The Obligatory Translation Post

November 23, 2011

This post was almost titled Liturgical Angst Ennui.  It seemed like the hype around the new Missal (and concommitant “well, I suppose we have to”) seem an extension of the liturgy wars/battles.  Besides, I’ve been through this (major liturgical change) before. Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt. 

The new translation does not seem that new to me. Then again, I’m part of the much-maligned generation that saw the changes, pre-Vatican II, post-Vatican II, and everywhere in between. Most – not all, but most – of the people who are the most hyped about the new translation are those who have entered the Church after the changes: converts and cradle Catholics too young to remember those changes.

Yes, it’s good to give a thorough catechesis, preparation for what will be new for many. Yes, for all my familiarity with the more literal translation, I’ll probably slip and stumble in the weeks to come.  But having been through various changes, licit and illicit, and different rites, I’ve noticed that the form of Mass, the language used, the translation dynamic – none of these are a magic wand that inherently makes good Catholics.  I’ve seem the range from those knowledgeable and practicing their faith, to those who don’t know or understand their faith in all the above variations.

When people live the Gospel – that’s what matters.



The Day of Beauty

October 3, 2011

The day of beauty was a drizzly, chilly, gray day outdoors. Inside the chapel on the campus of St. John Fisher College,  the 8th annual Chesterton conference titled Transforming the Culture was a day of beauty indeed.  Hats off to Lou and Jeannne Horvath and all who put together Saturday’s conference. It was well attended, drawing people from Rochester, Buffalo, and north of Toronto.

In Lou Horvath’s introduction, he said today’s mass media with their focus on physical appearance would have missed greats such as Taft, Teddy Roosevelt, and Abe Lincoln.

Tom Martin, who teaches philosophy at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, quoted Chesteron’s observation that America is the only nation in the worl founded on a creed (the Declaration of Independence).

Joseph Pearce, who teaches literature at Ave Marie University and has written several biographies, spoke about love, reason, and beauty and how each brings us closer to God.

Kevin O’Brien, whose Theater of the Word bring the message of salvation through dramatizations, did a wonderful rendering of Belloc defending Chesterton and then a section of Chesterton’s writing on heresies.

Dale Ahlquist, co-founder of the American Chesterton Society, didn’t mention the title of his talk – Apocalypse Later – but did enjoy saying apocalytic conflagration.  He quoted Chesterton: “the end of the world is more real than the world it ends” and spoke of the importance of an awareness of the need of repentence before that end.

The above hardly does justice to such excellent, informative, and entertaining speakers.  St. Irenaeus Ministries recorded the presentations and will make it available.



Time is running out.

September 27, 2011

The deadline for comments about the mandating health insurance plans to cover contraceptives and the gross violation of conscience through the very narrow definition of the so-called “conscience clause” – the deadline is this Friday, September 30.

It astounds me that I haven’t heard anyone in  this area mention this. Granted, I’m probably out of the communication/social/whatever loop locally, but this underscores what I’ve said all along – the disunity among orthodox Catholics allows for the nonsense, this evil nonsense,  to thrive.

To add your comment, here is the USCCB web page that directs you to the NCHLA (National Committee for a Human Life Amendement) with a message already composed.  There’s also information about the Support Respect for Rights of Conscience Act.

Priest banned from saying Mass

September 27, 2011

A sign of the times is this report of a Canadian priest banned from saying Mass for saying that people should not support what goes against Catholic doctrine.

An instance to remember Romans 8:28

September 16, 2011

Like the proverbial saying, I had to pick my jaw up from the floor when I first heard the news of Fr. Pavone’s “suspension,” subsequently clarified to his being recalled to his diocese, still in good standing. Ed Peters has some observations on publicly known information on the situation. 

As surprising as the news of Fr. Pavone’s recall to his diocese was, God will bring good out of it.   Yet another  instance to remember Romans 8:28.

Ten Years Later

September 10, 2011

Among all the remembrances this week about 9/11, the most on-target came from Fr. Rutler, a guest on EWTN’s World Over program.  He said it was “an attack of evil on Judeo-Christian civilization.”

Whenever another nation had a victory of any sort over God’s people, it was because God’s people had lapsed in faithfulness to God’s word.  Tomorrow, Archbishop Dolan will celebrate Mass at 4pm (to be carried by EWTN).  The current issue of the local “alternative newspaper,” which can always be relied on to express liberal talking points, is still playing the “Blame America” card.

The battle lines are drawn. After a vigilant pause tomrrow, it will be time once more to be in the fray.


August 12, 2011

In an effort to clean out what was leftover from before my mother’s illness and death, this blog was one of them.  When I started this blog, it was partly to explore various blog formats but mostly as a structure for me to write on a regular basis.  This blog served its purpose with both and I enjoyed a good part of it. What I did not enjoy was getting sucked into the black hole of DoR dynamics.   

The bookends time frame was November 2009 to April 2010. Yes, that’s old and yes, I’ve moved on.  The dynamics, however, haven’t changed and since they were problematic and counterproeductive, they’re worth addressing.

The first bookend was the comment left accusing me of habitual negative behavior (“I find the bickering you two have engaged in…”)   When I did the legwork – the commentator should have done before jumping down my throat – I discovered the reference was to a blog I wasn’t aware of.  Then there was the childish attempts to look like it was different people commenting when all the comments came from the same computer.  The important thing about this – in light of the later accusing me of being a troublemaker – is that I was minding my own business when someone opened fire on me.

The suggestion that the pseudonymous poster was “Irondequoit Catholic” was problematic because the comments said nothing about Irondequoit, but did consistenly belittle this blog while praising the Cleansing Fire blog.  To the extent that blog has documented local liturgical abuses and acted as a sounding board, that blog has worked for good. Their vitriol to me has not. 

Another discovery was Fr. Scalia’s article titled The Militant or the Church Belligerent? that I posted here.  One of his points is when people put priniciples over people. I thought of it as putting one’s agenda over people. 

When my mother’s final nine months of illness began, I experienced both sides of the DoR divide putting their agenda over any shred of compassion.  In March 2010, when I very much looked forward to the consolation of Mass,  the “progressives” brought in a non-Catholic group to take over the Mass parts, totally oblivious to the needs of any Catholic who wanted a Lenten Mass.  In April 2010, two of the orthodox who trumpet their higher moral ground sent the most blistering, scathing emails I’ve received.  At a time while I was dealing with a difficult family situation, all they did was aggressively and scathingly push their own agenda.

So much for locals and local-related actually living Christianity.

For prayers of some locally and the personal kindnesses shown to me after my mother’s death, I am deeply appreciative. 

So there’s a range between genuine kindness and inexcusable vitriol with varying degrees in between.  One of the largest problems I see is the inability to address, much less resolve, differences in the orthodox community. I’m not addressing dissident factions in the diocese in this post, but Catholics who express faithfulness to the Magesterium. 

More could be said, but not in this post. I’ve decided to only engage in in person discussions about the DoR. That means no comments will be allowed and emails will be deleted.  If you want to talk to me about the above, please do so in person.