Monday, November 10, 2014


An evil site and occasion of sin. Wherein Fr. Z rants.

Father Z has some very fine words to say about blogs, bloggers and those who comment on blogs. Listen to what he has to say above. It is important. We as Catholics must take the high road and be charitable. We attract others to the Church whether fallen away Catholics, non-Catholics or the unchurched by making the Catholic Faith attractive not ugly. By attractive, I don't mean accoutrements, I mean how we act and treat one another. The Golden Rule still applies today!

I recognize that Pope Francis' papacy has disoriented many people but I think needlessly so. This is why I think so.

In many ways, certainly not all though, Pope Francis is pre-Vatican II or wants to return the Church to some pre-Vatican II ways, but not all of course! But this is a start!

1. He doesn't want us to proselytize. My dad in the 1950's told me when I was a small child and decided to wear by rosary outside my shirt around my neck that Catholics don't do that. We don't show off or offend others by our religious symbols. He said we don't as Catholics wear our religion on our sleeves. The way we live as Catholics should speak loud enough and speak well of our Catholicism. What attracts others to the Catholic Faith are Catholics who live their faith in simple ordinary ways without protesting, without ideologies and without words.

In fact my father didn't even send religious Christmas Cards because he didn't want to proselytize is friends in this regard. Interesting, no?

What has happened since Vatican II in this regard. Catholic laity became militant and through false ecumenism borrowed the tactics of Protestant Evangelicals and fundamentalists their form of proselytizing.  Like Westborough Baptist Church, we protest today and make Catholicism an in-your-face religion. I prefer the pre-Vatican II ways that was passive but effective. The Catholic Church prior to Vatican II has many, many converts.

2. In pre-Vatican II times, at least in parishes, there were not liturgical wars. The liturgy was set and parishes went about celebrating the sacraments as these were prescribed with the various options allowed. Some parishes had more resources to do thing in an elaborate and rich way, others did things quite simply.

After Vatican II one would think that the only thing that Vatican II focused on was rearranging the furniture, changing the architecture of the Church and coming up with new music to sing each week at Mass. The Liturgy wars ensued in a self-referential way and turned many, many Catholics off. In the northeast about 88% of Catholics were turned off and no longer attend Mass.

Prior to Vatican II the Mass was not a battlefield! We need to return to this pre-Vatican II mentality. 

3. Prior to Vatican II popular devotions were extremely popular. These were practiced privately by Catholics and in their homes. Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament, novenas, and 40 Hours devotions and public recitation of the Holy Rosary would see Churches filling on a Sunday night or during the week.

After Vatican II popular devotions were denigrated by the academic elite in the Church and many rank and file clergy who listened to their drivel. We need to recover the pre-Vatican II mentality concerning devotions, especially those of the various cultures of the Catholic Church.

4. Prior to Vatican II Catholics were not interested in airing the dirty laundry of their families or gossiping publicly about the sins of others. We recognized that sin was  a matter of confession and under the seal of confession.  Gossiping, detraction and calumny when it occurred was roundly condemned as a sin and everyone knew it was a sin.  We did not judge those who did not go to Holy Communion and wonder what they did that prevented them from doing so and we didn't judge those who did go to communion. We gave everyone the respectful benefit of the doubt.

5. After Vatican II most parishes heard in homilies and religious education only about Vatican II as though this ecumenical council was god. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit took a backseat to Vatican II. Vatican II was mentioned more often than the Most Holy Name of Jesus Christ!

We need to return to the pre-Vatican II focus on Jesus, Mary, Joseph and all the angels and saints! Ecumenical Councils should not be the focus of homilies. Jesus Christ must be!

We need to return to these pre-Vatican II sensibilities and Pope Francis is leading the way!


Anonymous said...

"He doesn't want us to proselytize"

I really think I am dreaming all of this.

What church is proselytizing? What church is obsessing about abortion?

What church is preaching and practicing hate toward homosexul people?

What church is obsessing about contraception?

What church is obsessed about rules and following them?

I have no idea what church Pope Francis is talking about. I have been a practicing Catholic my entire life. Not once have I ever heard or seen a Catholic priest preach against homosexuality. I have never heard a sermon that even mentioned contraception. I have never heard a prist give a homily about following the "rules" of the church (or the ten commandments).

I really think that Pope Francis has a problem with reality. The Church that he speaks against doesn't exist. We have a church that never talks about morality or sin or dogma or the objective truth of the Catholic Faith. The reality is that most priests go out of their way to act like a Catholic priest as little as possible.

Sombody needs to demand Pope Francis show this doctrinal Church that shows no mercy. I want to see this Church. The only Catholics that I have seentreating uncharitably by priests are those Catholics who show a "traditional" bent. Every Sunday I see a homosexual couple that sits in the front pew receive communion all the time with a smile. And I also see a man who kneels for communion being looked at with disdain. That's the Church I know.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous at 7.40am. I have rarely heard any sermons on morality. In fact the only one I heard was about two years ago from a newly ordained priest at an OF Mass and it was brilliant. Prior to that I was at a mass about five years ago where a letter was read from the bishops saying that people should not live in sin. You can imagine how it stirred the congregation who seemed quite shocked and ill prepared for the Bishops' statement, having heard nothing like it for 30-odd years. Of course the bishops have said nothing since and nor has anyone else for that matter.

So the fact that everyone is living in sin anyway, and I believe many are receiving communion even though they are divorced, it has come as quite a surprise that Francis found a need to call this synod at all.

I have never heard any criticism either of homosexuals, so I don't know what Church Pope Francis is speaking of either.

On a brighter and cheerier note, I see a petition garnering signatures to thank Cardinal Burke for his services to the Church has just topped over 15,000 signatures.

This shows that Cardinal Burke is held in high esteem by many, including Benedict XVI. It also points to the fact that his recent intervention in the synod is greatly appreciated.


Anonymous said...

Ok--I am trying to connect the dots. Some of the things you mention here certainly reflect the pre-Vatican II Church, but how do these things connect with Pope Francis?

Rood Screen said...

These are good observations, except for your comments about proselytizing. Church buildings and bells, clerical attire and religious habits, processions, etc. all testified to the presence of Catholicism.

To proselytize is to employ coercive or deceptive means in evangelizing.

Anonymous said...

Nice try Father! But you really know as we all do that you cannot turn the square into a circle. ;-)

Anonymous said...

"We need to return to these pre-Vatican II sensibilities and Pope Francis is leading the way!"

Would that it were so.

Anonymous said...

Gene's in "time out" his room pouting.

Jdj said...

Fr. Z's "rant" is dead-on. Thanks for linking it.
I have been very dismayed by the coverage/commenting at Crux. One expects the worst from the Nat'l Catholic is decades of the same trash. But I had hoped Crux would be different. Perhaps they will progress to fair-and-balanced--one must live always in hope and have gratitude for the gift of faith.

rcg said...

I like the idea of using the popular devotions as a way to help the Catholic faithful stay focused. It can serve to attract others if they see it as part of our struggle with sin. The beauty of our churches can also be distracting. It isn't about us, it is about God, a place for the Trinity. If we can get people to understand that when they look at the Church we can go a long way toward attracting them to the Faith.

Anonymous said...

"Prior to Vatican II Catholics were not interested in airing the dirty laundry of their families or gossiping publicly about the sins of others."

Well, tell that to the main stream media (MSM), which has been making it's living off that very thing for the last, oh, 20 years or so. There's big, big bucks in gossip and dirty laundry. It started with "gossip" magazines and columns then spread to half hour shows (TMZ, Entertainment Tonight), but has proven so profitable it now infects even legitimate news sources. How much do we all know about Michael Jackson we wish we really didn't? How many times have all of us seen the video of the football player decking his wife in the elevator? Even during the nightly news.

And the MSM is now using this gossip mode on the Church, under the guise of "reporting" having the Pope Francis and conservative cardinals under the microscope (I read a headline on Yahoo! "Cardinal Burke Out!". The article links his transfer with facts about his actions at the Synod.) We get "news" reports about Church skulduggery or scandalous behavior that draws readers and forms a negative point of view in the recipient. Gossip, like sex, sells.

It is almost impossible to avoid this gossipy slander stuff, and I believe society has lost it's understanding of the kind of sin and damage brought with gossip, libel and slander. We seem to be under the same tsunami of sin as presented by the sexual revolution. I often wonder how does someone falsely accused of a crime ever recover their good name when they are all but convicted in the media? The media justifies their exposure of celebrities as if it is part of the package of taking on celebrity, but now it seems to have infected everyone, and and we see kids killing themselves because of postings on Facebook about them.

And our Catholic values of giving everyone the "respectful benefit of the doubt." I remember those days. It was very good. But that ship has sailed long ago. In fact, now in our society the fact that bishops were careful and reticent about sexual predation by priests is being used to accuse them of being accomplices and enablers!!! That's how far our society has fallen in respect for others.

I'm sure many of your readers have heard the one about the priest who instructs a woman who confesses to gossip to, as penance, take a feather pillow to a hill, cut it open and cast the contents out, then come back to get further instructions. She comes back to report she has done so. He then tells her, now, go pick all the feathers up.

It just shows one more deadly sin unleashed on mankind. Just one more area of life where Satan's attacks have gained some real territory. And you're right Father, we need to take it back, but we suffered some real losses on this front.

I'm sure many of your readers have heard the one about the priest who instructs a woman who confesses to gossip to, as penance, take a feather pillow to a hill, cut it open and cast the contents out, then come back to get further instructions. She comes back to report she has done so. He then tells her, now, go pick all the feathers up.

Anonymous said...

Always good to have some hope, but in the meantime I think that the old rhetorical question: "Is the Pope Catholic?" may be a little harder to use.


rcg said...

I think FrAJM is asking us to consider our comments about Pope Francis compared to those in the Fishwrap about Cardinal Barke. I think that is fair, but think we should also look at why the comments were made.

Marie said...

The Rosary must be prayed, not just worn. That said, wearing a sacramental [a small crucifix - not just an empty cross, but a crucifix - one with the Corpus] is a way of silent evangelization and a reminder of our Catholic identity.
As a chaser to Pope Francis brand of "pre-Vatican II Catholicity," I give you a young priest from Colombia [Vatican II ordained, no doubt, but whose faith is as sterling as his parents and grandparents].
I've attended a number of this young priest's Masses in Spanish and at each homily, he emphasized that those cohabiting outside of the sacrament of matrimony should not receive Communion until they have changed their ways, i.e., live apart. And that they should see him or another priest if they want help in their situation.
Take that, Pope Francis.

Православный физик said...

"We need to return to these pre-Vatican II sensibilities and Pope Francis is leading the way!"

I must admit, I laughed at this statement real hard. I can hardly agree Pope Francis is leading the way (In spite of him, yes)

I'm of the opinion, while yes Liturgy should be treated as a gift, and received and never abused, I do not think we need to return to a pre-Vatican II mindset.

The Highest Liturgy in the Church (the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Sunday) is where the Faithful encounter Christ, His Church, and His Teachings the most. Through it we receive graces that we need to make it through our lives on earth. As such the Faithful should encounter the Liturgy as the Church intends it. (with the often Scriptural Propers, Ordinary, Ad Orientem, and sung) to that point, I think the low Mass culture of the Pre-Vatican II days needs to disappear off the face of the planet.

I agree with the 1st Anon, the church that Pope Francis speaks of, for the most part does not exist. It'd be a miracle if one heard anything of substance from St Lukewarm's parish. (Obviously i don't speak of the great parishes)

It's a sad day, when people can ask the question "Is the Pope Catholic?" and it's even possible that the answer could be no. (I don't think that's the answer to the question, but evidence could be piled that oppose the answer)