Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Is it possible that anything approaching this could happen at a Traditional Order Mass? 

As you know I am a child of Vatican II. I knew the Church prior to the Council and I knew the upheavals in the 1960's and 70's because of a misinterpretation of the Council and the thumb of Church authority relaxed for the "me generation" who weren't satisfied with a partial liberation from authority but had a fever for something much more radical, something like the anti-Christ.

Prior to Vatican II, I was instilled with a deep sense of mystery, awe, wonder and reverence for the Mass, the elevations at Mass and receiving Holy Communion in a state of grace kneeling at the altar railing. The sense of reverence was heightened by the fact that only the priest could touch the Sacred Host and the Chalice containing the Precious Blood. I did not see this as clericalism but a fact of grace honor for the priest and his ordination where his hands were anointed to touch the sacred.

The tabernacle was front and center and everyone knew how to genuflect properly and knew when Exposition was being held, one went down on both knees and bow ones head in addition.

These are the things that challenged my sense of reverence as a post Vatican II teenager and led me to simply be resigned to "oh well" that's the way it is and I'll be obedient, but I preferred it the way it was as it helped me to feel closer to Christ not further away, because it a assisted my faith in the Resurrected Jesus whom I could not see but whom I truly wanted to believe exists and is God.

The first Sunday when our tabernacle was placed on a side altar under the statue of the Virgin Mary, and the priest's chair now occupied the splendidly exalted central position of the tabernacle, I actually got sick to my stomach.  Priests up until that time always took a humble seat during Mass and one seldom saw his face save for the homily. Now there he was not humbly but haughtily placed front, center, haughtily exalted and staring at us. YUCK!

Then we were told we could touch the Sacred Host if we wanted to receive in the hand and how dumb it was that we had been told we couldn't. That didn't help my sense of revere one iota.

Then we had lay ministers of Holy Communion and some of the ones I knew, I knew were not the most exemplary Catholics. It created a clerical caste among the laity that some had the privileged of distributing Holy Communion and others didn't.

None of this helped with reverence and then the music that was more like rock and roll nailed the coffin shut on traditional piety and reverence as did the casualness of the priest, his folksiness, and the casualness of the congregation.

And what about popular devotions? I have never particularly liked the devotion to the Infant of Prague. I don't like dolling up the baby Jesus to look like a girl with different dresses. That's my hangup.

I don't have a devotion to the infant Jesus or to the child Jesus or to the Historical Jesus or just to the Suffering Jesus or the dead Jesus. All these aspects of our Lord inform my faith and piety, but my relationship is with Christ, the Son of God, the Son of Mary, now reigning in Glory with His Glorified Body, although it has scars to inform me of what it took for Jesus to save us--to become human, to be a baby, to be a child, to be a prophet to be rejected, placed on trial, executed on a cross after hours of suffering that were cosmic hours of suffering not known to any mere mortal is what is at the basis of my Catholic Spirituality and piety.

But the glorified and Risen Christ reigning from above but present in the Holy Spirit and made tangible as through a veil in the Sacraments, that is were my piety and devotion reside as though in a "black hole."

So while I like much of Pope Francis' pre-Vatican II popular devotions and piety, they also make me uncomfortable. I agree with Vatican II that all popular devotions must be situated within the context of the Risen and Glorified Christ reigning as KING in heaven and pointing us in the direction of his Monarchy and Kingdom. 

I'm puzzled by this kind of dripping piety coming from a pope. It's sweet but can lead to tooth decay as being just to sweet:
"Devotion to the Child Jesus can teach us much about our faith.  Although the Gospels tell us little about our Lord’s childhood, we know from experience the message which all newborn babies bring.  By contemplating the Infant Jesus, we come to understand more fully the meaning of his coming among us.  Like every baby, the Infant Jesus cries out for our attention; he asks us to care for and protect him.  Like every baby, he wants us to smile at him, as a sign of our delight in him and our sharing in the mystery of his love.  Finally, he wants us to play with him, to enter into his world and to become like a child ourselves, in order to please him.  In these days of Christmas, let us not only gaze upon the Child Jesus, but also take him into our arms and allow him to give us the joy and freedom born of the Father’s merciful love." --Pope Francis, General Audience, Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Anonymous said...

Well good. Keep up the nonsense and all Novus Ordo parishes will be closed within 20 years. Only faithful Traditional Catholics will be left, because we are the only ones who believe or care about the Catholic Faith. Look at the case of the priest on the hover board during Mass. The laity is clamering for him to come back. That's because they weren't scandalized by his behavior at all, because they don't believe in the the Catholic Faith. Francis can kiss all the statues he wants, that does not excuse his sins of omission (silence regarding Ireland embracing evil), and his manipulation of the synods to try and tolorate adultery and sacraligeous communion. Somebody needs to do something that matters. A cardinal a priest somebody needs to confront Francis to his face in public and call him out on what he is doing. Once we get a pope on the throne who will do what needs to be done the insanity will continue. There is almost nothing left until the complete collapse takes place. I guess when Francis con celebrates Mass with a Lutheran celebrating the anniversary of the Reformation that might be it. But let it happen because nothing will remain hidden. Our Lady will save the Church at the last moment. Francis will die and get the judgement he deserves.

Servimus Unum Deum said...

Really Fr. You just had to use a picture of a Clown Mass? Eeeeeeee .... it's creepy. Definitely irreverent (and maybe makes the Mass invalid in a way? Perhaps at least illicit.)

Sorry to say in my 32 years of Catholicism I've never been part of, or witnessed a Clown mass. Then again being Canadian, that might have not have caught on here, save some select parishes.

Anonymous said...

Run A Muck? Try Run Amock or Run Amuck.

Anonymous said...

For some reason the "clown" Masses occur in Germany and Austria, I never understood the Germanic love of "clown" Masses most disgusting and juvenile from the lands of Mozart and Bach!!

Anonymous said...

@Julian, select parishes

Creepy is exactly the right word.

Be thankful, JB, that you haven't lived here in Victoria, BC. In the 1980s, masses were more frequently clown and big puppet conventions than liturgies, so regular were such events (videos and photos circulate on the net). We've come a long way since those days, but I still bump into people who actually miss those "liturgies".


Anonymous said...

Vatican 2 was not a Council but a revolution. It is well documented that the Preparatory Synod preceding it and the Inst. Laboris for the Council were shredded and burned then replaced with a new agenda that one might even call a Manifesto of Modernity. The Spirit of the Council is alive and well again. The now aged revolutionaries still insist on never ending change, constan questioning long ago settled issues, and on redefining long settled theological concepts such as mercy and justice.

The new man-centered theology foisted on the Church by the false spirit is a heavy dose of bad catechesis that might take another century of spiritual dialysis before the Body of Christ, the Church, can fully recover. Just remember, the Spirit of the Council does not and will not ever "subsist" in the Catholic Church.

Anonymous Jr. said...

Anonymous - Where might we read this "well documented" report of a conspiracy of the "revolution?"

Please cite published, documented sources.

John Nolan said...

Dr Joseph Shaw, Oxford philosopher and Chairman of the Latin Mass Society, has drawn attention to the following passage in Pope Francis's homily for the Feast of the Holy Family:

'Instead of returning home with his family, he stayed in Jerusalem ... For this little "escapade" Jesus probably had to beg forgiveness of his parents. The Gospel doesn't say this, but I believe that we can presume it.'

On the contrary, Luke tells us that Jesus answered his Mother's reproach (Son, why hast thou done so to us? Behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing) with a rebuke: 'How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father's business?'

They didn't know what he was talking about (Et ipsi non intellexerunt verbum, quod locutus est ad eos). But we are told that Mary kept these words in her heart, and in time would come to understand them.

Pope Francis's meditation on the infant Jesus is not out of the ordinary and follows a common pietistic tradition. But to distort the clear meaning of Scripture in order to draw a sentimental analogy with everyday family life (naughty boy runs off, is rebuked and says sorry) is another matter entirely. Apart from anything else, the Holy Family was not 'just like us'. And if Jesus had to 'beg forgiveness' he would have had to acknowledge that he had sinned, and to presume that he was capable of sin is heresy.

'Curiouser and curiouser' would appear to sum up this papacy. Off-the-cuff remarks can be spun; papal sermons cannot.

Gene said...

This Pope is no theologian...and of merely average intelligence. I would not expect too much.

Anonymous said...


Read any history of your choice about the opening days of V-2. From the start, the debate was manipulated by the German, French etc., (Modernist) participants. It is a fact that the agenda prepared for the council was altered during the opening sessions without the changes being approved by 2/3-rd of the participants as required by the council procedures. At the 33rd session of the Council, debate on the sources of revelation, it was proposed that the discussion should be discontinued and the schema entirely redrafted; a vote was taken on November 21; the vote failed to achieve the required 2/3-rd majority.

Nevertheless, John XXIII approved the redrafting of the schema (changing the voting rules at the same time as advocated by the liberals), thus breaking the Council's legal framework by limiting the Council's freedom, moving from a claimed collegial to a monarchical method of proceeding for the remainder of the Council.

Anonymous said...

John Nolan

Thank you for this post as it illustrates a tendency toward de-sacralising salvation history in Modernist theology.

Doodler said...

I thought the (UK) English spelling was AMOK. But our American cousins never did learn to spell correctly!

John Nolan said...


In fairness to our American cousins, some of their spellings make sense; -or in preference to -our aligns nouns such as 'labor' with their Latin originals, and maneuver is more phonetic than manoeuvre. Curb for kerb and tire for tyre do remove important distinctions, and it seems illogical to drop the 'l' from traveller yet insert an extra one in skilful.

US lexicographers when faced with alternatives made a point in choosing the one which was less favoured (favored) by their British counterparts. This was of course the 19th century when the two countries took a perverse delight in antagonizing one another!

It's American pronunciation which flummoxes us Brits. We distinguish between a missal and a missile, and I was once perplexed when an American lecturer kept describing something as feudal; it was some time before I twigged that he meant futile.

I say tomatoes and you say tomatoes ... Happy New Year, everybody. (Emphasis on the noun, not the adjective.)

James Ignatius McAuley said...

Father, Happy New Year! Piety/devotion to the infant child Jesus is not some creation of the medieval world. Rather, it is quite ancient and has ante-Nicene roots. The great Origen documents this devotion in his Homily 15 on the Gospel of Luke. Origen states that we should be like Simeon at the Nunc Dimittis. Origen ends his sermon saying:

"Let us pray to almighty God and let us pray to Jesus himself, the little Child We long to speak to him and hold him in our arms, to whom is glory and power for ages of ages. Amen." Translated by Joseph T. Lienhard, SJ, Catholic University of America Press, Fathers of the Church, volume 94, 1996.