Wednesday, May 31, 2017


In fact, I emailed a friend about my feelings, that it was either Pope Francis' paving the way for his resignation, or a word of warning veiled in a homily to Pope Benedict who seems to be more vocal than before and more concerned than before and advocating a two-pronged papacy, contemplative that He is and active as Pope Francis is.

Pope Francis is known for using his daily homilies for personal therapy and as a weapon against those who oppose him, like the rigid doctors of the law (and everyone knows who His Holiness means!)

And the rumors confirm my feelings as Philip Lawler indicates.

The Pope’s enigmatic words on resignation

By Phil Lawler  May 31, 2017
In his homily at Mass on Wednesday morning, commenting on St. Paul’s farewell to the Church at Ephesus, Pope Francis said:
A shepherd must be ready to step down completely from his church, rather than leave in a partial manner….
All shepherds have to step down. There comes a moment where the Lord says ‘go to another place, come here, go there, come to me.’ And it’s one of the steps that a shepherd must take; be prepared to step down in the correct way, not still hanging on to his position. The shepherd who doesn’t learn how to do this because he still has some links with his sheep that are not good, links that are not purified by the Cross of Jesus.
The homily as a whole focused on the role of a bishop, with the Pope insisting that a bishop must recognize that he is not “the center of history,” but a servant of his people and their Lord. Still those words about stepping down—and the emphasis on stepping down completely—caught the attention of many Vatican-watchers. Was Pope Francis speaking in general terms about the proper duties of bishops and pastors? Or did he have something more specific in mind?

If the latter, was he hinting that he might be considering resignation?

Or was he sending an oblique message to Benedict XVI, who seemed to be breaking his silence last week?

I don’t have the answers. But I am not alone in raising the questions.


In the 1970's it was the radical Catholics who had a passion for the social issues confronting the world as it concerns the poor, marginalize and their causes such as just wages, liberation of women and feeding the poor. Their liturgies were heterodox and extremely horizontal to symbolize their social work at the peripheries of society.

But is this true of the pre-Vatican II Church? Did we give a flip for the poor and marginalized back then?

Most certainly we did and the vertical Liturgy supported this Catholic Action apostolate.  The poor were taken care of in spectacular ways by religious orders in long, habits---the active religious of the day.

They founded orphanages, soup kitchens, built hospitals and located Catholic schools in some of the poorest neighborhoods.

Think of Dorothy Day, by all accounts a liberal progressive of her day for her concern for the poor and marginalized, who loved the Tridentine Mass and was not pleased by the spirit of Vatican II renewal of it when she first experienced it.

My former parish of the Church of the Most Holy Trinity was an amalgamation of three downtown parishes in Augusta into one.

One of the parishes closed and amalgamated into it was the former Immaculate Conception Church and School in the poorest neighborhood of Augusta which was founded in 1912 by the Holy Ghost Fathers who staffed the Church and the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception who staffed the school.

In that period from approximately 1912 to the closing of the parish in 1971, scores of Protestant African Americans where educated at a minimal cost by these Sisters and priests. Many of them were evangelized into the Catholic Faith not only by the superior education they received from First Grade to the 12th grade, but the the Tridentine Mass they attended as children. These African Americans loved the Tridentine Mass and many of them, like Dorothy Day, were not please by the changes in the Mass according to the spirit of Vatican II renewal and were aghast when they were told they needed to have their Protestantism of their former days dragged into the music of the Mass-Gospel Music and Gospel Masses.

I would dare say, we had more African Americans becoming Catholic prior to Vatican II than today especially in the south and in my Diocese. It is negligible today.

What was it that these pre-Vatican II African Americans loved about the Catholic Church that motivated them to answer God's call to become Catholics? It was a combination of the horizontal in our Catholic schools at the time and the vertical in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with its Latin, Gregorain Chant and incense.

It was about religious priests and sisters in long habits and all the customs of the Catholic Church prior to Vatican II--most now, completely gone with the wind as are African American Catholics.


I report; you decide!

Just Who is the center of salvation history in this Ordinary Form Mass?

(Saint) Paul states: “I do not consider my life in any way precious.” (Pope)Francis adds, he is  “not the center of history, whether it is a great or a small history” he is “a servant”. 

The Pontiff quotes a popular saying: “As you live, you die; as you live, you will leave” , Saint Paul leaves with a “freedom without compromises” and is still and always on the way, until the end of the mission God has entrusted to him on earth. This is how “a pastor dismisses himself” the Pope exclaims.  

Francis then invokes: “With this beautiful example, let’s pray for the shepherds, our shepherds, the parish priests, the bishops, the Pope, for their lives be without compromises, a life on the way, and a life where they – he concludes - do not believe being the center of history and thus learn how to dismiss themselves”. 

My comment: What better way to symbolize a cleric's desire not believing he is the center of history or the liturgy and thus is dismissive of himself by celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass ad orientem?

Let us thank Pope Francis for this brilliant insight against liturgical clericalism!


Even the writer of this report has a last name that captures my sentiments completely, with all the animal goings-on in the Coastal Empire and Low Country. Yikes! I am filled with angst!


Volunteers return 400-pound sea turtle to Atlantic Ocean

A sea turtle, missing its left rear flipper, was found Tuesday nearly a mile behind a dune, stuck in vegetation on Hilton Head Island.

Two volunteers with the Sea Turtle Protection Project were able to move the 400-pound turtle back into the ocean.

Similar to most mornings, two Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Protection Project volunteers were walking down the beach looking for tracks on Tuesday, when they discovered one turtle had made only a single set of tracks overnight.

“That usually indicates the mother is still out there (on the beach),” said Leigh West, who was on patrol with Holly Feltner.

The two volunteers went over the sand dune at the back of the beach near Sonesta Resort and found the nesting female sea turtle lying in the vegetation.
The turtle had walked nearly a mile behind the dune trying to find her way back to the ocean, according to West.

“(The sea turtle) had extended so much energy walking behind the dune that it didn’t have enough energy to get back into the water,” West said.

The turtle was also missing its left rear flipper, which probably made it difficult to crawl the distance back to the ocean, West said.

With the help of two lifeguards from Hilton Head Island Shore Beach Services, the group was able to release the 400-pound turtle back into the ocean by carrying, pushing and letting it crawl on its own back to the water.

Once they were able to get the turtle to the surf zone, it swam away into the ocean, West said.
According to Amber Kuehn, manager of the Sea Turtle Protection Project, one or two nesting sea turtles get disoriented each season and crawl farther up the beach instead of returning to the ocean.

In 2012, she noted, one sea turtle was found in the swimming pool of Port Royal Plantation, and firefighters had to carry it back to the water.

The public can help to limit the disorientation of sea turtles during the nesting season by turning off lights near the beach at night, filling in holes in the sand and breaking down sandcastles.
Maggie Angst


Ten Elements of Renewal
Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Astana, Kazakhstan, offered these 10 points of implementation which he views as fundamental for liturgical renewal. Why would there be opposition to this hermeneutical method of implementing Vatican II Liturgical renewal?
1. The tabernacle, where Jesus Christ, the Incarnate God, is really present under the species of bread should be placed in the center of the sanctuary, because in no other sign on this earth is God, the Emmanuel, so really present and so near to man as in the tabernacle. The tabernacle is the sign indicating and containing the Real Presence of Christ and should therefore be closer to the altar and constitute with the altar the one central sign indicating the Eucharistic mystery. The Sacrament of the Tabernacle and the Sacrifice of the Altar should therefore not be opposed or separated, but both in the central place and close together in the sanctuary. All the attention of those who enter a church should spontaneously be directed towards the tabernacle and the altar.
2. During the Eucharistic liturgy – at the very least during the Eucharistic prayer – when Christ the Lamb of God is immolated, the face of the priest should not be seen by the faithful. Even the Seraphim cover their faces (Isaiah 6:2) when adoring God. Instead, the face of the priest should be turned toward the cross, the icon of the crucified God.
3. During the liturgy, there should be more signs of adoration — specifically genuflections — especially each time the priest touches the consecrated host.
4. The faithful approaching to receive the Lamb of God in Holy Communion should greet and receive Him with an act of adoration, kneeling. Which moment in the life of the faithful is more sacred than this moment of encounter with the Lord?
5. There should be more room for silence during the liturgy, especially during those moments which most fully express the mystery of the redemption. Especially when the sacrifice of the cross is made present during the Eucharistic prayer.
6. There should be more exterior signs which express the dependence of the priest on Christ, the High Priest, which would more clearly show that the words the priest speaks (ie., “Dominus Vobiscum“) and the blessings he offers to the faithful depend on and flow out from Christ the High Priest, not from him, the private person. Not “I greet you” or “I bless you” but “I the Lord” do these things. Christ. Such signs could be (as was practiced for centuries) the kissing of the altar before greeting the people to indicate that this love flows not from the priest but from the altar; and also before blessing, to kiss the altar, and then bless the people. (This was practiced for millennium, and unfortunately in the new rite has been abolished.) Also, bowing towards the altar cross to indicate that Christ is more important than the priest. Often in the liturgy — in the old rite — when a priest expressed the name of Jesus, he had to turn to the cross and make a bow to show that the attention should be on Christ, not him.
7. There should be more signs which express the unfathomable mystery of the redemption. This could be achieved through the veiling of liturgical objects, because veiling is an act of the liturgy of the angels. Veiling the chalice, veiling the paten with the humeral veil, the veiling of the corporal, veiling the hands of the bishop when he celebrates a solemnity, The use of communion rails, also, to veil the altar. Also signs – signs of the cross by the priest and the faithful. Making signs of the cross during the priest by the Eucharistic prayer and by the faithful during other moments of the liturgy; when we are signing ourselves with the cross it is a sign of blessing. In the ancient liturgy, three times during the Gloria, the Credo, and the Sanctus, the faithful made the sign of the cross. These are expressions of the mystery.
8. There should be a constant sign which expresses the mystery also by means of human language – that is to say, Latin is a sacred language demanded by the Second Vatican Council in celebration of every holy Mass and in each place a part of the Eucharistic prayer should always be said in Latin.
9. All those who exercise an active role in the liturgy, such as lectors, or those announcing the prayer of the faithful, should always be dressed in the liturgical vestments; and only men, no women, because this is an exercise in the sanctuary, close to the priesthood. Even reading the lectionary is directed towards this liturgy which we are celebrating to Christ. And therefore only men dressed in liturgical vestments should be in the sanctuary.
10. The music and the songs during the liturgy should more truly reflect the sacred character and should resemble the song of the angels, like the Sanctus, in order to be really more able to sing with one voice with the angels. Not only the sanctus, but the entire Holy Mass. It would be necessary that the heart, mind and voice of the priest and the faithful be directed towards The Lord. And that this would be manifested by exterior signs and gestures as well.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Large collar and bell bottom flares 70s ads
The Collars were Big and the Trousers were Flared, 1970s Ads 

I have written this before and I will write it again. Pope Francis' theology which His Holiness is almost making it into a doctrine is from the 1970's and has become a caricature of this movement backwards to the most confusing time in the history of the Church, where Catholic identity was being re-imaging by radical theologians, usually from South America. It was first applied to priests and relgious, especially religious orders, which has led to their complete destruction in many cases. Now Pope Francis is applying it to the Church at large in 2017 when we had almost recovered from it and found some balance through the healing offered by God's grace through John Paul II and Benedict.

The old mantra was that the awful pre-Vatican II Church showed the God of judgment and damnation and the good, new and improved Spirit of Vatican II Church showed the love and mercy of God.

The new morality we were taught in the 1970's seminary was based upon situation ethics, usually promoted by the Jesuits, but also Charles Curran. In other words, God becomes your conscience, yet this isn't truly God but a false god, but Curran, Jesuits and others of their ideology elevated conscience to the status of idolatry.

You could justify almost any behavior as good as long as you made a prayerful decision of conscience, took into account Church teaching, spoke to a priest, to others of good will and then made your decision. You could even morally justify an abortion, or the molestation of a child depending on which people you consulted. We see today the trouble and judgment we have received where stunted or psychologically compromised priests and their bishops sided with a decision of conscience in favor of a victimizer with little or no concern for the victims--all a choice not to judge a person in a profoundly immoral situation but to get them healed and back in circulation. This is the love of God. Or is it?

I am not questioing God's unconditional love for us, but His love never enables sin or dysfunctional ideologies. God and His Co-Eternal Son are not enablers as is the theology of Pope Francis from the pages of 1970's new morality.

As well sometimes we have to be patent with people as they grapple with the implications of truly being conformed to Christ. In one of my RCIA classes over the years, we had a young couple, a Catholic woman living with her non Catholic boyfriend. They were planning marriage. I could have demanded they separate before I would prepare them for marriage and allow the non Catholic boyfriend into the RCIA which he wanted to join. Fortunately, I made no judgments and closed no doors and eventually God's grace convicted them of their sins and the non-Catholic boyfriend later told me that he moved out of the bedroom with his girlfriend and into a guest room and refrained from pre-marital sex. He would wait until marriage to celebrate the marital act! I could have stopped this conversion if I had demanded things too prematurely.

This is from Fr. Z with his comments in red:

[Pope Francis theology:]“It demands that moral theology proceed from the actual pastoral action of Jesus Christ, which does not first demand a change of life[ummm…] but begins with an embrace of divine love, proceeds to the action of healing and only then requires a conversion of action in responsible conscience.” [According to the variant reading of John 8:11, the Lord said to the woman taken in adultery: “Fuggedaboutit! Go and amend no more!  Take a little time to think about changing your life.”]
Noting that people are confronted with “overwhelming life challenges” that prevent them from following the Gospel, he added, “The pastoral theology of Pope Francis rejects a notion of law which can be blind to the uniqueness of concrete human situations, human suffering and human limitation.” [Is that another way of saying that, for some people, it is impossible to follow God’s commandments?  That God denies some people the grace to live according to His will?  I must misunderstand, because that would be a denial of the action of grace.  I wonder if that is an accurate reading of Pope Francis.  That would put Francis’ magisterium in direct contrast to the magisterium of the 19th Ecumenical Council, of Trent?  In the balance, I’d rather think that the bishop got it wrong rather than the Roman Pontiff.]
McElroy encouraged the school’s faculty to focus on the pope’s pastoral theologyand to place it “at the very center and life of this institution.” [And they should remember to study the Pope’s theology in the context of what the Church taught before 2013.]
“It will be one of the greatest theological projects of our age to understand how this new theological tradition should be formed — how it can bring unity, energy and insight into the intersection of Catholic faith and the modern world.”  [A “new theological tradition…”]

Monday, May 29, 2017


John Allen of Crux unwittingly captures the current dysfunction in the Vatican that mirrors the same cultural dysfunction of the banana republics of South and Central America, just think Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.

Deafening silence on Müller confirms key insight on Francis papacy

Deafening silence on Müller confirms key insight on Francis papacy
German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. (Credit: CNS.)
ROME - There’s an old philosophical head-scratcher about whether, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise? In similar fashion, one might ask if an alleged Vatican heavyweight makes a stir and no one reacts, is he really that much of a heavyweight?
The question presents itself in light of a fascinating interview conducted on May 12 with German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, by Raymond Arroyo of EWTN and released last Thursday.
There are many interesting points in the conversation, but probably of most immediate news value are Müller’s comments on Amoris Laetitia, the pope’s document on the family that seemed to open a cautious door to Communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, and on female deacons, which is relevant given Pope Francis’s decision to create a commission to ponder the idea.
On Amoris, Müller expressed frustration that some bishops and bishops’ conferences have put out contradictory interpretations of its provisions on Communion for the divorced and remarried.
“It is not good that the bishops’ conferences are making official interpretations of the pope,” Müller said. “That is not Catholic. We have this document of the pope, and it must be read in the context of the complete Catholic tradition.”
“We don’t have two magisteria, one of the pope and another one of the bishops,” Müller said. “I think it is a misunderstanding, a bad misunderstanding which causes damage, could cause damage for the Catholic Church.”
In general, the thrust of Müller’s commentary is to suggest that read in light of tradition, Amoris Laetitia does not actually authorize opening the sacrament to divorced and civilly remarried believers.
On the issue of female deacons, Müller didn’t “suggest” anything - he was about as blunt as humanly possible.
“No. Impossible. It will not come,” he said.
“Pope Francis denied the possibility of female deacons, but he said we could study the old documents for having some inspiration, so to promote the engagement of women in the Church of today,” he said.
“People outside of the Church don’t understand the mission of the Church. They are thinking the Church is an organization like others, and we have to promote in a generally abstract sense the emancipation of women, but this has nothing to do with it,” Müller said. “Everybody inside and outside of the Church has to respect that the Church is not a political or man-made organization, but is the Body of Christ.”
Here’s the thing: This interview has been in circulation for a full four days now, and almost no one has reacted to it. There’s no hubbub, no ferment, no rattle and hum of conflicting interpretations and analyses. For all intents and purposes, it’s as if it hadn’t happened.
Granted, some of that lack of response may be because Müller has made his positions clear already in a variety of venues, and some of it may be, too, because people are simply weary of the seemingly never-ending tussles unleashed by Amoris.
Nonetheless, the deafening silence also illustrates how much things have changed in the Pope Francis era.
Once upon a time, the earth shook when prefects of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith spoke. Historically, the congregation has been known as la suprema, the “supreme” department within the Vatican, because it had the final word on issues involving doctrine - and since there’s little the Catholic Church does that doesn’t involve doctrine in some form, that’s an awfully broad mandate.
When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger ran the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 1981 to 2005 prior to becoming Pope Benedict XVI, for instance, his every utterance was perceived to carry enormous weight. Theological careers could rise or fall based on a mention by Ratzinger, and the universal sense was that when he spoke, the full weight of the Vatican and the papacy stood behind his words.
That’s simply not the case under Francis, who perhaps has not quite “sidelined” the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, but who certainly does not rely on it as his primary touchstone for assessing the doctrinal implications of his decisions.
When Francis wants a theological assessment of something, it’s clear that he’ll rely more on informal advisers such as Argentine Archbishop Victor Fernandez than on Müller, part of this pope’s general strategy of preferring to work around people who aren’t quite in sync with his agenda than to formally replace them.
As a result, seasoned Vatican-watchers no longer assume that when the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith speaks, it’s a hint of looming papal policy. Instead, Müller has become another voice in the conversation, someone to be respected for his senior position and theological credentials, but certainly not a pipeline to what the pope may be thinking or planning.
Whether that’s good or bad lies in the eye of the beholder, but in any event, Müller and his most recent interview are Exhibit A for a key insight about the Francis papacy: Looking at Vatican organizational charts and knowing who’s theoretically supposed to be in charge of something, coupled with a Euro coin, may buy you a cappuccino at a Roman bar, but it certainly won’t tell you much about who’s actually making decisions.


Solemn day seen as cultural casualty

MIchaEl RUbINKam/AssocIatED PrEss Motorcyclists ride into Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Annville, Pa., for a Memorial Day weekend program. Some veterans and loved ones of fallen military members say the meaning of the holiday has become distorted.
ANNVILLE, Pa. — Allison Jaslow heard it more than once as the long holiday weekend approached – a cheerful “Happy Memorial Day!” from oblivious well-wishers.
The former Army captain and Iraq War veteran had a ready reply, telling them, matter-of-factly, she considered it a work weekend. Jaslow will be at Arlington National Cemetery today to take part in the annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. She’ll then visit Section 60, the final resting place of many service members who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“You can see it in people’s faces that they’re a little horrified that they forget this is what the day’s about,” said Jaslow, 34, who wears a bracelet bearing the name of a fallen comrade. “Culturally, we’ve kind of lost sight of what the day’s supposed to mean.”
Mac SNyDEr/ThE FlINt Maria Hiteshew kneels at the grave of her husband, Navy veteran Barry Hiteshew, at a ceremony Sunday in Holly, Mich.
While millions of Americans celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start of summer – think beaches and backyard barbecues – some veterans and loved ones of fallen military members wish the holiday that honors more than 1 million people who died serving their country would command more respect.
Or at least awareness.
“It’s a fun holiday for people …” said Carol Resh, 61, whose son, Army Capt. Mark Resh, was killed in Iraq a decade ago. “It’s not that they’re doing it out of malice. It just hasn’t affected them.”
Veterans groups say a growing military-civilian disconnect contributes to a feeling that Memorial Day has been overshadowed. More than 12 percent of the U.S. population served in the armed forces during World War II.
That’s down to less than one-half of a percent today, guaranteeing more Americans aren’t personally acquainted with a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine.
With an all-volunteer military, shared sacrifice is largely a thing of the past – even as U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan and Iraq nearly 16 years after 9/11.
“There are a lot of things working against this particular holiday,” said Brian Duffy, commander-in-chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
“It hurts,” Duffy said. For combat veterans and Gold Star families especially, “it hurts that, as a society, we don’t truly understand and appreciate what the true meaning of Memorial Day is.”
Jaslow’s group, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, is trying to raise awareness with its #GoSilent campaign, which encourages Americans to pause for a moment of silence at 3 p.m. today to remember the nation’s war dead.
Of course, plenty of Americans observe the holiday. At Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Annville, Pa., fresh flowers mark hundreds of graves, and fields of newly erected American flags flap in the breeze. By the end of the weekend, thousands of people will have come to pay their respects.
DAVE SCHErBENCO/THE CItIZENs’ VOICE Veterans salute the American flag as it is unfurled Sunday at pre-Memorial Day services in the Italian-American cemetery of West Wyoming, Pa.
MICHAEL RUBINKAM/AssOCIAtEd PrEss Ken Palmer (left) and Stephen Straining, both of Harrisburg, Pa., greet motorcyclists Saturday as they ride into Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Annville, Pa.
Some veterans say Memorial Day began to be watered down more than four decades ago when Congress changed the date from its traditional May 30 to the last Monday in May to give people a three-day weekend. Arguing that transformed a solemn day of remembrance into one of leisure and recreation, veterans groups have long advocated a return to May 30. For years, the late Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye, a World War II veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, asked Congress to change it back, to no avail.

Sunday, May 28, 2017


I wrote in an earlier post that Folk Music of the 1960's which started to be sung at the Tridentine Mass prior to revised 1970 missal is what began the movement towards dividing parishes and families according to musical tastes or lack thereof.

For proof of folk music during a Tridentine Mass, here it is (I suspect that even though this is a movie, the director incorporated actual Mass scenes into this Elvis Presley movie scene:

But we all know that the Tridentine Mass had only three expressions--the Low Mass, where none of the Mass was sung; the High Mass that all parts of the actual Mass are sung and the Solemn High version with deacon and subdeacon and elaborated choreography.

However, at a Sunday morning Low Mass prior to Vatican II, four vernacular hymns could be inserted at the entrance, offertory, communion and recessional. Usually the only hymns allowed where explicitly Catholic devotional vernacular hymns to include popular Marian hymns, many of which drip with sentimentality but beloved nonetheless. But the entire Mass itself was spoken.

It was this low Mass template that was then made the norm for the revised Mass, even though allowance for some parts of the Mass to be sung in a hybrid fashion, unheard of prior to Vatican II was allowed for the first time. 

Thus most Catholics were told we didn't have enough Catholic vernacular hymns and we had to, just had to, borrow from the Protestants their hymn tradition (but of course this was an ideology of ecumenism be shoved onto the Catholic Mass and its spirituality and devotional qualities often at odds with Protestant  devotional dripping sentimentality). And of course the gestapo liturgist told us that Marian hymns and other devotional hymns had no place in the Mass since the Mass focused on Jesus and His meal. (Of course, no hymns had a place in the sung Mass, but I digress!)

Thus an explosion of Protestant hymns and folk music by homegrown artists and well, you know the rest of the story--hymns and hymnals become big business guided by the almighty dollar and music becomes the most divisive issue in the Catholic Church all hinging or becoming unhinged on parishioners, musicians and clergy's tastes--subjective tastes at that!


Pope Francis Appoints LGBT-Positive Priest as Auxiliary Bishop in San Diego

I wonder just how small our parishes would be if sinners did not find sinner-positive clergy and laity in our Catholic parishes. Sinners not welcome--go to hell--and when you change your ways, come back to our country club parish where your sins won't disturb us or make us think we can do what your sins are. 

Isn't this a bit absurd? 

Saturday, May 27, 2017


One of the most unfortunate developments is the subjective approach to music in the Mass since Vatican II is that it has made music the single most divisive issue concerning the Mass, bar none. Vatican II did not intend this, but its subjective interpretation caused it. 

I am a teenager of the Folk Mass era of the 1960’s. It was very controversial even then but archaic today. This passing fad singlehandedly began the great music divisiveness in the post Vatican II Church. Prior to Vatican II only the actual Mass parts in a Sung Mass beginning with the Introit could be chanted with the option of simple or more complicated forms of Gregorian chant and polyphony. 

Some parishes were able to pull off complicated Masses writer by the great composers--but these were rare and the hierarchy was somewhat concerned about the secularization of the chants of the Mass for entertainment purposes then used in Masses actually celebrated. 

The 1960’s Folk Mass with hand clapping, foot stomping and secular instruments like the tambourine  began the great division not only in parishes but also families as to the style of music used at Mass resting solely upon personal tastes and the "kick" one gets from hearing music and this being the criteria for it being good or not.. When I could drive at 16 I went to the Folk Mass by myself not with my parents who despised this novelty. Vatican II can’t be faulted for this only its extremely poor, wrong and subjective implementation. 

The folk music movement which opened the door to fads in music in the Mass is what has made Catholics consumers of church music and church music has become a big business in the Church because fads and tastes are constantly shifting.

 Today the fad for some young people is “praise and worship music” borrowed from the non-denominational Protestant Churches. I had one well known liturgical musician in the Church tell me that what we are doing by giving into these kinds of musical fads, especially of the non-denominational type, is that we are preparing the way for our younger generation to leave the Catholic Church for these non-denominational sects because their music and preaching and fellowship will always be better than what we do because they don’t have the Sacraments of the Church as we do, so they create the hook of slick music in the contemporary style to get and keep member and they constantly test the market to see what works best for their consumers as fads and tastes change!

We simply have to get away from the fads of church music and the plethora of new hymns and hymnbooks that are a part of the consumerists' approach to worship in the Catholic Church today—a multimillion dollar business (and for Protestants too!). We need to be untied as a parish, diocese and universal Church in the manner in which we sing the Mass. Families need to be united too at Mass. This is the vision of Vatican II even in the limited amount of diversity it actually allows.  Ideally each parish should only have one Sunday Mass that is packed to the rafters not multiple Masses designed to please a consumer’s taste. But in multiple Mass parishes we need to be unified not divided in the manner in which we sing and worship. Let's go back to Vatican II's Sacrosanctum Concilium and compare what it said about the revision of the Mass (which fortunately is still being celebrated in many places as the EF Mass) and look at what we did to it in the Ordinary Form as it is celebrated in the majority of parishes in the world today. Is there a disconnect? I would say so.

No matter how poorly the ancient Order of the Mass might have been celebrated here and there prior to Vatican II, in no way does it compared with the poverty of celebration today of the Ordinary Form. Thus, more than ever, we need Vatican II's Sacrosanctum Concilium's vision of the renewal of the Ancient Order of the Mass, which the post-Vatican II developments compromised and destroyed.