Friday, February 29, 2008

Warm up the baptismal pool again

CWN tells us that the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has weighed in on that radical-feminist-inspired variation in the baptismal rite that's so popular in some dioceses: "In the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier." (Instead of that horribly patriarchal, male-chauvinist "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit").

Not valid, says the CDF.

Were you "baptized" with that renegade formula, which Fr. Cool and Bishop Trendy insisted on? Then get baptized "again" -- because you weren't actually baptized the first time.

This is an amazing display of backbone on Rome's part. And it's all the more delicious because they've checkmated the opposition by going right back to the words of the Gospel of St. Matthew: Jesus himself, they point out, is the one who told us to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

The dissidents are always telling us how we ought to return to the practices of the early Church. Well, dissidents, it seems that a straightforward reading of Matthew tells us that "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" was the practice of the early Church, at least if you assume that the disciples did what Jesus told them. And since that formula was OK for two thousand years, it looks like they did. It was fine with every generation of Catholics until you and Gloria Steinem came along.

So warm up the jacuzzi again.

And this time use the right words.

It's the history, stupid

It was probably 20 years ago that I first encountered this statement by Pope Pius XI, on the masthead of The Wanderer:
No one can be at the same time a sincere Catholic and a true Socialist. (Quad. Anno, 1931)

It wasn't until I'd gotten a couple of chapters into the new book above that I really understood why Pius was so adamant about it. Every Catholic needs to know about the ugly depths where Progressivism -- the current fashionable name for American socialism -- came from, and why its claims are ultimately so hostile to Christianity. Because the confusion that Pius was trying to dispel 75 years ago is very much with us Catholics again in this election season.

That "seamless garment" line we've been fed by Catholic libs for decades? Made of the same material as a certain emperor's new clothes.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Today at St. Thomas

Sung by the St. Ann Choir at the noon Mass today at St. Thomas Aquinas:

Palestrina, Commissa mea pavesco
Victoria, Domine, non sum dignus
Lassus, Aude benigne conditor

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Window: Jesus with Martha and Mary

From the chapel at Sacred Heart School, Menlo Park, CA

Even better Sundays at St. Thomas

Sung on the past two Sundays at the noon Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas:

Lassus, Miserere mei
Hassler, Christe, qui lux es et dies
Morales, Inter vestibulum et altare
Lassus, Ne reminiscaris
Lassus, Audi benigne conditor
des Prez, Tu solus qui facis mirabilia
Palestrina, Domine quando veneris
Lassus, Domine, convertere

I'm also delighted to note that our noon Mass is now a full Latin Novus Ordo, with the vernacular only where it is supposed to occur in that rite. I can hardly believe, sometimes, that this is happening in my otherwise felt-banner, immersion-baptism, gather-us-in Palo Alto. When I ask myself how this could have come to be, at last, I'm inclined to think that it must be God's reward to us who are blessed to be here now for the faithful way in which a dedicated few maintained the beauty of Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony here for the past four decades.

I came very late to this vineyard, but I'm really grateful to take my denarius with the rest.

Quid pro quo

The Catholic faithful are basically still willing to be the sheep of the fold, but they think it's reasonable to expect that their shepherds won't fleece them and then turn them over to the wolves.

Homily holiday?

The always-worthwhile Diogenes has once again delighted, this time by demolishing some recent homiletic nonsense by the (let's face it: apostate ) Fr. Andrew Greeley. According to Greeley, the Transfiguration didn't really happen the way the Gospel says, but was instead a "narrative" (a word ripe for the proscription list) developed later by early Christians to dress up an otherwise mundane moment of self-realization in Jesus' life. Judging from some of the comments, homilies like Greeley's are not uncommon.

So I have a proposal: ban homilies in American churches for ten years. Instead, the priest may, if he wishes, read an excerpt from a papal encyclical, speech, article, or book, without comment.

Then, during those ten years, priests and bishops would have their record of homilies vetted by Rome, and permission to preach would be re-granted by license only after proof of orthodoxy had been established.

I'd miss the fine sermons of the Franciscan who celebrates the noon Mass at St. Thomas (though under my program, he'd be one of the first to come back "on the air"), but I'm willing to make the sacrifice so that in other churches, our Faith will stop being trashed by dissidents like Greeley.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Last Sunday at St. Thomas

Sung by the St. Ann Choir at St. Thomas Aquinas last Sunday:

Pablo Guerrero, Domine meus
Victoria, Senex puerum portabat