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Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Naked Truth

Hat tips to Marie Pitt-Payne, Dawn Eden, who notified me about this. Link is on

Recently, Joanna Krupa claimed that her topless poses were inspired by John Paul II's Theology of the Body audiences.
"I think worrying about going topless in a photo shoot or film is really ridiculous," Krupa told in an exclusive interview. "And the fact is Pope John Paul said, since we were born naked, it is art, and it's just showing a beautiful body that God created."
Now, a lot of things could be said about this, the first being very straightforward - she isn't the only person to misunderstand the TOB audiences. Very well-known promoters of TOB have said extremely stupid things about it, including making recommendations about the use of public or semi-public nudity that are virtually indistinguishable from Joanna Krupa's. Statements averring that the saints lack clothes in heaven, that the Blessed Virgin herself is nude, are made with an air of assurance that the interlocuter seems to have acquired from the Pope himself.

It doesn't go without saying (or I wouldn't be writing this) that such statements make a complete hash of JP II's actual statements. Far from making any statement in support of the idea that the saints are nude or that we should be too, the Holy Father was quite clear on the need for modesty in dress in order to preserve chastity in spirit.

In fact, John Paul II reminds us that photography, especially television and film, tends to make the body an anonymous object (#5 of 15 April 1981 - The HumanBody: Subject of Works of Art, his first talk in the series concerning art and the human body)

Clearly, he was not too fond of any attempt at art, especially attempts at visual art, which depersonalized the subject. Anything which tends to make the person "an anonymous object" is inappropriate. His talk two weeks later, (29 April 1981 - Art Must Not Violate the Right to Privacy), begins with a very clear statement in the second article:
#2 At this point it is not possible to agree with the representatives of so-called naturalism.
Note that he entirely condemns naturalism, nudity, the idea that we are born naked, therefore the human body is beautiful and should remain unclothed in public or semi-public settings. Naturalists argue that anyone should be able to look at a living naked woman or naked man in front of them without lust.

Naturalists are wrong.

The Pope not only says he doesn't agree, he says it is impossible to agree with such a position. He goes on, in article #3, to discuss not only the problem of naturalism, but nudity in any setting whatsoever, including . The problem comes because we don't know how it will be received. We have to consider the possibilities:
#3 The [naked] human body... is a problem which is not only aesthetic, but also ethical. That "element of the gift" is ... suspended in the dimension of an unknown reception and an unforeseen response... [I]t may become an anonymous object of appropriation, an object of abuse. ... The truth about man... creates here precise limits which it is unlawful to exceed.

#4. These limits must be recognized and observed by the artist... [No one has] the right to demand, propose or bring it about that other people, invited, exhorted or admitted to see, to contemplate the image, should violate those limits...
Is it possible to use nakedness in art? The Holy Father comments on this in the very next article:
#5. ...[T]here are works of art whose subject is the human body in its nakedness. The contemplation of this makes it possible to concentrate, in a way, on the whole truth of man, on the dignity and the beauty... of his masculinity and femininity.... [which] leads the viewer, through the body, to the whole personal mystery of man. In contact with these works, where we do not feel drawn by their content to "looking lustfully"...
Art can be used to contemplate the human person as he stands before God. In this kind of artwork, the body is not changed into an object to be used or enjoyed. Instead, it represents an encounter with mankind.
6. Paul VI's Encyclical Humanae Vitae emphasizes the "need to create an atmosphere favorable to education in chastity" (n. 22). With this he intends to affirm that the way of living the human body in the whole truth of its masculinity and femininity must correspond to the dignity of this body and to its significance in building the communion of persons. 6 May 1981 - Ethical Responsibilities in Art
What does this all mean?

It means the art of the Sistine Chapel, the nude rendition of David, the multiple artistic representations of the Blessed Virgin Mary nursing the infant Jesus, these images are possible precisely because their subject is our relationship with God. Adam is naked on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel precisely because God sees him as he is, God reaches out to him.

It is to be noted that, while countless religious paintings represent naked bodies, none represent those bodies engaged in sexual conduct. Rather, in every case, the nakedness the artist renders for us highlights the person's relationship with God - the person who stands fully revealed before Him in the glory of virtue or fully revealed in the shame of sin.

We may indeed see Susannah at her bath with the lecherous elders looking on, but their very lechery highlights the fact that Susannah would sooner die than commit the sin of having sexual relations outside of marriage.

Truly, we are born into this world naked, but it is no less true that God Himself wove our first clothes of skin for us (Genesis 3:21).

Though we came into the world physically naked, we are not meant to be naked.

Adam and Eve were clothed with supernatural and preternatural grace.
When we lost the clothing of grace, God then gave us the clothing of skins.

No matter how you look at it, we need clothes.
Someone needs to look Joanna in the eye and let her know.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Culture War Notes has two very odd stories today.

First, there is the rumor that Barack Obama is trying to silence Archbishop Burke. Burke has apparently been far too outspoken on the abortion front to make our fine feathered community organizer comfortable. His operatives are communicating with Rome, trying to find a way to keep Burke from speaking on the subject.

This is made all the more difficult by the fact that Archbishop Burke is scheduled to be the speaker at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast on May 8, along with SCOTUS justice Antonin Scalia.

Now, we hear that Archbishop Burke is repudiating his very own videotaped words, a record he made specially for Randall Terry, one of the best-known abortion fighters in the nation.

Now, Archbishop Burke was not born yesterday. He knows full well who Randall Terry is, he knows how Mr. Terry operates, he knows that if he makes a video for Randall Terry, that video is going to be used and used widely, in every possible venue.

But now the archbishop is claiming he didn't know?

What could shut down a fearless man like Archbishop Burke?

I can think of only one other lion in the 20th century who voluntarily muzzled himself: Pope Pius XII.

What shut down Pope Pius XII?

I hope the comparison is wrong.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I'm Not Too Bright

In my book, Designed to Fail: Catholic Education in America, I discuss the rise of the corporation and the impact it had on the establishment of the school system.

Most people don't realize that the founding fathers of this country HATED corporations. Their fight was not just against Britain, but against the East India Company, the corporation that ran the economies of most of the British colonies. They knew that corporations were the bane of a free existence, so they destroyed every corporation in the nascent American states.

While I documented how the corporation affected the theology of American politics, it wasn't clear to me why the corporation should exist at all. What possible advantage would a government derive from allowing corporations to form, especially given the fact that these same corporations always tended to rival national governments in power?

The brilliant economist Walter Williams explains that in his March 18, 2009 column:

If a tax is levied on a corporation, and if it is to survive, it must raise the price of its product, or lower dividends or lay off workers. In each case, it is people, not some legal fiction called a corporation, who bear the burden of any tax levied on the corporation. An important subject area in economics called tax incidence says that the entity upon whom a tax is levied does not necessarily bear the burden of the tax. Some of the tax burden can be shifted to another party. That's precisely what corporations do and as such they are merely government tax collectors.(emphasis added - Read it all.).

Governments want corporations because, prior to the advent of the IRS, corporations were the prime means by which governments collected taxes. Even after the IRS and/or similar government entities are created, corporations serve as mini-Me versions of the IRS. Whatever tax is levied on a corporation will be passed on to the populace.

The funny thing is, I recognized this relationship when I was roughly 14 years old. I never saw the point of raising taxes on business, since I knew I would be paying the tax in the form of increased product prices. But I never made the final connection: corporations are just additional taxing agencies, additional internal revenue services for the government. They provide the fine-grained control over collection which permits the IRS to run without needing to audit more than one or two percent of the population.

Every corporation from which I make a purchase is an extension of the IRS into my life. Seen in this light, in a country where sales tax is applied, every bit of advertising is really a come-on to allow the government to eat another portion of my revenue, with the corporation as the government agent splitting the swag. I never thought of it this way until now.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Is Our Family Like God's Family?

I must confess something.
I sometimes use this blog as a way to remember an argument that comes up infrequently, but which requires me to document the answer whenever it DOES come up.

If I put it on the blog, it never disappears, and I can go search it later.
One such argument is the following, and it is extremely common among certain theologians and certain TOB promoters. I put it here for your edification and delight:

The comparison between father-mother-child and Father-Son-Spirit is specifically called absurd by Aquinas.

Summa Theologica, First Part, Question 93, Article 6
It would seem that the image of God is not only in man's mind.

Objection 2.
Further, it is written (Gen1:27) God created man to His own image, to the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. But the distinction of male and female is in the body. Therefore the image of God is also in the body, and not only in the mind.

I answer that, While in all creatures there is some kind of likeness to God, in the rational creature alone we find a likeness of image as we have explained above; but in other creatures we find a likeness by way of a trace.

Reply to Objection 2.
As Augustine says (De Trinitas, 12:5) some have thought that the image of God was not in man individually, but severally. They held that "the man represents the Person of the Father; those born of man denote the person of the Son; and that the woman is a third person in likeness to the Holy Ghost, since she so proceeded from man as not to be his son or daughter." All of this is manifestly absurd: [Aquinas doesn't mince words here] first, because it would follow that the Holy Ghost is the principle of the Son, as the woman is the principle of the man's offspring; secondly, because one man would be only the image of one Person; thirdly, because in that case Scripture should not have mentioned the image of God in man until after the birth of the offspring. Therefore we must understand that when Scripture had said to the image of God He created him, it added, male and female He created them, not to imply that the image of God came through the distinction of sex, but that the image of God is common to both sexes, since it is in the mind, wherein there is no distinction of sexes. [How many Theology of the Body promoters have said that the image of God is in the sex?] And so the Apostle (Col 3:10), after saying According to the image of Him that created him, added, Where there is neither male nor female.

Reply to Objection 3.
Although the image of God in man is not to be found in his bodily shape, yet because "the body of man alone among terrestrial animals is not inclined prone to the ground, but is adapted to look upward to heaven, for this reason we may rightly say that it is made to God's image and likeness, rather than the bodies of other animals," as Augustine remarks. But this is not to be understood as though the image of God were in man's body, but in the sense that the very shape of the human body represents the image of God in the soul by way of a trace. [Notice that: insofar as anything in the body images God, it does so by way of a trace]

Monday, March 09, 2009

Cassandra Comments

This commentary on the Connecticut trustee crisis appeared in the comments section of the Catholic Key blog. It is quite illuminating so I reproduce it in full here. I am unable to verify who Cassandra is, but her(?) facts appear to be correct:

I can certainly understand why people are upset, but this is only the fruits of the malfeasance of the bishops about which I won't detail because Google does not have enough storage for it.

However, I wouldn't be too quick to say it won't pass constitutional muster.

First, this was an existing law which dealt specially with the Roman Catholic Church. It is only being amended here. The CT bishops were happy to be treated special before. Note especially that in the deleted portion, there was already a requirement for a layman to be present in order for the corporate board to do business. The bishops had already sold the farm by agreeing to that precedent in the first place.

In fact, the farm was sold when the USCCB (NCCB) let Johnson amend the IRS tax code to stifle the voice of the Church through the 501 (3)(c) restrictions. The progressive bishops didn't care about it then, and it keeps a muzzle on the orthodox bishops today. (Johnson did this primarily to strike back at some protestant preachers who were embarrassing him over infidelities).

Second, the RCC is rather unique in how it structures itself. Other religious organizations, especially evangelicals, organize their ecclesial communities such that the laity do control the entity and do control the hiring of the pastors. A very good argument could be made that this is just treating the RCC equally under the law. One would have to take a look at the other sections of the corporate law to see how other religious organizations are treated. Why should the State treat the RCC differently? If the RCC doesn't like it, they don't have to form a corporation.

(Now, of course, the State should treat the One True Church with deference, but the American constitution doesn't agree. After the onslaught from the likes of John Courtney Murray, SJ and his religious liberty it will be impossible to even convince Catholics that the State should treat the Church specially. This problem goes way back and even Pope Leo XIII warned about it over a hundred years ago.)

Third, canon law establishes that the parish assets belong to the parish. If the bishop closes a parish, he cannot seize the money. The funds must be reserved for the care of the parish members, even if they are consolidated into another parish. (Boston got in trouble for this, I think). So even in RCC canon law, the State will find some justification for giving control of the parish assets to the parish.

The countering argument, of course, is that without control of the purse strings, there is no real control of the parish. This was why Archbishop Burke (and Rigali before him) had to crack down on St. Stanislaus (though St. Stan's had illicitly changed the bylaws removing archdiocesan control). But let's be serious. Have the bishops really shown themselves to properly administering parishes even according canon law? Of course, not. A wide variety of abuses are rampant. The USCCB bishops even admitted in Married Love (2006) that the laity don't know the Faith because they haven't been taught (while not taking responsibility for the lack of teaching). All around the bishops are going to have a tough time showing how they are going to be impeded from doing what they are not doing.

Fourth, 54% of Catholics just voted for a man who advocates infanticide. Do you really think in the midst of all the sex abuse, embezzlements (can you say Michael Jude Fay?), and parish closings that the bishops are going to convince a majority of Catholics that the laity shouldn't have control over the parish assets. The Diocese of Bridgeport punished Fr. Madden and the bookkeeping for hiring a private detective to uncover Fr. Fay. You think the State doesn't have a slam-dunk in getting Catholic lay support for this? That's not a legal defense directly, but it is a voting block that will be happy to get the control. If there's one thing that will bring back the missing 75% of Catholics who don't go to Mass on any given Sunday, it will be the chance to get control.

Nope, this is the fruits of the negligence of the USCCB for decades. It may not be right, but it is inevitable. In fact, I see in it a Judgment from God on the Church. I've been telling people this sort of thing has been coming.

Nobody believes Cassandra...

... [to objections that the RCC is being singled out]. Here are the CT religious corporate statutes online. I didn't see a presbyterian section. It's worth noting that for a presbyterian those boards of elders are laity in the congregation.

What really comes out from that section of the statutes, though, is that the State has been interpreting the individual religious situations in order to determine how corporate law will apply to them. The RCC is asking for State recognition and favored treatment (i.e. to act corporately) and the State is interpreting how the RCC situation should be applied to State corporation laws—just like the State has been in the past.

Again, I would point out that the existing law requires that laity be on the board and that a layman be present to create a quorum for business. The CT bishops have found this acceptable in the past in spite of the fact that this existing law is already contrary to the canonical authority of the bishop and pastor. Ironically, under the existing law, if the laity wanted to fight the authority of the bishop (and were unified enough) they simply don't show up for the board meetings and the board can't do business. Show me how that reflects the "Apostolic nature of the Catholic Church" (Bridgeport statement). The new changes only expand the "active participation" of the laity.

Again, I want to bring up the 501 (c)(3) issue. The IRS says if you want to enjoy special tax treatment, you have to keep your mouth shut concerning politicians. Yet the Church has a duty to speak out against evil. Pope Pius XII is condemned for (supposedly) being silent in regard to the leader of the National Socialist party, but the Church in Amercia is prohibited from condemning the leader of the Democratic party for support of infanticide. The USCCB accepts this infringement the Church's right and duty to proclaim the Truth and defends not it, saying that they "just form consciences". They sold the voice of the Church for a tax deduction. How is this CT bill really different in principle? The bishop and pastor can still preach and "form the consciences" of the local laity. Won't the laity willingly listen to the bishop's direction and seek to follow his lead if this is the Catholic way?

The State will be able to bring examples of organizations considered "Catholic" and yet not having diocesan control. The examples need not be about parishes, but will continue to erode the argument that bishops need fiscal control to "preach the gospel" (note that Sec. 33-280 talks about the purpose of property rights is to maintain religious worship, and educational and charitable institutions). The RCC will have to show how, in midst of the last 40-year emphasis on lay pastoral and finance councils, maintaining worship is really impeded by local fiscal control.

Let's look as some examples. In St. Paul, MN Archbishop Flynn and his vicar general as board members cooperated in the action of the Board of the University of St. Thomas in removing ex-officio positions from the Board just in time to prevent incoming Abp Nienstadt from being able to exercise control. After negotiations, but no board structure changes, Nienstadt continues to extend the Catholic moniker to the university.

EWTN is run by a lay board (an arrangement which was an end-run by Mother Angelica during a dispute with Cardinal Mahoney). Yet, EWTN has a wide international reputation for proclaiming the Gospel in the modern media. Catholics are able to assemble and preach without direct fiscal control of the local bishop.

In the Diocese of La Crosse, the diocesan attorney James Birnbaum (see more about him here and here) is defending the firing of a teacher at a Catholic school. The arguments he (and therefore the bishop by extension) presented to the Wisconsin Supreme Court (according to the La Crosse Tribune ) are supportive of the State separating the secular and religious activities of Catholic institutions:

"Birnbaum told the high court Tuesday that not all elementary Catholic school teachers should be exempted from anti-discrimination laws unless, like Ostlund, they taught a religion class daily, were involved in liturgical activities and incorporated religion in all subjects they taught."

The argument here is that the actual religious activity of the persons involved must be taken into consideration when applying State laws to Catholic institutions.

In California, the State imposed on Catholic Charities the requirement to provide insurance benefits for contraceptives to employees. The California bishops capitulated.

Archbishop Levada (now Cardinal and in charge of protecting doctrine as Prefect of the CDF!!) compromised with a San Francisco city ordinance that requires firms doing business with the city to extend benefits to "domestic partners". Levada allowed employees to designate any individual as the recipient of benefits, basically citing "social justice" motives.

The point I am trying to make with these examples (and I'm sure there are better ones) is that the actions of the USCCB bishops have been reinforcing that the USCCB (and therefore the RCC in the eyes of the American State) finds it acceptable to separate Catholic institutional actions into secular and regulate-able actions and religious actions.

Want the really bad news? Let's say this goes to the US Supreme Court. On the Court sit 4 members of the RCC. I don't see any way that these justices can hear this case without a conflict of interest. They'll have to recuse themselves, and there go the most "originist" and conservative members of the Court. Who's left to decide the case?

Finally, again, the CT bishops and the USCCB bishops are not going to get broad lay Catholic support for opposing this. 75% of Catholics don't show up for Mass on any given Sunday. Of the 25% that do show up, a great many have absorbed the "We are Church" theology. Recently some bishops have announced they are closing 25, 30, 40, even 50 percent of parishes in their dioceses. You expect those laity, some of whom are occupying closed churches in defiance, to oppose lay control over the parish facilities? I'll bet the bishops won't get more than 25% of lay support on the issue, and the State knows it. If 75% of Catholics will go along, how will the bishops argue that this is opposed to Church law? Are they going to stand up say 75% of Catholics don't understand the teachings of the Church? That will be a proud day for the Church! In the midst of the grotesque mismanagement of administrative (and spiritual) matters in the sexual abuse crisis, are bishops going to argue that lay Catholics need special Apostolic oversight to make a few local financial decisions? That lay Catholics aren't competent enough? The Media will have a field day. Need I speculate on how the influential "Catholic" members of Congress will weigh in?

Best case scenario, the State is forced to rewrite the entire chapter and apply the principle of local control to all religious societies. The principle is quite in accord with protestant theology and practice. What denomination is really going to squawk about it? Which one is going to make the case that Scripture demands that a central authority (read Apostolic authority) need be exercised over the administration of the local church buildings and funds?

This is, in fact, a marvelous opportunity for the USCCB to stand up and clearly teach on the Catholic principle of subsidiarity and how legitimate hierarchical authority is necessary for the care of the sheep. They could teach on the long Tradition of the Church in regard to Holy Orders and Apostolic authority. They could present a truly Catholic teaching on the relationship of the Church and State and how the State is obligated to accept correction by the Church on matters of morality. They could preach on the social Kingship of Christ. It could be an inspiring moment….

….but they won't. They'll hand it over to the lawyers, take an American law approach, and try to argue constitutional principles—principles written by Masons, deists and protestants. In the meantime, the State will bring in legions of Jesuit theologians, all in "good standing" with the Church, who will testify that this doesn't really conflict with dogmatic or doctrinal teachings of the Church.

More fruits of the Second Vatican Council and the progressive agenda.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

A Civil Constitution

In 1790, the French Revolutionaries decided to destroy the power of the Catholic Church by forcing all religious and all ordained men to take a vow of allegiance to the state. Any religious, priest or bishop who refused to take the vow was either forced out of the country or into a grave. This naked attack on the Catholic Church was legislatively called "The Civil Constitution of the Clergy."

Read through the Civil Constitution and notice how many modern-day heretics draw on it for inspiration. It reads like a primer from Karl Rahner or Richard P. McBrien.

The legislation solved two problems at once.
First, it broke the power of the Catholic Church in France. The Church was never a big fan of mass murder or regicide, but that was no longer a problem, as their vows would require Church officials to be silent on these matters in the future.

Second, it allowed the state to acquire vast tracts of Church land. The Revolution was chronically short of money, and the land grab filled government coffers in a way few other actions could have done.

The action was not without a reaction. The Catholics of the French Vendee region were in open revolt by 1794, in no small part because of the havoc wreaked on their region by the Civil Constitution. The Revolution was largely an urban, and especially Parisian, phenomenon. Much of the Catholic countryside had no particular love for it.

The Revolutionaries responded by sending 13 columns of French troops into the Vendee. These "colonnes infernales" - columns from hell - killed every living person they encountered.

Why am I recalling this history?

Because Connecticut is making a power grab nearly identical to the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. It proposes to legislatively strip Connecticut's bishops of all governing authority over all Catholic parishes in the state. If it passes, each parish will be run by a corporate board. The only thing the bishop will be able to direct is the teaching of the Faith itself - exactly the single same loophole left open by the Civil Constitution.

When states are behind the fiscal 8-ball, the Church's property always looks mighty tasty.

Will its passage provoke outrage among Catholics?

Will it provoke a similar response?
Do we want to find out?

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Obama the Apostate

We already have the spectacle of numerous Muslims claiming that Barack Hussein Obama is, in fact, the first Muslim president. It's easy to argue that he isn't, but it's odd that Muslims don't seem willing to recognize this.

The more interesting problem is how he is dealing with charities.

In 361 AD, Julian the Apostate became emperor of Rome. He was called the Apostate because, while raised as a Christian, his hatred for all things Christian was apparent upon his ascension to the purple. He immediately removed all tax breaks and government subsidies which the Church had been given by Constantine, demanded full repayment of all moneys that had been donated, and instituted a system of government sponsored-charity that was intended to pull people away from the Catholic Church.

Julian understood that one major appeal Christians had towards pagans was precisely their charity. They would take care of anyone, anytime. If he wanted to break the back of the Catholic Church, he knew he would have to compete against that same Church's charity, and prove his own pagan government was superior to Christian love. His plan failed primarily because he was killed on the battlefield just two years after he gained the throne. There was not enough time to make any of his changes stick.

It is already established that Julian's plan does, indeed, work.
The larger the welfare state, the lower the religious sentiments of the public.

The best way to destroy American Christianity is to turn America into a welfare state.
It is interesting to see that Obama's tax plans are designed precisely to harm existing private welfare efforts, while expanding welfare government.

Julian the Apostate, please call your office.
The President is on the line.

Who Died and Made HIM Pope?

Bishop Williamson is an SSPX bishop who had been excommunicated for allowing himself to be ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre. He is also so badly informed about historical events that he claims the Holocaust did not happen.

Being ordained without papal permission is automatic excommunication.
Denying the Holocaust, on the other hand, is merely gross stupidity.
Being stupid is not a sin.

In order to assist with the regularization of the status of the SSPX, his excommunication was lifted by Pope Benedict XVI. Since stupidity is not a sin, his denial of the Holocaust is not really relevant to whether or not he is excommunicate.

Given the lifting of the excommunication, Bishop Williamson is a valid Catholic bishop who is suspended - he has no one under his authority.

Cardinal Mahoney has decided to bar Bishop Williamson from speaking anywhere in the Los Angeles Diocese. That is his right. No one can have a quarrel with that decision.

But in his decree barring Bishop Williamson, Cardinal Mahoney also took the trouble to state, "Holocaust deniers like Williamson will find no sympathetic ear or place of refuge in the Catholic Church, of which he is not — and may never become — a member."


Cardinal Mahoney is directly contradicting a papal directive. By his statement, Mahoney effectively denies that Williamson's excommunication has been lifted. He refuses to recognize Williamson's valid episcopal orders, when Williamson's reception of that sacrament is just as valid as Mahoney's own.

Bishop Williamson denied the reality of the Holocaust.
Through his decision to be ordained bishop, Bishop Williamson denied the authority of Rome.
Cardinal Mahoney's bombast essentially denies Rome's authority and verges on denying the reality of the sacrament Bishop Williamson received.

Exactly how is Cardinal Mahoney different than Bishop Williamson?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Thinking About Poll Numbers

The most recent poll by SKIP (Scarborough Kids Internet Panel) show that 75% of teens think Obama can handle the situation and bring the country wonderful things.

Almost half (46%) of African-American teens are "very optimistic" about President Obama's ability to help the economy, versus 31 % of Hispanic teens, 24% of Caucasian teens and 20% of Asian teens.
Not to be indelicate, but it seems to me that the poll also neatly demonstrates the different opinions that exist between groups of teens who have different academic achievement levels. The higher the academic achievement of a given group, the lower that group's faith in Barack's abilities.

And, as numerous studies have documented, academic achievement is predicated largely on parental involvement. Children from close-knit, two-parent families do much better academically than children from single-parent families. Indeed, the entire difference between races can be explained by controlling for the percentage of single-parent families.

So, teens from unstable or broken homes have a great deal of confidence in the broken-home child who has become President, while teens from intact families have very little confidence in him.

In short, smart teens, i.e., teens from stable families, have no confidence in this man.

The last two successful Democrat presidential candidates have been products of single-mother households. Both have vociferously supported killing children. Children without fathers apparently look up to these men as a father figure, even as that father figure thunders on about how those same children should be murdered in the womb without regrets, without consequences.

Paul Vitz has demonstrated how people without good fathers end by rejecting God the Father.

A lot of people are going to be disappointed in the coming months, in a lot of different ways.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

It's Getting Worse

Less than one month ago, I pointed out that Barack Obama seemed to be deliberately insulting America's traditional friends while deliberately tearing down the walls we had built between ourselves and our enemies.

This week, adds several more logs to the fire:

1) Obama has deliberately humiliated the British. Again.
2) Obama will give $900 million to a terrorist organization on the State Department watch list.
3) Obama wants the Palestinians to have their own state, which will directly endanger Israel.
4) Israel can no longer buy non-essential items using US defense aid funds.
5) Hillary Clinton's quote, "Whatever we do will be done thoughtfully in consultation with our friends and Israel." Nice distinction, that.

It's no wonder a Forbes columnist, herself a Muslim, called Barack Hussein Obama "our first Muslim President."

Obama is three-for-three in humiliating the British. It's gotten to the point that Rush Limbaugh is now pointing it out on his radio show.

It seems Mr. Brown is mostly blind, something Barack Obama could not help but know. So the man deliberately insulted the British by giving him a pack of 25 DVDs.

Barack Hussein Obama is evil.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Holy Thursday Washing Feet

I will pull together all the pieces I have on this because it is important.
"Depending on pastoral circumstance, the washing of feet follows the homily. The men who have been chosen (viri selecti) are led by the ministers to chairs prepared at a suitable place. Then the priest (removing his chasuble if necessary) goes to each man. With the help of the ministers he pours water over each one's feet and dries them. ...The general intercessions follow the washing of feet, or, if this does not take place, they follow the homily" (emphasis added).
These instructions allow no substitutions of the rite, such as the washing of hands.
The only options are 1) to wash feet or 2) not to wash feet.
It is a priest who performs the washing of the feet - not a deacon, not a lay person.


1) The Mandatum is optional.

2) A priest (not a deacon, not a lay person)

3) washes men's (not women's not children's)

4) feet (not hands, not elbows).

Why Is the USCCB Wrong?

In February, 1987, the USCCB claimed, via the Chairman of the Bishop's Committee on the Liturgy (BCL Newsletter), that the washing of feet is merely an act of charity, and thus may properly include both men and women.

“While this variation may differ from the rubric of the Sacramentary,(emphasis added) which mentions only men (viri selectii), it may nevertheless be said that the intention to emphasize service along with charity in the celebration of the rite is an understandable way of accentuating the evangelical command of the Lord, "who came to serve and not to be served", that all members of the church must serve one another in love.” (BCL Newsletter, February 1987, Volume XXIII)

A) Notice the words in bold. The BCL admitted the washing of women's feet ‘differs’ from the rubric of the Sacramentary. That is, the BCL acknowledged the authority of the Sacramentary and then went against it! The BCL intentionally attempted to legitimate liturgical abuse.

B) We must keep in mind that, in order for liturgy to be changed, an indult has to be requested in which the change is:
  1. voted on and approved by 2/3rds of the whole bishops' conference, then
  2. sent to and approved by Rome.
Understandably, that document was:
  1. NOT authorized or voted on by the body of Bishops, much less approved by 2/3rds of them,
  2. NOR was it approved by the Holy See.

As such, the BCL response has no legislative force whatsoever.
Any appeals made to this subcommittee document are not only null and void, they demonstrate a complete lack of understanding on how liturgical changes are made.

What Does the Vatican Say?

In 1988, less than one year after the sub-committee opinion was issued, the Vatican produced the document Paschales Solemnitatis.
The washing of the feet of chosen men (emphasis added) which, according to tradition, is performed on this day [Holy Thursday], represents the service and charity of Christ, who came 'not to be served, but to serve.' This tradition should be maintained, and its proper significance explained. (Congregation for Divine Worship, Paschales Solemnitatis #51, "Preparing and Celebrating the Paschal Feasts," January 16, 1988.)
The Sacred Congregation made no changes in the rubrics referring to "men"; indeed, the new instruction said that the "tradition should be maintained."

What Does Scripture Say?
So, why do people push for the washing of women's feet?
Because this abuse is intimately linked to the push for women's ordination. Christ washed the feet of his priests, who in turn care for the congregation through the confection and application of the sacraments. In the Mass of the Last Supper, the priest is Christ who washes the feet of his priests, men.

And thou shalt bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tabernacle of the testimony, and having washed them with water, Thou shalt put on them the holy vestments, that they may minister to me, and that the unction of them may prosper to an everlasting priesthood. (Exodus 40:12-13)

He said: This is the word that the Lord hath commanded to be done. And immediately, he offered Aaron and his sons. And when he had washed them, he vested the high priest with the strait linen garment, girding him with the girdle, and putting on him the violet tunic: and over it he put the ephod. (Lev 8:5-7)

The only people who specifically get feet washed in the Old Testament are the angels that visit Abraham (Gen 18:4) and the angels that visit Lot (Gen 19:2).

The Old Testament records that only those who came from heaven had their feet washed. Christ had His feet washed in the New Testament, a recognition that He came from heaven (Luke 7:38).

Meanwhile, in the Old Testament, those who were ordained as priests were ritually washed. When Jesus begins to wash the apostles' feet to illustrate that what He was making them like the ministering angels who came down from heaven, Peter finally accepts by saying, “wash my hands and my head as well," that is, "make me your priest." Christ replies that the washing of feet is sufficient. He also says that the apostles should "do this unto one another."

With the command "Do this in memory of me," Christ made them priests. With that command, He completed what was begun with the washing of feet. He made the priests holy, and like unto ministering angels. They minister the sacraments to us.

So, when Christ speaks of "doing this (washing of feet) unto one another," He is telling them that He has established His new priesthood to sanctify the people. When the people are made holy by the sacraments, they, too, will be like ministering angels unto the world.

Where else do feet get washed in Scripture? According to Psalm 58:10, "the righteous wash their feet in the blood of the wicked." Christ takes on our sin, He becomes sin for us. The blood of Christ is what empowers the cleansing waters of baptism. So, this verse tells us that washing the apostles' feet links the angels and the ordination rites of the Old Testament to the ordination established at the Last Supper.

In this context, it is interesting to note that King David kills Uriah precisely because Uriah refuses to go down into his house and "wash his feet," that is, he refuses to have intimate sexual communion with his spouse and thereby cover over David's adulterous sin with Bathsheba. He refuses on the grounds that the ark of the covenant is in the field with the armies of Israel, and it would not be right to take his ease while Israel is suffering.

Thus, Uriah becomes an interesting foreshadowing of both Christ who is Spouse to us, made adulterous by our sin, and Peter, who refuses to have his feet washed, that is, who refuses to enter into intimate communion with God, out of concern for the propriety of the act. Uriah dies so that the reputation of the King might live, just as Christ died so that the nation might have life. The prophet Nathan reveals the sin of the king just as Peter, in Acts 2, reveals the sin associated with having crucified Christ. David's first-born son dies, as God's first-born Son died, but, in a foreshadowing of Christ's resurrection, the second son from Bathsheba was Solomon, the wisest man in the Old Testament, a king who stood before the ark and offered sacrifice as a priest.

The washing of the feet is no simple demonstration of charity. It is meant to tie together the priesthood of the Old Testament with the visitations from heaven, simultaneously reorienting this new synthesis towards the establishment of Christ's priesthood of the New Testament.

Didn't Bishop O'Malley Get Permission To Wash Women's Feet?

Well, in 2005, Archbishop O'Malley certainly claimed to have permission from Rome to wash the feet of women. However:

  1. He never produced the document which he said gave him this permission,
  2. No one in Rome ever produced a document which indicated he had permission (see the 2006 comments below from Fr. Edward McNamara "Another correspondent affirmed that the Holy See had informed an American cardinal that women were not excluded from the rite, but the writer was unable to provide sources. I have been unable to corroborate this affirmation from any official source. The above-mentioned statement from the liturgy committee explicitly states that no further official pronunciations have been made since 1987 (although the new Latin missal reconfirms the rubric regarding only men being called)." So neither Rome, nor the USCCB is aware of the existence of Archbishop O'Malley's "enabling" document),
  3. Even if he got permission and has this secret document on his person somewhere, this does not constitute a general indult for the entire United States (Fr. Edward McNamara, "This permission was for a particular case and from a strictly legal point of view has no value outside the diocese in question"). Liturgy is changed through open communications. Rome gives out public indults, not double-secret probation, nor does Her liturgy get promulgated through blacked-out, behind the doors skulking. This isn't Animal House,
  4. This is more thoroughly confirmed, as you can see below, by the fact that Rome specifically produced a document in May 20, 2008 that specifically says only the feet of men are to be washed.
The argument that Archbishop O'Malley's action constitutes permission for someone outside of Archbishop O'Malley's diocese is ludicrous. As can be seen from Archbishop O'Malley's own opposition, the washing of women's feet is intimately tied to the goal of a female priesthood.

Archbishop O'Malley caved in to the feminists.
That doesn't mean the rest of us have to.

Can't the Priest/Bishop Implement This on Their Own?

The fathers of the Second Vatican Council clearly stated that " other person, not even a priest, may add, remove, change anything in the liturgy on his own authority" [Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, no. 23]. Furthermore, according to Church law the Vatican must confirm liturgical legislation approved by the various national conferences of bishops. It is "the prerogative of the Apostolic See to regulate the sacred liturgy of the universal Church, to publish liturgical books and review their vernacular translations, and to be watchful that liturgical regulations are everywhere faithfully observed" [Canon 838.2].

The translations of liturgical books from the official Latin into English (which includes the rubrics for Mass), must also be confirmed by the Apostolic See:
It pertains to Episcopal Conferences to prepare translations of liturgical books, with appropriate adaptations as allowed by the books themselves and, with the prior review of the Holy See, to publish these translations [Canon 838.3].

The faithful have a right to a true Liturgy, which means the Liturgy desired and laid down by the Church, which has in fact indicated where adaptations may be made as called for by pastoral requirements in different places or by different groups of people. Undue experimentation, changes and creativity bewilder the faithful. The use of unauthorized texts means a loss of the necessary connection between the lex orandi and the lex credendi. The Second Vatican Council's admonition in this regard must be remembered: "No person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove or change anything in the Liturgy on his own authority." [Sacrosanctum Concilium, #22] And Paul VI of venerable memory stated that: "Anyone who takes advantage of the reform to indulge in arbitrary experiments is wasting energy and offending the ecclesial sense."[Paul VI, address of August 22, 1973: "L'Osservatore Romano," August 23, 1973.]

Canon 528 ß2: "The parish priest is to take care that the blessed Eucharist is the center of the parish assembly of the faithful. He is to strive to ensure that the faithful are nourished by the devout celebration of the sacraments, and in particular that they frequently approach the sacraments of the blessed Eucharist and penance. He is to strive to lead them to prayer, including prayer in their families, and to take a live and active part in the sacred liturgy. Under the authority of the diocesan Bishop, the parish priest must direct this liturgy in his own parish, and he is bound to be on guard against abuses."

From these references, it is clear that individual bishops, even a committee of bishops, do not have the authority to change the liturgical texts. On the contrary, bishops have the serious responsibility "to be watchful lest abuses creep into ecclesiastical discipline, especially concerning the ministry of the word, the celebration of the sacraments and sacramentals, the worship of God and devotion to the saints..." [Canon 392.2].

It is not possible to appeal to the local bishop as having authority or power to change the liturgical rubrics.

The local bishop does NOT have the power to change the liturgy, nor do any of his priests.

Connecting the Dots

The Holy Thursday service is intimately linked to the institution of the priesthood, and the washing of feet has always been seen as an aspect of that institution. Indeed, if we return to the sources, as the Second Vatican Council heartily recommends, we must instantly recognize that women were for centuries not even permitted to enter the sanctuary, so close was the connection between every aspect of the Paschal Sacrifice and the priestly function of Holy Orders.

But if women can lector and be Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, why can't they have their feet washed at the mandatum?

Because the Mandatum is directly linked to the ordination of the apostles as priests, as John Paul II taught in 2003:

The important paragraph:
2. So, while they are eating, Jesus rises from the table and begins to wash the disciples' feet. At first Peter resists, then he understands and accepts. We too are asked to understand: the first thing the disciple must do is to prepare himself to listen to the Lord, opening his heart to accept the initiative of his love. Only then will he be invited, in turn, to do what the Teacher did. He too must be committed to "washing the feet" of his brothers and sisters, expressing in gestures of mutual service that love which is the synthesis of the whole Gospel (cf. Jn 13: 1-20).

Also during the Supper, knowing that his "hour" had now come, Jesus blesses and breaks the bread, then gives it to the Apostles saying: "This is my body"; he does the same with the cup: "This is my blood". And he commands them: "Do this in remembrance of me" (I Cor 11: 24.25). Truly this is the witness of love taken "to the end" (Jn 13: 1). Jesus gives himself as food to his disciples to become one with them. Once again the "lesson" emerges that we must learn: the first thing to do is to open our hearts to welcoming the love of Christ. It is his initiative: it is his love that enables us, in turn, to love our brethren.

Therefore, the washing of the feet and the sacrament of the Eucharist: two expressions of one and the same mystery of love entrusted to the disciples, so that, Jesus says, "as I have done... so also must you do" (Jn 13: 15). (end article)
Now, if we accept that in article #2, JP II literally means we do the mandatum on Holy Thursday only as an expression of the charity found in the heart of every Catholic, then we must also - by the fact of the last sentence in that same article - assume that lay people are supposed to consecrate the Eucharist.

In fact, it is precisely because the washing of feet and the consecration of the sacrament are "two expressions of one and the same mystery of love" that we must derive precisely the opposite conclusion.

It is worthwhile to keep in mind that the Church has only given authoritative interpretation to about a dozen passages of Scripture, but two of those passages are Luke 22:19 and 1 Cor 11:24 "Do this in memory of me" - the passage JP II quotes here.

According to the Council of Trent (September 17, 1562, "Canons on the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass," canon 2), that phrase made the apostles priests, it ordained them to offer His Body and Blood. Given the extremely small number of authoritatively interpreted passages in documents of the extraordinary Magisterium, JP II was certainly not unaware of that connection when he referred to 1 Cor 11:24.

Now, look what he does - he links 1 Corinthians with the Mandatum.
John Paul II says the 1 Cor 11:24 verse and the washing of feet are two expressions of one and the same mystery of love.

That is, JP II specifically teaches that the washing of feet is inextricably linked to the ordination of priests.

Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi
What we pray, we also believe. Our actions are prayers, especially the actions we take in the liturgy. Since this is true, washing the feet of women and children is, therefore, a liturgical statement affirming that women and children can be ordained to the priesthood.

Thus, one could easily make the argument that washing the feet of women and children is a heretical action. Given that the USCCB has no power to alter the liturgy, that the interpretation was never voted on by the USCCB, and so is not even properly a decision of the USCCB, the washing of women's/children's feet is most certainly a liturgical abuse.

Bishops and priests who permit this abuse do not, on some level, understand their own ordination to the priesthood. They also violate the clear teaching of Vatican II.

What Do I Do?

1) If you see this abuse, write a letter or e-mail to your pastor respectfully asking why this was done.

2) If he defends the action, take a copy of his defense and respectfully petition the bishop for a correction of this abuse.

3) If the bishop defends his priest's action, take a copy of both the priest's and bishop's responses, and send them to the apostolic nuncio.
  • Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio
  • Mailing Address: 3339 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W, Washington, DC, USA
  • Telephone: (202)333-7121
  • Fax: 337-4036
4) If the response of the apostolic nuncio is non-committal, take all of these responses and send them to the Congregation for Divine Worship.

Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera
Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
Piazza Pio XII, 10
00120 Vatican City (Europe)

Be respectful in all communication. When sending documentation to Rome, you do not need to quote any documents. The Cardinal knows the documents. Simply send your communications and respectfully petition for relief.

It is critical that you be respectful throughout your communications.
Make it clear in each communication that you are willing to take it to the next level, perhaps with wording such as, "I know you are busy and this is but one issue among many on your desk. If I do not receive a response within thirty to sixty days, I will be happy to send it to (the next person higher up)."

You will receive a response.
No matter what anyone in the chain says, if you take it up the chain, the chances are quite good that you won't see this particular abuse repeated. Tolerance for this kind of stupidity is rapidly dropping in Rome.

The Supporting Documents (Last One Is Best)

Father Edward McNamara,
professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum, explains this in further detail in his conversations with ZENIT below (relevant excerpts from the discussions are given below the links):

Fr. Edward McNamara of the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum answered this question in a March 23, 2004 Zenit column, as follows, using the authoritative documents from the Holy See:

Question 2: I have learned today about the washing of the feet ceremony at Mass in my parish on Holy Thursday. To take the place of the twelve apostles, we are to have six gentlemen and six ladies. I would welcome your comments about this innovation. ­ M.R., Melbourne, Australia

Answer 2: The rubrics for Holy Thursday clearly state that the priest washes the feet of men ([Latin], viri) in order to recall Christ's action toward his apostles. Any modification of this rite would require permission from the Holy See.

It is certainly true that in Christ there is neither male nor female and that all disciples are equal before the Lord. But this reality need not be expressed in every rite, especially one that is so tied up to the concrete historical circumstances of the Last Supper. One should particularly note the phrases above which state:

"This tradition should be maintained, and its proper significance explained" and "in order to recall Christ's action toward his apostles".

There is also the added question and answer , which notes that deacons or the lay faithful DO NOT perform the foot washing rite in the place of the priest.

Questions 3: Each year I find it increasingly difficult to perform the washing of parishioners' feet at the celebration of the Lord's Supper because of stiffness in my knee joints which make it almost impossible to get back up on my feet when moving from one parishioner to the next. Is it permissible to delegate this function to an older server? ­ C.D., Archdiocese of New York

Answer 3: The rite of the washing of feet is not obligatory and may be legitimately omitted. However, this is usually not pastorally advisable.

While the rite may not be delegated to a non-priest , a concelebrant may substitute the main celebrant for a good reason.

The rubrics describing this rite are limited to the essentials (selected men sit in a suitable place) and so allow for practical adaptations to the realities of place, time and circumstances.

Thus, taking the example of our Holy Father, as he has grown older, and less able to bend over, the seats of those whose feet he washed were first elevated so that he could continue to perform the rite. But in the last year or so he has been substituted by a cardinal.

Thus, if possible, the seats used by those whose feet are to be washed should be elevated, so that an elderly priest need not stoop too much.

ROME, MARCH 28, 2006 ( Answered by Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university.

Q: I understand that it is in fact liturgically incorrect to have the main celebrant at the Holy Thursday Mass wash the feet of women. Correct? -- J.C., Ballina, Ireland. During the Holy Thursday liturgy at our parish, there are a number of foot-washing stations set up around the Church, and the people in the pews get up and bring someone else to one of the stations and wash their feet. Most of the people in Church take part in this, washing feet and in turn having their feet washed. It takes quite a while. Is this liturgically correct? Are there any norms for foot-washing during the Holy Thursday Mass? -- B.S., Naperville, Illinois. On Holy Thursday, at the washing of feet, the people, mostly youth, after having their foot washed, preceded to wash the next person's foot. Then they placed four bowls of water and four places before the altar, and the congregation was told to come forward and have their hands washed by the same people who just had their foot washed. We didn't. Everything felt out of order. -- E.K., Freehold, New Jersey

A: We already addressed the theme of washing women's feet in our column of March 23, 2004, and the subsequent follow-up on April 6.

Since then, there has been no change in the universal norm which reserves this rite to men as stated in the circular letter "Paschales Solemnitatis" (Jan. 16, 1988) and the rubrics of the 2002 Latin Roman Missal.

Regarding the place and number of those whose feet are to be washed, the rubric, which has remained unvaried in the new missal, describes the rite as follows:

"Depending on pastoral circumstances, the washing of feet may follow the homily.

"The men who have been chosen are led by the ministers to chairs prepared in a suitable place. Then the priest (removing his chasuble if necessary) goes to each man. With the help of the ministers he pours water over each one's feet and dries them."

The number of men selected for the rite is not fixed. Twelve is the most common option but they may be fewer in order to adjust to the available space.

Likewise the place chosen is usually within or near the presbytery so that the rite is clearly visible to the assembly.

Thus, the logical sense of the rubric requires the priest, representing Christ, washing feet of a group of men taken from the assembly, symbolizing the apostles, in a clearly visible area.

Follow-up: Washing of the Feet Date: 2004-04-06

Our replies regarding feet washing and the use of the crucifix rather than a cross ( March 23) generated a high level of correspondence some of which was very informative and which also leads me to review some of my previous statements.

Regarding washing only men's feet on Holy Thursday, several readers asked about a statement published by the U.S. bishops' liturgy committee in 1987 (see ).

Paragraphs 4 and 5 read:

"Because the gospel of the mandatum read on Holy Thursday also depicts Jesus as the 'Teacher and Lord' who humbly serves his disciples by performing this extraordinary gesture which goes beyond the laws of hospitality, the element of humble service has accentuated the celebration of the foot washing rite in the United States over the last decade or more. In this regard, it has become customary in many places to invite that both men and women to be participants in this rite in recognition of the service that should be given by all the faithful to the Church and to the world. Thus, in the United States, a variation in the rite developed in which not only charity is signified but also humble service.

"While this variation may differ from the rubric of the Sacramentary which mentions only men ('viri selecti'), it may nevertheless be said that the intention to emphasize service along with charity in the celebration of the rite is an understandable way of accentuating the evangelical command of the Lord, 'who came to serve and not to be served,' that all members of the Church must serve one another in love."

One correspondent, a woman, asks: "Did the U.S. conference have the authority to change the rubric of the Sacramentary? Did it get the approval of Rome? Certain dioceses will allow men only to have their feet washed; Jesus chose 12 men, his apostles."

I was not unaware of this statement. But since the entire text is couched in ambiguous terms and does not claim any authority whatsoever (in spite of the aura of officialdom in its being published by the liturgy committee) I did not consider it a relevant source.

What is surprising in this document is that it does not question the premise that a pastor or even a bishop has the authority to change or vary a specific rite at his own behest. He does not have such authority except where the law specifically allows him to do so.

This said, other paragraphs of the above statement correctly recall that this rite was reintroduced into parish celebrations relatively recently (1955) and so, as a rite, cannot claim a long liturgical tradition directly linking it to Christ's action on Holy Thursday -- although this is the obvious interpretation.

Thus, at least hypothetically, it could be subject to a reinterpretation to "emphasize service along with charity" in such a way as to be also open to women.

Yet the proper authority for such a reinterpretation is the Holy See or a two-thirds vote of an episcopal conference ratified by the Holy See and not an individual bishop or pastor.

Another correspondent affirmed that the Holy See had informed an American cardinal that women were not excluded from the rite, but the writer was unable to provide sources. I have been unable to corroborate this affirmation from any official source. The above-mentioned statement from the liturgy committee explicitly states that no further official pronunciations have been made since 1987 (although the new Latin missal reconfirms the rubric regarding only men being called). If this affirmation is confirmed, then obviously our position would have to change.

In the event, it doesn't appear Fr. McNamara's position will have to change. The Sacred Congregation on Divine Worship has authoritatively interpreted the document.

We are bound to follow Rome's liturgical directives.
Any priest or bishop who refuses to do so is disobedient to the Church.

Please click on the document image below to see the latest directive from May, 2008.