Catholic Tradition Newsletter 491: Confirmation, Sunday in Christmas Octave, Saint Sabinus

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Vol 11 Issue 52 ~ Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier
December 29, 2018 ~ Saint Thomas Becket, opn!

1.      What is the Sacrament of Confirmation
2.      Sunday in Octave of Christmas
3.      Saint Sabinus and Companions
4.      Family and Marriage
5.      Articles and notices

Dear Reader:

As another year comes to a close, it only seems closer to seeing that clear divisions exist between those trying to live a Catholic life and those who call themselves Catholic but do not live a Catholic life.

Previous, when society was Catholic, the majority would carry along even that minority which was not prone to wanting to live morally but had to in order to maintain their position in a morally Catholic society. Now that society is generally immoral and definitely anti-Catholic, it is no longer an unwillingness to just go with the flow, but a Catholic has to constantly battle the flow to maintain a status of being even nominally a Catholic—especially as anti-Catholics attack the moral principles of Catholicism, principles which, among others, hold abortion as murder and sodomy as a sin that cries to heaven for vengeance.

As a Catholic cannot support or participate in an abortion without incurring automatic excommunication, yet medical universities require its students to assist or perform abortions to graduate and sign papers saying they will assist or perform abortions in order to obtain employment, a Catholic must choose to end their career or end their membership in the Church. A choice must be made, but one cannot claim to be a Catholic while denying one’s faith.

Also, it is tragic enough that states are forcing parents to allow men into their young girl’s private quarters under the guise that these men claim to be women for the opportunity to look at the undressed little girls; yet more, Catholics must now agree that sodomy is perfectly normal and to be promoted by them; while any attempt to point out its perversity is criminalized.

For Catholics, there are two commandments that are like walls to protect marriage: Thou shalt not commit adulterythou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife (husband). These two commandments forbid, without exception, any marital relationship outside marriage; and marriage is defined as between a man and a woman. There is no compromise, there is not even a door to divorce. Condemned for the Catholic stance on morality—goodness, truth and justice (cf. Eph. 5:9)—the anti-Catholics violently fight for oppression and lies and injustice (abandonment of families, abuse of children by indoctrination, criminalizing of morality).

Those who call themselves Catholic but are not Catholic join with anti-Catholics in the condemnation of their disowned faith (The lie that is evident in them is how would one condemn what one is? Only because one is not what one says one is. But their deception—claiming to be Catholic—is a testimony to the Catholic faith and those Catholics who are living the Catholic faith as these pagan “Catholics” publicly denounce what is the Catholic faith and join with anti-Catholics.) Am I a Catholic? It is simple, because I need only ask if I believe as a Catholic: No abortion, no contraception, no divorce, no homosexual relationships, no adultery, no fornication, no witchcraft (cf. Gal. 5:16ff). If I accept any of these, I am not a Catholic in truth. But I know that if I oppose these—as all Catholics must in conscience and truth—I am labeled as criminal, deplorable, intolerant, phobic, a hate-monger, liable to lose my job and my good reputation, and be sued by Antichrist’s Counselors of Luciferian Untruths (aka ACLU) or Satan’s Provider of Legal Counsel (aka SPLC). Thanks to Vatican II and the Conciliar Church, dialogue and compromise have brought us to where we are—a losing minority. May we have the grace to not compromise and implore God to provide us with the wisdom to confound the attacks of those who would eliminate Catholicism (Christ) from society.

As always, enjoy the readings and commentaries provided for your benefit. —The Editor



by Rev. Courtney Edward Krier

The Rituale Romanum’s Section on Confirmation


Decree of the Sacred Congregation of the Sacraments

on the Administration of Confirmation to Persons

Whose Lives Are Seriously Endangered by Illness;

Published September 14, 1946.


Rules of the Code of Canon Law to Be Observed

in Conferring Confirmation by Virtue of This Apostolic Indult

1. A priest to whom this faculty is granted should understand clearly that the sacrament of confirmation must be conferred by imposition of hands and anointing the brow with Chrism, and saying the words prescribed in the Pontifical approved by the Church (canon 780).

2. This sacrament imprints a character, and for this reason cannot be received more than once. But in the case where a reasonable doubt exists as to whether it has been given validly or at all, it should be conferred conditionally (canon 732).

3. The Oil of Chrism to he used in administering this sacrament, even when the minister is a priest, must have been consecrated by a bishop in communion with the Holy See on the preceding Maundy Thursday; and one may not use the old oil except in an emergency. So soon as the consecrated oil has diminished to a small quantity, non-consecrated olive oil should be added to it, but in a lesser amount than the consecrated each time this happens (canons 734,781). It is never allowed to administer confirmation without Chrism, nor to receive it from a heretical or schismatic bishop. The anointing is not to be performed with some kind of instrument but by the minister’s hand, properly placed on the head of the subject who is being confirmed (canon 781, 2).

4. A priest belonging to the Latin rite, who possesses this faculty by virtue of an indult, can confer confirmation only on the faithful of his own rite, unless the indult expressly provides otherwise.* Priests of the Oriental rite have the power and the privilege of administering confirmation along with baptism to infants who belong to their own rite; yet it is gravely unlawful for them to administer it to infants of the Latin rite (canon 782, 4-5).

5. A priest endowed with an Apostolic privilege is in duty bound to administer this sacrament to them in whose favor the faculty was granted, whenever they request it within reason and in the proper way (canon 785, 1-2).


* “The sacrament of confirmation may be administered by priests of the Latin rite to members of Oriental rite committed to their charge in the same cases in which they may administer it to their charges who are members of the Latin rite. This concession was made by a decree of the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental church, dated May 1, 1948. It reminds the minister that he must ascertain that the member of the Oriental rite was not confirmed, as is customary, immediately after the administration of the sacrament of baptism.” Am. Eccles. Review, Feb., 1949, p. 142.


6. See canon 787 as cited above, p. 213.

7. See canon 793 as cited above, p. 215.

8. See canon 794 as cited above, p. 215.

9 and 10. To serve in the capacity of sponsor it is required, etc., see canons 795, 796, 766, as cited above.

11. A spiritual affinity between the sponsor and the confirmed results from a valid confirmation, by force of which the sponsor is obligated ever to regard his godchild as a personal charge, and to see to his Christian upbringing (canon 797). However, this spiritual relationship does not constitute an impediment to matrimony (canon 1079).

12. To prove that confirmation has been conferred, the testimony of one trustworthy witness or the oath of the confirmed person himself if he was confirmed in adult age is sufficient, unless the rights of another party are prejudiced thereby (canon 800).

13. A priest who would dare to administer the sacrament of confirmation, without possessing the faculty either by law or by concession from the Roman pontiff, is to be suspended. Should he presume to exceed the limits of the faculty granted him, by that very fact he becomes deprived of it (canon 2365).

 (To be continued)


The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers

M. F. Toal


LUKE ii. 33-40

At that time: Joseph, and Mary the Mother of Jesus, were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning him. And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; and thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed. And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser; she was far advanced in years, and had lived with her husband seven years from her virginity. And she was a widow until four score and four years; who departed not from the temple, by fastings and prayers serving night and day. Now she, at the same hour, coming in, confessed to the Lord, and spoke of him to all that looked for the redemption of Israel. And, after they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord they returned into Galilee, to their city Nazareth. And the child grew, and waxed strong, full of wisdom; and the grace of God was in him.


LUKE ii. 33, 40

V. 33. And his father and mother were wondering at these things.

Photius from the Catena of Greek Fathers: As often as the memory of wondrous things returns to the mind, so often does the mind renew its wonder; hence is it said: And His father and mother were wondering at these things which were spoken concerning him. ORIGEN, Hom. 17 in  Luke: both by the message of an angel and by the multitude of the heavenly host; by the shepherds and then by Simeon. BEDE, in Luke Bk. I: Joseph is called the father of the Saviour, though he was not His father; but that the good name of Mary might be protected, he is regarded by all as His father.

AUGUSTINE, de Consens. Ev. II 1: Although he may be called father in the same way that he is called the husband of Mary, but rightly understood without intercourse of the flesh, but in union of marriage. And thus was he closer in relationship to Him than if He had been adopted from without. Neither must Joseph be denied the title of father because he had not begotten Him carnally, seeing that he could be truly father to one not begotten by his own spouse, but adopted from elsewhere.

ORIGEN: Whoever is content with a simple exposition will say: the Holy Spirit honoured him with the title of father because he nurtured the Saviour. He however who inquires more deeply will say: since the order of the generation is brought from David down to Joseph; and, lest Joseph may not seem to be named to no purpose, since he did not beget the Saviour, that this order may have fitting reason, he is called the father of the Lord.

V. 34. And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother. . .

PHOTIUS: Having offered up praise to God, Simeon turns to bless those who bring the Child. Hence follows: and Simeon blessed them. He bestowed a blessing on both of them; the intimation of things hidden he directs to the Mother only. In that he bestowed upon them a common blessing, Joseph is not deprived of the appearance of fatherhood; but by that which he said to Mary, separately from Joseph, he proclaims that she is the true parent; hence follows: and said to Mary his mother.

AMBROSE, in Luke 2: Observe the bountiful diffusion of grace among all at the birth of the Lord, and that prophecy is denied to the unbelieving, but not to the just. See also that Simeon prophesies that Christ has come for the fall and the resurrection of many. ORIGEN: He who interprets the words in a simple manner, may say that He came for the ruin of the unbelieving, and the resurrection of those who believe. CHRYSOSTOM, in Catena of Greek Fathers: For as light, though it may afflict the weak-sighted, is still light; so the Saviour goes on with His appointed work, though many perish. For their destruction is not His aim, but the consequence of their own unwisdom. Wherefore His power is made manifest, not alone in the salvation of the just, but also in the scattering of the wicked. So the sun, because it shines strongly, troubles those whose eyes are weak.

GREGORY NYSSA, Oratio in Occursu Domini: Observe the careful setting forth of the distinction. He is called the salvation that is prepared before the face of all peoples; but likewise the fall and the resurrection of many. The divine wish is the salvation and the sanctification of each person. Their fall or resurrection is within the will of the many; of those who believe and of those not believing. It is reasonable to believe that those who now lie prone, and unbelieving, will be raised up.

ORIGEN: A careful interpreter will not say that he falls who before did not stand upright. Give me then the one who stands upright for whose fall the Saviour came. GREGORY Nyss: By this the Evangelist means a fall to the lower world; because not in the same way, or equally, are those punished who are prior to the mystery of the Incarnation, and those coming after the Dispensation bestowed, and its public announcement. And of these last those especially who are of the Jewish people, shall be deprived of their former privileges, and made to suffer more grievously than all other peoples, for the reason that they refused to receive Him, Who of old was prophesied and adored among them, and from whom He came forth. Therefore are they in particular threatened with ruin, not alone by spiritual disaster, but also by the destruction of their city, and of those who dwell there. But resurrection is promised to those who believe, of whom some are still under the Law, and are now to be delivered from its servitude, and others have been buried with Christ and are risen with Him.

This child is set for the fall. Understand by these words that, in harmony of meaning with regard to prophetic utterances, the One and the Same God speaks both in the prophets and in the New Testament. For the prophetic speech declared, so that those who believe would not be confounded, that He would be a stone of stumbling, and a rock of scandal (Is. viii. 14; I Pet. ii. 6). Ruin is meant therefore for those who falter at the lowliness of His Humanity; resurrection for those who bow to the enduring of the divine decrees.

ORIGEN: We have to search deeper to oppose those who bark against the Creator, saying: behold the God of the Law and of the Prophets. See what kind He is. For He says: I will kill, and I will make to live (Deut. xxxii. 39). If therefore He is a bloody Judge and a cruel Creator, it is indeed evident that Jesus is His Son; since the same is written of Him: that He came for the fall and for the resurrection of many. AMBROSE: That He may judge between the merits of the just and the unjust, and that this just and stern judge may decree punishment or reward, according to the quality of our deeds.

ORIGEN: Let us consider whether or not the Saviour has come for the ruin of some, and the resurrection of certain others. For when I was standing in sin, it was at first profitable to me that I fall down, and die to sin. So also the holy Prophets, when they looked upon that which was sacred, they were wont to fall upon their faces, so that their sins might be more efficaciously wiped out by their fall. This the Saviour has conceded to you also, that you may fall to the ground. For you were a sinner; let the sinner in you perish, that you from there may rise up, and declare: For if we be dead with him, we shall live also with him(II Tim. ii. II). CHRYSOSTOM: A new manner of living is truly a resurrection. For when the lascivious becomes chaste, the avaricious merciful, and the fierce gentle, then we have here a resurrection; since sin being dead, justice is now risen. And for a sign that shall be contradicted. BASIL: The cross in Scripture is called a sign of contradiction. For Moses, it says, made a brazen serpent and set it up for a sign (Num. xxi. 19). GREGORY NY.: Shame commingles with glory. And of this, to us who worship Christ, this sign is an indication; for while by some it is regarded as a thing to be despised, and fearful, to yet others is it a sign to be venerated. Or perhaps he is speaking of Christ himself, the Author of signs, as a sign, being above nature. BASIL: For it is a sign of a wondrous, yet hidden thing; seen by the simple, but understood only by those whose minds are prepared.

V. 35. And thy own soul a sword shall pierce.

ORIGEN, Hom. 17 in Luke: All that history tells of Christ is contradicted; not that they contradict who believe in Him; for we believe as true all that is written concerning Him; but because among those who do not believe, all that is written of him is a sign to be contradicted. GREGORY NY.: These things are said of the Son; but they also apply to the Mother, in that she takes unto herself each single happening, the sufferings as well as the glories; for he tells her not alone of the propitious events, but of the sorrowful; for there follows: And thy own soul a sword shall pierce.

BEDE: History does not in any place tell us that the Blessed Mary departed this life by the death of the sword, especially since the sword is wont to pierce, not the soul, but the body. So here we must understand as the sword that of which it is said: and a sword is in their lips (Ps. lviii. 8); that is, that it was the pain of the Lord’s passion that pierced her soul, who, though she did not doubt that Christ, as Son of God, died of His own will, and also that He would overcome death, yet she could not without deepest sorrow behold Him crucified, who was born of her flesh.

AMBROSE, as above, in Luke Bk. 2: Or the words may show that the wisdom of Mary was not unacquainted with heavenly mystery; for the word of God is living and effectual, and more piercing than any two-edged sword (Heb. iv. 12). AUGUSTINE, Quaest. de N. & V. Test. 73: Or by this he signifies that Mary, through whom was wrought the mystery of the Incarnation, at the death of the Lord doubted in stupefaction, at seeing the Son of God humiliated unto death. As a sword passing close to a man causes fear, though it touches not, so doubt causes grief, though it slays not; since it does not lie upon the soul, but passes as a shadow.

GREGORY NYSSA: Nor does it mean that she alone would be caught up in this passion, when it adds: that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed. For by saying that he points to a consequence; it is not placed causally. For when all these things had come to pass there took place in many a laying bare of soul. For as some confessed God upon the Cross, so others ceased not from revilings and recriminations. Or this was said in that at the time of the passion the thoughts in the hearts of many persons were revealed, and they were purified in His resurrection. For sudden certitude followed on their state of doubt; unless one wishes to understand illumination as revelation, as Scripture sometimes does.

BEDE: But even to the end of this present world, the sword of most dire tribulation will not cease to pierce the soul of the Church, when the sign of faith is contradicted by the wicked; when, the word of God being received, many will rise with Christ, but it will lead many to ruin through deplorable apostasy; when the thoughts of many hearts being revealed, where She has sown the perfect seed of the Gospel, there will she see, either that the seeds of the vices have overcome the just, or that they alone have germinated.

ORIGEN: There were also evil thoughts in men, that were revealed for this purpose, that He might destroy them Who dies for us. As long as they were hidden it was impossible wholly to destroy them. Hence, we also, if we have sinned, must say: My injustice I have not concealed (Ps. xxxi, 5). For if we have made known our sins, not alone to God, but to those who can heal our wounds and sins, our sins shall be wiped out.



ACCORDING to the legend, Sabinus, claimed as a bishop by several Italian cities, and several of his clergy were arrested during the persecution under Diocletian; Venustian, the governor of Etruria, had them before him and offered for the veneration of Sabinus a small statue of Jupiter. The bishop threw it contemptuously to the ground and broke it, whereupon Venustian ordered the hands of Sabinus to be cut off. His two deacons, Marcellus and Exsuperantius, also made a confession of faith, and were scourged and racked, under which torments they both died. Sabinus was taken back to prison and the bodies of his two deacons were buried at Assisi. A widow named Serena brought her blind son to Sabinus, who blessed him with his handless arms and the boy was healed. Whereupon a number of the bishop’s fellow-prisoners asked for baptism. This, it is said, led also to the conversion of the governor Venustian, who had an affiiction of the eyes, and he with his wife and children gave their lives for Christ. St Sabinus was beaten to death at Spoleto, and buried a mile from that city. St Gregory the Great speaks of a chapel built in his honour near Fermo, for which he asks relics of the martyr from Chrysanthus, bishop of Spoleto. These martyrs are remembered today in the Roman Martyrology, which on December 11 names another ST SABINUS, bishop of Piacenza, during the fourth century. He was a man of so great learning and holiness that St Ambrose used to submit his writing to him for criticism and approval before publication. (Butler’s Live of the Saints)


The Catholic Marriage Manual

Reverend George A. Kelly

Random House, New York 1958


The Problem of Alcoholism

OF ALL the threats to the stability of marriage, excessive drinking is without doubt the greatest. In his study of marriage failures, Father Thomas found that this problem accounted for the failure in approximately one third of the cases among those marriages enduring from six to fifteen years, and in over forty per cent of the marriages of more than fifteen years’ duration. In another study of 1,434 divorce cases in Philadelphia, the charge of excessive drinking was listed more than cruelty, adultery, bigamy, fraud and sexual complaints combined. A veteran divorce court judge, John A. Sharbaro of Chicago, was asked by a newspaper reporter what, in his experience, was the most frequent cause of broken marriages. Without hesitation, Judge Sharbaro answered, “Drink.”

Few Americans apparently are aware of the terrible human suffering which alcoholism causes. According to estimates by the Alcohol Section of the World Health Organization and by the Yale School of Alcohol Studies, alcoholic beverages are consumed by 70,000,000 Americans. Of these, approximately one in fifteen—or 4,500,000—are alcoholics. It is also estimated that every such alcoholic directly affects the lives of four other persons—his wife, parents, children, brothers or sisters. Therefore, approximately 17,000,000 Americans suffer in one way or another because of excessive drinking.

Alcoholism is the greatest single reason why families are forced to seek relief from government agencies. Welfare Commissioner Henry L. McCarthy of New York City says that one of every four families asking the city for financial help does so because the father is an alcoholic. In Mr. McCarthy’s experience, the dependent children become “second-class citizens.” According to Judge Luther W. Youngdahl of the United States District Court in Washington, “Alcohol addiction is one of the most devastating factors contributing to juvenile delinquency and the breakdown of the home.”

Our appalling accident record–more than a million persons are injured in automobile accidents every year—results to a large extent from the mixture of alcohol and gasoline. In one survey made in New Hampshire and reported by Andrew J. White, director of motor vehicle research for that state, liquor is involved in “nine out of ten” serious highway accident cases.

Another startling fact is that the number of women victims is increasing at a terrifying rate. Twenty years ago—a few years after the repeal of Prohibition—only one out of ten victims of alcoholism was a woman. Today, the number is three or four in ten. For the first time in our history, the woman “repeating alcoholic”—the woman with a police record for repeatedly disturbing the peace—is becoming a common sight in city jails. About twenty per cent of all women inmates in U. S. prisons are there because of drunkenness.

We still do not know much about the causes and cure for alcoholism. We do know, however, that many old-time attitudes are unfounded and have been disproved scientifically. Here are the basic facts.

There is no “alcoholic type.” Many persons believe that alcoholics are found only in “Skid Row” or in other low environments. Actually, alcoholics are representative of the population at large. They include persons who have never gone to school—and those with several postgraduate degrees from leading universities. They are from poor and humble environments—and from the wealthiest sections of the country. They are laborers and college professors, truck drivers and doctors, beggars and bankers.

The underlying causes of alcoholism are not clearly understood. Through the centuries it has proved frustrating to priests, doctors, psychiatrists, social workers and other professional people, because no one has ever isolated the factors that make the alcoholic different from the normal drinker. For example, it is commonly believed that he has certain personality characteristics which set him apart from other people. However, Professor Raymond E. McCarthy of the Yale Center of Alcohol Studies says flatly that “there is no such thing as an alcoholic personality.” Edwin H. Sutherland of Indiana University studied thirty-seven surveys which sought to determine the precise characteristics in the personality of the alcoholic. He found a singular lack of agreement. According to the researchers, alcoholics could be shy or friendly, happy or sad, brooders who always want to be alone, or back-slapping extroverts who always want to associate with others.

Alcoholism also has been described as a condition resulting from the drinker’s loss of sense of spiritual values. The evidence seems undeniable that failure to trust in God often contributes to the problem, but there is no basis for believing that alcoholism is primarily a spiritual disease. If it were, prayer and the sacraments would be a complete answer to it. But persons who in apparent sincerity try to stop their compulsive drinking behavior by the use of the sacraments are not always successful.

Some scientists believe that the primary factor is physical. They maintain that as a result of basic defects because of which the body cannot absorb alcohol properly, a powerful inner force drives alcoholics to drink more and more. Some researchers have suggested that this defect results from a vitamin deficiency. Others say that the alcoholic’s system lacks hormones of a certain type. Others think that he has a defect in handling blood sugars in his system. Regardless of these theories, no effective treatment has been devised that can change the chronic, compulsive drinker into a normal drinker.

Persons who habitually drink to excess and whose drinking behavior causes concern to themselves, their wives, business associates or friends, have one thing in common. It is that they drink alcohol. Wherever treatment of this condition has been effective, it has been so by pinpointing alcohol as the basic cause of the problem. Regardless of the individual’s basic defects—whether they are emotional, spiritual or physical—it is alcohol that accentuates them and makes them unbearable.

Alcoholism and marriage. Alcohol as a cause of marriage breakdowns probably has never been given the attention it deserves because of the mistaken belief that the person who drinks excessively does so because other factors disturb him. It has been thought, for example, that no man who was otherwise happy would overindulge habitually. As a result of this belief, when many marriage counselors have encountered drinking as a problem, they have spent much time seeking causes for the drinking instead of trying directly to eliminate the drinking itself. They overlooked the fact that uncontrolled drinking can stem simply from social drinking, and alone can endanger married life.

In his study of disrupted marriages upon which he reported in his book, The American Catholic Family, Father Thomas wrote: “Whatever may be the reason why men drink, serious frustration in marriage does not appear to play a major role. Rather, the habit was acquired gradually and had started disrupting smooth family relationships before its full seriousness was recognized. By that time, the individual found himself enmeshed in a whole web of relationships—on the job, at home, during weekends, after the day’s work, having a ‘few’ with the boys—so that he found it impossible to break with the habit. By the time the case reached the separation court, the whole gamut of family relationships had been undermined and disrupted, so that reconciliation appeared hopeless short of an extended period of rehabilitation for both partners.”

(To be continued)


Father Krier will be in Los Angeles January 8 and in Pahrump, Nevada, January 10. He will be in Eureka, Nevada, January 17.


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