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!   

10/3: Feast of Scots Martyr St John Ogilvie – His Life/Death & Miracles Now Meaningless in Modern Scotland? 

Background…

John Ogilvie was the eldest son of Walter Ogilvie, a respected Calvinist who owned the estate of Drumnakeith in Banffshire. At the age of twelve he was sent to Europe to be educated. He attended a number of Benedictine establishments and eventually, he decided to become a Catholic.

The first part of the 17th century was a turbulent and dangerous time to be a Catholic priest in Scotland because after 1560 (Scottish Reformation), Catholicism was outlawed. Ogilvie returned to Scotland, arriving in Glasgow disguised as a horse trader. He celebrated Masses in secret, and was eventually betrayed to the authorities only a year later.

He was tortured, and paraded through the streets of Glasgow before being hanged for treason at Glasgow Cross.  As he mounted the scaffold, an old woman spat on him and shouted, “A curse be on your popish face, Ogilvie!” to which he responded, “And a blessing be upon your bonny face, Madam!”

St John’s place of burial is unknown, but his remains are thought to lie in a pauper’s grave somewhere near the place of execution.

Ogilvie’s last words were “If there be here any hidden Catholics, let them pray for me but the prayers of heretics I will not have.”  He then threw his rosary into the crowd.

John Fagan’s Miracle Cure…

The parish of Blessed John Ogilvie in Easterhouse, Glasgow, was home to John Fagan, a worker at the Glasgow docks.  In 1967, Fagan developed a large tumour in his stomach and the entire parish prayed to Blessed John for a miracle. The parish priest, Father Thomas Reilly, pinned a medal of Blessed John to Fagan’s pyjamas.  Their prayers were indeed answered. 

His wife kept vigil at his bedside and he had slipped into a coma.  The family doctor visited late at night and told Mary she had to prepare herself, as he expected her husband to die during the night and that he would return in the morning to sign the death certificate. In the early hours of the morning John spoke to Mary, who was shocked when he told her he was hungry and asked for something to eat. He had not eaten for months. She made him an egg and toast which he ate.  In the morning, the doctor returned and was so amazed to see John sitting up in bed talking that he collapsed into a chair.  The news of these strange events spread all over Glasgow and beyond.  Medical examinations did indeed prove that there was no longer any sign of the tumour.  The Vatican was informed and the process of investigation began.  Father Reilly was named as the Vice Postulator of the cause and all necessary papers were sent to Rome.

Eventually, the miracle was declared and nine years later, on 17 October 1976 Pope Paul VI canonised John Ogilvie. John Fagan had been in the army in Rome in 1944 when the city was liberated from the Nazis.  He found himself on the steps of St Peter’s Basilica, looking at the magnificence of the Vatican.  Little did he realise that three decades later he would return there to play a major role in the making of a saint. John Fagan and his wife photographed (right) at the canonisation of Saint John Ogilvie SJ. 


So, why did John Ogilvie sacrifice his life? 

John Ogilvie died for witnessing to his beliefs in a world hostile to the values of Christ, i.e.  a Scotland which had rejected the Catholic Faith.  Yet, his martyrdom made a deep impression on many who witnessed his execution.  The blood of the martyrs is so often the seed of the blossoming Church.  Sadly, however, this has not been the case in Scotland, where the martyr’s death is repeatedly downplayed by the Scottish hierarchy in the cause of what is manifestly false ecumenical progress.  The last time we checked, for example, the tourist bus informed visitors to the city that Glasgow Cross is famed for the way gossipy women used to be placed in the stocks and pelted with rotten tomatoes. There is no mention of Scotland’s only post-Reformation martyr, canonised as recently as 1976, who was executed on that very spot. The application of so-called “Tolerance and Diversity” has a way to go yet in Scotland, where religious indifferentism is writ large. Priests like John Ogilvie, who sacrificed their lives in defence of the ancient Mass, have been replaced by priests who won’t even offer the new Mass on their day off.  So, what went wrong?  Ecumenism? Inter-religious dialogue? Vatican II? Paul VI’s new Mass? Lowering of seminary standards for entrance? Ignoring the Church’s criteria for entry into seminary? What then? 

Comments invited…    

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…  

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!                                                               

Pope Francis: stick with the new Mass… 

Pope Francis, while he says “we must rediscover the reality of the Sacred Liturgy” also warns against “[looking]  back to nostalgic past tendencies or [wishing] to impose them again…”   Loosely translated, this seems to be saying, stick with the new Mass, and don’t hanker after the old…

So, it’s maybe time to remind ourselves of what, precisely, he means by “nostalgic past tendencies” and what precisely, he doesn’t want to “impose again”.  Take the few minutes necessary to watch the short video below and then share your answers to the two questions below…

Questions…

Since the liturgy of the Church is directed to God, to offer Him true worship / adoration, do you think He finds the Novus Ordo Missae acceptable and pleasing – does it achieve that central aim ?

How, in God’s eyes, do you think the Novus Ordo Missae compares to the Traditional Latin Mass (see video below)…

“When Mass is being celebrated, the sanctuary is filled with countless angels who adore the Divine Victim immolated on the altar.” – St. John Chrysostom (Bishop & Doctor of the Church).

Pope Francis Suppresses Ecclesia Dei… 

The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei Suppressed by Pope Francis
January 19, 2019 By fsspx.news

On January 17, 2019, Pope Francis suppressed the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, which had been created in 1988 by his predecessor Pope John Paul II.

The Apostolic Letter in the form of the Pope’s motu proprio was published at noon on January 19 by the Holy See Press Office and inserted in L’Osservatore Romano. From now on, the Commission’s responsibilities will be placed entirely in the hands of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which will designate a special section to take over its activities. This transfer, explains the Sovereign Pontiff, comes in response to a need expressed during a meeting of this dicastery on November 15, 2017, approved by him on November 24, and validated in a plenary session in January 2018.

The pope recalls how, over thirty years ago, the day after the episcopal consecrations in 1988, John Paul II wished to facilitate the “full ecclesial communion of priests, seminarians, religious communities or individuals until now linked in various ways to the Fraternity founded by Archbishop Lefebvre”. The goal was to help them “remain united to the Successor of Peter in the Catholic Church while preserving their own spiritual and liturgical traditions”. This preservation of the spiritual and liturgical traditions was ensured in 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.

This historical reminder of Pope Francis has the merit of showing how this Pontifical Commission was originally founded on the condemnation of Archbishop Lefebvre and his work. In its thirty years of existence, it mostly limited itself to liturgical questions, with the intention of responding to the “sensitivity” of conservative priests and faithful, and of countering the Society of St. Pius X’s growth throughout the world…

But after the supposed excommunications of the bishops of Tradition were lifted in 2009, Benedict XVI believed that the ongoing doctrinal issues were a good reason to attach the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The goal was to begin doctrinal discussions with the Society of St. Pius X.

The Primacy of the Doctrine of the Faith

Today, Pope Francis writes that the religious communities that belong to the Pontifical Commission have acquired stability both in their numbers and their activities; they ensure the celebration of the Mass in its “extraordinary form”. But, he points out, “the questions dealt with by the same Pontifical Commission were of a primarily doctrinal nature.” These objections and questions are clearly irrelevant to these communities. It is indeed with the Society of St. Pius X that they continue to be an issue.

This is what the cardinals pointed out on November 15, 2017, when they “formulated the request that dialogue between the Holy See and the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X be conducted directly by the aforementioned Congregation [for the Doctrine of the Faith], as the questions being dealt with are of a doctrinal nature.”

One conclusion is evident: as the so-called Ecclesia Dei communities have preserved “their spiritual and liturgical traditions”, they clearly do not count in this discussion. If they remain attached to a section of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, it is incidental. They can have the Mass, the “spiritual and liturgical traditions”, but not the whole doctrine that goes along with them.

That has always been the Society of St. Pius X’s great reproach against Dom Gérard [founder of the Benedictine monastery at Le Barroux who worked with Archbishop Lefebvre until 1988] and all those who thought they should break the unity of Tradition in order to negotiate a purely practical agreement. The crisis of the Church cannot be reduced to a spiritual or liturgical question alone. It is deeper, for it touches the very heart of the Faith and the doctrine of Revelation, Christ the King’s right to reign here below over men and over societies.

Comment: 

Is this, as some commentators fear, anticipating this suppression, the beginning of the end for Summorum Pontificum?  Is the Pope about to attempt to suppress the ancient Mass?  

Orthodox Vs Traditional Faith…

 

Catholics will please God by holding to true beliefs and correct moral norms.   The Mass you attend is secondary…

Editor, Catholic Truth writes…

I keep finding myself in conversations with diocesan Catholics – defined simply as those who attend the new Mass  – who consider that being orthodox in doctrine and morals is the most important thing today, not which Mass we attend.  The point is always made that, for those brought up in the new Mass, with no alternative, it’s all they have, and therefore, surely the most important thing is to be wholly orthodox, stick to right beliefs and moral norms.  When I ask if they go along with ecumenical events, I get a variety of responses tolerant of through to positive about ecumenical activities. To date, I’ve never met with an outright denunciation of ecumenism. 

Ditto, these Catholics seldom denounce the false apparitions at Medjugorje, instead focusing on the adherents in their circles who have experienced “conversions” and vocations, including priestly ordinations.  All wonderful people. 

I’m told too, that “traditionalists” need to stop talking so much about the Mass and focus on God more.  Don’t go on the “attack” in conversation with diocesan Catholics right away, to ask if X attends the old or new Mass – speak about God first.

My answers to the above have not been successful in changing hearts and minds Help!