Tuesday, February 24, 2015


While every Catholic today has a right to like certain types of liturgical music, liturgical style and even one form of the Mass over another form, we don't have the right to demand this, that or the other and to do so as though we are pope, bishop or pastor. That's not how the Catholic Church operates; it's not our ecclesiology, but rather a Protestant, congregational form of ecclesiology. In fact when I read what some say about either form of the Mass, I wonder if they haven't become Southern Baptists interpreting what the Church teaches in their own infallible way.

As everyone knows, I love both forms of the Mass and love to celebrate both forms. Why? Because Pope Benedict allowed it and now even Pope Francis has indicated that Pope Benedict's permission for this is a part of the post-Vatican II Magisterium and is not just to reach out to the schismatic groups that reject the Second Vatican Council and the newer form of the Mass but it is for those who simply prefer it. Thus the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is one expression of the two forms of the Latin Rite. How cool is that?

Both Masses though are Catholic. Both accomplish with different ecclesiolgies and ceremony the teachings of the Church on the Mass as an "unbloody sacrifice" and where "transubstantiation" takes place.

My father in pre-Vatican II times (in fact after also) preferred the Low Mass, no singing except for special occasions. He didn't denigrate a Sung or Solemn Sung Mass, but certainly preferred the simplicity and brevity of the Low Mass.

When we lived in Italy, my father was amused that Italians talked in Church, moved about and had a different mentality about piety compared to the more rigid American and Canadian approaches. One would never see in the pre-Vatican II times in Canada or the USA the antics of Italians in  Italy during the same period.

I had someone tell me that they like the piety and hushed silence of the EF Mass and are distracted by all the goings on in the OF especially people talking in Church, etc.

That's okay. What's not okay is to say the OF Mass warts and all is not a valid Mass or is less Catholic. How could that be? The Church certainly doesn't teach that! Only Protestant Catholics would say such a thing and they would then be heretical, something that would be resoundingly declared so in the pre-Vatican II times.


Gene said...

So, let me get this straight…no matter what goes on in an OF Mass it is ok and we had better like it or go to Hell. So, topless dancing altar girls, a dog ballet, Three Stooges slap-stick between the Priest and the Deacon, a watermelon smash-a-thon, a face painting booth in the Sanctuary, Grateful Dead and KISS music,
and nude sack races from the Church steps to the altar rail during the Great Amen are all just fine a la ex opera operato. If this attitude is not protestant, I never saw it…this is completely protestant logic.

Anonymous said...

Well said. This should put this question, this discussion to rest for once and for all.

JusadBellum said...

It's all because of official dissent over contraception led by prominent theologians, bishops, pastors.

If lowly lay people can - with the hierarchy's blessing - abandon the Pope's magisterium in one area as crucial as sexuality, then the principle has been established that there are no hard and fast "inviolable" rules.

That's it's all a question of taste.

The dissents' argument was that the sovereign "conscience" of the contracepting was sufficient to determine what is and is not mortal sin. It's a small step from there for these same folk to decide "in conscience" that not going to Mass is OK. That not helping the poor is OK. That this or that rite, devotion, etc. is OK to dispense with if they don't like it.

Because the dissents (never particularly bright to begin with) substituted objective reality - the world (including our human nature) as God made it - for the subjective reality of our own whims and desires.

You can't expect that sort of thing to be compartmentalized! You can't counsel couples that it's OK to contracept wink wink, nod nod, and then suddenly get in high dungeon because they've decided to skip Sunday Mass!

If their desires, their appetites "transmogrify" reality why wouldn't their desires make a certain rite the "only" way to "do it"?

We see this all the time in every aspect of life....people consult their FEELINGS first and last and not their thoughts.

I can't tell you the number of 'arguments' that don't even get to the level of genuine argument but start and finish with someone announcing their feelings on a topic and going into an endless loop "I feel like gay sex is OK because to me, gay sex feels Ok and if it feels OK then it is OK because to not give in to my lusts I wouldn't feel OK and I need to be OK because I'm OK, Ok?"

Try arguing with someone who only feels and doesn't think...

So if they like a rite - that's all that matters. If they don't "like it" then that's all that matters.

The whole "this feels tough and arcane and difficult but I'm going to bow and kneel and be silent anyway out of respectful obedience to God" is a real cultural divide. Being willing to set one's FEELINGS ASIDE to obey some ancient custom is a good lesson in every other aspect of life.

How much of professional and marriage life involves UNPLEASANT STATES of being? And yet we are to persevere despite the unpleasantness, the mystery, the lack of 'feeling' because we cling to it as 'objectively good'.

One cannot exercise the virtue of Hope if one cannot hold on despite a lack of 'good feeling'.

All brought to us by the geniuses who thought "letting" Catholics dissent was a great idea.

Anonymous said...

This is the best example I have seen yet of the working of an adolescent mind trying for juvenile playground humor. Give it a rest parson.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Gene, if the EF were to become the normative Mass once again, given the way the OF is celebrated (which is not according to the books in most cases, thus the abuses) don't you think the same thing could happen to the EF?

You would see altar girls, EMHC and a lot of creativity apart from language.

the issue is dealing with the liturgical abuse properly and this is the domain of the local bishop who can either succeed or fail.

Marie said...


Do be reasonable. I've seen a lot of OF liturgical abuses prior to Redemptionist Sacramentum, but not as extreme as your examples.

And Fr. McD is right. Abuse, too, can happen in the EF.

Last Feb. 1, at a Mass I attended out there in the wine country, the beautiful concert scola was singing medieval Christmas carols and madrigals instead of the Propers at a TLM Mass. The "rationale" was that since it was still Christmastide [it was not yet Feb. 2], they wanted to have a last Christmas carol hurrah.

But...for heaven's sake, it's Septuagesima! The priest was wearing his purple vestments, no Gloria was recited, the Alleluia was gone! And they were singing Christmas carols?

I don't care how beautifully you sing your medieval madrigals and carols, but on Septuagesima, it was clearly a liturgical abuse.

John said...

John XXIII and Paul VI allowed modernists to do their worst. John Paul II and Benedict XVI have slowed the disintegration but by now the revolution is full fledged and unstoppable.

The Roman empire broke into various pieces once central authority failed to exercise authority in distant provinces. The same could happen to our Church.

Benedict XVI predicted the emergence of a much smaller and poorer Church. The devolution, unfortunately, seems to be inevitable now. One might even argue a de facto breakup has already occurred. Claiming magisterial authority is not working when at the same time well established doctrines are willy-nilly ignored by the post Vatican 2 Magisterium. (See arguments above by JusadBellum).

Gene said...

FR. and Marie, the TLM lends itself to abuse far less than the OF. This has been pointed out on this blog by many over and over. But, you may think my examples are extreme but, given the logic of defending the abuses of the OF, just where do you draw the line between acceptable and absurd. Lovers of the OF want anything goes. It fits in with what Jusad was saying above. You can't wink at abuses in one area of Catholic life and have it not affect others.
There is simply no sense of the Holy in most OF Masses…there is no awareness of the sacred. I leave most of them feeling like I've been to First Methodist. Now, do you not think that this offends God's Righteousness? Do you not think it is a stain upon His Holiness…and that He is merely forebearing? I wonder...

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Also, only those who want and respect the EF celebrate it. If it were the norm, you would see the abuses coming right and left!

Gene said...

Fr, I wonder if that is wishful thinking to support your defense of the OF. I doubt if you would see the abuses in the TLM< especially with the new generation of Priests coming along. I have attended it in several states and have seen no abuses.

rcg said...

FrAJM, you are right, but EF abuses would be more obvious. The NO was essentially born to a dysfunctional family where every nutty uncle could decorate the Christmas tree his own way. I do think the NO is far less rigorous and therefore more accessible. Nothing wrong with that. The clown Mass is admittedly an effort to help the Mass reach more people. But how can we tell when we have gone too far?

Anonymous said...

"Also, only those who want and respect the EF celebrate it. If it were the norm, you would see the abuses coming right and left!"

That statement is simply not true. Granted things were not perfect before Vatican II, but they were 100% better than today. The kind of liturgical "abuse" prior to Vatican II consisted in things like Stated above ie a Christmas Hymn sung during Lent. That is a HUGE difference then having consecrated hosts being passed around like corn chips and trampled in the mud. There is a big difference in only allowing a Low Mass then having giant puppets at Mass. In the pre Vatican II Mass the Eucharist was NEVER treated with diarespect, and if you say it was I demand proof, because it didn't happen. In the post Vatican II mass as celebrated around the globe we have massive disrepect for the Eucharist which has resulted in a massive disbelief in the Real Presence. In the pre Vatican II Mass people would never go to communion with mortal sin on their souls, in the post Vatican II Church we are now being told that that is a good thing.
Liturgical abuse is not okay Father and I don't care if it doesn't cause invalidity because the people of God have a right, under Canon Law, to have the sacraments celebrated according to the approved rights and no priest or bishop has the right to change or alter what the Holy See has approved. Stop rationalizing abuse. Those priests who commit abuse need to be disciplined and if they refuse to obey then they should be laicized. And it is exactly that easy. Better to have 10 faithful priests than 100 disobedient arrogant men.

Anonymous said...

Pastor Gene, I'm probably as liberal a person as you are never likely to meet (but...surprise, I am opposed to abortion) but I promise I am not gonna push for topless dancing altar girls or Grateful Dead music at Mass. The stuff you make up and reality seem to blend together sometimes.

Gene said...

Anonymous…"the stuff you make up and reality seem to blend together sometime…" Yeah, like in the reality of the OF Masses.

Paul said...

The body and blood of Christ are still real and present. How the stewards and laypeople behave is guided by their formed conscience and whatever their recognition of the Real Presence truly is. Hopefully, well-formed consciences will recognize the antics and choose not to participate. Want to hand-hold with me during the "Our Father"? Hold air because that's all you're getting.

"God is good."
"All the time."
"All the time."
"God is good."

Personally, I don't know how anyone (including myself) can walk or even crawl into the Sanctuary knowing who is there. Thanks be to God for the ability to walk.

Catholic Mission said...

Would this be magisterial for the magisterium?

Vatican Council II interpreted without the irrational premise. The SSPX could affirm this

Gene said...

"What a Friend We Have in Jesus..."

Gene said...

BTW, looks like the SF Archbishop is about to cave on his request that Catholic school employees behave like Catholics...

John Nolan said...

I'm glad that Fr MacDonald now regards altar girls and EMHC as an abuse! Before SP an indult Mass could have incorporated the 1964 and 1967 revisions (in the latter case it would not have been greatly different from the Novus Ordo).

The EF, however, has been ring-fenced as a result of UE and rulings by the PCED. One priest (in Cambridge, England) actually did use female servers for a time and incurred widespread criticism thereby. One disadvantage of the EF is that it is 1962 which has been ring-fenced, which incorporated some unfortunate revisions, notably the changes to the Ordo for Holy Week mandated by Pius XII and disliked by both Cardinal Heenan and John XXIII (who actually restored some of the pre-1955 Ordo).

Still, it will do for now.

Paul said...


The jury is still out (sort of) but I guess the SF media and minions have pounded the Bishop enough, threatened enough expensive legal litigation and/or received word from "somewhere" so much so that what is right and wrong must be "revisited" and "reworded".

These days, if sin is called by its real name that would be considered hateful and divisive. I can hear it: "How dare 'those Catholics' try to follow in the footsteps of Christ when the rest of us have no desire to. Homophobic bigots." (have to sneak some name calling in there at the end so as to give the parody some legitimacy)

Blessed Pope Paul VI was concerned about the "smoke of Satan". Today that concern is not so subtle: it's "the flowing raw sewage of Satan" to be concerned about.

John Nolan said...

'The Lord's Supper or Mass is a sacred meeting or assembly of the People of God, met together under the presidency of the priest, to celebrate the memorial of the Lord'

Luther? Zwingli? Cranmer? No, it is the definition of the Mass in the first Institutio Generalis for the Novus Ordo Missae of 1969. The following year, following the now famous 'Ottaviani intervention' this had been dropped and we now had 'The sacrificial nature of the Mass, solemnly asserted by the Council of Trent in accordance with the Church's universal tradition, was reaffirmed by the Second Vatican Council, which offered these significant words about the Mass: "At the Last Supper our Saviour instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood, by which he would perpetuate the Sacrifice of the Cross throughout the centuries until he should come again, thus entrusting to the Church, his beloved Bride, the memorial of his death and resurrection."'

Textual problems remained, but Ottaviani declared himself satisfied. What would have happened if the Novus Ordo had been promulgated with the original preamble? How many priests would have found themselves unable in conscience to use the new Missal? How many of the faithful (who reluctantly accepted the changes because they were told that the Mass itself had not been changed) would have continued to attend?

Gene said...

"Lord's Supper," "presidency of the Priest," "memorial of the Lord," and "assembly of the people of God" are all protestantizing, de-constructionist terms aimed at removing the mystery of the Sacrifice, the belief in the bodily resurrection of Jesus, the power of Christ in the Priesthood, and any meaningful eschatology from the theology of the Church. Beware of anyone who uses these terms deliberately and correct anyone who uses them through ignorance or stupidity. Language, or the confusion thereof, is a primary tool of the Left and progressives in the Church. Never trust them, shun them when possible, and combat them as ruthlessly as they attack the Church from within.

Catholic Mission said...


What was Fr. Hardons error that Cardinal Burke approved?