Sunday, May 1, 2016


 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” And Nathanael said unto him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip saith unto him, “Come and see” (John 1:45-46).

While there would certainly be push back in so many places, this is in fact the way for bishops to gain more more discerning the priesthood and ultimately becoming priests. Catholic liberalism is a complete and total failure but so many are in denial about it from the top down.

This is a challenging article but prophetic and the periphery, like Bethlehem, his leading the way!

Why Aren’t Other Dioceses Looking to Lincoln?

(Photo from the 2015 Mass of Ordination in the Diocese of Lincoln, NE)
So often these days we read of the ongoing collapse of Catholicism in the west.  In diocese after diocese we see parishes and schools closing or consolidating, a decline in priests as older clergy pass away at rates higher than new ordinations, and a widespread loss of the next generation to either the secular left or the evangelical right. 

We also read of various plans to counter these trends. Everyone seems to have a program to promote, a new strategy to increase vocations, to increase weekly Mass attendance, to keep teens from fleeing the faith…

However, what’s not as widely known is that we already have a blueprint for success: the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska.  The problem is that few are talking about it.  So let’s fix that.

First, a few facts you might not know about the Diocese of Lincoln: 

According to the Official Catholic Directory and the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), Lincoln, NE is the only diocese in the United States to place in the Top 20 for the ratio of ordinands to population in every survey conducted from 1993-2012.

Despite having a Catholic population of only 97,000, the Lincoln diocese ordained 22 men from 2010-2012.  Only seven diocese in the entire country ordained more.  One of those, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (with a Catholic population over 4.2 million) ordained 34 men during those same three years.  In other words, L.A. only ordained four more men per year on average despite having a population 44X greater than Lincoln.

Bishop James Conley recently noted that, with this year’s class, the diocese will have ordained 17 men to the priesthood in a 24 month span of time; unheard of in this day and age.
As of 2012 the diocese had a total of 150 priests serving 134 parishes.

There is no permanent diaconate program in Lincoln. There are, however, installed acolytes and lectors constituted of lay men.

There are also 33 Catholic schools, including 6 high schools.  One of those high schools, St. Pius X, produced 18 of the 48 men enrolled at St. Gregory the Great Seminary in 2014.

It’s also interesting to note that 96 percent of students attending diocesan schools are Catholic.

Many of the schools are staffed by female religious, of which the Diocese of Lincoln boasts 141 sisters from 14 different orders. Many have priests teaching high school theology and often serving as principals as well.

Having established that Lincoln is a thriving community of Catholicism, seemingly impervious to many of the challenges encountered elsewhere, we now need to look at the secret of their success.

The Lincoln blueprint can be narrowed down to a few foundational elements:

Orthodox Bishops
Against all odds and the prevailing winds of the post-conciliar Church, Lincoln has avoided the craziness and irreverence that has afflicted so many other dioceses. This has largely been achieved through the stability and orthodoxy provided over the last fifty years by three men: Bishop Glennon Flavin (1967-1992), Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz (1992-2012), and Bishop James Conley (2012-present). They succeeded despite the occasional scorn of their brother bishops, and by making the Church’s perennial priorities their own.
The National Catholic Reporter (known as the Fishwrap to Fr. Z readers) once bemoaned that it was as if the “reforms” so prevalent in the aftermath of Vatican II had missed Lincoln altogether. Exactly.

The Male Only Sanctuary
Several things immediately differentiate Lincoln from nearly every other diocese in the country when it comes to the sacred liturgy.
To a large extent, Lincoln has preserved a male only sanctuary. In this area the diocese has simply given more weight to tradition and common sense instead of “modern sensibilities” that are more secular minded.

The diocese remains the only one in the country to maintain an altar serving policy of boys only. As I have written about before, this is in direct recognition of what Rome itself acknowledged back in 1994:
The Holy See wishes to recall that it will always be very appropriate to follow the noble tradition of having boys serve at the altar. As is well known, this has led to a reassuring development of priestly vocations. Thus the obligation to support such groups of altar boys will always continue.
Lincoln also utilizes installed acolytes and lectors for the Holy Mass. Since it is an instituted ministry, the role of an acolyte is only open to men. Both of these instituted ministries commenced during Bishop Flavin’s time during the 1970’s.

As an example, a parish with 1,200 or so families could have as many as 30-40 acolytes. They function mainly in a capacity to serve during Mass, often much like an altar boy or deacon: they turn the missal pages for the priest, carry the processional cross, distribute communion, handle the thurifer for incensing, and so on.

These acolytes are utilized on an as needed basis and are not viewed as simply another way to increase lay participation. An average Sunday mass with 800 people would typically have only 2 main acolytes and 3 more assist the extra priest to distribute Holy Communion. It’s also interesting to note that the faithful only receive under one species in Lincoln, foregoing the need to double the number of acolytes. This is of course in stark contrast to most dioceses that make ordinary use of

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, to the point of abusing the intention set forth by Rome.
As stated previously, Lincoln also utilizes installed lectors for most Sunday Masses. Back in the early 1980’s Bishop Rembert Weakland (the progressive homosexual prelate of Milwaukee at the time) publicly chastised Bishop Flavin of Lincoln for not embracing the innovation of female readers for Mass. While Flavin’s successor Bishop Bruskewitz would eventually acquiesce and permit their use in the diocese, female readers are still more commonly utilized for daily masses and school masses, with lectors more prevalent for Sunday’s and holy days of obligation.

Tradition Friendly
Those in Lincoln will speak of the lack of Catholic tribalism and the absence of the liturgical wars so prevalent in other dioceses. In large part this is due to the environment established by Lincoln’s bishops. Reverent Novus Ordo liturgies have served the faithful well, preventing the frustration that so many encounter in other dioceses.

However, Lincoln has also avoided the hostility toward tradition that so often defines the traditionalists experience elsewhere. Back in the 1990’s then Bishop Bruskewitz invited the newly established Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) to the diocese to establish a North American seminary, Our Lady of Guadalupe in Denton, NE. The Fraternity exclusively celebrates Mass in the Extraordinary Form and adheres to the liturgical books in use in 1962.

Presently there are about 7 or so diocesan priests who offer the Traditional Latin Mass; however, more are learning it. The rector at the diocesan seminary (St. Gregory the Great) offers it to the seminarians once a month.

This is probably one of the more interesting sides of Lincoln. The Latin Mass community is not very large in Lincoln. Because the diocese has historically been so conservative there has never been a great battle cry from traditionalists for the exclusive return of the Latin Mass. Many within the community can even be seen at various Novus Ordo parishes participating fully within the liturgy .

The number of priests learning the old Mass is on the rise, though mainly among the younger priests (of which there are many). Most of the older priests will delegate it to the FSSP priests in the diocese at the seminary or to St. Francis’ parish. Bishops Bruskewitz, Conley and Robert Finn (formerly of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph) all offer it regularly in the diocese.

Lincoln’s diocesan priests and the FSSP priests have an excellent relationship, and it is only getting better. St. Gregory the Great diocesan seminarians have gone to Our Lady of Guadalupe, and vice versa, for evenings of prayer and fraternity and for vespers in both the old and new rites.

Liturgical Continuity
As stated previously, the Lincoln diocese has intentionally avoided the modern tendency to clericalize the laity by delegating liturgical roles to the faithful. Thanks to its use of acolytes and lectors, instead of the more common excessive use of readers and EMHC’s, the diocese has not blurred the lines between ministers and laity, or between sanctuary and nave. It’s obvious to see how this would reinforce the ministerial priesthood in Lincoln, as well as the continuity between both forms of the Roman Rite.

Proper liturgical orientation has been further reinforced through the manner in which many masses are offered in Lincoln: with the priest facing toward the liturgical east, or Ad Orientem.

As I have written about before, the last two years Bishop Conley has offered all Sunday masses Ad Orientem during Advent. Further, he has publicly encouraged the priests of his diocese to do the same. From what I have been told, about 40% of parishes chose to follow his lead. For many, however, this was not anything new, as most large diocesan masses are already being offered Ad Orientem.

A Catholic Education
While I have saved this for last, in many ways education is the primary ingredient to Lincoln’s recipe for success. Bishop Glennon Flavin’s vision for a diocese that allowed its children to go to Catholic school at an affordable cost and to be taught authentic Catholicism by religious sisters and priests is integral to the diocesan mission.

While Lincoln’s Catholic population is less than 100,000, they have provided the faithful with 27 elementary schools and 6 high schools to educate the next generation. More importantly, most diocesan schools have at least 1-2 habited sisters and all Catholic schools are staffed by at least one priest.

As noted earlier, high school theology classes are only taught by priests and religious sisters. For example, the Catholic high school in Lincoln, Pius X, has over 1200 students and is staffed by 4 religious sisters (in traditional religious habits) and 15 priests who always wear their clerics. Each newly ordained priest can expect to teach high school for at least 5 years. Priests who are assigned to parishes in smaller towns with a Catholic high school are still expected to teach as well.

Unlike other dioceses which require school masses only once a week, or in some cases once a month, each grade school in the Diocese of Lincoln is required to offer daily mass for the entire school each day.

However, there may be no better example of Lincoln’s commitment to the future than the fact that it’s diocesan schools have some of the lowest tuition costs in the entire country. As an example, St. Teresa’s Catholic School in town has an annual tuition cost of only $100 per student, and yet it is a thriving school with a habited sister as principal.

As one local explained, “These good, solid, Catholic schools are the roots of the diocese and continue to pump out religious vocations and plain good Catholics, thanks to the work of our clergy, diocesan staff, and laity.”

Why Aren’t Other Dioceses Looking to Lincoln?
Why more dioceses aren’t looking to incorporate the Lincoln model is a mystery. It is easy to see how some might dismiss it, however.

Lincoln is a rural diocese. It’s exceptionally high number of religious sisters help to reduce tuition costs for schools. The relatively small size of the Catholic population creates an insulated environment unlike that found in such diverse and populous areas as Los Angeles, Chicago, or New York.

Of course there may be other reasons why the Lincoln blueprint is apparently being ignored.

No doubt many bishops, priests, and lay faithful would rather forgo a boom in vocations if it means having to reestablish clear divisions between the nave and the sanctuary, or ending such post-conciliar innovations as altar girls or Extraordinary Ministers. The secular push for egalitarianism has been enthusiastically embraced by most bishops these past few decades. It would seem that either pride, or fear, or an agenda that is not exclusively focused on saving souls, is keeping many from reversing course. Or maybe some dioceses simply don’t want orthodox Catholicism.

We can only hope and pray that more of those within the Church hierarchy humbly and attentively look to Lincoln for some answers. There is a blueprint for rebuilding a vibrant Church, an authentic and thriving Catholicism.

Look to Lincoln.

(I would like to thank Tanner Lockhorn of Lincoln, NE for his assistance and significant contribution to this post. Tanner is a life long resident of Lincoln and a graduate of St. Pius X High School).


TJM said...

because the progressives in the Church do not want to admit their policies have been an abject failure. Of course, if their goal was to destroy the all male, celibate, priesthood, they've been wildly successful!

George said...

When Christ arose on that Easter morn
He brought to the world and He gave to the world,
His Divine Mercy, by which He is solicitous to us
His Divine Love, by which He acts toward us
His Divine Grace, by which He sanctifies us
His Divine Light, by which enlightens us
His Divine priesthood, so that we could partake of His sacrifice
His Glorified humanity, so that those found worthy could be glorified
His Divine Humility, being the Lamb of God.
His Divine Generosity, giving us a share in His Divine life

John Nolan said...

It also shows (not surprisingly) that in the USA diocesan bishops have more autonomy whereas in England and Wales, much smaller both in geographical area and in the number of Catholics, bishops have to be in lockstep with the Bishops' Conference.

Anonymous said...

Lincoln has always been an orthodox diocese and I for one appreciate the MALE only altar boys, even though the bishop gets slammed by leftist Catholics as being anti-female. On a side note, I love Bishop Finn who is a great friend of the TLM and brought in the Traditional order of nuns who celebrate the Mass of 1962 only. He was destroyed and pushed out of his diocese by leftists who hated his guts and the TLM on trumped up charges, God bless Bishop Finn.

Mark Thomas said...

Living In Lincoln

A Beautiful Catholic Culture

By Georgeanne Rashilla


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Father McDonald, here is an additional post from Liturgy Guy.

Return of the Seminarians

The post, which includes statistics, discussed several dioceses in the United States blessed with surges in vocations to the priesthood.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...


Why the church needs girl altar servers


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

"Why Aren’t Other Dioceses Looking to Lincoln?"

Because they are looking to Rome, which has authorized everything from altar girls to, women readers (at Papal Masses)...and now, the washing of women's feet on Holy Thursday.

"The Male Only Sanctuary"

"Several things immediately differentiate Lincoln from nearly every other diocese in the country when it comes to the sacred liturgy. To a large extent, Lincoln has preserved a male only sanctuary. In this area the diocese has simply given more weight to tradition and common sense instead of “modern sensibilities” that are more secular minded."

Do not tell that to Rome. Altar girls, women readers, EMs (one woman after another), women's feet washed on Holy Thursday...all authorized by Rome.

Why should bishops "look to the Cathedral" in regard to Lincoln, Nebraska, as compared to the top model in liturgy, Rome, which support feminized liturgy? Do not tell Rome that ideal liturgy should exclude women from the Sanctuary. Rome teaches the opposite. The bottom line is that the collapse of the Roman Liturgy began in Rome.

Rome could repair the Roman Liturgy. Unfortunately, the latest liturgical "reform" from Rome, which His Holiness Pope Francis promoted from the beginning of his Pontificate, is the legalization of the liturgical abuse that permits the washing of women's feet during Holy Thursday Masses.

Why should a bishop de-feminize the Mass when Pope Francis (his immediate predecessors did the same) promotes the feminization of the Mass? Bishops look to Rome, not Lincoln, Nebraska.

Therefore, let us be honest enough to acknowledge where the problem of the collapse of the Roman Mass and Catholic identity begins and ends.

Incredibly, for guidance to restore the Roman Liturgy and Catholic identity, it is Pope Francis (or a future Pope) who must look to Lincoln, Nebraska.


Mark Thomas

George said...

Mark Thomas:

I went to the link you provided in your comment -

Here is how the author summed it up:

"Finally, we cannot be surprised by what we find where vocations are abundant. Faithful families. Strong orthodoxy. Beautiful liturgy, often in the Extraordinary Form. In many cases, the venerable practice of male only altar servers, specifically for the purpose of fostering vocations. And always we find people of prayer."

Robert Kumpel said...

Why don't more dioceses look to Lincoln. We already know the answer: The Progressives in charge of so many chanceries would rather see a church without a priesthood than let their dioceses become more traditional. It's really quite sad (and sick) that they would rather see the Church die than return to orthodoxy.

TJM said...

The Archdiocese of Chicago is now run by a left-wing loon (both religiously and politically). I no longer contribute money to the Archdiocese, just orthodox parishes and orders

Mark Thomas said...

George, Liturgy Guy's summation needs to be read and adopted by Rome. Unfortunately, Rome continues to add novelties to the Mass and promotes the feminization of the Mass. Pope Francis accomplished both tasks recently via one decision when he legitimized the washing-of-women's-feet-during-Holy-Thursday-Mass novelty/liturgical abuse.

Cardinal O'Malley presented himself to a Methodist priestess to be anointed and blessed. Archbishop Cupich has presented the "old" Latin liturgical tradition as a disaster for the Church. He favors feminized liturgies and "modern" church architecture.

Here is altar server Beth Knobbe's report on her experience at having served at Archbishop Cupich's Installation Mass in Chicago. Her comments about and photographs from that Mass, which, by the way, include Cardinal O'Malley, tell us all that we need to know about the collective liturgical vision of leading Churchmen who, of course, have been favored by His Holiness Pope Francis.

There is z-e-r-o chance that Liturgy Guy's insightful comments about priestly vocations as well as the wonderful situation in Lincoln, Nebraska, would be taken to heart by the majority of our bishops. Zero chance. That isn't doom and gloom. That is just reality.

From Rome on down, the prevailing mentality throughout the Latin Church is to continue full-steam ahead with the program to feminize the Mass as well as imbue the Mass was novelties. Again, that isn't gloom, doom and negativity on my part. That is just the simple reporting of facts.

There is no way that Pope Francis and the majority of Latin Church bishops would ever adopt the Diocese of Lincoln's vision of liturgy and promotion of Catholic identity.


Mark Thomas

Jusadbellum said...

As much as I esteem our host and the erudite Fr. K, the male-only sanctuary thing is always considered impossible if not morally wrong. Not argued to be impossible or wrong mind you, just asserted to be so.

In doing so, we cede to the general culture way too much initiative and direction. See, since the post-Christian west is going full bore radical feminism, radical 'egalitarian', praising to the skies any and all sexual deviancy as not just equal to us but super-duper-special, endowed not just with federally protected status but affirmative action to too, our Church ought to 'get with the times' (i.e. the OPINIONS of other people outside our faith!!!) rather than hold to our own 'times' and change this wider culture.

So if the wider culture goes Socialist -by Jove, we must start talking up all the politically correct talking points. If the broader culture (i.e. post-Christian elites) call for open borders...then we must make that our de fide position too!

If the Progressive left calls for a disarmed civilian population, then we must agitate for civilian disarmament as somehow being part and parcel of our Catholicism. If the Progressive left calls for declaring LGBTQ people to be both healthy and sane in their behaviors and ideations, (despite all the evidence to the contrary) then we as a Church must absolutely parrot their party line and tell people how awesomely awesome active homosexuals are and how we must do all we can to 'make them feel welcome and appreciated'....while simultaneously not caring at all how anyone ELSE feels welcome or, oh, say, straight men.

It's so dispiriting to realize that in a male-only sanctuary you will get men involved AND women....but in a 90% feminized sanctuary (*lector, server, cantor, EM all women) you'll get FEWER women AND NO or far fewer men!

Lincoln is not some zone empty of women - it's full of women and fruitful besides.

Seek first the Kingdom and all the rest of it follows. Instead we doubted ourselves and looked to 'THE TIMES' (i.e. what the non-Catholic western elites happen to desire at any given time) for direction and look where it's gotten us.

The depressing thing is, the 'elite' are neither intellectually nor morally superior to us but we trip over ourselves to grovel and placate their whims.

Mark Thomas said...

Anonymous TJM said..."The Archdiocese of Chicago is now run by a left-wing loon (both religiously and politically). I no longer contribute money to the Archdiocese, just orthodox parishes and orders ."

I didn't have much knowledge of Archbishop Cupich prior to the news that he was promoted to Archbishop. I then found on the Diocese of Spokane's Web site that in 2011 A.D., then-Bishop Cupich had written and posted a three-part series entitled The New Roman Missal: A Time of Renewal.

I was horrified at what I had read. (More like "A Time of Revolution.) Archbishop Cupich's vision of liturgy is simply "more of the same" in regard to the liturgical revolution that has wrecked the Mass and Catholic identity.

Archbishop Cupich believes that the "old" Latin Mass was dreadful...was incomprehensible to the people...the rites of the TLM belong to long ago time to which today's Catholics are unable to relate (supposedly)...the TLM inspired church architecture (such as altar rails) that kept people far from the altar and impeded "full and active participation" at Mass.

In short, the more liturgical wreckovation, the better for Archbishop Cupich.

I don't have any doubt that Archbishop Cupich believes that his vision of liturgy and the Church's future is best for Holy Mother Church. I believe that he thinks and acts as he does in good will. I don't believe for a second that he desires to harm Holy Mother Church.

Bishop Cupich is a typical "raze the bastions of the Church" bishop. That is, he acts in good faith. He believes that the "old" Church and Her ways may have sufficed decades and centuries ago, but are obsolete today. He is convinced that he is on the right track.

Unfortunately, Archbishop Cupich will run the Archdiocese of Chicago into the ground. Actually, Novus Ordoism had long ago weakened the Church in Chicago. But Archbishop Cupich will grind whatever remains of the Archdiocese.

That is a given as that is the only result possible with a "raze the bastions of the Church"-type bishop (and they are legion within the Latin Church).

Good luck attempting to interest Archbishop Cupich in the Diocese of Lincoln's vision of the Church.


Mark Thomas

TJM said...

Mark Thomas,

Archbishop Cupich lacks introspection. Only the brain dead could look at the Sunday Mass attendance statistics pre-Council and post-Council, and see "progress" or "renewal." From that, one could infer that he is acting in bad faith and not for the good of the Faithful. Fortunately his ilk are dying off and the Church will have a renaissance once the younger clergy comes into their own.

Anonymous said...

A this-says-it-all money quote from Beth Knobbe's account of her serving at Ab. Cupich's installation Mass:

At the sign of peace, we turned to greet those around us. One of the bishops, sitting in the area near us, walked over and said, “I’ve never seen altar servers SMILE for the entire liturgy!”

Mark Thomas said...

"The New Roman Missal: A Time of Renewal - Part One: Where It All Began"

by Bishop Blase J. Cupich (From the Aug. 18, 2011 edition of the Inland Register)

Excerpts from Part I:

"The reform of the liturgy thus became the means to more fully express, build up and sustain the Church as a community of faith for its own benefit and as a witness of human solidarity for the world."

"Perhaps the most noticeable result of this new emphasis on the communal nature of the Church and its witness of solidarity came with the development of new designs by Church architects.

"Their plans for renovations and new churches gave greater attention to the needs of the assembly as it gathered and worshiped as the Body of Christ."

"In particular, the design and location of the altar was changed to reflect this. Once distanced from the people and in an area off-limits to them, the altar was now to be designed and situated so that people could understand that at Mass, Christ takes the initiative. He, in the symbol of the altar, gathers the people around as members of His Body to join in His offering of praise to the Father."

"...Catholics were encouraged to gather with our “separated brothers and sisters” in prayer and non-Eucharistic forms of worship. In this new ecumenical environment, various liturgical reforms considered at the Council of Trent but rejected lest they be interpreted as a compromise to those attacking the Church (e.g., Communion from the cup and Mass in the vernacular), could now be reassessed on their own merits."

"The goal of reinvigorating the faith lives of Catholics, however, could only begin by reconnecting the spiritual lives of people to the liturgy."

"Over the centuries, a split developed in this regard. Literally and figuratively, the laity became distanced from the public worship of the Church."

"The rites were in a language unknown to most."

"The accumulation of ritual actions, many of which had their origins in the royal courts of Europe, made the meaning of rites even less accessible to the common person."

*******"The people were reduced to passive attendance as silent spectators.*******

"As a result, the sacramental life of the Church was no longer, at least in practice, the primary source of nourishment for the spiritual life of people."

"In view of this, it is not surprising that the bishops called for a renewal of the liturgical life of the Church that would lead to the ******* full, active and conscious participation of the faithful."*******

"This would require both reform and restoration. The reform began with the call for a return to the noble simplicity of the Roman rite. Those features that had crept in over time had to be removed so that the rites would be short, clear, not weighed down by useless repetitions."

*******"The aim was to make sure that ordinary people could understand what is going on without much explanation."*******

"This restoration came in a variety of ways: the revival of Holy Week services, the Rites of Christian Initiation and the Easter Vigil, the reestablishment of the Liturgy of the Word with a greater selection of Scripture readings, the return of ministries by the laity at Mass."

"These forms and aspects of the Roman rite served the Church well over the ages as a perennial source of nourishment for the spiritual lives of believers and needed to be restored."

*******"As a result, when the renewal as reform and restoration took place, the Church was able to honestly say that the reformed Mass was both a witness to an unbroken tradition of the Roman rite and an improvement on the former one."*******


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Archbishop Cupich's understanding of the liturgical reform and the shape of the Latin Church is right here in then-Bishop Cupich's 3-part article entitled The New Roman Missal: A Time of Renewal, 2011 A.D.

The notion that our bishops would ever adopt the Diocese of Lincoln's approach to liturgy is a pipe-dream as long as Rome provides enormous power to such men as Archbishop Cupich.

Part I:

Part II:

Part III:


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Not that anybody would be interested in the following, no, not at all, but Cardinal Brandmüller has spoken about Amoris Laetitia.

Cardinal Brandmüller declared that footnote 351 does not change the Church's teaching on Communion for divorced and "remarried" Catholics. He said that footnote 351 must be interpreted according to the Church's constant teaching, which, in turn, he said cannot possibly contradict itself.


Mark Thomas

TJM said...

Mark Thomas,

Thanks for providing "Archbishop" Cupich's false teaching. He must think we're all simpleton's if he thinks we are buying the bilge he is selling.

Jusadbellum said...

Yep, those who come up with convoluted theories to explain modern architecture and the modern mass and how it's all supposed to 'draw people in' are fools. Perhaps well intentioned, but fools to not realize that their theories were baseless, were entirely premised on an a-historical vision of humanity and human nature.

The reason the Gothic and cruciform high altar with tabernacle front and center 'works' every time it's tried no matter the culture, is due entirely to our common human nature. It's why the theme song to Star Wars doesn't need to be changed when shown to audiences in South America, Africa or Asia.... there are certain knowable laws of communication that are universally appreciated.

Certain chords of music will evoke predictable emotions and certain materials and forms of architecture AND POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE will likewise evoke certain emotions from any group of people regardless of their culture.

Drums and brass instruments are universally known for the martial air they deliver... polyphony likewise is universally capable of moving audiences as the score of the Lord of the Rings proves beyond all doubt.... (people singing in a made up language of "old Elvin" can in fact move emotions the world round.

And the tragic thing is, Catholics USED to know all this thanks to anthropology and sane philosophy.... but then the various religious congregations were infiltrated by communists and modernists and got into the whole LGBTQ end of Western civ movement and dumbed everything down starting with the liturgy and architecture and proceeding through Catholic education until we arrive at today's news of a Catholic university calling the POLICE to investigate "a hate crime" because someone affirmed Catholic (and human) teaching that there are but 2 genders: male and female.

Pax said...

Mark Thomas talks way way way WAY too much...

Mark Thomas said...

TJM, the horrific thing is that Archbishop Cupich is not a "radical", anti-Holy-Tradition, out-of-touch-with-the-majority-of-the-episcopate Archbishop. He simply espouses the party line in regard to liturgy. He is truly a mainstream bishop (Archbishop).

Yes, Archbishop Cupich is anti-Holy Tradition. But that is what makes him mainstream. That is what he has in common with a great many Latin Church bishops.
His fierce opposition to Latin Masses, male-only Sanctuaries, beautiful churches, altar rails and TLM-inspired church architecture, ad orientem worship...Holy Tradition...represents mainstream thinking within the Latin Church.

Incredibly, the Diocese of Lincoln, which promotes many aspects of Holy Tradition,
Pax, is out of touch with mainstream Latin Church thinking. However, that is good news as that has permitted the Church in Lincoln to enjoy tremendous liturgical and spiritual success. The lesson to be grasped is that the avoidance of Rome-approved novelties promotes holy success.

The bottom line: Adhere to Holy Tradition and holy success with follow.


Mark Thomas

Robert Kumpel said...

The Diocese of Lincoln is the way it is because of the leadership of one of the best bishops America ever had, Fabian Bruskewitz. I won't bother mentioning names, but suffice to say, the majority of bishops today couldn't carry his shoes if you handed them a wheelbarrow.

Anonymous said...

Please remember years ago when Cupich was Bishop of Rapid City South Dakota, he "locked" out the parishioner's of the Latin Mass community on Easter. Cupich is a very very big liberal and yes folks he distains the Traditional Latin Mass don't forget it. And as a Croatian myself it makes me ill that Cupich is a Croatian and that he is an Archbishop of Chicago. The Mass of all times must return to its proper place in the Church once and for all.

gob said...

No news is probably good news... Are you bailing out on this blog thing? Wouldn't be a bad idea....

Jusadbellum said...

No one is as blind as the man who will not see what's right in front of them.

Take for example the recent symposium on eliminating the Just War doctrine recently held in Rome. The Church has been down this road before, explicitly outlawing all intra-state warfare in the 9th century in the "Peace of God" movement. It didn't work. So then they settled for the "truce of God" theory. It didn't work. So then they went to the Crusades for the next 400 years and whenever the Church mandates were actually followed the various crusader armies won. It was that fervor that led to Spain conquering the New World and bringing its entire civilization to central and South America built around the faith. It was Spain that introduced Christianity to Asia as well.....

But now modern era would-be "peacemakers" think outlawing war is going to make the world more peaceful?

Then we have various African prelates calling for civilian disarmament as though that will end the cycle of violence which is largely caused by rouge governments and guerilla armies as well as armed bandits. It's not the civilians with guns that cause genocides, civil wars, and atrocities.

Note what the good cardinal wants: armed police escorts. Men with guns to guard his person. What makes a gunman magically good at defense? A badge?

The problem with much of the so-called "liberal" progressive socialist world both in and out of the Church is that their policy preferences, their pastoral and doctrinal theories are completely a-historic and baseless. They've been failures EVERY time they've ever been tried.

But the fools keep trying, oblivious to the harm to countless civilians and believers.

Anonymous said...

"The Diocese of Lincoln is the way it is because of the leadership of one of the best bishops America ever had, Fabian Bruskewitz."

I once found myself in an elevator with Bp. Bruskewitz and, in answer to a question I asked, he replied that "As the Bishop of Lincoln, I have no more, and likely less influence on what the USCCB does, than do you as a layman." I inferred from a subsequent remark that the bishops conference is controlled not by the majority of U.S. bishops, but by a tiny liberal elite and the Washington staff.

TJM said...

Cupich, So pastoral, so caring. If it had been a group of gays, he would have been there himself to open the doors wide!

TJM said...

gob, you could do us a favor and bail out on the commenting thing you do on this blog!

Rood Screen said...

Father McDonald,

I hope you are going to continue your blog. We eagerly await each day's post!

Jusadbellum said...

gob, don't listen to TJM.

The world would be a less colorful place without your input.

Who wants a blog where everyone always agrees? Where's the fun if there's no controversy, no disagreement, no "diversity" of view points? The annoyance is well worth it to have a worthy sparing partner.

TJM said...


Please explain how this is colorful or useful?

Anonymous gob said...
No news is probably good news... Are you bailing out on this blog thing? Wouldn't be a bad idea....

May 4, 2016 at 8:47 AM

Agnes said...

Jusabellum said, 'Who wants a blog where everyone always agrees? Where's the fun if there's no controversy, no disagreement, no "diversity" of view points? The annoyance is well worth it to have a worthy sparing partner.'

I used to spar in college. When you were sparring with someone your level or higher it was a lot of fun. When you were sparring with someone at a lower level than yourself it became tedious very quickly. Too many quick jabs and no real follow-through don't make for a worthy opponent.

Anonymous said...

I would be interested to know how much this diocese has grown over the years...97,000 seems a pretty small number compared to much bigger dioceses around the country such as Atlanta, Boston and Chicago. Nebraska is a traditionally conservative, overwhelmingly white and still pretty rural state---only once has it voted Democratic for president since the 1950s (that being the 1964 LBJ landslide)...think this diocese has always been perceived as a far-right enclave, so I think some of the things they do (like communion in one species) would be a hard sell in other areas. It is easy being a hard-liner in a place like Lincoln, but like climbing Mt. Everest in larger, more liberal and diverse dioceses.

Rood Screen said...


What do race, geography or politics have to do with liturgical reverence or priestly vocations? I'm not saying there is no connection, but there's no connection that's obvious to me.

Anonymous said...

Dialogue, oh it is an obvious connection to me. We're talking about a state with a mostly homogenous population, still very rural and elderly---you know the old story, older persons tend to be more conservative than younger ones. There is no large city in Nebraska with countless white liberals, liberal academia, etc. It is easy to promote a Lincoln-like ambience in a situation like that---try doing so in Gotham when you have to deal with the Godless New York times, politically-correct higher education, rampant secularlism. In other words, it is easier to have unity---whether liturgical or otherwise---in a smaller population than in a larger one with a number of often hostile interests.

Some things I like about that diocese, like Mass facing the East, while others I do not, like communion in one species and no permanent deacons. In our Atlanta diocese (or rather Archdiocese), communion in both species and the permanent diaconate have been part of our lives for years---I don't see that changing, nor would I want to.

Katie said...

A few key pieces that make this work, and could make it work in any diocese:
1) Emphasis on Catholic elementary education - it is absolutely critical that children receive a solid Catholic education untainted by secular relativism in their formative years when the conscience is being developed. They must be taught in accordance to the magisterium, where sin is sin, and foregiveness and redemption are a constant journey.
2) Notice the age of the children being confirmed, young teens, not the 17-18 year olds of the 'progressive diocese, including my own. Our children need the Holy Spirit prior to puberty, not after.
3) Traditional Latin Mass - whether the Mass is in Latin or English, the words of the traditional Mass are focused on God, not self, and that is an important distinction