What Clericalism Looks Like

From Web Exclusives

For the past three months, parishioners and friends of the Church of Our Saviour on Park Avenue in midtown Manhattan have been wondering what happened to the fourteen icons that were removed from two pilasters in the sanctuary on the evening of August 22. They have also been wondering why the artwork was removed in the first place. It was integral to the church’s wall-to-wall iconography, which had been commissioned by the previous pastor and funded in part by the Vatican. Other icons in the sanctuary remain. Those that are now missing were integral to the “sacred geometry of the whole sanctuary,” as their artist, Ken Woo, describes them. Their sudden disappearance has been as conspicuous as their presence was. Continue Reading »

How to Do Things with Words

From First Thoughts

A friend and I are arguing over the word traditionalist as applied to Catholics. He criticizes “traditionalists” but means only the “cranks,” he insists: No “sane person” would call himself a Catholic traditionalist; only cranks do that. When he writes “traditionalist,” my friend has in mind a careful definition that excludes the likes of Cardinal Burke and Pope Emeritus Benedict, but the word in general circulation has a broader range than that, and many gentle souls get caught in its net. Continue Reading »

Lessons from Lepanto

From First Thoughts

For months leading up to the Battle of Lepanto, fought on this day 443 years ago, Pope Pius V urged the faithful to pray for military victory against Muslim forces aiming to storm Italy from its Adriatic coast. Specifically, he enjoined Catholics in Europe to pray daily the most holy rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Christian navy prevailed, and on the Roman calendar October 7 was dedicated to Our Lady of Victory. Continue Reading »

Summorum Pontificum, Seven Years On

From Web Exclusives

Seven years ago this week, Pope Benedict XVI promulgated the apostolic letter Summorum Pontificum, liberalizing use of the 1962 missal and affirming the continuity between it and the ordinary form of Mass. He stressed the seamlessness of the Roman rite in its two forms, the old and the new. In principle, the traditional Latin Mass does not divide the Church, he insisted, in response to the spectacle of Catholics dividing themselves over it, each side accusing the other of being divisive. Continue Reading »

June 13, Catholic Father’s Day

From Web Exclusives

Anthony, O.F.M., age thirty-five, died in Padua on this date in 1231; 352 days later, Pope Gregory IX declared him a saint. In the history of the Western Church, Anthony’s elevation from the grave to the altar remains the fastest since Pope Alexander III, in 1170, removed from local bishops the power to canonize saints and invested it exclusively in the papacy. About twenty years after the Franciscan friar set his posthumous record, a Dominican friar, Peter of Verona, came this close to breaking it: 354 days. Maybe causes for sainthood just tended to move more swiftly back then. Even so, Anthony’s moved faster than the rest. Continue Reading »

It’s Extraordinary

From Web Exclusives

The Church of Our Saviour in Manhattan has discontinued offering Mass in the extraordinary form, also known as the traditional Latin Mass, the Tridentine Mass, and the Mass of Blessed Pope John XXIII. Fr. George Rutler offered it on Sundays at 9 a.m. when he was pastor of Our Saviour… . Continue Reading »

Re: When Search Engines Get Political

From First Thoughts

Collin : Early in his administration we were treated to depictions of Obama as FDR. Obama as Lincoln is an association the president himself works assiduously to cultivate, as Rich Lowry has noted. Using MLK in the same fashion is flattering to the president’s image, but the result is a . . . . Continue Reading »

Pope Francis on the “Gay Lobby”

From First Thoughts

In a meeting with Latin American members of religious orders on June 6, Pope Francis reportedly spoke of a “gay lobby” in the Roman curia. Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the press office of the Holy See, has declined to comment, explaining that the meeting was private. The source for . . . . Continue Reading »