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Thursday 29 February 2024


One may recall a letter under the pseudonym, Demos, about the state of the papacy. It was apparently written by a Cardinal whom it is thought was the late George Cardinal Pell. 

A Memorandum on the Next Conclave Is Circulating Among the Cardinals. Here It Is - Settimo Cielo - Blog - L’Espresso (archive.org)

A "Demos II" has issued another.

My post below questioned the wisdom and relevance of both Vatican I and Vatican II and that both need to be thrown into the dustbin of history. The whole concept of "infallibility" has been used as a cudgel against the faithful. Save your commentary and accusations on this point, I have no time, nor patience for your inanity. Both of those Councils gave us Francis. Some day, the Church will need to send Vatican II to the dustbin of history and the absurd parts of Vatican I that have allowed a Francis to take place and causes continuous estrangement with the Orthodox.

The Cardinal has remained anonymous. We know well what Bergoglio will do and that is to strip him of his red. This is why they remain silent. Bergoglio will not listen and they must be at the next conclave to ensure, we hope, that any Francis II is jettisoned. 

Here is the text:

A profile of the next Pope, writes Cardinal - Daily Compass (newdailycompass.com)

The Vatican Tomorrow 

In March 2022, an anonymous text appeared – signed “Demos” and titled “The Vatican Today” – that raised a number of serious questions and criticisms regarding the pontificate of Pope Francis. Conditions in the Church since that text appeared have not materially changed, much less improved. Thus, the thoughts offered here are intended to build on those original reflections in light of the needs of the Vatican tomorrow. 

The concluding years of a pontificate, any pontificate, are a time to assess the condition of the Church in the present, and the needs of the Church and her faithful going forward. It is clear that the strength of Pope Francis’ pontificate is the added emphasis he has given to compassion toward the weak, outreach to the poor and marginalized, concern for the dignity of creation and the environmental issues that flow from it, and efforts to accompany the suffering and alienated in their burdens. 

Its shortcomings are equally obvious: an autocratic, at times seemingly vindictive, style of governance; a carelessness in matters of law; an intolerance for even respectful disagreement; and – most seriously – a pattern of ambiguity in matters of faith and morals causing confusion among the faithful. Confusion breeds division and conflict. It undermines confidence in the Word of God. It weakens evangelical witness. And the result today is a Church more fractured than at any time in her recent history.

The task of the next pontificate must therefore be one of recovery and reestablishment of truths that have been slowly obscured or lost among many Christians. These include but are not limited to such basics as the following:  (a) no one is saved except through, and only through, Jesus Christ, as he himself made clear; (b) God is merciful but also just, and is intimately concerned with every human life, He forgives but He also holds us accountable, He is both Savior and Judge; (c) man is God’s creature, not a self-invention, a creature not merely of emotion and appetites but also of intellect, free will, and an eternal destiny; (d) unchanging objective truths about the world and human nature exist and are knowable through Divine Revelation and the exercise of reason; (e) God’s Word, recorded in Scripture, is reliable and has permanent force; (f) sin is real and its effects are lethal; and (g) his Church has both the authority and the duty to “make disciples of all nations.” The failure to joyfully embrace that work of missionary, salvific love has consequences. As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:16, “woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel.”

Some practical observations flow from the task and list above. 

First: Real authority is damaged by authoritarian means in its exercise. The Pope is a Successor of Peter and the guarantor of Church unity. But he is not an autocrat. He cannot change Church doctrine, and he must not invent or alter the Church’s discipline arbitrarily. He governs the Church collegially with his brother bishops in local dioceses. And he does so always in faithful continuity with the Word of God and Church teaching. “New paradigms” and “unexplored new paths” that deviate from either are not of God. A new Pope must restore the hermeneutic of continuity in Catholic life and reassert Vatican II’s understanding of the papacy’s proper role.

Second: Just as the Church is not an autocracy, neither is she a democracy. The Church belongs to Jesus Christ. She is his Church. She is Christ’s Mystical Body, made up of many members. We have no authority to refashion her teachings to fit more comfortably with the world. Moreover, the Catholic sensus fidelium is not a matter of opinion surveys nor even the view of a baptized majority. It derives only from those who genuinely believe and actively practice, or at least sincerely seek to practice, the faith and teachings of the Church. 

Third: Ambiguity is neither evangelical nor welcoming. Rather, it breeds doubt and feeds schismatic impulses. The Church is a community not just of Word and sacrament, but also of creed. What we believe helps to define and sustain us. Thus, doctrinal issues are not burdens imposed by unfeeling “doctors of the law.” Nor are they cerebral sideshows to the Christian life. On the contrary, they’re vital to living a Christian life authentically, because they deal with applications of the truth, and the truth demands clarity, not ambivalent nuance. From the start, the current pontificate has resisted the evangelical force and intellectual clarity of its immediate predecessors. The dismantling and repurposing of Rome’s John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family and the marginalizing of texts like Veritatis Splendor suggest an elevation of “compassion” and emotion at the expense of reason, justice, and truth. For a creedal community, this is both unhealthy and profoundly dangerous. 

Fourth: The Catholic Church, in addition to Word, sacrament, and creed, is also a community of law. Canon law orders Church life, harmonizes its institutions and procedures, and guarantees the rights of believers. Among the marks of the current pontificate are its excessive reliance on the motu proprio as a tool for governance and a general carelessness and distaste for canonical detail. Again, as with ambiguity of doctrine, disregard for canon law and proper canonical procedure undermines confidence in the purity of the Church’s mission. 

Fifth: The Church, as John XXIII so beautifully described her, is mater et magistra, the “mother and teacher” of humanity, not its dutiful follower; the defender of man as the subject of history, not its object. She is the bride of Christ; her nature is personal, supernatural, and intimate, not merely institutional. She can never be reduced to a system of flexible ethics or sociological analysis and remodeling to fit the instincts and appetites (and sexual confusions) of an age. One of the key flaws in the current pontificate is its retreat from a convincing “theology of the body” and its lack of a compelling Christian anthropology . . . precisely at a time when attacks on human nature and identity, from transgenderism to transhumanism, are mounting. 

Sixth: Global travel served a pastor like Pope John Paul II so well because of his unique personal gifts and the nature of the times. But the times and circumstances have changed. The Church in Italy and throughout Europe – the historic home of the faith – is in crisis. The Vatican itself urgently needs a renewal of its morale, a cleansing of its institutions, procedures, and personnel, and a thorough reform of its finances to prepare for a more challenging future. These are not small things. They demand the presence, direct attention, and personal engagement of any new Pope. 

Seventh and finally: The College of Cardinals exists to provide senior counsel to the Pope and to elect his successor upon his death. That service requires men of clean character, strong theological formation, mature leadership experience, and personal holiness. It also requires a Pope willing to seek advice and then to listen. It’s unclear to what degree this applies in the Pope Francis pontificate. The current pontificate has placed an emphasis on diversifying the college, but it has failed to bring cardinals together in regular consistories designed to foster genuine collegiality and trust among brothers. As a result, many of the voting electors in the next conclave will not really know each other, and thus may be more vulnerable to manipulation. In the future, if the college is to serve its purposes, the cardinals who inhabit it need more than a red zucchetto and a ring. Today’s College of Cardinals should be proactive about getting to know each other to better understand their particular views regarding the Church, their local church situations, and their personalities – which impact their consideration of the next pope. 

Readers will quite reasonably ask why this text is anonymous. The answer should be evident from the tenor of today’s Roman environment: Candor is not welcome, and its consequences can be unpleasant. And yet these thoughts could continue for many more paragraphs, noting especially the current pontificate’s heavy dependence on the Society of Jesus, the recent problematic work by the DDF’s Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernández, and the emergence of a small oligarchy of confidants with excessive influence within the Vatican – all despite synodality’s decentralizing claims, among other things. 

Exactly because of these matters, the cautionary reflections noted here may be useful in the months ahead. It is hoped that this contribution will help guide much needed conversations about what the Vatican should look like in the next pontificate. 

Demos II

Saturday 24 February 2024

Ultramontanism has led to this moment

The sooner we fix the excesses of Vatican I and II and throw this ultramontanist papolatry into the toilet, the better. You all know it. It is what has gotten us to where we are today. It's all good when the pope is the servant of the servants of God and a Catholic. It all falls apart when he is not. 

Former papal confidant says prelates who 'criticize' Pope Francis are a threat to Church 'unity' - LifeSite (lifesitenews.com)

Monday 12 February 2024

The imprudent and impudent Pope!

Exit the Pope? - Crisis Magazine

Imprudence like: after finding the synod insufficiently open to the blessing of same-sex couples deciding to impose it on the Church by ukase. (That is the word for the decrees of the autocratic czar of all Russia.) 

Imprudence like: placing in the dicastery of doctrine a man whose writings would no doubt make him “non idoneous” to be a bishop, let alone a cardinal entrusted with an essential curial post. 

Imprudence like: taking the pushback of Fiducia Supplicans as a personal insult to which he pretends to give profile in courage and claim to be suffering for the truth. This from a person most free with insults (e.g., EWTN is “diabolical”). 

Imprudence like: making the bishops know that he will not tolerate criticism, as he has shown in his scandalous treatment of even the most pious dissent (e.g., Bishop Strickland). This came before Fiducia and had an effect on our own bishops’ conference.

Imprudence like: allowing a “spontaneous, private, fifteen-second” blessing become a piece in The New York Times and not reacting to the priest’s gloss that “he was waiting a long time to be able to bless” a couple.

Imprudence like: pretending to allow an “exception” of the non-acceptance of Fiducia in Africa as due to “cultural” issues and not “religious” principles that are grounded in the Bible and Tradition.

Imprudence like: using every media opportunity to present the false narrative that opposition to Fiducia is a denial of the Church’s duty to sanctify the faithful. It is not a question of denying to pray for (bless) individuals but of refusing to give the impression of endorsing what is explicitly contrary to Bible teaching, the Catechism, and traditional pastoral practice. He who is not with the pope is therefore against the grace and mercy of God. That is a false dichotomy that is deeply embarrassing.

Thursday 8 February 2024

Bergoglio thinks we're stupid

The psychological projection and gaslighting continue from Bergoglio. If you read the below you will find he makes a comparison between blessings. "No one is scandalized if I bless an entrepreneur who exploits people, while it happens if he is a homosexual. It's hypocrisy." 

Does he think we are stupid?

If a priest blessed the entrepreneur he does not assume that the man exploits people or makes lousy products. He gives a blessing. If an individual man or woman attracted to the same sex comes for a blessing, they receive a blessing. If they come as a couple, that is a completely different thing.

He thinks we are stupid. We are not. 

But we know what he is.

Pope Francis: "No one is scandalized if I bless an entrepreneur who exploits people, while it happens if he is a homosexual. It's hypocrisy" - La Stampa

VATICAN CITY. He speaks of priests, the style they should avoid and the attitude they should have: "We clerics sometimes live in comfort. We need to see the work and the suffering of the people." And he expresses himself on openness towards gay people: "No one is scandalized if I bless an entrepreneur who exploits people, while it happens if he is a homosexual. It's hypocrisy." It is a confident and open-hearted Pope Francis that emerges in an in-depth interview given exclusively, for the first time, to the weekly Credere - the periodical of the San Paolo Publishing Group - in the issue on newsstands from tomorrow. Answering the questions of the newspaper's editor-in-chief, Fr. Vincenzo Vitale, the Bishop of Rome retraces the years of his pontificate between personal confidences and highly topical issues, from the blessing of homosexual people, to the Jubilee, to the involvement of young people. In this regard, he emphasizes: "There are pastoral experiences that speak to simple people (...) There are also 'sophisticated' realities that do not arrive, movements that are a bit 'exquisite' and that tend to form an 'ecclesiola', of people who feel superior," the Pontiff lashed out.

The interview also focuses on the role of women in the Church: "Opening up work in the Curia to women is important. In the Roman Curia there are now several women and there will be more, because they do better than us men in certain positions. The governor, for example, Sister Raffaella Petrini, is doing beautiful things. Even the women who are in the dicastery to elect bishops... These are all places that need women. There is an ongoing process in this. There are several secretaries, think of Sister Alessandra Smerilli at the Dicastery for Integral Human Development, others at the Dicastery for Evangelization, of Religious..."

The Pope then reassures about his state of health: "The Church is governed with the head, not with the legs."

The response to the controversy that arose after the "Trust Supplicans" declaration was also clear: "No one is scandalized if I give my blessing to an entrepreneur who perhaps exploits people: and this is a very serious sin. While he is scandalized if I give it to a homosexual.... This is hypocrisy! The heart of the document is welcoming." Francis adds: "But I don't bless a 'homosexual marriage', I bless two people who love each other and I also ask them to pray for me. Always in confessions, when these situations arise, homosexual people, remarried people, I always pray and bless. The blessing is not to be denied to anyone. Everybody, everybody, everybody. Be careful, I'm talking about people: those who are capable of receiving Baptism."

The Pontiff desires a Church that is more capable of being close to people: "People give me joy! When I'm with people, I'm happy. When I'm with the administration, yes I do what I have to do, but when I'm with the people, it's something else... I would like to be able to go on the street freely, but it is not possible. I've done it a few times, to go to the optician or to go buy records, but secretly. I learn from people! When you find a father of a family with a monthly income at the limit, who comes to confession and tells you that when he comes home he is tired and cannot be with his children because they are already asleep and in the morning he gets up before they wake up; And then he confesses to you that his pleasure, on Sundays, is playing with his children... That's where you learn! People suffer so much... We clerics sometimes live in comfort... You have to see the work, the suffering of the people..."

He recounts two episodes that he carries in his heart: "One here in Rome, one in Argentina. At a hearing two years ago, a lady beckoned me to come over and called me, I went. An elderly peasant woman was 87 years old, but she didn't show them. I asked her what she ate to stay like this: ravioli, she replied, ravioli that she made... And he gave me the recipe for ravioli. I asked her to pray for me. He assured me that he would, but told me to be careful. So I asked her if she prayed for me or against me. And he said: "No, Your Holiness, you are not mistaken, they pray against you in there." The wisdom, the courage of the elderly! The other episode was in a slum in Buenos Aires, where I went to celebrate Mass. During the trip, it became known that John Paul II had died. With the simple people of the slums they talked about the election of the new Pope. An elderly woman asked me if I could become Pope. Yes, I told her. So he gave me a piece of advice: to buy me a little dog. I asked her why. "Before eating, give the dog food and wait a bit..."

More than ten years after the foundation of the newspaper, born on the occasion of the election of Pope Francis in 2013, Credere wishes to continue to tell the story of the faith, privileging the choice of proposing and motivating good news. The weekly - distributed throughout Italy with 60,000 copies and 200,000 readers - has chosen to remain firmly in paper format in order to continue to be a tool to be used during the week, as is already the case, in the family, in schools, in groups, in movements and in ecclesial associations.

Friday 2 February 2024

Punxsutawney Phil or Wiarton Willie - pretty poor pagan substitutes for the real Light of lights

I originally wrote this in 2016.  My view has not changed - the groundhog ritual is a mockery of Candlemas. The groundhog is afraid of the light and goes back into his hole. Our friends in Wiarton and Punsutanawney are looking for light in all the wrong places. 

Today is Candlemas, the official end of the Christmas Season according to ancient tradition. The Christmas cycle ends today. While the pagan secularists are out celebrating a couple of rodents, be they in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania or Wiarton, Ontario, we Catholics are blest to know that the groundhog is but a beautiful creature of God, it is not a god that can predict
anything. Even in jest, it is a mockery of the One True God and His First Commandment - to even joke that 
an animal can predict the weather, other than by its Creator growing it a longer coat, it is the sin of divination. I see the groundhog ritual as a satanic mockery of Christ and the Blessed Mother, not just an old pagan practice. Of course, it's just a little fun in the midst of winter, except we need to look deeper. If the rodent sees the sun, he goes back into his hole. Satan sees the Light of Christ, which he runs from. Candlemas is just one more example of how the pagan secular world has perverted Catholic feasts and traditions, from All Hallows to Christmas and St. Valentine and the Easter bunny. How many Catholic churches today celebrate the feast with a procession or a sung liturgy? How many Catholics even know what the Feast is and its culmination of the Christmas cycle?

This poem from Germany seems to be the origin of the weather prediction, but I see no rodent. 

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, Winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go Winter, and come not again.
For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day,
So far will the snow swirl until May.

This feast - solemnity recalls the day when our Blessed Mother - Mary being a Jewess and forty days after giving birth to her first-born Son, the Messiah; presented herself in the Temple as Orthodox Jewish women still do today for a mikvah, or Purification. In the Roman Missal of 1962, they actually changed the name to the Presentation of the Lord, which it is of course. Prior to that, it was the Purification of Mary. Common folk, not liturgists, called it Candlemas because, "we bless candles" as Father Z says, and we receive blest candles and take them home. Father Hunwicke has some thoughts on this and how "purification" does not fit with our modern sensibilities of a woman being, "unclean."

Mary and Joseph presented Jesus in the temple on this day. The Holy Spirit had revealed to the just and devout Simeon that he should not die before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. In the temple the old man glimpsed Jesus in Mary's arms and blessed God, knowing that at last he had seen the Savior, "a light of revelation to the Gentiles and a glory of Thy people Israel."
But only after the Savior's Passion and Crucifixion would the light win for men the final victory over bodily and spiritual death. Simeon therefore said to Mary, the co-redeemer of mankind, "Thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed" (Luke 2:35). May we, too, after having shared the redemptive sufferings of Christ attain the final grace of presentation in the holy temple of God's glory.
(from a Missal introduction to today's Mass)

What the Novus Ordo took from you:

Blessing of Candles

V. The Lord be with you.

R. And with thy spirit.

Let us pray. O Holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, who hast created all things out of nothing, and by Thy command hast caused this liquid to become perfect wax by the labor of bees: and who, on this day didst fulfill the petition of the righteous man Simeon: we humbly entreat Thee, that by the invocation of Thy most holy Name and through the intercession of Blessed Mary ever Virgin whose feast is today devoutly observed, and by the prayers of all Thy Saints, Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bless and sanctify these candles for the service of men and for the health of their bodies and souls, whether on land or on sea: and that Thou wouldst hear from Thy holy heaven, and from the throne of Thy Majesty the voices of this Thy people, who desire to carry them in their hands with honor, and to praise Thee with hymns; and wouldst be propitious to all that call upon Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

R. Amen. 

Let us pray. O almighty and everlasting God, who on this day didst present Thine only-begotten Son in Thy holy temple to be received in the arms of holy Simeon: we humbly entreat Thy clemency, that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bless and sanctify and to kindle with the light of Thy heavenly benediction these candles, which we, Thy servants, desire to receive and to bear lighted in the honor of Thy Name: that, by offering them to Thee our Lord God, being worthily inflamed with the holy fire of Thy most sweet charity, we may deserve to be presented in the holy temple of Thy glory.

Through the same Jesus Christ, thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

R. Amen. 

Let us pray. O Lord Jesus Christ, the true Light who enlightenest every man that cometh into this world: pour forth Thy blessing upon these candles, and sanctify them with the light of Thy grace, and mercifully grant, that as these lights enkindled with visible fire dispel the darkness of night, so our hearts illumined by invisible fire, that is, by the splendor of the Holy Spirit, may be free from the blindness of all vice, that the eye of our mind being cleansed, we may be able to discern what is pleasing to Thee and profitable to our salvation; so that after the perilous darkness of this life we may deserve to attain to neverfailing light: through Thee, O Christ Jesus, Saviour of the world, who in the perfect Trinity, livest and reignest, God, world without end.

R. Amen. 

Let us pray. O almighty and everlasting God, who by Thy servant Moses didst command the purest oil to be prepared for lamps to burn continuously before Thee: vouchsafe to pour forth the grace of Thy blessing upon these candles: that they may so afford us light outwardly that by Thy gift, the gift of Thy Spirit may never be wanting inwardly to our minds.

Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

R. Amen. 

Let us pray. O Lord Jesus Christ, who appearing on this day among men in the substance of our flesh, wast presented by Thy parents in the temple: whom the venerable and aged Simeon, illuminated by the light of Thy Spirit, recognized, received into his arms, and blessed: mercifully grant that, enlightened and taught by the grace of the same Holy Ghost, we may truly acknowledge Thee and faithfully love Thee; Who with God the Father in the unity of the same Holy Ghost livest and reignest, God, world without end.

R. Amen. 

The Distribution of Candles

Ant. A light for the revelation of the Gentiles: and for the glory of Thy people Israel.

Now Thou dost dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word in peace.

Ant. A light for the revelation of the Gentiles: and for the glory of Thy people Israel.

Because mine eyes have seen Thy salvation.

Ant. A light for the revelation of the Gentiles: and for the glory of Thy people Israel.

Which Thou hast prepared, before the face of all peoples.

Ant. A light for the revelation of the Gentiles: and for the glory of Thy people Israel.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.

Ant. A light for the revelation of the Gentiles: and for the glory of Thy people Israel.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Ant. A light for the revelation of the Gentiles: and for the glory of Thy people Israel.


Ant. Arise, O Lord, help us and deliver us for Thy Name's sake.

We have heard, O God, with our ears: our fathers have declared to us.

V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.

R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Ant. Arise, O Lord, help us and deliver us for Thy Name's sake.

Let us pray.

We beseech Thee, O Lord, hearken unto Thy people, and grant that by the light of Thy grace, we may inwardly attain to those things which Thou grantest us outwardly to venerate by this yearly observance. Through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen

The Procession

V. Let us go forth in peace.

R. In the Name of Christ. Amen.

Ant. Adorn thy bridal-chamber, O Sion, and welcome Christ the King: with loving embrace greet Mary who is the very gate of heaven; for she bringeth to thee the glorious King of the new light: remaining ever a Virgin yet she bearest in her arms the Son begotten before the day-star: even the Child, whom Simeon taking into his arms, declared to the peoples to be the Lord of life and death, and the Saviour of the world.

Ant. Simeon received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord; and when they brought the Child into the temple, he took Him into His arms, and blessed God, and said: Now dost Thou dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, in peace.

V. When His parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him into His arms.

V. They offered for Him to the Lord a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons: * As it is written in the Law of the Lord.

V. After the days of the purification of Mary, according to the law of Moses, were fulfilled, they carried Jesus to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord. * As it is written in the Law of the Lord.

V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.

R. As it is written in the Law of the Lord.

Followed by the Mass.

 INTROIT Ps. 47:10-11

We have received Your kindness, O Lord, within Your temple. As Your name, O God, is known to the ends of the earth, so also shall Your praise be voiced to the ends of the earth. Your right hand is just in all things.

Ps. 47:2. Great is the Lord, and worthy of all praise in the city of our God, upon His holy mountain.

V. Glory be . . . 


Almighty and Eternal God, we humbly ask that we may be presented to You with purified souls just as Your only-begotten Son was presented this day in the temple after He had taken on the substance of our flesh. Through Our Lord . . . 

LESSON Mal. 3:1-4

Thus says the Lord God: Behold I send my angel, and he shall prepare the way before my face. And presently the Lord, whom you seek, and the angel of the testament, whom you desire, shall come to his temple. Behold, he cometh, saith the Lord of hosts. And who shall be able to think of the day of his coming? and who shall stand to see him? for he is like a refining fire, and like the fuller's herb: And he shall sit refining and cleansing the silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and shall refine them as gold, and as silver, and they shall offer sacrifices to the Lord in justice. And the sacrifice of Juda and of Jerusalem shall please the Lord, as in the days of old, and in the ancient years, says the Lord almighty. 

GRADUAL Ps. 47:10-11, 9

We have received Your kindness, O Lord, within Your temple. As Your name, O God, is known to the ends of the earth, so also shall Your praise be voiced to the ends of the earth.

V. As we had heard, so we have seen in the city of our God, upon His holy mountain.

V. The old man bore the Child, but the Child was the old man's King; Allelúja. 

The candles are held lighted during the Gospel, and from the Sanctus to the Communion.

 GOSPEL Luke 2:22-32

At that time, when the days of Mary's purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord: As it is written in the law of the Lord: "Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord": And to offer a sacrifice, according as it is written in the law of the Lord, "a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons"

And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon: and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel. And the Holy Ghost was in him. And he had received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when his parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, He also took him into his arms and blessed God and said, "Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace: Because my eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: A light to the revelation of the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel." 


Grace is poured out upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you forever and for all ages. 


O Lord, graciously hear our prayers and in Your mercy help us so that our offering may be worthy of Your majesty. Through Our Lord . . . 

The Preface for Christmas is said. 


Simeon received an answer from the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. 


O Lord Our God, may this sacred rite, which You instituted to protect us in our new life of grace, bring us healing now and forever through the intercession of the Blessed Ever-Virgin Mary. Through Our Lord . . .

In the great Responsory to the Antiphons during the Procession, we sing, repeatedly after each verse:

After the days of Mary 's purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord



Our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph went up to Jerusalem "according to the law of Moses." They followed the Law, and they loved the Law. They did not mock the Law, they did not feel that the Law kept them from grace. They were not "rigid." They were not "hiding" anything.

A few weeks ago, right after Epiphany and for the first time, the Creche and Christmas Tree in St. Peter's Square were removed. It was then, after all, "Ordinary Time." As I sit and write this, the Christmas Tree, (cut ourselves in early December and left outside until the 23rd) is still alighted. It actually has new growth, never losing its water supply and tricked into thinking it was Spring, it is only now starting to drop a few needles. The house is still decorated with the manger and holly and boxwood and pine. Fox and I will still use our Christmas mugs for this morning's coffee. Tonight, for Vespers followed by Holy Mass, it will be lit for the last time until next Christmas, the Lord willing. 

Now Thou dost dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word in peace; Because my eyes have seen Thy salvation, Which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: A light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.
Here is an old poem giving insight into the beautiful tradition when our ancestors would mark the changing of time and seasons and think of simpler things, and God.

1. Down with the rosemary and bays,
Down with the mistletoe ;
Instead of holly, now up-raise
The greener box, for show.

Thus times and seasons oft do shift; each thing his turn doth hold ;
New thoughts and things now do succeed, as former things grow old.

2. The holly hitherto did sway ;
Let box now domineer
Until the dancing Easter day,
Or Easter's eve appear. Refrain

3. Then youthful box which now hath grace
Your houses to renew ;
Grown old, surrender must his place
Unto the crisped yew. Refrain

4. When yew is out, then birch comes in,
And many flowers beside ;
Both of a fresh and fragrant kin
To honour Whitsuntide. Refrain

5. Green rushes, then, and sweetest bents,
With cooler oaken boughs,
Come in for comely ornaments
To re-adorn the house. Refrain