Monday, January 28, 2013

Qui Pluribus (On Faith and Religion) - Bl. Pius IX


NOVEMBER 9, 1846

Blessed Pope Pius IX (1846 - 1878).
Longest reigning pope in history at
31 years, 7 months, 23 days (11,560
days).  A distant second is John Paul II at
26 years, 5 months, 18 days
(9,665 days).
16. The sacred celibacy of clerics has also been the victim of conspiracy. Indeed, some churchmen have wretchedly forgotten their own rank and let themselves be converted by the charms and snares of pleasure. This is the aim too of the prevalent but wrong method of teaching, especially in the philosophical disciplines, a method which deceives and corrupts incautious youth in a wretched manner and gives it as drink the poison of the serpent in the goblet of Babylon. To this goal also tends the unspeakable doctrine of Communism, as it is called, a doctrine most opposed to the very natural law. For if this doctrine were accepted, the complete destruction of everyone's laws, government, property, and even of human society itself would follow.

Read the rest HERE.

B. Papa Piux IX, ora pro nobis. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Leo XIII - On the Evils of Society

So I've decided to make a habit of reading papal encyclicals.  I checked the Vatican website, and they have all of the encyclicals going back to Leo XIII (pope from 1878-1903).  Pope Benedict has written 3 encyclicals at this point in his pontificate, and Pope John Paul II wrote 16 during his reign.  I figured if each pope wrote a similar amount of encyclicals going back to Leo XIII, I could read all of the encyclicals of the 20th and 21st centuries in a few months.  Little did I realize, but Pius XII (pope from 1939-1958) wrote 41 encyclicals!  In fact, that is more encyclicals than all of his successors combined.  All of the popes after Pius XII from 1958-present (John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI) wrote a combined 34 encyclicals.  I then discovered that Leo XIII wrote a whopping 86 encyclicals!  So needless to say, it is going to take me more than a few months to get through them all.  The good thing is that the numerous encyclicals of Pius XII and Leo XIII do not appear to be as long as the encyclicals of John Paul II (so it might be fairly even as far as the time commitment to get through each pope). 

I've decided that for each encyclical that I read, I will create a blog post reciting one of my favorite paragraphs from the encyclical.  I am confident that the encyclicals of the popes from years ago will be very prophetic of some of the evils we are facing in our own day. 

Pope Leo XIII
(reigned from 1878-1903)
The first encyclical that I read was Leo XIII's INSCRUTABILI DEI CONSILIO (On the Evils of Society).  This was the very first of Leo's encyclicals published on April 21, 1878 (Easter day).  Here, the pope discusses the sanctity of marriage:
"Now, the training of youth most conducive to the defense of true faith and religion and to the preservation of morality must find its beginning from an early stage within the circle of home life; and this family Christian training sadly undermined in these our times, cannot possibly be restored to its due dignity, save by those laws under which it was established in the Church by her Divine Founder Himself. Our Lord Jesus Christ, by raising to the dignity of a sacrament the contract of matrimony, in which He would have His own union with the Church typified, not only made the marriage tie more holy, but, in addition, provided efficacious sources of aid for parents and children alike, so that, by the discharge of their duties one to another, they might with greater ease attain to happiness both in time and in eternity. But when impious laws, setting at naught the sanctity of this great sacrament, put it on the same footing of mere civil contracts, the lamentable result followed, that, outraging the dignity of Christian matrimony, citizens made use of legalized concubinage in place of marriage; husband and wife neglected their bounden duty to each other; children refused obedience and reverence to their parents; the bonds of domestic love were loosened; and alas! the worst scandal and of all the most ruinous to public morality, very frequently an unholy passion opened the door to disastrous and fatal separations. These most unhappy and painful consequences, venerable brothers, cannot fail to arouse your zeal and move you constantly and earnestly to warn the faithful committed to your charge to listen with docility to your teaching regarding the holiness of Christian marriage, and to obey laws by which the Church controls the duties of married people and of their offspring."
It should be noted that the Papal States were captured by the Piedmontese army in 1860, and the temporal power of the Popes was usurped by King Victor Emmanuel II in 1870.  The Pope discusses this in great detail in this encyclical.  Check it out HERE.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Pope App

The Vatican has recently released "The Pope App" for the iPhone, and I must say that I'm impressed.  It seems like the Vatican has been all about the new social media ever since the Pope sent out his first tweet.  I think that this is definitely a good thing, as the use of this media will make keeping up with the Pope easier than ever. 

This app allows you to set reminders for live papal events, so that your phone will ring an alarm when it is time for the event.  You can then watch the event live right on the app.  You will probably want to make sure you are connected to WiFi so that you don't use up your data plan.  For instance, the next live papal event is the Mass for the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul coming up on Friday, January 25.  There are other live events such as papal audiences, the pope's weekly angelus/regina caeli, etc.  Rome is seven hours ahead from where I live in Chicago (Central Time), so you have to make sure you don't set a reminder for a live event that is going to go off in the middle of the night! 

There is also an archive of all the pope's recent written messages including his apostolic letters, motu proprios, encyclicals, etc.  There is also a news feed for any papal announcements, as well as images and videos from recent events.  For example, there are images on there of the pope baptizing several babies during the feast of the Baptism of the Lord.  Finally, there are live web cams of St. Peter's Square, JPII's Tomb, Dome of St. Peter's, St. Peter's Basilica, and a couple other places around the Vatican. 

All in all, this app seems like a great way to keep tabs on what the old German Shepherd is up to.  And the best part is that the app is absolutely FREE!  So for you pAPPists out there (that's right....I said it....), get The Pope App.  More information can be found by clicking HERE.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

The authorities on communion on the tongue and kneeling

For regular readers of this blog, it is no secret what my feelings are about restoring communion on the tongue while kneeling as the norm for every parish.  Considering I am not a bishop and do not have the authority to impose my views on anyone, here are a few bishops that I think you may want to pay attention to. 

Francis Cardinal Arinze was Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments from 2002 to 2008.

Raymond Cardinal Burke is the current Cardinal Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, having previously served as Archbishop of St. Louis and Bishop of La Crosse.

Bishop Athanasius Schneider is the auxiliary bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan and titular bishop of Celerina. He is a member of the Canons Regular of the Holy Cross of Coimbra.  Here he is with Fr. Mitch Pacwa on EWTN Live back in 2008 (he just recently made another appearance on EWTN Live on January 9, 2013). 

“. . . out of reverence towards this Sacrament, nothing touches it, but what is consecrated; hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest's hands, for touching this Sacrament. Hence, it is not lawful for anyone else to touch it except from necessity, for instance, if it were to fall upon the ground, or else in some other case of urgency” (St. Thomas Aquinas - Summa Theologiae, III, 82, 3).

“The practice of kneeling for Holy Communion has in its favor a centuries-old tradition, and it is a particularly expressive sign of adoration, completely appropriate in light of the true, real and substantial presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ under the consecrated species.” [Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (before becoming Pope Benedict XVI) in the Letter "This Congregation" of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, July 1, 2002].

Saturday, January 12, 2013

St. Michael Christmas Gift

I finally received my framed prayer to St. Michael the Archangel in the mail today to complete my Christmas present. It's a thing of beauty. And no, the flower cup in the background did not come with it. I forgot to move it before taking the pictures.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Bubbles are fun

Liturgical Dancing in Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral | Catholic and Loving it!

Liturgical Dancing in Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral | Catholic and Loving it!

In case you ever wondered what liturgical dance looks like, here it is in the Liverpool cathedral (yes a cathedral.....where a bishop resides).  This was on the occasion of transferring the relics of St. John Bosco to this cathedral.  It was a shame that his relics had to be greeted by liturgical abuse.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My Initial Doubts about the Latin Mass ~ Canterbury Tales by Dr. Taylor Marshall

My Initial Doubts about the Latin Mass ~ Canterbury Tales by Dr. Taylor Marshall

I am a big fan of Dr. Taylor Marshall's website: 

He had a blog post recently about the "Latin Mass" (the Extraordinary Form according to the 1962 Roman Missal or Usus Antiquior). I've been attending the Extraordinary Form exclusively during the week for about two full years now, with the exception of most Sundays and a handful of holy days of obligation. I've tried to think of a good way to summarize my experience, and Taylor's recent post (see link at the top) hits the nail on the head. I whole-heartedly agree with his advice on how to approach the "Latin Mass". Here is my favorite line from his article:  "The Latin Mass is like beer. You have to drink it in a few times to like it."