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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Communicatio in sacris - IV - Don't shoot the messenger!

This series of posts on
Communicatio in sacris
with heretics and schismatics
(literally: communicatio in sacris - sharing in sacred things)
grew from blog comments condemning Pope Benedict XVI
for sharing in sacred things at Westminster Abbey.

Again and again the condemnation
of such a kind of
Communicatio in sacris
reaches such a degree of condemnation
by traditionalists
-faithful and priests alike-

that it is said to be against the Divine Law of God Himself.

The question arises:
Is that true?
It either is or is not true.
We must find the facts and work with them.

We all have strict opinions on this matter
of Communicatio in sacris

but we have to base our opinions on the facts.
Failure to do so discredits our traditional cause.

Without the facts....
shooting in the dark...

uninformed judgments...

Who wants to remember the days

when traditionalists 'discovered the truth'

by comparing the different photos of Paul VI's ears and nose?
Let us work with the facts.
Don't shoot the messenger.

Pope Benedict XIV
(A Pope universally considered to have been
a great authority in Canon Law.)

We have a further clarification to hand:

The judgment
on Communicatio in sacris
given by Pope Benedict XIV
in the 24 February, 1752,

session of the Holy Office
was precisely:

"Communicationem in divinis cum haereticis non posse nec debere tam facile ac tam generaliter pronuntiari in omni penitus circumstantia de iure vetitam."

Which is to say:

Communicatio in divinis with heretics cannot and should not be so readily and so generally pronounced forbidden in absolutely every circumstance."

The reference for the quote is:
De Martinis, luris Pontificii de Propaganda Fide, Pars II (Rome, 1909), p. 324.

That judgment sets out the strictest limitation of prohibition against Communicatio in sacris among heretics. The legitimacy of the matter depends on the judgment of the Pope.

Whatever opinion we each may have,
we must accept this fact and go with it.
Shooting the messenger will change nothing.

"Communicationem in divinis cum haereticis non posse nec debere tam facile ac tam generaliter pronuntiari in omni penitus circumstantia de iure vetitam."

Benedict XIV 24 February, 1752.
Communicatio in divinis with heretics cannot and should not be so readily and so generally pronounced forbidden in absolutely every circumstance.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Communicatio in sacris - III - Blessed Urban V to St Peter Thomas

Blessed Pope Urban V
1362 - 1370

Blessed Urban V's cultus
was approved by
Blessed Pope Pius IX (1846–78)
in 1870.

Blessed Urban V gave his legate in the East,
St Peter Thomas, Latin Patriarch of Constantinople,
permission to share with non-Catholics "in divinis",
with this limitation,
that the permission did not extend
to those excommunicated by name.

St. Peter Thomas
Latin Patriarch of Constantinople.

Born about 1305 in southern Perigord in France,
Peter Thomas entered the Carmelites when he was twenty-one.
He was chosen by the Order as its procurator general to the Papal Court
at Avignon in 1345.
After being made bishop of Patti and Lipari in 1354,
he was entrusted with many papal missions
o promote peace and unity with the Eastern Churches.
He was translated to the see of Corone in the Peloponnesus
in 1359 and made Papal Legate for the East.
In 1363 he was appointed Archbishop of Crete
364 Latin Patriarch of Constantinople.
He won a reputation as an apostle of church unity
before he died at Famagosta on Cyprus in 1366.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Communicatio in sacris - II - "Tollerari posse"

St. Pius X
The Pope of Anti-modernism.

We have the following from
the Servant of God, Andrew Szeptycki:

This document permits the saintly Archbishop
and his priests to dispense the laity
from the Church law forbidding
Communicatio in sacris
with the Orthodox.

It was given by Pope St. Pius X
in his own hand.


Rome 17.02.1908

Most Blessed Father!
Andrew Szeptycki, Metropolitan of Halycz, Metropolitan
of Kiev and Administrator of all Russia at the foot of
His Holiness most humbly asks that faculties may be conceded
to himself and also to confessors in communion (capable of being communicated)
for dispensing secular faithful
from the law which forbids communicatio in sacris with the Orthodox
as many times as they will judge it in conscience to be opportune.

Our Most Holy Father Pope Pius X
deigned to sign with his own
this document written by me
with the words "May be tolerated".

The Servant of God
Andrew Szeptycki

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Communicatio in sacris

In response to the 'comment box' criticism of
shared Vespers in Westminster
as an act of Communicatio in sacris
I have found the following:

Pope Benedict XIV
(31 March 1675 – 3 May 1758)
Benedict XIV is best known to history as a student and a scholar.

258 years ago, in 1752,
Pope Benedict XIV concluded that communicatio in sacris
with schismatics and heretics
is not always contrary to the divine law:
for example in a marriage between a Catholic and a Non-Catholic.

How many critical readers
would castigate their own or their parents' mixed marriage
which was also an act of communicatio in sacris?
And of greater importance than shared Vespers at Westminster,
since marriage is the confection of one of the seven Sacraments.

It bears thinking about.

As traditional Catholics we have not always been exposed
to all the facts.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A frail voice, but a resounding message

Below is how the Daily Mail reviewed the visit of Pope Benedict XVI
the day after His Holiness left the UK.

The following text, photo and caption are from the Daily Mail:

A frail voice, but a resounding message.

They said Benedict XVI would be unwelcome in Britain. They claimed he would find little sympathy in our modern, liberal society for moral teachings that have changed little over 2,000 years.

How wrong they were.

In Scotland, London and Birmingham, the Pope has drawn large and joyful crowds, while most non-believers and followers of other faiths have shown him nothing but tolerance and goodwill.

Strong message: Pope Benedict XVI has been shown goodwill
as he has spoken to Britain

His message, though delivered in the frail voice of an 83-year-old, has come across loud and clear to a nation unused to hearing uncompromising Christian conviction from its spiritual leaders.

Indeed, in just four days, the Pope has probably done more to stimulate debate on the place of religious values in our society than Archbishops of Canterbury have achieved in as many decades.

This is in spite of the efforts by self-important opponents of the visit, encouraged by the BBC and the Left-wing Press, to drown his message in howls of outrage over the child-abuse scandal and the church’s alleged role in promoting the spread of Aids in Africa.

Yes, as Benedict humbly admits, the ‘unspeakable crimes’ of Catholic priests have brought ‘shame and humiliation’ on the church, while his own handling of the scandal has been lamentable.

And yes, millions find it impossible to accept the Vatican’s continuing opposition to the use of condoms in tackling Aids.

But who can doubt that the Pope’s central theme deserves a hearing in a society increasingly devoted to instant self-gratification?

Britain is a country riven by family breakdown and moving ever closer towards ‘mercy killing’ for the sick and elderly. It’s a nation in which the destruction of unborn human lives is routine — and anti-abortion protesters have been thrown behind bars for holding a banner depicting an aborted foetus.

In the name of ‘multiculturalism’, Christian nurses have been ordered not to pray for their patients, a BA worker has been disciplined for wearing a small crucifix and public authorities have shied away from celebrating Christmas.

Doesn’t the Pope make a timely point when he warns against the march of ‘aggressive secularism’?

Other church leaders should draw courage from the success of his visit.

There’s a hunger in this country for a spiritual dimension in public life — and they should stop being afraid to feed it.

Daily Mail Comment

The Papal Visit to Scotland

The State Visit of Pope Benedict XVI.
The Pope receives the Royal Salute.

Part of the Speech of Pope Benedict XVI
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth

Your Majesty,

Thank you for your gracious invitation to make an official visit to the United Kingdom and for your warm words of greeting on behalf of the British people. In thanking Your Majesty, allow me to extend my own greetings to all the people of the United Kingdom and to hold out a hand of friendship to each one.

Palace of Holyroodhouse

The name of Holyroodhouse, Your Majesty’s official residence in Scotland, recalls the “Holy Cross” and points to the deep Christian roots that are still present in every layer of British life. The monarchs of England and Scotland have been Christians from very early times and include outstanding saints like Edward the Confessor and Margaret of Scotland. As you know, many of them consciously exercised their sovereign duty in the light of the Gospel, and in this way shaped the nation for good at the deepest level. As a result, the Christian message has been an integral part of the language, thought and culture of the peoples of these islands for more than a thousand years. ...

Florence Nightingale -The Lady with the Lamp-

We find many examples of this force for good throughout Britain’s long history. Even in comparatively recent times, due to figures like William Wilberforce and David Livingstone, Britain intervened directly to stop the international slave trade. Inspired by faith, women like Florence Nightingale served the poor and the sick and set new standards in healthcare that were subsequently copied everywhere. John Henry Newman, whose beatification I will celebrate shortly, was one of many British Christians of his age whose goodness, eloquence and action were a credit to their countrymen and women. These, and many people like them, were inspired by a deep faith born and nurtured in these islands.

Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society ...

As we reflect on the sobering lessons
of the atheist extremism of the twentieth century,
let us never forget
how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life
leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society
and thus to a “reductive vision of the person and his destiny”
(Caritas in Veritate, 29)

Looking abroad, the United Kingdom remains a key figure politically and economically on the international stage. Your Government and people are the shapers of ideas that still have an impact far beyond the British Isles. This places upon them a particular duty to act wisely for the common good.

May God bless Your Majesty and all the people of your realm. Thank you.

Similarly, because their opinions reach such a wide audience, the British media have a graver responsibility than most and a greater opportunity to promote the peace of nations, the integral development of peoples and the spread of authentic human rights. May all Britons continue to live by the values of honesty, respect and fair-mindedness that have won them the esteem and admiration of many.

Today, the United Kingdom strives to be a modern and multicultural society. In this challenging enterprise, may it always maintain its respect for those traditional values and cultural expressions that more aggressive forms of secularism no longer value or even tolerate. Let it not obscure the Christian foundation that underpins its freedoms; and may that patrimony, which has always served the nation well, constantly inform the example your Government and people set before the two billion members of the Commonwealth and the great family of English-speaking nations throughout the world.

May God bless Your Majesty and all the people of your realm. Thank you.


The Holy Father wearing the papal tartan
Entered Edinburgh

to 1,000 Pipers playing
"Highland Cathedral" !

After our arrival in Glasgow
with the hospitable members
of the parish of Buckie.

The arrival of the Holy Father.

Pope Benedict XVI came very close to where we stood.

...His shadow at least...
Graces are received when the successor of Peter passes by.

Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets,
and laid them on beds and couches,
that when Peter came, his shadow at the least,
might overshadow any of them,
and they might be delivered from their infirmities.

(Acts. 5:15)

Joyful pilgrims leaving for home.

A day of graces.

Returning home through the Highlands.

Thank you Holy Father.

"Will ye no come back again?
Will ye no come back again?"

Monday, September 13, 2010

The State Visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Scotland

The State Visit
Pope Benedict XVI

to Scotland

The Transalpine Redemptorists
heartily welcome
Our Holy Father

Pope Benedict XVI.

Vatican City

We leave Papa Stronsay on Wednesday 15th
to be with the Vicar of Christ
in Glasgow
on Thursday 16th
Feast of St. Ninian

Scottish Royal Standard Scotland

A word on what one should think
about the radical dissent surrounding this historic State Visit:
spoken in another context
by the Pope himself:

It is important to recognize dissent for what it is,
and not to mistake it
for a mature contribution
to a balanced and wide-ranging debate.

It is the truth revealed through Scripture and Tradition
and articulated by the Church’s Magisterium
that sets us free.

Cardinal Newman realized this,
and he left us an outstanding example
of faithfulness to revealed truth
by following that 'kindly light' wherever it led him,
even at considerable personal cost.

Great writers and communicators
of his stature and integrity are needed in the Church today,
and it is my hope that devotion to him
will inspire many to follow in his footsteps.

— Pope Benedict XVI’s address to the Bishops of England and Wales
Visit “ad limina apostolorum,” January, 2010

Viva il Papa!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

An eel on Stronsay

As we were getting off the boat this morning, having made our crossing to say Mass on Stronsay, we were walking up the pier and spotted a large eel. The tide was very low which made it very easy to see. I guess it was about 1.5 metres long (5 feet) and quite chunky. Here are a couple on photos I was able to get:

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Slight Monastery damage

The Christchurch Monastery with a broken chimney.
Since this is the sum of the damage sustained
we have much to be thankful for.

(Photos from Brother Paul Mary, F.SS.R.)

Earthquake damage very close to the monastery
in Cranford Road.

Our prayers continue for all who have suffered material damage
and personal shock.
Our thanksgiving to God for the prosperity of New Zealand
that can afford it to legislate safe building standards for all its people.

God defend New Zealand!

God of Nations at Thy feet,
In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our free land.
Guard Pacific's triple star
From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar,
God defend New Zealand.

Men of every creed and race,
Gather here before Thy face,
Asking Thee to bless this place,
God defend our free land.
From dissension, envy, hate,
And corruption guard our state,
Make our country good and great,
God defend New Zealand.

Peace, not war, shall be our boast,
But, should foes assail our coast,
Make us then a mighty host,
God defend our free land.
Lord of battles in Thy might,
Put our enemies to flight,
Let our cause be just and right,
God defend New Zealand.

Let our love for Thee increase,
May Thy blessings never cease,
Give us plenty, give us peace,
God defend our free land.
From dishonour and from shame,
Guard our country's spotless name,
Crown her with immortal fame,
God defend New Zealand.

May our mountains ever be
Freedom's ramparts on the sea,
Make us faithful unto Thee,
God defend our free land.
Guide her in the nations' van,
Preaching love and truth to man,
Working out Thy glorious plan,
God defend New Zealand.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Letter from Christchurch after the 7.2

We ask our readers to join us
in praying for the people of Christchurch who have been through a tremendous shock,
and especially in thanking God that there was nobody killed in the 7.2 earthquake
that struck the city in the early hours last Saturday morning.

The earthquake was the same magnitude as that which killed 200,000 people in Haiti
and left 2,000,000 homeless.

It is a great blessing that Christchurch escaped such a disaster
and that so many were saved from a sudden and unprovided death.

Here follows some homely news from Brother Xavier in Christchurch.
It was not intended for publication but it gives us a report of what he lived through.

Br. Xavier Maria, F.SS.R.
Reporting from Christchurch.

Laudetur Jesus et Maria semper Virgo!

Dear Rev.Father,

I hope you are all well at the Papa.

As for us here we are in one piece. The most damage to our property was the monastery chimney: some of the bricks fell off. Greg, Ben Price and Daniel came today and took the flue out, and some of the bricks that were still on the roof, and have covered the hole with a tarpaulin.

Most of the houses in St. Albans area had their brick chimneys damaged.

St. Alphonsus House sustained no damage except for a small statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel that broke in three.

In the Oratory the angels, candles and crucifix fell. The altar moved about 30cm to the left. The tabernacle was still on altar with the gradines, and Our Lord was safely in the ciborium still standing. The Infant of Prague fell and broke His hand holding the world. Our Holy Father St. Alphonsus didn't move as he is blue tacked to his pillar. Our Lady of Fatima fell, pillar and all. The only thing that smashed were glass vases with flowers. Our Lady was found on tile floor in the corner untouched. St.Joseph, at the entry of the Oratory, and not tacked down, didn't move nor were the flowers that were in front of him. The little statue of St. Jude did not fall either.

There is no damage to the Oratory building so far.

A lot of other areas were worse than us with the earth opening up, brick buildings falling down, smashed windows, crushed cars,water pipes damaged and so on. In some areas people have to evacuate their homes. Some of the CBD area has been cordoned off.

The Catholic Cathedral has smashed windows and cracks in the walls and the Cathedral now is not in use; Masses are being said in the presbytery.
As for us here, we still have Mass in our Oratory.............. tremors included.

We are expecting strong winds tonight and they say we could have another earthquake but are not sure. We have had over 20 tremors some reaching 4.9--5 on the scales.

Br. Paul Mary, F.SS.R.
...thinking it was only a tremour...

Fr. Clement and Br.Paul were in the monastery when the earthquake happened. I had just moved out, the day before, into the little hut across our "Little Tiber" river in the garden.
 Fr. Clement said it was like being on a ship in the rough seas, the monastery bell was ringing as well. Br.Paul woke from a deep sleep thinking it was only a tremor, as his sister had told him once of her experience in NZ during am earthquake, and how the people she had stayed with told her not to worry it's only a tremor and happens all the time!

I was on my bed saying a Hail Mary and if She didn't come to my aid I was in for a early morning swim, as there is nothing holding the little hut down. The night before as I was praying my night prayers I said my prayer to my gaurdian angel three or four times and I had wondered why?............

Father I hope and pray that your family are alright. I know they felt the shocks as far as Dunedin and to Wellington.

God bless Father, please pray for us.

Regards to Fr.Anthony and the Brothers,

Onwards from Pole to Pole!

Your devoted son
Br. Xavier Maria, F.SS.R

P.S. Will email you some more when I can as power could cut out at anytime.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The bloody Protestant persecution of Catholics

Our Reading during meals at the moment is from the wonderful book by bishop Richard Chalonner concerning the lives and deaths of the English martyrs for the Faith during the so called "Reformation".

One of the pieces which I was very struck by was the account of the sufferings of St. Margaret Clitherow who was crushed to death by the Protestants. It is a little long, but really well worth the read if only for the great courage that this story inspires in one, to stand up for the True Faith of Jesus Christ even amidst the most trying persecutions:

Mr. Hallam, in his History of the English Constitution', had remarked, as an extenuating circumstance of [Queen] Elizabeth's persecution [of the Catholics], that no woman, so far as he remembered, was put to death. That his memory was in this instance at fault has been already pointed out by Dr. Lingard (vol. vi. p. 344, note). Three women were, in fact, executed, and others sentenced to death, and reprieved only to linger or die in prison. Margaret Ward was condemned to die for assisting a priest to escape from Bridewell. She was offered her liberty if she would go to the Protestant church, and on refusing these terms, was hanged at Tyburn. Mrs. Line was tried for her life before Chief-Justice Popham for entertaining a priest in her house, and was flogged and then hanged. Mrs. Wells, for the same cause, received sentence of death, but died in prison. Anne Tesse and Bridget Maskew were condemned to be burnt alive, but after lingering for several years in gaol, were set at liberty by James I. More famous, however, than any of these is the name of Margaret Margaret Clitherow, of whose charity, good works, and heroic death we fortunately possess a full contemporary account, drawn up by her director, the Rev. John Mush. Her history is but briefly told in the Memoirs of Bishop Challoner, who simply says she refused to plead, and was ‘pressed’ to death according to law. As, however, this barbarous mode of execution is now little understood or forgotten, the story shall be here given in the words of Mr. Mush, to whom Dr. Challoner himself refers us.
“About eight of the clock the Sheriffs came to her, and she being ready expecting them, having trimmed up her head with new inkle, and carrying on her arm the new habit of linen with inkle strings, which she had prepared to bind her hands, went cheerfully to her marriage, as she called it, dealing her alms in the street, which was so full of people that she could scarce pass by them. She went barefoot and barelegged, her gown loose about her. Fawcet, the Sheriff, made haste and said, ‘Come away, Mrs. Clitheroe.’ The martyr answered merrily, ‘Good Master Sheriff, let me deal my poor alms before I now go, for my time is but short.’ They marvelled all to see her joyful countenance. The place of execution was the Tolbooth, six or seven yards distance from the prison. There were present at her martyrdom the two Sheriffs of York, Fawcet and Gibson, Frost, a minister, Fox, Mr. Cheeke's kinsman, with another of his men, the four sergeants which had hired certain beggars to do the murther, three or four men, and four women.
The martyr coming to the place, kneeled her down, and prayed to herself. The tormentors bade her pray with them, and they would pray with her. The martyr denied, and said, ‘I will not pray with you, and you shall not pray with me; neither will I say Amen to your prayers, nor shall you to mine.’ Then they all willed her to pray for the Queen's Majesty. The martyr began in this order : First, in the hearing of them all, she prayed for the Catholic Church, then for the Pope's Holiness, Cardinals, and other Fathers which have charge of souls, and then for all Christian princes. At which words the tormentors interrupted her, and willed her not to put her Majesty among that company; yet the martyr proceeded in this order: ‘And especially for Elizabeth, Queen of England, that God move her to the Catholic Faith, and that after this mortal life she may receive the blessed joys of heaven; for I wish as much good,’ quoth she, ‘to her Majesty's soul as to mine own.’ Sheriff Gibson, abhorring the cruel fact, stood weeping at the door. Then said Fawcet, ‘Mrs. Clitheroe, you must remember and confess that you die for treason.’ The martyr answered, ‘No, no, Mr. Sheriff; I die for the love of my Lord Jesu;’ which last words she spake with a loud voice. Then Fawcet commanded her to put off her apparel, ‘For you must die,’ said he, ‘naked, as judgment was given and pronounced against you.’. . .
The women took off her clothes and put upon her the long habit of linen. Then very quietly she laid her down upon the ground, her face covered with a handkerchief, the linen habit being placed over her as far as it could reach, all the rest of her body being naked. The door was laid upon her, her hands she joined towards her face. Then the Sheriff said, ‘Nay, you must have your hands bound.’ The martyr put forth her hands over the door still joined. Then two sergeants parted them, and with the inkle strings which she had prepared for that purpose bound them to two posts, so that her body and her arms made a perfect cross. They willed her again to ask the Queen's Majesty's forgiveness and to pray for her. The martyr said she had prayed for her. They also willed her to ask her husband's forgiveness. The martyr said, ‘ If ever I have offended him, but for my conscience, I ask him forgiveness.’
After this they laid weight upon her, which, when she first felt, she said, ‘Jesu! Jesu! Jesu! have mercy upon me!’ which were the last words which she was heard to speak. She was in dying one quarter of an hour. A sharp stone, as much as a man's fist, was put under her back ; upon her was laid a quantity of seven or eight hundredweight at the least [406 Kgs/896 lbs], which breaking her ribs, caused them to burst forth of the skin.

St. Margaret Clitherow is "pressed" to death.

Thus most gloriously this gracious martyr overcame all her enemies, passing [from] this mortal life with marvelous triumph into the peaceable city of God, there to receive a worthy crown of endless immortality and joy.' *

*'Troubles of our Catholic Forefathers,' 3d series, p. 43o.

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