New Encyclical Will Focus on Social Teaching

popeencyc.jpgVatican, Feb. 29, 2008 ( – Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, has confirmed reports that Pope Benedict XVI will soon release an encyclical on Catholic social teaching. Cardinal Bertone told the Italian daily La Repubblica that the Pope’s 3rd encyclical will deal with “international social problems, with special focus on developing nations.” The cardinal indicated that the papal encyclical will appear in the near future, but did not provide a date. Vatican-watchers have speculated that the document is likely to be released in March of early April. The first two encyclicals released by Pope Benedict, Deus Caritas Est and Spe Salvi, have been dedicated to the theological virtues, and the documents reflect the Pontiff’s own background as an academic theologian. In a story released earlier this month the French daily La Croix reported that the 3rd encyclical will be different, reflecting the “collective labor” of several different departments of the Vatican


 the-baptism-pietro-longhi.jpgVATICAN CITY, 29 FEB 2008 (VIS) – Made public today were the responses of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to two questions concerning the validity of Baptism conferred with certain non-standard formulae.

The first question is: “Is a Baptism valid if conferred with the words ‘I baptise you in the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier’, or ‘I baptise you in the name of the Creator, and of the Liberator, and of the Sustainer'”?

The second question is: “Must people baptised with those formulae be baptised ‘in forma absoluta’?”

The responses are: “To the first question, negative; to the second question, affirmative”.

Benedict XVI, during his recent audience with Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, approved these responses, which were adopted at the ordinary session of the congregation, and ordered their publication. The text of the responses bears the signatures of Cardinal Levada and of Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B., secretary of the dicastery.

An attached note explains that the responses “concern the validity of Baptism conferred with two English-language formulae within the ambit of the Catholic Church. … Clearly, the question does not concern English but the formula itself, which could also be expressed in another language”.

“Baptism conferred in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”, the note continues, “obeys Jesus’ command as it appears at the end of the Gospel of St. Matthew. … The baptismal formula must be an adequate expression of Trinitarian faith, approximate formulae are unacceptable.

“Variations to the baptismal formula – using non-biblical designations of the Divine Persons – as considered in this reply, arise from so-called feminist theology”, being an attempt “to avoid using the words Father and Son which are held to be chauvinistic, substituting them with other names. Such variants, however, undermine faith in the Trinity”.

“The response of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith constitutes an authentic doctrinal declaration, which has wide-ranging canonical and pastoral effects. Indeed, the reply implicitly affirms that people who have been baptised, or who will in the future be baptised, with the formulae in question have, in reality, not been baptised. Hence, they must them be treated for all canonical and pastoral purposes with the same juridical criteria as people whom the Code of Canon Law places in the general category of ‘non- baptised'”.

Dom Gérard, Eternal Memory!

Dom Gérard Calvet of blessed memoryDom Gérard Calvet

Dom Gérard Calvet of blessed memory, the famed Abbot of Sainte-Madeleine-du-Barroux can best be remembered for his work for those who love and desire the Traditional Latin Mass.  

He can be seen in the two pictures above that were taken at his 50th jubilee anniversary as a priest. One particular address he gave at the ten year anniversary for Ecclesia Dei at their conference held in Rome on October 24, 1998 was titled, “Let the war of rites cease”. ( )

In summarizing Dom Gérard’s address, the three main solutions which he continued to propose  for promoting the Traditional Latin Mass included:

1)      an  extension of the powers of the Pontifical “Ecclesia Dei” Commission, or the institution of an intermediate authority answerable to the Commission and  taking the form of an apostolic delegation which would regulate each case  at the local level together with the diocesan bishops. 

2)      the creation on the part of the episcopal authorities or of the Holy See of quasi-parishes of a personal nature in every diocese where a minimum number of faithful  have requested them 

3)      the insertion of the old Ordo Missae “ad libitum” in all the new Missals if not the granting of permission to all priests to celebrate according to the 1962 Missal. 

Does this sound familiar?  And again, it was 1998.  

Dom Gérard, thank you for your service, requiescat in pace and eternal memory!

The Traditional Latin Mass at Georgetown University

Campus Ministry Endorses Celebration of Latin Mass

Tridentine Mass Held Biweekly in Copley

By Elizabeth Blazey , The Hoya

archbishop-sheen.gifIn response to student requests for the Tridentine Mass, a traditional Catholic Mass said in Latin, the Office of Campus Ministry has agreed to regularize its twice-weekly observance in Copley Crypt. 

Students first submitted a formal request to campus ministry that the Mass be celebrated weekly in Dahlgren Chapel in September, but lack of archdiocesan regulations on the Mass delayed campus ministry’s response.

“We wanted to make sure we were cooperating with the Archdiocese [of Washington, D.C.], which was assessing how it wanted to move with this rite among all the parishes,” said Fr. Timothy Godfrey, S.J., director of campus ministry. “We received word that the archbishop would release directives regarding the Tridentine rite, so we wanted to progress slowly as well.”

Copley Crypt was chosen over Dahlgren due to its architecture and the placement of the altar, said Fr. Stephen Fields, S.J., one of the priests who say the Tridentine Masses.

The Mass is celebrated on campus according to directives outlined in Pope Benedict XVI’s letter “Summorum Pontificum” last year. “The Archdiocese of Washington is working on other norms to be followed for the celebration of this form of the Mass, and our celebration of it will fully comply with these,” Fields said.

The Tridentine Mass is now celebrated in Copley Crypt on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m. Fields and Fr. William Farge, S.J., currently preside over the Mass, and Fr. John Siberski, S.J., and Fr. James Duffy, S.J., are training in order to be able to celebrate the Mass in the future.

“The Mass is offered as an outreach of the Jesuit community for the pastoral care of those students who requested it and who are interested in attending,” Fields said.

Some students said that they would support eventually celebrating the Tridentine Mass in Dahlgren Chapel instead of Copley Crypt.

“In the beginning the group was small so the crypt was fine. However, it will only take a few more students coming to make the crypt inadequate, so I would support it being moved to Dahlgren,” said Lauren Funk (SFS ’10).

The Tridentine Mass was widely celebrated until the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. It declined in popularity over the past few decades, but has gained new life after the release of “Summorum Pontificum,” which gave parishes greater freedom to celebrate the Tridentine liturgy.

Fields said the Tridentine Mass offers a unique way for Catholics to worship.

“It revitalizes a form of the Mass that nourished countless numbers of people for 400 years,” he said. “It cultivates contemplative silence before God, and it makes full use of the beauty of Latin, incense, and chant to elevate the heart and mind in prayer.”

Funk said the Tridentine Mass has a different tone than more contemporary Masses.

“I like to attend the Tridentine Mass because it feels much more reverent and God-focused than some of the other Masses on campus,” she said.

In addition to the Masses said on campus, at least seven parishes in the D.C. area recently added Tridentine Masses, including St. Mary, Mother of God in Northwest D.C.

“I feel that since community is an essential element of the Church, it would be difficult and almost detrimental to the faith of students if they were forced to continually move around to different churches to fulfill their spiritual needs,” Funk said.

Pope Benedict XVI appoints new Bishop for the Diocese of Lansing


The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Earl Boyea as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Lansing.  The 10-county Diocese of Lansing includes more than 200,000 Catholics.  His Excellency will be installed as the Bishop of Lansing, Michigan on the 29th of April.  Bishop Mengeling will be the administrator of the Lansing Diocese until then.

Roman Catholic, author, conservative commentator William F. Buckley Jr. dies at 82

William F. Buckley Jr

William F. Buckley Jr., the conservative pioneer died today at his home working at his desk.

By Mark Feeney, Globe Staff 

William F. Buckley Jr., who as author, journalist, and polysyllabic television personality did more to popularize conservatism in post-New Deal America than anyone other than Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan, died yesterday at his home in Stamford, Conn. He was 82.The cause of death was unknown, but his assistant, Linda Bridges, said Mr. Buckley had been ill with emphysema.

“America has lost one of its finest writers and thinkers,” President Bush said in a statement.

Mr. Buckley’s political importance has long been acknowledged across the political spectrum. Pat Buchanan, the three-time presidential candidate, once called him “the spiritual father of the movement,” while the late historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. called Mr. Buckley “the scourge of American liberalism.” Although Schlesinger, very much a man of the left, did not mean it as a compliment, Mr. Buckley cheerily took it as such.

Good cheer was a key element in Mr. Buckley’s success. Not only did it sustain him during the ’50s and ’60s, when his brand of conservatism claimed few adherents, but it also helped earn him an audience – and grudging acceptance – among the liberal elite.

Indeed, Schlesinger became a friend of Mr. Buckley’s, as did such other eminent liberals as the activist Allard Lowenstein, the columnist Murray Kempton, and the Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith.

Mr. Buckley’s personal charm was one of several sources from which he derived so large an influence. He was also the author of more than 40 books. Although many were not about politics, all his early ones were and they tended to attract wide attention.

In 1955, Mr. Buckley founded National Review, which he edited for the next 35 years. “It was a pretty sclerotic situation [on the Right] when National Review started out,” he recalled in a 2001 Globe interview. “Our launch reflected a pent-up appetite.”

The columnist George F. Will (the magazine’s onetime Washington editor) said at a 25th anniversary celebration, “Before Ronald Reagan, there was Barry Goldwater, and before Barry Goldwater there was National Review, and before there was National Review, there was Bill Buckley, with a spark in his mind.” That spark, Will noted, eventually became “a conflagration.” One sign of that conflagration was circulation: The magazine is America’s most widely read political journal.

National Review also turned into a great incubator of young writers, courtesy of Mr. Buckley’s keen eye for talent. Among those who worked for the magazine early in their career were Will, Garry Wills, Joan Didion, John Leonard, Richard Brookhiser, and David Brooks. In one of the tributes the magazine posted online yesterday, Senator John McCain praised Mr. Buckley as “a man of tremendous vision and big ideas.”

“When conservatism was a lonely cause, he bravely raised the standard of liberty and led the charge to renew the principles and values that are the foundation of our great country,” said McCain, a GOP presidential candidate.

The success of National Review led to Mr. Buckley’s being offered a syndicated newspaper column in 1962. At its height, the twice-weekly column ran in more than 300 papers, including The Boston Globe.

Four years later, he debuted as host of a television debate program, “Firing Line.” It ran for 33 years and brought him an audience greater than that for his books, magazine, and column combined.

It also made Mr. Buckley a celebrity, which may have been the most important contributor to his influence. Looking at their television screens, viewers didn’t see a conservative in the mold of a Robert Taft or Calvin Coolidge – someone pinched, drab, reserved. Instead, Mr. Buckley was dashing, witty, almost preposterously energetic.

“On TV, Buckley is a star,” wrote the journalist Theodore White. “His haughty face, its puckering and hesitation as he lets loose a shaft of wit, would have made him Oscar Wilde’s favorite candidate for anything.”

Mr. Buckley became one of the most mimicked men in America, thanks to his many distinctive attributes and even-more-distinctive mannerisms. They ranged from slouching in his seat and carrying a clipboard to darting his tongue and waggling his brows. Above all, there was his High Church accent and luxuriantly Latinate vocabulary.

Keeping Mr. Buckley from self-parody was the great zest he unfailingly displayed, whether in print, in person, or on screen. That sense of boundless enthusiasm – for sailboats, the harpsichord, cavalier King Charles spaniels, or anti-Communism, to name just four of his passions – made Mr. Buckley’s aristocratic manner seem not so much patronizing as playful.

He came by such a manner naturally. Born on Nov. 24, 1925, in New York City, William Frank Buckley Jr. was the sixth of 10 children of a wealthy oilman, his namesake, and Aloise (Steiner) Buckley. A devout Catholic, he was educated by tutors and at boarding schools in England and the United States.

From an early age, he lacked neither opinions nor the willingness to express them. At 7, he wrote the king of England to demand repayment of Britain’s World War I debt to the United States.

Mr. Buckley spent two years in the Army, then entered Yale in 1946. He was in his element there (he was chairman of The Yale Daily News and a member of Skull & Bones, the premier undergraduate secret society) but also deeply alienated. That alienation produced “God and Man at Yale” (1951), Mr. Buckley’s first book. Its condemnation of the university’s secular-humanist ethos caused a sensation – and established its author’s reputation.

After a year in Mexico working for the Central Intelligence Agency (an experience that would inform Mr. Buckley’s Blackford Oakes espionage novels), he returned to the United States. He wasted no time reentering the political fray. Mr. Buckley and L. Brent Bozell, his brother-in-law, published a book, “McCarthy and His Enemies” (1954). While not completely approving of the methods Senator Joseph McCarthy employed in his campaign against Communist subversion, the authors nonetheless defended him as heading “a movement around which men of good will and stern morality can close ranks.”

A brief stint working for The American Mercury magazine convinced Mr. Buckley that the United States needed a new organ of conservative opinion: National Review. “I want intelligence, but no crackpottery,” he announced. “But I want some positively unsettling vigor, a sense of abandon, and joy, and cocksureness that may, indeed, be interpreted by some as indiscretion.”

In 1965, Mr. Buckley tried his hand at politics, running for mayor of New York on the Conservative Party ticket. Asked how many votes he expected to get, he replied, “Conservatively speaking, one.”

In fact, he ended up with 13.4 percent of the vote. The idea hadn’t been to win office – he once said that his first act if elected would be to demand a recount – but gain attention for Mr. Buckley’s ideas. His strong showing was the first indication that Goldwater’s landslide defeat in the 1964 presidential race might not be an end but a beginning.

Mr. Buckley’s mayoral bid led to “Firing Line.” Consciously modeled on the “Friday Night Fights” boxing telecasts, the program presented him floating like a butterfly and stinging with his clipboard. It gave birth to what would become a television standby, the broadcast pundit.

His televised punditry got Mr. Buckley into trouble in 1968, when he and the novelist Gore Vidal squared off as analysts on ABC during the Democratic convention. Vidal so enraged Mr. Buckley that at one point he shouted on air, “Now listen, you queer, stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I’ll sock you in the goddam face.”

The recipient of numerous honorary degrees and an Emmy Award for “Firing Line,” Mr. Buckley was given the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1991.

In his 2001 Globe interview, Mr. Buckley described his role in life this way: “My mission was mostly combative, to try to insist – beginning at school – there was another way of looking at things.”

Mr. Buckley’s wife, Patricia (Taylor) Buckley, died last year. He leaves a son, Christopher, the humorist and novelist, of Washington; three sisters, Priscilla Buckley of Sharon, Conn., Patricia Bozell of Washington, D.C., and Carol Buckley of Columbia, S.C.; two brothers James L. of Sharon, Conn., and F. Reid of Camden, S.C.; a granddaughter; and a grandson.

New District Superior for the FSSP

fssp-cod-of-arms.jpgThe Superior General of the FSSP, The Very Reverend Fr. John Berg, with the consent of the General Council, has accepted the request of Fr. George Gabet, FSSP to step down as District Superior and has named Fr. Eric Flood, FSSP as his successor.  Fr. Flood was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood in 2000 a.D. by Bishop Timlin of Scranton, Pennsylvania.  Father spent three years at his first Priestly assignment in Omaha, Nebraska and then he was transferred to Maple Hill, Kansas for the next 4 1/2 years.  Fr. Flood will now spend most of his time at the North American Headquarters of the Fraternity in Elmhurst, PA.