Monday, April 30, 2012


This is Macon, Georgia, but Melbourne, Australia seems to have borrowed the idea! I wonder if they saw this on my blog and had a light bulb moment?????????
I read this at the Chant Cafe and it sounds strikingly familiar to me! I do have some readers from Australia. Could it be that little old Macon, GA influenced "Down Under?" I report, you decide!

News from Melbourne
Posted by Jeffrey A. Tucker

From The Reform of the Reform:

The promulgation of the new translation of the Roman Missal of 1970, invites us to reflect further on the "hermeneutic of continuity" articulated by Pope Benedict XVI, and the importance of this being demonstrated consistently in the celebration of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Beginning Saturday 12th May (at 6 pm), in response to the requests of the Faithful, a weekly Vigil Mass in the Ordinary Form will be offered at St Aloysius' Church which will aim to exemplify "sacredness in continuity".

The Mass will be celebrated in English, "ad orientem" at the High Altar, with both the Propers of the day and the Ordinary being sung. Communicants are invited to kneel at the Altar rails to receive Our Lord on the tongue 'under both kinds' by intinction. Books will be provided containing all the readings, Mass Ordinary and Propers, and music including hymns.

The inaugural Mass, at 6 pm on Saturday 12th May, will be offered for the intentions of Pope Benedict XVI.

This is Saint Joseph's March 19th Schubert's Mass in G, which was a "Reform of the Reform of the Ordinary Form of the Mass." Our choir singing Schubert's Mass was extraordinary, but this Mass could have just as easily used the Mass of Creation that we currently use for the Sanctus, Mystery of Faith, Great Amen and Lamb of God. We currently use Proulx's Missa Simplex in English for the new Gloria:

I am seriously considering making our 4:30 PM Vigil Mass a "reform of the reform" of the Ordinary Form of the Mass as described in Melbourne. Currently at all our OF Masses, the cantor chants the official Introit after which a Processional Hymn is sung. The cantor also chants the Offertory Antiphon and Communion Antiphon with an additional Communion Chant or song from our hymnal.

All I would change for the 4:30 PM Mass would be the orientation of the Mass for the Liturgy of the Eucharist and allow people to kneel for Holy Communion if they so desire (no one would be forced) by providing kneelers for such. Everything else would be as it is, same vernacular music for the parts of the Mass as the other Masses and same lectors and same altar servers. Is this advisable?

Sunday, April 29, 2012


John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter has an interesting article on Pope Ratzinger, "Has the 'real Ratzinger' come out to play?" You can read it my pressing these two sentences!


At another blog, a sociologist made the following observation:

"By and large Vatican II was successful. Both the Liturgy and the Bible have become more accessible to the laity. Ecumenically and interfaith wise, Catholics are understanding other groups and collaborating better with them. More Catholics experience their families, work and communities as places where they are called to holiness.

What has not worked well has been collegiality: collegiality among bishops with the pope, collegiality among priests with their bishop; collegiality among people with their pastor. In all cases persons in charge have tended to be dissatisfied with “democracy.” While having formal processes of “consultation,” these do not influence decision making..."

We can say that Vatican II was successful, but we cannot say that it is successful if we look at the attrition rate of Catholics practicing their faith since the Second Vatican Council as only 20% are attending the successful and accessible liturgy of the Church. And of those 20% there is not always agreement on what is successful and accessible, in fact there is downright division and each person thinks their opinion is valid and all opinions are valid even if the opinion is opposed to what the Church actually teaches about this, that or the other.

What has not worked well: "Collegiality" is probably true as so often collegiality proposes false expectations of a democratic dynamic not only in administration where it could work well and be valid, but in Church teaching where the "voice of the people" including the voices of the clergy can be downright wrong, heterodox or even heretical. Ultimately the pope, the bishop in his diocese or the pastor of the parish after consulting has the canonical right to make a decision and sometimes in the areas of faith and morals no real consultation is needed or required except for pastoral reasons and the input that helps highlight what needs to be done and more importantly explained.

But even if the observation that collegiality is a sore point with Catholics, just how many Catholics of the 20% that attend Mass? 1%? 2%, 10%???? And of the 80% who no longer attend Mass, just how important is collegiality amongst them 1%? 2% or 100%? That would be an interesting sociological survey. My personal feeling from merely anecdotal evidence is that the vast majority of Catholics, 99.9% of them, practicing or not, don't give a flip about institutional collegiality in the Church, only Catholics involved in decision making in the Church seem to obsess on this.

Vatican II is not God; Collegiality is not God; Ecclesiology is not God; Lay participation in the Mass is not God! God is God and if God is not believed as the Church teaches and celebrates His action within Salvation History from start to finish, then, Houston, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!

Your humble thoughts on this?


1. poor homilies
2. poor music
3. poor hospitality

Therein lies the problem. I'm not sure how many of us would disagree with this assessment or say that these are not important things to have in a parish Church and at Sunday Mass. But what constitutes "poor" has to be asked, doesn't it.

1. POOR HOMILIES: This can mean a variety of things. I've heard good homilies delivered poorly, in a dead pan fashion, but the content was good, sometimes too academic and disconnected from the person in the pews life. But then I've heard homilies that were delivered very well, with good examples but thoroughly secular, devoid of any spiritual meaning, homilies that could be given at a convention of "the power of positive thinking." Then there are well delivered homilies that keep one's attention but are heterdox leading those who hear it into anything but a orthodox Catholic life. Don't get me wrong, I preach a homily at every Mass I celebrate, briefly during the weekday Masses and about 12 to 15 minutes at Sunday Mass, but the Mass can stand on its own without a homily, can't it? The homily is not the centerpiece of the Mass, is it?

2. POOR MUSIC: Yes, this has been a terrible problem. Again there are two types of poor music. Incompetence of the music providers, they simply don't play well, whatever it is they are playing. The selection of music is too difficult for the congregation but the performers do it well. The selection of the music is vapid, trendy, Broadway-like and without staying power. There is no good repertoire of good music, starting off with the actual sung parts of the Mass of both the priest and congregation and then the ancillary music of the Mass, processional (in addition to the Introit) and recessional and any additional Offertory and Communion chants. Don't get me wrong, I love chants and music at Mass sung well by cantor or choir and congregation. But the Mass can stand on its own without music, can't it? The music is not the centerpiece of the Mass, is it?

3. POOR HOSPITALITY: Yes, studies show that of all the Christian Churches, Catholics are the least hospitable. We tend to respect the anonymity of those who attend Mass to a fault. Many Catholics come to punch their "obligation" card and their friendships and social circles are not with parishioners but with others. Go into any Protestant Church and if you are a visitor they know it immediately, they greet you and will start conversations with you, except maybe in the Episcopal and Lutheran Churches. Many Catholics want quiet time prior to Mass so they can pray, meditate or read scripture or other things (like the bulletin). They want peace and quiet and this can come across as cold, indifferent and aloof of others. Don't get me wrong, I like hospitality and fellowship and feel a sense of pride in my parish if I get a letter from a visitor telling me how welcome and friendly my parish is. (I've gotten these letters too!) But the Mass can stand on its own without hospitality, can't it? The hospitality and friendliness of the parish or particular people at a particular Mass is not the centerpiece of the Mass, is it?

Vatican II taught that the Mass is the "source and summit" of Catholic life. And certainly the Church through the ages has taught that there should be good preaching, good music and Catholics who are good and friendly (hospitable) Catholics, not only at Mass but in the world! But Vatican II also understood the foundation of the Catholic Mass, a Sacrament that shows forth the Paschal Mystery of Christ in the following Ways:

1. In the people who gather to celebrate and pray the Sacred Mysteries

2. In the Word that is proclaimed, for Christ speaks to the gathered community when they hear the Word

3. In the Most Holy Eucharist, for Christ's Sacrifice is re-presented in an unbloody way and the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Risen Lord is given to us by God as Food for our Christian life and pilgrimage to heaven

4. In the priest who represents Jesus Christ,the Head of the Church and the priest who acts in the person of Christ

One of the best homilies I ever heard as a teenager which was passionately delivered by our southern pastor, former lawyer, former Benedictine, and then a diocesan priest, Father Andrew Doris (RIP), who gave it with his deep Augusta, Georgia Southern accent and with utter conviction:

"A Protestant once said: "If you Catholics really believed what the Church teaches about the Mass and the Most Holy Eucharist, your churches would be full and you would see Catholics crawling on their knees to attend Mass!"

Somehow we've lost the real reason why we should be attending Mass and have made everything else, while good and important, more important than the real reasons:





Now, why is it that nearly 80% of Catholics don't attend Mass? If this isn't the primary reason to attend Mass and isn't taught anymore or 80% are ambivalent, disinterested or agnostic about it, then Houston, we have a real post-Vatican II problem and Post-Vatican II failure:

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Who are the ones who are most opposed to the "reform of the reform" today? It isn't young people longing for the good old 1960 and '70's. It is priests and religious who spearheaded some of the mindless excesses of the 1960's and 70's who now are in their 60's, 70's and 80's who are having the hardest time. The priest in this video states with a great deal of truth that the silliest of the changes in the Church of the 1960's and 70's was fomented not by the laity but by priests and liberal women religious (sisters). Also compare his thinking and theology to the Easter Bunny Mass below this post. You may not agree with everything here, but he does have a historical perspective.

And somewhat tied to this video is this post from Rorate Caeli, The Abandonment of the Cassock: The Primary Cause of Decay in Ecclesiastical Life which you can press here to read there.

These are the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Corondelet of Saint Louis as they were dressed when they taught me in the late 1950's and early 1960's in Atlanta and Augusta (In Atlanta, St. Anthony School of the 1950's had about 150 students in grades 1 thru 8 and about 9 sisters living in the convent to staff the school and even more sisters in the convent in Augusta at St. Mary on the Hill School!:
This is how they look today(I was particularly shocked when I went to a formal hospital fund raising gala in the early 2000's in Augusta when two of the sisters of Saint Joseph arrived in the ballroom wearing sequined evening gowns. Fortunately very few there knew they were sisters:
Priests in cassocks:
Our Polish Parochial Vicar, 28 year old Father Dawid Kwiatkowski wears his cassock everywhere. I have never worn the cassock except when I was the Master of Ceremonies and only for liturgical reasons. I've never worn it as street clothes even around the parish but I do wear my clerical clothes most of the time.

I find that when I go to restaurants with Fr. Dawid that no one blinks an eye, and we're talking about the Protestant South where the majority of patrons in the restaurant are not Catholic. The teenagers like the fact that he wears it as do many other people. In fact, it would be odd seeing him wearing anything else.

In terms of our Protestant southern culture, historically they appreciated nuns in habits too (many Protestants have historically used Catholic schools even in pre-Vatican II times in the south) and even to this day they are dismayed that Catholic Sisters no longer wear the full habit. In fact, because of their teaching ministry in Macon the Sisters of Mercy of another period who wore the full habit did more for ecumenicism then any ecumenical prayer service held once or twice a year after Vatican II has done. In Augusta, the Sisters of Saint Joseph when they were able to staff their hospital with large numbers of sisters in full habit (the hospital sisters always wore white, and in the south the teaching Sisters of Saint Joseph of Corondelet would always change to the white habit for June, July and August and this was a source of anticipation for many lay Catholics back then) and these habited sisters did more for ecumenism in their full habits than any other thing we've done since Vatican II and this was in pre-Vatican times!

Friday, April 27, 2012


I wonder what this does to the spirituality of Catholics. Certainly there is Easter joy present in trying to please children at Mass, but doesn't it diminish the Paschal character of the Mass and the passion and death of our Lord and trivialize it?

Some would say this is in the spirit of Vatican II others would say it is the subversion of Vatican II, it's in German and I presume after the Prayer after Holy Communion, so I guess that makes it cute:


My first and most important question and comment: If the salvation of your soul isn't the primary reason for being and remaining Catholic, then being and remaining Catholic makes no real sense, does it? That's the most important question to answer correctly; all else is but a diversion to the real reason for being Catholic.
Today in the USA (and we have a higher percentage of Catholics attending Mass on Sunday than Europe does)statistics are telling us that about 20% of Catholics attend Mass on any regular basis. Certainly we have lost many Catholics to other denominations or religions, but most of the 80% who don't come anymore haven't joined any other organized religion. They are what they are--bad Catholics or to be more polite, non-practicing Catholics.

I still contend that the reason 80% of Catholics don't attend Mass anymore and have become "bad" Catholics or non-practicing Catholics has to be understood within the context of what the Church was like prior to the Second Vatican Council, what it became in the 1960's and '70's before Pope John Paul's election in 1978 as well as secularizing trends in academia, the media and even within Catholicism that has created such polarization and led to the diminution of the number of Catholics actually practicing the Faith in 2012.

First we have to look at generational Catholics since the 1950's. My family of origin is a case in point and other Catholics families who had children beginning with the baby-boomers in 1946. We Catholics were very orthodox, obedient and discipline oriented. Things were presented in "black and white" terms and through catechisms that were mostly alike, the epitome being the Baltimore Catechism. Convents, monasteries and rectories were full and the sisters who taught the vast majority of school age Catholics were staunch in their faith and did not promote a "wishful" thinking Catholicism; they taught the facts and taught us that it was a sin to deviate from their teachings which of course were the teachings of the Church. Yes, there was a triumphalism, but this led to Catholic pride and 90% of Catholics attending Mass on Sunday. It can't get any better than that!

But the 1960's social change, of which Vatican II was very much a part, changed all that and almost overnight. Everything in the Church was thrown into flux, not so much by Vatican II but by interpreters of Vatican II (and not necessarily the bishops) usually theologians in academia but also by amateurs in the parish, in religious life and in the clergy who all had their own interpretations of what Vatican II meant and what its "spirit" was.

My parents' generation who were staunch, unquestioning Catholics either embraced the new way of thinking and saw it as liberating or they were confused and befuddled by all the changes and threatened by what they once thought were rock solid truths being questioned and revamped all in the name of renewal. They were also disheartened to hear that pre-Vatican II Catholics were bad, stupid and only cared about "praying, paying and obeying!" That was one of the most cynical, unkind epitaphs thrown at them.

Of course my generation of baby-boomers used Vatican II in the 1960's to rebel against our parents and to show them how stupid they were for believing like pre-Vatican II Catholics. We wore jeans to Mass, said Sunday Mass every Sunday wasn't necessary and that we could use our conscience to justify just about anything, especially sexual extracurricular activities. Rebellion and questioning were in and obedience was out. And the answers to the questions weren't that important; what was important was asking the questions!

Then my generation of baby-boomers had children and we became a bit more conservative when that happened, but we, like our parents, relied on the parish and school to teach our children the faith. But of course without solid catechetical materials and untrained catechists or catechists who wanted a Church of the future rather than the one Vatican II actually gave us,taught the baby-boomer's children nothing but coloring book Catholicism and Catholicism of dissent rather than assent. But usually doctrinal and moral content was totally lacking in favor of feel-good, hand-holding religion that was vapid in content. Sunday Mass for my generation of Catholic parents and their children was less rigid too but not totally lacking.

Then baby-boomers children got married (or more than likely just shacked up) and they started having children, but for this generation of parents, Church was just an appendage and something one attended on certain occasions It wasn't ingrained in the fabric of their human identity. Other forces were shaping that, perhaps secularism within academia (even Catholic institutions of higher learning) or the secular media and the entertainment industry or just good old pride and my way is the best way.I'm not sure we can call baby-boomer's children who are now adults and parents of a new generation "cultural Catholics" for they have moved beyond that minimalist description into "post-Catholicism, i.e. post Christianity" but don't know that they have.

Today we have Catholics from the 1950's until 2012 and 80% of whom don't attend Mass anymore and Catholicism is very low on the list of what forms them as humans. What forms them is personal opinion (pride); secularized academia and the media. And today people are becoming more insulated and less connected to others--because of the computer and what I'm doing right now, posting on the internet and making comments to people I don't know and who don't know me or care about me. We live in a virtual world of our own making and relating to computers, iPhones, iPads and a whole host of new media entertainment which we watch alone and not with others.

For example in the 1950's and 60's everyone watched the three major networks and had a point of reference at the water cooler to discuss what they had seen. Not so today, you can watch whatever you want, whenever you want and on your own terms. That shifts the paradigm from the community to the individual and steroid-like.

Then we have 20% of Catholics still attending Mass and seeking meaning and purpose in their lives and salvation in the next life who are being fed false expectations about the future of Catholicism, that birth control will be officially sanctioned, same sex marriages blessed, women priests and a whole host of post-Catholic (Christian) ways of being Church available. When these false expectations don't happen then the 20% of Catholics attending Mass may dropped even further.

The same happens on the conservative side when we think that the Church will become like SSPX--that is a false expectation that disappoints the more traditionalists in our midst when it doesn't happen and never will, but I'm not clairvoyant or am I?

False exceptions and asking too many questions and seeking answers in all the wrong places is deadly for the Church and for one's personal, orthodox faith, but a remnant of faithful Catholics will remain and the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church--thank God for that!

Thursday, April 26, 2012


The more I think about it, the more I realize that the Holy Father and his successors will more than likely make some changes to the OF Mass so that it does not portray a major rupture as a reform of the Mass that we now call the Extraordinary Form or the Ordinary Form of the Mass until the 1962 Roman Missal.

I don't think subsequent reforms will be all that dramatic, but my light bulb moment this morning has to do with what I wrote in another post earlier this week. The Penitential Act should clearly be seen as a "prelude" to the actual Mass, but integral as a prelude and it should be seen precisely as penitential in order to acknowledge our sins so as to celebrate the sacred mysteries. Before we enter into the Holy of Holies which is where the altar is and also in terms of the Sacred Mysteries, the Mass itself, everyone, clergy, ministers and other laity should seek God's purification of the taint of sin and seek God's merciful cleansing. Only then should we enter into the Holy of Holies, that is, where the altar is and the actual Mass itself. Therefore, the priest should not approach the altar to kiss it and incense it (if used) until the Penitential Act is complete.

So before one makes any minor change to the Mass such as mandating ad orientem or mandating Holy Communion by intinction and kneeling, we need to make a couple of subtle changes to the order of the Ordinary Form of the Mass itself, which is actually more radical than ad orientem and kneeling for Holy Communion.

These are my humble recommendations:

1. The Penitential Act become the Penitential Prelude at the Foot of the Altar which would begin with the priest making the Sign of the Cross and skipping the greeting and going directly to the introduction to the Penitential Act and using exclusively the Confiteor as he bows and all others kneel. After the absolution he ascends the altar, kisses it (and incenses it if used) and afterwards goes to his chair. If a choir or cantor is present, the Introit is sung as the priest approaches the altar to kiss and incense it. Or if a spoken Mass, a lector could lead the Introit or the priest could recite it at his chair after kissing the altar.

2. Then the Kyrie is said or sung

3. Then the Gloria is said or sung if prescribed.

4. Then the Greeting

5. Then the Collect

In a sung Mass, a good, doctrinally sound hymn that ties into the Mass of the Day or the Scripture readings could accompany the procession to the altar but it would conclude after the priest arrives so that he might lead the Penitential Prelude at the Foot of the Altar. The Introit would always be the official Introit for the Mass and chanted in Gregorian or Polyphony modes, simple or complex. In other words, the laity don't necessarily have to sing it unless they are able to do so, therefore, they are not forbidden to chant it with the cantor or choir.

Making the simple change in the Order of the Ordinary Form of the Mass as I suggest above will solve a multitude of problems.

Please remember in your prayers Father Cody Unterseher, an Anglican Priest, who contributed at the Praytell Blog who died as a result of an aneurism he had over a week ago. He had commented on this blog a couple of times and responded to me at Praytell in very kind ways. Eternal Rest grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. Comfort his family and friends. Amen. These are two photos taken from his hospital website and tell you something about the Anglican Liturgy that we Catholics should recover. Can you name them:


Let's be clear. Those who propose that women be ordained deacons, priests and bishops have an agenda that goes beyond just ordaining women deacons, priests and bishops. They wish to reconstruct sexual and marital morality according to a genderless pattern, neutered of the power of pro-creation and the symbolism of Jesus Christ as a Man who is also God and as such the Bridegroom of the Church which is called "she", "her", "Holy Mother", and the "Bride of Christ."

Let's also be clear that those who promote female ordination also promote same sex marriage and pro-choice politics. Let's also be clear that those who promote this want to deconstruct traditional Christianity of both the East and West and re-image it in a Post-Christian way.

By Post Christian I mean the following: "Pertaining to or derived from the moral, religious, and/or ethical teachings of Jesus, but retaining an openness to other moral, religious, and/or ethical teachings. 2. Heretical, not adhering to traditional Christian creeds; especially including the heresies of Unitarianism and universalism, which are still considered heterodox by most mainstream Christians. 3. Post-modern interpretations of Christianity. 4. Pluralistic and no longer dominated by Christianity, where Christianity formerly held sway; e.g., “a post-Christian society.” 5. Pertaining to one who tries to live according to Jesus’ teachings, but who chooses to distance himself/herself from institutional Christianity by refusing to be called “Christian.”"

Liberal, progressive "Catholics" either intentionally or unintentionally are a part of this post-Christian phenomenon. Some are quite intentional about it, others are so out of ignorance of what the historic Catholic Faith teaches having been seduced by current fad and trends within secularism and politics. In other words, they are gnostics who don't know any better.

Gnosticism can be defined as "Gnosis, the knowledge of transcendence arrived at by way of interior, intuitive means. Although Gnosticism thus rests on personal religious experience, it is a mistake to assume all such experience results in Gnostic recognitions. It is nearer the truth to say that Gnosticism expresses a specific religious experience, an experience that does not lend itself to the language of theology or philosophy, but which is instead closely affinitized to, and expresses itself through, the medium of myth."

However, there are very negative cultural attitudes towards women from the ancient period that have made their way into Christianity and remain with her in many places today. We CANNOT say that Jesus either in His public ministry or in His Risen Ministry to this very day embraced/embraces any negative attitudes about women even when in His public ministry and now in His Risen Ministry He does not choose women to be apostles or bishops, priests and deacons.

However, those attitudes that would be hostile toward women/girls being altar servers and lectors does have a cultural bias that is very negative toward women. Those who embrace this bias in fact undermine Christ's decision that only men be ordained deacons, priests and bishops, for it casts this truth into the realm of negativity that was present in antiquity both in Christianity and the broader culture of Jesus day which pre-dates the birth of Christ where women were considered inferior to men and the source of "sin."

We cannot say that Christ wills only men/boys to be altar servers and lectors and that only men can enter the sanctuary of the Church with the exception of women being allowed in during their marriage ceremony or to clean the sanctuary. This attitude undermines revealed truth as it concerns Holy Orders.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Just kidding, so go take you blood pressure medicine; the dance scene was in a meeting hall as a part of the Holy Father's Birthday celebration.

The Mass, though, was a week ago Monday in the Pauline Chapel. It is what I love to call the reform of the reform of the ordinary form of the Mass which he celebrated ad orientem! I also like to call it the TNO (Traditional Novus Ordo) since this isn't a TLM (Traditional Latin Mass) or is it?


Blogspot has a tool where I can see how many page views I've had and in what countries. I haven't check in months. But for reason I checked today and the statistics are, well, startling and eye opening:

United States 7,268

United Kingdom 502

Indonesia 390

Canada 336

Philippines 261

Australia 202

India 112

Russia 92

Italy 78

Hong Kong 77

Just who is reading this blog in Italy?????? I have relatives there, but they don't speak English. This is very concerning!


(This photo is of the Tridentine Mass in 1954 in Kansas City being celebrated toward the people--an experiment and omen of things to come ten years later! Will my reform of the reform Schubert Ordinary Form Mass video be viewed 60 years from now as an omen of things to come in 2022? Strike the Twilight Zone music and my much touted clairvoyant charism!
My Comment First: The last two questions in the article below my comments that I have highlighted with ***** have the best answers. In general I agree with his assessment and where we should go. As I've stated before, I don't think the OF will be revised radically although I see three possibilities:

A. The Mass will be celebrated as it is prescribed by the current General Instructions of the Roman Missal with these three slight changes: 1. Official Introit, Offertory and Communion Antiphons mandated, not optional; 2. The Benedictine Altar arrangement or ad orientem; 3. kneeling for Holy Communion (In other words, everything remains as it is in the vernacular 2012 Roman Missal)

B. There will be everything above, but with a slight reordering of the Roman Missal: 1) The Penitential Act will be a prelude at the foot of the altar prior to the official Introit; 2. The liturgical greetings will be moved to the places where they currently are in the EF Mass; 3. The offertory Prayers of the EF Mass will replace the reformed prayers (for both A an B all the current Eucharistic Prayers will be allowed but prayed in Latin except for the prefaces)

C. The Revised Roman Missal of 2012 will remain in force but with the 1965 Order of Mass and the exclusive use of the Roman Canon with Latin mandated for the quiet parts of the priest, vernacular for all the laity parts (of course Latin remains an option even for those parts as it currently is an option even today).

To be realistic, I think my first option will happen; I wouldn't place a large bet on the other two options

Mass instruction: Fr. Robert Taft on liturgical reform
Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A U.S. Catholic interview

Mass instruction: Fr. Robert Taft on liturgical reform
Opponents of the modern liturgy could use a history lesson, says this scholar of the church's prayer. Overall, the liturgical reform has been a great success.

If any scholar could claim a ring-side seat to the liturgical reform of the 20th century, it would have to be Father Robert Taft, S.J. Taft recalls being surprised when he arrived in Europe in 1964 to see liturgical change already well underway. "Worker priests in Western Europe were celebrating the liturgy in the vernacular because it was the only way to come into contact with the de-Christianized workers there," he says. "The notion of celebrating the liturgy for them in Latin was simply absurd."

A Jesuit ordained in the Russian rite of the Byzantine Catholic Church in 1963, Taft eventually focused his studies on the ancient liturgies of the Christian East, work that has led him to a profound appreciation of the diversity of Christian liturgy in the past and present. "There is no ideal form of the liturgy from the past that must be imitated," he says. "Liturgy has always changed." Tracking those changes has been his life's work, a career that has included decades of teaching all over the world as well as hundreds of books and articles.

Though a historian, Taft is critical of attempts to remain in the liturgical past in the name of tradition. "We don't study the past in order to imitate it," he says. "Tradition is not the past. Tradition is the life of the church today in dynamic continuity with all that has come before. The past is dead, but tradition is alive, tradition is now."

Forty years after the Second Vatican Council, there is still argument about its liturgical reform. What do you make of the continuing opposition to the "new" liturgy?

Let me put my cards right on the table: I'm a Vatican II loyalist without apologies to anyone. The Second Vatican Council was a general council of the Catholic Church, and the popes since the council have made it clear that there's no going back. The mandate for liturgical reform was passed by the council with an overwhelming majority, so it is the tradition of the Catholic Church, like it or lump it.

Unfortunately, partly as a result of the schism of the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and his followers, there has been an attempt on the part of a group of what I call "neo-cons" to portray the reforms of Vatican II as something that was foisted upon the church by a small minority of professionals contrary to the will of many people in the church. This is what we know in the vernacular as slander.

The reforms of the council were carried out under Pope Paul VI in a spirit of complete collegiality. Every suggested adaptation, change, or modification was sent out to every Catholic bishop in the world, and the responses that came in were treated with the utmost respect. When changes were severely questioned or opposed by a large number of bishops, they were revised according to the will of the bishops and then sent back again.

So the notion that the liturgical reform was somehow forced on an unknowing church by some group of "liturgists," as if that were a dirty word, is a lie, and that needs to be said.
So the reform didn't come out of nowhere?

The pastoral liturgical movement began in the 19th century as an attempt to get the people not to pray at the liturgy but to pray the liturgy. People were at the Eucharist, but they were praying the rosary or reading a prayer book or something. You had two things going on at once. The whole point of the reform was to allow people to be active participants in the liturgy, as Pope Pius XII himself insisted in his encyclical Mediator Dei (On the Sacred Liturgy) in 1947, well before Vatican II.

What we sometimes forget is that it wasn't the Second Vatican Council that began the reforms of the liturgy. It was Pope St. Pius X, who in 1910 reduced the age of First Communion to the age of reason and, in perhaps the most successful liturgical reform in the history of the church, restored the Eucharist as the daily food of the people.

People who don't know any history don't understand that this was a very long process. When I was a kid, pastors did everything they could to get people to go to Communion on Sunday. They had Men's Sunday, Women's Sunday, Family Sunday, Knights of Columbus Sunday-whatever they could do to get people to go to Communion at least once a month.

Now the vast majority of people go to Communion at every single liturgy-a great success that turned around centuries of history in which people used to go at the most once or maybe four times a year.

It didn't end there. Pope Pius XII restored the celebration of the Easter Vigil in 1951, which took the world by storm, followed by all the liturgies of Holy Week in 1955.

People who complain about the Second Vatican Council forget where it began and how long it took and how long the church prepared for it. The notion that it was done in a rush and shoved down the church's throat is simply ridiculous.

What about the oft-mentioned liturgical "abuses"?

After Vatican II some people unfortunately thought that they had to be creative. As I've said more than once, I have never understood why people who have never manifested the slightest creativity in any other aspect of their human existence all of the sudden think they're Shakespeare or Mozart when it comes to the liturgy. That's sheer arrogance.

Certainly there were abuses, but the abuses weren't the responsibility of the council's reforms. In part as a result of the church's resistance to the Protestant Reformation, Rome refused even very positive suggestions that were part of it, for example, returning the chalice to the people. This in effect put the Catholic liturgy in the freezer for centuries.

When the ice melted after Vatican II, things overflowed and people thought that they could do what they wanted with the liturgy. I can remember some of those "howdy-doody" liturgies. But let's put the responsibility where it belongs.

Everything has its downside, and one of the downsides of the reform was that people were ready to burst.

How has the liturgical reform been a success?

The best thing about it is that people have come once again to pray the prayer of the church rather than praying during it, which is, without any doubt, the result of celebrating the liturgy in the vernacular.

When I was a kid, the gospel and epistle readings were proclaimed in Latin and then sometimes the gospel might be repeated in English. Who were we reading them for, God? God knows all the languages already. The prayers of the liturgy are for us.

Now Catholic communities throughout the world participate in the liturgy actively and interiorly, praying the prayers of the liturgy, giving the responses, singing the hymns, paying attention to the readings, and so forth. The Liturgy of the Hours, especially Morning and Evening Prayer, has been restored in parish worship in many countries. This is part of the prayer of the church, too.

The restoration of the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults has been a marvelous success for activating entire parishes to cooperate in bringing new candidates into the church. A pastor in Washington, D.C. wrote a beautiful article in the liturgical journal Worship describing how the RCIA had transformed the entire life of his parish, with the people themselves bringing the candidates into the bosom of the church through catechesis, prayer, the exorcisms, and so forth, until they reach Baptism.

The reform has been an enormous success, and if you can't see this, then you must be blind.
What are the arguments of those who still oppose the reforms?

Some complain that Vatican II's reform wasn't done by the council but by post-conciliar commissions, but the same is true of the liturgical reform of the Council of Trent. Trent, like Vatican II, left it to the pope at the time, Pius V, to implement changes in the liturgy. He naturally appointed others to do the actual work.

Why aren't they complaining about the way things were done at the Council of Trent? This is all foolishness as far as I'm concerned, foolishness of people who don't really know the true story.

When Pope John Paul II canvassed the Catholic hierarchy concerning the desire for the pre-Vatican II liturgy early in his pontificate, less than 1.5 percent of the bishops said that their priests and people were in favor of it, so there was no great outcry for its return. The rest of the episcopate said to leave it alone.

For his own good reasons, Pope John Paul decided to permit the continued use of the old rite, and the present pope has extended it to win back these so-called "traditionalists."

But the real problem isn't the liturgy, it's that people, including the Lefebvrites, don't accept the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, which is the teaching of the Catholic Church. They believe that the Second Vatican Council taught error. They believe that Pope Paul VI was not a real pope.

How can you pretend to be Catholic if that's your point of view? I'm not attempting to force anybody to be Catholic, but let's stop this pretense.

What about those who claim that the old liturgy is more "mysterious" or reverent than the new? Are they right?

Absolutely not. The mystery we're trying to celebrate in liturgy is the fact that Jesus Christ died and rose for our salvation, and we have died and risen through Baptism to new life in him.

That life is expressed in the liturgy. It is nourished through scripture and the Eucharist and prayer. You don't need Latin for that.

Some people think liturgy is our gift to God. If we go to church on Sunday, we're doing God a real big favor.

But our liturgy is God's gift to us, not ours to him. St. Paul is quite clear that the purpose of the liturgy is not what we do at the celebration itself. That is simply the expression and nourishment of what is supposed to be the "liturgy of life," the way we live in the world.

That's why St. Paul never uses words such as sacrifice, priesthood, or worship except to describe the life we live after the model of Christ. "It is not I who live," he writes, "but Christ who lives in me." That's the mystery the liturgy is all about.
Do you think people make the connection?

Most people don't realize it, of course, because they don't spend any time thinking about it. That's why we have preaching.

The preacher should make them think about it. The preacher should wake them up. The preacher should catch their attention by saying something that has meaning for them and their lives today. That's why one of the most important aspects of preparation for Sunday on the part of the pastor should be his prayer and meditation on the readings.

It's not easy, but it can be done. It's done at the beginning of the week, reading and praying over the scriptures, meditating on them. I always read very carefully the texts of the refrains and prayers of the liturgy as well. But, to put it bluntly, it takes that four-letter word, work.

Beyond that the preacher has to open up the meaning of the liturgy itself. Sometimes people will come into the sacristy and ask, "What are you offering the Mass for today, Father?" I always answer: "Open the book, it's all right there. I didn't make it up."

Just read the prayers. They say what we are doing in Baptism, what we are doing in Matrimony. People think Matrimony is a ritual expression of the love between a man and a woman. Baloney. You can do that at City Hall.
What's the difference?

A Christian marriage should be about what Jesus Christ's death and Resurrection has to do with marriage.

What does Christ tell us through St. Paul in Ephesians? Ephesians says Christian marriage is like the union between Christ and the church, a permanent union, a union of love, a union of shared life.

It's not about the love of a man and a woman; it's about the love of a man and a woman in the context of the fact that Jesus Christ died and rose for our salvation.

Liturgy is the expression of where we're supposed to be, not something that we drag down to where we're at. Liturgy is the ideal to which we must rise. Liturgy is the model of a life given for others rather than life lived for ourselves. The bread we break is the sign of a body broken for us, and the chalice we drink is the blood poured out for us. They are symbols of a life lived and given for others.

When we celebrate that reality in the liturgy, whether in Eucharist or Reconciliation or Matrimony, we're saying: This is what we, with the grace of God, pledge that we're trying to be. If it's not, then we shouldn't be there; we're wasting our time.
How do you respond to the complaint that people don't get anything out of the liturgy?

What you get out of the liturgy is the privilege of glorifying almighty God. If you think it's about you, stay at home. It's not about you. It is for you, but it's not about you.

One of the great problems today, especially among some of the younger generations, is that they think that salvation history is their own autobiography. They think they're the center of the universe. In John 3, when John the Baptist is asked whether Jesus is the Messiah, John says quite clearly that Jesus is the important one: "He must increase, I must decrease."

He must increase, I must decrease. Everybody needs to hear that. It's not about me, it's not about you. It's about something infinitely more important than us.

*****Why is it important that liturgy stay basically the same week to week?

People will never take possession of the liturgy as their own if every time the pastor reads a new article, the liturgy in the parish is turned on its head. Who does this liturgy belong to?

Catholics need to stop tinkering with the liturgy. They need to take it the way it is and celebrate it as well as possible. If they do that, the problems will disappear.

Take the kiss of peace, for example. Sometimes people don't know if they're going to get kissed or jumped. I always tell my students that it's the "kiss of peace," not "a kiss apiece."

The kiss of peace is a ritual gesture. What does that mean? That means it's a formalized gesture that carries its own meaning.

The kiss of peace is not an expression of your friendship with whomever is standing around you, and you don't have to crawl over three pews to get to somebody you know. It is shared among people in your immediate vicinity as a sign that we're in the same boat together. The same thing is true of things such as the traditional greetings and so forth.

*****Is there any place for creativity in the liturgy?

The two places that the church has left to our creativity, the homily and the prayers of intercession following the readings, are the two places where our liturgies are generally irredeemably awful. If you want to be creative, devote your creativity to the places where the liturgy allows it.

I'm not preaching against future liturgical change. Liturgies evolve normally, like languages do. They acquire new words and so forth.

People today say, "That's cool." Cool when I was a kid meant that something just came out of the fridge. So words acquire new meanings.

But it's not the work of individuals. It's not up to me to say I'll use the word window for door and door for window, because that's where I'm at today. If we do that with language, people won't understand what we're talking about.

The same thing is true of liturgy. Leave it alone and it will grow by itself, but don't stand it on its head every Sunday, because people are sick of that.

Some people would like the liturgy to be the same everywhere, as it was before Vatican II. Is that what we should be shooting for?

It was never the same everywhere, unless you wish, as some Catholics would, to limit the boundaries of Christ's church to the Roman rite and exclude the liturgies of the Eastern Catholic Churches, which would be sheer foolishness.

The church is a great mosaic of different traditions, of different peoples. Until the life of the church has reached expression in every single culture, there will still be something lacking. St. Paul said we have to fill up what is lacking in the Body of Christ.

What's lacking in the Body of Christ is not anything about God; it's about us. In other words, until the whole of humanity has become completely conformed to the mystery of Christ, then there's something lacking.

To fill up that lack, we need to have Vietnamese and Chinese and African and Indian expressions of that reality. The sacraments remain the same, the faith remains the same, but they take on different expressions that can all be valid. So there's still a lot of work to be done.

This interview was conducted by Bryan Cones, managing editor of U.S. Catholic, during the annual conference of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy in June. This article appeared in the December 2009 issue of U.S. Catholic (Vol. 74, No. 12, pages 26-30).


This is the ecclesiology that LCWR and progressive Catholics espouse, meaning that the whole Church acts as consecrating priests, no real distinction between ordained or unordained, male or female. Please note also that the masculine pronouns for God and even "the Christ" are never used, especially in the "Through HIM...!:
As we all know, since the Second Vatican Council grave division (smoke of Satan) has entered into the Church. It is as grave as the time of the Great Schism and the Protestant Reformation. However, at least the Orthodox and the Protestants became separate entities; they were not hypocritical about their intentions. Nor has the SSPX. They've all set themselves aside or have allowed themselves to be put aside, separated from the true Church and her pope in Rome.

Not so with those who want to reform the Church into a post-Christian community similar to the Unitarians and the Episcopalians. They want to remain within to destroy and recreate and new "church" in the image of their pseudo-post-Christian ideologies.

For me personally the surest way to avoid schism, or the SSPX approach to reform or the progressive sneaky approach to reform is to be a papist. In fact the late Father Daniel Munn, pastor of St.Ignatios of Antioch Melkite Catholic Church in Augusta and parochial vicar of The Church of the Most Holy Trinity (Latin Rite) in Augusta always drove a Saturn that had this bumper sticker: "PAPIST!" He was a former married Episcopal priest who was ordained a married Catholic priest under Pope John Paul II's "Pastoral Provision."

So you guys out there that have leanings toward the SSPX or an ultra liberal counterpart please reconsider that and remain a papist. You might not like all things coming from Rome but at least when we are united to Rome we are in full communion with the true Church, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, not in some kind of loose less than full communion with the true Church. Who wants a Mr. Pibb when you can have Dr. Pepper? Who wants R C Cola when you can have the real thing?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


As I have written in other blog posts, "Monarchy" is the battle cry now of progressive liberals in the Church. If only the Church would become more democratic, then the truth would come out and we would have Utopia.

The more I read about what progressives want to do to remake the Church in an ecumenical image of liberal Protestantism the more I realize how the Holy Spirit is working through Pope Benedict and our bishops. The Holy Spirit picked the right man for the job!

What progressive Catholics especially in liberal religious orders and in academia want is what liberal Protestant Communions have already done--move the Church to embrace pro-choice politics as it regards abortion but not the death penalty, to accept same sex marriage and homosexual sex as on an even par with heterosexual sex and marriage and to abandon natural law and the authority of the Church in the areas of faith and morals as understood for centuries now, since the Council of Nicea.

In an article in the National Catholic reporter, Sister Simone Campbell "said she thinks there is a culture clash between the sisters and members of the episcopate who don't understand the nature of U.S. political discourse, referring to LCWR's support of health care reform and whether it played into the Vatican's order.

"The irony is that we who exercise a democratic right, which Catholic social teaching makes very clear we're supposed to do, would be questioned by a canonical organization," Campbell said. "Does that mean all political, democratic activity is to be limited by bishops?"

"The church is not used to a democratic culture, which leads me to think that the real fight is about the inculturation of our faith into a democratic culture," she continued. "Because the culture in Rome is a monarchy, and in a monarchy, you can control what everybody says. But in a democracy, we experience the truth, and it's found when we have questioning and vigorous debate. And in the end, truth emerges."

"The deep value for me in our culture in the United States is that we work hard to value everyone's contribution," Campbell said. "We're not perfect. We've got a long way to go. But it's really a key piece of who we are, that we struggle to have everyone's voice involved."


This is scary it is so prophetic:

47 Years Ago....Amazing Prediction

Do you remember the famous ABC radio news commentator Paul Harvey?
Millions of Americans listened to his programs which were broadcast over
1,200 radio stations nationwide.

When you listen to it, remember the commentary was broadcast 47 years
ago.... April 3, 1965.

It's short... less than 3 minutes


Father Miguel Grave de Peralta is a married priest (formerly Episcopal, then Russian Orthodox and now Greek Catholic (Byzantine)who has bi-ritual faculties in the Latin Rite. He is truly a Renaissance man! He is now a chaplain at St. Joseph Hospital in Atlanta but was in Augusta for many years at St. Ignatios of Antioch Greek Catholic Church and at the former Catholic hospital, St. Joseph, now a for profit secular hospital called Trinity after it was sold to them by the Sisters of St. Joseph. I had a very happy association with him in Augusta and his various ministries! He sets me straight on the use of the word "uniate" to describe Eastern Rites that are a part of Rome:


post of 4-23-12 where you use the term "uniate".

If you look up "uniate" in wikipedia it will take you to the article "Eastern Catholic Churches" where it says
The term Uniat or Uniate is applied to those Eastern Catholic churches which were previously Eastern Orthodox churches, primarily by Eastern Orthodox. The term is considered to have a derogatory connotation,[14] though it was occasionally used by Latin and Eastern Catholics, prior to the Second Vatican Council.[15] Official Catholic documents no longer use the term, due to its perceived negative overtones.[16] According to Eastern Orthodox Professor John Erickson of St Vladimir's Theological Seminary, "The term 'uniate' itself, once used with pride in the Roman communion, had long since come to be considered as pejorative. 'Eastern Rite Catholic' also was no longer in vogue because it might suggest that the Catholics in question differed from Latins only in the externals of worship. The Second Vatican Council affirmed rather that Eastern Catholics constituted churches, whose vocation was to provide a bridge to the separated churches of the East."[17] An acceptable, commonly used term is now united Oriental Churches.

The footnotes are especially revealing, especially #15 where it states that the correct term is used by the Holy Father himself.
I don't personally like the term "Oriental" since to the common Western mind that means "Asian". So I stick to "united Eastern Churches" or simply "Eastern Orthodox united to Rome."
Just an FYI.

"I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square." Francis Cardinal George of Chicago 2010
Fr. Miguel Grave de Peralta


Prayers at the Foot of the altar prior to the priest ascending the altar to reverence the altar, a symbol of Christ:
I had another light bulb moment watching our Schubert Mass reform of the reform of the Ordinary Form of the Mass. It concerns the penitential act verses the Prayers at the Foot of the altar. In the EF, the prayers at the foot of the altar are really a prelude to the Mass so that the priest and ministers (and congregation in the 1962 missal) seek God's purification and forgiveness before the Mass begins. So the priest does not approach the altar until this occurs. Even in the 1965 missal when it was allowed to omit the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar if the Asperges was celebrated, the priest still purified himself and others with Holy Water--there was no approaching the altar until the Asperges was completed. The Mass actually began with the Introit as the priest ascended the altar to reverence it with a kiss, but only after having been "purified."

Not so in the OF Mass, with either the Penitential Act or the Asperges, the Introit or Entrance Chant is Sung and the priest goes directly to the altar to kiss it and only afterwards is "purified" in the Penitential Act or the Asperges. (This could be rectified by making the Penitential Act a prelude to the Official Introit or Entrance Chant with the priest ascending the altar after the absolution to kiss it as the Introit is chanted).

The EF Mass over the course of centuries did everything properly and well scripted and everything was done for a purpose and in the proper order. Everything had/has a spiritual significance, a theological reason. The majority of this was lost totally in the Tridentine Mass's reform at Vatican II.

When Sacrosanctum Concilium called for "noble simplicity" regarding the Mass, I am now convinced it concerned the pontifical solemn sung Mass, not your normal, every Sunday low Mass or High Mass in the typical parish. The Pontifical High Mass is very complicated and truly needed some cleaning up, as it were.

Many people have asked, what is wrong with going back to the EF Mass and just dumping the OF Mass? First of all, that's not going to happen although I do foresee some revisions to the OF Mass to make it more like the EF Mass.

What people who promote the OF Mass will point out (and this is why they hate that Pope Benedict has liberalize the celebration of the EF Mass) is that they believe the EF Mass is too clerical and treats the laity as second class citizens. I would agree in part with that assessment, but this was already being addressed in the 1950's and the 1962 missal sought the congregation's verbal and sung participation in the Mass.

Those who say that the EF Mass had to be reformed also point to the exclusive use of Latin that made it difficult for many of the laity to comprehend the Mass or easily say and sing the Latin parts. I would agree with that assessment too although great strides were being made in the 1950's to make sure the laity had their own missal that they were expected to bring to Mass to facilitate their proper participation in the Mass.

Many of you who read this blog do not remember the pre-Vatican II Church and the belief of many Catholics, both clergy and laity, that the Church couldn't and wouldn't change. This myth of course was dispelled by all the changes that subsequently happened after Vatican II.

But the one change that the majority of laity accepted was the 1965 missal that translated most of the EF Mass into English except for the unchanging parts of the priest that he prayed quietly, which included the Roman Canon which was prayed quietly. Everything else was in English or the vernacular. This was accepted as truly an advancement and I would say by the vast majority of clergy and laity at the time.

The new lectionary was well appreciated. What was not appreciated was having amateur lectors read the Scriptures, not because they were laity, but because the were amateurs, not properly prepared to read publicly and at a microphone. I am in favor of lay lectors, male or female, but well trained. I am also in favor of male and female altar servers, well trained too. I think when traditionalists try to remove legitimate female participation from the Mass it comes across in a very negative way and appears to be anti-women. That does not help their cause in the least with the majority of Catholics today.

It was the subsequent reforms that happened in a piecemeal fashion ending with the 1973 OF Roman Missal that people began to complain that the Mass was being dumbed down, not nobly simplified. On top of that there were great complaints about the second English translation of the Mass that started about 1967 or '68 and was completed in 1973 with the new OF Roman Missal(although much of the missal was in place by Advent of 1968 before the actual missal came out in 1973). It was clear to most of us and even me as a teenager that this translation was a dumbing down and ridding the Mass of a sacral language in English. It was very sad to many of us that this had happened.

The new English translation of 2011 (which isn't perfect, but it is far superior to the 1973 translation and more like the 1965 translation) has brought verbal dignity back to the Mass.

I don't think we need to go back entirely to the 1962 missal. I suggest that we go back to the EF Form of the Mass as it was given to us in 1965, but use the 2011 Roman missal and its lectionary with all the options of both. It would be that simple!
I could see that happening, but when I don't know, maybe not in my lifetime, but who knows? I'm not clairvoyant although some say that I am.

Monday, April 23, 2012


(You can watch the interview by pressing the link at the end of this article).I don't disagree with Scott Applebee except that I think he misrepresents what the Vatican is doing with the LCWR. In addressing some of the issues of concern with this umbrella organization and criticizing some of their stands, they are not denigrating every religious sister or nun that ever existed or exists today. In fact I think Scott builds a straw man to undercut the legitimate authority the Vatican has to assure doctrinal and moral integrity of various recognized organizations or associations in the Church.

My contention is that even in those more progressive orders where the majority of sisters are heading quickly toward retirement, that the grassroots sisters who taught in schools, worked in hospitals, staffed orphanages, outreach programs to the poor and worked in parishes as DREs and pastoral assistants, do not identify with the hierarchy of the LCWR. That which is being evaluated and critiqued comes from elitists, a clerical ban of intellectuals who think they know better than anyone else.

I contend that in Academia that there is more clericalism, triumphalism and snide thinking about knowing what is best for everyone else than there is in the most clerical of the priestly caste. It is academia that is reacting the most virulantly against the Vatican's investigation. Clericalism (and I'm not just talking about priests and sisters here) within academic circles is what needs to be crushed and purified. They are the problem.

I have also found a very profound and unhealthy "clericalism" within the ranks of many religious orders both progressive and tradition that tries to suppress any negative critique against them as though they are above self-evaluation or the evaluation of others. I find this clericalism more so in the so-called progressive, more radically feminist orders.

Those who are overreacting to the Vatican's investigation which was also ordered for men's religious orders as well as seminaries and in the past on various bishops I think are a bit disingenuous.

One could say that those who took on the renewal of the Church after Vatican II by denigrating all that was pre-Vatican II and still do today, are more egregiously hurtful of the millions of Catholics in the pre-Vatican II Church who worked heroically to spread the Church throughout the world and create institutions that have educated, healed and helped billions of people.

Let's get real Scott Applebee about where the true denigration has taken place!



The Sisters of Saint Joseph as they looked in the early 1960's when they taught me and in the most orthodox of ways!
Nashville Dominicans today (note how young they are!)
These women religious were the backbone of the Catholic School system, hospitals and outreach to the poor in the 1950's and 60's and continue to serve the Church in their retirement, but because their orders redefined religious life to the extreme, they could not recruit younger members and thus their legacy is coming to a sad conclusion not because of them but because of their order's renewal that went wrong:
MY COMMENTS FIRST:As you know, Pope Benedict and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, CDF, have been trying to do two distinct things lately that are interrelated, but in different ways.

For the last few years there has been a study of women's religious orders and leadership organizations similar to Vatican studies of men's orders in the past as well as two investigations of seminaries. This study has led the Vatican to question some of the positions of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, LCWR, as it is an umbrella organization of the leadership of the majority of women religious orders in America. To say the least, amongst the elitists leaders, there is a heterodox ideology that pervades its view of Catholicism built upon dissent from Church teachings both those defined and those that are part of the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church. It is a paradox that women religious who take vows of obedience which means assent to Church teachings in the areas of faith and morals would make dissent a centerpiece of their thrust. It is irony to the extreme.

At the same time the ultra-traditionalist SSPX has been investigated for years and may be on the verge of some kind of reconciliation with the Vatican. This group does not accept some of Vatican II (not all) especially as it regards ecclesiolgy, religious liberty, ecumenism and inter-religious relationships. In this case they might be more in line with the once excommunicated Father Feeney of Boston of the 1950's. But in terms of the basic dogmas and doctrines held by Catholics and Eastern Orthodoxy, they are traditional and assent to the traditional faith and morals of the Catholic Church which would include the East, uniates and Orthodox.

The LCWR's leadership and thrust, is so far from traditional Catholicism as it is understood by Vatican II to make them post-Christian in much of the areas of concern that the Vatican has highlighted. You can read for yourself what alarms the Vatican and should alarm any Catholic of goodwill. This is far different than the SSPX issues that are radical to the right but do not pose a threat to the Church's faith and morals as the left's dissent does.

The following speaks for itself and shows why the Vatican has to act and is acting and we can thank God for that.

The Spirit of Vatican II:
A History of Catholic Reform in America
Colleen McDannell
Basic Books , 2011

What inspired you to write The Spirit of Vatican II? What sparked your interest?

Several years ago, the Catholic church my parents go to in Florida decided to renovate their sanctuary. What had once been a spare, modernist space was transformed into a traditional one with the addition of a large crucifix, statues of the saints, and Stations of the Cross. It seemed to me that I was witnessing the disappearance of “Vatican II Catholicism” even before scholars had clarified what it was that was disappearing.

What’s the most important take-home message for readers?

In spite of efforts to downplay the significance of the Second Vatican Council, for many American Catholics it provided the theological justifications to demand sophisticated religious education, to engage ritually in the sacraments, to be accepting of non-Catholics, and to uphold cultural pluralism. It gave Catholics permission to publicly and constructively express disagreement and dissent, and most importantly, it created an atmosphere of spiritual and social flexibility essential to meeting the challenges of the twenty-first century. The reception of the reforms was quite uneven across the country, and so we need to be careful in describing what actually occurred.

Father Z at "What Does the Prayer Really Say" has a trip down memory lane highlighting Catholic sisters in the post-Christian liberal wing of the leadership of some sisters (not all, keep in mind!) and their dribble:

Sisters Gone Wild: A Trip Down Memory Lane

Theresa Kane: as president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in 1979, she greeted Pope John Paul II at the National Shrine in Washington, D.C. In her address she urged him to open all ministries of Church life to women. Her remarks made headlines around the world. Shortly after her address, she stated that “as a result of the greeting, a few congregations withdrew from the conference. Through that experience LCWR became more public; the membership gained new responsibilities.” Today she supports women in deciding to undergo fake ordinations of women in the Catholic Church as if they were real. “The Roman Catholic women priesthood is small, highly criticized, and not going away,” she went on. “No one controls our future but ourselves.”

Agnes Mary Mansour, now deceased, was a Catholic nun who in 1983 left her religious order so she could retain her position as the director of the Michigan Department of Social Services. The controversy involved her refusal to make a public statement against abortion. She thought that as long as abortion was legal and available to the wealthy, the procedure should be equally available to women who needed government assistance.

24 Nuns who signed A Catholic Statement on Pluralism and Abortion, alternatively referred to by its pull quote “A Diversity of Opinions Regarding Abortion Exists Among Committed Catholics” or simply “The New York Times ad”, a full-page advertisement placed on 7 October 1984 in The New York Times by Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC): “Statements of recent Popes and of the Catholic hierarchy have condemned the direct termination of pre-natal life as morally wrong in all instances. There is a mistaken belief in American society that this is the only legitimate Catholic position.” Many signers put their names on the ad because they viewed it as a partial response to the highly publicized anti-abortion statements of Archbishop John J. Card. O’Connor of New York. His insistence that a Catholic could not in good conscience vote for a pro-choice candidate was clearly aimed at Geraldine Ferraro, the Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate, a Catholic, a member of O’Connor’s archdiocese, and a consistent pro-choice advocate.

Kathryn Bissell
Mary Byles
Anne Carr
Mary Louise Denny
Margaret Farley
Barbara Ferraro
Maureen Fiedler
Jeanine Grammick
Kathleen Hebbeler
Patricia Hussey
Caridad Inda
Pat Kenoyer
Agnes Mary Mansour (at the time an ex-nun)
Roseanne Mazzeo
Margaret Nulty
Margaret O’Neill
Donna Quinn
Ellen Shanahan
Marilyn Thie
Rose Dominic Trapasso
Margaret Ellen Traxler
Marjorie Tuite
Judith Vaughan
Ann Patrick Ware
Virginia Williams

Barbara Ferraro and Patricia Hussey: in 1984, along with 22 other nuns, they co-signed an ad in The New York Times by Catholics for Free Choice challenging Catholic teaching on procured abortion. Both refused to recant their statements when ordered to do so by the Holy See and their religious order. They both signed a second pro-abortion statement, published in the National Catholic Reporter, and participated in a pro-abortion rally organized by the National Organization of Women (NOW) in Washington on 6 March 1986.

Margaret Traxler: now deceased, was a supporter of activism among homosexual Catholics, who once carried a banner into the Vatican to protest the church’s stand on abortion. In 1982 the National Conference of Catholic Bishops endorsed a Constitutional amendment proposed by Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah. It would have allowed state legislatures to restrict or ban abortions. In an appearance on the Phil Donahue show at that time, Traxler said, “I believe every human being has a free will, God respects our free will even though it is sometimes used against God’s will. I believe women must have the right to use their free will in making decisions about their own bodies.” She signed the New York Times ad in 1984 stating that abortion could sometimes be “a moral choice.” “I don’t think church leaders are living on the same planet. They are unrealistic and out of touch with the people,”. . . she said then. She was one of the first to call for women’s ordination in 1971.

Jeanine Gramick: co-foundress of the homosexual, lesbian activist organization New Ways Ministry. After a review of her public activities on behalf of the Church that concluded in a finding of grave doctrinal error, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) declared in 1999 that she should no longer be engaged in pastoral work with homosexual persons. In 2000, her congregation, in an attempt to thwart further conflict with the Vatican, commanded her not to speak publicly about homosexuality. She responded by saying, “I choose not to collaborate in my own oppression by restricting a basic human right [to speak]. To me this is a matter of conscience.” In 2001, Gramick transferred to the Sisters of Loretto, another congregation of Catholic Sisters, one which supports her in her advocacy on behalf of homosexuals.

Marjorie Tuite: now deceased, was among the key organizers of the first International Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC). Tuite was also one of the “Vatican 24”, religious sisters who had signed the Catholic Statement on Pluralism and Abortion published in the New York Times on 7 October 1984. Tuite appeared on The Phil Donahue Show on 28 January 1985 (along with fellow signers Patricia Hussey and Barbara Ferraro) to defend their refusal to recant their support of that statement.

Margaret Farley: over the years, she has taken positions favorable to abortion, same-sex “marriage,” sterilization of women, divorce and the “ordination” of women to the priesthood. Farley, who taught Christian ethics at Yale Divinity School, is well known for her radical feminist ideas and open dissent from Church teaching. In 1982, when the Sisters of Mercy sent a letter to all their hospitals recommending that tubal ligations be performed in violation of Church teaching against sterilization, Pope John Paul II gave the Sisters an ultimatum, causing them to withdraw their letter. Farley justified their “capitulation” on the ground that “material cooperation in evil for the sake of a ‘proportionate good’” was morally permissible. In other words, she declared that obedience to the Pope was tantamount to cooperation in evil, and that the Sisters were justified in doing it only because their obedience prevented “greater harm, namely the loss of the institutions that expressed the Mercy ministry.” In her presidential address to the Catholic Theological Society of America in 2000 she attacked the Vatican for its “overwhelming preoccupation” with abortion, calling its defense of babies “scandalous” and asking for an end to its “opposition to abortion” until the “credibility gap regarding women and the church” has been closed. In her book Just Love she offers a full-throated defense of homosexual relationships, including a defense of their right to marry. She admits that the Church “officially” endorses the morality of “the past,” but rejoices that moral theologians like Charles Curran and Richard McCormick embrace “pluralism” on the issues of premarital sex and homosexual acts. She says that sex and gender are “unstable, debatable categories,” which feminists like her see as “socially constructed.” She has nothing but disdain for traditional morality, as when she remarks that we already know the “dangers” and “ineffectiveness of moralism” and of “narrowly construed moral systems.”

Mary Ann Cunningham: wrote an “open letter to Catholic voters” in 2006 as an alternative to the church hierarchy’s voter education efforts in Colorado and nationwide. “We encourage respect for the moral adulthood of women and will choose legislators who will recognize the right of women to make reproductive decisions and receive medical treatment according to the rights of privacy and conscience.” Cunningham said many Catholics disagree with the church’s opposition to legalized abortion for “compassionate, faithful reasons.” “I do value the voice of the church hierarchy,” Cunningham said. “But I don’t find anything in the Gospels about abortion or gay marriage.”

Louise Lears: banned from church ministries and from receiving the sacraments in 2008 by then-St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke for 1) the obstinate rejection, after written admonition, of the truth of the faith that it is impossible for a woman to receive ordination to the Sacred Priesthood (cann.750, §2; and 1371, 1º); 2) the public incitement of the faithful to animosity or hatred toward the Apostolic See or an Ordinary because of an act of ecclesiastical power or ministry (can. 1373); 3) the grave external violation of Divine or Canon Law, with the urgent need to prevent and repair the scandal involved (can. 1399); and 4) prohibited participation in sacred rites (can. 1365).

Donna Quinn an advocate for legalized abortion. As late as 2009 she was engaged in escorting women to abortion clinics in the Chicago area so they could abort their babies safe from pro-life protesters. She is now a coordinator of the radically liberal National Coalition of American Nuns (NCAN), which stands in opposition against the Catholic Church’s position on abortion, homosexuality, contraception, and the exclusively male priesthood. In a 2002 address to the Women’s Studies in Religion Program at Harvard Divinity School, Quinn described how she came to view the teachings of her Church as “immoral”: “I used to say: ‘This is my Church, and I will work to change it, because I love it,’” she said. “Then later I said, ‘This church is immoral, and if I am to identify with it I’d better work to change it.’ More recently, I am saying, ‘All organized religions are immoral in their gender discriminations.’” Quinn called gender discrimination “the root cause of evil in the Church, and thus in the world,” and said she remained in the Dominican community simply for “the sisterhood.”

Margaret Mary McBride: an administrator and member of the ethics committee at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, in Phoenix, Arizona, who incurred automatic excommunication following her sanctioning of an abortion at the hospital in November 2009. The controversy that ensued resulted in the diocesan bishop declaring that the hospital could no longer call itself Catholic.