31 July 2022

A Personal Reaction to Bp Burbidge's Draconian Decree

Mr Dannebohm, who blogs at Memorare, lives in the Diocese of Arlington, the site of the latest vicious attack on Tradition.

By Jeremy Dannebohm

Wow. As a Catholic writer, I often quip that nothing surprises me anymore.

Today surprised me. I expected a milquetoast list of restrictions from the Catholic Diocese of Arlington. Bishop Burbidge has never struck me as the type that would issue a decree so aggressive as what we read earlier today.

I must admit, the tone of the decree reads more like Archbishop Roche than Bishop Burbidge.

If that’s the case, then today revealed much more than just the Latin Mass restrictions in the Diocese of Arlington. It revealed that these restrictions are most likely being drafted by the Dicastery for Divine Worship and sent to the bishops to sign, seal, and deliver with a devastating blow to the faithful.

This is certainly a stark contrast from the ‘collegiality’ that Pope Francis spoke of earlier this year. Furthermore, it blatantly contradicts the notion of a ‘listening Church.’ Rather, it suggests that these are merely guises to veil the underlying agenda of transforming the Church of God into the Church of man. You can be certain that for this egregious wrongdoing, no apology will ever be given.

The Traditional Catholic movement poses the exclusive threat to making that transformation a reality. Hence, the Vatican has zeroed in on doing everything it can to dismantle us brick by brick. But with Christ as our Cornerstone, we shall not be moved.

Today, as I read the raw emotions being posted by the faithful of the Diocese of Arlington, my heart ached. It genuinely ached. For those of us who report on these things, maintaining our faith becomes a daily challenge. Today was certainly no exception.

No matter what surprise is in store for us next, we know that we are fighting for a common good. We know that in the end, Her Immaculate Heart will triumph. We know that nothing will keep us from the Mass of the Ages.

Onward Christian soldiers. We took a slight blow today, but we’ve gotten used to them. Each one makes us stronger and more resilient. Let’s refocus and get back into the battlefield for the salvation of souls.

Let’s pray for each other.
Our rosaries are our most powerful weapons.

Catholic Commentators React to Pope Francis, Cardinals Participating in Pagan 'Smudging' Ritual

Catholics react to Francis's participation in demon worship. He will ignore them because they are just Trads who have a 'dead faith' according to him.

From LifeSiteNews

'Listen to the words that are used and ask yourself, 'Can this be reconciled with Catholicism?' I'm 100 percent convinced it cannot be,' reacted one popular commentator.

(LifeSiteNews) — Popular Catholic commentators have been reacting with shock and outrage to video footage of Pope Francis and prominent cardinals partaking in a “smudging” ritual invoking a “sacred circle of spirits” that went “viral” on social media earlier this week.

“We Catholics are not allowed to participate in non-Catholic rites, period!” prominent Catholic podcaster and author Dr. Taylor Marshall reacted in a livestreamed video on his YouTube channel on Friday.

“Listen to the words that are used and ask yourself, ‘Can this be reconciled with Catholicism?’ I’m 100 percent convinced it cannot be,” the author added.

Matt Gaspers, managing editor of Catholic Family News, likewise responded with shock, writing on social media, “My friend Taylor Marshall is fired up today — and rightly so, considering that Pope Francis and other Catholic prelates participated in a pagan ritual this week.”

I will be sharing many stories of the evil and dangers of sage ‘smudging’ in my forthcoming book,” chimed in Catholic author and exorcist scholar Charles D. Fraune.

“‘Give us access to the sacred circle of spirits so they can be with us,’ Lord, have mercy!” added Fraune, quoting words said by one of the leaders of the ceremony. 

Marshall and others also pointed to the fact that while Francis and other prelates seem to endorse non-Catholic worship, they, at the same time, restrict and condemn the Traditional forms of Catholic worship.

“[While participating in non-Catholic worship] he’s going to restrict the ancient Roman Rite of the Catholic Church?” Marshall asked rhetorically.

“Traditional Baptism? Restricted. Traditional Confirmation? Restricted. Traditional Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? Restricted. Traditional Penance? Restricted. Traditional Breviary? Restricted … ” he added.

A number of high-ranking prelates were also in attendance, including the Archbishop of Toronto, Cardinal Christopher Collins; Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada Gerald Lacroix; Cardinal Michael F. Czerny, S.J., prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development; Cardinal Marc A. Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops; Archbishop of Edmonton Richard W. Smith; and the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

As noted by LifeSiteNews, the “smudging” is intended as a “ritual of purification” directed toward a deity other than the One True God, in this case, “mother earth.” As such, the ritual is not merely a cultural act but a religious act of “superstition,” reminiscent of the Pope Francis’ veneration of the pagan pachamama idol at the Vatican in 2019.

Local Catholics Protest Zanchetta House Arrest at Retired Priest Home

'The former seminarian accused ... Pope Francis personally, for “cronyism”...' Of course it is! Francis is doing his best to protect this abuser and to make his 'sentence' easier.

From The Pillar

Catholics of the Diocese of Oran, Argentina, gathered in the city’s main square Tuesday and Wednesday to protest the decision to allow their disgraced former bishop, Gustavo Oscar Zanchetta, to live in a retired priests’ home while serving his sentence for the sexual abuse of seminarians.

The protests focus on the Church’s handling of Zanchetta’s case, following his conviction by a civil court in March on charges of sexual abuse against two seminarians, aggravated by his position as a minister of religion.

Despite his conviction and being sentenced to four and a half years in prison, Bishop Zanchetta has received no public sanction from the Church, and the results of a canonical process initiated in 2019 have not been announced.

On July 8, Zanchetta was released from prison on medical grounds to serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest and moved into the Monastery of Our Lady of the Valley in his former diocese. The monastery serves as a home for retired priests.

Protesters this week gathered signatures against the decision to allow Zanchetta to live in the monastery which they say is “untimely, arbitrary” and decided “without consultation and with a manifest lack of consideration for the seminarians and the parishioners.”

They are asking the archbishop to revisit the arrangement “out of respect for the victims and their families, who feel mocked with this decision of house arrest,” and whom, they said, “cannot begin a path of healing” in the current circumstances.

Organizers told local media they will present their petition against Zanchettta’s living arrangements to the metropolitan Archbishop Mario Cargnello of Salta. Local activists said they took the decision to write to the archbishop after receiving no response to their concerns from Zanchetta’s successor in the Diocese of Oran, Bishop Luis Scozzina.

Zanchetta’s case, and the lack of public action to censure him by the Vatican, has raised criticism from local Catholics and drawn international attention because of Pope Francis’ personal involvement in it.

The bishop previously served as executive undersecretary of the Argentine bishops’ conference, where he worked closely with then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who led the conference from 2005-2011. Pope Francis named him Bishop of Oran as one of his first episcopal appointments after his election in 2013.

After Zanchetta resigned as diocesan bishop in 2017, at the age of 53, Pope Francis created a special position for him in the Roman curia, naming him assessor at the Administration for the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, which functions as the Vatican’s sovereign wealth manager and government reserve bank. Zanchetta was also reported to be living at the Domus Sanctae Marta, the Vatican hotel and retreat house where Pope Francis also lives.

Although Zanchetta initially cited “health reasons” for his resignation from the Oran diocese, several senior diocesan clergy have stated publicly that they presented allegations of sexual abuse by Zanchetta to Rome in 2015, and again in 2017. The Vatican has claimed it only received complaints of sexual abuse against Zanchetta in late 2018 — after he had resigned.

Those complaints led to the charges of “aggravated continuous sexual abuse” of two adult seminarians for which Zanchetta was convicted in March of this year.

Despite the Vatican’s statement, a February 2019 report from The Tribune, a local newspaper, published documents apparently illustrating that a formal complaint had been made against Zanchetta by three of his diocesan vicars, as well as two other senior diocesan priests, and that Pope Francis had summoned the bishop to Rome to discuss the matter.

The Tribune also detailed other complaints made against Zanchetta, including direct accusations of harassment of seminarians made by the seminary rector. The complaints were submitted via the apostolic nunciature in Buenos Aires in May and June 2017, prior to Zanchetta’s resignation for “health reasons.”

When the Vatican first acknowledged allegations of abuse against Zanchetta in 2019, it also announced the bishop was taking a leave of absence from his position at APSA. Vatican officials also said that a canonical investigation was underway to examine the allegations against the bishop — to date, the conclusions of that investigation have not been announced.

Zanchetta returned to Vatican work in early 2020, despite ongoing criminal and canonical investigations into the allegations against him, before finally leaving his role at APSA in June 2021, and returning to Argentina to stand trial earlier this year.

In the course of that trial, the bishops’ attorneys subpoenaed the Vatican’s files pertaining to the canonical investigation and trial of Zanchetta at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the trial in Argentina was delayed while the court waited for those documents, according to a report by The Tribune.

Despite measures taken by Pope Francis to declassify Church reports on cases of sexual abuse, including a 2020 Vatican policy requiring diocesan bishops to cooperate with judicial orders for Church documents, the Zanchetta files did not arrive in Argentina, and the judges elected to proceed with the trial without them.

While the bishop pled not guilty and filed to appeal his conviction, victims and witnesses testified that in 2016, Bishop Zanchetta abused seminarians at John XXIII Seminary, and at his own residence.

In addition to particular abuses, the bishop serially pressured seminarians to engage in sexual conduct, displayed pornographic selfies and other images on his phone, and pushed seminarians for massages and other contact while supplying them with alcohol, according to testimony at trial.

Zanchetta’s continued presence in the diocese, and the lack of information about the canonical process against him in the Vatican, have been the focus of considerable criticism from local Catholics since the bishop’s conviction.

In addition to concerns about Zanchetta’s presence, many local Catholics have also expressed fears of possible retaliation by Church authorities against the priests and seminarians who gave evidence against the bishop.

Last month, several Argentine media outlets reported that the same canon lawyer who had defended Zanchetta in his canonical trial had been sent to Oran by the Vatican to conduct an investigation into the clergy and seminarians who testified against him.

The judge of the provincial ecclesiastical tribunal confirmed the appointment of Prof. Javier Belda Iniesta as investigator and that he had been appointed by Pope Francis.

However, one of Zanchetta’s victims has spoken out against the appointment, and against the Church’s treatment of those who came forward against the bishop.

In an interview published by The Tribune earlier this month, a former seminarian, identified only as MC, told the newspaper that his and other seminarians’ complaints against Zanchetta remained effectively unanswered by Church authorities.

“Our canonical accusation never got the slightest reply, we don’t know anything, whether it is in progress, left in a drawer, just nothing. The only thing they say is ‘it’s under pontifical secret’,” he told the newspaper.

The former seminarian also blamed the Vatican, and Pope Francis personally, for “cronyism” in the treatment Zanchetta has received, and said that the investigation into witnesses against the bishop was an exercise in “looking for someone else to blame and [to] whitewash Zanchetta.”

“They have trouble acknowledging that a bishop has been tried and convicted and [they] want him to have it as easy as possible,” the former seminarian said.

Belda Iniesta has told local media that “there is nothing strange” about his appointment and stressed that his investigation was preliminary, intended only to establish if there is a minimal semblance of truth to some allegations, and his investigation was not necessarily related to Zanchetta’s case.

Arlington Bishop Divides Catholics in the Name of Unity

How discrimination, marginalisation, and general cruelty toward Faithful Catholics is supposed to promote 'unity' is beyond me. But, what do I know?

From One Peter Five

By Jacob Tate

On Friday, July 29th – one year and thirteen days after the promulgation of Traditionis Custodes – Bishop Michael Burbidge of the diocese of Arlington, Virginia announced severe restrictions on the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass. This comes on the heels of our neighboring archdiocese in Washington, DC issuing their own restrictions.

Though Wilton Cardinal Gregory of DC is not who I would have expected Bishop Burbidge to imitate, the bishop of Arlington is issuing the following restrictions based on the recommendations from “pastors in the Diocese whose parishes offer the Traditional Latin Mass, as well as experts in the liturgy and canon law…”.

Arlington had a whopping twenty-one diocesan parishes regularly offering a TLM (more than a fourth of all parishes). This number has been reduced to eight. As far as I can discern from my research working for Mass of the Ages, Arlington used to be home to the second most diocesan TLMs in the world – that all goes away as of September 8th. What a way to honor our Blessed Mother’s birthday.

In the diocese’s statement, published by the Catholic Herald, the bishop states that five of the eight designated locations for the celebration of Latin Masses are school gyms, halls, or chapels near the parish where it was previously offered. The other three parishes “were granted permission to continue celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass in their parish churches for a term of two years.” So again, twenty-one churches in this diocese have been celebrating weekly (sometimes daily) Latin Masses, and that number is now three in-church Masses, with only an additional five offered in halls, chapels, and gymnasiums.

Immediately following that list of locations, the statement reads:

The promulgation of Traditionis Custodes recalls for all of us, Christ’s faithful, the Second Vatican Council’s teaching found in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy ‘Sacrosanctum Concilium’: ‘Liturgical services are not private functions, but are celebrations of the Church, which is the “sacrament of unity,” namely, the holy people united and ordered under their bishops’

What a slap in the face to all of us faithful Catholics of the Arlington diocese. To take away the TLM is one thing, but to cite a Council document that you are directly acting against as your reasoning for doing so is either the most glaring hypocrisy imaginable or remarkably ignorant.

If your regularly scheduled 9 a.m. Sunday Mass got relegated to a school gym across the street for no reason, would you feel like it was an effort to unify the parish? Does this make the liturgy more or less of the “private function” that Sacrosanctum calls us to avoid?

By relegating us to school gyms and giving the other parishes a two year time limit, the hierarchy makes explicit their goal: in the name of “unity” all who attend the TLM will be expelled from the Church, and the two expressions of the Roman Rite will be reduced to one.

And of course, the rite they pick is the 60-year-old failed experiment rife with liturgical abuse, not the ancient Mass of Catholic Tradition. The rite which has removed an astonishing portion of the purposeful and powerful ceremony which should accompany the celebration of the Eucharist will be celebrated in our diocese’s sacred churches, while the ancient rite, in all of its glory, will be celebrated on the same floors as basketball games.

In a modern Church where it seems that our pastors do not care about our spiritual well-being, it’s hard to be shocked or angered by this level of hypocrisy. To be honest, I actually laughed when I read that worshiping apart from the rest of my parish will bring about unity and prevent private liturgical practice. It will do the exact opposite. And that is, in fact, exactly what they want. See you in the gym.

Risus est bellum.

Back to the Sixties? Pontifical Academy for Life Pushes for Departure From Doctrine on Contraceptive Sex

An in-depth look at the groundwork being laid by the Pontifical Academy for Life to try to change the infallible dogma on artificial birth control.

From the National Catholic Register

By Jonathan Liedl

NEWS ANALYSIS: The document breaks from five decades of post-conciliar papal teaching; its backers are urging Pope Francis to make its claims official.

Fifty-five years ago, Pope St. Paul VI promulgated Humanae Vitae, a papal encyclical that unequivocally clarified the Church’s perennial opposition to artificially contracepted sex. Although this teaching faced resistance from several theologians and even bishops at the time, it has been reaffirmed and further developed by subsequent papal teaching, from St. John Paul II’s Evangelium Vitae to the current version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church recently revised by Pope Francis, which describes the practice as “intrinsically evil.”

Now, a Vatican institute, ironically first created by the late, great Polish pope and saint, is pushing for a “paradigm shift” in moral theology that would include departing from established teaching on contraception, but also euthanasia and forms of artificial conception — and supporters of this “radical change” are urging Pope Francis to follow suit with an encyclical affirming this radical break from five decades of post-conciliar magisterial consensus.

The revelations are included in a recent text issued by the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAL), an ecclesial think tank established by St. John Paul in 1994 to study and provide guidance “on the principal problems of biomedicine and of law, relative to the promotion and defense of life, above all in the direct relation that they have with Christian morality and the directives of the Church’s magisterium.”

PAL describes Theological Ethics of Life: Scripture, Tradition, and Practical Challenges, a 528-page synthesis of the proceedings of a 2021 PAL-sponsored theological seminar, as “a contribution that elaborates a Christian vision of life by expounding it from the perspective of an anthropology appropriate to the cultural mediation of faith in today’s world.”

‘A Radical Change’

The text’s introduction, written by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the academy’s president since 2016, describes the “paradigm shift” in moral theology it introduces as “both descriptive and conceptual, as it follows a pattern that is both argumentative and narrative, theoretical and sapiential, phenomenological and interpretative.”

“The text carries out a radical change, moving as it were, from the sphere to the polyhedron,” wrote Archbishop Paglia. “This is not a handbook of formulas or catalogue of cases that can be taken out of the context of the overall argument. Rather, it is a fundamental exposition of the Christian vision of life, illustrated in its existential aspects that are most relevant to the dramatic nature of the human condition and addressed from the perspective of an anthropology that is appropriate to the cultural mediation of faith in today’s world.”

Part of this shift from previous approaches in moral theology is tied, the text claims, to the guiding criteria of “wide-ranging dialogue,” which intentionally incorporates the perspectives of not only various theological positions, but also non-Catholics and nonbelievers.

However, apparently not consulted in the production of the document were several active members of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

“As a member of the PAL: the book is not an official statement but the seminar records in which 20 people made their personal statements,” Elena Postigo, a Spanish-based bioethicist shared on Twitter. “Many members didn’t know about it and are astonished.”
Archbishop Paglia also notes that the text was drafted on the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of Evangelium Vitae, John Paul II’s encyclical that reaffirmed the Church’s opposition to contraception and noted its connection to abortion. This was not coincidental, he wrote, but was done “with a precise intent.”

“The vitality of that encyclical and its precious legacy, in order to be honored to the full, required us not to limit ourselves to commenting on it, but rather to decipher its meaning within the framework of the Christian magisterium that brings its teaching to life for today’s Church,” said Archbishop Paglia in the introduction. “This task is always carried out in relation to the living Word of God, which is its ultimately binding rule, and to the new questions posed by the condition of the human subject, who is the designated interlocutor of its wisdom. In this way the Tradition of faith is born, it develops and lives.”

However, many theologians are likely to find dubious the claim that the latest PAL document’s position is in any way a genuine development of Evangelium Vitae — or indeed, the entire body of papal magisterial teaching concerning contraception from Humanae Vitae onward. Although the text is not yet available in English, Italian media confirms that it breaks significantly from established Church teaching on contraception. Since there are “conditions and practical circumstances that would make the choice to generate irresponsible,” a translation of the reported text reads, a married couple may decide to resort “with a wise choice” to contraceptive techniques, “obviously excluding abortive ones.”

By any judgment, this is not a different or developed expression of the same moral reality referred to in the authoritative teachings of St. Paul VI and his successors, but a necessary contradiction of the moral truth previous popes described and taught authoritatively.

Questionable Premises

In an interview with America magazine, Jesuit Father Carlo Casalone, a member of the Pontifical Academy of Life since 2017 and a drafter of the text, described the seminar and resulting book as an effort to apply “the organic vision” of Pope Francis’ moral approach to issues of bioethics.

“If you put together all that Francis has said, then you will see that there are very new accentuations, for example, in relation to conscience versus the norm [and] ethical discernment (in its connection with spiritual discernment), and this is both new and in continuity with tradition. This is what we are trying to say.”

“As moral theologians,” Father Casolone continued, “We must ask ourselves why these vexed issues continue to be a motive for unease and even desolation among believers. We realized that to reach a better understanding of these questions we had to open a dialogue; and in this dialogical approach we must take into consideration what the people of God understand and feel about them.”

This line of reasoning has commonly been used to suggest that the Church’s magisterial teaching on sexual issues, particularly on contraception, is inauthentic and non-binding. For instance, some point to polling that indicates that 98% of U.S. Catholic women of reproductive age have at some point used artificial contraception to advance this argument.

However, in other places that were not in the grips of the sexual revolution when Humanae Vitae was issued, the rate of Catholics who adhere to the Church’s official teaching on contraception is exponentially higher than in the U.S. and Europe.

For instance, a 2014 poll of global Catholic attitudes conducted by Univision found that Catholics in Uganda and Congo had notably lower rates of support for contraceptive use than their American and European counterparts. Similarly, Pew research from the same year found that majorities in African countries like Nigeria and Ghana morally opposed contraception; in the U.S. only 7% of respondents expressed similar convictions.

Reflecting on this significant distinction between the beliefs and practices of Catholics in Western nations from those in Africa and elsewhere seems important for developing a non-Western-centric understanding of the Church, a consistent emphasis of the Pope. But in his otherwise favorable review, Jesuit Father Jorge José Ferrer critically described the PAL text as a “primarily European activity.”

Furthermore, while arguments based on popular praxis are often applied by some moral theologians to teachings on sexual issues, these same theologians do not apply them to the Church’s difficult teaching related to economics, war or the death penalty, suggesting the unreliability of such a criterion for establishing the legitimacy of a magisterial teaching.

Another source for the academy’s understanding of and intentions for the new document have come via PAL’s official Twitter page, which has actively promoted the document and favorable media coverage, but has also engaged with its critics.

For instance, in response to a comment that the document promoted dissent from magisterial teaching, the PAL account replied, “Be careful: what is dissent today, can change. It is not relativism, it is the dynamics of the understanding of phenomena and science: the Sun does not rotate around the Earth. Otherwise there would be no progress and everything would stand still. Even in theology. Think about it.”

The PAL’s comparison of the Church’s consistent post-conciliar teaching on contraception to the inaccurate theory of geocentrism is not without precedent. In 1964, after Pope Paul VI removed the question of artificial contraception from the Second Vatican Council, Belgian Cardinal Leo Joseph Suenens made a speech critical of the move, stating, “I beg you, my brother bishops, let us avoid a new Galileo affair. One is enough for the Church.” He also opposed Paul VI’s promulgation of Humanae Vitae four years later.

Prelude to an Encyclical?

The PAL push for returning to debates and dissent present at the time of Humanae Vitae comes at a time of great division in the Church, which Pope Francis has said flows from a failure to “accept the [Second Vatican] Council.” In that same interview, the Holy Father described a kind of “restorationist” tendency that has “come to gag the Council.”

In his subsequently published apostolic letter on liturgical formation, Desiderio Desideravi, the Holy Father wrote that he does “not see how it is possible to say that one recognizes the validity of the Council — though it amazes me that a Catholic might presume not to do so — and at the same time not accept the liturgical reform” born out of the Council’s pastoral constitution on the liturgy, as well as the subsequent liturgical books promulgated by Paul VI and John Paul II.

One wonders if this same understanding of the reception of the Council and warnings about “restorationists” applies to those who similarly reject the magisterium’s consistent moral teaching on contraception steadily issued by these same popes since Vatican II and continue to revive dissenting views that the magisterium has already rejected.

The PAL and its promoters certainly don’t think so. In his introduction to the new text, Archbishop Paglia described the work as “a service to the magisterium” that provides “argument support for the ecclesiastical magisterium” and a “stimulus … for the search for a pastoral convergence of theological commitment, without wishing to limit in any way the legitimate confrontation of opinions.”

In fact, some are actively pushing the line that the document will serve as a stimulus for Pope Francis to authoritatively teach their revisions via papal encyclical. At the conclusion of his review for La Civiltà Cattolica, the international Jesuit journal, Father Ferrer suggested that the academy’s book could help contribute to “future magisterial intervention that makes the Church’s teaching on the ethics of life ever more profound and adequate.” He even hypothesized that Pope Francis could soon issue an encyclical or apostolic exhortation on bioethics, “which he could perhaps title Gaudium Vitae,” meaning “The Joy of Life.”

Gerald O’Connell’s piece for America, titled “Birth control, IVF, euthanasia: The Vatican encouraged dialogue on polarizing life issues. Is a papal encyclical next?,” added further fuel to this speculation.

“Whether Pope Francis will publish an exhortation or encyclical on theological ethics that addresses these and other urgent topics in our human history remains to be seen,” the Vatican-based journalist concluded. The Pontifical Academy for Life’s Twitter account has retweeted the article multiple times, including one instance in which the salacious encyclical speculation was highlighted.

Is Pope Francis likely to take such a step? As Archbishop Paglia made sure to make clear, the Holy Father was “informed from the very beginning about this initiative and the publication of the proceedings” and apparently has offered his encouragement of the discussion. And as theologian Larry Chapp argued only a month ago, the Pope seems “favorably disposed” to the kind of “proportionalist” moral theology espoused in the academy’s document.

However, at the same time, despite his willingness to allow conversations on controversial topics previously presumed to be settled, the Pope himself has more often than not been unwilling to cross these doctrinal lines, meaning the wounds being reopened are likely to spill into the next papacy.

One thing is clear. Despite more than 50 years of clear and consistent papal teaching on the moral impermissibility of artificial contraception, some actors in the Church — under the guise of developing doctrine — are intent on taking us back to the old wounds and wars of the 1960s. Hopefully, our shepherds won’t allow them to take the rest of us with them.

The Theological Virtues

Lesson Five of Virtue, with Fr Dominic Legge, OP, JD, STL, STD, Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology and Director of the Thomistic Institute.

The theological virtues direct man to supernatural happiness in the same way as by the natural inclination man is directed to his connatural end. Christ raises our finite human nature far beyond what it could accomplish by its own power, giving to His disciples a share in the supernatural life of God Himself. As the Second Letter of Peter puts it, “he has granted to us his precious and very great promises . . . that you may . . . become partakers of the divine nature.” (2 Pet. 1:4)

Latin Mass Ban In Arlington Shows Rome Is Forcing Their Will On The Bishops

Bishop Burbridge of Arlington issued a Latin Mass ban decree that was obviously written by Cardinal Arthur Roche and Francis.

Liberalism is a Sin - Chapter 15 Can a Liberal Be in Good Faith?

 Is there such a thing in rerum natura as a Liberal in good faith? In our day it seems almost impossible to reconcile Liberalism with good faith, which is the only thing that can give it the shadow of excuse. It cannot, however, be denied that, absolutely speaking, there may exist under peculiar (80) circumstances an exceptional case, but this will indeed be unique.

In the history of heresy we frequently find some individuals even many who in spite of themselves, are dragged into the torrent of error for no other reason than their supreme ignorance. But it must be admitted that, if ever an error has been deprived of any excuse on this score, that error is Liberalism as it exists today. Most heresies, which have rent the bosom of the Church, have attempted to disguise their errors under an exterior of affected piety. Jansenism, perhaps the most subtle of all heresies, won over a great number of adherents by its cunning simulation of sanctity. Its morals were rigid to the extreme; its dogmas formidable; the exterior conduct of its promoters ascetic and apparently enlightened. It wore the visage of a saint, while at heart it reeked with the corruption of pride. The majority of ancient heresies turned upon every subtle points of doctrine, which only the skilled theologian could discern, and upon which the ignorant multitude could give no judgement save such as they received in confidence from their leaders. By a very natural consequence, when the hierarchy of a diocese fell into error, most of his subordinates, clerics and laity, full of confidence in their pastor, fell with (81) him. This was all the easier owing to the difficulty of communication with Rome in ancient times, when the infallible voice of the Universal Pastor could not readily reach the flock in parts remote from the Chair of Peter. The diffusion of many ancient heresies, which were mostly purely theological, was nearly always due to this cause. Hence we find St. Jerome crying out in the fourth century: Ingemuit universus orbis se esse Arianum: "The whole world groaned to find itself Arian." This also explains how in the midst of great schisms and great heresies, such as the Greek schisms and Anglican heresies, there may be numbers of souls in whom the roots of the true faith are not dead, although in its exterior profession this faith may appear deformed and vicious. Such was the case in England for many years after the rebellion of Henry VIII., and such in some instances is the case in our own times; for the ready acceptance of the true faith by many English converts, of recent years, bears ample witness to the vitality of the faith in souls so grossly betrayed into heresy by apostate guides three centuries ago. Such souls united to the mystical body of the Church by Baptism, to its soul by interior sanctifying grace, are able to gain eternal salvation with ourselves. (82)

Can the same be said of Liberalism? Liberalism first presented itself under a political mask; but since its debut, this mask has become so transparent that blind indeed must be he, who cannot divine the perversity of such a miserable travesty. The veil of hypocrisy and pietism which some of its panegyrists first threw around it has been stripped off. The halo in which it was first depicted has shown itself to be not the soft light of heaven but the lurid glare of hell. It has gathered under its banner all the dregs of society, wherever corruption was its precursor and promoter.

The new doctrines, which it preached and which it wished to substitute for ancient truth, had nothing abstract nor metaphysical; it rejected everything but brutal facts, which betrayed it as the offspring of Satan and the enemy of mankind. The terrors of the French Revolution were the evidence of its origin as sprung from the corruptions of a society that had abandoned God and battened on the bestial results of Voltarian skepticism. No wonder it avoided the abstract and the metaphysical to revel in the atrociousdeeds of a bloody revolution which proclaimed the absolute sovereignty of man against his Creator and the Church.

If such were the horrors of the birth of Liberalism what must be said of its odious (83) development in our own day, when its infernal principles bask in the full light of the world's approbation? Never has an error been more severely castigated by the condemnation of the Church, never more accurately have those condemnations been borne out by the testimony of experience and history. When Protestantism is fast loosing its power, sinking into the abyss out of sheer impotence, Liberalism, even more formidable and more dangerous, fills the ranks of the decaying heresy with enemies still more resourceful, implacable and obstinate. Protestantism is now a dead dog; Liberalism a living lion going about seeking whom he may devour. Its dreadful doctrine is permeating society to the core; it has become the modern political creed and threatens us with a second revolution to turn the world once again over to paganism. Are there any good Catholics who do not believe this? Let them but read the signs of the times, not with the eyes of the world, but by the light of the faith, which Jesus Christ gave to them. "I am the way, the truth and the life," said our Divine Lord, "who follows me shall not walk in darkness." Who follows the Church follows Him, for He Himself said to the Apostles and their successors, "Who hears you, hears me." (84)

What then is the attitude of the Church towards Liberalism? Is not its entire hierarchy considered hostile to Liberalism? Does not Liberalism itself bear witness to this? What does the word Clericalism, with which the Liberals have honored those most energetically opposed to their doctrine, prove, if not that they regard the Church as their most implacable adversary? How do they look upon the Pope, upon the bishops, priests, religious of all kinds, on pious people and practical Catholics? Clericals, clericals always, that is, antiLiberals. How then can we expect to find good faith on the part of a Liberal Catholic when orthodoxy is so distinctly and completely opposed to Liberalism? Those who are capable of comprehending the principles of the question can readily satisfy themselves on its merits by its intrinsic reasons; those who cannot so comprehend have an extrinsic authority more than sufficient to form an accurate judgement for them, such as it should be in every good Christian in matters touching the faith. Light is not wanting; those who will, can see well enough; but alas! Insubordination, illegitimate interests and the desire to take and make things easy are abundantly at hand to prejudice and to blind. The seduction of Liberalism is not of the kind that blinds by a false light, but (85) rather the seduction, which, in sullying the heart, obscures the understanding. We may therefore justly believe, except perhaps with very rare exception, that it requires a very vigorous effort of charity to admit in our day, in accordance with true moral principles, the excuse of good faith in a Catholic who entertains Liberal principles.

The Living Branch of the Traditional Latin Mass

An incisive commentary on Wilton Gregory's vicious attack on Tradition, detailing the lies and half-truths in his heavy-handed Decree.

From First Things

By Christopher Ruddy

A mother’s love does not always say yes, but a mother’s love is always healing, is always strengthening. May the Church love her children in the very same way. Not always saying yes to everything that we ask, but always making us feel important and noble and listened to.” Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, preached these words at Mass on May 14, concluding his archdiocese’s phase of participation in the upcoming international Synod of Bishops on synodality.

Two months later, mother has said no.

On July 22, the cardinal issued his long-anticipated decree on the implementation of Pope Francis’s 2021 motu proprio Traditionis Custodes in the Archdiocese of Washington. Traditionis Custodes, as is well known, called for the restriction and de facto suppression of the 1962 Roman Missal for the sake of fostering greater ecclesial unity and fidelity to the Second Vatican Council. 

Issued after months of uncertainty and rumors, the cardinal’s decisions were unsurprising but still shocking: The 1962 Missal may be used only on Sundays at three, non-parochial locations; the celebration of Mass according to the 1962 Missal is completely prohibited at Christmas, the Triduum, Easter, and Pentecost; the other sacraments (for example, baptism and matrimony) may not be celebrated in their pre-1970 forms; priests and other ministers need written approval to celebrate the older Mass; and, celebration of Mass according to the 1970 Missal requires special permission from the archbishop if the ad orientem posture is desired. 

In an explanatory letter to his priests, the cardinal said that he was simply following his predecessors’ example of obedience to papal legislation regarding the older liturgy. He noted, too, his desire “to ensure that those who celebrate the Mass according to the 1962 Missal continue to be provided for in our archdiocese, a plea that was expressed in our Synod listening sessions.”

The archdiocese’s “Diocesan Synthesis Report” outlined the synodal process that began in October, 2021, and concluded this past May. It highlighted, among other things, a widespread desire among synodal participants to encourage greater participation and leadership in the Church from youth and young adults, as well as to promote what it called

pastoral activities that work towards forgiveness and restoring trust for those who have felt marginalized by the past actions of Church leaders. Outreach to marginalized communities would include: Black Catholic parishes whose founding was rooted in slavery or segregation; recent immigrants, especially Hispanic, African and Asian Pacific Islander communities who have not felt welcomed in parishes; survivors of clergy sexual abuse; divorced and remarried Catholics; the Traditional Latin Mass [TLM] community; and persons who identify themselves as LGBTQ+ Catholics and their families.

The TLM community, though, is the only “marginalized community” to be banned from the archdiocese’s parishes. It is a curious, Orwellian kind of outreach and maternal accompaniment.

In doing so, the cardinal has attached himself to the error at the heart of Traditionis Custodes: that the post-conciliar liturgical reforms integrally and faithfully embody Vatican II’s teaching, and that those devoted to the older liturgy are ipso facto opposed to the Council. Pope Francis recently put it this way: “I do not see how it is possible to say that one recognizes the validity of the Council—though it amazes me that a Catholic might presume not to do so—and at the same time not accept the liturgical reform born out of Sacrosanctum Concilium, a document that expresses the reality of the Liturgy intimately joined to the vision of Church so admirably described in Lumen Gentium.”

Such claims rest on the mistaken assertion or assumption that “Concilium” (Second Vatican Council) and “Consilium” (the Vatican body that directed the immediate post-conciliar liturgical changes) are the same. Even the most ardent proponents of the post-conciliar reform acknowledge that its changes often went well beyond or even contradicted Sacrosanctum Concilium.

Afurther sign of the theological arbitrariness and pastoral insensitivity of the archdiocese’s implementation is its effective prohibition of ad orientem worship in the celebration of Mass according to the 1970 Missal, unless a priest receives permission from the archbishop. This restriction goes beyond even Traditionis Custodes and has no foundation in “the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and its liturgical books,” contrary to the cardinal’s claim. It effectively stigmatizes over 1900 years of Christian liturgical tradition. One wonders if Eastern Catholics who celebrate the Divine Liturgy facing east are now to be regarded as anti-conciliar and divisive.

Left unaddressed in such recent liturgical legislation are Joseph Ratzinger’s repeated warnings across the decades. In 1996, he said: “A community is calling its very being into question when it suddenly declares that what until now was its holiest and highest possession is strictly forbidden and when it makes the longing for it seem downright indecent. Can it be trusted any more about anything else? Won’t it proscribe again tomorrow what it prescribes today?”

And in 2000, he said: “Anyone who nowadays advocates the continuing existence of this [older] liturgy or takes part in it is treated like a leper; all tolerance ends here. There has never been anything like this in history; in doing this we are despising and proscribing the Church’s whole past. How can one trust her present if things are that way?”

Legislative acts such as Traditionis Custodes and its implementation in Washington, D.C., verge on the suicidal, so to speak. A Church that lives from tradition cannot reject its past without mortally wounding itself.

Why, then, such draconian restrictions, especially when Mass attendance and sacramental participation (and financial donations) are declining markedly? Why clamp down on something that attracts young, faithful, energetic Catholics and their growing families? There is—particularly among some older church leaders, scholars, and liturgists—a deep animus toward the “pre-conciliar” era. It evokes sin, guilt, judgment, clericalism, patriarchy, dogmatism, claustrophobic ghettos, and fortresses. Nothing is more evocative of that world than its Mass.

Faced with such oppressiveness, a “hermeneutic of rupture” (even if claiming a recovery of tradition) can seem liberating. The enduring presence of the “pre-conciliar” becomes an intolerable reminder of the past—and the attraction of the young to it, a personal and systemic affront. In this context, any thought that post-conciliar reform efforts may have been mistaken or even merely flawed can be unbearable, a negative judgment on one’s life, work, and ministry. I know, for instance, of religious communities that would rather die out than welcome new members of different perspectives and experiences. Need it be said that such inhospitality can further aggravate ideological and generational differences?

Both Traditionis Custodes and its implementation in the Archdiocese of Washington are acts of desperation. They can’t abide that seminarians and younger clergy are often desirous of learning more about the fullness of the Church’s liturgical traditions and practices; that youth and young adults, even if not personally drawn to the traditional liturgy, respect it or are untroubled by its existence. Even the archdiocesan synodal listening sessions don’t seem to have registered any reservations among clergy or laity about the TLM or its adherents. The demographic future is not friendly to those who wish to eradicate the traditional liturgy, which may partly explain the radicality and the urgency of such papal and episcopal legislation.

As an archdiocesan parishioner, I am heartbroken by the new situation. Friends and neighbors of mine will have their parish communities effectively strangled and likely shuttered—even though there were ready, obvious alternatives. Pastors who have suffered under scandalous leadership in recent decades will find their years of patient, thankless, even courageous labor undone in the space of two months. Students of mine will lose the very “small faith groups” that the “Diocesan Synthesis Report” says are so essential for fostering lay participation and leadership in the Church. The profound crisis of trust that afflicts our Church will only be deepened. And needlessly so.

Still, the motto of the Benedictine Abbey of Monte Cassino comes to mind: Succisa virescit (“Pruned, it grows again”). The abbey has been physically destroyed and rebuilt numerous times over the centuries, most recently after Allied bombing during World War II. But the motto’s broader spiritual import is evident. The living branch of traditional Roman liturgy is now being severely pruned. The intent is to kill it, but the effect in due season will be its abundant growth.

Christopher Ruddy is associate professor of historical and systematic theology at The Catholic University of America.

A Note From a Reader in Washington DC, Where Card. Gregory Has Treated the Faithful With Great Cruelty.

A reader writes Fr Zed about the extreme cruelty of his 'Shepherd', Wilton Gregory. But he says, 'All things considered, this is a really nasty blow for us, but we know Christ wins in the end'.

From Fr Z's Blog

A note from a reader in Washington DC, where Card. Gregory has treated the faithful with great cruelty.  My emphases:

Thank you for your reporting on the TLM situation out here in the DC area. I have written to you before about the situation out here, and I must say that the recent announcement from the Cardinal was indeed a cruel blow, though not unexpected. An interesting fact: the nearest diocesan chapel where the TLM will be offered is going to be only 15 minutes away, but with seating for only 75; we’ve regularly had that many children under 14 in attendance at just our DC parish TLM on Sundays

We are obviously and deeply hurt by this decision by the Cardinal, but for the time being we’re committed to our current parish and to assisting our pastor (who is committed to celebrating as prayerful and reverent of a Novus Ordo Mass as he is allowed…what a strange thing to say) while he navigates through this cruel situation. It is a hard thing to be forced to choose between our parish and our preferred prayer. Nevertheless, I now must find ways by which I can explain these developments to my two eldest sons (of 6 sons), while also trying to figure how and when they will be able to still occasionally serve the TLM out here.

Amidst this sadness, I’ve got to say, Father, there is likewise a strange level of peace I have about this return to the “Good Old Bad Days”. I also have a sense that all the cruelty of the last few years (COVID interdicts, Traditionis Custodes, general breakdown of society etc.) will end up being some sort of preamble or advanced spiritual training for whatever other battle is coming.

All things considered, this is a really nasty blow for us, but we know Christ wins in the end. So our decision is that we will hold fast to The Faith of our fathers, and work towards growing in holiness as a family.

Please continue to pray for us here in DC. Please pray for Cardinal Gregory. We will continue to keep you in the intention of our daily family rosary. Once again, thank you for all you have done to educate and encourage us during these times. Keep The Faith!

Such faith.  God bless and keep these good people.



Expulsion of the Acadians

On this day, 267 years ago, the orders were given for Le Grand Dérangement or the Great Upheaval, the expulsion of the Acadians from their homeland. Many of Louisiana's 'Cajuns' (from the Acadian French dialect 'Cadien', an Acadian) are descended from them.

July 31, 1755 - Expulsion of the Acadians - Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Charles Lawrence sends instructions to Colonel Robert Monckton

- July 31 - *In the mean time, it will be necessary to keep this measure as secret as possible, as well to prevent their attempting to escape, as to carry off their cattle; and the better to effect this you will endeavour to fall upon some stratagem to get the men, both young and old (especially the heads of families) into your power and detain them till the transports shall arrive, so as that they may be ready to be shipped off; for when this is done it is not much to be feared that the women and children will attempt to go away and carry off the cattle. But least they should, it will not only be very proper to secure all their Shallops, Boats, Canoes and every other vessel you can lay your hands upon; But also to send out parties to all suspected roads and places from time to time, that they may be thereby intercepted.

- July 31 - *As their whole stock of Cattle and Corn is forfeited to the Crown by their rebellion, and must be secured & apply'd towards a reimbursement of the expense the government will be at in transporting them out of the Country, care must be had that nobody make any bargain for purchasing them under any colour or pretence whatever; if they do the sale will be void, for the inhabitants have now (since the order in Council) no property in them, nor will they be allowed to carry away the least thing but their ready money and household furniture. Halifax, Nova Scotia

Feasts of Early August


Honoré de Balzac - A Guest Post by Jack Seney

Balzac was a self-proclaimed reactionary, a monarchist who wanted to restore all the hereditary rights of the aristocracy and a Roman Catholic.

By Jack Seney

Honore de Balzac was a prolific French novelist circa the 1830-1850 period, coming to this in his 30s after attempting careers in journalism and publishing. He found novels to be a way to make money while also serving the arts. Balzac had served TIME in jail for non-payment of debts, so his success was no small matter to him.
Balzac's books were popular in France and came to represent an ongoing series of loosely related stories called "The Human Comedy" (a hundred years later Kerouac and others, fully aware of Balzac, apparently tried to steal this idea as if it was originally theirs).
"Lost Illusions" is one of the most respected volumes of Balzac, a big novel with the air of an epic even though it focuses on not too many key people.
Lucien and David are the two longtime provincial pals here, who take different paths in pursuing youthful success. The more egoistic Lucien heads off to Paris to woo a rich and fickle older woman into being his permanent sponsor, as he intends to become a great poet. There was nothing necessarily immoral about such sponsorship at the time, as many new writers were supported in this way. However, Lucien finds himself romantically in love with his benefactress.
At first living among impoverished fellow writers in Paris, Lucien ends up becoming a journalist-critic and getting involved in the risky politics of the newspaper business, even as he falls in love again with a financially borderline actress.
Meanwhile, the generous nice guy David stays home, marries and energetically takes over the printing press that runs in his family. He is always there for Lucien whenever a call for help goes out.
This is an absorbing classic novel whose considerable length is not even noticeable, so engrossing is the story. The English translation by Katharine Wormaley flows beautifully, and with Balzac's elan the wordy descriptive passages go down as smooth as ice cream.
Book Tubers on You Tube have somehow never heard of this masterpiece or any other Balzac work, as one after another they continue to limit their classical knowledge to boring writers like Tolstoy or Dickens, the Brontes or Austin, many of whom were writing solely for syndication and were thus motivated to drag their stories out into soap operas which later made for fat and dull books.
Most of Balzac's novels were leanly edited by himself and came out directly one after another, with the 1800s public eating them up like pancakes but getting literary lessons as they did.
Some put their nose in the air and sniff that Balzac's writing quality "fell" when, needing a secure income, he entered a regular publication contract in the last decade of his life. But I have seen no evidence of this, and isn't it easy for the sniffers to talk
if they themselves are financially secure?
To this day many still rank Balzac as history's most prolific single author, and that he produced so many works of literary quality means that he is already far beyond a potboiler like Stephen King who might challenge him for the technical title.
Indeed, Balzac would have surely flooded out any challengers had he not died at age 51. Some insist that this was because of eating a poisonous coffee bean, as Balzac was known to not only guzzle coffee, but actually chew coffee beans for energy for his writing sessions which sometimes extended to 16 or 18 hours in length. He was also said to have made sure a chapel was available to attend Mass without having to stray far from his desk.
But Balzac had other health problems and it is more likely that these killed him not long after his marriage to a Polish countess.
May God bless Balzac's memory and may more people continue to discover his books. I own "Lost Illusions," but get his others from my big Brooklyn central library. I also see them on the shelves of Barnes and Noble, so Balzac has survived into modernity.

Yet Another Washington Post Article on the DC Latin Massacre

'If you are a liberal archbishop ..., the last thing you probably want to see is the liberal newspaper in your city run three pieces ... show[ing] clear sympathy toward practicing Catholics being evicted from their parishes.'

From Rorate Cæli

If you are a liberal archbishop of a prominent archdiocese, the last thing you probably want to see is the liberal newspaper in your city run three pieces in the last few weeks on your DC Latin Massacre. Especially when all of the media coverage shows clear sympathy toward practicing Catholics being evicted from their parishes.

Today's Washington Post has an article by a reporter, William Wan, who visited Saint Mary Mother of God parish in DC yesterday morning. Planning his article on Friday and doing the necessary research on the issue that afternoon, his trip to Saint Mary's -- to actually talk with TLM parishioners -- was something DC Cardinal Wilton Gregory refused to do himself. Wan spoke with about a dozen communicants before and after the 9 a.m. traditional Latin Mass. His article shows the sincere reactions of several parishioners to Cardinal Gregory's decree suppressing TLMs at parishes effective in less than two months.

The article published today in the Washington Post follows pieces in the same publication here and here.

Catholics in D.C. mourn loss of Latin Mass after decree bans practice

By William Wan, Washington Post

Online July 24, 2022; in print July 25, 2022

Standing before his parishioners holding the sacred bread of Communion in his hands, Father Vincent De Rosa, the pastor of St. Mary Mother of God Parish, solemnly intoned in Latin, “Ecce Agnus Dei.” 

The English translation of those words: Behold the lamb of God. 

Those kneeling in the church responded with ancient words of their own, “Domine, non sum dignus.” Lord, I am not worthy. 

An air of earnest contemplation hung over Sunday Mass, tinged by sadness. 

This would be one of the last weeks the church’s parishioners would be able to celebrate using a traditional Latin form that traces its roots back more than a millennium. 

Last year, prompted by ideological wars between conservative and liberal wings, Pope Francis said he wanted to limit use of the old Latin form of Mass. 

This week, the consequences of that papal letter — issued halfway across the world — landed here in Washington with heavy consequences for this small parish in the city’s Chinatown neighborhood. 

By Sept. 21, the parish was told, they were to cease use of the Latin rituals that had been part of St. Mary’s history almost since its founding in 1845. Friday’s local decree, written by Cardinal Wilton Gregory, who oversees the archdiocese of Washington, allows only three non-parish churches in the region to perform the Latin Rite. That means hundreds of Catholics who attend that type of Mass at roughly six parishes in the D.C. area — including St. Mary Mother of God — will be forced to overhaul their ritual or abandon their spiritual homes to attend the three locations in the area allowed to perform it. 

“It’s been devastating to be honest,” said Erin Menke, 42, whose family has attended St. Mary for almost two decades. Three sons had been altar servers at the parish. To assist the parish priest, they painstakingly learned the intricacies of the Latin Mass, which incorporates traditional elements like incense, Gregorian chant and elaborate gestures and words often missing from the modern form of the Mass. 

“There’s a sacred reverence to it that is just beautiful,” Menke said. “These words that are spoken and have been spoken for centuries in the church, they often feel like the closest thing to heaven that we’ve got. To realize we are going to lose that, we’re in shock.” 

In his decision last year, Pope Francis explained that he believed the Latin Mass had become a wedge, deepening divisions. Those who favored the Latin Mass, he said, had exploited the rite as a way to “reinforce the divergences, and encourage disagreements that injure the Church.” 

Most Catholic churches now celebrate modern Mass in the language most easily understood by local parishioners, a practice spurred by reforms in the 1960s. For that reason, the decree won’t affect the majority of Catholics in the Washington region. 

St. Mary Mother of God, however, was among the most vocal churches lobbying the cardinal to allow them to keep Latin Mass in their services. They wrote letters, spoke in synodal listening sessions with archdiocese leaders and begged the cardinal to visit their church to see for himself the importance of the Latin Mass to their community. 

Beside the difference of language, in the Latin Mass the priest faces away from the congregation and instead faces the tabernacle at the front of the church where the Eucharist is kept. Many who attend Latin Mass say they value the chance to meditate and contemplate during the long stretches when the priest is speaking quietly in Latin. 

“You feel a connection to all the Catholics who came before you and celebrated using those same words,” said Matthew Balan as he sat in the wooden pews. He comes from a family of Catholics going back generations in the Philippines. Balan met his wife at St. Mary attending the Latin Mass, and they got married there as well. But now he’s not sure whether they and their two young boys will remain at the parish or move to one of the other locations still offering Latin Mass. “It’s a confusing time for a lot of us.” 

In a heartfelt sermon Sunday, De Rosa acknowledged the pain, anxiety and bewilderment that many were feeling. And he told his flock that he shared those feelings. 

“It pulls at the strings of my heart,” he said. “There’s something that feels unkind about this whole thing. … But my goal is to show you that your father here and other fathers in this diocese do feel your pain.” 

De Rosa urged this flock to cling to truth, unity and their faith throughout the seismic changes to come for their parish. 

Roughly 60 percent of the church’s collection money comes from parishioners who attend its 9 a.m. Latin mass on Sundays, said Sylvester Giustino, who serves on the parish finance council. 

“I do worry about our parish and what happens in September,” he said. “I’m planning to stay. St. Mary has become a home to me. But for others who leave, I can understand that too. We’re not just losing the Latin Mass. We are going to be losing a lot of families and people who have been part of this community for years."