Thursday, March 14, 2024


 Most recent renovation/refurbishment:

Pre-Vatican II look:

This is the Cathedral in Lafayette, Indiana. It has been renovated as one can see. Overall, the renovation is attractive, so what’s wrong with it?

1. The damnable placing of the altar in the sanctuary some six steps LOWER than the bishop’s throne. That damnable throne is six steps higher from the altar and some nine steps higher from the floor of the nave. It’s the elevation of the bishop over the altar which represents Christ and the saints in heaven. That’s damnable. 

2. The altar, the most important liturgical “item” in any church is in a lesser position than the placement of the bishop’s throne. In the photo above not only is it lower, but then it is obscured by flowers, plants and material cloth! Yes, you read that correctly. The decorators at the cathedral somehow thought hiding the altar with plants, flowers and material was a good idea! Are the flowers prettier than the new free-standing altar? Is that why these are placed there?????

3. My recommendation is to place the altar where the bishop’s throne is. Lower the bishops throne to the altar’s current location but to the side and hide it with flowers, plants and material cloth!

4. To the far left of the sanctuary, please note the clutter of damnable stuff associated with the music ministry, to include an organ console, piano and God only knows what other stuff! And I am sure, that there is a spacious choir loft in the traditional location where all that crap could be and out of sight! Who thought doing this was a good idea? Are they intentionally trying to drive me crazy?????

5. Please note where the tabernacle is, to the far right of the Bishop’s throne. That let’s you know what they think of the Most Blessed Sacrament—relegate it to an obscure position so that stupid Catholics won’t be distracted by the “active and static” real presence of Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity Who has two natures, human and divine. Yes, let’s make a distinction between the “active and static” Real Presence. Stupid Catholics would happily be informed about that!

I can’t find what this cathedral looked like prior to this latest renovation, but I suspect it was ordered properly and more stunningly beautiful, at least the sanctuary! 


TJM said...

Creepy - looks like you’re there to worship the bishop and clergy

TJM said...

Father McDonald,

This piece at The New Liturgical MOvement today is an excellent read:

It confirms Father Fox's view that no one really likes the Novus Ordo but it also underscores how contumacious the hierarchy has been, doubling down on a proven failure. That's just how liberals roll.

Unknown said...

I'm sure this is an improvement over the previous design--I'd be surprised if it wasn't. But I have to agree, Father. The traditional layout over time shifted to have the altar (and tabernacle) be the highest/focal point of the sanctuary, with the cathedra enjoying a prominent, but less significant location on the side of the sanctuary.

My understanding is that the sudden change to enthroning man--albeit a successor of the Apostles--in the sanctuary in the 1960s on was an antiquarian/archeological attempt to revie the paleo-Christian orientation of having the bishop and the presbytery gathered in the synthronon in the apse. Unfortunately, this photo demonstrates a problem with antiquarianism; rather than reviving a prior practice that fell out of use, it creates a pale imitation of that prior practice. And there are reasons the Church moved away from that orientation over time. As Chesterton said, "Don't remove a fence until you know why it was put up in the first place." Unfortunately, the liturgical vandals of a prior generation, armed with their pet theories, seem to have not understood those reasons and certainly to have not heeded that advice.

Another note: they have a resurrexifix hanging in the apse, an odd choice even when such silliness was in vogue. At least the processional crucifix is placed next to the altar.


TJM said...

Father McDonald,

Here is an interior photo of the Cathedral. Please note this is not the original because the Cranmer table is present but it gives you an idea of what it was once like before the sanctuary was stripped:

Unknown said...


That's a good little article. I hope Fr. AJM makes a post commenting on it so we can discuss it there.


Fr. David Evans said...

Well it has certainly packed them in: in their one's and two's.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

TJM, thanks for the link to the original look. That isn’t a free standing altar in front of the old, but appears to me to be a double kneeler perhaps for a Nuptial Mass/Liturgy.

TJM said...

Fr McDonald,

My old eyes betrayed me!

Unknown said...

What a downgrade from before the Council.


TJM said...


That goes without saying!

Aaron Aukema said...

Fr. Louis Bouyer and other Consilium members were adamant that the new liturgy refocus the Assembly away from false understandings of the "real presence" and on the "real presences" in the Assembly and in the Word. They required the tabernacle be removed from the freestanding table (they even wanted a table, because sacrifice is offered on an altar, a meal is from a table) so that the Assembly could better focus on itself as the essence of the service.

Fr. Bouyer was convinced, as was Fr. Josef Jungmann, that the TLM was corrupted to the point that it was too oriented on the Eucharist as really Christ, it was too "Christ-centric". Reading some writing of the Consilium fathers, one understands that the "wreckovation" that is depicted and described is a logical outcropping of the "Liturgical Reform". To more fully grasp this, it must be recognized that Paul VI himself formally devised the "memorial acclamations" with the express purpose of preventing the people from saying something so "Christ-centric" as "My Lord and My God" to the Species on the table, after the Institution Narrative was completed.

Lest you think I am being disrespectful of the Real Presence, I am only reflecting the attitudes of the Consilium. Having read their work, I really struggle with believing that they 1) believed in Transubstantiation or the Real Presence in any Catholic sense at all, and 2) really cared about Christ at Mass at all. After all, they freely admit the Assembly was more Holy than the Eucharist, for it was the Assembly that connects the their theology.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Ratzinger's "Theological Highlights of Vatican Two"

Page 32, Ratzinger begins to tear into and eviscerate the Holy Holocaust in favor of its protestantising; The liturgy of the word had to be restored; the proclamation of the word once more had to call and speak to man. The dialogical nature of the whole liturgical celebration and its essence as the common derive of the People of God had to be once more fully emphasized....

There is and will be a stronger emphasis of the Word as an element of equal value with the sacrament.

Yes. That is what he believed. He thought reading from the Bible was equal to the action of Jesus- as both Priest and Victim - in the Holy Holocaust.

Ratzinger is the synecdoche of all the periti at Vatican Two.

Has Pope Francis said anything that equals this Protestant ideology?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

MJGMN, Since Vatican II there has been a positive development of doctrine, meaning clarification not changing doctrine. Vatican II reemphasized the presence of Christ in the “assembly, the Word, the Eucharist and the priest”. There is nothing heterodox about that. Not acknowledging the presence of Christ in the Word, the Assembly and the priest would indeed be heterodox.

What needed clarification and I think this has occurred with Cardinal Ratzinger and then as pope, is the varying degrees or types of presence. In the baptized, the ordained and the all the Sacraments, there is a real presence of Christ but the Most Holy Eucharist is there is a unique real presence, transubstantial and of the highest form. Other aspects of the presence of Christ would be “sacramental” as in sacramentals, like blessed objects, the Bible book itself, prayers, invocations and the like.

To revere the Word of God isn’t Protestant it is Catholic but Protestants emphasized this Catholic teaching more so than Catholics prior to Vatican II.

The problem with equality among “real presences” was experienced in wreckovation of churches and cathedrals and new architecture where the altar and ambo were given equality by have them off-centered and side by side. That is heterodoxy. Most places that did this have since corrected it. So too, do we see the tabernacle, under the direction of Pope Benedict return to the central axis of the Church, brought back to the old high altar tabernacle of placed directly and higher behind the free standing altar and the priest’s chair moved to the side. The altar is central and the ambo to the side.

Just as an aside, at our Savannah Cathedral, the Book of the Gospels is placed directly on the middle of the old high altar no longer used for Mass and it is on a throne in front of where the old tabernacle is but now hidden by a marble facade. The tabernacle is in a beautiful side-Sacred Heart Chapel.

Enthroning the Book of the Gospel where the tabernacle once was and moving the tabernacle to a side chapel is what you speak of in your comment. I pray that this erroneous placement of a sacramental book over the Sacrament of the Most Blessed Sacrament is one day rectified in our cathedral.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father. If only he said what you said.

Page 117, "The Roman Catholic Church made an important doctrinal step...the Catholic Church acknowledged its historic guilt and insufficiency ..."

The fact is that in the text he criticized Trent, Mystic Corporis, claimed St Thomas Aquinas committed a profound error by supporting Capital punishment, spoke about two different subjects as both being supreme power (non contradictiion principle annuled ) and he describes the holy Holocaust as "The Lord's Supper."

It is clear he values the traditions of non-Catholics and even (page 246) said he reveals the truth about the Great Commission - that it didn't ,make take sense to him.

"For example, there is the question whether missionary activity should not await a more appropriate time. Might not an attempt to "Christianize" at the wrong time destroy customs and traditions which might better to be left to develop to the point where they could be supplanted by by something (he doesn't identify Christianity as that something) rather than be suddenly undercut by a preaching od the Gospel at the wrong place and time.Such a preaching would destroy rather than build."

Thank you Father for the kind exchange

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

O, and a few last things.

P. 27 Ratzinger says that anti modernism was a "neurosis" that "again and again crippled the church."

p. 148 Bible is not the word of God "The sacred books, believed to be the work of a vey authors to whom God had directly dictated his words, suddenly appeared as a work expressive of an entire human history, which had grown layer by layer throughout millennia, a history deeply interwoven with the religious history of surrounding peoples.

I could go on and on with his modernist heterodoxy but I think this promise/threat may be be the most chilling words of his text, page 206

"If we may say that the synod is a permanent council - its composition as well as its name justifies this - then its institution under these circumstances guarantees that the Council will continue after its official end; it will from now be part of the everyday life of the Church. It will be no more mere transitory episode. but will be able to mature what was sown in the often stormy days of the sessions.

Raztinger is saying the V2 revolution is PERMANENT!!

You can check out of Casa Sanctae Marthae but you can never leave.

You can't complain about Francis without admitting he is merely walking the path into the quicksand of modernism cut by Ratzinger and the other powerful revolutionary modernist periti who successfully hijacked V2.

I'm done, Father. Thank you for your time and patience.

Mikie said...

Not to mention the beautiful ressurectionfix in the middle.