Saturday, May 20, 2006

Over 50 Lovely Photos From AbbayeBarroux

These have been making the rounds in our circles lately, and I wanted to be sure everyone gets a chance to see them.

Much better than the tiny photos available on Barroux's main site.

Heartiest Congratulations To the Bettinellis And Welcome To A New-Born Catholic

The blessed event has come for Melanie and Dom Bettinelli!

Remember in your prayers a new-born Catholic, Isabella Marie Bettinelli, born Thursday May 18th, at 7 pounds, 9 ounces. Melanie and Isabella are doing very well.

God bless them all.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

What the Heck Is Wrong With the Archbishop of Cannes???!!!!

Why did he attend the premiere of Dan Brown's blasphemy, and pronounce it "safe for Catholic consumption"? And is he going be called on the carpet for this insanity?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Our Flooding

Well, New England is having the worst flooding in 70 years. Some rainfall totals since Friday:

Peabody: 11.5 inches
Boston: 8.5 inches
Salisbury: 17 inches
Salem: 10.9 inches.

Lots of people have lost power, lots of people have been evacuated, and many more have flooded basements. Please pray for them.

Good news: No one has died as a result of the flooding. The sun came out yesterday evening, and is shining today.

Bishop Finn, Opus Dei, and the Latin Mass

In my late quiessence, I omitted mentioning the excellent work that Bishop Finn, who is affiliated with Opus Dei, has done. The National Catholic Reporter is after him, and that, as far as I am concerned, is a sure indication that he is in the right, and that his reforms are salutary. He has all the right enemies.

Here is an open topic that has been on the back burner with me, simmering at the edge of thought. One of Bishop Finn's first acts was generous treatment for the Latin Mass community in his diocese. And the priest who is responsible for the late conversikons of Senator Brownback, Judge Bork, and Robert Novak is also affiliated with Opus Dei. Judge Bork has always been close to Justice Scalia, who is a regular at the Latin Mass.

Now, though most Opus Dei members are very traditional Catholics, people who make a daily holy hour, pray the Rosary, and undertake other devotions and mortifications, I don't think Opus Dei takes a position on the traditional Latin Mass. The confluence between Latin Mass attendance and Opus Dei has never, I think, been discussed.

Officially, Opus Dei is in line with whatever the local bishop does regarding the Latin Mass. But I would not be surprised if there isn't a high degree of fellow-feeling between these two groups on the Right of the Church.

Might traditionalists within the Church and in Communion with the Holy Father(meaning indult-goers) benefit by closer relations with Opus Dei? Might our ranks not swell by more openess to Opus Dei members, most of whom, I bet, are too young to have experienced the Latin Mass, and would be deeply moved by the beauty of this worship, as long as it is licit in the eyes of the local bishop.

Might Opus Dei be the lever we need to get more freedom of worship out of local bishops and out of Rome? Remember, Father Georg Ganschwein, the Holy Father's personal secretary, who has his ear constantly, taught at Opus Dei's college in Rome.

Worth further follow-up through informal networking between Ecclesia Dei leaders and Opus Dei? I think so. And even down at our level in the pews, if you know an Opus Dei member, and are blessed with an indult Mass near you, invite him or her to Mass with you. It couldn't hurt.


Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, was received into the Church this year. Many welcomes to Rome, Sweet Rome!

An Very Mediocre Establishment Pick

The Holy Father's picks for filling vacancies in the American episcopate has a very uneven quality. This was true of the late Pope John Paul, as well. Despite some excellent picks (Finn, Vasa, Olmstead, Bruskewitz, Chaput, George) there is a tendency to go with the "establishment" candidate a distressing number of times, leading to lousy milqtoasty bishops in leading positions. Another example has just come down, the naming of soft-on-abortion and soft-on-gay-culture Bishop Donald Wuerl as Archbishop of Washington DC, in place of the equally nondescript Cardinal McCarrick.

I could name ten American priests at least who would make better Archbishops of Washington, and who I would rather see voting for the next pope (because the position warrants a red hat almost automatically). Names? Father Fessio. Father Groeschel. Father Joseph Wilson. Father Rutler. Father Sistare. Father Tucker. Father Keyes. Father Dennis Brown, OMV. Father Buckley, FSSP. Father Demets, FSSP.

Is this the Levada Effect? The Holy Father thinks highly of Cardinal Levada, and brought him back to Rome to serve him directly, taking up his old job. And it may be that the Holy Father did not do this, as I speculated, to kick a lousy bishop upstairs into a posiiton directly under his own thumb and where he would have little real discretion, and make room for a bishop in his own mold (obviously not, since poor San Franscico, so badly in need of a strong shepherd, like a young John O'Connor, or fiesty young Bruskewitz, got Neideraur, who is probably worse than Levada, McCarrick, or Wuerl). It may well be that the Holy Father is actually being guided by the useless personnel recommendations of Cardinal Levada.

Appointments like this make Cardinal O'Malley and even Bishop Lennon look good.

The American episcopate improved greqatly with the retirements of Bishops Weakland and Gumbleton. And there is a lot of possibility for improvement, with many retirements in the next few years. And the church in the US desperately needs many new bihops in the mold of Bishop Bruskewitz. What it doesn't need is 100 more Levadas, Wuerls, Neideraurs, or McCarricks.

And if we keep stuffing the College of Cardinals with Wuerls, who will vote for an excellent choice like Cardinal Pell to be the next pope? The Holy Father really ought to treat these appointments on a more idealogical/partisan basis, just like presidents do Supreme Court appointments. The objective is not to get someone who is a member of the USCCB good-old-boys club, but a great shepherd, and one who will vote for a great and very traditional prelate in the next conclave. And to get there, the Holy Father will have to break his reliance on trusted former aides like Cardinal Levada, and read more about what priests and bishops have done. Are they wasting time pimping for illegal aliens and for more welfare spending, or are they preaching Christ and Him crucified and fighting as hard as anyone can against the scourges of legal abortion, gay "marriage" and so on?

Monday, May 15, 2006

All Sacraments Under the Pre-Vatican II Norms Are Valid

Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos has written in his official capacity as head of the Ecclesia Dei commission, to Archbishop Burke, and among the items he mentioned is that all sacraments as said before the 1970 Missal, remain valid.

This is very important for couples who might like to marry in a traditional Nuptial Wedding Mass, or people who want to have a traditional Requiem for funerals, week's minds, month's minds, and year's minds, as well as traditional baptisms and confirmations.

Boston Makes Way For Ducks...On City Streets

We have had such dreadful weather the last three weeks, with scarcely any sun, but rain, often heavy, drizzle, mist, fog, and ever-present clouds that one has to laugh about it, or just go about glum all the time. And I don't feel glum.

So here are some jokes I have heard about Boston's Monsoons of May.

"I went fishing for tuna, in Copley Square."

"Animals are lining up spontaneously two by two."

"Home Depot is trying to secure a big supply of gopher wood."

"Just how big is a cubit, anyway."

"Shall we walk, or take a kayak?"

"Fascinating. I had never seen white water on Beacon Hill before."

"Noah only had 40 days of this. We've beaten his record."

"Well, at least the ducks, geese, and swans in the Public Garden are happy."

"I crossed Kenmore Square yesterday, and came down with the Bends."

"We're in trouble. The rats are headed for higher ground."

Personally, I have locked umbrellas with other pedestrians continuously, forded raging rivers that used to be MBTA stations, and watched in facsination as water coursed down Joy Street in a stream they could have filmed The African Queen in.

You know that universal scowl everyone has after a week of rain? Well its endemic here. And the worst is yet to come, with more heavy rain Tuesday into Thursday. But this too, shall pass. One of these days, the clouds will lift, the sun will re-emerge, and the skies will be blue again.

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