Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

November AD 2009
Our Lady of the Rosary
Parish Bulletin

What Liberalism?
Extra (second and third) Collects (orations)?
Biomedical Ethics? (Continued)
What are the Moral Aspects of the Great Depression (Continued)
Advent and the Advent Wreath?



    Question:  I heard a sermon this summer, in which the priest said that “Liberalism was condemned.”  What exactly is “Liberalism”?

    Answer:  “Liberal” and “Liberalism” are among the words used most ambiguously in the English language.  The root word comes from the Latin “libera,” meaning “free,” “abandoned,” or “fearless.”  In centuries past we spoke of the liberal arts and occupations as being those studies and fields of employment suitable for freemen (as opposed to serfs)—they would be fields of study and employment somewhat detached from the practical and necessary;  pursuits like philosophy and literature that mark a relatively affluent society.  “Liberal” may connote generosity or over indulgence (“he poured the chocolate sauce quite liberally;  permissiveness (“students can do anything in that liberal’s class”);  egalitarian (“he is a racial liberal”).  In the past, when much of the world was Mercantilist, the word referred to those who wanted limited government, with little or no involvement in business and finance—in modern America it means virtually the opposite as a political and economic term.  In the past liberalism might have meant licentiousness—in modern America, at least for the “politically correct” it has become:

a. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.

b. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.[1]

    Certainly, one ought to be open to appropriate reforms of things needing reform, and civilization would still not be using the wheel if everyone were closed to “new ideas for progress.”  But this modern definition does seem to overlap somewhat with the liberalism condemned by the Church.

    Remember that individual men and women are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights”; that these rights and corresponding duties are expressed in the Natural Moral Law;  and that governments rule with divine authority insofar as their rule is in accordance with that Natural Law.  Neither the individual nor the society is exempt from adherence to the Natural Law.  Saint Thomas Aquinas informs us:

    Human law is law only by virtue of its accordance with right reason; and thus it is manifest that it flows from the eternal law. And in so far as it deviates from right reason it is called an unjust law; in such case it is no law at all, but rather a species of violence.[2]

Man is free to act as he chooses within the bounds of the Natural Moral Law.  The Liberalism condemned by the Church is the Liberalism that exempts either or both the individual and the society from obedience to the Natural Law.

In the saintly Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Libertas  Præstantissimum, we read:

13. Moreover, the highest duty is to respect authority, and obediently to submit to just law; and by this the members of a community are effectually protected from the wrong-doing of evil men. Lawful power is from God, "and whosoever resisteth authority resisteth the ordinance of God' ; wherefore, obedience is greatly ennobled when subjected to an authority which is the most just and supreme of all.  But where the power to command is wanting, or where a law is enacted contrary to reason, or to the eternal law, or to some ordinance of God, obedience is unlawful, lest, while obeying man, we become disobedient to God. Thus, an effectual barrier being opposed to tyranny, the authority in the State will not have all its own way, but the interests and rights of all will be safeguarded - the rights of individuals, of domestic society, and of all the members of the commonwealth; all being free to live according to law and right reason; and in this, as We have shown, true liberty really consists.

14. . . . But many there are who follow in the footsteps of Lucifer, and adopt as their own his rebellious cry, "I will not serve"; and consequently substitute for true liberty what is sheer and most foolish license. Such, for instance, are the men belonging to that widely spread and powerful organization, who, usurping the name of liberty, style themselves liberals.

15. What naturalists or rationalists aim at in philosophy, that the supporters of liberalism, carrying out the principles laid down by naturalism, are attempting in the domain of morality and politics. The fundamental doctrine of rationalism is the supremacy of the human reason, which, refusing due submission to the divine and eternal reason, proclaims its own independence, and constitutes itself the supreme principle and source and judge of truth. Hence, these followers of liberalism deny the existence of any divine authority to which obedience is due, and proclaim that every man is the law to himself; from which arises that ethical system which they style independent morality, and which, under the guise of liberty, exonerates man from any obedience to the commands of God, and substitutes a boundless license. The end of all this it is not difficult to foresee, especially when society is in question.  For, when once man is firmly persuaded that he is subject to no one, it follows that the efficient cause of the unity of civil society is not to be sought in any principle external to man, or superior to him, but simply in the free will of individuals; that the authority in the State comes from the people only; and that, just as every man's individual reason is his only rule of life, so the collective reason of the community should be the supreme guide in the management of all public affairs. Hence the doctrine of the supremacy of the greater number, and that all right and all duty reside in the majority.  But, from what has been said, it is clear that all this is in contradiction to reason. To refuse any bond of union between man and civil society, on the one hand, and God the Creator and consequently the supreme Law-giver, on the other, is plainly repugnant to the nature, not only of man, but of all created things; for, of necessity, all effects must in some proper way be connected with their cause; and it belongs to the perfection of every nature to contain itself within that sphere and grade which the order of nature has assigned to it, namely, that the lower should be subject and obedient to the higher.

16. Moreover, besides this, a doctrine of such character is most hurtful both to individuals and to the State. For, once they ascribe to human reason the only authority to decide what is true and what is good, and the real distinction between good and evil is destroyed; honor and dishonor differ not in their nature, but in the opinion and judgment of each one; pleasure is the measure of what is lawful; and, given a code of morality which can have little or no power to restrain or quiet the unruly propensities of man, a way is naturally opened to universal corruption. . . .  Furthermore, with ambitious designs on sovereignty, tumult and sedition will be common amongst the people; and when duty and conscience cease to appeal to them, there will be nothing to hold them back but force, which of itself alone is powerless to keep their covetousness in check. Of this we have almost daily evidence in the conflict with socialists and members of other seditious societies, who labor unceasingly to bring about revolution. It is for those, then, who are capable of forming a just estimate of things to decide whether such doctrines promote that true liberty which alone is worthy of man, or rather, pervert and destroy it.[3]

    Socialism is, of course, a species of this condemned liberalism, in that it usurps the God given economic rights of individuals, making the state responsible for distributing their wealth as its elite ruling body sees fit, and in some cases telling the individual where to work and what to produce.  Popes Leo XIII, Pius XI, and Pius XII had some strong words about Socialism and Communism, which we hope to revisit in future months.

Extra Collects?

    Question:  How do I find the “extra” collects, secrets, and postcommunions that you pray at Mass.  They are not in my missal.

    Answer:  They are in most Daily missals if you know where to look.  The prayers in question—usually referred to as the “orations,” or, less precisely, as the “collects,” were mandatory on Sundays and ferial days (days associated with the Sunday cycle) before the reign of Pope Pius XII and appeared in hand missals printed before the mid-1950s.  They were not forbidden, and many traditional priests continue to pray them as before the liturgical changes began in earnest.

    Most newer daily missals contain a list of “votive” or “occasional” prayers, seasonal prayers of the Blessed Virgin (perhaps within her Saturday Masses), and prayers for the dead.  The prayers of the day are found in the Mass of the day. The second and third prayers can be prayed with the priest, according to the table below.

    It is Father’s custom to add the seasonal prayers of the Blessed Virgin, and a prayer corresponding to the intention of Mass (if one exists, otherwise usually “for peace”), up to a total of three prayers in Masses of the Saints.

    As the official prayers of the Church, all of these are most valuable, and ought not to be omitted out of laziness or haste.

Table of Collects, Secrets, and Postcommunions

Sundays & Ferias of

Second Prayers

Third Prayers

Advent, Ferias of Epiphany, Sundays after Epiphany

Seasonal prayers of the Blessed Virgin For the Church (or) For the Pope
Sundays and Ferias after Feb 2 and before Ash Wednesday Asking the intercession of the Saints At the choice of the priest
Lent Asking the intercession of the Saints For the living & dead
Passiontide, but not Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, or Good Friday For the Church (or) For the Pope None
After Low Sunday, before Vigil of Pentecost Seasonal prayers of the Blessed Virgin For the Church (or) For the Pope
Wednesday-Saturday after Pentecost For the Church (or) For the Pope None
After Trinity Sunday Asking the intercession of the Saints At the choice of the priest
Octaves of Christmas, and of Pentecost thru Tuesday As in the Missal

Note that during these Octaves the Creed is recited and the Preface is that of the feast having the Octave

Octaves of Ascension, Corpus Christi, Sacred Heart, St. John, All Saints Mass as on the feast with prayers of the Blessed Virgin and for the Church or the Pope or of the saint’s day with second prayers of the feast according to the calendar
Octaves of Assumption & Immaculate Conception Mass as on the feast with prayers of the Holy Ghost, (and for the Church or the Pope after Assumption  or of the saint’s day with second prayers of the feast according to the calendar

    1. If there is no table of the Seasonal prayers of the Blessed Virgin, they are taken from the Saturday Masses of the Blessed Virgin
    2. The prayers "For the Church" may alternatively be called "Against those who persecute the Church."


Continued from last month]

Answer:  Some of the abominations urged by modern bio-ethicists include:

    “No one should be thought of as alive until about three days after birth,” adding that parents would then “be allowed the choice” to keep their baby or “allow” their child to die....  “no newborn should be declared human until it has passed certain tests regarding its genetic endowment, and that if it fails these tests it forfeits the right to life.”[4]

    “The fetus, given the opportunity to develop properly before birth, and given the essential early socializing experiences and sufficient nourishing food during the crucial early years after birth, will ultimately develop into a human being.”[5]

    “To provide a high quality of life for all, there must be fewer people.” [White House “Science Czar”] Holdren and his co-authors spend a portion of the book discussing possible government programs that could be used to lower birth rates.  Those plans include forcing single women to abort their babies or put them up for adoption; implanting sterilizing capsules in people when they reach puberty; and spiking water reserves and staple foods with a chemical that would make people sterile. To help achieve those goals, they formulate a "world government scheme" they call the Planetary Regime, which  would administer the world's resources and human growth, and they discuss the development of an “armed international organization, a global analogue of a police force” to which nations would surrender part of their sovereignty.”[6]

    “Perhaps those agencies, combined with UNEP and the United Nations population agencies, might eventually be developed into a Planetary Regime—sort of an international superagency for population, resources, and environment. Such a comprehensive Planetary Regime could control the development, administration, conservation, and distribution of all natural resources, renewable or nonrenewable, at least insofar as international implications exist. Thus the Regime could have the power to control pollution not only in the atmosphere and oceans, but also in such freshwater bodies as rivers and lakes that cross international boundaries or that discharge into the oceans. The Regime might also be a logical central agency for regulating all international trade, perhaps including assistance from DCs to LDCs, and including all food on the international market.
   “The Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world and for each region and for arbitrating various countries' shares within their regional limits. Control of population size might remain the responsibility of each government, but the Regime would have some power to enforce the agreed limits.”[7]

“Planetary Regime?  Earth?  Scotty, Scotty!  Beam me up now!
There is no intelligent life on this planet!
Beam me up now!

    Species is irrelevant; [Peter] Singer claims that by these criteria [rationality and self-consciousness] some animals are persons, including “whales, dolphins, monkeys, dogs, cats, pigs seals, bears, cattle, sheep, and so on, perhaps even to the point where in might include all mammals.”  On the other hand, some humans would not be persons, including newborn human infants, disabled or not, and people with advanced Alzheimer’s disease or other severe cognitive disabilities—people whom Singer claims are not self conscious or rational.... “Since neither a newborn infant nor a fish is a person the wrongness of killing such beings is not as great as the wrongness of killing a person.”[8]

    Cass Sunstein [Obama's newly confirmed regulatory “czar”] also has strongly pushed for the removal of organs from deceased [and not quite deceased!] individuals who did not explicitly consent to becoming organ donors. In his 2008 book, "Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness," Sunstein and co-author Richard Thaler discussed multiple legal scenarios regarding organ donation. One possibility presented in the book, termed by Sunstein as "routine removal," posits that "the state owns the rights to body parts of people who are dead or in certain hopeless conditions, and it can remove their organs without asking anyone's permission."[9]

Or, simply, the state thinks it owns everything, including you and me.

Morality of the Great Depression?

    [The Depression 
Continued from last month]

    Question:  Were there moral aspects to the Great Depression?  A lot of people suffered for well over a decade.  Shouldn’t someone be held responsible?  Can we prevent such a thing from happening again?

    Answer:  The Great Depression was the opportunity for Hoover and Roosevelt to expand the agencies under Executive direction—to extend the Depression both in time and severity—and ultimately to establish permanent agencies with the ability to legislate without the action of Congress, and to exert powerful control over every sector of the economy and  many aspects of private life.  The agency names are often reduced to three or four letter abbreviations—the “alphabet soup agencies.”  In this installment, I will be quoting extensively from John T. Flynn, The Roosevelt Myth (New York: Devin Adair, 1948), which may be found online at /book/hbzfrm.htm. Mr. Flynn was an eyewitness to the Great Depression. The other selection will be from Thomas Fleming, The New Dealers’ War (New York: Basic Books, 2001)

● The RFC Slush Fund ●

    One agency might fund another, perhaps requiring political connection, and perhaps without any Congressional oversight:

    Where did PWA [Public Works Administration] money come from?  As previously noted Congress appropriated some.  Hundreds of millions more came from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, which bought bonds issued by the PWA  The RFC turned out to be the behind-the-scenes banker of the New Deal.  Soon after its powers were expanded by the Emergency Banking Act of 1933, it became clear to many in Congress "that here was a device that would enable them to provide for activities that they favored for which government funds would be required, but without any apparent increase in appropriations," reported Chester Morrill, secretary to the Federal Reserve. "After they had done that, there need be no more appropriations and its activities could be enlarged indefinitely, as they were almost to fantastic proportions."  Historian James S. Olson noted that "the Reconstruction Finance Corporation financed a host of other New Deal agencies, because its huge reserves and fiscal independence gave Roosevelt the power to act without specific congressional authorization.

The RFC provided $40 million to the Farm Credit Administration, $44 million to the Regional Agricultural Credit Corporation, $55 million to the Federal Farm Mortgage Corporation, $83  million to the Federal Housing Administration,$125 million to Federal Home Loan banks, $145 million to the federal Farm Loan Commissioner, $175 million to the Resettlement Administration, $200 million to the Homeowner's Loan Corporation, and $246 million to the Rural Electrification Administration.  The RFC supplied $1 billion dollars to the Works Progress Administration, so that it could begin work soon after it was set up in 1933.[10]

Sometimes the agencies were run by bureaucrats with no knowledge of what they were handling:

.... Harold Ickes, present as the petroleum czar, chimed in with a declaration that the [rubber] shortage could easily be solved by collecting a million tons of scrap rubber from junkyard owners and other patriotic Americans.

The director of the WPB's rubber program, Arthur Newhall, was a former rubber manufacturer.  He goggled at Ickes's figure and told him that it was "fantastically high."  He was the only rubber expert in the room but that did not matter to FDR, who was thinking politically, not realistically.  Roosevelt knew that Ickes required careful handling.  If Honest Harold did not get his way, Drew Pearson and other columnists would soon be hearing about ineptitude in the Oval Office.  A beaming president announced the rubber problem was solved and told Ickes to launch a nationwide scrap rubber collection immediately.

The drive was a fiasco,  At the end of five frantic weeks, in which the President made a statement and Ickes ran around like an out-of-control windup toy, the nation had collected only 335,000 tons of scrap rubber.  Ickes was reduced to trying to confiscate the rubber mats on the floors of the Interior Department buildings.  The Public Buildings Administration blocked him, saying that it would lead to an epidemic of broken hips when people started falling on the slippery marble floors.  In the last gasp, Ickes was caught stealing a rubber mat from the White House.  Compounding the petroleum czar's folly was the fact that rubber mats were made from recycled rubber and were useless in the production of tires.[11]

    Not to be confused with the WPB was the WPA, the Works Progress Administration, later the Work Projects Administration.

    Between 1935 and 1943, the WPA provided almost 8 million jobs.[2] The program built many public buildings, projects and roads and operated large arts, drama, media and literacy projects. It fed children and redistributed food, clothing and housing. Almost every community in America has a park, bridge or school constructed by the agency. Expenditures from 1936 to 1939 totaled nearly $7 billion.[12]

    The “large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects served to cement a permanent relationship between the Administration and the Democrat Party with the myriad of writers, journalists, photographers, and other media people.  Roosevelt used the agencies and their employees like a "ward boss" only at the federal level.

    In the first WPA district of Kentucky, one WPA official went to work on Governor Chandler. He took his orders from the administration political headquarters in Kentucky. He put nine WPA supervisors and 340 WPA timekeepers on government time to work preparing elaborate forms for checking on all the reliefers in the district. Having done this they then proceeded to check up on the 17,000 poor devils who were drawing relief money to see how they stood on the election. The Senate committee got possession of these forms.

In the second WPA district, another WPA official who was the area engineer, managed a thorough canvass of the workers in Pulaski and Russell counties. The WPA foremen were given sheets upon which they had to report on the standing of the reliefers in the political campaign. It became a part of Mr. Hopkins' WPA organization in Kentucky to learn how many of the down-and-out had enough devotion to Franklin D. Roosevelt to be entitled to eat. It was not sufficient for an indigent Kentuckian to be just down and out and hungry. He had to believe that the President of the United States was his redeemer and had to be ready to register that belief at the polls. The reliefers were asked to sign papers pledging themselves to the election of the senior senator from Kentucky. They were given campaign buttons and told to wear them and there were instances where, if they refused, they were thrown off the WPA rolls.

All this, of course, was in a Democratic primary where only Democrats could vote. But there were a lot of poor Republicans in Kentucky who couldn't vote in the Democratic primary so long as they were Republicans. So they were told to change their registration and become Democrats, or no WPA jobs for them.[13]

[To be continued]


Advent Wreath?

Advent and the
Blessing of the Advent Wreath

    The Catholic Church's custom is to introduce her important feasts with a vigil of fast and abstinence. We are asked to prepare for celebration by a period of prayer and penance. In the case of Christmas and Easter, the Church's two most important feasts, she bids us prepare with an entire season -- Advent and Lent, respectively. In modern times, Advent, and even Lent, are all too often ignored. This is a sad mistake, for Catholics who fail to observe the spirit of these two seasons lose a great deal of the spiritual benefit offered by the great feasts.

    Advent has us adopt the mood of expectation found in those devout Jews who lived before the time of Christ. Since the time of Adam and Eve, they waited with longing for the coming of the Messiah, the Anointed One who would deliver them from the bondage of sin. This first Advent lasted not weeks, but thousands of years. We are asked to put ourselves in the position of those who waited so long, and so patiently, so that at Christmas we can truly share the joy of the angels in their singing “Gloria in excelsis Deo." We are asked to wait, so that we may understand the feeling of fulfillment in the old man, Simeon, as he held the Christ child in the temple and said, "Now, Lord, Thou mayest dismiss Thy servant, in peace, according to Thy word....."

Advent demands that we adopt a spirit of penance and humility. We are not very different from those first burdened with original sin. Just as Adam and Eve before us, we too have sinned -- and only the Christ can take away that stain of sin. We are asked, during this season, to examine our lives, and to plan to do better in the future. This is the start of the new Church year; a time for New Year's resolutions, and new beginnings. A careful examination of conscience, and sacramental confession are in order, so that we may approach the manger of the new born Christ in sinless purity.

The secular forces of modern society have taken over many of our Catholic holy days, and removed much of their religious significance. In many cases, they have been transformed into nothing more significant than an excuse to eat and drink too much, or a gimmick to enrich the merchants. Too many Catholics are eager to replace the realities of the Faith with bunnies, goblins, chocolate hearts, green beer, or Santa Claus. The modern observance of Christmas begins with Santa arriving on the last float of the Thanksgiving day parade, and leaves no room for the preparation of Advent, for the birth of our Savior at Christmas, or for His manifestation to the world at Epiphany

As Catholics, we should resist this secularization as much as we are able. We should make a serious effort to observe Advent in the traditional way the Church. It may not be possible to avoid all of the parties of the season, but we surely can hold off with our own until the proper time. We should make some resolutions about prayer, fasting, and penance -- and we should stick to them. Family dinner around the Advent wreath, and readings from the scripture (Isaias, and the first few chapters of Luke and Matthew) should replace at least some of the usual T.V.

Keep a good Advent, and you will then be rewarded with the joy and blessings of our Infant Savior as we celebrate His birth on Christmas day.


The Advent Wreath

A wreath made with greens, and holding four candles, serves as the table centerpiece, and the focus of family prayer for many Christians during the Advent season. The wreath may be purchased from a religious goods shop, or made from wire and local greenery. One rose colored and three purple candles recall the liturgical colors for the four Sundays of the season. At Christmas, the colored candles may be replaced with white. Ribbons of an appropriate color may be added, and in spacious homes may be used to suspend a large wreath from the ceiling.

The Blessing

The Father, or head of household may bless the wreath with the following prayer:

Father:   +  Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who hath made heaven and earth.

Father: Let us pray. O God, by whose word all things are sanctified, pour forth Thy blessing + upon this wreath, and grant that we who use it may prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ, and may receive from Thee abundant graces. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. (The wreath is sprinkled with holy water.)

The prayer, appropriate to the week of Advent, precedes the lighting of the candle(s) and the blessing before meals.

First Week

Father: O Lord, stir up Thy power, we beg Thee, and come, that by Thy protection we may deserve to be rescued from the threatening dangers of our sins, and saved by Thy deliverance. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. (One purple candle is lit.)

Second Week

Father: O Lord, stir up our hearts that we may prepare the ways of Thine only begotten Son, that through His coming, we may be made worthy to serve Thee with purified minds. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. (Two purple candles are lit.)

Third Week

Father: O Lord, we beseech Thee, incline Thine ear to our prayers, and enlighten the darkness of our minds by the grace of Thy visitation. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. (The rose and two purple candles are lit.)

Fourth Week

Father: O Lord, we beseech Thee, stir up Thy power and come; and with great might deliver us, that with the help of Thy grace, Thy merciful forgiveness may hasten what our sins impede. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. (All of the candles are lit.)


[2]   Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae, Ia-Ilae, q. xciii, art. 3, ad 2m.

[4]   Wesley J. Smith, Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America  (San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2000) , page 54-55, quoting Nobel Laureates James D. Watson and Francis Crick (of DNA fame).

[5]   Obama “Science Czar, Robert Holdren, Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions, co-authored with Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich..

[6]   By Joseph Abrams,, Tuesday, July 21, 2009 on Hodren, Ehrlich, and Ehrlich’s other colaboration,, Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment, 1977.

[7]   Holdren,  Ibid. pp942-3

[8]   Wesley J. Smith, ibid., p. 14-15, quoting Princeton Professor of Bio-Ethics, Peter Singer.  Cf.

[9]   Aaron Klein, World Net Daily, 12 October 2009  emphasis added

[10]   Flynn, The Roosevelt Myth, p. 92-93.)

[11]   Fleming, The New Dealers' War, p. 141-142.




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