Burke are “the opposite of the truth,” according to Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, writing on his blog.
Fr. Zuhlsdorf quoted Our Lady’s message at Akita, Japan, where she prophesied that “the work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops.”
“Today we have an example of a cardinal against a cardinal,” the priest wrote. “While we grant that cardinals have always been against cardinals, today’s conflicts are particularly disturbing.  The stakes are very high, the points of dispute are serious, and the role of social media amplify the confusion.”
Fr. Zuhlsdorf concludes, “The judgement of Card. Burke which Card. Rodriguez has somewhat rashly asserted is, quite simply, the opposite of the truth.  I don’t doubt, however, that he sincerely believes what he said about his brother in the College.”
                                             CARDINAL RAYMOND BURKE

Pope Francis removed Cardinal Burke as head of the Vatican’s supreme court in 2014.  Burke has long been a leading conservative voice in the Church who, among other things, has publicly questioned the Pope’s efforts to allow Catholics who divorce and civilly remarry to receive communion.  
After the publication of Amoris Laetita, Burke and three other cardinals submitted a ste of dubia to Pope Francis, seeking clarification on five specific points of confusion raised by the document.  Eight months later, the pontiff has yet to respond.
In the months since submitting the dubiaother cardinals and bishops have expressed their support for the effort to gain clarification from the Holy See.
Still, Maradiaga insists, “I think that one of the qualities we cardinals [should have] is loyalty.  Even if we don’t all think the same way, we still have to be loyal to Peter,” and whoever doesn’t offer that loyalty, “is just seeking attention.”
“The greatest problem . . . is the disorientation that’s created among people when they read affirmations of bishops and cardinals against the Holy Father.”
In a radio interview in March, Maradiaga said of the cardinals who authored the dubia, "I know the four and I say that they are already in retirement . . . They should do something else."  He continued, “I would not want to put it – shall we say – too strongly; only God knows people’s consciences and inner motivations; but, from the outside it seems to me to be a new pharisaism."
Last year, documents released by Wikileaks showed George Soros' Open Society Foundation hoped to work through Maradiaga to influence American Catholic bishops during the Pope's visit to the U.S.  The foundation paid $650,000 to influence Pope Francis’ September 2015 visit to the USA with a view to “shift[ing] national paradigms and priorities in the run-up to the 2016 presidential campaign.”
In 2015, Maradiaga participated in the "shadow synod" that attacked Church teaching and contributed to the subversion of the two synods on the family."

 The above report comes from Life Site News.

                                                        PROTECTOR AND PROTEGE
The comments of Cardinal Maradiaga are not only demonstrably erroneous , and plainly contrary to reality as anyone who has heard Cardinal Burke speak or seen his writings readily knows. But beyond that, these comments are loutish, crude and contemptible- entirely unworthy of any Cardinal. Here again we are forced to reflect on the fact that this unforunate man is a protege, confidant and aide to Pope Francis. He thus joins the sad ranks of such others as Cardinal Kasper, Cardinal Coccopalmerio, and others who Pope Francis has gathered close to himself.