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White smoke drifting into the night sky:

white smoke

The world watches…

St Peter's Square

…21st-century style:

Crowd 2

The crowd goes wild:

Crowd

A moment of prayer:

pope francis bowing

The cardinals take in the crowd’s jubilation, and no doubt look forward to resting more easily:

cardinals

Pope FrancisHabemus Papam!  Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires is now Pope Francis!

What a wonderful gift God and our cardinals have given to the Church today! Our new Holy Father seems like such a humble and gracious man.  I will never forget when he bowed and asked the people to pray for God’s blessing upon him, and the entire crowd fell silent and prayed, joined by the millions around the world who were watching via the media.  A beautiful, edifying, unifying moment.

I so look forward to getting to know our new Papa better and seeing and hearing more from him.  I feel we are in very good hands, and that he is going to move the Barque of St. Peter forward and reach out to the world.  A good leader for this age of the New Evangelization and the Year of Faith.

Pope Benedict farewell

With humility he came to the papacy, and with humility he left.  Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI bade farewell to the public world today.  I’m still taking it in.  The Church is pope-less for a time.  Sedes vacans.  While I was watching videos of his departure from Vatican City, I felt awe at the fact that I was witnessing such an historical moment.  I also felt a touch of sadness.  But I know Papa Benedict will be a great prayer-warrior for the Church and the world, and I am grateful for that.  I hope and pray that this gentle scholar–that is how I will always remember him most–will enjoy serenity and some refreshment for the rest of his days.  I hope he will continue to bless us with his writing as well.

At the same time, let us pray very hard for the cardinals who will be in the upcoming conclave.  As Papa Benedict himself said in his farewell address to them, the future pope is among them.  We must pray for their discernment, for their careful attention to the voice and motion of the Holy Spirit.  In addition to praying for the college of cardinals as a whole, perhaps you might want to adopt a cardinal and pray for him in particular.  I am praying for my adopted cardinal, Cardinal Peter Erdo of Hungary.

This last weekend was certainly a momentous one!  A British royal wedding, the beatification of Blessed Pope John Paul II, and the death of the United States’ top public enemy.  I had quite a bit going on personally, so I wasn’t able to tune in to as much of the news and events as I would have liked.  And by now, so much has been written in the blogosphere that I almost feel like this little post of mine will be totally redundant and insignificant.  But it’s my blog, and I’m trying to start posting much more frequently, so here are just some quick little reactions.

The royal wedding:  From what I saw it was a very beautiful ceremony and very rooted in Christian tradition.  I came across the prayer that Prince William and his bride composed and offered up:

God our Father, we thank you for our families; for the love that we share and for the joy of our marriage.

In the busyness of each day keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy.

Strengthened by our union help us to serve and comfort those who suffer. We ask this in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Beautiful.  It sounds like this young couple will not only have invited God to the wedding, but will also keep Him a part of their marriage–something all too rare these days.  I pray for them that it may be so and that many young people around the world will follow their example.  I was also very impressed with Catherine’s dress–very classic, and very modest as wedding dresses go these days.  It reminded me of Princess Grace’s wedding dress.

Beatification of Bl. Pope John Paul II:  What an experience to see somebody who lived in your own lifetime be beatified!  And how blessed the world was to have this incredible man at its service during such turbulent times.  He was truly a universal man, who had so much personal experience with human suffering and yet vigorously, tirelessly preached “Be not afraid!” and the worth and dignity of every human life, no matter how poor, how small, or how difficult it might be.  In the Church and on the world stage, he was a lion-hearted man, and also an extremely gentle man.  In his old age and illness, when many were shaming him for not retiring and letting somebody younger, healthier, and supposedly more capable take over as pope, he persevered quietly, and taught us all that people don’t lose their dignity and worth when they become old and sick.  That perseverance is one of the things that inspired me to come back to the Church, and has uplifted me many times since.

Death of Osama Bin Laden:  When I saw the news, I had two thoughts almost simultaneously.  One was, “Thank God, he’s finally gone!”  The other was, “Dear Lord, he must be in desperate need of Your mercy!”  I rejoiced in the success of our soldiers and the defeat of such a dreadful enemy who had killed so many innocent people.  I also feared for the state of his soul and how terrible his judgment before God must have been.  I hate and despise his sins.  I pity the man.  I wish he had repented.  Maybe he did in his final moment.

I was also glad to see some joy and celebration in the streets of New York and Washington.  I know some people have found it tasteless, even going so far as comparing those people to the people in the Middle East who celebrated in the streets on 9/11.  I didn’t see that at all.  For one thing, I didn’t see any burning effigies or burning flags or guns.  I saw people celebrating not a man’s death in itself, but rather celebrating the ending of at least one chapter of a dark and haunting story, a nightmare of agony.  I think that the New Yorkers and Washingtonians deserved to celebrate.  I don’t think that we in other parts of the nation fully understand what they have gone through.  9/11 may have occurred almost 10 years ago, but the shadow of grief is very long and dark, as I know from personal experience.

I am finally catching up on the coverage of the Holy Father’s visit to Britain.  One-word summary: Wow!

Pope Benedict’s sermons and speeches are as powerful and prophetic as ever, with their characteristic blend of incisiveness and gentleness.

But overarching everything, there is the sheer historical magnitude of the Catholic Pope speaking in places like Westminster Hall and Westminster Abbey, openly and fearlessly declaring himself the Successor of St. Peter and calling Britain back to her Christian, and indeed Catholic roots, pointing to such British Catholics as St. Edward the Confessor, St. Thomas More, St. Margaret of Scotland, and the soon-to-be-beatified Ven. John Henry Newman.

I cannot help but feel great wonder and awe at this occasion!  And while the re-conversion of Britain to Catholicism has long been a prayer intention dear to my heart, I finally feel, for the first time, that some kind of breakthrough might be in progress.  I hope and pray that the Holy Father’s presence and words may bear much good fruit in those lands.

Here are some of the British sources I’ve been following:

The Catholic Herald

Damian Thompson

The Hermeneutic of Continuity

Saint Mary Magdalene

That the Bones You Have Crushed May Thrill

Godzdogz

May our Lord and Lady continue to bless and protect our Holy Father during this momentous journey.

The incredible thing about the Divine Office is that it never grows stale.  No matter how many times I may cycle through the weeks and the liturgical seasons, the prayers never cease to touch me and speak to me.  Sometimes they comfort me.  Sometimes they convict me.  Today, it was a little of both.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read the Invitatory Psalm, Psalm 95.  And yet this morning, it really struck me.

“Do not grow stubborn as your fathers did in the wilderness,
when at Meriba and Massah they challenged Me and provoked Me,
although they had seen all of My works.

They are a people whose hearts go astray and they do not know My ways.”

These familiar words really panged my heart.  Heaven knows that I have been known to be stubborn, even before God.  My heart has gone astray more than once.  And despite knowing how good God has been to me, I have doubted.  Perhaps some of the pangs I felt were personal remorse.  And then, there is the remorse I feel on behalf of the culture in which I live.  Talk about stubbornness and going astray, challenging and provoking.  It’s the Western way these days, I’m afraid.

This evening, Psalm 46 made me think of the horrible suffering in Haiti, after that devastating earthquake, while also being a fervent expression of hope and trust:

God is for us a refuge and strength,
a helper close at hand, in time of distress:
so we should not fear though the earth should rock,
though the mountains fall into the depths of the sea,
even though its waters rage and foam,
even though the mountains be shaken by its waves.

I know that’s pretty easy to say here where I am, where the earth has not in fact rocked and quaked and engulfed and trapped and killed. If I were in Haiti right now, I might find no comfort or hope at all in those words. I might not feel that God was with me at all in my time of distress.

More than anything, I feel that this is a call for me, and for all of us, to do everything we can to let our suffering brothers and sisters in Haiti see and feel and hear God and His love through us.   To let them know that they are not alone or abandoned.  Most of us cannot be there in person, but we can support and supply the people who are there giving assistance in person.

I feel this calling very strongly.  To give prayers, to give money.  My local bishop is calling for special collections to be taken for relief in Haiti; I think the same is true in dioceses across the country and around the world.  I’m sure that non-Catholics are finding ways to help too.

It’s a tragedy that such catastrophes must occur and cause so much suffering.  But tragedies can also break us from our stubbornness, our pride, our blindness.  They can shake down the walls of complacency and self-centeredness.  They can bring forth wellsprings of mercy and charity.  They can bring us closer to God and His ways than ever.  They can inspire us to imitate Him, to make His presence known and felt in the world.

To do so is a tremendous privilege.  In helping bring Him to others, we can become closer to Him ourselves.  We can also make amends for our failings as individuals and as nations.

Also, I would like to remind my Catholic readers that in addition to helping provide material assistance, we can also give our prayers and good works to assist those who have died in this disaster.  We can seek indulgences for those dear souls who may be suffering in Purgatory now.  We can provide real, first-hand aid to them!  A kind of aid that would not even occur to many people, or in which many people do not believe.  Praying for the dead is a very important and much-needed act of mercy!

Here is the National Review Online interview with Harvard AIDS expert, Dr. Edward C. Green (with my emphases and comments:

From Saint Peter’s Square to Harvard Square
Media coverage of papal comments on AIDS in Africa is March madness.

By Kathryn Jean Lopez

‘We have found no consistent associations between condom use and lower HIV-infection rates, which, 25 years into the pandemic, we should be seeing if this intervention was working.”

So notes Edward C. Green, director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, in response to papal press comments en route to Africa this week.

Benedict XVI said, in response to a French reporter’s question asking him to defend the Church’s position on fighting the spread of AIDS, characterized by the reporter as “frequently considered unrealistic and ineffective”:

I would say that this problem of AIDS cannot be overcome with advertising slogans. If the soul is lacking, if Africans do not help one another, the scourge cannot be resolved by distributing condoms; quite the contrary, we risk worsening the problem. The solution can only come through a twofold commitment: firstly, the humanization of sexuality, in other words a spiritual and human renewal bringing a new way of behaving towards one another; and secondly, true friendship, above all with those who are suffering, a readiness — even through personal sacrifice — to be present with those who suffer. And these are the factors that help and bring visible progress.  [NOTE:  I don’t believe this is the accurate, official version of what the pope said.  That can be found in this article.]

“The pope is correct,” Green told National Review Online Wednesday, “or put it a better way, the best evidence [evidence!] we have supports the pope’s comments. He stresses that “condoms have been proven to not be effective at the ‘level of population.’”
“There is,” Green adds, “a consistent association shown by our best studies, [studies!] including the U.S.-funded ‘Demographic Health Surveys,’ between greater availability and use of condoms and higher (not lower) HIV-infection rates. This may be due in part to a phenomenon known as risk compensation, meaning that when one uses a risk-reduction ‘technology’ such as condoms, one often loses the benefit (reduction in risk) by ‘compensating’ or taking greater chances than one would take without the risk-reduction technology.”

Green added: “I also noticed that the pope said ‘monogamy’ was the best single answer to African AIDS, rather than ‘abstinence.’ [A very important distinction.  Lots of people are attacking the pope’s position because of the old claim that abstinence is impossible, unreasonable, barbaric!  Well, it’s really none of those things, of course, but that’s beside the point.] The best and latest empirical evidence [more evidence!] indeed shows that reduction in multiple and concurrent sexual partners is the most important single behavior change associated with reduction in HIV-infection rates (the other major factor is male circumcision).”

And while, as Travis Kavulla writes from Kenya today, the international media will ignore all sorts of fascinating new stories about church and civilizational growth in favor of a sexier, albeit way-too-familiar storyline, Green has some encouraging news: The pope is not alone. “More and more AIDS experts are coming to accept the above. [So, all the people who are singling out the pope and Catholic moral teaching for their criticisms are either uninformed or dishonest.] The two countries with the worst HIV epidemics, Swaziland and Botswana, have both launched campaigns to discourage multiple and concurrent partners, and to encourage fidelity.[Again: monogamy, not abstinence.]

The pope added during that Q&A, “I would say that our double effort is to renew the human person internally, to give spiritual and human strength to a way of behaving that is just towards our own body and the other person’s body; and this capacity of suffering with those who suffer, to remain present in trying situations.”

We need to, in other words, treat people as people. [Which necessarily includes not treating people as expendable sexual objects.] Reason with them and show them there is a better way to live, respectful of themselves and others. It’s a common-sense message that isn’t madness [Boy is that a counter-cultural statement!] whether you’re in Africa or dealing with hormonal American teenagers. It’s a hard message to hear over the same-old silly debates, parodies, and dismissals. [Which is mostly what one finds in the secular media and society, because God forbid anybody should engage the issue with the objectivity, gravitas, and intellectual rigor it deserves.] But it’s one that is based on real life—and acknowledged not just in Saint Peter’s Square but in Harvard Square.

Wow–all that talk about evidence and studies!  Could it be that our brilliant Holy Father has done his homework?  Or could it simply be that science and Catholic teaching are on the same page, part of the same truth?  I’d say both are the case.

Here is an article that nicely summarizes responses–both negative and positive–to Pope Benedict’s recent statement that condoms will not combat the AIDS epidemic in Africa, and in fact could exacerbate it (with my emphases and comments):

World Leaders, Condom-Promoting Forces Attack Pope Over Condom AIDS Remarks

By Hilary White

ROME, March 19, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Two days after Pope Benedict XVI warned that more condoms would facilitate the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa, the world’s condom-promoters and their political allies are leading an all-out attack on the pope and on the Catholic Church. However, at the same time, Catholic and other conservative leaders are defending the pope, pointing out that not only is science on his side, but also that in his remarks the pope was showing a welcome deference to the pro-family culture of Africa, which is opposed to the population control agenda promoted in the continent by many Western “aid” agencies.

The day after the Pope made his comments, the heavily anti-Catholic government of Spain announced it would be sending over a million condoms to African countries.  The Spanish health ministry said in a statement Wednesday, “Condoms have been demonstrated to be a necessary element in prevention policies and an efficient barrier against the virus.”

The French foreign ministry called the comments a “threat to public health policies and the duty to protect human life,” while the Dutch development minister said it was “extremely harmful” and that “the pope is making matters worse.” Former French Prime Minister Alain Juppé, interviewed Wednesday by France Culture, said, “This pope is becoming a real problem.”  [As a Catholic, I consider that a good sign.]

“To go say in Africa that condoms increase the danger of AIDS is, first of all an untruth and it is unacceptable for the African people and for everyone else,” Juppé said.

Aurelio Mancuso of the Italian group Arcigay said, “While across the world and especially in Africa thousands are dying of Aids, Ratzinger [Benedict] can think of nothing better to say than repeat the Vatican’s position on condoms.  [The way this is said makes the pope sound like a brainless idiot who does nothing but parrot sayings.  Give me a break–we’re talking about one of the most brilliant, articulate, and eloquent people on earth!  But as for the position he holds and supports–what on earth do they expect from the pope?]

“We are now beyond the paradox, this view simply contributes to the spread of the disease and especially in Africa where there are not enough medical resources to treat patients.”

The Telegraph also quoted Lisa Power of Britain’s homosexualist activist group, the Terrence Higgins Trust, who said, “We deeply regret the continued misinformation around condoms, which remain the most effective way of preventing the spread of HIV.

“Both abstinence and condoms are valid weapons in the fight against HIV, but unfortunately abstinence has a far higher failure rate.”

Rebecca Hodes, of the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa, told the Guardian that the Pope’s “opposition to condoms conveys that religious dogma is more important to him than the lives of Africans.”  [Or could it be that religious dogma is important because it saves and improves the lives of human beings?  But only a stupid, unenlightened Catholic could believe that.]

However, while Pope Benedict in his remarks was merely reiterating Catholic teaching, backed up by research showing that the failure rate of condoms and the promiscuity they encourage significantly contribute to the spread of AIDS, defenders of the pope have observed that the Holy Father’s remarks had a further inspiration, beyond the science of the matter.  [Given what a thorough thinker Pope Benedict is, I’m sure this is true.]

Franciscan Father Maurizio Faggioni has suggested that the pope was in part responding to a grave cultural threat to Africa posed by the condom philosophy and the international population control movement that promotes it. Faggioni, who has advised the Vatican on sexual morality issues, told Catholic News Service that the pope sees condom campaigns as a question of “cultural violence,” especially in Africa, where there has never been a “contraceptive mentality.”  [The contraceptive movement is just the latest form of Western imperialism.   I’m  sure that this is something the Holy Father has in mind.]

This opinion is supported by local African AIDS activists who regularly complain that AIDS sufferers in their countries are being used in a massive international campaign both to reduce African populations and undermine traditional African family values. [“Being used” is the operative phrase here.  Whenever human beings are used as means to an end, when human beings are treated like objects, we’re talking grave, intrinsic evil.  The fact that these particular human beings are already gravely ill and suffering just makes it more monstrous.]

Martin Ssempa, a key player in Uganda’s highly successful abstinence and faithfulness anti-AIDS programmes, [Hello!  This can’t be ignored!] told LifeSiteNews.com that the hostility towards the Catholic Church of the international AIDS organisations is matched only by their hatred of traditional Christian sexual morality.  [Their alleged concern for AIDS and AIDS patients is their means of trying to bring down the entire body of Christian sexual morality.  By pressuring the Church to give up its stance on condoms, they expect that they can get the Church to give up its stance on everything else as well.  And they’d probably be right–but they aren’t going to succeed.]

Ssempa, a Protestant minister, said in October 2007, during a previous media-sponsored wave of furor over the Catholic Church’s opposition to condoms, “Condoms have not reduced HIV-AIDS anywhere in the world … Higher condoms [rates] across Africa have resulted in higher HIV.”

Condom promoting international organisations such as UNAIDS, he said, are “demonizing the Catholic Church unfairly.”  [Again, I take that as a good sign.  If the Church were no longer demonized unfairly, I think we’d need to seriously examine ourselves.]

“In fact,” he said, “in countries where the Catholic Church is strong, there is lower HIV than places where the Catholic Church is not.”

In 2008, Sam L. Ruteikara, the co-chair of Uganda’s AIDS-prevention Committee wrote in the Washington Post that in the fight against AIDS, “profiteering has trumped prevention.”

“AIDS is no longer simply a disease,” he said, “it has become a multibillion-dollar industry … [And of course, those who cash in on it aren’t really interested in destroying it.] Meanwhile, effective HIV prevention methods, such as urging Africans to stick to one partner, don’t qualify for lucrative universal-access status.”

Rutkara said, “Our wisdom about our own culture is ignored. [Because the West knows best, dontcha know?!] Telling men and women to keep sex sacred – to save sex for marriage and then remain faithful – is telling them to love one another deeply with their whole hearts. Most HIV infections in Africa are spread by sex outside of marriage: casual sex and infidelity. The solution is faithful love.”

In a meeting with the press on board the plane taking him to Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon, on Tuesday, the pope set off a firestorm after responding to the assertion that the Catholic Church’s position on combating AIDS is considered “unrealistic and ineffective.”

“I would say the opposite,” Benedict said. [I love how he begins his response this way!  It is bold in its contradiction.  As I’ve said before, the Holy Father has an exquisite manner of calmness, gentleness, and charity–but he’s no push-over.  He doesn’t hesitate to draw sharp lines when it comes to ideas and beliefs and what’s wrong and what’s right.  God bless him for it!] “I think that the reality that is most effective, the most present and the strongest in the fight against AIDS, is precisely that of the Catholic Church, with its programs and its diversity.”

“I would say that one cannot overcome this problem of AIDS only with money — which is important, but if there is no soul, no people who know how to use it, (money) doesn’t help,” he said.

“One cannot overcome the problem with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, they increase the problem.”

Benedict said that combating the spread of AIDS requires “first, a humanization of sexuality, that is, a spiritual human renewal that brings with it a new way of behaving with one another.  [Sexuality must involve relating with another human being–not using them.] Second, a true friendship even and especially with those who suffer, and a willingness to make personal sacrifices and to be with the suffering.” [True compassion–something the secular world just doesn’t understand any more.  ” ‘Make personal sacrifices’?  Sounds hard and painful–why on earth would we do that?”]

I definitely understand why his statements are making some people angry.  But I love that he’s willing to say things that make people angry.  If the pope can’t or won’t do so, then what hope is there for the rest of the Catholic world?  I’m so grateful that we have a Holy Father who is able to lead by example and inspire courage and reassurance in his flock.  May God bless him with continued long life!

And just in case we need further evidence that the pope was right in his statement, here’s another article to look at:  Harvard AIDS Expert Says Pope is Correct on Condom Distribution Making AIDS Worse

Related Post:

Harvard AIDS Expert: “The pope is correct”

[UPDATE: Father Z reports that the official English translation has been released now.  I’ve updated the excerpt below with the official version.]

Pope Benedict has issued a letter to all Catholic bishops regarding the lifting of the SSPX bishops’ excommunication and the unfortunate explosion surrounding Bishop Williamson’s crazy and wicked notions about the Holocaust.  What should have been a peaceful, merciful step toward reconciliation turned into a loud nightmare, with the Holy Father coming under a great deal of fire–much of it from within the Church.

The New Liturgical Movement has a full English translation of the letter, along with various commentaries.  I initially came across all of this at WDTPRS, and Father Z of course has his own comments.

I haven’t gotten to read it all, but there was one part that really struck me.  Pope Benedict asks:

Can we be totally indifferent about a community [the SSPX] 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?

This reminded me immediately of the end of the Book of Jonah, where Jonah is so angry that God shows mercy to the repentant people (and animals) of Nineveh.  Jonah is angry because God forced him to prophesy to the city even though Jonah knew God was merciful and would spare the city.  He was concerned only for himself, his own wishes and his own comforts.

God replies:

And should I not be concerned over Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot distinguish their right hand from their left, not to mention the many cattle?

There are lots of people furious that one bishop had his excommunication lifted even though he holds some very hurtful and very wrong-headed beliefs about the Holocaust–never mind that the excommunication had nothing to do with his views on the Holocaust.  There are also certainly many “liberal” people in the Church who are furious at the idea of some radical “ultra-conservative” types being let back into the fold.

Pope Benedict is saying, “Listen, this is not about just one bishop and his wrong ideas about the Holocaust.  It’s also not about supposed religio-political ideologies and rivalries.  This is about an entire community of Catholics who are in danger of drifting from the Church and in doing so may be risking the loss of their immortal souls.  Should I not be concerned over them?”

It seems like an incredibly simple question coming from the Supreme Pontiff, the overseeing Shepherd, of the Catholic Church.  Previously, I compared Pope Benedict with the merciful father in the parable of the Prodigal Son. He continues to show mercy, even under fire, even amid betrayals and general mass chaos.  He’s got his eyes on the prize and knows what is important.  He’s going to do what is right by the Church, what needs to be done.

We couldn’t ask for, nor even hope for, a better pope than Benedict XVI at this time in history.

I meant to comment on this earlier.  Now it’s gotten even better (and by “better,” I mean more absurd and appalling).

The UK’s liberal Catholic magazine, The Tablet, has slung mud at Father Timothy Finigan (of The Hermeneutic of Continuity) for ruthlessly foisting the TLM on his poor oppressed parishioners.  (Never mind that only 1 of the parish’s 4 Sunday Masses is in the Extraordinary Form.)

That’s the good part.

The better part is that after Father Finigan posted a detailed response to the article, presenting his side of the story, The Tablet demanded that he remove his post because it quoted the article in its entirety and allegedly violated copyright law!  I’m no copyright law expert, but I think Father Finigan’s post actually fell within fair use.  The Tablet just wants to censor him and keep the story one-sided.  Or maybe, in their hearts of hearts, they are ashamed of the nasty article and they don’t want it disseminated all over the world in its full glory.

Gosh.  So much for the freedom-loving, tolerance-touting liberal media!

In any case, Father Finigan has posted a “legally compliant version” of his response to the article.

Be sure to go read it if you haven’t already.

Also read Father Z’s reporting on this story.

And Father Finigan’s paper, “Sacred and Great: Traditional Liturgy in a Modern Parish,” which he wrote in response to some of his parishioners’ concerns.

For my part, I’d just like to share my personal favorite bit of the article:

Several said their adult children vowed never to go to the church again, such was their unhappiness with the liturgy. “People who have been away from church come back at Christmas and Easter and are totally put off. It is so sad,” said Jean Gray.

Boohoohoooo!!!  Those poor grown-ups who only go to church on Christmas and Easter!  And then act as if they have a right to be unhappy with the liturgy!  And their poor parents who feel sorry for them and blame that wicked old parish priest for putting off their little darlings!

If I didn’t know better, I’d think that quotation was from a “fake news” satire.  I mean, are you kidding me?!  Maybe if those C&E types would have been more constant in their Mass-going during the time in which Father introduced the new liturgy, they wouldn’t have been so put off.  Or why didn’t they just attend one of the Ordinary Form Masses Father offers?  The article and the folks grinding the axes really make it sound like they’re trapped animals.  What a joke! What a ridiculous, pathetic, public, worldwide joke!  Have those people no shame?

Well, I applaud Father Finigan for his efforts and pray that the Lord will bless him and his entire parish richly.  And will grant special graces of conversion and repentance to those who have disrespected not only Father, but also the majority of their fellow parishioners by dragging them into this mud pit.  And will cause more Father Finigans and Blackfen parishes to pop up rapidly all over the world!  In my humble opinion, the liberals have asked for it.  Let ’em have it!

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