Pope Francis has added three new titles to the Litany of Loreto, the ancient prayer to Our Lady under various of her titles: We are asked to invoke her intercession as Mother of Mercy, of Hope and of Migrants. Being a migrant myself, albeit not with my own will, as a young lad from Scotland, I can appreciate the latter – taking ‘migrant’ in the broad sense, of someone who moves out of a country (e-migrant) into another country (im-migrant), for reasons great and small. And we could all use more hope and mercy, heaven knows.
Yet what are we to make of his rebuke of priests acting like ‘adolescents’ in offering the sacraments clandestinely – and, at one level, disobediently – during the Covid lockdown? (If you’d like the original Italian of the speech, see here). The Pope contrasted to priests who acted like ‘fathers’, thinking of imaginative ways to minster, like, ahem, ‘doing the shopping’ for parishioners. Feed the body, but not so much the soul, I suppose. In many dioceses, priests were put under effective house arrest, forbidden to practice almost any of their ministry, ‘sheltering in place’ and ‘staying safe’, which does not jibe to the example of pestilences and plagues throughout history – in comparison to which in severity Covid pales – with priests ministering ‘unto death’. On a recent visit to where my Dad lives, a suburban centre, the signs on many lawns declared ‘Our heroes wear scrubs’, not, I thought, Roman collars. Signs are, after all, significant.
This is also the anniversary of two defeats for marriage in the United States: On this day in 2013, SCOTUS – the Supreme Court – struck down DOMA – the Defense of Marriage Act, which limited marriage to that between a man and a woman, and no self-identifying, if you will. Then, two years to the day, in Obergefell v. Hodges, they made homosexual ‘marriage’ fully legal under the Fourteenth Amendment (which originally forbade discrimination based on race in slavery, just after the Civil War).
Along with marriage, sacred totems are falling left, right and centre, as BLM anarchy topples the old gods – or, should we say, the Old God? – but, as religion abhors a vacuum even more than nature does, new gods are not far behind, not the benign ‘summer of love’ cupids, but darker and more sinister entities. Even if many of these blithe ingénue would-be revolutionaries – the fruits of the modern university – know not what they do, these new spirits do. Like la revolution francaise, they begin with decapitating and mutilating statues, and before you can say ‘where’s me head?’, they’re doing the same to people. Ironic, and quite onomatopoeic, that the new ‘nation’, a community without any visible head, if you will, is called CHOP.
I was on a pilgrimage bike ride to an old church in Chapeau (the ‘hat’) on the north end of Allumette (the ‘match’) Island, dedicated to Saint Alphonsus Ligouri, who founded the Redemptorists, the Order to which the new bishop-elect of this diocese belongs. Years ago – 2010? – Our College Schola sang Mozart’s ineffable Requiem, with a small orchestra, during an usus antiquior Mass, as we may presume the composer intended. . The church itself, built in an age of Faith now all but gone from Quebec, its majestic front doors looking high over the Ottawa River, are now painted shut. I wonder if they still even have Mass there – (Wonder no more: We are very glad to read in the comment below from the parish priest, Father Moyle, that the doors of majestic Saint Alphonsus Ligouri church are indeed open for Mass and the sacraments, and our apologies for presuming otherwise!) The Requiem Mass is a poignant memory of mine, and we may hope that what was, may yet be again
I have an article on LifeSite today, a response to the June 9th letter of His Grace, Archbishop Vigano on the Second Vatican Council and other matters. It is a bit of a tome – that is, my reply – but if you have the time and proclivity, please do read it over, and comments, critical and otherwise, are welcome, all in the cause of truth. We must keep our balance in all of this. After all, it’s all about eternity, so see the reflection on the saints of the day.