Justice Scalia spent his final hours in the company of a secret society of hunters…

SCALIA SECRET SOCIETY...St.Hubert Ottawa St.Patrick RC Basilica

Justice Scalia spent his final hours in the company of a secret society of hunters that has existed since the 1600s

  • Justice Scalia was found dead on a Texas ranch on the morning of Feb 13
  • It has now been revealed the several of his 35 companions during the trip were members of The International Order of Saint Hubertus
  • The secretive hunting society was founded in 1695 in central Europe
  • John Poindexter, the owner of the ranch and the man to find Scalia dead, and C. Allen Foster, a lawyer and Scalia’s travel companion, are members
  • Private planes belonging to two former members were also chartered to the ranch, though it is not clear if the owners attended 

Justice Antonin Scalia spent his final hours at a Texas ranch in the company of a secretive society of hunters that has existed for more than 300 years. Several members of the 35-strong hunting party at the Cibolo Creek Ranch where Scalia was found dead are known to be current or former members of The International Order of Saint Hubertus. John Poindexter, the owner of the ranch, is known to hold a leadership position in the Order, as does C. Allen Foster, a prominent Washington lawyer and Scalia’s traveling companion for the trip.

Nebraska Congressman Jeff Fortenberry paid tribute to Justice Scalia when he died, posting this picture on Facebook of the pair of them hunting (not the hunt the judge was on at the weekend he died)

Justice Antonin Scalia spent his final hours on a Texas ranch in the company of a secret society of hunters that originated in Austria in the 1600s, it has been revealed

Foster traveled on a private plane to the ranch with Scalia after he opted to leave his U.S. marshal detail behind, while Poindexter was the man who found the Supreme Court Justice dead in bed on the morning of February 13.

Ranks in the Order include Grand Prior, the most senior position, Grand Master, and Knight Grand Officer – though it is not clear which of these roles the men occupy.

According to records unearthed by the Washington Post, private planes owned by Wallace ‘Happy’ Rogers III and A. J. Lewis III were also chartered to the ranch, but it is unclear if the men were there. Rogers, a prominent hunter and museum owner, and Lewis, the owner of a restaurant wholesale business, are both former members of the Order’s elite.

The Cibolo Creek Ranch was used as a meeting place for the American branch of the Order in 2010, when 53 members converged for ‘three days of organized shoots, “gala” lunches and dinners.’

According to a website for the Order, it was created in 1695 by Count Anton von Sporck, ruler of Bohemia, which now forms part of the Czech Republic.

The aim was to gather the finest Noble hunters from across Bohemia, Austria, and the Austo-Hungarian Empire, ruled by the Habsburg family, one of the most powerful European dynasties.

It was named after Saint Hubertus, the patron saint of hunters, mathematicians, opticians, and metalworkers.

The Order’s aim was to promote the gentlemanly sport of hunting, considered one of the finest pursuits a young Nobleman could take up during the 17th Century, and to promote the conservation of game animals on which the sport relied.

The Order was disbanded after Austria fell into the hands of Adolf Hitler during the Second World War, and refused to become part of the Nazi propaganda machine. According to the group, Hermann Goering, who founded the infamous Gestapo police force, asked to become a member in 1938, and executed the Grand Prior when he was turned down.

The Order was restituted in 1950, and in 1966 the first American branch was established at the Bohemian Club in San Francisco.

It is under the Royal Protection of King Juan Carlos of Spain, Archduke Andreas Salvator of Austria and the Grand Master is Istvan von Habsburg Lothringen, Archduke of Austria, Prince of Hungary.

Members of the order often wear green silk coats emblazoned with their logo of a Germanic cross and the Latin words ‘Deum Diligite Animalia Diligentes’ – meaning ‘Honoring God by honoring His creatures.’

Asked about the Order, Poindexter responded: ‘There is nothing I can add to your observation that among my many guests at Cibolo Creek Ranch over the years some members of the International Order of St. Hubertus have been numbered.

Members of the Order, distinguished by their crest (pictured) included Noblemen from the royal families of Europe. The American branch of the Order was founded in 1966 in San Francisco

‘I am aware of no connection between that organization and Justice Scalia.’

The revelations that a secret society was attending the ranch alongside Scalia comes amid controversy and conspiracy after it was decided that there would be no autopsy for the Supreme Court Justice.

Descriptions of the judge being found with a pillow ‘over his face’, the fact that the death was certified over the phone, and the suddenness of his passing all contributed to theories that his death may not have been natural.

However, his son Eugene has since said there is ‘no doubt’ in his mind that his father died of natural causes. Thousands paid tribute to Scalia, a lifelong Catholic, at his funeral last week.

A sheriff’s incident report, released on Tuesday, shows there was ‘nothing out of the ordinary’ in Scalia’s room when he was found dead.


New Order Pope Bergoglio calls for global abolition of the death penalty saying ‘Thou shalt not kill’ applies to the guilty as well as the innocent!’


Newchurch anti-Catholic Theology: Newpope Bergoglio calls for global abolition of the death penalty saying ‘Thou shalt not kill’ applies to the guilty as well as the innocent!’ 

  • Pope wants politicians to suspend execution during Church’s Holy Year

  • Made speech prior to conference against death penalty in Rome this week

  • Church had allowed capital punishment until the reign of Pope John Paul

  • Pontiff also commented on prison conditions during speech to thousands 

Pope Francis-Bergoglio, (again) has called on Catholic leaders to seek a ban on the death penalty exclaiming that ‘Thou shall not kill applies to the guilty as well as the innocent’. Speaking to thousands at St. Peter’s Square, in the Vatican, the Pontiff asked politicians around the world to make ‘a courageous and exemplary gesture’ during the Church’s current Holy Year. He said: ‘I appeal to the consciences of those who govern to reach an international consensus to abolish the death penalty.

thomas aquinas

Roman Catholic Theology: Men shall be sentenced to death for crimes of irreparable harm and or crimes which are particularly Perverted!!

The pope added that there was now ‘a growing opposition to the death penalty even for the legitimate defense of society’ because modern means existed to ‘efficiently repress crime without definitively denying the person who committed it the possibility of rehabilitating themselves.’

Francis made the comments to throw his weight behind an international conference against the death penalty starting on Monday in Rome and organised by the Sant’Egidio Community, a worldwide Catholic peace and justice group.

Francis, who has visited a number of jails since his election as pope nearly three years ago – the latest in Mexico last week – also called for better prison conditions.

He said: ‘All Christians and men of good will are called on to work not only for the abolition of the death penalty, but also to improve prison conditions so that they respect the human dignity of people who have been deprived of their freedom.’

In the past, the pope also denounced life imprisonment, calling it ‘a hidden death penalty’ and saying that more should be done to try to rehabilitate even the most hardened of criminals.






Eleison Comments by Bishop Williamson – Number CDXLIX – (449)

Eleison Comments

       February 20, 2016


The SSPX is no way “out of the woods.”

Resistant bishops must “deliver the goods!”

Ever since the General Chapter of July, 2012, when under Bishop Fellay’s direction the Society of St Pius X took a decisive lurch towards a compromise agreement with Conciliar Rome, Catholics of Tradition have wondered where the two other SSPX bishops stand, Bishop Tissier de Mallerais (Bp. T) and Bishop de Galarreta (Bp. G), because both have been rather discreet in public since that time. However, firm words spoken by each of them last month have raised hopes for the future of the SSPX. Are the hopes justified? Catholics may need to remain on their guard . . .

The Confirmations sermon of Bp. T given on January 31 in Saarbrücken in Germany could not have been more upright or clear. For instance: In the SSPX’s confrontation with Rome, it may never go in for compromise or double-dealing. We can never negotiate with Rome so long as the representatives of the Newchurch (sic) cling to the errors of Vatican II. Any talk of ours with Rome must be unambiguous, and have as its purpose the conversion of the Newchurch representatives back to our one and only truth of Catholic Tradition. No compromise or double-dealing until they have got over their Conciliar errors, and have converted back to the Truth.

Admirable words! Uprightness is not Bp.T’s problem. He is no politician, God bless him. His problem is that when it comes to putting words into action, his “Fiftiesism” makes him obey his Superior and fall back in line with the politicians of SSPX HQ in Menzingen. Nothing indicates that this will not happen again this time, but we may always pray that, as the proverb says, “Even a worm will turn.” Bp. T is far from a worm, but he is hiding from himself, or genuinely cannot see, the full malice of Menzingen’s action. It is not just the unity and welfare of the SSPX which is at stake, but the Catholic Faith.

On the contrary Bp. G is a politician. Unfortunately we do not have the full text of the conference he gave in Bailly, France, on January 17, because his exact words count, so we can only quote from a summary of his main thoughts: Rome’s latest theological and canonical proposals for a Rome-SSPX agreement remain unacceptable, but the Pope certainly wants an agreement and he is perfectly capable of overriding his own officials and of imposing a “unilateral” recognition on the SSPX. Such a recognition could definitely harm the SSPX internally, but if the SSPX had done nothing to obtain it, then there is nothing that the SSPX could do about it. However, Providence would once more watch over the Archbishop’s work.

But, your Excellency, Menzingen has now for many years been doing all it can by political negotiation to arrive at official recognition by Rome, and its eventual “unilateral” arrival would be a mere pretense to deceive Traditionalists so as to sell out the SSPX under cover of claiming, no doubt with Rome’s permission behind th e scenes , that it was all Rome’s fault. But the fact would remain that the Archbishop’s Society would finally be betrayed, and you with your own “No, no, a thousand times no . . . but possibly, yes” would have to answer for not having done all you could and should have done to block its betrayal.

In brief, that emergency lighting system of the Universal Church in Conciliar darkness, which is the SSPX, is itself flickering and in danger of no longer giving light. Therefore that repair team to sustain the emergency lighting, which is the “Resistance,” is still needed, and that team needs a sufficiency of good foremen. A third bishop for the “Resistance” is planned, as last year for March 19 at the monastery near Nova Friburgo in Brazil. He is its Prior, Fr Thomas Aquinas, faithful warrior and veteran of the post-Conciliar war for the Faith. May God be with him, and with all the humble and faithful servants of God.

Kyrie eleison.


Chair of St Peter

              FEBRUARY 22


    By Abbot Dom Guéranger

We are called upon, a second time, to honour St. Peter’s chair: first, it was his pontificate in Rome; today, it is his episcopate at Antioch. The seven years spent by the prince of the apostles in the second of these cities, were the grandest glory she ever had; and they are too important a portion of the life of St. Peter to be passed by without being noticed in the Christian cycle.

Three years had elapsed since our Lord’s Ascension. The Church had already been made fruitful by martyrdom, and from Jerusalem she had spread into distant countries. Antioch, the first of the cities of Asia, had received the Gospel; and it was there that those who professed the faith of Jesus were first called Christians. Jerusalem was doomed to destruction for having not only refused to acknowledge, but even crucified, the Messias: it was time for Peter, in whom resided the supreme power, to deprive the faithless city of the honour she had heretofore enjoyed, of possessing within her walls the chair of the apostolate. It was towards the Gentiles that the Holy Spirit drove those clouds, which were shown to Isaias as the symbol of the holy apostles. Accordingly, it is in Antioch, the third capital of the Roman Empire, that Peter first places the august throne, on which, as vicegerent of Christ, he presides over the universal Church.

     But the progress of the apostles was so rapid; the conquests they made, in spite of every opposition, were so extensive, that the vicar of Christ was inspired to leave Antioch, after he had honoured it with the chair during the space of seven years. Alexandria, the second city of the empire, is also to be made a see of Peter; and Home, the’ capital of the world, awaits the grand privilege for which God has long been preparing her. Onwards, then, does the prince advance, bearing with him the destinies of the Church; where he fixes his last abode, and where he dies, there will he have his successor in his sublime dignity of vicar of Christ. He leaves Antioch, making one of his disciples, Evodius, its bishop. Evodius succeeds Peter as bishop of Antioch; but that see is not to inherit the headship of the Church, which goes whithersoever Peter goes. He sends Mark, another of his disciples, to take possession, in his name of Alexandria; and this Church he would have to be the second in the world, and though he has not ruled it in person, he raises it above that of Antioch. This done, he goes to Rome, where he permanently establishes that chair, on which he will live, and teach, and rule, in his successors, to the end of time.

     And here we have the origin of the three great patriarchal sees, which were the object of so much veneration in the early ages: the first is Rome, invested with all the prerogatives of the prince of the apostles, which, when dying, be transmitted to her; the second is Alexandria, which owes her pre-eminence to Peter’s adopting her as his second see; the third is Antioch, whither be repaired in person, when he left Jerusalem to bring to the Gentiles the grace of adoption. If, therefore, Antioch is below Alexandria in rank, Alexandria never enjoyed the honour granted to Antioch, of having been governed, in person, by him whom Christ appointed to be the supreme pastor of His Church. Nothing, then, could be more just, than that Antioch should be honoured, as having, for seven years, had the privilege of being the centre of Christendom; and this is the object of today’s feast.

     The children of the Church have a right to feel a special interest in every solemnity that is kept in memory of St. Peter. The father’s feast is a feast for the whole family; for to him it owes its very life. If there be but one fold, it is because there is but one Shepherd. Let us, then, honour Peter’s divine prerogative, to which Christianity owes its preservation; and let us often reflect upon the obligations we are under to the apostolic see. On the feast of the chair at Rome, we saw how faith is taught, and maintained, and propagated by the mother-Church, which has inherited the promises made to Peter. Today, let us consider the apostolic see as the sole source of the legitimate power, whereby mankind is ruled and governed in all that concerns eternal salvation

     Our Saviour said to Peter: ‘To thee will I give the keys of the kingdom of heaven,” that is to say, of the Church. He said to him on another occasion: ‘Feed My lambs, feed My sheep.’ So that Peter is prince; for, in the language of the sacred Scriptures, keys denote princely power: he is also pastor, and universal pastor; for the whole flock is comprised under the two terms, lambs and sheep. And yet there are other pastors in every portion of the Christian world. The bishops, whom the Holy Ghost hath placed to rule the Church of God, govern, in his name, their respective dioceses, and are also pastors. How comes it that the keys, which were given to Peter, are found in other hands than his? The Catholic Church explains the difficulty to us by her tradition. She says to us, by Tertullian: ‘Christ gave the keys to Peter, and through him to the Church.’ By St. Optatus of Milevum: ‘For the sake of unity, Peter was made the first among all the apostles, and he alone received the keys, that he might give them to the rest.’ By St. Gregory of Nyssa: ‘It is through Peter that Christ gave to bishops the keys of their heavenly prerogative.’ By St. Leo the Great: ‘If our Lord willed that there should be something common to Peter and the rest of the princes of His Church, it was only on this condition, that whatsoever He gave to the rest, He gave it to them through Peter.

Christ gives keys to St Peter - pietro perugino-1482

Yes, the episcopate is most sacred, for it comes from the hands of Jesus Christ through Peter and his successors. Such is the unanimous teaching of Catholic tradition, which is in keeping with the language used by the Roman pontiff’s, from the earliest ages, who have always spoken of the dignity of bishops as consisting in their being ‘ called to a share of their own solicitude.’ Hence St. Cyprian does not hesitate to say that ‘ our Saviour, wishing to establish the episcopal dignity and constitute His Church, says to Peter: “To thee will I give the keys of the kingdom of heaven”; and here we have both the institution of bishops, and the constitution of the Church.’ This same doctrine is clearly stated in a letter written to Pope St. Symmachus by St. Cesarius of Arles,‘ who lived in the fifth century: ‘The episcopate flows from the blessed apostle Peter; and consequently, it belongs to your holiness to prescribe to the several Churches the rules which they are to follow.’ This fundamental principle, which St. Leo the Great has so ably and eloquently developed (as we have seen on the feast of the chair at Rome, January 18), this principle, which is taught us by universal tradition, is laid down with all possible precision in the magnificent letters, still extant, of Pope St. Innocent I., who preceded St. Leo by several years.

Thus he writes to the Council of Carthage, that ‘the episcopate, with all its authority, emanates from the apostolic see’; to the Council of Milevum, that ‘bishops must look upon Peter as the source whence both their name and their dignity are derived ’; to St. Victricius, bishop of Rouen, that ‘the apostolate and the episcopate both owe their origin to Peter.’

     Controversy is not our object. All we aim at by giving these quotations from the fathers on the prerogatives of Peter’s chair, is to excite the faithful to be devoted to it and venerate it. This we have endeavoured to do, by showing them that this chair is the source of the spiritual authority, which, in its several degrees, rules and sanctifies them. All spiritual authority comes from Peter; all comes from the bishop of Rome, in whom Peter will continue to govern the Church to the end of time. Jesus Christ is the founder of the episcopate; it is the Holy Ghost who establishes bishops to rule the Church; but the mission and the institution, which assign the pastor his flock, and the flock its pastor, these are given by Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost through the ministry of Peter and his successors.

Ss. Peter and Paul - St. Andrew's Daily Missal

How sacred, how divine, is this authority of the keys, which is first given by heaven itself to the Roman Pontiff’; then is delegated by him to the prelates of the Church; and thus guides and blesses the whole Christian world! The apostolic see has varied its mode of transmitting such an authority according to the circumstances of the several ages; but the one source of the whole power was always the same, the chair of Peter. We have already seen how, at the commencement, there were three chairs: Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch; and all three were sources of the canonical institution of the bishops of their respective provinces; but they were all three chairs of Peter, for they were founded by him that they might preside over their patriarchates, as St. Leo, St. Gelasius, and St. Gregory the Great, expressly teach. But of these three chairs, the Pontiff of Rome had his authority and his institution from heaven; whereas, the two other patriarchs could not exercise their rights, until they were recognized and confirmed by him who was Peter’s successor, as vicar of Christ. Later on, two other sees were added to these first three: but it was only by the consent of the Roman Pontiff that Constantinople and Jerusalem obtained such an honour. Let us notice, too, the difference there is between the accidental honours conferred on four of these Churches, and the divine prerogative of the Church of Home. By God’s permission, the sees of Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, and

Jerusalem, were defiled by heresy; they became chairs of pestilence; and having corrupted the faith they received from Rome, they could not transmit to others the mission they themselves had forfeited. Sad indeed was the ruin of such pillars as these! Peter’s hand had placed them in the Church. They had merited the love and veneration of men; but they fell; and their fall gave one more proof of the solidity of that edifice, which Christ Himself had built on Peter. The unity of the Church was made more visible. Obliged by the treachery of her own favoured children to deprive them of the privileges they had received from her, Rome was, more evidently than ever, the sole source of pastoral power.

thou art peter

We, then, both priests and people, have a right to know whence our pastors have received their power. From whose hand have they received the keys? If their mission come from the apostolic see, let us honour and obey them, for they are sent to us by Jesus Christ, who has invested them, through Peter, with His own authority. If they claim our obedience without having been sent by the bishop of Rome, we must refuse to receive them, for they are not acknowledged by Christ as His ministers. The holy anointing may have conferred on them the sacred character of the episcopate: it matters not; they must be as aliens to us, for they have not been sent, they are not pastors.

     Thus it is that the divine Founder of the Church, who willed that she should be a city seated on a mountain, gave her visibility; it was an essential requisite; for since all were called to enter her pale, all must be able to see her. But He was not satisfied with this. He moreover willed that the spiritual power exercised by ‘her pastors should come from a visible source, so that the faithful might have a sure means of verifying the claims of those who were to guide them in His name. Our Lord (we say it reverently) owed this to us; for, on the last day, He will not receive us as His children, unless we shall have been members of His Church, and have lived in union with Him by the ministry of pastors lawfully constituted. Honour, then, and submission to Jesus in His vicar! honour and submission to the vicar of Christ in the pastors he sends!

     As a tribute of our devotion to the prince of the apostles, let us recite, in his honour, the following hymn, composed by St. Peter Damian:



O prince of the apostolic senate! Herald of our Lord! First pastor of the faithful! watch over the flock entrusted to thee.

Lead us through verdant pastures, feeding us with the nourishment of the word; and lead us, thus fed, into the heavenly fold, whither thou hast already gone.

To thee, Peter, have been delivered the keys of heaven’s gate; and all things, both in heaven and on earth, acknowledge thy authority.

‘Tis thou that choosest the city where is to be established the rock of the true faith, the foundation of the building, on which the Catholic Church stands immovable.

Thy shadow, as thou passest by, heals the sick; and Tabitha, that made garments for the poor, was raised to life at thy bidding.

Bound with two chains, thou wast set free by an angel’s power; he bids thee put on thy garments and thy sandals, and lo! the prison door is opened.

To the Father unbegotten, and to the only-begotten Son, and to the coequal Spirit of them both, be praise and kingly highest power. Amen.

Glory be to thee, O prince of the apostles, on thy chair at Antioch, where thou didst for seven years preside over the universal Church! How magnificent are the stations of thy apostolate! Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria (by thy disciple Mark), and Rome, these are the cities which have been honoured by thy august chair. After Rome, Antioch was the longest graced by its presence: justly, therefore, do we honour this Church, which was thus made, by thee, the mother and mistress of all other Churches. Alas! all her beauty has now left her; her faith is dead; she is in bondage to the Saracen. Save her, take her once more under thy power, bring her into allegiance to Rome, where thou hast thy chair, not for seven years only, but for all ages. The gates of hell have let loose the fury of every tempest upon thee, firm rock of the Church! And we ourselves have seen the immortal chair banished for a time from Rome. The words of St. Ambrose then came to our minds: ‘Where Peter is, there is the Church.’ How could we despair? Did we not know, that it was God’s inspiration which made thee choose Rome for the fixed resting-place of thy throne ‘No human will can put asunder what God has united; the bishop of Rome must ever be the vicar of Christ; and the vicar of Christ, let sacrilege and persecution banish him as they will, must ever be the bishop of Rome. Holy apostle! Calm the wildness of the tempest, lest the weak should ‘take scandal. Beseech our Lord that He permit not the residence of thy successor to be disturbed in that holy city, which has been chosen for so great an honour. If it be that her inhabitants deserve punishment for their offences, spare them for the sake of their brethren of the rest of the world; and pray for them, that their faith may once more become what it was when St. Paul praised it, and said to them: ‘ Your faith is spoken of in the whole world.’

The apse with St. Peter's Cathedra supported by four Doctors of the Church


Greater–double     White vestments

        Missa ‘Statuit ei Dominus’


The Station is in the church of Saint Clement, Pope and Martyr. In this, more than in any other church of the city of Rome, there has been preserved the ancient arrangement of the early Christian basilicas. Under its altar reposes the body of its holy patron, together with the relics of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, and of the consul St. Flavius Clemens.

INTROIT – Eccles. 45: 30; Ps. 131: 1

Statuit ei Dominus testamentum pacis, et principem fecit eum: ut sit illi sacerdotii dignitas in æternum. Ps.  Memento Domine, David: et omnis mansuetudinus ejus. Gloria Patri.

The Lord made to him a covenant of peace, and made him a prince: that the dignity of priesthood should be to him forever. Ps. O Lord, remember David: and all his meekness. Glory be to the Father.


O God, Who, committing to blessed Peter, Thine Apostle, the keys of the heavenly kingdom, didst bestow on him the pontifical function of binding and loosing, grant that, by the help of his intercession, we may be delivered from the bonds of our sins. Who livest and reignest.

St. Peter Enthroned with Sts. John the Baptist and Paul by Cima Da Conegliano


O God, Who by the preaching of the blessed Apostle Paul didst teach the multitude of the Gentiles, grant us, we pray Thee, that, honoring his commemoration, we may experience the benefit of his patronal influence with Thee. Through our Lord.


Grant, we beseech You, almighty God, that Your servants who discipline the body by fasting from food, may strive after righteousness by abstaining from sin. Through our Lord.

EPISTLE – I Peter 1: 1-7

Lesson from the first letter of St. Peter the Apostle

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers dispersed through Pontus, Galatía, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the fore-knowledge of God the Father, unto the sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ; grace unto you and peace be multiplied. Blessed be the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ Who according to His great mercy hath regenerated us unto a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, unto an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that can not fade, reserved in heaven for you, who by the power of God are kept by faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time Wherein you shall greatly rejoice, if now you must be for a little time made sorrowful in divers temptations: that the trial of your faith, much more precious than gold (which is tried by the fire), may be found unto praise, and glory, and honour, at the appearing of Jesus Christ our Lord.

GRADUAL – Psalm 106: 32, 31

Let them exalt him in the church of the people; and praise him in the chair of the ancients. Let the mercies of the Lord give glory to him; and his wonderful works to the children of men.

TRACT – Matthew 16:18-19

And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.

Christ's Charge to Peter - The Primacy of Peter by Raphael - 1515

GOSPEL – Matthew 16: 13-19

At that time, Jesus came into the quarters of Cæsarea Philippi, and He asked His disciples, Saying, Whom do men say that the Son of man is? But they said, Some, John the Baptist, and other some, Elias, and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Jesus saith to them, But whom do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered, Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona, because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but My Father Who is in Heaven: and I say to thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and to thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in Heaven.

OFFERTORY – Matthew 16: 18-19

Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven.


We beseech Thee, O Lord that the prayer of the blessed Apostle Peter may commend the sacrifices and supplications of Thy Church, so that the celebration we hold for his glory may profit for our pardon. Through our Lord.


Sanctify, O Lord, the offerings of Thy people by the prayer of Thine Apostle Paul, that those things which are pleasing to Thee by Thine own institution may become the more pleasing by the favour of his intercession. Through our Lord.


May this sacrificial gift offered in appeasement and praise, O Lord, make us worthy of Your protection. Through our Lord.


It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, to entreat Thee humbly, O Lord, that Thou wouldst not desert Thy flock, O everlasting Shepherd; but through Thy blessed Apostles, wouldst keep it under Thy constant protection; that it may be governed by those same rulers, whom as vicars of Thy work, Thou didst set over it to be its pastors. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying…

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dóminus Deus Sábaoth. Pleni sunt cæli et terra glória tua. Hosánna in excélsis. Benedíctus qui venit in nómine Dómini. Hosánna in excélsis.

Ecce agnus Dei, ecce qui tollit peccatum mundi. Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who taketh away the sin of the world.

Ecce agnus Dei, ecce qui tollit peccatum mundi.
Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who taketh away the sin of the world.

COMMUNION – Matthew 16: 18

Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church.


Let the gift we offer bring us joy, O Lord, that, as we declare Thee wonderful in Thine Apostle Peter, so through him we may share the generosity of Thy forgiveness. Through our Lord.


Sanctified by the mystery of salvation, O Lord, we pray that his prayer may fail us not, by whose patronage Thou halt granted us to be governed. Through our Lord.


May this Communion, O Lord, cleanse us of sin, and make us partakers of heavenly healing. Through our Lord.

Justice Scalia’s grieving widow and children lead hundreds of mourners in a final farewell

Eternal rest, grant unto him, O Lord

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon him. May Justice Antonin Scalia rest in peace.

Justice Scalia’s grieving widow and children lead hundreds of mourners in a final farewell to the towering, divisive judge while his body lies in repose in the Supreme Court

  • Justice Antonin Scalia’s family paid a silent tribute alongside fellow Supreme Court judges inside its Great Hall
  • His son, father Paul Scalia, recited traditional prayers over the casket after its procession in Washington, DC 
  • Maureen Scalia, the justice’s grieving widow, appeared frail as she was escorted from the court by family members
  • Draped in an American flag, Scalia’s casket was carried into the court where it will lay in repose in the Great Hall 
  • Hundreds lined the streets as the towering judge’s body arrived at the Supreme Court on Friday morning

The grieving family of Justice Antonin Scalia have led hundreds of mourners in a final farewell to the powerhouse judge as his body lies in repose in the Supreme Court.

Draped in an American flag, his casket was carried into the Great Hall by eight pallbearers from the court’s police.

A total of 180 law clerks lined the steps of the Supreme Court as Scalia’s casket was carried in to the hall, followed by his frail widow, Maureen Scalia, and eight of their nine children.

Waiting inside was Scalia’s son, father Paul Scalia, who recited traditional prayers as his father’s body arrived. ‘You have called your servant Antonin out of this world,’ he said. ‘May he rest in peace.’

Fellow Supreme Court justices and Scalia’s family stood in silence as they paid a touching tribute to the towering, divisive judge.

The body of Justice Antonin Scalia has arrived at the Supreme Court, where hundreds of mourners lined the streets to pay their respects

Grieving: A frail Maureen Scalia, the widow of the Supreme Court Justice, was escorted out of the court by family members

Tributes: Father Paul Scalia, the son of the Supreme Court justice, recited traditional prayers as his father's body arrived at the court

Father Paul Scalia (right) watched as his father's casket, which was draped in the American flag, was carried up the court's steps

Family members of the late judge watched as eight pallbearers carried the casket of of Justice Scalia into the court this morning

The family of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia walk to greet the hearse as it arrives at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC

Hundreds of people lined the streets in Washington, DC, as the hearse carrying Scalia arrived this morning. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle will be among those to pay their respects at the court, where Scalia spent nearly three decades as one of its most influential members, later today.



He will NOT attend Scalia’s funeral mass on Saturday, where Vice President Joe Biden is expected to be in attendance.

In a break from tradition, fellow and former Supreme Court justices waited inside the hall for Scalia’s arrival. Previously, following the death of a justice, they have waited on the steps alongside other officials and dignitaries.

Supreme Court police served as pallbearers to carry the casket up the marble steps into the court’s Great Hall.

The procession passed between two long lines of 180 former law clerks that stretched from the plaza to the court’s main entrance. Another group of 12 former clerks serving as honorary pallbearers followed. The clerks will take turns standing guard by Scalia’s body while he lays in repose. The procession then passed before the court’s eight current justices and the casket was placed on the Lincoln Catafalque – where President Abraham Lincoln’s coffin once rested at the Rotunda of the Capitol in 1865.  Only six other Supreme Court justices have been given such an honor, Chief Justices Earl Warren, Warren Burger and William Rehnquist and Associate Justices Thurgood Marshall, William Brennan and Harry Blackmun, USA Today reported.

Several of the justices, particularly Elena Kagan, a liberal who was known to go on hunting trips with the staunchly conservative Scalia, looked emotional as they stood in a row while the casket was placed on a raised bier in front of them. Chief Justice John Roberts, his hands clasped in front of him, bowed his head.

His body will lay in repose in the court's Great Hall, where he spent nearly three decades as one of its most influential members 

Thousands are expected to pay their respects to Scalia at the Supreme Court after his body's arrival, where it was flanked by 180 law clerks

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle will be among those to pay their respects to Scalia on Friday inside the Supreme Court

Draped in an American flag, his casket was carried into the court from a hearse by eight pallbearers from the Supreme Court's police

Hundreds of people lined the streets in Washington, DC, as the hearse carrying Scalia arrived this morning

Hundreds of people lined the streets in Washington, DC, as the hearse carrying Scalia arrived this morning

A portrait of Scalia painted by artist Nelson Shanks in 2007 will be placed next to the casket. In it, the justice is shown surrounded by images representing important moments and influences in his life, including a framed wedding photograph of his wife, Maureen. The doors to the court chamber were open at the east end of the hall. Black wool crepe hung over the entrance, and Scalia’s courtroom chair was draped in black.

A private ceremony will be held inside the court until about 10.30am, after which the public will be able to view the casket until 8pm. The sudden death of the outspoken, conservative justice complicated an already tumultuous election year. Republicans, including a number of the party’s presidential candidates, say a replacement should not be named until the next president takes office. Obama has pledged to pick a replacement ‘in due time’ and challenged Republicans to hold a vote on his nominee. ‘The Constitution is pretty clear about what’s supposed to happen now,’ Obama said on Tuesday as he outlined his role as the executive to put forth a name to replace Scalia. The president said: ‘Historically this has not been viewed as a question. There’s no unwritten law that says that it can only be done on off years. That’s not in the Constitutional text.’ Obama wouldn’t promise to nominate a ‘moderate,’ consensus candidate, saying people should not ‘assume anything about the qualifications’ of the person he’ll pick ‘other than they’re gonna be well-qualified’.

A total of 180 law clerks lined the steps of the Supreme Court as the casket was carried towards the grand entrance

Procession: The eight pallbearers from the Supreme Court's police were followed by the grieving family of the late justice

Scalia's body was discovered in his bedroom at Texas ranch between 11.30am and 11.40am on Saturday morning

Scalia’s body was discovered in his bedroom at Texas ranch between 11.30am and 11.40am on Saturday morning. Scalia, who had a history of heart problems, had been enjoying a quail shoot at the property with friends but retired to bed early on Friday night after complaining of tiredness.

The next morning, friends of the late Justice attempted to call him at around 8.30am but on getting no answer, decided to go out. On their return, at 11.30am, they broke into Scalia’s room and found him lying ‘cold’ in his bed. The Mass open to family and friends will take place Saturday at 11am at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. Burial plans have not been released.


Full text of Pope Francis-Bergoglio in-flight interview from Mexico to Rome

bergoglio another plane another interview brace yourselves

Bergoglio meets microphone – you can imagine how it went…

.- In his hour-long in-flight news conference on his way from Juarez to Rome, Pope Francis touched on a wide range of hot-button topics, including immigration, pedophilia, the spread of the Zika virus and his meeting with Patriarch Kirill.

In the 60 minute interview, the Pope answered 12 questions posed in English, Spanish and Italian while on his overnight flight from Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez to Rome.

Among the more salient themes of the interview are Francis’ praise of retired pontiff Benedict XVI’s efforts in fighting the clerical abuse crisis and his condemnation of abortion as a quick-fix to the Zika virus outbreak.

He also responded to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s criticism of his stance on immigration, saying that if a person only seeks to build walls, they are not really a Christian.

Fr. Lombardi: Holy Father, thank you for being here, as at the end of every trip, for the summary conversation, a broad look at the trip that has occurred, and for your availability to respond to so many questions from our international community. We have, like usual, asked the different language groups to organize and prepare a few questions, but naturally we begin with our colleagues from Mexico.

Maria Eugenia Jimenez Caliz, Milenio (Mexico): Holy Father, in Mexico there are thousands of “desaparecidos,” (disappeared) but the case of 43 (students) of Ayotzinapa is an emblematic case. I would like to ask you, why didn’t you meet with their families? Also, (please send) a message for the families of thousands of the “desaparecidos.”

Pope Francis: If you read the messages attentively, I made reference continuously to the killings, the death, the life taken by all of these narcotrafficking gangs and human smugglers. I spoke of this problem as one of the wounds that Mexico suffers. There was an attempt to receive one of these groups, and there were many groups, even opposed among themselves, with infighting, so I preferred to say that I would see all of them at the Mass in Juarez or at another (Mass). It was practically impossible to meet all of these groups, which on the other hand were also fighting among themselves. It’s a situation that’s difficult to understand, especially for me because I’m a foreigner, right?  I think that even the Mexican society is a victim of all of this, of these crimes of “cleaning” people, of discarding people. I spoke about it in four speeches even and you can check for it there. It’s a great pain that I’m taking, because this nation doesn’t deserve a drama like this one.

Javier Solorzano, Canal 11 (Mexico): The subject of pedophilia, as you know, in Mexico has very dangerous roots, very hurtful. The case of Father Maciel left a strong mark, especially on the victims. The victims continue to feel unprotected by the Church. Many continue to be men of faith. Some are still even in the priesthood. I want to ask you, what do you think of this subject? Did you at any moment consider meeting with the victims? And, in general, this idea that when the priests are detected in cases of this nature, what is done is that they are moved to another parish, nothing more? Thanks.

Pope Francis: OK, I’m going to start with the second. First, a bishop who moves a priest to another parish when a case of pedophilia is discovered is a reckless (inconsciente) man and the best thing he can do is to present his resignation. Is that clear?

Secondly, going back, the Maciel case, and here, I allow myself to honor the man who fought in moments when he had no strength to impose himself, until he managed to impose himself. Ratzinger. Cardinal Ratzinger deserves applause. (applause) Yes, applause for him. He had all of the documentation. He’s a man who as the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had everything in his hands. He conducted all the investigations, and went on, went on, went on, until he couldn’t go any further in the execution. But, if you remember, 10 days before the death of St. John Paul II, in that Via Crucis of Holy Friday, he said to the whole Church that it needed to clean up the dirt of the Church. And in the Pro-Eligendo Pontefice Mass, despite knowing that he was a candidate, he wasn’t stupid, he didn’t care to “make-up” his answer, he said exactly the same thing. He was the brave one who helped so many open this door. So, I want to remember him because sometimes we forget about this hidden works that were the foundations for “taking the lid off the pot.”

Thirdly, we’re doing quite a lot with the Cardinal Secretary of State (Pietro Parolin), and with the group of nine cardinal advisors. After listening, I decided to name a third secretary adjunct for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to take charge solely of these cases, because the Congregation isn’t able to keep up with all the cases it has.

Also, an appeals tribunal was constituted by Monsignor Scicluna which is dealing with the cases of second instance when there are recourses, because the first recourses are done by the plenary of the (Congregation of the) Doctrine of the Faith, the “feria quarta,” they call it, that gathers on Wednesdays. When there is recourse, it goes back to first instance, and it’s not fair. So, the second instance is also a legal matter, with a defending lawyer, but we need to work faster, because we’re behind with the cases, because cases continue to appear.

Another thing that is working very well is the commission for the protection of minors. It’s not exclusively devoted to cases of pedophilia, but the protection of minors. There, I spent an entire morning with six of them, two German, two British and two Irish. Abused men and women. Victims. And I also met with victims in Philadelphia. So we’re working. But I thank God because the lid is off the pot, and we have to continue taking it off. We need to take consciousness.

And, the final thing I would like to say that it’s a monstrosity, because a priest is consecrated to lead a child to God, and he eats him in a diabolical sacrifice. He destroys him.

Javier Solorzano: And on Maciel?

Pope Francis: Well, about Maciel, going back to the congregation (Editor’s note: The Legion of Christ, order founded by then-Fr. Marciel Maciel), there was an intervention and today the government of the congregation is semi-involved. That is, the superior general, who is elected by a council, by the general chapter, and the other two are selected by the Pope. In this way, we are helping to review old accounts.

Phil Pullella, Reuters: Today, you spoke very eloquently about the problems of immigration. On the other side of the border, there is a very tough electoral battle. One of the candidates for the White House, Republican Donald Trump, in an interview recently said that you are a political man and he even said that you are a pawn, an instrument of the Mexican government for migration politics. Trump said that if he’s elected, he wants to build 2,500 kilometers of wall along the border. He wants to deport 11 million illegal immigrants, separating families, etcetera. I would like to ask you, what do you think of these accusations against you and if a North American Catholic can vote for a person like this?

Pope Francis: Thank God he said I was a politician because Aristotle defined the human person as ‘animal politicus.’ At least I am a human person. As to whether I am a pawn, well, maybe, I don’t know. I’ll leave that up to your judgment and that of the people. And then, a person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the Gospel. As far as what you said about whether I would advise to vote or not to vote, I am not going to get involved in that. I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that. We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.

Jean-Louis de la Vaisserie, AFP (France): The meeting with the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill and the signing of the joint declaration was greeted by the entire world as an historic step. But now today in the Ukraine, Greek Catholics feel betrayed. They speak of a political document that supports Russian politics. In the field, the war of words has reignited. Do you think you’ll be able to go to Moscow? Were you invited by the patriarch? Or, (will you) go to Crete to greet the Pan-Orthodox Council in the spring?

Pope Francis: I’ll begin with the end. I will be present…spiritually. And with a message. I would like to go greet them there at the pan-orthodox synod. They are brothers, but I must respect them. But, I know that they want to invite Catholic observers and this is a good bridge, but behind the Catholic observers I will be praying with my best wishes that the Orthodox move ahead because they are brothers and their bishops are bishops like us.

Then, Kirill, my brother. We kissed each other, embraced, and then a conversation for an hour (Fr Lombardi corrects)…two hours. Old age doesn’t come on its own. (laughs) Two hours where we spoke as brothers, sincerely and no one knows what was spoke about, only what we said at the end publicly about how we felt as we spoke.

Secondly, that statement, that declaration about Ukraine. When I read this, I was a little bit worried because it was Sviatoslav Schevchuk who said that the Ukrainian people, some Ukrainians, also many Ukrainians felt disappointed and betrayed. I know Sviatoslav very well. In Buenos Aires, we worked together for four years. When he was elected – at 42 years old, eh, good man – he was elected major archbishop, he came back to Buenos Aires to get his things. He came to me and he gave me an icon – little like this – of Our Lady of Tenderness. And he told me, ‘This has accompanied me my entire life. I want to leave it to you who accompanied me over the last four years. It’s one of the few things I had brought from Buenos Aires and I keep it on my desk. That is, he’s a man whom I respect and also familiarity. We use “tu” with each other (Editor’s note: “tu” is the informal way of addressing someone in Italian – they speak as friends) and so on.

So, for this it seemed strange to me and I remembered something I said here to you: to understand a piece of news, a statement, you need to seek the hermeneutic of everything.

But, when you said this, it was said in a statement from January 14th, last February, last Sunday…an interview made by brother…I don’t remember…a priest, a Ukrainian priest, in Ukraine it was conducted and it was published. That news, the interview is one page, two, a little bit more, give or take. That interview is on the last page, a little like this. I read the interview and I’ll say this: Schevchuk, in the dogmatic part declares himself to be a son of the Church and in communion with the bishop of Rome and the Church. He speaks of the Pope and his closeness of the Pope and of himself, his faith, and also of the Orthodox people there. The dogmatic part, there’s no difficulty. He’s Orthodox in the good sense of the word, that is in Catholic doctrine, no.

And then, as in an interview like this one, everyone has the right to say his things and this wasn’t done in the meeting, because the meeting, it was a good thing and we have to move forward. This, he didn’t do in the meeting, the encounter was a good thing and we must move forward. This, the second chapter, the personal ideas that a person has. For example, this, what I said about the bishops who move pedophile priests, the best thing they can do is resign. This isn’t a dogmatic thing, but this is what I think. So, he has his personal ideas. They’re for dialoguing and he has a right to have them.

Thirdly…ah, all of what he’s speaking about is in the document, that’s the issue. On the fact of the meeting: the Lord chose to move it ahead, the embrace and all is well. The document. It’s a debatable document and there’s also another addition. In Ukraine, it’s a moment of war, of suffering, with so many interpretations. I have named the Ukrainian people, asking for prayers, closeness, so many times both in the Angelus and in the Wednesday audience. There is this closeness. But the historical fact of a war, experienced as…I don’t know if…well, everyone has their own idea of this war, who started it, what to do and it’s evident that this is a historical issue, but also a personal, historical, existential issue of that country and it speaks of the suffering. And, there I insert this paragraph. You can understand the faithful, because Stanislav told me that so many faithful have written to me saying that they are deeply disappointed and betrayed by Rome. You can understand that a people in this situation would feel this, no? The final document but it is a jotting down of some things. Pardon, it’s debatable on this question of Ukraine. But there, it says to make the war stop, that they find agreements. Also, I personally said that the Minsk accords move forward and are not eliminated. “With the elbows what wasn’t written with the hands.” (Original phrase in Italian: “Con il gomito quello che non e scritto con le mani”)

The Church of Rome, the Pope has always said, ’Seek peace.’ I also received both presidents. Equality, no. And so for this when he says that he’s heard this from his people, I understand it. I understand it. But, that’s not the news. The news is everything.

If you read the entire interview, you’ll see that there are serious dogmatic things that remain, there’s a desire for unity, to move ahead in the ecumenical – and he’s an ecumenical man. There are a few opinions. He wrote to me when he found out about the trip, the encounter, but, as a brother, giving his opinion as a brother. I don’t mind the document how it is. I don’t dislike it in the sense that we need to respect the things that everyone has the freedom to think and in (the context of) this situation that is so difficult. From Rome, now the nuncio is on the border where they’re fighting, helping soldiers and the wounded. The Church of Rome has sent so much help there. It’s always peace, agreements. We must respect the Minsk accords and so on. This is the entirety. But, don’t get scared by that phrase. And this is a lesson that a piece of news must be interpreted with the hermeneutic of everything and not just a part.

de la Vaisserie: did the Patriarch invite you to come to Moscow sometime?

Pope Francis: Patriarch Kirill. I would prefer – because if I say one thing, I have to say another and another and another. I would prefer that what we spoke about, us, alone, will remain only what we said in public. This is a fact. And if I say this, then I’ll have to say another and another…no! The things I said in public, the things he said in public. This is what can be said about the private conversation. To say it, it wouldn’t be private. But, I tell you, I walked out of it happy, and he did too.

Carlo Marroni, Il Sole 24 (Italy): Holy Father, my question is about the family, a subject which you addressed often during this trip. The Italian parliament is discussing a law on civil unions, a subject that is provoking strong political clashes but also a strong debate in society and among Catholics. In particular, I would like to know your thoughts on the subject of adoption by civil unions and therefore on the rights of children and of sons and daughters in general.

Pope Francis: First of all, I don’t know how things stand in the thinking of the Italian parliament. The Pope doesn’t get mixed up in Italian politics. At the first meeting I had with the (Italian) bishops in May 2013, one of the three things I said was: with the Italian government you’re on your own. Because the pope is for everybody and he can’t insert himself in the specific internal politics of a country. This is not the role of the pope, right? And what I think is what the Church thinks and has said so often – because this is not the first country to have this experience, there are so many – I think what the Church has always said about this.

Paloma García Ovejero, Cadena COPE (Spain): Holy Father, for several weeks there’s been a lot of concern in many Latin American countries but also in Europe regarding the Zika virus. The greatest risk would be for pregnant women. There is anguish. Some authorities have proposed abortion, or else to avoiding pregnancy. As regards avoiding pregnancy, on this issue, can the Church take into consideration the concept of “the lesser of two evils?”

Pope Francis: Abortion is not the lesser of two evils. It is a crime. It is to throw someone out in order to save another. That’s what the Mafia does. It is a crime, an absolute evil. On the ‘lesser evil,’ avoiding pregnancy, we are speaking in terms of the conflict between the fifth and sixth commandment. Paul VI, a great man, in a difficult situation in Africa, permitted nuns to use contraceptives in cases of rape.

Don’t confuse the evil of avoiding pregnancy by itself, with abortion. Abortion is not a theological problem, it is a human problem, it is a medical problem. You kill one person to save another, in the best case scenario. Or to live comfortably, no?  It’s against the Hippocratic oaths doctors must take. It is an evil in and of itself, but it is not a religious evil in the beginning, no, it’s a human evil. Then obviously, as with every human evil, each killing is condemned.

On the other hand, avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil. In certain cases, as in this one, or in the one I mentioned of Blessed Paul VI, it was clear. I would also urge doctors to do their utmost to find vaccines against these two mosquitoes that carry this disease. This needs to be worked on.

Jurgen Erbacher, ZDF (Germany): Holiness, you will soon receive the Charlemagne Prize, and that’s the main European one. What do you say to Europe, which now seems to be falling to pieces, first with the crisis of the euro and now that of the refugees? Maybe you have a word for us in this situation of European crisis?

Pope Francis: First, about the Charlemagne Prize. I had the habit of not accepting prizes or honors, but always, not out of humility, but because I don’t like them. Maybe it’s a little crazy, but it’s good to have it, but I just don’t like them. But in this case, I don’t say (I was) forced, but convinced by the holy and theological headstrongness of Cardinal Kasper, because he was chosen, elected by Aachen to convince me. And I said yes, but in the Vatican. And I said I offer it for Europe, as a co-decoration for Europe, a prize so that Europe may do what I desired at Strasburg; that it may no longer be “grandmother Europe” but “mother Europe.”

Secondly, reading the news the other day about this crisis and so on – I read little, I just glance through one newspaper – I won’t say the name so as not to create jealousy, but it is known! – Just 15 minutes, then I get information from the Secretariat of State and so on. And, there was one word that I liked, and I don’t know if they will approve it or not, but it was “the re-foundation of the European Union.” I thought of the great fathers, but today where is there a Schuman, an Adenauer, these great ones who after the war founded the European Union. I like this idea of the re-foundation of the European Union, maybe it can be done, because Europe – I do not say is unique, but it has a force, a culture, a history that cannot be wasted, and we must do everything so that the European Union has the strength and also the inspiration to make it go forward. That’s what I think.

Anne Thompson, NBC (USA): Some wonder how a Church that claims to be merciful, how can the Church forgive a murderer easier than someone who has divorced and remarried?

Pope Francis: I like this question! On the family, two synods have spoken. The Pope has spoken on this all year in the Wednesday Catechisms. The question is true, you posed it very well. In the post-synod document that will be published, perhaps before Easter – it picks up on everything the synod – in one of the chapters, because it has many – it spoke about the conflicts, wounded families and the pastoral (care) of wounded families. It is one of the concerns. As another is the preparation for marriage. Imagine, to become a priest there are eight years of study and preparation, and then if after a while you can’t do it, you can ask for a dispensation, you leave, and everything is OK. On the other hand, to make a sacrament (marriage), which is for your whole life, three to four conferences…Preparation for marriage is very important. It’s very, very important because I believe it is something that in the Church, in common pastoral ministry, at least in my country, in South America, the Church has not valued much.

For example, not so much anymore but some years ago in my homeland there was a habit, something called ‘casamiento de apuro,’ a marriage in haste because the baby is coming and to cover socially the honor of the family. There, they weren’t free and it happened many times this marriage is null. As a bishop I forbade my priests to do this. Priests, when there was something like this, I would say, let the baby come, let them continue as fiancées, and when they feel like they can continue for the rest of their lives, then they could go ahead. There is a lack there.

Another very interesting chapter is the education of children: the victims of problems of the family are the children. The children. Even of problems that neither husband nor wife have a say in. For example, the needs of a job. When the dad doesn’t have free time to speak to his children, when the mother doesn’t have time to speak with her children. When I confess a couple who have kids, a married couple, I ask, ‘how many children do you have?’ Some get worried and think the priest will ask why I don’t have more. I would make a second question, ‘Do you play with your children?’ The majority say, ‘but father, I have no time. I work all day.’ Children are victims of a social problem that wounds the family. It is a problem… I like your question.

Another interesting thing from the meeting with families in Tuxtla. There was a couple, married again in second union integrated in the pastoral ministry of the Church. The key phrase used by the synod, which I’ll take up again, is ‘integrate’ in the life of the Church the wounded families, remarried families, etcetera. But of this one mustn’t forget the children in the middle. They are the first victims, both in the wounds, and in the conditions of poverty, of work, etcetera.

Thompson: Does that mean they can receive Communion?

Pope Francis: This is the last thing. Integrating in the Church doesn’t mean receiving communion. I know married Catholics in a second union who go to church, who go to church once or twice a year and say I want communion, as if joining in Communion were an award. It’s a work towards integration, all doors are open, but we cannot say, ‘from here on they can have communion.’ This would be an injury also to marriage, to the couple, because it wouldn’t allow them to proceed on this path of integration. And those two were happy. They used a very beautiful expression: we don’t receive Eucharistic communion, but we receive communion when we visit hospitals and in this and this and this. Their integration is that. If there is something more, the Lord will tell them, but it’s a path, a road.

Antoine Marie Izoard, I.Media (France): Holiness, good evening. I permit myself first off, joking, to tell you how much we Vaticanistas are hostages of the schedule of the Holy Father and we can’t play with our children. Saturday is the jubilee audience, Sunday the Angelus and from Monday through Friday we have to go work. And also a hug to Alberto, who with Fr. Lombardi 20 years ago hired me at Vatican Radio. We’re in family here.

A question that is a bit “risqué,” Holiness. Numerous media have evoked and made a lot of noise on the intense correspondence John Paul II and the American philosopher, Ana Teresa Tymieniecka, who had a great affection, it’s said, for the Polish Pope. In your viewpoint, can a Pope have such an intimate relationship with a woman? And also, if you allow me, you who have an important correspondence, have you known this type of experience?

Pope Francis: I already knew about this friendship between St. John Paul II and this philosopher when I was in Buenos Aires. It was known. Also her books are known. John Paul II was a restless man. Then, I would also say that a man who does not know how to have a relationship of friendship with a woman – I’m not talking about misogynists, who are sick – well, he’s a man who is missing something.

And in my own experience, including when I ask for advice, I would ask a collaborator, a friend, I also like to hear the opinion of a woman because they have such wealth. They look at things in a different way. I like to say that women are those who form life in their wombs – and this is a comparison I make – they have this charism of giving you things you can build with. A friendship with a woman is not a sin. (It’s) a friendship. A romantic relationship with a woman who is not your wife, that is a sin. Understand?

But the Pope is a man. The Pope needs the input of women, too. And the Pope, too, has a heart that can have a healthy, holy friendship with a woman. There are saint-friends – Francis and Clare, Teresa and John of the Cross – don’t be frightened. But women are still not considered so well; we have not understood the good that a woman do for the life of a priest and of the church in the sense of counsel, help of a healthy friendship.

Franca Giansoldati, Il Messaggero (Italy): Holiness, good evening. I return back to the topic of the law that is being voted on in the Italian parliament. It is a law that in some ways is about other countries, because other countries have laws about unions among people of the same sex. There is a document from the Congregation for the Doctrine for the Faith from 2003 that dedicates a lot of attention to this, and even more, dedicates a chapter to the position of Catholic parliamentarians in parliament before this question. It says expressly that Catholic parliamentarians must not vote for these laws. Considering that there is much confusion on this, I wanted to ask, first of all, is this document of 2003 still in effect? And what is the position a Catholic parliamentarian must take? And then another thing, after Moscow, Cairo. Is there another thawing out on the horizon? I’m referring to the audience that you wish for with the Pope and the Sunnis, let’s call them that way, the Imam of Al Azhar.

Full text of Pope Francis’ in-flight interview from Mexico to Rome

Read more: Bergoglio meets microphone – you can imagine how it went…

‘The Constitution is pretty clear’: Obastard reminds Republicans that he is entitled to nominate new SCOTUS justice and that whoever it is will be ‘indisputably qualified!’

R. I. P. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. His courtroom chair is draped in black to mark his death as part of a tradition that dates to the 19th century.

Justice Scalia Requiescat in pace.

My children are faithful because we’d travel miles every Sunday to find a devout Mass! – Antonin Scalia

“My heart breaks that America cannot take time to mourn with the Scalia family,” said Catherine Davis, president of the Restoration Project. “Instead, we must turn, immediately, to the political—assessing the ramifications of the death of this great jurist. We do pray with them, however, for strength and peace as they navigate this new normal of life without their husband, dad and grandfather.”


Obama reminds Republicans that he is entitled to nominate new SCOTUS justice and that whoever it is will be ‘indisputably qualified!’

Enemy within, BHO said today that he won’t back down from a Supreme Court nomination battle brewing between his White House and Senate Republicans.

‘The Constitution is pretty clear about what’s supposed to happen now,’ Obama said at a press conference as he outlined his role as the executive to put forth a name to replace deceased Associate Justice Antonin Scalia and U.S. senators’ responsibility to confirm or deny that choice.

The president said, ‘Historically this has not been viewed as a question. There’s no unwritten law that says that it can only be done on off years. That’s not in the Constitutional text.’

Obama wouldn’t promise to nominate a ‘moderate,’ consensus candidate, telling a reporter not to ‘assume anything about the qualifications’ of the person he’ll pick ‘other than they’re gonna be well-qualified.’

obama 6 things the lord hates 2
President Barack Obama said today that he won’t back down from a Supreme Court nomination fight brewing between his White House and Senate Republicans

Senator Ted Cruz says there’s no chance Obama will be able to fill the Supreme Court vacancy opened up by the untimely death of Scalia. Cruz on Sunday told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that he ‘absolutely’ plans to filibuster an Obama nominee. ‘This should be a decision for the people, George,’ Cruz said. ‘We’ve got an election. And, you know Democrats – I cannot wait to stand on that stage with Hillary Clinton or with Bernie Sanders and take the case to the people, what vision of the Supreme Court do you want?’ 

Cruz, like a majority of his Republican peers in both the Senate and the race for the White House, want the Senate to drag out any sort of nomination vote in case Republicans win the presidency and can replace the conservative Scalia with another conservative. ‘Let the election decide it,’ Cruz, a constitutional scholar who attended the same law school as Obama, said Sunday on This Week. ‘If the Democrats want to replace this nominee, they need to win the election.’ Obama indirectly referenced Cruz today as he addressed questions about the fight with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republicans generally in the upper chamber. ‘I’m amused when I hear people who claim to be strict interpreters of the Constitution suddenly reading into it a whole series of provisions that are not there,‘ he said. Continuing, he said, ‘There’s more than enough time for the Senate to consider, in a thoughtful way, the record of a nominee that I present and to make a decision.’

Obama was also asked as part of a question what factors he’d consider when making a decision such as race and political positions. CNN said in a report today that the president’s team has already begun the vetting process and is working off a lists is began when he filled two other positions on the court and replaced Eric Holder in the attorney general’s office.  The president is currently in Rancho Mirage, California, hosting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at Sunnylands resort and golf course. He returns to Washington tonight.

By week’s end his team will have nevertheless narrowed down its list of options to three or four names, CNN’s source said. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who has held the role of top cop for less than a year after spending five as a U.S. Attorney’s in New York, is considered a leading contender.

Obama had little to say today about the candidates he’s considering.

‘We’re gonna find somebody who is an outstanding legal mind, somebody who cares deeply about our democracy and cares about rule of law,’ he said. ‘There’s not gonna be any particular position on a particular isue that determines whether or not I nominate them.’ But he added, ‘I am going to present somebody who indisputably is qualified for the seat and any fair-minded person, even somebody who disagreed with my politics, would say would serve with honor and integrity on the court.’

A reporter then asked if that means Obama is likely to select a moderate. ‘No,’ Obama interrupted him to say. ‘I don’t know where you found that.’ The president denied the possibility of a recess appointment and said of the Republican-controlled Senate, ‘I expect them to hold hearings. I expect there to be a vote. Full stop.’

The president is currently in Rancho Mirage, California, hosting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at Sunnylands resort and golf course. He returns to Washington tonight. He took questions on his Supreme Court pick at a press conference today before his flight home

On Sunday ABC’s Stephanopoulos pushed back on Cruz’s claim the American people want the next president to pick a Supreme Court justice, not the current one, by bringing up Obama’s re-election in 2012. ‘That was three years ago,’ Cruz, who clerked for the late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist in the mid-90s, countered. ‘The people also gave us a Republican Senate this last election because they were fed up with Barack Obama’s lawlessness.’ The Republican presidential candidate also suggested that Scalia’s passing changed ‘the entire contours of this race.’ ‘The time for the circus and reality show is over,’ Cruz said. ‘This is a serious choice and we are talking about losing our basic liberty if we get this wrong.’



Ember Days - Ordination of a Priest


                   February 17

The fast of today is prescribed by a double law: it is Lent, and it is Ember Wednesday. It is the same with the Friday and Saturday of this week. There are two principal objects for the Ember days of this period of the year: the first is to offer up to God the season of spring, and, by fasting and prayer, to draw down His blessing upon it; the second is, to ask Him to enrich with His choicest graces the priests and sacred ministers who are to receive their Ordination on Saturday. Let us, therefore, have a great respect for these three days; and let those who violate, upon them, the laws of fasting or abstinence, know that they commit a twofold sin.

     Up to the eleventh century the Ember days of spring were kept in the first week of March; and those of summer, in the second week of June. It was St. Gregory VII, who fixed them as we now have them; that is, the Ember days of spring in the first week of Lent, and those of summer in Whitsun week.

The Station for today is in the basilica of Saint Mary Major. Let us honour the Mother of God, the refuge of sinners; and let us ask her to present to our divine Judge the humble tribute of our penance.

Basilica of Saint Mary Major




          (Indulgence of 10 years and 10 quarantines)

              Violet vestments 


                     Commentary taken from 

The Liturgical Year – Ven. Abbot Dom Prosper Guéranger, O.S.B.

INTROIT – Psalm 24:6, 3, 22, 1, 2

Reminiscere miserationum tuarum, Domine, et misericordiæ tuæ, quæ a sæculo sunt: ne umquam dominentur nobis inimici nostri: libera nos, Deus Isræl, ex omnibus angustiis nostris. Ps. Ad te, Domine, levavi animam meam: Deus meus, in te confido, no erubescam. Gloria Patri.

Remember O Lord, Thy bowels of compassion and Thy mercies, that are from the beginning of the world; lest at any time our enemies rule over us; deliver us, O God of Isræl, from all our necessities. Ps. To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: in Thee, O my God, I put my trust; let me not be ashamed. Glory to the Father.


Let us pray. Let us kneel. Arise. Mercifully hear our prayers, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and stretch forth the right hand of Thy Majesty against all our foes. Through our Lord.

The Epistle of the Mass for all the Ember Wednesdays consists of two lessons from sacred Scripture. Today the Church brings before us the two great types of Lent, Moses and Elias, in order to impress us with an idea of the importance of this forty days’ fast, which Christ Himself solemnly consecrated when He observed it, thus fulfilling, in His own Person, what the Law and the Prophets had but prefigured.

Moses with Tablets

First Lesson

LESSON – Exodus 24:12-18

In those days the Lord said to Moses: Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and the law, and the commandments which I have written: that thou mayst teach them. Moses rose up, and his minister Josue: and Moses going up into the mount of God, said to the ancients: Wait ye here till we return to you. You have Aaron and Hur with you: if any question shall arise, you shall refer it to them. And when Moses was gone up, a cloud covered the mount. And the glory of the Lord dwelt upon Sinai, covering it with a cloud six days: and the seventh day he called him out of the midst of the cloud. And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like a burning fire upon the top of the mount, in the eyes of the children of Israel. And Moses, entering into the midst of the cloud, went up into the mountain: and he was there forty days, and forty nights.

GRADUAL – Psalm 24:17-18

The troubles of my heart are multiplied: deliver me from my necessities, O Lord. See my abjection and my labour; and forgive me all my sins.


Look down, favourably, we beseech Thee, O Lord, upon the devotion of Thy people, that they whose bodies are mortified by abstinence, may through the fruit of good works be refreshed in mind.

Prophet Elias and Angel - Arise and Eat

Second Lesson

EPISTLE – III Kings 19: 3-8

In those days Elias came to Bersabee of Juda, and left his servant there, And he went forward, one day’s journey into the desert. And when he was there, and sat under a juniper tree, he requested for his soul that he might die, and said: It is enough for me, Lord, take away my soul: for I am no better than my fathers. And he cast himself down, and slept in the shadow of the juniper tree: and behold an angel of the Lord touched him, and said to him: Arise and eat. He looked, and behold there was at his head a hearth cake, and a vessel of water: and he ate and drank, and he fell asleep again. And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said to him: Arise, eat: for thou hast yet a great way to go. And he arose, and ate, and drank, and walked in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights, unto the mount of God, Horeb.

Moses and Elias fast for forty days and forty nights, because God bids them come near to Him. Man must purify himself, he must unburden himself, in some measure at least, of the body which weighs him down, if he would enter into communication with Him who is the Spirit. And yet the vision of God granted to these two holy personages was very imperfect: they felt that God was near them, but they beheld not His glory. But when the fullness of time came, God manifested Himself in the flesh: and man saw, and heard, and touched Him. We, indeed, are not of the number of those favoured ones who lived with Jesus, the Word of life: but in the holy Eucharist He allows us to do more than see Him: He enters into our breasts, He is our food. The humblest member of the Church possesses God more fully than either Moses on Sinai, or Elias on Horeb. We cannot, therefore, be surprised that the Church, in order to fit us for this favour at the Easter solemnity, bids us go through a preparation of forty days, though its severity is not to be compared with the rigid fast which Moses and Elias had to observe as the condition of receiving what God promised them.

TRACT – Psalm 24:17, 18, 1- 4

Deliver me from my necessities, O Lord: see my abjection and my labour; and forgive me all my sins. To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul; in Thee, O my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed; neither let mine enemies laugh at me. For none of them that wait on Thee shall be confounded: let all them be confounded that do vain things.

The Sign of Jonah Engraving by Anton Wierix

The Sign of Jonah Engraving by Anton Wierix

GOSPEL – Matthew 12: 38-50

At that time some of the Scribes and Pharisees answered Jesus, saying: Master we would see a sign from thee. Who answering said to them: An evil and adulterous generation seeketh a sign: and a sign shall not be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. For as Jonas was in the whale’s belly three days and three nights: so shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. The men of Ninive shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they did penance at the preaching of Jonas. And behold a greater than Jonas here. The queen of the south shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold a greater than Solomon here. And when an unclean spirit is gone out of a man he walketh through dry places seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith: I will return into my house from whence I came out. And coming he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then he goeth, and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is made worse than the first. So shall it be also to this wicked generation. As He was yet speaking to the multitudes, behold His mother and His brethren stood without, seeking to speak to Him. And one said unto Him: Behold Thy mother and Thy brethren stand without, seeking Thee. But He answering him that told Him, said: Who is My mother, and who are My brethren? And stretching forth His hand towards His disciples, He said: Behold My mother and My brethren. For whosoever shall do the will of My Father, that is in heaven, He is My brother, and sister, and mother.

Our Lord forewarns Israel of the chastisements which its voluntary blindness and hardness of heart will bring upon it. The men of Israel refuse to believe, unless they see signs and prodigies ; they have them in abundance, but will not see them. Such are the unbelievers of the present day. They say they want proofs of the divine origin of the Catholic religion. What is history but a tissue of proofs; what are the events of the present age, but testimony of the truth? And yet they remain incredulous. They have their own views and prejudices, and they intend to keep to them; how, then, can it be wondered at that they never embrace the true faith? Infidels, who have not had the like opportunities, will rise in judgment with such a generation and condemn it for its resistance to grace. Let us Catholics remember that amidst the great religious movement which is now going on, it is our duty to be not only most firm in our faith, but also most zealous in the observance of the laws of the Church, such, for example, as Lent. The apostolate of example will produce its fruits; and if a mere handful of Christians was to the Roman empire like that leaven of which our Saviour speaks, and which leavened the whole mass, what results might we not expect in a country like our own, which has retained so much Catholic practice and doctrine, if the Catholics themselves were but zealous in the exercise of their duties’?

OFFERTORY – Psalm 118:47, 48

I meditated also on Thy commandments, which I loved exceedingly: and I lifted up my hands to Thy commandments, which I loved.


We make sacrificial offerings to propitiate Thee, O Lord, so that in Thy mercy Thou mayest forgive us our sins and Thyself guide our wayward hearts. Through our Lord.


It is truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty and everlasting God. Who by the fasting of the body dost curb our vices, elevate our minds and bestow virtue and reward; through Christ our Lord. Through whom the angels praise Thy majesty, the dominions worship it, and the powers stand in awe. The heavens and the heavenly hosts, with the blessed seraphim join together in celebrating their joy. With these we pray Thee join our voices also, while we say with lowly praise:


COMMUNION – Psalm 5:2-4

Understand my cry: hearken to the voice of my prayer, O my King and my God: for to Thee will I pray: O Lord.


By the reception of Thy Sacrament, O Lord, may we both be cleansed from our secret sins and delivered from the snares of our enemies.


Bow your heads to God.

Enlighten, we beseech thee, O Lord, our minds with the light of thy brightness, that we may discern what is to be done, and be able to do it. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

We take the following devout stanzas on fasting from the Triodion of the Greek Church.



Wonderful is the armour of prayer and fasting! With it, Moses became a legislator, and Elias a zealous priest. Let us, O ye faithful, resolutely take it unto ourselves, and cry out to our Saviour: To thee alone have we sinned; have mercy on us.

Let us fast a spiritual fast, break all the snares of the serpent, shun the wickedness of evil example, and forgive our brethren their offences against us, that our own sins may be forgiven; for thus shall We be able to say: May our prayer, O Lord, be directed as incense in thy sight!

O thou that alone art Good! O fount of mercy! O Lamb of God, who, being thyself God, takest away the sins of the world! I am tossed by the storms of sin; save me, and lead me to the paths of penance. The true fast is fleeing from sin, turning away from evil affections, love of God, earnest prayer, tears of compunction, and charity towards the poor, as Christ teaches us in the Scripture.

My soul is pierced with the sword of sin, and is mangled by manifold crimes: heal it, O thou kind physician of souls! Apply unto me, O merciful Jesus, the remedy of thy all-wise commandments. Now is the time for compunction, for it is the time of the fast; let us earnestly give ourselves to tears and sighs, and stretch forth our hands to our only Redeemer, beseeching him to unfetter our souls.

Give me the grace, O my good Jesus! to stifle all my wicked affections, to be filled with the love of thee, to be rich in divine gifts, and to serve thee with all devotedness. Take heed, my soul, lest, whilst fasting, thou be guilty of the gluttony of injuring and hating thy neighbour, and quarrelling with him; and thus lose thy God, by thy negligence.

How shall I be able, O my Jesus, to endure thy wrath, when thou comest to judge me? What answer shall I then make unto thee, if new I refuse to fulfill thy just commands? O pardon me, before my departure hence. Liberate my soul, O Lord, from the tyranny of my passions, that I may enjoy the freedom of doing thy will, and give glory to thy power, for eternity.

Hate, O my soul, the intemperance of Esau, and imitate the holy Jacob; destroy Belial by abstinence, make treasure to thyself of divine riches, and let the praise of God be for ever on thy lips.

Grant unto us, O merciful Saviour, that we may traverse the sea of our fast unmolested by storms: and that we, who are ever celebrating thy praise, may be brought to the haven of thy Resurrection.




The Liturgical Year – Ven. Dom Guéranger

The station for today is, as noted in the missal, in the church of St. Trypho, martyr; but this church having been destroyed many centuries ago, the station is now in that of St. Augustine, which is built on the same site.


Give ear, O Lord, to our prayers, and grant that we may, with true devotion, ob serve this solemn fast which was wholesomely instituted for giving health to both our souls and bodies. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Lesson from the Prophet Isaias

Chapter 58

Thus saith the Lord God: If thou wilt take away the chain out of the midst of thee, and cease to stretch out the finger, and to speak that which profiteth not; when thou shalt pour out thy soul to the hungry, and shalt satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall thy light rise up in darkness, and thy darkness shall be as the noonday. And the Lord will give thee rest continually, and will fill thy soul with brightness, and deliver thy bones, and thou shalt be like a watered garden and like a fountain of water, whose waters shall not fail. And the places that have been desolate for ages, shall be built in thee; thou shalt raise up the foundations of generation and generation: and thou shalt be called the repairer of the fences, turning the paths into rest. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy own will in my holy day, and call the Sabbath delightful, and the holy of the Lord glorious, and glorify him, while thou dost not thy own ways, and thy own will is not found, to speak a word: then shalt thou be delighted in the Lord, and I will lift thee up above the high places of the earth, and will feed thee with the inheritance of Jacob thy father. For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

Saturday is a day replete with mystery. It is the day of God’s rest; it is a figure of the eternal peace, which awaits us in heaven after the toils of this life are over. The object of the Church in giving us, today, this lesson from Isaias, is to teach us how we are to merit our eternal Sabbath. We have scarcely entered on our campaign of penance, when this affectionate mother of ours comes to console us. If we abound in good works during this holy season, in which we have taken leave of the distracting vanities of the world, the light of grace shall rise up even in the darkness which now clouds our soul. This soul which has been so long obscured by sin and by the love of the world and self, shall become bright as the noonday; the glory of Jesus’ Resurrection shall be ours too; and, if we are faithful to grace, the Easter of time will lead us to the Easter of eternity. Let us, therefore, build up the places that have been so long desolate; let us raise up the foundations, repair the fences, turn away our feet from the violation of holy Observances, do not our own ways and our own will in opposition to those of our divine Master; and then He will give us everlasting rest, and fill our soul with His own brightness.


Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Mark

Chapter 6

At that time: When it was late, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and Jesus alone on the land. And seeing them labouring in rowing (for the wind was against them), and about the fourth watch of the night, he cometh to them, walking upon the sea, and he would have passed by them. But they seeing him walking upon the sea, thought it was an apparition, and they cried out. For they all saw him and were troubled. And immediately he spoke with them, and said to them: Have a good heart, it is I, fear ye not. And he went up to them into the ship, and the wind ceased. And they were far more astonished within themselves: for they understood not concerning the loaves: for their heart was blinded. And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Genesareth, and set to the shore. And when they were gone out of the ship immediately they knew him; and running through that whole country, they began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was. And whithersoever he entered, into towns, or into villages, or cities, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch’ but the hem of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.

The ship, the Church, has set sail; the voyage is to last forty days. The disciples labour in rowing, for the wind is against them; they begin to fear lest they may not be able to gain the port. But Jesus comes to them on the sea; He goes up to them in the ship; the rest of the voyage is most prosperous. The ancient liturgists thus explain the Church’s intention in her choice of today’s Gospel. ‘Forty days of penance are, it is true, little enough for a long life that has been spent in everything save God’s service; and yet our cowardice would sink under these forty days, unless we had Jesus with us. Let us not fear; it is He; He prays with us, fasts with us, and does all our works of mercy with us. Was it not He that first began these forty days of expiation? Let us keep our eyes fixed on Him, and be of good heart. If we grow tired, let us go to Him, as did the poor sick ones of whom our Gospel speaks. The very touch of His garments sufficed to restore health to such as had lost it; let us go to Him in His adorable Sacrament; and the divine life, whose germ is already within us, will develop itself, and the energy, which was beginning to droop in our hearts, will regain all its vigour.

Prayer over the People

Bow down your heads before God.

May thy faithful, O God, be strengthened by thy gifts; that, by receiving them, they may ever hunger after them, and hungering after them, they may have their desires satisfied in the everlasting possession of them. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us close our Saturday with a prayer to Mary, the refuge of sinners. Let us express the confidence we have in her, by the following devout sequence. It is taken from the German missals of the fourteenth century.


It behooves us, O most holy Virgin, to offer thee, on the altar of our hearts, the offering of our prayers. For whereas the sacrifice of our prayers has no merit of its own, it may be made acceptable, through thee, to thy Son. Present to him, who was sacrificed for sin, the sacrifice of sinners’ prayers.

It is through thee the sinner comes to God, for this God came to the sinner through thee, O thou the mediatrix between God and man! It was for the sake of sinners that thou wast made worthy of such a Son: canst thou, then, despise them?

It was because there were sinners to be redeemed, that thou wast made Mother of the Redeemer. Neither wouldst thou be seated nigh the Father’s throne, hadst thou not been Mother of him who shares his Father’s throne.

Take, then, O holy Virgin, who for our sake hast been thus exalted, take thou our prayers, and present them to our sovereign Lord. Amen.



Eleison Comments – Number CDXLVIII (448)

Eleison Comments

 Slippery Animal

People today are not normal or sane.

All history shows no comparable bane.

“Modernism is necessarily, by its very nature, a uniquely slippery animal.” Modernism being the present deadly enemy of the Catholic Church, it can never be analyzed enough. As enemy of the Church in particular, it can be defined as that movement of thought and belief which holds that the Church must be adapted to the modern world by the appearance of Catholicism being maintained while its substance is changed. It has infected Catholics without number since it gained official approval from the very top of the Church at Vatican II, and it has set many cardinals, bishops and priests on the road to eternal perdition, let alone laity, by undermining their Catholic faith. Let us see again why it is slippery, and uniquely slippery.

It is a slippery animal because like all heresies it had to disguise itself to seem acceptable to its target, believing Catholics. So it is constantly using ambiguous formulae of words interpretable in a Catholic or anti-catholic sense. The Catholics piously accept the Catholic sense and swallow the words, only to have the modernists turn them to poison by exploiting the anti-catholic sense. Vatican II is ambiguous from start to finish, choosing formulae of words that can slip and slide between the Church and the modern world, so as to hide the intrinsic mutual contradiction of these two. To Paul VI, believing profoundly in both Church and world (as he conceived them), such formulae came instinctively and abundantly. The documents of his Council, Vatican II, are shot through with ambiguity. Yet by these ambiguities Paul VI really thought he would save both Church and world, exactly as Bishop Fellay now hopes that by talking out of both sides of his mouth he will save both Catholic Tradition and the Council. Vain hope! God “detests the double tongue” (Prov. VIII, 13). It has always served to trick Catholics into abandoning their faith.

But more than just slippery, modernism is amongst all heresies uniquely slippery, because as Pius X said in “Pascendi,” it is the heresy of heresies, like a main sewer collecting in itself all the filth of all the minor sewers, or particular heresies. This is because it is the product (and producer) of minds that have slipped anchor from anchorage in any truth whatsoever, so that any counter-truth or heresy is entirely at home in modernism. And this is because its fundamental principle is philosophical, the human mind’s supposed inability to know anything whatsoever beyond what appears to men’s five external senses. Such a mind is like a dirty wine-bottle. It dirties anything poured into it, even the finest of wines or the sublimest of truths. For while any other heresy attacks a particular truth of the Faith, the philosophical error at the root of modernism undermines universal truth, even while it can pretend that it is not attacking any truth in particular. For instance Benedict XVI would no doubt be horrified if he were accused of disbelieving any Article of the Creed, but that does not stop him from being ready to “up-date” them all.

Now never have so many minds slipped all anchor in objective truth as today, such slipping being man’s final liberation, whereby reality can no longer impose itself on me, but I can impose myself on all reality. I have taken the place of God. Thus too many Catholics were infected by today’s world and welcomed modernism when it reared its head again at Vatican II, because here was the Pope himself giving the apparent seal of Catholic approval to their undermining of all Catholic Truth. They were free, and still Catholic. Cry freedom throughout the Church!

Then how deal with this “uniquely slippery animal?” Certainly not by going down to Rome to mix with its main victims and perpetrators, the present officials at the top of the Church. Satan himself might not have a long enough spoon to sup safely with these (objective) foxes and sharks and wolves, all the more dangerous for their possible (subjective) unawareness of their own condition. Pray the Rosary for Our Lady to build around your heads and hearts her own protective armour.

Kyrie eleison.