Saturday, March 30, 2013


One commenter over at Zzzz's blog stated that if the Holy Father did not wear the red mozzetta for Good Friday, "all bets are off."

Guess what?
Continuing his preference for simplicity, Pope Francis wore only his white cassock during the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday.  Also worthy of note, his liturgical assistants wore only simple black cassocks.  Who knew that Don Guido still owned a plain black cassock
NOTE OF CORRECTION:Thanks to one of my astute readers who pointed out that Monsignor Marini is "clearly wearing his house cassock." 
I am delighted that I have such attentive readers who are honed in on the most important of details.  From the above photo it is not obvious that the Monsignor was wearing his house cassock. However, from the television feed it is very clear.  It's been a busy week. I have not been able to watch all of the papal celebrations in real time.  My several friends who were able to do so only focused on the message of the services not on the ecclesiastical  haberdashery.  Shame on them!  I clearly need a higher caliber of friends.

TOPSHOTS This handout picture released b

This one is pretty good from the Guardian
Pontiff shocks devotees by washing women's feet, prompting some to question whether he may consider ordaining women.
Really? What are they smoking that is making them that paranoid?  And they worry about the liberal pot smokin' hippies? 

This takes the cake

I'm just going to highlight some of the choice gems.

One of the most-read traditionalist blogs, "Rorate Caeli," reacted to the foot-washing ceremony by declaring the death of Benedict's eight-year project to correct what he considered the botched interpretations of the Second Vatican Council's modernizing reforms.

 The inclusion of women in the rite is problematic for some because it could be seen as an opening of sorts to women's ordination. The Catholic Church restricts the priesthood to men, arguing that Jesus and his 12 apostles were male.

Francis is clearly opposed to women's ordination. But by washing the feet of women, he jolted traditionalists who for years have been unbending in insisting that the ritual is for men only and proudly holding up as evidence documentation from the Vatican's liturgy office saying so.

"If someone is washing the feet of any females ... he is in violation of the Holy Thursday rubrics," Peters wrote in a 2006 article that he reposted earlier this month on his blog.

In the face of the pope doing that very thing, Peters — like many conservative and traditionalist commentators — have found themselves trying to put the best face on a situation they don't like lest they be openly voicing dissent with the pope.
By Thursday evening, Peters was saying that Francis had merely "disregarded" the law — not violated it.Nice back paddling Ed!

The Rev. John Zuhlsdorf, a traditionalist blogger who has never shied from picking fights with priests, bishops or cardinals when it concerns liturgical abuses, had to measure his comments when the purported abuser was the pope himself.
"Before liberals and traditionalists both have a spittle-flecked nutty, each for their own reasons, try to figure out what he is trying to do," Zuhlsdorf wrote.

But, in characteristic form, he added: "What liberals forget in their present crowing is that even as Francis makes himself — and the church — more popular by projecting (a) compassionate image, he will simultaneously make it harder for them to criticize him when he reaffirms the doctrinal points they want him to overturn."

Friday, March 29, 2013


Folks, I started working on this late Thursday before the midnight Office of Tenebrae.  I was going to wait to put it up until after Easter, but by doing so, I would be nothing but a hipocrite since I failed to keep a true Holy Week.  Nothing is more abominable to be than hypocrisy.  the post being done, I publish it, asking your prayers for this miserable Christian.
Perusing the blogosphere I stumbled upon this dandy over at NCR.  It's really a scream. Discussing the washing of the feet ceremony on Holy Thursday the following were posted. Post "2" is on response to "1".  Neither poster is known to me. I do rather like the reply in that it describes the annual Rite of Rant that occurs over at Zzzz's Blog.

1.  This one phrase from the blog post says it all: "Second, let it be remember [sic] that the Church’s legislation allows for the washing of the feet of only men. MEN = VIRI = MEN. Not manish [sic] women or any other critter. "
Mannish women are critters in this man's mind (presumably lesbians? or just women with androgynous features?). I'll grant that Jesus probably did not wash the feet of cats and dogs, so I'll grant that these creatures need not have feet washed during the Mass of the Lord's Supper. I would like to unpack, however, what other "critters" he might be talking about.
All women are critters judging by the above. Would eunuchs be critters? The mind absolutely boggles.
How he got through Ordination without the Holy Spirit striking him dead with a lightning bolt is a mystery to me. He is an embarrassment to all priests. I don't know if he has Faith, but he certainly has neither Hope nor Charity. Is he SSPX or something? If he's not SSPX, who is he? Does some poor bishop actually have to deal with him in his diocese? His parish must be a real fun place to be.

2.  Don't know how closely you watch the Catholic blogosphere, but this guy and his fans have conniptions over this women-and-foot-washing thing every year. It's one of their holiest traditions, just like the Oberammergau Passion Play. What you're seeing is a decade-old script they rework every year: [shriek] middle-aged women! [shriek] in pant-suits! [shriek] gray crew-cuts (no chapel veil)! [shriek] they're so overweight! [long drawn out scream] pink toe-nail polish! [fall to floor screaming] participatory foot-washing by the whole assembly! [froth at mouth] look, a glass chalice! ...
Don't worry, they'll get over it by Friday morning. They always do.
(Hmm, who is Zuhlsdoof? Rumor says he's not incardinated anywhere that really exists, some kind of bogus defunct historical see in the ex-Soviet Union or something, lives in his Mom's basement, been trying to finish some pseudo-academic dissertation for a few decades, spends most of his time writing noxious garbage on his webpage.)

As an interesting side note, I did try to correct the above incorrect information about my venerable brother JTZzzz, but NCR did not approve those comments.  I find that rather scurrilous.

Over at Zzzz's place they were rather heated AFTER the fact as well when the Holy Father washed the feet of two women and two Muslims. (Technially I think one of the women was also a Muslim, that what we journalists call a "two-fer".) Here are a few sample responses to the Pope's Maundy Thursday actions.  To be completely honest and fair, not ALL comments were so negative. Many people had a very balanced perspective. If you're truly interested, this link will take you there.  The following comments are verbatim as plucked from Zzz's blog.

david andrew says:

Simply put, I’m scandalized, confused and frightened.
Beyond that, I have no words.

donato2 says:

Thank you Father but I am having a spittle-flecked nutty anyway. Pope Francis has an enormous responsibility toward the liturgy and adherence to canon law. His love for the poor and for people on the margins is admirable and winsome, but it is not necessary in the least to bless a liturgical abuse in order to demonstrate love for an outcast. In choosing to engage in a liturgical abuse much loved by liberals, he has not put any pox whatsoever on the liberal camp. Rather, he has endorsed that camp’s views about the liturgy. He at the same time has undermined the Vatican’s authority, which is his responsibility to uphold. Why should anyone take what the Vatican says seriously if the Pope doesn’t?

nanetteclaret says:

I don’t think it matters any more what he’s trying to do. He now has no moral authority, since he flouted the norms – and the usual result of flouting norms is chaos.

poohbear says:
I too am scandalized, confused and frightened, but I have many words. I don’t know how I can stay in a church where the pope not only refuses to refer to himself as pope, but refuses to follow church law. If he breaks one law, what assurance do we have he will not break more. I am not convinced that he will not change any doctrines. So many Jesuits want women priests, abortion and SSM. I can’t feel good about him not being in that camp. This foot free for all has scandalized me unbelievably. This, I fear, is only the beginning of the end. The only constant I have ever had in my life has been the unchanging Church. Now that too is gone. It will be a sad. sad Easter.

Potato2 says:
That is a charitable way to look at what he is doing Fr Z.
I never thought it possible but less than a month into this papacy it is safe to say it is a failure. Go ahead, jump all over me and say it has only been 2 or 3 weeks blah blah blah. If indeed we look at this in the best possible light as Fr Z just did. It reeks of incompetence and ignorance. Or he could be doing something on purpose. Many were saying that the next Pope needed to be someone who could speak through the modern media. Well, message heard loud and clear Francis!
If he is not doing this on purpose, he is incredibly naive.
Once the modern leftists and the media get a toe in the door they open it with great force. We were already getting our brains bashed in by the secular liberal world. Now, by showing them “compassion” it will only be taken as a sign of weakness. The wolves will redouble their efforts.
It was hard enough to fight for Truth when we had an Orthodox Pope. Now, this will disintegrate very very quickly. Francis strikes me as a very powerful man. As a very forceful man. The media portrays him as meek and humble but his actions have been hostile and aggressive.
If you are going to do mental gymnastics and twists to fit this Pope into Traditional Catholicism and explain away every thing he is doing you will go Mad Fr Z!
This battle is LOST! This Pope has done more for the progressives in 2 weeks than The last 2 Popes have done in 30 years for traditionalists.
And we are arguing if he is doing it on purpose or not!?
It does not matter. The damage and scandal is just as damaging no matter what the intent.
A Pope elected by the curia, at a time when people were talking of cleaning the curia… and this Pope diminishes the Papacy. Uh oh!
God help him.
God help us.
God help the world.
God help our Church.
God help me see that I am wrong…..

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Today is the Saturday before Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week which climaxes with the Easter Vigil, Easter Sunday, Pascha, The Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In 20 years of active ministry I have never seen an Eastern Rite Prelate in a purple veil.
Just an odd picture and off factoid I thought I would toss in. How about you? Ever seen this? If you have I would love to know when and where. 

This is the holiest week of the Christian year, starting Palm Sunday which intensifies Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.  The Sacred Triduum. 

This will be my last blog post until maybe Easter evening.  I need the week to get ready for the final four days.

I don't know about you folks, but I'm a pretty poor Christian.  I'm judgmental, snarky, at times jealous, lazy, angry, and at times gluttonous.  I don't pray the full office every day as I am supposed to.  When I do, I sometime don't do so with full attention and devotion.  The list goes on.

On March 31st we will celebrate the Feast of Feasts. We need to prepare. Lent helps, but there are so many distractions. Time for me to remove some of these. This blog is one of them. 

I challenge you, readers, bloggers, facebookers, etc, etc... 
Get off the computer

If you can't totally unplug, spend less time. Set a time limit per day-- spread it out over the day, but set a limit.  Read something spiritually uplifting. The Passion Narratives of the Gospels are nice this time of year.  Stations of the Cross at church or in your home.  The rosary.  Clean out your closet and give some of your clothes to an agency that helps the poor.  Eat simple meals at home.  Give some of the money saved to an agency that helps the poor. Visit a relative or neighbor that lives alone or in a nursing home. Be kind to a total stranger, just because you can. Go to confession, because you need to. Bring someone with you to confession or one of the Holy Week services. Tenebrae is one of the most beautiful and deeply moving services. If you have never participated, this is the time to give it a try-- it only happens  three nights out of the year and they all fall in this week.

If Lent has been less than meaningful for you so far this year:

Get off the computer

Yeah, I'm serious!
After Easter, visit this post and again and share what you did and how it went for you. If you want to. It is anonymous after all.

Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord! 
 Please pray for this sinful and unworthy, "Father D" ) as close to my real name as you will get) and I will pray for each of you and your friends, families and loved ones.  Blessed Holy Week and Joyous Easter!

 We adore you O Christ and we praise you; because by your cross you have redeemed the world.

 Challenge Father Z and other bloggers to unplug for Holy Week or at the very least, the Holy Triduum.

Friday, March 22, 2013


It's true.  Father Zzzz missed the boat. The much hyped Michael Voris, Father Z.  Lenten Caribbean Cruise Retreat sailed without Father Zuhlsdorf.   Zzzz man instead hightailed it to Rome to "cover" the conclave. 

I don't know just who he was covering it for unless one considers his blog a major news outlet, which I do not.  He did manage to wrangle his way onto a couple television programs while he was there.

Father Paul Nicholson of Canada was chaplain for the Retreat Cruise.  A bit more about Father Nicholson here

I'm sure the Caribbean Cruise Retreat was edifying for all who attended.  Perhaps next year my confessor will assign me the penance of making a Lenten Cruise Retreat. OH THE HORROR!!

I'm happy to say the next annual Lenten Cruise has a target date of January. 

It should be noted as well, in spite of my snark, I think that a cruise retreat (outside of a penitential season) is a good idea. It was obviously a good witness to the Catholic faith traditions through the procession which attracted other participants in the conferences and the Masses.  The New Evangelization  in action. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

He's Going to Offer Mass WHERE??!!??!!

Here we go... (all comments in blue italics are actual quotes from Zzzombies)

They are off and running goaded on by their Fearful Leader.  Yes, fearFUL.  He's afraid.  VERY very afraid.  I would like to say that I don't know why.  Sadly, I do.

 As tempted as I am to try to parody this post, I just can't do it.  It is already done!  I'm fond of saying that most days this blog writes itself.  All I do is change a word or two and replace the pictures. That's a good thing, because I am not on a seven year sabbatical to work on my doctoral dissertation, leaving me free to blog eight hours a day. 

I don't mean to denigrate every comment posted over there. A selected few are well thought out and concisely expressed.  Others are nodding bobble heads that I have dubbed Zzzzzombies, much like Rush Limbaugh's "ditto heads" of the 90's, expressing their unquestioning agreement.  Most though are flying off their rockers "having a nutty."

" I’m not going to throw a nutty over this, but I hope the Holy Father is open to discussion about this practice he has had over the years with regards to the future. His intentions are very good and he wants to show God’s love and mercy in a prison with youth."

I'm a pretty well educated and have significant experience (twenty plus years) in ministry.  I would never consider criticizing my own bishop in this way, yet those who claim unquestioning loyalty to the Pope and his Magisterium have no qualms spouting off about what they think the Successor of Saint Peter should be doing. 

I fear that he runs the risk of making these change all about him, rather than some other message he wants to convey.

 Not only that but there has been speculation that Pope Francis may also very well wash the feet of female detainees as is his custom. The HORROR!

"It is scandalous for a man to wash a woman’s body parts when that woman is not his wife, his daughter, or (at worst) his mother." 

I don't know how I feel about the pope offering the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper in a youth detention center rather than one of Rome's many churches.  Paul VI of happy memory, offered Christmas Mass in a factory once.  That caused an uproar as well.  Popes John XXIII and Benedict XVI visited prisoners and no one three a nutty.  Perhaps it is because it is Holy Week-- the Triduum itself that is setting off ecclesiastical pacemakers everywhere.  I don't know.  What I do know is that it is above my pay grade and beyond the scope of my competence to correct the Holy Father on choices that he alone has the right to make.

What a blessing these detainees will experience! My great disappointment is that I can never be there to assist in some way.  Had I had the option that Zzzz man had to stay in Rome, I would have for sure. 

Keep calm. It's all going to be okay. Wait and watch.
And of course, pray!  Pray for Pope Francis!

UPDATE:  THIS might explain a few things. Also, note that Zzzz has been given full faculties in the Diocese of Madison.  Some would say this is first time in years that he has been in possession of full faculties!  Still others will ask how can a bishop that is not in full possession of his own faculties, offer faculties to another. 
Update thanks to the tip of a kind reader. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

REALITY CHECK: Faith in Action

      Pope Francis is making a special effort to include the poor of Rome in the congregation for the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday.
      The Pope has made 3,000 ticket to the Mass available to the charitable group Caritas. Caritas will reportedly coordinate with the     
      St. Egidio community to distribute the tickets.
There is no cost for the tickets, but a ticket is required for admission because of the limits on available

+   +   +  

"Lent is presented us as a shout of truth and certain hope that comes us to say “Yes, it is possible to not slap on makeup, and not draw plastic smiles as if nothing happened.”  Yes, it is possible that all is made new and different because God remains “rich in kindness and mercy, always willing to forgive” and He encourages us to begin anew time and again.  Today, again, we are invited to undertake a Paschal road toward Life, a path that includes the cross and resignation; a path that will be uncomfortable but not fruitless.  We are invited to admit that something inside us is not going well, (in society or in the Church) to change, to turn around, to be converted."

Lenten Letter of Cardinal Jorge Brogoglio read the whole letter here

If you think this is big, just wait until he settles in a little bit.  Maybe just after Easter.  I have a feeling things are going to get very interesting.   No solid predictions.  No inside information.  Just a deep trust in the Holy Spirit that all things old will be made new.  

For those of you that were expecting something rude, crude, snarky or immature, I am sorry to disappoint you.   Check in with us tomorrow when we return to our regular mindless programming


 NOTE Snark alert.  I am going to be particularly snarky in this post.  If you are easily offended, stop reading, and click HERE for rainbows and butterflies. 

"It’s ‘grind it out’ time."
Surely Father D, Father Zzzzz never said such a thing!
Yes, dear readers, he DID.
Are you really surprised?  I'm not.
 Okay, he didn't include the link that I did, but more than one person thought the same thing, I'm just going to be the one to say it. 

He did however issue a call to arms in his post titled Dear Traditionalists...  

MANY liturgical traditionalists are up in arms that the new pope, His Holiness Francis, has cast aside many of the imperial trappings of the papacy.  They seem to think that these actions imply that the new pope is somehow against the Traditional Latin Mass and the teachings of the Church on Moral issues.  

I believe their fears are unfounded. 

The legislation is in place.  The chances of Summorum Pontificum being rescinded are slim to none. this bird is out of the cage never to be captured again. Glory be to God!

Prior to being elected pope, Cardinal Bergoglio was the Ordinary for Eastern Rite Catholics in Argentina.   Being the kind and attentive shepherd all agree that he is, I cannot imagine that he has not at the very least attended Eastern Rite liturgies.  I have tried to find a picture of him presiding over an Eastern Liturgy with no success.  If any readers out there know of one, please let me know.  I would also like a picture of the Holy Father offering the Traditional Form of the Mass is he has in fact done so.

 The Holy Father is a Jesuit.  Jesuits are not known for their liturgical acumen. A very learned friend instructed me last night in fact, that as their primary charism is the salvation of souls, often in very difficult situations, communal liturgy and divine office is not a common practice. Their rule even states this.

His formation in the Society of Jesus is reflected in his style of dress and his choice of vestments. Jesuits do not have an official habit. In the Constitutions of the Society, it gives these instructions concerning clothing; "The clothing too should have three characteristics: first, it should be proper; second, conformed to the usage of the country of residence; and third, not contradictory to the poverty we profess..." (Const. 577) 

Father Zzzz is not a foolish man. He knows these things as well.  However, his bread and butter DEPENDS on friction.  When Pope Benedict XVI set free the Latin Missal of 1962  of all priests everywhere the friction Zzzzzzz depended on for his financial support was no longer there.  He needed to change tactics, which he did very well.  Then, the revised Roman Missal was released.  There was no longer a need for him to tell the poor unwashed masses "what the prayer really says." As a result the income from the Wanderer vanished and he needed to adapt again.   All of the swag stores, pimping mugs, bumper stickers, magnets, etc. were ratcheted up with logos and slogans appealing to his target audience. 

Now he tells the Zzzzombies: " It’s ‘grind it out’ time."

Using military jargon “OORAH!!” he chides his followers to engage in the battles of a non-existent war.  This is not about the culture war, or scandal in the Church, or the need to reform the Roman Curia (which Zzzz man is mysteriously SILENT about).  He is creating a crisis that does not exist.

"Form up and get organized.  You can do this.  Find like minded people and get that request for the implementation of Summorum Pontificum together, how you will raise the money to help buy the stuff the parish will need and DO IT.  Make a plan. Find people. Execute!"

"At the midway point of SEAL training, BUD/S, there is a “Hell Week” to see how much you want it to keep going."  Yeah, I've seen the movies too Father Zzzzz. Oorah! You're no Drill Sargent. Please. Just stop. It's embarrassing. I'm sure we could find a few real deal Seals to put you through the paces if you want to give it a try. A good way to ramp up your personal protection training to go along with your concealed carry permit.  

Folks, Pope Francis may not offer the Older Form of the Mass.  Benedict did not do so publicly either as pope.  I think that we can prepare to witness simple, tasteful Papal Masses offered with sincere and heartfelt devotion the Modern Form.  I think it is safe to take the liturgical war back down to DEFCON 5 for now.

Continue to watch and listen. Pope Francis is unlike any pope we have seen in our life time.