Friday, April 29, 2005

St Cronan of Roscrea

Mary Ryan D'Arcy's "The Saints of Ireland" says his feast day was yesterday. (The bit about "catching up" in the previous post applies not only to back issues of magazines.) However, this notice isn't from D'Arcy's book but from the handy little monthly missalette/prayer book called Magnificat that keeps you up to speed with the Pauline liturgy. (Or as up to speed as one can get in an ever-changing environment with an almost infinite number of options.)

Cronan, of Offaly, Ireland, founded a monastic community in Puayd. Thereafter, he moved from place to place fifty times so as to donate each dwelling he left behind to a needy hermit. Subsequently, he settled at Seanross to live in solitude, but later founded a monastery in Roscrea. Toward the end of his life he was afflicted with blindness. . . .On one occasion, lacking a beverage for his guests, he is said to have miraculously obtained by his prayers so much beer for them that they all became inebriated.

Now, now. Wipe that smirk off your face. It was a health issue. He was only interested in their long life and happiness. It says so here. Far be it from us to laugh in the face of science when it agrees with our preconcieved notions.

Catching up on back issues

I'm always catching up on back issues of something. In this case, The Spectator. In the 5 March number, Piers Paul Read not only recommends that the next Pope should be Cardinal Ratzinger, he predicts it. Most of our predictions are only recalled when they're wrong and even then only when we've put a fiver on them. He ought to get some sort of credit for going out on the prognosticatorial limb and picking a winner. So this paragraph is it. You can read his spot-on opinion piece here. But, alas, only with a paid up subscription. (I'd recommend the print edition; but the e-version is cheaper.)

Too Much Evangelical Christianity in the Air Force Academy?

Barry Lynn's Americans for Separation of Church and State thinks so. This article from this morning's paper seems to confirm that. It would be interesting to see a detailed response from the Academy or at least a report from a reliable source. Barry Lynn has been riding his anti-Christian hobby horse for years; this is hardly an unimpeachable source.

[And this was great: "Airpower!" "Rock, Sir!" Evangelical? I think not. What we have here is creeping ultramontanism. Tu es Petrus et super hanc petram ædificabo ecclesiam meam. Ole red shoes is gonna be takin' over the Air Force any day now.]

Mr Smith Goes to Washington -- or maybe not. We'll have to check with our attorneys

Just whose side is Jimmy Stewart on anyway? 66 years ago he starred in Mr Smith Goes to Washington which gave us the short-and-sweet answer to the question "What's a 'filibuster'?" Now Jimmy as Senator Smith is back in the thick of it with both sides of the senatorial aisle fighting over his patronage. This morning's Times tells us all about it here.

[Note this little tidbit: It turns out that the licensing department at Columbia Pictures, now a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, gave the liberal group rights to the film clip in January under the impression that People for the American Way was a nonpartisan group that intended to use the image for a public service announcement. Ah, yes. "People for the American Way" the well-known non-partisan group. The licensing department at Columbia Pictures doesn't get out much does it.]

Una Voce International

Una Voce International has launched an excellent new website. Amongst the useful features is a list of religious communities and priestly societies that use traditional Latin Rite liturgies. It includes contact information should the Holy Ghost happen to be whispering in your ear lately.

You can find it here and it's been added as a link over in the left-hand column.

[Thanks to Wayne, a friend of this blog, for the pointer.]

Just how Southron are y'all? Or are youse in fact a Yankee?

This test will reveal all. If you can't believe the results of a 20 question quiz you found somewhere on the internet what can you believe? Although. . . . there is a hint of a suspicion that the highest standards of scientific research might not have been adhered to when in the "pop/soda/coke/soft-drink" question neither "RC" nor "Co'Cola" are available as responses. Hmmmm. In any event, I came out as 64% Dixie, which isn't bad considering how long I've been away.

Going for the Litigation Merit Badge

Now we know what happened to Marcia Clark -- a troop leader, somewhere in Wisconsin.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

"Lincoln said 'with charity for all and malice toward none.' Now it's 'Think like I do or we'll bomb the daylights out of you.'"

A Democrat senator? A disgruntled paleo reading this morning's paper? A neo-con eyeing his map of Iran? Actually, it's Lionel Barrymore as Grandpa Vanderhof in 1938's "You Can't Take it With You". It sort of jumped out at me the other day when watching it for the - 12th? 20th? - time. Plus ça change. . . .

The New Papal Coat of Arms

The new papal coat of arms no longer bears the papal triregnum or "tiara". The triple jurisdiction is still symbolized by the three-barred cross on the mitre which replaces it. A fuller explanation can be found here.

[Thanks to "Mangoe" on the York Forum for the citations.]

"The Reform of the Reform" Has Already Begun

Sandro Magister invites a closer look at the papal liturgies so far. His latest essay can be found here.

Friday, April 22, 2005

The Real Ratizinger: Lover of Lovers

A nice, "aw, gee" story from Inside the Vatican's e-newsletter.

The Real Ratzinger: The Lover of Lovers

- by Anthony & Marta Valle

Who is the real Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI?

To the world he is many things; to us he is the priest who celebrated our wedding Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on June 24, 2004, a short 10 months before he became Pope Benedict XVI.

Who are we? Two ordinary students who met three years ago in Rome on the footsteps of a church after Mass.

What was our “connection” to the current successor of St. Peter? None. We simply asked and he said yes.

In February, 2004, we attend Cardinal Ratzinger’s weekly Mass, celebrated Thursday morning at 7 a.m. inside the Vatican in the church of the Campo Teutonico, but open to the public.

He has celebrated the Mass for many years for anyone who wishes to come.

After celebrating his Mass, then Cardinal Ratzinger, the Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, emerged from the sacristy in a simple cassock and was greeted warmly by an excited crowd of people from all over the world, some to get the great theologian’s personal autograph, others to get a picture with the second most powerful prelate in the Church, and yet others to thank this holy German priest for his persevering and faithful service to Christ and the Church.

At first he struck us as somewhat timid.

However, as he approached the excited and sizeable crowd of people, he began to talk to and take interest in each individual person who has come to see him.

He answered questions in various languages, asked some of his own, occasionally cracked a joke or two, while always devoting his entire attention to each individual person in such a soft, pastoral way.

This much was obvious: the real Ratzinger was most at home as a man of the people, as a shepherd keeping watch over his flock.

It was our turn. We introduced ourselves to his eminence, reverenced his ring, engaged in some pleasant talk with him, and then – we popped the question: “We have a favor to ask of you, your Eminence”.

He waited patiently.

“Will you celebrate our wedding mass?”

“Well, let’s see what we can do. Why don’t you write a letter to me with some possible times and dates.”

“Well, actually your eminence, we already have one prepared.”

Within a week, Marta received an envelope from the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith. We open it, stunned: it is a yes!

Several months later and a few days before our wedding date, at the cardinal’s request, his secretary scheduled us to meet the cardinal. He wanted to get to know us a little better.

Being a responsible secretary, he emphasized over and over, “You only have 10 minutes with the cardinal – that is all. He is a very busy man and I am responsible for keeping his schedule.”

The door opened and we entered to be warmly received by the cardinal.

However, we exited his office some 30 minutes later, only at the end realizing that not we but rather he had far exceeded the set limit.

We talked about everything from our backgrounds, our families, and our studies to spirituality, sacred music, liturgy, theology, plainchant and polyphony.

Yet what struck us immediately about the cardinal during our private meeting with him and also when he celebrated Mass was not his towering intellectual genius, but his obvious simplicity, his humility, and his holiness.

Two days later was June 24, the day of our wedding.

We were brimming with joy since we would receive the sacrament of matrimony, be eternally wedded to each other in Christ, and all this in the Eternal City, in the Heart of the Church, from a man whose heart is clearly burning with a deep love for Christ.

The sermon was a profound meditation on the readings, particularly on Ephesians 5.

Here the cardinal passionately underscored the husband’s subordinate role to the wife in so far as the husband must sacrifice himself continuously for his wife out of a deep love for her, just as Christ sacrificed himself for his own spouse, the Church.

What made the highest-ranking prelate in the Catholic Church next to the Pope give his yes to an unknown couple’s request that he celebrate their wedding Mass?

At their wedding, what made him give such a nearly half-hour long sermon, which could -- or one could even argue -- should have been much shorter given the cardinal’s tremendous responsibilities?

What, on top of all this, compelled him to send us a personally inscribed, limited edition of his latest book as a wedding gift?

These are questions that we continually ask ourselves, and the only answer that gives itself back to us in the faintest of whispers is Love, better yet, a person so smitten by a deep and personal love for Christ that he himself becomes the Lover of Lovers.

And that is the real Ratzinger we came to know.

The New Pope

Somewhere else on the web there may be more about our new pope than The New Pope Blog prints or links to but I can't imagine where. I suppose will have more one day. But for now, this is IT.

I planned to have a link posted over to the left when the proprietor kindly dropped me a note a few days ago about his project. And I promptly lost the e-mail. (You've seen that little sentence in the "Contact Information" section wherein it states that things get a bit muddled around here? Much of this blog is unrelieved hyperbole. That bit is God's own truth.) This reference in Apologia reminded me of my good intentions and "The New Pope" is now resident in the blogroll.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Another Clerical Error

Poor old Times. They really are in snit. Yesterday's editorial* lamented the cardinals' failure to elect a third-world candidate to the papacy. Oh, please. The editorial snark-o-meter would be at exactly the same level if Cardinal Arinze had been elected. It wasn't all that long ago that His Eminence of Nigeria stood up before the assembled intellectualoids of Georgetown University and read 'em from the book. One could hardly hear oneself think over the resulting din of editorial tut-tutting and harrumphing. How dare a benighted cleric from the boondocks lecture the unco guid of Georgetown on morality.

Third-world cardinal, indeed. The Times would still be in a blue funk. And does it really think that there would not be rejoicing amongst the faithful for Cardinal Arinze? Or Cardinal Castrillon-Hoyos? Or the saintly Cardinal Bergoglio of Buenos Aires? Or a few dozen others? The Times and its editorial clones throughout the western world only think they want a third-world pope because their hubris allows them to believe that the poor, simple, fellow would submit to their lectures from on high.

What The Times really wanted was Frank Griswold. It would have been issuing its judgemental, uncharitable, and negative encyclicals, er, I mean editorials no matter who else showed up on that balcony last Tuesday.

*I can't make the Times' archive cough up yesterday's editorial so you'll have to take my word for its existence. Unless you can dig it up yourself. I don't know why you would, though. If you read a Major American Daily Paper with any regularity, I would think you could probably write it yourself.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

"Epirotulian Delights"

This is what a medical friend of mine entitled the e-mail in which he sent me this article, The Theology of Kneeling by one Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.

There are groups, of no small influence, who are trying to talk us out of kneeling. "It doesn't suit our culture", they say (which culture?) "It's not right for a grown man to do this -- he should face God on his feet". Or again: "It's not appropriate for redeemed man -- he has been set free by Christ and doesn't need to kneel any more".

If we look at history, we can see that the Greeks and Romans rejected kneeling. In view of the squabbling, partisan deities described in mythology, this attitude was thoroughly justified. It was only too obvious that these gods were not God, even if you were dependent on their capricious power and had to make sure that, whenever possible, you enjoyed their favor. And so they said that kneeling was unworthy of a free man, unsuitable for the culture of Greece, something the barbarians went in for. Plutarch and Theophrastus regarded kneeling as an expression of superstition.

Aristotle called it a barbaric form of behavior (cf. Rhetoric 1361 a 36). Saint Augustine agreed with him in a certain respect: the false gods were only the masks of demons, who subjected men to the worship of money and to self-seeking, thus making them "servile" and superstitious. He said that the humility of Christ and His love, which went as far as the Cross, have freed us from these powers. We now kneel before that humility. The kneeling of Christians is not a form of inculturation into existing customs. It is quite the opposite, an expression of Christian culture, which transforms the existing culture through a new and deeper knowledge and experience of God.

Kneeling does not come from any culture -- it comes from the Bible and its knowledge of God. The central importance of kneeling in the Bible can be seen in a very concrete way. The word proskynein alone occurs fifty-nine times in the New Testament, twenty-four of which are in the Apocalypse, the book of the heavenly Liturgy, which is presented to the Church as the standard for her own Liturgy.

The rest can be found here.

Thanks, Danny.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Passages I underlined when I first read The Ratzinger Report 15 or so years ago

[from Vittorio Messori's first chapter introduction] A young colleague of his in Rome told us of the intense life of prayer with which he checks the danger of being transformed into a bureaucrat who mechanically signs decrees, who does not concern himself with the humanity of the persons involved. "Often", said the young man, "he assembles us in the chapel of the palace for meditation and common prayer. He is constantly aware of the need to let our daily, often thankless work in dealing with the 'pathology of faith' become firmly rooted in a lived Christianity.'"

Are you proposing, perhaps, a return to the old spirit of “opposition to the world”?

“It is not Christians who oppose the world, but rather the world which opposes itself to them when the truth about God, about Christ and about man is proclaimed. The world waxes indignant when sin and grace are called by their names. After the phase of indiscriminate ‘openness’ it is time that the Christian reacquire the consciousness of belonging to a minority and of often being in opposition to what is obvious, plausible and natural for that mentality which the New Testament calls – and certainly not in a positive sense – the ‘spirit of the world’. It is time to find again the courage of nonconformism, the capacity to oppose many of the trends of the surrounding culture, renouncing a certain euphoric post-conciliar solidarity.” [pg. 36]

“I believe, rather, that the true time of Vatican II has not yet come, that its authentic reception has not yet begun: its documents were quickly buried under a pile of superficial or frankly inexact publications. . . .the Catholic who clearly and, consequently, painfully perceives the damage that has been wrought in his Church by the misinterpretations of Vatican II must find the possibility of revival in Vatican II itself. The Council is his, it does not belong to those who want to continue along a road whose results have been catastrophic. It does not belong to those who, not by chance, don’t know just what to make of Vatican II, which they look upon as a ‘fossil of the clerical era’.” [pg. 40]

“But the Church of Christ is not a party, not an association, not a club. Her deep and permanent structure is not democratic but sacramental, consequently hierarchical. For the hierarchy based on the apostolic succession is the indispensable condition to arrive at the strength, the reality of the sacrament.” [pg. 49]

“In reality this kind of ‘emancipation’ of woman is in no way new. One forgets that in the ancient world all the religions also had priestesses. All except one: the Jewish. Christianity, here too following the ‘scandalous’ original example of Jesus, opens a new situation to women; it accords them a position that represents a novelty with respect to Judaism. But of the latter he preserves the exclusively male priesthood. Evidently, Christian intuition understood that the question was not secondary, that to defend Scripture (which in neither the Old nor the New Testament knows women priests) signified once more to defend the human person, especially those of the female sex.” [pgs. 94]

“The man, even the religious, despite the well-known problems, was able to make his way out of the crisis by throwing himself into work whereby he tried to discover his role anew in activity. But what is the woman to do when the roles inscribed in her own biology have been denied and perhaps even ridiculed? If her wonderful capacity to give love, help, solace, warmth, solidarity has been replaced by the economistic and trade-union mentality of the ‘profession’, by the typical masculine concern? What can the woman do when all that is most particularly hers is swept away and declared irrelevant and deviant?” [ pg. 103]

Yet during the interview he gold me, “If the place occupied by Mary has been essential to the equilibrium of the Faith, today it is urgent, as in few other epochs of Church history, to rediscover that place.” [pg. 105]

“As a young theologian in the time before (and also during) the Council, I had, as many did then and still do today, some reservations, in regard to certain ancient formulas, as, for example, that famous De Maria numquam satis, ‘concerning Mary one can never say enough.’ It seemed exaggerated to me. So it was difficult for me later to understand the true meaning of another famous expression (current in the Church since the first centuries when – after a memorable dispute – the Council of Ephesus, in 431, had proclaimed Mary Theotokos, Mother of God). The declaration, namely, that designated the Virgin as ‘the conqueror of all heresies’. Now – in this confused period where truly every type of heretical aberration seems to be pressing upon the doors of the authentic faith – now I understand that it was not a matter of pious exaggerations, but of truths that today are more valid than ever.” [pg. 105-106]

Received two days ago. . .

. . . from Dr Moynihan's "Newsflash" service via Inside the Vatican magazine:

On the question whether Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger will be the next Pope, the German journalist Peter Seewald replied: “An interesting constellation exists in this conclave. Perhaps this is an omen, but next week is under the patronage of the Germans in the ecclesiastical calendar: from Tuesday, April 19, the Church remembers Leo IX – one of the most significant German Popes who reigned from 1049 to 1054. From Thursday, April 21, the Church remembers Father Konrad of Parzham. Parzham lies only a few kilometres away from Ratzinger’s place of birth Marktl on the Inn, and both lie in the same diocese Passau.”

"Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: habemus papam"

Lesson #1 of the new papacy: over-weight, middle-aged bloggers should not do a happy dance in front of the television news without the proper footwear. (I'm fine, thanks, and so is the lamp. I'm even still happy. To put it mildly.)

Oremus pro pontifice nostro Benedicto.

Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatam faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.

Something to add to the practice repertoire today:

Not a classic, perhaps, but the Te Deum doesn't fit the pipe scale so it'll have to do.

Putting your money where your scheda elettorale is

Well, unless you're a cardinal you don't actually get a ballot paper, which is what scheda elettorale means in Italian, so I'm told. But if you're in Ireland these folks will let you back up your papabile preferences with cash. They seem to have stopped after the 50 to 1 shots so they haven't even opened a book on my own beloved ordinary.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Post Tax Reflection

It is 37.6 times more difficult to get the e-file rebate out of the TurboTax people than it is to buy the product in the first place. (Don't see any mention of the rebate at the linked page? Precisely.)

Friday, April 15, 2005

"The strange death of Protestant England"

. . . read a headline in the Guardian the next day. "Catholicism hasn't been this chic since Bloody Mary burned Rowan Williams's first Protestant predecessor at the stake."

The Daily Telegraph reports British political, social, and several other ramifications of the Holy Father's death here. Although there were counter-balances to the lead quote above. Such as:

Yet the strange death of Protestant England, and what the historian Mark Almond calls "the hollowing-out of the Protestant Succession", is emphatically not the same thing as the rebirth of Catholicism.

Cardinal Hume discovered this when he incautiously talked about "the conversion of England", and then spent the next decade watching his churches empty. Mass attendance will be higher than usual tomorrow, but will quickly revert to its disastrously low level.

A fascinating article. The rest can be found here.

[And a tip of the caubeen to Catholic Church Conservation for the reference.]


Timing is everything. (Except when it's location.) And the few moments between preparing cheques for the Revenuers - both state and federal - was not the time for a quick visit to the Catholic Church Conservation blog. Even at the best of times this has to be the most depressing site on the net*. And when one has already been pushed by the IRC to the very cusp of the slough of despond. . .well, the reasonable and prudent man would have been better advised to give it a miss.

But then I haven't been called either reasonable or prudent lately. If you have a supply of restoratives handy and you haven't visited lately, a strong dose of reality awaits here.

*Yes, even worse than this one wherein one can find the latest personnel vagaries of The Boston Parking Lot Attendant.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Inside the Vatican

Despite it's tabloid-style title, Inside the Vatican is a pretty strait-laced monthly magazine edited in Rome with informed and careful articles. It's also one of the most beautifully illustrated publications on the planet. Imagine a sort of Catholic "National Geographic" devoted largely to Rome. And, well, yes, there is just a touch of Roman gossip. Well, it wouldn't be Roman without it, would it? Even if you can't come up with the readies for a subscription, you can get a taste of it by subscribing to their free "newsflash" service for an e-mail report on Vatican news. These days that's at least one a day, sometimes more. The latest ones are linked on the website.

You won't get the pictures, though, without subscribing.

[No, I didn't get paid for that. It's really a beautiful magazine.]

"Penitenze age!"

So I followed the advice of the old heretic in "Name of the Rose" and did our taxes, a task that most years is not coincidentally performed in Lent. Once again, the gummint wants vast wads of cash from me and once again I pull Sarah Caudwell's magnificent "Thus Was Adonis Murdered" from the shelf and review her description of Julia Larwood's plight. I assure one and all, especially any federales who may have stumbled across this site, that unlike Julia, I do file the necessary forms every year and as accurately as I can. But nonetheless I relate to Julia. At some deep level I very much relate.

I raised another question which was perplexing me. 'It all sounds,' I said, 'very expensive. How can Julia afford it? I thought that the Inland Revenue had reduced her to destitution.'

Julia's unhappy relationship with the Inland Revenue was due to her omission, during four years of modestly successful practice at the Bar, to pay any income tax. The truth is, I think, that she did not, in her heart of hearts, really believe in income tax. It was a subject which she had studied for examinations and on which she had thereafter advised a number of clients: she naturally did not suppose, in these circumstances, that it had anything to do with real life.

The day had come on which the Revenue discovered her existence and reminded her of theirs. They had not initially asked her for money: they had first insisted, unreasonably but implacably, that she should submit accounts. They had shown by this that they were not motivated by a just and lawful desire to fill the public purse for the public benefit: their true purpose was to make Julia spend every evening for several months copying out the last four years' entries in her Clerk's Fee Book on an old typewriter that did not work properly. I myself am not entirely sure that the age and defectiveness of the typewriter were an essential feature of the Revenue's planning. But Julia was: every time it stuck, her bitterness towards them deepened. The Revenue, on receiving the result of her labours, had uttered no word of gratitude or commendation. They had demanded a large sum of money. More than she had. More, according to her— though I think that she cannot be quite right about this— than she had ever had. More than she could ever hope to have.

In this extremity, she had appealed to her Clerk. Julia's Clerk is called William, an older man than Henry, and perhaps more indulgent. It took a mere two hours of sycophantic pleading, freely laced with promises of perpetual industry, to secure his assistance. He sent out fee notes, as a matter of urgency, requesting immediate payment from those solicitors who were indebted to Julia for her services.

His efforts raised a sufficient sum to pay the Revenue, but left Julia with nothing to live on. Or at any rate with only so much as might support the bare necessities of life. I did not see how she could afford to go to Venice.

'The unhappy events to which you refer,' said Selena, 'occurred some months ago. That is to say, in the financial year which ended on the fifth of April. On or about that date, the Revenue wrote to Julia, reminding her that they were now entitled to another year's accounts.'

'And Julia was jolly miffed,' said Cantrip. 'Because the way she saw it, she'd done her bit as far as accounts were concerned.'

'But she consoled herself,' said Selena, 'with the reflection that it was only one year's accounts and couldn't be as bad as last time. So she went back to her typewriter and in less than three months prepared her accounts for the previous year.'

'But since,' said Ragwort, 'her income for the previous year included the rather substantial sum raised by William to pay her previous liabilities to the Revenue — '
'She now owes them even more than she did last year. And she's really rather despondent about it. Because it seems to her that every effort she makes to reduce her liability will in fact simply serve to increase it. And it is difficult to point to any fallacy in her reasoning.' Selena gazed sadly into her coffee cup.

'It is still not clear to me,' I said, 'why she now feels able to afford a holiday.'

'It is true,' said Selena, 'that if she takes a holiday, she can't afford to pay the Revenue. But if she doesn't take a holiday she still can't afford to pay the Revenue. On the sheep and lamb principle, she has decided to go to Venice. I think it's very sensible. She will return to London spiritually refreshed and able to cope with life.'

Sarah Caudwell wrote three more in this, for want of a better name, the "Hilary Tamar" series. Alas, she died in the year 2000 so there will be no more. If you find any of the four that exist - you'll find them named at the link - don't fail to pick them up. A wonderful read, every one of them. Even if you're not trying to clear your mind of Form 1040 nightmares.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

"Have you finished the taxes yet, dear?"

[The taxes? Have I fin --- Uh, oh.]

"Um, uh, not quite yet."

Why not just, uh, click some links over to the left there. Anything. I'll be back in a couple of days. With luck.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Being Helpful

According to the SiteMeter statistics several folks have stopped by The Inn looking for something on the Gregorian chant used for the Holy Father's funeral Mass. So far it's been a wasted link click for them. Thanks to the mp3s provided by the monks of St Benedict's Abbey in Brazil I can partially remedy that for any future visitors:

Introit: Requiem Æternam

Kyrie eleison

Offertory: Domine Iesu Christe


Agnus Dei

A page giving the texts of these chants and several others that occur during the funeral liturgy can be found here. Scroll down almost to the bottom of that page for the funeral liturgy. The references are to the traditional Roman Rite. But in this case most of the texts and chants are the same, although there are minor differences. You'll notice, for instance, that the text of the Agnus Dei is changed in the Pauline Rite - "miserere nobis" and "dona nobis pacem" are substituted for "dona eis requiem" and "dona eis requiem sempiternam". However, the melody remains the same adapted only slightly to fit the new wording. This page has a midi file for each of the melodies. It's not ideal but will give some idea of what's being sung, especially if you're not used to four-line staffs and square note neums.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

"I am seldom, if ever 'fair'; it is one of my glories."

I once had a teacher who gave that response when one of our happy band of scholars complained that his proposed examination would be "Unfair!"

I, however, do try to be fair when there's no other way around it. And if I am going to refer you to some very entertaining and informative articles it looks like I'm going to have to be something resembling fair to The Times.

The Times has been largely, if not entirely, positive and even generous in its reporting on the Holy Father's funeral. I'm not vouching for the commentary and the highly selective choices in the Letters section. And there were a couple of articles I could have done without. But for the most part, the reporting has been well-worth my 50 cents.

Some recommended samples:

Pope's Footmen Gladly Bear the Burden (The Holy Father's pallbearers were the hereditary footmen to the pope.)

Sacred Music Borne Aloft for Centuries (a nice primer on Gregorian Chant)

Vatican Tailors Recall Their 'Easy Customer' (Gamarelli's has been profiled before but still interesting. Another family business.)

Funeral for a Pope (A pdf document illustrating the locations of the Holy Father's funeral and burial. More like a poster or a chart.)

Journal of a Roman Deacon

[God bless us! Blogger actually deigned to publishing something! I wonder how long this will continue?]

If you weren't able to be in Rome for the Holy Father's funeral (and there are a few of us, although, from the television pictures, not many) this series of articles will be not only the next best thing but a fascinating look behind the scenes, too.

The writer is a seminarian and deacon at the Roman Seminary and was able to participate in some of the ceremonies. A very enjoyable read. (And I say that not just because he's from my home town.)

Immerse yourelf in Romanitá:

Part One: Journal of a Roman Deacon

Part Two: Journal of a Roman Deacon

Part Three: Journal of a Roman Deacon

With no confidence at all. . .

. . .I am trying once more to post a little something here. Blogger hasn't let me post anything for over 24 hours. "There Have Been Errors" No fooling. I suppose I get what I'm paying for.

On the other hand, everything is now being produced on a word processing format and copy/pasted into Blogger. At least that way all this timeless wisdom won't be lost every single time I try to post it.

Let's see what happens this time when I push the "Publish Post" button . . . .

Thursday, April 07, 2005

All things to all men

Fr Ethan, the "Suburban Priest", posted a collection of some of it his favourite more light-hearted pictures of the Holy Father. This one (try to contain your surprise) is one of my favourites:

[The band is the New Ross and District Pipe Band. You can find the original (and some others from Rome) in a slightly larger format on their website here.]

Elsewhere in the Parish

"In illo tempore" has put up a few pertinent liturgical prayers for these times taken from traditional sources: collects for the election of a pope, for the church during an interregnum, and for the repose of the soul of a deceased pope. Useful to print out for your prayer book.

And not to be missed is Bill Luse's meditation on the Holy Father. You'll find it here. This is the best thing that's been written about Pope John Paul since his death. If you're short on time, go and read it now. Don't dawdle at The Inn; there's nothing half as good here.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

And one in Rome. . .

Con grande dolore segnalamo la morte del Sommo Pontefice Giovanni Paolo II

Sarà celebrata una Messa Solenne di Requiem giovedì 7 Aprile alle 18:30

This one will be at La chiesa di San Gregorio dei Muratori

Via the Roman website of the Fraternity of St Peter.

Traditional Requiem in Ireland

A Requiem Mass in the traditional Latin rite will be offered for the repose of the soul of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II at the Church of the Assumption, Batterstown, Co. Meath at 8pm on Wednesday, 13 April 2005. This Mass takes place at the request of the Latin Mass Society of Ireland.

The celebrant will be Father Michael Cahill, C.C., Batterstown who is Spiritual Advisor to the Latin Mass Society of Ireland. The Bishop of Meath, Most Rev. Michael Smith, has approved of Father Cahill's acting in this capacity as it reflects the wishes of the late Holy Father to accommodate traditionally minded Catholics within communion of the Catholic Church following the 1988 schism with Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and his Society of St. Pius X.

This Mass in Dublin has already taken place. But for the record:

A Sung Mass (Missa Cantata) according to the traditional Latin rite will be celebrated for the repose of the soul of His Holiness Pope John Paul II at 7.30pm on Wednesday the 6th of April in St Audoen's Church, High St. (near Christchurch Cathedral), Dublin 8. The Celebrant will be Fr Flanagan O. Carm. St Audoen's is the site of the traditional liturgical apostolate of the Dublin Diocese, and operates under the permission granted by Pope John Paul in his motu proprio Ecclesia Dei adflicta (1988)

Via The Latin Mass Society of Ireland

More Requiems in the Traditional Rite

On Saturday, April 9th, at 11:00 am, a Solemn High Requiem Mass will be offered for the soul of Pope John Paul II at St. Anthony of Padua Church, West Orange, NJ.

And it's too late for this one, but for the record:

On Wednesday, April 6th, at 7:30 pm, a sung Requiem Mass will be offered for the soul of Pope John Paul II at Our Lady of Fatima Chapel, Pequannock, NJ.

Thanks to Mike Fieschko for these references. (Mike maintains two fine sites of his own, here and here.)

Traditional Requiem Masses

Three more traditional Requiem Masses will be celebrated for Pope John Paul II. The details for any who can attend:

At St John Cantius in Chicago: A traditional Requiem will be celebrated "for the Holy Father on Wednesday, April 6th at 7:30 pm. The Sine Nomine Choir and orchestra will sing the Gabriel Faure Requiem Mass."

At the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington, Kentucky, a "High Mass of Requiem and Absolution in the Traditional Roman Rite will be celebrated for the repose of the soul of His Holiness Pope John Paul II on Saturday 10th April, 2005 at 8 a.m"

And at Our Lady of the Assumption Abbey of Clear Creek in Oklahoma the monks will be "will be chanting the Office of the Dead in honor of the Holy Father. Matins will begin [Tuesday] at 6:00 p.m., after Vespers for St. Benedict's Feast Day, which was celebrated today. The Office of the Dead will continue through [Wednesday]. The Requeim High Mass will be said at 10:00 a.m. [Wednesday] and the office will end with Vespers, [Wednesday] evening."

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Yesterday's edition of "Dyspeptic Mutterings" has one of those pointed insights that occasionally come along to delight the day. You know the kind. The ones that illuminate something you didn't know needed illuminating. The ones that put into words a feeling you didn't know you had until you saw it expressed. For me, this is one of that kind:

1. Heather said the Holy Father's body looked unnerving. I agree, and that, too, is a tribute to him. Even in his weakness--his very weakest--he was fully alive. You only notice that witness now that he's gone.

Yes, exactly.

More Traditional Roman Rite Requiem Masses for the Holy Father

The details for two Masses to be celebrated in Scotland under the terms of his own Ecclesia Dei promulgation have been learned this morning:

There are two Masses in Scotland: 'Cantata' tonight at 6.00pm in Edinburgh (St Andrew's, Ravelston) and Solemn with Absolutions on Saturday at the Sacred Heart Bridgeton, Glasgow at 11.00am. All are most welcome. If you need directions please e-mail _UnaVoceScotland@aol.com_

With thanks to Fra Fredrik for making this known via the CTNGreg list.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Catholic Scotland

Many thanks to Eloise, a friend of this blog, who referred me to this site relating the story of Eskadale Church, Strathglas, in the Chisholm country of northern Scotland. There are a few more pictures here and a history of the church and her gallant priests who braved arrest and mistreatment to serve their people.

That the chapel was considered grand for its time betrays its denomination. All around, gravestones of its erstwhile priests, parishioners and benefactors tell of the faith of the dead. For St Mary’s stands in one of the few districts in the Highlands where the inhabitants adhered to their Catholic faith, long after their Chief, The Chisholm, changed his allegiance. It is hard to believe that so large a Roman Catholic chapel was built as far back as 1827, only 34 years after the passing of the Catholic Relief Act which gave freedom of worship to Roman Catholics. Built by another Chief of the area, the 12th Lord Lovat, St Mary’s is quite different from the few Catholic churches in existence at that time throughout the Highlands - usually barn-like structures, with no windows and a mud floor. No barn this, its windows filling the nave with a light that must have been a revelation to the tenants of the nineteenth century, the traceried rose window being added in the east gable in 1881: a constant source of wonder for the congregation of Eskadale who, at the turn of the century, numbered over 800.

That the people of the Strath stuck to their faith so stubbornly over the centuries says much for their strength of character, although resistance to change must have been partly due to the lack of means of communication in their remote glens. Nevertheless, a determined effort to destroy Catholicism led to the area being without any priests for almost 100 years - the Chisholms of Strathglass having no active defender of their ancient Faith. The latter part of the seventeenth century, however, saw the arrival of the apostle of Strathglass, Mr Robert Munro, a secular priest.

A wonderful tale. Read the rest here.

Alice Thomas Ellis, once more

The Spectator had a tribute to Mrs Haycraft last month. You have to fork over the big bucks to view The Speccie's web page these days so I can give you the cite (it's here) but it won't do you much good unless you're feeling rather flush. But they do have one anecdote that needs passing along:

[She] once took part in an earnest feminist questionnaire that asked her to name the most important event in women's history. "The Annunciation" she replied.

It also mentions that there were once plans afoot to found an alternative to The Tablet. Anna, Piers Paul Reid, Damian Thompson and William Oddie were all on board. Alas, it never saw the light of day. But the style can be guessed from the provisional title: "The Inquisitor". Ah, if only.

Obsequies for Pope John Paul II in the traditional Roman Rite

Several churches are planning a traditional Requiem Mass for the Holy Father under the terms of Ecclesia Dei Adflicta which he himself promulgated. I've seen details for these locations so far:

Mater Ecclesiæ in Berlin NJ. The rector, Fr Pasley, has announced: A Solemn High Requiem, with Absolution at the catafalque, will be offered at Mater Ecclesiæ, Berlin NJ, on Wednesday, April 6, at 7:30 PM, for the Repose of the Soul of Pope John Paul II. All are welcome and we hope that many will attend.

In England: A Sung Requiem Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday 6th April 2005 at St Joseph's Church, High West Street, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear at 12.05pm for the
repose of the soul of Pope John Paul II. The celebrant will be Fr Michael Brown. Any who are able to attend will be made most welcome.

A List of Cardinal-Electors

This page has what I suppose can be described as a sample ballot for the up-coming conclave.

HM puts Church before Charles

File under 'ordering priorities'. Spotted on Serge's blog. Can't say I quite understand the moral distinction between the various events; but it's nice to see a conscience at work.

FWIW, the Beeb this morning [9740khz at 1500GMT] reported that The Wedding would be postponed so that HRH could attend the Holy Father's funeral.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Low Sunday

Mass in the traditional Roman Rite was in San Pedro today. As you may know, following the traditional rites in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles requires full, active, and conscious attention to map, clock, and calendar. To wit: on the last Sunday of the month, Mass is at 9:00 a.m. in downtown Los Angeles. Except last week. Last week was Easter, so it was at 10:00 a.m. in Duarte. Today was the first Sunday of the month so it was at 11:30 a.m. in San Pedro. And as of today that's daylight savings time.

So we celebrated Low Sunday in the chapel of the residence of the Little Sisters of the Poor in San Pedro. These are among the most beautiful Mass texts of the year. Father added collects for the repose of the soul of Pope John Paul and it seemed very fitting to have his death prayers surrounded by all those glorious texts relating to the resurrection. And I think that the prayers for this pope in a traditional context are more than a little significant.

For it is thanks to the pastoral solicitude - in its real meaning - of Pope John Paul that we have this beautiful liturgy in a setting with no legal quibbles about its liceity. It's thanks to this pope that we have an indult Mass at all. It was Pope John Paul who has permitted the rites in use in 1962 to be used again all over the world. And it is thanks to this pope that so many traditional orders and congregations exist with full Roman sanction. The Priestly Fraternity of St Peter seems, as a practical matter, to have been his idea. And the Campos Apostolic Administration! That initiative, truly the traditionalist's shining city on a hill, was taken on this pope's watch. It's easy for some of the grumpier amongst the brethren, occasionally including this writer, to moan and complain about all that has gone wrong in the past 40 years. But it is thanks to Pope John Paul that there is also great hope for traditionalists, too. Nothing like what we have now was even conceivable in the previous reign but one.

So for one traditionalist anyway, the prayers for our Holy Father's soul in the traditional rite are both fitting and not a little affecting.

ADDENDUM: And the Summa Mammas remind me this morning that the Anglican Use, the major, if not the only, source of liturgical beauty in the English language, is another gift from Pope John Paul.

Into Thy hands, O merciful Savior, we commend Thy servant John Paul. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech Thee, a sheep of Thine own fold, a lamb of thine own flock, a sinner of Thine own redeeming. Receive him into the arms of Thy mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.

On the Vacancy of the Apostolic See

The document of the same name [in Latin, "Universi Dominici Gregis"] describing the ceremonies for the late pope and the election of a new pope can be found on the Vatican's website here.

Also of interest, from the old Catholic Encyclopædia:


"Papal Elections"

"Elections of the Popes"

These last three will be a touch out of date but full of historical detail.

Thanks to Fr Aidan for citing these via CTNGreg.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Sudden Thought. . .

. . .while commenting on someone else's blog: for at least a couple more weeks, we're all sedevacantists. As of this afternoon, the chair of Peter really is vacant.

Pope John Paul II

1920 - 2005

Pope John Paul II at Mt Nebo near Amman, Jordan where some believe Moses first spied the promised land.

For the Holy Father's eternal rest:

Deus, qui inter summos Sacerdotes famulum tumm Ioannem Paulum ineffabili tua dispositione connumerari voluisti: præsta, quæsumus; ut, qui Unigeniti Filii tui vices in terris gerebat, sanctorum tuorum Pontificum consortio perpetuo aggregetur. Per dum dem Dominum. Amen.

O God, Who in Thy transcendent providence wast pleased to cause Thy servant John Paul, to be numbered among the supreme pontiffs, we pray Thee to admit him, who on earth was vicar of Thy only-begotten Son, into the company of holy pontiffs now and forevermore; through the same Lord. Amen.

For our deceased Carmelite brother, John Paul:

Inclina, Domine, aurem tuam ad preces nostras, quibus misericordiam tuam supplices deprecamur: ut animam famuli tui Ioannis Pauli Fratris nostri et Pontifici tui, quam de hoc sæculo migrare jussisti, in pacis ac lucis regione constituas, et Sanctorum tuorum jubeas esse consortem. Per Dominum nostrum. Amen.

O Lord, give ear to our prayers as we humbly beseech Thy mercy that the soul of Thy servant John Paul, our Brother and Thy Pontiff, who at Thy bidding has departed from this world, may be established in the abode of peace and light, and may at Thy command have entrance into the company of Thy saints: through Our Lord. Amen.

Friday, April 01, 2005

What's In A Name?

Apparently, a lot if you time it right. All sorts of folks searching for "2 popes left until the end of the world", "Nostradamus the end of the world" and "St Malachy prophecy the end of the world" are ending up, not enirely unreasonably, at The Inn at the End of the World. I appear to have the ideal blog-name for attracting end-time buffs as a pope reaches the end of his life.

Sorry, folks, I really don't have anything to say here about the topic. But maybe if you'll say a Hail Mary for His Holiness the few seconds you spend here won't be entirely in vain.

Oremus pro pontifice nostro Ioanne Paulo. . . .

Note to the correspondent unhappy with my posts on Terri Schiavo

My response to your helpful note was returned. Apparently you are unknown to your ISP. I'd look into that if I were you. So herewith the response:

(1) Yes, I am judgemental as all get out. I've had a lot of complaints about that. Nothing seems to help. Why don't I just stipulate to it and we can move on to the substantive objections. If any.

(2) Regarding charity: we may have a definitional problem. Soft words to a murderer in the act of murdering his victim is not charity nor anything like it. Certainly, it is no charity to the victim. I seem actually to be guilty of a failure of "nice". I am, of course, devastated but to save further bandwidth will stipulate to that also.

Thank you for your concern.

John, the Judgemental and Not-Nice.

The Ultimate Crime

. . .and the Schindlers are guilty of it: Bad Taste. Quoth the Los Angeles Times in possibly the most arrogant, disingenuous editorial of its long and priggish existence.

Of course, I could be wrong about The Times. The Times's editorial policy has shown no signs of life for so long, perhaps the editorial board is in a persistent vegetative state. That might not have been a real editorial; just a nervous reaction to stimulii.