Wednesday, September 26, 2018


Everyone knows that my school of thought about Church reform hinges not on Pope Francis' vision of the Church, although I do appreciate much of his pastoral theology except for that which enables sin rather than repentance, but rather on Pope Benedict's "renewal in continuity" as it concerns Vatican II and his vision of liturgical renewal. Pope Benedict's speech to the curia at Christmas several years ago will serve us well in the future when we have a pope and curia who understand how right Pope Benedict was/is.

Catholic identity in continuity with the pre-Vatican II Church has to be restored. There is no other way out and nothing below makes sense until a recovered and strong Catholic identity exists in the clergy and laity as well as a strong priestly identity of the ordained. 

But apart from that, what structures need to be implemented?

1. I think we have to consider ordaining married men as it done in the Eastern Rite and allow wives of married priests to have input on the protection of children and vulnerable adults.

2. Bishops need to have personnel boards which include well-informed laity, men and women and not just priests.

3. Incompetent priests need to be told that if they don't shape up, they will be shipped out--in other words fired.

4. Consultative councils, such as pastoral councils, must include laity who understand what the Church teaches and help priests to make the parish as Catholic as possible.

5. Incompetent bishops need to be held accountable as well. 


The Egyptian said...

after reading this I doubt that there is any hope of reining in Bishops without a change from the highest level

Time to bring on Pope Lenny

I know over the top but yet, makes you think, don't it?

Henry said...

Time to bring on Pope Gregory Leo Pius I:

The Pope announced that a general "cleansing of the Vatican’s Augean stables" was underway. He had told priests, bishops and Cardinals of the Church that if they were not prepared to renounce the heretical beliefs which had become so much a part of their nature, they must step down and leave the Church. He had reminded them that by the grace of God and prayers to His Holy Mother and despite the long dark night of crisis which had obtained for over forty years, a quiet miracle had been taking place. A growing group of young priests steeped in tradition and loyal to the Magisterium was now spread around the world. Should it be necessary they would be made Bishops and Cardinals in record time to replace those who had fallen away.

All of these young priests, he reminded us, were able and very eager to celebrate Holy Mass in the Tridentine tradition. Then in an announcement which stunned the congregation, the new Pope announced that the "prolonged experiment" of the "Novus Ordo" Mass would be rapidly phased out and although, as his predecessors had pointed out, it is a valid Mass, he had no doubt that the great sacramental gifts of the Tridentine Mass, the "Mass for all times" formulated by St Pius V, would soon once again be embraced universally.

To bring this into effect he had ordered all bishops and priests everywhere to re-institute the Tridentine Mass on a daily basis in all churches and to make it available on Sundays at times when the majority of the Faithful would have easy access to the "Sacrifice of Calvary." He noted that some ageing priests and prelates might not be able to grasp the necessary skills to say the Latin Mass and that therefore these, after due examination, would be permitted to say the Novus Ordo in private, after the prayer book apportioned to that version of the Mass had been adjusted to correct the errors and omissions imposed over the decades.

rcg said...

Fr., The shambles of our Liturgy lay at the feet of lay liturgical committees. The tolerance of vice was counceld by lay advisors. If marriage prevented abuse of others all families would be happy.

Detachment from responsibility leads to incompetence. The only step remaining is to fire the bishops.

Anonymous said...

What makes a priest or bishop "incompetent?" Yes, I can understand from the sex abuse scandals, but what else? Declining membership in certain parishes? Lack of growth in a diocese? Collections down? Inability to get along with other staff and priests? Uninspiring homilies? Lack of lay involvement at a parish (like various ministries). Inability to keep the parish finances in order?

Just wondering.......

TJM said...

incompetence: Failing to teach the authentic Catholic Faith should be a firing offense. Plenty of bishops would be gone, if that were the standard.

Joseph Johnson said...

I am in the last year of a term on my parish council. Earlier in my term, I was president and then vice-president. I have served on the parish council twice in years past. It is interesting that I usually get elected to serve during the tenures of what some would call "progressive" pastors--given my love of orthodox teaching and traditionalist liturgical preferences.

Still, I can't say that my presence makes much difference. We are, by canon law, a purely advisory group and a strong-willed priest can set the agenda and do what he wants. All we can do is represent a differing viewpoint. Many times, these meetings (which start at 7:15 pm) last until 9 pm on weeknights. I have served pastors in the past who wanted to keep it moving and finish in an hour.

Recently, I supported the election of a very young ("dreamer?") Hispanic man as our new VP. He is a very active and good young man who appreciates the EF and has been to the Savannah EF more than once with his sisters. I think he could have a possible vocation and I encourage him. I introduced him to this blog.

Still, I am not sure about our impact on the pastor (as least those of us who would like him to be more traditional with liturgy and less "free-wheeling" and upbeat/informal). He is going to do what he is going to do and we just have to live with it while he's here and find the positive aspects.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

There are actually eight very good suggestions here:

Mark Thomas said...

Father McDonald said..."Everyone knows that my school of thought about Church reform hinges not on Pope Francis' vision of the Church, although I do appreciate much of his pastoral theology except for that which enables sin rather than repentance, but rather on Pope Benedict's "renewal in continuity" as it concerns Vatican II and his vision of liturgical renewal."

Father McDonald, I don't believe that His Holiness Pope Francis "enables sin rather than repentance."

(I apologize if I've misrepresented your statement in question.)

I believe that in regard to the Popes who've reigned during my lifetime, from Saint John XXIII to Francis, Pope Francis has promoted Confession (as well as declared repeatedly that Satan exists) more frequently than the Popes in question.

As to Pope Benedict XVI's Pontificate vs. Pope Francis' Pontificate:

The manner in which Mass is offered, at least in my area, has remained unchanged. As was the case in my diocese throughout Pope Benedict XVI's reign, the Masses are devoid of Latin...Mass vs. populum...almost everybody receives Communion via the hand...women dominate the Sanctuary...EMs abound at each Mass.

Even at daily Masses, with 20 to 40 worshipers present, EMs abound.

Pope Benedict XVI was unrelenting in his promotion of Vatican II, Novus Ordo, ecumenism, and interfaith "dialogue."

He was so staunch in his promotion of Catholic-Jewish "dialogue" that he altered the ancient TLM Good Friday prayer for Jews. He insisted that the traditional prayer in question had "wounded" Jews.

He was unrelenting in his pursuit of Catholic-Islamic "dialogue."

He convoked Assisi III, which included a voodoo witch doctor who chanted a prayer to a strange god.

He was a "green" Pope who promoted "radical" environmental teachings.

He was unrelenting in regard to his denunciations of capitalism.

-- Pope condemns capitalism's 'failures' - Financial Times

-- Pope Benedict Slams Capitalism, Economic Inequality

On and on...

Sorry, but from Pope Benedict XVI's reign to date, I don't recognize any great change in regard to the path taken by Holy Mother Church.

Oh...back to liturgy. During his in-flight press conference en route to France, Pope Benedict XVI declared:

What do you say to those who, in France, fear that the "Motu proprio' Summorum Pontificum signals a step backwards from the great insights of the Second Vatican Council? How can you reassure them?

Pope Benedict XVI: "Their fear is unfounded, for this "Motu Proprio' is merely an act of tolerance, with a pastoral aim, for those people who were brought up with this liturgy, who love it, are familiar with it and want to live with this liturgy.

"They form a small group, because this presupposes a schooling in Latin, a training in a certain culture."

Anyway, Father, from the reign of Pope Benedict XVI to date, I don't sense any major difference at the parish level in regard to the Catholic Religion...except that pastors have followed Pope Francis' lead in regard to the promotion of Confession.


Mark Thomas