Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

A Creed of Fidelity to Pope Francis? Sadly, true.

November 14th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

The CF Ticker has carried the story for a few days, through the roiling and distracting election discussion,  of the introduction of a “Creed of Fidelity to Pope Francis,” beginning 10/25 in Mexico. Read about it here:

It is a horrendously fearful quick left turn, skidding out of control all over the Deposit of the Faith, while trying to legitimize a mindless pandering to the alleged chief of the new world order (NWO). Who? Perhaps the one who unceremoniously dropped the title Vicar of Christ earlier this year, on the Feast of the Annunciation!  (Abp. Vigano quote)

It is easy to imagine that recitation of the new creed will not be long in coming to our shores, with the probable support of dissident cardinals and bishops who don’t speak out for faith and morals and, by default, timid bishops who hope nobody notices. Look how quickly the Italian bishops agreed to change the biblical words of the Our Father at Pope Francis’ instigation!

And our priests whom we dearly love? I would expect that those who did not have the courage to feed us during the lockdown will, for their lack of growing in courage, cave in more quickly to creedal changes centered on mankind rather than God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. It’s a slippery slope. Let’s pray. Many are blind to the danger.

Apologies for the annoying commercial breaks; some can be skipped, others seem to be on a 30 second sound track and waited out. You might do better here with Anthony Stein’s post (Ave Maria U):


Trump Rally in Washington D.C.

November 14th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

“Do not quit” Rally for President Trump, Washington DC, Nov. 14, 2020























“Tens of thousands” seems to be a gross underestimate.



Thank you to Ludwig who, in his comment, brought attention to two pictures previously posted (now removed) as having been mislabeled, and not being from the Trump Rally.

We removed the pictures and will contact the source of the prior pictures to be sure they know of the error. (That source has been consistently reliable but we depend on others as they depend on us to have the facts correct, or at least corrected immediately for any error.)

With apologies, but with gratitude to Ludwig for his sharp vision, we have removed the two items he questioned,  but are leaving the LifeSiteNews pictures. We will re-post if we get satisfactory proof of the other sources. Feedback like that from our members is very helpful. Thank you.


Keep Focused on the Truth

November 9th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris


Abp. Vigano to the American People

November 4th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As devout Christians and faithful citizens of the United States of America, you have intense and heartfelt concern for the fate of your beloved country while the final results of the Presidential election are still uncertain.

News of electoral fraud is multiplying, despite the shameful attempts of the mainstream media to censor the truth of the facts in order to give their candidate the advantage. There are states in which the number of votes is greater than the number of voters; others in which the mail-in vote seems to be exclusively in favor of Joe Biden; others in which the counting of ballots has been suspended for no reason or where sensational tampering has been discovered: always and only against President Donald J. Trump, always and only in favor of Biden.

vigano election 4In truth, for months now we have been witnessing a continuous trickle of staggered news, of manipulated or censored information, of crimes that have been silenced or covered up in the face of striking evidence and irrefutable testimony. We have seen the deep state organize itself, well in advance, to carry out the most colossal electoral fraud in history, in order to ensure the defeat of the man who has strenuously opposed the establishment of the New World Order that is wanted by the children of darkness. In this battle, you have not failed, as is your sacred duty, to make your own contribution by taking the side of the Good. Others, enslaved by vices or blinded by infernal hatred against Our Lord, have taken the side of Evil.

Do not think that the children of darkness act with honesty, and do not be scandalized if they operate with deception. Do you perhaps believe that Satan’s followers are honest, sincere, and loyal? The Lord has warned us against the Devil: “He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies” (Jn 8:44).vigano election 2

Archbishop  Carlo     Maria Vigano

In these hours, while the gates of Hell seem to prevail, allow me to address myself to you with an appeal, which I trust that you will respond to promptly and with generosity. I ask you to make an act of trust in God, an act of humility and filial devotion to The Lord of Armies. I ask that all of you pray the Holy Rosary, if possible in your families or with your dear ones, your friends, your brothers and sisters, your colleagues, your fellow soldiers. Pray with the abandonment of children who know how to have recourse to their Most Holy Mother to ask her to intercede before the throne of the Divine Majesty. Pray with a sincere soul, with a pure heart, in the certainty of being heard and answered. Ask her – she who is the Help of Christians, Auxilium Christianorum – to defeat the forces of the Enemy; ask her – she who is terrible as an army set in battle array (Song 6:10) – to grant the victory to the forces of Good and to inflict a humiliating defeat on the forces of Evil.

Have your children pray, using the holy words that you have taught them: those confident prayers will rise to God and will not remain unheard. Have the elderly and sick pray, so that they may offer their sufferings in union with the sufferings that Our Lord suffered on the Cross when He shed His Precious Blood for Our Redemption. Have young ladies and women pray, so that they turn to her who is the model of purity and motherhood. And you, men, must also pray: your courage, your honor and your boldness will be refreshed and strengthened. All of you, take up this spiritual weapon, before which Satan and his minions retreat furiously, because they fear the Most Holy Virgin, she who is Almighty by Grace, even more than Almighty God.vigano election 3

Do not allow yourselves to be discouraged by the deceptions of the Enemy, even more so in this terrible hour in which the impudence of lying and fraud dares to challenge Heaven. Our adversaries’ hours are numbered if you will pray, if we will all pray with Faith and with the true ardor of Charity. May the Lord grant that one single devout and faithful voice rise from your homes, your churches, and your streets! This voice will not remain unheard, because it will be the voice of a people that cries out, in the moment when the storm rages most fiercely, “Save us, Lord, we are perishing!” (Mt 8:25).

The days that await us are a precious occasion for all of you, and for those who unite themselves spiritually to you from every part of the world. You have the honor and privilege of being able to participate in the victory of this spiritual battle, to wield the powerful weapon of the Holy Rosary as our fathers did at Lepanto to repel the enemy armies.

Pray with the certainty of Our Lord’s promise: “Ask and it shall be given unto you, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened unto you” (Lk 11:9). The King of Kings, from whom you ask the salvation of your Nation, will reward your Faith. Your testimony, remember this, will touch the heart of Our Lord, multiplying the heavenly Graces which are, more than ever, indispensable in order to achieve victory.

May my appeal, which I address to you and to all people who recognize the Lordship of God, find you to be generous apostles and courageous witnesses of the spiritual rebirth of your beloved country, and with it the entire world. Non praevalebunt.

God bless and protect the United States of America!

One Nation under God

vigano signature


+ Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop

Former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America

November 4, 2020

Saint Charles Borromeo


The score before counting stopped Nov. 4 at 3AM (inserted post 11/9/20)

November 4th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris


Indulgence period extended for All Souls’ Cemetery Visits

November 2nd, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

The period of time has been extended by the Vatican from one week to the entire month of November to obtain a plenary indulgence for souls in Purgatory through our cemetery visits. Is it possible that when we arrive at the pearly gates and are assigned our time in Purgatory, we might draw also for ourselves benefits from our own prayers offered over a lifetime for the Souls in Purgatory? If not, then who will be praying for our souls when the endtimes end? And while we are speculating, what about prayers for our entire lineage, back to the First Parents? Could members of our own bloodline from long ago still be trapped in Purgatory? Shouldn’t we be praying for them too, whoever they are?



Traditional Latin Masses, November 2020

October 30th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Please note a new page has been added to CF to make it easier to find TLMs and changes each month. (See “Explore the Site,” near the top of the right hand column).


The following Traditional Latin Masses are scheduled for November 2020:


Low Masses on Sundays (Nov. 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29th) at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Irondequoit, NY at 11:15 AM, celebrated by Father Dennis Bonsignore.


Missa Cantata on All Souls’ Day (Nov. 2nd) at St. Francis Church, Phelps, NY

at 6:30 PM, celebrated by Father Peter Van Lieshout,

Pastor of St. Peter’s Parish.

The Missa Cantata will include Absolution over the Catafalque. 



TLM Low Masses on All Souls’ Day (Nov. 2nd)

  • celebrated at 6:30 AM at St. John the Evangelist Church in Spencerport by Father Peter Mottola, Pastor.
  • celebrated at 10:00 AM at St. Patrick’s Church in Macedon by Father Anthony Amato, Parochial Vicar, St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish and St. Katharine Drexel Parish.
  • celebrated at 2:00 PM at St. Francis’ Church in Phelps by Father Anthony Amato, Parochial Vicar, St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish and St. Katharine Drexel Parish.

Other Traditional Latin Masses scheduled for November, 2020:

  • First Friday, Nov. 6th, and other Fridays (Nov. 13, 20 and 27th) St. John the Evangelist Church, Spencerport, all at 8:00 AM.
  • First Saturday, Nov. 7th, at St. John the Evangelist Church, Spencerport, at 9:00 AM
  • First Saturday, Nov. 7th, at St. Dominic’s Church, St. Peter’s Parish, Shortsville, at 10:00 AM

For all of the Masses listed above, the COVID-19 regulations of the Diocese of Rochester must be followed.


Confronting Lockdown of the Sacraments

October 27th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

LifeSiteNews has just run an article by the noted Dr. Peter Kwasniewski entitled “Why priests and laypeople must work around bishops forbidding sacraments for COVID.” The following is a selection of excerpts from that article.

The author begins by stating: “I was and continue to be sympathetic with every effort by clergy and laity to circumvent and ignore episcopal diktats that severely limit the sacramental life of the Church.”

“The topic continues to be relevant because the mightily exaggerated threat of COVID-19 is being used in European countries to impose a new wave of restrictions of all kinds, including on religious activities and gatherings.”

Kwasniewski asserts: “I was and continue to be sympathetic with every effort by clergy and laity to circumvent and ignore episcopal diktats that severely limit the sacramental life of the Church when readily available evidence demonstrates that we are living through a situation not unlike other severe flus that have come and gone many times in the past. …”

“… The sacraments are not a privilege for the deserving, or a symbolic “window dressing” for the “real” Catholic life that goes on purely interiorly or domestically, … but rather a necessity, a reality integral to the Christian spiritual life, as well as a genuine right of the faithful, understood in reference to our membership in the Body of Christ. The Eucharist is our elementary food for soul and body. … A total lack of access at any point is indefensible.”

“It is one thing when a totalitarian regime hostile to the Church hauls priests away to a concentration camp in an effort to take the sacraments away from the people; then there is little choice on anyone’s part. It is quite another thing for the Church’s own shepherds to order priests to stop giving the sacraments to the faithful. In doing so, they literally short-circuit their own authority, function, and mission; they cancel themselves out….”

“There are currently millions of Catholics who are persuaded that their obligation to worship God on Sunday has been dispensed. But this is not true.… The obligation to join personally in the perfect sacrifice of Christ on Sunday remains in place for all of the baptized, and no bishop can alter that one bit, nor can virtual attendance substitute for it.”

“We are dealing with a situation, built up over several decades, in which the bishops have lost credibility and trustworthiness. With a few exceptions, they do not teach sound doctrine; they do not celebrate reverent liturgy; they do not rid their dioceses of homosexuality and abuse; they are mammon-hungry. In all these ways, they have lost the ‘moral high ground’ required for us to ‘just trust them’ in their judgment calls….  a Christian’s obligations to His Lord and Master take precedence over his obligations to members of the hierarchy, no matter how exalted.”

Kwasniewski sums up:  “… In a time of pandemic, we must make more, not less, use of prayer, processions, penances, liturgy, and sacraments. In a time of spurious pandemic, we must make war against exaggerated restrictions and unjust cancellations, supporting those who creatively and courageously work around them and behind them.”

Read entire LifeSiteNews article here:


Related articles on CF:



The Repentance of Fr. David Palmer

October 20th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

I was delighted to receive this email from a friend, verifying the words attributed to Fr. David Palmer, a Catholic Priest in Wales, of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham:











His very simple and clear words are the essence of confession. He has examined his conscience, recognized and admitted his sin, and made a firm purpose of amendment to never do it again. In his courage, and by his confession, Fr. Palmer confronts the overwhelming pressure of filial obedience to the bishop, who ordered him to deny the sacraments to souls, with the reality of what he was ordained to do — feed souls.

Consider what Christ said to Peter. Thrice the Lord asked if Peter loved him, and then Christ followed Peter’s three declarations of love with three orders to tend and feed the lambs and sheep. Non-negotiables. Christ didn’t say “Build Churches” or  “Write the Bible.” First of all, Peter was to feed the flock. And The Lord’s Prayer specifically tells us to ask for our “daily [supernatural] bread.” Does a Father hand his child a scorpion? Doesn’t a priest feed his flock by his own hands?

Read all of Chapter 34 in Ezekiel, and see how God Himself came to feed the sheep because of the failure of the Levitical priests to care for the sheep. Notice how many of the current news articles show an awakening to the failures of the bishops en masse, badly using their own priests by succumbing to governmental pressures and fraternal pressures within their own brotherhood. That every single US bishop caved to the shutdown of Churches and Eucharist is an indictment of their intent. And each is totally responsible for the bad fruit of his own closure decision, which each had canonical power to resist.

The keyword in Fr. Palmer’s writing is ‘repent’ and it must be as public as he is making it because a public sin can’t be properly atoned privately.

It is sad when prideful obedience to hierarchy starves the sheep, a 75 day shutdown in feeding the flock. That very lack of care of the flock by the priests of Jeremiah and Ezekiel’s time led to loss of the Levitical priestly status. I am reminded of the day’s Gospel reading from Luke, Chapter 12, answering Peter’s question: “And the Lord said, ‘Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time?'” And what is the proper feeding time for the sheep? It surely is not every 75 days. It is ‘daily’, as mentioned in the Lord’s Prayer.

It seems we are in for a rough ride as our own priests and bishops struggle with their consciences, without expressing repentance. But all is essential preparation for the next government lockdown, sure to come and probably soon.

For an expanded version of these words, before Fr. Palmer’s declaration, see the posts:                                                       


Do not misunderstand this brief post; much more is covered in the links above. This is not a tirade against bishops or their priests. I have come to understand that it is not possible to love the Eucharist without also loving the priests who confect the sacred sacrament. My sadness is about the pressure so many committed priests are under to ‘obey’ when every bone of their body fights against starving the flock. Some have been pushed into sin not of their creation, but of their surrender. Pray for our priests, we say over and over. Love them. Forgive them. But most especially pray for them, that they seek forgiveness for any element of complicity with civil or ecclesial power, or any element of self-shriving. Our being fed well depends on their holiness.


Major Party Platforms ’20-’24 (their own words)

October 19th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris


When Prelates turn their backs

October 19th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

A year ago this month we cited the Church Militant article about Cardinal Dolan’s guilt in allowing pro-aborts to receive communion. That article is here: https//

Cardinal Dolan, like many other prelates, turns a blind eye to the reality that the Holy Sacrament is being abused and defiled in being given to people living scandalously in mortal sin. Can a Cardinal really not know what is going on behind his back?

No! Because the Cardinal is the one who turned his back so as not to see. A year ago we had no idea how sacrilege-run-wild would soon come down to putting America’s soul at serious risk. Prelates who refuse to speak out have given the Church the situation in which she now suffers, costing many souls to be lost.


Luke 22:31-32   Christ speaks to Peter just before His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane: 

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.”


How to handle USCCB’s funding Biden thru CCHD

October 19th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Put CCHD in the search bar on page #1 of Cleansing Fire to find the 17 separate posts which have appeared over the last 11 years, cautioning about any support of CCHD — the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

CCHD notoriously has funded sin, in particular abortion and contraception. It is a great scandal that parish pastors continue to put the CCHD envelopes in their churches, entrapping souls into financially funding sinful purposes. It is a very great scandal that bishops require their priests to make such collections.

Apparently it is up to the laity to interfere by 1) not giving a penny to the CCHD collection, 2) communicating ‘why’ one refuses to support the CCHD or whatever the guise under which it appears (parish, diocese or even the USCCB.) 3) If you didn’t know part of the collection will go to Biden, and it wasn’t disclosed to you, ask your pastor to return your donation to you. 4) This year the CCHD funding has the additional effect of funding the Biden campaign and all the sin for which it stands. Tell other parishioners. Encourage them to ask for their donation to be returned. 5) Recognize too that donations made to CCHD are not fully deductible as charitable donations due to the campaign funding. If they are reported to you at year end as ‘donations’ very likely your parish is violating tax law. 

How to handle those sneaky envelopes?  Here is one non-verbal opinion which is easy to express, and easy to toss into the collection box or a litter box:







Headline from 10/14 LifeSiteNews:

US bishops funding group that blatantly campaigns for pro-abortion Joe Biden

“The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, through the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, is funding an organized and direct effort to elect Joe Biden as the next president.” Here is the full story link:

Personally, I am of the opinion that those who put out those solicitation materials know exactly what they are doing, after all this time, and are undeserving of the usual, more kindly requests. Let it rip!


North American Martyrs’ blood consecrated our land

October 19th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Today is the Memorial of St. John de Brebeuf and St. Isaac Jogues and their companion martyrs. Many people are familiar with the Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville, NY but are less familiar with the roadside shrines in our own area. The following links will bring up what we’ve previously written about the little very-close-to-the-roadside shrine on the way from Canandaigua to Bloomfield, and the other one where the road splits and Rte. 15A heads north and the other branches into Main Street in Honeoye Falls. Here are posts with pictures and information from both ‘shrines.’

You will know you are not the first to visit this day if you find a red rose awaiting you. We owe so much to these martyrs; surely this is a good day to ask them to pray for our country’s future and for God’s blessings in this coming election, to keep strong the Faith for which the martyrs gave everything. Today’s Liturgy of the Hours (Office of Readings) contains a beautiful prayer of Fr. de Breboef for his own martyrdom. I am particularly touched by the words in the closing paragraph which are still so applicable today: “How I grieve, my God, that You are not known, that this savage country is not yet wholly converted to faith in You, that sin is here not yet blotted out!” 

God bless America! 

Here is the Reading #2 of the Office of Readings:



Courage to Preach the WORD in Election Season

October 6th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Hear Rev. Anthony Amato exhort the flock at St. Katharine Drexel and St. Maximilian Kolbe Parishes  to embrace the Catholic Church’s Pro-Life Teaching against abortion this election season:

Complicit Clergy has also publicized Father Amato’s sermon here:  


Dear Bishops: “Hurry up, please; it’s time”

October 4th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

I confess there is much of T.S. Eliot’s 433-line poem “The Wasteland” which I don’t understand. For the parts I do understand a bit, it is easy to be somewhat repulsed, or at least lose interest in revisiting the opus. But there is one line which is a signal theme of “The Wasteland” which locks into the mind – the line: “Hurry up, please; it’s time.” Spoken by the pub bartender, it is a call to order a final drink, a reminder that time is rapidly running out, so do it now! The line is repeated several times, just as an innkeeper might do, so none of the patrons can argue that the “endtime” wasn’t properly announced. Both sad and surprising is the casual way (in 1922) in which words about ‘abortion by pill’ are strung between those repetitions from line 152 to 165.

Executive Summary in 100 words

The Catholic Church’s wholesale caving to civil pandemic regulations, diocese by diocese, endangered the religious liberty of the Church and her members. When the candles were blown out across America, during a mere week in March 2020, the laity were left without Mass or Communion. The Church should take protective action against having established precedent for COVID-20 by acquiescence to government interference — from attendance to facemasks, from liturgy to sacramental practice. Such appeal would reset the parameters by which the Church asserts her rights, refusing to begin at the set point of COVID-19 precedent. Hurry up, please; it’s time!

Short Straws

When I first thought of writing about the strategic action now needed to be taken by the Bishops of the Catholic Church, The Wasteland repetition leapt to mind and has been there ever since. It is not just about hurrying up; it is about time being ‘up’ too. As the pandemic now seems to wind down, as more functions and services are restored, we can see that the churches in particular, from the beginning, were getting the short straw, and still are. Liquor stores and abortuaries, deemed ‘necessary,’ got a ‘free pass’ to stay open, while churches had severely restricted access to their members, and members to their churches, thus deemed de facto “unnecessary” even where Catholics were dying in hospitals without the presence of their priests. And, among the churches, it was the Catholic Churches which got the shortest of straws, especially on hot button items interfering with the liturgy, beginning with cancellation for 2-3 months of all Masses for the laity and, when laity could return in very small numbers, there were regulations even against not singing though masked, and against receiving Holy Communion on the tongue, a practice deeply embedded over centuries of worship and, in some cases, even having their reception of Holy Communion in the hand perverted by using tweezers, a disgusting abomination of the sacred.

Complacency or Complicity? Collusion or Coincidence?

The powers and privileges of individual Bishops are highly protected under Canon Law. They have an abundance of power to resist the pressure of other bishops or of civil authorities’ meddling power plays. To get every bishop to agree on any matter is most difficult, even suspicious. But just the perception that they agree on something facilitates wider acceptance of what may not be acceptable at all.  Here are three items from the Code of Canon Law which Bishops should be able to rely on:

  • 381 §1 states: “In the diocese entrusted to his care, the diocesan Bishop has all the ordinary, proper and immediate power required for the exercise of his pastoral office, except in those matters which the law or a decree of the Supreme Pontiff reserves to the supreme authority or to some other ecclesiastical authority.”
  • 455 §1 states: “The Bishops’ Conference [e.g. USCCB] can make general decrees only in cases where the universal law has so prescribed, or by special mandate of the Apostolic See, either on its own initiative or at the request of the Conference itself.”
  • 455 §4 states: “In cases where neither the universal law nor a special mandate of the Apostolic See gives the Bishops’ Conference the power mentioned in [455] §1, the competence of each diocesan Bishop remains intact. In such cases, neither the Conference nor its president can act in the name of all the Bishops unless each and every Bishop has given his consent.”

Over most of a week in mid-March 2020, one-by-one dioceses across the U.S. caved in to pressure to stop offering all public Masses and Holy Communion. Later, left wing talking heads would marvel at the ease with which they were able to get to the heart of the Church and shut us down from that which we most need.  If it was a dress rehearsal for future socialist onslaught, and it seems to be, the Church hierarchy flunked the test, and therefore actually encouraged further actions against the Body of Christ. The bishops with all their power simply caved to the civil authorities and there seems to have been virtually no dissension. The pictorial story from last March is shown here:                                       

Perhaps the talking heads credit their own work too much. It seems as if the pressure on dioceses came at least in part from other dioceses. If it had been a genuine debate, there might be signs of compromise, or at least a few of the later holdout dioceses might have stayed open, or closed much more slowly, especially some in Florida, Texas, Maine, Alaska and Minnesota. It was ironic that by St. Joseph’s Day, the entire map had gone dark, the bishops trusting in their own obedience to civil authority more than to the Patron Saint of the Catholic Church.  Their trust was tested and it failed themselves and their flocks. Isn’t it even more ironic that bishops who usually don’t agree on much would come to such total Complacency? Collusion? Complicity? In just a few days? It certainly isn’t about Coincidence!

The Yoke of Power

Now there seems to be a tremendous temptation to sigh deeply “Whew! Glad that’s over!” But it isn’t over, and power hungry state and local governments will surely not let the Church off the hook that easily. Anyone who thinks that the first encounter didn’t set a baseline for what can be presumed and used in the “Return of COVID” doesn’t understand how power works.  NYS is an example, with Governor Andrew Cuomo. A media broadcast per day gave him the communications channels to encourage friends, threaten enemies, and set up for ridicule on his own schedule and timing any resistance. It surely makes voters, media, companies, government – well, everyone — afraid to resist or criticize or perhaps even to make any suggestions, like not putting COVID patients in nursing homes. Recently, Cuomo threatened to close down worship in the only two faiths which God Himself founded, the Jewish religion and the Catholic Church, for ‘violating’ Cuomo’s worship rules! Where is the data which he favors so much to prove any link to COVID spread in excess of any other activity? If he had it, wouldn’t he show it? Or is it a matter of happily caving to the God-haters?

So, if you watch carefully, Cuomo is being very slow to return power where it belongs. He just finds new targets. He releases one state from his self-proclaimed quarantine and then adds another, requires food on the bar menu and rejects part of the menu, demands that masks be kept on, even outdoors, by threatening arrest, and won’t release churches from a capacity guideline, to do what they think best for their flocks. What else can be added and regulated is the question of this phase, to create yet another reason to hold on tightly to power. A true leader rejoices when things return to normalcy, doesn’t manage by the decimal points, and hands back the reins to local leaders (subsidiarity) as soon as possible. In the current case it almost seems that some state and local governments are in fear of the people’s becoming refreshed by regaining the freedoms they ‘used to have.’

A Plan Forward?

Now, what would make us think the Catholic Church, diocese by diocese, would not again be the first and fastest to cave, when the next COVID hits, BEGINNING at the worst of the prior level of ‘power and control’ as “Precedent,” and then being pressured further by the state for more concessions from the Church? Nothing but naïveté or wishful thinking would deny that likely scenario. There are some legal actions which need to be done to recover, maintain and protect religious liberty in the U.S. We should begin as soon as possible. Hurry up, please, it’s time!

  1. Disown Precedent: The Catholic Church is theoretically best positioned to disown any Precedent having been formed during COVID-19, and government accordingly warned against any role it might try to take to interfere in a church’s worship and/or the religion of its flock. The split politics among the hierarchy make it difficult and impractical to work beyond the diocesan level.
  2. Place “on notice”: State and local governments should be placed “on notice” of all the incursions or potential incursions of religious liberty, and quantified where feasible to do so. Specific interferences and harassments should be referenced, even where the Church might have agreed temporarily under timing pressure.
  3. Clarify financial damages and areas of impact: Without a financial incentive to avoid causing conflict and persecution, government has no incentive not to repeat its indefensible treatment and harassment of churches during the COVID-19 lockdown. Such strategy is not to emphasize financial gain, although it is not unreasonable to be fairly compensated for injuries suffered. Financial disincentive is essential to prevent COVID-19 becoming a “Precedent” starting point for COVID-20 or -21.
  4. Require a consent decree to prevent certain actions by government in the future, and to recognize the Diocesan bishop’s right to set Mass times and attendance, liturgical elements, to allow convening for study, teaching and access for priests to hospitals and treatment centers, and so much more, all without permissions or licensing by civil government. It must not be a promise from government, but an absolute legal obligation not to trespass on religious rights. The Church especially should not allow herself to be beholden to governments involved with institutionalizing sin: abortion access, LGBT and transgender activism and the looming threat of euthanasia.

Timing is Short; but Climate is Encouraging

If cases against government are not brought by dioceses, “Precedent” is likely to be assumed and re-imposed (if it ever was intended to expire), with the argument: “Well, you put up with it last time and didn’t complain.” Without resistance, to destroy the precedence basis, there may also be statutes of limitations which can’t be overcome later on, and those readings are almost always favorable to the government. Legal action needs to begin in 2020. “Hurry up please, it’s time!”

Once a few cases are filed, others should be more easily assembled. There are also a few pieces of good news embedded below, which indicate encouraging timing which can lead to framing a successful strategy.

  • First, President Trump (may God grant him good health) has reinvigorated the values in our country to pro-life and a strong stand for the religious liberty promise of the First Amendment. He is not afraid to speak the name of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, publicly. And he is a uniting force for Christians. If the Catholic Church doesn’t respect and use well this opportunity, she will have only herself to blame.
  • US Attorney General William Barr has said that COVID lockdowns are the “greatest intrusion on civil liberties since slavery,” and by those words has sent a very broad invitation to the Church, among others, to recognize what they have suffered during the pandemic in violation of our civil rights. There would seem to be little reason for the DOJ to interfere.
  • The target for lawsuits is not the Federal government, but state and local governments, and there is no lack of material over which to bring lawsuits, especially regarding discrimination, disparity of treatment and violation of First Amendment rights.
  • States’ dependence on “numbers” rules, like 10 people per Mass provides a database which otherwise might have been difficult to capture. Church attendance data is quantifiable, and lost collections as well as the long term contributions loss of those afraid to return to Mass, for every parish in a diocese, can be a significant and a reasonable argument for damages (or we might say ‘reparations’ –yes – we can use that word too!) The state changed the Church from being a haven for care of the people to our essentially being hostages of the government.
  • It is essential to take action diocese by diocese because it doesn’t take much to slow down or stop an entire initiative. It is the sheer volume of cases that can be brought and the diversity of those cases which will help dismiss Precedent, and let dioceses play to their strengths without depending on other dioceses with different motives.
  • Ancillary damage: Many actions taken by state and local governments created a climate which caused damage to churches, furnishings and statuary (and maybe increased their insurance rates as well.) While the BLM, Antifa and race riots are the proximate causes of many of these actions against churches, they were made worse by government’s entertaining defunding the police and not responding to civil disturbance. It was, at least in part, the weakness of the churches in the face of COVID restrictions which created a vulnerable, easy to attack image, with brittle self-defense.

Push-back against “Precedent” also will shine a spotlight, diocese by diocese, to recognize which bishops are acting on behalf of their flocks, and which are not. But the action needs to be timely.


Hurry up please, it’s time!



Holy Goalie on morality of ‘lockdown’

September 26th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

In case someone doesn’t remember who the ‘Holy Goalie‘ is, it is Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, IL who wrote the book “Holy Goals for Body and Soul” with all the credibility of actually being a real life Hockey Goalie as well as prelate. It’s a great book for teenagers in particular, confirmation class worthy.

Apparently guarding the net is a mindset, as is protecting the Church and her teachings. Bp. Paprocki was out front on the abortion issue in a national election in 2012, after two weeks of activities in various dioceses on religious liberty.  His words and those of the Priests for Life made some waves, especially contrasted with years of  silence from the pulpit on such issues. I remember driving around with a quote on the tailgate over the good bishop’s name to the effect that voting for a candidate who supports abortion is a serious sin which can send souls to hell. I also remember some outrage for me and my friends from Festival for Freedom at the ‘vehicular bulletin board’ being parked (during Mass) in the church parking lot! And, at another church, the people handing out Priest for Life materials on the village sidewalk in front of the church were greeted with expletives by a diocesan priest! There is something about Bp. Paprocki’s directness, like slamming the puck away, that is compelling and made us stick our necks out.

Now, eight years later, such fearless statements are being made very widely and directly: “You can’t be Catholic and vote Democrat.” But in 2012, Bp. Paprocki was breaking new ground, shocking his fellow prelates by speaking the absolute truth. Why mention this now (besides the obvious connection to election season?) Because, when the Holy Goalie speaks, it is worth listening. And Bp. Paprocki has just written an essay for the September issue of Ethics & Medics, distinguishing between extraordinary means to save life and ordinary ones, and its application to a lockdown in a pandemic. Here are some excerpts from a LifeSiteNews recap, in which Bp. Paprocki argues:

  • there is no moral obligation to shut down our society, require people to stay at home, put employees out of work, send businesses into bankruptcy, impair the food supply chain, and prevent worshippers from going to church.”
  • “While some people may voluntarily adopt [extraordinary] means, only ordinary means that are not unduly burdensome are morally required to preserve life, both on the part of individuals as well as society as a whole.” 
  • Bp. Paprocki applies the moral principles commonly used in clinical decision-making to society as a whole. He wrote:  “while we recognize that our human life is one of our greatest gifts, it is not a moral absolute and in fact is secondary to the eternal life of our immortal soul.” While life needs to be treated “with respect and reverence,” there are higher goods, as can be seen in “things like martyrdom, or attempting to save the life of another.”

Bp. Paprocki wrote that “the US Supreme Court got it wrong” when it ruled that Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom could enforce the order “that discriminated against houses of worship in placing numerical restrictions on public gatherings.” He explicitly contrasted the pro-abortion platform of the Democratic Party and its candidate for president with the pro-life platform of the Republican Party and President Donald Trump.

I especially value that Bp. Paprocki is not afraid to cross diocesan lines and state lines (see comment above on Newsom) to witness to the Faith. If more bishops were willing to do that, there might be some accountability of one bishop to another. Instead they often seem blind to key events affecting the flock if it is not in their dioceses, or under the USCCB purview of another bishop on the subject.


When is a priest not a priest? When he isn’t baptized!

September 23rd, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

In the last month, two prominent cases were brought to light in which a man, who became a ‘priest,’ had not even been baptized. Thus, without baptism, neither of those individuals had received any of the other sacraments validly, including ordination.

The very real pain for them is exacerbated by all the individuals who received ‘sacraments’ at their hands, for those sacraments too are invalid (except Baptism, if done properly). Penance, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Anointing of the sick or dying, marriage and ordination to both the diaconate and priesthood, are all invalid when received from a ‘priest’ who is not baptized. One priest expressed his own grief that he had given the Last Rites to his grandmother, invalidly. 

For more details of the reasons and conclusions in these young men’s cases, see the two links:


The recent problem

What is more important, it would seem, is to realize it is highly unlikely that these are the only two men who have had this experience, and for the sake of the souls of others, for the sake of justice, the painful realization is essential to bring forward so that it can be corrected, as soon as possible. In one of the cases, the local diocese had explored the situation and decided that reconsecration to the priesthood was not necessary, only to find that the Vatican has a different opinion. There may be cases with a flawed assessment of the need for re-baptism, or of the obligation to receive the other sacraments leading to the priesthood.

Pope Benedict decided

I believe it was soon after Pope Benedict was elected that a situation was brought before him regarding changing part of the prayer said by the priest or deacon at baptism. The case I remember was clearly driven by feminist ego, nibbling around the edges of coveting the male priesthood. The words were different from the two cases mentioned above; it was basically a renunciation first of all of God’s presenting Himself as the male Father, and Jesus as male Son, and the Holy Spirit to whom the bible refers in the male gender. Hence, the revised words presented and being used I was told already, at that time in some Protestant churches, were: “I baptize you in the name of the Creator, the Savior, and the Sanctifier.” Absolutely not, ruled Pope Benedict, saying that any baptism using that formula was invalid and would have to be repeated. Speculations abounded at that time: “Suppose the boy became a priest?” and here we are today.

Reasons for problems

For the sake of souls, I hope anyone, especially priests, with the slightest doubt, will quietly launch an investigation and do whatever is needed, no matter how late it is, no matter how many years have gone by, no matter how great the personal cost. For they haven’t done anything wrong, just been victimized by the smoke of Satan entering the Church, unless guilty of keeping the secret. Before Vatican II, which may not be a clear cut-off, some priests who grew up as Protestants were ‘automatically’ baptized before priestly ordination, usually I think before entering the seminary. But some of the sloppy thinking toward ecumenism that arose post Vatican II can explain a lot of reason for errors. So too can militant feminism, and the desire to change words for the sake of ego. “We wrote our own vows” is one example, cherry-picking and splicing readings and ‘designing’ liturgies are others! The constant rewriting of scripture even within the Church (thinking about the papal changes recently in Italy to the Our Father and Gloria) sometimes happens in order to create more differentiation for the sake of a copyright.

Taking matters into one’s own hands

There is another issue which few people discuss but seems more common than once suspected. I have been told of several situations in which Catholics who want their grandchildren to be baptized take care of the matter with the babies at their own kitchen sink when the parents are away. When the correct words and formula are used, it seems to be a valid baptism which can’t be undone unless being against the parents’ will it might be seen as ‘forced’ against the child’s will. Where this has already been done, those involved should seek out a thoughtful priestly opinion.  While it is really an offense against the parents, the children will need to know at some point, maybe through a codicil in the grandparents’ will or a private letter in case they grow up and decide to become Catholic and unknowingly seek a second baptism at some point, and then realize they will have to confess all past sins, rather than have a baptismal cleansing.


How Joe Biden is “hoist by his own petard.”

September 21st, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

If anyone is unfamiliar with the expression in the title, it simply means to be caught in one’s own trap, and to be blown up in that trap. How is Biden ‘caught’ in a trap? Well, technically, he has just played into the claws of the evil one, who is a very clever architect of the demise of souls. Joe Biden, in his efforts to be seen as a ‘good Catholic,’ cloaked in campaign rhetoric, even solicits testimony and personal witness from others who are likewise deformed in their Faith. Such falsehood enables Biden to promote serious sins against souls, sins such as abortion, same-sex activism, and receiving Holy Communion unworthily, and so much more. He argues for being accepted as a Faithful Catholic just by saying empty words, and in so doing shows that he knows exactly what is necessary to be and do in order to be ultimately judged Catholic, and what is not. He knows; he now cannot not know. It is a particularly sturdy trap because he’s built it himself, for himself. He can no longer plead ignorance as an excuse because he knows, very clearly, what he is and is not. His own words convict him and the churchmen and leaders who support him. Yes, he can ask for mercy. But he should also remember that God is a just judge and, in leading souls astray, one pays a price that  is all the greater. 


When the Flock isn’t fed, it starves …

September 21st, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

When I wrote “Feeling Angry and Betrayed” back in early August, I said that 75 days without the Eucharist was “starving,” and so it was. Some folks might have felt that in a world where human beings are sadly dying every day, from lack of food or from contaminated water, my words were inappropriate, lacking in sensitivity, or melodramatic.  I disagree, and I hope in this post to explain why, and to propose principles to limit such an offense against souls in the future.

Is it worse to starve souls than to starve bodies?

Yes, I would say so. Consider Matthew 10:28 “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” What does starving from lack of our “soul-food” actually mean? Likely it is different for each person, regarding his or her own spiritual practices before and during withholding the Holy Eucharist, the resources one has available, the length of time involved, the spiritual activities, if any, which one tries to substitute, the support or harassment one receives, and the trauma associated with the reason for a lock-down, such as riots, plague, war etc. Some effects may be more temporary, others more enduring. Because it is the Church herself, administering both the rules and the pain through her bishops and priests, even if at the behest of civil government, it would not be surprising to have pastoral relationships damaged, burdening attempts to return to ‘normalcy’ in spiritual practice. It would not be surprising to have permanent soul-damage done through long term denial of the Holy Eucharist at the hands of the most trusted.

What is meant by “long term?”

Certainly the 75 days and longer, without any end announced or anticipated during the COVID-19 lock-down, is long term. Consider that God Himself uses 40 days as an expiatory period or a testing period, for the rain in the flood, for the exploration of the promised land by a delegate from each tribe, for Christ’s 40 day fast in the desert, for Lenten fasts and practice. Forty years of wandering in the desert tracks similar “40” imagery. In beatings and whippings, the number of lashes was not supposed to exceed 40, and just to be sure there was no error in counting, the limit was often set at 39 as a mercy (Christ may have received more due to the leaders hatred of Him, and their judgment of blasphemy.) St. Paul makes this ‘mercy of 39’ clear in 2 Corinthians 11:24 when he describes physical abuse by the Jewish leaders:  “Of the Jews five times I have received at the hands of the Jews forty lashes less one.”

Is it a sin to deny Communion to someone who would otherwise be permitted?

It is just a matter of my opinion, and looking forward to some discussion, but I believe it is wrong to be deprived of the Holy Body and Blood of Christ, at the hands of her presbyters, which exceeds Christ’s own fasting from bread; i.e. forty days. It seems more appropriate to make 39 days the absolute limit without receiving relief, significant relief, and not a mere token day or two. The figure of 75 days is grossly excessive and damaging compared to key scriptural events, and I would advocate that the Church should explicitly have a rule for the protection of her flock that a Church-imposed Eucharistic deprivation on a community may not exceed 39 days in any one, or even more, liturgical years.

Why is this so important to declare now, before the next lock-down? Read the rest of this entry »


Cardinal Sarah demands return to the Eucharist

September 15th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

September 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — “In a letter entitled Let us return to the Eucharist with joy!,’ addressed to the presidents of bishops’ conferences around the world, the head of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Cardinal Robert Sarah, spoke of the need to return to normalcy and asserted that virtual Masses are no substitute for being physically present at the liturgy.” 

“As soon as is possible,” LifeSiteNews recounts Cardinal Sarah writing in his letter, “we must return to the Eucharist with a purified heart, with a renewed amazement, with an increased desire to meet the Lord, to be with Him, to receive Him and to bring Him to our brothers and sisters with the witness of a life full of faith, love, and hope.”

“Broadcasts alone risk distancing us from a personal and intimate encounter with the incarnate God who gave Himself   to us not in a virtual way, but really, saying: ‘He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me and I in him’ (Jn 6:56),” said Sarah, declaring, “This physical contact with the Lord is vital, indispensable, irreplaceable.” (Red letter emphasis on Cardinal Sarah’s words is added below.)

“The faithful should be recognized as having the right to receive the Body of Christ and to worship the Lord present in the Eucharist in the manner provided for, without limitations that go even beyond what is provided for by the norms of hygiene issued by public authorities or Bishops,” said Sarah. 

“In the Eucharistic celebration the faithful adore the Risen Jesus present; and we see with what ease the sense of adoration, the prayer of adoration, is lost,” noted Sarah to the bishops. “In their catechesis we ask Pastors to insist on the necessity of adoration.” 

Cardinal Sarah lists 6 reasons why we cannot and certainly no longer should do without what has been lost. And we might at least ask ourselves if that list is complete, and might even venture to say that it is not by any means a complete list. The point at which nurturing hunger for the Eucharist hangs by the thread of desire to view video may have long since passed into one more stage setting, where the reality of Presence becomes more and more difficult to discern. It is worth more deeply understanding why some priests deliberately delayed (and still are delaying) a complete return to the fullness of pre-pandemic liturgies and why some Catholics can more and more easily talk themselves into not being ‘ready’ to return. Both priests and people have suffered from the continued distancing into the  masked image of unreality, doing far more persistent damage to their communities than was done by the COVID-19.

After presenting Cardinal Sarah’s 6 points, LifeSiteNews returns to the Cardinal’s words: “… Let us … continue to entrust ourselves confidently to God’s mercy, to invoke the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary… to  persevere in prayer for those who have left this life, and … renew our intention to be witnesses of the Risen One and heralds of a sure hope, which transcends the limits of this world.”

Cardinal Sarah’s letter was written on August 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary; approved by Pope Francis on September 3; and published in Italian on September 12, 2020. The English translation was provided by the Catholic News Agency (CNA), which is carrying its full translation.

Related story re Abp. Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee: