Council of Trent

Go to the Altar

“What are you?” a construction worker demanded quizzically of a cassock-wearing priest, as he passed a job site near a hospital. The priest looked at his interlocutor and hesitated; the undercurrent of contempt was perceptible. Deciding to take the question at face value, he responded peaceably: “I am a priest.” “And what,” the man inquired … Read more

The Privatization of Marriage

Last year in this forum, I wrote “Where Should a Catholic Get Married,” responding to the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s accommodationist approach in allowing Catholics to marry outside of churches and chapels. I criticized Baltimore’s policy and urged other bishops to avoid it because it institutionalizes a lax approach to the sacramental meaning of marriage, which … Read more

Lessons from the Reform Papacy of St. Pius V

This month marks the 450th anniversary of the accession to the throne of Peter of Michael Ghislieri, the great Dominican of peasant birth known forevermore as Pope St. Pius V. Cardinal Borromeo brought Ghislieri the news of his election on January 7, 1566; he was crowned Pius V ten days later on his sixty-second birthday. Few … Read more

The Urgency of Infant Baptism

I recently wrote of one of my newborn son’s namesakes, Bl. Columba Marmion. My son, Colum, was baptized five days after birth (it would have been three except for the priest’s sickness), which is fast these days. In the old days it would have happened sooner. Pope Benedict XVI, for instance, was baptized on the … Read more

The Tridentine Masterpiece

 “Nam oportet et hæreses esse.” (1 Cor 11:19).  “It is fitting that there be heresies, so that those who are true, may be manifested among you.”  How appropriate is this sentiment of St. Paul’s when we apply it to the Ecumenical Council of Trent. In the annals of difficult ecclesiastical births, none was so trying … Read more

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in Catholic Art

According to the new English edition of the Roman Missal, the priest, in the introductory rite, addresses the congregation as follows: “Brethren (Brothers and sisters), let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.” The term, “sacred mysteries” in reference to the Mass is of ancient origin as is the … Read more

Pope Francis: Reform in the Footsteps of St. Pius V

Unknowingly, my family had a sneak preview of the results of the recent Conclave. During the week prior, my one year old son, Austin, kept going up to our bookshelf and pulling off a particular book, no matter where it was shelved. My wife, Anne, beginning to wonder why this was happening, decided to look … Read more

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