Introit

Introit
Traditional Mass

Wednesday, September 30, 2009



SAINT JEROME
Confessor and Doctor of the Church

DOUBLE/WHITE
Born in Dalmatia of a Christian family, Jerome (c. 342-420) was baptized in Rome, while taking his classical courses. He then studied under the best masters in foreign cities. But the Church had need of this extraordinarily gifted man. Jerome heard and obeyed the divine call, made a vow of celibacy, and withdrew for four years to a hermitage in the Syrian desert. The Holy Father soon summoned Jerome to Rome and entrusted him with the enormous task of revising the Latin Bible. This work, which took 30 years to complete, is our official Vulgate version of the Scriptures. In 1920, Pope Benedict XV stated: "The Church venerates in Jerome the greatest doctor given her by heaven for the interpretation of the Holy Scriptures."

COLLECT
O God, in the person of Your blessed confessor Jerome You provided Your Church with her greatest scholar in the interpretation of Holy Scripture. may the merits of this saint help us to practice his teachings in our words and deeds. Through our Lord . . .

SECRET
Grant us Your heavenly grace, O Lord, that we may serve You in perfect freedom. Let the offerings, which we bring You through the intercession of Your blessed confessor Jerome, heal us and lead us to everlasting glory. Through our Lord . . .

POSTCOMMUNION 
We are refreshed with the Bread of Heaven, O Lord. May the prayers of Your blessed confessor Jerome make us worthy of Your mercy. Through our Lord . . .

Tuesday, September 29, 2009




To St. Michael in Time of Peace
Gilbert K. Chesterton  

This poem was first published in The Legion Book (London 1929), and again in G.K.'s Weekly of September 24, 1936. The poem also appeared in the Chesterton Review, May 1990: Vol. 16 No. 2.


Michael of the Morning,
Michael of the Army of the Lord,
Stiffen thou the hand upon the still sword, Michael,
Folded and shut upon the sheathed sword, Michael,
Under the fullness of the white robes falling,
Gird us with the secret of the sword. 
 
When the world cracked because of a sneer in Heaven,
Leaving out for all time a scar upon the sky,
Thou didst rise up against the Horror in the highest,
Dragging down the highest that looked down on the Most High:

Rending from the seventh heaven the hell of exaltation
Down the seven heavens till the dark seas burn:
Thou that in thunder threwest down the Dragon
Knowest in what silence the Serpent can return.
 
Down through the universe the vast night falling
(Michael, Michael: Michael of the Morning!)
Far down the universe the deep calms calling
(Michael, Michael: Michael of the Sword!)


Bid us not forget in the baths of all forgetfulness,
In the sigh long drawn from the frenzy and the fretfulness
In the huge holy sempiternal silence
In the beginning was the Word.


When from the deeps of dying God astounded
Angels and devils who do all but die
Seeing Him fallen where thou couldst not follow,
Seeing Him mounted where thou couldst not fly,
Hand on the hilt, thou hast halted all thy legions


Waiting the Tetelestai and the acclaim,
Swords that salute Him dead and everlasting
God beyond God and greater than His Name.

Round us and over us the cold thoughts creeping
(Michael, Michael: Michael of the battle-cry!)


Round us and under us the thronged world sleeping
(Michael, Michael: Michael of the Charge!)
Guard us the Word; the trysting and the trusting
Edge upon the honour and the blade unrusting
Fine as the hair and tauter than the harpstring
Ready as when it rang upon the targe.


He that giveth peace unto us; not as the world giveth:
He that giveth law unto us; not as the scribes:
Shall he be softened for the softening of the cities
Patient in usury; delicate in bribes?


They that come to quiet us, saying the sword is broken,
Break man with famine, fetter them with gold,
Sell them as sheep; and He shall know the selling
For He was more than murdered. He was sold.


Michael, Michael: Michael of the Mustering,
Michael of the marching on the mountains of the Lord,
Marshal the world and purge of rot and riot
Rule through the world till all the world be quiet:
Only establish when the world is broken
What is unbroken is the Word.


PRAYER TO SAINT MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL

Pope Leo XIIIImage via Wikipedia




Note: This prayer was composed by Pope Leo XIII in 1886 and is offered for the private recitation of the
faithful in accord with the decree of Inde Ab Aliquot Annis of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the
Faith, September 29, 1985.
Original Version of the Prayer to St. Michael the
Archangel written by
Pope Leo XIII in 1886











Sanctus Míchael Archángelus
Prínceps gloriosíssime caeléstis milítiae, sancte Míchael
Archángele, defénde nos in proelio advérsus príncipes et
potestátes, advérsus mundi rectóres tenebrárum harum,
contra spirituália nequítiae in caeléstibus.
Veni in auxílium hóminum, quos Deus ad imáginem
similitúdinis suae fecit, et a tyránnide diáboli emit prétio
magno.
Te custódem et patrónum sancta venerátur Ecclésia; tibi
trádidit Dóminus ánimas redemptórum in supérna
felicitáte locándas.
Deprecáre Deum pacis, ut cónterat Sátanam sub pédibus
nostris, ne ultra váleat captívos tenére hómines et Ecclésiae
nocére.
Offer nostras preces in conspéctu Altíssimi, ut cito
antícipent nos misericórdiae Dómini, et apprehéndas
dracónem, serpéntem antíquum, qui est diábolus et
sátanas et ligátum mittas in abýssum, ut non sedúcat
ámplius gentes.
Amen.





Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
Glorious Prince of the Celestial Host, St. Michael
the Archangel, defend us in the conflict which we
have to sustain against principalities and powers,
against the rulers of the world of darkness, against
the spirits of wickedness in the high places (Eph
6:12). Come to the rescue of men whom God has
redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the
devil. It is thou whom Holy Church venerates as her
guardian and her protector; thou whom the Lord
has charged to conduct redeemed souls into heaven.
Pray therefore, the God of peace, to subdue Satan
beneath our feet, that he may no longer retain men
captive nor do injury to the Church. Present our
prayers to the Most High, that without delay they
may draw His mercy down upon us. Seize "the
dragon, the ancient serpent, which is the devil and
Satan," bind him and cast him into the bottomless
pit..."that he may no longer seduce the nations"
(Rev 20:2-3).


DEDICATION OF SAINT MICHAEL
THE ARCHANGEL BASILICA

DOUBLE, FIRST CLASS / WHITE
This feast commemorates the dedication to St. Michael of an ancient church at Rome at a date earlier than the sixth century. St. Michael the Archangel is honored as the supreme guardian spirit of the universal Church. In heaven Michael led the good angels against Lucifer and his rebel angels. The fallen angels pursue on earth that same war against the Man-God Christ which they began in heaven. Therefore Michael continues to direct the battle against them here on earth. The standard-bearer of the Church, he introduces the departed souls of her children into God's holy light (Offertory Hymn of Requiem Mass). He also presents our prayers to God (Incensation at High Mass), conquers demons (Prayers after Low Mass), and pleads for us sinners (Confiteor).

INTROIT Ps. 102:20
Bless the Lord, all you His angels, you mighty in strength who do His bidding, obeying the voice of His commands.
Ps. 102:1. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and let all my being bless His holy name.
V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT
O God, who wondrously directs the services of angels and men, grant that our lives on earth may be guarded by the angels who stand ever before Your face ministering to You in heaven. Through our Lord . . .

LESSON Apoc. 1:1-5
In those days, God gave unto him, to make known to his servants the things which must shortly come to pass: and signified, sending by his angel to his servant John, Who hath given testimony to the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, what things soever he hath seen. Blessed is he that readeth and heareth the words of this prophecy: and keepeth those things which are written in it. For the time is at hand. John to the seven churches which are in Asia. Grace be unto you and peace, from him that is and that was and that is to come: and from the seven spirits which are before his throne: And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the first begotten of the dead and the prince of the kings of the earth, who hath loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood.

GRADUAL Ps. 102:20, 1
Bless the Lord, all you His angels, you mighty in strength who do His bidding.
V. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and let all my being bless His holy name.

Alleluia, alleluia! V.
Holy archangel Michael, defend us in battle, that we may not perish in the dreaded judgment. Alleluia!

GOSPEL Matt. 18:1-10
At that time, the disciples came to Jesus, saying: "Who, thinkest thou, is the greater in the kingdom of heaven?" And Jesus, calling unto him a little child, set him in the midst of them. And said: "Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven. And he that shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me. But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh. And if thy hand, or thy foot, scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee to go into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee having one eye to enter into life, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven."

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Apoc. 8:3, 4
An angel stood before the altar, having a golden censer in his hand; and there was given to him much incense, and the smoke of the incense went up before God, alleluia!

SECRET
O Lord, graciously accept the Sacrifice of praise we offer You. May it bring us closer to our salvation through the angels' prayers of intercession. Through our Lord . . .

COMMUNION ANTIPHON Dan. 3:58
All you angels of the Lord, bless the Lord, sing a hymn of praise and exalt Him above all forever.

POSTCOMMUNION
We rely on the prayers of the blessed archangel Michael, O Lord, that the Sacrament which we have received upon our lips may always remain in our hearts. Through our Lord . . .
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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dominus vobiscum: Latin mass returns to Seattle

By JOEL CONNELLY
SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF

The chants are stuff of childhood memory for today's middle-aged Catholics, but a ritual that has lately been resurrected and restored in the Archdiocese o
Elevation of the chalice during the Canon of t...Image via Wikipedia
f Seattle -- the Tridentine rite Latin high mass. In what he calls a "personal parish, not a geographic parish," Archbishop Alex Brunett a year ago authorized patient advocates of restoring the Latin liturgy to form North American M
Members of the Knights of Columbus salute duri...Image via Wikipedia
artyrs parish in Seattle. About 500 people packed into its temporary home, St. Alphonsus Church in Ballard, on Friday night as Brunett presided over a stirring, deeply spiritual high mass. Saber-bearing Knights of Columbus in full regalia escorted the procession. Gregorian music wafted down from the choir loft, while sweet-smelling incense filled the air.
Many women's heads were draped in lace. Young children, present in large numbers, were quiet as, well, church mice. There were no response readings by the congregation. No laypeople walked to the microphone to read scripture.
The congregation's participation could be described in two words, prayerful and contemplative.
Only to the once-familiar words "Dominus vobiscum" (May the Lord be with you) did the congregation deliver a full voiced reply, "Et cum spiritu tuo" (And with thy spirit).

Continue reading this article here: http://www.seattlepi.com/connelly/410557_joel26.html

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SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY
AFTER PENTECOST


Saints Cosmas and Damian performing transplant surgery.
Attributed to Alonso De Sedano, Burgos, Spain, ca. 1495.

SAINTS COSMAS AND DAMIAN
Martyrs

DOUBLE / GREEN
INTROIT Ps. 118:137, 124
You are just, O Lord, and Your judgment is right. Deal with Your servant according to Your mercy.
Ps. 118:1. Blessed are they who are undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.
V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT
O Lord, keep Your people from falling under the influence of the devil, and let our hearts follow You, our only God, that they may remain pure. Through our Lord . . .

Commemoration of SAINTS COSMAS AND DAMIAN
Doctors and mission dispensaries have special patrons in Cosmas and Damian, brothers who practiced medicine in Syria in the closing years of the third century. They were called in the East "the moneyless ones," because they cared for their patients free of charge. Devout lovers of Jesus, they were even more solicitous for the souls than for the bodies of those they tended. The apostolic brother-physicians converted many sinners and exorcised the possessed. They were given the grace of martyrdom during the persecution of Emperor Diocletian.
 
O Almighty God, today we are celebrating the birthday of Your blessed Martyrs Cosmas and Damian. Hear their prayers and rescue us from all the dangers that threaten us. Through our Lord . . .
 
 
EPISTLE Eph. 4:1-6
Brethren: I therefore, a prisoner in the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation in which you are called: With all humility and mildness, with patience, supporting one another in charity. Careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. One body and one Spirit: as you are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all, who is blessed forever and ever. Amen.

GRADUAL Ps. 32:12, 6
Blessed the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen for His inheritance!
V. By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all the celestial bodies thereof were created.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Ps. 101:2
O Lord, hear my prayer and let my cry come unto You. Alleluia!

GOSPEL Matt. 22:34-46
At that time, the Pharisees, hearing that he had silenced the Sadducees, came together. And one of them, a doctor of the law, asked him, tempting him: "Master, which is the great commandment in the law?"
Jesus said to him: " 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind.' This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: 'Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.' On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets."
And the Pharisees being gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying: "What think you of Christ? Whose son is he?" They say to him: "David's." He saith to them: "How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying: 'The Lord said to my Lord: Sit on my right hand, until I make thy enemies thy footstool?' If David then call him 'Lord,' how is he his son?" And no man was able to answer him a word: neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Dan. 9:17, 18, 19
I, Danial, prayed to my God, saying, "Hear, O Lord, the prayers of Your servant; show Your face upon Your sanctuary, and look down favorably upon this people upon whom Your name is invoked, O God."

SECRET
We humbly implore Your majesty, O Lord, to grant us, through the sacred rite that we here celebrate, pardon for our sins of the past and preservation from sin in the future. Through our Lord . . .

Commemoration of SAINTS COSMAS AND DAMIAN
O Lord, may Your saints' unfailing prayer of honor render our offerings acceptable to You and obtain Your pardon for us. Through our Lord . . .

COMMUNION ANTIPHON Ps. 75:12-13
Make vows and fulfill them to the Lord your God, all you round about Him who bring gifts; to the awesome God who destroys the pride of princes, to Him who is awesome among all the kings of the earth.

POSTCOMMUNION
Almighty God, may the grace of this Sacrament cure our sinfulness and be an everlasting remedy for our weakness. Through our Lord . . .
 
Commemoration of SAINTS COSMAS AND DAMIAN
O Lord, let Your people find protection in this banquet at which You have generously fed them, and in the prayers of all Your saints. Through our Lord . . .
Saints Cosmas and Damian - an icon 17th cent.17th Century Icon of Saints Cosmas & Damian Image via Wikipedia
 

Saturday, September 26, 2009





SAINTS ISAAC JOGUES, JOHN DE BREBEUF,
AND THEIR COMPANIONS

Martyrs

IN ALL DIOCESES OF THE UNITED STATES

SAINTS CYPRIAN AND JUSTINA 
Martyrs

DOUBLE, SECOND CLASS / RED 
These eight French Jesuit missioners, the first canonized saints of the North American continent, labored and died among the most barbaric of red men in the most impenetrable fastnesses of the 17th-century New World. After struggling with unbelievable privations and hardships, they were severely tortured and martyred by the Iroquois Indians between the years 1642 and 1649. Fathers Isaac Jogues and Anthony Daniel and the two lay oblates, John Lalande and Rene Goupil, gave their lives in what is now New York State; Fathers John de Brebeuf, Gabriel Lalemant, Charles Garnier, and Noel Chabanel in central Canada.

INTROIT Apoc. 7:14
These are they who have come out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb.
Ps. 116:1. Praise the Lord, all you nations; praise Him, all you peoples!
V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT
O God, You blessed the first fruits of the faith in the vast expanse of North America by the missionary labors and martyrdom of blessed Isaac, John, and their companions. May the harvest for Christ grow daily more abundant in the whole world through the intercession of these saints. Through our Lord . . .

Commemoration of SAINTS CYPRIAN AND JUSTINA
At Antioch the virtue of the virgin Justina converted Cyprian, a magician, to Christianity. Cyprian later became a priest and then a bishop. Both suffered martyrdom under Diocletian in the year 304, and their bodies were brought to Rome by some Christian mariners.

Comfort us, O Lord, with the unfailing protection of Your holy martyrs Cyprian and Justina, for You are always merciful to those who are helped by Your saints. Through our Lord . . .

READING II Cor. 12:11-15
Brethren: I ought to have been commended by you, For I have no way come short of them that are above measure apostles, although I be nothing. Yet the signs of my apostleship have been wrought on you, in all patience, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds. For what is there that you have had less than the other churches but that I myself was not burthensome to you? Pardon me this injury. Behold now the third time I am ready to come to you and I will not be burthensome unto you. For I seek not the things that are yours, but you. For neither ought the children to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children. But I most gladly will spend and be spent myself for your souls: although loving you more, I be loved less.

GRADUAL Ps. 123:7-8
Our soul has been rescued as a bird from the snare of the hunters.
V. The snare has been broken and we are free. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. II Cor. 1:5
For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so also through Christ does our comfort abound. Alleluia!

GOSPEL Luke 6:17-23
At that time, Jesus coming down from the mountain, stood in a plain place: and the company of his disciples and a very great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the sea coast, both of Tyre and Sidon, Who were come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. And they that were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all the multitude sought to touch him: for virtue went out from him and healed all. 
And he, lifting up his eyes on his disciples, said: "Blessed are ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for you shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for you shall laugh. Blessed shall you be when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you and shall reproach you and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Be glad in that day and rejoice: for behold, your reward is great in heaven."

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Sap. 3:6
As gold in the furnace the Lord has proved them, and as a victim of a holocaust He received them.

SECRET 
O Lord, let us offer You with pure hearts this spotless Victim, in which Your holy martyrs found a food of unutterable sweetness, because of their own unsullied purity and their tireless zeal for mortification. Through our Lord . . . 

Commemoration of SAINTS CYPRIAN AND JUSTINA

We offer these gifts to You in sacrifice, O Lord. May the honor we pay to Your saints please You, and may these offerings, through Your mercy, bring us closer to our salvation. Through our Lord . . .

COMMUNION ANTIPHONPhilipp. 1:20-21
Christ will be glorified in my body whether through life or death. For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.

POSTCOMMUNION 
Almighty God, we are refreshed by the food of the valiant. When Your holy martyrs Isaac, John, and their companions were strengthened by this same Bread, they were able to lay down their own lives for their brothers; may we also bear one another's burdens and love our neighbors with an effective and sincere charity. Through our Lord . . .

Commemoration of SAINTS CYPRIAN AND JUSTINA

May the intercession of Your holy martyrs Cyprian and Justina help us to cherish with pure hearts the Sacrament we have received upon our lips. Through our Lord . . .


Thursday, September 24, 2009


OUR LADY OF RANSOM

GREATER DOUBLE / WHITE
This feast was extended to the whole Church in thanksgiving to the Blessed Virgin, for having in the thirteenth century inspired St. Peter Nolasco and St. Raymond of Pennafort to found a religious order for the release of Christians captured by the Saracens. The Mercedarians vowed to give themselves up as hostages for the imprisoned Christians when ransom and military means failed. Their heroism saved countless souls from apostasy and despair.
Peter NolascoImage via Wikipedia


Mass of the
BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, except

COLLECT
O God, through the glorious Mother of Your Son You enriched the Church with a new religious congregation dedicated to freeing Christians from slavery among the heathens. We venerate Mary as the foundress of this institution and pray that she may also deliver us from our sins and the slavery of the devil through her own merits and intercession. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord . . .

SECRET
O Lord, through Your mercy and the intercession of the Blessed ever-Virgin Mary, let this offering bring us prosperity and peace now and forever. Through our Lord . . .


POSTCOMMUNION
O Lord, grant that we who have received the Sacrament of our salvation may be protected through the intercession of the Blessed ever-Virgin Mary, in whose honor we have offered this Sacrifice to Your majesty. Through our Lord . . .



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Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Letter #29, from America, Buckle Up


Perfect Storm?
 
After a quiet summer, clouds gather over Rome...

By Robert Moynihan, reporting from America

A storm is about to be unleashed on the Pope, the Vatican, and, by extension, the Catholic Church.

The first drops of rain have just fallen, with public accusations that the Pope lied this winter in connection with the "Williamson affair." (see below)
 
============================

What is it about?
 
Whether this storm will "blow over," or intensify into a "perfect storm," only time will tell.

But whatever happens, there is this to keep in mind: many, inside and outside of the Church, would like the Church's traditional liturgy, known as the Latin Mass -- the old liturgy celebrated up until 1970, and two years ago designated by Pope Benedict XVI as the "extraordinary rite" of the Mass -- to disappear.
 
And they are irritated that Benedict -- against many and vociferous objections --  "restored" the old liturgy, which many thought had been buried definitively.
 
As strange as it may seem, this battle is in part about that -- about the survival of the Church's old liturgy -- about her way of worshipping God.
 
But when I say this, I do not mean to downplay other, quite obvious concerns, for example, the tense situation in the Middle East, or in the world economy.
 
I mean to say that, on a fundamental level, it is not simply a political or economic battle, as important as political and economic factors are, but a spiritual battle.
 
===============================
 
Is Rome alone?

And at a time like this, when many forces in the West (the European Union, the new US administration)  seem to be aligning themselves in favor of a thoroughly secularized "new world order," the ally most helpful to Rome may well be the ally who still celebrates a divine liturgy which has not been modernized: the Orthodox.
 
And the most numerous and powerful of the Orthodox are the Russians.
 
In this perspective, these attacks on the Pope and the Vatican may drive Rome to ally herself, after a thousand years of separation, with Contantinople, and with Moscow -- reuniting the "three Romes"...
 
====================================

The allegation this morning is that Vatican officials (but not the Pope) lied when they said this winter that no one in the Vatican knew about Bishop Richard Williamson's views about the Holocaust when the Pope decided to lift his excommication on January 24.

However, this allegation has been exploited by the Church's current antagonist in Italy, Prime Minsiter Silvio Berlusconi, through his media empire, to suggest that the Pope, too, lied.

Here is the headline being run right now on Google news:
 
Swedish TV: Vatican knew about Holocaust-denier

Here is a link to the entire story:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iSmeUYxiL3cK2bBxxIHl9aTafLoAD9AT13984

Here are the first few few paragraphs to give you the gist of what is being said:
 
By KARL RITTER (AP) – 4 hours ago

STOCKHOLM — A Swedish TV program to be aired Wednesday (
Note: today) claims that top Vatican officials knew that an ultraconservative British bishop was a Holocaust-denier when his excommunication was lifted in January. The program, which was obtained by The Associated Press prior to broadcast, could add new fuel to the controversy over Bishop Richard Williamson.

Jews and Catholics worldwide were outraged after Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication of Williamson, along with three other ultraconservative bishops, in an attempt to bring dissidents back into the mainstream church.

The order, dated Jan. 21, came as Sweden's SVT aired an interview recorded two months earlier in which Williamson said he didn't believe any Jews were killed in gas chambers during World War II.
Vatican officials have said they didn't know about the interview at the time. Benedict later condemned Williamson's remarks and spoke out against anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.

Yet in a follow-up report, SVT says the Vatican had been informed of Williamson's Holocaust-denial shortly after the interview was recorded in November. It doesn't suggest, however, that the pope knew about the remarks.

The program singles out Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, who had been leading efforts to heal the schism with the ultraconservative Society of St. Pius X. The Vatican announced in July that Castrillon Hoyos was stepping down after reaching the customary retirement age of 80.

The SVT program says Sweden's Catholic diocese informed the apostolic nuncio — the Vatican envoy to Sweden — about Williamson's remarks and that he in turn informed Vatican officials, including Castrillon Hoyos...
 
===================

The Italian Front: "He Lied"

The second allegation is that the Pope himself knew.
 
This allegation made headlines today in Italy, where the Catholic Church and the Italian government of Prime Minister Berlusconi have been sparring for months over Berlusconi's immiration policies and his alleged sexual impropriety. This morning, Berlusconi (or those close to him) took the gloves off.
 
(Here, in better times, Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi greets Pope Benedict XVI in Cagliari on the Italian island of Sardinia in this September 7, 2008,  photo -- CNS photo/Reuters)
 
For the first time in the many months of acrimony, Berlusconi (or his associates) directly attacked the Pope. This escalates the battle.
 
Il Giornale, a newspaper owned by Berlusconi's family, carried the exaggerated headline "He Lied" ("Ha mentito"), referring to the Pope and his handling of the "Williamson affair."
 
(Below is a photo from three weeks ago of women reading Il Giornale. The Sept. 3 newspaper front page has a picture of Dino Boffo, editor of the Catholic newspaper Avvenire. Boffo resigned from Avvenire, the newspaper of the Italian bishops' conference, in a row that has strained relations between the Vatican and the Italian government -- CNS photo/Stefano Rellandini, Reuters)
 
Here are a few lines from a British newspaper today explaining this story:
 
Silvio Berlusconi turns his guns on Pope Benedict XVI

The Italian newspaper Il Giornale, owned by the family of Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi, carries a headline today dominated by the words “Ha mentito” - “he lied”, referring to Pope Benedict XVI. The paper is busy stirring up trouble over the claims by Swedish TV, due to be aired tonight, that the Vatican knew in advance about the Holocaust-denying background of Bishop Richard Williamson before his excommunication was lifted.

The words “he lied” are admittedly taken from the programme. But it’s a malicious allegation: Benedict has told no lies whatsoever regarding this matter, even if Vatican officials working for him have a case to answer.

The background you need to know is that
Il Giornale has been engaged in a furious battle with Vatican Radio and the Catholic newspaper Avvenire, whose editor Dino Boffo it forced to resign after claiming he was a homosexual with a police record. Avvenire, not coincidentally, had consistently opposed Berlusconi, with the backing of the Italian Bishops’ Conference.

That struggle, which is part of a left-right, secular-Catholic battle at the heart of Italian society and government, has already damaged relations between the gruesomely oversexed Berlusconi and the Holy Father...
 
 
=====================================
 
One consideration is the Italian situation.
 
There isn't space or time here to go into the entire sordid affair. Suffice it to say that a rift between the Vatican and the government of Silvio Berlusconi has now become a chasm.
 
Since the Vatican, humanly speaking, is a tiny state entirely surrounded by Italian territory, it is naturally always a hope of the Vatican to be on close and friendly terms with the Italian government.
 
Therefore, this deteriorating relationship with the Italian governement led by Berlusconi is a real concern.
 
Here is a link to an Associated Press article on the background to this story: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090906/ap_on_re_eu/eu_italy_scandal_3

And here is a link to a Time magazine story on Berlusconi: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1923076,00.html

==============================
 
A second consideration is the relationship of the Vatican to the world Jewish community.
 
The re-emergence of the "Williamson affair" under these circumstances, with new allegations, shows that the "affair" was not settled in March, when the Pope on March 12 issued a dramatic letter of apology to the bishops of the Church.
 
Here are some key lines from that March 12 letter:
 
"An unforeseen mishap for me was the fact that the Williamson case came on top of the remission of the excommunication," the Pope wrote.
 
"I have been told that consulting the information available on the internet would have made it possible to perceive the problem early on. I have learned the lesson that in the future in the Holy See we will have to pay greater attention to that source of news. I was saddened by the fact that even Catholics who, after all, might have had a better knowledge of the situation, thought they had to attack me with open hostility.
 
"Precisely for this reason I thank all the more our Jewish friends, who quickly helped to clear up the misunderstanding and to restore the atmosphere of friendship and trust which – as in the days of Pope John Paul II – has also existed throughout my pontificate and, thank God, continues to exist."
 
 
Will the world Jewish community come to the Pope's defense?

============================
 
A third consideration is the relationship between traditional Catholics, now un-excommunicated, and those we may call "conciliar" Catholics.
 
Is this case only about Williamson and his views, or are the "conciliar" Catholics actually unwilling to accept the readmission of "traditionalist" Catholics into communion with Rome, and themselves?
 
In this regard, a question arrises: who is really behind the re-emergence of attacks on the Pope for his January 24 action in un-excommunicating the four Lefebvrist bishops?
 
It isn't fully clear.
 
But it has been reported in the La Stampa of Milan, Italy, that the Catholic bishop of Stockholm, Anders Arborelius, is in a very cordial relationship with the Swedish TV -- and that he is a firm opponent of the Society of St. Pius X (the SSPX).
 
 
Arborelius said Wednesday in a statement posted on his diocese's website that he was aware of negationist remarks Williamson made to an investigative news program filmed by Swedish public television SVT in November 2008 and which aired on January 21, 2009.

Arborelius wrote: "The content of the interview with Richard Williamson ... was sent to the Vatican in November 2008, forewarning that the program with the Holocaust denial would be broadcast on January 21, 2009.

"We, at the diocese office in Stockholm, as we always do in matters of the Church, had forwarded the information we had about SSPX and Richard Williamson, including what we knew about the content in the interview Uppdrag Granskning had with him, to the Vatican," Arborelius said.

"I want to underline that forwarding information to the Vatican is pure routine, and not something exceptional for this case," he added.
 
(Of course, it is evident that such information could possibly have been held up on one desk or another, and never reached the Pope or his top advisors.)
 
====================================

A fourth consideration is the relationship of the Roman Catholic Church to the world's Orthodox Churches.
 
It became clear last week, during a very cordial visit to Rome by a representative of the Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow, that relations between Catholicism and Orthodoxy, especially Russian Orthodoxy, at least on the surface, are much improved over the past few years.

Here are excerpts from an account of that visit I wrote for the Monday, September 21 edition of the Zenit news agency:

Recent Meeting Could Mark Turning Point

On September 18, inside Castel Gandolfo, the Pope's summer palace about 30 miles outside Rome, a Russian Orthodox Archbishop named Hilarion Alfeyev (photo), 43 (a scholar, theologian, expert on the liturgy, composer and lover of music), met with Benedict XVI, 82 (also a scholar, theologian, expert on the liturgy and lover of music), for almost two hours, according to informed sources.
 
(There are as yet no "official" sources about this meeting -- the Holy See has still not released an official communiqué.)

The silence suggests that what transpired was important -- perhaps so important that the Holy See thinks it isn't yet prudent to reveal publicly what was discussed.

But there are numerous "signs" that the meeting was remarkably harmonious...

In memory of the visit, Archbishop Hilarion gave the Pope a pectoral cross, made in workshops of Russian Orthodox Church...

It is especially significant, in this context, that Hilarion, Patriarch Kirill's "Foreign Minister," has some of the same deep interests as Benedict XVI: the liturgy, and music.

"As a 15-year-old boy I first entered the sanctuary of the Lord, the Holy of Holies of the Orthodox Church,” Hilarion once wrote about the Orthodox liturgy. “But it was only after my entrance into the altar that the 'theourgia,' the mystery, and 'feast of faith' began, which continues to this very day.

"After my ordination, I saw my destiny and main calling in serving the Divine Liturgy. Indeed, everything else, such as sermons, pastoral care and theological scholarship were centered around the main focal point of my life -- the liturgy."

These words seem to echo the feelings and experiences of Benedict XVI, who has written that the liturgies of Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday in Bavaria when he was a child were formative for his entire being, and that his writing on the liturgy (one of his books is entitled "Feast of Faith") is the most important to him of all his scholarly endeavors.

"Orthodox divine services are a priceless treasure that we must carefully guard," Hilarion has written. "I have had the opportunity to be present at both Protestant and Catholic services, which were, with rare exceptions, quite disappointing… Since the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council, services in some Catholic churches have become little different from Protestant ones."

Again, these words of Hilarion seem to echo Benedict XVI's own concerns. The Pope has made it clear that he wishes to reform the Catholic Church's liturgy, and preserve what was contained in the old liturgy and now risks being lost.

Hilarion has cited the Orthodox St. John of Kronstadt approvingly. St. John of Kronstadt wrote: "The Church and its divine services are an embodiment and realization of everything in Christianity... It is the divine wisdom, accessible to simple, loving hearts."

These words echo words written by Cardinal Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI, who often said that the liturgy is a "school" for the simple Christian, imparting the deep truths of the faith even to the unlearned through its prayers, gestures and hymns.

Hilarion in recent years has become known for his musical compositions, especially for Christmas and for Good Friday, celebrating the birth and the Passion of Jesus Christ. These works have been performed in Moscow and in the West, in Rome in March 2007 and in Washington DC in December 2007.

Closer relations between Rome and Moscow, then, could have profound implications also for the cultural and liturgical life of the Church in the West. There could be a renewal of Christian art and culture, as well as of faith...
 
(Here is a link to the complete article: http://www.zenit.org/article-26932?l=english.)

====================================

As I said at the outset, the "Williamson affair," and the effort to ascertain what the Vatican knew, and when, about Williamson's views, may continue to dominate news headlines, or it may pass away into silence. Time will tell.
 
But the re-emergence of the issue reminds us that there is a larger battle occurring, a battle for the "deposit of the faith," a battle for our tradition and the beliefs handed down to us from the Apostles, and it is that battle that we should be aware of and concerned about.

Last week, I had a wonderful and productive meeting in New Rochelle, New York, with Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, 86, who has given me some documents which may help me to understand better the history of the Church in our time.
 
I will be returning to Rome soon, God willing, and reporting on these documents, and on other matters which I have left unfinished.
 
====================================
 
“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God's providence to lead him aright.”Blaise Pascal (French mathematician, philosopher, physicist and writer, 1623-1662)

=========================================

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From http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/


Pope desires FSSP to be given 

full pastoral care of faithful

BY GREGOR KOLLMORGEN


Fr. John Berg recently celebrated a Solemn Mass for the German congress, Freude am Glauben (Joy in the Faith). He went on to celebrate another Solemn Mass for the annual meeting of the German Pro Missa Tridentina association in Wiesbaden this 19 September. At this conference, Fr. Berg mentioned some interesting details of his audience with His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI in July (cf. FSSP Superior General and Benedict XVI). According to Fr. Engelbert Recktenwald FSSP,


Pope Benedict XVI wishes that the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter be entrusted, beyond the celebration of Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form, at as many places as possible, with the cura animarum, i.e. the full pastoral care. This was reported by Fr. John Berg, Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, at the Annual Meeting of Pro Tridentine Missa, which was held today in Wiesbaden. Fr. Berg had on 6 July, a private audience with the Pope, during which he was able to speak for fifteen minutes with him at his desk in the papal library. The Holy Father was very interested in whether the Fraternity was able to exercise its apostolate without obstacles, as intended. He inquired whether its priests, where they operate, could really work pastorally for the souls.



















SAINT LINUS
Pope and Martyr

SAINT THECLA
Virgin and Martyr

SIMPLE/RED
Very little is known of Pope Linus, the immediate successor of St. Peter, beyond the fact that he ruled the Christian community for over eleven years. Although his martyrdom is uncertain, the sufferings he underwent for the infant Church sufficed to place him among the martyrs in the canon of the Mass.

COLLECT
O Eternal Shepherd, who appointed blessed Linus shepherd of the whole Church, let the prayers of this martyr and supreme pontiff move You to look with favor upon Your flock and to keep it under Your continual protection.

Commemoration of SAINT THECLA
Thecla was a convert of St. Paul, with a Pauline love of virginity. Strong in purity of body and spirit, Thecla survived fierce tortures of persecution until Christ called her to Heaven.

Almighty God, we celebrate today the birthday of Your blessed virgin martyr Thecla. May her feast fill us with joy and may we profit by the example of her great faith. Through our Lord . . .

SECRET
We have offered our gifts to You, O Lord. Let Your light graciously shine upon Your Church, so that this flock may everywhere prosper, and its pastors, under Your guidance, may be truly pleasing to You.

Commemoration of SAINT THECLA
O Lord, accept the gifts we bring You on the feast of Your blessed virgin martyr Thecla, through whose intercession we hope to be set free. Through our Lord . . .

POSTCOMMUNION
O Lord, govern Your Church, which You have been pleased to nourish with Your Heavenly Food. Guide her by Your powerful direction, so that she may enjoy greater freedom and remain unshaken in the fullness of faith.

Commemoration of SAINT THECLA
O Lord, through the intercession of Your blessed virgin martyr Thecla, may we be aided by the reception of the Blessed Sacrament and rejoice in Your everlasting protection. Through our Lord . . .
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Monday, September 21, 2009


The Inspiration of Saint Matthew
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610)
1602
Contarelli Chapel, San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome



SAINT MATTHEW
Apostle and Evangelist

DOUBLE, SECOND CLASS / RED
In the second year of His public ministry Jesus called Levi, the tax-gatherer, away from his booth and gave His new disciple the name of Matthew, which means "Gift of Yahweh." To Christ, the humble, willing soul of the publican was far more pleasing than were those of the self-satisfied Pharisees, proud of their observance of the letter of the Law but oblivious of its spirit. Soon afterward, the Savior chose the converted tax-gatherer as one of His Apostles. Matthew wrote the first Gospel, which records so many loving details about his master's life on earth. Tradition relates that he evangelized Persia and suffered martyrdom among the Parthians.

INTROIT Ps. 36:30-31
The mouth of the just man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justly. The law of God is in his heart.
Ps. 36:1. Be not envious of evildoers, nor jealous of those who do wrong.
V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT
O Lord,may the prayers of the blessed apostle and evangelist Matthew help us to obtain the graces we ourselves cannot acquire by our merits. Through our Lord . . .

READING Ezech. 1:10-14
And as for the likeness of their faces: there was the face of a man, and the face of a lion on the right side of all the four: and the face of an ox, on the left side of all the four: and the face of an eagle over all the four. And their faces, and their wings were stretched upward: two wings of every one were joined, and two covered their bodies: And every one of them went straight forward: whither the impulse of the spirit was to go, thither they went: and they turned not when they went. And as for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like that of burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps. This was the vision running to and fro in the midst of the living creatures, a bright fire, and lightning going forth from the fire. And the living creatures ran and returned like flashes of lightning.

GRADUAL Ps. 111:1-2
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments.
V. His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth; the righteous generation shall be blessed.

Alleluia, alleluia! V.
The glorious choir of apostles praises You, O Lord. Alleluia!

GOSPEL Matt. 9:9-13
At that time, Jesus saw a man sitting in the custom house, named Matthew; and he saith to him: "Follow me." And he arose up and followed him. And it came to pass as he was sitting at meat in the house, behold many publicans and sinners came, and sat down with Jesus and his disciples.
And the Pharisees seeing it, said to his disciples: "Why doth your master eat with publicans and sinners?" But Jesus hearing it, said: "They that are in health need not a physician, but they that are ill. Go then and learn what this meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice. For I am not come to call the just, but sinners."

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps. 20:4-5
O Lord, You have placed on his head a crown of precious stones. He asked life of You and You gave it to him, alleluia!

SECRET 
O Lord, may the offering of Your Church be presented to You by Your blessed apostle and evangelist Matthew, through whose learned teaching she was instructed in the faith. Through our Lord . . .

COMMUNION ANTIPHON Ps. 20:6
His glory is great because of Your help; You have conferred upon him glory and great splendor, O Lord.

POSTCOMMUNION 
We who have received Your Sacrament, O Lord, look hopefully for the prayers of Your blessed apostle and evangelist Matthew. May the Sacred Rite that we have celebrated in his honor bring us healing for our own sinfulness. Through our Lord . . .