Wednesday, January 29, 2014


What qualifies Pope Francis to address issues of Christian Unity related to the Eastern Churches? He is familiar with and has served Eastern Divine Liturgies. In fact, as Archbishop of Buenos Aries, Cardinal Bergoglio was also bishop of jurisdiction for the Ordinariate for Eastern Catholics in Argentina.  Since much ado has been made about the Anglican Ordinariates, more Catholics are familiar with the term.   
"An ordinariate for the faithful of eastern rite is a geographical ecclesiastical structure for Eastern Catholic communities in areas where no eparchy of their own particular Church has been established. This structure was introduced by the apostolic letter Officium supremi Apostolatus of 15 July 1912." 
( Annuario Pontificio 2012 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2008, p. 1811)

The Ordinariate in Argentina, is for all Eastern Catholics, such as  Ruthenian, Armenian, Ukrainian and Maronite, for example who lack a diocesan jurisdiction of their own rite in the particular country and who are therefore entrusted to the care of the Latin  Metropolitan Archbishop.

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk, welcoming the election of Pope Francis said, "I would first like to say that the newly elected Pope Francis was mentored by one of our priests, Stepan Chmil, who is now buried in the basilica of St. Sophia in Rome. Today’s Pope, during his time as a student of the Salesian school, awoke many hours before his classmates to concelebrate at our Divine Liturgy with Fr. Stepan. He knows our Tradition very well, as well as our Liturgy." 

In fact, prior to his election as Supreme Pontiff as well as after, Pope Francis has been seen wearing a chotki, a prayer rope, a special set of prayer beads, usually made of wood or wool tied in knots (and occasionally silk) for praying the Jesus Prayer, or Prayer of the Heart.

 As one formed in the Ukrainian Tradition, it is very obvious that His Holiness wears it as one who is very familiar with it and who makes use of it on a regular basis.

Pope Francis is the Pope of Christian Unity


  1. But Father! Father!. They like ornate liturgies. Why aren't they banned from the Church as the Z-man told me all ornate liturgies were driven out of the Church by the Jesuits (of course not including Pope Francis.. who he "loves" and by loves needs to pretend that he loves to keep people donating) and the LCWR? They must be secret Masons meant to make people complacent.

    On a less sarcastic and more serious note, perhaps there were other reasons why the old Latin Mass was severely restricted. I don't know. Perhaps Paul VI was concerned that the Mass was being used by fundamentalists to advance a certain agenda and that they were also anti-Semitic crackpots.

  2. Nope, that's unhistorical thinking about Paul VI. Paul VI was formed by the same Mass. The unsavory associations you mention and the tenor of your concern would only have been articulated well into the eighties.

    1. Paul VI was formed by the same Mass, but was also greatly influenced by the Milanese Ambrosian Rite where he served as Archbishop for ten years. Some say that the Novus Ordo is actually a triumph of the Milanese Rite over the Roman Rite.

    2. Well. There is some reason why the EF Mass was severely restricted whie every other Catholic Mass was left alone. Either Paul VI was a meanie like the neo-traditionalist say he was or the EF Mass was being promoted by some unsavory radical elements as a way to protest Vatican II as a whole and promote unsavory politics.

    3. That's a false dichotomy. Paul VI was neither a meanie nor a radical political animal acting out to shame reactionaries. What's more, the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and the Ambrosian Rite Paul VI would have known are closer to each other in appearance than the Ambrosian Rite P VI would have known and your average Novus Ordo mass. I think Paul VI, like many of his generation, tried to react to the horror of the Second World War and what led to it by placing greater trust in humanity. The assumption however was that orthodox Catholicism was so engrained in Europe that its transmission would continue as normal. Catechesis was relaxed. It didn't work out, but Paul VI wasn't to know.

      Where's Fr Juan gone?

    4. Father Juan has an actual job that requires he complete certain objectives and meet certain pastoral responsibilities, as such he is not free to write his every though and photograph and post every other meal.

    5. Yes. I wasn't alive during the 70s but I'm assuming that Paul VI was a reasonable man and not out to persecute the traditionalists. I don't think that someone involved with allowing greater diversity in worship would have prohibited the EF Mass for no reason. Therefore, my theory is that the Mass was being used to express displeasure toward Vatican II, especially Nostra Aetate. Paul VI surpressed the EF Mass because it was connected to unsavory types. (The SSPX has its roots in a movement of late 19th century French political reactionaries.).

      There is nothing harmful about the EF Mass itself. What is harmful is using it to express disdain for the modern Church. I've tried to make this point a few times to more conservative Catholics. A bit of self-policing on their end would help them be more accepted in dioceses.

    6. feb19 and feb 20 anon(s?) I agree with you 100%. As far as self policing goes - a parish relatively near me has an afternoon Tridentine rite Mass which I go to every now and then (usually when I miss Divine Liturgy in the morning).

      There used to be a very kind Polish priest in his 90s who would celebrate but lately they have this new younger guy who I suspect one step from either joining the Lefebvrites on his own volition or being thrown out of the diocese.

      Last time it was a rant on how dare the pope with his dont judge thing and the rest of his sermon was about somehow Jesus actually commands us to judge homosexuals, their behavior at least. Ignoring how he insulted the pope several times (let me quote one "this guy has the BRAVADO to tell me not to judge?!") the whole thing with the way he worded came off as a huge facepalm. I wanted to walk out. Luckily the entire congregation seemed to be Catholic (and older) so hopefully no inquirers were scared away for good. Needless to say I didn't tithe.

      The experience left a rather sour feel in me towards the Tridentine rite in general (coming from a guy who likes it), and I thought if this is going on under the bishop from one of his presbyters imagine what the nutters in the Waffen SSpx are using the old mass for... No wonder they banned it.

    7. You should report this priest to the bishop and mention that this makes you feel uncomfortable at the Mass. When I was in college, I actually walked out of a Mass because I thought that the homily was inappropriate and later emailed the bishop.

  3. I was just reading his blog and he has one of his kudos posts and now i saw this particular byzantine flavored post - got me thinking anyone think Zuhlsdorf back in the day would of bestowed one of his coveted "Fr Z kudos to.." to the Romanian Catholic bishop Botean of the USA when he declared that participation in the Iraq War would be a mortal sin?