Ad Altare Dei
I’m just guessing but it seems like you didn’t come back from vacation as relaxed as planned. The events of the last few days seem to challange our Faith and trust in the Church. Recall, however, that we have been predicting that the comeuppance was coming. Take a look out the window. I will opine that this is not only the fruit of Vatican II but specifically the disgraceful Liturgy it produced. Never mind that the NO can be presented in a respectful and spiritually uplifting way. That is the exception and was the exact opposite goal. The priesthood did not suddenly become infested with sex crazed money launderers, they were there from the beginning and, like the poor, have always been with us. What happened was that the Church became less centered and focused on God and the clergy lost their sense of restraint. The vertical kept the eyes of God on them and their conscience. With Him conveniently behind them literally and historically they could rationalize their sins and trick God into tolerance and forgiveness. Or so they thought. The clergy were and are my brothers in sin. They struggle with it and work with me to either overcome this mutual weakness or conspire to ignore it. Some people simply have too great a burden to be effective leaders in the struggle with weakness. Drug addics, alcoholics, and homosexuals would rarely be fit for the priesthood. But they are our brothers in the fight and deserve our help. Tonight I got a letter from the FSSP North American District Superior asking for help with the especially large class starting this Fall. They are almost certainly all sinners. I don’t expect them to be perfect, only to fight their imperfections with aid of God.
I skimmed the parts dealing with the Mass, proper vestments, manner of reception of Communion and Mass in the Extraordinary Form. The Diocese of Savannah would do well to adopt such a thorough policy book on liturgy and the sacraments.
Archbishop Sample is a shining light in the darkness of the American hierarchy. He is a holy man, a wonderful priest and son to his aging mother. We need 200 more of him to bring the American Church back to sanity.
The fact that he has to issue a 375-page document to tell people what they should already know speaks volumes. One entry puzzled me (2.10.6): 'Under no circumstances is a priest ever permitted to assume the vestments proper to the deacon.' Despite the strong wording, this is not referenced. In the EF priests frequently act as deacon and subdeacon and vest accordingly. Otherwise it would be nigh-on impossible to put on a Solemn Mass. The same applies to the Solemn OF as celebrated by the Oratorians in England where the roles of deacon and 'subdeacon' are carried out by priests wearing dalmatic and tunicle, and in a pontifical OF Mass the bishop is assisted by deacons at the throne.I've seen it done in other places, too.
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