The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

The picnic mass, translated

A few days ago, I posted this bizarre video of an outdoor mass in Austria. I asked if anyone could translate, and one of my readers — a deacon in Washington, DC — generously obliged.

His text:

On the 29th of June, the pastor of Vienna’s Cathedral, Father Toni Faber celebrated the so called Western Mass at the Danube Island Festival, for the third time. The Danube Island Festival is an annual large open air music festival in Vienna.

For the Mass the faithful sat on picnic tables {like in a beer garden}. For the first couple of rows there were no beer tables. In the first rows, sat among others the organizers. They appeared in full western regalia.


All the images of Gloria TV video come from the forward core area of the gathering- i.e 2/3 of the gathering- the camera only rolled during from the gospel to the final blessing.

To the right and the left during the Mass beverages and grilled meat were sold. On the stage musicians played gospel music : during the communion “We are the world” from Michael Jackson was sung. The congregants behaved as if they were at a barbecue. At the picnic tables there were ashtrays. During the Mass, people smoked, ate and drank. On almost all the tables, there were drinks.

In his homily, Father Faber made a point of saying that Cardinal Schönborn expressly approved this celebration. Despite the fact that Gloria TV had documented liturgical abuses during the previous years, Despite international exposure and world criticism, Cardinal Schönborn stands behind the event.


Quote from the Homily

” Our Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, who yesterday I told that I would be with you, sends you his blessings and greetings, stated clearly a couple of months ago, that things cannot remains the same as it is now, we don’t only need the permanent renewal of the Church but we have to look at areas that are hot button issues, and change things now.”

Commentary continues

Some during the consecration lay on blankets. A woman sunned herself directly in front of the altar. Another woman prepared set up a meal, which had been brought by her husband. She then interrupted her activity to quickly stand up and pray. The sign of peace took place over half eaten food. For the communion Father Faber extended an open invitation to those attending the barbecue.


Quote from Father Faber

All who feel well prepared are invited to take part, and others are requested to keep an appropriate quiet, so that they may support those in prayer, and not disturb others.

Image of man smoking , commentary continues.
On the accompanying sheet, there was an expressly invitation to open communion.

Narrator reads from the sheet. Image of the song sheet.
“All baptized christians, who in their hearts feel an invitation to receive communion and who acknowledge the continued presence of the Lord in the Eucharist are invited.”
Commentary closes.

At the conclusion, the Pastor of the Cathedral, Father Faber gave thanks that this Mass could be held.

Audio quote follows

“Many thanks that the Gospel could be brought to the world, could come to many people, even when it is for some not 100% understandable. We thank those who were able to provide the venue, and allow u to celebrate the Mass in an appropriate manner.”

Comments read comments(30)
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posted July 11, 2010 at 9:39 am

But did the Cardinal really support the Mass? I wanna hear it from the man himself, or at least his secretary. It’s good to get clarification, even if that clarification seems pointless. Better to be sure of truth than to leave room for doubt. Though I know some can doubt the truth eve in the fact of truth, yet these souls need God’s Mercy and Grace.
In addition, I’d like to say the Austrian church should be corrected and prayed for. And I am reminded of Saint Paul’s words to the Church of Corinth on similar liturgical abuses of food and communion – and that Apostolic Liturgy was long before Second Vatican Council took place, so no one can blame the Ordinary Form of the Mass for the abuses at Austria!
CAPTCHA: of bigamous

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posted July 11, 2010 at 9:39 am

You know things are getting bad when you begin to reminisce about the “good ole days” when the Inquisition would have handled these things quickly and efficiently.

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posted July 11, 2010 at 10:05 am

Let it go, stop spreading heresy and scandal. I think most Catholic bloggers are guilty of several sins because of stories just like this. You have no authority because you run a blog, get over yourself.

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Dana MacKenzie

posted July 11, 2010 at 10:43 am

Interesting. When there was no translation, the reaction from some quarters was “I think it’s great!”
Now, with the translation: “stop giving scandal! Get over yourselves!”
I’m starting to think we need to just get back to the latin mass, after all, just to get some uniformity and to end this priestly practice of doing whatever you feel like doing.
and I too want to hear from the cardinal, himself, that he approved of this venue in this manner.

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posted July 11, 2010 at 10:59 am

Yes, Deacon Greg. Don’t you know you need a heapin bowl of authority to post a translation of the picnic “mass” as prescribed by canon law (you egocentric man, you;-)? Pass the onion rings!!

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posted July 11, 2010 at 11:05 am

How careless!
The Eucharist deserves better!
There is no problem having a Mass in an outdoor setting. My parish always starts their Parish Picnic with an outdoor Mass in a large pavillion, but, it is reverent, and the people act appropriately. I place the blame on the priest. It’s like the teacher in a classroom. If you allow the students to sink to the lowest common denominator, they will! It is the priest’s responsibility to call the congregation to worship appropriately, and to address bad behavior. “Anything goes” seems to be his standard. Sad!

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posted July 11, 2010 at 11:07 am

Bad priests are like the poor. We will always have some with us. And sorry, Dana, but there were tons of liturgical abuses with the Latin Mass (I experienced some firsthand as a young altar boy), so that’s not a solution. What we need are priests who continuously deepen their relationship with the Father through the person of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. We’re at a point now where the lay faithful need to be evangelizing priests. Yes, even though they celebrate the Eucharist, many of them still need to be evangelized. Some, like Fr Faber, do not really know what the Gospel message is! Others live their priesthood too mechanically and impersonally. Only when they understand the true tragedy and eternal result of sin and selfishness (n. 740 in St Faustina’s diary would be a good start!), and the merciful love that is available to us through the Heart of Christ, only then will they truly begin to understand liturgy. So pick your targets, and begin by fasting and praying for them. Then evangelize! The priests who are humble enough to to respond to the grace will experience conversion. Their liturgies will surely be different after they do!

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posted July 11, 2010 at 11:14 am

This is pretty serious stuff. Perhaps the Holy Father may want to dust off some more oldere texts and lay an Interdict on Austria, or at least Vienna. At the very least it is necessary to question the sanity of the Cardinal. Can the pope fire a cardinal making him inelgiable to vote at a Conclave or must he be excommunicated?

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posted July 11, 2010 at 11:21 am

Dcn. Greg I too have to take issue with Carndinal Schonborn’s good name. If he is truly guilty of this, it’s horrific, but let’s be sure. I’ve posted here before that I have personally met Cardinal Schonorn. His very presence made me ‘feel’ holiness, and that’ a from a gal who isn’t a big fan of the “touchy/feely” stuff.
For heaven’s sake, he’s the editor of our Cathechism, was mentored by Pope Benedict, and as many know, rumored to be a “Potential Future Pope”, although in reality, the pope’s elected are not usually the ones “expected.” Regardless, Cardinal Schonborn clearly has the “makings of a pope.”
And that is the point. I’ve been putting together the pieces, and have a suspecion that the good Cardinal is a product of a smear campaign. First it was the “celibacy” thing, which was so distrubing to me I traced it all the way to the source, proving that he was CLEARLY taken out of context, and made NO such remark that “celibacy should be done away with.”
Then it was Medjurgorie, when upon a personal vist, he made some positive comments about Medjurgorie, greatly upsetting the “already convinced.”
Now it’s this, as reader Dana wrote/called it, “pig-pen” mass approval. This just does NOT in any way, corespond to the holy Cardinal Schonborn I encountered.
My guess is, being that so many DO think he will be the next Pope, that the anti-Catholic progaganda machine is getting to work early so they will have the “goods” on him, the next “holy pope” IF he is elected.
As George Soros taught us in his simlar 5 year “I hate Bush” compaign, it doesn’t have to be true, just keep saying it enough.
After all, just as the “I hate Bush Soros Campaign” greatly contributed to the election of Barak Obama, we now know that those who fell for it were duped. Instead of the “Visionary Sage”, we got a radical Marxist hating American, abortion loving liar in Office (at least based on his actions) who has not only greatly divided America, but if not stopped soon, may well destroy it.
Just know that the ONLY thing stopping a pure Maxist takeover in this country is none other than the Catholic Church. Between the loss of the moral authority since the abuse scandals, and with the endless MSM reporting of “old news” of the abuse scandal, it won’t take much for the Catholic Church, even if only in percetion, to lose its moral authority. The next best thing after an abuse scandal is to bring down a pope, be it Pope Benedict or the “next one”, which is why, I believe, the MSM is, regardless of facts, painting Cardinal Schonborn in a “bad light.” Even without being a pope, he’s also high enough in the spotlight that he’s a perfect source for attack, even if they have to “invent” it. And by “they”, I don’t mean only in America, as this “Bring down the Church and Pope crusade” is as much European as it is American.
Until someone can prove to me that Cardinal Schonborn really DID approve this mass, I will stick to my theory and his defense.

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posted July 11, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Re: TomKumar
“Picnic masses” are in no way whatsoever permitted; they are blasphemous. The Mass is primarily a HOLY SACRIFICE. Masses outside are permissible only in instances where there is no church building around within any reasonable distance.
Can. 932 §1. The eucharistic celebration is to be carried out in a sacred place unless in a particular case necessity requires otherwise; in such a case the celebration must be done in a decent place.

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posted July 11, 2010 at 2:42 pm

To avoid scandal, it is necessary to investigate whether the Cardinal was aware of what was going to happen at this mass. His name needs either to be cleared or lumped with the names of the progressive and dissenting high clerics that have done so much damage to the Church.

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posted July 11, 2010 at 3:42 pm

As a Catholic Navy Chaplain so aptly put it:
(in a deep Irish brogue)
Lord,save us from dumbas people. Amen!

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posted July 11, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Cardinal Shornborn has recently issued some very disturbing public statements; and the video of his saying Mass without permission at Medjugorije with all that happy clappy left such a bad impression. The “Clown” Mass in Vienna actually comes off as reverential when compared to all of this picnic stuff. What is it that prevents supporters of the Medjugorije phenomena from seeing what’s wrong with these pictures?

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posted July 11, 2010 at 4:10 pm

William why don’t you share with us those “distrubing public statements” along with your ORIGINAL sources. I will be happy as well to share the orginal source of his “celibacy” statement, and how it was GREATELY DISORTED by the media.
You give weight to my motive theory that there may possibly be a “Medjurgorie” connection to his recent ‘distrubing statements’. After all, a credible source giving thumbs up to Medjurgorie, which in its essencse, is nothing more than the message of the gospels.

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Robert William Robinson Jr.

posted July 11, 2010 at 4:41 pm

I am not surprised that this has happened at a ROMAN MASS. The Whole Catholic Roman Church has gone into heresy TURN TO THE HOLY EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH.

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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted July 11, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Klaire, speaking of Schoenborn…
You might remember (or want to take a look) at this video from two years ago.
There was much discussion about it here.
Dcn. G.

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Gerard Nadal

posted July 11, 2010 at 6:03 pm

The essence of such a ‘celebration’ as described here is the celebration of the self and its desires above submission to any authority beyond the self. The holy sacrifice of the Mass needs to be brought from the sacred space (Church) into the pedestrian and the mundane (beer hall); not to elevate the daily and ordinary, but to diminish the sacred. The lounging about is a rebuke of the physical posture of prayer and praise: standing to hear Jesus speak to us live in the Gospels and kneeling in praise and adoration at the consecration.
It’s a mockery.
A Cardinal’s name has been implicated by this Priest. It is now the responsibility for this Cardinal to speak up regarding the veracity of the statement. I doubt it’s true. Regardless, we have a priest who appears to have used improper matter for Eucharistic consecration and as such has committed a desecration. He should be returned to the lay state immediately, and if guilty of lying about the Cardinal’s knowledge and approval, should be excommunicated until he makes a full, open, and public retraction.
The success of Pope Benedict’s new Pontifical efforts at reviving the faith in Europe depends heavily on eradicating such abuses in clear and unambiguous terms.

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posted July 11, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Why would anyone turn to schismatic heretics?

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Cathal Loftus

posted July 11, 2010 at 8:10 pm

I have always firmly believed that the Viennese Cardinal is a nutter.

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posted July 11, 2010 at 8:16 pm

These statements you made 1. “His very presence made me ‘feel’ holiness 2. “Cardinal Schonborn clearly has the “makings of a pope.” 3. “This just does NOT in any way, corespond to the holy Cardinal Schonborn I encountered.” 4.”My guess is, being that so many DO think he will be the next Pope, that the anti-Catholic progaganda machine is getting to work early so they will have the “goods” on him, the next “holy pope” IF he is elected.” All these comments indicate that you clearly trust your impressions and your presumptions of his holiness over evidence of his actions, regardless of what they’re shown to be. Holiness is determined by actions, choices and lifestyle, not by auras and impressions. Haven’t we learned yet that we simply can’t trust charisma and auras??

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posted July 11, 2010 at 8:47 pm

Of course we do not trust auras and charismas, but if we have learned anything it is not to believe reports and news just because they are on the web or a blog.
To make “ad hominem” attacks on the Cardinal, to attack his reputation and good name without real evidence, just this gossip on blogs, is really shocking. One has learned to expect it on the blog , but on a blog run by a Catholic deacon it is really depressing.
This blog seems to have lost it way, and just feeds the divisions and battles in the church.
[FWIW, other clergy — with a much larger audience than mine — have also taken note of the spectacle in Austria. Here’s what Fr. Z. had to say. What I posted was simply the translation of the Gloria TV report, which explained what was going on. Also, as a footnote, this appears to be an annual event. You can also see videos of the 2008 mass and the one from 2009. All have the same celebrant: Canon Anton Faber, rector of the cathedral of St. Stephen, the cardinal’s seat. Dcn. G.]

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posted July 11, 2010 at 8:51 pm

It seems as if a sense of what is sacred has been lost. It seems as if people only want the ordinary.

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D.L. Morgan

posted July 11, 2010 at 9:10 pm

We must return to our traditions. These warnings are but a foretaste of what will come. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to intercede for our Church and restore our traditions. Dump the heretics of V-II and all of the garbage that has been forced upon us. The Rhine has flooded the Tiber with heresy!

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posted July 11, 2010 at 11:15 pm

FWIW……that is exactly my point, just copy and paste what other blogs say, no need to really verify anything and get original sources. Allow comments to make ad hominem attacks about a Cardinal’s reputation with no one really knowing all the facts of the situation. But it is okay, other blogs are doing it so that covers you? You may want to change your name of the blog to DEACON’S TABLOID. I hope your news channel has higher standard than the blog.

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posted July 12, 2010 at 9:08 am

Thanks for the links Dcn. Greg. Do know my goal is to know the truth, not to ‘win’ a debate, while at the same time, giving Cardinal Schonborn the benefit of the doubt.
I admit this video (I now have a vague memory of it) is also very distrubing, but I still hold out for the benefit of the doubt.
Firstly, as I pointed out earlier, this is totally imcompatible with the reverant “Cardinal S” I met. I also listened to him take and answer questions for almost 3 hours, clearly having no doubt that he was in obedience to the Church. I later had a few minutes with him one on one.
I’m certainly willing to accept the truth, but to believe that he approves of these types of masses is almost as mind blowing as seeing Pope Benedict sitting there.
While still giving him the benefit of the doubt, I’ve learned to never trust video and photos, assuming all is “photoshopped” until proven otherwise. I’m a photoshop guru of sorts myself, and know how easiy it is to make anything look like you want it to look.
IF true (as in video is as it was), I could possibly forgive the first time, but never a 2nd or 3rd mass by the same priest.
I plan to dig deeper to get the facts, maybe Raymond Arroyo or Colin Donavan from EWTN can get the real scoop on this, as I think it’s really important to know. The ideal would be to ask Cardinal S directly, who isn’t all that unapproachable, and often spends time in the US.
God Bless

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Geoffrey Miller

posted July 12, 2010 at 10:35 am

We must send a loud and clear message that we, the faithful, will no longer tolerate the smoke of Satan in our Church.
Sign the petition:

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posted July 12, 2010 at 11:53 am

We used to live in Vienna and this is the Cardinal Shoenborn I’ve met. He is a really sweet man being overrun by one of the most hedonistic, uncoverted but orderly societies. In the villages people go to Mass, but, even with all the beautiful churches and music, most people just ignore what the Church teaches. I listened to the video. The Canon said he wants to take the gospel outside and we can’t do things like we used to. My German isn’t very good, but I understood that. I don’t think they understand what the Gospel is supposed to be about.
It really is this bad. And, yes, everybody smokes everywhere in Europe.
BTW, besides the semmeln, gespritz and wurst there were people 50 feet away sunbathing naked. It just didn’t make the video.

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Tom Andreoli

posted July 12, 2010 at 3:52 pm

I can only say: “Dear Lord forgive for we know not what we do!” When I was a young boy, Mass was said in Latin and the priest faced the tabernacle. If you went anywhere in the world this sacred liturgy was the same. Now we have sacrilege! Please forgive me I do not mean insult anyone but shouldn’t holiness and sacredness be a crucial aspect of the Mass? Instead these types of events develop an attitude of ‘who cares'; ‘go to Mass if you like what’s happening’ and on and on. It is a scandal – not to my person but to Our Lord and Beloved.

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posted July 12, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Remember this saying of Jesus, “Render unto God what is God’s and unto…”
My understanding: Don’t mess with what God has set in place.
It is apparent to me that Jesus took care to show the apostles precisely what to do and how to do it. Consider, a quiet and secluded space was selected and reverence, propriety prevailed. Judas, the betrayer, removed himself from this hallowed place before the preparation of the bread and wine. For Jesus it was doubtless a sad time, for the relationship he had with his followers was about to change forever. He knew this was a prelude to His human death at the hand of some of the very people he came to save. Knowing this, He brought the greatest parting gift of all time, Himself. Jesus said He was giving them His body and blood. A monumental event, not an menial act intend to help mankid recover what was lost. The last supper was a celebration of sorts, for it was to herald in the promise of access to heaven.
To the best of my recollection of the written word, the last supper was an example, by Jesus, of how He intended to be remembered, His father respected, and how He expected his followers to behave. It has nothing of which I am aware to do with frivolity or bolstering the pleasures and comfort of mankind, but everything to do with reverence to God. It is a time to worship our God and give thanks, ask forgiveness, not induldge ourselves.
The gathering then and the mass now commemorate and provide a link between our past, Christs presence at that time, and our future standing with the Almighty. God’s happiness is all that matters. If HE isn’t happy, no one will be happy.

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Dorie Paterson

posted July 14, 2010 at 12:29 am

We all need to read the gospels again. Jesus was able to share his fellowship with a number of people who did not “make the grade” about their relationship with the “religious” of their time. In this case, the church wss bringing “Jesus” to their midst in the picnic grounds. I know that the participants did not honor the “Eucharist” the way they shoudl have by their behavior but I believe the good Cardinal was bringing his blessing to the gathering by saying that “Jesus” is not afraid to be in the midst of our lives. Let’s pray for those that may have been touched by the “Mass” in the midst of their lives that may have lost belief or hope.

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