I am not the most optimistic person in the world. So looking at the situation of the Church, I often despair that it will all come tumbling down. Reading stories like this one which tells of how the Archdiocese of Barcelona, Spain is combining parishes to form 48 new parishes down from 375 in 1950. When I read Ratzinger’s 1969 “prophecy,” originally a radio broadcast, now published in his Faith in the Future book, I tend to agree that the Church of the future will be much smaller institutionally.
Talking to seminarians I have sometimes posited that these young men might not always have a parish “plant” (to use the U.S. term) at their disposition. They may not have their own church, parish house, school, parish centre, and even a steady salary at their disposition. I have suggested that they might to get a regular job and welcome the local Christian community into a chapel in their homes on weekends.
It is clear that Catholic Mass attendance in this country (and after the pandemic) is as low as 10%, if not less, in some parts of the country and as high as 25% in other parts.
Of that percentage, I think it would be incumbent on bishops to commission a study of the few practicing Catholics and ascertain what these Catholics actually believe about what the Church teaches, believes and practices to be revealed by God.
It would be good, too, to compare EF Catholics with OF Catholics, the two forms of being Catholic in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
I suspect that in Extraordinary Form parishes, the Catholics there will believe what the Church teaches about the Catholic Faith and will be more committed (rigid) to accepting and sharing these teachings. Not so much in Ordinary Form parishes, although there are certainly very committed (rigid) Catholics to be found in Ordinary Form parishes.
The clergy of EF parishes will be more orthodox than OF parishes although, certainly there are more orthodox (rigid) priests in orthodox parishes.
And when it comes to what the Church believes about the Mass as sacrifice and that the Sacramental real presence of the Risen Christ is truly made real under the “accidents” of Bread and Wine—that is, the Risen and Glorified Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, EF parishes will be far, far, far ahead of Ordinary Form Catholics although even here, there will be faithful (rigid) Catholics.
Why is it that EF parishes produce more faithful (rigid) Catholics who believe in the Mass as Sacrifice and the Real Presence in the Most Holy Eucharist and those in Ordinary Form Parish don’t?
THE WAY YOU WORSHIP IS THE WAY YOU BELIEVE—PURE AND SIMPLE!
Distribution of Holy Communion at OF Mass where anyone may do it:
Father, the study you suggest is never going to happen. The time to do it was at least 10 years ago, but I repeat, it is never going to happen.
Now this is just my opinion, but I think the deteriorating state of the Church and what we've seen leaking from the top is enough to explain my opinion.
It's never going to happen because the bishops don't care.
Get it? THEY DON'T CARE!
No, no, no, not EVERY bishop. I am sure there are some good bishops out there who DO care, but the general culture of bishop's conferences indicates that most of them have far more pressing items on their agenda than any concerns about the liturgical influences on two very split groups in a Church that is desperately drying to proclaim "unity". The bishops themselves caused this split.
Too many bishops, especially archbishops of major metropolitan sees, are more concerned with working with Caesar, securing public funding and erasing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy from our consciousness so that they can continue to do their social program virtue signaling for the secular press (and government subsidies). You want me to name names? You cannot convince me that Cupich, McElroy, Gregory or Dolan are concerned about what percentage of their faithful believe in the Real Presence or follow Humanae Vitae. I don't have to prove it--their own words and records prove it. THEY DON'T CARE.
Am I wrong? Please Lord, LET ME BE WRONG! I WOULD LOVE TO BE PROVEN WRONG!
Bishop's conferences are nothing more than an expensive joke (our expense, I might add). I don't know much about the French bishop's conference, but I can just picture them at their next meeting (online or at the Paris Ritz) applauding the bishop who drove the FSSP out of his diocese.
I believe that some bishops truly care about the faithful. I believe a larger group are indifferent to the faithful--they're hirelings. And I believe another group--a group wielding the most power--is utterly disgusted by the Traditional Catholics in their dioceses and wishes they would just go away and will stoop to just about anything to shut them up or get them to move.
Again, this is only my opinion. I really, really want to be wrong. If someone can prove me wrong, please do. I'd sure sleep a lot better.
Last Sunday we had one of the largest "crowds" at Mass ever, and it was illegal because of the size. But who cares about evil governments who try to erase consciousness of God in people through fear mongering about a disease that is highly stratified (dangerous to a very narrow demographic); one just needs to say prayers for their conversion. Yes, it was an EF Mass, and most people there are not afraid of being arrested and even dying for Christ.
Even if the bishops unconsciously do not care, their actions (or inactions) point in the direction of not caring. The hemorrhaging in the Church began shortly after the Council, and it was significant enough, that they should have been more cautious in implementing the reforms (or deforms as I call them). Even my parish priest at the time said this was too much, too fast. They seem to care more about the "cause du jour" (mostly secular ones) than the salvation of souls. They are putting themselves out of business, they just don't know it yet. I don't give a dime to Peter's Pence or my Diocese. I contribute to my parish with instructions that my money be used there. My pastor is young, orthodox, and is the wave of the future.
The problem with that line of thinking is that it assumes putting on a reverential show leads automatically to true reverence and placing one's self in the presence of God both at Mass and, just as importantly, outside Mass in all the rest of one's life.
This does not happen unless and until folk are taught TO do that, and HOW to do that, which teaching is conspicuously missing in most every parish.
Granted, the traditional Latin Mass CAN be far more contemplative, but IS it? How many parishoners even know what that means, as opposed to meditative, for instance? How many have been taught to pray past talking AT God?
I should have added that EF Catholics are more sinful than OF Catholics as EF lines for Confession are much longer than OF lines for Confession.
Whatever those traditional Catholics think or whether or not they know HOW to place themselves in the Presence of God at all times are valid concerns. BUT THEY AT LEAST DESERVE A CHANCE TO TRY. THEY AT LEAST DESERVE A BITE AT THE TRADITIONAL APPLE--and the bishops have locked the apple away. Many say the apple no longer grows or the tree is exinct. Others say no one wants that apple anymore. Others have burned down the orchards and will go "scorched earth" at the mere hint of someone planting a new tree.
I suppose I've beaten that metaphor to death.
Tom, I totally agree they should "have" a right to try, as if such rights (if they are rights at all) are anyone's to give or remove at will, but my issue is simply the insane and very much vocalized attitude that the traditional Latin Mass will fix everything, when by itself it is incapable of fixing anything, and by itself is pretty much all I see at parishes utilizing the older form.
People are not made holy by what rite they practice, but by what internal disposition they bring to it. For the record, I have been to some WONDERFULLY reverent and contemplative Novus Ordo Masses, an extreme minority for sure, but it IS possible, and totally negates the broad brushing of the Novus Ordo as source of all problems and the one and only fix the ditching of same, because that is just NOT true.
I'll tell you what I tell Mark Thomas, ad nauseum. Prior to the Council, 80 % of US Catholics went to Sunday Mass, in contrast to about 15% now. So there is some connection between the form of the Rite we worship at, and whether one form impels people to take one of the forms more seriously than the other. A reverent OF is a rare breed, unless you are at ST. John Cantius in Chicago or the Brompton Oratory in London
The instutional Church, with its liberal bishops, is in free fall as accurately depicted on this blog posting by T. Marcus.
What is to be done?
I know. Maybe those 50 plus bishops who voted not to issue the pastoral document on the Eucharist should go on a 30 day retreat to examen their collective consciences. If even after the allotted time they remain still opposed to the document, why the Conference President might recommend as further treatment a psychiatric consultation? You say the Holy Father would never go for such shenanigans? Nooo...? But..but wasn't it Himself who urged us to go out and make a mess? OK, bring the 50 reluctant prelates together at the Church of St James the Less at La Crosse, WI and let Father Altman give them a pep talk. That is it! The local Bishop could sell tickets for the event and with the proceed finance the entire affair plus pay off any outstanding debts of his diocese.
You see, with a little goodwill and cooperation from Fr Altman and his detractors all ugly ecclesial tensions could be defused and Church unity restored to a level not seen since before Vatican II. I think it could work. What do you say?
We also had Vietnam, and it makes just as much sense to blame it all on Vietnam. As you rightly note, the reverent CAN exist, and the main problem is in execution, not the rite itself. And failures in execution are the failures of lay, priests and bishops across the board. And they failed due to lack of spiritual catechesis going back to their time as traditional Latin Mass practitioners. THE most outrageous outrages were done by those who were brought up in the traditional Mass. It is no proof against a single problem. If it were, these problems never would have happened.
Vietnam? I think you need to rethink your analogy. What happened following the Council was a total collapse of discipline and will. I lived then and saw it with my own eyes. Catechesis basically stopped . Actually many of the worst outrages came from priests trained (malformed) in the late 1960s and 1970s, when again catechesis, especially in seminaries ceased. The rector of the local seminary disbanded the seminary choir (chant and polyphony) because he said basically, the seminarians could not chew gum and walk at the same time. They should be out on the street "doing good." Those seminarians were being told in so many words that proper worship was not important. It also deprived them of a very important tool for being a good celebrant: exposure to quality sacred music. If the OF was executed perfectly it still would not convey the sense of the sacred that the EF does. Also, many of the prayers are mediocre compared to the EF. For example, look at the Offertory Prayers of the EF compared to the Offertory Prayers of the OF. Not even close
"...and let Father Altman given them a pep talk."
Well, maybe after he has had some sort of psychiatric consultation first. And maybe a class on manners...As Father M. mentioned about not being in private practice....
I was listening to Anthony Stein and he pointed out something rather obvious, but perhaps not really grasped by most bishops.
Our Church in last several decades has not taught us that the highest good for us is to cultivate living in a state of grace or living heroic Christian virtue. Instead they have taught us that the highest good is just “accompaniment”, “dialogue” and “community”, which essentially means that the most important thing for a Catholic to do is just get along with everyone else and never, ever say that anything is sinful.
Maybe those are great attributes for being a member of the Optimist Club, but it’s a complete inversion of the mission of the Catholic Church.
Bishop Sheen warned us of a future “Ape of the Church” which would have the trappings, the appearance, the ownership, the property and the name of the Catholic Church, but would, internally, be something else entirely, teaching a false doctrine. Can anyone with a rational mind doubt that we are there?
Too many bishops are killing the very vocations they ask us to pray for, because these young men who dare to be Catholic convict them by their words and by their lives. I do not wish to quibble about how right or wrong Fr. Altmann is about confronting his bishop, but I would like to point out that Bishop Sheen also said that the laity would ultimately save the Catholic Church (and that seems to make sense, since the ordained are doing such a colossal job of trying to destroy it from within).
If a bishop takes away a priest from our parish, we cannot demand him back. We’re not Protestants who focus on the personality of any given minister. But if a bishop silences or tries to laicize or remove faculties from a priest who we KNOW has done no wrong, maybe it’s time for us to say “enough!”
I am not talking about the Diocese of Savannah here, but in such extreme cases, perhaps we should withhold money from such a bishop and give to a group like the Coalition for Canceled Priests. There’s one bishop in Illinois who has shut down 10 priests in his diocese! Are we to believe that they are all violators of some sacred canon?
The laity has a voice and it has more power than most of us realize. We must be respectful, but we must also be courageous and stop supporting the enemies of the Church, even when they have the keys to the chancery.
One more thing we need to do, so obvious, yet so neglected. WE MUST PRAY.
The really bad bishops who have given themselves to the world and trample on these priests are not men of prayer. We have to be. We have to pray for the priest-victims. We have to pray for the bishops. We have to pray that we use prudence and discernment in confronting this horror. And we have to pray for God's mercy. This terrible state of affairs must not continue and only His Mercy can deliver us. Pray, sacrifice, then pray some more.
Anonymous K at 5:17 PM
You should take your own advice and seek help. As a matter of fact, on Monday I am going to contact appropriate authority to see YOU get help
Look, I like you and I like your posts and usually agree with you, but let's stick to the issues. No need to get personal or start assuming you know who certain people are posting here.
Thanks and I assume you are not fine with 5:17’s post?
I think there would be a lot more peace on this website if a certain priest's anonymous attacks or use of numerous noms de plumes were not allowed.
I can at least identify you by name--I have not idea who anonymous is. I also get the sense that you are a rational person of good will. Many of the people who post at this site are mere trolls, or trouble makers (like the snarky person who insists on labeling you as "Paris Pete") or some who DO use a name (and I won't mention their names to give them publicity). I wasn't trying to single you out, and for that, I apologize. My point is simply this: There are people who post on this blog who will deliberately post ridiculous or deliberately provocative exercises in stupidity simply to get people like you and me to react or steer the entire conversation off track. Generally, I try to ignore such comments and I suggest that you not take the bait either. Then again, that's your prerogative.
Thank you for your thoughtful response
I wish I had a dollar for every word written on this blog in reply to Mark Thomas and Fr K and various people some think are Fr K.
I know I alone at different times since 2010 have written probably several thousand such words.
As I reflect now, I think some of us should thank Fr K et al, especially!
He, they or them have merely or basically confirmed me in my stand and my conservative traditionalist position on everything from liturgy, historiography to almost all "culture wars" issues.
Every time I see a Biden/Harris or an old Obama bumper sticker in the church's parking lot I'm reminded of the massive fail of Catholic teaching and the massive fail of people to keep their baptismal promises. I have tried for years to get a survey (anonymous even!) to find out what the parish, as a whole, might believe.
While the priests and various councils busy themselves with raffles, multicultural matters and fundraising, what is really spinning around in the heads of people orchestrating these things? The twitter posts of some parishioners are astonishing!
People get riled up about Biden and Pelosi but the same types goes to the local parish, mimic the required motions and consume His body every Sunday.
Paul in Texas
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