Monday, December 31, 2007

The Manger in St Peter's Square

This year the manger on St. Peter's Square shows the house of Nazareth. But the magi go to Bethlehem. Will they find the newborn child?

Thank you to Gloria.TV

2007, the Year that Brought the Headline


and the news
The day of liberation of the Latin Mass is at hand

Cannot have been a bad year.

Thanks be to God and Happy New Year to all Cathcon readers.

Te Deum laudamus: te Dominum confitemur.
Te aeternum Patrem omnis terra veneratur.
Tibi omnes Angeli; tibi caeli et universae Potestates;
Tibi Cherubim et Seraphim incessabili voce proclamant:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt caeli et terra maiestatis gloriae tuae.
Te gloriosus Apostolorum chorus,
Te Prophetarum laudabilis numerus,
Te Martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus.
Te per orbem terrarum sancta confitetur Ecclesia,
Patrem immensae maiestatis:
Venerandum tuum verum et unicum Filium;
Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum.
Tu Rex gloriae, Christe.
Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius.
Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem, non horruisti Virginis uterum.
Tu, devicto mortis aculeo, aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum.
Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes, in gloria Patris.
Iudex crederis esse venturus.
Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni: quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.
Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis in gloria numerari.

V. Salvum fac populum tuum, Domine, et benedic hereditati tuae.
R. Et rege eos, et extolle illos usque in aeternum.

V. Per singulos dies benedicimus te.
R. Et laudamus nomen tuum in saeculum, et in saeculum saeculi.

V. Dignare, Domine, die isto sine peccato nos custodire.
R. Miserere nostri, Domine, miserere nostri.

V. Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos, quemadmodum speravimus in te.
R. In te, Domine, speravi: non confundar in aeternum.

Feast of St. Sylvester I


son of a Roman soldier named Rufinus and a woman possibly named Justa. He was Pontiff during the time of Constantine the Great who granted greater freedom to Christians, and during his reign, many of Rome's great churches were founded. Though he is often depicted in art as baptizing Constantine, this is metaphorical as Constantine was actually baptized on his death bed. Pope St. Sylvester is buried in the church he built over the Priscilla Catacombs.

Muslim consecrated to God

A sensation from the

Italy. An Algerian Muslim has formally entered the Focolare Movement as a Muslim, Radio Vatican reports. On Saturday, he took perpetual vows in the Focolare Movement's centre in Castel Gandolfo near Rome with 39 other men. The Muslim council took the evangelical vows of poverty, chastity and obedience with a revised formula. In Algeria, the Focolare Movement according to its own figures are 95 percent Muslim. Those involved with the Focolare Movement take a decase to prepare for perpetual vows.

Cathcon advice- have nothing to do with these new movements, you never know which God you might end up praying to.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Pray for the repose of their souls

21 katholische Geistliche wurden 2007 ermordet from Die Presse

21 Catholic priests and nuns died a violent deathin 2007. Especially in Iraq, the situation of Christians since the US invasion in 2003 has dramatically deteriorated. As the Vatican missionary press service, Fides reported, in Iraq Ragheed Ganni, a priest and three deacons were killed in Mosul in June outside their church. Dozens of churches were burned.

Cardinal Insensitivity

Catholic leader claims Poles could split Church

The Cardinal clearly understands nothing of Polish history. The Church is the identity of Poland, which endured three long partitions at the hands of the Germans, Russians and Austrians.

Even if the Cardinal could provide the whole social and support network of their communities, the Poles would still stick together. The Poles take one look into the parish churches of England and see a rather desicated, cautious spirituality engendered by the leadership of the English Catholics, post-Heenan. I attended Polish Mass two weeks ago in the Church of La Chapelle in Brussels. By the time the doors opened for Mass, half-an-hour before, there were a hundred people waiting for Mass. Many rushed and knelt on the bare stone floor before the image of Our Lady of Czestochowa. Other formed a queue for confessional- probably about 250 people by the beginning of Mass. All knelt on the same floor for the consecration.

The Polish will be the leaven for the Catholic community in England through marriage with non-Poles, but this is not in the gift of the Cardinal, anymore than he can dictate to journalists (see below).

Despite his name, I think I am right in saying that the Cardinal claims to be English!

He retires shortly and the Polish community will easily survive these insensitive statements, as they have survived so much worse in the past.

Sto lat, sto lat,
Niech żyje, żyje nam.
Sto lat, sto lat,
Niech żyje, żyje nam,
Jeszcze raz, jeszcze raz, niech żyje, żyje nam,
Niech żyje nam!
This translates roughly into English as:

A hundred years, a hundred years,
May he (she) live for us.
A hundred years, a hundred years,
May he live for us.
Once again, once again, may he live, live for us,
May he live for us!

Or to adapt the Jewish prayer for the Czar from Fiddler on the Roof.

God bless the Cardinal, may he live into ripe old age, and keep him a long way away from us.

The Cardinal is only reflecting the hostility of many American bishops to the national churches, which there has led to many of their churches being first on the list for closure.

This week cannot be described as the most magnificent in the Cardinal's career.

Hopefully, he likes German Catholics more than he likes the Poles. Poles who have more fidelity to the Pope than he has ever displayed.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Who will be the new general of the Jesuits?


This significant election takes place on January 5. Is the only fight left in the Jesuits to oppose the will of the Pope, or will they also take notice of the changed ecclesiastical realities?

A report from the well-informed and altogether excellent – Wer wird der neue General der Jesuiten?

Cathcon translation.

When the last Jesuit General was elected, John Paul II found himself in a helicopter above Austria. The papal reaction after announcement of the election results is still relevant today.

The current general of the Jesuits, Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach (79), is on the point of resigning his office.

On the 5th January, the 35th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus will meet in Rome in order to choose his successor, and make other important decisions.

Father Kolvenbach - a Dutchman with Italian mother – has been since 13 September 1983 in his office. Previously, he had spent many years of his life as a professor in Lebanon.

His resignation is considered exceptional. Basically, the General of the Jesuits is elected for life.

But after one of the longest periods of office in the history of the Jesuit order, the current general appears to be tired by the office.

His predecessor was the controversial Father Pedro Arrupe. When in 1981, he suffered a stroke and resigned, the election as successor of a died in the wool liberal was threatened.

Thus Pope John Paul II stopped the election of a new general and continued instead to an acting leadership under the two Italian Jesuits, Father Paolo Dezza and Father Giuseppe Pittau.

The election of Father Kolvenbach adjusted this irregular situation.

The Jesuits have been in an unprecedented crisis since the Second Vatican Council.

In 1965, there were 36,000 Jesuits - many of youthful age. Today, the preponderantly elderly order has just over 20,000 members.

In view of the General Congregation, a preparatory commission addressed a series of working issues.

It can be considered a sort of governmental program for the future General.

Topics are mission, the Jesuit identity, the different leadership levels of the Society of Jesus, obedience and community life.

The 225 delegates - five of which are Jesuit brothers –will also discuss church renewal, youth, refugees, laity and the priestly training.

For the election of the new general, there is no official list of candidates.

As a possible successor, the Italian news agency 'Apcom' suggested the Provincial of the Australian Jesuits, Father Mark Raper (left)

Another candidate is Father Orlando Torres, the General Council of the Jesuits responsible for formation, or the ex-provincial of Colombia and Argentina, Father Alvaro Restrepo.

Even the head of the Vatican press office, Father Federico Lombardi, is apparently under discussion.

But the race seems to be quite open. The election of Father Kolvenbach surprised many at the time.

At the moment of the counting of votes Pope John Paul II was in a helicopter above Austria.

The Jesuit Curia could reach the Holy Father, finally, by radio. The Pope responded by surprise.

He had never heard before of the name of the newly elected general.
Jesuits all, in Germany!

Scandalous attack on press freedom

Cardinal wants to curb journalist

Nihil obstats are available for any journalist at teatime at Archbishop's House. A nihil obstat need not be applied for if their story consists of a reproduction verbatim of the press release of the Catholic Communications Network. Each press release will be accompanied by interpretation guidelines.

Editors will be advised of imprimators at 22.00 each day.

The Second Vatican Council is concerned that the media does not offend public morality or block social progress. What is Damien's offence- to tell the truth?


that Ireland should return to the Faith


That Portugal should not loose the Faith.

Bertone: Instruction to correct "wrong positions" on the motu proprio

"From an interview granted by Cardinal Bertone, Secretary of State, to the largest Italian Catholic weekly, Famiglia Cristiana"

Vatican's No. 2

says he hopes to meet Raul Castro in 2008 visit to Cuba :

"The trip by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Holy See's secretary of state, will be the highest level visit by a Vatican official to Cuba during Pope Benedict XVI's tenure. It will mark the 10th anniversary of the historic pilgrimage there by the late Pope John Paul II."

If interculturation means


paganism by any other name, you can keep it.

Hat tip

Our children deserve better


The set up for an open-air Liturgy of the Word, presided over by a female pastoral assistant in the Archdiocese of Mainz, Cardinal Lehmann's sheepfold!

Little demand?

From the ever-wonderful

"The Christmas Mass in most Catholic parishes was celebrated as usual in German and in the familiar rite. At least that is the information the press spokesmen for the archdiocese Freiburg, Thomas Maier, and the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, Thomas Broch. In both areas, no community is known which invited the faithful to a Midnight Mass in Latin, although since September this is possible without the consent of the bishop."

They omit to refer to the tower inferno of wrath that would have awaited any parish priest who had used the extraordinary form for Midnight Mass.

Rome or Rottenburg?

A minor revolution in Rottenburg, described in a German news report, translated by Cathcon.

Around 180 Catholic theologians in Germany who support reform have called for a serious ecumenical dialogue with the Protestant Church. In a statement released on Thursday, the Rottenburg Working Group criticized the understanding in the Vatican document of last July that the ecclesiastical communities which emerged after the Reformation are "not churches in the proper sense" means.

"As priests, who serve unity and the building up of the community, we cannot be silent about this announcement and its effect ", says the working group, largely composed of priests of the Catholic Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart. Inter-confessional marriages, ecumenical church services and the cooperation of ecclesiastical communities prevent us from denying that "the ecumenical partners are Churches and classifying them using insensitive and insolent language."

Cardinal becomes Methodist elder

as he presides over Methodist event

So maybe the Cardinal saw a Methodist Communion and could not tell the difference from a modern Catholic Eucharist. I hasten to add there was no communion service on the actual day.

Two Methodists producing a parody of the Catholic Mass in America. Without a belief in the Real Presence, bread worship really.

But how is he going to deal with their women bishops? Bit of ecumenical shoving of problems under the carpet.

My grandfather was a Methodist elder!. The day after he intoned in the pulpit, "If Jesus Christ came to Chesterfield today, he would not be seen dead in this church but would be in Chesterfield Parish Church, he was sacked. Chesterfield Parish Church was a local Anglo-Catholic stronghold, where later my mother, who defected from the Congregationalists at the age of 13, would be an enthusiastic congregant.

My grandfather did not go to church for the rest of his life, but was a sworn opponent of every Archbishop of Canterbury. He was visited by an Anglican vicar, (from a church dependent on the Parish Church) who was a governor of St Stephen's House, my brother's theological college a few weeks before he died. This was a result of a conversation between my brother and this vicar. But we were fearing a bad reaction from this visit.

Far from it. As much as an Anglican can offer peace, my grandfather died at peace.

Why then can my grandfather recognise, what Cardinal Kasper cannot?

Deputy Internal Security Minister of Malaysia

bans Catholics from using the word “Allah” to mean God. Jesuit protests!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Highway to Heaven Mass

No kidding-the Mass in Bad Kissingen was actually advertised as this.

As my informant points out, youth have a right to so much better from the Catholic Church.

Many thanks to all the wonderful people who have sent this and similar material in the course of the last year. Keep it coming- people need to know what is happening out there.

Urgent message from Singapore!

ease take note that the venue of the scheduled Masses in January 2008 has been changed from St. Joseph's to St. Patrick's School Chapel. Please inform all your friends asap!

In Christ,

German Catholic life after the War

High Mass in Munster.

The altar has long gone- as can be seen by taking the virtual tour.

What a symbol of the post-war age!

Christmas on the streets

after traditional Catholics in Amiens forced out of their chapel before Christmas by the local council.

German Catholic Life

Where have all the altar BOYS gone?

Our altar has sprung a leak
Junior Confraternity of Catholic Kimono Wearers.
Here defying rational explanation
Doing your own thing liturgics
The altar you have to bend down to.
What should we read today then?
Perpetual revolutionaries

All burnt up!

Feast of the Holy Innocents


No more lay preaching in Zurich


liberals start squealing about their loss of responsibilities.

Translation of news report.

Under criticism: Bishop Vitus Huonder.

Zurich. Those with responsibilities within the Catholic Church have criticized the plans of Bishop Vitus Huonder to ban lay theologians from preaching during the Eucharist. "An impoverishment and a burden for priests' was the viewpoint of Deacon Franz Xaver Herger, Director of the Zurich General Vicariate.

Benno Schnüriger, the new president of the Zurich Central Commission, wants the Bishop to think again after he meets him for a discussion in January for thought. According to Herger, most parish administrators are retired priests. They should not have to preach in their old age, he said in the Regional Journal of Swiss Radio DRS. What many also are concerned about: lay theologians would lose an important task.

Christmas 2007


at the Shrine of Christ the Infant King

Thursday, December 27, 2007

To Protestants, the Cross

just one more offensive and embarrassing symbol of Christianity

To the greater glory of the organ


Which replaces the altar in the former university Church in Wuerzburg.

Never thought I would say this


Once Catholic Italy celebrates the birth of jazz.

Shame on them.

Cecilia Guerrieri Paleotti
Assistente alla direzione artistica

A personal parish (almost) in Germany


Cathcon translation of original German news report.

Rectorship for the "traditional ritual" in Eichstaett
22nd 12nd 2007

The Bishop of Eichstaett, Dr. Gregor Maria Hanke OSB, has given believers a special Christmas gift of celebrating Holy Mass in the extraordinary form of the Roman rite and created "opportunities in each parish leading to a stable additional provision". Dr. Alexander Pytlik who has to date had the responsibility for the celebration of the extraordinary form of the Latin liturgy in the town of Eichstaett is confirmed in this function and simultaneously has been appointed church rector of the former Dominican church of St. Peter. There are also provisions for all the sacraments and blessings in the "old rite".

More information about this framework, which is as close as possible to a personal parish that a parish can be given the restrictive German "Guidelines" are to be found on the website of the Diocese and the "Internet parish" of Alexander Pytlik. The new rector particularly stressed, "it would be a gross misunderstanding to think that all associated with the extraordinary form of the Roman rite or more so, all Latin, can be banished into personal parishes or deported there. The rights of the believers in their own territorial parishes remain unaffected, although the realities of life often set limits ".

SS Progressive Titanic

as the second age of liturgical reform beckons. I don't count what happened prior and post- the Council as reform, rather deform.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Big Umbrella Mass


Who needs a Church when you have a big umbrella in the shade of a local pub?

German Bishops caught napping at Christmas

from the ever excellent , a report on the low standard of German episcopal preaching.

Everyone asleep-Alles schläft (a play on the opening of the lyrics of Silent Night in the German version)

A deranged Christmas. Every year, the German bishops preach at Christmas before full cathedrals. With their banalities, they would even send the Virgin Mary and St Joseph to sleep. A commentary.

It is the Holy Night. While the angels rejoice at the birth of the Son of God, the churchgoers in the cathedrals of the contemporary ecclesiastical and spiritual decline do not hear much about the Christmas mystery.

Instead, on the way to Bethlehem, they are led by the bishops on the rocky path of senseless superficialities. The star of the Magi is obscured. Daily politics dictate the issues.

The Christmas sermons of the German pastors were even emptier than expected.

In the best case, there were the usual superficial phrases about the love of God.

The conservative Bishop Gregory Maria Hanke of Eichstaett suggested Christmas was "an invitation for us to collaborate with God."

The conservative Archbishop of Bamberg Ludwig Schick said that Christmas should not be allowed "to become just like commodities" -as if this has not been the case for decades.

Even the Bishop of Limburg, Msgr. Gerhard Pieschl, complained about long term "materialism", but here something else was added.

He spoke of lighting lamps, "to awaken the world from sleep, to dispel the darkness of the night, that is threatening to sink into an ever more hectic whirl of the material."

The fact that a reason for the hectic whirl of the material is that the church no longer has anything significant to say from the mouths of their chief pastors of the clergy, was not the viewpoint of the bishop.

Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabrück warned his believers, residents of the richest country in the world, as the pastors have done for decades without anything changing of a " widening gap between the rich and the poor".

He asked his Faithful, as they were focused on Christmas, to be active opponents of climate change – perhaps by symbolically reducing Christmas lighting?

Bishop Gerhard Feige of Magdeburg stated that there was "much filth in paradise." He revealed to his Faithful that excessive demands, economic pressures, technical possibilities and the desire to have always more for oneself was having a disastrous effect on the ecological equilibrium of the earth.

The solution to these problems? In Jesus of Nazareth, "the tortured and abused creation finds a new hope". It's as simple as that!

Bishop Heinrich Mussinghoff from Aachen devoted his sermon to two Africans who suffocated when they were smuggled in the undercarriage of an Airbus into Europe:

"No place for Africans. And if they enter, they are chased through the streets and pushed to death "- Msgr. Mussinghoff dramatically stated and doubtless moved his happy Christmas congregation to tears. (Cathcon note: heard this Bishop say once in a sermon, “God is not Catholic”.)

Several conservative bishops were still close to the field of Catholic moral teaching.

They defended the human rights of unborn life, old and sick people.

Can we hope that German bishops in the distant future also respect the right to life of the Christian mystery?

Feast of St Stephen, Proto-Martyr


Damian Thompson: the Glorious Thrice 7th

The religious highlight of 2007

OK, you've seen it before but always worth it.

Silent Night

not Holy Night across Diocese

"That old man, crying for his loss one afternoon this fall, is weakened by it. So too are the rest of us.

Christmas, the season of new birth, has become for many Catholics in Western New York a time of mourning and distress, as the Diocese of Buffalo steadily executes a plan to close nearly half its 191 parishes within a year or two.

Did your family used to hear Midnight Mass at St. Agnes or Queen of Peace? What about SS. Rita and Patrick or Visitation?

Sorry — that’s not going to happen anymore. You’re out of luck, and so are people who love the dozens of churches throughout the region that closed this year or will be closing soon."

More pods than people come to this Church in Germany


Everything can be disassembled.

Keep going with the altar!

The PODS arrive during an alleged restoration of the Church

The winter chapel, complete with very alien image of Christ.

Which team is he supporting?

The Church or the world?

The Long Goodbye

comes Stateside in February.

Urbi et Orbi


Great news from France.

Fraternity of St Peter are given Church of St Bruno in Bordeaux.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Urbi et Orbi

German TV video of the Papal Blessing

BBC Coverage of Midnight Mass.

What a difference V

a year makes, as the Pope uses the Throne of Pope Leo XIII for the Christmas Message.

Compare last year.

Pope Benedict XV, now gloriously reigning in image as well as reality.

Encountering mystery

Benedict XVI resurrects the aesthetics of the Masse.

Stational Church of the Second Mass of Christmas


may have been where Christmas was first celebrated on December 25.

The Nativity of Our Lord

In the year five thousand one hundred and ninety-nine from the creation of the world,
when God in the beginning created heaven and earth;

In the year two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seven from the flood;

In the year two thousand and fifteen from the birthday of Abraham

In the year one thousand five hundred and ten from Moses

and the going forth of the people of Israel from Egypt; In the year one thousand and thirty-two from the anointing of David as king;

In the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel;

In the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;

In the year seven hundred and fifty-two from the founding of the city of Rome;

In the forty-second year of the rule of Octavian Augustus;

In the sixth age of the world, when the whole world was at peace: [here the voice is raised:]

Jesus Christ, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father, being pleased to hallow the world by His most gracious coming, having been conceived of the Holy Ghost, and nine months having passed since His conception, having become Man, was born at Bethlehem in Juda of the Virgin Mary.

[All prostrate themselves: at the signal of the superior, they arise.]

The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.

A totum duplex feast of the first class.

On the same day, the birthday of St. Anastasia. In the reign of Diocletian, she suffered harsh and cruel imprisonment at the hands of her husband Publius, during which she was greatly consoled and comforted by Chrysogonus, a confessor of Christ. Next, she was subjected to a long imprisonment by Florius, prefect of Illyria. At last, on the island of Palmaria, she was fastened to posts with her hands and feet stretched apart, and a fire was enkindled about her. Thus she completed her martyrdom. There had been deported to this island with her two hundred men and seventy women, who gained their martyrdom by being killed in various ways. A memory.
At Barcelona in Spain, the birthday of St. Peter Nolasco, confessor, and founder of the Order of our Lady of Ransom for the Redemption of Captives. He was noted for his virtues and miracles. His feast is celebrated on January 28.

At Rome, in the cemetery of Apronianus, St. Eugenia, virgin. She was the daughter of St. Philip the martyr. In the time of the Emperor Galhenus, she showed many signs and virtues and added holy choirs of virgins to Christ. She suffered for a long time under Nicetus, prefect of the city, and at last her throat was cut with a sword.
At Nicomedia, the sufferings of several thousand holy martyrs who on Christmas day were assembled at Mass. The Emperor Diocletian ordered the doors of the church to be shut and a fire to be prepared around the building. A tripod with incense was set before the door. Then a herald proclaimed that they who desired to escape the fire should come out and offer incense to Jupiter. When the Christians unanimously declared they would gladly die for the sake of Christ, the church was set on fire and they were burned alive.
Thus, they were held worthy to be born in Heaven on the very day on which Christ was pleased to be born on earth for the salvation of the world.