Ad Te Levávi Ánimam Meam

To Thee have I lifted up my soul (Introit – 1st Sunday of Advent)

Archive for April, 2009

Mary Ann Glendon Declines Laetare Medal

Posted by james0235 on April 28, 2009

Former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Mary Ann Glendon has written to Fr. Jenkins, President of Notre Shame, to inform him that she will not accept the Laetare Medal.

A few excepts (with my emphasis):

I could not help but be dismayed by the news that Notre Dame also planned to award the president an honorary degree. This, as you must know, was in disregard of the U.S. bishops’ express request of 2004 that Catholic institutions “should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles” and that such persons “should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.

It is with great sadness, therefore, that I have concluded that I cannot accept the Laetare Medal or participate in the May 17 graduation ceremony.

Full Text of her letter

Talk about integrity! Now, if only an actual Catholic University would step up to honor her.

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Good Shepherd Sunday

Posted by james0235 on April 26, 2009

In the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite today, the 2nd Sunday after Easter, is known as Good Shepherd Sunday. The Gospel Reading (John 10:11-16) relates how Jesus is the Shepherd of our Souls.

In the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite Good Shepherd Sunday will be celebrated (with similar Gospel Readings:  Year A – John 10:1-10 | Year B – John 10:11-18 | Year C – John 10:27-30) in one week, on the 4th Sunday of Easter.

The following Homily of Pope St. Gregory the Great on Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd is found in the Office of Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours for the 4th Sunday of Easter:

I am the good shepherd. I know my own – by which I mean, I love them – and my own know me. In plain words: those who love me are willing to follow me, for anyone who does not love the truth has not yet come to know it.

My dear brethren, you have heard the test we pastors have to undergo. Turn now to consider how these words of our Lord imply a test for yourselves also. Ask yourselves whether you belong to his flock, whether you know him, whether the light of his truth shines in your minds. I assure you that it is not by faith that you will come to know him, but by love; not by mere conviction, but by action. John the evangelist is my authority for this statement. He tells us that anyone who claims to know God without keeping his commandments is a liar.

Consequently, the Lord immediately adds: As the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for my sheep. Clearly he means that laying down his life for his sheep gives evidence of his knowledge of the Father and the Father’s knowledge of him. In other words, by the love with which he dies for his sheep he shows how greatly he loves his Father.

Again he says: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them; they follow me, and I give them eternal life. Shortly before this he had declared: If anyone enters the sheepfold through me he shall be saved; he shall go freely in and out and shall find good pasture. He will enter into a life of faith; from faith he will go out to vision, from belief to contemplation, and will graze in the good pastures of everlasting life.

So our Lord’s sheep will finally reach their grazing ground where all who follow him in simplicity of heart will feed on the green pastures of eternity. These pastures are the spiritual joys of heaven. There the elect look upon the face of God with unclouded vision and feast at the banquet of life for ever more.

Beloved brothers, let us set out for these pastures where we shall keep joyful festival with so many of our fellow citizens. May the thought of their happiness urge us on! Let us stir up our hearts, rekindle our faith, and long eagerly for what heaven has in store for us. To love thus is to be already on our way. No matter what obstacles we encounter, we must not allow them to turn us aside from the joy of that heavenly feast. Anyone who is determined to reach his destination is not deterred by the roughness of the road that leads to it. Nor must we allow the charm of success to seduce us, or we shall be like a foolish traveller who is so distracted by the pleasant meadows through which he is passing that he forgets where he is going.

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Regina Coeli

Posted by james0235 on April 26, 2009

The Regina Coeli replaces the Angelus in the Easter Season

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Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum. Habemus Papam!

Posted by james0235 on April 19, 2009

pope-benedict-xviAnnuntio vobis gaudium magnum; habemus Papam: Eminentissimum ac Reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum Josephum Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalem Ratzinger qui sibi nomen imposuit Benedictum XVI

I announce to you a great joy: We have a Pope,
the Most Eminent and Reverend Joseph,
Cardinal of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, Ratzinger Who has taken the name of Benedict XVI.

Four years ago today, only 3 days after his birthday,  Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was elected Pope by his fellows in the College of Cardinals. He now reigns gloriously as Pope Benedict XVI. May God grant him many years!

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Notre Shame

Posted by james0235 on April 19, 2009

The Ripper

Last chance to sign the petition to Fr. Jenkins, C.S.C to urge him to disinvite Barack “the Butcher” Obama from giving the commencement address at the University of Notre Dame on May 17th and receiving an honorary degree from the same institution. The petitions will be printed tomorrow, April 20th.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops says:
“The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”
USCCB,  Catholics in Political Life (empasis original)

Over 30 U.S. Bishops, including USCCB President Francis Cardinal George, have publicly condemned the actions of Fr. Jenkins. On May 3rd Bishop Wenski of the diocese of Orlando will offer Mass at the Cathedral in Reparation for the sins against life being commited by Fr. Jenkins and the University of Notre Dame.

Sign the Petition!

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The Pope’s Baptism

Posted by james0235 on April 11, 2009

(Reposted from last year)

young-ratzinger.jpgI was born on Holy Saturday, April 16, 1927, in Marktl am Inn. The fact that my day of birth was the last day of Holy Week and the eve of Easter has always been noted in our family history. This was connected with the fact that I was baptized immediately on the morning of the day I was born with the water that had just been blessed. (At that time the solemn Easter Vigil was celebrated on the morning of Holy Saturday.) To be the first person baptized with the new water was seen as a significant act of Providence. I have always been filled with thanksgiving for having had my life immersed in this way in the Easter mystery, since this could only be a sign of blessing. To be sure, it was not Easter Sunday but Holy Saturday, but, the more I reflect on it, the more this seems to be fitting for the nature of our human life: we are still awaiting Easter; we are not yet standing in the full light but walking toward it full of trust.

(Joseph Ratzinger, Milestones: Memories, 1927-1977, p. 8 )


We know that he went on to accomplish great things. The question now is how many future priests, bishops, or even popes are being baptized? How many future deacons? How many future nuns? And most importantly of all: how many future saints?

Be sure to ask anyone you know being baptized or entering into full Communion with the Catholic Church  if they have ever given any thought to their vocation.

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Divine Mercy Novena

Posted by james0235 on April 10, 2009

Good Friday is the start of the Divine Mercy Novena.

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Blessed Is The Wood

Posted by james0235 on April 10, 2009

I first came across this one a few years ago. And it never seems to be far from my mind in Holy Week:

For blessed is the wood by which righteousness comes.
Wisdom 14:7 RSVCE

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Annual Liturgical Abuse Day

Posted by james0235 on April 9, 2009

This is a topic that typically makes some people very angry. And the ones who get angry over this are almost always the ones who are in favor of a particular widespread practice that the Church condemns.

On multiple occasions the Holy See has condemned the practice of washing the feet of women during the Mandatum on Holy Thursday. But each and every year all across the U.S. and Canada it seems that this is done anyway.

The rubrics in the Roman Missal explicitly state that only the feet of men are to be washed during the Mandatum:

Depending on pastoral circumstance, the washing of feet follows the homily. The men who have been chosen (viri selecti) are led by the ministers to chairs prepared at a suitable place. Then the priest (removing his chasuble if necessary) goes to each man. With the help of the ministers he pours water over each one’s feet and dries them.

The Latin word used in the rubric is even included in the English translation of the Missal.  The word viri means males. This is not the same as the Latin word used in the Creed at “for us men and our salvation he came down from heaven”. The word homines is used in the Creed and it means means “men” in the generic sense of “humans”. The Church chose to emphasize that men means males in the rubric by including the Latin word so as to leave no doubt as to what is required.

Despite the clear desire of the Holy See on the matter in 1987 the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (then called the National Coference of Catholic Bishops, I believe) Bishops Committee on the Liturgy released a document which acknowledges that the Missal says only the feet of males are to be washed:

While this variation may differ from the rubric of the Sacramentary which mentions only men (“viri selecti”)…

Bishops Committee on the Liturgy, Holy Thursday Mandatum, Response 5

However, at the same time the document urges disobedience to this rubric:

In this regard, it has become customary in many places to invite both men and women to be participants in this rite in recognition of the service that should be given by all the faithful to the Church and to the world. Thus, in the United States, a variation in the rite developed in which not only charity is signified but also humble service.

Bishops Committee on the Liturgy, Holy Thursday Mandatum, Response 4

In 1988 the CDW, possibly in response to the dissent of the U.S. Bishops on this matter a year earlier, restates the Church’s position:

The washing of the feet of chosen men which, according to tradition, is performed on this day, represents the service and charity of Christ, who came “not to be served, but to serve.” This tradition should be maintained, and its proper significance explained.

Paschale Solemnitatis 51

And the Congregation for Divine Worship continually clarifies this matter. Anyone who writes to them receives the same response:

the washing of feet is reserved to “chosen men” (viri selecti)

An example of a letter from the CDW on this matter, received in 2008, is below.


This particular letter was featured by Fr. Z of WDTPRS in his most recent post on the Holy Thursday Mandatum.

This seems pretty clear to me. Until and unless the Church reverses its position anyone who argues that the washing of the feet of women on Holy Thursday is permitted is only giving their own opinion – an opinion that seems to run contrary to what the Church says on the matter.

Now, there are 2 objections that are typically raised. The first is that the Archbishop of Boston was permitted to wash the feet of women. And the second objections is that it is not always possible to find 12 men to have their feet washed so women must be used as well.

In regards to the first objection the Newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston claims that

In August 2004, “at the time of the ad limina visit to Rome, the archbishop sought clarification on the liturgical requirements of the rite of foot washing from the Congregation for Divine Worship, which has the responsibility for administering the liturgical law of the Church,” said an archdiocesan statement released in March. “The Congregation affirmed the liturgical requirement that only the feet of men be washed at the Holy Thursday ritual, which recalls Christ’s service to the apostles who would become the first priests of the Church.”

“The Congregation did, however, provide for the archbishop to make a pastoral decision concerning his practice of the rite if such a decision would be helpful to the faithful of the archdiocese,”

The Pilot; April 1, 2005

This is far from giving Archbishop O’Malley permission to change the rubric. The CDW restates the requirement. And then, according to the Archdiocese of Boston, provided for the Archbishop to “make a pastoral decision” on the matter. That decision would have come down to obedience to the Church or disobedience. It is worth noting that the Archdiocese of Boston has never published its supposed “permission” from the CDW. But, nothing here changes the fact that what the Archbishop of Boston decided to do is still in violation of the rubrics.

In response to the second objection it should be pointed out that nowhere does the Church actually require that the number of men having their feet washed to be 12. Neither the rubrics of the Roman Missal itself or Paschale Solemnitatis, the letter released by the CDW, give a particular number. 12 is simply customary.

Now, why only men? The Mandatum follows the reading of the Gospel account of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples before making them his priests of the New Covenant. The men whose feet are washed by the priest are symbolically representative of the priesthood which, according to the Church, was reserved to men alone by our Lord. It is not a matter of being sexist or not being inclusive. Anyone who thinks such things really needs to take it up with the Lord himself.

The last thing that I will mention is that the Mandatum is completely optional. If a priest does not like the fact that the Church only permits the washing of the feet of men then the appropriate action to take is not to wash the feet of women anyway in a spirit of disobedience.

Nevertheless, the priest must remember that he is the servant of the Sacred Liturgy and that he himself is not permitted, on his own initiative, to add, to remove, or to change anything in the celebration of Mass.

General Instruction of the Roman Missal 24

The correct thing to do is to either obey the rubrics or not include the OPTIONAL ceremony at all.

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For those in Italy

Posted by james0235 on April 8, 2009


O almighty and everlasting God, who lookest down upon the earth and makest it tremble, spare those who are afraid, and show Thy mercy those who implore Thee; that we who fear Thine anger, which shaketh the foundations of the earth, may evermore enjoy Thy mercy, which healeth its commotions. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.


O God, who didst establish the earth on firm foundations, receive the offerings and prayers of Thy people, and by wholly removing the perils of earthquake, turn the terrors of Thy divine anger into healing remedies for mankind: that those who are of the earth and to the earth shall return, may rejoice in becoming citizens of heaven by the holiness of their lives. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.


We beseech Thee, O Lord, to keep us, who receive Thy holy mysteries, and by Thy heavenly power make firm the earth, which we see trembling because of our sins; that men may know in their hearts that these scourges come from Thy wrath and cease by Thy mercy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

Votive Collects from the Roman Missal, Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite

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