Thursday, August 22, 2019

DOES YOUR PARISH HAVE WEDDING RULES?







Over at the Deacon's Bench Blog, there is a rant about a church in New York and its strict wedding rules and how it turns off nominal Catholics who simply want to have a wedding in beautiful church building.

Personally, it is important to have rules for weddings because some Catholics today are so crass and lack reverence for the Church and her sacraments, much of it having to do with the casual and silly experiences they have had and only have had with the Ordinary Form of the Mass. 

I do not allow "destination" weddings in my parish in Richmond Hill. There must be some connection to St. Anne Church, like living in the parish boundaries, registered or not, or family connection. Proximity to Savannah as a tourist venue doesn't cut it. The destination weddings that I have allowed have been nightmares and turns weddings into a product for the bride or her mother who approach the parish as though we were Walmart or, should I say, Neman and Marcus.  

For registered parishioners, the "donation" for the Church is minimal an usually covers fees for our wedding director and the organist. 

What requirements does you parish have?

You can read the Deacon's Bench Rant HERE. But my problem is with the wordiness of one aspect of this parish's rules and here is their wordiness and how I would correct it:

The use of “unity candles” is strongly discouraged. Experience has consistently demonstrated their clumsiness. For instance, they often do not light properly, or they spread wax, or they can even set other decorations on fire. More importantly, the Catholic marriage rite does not allow for such a lighting ceremony. Therefore, if desired, unity candles belong best at the wedding reception, where they can be incorporated into the first dinner blessing of the newly married couple. Floral decorations should not be extravagant. Our beautiful Gothic church needs little extra ornamentation. The priest will discuss with you the options about where the flowers can be arranged. Candles in the body of the church must be enclosed in glass globes. Due to past experiences, runners are no longer permitted.

Why give an apologetic for their rules or anticipate objections as the above "guideline" does? Just write it this way:

The "unity candle" is not a part of the Catholic wedding liturgy and is not permitted at this church. 

Aisle runners are not allowed in this church.

The wedding director will discuss with you where floral arrangements may and may not be placed as well as where additional candles may or may not be placed.  

Saint Anne Church in Richmond Hill, Georgia can be read HERE. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

TO BE HONEST WITH YOU, I WANT TO BELIEVE HE IS INNOCENT AND I HOPE HE IS. BUT THERE IS A PART OF ME THAT WONDERS IF HE IS GUILTY. PEOPLE WHO HAVE THIS PROCLIVITY ARE ALSO PATHOLOGICAL LIARS. AT ANY RATE PRAYERS ARE NEEDED FOR ALL AFFECTED BY THIS TRAGEDY.


There will be much more to be said in the weeks and months ahead about the rejection of Cardinal George Pell’s appeal of his conviction for “historic sexual abuse,” by the 2-1 vote of a three-judge panel of the Supreme Court of Victoria. For the moment, this astonishing, indeed incomprehensible, decision calls into the gravest doubt the quality of justice in Australia—and the possibility of any Catholic cleric charged with sexual abuse to receive a fair trial or a fair consideration of the probity of his trial.
In the live-streamed appellate court proceedings on the morning of August 21 (Melbourne time), Victoria Supreme Court chief justice Anne Ferguson, reading the decision, made persistent reference to “the whole of the evidence.” But there has never been any “evidence” that Cardinal Pell did what he was alleged to have done. There was only the word of the complainant, and there was absolutely no corroboration of his charges—which, in the months since the cardinal’s trials, have been shown to be alarmingly similar to a fake set of charges leveled against a priest in a story published years ago in Rolling Stone
Read the rest of George Wiegle’s commentary at First things HERE.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

HERE IS THE REASON WHY 70% OF CATHOLICS DON’T BELIEVE IN THE REAL PRESENCE OF CHRIST AS HE TEACHES

Father Thomas Reese’s rhetoric in this National Chismatic Reporter article is what has led to the poor state of faith in the Church today. This is 1970’s theology and apologetics that I was taught in a seminary that refused adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as well as Benediction and placed the tabernacle in a side chapel and if anyone went there to pray they were immediately suspect.

My seminary class which was about 60 men in the fall of 1976 was only 23 in 1979 in part due to the progressive theology/ideology of those three years. Imparting this crap on the laity has accomplished the same goal!

Father Reese grow up, wake up and stop this crap. And the problem isn’t just catechesis, it is catechesis of the kind Reese spews wedged in 1970 as well as the entrenched manner in which the Ordinary Form of the Mass is celebrated today:

The Eucharist is about more than Christ becoming present 



There has been a lot of clerical hand-wringing of late about Catholics who don’t believe what the church teaches about Christ’s presence in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. According to the Pew Research Center, only one-third of Catholics agree that the Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ. Almost 70 percent believe that during Mass, the bread and wine used in Communion "are symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ."
This certainly shows a failure in catechetics, [Yes, the kind of catechetics you are about to read!] but I think the church faces a greater problem: Like the Pew Research Center, Catholics have an impoverished idea of what the Eucharist is really all about. [Father Reese, your 1970's mentality about the Most Holy Eucharist is what is impoverished and has impoverished the Faith of Catholics!]
Much of Eucharistic theology — especially the Catholic teaching of transubstantiation — goes back to the 13th century, when people rarely received Communion at Mass. They went to church to adore Christ present in the Eucharist, and the purpose of Mass was to transform the host into the body of Christ so that people could adore him. Devotionally, the Mass was not all that different from Benediction, where the Eucharist is placed in a monstrance to be adored by Catholics. [This 1970's rhetoric I remember well! How bad and evil the 13th Century was for the Most Holy Eucharist! This is right out of the talking points of liberal Catholic liturgists!]
In order to explain how what looked like bread could be the body of Christ, 13th-century theologians used the avant-garde thinking of the time: Aristotelianism. [Yes, more horrors from the 13th century!]
In ancient Greece, Aristotle described reality using concepts of prime matter, substantial forms, substance and accidents. This allowed Catholic theologians using Aristotelian philosophy to explain that the "substance" of the bread was changed into the body of Christ while the "accidents"(appearance) remained the same. Thus, "transubstantiation." Using Aristotelian concepts to explain Catholic mysteries in the 21st century is a fool’s errand. When was the last time you met an Aristotelian outside a Catholic seminary? [Not often, but in my parish yes, but that's the problem!]
I personally find the theology of transubstantiation unintelligible, not because I don’t believe that the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ, but because I do not believe in prime matter, substantial forms, substance and accidents. I don’t think we have a clue what Jesus meant when he said, "This is my body." I think we should humbly accept it as a mystery and not pretend we understand it. [So, Fr. Reese dosen't believe it so it must not be used!]
In any case, Jesus did not say, "This is my body. Adore me." He said, "Take and eat. This is my body." Only in the early 20th century, with the encouragement of Pope Pius X, did receiving Communion again become common in the Catholic Church. [So let's destroy adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament and we'll get to what Jesus' wants as though Jesus didn't guide the Church to make dogma the dogma of Transubstantiation! This sentence by Reese is the single most devastating piece of evidence as to why we are where we are today in the Church!]
The church also spoke of the Eucharist as making present and effective the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. But even here, the concept of sacrifice was quite limited. Only in a holocaust sacrifice was everything burnt. In most Hebrew sacrifices, some of what was sacrificed was eaten in order to show God’s communion with his people.
At the 2005 synod of bishops on the Eucharist, the bishops were arguing about whether the Eucharist is a sacrifice or a communion. Pope Benedict had to intervene and explain to the bishops that it was both, something the bishops should have learned in their first course on sacramental theology. [By the way, the Baltimore Catechism has separate chapters on the Sacrifice and the Banquet of the Mass. Bring back the Baltimore Catechism for balanced catechesis!]
The context of the Last Supper is also essential to understand what Jesus was instituting. The Last Supper was a Passover meal where Jews remember the Exodus and thank God for his gracious acts toward his people. Here they also renew their covenant with God.

The Mass must therefore be seen as a sacrificial meal where we give thanks to God, especially for the gift of his son; where we renew the new covenant with him; and where we are united with him through Christ.
The Mass is not about adoring Jesus or even praying to Jesus. In the Eucharistic prayer said by the priest at Mass, we pray to the Father through, with and in Christ. We give thanks and praise to God for his wondrous deeds, especially for raising up Jesus as our savior. [Here you go, the apex of 1970's ideology!]
The Eucharistic prayer asks that the Spirit transform us so that we can become like Christ, or as St. Augustine said, that "we become what we receive." Ultimately, the Mass is more about us becoming the body of Christ than it is about the bread becoming the body of Christ. [Yes, 1970's theology the Mass consecrates us, which isn't completely wrong, but no matter how consecrated we are, we are still poor miserable sinners who miss the mark. Jesus never does and when we lose that focus in the Mass and who it is that is Transubstantially present and we can adore and worship, we end up where we are today and with Mass celebrated in the most casual and silly sorts of ways, the horizontal overpowering the vertical!]
The Mass renews the covenant that commits us to follow in Christ’s footsteps in loving our brothers and sisters, especially the poor and the marginalized. The Eucharist is about making us more Christ-like so that we can continue his mission of establishing the kingdom of God, of bringing justice and peace to the world. [Here we go, it is all about US ESTABLISHING GOD'S KINGDOM AND US BRINGING JUSTICE AND PEACE IN THIS WORLD. HAS FATHER REESE ANY CLUE AS TO WHAT WE, MEANING THE HIERARCHY AND THE LOWERARCHY HAVE DONE TO THE CHURCH IN THESE PAST 50 YEARS AND MORE WITH HIS KIND OF IDEOLOGY AND THEOLOGY ROOTED IN THE NARCISSISTIC 1970'S AND WHERE WE ARE gODS?]

Father Reese, it is time for you to retire and to retire your corrupt theology that has done so much damage to the Church's True Faith. But thank you for showing a new generation what truly went wrong in the Church of the 1970's that your generation is trying to regain! Nostalgia for the 1970's is worse than nostalgia for the 13th Century!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Saturday, August 17, 2019

WHEREIN I HAVE TO AGREE WITH THE POPE, MSGR. CHARLES POPE THAT IS







Over at The National Catholic Register, Msgr. Charles Pope has recommendations about restoring orthodox belief to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I agree with most of his insights especially his last paragraph:

It’s going to be a long journey. I realize that some who read this will say, “Why don’t we just admit that the Mass of 1970 was a failure and put everything back the way it was — now!” But that just isn’t realistic. The ordinary form is here to stay; more than 90% of Catholics attend Mass in the ordinary form. Parishes are diverse, and people have differing sensibilities. Within this complex reality, it is prudent to reintroduce things gradually and by way of offering more options. It is an important step toward loosening the grip of the liturgical police and permitting greater freedom to pastors and parishes under the guidance of their bishops who, I pray, will see wisdom in this gentle way forward.

My comments: I am a supporter of the reform of the reform in continuity with our Tradition of the Mass and other sacraments. I am not in favor of the exclusive return to the Extraordinary Form because I am in favor of ecumenical councils properly implemented. That's Catholic, folks. Pope Benedict in his Christmas Address to the Roman Curia paved the path to this reform in continuity which one day, I pray, I hope and I believe, will take place but not until the two popes and their generation pass away. I hate to be blunt but that  is what it is going to take. And yes, I know, I am a part of that generation who needs to pass away.

In my previous parish I moved slowly implementing the EF Mass at a regularly scheduled Mass time and making the Mass where the EF was celebrated once a month ad orientem in the Ordinary Form and with Holy Communion distributed at the Altar Railing to kneeling communicants. Keep in mind we had four Sunday Masses at the time, 7:45 AM, 9:30 AM, 12:10 PM (ad orientem and once a month EF Mass) and 5 PM. We also had a 4:30 PM Saturday Vigil Mass. 

I have to say that most of the laity attending the 12:10 PM Mass more than likely thought that the EF Mass was no different than the OF Mass except that we used Latin for the entire Mass!

In my new parish, its new church seating almost 1,200 we only need two Sunday morning Masses at 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM with a Saturday Vigil at 5 PM. I have slowly brought back some tradition to these Masses with the chanting of the propers at all Masses and the Mass itself chanted as well as incense at the 10:30 AM Mass which I see as the principle Mass of the parish. 

But ad orientem and kneeling for Holy Communion would be most difficult in the current design of this neo-modern facility and with an already $5 million debt amounting to a $38,000 a month payment toward the debt, I don't foresee an altar railing anytime down the road or within my pastorate barring a mega donation to pay off the debt or someone winning the Billion dollar lottery and giving 10% to the parish!

I do have a weekly EF Low Mass each Tuesday at 6 PM in our old church which is now our chapel. It has an altar railing and an OF portable altar easily removed for the EF Mass on the high altar where the tabernacle is.

Another thing that I agree with in Msgr. Pope's article is this assessment of  things:

Yet, these laudable efforts at education and the reintroduction of Eucharistic adoration seem to have come up short — the number of Catholics correctly understanding and believing in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist has fallen even further.

I would argue that the poor results are mostly due to the fact that the Mass, as it has been celebrated since the early 1970s, has remained largely and stubbornly resistant to changes aimed at restoring reverence. It has been a combination of the force of many bad habits and an entrenched liturgical establishment that has resisted anything that seemed to be a “step backward” (e.g., kneeling to receive Holy Communion), even as an option. Stories such as this one, “Priest Removed From Parish for Traditional Style of Worship,” still occur too frequently; they show that even modest proposals for reintroducing tradition are often greeted with overly vehement resistance by some of the very people who claim to celebrate “diversity.”

My final comments: Two of the most influential archbishops in the country, one already a cardinal and another so-to-be a cardinal are both 1970's priests who obtained degrees in "Liturgy" during the worst time in the history of the Church to get such degrees. You will not hear from them any denigration of the the Ordinary Form celebrated in the most ordinary way in about 99% of parishes in our country, because to critique the Ordinary Form as it is celebrated would mean that the degrees they obtained in the 1970's in Liturgy are worthless and a waste of their valuable academic time! So don't expect reform of the reform from them as it calls into question everything they have striven to do to the Liturgy for decades. Humility is not their strong suit, hubris is, which is the case with most liturgists unfortunately!

Thus other solutions to the loss of Catholic Faith in what Jesus teaches about the Bread of Life are put forward, like Adoration and proper catechesis. But they never will put forward what is the true solution to the malaise, what Pope Benedict explicitly asked and modeled, renewal in continuity!

Friday, August 16, 2019

REASON #204,394,392,949,294,292,929,492 AS TO WHY 70% OF CATHOLICS DON'T BELIEVE WHAT JESUS TEACHES ABOUT THE BREAD OF LIFE

Apart from the fact that this church in Fell's Point of Baltimore is now closed and stripped of all the artwork and altars, to include the stained glass, what is it about this post-Vatican II image of St. Michael's Church that has contributed to the loss of belief in the Real Presence of Christ at Mass and Holy Communion?


Let me tell you what it is: It is that free standing altar placed below the actual high altar with the three chairs in front of it to hide what is already hidden in terms of where one's eye is naturally drawn in this Church and by design: the HIGH ALTAR!

What did it do the average parishioner after Vatican II that the High Altar was abandoned, where their eye was naturally drawn, to have this "fake" altar placed in front of it but much lower and then placing the priest chair in front of it so that the priest could face the people throughout the Mass? Symbolically the Mass and Holy Communion were LOWERED! There was no longer a High Christology or High understanding of the Mass and Holy Communion!

Talk about contrived! This kind of thing eroded the orthodox Faith of Catholics and began as soon as the "altar of sacrifice" was made to look like what we see in this photo!

What say you?

THERE’S MORE TO IT THAN ADORATION, ARCHBISHOP



In an off the cuff question and answer session at a theology on tap event in Washington, Archbishop Gregory said the following concerning 70% of Catholics not believing what Jesus teaches about The Bread of Life as summarized below:

After a mention of the poll about lack of belief in the real presence of the Eucharist, Gregory was asked what Church leaders could do to stress the reality of the Real Presence.
Gregory emphasized that making Eucharistic Adoration available and mentioned how it takes lots of coordination to have perpetual adoration, but Gregory wants to see them set aside a couple hours a week for adoration. He believes that the loss of belief is fueled by poor catechesis, which happened over two generations.

My comments: I am all in favor of Eucharistic Adoration and if a parish can institute perpetual adoration, all the better.

That is part of the solution, but let's face it, the majority of Catholics are not going to go to Eucharistic Adoration, which nonetheless, is a powerhouse of prayer that assists practicing and non practicing Catholics alike and all the world.

The bigger solution which will touch every Catholic and anyone else who attends Mass is to "re-enchant" the Mass with the Extraordinary Form's tried and true ability to instill orthodoxy and reverence to the Mass and Holy Communion! That alone will help turn around the poor catechesis of the past three generations since Vatican II!!!! The law of Prayer is the Law of Belief meaning the way you pray leads to what you believe and this is a two way street for either orthodoxy and reverence or heterodoxy and irreverence!

This is what is necessary Archbishop Gregory:


1. A concerted and concrete reform of the reform in Continuity of the Mass, Sacraments and devotionals

2. These two things alone will go a long way in turning things around: ad orientem and kneeling for Holy Communion even if everything else is banal and casual

3. Get rid of the banal and casual in addition to implementing ad orientem and kneeling for Holy Communion

4. Insist that in the nave of the Church there is to be SILENCE to allow prayer, meditation and contemplation before and after Mass. The nave of the Church is to be a noise free zone before and after Mass as the Blessed Sacrament is present in the nave

5. Make sure the tabernacle is central in the sanctuary and not shifted or shunted to the side and God forbid tabernacle chapels separated from the nave frequented by less than 1% of those who attend Mass!

6. For the major language groups in the United States, the USCCB should come up with a national hymnal of suitable hymns in the vernacular and Latin that are appropriate for Mass and have no doctrinal errors as well as are not hymns set to secular style music, like Broadway ditties and the like

7. Mandate the chanting of the Introit, Offertory and Communion Antiphons as in the EF Mass, but either in Latin or the vernacular

8. Mandate Latin for the Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei and Pater Noster

9. Eliminate the common chalice for health reasons and the possibility of profanation because of the common practice of splashes and spilling on the floor or the communicant and allow intinction by the Minister of Holy Communion

10. Of all the things listed above, I believe the most important, bar none, is kneeling for Holy Communion as the means to emphasize what the Church believes about Holy Communion

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

WHEN POPE BENEDICT SAYS THE ORDINARY FORM MASS WAS CONTRIVED, MEANING ITS ORDER WAS CHANGED AND THE THEOLOGY CONCERNING IT WAS AS WELL, WOULDN'T IT BE BETTER TO SAY THAT A LOT OF THINGS WERE CONTRIVED?

No where in Vatican II or any actual authoritative, dogmatic teaching, does the Church say we must do this to churches! This is contrived for the Ordinary Form and much of the Ordinary Form was contrived by liturgists, to include inculturation, banal music and casualness. It also contrived where the choir should be and how the cantor should act, all of which turned the "music ministry" into entertainment for high strung artists.


Pope Benedict before he was pope stated that an OF and EF Mass both chanted and in Latin, ad orientem and kneeling for Holy Communion would be very similar to one another and few lay people would notice much of a difference.  I agree.

But he also stated that there is more variance from parish to parish in how the OF Mass is celebrated and even from various Mass times in a particular parish.

That is the problem and a dogmatic solution from a dogmatic pope, like Pope Francis, could change things over night. Pope Benedict simply proposed but never really mandated too much in terms of the "reform of the reform" in continuity. That is way too bad!

What I believe is contrived is the ideologies imposed upon the Ordinary Form. One example that a commenter made on another thread is the USCCB's 1970's "Art and Architecture" for Catholic Church, new ones being built and old ones being renovated. It was a contrived disaster.

What is worse, is that those who tried to implement it in various parishes, and I include myself in this in my first parish assignment in Albany, Georgia in 1980, made this little booklet and the Bishops' Conference a dogmatic teaching, infallible and had to be implemented, like it or not, because they knew better. There wasn't to be any disagreement about it! We are doing what the bishops are asking us to do and case closed!

This approach by modern liturgists and their enablers, like the USCCB, is what has led in part to about 70% of Catholics not believing in what Jesus teaches about the Most Holy Eucharist.

Liturgists who are more difficult to deal with than terrorists, as the old saying goes, contrived so much as it concerns the Ordinary Form and that contrivance is a fact!

TWO ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS OF THE SAME LATIN PRAYER


Which do you prefer:

Gracious God,
you filled your priest and martyr,
Saint Maximilian Kolbe,
with zeal for your house
and love for his neighbor.
Through the prayers of this devoted servant of Mary Immaculate,
grant that in our efforts to serve others for your glory
we too may become like Christ your Son,
who loved his own in the world even to the end,
and now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
 Amen.

Or:

O God, who filled the Priest and Martyr Saint Maximilian Kolbe
with a burning love for the Immaculate Virgin Mary
and with zeal for souls and love of neighbor,
graciously grant, through his intercession,
that, striving for your glory by eagerly serving others,
we may be conformed, even until death, to your Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
 Amen.

TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OF DESTRUCTION

This may be a demographic destruction, St. Andrews in St. Paul, MN:







This is a destruction that has led to 70% of Catholics not believing what Jesus teaches about the Holy Eucharist and is contrived for the Ordinary Form:



Tuesday, August 13, 2019

SAINT MICHAEL'S BREWERY, I MEAN, CATHOLIC CHURCH IN BALTIMORE, MARYLAND'S FELL'S POINT

When I was in the seminary in Baltimore, this parish, Saint Michael's, was a possible field placement for seminarians. It was a beautiful Church.

It has succumbed to changing demographics and the decline in the practice of the faith. It has been closed. It's artwork has been removed to include the altars and all else associated with the Mass. I presume these will be recycled to other churches in need across the country.

It will be transformed into a brewery. There will be more interest in that than when it was a church for the unwashed masses.

Here are the renovating and after photos followed by the before photos:












WHAT IS CLERICALISM AND SHOULD IT BE DISTINGUISHED FROM BEING CALLED CLERGY


Many Catholics, especially post-Catholic progressives, usually my age and older, are bloviating over what clericalism is and trying to rid the priesthood of it.

I contend, though, that many of the recommendations of progressives miss the mark and simply try to make the priest another layperson. It is the old problem that Pope Saint John Paul try to put to rest, the laicization of the priesthood and the clericalization of the laity. Most of what progressives suggest is nostalgia for the time before Pope St. John Paul but in the last few years of Pope St. Paul VI.

Clericalism in my view is most evident among progressive priests who dogmatically instill a version of the “spirit” of Vatican II on their people. They manipulate the Mass by ad libbing or doing things that are against the rubrics or even common sense. In other words they think they are above the law, not only canon law, liturgical law but also civil law.

For example progressive Catholics, usually my age and older, will do some sort of civil disobedience in our diocese either at Kings Bay, a nuclear submarine facility or at Fort Benning in Columbus. When they get arrested for damaging property, they cry crocodile tears if the book is tossed at them and they get a prison sentence. That’s clericalism, my friends.

Conservative clericalism does the same thing. It doesn’t respect canon law or diocesan regulations when it comes to pastoral councils, finance councils and respect for financial accountability as well as accountability when it comes to time away from the parish, extravagant vacations overseas and regularly and going beyond what is allowed for these things in terms of budgets.

But with that said, a progressive aging retired priest of Washington, DC, Father Peter Daley has an article in the National Chismatic Reporter on how to deal with clericalism.

This is an excerpt:

Clerics (bishops and priests) are often trained to think they are set apart from and set above everyone else in the church. Their word is not to be questioned. Their behavior is not to be questioned. Their lifestyle is not be questioned. They rule over the church as if they were feudal lords in a feudal society. That is often how they see themselves — lords of the manor, complete with coats of arms, titles of nobility and all the perks that go with "superiority."
  • Seminarians say they are called to "chalices, not callouses." (In other words, no physical work.)
  • People say, "Nothing is too good for "Father." Or, "Father never picks up the check."
  • Priests and bishops spend huge amounts of parish and diocesan money on themselves, with no controls. E.g., redecorating the rectory, building a new episcopal residence, taking lavish trips at church expense, or giving lavish gifts to each other with church money.
  • When the priest says, "This is my parish. My way or the highway."
  • When 18-year-old college seminarians wear clerical garb to set themselves apart.
  • When parents tell their children, "Never question a priest."
  • When people say that "the priests are 'next to God.' "
  • When bishops prioritize avoiding scandal over protecting victims of abuse by priests.
  • When thriving parishes are closed because there is a shortage of priests when there are deacons and lay people readily available to keep the community going.
It is not just clerics who are clerical. The laity often foster clericalism by always deferring to "Father" and putting "Father" on a pedestal. Clericalism is experienced in thousands of words and deeds that add up to a "culture" or atmosphere. Clericalism shows itself when:
All those things are symptoms of clericalism. The culture of clericalism can have horrific consequences.
My comment: I agree with some in the list above, but not with all when it reduces the legitimate authority of the priest by virtue of his ordination. Obviously legitimate authoirty can be abused, that's called sin, actual sin, which has two types, mortal and venial.

Instead of beating around the bush, why don't we talk about sin, mortal and venial as it concerns the abuse of what priests and bishops are called to do?????????????????????????

THE PROBLEM WITH PROGRESSIVE LITURGISTS IS THE PROBLEM WITH THE ORDINARY FORM, WORSHIP ISN'T THE PRIMARY FOCUS


Over at Praytell, Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB comes clean:



I grant that church law allows for the 1962 Mass, though I do not see how that accords Sacrosanctum Concilium, which clearly intended that the one and only form of the Roman rite would be reformed and be the only form henceforth celebrated.
I do not believe that the 1962 Mass expresses the nature of the Church adequately, as V2 said the liturgy should do. Neither did the Fathers of Vatican II. That is why I will not celebrate it. I only celebrate the reformed rite.
Progressives are authoritarian and pontificate in an infallible way a particular interpretation of Vatican II's Sacrosanctum Concilium. He's that dreaded fundamentalist when it comes to a particular interpretation of a Church document. 
But that's not the worst of it. He won't celebrate the 1962 Missal because it does not fit into his fundamentlistic understanding of a Church document which, let's keep in mind, no pope had declared a particular interpretation to be the only interpretation and thus dogmatic and in fact the opposite is true, one can hold a variety of opinions which is  the problem with this document. 
My biggest concerns with this type of dogmatic ideology expressed by Fr. Anthony and so many others in the Church who are progressive/heterodox is that for them the Liturgy is about ecclesiology as though the Church worships ecclesiology and the nature of the Church. What rubbish! 
How many Catholics go to Mass to praise and worship the nature of the Church. Wouldn't that be heretical? Wouldn't that be anti-Catholic? Wouldn't that be blasphemy?
But that, my friends, is the problem with the Ordinary Form and the fundamentalists who are so narrow minded about the Extraordinary Form. 

Monday, August 12, 2019

LIONS 🦁 TIGERS 🐯 AND ALLIGATORS 🐊 O MY!




On my morning walk and my Precious  was asleep at the end of the bridge that I was crossing. His mouth was open and he was trying to eat a tennis 🎾 ball or playing with it. I did not tempt my Precious as I call him, but turned around and took another route to the beach and sunrise 🌅!

My Precious has lost his fear of humans because he should have gone back in the water as I approached. Even stomping my feet would not budge him! He needs to be removed.


GOOD GRIEF AND THEY CALL THE SSPX SCHISMATIC!


I coping the following from the Deacon's Bench and the comments at the end of it are not mine but his.

How could a parish like this get away with what they were doing for so long? Can you imagine how hard it would be for a priest who is Catholic to go into a schismatic parish like this. Just who was the previous pastor and how did things get out of hand like this?

At the same time, a priest going into such a parish needs to work a bit more slowly. But let me tell you, I would celebrate the Mass as it is written from minute one and I would wear my own vestments if the parish vestments are crazy and I would make sure the altar looks like an altar, cloths and all. So some things would change right away.

I had a parishioner tell me after Sunday Mass that their family had visited Immaculate Conception Church in downtown Atlanta the previous Sunday. This parish, next to the capitol, is very progressive, LGBTQ friendly and more than likely similar to the parish in the story below. My parishioner said that priest bragged about how much better they are than any other parish in the archdiocese because they are so open, so friendly and so welcoming of so many kinds of people. They, unlike the unwashed masses of other Catholic parishes, do it right. Such arrogance and such pride, the deadly sin of pride.

Please look at the age of the parishioners in the video, my age and older, baby boomers who never grew up, 1960's social activists still beating that same drum. Very sad indeed and such a caricature:

Revolt: parishioners protest changes at parish in Portland, Oregon


Evidently, one pastor’s efforts to restore a sense of orthodoxy to a progressive parish met with fierce resistance— even prompting protests during Mass.
See the video below. A longer story follows.
From the front page of The Oregonian on Sunday:
The new priest took charge of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church more than a year ago. Week after week, parishioners said, George Kuforiji changed their church in ways they didn’t think he ever could.
…St. Francis is one of the oldest churches in Portland. It has long been known as a bastion of progressive Catholic faith.
Parishioners have marched in the Portland Pride parade, fed and given shelter to people experiencing homelessness and worked to make the traditionally patriarchal institution more inclusive of women. For several years, a banner hung above the church steps that read “Immigrants & refugees welcome.
Now, the banner is missing. Vestments and one of several treasured photographs of the homeless community that had lined the walls of their parish had been piled in a trailer headed for the dump.
Many felt the new priest aimed to better align St. Francis with the archdiocese, who some feel is out of step with Catholics in Portland.
An archdiocese spokesman turned down multiple requests to interview Sample or Kuforiji.
So what happened?
Parishioners said the changes he made were almost immediate.
For years, St. Francis used inclusive language in its scripture readings. With references to God, for instance, they avoided using “he,” “lord” or “king” and instead used simply “God” or “creator.”
Kuforiji switched readings to traditional scripture, no longer allowing the new wording.
St. Francis outlined their values in a community commitment that parishioners would read after the Nicene or Apostles’ Creed. Kuforiji replaced the pamphlet and cut out the community commitment.
Parishioners brought their own copies and still said the words.
The parish’s handwoven altar cloth was a gift from a village in Guatemala the parish had helped. Parishioners showed up to Mass one Sunday last summer to find that Kuforiji replaced it with a plain white cloth.
Parishioners also had cherished vestments worn by the priest — some they’d made by hand. When two parishioners found the vestments, along with banners and other valued items in a trailer headed for the dump, tensions boiled over.
Dianna Shaffer and Melody Ghormley went to St. Francis June 27 to prepare for a parish clean-up scheduled for the next day. When Shaffer arrived, she saw Ghormley talking with Kuforiji and Deacon Kevin Welch in the sanctuary.
Shaffer and Ghormley noticed the vestments were missing, along with the large “Immigrants & refugees welcome” banner. Black and white photographs of homeless people served by the church were stripped from the walls. Both said Kuforiji told them he didn’t know what happened.
It seems to me someone, somehow, needs to negotiate a truce here — and that effective, meaningful catechesis is sorely needed. I’d like to hear from the archdiocese and the pastor to get their side of the story.
At the very least, the archdiocese should never have let things get this bad.
When a parish starts rewriting liturgical texts to remove God’s gender, and inserting its mission statement into Mass, that’s a serious problem. And publicly tossing vestments into the trash? Really? Was that a good idea?

Sunday, August 11, 2019

O THE GLORY OF THE EF MASS I CELEBRATED AT THE CATHEDRAL TODAY FOR THE 9th DUNDSY AFTER OENTECOST




I Celebrated the Ancient Latin Mass at our Cathedral in Savannah today. The Mass and the choir always give me an out of body spiritual experience! In the group photo the two adult servers are great. The one to my left who has a Marine haircut and is also a boxer is seriously thinking about the priesthood. He’s 24. I tell him that I could box him and run with one hand tied behind my back
! NOT! He’s s sweet kid but don’t cross him! The one to my left teaches animation at the Savannah College of Art and Design. He worked for Disney Animation Studios in California and has credits in several Fisney animated films! How cool is that! He’s a great guy!

IS THE PRESENTATION OF THE OFFERINGS A SYMBOL OF WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE ETHOS OF THE ORDINARY FORM MASS THAT HAS LED TO A LOSS OF BELIEF IN THE REAL PRESENCE?


Maybe I am wrong, but all the reforms of the Mass after Vatican II were not necessarily to under gird  a stronger way our belief in the Real Presence of Christ, but in fact has diluted this belief into heretical thoughts or instincts.

Striving to make the Mass intelligible and its signs clearer, has led to a malaise of Catholic belief in what the Mass is and how we are to approach our participation. One of the dilutions is that instead of holding up the Real Presence of the One Sacrifice and the Bread and Wine becoming the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Risen Lord as unique and the source and summit of other expressions of Christ's presence, the Real Presence was just one among many other real presence expressions in the Mass, first in the assembly who gathers, second in the Word proclaimed, third in the priest who presides and finally in the Bread and Wine consecrated. That makes the Real Presence in Holy Communion just one among many.

Think too how the Book of the Gospel or the Lectionary is enthroned to give the impression that the Book is like the tabernacle. At our cathedral it is enthroned  after the Gospel dead center on the old high altar while the tabernacle is in a side chapel, beautiful as it is. Is the Book equally important or more important than what is contained in the tabernacle. Visually, the answer is YES!

And in terms of making the signs bigger and clearer, let's use French Bread and break off chunks as the communicant arrives and force them to receive in the hand since they are adults and can feed themselves. Never mind that the crumbs of the crusty French bread litter the floor and carpet below, something I witnessed first had at a Jesuit's first Mass in 1978! After Mass he ridiculed parishioners who saw the crusty Bits on the floor and were scandalized and shocked by the sacrilege  and irreverence! He declared and pontificated that the Church was no longer into "Crumb" theology and they should get over it!

The other issue with some the "new theology" of the Mass, what I would call an ideology, is that what is more important is what the laity are doing in terms of active, what I prefer to call, actual, participation rather than what is believed.

Thus we need as many lay ministers acting during the Mass as possible. No longer will the Host be given to the laity with the Sign of the Cross and the longer formula, because laity cannot give a blessing with the Host prior to offering Holy Communion to a communicant. And the longer formula is too hard for them especially in Latin. So let's dumb down both which then leads to a malaise of Catholic belief.

Let's have everyone stand for Holy Communion because you can have more communion stations and need more extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion and since the laity are touching the host with their hands, let the laity receive in their hands too! Never mind that now people received in wildly different ways, Hosts are taken without consuming and discarded here there and everywhere. This really shores up belief in the Real Presence!

Let's have liturgical dance as a performance, we get more people involved but in reality is diminishes the faith of people because what the heck is the purpose of it?

Let's have the laity bring up the offerings to include the collection, extending the length of this part of Mass which has minimal symbolic meaning which most could care less about and better yet, let it be accompanied by cross, candles and incense. And for what reason?  It gets more laity, many reluctant to do it, doing something. Many laity now refuse to bring of the gifts. I think it is instinctual to them how superfluous it actually is!

Let's offer both forms the Eucharist so we can have a hoard of people, formed, unformed, moral, immoral, faithful, infidels, coming up at the Rite of Communion to assist the priest who he can move away from the "clericalism" of being the exclusive "giver of Holy Communion" and we have more laity doing more stuff many of whom think Communion is just symbolic anyway. The dress the part too!

But even with that, there is a new clericalism that develops, what is really laityism, a subset of the laity who do stuff while others, the vast majority, remain in the pew viewed as second class citizens by some clergy and some laity.

So the modern ideology places function over belief, people doing stuff over what is actually believed and what is believed is diminished, marginalized and seen as less important. Doing is more important than believing!

DID VATICAN II’S CHANGES IN THE CATHOLIC LITURGY AND DEVOTIONAL LIFE, SPIRITUALITY IF YOU WILL, CAUSE THE DRAMATIC DECLINE IN CATHOLICS PRACTICING THE FAITH OR REMAINING AFFILIATED WITH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH?

Why have Catholics in the UK and US been leaving the Church since Vatican II?


Yes, Vatican II is the culprit but not exclusively as people who comment on my blog would write. There are in fact three culprits as highlighted by Dr. Bullivant in The Catholic World Report interview which you can read in full by pressing the title above. Below are some money quotes from that interview.

What I have always emphasized Stephen Bullivant confirms. Catholics prior to Vatican II who had a “ghetto” experience of Catholicism (something positive not negative in terms of Catholic identity supported by the community in which one lives) experienced after Vatican II a fragmentation of that community which brought them to an “ecumenical” world of a variety of people and less of a connection with a Catholic ghetto experience. Vatican II’s implementation exacerbated this fragmentation and disengagement from Catholic identity by mocking all things pre-Vatican II and erasing Catholic cultural experiences such as the Latin Mass, nuns in habits, surety of doctrine, uniformity, devotions as well as fasting and abstinence.

Vatican II also demanded engagement with other Christians, non Christian religions and secularism itself as though these were on an equal footing with Catholicism. This helped to erode the surety of Catholic identity and being a part of the “True Church” in which salvation could be experienced and only experienced in the true Church.

The second generation of Catholics living in a not so homogenous Catholic culture became less attached to things Catholic and a strong Catholic identity. Then their children brought up with even a less connectiveness to the Church could take her or leave her and many leave with no real worry about doing so.

CWR: You nicely frame one of the key Catholic debates of the last fifty years as “post concilium ergo propter concilium?” You note that Catholics generally divide into “three broad tendencies” in how they answer that question. Give us a brief sense of those tendencies and whether you think one of them has stronger arguments than the others.
Bullivant: In very rough, stereotyping terms: There are those who chiefly blame something – normally something liturgical, but not necessarily—that Vatican II directly brought about, whether intentionally or not. Then there are those who chiefly blame some stifling, thwarting, or mitigating of the Council’s positive vision – Humanae Vitae is often the culprit here, often as the harbinger of some bigger “conservative crackdown” under John Paul II and Benedict XVI. And finally, there are those who really play down there being a Catholic-specific story to tell at all, pointing instead to wider social and cultural trends already well afoot before the Council, and affecting many of other mainstream denominations too.
One of the real motivations for writing the book was my conviction that, actually, each of these basic stances has a good deal going for it. Which is why, I suppose, serious scholars and commentators can be cited in support of each.  What I try to do in the second half of the book is to offer an historical account of British and American Catholicism “since Vatican II” – though, in fact, to do that you have to start with the Second World War and its aftermath, since neither the Council nor its aftermath make any sense without that background.
Ultimately, though, liturgical changes and the “customs” and little “t” traditions completely abandoned in the 1960’s, to include habits on nuns and Catholic schools filled with nuns escalated the crisis of Catholics who no longer claim to be Catholic either by joining other Christian groups, non Catholic religions or no religion at all (nones).

CWR: I read with keen interest the details in your fifth chapter on liturgical changes at and after the council along with the decline in Marian devotion and fasting. You seem to suggest that all these changes (and others) were damaging to what Mary Douglas calls “thick” religious identity and the take-it-for-grantedness of Catholic life. Do you see any ways to repair some of this damage?
Bullivant: Well, a great deal of the damage cannot simply be undone. The whole rich tapestry of Catholic devotional life was very swiftly torn away. But a re-emphasis on things like the rosary, lighting candles for sick friends, reinstating Friday fasting (as the bishops of England and Wales did a few years ago) – all the little day-to-day things that were de-emphasized because they (supposedly) distractions from the Mass, but which in truth help the “source and summit” to stand out even more clearly. All these are things that, I think, could be easily rediscovered. In fact, I think that’s what a lot of younger Catholics are doing by themselves anyway. I believe it’s what the Fathers of Vatican II would have called a ressourcement.