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Inequality, Beautiful Bird & Priestly Celibacy



Anti-Capitalist Pope

Dear TIA,

“Inequality is the root of social evil,” Pope Francis wrote in a Twitter post yesterday, with words that thrilled the left worldwide more than anything he had said since denouncing “trickle-down theories” of economics.

It sure sounds like Communism, as Mr. Guimaraes points out in the last part of his analysis of Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium.

     M.G.
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A Spade Is a Spade

TIA,

A reader wrote in 'What People Are Commenting': "TIA is like a voice of sanity in such confusion."

Yes! Thank you.

We have noticed a very strong tone and uncompromising 'calling a spade a spade' in your posts lately.

Militant and unashamed ! So was St. Joan of Arc.

Thank you all for your hard work for souls.

     E.K.
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A Breath of Fresh Air

Hello,

I hope this finds you well.

In recent days, I have gone to Dr. Marian Horvat's articles on your website, and it is like a breath of fresh air. It is sickening, what is being done to every part of human culture. Thank you for speaking and writing like you do, I am praying for the courage and fortitude to stand up for the beauties of Christian culture.

I am examining your viewpoints on the Church. Many years ago I had been warned that the Church was in apostasy. It is a frightening spectre.

     Sincerely,

     D.S.
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Beautiful Bird from Ecuador

Dear TIA,

This is just a quick note to send you the picture of a wonderful bird from Ecuador, the country of Our Lady of Good Success.

I hope you and your readers will enjoy it as much as I did,

     Best regards,

     S.G.


A photograph of a beautiful bird


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Which Missal Is the Best?

TIA,

I had been assisting at the Latin Mass, first at the Indult, at Holy Cross Mausoleum, then at Our Lady of Fatima and Our Lady of Mount

Carmel, and I thought I could follow the Missal well enough. I had been using a reprint of Fr. Lasance’ 1945 New Roman Missal, and felt familiar with it when, on the first Palm Sunday with the new, to me, Missal, I became hopelessly lost . That was my first practical demonstration of the 1955-56 Holy Week rites.

Since then, I have acquired a 1957 St. Andrew’s Missal, a gift from our good friend, Joe Shaara, and I have used both, alternately.

Naturally, I think, the question arises, which one do I prefer? The St. Andrew Missal is better bound, more logically laid out, and has the Hail Mary at the end of the Mass, in both English and Latin, which the New Roman Missal lacks.

On the other hand, Fr. Lasance Missal is untainted by Fr. Bugnini’s changes. It’s chunky, which is why my wife, with her petite hands, won’t use it. I would like someone to reprint it in two, or three, volumes, which would solve that difficulty. Also, the reprint has thicker pages, which I find easier to turn during the Mass, a problem I have with the St. Andrew.

Can you tell me whether you have a preference between these two hand missals? Is there another one you would recommend? I started with a St. Joseph Missal, but I very much want to have the Propers AND the Ordinaries in both English and Latin, which leaves out most of the Missals I’ve used. We have a couple of SSPX Missals, with the year 1962 boldly stamped , in gold leaf, on their covers. Aside from the thinner than wafer-thin paper, I have no interest in using the book. I have heard that Archbishop Lefebvre later regretted having settled for the 1962 version.

It’s not a practical problem at our SSPX Masses because, so far, they have retained the second Confiteor (or third, counting the priest’s and servers’ at the beginning of the Mass). Oddly, Fr. Pfeiffer, who has offered Masses in our home, has said, in a recorded sermon, that he has no insurmountable problem with the 1962 Mass. I am unconvinced.

Before I close, I will share with you a story from my childhood. I was in the second grade at Visitation School, in Westchester, when we were tasked with selling subscriptions to the Tidings. I was more interested in the prizes and I sold enough newspapers to win a St. Joseph Missal. I cannot tell you too strongly how disappointed I was, when the prizes came in, to receive a book and not the rocket I expected. Spelling is important.

Thank you for your patience.

     Pax tecum,

     T.P.D.
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TIA responds:

T.P.D.,

Thank you for sharing your concerns with us.

We do not have a special Missal to recommend. As long as they pre-date the reforms of 1955, all Catholic Missals duly approved by the Church seem appropriate.

     Cordially,

     TIA correspondence desk

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Priests Should Not Marry

Dear TIA,

Allow me to comment on this article titled "German Catholic Priest, Stefan Harmann, Asks Pope Francis to Waive His Vow of Celibacy."

Growing up in the traditional Catholic Church and grasping even as a child the supreme value and glory that is the celibacy of the priesthood, I find any Catholic priest not honoring his vow of chastity or asking to have that vow rescinded to be reprehensible to the whole concept of the man as Alter Christus and spiritual Father to all, instead of natural father to a few.

To ask dispensation from this vow is a mockery of the sacrifices, the self-denials, and the great manliness of the past priests. The Council’s despicably worldly novelties, including the easy dispensation of vows for priests, make me nauseated and outraged.

Consider the difficulty of one man embracing two opposite vocations: celibacy and marriage. How can a married priest be expected to keep the Seal of Confession from his wife, the two being one? How can the penitent of either sex continue to humiliate himself in the Sacrament of Penance to another worldly man instead of a trustworthy spiritual father?

Criticisms have been made that a chaste priest, not having been married or experienced family life, could not possibly understand or counsel others on that vocation. Does a doctor have to undergo the same surgery he performs to be a qualified surgeon?

Nothing is more delicate than the soul, and the Catholic priest with his many years’ formation and learning is far superior for the task than a man who may have studied but knows a wife and suffers the troubles of marriage and child-rearing.

Countless married protestant pastors and marriage counselors have broken marriages and dysfunctional children themselves. What help can they be to others when they could not help themselves? Their counsel, now based on personal experience, is much too superficial and narrow to help most people.

Can we forget the words of Christ that no man can serve two masters? Can we forget that the only way to exorcise certain devils is by fasting and chastity? Does the priest who wants to experience marriage have the fortitude or ability to juggle his sacrifice for all in the Church as well as for his own flesh and blood?

Think of the intrigues involved in this obvious mess. How many women can remain unselfish about their husbands being in close quarters with another woman for the most delicate of reasons – the absolution of her sins? Can such a man always remain unswayed by his other half’s personal wishes for his sermons, his counsels, his spiritual life? Will not the desire for family gain test him exceedingly?

On the flip side, how can the anointed fingers consecrated (“set aside”) to touch the Holy of Holies descend to the level of carnal touch? Irreparable damage would be done to the faith of that man in the Real Presence of God elevated by his hands.

I was once told by a doctor that I “must under no circumstances have any more children.” If I did, “one or both of us would die.” He was outspoken in his unhappiness when I did become pregnant with my next child; however, my good priest was not. The priest can be, as this one was, a rock to an emotional mother in an emotionally charged situation.

When I asked him if I were irresponsible before God to have another child, he asked me to tell him my fears. I answered him, “My baby might die and I might die, leaving little ones at home who need me.” His answer I could never forget. He did not cover me with positive thinking. He spoke straight to my soul, which is what I needed then and there. He said, “What does it matter if you do die?”

I was stunned at such words, not hearing such strength before. He continued, “God is the Author of life and death. If He wants you to live, you will not die. And, if He wants you to die, nothing will make you continue to live.” After such words of wisdom and other words of knowledgeable consolation, I overcame my worthless sentimentality and I left his presence much better off and better prepared for everything that was to come. I increased my prayer life and devotions.

Then the unexpected happened. Halfway through that pregnancy, my doctor was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died within a very few weeks.

My new doctor was younger, wiser, and knew exactly what to do in my exceptional case. That happy delivery was the easiest and most painless of all my children, with no cause at all for undue concern. But it was the calm and rational words of the priest that saw me through the many anxieties and reminded me of the power of God to guide us safely through everything.

The Wisdom of Holy Mother Church in exacting the exception of conjugal love from exceptional men is perfect. If a man is not up to the challenges and glories of celibacy, he should simply not make the Catholic priesthood his chosen vocation.

 Even the Marines only want “the few” who are up to the job. Why not also, in the spiritual realm, the Holy Catholic Church?

     In Jesus through Mary,

      C.C.

Posted May 1, 2014
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The opinions expressed in this section - What People Are Commenting - do not necessarily express those of TIA

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