Wednesday, April 26, 2017

FORM OVER SUBSTANCE; ISN'T THAT REALLY A LACK OF FAITH, A FORM OF IDOLATRY?


The liturgies of the sacraments, including the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, are a means to an end and the end is the adoration and worship of God and the strengthening of the soul for eternal salvation and all that is required for that salvation with God accomplishes through His Son and the graces we merit by our faith and good works.

Yet, there are those, especially liturgical geeks, who worship the form of the celebration of the sacraments to include its language.

Take, for example, those who kiss the boundaries of schism, be it the SSPX or those who reject the legitimate Magisterium of the Church. They, in an odd way, are the very caricature of the "spirit" of Vatican II which they so deplore. It is called taking on oneself an authority they simply do not have or a neo-Gnosticism that they know something directly from God that the Magisterium is completely unaware. They deplore the corporality of the Church and that she speaks through men in the hierarchy of the Church, the pope and bishops who are in union with him. Gnosticism pure and simple, but cloaked in the external traditions of the Church and the elitist mentality that they alone are preserving authentic Tradition.

As for me and my household, we will serve the true Body of Christ.                                      

23 comments:

Marc said...

If God speaks through the pope and the bishops in union with him, as you claim, then I'm sure you are having no problem giving Holy Communion to the unrepentant divorced and "remarried" folks in your parish. After all, to refuse to do so would be tantamount to "neo-Gnosticism" and would be "elitist."

Marc said...

And as for the Spirit... Last Saturday, Bp. Fellay confirmed 131 people at St. Mary's in Kansas.

I think it's safe to say that none of these people support blasphemous communions like "you and your household."

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Marc, yes you do support blasphemous Communions and everyone in the SPX who have separated from the true Church and thus have become Catholic adulterers as it concerns their Schism and have divorced the true Church and have entered into an adulterous intercourse with a mistress!

Contempt for the successor of Peter, the Vicar of Christ and separating oneself from the true spouse of Christ for a fake spouse is adultery! Both consist of serious matter, which every Catholic should know and if they do it with full consent of the will they commit a mortal sin and thus cannot make a worthy communion unless you agree with Pope Francis and extenuating circumstances that cause one to want to go to Holy Communion in their adulterous state. So you see Marc you accept Pope Francis caveat!

Marc said...

The pope doesn't say the SSPX is in schism. And he just a few weeks back promulgated a document specifically allowing for nuptial masses to be said by an SSPX priest, which document assumes (1) the couple are SSPX faithful, and (2) will receive Holy Communion at their nuptial mass.

The pope does not appear to share your view that communing at an SSPX parish or regularly attending an SSPX parish makes one unworthy of receiving Holy Communion.

Now, about your support for actual blasphemous communions -- you seem to have dodged that issue. Do you expect that Christ the Just Judge will appreciate your Nuremberg Defense when you tell him that Pope Francis made you do what you know is wrong?

Agnes said...

Marc, perhaps I've missed something, but I don't recall Father supporting blasphemous communions.

As an aside, I must admit that if you are an example of the type of person who can be found at an SSPX parish (I would hope you are the exception), I would never want to attend a Traditional Mass there. I'm very fortunate to have an FSSP parish near me. Tradition without a reactionary attitude.

Marc said...

Agnes, I stopped going to the FSSP in my town because the priests' sermons were too anti-hierarchy.

It's not an institutional thing, but thanks for assuming I'm a reactionary.

Agnes said...

Marc, it's hard to assume otherwise after reading so many of your comments. However, I'm glad to hear that your are not the norm for an SSPX chapel.

Marc said...

Agnes, I'm not bothered by whatever assumptions you'd like to make. I'm a little curious as to which comments I've made have led you to conclude that I'm reactionary. I thought it a little reactionary for Fr. McDonald to label me an unrepentant public mortal sinner to which he would deny Communion. It's all the more reactionary since Fr. McDonald actually knows me personally and has for nearly 10 years now since he baptized me into the Catholic Church.

Since I likewise know Fr. McDonald, I am shocked that he is pretty much just going along with what Francis is doing. I would've expected more from him. My reaction is mainly one of disappointment.

Oh, and I also dislike being called a schismatic, which Fr. McDonald has been calling me for several years now. If he really believed I was a mortal sinner, though, he would probably call me or email me since he has my phone number and email address. That he hasn't done either of those things tends to indicate he's being a little tongue-in-cheek with his comments. And that's fine because I am as well. It is the internet, after all.

rcg said...

Fr.AJM makes a good point about something we need to be wary of as traditional minded Catholics. It is not the facade or the actions that make it a better approach. It is the desire to give more than 'good enough' and to acknowledge that an awful lot of thought and prayer went into the creation of the Liturgy of the ages. Conversely, there are religions that imitate the externals of the old Church in dress and some ceremony and even some liturgy. Perhaps it is a complement but they misunderstand the why of what is done. I think this is the case of many, if not all NO parishes who for the same misguided reasons eschew the externals of the Old Mass. They simply don't know why they are doing what they are doing.

I don't think it is good form to ask the traditional community to explain some of the crazies in their fold any more than to ask the progressives to explain the crazies in theirs and thereby share the accusation. However, I do think the traditional community has a better method for explaining that their crazies are out of line with Catholic teaching and the progressives does not. It is also rare that official Church functionaries give traditionalists anything embarassing to excuse.

ByzRC said...

One can only hope that the Society is regularized near-term for to say 'Amen' therefore confirming one's agreement with receiving a Society communion leads to what Father mentioned. Also, In the interest of being fair and apologies if I too missed something, I don't recall Father supporting blasphemous communions either. Last, prayers for regularization as I believe the church is much better served with the Society acting as stewards of tradition within the communion than outside.

rcg said...

Marc, I acknowledge that what you say of the FSSP sermonist may be true, but I would be very surprised. I know the North American Director and can't imagine him tolerating that sort of thing unless there was something specific terribly out of line with the heirarchy. Besides, the FSSP are basically guests in most US diocese and exist at the pleasure of the local Bishop. Biting that hand is a bad move.

Joe Potillor said...

As your friendly Eastern observer....I can point out a few things...

1. I believe the 2 great commandments are love God, and love neighbour. If we don't do the former, it's fairly difficult to do the latter. I do not necessarily think that the primacy of the Liturgy in of itself leads to idolatry.

2. Obedience isn't blind, nor should it be. If the Pope and various others have said that the SSPX aren't in schism, we have no authority to declare them so, or those who support them. Those in power can't use authority they don't have, neither of course, as you say can we take on authority we don't have either. I have often argued Popes today have more power than their predecessors could ever dream of....

3. As I like to say, just because the Pope talks, doesn't make it the Gospel of Christ Jesus. When he restates the Faith, he's infallible, because the Faith itself is perfect. When he doesn't, not so much.

Henry said...

"Marc, yes you do support blasphemous Communions and everyone in the SPX who have separated from the true Church and thus have become Catholic adulterers as it concerns their Schism and have divorced the true Church and have entered into an adulterous intercourse with a mistress!"

Taken in context, this statement appears to condemn as blasphemous all Holy Communions at SSPX Masses. If so, it surely is way "over the top", if not "way out of bounds", as well as directly contradictory of recent statements by knowledgeable authorities ranging from Fr. Z to various respected cardinals and bishops.

Agnes said...

Marc,

It is a general impression I've received after reading through your many posts. However, in your defense, you have also written some well thought out posts.

The SSPX are not in schism, as you state; however, they are not fully regularized either. Attending an SSPX chapel by itself would not automatically make anyone a schismatic. Attending an SSPX chapel while having the mindset of a schismatic is a different matter (please note that I am not implying that you have this mindset). Additionally, one can attend Holy Mass at a fully regularized parish and still be a schismatic, if that same mindset is present.

I cannot say that I agree with you that Father is just going along with what His Holiness is doing. Father has written many posts regarding Pope Francis, some of which have been positive and some questioning/disagreeing with him. I am sure that many of each are still to be written.

Anonymous said...

Adulterers? Fake spouses? Mistresses? Wow......I have never heard the term "fake spouse" before. Should I have assumed at a recent gathering here in Atlanta of the Catholic and Greek Orthodox bishops and clergy of the area, that the Greeks were the fake spouses? As the Greeks and other Eastern Orthodox point out, after 1054 most of the seperations happened from Rome, not Constantinople--Baptists, Methodists, Anglicans, Lutherans, Prebyterians, Congregationalists, Mennonites, 7th Day Adventists, Church of God, Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, AME....

Marc said...

Although he directs his remarks at me, I appreciate Fr. McDonald's polemics. I wish more churchmen were so direct.

Marc said...

rcg, the FSSP here are not critical of the archibishop, as far as I've heard. But if I had to hear another sermon where we were admonished to pray for "the scales to fall from the eyes" of the pope and bishops, I might've hurt someone. So, we go to the SSPX , where the sermons discuss the spiritual life instead of the crisis in the Church, which is what every single sermon at the local FSSP is about.

You've heard the stuff com Audio Sanctoc right? You know how all those sermons about the state of the Church are? That's the FSSP. I find it hard to believe their district superior is unaware of their sermons about the hierarchy.

John Nolan said...

I happen to prefer the pre-Conciliar Roman Rite to the post-Conciliar Novus Ordo. This applies to the Mass, the Office and the Ritual.

I prefer the liturgy to be in Latin, including the 'Ordinary Form' of the Mass.

I have gone to considerable trouble to learn Gregorian Chant and sing it most Sundays (an EF Sung Mass should, ceteris paribus, include all the Propers of the Graduale Romanum).

I am conscious that I am performing a liturgical role, but reject the idea that I am exercising a 'ministry' - this is pretentious tosh.

The Catholics with whom I associate are like-minded. The fact that they are well-educated, well informed and musical does not make them 'elitist' (a term normally used by ignorant people to disparage those more intelligent than they are).

Nor are they 'nerdy' or 'geeky'. One is a youngish Oxford don who happens to be the chairman of the Latin Mass Society and who writes an excellent blog which covers aspects of Catholicism beyond the field of liturgy.

It's my choice. I don't worship forms or languages. I love the English language and its rich literature (which includes the King James bible) but don't want it in the Roman liturgy, for perfectly valid reasons. I don't look down on those who think otherwise; it's their choice.

I will turn out in the afternoon to sing Vespers, but not to attend lachrymose popular devotions. Again, it's my choice.

I am no psychologist, so cannot speculate what motivates Fr McDonald to rant in the way he does.

Gene said...

The form of the TLM IS the content. Once you begin the game of separating the so-called "substance" from the form, you are playing Vatican II. What would this "substance" be, anyway? Anyone, anyone?

rcg said...

Oh, i see. That was that priest's riff, as it were. At least he wasn't moaning about social justice.

Angry Augustinian said...

I think Fr. Mac's (whom I love) rants are an outer reflection of an inner anxiety. He knows inside that the Church is losing the battle with secularism/progressivism. He is likely as disgusted as many of us but, as a Priest, he feels he has to protect the flock from doubt and confusion and the only way he knows to do this is to insist upon the "truth" of the establishment Church. I'm not even sure he is wrong, even though I do not agree. I do think his attacks on Marc, one of the most devout Catholics I know and one with a high level of critical and analytical intelligence, are a bit over the top. Marc's struggle, as are the struggles of many of us with this "Church Nouveaux, is genuine.

Victor said...

Fr. McDonald:
Permit me to point out that your distinction between form and substance makes little sense to those versed in the traditional Catholic theology before Vatican II, that is, the theology that Leo XIII promoted based on St Thomas Aquinas. For Aristotle as for Aquinas substance is form as individualised in matter.

Second, your analogy on SSPX can be compared to the Church at the time of Arianus. There were few in the Church that fought against the wast majority who had succumbed to the ideas of Arianus. Heresies flow from novelty, new ways of thinking about the older ideas. Arianus, like most heretics, was clever in hiding his new ideas with orthodox vocabulary. In the case of Vatican II, I consider Msgr Bugnini's "spirit of the Council" a heresy because it speaks of a spirit to guide the Church that is not the Holy Spirit, but human creativity for the sake of novelty itself.

Third, as for the Novus Ordo liturgy, and why it follows the suicide mode that the Church has been in since the Council, I will let someone who knew 6 popes and the members of the Consilium speak, the late Maestro Bartolucci:
"Scusate, ma la riforma รจ stata fatta da gente arida, arida, ve lo ripeto. E io li ho conosciuti. Quanto alla dottrina, il Cardinal Ferdinando Antonelli, di venerata memoria, mi ricordo che diceva spesso: 'che cosa ce ne facciamo di liturgisti che non conoscono la teologia?'"

rcg said...

It is possible there has been contact between Marc and Fr McDonald outside this blog that is affecting their posts. In any case, I sense Fr. McDonald is addressing his fielty versus his external orthodoxy. He is working to lead his parish to what he knows is a good place without alienating any more than he can. I think he is actually addressing a very practical issue.