Daily Archives: May 30, 2009

Repair Stem Cell Blog: 12 articles on heart repair that are 6 years behind

As the US finally gets it about adult stem cell therapies.

The real reason for having one "big Mass" on days like Pentecost

Is to discourage people from going to Mass.

When in Milan, You Pray as the Milanese Do

The familiar expression, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” tends to be used to express a kind of laid back attitude towards life. The origin of the expressoin is actually advice given by St. Ambrose to St. Augustine. It is often “quoted” various ways, and one would think it is easier to identify the source (I should do a search of Christian Classics Ethereal Library to see what I can find out).

In either case, the expression derives from the fact that Milan has different liturgical traditions than Rome. So, St. Ambrose said to St. Augustine, regarding the different liturgical traditions of local churches at the time, “When I am in Rome, I observe the Roman fast. When I am in Milan, I do not.”

All of that gets to the fact that there is an ancient Rite in the Diocese of Milan and certain neighboring diocese known as the Ambrosian Rite (for St. Ambrose). Apparently, just as the Dominicans and the Old Observance Carmelites adopted the Liturgy of Vatican II, so, apparently, did the Diocese of Milan.
(The Dominican Rite was almost identical to the Gregorian Rite, except for mostly technicalities about candles and stuff; the Carmelite Rite, since the Carmelites were originally a Byzantine Order, was a kind of admixture of the Byzantine and Gregorian Liturgies). Note I used the term “Gregorian” because both Orders predated the Council of Trent. When Trent revised the Gregorian Mass, and St. Teresa founded the Discalced Carmelites as part of the Counter-Reformation, she adopted the Tridentine Mass.

I’m not sure whether there’s a “Vatican II Ambrosian Mass,” or if they just use the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. However, apparently the bishops of Milan have been even more hostile to retaining their unique liturgical tradition than bishops in the Roman Rite (this also gets to the difference between Rite and Church, since Rome and Milan have different Rites but are subject to the same Patriarch and the same Code of Canon Law).

So, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei has ruled that the principles of Summorum Pontificum apply to those who are members of the Diocese of Milan (and relevant adjacent diocese) who wish to practice *their* traditional liturgy, as well as to those who want the traditional Roman Missal.

Here’s what I wonder: if Summorum Pontificum and Cardinal Ratzinger’s pre-papal writings, along with St. Pius V’s Quo Primum, contend that no ancient Rite can be “abrogated,” what are the rules regarding a priest *outside* the Diocese of Milan?

Do Catholics interested in liturgical diversity and heritage have to fly to Milan, or fly a priest and schola *from* Milan, in order to experience the Ambrosian Rite? Can a priest, by the principles of Summorum Pontificum, study the Ambrosian Rite and practice it *outside* those dioceses?

I think it would be cool to start a “Shrine of the Universal Church,” where every liturgical tradition is represented at least once per year, if not regularly, at Mass, with the bare minimum being a Latin Paul VI Mass, a mass in the extraordinary Roman form, and a Byzantine Divine Liturgy.

Jill Stanek sets the record straight

It is taken for granted among liberals that abortions declined under Clinton and rose under Bush. Yet statisics from both the Centers for Disease Control and the Alan Guttmacher Institute (Planned Parenthood’s think tank) indicate that abortoins dropped drastically during George W. Bush’s time in office.

TOTUS: Obama Inc

The other day, I came across a new nickname for His Imperial Majesty that I like: TOTUS, “Teleprompter of the United States.” It also says something about Barack Obama’s totalitarian authority (boy, when Bush had the clear majority in 2004 and party control of both Houses of Congress, they Democrats sure weren’t saying “The people have voted for him, so we have to do everything he says”).

Anyway, it is common knowledge that TOTUS, aka Obama, Inc., has essentially taken over the banking industry and the car industry. In principle, I oppose socialism, especially at the federal level, but state capitalism can arguably be a different story. Allegedly, the original bail-out of Chrysler yielded a hefty profit, and we can only hope that the current bail-outs can be at least partially covered by the interest these corporations will have to pay on their government loans or the profits the government will yield from the stocks it has purchased.

In fact, I’d rather have our government funded by “state capitalism” than by taxation, as far as that goes.

Anyway, during the Democratic Primary, Hillary Clinton challenged Barack Obama’s lack of executive experience, saying that the presidency is not about on the job training. Then, during the final months of the election, Sarah Palin was criticized for her alleged lack of experience, while Obama defended himself by saying that he has “executive experience” from his days as a community organizer and from his years of running political campaigns.

Thomas Sowell might have mentioned Sarah Palin in musing that it’s one thing to have an inexperienced President, but quite another to have an inexperienced President who has appointed himself de facto chairman of the board of GM, Chrysler, and most major American banks. He’s telling corporations what to do, and he’s firing Presidents, and he has no business experience.

Sowell goes on to discuss how Edmund Burke said character matters more than constitution. Monetary value is a pledge of faith by the government. (Look at any dollar bill: it is technically a “legal note” indicating a certain value of money from the National Treasury; even though they got rid of the gold standard decades ago–and devaluing currency was one of the causes of the fall of Rome–that is still the presumption of our currency). A government that arbitrarily changes the amount of currency in circulation is violating the pledge inherent in its currency, one of government’s most basic trusts. How can a government that does that be trusted to hold faith on anything else?

Meanwhile, Rich Lowry, a columnist at National Review, points out that the government’s stake in the car manufacturers and banks constitutes a violation of the Clayton AntiTrust Act of 1914, which forbids the same person from sitting on the boards of directors of two companies in the same industry. Lowry points out that any of the notorious “robber barons” because of whom the AntiTrust Act was passed would salivate over the power wielded by

Two big names in defense of Christopher West

Dr. Michael Waldstein, the official translator of John Paul II’s book The Theology of the Body, has written a piece defending Christopher West against the “sweeping” criticisms of JPII Institute director Dr. David Schindler.

Meanwhile, Dr. Janet Smith, widely regarded as the top philosophical ethicist on contraception and NFP, has also made a reply to Schindler on the Knights of Columbus web site, in that many of the points Schindler highlighted in his piece are, as I have noted, found in many Catholic moral texts or are just pieces of sound advice.

Here is the text of Schindler’s criticisms.

Here is West’s video “The Playboy and the Pope”:

Majority of IVF embryos are "abnormal"


One of the reasons for the founding of this blog was outrage over the use of in vitro fertilization for eugenic purposes: people “screening” known genetic defects by using IVF.

Mary Meets Dolly reports that researchers have discovered that the *majority* of embryos conceived in IVF carry genetic disorders. A few days ago, I discussed the idea of “reverse consequentialism” where we point to the negative consequences of violating Natural Law as proof that the action violates Natural Law.

Well, for some reason, unnaturally conceiving embryos via IVF causes those embryos to mutate.

Pope says that, to teach, we must believe people can learn

One of the basic presumptions of our society, ironically a side-effect of Darwinism, is the presumption that people cannot change or grow spiritually. The fundamental premise of modern liberals is that people are what they are, and we cannot hold people to a higher standard.

In an address on Catholic education in Italy, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI recently stated that fundamental to Catholic education is the encouragement to grow, and the obligation of each individual to be the best person he or she can be.