The SPL Weekly: Issue № 18

From SPL

This Great Sacrament We Hail: 2 Eucharistic Hymns by Thomas Aquinas
Listers, “down in adoration falling / this great sacrament we hail.” The Feast of Corpus Christi is amongst the most important feasts of the liturgical calendar, especially given our modern epidemic of misbelief or disbelief amongst Catholics in the Eucharist as the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

7 Introductory Catholic Thoughts on Machiavelli’s The Prince
Machiavelli did much more than separate morals and politics.

“In general, Machiavelli is seen as the philosopher who separated morality from politics and advocated the “end justifies the means” principle to govern political thought. At worst, he sometimes seen as the thinker who freed political thought from religion and other superfluous external moral codes, and rooted it in practical reality. However, taking the perspective of the ancients looking forward to Machiavelli – not modernity looking back – it is evident that Machiavelli did much more than separate morality from politics. He separated politics from an ordered cosmos.”

5 More Short Stories That Every Catholic Should Read
Listers, fiction has a savage appeal to authors and readers because they get entertainment out of some character’s suffering or unhappiness. However, to the credit of all fans of the written word, they also derive entertainment in a resolution, but that always means that something must first be resolved. Why are we, members of humanity, so obsessed with this tension between conflict and resolution?

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Elsewhere on the Internet

VIDEO: Corpus Christi Procession (1941)
Humbling to see thousands of Irish folk, from the Army to young children, process publicly through the streets of Cork and adore the Eucharist.

NYT runs dung-caked Mary painting again, won’t run Muhammad cartoons
The paper previously defended its decision not to run Muhammad cartoons because they “do not normally publish images or other material deliberately intended to offend religious sensibilities.” Our Blessed Mother covered in elephant dung? No problem, evidently.

VIDEO: What to Expect from Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the Environment

“It is not as if the Catholic Church has never commented on environmental issues ever before in the past. So, here is what the encyclical will contain…”

Marian Devotion As The Best Christian Answer To Modernity

“If the modern heresies are really a coordinated assault on human nature, then what better response than to contemplate and put forward God’s masterpiece among His creatures, the one in whom human nature is most perfected by grace?”

Should Children be in Church or in Cry Rooms?

“a loud Mass, one which includes plenty of gooing and gaaing, is a sign of a healthy parish. Young people are getting married and having babies, lots of them, and providing more souls for the kingdom of heaven.  It would be a pity to shove these little victories aside for our own selfish feelings.”

Pope Francis Decries ‘Crisis’ of Traditional Marriage
Pope Francis breaks silence on Irish “Yes Vote”:

“Less than a week after Ireland’s landslide passage of a gay marriage referendum, which the Vatican qualified as ‘a defeat for humanity,’ Pope Francis underscored the indispensable role of mothers and fathers and said that when marriage is seen ‘as a mere form of emotional gratification,’ it loses its value for society.”

Cardinal Kasper Back Pedals on Papal Endorsement of Controversial Proposal
Good, good, good.

“No … he did not approve my proposal. The Pope wanted that I put the question, and afterwards in a general way, before all the Cardinals, he expressed his satisfaction with my talk. But not the end, not in the … I wouldn’t say he approved the proposal, no, no, no.”

One Chancery, Six Charges – Twin Cities Church Hit With Criminal Counts

“Two years since a storm of revelations of abuse and cover-up began bearing down on the archdiocese of St Paul and Minneapolis, yesterday saw the tumult take yet another eruptive turn as the bankrupt Twin Cities church was institutionally charged with six “gross misdemeanors” of child endangerment stemming from its handling of a now-jailed and laicized cleric whose pattern of misconduct is alleged to have continued into 2011.”

Pope Francis wants Vatican liturgy chief to continue the work of Benedict XVI

“Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, revealed in a letter sent to a liturgical conference this week that when he was appointed to his post, Pope Francis indicated a desire to continue the liturgical work done by his predecessor as Bishop of Rome.”

Why I Am NOT Leaving the Catholic Church

“Before I became Catholic, I disdained the Church for many of the reasons that caused people to fall away from the Faith. But to paraphrase Chesterton, I thought I had tried the Catholic Church and found it wanting, when in fact I had found it difficult and left untried. Once I truly opened myself up – opened myself simply to being fair to the Church, to considering the infinite Truths it tenderly cared for in spite of and in the midst of the Church shepherds’ small or glaring imperfections, I realized that the Church is a Truth and a Body unlike any other.”

The Economist on the man crisis

“As a free-market oriented publication, The Economist is usually very interested in incentives and bargaining. The working class men they are talking about are rational agents: they are responding to incentives. The change in behaviour The Economist describes from the hard-working, dependable working class men of yore to the selfish layabouts to today – both stereotypical generalisations, but with a grain of truth – is, therefore, a response to incentives. The Economist’s powers of economic analysis seem to have deserted it here, however: the articles display no interest in how useful incentives could be restored in some form.”

On the Purpose of Aridity in the Spiritual Life

“None of us who commit to prayer and the spiritual life enjoy those periods during which prayer, liturgy, or spiritual reading seem dry or dull. But such moments are necessary—or so it would seem—for God permits them.”

Don’t miss the lovely recording of Sicut Cervus at the bottom of the page.

Pope Francis on Medjugorje: it’s almost decision time

“When asked by a Bosnian journalist about the status of his decision on the Marian apparitions in Medjugorje on his flight from Sarajevo to Rome, Pope Francis said that after a lengthy study, a decision could be coming soon.”

African, European bishops’ meeting promotes an authentic ‘joy of the family

“The participants included bishops from Africa and eastern Europe, who were among the strongest defenders of the Church’s traditional teaching and practice at the 2014 Synod of Bishops, and who are certain to promote Christian values and to counter any initiatives that would go beyond Catholic teaching.”

What ‘renewing the Church’ really requires
Wow. Very straight talk from Archbishop Chaput, here’s a sample:

“So, what is to be done? We can start by understanding that the Church 20 years from now — even here in Philadelphia, which values tradition so highly — will be smaller, less wealthy, less influential and probably less free to do her work than at any time in the last century. For believers, our job, starting now, is to make sure she is also more zealous, more faithful and better led.”

Holy See puts Fellay in charge of trying one of his own priests

“This is not the first time the SSPX has made recourse to Rome when it comes to delicta graviora and dispensations from priestly obligations. What is new in this case is that the former Holy Office headed by Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller has decided to entrust the case to Mgr. Fellay himself, making him first-instance trial judge.”

Transgender Surgery Isn’t the Solution
Is society placing politics over science? Dr. McHugh, former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital:

“This intensely felt sense of being transgendered constitutes a mental disorder in two respects. The first is that the idea of sex misalignment is simply mistaken—it does not correspond with physical reality. The second is that it can lead to grim psychological outcomes.”

‘Call me Caitlyn, or else’: the rise of authoritarian transgender politics
Society demands we praise.

“The photo is indeed iconic. And not just in the shallow celeb meaning of that word. It’s iconic in the traditional sense, too, in that it’s being venerated as an actual icon, a devotional image of an apparently holy human. It’s an image we’re all expected to bow down to, whose essential truth we must imbibe; an image you question or ridicule at your peril, with those who refuse to genuflect before it facing excommunication from polite society. Yesterday’s Jennermania confirms how weirdly authoritarian, even idolatrous, trans politics has become.”

Corpus Christi: No Other Religion Has Dared This

“Apart from Christianity, no other religion has ever dared assert such a close propinquity between God and men. Indeed, even among Christians, all do not believe in the reality of this presence.”


“The difficulty of explaining ‘why I am a Catholic’ is that there are ten thousand reasons all amounting to one reason: that Catholicism is true.” — G.K. Chesterton

Thank you for reading!

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The SPL Weekly: Issue № 16


Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.
V. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray. O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise, and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda fidelium: et tui amoris in eis ignem accende.
V. Emitte Spiritum tuum, et creabuntur.
R. Et renovabis faciem terrae.
Oremus. Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere; et de eius semper consolatione gaudere. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.

What We Published

Great Books: 31 Political Works Recommended by Faithful Catholic Colleges
Listers, certain “Great Books” have shaped the course of the Western world. Mortimer J. Adler, a Roman Catholic philosopher and professor, presented three criterion for a book to be considered “great,” he stated:

  1. The book has contemporary significance: that is, it has relevance to the problems and issues of our times.
  2. The book is inexhaustible: it can be read again and again with benefit.
  3. The book is relevant to a large number of the great ideas and great issues that have occupied the minds of thinking individuals for the last 25 centuries.

While over one hundred universities and colleges in the United States and Canada have some form of a Great Books program, SPL has relied on three to compile this list: Thomas Aquinas College, the University of Dallas, and Ave Maria University.

I Smell Heresy – 11 Cardinal Burke Memes
I Smell Heresy

May Catholics Overthrow or Even Kill a Tyrant? – 9 Comments by Aquinas
What options do Catholics have?
“In contemplating the assassination of Julius Caesar, a young Aquinas seemed to state that not only can a Catholic kill a tyrant, there are times he should be praised for it. Later in life, when writing at the request of the King of Cyprus, Aquinas takes a very different view…”

Elsewhere on the Internet

Foster Care and Religious Freedom

“As federal, state, and local governments continue to expand their laws and regulations regarding gender identity, conflicts over religious objections are sure to grow. Judging by an item on the website of the Department of Health and Human Services, one flash point could well be foster parenting.”

How an Iraqi friar saved ancient Christian manuscripts from IS

“You are going to get us killed with your archives," Michaeel’s assistant Watheq Qassab grumbled as he struggled to carry six boxes of the documents dated between the 13th and 19th century across the border from Iraq into Kurdistan in August last year.”

For Beauty and Prayer Plant a Mary Garden

“The early Christians, especially during the Middles Ages, knew not only the names but also the meanings behind the flowers. As they planted Mary Gardens, they knew larkspur stood for Our Lady’s Tears and cultivated herbs like rosemary symbolized Mary’s Bouquet.”

Does your family have a Mary Garden? Your parish? We welcome you to share photos of any Mary Gardnes you have in the comments section below.

Ireland has said ‘yes’ to gay marriage and ‘no’ to Catholicism

“[T]he Yes vote [i.e. yes to allowing homosexual “marriage”] was undoubtedly a reflection of growing tolerance towards gays and lesbians. But it was also a politically trendy, media backed, well financed howl of rage against Catholicism. How the Church survives this turn, is not clear. It’ll require a lot of hard work and prayers.”

The Republic of Ireland, by popular vote, has altered their very constitution to embrace homosexual “marriage”. Undoubtedly, the Church will survive this turn, of that we are promised by Christ himself. However, the nature of that survival may indeed be painful for those who remain faithful to Christ’ teachings on marriage.

Brain Williams writes at One Peter 5 about What Ireland’s Gay Marriage Vote Says About Us:

“Our contemporary culture, not just in Ireland but all of western society, has no understanding of what marriage means anymore. Now it is just legally “going steady” with whatever warm blooded mammal one wishes to identify as their soul mate, or possibly several soul mates if polygamy suits ones fancy.”

UK Priest, Fr. Blake confronts some more uncomfortable facts revealed by the resounding Yes Vote in neighboring Ireland:

“What is so remarkable is how Ireland has thrown of Catholicism, or put it another way, what is remarkable is how easy contemporary Catholicism is thrown off. Those roots which were once presumed to run deep into the Irish psyche, that helped her survive poverty and oppression, that produce enormous numbers of priests and religious who shaped the Catholic world, are shown to have been in reality shallow indeed.”

Marriage: God’s Design for Life and Love

“As with other DVDs from St. Anthony Communications, it is very beautifully produced and articulates Catholic teaching in the area of Marriage and Natural Law unambiguously and with great clarity, making this a valuable resource for parishes and schools alike.”

San Fran Teachers Shift from Contracts to Doctrine
From an open letter to Archbishop Cordilione:

“To hear a gay student, or a child of in vitro fertilization, stand on the Cathedral plaza and say: ‘This language is wrong’ echoes that young man who stood up in Nazareth quoting that same prophet Isaiah and then pronouncing to the dismay of the learned elders: ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in the hearing.’ Today, a great reversal in Church teaching is underway as we witness.”

To be clear: any “reversal” is not the Archbishiop’s doing. He is faithfully upholding Catholic teaching which is exactly his job. Also, the assertion that the Church’s teaching is somehow harmful to a “gay student, or a child of in vitro fertilization” demonstrates either a complete misunderstanding of the teaching, a misunderstanding of the nature of man, or both.

“Communion Procession” in a new Dark Age?

“It was in the nineteenth century that Catholicism in many countries was reformed very radically in its social manifestations. Cardinal Cullen, Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland, presided over a revolution which eliminated the centuries-old peasant Catholicism of Irish culture (elements of which I strongly suspect go back to the sixth century) and finally imposed the discipline … I nearly wrote ‘military discipline’ … of the Counter-Reformation.”

See also Part II from Fr. Hunwicke.

How to Be One Hell of a Catholic Evangelist

“Is it true that modern Catholics don’t respond to threats of hellfire and brimstone? There is no way to know, as even the mention of Hell has been expunged from almost every Catholic parish in America. Other than the word “contraceptive,” there is no word more shunned in the parish pulpit. Further, it is in this environment of diligently avoiding any mention of Hell that the Church’s numbers have dropped precipitously.”

Baltimorean Justice

“But justice operates differently. It primarily involves a focus on the individual situation between two parties. It is concerned with discerning what is right and doing so in a balanced manner. We have to trust the process. Because otherwise, emotions and prejudices rule.”

Vatican appointee says gay sex can express Christ’s ‘self-gift’

“‘The Holy Father is only a man, and is limited in how much he can know about any and every appointment,’ Father Nicholson wrote. ‘His primary language is Spanish and perhaps he has not been sufficiently briefed. And that may be done intentionally by those around him.’”

Let us pray that Pope Francis does not intend this as a sign of support for these dangerous and false beliefs.


“Not welcoming children, not being orientated to the transmission of life, as so much of our culture to is not so orientated is against nature, it is a fantasy world, that will inevitably result in serious unhappiness.”

Prophets of Truth in a Decadent Age

“We are so accustomed to hearing praise heaped upon the liturgical reform that we can too quickly forget the many clear-sighted men and women — and not just Ratzinger, even if he came to be the most famous — who spoke out against the Church’s marginalization and destruction of her own heritage at the very moment it was happening.”

This list of quotes compiled by New Liturgical Movement is worth a bookmark for reference.

Cardinal Pell: No Parent Should Fail to Teach Christ’s Core Teachings

“Our task is not to lament our situation together, but to identify the way ahead, the practical steps that can be taken. We are also called to live out the Christian virtues in a way that outsiders can admire and to speak a language sympathetic outsiders can understand.”

Parents, take 5 or 6 minutes to read this transcript of a recent speech by Cardinal Pell about the importance of your ecclesia domestica.

Everyone Benefits From Religious Liberty Protections

“The debates over state religious freedom laws has devolved into partisan and ideological warfare. But those who oppose these laws should reconsider viewing “religious liberty” as a stronghold of their opponents that they must destroy in an ideological battle. Religious liberty is not an enclave of one’s political enemies. Religious liberty protects every one of us.”

Bishops Need Science, Not Gay Propaganda

“… German bishops’ claims do not faithfully reflect psychological and medical science on the origins of same-sex attractions. Catholic bishops should not only resist pressures to conform, but should be promoting the benefits of treatment, as well as participation in the Church’s Courage apostolate.”

No. Pope Francis did not call Abbas an “Angel of Peace”

“Fr. Lombardi said that the ‘meaning to encourage the commitment to peace seems clear to me and I believe that it is necessary to specify that that the same gift of the symbol of the angel of peace is given by the Pope with this intention to many presidents and not just Abbas.’”

Also on the subject, Edward Pentin at the National Catholic Register reports:

“after giving Abbas a medallion with the figure of the angel of peace, the Pope told him: ‘The angel of peace destroys the evil spirit of war. I thought about you: may you be an angel of peace.’ It went on to say that Pope Francis did call Abbas a ‘man of peace’ during his visit to the Holy Land in 2014, but he also gave the same label to former Israeli President Shimon Peres during the same visit.”

Churches That Pay to Help Poor But Don’t Pray With Them Are Like NGOs

“This kind of assertion generally provokes surprise from those Catholics, who actually attend weekly Sunday Mass, where all of this culture-war messaging is supposedly unleashed.”

Wherein Fr. Z rants and cracks the whip

“I received word a few weeks ago about a move that was to be made in the Diocese of St. Petersburg in Florida, by the local bishop, to reduce the celebration of Holy Mass using the 1962 Missale Romanum.”

See also the coverage from One Peter 5: Bishop Lynch and the Dismantling of Summorum Pontificum

UK Bishop O’Toole Wants “Systematised Provision” of the TLM
Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom:

“Somebody pinch me. This is a dream come true. This is exactly the kind of thing devotees of the Traditional Latin Mass have been looking for since…well, since the Mass was changed.”

Benedictine nuns make their home on the range

“Sister Maria Walburga Schortemeyer is at home wading through the mud and manure of a barnyard in boots, work pants, a fleece jacket, and her white veil. Minutes later, in the black-and-white habit of a Benedictine nun, she is equally at home singing psalms and praying the Divine Office in a chapel with other nuns.”

In Chilling Lawsuit, Pregnant Satanist Sues Over Abortion Restrictions

“A 22 year old pregnant Satanist going by the name “Mary” is claiming in a new lawsuit that the state’s waiting period for abortion stands against her religion.”

Please address me as Mister. I insist.

“Our society is suffering from a tyranny of informality. It is rude. It is false intimacy. It is a product of the utopian, egalitarian fiction that society is one big happy village. A friendship circle, where we’re all holding hands. Station and hierarchy should be leveled because they are so nineteenth-century. In the modern world, we are all equal — so we are all pals.”


“We live in a highly secularized society in Germany. This fact should not discourage us and make us look at harmonizing ourselves with the mainstream, but rather be an opportunity to rediscover the uniqueness of the Christian vocation in the world today.”

Five German Bishops Back Bishop’s Public Criticism of Lay Statement

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