Canon 3

“It has come to the notice of the sacred synod that some of those enrolled in the clergy are, for sordid gain, acting as hired managers of other people’s property, and are involving themselves in worldly business, neglecting the service of God, frequenting the houses of worldly persons and taking over the handling of property out of avarice. So the sacred and great synod has decreed that in future no one, whether a bishop, a cleric or a monk, should either manage property or involve himself as an administrator of worldly business, unless he is legally and unavoidably summoned to take care of minors, or the local bishop appoints him to attend, out of fear of the Lord, to ecclesiastical business or to orphans and unprovided widows and persons in special need of ecclesiastical support. If in future anyone attempts to transgress these decrees, he must be subject to ecclesiastical penalties.”

It was 15th September, 1870.  The French had lost the battle of Sedan a couple of weeks before (Pope Pius IX, a witty man, remarked that France had lost ses dents).  Just five days ago, on September 10th, King Victor Emmanuel II had written to the pope telling him that he intended to march into Rome and take it over.  The following day, the 11th, the Italian armies had entered illegally into the papal domains.  By the 20th, they will have taken Rome and the patrimony of St Peter will be no more.

But to the south, in Sobriano of Calabria, strange things were afoot.  The town had a famous shrine to St Dominic.  It dated from the 16th century; for, on 15th September, 1530, the friars of the convent had received a miraculous image of St Dominic, not painted with human hands.  In memory of this favour, a papal bull allowed them to sing Mass at two in the morning every year on that day, since this was the hour when the painting had been received.

In 1865, a large new statue of St Dominic had been sculpted and placed inside the church.  It was made of solid wood, weighing more than twenty stone, and had needed five men to put it into place.  A single man could only with great difficulty move it even a little on its base. 

At two in the morning, on the 15th September 1870, the Dominican provincial sang Mass.  He lived by himself, near the church, since the ‘laws’ of the time had dissolved all religious communities.  After the Mass, a few women present in the church thought that they saw the great statue of St Dominic moving by itself.

At eleven in the morning a solemn Mass in honour of St Dominic was sung.  Normally there would have been a procession afterward, but this year for some reason it was cancelled.  The people are disappointed.  So they remain in the church to pray.  Again, the statue is seen to move of itself, and by more people this time.  It goes back and forwards, left and right, in the form of a cross.  Not only this, but the face of St Dominic is clearly to seen to change expression: he looks alternately severe and peaceful.  Often he turns to the statue of our Lady of the Rosary, with a tender, confident gaze.  The colour in his face comes and goes.  His lips open “like those of a man about to speak”.  His right hand, which had been closed, opens and gesticulates.  The lily in his left hand moves in all directions; so do the star and halo above his head.  Wrinkles appear on his forehead, which is bathed in sweat, and his eyes move in all directions.

By noon, the fact has become public in the town.  A large crowd, both of locals and of visitors, come to look.  Some stand afar off, some go close to examine, all marvel.  The platform on which the statue rests does not move.  There are no cords attached to the statue, nor is it moved by some concealed person.  The movements are not caused by the wind, for neither the draperies of the canopy which overhangs the statue nor the candles on either side of it are moving.   In any case, the church door looks north, and there was a strong west wind that day.  The bolder folk go to take hold of the statue, and they find themselves being moved by its motion.  It rises some inches above the surface on which it rests.  Above all, though, it is the head of the saint that moves, and his expression that changes – severe, threatening, then gentle once more.

On 19th January 1871, the bishop, Philippe Mincione, announces an investigation.   Sixty-one witnesses depose under oath to what they have seen, including Fr Thomas Sarraco, the Dominican provincial.  Many more people had wished to testify, but the bishop decided to call a halt.

On 11th February, the episcopal verdict is pronounced.  There is no natural explanation for what has happened.  Further proof of this, says the bishop, lies in the many graces, and even temporal blessings, received in Sobriano since.  The moral effects on the diocese have been excellent.  “Having invoked the holy name of God, we declare that everything is supernatural and miraculous in the movements of the statue of St Dominic on 15th September, 1870”.

{from Fr Pie Marie Rouard de Card, Le Miracle de Saint Dominique à Sobriao, Louvain (C. J. Fonteyn) and Paris (Poussielgue Freres), 1871}

“O God, who wert pleased to enlighten Thy church with the merits and teaching of blessed Dominic Thy confessor; grant, at his intercession, that she may not be wanting in temporal helps, and may always increase in spiritual growth.”

Of the beliefs and practices whether generally accepted or publicly enjoined which are preserved in the Church some we possess derived from written teaching; others we have received delivered to us in a mystery by the tradition of the apostles; and both of these in relation to true religion have the same force. And these no one will gainsay — no one, at all events, who is even moderately versed in the institutions of the Church. For were we to attempt to reject such customs as have no written authority, on the ground that the importance they possess is small, we should unintentionally injure the Gospel in its very vitals; or, rather, should make our public definition a mere phrase and nothing more. For instance, to take the first and most general example, who is thence who has taught us in writing to sign with the sign of the cross those who have trusted in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ? What writing has taught us to turn to the East at the prayer? Which of the saints has left us in writing the words of the invocation at the displaying of the bread of the Eucharist and the cup of blessing? For we are not, as is well known, content with what the apostle or the Gospel has recorded, but both in preface and conclusion we add other words as being of great importance to the validity of the ministry, and these we derive from unwritten teaching.

Domine, Quo Vadis?, C. 1602' Giclee Print - Annibale Carracci | Art.com

But can the Roman Pontiff juridically abrogate the Usus Antiquior? The fullness of power (plenitudo potestatis) of the Roman Pontiff is the power necessary to defend and promote the doctrine and discipline of the Church. It is not “absolute power” which would include the power to change doctrine or to eradicate a liturgical discipline which has been alive in the Church since the time of Pope Gregory the Great and even earlier. The correct interpretation of Article 1 [of Traditionis custodes] cannot be the denial that the Usus Antiquior is an ever-vital expression of “the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.” Our Lord Who gave the wonderful gift of the Usus Antiquior will not permit it to be eradicated from the life of the Church. It must be remembered that, from a theological point of view, every valid celebration of a sacrament, by the very fact that it is a sacrament, is also, beyond any ecclesiastical legislation, an act of worship and, therefore, also a profession of faith. In that sense, it is not possible to exclude the Roman Missal, according to the Usus Antiquior, as a valid expression of the lex orandi and, therefore, of the lex credendi of the Church. It is a question of an objective reality of divine grace which cannot be changed by a mere act of the will of even the highest ecclesiastical authority.

https://www.cardinalburke.com/presentations/traditionis-custodes

It is obviously very concerning that some Catholics who adhere to the Roman Rite of Mass question the legitimacy of the Second Vatican Council or the legitimacy of the liturgical reform, dictated by Vatican Council II and the Magisterium of the Supreme Pontiffs (which, of course, bears no resemblance to the Novus Ordo Missae). However, it is even more worrying that 69% of Catholics attending the Novus Ordo Missae do not believe in Transubstantiation and thus ‘eat and drink condemnation upon themselves’. In fact, it is probably the case that the inspired word of God and the solemn definitions of Lateran IV, Florence and Trent have even more authority than the prudential judgement of Vatican II. Following the wisdom of the pontiff now gloriously reigning, it would seem that existing groups making use of the Novus Ordo Missae should only be allowed to persist in so doing once it is ascertained that they accept the doctrine of the Real Presence and that care should be taken that no new groups of this kind are established.

“News that shook […] a dozen capitals brought deep peace to one English heart. Now, splendidly, everything had become clear. The enemy at last was plain in view, huge and hateful, all disguise cast off. It was the Modern Age in arms. Whatever the outcome there was a place for him in that battle.”









I am appalled by the announcement of the Gaulish chieftain Macron that he intends in effect to subject his hapless people to a regime of compulsory anti-Wuhan-flu vaccination from the start of next month.  I say in effect because in theory one could get a Covid test every two days instead.  But these will no longer be free, and apparently the test is not pleasant to experience.  So in practice, everyone will need a vaccine to a get a ‘sanitary passport’ and everyone will need a sanitary passport to go into a restaurant or café or supermarket, or to get on a bus, train or plane.

Unless vigorously resisted, this is almost bound to spread to other countries very fast.  One will have to accept things tested on murdered babies as a condition for remaining a part of society.