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Boston Catholic Journal - Critical Catholic Commentary in the Twilight of Reason

Boston Catholic Journal

Martyrology for Today


in the Twilight of Reason

Mary, Conceived without Sin, Pray for us who have Recourse to Thee

Mary, Conceived without Sin,

pray for us who have recourse to Thee


The Holy Catholic Faith

Where is it And Who is Keeping it?

The Catholic Church that we Once KNew and Recognize no Longer

Has the Post-Conciliar Church
Lost Custody of the Faith?


All indications are that is has.

The “Dark Ages” — that disdainful term for the period in history following the collapse of the Roman Empire in 476 A.D. until the 15th century (a period correctly described as the Middle Ages) is understood by the secular world to have lasted roughly 1000 years, beginning in Florence, Italy.

Within the post-Conciliar Catholic Church, however, it appears that the term extends well beyond the 15th century; indeed, some 500 years beyond it! According to contemporary Catholic thought articulated within the past five papacies, the “Dark Ages” really ended in 1965 at the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council. All the doctrines and teachings prior to that Council were only imperfectly, deficiently, and insufficiently articulated or defectively understood.

The 1000 Years of Darkness

Only the Second Vatican Council finally attained to enlightenment in the divine economy, and after 1,965 years of suspension, it alone has provided the final, sufficient, and correct understanding of God and Church, man and nature. Prior to that, according to post Conciliar thought, Catholics have essentially lived in darkness, specifically the darkness of the “pre-Conciliar Dark Ages.” It may be said that where the Rational Enlightenment “saved the world from religion,” Vatican II saved the Church from Catholicism.

This argument — that God concealed the “real” truth from us for either 1500 years on the one hand (concerning Protestants) or for 2000 years on other (concerning Vatican II) does not, of course, speak well of God’s munificence, truth, or goodness — and that it is the very argument to be brought against Protestants by Catholics, is good to keep in mind. Why would a good, loving, and truthful God conceal the real nature of the Church, the Sacraments, and true worship from us for so long?

Pay No Attention to What You See!

We are told so many times that what we see is no indication of what is real.

It is true in two venues: the political landscape, which is really of not much interest to us here except as a paradigm of our being told that what we perceive to be oppressive, unjust, and despotic, is really a benevolent government open to all its constituents. We are simply not socially-enlightened enough (“woke” enough) to see it, you understand.

The other venue, of course, is the ecclesiastical landscape, specifically the Vatican, and more specifically the papacies of the Vatican II pontiffs and the various Dicasteries under them. Within this crumbling landscape we are told that all the dismantling, removal, renovation, and ultimately the detritus following Vatican II has resulted in a more beautiful, vibrant, healthy, and faithful Church, with pews filled at Sunday Masses; a Church brimming with baptisms, confirmations, marriages, vocations, ordinations … a chrysalis bursting in a renewal of all things holy and good! We are simply too “rigid,” too “backward,” not “progressive-enough” to see it. Because we do not “walk in Accompaniment with the Spirit,” we are blind … you understand.

From Bergoglio’s dismissive perspective, “looking back (indietrismo) is useless,” 1 and given Francis’s insolent treatment of those who worship as our forefathers did for 200 centuries, they are equally useless as well. They are impediments to his progressive agenda; to use his words, they are “imbavagliando,” “gagging” the Church.2

His aggressively Modernist agenda set in motion by Vatican II, apparently, is too far advanced for the possibility of retrenching. It is “useless” to even entertain the possibility of reproachment with the Mass of the Ages and the 2000-year spirituality inseparable from it; a Mass within which we immediately find sanctity, solemnity, sacrality, holiness, heavenliness, beauty, spirituality, form, sobriety, chant, mystery, the choir of angels; in short, all that is egregiously absent within the bland, mundane, and very worldly Novus Ordo Mass of Paul VI.


What, Exactly, are We to Understand by “Keeping — and Having Kept — the Catholic Faith”?

The notions of Keeping, and having kept, the Catholic Faith can only be understood as retaining (keeping), and having preserved (kept), the one true holy Catholic and Apostolic Faith that has been kept and practiced for the 2000 years prior to Vatican II — even when the practice of that venerable Faith has been unjustly deprived through ecclesiastical duress. That unchanging and unchangeable Faith is kept in the unwavering allegiance to it despite persecution and even deprivation. It can be physically removed from us, but it cannot be taken away from us.

Indeed, why do we keep anything at all?  We only keep what we want and value; what is good and beautiful. Understanding this, we must ask, is there anything more beautiful this side of Heaven than the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? … than the Faith bequeathed to us by our fathers, by the Saints, by the Martyrs — the Faith that has generated the greatest and most brilliant constellation of saints and martyrs in the history of the Church?

It cannot be the case that Faith of the Church for the 2000 years preceding December 8, 1965 (when the Second Vatican Council was formally concluded) is no longer the Faith of the Church now, for if the Faith is different then the Church is different, and if the Church is different, the Church is no more. This cannot be. Christ promised that this cannot be.

But it can be said that the teaching of the Church is now vastly different from the teaching of the Church for the 200 centuries prior to John XXIII and his five successors, and most especially in what are presented to us as the “Conciliar” documents of Vatican II, documents that vastly, even essentially, diverge from centuries of incontestably authoritative Catholic teaching.

So much so, in fact, that in its latest iteration under the papacy of Francis, we have begun to ask in earnest, perhaps for the first time in our lives, “has the post-Conciliar-Catholic Church, or perhaps more accurately, the “Post-Catholic-Conciliar-Church” — an increasingly different Church that first emerged from Vatican II and has continued to diverge from it through every successive papacy until that rupture with the past has culminated in a Church, together with its hierarchy, largely lost custody of the Catholic Faith?

We will be looking at this question in some detail in articles that will follow.


Update: Thursday June 20, 2024


Since beginning this article some days ago, some alarming news has begun to emerge from credible sources that has necessarily changed the tenor of this discussion, one which, much to our consternation, now concerns not simply the nature of the custody of the Faith vis-à-vis the papacy of Francis and the disaffected ecclesiastical apparatus in the Vatican under him, but concerning nothing less than the integrity* of the Catholic Faith itself. It has come to our attention that under the direction of Pope Francis, English Cardinal Arthur Roche, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, together with other powerful figures within the Roman Curia are preparing to completely abolish  — for all timeand with no possibility of reclaiming — what they perceive as the threat posed by the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in Latin — in other words, The Latin Mass, TLM as it has been celebrated for 2000 years that must yield to the Novus Ordo (New Order) “Mass of Paul VI” exclusively — a Mass now barely half a century (54 years) in the making … and still in the making. In order to accomplish this with absolute, clinical exactitude, Francis & Friends have determined to stamp out the Latin Mass as something loathsome. 

Such fear of something holy! As though the Mass of 2000 years can be shackled and plunged into a dungeon of unfathomable depth, hidden from sight, concealed as a destructive secret, and made irrecoverable to memory! How can we begin to imagine such malice in the Church toward those within the Church; how are we to begin to grasp the Church promulgating such an evil law and with an iron fist as hateful as the crushing fist of any petty dictator?

Too Catholic

The Latin Mass, however, must go: apart from the many contrived and ultimately superficial reasons for abolishing the Latin Mass, the principal reason is this: it is an impediment to Ecumenism. This is the real reason behind the vitriolic, almost pathological animosity exhibited toward the Latin Mass by the liberal, Modernist Church of Vatican II and its principal proponent, Jorge Bergoglio: The Latin Mass is not amenable to non-Catholics; it is … too Catholic, it bears within itself the history, the memory, the devotion, the filial love of two hundred centuries of generations of Catholics who cleaved to the Faith through persecution and hardship and for many, to the point of the shedding of their blood.

Dwindling participation on the Novus Ordo (Vernacular) Mass, and an alarming increase in participation in the (Latin) Mass, especially among young Catholics, appears to be the principal motivation behind this draconian measure. The belief that Traditional Catholics will become Vernacular “Paul VI Mass” Catholics by heavy-handed decree; that they will be forced into this free-form Mass by Procrustean measures, is nearly delusional. It will not happen. I do not know what will happen, but I am confident that this fiction will not occur. Schism may occur. Were this the case, it would appear from several informed sources that Francis himself would be the formal cause of schism, and hence the Schismatic. This is not a shocking possibility.

Of course, we must ponder the question on everyone's mind: the fearful question that wrenches our gut:  where do we go from here — should the hammer fall on the Faithful?

More will follow ...

Geoffrey K. Mondello
Wednesday June 19, 2024
Feast of St. Juliana Falconieri, Virgin

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*  integrity: the quality or state of being complete, sound, unimpaired or undivided, uncompromised; 





Vindictive, Arrogant, Despotic, and Vengeful

Francis is a Pope but not a "Holy" "Father" in any meaningful sense of either word

Francis is a Pope ...
not a “Holy” “Father”


Understand this:

To love the pope is to will him every good and no evil.

This is what it means for a Catholic to love anyone.

We love Pope Francis in this way; we will him every good and no evil.

Do we admire him? Absolutely not! Do we esteem him. No! Is he dear to us? Not in the least.

He is, canonically, our pope — but few of us would predicate of him the two consecutive words historically associated with the Vicar of Jesus Christ on Earth: “Holy Father.” He has consistently demonstrated himself to be neither.

Holiness is not vindictive, arrogant, despotic, and vengeful.

A Father does not abuse his children, favoring some, punishing others, giving shelter to those who please him while leaving those who do not please him out in the cold, generously feeding his favored ones, while starving the ill-favored in the hope that they will soon perish.

Such a man, whatever he may be, is neither holy nor a father in any accepted understanding of either word.

A holy man does not do these things.

A father does not do these things.

Ergo, a “Holy Father” does not do these things.

But Francis does.

Consider his treatment of virtually every Catholic, whether cleric, episcopal, or lay, who adheres to the Traditional Latin Mass that has been loved and practiced for the entire 2000-year history of the Church — until it was brutally quashed by an edict from Francis in his motu proprioTraditiones Custodes” on 16 July 2021, callously depriving them of their most cherished patrimony as Catholics in continuity with every Catholic for the past … not 20 years, not even 200 years, but 2000 years! … and with the simple stroke of a pen wielded by an authoritarian hand that tolerates no opposition and crushes all dissent.

This is Francis (“the humble”) who famously encourages all others to “walk in spiritual accompaniment1 and “to listen to and hear one another” 2  — as long, apparently, as they walk, lockstep, with him and agree with him in all matters spiritual, social, socio-sexual, environmental, economic, and even political.

In living memory no other pope has been so remorselessly, so openly punitive toward those he deems to be impediments to his radically progressive agenda to remake the Church in his own image, an image presciently sculpted in the background by Fazzini in the Modernist Pope Paul VI Audience Hall; an image of things distorted and ultimately hideous.

Cross Francis and your career is over, your position is lost, your vocation itself is in peril and your very livelihood will likely be suspended; you will never be granted an audience with him, no matter how high your ecclesiastical rank (think Cardinal Zen of China whom Francis has refused to see as he pursues his own Ostpolitik with Communist China). Francis is nothing if not vindictive. Were the Vatican a crime syndicate (it is not …. is it?)  Frankie would be a real “Capo” … less any pretensions to refinement.

Consider this: bishops have lost their dioceses. Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas is the most notable to come to mind in America.

Priests by the scores have been “cancelled” (too many to enumerate. See Coalition for Canceled Priests) — they have had their faculties for celebrating the Mass and the Sacraments revoked, and their means for living removed.

One Cardinal and critic of Francis (Raymond Burke) was punished twice: first, by being removed by Francis as Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the court of final appeal at the Vatican: and then, not satisfied, Francis then went on to take away his living quarters in Rome and still not satisfied, stopped his stipend for living! I did say “Capo,” yes? Un bell'uomo, sì? 3

So, what are we, as Catholics, to make of Francis?

It is a question I struggle with daily. There are, I think two categories that we are contending with in addressing this question. Much like a Venn Diagram 4 there are areas where they overlap and become particularly problematic, and I think that this is intentional on the part of Francis as a means of obfuscating issues that would, of themselves, be clearly distinguishable and susceptible to clear interpretation.

I believe that Francis wishes to avoid precision because precision makes no allowance for ambiguity: it redounds to unmistakable clarity which then calls for a necessary resolution. It is particularly within that ill-defined penumbra on the margins of issues where Francis feels that his arguments may at least provisionally survive as minor or temporary premises, at least long enough to carry forth what is essentially an enthymeme or sorites to what he realizes is an an illegitimate conclusion. But it is the conclusion, nevertheless, that he strives for, that he wishes to achieve at any cost. We must understand that it is a matter of arriving at the conclusion that is important to Francis, regardless of the means or the legitimacy of the conclusion. In this sense, his logic, if you will, is not an extension, but merely an expression of his will. Friedrich Nietzsche would understand this at once as an expression of his famous axiom, “der Wille zur Macht,” or the “the Will to Power.”

An Abusive Father

Still, even as an abusive father, we love Francis as we ought.

It is the way Christ commanded us to love others; even, given the present environment in the highest echelons of the Vatican, those who hate us; those who vigorously persecute us; those who very clearly have no good will toward us.

However — because we will him every good and no evil (that is to say, because we love him — and, a fortiori — love Christ all the more) we do not and will not follow so many of Francis’s “moral teachings,” for they do not accord with the Truth, which, for Catholics,  is not simply a  “logically consistent proposition”, but a Person: Jesus Christ and what He Himself taught. 5  Most often they touch upon things in which he has no competence and certainly no mandate: economies, politics, nation-state issues, liberal social-sexual and moral issues in which he demonstrates very clear partisan preferences, environmentalism, the evils of select economic systems, an overweening affection for “mother earth” and indigenous things, a soto-voce reproach of an unstated evil implicit in western culture in particular and civilization in general, especially vis-à-vis the motherly humus of the Amazonian model nurtured by Pachamama in Brazil.

His “spiritual” teachings are less clear. They are not always consistent with the authentic and historical teachings of the Church that we find in the Sacred Deposit of Faith and the Magisterium of the Church. Nor are they (meager as they are in comparison with his “moral teachings”) always consistent with Sacred Scripture, and this is particularly troubling.

His “moral teachings,” however, especially as they come to us through his simpering alter ego “Tucho” Fernandez are particularly pernicious inasmuch as they are intentionally invested with the authority of the office of the Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith which, up to eight months ago, was an office of serious matters headed by individuals with serious intellects and profound theological credentials. That this is no longer so, is abundantly clear.

The DDF appears to have become merely another facet of Francis’s ego writ large. This is quite an accomplishment for a (proudly) humble man. But a humble man becomes a dangerous man when the currency of his humility is found to be counterfeit. When it is revealed that the carefully curated “persona” and the “real” person of whom it is a publicized fiction are no longer negotiable, predictable alliances can result.  This is where “Tucho” comes in. He is as famously bright as Francis is famously humble and this is a useful collaboration where there are things to be done in the dark, things that would redound both to the rehabilitation of Francis’s image that has become tarnished of late, and to the progression of his agenda that appears to have become stymied. Tucho, ever eager to comply, is the man for the job; a noted “creative” writer of fiction-of-sorts, especially of the type that would now avoid scrutiny and publicity in polite company, what better choice for becoming Francis’s alter-persona?

Francis will find impenetrable shadows in that man, both moral and intellectual; shadows that will play with light … while eluding it; never permitting too bright a light to penetrate a lurking darkness where evil things come to light.     

Making Our Choice

If we must choose between what the Church and Sacred Scripture has taught for 2000 years — and what Francis teaches, our choice as Catholics is determined right out of the gate: Scripture and two unbroken millennia of Church teaching prior to Francis and Vatican II.

Yes, both.

Why both? Because Francis declared that he himself is the only pontiff bold enough to fulfill what had been proposed by that most unfortunate Council known as Vatican II, and up to his own pontificate never fully enacted. It can broadly be summed up in one (rather long) word: Ecumenism — understood as “religion-in-general-and-no-religion-in-particular-especially-not-Catholicism-and-perhaps-no-religion-at-all. Ecumenism is generally understood as the endeavor to restore a recalcitrant “Christian unity” between the Catholic Church and nominally Christian communities that had separated themselves from the Catholic Church subsequent to disputes concerning doctrine or dogma. Most often it was both which, for various reasons, they had found unacceptable, inconvenient, or impractical to purposes at hand, resulting in virtually hundreds, if not thousands, of ecclesial bodies with contradictory, conflicting, and theologically irreconcilable beliefs, not only with the Catholic Church but between the mutually opposing denominations themselves.

The Second Vatican Council, having failed to achieve this ecumenical unity (Protestants did not return to the Catholic Church, so the Catholic Church gradually Protestantized itself to minimize the conflict in doctrine, dogma, liturgy, and worship, effectively achieving a kind of unilateral ecumenism through adopting Protestantism for all practical purposes. The next logical step in this radical “progressive” impetus was, of course, native Interreligious/Interfaith Dialogue. Following this, in a still more natural progression, is Indifferentism: all religions — however incompatible, and despite being logically and theologically contradictory and inconsistent, are nevertheless equally true ... even if the realization of several, or one, is achieved through abolishing all the others.  That this is, in the minds of rational men,  illogical, impossible, and therefore madness, is quite beside the point: it simply pleases us to maintain that this is so. We saw this repeatedly in Assisi under three pontiffs: John Paul II (twice), Benedict XVI, and, of course, Francis (twice). Not to be outdone, Francis brought Indifferentism (and blasphemy), into Vatican Gardens themselves with Pachamama.

One day, perhaps not far off, Vatican II will be remembered and understood for what it was and is: a scourge on the Church and — as every great heresy has ever been from Gnosticism to Protestantism — the calamitous defection from what is good and holy to what is ultimately banal and absurd.

It is man apart from God. For all its pretensions, it is nothing more than this.

Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal

Wednesday May 8, 2024
Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary




  3. “A Nice guy, yes?”

  4. Venn Diagram:

Photo source:

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Is the Novus Ordo Mass Valid?

Is the Novus Ordo Mass Valid?

Because of the Incessant Abuses We Witness,
This Question Will Not Go Away

Perhaps no other question is more routinely asked us than this

The Novus Ordo Mass is a valid Mass: Jesus Christ is truly present after Transubstantiation under the hands of the priest acting in persona Christi. The Novus Ordo Mass itself is, at least in most places within America (and most of Europe) quite nearly a travesty of the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that had been celebrated for 2000 years (and briefly during the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI) before that needless novelty we understand as “Vatican II”. It is, too often, nearly blasphemous, and my heart sinks when I think of the shameful things to which Our Blessed Lord is often subjected prior to His coming to us in Holy Communion in such parishes.

If you are within a reasonable distance to a Traditional Latin Mass, or are among the fortunate few to have found a Novus Ordo parish with a priestly pastor who clearly understands and exercises the vertical dimension of his vocation (calling his flock to sanctity and to God; not to social justice, correctitude, and other irrelevant absurdities) I earnestly suggest avoiding the Novus Ordo Mass as an impediment, and often even a detriment, to your Faith and your life in Christ. It is such a sad but necessary statement make.

However, for all the banality of the Novus Ordo Mass and its conspicuous lack of anything verging on sanctity, it is at least for the 3-4 minutes when the Sacred Species are Confected into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ … Him, present to us!

We must see Him very much as we would have seen Him on the Cross: disfigured, mocked, even unrecognizable within all that surrounds Him! But it is, nevertheless, Him! And for those 3-4 minutes we come face to face with our Lord and our God: we encounter Him … in the crowd that does not know Him or even see Him, He sees us!

We must understand ourselves, as it were, as being in the crowd among the Roman soldiers, the Pharisees and the Sadducees; among those who ridicule Him and mock Him, and who would even spit upon Him! That is to say, among those who do not know Him, Who He is, nor whence He is.

Those who do know Him there are small in number: Mary His Holy Mother, Mary Magdalen, Saint John, Dismas, Longinus … and although we are not saints, us! Yes, us …. if only because we know Him and see Him in that mindless crowd and in that bitter humiliation that was Calvary and that has become the Novus Ordo Mass.

This does not mean that we are saints and that we will go to Heaven. No! It means that we recognize the depths of our sinfulness and our unworthiness even to be counted among those who tormented Christ — for we do no less … each and every time we sin! But still He looks upon us at the moment of Transubstantiation! Just because we recognize Him does not mean that we are worthy of Him! No! But at the very least … we know that He is there, and that He knows that we know that He is there.

Find the Tridentine Mass, the Most Holy Mass of 200 centuries, at all costs! But if you cannot because of the wiles of the Evil One and the complicity of evil men at the highest levels in the Church, go to Him where no one else seems to find Him, or even knows that He is there. Sit quietly in your pew and engage in none of the nonsense and noise that would call you away from Him. But when the time of Canon of the Mass comes, and even the most wicked priest cannot change the words of Institution to his own liking — thenthen, kneel before our God, and tell Him that you have come for Him, and Him alone. He will know.

Geoffrey K. Mondello
May 21, 2024
Feast of Sts. Andrew Bobola and Eugene de Mazenod

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A Reflection on the Legacy of a Steward

Francis: the unfaithful steward
Francis, Ecumenism,

and the Divisions within us

All are Welcome, Except All the Children ...

Francis will diealthough we do not wish his death, nor the death of any man — but it is, withal, the temporal end of every man, pontiff or layman, commoner or king. Reflecting on this as Francis recently celebrated his 87th birthday, we are moved to observe something very simple about his stewardship over the House that the Lord has entrusted to him.

For 10 years now, Francis has attempted to renovate a House that is not his, but only placed in his care as a steward. The majestic facades, the incense-imbued silence within, dimly colored with the stained-glass light of a late afternoon; the soaring spires that proclaimed the great Triumph of the Cross abroad for all to see — these were not his to depredate: they belonged to God and to His simple servants who raised them to His glory through the coppers they gave and through the rough, calloused, hands that engraved every niche in stone by dint of a devotion every bit as indestructible as the tip of the chisel the stone yielded to.

Some of these Francis and his bishops simply tore down; others they emptied by consolidating them with other Catholic parishes who were equally bleeding parishioners and sold them to Muslims whose adherents grew as exponentially as ours diminished. Some were sold to Evangelical Protestants (especially Hispanic), others to developers who gutted them and turned them into trendy condominiums. And others are left simply abandoned and ruined. This was part of the growth spurred by the innovations of Vatican II that was supposed to bring the Church into the World but brought, instead, the World into the Church.

And the faithful fled, seeing little difference between the two.


A far more destructive renovation is much closer to the heart of Francis, however, than the mere obliteration of what was symbolically holy in the external presentation of the Church. And it concerns the very heart of the Church: its Mass and its Liturgy. These were the two  greatest impediments to the holy grail of Vatican II: Ecumenism. And inextricably bound up with them were the Sacred Deposit of Faith, and Sacred Tradition. They had been quietly but indelibly preserved in Latin despite nearly 70 years of experimentation in the Vernacular Mass that somehow had promised, but could not deliver upon, an organic evolution of worship into something ecumenically acceptable to all men in all religions.

Perhaps the New Order of the Mass, the Novus Ordo constructed by Bishop Luca Brandolini and Anabile Bugnini,1 could still lend itself as the vehicle to a universal worship of God under the auspices of Ecumenism: each religion to its own god to be worshipped as the one, true god in Catholicism — but not in Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, or Hinduism, each of whom keep their respective gods without conflating them with any other god, especially the Catholic God. To use Francis’s dismissive term for Traditional Catholics,“indietrists2 are much too caught up in trifles like logic to enter emotionally into the “spirit” of Ecumenism where, apparently, the Law of Non-Contradiction 3 is not admissible and contradictory affirmations are compulsory.

All are Welcome ... Except All the Children ...

Certainly, this New Order of Mass, the Novus Ordo of Paul VI — unlike the Latin Mass — has proven itself to be extremely versatile and spontaneously creative, possessing nothing of that loathsome “ridigity” so detested by Francis in the “Old Latin Mass.” We have witnessed this spontaneity, this tossing off of the shackles of customary ritual in nearly every Mass; so much so, in fact, that we never quite know what to expect at a Mass the next town over if a Catholic Church still remains there. It could be a “Charismatic Mass” that could vie with, or even surpass in excess, any uninhibited Protestant Revival Meeting. It could be a “Healing Mass,” or a “Children’s Mass.” It may not even be in your language. It could even be an “Ecumenical Service” with your local Protestant Minister, Jewish Rabbi, or Muslim Imam. So many Masses we now have! Except Latin Masses.

“All are welcome!” ... except Latin rite Catholics. ... the unwelcome step-children of Vatican II ... the only children not allowed to “walk in accompaniment” with Francis & Friends; a “privilege” reserved to “other” Catholics, non-Catholics, and atheists alike. Francis's own rigid insistence on the Novus Ordo Mass to the exclusion of any Mass preceding Vatican II is, in fact, completely understandable in light of his determination to fulfill  the Ecumenical pledge of Vatican II: not just the unification of all Christians in spite of doctrinal, ecclesiological, and Confessional differences, but more ambitiously, the unification of all believers in some form of transcendental reality. This is a very, very, broad category comprising nearly everything beyond sensibility, and even sensibility is not categorically excluded. So understood, the term becomes so broad as to become almost meaningless. It is much like claiming to achieve an ultimate Hegelian synthesis that claims to reconcile all contradictions but cannot explain how, and so becomes unintelligible and therefore worthless.

This is becoming too dense for the casual reader so I will not pursue it. Nor should the casual reader regret the omission. Really, it is hardly worth it.

For Francis to scornfully dismiss those who are not persuaded that his ecumenical agendum is the principal reason behind his effectively abolishing and outlawing the Latin Mass (although he disingenuously — really, quite dishonestly — states that it is to preserve unity in the Church) is a failure in charity to acknowledge real and legitimate issues among the faithful concerning the very unity he pretends to seek while actively striking discord within it. For Francis to claim that he is trying to preserve unity through this autocratic move is both shamefully and manifestly untruthful. That the Latin Mass, together with the theology upon which it has been articulated, has been so forcefully repudiated by Francis is an indication of how desperate a measure he is willing to resort to in order to implement, or better yet, to force, an increasingly brittle ecumenical paradigm on clergy and laity alike. Pieces of that ecumenical puzzle that are not of Bergoglio's making either will not fit, or refuse to fit, however much force he applies to them.

A Happy Failure

It will be a happy failure that Francis could not, for all his intrigue and ill-designs, bring to an end what faithless princes and kings, heretics and apostates through 20 centuries had been unable to achieve: the destruction, and the utter removal from living memory, of the inextinguishable sanctity of the Latin Mass of All Times and All Places. .

It will be a sad epitaph for Francis in many ways, and history will not look kindly upon his persecution of the faithful in the very house given them and entrusted to him to keep them. It is all the more sad, not that he failed to keep them, or even that he refused to keep them, but that he sought to drive them out. Seeking to please men, he drove out the children. It is a tragedy of great depth. It is also one that calls for deep, even the most profound, prayer; prayer that must extend to the hand that strikes, as well as to the stricken, for none of us is without sin.

Listening to Christ, let us put aside all contention, and remember not so much what has been done to us, but rather what remains for us to do:

Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you.” (St. Matthew 5.44)


Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal
January 10, 2024
Feast of Pope St. Agatho

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1 “I can’t fight back the tears. This is the saddest moment in my life as a man, priest and bishop”, Luca Brandolini, a member of the liturgy commission of the Italian bishops’ conference, told Rome daily La Repubblica in an interview on Sunday. “It’s a day of mourning, not just for me but for the many people who worked for the Second Vatican Council. A reform for which many people worked, with great sacrifice and only inspired by the desire to renew the Church, has now been cancelled.” — Bishop Luca Brandolini (principal architect of the Novus Ordo Missae, or the Vernacular Mass)

2 Franciss Italian neologism meaning: backwardists.

3 Contradictory propositions cannot, at one and the same time, and in the same sense, be both true and not true, e.g.
   “It is true that the god worshipped by Muslims is not the same God worshipped by Catholics.
   “It is true that the God worshipped by Catholics is same the god worshipped by Muslims.
   “It is true that the God worshipped by Catholics is not the same god worshipped by Muslims.
   “It is true that the god worshipped by Muslims is the same God worshipped by Catholics.



The Queer and Impulsive God of

The Recreant Steward and the Captain of the Tower Guard

Fiducia supplicans


This “declaration on Catholic doctrine,” which is more properly an aberration of it — is Francis’s latest effort to appease a coterie of his most ardent supporters by attempting to legitimize “irregular” — which is to say, “sinful”— “unions” of actively-engaged homosexuals by invoking “blessings” upon them. It is effectively summarized in paragraph (31)

FS 31. “These forms of blessing express a supplication that God may grant those aids that come from the impulses of his Spirit—what classical theology calls “actual grace”—so that human relationships may mature and grow in fidelity to the Gospel, that they may be freed from their imperfections and frailties, and that they may express themselves in the ever-increasing dimension of the divine love.”

There are two very serious problems with this statement. Once concerns the manipulation of language, and one concerns a calculated misrepresentation of the notion of Actual Grace. Both are intended to mislead the casual reader, and to promote an agendum (specifically, homosexuality as acceptable to God and the Catholic Church — other supposed “irregular unions” implied are simply intentional distractions) that is not simply contrary to Catholic Teaching, but is militantly hostile to it.

Let us look at the first:

   “These [so-called “pastoral”] forms of blessing express a supplication that God
may grant those aids that come from the impulses of his Spirit …”

This is a very queer notion. First, God does not have “impulses.” Consider the definition of “impulse” from four respectable sources:

  • “a sudden spontaneous inclination or incitement to some usually unpremeditated action” 1

  • “a sudden strong wish to do something” 2

  • “a sudden desire to do something” 3

  • “a sudden wish or urge that prompts an unpremeditated act or feeling; an abrupt inclination4

Italicized above are all the words in each definition that do not, and cannot, possibly pertain to God.

What God is Not

  • God is never “spontaneous” [happening or done in a natural, often sudden way, without any planning or without being forced”]. He does not act with “out of the blue” spontaneity. Spontaneity implies a sudden change in God, but God does not change.

  • Neither is God ever “motivated:” He is His own cause: nothing “other” than Himself motivates Him.

  • Nor is God ever “inclined” to do something or anything, for this would imply a change within Him from potentiality (or as the Schoolmen called it, “potency”) to act; as it were, from His possessing something potentially but not choosing to actualize it, or cause it to be. But that would mean that the Being of God is not a pure Act, but has the potential to be more than it is — and this is not what we understand by “God”: that is to say, we do not understand by God one who can be more than He is and chooses not to be, for such a being, capable of being more than He is, cannot be God, for He would be less than He could be, and such a being we do not understand to be God.

  • Neither is God susceptible to “incitement” for the same reasons outlined above — still less to “unpremeditated action” (an omniscient, all-knowing, God cannot possibly possess anything “unpremeditated”, i.e. something He did not know or purpose).

  • Nor is God susceptible to “desires,” since He possesses all that could be desired in the possession of Himself.

  • For the same reasons He does not “wish” for anything, nor is He “inclined” toward anything, or have “urges” for anything. Even anthropologically understood, they cannot be predicated of God or in any way pertain to Him.

All these things pertain to the notion of “impulses.”

No Blessings Can Come from What is Not God

There are no blessings, then, that can possibly come from the fiction called “the impulses of his (sic, presumably God’s) Spirit,” for God the Holy Spirit, as we have gone to pains to demonstrate, does not have, and cannot have, “impulses.”

Furthermore, to conflate this illegitimate and meaningless notion of God behaving “impulsively” with the legitimate theological concept of Actual Grace is nothing less than an attempt at theological legerdemain (trickery). In a word, the connection between the two is spurious.

Perhaps the most succinct description of Actual Grace is along these lines: It is the grace given to the achievement of, and not enduring beyond, a salutary action that itself, as inherently good (for God will not and cannot give us grace to do something evil), and which is granted through the merits of Jesus Christ.

More to the point, it is an irreconcilable contradiction to claim that people living in objectively sinful relationships — or the sins that Francis, Fernández & Friends prefer to verbally sanitize as “irregular unions” — are, in fact, capable of receiving an actual blessing that will assist them in achieving an action that is neither spiritually nor naturally salutary or good, for the action (active homosexuality) is intrinsically sinful, and as sinful, eo ipso evil.

 Few appear willing to state this inescapable conclusion for fear of being “socially incorrect” or “hurting the feelings of others.” However, “hurting the feelings” of others so that their immortal souls may avoid Hell and attain to Heaven is an inestimably good act. It is an act of love, for love ever wills the good of the other and no evil.

Not on Merit

Since Francis is keen to discourage piety in Catholics (dismissing reverence toward the Holy Eucharist as an attitude of regarding it as “a prize for the perfect” 5 — as though any Catholic deems himself perfect) or filial adherence to long established Church teaching as “rigidity,” “backwardness,” and more 6,  we must hasten to add that the objection to a “blessing” of the sort proposed is not based on a matter of “merit,” since no one — absolutely no one — “merits” the grace of God in any form, Sanctifying, Habitual, or Actual. Francis cannot implicitly argue (as he did, concerning the Eucharist) that heterosexual couples (“proudly”) deem themselves meritorious of blessings (and are therefore unworthy of them), while (“humble”) homosexual “couples” recognize they are not worthy of them (and are therefore worthy of them). Why? We had just stated it: No one is deserving or worthy of them.

But for this reason, are we to understand that the notion of sin no longer applies to human actions? For this reason is murder, or adultery, or active homosexuality not a sin? How did we even arrive at the semblance such ridiculous argumentum ad absudum?

It is simple: the proposition — Fiducia supplicans — itself is absurd: that God can and will bless what is sinful and abhorrent to Him.


Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal

December 29, 2023
Feast of St. Thomas Becket

   Printable PDF Version






5 Evangelium Gaudium 5.47

6 Fundamentalists [who] keep God away from accompanying his people, they divert their minds from him and transform him into an ideology. So, in the name of this ideological god, they kill, they attack, destroy, slander”, “narcissists,” idolaters”, “rebels”, “legalists”, “inflexible”, cf.


Martyrology for Today

Semen est sanguis Christianorum (The blood of Christians is the seed of the Church) Tertullian, Apologeticum, 50



Saturday June 22nd in the Year of Grace 2024

Time after Pentecost

This Day, the Twenty-Second Day of June

At Nola, in Campania, the birthday of blessed Paulinus, bishop and confessor, who, although a most noble and wealthy man, made himself poor and humble for Christ; and what is still more admirable, became a slave to liberate a widow's son, who had been carried to Africa by the Vandals, when they devastated Campania. He was celebrated, not only for his learning and exceptional holiness of life, but also for his power over the demons. His great merit has been extolled by Saints Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine and Gregory, in their writings. His body, at first transferred to Benevento, and thence to Rome, was restored to Nola by order of Pius X.

At Rome, blessed Innocent V, Pope, who labored with mildness and prudence to maintain liberty for the Church and harmony among Christians. The veneration paid to him, Pope Leo XIII approved and confirmed.

On Mount Ararat, the martyrdom of ten thousand holy martyrs, who were crucified.

At Verulam, in England, in the time of Diocletian, St. Alban, martyr, who gave himself up to save a cleric whom he had harbored. After being scourged and subjected to bitter torments, he was sentenced to capital punishment. With him suffered also one of the soldiers that led him to execution, who was converted to Christ on the way, and merited to be baptized, in his own blood.

At Samaria, fourteen hundred and eighty holy martyrs, under Chosroes, king of Persia.

At Rome, the translation of St. Flavius Clemens, ex-consul and martyr, who was put to death for the faith of Christ by the emperor Domitian. His body was found in the basilica of Pope St. Clement, and buried there with great pomp.

The same day, St. Nicaeas, bishop of the town of Bomatia, celebrated for his learning and holy life.

At Naples, in Campania, St. John, bishop, who was called to the kingdom of Heaven by blessed Paulinus, bishop of Nola.

In the monastery of Cluny, St. Consortia, virgin.

At London in England, on Tower Hill, St. John Fisher, bishop of Rochester and cardinal of the Holy Roman Church. For the defense of the Catholic faith and the primacy of the Roman Pontiff he was beheaded by order of King Henry VIII.

And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

Omnes sancti Mártyres, oráte pro nobis. ("All ye Holy Martyrs, pray for us", from the Litaniae Sanctorum, the Litany of the Saints)

Response: Thanks be to God.


Roman Martyrology by Month

Why the Martyrs Matter

Each day we bring you a calendar, a list really, of the holy Martyrs who had suffered and died for Christ, for His Bride the Church, and for our holy Catholic Faith; men and women for whom — and well they knew — their Profession of Faith would cost them their lives.

They could have repudiated all three (Christ, Church, and Catholic Faith) and kept their lives for a short time longer (even the lapsi * only postponed their death — and at so great a cost!)

What would motivate men, women, even children and entire families to willingly undergo the most evil and painfully devised tortures; to suffer death rather than denial?

Why did they not renounce their Catholic Faith when the first flame licked at their feet, after the first eye was plucked out, or after they were “baptized” in mockery by boiling water or molten lead poured over their heads? Why did they not flee to offer incense to the pagan gods since such a ritual concession would be merely perfunctory, having been done, after all, under duress, exacted by the compulsion of the state? What is a little burned incense and a few words uttered without conviction, compared to your own life and the lives of those you love? Surely God knows that you are merely placating the state with empty gestures …

Did they love their wives, husbands, children — their mothers, fathers and friends less than we do? Did they value their own lives less? Were they less sensitive to pain than we are? In a word, what did they possess that we do not?

Nothing. They possessed what we ourselves are given in the Sacrament of Confirmation — but cleaved to it in far greater measure than we do: Faith and faithfulness; fortitude and valor, uncompromising belief in the invincible reality of God, of life eternal in Him for the faithful, of damnation everlasting apart from Him for the unfaithful; of the ephemerality of this passing world and all within it, and lives lived in total accord with that adamant belief.

We are the Martyrs to come! What made them so will make us so. What they suffered we will suffer. What they died for, we will die for. If only we will! For most us, life will be a bloodless martyrdom, a suffering for Christ, for the sake of Christ, for the sake of the Church in a thousand ways outside the arena. The road to Heaven is lined on both sides with Crosses, and upon the Crosses people, people who suffered unknown to the world, but known to God. Catholics living in partibus infidelium, under the scourge of Islam. Loveless marriages. Injustices on all sides. Poverty. Illness. Old age. Dependency. They are the cruciform! Those whose lives became Crosses because they would not flee God, the Church, the call to, the demand for, holiness in the most ordinary things of life made extraordinary through the grace of God. The Martyrology we celebrate each day is just a vignette, a small, immeasurably small, sampling of the martyrdom that has been the lives of countless men and women whom Christ and the Angels know, but whom the world does not know.

“Exemplum enim dedi vobis”, Christ said to His Apostles: “I have given you an example.” And His Martyrs give one to us — and that is why the Martyrs matter.

  • A Martyr is one who suffers tortures and a violent death for the sake of Christ and the Catholic Faith.

  • A Confessor is one who confesses Christ publicly in times of persecution and who suffers torture, or severe punishment by secular authorities as a consequence. It is a title given only given to those who suffered for the Faith  —  but was not  killed for it  —   and who had persevered in the Faith until the end.

Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal

Note: We suggest that you explore our newly edited and revised De SS. Martyrum Cruciatibus — The Torments and Tortures of the Christian Martyrs for an in-depth historical account of the sufferings of the Martyrs.

* Those early Christians who renounced their Catholic Faith in times of persecution. When confronted with the prospect of torture and death if they held fast to their faith in Christ, they denied Him and their Faith through an act of sacrificing (often incense) to the pagan Roman gods and in so doing kept their lives and/or their freedom and property.


Boston Catholic Journal

Totally Faithful to the Sacred Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Holy See in Rome

Scio opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum 
I know your works ... that you have but little power, and yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name.
(Apocalypse 3.8)

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