Dying Nuns, Liberalism, and Time Magazine

Tuesday, September 2, AD 2014

Soon to be Extinct Nun

Time magazine, yes it is still being published, serves one useful function.  It normally gives insight into how doctrinaire liberals view the world.  It is often unintentionally hilarious as the writers demonstrate a cluelessness about the subject that they are writing about, which would rise to the level of Swiftian if it were intentional, instead of being the product of a mentality that cannot rise above the purely parochial mindset of the left that dominates most of those whose scribblings are published by Time.  Case in point:  Jo Piazza and her take on the coming extinction of liberal nuns:

Why would a generation of young women raised to believe that they can be anything join an institution that tells them there is something they absolutely cannot be, that there is a certain level they will never reach? Many of the women who are nuns today joined the vocation because it was a way to become highly educated, travel the world and dedicate themselves to a higher good without being beholden to a husband or children.

Young women today can do that with a passport and a Kickstarter account.

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12 Responses to Dying Nuns, Liberalism, and Time Magazine

  • No woman, female human, has ever claimed that Jesus Christ has called her to Holy Orders. Even the New York Times cannot testify to a woman being called to Holy Orders unless they own that person, which is unconstitutional.
    .
    It is patently nonsense for a female to hold up the bread and say: “THIS IS MY BODY”, the words of Consecration, because it is not. The bread is confected into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, true God and true man by the will of God, the Father, God, the Son, Jesus Christ, and the actions of the Holy Spirit, through the Catholic Church by a man ordained through the Catholic Church to the Sacrament of Holy Orders. ORDERS, ORDERS are indeed orders, even when holy, are not being observed by these heretical persons. Unless the woman claims to be a man, a finite man, the woman bears false testimony in a court of law and commits blasphemy. Blasphemy against the Son of God, Jesus Christ is perjury in a court of law and heresy in the Catholic Church.
    .
    Too many individuals refuse to accept the fact that a new human being comes into existence as science has proved through DNA, time and time again, (perhaps not the New York Time(s), pun intended), that the frozen embryos are persons who are cheated of a warm and nourishing womb in a woman body through “in vitro fertilization” test tubes, imprisoned in liquid nitrogen, and at the mercy of cold, merciless individuals. The three choices the parents of an in vitro fertilized human child are given are: 1. Freeze the living child for future implantation. 2. Destroy the child. (kill the child) 3. Put the frozen child up for adoption.
    .
    When these frozen children are adopted and allowed to grow in a warm and nurturing woman’s womb these living, human children are called Snowflake Babies, several of whom have testified and bear testimony to being human beings from the very first moment of existence. The Snowflake Babies are scientific proof that a sovereign person exists from the very first cell of a fertilized human egg.
    .
    This comment must end here. But unfortunately, the women running around like chickens with their heads cut off, with nothing but political correctness, are an embarrassment to themselves, other women and the Catholic Church.
    .
    Has anyone any suggestion that would enable these misguided, pitiable creatures to ascertain for themselves the truth? The whole world is watching this circus act of idiocy and using these laughable creatures as items for their stories. Or maybe this is the beginning of hell?

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  • Disobedience is not a virtue.
    Eve’s disobedience opened the beginnings of hell on earth.

    The woman of obedience brought forth the dawn of salvation. If wayward nuns could adopt Mary the Blessed Virgin as model, then the lives of nuns would be forever fruitful and fulfilling.

    If Jesus wanted women to hold “more power and leadership roles,” then Jesus would of elevated His Mother in those terms. Instead He gives us His mother as a model of humility and obedience.
    Nuns who find this out of date need to review their vocation…possibly give it up and join the ranks of the disoriented liberal (c)atholic church.

  • No one has more power or more leadership than a mother, whether she be a mother physically or a mother spiritually. These liberal nit wits are incapable of comprehending that by her fiat, the Blessed Virgin Mary through submission contained within her womb more Power than any mortal man could ever possess. The three worst words in the English language are liberal progressive Democrat followed closely by feminist and environmentalist.

  • The author’s “Swiftian cluelessness” was indeed hilariously highlighted in another phrase from the original Time article:
    “Nuns are dying out because their population is aging and young women are not joining their ranks in the numbers they once did.”
    Umm, yah, righhhht…d’ya think?
    In an age of heightened nihilism and lack of purposefulness in life, a young woman should join THESE unconsciously self-parodying nit-wits? Havent you answered your own inquiry, Ms Piazza?

  • Nuns For Choice – how utterly pathetic these women are. It’s a good thing that these liberal leftist orders are dying out. They don’t belong in the classroom poisoning young minds. “Save the Baby Whales”. No, “Save the Baby Humans”, Sister. Ms Piazza should have done more research; she would have found that orders that are traditional have vocations.

  • CAM: “Nuns For Choice”
    .
    In vitro fertilization and implantation (test tube babies) and DNA are scientific proof that a new human being comes into existence and life with the first individual cell. The newly begotten human being worships God by being a human being. Peter Singer of Princeton likes to define the new person by citing self awareness and conciousness.
    .
    One cannot drive a car without a car. One can imagine or think about driving a car without actually owning a car to drive. The soul of the person imagines having a brain to think about thinking and the brain comes into being. In the stillness of the womb the baby grows a brain. The thinking person comes into being.
    .
    These people are cheerleaders for Satan, the devil’s spawn. Halloween is coming.

  • Actually the statististics show that the fall in the numbers of nuns/religious sisters, which had continued at a steady pace from 1970 to 2005, has slowed remarkably in the past 10 years and it appears it will soon turn around and the numbers will start growing again. Tracing the same path as the numbers of priests, and, more recently, religious brothers/monks.

  • Ronk, Thanks. Yes… the Nashville Dominicans is one order that has had a large increase in vocations. I doubt Ms. Piazza would have used the statistics because it doesn’t fit her agneda.

  • Ronk, you are certainly right about (as CAM observes) reasonably traditional Novus Ordo Sisters’ orders recovering in terms of numbers, but here on the VL (Very Left, as in Vladimir Lenin) Coast, I work closely with two women’s religious orders, one of which has participated in the infamous “Nuns on the Bus” protest tour group, for example, as well as prominent openly documented activism in the most explicitly and publicly pro-choice aspects of the LCWR: and they couldnt buy a novice if you paid them (Maybe I should suggest that to them…Naw!). One of the orders hasnt had a novice in about 4 years, and their median age must be 65…or more.. So, by their fruits ye shall know them.

  • Alas. No light on the Piazza.

  • Jo Piazza’s garbage is typical of Time Magazine, a liberal victim’s rag. I can’t believe it didn’t go financially bankrupt decades ago. Miss Piazza doesn’t address the legitimate reasons for Vatican concerns. These include fidelity to Catholic teaching, arrogance and contempt towards authority to which they professed vows, obsession with “women’s ordination,” the compulsion of many nuns to revel in their delusional “victim” status ad nauseum. Miss Piazza reminds me of those radicals who came of age in the 1960s (Hillary Clinton, and her ilk) who never grew up and can’t stop their adolescent rebellion again the relentless oppressors who are everywhere. Like Time Magazine, they never wanted to grow up and become adults, and will die as miserable ranting and raving rebels because that’s all they know and are capable of doing.

Beyond Parody

Saturday, February 22, AD 2014

Hattip to Pat Archbold at Creative Minority Report.  If you want a short description of the current feeble state of the Church Mushy in this country, this video is matchless.

Update:  Well what do you know!  The powers that be at Good Shepherd parish in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin made the original video private.  Fortunately Pat Archbold made a copy, see below, assuming they would do that!

 

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63 Responses to Beyond Parody

  • Why wasn’t Mass capitalized on the slide? Seems telling.

  • Reminds me of the Sheil Catholic Center at Northwestern, though perhaps, worse. I’m not sure there is anything Orthodox here.

  • The man has a long history in marketing and advertising, so I imagine this was precisely how he wished to present himself. He entered the deacon formation program when Peggy Steinfels’ favorite bishop was in charge but was ordained by Cdl. Dolan.

  • Only two audiovisual screens to supplement the homily? Why not a pair of Google Glasses for everyone? 😉
    .
    I disagree strongly with encouraging people talk before Mass, in the pews. Human nature being what it is, it becomes a time to see and be seen, and all of the chatter must be very isolating if you don’t happen to have friends to chat with before Mass starts. It is the opposite of communion.
    .
    I have a question for folks: the Deacon speaks of: the Body of Christ taking the Body of Christ to the Body of Christ. I get that; our parish has a simple provision for taking communion to the homebound. But theologically, his parish strikes me as making itself a very comfortable place for the immanentist, who has pulled the horizon for the establishment of the Kingdom of God to within his own lifespan. Just wondering. Thanks.

  • So much emphasis on “man.”
    The preparation of the bread.
    The talking.
    No kneelers.

    At first glance I was convinced that this beyond parody was just that…a gag.

    Did I hear Sandy correctly? The deacon, himself, presiding at a mass? No priest?
    Excuse me for asking. I’ll run it through one more time.

  • heh heh
    I had a funny image play in my mind while watching the video. It was the deacon standing at God’s elbow during Creation with wonderful earnest suggestions for Him as to do it to make it more,,, as Tamsin and Art Deco might say,,,horizontal…more manageable and marketable.

  • A Parish Director instead of a Priest.

    So this means a priest has consecrated the hosts / bread and the deacon presides over a communion service? I will not ask, I’ll just start praying for North Eastern Wisconsin.

  • I’ll just start praying for North Eastern Wisconsin.

    The parish in question is in the Milwaukee suburbs

  • yes – in the same area of the Milwaukee Wisconsin diocese is the Friends of God, Dominican Ashram in Kenosha
    I should pray too- I am tempted tho to just roll my eyes/shrug my shoulders. They aggravate me and I am not very holy- it is hard to pray for those who aggravate -even with the classic image of heaping burning coals on their heads.

  • Art.

    Thanks for the correction.
    (prayers heading south.)

  • The entire service described by this person is oriented toward man…it is humanism. Worshipping God is an afterthought.
    .
    I hope for the sake of the Catholics in this area that there is a traditional Latin Mass nearby.

  • Is this some sort of a joke. Has April 1 come early?? I live on the Gulf Coast and I am shaking my head in disbelief. If all he says is true (parish director, etc???), why is going on that the Bishop lets this go on? Is the shortage of priests that serious? This really is some sort of joke.. . .right? Please say it is.

  • It is certainly a joke Pat, but unfortunately it is all quite real also.

  • Innovative practices have continued to plague the Church worldwide since Vatican Council II. In a December 1998 statement to the Australian bishops, the Holy Father, referring to Sacrosanctum Concilium stated:

    “A weakness in parish liturgical celebrations…is the tendency on the part of some priests and parishes to make their own changes to liturgical texts and structures, whether by omissions, by additions or by substitutions, occasionally even in central texts such as the Eucharistic Prayer. Practices foreign to the tradition of the Roman Rite are not to be introduced on the private initiative of priests, who are ministers and servants, rather than masters of the sacred Rites”.

    Noted moral theologian, Germain Grisez in his three-volume work entitled Living a Christian Life, comments on this issue of falsification raised by St. Thomas Aquinas:

    “To falsify Catholic worship can be a grave matter. Liturgical worship is the Church’s act; Jesus and his members share in it. Since they act not simply as private individuals, but share in the Church’s act, all who play a role in the liturgy act in an official capacity. Thus, anyone who makes unauthorized changes in the liturgy or encourages others to make them falsely offers as the Church’s what in reality is only personal. Insofar as such falsification modifies authentic Catholic worship, it is a sort of superstition, for even if the unauthorized change is meant to contribute to genuine worship, the choice of falsification as a means is incompatible with the reverence essential to true worship”.

    In his encyclical Inaestimabile Donum, his Instruction Concerning Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery, issued on April 17, 1980, he wrote in the foreword:
    “The faithful have a right to a true Liturgy, which means the Liturgy desired and lay down by the Church, which has in fact indicated where adaptations may be made as, called for by pastoral requirements in different places or by different groups of people. Undue experimentation, changes and creativity bewilder the faithful.”

  • No kneelers.
    Our Church, invested with the power of the Holy Spirit, provides liturgical norms, designed to heighten the experience of all involved. It is incumbent upon us to follow these directives, without exception or reservation. Change or innovation, simply for its own sake, corrupts the intent of the liturgy and must be avoided at all costs. The Holy Mass is a symphony of delight, not a note of which do we have a right to modify in the slightest.
    The 2002 GIRM, chapter 2, §43 requires that: “They (the laity) should kneel at the consecration, except when prevented by reasons of health, lack of space, the number of people present, or some other good reason. However, those who do not kneel at the consecration ought to make a profound bow when the priest genuflects after the consecration.” Kneeling is a sign of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the Mass.
    The Catholic Bishops of the United States stated in The Sacramentary that this Roman Missal directive to kneel at the Consecration be extended so that the faithful kneel, not only during the Consecration, but also from after the Sanctus (Holy, Holy) up to the Our Father.
    This means that in the United States people are to kneel after the Sanctus and remain kneeling until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer, also known as the Great Amen, which follows the priest’s Per Ipsum, that is when the priest says: “Through him, with him, in him…”.
    The Ceremonial of Bishops says:
    “One of the deacons puts incense into the censer and incenses the host and the cup at each elevation. The deacons remain kneeling from the epiclesis to the elevation of the cup.”
    Later the Ceremonial states about bishops who preside but do not celebrate:
    “From the epiclesis until after the elevation of the cup, the bishop kneels facing the altar on a kneeler provided for him either in front of the chair or in some other convenient place. After the elevation, he stands once again at the chair.”
    If it is proper for a bishop or deacon to kneel during the consecration, then it is proper for all to kneel during the consecration.

  • The Branch Davidians were also
    a ( unique community.)

    Good Shepard – Bad Practices

  • slainte: “The entire service described by this person is oriented toward man…it is humanism. Worshiping God is an afterthought.”
    .
    the Holy Father in 1998: “”the reverence essential to true worship””.
    In a word: reverence. Isn’t the priest called “reverend”? If the priest is not reverend, who in heaven’s name is he? Not of us, but a self-excommunicated scandal, blasphemer, and his name is legion.
    Pope Benedict XVI, Emeritus, called for exorcism as the salvation of souls around the world.
    .
    “They will stand up to be condemned” Thank God for the free press and freedom of speech, so this may be addressed.
    .
    God is not mentioned and the Real Presence of Jesus Christ, only grudgingly. Talking in church, the house of God, before the Blessed Sacrament on the altar is the height of arrogance and bad manners for it ignores God and prevents other people from their prayers. It is like a thief in the night or day.

  • Victor R. Claveau, MJ: Thank you for the rubrics as needed by the faithful and the unfaithful.

  • Ditto Slainte . Also pat pose “where is the bishop…” thanks to Victor for putting all that information out there- and great point about branch Davidians Philip ! Mary De Voe cuts right to it- an exorcism is needed. I’d say for good measure with some blessed salt around the perimeter! I love you guys!

  • OK, I must confess that I am still not fully up to speed on Internet tech. I click on the video and get “This video is private”. What does that mean?

  • I went to this video only for it to be labeled a Private Video. I had no access.

    M

  • Let’s take a look at the Milwaukee diocese. (Stats from Catholic Almanacs)
    Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki was installed in Jan. 2010

    Catholic population 2004 = 694,508 or 32.3% of the general population.
    Catholic population 2010 = 657,519 or 27.9 % of the general population.
    Catholic population 2013 = 625,765 or 27% of the general population.

    Catholic population declined by 68,743 or 5.3% of the general population over ten-year period.
    Catholic population declined by 31,754 or .9% of the general population since Archbishop Listecki took over.
    In 2012 there were only 404 people received into full communion = one new reception for every 1,549 Catholics or .59 per priest., which indicates the evangelization has certainly not been a priority.

    Archbishop Listecki failed to provide growth as the bishop of La Crosse and for some unfathomable reason Pope Benedict made him Archbishop. This lack of accountability is the Devil’s playground. No wonder the Church is in trouble.
    If Archbishop Listecki had been in the secular arena, he would have been fired a long time ago.

  • Victor R. Claveau MJ-

    Unbelievable? Wish I could say it but the reality is the accountability in the Church has been a thorn in the side of Our Mother church for some time.

    Your stats. are compelling.

    When Bishop Raymond Burke was in LaCrosse a dose of sanity entered in. Our Lady of Guadeloupe shrine and chapels like St. Theresa of Avila perpetual Eucharistic Adoration chapels in Union Center, are some of the lasting fruits from Burke’s leadership.

    We must double our efforts in prayer for good leadership.

  • They made the video private because evidently they are only welcoming to people who endorse their pablum. Fortunately the video is still available for all to see.

  • An important issue this video raises is the role played by “Deacons” in the modern Roman Catholic Church. When I was growing up in the 1970s, I do not recall any deacons serving in my parish or in any neighboring parish. I had heard the term in connection with Protestant denominations.
    .
    I think we need clarity regarding the duties a deacon may undertake, the limitations on his authority, and whether the role is limited to males only.

  • slainte.

    Pope JPII saw the need for the permanent deacons to assist priests and bishops. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccatheduc/documents/rc_con_ccatheduc_doc_31031998_directorium-diaconi_en.html

    Hope this helps.

    After reading the document you can’t help but feel sorry for Deacon Sandy.
    He is hurting himself and the Body of Christ.

  • Why do I feel this WI parish may still have Hootenany Masses?
    Re kneelers – When I took my Confirmation class to Holy Cross Abbey in Berryville VA for Mass we stood in lieu of kneeling. The monk explained that it is an ancient custom of their Cistercian or Trappist order to stand vice kneel.
    I worship at a mission church which is basically a concrete box. One Christmas Eve a woman tripped over a kneeler attached to a folding chair and broke her leg. No more kneelers. During Mass there’s a choice: kneel on the carpet or stand…which mostly depends on the age and agility of this older group. When taking Communion some stand or stand and bow and a few kneel or genuflect. We will have pews with kneelers at our new church!

  • Help! I have three open videos on this page. The third on obscuring Paul Zummo’s comments and I cannot exit it.

  • My maternal great-great grandfather came over to Newfoundland in the 19th century from Ireland. He would sometimes take my Mom to Mass when she was a little girl. He refused, although he was quite elderly, to sit in pews, scorning them as Protestant innovations. He and my Mom would stand in the back and kneel on the cold stone floor.

  • Phillip,
    .
    Thank you for the link; I look forward to reading the background information on the Diaconate that you provided.
    .
    A point of interest for which Deacon Sandy provides little elaboration is the discussion of “Bread” used for the Eucharist. The Deacon says his church does not use traditional communion wafers, opting instead for a home made variety. As the Church requires that Eucharist bread meet very exacting standards (unleavened etc.), I’m curious whether the Deacon’s church is in compliance. I mention this just as an observation…as the answer is not provided in the video.

  • That beautiful grandpa no doubt met your son at the gates and together they rejoice and worship God – and watch over you

  • Donald,
    In his marvelous little book, Sacred Signs, Msgr. Romano Guardini, describes the overall attitude we should display during the Mass:

    “The respect we owe to the infinite God requires of us a bearing suited to such a presence. The sense that we have of the greatness of His being, and, in His eyes, of the slightness of our own, is shown outwardly by our kneeling down to make ourselves small… to stand up means that we are in possession of ourselves…Standing is the other side of reverence toward God. Kneeling is the side of worship in rest and quietness; standing is the side of vigilance and action. It is the respect of the servant in attendance, of the soldier on duty.”

    Standing is the normal bodily posture at Christian public prayer, kneeling being a penitential practice. As the psalmist says, “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10).

    During the consecration we kneel, expressing an attitude, like prostration, involving dependence and helplessness. By kneeling, we express our humility before the awesome majesty of God, perform penance and exhibit a spirit of repentance, and demonstrate adoration and reverence in prayer.
    Father Guardini says:

    “When you kneel, don’t do so distractedly and carelessly. You’re expressing what’s in your soul! The spirit of your kneeling must be such that interiorly your soul kneels before God in profound reverence.”

    There seems to be some confusion as to the posture of the people after the Agnus Dei is sung. In most churches in the United States, a return to a kneeling position at the “Agnus Dei” especially to prepare for the “Ecce Agnus Dei—Behold the Lamb of God” is the norm. However, this traditional act is not limited to United States.
    The 2002 Roman Missal has new instructions for kneeling after the Agnus Dei which were not in the 2000 GIRM, §43, nor in the 1975 GIRM, §21, but have been added to the 2002 version.
    The section now reads:

    “Where it is the custom that the people remain kneeling from the end of the Sanctus until the end of the Eucharistic Prayer, and before Communion when the priest says Ecce Agnus Dei, this is laudably retained”

  • Adoration of the Eucharist

    While the Church requires certain acts of reverence as adoration to the Eucharist, she also recommends others. An act of reverence, immediately before receiving Holy Communion, which has been “strongly recommended” by the Sacred Congregation of Rites in 1967 and repeated by the Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship in 1980, is as follows:

    “With regard to the manner of going to communion, the faithful can receive it either kneeling or standing, in accordance with the norms laid down by the episcopal conference: When the faithful communicate kneeling, no other sign of reverence towards the Blessed Sacrament is required, since kneeling is itself a sign of adoration.

    “When they receive communion standing, it is strongly recommended that, coming up in procession, they should make a sign of reverence before receiving the Blessed Sacrament. This should be done at the right time and place, so that the order of people going to and from communion should not be disrupted.”

    Father Regis Scanlon, comments on this subject in Kneeling and faith in the Eucharist, Homiletic & Pastoral Review (Aug.-Sept., 1994), p. 10:

    “Now, it appears from the context of the statement that the Congregations are here strongly recommending a genuflection, and not merely a sign of the cross or a mere bow of the head. First of all, the Congregations previously referred to ‘kneeling’ as “a sign of adoration” and secondly, the reverential act which they recommend, if done out of place, would ‘disrupt’ or interfere with ‘the order of people going to and from communion, which would not be the case if the recommended act was a mere sign of the cross or a bow of the head.

    “That this sign of reverence is a genuflection, and not even a full body bow, is supported by the Ceremonial of Bishops. It has just been stated that the Ceremonial reserves the ‘genuflection’ for the ‘Blessed Sacrament’. Since the Ceremonial is a ‘mode’” for all Masses of the Roman Rite throughout the universal Church and since the spirituality of bishops and priests should be an example to the laity, the way the bishop and priests receive the Blessed Sacrament at communion is a ‘model’ for the laity. The Ceremonial states about the Communion of the Mass in which the bishop concelebrates with priests and distributes communion to the priests before saying ‘Lord, I am not worthy….’

    “After saying inaudibly the prayer before communion, the bishop genuflects and takes the paten. One by one, the concelebrants approach the bishop, genuflect, and reverently receive from him the body of Christ.

    “Now, if it is proper for priests to come up and genuflect to the Blessed Sacrament prior to receiving communion from the bishop, who also genuflects, it should also be proper for the laity to come up and genuflect to the Blessed Sacrament prior to receiving communion from the priest or Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. The statement by the Church regarding the laity’s reception of Holy Communion should be interpreted consistently with the Ceremonial. The officially ‘recommended’ act of reverence prior to receiving communion, when receiving in a standing position, is clearly a ‘genuflection’. A genuflection can be replaced by a profound bow only when physical conditions do not allow for the former. This act of reverence before receiving Communion standing is easily planned and does not delay the reception of Communion. The person immediately behind the one receiving the Eucharist makes the reverence while he or she is receiving the Lord.”

  • I second Anzlyne sentiments.
    I also do not doubt that the nine choirs of Holy Angel’s bend knee while before the presence of God. Jesus himself said that “every knee shall bend and every tongue confess to God.”

    Yes, hyperbole maybe, but my assumption is that once we “stand” before the throne of God we will have wished we had spent more time on our knees before him in the tabernacles of our churches. We can not get this time back. We can only start with this evening and hope we have time tomorrow.
    God bless our faithful relatives who urge us on to holiness from above.

  • Mr. McClarey,
    .
    In Ireland while the Penal Laws were in effect, mass was a criminal endeavor and pews would have been a luxury….
    .
    “…..In the countryside, Catholics often came together in the open air to hear mass. In many places, this gathering took place on a hill, from where a lookout could alert the worshipers that soldiers were coming. In many of these places a large rock was used as an altar. Tobernalt is one of these such places as it is set into a hillside and the mass rock used in Penal times can still be seen today.
    .
    Because of the Penal Laws, priests were hunted and so they travelled in secret from mass rock to mass rock around the country. People gathered at the mass rock from early morning when word spread throughout the area that a priest was going to celebrate mass. The priest would eventually reveal himself at the mass rock and would tend to the spiritual needs of the people performing many of the sacraments including confessions, baptisms, marriages and mass in Latin. Sometimes on the feast of the patron saint, a collection for the priest would be taken up by the pilgrims as the priest was in hiding and had no other way of collecting his parish dues. When his work was done, the priest would divest himself of his priestly garb and mingle with the departing local people.
    Source: http://www.holywell.seomraranga.com/penaltimes.htm
    .
    The Penal Laws were progressively nullified by the Roman Catholic Relief Act (1791), the Catholic Emancipation Act (1829), the Roman Catholic Charities Act (1832), and the Roman Catholic Relief Act (1926).
    .
    Your maternal great great grandfather may have been accustomed to kneeling on rocks in his native Ireland.

  • slainte.

    Your welcome.
    I wonder if Fr. Claveau could answer your inquiry about the bread?
    Father.(?)

  • Victor R. Claveau MJ.
    Sir. Is your MJ an abbv. for Missionaries of St. Joseph?

    Respectfully asking. 🙂

  • Phillip,
    I am a consecrated layperson in Miles Jesu (Soldiers of Jesus). I am also an author who has written a half dozen Catholic books. The information previously provided were excerpts from my book, “On Holy Ground: Church and Mass Etiquette”, which is available on my extensive website, http://www.evangelizationstation.com.

  • As someone who works with a computer, including some programming, I try to retain my memory of my first experience with the computer. It was a Mac in 1993; my reaction to the strange operating system was, “Why do they do it like that. It’s so stupid!”

    By the same token, before seeing the description of the invalid “eucharist”, I was able to discern the seeming, commonsense of the Deacon’s approach, in most instances.

    I feel this is valuable, so we can understand the confused compromisers, in an effort to become all things to all people.

    Christ, after all, told the Parable of the Good Samaritan, who, to our nearest, current historical analogy, would be a Protestant—though today, he could have been a New Ager. Our Blessed Lord does not despise anyone He made, even those who are wandering off the path.

    I had a disturbing experience several weeks ago: A seeker was in attendance at our parish, Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Sacramento, CA. She was repeatedly trying to make eye contact with various parishioners. She was most likely not a Catholic.

    I was unable to respond to her, despite being someone who reacts to people with an open heart—I can be walking in a busy public place, I’ll see someone who is in great emotional pain, everyone else is obliviously bypassing the person, I’m the only one who notices what’s really going on, I have a certain childishness if not exactly childlikeness.

    In any case, I reacted to the seeker, but because of barriers between our sex, the fact that I’m married and am wary of too great familiarity with women other than my wife, and of course, our rite’s traditional emphasis on direct personal prayer with our Lady and our Blessed Lord, I wasn’t able to make myself react overtly or respond to the seeker’s quest for personal acknowledgment and fellowship.

    I was so affected by her, that I told my 5 and 6 year old grandchildren to go over and say “Hi” to her, they’re very friendly. But it was too late, she was already preparing to leave. I felt that she will never return.

    Our experience with implementing new, well-intended laws, shows us that there are limitations to any approach; the difficulty is in the details. As much as the Deacon’s approach seems to be off the rails, he wouldn’t be saying what he does so seemingly reasonably, if there were not hidden foibles and faults among our contemporary brethren to which his approach can appeal. People are mistaken, not stupid. No one does anything without a reason, however ill considered and mistaken.

    I have a dear friend who has gone over the top because of Pope Francis’ washing of non-men’s feet on Holy Thursday; my friend has become a disciple of a false prophet, “Maria Divine Mercy” (see Jimmy Akin, ” 9 Things You Need to Know About Maria Divine Mercy“). My friend believes that Pope Francis is not the real Pope.

    My own inclination at one time was to find very objectionable, the practice of washing non-men’s feet on Holy Thursday. I was disturbed to observe my otherwise very solid Bishop following the practice.

    It was only upon seeing a film biography of Pope Francis in Italian on EWTN, how he went into the barrios at great personal risk from narcotrafficantes in support of a Priest they were threatening, that I began to see what was going on. He was washing the feet of the most ordinary, poor, deprived people. One such person was one many of us would look down upon, a poor, unloved street girl we might even suspect of having a developmental disability due to her deprived upbringing, yet she is thoroughly and joyfully in the Church because of Bishop Begoglio’s intervention in her life.

    These things disturb us. Our best recourse, according to the advice of the Cure of Ars, St. John Vianney, is rather than taking their objections to the press, to take them before the Blessed Sacrament. I hope that all the commentators are availing themselves of such opportunity as they have to do so.

  • S Irenaeus says “The practice of not bending the knee on a Sunday is a symbol of the Resurrection, through which we were delivered by the Grace of Christ both from our sins and from the death which was put to death by Christ himself.”

    In the Armenian and Coptic Churches, the custom on Sundays is to touch the forehead, the ground and lips before the holy images (I eat the dust from beneath your feet)

    In the Orthodox Church, the “Great genuflection” ( προσκύνησις) bring the forehead to the ground, is not used on Sundays

  • Slainté

    In Scotland, the last prosecution for being a Catholic priest was in 1755, when the Apostolic Visitor, Bishop Hugh MacDonald of Clanranald (brother of the clan chief), under the “Act against Jesuits, priests and trafficking papists.”

    The prosecution was unusual at that time and was instigated from London; his real offence, in the eyes of government, was blessing Prince Charles Edward’s standard, when he raised it at Glenfinnan on 19 August 1745 It was there that, with a bodyguard of approximately 400, mostly from the MacDonalds of Clanranald and Morar, the Prince met the chief of Clan Cameron (who had an escort of 800 Camerons) Of the men who fought at Culloden, about a third were Catholics, from Moidart, Arisaig, Knoydart, Morar, Glengarry and Lochaber.

    Sentenced to be banished furth of the realm, with certification that if he ever returned, being still papist, he should be punished with death, Bishop Hugh ignored the sentence. “He made Shenvale in Banffshire his ordinary residence for four years with Mr Brockie, and three with Mr John Geddes, who were missioners there. In the summer, he was wont to visit his vicariate ; and he often spent a part of the winter at Auchientoul with Mr Gordon of Dorlethers. Government knew well where he was, but winked at it.” He used the name of “Marolle,” his nom de guerre in the French Intelligence Service.

  • Victor R. Cleavau MJ-

    Thank you.
    Thanks for your insights and perseverance. Your helping many and may God bless your works.

    William Keevers-

    Point well taken. I mentioned the Branch Davidians because of the obvious ramifications of leading the sheep astray. I don’t believe Sandy is likely to go off that edge, however more prayer is the answer. Thank you.

  • Please! Children in what attempts to pass for The Sanctuary? An Altar which is smaller than a Byzantine Rite Table of Preparation?
    The use of Matter which in the Roman(Latin)Rite is supposed to be Unleavened Bread, as the 1st Mass was a Passover Seder, instead, is replaced by Leavened Bread, which is used in the Divine Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil, Martyr. Leavened Bread is Eastern, while Latin Rite is unleavened. What is Valid for One Rite is NOT Valid for the Other Rite. And since this is supposedly the Roman(Latin) Liturgy is unleavened bread, this Eucharist is Invalidated by the use of Matter which is only valid in the Byzantine Rite. As to the use of Leavened Bread in the Byzantine Rite Divine Liturgy being offered, the Leaven represents the Rising of The Holy Spirit.
    Instead of “Gloria In Excelcis Deo”, this Parish looks to be “Gloria In Excelcis Hominibus”, with a rendition of “Joy To The World” sung from the Popular but Profane, Commercial Rock Song. The Holy Sacrifice of The Mass is NOT Entertainment. It is Worship of God In Three Persons(Blessed Trinity). This Parish attempts to emulate This World and NOT The Next World. The Two Worlds are not one and the same. They do not mix. The Current Liturgy, unfortunately, has been sadly corrup
    ted by assorted & Sordid Modernists, who
    believe in the Heresy of Secularism(Worldly). This is not possible in the Byzantine Liturgies and the Tridentine Latin Mass. Secularistic Music would work with Neither Traditional Form. I should know as a Traditional Latin Mass Catholic who also goes now to Byzantine Catholic Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of The Church).

  • How Appropo! A Deacon & “Parish Director” named Sandy.

    This Video is stirring up a “Storm” of a Spiritual Nature & is like a certain storm in 2012 called Sandy, from which many people are attempting to recover from.

    M

  • Anzlyne: “They aggravate me and I am not very holy- it is hard to pray for those who aggravate -even with the classic image of heaping burning coals on their heads.”
    .
    The more sincerely you pray to God for your enemies, the hotter the coals heaped on their heads. You are to pray for the salvation of their soul. Their sins will be the coals of their own doing.

  • Michael Leggett wrote, “this Eucharist is Invalidated by the use of Matter which is only valid in the Byzantine Rite”

    It is illicit, but not invalid. Consider the case discussed by Escobar, Filliucci and Bauny (three very learned moral theologians of the 17th century) of the priest who blackmails a baker, by threatening to consecrate all the bread in his shop, unless he pays up. They all agree that the wheaten loaves are valid matter; if not, their discussion is pointless. The case seems to have been a great favourite of the Casuists, as a graphic illustration of the distinction between motive and intention.

  • : “…I am not very holy- it is hard to pray for those who aggravate -even with the classic image of heaping burning coals on their heads.” . The more sincerely you pray to God for your enemies, the hotter …”

    Yes- that was my little joke at my own unholy reaction to aggravation! I do appreciate the true meaning of the words as pointed out by Mary, having had my own hair scorched! 😉

  • In July 2003, then Cardinal Ratzinger as Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith issued a letter of instruction regarding the Eucharist and accomodating those suffering from Celiac disease including priests.
    .
    “….A. The use of gluten-free hosts and mustum
    .
    1. Hosts that are completely gluten-free are invalid matter for the celebration of the Eucharist.
    .
    2. Low-gluten hosts (partially gluten-free) are valid matter, provided they contain a sufficient amount of gluten to obtain the confection of bread without the addition of foreign materials and without the use of procedures that would alter the nature of bread.
    .
    3. Mustum, which is grape juice that is either fresh or preserved by methods that suspend its fermentation without altering its nature (for example, freezing), is valid matter for the celebration of the Eucharist.
    .
    B. Communion under one species or with a minimal amount of wine
    .
    1. A layperson affected by celiac disease, who is not able to receive Communion under the species of bread, including low-gluten hosts, may receive Communion under the species of wine only.
    .
    2. A priest unable to receive Communion under the species of bread, including low-gluten hosts, when taking part in a concelebration, may with the permission of the Ordinary receive Communion under the species of wine only.
    .
    3. A priest unable to ingest even a minimal amount of wine, who finds himself in a situation where it is difficult to obtain or store mustum, when taking part in a concelebration, may with the permission of the Ordinary receive Communion under the species of bread only.
    .
    4. If a priest is able to take wine, but only a very small amount, when he is the sole celebrant, the remaining species of wine may be consumed by a layperson participating in that celebration of the Eucharist.
    .
    C. Common Norms
    .
    1. The Ordinary is competent to give permission for an individual priest or layperson to use low-gluten hosts or mustum for the celebration of the Eucharist. Permission can be granted habitually, for as long as the situation continues which occasioned the granting of permission.
    .
    2. When the principal celebrant at a concelebration has permission to use mustum, a chalice of normal wine is to be prepared for the concelebrants. In like manner, when he has permission to use low-gluten hosts, normal hosts are to be provided for the concelebrants.
    .
    3. A priest unable to receive Communion under the species of bread, including low-gluten hosts, may not celebrate the Eucharist individually, nor may he preside at a concelebration.
    .
    4. Given the centrality of the celebration of the Eucharist in the life of a priest, one must proceed with great caution before admitting to Holy Orders those candidates unable to ingest gluten or alcohol without serious harm.
    .
    5. Attention should be paid to medical advances in the area of celiac disease and alcoholism, and encouragement given to the production of hosts with a minimal amount of gluten and of unaltered mustum.
    .
    6. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith enjoys competence over the doctrinal aspects of this question, while disciplinary matters are the competence of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
    .
    7. Concerned Episcopal Conferences shall report to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, at the time of their ad Limina visit, regarding the application of these norms as well as any new developments in this area.
    .
    Asking you to kindly communicate the contents of this letter to the members of your Episcopal Conference, with fraternal regards and prayerful best wishes, I am
    .
    Sincerely yours in Christ,

    Joseph Card. Ratzinger
    Prefect”

    Source:
    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20030724_pane-senza-glutine_en.html.

  • MPS writes, “…He used the name of “Marolle,” his nom de guerre in the French Intelligence Service…”
    .
    What was Bishop Hugh MacDonald doing in the French Intelligence Service?

  • I’m afraid this is the way of all of the Dioceses’ in Wi. It’s one big happy knee slapping, hand shakin hootnanny. I love Cardinal Burke and Archbishop Chaput and the other traditional leaders but really like I have said many times on here before, I go to Mass, I receive the Sacraments and live my life. There is a Lenten program starting next week in our parish but the last time I partook in one of these it became a “Hilary Clinton” campaign headquarters, run by a “nun on the bus” wanna be and it made me so sick I went on sabbatical to Southern Colorado for Holy Week and processed with the lowly Hispanics on Good Friday for a mile or two with the Living Stations of the Cross to the Church for a most humbling of Good Friday services. They may not have a lot of hoopla but they sure are reverent. Guess what? They actually have a pamphlet rack that has pamphlet’s that explain the Churches teaching on abortion, birth control, confession, The Eucharist, you name it it’s there for the taking. Every Mass I walk out of I feel like I have been to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass! I am a terrible sinner and I want to be good. But it’s really hard being an old world Catholic or maybe “traditional” Catholic.

  • Jeanne Rohl.

    Your not alone.
    Thanks be to God we moved to a beautiful village last August. TLM every Sunday. Legion of Mary Divine Mercy cenacle and the greatest priest.

    I have suffered through the drums guitar and tambourine Mass. The girls in flowing gowns doing a semi-ballet / Indian dance following the priest in procession. The “joke” homily to warm up the congregation.
    Your hispanic family in Christ sounds beautiful. Regardless where we are He is with us.

    Be grateful your church at home doesn’t do a “Halloween Mass” where even the priests dresses up. A few years ago video of this was circulating around the net. San Francisco diocese…go figure.

  • Jeanne,
    You will find over 650 free Catholic pamphlets on my website. Everyone of them is faithful to Church teaching and are being used in churches all over the country. They will only cost you the paper and ink to print them.
    One elderly couple informed me that they placed a short advertisement in their local newspaper, such as, “Would you like to know the truth about what the Catholic Church really teaches?” Please send a stamped self-addressed envelope to P.O. Box —. They sent pamphlets to the inquirers every couple of weeks. After three months they invited the receipients to contact one of the local priests who knew how to treat perspective converts.
    You could also just place them in the back of the church.

  • Ille homo et sua ecclesia conferta merda tauri sunt. Haec blasphemia deformis est.

  • The sound quit working on my PC a few months ago so I can’t hear a thing from the video. I should be grateful that I can’t hear any of it.

    There is far too much of this nonsense going on the Latin Catholic Church in the US and the bishops have been unwilling to put a stop to it. On top of that, we have a Holy Father that isn’t interested in seeing to it that the Church celebrates its liturgies reverently.

  • Slainté asks, “What was Bishop Hugh MacDonald doing in the French Intelligence Service?”

    Bishop Hugh, like a number of seminarians at the Scots College in Paris, was talent-spotted by French Intelligence.

    His reasons for joining are obvious enough:

    1. He wished to see the restoration of the House of Stuart, impossible without French support
    2. He was a Scottish patriot, who wanted the Union with England ended and the Scottish parliament (abolished in 1707) restored. The patriotic party had always looked to the Auld Alliance with France to protect them from English domination.
    3. The Highland mission was reliant on French funding; the Propaganda could spare little and the population was too poor to contribute.

    The British government treated the Highland clergy with great savagery after the failure of the ’45. Of the priests who had accompanied the Prince, Rev Mr Colin Campbell of Morar was killed at Culloden, shot down by Hessian mercenaries, whilst trying to rally the fugitives. Rev Mr Allan MacDonald, rector of the seminary at Scalan, near Glenlivet was imprisoned for a year in a military garrison and then ordered to leave the country. Scalan itself was burned on the orders of the Duke of Cumberland, as a “nest of traitors.” Rev Mr Aeneas McGillis of Glengarry was put to the horn (outlawed) and fled the country. Of those who had stayed at home, but had “prayed for the Pretender,” Rev Mr Neil McFie of the Rough Bounds, Rev Mr Alexander Forrester of Uist and Rev Mr James Grant of Barra were bundled on board ship and deported, without the formality of a trial. Rev Mr William Harrison of the Rough Bounds was later captured carrying dispatches and similarly deported.

    Bishop Hugh had to rebuild the Church more or less from scratch. Himself the son of Alexander Macdonald of Morar and of Mary, daughter of Ranald MacDonald of Kinlochmoidart, he recruited mostly among the Highland gentry; ordained ad titulum patrimonii sui and unpaid, they stayed with relatives, or with influential friends, and served their native place. Thus we have Alexander MacDonald of the Scotus family living in Knoydart; Austen MacDonald of Glenaladale in Moidart; Allan MacDonald of Morar’s family living in the Morar area; James MacDonald, son of John MacDonald of Guidall in the Rough Bounds, and so on. Bishop Hugh was succeeded by his nephew, John MacDonald.

  • Penguins Fan-

    It’s as if the Holy Church is desperately trying to play catch up.

    Dwindling vocations in the 80’s thru currwn

  • ..accidental entry.

    …thru the current decade. The number of vocations to the priesthood is on the uptic. The hope is their faithfulness to Holy Church and it’s teachings.

    Could the bumps in the road help the new evangelization?

    I hope so. For the sake of countless souls to come.

  • Phillip,
    The real problem with evangelization in the U.S. is that it is almost non-existent. The vast majority of our dioceses do not have offices of evangelization. Most that do, do not staff it. Dioceses that do have staffed offices focus on keeping Catholics Catholic. There are over 110 million Americans who do not have any religious affiliation and we do almost nothing to reach out to them.
    The last diocesan wide evangelization program was in the San Diego diocese in 1950-51. A door-to-door evangelization effort was conducted, which resulted in almost 10,000 people returning to the Church and almost 5,000 converts. (I would be happy to provide more information on this effort to anyone interested.)
    Bishops would rather close churches rather than evangelize. Even the most. orthodox bishops do little or nothing. 70% of U.S. dioceses have either remained stagnant or have declined in membership over the past ten years. Those diocese that register growth in numbers can attribute it to illegal immigration from Mexico and South America.
    Most would agree that converts are a boon to the Church. Scott Hahn and Steve Wood are prime examples.
    We have been hiding the light of the Church for far too many years.

  • Victor.

    Your helpful website and offerings are keys to unlock the years of stagnation.
    I viewed it two nights ago.
    Your advice to Jeanne was also, in my opinion, excellent. A soldier of Christ indeed.

    Thanks for your important contributions.

  • MPS writes, “…The British government treated the Highland clergy with great savagery after the failure of the ’45…”
    .
    Recall this thought when the issue of Scottish independence arises again.
    .
    Scotland should be free at last! You owe it to the memory of men like Robert the Bruce and Bishop Hugh MacDonald who gave all for Scotland.
    .
    Your rebellious neighbor to the southwest wishes the Kingdom of Alba much success. : )

  • To Michael Paterson-Seymour
    In regards to the matter used, bread is supposed to contain gluten. The matter is supposed to be unleavened bread. While Good Shepherd Parish uses Bread with Gluten, hence wheat, it is correct to say that since gluten bread is used then the Sacrament is Valid. But by using the leavened bread, the action is illicit, which tells me that Good Shepherd Parish “Reads The Black” but does something other than the Red.
    Hence, these may not be truly “Good Shephetds.”

  • Regarding Catholicism in Scotland:
    The Outlaws of Ravenhurst by Sr. Imelda Wallace. Still in print this is a swashbuckling childrens book about the persecution of Scottish Catholics during the Reformation. As I recall (I read it in grade school in the 1950s) there is a tie in with St. Marys County MD which was settled by English and Scottish Catholics under the Lords Calvert.

  • CAM

    “The Outlaws of Ravenshurst” is first-rate.

    The actual history is both fascinating and extremely complex. Persecution was much less severe than in Ireland and considerably less than in England for two reasons: firstly, the strength of the clan system, right up to the ’45, meant that the government had very little power north of Stirling and, secondly, the authorities feared the radical Protestants (the Covenanters) much more than they feared the Catholics and often formed tacit alliances against them with the Catholic clans.

    During the Reformation, the proto-martyr was a Father Frank a monk, who was stabbed to death in the sacking of the Trinity Friars monastery in Aberdeen, on 4 December 1559. Next was another monk, a Father Robson about whom there is very little known, who was hanged for saying mass in Glasgow. The third was St John Ogilvie, a Jesuit missionary who was badly treated and assaulted and eventually entrapped in an argument about the Pope having power to depose kings. He was convicted of treason and hanged in Glasgow on 28 February 1615. No one else, clerical or lay, was put to death under the Penal Laws.

    After 1688, the Jacobite question complicated matters a good deal. Many Catholics were Legitimists and scrupled to take the oath of allegiance required by the 1791 Relief Act, until after the death of the Cardinal Duke of York (King Henry IX) on 13 July 1807. Here in Ayrshire, the Sheriff Court books show a number of people taking the oath in the autumn of that year, my own ancestors amongst them, and becoming Justices of the Peace, officers in the Militia &c. Our local chapel of St Palladius (Catholic churches are invariably styled “chapels” here) was built about this time.

12 Responses to Küüünnng!

  • One of the last things that the text at the link above says is this: “Instead of reconciling with the ultra-conservative, anti-democratic, and anti-Semitic SSPX, the Pope should rather care about the majority of reform-minded Catholics and reconcile with the churches of the Reformation and the entire ecumenical movement. Thus he would unite, and not divide.”

    Well, the Pope is reconciling with both. He’s bridging the gap with SSPX, and he’s welcoming orthodox Anglicans into the Church. He’s also done a lot with reconciling with the Lutherans and the Eastern Orthodox. Even at the local diocesan level, lots has been done. For example, about 2 years ago Bishop Burbidge of the Diocese of Raleigh met with the Superintendent of the Assemblies of God to discuss the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I am sure many other things like that are being done.

    So what exactly is the Pope doing EXCEPT uniting? Geez, I must come from a planet different than what Hans Kung comes from. Or maybe he wants uniting to be done with the pro-aborts, pro-gays of Bishopress Schori of the ECUSA, the commie pinkoes of the Unitarian Universalist Church, and other liberal monstrosities.

    Ain’t
    A’gonna’
    Happen.

  • Oh, man, he is so envious of his old theology classmate getting elected Pope that it just oozes out. Is it really that hard, to figure out that he should submit to the will of God and stop acting like such a maroon?

    And what a maroon. He got offered a deal already; the poor pope gave him a nice lunch right after his election. He could probably pick up the phone today and get a deal within a few hours. But he doesn’t want to repent and come to terms; he wants to be both pope and a feted dissenter.

  • Hans, I’m laughing at the “superior” intellect.

  • What, exactly, has Kuuuuuung done for unity?

    (I really don’t want to see Kuuuuuung in that Ricardo Montalban outfit – something tells me he couldn’t pull it off).

  • No, he’s just tweeting his location and current activity: “From hell’s heart, I spit at thee.”

  • Pope Benedict: [Calling Kung] This is Pope Benedict. We tried it once your way, Kung, are you game for a rematch? Kung, I’m laughing at the “superior intellect.”
    Kung: Full publication of my unpublished manuscripts!
    Kung Minion: No, sir! You have “Infallible? An Inquiry”. Your work will endure…
    Kung: [grabs Minion in anger] FULL PUBLICATION! DAMN YOU!

  • Hans who? Does anyone outside of his own small club even know Kung is still alive and kicking? Back in the 70s his thick “On Being A Christian” was the toast of mainline Protestants, but since then, I am unaware of anything he has written making a splash. I don’t see why he his carping now should gain him any notice. Beter to do his embarrassed former dissertation advisor Louis Bouyer a favor and just ignore him.

  • Is that the caddish Catlick, HMV Tone Blair?

  • Thank you, Donald McClarey for your clarification of Kung. He demands an IMPRIMATUR for his writing which may or may not deserve an IMPRIMATUR. It is good to see Kung’s humility. Thanks again.

  • Paul W. Primavera: “Or maybe he wants uniting to be done with the pro-aborts, pro-gays of Bishopress Schori of the ECUSA, the commie pinkoes of the Unitarian Universalist Church, and other liberal monstrosities.” and other liberal monstrosities. bears repeating.

Fr. Michael Rodriguez Responds to Bishop Ochoa

Saturday, January 14, AD 2012

The following is a press release from Fr. Michael Rodriguez concerning the unprecedented legal action taken by (his) Bishop Armando Ochoa against him (I formatted the press release to eliminate spaces, content has not been touched or changed):

On January 12, 2012, Most Rev. Armando Ochoa, Administrator of the Diocese of El Paso, filed a lawsuit against me.  Once again, I want to reiterate that his action is dishonest and unjust.  I pose the simple question:  over the course of the past 9 ½ years, who is the one who has been laboring, struggling, sacrificing day and night, and caring for the spiritual and material well-being of San Juan Bautista Catholic Church?  Has it been Fr. Michael Rodríguez or Most Rev. Armando Ochoa?  Based on the factual record, which of the two has greater credibility when it comes to protecting and furthering the spiritual and material patrimony of San Juan Bautista?

SPIRITUAL GOODS

Over the course of my 9 ½ years as parish administrator of San Juan Bautista, by the grace and mercy of God, the following spiritual goods were “achieved”:

1) Restoration of the glorious Traditional Latin Mass

2) Gradual restoration of the Catholic Church’s sacred language, Latin

3) Gradual restoration of Gregorian Chant and sacred music

4) Devout and worthy reception of the Holy Eucharist on the tongue and kneeling, accompanied by preparatory and thanksgiving prayers

5) Silence at Holy Mass and a real catholic sense of the sacred

6) Modest dress and reverent behavior at Holy Mass and inside church

7) Two daily Masses at 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

8. Holy Hours with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at least four times per week

9) Regularly-scheduled Confessions at least five times per week;  Confession available at any time, day or night, by appointment

10) Stations of the Cross every Friday in both english (12:30 p.m.) and spanish (6:45 p.m.)

11) Parish Lenten Missions in both english and spanish

12) Numerous vocations to the priesthood and religious life

13) Christ the King, Corpus Christi, and Our Lady of Guadalupe Processions through the neighborhood

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35 Responses to Fr. Michael Rodriguez Responds to Bishop Ochoa

  • Pingback: Bp. Ochoa’s Legal Action Against Fr. Michael Rodriguez (UPDATED) | The American Catholic
  • As Fr. R’s defence reads from here, he may be pushing the Latin Traditional Form too much. and seems to be overruling the desire of the US bishops to make standing the norm and the congregation with the choice for the ancient practice of receiving on the hand or the corrupt medieval practice of the tongue which is how babies are fed and can be quite unsanitary, I know both are the choice of HH BXV1 but that is his preference as bishop, not a demand as Pope. Reference to estoring the church building to the 2ancient foms of the Roman Rite” is open to question it would seem. The papal altar in St Peter’s Basilica which faces the people with a separate Sacrament chapel seems to be accepted. I seem to recall that the reserved Eucharist was removed from Cathedral high altars for epsicopal celebratons back there in the pre-Vat 11 days. The Eastern Church does not have the reserved Eucharist for prayer. That is perfectly legitimate for them but allright for the Latin Church. One may have to examine the definition of “reverence ” and not equate Latin Text w, but ut does highlight different ways of expressing Eucharistc devotion. Proper “reverence” is tricky, too many dismiss the Novus Ordo as intrinsically irreverent, and heretical for the extremsists. Father R is undoubtedly a very zealous and sincere but loyalty to one’s bishop is very important unless there are clear abuses of authority on his part which can be resolved by speciifc means

    IF there are fnancial iregularites as one report had it, one presumes that an audit of the books would solve that instead of being a public matter.

  • Did Jesus give Pontius Pilate a list of reasons – all the good spiritual and temporal works he had done – for why he shouldn’t be crucified?

    There is little doubt in my mind that Bishop Ochoa is a flaming lavender liberal Democrat, but should Father Rodriguez even defend himself knowing that Christ (who was always right) never did so.

  • What is not present here is any reference to the actual complaint, which concerns financial shenanigans.

  • Astute observation, Art Deco. It almost seems as though Fr Rodriguez is saying, “Look how many good things I have done,” and that becomes an excuse to ignore that he did them in the wrong way. I post this as a comment on Colleen Hammond’s web site:

    …there is something essential and primary that we need to look at in all of this. The suggestion that perhaps because Father Rodriguez’s intentions were good, his financial errors can be overlooked is incorrect (no, I am NOT accusing him of fiscal malfeasance – I am using this as an object lesson). I learned this from the industry in which I work: commercial nuclear power. In my job it is not sufficient that I do the right thing, but in the wrong way, nor is it sufficient that I do in the right way the wrong thing. I am required to always and everywhere do the right thing in the right way. If I do the right thing in the wrong way, then my failure calls into question before our Federal regulator, the US NRC, whether I even did the right thing in the first place to begin with. And if I obey all the regulations, codes and standards, but have done the wrong thing, then I call into question the engineering practices, procedures and programs that I used which I had claimed were the right way: are they really the right way when the result that I achieved is wrong?

    Now of course everyone will say, “Hey, Paul, you deal with the fires of Creation in nuclear reactor cores, and what you do can affect hundreds of thousands if not millions of lives, so of course you always have to do the right thing in the right way.” While that statement makes unfairly grandiose what impact my work can actually have (I am really not nearly that important), my response to this is simple, “Why wouldn’t the same be true of the oversight being provided for people’s eternal souls.” Using the excuse that money has nothing to do with that is to ignore what St. Paul wrote in one of his epistles, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” As a nuclear engineer (my actual job title is longer and less comprehensible) I don’t have the luxury of telling a US NRC inspector (or even my own boss at my current job) that “I did the right thing.” The inspector could bring civil or even criminal charges against me regardless of the happy outcome I achieved, and my boss would surely bounce my behind on the pavement outside my place of work. And if I had sequestered 31 thousand dollars outside of my department’s allocated funds, or made my mother a beneficiary of company funds, then you can bet criminal charges would be levied and I would be officially barred by the US NRC from ever working at a commercial nuclear power plant ever again. BTW, that has happened to some now unhappy jokers who thought they could play fast and loose with the regulations – you don’t want your name and photo on the inspection enforcement page at the web site of the US NRC.

    As Catholic Christians we are always and everywhere required to do the right thing in the right way. No excuses. No rationalizations. No “Bill Clinton” waffling.

  • I haven’t been following this case particularly closely, but my reaction to this statement is the same as Art Deco. This is a very nice non sequiter, but has nothing to do with the actual charges against him.

  • This is a very nice non sequiter, but has nothing to do with the actual charges against him.

    Exactly… I haven’t been following this either, but, if anything, this response supports rather than refutes the charges.

  • What Fr. Michael Rodriguez is doing is not helping him at all.

    But what Bishop Ochoa did by filing a legal action is unfathomable.

  • Consider the lawsuit
    It dimishes the teaching authority and the slavific ability of the Roman Catholic Church

    Why was the lawsuit filed?
    Was there no way to resolve the differences without making the difference public?
    Was it that priest who in his recalcitrance forced the bishop into this action? And if yes, what would the motivation be?
    Was it the bishop who in his pride who fully engaged the act?

    Consider: The renovations took place over a nine and a half year period. Is it possible that the bishop would be unaware for that long? If this was a serious concern of his, is it likely he would have waited until over a month after he stopped being the bishop of El Paso to file the lawsuit? Or is it personal? The bishop will soon be officially installed in Fresno, and will no longer be the administrator of the diocese of El Paso. He needs to inflict as much personal damage as possible before he is no longer able to. And the cost to the diocesan faithful and the universal church be dammned.

    Consider
    If a string of San Juan Bautista parishoners is led before a judge in open court, what will their testimony be? Will they say they trust the priest with their money? Or will they say they trust the bishop? What would have inspired them to make their checks out to the priest as opposed to the parish? May personal conclusion is that I have stopped giving to my own bishop’s yearly appeal because I don’t trust him to make Catholic decisions. It makes sense to me that other Catholics in other dioceses would reach the same conclusion. Anyone who is truly Catholic prays incessantly to our heavenly father to send us not the bishops we deserve, but those who can take care of our souls, because the great majority of American bishops are possessed with a great poverty of fortitude, and bow lower before the godless laws of the United States than before the eternal Laws institued by Almighty God.

    My prayer: My God grant the vacant See of El Paso a holy bishop soon, that he may resolve the mess for the greater glory of God and the triumph of the Holy Catholic Church.

  • Father Rodriguez is listing the material and spiritual thing he did for the parrish. Let the lawyers talk now. And father Rodríguez, if you want to really remain catholic, come any time to the Fraternity of St. Pius X. We need priests just like you, to keep the faith and Tradition alive. Modernist Rome is beyond redemption.

  • $1000 / wk x 52 wks = $52,000 yr
    Less expenses, salaries, utilities, upkeep per yr.

    What a common household budget for a family would likely be.

    How the improvements were made – even with volunteer labor – is a good stmt.

    So many opportunities for worship and Sacraments for the parishioners is also a good stmt. And rare. How are these people now? I just wish this flash of oversight were in place for government spending instead of for a parish feeding souls so well.

  • I have not been following this closely, so someone please correct me if I’m wrong. It is my understanding that the issue had to do with the money collected for various renovations was kept in a private bank account rather than in the parish account. There is no suggestion that any money was used inappropriately–i.e. for anything other than renovations. However, the Bishop is arguing that the parish was attempting to keep money it had collected from the Diocese–i.e. that the Diocese had not received its ‘cut’ of the money collected by the parish. Now that money has ALL been taken by the Diocese, but the parishioners want it back, since they had not donated to the diocese but to the parish renovation fund.

  • “Hermit Talker”

    Summorum Pontificum makes it clear that every ‘stable group’ of Catholics who want the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite have that right, irrespective of a Bishop’s wishes. It is Church Law. If Bishop Ochoa wants to deny these people the EF, he is violating the law of the Church. Unfortunately, far too many Bishops have decided simply to ignore Summorum Pontificum, and to act with hostility towards any members of their dioceses who want the EF. We have, in fact, a silent revolution within the Church of modernist Bishops who have nothing but contempt for the Holy Father and tfor Catholic Tradition.

  • I find it amusing that Fr. Rodriguez accuses Bishop Ochoa of not obeying Summorum Pontificum when he himself arguably does not obey it. As he has stated in an interview with the Remnant, he does not believe as the Holy Father states that there is no contradiction between the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Roman rite, and does not agree with the Holy Father that it would be wrong to as a matter of prinicple refuse to celebrate Mass using the ordinary form.

    Also, the instruction Universae Ecclesiae states that:

    “19. The faithful who ask for the celebration of the forma extraordinaria must not in any way support or belong to groups which show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy of the Holy Mass or the Sacraments celebrated in the forma ordinaria or against the Roman Pontiff as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church.”

    Arguably under this, Father Rodriguez could be forbidden to use the extraordinary form.
    Finally, by teaching that the extraordinary form is the ‘true Mass’ and that the ‘novus ordo’ is a corruption, he is going against the ordinary magisterium of the church himself. So much for the ‘faithful’ priest Father Rodriguez. His bragging of his accomplishments, don’t justify his disobedience, seeding of confusion amongst the faithful, and financial misconduct. With Shepherds like these, who needs wolves?

  • The facts are not known to me. I have absolutely no idea if Fr R. imposed the Latin Extra. Rite on his people, nor about his other theology of Church and whether he in fact is a heretical dissenter from the Bishop of Rome and the Church Catholic. As to finances, there is absolutely no evidence as to that. of which I am aware. So I am off the record on this topic at this ;point

  • Dearest Father,
    Having lived in a religious community during the 1970’s, being forced to attend a “Mass” using pizza and beer, being judged as “dangerous” for practicing private devotions, and that’s only the beginning, I praise God for your priestly service so full of zeal for souls. I promise my prayers as you endure these present trials and remind you that the devil’s anger against a faithful priest is greatly aroused. This time, the scandal is not because of any immorality but the scandal of a Shepherd who appears to have fallen prey to the devil’s intention to destro the Church from within. A passing thought, may the green eyed monster of jealousy be at work here? Stay vigilant before the Most Blessed Sacrament!

  • OK, I’ll bite, please explain your meaning in saying that the Catholic Church is “beyond redemption.”

    That’s a pretty 19th century Protestant statement there. My Lutheran, UMC, and Presbyterian friends wouldn’t say anything so bold.

    Is this your view alone or the official stance of the Fraternity of St. Pius X?

    I haven’t followed this story and only now did some reading. Obedience is hard. It is made all the harder when one is a celebrity. Maybe the Bishop is wrong. Maybe he is being unreasonable. Maybe there is a lot more going on than we can see from the outside. Regardless, a priest obeys solong as doing so does not compromise his duty to God. He obeys even when he disagrees, for what is “obedience” if it applies only tothe things we agree with?

    Counseling priest to abandon his duties and follow you into schism can’t be a Christian act.

  • Alfred Rambit,

    Father Rodriguez does celebrate the OF every day. The FSSP, ICK, and other traditionalist groups of priests never celebrate the OF, but they are not considered to be in violation of that paragraph of SP. Refusing to celebrate one of the rites isn’t a claim about its legitimacy or validity.

    How about the reverse. How many priests refuse to celebrate the EF? Are they in violation of SP? If these two forms of the Roman Rite are equal; if the EF is to be actively promoted…why are bishops acting with such hostility? It seems to me that they are the ones in rebellion against the Holy Father.

  • Alfred Rambit,

    Just another example: The Eastern Catholics never celebrate ithe Roman Rite. Does that mean that they believe it to be invalid?

  • Ivan K,

    “Father Rodriguez does celebrate the OF every day. ”

    No, he doesn’t. Read the ‘Remnant’ interview.
    http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/Archives/2011-1015-mjm-father-rodriguez.htm

    As for FSSP, ICK, and Eastern Catholics, their preists do concelebrate the OF, and they do not speak of the OF as being inferior, and the EF as being the ‘True Mass’.
    Refusing to celebrate the OF is a violation of that paragraph if the reason for this refusal is that the OF is a deficient or inferior rite, is not the ‘true mass’, is not ‘Catholic’, etc.

    “How about the reverse. How many priests refuse to celebrate the EF? Are they in violation of SP? If these two forms of the Roman Rite are equal; if the EF is to be actively promoted…why are bishops acting with such hostility? It seems to me that they are the ones in rebellion against the Holy Father.”

    That’s my whole point. It’s silly for Fr. Rodriguez and others to criticize those who refuse to follow Summorum Pontificum if they themselves refuse to follow it. It’s like the pot calling the kettle black.

  • Some bishops and presbyters and the parish councils may consider resources that, given the distribution of presbyters to people today, and the need to provide music and lectors and other liturgical aids for a proper celebration of the Novus Ordo and the Extra’ary form of the Eucharist. There may not be enough of any required elements to provide adequately for all needs. It is also a continuing difficulty that as I read the story around the world, many Latin Mass devotees are in fact not in agreement with the Pope and Catholic Church as orthodox and authentic. I find them getting more evangelical “protestant” in their supposed definition and loyalty to what is orthodox.

  • Please avoid the silly. One knows who are in union with the Bishop of Rome, who are friendly but not in commmunion on all dogma and of course who are at the sign or get out stage!”

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  • The fact that this bishop took the scandalous step of going outside the church to attack Fr. Rodriguez says ALL any of us need to know. First he destroys everything the good priest created and sends him off to the hinterlands but then he must destroy the man’s reputation – and do it outside the church!

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  • Given Fr Rodriguez disobedience in financial matters, and given the Bishop’s flaming liberal disobedience, perhaps both ought to read today’s Old Testament reading from 1st Samuel 15:16-23. The late Father Al Lauer has an excellent homily on this which is well worth the 14 minutes to listen to. None of us are pristine when it comes to obedience, especially me. Here’s the web link to the audio recording – hope it works!

    http://www.presentationministries.com/player/playerPopup.asp?mp3ID=1981

  • I read a comment following an earlier article about this controversy. Someone posted a comment that Bishop Ochoa might be the priest, Xavier Ochoa, who fled from Santa Rosa, Calif to Mexico. The Bishop is not that priest. While the internet can be very helpful in researching things, posting such erroneous information without completely verifying such insinuations should be strongly avoided.

  • Sounds like another example of the “sharing/caring” liberal bishop cracking down on Tradition in defense, no doub, of NO novelties…..bring up the first 1900 yrs of Catholicism, watch the smiling drop……..

  • Interesting the dislike in some comments of “the Latin Rite”……does this mean the Mass immorial?
    Also, the comments on “democrats” attributed to the Bishop…must we use inadequate and outdated secular, american terms? No real difference we have seen over last decades in principle in either major party…..a fw minor details….no difference at all…… Catholic should be above attributing Madison ave propaganda slogans and sound bites to internal Catholic issues…..would said Bishop be alright if GOP? Libertarian?
    The issue is Catholic vs Modernist……it appears that this priest spoke up for the Catholic Churches teaching and then, magically, this Bishop finds some “financial issues” wrong with him.
    A Church tribunal/trial should wee this out and if said priest has evidence, lets hear it through proper channels……..perhaps said Bishop has a history against him as a man-man or not liking a trad priest……would not be the first time……..again, liberals in the church have a thin veneer unti la trad comes, then it can be rather harsh, oppressive and hateful…….

  • “Arguably under this, Father Rodriguez could be forbidden to use the extraordinary form.”

    um, no the Moto Proprio was clear that priest no longer have to beg bishops to say it and Pope Pius V (yes, the “bad old days” pre-1962) was clear it was to be said in perp……

  • “IF there are fnancial iregularites as one report had it, one presumes that an audit of the books would solve that instead of being a public matter.”

    Exactly, so why call in the unCatholic state? and, odd timing, no?
    sounds a lot more going on then on surface……pray, pray…….

  • Bishops letter was vague, did not spell anything out…….so, to Rome to trial it should go….or UCCB (heaven help the priest there, in that “good ‘ol boys” club)

  • “too many dismiss the Novus Ordo as intrinsically irreverent”

    well, when one sees who the players are behind said movements for the NO, why it was instituted and how close it parallels the Anglican,etc,etc…..who would not not want to be a part of it…..my spiritual and pray life has improved since not attending the NO (except, for occ when I go for confessio and stay for NO or, when travelling.Try not to make much of a habit of NO-if I wanted to worship like a Protestant Luthern or Anglican, would be one!)

    2 Churches running on same tracks, one will not get off and leave, like a fungus, it stays and a parasite, it sucks the marrow out…….Luther, at least, left……

  • “Dearest Father,
    Having lived in a religious community during the 1970?s, being forced to attend a “Mass” using pizza and beer, being judged as “dangerous” for practicing private devotions, and that’s only the beginning, I praise God for your priestly service so full of zeal for souls. I promise my prayers as you endure these present trials and remind you that the devil’s anger against a faithful priest is greatly aroused. This time, the scandal is not because of any immorality but the scandal of a Shepherd who appears to have fallen prey to the devil’s intention to destro the Church from within. A passing thought, may the green eyed monster of jealousy be at work here? Stay vigilant before the Most Blessed Sacrament!”

    Well said, many did not live through this time as you and I, or have rose colored blinders on….Satan happy, Christ suffering….

  • The wording used by Pius V in Latin did not imply the tridentine Mass would be forever, it was from this point on. He had reformed and united the various texts and rites in his time, which meant he corrected by unifying- not theologically but liturgically his predecessors’ work. Paul V1 had the exact same authority to allow vernacular translations of the official Latin texts and kept the authority to have his Vatican offices approve them. BXV1 following JP11’s initiative followed through with the same process for re-translating the Latin into English. Some try to say falsely and to me stupidly that Apb Bugnini, a Fremason and seven protestant clergy translated the Mass texts. The whole process was as noted, each episcopal conference or at least language group had input. Ther eference to Lutheranism and Aanglicanism is so humourous- their services were translations of the medieval, Reformation Catholic texts and they have always worked with our more recent texts and imitate them. Most mainline Churches in the USA are following our three-year cycle – and their liturgical scholars are seriously dedicated to healing the rift between us. The more Catholic than the Pope Catholics who are heretical sedevacante -ists and loyal Catholics who do not like the revised translations are using wrong arguments to justify fussing at it all. I remenber serving Mass at a very solemn High Mass for Christmas in the 1950’s in a Dominican church and the priest consectrated the bread and wine while the choir was going all-out with a magnificent Sanctus. That shocked me as a teenager, and as a younger Mass server I used see some priests fly through the Latin of the readings and the Canon, there was only one, the Roman with maximum speed and no sense of reverence. I am simply stating that there is no guarantee that a priest or musicians in the latest NO translations can be less reverent than a legitimate Latin Mass celebration. A dissenting SSPX Mass celebration is unworthy of attendance.

Te Deum, Triumphalism and History

Saturday, August 27, AD 2011

Something for the weekend.  Te Deum (To God) sung by the Benedictine monks of Saint Maurice and Saint Maur.  A song sung by Catholics in moments of triumph and thanksgiving, it was probably written by Saint Nicetas in the late Fourth century or early Fifth century.

One of the swear words common since Vatican II in the Catholic Church is triumphalism.  We are to avoid it at all costs, and it is a bad, bad thing.  In a small way this makes sense.  The Church is both a divine and a human institution.  As a divine institution the Church is always victorious and triumphant as result of the Triumph of the Cross, and proceeds serenely through time and eternity.  As  a human institution the Church consists of we sinful individuals here on Earth, and meets with victories and defeats as she seeks to spread the message of Christ, often on very stony fields indeed.  To view the Church here on Earth through rose colored glasses and to assume that simply because the ultimate victory will be claimed by the Church against the Gates of Hell that all is well within the Church is to mistake the Church Triumphant for the Church Militant.

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3 Responses to Te Deum, Triumphalism and History

  • Te Deum laudamus . . .

    By the blessings and graces of Almighty God, we got through the storm. Prayers answered.

    Alleleuia!

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  • Macaulay was a Whig historian who believed the Church of Rome to be in error, and wrote a famous put-down of Gladstone, then a High Church Tory, in what must be one of the best polemics in the English language. In the article you quote he shows an understanding of Catholicism which would have evaded most of his contemporaries, stressing the Roman Church’s inclusivity in contrast to Anglicanism (for example, he says John Wesley would have founded a religious order and been canonized had he been a Catholic). He was too good an historian to let his prejudices cloud his judgement, and should stand as a corrective to those (many of whom claim to be Catholic) who see fit to criticize the Church while at the same time being woefully ignorant of history.

Translation: Cardinal Schonborn Expressly Approved The Unholy Mass

Sunday, July 11, AD 2010

A commenter, Dave Hahn, asked if anyone bothered to translate the gloria.tv report on the Unholy Mass.

Well someone did.

Here is a direct quote from the video of the priest in his homily:

In his homily, Father Faber made a point of saying that Cardinal Schönborn expressly approved this celebration. Despite the fact that Gloria TV had documented liturgical abuses during the previous years, Despite international exposure and world criticism, Cardinal Schönborn stands behind the event.

The following is the complete translation of the gloria.tv video of Cardinal Schonborn’s expressly approved Unholy Mass:

On the 29th of June, the pastor of Vienna’s Cathedral, Father Toni Faber celebrated the so called Western Mass at the Danube Island Festival, for the third time. The Danube Island Festival is an annual large open air music festival in Vienna.

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12 Responses to Translation: Cardinal Schonborn Expressly Approved The Unholy Mass

  • In fairness, the priest’s report of Cardinal Schonborn’s speech, even if accurate as reported, cannot reasonably be construed to imply or entail approval of the “Western Mass” as such – the Cardinal only sends his blessings and greetings to Fr. Faber’s flock.

  • Perhaps a result of the thinking of the Eucharist only as a meal. Along with this throw in the denial of the Real Presence. If the Eucharist is only a meal, why not have others join in by sharing and eating what they also brought along.

  • The whole thing is lunatic. Fortunately it won’t really play in Peoria; most people surfeited with barbecued meat, beer and ciggies don’t care for the religious stuff. Why go chomp on a thin wafer when you can open a bag or two of tortilla chips and some hot salsa? And what’s with the gospel music anyway? Turn on some freaking Aerosmith!

  • Pauli,

    You’re right.

    If they’re going off the deep end like they want to, why do it halfway.

    Even when they try to be worldly they still get it wrong.

  • Chris has a good point. Bishops, cardinals, and popes send “blessings and greetings” to people all the time without necessarily expressing approval of all their actions. For example, Veronica Lueken, the supposed visionary of Bayside, used to parade a routine blessing given to one of her followers by Pope John Paul II as “proof” that her shrine and her visions had received Church approval. Does Gloria TV or anyone else have clear evidence that Cardinal Schonborn not only gave permission for a Mass to be celebrated at the festival, but also approved the MANNER in which it was celebrated?

  • How in heaven’s name could any Cardinal approve of this fiasco as a Mass. One has therefore to believe the Cardinal did not know the extent of what was planned, however, if the presider only assumed this was a normal “blessing of the event” was permission than where is the rebuttal and denial of approval from the Cardinal as to the acutal event that took place.

  • AFL,

    Considering that Cardinal Schonborn celebrated the infamous “Balloon Mass” and defended his participation in it and being the prelate of Austria where there was a revolt in the See of Linz when an orthodox bishop was appointed because the priests didn’t want to give up their girlfriends, then I can see this happening.

    Cardinal Schonborn may be orthodox, but he’s what I call “personally orthodox, ecclesiastically incompetent” type of bishop.

  • Tito, this all seems like pretty thin gruel if you are looking for muck to sling at the cardinal. Why are you on this crusade against him?

  • JohnH,

    Thin gruel?

    That’s a very interesting choice of words considering the mountain of evidence in the video that says otherwise.

  • Well, I suppose if you assumed the worst at every turn, it would seem like a mountain of evidence.

    I’ve been to a World Youth Day where worse things than were shown in the Austrian video happened. Given that WYD was organized by Pope John Paul II, can I assume that the misbehavior I witnessed was “expressly approved” by Pope John Paul II?

    I’ve also been to a conference back in the 1990’s that included some truly atrocious charismatic liturgies, including one where a priest handed hosts to everyone to hold while he did the consecration. Given that Archbishop Chaput was one of the clergy at the conference, can I go tell people about how he “expressly approved” this?

    I don’t think so. But if I already had a grudge against Archbishop Chaput or Pope John Paul II, I might try to make a case of this. Which makes me think you have something against Cardinal Schonborn. So, I’d ask again: Why are you on this crusade against him?

  • JohnH,

    I see where you are coming from.

    No, I do not have a grudge against him.

    I like him a lot based solely on his work of the Catechism.

    I am just reporting a “pattern” of behavior that I have noticed in one of my favorite prelates.

    It is deeply disturbing to think that I use to read through his many writings soaking up all the knowledge.

    To think that I looked up to this good man as a model of ecclesial leadership, substance, and scholarship makes me think twice on many other prelates that I look up to.

    I am heartbroken and dismayed by the recent spate of actions he has involved himself in that I now question his judgment on anything he does.

  • JohnH I understand your points, but do not feel your comparison is a fair one. There is a major difference between one to be holding a large event as YD where each individual occurence can not be controlled and one is critical of the occurences. This event evidently scantioned by a “priest” who had acknowledged a blessing of the event ( certainly not a Liturgal event according to the rubics ) has not been openly critized by his Bishop and this case the Cardinal is truly amazing regardless of the Cardinal’s past history. How about after all the publicity some comment from the Cardinal as how and why the event took place in the first place.

Unholy Mass in Austria With Explicit Approval of Cardinal Schonborn

Monday, July 5, AD 2010

Updated below with still photographs.

Christoph Cardinal Schonborn has had a series of blunders these past 18 months.  From his participation in a balloon Mass to criticizing a high ranking Cardinal of the Vatican.  He has been verbally and personally reprimanded by the Pope himself.

Now comes this ‘Wild Western’ Mass caught on video being celebrated in Austria with his explicit approval.

You be the judge:

A Mass is celebrated in Austria with the explicit approval of Cardinal Schonborn. Shown in this Mass being celebrated in German are sacrilegious, blasphemous, and unholy desecration’s of the Holy Mass.

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49 Responses to Unholy Mass in Austria With Explicit Approval of Cardinal Schonborn

  • I see and hear of things like this and wonder why Cardinal Schonborn and his like are allowed to still call themselves Catholic. This is the same as the sex, idolatry and heresies that plagued the early Church. Persecution by the pagan Romans was never the greatest threat. Rather, it was dissension and discord and disobedience from within. The same is true today.

  • The Austrian Church seems far worse than the Belgian Church.

    If you recall the near riot that occurred when an orthodox bishop was installed in Linz. It had to be withdrawn because many priests and their girlfriends complained of his orthodoxy.

  • Tito,

    Hmmm. Much inappropriate here, but I have a few points of clarification:

    The video shows the Open Air Gospel Mass was celebrated as part of a three-day country music festival in Vienna, Austria (Danube Island Festival Country and Western site)in 2008. The program for the 2009 version of the fest (including the Mass on Sunday) can be found here: http://2009.donauinselfest.at/index.php?lang=de&module=programm&showInsel=17). The costumes are almost certainly part of the festival and not something worn specifically for the mass. Also, in Germany the Confederate battle jack is the symbol of country music; I would assume the same holds true in Austria. I very much doubt it was being used as a political symbol here.

    All that considered, the middle of a fest isn’t the best place to hold a mass, with the eating, drinking and talking sure to be going on in close proximity.

    My German isn’t great (in fact it’s lousy), but I think non-Catholic Christians (who profess belief in the Real Presence) are being invited to Holy Communion. Now that’s a real problem.

  • Sorry, the above comment was from Dminor – I forgot to change the settings!

  • DMinor,

    “Much inappropriate”?

    For what? For posting this video of a poorly celebrated Mass?

  • Much inappropriate with the way the Mass was conducted.
    I’m pretty much with you on this one.

    I worried that some of the cultural context (European Country Music Festival) was misinterpreted as central to that Mass. Some of the things that were cited in your post (i.e. costumes, flag) were functions of where the Mass was being held, rather than a plan for the mass. Having said that, there was much in that Mass with which to take issue.

  • DMinor,

    I see now what you mean.

    I can agree with you all of your points.

    Though the priest celebrating should also avoid “perceptions of scandal”.

    It’s sad all the way around.

  • I am one who happens to like the Confederate Battle Flag, after all it is the flag of the army of Northern Virginia and I am a proud resident of enemy-occupied Northern Virginia. Also, please note that the Battle Flag displays St. Andrew’s cross – a Catholic symbol.

    That being said, the only flag I would consider appropriate at a Mass would be the flag of the country that the Mass is being celebrated in and the Papal flag. The beautiful Stars & Bars has no place at a Mass, outside my home Commonwealth and the rest of the CSA – in the 1860s! Of course, the flag is the least of the problems with this irreverant debacle.

    Thanks for posting this, Tito. Many of us can take comfort in knowing that the poor liturgy and innovative rubrics at some of the Masses at which we assist is not nearly this bad. Even a bad NO is better than this.

    Why can’t the Vatican ORDER all Bishops to force their priests to read the black and do the red, exactly as is required? I suppose the rubrics were open to less individual interpretation prior to 1962.

  • “I am a proud resident of enemy-occupied Northern Virginia.”

    Oh grow the hell up.

  • Sydney,

    Do you love here in No. VA?

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  • I think I agree with some of the comments on Fr. Z’s blog about this video: It looks pieced together with different sets of video, and it’s difficult to determine that there weren’t two separate events (BBQ and Mass) being intentionally presented as happening simultaneously. Though it is clear that there are smokers there during the actual liturgy while the priest is clearly visible. Being outside doesn’t help. I don’t speak German so can’t speak to what is being said here. Perhaps we should study this a little more before throwing up a rope.

  • Alan,

    I agree.

    The tee pee’s, rebel flag, cigarettes, cowboy dress, and people eating both the steak and Jesus were all photo-shopped.

    I can’t believe I actually believed what I saw.

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  • “The tee pee’s, rebel flag, cigarettes, cowboy dress, and people eating both the steak and Jesus were all photo-shopped.”

    Note that this was not my assertion. Obviously there are abuses. However I am trying to ascertain whether some of the more BBQ-ish elements (buying food, drink, eating, etc) actually took place sometime before or after the liturgy rather than during. Distinctions are important.

  • So, you want me to believe that someone approached the cardinal with a request along the lines of “Hey, can we have a Mass combined with BBQ, country music, ashtrays and beer?”

    I highly doubt that.

  • How about write to the Cardinal, asking for clarification? Or write to the Holy See, asking for clarification. No one is allowed to judge cardinals, that is what the Pope said in his meeting with Cardinal Schonborn.

  • The author of this article is an idiot. If anyone is mocking the mass, it is a priest with poor judgment and the author of the article who is promoting scandal from a continent away. We are either with the church, or you are with her enemies.

  • Nick,

    I’m just presenting the video.

    Lank,

    Don’t attack the messenger.

    And you need to read the comments policy before commenting.

  • I’m not impressed by the decision that the ULTIMATE atrocity is the display of the Confederate flag. Is it inappropriate? Yes, certainly in this case it is. Any flag (certainly including the US flag) is a symbol for all that is good about a country, and also for all that is bad. A display of the Confederate flag would not be inappropriate at a Mass for the repose of the souls of those who died in the War Between the States. In this case, as is often the case, it seems to mean little more than “I like country music”, which is neither good nor evil. It is trivial, but its effect is evil: It trivializes the Mass.

    By the same token, though, it is wrong to use “patriotic songs” like America the Beautiful (which was the recessional at the Mass I attended this past Sunday) in place of actual hymns. The Mass is supposed to be centered on Christ, not Uncle Sam. Or do you only have a problem with the side shown so much honor by Blessed Pius IX?

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  • Actually, I’m glad I saw this because a few weekends ago my 18 year old son attended a weekend music festival in Tennessee. When he returned home Sunday night I asked him if they had a Mass available there. He told me that would have been insane because, “people would have come crashing through in a drunken mess not even knowing what was happening.”

    That said, perhaps the whole “…except when on vacation or a Mass is otherwise unavailable” Sunday obligation business has been carefully considered and we Catholics should be cautious as to when and where we want to have the sacrifice of the Mass.

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  • Is this the same Cardinal who wrote the Catechism? Ouch!

  • …or actually edited it? wow! what a turnabout face..

  • This is just weird.

    On a side note one of the most beautiful masses I have ever attended was while I was visiting Vienna a couple of months ago. It was at Stephansdom and it was in German but with a chorale and a chamber orchestra. I think it was the 10:00am Sunday Mass.

  • So I have a few questions. Number one is there only one diocese in Austria? If not how do we know this happened in the Cardinals diocese and not some other Diocese. How do we even know this happened in Austria? I’m not saying it didn’t but we are suppose to believe simply because someone said it did. Maybe there is more proof somwhere but wouldn’t one look stupid if they believed this was the case and it wasn’t the case? I for one need more proof that it actually tok place in Austria and it actually tok place in the Cardinals Diocese. Another question I have is if it actually took place in the Cardinals Diocese how do we know that the Cardinal gave explicit approval? Again because someone said it did. Did you ask the Cardinal if he gave explicit approval. If you haven’t fully found out the truth of the matter and the Cardinal didn’t give explicit approval and was perhaps even appalled that such a thing took place, assuming it did take place in his diocese, than isn’t the one who said he gave explicit approval guilty of some kind of sin?

    I’m just asking. If there is more evidence that this is actually in the Cardinals Diocese and he that he gave approval I would like to see it. I will wait to hear more on this before I make a judgment. I really find it hard to believe that the main author of The CCC would do things he is accused of.

  • Dave H.,

    If you’d like more evidence I suggest you follow through on your questions.

  • The priest is trying but unfortunately he had little control over the event and crowd to insure proper respect was accorded the mass. Hence poor judgment to offer the mass at that event, at that time. I’d like to redirect your attention to my website where the crucified Christ is paraded. He is revered by some. Yet in Mexico, the Catholic Church has to undo 70 years of ungodliness and teach the younger generations how to worship God. But in Austria too?

  • Excuse me…He had every control of the Mass cuz he knew what was going on in the crowd and decided to do it anyway. The priest needs to go back to the seminary and re-learn his Catechism.. 😉

    The Priest should no better than to say Holy Mass in front of an eating and drinking crowd. And what about the crazy non religious music in the back drop? Was he unaware of that, too? Please stop..

  • Maybe St. Paul encountered the same. Read this chapter/verse.. Hauntingly similar..

    1 Cor 10:21 — Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of demons: ye cannot partake of the table of the Lord, and of the table of demons.

    1 Cor 11:33-34 — Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, wait one for another. If any man is hungry, let him eat at home; that your coming together be not unto judgment. And the rest will I set in order whensoever I come.

  • Dave H. –might I suggest you try the link my DH posted above? It’s the program for the 2009 fest (the video is of the 2008 fest.)

    Can we separate the sheep from the goats here?

    Authorizing Mass at a large fest so that staff and participants who might otherwise not be able to get away for Mass at the Cathedral can worship together=good. The Sabbath was made for man, etc.

    Arranging to hold that Mass in the middle of a busy, garishly decorated biergarten in an enormous festplatz where doubtless some less trafficked space could have been found=unbelievably poor judgement. Deliberate blasphemy? Can’t say–don’t read minds.

    Opening up Holy Communion beyond the usual dictates without a serious justification (if you didn’t catch this, freeze-frame the video at the Mass handout. If you don’t read German, copy it and run through a machine translator)=Violation of Church teaching and probable sacrilege. Whoever authorized that deserves blame.

    Having an Evangelischer (probably Methodist) choir not only perform (and I’m sure it’s not the first time Protestants have been engaged to sing at a Mass) but select “We are the World” as the after-Communion hymn=astronomically bad judgement. Though as bad was done often back in the 70’s. (My German is rudimentary, but this was described by the narrator so I’m taking her word for it. Otherwise, based on the video I couldn’t have said whether the song was being sung during Mass or outside of it.) Deliberate blasphemy? Again, I don’t read minds.

  • Europe has suddenly become a pagan nation. You all are in my prayers

  • Let’s be careful with how we assign the blame here. It is one thing to say that Cardinal Schoenborn allowed that a mass be said at a festival and quite another to state that he approved THIS mass with all its flaws. The “shocking” headline on NewAdvent.org reads “Austrian Catholics mock the mass” but that is more than a little misleading since many of those pictured in the story may not even be Catholics. Having said this, I for one deeply lament the abuse of Vatican II and the serious erosion of Christian culture in Europe and the West in general.

  • I am disgusted. All I can say is that Christ foresaw all these offenses to the Trinity while in the garden and suffered enormously for ungrateful, irreverent mankind. That’s what the deity did. Now, on the flip side, what man does, when flippantly participating in Holy Mass, or worse, when unworthily receiving Holy Communion, is heap myriad woes upon himself. He will find out just how so at the particular judgment.

  • We sometimes get the ad hoc masses because a few priests have become performers and can’t bring themselves to get off the stage. Headsets? The liturgy is abused.

  • The Guitar Mass is a big flag for me that the priest is either not in control of the liturgy or wants to be popular with the kids at the expense of the souls that are driven away due to the lack of solemnity and reverence in the Mass.

  • Looks to me like he is evangelizing. Does the Bible say there is something wrong with this? The two “1 Corinthians” quotes are out of context because they didn’t bring the food to the Liturgy, they brought the Liturgy to the festival. In the early days of the church the church met at peoples’ homes. They had the body and blood at each others’ homes. They sang whatever songs they were inspired to sing – at each others’ homes, and where ever they happened to be. They ate, drank, and probably cut a few farts. You guys are getting too formal, and adding too many of your own legalistic traditions. God’s people worship from the heart with true love and true feelings. They don’t just show up, go through the ritual and go home. Jesus, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, and the rest showed examples of worshiping outdoors. The night He was arrested, Jesus prayed to the father outdoors. Jesus’ first miracle was making water into wine at a wedding party. I’m sure that if they had and enjoyed cigarettes, and God thought someone was going to make a big deal about it, He would have pointed out some one smoking cigarettes. Remember the petty arguing about eating various animals? Jesus cleared that up by saying ‘It’s not what goes in that defiles you. It’s what comes out of you.’ Despite that, Peter still had to have a vision, later, too clear that up. I think the priest is evangelizing by bringing his Liturgy to the public. In a country that has few people who have observed a mass during the last 500 years, crashing a party to have Jesus eat with the sinners seems like an honest attempt. What would Jesus do? Oh yeah, he ate with sinners. THE POINT IS TO GET THEM SAVED!!! More important that all the formalism that does go on would be to actually read the Bible in or out of church. Remember what Jesus said to Peter three times? “Peter, do you love Me?” Peter said you know that I love you. Jesus said “THEN feed My sheep”. One of the proof that we love Jesus is if we read the Bible to others. It seems this guy found a way to do that. If you think it is too wild of a technique, you need to read Ezeikiel, the last two writings of Daniel, etc. God has specifically commanded prophets to use weird techniques to get people’s attention. The priest isn’t doing anything to desecrate God’s holy anything. If he got one more person saved, I’ll bet that person will be thankful on judgment day. We should all do whatever it takes to get others saved.

  • Henry,

    Thank you for that enlightening thought.

    Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?

  • “Authorizing Mass at a large fest so that staff and participants who might otherwise not be able to get away for Mass at the Cathedral can worship together=good. The Sabbath was made for man, etc.

    “Arranging to hold that Mass in the middle of a busy, garishly decorated biergarten in an enormous festplatz where doubtless some less trafficked space could have been found=unbelievably poor judgement. Deliberate blasphemy? Can’t say–don’t read minds.”

    The practice of offering Sunday or holyday obligation Masses at a large fair, festival, convention, etc. is nothing new. However there is a right way and a wrong way to do it.

    For example, there is a Mass scheduled at the Illinois State Fair on each Saturday evening of its run and on the Solemnity of the Assumption (when it is a holyday of obligation). It’s listed on this year’s schedule as well:

    http://www.agr.state.il.us/isf/illinois/#AUD

    Note that said Mass is offered in an auditorium inside a permanent building — NOT out on the midway, or in a beer tent, or in the grandstand. I note also that a 90-minute time period is set aside for this Mass, although the Mass itself almost certainly doesn’t take up the full 90 minutes, to allow for setting up and for taking everything down afterward.

    I haven’t personally attended this Mass so I can’t say how reverent it is, or isn’t, but obviously some effort is being made to minimize distractions. There are Lutheran and Church of Christ services offered on Sunday mornings during the fair in the same auditorium so there seems to be general agreement that this is a suitable “worship space,” for lack of a better term. If there was a permanent building or ampitheater available at this Austrian fest site, that is where the Mass ought to have been held.

  • I don’t care how much you like the flag or how little space there was or how “other” churches do it there. Ya don’t say Mass in front of people smoking, drinking, carousing, and eating! Gimmie a break people! When you have dinner at your home, is there any decorum? Is it a free for all? I think not. So why here where God becomes Bread to eat for us!????

    Card. Schonborn, IF, he knew about the happenings would not have allowed it. I am sure of it. This priest was totally and utterly innefactual at best and ignorant like a stone to the least!

    And what about the music he had in the back during Mass? What’s that all about and got to do with Eucharist?????????????????

  • FWIW:
    The link posted above by Dominikus Klein is basically visitor info for this year’s fest and most of it is about the fest. The Google translator version of the segment mentioning the mass is below:

    Zwtl.: Gospel Mass
    Sunday at 10 clock, the traditional open-air “Country
    Gospel Mass “instead. Cathedral Priest Toni Faber of the Vienna St. Stephen’s Church will celebrate this mass. Okemah takes musical accompaniment.

  • Okemah is a U.S. based folk rock group and are on the internet, if you want to look them up. Not sure what their church music background is.

    I’m risking a flaming saying this, but I’m married to a church guitarist and it’s not the instrument, it’s what you do with it. There are plenty of songs–many of them very nice songs and some even with religious themes– that should never be played as part of a Mass, even on a pipe organ. But a guitar is not an inevitably inappropriate supplement to reverent worship music (remember Stille Nacht?). I’m not crazy about the term “guitar mass”–it suggest the Mass revolves around guitars which should not be the case. Nor should it revolve around an organ or a Gregorian choir, however.

    BTW, Knight, though I know it’s hairsplitting, that’s the Southern Cross battle flag–the Stars and Bars was modeled on a design similar to the U. S. flag that has since been incorporated into a few Southern state flags, including the current Georgia flag.

  • cminor,

    Correct about the flag; however, based on some the responses I have received in the past when showing my Southern Patriotism, I doubt most on here would know. Additionally the Southern Cross may also refer to the Union Jack flag represented in the flags of various Anglo-sphere countries like Australia. The American Southern Cross sure is a beautiful flag. It has been stolen by racists far too often and we need to remember that it does not represent racism, although it did represent slave-owning states – taken in the context of the times – that was not unusual and although ignorance is no excuse – a mortal sin does require full knowledge. Sadly at the time, Anglos were of the mind that other races were inferior – all of them, not just the African. Some still hold this warped view, as do a number of black men with the name Shabazz. It is a fallen world.

    Nevertheless, the American Southern Cross is a military flag and no matter how you feel about the conflict – all the soldiers who fought it were American, brave and honored to fulfill their duty – Of course, the Yankees weren’t as gallant as our boys 🙂

    Of course, as stated before – as much as I love this flag, IT HAS NO PLACE AT A MASS!

    I often fear that I am out-of-line when I criticize what I view as irreverence – who am I? I am just a sinner that needs to judge himself and seek amendment. However, are we to stay silent when we see irreverence? Is it the priest, the pastor, could it be the Cardinal (I doubt that)? Is it the people, is it the culture? Aren’t we supposed to identify and correct, with charity of course? We are called to love each other, but that love can only come from love of God – if we truly put Him first, then shouldn’t we ensure that we do all we can to pay Him homage, praise and worship as He sees fit?

    People are offended by the slightest tinge of political incorrectness or ‘hate speech’. The world goes ape if you call a Sodomite a Sodomite, but we are supposed to allow irreverent behavior, that may be acceptable elsewhere, in the midst of Calvary, table of the Last Supper and the Wedding banquet in heaven!!!! Seriously. Our laxity is offensive and I will be the first to admit that I am not nearly as reverent as I should be. I have difficulty with the bad music (not directed at you cminor), poor attire, sign of conviviality, host in the hand of lay people, lay people in the sanctuary, bad vernacular translations, female alter servers, on and on. I know I should not let these Novus Ordo distractions affect me but they do. I can’t imagine cigarettes, BBQ, rock and roll – all things I actually like (well perhaps not the cigarettes) at Mass.

    This is just wrong. Haven’t we hurt Him enough already. Sancta Maria, ors pro nobis.

  • I think I’ve figured it out… this was the first liturgy to be offered in the newly promulgated Redneck Rite of the Catholic Church 🙂

  • Elaine I know you meant that in jest; however, I think we do have a ‘Redneck Rite’. Although the South doesn’t have as many ‘catholics’ as the North, Catholics down here tend to be more traditional/conservative. Yes, right in the middle of the Protestant Bible Belt.

    I suppose that gives a whole new meaning to the South shall rise again!

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  • Not to say that we don’t have our share of bad vestments in the Catholic church, but the majority of these were Episcopalian/ Anglican. Things seem to be getting better in the local parishes (I know…how could they possibly get worse?) One of the young priests has beautiful fiddleback chasubles made for him by a Chinese woman in Brooklyn. Such an improvement from the polyester.

  • I had difficulty myself distinguishing between Catholic and Episcopal/Anglican vestments.

    Fortunately, I have been witnessed to less and less of these bizarre togas these many years.

Belgium: Cardinal Danneels Home Raided In Sexual Abuse Investigation

Thursday, June 24, AD 2010

Godfried Cardinal Danneels home was raided in Belgium by police searching for evidence in the sexual abuse of children.  Belgium police also raided the offices of the Archbishop of Brussels, Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard.  This came on the heels of Bishop Roger Vangheluwe’s abrupt resignation after admitting to homosexual relations with a boy this past April.

Cardinal Danneels is well known as creative in his interpretations on Church teachings.  Cardinal Danneels participated in writing Sacrosanctum Concilium, a document which influenced the complete rewriting of the liturgy of the Second Vatican Council.  Which in turned fueled the liturgical abuse that most Catholic in the West are still being exposed to.

Under his watch as prelate of Belgium, a once devout and vibrant Catholic country, Belgium’s Catholic faith has been all but eliminated.  Abortion, euthanasia, and homosexual unions have been legalized under his watch.  In addition church attendance and religious/secular vocations are at their lowest not seen since that part of Europe was pagan.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/belgium/7625123/Belgian-bishop-Roger-Vangheluwe-resigns-over-abuse-of-boy.html
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25 Responses to Belgium: Cardinal Danneels Home Raided In Sexual Abuse Investigation

  • Sacrosanctum Concilium is one of the four Constitutions of the Second Vatican Council, a magisterial document which we as Catholics believe reflects the guidance of the Holy Spirit over the Church. You mention it here as if the cardinal’s involvement in writing it were a sure sign of his satanic bent. Sorry, but that’s not how a REAL Catholic would see it.

  • Ron,

    It was not intended to misguide.

    I completely am in agreement with Sacrosanctum Concilium. It is those that “interpreted” it in their own misguided ideas of a worldly church that I am chastising.

  • Ron,

    You accuse me of not being a REAL Catholic by putting words in my mouth about satanic bent.

    You should be more careful of carelessly accusing others of this when it is you who are doing it.

    A self-examination of conscious is in order for you and a visit to a priest.

  • FWIW, Tito, when I read the post I, too, thought you were being critical of SC.

  • The big story here isn’t the raiding of the homes. Apparently, the Belgin police pried open the tombs of the last two archbishops in their search for “documents.” Needless to say, the Vatican is outraged at that.

    Vatican calls in Belgian ambassador

  • Chris B.,

    Ron C. accused me of words I did not say and then slandered the depth of my faith.

    You on the other hand read my article and came to the conclusion that I was critical of Cardinal Danneels.

    If pointing out facts about Cardinal Danneels is being critical, then I agree with your statement.

    You were being charitable in your analysis, Ron C. was slandering me. Big difference.

  • Christopher Ferrara offered some time ago that a lawyer looks at a document with an idea of what it allows the adversary to do to your client. His assessment of Sacrosanctum Concilium: it allows a great deal, and that has been the problem.

  • Art Deco,

    Sacrosanctum Concilium is a great document, when properly read.

    The language in this document, and so many other documents of the Second Vatican Council is very ambiguous. Which allows for a wide interpretation which they weren’t meant to be read as. Pope Benedict has time and time again hammered this point.

    The writers, such as Cardinal Danneels, did not envision the wreckage it would wrought. Though why did Cardinal Danneels and many of his colleagues endeavor to write in such ambiguous language?

    All councils up until the Second Vatican Council have written in strict and defining language.

    My two cents worth.

    In addition, Cardinal Danneels oversaw Belgium and then allowed liturgical abuse to run rampant.

    So yes, he is responsible for the damage done in Belgium due to his leadership.

  • “All councils up until the Second Vatican Council have written in strict and defining language.”

    HAH!

    Anyone who knows anything about the councils knows this is far from true. Even the language used at the Council of Nicea had to be corrected at Constantinople, because at Nicea it suggested “one hypostasis” for the Godhead! Then there is the Ephesus-Chalcedon-II Constantinople debacle.

    So I say again, HAH.

  • “All councils up until the Second Vatican Council have written in strict and defining language.”

    HAH.

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  • So you let through the hah, but deleted the post which explained it. Interesting.

    The explanation went to history. Nicea was imprecise, so imprecise it said “one hypostasis” for the Godhead, and only was to be corrected at Constantinople.

    Ephesus-Chalcedon-II Constantinople do not do much better. St Cyril, whose doctrine was promoted by Ephesus, was very imprecise — and caused problems by his discussion of “one incarnate nature of the Logos.” Chalcedon, though overcoming Cyril, still is seen as quite the compromise council — indeed, so much so that some thought it went Nestorian and further councils were called to bridge Ephesus and Chalcedon together.

  • Henry K.,

    I do not doubt the historical account of the councils you cite.

    Though the vast majority of them were concise, especially since the Council of Trent.

  • “The vast majority of them were concise, especially since Trent.” How many councils have there been after Trent? Oh, Vatican I and Vatican II. Even then, Vatican I didn’t get to do what it wanted with ecclesiology — which did leave a very imprecise ecclesiological question and led to a misunderstanding in the time before VII because of it. And Trent itself, if you study the theological questions of the time, was purposefully vague to allow different theological traditions to remain.

  • Henry K.,

    I have to admire your tenacity on your straw man argument.

    You still haven’t addressed the point that the documents emanating from the Second Vatican Council are ambiguous in their wording.

  • I am addressing the point “All councils up until the Second Vatican Council have written in strict and defining language.”

    Not only is it not true, one must wonder if “strict and defining language” is exactly what we are to be looking for. St Hilary, for example, thought otherwise, and noted putting the truths down into words will always be imprecise.

    We can then look to Scripture itself, and note how “imprecise” it is. Does that make Scripture bad? No, it opens us up to many levels of possibilities through one text. This is a strength, not a weakness.

  • Henry K.,

    Thank you for your opinion.

  • I think the whole debate about conciliar language goes nowhere without being concrete. So, for the sake of discussion… Tito, can you specify where you see ambiguity in SC?

  • Chris B.,

    I’d like to answer you, but it distracts from the main theme of the thread.

    If the post was about the ambiguity of Vatican II documents I would have fleshed it out in the column.

  • One of the defining characteristics of fundamentalists is their inability to catch a joke made at their own expense. In my post at the outset of this thread, I suggested to Tito that a REAL Catholic would not agree with his mischaracterization of one of the fundamental documents of the Vatican Council. He immediately became incensed that I had accused him of being less than a “real” Catholic.

    Tito, just FYI, the reference was to your incessant posting of those offensive videos from the self-described “real Catholics” (i.e., more-Catholic-than-God Catholics) at realcatholictv.net.

  • Ron C.,

    It’s been my personal experience that some jokes backfire because they simply don’t translate via comm-boxes.

    With that said, then cool, that was a funny joke.

  • Tito, you’re right… it’s not relevant to this particular post; perhaps we might follow up where it’s more relevant… please accept my apologies for furthering a tangential comment thread. 🙂

  • Chris B.,

    No apologies needed.

    I greatly respect your opinion and comments.

    🙂

  • Returning to the real subject of the post:

    The Fall of the Belgian Church, by Alexandra Colen. Brussels Journal June 24, 2010.

    At least their OUR perverts…, by Michael Liccione. Sacramentum Vitae June 26, 2010).

    Truly sickening.

  • By now we ALL know there is a perverted sub-culture within the catholic church worldwide. The pope and vatican have apologized to millions of catholics from almost every country on the planet.

    The catholic priests are the very men who indoctrinated us into the belief from childhood, teaching us it is SINFUL to LIE, be DECEITFUL and COVER-UP SIN. These very holy men, haven’t got a clue themselves what it means to be holy.

How to Reverse the Catholic Exodus

Saturday, June 12, AD 2010

Let us pray for all those change agents that are striving to bring back the authentic Catholic culture inside parishes, chanceries, and apostolates.

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  • Heh. I like that!

    I’m heading north tomorrow and will have an long, Internet-free weekend so I would like to wish all of you a safe and relaxing Memorial Day. And remember who it is we are memorializing.

  • No internet? Heresy, heresy! Enjoy the Memorial Day weekend Donna, and rest assured that the meaning of the Day will be remembered here on American Catholic over the weekend.

Speculating on Gomez

Tuesday, April 6, AD 2010

First of all, I need to introduce myself: my name is Michael Denton and I’m from what Tito calls the People’s Republic of Cajunland and what I call paradise: South Louisiana. As for my qualifications: well, like most other bloggers, I really have no idea what I’m talking about. If that’s a problem for you…well, then you probably don’t need to be reading blogs.

Anyway, today we heard the anticipated news that Los Angeles will soon see Cardinal Mahoney replaced with San Antonio’s Archbishop Jose Gomez. To read all about it, I suggest you head over to Rocco Palmo‘s site, as he is one of the few bloggers who actually does know what he’s talking about. In sum, Abp. Gomez is from the “conservative” order of Opus Dei and could be very different from his predecessor, who built a monstrous cathedral (not in a good way) and is known for hosting a Conference that annually provides Youtube clips for Catholics wishing to show others just how bad liturgical abuse can be. I don’t know if that’s very interesting though. While the liturgical element is certainly important, as the “Spirit of Vatican II” types are losing their foremost defender, I think we knew beforehand that Benedict was going install a replacement very different from Mahoney in liturgical views.

More important is how they’re similar.

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36 Responses to Speculating on Gomez

  • Just a note. Opus Dei is not a Religious order. Its a Personal Prelature with the priest being incardinated in it.

  • A second note. The Church does recognize the right of the state to regulate immigration. Gomez recognizes this and sees that there must be some penalty for violating immigration laws (though he does not recommend deportation.)

  • Yes, I think a critical distinction needs to be made between those who advocate “open boarders” and those who simply believe in treating immigrants with dignity and respect.

    I really hope that Gomez puts an end to liturgical abuse, to sacrilege, to ceremonies that are more pagan than Christian, as well.

  • Welcome soon to be second year law student! Your first year of legal hell is almost up!

  • I look forward, with very guarded hope, to Archbishop Gomez’s ascension to the throne of Mahoneyland, er, I mean, the Archdiocese of L.A. I had occasion to write him some time ago regarding a concern I had with actions and attitudes here in the Diocese of “All Borders are heinous injustices.”

    That said, I think we do the Catechism (where the full foundation of Church teaching is to be found) serious disservice when we reduce it word-searching. “See, see here! It says immigrant!”

    A nation or people may be called to account for how outsiders within their borders are treated. I think we sometimes take that notion and run straight to the place from which we so often hear Card. Mahoney and others villify the nation for our “inhumane” treatment of Latino (and that’s all anyone really cares about here) immigrants.

    If you want to see migrants (brought to the country legally, often by the government, to work in the “jobs our citizens won’t do” category, go to Saudi Arabia and see how they treat the Filipinos and other island (and some Asian) “third country nationals.” They are normally corraled in living areas near where they work and transported to/from their work areas with little or no ceremony. If they venture into Saudi cities on their free time, they do so with virtually no expectation of good treatment by any authorities. Any rights or dignity thewy might be afforded will be owing only to their demonstrated adherance to Islamic “faith.”

    Unless it truly is unacceptable to have and enforce borders (and if so, I missed that article in the Catechism), we need to accept that the licitness of borders and the control thereof has something to say about the illicitness of those who make of themselves a commodity, by placing themselves in the shadows of the society against whom they trespass. (The trespass of those who hire them does nothing to eliminate the alien’s trespass against the society as a whole.)

    We Catholics seem satisfied with absurd notions that we (the USA) are responsible for the family situations of those who make themselves prisoners or fugitives in our land. To say so is to say that laws against and prison sentences for murder are unjust because of the family separation they impose.

  • I cannot imagine any Archbishop who is given the archdiocese of L.A.who will not work from what is organic. I do believe we are going to experience new wine. I read an article which stated Gomez like past Bishops of American Catholic immigrants also has a main concern to teach authentic Catholicism to the Hispanics. This is not unusual if you look at the Irish and Italian immigrants and their needs in past centuries. I read where he gave a talk on taking the Word of God out to the world and a Hispanic women approach him and said she would start a bible study. What a novel idea a Bishop through preaching converted a person from old ways to the new way.
    I was on the L.A. Times blog and boy the secular world is upset that attention is being given to Hispanics, our culture does need to be re-evangelized.

  • The pro-amnesty position of Cdl Mahony is NOT the “Church’s teaching” on immigration.

  • While I think one can make an open borders argument based on Catholic teaching, I didn’t make the argument nor did Benedict (perhaps Mahoney did; it wouldn’t surprise me). Without getting too deep into Church teaching on immigration (which would merit more research on my part & another post), my understanding is that the bishops’ problems with current US immigration policy is twofold

    1) That the US is unfairly limiting immigration. The US can support more immigration and take them in legally but is refusing to do so. While this can be interpreted as “open borders” it doesn’t have to be; only that the borders should be more wide open.

    2) That the US is committing an injustice by treating illegal immigrants like sub-human beings-allowing below minimum wage, denying health care, making citizenship difficult, etc. I think the current condition that the immigrant finds himself is the greater concern of the bishops as it shows a lack of respect for the dignity of the human person, which does not stop once once sets foot over the arbitrary imaginary line we call the US/Mexican border.

    Now, I don’t know nearly enough to say what the solution is, especially with the rightful balancing of a country’s need to secure its border and enforce its laws, other than deportation is not the answer (for ethical & financial reasons). But I don’t think it’s unfair to at a minimum point out that illegal immigrants are facing injustice and more effort should be spent finding solutions rather than on nativist rhetoric.

  • illegal immigrants are facing injustice

    They broke the law to enter the country. Naturally that doesn’t remotely justify treating them inhumanely (though I would strongly suggest that the actual treatment of illegal immigrants in this country is far from inhumane), but let’s not lose sight of what the real issue is, nor should we engage in baseless rhetoric about “nativist rhetoric” when those opposed to amnesty have far loftier and reasonable justifications for their position.

  • ” … the “Spirit of Vatican II” types are losing their foremost defender …”

    Hardly. The archbishop is a JPII man, and rather autocratic to boot.

    Spelling, spelling, spelling … sheesh.

  • I think if one argues that illegal immigrants should have their status legalized with the simple penalty of community service, then one in effect has open borders. Its a get out of jail card with no real penalty.

    I also think that if one considers it sub-human treatment to deny citizenship for one illegally here then there is no point in discussion. Emotion wins.

  • In my parish, St. John the Evangelist in Goshen, NY, the first major pedophile scandal materialized in the early nineties. The priest in question, “Father Ed” had been molesting boys in their early teens. To say that the parishioners were traumatized by this would be an understatement. They were devastated. Then something wondrous happened….

    Father Ed was eventually replaced by Father Trevor Nichols. Father Trevor had been an Anglican in merrie old England when he converted to Catholicism. On becoming a Catholic was transferred to Saint John’s – WITH HIS WIFE AND TWO DAUGHTERS! A married priest! WITH TWO KIDS!

    You want to hear the punch line? Our little parish did not implode. The sun did not fall from the sky. Huge cracks did not appear in the earth’s surface. In fact, it was nice having them. They were – and are to this day – deeply beloved by the people of St. John’s.

    Allowing priests to marry would transform the Catholic Church. Having Father Trevor, his wife Marian and their two lovely daughters in our midst certainly transformed the people of St. John’s.

    http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

    Tom Degan

  • “Allowing priests to marry would transform the Catholic Church.”

    It certainly has done wonders for the Episcopal Church, assuming that the term wonder encompasses extinction.

  • Tom Degan,

    What does your proposal for disobeying Church discipline have to do with Archbishop Gomez moving to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles?

  • Todd,

    How many bishops are there at this point who weren’t selected by John Paul II? If that constitutes a disproof of being a “Spirit of Vatican II” type in your mind, then it’s already extinct. Whatever one wants to call Mahony, it must be admitted that he represents a type of diocesan leadership that conservative Catholics will be very glad to see go, in regards to liturgy, dealing with the scandals, politics, vocations, religious education, and a host of other issues. And whatever his other faults, progressive Catholics have often found themselves in his corner — as when he squared off against Mother Angelica. Of course, he’s not the darling that Archbishop Weakland was… But we know how that one worked out in the end.

    Tom,

    It’s certainly a good thing that your parish got a faithful new priest — and there are some very good priests who are converts from Anglicanism, some of whom are married. (Father Longnecker springs to mind.) However, one cannot really see that it was only because he was married that he proved to be a good priest for your parish. There are, of course, a great many celibate priests (some of them also converts from Anglicanism) who also do not molest teenage boys. The vast, vast majority, in fact. That yours happened to be married does not mean that the Church needs to change its general discipline in the Western Church.

  • Darwin, I don’t see things with an enemy-of-my-enemy mindset.

    Speaking as the liberal you know me to be, I find Cardinal Mahony’s leadership style distasteful, and this isn’t (or shouldn’t be) news to St Bloggers who have stalked me over the years. If you pressed me, I could probably name about a half-dozen things I dislike about the man’s legacy.

    My preference in bishops (a qualified hero) would be guys like Ken Untener and Michael Kenny, both of whom I’ve met and heard speak, not only for what they had to say, but more: how they lived their lives as bishops in witness to the gospel. But it’s probably little surprise I’m more of a sell-the-mansion, reach-out-to-the-poor kind of guy anyway.

    This liberal is happy that his kind of autocrat is leaving. I know Archbishop Gomez even less than I know the cardinal. He seems to be more energetic, and maybe he’s less of an autocrat. If so, good for LA. If not, I’ll probably be happy when he retires, too.

    Interesting that you should mention vocations, because two of the Right’s favorite punching bags over the years, Mahony and Trautmann, are both doing pretty well when it comes to clergy. Far from the bottom of the heap, as it were.

  • “So while conservatives rejoice at the sufferings the liberals must endure at the loss of their liturgical dancers, it would be wise to remember that Benedict wants some change from the right as well.”

    True. But I do think it is problematic that define support for immigration reform as just on the left and opposition to it just on the right. That does not seem to mirtor the actual poltial reality

  • The world not being a polarity, people are certainly not required to like those who are more on their end than not — but it can’t really be denied that much of Mahony’s influence especially in the last 15 years of his episcopacy has been much more towards the progressive side of the Catholic spectrum than otherwise.

    Also, franky, I’m perplexed as to how you can say that Mahony has been doing well as regards vocations. My native diocese (Los Angeles) has more than ten times as many Catholics as my adopted one (Austin) but a similar number of ordinations and seminarians. Plus, the most of vocations LA does manage are “imports” — that is, come to the diocese as seminarians but didn’t live there prior to entering seminary.

    That said, having met Cardinal Mahony on several occasions and heard him speak, I can assure you that he is in person a very nice guy. You would probably like him if you actually met him.

  • Todd,

    “St Bloggers who have stalked me over the years”

    And I suppose you never went around provoking people with your comments. No, you just tell the truth, and people get so mad that they have to stalk you. That it?

  • jh:

    Well, I think the right has deeper problems than the left on the issue. I don’t think you’re going to get much traction on a “Make them speak English” platform in a Democratic room while you’ll get some in a GOP room.

    That said, as the healthcare debate showed both sides have the concerns of the immigrant as very low priority so you’re right to point out that both have significant problems on this issue.

  • “He seems to be more energetic, and maybe he’s less of an autocrat.”

    When it comes to Church leadership, I’m not a fan of democracy.

  • MD,

    Don’t conflate politics with Catholicism.

    I volunteer and help the homeless and serve food to the hungry, but I am not a Democrat.

    Just sayin’!

    😉

  • MD,

    Actually you ask most first generation immigrants and they want their children to learn English. Only so far you can get in a culture if you don’t speak the dominant language. Can’t carry bilingual education to the college level.

    Its compassionate liberals that will keep immigrants down by keeping them in a linguistic ghetto.

  • When it comes to Church leadership, I’m not a fan of democracy.

    You’re so right. Fascism makes for a better, tighter, more unified, ecclesiology.

  • “Speaking as the liberal you know me to be, I find Cardinal Mahony’s leadership style distasteful, and this isn’t (or shouldn’t be) news to St Bloggers who have stalked me over the years.”

    Stalked? Todd, you are the one who keeps showing up here in the comboxes.

  • Donald, there’s a significant and logical difference between my visiting your site and selectively posting on topics of interest, and your practice of responding to practically every one of my posts here. Though to be fair, you pretty much post anywhere you disagree with one of your visitors.

    You do have a colleague here who sees fit to mention my federal voting record, even on threads in which politics is not in the tag.

    That said, you’ve left alone my comments on Cardinal Mahony, so I’ll take that as evidence you mostly align with me in disliking the man, and perhaps even for not totally different reasons. On that point, I’ll conclude my remarks here and stalk…I mean visit another thread later.

  • You do have a colleague here who sees fit to mention my federal voting record, even on threads in which politics is not in the tag.

    When you claim to be a “Catholic” and yet vote for the most pro-abortion president in U.S. history, I have to bring that up so people understand that you’re just a Catholic-In-Name-Only.

    Hence innocent Catholic’s won’t be strayed from their faith because of your lies, innuendo’s, and false interpretations of Catholicism.

    We aim to evangelize Catholics here at TAC and will disallow you from misleading them.

  • Todd has become increasingly angry and bitter in the last couple years (and seems to take undue opportunity to needle conservative Catholics), and I think it shows very poor judgement (including moral judgement) to think that Obama was worthy of a vote in the last election, but I don’t think that it is correct or appropriate to label Todd a “Catholic-in-name-only” for that reason.

  • “Donald, there’s a significant and logical difference between my visiting your site and selectively posting on topics of interest, and your practice of responding to practically every one of my posts here.”

    When anyone posts in one of my threads Todd I will normally respond eventually, although time constraints and laziness on my part sometimes prevent me from doing so. Additionally if someone else in the thread has made the point I was going to make I normally don’t bother.

    “Though to be fair, you pretty much post anywhere you disagree with one of your visitors.”

    Not really, but a bit of hyperbole goes with commenting in comboxes. Usually I won’t post in other threads unless I have a strong interest in the topic or my name comes up.

    “On that point, I’ll conclude my remarks here and stalk…I mean visit another thread later.”

    Feel free to stalk…I mean visit here, as much as you wish. I agree with you on little, although we share a similar distaste of Cardinal Mahoney, but you conduct yourself within the bounds of blog decorum and I have no problem with your visits whatever our sparring, something we of course have been doing since the Welborn Open Book days. (How swiftly time passes!)

  • I agree with Darwin that I would not call Todd a Catholic In Name Only. Beyond a distaste for attempting to judge the sincerity of someone else’s religious committment, I do not think it accurate in his case. I might call him, because of his vote, a Pro-lifer In Name Only, but I do not know if Todd claims to be part of the pro-life movement.

  • How can a Catholic who know’s his faith vote for the most pro-abortion president in U.S. history?

  • Darwin and Don,

    Words matter and I believe that you two are correct. After sleeping on it I should not have labeled Todd as a “Catholic-In-Name-Only”.

    A much more precise label would have been more accurate, but not charitable to say the least.

    I won’t refer to him this way again.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

  • DRM,
    How exactly is it that one becomes a pro-lifer in name only without meriting at the same moment the appellation “Catholic in Name Only?”

    Pro-abortion baptised Christians come in only one flavor, regardless of the “denomination” they choose to attend services in; protestant.

  • Actually Kevin some of the most fervent pro-lifers I know are protestants. I have a personal distaste for passing on the religious committment of others, and I do not like going beyond what I think the evidence shows me.

  • Kevin:

    I think you mean that once you dissent from the Church’s teachings you cease to be Catholic and become a Protestant.

    That said, I think Donald was right to point out that the way you wrote it could be interpreted very negatively by our Protestant brethren who do a lot for the service of life.

Time For Vatican III? No!

Monday, April 5, AD 2010

Father Edward L. Beck, a Passionist Priest, and a contributor to ABC, wrote a column for ABC in which he calls for Vatican III.  I think the article is worth a fisking.

April 2, 2010 —Surely this was originally intended for April 1?

As Christians begin their celebration of the Easter season, the Catholic  church seems stuck in Good Friday. No Father, the Catholic Church is always “stuck” in Easter. Just when some would like to turn  their attention to the profound mysteries of their faith, they are  instead mystified by yet another round of horrendous sex abuse storiesmaking headlines. Yeah, totally by accident, and too bad Father doesn’t spend time mentioning how spurious this piece of tripe by the New York Times was.

Most Catholics in the United States were convinced that the issue of  sexual abuse by priests had been adequately dealt with after the last go round more than eight years ago.   I do not think this is the case.  Most Catholics in this country are still fuming about predator priests and the bishops who protected them. Many are also outraged by the ambulance chasing attorneys and the suspicion that some of the victims are merely cashing in on flimsy evidence.  There is still a lot of outrage about this whole mess. In many ways, it has been. U.S. bishops adopted strict policies of zero-tolerance after the abuse scandal exploded in 2002. Bishops are now required to comply with state laws for reporting abuse and to cooperate fully with authorities.   For the most  part the stories once again generating news in the United States concern old cases and the previous negligence of bishops to deal effectively and  justly with the crisis. New to the controversy has been the suggestion by some that the Pope himself bears responsibility for lapses. Actually such accusations have been flying around for years.  They have gotten nowhere because they lack substance.

The recent reports indicate this is not — and never has been — a distinctly American church problem.  I doubt if many Catholics in this country thought that it was. The European Catholic Church is now  experiencing what the U.S. Catholic Church did nearly a decade ago. Once reports from Pope Benedict’s native Germany emerged that boys had been abused in a church-run school there, hundreds more from other European countries came forward admitting that they too had been victims of abuse decades ago. We have not heard the last of these stories. Africa and  Latin America have yet to weigh in, but they will. Reports from those parts of the world will eventually emerge to increase the dismay of those who expected more diligence and, indeed, holiness, from religious institutions.

What is readily observable from the avalanche of reports is that the sexual abuse of minors is a systemic, worldwide problem. But it is not exclusively a Catholic or ecclesial one. True. It cuts across all faiths, institutions and family systems. Presently, however, it is the Catholic church in the spotlight, so it must take the lead in dealing with this issue in a transparent, effective and ultimately transformative way. Though its halo has been dimmed by past negligence, if only the scandal of the criminal protection afforded by bishops to predator priests had been limited to mere negligence the church can still be a beacon of light to lead the way if it now proceeds with haste and unwavering conviction. We might start by ordaining only those who believe what the Church teaches when it comes to sexual morality.  We must also understand that a fair number of the people who attack the Church on this issue are motivated much more by raw hatred of the Church than concern for the victims.  The evil from our ranks must be excised, but let us not assume we will receive plaudits from the World for doing so.

So then, what is the best way for the church to move forward? Dramatic failure requires a dramatic solution. Nothing gets the attention of the church and, perhaps the world, like a Vatican Council. Here we get to the purpose behind this article. The last one, of course, ended more than 45 years ago in 1965. While some would maintain that we have yet to fully execute the decrees of that Council, the world and the church have changed dramatically in the interim.  When has the World not been changing?  As to Vatican II, all the turmoil in the Church since that Council should cause us to hesitate before calling the next one. The current crisis in the church can serve as the impetus for once again calling together the worldwide church community in pursuit of modernization, reform and spiritual integration for a new time and world.  Always be alarmed when anyone proposes a radical step for the sake of vague terms like modernization, reform and spiritual integration.

What issues might this Council address?  The death of the Faith in Europe?  Rampant immorality?  The failure of the Novus Ordo Mass to inspire many Catholics? Many to be sure, but chief among  them could be the current crisis confronting the priesthood.  Homosexuality?  Lack of fidelity to their vows?  A desire for a life of ease? Certainly the issue of sexual abuse and the devastating toll it has taken in the church might be examined and addressed definitively, once and for all. In addition, while pedophilia and the sexual abuse of minors and priestly celibacy are not organically related, the abuse crisis has once again raised the issue of the necessity and relevancy of mandatory celibacy for diocesan priests.  How long has celibacy been bugging you Father?  Wasn’t that particular requirement spelled out clearly enough for you when you were ordained? The majority of Catholics and priests want an open discussion about this issue, but up to this point, that has not been permitted.  Rubbish.  This ” issue” isn’t even on the radarscope for most priests and laity.

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7 Responses to Time For Vatican III? No!

  • I may be wrong, but the issue of celibracy was not the culprit in my opinion..The standards for those entering the priesthood were too lax and many of those whose sexual norms were suspect were allowed into the priesthood who wanted to escape the stigma of those norms in society and a heavy price has been paid. Many of young men who aspired to enter whose views were orthodox in nature were by passed. The changes in the current young men now entering and their formation has seen a stricter approach to this issue and it is paying off. The current Pope has been stricter in ridding the Church of this scourge than any previous Pope inclding his predessor in my opinin.

  • Only reason for Vat III: REPEAL Vat II.

    Here is my crazed solution to the judas priest problem (no pun intended). Reinstitute the Inquisition. No stake, though (boo!). Blatant, relapsed abuser gets life sentence: chained to a wall in a dungeon on bread and water. Minor abuser (released with penance) is branded so all know what he is – end recividism.

  • “a defeated celibate clergy who must sometimes then minister side by side with married priests who have more
    rights and privileges than the celibate ones do”

    I guess its not enough of a right or a privilege to be a priest in Christ’s Church.

  • Thank you for highlighting “Church seems stuck on Good Friday” This is an argument I have heard for 40-50 years. Why is mystery such a stumbling block? Easter Mass Father made a comment about Christ descending into hell and one reason he did this is because he could relate to us. I thought Father has been reading secular publications, most likely he lost his point and grabbed just what made sense.

  • I think it is rather a time for mass repentance in the Church and a return to the Catholic Faith by clergy and laity alike.

    Amen.

    Father Beck will die soon and so will most of the “Spirit of Vatican II” crowd. We’ll be left over with malcontents and disobedient Catholics strumming their guitars and arguing with themselves in dark corners of the Internet.

  • Vatican III? I’d be thrilled if the documents of Vatican II were actually
    read and finally implemented! They plainly state that Latin is to have
    primacy of place in the celebration of the Roman rite, that gregorian
    chant is the greatest artistic treasure the Church possesses, etc., etc. .

    I’m in my 40’s, and I’ve yet to see a Novus Ordo Mass at the parish level
    that actually incorporates all of what the documents of Vatican II envisioned.

    Perhaps we can have another Council in a century or two, after we’ve
    cleaned up the wreckage inflicted on the Church by ‘professionals’
    riffing on the documents rather than reading and respecting them.

  • Some nutty suggestions here undercut the seriousness of the discussion.

27 Responses to My Thoughts on the Guitar Mass

  • Guitar Mass. Ah the unspeakable horrors that simple phrase contains!

  • If they made use of instrumental pieces by Segovia at various points, that would not be offensive. Why not ditch the organ and just have plainchant?

  • Of course, there is no place in the documents of Vatican II where they specify that the organ should be replaced with the guitar. There is also no place where they specify the organ is the only acceptable liturgical instrument.

    In fact, quite the opposite is the case.

    112. The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art. The main reason for this pre-eminence is that, as sacred song united to the words, it forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy.

    Holy Scripture, indeed, has bestowed praise upon sacred song [42], and the same may be said of the fathers of the Church and of the Roman pontiffs who in recent times, led by St. Pius X, have explained more precisely the ministerial function supplied by sacred music in the service of the Lord.

    Therefore sacred music is to be considered the more holy in proportion as it is more closely connected with the liturgical action, whether it adds delight to prayer, fosters unity of minds, or confers greater solemnity upon the sacred rites. But the Church approves of all forms of true art having the needed qualities, and admits them into divine worship.

    The argument is or has been made by liturgical reformers that this is grounds for the legitimacy of guitars and other instruments. And by the manifest practice of Benedict XVI, guitars and other instruments are licit for use in the Holy Mass if they are incorporated in a solemn, dignified and reverent manner that is consistent with the Traditional Beauty of the Mass.

    I say this as someone who greatly prefers traditional styles of liturgical music; modern music is too busy, too self-centered, and too indulgent. Often times the words of liturgical music promote misunderstandings or at worst even bits of heresy.

    I lament the death of beauty and the sense of the numinous that used to be the Catholic Church’s bread and butter. But this is not an excuse to suggest everything that happened in liturgical reforms is somehow illicit. Following Father Corapi and many others, we should not reject the reforms of Vatican II but embrace what they actually are as recorded in the documents that were actually written, for these documents profess the true “Spirit of Vatican II”, which is nothing but the Catholic spirit of repentance and reform writ large.

  • Zach,
    I think you misunderstand. The statement that “I have still failed to find anything in the documents of the Second Vatican Council where it said to replace the organ with the guitar” is simply in response to the common assertion that the introduction of guitar masses was required by Vatican II. I don’t think anyone is even suggesting that guitar masses are illicit; just that the music is almost always insipid and fails the test you quote above. Yes, there are people who like the music, just as there are people who to this day don’t get why Bluto violently interrupted the Riddle Song.

  • Personally, I think Michael Iafrate would have been justified in socking Belushi in the nose.

  • Hi Mike,

    Fair enough, I didn’t see in this post the assertion that “the introduction of guitar masses was required by Vatican II”. I also didn’t know anyone thought this. What a silly idea!

  • I never used to hate guitar music, or guitars, until I turned Catholic back in 2000 and endured the happy-clappy-crappy guitar masses with the uber-banal schlock “music” that seriously infests too many Catholic masses in Mahoneyland. (Far more offensive are the schlockmeister guitar cantors who also shake rattles during the “Gloria” or elsewhere in the Mass, or plink background noise during the consecration as if they think their semi-skilled “guitar stylings” somehow add something worthwhile. to the Sacrifice of our Lord Made Present.) Too many masses I suffered through down there had the musical trashiness of that Animal House scene. Thank God there were Byzantine Catholic parishes down there where I could worship without being musically tortured. I wish had discovered THAT option sooner!

    I totally cheer the Belushi character. In fact, back when I still lived in LA before moving to a city where I can now attend the Glorious Mass of the Ages every week, I used to spend much of Mass fantasizing piling ALL the guitars in the world in a huge heap then watching as a herd of bull elephants in rut galloped over them, reducing all to a smoking pile of splinters. Somewhere in the fantasy was the additional one that all plans and diagrams for making new guitars would also be destroyed.

  • Bravo Alice!

  • Alice Ramirez: Could not have said it better.

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  • As a traveler who has attended masses in a variety of locations, it is interesting to me when I see the multi-varied approaches. I am not sure I have seen the situation that Alice describes. Mostly, I see a singular guitar that is played quietly as background music to the piano/organ/keyboard and the vocalists.
    Is the “guitar mass” something more?
    If it is, then I would have to definitely have to agree with the chorus here that denounces said guitar masses, especially if accompanied by clapping and other carousing.
    If it is my experience, then I am not sure of the issue.
    I would, however, hope that each church would announce a standard mass in addition to the guitar mass.
    My two cents…. 🙂
    TheWriter @ http://www.goodwrites.com

  • Gary,

    Nothing in the Second Vatican Council mandated the imposition of guitars in the Mass.

    For more information click here:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2010/02/18/this-is-why-i-love-cardinal-arinze/

  • Guess you wouldn’t like the fact that I’ve played banjo in church, eh, Tito?

  • You are from West Virginia after all.

    😉

  • I thought banjo masses were great when I was thirteen.

  • Phillip, how many “banjo masses” have you attended? I’m from West Virginia and have attended zero “banjo masses.” When I played banjo at mass (which was once) it was in Toronto.

  • Hmm.

    I have yet to endure a guitar mass of a type comparable to the strumming doofus above. I have however witnessed many “contemporary music” masses with praise-band style accompaniment.

    My reaction to what I heard was, in essence: Why do Catholics have such a hard time putting together an ensemble of skillful players, singers, sound engineers, writers, and arrangers? Why must every parish ensemble have so many hacks and weak links?

    Too Many Hacks

    For that is really what I heard: A lack of skill. In some cases I heard one or two talented individuals, but they were undermined by the poor quality surrounding them. If it wasn’t that the other musicians in the ensemble were low on talent or practice, then it was the selection of music or poor sound reinforcement or both.

    Now the best worship leaders and worship bands and sound technicians and writers and arrangers among Evangelicals can, in fact, produce music worthy of a Mass. They don’t always: Sometimes they’re pretty atrocious, too. But the best ones — the type you find at the Evangelical churches known for having excellent music — can do it, and in fact do achieve it on a regular basis.

    But apparently the Catholic roster at even a very large and well-funded parish, such as the one where I attend Mass, is one or two persons deep when it comes to this skill set.

    This, I think, is one source of all the complaints from Catholics, and their predisposition to write off the entire genre of instrumentation as unfit for liturgical use. They think to themselves, “I’ve heard what a contemporary ensemble sounds like, and it’s rubbish.” What they’ve heard is rubbish: But it’s rubbish because it was mostly bad songs with mostly bad melodies and mostly bad chart, poorly arranged, played by beginner-level or intermediate-level musicians after insufficient rehearsal, and sung by mostly unskilled or unsuitable singers, badly miked, through a bad sound system, inexpertly mixed by some zero-experience kid or other, selected on the basis that he was the only one who volunteered for the job.

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…

    Now pipe organs were, to be perfectly precise, the original analog synthesizers. Organ music was the original synthesizer music, and its introduction a few hundred years back scandalized traditionalists. Those of us with an appreciation of good pipe organ music can look back on that time and wonder why the traditionalists of that era regarded it to be such a wild and unsuitable innovation.

    But the traditionalists’ arguments would have been greatly strengthened had the introduction of most Catholics to this kind of church music involved a player of low caliber on an instrument of low caliber played through low-quality pipes in a church building unsuited to the instrument. (Keep in mind many historic churches and cathedrals were build around a pipe organ; that is, the architectural layout was engineered specifically to make the organ sound good.)

    That is entirely comparable to what Catholic parishes are dealing with now. (If the excellence of Catholic worship music begins to increase, then I suppose in another few hundred years our descendants wonder what the traditionalists of our era were going on about.)

    The Numbers Game

    And then there is the problem of numbers and the mobility of Protestants between churches. Let us say that in a given parish’s geographical area, there are five hundred musicians capable of playing at the skill level needed…and there are twenty churches attempting contemporary-instrumentation music, one of which is the Catholic church.

    Now if one or two of those churches have particularly talented bandleaders, their quality of music will begin to go up. As a result of this, other musicians will want to attend that church: Not necessarily to play in the worship band, but because they have the ears of a skilled musician and it hurts their ears to sit in the pews at a church where the music is bad.

    Now amongst Protestant evangelicals folks really may attend a particular church for this reason and no other — in their view the theological differences between denominations are just the fruitless debates of navel-gazing theologians, so you might as well go to church at a place where your soul is, or at least your ears are, being fed. So once a few churches begin to have good music, their pews fill with skilled musicians, giving them a “deep bullpen” from which to draw…and the music keeps getting better and better.

    But notice that this process doesn’t touch the Catholic church. A Catholic musician can’t go elsewhere, and none of the Protestant musicians are likely to show up at the Catholic church unless they’re reading the Church Fathers and considering converting. The result? The “bullpen” for a given parish is as deep as whichever Catholics are within convenient driving distance of the building.

    The Textual Issue

    I think there may also be another problem, and perhaps an insoluble one: Some of the musical parts of the Mass involve particular texts: The Gloria, the Kyrie, and so on.

    For these texts the Latin is generally well-metered and each line has the same number of syllables and the same pattern of stresses; it was written with the possibility of being set to music in mind. But the English translation of these texts is done for exactness without regard for syllable count, regular stress patterns, or any other attributes which govern lyrical suitability. And of course the grammar of Latin involves regular endings for words based on gender or tense or on whether a word is the subject or the object: Rhymes fall into place with the ease of a ripe apple falling from a tree. Not so in the English language, let alone text translated into English from other languages!

    Now don’t get me wrong: I don’t want people taking liberties with the words of the Mass: I want the real deal. I am just observing that it is difficult to set these parts of the Mass to music for the reasons stated above. Frankly it might be better to opt for the Latin text in those cases: It might lend itself more easily to musical arrangement.

    In The End

    In the end, I don’t know whether the Catholic Church will ever do contemporary-instrumentation worship music well, and if she doesn’t, perhaps she’s better off sticking to what she’s good at.

    But it’s a shame, because it lends false credibility to the notion that certain instruments are unsuited to worship of God. This is false: But certain things played on those instruments can be unsuitable, and certain ways of playing them can be unsuitable (most notably, playing them poorly).

    I hope instead that some movement for excellence in this area will begin to build in the Church, as it did with that crazy newfangled sci-fi sounding pipe organ centuries ago. I hope that centuries hence, the life of the Church will be thus enriched, as it was by the pipe organ.

    Of course, in the end, all instruments and voices will be stilled, and three things will remain: Faith, Hope, and Love, and we know which is greatest. But until then, there is room for the use of lesser gifts, and of those talents of which God makes us the stewards.

    Provided we use them well.

    A postscript: You may have noticed that throughout this post I have leaned on the terms which focus on instrumentation, such as “contemporary-instrumentation worship.” I do that because I am focusing on the appropriateness of electric guitar, folk acoustic guitar, synthesizer, and drums in worship music. I avoided the term “praise and worship music” because while all the music which falls under that heading uses the instruments listed above, not all of it is suitable for mass even when played well. This is part of what I meant about what passes for contemporary instrumentation music in parishes which attempt it: They select some truly awful numbers which probably embarrass even the Protestants who wrote them, and present this to the parishoners as “praise and worship music.”

  • RC,

    With due respect,

    The following statements of yours:

    “Now the best worship leaders and worship bands and sound technicians and writers and arrangers among Evangelicals can, in fact, produce music worthy of a Mass.”

    “the notion that certain instruments are unsuited to worship of God. This is false…”

    Are… questionable.

    The first statement, because I don’t see why an Evangelical with technical skill would understand what the Mass really is, or what sort of music is worthy of it.

    The second, because it actually has been set down in encyclicals what instruments are and are not acceptable at Mass. Of course no one cares to follow those instructions.

    My hope is that Benedict’s “reform of the reform” will put a stop to liturgical abuse, including musical abuse, and bring about the widespread reinstatement of Gregorian and polyphonic chant.

    I absolutely reject, and the Church has historically rejected, even a hint of musical relativism, the argument that one form is as good as any other provided that the “content” is somehow sacred. Forms can be profane in themselves, regardless of whether or not the words refer to saints or the most vulgar sex acts.

    To God, we are to offer up only the best. The historical distinction between sacred and profane music ought to be restored in full. I don’t object to a “Christian band” or whatever playing at a youth group meeting or some other event. But it has absolutely no place in Mass.

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_25121955_musicae-sacrae_en.html

  • Joe! Happy to see you. (Okay, to read you.)

    The bit in the encyclical (with which you answer the second of the two statements you’re debating) is something I’d read before, and I think I have not misunderstood the purpose and intent of it.

    But you’re correct to call me out on it, because I was thinking in the back of my head “the notion that the instruments I have in mind are unsuited to worship of God is false” but what came out of my fingers was “the notion that certain instruments are unsuited to worship of God…is false.”

    Not the same thing, and I should have been more careful! For certain instruments are so utterly inflexible in their sonic palette that they simply can’t generate the kind of sound needed at Mass. The harmonica, the kazoo: Instruments, to be sure, and instruments with a part to play in the soundscape of life, but, for Mass, c’mon.

    So, you got me. I said that wrong. I hold that what I was thinking was correct…but I botched it; I didn’t say what I was thinking with sufficient precision.

    So to say what I should have said: “The instruments of a praise band are capable of being played in such a way as to evoke the majesty, the sense of the numinous, the joy (quiet or exultant) called for at Mass; they are however also capable of being played with the style of a honky-tonk band; to play them in the latter fashion at Mass is execrable, but the instruments themselves are not intrinsically unsuited.”

    Better?

    Before you answer that by saying, “Better, but I still have a problem with it…,” let me anticipate one possible objection: You might say, “Better, but there’s a difference between an instrument being capable of the right kind of sounds, and an instrument easily and naturally producing the right kinds of sounds.”

    Which is a reasonable objection, but not an insurmountable one. Consider the electric guitar: One can play horribly unsuitable stuff with this instrument, or wondrously suitable. But the same is true with the violin, especially when traveling under its alternative identity, as the fiddle. Trumpets have been used in worship since the psalms were written: But not, one hopes, using the stylistic flourishes that Maynard Ferguson adopted when playing the theme song to Hawaii Five-0, such as the “rip off release.”

    In short, these are issues which are surmountable through the use of well-written arrangements played by skilled musicians: Tell ’em what to play, and they won’t get creative and start popping and slapping their fretted electric bass when you turn your back. (And another benefit to the use of well-written charts is that it weeds out the less-trained musicians. Old joke: “Q: How do you make the guitar player in a high-school band be quiet? A: Put sheet music in front of him.”

    Regarding the other statement you questioned:

    I said, “Now the best worship leaders and worship bands and sound technicians and writers and arrangers among Evangelicals can, in fact, produce music worthy of a Mass.”

    You replied, “…I don’t see why an Evangelical with technical skill would understand what the Mass really is, or what sort of music is worthy of it.”

    Well, he probably wouldn’t, until he was in the Church!

    But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t already made that kind of music, in Evangelical worship services or elsewhere, at moments when his artist’s soul and/or the Holy Spirit directed him that something special and awe-inspiring is called for at this moment.

    My point was not that an Evangelical, comfortable in his utter unfamiliarity with the origins of the Bible or the Church Fathers or the doctrines which defined the Christian faith for the first three quarters of its history, already knew what was suited to a Mass when he probably has never attended one, unless he had a Catholic friend or family member who either got married or died.

    My point was that a sliver of the music produced by these talented musicians does rise to the level and character required at Mass, even though they themselves have never thought about it that way: They were just trying to produce really excellent, well-thought-out music with a particular character to it.

    As for Benedict’s reform of the reform, I’m all for it. And if that seems contrary to what I’ve written above, remember that I’m calling for excellence here. If the contemporary instrumentation can’t be used excellently, then it shouldn’t be used! (But I hold — have indeed witnessed — that it can, so naturally I hope that it will.)

  • RC,

    I wonder if there might be a possible conflation here of music that might not necessarily be offensive to God, and music that belongs at Mass.

    Lets take the guitar, electric or acoustic, or the trumpet. Now, I don’t deny the possibility that one can make music on these instruments that is not offensive to God and perhaps even worthy of Him.

    I’m still not sure if that rises to the level required to be worthy of the specific occasion of the Mass. Trumpets are loud. Guitars are romantic. Neither is appropriate to the occasion of the Mass, which is a sacrifice. So I would say these instruments are not capable of producing sounds suitable for the Mass.

    Mass is one, perhaps two hours out of the week. I see no good reason to insist that the traditional music be replaced.

    It would be better for no one to go to Mass ever again than to sully it with profanity, musical, visual or otherwise, so that people did show up. You can quote me on that. There are appropriate venues for profane or vulgar music, so no one ought to feel denied or discriminated against.

    On a tangent that has nothing to do with anything you’ve proposed, I must say:

    Sometimes the reason for musical innovation is subversive – to use the objective power of music to change hearts and minds on critical issues. The music industry knows nothing that the ancients and the Church have always known – that music does have power, it does and alter moods and thought patterns, that it is not mindless entertainment devoid of any psychological effects.

    That is why the Papacy has always taken liturgical music extremely seriously.

  • “a sliver of the music produced by these talented musicians does rise to the level and character required at Mass”

    Eh… maybe a sliver.

  • maybe a sliver

    Now that’s a bit too optimistic for me, but a clock can be right twice a day.

  • Joe:

    Fair enough; I think our experiences differ too widely for me to argue you to a different opinion on this (or you either, Tito!). And of course I wouldn’t want to argue you to a different aesthetic sense, only on the capacity of certain instruments to deliver the appropriate results.

    So really the only thing in your (Joe’s) last note I’ll challenge — no, challenge is the wrong word. The only thing that made me go, “Whaa?” with a befuddled look and a cocked eyebrow, was this: “Guitars are romantic.” Romantic?

    Hmm. Okay, let me break this down. There are four basic kinds: Nylon-strung acoustic, steel-strung acoustic, hollow-body electric, and solid-body electric. All require amplification to be audible unless the church is a tiny one (Mass at my parish regularly has, I estimate, eight hundred in attendance). The least flexible is the nylon-strung, or classical. It sounds either (a.) almost just like a harp, (b.) Spanish, in the flamenco or true classical style a la Segovia, or (c.) 70’s singer-songwriter-esque, which I suppose comes across as “romantic.”

    Next comes the steel strung-acoustic, which sounds (a.-c.) like any of the nylon-strung options, (d.) like a harpsichord, arpeggiating with a high-end sparkle if a plectrum is used, (e.) like a richer rolling piano left-hand figure if played fingerstyle, as exhibited in some Irish music and Irish influenced tunes, and (f.) like the Indigo Girls, which is least appropriate.

    After that comes the hollow-body electric, which is best at the “jazzbox” sound, and beyond that can offer every sound that the solid-body electric can offer, but usually in an inferior way because it was designed to offer the jazzbox sound. All other sounds involve compromise.

    That leaves us with the solid-body electric, which sounds like…everything. Like a piano, like a single violin, like a cello, like a string quartet, like a harp, like a harpsichord. There is no instrument so flexible save an actual synthesizer. Buzzsaw distortion would be horribly unfit for Mass, but roll off the high end and use volume swells, and suddenly you have the sound of a cello, but with more control. Clean up the sound and turn on the echo/reverb, and the piano itself cannot roll high-octave arpeggios with such a combination of crystalline sparkle and quiet resonance, like wind chimes. And, sure, one could also make the thing sound like, oh, I don’t know, Keith Richards. But one can also make the church piano sound like Scott Joplin.

    Well. That’s enough. Time to dress and go to Mass. All this won’t change what I hear today, sadly. On with reform, to a godly end!

    (Postscript: I notice you say that trumpets are merely “loud.” I wonder if the size of the parish influences our respective judgments? As I said before, my parish has several hundred folks in even its 7AM Sunday Mass. But that’s not uncommon in the Atlanta area, where churches tend to have large numbers of congregants. I guess your parishes smaller?)

  • what is wrong with traditional catholic music for mass? what is wrong with latin chant? why doesnt the choir stay in the choir loft? that noisy guitar music makes me sick.

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  • I never cease to be amused by all the anal retentive, pharisaical prudes who, in their quest to “elevate” worhsip, do nothing more than reduce the discussion to the same banal patter you’d find at a wine tasting club.
    Jesus’ most harsh conndemnations were reserved for religious purists who effected religion without redemption…or rather, style over substance.
    The organ was banned from Christian worship for centuries because it was a pagan instrument viewed as being profane. The only reason it came into favor was that a bishop at some point was given an expensive one as a gift and decided he liked it.
    What we call “classical” music was widely condemned just a few hundred years ago as being profane and common.
    Stringed instruments have a far longer and more well-established role in our salvation history and liturgy than any other kind, perhaps except some wind and percussion instruments.
    I personally enjoy the organ when its played well, just as I enjoy guitar or ensemble when played well. Which instrument prevails is based entirely on how best to help people respond in thanks and praise to the pashcal mystery. There are some songs I love and would never play on guitar (Lift High The Cross), but there are many that the organ is too much for.
    The bottom line is that it does come down to skill and cultural relevance, and this is made clear in Church teaching, both worldwide and by the various bishops’ conferences.
    However, I had to laugh when I read “Sing to the Lord” the American Bishops’ document… it encouraged the use of the organ for “evangelization.” This is where the rubber meets the road. The aformentioned naval gazing prudes would be hard-pressed to drag their pipe organs out onto street corners among the poor and Godless who need to hear the Gospel.
    Christ himself tells us that the surest path to hell is to imitate the pharisees. Catholics are in greatest danger of this because we have such a well developed structure in our religion, theology, and liturgy. After nearly 35 years of being a Catholic liturgical musician (guitar) and with a Masters in Theology/Liturgy, I find pharisaism to be strongest in liturgical circles. It is the perfect place to be self-centered and in control but devoid of faith.

  • Tony,

    Thank you for your charitable and insightful comments.

    //sarcasm off.

  • Anytime! Thanks for your substantial, insightful reply!!// sarcasm off.

Father Zuhlsdorf Rants About Sand in Holy Water Fonts

Tuesday, March 2, AD 2010

The abuse of removing Holy Water from fonts during the season of Lent is a manifestation of the Spirit of Vatican II.  Well meaning priests misinterpreted or altogether made up their own discipline by removing Holy Water.  Father John Zuhlsdorf has followed this up during the course of Lent 2010 with his most recent posting clarifying why Holy Water should never be removed during the season of Lent except for Good Friday and Holy Saturday:

To all the priests out there still… unbelievably still putting sand in holy water fonts during Lent…

KNOCK IT OFF!

And if you go into a church where you see this sort of idiocy… for the love of God, DON’T bless yourself with SAND.

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9 Responses to Father Zuhlsdorf Rants About Sand in Holy Water Fonts

  • Our parish moved the holy water to containers in urns in the aisles and filled the holy water fonts with vinegar.

  • Our “holy” water usually has mossy/seaweed-looking debris floating in it. There’s a penance for you.

  • I think Father’s idea of sneaking fast growing seeds and a little water into the “Holy Sand” is fabulous.

  • Must be a Northern Hemisphere thing.

    Never seen it of even heard of it Downunder.

    Why not a font full of salt? More appropriate than sand. 🙂

  • Don,

    You are very fortunate to be in a parish or diocese that has a low threshold of dissident Catholics.

    You are truly blessed!

    🙂

  • Sand in the holy water fount means rocks in the collection plate. I forget who suggested it , but think its quite brilliant. Also it’s in keeping with the Lenten theme. All the whackado personal symbolism has got to stop. Just contribute less money to buy all that sand.

  • I’ve never seen or heard of sand in the holy water fonts before. I’m glad we’re behind the times when it comes to this particular innovation.

    These days, I wouldn’t be surprised if they started filling the fonts with hand sanitizer. And considering that I have a rare talent for sitting next to the kid who wipes his nose on his hand or the lady with the bad cold who coughs and sneezes all the way through Mass and then wants to hold my hand during the Our Father, well, hey, a little hand sanitizer would be welcome…

  • Hehe, I now appreciate the literal holy-water-fountain (not as bad as it sounds…OK, the little wading-pool it pours into is kinda eyebrow-raising…) at my church.

  • I buried some rubber tarantulas in the sand that was placed in the holy water founts a few years ago. We haven’t seen sand since.

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Sunday, September 20, AD 2009

MassDestruction

Happy 25th Sunday of the year!

Ahhh, the fruits from the spirit in the sky of Vatican II!

Give us your opinion as to what has caused the celebration of the Mass to deteriorate since the Second Ecumenical Council (using Vatican II as a starting point, but not the cause).

You can only vote once, but you can choose more than one answer (on your first and only vote), so be careful!  Voting will end on Friday, September 25, 2009 AD.

Key:

Ad Populum = The priest showing his back to God while staring at the people.  Instead of facing God with the people (Ad Orientem).

Vernacular Liturgy = The liturgy of the Mass is celebrated in only the local language of the people instead of both the vernacular and Latin language.

(Biretta Tip: Catholic Cartoon Blog)

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69 Responses to Weapons of Mass Destruction

  • I am curious about the inclusion of Altar Girls in the list.

    Altar girls in our parish has more than doubled the number of children involved in the Mass and it seems to me that they are more careful to observe the rubrics than most of the boys were.

  • This seems to make light of things of which you shouldn’t make light.

  • Evidence has shown that having altar girls has reduced the number of vocations to the priesthood for each parish that allows this practice.

    For example, the Diocese of Lincoln has the largest seminary classes in the country and the highest ratio of priests to parishioners in the world and they are the only diocese in America that does not allow altar girls to serve.

  • I wanted to vote for hippies!

    Nuns in pants is a close second 🙂

  • I sincerely apologize for bringing down the Catholic Church. I just wanted to serve and be a part of the liturgy. I love my faith and think it’s ridiculous that you believe that my existence is destroying the church.

    Who was the first person to proclaim the good news of the resurrection? Mary Magdalene

    Who said yes to God and Gabriel and brought Jesus into the world? Mary

    Who said “Do as he tells you?” Mary

    Why was there only one man at the foot of the cross as Jesus was dying?

    I was an altar girl. You told me I did a fantastic job chairing Cafe Catholica. I am SO sorry my willingness to participate in the liturgy is bringing destruction to the Catholic Church.

    I think you need to add one more item to your list – “Closed-minded people who point fingers at simple things that don’t really matter”

  • Praise God for the allowance of altar girls!

    And your comments abouts nuns are mean-spirited, however much you cloak them in “dry-humor”.

  • Ah, the Catholic Left, always having more than their fair share of the humor impaired.

  • A joke is never just a joke, as the Viennese master used to say.

  • I am sure the late Bob Hope would disagree and I think he would be a better authority, although Freud could be unintentionally funny as he was in his laugh riot Moses and Monotheism.

  • I don’t have strong feelings one way or the other on female altar servers. But if it could be proven that their existence had a significant negative impact on vocations to the priesthood, that would be a fairly negative thing.

    But I’m not necessarily convinced that correlation equals causation in a diocese like Lincoln. My guess is that the dioceses that limit serving at the altar to boys are also doing OTHER things that are having a positive impact on vocations.

  • Actually, the most destructive, in my opinion, would be the extreme lack of spiritually and academically grounded catechesis based on the Teaching Magisterium of the Church.

  • Kristan,

    What has chairing Cafe Catholica have to do with being an altar girl?

    I said the word generally.

    I did not say always and directly.

    Mark DeFrancisis,

    I love you man.

  • Jay,

    That is why I said “generally”.

    I do think it “generally” represents how orthodox the parish is in relation to other good things that they are doing.

    Mr. Iafrate,

    I love you man.

  • Kristan,

    Kristan – an altar girl Says:
    Sunday, September 20, 2009 A.D. at 10:34 am

    I sincerely apologize for bringing down the Catholic Church. I just wanted to serve and be a part of the liturgy. I love my faith and think it’s ridiculous that you believe that my existence is destroying the church.

    Who was the first person to proclaim the good news of the resurrection? Mary Magdalene

    Who said yes to God and Gabriel and brought Jesus into the world? Mary

    Who said “Do as he tells you?” Mary

    Why was there only one man at the foot of the cross as Jesus was dying?

    I was an altar girl. You told me I did a fantastic job chairing Cafe Catholica. I am SO sorry my willingness to participate in the liturgy is bringing destruction to the Catholic Church.

    I think you need to add one more item to your list – “Closed-minded people who point fingers at simple things that don’t really matter”

    I think if you were to look at the history and theology of the practice of a male only priesthood with an OPEN mind you would probably have a better understanding of why the custom of male alter service is important.

    Altar service is not a reward for doing good, your appeal to the absence of men at the foot of the altar illustrates your misunderstanding.

    Your understanding of liturgical participation would also benefit from a study of the writings of the Holy Father on the matter. Participation is not about who gets to be on the altar, or who gets to run around with the Precious Blood.

  • G-veg.

    I am curious about the inclusion of Altar Girls in the list.

    Altar girls in our parish has more than doubled the number of children involved in the Mass and it seems to me that they are more careful to observe the rubrics than most of the boys were.

    There’s no doubt that young girls do very well at serving on the altar, but does it do them a service or a harm? Serving at the altar has long been a path to the priesthood, do you not see how having altar girls gives false expectations and cuts off the valid path for boys? Do you not see how the boys have tended to shun the service now?

    Also, look into the history of altar girls, it was introduced as a liturgical abuse and was finally allowed? The same is the case for communion in the hand.

  • Tito,
    By asking “what has caused the celebration of the Mass to deteriorate?” and including “altar girls” as an option implies that the altar girls themselves contribute to what you believe to be the deterioration of the Mass. As a former altar girl, I am offended. Yes, I realize that you labeled this post as “dry humor” but I find nothing funny about it. So, what I’m saying is that you were very vocal about your praise for this summer’s Café Catholica. So, apparently this former altar girl is still able to serve in the local church without bringing about the deterioration of the liturgy.

    Maybe I’m taking this too far … but I think you have, too. And I don’t appreciate it.

  • Matt,

    Surprise, we agree again.

    The next logical step after altar girls is women priests. You know, they just love the liturgy and they just want to serve the Church, so why can’t they do that?

    “Participation is not about who gets to be on the altar, or who gets to run around with the Precious Blood.”

    This is absolutely right. The Mass is not entertainment, it is not a show during which the priest is the lead role and the servers are is co-leads.

    I reject anything that is demanded in the spirit of “I want”. It isn’t about you, whoever you are, male or female. Men and women are not interchangeable biological organisms, they are unique and different for purposes determined by God.

    Another thing that bothers me – the notion that these things, these traditions, ancient and sacred, “don’t really matter”. Why not have altar girls, why not have anything we damn well please?

    It is not for us to decide “what matters”.

    And of course I realize that our modern Church allows these sort of things to take place. I find it terribly unfortunate that the generation of hippies – aging and thankfully on their way out – decided to push the traditions of the Church into the background in an effort to appease the modern secular world, the Protestants, and everyone else but the faithful Catholics who didn’t ask for or require innovative gimmicks to stay within the Church.

    I look forward to the day when the younger and decidedly more conservative generation reverses the bulk of this sappy, feel-good nonsense. And I am grateful that our Pope has reaffirmed the right of Catholics to establish and attend a traditional Tridentine Mass in their parishes, where these sort of things simply do not take place.

  • >>I think if you were to look at the history and theology of the practice of a male only priesthood with an OPEN mind you would probably have a better understanding of why the custom of male alter service is important.

    Well, hello again Matt. I completely support the male only priesthood (something you would know if you actually took the time to get to know me instead of criticizing my beliefs and my involvement in the church over blogs and emails). I understand that altar service is historically a precursor to the priesthood. It is a precursor – not a prerequisite. Many of the theology classes that are prerequisites to ordination are also attended by women who are pursuing a Masters in Theology with the intent to teach … should they be banned from taking these classes?

    Altar servers do not administer sacraments. They assist in the celebration of the Eucharist – carrying the crucifix, preparing the altar for the liturgy of the Eucharist.

    >>Altar service is not a reward for doing good, your appeal to the absence of men at the foot of the altar illustrates your misunderstanding.

    I never said it was a reward for doing good – it is an opportunity for our youth to participate in the Mass and serve their community. The list of “weapons of Mass destruction” explicitly list women in two of the “weapons” – nuns wearing pants and altar girls. Women have historically played a strong role in the Church – I agree that the Sacrament of Holy Orders is for men just as bearing life is for women. Give the women a chance to serve in the role that the USCCB allows them to do so and stop blaming us.

    >>Your understanding of liturgical participation would also benefit from a study of the writings of the Holy Father on the matter. Participation is not about who gets to be on the altar, or who gets to run around with the Precious Blood.

    Please show me the writings of the Holy Father that allows anyone to “run around” with the Precious Blood. In my years as serving as an altar server as well as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion we have been taught to handle and share the Body and Blood of Christ with utmost reverence, which does not include running.

  • Joe,

    I concur.

    Kristan,
    apparently this former altar girl is still able to serve in the local church without bringing about the deterioration of the liturgy.

    I don’t think Tito was accusing you (or any other former altar girl) of personally causing harm to the liturgy, or that a former altar girl can’t do some good. The point is that THE PRACTICE of having altar girls contributes to a serious problem with the liturgy. I’m sure nobody here thinks you did anything morally wrong by being an altar girl, surely you didn’t know better at the time, and meant only to do good.

  • Correlation without causation is a favorite form of “evidence” used by the V2 haters. Never mind that Mass attendance began to decline BEFORE any of these reforms. Never mind that mainstream Protestant denominations have also been in decline. Never mind that the most church-going conservative crazy-about-their-faith Christians go to the innovative and thoroughly modern evangelical churches.

    I’d say that greatest cause of Mass destruction is the inability to recognize that small-t tradition is for the benefit of man, not the other way around.

    Having said all that, I’d like to see a return to altar rails and Communion on the tongue and I think parishes should ban felt banners on purely aesthetic grounds.

  • Kristan,

    I completely support the male only priesthood

    I never questioned your support of a male only priesthood, I’m merely pointing out the incongruety of your position with this doctrine. In Italy, altart boys are referred to as “chierichetto”, literally little clerics.

    I understand that altar service is historically a precursor to the priesthood. It is a precursor – not a prerequisite.

    in case you haven’t noticed, there is a deep shortage of priests… do you think it’s a good idea to cut off this customary path to the priesthood?

    Many of the theology classes that are prerequisites to ordination are also attended by women who are pursuing a Masters in Theology with the intent to teach … should they be banned from taking these classes?

    Of course not, that’s a completely different situation. I have no objection to women learning anything or teaching anything that they have the ability to do.

    it is an opportunity for our youth to participate in the Mass and serve their community.

    As I said, it is incorrect to believe that a youth participates any less fully and really from the pews than she does on the altar, in fact the opposite could be argued. There is no shortage of ways to serve the community which more correctly orient young girls to their proper roles in the Church and without alienating the young boys from theirs.

    The list of “weapons of Mass destruction” explicitly list women in two of the “weapons” – nuns wearing pants and altar girls. Women have historically played a strong role in the Church – I agree that the Sacrament of Holy Orders is for men just as bearing life is for women. Give the women a chance to serve in the role that the USCCB allows them to do so and stop blaming us.

    nobody is blaming YOU, please, this is not about YOU. We don’t blame the women for being altar girls, we blame the priests and bishops who encourage or allowed the illicit practice in the first place, and we blame the pope for conceding to it.

    As to the nuns in pants, I guess that blame falls on the nuns, but also to the priests and bishops.

    restrainedradical,

    i don’t know where you get your material from, but none of the things listed are called for by Vatican II.

  • Here is one priest’s take on the issue of boys vs. girls serving on the altar:
    http://www.st-thomascamas.org/moretreasures/altarboys.htm

  • Two points.

    There is nothing inherently wrong with Mass in the vernacular. The oldest liturgies of the Church were celebrated in the language that the people actually spoke.

    The Bible itself and the liturgy shifted into Latin because the New Testament, as we know, was written in Greek and the majority of educated minds spoke Greek — but Latin was the common tongue of the poor, who would obviously have expressed difficulty in any real meaningful participation or understanding of what it is they are entering into.

    The Divine Liturgy was celebrated in Latin because it was the language of the people. There is nothing wrong per se about a vernacular liturgy. I think the point of frustration has to do with the quality of biblical translations, not the language the liturgy is celebrated in.

    There is evidence that communion was distributed on the hand in some places, notably Jerusalem, in the early church. Addressing the issue in “The Living Liturgy” the Pope reminds us that it was permitted and there is nothing in Tradition that absolutely forbids this — “I wouldn’t want to be fussy about that. It was done in the early Church. A reverent manner of receiving Communion in the hand is in itself a perfectly reasonable way to receive Communion.”

    Are there differences between the two? Definitely. Are there problems with some of the mentalities and ideas that are used to justify some of these liturgical changes? Yes. But this does not violate the validity of receiving communion in the hand.

    For example, in the Eastern tradition, which is just as rich (if not at times, theologically and liturgically richer), Catholics remain standing for the majority of the liturgy, receive communion standing, and usually do not kneel.

    If you think about the Jewish mentality that influenced the West (i.e. Diaspora Jews, particularly those in Rome), there is a strong top-down mentality. In Matthew, Jesus gives the Sermon on the Mount — God is looking down on us. There is strong emphasis on the prophecy of Isaiah that all shall kneel before Christ in adoration due to the one God of Israel. This influenced liturgical thinking in the West, in terms of things that traditionally varied beyond those things fundamentally essential to the liturgy itself.

    But in the East, with greater Greek influence, the focus is on the process of “theosis”. The whole spirituality really in the East focuses on becoming “partakers of the divine nature,” which is the fulfillment of the kergyma of salvific recapitulation described by St. Paul in Gal 4:4-7. In this way, we are being incorporated into the very life of God — to share in the ‘Sonship’ of the Son of God. If you read the Gospel of Luke, I think there are traces of this spirituality in the Sermon on the Plain — the equal grounding, of God coming down from heaven and “clothing” Himself in our human nature. So in that spirit, the Christian East (which is now being mimicked in the West — without the proper understanding, unfortunately) we stand in reverence of Christ, like we stand in honor of a King or someone of respectable nobility in our presence (and also because the Divine Liturgy and the canonical hours of the East are so incredibly long in their celebration, when not cut short, if you weren’t forced to stand, you would literally go to sleep). This understanding is not without merit.

    So in defense of what I think in many ways are legitimate and superior understandings of the Roman-rite, we must not use language to absolutize them as irrevocably essential to the liturgy itself to the point that all else is absolutely invalid (and notice I am being vague and not pointing to specific things here) because the great number of Christian liturgies might contradict you. So, I would be careful in that regard.

    I would rather we maintain both of these understandings and I’m not convinced we began to stand in the West for the reasons that Eastern Catholics do — if anything, I’m not sure what the reasoning was because I have never looked into it.

    Just a few thoughts.

  • >> in case you haven’t noticed, there is a deep shortage of priests… do you think it’s a good idea to cut off this customary path to the priesthood?

    Okay, now you’re the one putting words into my mouth … I did not suggest “cutting off this customary path to the priesthood”. I just clarified that being an altar server does not directly lead to priestly formation.

    >> As I said, it is incorrect to believe that a youth participates any less fully and really from the pews than she does on the altar, in fact the opposite could be argued. There is no shortage of ways to serve the community which more correctly orient young girls to their proper roles in the Church and without alienating the young boys from theirs.

    Okay, finally – we agree on something. Participation in the Mass in the pews is definitely important. How does allowing girls to be altar servers alienate young men from becoming altar servers?

  • Eric,

    good points. I think that it’s possible to take each of these issues in isolation and say that alone destroyed the liturgy, the point, as I think you alluded to, is the intention of each step and their affect as a whole. One practice that at it’s core can be blamed is the “versus populum”, that posture fundamentally changes the people’s perspective of the priest and worship, and so it must also change the priest. He no longer stands leading us to worship, but instead, we turn towards each other, and he appears as a showman on the stage.

  • (forgive me – I hit submit comment on accident before I was done)

    >> As I said, it is incorrect to believe that a youth participates any less fully and really from the pews than she does on the altar, in fact the opposite could be argued. There is no shortage of ways to serve the community which more correctly orient young girls to their proper roles in the Church and without alienating the young boys from theirs.

    Okay, finally – we agree on something. Participation in the Mass in the pews is definitely important.

    When I was an altar server, I was very immature in my faith. The liturgy hadn’t begun to “click” for me. I have been an EMHC for 12 years and my faith has grown tremendously during that time. Literally giving someone the body and blood of Christ has deepened my appreciation for the liturgy. The youth at my parish who are altar servers are also in formation classes I have lead. They are growing and developing a love for the Mass that is beautiful and inspiring. I hope that being an altar server has had a role in that as serving as an EMHC does for me.

    By the way … how does allowing girls to be altar servers alienate young men from becoming altar servers?

    >> nobody is blaming YOU, please, this is not about YOU. We don’t blame the women for being altar girls, we blame the priests and bishops who encourage or allowed the illicit practice in the first place, and we blame the pope for conceding to it.

    Then I think Tito should re-word the blog entry and the selection to be “The Bishops allowing women to be altar servers”, “The Bishops allowing communicants to receive the Eucharist on the hand” and so on. The wording as it stands appears lays blame on the young girls, the musicians, etc.

    If you are so determined to find blame then be clear on whom you are blaming.

    As I said before, there is one option I think has been left off the list “Closed-minded people who point fingers at simple things that don’t really matter”. I am supportive of correct liturgical practices as defined in the GIRM. But let’s get the focus where it belongs – on being the hands and feet of Christ and loving our brothers and sisters as He loves us.

  • It is noteworthy that the age-span and number of the altar servers is greater in our parish in the four years that we have had altar servers.

    Not so long ago, it seemed as though, due to forgetfulness or valid excuse, the earlier and later masses were often served by only one altar boy. Most of the altar boys were 14 or younger and there were no altar servers at the weekday masses at all.

    Now there are altar servers as young as 10 or 11 and there are ALWAYS at least 2 and usually 3 altar servers on Sunday masses and those on Holy Days.

    From a purely practical point of view, this seems to be an improvement.

    I am also not terribly impressed with the argument that restricting altar servers to boys preserves a path to the priesthood.

    I suspect that God calls many more men and women to His service than follow his path. With an average of 2.6 children per Catholic family, I suspect that the smaller families tend to deter acceptance of vocations. Fewer priests, brothers, sisters, and nuns make the religious life less visible and further subordinates the position of that vocational choice for young people.

    It is important, I think to note that vocal dissenters at American Catholic universities can’t be helping and various scandals within our Church has to have taken a toll.

    My point is simply that the gender of altar servers has to be pretty low on the list of reasons for the decline in acceptance of vocations.

    Finally, from a practical point of view, having older teens of both genders in the sacristy presents a unique opportunity to reassure the Catholic laity that the American Church has learned its lesson with regards to protecting children from abuse.

    (I hate to bring up that specter since I think the Voices of the Faithful crew were little more than tools of Satan but part of the Church’s duties must include systemic changes to affirm its commitment to child protection.)

    Do we truly believe that altar girls are in any way either to blame for or a symptom of the problems in the Church?

  • Matt,

    I would mostly concur. I think many changes are not absolutely invalid in and of themselves, but I think we should be very thoughtful in our analysis of how things change our perspectives of things — even if we might not realize it.

    I am just making the point there is no absolute rubric of what is and is not liturgically permissible per se, in that, I mean, something can have great theological and liturgical validity insofar as that it does not contradict what the liturgy in fact is — literally the marriage feast of the lamb described in Revelation and more so, Heaven, in our midst. The great honor and penitence we ought to feel is, for example, undermined by attempts to use contemporary Christian music, or even, instruments. I don’t think the Divine Liturgy, heaven on earth, really ought to remind us of anything outside — which is why I really favor chanting.

    But on a different note, the liturgy in the first century particularly was seen by the first Christians as a continuation of the Jewish Todah feast — and the Eucharist really is a Todah feast and remains one.

    The “versus populum” is not in and of itself invalid. We cannot say with historical certainty (or claim that it was universal) that the person presiding over a Eucharistic banquet, which in the first century was not divorced entirely yet from the meal and was done in house-churches really had that format. So we must be careful in our language about that — and I think we have been, but I am always careful in this issue to draw lines.

    But, the theology of the High Priest entering the Holy of holies for the people and offering a sacrifice on their behalf, of leading the people, and entering where they cannot — this is really the case of the priest standing In Persona Christi — is really and profoundly lost in the “versus populum” perspective. It becomes too often and falsely a “celebratory” meal that involves no penitential sentiment or physical, sacramental gestures that convey this deeply rich theological understanding that the priest facing “Ad Orientem” can. And it is for that reason I think the priest ought to face that direction, toward the East, toward the Sun where the Garden was, where the Tree of Life is, where the Divine Liturgy of the Book of Revelation tells us that all who celebrate and participate in the Marriage Feast of the Lamb will be led. This all is essentially lost and it is very disappointing.

  • I also missed the memo that “vernacular liturgy” was being purely defined as totally one language to the exclusion of Latin in even some of the prayers or “Mass parts.” So be ware of that in my previous comments.

  • By the way … how does allowing girls to be altar servers alienate young men from becoming altar servers?

    I guess if you had ever been a small boy, or raised one you would understand, but I’ll do my best to explain. Little boys like to play with other little boys, they like to emulate the older boys. They like playing in the mud, and don’t like anything that is perceived to be “girly”. When you introduce altar girls you create an atmosphere that is just not appealing to them.

    As I said before, there is one option I think has been left off the list “Closed-minded people who point fingers at simple things that don’t really matter”. I am supportive of correct liturgical practices as defined in the GIRM. But let’s get the focus where it belongs – on being the hands and feet of Christ and loving our brothers and sisters as He loves us.

    So you think that of the Holy Fathers who for centuries considered such practices to be significant enough to forbid them officially and publicly?

  • Tito, shame on you for leaving off one of the most significant abuses. The blurring of lines between the priest and the faithful caused by the ordinary use of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion:

    Redemptionis Sacramentum
    [158.] Indeed, the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion may administer Communion only when the Priest and Deacon are lacking, when the Priest is prevented by weakness or advanced age or some other genuine reason, or when the number of faithful coming to Communion is so great that the very celebration of Mass would be unduly prolonged.[259] This, however, is to be understood in such a way that a brief prolongation, considering the circumstances and culture of the place, is not at all a sufficient reason.

  • To be consistent, since I often call people on “double standards” or “uncharitable language”…

    (1) To assume that people who disagree with you and do not think these changes are true “progress” and would undermine the Church in her mission to evangelize the world are “close-minded” is really actually a mark of intolerance. Perhaps, that is closed-minded?

    Moreover, it is a deep and far-reaching implication to assume that the most subtle things within the liturgy, or anything in the liturgy “don’t really matter.” That is quite a presumption, which, if it is the edifice of your argument, can easily undermine all your other points.

    Also to call something “correct” liturgical practices, presupposes an infallibility of that code — and as we might all note, there have been legitimate and illegitimate reforms to the liturgy, with changes occurring based on issues that arise.

    So, I would advise straying away from making presumptions that are debatable the crux of your argument without first defending them. It might help our dialogue here progress further beyond disagreement of fundamentals.

  • Eric,

    I don’t think we disagree at all. I’m not at all suggesting that any of these practices are “invalid”, only that their practice, as a whole led to a degeneration of the Sacred Liturgy. As you said, we are not discussing questions of infallibility but ones which are prudential, and within the authority of the Holy See, or in some cases deferred to the local ordinary.

    It seems to me, that the “versus populum” changes the perspective of all participants in a way that would allow all these other problems to occur without objection. If it’s just a “show” why can’t we have girls up there, why can’t all the people distribute communion, why should we kneel?

  • Matt,

    I must say it is striking — and the case seems to be similar with Joe and yourself — that on a political column, we quickly diverge. I think it is quite a grace that, as far as I can remember, when the issue is theological or liturgical, we don’t disagree very much. In fact, I am theologically and liturgically quite “conservative,” e.g. I actually believe the Gospel of John was actually written by the Apostle (which to biblical scholars is just pure heresy).

    I’m glad to know we aren’t always butting heads.

  • Eric,

    it is a refreshing change of pace. I have long and often noted that there is a divergence doctrinal liberals and political ones. I think that there are a very many people who are doctrinally very conservative and yet have a more “leftish” view of politics. The converse of course is true (O’Relly and Hannity come to mind).

  • er… “divergence between doctrinal liberals and political ones”

  • Matt. You have issues with Hannity (well, he supports contraception, left the Church I think, and attacked a priest on the air for calling him out on his dissent) and O’Reilly?

    We have made more progress than Catholics and Orthodox have in a thousand years. I’m being hypoerbolic…I hope.

    Those two actually, in union with Glen Beck, make me very angry. But then again…Olbermann, Maddows, Matthews.

    I actually like Gretta and Morning Joe. But I absolutely love and admire Pat Buchanan.

    We have gotten off topic…

  • Well, I voted for Communion in the hand.

    John Zmirak once made the point that belief in the Real Presence has taken a downward dive since VII. If people had to kneel down for movie tickets, he said, they would develop the notion that movie tickets are special,perhaps even sacred things.

    Well, the reverse has happened. Now we hand out the Body of Christ as if it is a movie ticket – and people have come to believe that Communion is no big deal.

  • Kristan

    By the way … how does allowing girls to be altar servers alienate young men from becoming altar servers?

    Growing up with a predominately boy neighborhood and with 3 brothers, I know that girls have cooties until they are in middle/high school (in which they become cute or hot and dating material).

    Little boys want nothing to do with with little girls until they get rid of their cooties.

  • Matt – Yeah thanks for pointing out the problem of blurring the distinction between the priest and the laity due to the use of EME’s. Sometimes when I go to Mass I get up and try to give a crappy homily! We really need to fix this!

  • My vote goes to something not even on the ballot — displacing the tabernacle from its position of honor, on the dubious grounds that it would “confuse” or “distract” parishioners from the action of the liturgy. This, I believe, reduced the sense of the Real Prescence and reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, though not perhaps intentionally.

    I don’t know that liturgical dance was really widespread enough to have caused “Mass destruction” on a global or nationwide scale.

    As for altar girls I think it’s too soon to tell what the long-term effect will be. You see, they’ve only been permitted by the Holy See for the past 15 years. I don’t think the negative effect (if any) would be as pronounced in parishes and dioceses that WAITED until the practice was authorized (thereby showing obedience to the pope) to start it, as in those parishes that started doing it when it was clearly not allowed.

    I have absolutely no beef with a male-only priesthood, I never had any desire to be a priest myself nor did I ever have a desire to be an altar girl. So what follows is not intended as a raging feminist rant but simply to point out a flaw in one of the arguments against female altar servers.

    If, as some argue, allowing girls to serve Mass turns altar service into a “girly” thing, makes it less attractive to boys and young men, and deludes girls into thinking they can grow up to be priests, thereby undermining priestly vocations, then why not extend that logic even farther and say that allowing females ANYWHERE in the sanctuary, or anywhere inside a church at all, has the same effect?

    For that matter why not ban women from coming anywhere within 20 feet of the sanctuary, or from attending Mass at all if that’s the case? Why not set up separate chapels strictly for women to attend or divide every church into a men’s and women’s side with a screen like some Orthodox Jews do in their synagogues?

  • “If, as some argue, allowing girls to serve Mass turns altar service into a “girly” thing, makes it less attractive to boys and young men, and deludes girls into thinking they can grow up to be priests, thereby undermining priestly vocations, then why not extend that logic even farther and say that allowing females ANYWHERE in the sanctuary, or anywhere inside a church at all, has the same effect?”

    Because the Church did ban women from acting as altar servers until just a minute ago in historical terms. The burden of proof rests on those making the innovation, not upon those carrying out a tradition sanctioned by Catholic belief for two millenia. The Church did that while cherishing the role of women within the Church as the devotion to Mary, Queen of Heaven, amply demonstrates.

  • http://the-american-catholic.com/2009/09/20/weapons-of-mass-destruction/#comments

    Elaine Krewer,

    My vote goes to something not even on the ballot — displacing the tabernacle from its position of honor, on the dubious grounds that it would “confuse” or “distract” parishioners from the action of the liturgy. This, I believe, reduced the sense of the Real Prescence and reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, though not perhaps intentionally.

    Another great item!

    I don’t know that liturgical dance was really widespread enough to have caused “Mass destruction” on a global or nationwide scale.

    It’s really not that widespread I think, but it is completely devastating to True Worship that it bears mentioning.

    As for altar girls I think it’s too soon to tell what the long-term effect will be. You see, they’ve only been permitted by the Holy See for the past 15 years. I don’t think the negative effect (if any) would be as pronounced in parishes and dioceses that WAITED until the practice was authorized (thereby showing obedience to the pope) to start it, as in those parishes that started doing it when it was clearly not allowed.

    Because the salvation of souls depends on a strong and plentiful supply of priests, it’s just not a place for gender “bending” which will lead to at least some, if not many souls lost.

    I have absolutely no beef with a male-only priesthood, I never had any desire to be a priest myself nor did I ever have a desire to be an altar girl. So what follows is not intended as a raging feminist rant but simply to point out a flaw in one of the arguments against female altar servers.

    If, as some argue, allowing girls to serve Mass turns altar service into a “girly” thing, makes it less attractive to boys and young men, and deludes girls into thinking they can grow up to be priests, thereby undermining priestly vocations, then why not extend that logic even farther and say that allowing females ANYWHERE in the sanctuary, or anywhere inside a church at all, has the same effect?

    For that matter why not ban women from coming anywhere within 20 feet of the sanctuary, or from attending Mass at all if that’s the case? Why not set up separate chapels strictly for women to attend or divide every church into a men’s and women’s side with a screen like some Orthodox Jews do in their synagogues?

    Why? Because every Catholic man or woman has a right to the sacraments, an obligation to attend, and an important role to play at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Nobody has a “right” to be in the sanctuary, or fulfill any role not proper to their station. Those roles are strictly for the good of the Church.

    Redemptionis Sacramentum:
    [40.] Nevertheless, from the fact that the liturgical celebration obviously entails activity, it does not follow that everyone must necessarily have something concrete to do beyond the actions and gestures, as if a certain specific liturgical ministry must necessarily be given to the individuals to be carried out by them. Instead, catechetical instruction should strive diligently to correct those widespread superficial notions and practices often seen in recent years in this regard, and ever to instill anew in all of Christ’s faithful that sense of deep wonder before the greatness of the mystery of faith that is the Eucharist, in whose celebration the Church is forever passing from what is obsolete into newness of life: “in novitatem a vetustate”.

    Frankly it would be best if the bishops implemented the canonical status of lector, and acolyte sufficient to perform their rightful functions in the sanctuary, and expand the permanent diaconate for similar reasons. Why do you think the Church treats these minor orders as steps along the path to the priesthood, and reserves them to men?

    No, I don’t think women should be specifically banned from the sanctuary, I believe all lay people who have not been canonically instituted to the proper function should not perform those functions absent TRULY extraordinary circumstances. That is what the rubrics actually call for.

  • Donald,

    The Church did that while cherishing the role of women within the Church as the devotion to Mary, Queen of Heaven, amply demonstrates.

    An excellent point, would that it would be sufficient to quell the false notion of misogyny seen by those opposed to the specifically male roles in the liturgy.

  • “I believe all lay people who have not been canonically instituted to the proper function should not perform those functions absent TRULY extraordinary circumstances. That is what the rubrics actually call for.”

    Ok, THAT argument makes more sense to me than the notion that allowing females to do something thereby automatically makes it less attractive to males.

    Although, if your recommendation that the minor orders of lector and acolyte be restored or attached to the permanent diaconate, and that no lay person who hasn’t been formally installed in those ministries be allowed to perform them except in emergencies, wouldn’t that in effect ban women from the sanctuary altogether, as they would not only be forbidden from serving but from giving any of the readings?

  • I agree with you Elaine. It seems that some churches think they can just place the tabernacle anywhere they want. Often times the parishioners are kneeling to the altar and the tabernacle is off to the side somewhere. Most people don’t realize that they are not kneeling to Christ.

    However, the altar girl issue may not appear to be a problem..but if you really think about it you can see the problems. The 12 Apostles were not girls.

  • Elaine Krewer,

    allowing females to do something thereby automatically makes it less attractive to males.

    that argument was specifically addressed to the question of altar boys, because, even if it’s not very mature, do think little of “girly” activities, and so if you, as I do, believe we are in dire need of more manly, and Holy priests, should not want to see them discouraged at a young age from heading down such a fruitful path to the priesthood.

    Although, if your recommendation that the minor orders of lector and acolyte be restored or attached to the permanent diaconate, and that no lay person who hasn’t been formally installed in those ministries be allowed to perform them except in emergencies, wouldn’t that in effect ban women from the sanctuary altogether, as they would not only be forbidden from serving but from giving any of the readings?

    yes.

  • The last post was from Matt. He borrowed my computer.

  • Jenn, it’s true the 12 Apostles — from whom we derive the “apostolic succession” that all priests and bishops share in — were all male, and this does argue strongly in favor of an all male priesthood.

    I’m not sure, however, how one extends that argument beyond the ordained ministries of the episcopate, priesthood, and diaconate* to argue against girls and women being allowed to do ANYTHING even remotely resembling what the priest does (serving, reading/lectoring, distributing Communion) and not appear to be motivated at least in part by misogyny, or the sentiment referred to above — that allowing girls or women to do something automatically means men and boys will think it beneath them and won’t want to do it anymore.

    In other words I don’t know how you put this particular genie back into the bottle at this point. I personally still think the problem lies NOT in the actual concept of female altar servers, as in the fact that so many parishes and dioceses disobediently instituted “altar girls” long before the Vatican allowed it. These parishes/dioceses were more likely than not to have been disobedient or less than orthodox in other ways which contributed to the “Mass destruction” we are discussing in this thread.

    I think a much bigger factor in the decline of vocations is simply the fact that young Catholics are not as acquainted with priests and Religious as they used to be (due to there being fewer priests and nuns in parishes, schools, hospitals, etc), and don’t understand what exactly their vocations involve. Perhaps the exposure that EWTN has provided to Mother Angelica, Fr. Pacwa and other clerical/religious personalities has compensated for the loss of vocations somewhat, but certainly not entirely.

    I agree that “active participation” in the Mass is certainly NOT limited to performing actual liturgical functions, and that one does not have to be “doing something” at every moment in order to be participating. The wrongheaded notion of “active participation” that arose after Vatican II (not necessarily because of it) did play a role in “Mass destruction” also.

    * There is some debate as to whether the “deaconesses” of the early Church shared in an ordained ministry comparable to that of present day deacons; I tend to believe they did not.

  • If we carry the “boys won’t do anything they perceive as ‘girly'” argument to its logical conclusion, then women should never be allowed to enlist in ANY branch of the military (not simply kept out of front line combat, which is an entirely different matter), nor should women be allowed to enter law enforcement, firefighting, construction work, or any profession which “manly men” can generally perform better than they, and which would suffer if it did become predominantly female.

    I realize that this is getting off topic here and is an entirely different matter from the nature of the priesthood; I’m just saying that there has to be a better argument against female altar servers, lectors, etc. than simply “If girls do it, it will drive away boys and they won’t become priests.” Is there any actual evidence of this in parishes that adopted female servers AFTER the Vatican allowed it? And aren’t there other dioceses besides Lincoln that have thriving vocation programs AND female altar servers as well?

  • Elaine Krewer,

    appear to be motivated at least in part by misogyny

    that’s exactly how the world sees an all male priesthood… you need to look below the surface.

    or the sentiment referred to above — that allowing girls or women to do something automatically means men and boys will think it beneath them and won’t want to do it anymore.

    Interesting how you expand the point to include men and not just young boys, when nobody made such an extension, and furthermore you insert the word “beneath”. You’re creating, probably unintentionally, a little misogynistic strawman. Not one person opposing altar girls has proposed that it is beneath men to share a role with women, or that it is somehow “above” a woman’s station to serve at the altar. In fact it is only women supporting altar girls who have made such a false proposition. A sad sign of the insidious Bouvoirian feminism that has seeped into the Church in the years since Vatican II.

    In other words I don’t know how you put this particular genie back into the bottle at this point. I personally still think the problem lies NOT in the actual concept of female altar servers, as in the fact that so many parishes and dioceses disobediently instituted “altar girls” long before the Vatican allowed it. These parishes/dioceses were more likely than not to have been disobedient or less than orthodox in other ways which contributed to the “Mass destruction” we are discussing in this thread.

    Obviously, disobedience is much worse, but the very reason the Holy See ultimately indulged the practice is because it had become so widespread. The very reason the Holy See opposed altar girls for so long is the exact reason that it was illicitly introduced. The fact that the Holy See caved does not change the opposition’s problematic view of gender roles.

    As to putting the genie back in the bottle, you’re correct that the damage has been done and it will be painful. If it is handled gradually and delicately by those empowered to do so (parish priests and local ordinaries, and hopefully the Holy Father) most unnecessary hardship can be avoided. I know of parishes where there was a gradual process of shifting girls out over time, as well as introducing female specific ministries to replace the altar.

    I think a much bigger factor in the decline of vocations is simply the fact that young Catholics are not as acquainted with priests and Religious as they used to be (due to there being fewer priests and nuns in parishes, schools, hospitals, etc), and don’t understand what exactly their vocations involve. Perhaps the exposure that EWTN has provided to Mother Angelica, Fr. Pacwa and other clerical/religious personalities has compensated for the loss of vocations somewhat, but certainly not entirely.

    So… a shortage of priests was a big factor in the shortage of priests? Well, it’s true, but there has to be other factors, or the shortage would never have occurred in the first place.

    I agree that “active participation” in the Mass is certainly NOT limited to performing actual liturgical functions, and that one does not have to be “doing something” at every moment in order to be participating. The wrongheaded notion of “active participation” that arose after Vatican II (not necessarily because of it) did play a role in “Mass destruction” also.

    Absolutely, and it manifested itself in multiple ways, including the practice of altar girls, and the ordinary use of extraordinary ministers.

    * There is some debate as to whether the “deaconesses” of the early Church shared in an ordained ministry comparable to that of present day deacons; I tend to believe they did not.

    The debate is mostly among the pro-women’s ordination crowd, and is really irrelevant, as the Church has made clear that the diaconate is strictly open to men.

    If we carry the “boys won’t do anything they perceive as ‘girly’” argument to its logical conclusion, then women should never be allowed to enlist in ANY branch of the military (not simply kept out of front line combat, which is an entirely different matter), nor should women be allowed to enter law enforcement, firefighting, construction work, or any profession which “manly men” can generally perform better than they, and which would suffer if it did become predominantly female.

    It’s irrelevant because we’re talking strictly boys… but I’ll bite. I actually tend to agree that for critical services (military, police, fire) which women perform poorly at a substantial portion of the functional requirements should be restricted to male applicants. Non-critical services are free to make their own hiring practices, but should not be subject to any sort of quota forcing them into hiring women who perform less effectively than their male counterparts. Of course, the converse should apply to fields which women generally perform better at than men.

    I realize that this is getting off topic here and is an entirely different matter from the nature of the priesthood; I’m just saying that there has to be a better argument against female altar servers, lectors, etc. than simply “If girls do it, it will drive away boys and they won’t become priests.”

    Are you denying the fact that where there are female altar servers present, the boys are driven away? Honestly? Or are you just saying you don’t care about those misogynistic little boys getting on a path to the priesthood?

    Is there any actual evidence of this in parishes that adopted female servers AFTER the Vatican allowed it?

    And aren’t there other dioceses besides Lincoln that have thriving vocation programs AND female altar servers as well?

    Virginia I believe has strong vocations, they started allowing altar girls 2 years ago, so we’ll see soon enough the fruits of it.

    There’s a broader point at issue here. Since I’ve breached PC and most of the feminist leaning women here consider me misogynistic anyway… The whole Church has leaned deeply towards a more feminine perspective, as a result, male participation IN ALL AREAS has dropped drastically and disproportionately to women. What many don’t realize is the ENORMOUS effect that this will have on the following generations. As the Church has long taught and is discussed particularly by St. Paul (a misogynist after my own heart), men are to be the spiritual leaders. Apparently, children are much wiser than feminists and recognize this. Statistics clearly show that the greatest influence on a person’s mass attendance is their FATHER’s mass attendance. So, congratulations pro-altar girl crowd, you have gained not equality but superiority in a barren and sterile Church…. destined to be emptied..

  • “As the Church has long taught and is discussed particularly by St. Paul (a misogynist after my own heart), men are to be the spiritual leaders. Apparently, children are much wiser than feminists and recognize this. Statistics clearly show that the greatest influence on a person’s mass attendance is their FATHER’s mass attendance.”

    That is quite true, however, I think lots of men abdicated their responsibilities in this regard and treated church attendance, morality, and religion in general as strictly “womanly” concerns long before Vatican II. The notion of the mother as the keeper of religion and morals in the home (the de facto spiritual head) actually goes back to the Victorian era if not earlier.

  • Kristan,

    Been out and about with Mass, and other spiritual activities.

    Just want you to know that I love you as a brother.

    And what Matt and Jenn said. 😉

  • Kristan said “Maybe I’m taking this too far …”

    Yep, I think you finally hit the nail on the head!

    Pete

  • How come molesting little boys isn’t on the list?

    I believe that is hurting the church’s credibility more than anything else.

  • I voted “ad populum”. The other stuff is annoying, but not as universal and ubiquitous. E.g., Guitar masses are fairly easy to avoid, nuns in pants look like angry old men, barely anyone I know has ever seen liturgical dancing and felt banners are easily confiscated and disposed of by…. unknown parishioners…..

  • Matt, Jenn –
    Regarding your comments that boys would not participate in activities with girls, what about co-ed sports teams for children? Would that dissuade boys from playing high school soccer because they played with girls growing up? I posed your theory to a priest friend last night. He was an altar server alongside girls and just celebrated his 3rd anniversary of ordination. The presence of female altar servers had no impact on him.

    And I don’t think I’ve heard the word “cooties” from a child singer i was one.

    Regarding the writings of the church leiders who supported thee liturgical practices, I doubt they wereld written with such disdain and anger.

  • Mostly because the decline has been evident long before the molesting made the headlines, and also because the topic is deterioration of celebration of the Mass, not the Church’s credibility in general.

  • Most boys that would play soccer end up playing something else (football/baseball) precisely because soccer in this country is seen as a “girly” sport. Other countries, where it is more popular, think co-ed soccer is crazy.

    There is a reason that softball and baseball are what they are. I also don’t see many co-ed basketball, football, hockey, lacrosse or other sports at the middle school or higher level, at least not competitively. I am not saying it is right, I am just relating the observations.

  • Kristan,

    Kristan Says:
    Monday, September 21, 2009 A.D. at 10:01 am

    Regarding your comments that boys would not participate in activities with girls, what about co-ed sports teams for children? Would that dissuade boys from playing high school soccer because they played with girls growing up?

    yes. But our salvation doesn’t depend on soccer.

    I posed your theory to a priest friend last night. He was an altar server alongside girls and just celebrated his 3rd anniversary of ordination. The presence of female altar servers had no impact on him.

    Bully for him. He is among a class that is 60-70% smaller than it should be, do you think it’s possible that SOME of the boys were not so magnanimous at a young age and so missed there vocation? I suspect your young priest friend could do well to study the behavior of more typical young boys if he is to fulfill his role of drawing men to the priesthood… or does he subscribe to the teddy bear approach?

    And I don’t think I’ve heard the word “cooties” from a child singer i was one.

    Precisely. We’re discussing the reaction young boys have to co-ed activities, so I’m glad you can confirm that it is an actual phenomenon.

    Regarding the writings of the church leiders who supported thee liturgical practices, I doubt they wereld written with such disdain and anger.

    The only disdain and anger is coming from you, do you want me to post the text message you sent me??? Including the snide remark about a grammatical error? In any event, I’m glad you recognize the Church’s longstanding position on this.

    c matt,

    good points.

    Another point I want to raise which makes the situation even worse with regard to co-ed altar service (aside from the fact that salvation is at stake), is that girls actually do extremely well because of their greater maturity at that age, and their greater attention to detail. The girls soon take over, which further alienates the boys.

    Honestly, if people would set aside their deep-seated feminist ideology, they would recognize the fundamentally obvious facts. Girls and boys are DIFFERENT. It’s not only absurd to suggest that we are interchangeable, it is a violation of the TRUE dignity of womanhood.

  • I have no strong feelings about girl altar servers, but on balance I sort of disfavor the idea precisely for the prudential reasons proffered by others. Young boys often first discover their calling when serving Mass, but young boys are often not interested in doing anything perceived as girly. Boyish girls are considered endearing tom-boys, so are usually not shy about trying to mix it up with boys if they share their interests. But girlish boys are not considered so endearing, and boys will go out of their way to avoid doing anything that is considered less than masculine. None of this is theological; it is solely prudential.
    Finally, I think Elain is spot on right about men abdicating their role, in some cultures more than others. I just see no reason to aggravate that sad phenomenon.

  • I don’t hear or see of many co-ed sports until college. Even YMCA sports have a youth girls and a youth boys basketball team, not a girl-boy co-ed team.

  • Matt – You are a pig.

  • You go girl.

  • because soccer in this country is seen as a “girly” sport.

    Them’s fightin’ words. 😉

  • I said removal of altar rails because I think they are pretty.

  • I assume Tito is away from his computer. I am closing comments on this thread pending his decision on what to do regarding this thread. The personal attacks contained in this thread cross way over the lines established by blog policy.

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