Saturday, May 11, 2013


Infidelity to the Liturgy leads to infidelity to Holy Mother Church and Her Magisterium. It leads to a manipulation of the Mass and the people who attend. It leads to ugliness and no art. It leads to a crisis of faith, infidelity to the liturgy and to the Church. Singing a new church into being is manipulation, manipulation of the Church, manipulation of those who are singing and manipulation of God. In short it is a mortal sin, it is ugly, it isn't art and it isn't Catholic. These infidels in this faux liturgy, devoid of art and beauty, would decry the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and an Ordinary Form Mass celebrated in an Extraordinary Way. It is a mortal sin:

All that we do as Catholics and who we are as Church is built on top of the liturgy, in other words the liturgy is the foundation of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. But not the liturgy in and of itself, but Who it is that gives us the Liturgy, God almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Fidelity to the liturgy that God gives us through His Holy Church leads to a faithful people, or a people acknowledging the fidelity of God and our call to fidelity to God and the source of grace that enables this holiness and fidelity, God's contact with us in the Holy Liturgy He has given us.

In the brief video below on art, Fr. Michael John Zielinski, O.S.B.Oliv., a great friend of the Roman liturgical tradition, speaks to the USCCB Catholic News Service on his job as bureau chief at the Congregation for Divine Worship following its recent reorganization.

He makes the astute observation that the crisis in the church and spiritual life has to do with the liturgical crisis, the faithful celebration of the liturgy makes for a faithful Church and holy people of God.

Infidelity to Holy Mother Church and her Magisterium comes from the manipulation of the Liturgy, or art and the manipulation of authority.

We see this happening first to the people of God in the leaders of the Church who are to protect the people of God from infidelity and promote faithfulness amongst all. However, as Pope Francis is making abundantly clear, some of those pharisees of Catholic leadership are into themselves, narcissistic and "re-imaging" the Church according to their own manipulations. These are the careerists and ideologues of the Church, especially in the clergy and religious life.

The rot that has invaded the leadership of certain Women Religious organizations, such as the LCWR, is made abundantly evident by their manipulative statements coming from their Pharisaical leadership, what Jesus would call a brood of vipers, what Pope Francis would call "old maids."

The latest evidence of the widespread rebellion against Holy Mother Church was found in the effort of Sister Mary Lou Wirtz, President of the International Union of Superiors General, to derail the reform of the Leadership Conference for Women Religious last Tuesday. Sister Mary Lou claimed that the nature of authority and obedience had changed since Vatican II, that the LCWR wanted to focus on what “Gospel leadership” means today, and that the Vatican was clearly not interested in that topic.

Let's call Sister Mary Lou's statement for what it is. It is manipulation. It is manipulation of the "Gospel leadership" seperated from the Magisterium of the Church, which God has given us, it is manipulation of the sisters under her charge, it is the manipulation of the press for her own gain. In other words Sister Mary Lou is manipulative, a careerist and an ideologue. She needs to step down.

In saying my harsh words, I am not debating the good works she does with the poor or anyone else. I'm just calling her manipulative and a post-Catholic. She could do her good works as an atheist, as a non-governmental organization (NGO). Good works devoid of the foundation of the faithful liturgy and Holy Mother Church and her Magisterium are simply that, good works and God knows good works come from almost any corner of the globe.

Faithful sisters faithfully celebrating the Liturgy and in an artistic way:

Unfaithful Religious unfaithful to liturgical art and liturgy (the two walk hand in hand, mano a mano)

Finally, in terms of right faith (orthodox faith) and right practice (orthopraxis) the Holy Father this morning at the chapel of his place of residence at the Vatican Motel 6 said the following about prayer, which includes the liturgy:

We must read this statement within the context of the beauty of liturgy and prayer, as well as art, and the fidelity that is needed to the proper exercise of prayer within the context of fidelity to Holy Mother Church, Her Magisterium and Her liturgy and spirituality:

“Prayer to the Father in the name of Jesus brings us out of ourselves. The prayer that bores us is always within ourselves, as a thought that comes and goes. But true prayer is the turning out of ourselves [and] to the Father in the name of Jesus: [true prayer] is an exodus from ourselves.”

Pope Francis goes on to ask how we can “recognize the wounds of Jesus in heaven,” and, “where the school is,” at which one learns to recognize the wounds of Jesus, these wounds of priestly intercession? Pope Francs said that there there is another exodus out of ourselves, and toward the wounds of our brothers, our brothers and our sisters in need:

“If we are not able to move out of ourselves and toward our brother in need, to the sick, the ignorant, the poor, the exploited – if we are not able to accomplish this exodus from ourselves, and towards those wounds, we shall never learn that freedom, which carries us through that other exodus from ourselves, and toward the wounds of Jesus. There are two exits from ourselves: one to the wounds of Jesus, the other to the wounds of our brothers and sisters. And this is the way that Jesus wants [there to be] in our prayer.”

“This,” concluded Pope Francis, “is the new way to pray: with the confidence, the courage that allows us to know that Jesus is before the Father, showing the Father His wounds, but also with the humility of those who go to learn to recognize, to find the wounds of Jesus in his needy brothers and sisters,” who, “carry the cross and still have not won, as Jesus has.”


Gene said...

But, Fr, once again, do you have any notion that these folks are going to receive any discipline other than a slap on the wrist and maybe being told to "hush up?"

WSquared said...

The video is spot on.

Especially the parts about "contemporary art" being unable to communicate, because it is irrational, and how any artist or architect must understand that he is putting him/herself at the service of the liturgy, and that engaging with the liturgy will convert the artist or architect.

The last part is especially telling: when we have ugliness in church art or architecture, I wonder how much many artists and architects know that deep down? In other words, something in them knows full well that engaging with the liturgy will convert them, take them out of their comfort zone, and so they are afraid, indifferent, or hostile?

I'm not saying that they're being purposefully malicious. But what I am saying is that someone who is uncomfortable with Catholic belief should have enough honesty to not design a Catholic church, especially if one's design does not comport itself with orthodox Catholic theology. If one is apprehensive, then it is imperative that one prays.

If, as an artist or architect, designing a church or making church art is not at the service of the Church's liturgy, then it is not untoward or uncharitable to ask what the person is really serving. Any artist or architect-- and anyone involved-- should know that building or designing something that is antithetical to Catholic belief does the parish a disservice.

What we pray is what we believe is how we are supposed to live: that God "only cares what's truly in your heart" is nice and all, but if you actually believed that, again, the logical conclusion to draw is that this is precisely why talking about sin actually matters, and why God is concerned about our sins. So perhaps you should've asked Him first what He really thinks of your designing something that looks like a gymnasium rather than a temple, or what He really thinks of your Stations of the Cross that have no figures of Christ in them-- which, by the way, obscure not only the Passion of Our Lord, but the Incarnation as well.

Also interesting was the part of the discussion dealing with the personal stamp of the artist or architect, which speaks so plainly to "I, when I am lifted up from the world, will draw all men to Myself." God and Man are not in competition in Catholic belief. Man's will, when united to that of God is not obliterated and rendered null, but sanctified, and given true life-- the only life that makes any "creativity" actually matter, since it communes with the Creator and giver of life. Only then does it bear abundant fruit. So to put one's own "creativity" and "personal expression" before the liturgy is anti-Catholic because it is egocentric.

I frankly don't care about your "personal style" and "creativity" if neither are at the service of the liturgy: if that's the case, then all of your efforts will end up being is an assault on and abuse of those who worship there. Same with those who try to make the Mass mostly about "having fun": what you're really doing is having fun at our expense.

rcg said...

W2: Yep. To expand on your point about God caring about what is in your heart; that should scare the bejeebers (FrAJm word filter set to MAX) out of people. People will also say that God KNOWS what is in your heart. People that say that should bolt for the confessional, but instead make it a stanza in a Haugen tune. The lies and lipstick on that pig will not fool Him one bit and actually amplify the other sins.

WSquared said...

"People that say that should bolt for the confessional, but instead make it a stanza in a Haugen tune."

rcg, you've just brightened up my day. Brilliantly put!

Vox Cantoris said...

Ah, our old friend Bishop Emeritus of Victoria, British Columbia Remi de Roo. Yes that's right, our puppet loving priest is actually the retired bishop whose claim to fame is the Winnipeg Statement and the bankruptcy of the diocese over land deals and horses.