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Today’s Catholic must-reads: 03/09/14

A daily guide to what’s happening in the Catholic Church

By on Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Francis blesses a child after today's general audience (AP)

Francis blesses a child after today's general audience (AP)

Francis told Iraqi Christians that “the Church suffers with you and is proud of you” at this morning’s general audience (full text, short video, full video).

The Pope also expressed his solidarity with laid-off workers at a steel plant in central Italy.

SSPX leader Bishop Bernard Fellay will meet Vatican doctrinal chief Cardinal Gerhard Müller this month, according to reports.

ISIS is taking advantage of European countries’ failure to provide for Muslim youth, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi has said.

Fr Samir Khalil Samir SJ challenges Muslims “to rethink Islam for today’s world“.

Michael O’Loughlin says a mistranslated Latin word “may be responsible for the conspiracy theories about the Vatican Secret Archives“.

And Brandon Vogt captures his five-year-old son saying Mass with a children’s Mass kit.

Follow me on Twitter @lukecoppen for updates throughout the day.


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  • Mhairi

    Cute photograph. But it’s not from inside a Catholic Church, so it’s kinda misleading. How do I know? Well, enlarge it and you’ll see the minister is wearing a tie and the Communion table is laid out in typical Methodist (or maybe low church Episcopal) style, but it sure ain’t a Catholic parish.

  • Ana Milan

    It is most unfair for Archbishop Tomasi to lay the blame for IS barbarism at the doors of European countries who have afforded their families homes, schools, mosques, health cover etc. to a standard they never knew before. The blame for IS barbarism has to be laid firmly at the feet of their bigoted Imams and political leaders who have been stirring the fire for these young men to carry out such atrocities in the name of Allah over a long period of time.

    It would be much more suitable for the Vatican to support our fellow Christians in the Middle East who are being slaughtered for their adherence to the faith and refrain from any further contact with these people who are only interested in ensuring that Sharia Law is enforced globally and who carry out indescribable atrocities on women – FGM, child marriage, trafficking etc.

  • la catholic state

    I accept no blame on my part!

  • Jacobi

    The quicker the SSPX is fully reconciled with the Vatican the better. That there is
    still any supposed separation is a scandal. A sinful scandal.

    The SSPX doctrinal position is pre -Vatican II, as indeed is mine, but more
    importantly, as is Benedict XVI’s.

    “The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately
    chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet many
    treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of super dogma which takes
    away the importance of all the rest.”

    Given the appalling diversity of belief amongst so-called “Catholics” these days, the
    widespread ignorance and heterodoxy as well as the diverse and in some cases laughable variations of the Novus Ordo we all have to put up with – all tolerated by the Vatican – that an orthodox Catholic traditional group whose only fault is to hold the Catholic Mass of Ages as they are fully permitted to do so by Summorum Pontificum, is well let’s just say a scandal and a sinful one at that.

  • MEENA999

    If this break-away group’s doctrinal position were simply pre-Vatican 2 and if Vatican 2 defined no new dogma at all, then all problems of reconciliation would have vanished long ago – indeed they would not have arisen.

    Although the Church’s message is unchanging, some of us are aware that the context into which it applies is not unchanging. It is the meaning of dogma in the context of the present age that is the important matter.
    It serves no useful purpose to address those who understand this with either intolerant accusations of ignorance, heterodoxy and apostasy or the disgraceful use of the adjective “laughable” to describe a form of the Mass.

  • Cassandra

    No the West has take its share of the blame. It conducts imperial wars and the result has been to radicalize Islam. The damn Crusades did the same thing. Each time ignorant and foolish Westerners interfere they make things worse for Christians of the Middle East.
    Oh by the way Lawrence of Arabia was so disgusted with our leaders that he retired in disgust to the West Country.

  • Guest GBOP LHUA

    No, nor I; other than that I am a sinner before God and man .. penitent, forgiven by the Lord, Jesus Christ, Himself, in Person, with His Bride, the Catholic Church – no Other, and still amending my life (as I live). That Mea Culpa is genuine, the Archbishop’s J’accuse seems mere Uriah-Heep-ery run mad; as is the prevailing mood! Who, after all, is the Sovereign Pontiff to judge, if the Archbishop says he also confesses (with or without amendment)?


  • Guest GBOP LHUA

    ‘.. an orthodox Catholic traditional group whose only fault is to hold the Catholic Mass of Ages as they are fully permitted to do so by Summorum Pontificum ..’

    No J, otherwise as I appreciate – and agree with – your basic position, this does not hold – at least not for the SSPX. It does for the Latin Mass Society, and the foundations established by St John Paul II to promote the Ancient Use, authentic liturgy, and Sacred Tradition .. intact; the SSPX differs in its resort to basically protestant measures. Now, given the situation, foot-dragging, insecurity, hostility of the wider episcopate, raging disobedience and error at large, the choice of the Society – or rather Archbishop Lefebvre on its behalf – was more than understandable .. but no less schismatic in character.

    It is this character of disobedience – and understandable mistrust – that still needs to be addressed and resolved, gracefully, from the Lord; please God this informal meeting may be the start of genuine reconciliation (for at least part of the Society) with Rome (at least in part of its officialdom).


  • Guest GBOP LHUA

    Sadly, M999, yes, that remains the case. It need not, if graced-good-will were to replace animus, suspicion, and back-biting .. but that takes more than a minor miracle to achieve among the doings of man.

    ‘It is the meaning of dogma in the context of the present age that is the important matter.’

    This, however, is a fundamental misrepresentation of Catholic Dogma; the ‘times’ do not alter the Trinity; understanding, which increases or decreases over time, can aid or mangle how we present that Truth. J’s problem, it seems to me, like yours, is in separating without divorcing ‘dogma’ from understanding of a Dogma; not least in regard to Sacred Tradition. That ‘ignorance, heterodoxy and apostasy’ really do once more prevail among Catholics (not only those who assert ‘c’atholicism as its proper replacement) should not shock us, however much it may dismay – it has happened before, and may again until the ‘Times’ do arrive, dear God preserve us; we cannot say, nonetheless, that heaven did not warn us in many ways of the present chastisement .. and its horrors.


  • Guest GBOP LHUA

    It is fashionable, still, to blame all the woes of the world on Catholicism, the Western society based upon its incomparable efforts, and the baneful influence of the flesh in its witness; but it is no more truthful today than in its infancy, youth or old age. The ‘crusades’ like Islam’s Holy Wars did damage and destroy almost as much as they built or learned; but the crusades differed from capitalist imperialism, dressed up with Christian message, and Islamic or Hebrew Holy War, in that it rested on the moral reasoning of Just War. War must be avoided at all reasonable cost, for its calamity rarely ends in a New Germany, a Freed People, or Righteous Possession of Commonwealth; yet some struggles, however violent or vile, are just .. or we misunderstand the moral character of conflict.



  • Jacobi

    Thank you Guest, a reasonable reply I will try to respond to.
    I cannot see what is protestant about the SSPX, although the Novus Ordo Mass I go to each Sunday is awash with protestantism. Protestant hymns, up to six, laity leading the congregation and dominating the mass most of the time, (priest looking bored) that embarrassing post-Pater Noster non scriptural Doxology, so beloved of Protestants and James I, in particular, I could go on.
    Schism I grant you, and foot dragging, yes. Lack of obedience, and yes, maybe some of them are a bit difficult. But then Heaven will I suspect be full of difficult people. But they are sound Catholics in Continuity and all this should have been sorted out long ago, and their validity should have been restored. And Yes I know all about Williamson!
    But all this compared with the ignorance, heterodoxy and confusion I see around me Sunday after Sunday (and particularly those hymns), their continued separation is a disgrace and one we cannot afford in our yet rapidly collapsing Western Catholic Church.

    ps incidently I have never been to an SSPX service and am not a mole!

  • MEENA999

    There is no point whatever in talking to people in a way that carries no meaning for them.
    Jesus talked in a way that had meaning for people, and they listened.

    And of course I did not say that the truth varies with the age. But the message must have meaning in each age. Much has been written about medium, message and meaning – you should read some of it.

  • MEENA999

    Things (!) i.e. ideas, theories, beliefs, feelings….. can be “understood” or not – and “have meaning for us”/”be meaningful to us” or not. But understanding and meaningfulness are not the same.

    Even in the physical world we may say that certain theories or discoveries have meaning for us, but we would hardly say that we truly understood them. When we go beyond the physical world we should not be surprised if we lack understanding.
    But if things such as Church teaching are meaningless to people, there is no way that the Church can make headway.
    Meaning is King. Understanding is very nice (to have).

    One plus one gives/equals two. This is not a definition or a necessary truism or an axiom – it is a discovery (of the 20th century). It is not obviously true as many believe (eg putting apples together) because numbers are not quantities (although some of them can in some ways sometimes represent quantities). We now understand how it is so that 1+1=2, but before we understood (how it was so) the equation was meaningful and useful as were other things that flowed from it.

  • Guest GBOP LHUA

    ‘I have never been to an SSPX service and am not a mole!’

    The first part is sad, J; while one should only ‘attend’ a Society liturgy with permission or if no other is available – or, in terms of Confession etc in danger of death – this is a matter of canonical authorisation – not one of validity of order (being, as these are, fully to the mind of the Catholic Church .. if not in step with the abuses now considered ‘norms’). I am rather fond of moles, J, destructive as these pests can be .. perhaps youthful recollections of the Mole In The Hole song, nothing more. But a confusion between aping Protestantism – a currently wholesale heresy prevailing in Catholic parishes (and episcopal minds) – with merely being ‘protestant’ in character – evincing the rebellious desire to protest – is what separates us.

    The Society is not, and never could be, Protestant .. its very nature precludes that possibility. The hierarchy in communion with Rome is still, for the greater, all-eagerness to be as Protestant/ Liberal/ Modernist/ Indifferent as it can get away with .. enthralled to false oecumenism and the world and his wife as so many seem to be. But it is the SSPX that officially chose protest over obedience, rebellion over patience.

    Note well, due protest, just rebellion, and impatient choice are not of necessity sins, nor are they wisely dismissed, for they are, quite often, the very stuff of Catholic Orthodoxy in action .. from over-turning tables, to intransigent rejection of imperial orthodoxy, to fiery assault on the sanctuary’s fuming fissure and its engulfing chasm.

    I have had not a few posts here deleted because of just such a heavenly fire (over-heating at patent and impenitent infidelity) – often by the itching-finger of flagged-up PC-ness, yet not infrequently at the hands of the much needed CH Guardian Angels .. who diligently seek to keep us right (for which blessing I give thanks). So to point out that the fiery temper of protest, and the sad-hearted choice of rebellion, are at the core of this issue is not to label one side only as the sinner, and the other solely as the absolver; it is to remind the Catholic, myself first of all, that while called to Struggle one must not do the Accuser’s work for him .. he has more than enough souls wedded to him even in the Church (for that purpose).

    Withal, it is the Truth that we must witness (not our own opinions alone) .. however difficult .. and at whatever cost .. marked always by the submissive (not blind) obedience to our leaders that the Faith requires.


  • Guest GBOP LHUA

    The Truth is our King, as our Way and our Life, M999 – regardless of our level of understanding, or the fond meanings we currently place on this witness of the Faith.

    That wonderful treasure of the Church in England (and Wales), Fr Hunwicke, sets this out more clearly than I could; and 1984 – like Do Re Mi – is a very good place to start.

    God bless, keep up the good work of witness, Meena, and thank you for the reasonable responses .. they are very much appreciated.


  • Jacobi

    Quite the contrary.

    Jesus spoke frequently in riddles. Only 4, I think, weeks back when I managed to get to an FSSP Mass the priest discused the riddle of the steward who wasted his masters goods (8th after Pentecost) and I don’t think any of us had a clear idea at the end of it – but it made us think which I presume was the object of the exercise. The N.O. priest would never have dared stretch our feeble minds with such matters.

    Now the meaning in this age, the 21st century, for instance, of the Real Presence, a doctrine that has been clearly defined by the Magisterium, which is what the Magistetrium is for, is that it is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ under the outward appearance of bread and wine. That was so also in the 20th century as it was say in the the 9th century and at the time of Gregory the Great and before.

    There is no point therefore in talking to people other than clearly, precisely, and in the words we have at our disposal, to state the Truth, or in underestimating their ability, in this age, any less than in earlier ages, to comprehend.

  • Dr Horatio Leicester-Chesters

    I am absolutely desperate for a resolution of the canonical situation of the society. I cannot bear it any longer, it is so horrible, the situation we’re in. I attend Mass at a society chapel, and the canonical situation is something that’s pains me, it essentially comes down to a state of emergency for me, but it is claustrophobic and causes me much suffering. I greatly look forward to the day our little chapel is flooded with new souls, who yet do not feel able to come to us. They will renew the life, purpose and mission of the society.

  • lewispbuckingham

    The Australian response to IS is outlined in this interview with the Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
    He points out that unlike other anarchists in the past, such as the Communists or the Nazis, who always tried to cover up their crimes, IS makes sure everyone knows on you tube, as each beheading is dutifully recorded.

  • Jacobi


    That I have never been to an SSXP Mass is sad. That I would have cause to feel inhibited in attending such a fully valid Catholic Mass in Continuity, is not only sad but scandalous.

    I have probably confused validity and licitness. I am not a lawyer. The SSPX Mass is fully valid, the order is not? The Novus Ordo, even in some of its exceedingly odd and ever increasing number of variations, is valid, but whether such variations and abuses, often implicitly heretical, are proper and honourable, or even sinless,
    is another matter.

    Your comments about the hierarchy in Rome interest me. The Church has simply not come to terms with, or even yet admitted to the real attempt during and after Vatican II to “Modernise”,
    or “Relativise”. This battle still has to be fought and meanwhile the Catholic Church continues to decay and proceed rapidly down the plug hole. I suppose in an earlier age we would have the bill hooks and broadswords out by now. At least our forebears were honest.

    Bishop Schneider has said we are in the fourth great crisis of the Church, requiring at least a Syllabus of erroneous Interpretations of Vatican II. That is but a statement of the glaringly obvious. Until we have this and it will probably require another Council so it will not be soon, the mess will get worse and the young will continue to just fade away.

    ps By the way, ref your video. Yes, Voris is the sort of young (relatively so) Catholic who will save the Church.

  • la catholic state


  • la catholic state

    Islam was radicalised from the beginning. I remember reading an account of the Muslim invasion of the South of France. It was terrifying. Also the First Crusade was undertaken in response to a cry for help from the Eastern Byzantines over marauding Islamists. Would you have ignored their pleas for help?! Western Catholics left hearth and home to answer their desperate calls and put their own lives on the line. That’s charity.

    To blame Europeans for everything bad that happens in the Middle East… won’t save anyone on the Last Day.

  • Guest GBOP LHUA

    Spot on; the Truth is clear enough – only the means of conveying it may seem to lie in riddles, metaphors, and parables! This is the example viewed and dismissed in the Second Vatican Council; the original Schema were certainly clear, even if at times dull, in conveying all the ancient mysteries, the move away from these was to lacquer vague – then current – ideas and meanings on to the same mysteries, thereby merely obscuring them .. in the interest of making things easier for the world (and his wife) to understand/ accept (sic)! And who today even reads the Council Fathers’ actual texts, let alone their founding Schema, key reference points, and the origins of quotes used – rather than impose their own personal meaning on what others made of them?


  • Guest GBOP LHUA

    True, I did not say it was ‘c’atholic (it never could be Catholic). I ask only that those who propose setting Islam in today’s madness would not deliver what those proposers would best like.

    An excellent article by Fr L-S in the CH for today, the 4th of September, on ISIS seeking to bully the world, should make modernisers pause and consider the horrors that their fond notions would unleash upon us all; the terror-merchants are plenty modernised enough in their ideology and methods.

    However, the beautiful little video (linked above) shows the good and the woeful in Modernised Catholicism aka ‘c’atholicism. It is a wonderful ballet, and ought to be viewed (properly) as a devotional act, a sacramental – not as part of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (and that, I believe, is how it was performed: devotionally, as a hymn or organ recital). It is like the processions, festivals, holy days of a brutally suppressed past; I realise this is not what many today want to hear, yet it is the truth notwithstanding – and I trust you will look into the many, various and joyous little local customs which made their home in Catholicism .. without seeking to deform or reformulate the divine liturgy (it is the least one can do – to understand such devout holiness to God).


  • Guest GBOP LHUA

    Scandalous indeed!

    Ask the main-man on the web-world who delivers the mark of Zorro – and Fr Z kudos points – aka the horse’s mouth himself, hmm, hmm!

    So for as I can tell the Order of Mass itself is valid and licit, as authorised (by the Holy Father, the local ordinary, and Canon Law); it is not validly offered/ received as part of/ comparable to the Roman Rite, if no such authorising licence (licit) is given; the SSPX does not yet have that authorisation (Orthodox priests in general do, very properly; so too do some heterodox Catholic priests who, specifically, have such licence – God help us!)


    PS I believe such SSPX Masses at St Peter’s are not altogether unknown .. though not a few local ordinaries are harsher still in their application of charity (toward truly orthodox Catholics, still awaiting authority and licence and communion from the Sovereign Pontiff).