Saturday, March 22, 2014

TWO EXTREMES IN THE CHURCH


It is no secret that there are two small extremes in the Church. On the one hand there are a minority of traditionalists who despise the Ordinary Form of the Mass, yes, despise it, despite the fact that it is the means to the sacramental experience of the One Sacrifice of the Cross and the Risen Lord's Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity are given by God to us and received by us.

Then there are the small minority of progressives who despise the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, yes, despise it, despite the fact that it is the means to the sacramental experience of the One Sacrifice of the Cross and the Risen Lord's Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity are given by God to us and received by us.

How did this ungodly spirit of Vatican II, with a small "s" develop in the Church in both of these extremes in the Church? As Pope Francis has reiterated time and again ideologies usually are inspired of an evil spirit, the devil. I'm glad he's preaching on the devil again because the answer to so many sins and ideologies in the Church is the devil, especially when division is brought to the Church. How much division have we had since Vatican II, beginning with the Liturgy, then to the bishops and priests and then to religious life and then to rank and file laity guided by divided clergy, religious and their bishops?

Isn't it time to do both forms of the Mass in the best way possible and wait for the Vatican to revise the Ordinary Form as they have done so for the Anglican Ordinariate? Only the pope can approve of any revisions to the Ordinary Form or make any changes to the Extraordinary Form as Pope Benedict did with one of the prayers in the Good Friday Liturgy.

It is time to focus on Christ, His Sacrifice, His resurrection, His ascension, His giving of the Spirit, His mandate to spread the Faith to all the world and His return at our death and the end of time. Is there anything more important or is bickering about the Mass the substance of Catholic Faith?

43 comments:

Gene said...

Concern for the fundamental destruction of the Liturgy and Catholic identity and for a "look the other way" attitude toward open apostasy and protestantizing/secularizing trends in the Church is not "bickering about liturgy."

Jay Ward said...

Father, I don't think it's fair to say, or should I say, assume, that those of us who don't like the Extraordinary Form of the Mass actually "despise" that Mass. That's a bit like saying that someone who refuses to negotiate with terrorists doesn't care about the victim.

There is an abundance of evidence that the original schemata of Sacrosanctum Concilium was hijacked at the Second Vatican Council. And it is no secret that the so-called New Mass was "assembled" by a committee, with no organic development and some members of that committee were Protestants. It can also be argued that the entire point of the so-called New Mass was to make Catholic worship more palatable and less offensive to Protestants.

There are among those accused of "despising" the New Mass, many of us who grit our teeth and attend it regularly, accept its validity and resent--we resent not the Mass or its saving action, but the fact that this beautiful means of our salvation has been stripped down and dumbed down to satisfy the demands of egalitarian-thinking Catholic leaders who continue to insist that they know what is best for the rest of us unwashed and defy 2000 years of history. Who would not resent that?

Another "Barry" said...

"Extremism in the defense of liturgy is no vice!"

Gene said...

Fr, what you don't understand is that the vast majority of Priests do not conduct the OF as you do. You conduct it with all the seriousness and dignity of the EF, whatever minor mistakes you might make. If this were the case everywhere, there would be a lot less dissatisfaction and despair. You really should come to Mass with me (wear street clothes) at some of the places I attend. I'll bring you a barf bag and anti-nausea pills...

Pater Ignotus said...

Jay - The original schemata of all the Vatican II documents were changed, sometimes substantially, by the Fathers of the Council. That SC was changed is not an example of "hijacking," but an example of how all the documents of the Council developed as the council progressed.

You can read all about it in Vorgrimler's multi-volume commentary series.

The "Six Protestant Ministers" conspiracy theory regarding the liturgy is completely false. It is one of the Big Lies that has taken on a life of its own.

Gene said...

They did not need "six protestant ministers." They did a fine job of screwing up the Liturgy their little Catholic selves...

Henry said...

Once again, Father, your attempt at an "equivalence" or at least an analogy between the extremes, fails.

There are few actually within the Church who despise the OF, but many not only within the Church but in its chanceries and rectories who despise the EF. So you're trying to equate a tiny handful at one extreme, with a very large number at the other. One is a definite problem in the Church, and the other definitely is not.

John Nolan said...

I would have nothing but contempt for the goings-on in Los Angeles recently, and for those bishops who participated in them. This was liturgical abuse on an epic scale, and in previous years has been even worse.

There are many people, myself included, who believe that the post-Conciliar liturgical revolution has been little short of calamitous, and that most of the Council fathers who voted for SC thought that there would be a cautious reform, perhaps more accelerated than in the previous half-century, and with wider permission for use of the vernacular, but leaving the Roman Rite more-or-less intact.

The Novus Ordo is open to criticism in that in its options, ambiguities and lack of rubrical precision it encourages excessive subjectivity, a modus celebrandi that emphasizes the horizontal over the vertical, an approach to sacred music which assumes that people can only relate to banal and commercialized popular culture, and a blurring of liturgical roles.

There are some who argue that if the 1962 Missal had been retained, or only slightly modified, abuses would still have occurred. But the rubrical and juridical framework which existed in 1962, and still applies to the EF, would not have allowed it. It is true that in parts of Europe there were widespread abuses in the 1960s before the Novus Ordo came out, and that Paul VI was eager to sign the Novus Ordo into existence partly to curtail these abuses - in effect a damage-limitation exercise. The flood-gates were opened in 1964.

So those who are not happy with the Novus Ordo, even to the extent of despising it, are not necessarily inspired by the Devil. Nor is a perverse antipathy towards Latin and pre-1965 liturgical customs as evidenced on this blog by Fr Kavanaugh evidence of demoniacal influence.

Jay Ward said...

The third day of Vatican II, October 13, 1962--ironically, the anniversary of Fatima's Miracle of the Sun--there was a meeting of the Council Fathers to review the preparatory schemas. Those schemas had been developed during the course of 3 years' preparation. THE COUNCIL'S RULES FOR PROCEDURE dictated that the meeting was only to be a vote on the candidates the curia had proposed for the conciliar commissions. IN VIOLATION OF THOSE RULES, Achille Cardinal Lienart took the microphone and read a declaration that demanded consultations among the electors and national bishops conferences before any vote. The vote was postponed and John XXIII caved and allowed new slates of candidates to be proposed. The German bishops--mostly liberals--packed the commissions with their candidates. The French journal Figaro referred to Lienart's move as having "defected the course of the Council and made history." The result was a Council with almost all of its written preparations discarded.

Is "hijacking" the wrong word to describe the above historically verifiable events? Perhaps "undermining" or "insubordination" would be more apt? Or are such antics just one example of how the Church "progressed" in the true revolutionary spirit of the 60's?

With regard to the Concilium, the six Protestant members were Methodist A. Raymond George, Anglican Ronald Jaspar, Episcopalian Massey Shepherd, Lutherans Friedrich Kunneth & Eugene Brand and Max Thurian from the Calvinist Taize "community".

Of course, some will argue that they were merely "observers". Yet one cannot ignore Consilium president Bugnini's 1965 statement:

"We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren…"

Or, to quote French theologian Jean Guitton:

"The intention of Pope Paul VI with regard to what is commonly called the MAss, was to reform the Catholic Liturgy in such a way that it should almost coincide with the Protestant Liturgy. There was with Pope Paul Vi an ecumenical intention to remove, or, at least to correct, or, at least to relax, what was too Catholic in the traditional sense in the Mass, and, I repeat, to get the Catholic Mass closer to the Calvinist Mass."

There is an old saying: A camel is a horse designed by a committee. We cannot help but love the Mass no matter what its form, but many of us still resent the disfigurement of such a beautiful rite by the fiat of a committee evolved from a Council of disobedience, broken rules, ambiguities and no binding anathemas for those who wish to ignore its "teachings" which consist of no new doctrines or dogmas.

Ugh.

Henry said...

While there are many within the Church--indeed, many of them feeding at its trough while opposing orthodox Catholic belief from within--who truly despise the EF, most of those on the alleged other side despise not the OF but the abuse to which it is commonly subjected. But I might suggest that one's real love for the Mass is measured by the extent to which he is hurt by liturgical abuse of Our Lord and the Mass in which He is the principal actor.

rcg said...

Whoa!! 10:31 22 March 2014 - Gene and PI agreed on something to do with the change in the Liturgy post Vatican II.

That isn't the Seventh Seal I hear cracking, is it??

Pater Ignotus said...

John - Now not only do you describe me as a philistine, but a perverse philistine. Does your risible snobbery know no bounds?

What is perverse is thinking that God is more properly worshipped or more pleased with us when we worship Him in Latin. When we deign to speak to Him in the vernacular, maybe he pretends to be occupied or to have gone aside, or to be on a journey? Or perhaps he feigns sleep and can be awakened only by the dulcet tones of Gregorian chant or the mellifluity of Latin syntax?

What is perverse is the notion that using Latin will help the People of God understand more fully the saving mysteries of Jesus Christ.

What is perverse is thinking that if we make the liturgy more visually complex (subdeacons holding patens under humeral veils)or more elaborate in gestures (multiplication of thurible swings or signs of the cross over the bread and wine) somehow the People of God are going to come to the sudden realization that they are in God's presence.

Oh, let us pine for the days of yore when all was right with the world! Let us wax nostalgic on how perfect and orderly things were in the "Good Ol' Days!"

Pater Ignotus said...

Jay - What would be the benefit of retaining stumbling blocks to Christian unity?

If removing those blocks has contributed to greater ecumenical dialogue and progress - and it has - then I would say that their removal was an action of the Holy Spirit intended to bring healing to the Body of Christ.

And if your account of Day Three is accurate, why should Cardinal Lienart not have called for greater consultation? A Council is not called to be handed final documents and declarations for approval, is it?

Rules of Order - Robert's or Robertus' - are surely not Holy Writ and can (should?) be adjusted as necessary?

rcg - That was just Pin/Gene's creaky bones.....

rcg said...

There is an episode of the 'Simpson's" where Bart Simpson is riding int he back of his paren't car using the word 'Hell' in every way possible. His mother reprimands him but he rebukes her by reminding her that it is the Bible. John Nolan hit on the word 'ambiguity' that describes the cause of the problem exactly. I will agree with Gene on this point: the lack of strong leadership by the hierarchy has sustained that ambiguity and resulted in gross confusion. We have been confused and misled by what is allowed, either expressly or by omission, and by what has actually been done. I tend to see the extreme Trads as defending what the extreme Progressives very nearly succeeded in destroying. The Progressives are much greater in number, I would think at least 20 to one, and are much more aggressive in my experience. Progressive clergy are often surprisingly obnoxious; I have not personally heard a single Traditional priest speak ill of NO parishes.

Jay Ward said...

"greater ecumenical dialogue and progress" sounds so nice. However, as Pius XI noted in Mortalium Animos:

"There are some, indeed, who recognize and affirm that Protestantism, as they call it, has rejected, with a great lack of consideration, certain articles of faith and some external ceremonies, which are, in fact, pleasing and useful, and which the Roman Church still retains. They soon, however, go on to say that that Church also has erred, and corrupted the original religion by adding and proposing for belief certain doctrines which are not only alien to the Gospel, but even repugnant to it. Among the chief of these they number that which concerns the primacy of jurisdiction, which was granted to Peter and to his successors in the See of Rome. Among them there indeed are some, though few, who grant to the Roman Pontiff a primacy of honor or even a certain jurisdiction or power, but this, however, they consider not to arise from the divine law but from the consent of the faithful. Others again, even go so far as to wish the Pontiff Himself to preside over their motley, so to say, assemblies. But, all the same, although many non-Catholics may be found who loudly preach fraternal communion in Christ Jesus, yet you will find none at all to whom it ever occurs to submit to and obey the Vicar of Jesus Christ either in His capacity as a teacher or as a governor. Meanwhile they affirm that they would willingly treat with the Church of Rome, but on equal terms, that is as equals with an equal: but even if they could so act. it does not seem open to doubt that any pact into which they might enter would not compel them to turn from those opinions which are still the reason why they err and stray from the one fold of Christ.

'This being so, it is clear that the Apostolic See cannot on any terms take part in their assemblies, nor is it anyway lawful for Catholics either to support or to work for such enterprises; for if they do so they will be giving countenance to a false Christianity, quite alien to the one Church of Christ. Shall We suffer, what would indeed be iniquitous, the truth, and a truth divinely revealed, to be made a subject for compromise?"

The only point of ecumenism is to convert the unconverted to the Catholic faith. So far, I've seen very little of that during the postconciliar period, save for the pontificate of Benedict XVI, who is currently demonized by insinuation every time Francis is praised as being such a "refreshing change."

Good luck with that ecumenism. I invite anyone to tell me where "ecumenism" and "dialogue" played such a serious role in the Church before Vatican II. So far as I can see, it's not much a part of our pedigree. The current sellout is a failure, but why argue with the experts?

Anonymous said...

Jay...do you REALLY believe that at some point in time or some period of time, all of the Christians who are not Catholics, all of the followers of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism....all of the non-believers...everybody will decide "Oh my God", we've been wrong all of these years...sign me up for RCIA? Good luck with that.

John Nolan said...

Pater Ignotus,

God understands what is in our hearts - so in the last resort language is unnecessary. Where you are perverse is that you reject out of hand the opinion of all the popes (including John XXIII and Paul VI), not to mention the arguments put forward by Bishop MacMahon, who, believe me, is no traditionalist - in fact I strongly suspect you didn't bother to read them. In the unlikely event of your being made a bishop, your episcopal motto would have to be 'Reductio ad Absurdum'. Actually, the word 'absurd' comes from the Latin word for 'deaf'. Aures habent, et non audient, as the psalmist said.

If the vernacular minimalist liturgies are so good at communicating the 'saving mysteries' perhaps you would care to explain why only 34 per cent of Mass-goers in the USA believe in the Real Presence (assuming they even understand what is meant by it). When the Mass was everywhere in Latin, and even today among those who frequent Latin Masses, I think the figure would approach 100 per cent.

Those who appreciate Haydn and Gregorian Chant but don't think they are relevant to the hoi polloi are in my opinion the worst kind of snobs; elitist and condescending.

rcg said...

Anon: I think it could happen to many if we were better about supporting our faith and Church.

Gene said...

Ignotus, There seems to be a growing consensus about you on the blog. LOL! Oh, a snob is a type of bully, n'est ce pas?

Jay Ward said...

All of the Christians outside the Church, and other various pagans are certainly free to choose whatever they wish. We, as Catholics, are called to be faithful witnesses to the Traditions handed down to us and to the truth. We are not called to be pandering salesmen, or for that matter, sellouts.

Anonymous said...

Father, the OF Mass has been offered for 40 plus years and unfortunately, with the loss of the sense of the sacred, people have stopped attending Mass in their droves.

The most venom poured out against the Mass is undoubtedly against the EF Mass. I have found that those priests who do offer the OF Mass reverently seem to have no real idea of how the Mass is generally celebrated - how banal and how bad it can be celebrated, and how misbehaved the congregation often is - kids eating chippies throughout Mass, playing mobile games, mobile phones ringing, children running around the Church, skidding on marble floors and playing in the baptismal fonts. I sometimes come out of Mass after such an experience and think to myself, "And Mass was also offered" because the Mass seems secondary to everything else that is going on, clapping, guitar playing, bongo drums, chatter often all the way through Mass (including during the consecration). I can assure you, Father, that going to Mass on Sundays in the main over the last 30 or 40 years has been simply awful.

But for fear of losing my soul I would have stopped going long ago. I can say I have never experienced anything like that sort of behaviour at a EF Latin Mass ...

Jan

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - It should be obvious to you that I am not swayed by the opinions of blog posters. I say let the consensus build to unanimity! Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead! Ta-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa...

John - God understands hearts. For God, language may be unnecessary, but for us it is essential. Otherwise, God would not have given us His revelation via human language, first spoken, then written.

Blaming the 34% attendance at mass on the use of the vernacular is, I believe, one of the prime - if not THE prime - misdiagnoses made by the traditionalist crowd.
I suspect that if the mass had not changed at all, we'd still have had, in the West, a precipitous decline in attendance and participation in the life of the Church. The causes were almost entirely related to changes in culture and mores, not to the cessation of Latin at liturgy or in the Church in general.

I am a great admirer of Haydn et. al., but I know that not everyone is. Nor should they be. It is snobbery to think "Everyone must share my tastes and those who don't are lesser than I." I don't believe that, but it seems you do.

Pater Ignotus said...

Jay - Mortalium animos (1928) is not the final word on matters ecumenical. Were that the case, you would have to discard Dominus Iesus (2000), Ut Unum Sint (1995),Unitatis Redentigratio (1964),and any other magisterial documents that followed MA. This is not how the magisterial office of the Church works.

You may also have to toss out those pre-1928 teachings of the Church that are used by the Church to undergird its teaching on ecumenism today. That might include the teaching of the Council of Florence in "Exultate Deo" on the unity of Christians in Baptism, the 4th Lateran Council in "Constitutio Constituti" regarding the true basis for unity, etc etc.

If the teaching on ecumenism come to a grinding halt with MA, you might also have to declare null the lifting of the mutual excommunications of their predecessors by Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras (1965).

And Jay, I ask again, why would we not want to remove any and all obstacles to unity that can be removed?

Jay Ward said...

I have no problem removing "stumbling blocks", so long as the result is what ecumenism is supposed to be: A return to the One True Church. However, certain things cannot be erased that our faith depends on. Jesus Himeself was not only the Stone the Builders Rejected and the Cornerstone. HE too was a stumbling stone. Should we remove Him?

With regard to all the post Vatican II pabulum about dialogue and ecumenism--has any of it really worked? Where are all those mass conversions? Still waiting for that "new springtime" under the cloud of the postconciliar nuclear winter.

Pater Ignotus said...

Jay - So, among the revisions of the mass, which of the elements removed fits into the category of "things that our faith depends on"?

Also, where were the mass conversions in, say, 1929, the year after Mortalium animos was promulgated?

Has any of it (dialogue and ecumenism) really worked? There are two good reads (good, if you are an ecumenism geek, as I am): "Harvesting the Fruits" by Cardinal Kasper and "Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue" by Cardinal Edward Cassidy.

To approach the proposal made by Bl. Pope John Paul II to "revision" the papacy (Ut Unum Sint) so that it may better serve all Christians, the "Ut Unum Sint" series is very helpful.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The removal of traditional Catholic piety, spirituality and reverence especially as it was and now is again in the 1962 Missal, the legitimate other of the two forms of the one Latin Rite.

Pater Ignotus said...

Good Father - No "traditional Catholic piety and reverence" was removed from the missal.

These are cultural trends, not ecclesiastical trends. This is, again, the misdiagnosis that is common among traditionalists. And it's not just among traditionalists, but among people of any stripe whose view is parochial.

Every aspect of our entire culture is less pious and reverent/respectful. Surely what Catholic did in the mass has not influenced how people behave in nightclubs, in theaters, in sport stadiums?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

PI, you have no credibility with comparing reverence since you don't really recall the 1962 missal, won't attend it to properly assess the reverence and piety of the congregation and have not celebrated it as a priest to see its built-in priestly piety and reverence! Go and truly experience and then come back converted!

Pater Ignotus said...

Good Father - If you find there is no "built-in" piety and reverence in the OF, then you are not looking for it. You have decided, a priori and wrongly, that it is not there.

Masses I celebrate, exclusively in the OF, are reverent. I am reverent, the people are reverent. This has been the case for the 28+ years I have been a priest.

You certainly celebrate a reverent OF mass, and the people who attend them do so reverently, so you cannot claim that there EF is, by its nature, a more "reverent" mass.

But you miss the forest for the trees. The decline in reverence is not a Catholic phenomenon. It is a cultural phenomenon. You cannot "restore" this cultural reverence by reverting to a form of the mass which you (wrongly) claim instills greater reverence.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

PI you have no credibility since you have no first hand experience of the EF, none whatsoever, or else you would know very very well that EF communities buck the cultural trends toward no reverence and loss of Catholic orthodoxy better than OF parishes.

Pater Ignotus said...

Good Father - Nor do you have any first-hand experience of the celebration of mass in other parishes. Hence, you cannot claim to have credibility regarding the "reverence level" t of these OF parishes.

Now, wasn't it some of your star altar servers who acted so irreverently at the last baccalaureate mass that you thought it necessary to apologize to the bishop? If reverent masses always result in reverent behavior, tell us, what went wrong?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

But it was an OF Mass the only one these kids know and thus to be expected, alas. Sigh!

Pater Ignotus said...

Good Father - 99 out of 100 times, you get from kids what you expect from them.

Henry said...

I know pretty well a number of young priests--brought up, trained, and ordained in the OF--who celebrate the OF with devotion and reverence, and subsequently learned the EF. With no exception, all have said that the EF inspires greater focus and reverence in the priest himself than they had ever experienced previously. I have never heard a dissenting view with a priest with any personal exposure to the EF. Finally, a topic on which there appears to be absolute unanimity! What a pearl of great price in today's contentious Church!

Gene said...

Fr, Re: your post at 11:21. Just delete all after, "PI, you have no credibility…" LOL!

John Nolan said...

Pater Ignotus makes a habit of deliberately missing the point, which is what makes him perverse. I wasn't talking about decline in Mass attendance, which may have many causes. The figure of two out of three who do not believe in the Real Presence was the result of a survey of Mass-going Catholics, and I asked him to explain that figure in the light of his oft-repeated comments that the vernacular better communicates the 'saving mysteries'. As usual, he evaded the question by answering an entirely different one.

To prefer Gregorian Chant to the sacro-pop banalities of the St Louis Jesuits (and for the sake of argument I'll put Haydn to one side) is not a question of personal taste, since Gregorian Chant is proper to the Roman liturgy, at least according to Vatican II, Musicam Sacram and the GIRM.

Nor do I consider it snobbery to prefer great music to ear-candy (step forth again Joseph Haydn!) or to believe that attention to detail in liturgical celebration is somehow effete. PI claims to be musical, so he would surely be put out if he went to a concert where the conductor had not studied the score, ignored the composer's markings and regarded such details as intonation and ensemble as irrelevant.

And the sacred liturgy is more important than a musical concert, even one featuring works of the utmost genius. PI needs to be dragged out of the relativistic swamp in which appears to be wallowing.

Pater Ignotus said...

John - Cite the surveys that tell us what percentage of Catholics believed in the Real Presence in the 1950's. You claim that, in days of yore, more than one-third believed in the Real presence. Cite the surveys. Anecdotal evidence is not allowed. "Everybody knows that..." is not evidence.

The claim is often made, but rarely substantiated, that when the mass was in Latin, everyone clearly understood and fully believed the Church's teachings.

Take into account that, in those days, a much higher percentage of Catholics had been educated in Catholic schools where children get hundreds of hours of indoctrination, as opposed to Sunday religious education classes where 30 hours a year is common.

No, the change from Latin to the vernacular is not the cause in the declines we have seen in mass attendance or the declines in reported belief. The causes are far, far more systemic to our general Western culture.

I am not opposed to attention to detail. I am opposed to including details that are frivolous, distracting, unnecessary, or otherwise not integral to the celebration of the mass. If the great concern of the MC is that 12 swings of the thurible is necessary for the proper celebration of the mass, then the mass has been degraded to mere rubrics and puffery.

Snobbery is calling "philistine" those who do not share your personal preferences for language and music. Snobbery is suggesting that those who do not celebrate mass in Latin can't appreciate Haydn, opera, or other "refined" arts.

Pin/gene - Any "Catholic" who calls African Americans a "feral minority," who refers to the USCCB as a gathering of Communists, and who says he would follow the pope, but only out of curiosity, is a sham "Catholic" at best.

John Nolan said...

PI, I could give you a list of reasons why the retention and indeed fostering of liturgical Latin and Gregorian Chant is desirable, and quote all the recent popes on the subject. None of their writings have referred to the personal tastes of J.Nolan, Esquire, or anyone else's for that matter, least of all their own.

Who are you to decide what parts of the Roman liturgical tradition are "frivolous, distracting, unnecessary or otherwise not integral"? Sources close to Paul VI have said that when he famously spoke of the 'smoke of Satan' he had vainglorious priests in mind, who moulded the liturgy to suit their own tastes and prejudices.

Attention to rubrics and the traditions of the Roman Rite is not 'puffery'. In fact, it is the opposite, since it does not draw attention to or inflate the personality of the celebrant, or make him a 'presider' in the manner of a TV chef or chat-show presenter. There are eight priests at the Oxford Oratory, all with different personality traits; but there's no difference in the way they celebrate Mass, whether it's EF or OF, said or sung, Latin or English.

Henry said...

For a person to check a box on a survey form saying that he believes in the Real Presence, means nothing to me.

If he says forthrightly that he believes that, at the words of consecration (and not otherwise) spoken by the priest in persona Christi, the bread and wine are instantly transformed into the substance of the Body and Blood of Christ and thence taken by His angel to the throne of God and offered there in propitiation for the sins of men here below, then I accept that he does indeed believe.

But if he cannot or will not affirm this traditional Catholic doctrine explicitly and forthrightly, then what he says means nothing to me; circumlocutions about the presence of Christ in the Word, in the priest, in others, in the world, all around us, are vacuous if not mendacious and worse than meaningless. Because every self-identified Catholic I know would verbally allege belief in the "real presence" if left at that without specification, the question is whether this alleged belief has some real meaning that is manifested in his behavior in holy communion, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, in his attitude and behavior in Mass and outside of Mass.

Pater Ignotus said...

Henry - And if a person says, as he has said before, that he believes all that the Church teaches and believes to be revealed by God, does that not include our belief that the Bread and Wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus at the mass?

Of course it does.

But, when the aim of the questioner is not to elicit a statement of faith, but to find fault with whatever - whatever - answer that may be forthcoming, why should the one being questioned bother to reply?

And is it the Church's explicit (or implicit, for that matter)doctrine that angels take the Body and Blood of Jesus to the throne of God in heaven?

You see, people often add to what they think the Church actually, explicitly teaches, intentionally or unintentionally, in order to find fault with whatever answer is given.

John - The Church, with full authority to do so, decides what is frivolous.

Henry said...

Pater, I take your question to be rhetorical, since as a priest you would know that one of the Church's most ancient formulations in this regard is that of the "Supplices te rogamus" after the consecration in the ancient Roman canon (dating in Latin back to patristic times), in the recent English translation:

"In humble prayer we ask you, almighty God: command that these gifts be borne by the hands of your holy Angel to your altar on high in the sight of your divine majesty . . . "

My (personal) understanding is that the word Angel is capitalized here because it refers to the action of Christ Himself.

John Nolan said...

PI, the Church has never described any aspect of her liturgy as frivolous (trifling, silly). It is therefore your own value judgement, based on prejudice and woeful and probably wilful ignorance.

Gene said...

I see that Ignotus is still trying to make excuses for his refusal to answer the direct question as to whether he believes in the Real Presence and the bodily resurrection of Jesus. Don't ya' just love it. LOL!