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Modesty, Ushaw Seminary & Regula Tactus

Blessed Christmas


Please thank Dr. Horvat for us and we have donated $500.00 to help the printing The Admirable Life of Mother Mariana.

In these progressively troubling times it is above all the prophecies of Our Lady of Good Success that keep our spirits bolstered!

May the Same Blessed Mother bless us who love Her and try to do Her Will which is His Will

     Pax et Bonum

     Dr. & Mrs. M.D.


Attacks against Marian Dogmas


Re: Journey to Bethlehem: Profane Trip to Fantasy Land

I was born in 1960.

Despite shameful abdication by my religious teachers, I learned 4 dogmas about Blessed Virgin Mary, that you needed to be kind and respectful to Her, and She had influence over Her Son. (This last one, I was very deficient, since I had no idea How much influence She had till I read Glories of Mary).

Most of my ideas about Blessed Virgin Mary are centered on the Prophecy of Simeon. I can't grasp it even now: A sword shall pierce Your Heart.

Anyone who attacks Her or any of these dogmas or any Catholic teaching on Her risks hell.



Modesty & Purity Thrown Out the Window

Dear TIA,

Ave Maria Purissima !

Re: Pope watches immoral performance

I cannot say I was shocked at the photographs of Pope Francis admiring the female contortionist, flaunting her body within a couple of metres of him. We have become accustomed to Popes and senior members of the hierarchy taking delight in watching semi nude women, performing in front of them. We were certainly scandalised when photographs emerged of Pope John Paul II in close proximity to bare breasted natives, but now this behaviour has become commonplace.

“Old fashioned” values like modesty, purity, self respect have been thrown out the window it seems, so is it any wonder our young people dress with scant regard to decency? When I was young, in Catholic homes and schools, girls were taught to be modest in dress and behaviour. When we failed in these areas we were punished, and rightly so. We grew up in a civilized society where social norms were based on the teaching of the Holy Catholic Church. Those teachings have not changed, even though the standards of our Popes and hierarchy have.

I urge all truly Catholic parents and teachers to maintain high standards and to have high expectations of their daughters and pupils in this regard.

     Yours faithfully

     C.P., Ireland


Update on Ushaw Seminary

Dear Atila,

Re: Examples of Vatican II Failed Seminary Experimentation

Thank you for posting my latest article. I have some more information on Ushaw College, not included in the article, which I would like to share with your readers. It comes from Volume 2 of my series, Born of Revolution, which, incidentally, has just been published. The new material concerns the Junior Seminary at Ushaw, an educational establishment for boys of high school age who might be considering a vocation to the priesthood.

With the lack of enthusiastic support from the Hierarchy, the Junior Seminary closed in 1972. The irony is that it had always been much sought after by Catholic parents because it was a school that offered a Classical education for their sons, not all of whom were expected to become priests. It could have continued to operate as it had always done. Instead, it was reused as an inter-denominational, residential Youth Village providing employment training for teenagers of both sexes. The project soon collapsed, and the Junior Seminary, with its magnificent Puginesque Chapel dedicated to St. Aloysius, was abandoned for decades to the ravages of time and the depredations of vandals.

Photos on the internet [1] taken by an “urban explorer” who climbed inside the Chapel reveal some harrowing scenes of desecration. The fabric of the building was extensively damaged. A heaped-up tangle of pews had been dumped in front of the altar to clear a space for what one witness described as “bricklaying practice” by members of the Youth group; the altar’s carved stone reredos depicting scenes from the life of St. Aloysius was defaced; and a white marble sculpture of the Madonna seated with her Child in the midst of the ruins added an extra touch of impiety to the macabre scene.

A different photographer shows its side altars (including an altare privilegiatum [2]) trashed, with parts of columns and decorative fixtures littering the floor, the scene resembling the aftermath of a visitation by Thomas Cranmer’s or Oliver Cromwell’s men. [3]

It was only a matter of time before the inevitable happened: in July 2023, after more than 50 years of dereliction, the Chapel became the target of a suspected arson attack, and the conflagration spread to the adjoining Junior House, gutting them both. [4] That was the inglorious end of an establishment that had nurtured the minds of thousands of boys over the decades of its existence and had filled the Major Seminary at Ushaw.

     Yours sincerely,

     Carol [Byrne]



[2] A “privileged altar,” codified in the 1917 Code of Canon Law, was a designated altar upon which a priest celebrating Mass could gain a plenary indulgence for a specified soul in Purgatory. This indulgence was granted in addition to the ordinary fruits of the Mass he celebrated. (See Harold Collins, The Church Edifice and Its Appointments, Philadelphia, Pa., The Dolphin Press, 1940, p. 73) But the “privileged altar” was suppressed by Paul VI in his Apostolic Constitution Indulgentiarum Doctrina (1967), Norm 20, when he changed the traditional concept of indulgences.


[4] SSt+Aloysius+Chapel+and+the+Ushaw+Junior++House


Regula Tactus

Dear TIA,

I have been looking into your site regarding the importance of not touching a priest.

At one time I recall there being a short article on the importance of women never touching a priest, and vice versa, but I cannot find it.

Can you help?

     Thank you,

     E.S., Ph.D.

TIA responds:

Dear Dr. E.V.,

In another answer we have addressed this topic, although in a different context. It was a warning and teaching from the past which is very necessary for our times

We reproduce the relevant part of it below for your convenience.

Since in that response we were dealing with the conciliar Popes inappropriately touching and kissing women, you should make the due adaptation of those general principles to the case of interest to you.

A. Condemnations of members of the Clergy or Hierarchy touching women

Let me analyze the case you highlighted: Wojtyla touching knees with a woman.
  1. When St. Thomas studies chastity he distinguishes it from purity. The first is the virtue that pertains to abstinence from sexual acts; the second is the virtue that avoids external acts of sensual pleasure such as impure looks, kisses, and touches (II, II, q. 151, a. 4). Therefore, purity guards chastity.

  2. Until Vatican II, the wise rule of never touching a woman was in force for all the High and Low Clergy. This rule was called regula tactus – the rule of touching. There were many provisions regulating the application of this rule, as well as indicating what kind of fault a priest would commit against purity should he break it. This ensemble of norms was the fruit of centuries of prudence exercised by the Church to safeguard the purity needed to protect chastity in the clergy.

    Now then, Cardinal Wojtyla, and then John Paul II, simply flung away the remnants of this wise rule that Vatican II and its aggiornamento still had not managed to destroy. In fact, according to objective Catholic Morals, his kisses, caresses, and touches of women of all ages, primarily young ones, constituted a constant scandal for the Catholic faithful.

    We are taking scandal in its moral sense: “a word or deed of one which, by its command, inducement or example, occasions the spiritual downfall of another” (II, II, q. 44, a. 1).

    Even though one can pretend that JPII did not sin against chastity, it is not at all clear that he did not sin against purity. Further, insofar as he deliberately transgressed an old, established tradition of the entire clergy, he gave obvious scandal. It is quite difficult to find JPII not guilty of sin in this regard. In either case, his action, which profoundly shocks Catholic Morals, demands criticism.

  3. At this point, you could object: You are exposing his photos; therefore, you are the ones who are making scandal.

    This conclusion is faulty. We are exposing the scandal to demonstrate the error of JPII in his Progressivist orientation. Indeed, St. Thomas teaches: It may be necessary to expose scandals “in order that they who are reproved may be made manifest” (II, II, q. 43, a. 2, ad 1).

  4. Studying the virtue of modesty, St. Thomas analyzes whether moral problems can arise from the outward movements of the body. He answers that “it is evident that a moral virtue is concerned with the direction of these movements” (II, II, q. 168, a. 1). The general rule regarding this topic is given by St. Augustine who says: “In all your movements let nothing be done to offend the eye of another, but only that which is becoming to the holiness of your state” (ibid., ad 3). Then, St. Thomas concludes: “If they [the outward movements] be in any way inordinate, this should be corrected” (ibid., ad 4). Both Saints are giving orientation to lay people. How much more rigorous would they be, should a Cardinal or a Pope manifest such behavior!

    It seems quite clear that Cardinal Wojtyla wearing shorts and a fishnet shirt, shamelessly exposing his open legs and touching the knee of a woman, did not follow the Catholic rules of modesty regarding public behavior. Certainly one can discuss if there is sin in this behavior. In any circumstance, according to Catholic Morals, it should be criticized.
You can see, dear M.K., that when you affirmed that Card. Wojtyla’s action was not a sinful one, you greatly simplified the matter. Catholic Morals is more rigorous than the liberal mainstream feelings you seem to have adopted to make your judgments.

We think that these principles apply not only to the many situations in which JPII is pictured in casual dress or touching women, but also to the “blessings” that include collateral caresses which Benedict XVI is giving to young women. According to the mentioned regula tactus, no priest, Bishop, Cardinal, or Pope should touch women unless it is to administer the Sacraments or sacramentals. When you examine these rites there is nothing that asks the ecclesiastic administering them to give caresses or fond touches to the women receiving them. Therefore, whether Benedict gives such blessings or not – it is not clear in the mentioned photos that this is what he is doing – he is making innovations that go against the spirit of purity. Inasmuch as this occurs, he should be criticized.


     TIA correspondence desk
Posted December 12, 2023


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