Daily Archives: July 19, 2011

Cheese, Song, Chaput: Philadelphia.

Big cheese: Archbishop Chaput.

When I was a child, the word “Philadelphia” invariably reminded me of a fresh wannabe cheese that I actually – probably against my better judgement – even liked. Little I knew that the thing didn’t carry the word “cheese”, because not in compliance with the rigid Italian laws about what you can call, well, “cheese”. Too much crap inside, was the general verdict on the matter. Be it as it may, when I grew up they lost me as a client.

Then, and to this day, the word “Philadelphia” started to instantly remind me of a rather beautiful song of Bruce Springsteen, the soundtrack of a successful film of the Nineties. In the video, Philadelphia was depicted as a city in clear decline. Springsteen walks in a kind of dump/ghetto not easily imaginable in Europe.*
That hit home.

Curious, I went to Wikipedia and discovered that whilst the place might do with one or three improvements (sixth most dangerous US city above 500,000 inhabitants; second dirtiest, too) it is certainly no Detroit, with a vibrant pharmaceutical industry, rather high income generation and clear signs of vitality.

This is, then, the place Archbishop Chaput will find when he moves there in September. Not an easy task, I must say: the archdiocese is in the middle of just another cover-up scandal, and Archbishop Chaput will have to keep up the good work already executed in Denver in similar circumstances.
Make no mistake, the liberal wolves will be around him in no time and will certainly try to smear him with every bit of the dirt they can find in his new diocese. A bit like Pope Benedict and the Hitlerjugend, or the homosexual pedophile priest scandal and, really, pretty much everything the liberals don’t like. Just associate the dirt with your enemy; something will stick.

But the man is a tough skin besides being a Reds, erm, “Native American”. Even from the other side of the pond, he is one of the names one finds very regularly on Catholic headlines; an outspoken chap, very orthodox from what I have read up to now, unafraid to say it loud and clear and not really willing of taking the favourite excuse of the american clergy for their inaction, namely that the Church would lose its tax status if they were to be publicly Catholic. Which – let us be clear about that – for a Catholic doesn’t even begin to be an argument.

I hope that he will counter every punch and continue to be on the offensive rather than indulging in the usual “oh how very bad we have been, will you ever ever EVER be able to forgive us”-litany of his weaker and more cowardly colleagues. He will probably also get a red hat, as it is rather expected for his new diocese, and will give to the orthodox (read: conservatives) another extremely valid help and, why not, candidate when the next conclave comes.

Good look to him, and my prayers. A tough job for a tough guy.

God willing, he’ll do so good that in ten years’ time whenever I hear the name “Philadelphia” I will think of him, Archbishop (and very probably: Cardinal) Chaput. The cheese was not even really cheese and the song rather sad anyway.


* Outside of Naples, that is.

Sancta Missa: The Tridentine Mass In Your Home.

Hat tip to Catocon for the link to this beautiful, beautiful site: Sancta Missa.

Sancta Missa is a kind of “Tridentine Mass comprehensive guide and tutorial” for both laity and clergy, and is the brainchild of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

What may seem boring is in fact a fascinating journey of discovery of the Tridentine Mass, a journey you can start from the comfort of your sofa.

The graphic layout is extremely pleasant and very accurate (the image above gives you an idea of what awaits you), and guides the visitor through various aspects of the Mass. Several videos of the same high quality (many produced “in house”) integrate the texts available. You can click around at your heart’s content and discover more and more of the beautiful Mass of the Ages.

If you click on the, so to speak, ueber-Home page you will see that the site is available in several languages. Personally I find such sites not only useful to know more about the liturgy, but a valuable help to the learning of foreign languages, too. As stated, numerous videos allow the visitor to have a real, palpable idea of the sacredness of the Tridentine Mass even if he never had the privilege of attending to one.

But this site is about so much more than the Mass. There are separate sections dedicated, for example, to the spirituality of the Tridentine Mass, to the Sacred Music, or to the Liturgical year.

The Canons Regular of St. John Cantius in Chicago also organise workshops and the sites gives useful information on the matter.

Summa summarum, a thoroughly well-made, high-quality work and an invaluable help to all those, clergy or laity, who want to improve their knowledge of what is clearly destined to be the future of the Church after the devastations of the last decades.


Austrian Uprising: Cardinal Schönborn Makes the Work of the Devil.

This would make a proper doormat inscription for the Archdiocese of Vienna.

Today marks one month from the unspeakable call to open revolt from more than 250 Austrian priests. Including the deacons, their number exceeds 300.

Now please consider this:

1. Austria has around 4200 priests (not bad at all  for a country of 8.2m inhabitants. But I digress… ), which means that at the moment around 6% of the Austrian clergy is openly heretical. 

2. The list of the members of the “Pfarrer-Initiative” is not updated anymore. This might have to do with the desire not to embarrass Cardinal Schönborn, who might be forced by the Vatican to do something when it is clear that the movement is growing further.

3. An anonymous letter is enough to have a priest immediately suspended. An open call to disobedience and adhesion to blatant heresy isn’t, if Cardinal Schönborn is your archbishop.

4. Besides being the head of the Austrian bishop’s conference, Schönborn is the Archbishop of Vienna. This means that (if the information found on the internet is accurate) he is the superior of both Helmut Schueller, the priest vastly recognised as the leader of the movement, and Hans Bensdorp, the priest in whose name the internet page has been registered. These two leaders of an heretical movement which has now swept away 6% of the Austrian Priests are still in good standing, and so are all the others. What on earth is happening here?! Whose side is the Cardinal on??

5. These heretics are so sure of impunity, that their internet site now has an invitation to their annual assembly in Linz, in November. Among the heretics it’s business as usual. They know that they have nothing to fear from the Archbishop.

One month on, Cardinal Schönborn hasn’t been able to do anything else than make some obligatory noises about the rebels being “disobedient”. He allows them to continue undisturbed. He hasn’t suspended anyone of the more than 250 openly heretical priests. He hasn’t even provided for the taking down of the internet page.

If you want to know what the motivations of this disgraceful Cardinal are you can read here; or you may want to learn from the Cardinal himself how to spread an heresy.

After one month, there can be no excuse for such scandalous  inaction . Cardinal Schönborn is clearly doing everything he can to allow this heretical movement to grow. He is their best ally and their most scandalous accomplice. 

Please help to stop this unspeakable shame by directly addressing the Vatican, as Cardinal Schönborn will never do anything unless forced to.

Addresses are as follows:

Congregation for the Clergy: clero@cclergy.va

Papal Nuncio in Austria: nuntius@nuntiatur.at

Holy Father:  benedictxvi@vatican.va

Please also help to stop this scandal by forwarding this information. You may want to forward (and mention in the protest emails you send) the links to blogs written by priests as they might be more effective. Two beautiful examples are EF Pastor Emeritus and Father Z.

Please take the time. Souls are at stake. Heresy is spreading in the middle of Europe, in the total absence of any will to do something effective against it.


Fulton Sheen, The Cross And The Christ.

Perceptive, Persuasive, Prophetic: Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Re-browsing the exceedingly beautiful “Life of Christ” from the great Fulton Sheen (a book that, if you ask me, should be obligatory reading in every RCIA, or confirmation class) I stumbled upon this very beautiful concept which, once again, made on me a profound impression (emphases always mine).

“The modern world, which denies personal guilt and admits only social crimes, which has no place for personal repentance but only public reforms, has divorced Christ from His Cross; the Bridegroom and Bride have been pulled apart. What God hath joined together, men have torn asunder. As a result, to the left is the Cross; to the right is the Christ”. […] Communism comes along and picks up the meaningless Cross; Western post-Christian civilization chooses the unscarred Christ.”

“Communism has chosen the Cross in the sense that it has brought back to an egotistic world a sense of discipline, self-abnegation, surrender, hard work, study, and dedication to supraindividual goals. But the Cross without Christ is sacrifice without love. Hence, Communism has produced a society that is authoritarian, cruel, oppressive of human freedom, filled with concentrantion camps, firing squads, and brain-washings”

“The Western post-Christian civilization has picked up the Christ without His Cross. But a Christ without a sacrifice that reconciles the world to God is a cheap, feminized, colorless, itinerant preacher who deserves to be popular for His great Sermon on the Mount, but also merits unpopularity for what He said about His Divinity on the one hand, and divorce, judgment, and hell on the other. This sentimental Christ is patched together with a thousand commonplaces. […] Without His Cross, He becomes nothing more than a sultry precursor of democracy or a humanitarian who taught brotherhood without tears”.

This is impressive enough, and the lucidity of the man almost uncanny. The next part, though, is almost scarily prophetic.

“The problem now is: Will the Cross, which Communism hold in its hands, find Christ before the sentimental Christ of the Western world finds the Cross? It is our belief that Russia will find the Christ before the western world unites Christ with His Redemptive Cross”.

Communism is now, practically, no more; Russia is slowly but surely coming back to an increased form of religious practice. The West has deformed his “Christ without the Cross”, “patched together with a thousand commonplaces” to the point of parody, to an extent that Fulton Sheen probably couldn’t even imagine. Still, we can see a reaction forming already, with Christians now awakening to the danger and closing ranks.

This is also to be seen in the fundamental optimism of this great man, unable to wonder if Christ and the Cross will be reunited, but merely when.

Ah, to have half a dozen like him in these difficult times…


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