Sunday, July 29, 2007

Welcome and Thanks

Welcome to everyone who is coming over from my recent plug on The Cafeteria is Closed, as well as the plugs on and

For both CNN and AOL scroll down the page and click on Blogs.

Thanks to Gerald and whoever at Sphere who thought my blog was worthy.

To all my loyal readers, thanks a bunch and to everyone new, come back. It does get better than this. :-)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

More Foolishness

Thought DaVinci was old news. Think again. This gets more and more absurd.

From Reuters Via Yahoo News.
MILAN (Reuters) - A new theory that Leonardo's "Last Supper" might hide within it a depiction of Christ blessing the bread and wine has triggered so much interest that Web sites connected to the picture have crashed.

The famous fresco is already the focus of mythical speculation after author Dan Brown based his "The Da Vinci Code" book around the painting, arguing in the novel that Jesus married his follower, Mary Magdelene, and fathered a child.

Now Slavisa Pesci, an information technologist and amateur scholar, says superimposing the "Last Supper" with its mirror-image throws up another picture containing a figure who looks like a Templar knight and another holding a small baby.

"I came across it by accident, from some of the details you can infer that we are not talking about chance but about a precise calculation," Pesci told journalists when he unveiled the theory earlier this week.

Websites,,, and had 15 million hits on Thursday morning alone, organizers said, adding they were trying to provide a more powerful server for the sites.

In the superimposed version, a figure on Christ's left appears to be cradling a baby in its arms, Pesci said, but he made no suggestion this could be Christ's child.

Judas, whose imminent betrayal of Christ is the force breaking the right-hand line of the original fresco, appears in an empty space on the left in the reverse image version.

And Pesci also suggests that the superimposed version shows a goblet before Christ and illustrates when Christ blessed bread and wine at a supper with his disciples for the first Eucharist.

The original Da Vinci depicts Christ when he predicts that one among them will betray him.

Yep, DaVinci must have known that computers were going to be invented and people would have the ability to superimpose the images and see this. I guess Leonardo DaVinci was just waiting for the invention of Photoshop. Yeah right!

Also, I find it interesting that no one has mentioned how the image of Christ become a vivid image of the Sacred Heart. That's because people see what they want.

Anyway, and most importantly, even if DaVinci intended for these "images" to be in his painting they would only represent his own personal opinions. They could represent whatever he wanted them to. Perhaps the woman with the baby was a reference to all being called to the altar and called to personal holiness. Maybe it was a reference to the sanctity of life. We don't know! We can only speculate. Plus, even if DaVinci believed that Mary Magdelene was Jesus' wife, that wouldn't give it any authority. Being a great artist does not give someone the credibility to be a historian or theologian. Just because someone or a group of people believe something doesn't make it true.

Family Meme

From Brian.


WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Today when I found out my friends mother is cancer-free. It had been looking quite hopeless.

DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Not really, but other people tell me they like it. I don't get that.




DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Me? never. :-)









WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I'm my own worst critic, finding faults in me that others don't notice.

WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My Avo (grandmother) (+1992)



WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Silence. Ahhhh, such a rare sound in my house.


FAVORITE SMELLS? Incense, sugar cookies, vanilla, and good pipe tobacco



HAIR COLOR? Medium brown


DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? I used to, but I need a new pair and have no money.

FAVORITE FOOD? Baked stuffed shrimp

SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings. I HATE scary movies.



SUMMER OR WINTER? Neither, I like the spring.


FAVORITE DESSERT? Chocolate cake

WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Still on chapter three of Jesus of Nazareth.

WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? A picture of the moon with the earth in the background.

WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT? Didn't watch last night.

FAVORITE SOUND? My son's voice. When he's not crying or whining.



DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Other than playing the organ and singing? I can cook dinner, clean the house and take care of a 2 year old.

WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Massachusetts

Ok, someone carry it on.

Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia

Another plug for my favorite religious order. I know several of the sisters and I love seeing them in chapel and on campus.

Check out their vocation video.

and another video featuring some beautiful sacred polyphony.

Living in The Culture of Death

On Wednesday my professor presented an interesting class activity. We were to break into groups and discuss several issues regarding medical ethics. We never made it past the first question.

Question 1) You and your spouse are expecting a child. A genetic test after the first trimester detects problems in the growth of the fetus. The results suggest that the child will most likely develop cystic fibrosis, a painful incurable condition, which usually results in death by the time a child is in her early teens. Do you terminate the pregnancy? Why or why not?

There were five students in my group. Two women and three men. We were a diverse group made up of people from different races and backrounds. I was the oldest in the group, by at least eight years.

The responses of my classmates shocked me. I imagined there would be differing viewpoints, but I didn't expect to be the only person on the side of life. When we were debating the first question, one 18 year old girl's comment particularly shocked me when she said that it was ok for the mother to abort the fetus "because the kid is going to die anyway". I responded by saying that "we are all going to die. Does that make our lives less valuable." Then I thought I had the clincher. "If you were pregnant and you knew your child was going to be hit by a car and die at 5 years old what would you do?" The resonse, "I would get an abortion". Everyone in my group agreed with her.

I wanted to cry right then and there. This is the future of the world and they cannot see the value of life. Some of them even said they would prefer to be aborted rather than die young. My son is almost three years old and if something horrible were to happen to him, I would never regret the past three years. NEVER!

So, how long does a person have to live for their life to be "worth it". 20 years, 40 years, 70 years and when is a person's life no longer worth it. Although these kids don't see it yet, life is ALWAYS worth it. To paraphrase Archbishop Sheen, There is no human life which isn't worth living. He knew it then, and some of us now it now, but will anyone know it in the future.

After our group debates we opened it up to the entire class. On the pro-life side there were me, another woman about my age, and two students from the Rabbinical college. It's a class of 25 students (mostly freshmen) at a Catholic college. I pray the good Dominicans will be able to get through to these kids.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Cartoon Star's Bad Example

Any parent of a toddler will understand this spoof. As one who has countless episodes of Dora and Diego, I have thought of a spoof similar to this one, just not nearly as well developed.

From Matthew from the Creative Minority Report.

Dora the Explorer Arrested for DUI, Drugs

Dora the Explorer, the popular star of her own action adventure show on Nickelodeon, was arrested Wednesday morning at 2:38 a.m. for DUI and possession of illegal drugs after leading police on a high speed chase over the tall bridge, through Crocodile Lake and past the Spooky Forest.

This is not Dora's first run in with the law. In 2002, following the show's blockbuster popularity, Dora was arrested for driving erratically and was found to be in possession of an illegal weapon in her backpack. At the time Dora claimed that it was all a misunderstanding as she was heading to Crocodile lake and was just being careful. She claimed the weapon belonged to Senor Tucan, who reportedly was passed out in the back of Azul, the little blue Train. Dora refused a breathalyzer at that time.

In another incident Dora reportedly flew into a rage over the hiring of her cousin Diego for a similar show as Nickelodeon was growing worried over Dora's erratic behavior. "It's the same (bleepin) show," said Dora at the time. "They're trying to force me out because I'm a party girl. You think I'm crazy. You should've seen Boots last Thursday night." Dora reportedly no longer remained in contact with Diego, who may have been a stabilizing influence in her life.

Swiper said, "This is such a shame because she's so talented and so bilingual. I hate to see what this is going to do to the children around the world who idolize her." Swiper also speculated that the Grumpy Old Troll was a bad influence on the set and in Dora's life. "Everyone knows that if you want illegal drugs you go to under the bridge."

Dora's Abuela said, "We're all hoping that this is what starts our little Dora on the long road past Addiction Alley, over Temptation Lake, to Rehabilitation Road."

Interview with Msgr Gaenswein

Gerald has gone through the hard work of translating Peter Seewald's fascinating interview of Msgr. Georg Gaenswein, which appeared in Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

Here are a few tidbits:

Peter Seewald (PS): Herr Praelat, how is the Pope ?

Msgr. Gaenswein (MG): He's well, feels very good, works a lot and is in "high gear".

PS: Does he use the exercise bike that his physician, Dr. Buzzonetti, told him to

MG: The bike is in our Appartamento Privato.

PS: What does that mean ?

MG: It's being a good bike, ready to be used.


PS: Some criticize that he is in a kind of splendid isolation, a golden cage, that it's impossible to get near him.

MG: That's nonsense. Every morning there are private audiences, in the afternoon the work meetings with his closest aides - and that six days a week. In addition, there are many meetings within and without the walls of the Vatican. Golden cage? Hah! I guess it might be criticism of me, that I shield the Pope too much. Entirely exaggerated.

PS: He is basically a shy man. But at the same time he's always had something "inconvient" about him, a resistance against everything that's too common, against stupidity.

MG: That the Holy Father isn't an impetuous but a more reserved person is plain to see for everyone.

PS: The Pope writes all important texts himself, including the speech in Regensburg with the controversial quote from a historical book on a dispute with Muslims. Why did nobody edit the text?

MG: I find the Regensburg speech, as it was given, to be prophetic.

PS: Was the shock great when the angry attacks from the Islamic world became known ?

MG: We only heard of the crude reactions after we'd gotten back to Rome from Bavaria. It was a big surprise, to the Pope as well. The mighty trouble had started due to newspaper reports which had taken one quote out of context and presented it as the Pope's personal opinion.


PS: Growing up, you were five children, the father a blacksmith, the mother a Hausfrau (housewife).

MG: My father ran a smithy in the seventh generation, later he haded a store for agricultural equipment, but it wasn't a whole lot of money. Until I was six, we also had a little farm going. Sometimes we had to make the money last. My father was also very active in local politics, in many clubs and associations. Because of that, he was rarely home at night. Our mother had to do all the more, bear the burden and duty of bringing up the children. Us five had a childhood without worries, but of course we also fought.

PS: Because everything didn't always go the way the firstborn wanted it?

MG: As the oldest, you're supposed to be the wisest and give in - but giving in isn't exactly my strength.

PS: Born to be wild - was that you ?

MG: At times maybe, between 15 and 18. I listened to Cat Stevens, Pink Floyd and some others, among them the Beatles. I had pretty long curly hair then, which my father didn't like, so there were fights at times about going to the barber. But that phase came to an end pretty unspectacularly.


MG: Inititally, I was, as the oldest, supposed to take over my father's agricultural appliances business but the happenings at the stock exchange interested me more. My idea was that there was a lot of money being made and that you had to be bright and fast. Later, a bit more mature, when I thought about it more intensively, I thought, ok if I can do all that and have money, what happens then ? Suddenly, existential questions took center stage. So I started to search and ended up, completely unplanned, coming across philosophy and theology.

PS: A long process.

MG: And a difficult one. At first, the world of theology drew me close very strongly, the priesthood was added as a second step. Of course celibacy was also a question. At some point I felt that I couldn't drive at half speed, either I'd do it completely or I'd quit. A little theology, that's not possible. So, step by step, I approached the priesthood.

PS: A quote from one of your homilies, on the occasion of some ordinations: "You are granted to know that you have a dignity that distinguishes you from all who aren't priests. You are allowed to have the consciousness that you are doing something great, that you are allowed to do something great." Pretty aloof.

MG: I'd say that again without ifs ands or buts.

PS: You take it seriously.

MG: Yes, I do.

PS: It also sounds a bit romantic.

MG: I don't think so. They are words that were made true by life, and life wasn't romantic. The sentences quoted by you may sound a bit ceremonious on paper but behind them there is a lot of personal experience and I did not want to keep it from the new priests that there is something grand ahead of him, that it costs something and that he has to be willing to pay that price.

PS: In 1984 you were ordained a priest, then you spent two years in the Black Forest. In 1993, you wrote your dissertation in Munich, about "Ecclesiology according to the Second Vatican Council." Did you have moments of great doubt ?

MG: After two years as Kaplan (assistant pastor), I was sent back to Munich for more studying - of something that's not really my preference - Canon Law. After half a year I was so fed up I said to myself, now I'm going to the archbishop and ask him to take me back into the diocese because I can't stand it anymore.

PS: That bad ?

MG: I'd always studied gladly and easily, but studying Canon Law I felt to be as dry as work in a quarry where there's no beer - you die of dryness. I was saved by my professor, Winfried Ayman who later made me his assistant. He helped me greatly to get out of this situation by showing me new perspectives. That helped me a lot and kept me from quitting. I am very grateful to him.

PS: Time and again these "verdicts" surface: dutiful, pious, conservative; a man of form and strictness.

MG: In the sense of "mild in form, strict in content" I can't let that stand. When I think something to be right, I stick to it. Admittedly, patience is not my strength. Sometimes I get pretty "in your face" (literally "I drive up pretty close"), which can irritate people.

PS: What abilities does the private secretary of the head of a Church with 1.1 billion members have to have ?

MG: In a way, he has to be a jack of all trades ("generalist"), but he also has to acknowledge that he can't do everything, and he shouldn't demand it from himself. He has to do what the Pope tells him to do, and that with all his force, heart and mind.

PS: Was there some kind of introductory training, like a school for Papal etiquette ?

MG: Not at all. The only thing there was was a private conversation with my predecessor, Monsignore Stanislaus Dziwisz, the current Cardinal-Archbishop of Krakow. That was about two weeks after the Conclave and the move into the Appartamento. He handed me an envelope containing some papers and a key for a safe. An ancient safe, German precision work. He only said, "You now have a very important, very beautiful but also a very, very difficult task. The only thing I can tell you is that the Pope must not be "suffocated" by nothing and no one. How to go about that, you have to find out for yourself." Period, the end. More he didn't say. That was the entire school for Papal etiquette.

PS: And what was in the envelope?

MG: That I won't tell you. They are things that are given from Papal Secretary to Papal Secretary.

PS: Your initial mistakes?

MG: I realized soon that the speed I demanded of myself was too high. To start in the pole position is one thing, to get through the laps and arrive at the finish line quite another. Starting at full speed, so to speak. So I had to find out the right speed. Another difficult point was the handling of the countless requests for private audiences and other encounters which were all tied to noble motivations. Requests without end - "just for a minute", "just once, as an exception", "the Pope has known me for a long time, he'd be very happy". Here, the right "filter system" was needed. I had to put in a stronger filter.

PS: What do you keep from the Pope?

MG: Nothing important. All important official letters and documents, everything coming from bishops and cardinals, from the world of politics and diplomacy, I present to the Holy Father in the daily briefing. Apart from that there is a huge pile of letters, pleas, requests, proposals that he doesn't get to see, because he simply doesn't have the time. There, the Pope has given me room for my own judgment.

PS: Do people try to instrumentalize you?

MG: It happens, but I know how to defend myself.

PS: Does one "take off" in your position at times ?

MG: The opposite is more the case, that you're being suffocated, pressed down. If there is a danger, it's isolation. At one point friends said that I wasn't around anymore and was withdrawing. That was an alarm signal, and I immediately tried to make free time to better take care of personal relationships and existing friendships. It's important for one's psychological health.


PS: It's plain to see that so many priests of the new generation discover the spiritual, cultural and aesthetical treasures of the handed-down liturgy. With the new Motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum", an Apostolic letter of the Pope it has been stated that every priest may celebrate the Holy Mass also according to the earlier, Tridentine Rite. Will this bring new conflicts ?

MG: The opposite is the purpose and goal. Conflicts are supposed to be ended, existing fractions and schisms overcome. With the Motu proprio a spiritual home has been opened to a lot of the faithful. I am convinced that the letter of the Holy Father to the bishops which was released together with the Motu proprio and in which the Pope explains the goals and motivations of the document at length is the right key to its proper understanding.

PS: The French philosopher Rene Girard, member of the Academie francaise, is predicting a decisive Christian Renaissance. According to him, we are at the "eve of a revolution of our culture." This change is supposed to make the Renaissance of the 15th century pale by comparison.

MG: The religious element enjoys an attention it hasn't had in years. After a phase of indifferentism, people once more concern themselves with religion, questions of faith. I see that especially young people who have everything or could have everything, realize: One can do anything, one can even destroy the world - but one can't win the soul, when the essential is missing. The Catholic Church has treasures to offer that no one else can offer. Greater and more enduring than all politicial offers of "salvation." But, that doesn't happen automatically. Faith comes from being heard, as Saint Paul says, it has to be proclaimed.

If you want to know what the pope wears while watching tv, or how Msgr. Gaenswein feels about being a sex idol, you'll have to check out the full translation.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

From the NPM Pastoral Liturgy Institute

I just spent a few minutes listening at the door of the NPM Pastoral Liturgy Institute. Because the doors of the room are oak, I don't know how many people are inside, or who was giving the talk, but what I heard was enough to convince me that my money is well saved.

The speaker was instructing the group on how to change the words of the Mass responses. He recommended that any changes be added to the end of the response in order to not cause confusion. In his words, "People are Pavlovian".

I heard a few of the recommended texts and none of them appear in any Sacramentary and as far as I know they are not among the changes recommended for the updated Roman Missal.

Just my update from behind the door.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What we knew already

h/t to Barb from SFO Mom for this fun quiz

For you skeptics out there, there was no cheating involved in this either. There was, however, some guessing.

How smart are you? - Are you dumb?

Couple Receives over $21 Million Dollars for "Wrongful Birth" of Handicapped Son

TAMPA, Florida, July 24, 2007 ( - A judge has awarded over $21 million dollars to a couple for the "wrongful birth" of their second handicapped son. The couple would have aborted the child if they had known about his disability, the Tampa Bay Tribune reports.

Daniel and Amara Estrada have two sons who are both physically handicapped with the same genetic disorder, Smith-Lemli-Opitz, which does not allow them to properly synthesize cholesterol. The children have difficulty walking and must be fed through a feeding tube. They also have smaller heads and other physical abnormalities.

After the first son was born, the couple's doctor, Boris Kousseff, from the University of South Florida (USF), told them that they would be able to have other normal children and did not diagnose the problem as hereditary. Consequently, when their second son Caleb was born with the same disorder, the couple sued the doctor and the USF.

"He says you have the same chance of anyone else in society of having a normal child. He doesn't tell the truth," said the family's attorney Christian Searcy, Tampa Bay My Fox reports. The judge ruled that the couple will receive over $21 million dollars in recompense for the negligence of the doctor.

The couple claimed that if they had had a proper diagnosis after the birth of their first child in 2002, they could have determined by a pregnancy test that the second son Caleb had the same disorder. According to the lawsuit, if the couple had known this, they would have aborted him, the Associated Press reports.

Commenting on the situation, president and spokesperson for Florida Right to Life Lynda Bell told, "How bizarre that in our nation, not only have we become a throw-away generation, including our babies that are not perfect, but that now we're holding doctors responsible to deliver a perfect baby. I think this is absurd, and I think this court is opening up a Pandora's box to all types of litigations that say, 'it's not just a matter of nature, now I can hold a doctor accountable for an imperfect child.'"

Bell stated, "Doctor's may feel that they have a responsibility to lead people to abortion just so there's not a lawsuit." She continued, "I'm not going to weigh in on whether or not the doctor was negligent without knowing all the facts of the case, but I think there's a very fine line between a negligent physician and having him being responsible for an unborn child, whether or not it is perfect." She also said that the doctor might have been sued legitimately for negligence, but not for "wrongful birth". "Doctors are not God," she said, "they're physicians."

This story is similar to the case of an Austrian doctor in 2006 who was threatened in court with paying lifetime support costs for a young girl who was born with Down's syndrome. The mother claimed that she would have aborted her daughter if she had known about the child's condition early enough (see

Similarly, in 2003 a British Columbia, Canada court ruled that Dr. Ken Kan of Richmond must pay $325,000 for "wrongful birth", after he failed to diagnose that a child had Down's syndrome. The mother claimed that their handicapped child's birth "totally disrupted our plans," and caused the couple's marriage to fall apart (see

Shocking Liturgical Music News

H/t to Gerald.

Brace yourself dear readers! What I am about to tell you will shock you to your core. Marty Haugen started working in Liturgy without knowing anything about Liturgy. I know this is shocking news, considering the level of Liturgical superiority in his music.

Here is his quote:

I took my first job as a way of keeping me from going to Africa in the Peace Corps. I had signed up but didn’t want to go because I was in love with the woman who was to become my wife. I thought perhaps I could take a job for a year until I could get married and find out what I really wanted to do. A chaplain suggested that I apply for a Catholic church job. I said I didn’t know anything about the Catholic liturgy, and he said, well, these days, nobody does—you’ll feel right at home. And he was right.

Not only that, but he never wanted to be a church musician. In fact, he considered giving up music.
I started Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) as a piano major but switched to psychology, thinking I would go to seminary. When my advisor asked why I was dropping music, I said the only options I saw were to be a teacher or a performer, and neither interested me. The third option was to be a church musician, and I surely didn’t want to do that. To me a church musician only directed the choir and played the hymns. That seemed so narrow, it didn’t seem like ministry, and I was interested in ministry.

It gets better.
The first Sunday I came to the Catholic church, we were instructed to sing the psalm—interactively! I was struck during that service by how badly the people sang and how poorly written the psalm setting was. It was awful. I thought to myself—I could write this badly!
And so, he apparently set out to do just that.

Learning to compose for the text—to make the music support the text—was a long process for me.
You mean as opposed to changing the text to fit the music?

You can read the rest for yourself right here.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Happy Anniversary

Today is the 4th anniversary of episcopal ordination for my bishop, George William Coleman.
Ad Multos Annos!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Theology of Beekeping

Anyone who has purchased from knows that they keep track of your purchases and use that information to suggest other items they think you might be interested in.

Usually, their recommendations are pretty close, but this morning I received this e-mail.

Domini Sumus,

As someone who has purchased or rated books by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, you might like to know that The Bee-Keeper's Manual: Or Practical Hints On The Management And Complete Preservation Of The Honey-Bee is now available. You can order yours for just $26.95 by following the link below.

The Bee-Keeper's Manual: Or Practical Hints On The Management And Complete Preservation Of The Honey-Bee
Henry Taylor
Price: $26.95

Book Description
This scarce antiquarian book is included in our special Legacy Reprint Series. In the interest of creating a more extensive selection of rare historical book reprints, we have chosen to reproduce this title even though it may possibly have occasional imperfections such as missing and blurred pages, missing text, poor pictures, markings, dark backgrounds and other reproduction issues beyond our control. Because this work is culturally important, we have made it available as a part of our commitment to protecting, preserving and promoting the world's literature.

The great theologian, Saint Ambrose, was called the "Honey Tongued Doctor" because of his eloquent preaching, and is often portrayed in art with bees or a beehive, but that doesn't mean I want to become a beekeeper.

Can anyone else think of a connection between Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict) and beekeeping? Don't say that they both can sting. :-)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Saint Patrick's Day is March What?

Church celebrations of St Patrick's Day next year are being transferred to March 15th as it falls in Holy Week.

The Vatican had intended transferring the celebrations to early April, after Easter week, but at the request of the Irish bishops it agreed to the March 15th date as this would be closer to the civic celebrations of St Patrick's Day.

These will go ahead as normal on March 17th, which will also be a bank holiday. The St Patrick's Festival and parade will take place as normal in Dublin, as will events elsewhere.

In Ireland the feast of St Joseph next year will be celebrated on March 14th as his feast day, March 18th, also falls in Holy Week 2008.

The reason for these liturgical changes is that Easter Sunday next year is on March 23rd, the second earliest date it could be.

The earliest date is March 22nd, as Easter Sunday - since the Council of Nicea in AD365 - always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring equinox.

It means that Holy Week 2008, as reported in the current edition of the Irish Catholic, begins on March 17th, the Monday after Palm Sunday. For the first time since 1913, and the last time until 2160, St Patrick's (and St Joseph's) Day will fall in Holy Week next year.

As Fr Paddy Jones, of the Catholic Church's National Centre for Liturgy at Maynooth, put it, "the days of Holy Week and Easter Week rank above all others" and so St Patrick (and St Joseph) must be transferred.

In such circumstances St Patrick's Day should be celebrated then after the Second Sunday of Easter. But "in order to keep a link with the civic celebrations, the feast of St Patrick will be Saturday, March 15th, next year," Fr Jones said.

As a transferred feast it will not be a holy day of obligation.

The Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin Most Rev John Neill said that where his church was concerned liturgical celebrations of St Patrick's Day 2008 would also be on March 15th, though there may be some local celebrations on the 17th.

New Vatican Website

The Vatican has launched a great new website featuring new webcams, photo galleries, and a wealth of information.

Here is the VIS bulletin:
The Governorate of Vatican City State today opened a new Internet portal ( in order to meet the needs of the ever increasing numbers of pilgrims and tourists in the Vatican, and to respond to the continuous requests for information reaching the various offices of Vatican State though the traditional channels.

A communique made public yesterday afternoon explains that the new website, which will run alongside the official Holy See website (, has been implemented in five languages (Italian, English, French, Spanish and German) with Portuguese soon to be added. Through its five sections (State and Government, Services, Other Institutions, Monuments and Shop) the portal "presents the State's bodies, the key monuments with descriptions and images, and useful time schedules for the public" reads the English-language communique.

The site also offers a photo tour of the Vatican Gardens, as well as giving real time access via five webcams to some of the most famous sights: the dome of St. Peter's, St. Peter's Square, a panoramic view of Rome, the tomb of John Paul II and the palace of the Governorate.

Via the new portal, the communique concludes, "visitors will soon be able to purchase Vatican coins, stamps and other articles available from the Vatican Museum's publications and reproductions sales office."

Monday, July 16, 2007

St. Dominic's Chapel

St. Dominic's Chapel is one of my favorite places on the Providence College campus. For modern construction, dedicated in 2001, it isn't a badly designed church.

The first time I saw the chapel I had my doubts about what the inside would look like, but I think it is pretty inside. If you are wondering, the stained glass windows feature Dominican saints. However, the sanctuary windows feature the four evangelists. Each of the 45 windows was created by Sylvia Nicolas.

There is a real pipe organ. Ok, for the purists out there, it has electronic action, but it's still pipes. This organ was built by the Holtkalmp Organ Company from Cleveland, Ohio.

I have never seen a console where the keys are not black and white.

The sanctuary is very pretty. I could do without the bronze cross, but they aren't horrific. They were designed by Sylvia Nicolas, who also designed the windows, but they remind me of the work of a German woman. I can't remember what her name is, but I know that Cardinal Law had a great fondness for her work.

A close-up of the sanctuary.

The nave seats 600

When leaving the chapel from the main doors, you enter a large piazza. The building in the background was the location of the former Aquinas Chapel, now the Center for Catholic and Dominican Studies. The chapel occupied the first floor of the building. When the chapel was renovated, the stations of the cross and cruficix, as well as the main and side altars remained. I will add that the main altar is situated for Mass to be celebrated ad orientum.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Reform of the Reform: The Interview

h/t to Brian.

Fr. Thomas Kocik is a priest from my diocese. He is also the author of The Reform of the Reform? A Liturgical Debate: Reform or Return, which is published by Ignatius Press.

He was recently interviewed by Ignatius Insight on the topic of Liturgical Reform and Summorum Pontificum. You can read the interview here.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Why I Love Jesus

Here is a new meme
I was tagged by Brian.

The rules
Those tagged will share 5 things they "love" about Jesus.
Those tagged will tag 5 other bloggers.
Those tagged
will provide a link in the comments section here with their name so that others can read them.

1. He is God
2. Even though he is God, He humbled Himself and became a man
3. Even though he is God, He humbled Himself and suffered human death to save me
4. He literally went to hell and back for me
5. He did it out of love

I'll tell you what, the first five to read this, consider yourself tagged. When in doubt, TAG, you're it!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

What is the Church

Made public today was a document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: "Responses to some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church." It is dated June 29, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles, and bears the signatures of Cardinal William Joseph Levada and Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B., respectively prefect and secretary of the congregation.

The document has been published in Latin, Italian, French, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Polish. The complete English-language version is given below:





The Second Vatican Council, with its Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, and its Decrees on Ecumenism (Unitatis redintegratio) and the Oriental Churches (Orientalium Ecclesiarum), has contributed in a decisive way to the renewal of Catholic ecclesiolgy. The Supreme Pontiffs have also contributed to this renewal by offering their own insights and orientations for praxis: Paul VI in his Encyclical Letter Ecclesiam suam (1964) and John Paul II in his Encyclical Letter Ut unum sint (1995).

The consequent duty of theologians to expound with greater clarity the diverse aspects of ecclesiology has resulted in a flowering of writing in this field. In fact it has become evident that this theme is a most fruitful one which, however, has also at times required clarification by way of precise definition and correction, for instance in the declaration Mysterium Ecclesiae (1973), the Letter addressed to the Bishops of the Catholic Church Communionis notio (1992), and the declaration Dominus Iesus (2000), all published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The vastness of the subject matter and the novelty of many of the themes involved continue to provoke theological reflection. Among the many new contributions to the field, some are not immune from erroneous interpretation which in turn give rise to confusion and doubt. A number of these interpretations have been referred to the attention of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Given the universality of Catholic doctrine on the Church, the Congregation wishes to respond to these questions by clarifying the authentic meaning of some ecclesiological expressions used by the magisterium which are open to misunderstanding in the theological debate.


First Question: Did the Second Vatican Council change the Catholic doctrine on the Church?

Response: The Second Vatican Council neither changed nor intended to change this doctrine, rather it developed, deepened and more fully explained it.

This was exactly what John XXIII said at the beginning of the Council1. Paul VI affirmed it2 and commented in the act of promulgating the Constitution Lumen gentium: "There is no better comment to make than to say that this promulgation really changes nothing of the traditional doctrine. What Christ willed, we also will. What was, still is. What the Church has taught down through the centuries, we also teach. In simple terms that which was assumed, is now explicit; that which was uncertain, is now clarified; that which was meditated upon, discussed and sometimes argued over, is now put together in one clear formulation"3. The Bishops repeatedly expressed and fulfilled this intention4.

Second Question: What is the meaning of the affirmation that the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church?

Christ "established here on earth" only one Church and instituted it as a "visible and spiritual community"5, that from its beginning and throughout the centuries has always existed and will always exist, and in which alone are found all the elements that Christ himself instituted.6 "This one Church of Christ, which we confess in the Creed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic […]. This Church, constituted and organised in this world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him"7.

In number 8 of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium ‘subsistence’ means this perduring, historical continuity and the permanence of all the elements instituted by Christ in the Catholic Church8, in which the Church of Christ is concretely found on this earth.

It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them.9 Nevertheless, the word "subsists" can only be attributed to the Catholic Church alone precisely because it refers to the mark of unity that we profess in the symbols of the faith (I believe... in the "one" Church); and this "one" Church subsists in the Catholic Church.10

Third Question: Why was the expression "subsists in" adopted instead of the simple word "is"?

The use of this expression, which indicates the full identity of the Church of Christ with the Catholic Church, does not change the doctrine on the Church. Rather, it comes from and brings out more clearly the fact that there are "numerous elements of sanctification and of truth" which are found outside her structure, but which "as gifts properly belonging to the Church of Christ, impel towards Catholic Unity"11.

"It follows that these separated churches and Communities, though we believe they suffer from defects, are deprived neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation. In fact the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation, whose value derives from that fullness of grace and of truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church"12.

Fourth Question: Why does the Second Vatican Council use the term "Church" in reference to the oriental Churches separated from full communion with the Catholic Church?

The Council wanted to adopt the traditional use of the term. "Because these Churches, although separated, have true sacraments and above all – because of the apostolic succession – the priesthood and the Eucharist, by means of which they remain linked to us by very close bonds"13, they merit the title of "particular or local Churches"14, and are called sister Churches of the particular Catholic Churches15.

"It is through the celebration of the Eucharist of the Lord in each of these Churches that the Church of God is built up and grows in stature"16. However, since communion with the Catholic Church, the visible head of which is the Bishop of Rome and the Successor of Peter, is not some external complement to a particular Church but rather one of its internal constitutive principles, these venerable Christian communities lack something in their condition as particular churches17.

On the other hand, because of the division between Christians, the fullness of universality, which is proper to the Church governed by the Successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him, is not fully realised in history18.

Fifth Question: Why do the texts of the Council and those of the Magisterium since the Council not use the title of "Church" with regard to those Christian Communities born out of the Reformation of the sixteenth century?

According to Catholic doctrine, these Communities do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of Orders, and are, therefore, deprived of a constitutive element of the Church. These ecclesial Communities which, specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood, have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery19 cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called "Churches" in the proper sense20.

The Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, ratified and confirmed these Responses, adopted in the Plenary Session of the Congregation, and ordered their publication.

Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 29, 2007, the Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

William Cardinal Levada

+ Angelo Amato, S.D.B.
Titular Archbishop of Sila

Footnotes are available here.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

No, Not That Marini

It has been reported on another blog that Archbishop Piero Marini, the papal Master of Ceremonies was going to become Adjunct Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. It seems there has been a bit of confusion about which Marini is getting the job. It's Mario Marini, not Piero Marini.

Here is the official announcement.

Per mandato del Santo Padre, l’ Card. Darío Cástrillón Hoyos, Presidente della Pontificia Commissione "Ecclesia Dei" ha nominato Segretario Aggiunto della medesima Pontificia Commissione il Mons. Mario Marini.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Just Imagine

Summorum Pontificum Explanatory Notes

The Holy See Press Office today issued an explanatory note concerning the Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum". The most important paragraphs of the note are given below:

"The Motu Proprio 'Summorum Pontificum' lays down new rules for the use of the Roman liturgy that preceded the reform of 1970. The reasons for such provisions are clearly explained in the Holy Father's letter to bishops which accompanies the Motu Proprio (the two documents have been sent to all the presidents of episcopal conferences and to all nuncios, who have arranged to distribute them to all bishops).

"The fundamental provision is as follows: the Roman liturgy will have two forms ('usus'):

"a) The ordinary form is the one that follows the liturgical reform undertaken by Pope Paul VI in the year 1970, as it appears in the liturgical books promulgated at that time. There is an official edition in Latin which may be used always and everywhere, and translations in divers languages published by the various episcopal conferences.

"b) The extraordinary form: which is that celebrated in accordance with the liturgical books published by Blessed Pope John XXIII in 1962."

In paragraph 8 the note reads: "The bishop of a particular place may erect a personal parish, wherever there is to be found a very substantial number of faithful who wish to follow the earlier liturgy. It would be appropriate for the numbers of faithful to be substantial, even if not comparable to those of other parishes."

The explanatory note also highlights some of the characteristics of the 1962 Missal:

"It is a 'complete' or 'integral' Missal in the Latin language, that is, it also contains the readings for the celebrations (it is not distinct from the 'Lectionary' as the later 1970 Missal is).

"It contains just one Eucharistic prayer, the 'Roman Canon' (corresponding to the first Eucharist Prayer of the later Missal, which includes a choice of various Eucharistic Prayers).

"Various prayers (including a large part of the Canon) are recited by the priest in a low voice inaudible to the people.

"Other differences include the reading of the beginning of the Gospel of John at the end of Mass.

"The 1962 Missal does not provide for concelebration. It says nothing concerning the direction of the altar or of the celebrant (whether facing the people or not).

"The Pope's Letter envisages the possibility of future enrichment of the 1962 Missal (inclusion of new saints, new prefaces, etc.)."


Summorum Pontificum English Text

Given below is a non-official English- language translation of the Apostolic Letter "Motu Proprio data" of Pope Benedict XVI, "Summorum Pontificum," concerning the use of the Roman liturgy prior to the reform of 1970. The original text is written in Latin.

"Up to our own times, it has been the constant concern of supreme pontiffs to ensure that the Church of Christ offers a worthy ritual to the Divine Majesty, 'to the praise and glory of His name,' and 'to the benefit of all His Holy Church.'

"Since time immemorial it has been necessary - as it is also for the future - to maintain the principle according to which 'each particular Church must concur with the universal Church, not only as regards the doctrine of the faith and the sacramental signs, but also as regards the usages universally accepted by uninterrupted apostolic tradition, which must be observed not only to avoid errors but also to transmit the integrity of the faith, because the Church's law of prayer corresponds to her law of faith.' (1)

"Among the pontiffs who showed that requisite concern, particularly outstanding is the name of St. Gregory the Great, who made every effort to ensure that the new peoples of Europe received both the Catholic faith and the treasures of worship and culture that had been accumulated by the Romans in preceding centuries. He commanded that the form of the sacred liturgy as celebrated in Rome (concerning both the Sacrifice of Mass and the Divine Office) be conserved. He took great concern to ensure the dissemination of monks and nuns who, following the Rule of St. Benedict, together with the announcement of the Gospel illustrated with their lives the wise provision of their Rule that 'nothing should be placed before the work of God.' In this way the sacred liturgy, celebrated according to the Roman use, enriched not only the faith and piety but also the culture of many peoples. It is known, in fact, that the Latin liturgy of the Church in its various forms, in each century of the Christian era, has been a spur to the spiritual life of many saints, has reinforced many peoples in the virtue of religion and fecundated their piety.

"Many other Roman pontiffs, in the course of the centuries, showed particular solicitude in ensuring that the sacred liturgy accomplished this task more effectively. Outstanding among them is St. Pius V who, sustained by great pastoral zeal and following the exhortations of the Council of Trent, renewed the entire liturgy of the Church, oversaw the publication of liturgical books amended and 'renewed in accordance with the norms of the Fathers,' and provided them for the use of the Latin Church.

"One of the liturgical books of the Roman rite is the Roman Missal, which developed in the city of Rome and, with the passing of the centuries, little by little took forms very similar to that it has had in recent times.

"'It was towards this same goal that succeeding Roman Pontiffs directed their energies during the subsequent centuries in order to ensure that the rites and liturgical books were brought up to date and when necessary clarified. From the beginning of this century they undertook a more general reform.' (2) Thus our predecessors Clement VIII, Urban VIII, St. Pius X (3), Benedict XV, Pius XII and Blessed John XXIII all played a part.

"In more recent times, Vatican Council II expressed a desire that the respectful reverence due to divine worship should be renewed and adapted to the needs of our time. Moved by this desire our predecessor, the Supreme Pontiff Paul VI, approved, in 1970, reformed and partly renewed liturgical books for the Latin Church. These, translated into the various languages of the world, were willingly accepted by bishops, priests and faithful. John Paul II amended the third typical edition of the Roman Missal. Thus Roman pontiffs have operated to ensure that 'this kind of liturgical edifice ... should again appear resplendent for its dignity and harmony.' (4)

"But in some regions, no small numbers of faithful adhered and continue to adhere with great love and affection to the earlier liturgical forms. These had so deeply marked their culture and their spirit that in 1984 the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, moved by a concern for the pastoral care of these faithful, with the special indult 'Quattuor abhinc anno," issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship, granted permission to use the Roman Missal published by Blessed John XXIII in the year 1962. Later, in the year 1988, John Paul II with the Apostolic Letter given as Motu Proprio, 'Ecclesia Dei,' exhorted bishops to make generous use of this power in favor of all the faithful who so desired.

"Following the insistent prayers of these faithful, long deliberated upon by our predecessor John Paul II, and after having listened to the views of the Cardinal Fathers of the Consistory of 22 March 2006, having reflected deeply upon all aspects of the question, invoked the Holy Spirit and trusting in the help of God, with these Apostolic Letters we establish the following:

"Art 1. The Roman Missal promulgated by Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the 'Lex orandi' (Law of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. Nonetheless, the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and reissued by Bl. John XXIII is to be considered as an extraordinary expression of that same 'Lex orandi,' and must be given due honour for its venerable and ancient usage. These two expressions of the Church's Lex orandi will in no any way lead to a division in the Church's 'Lex credendi' (Law of belief). They are, in fact two usages of the one Roman rite.

"It is, therefore, permissible to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal promulgated by Bl. John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Liturgy of the Church. The conditions for the use of this Missal as laid down by earlier documents 'Quattuor abhinc annis' and 'Ecclesia Dei,' are substituted as follows:

"Art. 2. In Masses celebrated without the people, each Catholic priest of the Latin rite, whether secular or regular, may use the Roman Missal published by Bl. Pope John XXIII in 1962, or the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970, and may do so on any day with the exception of the Easter Triduum. For such celebrations, with either one Missal or the other, the priest has no need for permission from the Apostolic See or from his Ordinary.

"Art. 3. Communities of Institutes of consecrated life and of Societies of apostolic life, of either pontifical or diocesan right, wishing to celebrate Mass in accordance with the edition of the Roman Missal promulgated in 1962, for conventual or "community" celebration in their oratories, may do so. If an individual community or an entire Institute or Society wishes to undertake such celebrations often, habitually or permanently, the decision must be taken by the Superiors Major, in accordance with the law and following their own specific decrees and statues.

"Art. 4. Celebrations of Mass as mentioned above in art. 2 may - observing all the norms of law - also be attended by faithful who, of their own free will, ask to be admitted.

"Art. 5. õ 1 In parishes, where there is a stable group of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition, the pastor should willingly accept their requests to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962, and ensure that the welfare of these faithful harmonises with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the guidance of the bishop in accordance with canon 392, avoiding discord and favouring the unity of the whole Church. õ 2 Celebration in accordance with the Missal of Bl. John XXIII may take place on working days; while on Sundays and feast days one such celebration may also be held. õ 3 For faithful and priests who request it, the pastor should also allow celebrations in this extraordinary form for special circumstances such as marriages, funerals or occasional celebrations, e.g. pilgrimages. õ 4 Priests who use the Missal of Bl. John XXIII must be qualified to do so and not juridically impeded. õ 5 In churches that are not parish or conventual churches, it is the duty of the Rector of the church to grant the above permission.

Art. 6. In Masses celebrated in the presence of the people in accordance with the Missal of Bl. John XXIII, the readings may be given in the vernacular, using editions recognised by the Apostolic See.

"Art. 7. If a group of lay faithful, as mentioned in art. 5 õ 1, has not obtained satisfaction to their requests from the pastor, they should inform the diocesan bishop. The bishop is strongly requested to satisfy their wishes. If he cannot arrange for such celebration to take place, the matter should be referred to the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei".

"Art. 8. A bishop who, desirous of satisfying such requests, but who for various reasons is unable to do so, may refer the problem to the Commission "Ecclesia Dei" to obtain counsel and assistance.

"Art. 9. õ 1 The pastor, having attentively examined all aspects, may also grant permission to use the earlier ritual for the administration of the Sacraments of Baptism, Marriage, Penance, and the Anointing of the Sick, if the good of souls would seem to require it. õ 2 Ordinaries are given the right to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation using the earlier Roman Pontifical, if the good of souls would seem to require it. õ 2 Clerics ordained "in sacris constitutis" may use the Roman Breviary promulgated by Bl. John XXIII in 1962.

"Art. 10. The ordinary of a particular place, if he feels it appropriate, may erect a personal parish in accordance with can. 518 for celebrations following the ancient form of the Roman rite, or appoint a chaplain, while observing all the norms of law.

"Art. 11. The Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei", erected by John Paul II in 1988 (5), continues to exercise its function. Said Commission will have the form, duties and norms that the Roman Pontiff wishes to assign it.

"Art. 12. This Commission, apart from the powers it enjoys, will exercise the authority of the Holy See, supervising the observance and application of these dispositions.

"We order that everything We have established with these Apostolic Letters issued as Motu Proprio be considered as "established and decreed", and to be observed from 14 September of this year, Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, whatever there may be to the contrary.

" From Rome, at St. Peter's, 7 July 2007, third year of Our Pontificate." (1) General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 3rd ed., 2002, no. 397. (2) John Paul II, Apostolic Letter "Vicesimus quintus annus," 4 December 1988, 3: AAS 81 (1989), 899.

(3) Ibid. (4) St. Pius X, Apostolic Letter Motu propio data, "Abhinc duos annos," 23 October 1913: AAS 5 (1913), 449-450; cf John Paul II, Apostolic Letter "Vicesimus quintus annus," no. 3: AAS 81 (1989), 899. (5) Cf John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Motu proprio data "Ecclesia Dei," 2 July 1988, 6: AAS 80 (1988), 1498.


The Letter

Here is the English text of the letter which accompanies the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

Also here is a link to the English text of the Motu Proprio from the USCCB along with some background information and FAQs.

My dear Brother Bishops,

With great trust and hope, I am consigning to you as Pastors the text of a new Apostolic Letter "Motu Proprio data" on the use of the Roman liturgy prior to the reform of 1970. The document is the fruit of much reflection, numerous consultations and prayer.

News reports and judgments made without sufficient information have created no little confusion. There have been very divergent reactions ranging from joyful acceptance to harsh opposition, about a plan whose contents were in reality unknown.

This document was most directly opposed on account of two fears, which I would like to address somewhat more closely in this letter.

In the first place, there is the fear that the document detracts from the authority of the Second Vatican Council, one of whose essential decisions – the liturgical reform – is being called into question. This fear is unfounded. In this regard, it must first be said that the Missal published by Paul VI and then republished in two subsequent editions by John Paul II, obviously is and continues to be the normal Form – the Forma ordinaria – of the Eucharistic Liturgy. The last version of the Missale Romanum prior to the Council, which was published with the authority of Pope John XXIII in 1962 and used during the Council, will now be able to be used as a Forma extraordinaria of the liturgical celebration. It is not appropriate to speak of these two versions of the Roman Missal as if they were "two Rites". Rather, it is a matter of a twofold use of one and the same rite.

As for the use of the 1962 Missal as a Forma extraordinaria of the liturgy of the Mass, I would like to draw attention to the fact that this Missal was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted. At the time of the introduction of the new Missal, it did not seem necessary to issue specific norms for the possible use of the earlier Missal. Probably it was thought that it would be a matter of a few individual cases which would be resolved, case by case, on the local level. Afterwards, however, it soon became apparent that a good number of people remained strongly attached to this usage of the Roman Rite, which had been familiar to them from childhood. This was especially the case in countries where the liturgical movement had provided many people with a notable liturgical formation and a deep, personal familiarity with the earlier Form of the liturgical celebration. We all know that, in the movement led by Archbishop Lefebvre, fidelity to the old Missal became an external mark of identity; the reasons for the break which arose over this, however, were at a deeper level. Many people who clearly accepted the binding character of the Second Vatican Council, and were faithful to the Pope and the Bishops, nonetheless also desired to recover the form of the sacred liturgy that was dear to them. This occurred above all because in many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new Missal, but the latter actually was understood as authorizing or even requiring creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear. I am speaking from experience, since I too lived through that period with all its hopes and its confusion. And I have seen how arbitrary deformations of the liturgy caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the faith of the Church.

Pope John Paul II thus felt obliged to provide, in his Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei (2 July 1988), guidelines for the use of the 1962 Missal; that document, however, did not contain detailed prescriptions but appealed in a general way to the generous response of Bishops towards the "legitimate aspirations" of those members of the faithful who requested this usage of the Roman Rite. At the time, the Pope primarily wanted to assist the Society of Saint Pius X to recover full unity with the Successor of Peter, and sought to heal a wound experienced ever more painfully. Unfortunately this reconciliation has not yet come about. Nonetheless, a number of communities have gratefully made use of the possibilities provided by the Motu Proprio. On the other hand, difficulties remain concerning the use of the 1962 Missal outside of these groups, because of the lack of precise juridical norms, particularly because Bishops, in such cases, frequently feared that the authority of the Council would be called into question. Immediately after the Second Vatican Council it was presumed that requests for the use of the 1962 Missal would be limited to the older generation which had grown up with it, but in the meantime it has clearly been demonstrated that young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them. Thus the need has arisen for a clearer juridical regulation which had not been foreseen at the time of the 1988 Motu Proprio. The present Norms are also meant to free Bishops from constantly having to evaluate anew how they are to respond to various situations.

In the second place, the fear was expressed in discussions about the awaited Motu Proprio, that the possibility of a wider use of the 1962 Missal would lead to disarray or even divisions within parish communities. This fear also strikes me as quite unfounded. The use of the old Missal presupposes a certain degree of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language; neither of these is found very often. Already from these concrete presuppositions, it is clearly seen that the new Missal will certainly remain the ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, not only on account of the juridical norms, but also because of the actual situation of the communities of the faithful.

It is true that there have been exaggerations and at times social aspects unduly linked to the attitude of the faithful attached to the ancient Latin liturgical tradition. Your charity and pastoral prudence will be an incentive and guide for improving these. For that matter, the two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching: new Saints and some of the new Prefaces can and should be inserted in the old Missal. The "Ecclesia Dei" Commission, in contact with various bodies devoted to the usus antiquior, will study the practical possibilities in this regard. The celebration of the Mass according to the Missal of Paul VI will be able to demonstrate, more powerfully than has been the case hitherto, the sacrality which attracts many people to the former usage. The most sure guarantee that the Missal of Paul VI can unite parish communities and be loved by them consists in its being celebrated with great reverence in harmony with the liturgical directives. This will bring out the spiritual richness and the theological depth of this Missal.

I now come to the positive reason which motivated my decision to issue this Motu Proprio updating that of 1988. It is a matter of coming to an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church. Looking back over the past, to the divisions which in the course of the centuries have rent the Body of Christ, one continually has the impression that, at critical moments when divisions were coming about, not enough was done by the Church’s leaders to maintain or regain reconciliation and unity. One has the impression that omissions on the part of the Church have had their share of blame for the fact that these divisions were able to harden. This glance at the past imposes an obligation on us today: to make every effort to unable for all those who truly desire unity to remain in that unity or to attain it anew. I think of a sentence in the Second Letter to the Corinthians, where Paul writes: "Our mouth is open to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return … widen your hearts also!" (2 Cor 6:11-13). Paul was certainly speaking in another context, but his exhortation can and must touch us too, precisely on this subject. Let us generously open our hearts and make room for everything that the faith itself allows.

There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place. Needless to say, in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books. The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness.

In conclusion, dear Brothers, I very much wish to stress that these new norms do not in any way lessen your own authority and responsibility, either for the liturgy or for the pastoral care of your faithful. Each Bishop, in fact, is the moderator of the liturgy in his own Diocese (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, 22: "Sacrae Liturgiae moderatio ab Ecclesiae auctoritate unice pendet quae quidem est apud Apostolicam Sedem et, ad normam iuris, apud Episcopum").

Nothing is taken away, then, from the authority of the Bishop, whose role remains that of being watchful that all is done in peace and serenity. Should some problem arise which the parish priest cannot resolve, the local Ordinary will always be able to intervene, in full harmony, however, with all that has been laid down by the new norms of the Motu Proprio.

Furthermore, I invite you, dear Brothers, to send to the Holy See an account of your experiences, three years after this Motu Proprio has taken effect. If truly serious difficulties come to light, ways to remedy them can be sought.

Dear Brothers, with gratitude and trust, I entrust to your hearts as Pastors these pages and the norms of the Motu Proprio. Let us always be mindful of the words of the Apostle Paul addressed to the presbyters of Ephesus: "Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the Church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son" (Acts 20:28).

I entrust these norms to the powerful intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, and I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing to you, dear Brothers, to the parish priests of your dioceses, and to all the priests, your co-workers, as well as to all your faithful.

Given at Saint Peter’s, 7 July 2007


Summorum Pontificum

Here is the official Latin text of the Motu Proprio
If you prefer to read it in English, the USCCB has it up in a booklet form along with FAQs.




Summorum Pontificum cura ad hoc tempus usque semper fuit, ut Christi Ecclesia Divinae Maiestati cultum dignum offerret, «ad laudem et gloriam nominis Sui» et «ad utilitatem totius Ecclesiae Suae sanctae».

Ab immemorabili tempore sicut etiam in futurum, principium servandum est «iuxta quod unaquaeque Ecclesia particularis concordare debet cum universali Ecclesia non solum quoad fidei doctrinam et signa sacramentalia, sed etiam quoad usus universaliter acceptos ab apostolica et continua traditione, qui servandi sunt non solum ut errores vitentur, verum etiam ad fidei integritatem tradendam, quia Ecclesiae lex orandi eius legi credendi respondet»[1].

Inter Pontífices qui talem debitam curam adhibuerunt, nomen excellit sancti Gregorii Magni, qui tam fidem catholicam quam thesauros cultus ac culturae a Romanis in saeculis praecedentibus cumulatos novis Europae populis transmittendos curavit. Sacrae Liturgiae tam Missae Sacrificii quam Officii Divini formam, uti in Urbe celebrabatur, definiri conservarique iussit. Monachos quoque et moniales maxime fovit, qui sub Regula sancti Benedicti militantes, ubique simul cum Evangelii annuntiatione illam quoque saluberrimam Regulae sententiam vita sua illustrarunt, «ut operi Dei nihil praeponatur» (cap. 43). Tali modo sacra liturgia secundum morem Romanum non solum fidem et pietatem sed et culturam multarum gentium fecundavit. Constat utique liturgiam latinam variis suis formis Ecclesiae in omnibus aetatis christianae saeculis permultos Sanctos in vita spirituali stimulasse atque tot populos in religionis virtute roborasse ac eorundem pietatem fecundasse.

Ut autem Sacra Liturgia hoc munus efficacius expleret, plures alii Romani Pontifices decursu saeculorum peculiarem sollicitudinem impenderunt, inter quos eminet Sanctus Pius V, qui magno cum studio pastorali, Concilio Tridentino exhortante, totum Ecclesiae cultum innovavit, librorum liturgicorum emendatorum et «ad normam Patrum instauratorum» editionem curavit eosque Ecclesiae latinae usui dedit.

Inter Ritus romani libros liturgicos patet eminere Missale Romanum, quod in romana urbe succrevit, atque succedentibus saeculis gradatim formas assumpsit, quae cum illa in generationibus recentioribus vigente magnam habent similitudinem.

«Quod idem omnino propositum tempore progrediente Pontifices Romani sunt persecuti, cum novas ad aetates accommodaverunt aut ritus librosque liturgicos determinaverunt, ac deinde cum ineunte hoc nostro saeculo ampliorem iam complexi sunt redintegrationem»[2]. Sic vero egerunt Decessores nostri Clemens VIII, Urbanus VIII, sanctus Pius X[3], Benedictus XV, Pius XII et beatus Ioannes XXIII.

Recentioribus autem temporibus, Concilium Vaticanum II desiderium expressit, ut debita observantia et reverentia erga cultum divinum denuo instauraretur ac necessitatibus nostrae aetatis aptaretur. Quo desiderio motus, Decessor noster Summus Pontifex Paulus VI libros liturgicos instauratos et partim innovatos anno 1970 Ecclesiae latinae approbavit; qui ubique terrarum permultas in linguas vulgares conversi, ab Episcopis atque a sacerdotibus et fidelibus libenter recepti sunt. Ioannes Paulus II, tertiam editionem typicam Missalis Romani recognovit. Sic Romani Pontifices operati sunt ut «hoc quasi aedificium liturgicum [...] rursus, dignitate splendidum et concinnitate» appareret[4].

Aliquibus autem in regionibus haud pauci fideles antecedentibus formis liturgicis, quae eorum culturam et spiritum tam profunde imbuerant, tanto amore et affectu adhaeserunt et adhaerere pergunt, ut Summus Pontifex Ioannes Paulus II, horum fidelium pastorali cura motus, anno 1984 speciali Indulto “Quattuor abhinc annos”, a Congregatione pro Cultu Divino exarato, facultatem concessit utendi Missali Romano a Ioanne XXIII anno 1962 edito; anno autem 1988 Ioannes Paulus II iterum, litteris Apostolicis “Ecclesia Dei” Motu proprio datis, Episcopos exhortatus est ut talem facultatem late et generose in favorem omnium fidelium id petentium adhiberent.

Instantibus precibus horum fidelium iam a Praedecessore Nostro Ioanne Paulo II diu perpensis, auditis etiam a Nobis Patribus Cardinalibus in Concistorio die XXIII mensis martii anni 2006 habito, omnibus mature perpensis, invocato Spiritu Sancto et Dei freti auxilio, praesentibus Litteris Apostolicis DECERNIMUS quae sequuntur:

Art. 1. Missale Romanum a Paulo VI promulgatum ordinaria expressio “Legis orandi” Ecclesiae catholicae ritus latini est. Missale autem Romanum a S. Pio V promulgatum et a B. Ioanne XXIII denuo editum habeatur uti extraordinaria expressio eiusdem “Legis orandi” Ecclesiae et ob venerabilem et antiquum eius usum debito gaudeat honore. Hae duae expressiones “legis orandi” Ecclesiae, minime vero inducent in divisionem “legis credendi” Ecclesiae; sunt enim duo usus unici ritus romani.

Proinde Missae Sacrificium, iuxta editionem typicam Missalis Romani a B. Ioanne XXIII anno 1962 promulgatam et numquam abrogatam, uti formam extraordinariam Liturgiae Ecclesiae, celebrare licet. Conditiones vero a documentis antecedentibus “Quattuor abhinc annos” et “Ecclesia Dei” pro usu huius Missalis statutae, substituuntur ut sequitur:

Art. 2. In Missis sine populo celebratis, quilibet sacerdos catholicus ritus latini, sive saecularis sive religiosus, uti potest aut Missali Romano a beato Papa Ioanne XXIII anno 1962 edito, aut Missali Romano a Summo Pontifice Paulo VI anno 1970 promulgato, et quidem qualibet die, excepto Triduo Sacro. Ad talem celebrationem secundum unum alterumve Missale, sacerdos nulla eget licentia, nec Sedis Apostolicae nec Ordinarii sui.

Art. 3. Si communitates Institutorum vitae consecratae atque Societatum vitae apostolicae iuris sive pontificii sive dioecesani quae in celebratione conventuali seu “communitatis” in oratoriis propriis celebrationem sanctae Missae iuxta editionem Missalis Romani anno 1962 promulgatam habere cupiunt, id eis licet. Si singula communitas aut totum Institutum vel Societas tales celebrationes saepe vel plerumque vel permanenter perficere vult, res a Superioribus maioribus ad normam iuris et secundum leges et statuta particularia decernatur.

Art. 4. Ad celebrationes sanctae Missae de quibus supra in art. 2 admitti possunt, servatis de iure servandis, etiam christifideles qui sua sponte id petunt.

Art. 5, § 1. In paroeciis, ubi coetus fidelium traditioni liturgicae antecedenti adhaerentium continenter exsistit, parochus eorum petitiones ad celebrandam sanctam Missam iuxta ritum Missalis Romani anno 1962 editi, libenter suscipiat. Ipse videat ut harmonice concordetur bonum horum fidelium cum ordinaria paroeciae pastorali cura, sub Episcopi regimine ad normam canonis 392, discordiam vitando et totius Ecclesiae unitatem fovendo.

§ 2. Celebratio secundum Missale B. Ioannis XXIII locum habere potest diebus ferialibus; dominicis autem et festis una etiam celebratio huiusmodi fieri potest.

§ 3. Fidelibus seu sacerdotibus id petentibus, parochus celebrationes, hac in forma extraordinaria, permittat etiam in adiunctis peculiaribus, uti sunt matrimonia, exsequiae aut celebrationes occasionales, verbi gratia peregrinationes.

§ 4. Sacerdotes Missali B. Ioannis XXIII utentes, idonei esse debent ac iure non impediti.

§ 5. In ecclesiis, quae non sunt nec paroeciales nec conventuales, Rectoris ecclesiae est concedere licentiam de qua supra.

Art. 6. In Missis iuxta Missale B. Ioannis XXIII celebratis cum populo, Lectiones proclamari possunt etiam lingua vernacula, utendo editionibus ab Apostolica Sede recognitis.

Art. 7. Ubi aliquis coetus fidelium laicorum, de quo in art. 5 § 1 petita a parocho non obtinuerit, de re certiorem faciat Episcopum dioecesanum. Episcopus enixe rogatur ut eorum optatum exaudiat. Si ille ad huiusmodi celebrationem providere non potest res ad Pontificiam Commissionem “Ecclesia Dei” referatur.

Art. 8. Episcopus, qui vult providere huiusmodi petitionibus christifidelium laicorum, sed ob varias causas impeditur, rem Pontificiae Commissioni “Ecclesia Dei” committere potest, quae ei consilium et auxilium dabit.

Art. 9, § 1. Parochus item, omnibus bene perpensis, licentiam concedere potest utendi rituali antiquiore in administrandis sacramentis Baptismatis, Matrimonii, Poenitentiae et Unctionis Infirmorum, bono animarum id suadente.

§ 2. Ordinariis autem facultas conceditur celebrandi Confirmationis sacramentum utendo Pontificali Romano antiquo, bono animarum id suadente.

§ 3. Fas est clericis in sacris constitutis uti etiam Breviario Romano a B. Ioanne XXIII anno 1962 promulgato.

Art 10. Fas est Ordinario loci, si opportunum iudicaverit, paroeciam personalem ad normam canonis 518 pro celebrationibus iuxta formam antiquiorem ritus romani erigere aut rectorem vel cappellanum nominare, servatis de iure servandis.

Art. 11. Pontificia Commissio “Ecclesia Dei” a Ioanne Paulo II anno 1988 erecta[5], munus suum adimplere pergit.

Quae Commissio formam, officia et normas agendi habeat, quae Romanus Pontifex ipsi attribuere voluerit.

Art. 12. Eadem Commissio, ultra facultates quibus iam gaudet, auctoritatem Sanctae Sedis exercebit, vigilando de observantia et applicatione harum dispositionum.

Quaecumque vero a Nobis hisce Litteris Apostolicis Motu proprio datis decreta sunt, ea omnia firma ac rata esse et a die decima quarta Septembris huius anni, in festo Exaltationis Sanctae Crucis, servari iubemus, contrariis quibuslibet rebus non obstantibus.

Datum Romae, apud Sanctum Petrum, die septima mensis Iulii, anno Domini MMVII, Pontificatus Nostri tertio.



[1] Institutio generalis Missalis Romani, Editio tertia, 2002, 397
[2] Ioannes Paulus Pp. II, Litt. ap. Vicesimus quintus annus (4 Decembris 1988), 3: AAS 81 (1989), 899.
[4]S. Pius Pp. X, Litt. Ap. Motu proprio datae Abhinc duos annos (23 Octobris 1913): AAS 5 (1913), 449-450; cfr Ioannes Paulus II, Litt. ap. Vicesimus quintus annus (4 Decembris 1988), 3: AAS 81 (1989), 899.
[5] Cfr Ioannes Paulus Pp. II, Litt. ap. Motu proprio datae Ecclesia Dei (2 iulii 1988), 6: AAS 80 (1988), 1498.

© Copyright 2007 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Friday, July 06, 2007

Holy See Ends Year With 2.4 million Euro Surplus

Money might not make the world go 'round, but it sure is important.
The financial statement of the Holy See was released at 11:30 this morning.

Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, announced this morning in a press conference on the Holy See consolidated financial statements for 2006 that the year closed with a surplus of 2.4 million euro. This, he said, "represents a lower value following the results of 2005 (9.7 million euro) and of 2004 (3.08 million euro)."

In terms of the institutional activity of the Holy See (Secretariat of State, congregations, councils, tribunals, the Synod of Bishops and various other offices), the president indicated that this sector closed the year with a deficit of 31 million euro, a decrease with respect to 2005 which had closed with a deficit of 36.9 million euro.

Cardinal Sebastiani pointed out that the sector of financial activities (seven consolidated administrations, the most important of which is the Extraordinary Section of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, APSA) showed a surplus of 13.7 million euro, as compared with last year's surplus of 43.4 million euro. This decrease of about 29 million euro, the cardinal explained, "is due above all to a sudden very strong reversal of trend in fluctuations of the rate of exchange, especially of the US dollar."

The real estate sector, he continued, "closed with a net gain of 32.3 million euro, higher than that of 2005 which stood at roughly 22.4 million. ... Total costs amounted to about 27 million euro, whereas revenues reached 59.3 million euro."

The activity of the five media institutions connected with the Holy See (Vatican Radio, the Vatican Printing Office, L'Osservatore Romano newspaper, the Vatican Publishing House and the Vatican Television Center), closed with a deficit of 12.8 million euro, "substantially due to the negative results of Vatican Radio (about 23.8 million euro) and of L'Osservatore Romano (4.4 million euro)," said Cardinal Sebastiani. Nonetheless, the Vatican Printing Office and the Vatican Television Center closed the year with a surplus of 1.3 million euro and 421,000 euro respectively. The Vatican Publishing House also closed its 2006 financial statement with a surplus of 1.3 million euro, and in this context the cardinal recalled how it has been entrusted with the exercise and the guardianship of the copyright of "all the documents by means of which the Supreme Pontiff exercises his teaching."

The final part of the economic report, concerning other income and expenditure, closed with a positive result of 184,000 euro, as against the seven million euro deficit of 2005 which had reflected the costs incurred during the period of vacant see in April 2005.

In closing, the president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See indicated that in the Vatican on July 2, Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. had presided at the 41st meeting of the Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Economic Problems of the Holy See. On that occasion, said Cardinal Sebastiani, as well as the consolidated financial statement of the Holy See for 2006, the cardinals also examined that of the Governorate of Vatican City State, which closed with a surplus of 21.8 million euro, down on the 29.6 million euro of 2005.

Offers from the faithful to Peter's Pence, the fund which goes to the Holy Father's works of evangelical solidarity, grew considerably with respect to the preceding year, coming to 74.6 million euro in 2006, as against the 2005 total of 46.7 million.


Here is the transcript from the press conference.

On Monday, July 2, 2007 the 41st meeting of the Council of Cardinals for the Study of the Organizational and Economic Problems of the Holy See took place in the Vatican City State. His Eminence Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone chaired it.

The Cardinals examined the 2006 Consolidated Financial Statement of the Holy See and that of the S.C.V. Governorate, both closed with a profit.

As usual, I have the honor of presenting the Consolidated Financial Statement of the Holy See for the fiscal year 2006 with my staff. As a consolidated financial statement, it contains the income and the expenses of the various pontifical administrations that are within the area of consolidation. It includes the 2 Sections of the Secretariat of State, 9 Congregations, 3 Tribunals, 11 Pontifical Councils, the Apostolic Camera, the Prefecture of the Papal Household, the Office for liturgical celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, the Press Room of the Holy See, the Central Office of Statistics of the Church, 5 Pontifical Commissions and 2 Pontifical Committees, 3 Pontifical Academies and the Institutions connected with the Holy See: the Vatican Secret Archives, the Vatican Library, the Apostolic Almonery, the Synod of Bishops, the Vatican Publishing House, the Vatican Printing Press - L'Osservatore Romano, Vatican Radio, the Vatican Television Center. Moreover, 118 Pontifical Embassies and 9 delegations at International Organizations must be added.

The good news for the current operating statement is that, after three consecutive years, it has closed with a surplus of 2.4 million euro, which represents the less significant value, after the results registered both in 2005 (equal to 9.7 million euro) and in 2004 (equal to 3.1 million euro).

I turn now to the analysis of the principal entries of the operating statement, which as usual are expressed in the following four categories:

1) Institutional Activity. This sector encompasses all the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia: the Secretariat of State, the Papal Embassies, the Roman Congregations, the Pontifical Councils, the Synod of Bishops and other Offices. As these assist the Holy Father more closely in his mission as Universal Pastor at the service of the Local Churches and also for the benefit of humanity as promoter of peace in today’s world, they do not produce income. This is the significance of the Canon 1271 C.J.C. prescriptions, which invite the Bishops to come freely to the aid of the necessities of the Holy See by supporting its activity, in the same way that Canon 1263 C.J.C. prescribes that the parishes support the activity of the diocesan curia. In 2006 the volume of donations that came from Episcopal Conferences, dioceses, religious Institutes, faithful and various Entities increased from 73.9 million euro in 2005 to 86 million euro in 2006. Within this sector, the most positive results were both in the income from Canon 1271 c.j.c. which rose from 21.5 million euro to more than 24 million euro in one year, for an increase of about 12%, and above all in the volume of contributions from institutions, foundations and other entities which shows significant revenues, equal to 61.2 million euro (against 51.7 million euro in 2005).

As for costs of the entire sector, which are directly connected with the activity of the Roman Curia to assist S. Peter’s Successor in his ministry, we can note a rise slightly higher than 5 million euro: from 121.3 million in 2005 to 126.2 million. This variation was due above all to the cost incurred for personnel for the adjustment both of remunerations to the inflation rate and of the compulsory contributions to the pension funds. Also general and administrative costs increased from 13.4 million in 2005 to 15.3 million in 2006, as did those for Papal Embassies and for the maintenance of the Apostolic Nunciatures (from 19.6 million to 20.6 million euro).

Costs for "maintenance and repairs" decreased slightly from 10.4 million euro in 2005 to 9.8 million euro. Also in 2006 the works to consolidate the foundations, the floors and the vertical walls of the building in Piazza di Spagna (seat of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples) continued. Moreover, other expenses for extraordinary maintenance related to the buildings of Sant’Uffizio (for systems replacement), Propilei (for lifts replacement and fronts finishing) and Palazzo Convertendi must be considered.

Therefore, this important sector of the Institutional Activity closed with a deficit of 31 million euro, a decrease compared to the 2005 institutional deficit which stood at 36.9 million euro.

2) Financial Activity. In this sector are included the financial activities of the consolidated administrations, especially those of APSA Extraordinary Section (Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See).

The above-mentioned increase in contributions partially counterbalanced the serious fall in the net balance profit of the financial sector which closed with a gain of 13.7 million against 43.3 million in 2005. Therefore, a decrease by about 29 million euro occurred, due above all to a sudden, very strong reversal of trend in fluctuations of the rate of exchange, especially of the US Dollar.

Indeed, a net positive fluctuation of 21.7 million euro was registered in 2005 while a net loss of roughly 7 million euro occurred in 2006 due to fluctuations in the rates of exchange. In this sector the results seesaw by nature; I remember that in 2004 a net loss of 11 million euro occurred whereas in 2005, as already said, the fluctuations were positive, equal to 21.7 million euro.

The revenues from coupons and dividends increased slightly, rising from 25.5 million euro to 28.5 million euro in the two fiscal years. Also interest payable increased in comparison with 2005, rising from an amount of 8.1 million to 9.4 million euro.

3) The Real Estate sector closed with a net gain of 32.3 million euro, higher than that of 2005 which stood at roughly 22.4 million. This positive result can be attributed mostly to appreciated values from the sale of some real estate, whereas in 2005 increased values were equal to only 1.3 million euro. In the financial year under examination total costs amounted to about 27 million euro, whereas revenues reached 59.3 million euro.

4) In the activity of the Four Institutions connected with the Holy See the following media concerns are included: Vatican Radio, the Vatican Printing Press - L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican Television Center and the Vatican Publishing House.

These activities as a whole strongly support the ministry of the Peter’s Successor by broadcasting the Pope’s voice and image.

The result of this sector is a net deficit of 12.8 million euro; it is substantially due to the negative results of Vatican Radio (about 23.8 million euro) and of "L’Osservatore Romano" (4.4 million euro).

On the contrary, the Vatican Printing Press closed its financial statement with a surplus of 1.3 million euro, as well as the Vatican Television Centre which closed with a profit of 421 thousand euro, against 650 thousand euro in 2005.

Also the Vatican Publishing House closed its 2006 financial statement with a surplus of 1.3 million euro and with a rise of 10 million euro in the volume of the activity. As everybody knows, the exercise and the guardianship of all copyrights (perpetually and all over the world) have been entrusted to the Vatican Publishing House over all the documents by means of which the Supreme Pontiff exercises His teaching.

The last entry of the operating statement pertains to Other Income and Expense. This presents a positive result of 184 thousand euro due to contingent assets from nearly all the consolidated Administrations.

The financial statement was submitted to the examination of the Council of International Auditors and then to the Council of Cardinals for the Study of the Organizational and Economic Problems of the Holy See. On 5 July 2007, I had the privilege of presenting it to the Holy Father. It will now be translated into various languages and sent to the Bishops and the Superiors General of Religious Institutes of Men and Women.

We are now at your disposal to reply to your questions.