Monday, June 15, 2015


There are a variety of reasons why the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is not being celebrated more widespread.

The biggest problem is that priests don't want to celebrate it or learn how. One of the main reasons is that they believe that those who want it want to turn the clock back to the corrupt celebration of the Mass prior to Vatican II when the laity for the most part were not engaged in the action of the Liturgy, which is God's action as He is the actor, but rather in their own personal pieties or daydreaming such as praying the Rosary, contemplating other things or thinking about what was for dinner.

I have posted some comments chastising Catholics who properly participate in the Extraordinary Form by singing, chanting and saying those parts that pertain to them (the parts of the choir and altar boys). The laity should and must chant the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Santus, Pater Noster and Agnus Dei and if able the Introit, Offertory and Communion antiphons and any hymns that might be included.

Pope Benedict as Cardinal Ratzinger in 1998 spoke of how Catholics in the 1920's in Germany were chanting the parts of the Mass and called this development a wonderful one. He chastised  those who did other pious things disconnected from God's action in the Liturgy and he called it a "deformation of the Mass" prior to Vatican II and one of the reasons why the Ordinary Form was embraced in such a positive way after the Council in that the laity were given roles proper to them.

Those who actively participated in the pre-Vatican II Liturgy and loved it were the ones who felt its loss the greatest whereas those who sat like bumps on logs during this liturgy did not miss it when they became engaged in the Ordinary Form.

The only way to convince 99% of the laity and clergy who have an antipathy for the EF Mass due to what they perceive is the diminishment and deformation of the role of the laity in this Mass is to have congregations who celebrate this Mass to be robust in their actual celebration. Otherwise, the EF Mass will remain only a "boutique" Mass!


Rood Screen said...

It seems to me that some participants in EF celebrations of the Mass not only oppose the Second Vatican Council, but even think that Pope Benedict permitted greater accessibility to the EF precisely so they could avoid the liturgical and other implications of that council. In reality, such lost souls are only damaging our efforts to achieve a greater continuity between the reformed missal and the previous missal. If they're not willing to repent and convert, then they should at least keep their decent to themselves.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Dialogue, I am beginning to wonder if those who are wanting to go back to the worst of the 1950's aren't in fact progressives trying to give authentic traditionalists who love Vatican II (properly and appropriately implemented) as well as both Pope Benedict and Pope Francis aren't progressives in disguise. They know how to manipulate those who worry about going backwards (and that would be me and others like me) by making them think that traditionalists are really schismatic and don't love the Church as she is.

Lefebvrian said...

Your post is at odds with what Traditional priests teach their people to do, in my experience anyway. Most notably, those attending Traditional chapels are taught that the dialogue Mass is a liturgical abuse and that the people should not be saying the responses. And, if one studies the matter, one discovers that that advice is correct.

So, you should take this up with those priests who have been formed in traditional seminaries and have studied the Traditional Mass. In fact, it seems to me that it might do you good to sit down with an FSSP priest or an SSPX priest and direct some of your ire toward them so you can get the response of someone who has dedicated their life to the restoration of the Tradition. Perhaps that would change your perspective on the things some of your commenters write.

Joseph Johnson said...

I love to participate in the EF Mass by singing the parts which pertain to the laity.

This weekend, a group from my parish (including our deacon) will be traveling to Savannah for our second quarterly parish pilgrimage to the EF Mass. This more than two-hour each way trip would not be necessary if we had a priest in our parish (or close by) who would be willing to celebrate this Mass for us. You're exactly right, Father, the biggest problem is the lack of priests willing to learn and celebrate the EF Mass.

In the meantime, our quarterly trips to Savannah will continue until the priest situation changes (either a change of heart or a change in personnel).

Vox Cantoris said...

Lefebvrian, if you take issue with the Dialogue Mass in the (Read or Low form) you need to argue with Pope Piux XI. Yes, those responses were once reserved for the clergy but it is what lead to what Father has written. Further, I have attended FSSP parishes where the full Mass is sung and others where there is dialogue. I can tell you that there are SSPX chapels were there is little dialogue and others where there is, in Quebec in fact and that is because of culture. The "Irish Low Mass mentality" is something that spread throughout most of North America and it was a mistake because it lead to abuse.

St. Piux X, whom I know you will agree with, wrote in Tra le sollecitudini, "Don't sing at Mass, sing the Mass, don't pray at Mass, pray the Mass." What do you think he meant by this.

I have two experiences: The first is conducting the Schola over a small, old, former indult group. They hated it, they hated the singing, the chants, the postures, they wanted "to be left alone."

The other is this in my work every Sunday in a newer community.
Processional hymn in English sung by all
Asperges/Vidi sung by all
Sung Mass sung by all and they know after five years:
Mass I, Mass III, Mass IV, Mass VIII, Mass IX, Mass XI, Mass XII, Mass XVIII
Credo I, II, III, IV and this August they will learn Mass XV and Credo V all because I am correctly interpreting the great work of St. Pius X and using the Campion Hymnal to do it!
They sing all responses and chant the Marian Antiphon and then a closing hymn in English.
They can also sing Rorate, Parce Domine and Attende Domine.

I content that if we had properly implemented the "actuoso" liturgical movement of St. Pius X, Pius XI and Pius XII we would not have had the radical takeover by the destructionists. I also know a prominent choir director in my parts who once fired me and said, "the people are not supposed to sing!" Well, I told him "you had better check with St. Pius X on that."

You cannot take people today and put them into a silent and contemplative Read Mass and expect it to grow.

Rood Screen said...


While I doubt that's true, Fr. McDonald, it is certainly having that effect. Parish celebrations of the EF Mass should be open to everyone, and not be allowed to become the restricted domain of heretics and schismatics.

Templar said...

Whose to say that the congregation at an OF Mass isn't day dreaming about what's for dinner?

As for saying the prayers at the EF, I say them all. The parts intended for me, and the parts intended for the priest. I say them quietly, you might hear me if you're sitting next to me, but not audibly or robustly. The parts of the Mass that are intended to be spoken aloud by me I do so. Whether it is right or wrong I don't really care that much; what I know is that those prayers (in English or Latin)are simply the most beautiful words ever put on paper, and I am "fully and actively" engaged in the Mass by doing this. In the OF Mass on the other hand, I have to constantly force my mind back to the Mass. It's language, even after the revision, is so banal and stilted, it simply lacks the gravity to hold ones attention.

AT Lefebvrian: Father has hosted the FSSP from St Francis de Sales in Mableton at St Joseph's once, had a nice dinner and lecture with them. I believe he may be the ONLY Priest/Parish in this Diocese that has done so.

Lefebvrian said...

Vox, I don't take issue with your experiences at all, and I'm glad you've brought them into this discussion. I understand Pope St. Pius X to have been suggesting proper participation on the part of the laity -- singing the hymns (if there are hymns) and praying along using their hand missals or otherwise paying attention in some way. Historically, I understand that, by the time of Pope St. Pius X, there were different takes on the so-called Dialogue Mass according to geography, for the most part. That doesn't negate the fact that it was a liturgical abuse and, as liturgical scholars have pointed out, was an early step toward the later liturgical revolution.

All that being said, the question, really, is what is active participation in the traditional Mass. I don't really understand why this is a difficult question, honestly. The people are supposed to be present and assist at Mass. It's that simple. You might participate by reading your Missal during the Mass. I might participate by praying the Rosary and watching the priest. Others might do something else like meditating according to one of the many books discussing profitable ways to assist at Mass.

So the question isn't how to get people to actively participate. The agenda is to make people participate all in the same way, which has not been the mind of the Church with regard to the Traditional Mass. The idea that everyone needs to be saying the same thing at the same time is simply not the spirituality or practice of the Traditional Mass. In the end, for that reason, the "lack of active participation in the Mass" is a non-issue at best and a red herring for some errant egalitarian ideology at worst.

Mark said...

I favor the Traditional Latin Mass over the Novus Ordo. I also believe that many "Traditionalists" have inflicted tremendous damage upon the Traditionalist Movement via their endless attacks against supposed "heretical" Popes, Cardinals. bishops, priests...if one doesn't march in lockstep with certain Traditionalists and/or Traditionalist groups, then one is condemned as a "modernist/heretic".

I believe that His Holiness Pope Francis has made prudential mistakes. Some of his "off the cuff" remarks have, I believe, been ill-advised. That said, I reject the claims made by various "Traditionalists" that Pope Francis is a "heretic"..."monster"..."evil".

There are Traditional bloggers who daily promote horrific attacks against Pope Francis and even the Church Herself.

When Pope Francis upholds Church Teaching in clear, powerful fashion, many Trads still find ways to berate His Holiness. Said Trads refuse to accept anything that destroys the false narrative that Pope Francis is an "evil modernist".

Again, I realize that His Holiness has offered certain statements that he has "walked back". Some of his interviews and off-the-cuff remarks have not been prudent.

That said, I am saddened by the endless negativity that has flowed from more than a few Traditionalists and their blogs. There is daily a great deal of joyless talk within the Traditional Catholic Blogosphere.

Should they read certain Trad blogs, I could understand as to why a bishop or priest would question as to whether to promnote the TLM within his diocese/parish.

However, much of the nonsense that circulates within the Traditional Catholic Movement is the result of bishops and priests who are simply anti-TLM. That is, by not having controlled the TLM not having permitted the TLM to go "mainstream"...anti-TLM bishops and priests have allowed certain "fringe" types to define and control the TLM Movement.

Bishops and priests must allow the TLM to become "mainstream" become part of ordinary diocesean/parish life. That would go a long way to the establishment of sound Catholicism within the TLM Movement.

In fairness to Trads, many bishops and priests have allowed horrific nonsense to flow within Novus Ordo parishes. The manner in which "mainstream" Catholics support artificial birth control. homosexual "marriage", abortion...the Culture of Death" appalling.

I believe that the overall problem within the Church, the nonsense that is found among "Traditional" and "Novus Ordo" Catholics, is very much the fault of bishops and priests. Bishops and priests are our spiritual fathers...and many have failed in having raised us well in the spiritual sense.

Yes, in many ways, Traditional Catholics are their own worst enemies. Unfortunately, many bishops and priests, who are simply anti-TLM, have not helped in that regard. Mistakes have been made on both sides of the so-called Liturgical War.

Perhaps His Holiness Pope Francis has found the man, Robert Cardinal Sarah, who will consign the Vatican II Era Liturgical War to history.

Regardless, as a Catholic who favors the Traditional Roman Mass, I am compelled to work for peace within and without the Church. It would be helpful to have more bishops and priests in tune with my...our (those who are attached to the TLM)...spiritual needs and desires. Anyway, I can only control my thoughts and actions.

Therefore, I attach myself to His Holiness Pope Francis...and to Robert Cardinal Sarah and his program designed to consign the Liturgical War to history.

I pray and hope that His Holiness Pope Francis has found the way to consign to history the unnecessary, old and tired Vatican II Era Liturgical War.

Mark Thomas

Vox Cantoris said...

Lefebvrian, first of all, we know that "acutoso participatio" wa actually coined by St. Piux X in the aforementioned Tra le sollecitudini. Secondly, we know that "actuoso" has been badly translated into English as "active" which it surely means but it means more than that as it means actual, true, complete and full as well as active. I agree, badly translated, it means that we all must be doing something without regard that doing nothing is actually doing something. If people want to quietly pray a rosary at Mass, I have no issue with that. Far be it from any of us to dress down someone on their spirituality as the liturgical destructionists have done.

Yet, I think if we really examine the phrase and what seemed to be the great Saints intention, it was to not only rid the liturgy of secular influences in music - then theatric and operatic and now, folk and rock and singer-songwriter banality (we never listen or learn clearly), it must have been also for the laity to embrace and pray the liturgy, each taking up their proper role.

Perhaps then, that is the debate, "what is the proper role."

There are no formal rubrics in the EF for the laity, they are for the choir (meaning clerical choir). Should we follow them and force people not to kneel until the epiclesis and stand after the Consecration of the Precious Blood? Most in the EF would find that scandalous, yet; those are the rubrics.

My point is that first, we don't have the "choir" in our churches, the people now seem to be the "choir" and second, culture is as much a part of this. Should everyone be doing the same thing? Hmmm, I don't wish to sound ideological, but it seems to me that public worship needs to have a structure which is why it is public so if that means, that everyone should take his or her part, then yes they should. On the other hand, if they choose not to sing or stand at the Collects, that is their choice and in this, I follow Cardinal Arinze's advice to "leave them alone."

Given my list above of the Missa Cantata which I assist at every week as Cantor, I think that is exactly what St. Pius X expected and the true liturgical movement would have given us - with perhaps a vernacular lectionary.

rcg said...

So I asked a priest of the FSSP and his response is that we chant the sung responses, e.g "et cum spiritu too" and could chant the parts of the ordinary (Kyrie, Gloria) that we can match the timing of the choir. But not the parts of the priest such as PATFOTA. This is pretty much what I meant in my original post. It is not common sense only because it is a rule. But common sense does lead in this direction so the rules are not difficult to understand.

Lefebvrian said...

rcg, that matches my experience. I supposed it went without saying that in my above posts, I was referring primarily to a Low Mass. If the sung parts are sung simple, of course the people should sing along with them.

rcg said...

Leb, low Mass, like before work on a weekday is a different sort of spiritual experience. The Lord wakes me and talks about the day. I do well to listen.

Lefebvrian said...

Well said, rcg!

Victor said...

There is another aspect to this ideology of TLM lovers which has bothered me. To put it bluntly, TLM lovers in USA seem to be Republicans if not members the Tea Party. For someone who loves the TLM, I am quite socialist for instance when it comes to healthcare and helping the poor in general, and it bothers me how many TLM lovers are neo-cons. I wonder if this political neo-conservatism among TLM lovers does not turn off a lot of Catholics.

Angry Augustinian said...

Well, it may just be that there is a higher number (much higher) of Christians and devout Catholics among Republicans. They understand that the TLM reflects a truer understanding of the Sacrifice, Catholic identity, and truer worship than the OF. Also, I notice that among most "progressive" Leftist/Socialist Catholics there is a very high number that do not actually believe in the Real Presence or that Jesus of Nazareth rose bodily from the if you had been there with your iPhone or Nikon you could've gotten it with a camera. Progressives' God is the poor, their sacrament abortion, and their resurrection is "self-understanding." Their Heaven is some Marxist utopia. Good luck with that. What is a neo-con, anyway?

Mark said...

Victor, I realize that there are Catholics who favor the TLM who are political Republicans. But there are many Catholics attached to the TLM who are not fans of the Republican party.

There is a great deal of rejection of much that passes for capitalism and Republicanism among Catholics attached to the TLM. There are many TLM-oriented bloggers who don't have any use for Republican/neo-conservative politics.

Interestingly, Rorate Caeli blog last year blasted conservatives who rejected Pope Francis' Social Teachings. Rorate Caeli noted that Pope Francis' Social Teachings are very traditional.

I have found that Catholics who support the "reform of the reform" often fall in line with the Republican party.

Prior to the creation of the Novus Ordo, Catholics in America raised on the TLM tended to favor Democratic politics. I favor the TLM. I was baptized into the Church long before the Novus Ordo was created. As the result of my attachment to the TLM and Holy Tradition, I would be labeled "liberal" in regard to Holy Mother Church's Social Teachings.

I am "liberal" in regard to the poor, healthcare, welfare...I have great difficulty with much that concerns capitalism...the Republican party doesn't interest me. That said, I don't support the Democratic party.

Mark Thomas

Rood Screen said...


In the 1950's, US Catholics were theologically conservative and politically liberal. This combination bore much fruit in priestly and religious vocations, and in large families. But once the devil forced a division between Catholics in the 1960's, most became either: (a.) theologically and politically conservative or (b.) theologically and politically liberal. That was the beginning of the demise of the Church in America. The final nail in the coffin was the corruption of liberal politics by abortion, divorce and unnatural sexuality.

Bring back the Latin Mass and blue collar politics!

Stabat Mater said...

"The laity should and must chant the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Santus, Pater Noster and Agnus Dei..."

Ummm-- "NOOOO!" to laity chanting the Pater.

I mostly attend EF, but am not opposed to OF, when & if I must. I allow my son to serve both forms as well. Also, my parish offers a reverent OF ad orientem, chant,etc.

I am a psychology major, however, and much of what I appreciate about the TLM is that it clearly shows us who we are and defines our roles-- laity, priest, female, male-- as individuals and as a people in communion with God and one another.

That being said, my parish encourages the people to chant the Pater, but I also visit a convent and Latin Mass Society in which the Pater remains reserved for the priest. This is one of those seemingly small, but vitally important things that is at the essence of the psychology of the Mass-- and it needs to remain reserved to the priest, imho.

Perhaps had that been retained in the Novus everyone also would have kept their hands to themselves?!?!

Sed libera nos a malo.

Anonymous said...

Surely we all know that if Jesus came back to earth today, He would live in the a white guy, a conservative Republican...wear fancy clothes and only attend EF Masses...kneeling at the altar rail and receiving communion on the tongue.....

John Nolan said...

Singing in unison is a natural activity. Speaking in unison is not. That's why the Dialogue Low Mass didn't work, and has not been revived. That's why the Novus Ordo as usually celebrated doesn't work. What can be more absurd and tiresome than the spoken 'responsorial psalm'? Yet a chanted Novus Ordo, in Latin or the vernacular (or in a mixture of the two) does work. So does the 'quiet' Low Mass, although it should always be borne in mind that the sung Mass should be the norm.

In his letter to the bishops which accompanied SP in 2007, Pope Benedict made the wry comment: 'The use of the old Missal presupposes a certain degree of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language; neither of these is found very often'. A pretty damning indictment of the post-V2 clergy.

The vast majority of the laity do not have an 'antipathy' towards the old Mass. They simply have no knowledge or experience of it. Back in the 1970s, when anyone over the age of 20 was familiar with it, there were indeed those who welcomed the 'changes' but many, perhaps a majority, were less enthusiastic. Lay opinion was not canvassed, but this did not prevent episcopal Conferences telling Rome that the new Mass was wildly popular.

What is significant is that a new generation of liturgical scholars, unhampered by the ideological baggage of the mid-twentieth century is now looking critically at the liturgical reform as a whole and their writings are influencing a new generation of seminarians and priests.

Angry Augustinian said...

Wrong, Anonymous…he would return to Jerusalem, be a Jew, condemn both political parties as prideful and Pelagian, and the only things that would look familiar to Him would be the Synagogue and the EF Mass. But, I digress…if He came back today it would be for one reason and one reason only, Anonymous, and you would not like it.

Mark said...

Today via Twitter, Rorate Caeli blog posted at least three comments that mocked Pope Francis' Encyclical to be released this Thursday. How does the mocking of an Encyclical help the cause of "Traditionalists"?

Even more important, how does the mocking of an Encyclical benefit Holy Mother Church?

Mark Thomas

rcg said...

I get the strong impression that people in my diocese have 'antipathy' towards the TLM and people that want it because of a perceived political relationship. I can't confirm or deny except to say that none of the parishes I have been a member or attended Mass have a corner on crazy. If I assume that a particular political affliction is off putting and I see a tin foil mantilla in the pew next to me I might be happy that the person might see the light by attending the TLM and come around to my way of thinking.

CPT Tom said...

Wow, you go away for a little while, and comeback to find a good ole fashioned donnybrook! I sing for both the OF and EF in a schola. I have come to some conclusions. 1) The congregation at the OF will sing Latin Ordinary if you teach them just fine. Takes about the same time for them to learn it as the vernacular ordinary. They will also sing the sung responses if Father is willing to sing. 2) the congregation at the OF (and EF) will not sing if the Cantor / Schola + accompaniment blast them with loud music. Hard stop. In fact I have noticed better congregation singing when the Schola/Choir DOESN"T use a mic. and are either unaccompanied, or have a sotto-voce organ playing behind them. 3) It is better to go with the nature of the congregation than force them to sing. When we sang at 7:30am the folks didn't sing. they didn't even want music, but they did like unaccompanied chant. When we sang at the 5:15pm mass, people were more likely to sing. 4) Where I am, People really don't know what to do at the EF any more. Either, they have a vague memory of what they did in the 50s, or they are clueless. Best to help them on the rubrics (sit, kneel, stand) and again, gauge how much singing to encourage them to do based on their ability/history. Again, your mileage may vary. I support encouraging the congregation to sing, but, I do not support nagging and hectoring them to do so. That just seems wrong, and frankly if the EF is "new" (like virtually banned for 40 years) to where you are, (like where I am). people who are new to the mass will get caught up in the beauty and solemnity of it that they really don't have a mind to do much but experience the Mass. That's called spiritual active participation and the Pope Piuses, as well as the Council, talked about that being a good thing too (if not better). God Bless, and may St Cecilia smile on you!

George said...

Victor and Mark Thomas

I know this seems obvious, but would anyone disagree that those Catholics who attend Sunday Mass are more faithful to the Church and Her teachings than those who attend infrequently or not at all? Could it be said that those who attend daily are the most faithful of all? One's politics should be informed both by one's Faith and conscience (correctly formed ny Church teaching). Now every poll I have seen on this shows that the most faithful Catholics are the most conservative in their politics. There are always exceptions, but for the most part this is true. So for instance, in the last presidential election, Mr Obama lost by over 25 points to those who attend Mass weekly and/or daily.

Catholic Advocate website during the last election had a scorecard on how Catholic members of Congress voted on issues of importance to Catholic voters. Catholic Republicans, who tend to be the more conservative, vote with Church teaching at a much higher rate than Catholic Democrats.

U.S. Senate Number Voted with Church teaching?

Catholic Democrats 15 3%

Catholic Republicans 9 94%

House of Representatives:

Catholic Democrats 65 6%

Catholic Republicans 63 98%

If you accept Church teaching and are against abortion, same-sex marriage,contraception and embryonic stem-cell research you will be labeled a conservative in today's culture. Get use to it and accept it.

The Catholic Advocate voter guide includes the following issues

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
The Death Penalty
Defense & Terrorism
Marriage & the Family
Economic Issues
Health Care
Religious Liberty
The Environment

Charles G said...

So those evil Republicans who happen to be Catholic shouldn't attend traditional Latin masses because they will drive away all right-thinking, Left wing, socialistic, anti-business, anti-economic growth, big government, abortion- and same sex marriage- loving Democrats? That's good to know. Funny, I must have missed that particular session of RCIA where it was mentioned that with Baptism, one had to change party affiliation to Democrat.

Angry Augustinian said...

Charles, you cannot fix Democrats. They would make for great comedy if they were not such a threat to the Republic and the Church. Even now, sometimes you just have to laugh...

Anonymous said...

Well, Father, looking at some of the desparate moves of those trying to fill the pews at the dying Novus Ordo Mass, introducing more guitars, etc, I have no worries about the Traditional Latin Mass remaining a "boutique" Mass. I am hearing daily of people finding the Traditional Mass where I live it is starting to blossom.

As regards the dialogue Mass, I have never experienced it in my country - it was never here before the Second Vatican Council either. I have been to FSSP Masses, SSPX Masses on occasion, Masses said by priests who offer both the OF and EF of the Mass and the Low Mass is entirely silent with an altar server. Everyone is thoroughly content as well. It is only on the pages of your blog that I have even read that some people are wanting to dialogue and, with respect, I believe they are people who are not properly formed in the Traditional Mass - they may like the form of the Mass but they only see the cosmetic side of it. If you are reading the missal you can imbibing the meaning of the Latin words. Also, these days many modern Catholics because they have been brought up with dialogue OF Mass in the vernacular just do not know what to do when faced with silence.

This even goes for Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. It is very difficult now to actually get silence as it is punctuated with people getting up and doing readings. How on earth can people commune with God when this happening? I suggest to all those wanting dialogue that they start reading up what the Mass is. What they should be doing spiritually during the Mass, and then hearing the sound of their own voice may no longer be important.

And one last thing - I think it is extremely poor form to bring political comments about who does and does not attend the EF Mass. I wouldn't know the politics of most of the people who attend the Mass and nor do I care. That is how it should be. We are there to worship God and thank him, and some of the comments here indicate to me that people are attending the EF Mass for the wrong reasons.


Mark said...

George, Here is my take on politics...aware that there are exceptions to the following:

-- Catholics who support the Republican party tend to be "soft" on Catholic Social Teaching. They tend to rage against programs that aid the poor, advance their causes of workers, denounce environmentalists. They love the image of the "rugged individualist...let the poor pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.

Catholics who support the Republican party tend to be on board with Church teachings in regard to artificial contraception, abortion, family, and marriage.

-- Catholics who support the Democrat party tend to reject the Church's teachings in regard to artificial contraception, abortion, family, and marriage.

Catholics who support the Democrat party tend to support the Church's Social Teaching in regard to helping the poor, improving worker's benefits and conditions, rejecting discrimination...

Please note that I emphasized the following: "Catholics who support" the Republican and Democratic parties...that is, rank-and-file voters...the "true believers".

As far as politicians and their operatives are's my opinion that the actual major political parties are corrupt to the core. They use voters to keep themselves in power.

Time and again the Republican and Democrat parties sell their "true believers" (voters) down the river. The Republican leadership did that the day following last November's elections. The Republican insiders made it clear that it would be business as usual...true conservatives had been sold out. The Democrats do the same thing to their true believers.

It is my opinion that Catholics who believe that the Republican and Democratic parties will advance truly the Church's overall Social Teaching agenda will be sold down the river by two very corrupt political parties.

The Republican and Democrat parties remind me of professional wrestling. The wrestling business plays games with their wrestler is the hero, the other is the villain...they whip crowds into frenzies...spur people to take sides....rake in the money.

Political parties whip voters into frenzies...each party pretends to be the hero, the other party is the villain...then back stage, they rake in the money.

Mark Thomas

Angry Augustinian said...

Mark, I pretty much agree with what you say, although I suspect you and I would have many disagreements. The Faith is above politics, in fact, NT theology is no friend of governments at all. Republicans and Democrats are equally sinners, subjected to the same judgement as anyone else. Here, in this life, we must choose a way of life that we believe best reflects and promotes Christian truth. Not everyone agrees on what that might be. But, we can know true believers by their fruits...

Православный физик said...

It seems also to mention, there are ways to do various activities....and as such, we run into problems.

I tend to see the dynamic of republican versus democrat as one side of the same coin (yes, I said that on purpose)....they ultimately achieve the same goals through different means. Or another way of putting it, both are leading us to crashing into the ground...the democrats are pushing the accelerator, the republicans are using the brakes.

Jesus did give us some commands in regards to social teaching, He did not tell us the best way to go about them. So as such we have issues of prudential judgement, or disagreements on philosophy towards a particular end.

Is it automatic that people who wish to end certain programs hate the poor? Absolutely not, perhaps they have a different method that might work out better for the poor rather than what is presently going on. The issue of subsidiarity needs to be taught and applied more. That principle alone goes against the theory of big government...things whenever possible should be done on a local level.

Unknown said...

Joe P, you might like a drawing I did for the 2014 elections here.

John Nolan said...

There is some evidence that a tendency towards conservatism and a tendency towards embracing novelty might be innate. So it should not come as a surprise that liturgical conservatives are also political conservatives.

I used to attribute my conservative instincts to having read, as a small child, about the horrors of the French Revolution. I'm now not so sure. Yet my lifelong fascination with history is surely not coincidental. Conservatives seem to have a diachronic instinct. When I sing a particularly beautiful yet complex piece of chant I am conscious that its anonymous composer was dead before Canute became king of England, yet it is still contemporary and used for the identical purpose for which it was written.

George said...


I would rather discourse on things of God and those things that pertain to His Holy Church, if it is given to me to have a comment which has any worth or benefit to others. As Christians though, we live in the world that we inhabit and so we must negotiate and enlighten others (if we are provided something with which to do so) to it's trappings, allurements, seductions, enticements and be thankful for the good it provides us.
We are not obligated to join any particular political party (and I haven't), but if we choose do to so, it would seem to me that it would be a party whose platform most closely corresponds to Church teaching, and one, I might add, whose candidates have a realistic chance of getting elected. We can choose not to be a member of a political party, but we do have an obligation to vote and to vote for that candidate, or those candidates, whose positions most correspond to the greater part of Church teaching,with the greater weight given to the positions of the candidate, or candidates, on such things as using tax monies to fund Planned Parenthood (the largest abortion provider in the U.S.), or supporting the forcing of religious organizations to pay for abortifacients for their employees. You have to put things on the scale and weigh them. You can't be paralyzed into political inaction by wringing your hands over the major parties both being corrupt and co-opted.

Angry Augustinian said...

Very good point, George. It is unfortunate that we always have to vote for the lesser of two evils...