Wednesday, July 6, 2016


Pope Francis has celebrated the Mass numerous times in an ad orientem way. He has maintained the "Benedictine" altar arrangement and the Masses at the Vatican remain splendid with a much improved Sistine Choir since Pope Francis arrived on the scene.

And now His Holiness has explicitly told Robert Cardinal Sarah, Prefect for the Congregation of Divine Worship the following:

....begin a study of “the reform of the reform”, that is of adapting the liturgical reforms that followed the Second Vatican Council...and seek “to enrich the two forms of the Roman rite”.

I have said time and time again that the Ordinariate's "Divine Worship, the Missal" is the template of what the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite will one day have.

In a nutshell, the template of the Ordinariate's Missal allows Ordinary Form Roman Missal to remain the same but with the following options "Divine Worship" has:

1. Replacing the Introductory Rite with the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar as in the EF Missal, but with the vernacular option.

2. The recovery of the EF's Order following the PATFOTA: Kyrie, Gloria, Greeting, Collect.

3. The explicit option of ad orientem for all of the Introductory Rite at the altar as in the EF or at the chair following the PATFOTA. And ad orientem explicitly allowed for the entire Mass as in the EF.

4. The explicit option of the Gradual/Tract/Sequence, in place of the Responsorial Psalm--this is written in the Ordinariate's Missal with the traditional EF format for the Introit along with the Offertory Antiphon (which is currently omitted in the Ordinary Form Missal) and the Communion Antiphon.

5. The option of the EF's Offertory Prayers through the Lavabo and to include the Suscipe, Sancta Trinitas.

6. The triple "Lord I am not worthy" will be restored as an option.

7. The Last Gospel will be restored as an option.

8. The Ordinary Form's Roman Calendar will be brought in line with the Ordinariate's revised Roman Calendar. Time after Pentecost and after Epiphany will be restored. The season of Septuagesima will be restored. The Octave of Pentecost will be restored. Ember and Rogation days will be restored. 

9. EF-like rubrics will be restored to the Roman Canon and where possible to the other Eucharistic Prayers.

The first order of business before the above is allowed through an appendix insert will be the following:

1. Roman encouragement that the current Ordinary Form Missal be celebrated Ad Orientem beginning the First Sunday of Advent, 2016.

2. Explicit allowance of kneeling for Holy Communion. 

Now for my clairvoyance! How long, O Lord, have I been writing on this blog that what I have written above will one day come to pass? How long, O Lord? And my people, did they believe me or mock me?  


Anonymous said...

Why this obcession with the Ordinariate rite of Mass. It's nice but it is just a hybrid of a Protestant service. I've attended the Ordinariate Mass many times and guess what, the prayers at the foot of the altar are never used. It is very very wordy and there is a Protestant feel about it. But in no way shape or form does it even begin to compare with the traditional Roman Rite. There is a big difference. Why this constant attraction to forms of worship that are not traditionally Catholic. And before you go on with the translation just stop. The traditional rite of Mass is the beginning of true liturgical fidelity. What did the Vatican Council II call for. The missal used during 1965 with the readings in the vernacular but everything else remained the same. That is what Vatican II called for.

Anonymous said...

3. No lay readers
4. Disbanding of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
5. Male only altar servers
6. Remove offertory procession
7. Get rid of the sign of peace
8. Restore silence before, during and after Mass
9. Ban cell phones at Mass
10.Insist on modest clothing to be worn at Mass
11.Ban liturgical dance
12.Ban demonstrations of inculturation at Mass
13.Greeters no longer required at Mass
14.Get rid of overhead projectors
15.Ban guitar music, maracers and other forms of secular music from Mass
16. Encourage women to wear headcoverings at Mass
17. Discourage men from covering their head at Mass
18. Discourage lay people from adopting the orans position during Mass ... etc. etc.

Anonymous said...

My daughter pointed out the Blog to me on Father's Day. I have followed it every day. I attempted to find answers and possibly return to my Catholic Faith. This is what I have learned in two weeks. And I am sure this will never be posted...
1. Father MD spends most of his time concerned about how churches "look" living for the day he can face East to say mass instead of facing the people, posting photos on this Blog of himself in fancy robes in the beautiful church of St. Joseph. He has never once posted photos of himself with people in his new church. He cares more about the building than the people. He is just not a "people" person. He does not even want to face them at mass.
2. Only a handful of people post on this site except for the few people seeking help who find this Blog. Where are comments from members of St. Joseph church or the New Church St. Anne? Perhaps only a handful of people respond on this site and they are talking to themselves and often even using false names to confuse other bloggers.
3. Fr. K is a very Holy man who tries to take the time to help people. He has great knowledge and a love of God. He helps.
4. According to the comments here... women who attempt to have roles in the church other than ironing the alter cloth are called "Lesbians" and according to TJM look like they are in Gay Pride Parades.
5. On the topic of Gays, no matter what that person does in this world that is good because he is Gay he is going to Hell. If you ask questions about that then somehow you are baiting people or trying to somehow gain attention.
6. Most people here have different ways to apply the rules. They interpret them the way they want to interpret them and have little respect what the Pope says. In fact in my opinion most people who respond to this site dislike the pope.
7. Priests who dress like regular people might slip off and play golf or surf... Jan
8. The President of the United States is called a ....... and the priest who monitors this site allows that to be posted.
9. Episcopal priests are accused of playing "tag" and the women priests in the church are Lesbians. The Episcopal church according to Gene is a Joke. Once again horrible insults about another's faith and this is allowed by the Blogger to be posted on this site.
10. Women should cover their heads although you never see that anymore. Forget that you are just asking for head lice.
11. And most of all..... they are right and everyone else is wrong and all who do not Enter this Church go to Hell.
What a sad group of people.... what sad lives.... WITH THE EXCEPTION OF FATHER MICHAEL K
AND THIS WILL NEVER BE POSTED. This is what I learned in two weeks. They are lessons that I will remember forever.

Anonymous said...

Follow all of Jan's advice and you will have NO ONE IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.
Some people would rather see the church die than for it to be a church of Mercy
Jan must be 100 years old.

TJM said...

Father McDonald, you are a prophet!

Jan, I am in total agreement with your recommendations! When I see people adopting the orans position, it really sends me over the edge!

TJM said...

Anonymous, are you a left-wing loon priest who cannot admit the implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium was an utter, unmitigated disaster? You are always good for a laugh

Marc said...

According to our anonymous friend at 10:28, following Jan's advice would result in everyone leaving the Church.

If the use of Catholic worship would cause everyone to leave the Church, why are those people in the Catholic Church to begin with?

What do any of Jan's suggestions have to do with a "church of [m]ercy"?

I can assure you that there are many, many people who only attend Masses where all of Jan's suggestions are even a concern -- that is, they attend the traditional Mass. There is neither a dearth of people nor of mercy.

Anonymous said...

And one last thing I learned
Jews are going to hell. They are a false religion. And St. Joseph church members "sinned Gravely" when they reached out to the Jewish community in Macon and shared services with them. And I guess Pope John Paul "sinned Gravely" when he prayed at the Jewish wall in the Holy Land.

And BTW this if Father MD's blog and yet he never responds under his real name except once or twice when he was called out on something and had the nerve to say to another person "shut up" When I was in school "shut up" was as insulting as profanity.

John Nolan said...

In the next couple of hours I shall be setting out for London (35 minutes on the train) to see Cardinal Sarah celebrate a Solemn Latin Mass (Novus Ordo) and hear him preach. It is at the London Oratory which never celebrates versus populum.

Tomorrow the same venue will host a Solemn Mass in the classic Roman Rite celebrated by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who will also preach.

The re-sacralisation of the liturgy is now a priority and the election of Pope Francis has not slowed down the momentum. It will take time for it to impact at parish level, not least because the rump of Catholics who still attend parish Masses resent anything that shakes them out of their 1970s assumptions and practices.

Last Sunday I attended a packed Solemn Latin Mass at the Oxford Oratory which featured the music of the rather neglected but important Italian composer Lodovico da Viadana (1560-1627) - the Mass 'Sine Nomine' and two motets. All the clergy and most of the congregation were considerably younger than I am (and I don't regard myself as excessively superannuated) and since it is University vacation one can't argue that they were all aesthetically-minded undergraduates. A northern English bishop (+Campbell of Lancaster) was in choir - he happened to be in Oxford at the weekend.

Hankering after the 1965 interim Missal (the first significant nail in the coffin of the Roman Rite) or the Ordinariate Use (neither flesh nor fowl nor good red herring; all the Ordinariate priests of my acquaintance prefer the Tridentine Rite) is misguided. I would love to see the 1970 Lectionary and calendar consigned to the dustbin of history and this is more important than restoring the Tridentine PATFOTA and the Last Gospel. The former don't occur in other Uses (such as the Dominican) and the latter is a comparatively late addition.

We certainly don't need any more options to add to the plethora of alternatives already present in the Novus Ordo.

Anonymous said...

Jan = Fr MD
Marc= Fr MD

Anonymous said...

We sure don't post all the comments do we?

TJM said...

John Nolan,

I am an American but one of my fondest memories of London was attending Mass at the Bromptom Oratory. At first I thought I was at an EF but soon realized it was the OF, but splendid it was! The music was sublime

gob said...

"What a sad group of people.... what sad lives...." Wow....

Anonymous said...

Go to a Catholic High School where the future of the Catholic Church in America is Educated.
Publish your (Jan's) list of requirements to attend mass.
Have the students write their feelings.
The future is in the hands of God and the young Catholics.
Give them the information about this Blog and let them read
the responses here. Ask a young person's opinion. But its going to hurt your feelings.
Dont hide behind false names tell the people to their face what you think of the Pope,
thought of Father Cuddy. Explain your Christian Point of View. Take screen shots of
your remarks and send them to the Bishop and let him judge the heart of a person
who allows such insults even to the President of the United States. Ask your Bishop if
he feels that this is a good image of a Catholic site. I really am not going to bother you
again. I came here to find answers and hope that I was incorrect I was not the Catholic
Church the Bride of Christ will live forever and the young Catholics are not as insulting
to humans or other faiths as the old. You don't have to publish this. I won't bother you again.
If it means anything..... I see a GREAT potential in you as a person who I know loves God.
I see you ability to love beauty and right. You are a man of God. I honestly mean that.
Now Goodbye.

Anonymous said...

Go to a Catholic High School where the future of the Catholic Church in America is Educated.
Publish your (Jan's) list of requirements to attend mass.
Have the students write their feelings.
The future is in the hands of God and the young Catholics.
Give them the information about this Blog and let them read
the responses here. Ask a young person's opinion. But its going to hurt your feelings.
Dont hide behind false names tell the people to their face what you think of the Pope,
thought of Father Cuddy. Explain your Christian Point of View. Take screen shots of
your remarks and send them to the Bishop and let him judge the heart of a person
who allows such insults even to the President of the United States. Ask your Bishop if
he feels that this is a good image of a Catholic site. I really am not going to bother you
again. I came here to find answers and hope that I was incorrect I was not the Catholic
Church the Bride of Christ will live forever and the young Catholics are not as insulting
to humans or other faiths as the old. You don't have to publish this. I won't bother you again.
If it means anything..... I see a GREAT potential in you as a person who I know loves God.
I see you ability to love beauty and right. You are a man of God. I honestly mean that.
Now Goodbye.

Marc said...

I think that some of the anonymous posters have gone off the rails...

This is probably Gene's fault, just like everything else. Way to go, Gene.

Paul C said...

"We are what we are today because a handful of Jews saw their teacher and leader crucified and believed he rose again from the dead."

J M Roberts.

In the first decades after the death of Jesus, Jesus by a small number of people, mainly Jews, came to be seen as more than a human deliver who had overcome death, but was God himself..... and this was to shatter the mould of Jewish thought within which the faith had been born. There was no lasting place for such an idea within Jewry, and Christianity was now forced out of the Temple, into the intellectual world of Greece........

What a debt we owe that handful of Jews who lived 2000 years ago.

Occasionally, when I have reflected on the above, I think that the conservative and traditional mindset of our era transplanted back into the lives of Jews in the Holy Land 2000 years ago, would have made it hard for individuals to largely turn away from many of their loved traditions and rituals and practices etc to embrace what a majority of their fellow Jews would have regarded as some radical, dangerous and new heresy.

rcg said...

Anon at 10:22 - your daughter loves you. Even if every word you wrote is true you should fight to get to gour Church and faith and not let anyone keep that from you for any reason.

Anonymous said...

No one has gone off their rails... the worst comment I ever read on this blog was the comment that several posts back Marc wrote about the Jewish people. We used to celebrate a service with the Jewish people in St. Joseph Church under the leadership of FR. John Cuddy. When I read that churches that do that commit grave sins and that the church of Jesus is a False religion..... it is an unfinished religion. What you must remember is that if comments are allowed like this and all the other Things I learned about from reading this blog are published then the publisher is just as guilty as the person who insults the Faith of the Jews. If any of you have not read this entire Blog for several years back. Refresh your memory and read it. Insulting....

Marc said...

If you're insulted by Catholicism, then don't come to Catholic blogs. I didn't write the First Commandment or the Church's teaching on post-temple Judaism or participating in false worship services.

Anonymous 2 said...


Marc’s position is not the position of the Catholic Church. Marc does not agree with the position of the Catholic Church.

Please do not be put off by what Marc writes here or by what anyone else writes here. Marc is a decent fellow and a good soul who is trying to find his way in a very confusing world.

I have been a member of St. Joseph’s parish for 35 years. I remember Father Cuddy well and the services you mention (you are referring to the traditional Thanksgiving service I believe). Father McDonald believes in inter-faith initiatives and continued the tradition of those services.

The Catholic Faith is a beautiful faith. It has two thousand years of inexhaustible spiritual heritage. Mine its great riches and resources and you will find what you seek, I promise you.

All this said, I understand your concern about the impression readers of this Blog may get of the Catholic Faith. But there is sufficient push back to some of the more extreme and rash statements with corrective comments such as those of Father Kavanaugh that hopefully readers will receive a more balanced picture and understand that such views are not representative of most practicing Catholics or often indeed of the teaching of the Church.

I agree with rcg: Don’t let anyone keep you from your Church.

Anonymous said...

Not everything one sees on Catholic blogs is Catholic.

The Church does not teach that post-temple Judaism is "false" or that praying with Jews (or other non-Christians) is wrong or sinful.

Anonymous said...

As a newer visitor here (from your new parish), I will assume an in depth study of your blog will prove your clairvoyance Father MCD

I have mixed feelings about all this "stuff". Growing up with only a Post Vatican II experience of the Mass. This is indeed my real experience of the Faith for much of my life. And I have formed a relationship with Christ despite the aparent less than ideal circumstances surrounding the Novus Ordo liturgy.

Now I have gone to Mass in the EF at least a dozen or more times in Savannah. At first I didn't "get it". I talked to the priest and he suggested I approach it as "Adoration" versus trying to understand all that was going on. It "Clicked in" for me then. Not so much for my kids though. The readings too are so rich compared to what I now understand to be a modern translation of the lectionary. I would LOVE to have that fixed, and to get all those deleted bible verses that happen to mention hell, and sin, back into our lectionary!!!

But, here's the thing. I, (aghast), am a lector in your new parish. And I (shock and dismay) am not a man! So, what does this mean? Do I need to hurry back to my pew and tend in my resignation? Does it actually bother you in the interim to have female lectors? Do I need to veil? Seriously, at the end of the day, I want to do what is right. And all this mind boggling discussion about what constitutes proper liturgy, is downright confusing to someone who just wants to do what is right but is not the sort bold enough to "not care" about standing out with a veil, or kneeling etc. etc. Where does the clairvoyant one see St. Anne's come November 27, 2016?

BTW I am thrilled to have you as our new pastor! Just intimidated!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at July 6, 2016 at 1:29 PM etc is obviously an escapee from the National Catholic Fishwrap. This poster's comments are the reason I believe Cardinal Sarah's requests will largely came to nought and the reason the Church is in such a bad state in most places. The Church is largely inhabited now by such people who no longer have the Catholic Faith but have embraced Protestantism. Any attempt to try to improve the Mass will result in such whining as we have heard from this Anonymous who has complained earlier about priests in vestments "wearing dresses". Deo gratias for Summorum Pontificum which provided an escape route.

I heard a talk from a priest over the weekend about the state of the Church and Mass attendance generally. It seems in areas that do not have large swathes of immigrants there is a devastating fall off in Mass attendance reflecting the true state of the situation.

In dioceses where there are immigrants in some parishes there are problems with the dominant culture more or less taking over the parish and the Mass through inculturation. Other ethnic groups then complaining that they don't feel welcome in the parish because of that. In one parish complaints to the bishop led to the replacement of the parish priest with another priest who now gets round the problem by ad-libbing and changing parts of the Mass to suit the different cultures at Mass.

The solution he said is to return to Mass said in Latin where every culture is equal and so avoid all the in-fighting that is going on.

All I can say is Deo gratias for summorum pontificum where in many places we can now attend Mass and offer worship to God without all the hassles that now attend the Ordinary Form of the Mass.

Gene said...

Anon 2, Is Aquinas not the Catholic Church? I understand that this is, indeed, the Church's teaching on post-temple judaism. Just because Anon 2 and other Catholics don't like it does not negate it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous says:

"3. Fr. K is a very Holy man who tries to take the time to help people. He has great knowledge and a love of God. He helps."

The above comment and the bitter criticism of Fr McD I think reflects the true identity of Anonymous. Anonymous is either Fr K or Gob. I suspect that Anonymous is actually Fr K because I don't think that Gob is that much in love with Fr K, although he does fit neatly into the profile of how Anonymous describes himself, age-wise and belief-wise and wanting priests to dress in sackcloth and the church to be a broken down old barn or something similar. Imagine Gob/Fr K and Anonymous' shock if they get to heaven and find the opposite of what they long for and are slowly getting.

One such church that would meet with their approval is a church I know that is built something like a tramper's hut. There are rough dirty wooden steps approaching the church, a dirty rustic board verandah, inside it is better but absolutely plain with sunken pews like the old 1970s sunken lounges. In the "Holy of Holies" where Our Lord is reserved stands something like a square brown wooden peg box about 10 inches square resting on four thin black metal legs. It is an utter disgrace, an insult to God, but exactly what Anonymous and Gob would feel at home with I am sure.

If they bother to bone up on St Francis and St Clare of Assisi they will find that both these saints used the finest of linens and vessels for the celebration of Mass. One priest growing tied of complaints from such as they stood up at Mass and said yes he would be happy to use pewter vessels at Mass the day that he officiated at a wedding where the bride and groom exchanged pottery rings. He said it would never happen because it's always it has to be "the finest of gold and diamonds for my beloved". So, the finest for their beloved and yet they - like Gob and Anonymous - resent anything beautiful or precious for God.

These complaints are very much like those that complained about the woman who anointed Our Lord's head with the finest of oil and said it should be used on the poor. Here is how he answered people like Gob and Anonymous:

"While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages[4] and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

In John 12 1-8 it says:

"But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it."

Marc said...

A2, the Church, in an ecumenical council, taught the following, which you apparently reject. You're free to reject the Church's teaching, but please leave out the sanctimonious tone when claiming that I do not agree with the Catholic Church. I am fully in line with what the Church teaches -- you, on the other hand, are not since you unabashedly reject this teaching:

"It [the Catholic Church] firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart “into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock . . . ." - Cantate Domino, Bull on the Ecumenical Council of Florence

Jusadbellum said...

Heal the sick.
Cast out demons.
Preach the Gospel.

That's the order Our Lord gave to the 72 disciples.

This mandate is how you 'make disciples' and lead them to baptism (the Great commission) and it's not strictly speaking the domain of just the clergy and religious but can be (and ought to be ) carried out by all the laity. It's the reason we're confirmed and given the gifts of the Spirit in the first place. We have to understand the Church as being largely grown and expanded by "the choir". The clergy and religious minister to the 'choir' but it's the choir who make disciples and bring them into the holy mysteries.

Gene said...

So-called "inter-faith initiatives" are Vatican II compromises with protestantism/Judaism that are both un-Catholic and un-Biblical. Anon 2 and other post-Vat II Catholics think that just because something seems harsh or "mean" to them it must certainly be false. This is the height of pride and self-indulgence. It is also very protestant. The true Faith is sometimes tough. Live with it.

gob said...

All of this talk and not a word from Fr. McD....seems odd...

TJM said...

gob, Father McDonald is likely very busy getting to know his new parish. Doesn't seem odd to me at all

John Nolan said...

Jan's points (I counted 16, two more than Woodrow Wilson!) have always applied at the London Oratory with some extra ones thrown in, such as kneeling for Communion (in one kind only), Latin for the principal Mass on Sundays and Holy Days, and ad apsidem celebration. The one exception is women covering their heads which is not an issue in Europe, even at SSPX churches.

I occasionally spot someone at the Pater Noster holding what appears to be a large invisible box. It isn't really the 'orans' position, in which the arms are raised above shoulder height. It is a silly affectation but the Oratory Fathers would not dream of dictating to the laity as to what posture they should adopt. South Kensington has its fair share of eccentrics; I remember about twenty years ago a batty middle aged woman who dressed as an Armenian nun and wandered up and down the centre aisle during Mass making strange noises. No-one took much notice.

When standing in a congregation I usually have my hands thrust into the pockets of my jacket, thumbs forward in the style of naval officers in old British war movies. It has the added advantage of discouraging people from trying to shake one's hand.

Anonymous said...

Jan, The woman you speak of who washed Jesus' feet was preparing him for death. Jesus told them to leave her alone because he knew they would have forever to take care of the poor but soon he would be gone. Of coarse Heaven will be filled with beauty and the finest of the finest but we are not in heaven yet. Jesus did not preach in a gold leafed church and walk out the door with the poor begging for food. Jesus walked beside the sea, visited the sick in places the fine priests would not even dare to go. Jesus even spoke once about the priest with the fancy robe. The church you speak of with the dirty wooden steps and the plain wooden box would be just the church on earth that Jesus would attend but he did not even have time for that. He did not even have a home no place to lay his head. And.... in case you have forgotten THE SON OF GOD WAS BORN IN A MANGER..... A MANGER IS VERY MUCH INDEED LIKE A BROKEN DOWN BARN. I am also sure that Mary and Joseph were not dressed in fine fancy robes as they knelt in the straw beside the Child of God. You insult Father K and Gob but let me say.... you seem to be the person who worships the church buildings, ceremonies, and all of the pomp and pride. It is my humble opinion that if God was that type of God his son certainly would not have been born in a dirty barn like structure. In my opinion the broken down church you speak of is probably one of the most Holy places on Earth. Gold, Glory, and pomp are rewards after our work on Earth. Things including buildings of Gold soon pass away but God in Heaven does not. We must put our treasure in people, not ask parents educating their children to purchase Gold lined robes. Get out your Bible and read instead of worrying about bells and gold.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Anonymouse 2, you are unjustly accused of rejecting the Church's teaching.

Just as Quo Primum is not the last word on liturgy, despite the belief of some that it is, Cantate Domino is not, and cannot be, the last word on pagans, Jews, heretics, and schismatics.

It is an error of understanding Magisterial teaching to think that it is or can be. The error is taking the passage out of context, as is often the case, essentially "proof-texting" with Magisterial statements.

Dr. William Carroll answers a question about this passage on the EWTN website. Carroll's response:

"The key to this passage is the four categories mentioned, pagans being listed first. They have received none of the message of salvation. The Jews have received only part of the message, that of the Old Testament. Third are the heretics who, although having received the complete message of salvation, seem to have lost some of it by way of a conscious separation from the Church. The fourth group is the one to whom the document is primarily directed, the schismatics. They have deliberately cut themselves off from the Church by a complete break from its head, the Pope. The reason for the strength of this statement was that it was hoped that it would bring the separated Eastern Churches back into unity with Rome. Such a strong statenebt was issued againnst the schismatics because of the relation between unity and charity. St. Thomas holds that unity is made by charity and therefore the schismatics are separating themselves from the unity and therefore the charity of the Church. The concern of the Council of Florence was pastoral; it was trying to bring back lost sheep." The Church has always taught that no soul is lost except by its own fault, its rejection of truth and charity. Simply adhering to another religion does not necessarily mean such rejection. - Dr. Carroll (Carroll is quoting Fr. Christopher Buckner.)

This is what Marc fails to understand: "The Church has always taught that no soul is lost except by its own fault, its rejection of truth and charity. Simply adhering to another religion does not necessarily mean such rejection."

Anonymous said...

To Jan From Annon, Jan I do not want you to be mislead. I am not Gob or Father K in fact I am a female who has been a member of St. Joseph Church in Macon for 27 years. I am a retired teacher. My family spent a great deal of our money supporting all of the renovations in our church gold leaf and all. St. Joseph has the nickname "The Jewel of the South" I have never felt that the house of God should not be a place of Glory HOWEVER these are earthly material things. My husband and I saved every penny to send our Children to Catholic Schools. I was raised Episcopalian. My brother was a Bishop in that Church. I was called to the Catholic Church in a very mystical way from a very young age. Father Cuddy and Bishop Kevin Boland were my mentors and had many meetings and discussions with me. As I age I realized that Gold and Glory are not as important to God as helping the treasure his children in his church. His Son as you recall was born in a simple barn... we call it a manger. God does not need Gold buildings he needs people with Golden hearts. He needs us to treat others as we would want to be treated. All people... I think he smiles when we have services with his Jewish Children, build simply like the monks at Holy Spirit Monostary in Conyers Georgia. If you want to be mad be mad at me an aging Catholic Teacher. And yes I do love Father K because he has taken the time to help answer questions for those who came here looking for answers. He took the time... and I have never even met the man. Gob I have no idea who he or she is.

Gene said...

Anonymous at 7:55. Well, then, let's all wear rags to Church and meet in box cars. There is a misguided faction of people out there who worship poverty and the poor instead of God. Jesus grew up in the Temple and according to the faith of Israel...with all the trappings of the Priests and the Temple. Because He was traveling through the country side, he stayed at people's homes or wherever. He may have attended Temple services...we do not know. Speaking of the manger...the wise men brought him gifts of riches and recognized his majesty. We are commanded in Scripture to give Him our best and worship Him in awe. Our great Churches, art works, etc, and all the regalia of worship are to glorify Him and foreshadow the glory of Heaven. We are also reminded that he will return in GLORY to judge the living and the dead. There is nothing wrong with beauty and pomp in the Church if it is understood correctly...not as a reward to us or a celebration of our wealth, rather a gift of adoration to Him who is both the Lamb of God and the Righteous Judge who comes in Majesty.

Gene said...

PS Our treasure in not in people, but in the Word of God and in Heaven. Humanism is heresy. Indeed, read the Bible.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous July 6, 2016 at 8:24 PM I think you should look into what St Clare and St Francis thought of your ideas - as I said the finest linen and vessels for the altar. Also, you need to read Exodus and see what God demanded with vestments, gold etc. You are living in dreamland if you think that we should not give our best to God. Even the poorest of peasants give everything they have to worship Him. You are deceiving yourself. Also, you are highly critical of Fr McD and others who wish the best for God as well. Do you live in an old barn?

If you look at the appearances of Our Lady - she doesn't turn up in old rags.

The big difference is that when people walk into a church of beauty, like St Joseph's, they get an idea of what heaven will be like. When people go into a church like the barn I described they are pulled downwards to earth and there is nothing that raises their mind heavenward.

Every man on earth has an aim. We can see what the communist system has done to people with its tearing down of beauty, architecture, etc.

I am with St Clare and St Francis and the woman who anointed Our Lord's head with the finest of oil because she saw who He was - she didn't know He was dying!

You can keep your bare boards and pottery rings. I suggest you remove yours and sell them to the poor in keeping with your fresh ideas.

Anonymous said...

You are so right Gene I was mistaken. Our treasure is in the Word of God and not in Humans. When we are commanded in scripture to give him our best and worship him in awe.... he means our best heart and love. The bible states that man should not worry about what he wears.... look at the flowers of the field.... nothing is dressed in such beauty. Gods Ways are not Our ways.. this is not our home. We will have all the Glory we need once our work here is done if that is the Lord's Will. I appreciate your opinions Gene but I also have mine. I guess God speaks to us in different ways. My way to God is not through buildings I guess I am more of a Monk. To each his own.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous July 6, 2016 at 1:27 PM "Don't hide behind false names". My name is my name. Like it or not. You don't even have the courage to use yours.

Anonymous said...

Marc is correct. Contrary to what Fr K says, the following has been the Church's teaching and it has been declared infallibly until changed at Vatican II which was a pastoral council with no binding authority. Hence the following still remains and is the teaching of the Catholic Church:

"It [the Catholic Church] firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart “into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock . . . ." - Cantate Domino, Bull on the Ecumenical Council of Florence

In addition:

"Pope Pius IX (1846–1878), Allocution Singulari quadam, December 9, 1854: "Not without sorrow we have learned that another error, no less destructive, has taken possession of some parts of the Catholic world, and has taken up its abode in the souls of many Catholics who think that one should have good hope of the eternal salvation of all those who have never lived in the true Church of Christ. Therefore, they are wont to ask very often what will be the lot and condition of those who have not submitted in any way to the Catholic faith, and, by bringing forward most vain reasons, they make a response favorable to their false opinion. Far be it from Us, Venerable Brethren, to presume on the limits of the divine mercy which is infinite; far from Us, to wish to scrutinize the hidden counsel and "judgements of God" which are "a great abyss" (Ps. 35.7) and cannot be penetrated by human thought. But, as is Our Apostolic Duty, we wish your episcopal solicitude and vigilance to be aroused, so that you will strive as much as you can to drive form the mind of men that impious and equally fatal opinion, namely, that the way of eternal salvation can be found in any religion whatsoever. May you demonstrate with skill and learning in which you excel, to the people entrusted to your care that the dogmas of the Catholic faith are in no wise opposed to divine mercy and justice."

St John Paul II The Great and Pope Benedict have gone some way to correct the errors found in the Vatican II document which has so watered down Church teaching that the Church has all but lost her mission, which is to go out and convert the nations ...

Marc said...

My hypothesis is that our beloved blog is now getting an influx of new commenters as a result of Fr. McDonald's transfer to a new parish.

Based on the opinions they are sharing about their understanding of Church teaching, it is clear Fr. McDonald has much to accomplish in his new post.

Fr. McDonald, please be assured of our prayers for you for this difficult task.

Anonymous said...

In addition:

Pope Leo XIII (1878–1903), Encyclical Annum ingressi sumus: "This is our last lesson to you; receive it, engrave it in your minds, all of you: by God's commandment salvation is to be found nowhere but in the Church." idem, Encyclical Sapientiae christianae: "He scatters and gathers not who gathers not with the Church and with Jesus Christ, and all who fight not jointly with Him and with the Church are in very truth contending against God."

Pope St. Pius X (1903–1914), Encyclical Jucunda sane: "It is our duty to recall to everyone great and small, as the Holy Pontiff Gregory did in ages past, the absolute necessity which is ours, to have recourse to this Church to effect our eternal salvation."

Pope Benedict XV (1914–1922), Encyclical Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum: "Such is the nature of the Catholic faith that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole, or as a whole rejected: This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved."

Pope Pius XI (1922–1939), Encyclical Mortalium Animos: "The Catholic Church alone is keeping the true worship. This is the font of truth, this is the house of faith, this is the temple of God; if any man enter not here, or if any man go forth from it, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation… Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ, no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors."

Pope Pius XII (1939–1958), Encyclical Humani Generis, August 12, 1950: "Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation."

Pope Pius XII (1939–1958), Allocution to the Gregorian University (17 October 1953): "By divine mandate the interpreter and guardian of the Scriptures, and the depository of Sacred Tradition living within her, the Church alone is the entrance to salvation: She alone, by herself, and under the protection and guidance of the Holy Spirit, is the source of truth."

The teaching of all the Popes is plain. Christ's words are plain. Christ founded but one Church. Baptism is necessary for salvation. Except for those in invincible ignorance there is no salvation outside the Church, remembering there may be baptism of desire and that God can save whom He wills.

"The term "invincible ignorance" has its roots in Catholic theology, where — as the opposite of the term vincible ignorance — it is used to refer to the state of persons (such as pagans and infants) who are ignorant of the Christian message because they have not yet had an opportunity to hear it."

There would be few in this day and age who could claim invincible ignorance. Only those tribesmen living deep in jungle areas where the Gospel has not been preached. The vast majority of those in other churches know the claims of the Church to be the one, true, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church founded by Christ, so they are not ignorant and so if they are not saved, yes, as Dr Carroll says it is by their own fault and not through ignorance.

Anonymous 2 said...

Father Kavanaugh:

Thank you for your comment at 8:19 p.m. emphasizing the importance of adopting a correct hermeneutical method for the proper interpretation of magisterial documents. The move that Marc and Gene (and others such as the SSPX) make, of course, is simply to redefine “the Church” in their own image, so that_they_are the only ones who have remained faithful to the true Church in contrast to what I assume are regarded as the Vatican II apostates such as yourself and myself (and Father McDonald for that matter).

There is a hidden irony here. My psychotherapist wife (by the way, the slur on psychotherapists on an earlier thread did not go unnoticed) will frequently use the expression “same process different content.” Applying this notion here, the ultra-traditionalist position in the Catholic Church expressed by those such as Marc, Jan, and Gene is not unlike the ultra-traditionalist position in Islam, a fundamentalist approach that reads texts literally without any appreciation of context. The irony is not only that our own ultra-traditionalists unwittingly make common methodological cause with the Islamic fundamentalists. It is also that the way forward in Islam, the way out of the medieval mindset that, one assumes, these same Catholic ultra-traditionalists would generally be among the first to call for, involves the very same type of contextualization of the Islamic authoritative texts that they themselves reject in our own faith. Interesting, no?

Anonymous 2 said...

Anonymous and Gene:

Why does it always have to be either/or? Perhaps one can call this the Dichotomizer’s Delusion. To be sure, our tendency towards dualism is deeply ingrained in us but do we always have to succumb to it?

In the present context, then, why must it be Christianity OR Humanism? Why not Christian humanism, a venerable tradition in the Church? Why must it be Extraordinary Form OR Ordinary Form, or St. Joseph’s OR Holy Spirit Monastery Church in Conyers? Cannot each offer its own own type of beauty and reverence?

Anonymous 2 said...

P.S. I said in an earlier post this evening “The move that Marc and Gene (and others such as the SSPX) make, of course, is simply to redefine ‘the Church’ in their own image.” I may be a bit unfair here because Marc, Gene, Jan, and others could counter that it is the Vatican II Church that remade the Church in its own image whereas they are loyal to the traditional image of the Church.

Fair enough. But here is the bottom line for me: I may be an Oxford educated law professor with a string of letters after my name and a bunch of publications and other achievements on my resume, but I am neither smart enough nor learned enough (I do not say arrogant enough) to second guess the hierarchy of the Catholic Church as it has set out the Church’s teachings in the Vatican II documents, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and other relevant post-Vatican II magisterial documents. And so I will throw in my lot with that Church and remain loyal to it because existentially that is the Church in which God has been working, and continues to work, with the crooked timber of my humanity and there is nowhere else for me safely to go.

Anonymouse 2 said...

PP.S. I forgot to add the “squeak” at the end.

Gene said...

Anon 2, Fair enough. Why must it be Christ or the Devil, why can it not be Christ and the Devil? No one on here is an "ultra-traditionalist." I don't even know what that means. You're either Catholic/Christian or you are not. It is absurd to keep citing Vatican II which, in the overall scheme of things, is meaningless. It taught nothing infallible and made no doctrinal changes. It was simply a misguided, modernist aside in an effort to introduce humanism/egalitarianism into the Church. There is no such thing as "Christian humanism." It is the ultimate oxymoron, followed closely by "philosophy of religion." It is just another vapid concept cooked up by those who cannot accept the truths of Scripture regarding man and sin and the failure and futility of man's efforts to create a "good work' or a "good society." In Anon 2's world, everybody gets to Heaven by being nice.

PPS I forget to add the "growl" at the end.

Marc said...

A2, to support the charge that I am "making the Church in my own image," wouldn't you need to know what my image is (or was, before I came to believe these teachings)?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2, "emphasizing the importance of adopting a correct hermeneutical method for the proper interpretation of magisterial documents" is a typical comment of a liberal. What that statement actually means is license to interpret the teachings of the Church in a liberal manner in line with the "enlightened" doctrine that you, Fr K and other liberals espouse.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jan - You misunderstand and misuse the word "liberal." Be that as it may, the interpretation of Magisterial teaching with a proper hermeneutical methodology is not novel. A short investigation would reveal that struggles with proper interpretation is a element of our ecclesial past from the first day someone said, "What was that He said about peacemakers?" after listening to the Sermon on the Mount.

Quoting passages our of every context is not the correct hermeutical methodology. It never was and never will be.

International Theological Commission
"The Interpretation of Dogma" (1989)
[The document was discussed at the plenary session of 3rd to 8th October, 1988, and fully approved in forma specifica at the plenary session of October, 1989. In accordance with the statutes of the International Theological Commission, it is now published with the authorization of His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the Commission's President. The basic text is in German.]

"The living Tradition of God's people on pilgrimage through history does not come to a stop at a particular point in that history It arrives at the present only to move on to the future. A dogmatic definition is not only the end of a development but equally a new start. If a truth of faith has become dogma it becomes part for good of the Paradosis which travels on. Following on definition comes acceptance, which is a living grasp of the dogma in the common life of the Church, and a deeper insight into the truth the dogma presents. For dogma should not simply be a relic of times past; it should bear fruit in the life of the Church. For that reason, attention should not be limited to the negative or restrictive side of it, but to its positive side since that is its doorway to truth."

The whole document is worth reading and considering.

Anonymous said...

Fr K, to say "attention should not be limited to the negative or restrictive side of it, but to its positive side since that is its doorway to truth", surely the positive side is what the Church teaches. Dogma is dogma. It doesn't move or change with the times. You should know that. For example, the dogma of the Immaculate Conception will always be that Mary was conceived without the stain of original sin. The 10 Commandments are dogma. There will never be a change to those, even though those commandments were first given to Moses centuries ago. They are set in stone as are the dogmatic teachings of the Church.

"The dogmas of the Church are immutable. Modernists hold that religious dogmas, as such, have no intellectual meaning, that we are not bound to believe them mentally, that they may be all false, that it is sufficient if we use them a guides to action; and accordingly they teach that dogmas are not immutable, that they should be changed when the spirit of the age is opposed to them, when they lose their value as rules for a liberal religious life. But in the Catholic doctrine that Divine revelation is addressed to the human mind and expresses real objective truth, dogmas are immutable Divine truths. It is an immutable truth for all time that Augustus was Emperor of Rome and George Washington first President of the United States. So according to Catholic belief, these are and will be for all time immutable truths — that there are three Persons in God, that Christ died for us, that He arose from the dead, that He founded the Church, that He instituted the sacraments."

Gene said...

The International Theological Commission...are you kidding? A post-Vat II advisory committee which messed around a bit with "interpretations" of doctrine, whined about Limbo, and attempted some modernist doctrinal interpretation. Nothing authoritative, nothing infallible, nothing at all. It came along right beside COCU, that so-called ecumenical committee that fell all over themselves loving it up over Vat II and making themselves a laughing stock even to protestants. I was there. I went to the conferences and seminars. Many of us even laughed out loud and were called rude by our professors.

Anonymous said...

Fr K with dogma we are not struggling with proper interpretation because the Church has already interpreted the dogma for us. Those who are struggling with the interpretation of dogma are those who are actually struggling to conform to the dogma and so struggle to find some form of interpretation away from what the Church is actually teaching to what they desire that teaching to be.

The dogma for us is that Christ founded only one Church. Baptism is necessary for salvation. Outside of invincible ignorance, no one in other churches is saved if they deny the truths of the Catholic Faith, except for those who receive Baptism of desire or whom God chooses to save. Our Lord gave to the Church the power to bind and loose and so what is bound on earth He said is bound in heaven. The statements of the Popes are not taken out of context. Other things may have been stated in the documents but the statements are standalone statements about what the Church teaches about there is no salvation outside the Church. The Church taught that up until the issue of some contentious Vatican II documents that broke with tradition. The Church still teaches that the Church is necessary for salvation as Pope Benedict confirmed. When the Church ceases to teach that there will be no necessity for any of us to be Catholics or for you to be a priest.

Anonymous said...

God will not loose one of his beloved children to hell not matter what their "church"
God judges the heart of man and not the place where he worships. Those that say only one
particular Church membership can save children from Hell have a a view of a very unmerciful God.
God did not send his son to earth for only a few who attend the Catholic Church. He did not die for just one group of people. He would leave his flock to look for the one lost sheep that needed the most help. We all learn in different ways. What one Church says to some others do not understand. Those individuals need a different path. Just as all Humans are brothers and sisters we are in the same family. We learn in different ways. Its good to defend your faith while not insulting others. We are not God. He is the judge of us all. He is alive in every church. He speaks to each soul individually. He may not speak "Catholic" to all. God honors our intentions and our desire to learn from one another. He loves us all and it does not matter if you are a Traditional Catholic, Methodist, Jew, or what... He breathed the breath of life into us all and he will never let that die.

Anonymous said...

Not one member of my family including my ancestor who sailed on the Mayflower as a Pilgrim was a member of the Roman Catholic Church except for ME. If I were to listen to what some people on this blog say... that would make me leave my church because that would mean because none of my family was a Catholic they would every single one of them be in Hell. That would include my mother who was one of the most christian, church going, sunday school teacher, and best mother's in the world. She would have never dared judge people the way some on this site play God and judge others. I was taught that "Catholic" meant "The Church" Yes the Catholic Church was the first but it had to be reformed everyone with any educational level knows the history of reform. Those that place themselves above God and put words in his mouth do not understand a God of Love. Yes, If I were to believe that only the Catholics are saved then I would have no relative in heaven not even the relative who died saving the life of a child. If someone can really prove to me that this is indeed the God of My Catholic Church then I will tomorrow search for a new Church Family. I was not taught this when I took RCIA classes and I specifically asked the Priest about my non catholic family. He told me that my mother was in Heaven (Evangelical and all) praying for me every day. I do not ask for back and forth battles. I want to know who or where I can go to find if indeed without a doubt the Roman Catholic Church states that all must be Catholic to be saved. This is a very serious issue with me and I would like a very serious in plain language a response from a Priest.

Marc said...

Anonymous, no one in my family is Catholic either (except my wife and daughter). I hope the following quotation helps to shed some light on the topic at hand:

"Those who cry for intolerance in interpreting St. Cyprian's formula, “Outside the Church there is no salvation,” also reject the Creed, “I confess one baptism for the remission of sins,” and are insufficiently instructed as to what baptism is. There are three ways of receiving it: the baptism of water; the baptism of blood (that of the martyrs who confessed the faith while still catechumens) and baptism of desire.

Baptism of desire can be explicit. Many times in Africa I heard one of our catechumens say to me, “Father, baptize me straightaway because if I die before you come again, I shall go to hell.” I told him “No, if you have no mortal sin on your conscience and if you desire baptism, then you already have the grace in you.”

The doctrine of the Church also recognizes implicit baptism of desire. This consists in doing the will of God. God knows all men and He knows that amongst Protestants, Muslims, Buddhists and in the whole of humanity there are men of good will. They receive the grace of baptism without knowing it, but in an effective way. In this way they become part of the Church.

The error consists in thinking that they are saved by their religion. They are saved in their religion but not by it. There is no Buddhist church in heaven, no Protestant church. This is perhaps hard to accept, but it is the truth. I did not found the Church, but rather Our Lord the Son of God. As priests we must state the truth." - Archbishop Lefebvre

Anonymous 2 said...


“The statements of the Popes are not taken out of context. Other things may have been stated in the documents but the statements are standalone statements about what the Church teaches about there is no salvation outside the Church.”

Sorry, Jan, you are just wrong. No text, and I mean no text, can be read this way, and if you had studied textual interpretation you would know this. Your own example of the Ten Commandments proves the point very nicely. And if you disagree, please explain to us the meaning “Thou shalt not kill” and how it is to be applied in all circumstances.

Yes, the Church taught—and still teaches—that outside the Church there is no salvation. But the question is (just like “Thou shalt not kill”): What exactly does this mean? You yourself admit of exceptions (invincible ignorance, for example), so it cannot mean that one must formally be a member of the Catholic Church to be saved, can it? On what basis do you acknowledge the invincible ignorance exception? Come to that, what exactly is invincible ignorance?

And yes, you have taken the statements of the Popes out of context. You also misread Pope Benedict to your purpose. I have only had an opportunity to look at one of the documents in your list of out-of-context quotes and it is clear that it does not mean what you claim. More on that later (I hope). Have you actually read the whole documents or even the surrounding language for your quotes or did you just lift them pre-cooked from some website?

Anonymous 2 said...


“The doctrine of the Church also recognizes implicit baptism of desire. This consists in doing the will of God. God knows all men and He knows that amongst Protestants, Muslims, Buddhists and in the whole of humanity there are men of good will. They receive the grace of baptism without knowing it, but in an effective way. In this way they become part of the Church.

The error consists in thinking that they are saved by their religion. They are saved in their religion but not by it. There is no Buddhist church in heaven, no Protestant church. This is perhaps hard to accept, but it is the truth. I did not found the Church, but rather Our Lord the Son of God. As priests we must state the truth."

I only saw your most recent post after posting mine. Thank you for this statement. But it makes me wonder what on earth we have been arguing about. Does anyone here deny any of this? Did Vatican II deny this? Unless I am gravely mistaken, it did not. And if this is the case, why did Archbishop Lefebvre have such a problem with this aspect of Vatican II?

Anonymous 2 said...


“Why must it be Christ or the Devil, why can it not be Christ and the Devil?”

I did not think that even you would be silly enough to say this, but I was wrong.

“There is no such thing as ‘Christian humanism’”


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jan - You say, "Fr K with dogma we are not struggling with proper interpretation because the Church has already interpreted the dogma for us."

Where are we told, explicitly, that the interpretation the Church has given for us is the final, immutable, unalterable interpretation? Where are we told that new circumstances, new insights into human psychology, into ancient languages, into ecclesiology, soteriology, Christology, can ever, under any circumstances, lead to a new interpretation of some dogma?

The answer is, no such statement from the Church exists because it cannot exist.

Gene - I can well imagine that you were considered rude by your professors. You will note that the statement from the ITC was approved formally by none other than His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the Commission's President.

But, of course, he's among the multitude of bishops you just refuse to trust.

Anonymous said...

Jan, No I do not live in a barn. And I stand corrected Neither should God. I see your point
I was incorrect. Thank you for the new insight and I mean it. Thank You.

Gene said...

Just because someone names something Christian Humanism and plays philosophy with that name does not mean it is good theology. Many prominent theologians have laughed at the term, Barth, Ellul, Brunner, among them. It is the same with "Christian Existentialism," of the MacQuarrie stripe, I believe. These are Biblical theology oxymorons. They make no sense in the context of Salvation History/Biblical Christology. But, they sound so nice...

Anonymous said...

Bee here:
Fr. McD's headline is:

Well, I don't know about clairvoyance, but I certainly give you credit for following the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, to Whom I attribute your movement toward these actions and adoption of the same prior to any Vatican actions calling for them. I attribute these inspirations to your true love of God, and your true prayer to Him, because no one who only goes through the motions of love and prayer, but thinks otherwise in his heart, ever discovers the truth, or ever hears the Holy Spirit.

In any case, I am happy with this news, and by it at least hopeful we will begin to restore our Catholic worship of God to something more worthy of Him, and to something that actually allows us as human beings to show Him reverence and deference and awe within our prayer; to give us some way of praying that allows us to humble ourselves before so great a God.

To Him be glory and honor and praise forever and ever. Amen.

Keep fighting for the Kingdom, Fr. McD!


Gene said...

Anon 2, That Wiki article on Christian Humanism is about the wackiest thing I have ever read. Half those it labels as Christian humanists would reject the label outright. I took a course in grad school from Martin Marty called, "The Christian Humanists of the Renaissance." This whole notion vis a vis NT theology was discussed at length. Basically, if you believe Christ is who He said He was, then there ids no "Christian Humanism." If you are a liberal theologian who thinks you can start with man and get to God, have at it.

Anonymous said...

Fr K, the Church knows what "immutable" means even if you don't understand the term. Once something is proclaimed a dogma that is it. It is fixed for all time. Simple as that.

The watered down Vatican II interpretation of "no salvation outside the Church" has since been clarified by Pope Benedict. He said that Vatican II intended that the term "Church" only relate to the Orthodox churches, SSPX and other such groups, and that those congregations since the reformation that have not retained an ordained priesthood, such as Anglicans, do not come under that umbrella.

Certainly, the non-baptized, which includes Jews, Muslims, Hindus, pagans and others, do not fall under the Vatican II interpretation either. Only Catholics, Orthodox, SSPX and other such groups who have an ordained priesthood are part of "the Church" as defined by Vatican II. Everyone else has to submit to the Church in order to be saved.

Isn't it time that you, Fr K, admitted that you fall under the description given by New Advent: "Modernists hold that religious dogmas, as such, have no intellectual meaning, that we are not bound to believe them mentally, that they may be all false, that it is sufficient if we use them a guides to action; and accordingly they teach that dogmas are not immutable, that they should be changed when the spirit of the age is opposed to them, when they lose their value as rules for a liberal religious life".

Anonymous said...

Anonymous July 7, 2016 at 12:12 PM. I have many family and friends who are good people who are not Catholic. If you had read my post carefully you would have seen that there are exceptions to the Church teaching that there is no salvation outside the Church: invincible ignorance and Baptism of desire as explained in Marc's quotation.

We all wish everybody to be saved and that is why we pray for them: all our family and friends.

But there are important questions you need to think about: Why did Christ say that "nobody comes to the Father except through Me"? Why did Our Lord say, "Unless you are born again of water and the holy spirit you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven". Why did Christ found a Church if there is salvation to be found outside of her?

No doubt we will get a watery response from Fr K and Anonymous 2 but the bottom line is Catholic Church teaching is based on what Our Lord stated. Not what we would like things to be.

In years gone by it took quite a long time for someone to be admitted into the Catholic Church because it was explained to them that to be a Catholic they had to accept the dogmas of the Church. The RCIA program is a very poor program that runs people through in a matter of weeks with the bare basics of what Catholicism is. It is not surprising, therefore, that many who enter the Church through the RCIA program leave the Church in less than a year. It is not the fault of the people who are honestly discerning whether they want to be Catholic or not. It is the fault of the program which seems to be more interested in getting bottoms on pews than explaining the Faith in a proper and honest manner to those genuinely seeking.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2, those statements from the various Popes are standalone statements, in that they do not require further explanation. They are quite explicit in the mention of Jews, Pagans, etc being excluded.

You accept that the Church teaches, "outside the Church there is no salvation". Could you explain what you understand by that and then I can see where you are coming from.

Anonymous 2 said...


Within the tradition of Christian humanism, as with so much else, one has to sort the chaff from the wheat. The fact that one has to do so, however, should not mean rejection of the entire tradition. Babies and bathwater and all that . . .

Anyway if you don’t like the Wikipedia article, here is another one:

And if you don’t like that one either here is a link with many references so you can make your own selection:

Anonymous 2 said...


With Marc’s concession quoting Archbishop Lefebvre and with your concessions about exceptions, I don’t really know what we are arguing about any more. The bottom line is very simple: The only way anyone can be saved is through Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church has the fullest truth of all, but this does not necessarily mean that the only way to be saved is by formally becoming a member of the Catholic Church. Thus, neither non-Catholic Christians nor non-Christians are necessarily damned. You seem to accept this, Marc now seems to accept it, Father Kavanaugh seems to accept it, and I accept it. What is there left to argue about, except possibly the methodological point about the proper hermeneutic, that is, we cannot get to this position by reading magisterial statements out of their context?

Anonymous 2 said...

This evening I have been reading an excellent book in my library on this entire problematic of “extra ecclesiam nulla salus” – Rev. Peter Stravinskas’s 2002 book “Salvation Outside the Church?” – which I recommend to all:

It explains everything very well and also contains the text of Dominus Iesus in an Appendix.

Father Stravinskas acknowledges his great debt to Father Sullivan’s 1992 work on the subject, which I suspect is much more detailed:

I do not have that one. Has anyone read it?

Also, here again is a link to Father Sullivan’s 2003 book “Creative Fidelity” addressing the general problematic (of which “extra ecclesiam” is a particular illustration) of how to evaluate and interpret magisterial documents, which I mentioned on another thread recently:

johnnyc said...

Wow....this shows the state of the Catholic Church when an orthodox lay woman schools a priest. I will just add to Jan's already formidable defense of Jesus and His Church, the Catholic Church with a little something from St. Paul. You know..... the guy liberals are trying to avoid.....

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. - 2 Timothy 4:3-5

Gene said...

Anon 2, I have read tomes more about so-called Christian humanism/humanism than you. I'll play the game this way...Christianity could be viewed as the ultimate humanism...if you accept NT Christology. Those who believe in and follow Christ are ultimately restored, through His Sacrifice and redemption, to their true "humanity" in Him, which comes at the end of historical time when Christ returns to judge the living and the dead. Man and his philosophies and programs have nothing to do with it. There is no "humanism" other than the redemption of men and their sanctification through Him. In this sense, rather than being an oxymoron, Christian humanism is redundant. Any philosophy that elevates man outside a Christological framework is garbage.

Gene said...

Jan is a guy.

Marc said...

A2, Unitatis Redintegratio goes much further than the Church's traditional teaching as stated by Abp. Lefebvre. The archbishop had an excellent way of distilling the Church's teaching and restating it simply. If you want to understand what makes those of us who support the SSPX tick, search out his Open Letter to Confused Catholics and read it. It isn't long and it is available for free online.

Anonymous said...

Gene, no, I am a woman as jonnyc says. My full name is Janet Theresa but it is shortened to Jan by family and friends.

jonnyc Yes, indeed it does highlight the sad state of the Church when you call me an orthodox lay woman because I have merely a product of the Catholic school system that was once staffed by good holy nuns and priests. In those days of faith - as I have heard some refer to them - the vast majority believed what the Church taught and also knew what the Church taught. "Give me the child till seven and I will give you the man/woman". That is certainly a true statement, and my faith was formed and nurtured at an early age by those good priests and nuns. All those I know who were schooled under the same Catholic school system are the few remaining ones who have largely retained the Faith and are standing up for the truth.

Fr K will just have to accept that I am a product of the good Catholic school system that once ensured the Faith was passed on down through the generations. My generation was unfortunately the last to receive that kind of instruction, but one day Catholic schools will be restored again because the evidence is now undeniable that what replaced it has led to the Faith almost dying out since Vatican II. Young children these days may know how to play a guitar, to clap and sing at Mass and you can bet they know more about other religions than their own. It's a sad state of affairs when a child at a Catholic school asks the parish priest if he is a Christian ...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jan - "Fr K, the Church knows what "immutable" means even if you don't understand the term. Once something is proclaimed a dogma that is it. It is fixed for all time. Simple as that."

To believe this you have to ignore history. All doctrine has developed and evolved over time. The Apostles, the Patristic authors, the great Medieval theologians, the Nouvelle Théologie practitioners - all of them have contributed to the growth and development of doctrine.

The idea that a proclaimed doctrine is fixed for all time is simply unhistorical.

Anonymous said...

jonnyc, I would also add that I recall as a child being told we had to stand up for our Faith and fight for it and that we might even have to die for our Faith. I thought then that that meant I would have to stand up for my beliefs against atheists or Protestants. Little did I know that the real battle was going to be fought within the Church and that it would continue for so long. Thinking back now of what they said, it makes me think that the priests and nuns must have had an inkling of what was about to come but I am sure they would never have envisaged it would get as bad as it has become. Of course, the Church has weathered many storms before, and she will weather this storm, as Bishop Athanasius Schneider has stated, by individuals standing firm against the tide and standing up for the truth ...

Gene said...

Jan, well, there must be a guy Jan on here, too, because I remember one posting at some point. I apologize. I think it is all the better that you are a woman. That must really get up K's craw. Oh, and remember, he told us once how much he knows about, be careful. LOL!

Gene said...

The articles of the Creed are fixed for all time. Also, the Ten Commandments, and Jesus words about who he is and what is to come. Our perceptions of doctrine may "evolve," and our efforts to compromise it or re-interpret it to suit modernist tastes may evolve, but the truths expressed therein never change.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

No, revealed Truth does not change.

How we understand that Truth, how we express that Truth, how we live that Truth does change.

Always has, always will.

Anonymous said...

No worries, Gene, others have claimed that I am a man because they say that I formulate my arguments like a man. That may have come from years of working with men - it probably rubbed off!

Anonymous said...

Fr K, I will leave it to Catholic Answers to respond to you:

Full Question
I was amazed to read recently where a Catholic priest theologian said that the Church is not infallible and that it has changed its doctrines. Apparently he felt Jesus' words in Matthew 18:18-19 ("Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted them by my heavenly Father") mean that the Church can change its doctrines as times change.


No, the Church cannot change its doctrines no matter how badly some theologians may want it to or how loudly they claim it can. The doctrines of the Catholic Church are the deposit of faith revealed by Jesus Christ, taught by the apostles, and handed down in their entirety by the apostles to their successors. Since revealed truth cannot change, and since the deposit of faith is comprised of revealed truth, expressed in Scripture and Sacred Tradition, the deposit of faith cannot change.

While it's certainly true that our Lord's words to the apostles in Matthew 18:18-19 grant authority to the apostles to "bind" the members of the Church to believe the doctrines of the Church ("He who listens to you listens to me. He who rejects you rejects me and the one who sent me" [Luke 10:16]), the "loosing" spoken of in Mathew. 18:18 does not mean the apostles can modify doctrine.

The Church does not have the power to do the impossible, to change or delete divinely revealed truth which forms the deposit of faith.

John Nolan said...

'How we understand that Truth, how we express that Truth, how we live that Truth, does change'.

Up to a point, Lord Copper. Yet there are many who see the development of doctrine as somehow justifying their dissent from it. We are required by the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium to accept the deposit of Faith 'eodem sensu, eadem sententia' with Christians of all ages - the Church is diachronic after all.

This phrase 'with the same sense and the same meaning' is attributed to St Vincent of Lerins but is based on Corinthians 1:10. It was used by John XXIII in his opening address to the Second Vatican Council.

Fr Hunwicke has an excellent commentary on this at his 'mutual enrichment' blog and he explains it far better than I could.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

John - Truth doesn't change, but, "How we understand that Truth, how we express that Truth, how we live that Truth does change."

That some may justify dissent by saying it develops doesn't impinge on what I stated.

A problem with "the same sense and meaning" is that it can be difficult to know the sense and meaning that was intended by the authors of a specific doctrine. We try, we do our best, as we do with Sacred Scripture. What the Catechism says about Scripture - "In order to discover the sacred authors' intention, the reader must take into account the conditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes of feeling, speaking and narrating then current. "For the fact is that truth is differently presented and expressed in the various types of historical writing, in prophetical and poetical texts, and in other forms of literary expression." - can be said about doctrine.

Doctrine develops and evolves. Doctrine is the expression of our understanding of revealed Truth in language, and, as you know, language is analogical.

Anonymous 2 said...


“I have read tomes more about so-called Christian humanism/humanism than you”

Well, I thought you had, which is why I could not understand why you seemed to want to reject the notion outright. Perhaps it has to do with the “game” you are playing—ascribe the worst, most liberal/progressive motives and understandings to me as an “enemy” of the Church? Is that what happened?

As for Man’s philosophies having nothing to do with it, what about Aristotle’s immense influence upon Aquinas—as just one example?

Anonymous 2 said...

I suspect there is some terminological confusion going on here in this discussion of immutability.

Where can we find authoritative definitions of the following terms (isn’t it always important to define one’s terms?)?

– Doctrines
– Dogmas
– Disciplines
– Teachings

And then, of course, don’t we need to bear in mind the distinction between fallible and infallible pronouncements and the difference between different levels of authority (and authoritativeness) doing the proclaiming?

Anonymous 2 said...

P.S. Also the similarities and differences between the terms:

– change
– reverse
– develop
– elaborate
– clarify

As well as the distinction between an abstract rule/principle and its application to concrete circumstances?

John Nolan said...

Fr K, the extent to which language is 'analogical' is debatable; in linguistics analogy has a specific meaning, namely the alteration of a word to conform with a different class of words. The verb 'to lead' has 'led' as its imperfect and by analogy the imperfect of 'to plead' is sometimes rendered as 'pled' rather than 'pleaded' (for example in Scottish law).

From your previous posts I get the impression that you lean towards a postmodern 'deconstructionist' approach to language as advocated by Jacques Derrida and others which has attracted trenchant criticism not least because it inexorably leads to an extreme form of relativism.

I entirely agree that taking Magisterial pronouncements out of context can oversimplify doctrine and indeed mislead. However, the principle 'eodem sensu, eademque sententia' is a sound one and muddying the waters too much hardly serves the cause of revealed Truth. Was Pontius Pilate, who asked 'quid est veritas?' the founder of postmodernism?

Gene said...

No, Anon 2, I was not rejecting the notion of Christian humanism as a way to impute evil motives to you. It is a legitimate issue and many orthodox theologians and some philosophers reject the designation. It really is a meaningless term, especially in light of what I said about Christianity (revealed Christianity that believes Christ is who he says He is) being the ultimate "humanism" if viewed through Christ Incarnate.

Gene said...

John Nolan, Indeed...well said.

Anonymous said...

Erasmus and St. Thomas More were Christian humanists.

Anonymous 2 said...

As made clear in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, Christian humanism, properly understood, also stands at the center of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church:

19. The Church, the sign in history of God's love for mankind and of the vocation of the whole human race to unity as children of the one Father[21], intends with this document on her social doctrine to propose to all men and women a humanism that is up to the standards of God's plan of love in history, an integral and solidary humanism capable of creating a new social, economic and political order, founded on the dignity and freedom of every human person, to be brought about in peace, justice and solidarity. This humanism can become a reality if individual men and women and their communities are able to cultivate moral and social virtues in themselves and spread them in society. “Then, under the necessary help of divine grace, there will arise a generation of new men, the moulders of a new humanity [22].

See generally:

Gerbert d' Aurillac said...

Little late to the party! Sorry I missed all the fun!

Father, yes your clairvoyance thankfully is right on the money!!
As a member of St Joseph Church I can assure all that Father McDonald care a great deal for the members of his parish, and none of the women of St Anne will be replaced by men or be forced to wear veils, mind you many of the woman of St Joseph do, but out of their own desire to do so. One thing I have garnered by these post is that Vatican II or at least what we where told Vatican II said has lead to much confusion, on top of that, the disastrous failure of how the Catechism was taught or more accurately not taught along with the poor formation of priest during the same time has caused great confusion amongst the faithful. If I where to say that many things Pope Francis has said has caused even more confusion because of a lack of clarity on his part. As a Catholic I will not disparage Pope Francis because as a Catholic I believe he was put in that office for a reason, buy the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and I can't argue with that. Some say those outside the Church their is no salvation, and I agree fully, I think the understanding must be what does that mean, are not all the baptized part of the Church even if they are not in full communion with us? I do believe doctrine does develop as our understanding of revealed truth and science increases. We use to believe in a seven day creation, science has showed us their is more to it, the truth of Genesis has not changed at all. I agree with Gene Christian humanism seems to be counter to salvation history, I need to do some reading on that. Thomas Moore was an unflinching obedient servant to God and His Church, how we need him now! Some great reading here and some crazy hysterics!!

Gene said...

Anon 2, that tripe from the compendium of social doctrine is about the most un-Biblical, theologically stupid, and Pelagian nonsense I have ever read. Sorry.

Gene said...

Erasmus' books were placed on term Prohibited List by Pope Paul IV. He was considered Arian by many, and frowned upon by post-Reformation Catholic theologians.