Link Roundup: May 23, 2016

John Allen has an article at Crux, following up on Bishop Bernard Fellay’s joke that the Holy Father’s strong words for inflexible “fundamentalists” are largely aimed at “conservative Americans,” observing that there is currently a distaste in Roman circles for conservative Americans.

At the blog More Crows than Eagles, “Anne Amnesia” has a devastating piece about the “unnecessariat.”

Sam Kriss has a hilarious piece about the world’s largest pizza, just made in Naples. (To tell you more would be to spoil it.)

Leon Neyfakh has a long, fascinating article at Slate about academic fraud in Russia and the activists who are trying to catch out prominent Russians who have plagiarized or purchased their doctoral dissertations.

Pater Edmund Waldstein, O.Cist., has released the text (and a recording) of a talk he recently gave at a conference at Worcester College, Oxford, on the subject of individualism and totalitarianism in David Foster Wallace and Charles de Koninck.

Peter Kwasniewski has an informative piece at New Liturgical Movement about celebrating a reverent outdoor Mass, which concludes with some practical tips.

Rorate Caeli brings our attention to a new project in San Diego, based at the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) parish there, to rescue teenage women from sex trafficking. The long-term goal is to start a new congregation of women religious devoted to saving these women.

Link Roundup: May 16, 2016

First up, today the United States Supreme Court issued a decision of sorts in the Little Sisters of the Poor case, remanding the case to the circuit courts in light of the parties apparent agreement regarding the workaround the high court had proposed earlier this year.

The National Catholic Register has some early reporting and analysis. Lyle Denniston also has some analysis—geared, of course, in a more legal direction—at SCOTUSBlog.

At Slate, Ruth Graham asks whether the Christian left can emerge as a more potent, coherent political force as Donald Trump’s ascendancy in the Republican Party has thrown some of the traditional coalitions on the right into disarray.

Fr. John Hunwicke has a very interesting post about the Octave of Pentecost—no, not the old story about Paul VI’s dismay upon learning that he had suppressed it—focusing on whether one may licitly observe the octave in reciting the Liturgia Horarum. (One must observe the octave in the Roman Breviary of 1960, of course.) Obviously, after Summorum Pontificum, a priest can just say his office according to the Breviary, though for one reason or another he may prefer not to.

Next, also at the National Catholic Register, there is some more coverage of Cardinal Müller’s recent discussion of Amoris laetitia and its place within the recent papal magisterium.

Pater Edmund Waldstein, O.Cist., has a couple of very splendid posts well worth your time. First, he discusses Christianity’s long-held hope for a universal temporal order in the context of the European Union. Then, he discusses in a very long, very fascinating essay desire, deicide, and atonement through the lens of René Girard. This second post is really one of the best things we’ve read in quite some time.

Link Roundup: May 8, 2016

First up, at The Josias, Timothy Wilson has a new translation of Ireneo González Moral, S.J., on relations between the Church and state. (We know that Wilson is currently preparing a blockbuster translation of another seminal work, but we won’t spoil the surprise. Keep your eyes peeled, though.)

Edward Pentin reports on a talk that Gerhard Ludwig Cardinal Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, gave in Spain recently, touching upon Amoris laetitia, arguing that the Holy Father’s post-Synodal exhortation has left Familiaris consortio and Sacramentum caritatis untouched. His particular arguments are worth reading and considering.

On the other hand, Rorate Caeli has a translation of a very long speech by Roberto de Mattei about the “crisis in the Church.” It touches upon many topics, but ultimately expresses a negative judgment, as you could have guessed, on Amoris laetitia.

The Holy Father has received the Charlemagne Prize and he has taken the opportunity to set forth his vision for Europe. It is an interesting comment on the decrepit state of the Continent in 2016, and in many ways he continues the line of thought most clearly articulated in Laudato si’.

At the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof has a very interesting op-ed piece about liberal intolerance—that is, leftist intolerance—especially at universities. There are those who attribute the rise of Donald Trump as, in part, a reaction to this leftist intolerance, and, therefore, Kristof’s piece is more than merely an exploration of why some professors have to sit alone at the faculty club.

Gregory DiPippo has an interesting essay at New Liturgical Movement about the feast of St. John at the Latin Gate. It is especially interesting given the information on St. John’s martyrdom, which was, well, not traditional. Under Domitian, John was thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil, and he emerged unharmed, which is why he was exiled to Patmos. By repute, the church of St. John at the Latin Gate was set up where Domitian had set up his cauldron.

Link Roundup: St. Joseph the Workman 2016

Fr. John Hunwicke has a couple of posts about the creation, in 1956, of the first class feast of St. Joseph Opifex (St. Joseph the Workman), which was intended, more or less, to take May Day back from the Communists. The first post deals with some Easter feasts that were suppressed or translated under Pius XII and John XXIII. The second offers some suggestions for priests inclined to celebrate SS. Philip and James on May 1, as was done before 1956.

John Allen has a lengthy piece at Crux about the Holy Father’s Curial appointments, noting clearly the Holy Father’s preference for liberal appointments. Allen notes that Pope Francis seems to prefer the sort of administrators that helped Paul VI govern the Church. (We think we’ll say some extra prayers after that revelation.) It would have been interesting to see Allen discourse on the rise of the Sodano party under this pope after being cast into the wilderness somewhat under Benedict and Bertone.

Also at Crux, a long piece about the status of Holy See-SSPX negotiations after the release of Fr. Schmidberger’s memorandum.

At Sancrucensis, Pater Edmund Waldstein, O.Cist., has a great meditation on “light” penances. For our part, we suspect that many Catholics have had a that’s all? moment when their confessor hands down a light penance. Pater Waldstein’s piece ought to give them a little pause next time.

New Liturgical Movement has a splendid photo-post of some very ancient churches in northern Italy (some distance outside Milan, in fact).

Elliot Milco has a “a brief note” (very brief!) on the meaning of Amoris laetitia, and, as usual, he gets right to the heart of the matter. Whether the Holy Father intended to legitimize Cardinal Kasper’s penitential path (or Cardinal Marx’s forum internum solution), Milco makes the point that there is now little legal authority to stand against such a proposal.


Link Roundup: Apr. 24, 2016

Fr. Gerald E. Murray has a lengthy essay at The Catholic Thing, arguing that Amoris laetitia did change the Church’s teaching about communion for bigamists and, pace Cardinal Burke, was a magisterial act.

Speaking of Amoris laetitia—despite our best intentions not to—Edward Pentin has an enormous piece collecting various reactions to the exhortation.

Yesterday, if you said the 1960 Breviary, you might have noted that a commemoration of St. George was made at lauds (it was otherwise the Saturday Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary). Gregory DiPippo has a fascinating essay at New Liturgical Movement, pointing out that there has long been skepticism in the West to St. George’s historicity.

Fr. John Hunwicke has a fascinating post about the circumstances under which Archbishop George Errington was removed as Cardinal Wiseman’s coadjutor archbishop of Westminster by the great Pius IX.

Pater Edmund Waldstein, O.Cist., has decided to tantalize his readers horribly by giving us the abstract from a paper of his titled: The Dialectics of Individualism and Totalitarianism in Charles de Koninck, David Foster Wallace, and Michel Houellebecq. We hope that he’ll make the whole paper—or at least lengthy excerpts—available soon.

At Rorate Caeli, there is a new, exclusive interview of Bishop Athanasius Schneider by Dániel Fülep of the John Henry Newman Center of Higher Education in Hungary. (Note that the interview took place before the release of Amoris laetitia, though it touches upon some of the issues raised by that document.)


Link Roundup: Apr. 17, 2016

We took a break from Link Roundup last Sunday, largely since we did an Amoris laetitia special edition and because everyone was talking (in circles, for the most part) about Amoris laetitia. They still are, of course, but that does not mean that interesting things aren’t being said on other topics—if you can imagine that.

While on the island of Lesbos, the Holy Father, the Ecumenical Patriarch, and Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece issued a Joint Declaration regarding the refugee situation and the crisis in the Middle East. No reference is made, as far as we can tell, to Pius XII’s great Exsul Familia Nazarethana, which addressed these very topics in the wake of the Second World War.

Canonist Ed Peters has a fascinating post about the concept of Eucharist-as-medicine, with copious citations to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior-general of the SSPX, in a homily on April 10, in which it was revealed that, apparently, in the last days of Benedict’s pontificate, the SSPX received an ultimatum: accept the then-current offer from Rome by a date certain or be excommunicated. Benedict apparently decided to leave the matter for his successor and Francis apparently decided not to go forward with it. There have been discussions previously about offers made during those extraordinary, portentous final days of Benedict’s reign, but they did not include the “or else” Fellay mentions.

Matthew Hazell has a new book out: Index Lectionum. The first of a projected three-volume work, Hazell’s book is nothing less than a comparison of the EF lectionary and the OF lectionary. Valuable for those who are interested to know what got kept, cut, and shuffled in the post-conciliar reforms. (There is also an interesting discussion in the comments.)

Edward Pentin reports that the Holy Father met with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders briefly, while Sanders was at the Vatican to address a conference marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of Centesimus annus. Carol Glatz has a good overview of the conference, albeit with a focus on the Sanders angle, including some quotes from Cardinal Maradiaga’s address.

At Opus Publicum, Gabriel Sanchez has a very interesting review of a new book discussing John Paul and Benedict’s reactions to Balthasar’s speculation about Christ’s descent into hell on Holy Saturday.

Link Roundup: “Amoris laetitia” Special Edition

Tomorrow, the Holy Father’s long-anticipated exhortation, Amoris laetitia, is set to be formally released. We have heard rumblings of rumors that copies of the exhortation are beginning to circulate privately. We have even heard rumors of reports about the contents of the exhortation. But, obviously, nothing definite. However, rest assured that when we hear something definite, we will share it with you, dear reader. Our well-placed Roman source tells us that we’ll definitely hear more around 6 AM Eastern Standard Time tomorrow. Until then, we have collected some early reporting for your review, no doubt as you—like us—stay up all night, refreshing the Google search for “Time in Rome.”

(Also, as we did for Mitis iudex, we have created a new category for Amoris laetitia.)

Edward Pentin has a good introduction, which includes some quotes from anonymous Curial officials, at the National Catholic Register.

Sandro Magister dissects the public statements of Cardinal Schönborn and Cardinal Baldissieri, two of the relators for the exhortation, to try to ascertain what it may contain. In particular, he provides a lengthy excerpt from an interview Cardinal Schönborn gave to Fr. Antonio Spadaro, a close collaborator of the Holy Father and editor of La Civiltà cattolica, the proofs of which we are unfailingly reminded are corrected in the Secretariat of State.

Ines San Martin, at the newly spun-off Crux, gives a good historical background for the exhortation, which may be necessary for some folks, who followed it less closely than we did. She also suggests that, as of the time of writing, anyway, the exhortation had not left the close control of the Holy Father’s closest collaborators. This contradicts what we have heard from several sources.

Gabriel Sanchez has three—three!—very reasonable, very sensible posts on the exhortation and the preliminary responses to the exhortation from the right. ONE; TWO; THREE. While all three posts are well worth your time, you need to pay close attention to the second one. He makes a really interesting point that will no doubt have to be explored further in the wake of whatever happens.

Dr. Maike Hickson reports at The Wanderer that Walter Cardinal Brandmüller has taken a very strong line against the Kasperite proposal. (You may recall that Cardinal Brandmüller was one of the prelates commissioned by the Holy Father to visit, on an ad hoc basis, the SSPX.)

Link Roundup: Quasimodo Sunday 2016

First up, Father Ray Blake has a nice essay, recalling how ad orientem worship was restored at his parish, St. Mary Magdalen Brighton.

At New Liturgical Movement, Gregory DiPippo has a fascinating entry about the form of Vespers of Easter used during the Middle Ages.

There is comprehensive coverage of Mother Angelica’s funeral at the National Catholic Register, including some quotations from the Holy Father’s telegram. (We tried to find the telegram at the Vatican website, and found only the telegram sent on the occasion of Cardinal Cottier’s funeral.)

Fr. John Hunwicke has a very lengthy, very fascinating piece on the rewrites to the rite of episcopal consecration following the Council and the loss of understanding of typology with respect to Holy Orders. (On this general topic, we note that we keep meaning to publish an essay of ours discussing St. Jerome and Amalarius’s understanding of the diaconate through the lens of the Book of Numbers. Maybe this week.)

In the context of an essay by Ann Barnhardt calling for the deposition of the Holy Father, John Medaille makes some very interesting points. (We offer no commentary on Barnhardt’s piece itself.) Indeed, he makes a point that we have been making since Laudato si’ was promulgated: “Almost every page of Evangelii Gaudium and Laudato Si’ fairly drips with contempt for individualism, subjectivism, relativism, capitalism, and all the other evils of modernism.”

Have we posted Bishop Bernard Fellay’s interview with DICI updating the status of Holy See – SSPX relations? If we haven’t, here it is. Interesting reading.

Father Deacon John Russell, a Byzantine Catholic cleric of our acquaintance, at his splendid Blog of the Dormition, has a lengthy, fascinating meditation on the closing of the doors of the iconostasis for Thomas Sunday (for our Eastern Catholic brethren).

Link Roundup: Easter 2016

There’s a distinctly clerical cast to Link Roundup this week, but, of course, given the work that our priests have done over the last week, it’s probably appropriate to give clergy pride of place today: 

At the National Catholic Register, there is a translation of the Holy Father’s Urbi et Orbi message for 2016. A selection: “The Lord, who suffered abandonment by his disciples, the burden of an unjust condemnation and shame of an ignominious death, now makes us sharers of his immortal life and enables us to see with his eyes of love and compassion those who hunger and thirst, strangers and prisoners, the marginalized and the outcast, the victims of oppression and violence.”

Pater Edmund Waldstein, O.Cist., has a wonderful Easter sermon at Sancrucensis, which he preached to Carmelite nuns. A selection: “The Church is Mary Magdalene in the garden; the sinner who has repented and who now weeps with love for her Lord. And who then sees Him alive beyond hope. This is the life of the Church, the vocation of Christians; to weep for the Lord, and then to meet Him, to look at Him, to take his heart with that glance of the eyes, and to receive His love.” (Emphasis supplied.)

Pater Edmund also has a brief, thought-provoking connection between sacrifice, sin, and the common good, which we encourage you to read and ponder.

Fr. Joseph Koczera, S.J., has a very fine sermon, too, from the Easter Vigil last night, explaining to our new brothers and sisters, received into the Church last night, some of the deep symbolism of the Easter Vigil itself.

At New Liturgical Movement, Gregory DiPippo posts a lengthy excerpt from St. Melito of Sardis‘s Paschal Homily from the second century A.D. A particularly moving selection: “‘Therefore, come, all families of men, you who have been befouled with sins, and receive forgiveness for your sins. I am your forgiveness, I am the passover of your salvation, I am the lamb which was sacrificed for you, I am your ransom, I am your light, I am your Savior, I am your resurrection, I am your king. I am leading you up to the heights of heaven, I will show you the eternal Father, I will raise you up by My right hand.'” (Emphasis supplied.)

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf has a lengthy post about the Exsultet. Fr. John Hunwicke has a shorter piece, focusing on the translation of the Exsultet by Msgr. Ronald Arbuthnott Knox, happily restored to the Roman rite by Pope Francis through the new Ordinariate Missal.

At the Paraphasic, Elliot Milco has some plot notes toward a novel. One can hope that Milco takes up the notes and starts working toward a draft.


Link Roundup: March 20, 2016

We wish all of our readers a blessed and fruitful Holy Week as we all prepare ourselves for the Triduum. 

An older entry is up first, but it’s well worth your time. In 2009, Gregory DiPippo went through and chronicled in painstaking detail the 1955 Holy Week reforms of Pius XII. (We link to the last post in the series, since it has a links to the previous posts.) At the time, the 1955 changes represented the first significant changes to the Roman Missal since 1570. (The Roman Breviary had not done so well.) However, with the benefit of hindsight, we can see that Pius’s 1955 reforms were but a prelude to the wholesale revision of the liturgy in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. DiPippo’s series is, therefore, essential reading to understand how Bugnini’s big project began.

At the National Catholic Register, there is an article about the preparations for the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions of Our Lady. It seems to us that the Fatima message is as essential today as then. Probably more so.

An anonymous priest at Rorate Caeli writes a very brief note about the dangers of the Church stooping to adopt modern modes of communication.

Fr. John Hunwicke has a lengthy prediction about the forthcoming post-synodal exhortation, which, in point of fact, differs from ours in an important dimension. Fr. Hunwicke says, “It will not open up a regular public pathway to the admission of such people to the Sacraments without the regularisation of their matrimonial situation through the Nullity system.” (Emphasis in original.) We’ll see.

Fr. Joseph Koczera posts an interesting homily on the gospel account of the resurrection of Lazarus, in which he makes the important point, which we had not consciously recognized until now, that we all can identify with Martha and Mary.