Sunday, December 28, 2008

Urbi et orbi

From Asianews

Pope: may the light of Christmas shine also where human dignity and rights are violated
Benedict XVI again appeals for the Middle East - in particular, for Israelis and Palestinians, the Holy Land, Lebanon and Iraq - for Africa, and also for the rich countries that are now in crisis. "May the Light of Christmas shine forth and encourage all people to do their part in a spirit of authentic solidarity. If people look only to their own interests, our world will certainly fall apart."

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - It is for all men, the proclamation of hope that constitutes "the heart of the Christmas message": that its light may shine on the persons and peoples who suffer, on the Middle East and Africa, wherever the rights and dignity of the person are offended, where violence and terrorism strike, in countries where there is a lack of food, and also in prosperous countries now looking with apprehension to a future that is becoming increasingly uncertain.

May the light of Christmas shine for all: this is the wish that Benedict XVI today addressed to the world in his Christmas message, delivered from the balcony of St. Peter's Square. "May the Light of Christmas shine forth and encourage all people to do their part in a spirit of authentic solidarity. If people look only to their own interests, our world will certainly fall apart." The message was followed by Christmas greetings from the Pope and 64 languages including: Mongolian, Georgian, Turkish, Arabic, Hebrew, Aramaic, Armenian, Hindi, Tamil, Malayam, Bengalese, Burmese, Urdu, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Sinhalese, Thai, Indonesian, Cambodian, Tagalog.

This is the pope's Christmas message.

"The grace of God our Saviour has appeared to all" (Tit 2:11, Vulg.) Dear brothers and sisters, in the words of the Apostle Paul, I once more joyfully proclaim Christ’s Birth. Today "the grace of God our Saviour" has truly "appeared to all"!

It appeared! This is what the Church celebrates today. The grace of God, rich in goodness and love, is no longer hidden. It "appeared", it was manifested in the flesh, it showed its face. Where? In Bethlehem. When? Under Caesar Augustus, during the first census, which the Evangelist Luke also mentions. And who is the One who reveals it? A newborn Child, the Son of the Virgin Mary. In him the grace of God our Saviour has appeared. And so that Child is called Jehoshua, Jesus, which means: "God saves".

The grace of God has appeared. That is why Christmas is a feast of light. Not like the full daylight which illumines everything, but a glimmer beginning in the night and spreading out from a precise point in the universe: from the stable of Bethlehem, where the divine Child was born. Indeed, he is the light itself, which begins to radiate, as portrayed in so many paintings of the Nativity. He is the light whose appearance breaks through the gloom, dispels the darkness and enables us to understand the meaning and the value of our own lives and of all history. Every Christmas crib is a simple yet eloquent invitation to open our hearts and minds to the mystery of life. It is an encounter with the immortal Life which became mortal in the mystic scene of the Nativity: a scene which we can admire here too, in this Square, as in countless churches and chapels throughout the world, and in every house where the name of Jesus is adored.

The grace of God has appeared to all. Jesus – the face of the "God who saves", did not show himself only for a certain few, but for everyone. Although it is true that in the simple and lowly dwelling of Bethlehem few persons encountered him, still he came for all: Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, those near and those far away, believers and non-believers… for everyone. Supernatural grace, by God’s will, is meant for every creature. Yet each human person needs to accept that grace, to utter his or her own "yes", like Mary, so that his or her heart can be illumined by a ray of that divine light. It was Mary and Joseph, who that night welcomed the incarnate Word, awaiting it with love, along with the shepherds who kept watch over their flocks (cf. Lk 2:1-20). A small community, in other words, which made haste to adore the Child Jesus; a tiny community which represents the Church and all people of good will. Today too those who await him, who seek him in their lives, encounter the God who out of love became our brother – all those who turn their hearts to him, who yearn to see his face and to contribute to the coming of his Kingdom. Jesus himself would say this in his preaching: these are the poor in spirit; those who mourn, the meek, those who thirst for justice; the merciful, the pure of heart, the peacemakers, and those persecuted for righteousness’ sake (cf. Mt 5:3-10). They are the ones who see in Jesus the face of God and then set out again, like the shepherds of Bethlehem, renewed in heart by the joy of his love.

Brothers and sisters, all you who are listening to my words: this proclamation of hope – the heart of the Christmas message - is meant for all men and women. Jesus was born for everyone, and just as Mary, in Bethlehem, offered him to the shepherds, so on this day the Church presents him to all humanity, so that each person and every human situation may come to know the power of God’s saving grace, which alone can transform evil into good, which alone can change human hearts, making them oases of peace.

May the many people who continue to dwell in darkness and the shadow of death (cf. Lk 1:79) come to know the power of God’s saving grace! May the divine Light of Bethlehem radiate throughout the Holy Land, where the horizon seems once again bleak for Israelis and Palestinians. May it spread throughout Lebanon, Iraq and the whole Middle East. May it bring forth rich fruit from the efforts of all those who, rather than resigning themselves to the twisted logic of conflict and violence, prefer instead the path of dialogue and negotiation as the means of resolving tensions within each country and finding just and lasting solutions to the conflicts troubling the region. This light, which brings transformation and renewal, is besought by the people of Zimbabwe, in Africa, trapped for all too long in a political and social crisis which, sadly, keeps worsening, as well as the men and women of the Democratic Republic of Congo, especially in the war-torn region of Kivu, Darfur, in Sudan, and Somalia, whose interminable sufferings are the tragic consequence of the lack of stability and peace. This light is awaited especially by the children living in those countries, and the children of all countries experiencing troubles, so that their future can once more be filled with hope.

Wherever the dignity and rights of the human person are trampled upon; wherever the selfishness of individuals and groups prevails over the common good; wherever fratricidal hatred and the exploitation of man by man risk being taken for granted; wherever internecine conflicts divide ethnic and social groups and disrupt peaceful coexistence; wherever terrorism continues to strike; wherever the basics needed for survival are lacking; wherever an increasingly uncertain future is regarded with apprehension, even in affluent nations: in each of these places may the Light of Christmas shine forth and encourage all people to do their part in a spirit of authentic solidarity. If people look only to their own interests, our world will certainly fall apart.

Dear brothers and sisters, today, "the grace of God our Saviour has appeared" (cf. Tit 2:11) in this world of ours, with all its potential and its frailty, its advances and crises, its hopes and travails. Today, there shines forth the light of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Most High and the son of the Virgin Mary: "God from God, light from light, true God from true God. For us men, and for our salvation, he came down from heaven". Let us adore him, this very day, in every corner of the world, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a lowly manger. Let us adore him in silence, while he, still a mere infant, seems to comfort us by saying: Do not be afraid, "I am God, and there is no other" (Is 45:22). Come to me, men and women, peoples and nations, come to me. Do not be afraid: I have come to bring you the love of the Father, and to show you the way of peace.

Let us go, then, brothers and sisters! Let us make haste, like the shepherds on that Bethlehem night. God has come to meet us; he has shown us his face, full of grace and mercy! May his coming to us not be in vain! Let us seek Jesus, let us be drawn to his light which dispels sadness and fear from every human heart. Let us draw near to him with confidence, and bow down in humility to adore him. Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Blessed Christmas


Gloria in excelsis Deo!
A Blessed Christmas to all readers of Unam Sanctam.


Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy that shall be to all the people: For, this day is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest: and on earth peace to men of good will!
Luke 2: 10-14


Puer natus in Bethlehem, Alleluia: unde gaudet Jerusalem, Alleluia.

R./ In cordis jubilo Christum natum adoremus, cum novo cantico.

Assumpsit carnem filius, Alleluia, Dei Patris altissimus, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Per Gabrielem nuntium, Alleluia, Virgo concepit Filium, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Et angelus pastoribus, Alleluia. Revelat quod sit Dominus, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Reges de Saba veniunt, Alleluia. Aurum, thus, myrrham offerunt, Alleluia, Alleluia.

In hoc natali gaudio, Alleluia. Benedicamus Domino, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Laudetur sancta Trinitas, Alleluia. Deo dicamus gratias, Alleluia, Alleluia.


A child has been born in Bethehem, Hallelujah. For that reason it is full of joy, Jerusalem. Hallelujah.

R./Let we adore with an exultant heart, with a new song, to Christ that has been born.

The Son of God Father has taken the flesh. Hallelujah.

For the angel Gabriel announcement, the Virgin conceived the Son, Hallelujah.

The Angel reveals to the Shepherds that He is the Lord.

The kings of Saba come and offer to him gold, incense and myrrh, Hallelujah.

In this joy of Christmas, let us bless to the Lord, Hallelujah.

Praised be the Holy Trinity, Hallelujah. Let us Give thanks to God, Hallelujah.

From me and my family to you and yours,

Have a Blessed Christmas and a joyous New Year.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas in Bethlehem

Manger Square, outside the Church of the Nativity

Hi Beatitude the Patriarch making his solemn entrance

The prelate in choro looks like the former Patriarch Sabbah

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem has consistently worn some of the finest vestments in the Latin Rite, even when they were out of favour in Rome. The precious mitre for example has been a regular feature here.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, left, embraces Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal following the Christmas Mass in the Church of the Nativity[Andrew: It's actually St. Catherine's Church, adjacent to the Church of the Nativity], traditionally believed by many to be where Jesus Christ was born, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem early Thursday, Dec. 25, 2008. (AP Photo/Yin Bogu,Pool)

The Patriarch takes the image of the Christ Child to the Grotto inside the Church of the Nativity

Cool crozier

Christmas in Rome

Hi Holiness lighting a candle at the window of his apartment for peace.

Et incarnatus est

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur
Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound

For example:

Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

or this gem:

Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione
I'm not interested in your dopey religious cult


Vescere bracis meis.
Eat my shorts

Vacca foeda
Stupid cow

Machina improba! Vel mihi ede potum vel mihi redde nummos meos!
You infernal machine! Give me a beverage or give me back my money!

Perscripto in manubus tabellariorum est
The check is in the mail

Canis meus id comedit
My dog ate it

Hostes alienigeni me abducxerunt. Qui annus est?
I was kidnapped by aliens. What year is it?

Carpe carpum
Seize the fish

Explicit leuctotem; da mihi potum
Work's done. Where's the beer?

Nucleo predicus dispella conducticus
Remove foil before microwaving


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Girl altar boys - oxymoronic or just plain moronic?

Our parish priest, despite His Lordship the Bishop of Penang denying approval for this innovation of having girl altar boys in this diocese, has gone ahead and foisted this imported foreign Western practice on our poor unsuspecting parish. May the rebellious and innovating Dutch and German bishops receive what's coming to them.

I was requested to train said girl altar boys and, wanting to teach them what they needed to know (rather than what I was asked to teach), promptly agreed. I taught kneeling for communion, the Real Presence, etc. I also taught that altar boys take the role of acolytes, an instituted role in the Church today and formerly, in both East and West, one of the minor orders.

Using the graphic below, I explained that acolytes were a step towards priesthood and girls who play dress-up might want to go further and get themselves ordained and push for priestesses and bishopesses and popesses and even a goddess.


I explained that the most Blessed Amongst women was not a priest. I explained the difference between dignity which all possess by virtue of being human, created in God's image and likeness and function. We have equal dignity but have different functions and not everyone must carry out certain functions in order to have dignity or equality. Those who are disabled or old or have some other impediment cannot be considered to have less dignity just because they can't DO something.

Our friend responded by asking me is it wrong to serve. Of course it's not wrong, but we need to follow the tradition and teaching of the Church to serve Her and not our own agendas. I always thought that the people who do this should not be blamed by rather those who put them up to it need to shoulder the majority of the blame. I'm reconsidering.

I told them that the Bishop will put a stop to this and when he does, they'd better be angry at the right person, namely the one who asked them to do this and personally trained them for this rather than be angry at the bishop or the Church for doing the right thing and stopping this.

I tried my best to guide them in making the right choices and to freely chooses to distance themselves from this... this... thing.


It did not stick. One promptly showed up and requested to serve Mass.

Mark lays down the law in his polite and non-confrontational manner as can be seen in the photos.


The girl altar boy was assigned to be crucifer.


At the Sanctus, she came up and knelt between the altar boys, freaking some of them out. They found this girl altar boy business rather amusing.


And then she, in total disregard for everythign I had taught about the Real Presence and the Blessed Sacrament and after showing the videos from His Eminence Cardinal Arinze, received standing, in the hand. Bollocks. I'm extremely pissed.

According to the girl altar boy (Comment 32) she says "i did not recieve it with my hand!!!!!! " And will not be further serving.

Let it be known that I never imposed by beliefs at all. And neither did I discourage or say 'Do this' or 'Do that'. I only taught what was necessary and left it to the girls and their conscience to make the right choice. Those who know me and the style I work will know that I never impose, but like the Church, propose and let the final decision be made by the person. All I did was for try to give them the correct facts. There are witnessed to this and let those who say the contrary be prepared to give an account of their misinformation.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cardinal Arinze on Communion while kneeling

Francis Cardinal Arinze, until 2 days ago, Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments talks about kneeling while receiving Holy Communion. He's a very funny guy who comes up with stuff like:

"If you can find any document from Rome saying 'remove the altar rails', I will give you a turkey."

And this gem: "And those who want to receive on the tongue. You leave them in peace - and not in pieces."

I'll let the good Cardinal speak for himself.

The big Barney in the Sky

Those who preach a God who can only love, a fuzzy wuzzy kind of impotent deity who does not judge and sets no standards and is just a big Barney in Heaven

Might be in for a big surprise when they see Christ the Lord come in glory and majesty as the inspired Scriptures foretold to judge the world by fire. What then will become of all those who bought the antinomian false Gospel that they preached, what will happen to the children under their charge?

Don't they know that their words have consequences or are they believers of their own delusions?

Pray, pray hard for us all!

This is Jesus

There’s a song by Jim Cowan titled “This is Jesus”. It goes a little like this:

This is Jesus, Emmanuel,

God is with us in this sacrament;

Come receive him, adore him,

this is Jesus our Lord!

In our parish, the old controversy of the reception of Holy Communion while kneeling has been resurrected. I've blogged about this before. Denial of Holy Communion because of one's posture has also occurred in the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit. The abusee's account can be found here.

Copy of DSC00144

Anyway, here's what happened. Several of our new servers have decided, after receiving some formation and as a development of their understanding of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, to receive Jesus in the traditional fashion, that is, on the tongue while kneeling. Our assistant parish priest, Fr. Mark Michael has told off the leader of our parish altar servers that such a practice will not be tolerated in our schismatic inculturated counterfeit local Malaysian manifestation of the Catholic Church and is symptomatic of a faulty theology. Because, as we all know, kneeling before Jesus depending on whether He is placed in a monstrance of held up by the priest or Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion is an indication faulty theology as you can only do the former but not the latter. Furthermore, he is a priest and not complying with his demand not to kneel while receiving Holy Communion is tantamount of disobedience to one’s religious superior quoth our intrepid assistant priest.


Knowing that quoting the law of the Church and various ecclesiastical documents would be useless. Mark had earlier written to the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDW) on whether a person with the proper disposition can be refused Holy Communion just because he is kneeling. A reply came from the CDW saying, of course, no, a person may not be denied Holy Communion just because he chooses to receive kneeling. Fr. Mark however, thinks that Rome has no idea what it’s talking about and the magisterium of the Catholic Church is in error. Talk about disobedience. Roma locuta est, cause finite est? Not in the Holey Malaysian Patriotic Inculturated Catholic Church© (HoMaPICaC™), a superior local alternative to the One Holy Catholic Church founded by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and governed by the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him.

Moving on, the point I’m trying to make is pretty simple. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus asks the disciples “Who do you say I am”. Pretty straightforward. Similarly, the question I want to ask those who, while physically capable, do not kneel or, to stretch the point, do not treat the Sacrament as Jesus, is this.

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Who or what do you say the Blessed Sacrament is. Is it Jesus? Yes or no. That’s it.

Is it Jesus, truly, really and substantially present, the same Jesus who came to a world in darkness 2 thousand years ago, who died on the Cross for us and who rose from the dead and is ascended into Heaven and is seated on the right hand of God the Father and who will come again to judge the world by fire. Is this Jesus, the same yesterday, today and forever, the Son of God and God the Son, the 2nd Person of the Blessed Trinity? Yes or no.

If yes, then we owe Him the latria owed to God alone, the worship of His creatures.

We owe Him the homage paid when this same Jesus is placed in a monstrance for our adoration.

We owe this Jesus the same homage paid when we come to Him in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel to pray.

We owe Him the same homage paid by the magi from the East when they knelt before Him and offered gifts acknowledging His Kingship and His Deity.

We owe Him the acknowledgement of the centurion who recognized the glory of Jesus though masked by His bruised and bloodied body at the Cross, that truly this was the Son of God.

We owe Him the adoration of Doubting Thomas after seeing and touching the wounds of Christ.

We owe Him the homage that is being paid Him is Heaven now by the angels and the saints, by the Living Creatures and the elders who fall prostrate at the feet of the Lamb that was slain. To Him the Cherubim and Seraphim cry out Holy Holy Holy is the Lord of Hosts.

To this same Jesus, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords who has triumphed and conquered, the First and the Last, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the Heavens shout "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!"

The Scriptures tell us that "Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the Name that is above every name, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." If even at the Most Holy Name of Jesus, every knee, every knee in Heaven, on earth or under the earth shall bow, then what about when it is Jesus Himself before us? Should every knee not bow?

So, the question is pretty simple really. Is the Blessed Sacrament Jesus, the same yesterday, today and forever? If yes, the we should do Him homage and not be jealous when others bow and kneel before their Lord and God. If not, then be courageous enough to admit so and declare it publicly. One has to be consistent in one’s beliefs. We can’t do Jesus homage and kneel when He is in a monstrance and then stretch out our hands to Him while standing when this same Jesus is presented to us by the priest in Holy Communion. That’s inconsistent and illogical.

Who do you say I am? Jesus asked this question to His disciples 2000 years ago. Simon Peter, the first Pope and holder of the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, the Rock on whom Christ built His Church, whose Successor, Benedict XVI now reigns gloriously in Rome answered “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God”.

So, when we are standing in line and finally come before Blessed Sacrament, we hear the words "The Body of Christ" and we are asked the same question. What is our answer and how do we live out this truth.

For me and my house, our answer is and will always be:

This is Jesus, Emmanuel,
God is with us in this sacrament;
Come receive him, adore him, this is Jesus our Lord!

Blessed is he who has not seen and yet believe. Lord, I believe.