It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired.  I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue.  I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe.  I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great..... In His Majesty's Service, THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT

Monday, May 31, 2010

Novus Ordo - Ordinary Form - Missal of Paul VI

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Below are six videos demonstrating what the Vatican INTENDED to accomplish in 1969 with the new mass ("Novus Ordo" or "Ordinary Form") we commonly celebrate today. You'll notice it looks nothing like what is commonly celebrated in English-speaking parishes around the world. Yes, the primary language used here is Latin. That is exactly what Rome originally intended...

Now in contrast the video below represents an Ordinary Form (Novus Ordo) mass as celebrated in most English-speaking parishes. The following video is relatively tasteful, no surprises, but also very typical. You'll notice it's a far cry from what Rome intended with the Second Vatican Council as represented by the above videos...

So after viewing the above videos we have to ask ourselves what went wrong. Why is the typical English celebration of the Novus Ordo so radically different from the Ordinary Form of the mass intended by Pope Paul VI in 1969?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Anglican Ordinariates To Provide Renewal Of Catholic Tradition

The Anglican Use mass, as celebrated at
Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church in San Antonio Texas.

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Currently, the Anglican Use of the Roman Rite utilizes the 'Book of Divine Worship' which is a Vatican approved version of the 1979 American 'Book of Common Prayer.' As the Vatican prepares the creation of the new Anglican Ordinariates (provided for in Pope Benedict XVI's Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus), the question of liturgy arises. What shall be the official liturgy of this new Catholic structure? Because it will stand as a subsidiary of the Roman Rite, and not a separate rite, both forms of the Roman Rite (OF & EF) may be used in Anglican Ordinariate parishes, and by Anglican Ordinariate priests. However, they may also use the rites found in the 'Book of Divine Worship.'

Because of some dissatisfaction with the current version of the 'Book of Divine Worship' there is almost sure to be an update in the very near future, and when that happens, we may end up seeing the resurrection of an old Anglican form of liturgy called the "English Missal." Effectively, this is an Anglicanized version of the Extraordinary Form (Tridentine) mass of the Roman Rite....
(New Liturgical Movement) - As clergy of the Roman Rite, Ordinariate clergy will also lawfully be able to make use of the provisions of Summorum Pontificum. This may surprise some Roman Catholics. There are those who have been nervous that the Ordinariate scheme would mean that some dubious semi-Protestants would be squeezing into full communion with the Holy See. Nothing could be further from the truth. Amid the diversity with which Roman Catholics are familiar, Anglican Catholic clergy are very much within what you might call the New Liturgical Movement end of the spectrum. I myself use the Extraordinary Form most mornings of the week. Since I feel that the disadvantages of being out of full Communion with the Holy See are so painful that there must be some little compensation available to comfort me, I use the Roman Rite, not according to the books of 1962, but as it was at the beginning of the Pontificate of Pius XII. I suppose that if I am admitted to the presbyterate of an Ordinariate, I shall have to come into line with the 1962 liturgical books, but it will be with some regret that I abandon those Octaves and Vigils and Commemorations and Last Gospels and so on.

So that's the two Forms of the Roman Rite. A third, in my view, should be the Ordinary Form in the Third Typical Edition of the Roman Missal in an English which is either taken from the Book of Common Prayer (where Cranmer was translating Latin originals) or translated into English of the same style. Half a century ago, the great Christine Mohrmann argued that the Mass should not be translated into vernaculars because modern European languages lacked sacred vernaculars. She demonstrated that liturgical Latin, far from being adopted in order to give Latin speakers a liturgy they could understand, was an intentionally hieratic and sacral dialect, based upon pagan liturgical formulae going back hundreds of years. So, she felt, a similar archaic and sacral dialect was the only appropriate vernacular form which should be given to the Roman Rite. Mohrmann was dead right - except about one detail. There was one European language which did have a sacral dialect venerable with centuries of use: English, as it was used in Anglican worship. It was one of the great tragedies of the post-Conciliar period that Roman Catholics ignored this precious and beautiful heritage; and that so many Anglicans followed suit.

Finally, I believe that it would be valuable for the Holy See to authorise the English Missal, which provides the 'Tridentine' Rite with those parts of it audible to the people translated into Cranmerian English. For half a century, millions of Anglican Catholics worshipped with this rite before the Conciliar changes. Where Cranmer did translate a Latin formula, the English Missal uses his version; where biblical texts appear, they are adapted from the Authorised Version of the Bible; other euchological elements are rendered into English in the same style. This is what I, and many of my generation, were brought up with, and my love for it is second only to my love for the Latin original. There are still hundreds of copies of this book in Anglican Catholic sacristies all over England; dusty perhaps, but just crying to be brought back into use. There may have been clergy who used English forms of the Sarum Rite, but, if so, their numbers were minuscule. It is the English Missal which was - and is - our Patrimony....

read full story here

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pope Encourages More Catholic Involvement In Politics

(CNA/EWTN News) - Pope Benedict XVI addressed the role of the faithful in politics during an audience with members of the Pontifical Council for Laity on Friday. Not only are true Christian politicians needed for true societal and political change, he said, but a greater need exists for the laity to exercise their influence in the social and political realms.

The audience with the Pope took place with members of the council, led by its president Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko. They council is currently holding its 24th Plenary Assembly, which is focused on "Witnesses of Christ in the Political Community."

Developing on the theme of the three-day assembly, the Holy Father said that it's in the hands of the faithful to provide a concrete witness to the faith in the social, cultural and political spheres. They must witness to the fact "that the faith enables them to read reality in a new and profound way, and to transform it," he said.

The lay faithful participating in political life must act "in a manner coherent with the teaching of the Church," said the Holy Father, as they bring solid reasoning and "great ideals" into the democratic debate....

read full story here

Saturday, May 22, 2010

An Interview With Fr. Jeffery Fasching

Bishop James V. Johnston assists Father Jeffery Fasching during
the Traditional Latin Mass at St. Agnes Cathedral in Springfield Missouri.
Sunday, May 9th 2010

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The following is an exclusive interview of Father Jeffery Fasching by The Catholic Knight (TCK). It is a followup to his article entitled Young Priest Discovers Renewal In Old Rite. Father Jeff Fasching serves as pastor for the Latin Mass Community at St. Agnes Cathedral in Springfield Missouri.

TCK: Father Fasching, first I want to thank you for your service to the Church and for granting this interview. It is a pleasure and an honor to share this time with you.

Fasching: You're very welcome for the interview. It is my pleasure to have the opportunity to address some questions regarding the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I am truly humbled that you have taken an interest in the ministry God has bestowed upon me.

TCK: In your article you indicated a general renewal in your approach to the liturgy and the eucharist by learning the traditional Latin mass, also known as the "Tridentine," Extraordinary Form and Usus Antiquior (or "ancient use") mass. Would you like to elaborate on this?

Fasching: I indicated in my previous article that I have experienced somewhat of a "spiritual renewal" in my approach to the Liturgy and the Eucharist through becoming familiar with the Traditional Latin Mass. Up until less than a year ago, all I had known for the thirteen years I have been ordained was the Novus Ordo mass. When a brother priest and some mutual friends introduced me to Summorum Pontificum in the fall of 2009, an excitement came over me I had not felt in quite some time. Part of this excitement was due to my first-hand experience of many priests taking unnecessary liberties with the liturgy. For example, I was once asked in an RCIA class by a priest to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass while simultaneously pausing to explain the various parts of the Mass to the class! This is common practice for many priests. I don't believe it is necessary here for me to explain why this is inappropriate. The point is that Summorum Pontificum made it clear to me that our Holy Father's desire is to restore a sense of the sacred to the Liturgy that has been sadly lost over the past few decades: "What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too...It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church's faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place."

I was also thrilled because it occurred to me that so many saintly priests throughout the ages offered the Holy Sacrifice with the Traditional Latin Mass using exactly the same gestures and words that I would soon come to know myself. As soon as I began to learn the Traditional Latin Mass, I immediately experienced a growing bond toward my favorite saint, John Marie Vianney. Not only was our Holy Father encouraging priests to learn the Traditional Latin Mass, but he was also proclaiming John Vianney patron of all priests! God chose to manifest the dignity and essence of the priesthood of Jesus Christ in this humble priest. Saint John Marie Vianney exemplifies what every priest, whether diocesan or religious, should strive and aspire to be. Since I so often fall short of this ideal, I thought at least I could do one thing exactly the same way my favorite saint used to!

I knew that other modern-day saints, such as Padre Pio and JoseMaria Escriva said the ancient Mass as well. There was obviously a reason for this. Despite what some see as a disfigured image of the priesthood today, the priesthood of Jesus Christ remains timeless and magnificent in its essence. In this age the priesthood is in dire need of reform and renewal. Summorum Pontificum is a large part of the answer to this renewal because it helps to restore unity to our Lex orandi (Law of prayer.)

Learning the Traditional Latin Mass has also enriched my personal prayer life. For example, each day for me begins with at least one hour of Eucharistic adoration (praying before the Blessed Sacrament exposed.) When I anticipate offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form as I pray before our Lord, I experience an almost indescribable bond with the Tradition of Holy Mother the Church. I believe this bond comes from realizing that I will confect the Eucharist following the exact same rubrics that so many other saints much holier than myself have done before me. I feel an unmistakable unity with the Church Triumphant through the Liturgy and the Eucharist.

TCK: Some readers of TCK blog have requested clarification on your views of the Novus Ordo (new order) or Ordinary Form mass. They wish to know if you view the Ordinary Form, when properly celebrated, as somehow deficient or incapable of transmitting the same graces as the Extraordinary Form. How would you answer this?

Fasching: I appreciate the concern of many of your readers regarding the notion that the Novus Ordo Mass is in some way deficient when it comes to transmitting graces when compared to the Traditional Latin Mass. I don't believe this at all! We are speaking of two forms of the very same rite. Let's review the Church's teaching on this subject that dates way back to the fourth century.

When a sacrament is celebrated according to the norms of the Church and in faith, the Church believes that it confers the grace it signifies. While a human being is the minister of the sacrament, Christ Himself is the one who is at work: Christ baptizes, Christ confirms, Christ absolves, Christ changes the bread and wine into His Body and Blood, etc. Acting in His sacraments, Christ communicates the grace-that sharing in the divine life and love of God-offered through each sacrament. (Catechism no. 1127-28.)

Therefore, the Church has taught that the sacraments act ex opere operato that is "by the very fact of the action’s being performed." The efficacy of the sacrament does not depend upon the human minister- whether a bishop, priest, deacon or layperson. Nevertheless, priests must strive always to be worthy ministers of the sacraments they celebrate, acting in a state of grace and reflecting the Christ in whose person they act.

The faithful need to pray for their priests that they will have the grace to lead holy lives and persevere in their sacred vocation. We must not forget the thousands upon thousands of priests and religious who have devoted their lives to the Lord and the Church, but never have received media attention for their good work.

In many places, the image of the Catholic priesthood is in disarray. Many priests are discouraged by the failings of a few of their brother priests. Some are even afraid or ashamed to wear the clerical collar out of fear of what people will think or say. We live in the midst of troubled times. Our Holy Father is being persecuted and so are many of us. However, the Church will be purged and purified. As a result, we will have a stronger, holier Church in the end. Graces will flow from both forms of the same rite, but priests who put on the mind of our Holy Father and strive to lead holy lives will more quickly help the Church reach her destiny.

TCK: I know this may seem like a silly question, but as a "Traditional priest" do you accept the teachings of the Second Vatican Council as they were written?

Fasching: As a Traditional priest, I absolutely accept the teachings of the Second Vatican Council as they are written. I would like to take this opportunity to focus on one particular statement resulting from the Second Vatican Council:

"And so I (Pope John Paul, II) desire that all of you should, with me, find in Mary the Mother of the priesthood which we have received from Christ...among the people of God which look to Mary with immense love and hope, you must look to her with exceptional love and hope. Indeed it is your task to proclaim Christ, her Son. And who can better communicate to you the truth about Him than His Mother? It is your task to nourish men's hearts with Christ. And who can make you more aware of what you are doing than she who nourished Him? Hail, true Body, born of the Virgin Mary. There is a wonderful dimension to our ministerial priesthood: it places us near the Mother of Christ." (Vol. 2, p. 360)

Mary is the Mother and the Queen of Priests. It has been God's divine plan to will to become incarnate and to become a priest with and only with the previous consent and cooperation of His Blessed Mother. I, in turn, would not have become her child and a priest of God unless she willed it and chose to adopt me as her son. I am so happy and grateful to belong to the Blessed Virgin Mary by her personal choice and by an immutable and eternal decree of our Heavenly Father. Christ loves His Mother more than all other creatures together. I believe He wishes me, His other self, to love her even as He has loved her. This I strive to do.

Although Christ is God, He willed while on earth to receive everything through His Blessed Mother. He made known all His needs to her and addressed to her all His requests. I try to do the same. God is infinitely good and powerful and Christ is ready to give me everything as His priest, but He will not do so without receiving a sign from His Immaculate Mother.

Mary is the distributor and the Mediatrix of all graces. Since Christ willed to be entirely dependent upon His Mother as a tiny infant, I believe in order to please Christ I must also have that same humble and loving subjection. I try not to undertake anything without her or her council and I strive to always ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to enlighten me.

Since Christ also willed to have her consent not only to receive human life, but also to lay it down on the Cross, I also try to pay her the homage of my entire priestly life, all my activity, my joys, and my suffering. The Blessed Virgin Mary gave Christ His human existence and offered Him to God as a holocaust at the foot of the Cross. She is invisibly present at every Mass I offer and she continues with me, her priestly son, to offer Christ as a Victim to God.

TCK: In your article you highlighted the connection between holy mass and Eucharistic adoration. In the Western Church today, it would seem there is not only a mental disconnect on this, but a casual approach toward the Eucharist in general. By this I mean communion in the hand while standing for example. The Holy Father has sought to restore the traditional custom of receiving the Eucharist while kneeling and on the tongue. This of course is standard practice in the traditional Latin mass, and has now become the standard practice in all papal liturgies as well. Do you believe this practice should be promoted in the modern vernacular mass too, and could you elaborate on this?

Fasching: I do believe that the practice of receiving Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue should be promoted and practiced at all times because it better highlights the truth of the real presence in the Eucharist, helps the devotion of the faithful, and lends itself more easily to the sense of sacredness and mystery. The above are some of the ideas that have been lost over recent decades, particularly in the Novus Ordo Mass.

As a former athlete who played football and basketball in college and an avid runner, I am well aware of the strength needed in one’s knees to perform certain tasks. Knees are symbolic of both strength and humility. What we do with our knees gives evidence of what we believe in our hearts. When we genuflect before Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, we express what matters most in our lives. In the Acts of the Apostles we are told that Saint Peter "knelt down and prayed" (9:40), and that Saint Paul "knelt down and prayed with them all" (20:36). One of my favorite scripture passages that gives the strongest theological foundation for kneeling is found in Saint Paul's Letter to the Philippians, 2:6-11, where Saint Paul writes: "…at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father".

I believe that the most respectful manner of receiving the Eucharist is kneeling and on the tongue. When we enter a Eucharistic adoration chapel we kneel down to pray. Why would we not want to kneel when actually receiving the very flesh and blood of our Lord? We must recover the respect and reverence that the Eucharist deserves by our external actions because I believe our inward souls are at stake.

TCK: It seems there is a great deal of misunderstanding in the Church between contemporary and traditional Catholics. That misunderstanding sometimes leads to unnecessary hostility between them. Perhaps this comes from a misplaced fear of the unknown, or perhaps the false notion that all Traditional Catholics seek to "take the Church back in time." What do you think might eliminate some of this unnecessary hostility and misunderstanding?

Fasching: There does seem to be a prevailing notion that Traditional Catholics want to "take the Church back in time." This is based on a common lack of understanding of the mind of our Holy Father. Pope Benedict has reminded us that the Ordinary Form of the Mass and the Extraordinary Form are two forms of the same rite and are co-equal:

"The usus antiquior is not a museum piece but a living expression of Catholic worship...what earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred for us too...It is a treasure that belongs to the whole Catholic Church and which should be widely available to all of Christ's faithful...It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church's faith and prayer and to give them their proper place."

Some common misunderstandings with respect to Vatican II include the following:

The priest facing the people was not introduced by Vatican II. It became the unwritten practice in the Novus Ordo mass without any directives from Vatican II or by the Missal of 1969. Cardinal Ratzinger said in The Spirit of the Liturgy that the priest in facing the congregation is tempted “to be an actor.” The Mass is not a performance, therefore applause is inappropriate. The Mass is a sacrifice and must transcend the personality of the priest.

The official language of the Novus Ordo is Latin and the Mass may be celebrated either in Latin or in English. The practice of receiving Communion in the hand was not called for by Vatican II. This sprang up as an abuse and was subsequently accepted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1977 by a slim majority. This indult can be withdrawn at any time.

The Motu Proprio of Pope Benedict making the Traditional Mass more available should be viewed as “reform of the reform,” a renewal of the Church began by liturgical renewal. The vast majority of the thousands of bishops at the Council neither wished for, nor mandated, a radical reform of the liturgy. It was never the intention to abandon the use of Latin or to require the celebrant to face the people. Nothing had been said about standing to receive Communion in the hand, or the use of altar girls. No mention had been made about the use of multiple Canons. In the Roman rite there had always been one Eucharistic prayer. The many changes in the liturgy were for the most part made after Vatican II. Interpretation of the Council’s intent was motivated by what became known as “the Spirit of Vatican II.”

The most grievous change following Vatican II was the loss of reverence. As a result, consciousness of the Real Presence has diminished. The Traditional Latin Mass helps restore this loss of reverence and sense of the real presence due to its contemplative nature. It is surrounded by silence. There is clear emphasis on the Mass as the same sacrifice Christ offered on Calvary, although in a bloodless manner. Every gesture by the priest, the signs of the cross, the genuflections, are strictly controlled by the rubrics. There is nothing spontaneous. In fact our Holy Father has said that the greatness of the liturgy depends on its lack of spontaneity. The Mass is designed to be an elaborate ritual of “time outside of time.”

The Holy Father has emphasized that through the Motu Proprio he wishes to enrich the liturgy of the whole of the Church and not merely to protect the right of those who prefer the ancient form. Pope Benedict’s point in making the Traditional Latin Mass more widely available is neither nostalgic nor “taking us back.” Rather, by encouraging the more widespread celebration of this classic form of Roman rite, he intends to create a kind of liturgical magnet, drawing ‘the reform of the reform’ in the direction of greater solemnity and reverence in the Catholic Church’s worship.”

TCK: Once again I would like to thank you for the privilege of speaking with you, and for granting us this interview. May God bless you in the work you are doing for the Diocese of Springfield - Cape Girardeau.

Fasching: Thank you Catholic Knight for granting me this interview and for all you do in the battle against relativism in the Church. I hope to speak with you in the near future.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Young Priest Discovers Renewal In Old Rite

Father Jeffery Fasching Elevates the Eucharist at
the Traditional Latin Mass in St. Agnes Cathedral - Springfield, Missouri
May 9th. 2010
A Catholic Priest is first and foremost a man of prayer. Prayer alone with our Lord is the single most important activity that I engage in each and every day. If any priest tells you otherwise, he does not have his priorities in order. A significant number of seminarians and priests attribute their vocations to Eucharistic adoration. I am one of them. Being alone with the Lord with no distractions each day makes for a very personal visit through which I am able to listen to the Lord speak to me.

The Eucharist is a priceless treasure. I first began to learn this in my home parish of Saint Francis of Assisi in Wichita, KS when I was in my early twenties. As I began to discern my vocation, I felt a powerful attraction toward regularly visiting our Lord in the perpetual adoration chapel in the parish. Our Lord spoke to me in my heart with an overwhelming invitation to confect the Eucharist and bring Christ to the world. From that time on I realized that among the many possibilities that life offered me at that point, nothing could begin to compare with working for the salvation of souls as a Catholic priest.

Over the years I have truly experienced first hand how the words of Pope Benedict XVI ring true regarding the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and adoration: “Only within the breathing space of adoration can the Eucharistic celebration indeed be alive…Communion and adoration do not stand side by side, or even in opposition, but are indivisibly one.”

Less than a year ago I learned of our Holy Father’s milestone document “Summorum Pontificum,” which restored to priests the freedom to celebrate the “extraordinary form” of the Roman rite. With the help of an on-line tutorial, I trained myself to offer Mass in the extraordinary form. The reason for my attraction toward the Latin Mass is twofold: my traditional upbringing and my experience of an unwillingness on the part of many priests to follow the rubrics of the mass.

Since I have been offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the extraordinary form I have experienced both a strengthening of my faith and great consolation as a Traditional priest who has experienced tremendous support from a Traditional, like-minded bishop. I have experienced a deeper union with the Church and our Holy Father through the classical Roman Liturgy because so many saints throughout the ages have offered the Holy Sacrifice precisely the same way that I am able to do right now.

As children of God our relationship with God is by far the most important relationship we can have. This relationship is intimately united with the presence of our Lord in the Eucharist. It is through the Mass alone that we are able to receive our Lord in Holy Communion and thereby nourish our personal relationship with Him. My experience has been that in any human relationship the words we use and the actions we perform play a significant role in the success of that particular relationship. Since our salvation depends upon our relationship with God, we should take extreme care with the words and actions of the Sacred Liturgy.

The documents of Vatican II clearly state that no individual, not even a priest, has the right to change the rubrics of the Sacred Liturgy. Nevertheless, this practice is common-place in many parishes. When a priest changes the words and gestures of the Sacred Liturgy he endangers the faith of those for whom he celebrates and thereby becomes responsible for diminishing the integrity of their belief. In learning to offer the Traditional Latin Mass that has grown under the influence of the Holy Ghost for so many centuries, I have experienced tremendous peace in the midst of casual behavior and gratuitous changes of words and gestures so prevalent in many parishes around me.

The Catholic Faith and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass are the greatest gifts God has bestowed upon us. Therefore we must nourish our faith, grow in it, and never take what God has given us for granted. The Sacred Liturgy has been given to us by God to remain in contact with Him. As a priest, it is therefore incumbent upon me to help others to see how important the Liturgy is for our daily lives. The vestments, chalice, and all other items used during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass should show that we want to give back to God the most beautiful things that we have when we are in communion with Him.

The principle aim of the Church is to bring people into communion with the Lord through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Mass is the source and summit of our lives as Catholic Christians. Consequently, Liturgical matters have always been of the utmost importance with respect to Holy Mother Church. Despite this, many pastors do not even care to take charge of how liturgies are performed in their own parishes! As a result, I have experienced a tremendous lack of knowledge among the lay faithful with respect to Catholic doctrine.

This is precisely where I believe my mission as a priest sympathetic to the extraordinary form of the Mass begins. Recently appointed pastor of a growing Latin Mass community, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share my God-given faith with others who have it their aim to draw nourishment from the Sacred Liturgy that has nourished countless others throughout the centuries in the life of Holy Mother the Church.

Written by the Rev. Jeffery A. Fasching
Diocese of Springfield - Cape Girardeau

For more read The Catholic Knight's exclusive interview with Father Jeff Fasching HERE.
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Frequently The Catholic Knight is privileged to make the acquaintance of some remarkable people in the Catholic Church who have been inspired by the liturgical renewal of Pope Benedict XVI. The above article was written by one such person. Father Jeffrey Fasching is a new Traditional Latin Mass priest in Springfield Missouri. He is currently serving at St. Agnes Cathedral. Having just discovered historic Catholic tradition less than a year ago, he has been transformed and energized by the spiritual depth of the Usus Antiquior. Father Fasching is meeting the desperate need of faithful Catholics in a diocese where many people are struggling to understand the intentions of our Holy Father. The Catholic Knight is pleased to present this exclusive article written by Father Fasching, and hopes to bring you more from him in the near future.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Episcopal Church USA Leaves Anglican Communion

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: At the very moment this article hits the Internet, The Episcopal Church USA will have left the Anglican Communion. Oh, don't look for any official announcements to that effect, because the move was made by action not words.

On Saturday May 15th 2010, The Episcopal Church officially consecrated Canon Mary Glasspool, an open and practicing lesbian, as "bishop" in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. This act is in direct violation of the Lambeth Conference 2008 and 1998. It is in direct opposition to the ultimatum against such consecrations made by conservative Anglican primates around the world and the dire warnings of the Archbishop of Canterbury. As of the moment this article hits the Internet, the Anglican Communion is in absolute disarray.

At this point, the only act that could save the Anglican Communion would be the direct intervention by the Archbishop of Canterbury in formerly disassociating himself from The Episcopal Church - a de facto "excommunication" if you will, of the American denomination. However, this is extremely unlikely. Archbishop Rowan Williams has repeatedly demonstrated little desire to do anything more than make speeches.

So the matter then defaults to the conservative Anglican primates around the world, some of whom have already disassociated themselves from The Episcopal Church and one who is actively planting a missionary diocese in North America. The question now is what to do with The Archbishop of Canterbury? While it is a given that continued association with The Episcopal Church will be impossible for most of these primates, the real concern is whether or not these conservatives will continue to associate themselves with an Archbishop who links them to the US Episcopalians by virtue of his common communion with both groups. In other words, will these conservative primates desire to remain in a worldwide Communion that is increasingly becoming more liberal, unbiblical, immoral and effectively anti-Christian?

The Episcopal Church has called their bluff. Now the ball rests squarely in the court of the conservative Anglican primates. What will they do? And if they remain in communion with either The Episcopal Church or Canterbury, can they be taken seriously?

Waiting quietly in the wings is the invitation of the Bishop of Rome (the pope) which offers full pastoral protection, and preservation of Anglican traditions, including a priesthood that is open to married men. What happens next remains to be seen.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fatima verses Freemasonry

Watch the full video HERE.
(Rorate Cæli) - We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete. Here there takes on new life the plan of God which asks humanity from the beginning: “Where is your brother Abel […] Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!” (Gen 4:9). Mankind has succeeded in unleashing a cycle of death and terror, but failed in bringing it to an end… In sacred Scripture we often find that God seeks righteous men and women in order to save the city of man and he does the same here, in Fatima, when Our Lady asks: “Do you want to offer yourselves to God, to endure all the sufferings which he will send you, in an act of reparation for the sins by which he is offended and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?” (Memoirs of Sister Lúcia, I, 162).

At a time when the human family was ready to sacrifice all that was most sacred on the altar of the petty and selfish interests of nations, races, ideologies, groups and individuals, our Blessed Mother came from heaven, offering to implant in the hearts of all those who trust in her the Love of God burning in her own heart. At that time it was only to three children, yet the example of their lives spread and multiplied, especially as a result of the travels of the Pilgrim Virgin, in countless groups throughout the world dedicated to the cause of fraternal solidarity. May the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfilment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.
Pope Benedict XVI
Fatima, May 13, 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Church of England 2010 = Episcopal Church USA 1989

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Need I say anything more? In 2010, The Church of England has finally caught up with The Episcopal Church USA in regards to the consecration of women bishops. The Episcopal Church USA began consecrating women bishops in 1989. If anyone wonders what the future holds for The Church of England now, he only need look across the pond.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Can An Ordinary Roman Catholic Join An Anglican Ordinariate Parish?

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: A reader of 'The Catholic Knight' blog recently raised this question. While it is generally understood that all Catholics may receive the sacraments and meet their Sunday obligation within an Anglican ordinariate parish, the question is can a cradle Catholic from the general Roman Rite actually become a full fledged member of an Anglican ordinariate parish? The short answer is "yes," but let me explain how and why.

The confusion comes about because of some particular wording in Anglicanorum Coetibus, the apostolic constitution created by Pope Benedict XVI for the purpose of forming the Anglican ordinariates. The document specifically states that Catholics may not "ordinarily" become members of Anglican ordinariate parishes unless they either receive the sacraments of initiation through an Anglican ordinariate parish, or else come from one of the Anglican communities reconciling with the Catholic Church. On the surface, this sounds very restrictive, and there are plenty out there (both Catholics and Anglicans) who would like to interpret this in the most legalistic way possible. I'm not sure why some Anglicans interpret it this way, but I'm pretty sure I know why some Catholics, especially in England, might go for this kind of strict legalism. They're seeking to prevent an exodus of tradition loving Catholics to the ordinariates. Regardless of their reasons, their hermeneutic is flawed. The word "ordinarily" opens up a whole assortment of possibilities, and as Father Christopher Phillips pointed out in his blog entry on this topic, there is no such thing as a "wasted word" in an apostolic constitution.

After all is said and done, as of the date I'm writing this (4-4-2010) not a single ordinariate has yet been established. What does that mean? Well for starters it means that not a single soul is a member of an Anglican ordinariate. Even the ordinariate bishops, once they're consecrated, will have to effectively enter the ordinariate through a way that is not "ordinary." From then on, all the initial Anglican Catholic parishes will enter the ordinariate through ways that are outside of "ordinary." Right from the get-go it looks like the Anglican ordinariates will be admitting large scores of people through ways that don't "ordinarily" fit into the norms of their apostolic constitution. This is important to understand, because the word "ordinarily" automatically assumes there will be people entering the ordinariate through ways outside the proscribed norms.

So what's the deal? Why is this all so confusing? Basically, what I've been told is it all comes down to character, and the pope envisions the Anglican ordinariates having their own unique apostolic character. For example, the Byzantine Rite has it's unique apostolic and cultural character. Likewise the Roman Rite has it's own unique apostolic and cultural character. It would appear by the nature of structure being created by Pope Benedict, he recognizes and wishes to foster the unique character of the Anglican patrimony within the Catholic Church. He does not want to absorb it into the Roman Rite, nor does he wish to alter the character of either. He wishes to allow them to grow and evolve somewhat independently. In this respect, the Anglican ordinariates will effectively function as their own rite within the Catholic Church even though they do not officially constitute their own rite yet. The Anglican Use, as it's called, is technically part of the Roman Rite, but it's own subdivision.

So what this means is that when a Roman Catholic becomes a full fledged member of an Anglican ordinariate parish, his character changes, albeit modestly, into something other than Roman. So the question more properly asked would be: can a Roman Catholic become an Anglican Catholic? To which again, the short answer is "yes," and to understand this we must ask another question. Can a Roman Catholic become a Byzantine Catholic? Again the answer is "yes" and the same is true vice versa.

Any Catholic is permitted to change his rite simply by requesting written permission from his old rite bishop and forwarding that with a request to his new rite bishop. However, there is a catch. When it comes to changing rites, canon law only permits this to be done once in a person's lifetime. So once you switch, you can't go back. The Church puts this restriction on the laity to prevent them from hopping around from rite to rite, which would not be beneficial to anyone, especially the person doing the hopping. It also helps to protect the unique character of each rite, and prevents them from being infiltrated and diluted by customs from other rites. It would appear by the nature of the pope's apostolic constitution for Anglicans that he is trying to set up similar protections for the Anglican ordinariates. That being said it is possible a similar "one time only" restriction could be placed on Roman Catholics seeking to formalize their membership in the ordinariate. I cannot say this for sure, but it stands to reason that would be the case.

So the long and short of it is this. If you're a Roman Catholic you should feel free to receive the sacraments and fulfill your Sunday obligation at an Anglican ordinatiate parish whenever you are so inclined. You are also welcome to become an affiliate member of an Anglican ordinariate parish and fully participate in parish life. However, should you decide you want to make the change permanent, and become an official full member of the ordinariate as well, once again you are more than welcome to. However, you should make sure this is what you really want, because there is a chance that once the change has been made, like those who switch rites, there will be no turning back. You will have officially gone from being a Roman Catholic to an Anglican Catholic. What does this mean? Not a whole lot really as far as day to day life goes, and it does have some very distinct advantages, especially in today's world where liturgical abuse is commonplace in the general Roman Rite. Nonetheless, it could be permanent decision. So make sure it's what you really want before you do it.

One of the main concerns people have about cradle Catholics jumping over to the Anglican Use is it being used as a "backdoor" into the married priesthood. Everyone should know that this will not work. While married men are allowed to become priests in the Anglican Use, each one will be reviewed on a case by case basis. A panel of priests will investigate every married man applying for holy orders, and they will determine if it is appropriate. If the Anglican ordinariate was simply used as a "backdoor" into the married priesthood, that is going to become painfully obvious in the review, and potentially embarrassing for the candidate. The ordinariate must not be abused this way.

After all is said and done we should ask ourselves "what is membership anyway?" Is it simply having your name listed on a piece of paper? Or is is something more than that? Cradle Catholics who attend Anglican Use masses regularly, receive the sacraments there, help out in the Church and have made Anglican Use parishes their homes, are effectively members of that parish anyway. There is nothing stopping an Anglican ordinariate parish from making two lists of membership. The first one could be a general list for parish records and made public. It would include all the names of everyone in the parish. The second would be a private list of names of people who are actually under the authority of the ordinariate bishop. The parish priest, and his immediate assistants, would be the custodians of this list. In other words, you really don't need to be under the ordinariate bishop to be a member and participate in an Anglican Use parish.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Church of England Bishops Accept Pope's Offer for Anglican Ordinariate

Bridge Over The Tiber River
(Telegraph) - In a move likely to raise tensions between the two Churches, a group of Church of England bishops met last week with advisers of Pope Benedict XVI to set in motion steps that would allow priests to convert to Catholicism en masse.

They are set to resign their orders in opposition to the introduction of women bishops and to lead an exodus of Anglican clerics to the Catholic Church despite Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, urging them not to leave.

It would be the first time for nearly 20 years that large numbers of priests have crossed from the Church of England to Rome, and comes only weeks ahead of a crucial General Synod debate on making women bishops.

The Sunday Telegraph has learnt that bishops travelled to the Holy See last week to hold face to face discussions with senior members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the most powerful of the Vatican's departments.

The Rt Rev John Broadhurst, the Rt Rev Keith Newton and the Rt Rev Andrew Burnham, the bishops of Fulham, Richborough and Ebbsfleet respectively, are understood to have informed senior Catholic officials that Church of England clergy are keen to defect to Rome....

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: There are a few striking things about this story. The first of course is that a minimum of three Church of England bishops will be accepting the pope's offer for an Anglican Ordinariate. These are not bishops from the continuing Anglican bodies. These are actual C of E bishops. Of course more may be coming in the near future, but three are more than enough to establish an effective ordinariate presence on the British Isles. With them, so it would appear, will come a significant number of Anglican priests consisting of an unknown number at this time, not even counting the laity. This is nothing short of an exodus! Of course, in England this all comes on the heels of the C of E approving female bishops.

The second thing that strikes me is the elimination of the middleman. These C of E bishops went straight to the Vatican CDF for their negotiations and completely bypassed the English Conference of Catholic Bishops. Of course, it only makes logicial sense for them to do this, since the pope's Apostolic Constitution for Anglicans specifically outlines that ordinariates will be under the CDF and not the local bishops' conferences. However, failing to even consult with these conferences, which is within their right, demonstrates a profound concern on the part of Anglican clergy that the local Catholic bishops' conferences may actually work against the pope's ordinariate plan. So why bother going through them? Better to deal with these bishops' conferences after the ordinariate is already set up.

Third and finally, since any Roman Catholic will be able to meet their Sunday obligation by receiving Eucharist offered under the Anglican ordinariate, I'm beginning to wonder if Pope Benedict has effectively created another escape hatch for Roman Catholics sick and tired of the Novus Ordo liturgy as celebrated by the liberal loons in the general Roman Rite.

I have just one last thought to add to this. Not to be a killjoy, but as exciting as this news is, there is always the possibility the C of E bishops may simply be using the ordinariate as leverage to get what they want out of the upcoming C of E synod on women bishops. We shall see.