Sunday, May 31, 2015

HAPPY TRINITY SUNDAY! VISITATION! and JUNE!


Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

This feast, first celebrated in monastic communities in the ninth century as an expression of praise to the triune God, was extended to the entire Western Church in the fourteenth century. It celebrates the mystery of God’s self-revelation through the experiences of the people of Israel, the disciples of Jesus, and the Christian people since Pentecost.

O God,
your name is veiled in mystery,
yet we dare to call you Father;
your Son was begotten before all ages,
yet is born among us in time;
your Holy Spirit fills the whole creation,
yet is poured forth now into our hearts.
Because you have made us and loved us
and called us by name,
draw us more deeply into your divine life,
that we may glorify you rightly through your Son,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.

ICEL Sacramentary 1998


Now in my recollection of the rest 
I have less power to speak than any infant 
wetting its tongue yet at its mother's breast; 

and not because that Living Radiance bore 
more than one semblance, for It is unchanging 
and is forever as it was before; 

rather, as I grew worthier to see, 
the more I looked, the more unchanging semblance 
appeared to change with every change in me. 

Within the depthless deep and clear existence 
of that abyss of light three circles shown - 
three in color, one in circumference; 

the second from the first, rainbow from rainbow; 
the third, an exhalation of pure fire 
equally breathed forth by the other two. 

But oh how much my words miss my conception, 
which is itself so far from what I saw 
that to call it feeble would be rank deception! 

O Light Eternal fixed in Itself alone, 
by Itself alone understood, which from Itself 
loves and glows, self-knowing and self-known; 

that second aureole which shone forth in Thee, 
conceived as a reflection of the first - 
or which appeared so to my scrutiny - 

seemed in Itself of Its own coloration 
to be painted with man's image. I fixed my eyes 
on that alone in rapturous contemplation.

Like a geometer wholly dedicated
to squaring the circle, but who cannot find,
think as he may, the principle indicated -

so did I study the supernal face.
I yearned to know just how our image merges
into that circle, and how it there finds place;

but mine were not the wings for such a flight.
Yet, as I wished, the truth I wished for came
cleaving my mind in a great flash of light.

Here my powers rest from their high fantasy,
but already I could feel my being turned -
instinct and intellect balanced equally

as in a wheel whose motion nothing jars -
by the Love that moves the Sun and the other stars.


Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)
Paradiso, Canto XXXIII
Translation, John Ciardi

Were it not for the Solemnity, today would be observed as the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Her Cousin, Saint Elizabeth:

Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Elizabeth

This feast celebrates Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth, as told in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:39-56), and her example of faith in God’s word and sensitivity to the Spirit. It was introduced into the Franciscan calendar by Saint Bonaventure (15 July) in the thirteenth century and was extended in 1389 to the entire Latin Church to heal the divisions in the Western Church of the time.


Almighty and eternal God,
you inspired the Blessed Virgin Mary,
while carrying your Son in her womb,
to visit her cousin Elizabeth.
Grant that we may always follow
the prompting of the Holy Spirit
and join Mary in proclaiming the greatness of your name.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.

ICEL Sacramentary 1998

Maiden yet a mother,
Daughter of thy Son,
High beyond all other,
Lowlier is none;
Thou the consummation
Planned by God’s decree,
When our lost creation
Nobler rose in thee!

Thus his place preparéd,
He who all things made
‘Mid his creatures tarried,
In thy bosom laid;
There his love he nourished,
Warmth that gave increase
To the root whence flourished
Our eternal peace.

Noon on Sion’s mountain
Is thy charity;
Hope its living fountain
Finds, on earth, in thee:
Lady, such thy power,
He, who grace would buy
Not as of thy dower,
Without wings would fly.

Nor alone thou hearest
When thy name we hail;
Often thou art nearest
When our voices fail;
Mirrored in thy fashion
All creations good
Mercy might, compassion
Grace thy womanhood. 


Lady, lest our vision,
Striving heav’nward, fail,
Still let thy petition
With thy Son prevail,
Unto Whom all merit,
Powr and majesty
With the Holy Spirit
And the Father be.
Amen.

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)
Paradiso, Canto XXXIII
Saint Bernard's "Hymn to Our Lady"
Translation, Ronald A. Knox

You know, I dont know about you, but I love todays feast - well, both of them. Thats why I just had to post something about both of them, from the "poet of my childhood," Blessed Dante Alighieri, rendered by two of my favorite translators, John Ciardi and Ronald Knox (not "Patrimony" since he was a real scholar and not . . . well, lets just leave it at that!). Anyhow, I was kruisin' the kraposphere today to see if anyone was celebrating the Holy Trinity. Not celebrating the trappings of the Solemnity but the actual Divine Subject thereof. I found the trappings, alright, complete with the cappa-magnaed up megalomaniac who represents to all these de-facto schismatics, the Real Pontiff. I found the usual Sanhedrin rantings about how the Church they went to all the trouble of joining (and that graciously granted them privileges and concessions it doesn't even grant the cradle Catholics) doesn't just not live up to their expectations - it actually sucks - and now that Benny's retired, it's governed by impostors! And then there's the usual I Hate Pope Francis rants at that other sad location by that really sad chap who represents and serves as the spokesman, apparently, for his Ordinary. Almost all "converts" though they don't seem to grasp what "conversion" means. Unreal. But then, who am I, most miserable of sinners, to judge?

But I don't even want to mention their names today.

Instead, let's end with some pictures from the real Church, whose Shepherd is the Lord, and whose Servant of the Servants of God - not in some imaginary "golden days" to be longed for nostalgically - but who in our own day, in this time and place, offers us a wonderful image of what that Person of the Most Blessed Trinity who took our human flesh upon himself had in mind when he told Peter, "Feed my lambs, tend my sheep, feed my sheep."

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday met with a group of children who arrived at the Vatican aboard the “Children’s Train.” The event was organized by the Pontifical Council for Culture in association with the Italian national railway.
The200  boys and girls were children of men and women imprisoned in Rome, Latina, Bari, and Trani.
The them e of the event was "Flight", since the day offered the children a chance to "fly away" and escape with fantasy from their daily reality, the confines of the prison wall and forced separation from their families.
In accordance with this theme, the children greeted Pope Francis with multicoloured kites.
Happy Feast Day(s!) and Happy June:

Month of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

DISPATCHES FROM THE FRONT . . . uh, make that THE REAR: KRUIZIN' the KRAZY KATHOLIC KRAPOSPHERE

LENNONGRAD

Entrance to the Cleveland Chancery Office and Bishop's Compound
After dropping off his soiled and stainéd undies in Madison for the Sister Servants of the Indelibly Imprinted Dilettantes to purge and starch, the still-secretly-Lutheran Father Droolzedorf wings his way out to lay hands on another seminarian whose "call" has been on hold since the late 50s and get him duly ordained for a Church that no longer exists except in the fantasies of love those with a fervent attachment to lace and brocade, in order to enrich a chapel-veil addicted community with a Mass that was abrogated 50 years ago. Backward march! (Don't trip over that lace alb!). There's a great story about the airline people trying to get Lard Ass not to spit his food all over their clean lounge. And apparently there were readers of this blog on his plane, since he was hit on the head by several bags as he squeezed his way down the aisle and onto his aerial throne. (Some airlines require certain folks to buy two tickets these days. At least he could buckle his backpack in next to him.) And a little shout out to the Crusader Cadets leading the march backwards, the HitlerJugenTutem who shelled out the shekels awhile back at Harvard to attend one of Z's Ass-Facing-The-People Performances. And wine and dine him before and after. (So much for Traditional notions of fasting. Funny how that works.. Old Mass with the New Rules when it suits ones taste.)

But before leaving, Z took time to grab some more laity-donated drinking money and, speaking of drinking, give us the good news from Cleveland, better known to the inmates priests, deacons and religious there as Lennongrad.
Another bishop supports the idea that teachers in Catholic schools must serve also as role models. The Cardinal New (and you thought Z hated all things new!) Society, which watches the status quaestionis of Catholic education in these USA, has a letter that His Excellency Most Rev. Richard Lennon, Bishop of Cleveland, sent to teachers in the diocese entrusted sentenced to his care tantrums.

That's right! So it's not just Silly San Fran Sal who wants really real True Catholics teaching but, The Most Reverend Richard "But Everyone Who Knows Me Calls Me Dick" Lennon does too!
Cleveland’s Catholic teachers and school leaders sign a contract “which recognizes his/her role as minister and role model of the Faith,” Diocesan spokesman  Robert Tayek explained to the Newman Society. The contract agreement for administrators states:The Administrator-minister further understands and acknowledges that it is the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church that administrators in a Catholic school are truly and in a very real sense engaged in a special ministry, or apostolate, of the Roman Catholic Church and that such administrators should be witness to Christ in their lives as much as in their classroom instruction.This “morality” clause “has always been a part of the teacher-minister contracts for elementary and secondary educators in the Diocese of Cleveland,” Tayek continued.

"Role model for the Faith"! and "Witness to Christ!" Wow! Anyone who's ever been on the receiving end of one of Dick's Dumpings, (TM) oral or scribbled, knows Lennongrad is the right place to learn how to do that. I mean, not every Bishop is so beloved of his flock that he has to wear a bullet-proof vest to Confirmation and welcome Vatican Snoops to Chat with the Troops.

Amtrak still goes through the compound twice a day: if you're anywhere near the station, grab a ride in either direction.

BITTER BAG O' ONIONS


Bitter Onions relaxing at home by excommunicating everyone else
From the disgruntled but still-secretly Anglican pod of the Kraposphere, US sector, comes a truly Christian way of characterizing your fellow believers with whom you disagree:

The Subverters of the Word of GodThe high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered him, "I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together; I have said nothing secretly." (Jn 18:19-20)
***
May their names live in infamy forever and ever for their intent to assemble secretly to discard the clear words of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the name of Him Who Himself is Love, and to favor a certain kind of press to make their new doctrine known to the world:
They go on to list those they've condemned to everlasting flames, having watched the excommunication scene from Becket more times than they've hung out with their wives and having paid vestment-makers a fortune to dress them up like Richard Burton!


FRAUDINARIATE OF OUR LADY OF SNARKINGHAM

And, finally, from the still-secretly Anglican pod of the Kraposphere, UK sector, comes someone who looks nothing like Richard Burton, actually more like Dame Edith Evans. And not even in her habit. Try this:

Yes, that's better.
So Reverend Mother M. John Cunniwicke, so testy when it comes to people chatting about the boyfriends being ordained together for the Fraudinariate, joins his fellow Anglicans at RETROrate to whisper about Synodal Secrecy. Another one who wants Vatican transparency one ONE topic while rejoicing in its secrecy on OTHER topics. 

While the Poor Old Thing (TM) truly HATES all things Francis, he's going to post this "tease" first
It is a deeply Catholic instinct, and an immensely sound one, to be very shy of disagreeing with a Pope, even when he is speaking non-Magisterially. Technically, a Christian can adhere dutifully to a Magisterial statement while expressing himself in a robust and demotic way (just as Pope Francis often does!) about the non-Magisterial utterances. But in fact, the love we naturally feel for the Vicar of S Peter dissuades us from sounding critical, even though, in terms of rights we have every right to do so. And a cleric with a mandate to teach in the Church's name ought to feel particularly uneasy about any sort of public dissent from the Supreme Pontiff's lightest word. Before he does so, he must weigh the matter in terms both theological and prudential. So I have given this a great deal of very careful thought.

Just to give his rather plain and ordinary Ordinary, Not-A-Real-Bishop-But-Dressed-Up-Like-One, Fig Newton some cover from what, speaking of whispers, one hears is increasing pressure to be . . . well . . . to be Catholic instead of still Anglican!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

PASTORAL COMPROMISE? No queers, but communion for remarried divorcees MIGHT be OK sometimes? Eh?


Traditionalists everywhere can rejoice because the Vatican Secretary of State, H.E. Pietro Cardinal Parolin, has stated that the results of the Irish referendum on same sex marriage is a "defeat for humanity."  So, no need to get your panties in a bunch over the possibility of sodomy being given the green light at the up coming synod.  GLBT individuals will remain intrinsically disordered.

So perhaps this will loosen things up for the divorced and remarried?


Probably not.



Especially if certain people have their way.  Especially the conspiracy theorists. IMAGINE! NOW Father Zzzzzz is calling for "Transparency" in the Church. (Really. Take a few moments and read the whole thing. Even Father D is speechless.)

Yes. Ideally, marriage is supposed to last forever.  But we do not live in an ideal world.  The Church needs to at the very least DISCUSS some possibilities. No?  

I don't advocate a free for all with the Sacrament of Matrimony becoming a revolving door. Is there a possibility that in some cases that our Holy Mother Church can exercise what the Eastern Orthodox refer to as Economy (for the sake of the soul the strictness of the law is loosened) in certain cases?  

Yes, this will require additional work for diocesan tribunals, but at the rate that the North American Academy for Dance and the Episcopacy is cranking out graduates with Licentiates and Doctorates in Canon Law, this should not be too much of a problem. 

Meanwhile, let's check in and see what our friend Mundybear has to say...

Mundybear OUT on a nature hike

The Church is a place for all people.




Monday, May 25, 2015

Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz: "YOGA MAY FIX YOUR BODY BUT WRECK YOUR SOUL!"

I don't know about you, but on this Memorial Day, I was deeply moved as I spent some time thinking about those amazing men and women whose lives and deaths helped build These United States into the country it is today and how they are silent now, gone from us, gathered up into their eternal reward.

Then I opened my email and was reminded of those incredibly whacked men whose idiocy helped demolish the Church into the wreck it is only beginning to recover from today and how they just won't shut up, won't go away, and get sucked up into their eternal reward.

Come on now. I admit that those attached to the Traditional Latin Mass as well as the traditional expressions of the Catholic Faith were not given the pastoral attention they needed during the years after the Council.  Ecclesia Dei adflicta left the local Ordinary to implement the use of the older rite. Many refused to do so, only adding to the resentment, anger and isolation of those wanting the older rite.

Then, Pope Benedict loosened most restrictions, and limited the authority of the local ordinary to shepherd his diocese. Certainly what many behaviorists would call an over correction. 


Rather than being grateful for the freedoms granted through Summorum Pontificum, many have attempted to impose their preferences for what they believe is the glory of the olden days and the olden ways, exemplified in Going My Way, on those who have never known of, or who have gladly moved on from, the Traditional (once abrogated now restored) older form of the Latin Mass.



One of the leaders of the restoration, imposition of the Old over the New, is the now retired (Deo gratias) Bishop of Lincoln, Fabian Bruskewitz.



There's Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz all dressed up for his daily yoga session.

Just kidding. The Most Reverend Dinosaur, formerly of Lincoln, Nebraska, has just reminded us all that YOGA Can Ruin Your Faith



Bishop "Fabe the Babe" teaching the newly ordained the only
morally acceptable Catholic form of stretching allowed.
Addressing a Catholic Women's group called Women Lost In Space, of which oddly he is the Director, Fab Fabe reminded them:


Yoga is rooted in the Hindu religion, which is a “a pagan religion based on heathen beliefs and false doctrine of revelation involving such things as transmigration of souls, and so forth.”
The bishop said it's impossible to separate the Hindu religious aspects of yoga from the practice itself.
“Certainly, if one wants to engage in physical exercises to strengthen one’s body, such a practice would be morally neutral, and would not, in itself, involve anything detrimental to our Catholic faith. However, the practice of yoga most often, if it does not begin that way, eventually morphs into an acceptance of points of view, and even doctrinal and moral matters that are distant from Catholic truth, and from genuine and authentic Christian revelation,” he said.
The website shows exactly what Bishop Bruskewitz is worried about with pictures of convents showing the nuns vainly attempting to deepen their contemplative lives by doing yoga.

The (not-so) Little Sisters of the Madonna of Mercy:

Sister M. Dementia Schlong of the Erie (actually Terrifying) Benedictines:

Sister Tabitha of the Sisters Servants of the Scourging at the Pillar:

Sister Wanda of the Sisters of Seamen and Seawomen, nicknamed "the Misericordia Mermaids" doing the posture known as "The Purposeful Porpoise":



The Bishop had a helpful alternative suggestion: Grab a pair of balls! Chinese Baoding Balls. Or as we fans of Father Z call them: Badda-Bing Balls!

“Don't think I don't understand how we all need to relax in this modern world. But instead of twisting your bodies into shapes God never intended them to go, and forgetting the 20 mysteries of the Rosary, the 12 Fruits of the Holy Ghost, and the 767 rubrics of the Solemn High Tridentine Mass which you ladies are never going to be able to say anyhow, grab a pair of balls.” he said. "It works for me every time. And I KNOW it will work for you!

They come gift boxed in a color meant to remind us of the Holy Spirit Ghost!

They come in different colors! And you can grab your balls in just about any way that works for you!
 

If you've ever wished your Bishop had a pair of balls, they even come in "episcopal green"!


When can you tell they're having the desired effect?

“Oh you'll know," Bishop Bruskewitz smiled. "You'll just know, honey! Trust me! I always do!" 

And can you lose weight just by grabbing your balls like that?

“Well," said Bishop Bruskewitz, "I went from real big to this big! And I owe it all to those amazing balls!"


Bishop Bruskewitz gestures to show what happened when he started to shrink:


And by the time the ball-grabbing was over, Deacons were able to carry Formerly Fat Fabe into Mass in this modified Sedia Gestatoria (a gift from Cardinal Burke, who doesn't need it back until his Papal Coronation).


Deacons Carry Bishop Bruskewitz Into Mass: Ecce Sacerdos Parvus!
But there will always be those who disagree, even with a Bishop as infallible as Fab Fabe, like these Sisters from Philadelphia, who say, "Who needs ball grabbing, when ball busting works even better?"



Let's end this holiday weekend with one more drink and some music to grab your balls by! The background singer on the far left - who theologically is to the far right - has now grown up these 30 years later into a Diocesan Bishop who gets mentioned quite frequently on this blog (the shaggy hair should give it away). Look closely at that hairy chest, unless you've just come from a cook-out, and you'll see one of the pectoral crosses he still wears today.

Space for Mark Thomas to Post

This space is for Mark Thomas to post as many lengthy replies and comments as he wishes. Please be kind when engaging one another. 



Sunday, May 24, 2015

PENTECOSTAL POPE FRANCIS: "I feel like saying something that may sound controversial, or even heretical, perhaps . . . "

I wonder if this ever happened to you. Something you say, something you do, really, REALLY, REALLY pisses off someone . . . and they let you and everyone else know ALL about it.

Instead of making you super-duper extra-special carefully careful NEVER to say it or do it again, you do.

Over and over again.

Bigger and better and badder and worser than before. Hehehehehe . . . 

Story of Father D's life. Maybe you can relate!

Anyhow, so on a day when the "de-facto schismatic sedevacantists", as one of our comment box visitors called RETROrate, have already gone nuts over an interview with yet another Abrogated Mass neo-Nazi (where does Bitter Onions find these psychotic fellow-travelers?), Pope Francis instead celebrated Pentecost by sending a video message to a Christian Unity gathering in Phoenix, Arizona.

The message is pure Pentecost, vintage Francis, and just terrific! Enjoy!
Text of Video Message
Day for Christian Unity
Phoenix, Arizona
May 23, 2015
Brothers and sisters, may the peace of Christ be with you.
Forgive me if I speak in Spanish, but my English isn’t good enough for me to express myself properly.  I speak in Spanish but, above all, I speak in the language of the heart.
I have the invitation you sent me for this celebration of Christian Unity, this day of reconciliation. And I wish to join you from here. “Father, may we be one so that the world may believe you sent me”. This is the slogan, the theme of the meeting: Christ’s prayer to the Father for the grace of unity.
Today, Saturday May 23rd, from 9 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon, I will be with you spiritually and with all my heart. We will search together, we will pray together, for the grace of unity. The unity that is budding among us is that unity which begins under the seal of the one Baptism we have all received. It is the unity we are seeking along a common path. It is the spiritual unity of prayer for one another. It is the unity of our common labour on behalf of our brothers and sisters, and all those who believe in the sovereignty of Christ.
Dear brothers and sisters, division is a wound in the body of the Church of Christ. And we do not want this wound to remain open. Division is the work of the Father of Lies, the Father of Discord, who does everything possible to keep us divided.
Together today, I here in Rome and you over there, we will ask our Father to send the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and to give us the grace to be one, “so that the world may believe”. I feel like saying something that may sound controversial, or even heretical, perhaps. But there is someone who “knows” that, despite our differences, we are one. It is he who is persecuting us. It is he who is persecuting Christians today, he who is anointing us with (the blood of) martyrdom. He knows that Christians are disciples of Christ: that they are one, that they are brothers! He doesn’t care if they are Evangelicals, or Orthodox, Lutherans, Catholics or Apostolic…he doesn’t care! They are Christians. And that blood (of martyrdom) unites. Today, dear brothers and sisters, we are living an “ecumenism of blood”. This must encourage us to do what we are doing today: to pray, to dialogue together, to shorten the distance between us, to strengthen our bonds of brotherhood.
I am convinced it won’t be theologians who bring about unity among us. Theologians help us, the science of the theologians will assist us, but if we hope that theologians will agree with one another, we will reach unity the day after Judgement Day. The Holy Spirit brings about unity. Theologians are helpful, but most helpful is the goodwill of us all who are on this journey with our hearts open to the Holy Spirit!
In all humility, I join you as just another participant on this day of prayer, friendship, closeness and  reflection. In the certainty that we have one Lord: Jesus is the Lord. In the certainty that this Lord is alive: Jesus is alive, the Lord lives in each one of us. In the certainty that He has sent the Spirit He promised us so that this “harmony” among all His disciples might be realised.
Dear brothers and sisters, I greet you warmly, with an embrace. I pray for you. I pray with you.
And I ask you, please, to pray for me. Because I need your prayers in order to be faithful to what the Lord wants from my Ministry.
God bless you. May God bless us all.
That should pretty much send the whole Ship of Fools right over the SSPX waterfalls . . . . or so we can hope! Or open their hearts and redirect their steps? It is the Feast of the Holy Spirit after all . . . 



PENTECOST SUNDAY: COME, HOLY SPIRIT!



The Holy Spirit would appear
to create disorder in the Church,
since the Spirit brings
a diversity of charisms and of gifts.

But all this,
by the working of the Holy Spirit,
is the source of a great richness.

For the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of unity
 - which does not mean uniformity - 
who creates what one of the early Fathers of the Church called "a divine harmony."

Pope Francis


Saturday, May 23, 2015

PENTECOST WEEKEND: COME, SPIRIT-CREATOR! FILL THE HEARTS OF YOUR FAITHFUL!

First of all, we're doing this part in small print for a reason. Shhh . . . over there, while Father Z is busy flying away the donations of his groupies, the Big Ol' Bitter Bag o' Onions has his latest facial hair all in a froth fomenting the latest conspiracy: the International Gaggle of Grim Grimacers are pretty sure those Successors of the Apostles, who aren't into Carnival Dress-Up and Remaining in the Tabernacle: Keeping Jesus Safe From Contaminating Contacts With Sinners by the Five Cardinal Horsemen of the Apocalypse™, are plotting ways to make welcome in the Family of the Church those very people Jesus came to seek out and save in the first place. Imagine! So as we get ready to celebrate Pentecost, let's not disturb that modern-day Sanhedrin busy figuring out new ways to keep the tomb sealed and the Spirit out of the Cenacle, so that they can dress up and play Church. Shhh . . . 

Meanwhile, back here in the real Church, still celebrating the Spirit's most recent decent on Rome (back in March of 2013), life in the Spirit goes on and life in the Spirit is good!

First a hymn: a fine remembrance of those Spirit-filled days! Here's the gang asking the Spirit to come and help them out:

Here's one of the fruits of that gathering: this gathering:

Cardinal Tagle: Church should not look to 'idealized past' with nostalgia


Washington. Philippines Cardinal Luis Tagle -- often cited as a possible successor to Pope Francis -- has called on Catholics to avoid looking to the pre-Second Vatican Council Church with a sense of nostalgia, but to embrace and live out the Council's sense of openness to the modern world.

Speaking at a landmark theological conference focused on carrying the vision of the Council forward, Tagle said Vatican II rediscovered the Church's understanding of mystery, mission and communion -- and that, from there, "the understanding of Church changed radically."

One of the key changes of the Council, he said, was the move from a Church that focused on itself to one that focused on the needs of humanity.

"Many people want to witness to Christ in some idealized past that they long for with nostalgia," said Tagle, who spoke Friday morning at Georgetown University. "No, we witness to Christ now, here, where we are in our world."

"The Church is being asked to retrieve its deepest identity as a communion, but a communion that is not focused on itself," he continued. "Not self-focused, not self-referential."

"The Church finds its true identity only in reference to Jesus and never to itself," he said. "The Church's reference to its identity is outside of itself. The Church is the pointer to Jesus, the sign of the presence of Jesus, the servant of Jesus."

Read the rest back at the link above.

That calls for another hymn . . . let's hear from the speaker himself. Who looks pretty good in white, by the way.