Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Big Bang Delusion

This is my response to my Metaphysics Prof on why I have reservations about the Big Bang Theory.


The Metaphysical Challenge of The Big Bang Theory with Traditional Creation Belief with a Historical view on the Sense of Scripture.

            “If God were not causing all that it is to exist, as it exists, there would be absolutely nothing” [i]

The biblical creation narratives are authoritative and held in high esteem to people of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian Faith. As with most of scripture there are disputes among the different religions (and within as well) about how these Sacred Scriptures are to be read and what they mean. Especially today in a world dominated by the information age where everyone has an opinion (which you can post online for millions to see). The use of allegory, typology, myth and literal sense are spread so thin that it is impossible for a first time reader of the Bible to know which way is up.

Author William E. Carroll writes an article for “The Catholic Thing” entitled “In the Beginning”. The column attempts to explain the current modern explanation for the beginning of the Universe. Saint Thomas Aquinas believed that all of creation that exists depends on God for existence. Creation is not a one-time event that happened 6000 years ago, creation is an ongoing event that depends on God. Aquinas believed that the universe had a temporal beginning, but he advised against using different scientific arguments to prove the beginning and warned against terrible arguments to defend them.
Catholic proponents of the Big Bang Theory concede that you cannot have a Big Bang without a big banger.
First, the premise of this paper will be to explore what Aquinas’s says on creation according to the creation accounts in Genesis. As well to ask if the standard modern day theory of the Big Bang refutes sacred scripture. I will also attempt to discuss the sense of scripture and how it should be interpreted. I will do my best to be objective and learn from this paper. I believe that there are serious reservations in believing the standard Big Bang theory. Frank Sheed said it best “ it is obvious that an ignorant man can be virtuous, it is equally obvious that ignorance is not a virtue”.[ii]

Aquinas states in his summa:
 “ Thus it is clear that in creating, God does not need preexisting matter from which to fashion things. No agent needs, prior to his action, what he produces by his action; he needs only what he unable to produce by his action.”[iii]
 Aquinas stressed that the authors of scripture “ went by what sensibly appeared”[iv] If we were to follow this model all the time what would our sense of the Eucharist be? The metaphysics of Aquinas are based on the relationship of the two principles of essence & existence. Basically when Aquinas writes about the act of existing, it is distinct from the essence of the thing, but the two will be joined if the thing is real (example: this would not apply to unicorns) When the mind grasps the essence of a thing it grasps it as something distinct from it’s act of existing (or lack there of) even if that of which the act of existing is predicated is the thing itself and not only a concept. When something is individual it cannot be attributed to many things at once. But God’s essence is His very existence. There can be no parts or material to God. That would mean that the parts are movable and have causes. This would therefore go against the definition of God. This is the way in that God is defined when Aquinas says God is without matter, it is the same as when Aquinas refers to Angel’s as having separate substances it does not mean separated from subject or substance but from matter. Being is imposed from the act of existing; the act of existing is by the substance that has been given the name of being. Essence signifies something common to all natures through which diverse beings are placed in a diverse species (humanity is the essence of man).
The scientific method would be impossible if we are to follow modern philosophy of science because of the problem of induction. Ergo if scientist don’t admit to the principle of cause and effect how can any experiment be done, or anything be observed? Aquinas writes that God cannot be a Genus, because that would entail God being made up of parts, But God is one and whole (existence itself) This is the problem that modern philosophical biologists have when analyzing in non-teleological terms. We know that the definition of God is existence so there are no parts. When explaining the development of species (in Darwinism) they talk of genetic mutations and passing on the good and healthy gene and yet they never mention the teleological function in their accounts. What is the origin of these biological traits? This is where final causality is discarded and replaced with efficient causality (what is the better purpose, but not its origin) I don’t need a scientific experiment to tell me that my teeth are for chewing food! With modern technology final causality is evident in DNA, there is genetic instructions written on our DNA, it gives the instructions or blueprints on how proteins and RNA molecules are to be constructed. This is how every creature has it’s own recipe. This is how we can know with our modern views that final causes exist in nature; our actions and our purpose can be found in our Being. When I write a paper I need a pen and paper or a computer and a printer. But I cannot just have these things pop into existence I need to acquire them from somewhere else. God does not need pre-existing matter to create and the Big Bang theory suggests that everything at one point was compacted together. The Big Bang theory is not valid as scientific because physics state that matter cannot be created out of nothing. Albert Einstein once said,

 “ Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”

The two need to work together. Blessed Pope John Paul II continually preached that faith and reason are complementary and compatible paths towards the knowledge of truth. The use of Cosmology has never been an absolute for the faith and Christians are free to hold different views so long as they do not contradict the teachings of the faith. After the entire Divine revelation is a guide for us to attain heaven, not to understand how the universe was created. We are here now, how should we live? And why are we here? These are the real questions. When it comes to the beginning of the universe:
“ Sacred Scripture wishes simply to declare that the world was created by God, in order to teach this truth it expresses itself in the terms of the cosmology in use at the time of the writer”[v]
The recent publication of renowned physicist Stephen Hawking book “ The Grand Design” continues from where he left off from his book in 1988 “ A brief History of Time” Hawking’s tune has changed slightly, as in 1988 he left room for God to choose the basic laws of physics and that if scientists were able have a unified theory of scientific explanation at hand we would come to know “the mind of God”[vi] He continues by stating that the nature of existence that has intrigued philosophers for millennia are , so he claims, now the province of science, and “philosophy is dead”[vii]
Funding controls Science and scientist’s, and where they get their funding from is very important. This was evident in the feature film “No Intelligence Aloud” Within the scientific community the scientific method is not being applied to the Big Bang theory. When interpreting scripture Aquinas did not support false interpretation and warned not to exclude any other interpretation that could possibly be true and not compromise the literal meaning of the text. The literal sense to Aquinas, following that of Augustine can mean one word in sacred Scripture should have several senses. Would this not make us Protestants? I suppose not if it is a teaching coming directly from the Magisterium.
 “In fact, it seems that present-day science, with one sweeping step back across millions of centuries, has succeeded in bearing witness to that primordial 'Fiat lux' (Let there be light) uttered at the moment when, along with matter, there burst forth from nothing a sea of light and radiation, while the particles of the chemical elements split and formed into millions of galaxies ... Hence, creation took place in time, therefore, there is a Creator, God exists! (Pope Pius XII, 1951)[viii]
The major obstacle that presents itself today is the theory of the Big Bang. (Although my previous quote from the Venerable Pope Pius XI was a great supporter of the theory). As I understand the Big Bang, first off we will state again that it is a theory. It is used as a naturalistic explanation for the beginning of the universe. There is a hidden goal with this theory in attempting to give an historical account of the universe. The proponents are trying to solve a historical question as if it is a physics problem. If I wanted to study the history of the First World War, I would not start by solving a series of mathematical equations and use different experiments. Science and math can help us to make positive contributions to society, but history is not a science problem or a math problem it is a question of evidence. When attempting to solve a historical problem we look for witnesses, documents, photographs and artifacts.

“The witness of history is of primary importance, and that historical investigation should be made with the utmost care and internal evidence is seldom of great value.”[ix]

Where is this kind of logic when it comes to the Big Bang theory? Throughout my life I have been called for jury duty twice and one time I had to fulfill my duty as a citizen with a three-day robbery case. I didn’t grab my calculator, my duty was to weigh the testimony of the witnesses and ask whether or not the witnesses are reliable and consistent. After weighing all the evidence I had to ask my self, does this convince me beyond a reasonable doubt? With the Big Bang theory the history of the universe is being treated as if the only available evidence is the universe itself. If the universe created itself naturally, then all that is created is by pure chance. The assumption that the only evidence is the universe itself suggests these two possibilities a) the origin of the universe was not witnessed and therefore there are no documents which means: no God, so of course there are no documents or b) the origin of the universe was witnessed but there are no reliable documentation. Translation: there is a God but He left us absolutely no historical accounts or documents of any value of the origin of the universe. If these assumptions are true Moses (author of Genesis) should be ignored and discarded along with the rest of the Pentateuch. Our Lord makes it clear that the writings of Moses are the bases for the faith

“ For if you did believe Moses, you would perhaps believe me also: for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” (John 5:46,47)

Genesis chapters 1-3 may not have to be understood in a literal sense but that doesn’t mean that the vacuum theory is solid evidence for the Big Bang.
 The Christian doctrine of creation affects our concepts of ourselves, if we owe our existence to pure chance then what hope is there for us. But if we are to owe our existence to God, we owe Him everything. The universe displays an incredible amount of intelligence, where did that intelligence come from? From blind chance? I am not the only one who is unconvinced. In 2004 thirty prominent physicists from around the world raised some of the same questions:
“The big bang today relies on a growing number of hypothetical entities, things that we have never observed-- inflation, dark matter and dark energy are the most prominent examples. Without them, there would be a fatal contradiction between the observations made by astronomers and the predictions of the big bang theory. In no other field of physics would this continual recourse to new hypothetical objects be accepted as a way of bridging the gap between theory and observation.” [x]
Now before I go any further my detractors will say hold on we are not denying God, for if there was a Big Bang there must be a big banger (God). Aquinas has stated that efficient causes cannot go on to infinity because an efficient cause follows in order of the first immediate and the subsequent intermediate cause (the final cause). If you do not have a cause, you do not have an effect, and so this applies to efficient causes through intermediate, to ultimate cause. But if in efficient causes it is possible to go on to infinity, there will be no first efficient cause; neither will there be an ultimate effect, nor any intermediate efficient causes. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause. Modern science wants to admit that the first cause is the Big Bang, but what caused the Big Bang? God of course, He is the Big Banger. I am not so sure about this. What we are really getting at is our use of reason. My use of reason tells me the creator of the universe is not sacramentaly present body, soul, blood and divinity in every Catholic Church in the world, my faith tells me that. My reason does not tell me that 15 billion years ago the whole universe, all the energy, all the space, all the time was squished together in a point smaller than a proton, a point of infinite density and temperature. Hawking believed that originally the universe had no size whatsoever. Hawking writes

 “ The boundary condition of the universe is that it has no boundary. The universe would be completely self-contained and not affected by anything outside itself. It would neither be created nor destroyed. It would just BE.”[xi]

 To believe that everything we see and experience from our 1966 Pariseanne to VY Canis Majoris is ridiculous. Then for no apparent reason the Big Bang happens, there is an explosion and everything begins expanding outwards, as the universe expands it cools and the energy begins to condense into matter until the universe becomes a gigantic transparent expanding cloud of gas made of hydrogen, helium and lithium. Over time, under the force of gravity, large areas of gas coagulate until galaxy and stars are formed and continue through the last 15 billion years until we have the standard model of the universe that we have today. But we know that these things (stars, planets etc.) that have no intelligence and cannot intelligently act towards their own end (not intermediate ends but final ends). These things must be led to their end by something intelligent. We know that the planets could not have gotten themselves into the orbits that they are in because the planets are void of intelligence to do so. However, the planets are aligned so perfectly and seem to go together so well with our solar system. We as humans have this type of intelligence, yet we cannot move or place planets in an orbit. So we conclude that there is a super intelligence being that accomplished this. Why would a God who can raise a man from the dead or command the wind and the waves by speaking (Luke 8:24,25) choose to take the road of the Big Bang theory?
 In our temporal world explosions cause destruction and chaos. But in the world of Big Bang, explosions create beauty and order (and Christians who back the Big Bang would say that the finger of God guides all the explosions).  The formation of stars and galaxies is a problem. Hawking says,
 “The Big Bang theory is in agreement with all the observational evidence we have today”.
 Then a paragraph later Hawking’s questions the formation of stars and galaxies, which are the main components of the universe. This is where reason tells me that there is another agenda with the Big Bang theory. We understand that the more matter the more gravity there is. In order for the Big Bang gravitational scenario to work there needs to be 90 – 99% more matter.[xii]
Where is all the matter? At school when I don’t hand in 90-99% of my work I fail. The procurators of this theory do not want to include God in creation and will try at all costs to wipe Him from our memory.
Jacques Maritain wrote

             “ The objective content to which the faith of our forefathers clung, all that is myth, like original sin, infancy of Christ narrative, the resurrection of the body, and the creation”[xiii]

Are we to throw away our Catechisms and the book of Genesis? No, the images of our childhood are anthropomorphic and they are easily overcome. Of course I do not believe that God sat on a cloud in the sky and shot bolts of lightning from His fingertips to create the heavens. This type of imagery is used for our childhood minds, until we grow and can take in a deeper understanding (scripture) Aquinas teaches and affirmed by Church teaching
 “That anyone may entertain contrary opinions about the notions, if he does not mean to uphold anything at variance with faith.”[xiv]

In Augustine’s Confessions the Saint wrestles with interpretation of various Scripture. I as well contemplate God’s great creation and I am always left in wonder at the premise that God created the world ex nihilo. God did not take matter and form it into His own liking. God is the creator of matter. When I stand at an open space of sky, God is there. God is everywhere even in the darkest parts of humanity. Like Augustine I am trying to interpret how something comes from nothing without being offensive. There is only one word, love. God continues to show His glory through creation. Every time a bird sings it is a joyous hymn of thanksgiving to the Holy Creator. As for Saint Augustine being far from rejecting a literal six-day period, not for one moment did he suggest that the days in Genesis could be billions of years long, as well he never rejected that the days in Genesis were 24hours long. He suggested that perhaps God created everything instantaneously, and that the six days were the means by which the angels could comprehend the stages of creation, although it had all happened at once. Readers of Augustine are also aware that sometimes he had various interpretations for one verse. The First Vatican Council points out to us the elements of our experience basic to all metaphysics involving the world, including the presence of mind and reason.[xv]

“With God nothing is impossible” (Luke 1:37) are the words of the angel to Mary assuring her that what seems impossible to her is in fact possible to God. God is not is not a type of being but He is the act of Being itself. God just is. If God decides to make something he must be responsible for the entirety of that thing’s being.

Conceived from audio sancto sermon by Fr. Wolfe

[i] Carroll William E., Article, Catholic Thing: “In the Beginning”, Feb.2010
[ii] Sheed Frank, Theology For Beginners, Servant books, 1958, p.5
[iii] Aquinas, Shorter Summa, ch 69 p.64, Sophia Institute Press, 1993
[iv] Aquinas, Summa Theologica, p.1 q.1xx.a.I, ad 3.
[v] Blessed Pope John Paul II, Discourse, Cosmology and Fundamental Physics, 1981
[vi] Carroll William, Stephen Hawkins’s Creation Confusion, The Witherspoon Institute, Article, Sept.8 2010.
[vii] Ibid
[viii] During an address to the Pontifical Academy of Science, Nov.22 1951
[ix] Pope Leo XIII, Providentissimus Deus, Encyclical, p. XXI
[x] Lerner Eric, Bucking the Big Bang, Article, New Scientist, issue 2448, May 22 2004
[xi] Hawking Stephen, A Brief History of Time, Bantam Dell Publishing, 1988 accessed online @
[xii] GMAT Review, Graduate management admission council, p.400, John Wiley & Sons, 2009
[xiii] Maritain Jacques, The Peasant of the Garonne, p.15, The Macmillan Company, 1968
[xiv] Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Q.32, Article 4
[xv] Vatican Council I, On Revelation, cap.2

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pope John Paul II prayer card

Our parish had these cards with a wonderful prayer on the back.

O Blessed Trinity,we thank you for having graced the church with Pope John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your fatherly care,the glory of the cross of Christ,and the splendour of the Holy Ghost, to shine through him.

Trusting fully in your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary,he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd,and has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you.

Grant us, by his intercession,and according to your will,the graces we implore,hoping that he will soon be numbered among your saints.Amen.

Beatification Ceremony
May 1, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

March for Life

Victoria,BC Canada

Here are a few shots from yesterday.

Universae Ecclesiae



on the application of the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum of


    1. The Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum of the Sovereign Pontiff Benedict XVI given Motu Proprio on 7 July 2007, which came into effect on 14 September 2007, has made the richness of the Roman Liturgy more accessible to the Universal Church.

2. With this Motu Proprio, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI promulgated a universal law for the Church, intended to establish new regulations for the use of the Roman Liturgy in effect in 1962.

3. The Holy Father, having recalled the concern of the Sovereign Pontiffs in caring for the Sacred Liturgy and in their recognition of liturgical books, reaffirms the traditional principle, recognised from time immemorial and necessary to be maintained into the future, that “each particular Church must be in accord with the universal Church not only regarding the doctrine of the faith and sacramental signs, but also as to the usages universally handed down by apostolic and unbroken tradition. These are to be maintained not only so that errors may be avoided, but also so that the faith may be passed on in its integrity, since the Church's rule of prayer (lex orandi) corresponds to her rule of belief (lex credendi).” 
4. The Holy Father recalls also those Roman Pontiffs who, in a particular way, were notable in this task, specifically Saint Gregory the Great and Saint Pius V. The Holy Father stresses moreover that, among the sacred liturgical books, the Missale Romanum has enjoyed a particular prominence in history, and was kept up to date throughout the centuries until the time of Blessed Pope John XXIII. Subsequently in 1970, following the liturgical reform after the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI approved for the Church of the Latin rite a new Missal, which was then translated into various languages. In the year 2000, Pope John Paul II promulgated the third edition of this Missal.
5. Many of the faithful, formed in the spirit of the liturgical forms prior to the Second Vatican Council, expressed a lively desire to maintain the ancient tradition. For this reason, Pope John Paul II with a special Indult Quattuor abhinc annos issued in 1984 by the Congregation for Divine Worship, granted the faculty under certain conditions to restore the use of the Missal promulgated by Blessed Pope John XXIII. Subsequently, Pope John Paul II, with the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei of 1988, exhorted the Bishops to be generous in granting such a faculty for all the faithful who requested it. Pope Benedict continues this policy with the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum regarding certain essential criteria for the Usus Antiquior of the Roman Rite, which are recalled here.

6. The Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI and the last edition prepared under Pope John XXIII, are two forms of the Roman Liturgy, defined respectively as ordinaria and extraordinaria: they are two usages of the one Roman Rite, one alongside the other. Both are the expression of the same lex orandi of the Church. On account of its venerable and ancient use, the forma extraordinaria is to be maintained with appropriate honor.

7. The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum was accompanied by a letter from the Holy Father to Bishops, with the same date as the Motu Proprio (7 July 2007). This letter gave further explanations regarding the appropriateness and the need for the Motu Proprio; it was a matter of overcoming a lacuna by providing new norms for the use of the Roman Liturgy of 1962. Such norms were needed particularly on account of the fact that, when the new Missal had been introduced under Pope Paul VI, it had not seemed necessary to issue guidelines regulating the use of the 1962 Liturgy. By reason of the increase in the number of those asking to be able to use the forma extraordinaria, it has become necessary to provide certain norms in this area.
Among the statements of the Holy Father was the following: “There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the Liturgy growth and progress are found, but not a rupture. What was sacred for prior generations, remains sacred and great for us as well, and cannot be suddenly prohibited altogether or even judged harmful.”

8. The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum constitutes an important expression of the Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff and of his munus of regulating and ordering the Church’s Sacred Liturgy. The Motu Proprio manifests his solicitude as Vicar of Christ and Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church,  and has the aim of:
a.    offering to all the faithful the Roman Liturgy in the Usus Antiquior, considered as a precious treasure  to be preserved;
b.    effectively guaranteeing and ensuring the use of the forma extraordinaria for all who ask for it, given that the use of the 1962 Roman Liturgy is a faculty generously granted for the good of the faithful and therefore is to be interpreted in a sense favourable to the faithful who are its principal addressees;
c.    promoting reconciliation at the heart of the Church.

The Responsibilities 
of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei

9. The Sovereign Pontiff has conferred upon the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei ordinary vicarious power for the matters within its competence, in a particular way for monitoring the observance and application of the provisions of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum (cf. art. 12).

10. § 1. The Pontifical Commission exercises this power, beyond the faculties previously granted by Pope John Paul II and confirmed by Pope Benedict XVI (cf. Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, artt. 11-12), also by means of the power to decide upon recourses legitimately sent to it, as hierarchical Superior, against any possible singular administrative provision of an Ordinary which appears to be contrary to the Motu Proprio.
    § 2. The decrees by which the Pontifical Commission decides recourses may be challenged ad normam iuris before the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.

11. After having received the approval from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei will have the task of looking after future editions of liturgical texts pertaining to the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite.  

Specific Norms

12. Following upon the inquiry made among the Bishops of the world, and with the desire to guarantee the proper interpretation and the correct application of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, this Pontifical Commission, by virtue of the authority granted to it and the faculties which it enjoys, issues this Instruction according to can. 34 of the Code of Canon Law.

The Competence of Diocesan Bishops
13. Diocesan Bishops, according to Canon Law, are to monitor liturgical matters in order to guarantee the common good and to ensure that everything is proceeding in peace and serenity in their Dioceses, always in agreement with the mens of the Holy Father clearly expressed by the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. In cases of controversy or well-founded doubt about the celebration in the forma extraordinaria, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei will adjudicate.

14. It is the task of the Diocesan Bishop to undertake all necessary measures to ensure respect for the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite, according to the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

The coetus fidelium (cf. Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, art. 5 § 1)

15. A coetus fidelium (“group of the faithful”) can be said to be stabiliter existens (“existing in a stable manner”), according to the sense of art. 5 § 1 of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, when it is constituted by some people of an individual parish who, even after the publication of the Motu Proprio, come together by reason of their veneration for the Liturgy in the Usus Antiquior, and who ask that it might be celebrated in the parish church or in an oratory or chapel; such a coetus (“group”) can also be composed of persons coming from different parishes or dioceses, who gather together in a specific parish church or in an oratory or chapel for this purpose. 

    16. In the case of a priest who presents himself occasionally in a parish church or an oratory with some faithful, and wishes to celebrate in the forma extraordinaria, as foreseen by articles 2 and 4 of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, the pastor or rector of the church, or the priest responsible, is to permit such a celebration, while respecting the schedule of liturgical celebrations in that same church.
    17. § 1. In deciding individual cases, the pastor or the rector, or the priest responsible for a church, is to be guided by his own prudence, motivated by pastoral zeal and a spirit of generous welcome.
§ 2. In cases of groups which are quite small, they may approach the Ordinary of the place to identify a church in which these faithful may be able to come together for such celebrations, in order to ensure easier participation and a more worthy celebration of the Holy Mass.

18. Even in sanctuaries and places of pilgrimage the possibility to celebrate in the forma extraordinaria is to be offered to groups of pilgrims who request it (cf. Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, art. 5 § 3), if there is a qualified priest.

    19. The faithful who ask for the celebration of the forma extraordinaria must not in any way support or belong to groups which show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy of the Holy Mass or the Sacraments celebrated in the forma ordinaria or against the Roman Pontiff as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church.

Sacerdos idoneus (“Qualified Priest”) (cf. Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, art 5 § 4)

20. With respect to the question of the necessary requirements for a priest to be held idoneus (“qualified”) to celebrate in the forma extraordinaria, the following is hereby stated: 
a.    Every Catholic priest who is not impeded by Canon Law is to be considered idoneus (“qualified”) for the celebration of the Holy Mass in the forma extraordinaria.
b.    Regarding the use of the Latin language, a basic knowledge is necessary, allowing the priest to pronounce the words correctly and understand their meaning.
c.    Regarding knowledge of the execution of the Rite, priests are presumed to be qualified who present themselves spontaneously to celebrate the forma extraordinaria, and have celebrated it previously.

21. Ordinaries are asked to offer their clergy the possibility of acquiring adequate preparation for celebrations in the forma extraordinaria. This applies also to Seminaries, where future priests should be given proper formation, including study of Latin and, where pastoral needs suggest it, the opportunity to learn the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite. 

22. In Dioceses without qualified priests, Diocesan Bishops can request assistance from priests of the Institutes erected by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, either to the celebrate the forma extraordinaria or to teach others how to celebrate it. 

23. The faculty to celebrate sine populo (or with the participation of only one minister) in the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite is given by the Motu Proprio to all priests, whether secular or religious (cf. Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, art. 2). For such celebrations therefore, priests, by provision of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, do not require any special permission from their Ordinaries or superiors.

Liturgical and Ecclesiastical Discipline

    24. The liturgical books of the forma extraordinaria are to be used as they are. All those who wish to celebrate according to the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite must know the pertinent rubrics and are obliged to follow them correctly.

    25. New saints and certain of the new prefaces can and ought to be inserted into the 1962 Missal, according to provisions which will be indicated subsequently. 
    26. As foreseen by article 6 of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, the readings of the Holy Mass of the Missal of 1962 can be proclaimed either solely in the Latin language, or in Latin followed by the vernacular or, in Low Masses, solely in the vernacular.
    27. With regard to the disciplinary norms connected to celebration, the ecclesiastical discipline contained in the Code of Canon Law of 1983 applies.

    28. Furthermore, by virtue of its character of special law, within its own area, the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum derogates from those provisions of law, connected with the sacred Rites, promulgated from 1962 onwards and incompatible with the rubrics of the liturgical books in effect in 1962. 

Confirmation and Holy Orders

29. Permission to use the older formula for the rite of Confirmation was confirmed by the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum (cf. art. 9 § 2). Therefore, in the forma extraordinaria, it is not necessary to use the newer formula of Pope Paul VI as found in the Ordo Confirmationis.

30. As regards tonsure, minor orders and the subdiaconate, the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum does not introduce any change in the discipline of the Code of Canon Law of 1983; consequently, in Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life which are under the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, one who has made solemn profession or who has been definitively incorporated into a clerical institute of apostolic life, becomes incardinated as a cleric in the institute or society upon ordination to the diaconate, in accordance with canon 266 § 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

    31. Only in Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life which are under the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, and in those which use the liturgical books of the forma extraordinaria, is the use of the Pontificale Romanum of 1962 for the conferral of minor and major orders permitted.

Breviarium Romanum
32. Art. 9 § 3 of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum gives clerics the faculty to use the Breviarium Romanum in effect in 1962, which is to be prayed entirely and in the Latin language.
The Sacred Triduum

    33. If there is a qualified priest, a coetus fidelium (“group of faithful”), which follows the older liturgical tradition, can also celebrate the Sacred Triduum in the forma extraordinaria. When there is no church or oratory designated exclusively for such celebrations, the parish priest or Ordinary, in agreement with the qualified priest, should find some arrangement favourable to the good of souls, not excluding the possibility of a repetition of the celebration of the Sacred Triduum in the same church.
The Rites of Religious Orders

34. The use of the liturgical books proper to the Religious Orders which were in effect in 1962 is permitted.
Pontificale Romanum and the Rituale Romanum

    35. The use of the Pontificale Romanum, the Rituale Romanum, as well as the Caeremoniale Episcoporum in effect in 1962, is permitted, in keeping with n. 28 of this Instruction, and always respecting n. 31 of the same Instruction.

The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, in an audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei on 8 April 2011, approved this present Instruction and ordered its publication.

Given at Rome, at the Offices of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, 30 April, 2011, on the memorial of Pope Saint Pius V.

William Cardinal LEVADA

Mons. Guido Pozzo

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Document on Summorum Pontificum

After months of rumors Friday is the day we will find out what the document actually says.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Papal Medallions

My oldest boy had his birthday earlier this week and received these medallions. Has anyone seen them before?

Osama Bin Laden

Mercy is a great attribute of our Lord. The Blessed Virgin Mary would like us to pray for Bin Laden's soul. If we are to jump for joy in the streets and be proud of the death of another human being we have failed to live up to our duties as Christians. This is of course a very difficult issue when we are talking about a man who planned or carried out attacks on innocent men,women and children. It was like the death of Tiller (abortionist) all over again. Some souls need our prayers more than others or so it would seem. The best we  can offer is to show the world that everyone, from the  little ones  to the biggest sinner is worthy of God's Mercy.Let His mercy endure forever.  Pax Christi

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Guadalupe: A Living Image

A friend of mine recently went on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico, thinking about his trip brought back memories of my own pilgrimage to the holy site. Whenever I go on a pilgrimage I find I am always eager to learn more once I have left  the shrine.

My theology professor gave me this dvd to watch,which is based on the apparition of The Virgin Mary appearing to Juan Diego in December 1531 in Mexico. Our Blessed Mother tells the peasant to wrap his tilma ( cloak)  with Castilian roses that had miraculously bloomed at the rocks by his feet. Juan Diego goes to his Bishop and when he meets the bishop and opens his cloak an incredible scene is revealed. It is the image of The Holy Virgin impressed upon it.

This documentary runs a little less than an hour and explains in detail the scientific analysis of the 13 figures that have been found in The Holy Mother's eyes. Another detail I was unaware of is that the stars on Mary's cloak are positioned exactly as the night sky would have them on the day of the miracle on De. 12 1531.

Scientists and artists cannot explain the painting technique and how the cloth has managed to stay uncorrupted for five centuries.

The dvd gives a short synopsis of the story and provides an interesting tool for anyone looking to learn more about Our Lady of Guadalupe.