Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Rosary Border Crusade December 12th, and …

December 2nd, 2017, Promulgated by Hopefull

Inspired by the million Poles who turned out to pray the Rosary in defense of their borders last October, a grass-roots effort has risen to do something similar in the US on December 12th, Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Information can be found here.

The following two pictures are from the event in Poland. The story of that event can be found here.



Another Scheduled Local Appearance by Our Lady of Guadalupe



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Monthly Prayer Requests for Priests – December 2017

December 1st, 2017, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

It’s time to print out your December 2017 calendar. Thanks to the good folks at for providing these calendars freely available to all on the Internet.

Also, here are the Holy Father’s prayer intentions for December:

The Elderly.

That the elderly, sustained by families and Christian communities, may apply their wisdom and experience to spreading the faith and forming the new generations.


Ethical issues in the CUA campaign?

November 26th, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

A number of parishes announced in their bulletins today (Nov. 26th) that next Sunday, Dec. 3rd, the First Sunday of Advent, there will be a Second Collection for the annual fund-raising campaign for The Catholic University of America (CUA). This long-standing collection was established by the U.S. Bishops when the University was founded.

I was shocked in reading through several church bulletins this weekend to find the wording changed regarding next weekend’s collection for The Catholic University of America.  The USCCB on its website makes clear that the collection for Catholic University “provides funding for academic scholarships at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC in response to the commitment made by the bishops at its foundation in 1887.” It is still represented by the USCCB that “It is the only U.S. university with Pontifical faculties. Students are enrolled from all 50 states and almost 100 countries in 12 schools.”  Further, the USCCB represents that 100%  [of the collection goes] to Catholic University of America. Go here to find the following USCCB text:





Thus, I was surprised in reading several church bulletins to find a description of the collection for Catholic University being “For Catholic University and other American Catholic Higher Education Institutions.”  This information in bulletins is either untrue, or what is posted on the USCCB site is untrue; it can’t be both ways.

Moreover, it isn’t simply a matter of accuracy, misrepresentation or fraud.  What is of far greater concern is that MANY allegedly “Catholic” Universities fund or otherwise facilitate contraception (e.g. waffling 3x by Notre Dame in its coverage), pressure Catholic students to downplay teachings of the Catholic Church (e.g. defunding pro-marriage group at Georgetown) or host gender disordered events (e.g. “Sex Week” at Xavier University). The main sources for such claims are LifeSiteNews and the Cardinal Newman Society.  If indeed, funds collected as donations to The Catholic University of America were to be diverted to other universities, one wonders who would have the discernment and the courage to decide how much would go to which university. The USCCB, is its serious and persistent lack of criticizing or disciplining wayward Catholic universities, seems unable or unwilling to wisely distinguish.

I am not sure at this point how many dioceses in the U.S. are collecting for The Catholic University of America next weekend AND other universities, and I am not sure what the source is for mentioning “other” universities receiving any of the funds raised.  If anyone intends to give to The Catholic University of America, as the founding bishops intended, donations may be sent to the University at the following address (also shown above) to avoid diversion of funds in unknown proportions to undisclosed universities:

c/o Mr. John H. Garvey, President

620 Michigan Ave. NE

Washington DC 20064


The list of collection dates and dioceses permitted to collect may be found here:


The following are examples of what has been appearing in local bulletins:



























The standardization of language seems to imply that there is a single source for addition of “Other American Catholic Higher Education Institutions.”  One wonders from where it came.


Advent Retreat with Latin Mass

November 22nd, 2017, Promulgated by Hopefull


Advent Retreat with Latin Mass




First Anniversary of Publishing the Dubia

November 14th, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

ScreenShot888Excerpt of Cardinal Burke’s interview from LifeSiteNews, which is excerpted from the National Catholic Register.

“The decisive criterion for admission to the sacraments has always been the coherence of a person’s way of life with the teachings of Jesus. If instead the decisive criterion were now to become the absence of a person’s subjective culpability – as some interpreters of Amoris Laetitia have suggested – would this not change the very nature of the sacraments?”  


All Saints Day Solemn Mass at St. Alban’s Fellowship

November 7th, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

A Solemn High Mass was held at St. Alban’s Fellowship in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter in celebration of All Saints Day, November 1st.  Fully Catholic, the Anglican use Mass was celebrated by the new pastor, Fr. Evan Symington, and Father Peter Mottola acted as deacon and homilist.  Bernie Dick has provided a 12 minute video. 

ScreenShot853   ScreenShot854




Tasting the Fruit of the USCCB

November 3rd, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Priests and laity slam US bishops conference for sacking theologian critical of Pope

The full text of Father Weinandy’s letter to Pope Francis (just released)




July 31, 2017
Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Your Holiness,

I write this letter with love for the Church and sincere respect for your office.  You are the Vicar of Christ on earth, the shepherd of his flock, the successor to St. Peter and so the rock upon which Christ will build his Church.  All Catholics, clergy and laity alike, are to look to you with filial loyalty and obedience grounded in truth.  The Church turns to you in a spirit of faith, with the hope that you will guide her in love.

Yet, Your Holiness, a chronic confusion seems to mark your pontificate.  The light of faith, hope, and love is not absent, but too often it is obscured by the ambiguity of your words and actions.  This fosters within the faithful a growing unease.  It compromises their capacity for love, joy and peace.  Allow me to offer a few brief examples.

First there is the disputed Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia.  I need not share my own concerns about its content.  Others, not only theologians, but also cardinals and bishops, have already done that.  The main source of concern is the manner of your teaching.  In Amoris Laetitia, your guidance at times seems intentionally ambiguous, thus inviting both a traditional interpretation of Catholic teaching on marriage and divorce as well as one that might imply a change in that teaching.  As you wisely note, pastors should accompany and encourage persons in irregular marriages; but ambiguity persists about what that “accompaniment” actually means.  To teach with such a seemingly intentional lack of clarity inevitably risks sinning against the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth.  The Holy Spirit is given to the Church, and particularly to yourself, to dispel error, not to foster it.  Moreover, only where there is truth can there be authentic love, for truth is the light that sets women and men free from the blindness of sin, a darkness that kills the life of the soul.  Yet you seem to censor and even mock those who interpret Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia in accord with Church tradition as Pharisaic stone-throwers who embody a merciless rigorism.   This kind of calumny is alien to the nature of the Petrine ministry.  Some of your advisors regrettably seem to engage in similar actions.  Such behavior gives the impression that your views cannot survive theological scrutiny, and so must be sustained by ad hominemarguments.

Second, too often your manner seems to demean the importance of Church doctrine.  Again and again you portray doctrine as dead and bookish, and far from the pastoral concerns of everyday life.  Your critics have been accused, in your own words, of making doctrine an ideology.  But it is precisely Christian doctrine – including the fine distinctions made with regard to central beliefs like the Trinitarian nature of God; the nature and purpose of the Church; the Incarnation; the Redemption; and the sacraments – that frees people from worldly ideologies and assures that they are actually preaching and teaching the authentic, life-giving Gospel.  Those who devalue the doctrines of the Church separate themselves from Jesus, the author of truth.  What they then possess, and can only possess, is an ideology – one that conforms to the world of sin and death.

Third, faithful Catholics can only be disconcerted by your choice of some bishops, men who seem not merely open to those who hold views counter to Christian belief but who support and even defend them.  What scandalizes believers, and even some fellow bishops, is not only your having appointed such men to be shepherds of the Church, but that you also seem silent in the face of their teaching and pastoral practice.  This weakens the zeal of the many women and men who have championed authentic Catholic teaching over long periods of time, often at the risk of their own reputations and well-being.  As a result, many of the faithful, who embody the sensus fidelium, are losing confidence in their supreme shepherd.

Fourth, the Church is one body, the Mystical Body of Christ, and you are commissioned by the Lord himself to promote and strengthen her unity.  But your actions and words too often seem intent on doing the opposite.  Encouraging a form of “synodality” that allows and promotes various doctrinal and moral options within the Church can only lead to more theological and pastoral confusion.  Such synodality is unwise and, in practice, works against collegial unity among bishops.

Holy Father, this brings me to my final concern.  You have often spoken about the need for transparency within the Church.  You have frequently encouraged, particularly during the two past synods, all persons, especially bishops, to speak their mind and not be fearful of what the pope may think.  But have you noticed that the majority of bishops throughout the world are remarkably silent?  Why is this?  Bishops are quick learners, and what many have learned from your pontificate is not that you are open to criticism, but that you resent it.  Many bishops are silent because they desire to be loyal to you, and so they do not express – at least publicly; privately is another matter – the concerns that your pontificate raises.  Many fear that if they speak their mind, they will be marginalized or worse.

I have often asked myself: “Why has Jesus let all of this happen?”   The only answer that comes to mind is that Jesus wants to manifest just how weak is the faith of many within the Church, even among too many of her bishops.  Ironically, your pontificate has given those who hold harmful theological and pastoral views the license and confidence to come into the light and expose their previously hidden darkness.  In recognizing this darkness, the Church will humbly need to renew herself, and so continue to grow in holiness.

Holy Father, I pray for you constantly and will continue to do so.  May the Holy Spirit lead you to the light of truth and the life of love so that you can dispel the darkness that now hides the beauty of Jesus’ Church.

Sincerely in Christ,

Thomas G. Weinandy, O.F.M., Cap.


Monthly Prayer Requests for Priests – November 2017

November 2nd, 2017, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

It’s time to print out your November 2017 calendar. Thanks to the good folks at for providing these calendars freely available to all on the Internet.

Also, here are the Holy Father’s prayer intentions for November:

Christians in Asia.

That Christians in Asia, bearing witness to the Gospel in word and deed, may promote dialogue, peace, and mutual understanding, especially with those of other religions.


Solemn High Latin Mass for All Souls Day

October 28th, 2017, Promulgated by Administrator



A new experience awaits those who love Mass in the Extraordinary Form!  There will be a Solemn High Requiem Mass on the evening of All Souls Day, Thursday November 2nd. One part of the unique experience is the site of celebration — in the All Souls Chapel at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery! The Celebrant will be Father Peter Van Lieshout, the Deacon will be Father Anthony Amato, and the Sub-deacon will be Father Peter Mottola.

The Requiem Mass will be offered for the souls of all deceased priests who served in the Diocese of Rochester. A schola under the direction of John Morabito will sing the Requiem by Morales.

Inside All Souls Chapel

   Inside All Souls Chapel

Thursday, November 2, 2017 – 7:00 PM
All Souls Day Latin Requiem Mass
All Souls Chapel, Holy Sepulchre Cemetery
Reception with light refreshments to follow in the Cemetery Gatehouse.

To RSVP (optional; for approximate headcount), please call (585) 458-4110 or email:


Information about All Souls Chapel

20171013_083109All Souls Chapel has become the centerpiece of Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. It was designed by Andrew Jackson Warner, one of Rochester’s most outstanding architects, and constructed of mottled Medina sandstone from a local quarry. Early English Gothic in architecture, the chapel is an irreplaceable work of art, with its steep slate roof, hammer beams, intricately painted ceilings and stained glass windows produced in Holland. In 1876, the cornerstone was laid and construction was completed over a 10-year period.

The Chapel is located on the east side of Lake Avenue, nearly opposite the Lake Avenue entrance to the Cemetery.



“It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought

to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.”

II Maccabees 12:46



Rorate Caeli gets it right …

October 27th, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris



Pro-Life with Father Amato — Excellent Presentation!

October 25th, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

ScreenShot803An excellent, inspiring and moving presentation on a number of Pro-Life issues was made by Father Anthony Amato at the Focus Pregnancy Help Center dinner meeting this evening, October 26th. It was held at St. Anne’s Parish Center at 1600 Mt. Hope Avenue in Rochester. Father Amato was ordained in June 2017, after earning his Licentiate in Sacred Theology from The Catholic University of America. He has also attended the March For Life for a number of years, and spoke highly of the results of the 40 Days for Life events. His remarks covered many areas of the Pro-Life struggle, including abortion, contraception and euthanasia, with a serious perspective on the challenges we face.

Donations many be made to the Focus Pregnancy Help Center at 135 University Avenue, Rochester NY 14605:



Inspiration anew from Cardinal Sarah

October 24th, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

While the next post, about the apparent demeaning of Cardinal Sarah, might lead some to lose hope, the signs are already present that some who have ears to hear are doing just so. Earlier this year, Cardinal Sarah spoke out for the Mass to be celebrated ad orientem. His message at that time, which he said had been discussed with Pope Francis, was similarly denied afterward. But little sprouts of the sprinkled seed are already bursting forth — in Nebraska!

And to understand who Cardinal Sarah is, and why he is not caving in:



A Public Demeaning of Cardinal Sarah?

October 22nd, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

A Public Demeaning of Robert Cardinal Sarah?

First — I acknowledge my own bias. I greatly admire Cardinal Sarah. In no way do I question his faithfulness as a son of the Church, his spirituality (his book “Silence”), or his care in writing what conscience calls him to write (“God or Nothing!”) I happen to believe he has been prepared by God for the sake of the liturgy, prepared in the furnace in Guinea of poverty, love of the priesthood and willingness to suffer for righteousness, having only barely escaped from the very real threat of prison, torture and death under a disordered but powerful dictator in Guinea.  His experience reminds me of some combat veterans I have known, who look at the risk of criticism, punishment or — heaven forbid — political incorrectness as ‘nothing’! Their having faced death themselves in combat, those I have known have subsequently been able to lay aside what is often a fear of human beings’ opinions, because they have been tested and survived in battle. One never knows until one is tested.

I am making no judgment about Cardinal Sarah in that framework; but when I think of him I sense that those who have not experienced the kind of cauldron out of which he came, will never be able to understand the serenity of righteousness he is able to claim.

Why write this now? Because today, Oct. 22nd, 2017 and the Feast of Pope St. John Paul II, was a startling release by Pope Francis of a criticism or correction of Cardinal Sarah which strikes me as demeaning of the Cardinal and of his responsibilities. I am not going to claim that I understand all the details and intricacies of Canon Law arguments summarized below, but Pope Francis’ demand for Cardinal Sarah to basically retract what he wrote, by disseminating the Pope’s letter, is accompanied by what shocks me as a totally inappropriate picture that I believe many people will see as a kind of public flogging of the Cardinal.




I want to first apologize for even using the picture, because I didn’t want to be part of promulgating a demeaning picture of Cardinal Sarah. However, to leave it out of the story with which it was included only distorts the overall message. The problem with the picture is that it shows Cardinal Sarah kneeling before a laughing Pope Francis, kissing his ring, being laughed at by what one takes as the Vaticanisti, even their snapping pictures.  I have searched the L’Osservatore Romano gallery on line, for the same picture already published but used in a very different context, and I found none. That does lend some credence to this not being a file picture from some more joyous event. If this picture does represent the current event, I am appalled for human dignity, embarrassed for the Church and completely disgusted.  Even if this were a file picture, a ‘re-run’ so to speak, I would be no less distressed, because it seems the reason for using it in the present context would be just as appalling, embarrassing and disgusting, and provoking the same response.

I am also reacting, in part, to the memory of the Synod when Cardinal Kasper denounced the prelates of Africa as being naive or behind the times, not to be taken too seriously. Yet Africa is the fastest growing continent for the Catholic Church, so it is to be reckoned with, especially in its strong embrace of traditional and faithful Catholic teaching against same-sex issues, contraception and abortion. It is noticeable that Cardinal Sarah has been treated quite differently from other victims of recent Vatican politics, and one can only wonder if there is some Vatican fear of being accused of racism if Cardinal Sarah were dismissed; i.e. managing not by dismissal but by diminishing his credibility, or as a warning to those who dissent in the name of faithfulness. The picture of the jovial group witnessing Cardinal Sarah’s kissing the Pope’s ring seems to have no people of color in the laughing crowd. It seems to be a disconnect between Cardinal Sarah’s humble actions and the rest of the attendees almost jeering, a subliminal colonial motif. Why is that? Seriously, in a world-wide Church, WHY is that and HOW can it be?

The following is the translation of the article in Spanish, and the text released of Pope Francis’ letter demand to Cardinal Sarah in Italian. The on-line translator was used, and it likely lacks some clarity which people who are experienced in the languages will detect as the original written word is analyzed.  But, for now, here is the text in blue, all unedited:

“The Pope denies Cardinal Sarah and demands that InfoVaticana announce his rectification

Francis asked the cardinal in a letter that the media in which he spread the letter by nuancing the Motu Proprio Magnum Principium now spread its rectification. Francis points out that the interpretation of Magnum Principium against which Sarah warned is precisely what the Pope wanted. Last Friday several media published (InfoVaticana in Spanish, La Nuova Bussola in Italian and L’Homme Noveau in French) simultaneously the letter with which Cardinal Sarah qualified and limited the scope of the motu proprio Magnum Principium, concerning the translations of the liturgical texts to different languages and made public by the Pope on 9 September.

Sarah clarifies: “Liturgiam authenticam remains the reference text for liturgical translations” In the letter, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship clarified that the rule that still governs the translations of liturgical texts is Liturgiam Authenticam, dated 2001. Well, it seems that Sarah’s interpretation is not correct. Precisely the Pope wanted to offer to episcopal conferences the freedom of translation of liturgical texts, an extensive interpretation against which the cardinal warned in his letter.

Last Monday Francis sent a letter to Cardinal Sarah in which he described the cardinal’s comments as “inaccurate” and explained the true meaning and scope of his Motu Proprio. The cardinal had spread his letter in several media simultaneously. In Spanish in InfoVaticana, in French in L’homme Noveau and in Italian in LNBQ. On this, says the Pope, “stating that the comment has been published on some websites and has been wrongly attributed to you, I kindly ask you to provide this response to the same sites as well as to send it to all Episcopal Conferences , Members and Consultants of this Dicastery. Following the orders of the Pope, we published the Pope’s letter to Cardinal Sarah, signed last Sunday, October 15th. Francisco [Spanish version says “Arthur Roche”] Roche, secretary of the dicastery presided by Sarah, probably to deliver the missive. You can read the whole letter of the Pope below in Italian (here the original image of the Pope’s letter), and a translation into Spanish”  (Doubtless the LifeSiteNews translation (link at the bottom of this post) offers a more precise understanding than the following auto-translator.)

“Vatican City, October 15, 2017 

To His most Reverend eminence Mr. Card. Robert Sarah. 

Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments


I have received your letter of September 30 in which you would kindly express my [your?] gratitude for the publication of the Motu Proprio Magnum Principium and send me an elaborate note, “comments”, on the same with the aim of facilitating a better understanding of the text.

In thanking you for your efforts and contributions, I would simply like to express, and hope, for clarification, some observations on your note, which I consider to be important above all for the application and just understanding of the Motu Proprio and to avoid any misunderstanding.

First, it is important to point out the importance of the clear difference that the new Motu Proprio establishes between recognitio and confirmatio, well enshrined in § 2 and 3 of canon 838, to abolish the practice adopted by the dicastery after Liturgiam Auténticam (LA) ) and that the new Motu Proprio wanted to change. Therefore, we can not say that recognitio and confirmatio are “strictly synonymous (or) interchangeable” or “are interchangeable in the level of responsibility of the Holy See.”
In reality the new Canon 838, through the distinction between recognitio and confirmatio, affirms the diverse responsibility of the Apostolic See in the exercise of these two actions, as well as that of episcopal conferences. Magnum Principium no longer holds that translations must conform in all respects to the rules of Lirugriam genuticam, as was stated in the past. For this reason, individual LA numbers must be carefully re-understood, including numbers 79-84, to distinguish what the code requires for translation and what is required for legitimate adaptations. Therefore, it is clear that some numbers of Liturgiam Authenticam have been repealed or have fallen under the terms in which they were reformulated by the new Motu Proprio (for example, 76 and 80).

Regarding the responsibility of Episcopal Conferences to translate “fideliter”, it should be specified that the judgment on fidelity to Latin and the necessary corrections, which was the duty of the dicastery, while now the norm grants Episcopal Conferences the power to judge the goodness and consistency of the one and the other end in the translation of the original, even in dialogue with the Holy See. Confirmation is no more, therefore, a detailed exemen word for word, except in obvious cases that can be made to the present bishops for further reflection. This applies in particular to the relevant formulas, such as for the Eucharistic prayers, especially the sacramental formulas approved by the Holy Father. Confirmation also takes into account the integrity of the book, which verifies that all the pieces that make up the typical edition have been translated [1].

Here it may be added that, in the light of the MP, the “fideliter” § 3 of the canon implies a triple fidelity: to the original text in the first place; to the particular language that is translated and finally to the comprehensibility of the text by the recipients (cf. General Institution of the Roman Missal Nos. 391-392) In this sense, recognitio only indicates verification and preservation of conformity to the law and communion of the Church. The process of translating the relevant liturgical texts (sacramental formulas, the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer …) into a language – which is considered to be genuine translations – should not lead to a spirit of “imposition” on episcopal conferences of a given translation done by the Department, since this would prejudice the right of bishops enshrined in the canon, and even before SC 36 § 4. Also, bear in mind the similarity with Canon 825 § 1 on the version of Sacred Scripture that does not require confirmation by the Apostolic See.

It is wrong to attribute to confirmation the purpose of recognitio (ie to “verify and safeguard compliance with law”). Of course, confirmation is not merely formal, but necessary for the edition of the liturgical book “translated”: it is granted after the version has been submitted to the Apostolic See for the ratification of the Bishops’ approval in a spirit of dialogue and aid to reflect if and when necessary, respecting their rights and duties, considering the legality of the process followed and its modalities [2]. Finally, Eminence, I reiterate my fraternal gratitude for his commitment and note that the commentaire has been published on some websites and wrongly attributed to his person, I kindly ask you to provide this answer to the same sites as well as sending it to all Episcopal Conferences, Members and Consultors of this Dicastery. “



Here is the link:

Subsequent Links:

Wake up CF’ers — we are sliding very quickly down the slippery slope to what we battled against for so long.


Some months ago I cautioned in Part II of “Sheltering in Place” to build our collections of truly orthodox, traditional works, bibles, spiritual reading, catechisms etc. I reiterate that even more strongly, and will soon prepare Part IV of that string of posts, in which we not only need the network of those who support our soul life (Part III), but to carefully delete those who don’t.  More soon.  Diane Harris



Whatever happened to full vesting?

October 19th, 2017, Promulgated by Hopefull

The above link to the Vatican site describes what is expected of a priest celebrating Mass — any Mass, whether on Sunday or weekday — regarding vestments. There are prayers to be said during vesting too. And there is symbolism for each vestment. What does it mean when they are omitted?

In recent times, and in the last few years in particular, it seems that weekday Masses have become even more casual. Frequently I see priests wearing un-cinctured albs and sometimes even designer stoles in which one sometimes can’t distinguish what is supposed to be the predominant color (especially with rainbow stoles which seem to send a different and inappropriate message.)

The USCCB site references wearing of the chasuble in paragraph #337: “The vestment proper to the Priest Celebrant at Mass and during other sacred actions directly connected with Mass is the chasuble worn, unless otherwise indicated, over the alb and stole.”

The Vatican site states in paragraph #7: “Finally, the chasuble is put on, the vestment proper to him who celebrates the Holy Mass. … The prayer for the donning of the chasuble references the exhortation in the Letter to the Colossians (3:14) — “Above all these things [put on] charity, which is the bond of perfection” — and the Lord’s words in Matthew, 11:30: … “O Lord, who has said, “My yoke is sweet and My burden light,” grant that I may so carry it as to merit Thy grace.

Locally, it seems to be a practice each priest (or parish?) adopts for itself. In some churches, priests always wear the chasuble; in others, it seems, they only wear a chasuble on Sunday, wearing just an un-cintured alb and stole for weekday Mass.

Here is an excerpt from the Vatican link regarding cinctures (which seem to be treated as a bit more optional in the US). It reads in paragraph #4: “Over the alb and around the waist is placed the girdle or cincture, a cord made of wool or other suitable material that is used as a belt. All those who wear albs must also wear the cincture  ….  In the symbolism of the liturgical vestments the cincture represents the virtue of self-mastery, which St. Paul also counts among the fruits of the Spirit (cf. Galatians 5:22). The corresponding prayer, taking its cue from the first Letter of Peter (1:13), says: “…. Gird me, O Lord, with the cincture of purity, and quench in my heart the fire of concupiscence, that the virtue of continence and chastity may abide in me.”

If a celebrant so visibly wears an alb without cincture (and without the required chasuble which would otherwise hide the fact of the missing cincture) what about the prayers? What is he really saying to his flock about his commitment to the virtues reflected in each vestment? Or about just plain obedience? Just wondering.

I also wonder how a celebrant can repeatedly come breezing in one minute before Mass, get “minimally” vested, and then celebrate such an awesome Sacrament.   The people attending Mass might be forgiven for thinking that don’t need to prepare for Mass either. But let’s leave that for another day.



Capital Punishment from Genesis to Pope Francis

October 12th, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Genesis 9:6:  God said to Noah: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in His own image.”

Matthew 26:62-66:  Jesus cooperates with the high priest’s demand to incriminate Himself, leading to His death by capital punishment:  “And the high priest stood up and said, ‘Have You no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against You?’ But Jesus was silent. And the high priest said to Him, ‘I adjure You by the living God, tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God.’ Jesus said to him, ‘You have said so. But I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.’ Then the high priest tore his robes, and said, ‘He has uttered blasphemy. Why do we still need witnesses? You have now heard His blasphemy. What is your judgment?’ They answered, ‘He deserves death.'”

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  2267: “Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor. 

If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity with the dignity of the human person.

Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm — without definitively taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself — the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically non-existent.”

LifeSiteNews quotes Pope Francis Oct. 12, 2017

Quotations from Pope Francis, if accurate, once again raise major concerns of apparently contradicting prior Church Teaching, even seeming to imply that what is unchangeable is now changeable:

“Pope Francis indicated in his speech that the teaching of the Catechism would change according to a “new understanding of Christian truth.” ….“Tradition is a living reality and only a partial vision can think of ‘the deposit of faith’ as something static,” he said. ….“The Word of God cannot be conserved in mothballs as if it were an old blanket to be preserved from parasites. No. The Word of God is a dynamic reality, always alive, that progresses and grows because it tends towards a fulfillment that men cannot stop.”….This “law of progress,” the Pope said, “appertains to the peculiar condition of the truth revealed in its being transmitted by the church, and does not at all signify a change of doctrine. One cannot conserve the doctrine without making it progress, nor can one bind it to a rigid and immutable reading without humiliating the Holy Spirit.”  

Again, I am asking: “Huh?”

The premise seems to rest on a fail-safe prison system, which very recently has been disproven.

Q:  Has prison security really advanced to a point where those convicted of murder can be kept imprisoned with absolutely no chance of escape?

A:  No. Just peruse some of the articles on the 2015 breakout in Northern NY.

What is particularly ironic is that somehow the death penalty for taking human life, even in quite horrific ways, seems to be opposed far more than euthanasia of those guiltlessly suffering from mental impairment, dementia or Alzheimers!

Turned Upside Down

October 7th, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

So — good is bad and bad is good? Right is wrong and wrong is right? Holy is hate, and hate is righteous? It seems that way so often in the world these days. It seems at times like the world some of us have known for so long is being turned upside down, challenging even our own faith and perspective. But, after all, did not Christ say to His apostles: “And will not God vindicate His elect, who cry to Him day and night? Will He delay long over them? What do you think? When the Son of Man comes will He find faith on the earth?” Yes He did say that, in Luke 18:7-8. We may not know all the reasons, but He did say so!

This is not being written to influence anyone to do any specific thing; we each have free will.  In my free will I choose to openly reject something which is being put forward in some dioceses throughout the world, and also at high Vatican levels. And I believe that ‘something’ is scandalous to souls, dangerous to faith, and deserves to be resisted. That ‘something’ is reinterpreting what used to be called the Protestant Rebellion, which then became the Protestant Reformation, and now seems to be the exaltation of the disobedient Protestant so-called ‘reformers’ to a platform of honor and prestige.

Turn that World back around again! 

ScreenShot760And a good place for that reform to begin is in the gallery at the ScreenShot761Vatican where Pope Francis had installed a large statue of Martin Luther. The reddish brandishment certainly makes one wonder where he has been for the last 500 years. In the best [most unsavory] medieval tradition of burying people face down who were expected to have gone to hell, perhaps the better image for these times is to turn that abominable statue on its head, visibly rejecting the Lutheran influence around the Catholic Church? Meanwhile, see how he is positioned with his back to us, on the receiving line at the Vatican?  Perhaps there has been some Divine Revelation that Luther finished his stint in purgatory and is now in heaven? Oh, but did he believe in purgatory? And, if so, how did he get out in only 500 years without Masses, Communions and Indulgences?

A bigger question is why didn’t Pope Paul V celebrate in 1617 the centennial of Luther’s posting his 95 theses (“Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences”) on October 31, 1517 to the door of Wittenberg Castle church? Or why didn’t Pope Clement XI celebrate the 2nd centenary in 1717? Or Pius VII celebrate 300 years in 1817? Or Benedict XV celebrate the fourth centenary in 1917? (also the month of the last apparition at Fatima!) Why did prior popes seemingly not recognize those centenaries? Why now? And what is the real agenda?

This is not an attack of Lutherans!

Let’s make it clear. This is not an attack on Lutherans or any other Protestant sect. My mother was Lutheran, then Dutch Reformed and then Lutheran again before she received her 4th baptism as a Catholic (honest!) I have some very good friends who are Lutheran and I believe we have great personal respect for each other without having to agree with each other on matters of faith or any other matters. I have many friends who are in other Protestant sects, some have converted to Catholicism, and I also have close Jewish friends. This is not a disrespect to their faiths or teachings, nor have I ever felt the need to ‘phony-up’ our beliefs.

What I am saying — to be as clear as I can be — is that, based on history, past papal practice, and the overwhelming damage done by Luther, he has no place in Catholic Church Teaching, respect or recognition, without putting other Catholics in danger in their faith. It is one more thing that undermines what we have always believed, AND what we have good reason to believe. When the Vatican or any diocese elevates Luther for praise, recognizes the 500 year gap with celebration and commemoration rather than sincere bereavement and prayer for the souls of those adversely affected, it seems to me to be just plain wrong, and nothing to which I can give assent. To do so, I’d have to ask: “What has changed? and I see nothing, nor have I been taught any ‘new’ well-founded discovery or revelation. And as we are already in times in which we have to examine carefully the leadership at all levels in our own Church, and learn how to protect ourselves from bad teaching, it is notorious to be welcoming dissenting leadership to any pulpit in the Catholic Church. My hope is that no real Catholics will show up to witness or participate in such events.

Meanwhile, I don’t ask anyone to stay home or boycott — that is up to individual consciences. But I do ask that we pray together for Oneness of our Church, to withstand “celebrating” 500 years of Christian ignominy, and to exhort each other that we do better “to cry to the Lord all day and night“, than to try to compromise with the world. It is an ignominy because it cheapens what it means to be in communion with each other, insults Christ’s high priestly prayer for unity (John Chapter 17), and risks cheapening the Eucharist to a mere gratuity, a false metaphor. (Similar to the heart of the current problems with Amoris Laetitia).

For those who don’t know, this is an ENTIRELY different situation from Pope Benedict’s establishing the Anglican Ordinariate — totally Catholic, not a negotiated truce but a humble, clear, welcome and cherished return. And it is important to say so.

Can anything good come from the myth of celebrating heresy?

Personally, I think the negative far outweighs the positive, that the seriousness of mis-communicating our own faith risks even wider scandal. But if there is anything to be gained from pseudo respect for so-called Protestant reformers, there might be two points.  1) Since Protestants have also pursued much good, solid biblical study and translation, back to the original languages, it might possibly make it all the more difficult for less faithful components of the Catholic Church (or decentralized national councils) to alter biblical text. 2) Perhaps attention on such protesters and dissenters will give more credence to those who protest and dissent today while remaining inside the Church, traditional and faithful.  A number of things, which have been said by Pope Francis have been highly critical of faithful and traditional Catholics (read ‘rigid’ in the Pope’s words). Perhaps the complaints will be heard eventually, but hopefully not by waiting 500 years.


Ambiguity or Discernment?

October 2nd, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Recently I sent a “reflection” to my own mailing list and the feedback was that it might be useful to share on CF as well. So with apologies to those receiving duplicates, here is the text:

Recently I was in an active discussion with a close friend about how ambiguity undermines truth, and how important it is for us to say what we mean and to mean what we say. We might think of it this way:

ScreenShot755Suppose in driving we come to an intersection with two traffic lights, alternating with each other, with one on and the other off.  And suppose whichever one is “on” is blinking every color of the rainbow. Then the one that is “off” begins blinking all the colors and the other one goes off.  What is the proper way to proceed through the intersection? Some would say “very carefully,” especially if our vision of the road ahead and to either side is impeded. We don’t know what we are being told to do, and we don’t know if others around us will see things the same way.

When ambiguity occurs in spiritual teaching, the most important of all teaching, one answer also might be “proceed very, very carefully.” While the teachings of the Church may not always be popular, they have usually been clear. Then it is our free-will choice to obey or not to obey. But suppose we were each to interpret a teaching differently? If we act on those differences, the Body of Christ loses ‘Oneness.’

What does the Bible say about ambiguity? In Matthew 5:37 Christ says: “Let what you say be simply ‘yes’ or ‘no’; anything more than this comes from evil.”

In the Epistle of James 5:12 we read: “But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath, but let your yes be yes and your no be no, that you may not fall under condemnation.”

Seems clear enough? But what biblical references do we have for ambiguity? The counterpoint to Christ’s and James’ statements would seem to apply (as you probably won’t find the word “ambiguous” or “ambiguity” in the usual biblical places.) St. Paul uses not “yes OR no” but “yes AND no” to convey ambiguity. Thus we read in 2 Corinthians 1:17-19 three mentions of “yes AND no” — “Was I vacillating when I wanted to do this? Do I make my plans like a worldly man, ready to say Yes and No at once? As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we preached among you, Silva’nus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No; but in Him it is always Yes.” 

How can something be both “yes” and “no”?  It can’t.  Ambiguity in moral matters is a danger to souls. Many in the Church today recognize the Latin word “dubia” which means “doubts.” Four Cardinals of the Church have made inquiry of Pope Francis to seek clarification of what seem to be ambiguous passages in the Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia.” (It isn’t the intent here to dive into the details, but only to point out that a writer can’t decide what is ambiguous or not, only the hearers / readers, each one for himself. But the writer can certainly explain the intention of his writing if he chooses. Or approve or disagree with someone else’s interpretation.)

But what are souls to do when confronted by the confusion and temptations of ambiguity? Many years ago I knew a couple who was struggling during their engagement about all the situations they had not anticipated that they would incur during their marriage, trying to figure out in advance what they would do.  Finally, their mutual decision was to approach each crucial decision (and none is more crucial than those affecting their souls) with the aphorism “High card wins.”  While true in gaming, they saw their way to decide in advance that whichever of their positions was the “most moral” (even if both were “moral”) would be the way the couple would decide. I cannot comment on whether or not they successfully implemented that decision, but how much better to have considered their strategy for deciding in advance.

Perhaps the Faithful from Argentina to Malta, and from Germany to San Diego, might  take that young couple’s decision into account. As long as there is unresolved ambiguity, hold onto the most moral position, even if it requires suffering unnecessary sacrifice. And proceed very, very slowly to make changes while the traffic light is blinking signals we don’t understand.

Now, to reflect, what is it that I can be clearer and more truthful about among my own friends and family?



Monthly Prayer Requests for Priests – October 2017

October 1st, 2017, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

It’s time to print out your October 2017 calendar. Thanks to the good folks at for providing these calendars freely available to all on the Internet.

Also, here are the Holy Father’s prayer intentions for October:

Workers and the Unemployed.

That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.


Correctio Filialis (with English heresies translation added)

September 23rd, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

For full information:


“And So It Begins:

For the Propagation of Heresies”

RORATE Note: There will [be] many Catholics, even traditionalists, whose first defeatist reaction will be to belittle this effort. But the wise, the learned in history, will understand that this is just the first part, the first piece of the puzzle, with next steps still to come in a long and extended process.
This first step is an initiative of a theological nature that will likely lead, God willing, to an initiative of a canonical nature from those who have the mandate to act. And so it begins:

Documents ….

* (1) Filial Correction on Account of the Propagation of Heresies – Delivered to the Roman Pontiff Pope Francis at his Residence in Domus Sanctae Marthae, at the Vatican, on August 11th, 2017

* (2) Summary explaining content of the Filial Correction

* (3) Press Release and Historical Precedent (Pope John XXII, A.D. 1333)

* (4) List of first signatories”


(CF Note: 40 days elapsed between delivery of the documents and their publication.)

Translation into English (Latin governs) of 7 heresy accusations:

The text of the correction gives these heretical propositions only in Latin, in order to assure the greatest possible clarity and avoid confusion regarding translations. An English translation, provided by the signatories, is as follows:

1). ‘A justified person has not the strength with God’s grace to carry out the objective demands of the divine law, as though any of the commandments of God are impossible for the justified; or as meaning that God’s grace, when it produces justification in an individual, does not invariably and of its nature produce conversion from all serious sin, or is not sufficient for conversion from all serious sin.’

2). ‘Christians who have obtained a civil divorce from the spouse to whom they are validly married and have contracted a civil marriage with some other person during the lifetime of their spouse, who live more uxorio with their civil partner, and who choose to remain in this state with full knowledge of the nature of their act and full consent of the will to that act, are not necessarily in a state of mortal sin, and can receive sanctifying grace and grow in charity.’

3). ‘A Christian believer can have full knowledge of a divine law and voluntarily choose to break it in a serious matter, but not be in a state of mortal sin as a result of this action.’

4). ‘A person is able, while he obeys a divine prohibition, to sin against God by that very act of obedience.’

5). ‘Conscience can truly and rightly judge that sexual acts between persons who have contracted a civil marriage with each other, although one or both of them is sacramentally married to another person, can sometimes be morally right or requested or even commanded by God.’

6). ‘Moral principles and moral truths contained in divine revelation and in the natural law do not include negative prohibitions that absolutely forbid particular kinds of action, inasmuch as these are always gravely unlawful on account of their object.’

7). ‘Our Lord Jesus Christ wills that the Church abandon her perennial discipline of refusing the Eucharist to the divorced and remarried and of refusing absolution to the divorced and remarried who do not express contrition for their state of life and a firm purpose of amendment with regard to it.’


Defending Pres. Trump against Pope Francis

September 12th, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris