Feast of Corpus Christi

Last Sunday the Feast of Corpus Christi was observed.

I could not let this pass without comment, especially after pointing out how the "ordinal" part of the liturgical year is anything but "ordinary!" The Feast of Corpus Christi is recognition of THE most important Sacrament in the Church!  It is the Feast of the Eucharist!  The Body of Christ!  

As God Himself was hidden in the flesh of man - so too is the flesh of man hidden in the Eucharist.  The Eucharist is God physically present with us through this great Mystery of Faith.  A presence not possible in any Protestant church - and utterly rejected by nearly all of them - yet it is and has been a foundational teaching of THE Church beginning with Scripture and throughout the Early Church Fathers.

June 23rd is the actual feast day, but it is permissible for the bishops to "move" such feasts to the nearest Sunday, and most bishops do this for the Feast of Corpus Christi.

Baptists In Decline

According to the Florida Baptist Witness, which cites further sources, the Southern Baptists are in decline and have shown four straight years of such decline.  Ironically, while the overall numbers are in decline - the number of Baptist churches in Florida actually increased!

Normally I don't really get into such trivialities, but so often we see those who oppose us seeming to delight in any negative news regarding the Catholic Church.  While we have had years of decline as well - well, the moral is that those who live in glass houses, shouldn't throw stones; or considering the log in thine own eye before attempting to remove the mote in the eye of another.

You Cannot Have It Both Ways?


Well, "BloggerPriest" does give good advice - "Sheep Beware" - but I still have to say it's too early to openly criticize Fr. Corapi - yes, it is STILL "FR" Corapi - he's still a priest, he's just not publicly serving as such.   Fr. Jenkins (BloggerPriest) presents a caring position, but one which is still quite critical.  Let us just pray for Fr. Corapi - and pray for God's Will to be done in his life.

Father Corapi Black Sheep Dog

EWTN Raymond Arroyo interviews National Catholic Register reporter, Joan Frawley Desmond regarding the Fr. Corapi scandal.

One point clarified is that, as Fr. Corapi stated himself, "Once a priest, always a priest."  Fr. Corapi is STILL A PRIEST!  He has NOT left the priesthood!  What he HAS left is serving as a PUBLIC priest.  It is a very complex legal and spiritual web which has been weaved here - and we must be careful not to be caught up in it with improper information and especially with improper motives.

Anyway, here is the video from EWTN...

If you have charitable thoughts to contribute, I invite you to do so by adding comments here...

Eucharistic Flash Mob

This is a very interesting approach to the Flash Mob phenomenon! 

Does It Matter What You Wear?

Let me begin by saying that I more frequently attend the "Extraordinary Rite of the Mass" (Traditional Latin Rite and hereafter "ER"), but do visit the Novus Ordo Missae (New Order of the Mass), or "Ordinary Rite" (hereafter "OR") from time to time as well.  One of the first things one may notice in comparing the two is the manner of dress of the people between the two rites.  In the ER we see nearly every one wearing their "Sunday best."  On the contrary at the OR we see SOME in their "Sunday best" - but most seem to be wearing casual/relaxed clothes, as if they just realized, "it's time for Mass" and dropped whatever they were doing and showed up with the "come as you are" look.

Now consider this...  if one is going out to dinner at a fancy restaurant they would "dress up" for it, would they not?  The same can be said of say, a wedding or even a nice company dinner party.  Why?  Because it shows respect to the host AND to those around that you actually care.  So when one goes before THE Wedding Feast (which EVERY valid Mass IS a prefiguring for) then why does not God deserve AT LEAST as much respect as a dinner party or friend/relative's wedding?

I can understand differing cultural views - but living in the USA, which is the perspective I speak from, the cultural view of "dressed up" for men would include nice slacks, dress shirt, dress shoes and perhaps a tie or even a suit.  For women, a long dress or skirt (or at least below the knees), nice blouse and for church - head covering (per 1 Cor. 11:6 - see below).  Does not God Himself deserve the respect to show you care enough to "dress up" a bit for Holy Mass?

So, what are your clothes saying about you when YOU go to Mass?  Did you care enough to "dress up" a bit for God?  Some may argue, "God doesn't care what I wear to Mass."  Well, then why is the one who showed up to the Wedding Feast and refused to wear a wedding garment tied, hands and feet, and thrown out of the Feast into the darkness - where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matt. 22:1-14).  Keep in mind, this guest accepted the invitation to attend - but did not dress appropriately.  Now certainly this was a parable relating to the Kingdom of Heaven - but we must consider that the Mass is a prefiguring of the Kingdom of Heaven! 

Back to head coverings for women, let us look to what St. Paul taught us in his letter to the Corinthians, 1 Cor. 11:2,5-6:
2 I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you.  5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is the same as having her head shaved. 6 For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head.
So, how can a woman justify NOT covering her head in church?  I have heard some women claim that St. Paul is saying that a woman's hair is her covering, but that really makes no sense - for if we look at verses 3 and 4 from the same context and if hair is the "covering" that is spoken of in verses 5 and 6, then every man should be shaved bald before going to church!  Look at verses 3 and 4 now:
3 But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head.
So again, IF the acceptable "covering" for a woman is hair, then every man who has NOT shaved his head for church is disgracing God.  In short, women should still cover their heads since, as St. Paul opens this chapter with the statement that what he's saying is a tradition he passed down to them and it should be held on to, period.  All the rationalizations aside - THIS is what Scripture tells us to do!  Ironically, most Protestant religions, which claim to be "Bible believing" either ignore this verse or rationalize their way around it to minimize Scripture.

Here is a link to a very Traditionalist view: 


I hope I might tack on a little more from a woman's perspective here without abusing my privilege as a contributor.

    I agree that modesty is missing from our culture today.  I can't tell you how many times I have sighed, and grieved for the immodesty and disrespect shown by both sexes to the Body of Christ.  I know a family whose father and two sons appear in "dress" shorts, t-shirts, and sandals during the summer months.  The mother still wears a modest dress or skirt--thank God.  I have seen belly buttons, cleavage, underwear peeking out of the top of pants, flip-flops, beach cover-ups, etc.  I don't understand why one would come to the banquet of the king, or the preview of the wedding feast, as you pointed out, in such immodest dress.

The Visitation
   I took the leap to wearing a veil several Advent seasons past.  I just picked the first Sunday of Advent as an excuse--hoping that it would not seem so strange to those around me.  I had felt the conviction to wear a veil for some time before I finally had the courage not to be one of the crowd.  I did not grow up in the Church so it was not a conviction from my past--although other rules of modesty did come from my former Protestant background.  I felt the Holy Spirit was asking me to do so.  It was a tradition of the church that was not stopped by the Church; women just stopped doing it.

I see the veil not so much as a submissive act--though it absolutely is a sign of submission to God--but as an act of holiness.  Our Lady's body carried the most precious of all life, Our Savior Jesus Christ; she wore a veil.  The Ark of the Covenant, a foreshadow of Mary's Body carrying Christ, was veiled in the Temple.  The Tabernacle which holds the Body of Christ in the Sanctuary of our parishes used to be veiled.  The chalice is veiled when it is brought to the altar.  A woman's body is a special place which holds the potential for life in cooperation and submission to God's will.  A woman's body like all other holy places should be veiled.

As one of about 3 or 4 women that wear a veil at the NO Mass that I attend, I wanted to share my perspective.  I believe it is a powerful message of modesty, submission, and holiness.  I have had women tell me how beautiful I look and they wish they had the courage to wear one.  I pray that my continued practice will give them the courage to do so also.

Here is another good article on the veiling of women in Church.  The author is a woman.  http://www.fisheaters.com/theveil.html

I hope that is alright, Scott. 

The Black Sheep Dog

After just about exactly 20 years as a well respected Catholic priest and frequent speaker/host on Catholic radio and TV, Fr. Corapi is withdrawing from the public ministry as a priest.  He said he will continue as a "Black Sheep Dog" - but not as a priest.  He claims the allegations against him are false andalso claims the system of clearing one's name is nearly insurmountable.  According to NCR (see link below) the allegations were made by a former employee of Santa Cruz Media - as she left she signed a contract not to speak of anything which happened at Santa Cruz Media and it is alleged Fr. Corapi paid her, he is now suing her for breach of contract - and this suit has complicated the investigation.

There's more here:



In my humble opinion...  something just doesn't sound right here.  I am one who will take a "wait and see" attitude.  I would have hoped though, if Fr. Corapi is innocent of these charges, that he would do whatever it takes, persevere through whatever trials face him - and clear his name.  To just leave casts some doubt, in my mind at least - but I know not the details and I am not his judge.


Fr. Corapi's Own Words:

Open Letter to Prof. Hawking

(I started this over a month ago and let it fall by the wayside... I thought I'd finish it and post it...)
In an interview with The Guardian (a U.K. newspaper)

It's one thing to reject a belief in God (or a god), which is something you have not always done, but quite another to resort to childish ridicule over those who do have faith in God (or a god).  Equating persons of faith to those who are "afraid of the dark" was a low-blow, and Prof. Hawking - you should apologize.

Has Prof. Hawking always espoused an atheistic opinion?  Let the reader decide:

On one hand, God is a gambler - leaving things to chance:

“All the evidence shows that God was actually quite a gambler, and the universe is a great casino, where dice are thrown, and roulette wheels spin on every occasion”

On the other hand, "science" has been having a gradual realization that things do NOT happen in an arbitrary/by chance manner. 
“The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired.”

So in the latter comment he does not deny that God COULD be in charge of this "order" seems to be quite the denial of the former comment, that God is a gambler.  Either way, it these are not affirmations of God's existence - nor acclamations of His non-existence - but are a recognition of the possibility of God's existence.

The bottom line is, once a "scientist" goes "dogmatic" and declares that those of faith are "afraid of the dark" or "believing in fairy tales" - then he himself loses scientific credibility.  Matters of faith are not necessarily provable or non-provable - that's why there's FAITH involved here!  Just because something requires some amount of faith to accept it does NOT automatically mean it is not true.  If Hawking stands by his statement that science is realizing a certain underlying "order" - then whom does he assume put this order to these things?  Does "order" have an author?  Does Dr. Hawking believe in "chaos" or "order?"

Material v Formal Heresy

Continued from: http://cathapol.blogspot.com/2011/06/results-of-sola-scriptura.html (and I make a new posting for 2 reasons, 1) the response is getting a bit long and 2) John’s focus has NOT been on what the main point of the earlier posting was about.

John wrote:
Thank you for your response. I do believe I understand the distinction between material and formal heresy. The matter of heresy is holding to a false belief, while the form of heresy is denial of an authority. You can have the matter of heresy (be a modalist) without the form (only because no one has properly explained the Trinity). In that light, from a Roman perspective I would think I would be a formal heretic.

Well, I don’t believe you’ve quite got the concept here.  Matter v. form is a bit different from material v. formal.  The matter and form are things usually applied to a Sacrament... the matter being that which is used for the Sacrament - the form being the words used.  A material heretic is one who may espouse an heretical position unknowingly - while a formal heretic knows what he professes is contrary to the church (and that would be to the church he claims adherence to, e.g., a Catholic knowingly denying defined dogma - in some fundamentalist communities the acceptance of Infant Baptism or Baptism without full immersion would be considered heretical see: http://jesus-messiah.com/html/forney-trinity-baptism.html).

I like the following explanation of matter v. form and a comparison to material v. formal - the terms ARE similar, but not the same:
Every material object exists by virtue of the union of two elements - the stuff it is made of (matter) and the shape the stuff is made in (form). Thus a wine-glass is made out of glass - its matter; but that alone is not sufficient to make it a vessel suitable for drinking wine from; it also needs its form - the shape of a wine-glass.

Scholastic philosophy has taken the distinction of the two constituent elements of natural objects, and applied it, by extension or analogy, to other entities. Its best known theological application is to sin. Each sin is said to consist of its matter (the physical act) and its form (the disordered act of the will). And this application is very useful because it facilitates recognition of the cases in which the matter of the sin is not accompanied by its form. Thus a man who shoots his neighbour has performed the physical act proper to the sin of murder. But if he had blamelessly mistaken his neighbour for a wild animal, his intention was not disorderly. The matter of the sin was present, but not its form. We have come to say that such a man has sinned materially, but not formally. But what that really means is that he is not guilty of sin at all, for in the absence of the formal element, no entity can exist. A material sin is not really, or fully, a sin, any more than a pane of glass is a drinking vessel until it is molded to the shape of one.
In short, while you COULD be a material heretic (the pane of glass) you could not be a FORMAL heretic (the drinking vessal) without be "molded to the shape" of a FORMAL CATHOLIC prior to your FORMAL denial of Catholicism.  That being said, I do believe you're on iffy ground since you're obviously not wholly ignorant of Catholic teaching.  Whether or not your ignorance of particulars could be judged as invincible ignorance would be solely God's judgment of you, not mine.
(Minor edits made on 6/20/2011 to the above explanation and comment.)

From the CE:

The impelling motives are many: intellectual pride or exaggerated reliance on one's own insight; the illusions of religious zeal; the allurements of political or ecclesiastical power; the ties of material interests and personal status; and perhaps others more dishonourable. Heresy thus willed is imputable to the subject and carries with it a varying degree of guilt; it is called formal, because to the material error it adds the informative element of "freely willed".

By the way, as I think I mentioned, I looked at a ton of stuff, not just the current catechism. However, the current catcehism is the one on the Vatican's webpage, so I figured it would be most authoritative and most suited to this purpose.

Again, NO catechism is “official” Catholic teaching.  EVERY catechism is the contemporary explanation OF Church teaching.  A catechism may CITE official Catholic teaching, so it may CONTAIN what you’re looking for, but as a whole - it should be considered a TOOL to learn about Catholic teaching - but look to the footnotes of what is being explained if you want to get to the bottom of “official” statements.

If I had known I could quote from sedevacantist sources, BTW, I would have done so with relish.

Irrelevant to the point at hand.  Even sedevacantists get many things right, but I should have been more careful to cite from a site more in communion with the Catholic Church.  Mea culpa.

For instance, the site you quoted from (and which kept coming up in my searches) has this to say on whether ignorance excuses:

"In other words, Protestants, Nestorians, etc., must be presumed responsible for their external acts in violation of the law of the Church, until and unless the contrary is proven. Consequently, when they formally joined their sect, or publicly lived in accordance with its tenets and its practices, they are presumed to have incurred this juridical infamy, along with the general excommunication for heresy." (The Delict of Heresy, p. 54.)

First off - the primary audience here would be one who LEFT the Catholic Faith and “joined” the heretical sect.  

Anyway, yes, my entire focus is on that last line, because the last line is the part that is dishonest.

Then, as I said - you missed the point of all that led up to that last line (which is one of the reasons I've started this new posting).

Of course there are different denominations. We all already knew that. I don't consider a plurality of denominations to be necessarily a bad thing, so long as they are united by common love. The diversity of opinion amongst Protestants really is not any broader than among Roman Catholics, in my humble experience.

As I pointed out earlier in this response, some fundamentalists consider other Christians to be heretical due to the fact that they either baptize infants or don’t baptize by full immersion.  Yes, many Protestants peacefully co-exist, but many do not.  As for “Roman Catholics” - those who would reject the Bishop of Rome are not “Roman Catholics.”

While disagreement on particulars may damage charity, it doesn't have to damage charity, especially for something so plainly trivial as whether your branch of the Ordinary Baptist Church of God reformed in 1879 or 1917. I doubt I'd even be able to recognize the difference in creeds between those two sub-denominations. Heck, I didn't even know there were that many flavors of Baptist, and where I live Baptist churches are as common as gas stations.

I don’t know about those two particular sects of Baptist - but I do know there are quite a variety of Baptists - and some utterly reject others who call themselves “Baptist.”  Since I was not formerly a Baptist, and cathmom5 was - I’ll let her speak for some of those distinctions.

The main point of contention that I have found in Baptist circles is over how God works in choosing us and us choosing him - which I am told is an issue also with no final determination from RC authorities on the exact mechanics.

Again, I’ll let cathmom5 point out some more distinctions between Baptists (some of which have already been pointed out) where they would fight and even condemn each other.

I'm not sure how you define "schism", or if the catechism's definition has any meaningful application to Protestantism. Some Christians meet in buildings with different signs and that operate under different organizational structures - that doesn't make me consider them "outsiders".

A schism is a separation where a parallel church has been set up with an authority which differs from the one schismed from.  ALL of Protestantism holds to a different authority than Catholicism.  ALL of Protestantism represents differing parallel churches (some perpendicular!) to the One, True Church which Jesus Christ founded and explicitly expressed His desire and that of the Father that we be ONE just as He and the Father are One.  All Protestantism is in heretical schism, but that does not make all Protestants formal heretics. 

Anyway, thank you again for (y)our response and for being very patient with me.

In Christ,

And I thank you for giving me the opportunity to respond to you.  I pray that God guides you on your journey to all truth.


Happy Birthday to the Catholic Church!

Today we celebrate Pentecost and the birth of the Catholic Church!  "If you love Me, you will keep My Word!"  It is in the valid celebration of the Mass (and/or Divine Liturgy) that we truly have this continuation of THE Church which Jesus Christ Himself built - just as He promised He would do upon His Apostles as the 12 foundations with primacy given to St. Peter.  Salvation is found through THAT CHURCH.  

Todays Readings (according to the Extraordinary/Traditional Rite)...

Epistle Acts 2:1-11
When the days of the Pentecost were accomplished, they were all together in one place: And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming: and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues, as it were of fire: and it sat upon every one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost: and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak. Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded in mind, because that every man heard them speak in his own tongue. And they were all amazed, and wondered, saying: "Behold, are not all these that speak Galilean? And how have we heard, every man our own tongue wherein we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews also, and proselytes, Cretes, and Arabians: we have heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God."

Holy Spirit, come and shine
On our souls with beams divine
Issuing from your radiance bright.
Come, O Father of the poor,
Ever bounteous of your store,
Come, our heart's unfailing light.

Come, Consoler, kindest, best,
Come our bosom's dearest guest,
Sweet refreshment, sweet repose.
Rest in labor, coolness sweet,
Tempering the burning heat,
Truest comfort of our woes.

O divinest light, impart
Unto every faithful heart
Plenteous streams from love's bright flood.
But for your blest Deity,
Nothing pure in man could be;
Nothing harmless, nothing good.

Wash away each sinful stain;
Gently shed your gracious rain
On the dry and fruitless soul.
Heal each wound and bend each will,
Warm our hearts benumbed and chill,
All our wayward steps control.

Unto all your faithful just,
Who in you confide and trust,
Deign the sevenfold gift to send.
Grant us virtue's blest increase,
Grant a death of hope and peace,
Grant the joys that never end.
Amen. Alleluia!

GOSPEL John 14:23-31
At that time, Jesus answered and said to him:
"If any one love me, he will keep my word. And my Father will love him and we will come to him and will make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my words. And the word which you have heard is not mine; but the Father's who sent me. "These things have I spoken to you, abiding with you. But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you. Peace I leave with you: my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled: nor let it be afraid. You have heard that I said to you: 'I go away, and I come unto you.' If you loved me you would indeed be glad, because I go to the Father: for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass: that when it shall come to pass, you may believe. I will not now speak many things with you. For the prince of this world: cometh: and in me he hath not any thing. But that the world may know that I love the Father: and as the Father hath given me commandments, so do I. Arise, let us go hence."

Eastertide is almost over - the Ordinal (counting) Sundays after Pentecost begin with next Sunday.  This is the longest season of the liturgical year, lasting 24-28 weeks, and several very high feast days occur within the weeks after Pentecost.  This year, 2011, due to a rather late Easter, has 24 weeks with Advent beginning on Sunday, November 27th.  Some of the other more major feast days during this ordinal period are:
June 19 - Trinity Sunday (movable feast, based on Easter)
June 23 - Feast of Corpus Christi (Body of Christ)
June 29 - Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul
July 1 - Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
July 4 - Feast of the Most Precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ
August 3 - Feast of the Finding of St. Stephen's Body (first Christian martyr)
August 15 - Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
August 29 - Beheading of St. John the Baptist
September 14 - Exaltation of the Holy Cross
October 30 - Feast of Christ the King
November 1 - Feast of All Saints
November 2 - Feast of All Souls

I like to also remind our readers - though this period is commonly called "Ordinary" - it is ANYTHING BUT ORDINARY!  The more PROPER word is "Ordinal" because these are the "counting weeks" after Pentecost (though in the modern lectionary they start counting with the weeks after Epiphany and continue that counting for the weeks after Pentecost).

Charity Covers A Multitude of Sins

Today is the Sunday After the Ascension as celebrated by the Extraordinary Rite (Traditional Latin Rite) of the Catholic Church.  The Epistle reading got me thinking about my Protestant/Separated Brethren again.  Let's read it...

I Peter 4: 7-11
Dearly beloved, Be prudent and watch in prayers. But before all things have a constant mutual charity among yourselves: for charity coevereth a multitude of sins. Using hospitality one towards another, without murmuring: as every man hath received grace, ministering the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak, as the words of God: if any minister, let him do it, as of the power which God administereth: that in all things God may be honored through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The thought occurred to me, if, as according to Protestant belief, Jesus has already covered all our sins and nothing we do changes this, then how could "charity cover a multitude of sins?"  We are to use hospitality towards each other - and do so without murmuring.  As we have received grace, we are to minister that grace to one another - as what?  As good stewards of the manifold grace of God!  

James 5:20 gives us a similar message:
He must know that he who causeth a sinner to be converted from the error of his way, shall save his soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins.

Again, the converting of a sinner covers a multitude of sins.

I seek to share the manifold grace we Catholics have received with our Separated Brethren - and urge them to end their separation from the Church founded and built by Jesus Christ Himself - and not upon traditions of men who separated from that Church within the last 500 years - or as in the case of the Orthodox who left our communion some 500 years prior to the dawn of Protestantism.

Results of Sola Scriptura?

A bit of a humorous look at sola scriptura...

OK, it's a humorous approach - but there's some underlying truth to it!  With all the divisions the protestors have put upon Christ's body - some truly end with one sect condemning any other sect which does not believe as they do.  Would someone from a differing Baptist sect push another off the bridge to their death?  Not likely, but the hyperbolic portrayal of this cartoon underscores one of the fatal flaws of sola scriptura.  Are you one who believes in sola scriptura?  Did the video make you chuckle, or make you feel uncomfortable?  My purpose in posting it (reposting it, actually the original is here) is to get people to think about sola scriptura and to generate discussion on what it REALLY means and what it ultimately results in.

Addendum:  In doing a little search on Beggars All for my name, I found an article which mentioned "The Scott Windsor approach."  I have left a comment/response over there.  You can see that by using "The Scott Windsor approach" (click here).  That subject matter was sola scriptura as well, which is why I mention it here.


Feast of the Assumption

 The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - another example of "not-so-ordinary" days! These are COUNTING days - and...