Saturday, March 28, 2009

Obama to the Vatican: Give Me Cover

I have met Austin Ruse and heard him speak. His wife, the former Cathleen Cleaver, chief pro-life spokesman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is an even more dynamite paraclete for life than he is. What a couple!

He writes in The Catholic Thing, "A reliable source tells me that someone representing the Obama administration is about to put pressure on the papal nuncio to the United States to get Archbishop Raymond Burke to be quiet."

Now why does the President want to gag Cardinal Burke? You need a bit of background.

Katherine Sabelius is my governor. She was an early and effective supporter of Barak Obama who carried the Kansas caucuses very nicely. Sebelius is a professed Catholic whose views and actions on abortion among other issues are very pro-death. In addition to her legislative and administrative record, her association with Dr. George Tiller is notorious. He is one of the few late term abortionists in the country. His evil work occurs virtually within walking and certainly within easy praying distance of where we live. A jury has just voted to acquit Tiller of 19 counts of violating the state's abortion laws, but is now under investigation by the state medical board. He was one of the largest contributors to Sebelius's campaign and she in turn gave him the use of the Governor's mansion to host a fundraiser for his pro abortion organization.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Bishop of Kansas City, Kansas, is her bishop. He has privately counseled her on the threat to her soul of actively promoting abortion. He has admonished her privately not to present herself for communion and offered her counseling. She spurned his pastoral efforts. He then repeated his injunction publicly. Archbishop Naumann appears to be of that solid central European stock whose hard work tamed the Kansas plains.

President Obama has nominated Sebelius to head Health and Human Services. Naturally enough, if her pastor in Kansas has admonished her not to present herself for communion at home, the same advice applies in Washington, her new base of operations. If A, then B, as John Chamberlain used to say.

Does B follow A in cannon law? Yes it does according to Archbishop L. Burke, formerly archbishop of St. Louis, bishop of La Cross and now Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the cannon law equivalent to Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Now candidate Obama got some cover on the abortion from the formation of some "pro abortion Catholic" (an oxymoron?) organizations such as Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance. They remind me of the popular front strategies of the old Communists. In these front groups they could always find "useful idiots" as Lenin described them.

Ruse tells us the Obama administration has commissioned a former Republican office holder to work behind the scenes to shut Burke up. More than one Catholic Blogger has used his blog to put Henry II's "Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?" into the President's mouth.

And the call the Mexico City policy a gag rule!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sacrosanctum Concilium and the Reform of the Liturgy

The University of Scranton Press has published Sacrosanctum Concilium and the Reform of the Liturgy: Proceedings from the 29th Annual Convention of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Kansas City, Missouri September 22-24, 2006, Kenneth D. Whitehead, Editor.

Is Our Lady Weeping?

Notre Dame, for many America's flagship Catholic University, announced, "President Barack Obama will be the principal speaker and the recipient of an honorary doctor of laws degree at the University of Notre Dame’s 164th University Commencement Ceremony at 2 p.m. May 17 (Sunday) in the Joyce Center on campus." As Senator Obama and presidential candidate, Notre Dame's commencement speaker had the most extreme pro abortion position in the Democratic Party which has become the party of abortion in America. As President he has already rescinded the Mexico City policy. The church has been quite clear that Catholic universities should not give public honors to those who are aiding and abetting the slaughter of the innocents. Maybe Father John Jenkins, Notre Dame's president, does not consider Notre Dame to be a Catholic university. He did also allow the Vagina Monologues, albeit in a classroom setting.

The University will confer degrees on approximately 2,000 undergraduates, 420 MBA students and 200 Notre Dame Law School students. When President Obama speaks at the commencement, wouldn't it be grand if those grads catechised the speaker? What if vast majority of the grads in the audience had on their mortar boards a picture of a baby with a caption
"Do I get a choice?"

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


By Dom Dominic Johner

Dom Johner's work on the Vatican Graduale is probably the best work available to understand the church's go-to liturgical music (too infrequently gone to these days.) It was translated from the German by the monks at Collegeville in the good old days. It is one of the great fruits of the original Liturgical Movement.

The Church Music Association of America has made it generally available. It is in the form of a 510 page pdf file. If the above link does not work for you, cut and paste this into your browser:

From the "Translator's Forward:"

In response to many requests for a book descriptive and explanatory
of the Gregorian Mass chants, the monks of St. John's Abbey, Collegeville,
Minn., undertook the translation from the German of Dom Johner's work: Die Sonn- und Festtagslieder des Vatikanischen Graduate, under the above title. In the foreword the author indicates the scope of his work. He writes: "The present work is intended chiefly to serve as
an aid to the prayerful rendition of the variable chanted parts of the
Mass. At the same time it aims to be a guide for the worthy and artistic
rendition of those chants which have been handed down to us from an
age of strong faith and noble taste." Chant is essentially a form of worship
offered by the faithful and as such is an integral part of the liturgy.
It is intimately connected with the very source of all Liturgy, the Eucharistic
Sacrifice, and attempts to interpret and express in music the
sentiments which the text expresses in words.
Individual consideration is given to the texts of the Introit, Gradual,
Alleluia-verse, Tract, Sequence, Offertory, and Communion. These texts
are given in Latin and in English, and are arranged in parallel columns.
They are studied in their historical and liturgical setting, and their sentiments
of joy and sorrow, hope and fear, gratitude and penance, are
pointed out and developed. In this sense also the intimate relationship
existing between these various texts is indicated; all are integrated into
a unified whole and referred to the life of Christ and His Church. Following
this short meditation, the author analyzes the musical score accompanying
the text, and attempts to show how Gregorian Chant interprets
these various sentiments and gives adequate expression to them—
in short, how Gregorian Chant is the prefect yet simple medium of translating
religious emotion into the language of music.

An indispensable condition for the intelligent use of this book as a
guide for interpretation is the simultaneous use of the Vatican Gradual,
since musical notation has not been included in the present work. However,
only a minimum and very elementary knowledge of Gregorian
Chant is necessary for the fruitful use and understanding of the book.
Further knowledge is given in a very significant Introduction, which
describes the structure and expressiveness of the variable Mass Chants.
The original German, as also the English manuscript, have been made
the basis for a very successful summer school course in the study of Gregorian
Chant. The book might adequately be described as "a study in
the appreciation of Gregorian Chant."

My thanks to Dallas Gambrell for the link!


Shawn Tribe at the New Liturgical Movement found a neat site with ancient mosaics.

From Revenna (yes my favorite!): is this St. George?