Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine: et lux perpetua luceat eis

Word comes to us that Msgr. Heliodore Mejak, for over 63 years the pastor at Holy Family Parish in KCK, passed away on Christmas Day.

Msgr. Mejak was reported to be the longest-serving pastor in the world, and only the SECOND pastor to serve in the parish since its formation in the 1920s.

Deus, qui inter apostolicos Sacerdotes, famulum tuum Heliodore, sacerdotali fecisti dignitate vigere: praesta quaesumus; ut eorum quote perpetuo aggregetur consortio.

O God, Who wast pleased to raise Heliodore, Thy servant, to the dignity of the priesthood: vouchsafe to number him with They bishops and priests for evermore.

Msgr. Mejak was always friendly to traddies, and was a calm port in the ecclesiastical storm of the 1970s for many in Kansas City.

No details on funeral arrangements.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Oh yeah, and "Happy Holidays"

Well, I'll wish you the same devious, intolerant, insensitive greetings I've been wishing everyone, including my Jewish friends, all week:

Merry Christmas, and a Blessed New Year!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Two currents of work in women's religious communities...

Well, while we're gratified to see some young women's communities organizing and growing and bringing new Graces into Holy Mother Church, we're not surprised how little some of the older communities, flush with the spirit of Vatican II, have left to contribute:
Nuns leave their brains to science
Seriously, perhaps the neurologists studying those brains can find the "spirit of Vatican II" switch and come up with a way to turn it off before their whole orders disappear.

Friday, December 14, 2007


The answer to the problem, of course is to unwind the masonic revolution that has brough Italy great miseries and small ones over the last 130 years, and to restore the Papal States.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

A nugget from Frank Sheed.

Nope, I' m still not really blogging again; too much real life, and too much reading to do.

But the reading is much more rewarding. Finally getting through Frank J. Sheed's Society and Sanity (1953), which I've had for over a year and just hadn't gotten through.

Here's a nuggest from pp. 181-82, which my prottie and flag-wavin' Neo-Catholic friends need to digest:

At the moment the sky is filled with the clang of battle between Totalitarianism and Democracy. In fact, there is no opposition between them. They are answers to two different questions.

Totalitarianism is an answer to the question, "What things are Ceasar's?"--the answer it gives being that all things whatsoever are Caesar's, that the State's right of control is unlimited, that the citizen has no rights against the State, no part of life that is simply his own.

Democracy is an answer to the question "Who is Caesar?"--the answer it gives being that Caesar is whomever the People elects.

Obviously there is no necessary opposition between them. One State might easily give both answers. It might decide that authority resides in the People, and that the People elects its government and can change its goverment. And it might also decide that there is no limit to the People's control, throught that elected and dismissible goverment, over the life of the individual, that, for what is conceived to be the good of the totality, the individualmay be totally regimented. There is no paradox here, no improbability even. A government which can claim to be doing what the majority of the people think best can interfere in the life of citizens as the most absolute tyrant could not: it was not an autocrat who in this century imposed Prohibition upon a great people: no autocrat would have dared. In fact control by government is spreading so fast in the democracies that the distinction already noted between the two main times of social authority has less meaning that of old, and Caesar is as good a symbol for one as the other.

Yes, one very clear explication that supports my view that I'd rather live under an autocrat like Franco that the current Spanish democracy, of for that matter, the current U.S. democracy. God bless Franco.

A friend from Montana has repeatedly recommended this book, and it's wonderful. A shame it's not in print, and you can count on Sheed & Ward, Frank's own publishing house, now run by leftists, be be sure it stays out of print.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Remember the Generalissimo!

The bastard socialists who've taken over Spain are still busy at work, rewriting history and stirring up hatred against the man that saved Catholic Spain (or at least prolonged its life 70 years) and probably saved all of Western Europe from revolutionary barbarians (or at least prolonged its life 80 years).

The ruling party, which is well into its campaign of subtle persecution of faithful Spaniards and Holy Mother Church, has passed a law condemning Francisco Franco.

Ah, it's hard to remember that God knows why he put me here, now, instead of among the Carlists of Spain in 1936. Oh, to have such a noble cause, and to have contributed to its success! Well, I guess if He'd have also had to have given me a better facility in Spanish (worst grades in elementary school) and make me a better shot, too. But to think I might have been there and gotten a shot off at commie Ernest Hemmingway!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hey Lady, that ain't a breadbox you just walked by!

So I'm in St. Louis earlier this week and I find myself across the street from the Old Cathedral with a half-hour to myself. A nice opportunity to go spend some time in front of the Blessed Sacrament in the same church from which Fr. DeSmet and countless other Catholic missionaries departed to bring the Faith to the American West.

So I slip over there.

I tug on the door, and it's open. And I'm pleased to see that there's some semblance of order and tradition in the arrangement of the place. Some goofy stuff here and there (the ambo, for instance), but still an altar rail, and a central tabernacle, and a raised altar on which a traditional Mass could be celebrated...still obviously Catholic.

And so I'm rather settled in before the Real Presence there, and I'm midway through the mystery of the Presentation when this older, heavy-set woman in a sleeveless shirt comes wandering out of the sacristy, across the sanctuary, and kicks herself over the velvet rope spanning the central gap in the altar rail. She comes down to me and tells me (with maybe slightly more regard as she just showed our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament) that I'll have to go; she's locking up. I watched her waddle back to the Church and hold the door open waiting on me to leave (again with nary a glance at the tabernacle).

Somehow I bit my tongue, but now I wished I wouldn't have. HEY LADY, THAT AIN'T A BREADBOX YOU JUST WALKED BY, that's the Creator and the Saviour of the World, Who humbled Himself to become a creature. And you can't even humble yourself acknowledge His presence with even so much as a novus-ordo nod to the tabernacle?

Or perhaps, despite the burning sanctuary lamp, He wasn't there at all? Maybe she knows something I don't about the way the sacraments are "celebrated" there? If so, at least she didn't give Him any offense, and it really was just a fancy breadbox.

Argh. Once again I'm reminded of the state of the rest of the Church. God bless Archbishop Burke for trying to restore the Faith in St. Louis, but what regard can people have for the Church when they have no regard for her Founder? Especially people who apparently have some role to play in the upkeep of a holy place that's been designated Bascilica?

I'm not sure I could ever go back in the Old Cathedral now. Next time I'll find a full hour and drive down to St. Francis de Sales.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Carnahan's Still on the Devil's Payroll

Ah, yes...we remember way back to the year 2006, when Robin Carnahan, Satan's apprentice in the Missouri Secretary of State's office, did her part to further the culture of death by assuring that the people of Missouri got a misleading ballot summary of Amendment 2, the Clone-n-Kill initiative. She managed to fool enough people so that (although the initiative's support declined week after week as people learned the truth in the runup to the election) just enough people pulled the lever in Missouri to make sure our own little Island of Dr. Moreau could stay in business. Of course, she did have a little help, to the tune of $30 million from baby-killin' billionaire Jim Stowers. But she did her part by making sure that Missouri voters couldn't tell that the state was redefining "cloning" to mean something that it did not.

And now we fast-forward to the fall of 2007, to learn that Robin's being even more bold. She's taken THIS and written ballot language describing it as a proposal "to repeal the current ban on human cloning or attempted cloning."


Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to repeal the current ban on human cloning or attempted cloning and to limit Missouri patients’ access to stem cell research, therapies and cures approved by voters in November 2006 by:

  • redefining the ban on human cloning or attempted cloning to criminalize and impose civil penalties for some currently allowed research, therapies and cures; and
  • prohibiting hospitals or other institutions from using public funds to conduct such research?

This proposal could have a significant negative fiscal impact on state and local governmental entities due to its prohibition of certain research activities. However, the total costs to state and local governmental entities are unknown.

Of course she'll get away with it. The Missouri courts earned their thirty pieces of silver last time and made sure the challenge to present the proposal fairly and honestly was quashed. And there's no reason to think they won't oblige again.

At this point the Enemy and his instruments are so drunk with his own success, and has gained so much confidence, that they're not even trying to cover their movements anymore.

Middle Schoolers Need Protection

Let's see:
McCarthy, the principal, said he sympathizes with those who have reservations about the program. "I think it makes people nervous to think middle school students are having sex. Frankly, it makes me nervous. But there's a small population out there that needs protection," he said.
Damned straight, they need protection. That protection could involve vigilant teacher during the day, a responsible older sibling after school, and a father at home in the evening (you know, the kind father who keeps a 12-gauge in the closet and a castrating clamp in the workshed*).

But of course, that's not the sort of protection they propose.


*actually, I guess I'm not that kind of father. The shotgun currently in my closet is only a 20 gauge, and we band our cattle. We don't have a clamp. I don't think that banding will work on male creatures who have opposable thumbs. I'll have to get the right equipment if Eldest ends up in public school.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

How to be wrong when you're right...

Apparently there's a guy named Bill O'Reilly who's a big deal on some TV news channel I don't watch and on some syndicated radio show that I don't listen to. I've seen him or heard him a couple of times in passing. He's apparently a self-identified Catholic, too, who's quite eager to peddle the distortions of his own ill-formed conscience as superior to Catholic teaching. And beyond that, he's an incomparable blowhard bore.

From what I've seen, he makes Rush Limbaugh seem like Russell Kirk.*

Well, anyways, he's apparently weighed in on the homosexual infiltration of Most Holy Redeemer parish in San Francisco, where last week Archbishop Neiderauer committed sacrilege by giving the Blessed Sacrament to a couple of flamboyant sodomites who are apparently part of the "Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence." Bill is apparently outraged that these guys invaded and desecrated a Church.

What an idiot! They didn't invade! They were invited and welcomed there. As all of us who ever pay any attention to the news of the Church know, heck, they used to have functions at Most Holy Redeemer! And the Archbishop who committed the sacrilege is complicit in the promotion of their sodomite agenda.

And apparently some of the folks who got that Archbishop appointed are more than complicit in the promotion of the sodomite agenda, but that's another story.

Anyways, back at this Bill O'Reilly character. Sheesh. A big fancy network and a staff of several (if not dozens of) people, and they can't check facts? Is that all it takes to be on the TV and make a bunch of money? Heck, I can do that, and I can direct the outrage where it truly belongs.

In the meantime, I'll just go back to my book about Fr. DeSmet.


*For those of you who don't know, Russell Kirk was the thoughtful, exceptionally well-read man who deserves the most credit for starting the modern conservative movement....back when there was still something worth conserving.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Mrs. Curmudgeon's gone noodlin'

Mrs. Curmudgeon does keep up with going's on in the devil's playground of Lawrence and regularly looks at the Lawrence Urinal World.

And yesterday, she read a story about something she'd like to try, noodlin'.

Frankly, if my family were starving, I'd give it a try, as part of my paternal duty.

But otherwise, forget it.

I'll just get my Lawrence repast as Joes Bakery. Mmm. Hot Glazed NOW. Or then again, maybe I won't.

Seriously, though, for the cracks one makes about the Lawrence paper, I guess you've got to compare it to the Kansas City Star. Sure, Dolph's little paper is wrong more than it's right, but it's at least more readable than the Star. The well-written noodlin' article is a case in point. Just try to find tight, clever writing like that in the Star. And the news is actually meaningful. Knowing that Joe's Bakery is closed down is far more useful than any of the crap they put in the Star FYI section. Now I know to head straight for Munchers (which, frankly, I was inclined to do anyways. The cream cheese doughnut at Munchers beats even the hottest, fresh-from-the-oil glazed at Joes).

Friday, October 12, 2007

The most evident mark of God's anger

Three little excerpts:

First, :
Archbishop George Niederauer gave Holy Communion to two men dressed in drag as nuns during an Oct. 7 visit to Most Holy Redeemer parish in San Francisco, witnesses who attended the Mass told California Catholic Daily.

The most evident mark of God's anger and the most terrible castigation He can inflict upon the world are manifested when He permits His people to fall into the hands of clergy who are priests more in name than in deed, priests who practice the cruelty of ravening wolves rather than the charity and affection of devoted shepherds. Instead of nourishing those committed to their care, they rend and devour them brutally. Instead of leading their people to God, they drag Christian souls into hell in their train. Instead of being the salt of the earth and the light of the world, they are its innocuous poison and its murky darkness....

WASHINGTON (October 11, 2007)—Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop Jaime Soto, Auxiliary Bishop of Orange, California, to be Coadjutor Bishop of Sacramento, California. Bishop Soto is 51. The appointment as coadjutor bishop confers on Bishop Soto the right to succession to Bishop William K. Weigand of Sacramento. Bishop Weigand is 70.
There's little more to say.

Oh, little more except this, from Diogenes at the CWNews blog, quoting Bp. Soto:

Chris Andersen's present difficulties pain me very much not only because he is a friend but also because he is an associate in the ministry. Our works brings us into intimate contact with people's lives. In a time when the exchange of simple affections within the most intimate of circles has become a rare commodity, our associations with others run the grave risk of being misunderstood by all parties including perhaps the priest himself [OTR's emphasis]. There is cause therefore to exercise prudence and right judgment while at the same time pursuing the mission of Church to bring healing and comfort. If Chris has failed in exercising such prudence or has in fact abused the privilege provided him by the people of God I would the hope the court would seek some remedial means of dealing with the case at hand as opposed to extensive incarceration.

Fifth, from St. John Eudes:

The most evident mark of God's anger and the most terrible castigation He can inflict upon the world are manifested when He permits His people to fall into the hands of clergy who are priests more in name than in deed, priests who practice the cruelty of ravening wolves rather than the charity and affection of devoted shepherds. Instead of nourishing those committed to their care, they rend and devour them brutally. Instead of leading their people to God, they drag Christian souls into hell in their train. Instead of being the salt of the earth and the light of the world, they are its innocuous poison and its murky darkness....

How on earth can a Catholic remain in God-forsaken California? Jeff, seriously. How?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

No friend of the OKC Traddies

Fr. Jack Feehily, in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, apparently can't wait to add his screed to the dunghill of motu proprio criticism. You might have missed it, but an OKC local pointed it out to me. On page 13 of the current issue of the diocesan newspaper, the Sooner Catholic, he complains to the editor about the paper's announcement of a Solemn High Mass in Kingfisher. Apparently, Fr. Feehily thinks publicity for the traditional Mass is verboten. And he repeats the usual, insulting crap about how there's no active participation in our little nostalgic exercise.

Not remarkable: I'm just posting a link to it because it might otherwise be missed.

Yet further proof that Holy Orders is no cure for idiocy or deviousness, whichever may be the motivating force in this case. Naturally he omitted fact that the Mass that "came about as the result of a great church council" was concocted by a freemason and protestants, and was (to quote somebody with a little more clout than Fr. Feehily) "a banal, on-the-spot product," and he of course omitted the fact that the codification of the Mass that saved Holy Mother Church from the heresies of the Protestant Revolt came out of a far more august and important council, Trent.

And hey, when he says "there can be no going back," I'm sure his congregation of one- and two-child families, who catch Mass whenever it doesn't interfere with soccer tournaments, would agree. But it won't be long until the large families of backwards, nostalgia-addled traddies outnumber the likes of his. Of course, he ends with a statement that the newfangled Mass is a call "to transform the world." Nevermind how the world has transformed the new Mass or the bulk of the Church, eh?

Well, were I in OKC, I'd issue a challenge: pick three kids and three grownups at random out of Father Feehily's congregation. Pick three kids and three grownups out of the traddie community, again at random. Then quiz each on what's happening at Mass. Keep going and quiz them on their catechism. I think we'll know then who's getting more out of Mass.

But of course, then, I'm sure Fr. Feehily would much rather take refuge in his glittering generalities and his certitude that somehow modern man has figured out (in between soccer games and Star Trek reruns) something new about his faith--something that was completely missed by the thousands of martyrs and saints that preceded us.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Traditional . . . er . . . "extraordinary" Mass in Oklahoma City

Mrs. Curmudgeon and I had reason to be in Oklahoma City this Sunday morning (the reason being our desire to avoid the handholding and kumbaya crowd at an "ordinary" Mass in the city we'd been visiting over the weekend). So, we got up early, drove to OKC, and assisted at the 11am low Mass at St. Michael the Archangel Chapel, the FSSP apostolate in the Bethany, Oklahoma. Now we can add Oklahoma City to our list of traditional communities we've visited (joining it with the communities in DC, Rockford, Sacramento, Phoenix, San Diego and Denver).

We just barely made it to Mass on time: our Mapquest directions led us to a dead end in a trailer park. But with a little luck and a little help from some guy resting under a tree at a protestant university's athletic complex, we made it in time.

What a neat place, and what a neat story! Apparently (said one of the locals), the grounds of the Church were once the clubhouse and entrance area to a golf course, but the course had been flooded decades ago by the Corps of Engineers on a reservoir project. A parishioner had purchased the grounds, including the clubhouse, many years ago, and he's given a substantial portion of it over to the use of the traditional community there, which has constructed a small chapel and, I understand, have rehabilitated the clubhouse for use as classrooms and social space. The grounds are beautiful, with a little pond and lots of flowering trees and shrubs. And the chapel is attractive as well. The chapel is small, seating maybe 100 in the nave and another 20 or 30 in the vestibule/cryroom and choir loft. It's small enough that a PA system at the ambo is entirely unnecessary. They've integrated and old altar and side niches into the new building, and they've got some attractive new stained glass.

I'm sorry that I wasn't able to get interior pictures; by the time I retreived my camera phone, baptismal rites had started in the vestibule. And I'm sorry I didn't have a decent camera with me; we left it at home, but I figured that a couple of phone pics were better than none.

All told, the community's facilities are to be envied. The setting is beautiful, and safe, and controlled (very much unlike our own setting at Blessed Sacrament). The church is very attractive, too, but also (even moreso than with Denver or Sacramento) too small and destined to be quickly outgrown: no more than four or six altar boys could be in the sanctuary at any one time, and we'd need five or six Masses on Sunday to get everyone into the small nave. However, it's a great start, and most importantly, it's theirs to use, without working around extra unnecessary furniture, or scheduling conflicts, or special permissions before such uncontroversial tasks as weeding the flowerbeds, or any of the other stuff that goes along with being tenants in someone else's church.

And of course, people naturally ask what the Mass was like. It was, happily, just a nice low Mass, celebrated reverently by the new assistant chaplain there (with a charming British accent that I didn't pick up until the Leonine prayers). No surprises at all (nor should there be). A solid sermon on love and lust was preached by the chaplain (who, it's obvious, learned to preach from the same folks my own chaplain did). Granted, the chaplain (who couldn't be older than me) lost some credibility by claim to be "an old priest" with "years of marriage preparation counselling." But they were otherwise great. Perhaps I liked the sermon so much because it vindicated by own intention to arrange a marriage for the Eldest Curmudgeon (who, at age 5, still accepts that fact that I get to pick her husband if she has a married vocation).

All and all, a great place to visit. I wish that Mrs. Curmudgeon and I had been able to get to OKC to attend the earlier Missa Cantata, socialize a bit with the OKC Traddies and catch up with some old friends who moved there from the Kansas City SRPD community.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Three Years Later

Three Years Later, Ultra-Conservative Lottery Winner Continues to Raise Concerns
(a/k/a Chapter 2 of “Not Me”)

Ditch Weekly, Kansas City, April 20, 2009.

On April 12, 2006, Kansas Citian Krusty Curmudgeon won the entire $224.2 million PowerBall jackpot from the Missouri Lottery. His comments after winning raised worries among lottery officials and others, and his actions since that time have kept those concerns alive.
The area just north of the city of Stanley, North Dakota, has changed a great deal in the last two years. Just off State Route 8, within view of White Lake, a new 15,000 foot grocery store, a 15,000 foot general merchandise discount store, and a string of shops have recently opened, and behind it, a new residential development, Douay Estates, may someday double the population of a county that had about 6500 residents in 2000.

The grocery, Raphael’s, opened six months ago, and the discount general merchandise store, Nicholas’ Mercantile, opened last week. Also open are some smaller shops, including Anthony’s Meats, a butcher shop immediately adjacent to the grocery which has its own storefront as well as a counter opening into Raphael’s to serve grocery patrons. Flanking the grocery on the other side is Elizabeth’s bakery, which, in addition to its own storefront and lobby with tables and chairs for coffee-and-pastry patrons, also has a service counter that sells into Raphael’s. Also open are Amand’s Cellar, a liquor store, and The St. Lawrence Grill.

Soon to open in the remaining shop spaces are Clitherow’s Books and Gifts, C&D Pharmacy, and a medical office. The developer has land to develop several more small retail shops as well.
Across the newly-paved Campion Drive, also facing Route 8, a building is under construction to house the Douay Credit Union and to provide a few office suites for rent. Behind the Douay building is Isidore’s Service, which sells fuel, performs auto repairs and sells tires.

Further down Campion Drive there are two new three-story apartment buildings and two others under construction, all similar in appearance to those built commonly built in cities in the 1920s and 1930s. There is a row of newly constructed small houses, and another row under construction. Nearby, several intermediate single family homes on typical city-sized lots are under construction, and larger homes on half-acre to two-acre lots are either recently completed or are being built a few hundred yards away. In total, 40 houses have been completed and another 25 are under construction. A carpenter who is working in the project told Ditch there were at least a fifty more houses that would come up in the next year. In the center of all this residential development is a large brick residence, a community meeting hall named after missionary and explorer Jean-Pierre DeSmet, a playground, a chapel building, and a private school building.

The first indication that this development is somehow different from the typical subdivision in more urban areas is probably lost on most of those who see it. But someone familiar with Catholic saints might notice that each shop is named after the patron saint for its particular trade, and the new street signs bear the names of Catholics who died in the religious violence that followed the Protestant Reformation in England. The main entrance road, a boulevard lined with young trees, is named after Edmund Campion, a Jesuit priest who was executed by the English in 1581. If the observer pulls in and drives through the streets that have been built to date, he or she may notice subtle religious symbols at the intersections and in the roundabouts, as well as in front of most of the newly built homes: statutes of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, or Francis of Assisi, and a mosaic of St. Michael, a sword-wielding angel.

Another unusual feature of this development is the lack of advertising for the project. The unfinished homes and lots do not have for-sale signs, and the houses and none of the property in the development is listed with real estate agents. There are reports that the developer, who declined to be interviewed for this feature, is actually giving many of the lots away, and only asking the new owners to agree to the covenants for the subdivision and to pay their share of the cost of building streets and running utilities to the lot before they connect their houses. And ironically, Curmudgeon himself has not yet built a house here.

The developer is Douay Services, LLC, a company, like the project, named for the town in France where many English Catholics settled after King Henry VIII broke the English church away from Rome in the sixteenth century. Douay is owned by a series of other companies and trusts that are traceable to Krusty Curmudgeon, the Kansas City man who, on April 12, 2006, won the largest jackpot ever awarded by the Missouri Lottery, $224.2 million. Curmudgeon is a member of an ultra-conservative branch of the Catholic Church that continues to hold its services in Latin and preaches a strict morality where television, many modern fashions, sex outside of marriage, religious freedom and the equality of women are scorned. When interviewed shortly after he won the lottery, Curmudgeon told a reporter from the Kansas City Star: “I'm going to sell my house and build a compound of sorts somewhere out of the way--maybe start semi-rural a Catholic ghetto of sorts. . . . Once I get my family situated and my affairs properly organized to protect them, I intend to go from being a bystander to combatant in the culture wars."

And Curmudgeon has followed through on many of his other plans, including becoming a “combatant in the culture wars.” Curmudgeon now has a Kansas City-based staff of three (two full-time and one part-time) employees who, with the help of freelance writers and unpaid volunteers, publish a daily online news service and a 16-page weeklyt general circulation newspaper. He plans to move the newspaper to his new development in the next year. Curmudgeon has made donations to conservative extremist politicians and to right-wing social causes, including the backers of Missouri Amendment 1, the 2007 referendum which almost succeeded in reversing the Missouri stem cell research initiative passed in 2006. Curmudgeon regularly provides bail money and legal support for protesters who are arrested at Kansas City’s Stowers Institute, abortion clinics, and political and civic events. And when denounced by former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes, who called him a “radical” at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon last year, Curmudgeon, who happened to be present covering the event for his website and newspaper, stood on his chair and shouted back “No, madam, I am a counter-revolutionary!”

His other stated plan, the establishment of what he called a “semi-rural Catholic ghetto,” is well underway. At an event a few weeks after his lottery win, Curmudgeon revealed his plans for Douay, a 300 acre tract of rolling farmland near Stanley, North Dakota. That event was closed to the press, but individuals in attendance said Curmudgeon announced he was buying land near Stanley, and was in negotiations with the Mountrail County officials to arrange for a mixed use development that would include small, locally owned retail shops and housing for a wide range of income levels, all built around a community center, a private school, and a church. He stated he was going to lease shop space to fellow ultra-conservative Catholics who would operate local businesses—no chain stores allowed—and help organize a credit union to be a source of working capital. He also promised to give away small lots of land—land that would be subject to strict covenants and restrictions—to fellow ultra-conservatives, and that if someone wanted a larger lot, those might be available, too. While Curmudgeon himself did not disclose why he chose a site in North Dakota for his projects, individuals close to him wrote in an email that was eventually forwarded to Ditch that “Mountrail County a place where a cohesive group of faithful Catholics stand a better-than-average chance of resisting the heathen mob.”

The Douay project moved along rather quickly. A local engineer planned the necessary utilities—sewer, water, natural gas, electricity, and data cable (no cable television or traditional telephone lines were needed, Curmudgeon insisted). The project passed through the minimal county approval process rather quickly. The only problem came when the local school district asked for land within the development for an elementary school. The Douay representative initially refused, saying that there would be little need for it because it was likely all the families would either homeschool or sent their children to private schools, but a week later, Douay announced that it would leave 10 acres in parkland available for potential delivery to the school district, in the event that there was a need. Some Mountrail County residents also initially opposed the plan, stating that they didn’t want such a large development in their area creating additional traffic and changing the character of the White Lake area, but Douay representatives met with them, one by one, bought out some neighboring landowners, and somehow placated others. None of the landowners will discuss any payments they received with the Ditch, stating that they had signed confidentiality agreements.

Confidentiality seems to be the watchword in the Douay project, and all persons involved keep a suspiciously low profile. The developer is secretive about his plans, declining interviews from the press and inquiries from local real estate brokers. Samuel Smith, a Mountrail County real estate agent who spoke to the Ditch, approached Douay on behalf of a buyer he represented, but was told that this was not a project that they could deal with a broker on. It seems that Curmudgeon is trying to avoid the application of federal Fair Housing law, which prohibits religious discrimination and preferences in the sale or lease of residential property, while at the same time trying to establish a neighborhood that is made up almost exclusively of ultra-conservative Catholics. That goal is evident in the covenants and restrictions recorded against all the property in Douay, which don’t mention religion at all, but (in addition to imposing typical subdivision rules) do attempt to restrict the types of books and magazines that can be sold in the shopping center or distributed within the residential area, the availability of contraceptives, and the clothing that can be worn in the common areas.

Two priests from the Confraternity of St. Paul, a religious order established to serve Catholics who rejected the English-language service and other reforms introduced by Vatican II, have been given a large house near the center of the project. They do not hold any public religious services yet, but the priests have private services during the week in the chapel that was recently built for the school, and many of the new residents of Douay regularly attend. The school chapel seats fewer than 100 worshipers, but it was built so that it could be expanded to a larger church that seats 700 or more. The Catholic Diocese of Bismarck has not yet authorized a parish church to be built in the project, and the priests don’t claim to be parish priests subject to the Diocese. Ditch was unable to reach them by telephone, but an email inquiry was returned in which their one priest, Fr. Donald Davidson, stated that he “had informed the Bishop of Bismarck of his residence in the diocese, and was not holding himself out as being in public ministry or being a pastor, but was merely saying Mass and hearing confessions on private property as an informal chaplain to some friends who have recently moved up here.
The school is not yet named or organized; however, eight classrooms have been built, and they are regularly used by homeschooling families who share resources, and priests of the Confraternity of St. Paul teach high school math, Latin and French classes to students of homeschooling families who desire it. There are regular activities in the Community Center, including a regular Sunday afternoon social gathering of many Douay residents and others who attend the Confraternity’s services.

While Mountrail County locals have accepted the new development with only minor complaints, and others in North Dakota have declined to comment, people in the Kansas City area have repeatedly expressed concern about Douay and other Curmudgeon projects. Bernie Varnette, head of the Kansas City Alliance of All Faiths, has written against Curmudgeon several times since his lottery win was announced and routinely writes against “extremism and separatism” of the Douay approach, particularly in focusing on the symbols of only one religion, and in honoring only the Catholic victims of religious violence. Some Kansas City Jewish leaders have called for an investigation into the inherent anti-semitism and intolerance in Curmudgeon’s Kansas City-based projects. The representatives for the Kansas City Gay Lesbian Causus said Curmudgeon’s projects smacked of sexual bigotry and hate, was relieved that he appeared to be leaving town, but would monitor the Douay project even after he left.

In Topeka, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, herself a Catholic and a regular target of protests by Curmudgeon and his supporters, had previously suggested that Kansas now has its own Catholic Taliban. Even some Kansas City Catholic leaders have been critical. Rev. Tim Tinker, pastor of Our Lady of Leawood Catholic Church, says that Vatican II changed church doctrine in many ways, and now it’s important for Catholics to embrace and be part of the larger world, rather than to regard it as something to be despised. “The people who are moving to Douay are either full of pride in their own righteousness or have been filled with fear by people like Curmudgeon,” Tinker said.

Nor have federal authorities been at ease with the backer of the Douay project. When asked about Curmudgeon and Douay, the public affairs officer for the Kansas City, Missouri office of the United States Attorney had no immediate comment. But other anonymous sources within the office say that Curmudgeon’s financial arrangements have been under scrutiny.

Curmudgeon has claimed that he has given away all but $2 million of his winnings, and while there was no evidence of wrongdoing in the initial IRS investigation, the US Attorney’s office is opening other investigations. Also, although no clear violations of the Fair Housing Law have been reported, they would like to find a violation. “In this country, you can’t simply go live with your own kind. It’s un-American,” the anonymous source said. “We’ll continue the investigations in coordination with our colleagues in North Dakota, and then investigate the investigations, and eventually we’ll create something to hang on him. The obstruction of justice statute is a beautiful thing. We sent Martha Stewart to prison on nothing; we’ll get Mr. Curmudgeon, too.”

Questions and concerns about the Douay are certain to continue in the months ahead, and the Ditch will continue to cover any developments.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Scholarship for Local Priest to Attend FSSP Traditional Mass Training

The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter offered training this summer to interested priests who wanted to learn how to celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. Given that so many priests responded, the FSSP is offering two separate weeks of additional training, as described below.

Kansas City Catholic and Curmudgeon's Cave want to help send a local priest to this workshop. So here's the deal: the priest from either the Archdiocese of Kansas City (KS) or the Diocese of Kansas City--Saint Joseph (MO) who first emails kansascitycatholic[at] and says that he wishes to receive the training offered by the FSSP will have his $300.00 tuition paid by wolftracker and Curmudgeon.

First email in the inbox [that is, in Orville's inbox, not mine] wins.

Here's more information about the training from a Una Voce America press release:

'Bellevue, WA, Sept. 11, 2007 - The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, in collaboration with Una Voce America, in response to overwhelming popular demand is happy the announce two additional workshops for training priests in the "Extraordinary Form" of the Roman Rite, to be conducted at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary during the Fall Semester of 2007. The first workshop will take place from Friday, October 5th through Tuesday, October 9th. The second will take place from Friday, November 2nd through Tuesday, November 6th. Available placements are limited so priests are urged to contact the seminary at their earliest convenience. The cost for each of these five day workshops is $300.00. All the fundamentals involved in learning the Traditional Latin Mass will be covered.

Priests will receive a complete explanation with hands-on practice of the rubrics of the 1962 Missale Romanum as well as an introduction to Latin, traditional liturgical principles, and Sung Mass. A comprehensive materials packet will be provided including translations of the rubrics, audio CD's with the recited texts of Low Mass and Celebrant's chant for Sung Mass, and a demonstration DVD with examples of both Low and Solemn Mass.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

A starting point for Catholic Separatist discussions

For discussion, the current official catechism provides in paragraph 2243 as follows:

Armed resistance to oppression by political authority is not legitimate, unless all the following conditions are met: 1) there is certain, grave, and prolonged violation of fundamental rights; 2) all other means of redress have been exhausted; 3) such resistance will not provoke worse disorders; 4) there is well-founded hope of success; and 5) it is impossible reasonably to foresee any better solution.

First, what is the source of the teaching in this paragraph? There is no footnote in the text. Aquinas? A papal encycical (hopefully pre-Vatican II)? An ecumenical council?

Second, do any conditions (other than #4) remain unsatisfied?

Third, does anyone seriously believe that even #4 is satisfied?

PS, I know I could find the answer to my first question if I weren't too cheap to buy a Denzinger or too lazy to go to the evil local Jesuit college's library.

Catholic Separatists

If only there were time, I'd form a Catholic Separatist internet group (which would, I daydream, coalesce into a real--not just virtual--Catholic Separatist movement).

In recent travels through various parts of the country, I've been thinking a good deal about what it would be like if ten or fifteen or fifty thousand (if there are fifty thousand) of us all moved to one place, admitting the truth that the lodges and the socialists have won and that our government and social structures are degenerate beyond saving. We'd go somewhere out of the way--an arid plateau somewhere, or perhaps the state of North Dakota--and refuse to submit to the the corruption of our children and interference with our families and crippling, confiscatory taxation, and we'd go it on our own...until, of course, the government burned us out, threw the survivors in prison, and put our children on an intensive MTV regimen in homosexual foster homes to get them "caught up" with their peers.

But there isn't time. I'm too busy with family projects and breadwinning and long-neglected reading, so I won't start the group. But I invite anyone of like mind (although very few people read the blog anymore, now that I've quit posting regularly), with more leisure time, to have a crack at it. If you do, I'll stop by from time to time, pound out something inflammatory, and disappear for weeks.

I've put some of my daydreams to pen (actually, to keyboard), and maybe I'll post them to get the idea down the road.

In the meantime, please, somebody get us started.

Angry cholerics only need apply. The world needs contemplatives, but not in this sort of venue.

Friday, August 31, 2007

The Best Mother in the World

LONDON - Princess Diana's family solemnly marked the 10th anniversary of her death Friday, with her younger son eulogizing her as "the best mother in the world."

Hmm, you’d think that a royal (or, for us Jacobites, a royal pretender) would have higher standards than that.

The whole story is here, if you're in a voyeuristic, tabloid mode.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Pagan Labyrinths and Traditional Sanctuaries

How long has it been? Eight months now? What's happened in that time? The freeing of the traditional rite? What hasn't happened? There hasn't been any sign that the Archbishop has given the St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Community permission to find a real home. We still don't have a traditional sanctuary where we need not stumble around Novus Ordo furniture (excuse me, "ordinary form" furniture). We still don't have a regular place for our classes and social functions, either.

But those of us who see the Leaven from time to time can take comfort that progress is being made elsewhere in the diocese. Sacred Heart Parish in Shawnee may not have a traditional sanctuary either, but they can now proudly say they have a LABYRINTH.
“The labyrinth is very representative of who we are as a parish,” explained
Ann Daugherty, parishioner and music director at Sacred Heart. “We have young
and old parishioners, some whom have been here for years and some who are

Yeah, not exactly a grotto for the Blessed Mother, eh? Nevermind all those rosaries, let's engage in a little New Age spirituality and see if we can't find the Minotaur, while we're at it, eh? The article lamely claims that labyrinths are some sorth of primitive, or at least medieval, spiritual exercise.

Yeah, right.

Medieval? So there are labyrinth design in gothic cathedrals, sure. But the new labyrinth movement was "rediscovered" a heretical Episcopalian priestess from California as a means of shaking off the angry white male God and replacing Him with....a deified and feminized vision of onesself. Hardly medieval, unless of course you believe Dan Brown or the freemasons.

A great article exposing the labyrinth sham (written by a heretical Methodist who nonetheless recognizes paganism when he sees it) is available here.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hey, this free access to National Catholic Distorter is interesting!

Here's the summation of their editorial on the motu proprio:

We fear that re-embracing the Latin Mass could undermine the liturgical reforms that undergird the spiritual and theological developments of the Second Vatican Council. Changes that will set off our alarms include:

  • Reconfiguring seminary curricula to focus time, resources and talent on training priests to offer Mass and other sacraments in Latin and away from training that would support celebrating the sacraments in the vernacular.
  • Cutting back on seminary training on pastoral duties, such as counseling and chaplaincies.
  • Restricting church design and architecture in favor of old forms not conducive to the guidelines in liturgical documents written in the last 20 years.
  • Discouraging efforts to use contemporary music and other artistic expressions in liturgy.
  • Increasing restrictions on liturgical ministries open to all laypeople, men and women.

Some of us fear; some of us pray.

And in this article, we have some woman in Colorado Springs complaining that the traddies there preferred the company of other traddies, and preferred the old organic calendar to the "on the spot product" manufactured a few years ago, and preferred that church And she goes on to use a "we all celebrate Dad's birthday a different day" analogy. Well, of course, that's quite compelling, until you realize that Dad birthday is when it is, and SOMEBODY changed it.

Sister Joan's take?

I'd sure like to read this article, but not so badly that I'd give the National Catholic Distorter my credit card number:



The Latin Mass:
The laity will decide

OK, I guess I don't have to give them that, or anything else about me, so long as I click through a link to find .... yes.... a picture of an oppressed woman in a mantilla, following the Mass in her "Tridentian" hand missal.

This is beautiful. Yes, it's shootin' fish in a barrel, but hey:
It does not make reconciliation easier with women, who are now pointedly left out of the Eucharistic celebration entirely, or with Jews, who find themselves in the Tridentine Good Friday rite again described as “blind” and as objects of conversion. One wonders if reconciliation is really what it’s all about.

Poor Mrs. Curmudgeon, struggling to reconcile herself. I would say she reconciled with Rome much easier singing the choral part of the Aspereges Me that she did when I first took her, still a heretic, to Mass in college so she could sing kumbayas

It all depends, of course, on what you want to teach about our faith in the Eucharist. . . The Latin Mass, in which the priest celebrates the Eucharist with his back to the people, in a foreign language -- much of it said silently or at best whispered -- makes the congregation, the laity, observers of the rite rather than participants in it.

There goes the materialist, eh? If you can't measure it, it isn't happening, right? I'll tell you (as someone who has assisted from the pew in both N.O. and Tridentine Masses, and as someone who has served at the altar in both N.O. and Tridentine Masses, that I participate most fully in Tridentine Masses where I'm in the pew, alone at a low Mass, focused on the prayer, instead staring at the ceiling at an N.O. Mass while the ICEL drone goes on, or instead of (long ago) serving the N.O. in my rope belt and alb-thingy and watching the people in the Nave, and even (more recently) serving in cassock and surplice in the Tridentine Rite and focusing primarily on the my duties and trying to get the Latin pronounciation of the response to Orate Fratres right.

The symbology of a lone celebrant, removed from and independent of the congregation, is clear: Ordinary people have no access to God. They are entirely dependent on a special caste of males to contact God for them. They are “not worthy,” the liturgy says, even “to receive” the host.
This is even funnier than the caption of the oppressed woman reading her "Tridentian" Missal. Of course, Sis, the it's that goofy ICEL gloss on the Novus Ordo liturgy that says we are "not receive." Obviously, you haven't actually been to or looked at a Roman Missal in a good long while. The Domine Non Sum Dignus is that we are "not worthy...that You should enter under my roof."
The Eucharist in such a setting is certainly not a celebration of the entire community.

Indeed it is not. What a relief, to spend 45 minutes at a low Mass, or 90 minutes at a high Mass, and escape from the our worldly society wherein everything is a celebration of yourself!

At the same time, the sense of mystique, the incantation of “heavenly” rather than "vulgar” language in both prayer and music, underscores a theology of transcendence. It lifts a person out of the humdrum, the dusty, the noisy, crowded chaos of normal life to some other world. It reminds us of the world to come -- beautiful, mystifying, ordered, perfumed. It takes us beyond the present, enables us, if only for a while, to “slip the surly bonds of earth” for a world less mundane. It privatizes the spiritual life. This is a God-and-I liturgy.

Careful, there, Sis. An objection to transcendence, beauty, and order? You're running the risk of making your agenda a little more clear than your spiritual handlers might want you to!

"The Vatican II liturgy, on the other hand, steeps a person in community, in social concern, in the hard, cold, clear reality of the present. The people and priest pray the Mass together in a common language, with a common theme. They interact with one another. They sing “a new church into being,” non-sexist, inclusive, entered together in the Jesus who walked the dusty roads of Galilee -- curing the sick, raising the dead, talking to women and inviting his community to do the same.

The Vatican II liturgy grapples with life from the point of view of the distance between life as we know it and life as the Gospel defines it for us. It plunges itself into the sanctifying challenges of daily life.

It carries within it a theology of transformation. It does not seek to create on earth a bit of heaven; it does set out to remind us all of the heaven we seek. It does not attempt to transcend the present. It does seek to transform it. It creates community in an isolating society. "

Aw, now you've gone and showed just a few more cards than you should have. Nevermind that the Latin is less "sexist" than the N.O. thanks to the useful noun homine. Oh well, and I'm quite sure your typical reader doesn't know who Robert Hugh Benson is, much less recall the humanist liturgy he imagined in his 1907 apocalyptic novel Lord of the World. And your typical reader has to be delighted that what passes for Catholic Mass is, ideally, more like the neo-pagan opening ceremonies of the modern Olympic Games than like the Mass of the saints.

"In their fundamental message, they present us with more than two different styles of music or two different languages or two different sets of liturgical norms. They present us with two different churches.

The choice between these two different liturgies brings the church to a new crossroads, one more open, more ecumenical, more communal, more earthbound than the other. The question is which one of them is more likely to create the world of which we dream. "

Yes, one more earthbound. Yes, one "to create the world of which we dream." No disagreement there, Sis. Here's the first time (and perhaps the only recent time) you've expressed a Catholic truth more clearly than the Holy Father.
Now it’s up to the laity to decide which church they really want and why. Which we choose may well determine the very nature of the church in years to come.
Yes, and once again, I still can't seem to find any New Coke at Hy-Vee?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Yes, we shall see soon....

I guess I haven't taken Father Zuhlsdorf's advice. I stated earlier that we wouldn't know the value we can assign to this motu proprio until we see what the Ecclesia Dei Commission really does for the faithful, particularly with the most recalcitrant ordinaries.

And well, I guess we shall see soon. Father Z has got his hands on a statement from Tod Brown, Bishop of Orange. In it, we see the bishop (1) dividing and conquering, isolating the "stable groups of the faithful" by requiring them to go to their geographic pastors, and (2) mildly threatening any decent clerics that might be left in the diocese to wait for him to take the lead, (3) contain the Mass at the tiny chapel in San Juan Capistrano and (4) wreck any new attempt at restoring the Mass by calling on the use of the modern lectionary (with, we can only assume, the crappy ICEL translations we've all fled.)

Anyways, if you want to read it with Fr. Z's commentary, CLICK HERE. Or see below for snippets with no commentary (my own, perhaps less charitable, commentary has been attempted, but deleted). We'll see what happens in the Diocese of Orange, and we'll know where the Church is headed.

Marywood Center
P.O Box 1419
2811 E. Villa Real Drive
Orange, California 92863-1595
PHONE (714) 282-3105
FAX (714) 282-3029


To: The Presbyterate of Orange
From: Most Reverend Tod D. Brown
Re: The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum
Date: 10 July 2007...

I urge all pastors to join me in a common pastoral approach to the implementation of the Moto Proprio. It is the prerogative of pastors when requested by “a group of faithful (coetus fidelium) attached to the previous liturgical tradition exists stably (or continuously) (continenter exsistit),” i.e., parishioners in the full canonical sense of that term, and who request the celebration of the Holy Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962, together with the other liturgical celebrations as specified in the Apostolic Letter, it is their prerogative to “willingly accede (libenter suscipiat) to their requests, if the following conditions can be pastorally met:

• The availability of a priest, in good standing, who can demonstrate a minimum rubrical and linguistic ability to celebrate the extraordinary form.

• The ‘group’ of the faithful (that) exists ‘stably’ needs to be of sufficient number to warrant the public use of the forma extraordinaria. Individuals who are not geographically or intentionally part of a particular parish community should have recourse to their proper parish with their request or to the existing public celebrations that presently are offered in the Diocese of Orange at Mission San Juan Capistrano and Pope John Paul II Center.

• If the public celebration of the Eucharist in forma extraordinaria is conceded in accord with the norms as articulated in the Apostolic Letter (Art. #6), serious consideration should be given in using the Readings in the vernacular using the reformed Lectionary for Mass and its expanded cursus of Scripture texts. In this way, the entire parish community, whether utilizing the forma ordinaria or the public forma extraordinaria may be united in heart and mind around a single proclamation of God’s word.

While great responsibility is placed upon the pastor of the local parish in making these pastoral determinations, it remains for the Bishop of the Local Church in his role as moderator of the liturgy in his own diocese, to insure peace and serenity in the implementation of the universal norms of the Church regarding the worthy celebration of the liturgy as well as to intervene to prevent abuses from arising with regard to liturgical celebrations in his diocese. As pastors charged with the care of souls it is incumbent upon us to do whatever we can to help build a greater sense of communion in our local Church where divisions may exist particularly in areas of liturgical praxis. May this Apostolic Letter be an opportunity for us all to renew our commitment to being worthy stewards of the Holy Mysteries faithfully celebrated in accord with the rich Tradition of the Church.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Hey, dude, where in this store do you keep the New Coke?

The Coca Cola Company allows production of "Coca Cola Classic"
By John Thavis Coca Cola News Service

ATLANTA (CNS) -- In a long-awaited overture to disaffected soda traditionalists, the president of the Coca Cola Company allowed limited production of "Coca Cola Classic," the original formula soft drink which was recently replaced by New Coke.

The president said the Classic formula should be made available in to consumers who desire it. He said that while New Coke, introduced a few months ago, will remain the flagship product of the brand, Classic Coke should be considered "the extraordinary form of the Coca Cola product."

This reintroduction implies no failure of the New Coke production and marketing plan, but simply "two variations on the one flagship Coca Cola product." The president's directive came July 7 in a four-page letter to bottlers titled "Introducing Coca Cola Classic." The old formula will begin appearing in bottles and cans--not in fountains--Sept. 14. An accompanying personal letter from the president dismissed fears that the decisions would foment divisions among Coke drinkers or be seen as a retreat from the New Coke campaign.

The president said New Coke would certainly remain the company's predominant product. Drinking Coca Cola Classic presupposes a certain degree of sophistication and traditional preferences and "neither of these is found very often," he said. But the president expressed sympathy with consumers who are attached to the old Coke formula and uncomfortable with New Coke.

In the period since the introduction of New Coke, he said, excessive, Pepsi-like sweetness often led to "unfinished bottles and unsatisfactory mixes with rum and bourbon which were hard to bear.""I am speaking from experience, since I, too, lived through that period with all its hopes and confusion. And I have seen how arbitrary changes in the formula caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the old formula," he said.

The president noted that many older consumers have a long connection with the Classic formula. But in recent years, he said, it has been clearly demonstrated that young people are also attracted by the old formula.

By widening its availability, the president said, he hoped to make the new and old Coca Cola formulas "mutually enriching."

The old formula has been hoarded and bottled by small, out-of-the-way bottlers since shortly after the introduction of the new formula, but customers had to make special trips--often hundreds of miles and beg bottlers for it, who did not always consent.

...[T]he new policy did not explicitly state that those buying Coca Cola Classic were also expected to buy New Coke. The company said that crossover purchasers would be presumed, however.

He emphasized that although the new formula was designed to replace the old formula, the old formula was "never formally abandoned." Its restoration as an extraordinary product thus does not undermine the company's decisions with respect to New Coke, he said.

"There is no contradiction between the two formulas. In the history of our company there is growth and progress, but no rupture," he said."What earlier generations held as a good product remains such, and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful," he said.

Hmm. Anytime Skylstad is involved....

OK, while it's great to see pious women abandoning the dispair of the sedevacantist position, I have to wonder:

(a) Why would the choose to make their obedience under the care of such a lousy steward as is Bp. Skylstaad? Maybe they could have jumped over to Bishop Vasa's diocese and had a much more sane reintroduction into full communion.

(b) How much have these nuns agreed to pay on the Spokane bankruptcy settlement?

(c) How do they like the new Mass? Skylstad isn't known as one particularly solicitous of traddies. How many kumbayas will it take before they start wondering if the seat of Spokane is really empty?

(d) If they reach the conclusion I fear they might in question (c) above, would they then be"Sedespokantists?"

I remain the skeptic

Yes, despite what everyone says, I still remain skeptical. Maybe, just maybe, if the people in Springfield, and in Orange, and in Houston, and elsewhere, are accommodated in short order (especially if that accomodation comes quickly from the Ecclesia Dei commission over the local ordinary's stalling tactics, and we see Rome taking care of traddies), that skepticism will fade. But for now, I remain skeptical.

For instance, a statement that priests of the old-rite orders (sorry, I'm not good enough at Romanitas to go along and say "two forms of the same rite")....ahem, a statement that priests of the old-rite orders can't in principle refuse to say the newfangled Mass....such a statement seems like a little time bomb.

I'm sorry, Fr. X, but your objections to the N.O. as a baser form of liturgy are unacceptable. You're assigned to say the N.O. every Sunday at 9am--maybe it would ok if you said a public Tridentine Mass Sunday at 3:30 pm.

On the other hand, if Fr. Y can't say the N.O. because he has a tee time....well....that's a practical reason, not a principled one. Perhaps Fr. X oughta take up golf.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

How many does St. Vincent's seat?

It may be crowded at St. Vincents during the Triduum next year:

Art. 2. In Masses celebrated without the people, each Catholic priest of the Latin rite, whether secular or regular, may use the Roman Missal published by Bl. Pope John XXIII in 1962, or the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970, and may do so on any day with the exception of the Easter Triduum. For such celebrations, with either one Missal or the other, the priest has no need for permission from the Apostolic See or from his Ordinary. [emphasis added].

As I feared, this motu proprio restores nothing to us, the laity, nothing, either in principle or in practice. And in practice, it actually takes away from the clerics: they can no longer celebrate the holiest liturgies of the year in the old rite, and those haggard diocesan clerics, ordinarily limited to one Mass on a feria, in practice won't have the ability to say the old Mass as they want to. The reprehensible modernist bishops have one another battle. You can just hear Cardinal Murphy Cormac O'Connor gloating about it, happy to avoid any prayers that would lead infidels, heretics and schismatics to the one true faith.

So all of you in Springfield, Missouri, and other places subject to oppressive modernist regimes, you won't be assisting at an authorized traditional Mass anytime soon.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I guess it really isn't just a rumor....

Vatican Press Release:


Si è svolta ieri pomeriggio in Vaticano una riunione, presieduta dal Cardinale Segretario di Stato, in cui è stato illustrato ai rappresentanti di diverse conferenze episcopali il contenuto e lo spirito dell’annunciato "Motu proprio" del Santo Padre sull’uso del Messale promulgato da Giovanni XXIII nel 1962. Il Santo Padre si è recato a salutare i presenti e si è intrattenuto con loro in un’approfondita conversazione per circa un’ora. La pubblicazione del documento – che sarà accompagnato da un’ampia lettera personale del Santo Padre ai singoli Vescovi - è prevista entro alcuni giorni, quando il documento stesso sarà stato inviato a tutti i Vescovi con la indicazione della sua successiva entrata in vigore.

Let's pray that my fears from last night are unfounded!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Worse off than before...?

Having been on the farthest fringes of the Catholic news loop for some time, Mrs. Curmudgeon was the one who pointed me to the news that the Vatican had released the motu proprio to representatives of the various episcopal conferences. Rorate Caeli has the details; no point in pretending that I'm telling anyone any thing they don't already know.

But of course, there are two points which weren't, perhaps, emphasized enough on that site and in the comments that followed. They bear out a concern I've had for the last couple of years that under the guise of preserving Tradition, the Vatican apparatchiks will destroy it.

The froggie liberal Catholic paper La Croix reports, among other things, that (per Rorate Caeli's translation):
  • "The motu proprio should predict safeguards to guarantee the last word to the bishop, in case of a disagreement between faithful and priests on this matter."


  • "... the motu proprio could establish that the lectionary be, in both rites, the one established by Paul VI in 1967. [sic]"
Well, if the La Croix report is true, in a few weeks, the Vatican will find itself farther than it has been in years from any sort of reconciliation with the SSPX or other "irregulars." And the SSPX and other irregulars with find themselves with an influx of now-indulterous priests and laity who recognize this "liberalization" for what it really is...a wolf in sheep's clothing (in fact, not very convincing sheep's clothing). Nothing has been liberalized; the Ecclesia Dei regime will continue, but with the new burden of substituting the ridiculous, pointless calendar novation imposed by Pope Paul for no other purpose than to break with tradition, and with the awful Pauline lectionary that destroys the wonderful annual cycle that (even after just a few years) I so look forward to.

And I'm sure that the distance will be just fine for many of the wicked men in Rome and various chanceries about the world who are eager to drive the last vestiges of the Church out of their little modernist organization. Anyone who's not asleep can recognize that any changes to the preconciliar Missal right now will be identified by traditionalists as an attempt to co-opt and divert. If there's to be any hope of healing any wounds in the church, that healing certainly won't come if there's tinkering with the Tridentine rite. The Tridentine rite must remain static in order to survive within the formal boundaries of the Church. The Wuerls and Ricards and (closer to home) Liebrechts of the world will certainly cheer this motu proprio, if La Croix is right, because it very well could cause the movement to regularlize the old rite to splinter, and it will leave them free of the last remnant of tradition so they can continue their Barney Masses and their Clown Masses and their Young-Halfdressed-Hottie-Liturgical-Dancer Masses without that embarrassing reminder of how it used to be, when we worshipped the Almighty instead of ourselves.

The only hope we have is that, in fact, La Croix is simply assisting the froggie bishops in a last ditch effort to sabotage this project. Will the Vatican screw this up? Hmm. I'm hoping they don't, of course, but there's a good four or five decade-long history of the Vatican screwing things like this up, isn't there?

But if it's not sabotage, and the Vatican is determined to screw this up, then the Curmudgeons (and others) will have a decision to make. Are we willing to participate in the final destruction of the old rite? Are we willing to go along the latest fabricated, on-the-spot, half-assed nonsense? And are we willing to listen to the see-Spot-run banal translations that the wretched ICEL and USCCB have imposed on everyone else every Sunday?

Hmm. My preliminary answer to that question will certainly disturb some of my indulterous clergy and lay friends. Let's just hope the question isn't asked.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I'm still here.

As for the last couple of months, I've got all kinds of excuses:

Been busy. Lost my password for the new blogger for a while, and had trouble logging on to the old computer. We finally sold the old Cave, and moved to temporary lodgings while we search for a new one, so I've been carting boxes. Didn't have a place to set up the old desktop (which was really cranky anyways) so it wasn't convenient to blog until recently, when we got the laptop. Employment circumstances have changed (for the better), and commute has extended, so haven't had so much lazy time at home to blog, or to surf the internet and find things to get mad and blog about. I've also been traveling some. I've been waiting for the motu proprio and our liberation. I've been reading real, printed books.

I could go on--I've got plenty more excuses where that one came from.

But I won't.

I just want folks to know that I'm still out there, and I still have the best of intentions about returning to the blog.

In the meantime, enjoy a lousy camera phone picture of a beautiful sanctuary.

I was in the Denver area on business a while back and had an opportunity to stop by the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Community, the FSSP apostolate in Littleton, Colorado. Another great story, alongside that of St. Stephen Protomartyr in Sacramento: the indulters in Denver, unobstructed by (although still hassled by) modernist chancery rats or an indecisive archbishop, located a suitable facility built by a Protestant sect that had contracepted itself out of existence, and turned it into something beautiful (too small, of course, but beautiful). I knocked on the door and met a few really nice folks who showed me the church, and we had a nice visit. I learned that OLMC is, only a few years after starting their project, debt free with quality facilities (too small, of course, and not as beautiful as something built by our great granparents before the modernists destroyed ecclesiastical architecture in the 1940s, but quality).
And it's all theirs! No working around the novus ordo table in the middle of the sanctuary for them. No clearing out early so the rappers can come in and profane the sanctuary with their "music" for them. No scrambling to figure out what to do with the liturgical gear between Masses for them. What a joy it must be to be able to live a normal Catholic parish life, instead of being a tenants at a dying novus ordo parish, and getting short shrift from the chancery rats who are only interested in our money!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Just another Thursday after Easter....

This, from the short-lived Slackjawed Trad, is rather fitting on this random Thursday after Easter:

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Ascension on Sunday?

Sure, it's nowhere near the feast of the Ascension. But we can anticipate it, can't we? Every year I get bugged about it, and this year I'm getting bugged about 100 days early. Seriously, if we start talking about it, and whining to our bishops about it NOW, maybe they'll have had enough by the time they and their other provincial bishops get together and he'll fix the latest mistake in the novus ordo calendar.

Anyways, what's this about? Well, I know it's 100 days ahead of the liturgical schedule, but I just got the bishops' new translation of the novus ordo readings for this year's feast of the Ascension (Luke 24:46-53), which are based on Latin texts which were not available to St. Jerome, or even the more recent translators of the Neo-Vulgate:

[Jesus] said to them: "Thus it is written that the Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead on the third day. In His name, penance of the remission of sins is to be preached to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses to this. See, I send down upon you the promise of my Father. Remain herein the City until you are closed with power from on high."

Then He led them out near Bethany, and with hands upraised, blessed them. And as He blessed, He began to leave, but James, the brother of Jesus, spoke: "O Lord, it is but the the fortieth day since your Resurrection from the dead, and but the fifth day of the week. It would not be fitting to mark such a common day such as this for Your Ascension; rather, you should wait to ascend on the first day of the week, verily, a much holier day than the fifth day.

And Andrew grasped the garment of Jesus as He began to rise to heaven and said "Teacher, please don't leave us until the forty-third day, as truly the Father's chosen People wandered the desert for forty-three years, and the the rain fell upon Noah for forty-three days, and you yourself fasted in the desert for forty-three days before you commenced your ministry."And Jude said, "O Lord, if you were to leave today my family might not be able supp together. And some disciples might neglect the commemoration of your glorious ascension and instead remain home to watch television. Should you leave on this day many disciples would neglect to commemorate it. If you wait until the first day of next week, the day of your glorious resurrection, it shall be Mother's Day and the disciples might attend Holy Mass to please their mothers. Please remain with us."

And Simon-Peter said, "Teacher, I beseech you to wait until the forty-third day, for John, the apostle whom you love, has scheduled a haircut and has not come with us to witness this."And the other apostles grasped His robes and pulled Him to the ground and bid Him "Yea, Lord, do not leave us on such an inconvenient day. Truly if thou art the Christ, the Son of God, Thou canst delay Thy departure to a day more suitable for us."

And thus, my friends, we have Ascension Sunday. What a shame Holy Mother Church was so wrong for so many centuries! To celebrate it on a Thursday? Bah!If you offended by this....well, if you're offended by it....well, write your bishop about it; don't write me.

Posted by Slackjawed Trad at 9:58 PM 1 comments Links to this post

Thursday, April 12, 2007

What happened to me?

I was blogging.

Then I quit in October.

Then I was blogging again about the November cloning election.

Then I quit again.

Then I started blogging again in January.

And now I've disappeared.

Pretty much everyone's given up on me, I know (and there weren't that many to start with).

But here's the deal: In late March, I received an email from the Netherlands Lottery Board announcing that I'd won a million Euros.

Since then, I've been furiously working to get my financial and legal affairs in order, doing tax planning, setting up trusts, etc., etc.

In the next couple of days, I'm going to fly to Amsterdam and claim my prize. (Don't worry, I'll be wearing a bracelet that says "DO NOT EUTHANIZE ME!" in English and Dutch.)

And once I do that, I'll have plenty of time to devote to the blog. I'll make it what it once was....and more.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Report on the "Loyal Dissent" lecture.

A report from our mole on the Topics-to-Go lecture by "'loyal' dissident theologian" Fr. Charles Curran yesterday, March 24. He promises more later.

Curmudgeon, Wolftracker,

Once again, I ventured into the deep and attended the Kansas City Catholic dissenters’ Topics-to-Go lecture series at the All’s Souls Unitarian Universalist "Church." And once again, I sacrificed a morning of my life (a beautiful spring morning, by-the-way) to hang out with a bunch of liberal gray-hairs.

You guys really need to start paying me for this. Really! At least cover the cost of the almond croissant and coffee I got at Napoleon’s Bakery to carry me through the ordeal. And give me five bucks to put into the "freewill offering" basket so they can pay airfare for the next dissident to Kansas City (don’t worry…I wouldn’t really do the latter).

So now I’m flipping through 15 smallish pages of notes looking for something interesting to say about Fr. Charles Curran’s talk. This time a professor was talking, so there were some outrageous things said, but not in a particularly outrageous way, unlike the antics of Bishop "Just Tom" Gumbleton (or Sister Joan Chittister and Kathleen Sebelius) last year. I’ll get to the summary in a moment, but as with the other talks, the most interesting things were the setting, the crowd and the Q&A session.

The setting was more subdued than last time. The only literature available as you walked in was a Voice of the Faithful brochure and a free copy the current issue of National Catholic Reporter (more on that later). I didn’t see literature or hear any new announcements about the KCSJ People of God organization that they were trying to start last year. The auditorium was as it was last time, except that additional chairs were set up in the foyer so that the huge crowd could be comfortable as it spilled out of the auditorium (it never did, BTW. There were a good number of empty seats. Attendance has fallen off since "Just Tom’s" talk in the heady early days of their project).

The front wall of the "sanctuary," the UU’s auditorium, still had that 25-foot tall nonrepresentational fabric-and-rope thingamabob that reminded me of a woman’s reproductive system. I used to think that there’s no place in this world for nonrepresentational art of that sort. I was wrong. The UU "sanctuary" is the perfect place for such a thing. This time I also noticed that beside the podium was a hoop-and-lamp doo-dad which is the UU logo. However, the lamp wasn’t lit. Rather fitting for it to be there in front of a dissident priest. And rather fitting that the lamp’s fire was out.

Anyways, the crowd was—as noted above—gray. Very gray. Lots of old women, fewer old men. A dozen or so younger folk (out of a total of around 200 people). And lots of women (old and young) dressed like men, with their hair cut like men. I didn’t sit next to anyone this time—there were plenty of seats available, but the woman down the row (30 to 40-ish, with the regulation manly haircut, manly khaki pants, and manly white button-down blouse) was apparently a true believer. She chortled at the typical applause lines (e.g., from Fr. Curran, "We tend to idolatry, making God in our own image, but we really don’t know what She looks like!") and guffawed and sighed at all the right places.

There was another amusing incident (amusing…like all of this…in a dark sort of way). Before the lecture started, the leader of the pack stood up and announced that there were copies of Curran’s book, Loyal Dissent, available in the back. Then she announced that someone had accidentally been given an autographed copy of the book, and she asked everyone who bought a book to examine theirs to see if there was a greeting scribbled to Sister Farrah Far-Out. Some guy raised his hand, and Sister Far-Out herself marched up to make the exchange. Her habit was indistinguishable from that of most of the other women in attendance: Regulation haircut, khaki pants, and a white button-down shirt. Perhaps they’re all sisters of the same order?

Anyways, there were no Roman collars in sight (certainly not from Fr. Curran, a suit-and-tie priest all around), but I recognized the former pastor of a midtown KCMO church behind me, and I also recognized my parents’ former rural pastor (now, I think, at some JoCo assignment…one of the "Holy Something-or-Other" parishes that seem to run together in my mind). I tried to get a couple of solid orthodox priests I knew to attend with me, and ask a few difficult questions, but I suppose Saturday morning confessions and other duties—or perhaps good sense—kept them away.

Now, I should discuss my talk, but I’ve just got to jump ahead. I’ll get to the bulk of Curran’s talk later in this email…or perhaps in the next. The Q&A session featured two or three queries and comments from the audience (two from some of the few members of the audience under 60), expressing fear for their progressive movement in the face of …. people like us: young conservative Catholics. One young woman (conspicuous due to her rather feminine haircut) asked "I look around, and I see a striking age difference here. We all see it. Most people who are young see things in black and white and are more conservative and legalistic. What are we to do?" A second woman, whose appearance I didn’t note and don’t recall, said she was concerned about the lack of youth in the room and asked "What do you think about the future of loyal dissent?" A third guy…thirtyish…stood up and announced that he was not so conservative as he used to be, and asked Curran to comment on "conservative dissent" on issues like bringing back--gasp--the Latin Mass.

In response to the first question, Curran took a mild track. He acknowledged that there was danger in certitude, and also that it was important that "groups like this" got together and dissenters drew support from one another. However, said Curran, it’s important that we all get along: it’s a big Church, and there is a need for Diversity as well as Unity. Curran then moved a little farther down the trail and cautioned the first questioner and the audience about the dangers of young Catholics looking for certainty, and he likened the conservative revival to the upsurge of evangelicalism that has eclipsed moderate protestantism in the last 40 years.

(Here, I noted that it was highly unusual…if not unheard of…for the dissenters to describe reactionary Catholic nuts like me as a source of "Diversity." Usually the Topics-to-Go crowd seems themselves as the sole source and arbiter of Diversity. We’re not ordinarily scored as "Diverse" notwithstanding that we’re often a minority of one in a room such as this).

To the second and third questioners, Curran opened up a little more, noting that keeping the interest of youth is a problem for every Church of every demonination. He noted that the average age of the subscribers to National Catholic Distorter was 67. That’s right….67 (!)...and they’re struggling to get younger readers. He sees real problems in the future. Curran’s suggestion was that younger people are too busy playing soccer-mom to get involved like the gray-heads in the room.

(Here I repressed an urge to jump up and answer the obvious question. So dissenters aren’t reproducing? Imagine that! I wonder if it has anything to do with disregard of the "non-core" teachings about artificial contraception? Or with the attitude of religious indifferentism? Too busy enjoying themselves to trouble with more than one designer child and too busy celebrating themselves to give that one designer child a solid leftist formation. Fr. Charlie oughta come to Blessed Sacrament. It’ll scare the hell out of him.)

Anyways, I have a few chores to do, so I’m going to postpone the writeup of the whole talk until latter on. I will say, though, that at the end of the talk, I lingered a little bit in the corner, pondering mischief. Do I kneel down and ask my parent’s old pastor for a blessing? Or perhaps as Fr. Curran? After all….St. Francis said that his first act on meeting a particular wicked priest would be to kiss his hands, because of their indellible sacerdotal character. Naw, I decided…my chaplain describes sacramentals as "spiritual bullets," but there seemed to be something wrong with firing such a bullet off in that setting.

More later.

Your unjustly-paid correspondent.