Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

On Behalf of the Half-crazed, Hateful, Beloved Children of God

April 25th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Yes, they willfully break the direct commandments of a God who already could have thrown them into hell. They don’t know about the wave of mercy they are riding.

Yes, they deliberately and obsessively violate the norms and expectations of a society which they imagine is their enemy, in which each seems unable to communicate with the other, but which is the very weapon those in rebellion seek to capture for their own use. They hate what they want, and want what they hate.

Yes, with their actions and words they specifically seek to outrage and alienate even those who would build bridges in charity and kindness to the most alienated.

The three ‘yes’ behaviors mentioned above are very similar to three ‘no’ behaviors in spoiled, angry, misbehaving young children. They appear to be adults on a physical level, but the tantrum of a 3 year old is not much different from what is playing out on an international stage – in shouted rage when they can’t have the toys they want because they belong to others, a refusal to interact effectively with others for a common good, and preoccupation with their own body parts in an ultimately unhealthy way.

The purpose of this musing is not to condemn or to further alienate, but to point out some things to those who don’t understand ‘why’ we have 3-year old ‘adults,’ and therefore have no sympathy or support for what that generation has gone through, and continues to go through. The world may see them as spoiled brats, but they see themselves as victims, and not without good reason. But as they flail about looking to place blame on what seems to divide us (race, gender, age, wealth, e.g.) the most obvious issues are being ignored. Some are from those of the victim’s own household. Here are a few examples:


The womb-tomb

Never before in the history of the world have so many children been born from wombs which, quite frankly, are murder scenes. Can we actually think that the legally approved trauma to the prior resident of the womb will not affect the mental health, psyche, spiritual need and–yes– the very soul of the next occupant of that womb? Oh, but they don’t think of themselves as having souls? Of course not, it is part of the denial of the trauma.

Young adults who suspect they are victims of such trauma ought to have the legal right to subpoena their birth mother’s medical records to confirm or deny the suspicion of trauma, and then be able to take steps toward healing. Why should any young adult, starting out in their own adulthood, be shackled by the biological and mental burden of such suspicion? Do they have a right to know? Yes, it would seem so; in that way those who provide help may learn to recognize and treat the symptoms from the residual impact of such violence.

But there is also the issue of impact on the adult mother-child relationship. Those who grew up never wondering if a brother or sister had been aborted, may never understand how an empty seat at the dining room table may appear to one who suspects the reason. There is a great peace in never having had the thought occur “Did my mother have one of my siblings killed?” There may even be survivor guilt which can impact family relations, school work and friendships. It may also underlay drug use, drowning out the anxieties associated with being born from the womb in which one or more abortions took place.

Another nagging question may be whether or not the father knew of the abortion. Did he fail his role as family protector? Will that affect his sons’ willingness to protect their own families in the future? Or lead to confusion about a son’s role as a man? Or affect the kind of man with whom his daughter chooses to spend her life?

There are also allegations that some genetic material from prior pregnancies remains in a woman’s body. It raises the speculation that perhaps such tissue may migrate to future births, and even cause gender confusion, but it is still a speculation. Very little research is being done to challenge future impact, and it is quite politically incorrect to point out that it needs to be done. Those future victims of prior abortion, in the very womb from which they’ve been born, deserve to know if they are affected and how they might be helped. Is it related, for example, to unexplained feelings of intense anger? Is it a defense in a serious crime? Is it the basis of fear that those who should be most trusted (God, the Law, the family) are the least trusted or acknowledged by those suffering intra-family trauma.

It is a fair question to ask: “What proof is there of trauma to the next child born in a womb in which a baby has been murdered?” Due to the political pressure not to look at such subjects, a better question might be: “What proof is there that future children from the same womb are not affected?” There seems to be no such proof, or even willingness to consider the question.


Contraception and the Feminization of Men

Another subject rarely considered is the effect on male children of their mothers’ contraceptive use. What residuals continue in the mother’s body as she tries to have a healthy pregnancy? I have been told by a few people closely associated with municipal drinking water systems that there is no way to remove contraceptive residues (metabolites) from domestic drinking water, so why bother testing for it? Coming from an area of the country where water is often drawn from lakes, the question does not lack meaning. Why is the current issue of gender confusion, especially among men, NOT related to hormonal pollution? One hears from time to time of aberrant fish, frogs and other creatures in fresh water lakes from which drinking water is drawn. Why? And how could humans not experience aberrations in their own bodies? While female hormones in a mother’s body may have greater impact on male children, environmental factors deserve consideration as well.

That is not to say that female offspring don’t have their own impacts from excessive hormonal waste in the environment, or from retention in mothers’ bodies from contraceptive use. Breast cancer is one potential outcome for female offspring, as DES contamination was in the 1970’s. The FDA stopped the prescription of DES (a synthetic estrogen) to pregnant women in 1971, and as livestock feed in 1979. The use of DES had begun in 1940 to prevent premature births. A rare form of breast cancer and certain forms of cervical cancer resulted from DES use, manifested in daughters and granddaughters of the women who used the drug. Later evidence points to DES having a negative health effect from such usage, including among children of male offspring, leaving many unanswered questions, and precluding lack of data for rightful lawsuits.

Is it any wonder that both female and male offspring might have undiagnosed impacts from DES and a variety of other contraceptives, especially those administered at high dose levels when they first came to market, like estrogen and progesterone? DES has been called one of the worst medical blunders in recorded history, and that multiple future generations will experience the effects. Yet many parents and grandparents have not even shared with generations of their descendants that there is such a risk, let alone have the insight to know what problems to look for now, or how to treat.

When the unmitigated rage of young people flashes across the screen from time to time, it is hard not to think of hormonal contamination. The Greeks had a word for estrogen. It means “producer of frenzy.” Pre-menstrual tensions are not a myth in women, but what might be the effect of those trace female hormones in men? It is not difficult to have some sympathy for those who express rage without knowing who the target should be. Several generations now are most likely contaminated; but studying the problem is unlikely to be funded as it is not ‘politically correct’ to even seek the cause of gender confusion.


Rage on the loose

If the two or three generations most affected by hormones or their residues often don’t know of their risk, if the trauma of  birth from a womb which hosted abortion is undiagnosed, and usually without meaningful therapy or even inter-generational communication, what else has been hidden that an individual should have a right to know? There is one over-arching item which cannot be left unsaid, as it may well be at the core of the rage of young adults today, and the cornerstone to achieving peace. And it is also related to their parents’ own difficulties in being able to meaningfully have cared for and properly influenced their children, grown or not.

The guilt lies at the feet of those parents who knew what they were doing, and did it anyway, and have not repented, even interiorly as they close their eyes at night.  The abortion mindset, of a parent willing to deliver their baby (or babies) to be butchered, for the sake of more affluence, comfort, political liberation, or women’s “rights”, thoroughly contaminates the holistic respect which should grace the parent-child relationship. At some level, one must ask how a parent can look at one of their grown children, or their tiny grandchild, and not wonder about the one whose life was ended by a pair of scissors at the base of the skull.

To leave so much unspoken between parent and child bases the whole relationship on dishonesty. Yet that absence itself is not the cause of the rage, or the anger which contorts faces. Rather, the rage is caused because it is difficult to have room in that parental relationship or in any relationship for even acknowledging that there is a God. So God, needed even more than parents, disappears from their lives.  That there are forces of evil intentionally destroying souls also is ignored. And that there actually are souls. The children and grandchildren of those who hide so much have been left not only with a parenting void, but without the only source which can help to overcome their rage.

There is simply no substitute for the love, nurturing and care one never received from a parent; but that is minor if one doesn’t know that there really is a God, who can (and wants to) provide everything that is missing. It is one thing to abort a child’s very being. But even worse, if it can possibly be imagined, to abort the soul as well, to deny it God’s own life. Immediately on writing those words, one can sense the derision and rage from those who have been grossly short-changed. Even the willingness to consider new possibilities has been stolen from those so enraged that they can’t find their way out of the noose which holds them. Their contorted faces look as if they were already in hell. At some level, hard to explain, they know they are missing something inestimable. They don’t know what it is or how to get it back. They grew up with everything, yet with nothing. And they have a right to be angry. Very, very angry. But for some there is still time, with  the possibility of creating and being created anew, for being beloved rather than neglected, and not held hostage by the sins of the parents.



USCCB Vocations Study 2020

April 24th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

The full CARA report 4/24/20 profiles the Ordination Class of 2020 and can be found at:


In the summary article carried by Zenit, we read that:

  • Between 35% and 44% of all respondents attended a Catholic school for at least some part of their schooling.
  • Seven in ten respondents (72%) participated in Eucharistic Adoration on a regular basis before entering the seminary, a similar proportion (70%) prayed the rosary, more than two in five (44%) attended prayer group/Bible study, and two in five (38%) participated in high school retreats.
  • Seven in ten respondents (73%) served as altar servers before entering the seminary. Half (50%) served as lectors. Four in ten (40%) served as extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion.
  • Nine in ten respondents (89%) were encouraged to consider the priesthood by someone in their life, most frequently a parish priest, friend, or another parishioner.
  • Nine in ten respondents (89%) were encouraged to consider the priesthood by someone in their life, most frequently a parish priest, friend, or another parishioner.




40 days; is it time yet to give us back our Mass?

April 21st, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

For many Catholics, Sunday March 15 (the Ides of March, ironically; aka ‘Render to Caesar’) was the last day they received Holy Communion. For daily Mass attendees, March 16 or 17 was possibly their  last public reception of  the Holy Eucharist. Depending on how one counts, 40 days will be elapsed by this coming Saturday’s Vigil Mass, or Sunday’s Mass which is the Third Sunday of Easter (OF) or the Second Sunday after Easter (EF).

We know that the number 40 is very significant in biblical history. Whether it is found in the Old Testament’s 40 days and nights of rain on Noah and the Ark or 40 years of wandering in the Wilderness, or 40 days of Christ’s fast in preparation for His ministry or the 40 hours He spent in the tomb (and upon which 40 hours devotion is offered), 40 is a number of waiting on God, and of purification. “Quarantine” comes from Middle English, quarentine, from Medieval Latin quarentina (“forty days”), from Latin quadragint (“forty”). I’m not telling anyone what to do, but it seems just plain foolish to miss an opportunity to pray now, after thirsting 40 days to be freed of the coronavirus chastisement, burden and fear. 

Moreover, doesn’t it seem like the perfect time for the hierarchy to find its own courage, to reclaim its rightful position vs. yielding to states which show what they proclaim by all manner of sin, which they not only permit, but enable and promote?  Even some of the badly divided U.S. bishops seem to have come together to urge COVID-19 vaccine development not use aborted babies. Could it be a sign of things to come? Could it be, at least a hope, that our prelates might also agree that it is time to permit some public Masses to be said, even while urging those at most risk to continue to use live-streamed Masses for their own safety?

There is public argument regarding whether or not the coronavirus is a chastisement or not. The more liberal bishops and other clergy seem to argue the ridiculous point of view that nature is rebelling. In a separate post there will be a recounting of how God uses plague and famine to discipline those who are caught in sin. There will be another post soon on the biblical arguments for chastisement. But what is interesting is that some of the more traditional prelates seem to recognize chastisement when it comes. If there is reluctance to again start up Masses for the Laity, perhaps it is because of the great sense of sinfulness which has been revealed in recent years in God’s Church, and the expectation that the need for chastisement still isn’t being taken seriously, and the sins of the shepherds will continue to be visited upon the flock.


St George protecting Gozo (Malta) against the plague by Giovanni Battista Conti


But something else is happening this week, to which we should show some attention. On Thursday, April 23rd, three days before the end of the 40 days, is the Feast of St. George, a 4th century martyr under Diocletian. We are used to hearing “St. George and the Dragon” which makes us wonder just what is this “dragon,” a mythical figure or not? Most art portrays horrendous illustrations of what the dragon might look like.


That leads us to wonder if the “dragon” might not be something else, not of the physical realm to do battle, but physically true nonetheless, yet not able to be portrayed? That pondering leads to looking up St. George’s patronages. Right after a number of military items, we find what is of great current interest. St. George is listed as a patron for those who suffer “from plague. leprosy, and syphilis.” Aha! now the dragon makes more sense — an awesome and deadly force for which man’s only defense is avoidance (quarantine) and prayer for intercession. And because God chastises with the “sword, pestilence and famine” we might also remember St. George’s patronage of the military symbols and of farmers. Several saints are patrons for intercession to remove plague; let’s not miss a single one who can intercede for us!



Laudato Sì & Half-a-Dialogue; improbable validation

April 18th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Once upon a 2015

Five years ago, in spring 2015, most of us knew that Pope Francis was working on an “environmental” encyclical. I tried to write to him and beseech him not to go in the rumored direction of elevating the environment above its Creator, or to incur the risk of ‘bad science’ as Urban VIII did in defending the earth as the center of the universe. Rather, my desire was that he would confront the true evils in the world, abortion, same sex lifestyle, and the emerging threat of euthanasia, that he would focus on the good of souls, and leave science to the scientists. Although I tried to put everything into a letter to Pope Francis, it became too unwieldy in that format, so I just waited to see what would actually be issued.

On June 18, 2015 the encyclical “Laudato Sì” was published, and I began immediately to read it, becoming more and more horrified at the content, from a moral point of view but also from the perspective that all good science must be based on truth. The call to my becoming involved was agitated by what I was reading. Briefly I considered stepping away from Cleansing Fire in order to spend full time on refutation of so much in the encyclical; but, by praying about it, I began to sense that CF was part of the answer. So I started writing, and publishing 16 chapters on this CF website. Those 16 ‘first-draft’ chapters became core to the book which eventually ensued, re-written, being about half the content of the ultimate book, “Half a Dialogue.” So I really could say: “You read it here first,” although much was revised in the book (but not on CF, which remains the testimony to having created a book in full view, page by page.)


Considering the Challenge

It is quite difficult to determine at first when something is one’s own ego in taking on such a project, i.e. a 200+ page book, vs. acknowledging that one is actually answering a call, i.e. a personal call, but nonetheless a call. I learned a few things in the process. A few years earlier, a good priest had counseled me on a similar subject. I was actively trying to save my parish from being closed for illicit and untruthful reasons, a true betrayal of parishioners, but I had the dilemma: “Do I say the Lord is calling me to do this” and be seen as divisive; i.e. “Who does she think SHE is?” or do I say “It is my own idea” and avoid the ‘stigma’ of implying special inspiration? I leaned toward the second choice as being the easiest; but the question wasn’t out of my mouth before that dear priest said: “When you believe it comes from God, ALWAYS say so.” And so I did, and so I will, and so I do.


Writing a book mentioning idolatry?

My decision to write a book, especially arguing against much that a Pope had written, was made easier by his strong invitation to “dialogue,” “debate,” and “discuss” – a total of 43 separate invitations within Laudato Sì. It was a most convincing argument, even to conservative church men, and to canon and civil lawyers, from whom I sought advice. But I think I had an intuitive sense that Pope Francis would not respond in kind; the title “Half a Dialogue” was born of such awareness.

It is also a fair question whether or not I ever had any ‘validation’ that the call to write such a response to a papal encyclical did indeed come from ‘higher up.’ And the answer is a surprising ’yes.’ But that did not happen until Fall of 2019. Here’s how it all came about:

Twenty four days after studying the encyclical published June 18th, I posted what was then, and would essentially become, Chapter III, about idolatry, pantheism, and one world religion. If you were to type in “idolatry” to the search bar on CF, you would bring up several chapters and similar content in those first on-line drafts. If anything, the content was expanded when re-written into the book, which reads:

It is the big and underlying question: “Is Environmentalism the road to creating ‘One World Religion’; with Pantheism and syncretism the portals through which it will pass? The achievement of ‘world peace’ has often been equated, at least implicitly, to humans’ embracing a single religion, hence valuing the same things and despising the same things, so that no differences exist which divide people or lead to wars.

The impossibility of achieving such a goal of world peace was made clear by Christ: “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet.” (Matthew 24:6)

Of all the human-created ideologies, over millennia, there is perhaps none so dangerous to individual souls as environmentalism morphed into Pantheism, leading to selected worship of parts of nature [often through human sacrifice]. In essence, the magnificent beauty of God’s creation can be used to undermine worship of Him.

The Old Testament is rife with illustration. And there is no ‘Xtreme Environmentalism’ so dangerous as that which is foisted by religious leaders as de facto ‘religion.’ Pantheism … is easily transformed to worship of anything and everything that is claimed to be the presence of God….

What followed these words in the book was a theoretical 5-step process of transforming environmentalism through the supposition of climate change, and pressuring the human community to act purposefully into step #5, human death for the sake of sustainability of the environment.

One thing which delayed writing the book was that the Encyclical was unindexed. After the first very close and careful reading, I realized how ‘stream of consciousness’ the encyclical was, and how I would have to create the index myself, to be able to deal with whole subjects, rather than with Pope Francis’ communications structure, as related subjects jumped up in various chapters, and needed to be “collected” into an index.


Two Realizations

Two realizations have come to me since publishing. In the first place, as I wrote those words and concepts, I was continually chiding myself: “Idolatry? Come on, Diane. It’s a Catholic encyclical, and idolatry is as far away from Church Teaching and practice as it could possibly be!” But, quite frankly, the words just kept pouring into me and out on the keyboard. “Idolatry? Why am I even writing about idolatry?” But I couldn’t stop so I decided to just write it and, before going to press, I would delete what I needed to delete. But, it turned out, I did not delete much text at all, and especially not about idolatry. I was somewhat swept up in not delaying, in publishing the work I felt called to do, as soon as possible, even as a birthday present to the Lord. The first copies came off the press on Christmas Eve, 2015.

The second realization I had, much later, was that some of the people (actually, mostly priests and seminarians it seemed) who said they really wanted a copy of the book but lost momentum early on, in part because my seeing Pope Francis’ encyclical as laying the groundwork for an idolatry discussion seemed to them, I think,  just a ‘bridge too far.’  When pachamama showed up in the Vatican Gardens in October 2019, and even recovered from its toss into the Tiber to preside in at least two churches (pre and post its soaking), I had the shocking realization that what I’d felt compelled to write had turned out to be truth and reality less than five years later. For me, that is validation of the direction in which the Holy Spirit led me, and I don’t need validation from others. But I am still stunned, and joyful at being used for such a purpose.


Waiting for COVID-19?

This post is the first time I’ve shared some of these details. I’ve never felt obligated to push copies of the book on anybody. I felt called to write, not to promote. But I also shouldn’t keep the work hidden. So at the bottom of CF’s right hand column is a postage stamp sized picture of the cover of the book. Clicking it will take you to the site. I wanted to add more articles which have emerged criticizing the whole “climate change” theory, but I haven’t had time to do so yet; that is why I’d delayed to this point.

Nevertheless, COVID-19 and what I see as the very strong possibility that the virus is a punishment for idolatry or abortion or both, since abortion too is rooted in ‘saving the planet,’ urges me now to do more. I believe COVID-19 is at least a warning if not already a punishment and more, convincing me not to delay further in sharing my experience of having disagreed with a Pope.  In early 2016 I did send a book to the head of every US Diocese, to key members of the Vatican, and offered copies to each Canadian bishop. And I received some beautiful acknowledgements. One of the first and treasured is from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and also from certain Vatican Cardinals, and even from some US bishops.  A year later I received acknowledgement from the Vatican Secretary of State on behalf of Pope Francis’ having received the book.


Boys look for Heroism

April 17th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

CIRCA 1985



What did you do

in the army

in WW II?”








                                                                             “I used my M1

                                                                               to break down

                                                                               doors at Dachau.”


CIRCA 2060


“Father, what

 did you do

 during the

2020 Pandemic?”









                                                                                “I used my keys

                                                                                   to lock all the

                                                                                   church doors.”



Pastoral Remedies in Time of Crisis

April 15th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Christifidelis (Excerpts)

March 25, 2020, Feast of the Annunciation, Vol 38 #3

“Pastoral Remedies in Time of Crisis”

by Philip C. L. Gray, JCL



Canon Lawyer Philip C. L. Gray, JCL, recently quoted by LifeSite News for his professional opinions on certain current Canon Law matters related to the pandemic, has published in a newsletter of the St. Joseph Foundation his insightful and dynamic guidance for ‘just such a time as this.’ And, quite frankly, it is so much more than has been available to the laity through its customary diocesan channels that it deserves close attention.

This post is intended to whet the appetites of those who are deeply concerned to read and understand more about worship in a pandemic. These comments are at best small pieces of the larger work which fully deserves our intense reading and analysis. Fortunately, for a short period of time, that 8-page article is available here: and these citations will only mention the page numbers.

Page 1

“While many bishops are calling for prayer, it also appears many bishops in the United States are taking cues primarily from the secular world as they issue guidelines during this difficult time… both Catholics United for the Faith (CUF) and The Saint Joseph Foundation (SJF) have received numerous complaints and questions regarding potential abuses of authority or violations of rights as bishops issue norms and guidelines to address the Coronavirus pandemic. These inquiries have come from priests, deacons, and laity from across the United States.”

“[Unlike exceptions invoked by government in times of crisis] … under Canon Law there are no special powers granted or invoked during exceptional situations. By his consecration, a bishop enjoys the fullness of the Power of Orders, and by appointment as a diocesan bishop, he receives specific mandate to use that power. Divine Law, both Natural and Positive, as well as ecclesiastical laws, regulate his use of that power.”

Page 2


Mr. Gray makes note of an exceptional situation, such as chaplains in wartime receiving dispensations or special faculties, “granted so that the Catholic faithful have sufficient access to the healing graces of Jesus Christ in time of crisis … [E]xceptional measures should be taken by the Church … to increase the opportunities for grace and the sacraments. That is the Mission of the Church.”

“Adding to the disaster, there are bishops across the country doing the opposite .… [T]hey are issuing prohibitive laws to restrict the sacraments…. In many places, they are removing any possibility for the sacraments. This not only violates the spirit of Canon Law and the Divine Rights of the Faithful, it also violates the very Mission of the Church.”

“As in times of war, bishops should use dispensations rather than prohibitions to address the pastoral situations occurring because of a pandemic. Dispensations are used to relax an obligation…. [T]he use of dispensations has an evangelistic element that encourages subsidiarity and solidarity.”

“… [T]he Church recognizes pastors to be administrators of their parishes and provides them certain discretion in the exercise of pastoral care and liturgical expressions…. [P]astors are in a better vantage point to make decisions on the celebration of Mass during a crisis than anyone else…. Rather than issuing prohibitions, [a bishop] should be in close collaboration with his priests.  He should issue guidelines in the form of dispensations and special faculties to allow his priests … to make prudent decisions in the pastoral care of their parishioners.”

Page 3

“To avoid the anger and fear that result from broad, sweeping changes, the Church has always stressed the necessity of formation…. [I]t is imperative that the faithful receive proper instruction on the ‘why’s’ and ‘how’s’ of changing norms. More importantly, the suffering must be viewed as redemptive, or the panic and fear will continue to drive the human response. What is needed is Faith and Hope. These can only be instilled if the pastors of the Church are engaged with the people – not isolated from them.”

“The news of the pandemic pervades all social media platforms, and it is driving a growing fear within the population. This fear is already turning to depression and anger as people are isolated… the Word of God and the Sacraments are the ordinary remedies for isolation, fear, and anger. Regrettably … the restrictions placed on the celebration of sacraments by many bishops in the United States are more radical and isolating than those imposed by State or Federal Governments.”

“The consolations given to people at Mass are huge … the Mass is Jesus making Himself available to His people. The celebration of Mass and participation by the faithful in the Mass is an ordinary means of salvation. Removing a significant source of hope and consolation during such an isolating time will have a significantly damaging effect on the spiritual lives of the faithful. In many cases, it will be more damaging to the soul than the Coronavirus would be to the body.”

Page 4

Mr. Gray also provides three approaches from Canon Law. In the first place, he discusses the principle “No one is bound to the impossible….”  Of course, for a bishop to forbid Mass seemingly implies a dispensation from the obligation to attend.

“Ecclesiastical authorities can and should dispense from merely ecclesiastical laws that are available for dispensation…. It allows each member of the faithful to make a personal and conscientious decision without fear of sin.  It encourages greater prudence and provides for an evangelistic opportunity.”

“A third path that can and should be taken … is for a bishop to rely on the Principle of Subsidiarity and extend broader faculties to his priests [which] should focus on the specific needs caused by the crisis,” and for which the author gives many examples.

“The guidelines and directives should not be prohibitive as much as they are respectful of the Divine Right of the Faithful to obtain the graces of salvation from the Church, particularly through the Word of God and the Sacraments (Canon 213).”

“If the directives become too restrictive, the bishop would deny the Faithful that which is a Divine Right and violate his own obligation to provide the sacraments. Because this touches on Divine Law, such restrictions must be avoided.”

Page 5

“… prudent measures could be provided as guidelines by a bishop, while reserving to individual pastors  the use of such measures as common sense and parish circumstances demand …. [A]ll prudent measures should be exhausted before a bishop begins to restrict rights; and the provision of Mass and the sacraments should never be denied the faithful altogether. Such an act runs completely contrary to the Mission of the Church.”

Beginning on page 5, and carrying over to page 6 are seven key questions for which answers are provided by the author, Canon Lawyer, Philip Gray, which make further and interesting reading.

Page 6

“In the past, Catholics have suffered from pandemics, plagues, wars, and other social maladies that prohibited the faithful from attending Mass in a church. When those things happened, the bishops and priests went to them. It is unprecedented that in a time of crisis, so many bishops are choosing to close churches when they do not have to; or prohibit the exercise of sacraments without coercion from secular laws….”


The remainder of the article deals with Vatican communications, plenary indulgences, and acts of Spiritual Communion. Reading the full, original article in Christifidelis will convey far more than can be done in this post.


Thank God for NM Bishop Baldacchino

April 15th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Finally! A bishop with the courage to reinstate public Masses for the good of souls! LifeSiteNews, the Catholic News Agency and the Washington Examiner reported that Bishop Peter Baldacchino of the Las Cruces Diocese in New Mexico has reinstated public Masses, albeit with a small attendance (5 including the priest when held in a church) but a substantive change! Let’s pray for the success of his efforts, and as an encouragement to other prelates to physically and consistently witness to the Catholic Faith.

The bishop told his priests that “depriving the faithful of the nourishment offered through the Eucharist cannot become the ‘status quo’ for the foreseeable future.” 

He continued: “We [as priests] have been called by Christ and ordained to serve the people of the Diocese of Las Cruces, to bring them hope and consolation during this difficult time.”

Bishop Baldacchino added: “It has become increasingly clear that the state shutdown will last for some time. Depriving the faithful of the nourishment offered through the Eucharist was indeed a difficult decision [on March 16th], one that I deemed necessary until I had further clarity….” 

He also recommended that priests celebrate masses outside or as drive-in services.

He noted, however, that he disagreed with NM Governor Grisham’s recent decision to list churches as “non-essential,” saying: “Sadly, the Governor is no longer exempting places of worship from the restrictions on ‘mass gatherings,’ … It seems to me that while we run a daily count of the physical deaths we are overlooking those who are dead interiorly.”

Bishop Baldacchino stressed that his decision to open masses stemmed from a desire that Catholics should have access to the sacraments, including the Eucharist, confession, and the anointing of the sick.

“We, as priests, are called to bring the Word of Life to people, we are called to minister the life-giving sacraments. Televised Masses have been an attempt to bridge the gap during this time, but I am increasingly convinced that this is not enough,” Baldacchino said. “The eternal life offered in Christ Jesus needs to be announced. It was precisely the urgency of this announcement that drove the first apostles and the need is no less today. Christ is alive and we are his ambassadors.”

Hopefully such efforts will also lead to limiting attendance as a percentage of seating capacity, instead of using an arbitrary number like ‘5,’ so that larger churches can accommodate more worshipers. So we keep praying!


Easter Decorating Time-Lapsed

April 14th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

St. John Cantius Church in Chicago live-streams daily Mass during the Pandemic in both the OF and EF.

In checking the times, just remember they are on CDT.

They’ve also put up a half-minute post showing the decorating of the Sanctuary after the First Friday Service and until Easter,  in a time lapse format.  Enjoy!–timelapse-easter-decorating/


He is Risen as He said!

April 12th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

“The Resurrection” by Pieter Lastman (Dutch, 1612)
The J. Paul Getty Museum; Oil on oak panel


From the Depths of Our Hearts

April 12th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

?This post is a look at the new collaboration between Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Sarah.

A little bit of spiritual reading has an important place in Lenten activity. Sometimes it is difficult to choose, beyond Scripture and the Catholic Classics, something a little more current in Church Life. This year it is much easier. Moved already by the individual writings of Pope Benedict XVI and Robert Cardinal Sarah, I chose “From the Depths of Our Hearts” by the two as co-authors, on a vital subject, and with more than a little controversy.

The other decision to be made about such reading is whether to indulge hunger and consume the material voraciously, reviewing and summarizing, or to savor the offering like a gourmet truffle, a little taste at a time. Truffles win! The first excerpt is from the (Joint) Introduction by the two authors, reflecting on the fear of the Apostles when they thought the boat was sinking:

“We know that Jesus is here, with us, in the ship. We want to declare to Him again our confidence and our absolute, full, and undivided fidelity. We want to say to Him again the great “YES” that we said to Him on the day of our ordination. Our priestly celibacy causes us to live out this total “Yes” each day. For our celibacy is a proclamation of faith. It is a testimony, because it causes us to enter into a life that makes sense only in terms of God. Our celibacy is a witness, in other words, a martyrdom. The Greek word has both meanings. In the storm, we priests must reaffirm that we are ready to lose our lives for Christ. Day after day, we give this witness thanks to the celibacy through which we give away our lives.” (p 21-22)

Chapter I, “The Catholic Priesthood”

Written by Pope Benedict XVI. (His words are blue).

“[W]e do not know when, but in any case very rapidly — the regular and even daily celebration of the Eucharist became essential for the Church. The “supersubstantial” bread is at the same time the “daily” bread of the Church. This had an important consequence, which is precisely what haunts the Church today.

“In the common awareness of Israel, priests were strictly obliged to observe sexual abstinence during the times when they led worship and were therefore in contact with the divine mystery. The relation between sexual abstinence and divine worship was absolutely clear in the common awareness of Israel. By way of example, I wish to recall the episode about David, who, while fleeing Saul, asked the priest Ahimelech to give him some bread: “The priest answered David, ‘I have no common bread at hand, but there is holy bread; if only the young men have kept themselves from women.’ And David answered the priest, ‘Of a truth women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition.'” (1 Sam. 21: 4-5)  “Since the priests of the Old Testament had to dedicate themselves to worship only during set times, marriage and the priesthood were compatible.”

“But because of the regular and often even daily celebration of the Eucharist, the situation of the priests of the Church of Jesus Christ has changed radically. From now on, their entire life is in contact with the divine mystery. This requires on their part exclusivity with regard to God. Consequently, this excludes other ties that, like marriage, involve one’s whole life. From the daily celebration of the Eucharist, which implies a permanent state of service to God, was born spontaneously the impossibility of a matrimonial bond. We can say that the sexual abstinence that was functional was transformed automatically into an ontological abstinence. Thus, its motivation and its significance were changed from within and profoundly.”  (p. 40-41)

Benedict XVI closes his paper with the understanding from his own ordination of John 17:17, how “the living God radically claims a man in order to make him enter into his service….Thus, on that eve of my ordination, a deep impression was left on my soul of what it means to be ordained a priest, beyond all the ceremonial aspects: it means that we must continually be purified and overcome by Christ so that he is the one who speaks and acts in us, and less and less we ourselves. It appeared to me clearly that this process, which consists of becoming one with him and renouncing what belongs only to us, lasts a whole lifetime and continually includes liberations and painful renewals. In this sense, the words of John 17:17 pointed out to me the way that I have walked throughout my life.”  (p. 58-60) He refers to the verse: “Sanctify [i.e. consecrate] them in the truth.”

Chapter II: “Loving to the End”

Written by Robert Cardinal Sarah


Cardinal Sarah’s view of the importance of celibacy is distinctly pastoral. One especially senses how it fits the book’s title, coming from deep within his heart in care for souls. A few excerpts are in order.

Cardinal Sarah writes: “The priesthood, to repeat the words of he Cure of Ars, is the love of the heart of Jesus.” He writes: “My bishop’s heart is worried. I have met with many priests who are disoriented, disturbed, and wounded in the very  depths of their spiritual life by the violent challenges to the Church’s doctrine…. I speak up so that everywhere in the Church, in a spirit of true synodality, a calm, prayerful reflection on the spiritual reality of the sacrament of Holy Orders can commence and be renewed.”  (p.63-65.)

“During the Synod on Amazonia, I [talked] … with experienced missionaries. These exchanges reassured me in the thought that the possibility of ordaining married men would be a pastoral catastrophe, lead to ecclesiological confusion, and obscure our understanding of the priesthood…. Priestly celibacy is the expression of the intention to place oneself at the disposal of the Lord and of man….the priesthood, because it involves offering the sacrifice of the Mass, makes a matrimonial bond impossible…. The celebration of the Mass presupposes that he enters with his whole being into the great gift of Christ to the Father, into the great “yes” of Jesus ….” (p.65-66)

Recounting a story of faithfulness in villages of Guinea, after a long priestly absence, Cardinal Sarah says: “I think that if they had ordained married men in each village, the Eucharistic hunger of the Faithful would have been extinguished. The people would have been cut off from that joy of receiving another Christ in the priest…. It would lead to an impoverishment of evangelization.” (p.69-71)

“The people of Amazonia have the right to a full experience of Christ the Bridegroom. We cannot offer them “second-class” priests. (p.72)

“I am persuaded that the Christian communities of Amazonia themselves do not think along the lines of Eucharistic demands…. [T]hese topics are obsessions that stem from theological milieus at universities. We are dealing with ideologies developed by a few theologians, … who wish to utilize the distress of poor peoples as an experimental laboratory for their clever plans.” (p. 76)

“To ordain a married man a priest would amount to diminishing the dignity of marriage and reducing the priesthood to a job.” (p.79)

“The sensus fidei causes the Faithful to discern a form of incompleteness in the clergy who do not live out consecrated celibacy.” (p.81)


Completion of Chapter II: “Loving to the End”

Written by Robert Cardinal Sarah


“… the Church would no longer understand herself if she were no longer loved totally by celibate priests who sacramentally represent Christ the Bridegroom… Celibacy is for the priest the means of entering into an authentic vocation as spouse…. [T]he Sacrament of Matrimony and the sacrament of Holy Orders both… culminate in a total gift of self… [T]he two sacraments are mutually exclusive. The priest’s capacity for spousal love is entirely given to and reserved for the Church.” (p. 83-85)

“The ordination of married men would give an unfortunate signal that the laity is being clericalized. It would result in a weakening of the missionary zeal of the lay faithful by causing them to think that mission work was reserved for clerics. [It] would weaken the apostolate of the baptized. It would prevent the Church from understanding herself as the dearly beloved Bride of Christ and would result in confusion about the true place of women within the Church.” (p.98-99)

“The Church, if she is deprived of spiritual vocations over a long period, might be tempted to create for herself a substitute clergy … of purely human origin…” ( Quoting Cardinal Ratzinger, p. 106)

“We must make room for the Holy Spirit in our government and in our pastoral plans.” (p. 107)

“By definition, a nascent Church lacks priests….[T]he ordination of married men, even if they were permanent deacons before, is not an exception but a rupture, a wound in the consistency of the priesthood… Moreover, the ordination of married men in young Christian communities would prevent them from giving rise to priestly vocations of celibate priests… [T]he correct understanding of the priesthood and of the Church would be permanently confused….” (p. 108-109)

“The priest learns the logic of his celibacy in the Eucharist….” (p.114)

“I would like to express my deep indignation when I hear it said that … the peoples of Amazonia do not understand celibacy…. I see … a contemptuous, neo-colonialist, and infantilizing mentality that shocks me…. When God enters into a culture, he does not leave it intact. He destabilizes and purifies it. He transforms and divinizes it.” (p. 116-117)

“[W]herever there is a serious, authentic, and continual evangelization activity, there is no lack of priestly vocations.” (p. 120)

“The faithful expect only one thing from priest: that they be specialists in promoting the encounter between man and God.” (Quoting Pope Benedict XVI p. 121)

“[W]e want to make present through celibacy what the world does not want to see: God alone suffices…. [W]ithin the Church, crises are always overcome by returning to the radical character of the Gospel, and not by adopting worldly criteria…. Celibacy is a scandal for the world…. We will not solve the crisis of the priesthood by weakening celibacy.” (p. 122-123)

Beginning on p. 124, through almost the end of Cardinal Sarah’s section, is a beautiful letter to brother priests and seminarians, heart to heart with paternal advice. He ends by saying: “Only the Cross will teach us to be a priest. Only the Cross will teach us to “love to the end”… On this path, Benedict XVI is an admirable model.”  This ending particularly brings home how often Cardinal Sarah quotes Pope Benedict, and other popes as well but, most substantially, Pope Benedict himself. From this it is easy to see that, yes indeed, this has been a collaborative effort of both authors, but it also pierces the veil of authorship to see Cardinal Sarah as solidifying the defense and exposition of Pope Benedict’s teaching, with perhaps his own pastoral comments, valuable as they are, being more secondary to that papal teaching. Cardinal Sarah does not miss the mark at all in expounding his opposition to the Amazonia Solution.


“In the Shadow of the Cross” by the two authors


The wrap-up is short, perhaps a bit hurried, understandably. But the point is clear: “…everyone should fear to hear God say to him someday … ‘Accursed are you who said nothing…. Stop sleeping the sleep of negligence. Do what you can promptly.’” (Quote attributed to St. Catherine of Siena, Letter 26[84]; p. 147).


Holy Saturday Stillness

April 11th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris


Abp. Vigano calls for Worldwide Exorcism by Priests on Holy Saturday

April 10th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris





This is not for you to pray the Exorcism, but rather to bring it to your priests’ attention. However, it would definitely be a good time to be praying the Rosary. Note: Rome is 6 hours ahead of NY, and 3PM in Rome would be 9AM in NY. 

ON OCTOBER 13, 1884, Leo XIII had a terrible vision of the assault of the powers of Hell against Holy Mother Church, and ordered the prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel to be said at the end of Mass. He also composed an Act of Exorcism and ordered it to be inserted into the Roman Ritual, and explicitly mentioned what he had seen: “The Church, the Spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, has been filled with bitterness and inebriated with poison by her crafty enemies, who have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. In the place where the See of Holy Peter and the Chair of Truth has been set up as the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.”

In these modern times of terrible tribulation, when the pandemic has deprived Catholics of Holy Mass and the Sacraments, the Evil One has gone into a frenzy and multiplied his attacks to tempt souls into sin. These blessed days of Holy Week, which used to be the ideal time to go to Confession to prepare ourselves for our Easter Communion, now see us locked inside our houses, but they cannot stop us praying to Our Lord.

Since it is a day of silence, while we await His glorious Resurrection, this Holy Saturday ought to be an ideal opportunity for Sacred Ministers. There is no need to go out, or to breach any of the laws currently in force.

I should like to ask you all to pray together, using the form given by Leo XIII, the Exorcism against Satan and the Apostate Angels (Exorcismus in Satanam et angelos apostaticos, Rituale Romanum, Tit. XII, Caput III), at three o’clock in the afternoon, Roman time (15:00 hours, Central European Summer Time) on Saturday April 11, 2020, so we can all fight together the common enemy of the whole human race [See exorcism prayer below].

Holy Saturday is the day when we remember Our Lord Jesus Christ as He descended into Hell to free the souls of the Fathers from Satan’s chains. In the great silence after Our Lord’s Passion and Death, Our Lady kept watch and believed, waiting in hope for the Resurrection of Her dearly beloved Son. It was a time when the world seemed to have won, but when everything was being prepared for the glory of Easter.

I should like to ask all my brother Bishops and Priests to join me as I recite this Exorcism, knowing the power of this Sacramental – especially when it is recited together with all other Priests – to help the Church in Her fight against Satan. I should also like to recommend that all of you wear a stole, the sign of your Priestly power, and Holy Water.

The great Mother of God, Mary Most Holy, terrible as an army set in array, and Saint Michael the Archangel, Patron of the Holy Church and Prince of the Heavenly Host, will help all of us.

+ Carlo Maria Viganò,
Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana
Maundy Thursday 2020


Cardinal Pell acquitted; goes free!

April 6th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

From the court decision overturning Cdl. Pell’s convictions:

“… there ought to have been a reasonable doubt as to the applicant’s [Cdl. Pell’s] guilt”.

“… the full bench was unanimous in allowing his appeal.”


Cardinal Pell’s Statement



Vatican Statement
Apparently there is an error in that the statement released seems to be the one the Vatican issued last year regarding denial of appeal. Waiting for correction,  I want to say that the Church should use the opportunity not only to be supportive of abuse victims, but also to recognize that a person falsely accused is also a victim. Running rough-shod over anyone’s rights (as seemed to be the case in many elements of the Pell case, like having only one accuser and no witnesses, and gagging the court observers in the first instance case) usually means the person doing so has something to hide.
NEW INFORMATION:  Following said acquittal, Pope Francis offered Mass the next morning for “those who suffer from unjust sentences.” NPR reported that the Pope said: “I would like to pray today for all those people who suffer unjust sentences resulting from intransigence (against them),” the pope said, speaking before the start of the Mass. He did not mention Pell by name.”


Cleansing Fire Links
Here are some of the prior links on the Cardinal Pell Story:
Heroes of the Synod: Cardinal Pell 2014
Cardinal Pell loses Appeal Decision: August 2019
Discerning the Spirits in Australia; August 2019
What do the Wildfires Mean? January 2020
Cardinal Pell’s Final Trial has Begun: March 2020

Further Updates:




Earth-shaking! From Abp. Vigano!

April 4th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Supplied by Lepanto Foundation:

“YOU HAVE SAID SO” – Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò

“Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” And they were very sorrowful, and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me, will betray me. The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” Judas, who betrayed him, said, “Is it I, Master?” He said to him, “You have said so.”  (Mt 26, 20-25)

On March 25, the 2020 Pontifical Yearbook was published with a real novelty. It may seem like a typographical trifle, in the part dedicated to the reigning pontiff, but this is not the case. Until last year, in fact, Francis’s titles were listed at the top of the page, beginning with “Vicar of Christ”, “Successor of the Prince of the Apostles” etc., and ending with his birth name and a very brief biography.

In the new edition, on the other hand, the secular name JORGE MARIO BERGOGLIO stands out in large letters, followed by the biography, the date of election and the beginning of his “ministry as universal Pastor of the Church.” Separated by a dash and the words, “Historical titles,” all the titles of the Roman Pontiff are then listed, as if they were no longer an integral part of the Munus Petrinum that legitimizes the authority which the Church recognizes in the Pope.

This change in the layout and content of an official text of the Catholic Church cannot be ignored, nor is it possible to attribute it to a gesture of humility on the part of Francis, which is not in keeping with his name being so prominently featured. Instead, it seems possible to see in it the admission — passed over in silence — of a sort of usurpation, whereby it is not the “Servus servorum Dei” who reigns, but the person of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who has officially disavowed being the Vicar of Christ, the Successor of the Prince of the Apostles and the Supreme Pontiff, as if they were annoying trappings of the past: only mere “historical titles.”

An almost defiant gesture — one might say — in which Francis transcends every title. Or worse: an act to officially alter the Papacy, by which he no longer recognizes himself as guardian, but becomes master of the Church, free to demolish it from within without having to answer to anyone. In short, a tyrant.

May the significance of this most serious act not escape pastors and the faithful, for by it the sweet Christ on earth — as St. Catherine called the Pope — releases himself from his role as Vicarto proclaim himself, in a delirium of pride, absolute monarch even with respect to Christ.

We are approaching the sacred days of the Savior’s Passion, which commences in the Upper Room with the betrayal of one of the Twelve. It is not illegitimate to wonder whether the understanding words with which Bergoglio tried to rehabilitate Judas on June 16, 2016 were not a clumsy attempt to exonerate himself.

This chilling thought is further confirmed by the terrible decision to allow an almost universal ban of the public celebration of Easter, for the first time since the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

“The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed!” (Mt 26:24) 

+ Carlo Maria Vigano?, Archbishop 


Friday in Passion Week 2020

(Admin Note: April 3, 2020. Christ died on this date in 33 AD, at 3PM).

Additional Admin note: “You have said so” is found in the bible as approximately equivalent to our “You said it!” pronounced with gusto, and as underlining the truth of what is being admitted. Christ used it about Judas (Matthew 26:25) and with Caiaphas in Matthew 26:64. One can especially see in the latter reference the strength of the meaning as being a clear and strong admission of the truth. Those words were taken as admission (unto death) of Christ’s claiming to be the Son of God. They are not words to be taken lightly. One expects that Abp. Vigano means exactly what he has chosen as the title of this missive. In a human sense, we cannot rule out that Pope Francis meant to eliminate the Vicar of Christ title, or that it was an error in typesetting. In a larger sense, we also cannot rule out that there was heavenly intervention in removing the title. We must wait and see.


Priests are obligated re Last Rites for the dying

April 4th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Fr. Chad Ripperger Exorcist and Theologian

LifeSite News interviewed Fr. Chad Ripperger regarding a bishop’s inability to forbid a priest from offering the Last Rites.

The exorcist and theologian said priests are under an obligation to give the sacraments to Catholics in imminent danger of death “regardless of what their bishop says.”

With Catholics in ‘turmoil and anguish’ over unprecedented bans on confession, cancellation of public Masses, and the locking of churches due to the coronavirus pandemic, LifeSiteNews asked Fr. Ripperger for his comments and recommendations.

See full article here: 



April 3rd, 33AD at 3PM, Christ died

April 3rd, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris


The Bishops’ Betrayal

April 2nd, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

The linked article is just too important to be left only as a post on the Ticker. The author makes a solid case for why the bishops have grossly failed the people of God, and the following article from LifeSiteNews details the inappropriate and — yes– sinful laxity in Sacramental Responsibility…not feeding the flock at the appointed time.

Moreover, the seeds are being planted to damage the vital relationship and connection between the bishops and their own priests. Either priests will begin to see and act on their responsibilities, or they will succumb to the tone-deafness and fears of their prelates, and excuse their own failure to give sustenance to the flock as ‘obedience’ or fear.

John Chapter 21 recounts Christ’s saying to Peter: “Feed My lambs…Tend My sheep….Feed My sheep.” He didn’t add: “But when the going gets tough, lock the churches, get permission before you baptize anyone with a contagious disease, avoid personal risk and let people die without being anointed or confessed.” A great shame has descended upon the clergy at every level. And it is clericalism at its worst. How can God not hold them each personally responsible for every soul lost or damaged by what they withhold?

It seems that many young men are called to the priesthood for heroic reasons. For some, the bishops’ failure to act from the heart of Church Teaching must be a great disappointment.

Read Peter Bleyer’s article here:  Bishops betray Catholics in allowing sacraments to be deemed ‘non-essential’ in COVID-19 battle

Bleyer’s conclusion?

“The sacraments have been relegated to a priority below that of buying a hot dog bun.”


As an example, attached is the letter from the Bishop of Lubbock TX to his priests against hearing confession. It is followed by a late story in which the Bishop of Lubbock “flip-flopped” on his decision against confession when the TX governor declared church to be an essential service.

Thanks, Pilgrim.  To view more, click here: Read the rest of this entry »


Priest should follow his Conscience in Offering the Sacraments (supplemented)

March 30th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

LifeSite News:

Bishops’ ban on Sacraments during pandemic violates Church law,

priests can disobey: Canonist Philip Gray, JCL

Read the full story here:

Bp. Rozanski suspends Last Rites

See also more information on Bishops refusing to permit their priests to give the Last Rites (like Bp. Rozanski of Springfield, MA) here:

Abp. William Lori ‘shuts down’ Baltimore Archdiocese

“BALTIMORE, Maryland, March 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – By order of Archbishop William Lori, priests of the Archdiocese of Baltimore are forbidden from administering sacraments to the faithful unless “the individual is in danger of dying.” Funeral Masses have also been suspended. All churches of the archdiocese are now locked.” Archbishop Lori is the former chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty.  Details here:


Abp. Charles Thompson of Indianapolis calls for “perfect contrition”

“Archbishop Charles Thompson of Indianapolis also stated in a March 24 directive that “individual confession should be postponed unless it is requested by one who is in imminent danger of death,” adding that “for all others, they are to be asked to rely on perfect contrition.” The advice is more dangerous than the virus. See more here:





The Heroic Bishop Strickland

March 29th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

It is being reported by Church Militant, among others, that Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas has refused to sign the Texas bishops’ statement permitting hospitals and similar institutions of ‘care’ to decide

    Bishop Joseph E.      Strickland, Tyler, TX

unilaterally how to ration life-saving equipment. Even such a thought opens the door for abominable kinds of abuse; it smells of rationing mortal sin. “Who gets to commit it and who doesn’t?” But sin is sin, and it is a sad situation when the majority of the successors of the Apostles, albeit in just one geographical area, presume to permit sin in the same tone as permitting eating meat on Friday!

Some reporters are seeing this as a type of civil war among the bishops, but it may just be a misunderstanding of what it really looks like when a true priest stands up for his conscience and for his flock. One headline states: “Bishop Strickland Stands Alone.” Then all the more, let us praise God for giving all the other Texas prelates a hero in their midst.

Bishop Strickland refused to back a declaration by the TCCB (Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops) to eliminate the legal penalties against healthcare rationing. That declaration would give hospitals the license to decide who gets to live and who gets to die among coronavirus-infected patients, without explanation and without legal accountability. For example, a key hospital (or diocesan) donor could receive the first ventilator available, just for financial reasons. Are financial reasons too far fetched? No. Texas Right to Life has reported that dioceses are investors in hospitals, and so can financially benefit. TCCB states:

“The TCCB is the administrative and lobbying arm of the Texas bishops and holds no canonical authority as an entity. The TCCB’s recent suggestions would effectively suspend all patient protections currently in law, violating the constitutional rights of vulnerable patients. Regrettably, this action is consistent for the TCCB, which holds interests in hospitals and has opposed patient protections and needed reforms to medical ethics laws for each of the last 12 sessions of the Texas Legislature…. Waiving all laws and standards of care does not further protect patients, but rather fosters quality of life value judgments about who should live and who should die, spreads anxiety and fear, and jeopardizes the lives of those needing care at hospitals.”

Texas Right to Life supports Bp. Strickland’s decision. They understand that giving healthcare providers a pass to allocate/ration equipment and/or services means that tomorrow it could decide there should be no treatment for Catholics, or for pro-lifers, or for children, depending on who is making the decision. Bp. Strickland also stood alone recently in calling for a probe into Catholic Relief Services, in its alleged support of contraceptives and abortion. That’s another hornet’s nest he has not avoided.

Reminder Regarding Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz! 

It is rare that a bishop chooses to stand alone and expresses loyalty to doctrine yet independence of mind and spirit, which is why I think so much from diocesan conferences appears weak and watered down.  But one such bishop with strength of character and loyalty to Church Teaching, as we see with Bp. Strickland, is the retired Bp. Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska. His declaration and statement of excommunication of Catholics in his diocese (1996) who are members of any one of more than a dozen organizations, including Planned Parenthood, can be found here:

Bp. Bruskewitz also stood up against the entire USCCB and prevailed. He was the only vote against submitting to mandatory audit reviews. He refused to surrender diocesan rights and just his one vote meant the proposed changes could not go forward as mandatory, only voluntary. Bp. Strickland will surely take heart. The Diocese of Lincoln during Bp. Bruskewitz’s period of service produced four bishops.

My only personal contact with Bp. Bruskewitz was on a Catholic Radio call-in show in 2012. It can be found here:

I do think it is important to give our support to such strong bishops. We can write to Bp. Strickland at:

The Most Reverend Joseph E. Strickland

Bishop of Tyler, Texas

1015 ESE Loop 323

Tyler, Texas 75701-9663



Please sign St. Augustine Academy Press’ PETITION to restore the Mass

March 28th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Please sign the petition and don’t sweat the details. They will get worked out by parish. If we have our Mass & Communion, we have it all!