Wednesday, August 31, 2022



From the National Catholic Reporter:

In a joint interview with NCR and the UK's The Tablet magazine on Aug. 27, Roche said he was unfamiliar with LaBeouf and the news of his conversion, but said that when it comes to high-profile Latin Mass supporters who publicly extol it as a superior form of liturgy, he hopes they will encounter the same reverence in the liturgy's ordinary form (or Novus Ordo), which has been continually updated since the Second Vatican Council, which took place 1962-1965.

'The Mass should be celebrated with great dignity.'
— Cardinal Arthur Roche

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"The Mass should be celebrated with great dignity," Roche said. "It isn't just something, a trait that belongs to the missal of 1962. It belongs to the reform."

My astute and well reasoned comments:

What planet does Cardinal Roche live upon? He knows full well how horrible the Modern Missal is celebrated by any number of bishops, priests, dioceses and parishes. It is horrendous in some cases and reverence is completely lacking as reverence as been redefined and no where near the kind of proper reverence there is the the older Roman Missal. 

Let’s fix that Cardinal Roche. Put your money where your mouth is!

1. The Modern Missal’s celebration seldom follows its skimpy rubrics.

2. The priest overwhelms the Modern Missal with his quirky personality, ad libbing, changing words and make it up as you go rubrics and attempts at vain reverence.

3. The Introductory Rite with its many options is an absolute mess and lends itself to banal and secular greetings and comments often lasting too long in an attempt to be folksy and welcoming.

4. Much of the modern music/hymnody is horrible

5. The propers are not mandated in a spoken or sung Mass and the distinctions between the two are so blurred as to be nonsensical

6. Gregorian Chanting of the propers is not mandated and banal or even good hymns can replace it

7. The Ordinariate’s Divine Worship, the Missal is a far better Missal than the current Latin Rite Missal with its beefed up rubrics, revision of the Calendar to make it more traditional and the formatting of the Missal to include the Traditional format of the Introit, Offertory and Communion antiphons. The current Latin Rite Missal omits altogether the Offertory Antiphon

8. Kneeling for Holy Communion is not mandated and discouraged and the manner of receiving and distributing Holy Communion is horrendous. 

All of these problems could be fixed and should be Cardinal Roche!!!!! If the 1962 Roman Missal can be abandoned, a new Roman Missal, a reform in continuity one, can take the place of the current Modern Missal, which, indeed, should be abandoned.


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...



Then, all will be right with the world.....

TJM said...

The Roche is lying and he knows it. Rank careerist that he is, he was for the TLM before he was against it. He should be forced to watch a video of the “Mass” at St. Sabina’s in Chicago and then explain the unity and dignity there. This is why TC should be ignored, which it is by most bishops, other than the branch manager, careerist types

rcg said...

Actually, Fr. K., you are correct.

Also, there is a Latin Mass this Friday at St Remy Parish, Russia, OH followed by all night adoration. I post this because it is offered by Fr. Lee, the replacement of Fr. Fox. This brings up a lot of questions.

John said...

Actually,FR K those rules were written for 16th c. priests many of whom had poor education and theological training. Those priests said beautiful, reverent Masses. Why not imitate their humility? Your comment above is just so condescending. Cynical? Go to confession!

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

John - There are many beautiful, reverent masses celebrated today where the placement of thumbs is not given a second thought, if any thought at all.

Tell, me, what is the theological significance of the placement of thumbs during mass? Why was it necessary to prescribe the placement of thumbs?

There's nothing, at all, un-humble about questioning the necessity or the benefit of such regulations. To do so it not condescending nor cynical nor, for that matter, confession-worthy.

John said...

Fr K

The 16th c. priest humbly submitted his own personality to the demands of the Rite. He knew what he was about and what the Mass was about. His compliance even in the smallest details of saying Mass was a sacrificial offering consistent with the wishes of Holy Mother the Church. That small detail that you find ridiculous guarded against putting his own persona above the nature and meaning of the Rite.

He learned that the Mass was about Him and not him.

TJM said...


Father K still cannot explain why he sticks with the tried and failed Novus Ordo where only about 30% who bother to go believe in the Real Presence. I don’t know if for him that is a feature or a bug. One would think a pastor would spend his time winning converts and vocations rather than spending time on a successful priests blog making smart aleck remarks about a Rite that was wildly successful throughout the centuries.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

John - If a liturgical regulation is in place simply to require humble submission, then it has no place in the liturgy. Rubrics are intended to enhance worship and thanksgiving, not to require compliance.

The purpose of the liturgy isn't to require obedience, so if the only reason to require right-over-left thumbs is to teach the celebrant something about himself, then the rule and the liturgy is being misused. Teaching the priest something about himself is about the 99th most essential goal of the mass. If he goes to the altar saying, "I must learn obedience, I must give humble submission," then the liturgy has, indeed, become about him and not the worship of God.

Jerome Merwick said...


There are two souls who post on this site that I highly recommend not bothering to engage with. One indulges in writing fan fiction for his favorite alleged pope and the other swings wildly between puerile "gotcha" statements and mockery and affected sophistication, reminding us that he is so much better educated than the rest of us until his mockery resumes.

What motivates either of these people I would never venture to say. However, both obviously get some thrill out of provoking people like you.

Trust me, they aren't worth the bother. Your time would be far more productively spent shopping for a new veg-a-matic or re-grouting your bathroom floor.

TJM said...

Jerome Merwick,

Very well said. Sadly one is a “priest.” His master, theologian Nancy Pelosi, now sayss
restrictions on abortion are “sinful.” So that’s all John needs to know about that guy.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jerome Merwick - You can stick your fingers in your ears and shout, "LaLaLaLaLa, I can't hear you, LaLaLaLaLa!" all day long. That doesn't change the fact that there are people who, with good reason, do not share your views and preferences.

As for your fear of encountering people who may be better educated than you, I would suggest that, rather than denigrate them, you might listen to them, ask them questions, and give yourself the opportunity to learn something. But beware, when you learn things, you might be challenged to change your mind.

Hope your newly grouted bathroom floor looks smashing!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I am afraid that FRMJK has fallen into a trap that he does not know was set before he can remember. The new and improved liturgy of the Church as well as the new and improved Vatican II Church was sold, or should I say, shoved, to the laity and clergy too, by denigrating what had preceded. The rubrics of the pre-Vatican II Mass, celebrated during Vatican II, BTW, were the first things denigrated. All of this was under poorly understood and sometimes intentionally corrupted, history of the early Church and her liturgy.

Denigrating what Catholics once held sacred was not and is not the way to promote what Vatican II has wrought. That’s the trap FRMJK and so many others including the current pontiff and His Holiness’ advisors have fallen into and can’t get up!

ByzRus said...

Actually, Fr. MJK's understanding is wholly consistent with that of the Byzantine East. Liturgy is the work of a community of churches believers. We are to submit to it, yet, nothing is there that doesn't need to be there. That which serves no particular purpose, or, is a display of actual or perceived piety has no place. Our gestures all have a specific meaning including how the priest or bishop holds his fingers when providing a blessing.

I suspect, at least in principle, the liturgical reforms of the Council endeavored to lead the Roman Church to a similar place.

ByzRus said...

Minds set in concrete abound this morning.

Thoughtful consideration, study and openness to opposing viewpoints will greatly enhance this type of discourse, as opposed to the predictable barbs hurled by those in disagreement. Boorish beyond belief.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Dear, dear Fr. ALLAN McDonald, do tell us what is "sacred" about the positioning of thumbs?

You see, there's nothing - and never was - anything sacred about it. It was a rule to be followed for the sake of following a rule.

Was it NECESSARY to the celebration of the mass to prescribe the position of thumbs? Nope.

According to some traditional sources, the wilful violation of rubrics was/is a mortal sin.

The story is told of the two priests who meet in hell. Fr. Teejayemm (he's from southern India dontcha know) says to Fr. Jeremy Mermaid, "What did you do to end up here?" Fr. Mermaid replies, "I stole tens of thousands from the collection plate, I kept a mistress in a house in Boca, I gambled with the parish funds, I sold cocaine, and I cheated on my taxes." Then Fr. Mermaid asks Fr. Teejayemm, "How 'bout you? What was your big sin?" Fr. Teejayemm replied, "I wilfully placed my left thumb over my right at mass one day."

TJM said...

Fr K LOVES the liturgical failure that is the Novus Ordo. It makes things easier for him, because it is all about him! He is one, dishonest rascal. He should retire so he could work for his true religion, The Democratic Party which worships abortion.

rcg said...

What, as well, is sacred about liturgical colors? If you can decide what God needs, why give Him anything?

ByzRus said...


That's nonsense and you know it.

TJM said...


It is not nonsense that this “priest” won’t own up to the fact that the Novus Ordo is a flop and continues to enable a political party that worships abortion. He is a Democrat operative masquerading as a Catholic priest. I pity his parishioners

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

rcg - There's nothing sacred about green, white, red, rose, and violet - any colors might have been chosen, but we have what we have and it seems to work if you operate in a Euro-centric culture.

God needs nothing, including colors, but we do.

TJM said...

Fr K,

Why aren't you out making converts or seeking vocations, instead of intruding on a faithful, successful priest's blog? Did you know that your master, Nancy Pelosi, says it is sinful to restrict the killing of the unborn. Great company YOU keep

William said...

Rituals and formulas are what were all about. Just ask any anthropologist or sociologist. When Protestants purged their worship of papist trappings, they turned to Freemasonry and the like to compensate for the the deep need of ritual, spectacle, and all manner of arcane practices. Deny people their rituals and they'll immediately replace them, and seldom for the better. Twiddle your thumbs all you want, dear Father, it's far less deleterious than the melee and mayhem provoked by your invitation to share a "sign of peace."

ByzRus said...

Why adult civilized conversation is so difficult for some, I will never understand.

The following comes from the Orthodox Church in America's website, (OCA). We Byzantine Ruthenians are about perfectly aligned with our Orthodox brothers and sisters, so, I, among others leverge their materials without worry. I think this captures, particularly where piety is referenced, the essence of this conversation. I see here, albeit indirectly, the point Fr. MJK is making.

Because the Divine Liturgy exists for no other reason than to be the official all-inclusive act of prayer, worship, teaching, and communion of the entire Church in heaven and on earth, it may not be considered merely as one devotion among many, not even the highest or the greatest. The Divine Liturgy is not an act of personal piety. It is not a prayer service. It is not merely one of the sacraments. The Divine Liturgy is the one common sacrament of the very being of the Church itself. It is the one sacramental manifestation of the essence of the Church as the Community of God in heaven and on earth. It is the one unique sacramental revelation of the Church as the mystical Body and Bride of Christ.

As the central mystical action of the whole church, the Divine Liturgy is always resurrectional in spirit. It is always the manifestation to his people of the Risen Christ. It is always an outpouring of the life-creating Spirit. It is always communion with God the Father. The Divine Liturgy, therefore, is never mournful or penitential. It is never the expression of the darkness and death of this world. It is always the expression and the experience of the eternal life of the Kingdom of the Blessed Trinity.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

William - Hyperbole is the stock-in-trade of those who need reasons to complain about what they don't like in the liturgy. In my 37 years as a priest, not once have I experienced "melee and mayhem" at the Sign of peace. Not once.

And I'd bet you never have, either.

When you ritualize the ritual with rituals that have no essential, organic connection to the meaning of the liturgy, you make them, not the Mystery being recalled and celebrated, the focus. As I have said before, unnecessary mysteries can obscure the Mystery.

TJM said...

Fr K,

Wrong as usual and apologizing for a failed Liturgy. You are so invested in the failure you can’t admit its deficiencies like grown up priests like Fathers McDonald and Fox can. Moreover you violate Vatican II when you change words on your own initiative. Very sinful to violate V II!

The Pax can be disconcerting especially if the priest promotes the melee like I witnessed in my own parish many years ago. At the Pax the visiting Jesuit ran around the church pumping dozens of hands like he was using a water pump. I told him after Mass he was a buffoon and I hurt his little feelings.

The beauty of the TLM is that it restrained “creative” priests and spared congregations from their personal preferences and idiosyncracies

ByzRus said...


While Fr's actions at the mass that you referenced might be exaggerated, I doubt they rose to the level of a melee. Did you feel more threatened, or taken aback witnessing this?

In the Byzantine Churches, the pax is limited to clergy. While I don't yearn for it during Divine Liturgy, I participate willingly/normally when attending mass (I extend it to those in my immediate area and I'll also acknowledge overenthusiastic participants waving from afar).

True, the era encouraged displays likely not in keeping with how the laity was intended to participate. That said, I doubt a priest's overenthusiasm, though likely sincere even if a little silly to witness, was either threatening to others, or sinful in any way. My understanding, and absent an extreme emergency, is that the priest should not leave the altar (sanctuary) during the celebration of mass - probably the only offside here.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Byz - At the Sign of Peace, I leave the sanctuary at funerals to extend a sign to the immediate family who are usually seated in the front pew. From time to time, if I know a significant birthday/anniversary is being celebrated and those involved are "reachable," on an aisle, I might make the trip to acknowledge them. And, every once in a great while, it has been necessary for me to disappear into the sacristy behind the altar if 1) something's missing from the credence table, 2) the sound system isn't on, or 3) the HVAC is not acting properly and needs a thermostatic scolding.

TJM said...


Threatened? That’s a strange choice of words, usually chosen by “liberals.” No, I was outraged and did not let him think everyone was fine with his puerile antics. For me, the priest is no longer the “big man on campus” and priests like Father K reinforce that view.

I am still intrigued why an Eastern Rite Catholic comes here to post, especially someone who had no actual experience with the wildly successful Latin Rite Church in pre-Vatican II America. Very odd

ByzRus said...

Fr. MJK,

That's certainly reasonable. If during a funeral, I was sitting in the front pew, and a priest came to extend to me a sign, I would be appreciative of the gesture and the comfort it's intended to bring.

I understand what those who attend the TLM want: uniformity, beauty and order where life offers so much chaos and, increasingly, ugliness I never thought was possible. At the same time and at mass, I do not see any issues with acknowledging our humanity as churched believers and the milestones of life we experience together. In the Byzantine Churches, baptism and initiation are interwoven with the celebration of Divine Liturgy. We also have blessings for married couples celebrating an anniversary, a service for the departed, among others, that find their way into Divine Liturgy prior to the final blessing. They are services within a service where Divine Liturgy can stop until resuming for the final blessing. To me, liturgy shouldn't be a mechanized drill. Certainly, ours is very stylized; but, its execution is not mechanized.
Anyhow, isn't all of this, in conjunction with worshipping our Savior, what it is all about?

ByzRus said...


Not a strange choice at all. You may familiarize yourself with the definition of melee below (source, Merriam Webster).

I find it equally odd your reaction to my response? I was trying to be pleasant.

In Order:

I am still intrigued why an Eastern Rite Catholic comes here to post especially someone who had no actual experience with the wildly successful Latin Rite Church in pre-Vatican II America.

(Though I don't owe you an explanation of any sort, you don't know what you're talking about. True, I wasn't around pre-VII, I was born during its implementation. I was raised Roman and have attended numerous TLMs. I was, in fact, going to learn to serve the mass however, my inability to kneel for any length of time ended that. I returned to my ancestral church years ago however, I still have several affiliations with the Roman Church, both activities and priest friends. As well, and if I'm not mistaken, St. John Paul II encouraged discussion and understanding. Contrary to what you believe, I'm reasonably well qualified to speak to both sides though there are things on the Roman side that I'm just starting to forget being mostly removed day-to-day. I have served on the altar, both Churches, been a sacristan, cantor (Byzantine - you try learning what formerly was a paid profession), written bulletins, maintained websites, done general parish administration work, among other things.)

Very odd (Supposition. You're entitled to your opinion, but be assured, it is of no concern to me.)

TJM: Better to load your mind first instead of shooting off your mouth. You do not know what you are talking about. So many conversations result in extreme responses from you that if you took the time to stop and reflect on the points raised by Fr. MJK, for example, you would reasonably conclude that nothing equally extreme is being advanced. You seem to wholly embrace an echo chamber - at least one might conclude that from your behavior here. You as well might consider other blog options more consistent with your worldview.

melee noun
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me·​lee | \ ˈmā-ˌlā , mā-ˈlā \
variants: or less commonly mêlée
Definition of melee
: a confused struggle
especially : a hand-to-hand fight among several people
They were seriously injured in the melee.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Byz - Bless you for your patience...

You comment: "Why adult civilized conversation is so difficult for some, I will never understand."

It seems to me that much of the uncivilized behavior and speech in our culture today stems from people in fear of losing something. That something might be power or money or status or control or some other thing or circumstance they think they cannot live without. Losing these things is something which they have little or no control over.

English-speaking Anglos, knowing they are losing their majority status in the USA, cuss at people of color who dare to speak Spanish or some other language. A driver who is clearly in the wrong for parking illegally in a handicapped spot attacks the person who points out their irresponsibility and selfishness. A neighbor who is called out for disrupting the neighborhood with loud, late-night parties puts poison in the food of the neighbor's dog. A restaurant patron tells the turban-wearing Sikh men in the next booth to "Go Home" to their own country.

Losing majority status, losing convenience (and being embarassed), losing the license to party till the cows come home - people are needlessly frightened. What is of little consequence becomes instantly a cause worth dying - or killing - for. People are desperate to exercise authority over others because they are afraid.

Fascism is authoritarianism, and it has been rearing it's ugly head for a long time in these parts, moreso in the last 5 years. White nationalists chant "Jews will not replace us" in Charlottesville, election officials and their families are threatened in Atlanta, members of the Senate and the House of Representives fan the flames of fear, warning, as Lindsey Graham did a few days ago, that if the 45th president is indicted, "...there'll be riots in the streets." As we saw on January 6th 2021, he may be right.

Umberto Eco wrote: "The first sign of fascism is traditionalism. As ancient and medieval societies became more diverse —population, culture (e.g. religion), etc., the original society became nostalgic for a time when everyone (they thought) was more or less the same. Because diversity brought different people and different ideas into one arena, a hallmark of democracy by the way, the original society became fearful of difference and change — anything that shook what was originally believed or done. If you’re a traditionalist, you don’t want new information or new ways of doing things, especially if it comes from someone who’s “different.” But you don’t stop at *you* not buying it. You want everyone to believe as you believe. You want the old way of thinking, the conventional way."

I suspect that much of the "liturgy wars" we encounter has a similar origin. "...the original society became fearful of difference and change — anything that shook what was originally believed or done." Unfortunately, when people act out of fear, when their values are underpinned by fear, it can be very hard, if not impossible, for them to shake off the demons that compel them to act out in ugliness.

Ultimately it is a spiritual problem. Do we trust our own ability, or do we trust in God's Providence? Do we believe that we are to turn the other cheek, or do we rely on brute force and behavior? Do we make toom in our spirits for mystery and uncertainty, or do we become comfortable with AND GRATEFUL FOR what God provides each day?

"The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh; Blessed be the name of the Lord."

ByzRus said...

Well said, Fr. MJK.

Mark said...

Yes, very well said indeed! And much food for thought.

Mark said...

And perhaps related, this is an interesting, albeit quite optimistic, take on the synergies among the major themes of the current papacy:

Dave Thoman said...

ByzRus – I cannot speak to why adult conversation is so difficult for some. I will offer the prescription for meaningful dialog that is offered by the late Rabbi Sacks.

“It is not necessary to delegitimize, call out, or cancel your opponents. It is better, simply, to persuade them.”
― Jonathan Sacks, Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times

John Nolan said...

I offer the following, written in 1907 by Robert Hugh Benson, convert son of the Archbishop of Canterbury who became a Catholic priest and was a prolific writer (best remembered for his dystopian novel 'Lord of the World'). The speaker is an Anglican on the verge of converting, but the views expressed are Benson's own.

'Even to me, Protestant as I am, it did seem completely suitable that an event so stupendous could scarcely be approached by any other process than that of a sacred dramatic dance, with an accompaniment of rigid and minute Court etiquette. To leave the conduct of such a thing to the individual personality and private taste of a simple clergyman in a surplice, would be nothing else than bathos of the worst description; human outlines must be obliterated by some overpowering uniform, personal tastes and methods of behaving must be rigidly supplanted by set movements and gestures. In fact, for such a drama as this we need not clericalism, but the most emphatic sacerdotalism. Originality in the sanctuary, as has been well observed, is the grossest vulgarity known to men.'

On a personal note, when I join my hands the right thumb naturally slides under the left; it's all to do with finger length. As a layman, to assiduously correct this smacks of scrupulosity (religious OCD).