Unanswered Eucharistic Abuses I reported to Archbishop Aquila

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This is a new blog post of my old letters to Archbishop Aquila reporting my last parish assignments in Colorado in reference to the Eucharistic abuse that I found there. During my last two parish assignments in Fort Collins, Colorado (2012 to 2014)  I reported Eucharistic dangers directly to Archbishop Aquila. I have no record of his response to me on any account, except my removal from ministry in Colorado, found in the last paragraph of this blog post.

Before my most recent whistle blowing on my concerns regarding misconduct with children, Archbishop Aquila had allowed me to do the Traditional Latin Mass in other dioceses, on loan, from 2014 to 2018.  That is the point of this blog post here.

However, the auxiliary blog post is only about the Eucharistic issues that made me have to shop for other dioceses. Except the hierarchy, the names below are the names redacted.


Dear Archbishop Aquila,                            15 Oct 2012, St. Teresa of Jesus

Glory to Jesus Christ.

I feel it is my duty as an extension of your priesthood to inform you of what happened this weekend, specifically at the 10:30am Mass at X-parish in Ft. Collins on 14 October, 2012.

In concert with Redemptionis Sacramentum #84, I made an announcement on worthy communion and non-Catholics refraining from communion. Despite this announcement, three things happened in the next ten minutes that are noteworthy:

1. A 20-something year old man with his girlfriend came to receive communion from me. He was clearly confused. I asked him “Are you Catholic?” He said “No” so I gave him a blessing. When I saw him go try to receive the Precious Blood, I went quickly to the chalice to tell him not to.
2. An older man walked away with the Eucharist shortly after this. I had to chase him down. In his hand I found the Eucharist. I told him several times he has to receive it, and each time he said “I did” with it in his hand. Finally, he got mad at me and threw the Eucharist in his mouth. His wife is a long-time Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. She was very near us with the precious blood when this happened. One other Eucharistic Minister told me after Mass that he may have been on his way to his wife for intinction.
3. The most grave of all the Eucharistic matters from this Mass is as follows: A female-altar-server saw a man put the Eucharistic in his pocket from the hands of an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (EMHC) who did not see the incident. The man who took the Eucharist left Church immediately. X, our sacristan, chased the man outside the Church, but Greg would not cross the street after him to recover the stolen host. I was only informed about this after Mass.

Of course, the people of our parish probably found all of this running around to be madness. I also find it to be madness, but for different reasons. Did this host of Our Lord’s body end up in a Satanic ritual last night? These were most-likely preventable abuses through training that my pastor and I disagree on: “However, special care should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the communicant in the presence of the minister, so that no one goes away carrying the Eucharistic species in his hand. If there is a risk of profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to the faithful.”—Redemptionis Sacramentum #92. In fact, Fr. X’s main concern was that these things never happen at his Masses, only mine. He never once addressed the stolen Eucharistic host.

Fr. X and I are long past mediation, as I brought the following to Msgr. Bernie Schmitz last month. Only the final one is worth reading to understand my conclusions that follow:

1. ca. 8/5: Eucharistic Ministry training is moved from the hands of Fr. David, in favor of Fr. X’s training for the EMoHC of the deanery or diocese.
2. 8/5: Bob, a Eucharistic minister tells me of a dropped host and how he did his best to clean the ground. I tell him it’s not his fault. We agree that we need pattens. Redemptionis Sacramentum 93 requires pattens or communion plates for the faithful. My request for these communion plates to prevent dropped hosts was dismissed nearly a month back.
3. 8/6: I get a text from one of the faithful about spilled Precious Blood, asking what to do with that on clothes. (Although this may have been at another parish, this man in Ft. Collins told me that he believes that few Eucharistic ministers notice these things that happen all the time, simply because few care to watch.)
4. 8/9: Our paid employee, the “Liturgy coordinator,” questions my announcement on worthy communion at Mass (cf. Redemptionis Sacramentum 83-84.) This was the concern she brought to me after repeatedly referring to Our Lord’s body and blood as “bread” and “wine” in that very conversation. At the Vigil of the Annunciation, she stopped my use of incense and publically disagreed with me on the number of chalices I chose, promoting an excessive amount of EMHCs, probably against Redemptionis Sacrametum 151.
5. 8/10: A woman tells me about certain EMHCs at X-parish who despise the Church and her teachings, including those teachings on abortion and confession. I explain that she needs to talk to the pastor.
6. 8/11: During Daily Mass, I make an EMHC refrain from serving, for she came to distribute the Eucharist in shorts and a sleeveless shirt.
7. 8/11: The Eucharist breaks in my hand and about a 1/16th of the host falls to the ground from my hand, while distributing to an elderly man. It takes me several minutes to stop the communion line. Not unlike my earlier incident, he keeps shuffling around the ground near where the host fell. Finally, my altar server comes over and is able to find the piece of Our Lord’s body on the ground. This too would have been easily prevented with a patten.
8. 8/11: I have to ask a female altar server to stop eating a mint or candy 15 minutes before Mass in the sacristy.
9. 8/12: “L,” an EMHC at the 12:30pm Mass fished out some of the consecrated host out of the cup with her purificator. Our Lord’s sacred body stuck to the purificator, but she continued distributing the precious blood with that same purificator the rest of the time, losing the host by the time she returned to the altar. By the time she got to me, she tried to find the piece of Our Lord’s body on the purificator. She could not. Apparently, the host is lost on the ground somewhere. Although not ill-willed by this particular EHMC, this is preventable Eucharistic sacrilege via very basic obedience to Redemptionis Sacramentum (#102 especially, which states that “Holy Communion under both kinds…is to be completely excluded where even a small danger exists of the sacred species being profaned.”) My promise of obedience two years ago was to faithfully celebrate the Eucharist worthily according to the Roman Rite, not according to parish-custom.

Although I could name more, those are the incidents of only one week! I brought all of these to Msgr. Bernie, but I received no news of any changes in our parish. My out-of-state canon lawyer has assured me that these are not matters of scrupulosity. Some of the above issues stem from a most serious sacrilegious negligence, which I believe is happening all over the diocese. Fr. X said he never finds such abuses, and he even went so far (between two and five times over the past three months) to state that he believes that my discovery of these abuses is because I and my Masses are under “diabolical oppression.” Msgr. Bernie, he claimed, said that “Fr. David lives in his own reality.”

This may be true: As long as I am under a pastor, he should know I will not depart from Divine Law from Redemptionis Sacramentum regarding pattens (#93), Eucharistic catechesis on true-worthiness (#84), vigilance on watching the receiver of communion (#92), and pruning on excessive and untrained EHMCs (#151). This I will hold to, especially on weekends, which will be presumably very painful for almost any pastor in the Archdiocese (with a few exceptions like Fr. Y.)

To this point, I’d ask you to make me a chaplain somewhere, if you find me unfit to be a pastor. My conscience will no longer allow me to offer the Novus Ordo on weekends until the minimum of Redemptionis Sacramentum is met by both the pastor and parochial vicar at a parish. I understand that Redemptionis Sacramentum is not the maximum of Eucharistic pageantry, but the minimum of the Church’s standards to ensure the integrity of Divine Worship in the Novus Ordo.

Although the above paragraph may seem to be disobedient at first pale, the reason I cannot compromise on these Eucharistic matters is because the Vatican places Eucharistic matters at the level not of ecclesial law, but Divine Law: “Bearing in mind the nature of the above-cited norm (cfr. n. 1), no ecclesiastical authority may dispense the minister of Holy Communion from this obligation in any case, nor may he emanate directives that contradict it.”—http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/ pontifical_councils/ intrptxt/documents/ rc_pc_intrptxt_doc_20000706_declaration_en.html [Yes, I really linked it like this in my email to the Archbishop.]

I do not know what you are going to do with me, but this is my vote of no-confidence in Fr. X on Eucharistic protection, due especially to his responses to the above Eucharistic abuses and even the loss of two hosts from my EHMCs. I think my pastor and I would agree that we are at the point of irreconcilable differences on the Most Holy Eucharist, and I would rather sustain a leave of absence from the clerical state than risk such sacrilege in being joined to a pastor who does not welcome the aforementioned vigilance.

In Jesus and Mary, I remain your obedient son in Christ’s One Priesthood,

Fr. David Nix


Dear Archbishop,                                                       16 September 2014

After prayerful consideration, I have come to the conviction that I need to present to you the following topics. They are:

1) My many assignments in four years of priesthood.
2) My most recent removal from Y-parish.

As to the first, I have attached the letters that I have written to you (and Bishop Conley) from previous assignments, most of which address my concerns regarding the negligence (and possible abuse) of the Holy Eucharist which I encountered at so many parishes. Bishop Conley met with me. As for the later assignments, I must ask: Have you been informed about the complaints of Eucharistic mishandling? I am attaching several letters from each parish, including a letter I addressed you from X-parish containing reports of two lost Eucharistic hosts. I do not have record of your reply. Please note, also, that I requested the move myself from X-parish explicitly and from Q-parish implicitly, both because of how Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion treated the Eucharist.

As to my most recent move from Y-parish, I have also attached the e-mail that I sent to Your Excellency on January 23rd, 2014. In it, I describe an unsafe work environment, using words like “outbursts and harassment” which has “forced me to inform R [and his wife J] that I would seek a restraining order with the police.” In that email to you, I made it clear that I was in an unsafe work environment. Again, I never heard any response from any authority of the Archdiocese.

This culminated with the employee from Y-pairsh, J (named above), having five verbally violent outbursts against me, all because I would not answer her theological question about suicide in the way she wanted. False accusations against me began in public on January 23rd, 2014. Nevertheless, I peacefully tried to avoid her during all of these confrontations, and I informed my pastor, Fr. Y. In her third to last outburst against me, July 30th, 2014, I was the only priest at the parish and I decided from my training as an EMT and paramedic that she was in danger of moving from being verbally violent to becoming physically violent. I asked her to leave peacefully, but she would not. I subsequently called the police for her removal.

All of my concern for Eucharistic abuse was answered in a five page letter from Archbishop Aquila to me, explaining that I can not get along with pastors. The center of his letter was this:

In light of these concerns, I want to assure you that you will continue to have faculties for celebrating Mass and for hearing Confessions. However, due to these concerns, I do not believe that you can be assigned to parish ministry or serve in a parish.”—16 Sept 2014, Archbishop Aquila to me, Fr. Nix.


  1. The last time I placed a luna in a monstrance in a parish in the Archdiocese of Denver was for this picture that became quite famous on the internet for those who search “adoration.” I did not take the picture, but it is indeed my last Novus Ordo parish that is featured above. The name of the parish is St. John XXIII, and the second letter below includes my concerns that had me removed from that parish, and ministry altogether in the Archdiocese of Denver.

May Catholics Attend a “Gay Wedding” for Pastoral Reasons?

This was a real email I got tonight.  My response also follows verbatim.

Hi, Fr. DN,
I asked three local pastors in the area I live in in NJ about what Catholics should do if they are invited to same sex marriages. They all said that if it is a close relative that you should attend so as not to lose the relationship or bond with that relative. Does the Catholic Church have any dogma on this? Thank you, Karen


Dear Karen,

Those priests are wrong. You would be committing grave mortal sin in participating in the attempted “marriage” of same-sex people by going to their “wedding.” Your sin would be what the Catholic Church calls “being an accessory to another’s sin” and it comes in 9 ways. In your case, you would be committing sins number 3 and 5 and 7 and 8 below in dogmatic Catholic moral theology:

1. By counsel
2. By command
3. By consent
4. By provocation
5. By praise or flattery
6. By concealment
7. By partaking
8. By silence
9. By defense of the ill done

I know you don’t want to break relationships with your loved ones, but one can never offend God so as to maintain a human relationship, even to win them back to God. It’s a bit of a show-stopper, but simply attending a same-sex “marriage” would require you to participate in the very sin of sodomy by the above numbers 3,5,7, and 8…namely: by consent to same-sex sins by your presence at what will be assumedly “consummated” in filth that night, by praise (as all weddings praise the couples) and by partaking in such a false-union. Also, unless you are going to yell at the vows, “You are in danger of hell!” then number eight would also be on your soul, namely, silence in the face of such an abomination.

Look, I am very compassionate in the confessional to those who deal with same-sex attraction, and I am often brought to tears at their plight. I try to love them in the confessional with the love of Jesus Christ, but the reality is that straight people publicly helping them in sin is never the way of Jesus Christ, and in fact, it would forfeit your salvation along with theirs. Without repentance, those priests telling you to go to such an abomination are forfeiting their own souls by number one, namely, counsel. To your loved ones dealing with same sex-attraction, be compassionate, but love them back into the truth through a heroic witness of placing the First Great Commandment before the Second Great Commandment. An inversion of those has probably never won anyone back to Christ and His Church.

In Christ,
Fr. DN

The Winners of Human History

“The history of the world from the beginning is but the history of the struggle between the powers of the world, and of hell, against the souls which are humbly devoted to the divine action. In this struggle all the advantage seems to be on the side of pride, yet the victory always remains with humility. The image of the world is always presented to our eyes as a statue of gold, brass, iron, and clay. This mystery of iniquity, shown in a dream to Nabuchodonosor, is nothing but a confused medley of all the actions, interior and exterior, of the children of darkness. This is also typified by the beast coming out of the pit to make war, from the beginning of time, against the interior and spiritual life of man. All that takes place in our days is the consequence of this war. Monster follows monster out of the pit, which swallows, and vomits them forth again amidst incessant clouds of smoke. The combat between St. Michael and Lucifer, that began in Heaven, still continues. The heart of this once magnificent angel, has become, through envy, an inexhaustible abyss of every kind of evil. He made angel revolt against angel in Heaven, and from the creation of the world his whole energy is exerted to make more criminals among men to fill the ranks of those who have been swallowed up in the pit. Lucifer is the chief of those who refuse obedience to the Almighty. This mystery of iniquity is the very inversion of the order of God; it is the order, or rather, the disorder of the devil. This disorder is a mystery because, under a false appearance of good, it hides irremediable and infinite evil. Every wicked man, who, from the time of Cain, up to the present moment, has declared war against God, has outwardly been great and powerful, making a great stir in the world, and being worshiped by all. But this outward semblance is a mystery. In reality they are beasts which have ascended from the pit one after another to overthrow the order of God. But this order, which is another mystery, has always opposed to them really great and powerful men who have dealt these monsters a mortal wound. As fast as hell vomits them forth, Heaven at the same time creates fresh heroes to combat them. Ancient history, sacred and profane, is but a record of this war. The order of God has ever remained victorious and those who have ranged themselves on the side of God have shared His triumph, and are happy for all eternity. Injustice has never been able to protect deserters. It can reward them only by death, an eternal death. Those who practise iniquity imagine themselves invincible. O God! who can resist You? If a single soul has the whole world and all hell against it, it need have no fear if, by abandonment, it takes its stand on the side of God and His order. The monstrous spectacle of wickedness armed with so much power, the head of gold, the body of silver, brass, and iron, is nothing more than the image of clay; a small stone cast at it will scatter it to the four winds of Heaven. How wonderfully has the Holy Spirit illustrated the centuries of the world! So many startling revelations! so many renowned heroes following each other like so many brilliant stars! So many wonderful events!”—Fr. De Caussade SJ, Abandonment to Divine Providence, p. 66-68

A Little Help from Pope St. Pius X

The following is an unpublished article by Neil McCaffrey II (d. 1994, seen above right) on the power of an encyclical by Pope St. Pius X (above left.)  I am good friends with Neil McCaffrey III, who kindly gave me copies of many of the treasures of his father’s writings.  Below, you will find that most of the italicized words belong to  Pope St. Pius X. 

Breathes there a beleaguered Catholic today who hasn’t had recourse to Pius X’s epochal encyclical on Modernism? Pascendi Gregis was issued in 1907 – and I suggest that there isn’t a papal document extant that is more contemporary, or more consoling. It is directed against the Modernists who had surfaced in the Pope’s day – and their heirs all around us today.

Perhaps you’ve put off reading it because you find the mock-Ciceronian prose of latter-day papal documents impenetrable. Not to worry. Pius X writes directly, bluntly, sometimes with a bite that will make you blink. Hardly a page passes that you won’t want to mark, maybe memorize.  To give you a sense of what’s in store, let me offer a handful of quotable passages. But I offer them with one caveat: for everyone here, there are literally a dozen more, just as choice in the encyclical. In fact, you’ll undoubtedly find at least a dozen that you like better than my own favorites.

Before quoting some of the Saint’s own words, let me cite parts of the encyclical wherein he quotes from other popes and councils. First, from a decree of Vatican I:

…that sense of the sacred dogma is to be perpetually retained which our Holy Mother the church has once declared, nor is this sense ever to be abandoned on the plea or pretext of a more profound comprehension of the truth.

He quotes from Singulari Nos, that neglected 1834 encyclical of Gregory XVI:

A lamentable spectacle is that presented by the aberrations of human reason when it yields to the spirit of novelty, when against the warning of the Apostle it seeks to know beyond what it is meant to know and when, relying too much on itself, it thinks it can find the truth outside the Catholic Church, wherein truth is found without the faintest shadow of error.

To condemn those who sneer at the church of yesterday and genuflect before the spirit of change, he cites the condemnations of two general councils, including Nicea II:

For Catholics nothing will remove the authority of the second Council of Nicea where it condemns those who dare, after the impious fashion of heretics, to deride ecclesiastical traditions, to invent novelties of some kind…or to endeavor by malice or craft to overthrow any one of the legitimate traditions of the Catholic Church… 

As befits the head of a Church grounded in tradition, Pius X often invokes his predecessors. But most of the encyclical is original with him. Does this passage strike you as dated?

It remains for us now to say a few words about the Modernist as reformer. From all that has preceded, it is abundantly clear how great and how eager is the passion of such men for innovation. In all Catholicism there is absolutely nothing on which [Modernism] does not fasten. They wish philosophy to be reformed, especially in the ecclesiastical seminaries. They wish the scholastic philosophy to be relegated to the history of philosophy and to be classed among obsolete systems, and the young men to be taught modern philosophy which alone is said to be true and suited to the times in which we live….Dogmas and their evolution, they affirm, are to be harmonized with science and history. In the Catechism no dogmas are to be inserted except those that have been reformed and are within the capacity of the people.

Regarding worship, they say, the number of external devotions is to be reduced, and steps must be taken to prevent their further increase….They cry out that ecclesiastical government requires to be reformed in all its branches, but especially in its disciplinary and dogmatic departments. They insist that both outwardly and inwardly it must brought into harmony with the modern conscience, which now wholly tends toward democracy; a share in ecclesiastical government should therefore be given to the lower ranks of the clergy, and even to the laity, and authority which is too much concentrated, should be decentralized.   The Roman Congregations, and especially the Index and the Holy Office, must be likewise modified.

The Pope calls Modernism “the synthesis of all heresies,” then goes on to analyze why people succumb to it. He finds three reasons, but one stands out:

It is pride which exercises over the soul incomparably greater power to blind it and lead it into error, and pride sits in Modernism as in its own house, finding sustenance everywhere in its doctrines and lurking in its every aspect. It is pride which fills Modernists with that self-assurance which puffs them up with that vainglory which allows them to regard themselves as the sole possessors of knowledge, and makes them say, elated and inflated with presumption, We are not as the rest of men, and which, lest they should seem as other men, leads them to embrace and to devise novelties even of the most absurd kind.

What must the hierarchy do when they confront this spirit? The Pope addresses the bishops of his day in impassioned words; how many of their successors are now heeding them?

It will be your first duty to resist such victims of pride, to employ them only in the lowest and obscurest offices. The higher they try to rise, the lower let them be placed, so that the lowliness of their position may limit their power of causing damage. Examine your young clerics most carefully…when you find the spirit of pride among them, reject them for the priesthood without compunction. Would to God that this had always been done with the vigilance and constancy that were required!

It is worth noting that the papal Saint made no exceptions for a shortage of priests, or any other reason. No, his order is delivered in the imperative, with no hedging: “reject them without compunction.” Period. We can be sure that Pius was not indifferent to shortages of priests; but he was a saint, not a clerical bureaucrat. He understood that God is not thwarted by (temporary) shortages.

The Pope pauses to note the hatred that Modernists pour on the orthodox. Anyone who has seen today’s breed in action will have to conclude that nothing has changed:

There is little reason to wonder that the Modernists vent all their bitterness and hatred on Catholics who zealously fight the battles of the Church. There is no species of insult which they do not heap upon them, but their usual course is to charge them with ignorance or obstinacy. When an adversary rises up against them with an erudition and force that render him redoubtable, they seek to make a conspiracy of silence around him to nullify the effects of his attack. This policy towards Catholics is the more invidious in that they laud with an admiration that knows no bounds the writers who range themselves on their side, hailing their works (which exude novelty on every page) with a chorus of applause.

For them the scholarship of a writer is in direct proportion to the recklessness of his attacks on antiquity, and of his efforts to undermine tradition and the ecclesiastical magisterium. When one of their number falls under the condemnation of the Church the rest of them, to the disgust of good Catholics, gather round him, loudly and publicly applaud him, and hold him up in veneration as almost a martyr for truth. The young, excited and confused by all this clamor of praise and abuse, some of them afraid of being branded as ignorant, others ambitious to rank among the learned, and both classes goaded internally by curiosity and pride, not unfrequently surrender and given themselves up to Modernism….

What efforts do they not make to win new recruits! They seize upon professorships in the seminaries and universities, and gradually make of them chairs of pestilence. In sermons from the pulpit they disseminate their doctrines, although possibly in utterances which are veiled. In congresses they express their teachings more openly. In their social gatherings they introduce them and commend them to others. Under their own names and under pseudonyms they publish numbers of books, newspapers, reviews…It is also a subject of grief to us that many others who, while they certainly do not go so far as the former, have yet been so infected by breathing a poisoned atmosphere as to think, speak, and write with a degree of laxity which ill becomes a Catholic. They are to be found among the laity, and in the ranks of the clergy, and they are not wanting even in the last place where one might expect to meet them, in religious communities. If they treat of biblical questions, it is upon Modernist principles; if they write history, they carefully, and with ill-concealed satisfaction, appear to cast a stain upon the Church.

Under the sway of certain a priori conceptions they destroy as far as they can the pious traditions of the people, and bring into disrespect certain relics highly venerable from their antiquity. They are possessed by the empty desire of having their names upon the lips of the public, and they know they would never succeed in this were they to say only what has always been said by all men. Meanwhile it may be that they have persuaded themselves that in all this they are really serving God and the Church. In reality they only offend both, less perhaps by their works in themselves that in all this they are really serving God and the Church. In reality they only offend both, less perhaps by their works in themselves than by the spirit in which they write, and by the encouragement they thus give to the aims of the Modernists.

Pius understood that it wasn’t enough for a pontiff to instruct and even exhort. (What, after all, would we say of a parent who periodically quoted the tenets of the moral law to his children, pleaded for their obedience, but refused ever to discipline them?) The Pope knew that words weren’t enough. He must act. Pius X did just that; and I think we may see in his determination one mark of that heroic sanctity that earned him the saint’s crown. He certainly laid it on the line to the bishops:

We exhort and abjure you to see to it, in this most grave matter, that no one shall be in a position to say that you have been, in the slightest degree, wanting in vigilance, zeal, or firmness.

Plain enough? Yet the Pope doesn’t stop there. He has a program. He acts. He “strictly ordains that scholastic philosophy be made the basis of the sacred sciences”; and, following Leo XIII and indeed the whole of Catholic tradition, all the arts and sciences are to “serve [theology] and want upon it after the manner of handmaidens.”
But that’s still not all. This saintly Pope understands that there must be sanctions aimed at those who rebel against Catholic teaching – sanctions that…are to be kept in view whenever there is a question of choosing directors and professors for seminaries and Catholic universities.

Anyone who in any way is found to be tainted with Modernism is to be excluded without compunction from these offices, whether of government or of teaching, and those who already occupy them are to be removed. The same policy is to be adopted towards those who openly or secretly lend countenance to Modernism either by extolling the Modernists and excusing their culpable conduct, or by carping at scholasticism and the Fathers and the magisterium of the Church, or by refusing obedience to ecclesiastical authority in any of its depositaries; and towards those who show a love of novelty in history, archaeology, biblical exegesis; and finally towards those who neglect the sacred sciences or appear to prefer the secular to them. In all this question of studies, Venerable Brethren, you cannot be too watchful or too constant…Equal diligence and severity are to be used in examining and selecting candidates for Holy Orders. Far, far from the clergy be the love of novelty!

Next come a series of papal edits that give liberals the shakes. What would their soul brothers in the American Civil Liberties Union make of all this?

It is also the duty of the Bishops to prevent the writings of Modernists, or whatever savors of Modernism or promotes it, from being read when they have been published, and to hinder their publication when they have not. No books or papers or periodicals whatever of this kind are to be permitted to seminarists or university students. The injury to them would be not less than that which is caused by immoral reading – nay, it would be greater, for such writings poison Christian life at its very fount. The same decision is to be taken concerning the writings of some Catholics, who, though not evilly disposed themselves, are ill-instructed in theological studies and imbued with modern philosophy, and strive to make this harmonize with the faith, and, as they say, to turn it to the profit of the faith. The name and reputation of these authors cause them to be read without suspicion, and they are, therefore, all the more dangerous in gradually preparing the way for Modernism…We order that you do everything in your power to drive out of your dioceses, even by solemn interdict, any pernicious books that may be in circulation there.

But isn’t all that hopelessly out of date? What would enlightened types say if they saw bishops behaving that way? The Pope, it seems, had anticipated the public relations problem – or what the spiritual writers used to call the temptation to human respect:

We will…that the Bishops, putting aside all fear and the prudence of the flesh, and despising the clamor of evil men, shall – gently by all means, but firmly – each do his own part in this work…Let no Bishop think that he fulfills this duty by denouncing to us one or two books, while a great many others of the same kind are being published and circulated. Nor are you to be deterred by the fact that a book has obtained elsewhere the permission which is commonly call the Imprimatur, both because this may be merely simulated, and because it may have been granted through carelessness or too much indulgence or excessive trust placed in the author, which last has perhaps sometimes happened in the religious orders.

Finally, leaving nothing to chance, local option, ecumenism, or public relations, the Pope spells out still more specifically the steps that must be taken to defend Catholic doctrine and protect the faithful. Again he addresses the hierarchy, and again he doesn’t hesitate to give them their marching orders:

Of what avail, Venerable Brethren, would be all our commands and prescriptions if they be not dutifully and firmly carried out?…We decree, therefore, that in every diocese a council of this kind, which we are pleased to name the “Council of Vigilance,” be instituted without delay….They shall watch most carefully for every trace and sign of Modernism both in publications and in teaching, and to keep it from the clergy and the young they shall take all prudent, prompt and efficacious measures. Let them combat novelties of words, remembering the admonitions of Leo XIII: It is impossible to approve in Catholic publications a style inspired by unsound novelty which seems to deride the piety of the faithful and dwells on the introduction of a new order of Christian life, on new directions in the Church, on new aspirations of the modern soul, on a new social vocation of the clergy, on a new Christian civilization, and on many other things of the same kind. 

Does this give you the flavor? It does; but it’s only a taste. To get the full impact of a Pope who speaks – and acts – as one having authority; who cares nothing about his reputation among the worldly, and everything about the souls of his flock, you must read the whole, great document.

Read it now.

—Neil McCaffrey Sr.

“The Office” Catholics

The Office is not a particularly edifying TV show and I would not recommend it for its secular world view.   I’ve never seen the UK version of The Office and I’ve only seen a few episodes of the American version.  Still, it struck me this week that the personalities (not the religious or political views) but the personalities of The Office characters seem to reflect the very personalities attracted to various movements of American Catholicism in the 21st century.

Notice equal-opportunity target-practice below:

 

JPII Catholics≈Jim

These are the young Catholics who want to make Catholicism look relevant. Jim Halpert is no neo-conservative on the TV show, but his personality is exactly what young neo-conservative Catholics like to be: cool but accessible.  Perhaps he is even hip, at least when compared with the stranger breeds who surround him.

 

Baby boomer Catholics≈Phyllis

Again, Phyllis Vance is not a Catholic in the TV show, but Wikia’s “The Office” describes her as “very depressed, lacks self-esteem and is somewhat eccentric.” Yes, baby-boomer Catholics represent.  Add a dash of harmless SJW in there, and you got it.

 

charismatics≈Erin

Cheerful and shallow

 

Traditionalists≈Angela and Dwight

The skin-tone screams “homeschooling-mommy-blogger.”

Dwight Schrute does not go to the Latin Mass, but he has what all Latin-Mass-men must come equipped with: weapons and conspiracy-theories.

 

Ex-Catholics≈Michael

Michael Scott thinks he’s figured out something no one else has, but really, he has not.

 

Priests

Oscar Martinez SJ?