Category Archives: Articles

St. John Fisher: Resistance to Tyranny

St.JohnFisher2Today is the feast of the twin martyrs, St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More. There are books yet to be written on both, for all that have been written, but since so many more have been written on the latter I wish to write more on the former.

Now, in the first place, Fisher was a far greater theologian than St. Thomas More, who was a rhetorician and a lawyer, though no less devout a layman than Fisher was a bishop. Fisher established the seminary system in all but name, and made sure good preaching was the norm. This is rather an interesting thing.  In the late Renaissance, patronage, which was designed to move ahead those who were worthy had become instead a way of rewarding friends and picking favorites. Men became pastors and bishops solely due to royal favor, and the Popes tended not to care because they received the first year’s income of that diocese, a sort of Church tax called the Annates. Suffice it to say the whole thing had gone very wrong in the fifteenth century, and now preaching was a rarity. Some Bishops did not preach a sermon in their lives. Many bishops lived elsewhere, and would attempt to have other dioceses consecrated under them, or when those had been exhausted abbeys, so they could live it up in Paris or Rome or some other large city, and appoint a vicar for low pay to administer his diocese. These often did not do so well, particularly since they were not paid for the job. At the time St. Charles Borromeo entered Milan as its Archbishop, there had not been a Bishop who actually resided in Milan for 125 years! Yet that holy reforming bishop had a portrait of two saints in his room, one of St. Ambrose, and the other of St. John Fisher.

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Sandro Magister in the Pontificate of Mercy

sandro_magisterMany readers following papal affairs may be familiar with Sandro Magister’s blog. He is a veteran journalist writing for the Italian paper L’Espresso. He is also noted for having the cajones to criticize Francis and not fall in line like so many yes men, even though he is by no stretch a Traditionalist. His blog chiesa (linked above) also has good English translations, making commentary closer to the Vatican accessible for those who do not speak Italian. Continue reading

More reasons to ignore Pope Francis quotes

Mideast PopeThere are lots of quotes running around from Pope Francis, which cause fulminations on Facebook, or other places. Now what Francis actually says is troubling enough, but too often, and perhaps because of his unprepared speeches where he confuses people, it is more believable when hoaxes appear as though they were what he had said. Continue reading

Temporary break

I apologize for the break in posting. I was hoping to keep things more regular. I have, however, been very busy. Later today, I hope to announce the publication of the first-ever English translation of St. Robert Bellarmine’s De Romano Pontifice, books 1-2. Books 3-5 are planned for next month, depending on the editors.

It is interesting. After I produce a rough draft, which isn’t usually as hard on grammar as on punctuation, I then go and edit and reformulate a bit. Then the editor gets it and I get it back with a ton of red. Most of it is punctuation. The problem is when you are looking at a book from the 1580s, you tend to use the punctuation you are looking at unless you can consciously stop and think about what you’re doing, which is hard when your managing making the English work. Usually, it is that commas and semicolons are in the exact opposite places they ought and things of that sort.Then there is the Oxford comma. I love the Oxford comma, no one else does. Then there are the differences between US and UK spelling, and I get mixed up as I admire UK English and so wish we used it over here. (btw, now would be a good time to apologize to any UK readers of my work for not using what I consider your superior style in spelling and punctuation).

Then I run spell check, which is tedious because of the large number names that you have to either add or skip, then I format it for a proof copy, then I read it over again. Then I control F and look for the common spelling errors as a result of my typing speed, such as hte for the, and the like, and surprisingly I always get at least one, even after all the aforesaid labor! Then I normally give things like this to my wife, because, though she is not theologically trained, she is sharp and has a good sense for what people will understand, and make further recommendations which are usually very good, unless it’s on an area of technical terminology or something. That saved my tail with the last Bellarmine translation, because I do my own translations from the fathers, and a few of them made sense to me because I looked at the Latin and the Greek and it made sense, but in plain English it was too harsh, so I had to discipline myself to take a careful look. The frustrating thing is I do the work of about five people who are normally involved in the production of the book, including the cover design.

At any rate, I hope to make this announcement later in the day, once the proof is approved and the Amazon page loads. You can also buy it direct from me, and I will have that page linked up as well.

Thanks to all for the prayers and support for the Robert Bellarmine project. I know most people will buy the book for Book II, Chapter 30 (loss of papal office), but that is a minor point. On that note, a sedevacantist e-mailed me demanding to know if I translated that particular section correctly. The cheek! One can rest assured that while I may make an error, I will never mis-represent something in translation. You will find that section better than it is currently found online.

But don’t get mired in a 7 page explication out of a 330 page book! There are so many amazing things in here. In fact, in the wikipedia page on Papal primacy, they list a number of arguments against Papal primacy as though they were unanswerable, yet they are all refuted by Bellarmine in this book. Things like did the African Bishops reject papal authority in the Sixth Council of Carthage? Did Peter go to Rome? The chronology and history of Peter. That only the Bishop of Rome has been held to be the head of the whole Church. Every argument is grounded in Scripture and the Fathers. Bellarmine also injects a good bit of humor into the book. For instance: “Illyricus (a Lutheran) has published a book on this subject, which is filled with lies, abuse, and besides two arguments.”

I might even have a special deal for all readers of this website.

A Preview of De Romano Pontifice: Peter alone was made a Bishop by Christ

de_romano_pontifice_front_coverI am preparing to publish volume 1 of my translation of De Romano Pontifice, which will embrace books 1 and 2, very soon. The editing has taken a little longer than I thought it would, though it has helped me to catch up on finishing books 3 and 4 and hopefully starting on 5 (the shortest one) for release as volume 2.

So today I have decided to post a snippet as a preview of the work, which will hopefully be published soon. Continue reading

The Tragedy of Bishop Finn

A breaking news item, at the minute of this posting, is the resignation of Bishop Finn from the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph. According to a news report:

“Bishop Robert W. Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph has resigned, nearly two and a half years after being the first U.S. bishop convicted of a misdemeanor in failing to report suspected child abuse by a priest in his diocese.

The Vatican confirmed Pope Francis’ acceptance of Bishop Finn’s resignation according to Canon 104 Article 2 in the Code of Canon Law in an April 21 statement, released at noon local time.

Article 2 of Canon 104, according to the Vatican’s website, refers to a situation when “a diocesan bishop who has become less able to fulfill his office because of ill-health or some other grave cause is earnestly requested to present his resignation from office.” [source]

So essentially, the loss of prestige and the apparent damage of the conviction have led Finn to resign. Nevertheless, this raises several questions, particularly with the interesting history of the division in the Kansas City diocese, and the hate that was vented against him for years by the heterodox. Let us start in a few places. Continue reading

End of the Reform of the Reform

CaravaggioEcceHomoThe family split in the Matt family, which formed the two different conservative newspapers, the Wanderer and the Remnant respectively, is perhaps a microcosm of conservative movements in the Church here in the United States (in Europe, Latin America, and elsewhere, it is similar but different in many respects, e.g. European traditionalists I have known find the American Traditionalist obsession with women wearing skirts and veils puzzling. Thus not all issues are the same. So what I am going to say here is only intended with reference to the situation in this country).

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The Perpetual Virginity of the Dei Para: Virginity during Birth

The Nativity with St. Lawrence and St. Francis -Michaelangelo Merisi da Caravagio

The Nativity with St. Lawrence and St. Francis
-Michaelangelo Merisi da Caravagio

Thesis II

Beata Deipara cum ante partum Virginem fuisset, tum remansisset Virginem inviolatam in partu.

The Blessed Mother of God not only was a virgin before birth, but also remained an inviolate virgin even during birth.

In the first Thesis of this doctrine, we showed, irrefutably from the sources of our religion that Mary was a Virgin before birth. This point is not contended by Protestants, nor any true Catholic, but only by modernists, and those not of the Catholic faith.

Now we take up the second part of this dogma, which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary was a Virgin during birth, which likewise carries the Note of de fide. This means that in the act of giving birth, Mary remained a Virgin, that is to say the physical quality that imparts Virginity remained in tact. Continue reading

St. Thérèse: Saint of the Little Way

St_ThereseLaundry“She is the greatest saint of modern times.” -Pope Pius XI

Pope Pius XI gave St. Thérèse one of the greatest titles in canonizing a saint. He declared her the greatest saint of our time, which suggests there is more to her life than walking about happily and strewing flowers.

Yet I often encounter Catholics who are deluded by this idea, who instead of understanding her great simplicity, think that Thérèse is merely a simpleton. Then there is another class who believe St. Thérèse represents the happy-go lucky, care free attitude to spirituality of the Novus Ordo. This is entirely incorrect either. Continue reading

Put an end to BCE and CE

Originally Published 7 May 2010 on the old Athanasius Contra Mundum

The Annunciation -Fra Angelico

The Annunciation
-Fra Angelico

I’ve been searching through a lot of historical documentaries lately, and I’ve been noticing some still use the dating “B.C.” and “A.D.” (Before Christ and Anno Domini), while others have switched over completely to the politically correct “B.C.E.” and “C.E.” (Before the Common Era and Common Era respectively).

One of the reasons I detest this change is not because some people are not Christian and don’t want reminders of the Church even in their dates, nor is it because some people think it shortchanges other religions. It is for the simple reason that it is dishonest. Continue reading