19/3: Feast of St Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church – Please Pray for Us!

Dear St Joseph, pure and gentle,
guardian of the Saviour child,
Treading, with the virgin mother,
Egypt’s deserts rough and wild.

Dear St Joseph, spouse of Mary,
blest above all saints on high,
When the death shades round us gather,
teach, O teach us how to die,
teach, O teach us how to die.

He who rested on thy bosom
is by countless saints adored,
Prostrate angels in his presence
sing hosannahs to their Lord.

Dear St Joseph, spouse of Mary,
blest above all saints on high,
When the death shades round us gather,
teach, O teach us how to die,
teach, O teach us how to die.

Now to thee, no gift refusing,
Jesus stoops to hear thy prayer;
Then, dear saint, from thy fair dwelling,
give to us a father’s care.

Dear St Joseph, spouse of Mary,
blest above all saints on high,
When the death shades round us gather,
teach, O teach us how to die,
teach, O teach us how to die.

Dear St Joseph, kind and loving,
stretch to us a helping hand;
Guide us through earth’s toils and sorrows,
Safely to the distant land.

Dear St Joseph, spouse of Mary,
blest above all saints on high,
When the death shades round us gather,
teach, O teach us how to die,
teach, O teach us how to die.

Comment: 

As our blogger Petrus pointed out on the Coronavirus thread yesterday, the news that the Scottish Bishops have cancelled all Masses means that, for the first time since the Second Vatican Council, the only Mass being offered in Scotland today is the traditional Latin Mass.  Thus, for those Catholics who are unable to attend Mass in their parishes, the video below, of a young priest of the Society of Saint Pius X offering the ancient Mass, might be of interest and spiritual benefit.   Perhaps, on this Feast of St Joseph – one of the greatest saints in the Church’s calendar – seeing this beautiful Mass for the first time, or for the first time after many years of attending the Novus Ordo Missae, will bring about a huge change in the lives of some, at least, of those who are trying to make sense of the post-Vatican II Church.  For that great grace, we seek the intercession of St Joseph on this day, dedicated to his honour. 

As always, on Feast day threads, feel free to discuss any relevant issues, post your favourite hymns and prayers as a tribute  to the saint of the day, and share stories of your own experience of St Joseph’s intercessory powers;  as always, too,  feel free to post jokes, as long as they fit into the category of “good clean fun” …  

A brief explanation of the traditional Latin Mass…

Mass in the Edinburgh church of the Society of St Pius X – 19 March, 12.30 pm

Mass in the Glasgow church of the Society of St Pius X – 19 March, 6.30 pm  

Finally…

A very happy Feast of St Joseph to everyone!   

Archbishop of Glasgow: Most Catholics Faithless, But No Return To Tradition…

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, Glasgow

A Lent challenge: Do I really believe? (From March 2020 edition of Flourish)

I believe in miracles … do you? That’s the powerful question asked by Archbishop Tartaglia this month as Lent begins in earnest. In a powerful interview with Flourish, Glasgow’s Archbishop calls for a new effort at fostering devotion to the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and a renewed sense of the sacred.
Editor:  Why’s that, then?  Why the need for “a new effort… devotion… Real Presence… sense of the sacred…”?  Whatever happened to the “old” devotion and sense of the sacred? Could it be that the “success” of the ecumenical and inter-faith focus of the Church has led to practical indifferentism among the faithful who now believe that one religion / denomination is as good as another, that we’re all going to Heaven, no need to be “dogmatic” about anything? Jesus loves us and we don’t need “organised religion” any more.  Just a thought.

The Archbishop spoke after a recent survey in the US showed only 30 per cent of Catholics fully accepted the doctrine of transubstantiation, namely the bread and wine offered at Mass truly become the body and blood of Christ at the moment of consecration.
Editor:  Which means that 70% do NOT believe in transubstantiation… How did that happen, then?

Archbishop Tartaglia speaks frankly in the interview about the liturgical and catechetical mistakes which followed Vatican II and acknowledges that “the Church has gone through testing times in the post-conciliar period, much of it self-inflicted. There has been bad catechesis and bad theology around the Eucharist, with the result that many people cannot articulate the Church’s faith in the Eucharist even in simple terms.”
Editor:  well, Glory Hallelujah! That is some admission. Every word a jewel.  At long last, Archbishop. Still, a wee apology after the spirit of the age would be good. It’s called “taking responsibility”.  And then let’s see some action! Sacking the entire staff at the Scottish Catholic Education Service  plus reinstating Thomism in seminaries would be a start:  producing theologically literate priests and teachers can only help…

He adds starkly: “Many supportive elements of our practice, like fasting and genuflection and kneeling, and devotional prayers and practices, have been neglected. None of this has helped to nourish the faith of the People of God in the Most Holy Eucharist.”
Editor:  “genuflection and kneeling” don’t come naturally to those who think of Our Lord as merely their “brother” and who –  as the Archbishop now acknowledges  – lack belief in His Real Presence.  Who, after all, ordered the tabernacles to be placed out of sight (and thus out of mind, as the saying goes), along with the removal of altar rails and kneelers, because it is that person who bears massive responsibility before God for causing and maintaining the apostasy which Pope John Paul II once described as “silent”, but which is now screaming from the rooftops. 

But the Archbishop is clear that the answer is not a return to the past or a rejection of the liturgical changes of Vatican II.
Editor: WRONG!  How on earth does the Archbishop think we got to the stage where the vast majority of Catholics, by his own admission, do not believe in a central dogma of the Faith – the Real Presence – if not as a result of  “the liturgical changes of Vatican II”?   This has to be a rhetorical question because the answer is so painfully obvious. 
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He says: “The Novus Ordo, the ‘new’ Mass, is not a defective form of the Mass. Its structure is based soundly on the great liturgical tradition. Its theology is orthodox. Like any other form of the Mass, when celebrated well, it more fully achieves God’s purpose. When celebrated poorly, it obscures God’s purpose.”
Editor:  So the poor faithful are to be left at the mercy of the priest, hoping he does not “obscure God’s purpose”… What?!  The new Mass is definitely defective.  Its structure is totally contradictory to “the great liturgical tradition”: for example, never before in the entire history of the Church has the priest faced the congregation at Mass throughout. This is but one, highly distracting, innovation, one departure from Catholic Tradition which totally “obscures  God’s purpose” in the Mass and turns it into an entertainment platform, and in some cases, a circus.  So seriously did certain Cardinals regard this novel Mass, recognising that it was truly defective, that they wrote to Pope Paul VI, arguing that “…the Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent. The “canons” of the rite definitively fixed at that time provided an insurmountable barrier to any heresy directed against the integrity of the Mystery.” To read the entire letter/critique, click here

And he reminds readers that the teaching of the Church has been clear and unchanging in recent decades: “There has been good and faithful catechesis and teaching on the Eucharist during the post-Vatican II era, starting from Pope St Paul VI. His successors Pope St John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI taught firmly and beautifully on the Mass and on the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist.
Editor:  So, how come the majority of Catholics have lost the Faith – a fact which the Archbishop acknowledges?

“Pope Francis summed up the Church’s teaching simply and powerfully last year on the feast of Corpus Christi: ‘Whenever we approach the altar to receive the Eucharist, we must truly renew our ‘amen’ to the Body of Christ… It is Jesus, it is Jesus who saved me, it is Jesus who comes to give me the strength to live. It is Jesus alive.’”
Editor:  is that it?  Hardly an explanation, let alone a ringing endorsement, of transubstantiation – but merely a vague pious statement to which any Protestant could subscribe.  Protestants who believe that they receive Christ “spiritually” in their bread and wine, could pray those words.

And he ended his interview with a cry of hope … “There is no pastoral plan that can fix this situation without insisting upon a renewed and profound faithfulness to Christ and to his Gospel. The answer will depend on much more faithful preaching and teaching at all levels which will lay out for the faithful the truth, beauty and wonder of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist so that they may receive him in Holy Communion with faith and devotion for the salvation of their souls.
Editor:  can’t argue with that – but how is this “more faithful preaching and teaching at all levels…”  to be achieved? There’s plenty of piously “hopeful” rhetoric coming from the Archbishop in this interview, but precious little in the way of concrete planning to put right the indiscipline, errors, liturgical and catechetical abuses of the past 50 plus years. And the check list below, really doesn’t offer any of that pious “hope”.  Apparently this “more faithful preaching and teaching at all levels” will be achieved as follows:

• It will be expressed in more obedient and authentic liturgy.
Editor:  that can only mean the traditional Latin Mass, offered in every parish in the archdiocese – a solution rejected by the Archbishop. 

• It will be accompanied by a much greater response to Vatican II’s universal call to holiness from all sectors of the Church.
Editor:  if “Vatican II’s universal call to holiness” is different from the perennial call to holiness of the Church since apostolic times, let’s hear it. It is, in fact, this heresy – that the Church only really began at Vatican II, with the arrival of the Holy Ghost at the Council – that has led to the current decline.

• It will demand a true conversion to the moral and social teaching of the Church.
Editor:  true.  Which will require priests and bishops to openly preach true morals, deny pro-abortion politicians Holy Communion and refuse to permit scandalous funerals, such as the very public funerals of partnered homosexuals which have taken place in Glasgow in recent years.  And in terms of the social teaching of the Church – that means priests and bishops preaching that, at the heart of Catholic Social Teaching is the belief that Christ must be at the head of every nation under Heaven. The Church is not an arm of the Social Work Department. She cannot support immoral national laws, in the name of Catholic Social Teaching.

• It will be based on a much more frequent and respectful practice around Mass, the Sacraments and an increased sensitivity to the sphere of the sacred.
Editor: that brings us full circle back to the need to restore that which has been lost – the traditional Latin Mass, and, in the meantime, an end to the various liturgical abuses now normalised – such as Communion in the hand, drinking from the Chalice and lay people playing at being priests.  We want rid of Extraordinay Ministers of Holy Communion:  when do we want it? NOW! 

• It will be supported by much more prayer, devotion and penance.
Editor:  once the traditional liturgy has been restored, “all these other things will be given to you”, to (kinda) quote the Gospel.

Its source and outcome will be a greater faith, hope and charity. It may well take a miracle of grace and conversion to restore our Eucharistic faith … but thankfully, I believe in miracles.”
Editor: yes, it will take a miracle, which is why we, at Catholic Truth, never lose sight of the need for the Pope and all the Bishops of the world to unite in consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as Our Lady requested.  Until then, as we can see from the above interview (notwithstanding his honest admission of the dire state of the Church on his watch)  Archbishop Tartaglia is still in denial as to the only way to put matters right, which is the restoration of all things in Christ; in other words, he must give us back what modernist churchmen have taken from us in the past half-century – our Catholic heritage.  The spiritual blindness which we are witnessing in the post-Vatican II churchmen from the top down, continues to display itself in interviews such as this, where the Archbishop just cannot see that it is only when the Traditional Faith in its theological and liturgical purity is restored, that his “miracle” will be achieved. Source – March 2020 edition of Flourishofficial publication of the Archdiocese of Glasgow.

Comments invited…

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Italy: Cardinal Burke Dubbed “Enemy of the Pope” – Insulted, Humiliated…

From Rorate Caeli…

Behold the Church of bridges and mercy, open and outreaching! Cardinal Burke is forced to annul a Mass in Ostuni: the parish priest had demanded the celebration be held behind closed doors as his arrival in Brindisi displeased the high levels of the diocese. The newspapers attacked him as an enemy of the Pope. The Bishop of Ostuni however, will tomorrow meet with the Valdese in church to talk about immigration.

Here we see the Church of mercy, the Church of open ports and the Church of out-reach. So open, so merciful and so out-reaching, that clandestine Masses are reserved for troublesome Cardinals. It is happening in Ostuni, Puglia as in China, where, according to the Vatican Chancellor, Sorondo, the Social Doctrine of the Church is applied.

The latest Brindisian newspapers present us with a very disturbing sign concerning Cardinal Leo Burke, who was politely shown the door in that sordid and humiliating way only the prevailing clericalism is capable of. “The conservative Cardinal is not welcomed by the priests”, were yesterday’s headlines in the Quotidiano di Puglia: Annulled the American high-prelate’s Mass scheduled in the Cathedral. The parish-priests had expressed embarrassment after his position against Pope Francis… 

Cardinal Burke

…This episode throws a sinister light on the increasingly political way things are run in the Church. Cardinal Leo Burke is not impeded canonically; he travels the world for conferences and moments of spirituality; he celebrates Masses, is involved in pastoral activities; he leads moments of prayer between the United States (where he was recently for the March for Life) and Italy. He was even a guest recently for the Nuova BQ Day. The idea that a priest, supported certainly by a bishop, can close the doors on him, is an indication of how grave the situation not only in the Church has become, but also of the restricted freedom those men of the Church, that the mainstream doesn’t like, are subjected to, because they are considered enemies. Is this the communion they want to impose by dint of dialogue? Are these the shepherds with the odour of the sheep and a knife between their teeth?   Click here for the entire “must-read” report.

Comments invited…

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1st Sunday in Advent, 2019: 50th Anniversary of the Imposition of the New Mass… Is Anybody Celebrating?

From Rorate Caeli

Fifty years ago this weekend, the Catholic Church debuted a new version of Mass following reforms made by the 1960s’ Second Vatican Council. From the use of vernacular language instead of Latin, to the priest facing the people instead of the tabernacle, the changes became mandatory at all parishes on the First Sunday of Advent 1969.

There was high-level resistance to replacing the traditional Latin Mass with a new version. Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, who headed and served for 32 years in the highest doctrinal office at the Vatican (later succeeded by Joseph Ratzinger, who would become Pope Benedict XVI), wrote an intervention in 1969 entitled “Short Critical Study on the New Order of Mass.” In it, he, joined by another cardinal and several liturgical experts, warned “fresh changes in the liturgy could lead to nothing but complete bewilderment on the part of the faithful.” [link to Ottaviani Intervention added – Editor CT]

The Pope at the time was convinced radical liturgical innovation was needed. Addressing his Mass alterations in November 1969, Pope Paul VI stated: “The results expected, or rather desired, are that the faithful will participate in the liturgical mystery with more understanding, in a more practical, a more enjoyable and a more sanctifying way.”

Pope Paul VI with the six Protestant Ministers who actively contributed to the creation of the new Mass…


The results were the opposite. Since the 1960s, Mass attendance has plummeted, from around 70% of U.S. Catholics every Sunday and Holy Day

before the liturgical changes, to 21% of U.S. Catholics currently attending weekly Mass. In other countries, including much of Western Europe, the number can be in the single digits.

But after five decades of experiments and decline, there is some growth to be observed within the Catholic Church. Ironically, it is with traditionalists joining the priesthood, entering convents and attending parishes that offer the very Latin Mass that was replaced 50 years ago.  

One such society of clergy, the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, has seen growth even in the otherwise turbulent past year, including a doubling of

attendance at its Los Angeles parish, with new churches being established each year that quickly fill up with hundreds of families attending the old Mass. Its seminaries, completely full, often turn away applicants — a challenge shared by almost no diocese or religious order in 2019.

Interestingly, this growth in tradition — particularly among young Catholics — has occurred while Pope Francis has moved in the completely opposite direction during his nearly seven years in Rome. The Jesuit pope has chastised traditionally minded Catholics numerous times, including saying: “I always try to understand what is behind those individuals who are too young to have lived the pre-Conciliar liturgy, and who want it nonetheless.

“I have at times found myself in front of people who are too rigid, an attitude of rigidity. And I ask myself: how come so much rigidity? You dig, you dig, this rigidity always hides something: insecurity, at times perhaps something else.” This was said by the same Francis who, when asked about homosexual priests, replied “Who am I to judge?”

The resurgence of the traditional Latin Mass started before Francis, but has seen unprecedented growth during his papacy, a counterrevolution of sorts that some (both admirably and critically) call an alternative Francis effect. Even bishops and priests who were not ordinarily interested in the traditional Latin Mass have been much more generous and vocal in offering additional such liturgies. Two distinct wings of the Catholic Church have emerged. Often, the new versus the old Mass is a defining characteristic of the opposing coalitions.

The past 50 years have not been good ones for the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict saw this when he wrote, of the new form of Mass, “we abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over centuries, and replaced it — as in a manufacturing process — with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product.”

How the hierarchy of the Church deals with “those individuals who are too young to have lived the pre-Conciliar liturgy, and who want it nonetheless” is a question they have not yet begun to answer.  Source – Rorate Caeli

Comment: 

We’d dearly love to hear from those of you who are still attending the new Mass, despite the manifest evidence that it cannot possibly be pleasing to God.  Those involved in creating this new Mass made clear that their aim was to remove everything that would be an obstacle to Protestants (like, for example, the very idea that the Mass is a re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Calvary). Having made the Mass palatable to Protestants, then, nobody should be surprised at the prospect of making  it pleasing to pagans as well, by including the pagan rituals dear to the indigenous population in the Amazon region. What’s the bet that you will see the fruits of this latest blasphemy in a parish near you, Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, USA – you name it – before you’ve had time to Google “Amazon Synod”… 

On this terrible anniversary, the book Open Letter to Confused Catholics, written by Archbishop Lefebvre, one of the few prelates at the Second Vatican  Council who acted to protect the traditional Mass, is well worth reading. Events have shown his analysis to be truly prophetic and it is to this Archbishop that we owe the growth of the movement to restore the ancient Mass and Faith.  Click on the image to reach an online copy which you really ought to add to your “must-read” list immediately, if not sooner 😀 

Finally… well… is anybody celebrating the anniversary of the imposition of the new Mass?  If so, we’re jes dyin’ to hear from you…  

USA: Dramatic Loss of Belief in Real Presence – What About UK Catholics? 

Transubstantiation – the idea that during Mass, the bread and wine used for Communion become the body and blood of Jesus Christ – is central to the Catholic faith. Indeed, the Catholic Church teaches that “the Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life.’”

But a new Pew Research Center survey finds that most self-described Catholics don’t believe this core teaching. In fact, nearly seven-in-ten Catholics (69%) say they personally believe that during Catholic Mass, the bread and wine used in Communion “are symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ.” Just one-third of U.S. Catholics (31%) say they believe that “during Catholic Mass, the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus.”

In addition to asking Catholics what they believe about the Eucharist, the new survey also included a question that tested whether Catholics know what the church teaches on the subject. Most Catholics who believe that the bread and wine are symbolic do not know that the church holds that transubstantiation occurs. Overall, 43% of Catholics believe that the bread and wine are symbolic and also that this reflects the position of the church. Still, one-in-five Catholics (22%) reject the idea of transubstantiation, even though they know about the church’s teaching.

The vast majority of those who believe that the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ – 28% of all Catholics – do know that this is what the church teaches. A small share of Catholics (3%) profess to believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist despite not knowing the church’s teaching on transubstantiation.

About six-in-ten (63%) of the most observant Catholics — those who attend Mass at least once a week — accept the church’s teaching about transubstantiation. Still, even among this most observant group of Catholics, roughly one-third (37%) don’t believe that the Communion bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ (including 23% who don’t know the church’s teaching and 14% who know the church’s teaching but don’t believe it). And among Catholics who do not attend Mass weekly, large majorities say they believe the bread and wine are symbolic and do not actually become the body and blood of Jesus   Click here to read more...

Comment: 

This latest research (which confirms previous similar studies in the USA) reveals lots of things, notably the failure to teach the Faith in Catholic schools and pulpits.  This failure is every bit as true here in the UK as it is – manifestly so – in the USA. 

Catholics who reject the dogma of Transubstantiation show ignorance of Sacred Scripture because it was Christ Himself who said:  “For My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink….”  (John 6:56)  He did not even mention “symbols” of His Body, Blood, Soul & Divinity.  He gave us Himself as real food and real drink to sustain us on our spiritual journey and, from the very beginning, this was the belief of all Christians.  

How can this state of affairs be put right, then?  You can’t force someone to believe something but maybe somebody in authority should tell unbelieving Catholics that they are not free to reject any dogma of the Faith and still call themselves Catholics.  That might be a start?  

Since none of us is above temptation, we ought to frequently reflect on the glorious miracle that is Transubstantiation.  Feel free, then, not only to offer your comments on the Pew Center Research findings – especially as it relates to the UK – but post, as well, meditations on the Real Presence, quotes from the saints, favourite hymns and prayers, all with the aim of deepening our awareness and understanding of this wonderful gift from God, which, all too often, as we approach for Holy Communion, we may tend to take for granted.  Do we actually treat the Blessed Sacrament as a mere symbol?  Worth thinking about…  

Is The SSPX Now Fully Regularized?

Pope Francis has fully regularized the Society of St Pius X (SSPX), James Bogle, the ex-president of Una Voce International, told Gloria.tv (video below: see link – Ed)

Bogle stressed that the SSPX and the sacraments administrated by them, including marriages and confessions, have been formally recognized by Francis. The Society is also allowed to ordain to the priesthood whomever they see fit.

Francis further appointed SSPX Bishop Bernard Fellay as a judge at the Rota Romana, the highest appellate tribunal of the Church, thus recognizing his authority.

“I don’t see how much more regular you can get than that,” Bogle concludes. He acknowledges, however, that there are a lot of intolerant bishops who still treat the SSPX as if it were irregular.

To them, Bogle answers that those who do not like the integration of the SSPX “better have the argument with Pope Francis.”   Click here to read more and view video

Comments invited…    

The Theology of Mass “Preference”

With increasing frequency, I hear people saying that, while they prefer the traditional Latin Mass (and attend it when they can), they still attend the novus ordo Mass;  generally speaking, it’s easier to get to the new Mass or, in some cases, the people concerned have commitments in their parishes which they are not yet ready or willing to relinquish.  Having educated themselves on the Mass controversy, and come to the conclusion that they really ought to be attending the traditional Mass, they are still somewhat (and naturally so) attached to their parish communities.   But are they right to continue to attend the new Mass, knowing what they now know? Here’s a short talk on the question of informed Catholics continuing to attend the new Mass…

Comment: 

Imagine the reaction of a judge in any courtroom you care to name, listening to  to a defendant accused of any crime, who, while admitting his guilt sought to excuse himself by arguing that he would have “preferred” not to have committed the crime at all, but…  Is that a defence?  Aren’t we all expected to conform our behaviour to comply with the law, whether road traffic laws or the moral law?  Try running a few red lights and telling the court that you’d really have “preferred” not to do so, or excusing the murder of your annoying neighbour by insisting that it really wouldn’t be your first choice of action, your “preference”, but… 

Why, then, do we think that it’s OK to swap the new Mass for the traditional Mass when it suits us, spuriously claiming that we “prefer” the traditional Mass, so that’s all right then?  

Answer:  it’s not.  It’s really not all right.  God more than “prefers” the traditional Mass; this is the worship that He wants from us, as is clear from the history and tradition of the Church – not to mention the decimation of entire congregations since the introduction of the new Mass in recent years.   So, what any of us “prefers” is irrelevant. Goodness, we might “prefer” to spend a couple of hours clap-happy singing in the nearest Pentecostalist church –  who cares?  “Preference” is irrelevant. Our duty is to give due and true worship to God. We are quite simply not doing that at the new Mass. 

If you have some cast iron evidence to the contrary, of course, let’s hear it!