Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

We commemorate the Lord's birth today to prepare ourselves for His Second Coming!

A Blessed Christmas to everyone!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Announcement: St. Jerome Emiliani Christmas Midnight Mass

The St. Jerome Emiliani and Sta. Susanna Parish will be celebrating a Traditional Latin Missa Cantata Christmas Midnight Mass on December 24, 2009 at 11pm. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be celebrated by the parish priest, Father Grato Germanetto, C.R.S. He will be assisted by the altar servers and Van De Steen choir of the Societas Liturgiae Sacrae Sancti Gregorii. The church is located along Zapote Road, Alabang Town Center, Muntilupa City.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Year of Priests - Clergy Conference 2009

Clergy Conference: January 4 to January 8, 2010

From the website:

The programme includes the daily celebration of Holy Mass in the great basilicas, and on some days Vespers and Benediction. Our celebrants will include: His Eminence, Antonio Cardinal Canizares, His Eminence, James Cardinal Stafford, and His Excellency Archbishop Raymond Burke. We hope to be at the Holy Father's Mass on the Solemnity of the Epiphany.

As part of the programme, on January 7 at 5pm, his Eminence, Antonio Cardinal Canizares, will celebrate a Solemn Pontifical High Mass according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite at the Lateran.

Deo Gratias!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Prayers and Volunteers Needed

Prayers are needed for those who have perished in the flood. Prayers are needed as well for those who have survived the ordeal but have lost their loved ones.

Volunteers are also needed to help distribute relief goods and to help rescue those who are still trapped in flooded areas.

Here is a short video on how damaging the flood was.

R.I.P. Mrs. Lourdes Caringal Valencia

Prayers for the repose of the soul of Mrs. Lourdes Caringal Valencia, mother of Kyle, a fellow apologist, TLM devotee and altar server.

Requiem aeternam in nomine Domine.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Emergency Hotlines for Typhoon Ondoy

[Updated 09-27-09 0654hrs]

From NDCC, 42 are confirmed dead and 20 others are missing as the Typhoon Ondoy unleashed his fury over the island of Luzon Saturday. Close to 280,000 families were affected mostly coming from the provinces of Metro Manila, Rizal, Laguna, Batangas and Quezon. Rescue teams are being assembled to rescue people who are stranded on their rooftops.

[Original Post]

Most of Manila are flooded due to a heavy downpour this morning, the worst since the 1960's, lashed by Typhoon Ondoy (International codename Ketsana). Please pray as 42 are already feared dead or missing and more than 1,800 families from different areas in Metro Manila have been affected by this tragic event. A state of calamity has been declared to Metro Manila including 23 provinces.

For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV

Here is a compilation of contact numbers from Hearty's Heaven.

* Red Cross

Please send full address of stranded friends/family to Senator Dick Gordon
Landline: 143

Mobile Phone Load Donations: The Red Cross Rescue & Relief Operations.
Send RED to 2899 (Globe) & 4483 (Smart)

* Metro Manila Development Authority

Landline: 136

* Coast Guard


* For Rubber Boat Requests: NCRPO


* ABS-CBN Typhoon Ondoy Hotline


* National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC)

Emergency Numbers:

Help Hotlines:

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Care of Supreme Pontiffs: Stability of Roman Liturgy as God's Gift

By the late Msgr. Moises Andrade, Jr. H.P., at the University of Santo Tomas last January 7, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI offered his care for the Roman Liturgy in his motu proprio letter of July 7, 2007. Here, he conveyed his support for the maintenance of sacredness, reverence for God's presence, and the participant's awareness of sinfulness during the celebration of the Roman Liturgy.

1. Awareness of Sinfulness.

Keeping the hands joined, kneeled and bowing low in prayer, and the striking of the breast are bodily gestures expressing fidelity to God's gift of Sacred Liturgy. They are occuring in various moments of the Holy Mass primarily. They instill to every officiating priest and all participants in Sacred Liturgy the readiness to welcome God's gift of forgiveness and remission of sins.

2. Reverence for God's Presence.

The Divine Presence in the Word of God and in the Mystery of the Eucharist are experienced in the epistles and gospels of a one year cycle of the 1570 Roman Missal and in the Roman Canon, conveniently articulated by the rubrics, when faithfully implemented. Rather than require the ability of so many trained ministers, servers, singers and other assistants, the availability of at least one ordained priest and his acolyte always makes accessible the sacraments in their solemn prayerfulness.

3. Maintenance of Sacredness

Focus on the salvific grace of Christ's holy cross through ritual gestures and its sacred image at the central place at the altar will yield the harvest of piety and clear signal of the role of the priest - not so much as presider, but as a servant to facilitate the encounter of the living God with the praying people including the priest as well.


The awareness of the Roman Liturgy's sacredness, reverence of God's presence, and the consciousness of human sinfulness yet graced by God's self-giving are constantly transmitted through the various historical periods of the Church's liturgy and are especially expected through the exposure of the faithful to the ritual celebration elaborated extraordinarily in the 1962 Roman Missal (the 7th retouching of the 1570 mass book) and ordinarily, in the 1970 Roman Missal (the 8th retouching of tthe roman liturgical text).

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Know The Truth Seminar

Here is the tentative schedule for Defensores Fidei 2009 Apologetics Course:

September 26 Church – Atty Marwil Llasos
October 3 Holy Bible – Chief de Vera
October 10 Papacy – Iboy Pinga
October 17 Sacraments 1 – Digoy Fernandez
October 24 Sacred Tradition/Magisterium – Dr. Dicky Boncan
October 31 Sacraments II – Fr. Abe Arganiosa, CRS (All Saints Day weekend!)
November 7 Church History – Chief de Vera
November 14 Mariology – Atty Marwil Llasos
November 21 Christology and Holy Trinity – Fr. Cayo Estrada
November 28 Sola Fidei/Sola Scriptura – Chief de Vera
December 5 Local Sects – Atty Marwil Llasos
December 12 ‘Bible Christians’ – Foreign Sects – Chief de Vera
December 19 Graduation and Christmas Party


Training Room of Amici Greenhills
3rd Floor Missouri Square Bldg
Connecticut corner Missouri Streets
Northeast Greenhills
Please call Lerma at 723-4326 for updates

Anti-Life Catholic Politicians

Proponents of the RH Bill, like Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros, argue that the RH Bill is "pro-life" because the bill aims to save the lives of mothers and children through adequate healthcare methods.

You are Pro Life at the expense of the helpless unborn? Who are you kidding Rep. Hontiveros?

Senator Benigno Cojuangco Aquino III, on the other hand, should make a stand for life, specially that of the unborn, and uphold orthodox Catholic moral teaching.

The Pope speaking to the newly ordained bishops reminds the heirarchy and us laity as well:

"The fidelity of the servant of Jesus Christ also consists precisely in the fact that he does not seek to adjust the faith to the fashions of the time."

Go figure catholic politicians and clergy who have taken an anti-life stance.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Nativity of Mary

Happy Birthday Mama Mary!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Request for Prayers: Manny Arejola RIP

Received from an email:

Dear Friends,

One of Pro-Life apologists, Manny Arejola passed away this morning. Wake is at Don Bosco Makati.

As a sign of camaraderie, please extend your financial assistance to Manny's family. They are not well off. They need our help. This is the time to do good works!

For our USA/Canada friends, please extend your help. Your $20-100 can go a long way.

If you can go to Don Bosco Makati and pay your last respect to our dear friend, please do so. If logistics is a problem, please ... call (632) 723-4326 and look for Lerma at Totus Bookstore for details.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Reform of the Reform has begun

Translation From Rorate-Caeli, comments and emphasis are mine:

ROME The document was delivered to the hands of Benedict XVI in the morning of last April 4 by Spanish Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. It is the result of a reserved vote, which took place on March 12, in the course of a "plenary" session of the dicastery responsible for the liturgy, and it represents the first concrete step towards that "reform of the reform" often desired by Pope Ratzinger. The Cardinals and Bishops members of the Congregation voted almost unanimously in favor of a greater sacrality of the rite, of the recovery of the sense of eucharistic worship, of the recovery of the Latin language in the celebration, and of the remaking of the introductory parts of the Missal in order to put a stop to abuses, wild experimentations, and inappropriate creativity (These abuses are always justified for pastoral concerns but as a priest friend said, these are not pastoral concerns but concerns of the pastor! Abuses due to the false sense and interpretation of "active participation." MANY Eucharistic celebration has become nothing more than a "worldy", secular celebration devoid of the sense of the sacred. For starters, just say the black and do the red.). They have also declared themselves favorable to reaffirm that the usual way of receiving Communion according to the norms is not on the hand, but in the mouth. (The norm has NEVER been communion by the hand even in the ordinary form.) There is, it is true, and indult which, on request of the [local] episcopates, allows for the distribution of the host [sic] also on the palm of the hand, but this must remain an extraordinary fact. The "Liturgy Minister" of Pope Ratzinger, Cañizares, is also having studies made on the possibility to recover the orientation towards the Orient of the celebrant, at least at the moment of the eucharistic consecration, as it happened in practice before the reform, when both the faithful and the priest faced towards the Cross and the priest therefore turned his back to the assembly. (Another totally forgotten norm. Priests and faithful today are confused as to what is THE center of the celebration. Many of the abuses and wild experimentation began when the priest faced the people as it created a void as to WHO should be the focus of attention. Many priests as they face the people eye to eye try to fill this void by injecting their personality in the Holy Sacrifice, becoming performers, talk show hosts rather than sacred ministers, again all in the name of "pastoral concerns" and "active participation." Who is the center? One should immediately recall the words of sacred scripture "...for whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes." As we proclaim the Lord's death on the cross it is imperative that the crucifix should be the center, the focus of the celebration, to remind us that the sacred action unfolding at Mass is a SACRIFICE, the sacrifice and death of our Lord on the cross. Furthermore, the priest facing the people, especially during the Eucharistic Prayer leaves a bad impression that the priest and the faithful are praying to each other. In the Eucharistic Prayer, the priest is not conversing to the people, but it is a prayer to God, it is directed towards God, therefore it is necessary that the priest face God instead of the people to highlight this principle. In the past, liturgy and theology are solidly fused and never separated...Lex Orandi Lex Credendi.)

Those who know Cardinal Cañizares, nicknamed "the small Ratzinger" before his removal to Rome, know that he is disposed to move forward decisively with the project, beginning in fact from what was established by the Second Vatican Council in the liturgical constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, which was, in reality, exceeded by the post-Conciliar reform which came into forceat the end of the Sixties. The porporato, interviewed by monthly 30Days in recent months, had declared regarding this: "At times change was for the mere sake of changing from a past perceived as negative and outdated. (What was sacred then is sacred now! Many in the Philippines think the same way due to the strong influence of liturgists in favor of everything that is new: creative, inculturated and a false sense of "active participation.") Sometimes the reform was regarded as a break and not as an organic development of Tradition."

For this reason, the "propositiones" voted by the Cardinals and Bishops at the March plenary foresee a return to the sense of sacredness and to adoration, but also a recovery of the celebrations in Latin in the dioceses, at least in the main solemnities, as well as the publication of bilingual Missals - a request made at his time by Paul VI - with the Latin text first.

The proposals of the Congregation, which Cañizares delivered to the Pope, obtaining his approval, are perfectly in line with the idea often expressed by Joseph Ratzinger when he was still a Cardinal, as it is made clear his unpublished words on the liturgy, revealed in advanced by Il Giornale yesterday, and which will be published in the book Davanti al Protagonista (Cantagalli [publisher]), presented beforehand at a congress at Rimini. With a significant nota bene: for the accomplishment of the "reform of the reform", many years will be necessary. The Pope is convinced that hasty steps, as well as to simply drop directives from above, serve no good, with the risk that they may later remain a dead letter. The style of Ratzinger is that of comparison and, above all, of example. As the fact that, for more than a year, whoever approaches the Pope for Communion, have had to kneel down on the kneeler especially placed by the cerimonieri.

Perhaps it is high time that the priests study and appreciate liturgy in light of how it was celebrated for centuries and the theology behind it and compare it with how it is celebrated today so that they will discover for themselves what was lost: a beautiful and dignified liturgy that ultimately leads to the SENSE OF THE SACRED. Bishops, priests and faithful shouldn't be intellectual slaves of liturgists whose only orientation is to form new rites...sometimes impromptu, who false sense of "active participation," who have no sense of beauty, who are clueless of what proper rubrics are, especially those that highlight the SENSE OF THE SACRED. Perhaps such liturgists are also confused. This confusion has to END, they should all look towards the crucifix and listen to Rome for the right direction.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

An Interview with Mons. Domenico Bartolucci on the liturgical reforms and the reform of the reform.

Mons. Domenico Bartolucci, Maestro Perpetuo of the Sistine Chapel under five Popes.

Was the reform not done by people who were conscious of what they were doing and well educated in the teachings of the Roman Church?

I beg your pardon, but the reform was done by arid people, arid, arid, I repeat it. And I knew them. As for the doctrine, Cardinal Ferdinando Antonelli himself, once said, I remember it well: “How come that we make liturgists who know nothing about theology?”


But how could it have come to this twisting of the liturgy?

It became a kind of fashion. Everybody talked about it, everybody “was renewing”, everybody was trying to be like popes (tutti pontificavano) in the wake of sentimentalism, of eagerness to reform. And the voices that raised themselves to defend the two thousand year old Tradition of the Church, were cleverly hushed. There was the invention of a kind of “people’s liturgy” … when I heard these refrains, it came into my mind something which my professor at the Seminary used to say: “the liturgy is something given by the clerics to the people” (“la liturgia è del clero per il popolo”). It descends from God and does not come up from the bottom. I have to admit, however, that this foul-smelling appearances have made themselves a bit more rare. The young generations of priests are maybe better than those who came before them, they do not have the ideological fury of an iconoclastic ideology, they are full of good feelings, however they lack in education.

My dear Monsignor, the influence of these kind of liturgists is very strong in the Philippines. i.e. they advocate people-centric and/or inculturated liturgies, who think that the only way for people to actively participate is to celebrate the mass as reformed in 1970's in a very different way from how the church celebrated in the past 2000 years and they even hold key positions in the dioceses.

Complete Interview here at Rorate-Caeli: A bombshell of an interview. Mons. Domenico Bartolucci on the liturgical reforms and the reform of the reform.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cardinal Arinze warns against false concepts of Inculturation and Liturgical Idiosyncracies

I was informed through email a news bit in Catholic Culture regarding Cardinal Arinze's encouragement of Eucharistic Adoration and reverence while warned the bishops against FALSE CONCEPTS ON INCULTURATION and LITURGICAL IDIOSYNCRACIES. Priests and parish and diocesan liturgists who keep on invoking inculturation to justify their "creativity" or should I say "creations" by inserting pagan and new age rituals, or by replacing the rubrics with their own, for example, SHOULD OUGHT TO LISTEN as well. The Pope is NOT inculturating Rome with the encouragement of ad orientem masses and use of traditonal vestments, what he is doing is, in fact, UNIVERSAL, CATHOLIC.

My lord bishops of the Philippines start with the regular Sunday TV masses where they have turned the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass into a show.

August 17, 2009

Cardinal Francis Arinze, who served as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments from 2002 to 2008, warned the bishops of Asia in an August 16 homily against liturgical “idiosyncracies” and false conceptions of inculturation. Cardinal Arinze also sounded a cautionary note against liturgical dance.

Preaching in Manila at the closing Mass of the plenary assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, Cardinal Arinze-- Pope Benedict’s special envoy to the meeting-- encouraged Asian bishops to foster Eucharistic adoration and reverence:

Adoration manifests itself in such gestures in genuflection, deep bow, kneeling, prostration and silence in the presence of the Lord. Asian cultures have a deep sense of the sacred and transcendent. Reverence in Asia to civil authorities sometimes shows itself in clasped hands, kneeling, bows, prostration and walking away while facing a dignitary. It should not be too difficult to bring and elevate this cultural value to honour our Eucharistic Jesus. The fashion in some parts of the world of not installing kneelers in churches should not be copied by the Church in Asia.

After praising Asian cultures’ sense of the sacred, Cardinal Arinze warned against false conceptions of inculturation and urged observance of liturgical norms.

The way in which Holy Communion is distributed should be clearly indicated and monitored and individual idiosyncracies should not be allowed. In the Latin Rite, only concelebrating priests take Holy Communion. Everyone else is given, be the person cleric or lay. It is not right that the priest discard any of the vestments just because the climate is hot or humid. If necessary, the Bishop can arrange the use of lighter cloth. It is altogether unacceptable that the celebrant will opt for local dress in the place of universally approved Mass vestments, or use baskets, or wine glasses to distribute the Holy Eucharist. This is inculturation wrongly understood.

“It is the tradition of the Church that during the Mass the readings are taken only from Holy Scriptures,” Cardinal Arinze continued. “Not even the writings of the Saints or Founders of Religious Orders are admitted. It is clear that the books of other religions are excluded, no matter how inspiring a particular text may be.”

Cardinal Arinze exhorted the continent’s bishops to follow the Church’s norms for liturgical inculturation, so that “the local Church will be spared questionable or downright mistaken innovations and idiosyncracies of some enthusiastic cleric whose fertile imaginations invents something on Saturday night and whose uninformed zeal forces this innovation on the innocent congregation on Sunday morning.”

“Dance in particular needs to be critically examined because most dances draw attention to the performers and offer enjoyment,” he continued. “People come to Mass, not for recreation but, to adore God, to praise and thank him, to ask pardon for their sins, and to request other spiritual and temporal needs. The monasteries may be of help in how graceful body movements can become prayer.”

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

To the queen and mother of the Philippine Republic.

The greatest Filipina that ever lived! You have lived the full life of a true Catholic, a true Christian. To declare you a national hero falls short to what you really are: SANTO SUBITO CORAZON AQUINO!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Requiem Mass for President Corazon Aquino

A sung requiem mass according to the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite (Traditional/Tridentine Latin Mass) for President Corazon (Tita Cory) Aquino will be offered by Fr. Michell Joe Zerrudo on Wednesday, August 5, 2009 at 1:30 PM at the Parish of the Lord of the Divine Mercy, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

President Corazon Aquino Dies

A sad day for the whole Philippines as her former President Corazon C. Aquino passed away of cardio respiratory arrest early this morning at 3:18 am, August 1, 2009 after battling colon cancer for more than a year. She was 76.

Corazon C. Aquino was not only once the President of the Philippines, as she, being just a simple housewife prior to her presidency, became her mother, reminding her successors of their responsibilities and duties to the people, reminding her fellow Filipinos the gift of freedom and reminding them, more importantly, their relationship with God.

In 2004, she composed a prayer for a happy death. This was published recently in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Almighty God, most merciful Father
You alone know the time
You alone know the hour
You alone know the moment
When I shall breathe my last.

So, remind me each day,
most loving Father
To be the best that I can be.
To be humble, to be kind,
To be patient, to be true.
To embrace what is good,
To reject what is evil,
To adore only You.

When the final moment does come
Let not my loved ones grieve for long.
Let them comfort each other
And let them know
how much happiness
They brought into my life.
Let them pray for me,
As I will continue to pray for them,
Hoping that they will always pray
for each other.

Let them know that they made possible
Whatever good I offered to our world.
And let them realize that our separation
Is just for a short while
As we prepare for our reunion in eternity.

Our Father in heaven,
You alone are my hope.
You alone are my salvation.
Thank you for your unconditional love, Amen.

Requiem aeternam dona eis nomine Domini et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in Pace.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

TLM at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

From an email:

On July 7, 2009, two years after our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, issued "motu proprio" the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was offered in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite at no less than the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Cebu at 1:30p.m. The Holy Sacrifice was offered by Msgr. Cristobal Garcia, the chairperson of the Archdiocesan Commission on Worship.

The Archdiocese continues to celebrate a Special Year of Grace on the occasion of its 75th year as an archdiocese.

Hope you can come and visit the Basilica minore del Santo Nino, the newly-renovated Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, the National Shrine of St. Joseph (Mandaue City), and the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Rule (Lapu-lapu City).

Prayers for the Pope

May the Lord grant quick healing to the wrist and arm of His Vicar, our beloved Pope.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

O Most beautiful flower of Mount Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this my necessity. O Star of the Sea, help me and show me herein You are my Mother.

O Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth, I humbly beseech You from the bottom of my heart to succor me in this necessity. There are none that can withstand Your power.

O show me herein You are my Mother. O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.

O show me herein You are my Mother. O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.

O show me herein You are my Mother. O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.

Sweet Mother, I place this cause in Your hands.

Sweet Mother, I place this cause in Your hands.

Sweet Mother, I place this cause in Your hands.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

TLM in Diocese of Baguio

[Update: Carlos Palad of Rorate Caeli has informed me that the images were unreadable. I have mistakenly uploaded the wrong size of images. The images below are the correct ones.]

A reader has sent this brochure being distributed by the Commission on Liturgy of the Diocese of Baguio containing an introduction and information on Summorum Pontificum and the Traditional Latin Mass for the benefit of the faithful in the diocese. The TLM is being celebrated every Sundays at 7:30AM and 3:30PM at the Chapel of our Lady of Atonement at the back of the Cathedral.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Summorum Pontificum

Thank you your dear Holiness for unlocking the chest containing this great treasure of our Holy Mother the Church. I pray that this new year of motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, the Year for Priests, more priests would begin to see the immense value and appreciate what the Holy Father's motu proprio Summorum Pontificum has given for the whole Church.

Prayers for former President Cory Aquino

Let us continue praying for our former President Corazon C. Aquino that our Lord Jesus, the Divine Healer, may continue to give her strength in body and in spirit as she battles the cancer in her body.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Pontifical Mass (OF) for St. Josemaria Escriva's Feast Day

Cardinal Rosales recently celebrated a Pontifical Mass (ordinary form) last June 26, 2009 at the Manila Cathedral with the priests of the Opus Dei concelebrating the Mass in honor of St. Josemaria Escriva. His Eminence wore a beautiful laced alb and golden gothic chasuble as with the main concelebrating priests as expected in an Opus Dei Mass. The choir provided the sacred and heavenly atmosphere by singing beautifully the Latin chants and the rest of the liturgical songs. The mass was well attended by the many who has been touched, one way or another, by the life and teaching of St. Josemaria Escriva.

There were some nuances, however, such as what is now popularly known as the Benedictine altar arrangement that the Opus Dei has preserved for the ordinary form was, surprisingly, not used and the priests in choir (the rest of the concelebrating priests) in stole over chasu-albs. It would have been better had they worn their choir vestments. Nevertheless, the mass was still a dignified form of celebrating the ordinary form.

Corpus Christi 2009

Photos by: Ed Cenir

Photographs of the celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi according to the extraordinary form with first communion and a solemn Eucharistic procession and benediction around the Parish of the Lord of the Divine Mercy, Sikatuna Village Q.C.

BubbleShare: Share photos - Easy Photo Sharing

Bomb Explosion at Cotobato Cathedral

The mass of Archbishop Orlando Quevedo was rocked when a bomb exploded at the front of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Cotobato City killing 5 and leaving 30 wounded. His Excellency, Archbishop Quevedo was unharmed.

Full story here.

Please pray for peace in Mindanao. Mary the Help of Christians, pray for us.

Saturday, July 04, 2009


VATICAN CITY, 1 JUL 2009 (VIS) - The Year for Priests was again the theme of the Holy Father's catechesis during his general audience, held this morning in St. Peter's Square.

The Pope began his remarks by expressing the hope that the Year "may be an opportunity for the inner renewal of all priests and, consequently, for the revitalisation of their commitment to the mission". He then announced that his catecheses over the next few months will focus on the figure of St. John Mary Vianney, the holy "Cure of Ars", on the 150th anniversary of his death.

What most stands out in the life of this saint, said Benedict XVI, "is his complete identification with his ministry. He used to say that a good pastor, a pastor after God's heart, is the greatest treasure the good Lord can give a parish".

"In fact, it is by considering the dual term 'identity-mission' that each priest will become better aware of the need for that progressive self identification with Christ which guarantees the faithfulness and fruitfulness of his evangelical witness. Thus, in the life of a priest, missionary announcement and worship are inseparable, just as sacramental identity and evangelising mission are likewise inseparable".

"The goal of priests' mission is, we could say, 'of worship': that all men and women may offer themselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, receiving the charity which they are then called to dispense abundantly to one another. ... Love for others, concern for justice and the poor are not so much a question of social morals as the expression of a sacramental conception of Christian morality because, through priestly ministry, the spiritual sacrifice of all the faithful is accomplished, in union with the sacrifice of Christ, the only mediator. This is the sacrifice that priests offer bloodlessly and sacramentally while awaiting the second coming of the Lord".

"In the face of so many uncertainties and so much weariness, even in the exercise of priestly ministry, it is vitally important to regain a clear and unequivocal view of the absolute primacy of divine grace", said the Holy Father. "The mission of each individual priest depends, then, also and above all on an awareness of the sacramental reality of his 'new existence'. Upon the certainty of his own identity - not artificially and humanly constructed but freely and divinely given and received - depends his perennial enthusiasm for the mission".

"Having received such an extraordinary gift of grace with their consecration, priests become permanent witnesses of their own encounter with Christ", and "are able to carry out their mission to the full, announcing the Word and administering the Sacraments.

"Following Vatican Council II", Pope Benedict added, "in some places the impression arose that there were more important things in the mission of priests in our time: some people believed that the priority was to build a new society".

Yet "the two essential elements of priestly ministry" always remain "announcement and power", said the Holy Father recalling how Christ sent His disciples out to announce the Gospel giving them the power to drive out demons. "Announcement and power", in other words "Word and Sacrament, are the pillars of priestly service, over and above the many forms it can take".

The Pope continued: "When the 'diptych' of consecration-mission is not taken into due account, it becomes truly difficulty to understand the identity of priests and of their ministry in the Church. ... During this Year for Priests", he said, "let us pray for all the clergy. ... Prayer is the primary duty, the true path of sanctification for priests and the heart of authentic pastoral care of vocations".

And he concluded: "The low numbers of priestly ordinations in some countries not only must not discourage us, it should stimulate us to dedicate greater space to silence and to listening to the Word, to improving spiritual guidance and the Sacrament of Confession, so that the voice of God, which always continues to call and to confirm, may be heard and followed by many young people".

Vatican Information Service

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Events: Mass according to the Syro-Malabar Rite

Celebration of Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
according to the Syro-Malabar Rite by
Father Alex Marotical
at the
Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Mariveles St., Highway Hills, Mandaluyong
July 4, 2009 at 2:30PM

Monday, June 22, 2009

Helping our Priests

Let's help our priests spend their time more time in prayer, devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass more than anything else.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech.

Thanking our Lord on the feast of the Sacred Heart and the beginning of the Year for Priests for the gift of priests. May all ordained priests remain faithful and fruitful ministers of God and dispensers of His divine mystery.

Prayer for Priests by the late John J Cardinal Carberry:

Keep them; I pray Thee, dearest Lord.
Keep them, for they are Thine
The priests whose lives burn out before
Thy consecrated shrine.
Keep them, for they are in the world,
Though from the world apart.
When earthly pleasures tempt, allure –Shelter them in Thy heart.
Keep them and comfort them in hours
Of loneliness and pain,
When all their life of sacrifice
For souls seems but in vain.
Keep them and remember, Lord,they have no one but Thee.
Yet, they have only human hearts,
With human frailty.
Keep them as spotless as the Host,
That daily they caress;
Their every thought and word and deed,
Deign, dearest Lord, to bless

Sunday, June 07, 2009

2009 Holy Week Celebration (Extraordinary Form)

The Parish of the Lord of the Divine Mercy, Diocese of Cubao, in cooperation with the Ecclesia Dei Society of St. Joseph recently celebrated the Holy Week of 2009 according to the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite under the leadership of Rev. Father Michell Joe Zerrudo.

The celebrations were attended, actively participated, meditated upon, and shared by both the regular parishioners of the parish and the TLM community. The parish altar servers committed their time to learn and practice the rubrics of the rite while the readers provided english translation of the Epistles after it was said in Latin. Others helped in preparing the flowers, carosas and other materials needed for the celebration. This year, the choir of the Ecclesia Dei Society of St. Joseph, provided the beautiful chants and sacred music for the whole Holy Week celebrations.

The rite of the Holy Week according to the extraordinary form was also celebrated last year.

Palm Sunday
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Easter Triduum
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Manila Archiocese on A (H1N1) Swine Flu

The Manila Archdiocese, last Friday, recently released the revised oratio imperata for the swine flu as the Philippines has 23 confirmed cases at the time of the revision of this prayer and 33 at present according to the Department of Health. The revised prayer is continued to be said after Holy Communion at each Mass while kneeling down.

Cardinal Rosales also ordered that communion be received only by the hand and that not to hold hands during the Lord's Prayer in the mean time.

Banning temporarily hand holding during the Lord's Prayer creates an impression that it is actually required or prescribed by liturgical law for the faithful to do so during the Lord's Prayer. Why don't our local liturgical ministers make it clear to everyone that there is no law that requires the faithful to hold hands and the faithful is not expected to hold hands?

On receiving communion, however, the universal law is to receive on the tongue. The mode of receiving via the hand is an indult and that nobody can be denied if the communicant wishes to receive the Sacred Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord on one's tongue.

Can a local ordinary's directive supercede the universal law of the Church?

Will the Lord allow the most reverential mode of reception of His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity be the means for the spread of this dreaded disease?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mission to Prisons

The Mission to Prisons blog of Mr. Manuel Navoa has moved to a new address:

The old address will no longer be updated.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Latin Training Sessions

There will be training sessions for those who would like to learn Latin every Thursday at 4pm at the Our Lady of Victories Church in New Manila Quezon City. The facilitator of the training sessions will be Father Suelo, SSPX.

"Can it be completely mistaken to work to break down obstinacy and narrowness, and to make space for what is positive and retrievable for the whole?" - Pope Benedict XVI March 10, 2009.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Vatican Issues Clarification to the Guidelines of the Archdiocese of Manila

The Vatican, through Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, has clarified to the Archdiocese of Manila regarding the Guidelines by Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales on the Implementation of Celebration of the Roman Mass of 1962 issued last Dec 8, 2008, Feast of the Immaculate Concepcion, as reported by the Tablet.

The letter, dated March 6, 2009 said that the guidelines has set restrictive conditions for the celebration of the extraordinary form, that the

"guidelines allowing only a monthly Mass in a chapel of [the] Metropolitan Cathedral" were in violation of the norms established by the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. Cardinal Castrillón said the papal decree was “part of the universal law of the Church” and could not be limited by the “particular law” of a diocesan bishop.

Another quote in the Tablet reports:

“There is simply no legitimate reason why this [Tridentine] Mass cannot and should not be celebrated in any church or chapel of your Archdiocese,” Cardinal Castrillón said in his letter to the Archbishop of Manila.

In the said letter, Cardinal Hoyos also praised Cardinal Rosales who:

...actively promote the implementation of the motu proprio by “helping priests who are desirous to learn how to celebrate” the old rite Mass, which he said only required that the priest be “reasonably competent in Latin”, and that there
were faithful who wished to assist at its celebration.

Announcement: TLM Diocese of Paranaque

From the TLM Diocese of Paranaque Community, sent by mail:

The TLM Diocese of Parañaque community will have its Palm Sunday Mass at
9:30 am in the Traditional Latin form, at the beautiful Oratory or Chapel of
Elsie Gaches Villages which is under the care of the Sisters of Charity of St.
Anne. This is across McDonald's along Alabang-Zapote Road before the stop light
at Madrigal Avenue, Ayala Alabang. The guard will be advised of visitors coming
for the TLM. Drive straight on the road past the guard until you come upon a
steel gate enclosing a Spanish courtyard with a fountain. Oratory is

Thursday, April 02, 2009


Palm Sunday 8:00 AM
Maundy Thursday 6:00 PM
Good Friday 4:00 PM
Easter Vigil on Black Saturday 11:00 PM

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sacrament of Matrimony in the Extraordinary Form: Feast of St. Joseph

Photos by Ms. Claire Navarro

On the Feast of St. Joseph last March 19, 2009, Ms. Maria Rosita Bumanglag and Mr. Vincent Dinoso exchanged their vows in the Sacrament of Matrimony according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite at the Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, the Antipolo Cathedral. The wedding ceremonies used the customs inherited by the Philippine Church from Spain. The Traditional Latin Nuptial Mass was celebrated by Father Michell Joe Zerrudo and assisted by the servers of the Ecclesia Dei Society of St. Joseph. Congratulations and best wishes to Ochie and Vince!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A New Diocese in the Philippines

The Holy Father has created a new diocese of Libmanan in the province of Camarines Sur and appointed Bishop José Rojas, 52, as its head.

Read complete story from Zenit.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Announcement: TLM at Sta Teresita del Nino Parish

A TLM will be offered at the Sta Teresita del Nino Parish in Mayon St. Quezon City at 6:00 PM tomorrow, March 25, 2009, Feast of the Announciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The celebrant is Father Michell Joe Zerrudo.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bishop Bernard Fellay's Response to the Holy Father

From Rorate Caeli.

of the Superior General
of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X [FSSPX / SSPX]

Pope Benedict XVI addressed a letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church, dated March 10 2009, in which he made them aware of the intentions which guided him in this important step which is the Decree of January 21, 2009.

After "an avalanche of protests was unleashed" recently, we greatly thank the Holy Father for having placed the debate at the level on which it should take place, that of the faith. We fully share his utmost concern for preaching to "our age, when in vast areas of the world the faith is in danger of dying out like a flame which no longer has fuel".

The Church lives, in fact, through a major crisis which cannot be solved other than by an integral return to the purity of the faith. With Saint Athanasius, we profess that "Whoever wants to be saved should above all cling to the Catholic faith: whoever does not guard it whole and inviolable will doubtless perish eternally." (Quicumque Creed)

Far from wanting to stop Tradition in 1962, we wish to consider the Second Vatican Council and the post-Conciliar magisterium in the light of this Tradition which Saint Vincent of Lérins defined as that "which has been believed everywhere, always, by all" (Commonitorium), without rupture and in a perfectly homogenous development. It is thus that we will be able to contribute efficaciously to the evangelization asked for by the Savior (cf. Matthew, 28,19-20).

The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X assures Benedict XVI of its will to address the doctrinal discussions considered "necessary" by the Decree of January 21, with the desire of serving the revealed Truth which is the first charity to be shown towards all men, Christian or not. It assures him of its prayers so that his faith may not fail and that he may confirm all his brethren (cf. Luke 22 32).

We place these doctrinal discussions under the protection of Our Lady of All Trust, with the assurance that she will obtain for us the grace of faithfully delivering that which we received, "tradidi quod et accepi" (I Cor. 15,3).

Menzingen, March 12 2009

+ Bernard Fellay

Pope Benedict's Letter to the Bishops



concerning the remission of the excommunication

of the four Bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre

Dear Brothers in the Episcopal Ministry!

The remission of the excommunication of the four Bishops consecrated in 1988 by Archbishop Lefebvre without a mandate of the Holy See has for many reasons caused, both within and beyond the Catholic Church, a discussion more heated than any we have seen for a long time. Many Bishops felt perplexed by an event which came about unexpectedly and was difficult to view positively in the light of the issues and tasks facing the Church today. Even though many Bishops and members of the faithful were disposed in principle to take a positive view of the Pope’s concern for reconciliation, the question remained whether such a gesture was fitting in view of the genuinely urgent demands of the life of faith in our time. Some groups, on the other hand, openly accused the Pope of wanting to turn back the clock to before the Council: as a result, an avalanche of protests was unleashed, whose bitterness laid bare wounds deeper than those of the present moment. I therefore feel obliged to offer you, dear Brothers, a word of clarification, which ought to help you understand the concerns which led me and the competent offices of the Holy See to take this step. In this way I hope to contribute to peace in the Church.

An unforeseen mishap for me was the fact that the Williamson case came on top of the remission of the excommunication. The discreet gesture of mercy towards four Bishops ordained validly but not legitimately suddenly appeared as something completely different: as the repudiation of reconciliation between Christians and Jews, and thus as the reversal of what the Council had laid down in this regard to guide the Church’s path. A gesture of reconciliation with an ecclesial group engaged in a process of separation thus turned into its very antithesis: an apparent step backwards with regard to all the steps of reconciliation between Christians and Jews taken since the Council – steps which my own work as a theologian had sought from the beginning to take part in and support. That this overlapping of two opposed processes took place and momentarily upset peace between Christians and Jews, as well as peace within the Church, is something which I can only deeply deplore. I have been told that consulting the information available on the internet would have made it possible to perceive the problem early on. I have learned the lesson that in the future in the Holy See we will have to pay greater attention to that source of news. I was saddened by the fact that even Catholics who, after all, might have had a better knowledge of the situation, thought they had to attack me with open hostility. Precisely for this reason I thank all the more our Jewish friends, who quickly helped to clear up the misunderstanding and to restore the atmosphere of friendship and trust which – as in the days of Pope John Paul II – has also existed throughout my pontificate and, thank God, continues to exist.

Another mistake, which I deeply regret, is the fact that the extent and limits of the provision of 21 January 2009 were not clearly and adequately explained at the moment of its publication. The excommunication affects individuals, not institutions. An episcopal ordination lacking a pontifical mandate raises the danger of a schism, since it jeopardizes the unity of the College of Bishops with the Pope. Consequently the Church must react by employing her most severe punishment – excommunication – with the aim of calling those thus punished to repent and to return to unity. Twenty years after the ordinations, this goal has sadly not yet been attained. The remission of the excommunication has the same aim as that of the punishment: namely, to invite the four Bishops once more to return. This gesture was possible once the interested parties had expressed their recognition in principle of the Pope and his authority as Pastor, albeit with some reservations in the area of obedience to his doctrinal authority and to the authority of the Council. Here I return to the distinction between individuals and institutions. The remission of the excommunication was a measure taken in the field of ecclesiastical discipline: the individuals were freed from the burden of conscience constituted by the most serious of ecclesiastical penalties. This disciplinary level needs to be distinguished from the doctrinal level. The fact that the Society of Saint Pius X does not possess a canonical status in the Church is not, in the end, based on disciplinary but on doctrinal reasons. As long as the Society does not have a canonical status in the Church, its ministers do not exercise legitimate ministries in the Church. There needs to be a distinction, then, between the disciplinary level, which deals with individuals as such, and the doctrinal level, at which ministry and institution are involved. In order to make this clear once again: until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers – even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty – do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church.

In light of this situation, it is my intention henceforth to join the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" – the body which has been competent since 1988 for those communities and persons who, coming from the Society of Saint Pius X or from similar groups, wish to return to full communion with the Pope – to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This will make it clear that the problems now to be addressed are essentially doctrinal in nature and concern primarily the acceptance of the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar magisterium of the Popes. The collegial bodies with which the Congregation studies questions which arise (especially the ordinary Wednesday meeting of Cardinals and the annual or biennial Plenary Session) ensure the involvement of the Prefects of the different Roman Congregations and representatives from the world’s Bishops in the process of decision-making. The Church’s teaching authority cannot be frozen in the year 1962 – this must be quite clear to the Society. But some of those who put themselves forward as great defenders of the Council also need to be reminded that Vatican II embraces the entire doctrinal history of the Church. Anyone who wishes to be obedient to the Council has to accept the faith professed over the centuries, and cannot sever the roots from which the tree draws its life.

I hope, dear Brothers, that this serves to clarify the positive significance and also the limits of the provision of 21 January 2009. But the question still remains: Was this measure needed? Was it really a priority? Aren’t other things perhaps more important? Of course there are more important and urgent matters. I believe that I set forth clearly the priorities of my pontificate in the addresses which I gave at its beginning. Everything that I said then continues unchanged as my plan of action. The first priority for the Successor of Peter was laid down by the Lord in the Upper Room in the clearest of terms: "You… strengthen your brothers" (Lk 22:32). Peter himself formulated this priority anew in his first Letter: "Always be prepared to make a defence to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you" (1 Pet 3:15). In our days, when in vast areas of the world the faith is in danger of dying out like a flame which no longer has fuel, the overriding priority is to make God present in this world and to show men and women the way to God. Not just any god, but the God who spoke on Sinai; to that God whose face we recognize in a love which presses "to the end" (cf. Jn 13:1) – in Jesus Christ, crucified and risen. The real problem at this moment of our history is that God is disappearing from the human horizon, and, with the dimming of the light which comes from God, humanity is losing its bearings, with increasingly evident destructive effects.

Leading men and women to God, to the God who speaks in the Bible: this is the supreme and fundamental priority of the Church and of the Successor of Peter at the present time. A logical consequence of this is that we must have at heart the unity of all believers. Their disunity, their disagreement among themselves, calls into question the credibility of their talk of God. Hence the effort to promote a common witness by Christians to their faith – ecumenism – is part of the supreme priority. Added to this is the need for all those who believe in God to join in seeking peace, to attempt to draw closer to one another, and to journey together, even with their differing images of God, towards the source of Light – this is interreligious dialogue. Whoever proclaims that God is Love "to the end" has to bear witness to love: in loving devotion to the suffering, in the rejection of hatred and enmity – this is the social dimension of the Christian faith, of which I spoke in the Encyclical Deus Caritas Est.

So if the arduous task of working for faith, hope and love in the world is presently (and, in various ways, always) the Church’s real priority, then part of this is also made up of acts of reconciliation, small and not so small. That the quiet gesture of extending a hand gave rise to a huge uproar, and thus became exactly the opposite of a gesture of reconciliation, is a fact which we must accept. But I ask now: Was it, and is it, truly wrong in this case to meet half-way the brother who "has something against you" (cf. Mt 5:23ff.) and to seek reconciliation? Should not civil society also try to forestall forms of extremism and to incorporate their eventual adherents – to the extent possible – in the great currents shaping social life, and thus avoid their being segregated, with all its consequences? Can it be completely mistaken to work to break down obstinacy and narrowness, and to make space for what is positive and retrievable for the whole? I myself saw, in the years after 1988, how the return of communities which had been separated from Rome changed their interior attitudes; I saw how returning to the bigger and broader Church enabled them to move beyond one-sided positions and broke down rigidity so that positive energies could emerge for the whole. Can we be totally indifferent about a community which has 491 priests, 215 seminarians, 6 seminaries, 88 schools, 2 university-level institutes, 117 religious brothers, 164 religious sisters and thousands of lay faithful? Should we casually let them drift farther from the Church? I think for example of the 491 priests. We cannot know how mixed their motives may be. All the same, I do not think that they would have chosen the priesthood if, alongside various distorted and unhealthy elements, they did not have a love for Christ and a desire to proclaim him and, with him, the living God. Can we simply exclude them, as representatives of a radical fringe, from our pursuit of reconciliation and unity? What would then become of them?

Certainly, for some time now, and once again on this specific occasion, we have heard from some representatives of that community many unpleasant things – arrogance and presumptuousness, an obsession with one-sided positions, etc. Yet to tell the truth, I must add that I have also received a number of touching testimonials of gratitude which clearly showed an openness of heart. But should not the great Church also allow herself to be generous in the knowledge of her great breadth, in the knowledge of the promise made to her? Should not we, as good educators, also be capable of overlooking various faults and making every effort to open up broader vistas? And should we not admit that some unpleasant things have also emerged in Church circles? At times one gets the impression that our society needs to have at least one group to which no tolerance may be shown; which one can easily attack and hate. And should someone dare to approach them – in this case the Pope – he too loses any right to tolerance; he too can be treated hatefully, without misgiving or restraint.

Dear Brothers, during the days when I first had the idea of writing this letter, by chance, during a visit to the Roman Seminary, I had to interpret and comment on Galatians 5:13-15. I was surprised at the directness with which that passage speaks to us about the present moment: "Do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’. But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." I am always tempted to see these words as another of the rhetorical excesses which we occasionally find in Saint Paul. To some extent that may also be the case. But sad to say, this "biting and devouring" also exists in the Church today, as expression of a poorly understood freedom. Should we be surprised that we too are no better than the Galatians? That at the very least we are threatened by the same temptations? That we must always learn anew the proper use of freedom? And that we must always learn anew the supreme priority, which is love? The day I spoke about this at the Major Seminary, the feast of Our Lady of Trust was being celebrated in Rome. And so it is: Mary teaches us trust. She leads us to her Son, in whom all of us can put our trust. He will be our guide – even in turbulent times. And so I would like to offer heartfelt thanks to all the many Bishops who have lately offered me touching tokens of trust and affection, and above all assured me of their prayers. My thanks also go to all the faithful who in these days have given me testimony of their constant fidelity to the Successor of Saint Peter. May the Lord protect all of us and guide our steps along the way of peace. This is the prayer that rises up instinctively from my heart at the beginning of this Lent, a liturgical season particularly suited to interior purification, one which invites all of us to look with renewed hope to the light which awaits us at Easter.

With a special Apostolic Blessing, I remain

Yours in the Lord,


From the Vatican, 10 March 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Requiem Mass for Msgr. Andrade

This is the requiem Mass for the late Msgr. Moises Andrade, Jr. with Father Michell Joe Zerrudo, his former student, celebrating. The requiem mass was scheduled to be according to the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, the form so loved by the late monsignor but denied by the acting parish priest and bishop of Malolos so it was celebrating using the ordinary form in the vernacular but used the Roman Canon in Latin. The absolution however used the older form.

The good monsignor, who was responsible for the tagalog translation of the sacramentary and local reforms after Vatican II, continued to love the form that opened his vocation, the TLM. He continued celebrating the extraordinary form in the 90's through the celebret and indult given by the Archdiocese of Manila and he was one of the first clergy to implement it the parish level after Summorum Pontificum took effect. He never failed to promote the TLM to canon lawyers, fellow diocesan chancelors and fellow liturgists.

In the introduction of Msgr. Moises Andrade to the televised Christmas Midnight Mass last December, he captured clearly the mind of Pope Benedict XVI for issuing Summorum Pontificum that the Missal of 1962 be once more the guiding principle of the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice that is why he quoted the opening passages of the Roman Missals: “Up to our own times it has been the constant concern of the supreme pontiffs to ensure the Church of Christ offer a worthy ritual to the Divine Majesty, to the praise and glory of His Name and to the benefit of all His Holy Church."

Sadly it seems that many among the clergy have no idea what the mind of the Holy Father is for issuing Summorum Pontificum or they are just clearly opposed to it.

(I apologize that the name of the concelebrant has escaped my mind. I will post the name as soon as get his info).

A foreword by Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith on the book "True Development of the Liturgy"

This is a must read for all Ministers of Liturgy, liturgical Master of Ceremonies, Worship Coordinators and Liturgical "Animators" and all those who are interested with liturgy. This is the foreword to the book "True Development of the Liturgy by Cardinal Ferdinando Antonelli and the "Liturgical Reform from 1948 to 1970" by Msgr. Nicola Giampietro. This foreword was written by Archbishop Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

Originally posted in the New Liturgical Movement. Emphasis mine.

Foreword to the book "True Development of the Liturgy: Cardinal Ferdinado Antonelli and the Liturgical Reform from 1948 to 1970" by Msgr. Nicola Giampietro

by Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship

To be published by Roman Catholic Books in the Autumn of 2009

"How much of the post–Conciliar liturgical reform truly reflects “Sacrosanctum Concilium”, the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on Sacred Liturgy is a question that has often been debated in ecclesial circles ever since the Concilium ad Exsequendam Constitutionem de Sacra Liturgia finished its work. It has been debated with even greater intensity in the last couple of decades. And while some have argued that what was done by the Concilium was indeed in line with that great document, others have totally disagreed.

"In the search for an answer to this question we ought to take into account the turbulent mood of the years that immediately followed the Council. In his decision to convoke the Council, Pope John XXIII had wished the Church to be prepared for the new world that was emerging in the aftermath of the disastrous events of the Second World War. He would have prophetically foreseen the emergence of a strong current of materialism and secularism from the core orientations of the preceding era which had been marked by the spirit of the enlightenment and in which the traditional values of the old world view had already begun to be shaken. The Industrial Revolution along with its strongly anthropocentric and subjectivist philosophical trends, especially those resulting from the influences of Kant, Hume and Hegel, led to the emergence also of Marxism and Positivism. It also let to the ascendance of Biblical Criticism relativising, to a certain extent, the veracity of the Holy Scriptures, which in turn had its negative influences on theology, generating a questioning attitude vis-à-vis the objectivity of established Truth and of the usefulness of defending ecclesial traditions and Institutions. Some schools of theology were bold enough even to question basic doctrines of the Church. In fact, Modernism had earlier been seen as a source of danger for the faith. It is in this background that Pope John XXIII had felt that more convincing answers needed to be found.

"The call for aggiornamento by the Pope thus assumed the character of a search for a fortification of the faith in order to render the Mission of the Church more effective and able to respond to these challenges convincingly. It was certainly not a call to go along with the spirit of the times, a sort of drifting passively along, nor was it a call to effect a new start to the Church as much as to render the message of the Gospel even more responsive to the difficult questions mankind would face in the post-modern era. The Pope explained the ethos behind his decision when he stated, “today the Church is witnessing a crisis under way within society. While humanity is on the edge of a new era, tasks of immense gravity and amplitude await the Church, as in the most tragic periods of its history. It is a question in fact of bringing the modern world into contact with the vivifying and perennial energies of the Gospel ………. in the face of this twofold spectacle – a world which reveals a grave state of spiritual poverty and the Church of Christ, which is still so vibrant with vitality – we …. have felt immediately the urgency of the duty to call our sons together to give the Church the possibility to contribute more efficaciously to the solution of the problems of the modern age” [Apostolic Constitution Humanae Salutis of 25th Dec. 1961]. The Pope went on, “the forthcoming Council will meet therefore at a moment in which the Church finds very alive the desire to fortify its faith, and to contemplate itself in its own awe-inspiring unity. In the same way, it feels urgent the duty to give greater efficiency to its sound vitality and to promote the sanctification of its members, the diffusion of revealed truth, the consolidation of its agencies” [ibid].

Thus the Council was basically a call for a fortification of the Church from within in order to make it better prepared for its mission amidst the realities of the modern world. Underlying these words was also the sense of appreciation the Pope felt towards what the Church indeed already was. The words, “vibrant with vitality” used by the Pope to define the status of the Church at that moment, surely do not betray any sense of pessimism, as though the Pope looked down upon the past or what the Church had achieved up until then. Hence one cannot justifiably think that with the Council the Pope called for a new beginning. Neither was it a call to the Church to “de-classify” itself, changing or giving up totally its age old traditions getting itself, so to say, absorbed into the reality of the world around. In no way was change to be made for the sake of change but only in order to make the Church stronger and better prepared to face new challenges. In short, the Council was never to be an aimless adventure. It was intended to be a truly Pentecostal experience.

"Yet, however much the Popes who guided this event insisted upon the need for a true spirit of reform, faithful to the essential nature of the Church, and even if the Council itself had produced such beautiful theological and pastoral reflections as Lumen Gentium, Dei Verbum, Gaudium et Spes and Sacrosanctum Concilium, what happened outside the Council − especially both within the society at large and within the circle of its philosophical and cultural leadership − began to influence it negatively, creating tendencies that were harmful to its life and mission. These tendencies, which at times were even more virulently represented by certain circles within the Church, were not necessarily connected to the orientations or recommendations of the documents of Vatican II. Yet they were able to shake the foundations of ecclesial teaching and faith to a surprising extent. Society’s fascination with an exaggerated sense of individual freedom and its penchant for the rejection of anything permanent, absolute or other worldly had its influence on the Church and often was justified in the name of the Council. This view also relativised Tradition, veracity of evolved doctrine, and tended to idolize anything new. It contained within itself strong tendencies favourable to relativism and religious syncretism. For them the Council had to be a sort of a new beginning for the Church. The past had overrun its course. Basic concepts and themes like Sacrifice and Redemption, Mission, Proclamation and Conversion, Adoration as an integral element of Communion, and the need of the Church for salvation -- all were sidelined, while Dialogue, Inculturation, Ecumenism, Eucharist − as − Banquet, Evangelisation − as − Witness, etc., became more important. Absolute values were disdained.

"Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had this to say on this ever increasing spirit of relativism – for him, the true Council “already during its sessions and then increasingly in the subsequent period, was opposed by a self-styled ‘Spirit of the Council’, which in reality is a true ‘anti-spirit’ of the Council. According to this pernicious anti-spirit [Konzils–Ungeist in German], everything that is ‘new’ ……. is always and in every case better than what has been or what is. It is the anti-spirit according to which the history of the Church would first begin with Vatican II, viewed as a kind of point zero” [The Ratzinger Report, Ignatius Press, San Francisco 1985 pp. 34 - 35]. The Cardinal discounted this view as untrue for “Vatican II surely did not want ‘to change’ the faith but to represent it in a more effective way” [ibid]. Actually, the Cardinal affirmed that in fact “the Council did not take the turn that John XXIII had expected”. He further stated “It must also be admitted that, in respect to the whole Church, the prayer of Pope John that the Council signify a new leap forward for the Church, to renewed life and unity, has not – at least not yet – been granted” [ibid. p 42]. These are hard words indeed yet I would say very true, for, that spirit of exaggerated theological freedom indeed hijacked, so to say, the very Council itself away from its declared goals.

"The Concilium ad Exsequendam Constitutionem de Sacra Liturgia too was not exempt from being influenced by this overwhelming tidal wave of a so called desire for “change” and ”openness”. Possibly some of the above mentioned relativising tendencies influenced the Liturgy too, undermining the centrality, the sacredness, sense of mystery as well as the value of what the continuous action of the Holy Spirit in the bi-millennial history of the Church had helped ecclesial liturgical life to grow into. An exaggerated sense of antiquarianism, anthropologism, confusion of roles between the ordained and the non-ordained, a limitless provision of space for experimentation − and, indeed, the tendency to look down upon some aspects of the development of the Liturgy in the second millennium − were increasingly visible among certain liturgical schools. Liturgists had also tended to pick and choose sections of Sacrosanctum Concilium which seemed to be more accommodating to change or novelty while ignoring others. Besides, there was a great sense of hurry to effect and legalize changes. Much space tended to be provided for a rather horizontalist way of looking at the Liturgy. Norms of the Council that tended to restrict such creativity or were favourable to ‘the traditional way’ seemed to be ignored. Worse still, some practices which Sacrosanctum Concilium had never even contemplated were allowed into the Liturgy, like Mass “versus populum”, Holy Communion on the hand, altogether giving up on the Latin and Gregorian Chant in favour of the vernacular and songs and hymns without much space for God, and extension beyond any reasonable limits of the faculty to concelebrate at Holy Mass. There was also the gross misinterpretation of the principle of “active participation” (actuosa participatio).

"All of that had its effect on the work of the Concilium. Those who guided the process of change both within the Concilium and later in the Sacred Congregation of Rites were certainly being influenced by all these novel tendencies. Not everything they introduced was negative. Much of the work done was praiseworthy. But much room was also left for experimentation and arbitrary interpretation. These ”freedoms” were exploited to their fullest extent by some liturgical ”experts” leading to too much confusion. Cardinal Ratzinger explains how “one shudders at the lackluster face of the post-conciliar liturgy as it has become, or one is bored with its banality and its lack of artistic standards ….” [The Feast of Faith, Ignatius Press, San Francisco 1986, p. 100]. This is not to lay the responsibility for what happened solely on the members of the Concilium. But some of their approaches were ‘weak’. There indeed was a general spirit of uncritical ‘giving in’ on certain matters to the rabble rousing spirit of the era, even within the Church, most visibly in some sectors and geographic regions. Some of those in authority at the level of the Sacred Congregation of Rites too did show signs of weakness in this matter. Too many indults had been given on certain requirements of the norms.

"Naturally the ‘spirit of freedom’ which some of these powerful sectors within the Church unleashed in the name of the Council, even leading the important decision makers to vacillate, led to much disorder and confusion, something which the Council never intended, nor did the Popes who guided it. The sad comment made by Pope Paul VI during the troubled seventies that “the smoke of Satan has entered the Church,” [Homily on 29th June 1972, Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul] or his comment on the excuses made by some to impede evangelization “on the basis of such and such a teaching of the Council” [Evangelii Nuntiandi 80], show how this anti-spirit of the Council render his labours most painful.

"In the light of all of this and of some of their troublesome consequences for the Church today, it is necessary to find out how the post-Conciliar liturgical reform did emerge and which figures or attitudes caused the present situation. It is a need which, in the name of truth, we cannot abandon. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger analyzed the situation thus: “I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the Liturgy …. when the community of faith, the worldwide unity of the Church and her history and the mystery of the living Christ are no longer visible in the Liturgy, where else, then is the Church to become visible in her spiritual essence? Then the community is celebrating only itself, an activity that is utterly fruitless” [Joseph Ratzinger, Milestones, Ignatius Press, San Francisco 1998 pp. 148 - 149]. As we saw above, certain weaknesses of those responsible and the stormy atmosphere of theological relativism, coupled with that sense of fascination with novelty, change, man-centeredness, accent on subjectivity and moral relativism, as well as on individual freedom which characterized the society at large, undermined the fixed values of the faith and caused this slide into liturgical anarchy about which the Cardinal spoke above.

"The penned notes of Cardinal Ferdinando Antonelli take on new significance. One of the most eminent and closely involved members of the Concilium which supervised the reform process, Cardinal Antonelli can help us to understand the inner polarizations that influenced the different decisions of the Reform and help us to be courageous in improving or changing that which was erroneously introduced and which appears to be incompatible with the true dignity of the Liturgy. Actually, Father Antonelli was already a member of the Pontifical Commission for Liturgical Reform appointed by Pope Pius XII on 28th May 1948. It was this commission that worked on the reform of the Liturgy of Holy Week and of the Easter Vigil, which reforms were handled with much care by the same. That very commission was then re-constituted by Pope John XXIII in May 1960 and, later on, Father Antonelli was also part of the inner group that worked on the redaction of Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Conciliar Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. Thus he indeed was very closely involved in the work of the reform from its very inception.

"Yet, his role in the reform movement seems to have been largely unknown until the author of this book, “Cardinal Ferdinando Antonelli and the developments of the Liturgical reform from 1948 to 1970”, Mgr Nicola Giampietro, had come across his personal agenda notes and decided to present them in a study. This study, which was also the doctoral dissertation of Mgr Giampietro at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute of St. Anselm in Rome, helps us to understand the complex inner workings of the liturgical reform prior to and immediately following the Council. Cardinal Antonelli’s notes reveal a great man of faith and of the Church struggling to come to terms with some of the inner currents which influenced the work involving the Concilium ad Exsequendam Constitutionem de Sacra Liturgia. What he wrote in these diaries reveal quite candidly his feelings of joy as well as of sorrow and at times of fear at the way things were being made to move along, the attitudes of some of the key players and the sense of adventurism which had characterized some of the changes that had been introduced. The book is well done. Indeed, it has also been quoted by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger himself in an article he wrote in the well-known liturgical review “La Maison-Dieu”, entitled “Réponse du Cardinal Ratzinger au Père Gy” (La Maison-Dieu, 230, 2002/2, p. 116). Above all it is a timely study which would help us to see another side of the otherwise over euphoric presentations of the Conciliar Reform by other contemporary authors.

"The publication in English language of this interesting study would, I am sure contribute greatly to the ongoing debate on the post-Conciliar liturgical reforms. What is most clear to any reader of this study is that as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger stated, “the true time of Vatican II has not yet come” [The Ratzinger Report, Ignatius Press, San Francisco 1985 p. 40]. The reform has to go on. The immediate need seems to be that of a reform of the reformed Missal of 1969, for, quite a number of changes originating within the Post-Conciliar reform seem to have been introduced somewhat hastily and unreflectively, as Cardinal Antonelli himself repeatedly stated. One needs to correct the direction so that changes are indeed made to fall in line with Sacrosanctum Concilium itself and it must indeed go even further, keeping along with the spirit of our own times. And what urges such changes is not merely a desire to correct past mistakes but much more the need to be true to what Liturgy in fact is and means to us and what the Council itself defined it to be. For, indeed, as Cardinal Ratzinger stated: “the question of liturgy is not peripheral: the Council itself reminded us that we are dealing here with the very core of Christian faith” [ibid. p. 120]. What we need today is to not only engage ourselves in an honest appraisal of what happened but also to take bold and courageous decisions in moving the process along. We need to identify and correct the erroneous orientations and decisions made, appreciate the liturgical tradition of the past courageously, and ensure that the Church is made to re-discover the true roots of its spiritual wealth and grandeur even if that means reforming the reform itself, thereby ensuring that Liturgy truly becomes the “sublime expression of God’s glory and, in a certain sense, a glimpse of heaven on Earth” [Benedict XVI, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis of 22nd February 2007, 35]."

Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith
8th December 2008
Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary

Monday, March 02, 2009

Cardinal Mahony on the Tridentine Mass

Ann Scolari: What are your thoughts on the Trindentine mass?

CardinalMahony: Ann: The Tridentine Mass was meant for those who could not make the transition from Latin to English [or other languages] after the Council. But there is no participation by the people, and I don’t believe that instills the spirit of Christ among us.

For them Mary was NOT an active participant in the Sacrifice of our Lord.


Sunday, March 01, 2009

Msgr. Guido Marini speaking again about Liturgy

Msgr. Guido Marini, Papal Master of Ceremonies, speaks about the liturgy, proper orientation, proper postures (in receiving communion), proper art and architecture, proper music in consonance with the hermeneutic of continuity.

Translation from the New Liturgical Movement.


Without words before the greatness and beauty of the mystery of God

by Maddalena della Somaglia

The Holy Father seems to have the liturgy as one of the basic themes of his pontificate. You, who follow him so closely, can you confirm this impression?

I would say yes. It is noteworthy that the first volume of the "opera omnia" of the Holy Father, soon to be published in Italian, is that devoted to those writings which have as their object the liturgy. In the preface to that volume, the same Joseph Ratzinger emphasizes this fact, noting that the precedence given to the liturgical writings is not accidental, but desired: in the same way as Vatican II, which first promulgated the Constitution dedicated to the Sacred Liturgy, followed by the great Constitution on the Church. [Lumen Gentium] It is in the liturgy, in fact, where the mystery of the Church is made manifest. It is understandable, then, the reason why the liturgy should be one of the basic themes of the papacy of Benedict XVI: it is in the liturgy that the renewal and reform of the Church begins.

Is there a relationship between the sacred liturgy and art and architecture? Should the call of the Pope to continuity in the liturgy be extended to art and sacred architecture?

There is certainly a vital relationship between the liturgy, sacred art and architecture. In part because sacred art and architecture, as such, must be suitable to the liturgy and its content, which finds expression in its celebration. Sacred art in its many manifestations, lives in connection with the infinite beauty of God and toward God, and should be oriented to His praise and His glory. Between liturgy, art and architecture there cannot be then, contradiction or dialectic. As a consequence, if it is necessary for a theological and historical continuity in the liturgy, this continuity should therefore also be a visible and coherent expression in sacred art and architecture.

Pope Benedict XVI recently said in an address that "society speaks with the clothes that it wears." Do you think this could apply to the liturgy?

In effect, we all speak by the clothes that we wear. Dress is a language, as is every form of external expression. The liturgy also speaks with the clothes it wears, and with all its expressive forms, which are many and rich, ever ancient and ever new. In this sense, "liturgical dress", to stay with the terminology you have used, must always be true, that is, in full harmony with the truth of the mystery celebrated. The external signs have to be in harmonious relation with the mystery of salvation in place in the rite. And, it should never be forgotten that the actual clothing of the liturgy is a clothing of sanctity: it finds expression, in fact, in the holiness of God. We are called to face this holiness, we are called to put on that holiness, realizing the fullness of participation.

In an interview with L'Osservatore Romano, you have highlighted the key changes since taking the post of Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations. Could you recall and explain what these mean?

I was just saying that the changes to which you refer are to be understood as a sign of a development in continuity with the recent past, and I remember one in particular: the location of the cross at the centre of the altar. This positioning has the ability to express, also by external sign, proper orientation at the time of the celebration of the Eucharistic Liturgy, that the celebrant and the assembly do not look upon each other but together turn toward the Lord. Also, the unity of the altar and cross together can better show forth, together with the "banquet" aspect, the sacrificial dimension of the Mass, whose significance is always essential, I would say it springs from it, and therefore, always needs to find a visible expression in the rite.

We have noticed that the Holy Father, for some time now, always gives Holy Communion upon the tongue and kneeling. Does he want this to serve as an example for the whole Church, and an encouragement for the faithful to receive our Lord with greater devotion?

As we know the distribution of Holy Communion in the hand remains still, from a legal point of view, an exception [indult] to the universal law, granted by the Holy See to the bishops conferences who so request it. Every believer, even in the presence of an exception [indult], has the right to choose the way in which they will receive Communion. Benedict XVI, began to distribute Communion on the tongue and kneeling on the occasion of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi last year, in full consonance with the provisions of the current liturgical law, perhaps intending to emphasize a preference for this method. One can imagine the reason for this preference: it shines more light on the truth of the real presence in the Eucharist, it helps the devotion of the faithful, and it indicates more easily the sense of mystery.

The Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum" is presented as the most important activity in the papacy of Benedict XVI. What is your opinion?

I do not know whether it is the most important but it certainly is an important document. It is not only so because it is a very significant step towards a reconciliation within the Church, not only because it expresses the desire to arrive at a mutual enrichment between the two forms of the Roman Rite, the ordinary and extraordinary, but also because it is the precise indication, in law and liturgy, of that theological continuity which the Holy Father has presented as the only correct hermeneutic for reading and understanding of the life of the Church and, especially, of Vatican II.

What in his view the importance of silence in the liturgy and the life of the Church?

It is of fundamental importance. Silence is necessary for the life of man, because man lives in both words and silences. Silence is all the more necessary to the life of the believer who finds there a unique moment of their experience of the mystery of God. The life of the Church and the Church's liturgy cannot be exempt from this need. Here the silence speaks of listening carefully to the Lord, to His presence and His word, and, together these express the attitude of adoration. Adoration, a necessary dimension of the liturgical action, expresses the human inability to speak words, being "speechless" before the greatness of God's mystery and beauty of His love.

The celebration of the liturgy is made up of texts, singing, music, gestures and also of silence and silences. If these were lacking or were not sufficiently emphasized, the liturgy would not be complete and would be deprived of an irreplaceable dimension of its nature.

Nowadays you hear, during the liturgical celebrations, very diverse music. What music do you think is most suitable to accompany the liturgy?

As the Holy Father Benedict XVI reminds us, and along with him the recent and past tradition of the Church, the liturgy has its own music and that is Gregorian chant, and as such, it constitutes the permanent criterion for liturgical music. As well, a permanent criterion is also the great polyphony of Catholic renaissance, which finds its highest expression in Palestrina.

Beside these irreplaceable forms of liturgical music we find many manifestations of popular song, which are very important and necessary: so long as they adhere to that permanent criterion by which song and music have a right of citizenship within the liturgy, to the extent that they spring from prayer and lead to prayer, thus allowing genuine participation in the mystery celebrated.