Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A TRAUMATIZED MOTHER GIVES CNN A PIECE OF HER MIND!

CNN perfected turning tragic news into a reality show with dramatic music and catchy titles. Of course it is the ratings game that the entertainment industry slavishly follows despite the tragedies that people experience on live TV.

Katie Courick perfected her interview technique to get victims to cry on national television so that those viewing her reality entertainment erroneously called news would feel empathy and cry too
.

I can remember her interviewing, or should I say, exploiting a parent after he lost a child at the Columbine High School shooting, asking how he felt when he heard of the massacre! Riveting entertainment!

This video may contain vulgar language. What this mom said to CNN is what all entertainment networks should hear! God bless her!



Tuesday, August 29, 2017

IS POPE FRANCIS HIS OWN WORST ENEMY WHEN IT COMES TO THWARTING HIS OWN COMMUNICATIONS?

 From America Magazine:

In an address last week on the liturgy, Pope Francis drew attention when he asserted “with certainty and with magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible.” Reaction focused almost entirely on this one sentence to the neglect of the rest of the address, much of which contained important comments on liturgical renewal.
 
Almost every time Pope Francis has done something well or written something good, His Holiness becomes his own worst enemy by saying something off-the-cuff or putting negative commentary towards others or adding something controversial that hijacks the main thesis of his teachings.

Even when His Holiness has triumphant pilgrimages, His Holiness changes the conversation and thwarts the good that was accomplished by shifting the focus to off-the-cuff remarks that are controversial given at high altitudes that may have compromised His Holiness thinking. 

Amoris Laetia is a great document about love and marriage except for that "damn" footnote that consumes everyone's attention and threatens the entirety of Catholic morality from Scripture to  natural law and even opens the door for the Catholic Church to become as liberalized as liberal Protestantism and the Anglican Communion. No one is talking about the 99.9% of this papal teaching at all!

Then the Holy Father who never talks about the liturgy in any significant way gives a talk to a group of Italian liturgists (this term a bit of an oxymoron) and declares in a somewhat authoritarian and semi-magisterial way that the reforms of Vatican are irreversible.

Did His Holiness need to be some dogmatic about the reforms the liturgy and so vague about how poorly these reforms have been implemented? And did Pope Francis have to neglect to say anything about the Liturgy that Pope Benedict eloquently taught for decades? It came across and another bit of this pope's way of breaking the continuity of papal teachings with novel ideas and appears to be anything but humble.

Thus America Magazine tries to put lipstick on a pig but in doing so makes clear the mistakes the Holy Father makes in his communication style and how he is his own worst enemy in changing the conversation to things that are peripheral.

Pope Francis' comments on the liturgy need to be heard by traditionalists and reformers alike. 

Gregory Hillis August 28, 2017/America Magazine 
Reform was necessary, which appears to be (Pope Francis") point when referring to the irreversibility of that reform. However, the address demonstrates that Pope Francis does not view the irreversibility of liturgical reform to mean that the post-Vatican II changes are final and complete. He states that the council “responded to the real needs and the concrete hope of a renewal” in its constitution on the liturgy, “Sacrosanctum Concilium.” But this constitution was only the beginning of the renewal. Indicating that he understands the current state of the liturgy to require further reform and renewal,

Pope Francis argued that the process of reform takes time and that it is necessary to address more fully the “liturgical education” of all the faithful. By this he means that all the faithful need to understand what the liturgical movement endeavored to accomplish, why it advocated for renewal and how Vatican II sought to address the movement’s concerns.

Underlying Francis’ reminder that the reform continues and his call for liturgical education is, it seems to me, a recognition of the shortcomings of the renewal movement. That is, even while reminding them that the process of liturgical reform is irreversible given the deep discontent that was the impetus for this reform, Pope Francis seems to take seriously the liturgical dissatisfaction of those like my students and others.

Few can read “Sacrosanctum Concilium” and fail to see the disjunction between the renewal as sought by the council fathers and the shape that renewal took in the decades after Vatican II. Not only are questions raised about the aesthetic impoverishment of the liturgy, but many wonder whether the reform truly led to the full and active participation desired by the council. And it is more than just traditionalists who raise such questions.

Read the entire article here. 

A CATASTROPHE IN SLOW MOTION AND A TRAGEDY OF EPIC PROPORTIONS FOR ALL WHO HAVE LOST THEIR HOMES AND THEIR HOUSE OF GOD!

This brings it home to all of us! Be generous in praying for and financially helping the good people of Texas!

Copied from the Deacon's Bench:

This video was broadcast on Facebook by Houston’s St. Ignatius Church. Pray for this parish, its pastor and its people—and so many others facing a frightening and uncertain future.

Monday, August 28, 2017

FROM THE JUST TOO COOL FILE! PRIEST GIVES WATER LOGGED INTERVIEW IN FRON OF PSYCHIC PALM READER STORE!

This is a great interview! Pray for Houston and all weather's harms way!

Just look at what this Catholic priest is doing during the storm in Texas

A POSITIVE APPRAISAL OF POPE FRANCIS' FIRST MAJOR AND CONTROVERSIAL SPEECH ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS


I received this anonymous comment from the updated post on Pope Francis' complete "magisterial" speech on the Liturgy, His Holiness' first on the Mass.

This comment has some good insights to consider:

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Even though he isn't quoted, I don't see anything in this speech that Benedict XVI would disagree with. If anything, Francis describes the liturgical reform in decidedly organic terms, talking about "growth", "blooming", and "fruit". This fits exactly into Benedict's claim that in the church there is growth and development but never rupture and negation. This speech is something that fans of Benedict should be very happy about.

Also, notice how little crowing there is about it at praytell. The most that Father Anthony Ruff can get to is by pointing to what's not there.

AND NEXT DOOR TO SAINT JOSEPH CHURCH IN MACON, OUR LIBERAL BAPTIST BROTHERS AND SISTERS TAKE A LEAP

From my rectory, I could reach out the window and almost touch First Baptist Church next door it is so close, but ideologically it is eons away!

Once it belonged to the Southern Baptist Convention as did the fine but very liberal Baptist, Mercer University, many who teach there as well as its former liberal president who attend First Baptist.

Today, First Baptist belongs to a very liberal coalition of progressive Former Southern Baptists.

First Baptist in downtown Macon is a small, aging, dying congregation. In a town that is predominantly Southern Baptist, the conservative Southern Baptist congregations are thriving and two of those in the suburbs are of mega church status.

Thus this news will be the next doot neighbors of St. Joseph Church, leap into oblivion:

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF CHRIST

Church to allow same-sex marriages



BEAU CABELL

Ushers collect ballots at First Baptist Church of Christ after services on Sunday. Members approved allowing same-sex marriage ceremonies in the church.

Members of First Baptist Church of Christ, one of Macon’s oldest churches, on Sunday overwhelmingly approved allowing same-sex marriage ceremonies in the church.

The Rev. Scott Dickison, the church’s pastor, said the resolution passed with 73 percent voting in favor. About 230 members voted by secret ballot following the regular Sunday service. Dickison said that was about the typical size of the congregation on Sunday
“I’m grateful for the congregation traveling together to this point, and it is an importantpoint but it comes with some tenderness,” he said. “We will continue to heal together as we move forward.”
He declined any further comment.
Dickison said in an email to The Telegraph last week that the church did not have a stated policy on same-sex marriage. He said the resolution was more of a “clarification” to church policy than a change.
Earlier, church leaders voted 25-5 in favor of the resolution, which brought it to a full vote. Several members approached after the vote declined to discuss it. Bonnie Chappell, chair of the deacons, said out of respect for those who disagreed, she did not want to say how she voted.
" I’M GRATEFUL FOR THE CONGREGATION TRAVELING TOGETHER TO THIS POINT …
The Rev. Scott Dickison, church pastor
“I’m proud to be in a church that has these conversations and does not shy away from these things,” she said.
She said she was not personally aware of any requests to have a same-sex marriage in the church. She said the resolution came about from discussions members had about the church’s vision. Leading up to the vote, the church had three meetings about the issue that Dickison said were well attended.
The church, located at 511 High Place, was founded in 1826.
Telegraph archives and Telegraph photographer Beau Cabell contributed to this report.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

LET'S FOCUS ON WHAT IS POSSIBLE


So many traditionalists have unrealistic expectations about liturgical renewal or recovery. Often much of it is too "me" oriented, what I want, what I like and what I would do if I were the bishop or pope. It is very, very non Catholic.

The reforms of Vatican II are irreversible because an Ecumenical Council began it with Sacrosanctum Concilium and Pope Paul VI implemented his vision of it with Consilium. It doesn't matter if individual Catholics like it or not because as Catholics we have to like it or lump it.

While I am in favor of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass being expanded in its celebration where this is welcomed by local parishes, I do not see the EF Mass (unless a vernacular edition of it is allowed for at least the changing parts of this Mass) becoming a major force in any diocese. People like the vernacular and they like understanding the prayers and they like the ability to be able to respond and chant in the vernacular as has been promoted in a positive way for the past 50 years. I would say that at least 99% of Catholics who actually attend Mass would find an entirely Latin Mass, EF or OF off-putting.

What then is possible for the correct implementation of the Roman Missal of 1969/70 and its subsequent incarnations leading to the 2011 version?

Let repeat myself:

1. Music has to be improved and more supervision from Rome and local bishops needs to take place--even Pope Francis lamented the state of music in the liturgy not too long ago. Music is the most divisive issue in the Ordinary Form and there is no end in sight if music is a big business in the Catholic Church with publishing companies selling their new stuff, constantly rolling out new hymnals and new music and much of it of dubious quality and unsingable.

2. Chant needs to be recovered, either in Latin or the vernacular and the Propers of the Mass must never be omitted--Introit, Offertory and Communion antiphons. All three of these are Scripture and it is absolutely ridiculous that any of Sacred Scripture be replaced by hymns and negates Sacrosanctum Concilium's explicit call for a more lavish use of Scripture in the Mass. In fact, I would suggest that priests could actually preach on any of the propers, especially the official introit of the Mass. I am not saying that hymns or anthems should be suppressed--one could have a rousing hymn for the procession but it ends and the Introit begins as the priest approaches the altar and kisses it as is done at papal Masses at St. Peter's.

3. The restoration of kneeling for Holy Communion at an altar railing or kneeler is not reversing the reform of the Mass one iota. As I have said over and over again, of all of the restorations that one could bring back to the Ordinary Form of the Mass, kneeling for Holy Communion is the single most important, bar none.

4. While I think the options of the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, the older form of the Offertory Prayers and an enhancement of the rubrics for the Eucharistic Prayers modeled after the EF Mass do not in any way challenge the reforms of the Mass as envisioned by Sacrosanctum Concilium and should be reinstated at least as an option, I think it is possible for these to return as Pope Francis is the very pope who signed off on these things and a different dialect of English for the Ordinariate's Ordinary Form Roman Missal--Divine Worship.

5. Ad Orientem or a version of it (this is always symbolic even in the pre-Vatican II/EF Mass) should be mandated, meaning the "Benedictine" altar arrangement Pope Benedict recovered and Pope Francis has maintained and not to preclude the priest joining the congregation and being united with them in facing the altar in the same direction. Pope Francis has faced the altar in the same direction and has also lamented the loss of facing East at Baptism and other liturgical celebrations. 

Just doing the five things above could end the liturgy wars and be faithful to the Magisterial perspective of Pope Francis.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

THIS IS NOTHING TO CELEBRATE AS FAR AS VICTIMS ARE CONCERNED BUT HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OR READ THIS IN THE MAIN LINE MEDIA?


Billy Graham's grandson says the following but read the full article by pressing this sentence.


 “If you just look at these numbers, they tell us that more children are being abused within Protestant churches than in the Catholic Church. One aspect of that is that there are way more Protestants and Protestant churches than there are Catholics.
“But for me, it's important to share that statistic when speaking with Protestant audiences so that they stop pointing their fingers at the Catholic Church and engage more with their own church.”

JUST WHAT IS THE DYSFUNCTION IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS? ONE POPE'S DYSFUNCTION SEEMS TO BE ANOTHER POPE'S FUNCTIONALITY


For the most part, in the pre-Vatican II's Latin Rite Church, the Mass was celebrated about the same way worldwide due to Latin and chant. There were three types of Mass, Low (no chanting of the Mass) High (the entire Mass chanted) and Solemn High with more choreographed ceremony and the use of deacon and subdeacon.

Chant and the quality of chant varied from parish to parish of course, given their resources. Some parishes where professional choirs and choir directors could carry out the singing of "concert" Masses during Mass by the great composers did so. However, some of these great masters secularized the Mass, meaning that melodies and style of singing set religious words to secular sounds of the day in the "vulgar" sense and removed the chanting of the Mass completely from the laity who appreciated what was being sung in a secular way, not necessarily a spiritual or contemplative way. (This occurs with many of the concert/ Broadway ditties sung today, secular sounds set to religious words that evoke emotions that are not necessarily spiritual or devotional.)

I don't know how many parishes in Europe would sing these kinds of "secularized" concert Masses but evidently it led Pope Pius X to kick start the liturgical movement of the early 20th century by emphasizing the proper chant of a sung Mass. The first part of this liturgical movement focused on chanting and making it accessible to the congregation and their actual participation.

Today, what some would call the pluralism of dysfunctionality and others would call the functionality of diversity/pluralism, there is a massive divergence of the way the Ordinary Form of the Mass is celebrated not only from parish to parish, but the various Masses celebrated in a single parish.

Today it is possible to have a Mass with less chanting/singing or more chanting/singing and it all hinges on what the local priest wants or the particular celebrant of a particular Mass. In other words, it isn't like the pre-Vatican II Mass (EF Mass) where it is either all or nothing.

On top of that there are so many language issues that the priest feels compelled to be "politically, culturally correct" in the languages chosen for Mass in his parish.  Some parishes have to cater to each language group in that parochial setting by at least giving a nod to that language group in a hybrid Mass of many languages or having separate Masses for each language group. In Augusta in my diocese there are Spanish, Korean and Vietnamese Masses along with English and hybrid language Masses.

But on top of that even in all English parishes, the pastor and music director feel they have to accommodate the tastes and desires of the variety of English speakers there are which includes catering to different age groups--children, teenagers, young adults and the over-the-hill aging (those over 30).

So a parish might have a contemporary Mass (whatever that means in any given period, i.e. folk, polka, praise and worship, gospel and the like). This contemporary Mass would have a variety of instrumentation from piano to tambourine, but organ would be a no, no!

 The parish also would have a traditional choir, which normally means the singing of traditional Catholic and Protestant hymns with a multi-voice choir and use of organ.

Then there might be a nod to Latin, Gregorian Chant and Polyphony.

Some parishes cater to the EF Mass folks too.

It's all very complicated and it takes a certain kind of pastor with a certain kind of personality and disposition to simply let go and let live and let it all hang out.

I don't tend to be that way, not that I am rigid in personality although I might tend to that given my traditional and conservative sensibilities, but also because I like unity in the parish and not divisive pluralism.

And for the most part, my parishes over the last 38 years have been relatively homogeneous, although my Augusta parish was well integrated with whites and blacks. There I did have a flourishing "Gospel choir" at our 12:30 PM Mass, but that fell by the wayside after I departed.

But in my last parish in Macon (for the 12 years I was there) and now in my current parish, each Mass was/is exactly the same in the style of singing and manner of the Mass. I chant all the parts of the Mass that pertain to the celebrant and the congregation chants their parts. The only difference is that our 11 AM Mass employs incense.

The only exception to this uniformity was the EF Sunday Mass in Macon and when I was there for the last five years, the 12:10 PM Mass was ad orientem for the Liturgy of the Eucharist and once a month an EF Mass and all knelt at the altar railing for Holy Communion. It was what I think Vatican II intended or how Sacrosanctum Concilium should have been implemented in the first place--but that ad orientem Mass for the OF Mass is no more, although kneeling for Holy Communion at the altar railing remains and the EF Mass once a month the last time I was told.

Keep in mind, St. Joseph in Macon had a total of five weekend Masses. At St. Anne in Richmond Hill, given the size of our new church, we only have a total of 3 weekend Masses.

I have not tinkered with the selection of hymns that our choir director chooses. The hymnal which is new is a hybrid of contemporary and traditional hymns. Our people do seem to sing but our new church is heavily padded with acoustical materials to prevent an echo and so it is hard to tell sometimes how well the congregation sings given the "deadness" of the room for singing--although the spoken word is wonderful in this studio sounding church. St. Joseph in Macon as well as Most Holy Trinity in Augusta were lively echoing rooms, not studio sounding in any way, but the spoken word was a bit challenging especially in Augusta.

For those of us who are pastorally sensitive but have a traditional bent, it is a challenge to bring the liturgy to where we feel it should be without crushing those in the congregation that prefer what is the normal fare in most parishes today.

I have had parishioners tell me that if we don't become more like the non-denominational churches in our stye of music, meaning bands and praise and worship in a casual bring your coffee and donuts setting, we will continue to lose Catholics to the mega non-denominational churches around us. In fact a goodly number of Catholics have jumped ship to these churches for their lively music and fellowship, not just in Richmond Hill but throughout the Savannah deanery.

So you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't in today's celebration of the Mass with  dysfunctional diverse pluralism or what some would call functional diversity and non uniformity.


Friday, August 25, 2017

SHOULD THE TABERNACLE BE EMPTIED PRIOR TO THE CELEBRATION OF THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS?


To this day, I believe it was a horrible mistake to remove the tabernacle from the center of the Church's sanctuary to the side or a separate chapel. But I understood the theological reason for doing so but it was done in a horrible way. The appropriate reason, though, was that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass not only brings forward in a unbloody way the Sacrifice of the Cross, but also "confects" the Most Holy Eucharist. Thus during Mass, the Faithful should anticipate this miraculous confecting of the Most Blessed Sacrament and not praying before the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle prior to the event on the altar at that particular Mass.

The celebrant and con-celebrant priests of the Mass may never receive Hosts "confected" at a previous Mass and the current GIRM of the Ordinary Form Missal states that it is proper (but not mandated) for the laity to receive Holy Communion "confected" at the Mass they attend, but this has nothing to do with the validity of the Mass or the ratification of the Holy Sacrifice which is accomplished by the celebrant alone receiving the Oblations, and under both Forms of Bread and Wine.

Rather than remove the tabernacle, from the vicinity of the Altar of Sacrifice, would it have been better simply to have had a second tabernacle in a separate small chapel away from the altar of sacrifice and the sight of the people? Five minutes before Mass begins there would be a simple, but solemn transfer of the Most Blessed Sacrament to this out of sight second tabernacle?

A screen or drapery that would hide the tabernacle during the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass could accomplish the same purpose and more easily. Of course Hosts from the hidden tabernacle would be retrieved only in the case of necessity and then after Holy Communion the "in sight" tabernacle would have the Most Blessed Sacrament enclosed.

In fact, this was/is the liturgical law of the EF Pontifical High Mass with a bishop celebrant as proven by this recent photograph of an empty tabernacle during the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass:
 17_08_22_PontMass_02 17_08_22_PontMass_01

DID THE OTHER MARINI, THE ONE POPE BENEDICT REPLACED AS MC AND NAMED A MUCH YOUNGER MARINI, JUST EXECUTE REVENGE ON POPE BENEDICT AS THE GHOST WRITER OF THE POPE'S ADDRESS WHICH MAKES NO MENTION OF POPE BENEDICT OR CARDINAL RATZINGERS BRILLIANT CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROPER IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ORDINARY FORM?


Is this talk the last nail in the coffin of Pope Benedict's legacy prior to his death, a complete erasing of the papal style and Magisterium of a still living pope? Is this a scandal unprecedented in the pre and post Vatican II Church and symptomatic of the moral dysfunction of Catholics in the modern era?

However the following excerpt is actually quite revolutionary and is the experience of many whose actual participation in the EF Mass is characterized not as a learning or understanding of the Mass but rather an immersion into the action and mystery of God leading to profound awe, wonder and reverence:

Liturgy is life and not an idea to be understood. Indeed, it leads us to live an experience of initiation, or rather transformative in terms of how we think and behave, and not to enrich our own baggage of ideas about God. Liturgical worship “is not primarily a doctrine to be understood, or a rite to be performed; naturally it is also this, but in another way, it is essentially different: it is a font of life and of light for our pilgrimage of faith

The official English translation of Pope Francis' address

At midday today, in the Paul VI Hall, the Holy Father Francis received in audience the participants in the 68th National Liturgical Week, on the theme “A living liturgy for a living Church”, on the seventieth anniversary of the founding of the Centre for Liturgical Action.

The following is the Pope’s address to those present at the meeting:

Holy Father’s Address

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning.

I welcome you all and I thank the president, His Excellency Msgr. Claudio Maniago, for his words of introduction to this National Liturgical Week, seventy years on from the birth of the Centre for Liturgical Action.

This is a period of time in which, in the history of the Church and in particular in the history of liturgy, events have occurred which are substantial and not superficial. Just as we cannot forget Vatican Council II, so we shall remember the liturgical reform that flowed from it.

They are two directly linked events, the Council and the reform, which bloomed not unexpected but after long preparation. This is shown by what was called the liturgical movement, and the responses given by the Supreme Pontiffs to perceived shortcomings in ecclesial prayer; when a need is perceived, even if the solution is not immediate, it is necessary to take action.

I think of St. Pius X who presided over the reorganization of religious music[1] and the restoration of the Sunday celebration[2], and who instituted a commission for the general reform of the liturgy, aware that this would have implied “a task both great and protracted”, and so, as he himself acknowledged, “it is necessary for many years to pass before this, so to speak, liturgical edifice … reappear again resplendent in its dignity and harmony, once cleansed of the squalor of aging”[3].

The reforming project was resumed by Pius XII with the encyclical Mediator Dei[4], and the institution of a study commission[5]; he too made concrete decisions regarding the version of the Psalter[6], the attenuation of Eucharistic fasting, the use of living language in the Rite, and the important reform of the Easter Vigil and of Holy Week[7]. From this impulse, following the example of other nations, the Centre for Liturgical Action emerged in Italy, guided by bishops attentive to the people entrusted to them and inspired by scholars who loved the Church as well as liturgical pastoral ministry.

Vatican Council II then allowed to ripen, as a good fruit of the tree of the Church, the Constitution on sacred liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium (SC), whose lines of general reform responded to real needs and to the concrete hope of a renewal; a living liturgy was desired for a Church entirely enlivened by the mysteries celebrated. It was hoped to express in a renewed way the perennial vitality of the Church in prayer, taking care “that Christ's faithful, when present at this mystery of faith, should not be there as strangers or silent spectators; on the contrary, through a good understanding of the rites and prayers they should take part in the sacred action conscious of what they are doing, with devotion and full collaboration” (SC, 48). Blessed Paul VI recalled this in explaining the first steps of the announced reforms: “It is good to be aware that it is proper to the authority of the Church to wish for, promote and ignite this new form of prayer, thus augmenting her spiritual mission … and we must not hesitate to be first disciples and then supporters of the school of prayer, that is about to commence”[8].

The direction traced by the Council took shape, following the principle of respect for the sound tradition and legitimate progress (cf. SC, 23)[9] of the liturgical books promulgated by Blessed Paul VI, well received by the same bishops who were present at the Council, and by now universally used in the Roman rite for almost fifty years. The practical application, guided by the Episcopal Conferences for the respective countries, is still in progress, as it is not sufficient to reform liturgical books to renew the mentality. The books reformed in conformity with the decrees of Vatican II gave rise to a process that requires time, faithful reception, practical obedience, and wise implementation in celebration first by ordained ministers, but also by other ministers, cantors and all those who participate in the liturgy. In truth, we know, the liturgical education of Pastors and faithful is a challenge that must always be faced anew. The same Paul VI, a year before his death, said to the Cardinals gathered in the Consistory: “The moment has come, now, to set aside definitively the disruptive ferments, equally harmful in one sense or another, and to fully apply according to their just inspiring criteria, the reform we approved in the application of the votes of the Council”.[10]

There is still work to be done today in this direction, in particular in rediscovering the reasons for the decisions made regarding liturgical reform, overcoming unfounded and superficial readings, partial acceptance and practices that distort it. It is not a question of rethinking the reform by reviewing decisions, but rather of knowing better the underlying reasons, also through historical documentation, and of internalizing the inspiring principles and observing the discipline that regulates it. After this teaching, after this long path we can affirm with certainty and magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible.

The task of promoting and safeguarding the liturgy is entrusted by right to the Apostolic See and to the diocesan bishops, on whose responsibility and authority I count at the present moment; national and diocesan liturgical pastoral bodies, institutes of formation and seminaries are also involved. In this formative field in Italy the Centre for Liturgical Action is distinguished for its initiatives, including the National Liturgical Week.

After remembering this path, I would now like to touch on various aspects in the light of the theme on which you have reflected in these days, namely: “A living liturgy for a living Church”.

The liturgy is “living” on account of the living presence of He “Who by dying has destroyed our death, and by rising, restored our life”. Without the real presence of the mystery of Christ, there is no liturgical vitality. Just as without a heartbeat there is no human life, without the beating heart of Christ no liturgical action exists. What defines the liturgy is, indeed, the implementation in many signs of the priesthood of Jesus Christ, or rather the offer of His life to the point of opening His arms on the cross, a priesthood made present in a constant way through rites and prayers, most fully in His Body and Blood, but also in the person of the priest, in the proclamation of the Word of God, and in the assembly gathered in prayer in His name (cf. SC, 7). Among the visible signs of the invisible Mystery there is the altar, sign of Christ as a living stone, discarded by men but Who became the cornerstone of the spiritual edifice in which worship in spirit and truth is offered to the living God (cf. 1 Pt 2: 4; Eph. 2: 20). This is why the altar, the centre towards which in attention converges in our churches,[11] is dedicated, anointed with chrism, incensed, kissed, venerated; the gaze of those in prayer, priest and faithful, convened in holy assembly around the altar, is directed towards it;[12] on the altar there is placed the offering of the Church that the Spirit consecrates as the sacrament of Christ’s sacrifice; the bread of life and the chalice of salvation are bestowed from the altar, that we may become one body and one spirit in Christ (cf. Eucharistic Prayer III).

The liturgy is life for the entire people of the Church.[13] By its nature the liturgy is indeed “popular” and not clerical, being . as the etymology teaches us – an action for the people, but also of the people. As many liturgical prayers remind us, it is the action that God Himself performs in favour of His people, but also the action of the people who listen to God Who speaks and who react by praising Him and invoking Him, welcoming the inexorable source of life and mercy that flows from the holy signs. The Church in prayer brings together all those whose heart listens to the Gospel, without discarding anyone: small and large, rich and poor, young and elderly, healthy and sick, righteous and sinners. To the image of the “immense multitude” that celebrates the liturgy in the shrine of heaven (cf. Ap. 7: 9), the liturgical assembly overcomes, in Christ, every boundary of age, race, language and nation. The popular reach of the liturgy reminds us that it is inclusive and not exclusive, an advocate of communion with all but without homologating, as it calls to each one, with his or her vocation and originality, to contribute in edifying the body of Christ. The Eucharist is not a sacrament “for me”, it is the sacrament of many who form a single body, the holy faithful people of God.[14] We must not forget, then, that it is first and foremost the liturgy that expresses the pietas of all the people of God, prolonged by the pious exercises and devotions that we know by the name of popular piety, to be valued and encouraged in harmony with the liturgy.[15]

Liturgy is life and not an idea to be understood. Indeed, it leads us to live an experience of initiation, or rather transformative in terms of how we think and behave, and not to enrich our own baggage of ideas about God. Liturgical worship “is not primarily a doctrine to be understood, or a rite to be performed; naturally it is also this, but in another way, it is essentially different: it is a font of life and of light for our pilgrimage of faith”.[16] Spiritual reflections are different from liturgy, in which “it is proper to enter into the mystery of God; to let oneself be led to the mystery and to be in the mystery”.[17] There is a big difference between saying that God exists and feeling that God loves us, as we are, here and now. In liturgical prayer we experience communion signified not as an abstract thought but as an action that has as its agents God and us, Christ and the Church.[18] Rites and prayers (cf. SC, 48), for what they are and not for the explanations we give for them, therefore become as school of Christian life, open to those who have ears, eyes and heart open to learning the vocation and mission of Jesus’ disciples. This is in line with the mystagogic catechesis practised by the Fathers, resumed also by the Catechism of the Catholic Church which treats the liturgy, the Eucharist and the other Sacraments in the light of the texts and rites of today’s liturgical books.

The Church is truly living if, forming a single living being with Christ, she is the bearer of life, she is maternal, she is missionary, she goes towards her neighbour, seeking to serve without following worldly powers that render her barren. Therefore, celebrating the holy mysteries she remembers Mary, the Virgin of the Magnificat, contemplating “as in a faultless image, that which she herself desires and hopes wholly to be” (SC, 103).

Finally, we cannot forget hat the wealth of the Church in prayer, inasmuch as she is “catholic”, goes beyond the Roman Rite which, although the most extensive, is not the only one. The harmony of traditional rituals, of East and West, by the breath of the same Spirit gives a voice to the single prayerful Church, for Christ, with Christ and in Christ, to the glory of the Father and for the salvation of the world.

Dear brothers and sisters, thank you for your visit, and I encourage the heads of the Centre for Liturgical Action to continue, remaining faithful to the original inspiration, that of serving the prayer of the holy people of God. Indeed, the Centre for Liturgical Action has always been distinguished by its attention towards liturgical pastoral, faithful to the instructions of the Apostolic See and those of the bishops, and enjoying their support. The long experience of the Liturgical Weeks, held in many dioceses in Italy, along with the magazine “Liturgia”, has helped to bring liturgical renewal into the life of parishes, seminaries and religious communities. Hardship has not been lacking, but neither has joy! It is again this commitment that I ask of you today: to help ordained ministers, as well as other ministers, cantors, artists and musicians, to cooperate so that the liturgy may be the font and pinnacle of the vitality of the Church (cf. SC, 10). I ask you, please, to pray for me and I impart my heartfelt Apostolic Blessing.




[1] Cf. Motu proprio Tra le sollecitudini, 22 November 1903: ASS 36 (1904), 329-339.

[2] Cf. Apostolic Constitution Divino afflatu, 1 November 1911: AAS 3 (1911), l33-638.

[3] Motu proprio Abhinc duos annos, 23 October 1913: AAS 5 (1913) 449-450.

[4] 20 November 1947: AAS 39 (1947) 521-600.

[5] Cf. Sacrae Congr. Rituum, Sectio historica, 71, “Memoria sulla riforma liturgica” (1946).

[6] Cf. Pius XII, Motu proprio In cotidianis precibus, 24 March 1945: AAS 37 (1945) 65-67.

[7] Cf. Sacrae Congr. Rituum Decretum Dominicae Resurrectionis, 16 November 1955: AAS 47 (1955) 838-841.

[8] General audience of 13 January 1965.

[9] “The reform of the rites and the liturgical books was undertaken immediately after the promulgation of the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium and was brought to an effective conclusion in a few years thanks to the considerable and selfless work of a large number of experts and bishops from all parts of the world (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, 25). This work was undertaken in accordance with the conciliar principles of fidelity to tradition and openness to legitimate development (cf. ibid., 23); and so it is possible to say that the reform of the Liturgy is strictly traditional and in accordance with “the ancient usage of the holy Fathers” (cf. ibid., 50; Institutio generalis Missalis Romani, Prooemium, 6)” (John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Vicesimus quintus annus, 4).

[10] “A particular point of the life of the Church draws the attention of the Pope again today: the undoubtedly beneficial fruits of liturgical reform. From the promulgation of the Conciliar Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium a great process was undertaken, which responds to the premises proposed by the liturgical movement from the last moments of the nineteenth century, and has fulfilled its deep aspirations, for which many men of the Church and scholars have worked and prayed. The new Rite of Mass, promulgated after a long and responsible preparation by the competent organs, and in which there have been introduced alongside the Roman Canon, which remained substantially unchanged, other Eucharistic eulogies, has borne blessed fruits: greater participation in liturgical action; a more lively awareness of sacred action; deeper and wider knowledge of the inexhaustible treasures of the Sacred Scripture; and an increase in the community sense of the Church. The course of these years demonstrates that we are on the right path. But there have been, unfortunately – despite the great majority of healthy and good forces among the clergy and the faithful – abuses and liberties in application. The moment has come, now, to set aside definitively the disruptive ferments, equally harmful in one sense or another, and to fully apply according to their just inspiring criteria, the reform we approved in the application of the votes of the Council” (Allocution Gratias ex animo, 27 June 1977: Teachings of Paul VI, XV [1977] 655-656.

[11] Cf. General Instruction of the Roman Missal, no. 299; Rite of the dedication of an altar, Introduction, Nos. 155, 159.

[12] “Around this altar we feed on the Body and Blood of your Son to form your one and holy Church” (Rite of dedication of an altar, no. 213, Preface).

[13] “Liturgical services are not private functions, but are celebrations of the Church, which is the "sacrament of unity," namely, the holy people united and ordered under their bishops. Therefore liturgical services pertain to the whole body of the Church; they manifest it and have effects upon it “(SC, 26)

[14] Homily on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, 18 June 2017, L’Osservatore Romano, 189-20 June 2017, p.8.

[15] Cf. SC, 13; Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 24 November 2013, 122-126; AAS 105 (2013), 1071-1073.

[16] Homily in the Holy Mass of the III Sunday of Lent, Roman parish of Ognissanti, 7 March 2015.

[17] Homily in the Mass at Santa Marta, 10 February 2014.

[18] “This is why the Eucharistic commemoration does us so much good: it is not an abstract, cold and superficial memory, but a living remembrance that comforts us with God’s love. … The Eucharist is flavoured with Jesus’ words and deeds, the taste of his Passion, the fragrance of his Spirit. When we receive it, our hearts are overcome with the certainty of Jesus’ love”. (Homily of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, 18 June 2017 L’Osservatore Romano, 19-20 June 2017, p.8).

Thursday, August 24, 2017

SAY THE BLACK AND DO THE RED: WHAT DEFORMS THE ORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS--WHAT ARE THE ABUSES?


When we look at liturgical disconnect from those who are more orthodox in the Catholic Church, there was a small minority in the 1960's as today, who wanted to discard the reform of the Mass period and keep the status quo of the Mass of the Council of Trent.

But there was a much larger group of orthodox Catholics then and perhaps now, who did not argue with the reforms but accepted these as authoritative and out of respect for an Ecumenical Council and the Magisterium of the pope of the day, being Paul VI. Traditional Catholics always defer to the pope in the areas of faith and morals when his teachings are authoritative and not just an expression of opinion or when these enter into the realm of politics or sciences outside the competency of the papacy.

What were the immediate deformations of the revised Roman Missal of Advent of 1969? And in fact these abuses preceded its promulgation and often occurred in the English/Latin hybrid of the 1965 Roman Missal.

Let me count the ones I remember from the late 1960's into the 1970's:

1. Music--the sung Mass faded away and a low Mass with hymns of dubious quality and theology were imposed on the Mass and on congregations--usually sappy folk music. But Protestant hymns with a Protestant ethos and their version of dripping sentimentality was imposed on the liturgy and congregations. Think Amazing Grace, How Great Thou Art and Just A Closer Walk with thee. Apart from the Protestant "total depravity of humans" in Amazing Grace, none of these hymns are theologically problematic but they are a Protestant spirituality with the sentimentality of popular devotions of Protestantism.

2. Priests ad libbing the words of the vernacular Mass and taking liberties which pointed to the priest's haughtiness, elevated his personality and charm and his outright disobedience to local bishops and Pope Paul VI who demanded that priests not change the reformed Mass but to accept it as it was/is.

3. The stripping of the Catholic altar to look like a Protestant Lord's Supper table as well as the iconoclasm of historic and not so historic churches and new architecture devoid of Catholic sensibilities as it concerns devotional artwork.

4. The total neglect of Latin which Sacrosanctum Concilium expected to be preserved and  all Ordinary Form Missals since 1969 have a complete Latin Version which is the official template for any and all vernacular versions.

5. The limiting or forbidding by bishops of some legitimate options allowed in the General Instruction  of the Roman Missal such as Intinction, kneeling for Holy Communion and ad orientem. And the promotion of limited permission for other things, such as a hoard of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion because of use of the common chalice, with its possibility of spreading contagious disease such as Hepatitis, herpes and other infections and viruses. 

6. Turning Catholic ritual which is formal into an informal act lacking attention to detail and a lack of care of vestments, altar clothes and the like.

5. The emphasis on the priest due to his ad libbing, funny antics and affective friendliness.

You name other abuses not related to saying the black and doing the red.

WHAT ABOUT CARDINAL SARAH'S INPUT? DID HE KNOW THIS WAS COMING AND WHAT ARE HIS THOUGHTS?


 Rorate Caeli has more of the translation of Pope Francis' talk on the liturgy today. Praytell also has an interesting comment on it which has always been my position as there is no way that the Church would say that an Ecumenical Council was wrong, undo it, that Sacrosanctum Concilium was wrong, undo it, or that papal promulgation of the most authoritative types were wrong so let's undo it. Pope Benedict never endorsed such a thing either.

But this is what Praytell writes:

In his remarks declaring that the reform is “irreversible,” Francis seems to be signaling a couple of things.
  • He is dubious about any restorationist “reform of the reform.” While some elements of the liturgy that were abandoned in the course of the reforms of the 1960s might be reintroduced (e.g. the way the Pentecost Vigil was restored in RMIII), there will be no wholesale movement toward something resembling the Mass of the 1962 Missal (as some “traditionalist” liturgists might hope).
  •  The work of liturgical reform is ongoing. But Francis does not seem to conceive of this work in terms of more ritual revision (as some “progressive” liturgists might hope), but rather of continued internalizing the reforms of 50 years ago.
In general, Francis seems to think that we don’t need more “reform” of our liturgies, but rather the on-going reform of the assemblies that celebrate those liturgies. As he says,“it is not enough to reform the liturgical books; the mentality of the people must be reformed as well.” Furthermore, the direction of that reform should be in continuity with the direction set in Sacrosanctum Concillium.

This is Rorate Caeli's more detailed account of the pope's talk:

Pope Francis gave an address on the liturgical reform of Pope Paul VI today, speaking to participants of the 68th Italian National Liturgical Week. In it, Francis declares: "After this magisterium, after this long journey, we can affirm with certainty and with magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible."
There are two directly linked events, the Council and the Reform, which did not flourish suddenly but after long preparation. What was called the liturgical movement testifies to it, and the answers given by the Supreme Pontiffs to the hardships perceived in ecclesial prayer; when a need is sensed, even if the solution is not immediate, there is a need for it to be put in motion. 
[...] 
The Second Vatican Council made later to mature, as good fruit from the tree of the Church, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium (SC), whose lines of general reform respond to real needs and to the concrete hope of a renewal; it desired a living liturgy for a Church completely vivified by the mysteries celebrated. 
[...] 
The direction traced by the Council took form according to the principle of respect for sound tradition and legitimate progress (cf. SC 23) [9] in the liturgical books promulgated by Blessed Paul VI , well received by the same bishops who were present at the Council, and for almost 50 years universally used in the Roman Rite. The practical application, led by the Episcopal Conferences of their respective countries, is still ongoing, since it is not enough to reform the liturgical books in order to renew the mentality. The books reformed according to the decrees of Vatican II have introduced a process that demands time, faithful reception, practical obedience, wise celebratory implementation, first of all, on the part of ordained ministers, but also of other ministers, cantors, and of all those who participate in the liturgy. In truth, we know, the liturgical education of pastors and the faithful is a challenge to face ever anew. The same Paul VI , a year before his death, told the cardinals gathered in Consistory: "The time has now come definitely to leave aside divisive ferments, which are equally pernicious on both sides, and to apply fully, in accordance with the correct criteria that inspired it, the reform approved by Us in application of the wishes of the Council." [10]
And today, there is still work to do in this direction, in particular by rediscovering the reasons for the decisions made with the liturgical reform, by overcoming unfounded and superficial readings, partial receptions, and practices that disfigure it. It is not a matter of rethinking the reform by reviewing its choices, but of knowing better the underlying reasons, even through historical documentation, of internalizing its inspirational principles and of observing the discipline that governs it. After this magisterium, after this long journey, we can affirm with certainty and with magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible. 

The task of promoting and guarding the liturgy is entrusted by right to the Apostolic See and to the diocesan bishops whose responsibility and authority I rely on very much at the present moment; National and diocesan liturgical pastoral bodies, training institutes and seminaries are also involved.  

[...] 

Among the visible signs of the invisible Mystery there is the altar, a sign of Christ, the living stone, rejected by men but it has become a cornerstone of the spiritual building where worship is offered to the living God in spirit and truth (cf. 1 Pt 2.4; Eph 2:20). Therefore, the altar, at the center toward which our churches converge, [11] is dedicated, with chrysm, incensed, kissed, venerated: towards the altar, the eyes of those praying, the priests and the faithful, are called together by the holy assembly around it [the altar]; [12] Upon the altar is placed the Church's offering, which the Spirit consecrates to be a sacrament of the sacrifice of Christ; from the altar the bread of life and the cup of salvation are bestowed upon us "for we become one body and one spirit in Christ" (Eucharistic Prayer III).
[...]

[9] The reform of the rites and the liturgical books was undertaken immediately after the promulgation of the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium and was brought to an effective conclusion in a few years thanks to the considerable and selfless work of a large number of experts and bishops from all parts of the world (Cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, 25). This work was undertaken in accordance with the conciliar principles of fidelity to tradition and openness to legitimate development (cf. ibid . , 23); and so it is possible to say that the reform of the Liturgy is strictly traditional and in accordance with “the ancient usage of the holy Fathers” (cf. ibid. , 50; Institutio generalis Missalis Romani, Prooemium, 6). ( John Paul II , Lett. Ap. Vicesimus quintus annus, 4). 

[10] "The pope’s attention is drawn today once more to a particular point of the Church’s life: the indisputably beneficial fruits of the liturgical reform. Since the promulgation of the conciliar Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium great progress has taken place, progress that responds to the premises laid down by the liturgical movement of the last part of the nineteenth century. It has fulfilled that movement’s deep aspirations for which so many churchmen and scholars have worked and prayed. The new Rite of the Mass, promulgated by Us after long and painstaking preparation by the competent bodies, and into which there have been introduced-side by side with the Roman Canon, which remains substantially unchanged, other Eucharistic Prayers, has borne blessed fruits. These include a greater participation in the liturgical action, a more lively awareness of the sacred action, a greater and wider knowledge of the inexhaustible treasures of Sacred Scripture and an increase of a sense of community in the Church. The course of these recent years shows that we are on the right path. But unfortunately, in spite of vast preponderance of the healthy and good forces of the clergy and the faithful, abuses have been committed and liberties have been taken in applying the liturgical reform. The time has now come definitely to leave aside divisive ferments, which are equally pernicious on both sides, and to apply fully, in accordance with the correct criteria that inspired it, the reform approved by Us in application of the wishes of the Council." (Alloc . Gratias ex animo, June 27, 1977: Teachings of Paul VI, XV [1977], 655-656, in Italian 662-663). 

[11] Cfr. General Instruction of the Roman Missal, n. 299; Rite of the Dedication of an Altar, Preface, nn. 155, 159


[12] "Around this altar, we are nourished by the body and blood of your Son to form your one and holy Church" (Rite of the Dedication of an Altar, n. 213, Preface).

BOMBSHELL????

Pope Francis: Liturgical reform is irreversible

Pope Francis addresses participants in Italy's National Liturgical Week. - AP
Pope Francis addresses participants in Italy's National Liturgical Week. - AP
24/08/2017 14:29

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis gave an important address on the liturgical reform on Thursday, speaking to participants of the 68th Italian National Liturgical Week.

The liturgical reform, he said, did not “flourish suddenly,” but was the result of a long preparation. It was brought to maturity by the Second Vatican Council with the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, “whose lines of general reform respond to real needs and to the concrete hope of a renewal; it desired a living liturgy for a Church completely vivified by the mysteries celebrated.”

The direction marked out by the Council, the Pope continued, found expression in the revised liturgical books promulgated by Blessed Paul VI. But “it is not enough to reform the liturgical books; the mentality of the people must be reformed as well.” The reformation of the liturgical books was the first step in a process, he said, “that requires time, faithful reception, practical obedience, wise implementation” on the part first of the ordained ministers, but also of the other ministers, and indeed, of all who take part in the liturgy.

Today, Pope Francis said, “there is still work to do in this direction, in particular rediscovering the reasons for the decisions made with the liturgical reform, overcoming unfounded and superficial readings, partial receptions, and practices that disfigure it.” He said that this is not a question “of rethinking the reform by reviewing its choices, but of knowing better the underlying reasons [for it]… [and] of internalizing its inspirational principles and of observing the discipline that governs it.”

The Supreme Pontiff insisted, “After this magisterial, and after this long journey, we can assert with certainty and magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible.”

Reflecting on the theme of this year’s Liturgy Week – “A living Liturgy for a living Church” – Pope Francis dwelt on three points:

1)The liturgy is “living” in virtue of the living presence of Christ; Christ is at the heart of the liturgical action.

2)The liturgy is life through the whole people of God. By its nature, the liturgy is “popular” rather than clerical; it is an action for the people, but also by the people.

3) The liturgy is life, and not an idea to be understood. It brings us to live an initiatory experience, a transformative experience that changes how we think and act; it is not simply a means of enriching our own set of ideas about God.

The Church, Pope Francis said, “is truly living if, forming one single living being with Christ, it is a bearer of life, it is maternal, it is missionary, going out to encounter the neighbour, careful to serve without pursuing worldly powers that render it sterile.”

The Holy Father concluded his reflection by noting that the Church in prayer, insofar as it is catholic, “goes beyond the Roman Rite” which, although it is the largest, is by no means the only Rite within the Church. “The harmony of the ritual traditions, of the East and of the West,” by means of the same Spirit, gives voice to the one only Church praying through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ, to the glory of the Father, and for the salvation of the world.”

DID SOMETHING GO WRONG AFTER VATICAN II? DUH!


Phil Lawler has a good essay that is very common sense, yet for many in the Church, who are still active and have only known the post Conciliar Church, there is a great denial about what has transpired in the last 50 years and much of it, not all, due to a misrepresentation of the Second Vatican Council in a time of great cultural upheaval complicated by the religious upheaval that only the bishops and theologians of the post-Vatican II Church can be blamed.

Press the sentence for the complete article:

Let’s stop pretending: something DID go wrong after Vatican II

By Phil Lawler | Aug 23, 2017
Something went wrong—seriously wrong—in the Catholic Church in the years after Vatican II. Can we all agree on that much? Leave aside, for now, the familiar debate about the causes of the problem; let’s begin with the agreement that there is, or at least certainly was, a problem.
Eric Sammons makes the point in a provocative essay that appeared in Crisis last week:
If an entirely objective social scientist were to study the Catholic Church in the second half of the twentieth century, he would see one fact staring him straight in the face: the Church experienced a precipitous decline in the Western world during that time.
The problem (whatever it is) is compounded, Sammons remarks, by a general refusal to acknowledge the reality of our post-conciliar difficulties: what he terms a “soft censorship” of unpleasant news. Bishops and pastors, diocesan newspapers and parish bulletins have bombarded us for years with reports that the Church is “vibrant,” that programs are booming, that the liturgy is beautiful, that religious education is robust. Never is heard a discouraging word. Yet we know better. We know about the shortage of priests; we see the news of parish closing; we notice the empty pews on Sundays. Something is wrong; we know that.

Sammons argues persuasively that this “soft censorship,” this see-no-evil approach, is now an impediment to evangelization, because it thwarts serious discussions about Mthe current state of the Church. Evangelization means bringing people to the truth, he reasons, and that process “cannot thrive in a censored environment.”

Read the rest there. 

My Comments:

Vatican II is what it is and we know that much of it has to do with pastoral theology not dogma or doctrine, except where existing dogma and doctrine are cited.

The optimism of Vatican II and the post Vatican II Church can be traced to the optimism of the secular 1960's, that people could conquer all the problems of the world from war and peace to poverty--remember President Johnson's war on poverty and how successful it was/is?

This optimism, which infected our Church's leadership, turned the Church away from the four last things, death, judgement, heaven and hell, to a Utopian ideology that foresaw heaven on earth by virtue of the Church, a new, ugly and heretical triumphalism that replaced the Church previous and quite healthy triumphalism based upon our movement to the Church Triumphant in heaven symbolized by the trappings and aspiration of the Church Militant on earth.

We cannot undue an Ecumenical Council and the papal magisteriums that were authoritative and codified in bulls and encyclicals.  But we can make course corrections.

And Pope Benedict set forth that course direction in his papacy that is going to be viewed soon as a very prophetic moment in the life of the papacy and the Church.

It means continuity between the pre and post Vatican II Church, her liturgies, sacramental theology and the thrust toward preparing for the Kingdom of God as the four last things approach all of us and also with an eye on the Last Judgment. Earth isn't heaven try as we may to make it heaven.

Vatican II has to be read, understood and properly implemented as Pope Benedict insisted.

The current pontificate is informing a whole new generation of much young Catholics as to the deleterious effects of liberal, progressive ideology when applied to the Church in a political way and horizontal way.  This generation is seeing the very same authoritarianism in implementing a progressive theology/ideology and the subsequent division it creates and the loss of the Catholic Faithful to either schismatic sects or the creation of new ones or to Protestantism, Eastern Orthodoxy or to becoming "nones" from a complete loss of faith.

Leadership based upon Pope Benedict's vision is need now more than ever and it will come--that is called faith, hope and love! 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

WHEN CATHOLIC DOCTORS OF THE LAW MAKE THE LIVES OF SOME CATHOLICS DIFFICULT AND WHERE A PASTORAL THEOLOGY OF DISCERNMENT IS REQUIRED

When marriages go up in smoke!



I am not a doctor of the law and my Italian instincts at times sees the law as good but flexibility is needed in some circumstances. To use a driving analogy: if you are downtown at 2 AM and there are red lights and no one in sight, a good Italian, like me, will stop, look for cops and if none go.

It should be stated that in many downtown areas after 12 AM until 6 AM traffic lights blink red, which is like a four way stop sign. But I digress.

But there are many cases where the Church needs a good pastoral theology concerning the complexity of marriage, civil divorce and remarriage without an annulment.

This is one example. Years ago I knew a Catholic woman from Europe who had three illicit marriages, all of them without Catholic recognition. All ended in divorce, except the third one which was going strong. Technically her case is easy, lack of Catholic form, yet she has no contact with former spouses and doesn't know where they are in Europe or China or wherever. So the lack of form paperwork won't work for her.

Her third husband has three previous marriages. He isn't a Catholic. His first marriage was the first for both and both were protestants, so technically that is the valid marriage in the eyes of the Church. But he divorced her and married two others and is fourth wife is the one I describe above.

The fact is that two previous marriages took place and ended in divorce while the first wife was still living. He is currently "illicitly" married to his Catholic wife I describe above.

Since his first marriage was still recognized by the Catholic Church even though a civil divorce was granted and he legally married two others, plus his now current Catholic wife while the first wife was alive, the first wife died last year. So the second and third marriages can be handled by the ex spouses cooperating and without a full annulment procedure and a death certificate presented for the first wife indicating the date of death.

So technically all he needs to do is paperwork on the second and third marriage, but the ex non Catholic spouses won't cooperate!

Technically, since his first wife is deceased, he is free to have has marriage validated in the Catholic Church to his current Catholic wife, with two previous marriages, but never in the Catholic Church. But technicalities prevent the proper annulment or lack of form cases from going forward.

A pastoral discernment must take place, especially since the Catholic spouse desperately wants to return to Holy Communion!

Finally, just as Pope Francis has streamed lined the annulment procedure, I think there must be a very easy process for non-Catholics who need annulments, especially non Catholics who married a non Catholic but subsequently their spouse wants to become Catholic but not the non Catholic with previous marriage(s). Can't a pastoral solution be discerned without an annulment?

A pastoral accommodation for Protestants and other non Catholics is quite needed in my most humble opinion meaning just proving that the non Catholic did not believe in marriage as a Sacrament, believed in divorce and thus lacked the Catholic Church's belief about the Sacrament of Marriage.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

HOW WIDESPREAD AMONG RANK AND FILE CATHOLICS IS THE KNOWLEDGE THAT THERE IS ACCELERATED DIVISION IN THE CHURCH, HER BISHOPS, PRIESTS AND LAITY, SINCE THE ELECTION OF POPE FRANCIS?


Most of us who read religious blogs know that there is a great polarization in the Church since Pope Francis assume the papacy,  not unlike the immediate aftermath of Vatican II.

To be honest with you, I don't have a sense at all that my parishioners are aware of it or even concerned about it. Like many Protestant denominations, Catholics are usually just concerned about their neck of the woods, their local parish.

In my own parish I never speak publicly of the polarization or problems we are now having and maybe only one or two people have asked me about it, but they are people who read blogs. 

Often we see the Episcopal Church in meltdown because of liberalizing spirits and I often wondered that if they ever got to the point that the Episcopal Church would accept actively gay couples as "priests/priestesses" that we would see rank and file Episcopalians coming to Catholic parishes--hasn't happened though on a large scale.

In your neck of the woods, are people living life as they always have been with little or no concern for what Catholics blogs bring to blogdom's readers, as minuscule as they are, about the current unpleasantness in the Church?

Monday, August 21, 2017

PRAYTELL HAS AN EXCELLENT COMMENTARY ON YESTERDAY'S 20TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME GOSPEL: THIS EXPLAINS THE TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN TODAY!

Joseph Johnson tells this about a homily heard on Sunday's Gospel:

(The) pastor preached on racism and...suggested that, in Sunday's Ordinary Form Gospel, Our Lord made a racist statement..

Contrast that heresy with the excellent commentary on that Gospel shared  by the Praytell blog.

Press the title for the excellent commentary:



3

Ars Praedicandi: Dogs and Gentiles



WHAT?????????????? THIS IS A TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SON, A LA 1970'S

Papal confidante says ‘Amoris’ critics locked in ‘death-trap’ logic
Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández and then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, now Pope Francis, appear together in this 2010 photo. (Credit: Stock image.)
If this is an indirect response to the five dubia, the one making it must have written it during a total eclipse of the Son! There is so much bleeding heart ❤️ 1970's liberalism in its content, that one would think this is a caricature of 1970's "I'm okay; you're okay"pop psychology!

But no, it is an academic theogian muddying the waters of the clarity that should come from sighted guides of the Church. This theologian is a blind guide!

Read the Crux article by pressing the title:

Papal confidante says ‘Amoris’ critics locked in ‘death-trap’ logic


Sunday, August 20, 2017

YOURS TRULY HAS THE 1 PM 11TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST MASS AT SAVANNAH'S CATHEDRAL OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST: BE THERE OR BE SQUARE, LAFAYETTE SQUARE THAT IS!

Fortunately, Lafayette Square has no Confederate statues or memorial, only a fountain, but poor Lafayette was he a  southerner during the Civil War??????