Are We Walking to Heaven Backward? A Pastoral Consideration of Liturgical “orientation.”

By: Msgr. Charles Pope Some years ago the theologian Fr. Jonathan Robinson wrote a commentary on the modern experience of the Sacred liturgy and entitled it, The Mass and Modernity: Walking to Heaven Backward. It is a compelling image of so much of what is wrong with the celebration of the Liturgy in many parishes today. While Fr. Robinson certainly had the celebration of Mass “facing the people” in mind, his concerns are broader than that. Indeed, Continue Reading →

Ecclesia Semper Reformanda: Communion with the Church by Degrees of Fullness

A Lecture Addressed to the Theological Students’ Association of The Catholic University of America by Father Jay Scott Newman, J.C.L. Assistant Professor of Canon Law at The Pontifical College Josephinum 18 April 2001 In his De Praescriptione Haereticorum, Tertullian famously asked with derision, “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?”, meaning “What has philosophy to do with theology?” I begin with this reminder because, although I am here to address the Theological Students’ Association, I Continue Reading →

Papal Infallibility

Papal Infallibility was defined as a dogma of the Faith, in the year 1870, during the First Vatican Council.  While most people have heard of this dogma, few understand its true meaning and limitations.  It is not uncommon to find non-Catholics who believe the dogma extends to the moral actions of a pope, in such a way, that he is said to be incapable of sin (impeccability). Most Catholics realize that the scope of infallibility Continue Reading →

The Second Vatican Council prophecy and the matter of tradition – Vatican Insider

The “most interesting part” of Benedict XVI’s speech to the Curia in 2005, when he took stock of how the Second Vatican Council had been received, is the one concerning the relationship between the modern world and the Church as Ratzinger turned “the situation prospected by the traditionalists upside down” In fact “ In order to explain to them the open-mindedness of the Vatican II, the pope stated that the Church did not forgo and Continue Reading →

RORATE CÆLI: Mercy begins with denouncing of sin

Today it seems that the condemnation of sin has disappeared from the Church. We are not saying that it is, or that sin is no longer declared as such; we are simply saying that it is done timidly and sweetly, to appear, even for the Church, not a grave matter. Yes, generally speaking, today it is done so. If an action is still defined as sinful, instantly a work of softening up the accusation begins, Continue Reading →


( On the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, the aging conciliar diehards in the Vatican apparatus, desperate to shore up the Council’s crumbling legacy, have dared to revive and advance at breakneck speed the long dead cause for the “beatification” of Paul VI. John Paul II initiated the cause at the diocesan level in 1993, but it failed to advance any further for reasons that should be obvious. (Among the many less obvious Continue Reading →

Trading a Bowl of Pottage for Your Soul

In today’s world a bowl of pottage might be more likened to an Obama-phone, Obama-care, free contraceptives and welfare checks. However, one’s soul is ethereal and you cannot hold it in your hand or deposit it in the bank. So it seems a profitable trade for our 21st century neighbors as Esau’s dreadful decision did to him. I guess it’s the old bird in the hand vs. the two in the bush syndrome. However, the Continue Reading →

How ignoring two little words has devastated evangelization. | Archdiocese of Washington

Just two little words in a carefully written text of the Second Vatican Council carry tremendous significance in terms of the emphasis that text was meant to convey. Two little words, so easily overlooked, add urgency to the task for evangelization, and usher in a reminder of why the task of the Church in announcing Jesus Christ is so critical. What are these words? Simply these: “But often….” Read more . . .

Catholic Collar And Tie: Latin, Ad Orientem and Problem Priests

For the last seven years I have celebrated the Ordinary Form ad orientem, and at our Vigil Mass made use of simple Latin Mass parts for the Ordinary (we have had the Usus Antiquior on Sundays since 2007). Some parishioners, though a small minority, seem to have continued difficulty with the Latin and ad orientem celebration because “they make us the odd ones out; no one else is doing them”. No matter how often the Continue Reading →

RealClearReligion – Obsessed With Meetings

By Father Robert Barron Just a few weeks ago, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. Accordingly, there has been a good deal of commentary from historians, theologians and even from the handful of bishops and experts who actually participated in the Council five decades ago. I was particularly struck by an observation made by Fr. John O’Malley, the Jesuit historian who penned, some years ago, an influential book Continue Reading →

A Call to Courage in a Climate of Crisis and Conflict. | Archdiocese of Washington

There is debate among some in Church, as I suppose there has been in every age, as to how to interpret the signs of the times. It was common in the 1970s and into the 80s for many to speak hopefully of a “Springtime for the Church” as they looked with confidence for the fruits of the Second Vatican Council to take off. And there have indeed been many Spring fruits: a laity that is Continue Reading →

RORATE CÆLI: The Church of Vatican II: the lamps are going out all over Europe

1. In Vic (Catalonia, Spain), the Franciscans are leaving after 800 years of continuous presence. On October 28, a farewell (new) Mass for the Franciscans was celebrated in the Shrine of the Mother of God. (Source: Catalunya Religió – tip: La Cigüeña) 2. In Dieburg (Hesse, Germany), only four elderly Capuchins were left, and the local province decided to end a 400-year-old presence in the city; they are leaving in a couple of weeks. (Source: Continue Reading →