Monday, April 22, 2024


 It is the destruction of the pre Vatican II churches and Mass for a sterile, dumbed down Mass and sanctuary!

Sacred Heart Toledo before:

And after:


Bob said...

Good to see you posting, Father, as after a couple of days was wondering if you had to take a vacation from retirement, or did the currently fashionable thing of running away to Spain to get married.

Gutting churches and making them into blank hollow shells, and turning Masses into 1st grade level participation exercises certainly did no good, and did great harm to the minority who were spiritually inclined, and any who followed, and this includes priests/later bishops but...

It only accelerated what had already been seen back when Father Prof. Ratzinger and others had already noted, with Ratzinger predicting a much smaller Church...while the rash, disasterous, poorly conceived changes instituted were also a reaction to the same foreseen collapse and an attempt to head it off.

The problem today being those who signed on to those changes are same as the past, many the same people, who refuse to admit the former rite was all which sustained the shrinking spiritual heart of the Church, and they continue now to crush that heart ever more firmly while refusing to admit the disaster.

Not that many old rite adherents today are doing much more to nourish that spiritual heart, apart from providing a better atmosphere, and still the exact same problem as 1955 or 1965, and so, still largely superficial and failing.

Nick said...


"Gutting churches and making them into blank hollow shells, and turning Masses into 1st grade level participation exercises certainly did no good, and did great harm to the minority who were spiritually inclined[.]"

I've been confidently assured that if we all just spent more time in the classroom, we would learn how wonderful and amazing the "new" Mass really is. You see, it is only through higher intellectual sophistication that one can really appreciate the liturgical gifts of beige, light spiritual patter, and guitars. It's not about uniting our hearts with Christ's in His sacrifice; it's all about what we can get out of it through ratiocination!

Why anyone would think the beauty and mystery of the older liturgies is more conducive to worship is beyond me.

In all seriousness, though, it really is amazing how energetic the campaigns to restore our sacred treasures (whether it be the liturgy itself or things associated with it, churches, vestments, etc.) are.


Bob said...

Nick, I just don't see that energetic an effort at restoration of anything in 5 diocese/archdiocese in which I have lived in the last 20yrs.

Of those 5, NYC had ONE grand old church pretty much filled every Latin Mass while its modern Mass sparsely attended. while of the remaining 4, 1 had no Latin Mass at all nor much demand for one, 1 managed to fill a small monastery chapel and also had a decent FSSP parish church in a converted medium sized ugly modern protestant church, 1 had one smallish Catholic parish of decent crowd, and 1 had a couple of parish Latin Masses never filled to capacity (one of those couple nowhere near capacity).

And all but the FSSP parish and monastery have now been exiled to ever more off the beaten path places or eliminated entire...making attending nearly impossible for many of the minority who did go. None of these were small diocese/archdiocese, all but NYC covered half a largish state or more with good populations.

I mainly see the always minority spiritually inclined merely looking for a home and not finding one, and of those moving to a better place, sure as shootin' the Vatican replaces a good bishop with mediocre and wrecks it leaving those poor folk high and spiritually dry.

Bob said...

As for the building of beautiful new and more traditional churches, those are relatively quite few and only a shell game as those members come from other areas now closing parishes, and overall numbers continue to shrink. Frankly, a lot of these new pretty churches are huge, and hugely impersonal, parishoners care relegated to committees, and spiritual care and education last on the list of priorities, only guaranteeing more folk drifting away, their hunger unsatisfied. Consolidation may make economic sense, same as centralized public schools, with same outcome.

Soon all the US Catholics will be attending one of 7 churches seating 10 million each.

Nick said...

I've seen it almost everywhere I've been, sometimes in small ways, like people remembering that they're supposed to kneel when the tabernacle doors are opened, to major ways, like restoring church interiors to their pre-wreckovation state. While I will not be a standing-ovation-giving Pollyanna, I will plagiarize Bolt's More in saying, "Oh, come, come, it's not as bad as all that!"


Bob said...

Nick, I sincerely hope you are.right....and you may be...much of what has driven the Latin Mass attraction is not just a pretty rite, but a search for real spirituality, a real experience of God, so, we have a nascent spiritual revival striving for life, even if small.

It remains to be seen if there are enough priests and bishops of same mind to midwife and lead their yearning flocks...those will be the places vocations thrive, place where people truly know God instead of talking about God.

The idiots running the Vatican currently are only seeking to crush the life out it, as they are cynical worldly men concerned only with worldly things, and are clueless as to a genuine seeking of God, and see only competition against their worldly agenda. And they are a powerful force causing serious damage to any true renewal.

But so are "conservative" elements fixated only on externals, whose emptiness initially fueled the revolt. It takes more than pretty places with pretty rites, although that helps.

Drew said...

Perhaps it will be renovated again to bring back its historic appearance...

I feel in the KC-St. Joseph diocese, there has been a resurgence in renovations and restorations that embrace the tradition of the Roman Rite. Obviously Rome under the pontificate of Francis is going the opposite direction, but it's all about the grassroots.

Bob said...

Drew, the problem is that so many Catholics are being run off by lack of any real spiritual direction, that much restoration will be playing to no audience soon enough. St Louis and KC/St Joseph are closing parishes and consolidating as formerly staunch Catholic populations in those areas shrink. Unless the lack of content addressed, pretty upgrades to property won't help.

I pretty much can guarantee same fate to shiny new big churches of classic design so highly touted, and expect many will close before even paid off if Catholics keep bailing out or headed to another parish where a priest can give real answers.

Mark Thomas said...

Throughout the Pontificates of Popes Saint Paul VI, Blessed John Paul I, as well as Saint John Paul II, the state of Roman Liturgy had fallen into appalling condition, according to then-Cardinal Ratzinger.

Then-Cardinal Ratzinger insisted also that ugliness abounded in regard to Latin Church architecture.

Then-Cardinal Ratzinger declared in 1988 A.D:

"After the Council there were many priests who deliberately raised “desacralization” to the level of a program...Inspired by such reasoning, they put aside the sacred vestments; they have despoiled the churches as much as they could of that splendor which brings to mind the sacred; and they have reduced the liturgy to the language and the gestures of ordinary life, by means of greetings, common signs of friendship, and such things."

I do not place blame for the above upon our holy Vatican II Era Popes. The above is contrary to that which said Popes had taught in regard to Liturgy. But such was the horrific condition of Roman liturgy, according to then-Cardinal Ratzinger.

Fortunately, throughout Pope Francis' reign, as compared prior to his Pontificate, I have encountered a greater amount of projects designed to beautify churches.

I have also encountered throughout Pope Francis' reign a general improvement, as compared prior to 2013 A.D., in regard to manner in which Mass had been celebrated.

Deo gratias for Pope Francis who, from the dawn of his Pontificate to date, has called for beautiful, sober liturgy.

Finally, I offer a standing ovation to holy Joseph Ratzinger (Cardinal, as well as Pope) in regard to his outstanding efforts to help stabilize the state of Latin Church liturgy.


Mark Thomas

Bob said...

Mark, be so kind as to point out the causal link between Francis and improvements in churches and masses, such as Francis taking a firm hand in dealing with bad masses and ugly and/or desecrated churches.

We also had several eclipses during that time, and I think I could make a better case for them causing any minor and very local improvements.

But, could make a far better case for crash and burn church attendance numbers finally getting through to priests and bishops, and it finally sinking in that maybe some improvement was needed. With most of those more perceptive folk quite the fans of JPII and BXVI.

I also could surely state the very worst Masses in the US and Europe are under the sway of Francis supporters.

Bob said...

Father, as for the Toledo church, you must admit that was a very effective economical use of space to tear out the artwork altar and stick the piano in its place, and the microphones, chairs for singers and music stand. Do they reserve the blessed sacrament under the lid of the piano? That would surely save even more space, so they could install a pinball machine in the tabernacle location.

Mark Thomas said...

From 2013 A.D. to date, in line with holy Pope/Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Francis has, time and again, exhorted us to embrace and promote holy, beautiful, sober liturgy.

Unfortunately, it appears that Pope Francis' countless addresses in question have escaped the attention of a certain amount of Catholics. Perhaps said folks have visited blogs/twitter pages/publications that rarely, if ever, have promoted positive news in regard to His Holiness.

Anyway, among the numerous times that he has promoted sound liturgy, Pope Francis has exhorted priests, as well as laymen, to embrace holy silence during the Divine Mysteries.

-- Pope Francis: The Mass needs silence, not 'chit-chat'

"Pope Francis called out the common habit of chatting with people around you before Mass, stressing that this is a time for silent prayer, when we prepare our hearts for an encounter with the Lord.

"When we go to Mass, maybe we arrive five minutes before, and we start to chit-chat with those in front of us," the Pope said Nov. 15. However, "it is not a moment for chit-chat."

"It is a moment of silence for preparing ourselves for dialogue, a time for the heart to collect itself in order to prepare for the encounter with Jesus," he said, adding that "silence is so important."


-- Pope tells priests to keep homilies brief: 'no more than 10 minutes!'


-- Pope Francis: take Gregorian chant “as the first model” of sacred music


Countless examples exist in regard to Pope Francis' promotion of beautiful, sober liturgy.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

As I have noted, from the dawn of his Pontificate, Pope Francis has promoted beautiful, sound liturgy.

Peter Kwasniewski, of all persons, produced the following for New Liturgical Movement:

July 30, 2013 A.D.

"With all the talk of Pope Francis, this item, courtesy of Robert Moynihan ( should greatly interest the readers of NLM."

Pope Francis:

In the Orthodox Churches they have kept that pristine liturgy, so beautiful. We have lost a bit the sense of adoration. They keep, they praise God, they adore God, they sing, time doesn’t count."

"God is the center, and this is a richness that I would like to say on this occasion in which you ask me this question. Once, speaking of the Western Church, of Western Europe, especially the Church that has grown most, they said this phrase to me: “Lux ex oriente, ex occidente luxus.”

"Consumerism, wellbeing, have done us so much harm. Instead you keep this beauty of God at the center, the reference. When one reads Dostoyevsky – I believe that for us all he must be an author to read and reread, because he has wisdom – one perceives what the Russian spirit is, the Eastern spirit."

"It’s something that will do us so much good. We are in need of this renewal, of this fresh air of the East, of this light of the East. John Paul II wrote it in his Letter. But so many times the luxus of the West makes us lose the horizon."

"I don’t know, it came to me to say this. Thank you."


Mark Thomas

Sophia said...

Sophia here: Thank you for sharing these inspiring stories and photos/videos, Drew! They provided a break from the ugly realities, which although so prevalent, are not the only stories out there!

Nick said...

Ah, Chip Diller has arrived! All is well!!!!!


Bob said...

Mark, I asked specifically, not for off the cuff blather from on high speaking in generalities, but for concrete instances of Francis taking a firm hand in suppression of anything besides contemplative orders and Latin masses, any instance at all of him doing anything concrete at all to suppress the ugly in churches and worship.

Past, of course, his sparkling successes in Germany, San Diego, Chicago, etc...there must be a huge number of them based on your statement that "in general", you have seen improvements across the board in liturgy and churches since Francis took office, where a list of that massive number of churches you have visited would put some meat on the bones of your assertions.

Bob said...

Sophia, I must agree with you and is wonderful to see any attempt at bringing back the idea of a holy place for fitting worship, and Drew entirely correct that grassroots efforts count, same as in the time of the Arian heresy where is was the parishoners who held the line while most bishops folded.

Mark Thomas said...

Bob, in regard to your claim that the very worst Masses in the US and Europe are under the sway of Francis supporters:

If that is true, then said folks have rejected Pope Francis' numerous declarations that have promoted beautiful, sober liturgy. One who supports (supposedly) His Holiness, while having trafficked in dreadful liturgy, is at odds with Pope Francis.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

From 2013 A.D to date, I have encountered the following:

The overwhelming amount of young priests are on board with Pope Francis' numerous declarations that have promoted beautiful, sober liturgy.

Conversely, I have found that the overwhelming amount of priests who have continued to traffic in dreadful liturgy/liturgical abuses were ordained prior to Pope Francis' Pontificate.

I recall that Father McDonald last year posted an article that reported the following survey results:

-- Younger priests identify as theologically conservative

I recall vividly from that survey, associated with The Catholic University of America, the following vital point:

"...the overwhelming majority of these youngest priests do value accountability to Pope Francis."

I have encountered that repeatedly among younger priests as they have displayed great love for, as well as obedience to, Pope Francis. In turn, that reflects in regard to the holy manner, in line with Pope Francis, that younger priests offer Holy Mass.

Young priests throughout my diocese are Pope Francis priests. That is, said priests speak well of our Holy Father. They have exhorted us to love, respect, and obey His Holiness. Said priests, in line with Pope Francis, are holy and exude great mercy. They, in imitation of Pope Francis, have been keen to promote the Holy Sacrament of Penance.

Our diocese's younger priests offer Holy Mass in line with Pope Francis' repeated calls to celebrate the Sacred Mysteries in beautiful, sober fashion.


Mark Thomas

Drew said...

Well, in some quarters, yes, regarding your statement on spiritual direction. In my opinion, the closings that occurred in KC/St. Joseph were dwindling congregations that embraced the spirit of Vatican II for the most part. Obviously there are outliers. The renovations/restorations I posted come from environments where Catholic orthodoxy is preached from what I can tell. At least that's based on my own pastor's preaching of orthodoxy and aims in restoring the interior of my parish. Additionally, he's of the same age of the pastors in those links. In the end, as a convert, all the Church needs to do is preach the gospel and uphold our traditions, i.e. the traditional Mass, and promote community in the parish setting. Then we will have a stronger Church. Of course that means getting the Church back on track in Rome since it's been on another track as of late.

Bob said...

Mark, you mean folk like Francis favorites McElroy and Cupich, and the dreadful liturgies on their turf which continue unabated, are all going against the true wishes of their patrone, and yet they remain favorites and men of influence....

Showing the words of Francis you quote are all cynical blather, same as his pedophilia/sexual abuse comments while promoting and protecting a veritable hall of shame of Chester the Molesters long after stories broke of their abuses, and Rupnik still featured in Vatican articles, and massive heel dragging before anything done about him at all.

Sure, Francis has brought about massive/general liturgical and church renewal....he also invented the internet, doncha know.

Bob said...

Drew, as I agreed, grassroots efforts do matter, if not now, then in the future as REAL Catholics are formed for both lay and consecrated futures. Orthodox liturgies and beautiful churches may not be THE answer, but they foster far better the spiritual life which is a prerequisite for a true advance of Christianity. And every little bit helps.

But history has shown already that simply having fancy Latin masses is not enough, if there is no spiritual life behind it, and when was the last time you heard a priest or bishop tell anyone how to unambiguously find/experience God? This is why people come, and yet they find no answers, and then folk running things wonder why nobody keeps coming out of anything but declining brand loyalty, while those running things decide the problem is all about which rite is best.

People who know God know why the keeping of commandments are a requirement, and know worthy worship.

I am a broken record on this as it is the root cause of problems and root solution to the problems. While all the movers and shakers of whatever camp focus almost purely on peripherals.

Bob said...

Mark, you WOULD quote people associated with CUA which has been on the downhill slide for quite a while in being anything Catholic past name.

Nor are young priests anywhere, ever, known for telling how they really feel about a pope or bishop, and for good reason. An anonymous and reputable survey is FAR more likely to elicit honest responses.

And frankly, nor do I trust you to report here on any young priest you heard speaking regretfully of the current papacy.

Drew said...

I hear you, Bob. It’s a dilemma. My spouse is Protestant, so I experience my reverent Novus Ordo parish (and TLM at times) and her non-denominational church community on the same weekend often. The Catholic Church is the Church founded by Christ for all. Yet, too many Catholics go through the motions. A reverent liturgy needs to go hand in hand with a deep relationship with Christ.

You’re welcome, Sophia.