Sunday, February 8, 2015

IS THE ORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS AS COMMONLY CELEBRATED IN A HORIZONTAL WAY A FORM OF GODLESS SECULARISM, A PARTICULARLY DASTARDLY KIND OF INCULTURATION?

 Most Masses in the Ordinary Form are not an actual abuse of the Mass. We might complain about piano over organ, guitar instead of no accompaniment. Certainly piano could be viewed as secular, organ as religious. Guitar could be viewed as contemporary secular and without accompaniment as the most ancient religious. 

In in effort by the priest or bishop at many liturgies to be warm, inviting and hospitable, the momentum of prayer, rightly religious, is often disrupted by a distracting form of secular, horizontal greetings, that reduces the congregation to welcomed guests in their own home or worse yet makes baptized visitors feel as though a Catholic Mass is somehow someone else's Mass when they are in a different church, thus the need to welcome them. This betrays the universalism of Catholicism that tends to be very suspicious of congregationalism. I always thought I was in my Father's house no matter which one and certainly not a guest to be welcomed!

But think of the trajectory and continuity of the Introductory Rite of an Ordinary Form Mass celebrated properly. It is transcendent. The chanted Introit is prayer, the Sign of Cross and religous greeting keep the focus on the sacred, not the banal or secular, the invitation to acknowledge our sins and God's mercy keeps up the momentum. The Kyrie and Gloria keeps us soaring. Then the Collect brings us to a finale prior to the Liturgy of the Word which indeed is horizontal and directed to all of us clergy and laity alike.

But what happens at funerals, weddings and many Sunday Masses? We start off great, get through a processional hymn of some kind, start with the Sign of the Cross and greeting and bam, the priest changes the venue from the transcendent and vertical to the secular and horizontal and completely disrupts the trajectory of prayer begun at the procession.

He launches into a secular greeting of some kind in a very warm way. Then he welcomes the congregation to their own home. Worse yet, if their are other clergy at the Mass, he welcomes them and introduces them by name. It is horrible and bishops are some of the worst perpetrators of this sort of thing.

Then to get back on track, the priest tries to get people back into a religious, transcendent sort of frame of mind. But it is too late. The transcendence is lost!

I like what Cardinal Mueller had to say in the post below this one. It has implications for the Liturgy!

Cardinal Mueller was speaking of our culture today, but his words could easily be an indictment of the Ordinary Form of the Liturgy as it is celebrated in so many place (and not intended by the Church actually to be such) and how bishops and priests in the manner in which they celebrate the Ordinary Form of the Mass have capitulated to this mindset, an errant form of inculturation from a very, very corrupt culture:

 Never before, the German cardinal writes, has the world “encountered such radicalism which tends to define man without God, closing the door to transcendence and destroying the common foundations of the human person.”

“The challenge for the hierarchy and for all members of the Church is to resist these worldly infections”, he says, also in the “treatment of these spiritual of diseases of our time.”

Pope Francis, he says in closing, “is pursuing a spiritual cleansing of the temple, at the same time both painful and liberating, so the glory of God can shine in the Church and be a light for all people. Recalling then, like the disciples of the Lord, the words of Scripture, "Zeal for your house will consume me" (John, 2, 17).



40 comments:

JBS said...

Father McDonald,

You make a good point in noting that a Catholic entering a Catholic church is "not a guest to be welcomed", but a child arriving home. When the celebrant offers a greeting of welcome, the first message he is sending is that he alone belongs there, while everyone else is a guest.

In truth, the only guests to be welcomed in a Catholic church are non-Catholics, but this welcoming would better occur at the church doors.

JBS said...

As for transcendence, the easiest way to begin is to place a large cross on the center of the altar, and to look at it, rather than at the congregation, when addressing God. I usually look towards the corpus when addressing Christ, and just above the corpus when addressing the Father.

Anonymous said...

"Most Masses in the Ordinary Form are not an actual abuse of the Mass."

That statement is just not true. The Vatican II document on the liturgy states " no one, not even a priest may add, remove or change ANYTHING in the liturgy of his own accord". I have been attending Mass my entire life and I have never, not once, never, attended the OF of the Mass that something wasn't chamged or added or excluded by the priest.

Here is the normal experience of what happens in 99% of typical Novus Ordo parishes:

1. They are half empty
2. There is no silence at all.
3. People no longer acknowledge the Blessed Sacrament with a genuflection.
4. Some middle aged woman will come out and thank everyone for coming to the eucharistic celebration, will announce all the "hymns", announce who this weeks presider is etc.
5. Mass begins and another announcement of what the "hymn" is.
6. Then the procession of altar girls, lectors etc followed by a priest who may or may not be wearing the vestments required by the church.
7. The priest does not go to the ltar of God in a spirit of prayer, hands will not be folded, he will be carrying a Glory and Praise song book, he will have a big silly grin and will be greeting the people he knows.
8. A quick head nod to a table.
9. Maybe a Sign of the Cross will be made and then starts the beginning of his lounge act. A few jokes, thanking evryone for being there, more jokes etc.
10. Then the readings are proclaimed by people who can't read well and mispronounce every other word.
11. the Gospel may be read ny a priest.
12. The homily, which may be given by a priest or a talk by a visiting guest, usually a liberal nun. God is not mention, the teachings and doctrine of the Church are neve mentioned (sorry Pope Francis, I don't know what Church is obcessed with Dogma).
13. Prayers of the Faithful, which is usually telling the people how great they are.
14. The presentation of the gifts, usually another chance for the priests friends to make an appereance in the spot light.
15. The priest may or may not say the Offertory prayers, usually the priest will slightly raise the bread and wine slightly for a second.
16. Oh, and I didn't mention the Creed, because depending on the priest it may or may not be said.
17. The eucharistic prayer which although addressed to God, is relly prayed to the people.
18. The Our Father, hand holding time.
19. The sign of peace, kissing time.
20. Communion, out comes the gang of eucharistic ministers.
21. Everybody in the Church receives communion in the hand (even though the confessional lines are empty) the communion line is alwys full. Except of course for the divorced and remarried who obey the teaching of the Church.......oh wait sorry that was made up. The divorced don't care, they go to communion.
22. Another announcement about hoagie sales or something like that.

23. A super quick "prayer" and the priest ask that "May God bless us.....".
24. Time for a quick protestant song.
25. Nobody stays behind to pray, there is laughter and screaming laughter going on.....and the Blessed sacrament is ignored.

That's is the norm. Maybe not in your parish, but that is the norm in every other typical Catholic parish.

Henry said...

The unctuous manner of celebrating Mass by so many priests--whose personal interjections in the liturgy exhibit their attitude that they are its masters rather than its servants--is a vicious form of clericalism gone wild in our time, destroying the faith of many by depriving them of their right to worship in God-given rather than man-driven liturgy.

Anonymous said...

It's disappointing to see that some priests seem to encourage or treat liturgical abuses indifferently.

In our chapel, our guitarist (sadly we don't have any organists in our community) uses "beats" to accompany his playing. For the recessional, he usually uses "praise and worship" songs (and even secular ones!) just to make the congregation happy. In our Christmas novena Masses, he would use "Feliz Navidad" by Jose Feliciano, "Jingle bells" and "We wish you a merry Christmas" as recessional hymns! The song he usually sings during communion was Jackson 5's "Make Love on Christmas Day". Despite these things taking place, our parish priest doesn't seem to care at all. If these people treat the liturgy in this kind of way, how do we expect people to believe that the Mass is the highest form of prayer in the Church?

PS.
The caretakers of our chapel were looking for a new choir master who will direct the choir for free, since our guitarist isn't really from our place and is just being paid to do it. I'm currently taking piano lessons and I am very willing to do it. I am also planning to take organ lessons in the future. Please pray for me.

George said...

How can anyone doubt the Power of God who witnesses the power of man? Man, who though he was created in the image and likeness of God, is still one of His creatures. Because of what God has provided to man, and because of what man is able to do with what he has be given, we who exist today benefit from great conveniences. We walk into a room, flip a switch and we have light. Because of this power which comes into our homes and buildings, we have heat and air conditioning. We avail ourselves of this electrical power which was generated and came to us from another time and place. Is this not in a similar but different way, like the reality of Christs' Passion and Death and the merits thereof , which although occurring in another time and place, is available to us today in our own time? Even though what man has accomplished today would be considered a miracle and a mystery by those of another time and place, God, because of His Divine nature and omnipotence, can accomplish much greater .So in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, because God is not limited by time and space, there is the re-presentation to us today in our own time and place of the Sacrifice on Calvary. If only it was always the case the priest and congregation would orient themselves with reverent acknowledgement and due respect in celebration of this great mystery. Now, while it is possible for any one of us to cause power to flow in the circuitry of our homes, only a duly ordained priest can, by the proper words of consecration, bring the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ down to us at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Why does consuming the Sacred Host not have the effect on most of us that God would desire? This is because we are not properly or sufficiently prepared or disposed to receive the greater effect of the benefits available. How many of us waste time with the power that comes into our homes watching too much television or looking at things that we would be better off not seeing. The same with the Internet. Could we not spend at least a little more time on reading and learning God's Word, in going to the Adoration Chapel and praying?
Could we not spend more time on what God's Power and Generosity has provided us and less on what man's power has?

Robert Kumpel said...

Anonymous @ 8:44

Is that REALLY the norm in most parishes?

I am not denying what you list inasmuch as it occurs, however I just question how rampant the problem truly is. I have witnessed every abuse you mention and worse, but it has been infrequent and usually it's only been in parishes that had poorly formed priests or very weak pastors. If that is really the state of the Church in the majority of parishes, then we have a lot of praying and penance to do. I just pray you are exaggerating.

Mike said...

Anonymous's 25 steps above are a mixture of potential abuse and what should be expected (how can 11 be an abuse in any sense?). But let me use this list to recap Mass today in our parish.

The Gospel and homily were by one of our ordained deacons, who did so reverently (though there wasn't much in the way of catechesis); I'll note that it is not unusual for a non-ordained member of the staff to do the bulk of the homily after our pastor says a few words by way of introducing the topic.

With that as prelude, here are the questionable items from the list that I noted today:

2 / 3 / 6 / 7 / 8 (our tabernacle is in a separate chapel for some reason) / 9 (including a summoning and dismissal of 4-7 year olds for what is essentially Sunday school, accompanied by an insipid local hymn) / we always pray the Creed (either Nicene or Apostles) / 15 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / (I'm ambivalent on 21 as I don't know the state of any parishioner's soul but mine, though it seems we must be a pretty saintly bunch in toto) / 22 (though the announcements were of various lenten study programs and devotions, so I'll give a pass to this) / 23 / 24 / 25 + what blessed sacrament? it's invisible except for 8 hours during the workday on First Fridays.

While have always liked the EF mass, and thought it was one of the best ways to unify the faithful, I have also seen NO masses that were reverent and solemn. Unfortunately, most of these I saw when I was in Croatia.

JBS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Nolan said...

Anonymous @ 9:56

The departure of your guitarist, who was (astonishingly) actually paid for his dubious entertainment, gives you an opportunity to get choir and congregation (and even the priest) to start singing the Mass. Apart from the Missal chants there are simple settings of the Ordinary and Propers, in the vernacular, which can be downloaded for free and which require no accompaniment.

The organ has is place but if it is only used to accompany hymns I wouldn't bother with it. A tuning fork or a set of pitch-pipes will suffice.

Anonymous said...

Mike:

Perhaps what he meant by #11 is that the Gospel MIGHT be read by a priest, which suggests that it might not as well.

Anonymous said...



Listening to Pope Pius XII chanting the preface at Mass, and comparing the OF Mass offered by more recent Popes, it is just so apparent what we lost but is being restored in some places.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=796769663731881&set=vr.796769663731881&type=2&theater

Jan

Carol H. said...

Concerning #11, many of the parishes that I have attended in the past only had a Priest read the Gospel only if a deacon was not present.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately Anonymous at 8:44 hits the nail on the head with his list of what happens at the Ordinary Form of the Mass.

There is only one parish in our city you can attend where the priest sticks absolutely to the rubrics and announcements are kept to a minimum. Even then we get do get guitars and fellowship music every so often as this priest has no say in the matter.

Most of the other parishes in the city follow the list except for 1, 5, 10. Everyone is asked to turn to their neighbour and greet each other at the beginning of Mass and then the priest processes in.

The lay people seem to have been taught to read but we get the other extreme where the readings are read out incredibly slowly and more or less "proclaimed", to the point where you can feel a bit like you are listening to a play at times.

The "sermon" has sometimes taken the form of something acted out or in the recent case of the deacon himself singing a psalm on a CD and flashing up photos on to the overhead screen. Usually his sermons are about something he has done in his job or what his wife is doing.

I have heard only one or two sermons at most over at least 30 years addressing the immorality of people living together, but nothing about abortion or any other moral issue affecting the church. I understand priests have been specifically told not to refer to hell or the devil in case they upset children. We are told we must love our neighbour but no suggestion as to how we might go about that.

At the consecration the majority of priests "show" the consecrated body and blood to the people - no elevation as such. Sometimes the host is broken in the air allowing small particles to fall on to the altar. The Mass is often referred to as a meal.

At the local cathedral I have seen the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion receive communion in their hand before the priest's commuion and raise the host up along with the priest. They all stand in a semi-circle behind the priest and in front of the bishop's chair, which is front and centre behind the altar - tabernacle off to the side.

At various stages people have been requested to join hands across the cathedral during the Our Father and to put their hand on the shoulder of the person in front of them receiving communion.

In the 80s we had - with the cardinal in attendance - people with their faces painted black and white and thankfully things have moderated a little over the years, but I would say the majority on the list is spot on for your average Ordinary Form Sunday Mass and but for immigrants the churches now would be largely empty and it remains to see how long the immigrants continue going to Mass as well as their Faith is watered down like the rest have been. At present they show the reverence that is lacking from othe Europeans in the congregation.

Jan

Marie said...

The abuses can go both ways, I just discovered.

I haven't been to a Sunday OF Mass since our parish started the EF four years ago. I love the EF but for a very good reason, I couldn't get there today, so I caught the Spanish OF instead.

What a surprise! The young priest [new on the staff], who I heard has just graduated from the Angelicum in Rome, did it as reverently as the Novus Ordo rubrics allowed.

Okay. There were a couple of very young, almost angelic "girl altar-boys", but it seemed to me they only acted as processional candle holders. They disappeared completely from the sanctuary after the opening; reappeared as the priest processed with the Gospel book to the ambo and after the Gospel reading, were not to be seen again until the Offertory procession. Then they were not seen again - not even at Communion.

A single [!] guitar quietly accompanied the choir and large congregation [Gone were the band of several guitars, chimes, rainmakers, synthetizers and drums of a few years ago!]. The Responsorial Psalm was chanted. The Propers were recited by the priest, of course, but the "filler" songs beautifully matched the parts of the Mass, i.e., "Te Alegria Cuando me Dijeron" for Entrance, "Te Presentamos" for Offertory, and "Pescador" for Communion. [Our parish has no Spanish hymnals, so all songs were sung from memory.]

After the short Offertory song, while waiting for the collection to be finished, the entire congregation of maybe 300-400 was quiet! [Seriously!]. Then came the Credo and but for a soft short cry of a baby, you would have heard a pin drop during the duration of the Canon. Everybody was kneeling, as far as I could see.

Before Communion, the priest announced that those living together outside of marriage should refrain from receiving and also advised that they see him or another priest outside of the Mass. Holy Communion was given under One Kind only by the priest, the deacon, and two male EMHCs. Majority of the communicants received by mouth.

It was a very reverent, prayerful Mass - perhaps in the future, when Spanish chant music for the Propers will be available, this congregation will use them also. I couldn't see why not.

Looking at another Mass - an EF Mass in the fabulous California wine country. The old priest was very reverent, chanted his part of the Mass carefully and you could tell how he lost himself completely in his role as "alter Christus."

This was on Septuagesima Sunday. The priest was vested in purple. He recited the Kyrie, Gloria and Credo and Agnus Dei with the people.

But the music? Well, it was done by one of those concert-performing "Carols in the Cave" groups. Five voices, including a breathtaking soprano descant, of luminous accapella. They were singing "fillers" of - would you believe - Christmas carols and medieval madrigals?

The songs were not related to the Mass at all! But they sounded so beautifully, I got so distracted and had a hard time concentrating on the Mass.

Their "rationale" for performing Christmas carols this late was that it was still Christmas season until February 2, so they had a last go at it. Right, but on Septuagesima?!

So you, see, it's not only with your garden variety OF parish Mass that abuses can occur. It can, too, at at EF Mass with beautiful but irrelevant music.

Marie

Anonymous said...

I wrote the description of what to expect at a typical Catholic parish. Sorry for all the typos, but I was short of time and auto correct was driving me to distraction. So I apologize for all of the misspelling.

What I meant in #11 is that the Gospel may or may not be read by a priest. And I'm not referring to a deacon. I mean the liturgical abuse of having the gospel read by a lay person. This may or may not happen at times.

In the Novus Ordo anything goes and that's the truth.

If I had to pick 2 things that were lost in the Novus Ordo it is the loss of beauty and the loss of reverance. The music is so bad it is laughable. And the loss of reverance on the part of the priest and the majority of the "faithful" is appalling (look at the papal mass in Manila where the consecrated host was passed around like Doritos). And nobody was scandalized by that. That proves just how serious the problem is. The body and blood of Our Lord is dropped in the mud and trampled on and nobody cares.

Dan Z said...

Anonymous at February 8, 2015 at 8:44 AM must be attending my local St Norman Lear novus ordo parish.

Gene said...

There is a certain arrogant Pelagianism/Universalism inherent in the NO mentality. There seems to be this tacit assumption that, no matter what abominations we introduce into the Mass, God will bless the celebration on the basis of His promise of the Real Presence. This is tantamount to saying that we have the Holy Spirit trapped in our ritual (or lack thereof) and He MUST be there or be a liar. If this is not blasphemy and pride, I never saw it.
There are some things in Calvinism that might inform the Catholic understanding of the Holy Spirit and human initiative…namely, Calvin's insistence and reminder of the freedom of the Holy Spirit and the contingency of His presence. It was one of the main reasons Calvin had trouble with the Real Presence…he saw it as potential for just what we are dealing with today in these horribly celebrated, borderline blasphemous, NO Masses. We do not own the Holy Spirit…He is not embalmed in the Tabernacle, nor is He at our beck and call just because we go through the motions. Judgement is real, God's presence is always contingent, not upon our actions but upon His will, and He can withdraw His presence as judgement or warning. It is increasingly difficult for me to believe that the Church is not presently under judgement and in great need of repentance…through a restoration of true worship and right belief. Sack cloth and ashes, anyone?

Henry said...

Gene: “There seems to be this tacit assumption that, no matter what abominations we introduce into the Mass, God will bless the celebration on the basis of His promise of the Real Presence.”

I wonder whether your comment reflects a premise that the key consideration is whether abuses in the celebration vitiate the Real Presence of Christ, as though the main concern was whether we can truly receive Him in holy communion. Which would be the case if we regarded Holy Mass as merely a communion service and commemoration of the Last Supper, and only what we get out of it the most important consideration.

But, as I understand it, what we offer to God in the Mass is more important that what we get from Him. Because, as many Church documents, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not merely a communion service, but rather the perpetuation of the Sacrifice of the Cross. Its principal purpose is not our personal edification, but rather the fulfillment of our obligation to adore and worship God. Our own communion at Mass is not necessary to satisfy this obligation. (It would be a digression to comment on the application of this fact to the spurious question of communion for divorced remarrieds.)

I would not necessarily argue that any of Anonymous’ 25 abuses individually or collectively vitiate the confection of the Body and Blood of Christ at the words of consecration. Nevertheless, they do vitiate the quality and reverence of our worship and thereby limit and decrease the extrinsic value of a particular celebration of the Mass as an effective channel for the reception of grace for its participants (even if the intrinsic value—its potential in opening of the treasure of grace made available by Christ’s sacrifice—of any valid Mass is infinite).

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me as if, at heart, you're still a Calvinist....suggesting how we Catholics need to learn stuff from the Presbyterians, or whatever you were/are. Maybe if you went back to them, in the sack cloth and ashes that you mentioned, they would take you back. It's worth a try.

Anonymous said...

@ Gene:
It is certainly arrogant to believe that Christ's presence therefore means that He is pleased. However I would not go so far as Calvin to say that He would surely leave should abominations reach a certain level. (I am assuming all parts are still present for a VALID Sacrifice).
How much more terrible is it that He keeps to His promise and is present despite abomination or ambivalence rather than were He to not be present at all.

3rd Sorrowful Mystery comes to mind.

Steven

Gene said...

Henry and Steven, I don't completely disagree, but the issue is the freedom of the Holy Spirit and whether our worship necessitates or coerces His presence. We can offer God nothing other than obedience; He needs nothing from us. So, to say that what we offer God is more important than what we receive is simply wrong from the perspective of theology and doctrine of God. We worship for our benefit, not God's. We presume a great deal if we think He cannot withdraw His favor or His grace…

Other Anonymous, go back to sleep.

Jenny said...

Father,
Would you be willing to comment on this quote from blogger Ann Barnhardt? "Novus Ordo Masses, while illicit, are indeed (mostly) valid, and Our Lord is physically present therein. " (http://www.barnhardt.biz/about/ 5th paragraph) I am not asking you to comment on the possibility of that comment causing her to be in mortal sin, but simply the validity of the comment. Reading her blog has caused serious doubts and confusion to me as a faithful Catholic who loves Jesus very much and I would be most humbled if you would correct or confirm her remark.

Anonymous said...

Switching from problems at Mass to problems in our culture---namely same-sex marriage---did it occur to anyone else today that a majority-Catholic U.S. Supreme Court could not drum up enough votes to relieve Alabama from the federal tyranny of same-sex marriages? Yes, another liberal federal judge is threatening to hold judges in that state in contempt if they don't issue same-sex marriage licenses--a state which voted 80% in favor of such a ban. SO it is easy to see the regretful outcome---so many states having (often by judicial fiat) same-sex marriage, and the US Supreme Court mandating same-sex marriages on the states less there be chaos. Perhaps some DC-area bishops should be preparing some excommunication edicts just in case....

JBS said...

Abuse is possible in both forms of the Roman Mass. There are plenty of stories of crazy things happening in the late Sixties when the '62 missal, though slightly abbreviated, was still in use.

Anonymous said...

Henry, the problem is it has to be borne in mind that Masses offered by priests who do not follow the rubrics at all may not even have the right intention to consecrate the body and wine into the body and blood of Christ which is a requirement for the validity of the Mass.

I understand that in the Ordinary Form of Mass the priest's intention has to be to confect the sacrament and also to believe in transubstantiation otherwise this does not occur. The changing of the words of consecration apparently makes this intention necessary. The Ottaviani Intervention makes this plain:

"29. As they appear in the context of the Novus Ordo, the words of Consecration could be valid in virtue of the priest's intention. But since their validity no longer comes from the force of the sacramental words themselves (ex vi verborum)–or more precisely, from the meaning (modus significandi) the old rite of the Mass gave to the formula–the words of Consecration in the New Order of Mass could also not be valid. Will priests in the near future, who receive no traditional formation and who rely on the Novus Ordo for the intention of "doing what the Church does," validly consecrate at Mass? One may be allowed to doubt it."

So attending OF Masses where there are wide-spread abuses occurring may indeed mean the Mass is invalid.

Jan

JBS said...

Anonymous,

Troublesome as the issue is for democracy, at least these "couples" can't reproduce, however hard they try.

JBS said...

Gene,

We offer the Father His divine Son during Mass. Therefore, we offer What we receive.

George said...

Under the principle of ex opere operato,by nature and virtue of the charism that is conferred on a priest during a valid ordination,if the proper words of consecration with the necessary intent are said over the bread and wine during the celebration of the Mass, transubstantiation has occurred. Even if a priest who doesn't believe in the Real Presence does these things, then what is necessary and required has been done. We must admit to the possibility that a priest can still have the right intention even while having a "crisis of faith" in the Real Presence. There are theological differences of opinion about this to be sure. Let's not slip into the heresy of Donatism though.


Gene said...

JBS, very nicely stated…still, it is all God's initiative and His gift to us. Thanks.

Gene said...

Anonymous: RE: Supreme Court...Government is out of control in this country and is rapidly bringing about its decline, as well as the decline of individual freedom. We need to elect people at every level who hate big government and believe in states rights and individual freedom. Counting on someone's Catholic faith to make them do right is no longer a viable option and, yes, one's faith should inform one's political decisions. Separation of Church and state has been interpreted in such a way as to contribute to the destruction of both Church and state. It is tempting to just throw up one's hands and watch the decline for its entertainment value. We have a highly entertaining three-ring clown show in the White House, Supreme Court, and Vatican now.

JBS said...

The question of Eucharistic invalidity is a troubling one, and should not be discussed lightly or used as a simplistic weapon against the OF Mass. However, if there are priests who have lost a basic understanding of what the Church is and what she does, then this is a problem of the greatest seriousness requiring prayer, fasting and tears on our part.

Anonymous said...

Gene, I'm with you on the sorry direction of this country. Appling to see the responses to Alabama Judge Roy Moore---ultra far left elements say he should be held in contempt for not complying with a federal judge's order on same-sex marriage. I have never found the words "abortion" or "same sex marriage" in the US Constitution---those issues traditionally were the domain of the states---and then ROE shattered that formula. Thought I saw a poll in Georgia last year that indicated fairly high support for secession among Republicans. I don't want a repeat of 1861-1865 but what are more traditionally-minded people supposed to do when liberal Democrats and judges seek to impose the views of New York City and other big cities on the South?

If everyone has the right to marry, well, where does it stop? Can two men marry three men? A 7 year-old marry a 2-year old? As George Washington said, it is impossible to govern this country rightly without God and the Bible.

It would be nice to blame liberal Protestantism on our country's decline, but realistically, it was the Catholic vote that got Obama elected both times. He won almost every state with a significant Catholic presence (two exceptions being in Dixie--Texas and Lousiana).


Gene said...

JBS, Prayer, fasting, and tears are great…but, how about a little kick-butt during the breaks?

Gene said...

Anonymous, People voted for Obama for one of three reasons; 1.) Boot licking Dems who always vote party even if they run a ground hog; 2.) Blacks voting for him because he is Black; and 3.) guilty whites trying to prove they are not racist. All three of these categories are a danger to freedom and the republic.

JBS said...

Gene,

Yes, bishops should, in extreme situations like these, kick their priests back onto the right path.

John Nolan said...

JBS

Interesting observation about the late 1960s. Some have suggested that the reason why Paul VI was in such a hurry to introduce the new Missal (he signed off the Lectionary without even reading it) was to restore some liturgical stability before it was too late. Unauthorized and extemporized 'Eucharistic Prayers' were proliferating in parts of Europe - an estimated 300 in France alone. Reformers like Joseph Gelineau were arguing for a sort of 'permanent revolution' and an extreme form of inculturation which would allow different language groups to produce their own liturgical texts (see 'Comme le prevoit' which appeared, significantly, in 1969).

This also goes a long way towards explaining Abp Lefebvre's intransigence and Paul VI's harsh attitude towards him. In attempting to rein in the left, the last thing the pope wanted was a revolt on the Right.

JBS said...

John Nolan,

I think that explanation makes the most sense. Indeed, without it, I find it just about impossible to discern any good reason for what Paul VI did, especially given his otherwise incongruous laments about the state of the Church. We know, for example, that he opposed altering or abandoning the Roman canon, and insisted on retention of Latin and Gregorian chant. Why, then, did he introduce an entirely new order of Mass, except to head off those who wished to abandon the very concept of an "order of Mass"?

Henry said...

“Some have suggested that the reason why Paul VI was in such a hurry to introduce the new Missal (he signed off the Lectionary without even reading it) was to restore some liturgical stability before it was too late. Unauthorized and extemporized 'Eucharistic Prayers' were proliferating in parts of Europe”

As well as in some parts of the U.S. In the Archdiocese of Atlanta, during the mid-late 1960s our archbishop (Hallinan) was among the most liturgically progressive—and at one time the only U.S. member of Paul VI’s (Bugnini) commission on the liturgy—and about his auxiliary (Bernardine) the less said the better. My parish was thought (at least by some of us) to be Ab. Hallinan’s liturgical laboratory for trying out all the ideas that came up in the Consilium, after which we assumed it was invariably reported—despite any negative parish reactions--to Rome that “U.S. Catholics had reacted favorably”. (Perhaps our role in the grand scheme of things was exaggerated in our own minds.)

In particular, our “altar missal” at that time was a big black loose-leaf 3-ring binder in which new sheets for a new experimental Eucharistic prayer were inserted almost weekly (or so it sometimes seemed). And the introduction of the Novus Ordo in 1970 (with “only” four EP’s) did indeed provide a certain aspect of liturgical stability.

My own tentative reading is that Paul VI may have been somewhat “schizophrenic” (for want of a more accurately descriptive word) in that he personally instigated and specifically approved some of the most progressive liturgical developments—while at the same time being “played” by Bugnini, who was apparently the sole conduit between the pope and his commission--but came to realize that things were going too far too fast, though too late to apply the brakes successfully.

John Nolan said...

JBS and Henry

Paul VI does come across as a rather Janus-like figure - 'our Hamlet' as one of the cardinals put it. His 1969 Advent address on the proposed new Missal is quite bizarre.

The new Mass was sold to us in England as marking an end to the frequent and bewildering changes which had plagued us since 1964. The bishops were all too well aware of the demoralisation resulting from these and Cardinal Heenan promised that there would be no further innovations in the foreseeable future.

The bishops even wanted one celebration on a Sunday and one on a weekday to be in Latin. Nothing much came of this, however, and their 1970s successors tended to be liturgically more progressive.

One problem was the lack of Latin/English worship aids. Some churches produced their own, but it was not until 1977 that the CTS published a booklet containing the entire Latin Ordinary with a parallel translation. Only with the publication in 1990 of the Solesmes Gregorian Missal was it possible to easily follow a sung Latin Mass in the new Rite, and where Latin is retained in the NO it is usually in sung celebrations with the Propers taken from the 1974 Graduale.

This is still indispensible since although the new CTS people's missal is bilingual (apart from the Lectionary) it does not contain the texts of the Graduale Propers.