Via Media

Via Media


From a reader

posted by awelborn

I mean, the rule to stand during communion is dumb and slightly comical (they instituted it here in my archdiocese with the caveat that your could sit after the first song if you liked. Result: half the community is sitting and the other half is standing, the exact opposite result from the one desired.) And, of course, a pinhead priest or nun saying that personal prayer during Mass is wrong is stupid. But that can be said and then we can move on pretty quickly. For myself, I find it quite as easy to pray standing as kneeling. But really: there’s something profoundly unhealthy about the relentless carping hopeless rage that focuses on this relative triviality and spends 89 comments and counting declaring that there is no hope, the end is nigh, the bishops are all bastards, the Church sucks, everything about the liturgy is contemptible, I hate my parish,everything about the Church is wrong and bad and it will never change and
there is no future to look forward to and on and on and on and on and on.

What is it about “faithful orthodox Catholics” that makes so many of them talk as though despair and anger are the first and only characteristics of the Truly Christian life?

People need to get out of cyberspace and get to daily Mass. They also frankly, need to encounter some real suffering. I’m sorry, but the readers who freak out and call this minor irritation an “atrocity” are people
who have lived in the suburbs too long. If Jesus came to me and said, “For your martyrdom, I sentence you to have to stand during communion” I would be relieved to the pitch of disappointment. Sure as hell beats being crucified or slowly submerged upside down in vats of human waste like the Japanese
martyrs. The poor Eastern Church. They have to stand for everything!



Advertisement
Comments read comments(139)
post a comment
Peggy

posted March 23, 2004 at 7:04 pm


Ok. I’ll bite. I am among the commenters who complain, but I don’t think I get too bent out of shape myself.
I got a dose of real suffering (maybe not mine, but of good friends of mine) today: One man I’ve known professionally for well over a decade collapsed at his office last week. I just learned he has brain cancer! Another man I’ve known for a number of years professionally lost his 21-year old who died in his sleep, no illness known. I learned of that also very recently. I feel so heartbroken for my friends and their families. May God be with them all.
I’m taking in all this news at this moment. The quality of liturgy does not sound so important right now.



report abuse
 

Meggan

posted March 23, 2004 at 7:07 pm


I am just so sorry that churches have made such an ordeal out of something that, to me, seemed to be such a no-brainer. The “new” GIRM was really nothing new. We implemented it in our parish in a snap and because we took the time to understand it ourselves and to explain it in a simple and painless way, it’s worked out just fine.
I agree with your reader that it is so not worth all of the anguish and hand ringing that the congregations AND the parish administrations are making it.
Sheesh! If it’s been this much trouble dealing with a slightly revised GIRM, just think of what will happen when the actual revised English language Sacramentary finally hits us.



report abuse
 

Sherry Weddell

posted March 23, 2004 at 7:17 pm


A commenter on a discussion on Mark Shea’s blog about missions and the experience of Christians in other countries seems both relevant to this post and well, convicting:
“I worked with one man whose son was hanged by the local Muslim officials for having converted. His most fervent desire was not for revenge; but to share the Gospel of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection with those who killed his child.”
I can’t imagine being able to respond that way but that is miraculous grace under pressure. What we could learn from our brothers and sisters in many parts of the third world.



report abuse
 

Sandra Miesel

posted March 23, 2004 at 7:38 pm


I complained because I don’t like being treated by a lab rat at the mercy of every liturgical fad that bishops can be talked into imposing. The existence of grave suffering in the world doesn’t give a pass to inanities in our worship.
My own parish is a fine one but I still think the trends in our society are running inexorably hellward and cannot be stopped.



report abuse
 

Glenn Juday

posted March 23, 2004 at 7:44 pm


Mr. A. Reader,
“What is it about “faithful orthodox Catholics” that makes so many of them talk as though despair and anger are the first and only characteristics of the Truly Christian life?”
Goodness! An anti-rant rant?
What I perceive is that people are reacting to the sense of being oppressed by a loosely affiliated coalition of individuals, schools of thought, and groups that have gradually unfolded a series of innovations with a clear and constant goal in view – the de-sacralization of the Catholic sacred liturgy. Maybe this sort of “suck it up and move on” message had a place in the early stages of the process, but it is hard to take seriously now. Even JP II has sounded the alarm, as in an alarming development is unfolding in the life of the Church and he has emphatically stated that it is vital (as in we won’t survive without) to recover a sense of the sacred. We are perilously close to idolatrous sacrilege in many Catholic “assemblies” in “worship spaces” on Sunday mornings. People are close to worshiping themselves, which means we’re driving God out. As far as I am concerned, that is worth getting worked up about. The key to moving the de-sacralization process along is one “little” change after another. Well, Catholic liturgy is not about a constant series of changes leading to de-sacralization, it is about continuity and slow, careful, gradual organic development when the good of the entire Church clearly requires it (see Document of Vatican II). Our (liturigical) house is on fire, and it doesn’t make much sense to choose that precise time to admire how nice the lawn looks. If you think these folks are crabby now, just imagine them (or their children) as Muslims or militant atheists, with no Christian restraint whatsoever. Not a pretty thought.
I think Belloc’s response to Dean Inge’s objections to Catholicism in the early 20th century best catches the spirit of fierce loyalty, comfort, and grateful longing that being deeply Catholic entails:
“There wholly escapes you the character of the Catholic Church …. You are like one examining the windows of Chartres from within by candle-light but we have the sun shining through . . . . For what is the Catholic Church? It is that which replies, co-ordinates, establishes. It is that within which is right order; outside the puerilities and the despairs. It is the possession of perspective in the survey of the world …. Here alone is promise, and here alone is foundation. Those of us who boast so stable an endowment make no claim thereby to personal peace; we are not saved thereby alone …. But we are of so glorious a company that we receive support, and have communion. The Mother of God is also our own. Our dead are with us. Even in these our earthly miseries we always hear the distant something of an eternal music, and smell a native air. There is a standard set for us whereto our whole selves respond, which is that of an inherited and endless life, quite full, in our own country. You may say, “all that is rhetoric.” You would be wrong, for it is rather vision, recognition, and testimony. But take it for rhetoric. Have you any such? Be it but rhetoric, whence does that stream flow? Or what reserve is that which can fill even such a man as myself with fire? Can your opinion (or doubt or gymnastics) do the same? I think not! One thing in this world is different from all others. It has a personality and a force. It is recognized and (when recognized) most violently hated or loved. It is the Catholic Church. Within that household the human spirit has roof and hearth. Outside it is the night.”



report abuse
 

ottanbrus

posted March 23, 2004 at 7:54 pm


[Rant warning!]
Well, I haven’t lived in the suburbs for, oh, twelve years at least. I have lived on reservations in South Dakota and Minnesota. And I’ve worked in urban settings–the projects of southside Chicago, the desolate streets of East St Louis, the economically depressed westside of Buffalo NY. There is one thing that I’ve found to be a constant among all the Catholic folks I’ve known, even the much-maligned suburbanites. They understand intuitively that the Mass is supposed to be a place of sanity. It’s where they go hoping to find stability in the midst of their chaos. It’s the place where they hope to catch a glimpse of beauty and have their thoughts raised above the din. It is the one place where they are supposed to be able to bring all their aspirations and hopes. It is that one-hour-per-week where they (supposedly) are allowed to adore, to worship, to praise the God they cling to in spite of all the absurdities that confront them daily.
But here’s the thing: The Mass has become for so many of these folks just one more constantly morphing “process”. Rather than providing them with a place of safety and with nourishment for the journey, it has become for so many folks a thing they must simply endure. And the really amazing thing is that they do endure it. These “little ones” continue to believe, to have faith, in spite of it all and in spite of their own personal tragedies. They somehow continue to cling tenaciously to Christ, even though what is supposed to be the high point of their relationship with Him–the Mass–often ends up being something that confuses them more than it comforts them.
So the issue, it seems to me, is not simply about kneeling versus standing. It’s what all those evolving liturgical norms do to Catholics who are already dazed, and who have to add liturgical confusion to the long list of everything else they have to contend with. But even more than that, perhaps, it’s the fact that the act of worship–which is such a primal and necessary thing for us humans–seems so often to be forbidden in the very place and at the very moment when it is supposed to thrive.
That, I think, accounts for all the sound and fury. And that’s why all the rancor in the blogosphere doesn’t bother me in the least.
[Here ends the rant. We now return to our regularly scheduled program. ;)]



report abuse
 

Phil

posted March 23, 2004 at 8:01 pm


To “From a Reader”: Right on! Well said.



report abuse
 

John Murray

posted March 23, 2004 at 8:02 pm


Sure, nobody’s being drawn and quartered. But to ask the question is to answer it. People are going berserk because the Mass is really important, and the same people who gave us social hour in place of reverence and told us it was an improvement are at it again. It sounds like a lot of people in the pews are tired of seeing liturgists’ index fingers waving at them and being told to take their castor oil and like it.
By the way, it’s not quite true that everyone in the East stands after Communion. Standing is the tradition, and so is very long liturgies during which people come and go as they need. But in many Byzantine Catholic churches, mine for example, people kneel during most of the consecration and again after communion. The kneeling is a Romanization, akin to our now celibate clergy. If/when we return to standing it will be interesting to see how it is accepted.
The original post at Barb Nicolosi’s blog seems to have disappeared.



report abuse
 

Han Ng

posted March 23, 2004 at 8:05 pm


I agree with both Amy (or the “Reader”) and Glenn Juday.
Certainly the strange liturgical experimentation is not “persecution” as experienced by actual martyrs. On the other hand, the gradual wearing away of Catholic tradition is a more subtle, and perhaps more efficacious presecution that destroys the faith from the inside. In defence of the disgruntled, of whom I am the first, I can only write that just because we should thank God that we have the luxury about complaing about details like proper implementation of the GIRM does not mean that such concerns should not be voiced.
We are, after all called to be perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect. To the extent that Liturgy both helps and reflects this call, we certainly should not tolerate something less just because we are not faced with more serious concerns (like being able to celebrate Mass at all)
Thanks for reading,
Han



report abuse
 

Fr. Jim Stehly

posted March 23, 2004 at 8:20 pm


Thanks so much, “reader”, for your eminently sensible and faith-full comments! fr. j.



report abuse
 

Nancy

posted March 23, 2004 at 8:52 pm


1) It is incredibly presumptuous to assume that those of us who are concerned about the ever-changing liturgy “need to encounter some real suffering” and “get out of cyberspace and get to daily Mass”;
2) I have encountered the atitude that seems to be reflected in this post from the priest and liturgist at my (former) parish: they unilaterally institute changes (standing through communion, hugging at the exchange of peace, etc.), then, when people complain, they counter with “why are you making such a big deal about something so minor? you need to be concerned about larger matters, etc.” Well, if it’s really so minor, then why did they make the change in the first place? And if people complain because it *is* important to them, why refuse to even consider going back? After all, it’s “minor”, right?
3) Finally, “How we pray shapes what we believe”. These *are* important issues and those who feel strongly about them deserve better than to be dismissed as “people who have lived in the suburbs too long” (whatever that is supposed to mean).



report abuse
 

Rod Dreher

posted March 23, 2004 at 9:08 pm


I appreciate what Glenn Juday and Ottanbrus have said here. While it’s certainly true that one must consider our own problems in perspective, it is also true that one can always point to the starving millions in Biafra to shut up people complaining about very real problems right here, right now.
“Cars are getting burgled on our street.”
Shut up, you could be living in Haiti.
“My mother can’t afford the heart medication that keeps her alive.”
Shut up, at least she has heart medicine, which is more than the poor people of Kosovo do.
“I don’t know what’s going on in my parish anymore, or in the Church. I don’t know whom to trust, and I worry if my kids will even be Catholic?”
Shut up, at least you don’t have to worry about being arrested in mass, like Chinese Catholics do.
I’m exaggerating somewhat, but do you see what I mean? Nothing is more important to me than my faith and my family. When I sense them being threatened — and they both are by the multifaceted crisis upon Catholicism — I’m going to get really agitated about it. It’s a real struggle to keep the anger and anxiety from overwhelming what’s good and holy and fruitful about our faith, but I fail to see why the death of souls, and the death of Christian culture, via the loss of faith is a minor crisis.
It used to be the case for me that the Church was a bulwark against the rampaging culture, an oasis of sanity and rest. I don’t feel that way anymore. If I didn’t love the Church, and need Jesus in the Church and its Sacraments, I’d just walk away from it. I know Catholic parents, folks older than I am, whose children have lost the faith. These people did the best they could, but the kids lost their faith in part because they were educated out of it by Jesuits, and because there was nothing at Church to hold them, and because their parents trusted too much in the institution to do the job that they should have been doing more diligently, had they realized that the last thing AmChurch is interested in is saving souls.
We can’t let ourselves get embittered. But neither can we let ourselves fail to get properly angry, and motivated to reform.



report abuse
 

chris k

posted March 23, 2004 at 9:08 pm


For myself, I find it quite as easy to pray standing as kneeling.
Well, good for you. See, that’s a positive statement. For myself, I pray better with my eyes closed. But when I do that standing I fall over. So what am I to do? See, now, how nicely we’ve shared here.
and spends 89 comments and counting declaring that there is no hope, the end is nigh, the bishops are all bastards, the Church sucks, everything about the liturgy is contemptible, I hate my parish,everything about the Church is wrong and bad and it will never change and there is no future to look forward to and on and on and on and on and on.
Aren’t we getting a leeeeetle bit on the outer limits here with the over-the-top description of others?
They also frankly, need to encounter some real suffering. I’m sorry, but the readers who freak out and call this minor irritation an “atrocity” are people
who have lived in the suburbs too long.

There’s no suffering in the suburbs? Coulda fooled me and my neighborhood.
If Jesus came to me and said, “For your martyrdom, I sentence you to have to stand during communion”
If Jesus came and said that to me, I’d be sure to test that apparition!!
The poor Eastern Church. They have to stand for everything!
And what is it about the constant comparison with the Eastern Church? Sure they have nice incense and habits (even if they have a bee in their bonnet about Christian sharing with the Latin Church) but they just might be wrong about the posture for prayer. While the world’s going to hell … and history is a reflection of the character of the times, I’d say any onward Christian soldier who feels the need to kneel in sackcloth and ashes these days is rather pleasing to the suffering Savior.



report abuse
 

ellen

posted March 23, 2004 at 9:11 pm


Nancy,
You are spot on. The liturgists and celebrants need to stop monkeying with the liturgy and asking us to hold hands or hug each other etc…. Its nutsy. Secondly, the notion that those in the suburbs are somehow immune from suffering is laughable. As a member of the laity, I find I am always qualified to be a member of the herd, but rarely the heard.



report abuse
 

michigancatholic

posted March 23, 2004 at 9:14 pm


Amy, the Church is important. When the Church is threatened with destruction in the United States and Europe because of sheer corruption and dissent, it’s a problem. Or don’t you think so?
If you doubt this “threatened with destruction” assessment, you better check the stats, I’d say.
Scripture says the church has guarantees, BUT the church in New Jersey, etc does NOT have guarantees. It could disappear there as easily as it did in England anytime.
I agree with the poster above who said that’s it’s really presumptuous of you to think we all need to get out and get some suffering. Amy, with all due respect, you don’t know most of us personally and don’t know what kind of suffering we have. Did it ever occur to you that maybe one of the commenters has a serious health problem (cancer etc)or a real sorrow in their life (grief etc).



report abuse
 

michigancatholic

posted March 23, 2004 at 9:18 pm


Living in the suburbs doesn’t make you immune to fatal diseases or deaths in the family, last I checked. If that’s changed, please let me know so I can move there.



report abuse
 

amy

posted March 23, 2004 at 9:23 pm


michigancatholic:
With all due respect, this post is headlined, “From a Reader.” Which means it is from an email a reader sent to me, not my words.



report abuse
 

Jim

posted March 23, 2004 at 9:42 pm


1) Taking a liturgist too seriously is like taking a fashion designer or interior decorator too seriously. You can’t please that kind of person……but why would one care to?
2) A lot of this angst over liturgy would take care of itself if people would realize that good liturgy is not about perfectly executing some set of written rubrics. That, in my opinion, is the antithesis of good liturgy, which is about experiencing the sacrament, not staging a play.



report abuse
 

Jim

posted March 23, 2004 at 9:43 pm


1) Taking a liturgist too seriously is like taking a fashion designer or interior decorator too seriously. You can’t please that kind of person……but why would one care to?
2) A lot of this angst over liturgy would take care of itself if people would realize that good liturgy is not about perfectly executing some set of written rubrics. That, in my opinion, is the antithesis of good liturgy, which is about experiencing the sacrament, not staging a play.



report abuse
 

Maclin Horton

posted March 23, 2004 at 9:48 pm


Sigh. I’ve been telling myself to stay out of this, but can’t resist.
Yes, A. Reader makes an extremely important point, and we should keep all this in perspective. But without getting confessional here I must insist that the present state of the Church in general and of the liturgy in particular is capable of causing real and serious suffering, and I don’t mean mere pique occasioned by officious liturgists. See Rod’s next-to-last paragraph. Thank you, Rod, for making these points so vividly (and saving me the effort).
One further note: I do believe that many of us are too quick on the trigger about what are really fairly small things. I think this is often because we know that there are a lot of people in the Church, some in the clergy, who really don’t believe the Faith anymore but won’t admit it, and we’re in the habit of being on the lookout for their influence. We take certain sorts of liturgical, architectural, musical, and homiletic approaches as evidence of their activity, when it isn’t always so and may very well be the work of a very devout person, however mistaken we may think them (and obviously in any given case, absent manifest heresy or lunacy, we may be the ones who are mistaken). When such a person is attacked another kind of real suffering occurs, and we need to be really careful about it. Like the feller said: In all things charity.



report abuse
 

michigancatholic

posted March 23, 2004 at 9:51 pm


But this was chosen to be posted here. I’d wager lots of stuff doesn’t get chosen.



report abuse
 

michigancatholic

posted March 23, 2004 at 9:52 pm


Maclin, to some degree you are right about watching out for signs of trouble. I started out pretty naive as a convert, but I learned pretty quick that when you let your guard down, one of these dissenter-types is going to come after you for the shock value. I stay as far away from them as possible.



report abuse
 

Sherry Weddell

posted March 23, 2004 at 9:52 pm


I’m probably going to regret saying anything but I feel that I have to for the sake of the hundreds of lurkers out there, who are taking this discussion and others like it in:
I don’t think that our mysterious “reader’s” point was about the specifics of Barb’s experience at Mass last weekend. I too was disgusted at what she described and expressed my sympathies in a comment on her blog. I am very grateful that this is not a issue in my own diocese (or state I think).
But the point that our mystery blogger was trying to make was an important one – that readers of these discussions can easily come away thinking:
“there is no hope, the end is nigh, the bishops are all bastards, the Church sucks, everything about the liturgy is contemptible, I hate my parish,everything about the Church is wrong and bad and it will never change and there is no future to look forward to and on and on and on and on and on.”
I have never talked about this publicly before but it was exactly such discussions by “orthodox” Catholics that drove me to despair and nearly out of the Church in my first few floundering years as a Catholic.
The only Catholics I could find who cared about the teaching of the Church in a diocese that was in pretty grim shape seemed to be filled with rage. The only thing they wanted to talk about were liturgical aberations and the corruption of the clergy, etc. etc.
I simply couldn’t take it – if the virtue of theological hope wasn’t a part of Catholic faith or experience, I had made a terrible mistake and needed to leave. I could feel my commitment to the Church literally crumbling and knew that I was within a few weeks of giving up altogether. Fortunately, God answered my prayer and I found a few solidly orthodox and hopeful Catholics to give me perspective and hope. I must also add that that experience kept me away from exploring things liturgical for years because I associated it with obsessive, stomach-churning rage.
HEAR ME PLEASE! I am describing people that I knew 15 years ago, NOT present company. I have enjoyed many of your posts over time and know that most of those who post on Amy’s blog are people of faith, humor, and intelligence.
But the sense that there is no hope does often fill these conversations – sometimes explicity, sometimes implicitly. We’ve had members of schismatic groups here openly encouraging posters here to go into schism – and it actually “fit” right in to the tenor of the conversion.
Hope is a supernatural virtue but we have been commanded to foster it in ourselves in and in others – and despair, as we all know, is a grave sin in Catholic understanding.
We also need to think about the hundreds, maybe thousands of lurkers from all over the world who drop by Amy and Mark’s blog. For some, this is their first exposure to Catholicism, some are hungry for fellowship and are looking for encouragement, some may be on the verge of leaving the Church and need to know that there is hope. There’s more than one way to lose one’s faith.
Call me sentimental but we do have some responsibility to them – not to pretend that everything is great but also not to paint a picture so terrible and black that it simply isn’t true to reality.
We all know that rhe crap Barb experienced is *not* universal – that there are many dioceses and parishes (after all, there are 195 dioceses and 20,000 parishes)in this country that are not led by graduates of the Attila the Hun School of Pastoral Care and are faithful to the mind and spirit of the Church.
I know from personal experience that there is a whole new generation of enthusiastic, devout, orthodox Catholic leaders being raised up by God all over this country. They are our future and they are every bit as real as any venial priest or stupid pastoral decision that we will encounter.
There’s plenty of room to commiserate and wrestle together for the good in St. Blogs’ but to work ourselves into a frenzy of despair is unfaithful. Despair is not the only alternative to cover-up or enabling hererodoxy.
I leave you with this word from St. Thomas More, a man who knew what he was talking about: “The times are nere so bad that a good man cannot make shift to live in them.”



report abuse
 

Brian

posted March 23, 2004 at 9:53 pm


If The Mass is what we believe it is (the re-presentation of Calvary) and it unleashes the grace that we believe it does, than 89 comments aren’t nearly enough. What’s more important than Christ’s Sacrifice?



report abuse
 

michigancatholic

posted March 23, 2004 at 9:54 pm


Jim, wonder of wonders, we agree. I think most liturgists can safely be completely ignored, yes. They need to be unemployed too, for that matter, but I can’t do anything about that.



report abuse
 

michigancatholic

posted March 23, 2004 at 9:58 pm


Or maybe we are playing straw man?



report abuse
 

Ian

posted March 23, 2004 at 10:10 pm


Umm…
Prayers should be said standing on Sunday. That’s a fundamental, dogma of the Church. Check out Canon 20 of Nicea…
When we Westerners kneel, we kneel out of reverence to Christ before us. But prayers should not be said while kneeling on Sunday, since kneeling is also a gesture of repentence and on Sunday, Our Lord is risen, saving us from sin. Although we kneel to pay tribute, note that every prayer offered by the congregation is said standing on Sunday. The priest stands prior to and after the consecration while the rest of us kneel because he offers prayers that the laity does not offer.
I kneel after communion out of respect to our Lord before me until the veil separates the sacred Body of Christ from me. However, I do not offer prayers. He has directed me to do so via the Holy Spirit in the first Ecumenical Council, why should I disobey Him? I certainly don’t want to disregard those things He has revealed, I’m a sinner enough as is…



report abuse
 

Phil

posted March 23, 2004 at 10:15 pm


Well said, Sherry Weddell!



report abuse
 

Jayson Franklin

posted March 23, 2004 at 10:16 pm


woah, can of worms!



report abuse
 

michigancatholic

posted March 23, 2004 at 10:20 pm


Ian?! The Church does not forbid you to pray in Church! That’s insane, my friend. Scripture bids you to pray always. You can always and everywhere pray, *even* in Church.



report abuse
 

Donald R. McClarey

posted March 23, 2004 at 10:20 pm


Standing rather than kneeling after communion is yet one more attempt by avante-garde liturgists to convert the Mass from the worship of God to the celebration of Man. My great-grandfather on my mother’s side was an Irish immigrant and very tough. When my mother was a little girl the very old man took her to Mass. He scorned pews and kneelers as Protestant innovations and would kneel on the stone floor in the back of the church to worship God. If he could kneel without kneelers I guess I can too. I will do so cheerfully without any “despair or anger”, which I agree often times does afflict orthodox Catholics, although in reviewing the history of the Church for the past forty years, one can see why. However let us recall Saint Francis who commanded his friars to be merry and leave gloom and despair for the Devil and his disciples.



report abuse
 

michigancatholic

posted March 23, 2004 at 10:27 pm


Ian, that is someone’s interpretation or bad translation. Someone has seriously misled you.



report abuse
 

Mark Shea

posted March 23, 2004 at 10:35 pm


Brother Giles rides again!
“Sherry Weddell is right! Listen to her!”
{sitting back down now}



report abuse
 

michigancatholic

posted March 23, 2004 at 10:42 pm


Sherry is right about hope being a Christian virtue, but we have hope. That’s why we’re still hanging around. If I didn’t think the Catholic CHurch was right about Christianity, I’d have been gone a long time ago. There are better parties in town. ;)



report abuse
 

michigancatholic

posted March 23, 2004 at 10:43 pm


But I’m not looking for a party. I’m looking for the truth in Church. That’s why I go.



report abuse
 

Andy

posted March 23, 2004 at 10:47 pm


>They need to be unemployed too, for that matter, but I can’t >do anything about that.
That’s real nice. You try to deal with making a house payment and putting food on the table for a family and see how it works out.



report abuse
 

Mark Shea

posted March 23, 2004 at 10:48 pm


Ian, Donald and MichiganCatholic display the happy provincialism that helps to keep east and west separate:
Ian correctly cites Canon 20 of Nicaea:
“On the Lord’s Day and at Pentecost all must pray standing and not kneeling.”
This was indeed the teaching of Nicaea and it remains the practice (not the “dogma”) of the Eastern Church today. Now, imagine an Eastern Catholic, inheriting centuries of practice going back to Nicaea and beyond, being told that “Standing rather than kneeling after communion is yet one more attempt by avante-garde liturgists to convert the Mass from the worship of God to the celebration of Man.” One could perhaps forgive an Easterner for forming the impression that some disgruntled Westerners appear to have the notion that the Council of Trent was the only council in the Church’s history. Particularly, when yet another angry Westerner declares “Ian, that is someone’s interpretation or bad translation. Someone has seriously misled you.”
Actually, it’s a perfectly accurate translation and the Eastern Church still lives by it. It’s true that the Western rite does things differently and we are not bound by eastern practice (which, pax to Ian, is not and never was “dogma” but is and always has been a mutable discipline). But (and here’s the point) the eastern Church is also not bound by ours. Yet this discussion is going forward among various pissed off westerners full of despair for the Church as though the eastern Church doesn’t even exist and as though it’s practices and disciplines can *only* be seen as evidence of a sinister “religion of man”.



report abuse
 

michigancatholic

posted March 23, 2004 at 10:51 pm


Oh, you want me to sympathize with any kind of activity that puts food on the table??? How about bank robber, or maybe embezzler or how about mercenary? Huh? Get real, Andy.
We need to get rid of some of these positions which yield nothing but dissension and perversity. We simply do not need to employ someone whose job is changing the words of hymns so they can be different every year in the darn missalettes. Do you know where that money comes FROM?? The collection plate.



report abuse
 

michigancatholic

posted March 23, 2004 at 10:52 pm


No, Mark. We are using the terms East and West very cavalierly. When we say East are we talking about those in union with or the schismatic churches (Greek Orthodox)? People throw the East/West thing around just to intimidate/win points. Let’s be specific, shall we?



report abuse
 

michigancatholic

posted March 23, 2004 at 10:54 pm


Besides Mark, the problem with what Ian said isn’t the standing up part so much, as it is the assertion that we shouldn’t pray in the Church. That’s preposterous.



report abuse
 

Colleen

posted March 23, 2004 at 10:55 pm


Dear Mr. Reader,
I’m not angry and in fact, I just found a very devout and holy priest and left my local parish (coulda duplicated the story this thread is based upon and added in stuff about the enneagram, priest wanting to pull away from Rome, etc) before I got that way – angry – all the time. There are a lot of worse things than arbitrary changes in the Mass, for sure. My 42 year old sister in law who has a wonderful husband (my brother) and two little boys just got diagnosed last week with cancer in her spine, liver and lymph nodes. We thought she beat breast cancer two years ago and now this. Please pray for her (standing or kneeling, she honestly won’t care).
Here’s my thing. It mystifies and saddens me that the same people who can devote reams of paper and thousands of man hours in committees and meetings and then tell us that “you would bow or stand for a visiting dignitary, you should do it for Jesus, too [knock off the old fashioned kneeling]” and reiterate it at every Mass and in every bulletin, can’t teach my children that the Eucharist is something more than a community meal and gathering. Even when I ask nicely and politely point out that the CCD book is used by some Protestant parishes.
I’m just saying, leave the Mass alone already and put your energy into teaching the faith to kids – give them something to believe in that never changes. It’s pretty bad when teenagers get sick of the changes and they haven’t been through 35+ years of them yet!
I heard a priest recently say that he first was saddened by the “liturgy wars” but then upon reflection he sees good in it – it shows how important the Mass is to people. What if no one cared enough to complain?



report abuse
 

Brian Amend

posted March 23, 2004 at 11:13 pm


Mark:
I was confused by what Ian said too. I think you’re right, but…
The “not praying when kneeling” you all are talking about is in fact very prayerful; it’s just not petitionary prayer. It’s adoration, worship, and/or thanksgiving, perhaps even repentance. Standing, canon 20 is saying, is the appropriate posture for petitionary prayer.
I agree with Sherry and Mark and others that we need to exercise the virtue of hope, which means expecting a good outcome despite grim realities. The people in my life who have most invigorated me with faith are not those who have bitched about liturgical and catechetical abuses (though the latter have helped me sharpen my sense of truth). Rather, those who have helped me advance in faith and hope and charity are those who exercise these virtues visibly and who look for and look forward to the reign of God in every day life. The people who have been this for me have been both heterodox and orthodox.
I think of St. Padre Pio, who suffered not only the stigmata but false accusations and such. The reason why he’s a saint is not because he was so orthodox but because, despite his own crushing problems, he was able to lead people to the risen and crucified Christ and guided them to see hope in him. ONe of his most famous sayings, “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.”
Compassion without truth is mere sentimentality, but I often find the emphasis on truth among traditionalists and so-called neo-catholics (I include myself in this accusation) prevents us from seeing the other side of that dynamic: truth without compassionate love is cruelty



report abuse
 

Rod Dreher

posted March 23, 2004 at 11:13 pm


Here’s something I’m wrestling with, though I hasten to say the question is really just academic to me: What happens if you come to believe you have to leave Catholicism for the sake of your family, or to save your Christian faith?
Someone reading my comments on the blog wrote this to me. It’s long and personal, so with her permission, I’m posting it with some identifying markers taken out. This woman says she converted to Catholicism from the Episcopal Church about 10 years ago, but went back recently because she was so unhappy, and her family was suffering. She writes:
A week or so ago on a day off from school I had a long talk with all the children, who are teenagers. It wasn’t anything I’d planned; we just all happened to be sitting around in the family room at the same time.
The kids all told me what it was like from their standpoint to have experienced the Catholic Church. Believe me – I was *not* prompting or drawing this out of them. In fact, I was rather shocked and stricken by what they said. Frankly, I’d rather not have heard it.
I thought I’d done a “good job” hiding my feelingsfrom the children, but guess what – they weren’t fooled for a minute. They remembered me being upset just about every time we went to Mass. They remembered me seething with anger at one thing or another (when I thought I was hiding it.) They definitely noticed our church-hopping, and how we didn’t know anyone (mostly) in the parish, and how cold the Catholic parishioners were. The youngest said, “I’d get up on Sunday morning and wonder where we were going to go to church today.”
The oldest said, “I wondered why no one talked to anybody else, but then I got used to it, and then I hated it.”
They were angry at me – not rancorous, but upset nonetheless – at the division that my conversion introduced into the relationship between their father and me. They definitely felt “forced” to be Catholic, and mostly they didn’t want to be, because of what they saw happening to me and to their father and me as a couple.
They talked for almost an hour, and got it all off their chests. I was crying at the end.
Rod, kids *know* what’s going on. A parent is really blessed if when they’re teenagers they feel comfortable enough to come out and tell you. God knows I didn’t deserve it.

I wrote her back and thanked her for her letter. She wrote back to explain more:
Of course, I blamed myself for not being a “good enough Catholic.” Then at some point it just went “snap.” It was a couple of years ago, on a holy day of obligation. My poor children were dragging along with me because I was their mother, they loved me, and they obeyed me. We were all so miserable we could have just cried then and there. I distinctly remember thinking, “God is not like this. This is me doing this to our family out of stubbornness and pride, not God doing this to me.”
At that point, I stopped believing that if I left Catholicism I’d go to hell. I realized that the door was locked from the inside. All I had to do was open the door.
So I talked to my husband that week. I told him everything going on inside. I was terrified that he’d be angry, yell at me for all the misery of these past years, etc. None of that happened. We were reconciled. At that point I realized how close my marriage had been to the brink – like when you look over the edge and don’t realize until you’ve stepped back how close you came to pitching over headfirst.
God and I were reconciled. I had hated Him because I blamed Him for “making” me do whatever, and because it seemed to me that if He had made this “His only Church,” then He was indeed hateful. I had to leave Catholicism to save my Christian faith.
If you and your wife both believe in Catholicism, Rod, then stay. Find a place that’s congenial, and try to keep to some stability, because kids need that. But keep this in mind – if you’re angry about Catholicism, if you feel put upon, or forced (like “God’s making me do this,”) or resentful, or bitter – your kids *will* pick up on it. In that case, the most orthodox parish in the world will NOT produce “vibrant” Catholic children who stay Catholic when they grow up. No matter how orthodox the parish, if your fundamental approach to Catholicism is one of fear and punishment (fear of your own feelings and thoughts; fear that God will punish you for the “wrong” ones; fear that the bishop will yank away your place of refuge), then you’ll never feel secure and happy there, even if it is a “devout liturgy.”
If you’re happy as a Catholic, your children will be too. I have met a lot of happy orthodox Catholics – they really are out there. But it’s a happiness that comes from within, and if you don’t share it, it does NOT mean you’re necessarily “broken” or “sinful.” True happiness cannot be forced or faked.

I’m curious to know what you all think of this.



report abuse
 

michigancatholic

posted March 23, 2004 at 11:26 pm


Rod, I can only say how sad it is. She doesn’t say (other than seething with anger at one thing or another) what the problem was. I can probably guess–I’m a convert too.
We’ve lost a great number of people this way. Where I work we have lots of them….at least 4 times as many ex-catholics as current catholics. It can be kind of tough when one of those scandals hits the news–you can imagine.



report abuse
 

David Kubiak

posted March 23, 2004 at 11:36 pm


Mother Teresa knew something about suffering, and when she was asked what was the most terrible thing she had ever seen, she said “people receiving Communion in the hand.” The poor you will have always with you — how Mass is celebrated is no trivial matter that can be shunted aside for the sake of social work.
And I don’t sense much “despair” in these postings. Everyone knows the two or three frantic sedevacantists, and I suspect pays no attention to them. The other posts come from rightfully angry people who have been pushed as far as they can go. Their hope is in starting to fight back; more power to them.
I am afraid that a certain kind of Protestant convert will always be obsessed with dogma and never quite understand or appreciate the liturgical traditions of the Roman Church. Mr. Shea is such a person I think. He is better off not commenting on the liturgy, since he invariably gets something wrong.
(Are he and Ms. Weddell in business together?)



report abuse
 

ottanbrus

posted March 23, 2004 at 11:38 pm


Ms Weddell, your comments are right and true. A proper admonition which I am happy to take personally. So let me add some “non-rant” comments, if I may.
The Catholic Church remains for me the most important and essential thing in my life. I have a convert’s zeal, so I sometimes come at Catholic things with a good deal of passion. For all the issues and problems that we Catholics are facing, I know first-hand that the Church remains the harbor for sinners and the light in the darkness. And for that reason I am proud to be a Catholic. I honestly cannot imagine trying to navigate through these times without all that the Church provides for me. I do need the Sacraments, most especially the Holy Eucharist. I do need the “family” that is the Church. I do need the prayers and support of my Catholic brothers and sisters, and I know that they need mine. I do need the charity and goodwill that abound in every Catholic community and in so many Catholic hearts. I do need the solid teaching and guidance of the Pope and the Magisterium. I do need the leadership of our bishops. I do need all those pastoral efforts made by our priests. I do need the wisdom and insights of all those Catholic thinkers, living and dead, who add so much to the world’s intellectual heritage. I do need the prayers of all those dedicated contemplatives who intercede for us without ceasing.
But most of all, I do need Jesus Christ and the redemption, love, forgiveness, meaning, and truth he offers to all of us. And I know that I can find Him in all his fullness right there, in the midst of His People, at the heart of His Church. I cannot imagine life without Him or without all that He gives to me through His People.
The Church is ultimately and finally a thing that is to be loved, guarded, and cherished. There is no substitute. The Church is that “pearl of great price” that I would not, could not, trade for anything.
I have never regretted my decision to become a Catholic. I only regret that I did not discover the Catholic Church sooner. The Church is for me such an undeserved treasure, such an unmerited gift, that it sometimes boggles my mind how fortunate I am to have stumbled into it. And I am so blessed that this Church has room even for the likes of me, as I stumble and bumble my way through life. That’s another thing that I really need: The patience that the Church offers me as I try, with the Lord’s help, to grow in holiness.
It is certainly understandable that Catholics will be passionate about issues in the Church. That’s the way it’s always been for Catholics, because we have always known that the Church is something that is worth being passionate about. And so if any “lurker” is put off by the more “negative” comments found here and elsewhere, please try to understand that for all of us, this thing we call the Catholic Faith is the most precious and important gift we have ever received. Be assured that we are indeed a “family”–and, yes, we are a motley bunch, and some of us (me included) can really be cranky sometimes. But I must tell you that that’s just one more thing I love about this Church–this boisterous, wonderful, passionate People. Oh, Lord, do I ever love that.
The bottom line here is this: My heart belongs to the Church, without reservation. And that is a choice I made once and that I continue to make each day. I am so fortunate to be a Catholic. I honestly do not deserve to be a Catholic. Sometimes, during those rare moments when I really get it, in those fleeting moments when I really understand it, the sheer joy of being a Catholic hits me with a force that makes me shiver. I kid you not.
So if in my comments you have read despair, then I have failed to communicate my truest thoughts and my deepest convictions, and I have not shown you the enduring Catholic hope that lives in my heart, and for that I must apologize and ask pardon of you all.



report abuse
 

Gen X Revert

posted March 23, 2004 at 11:43 pm


David in the original thread said those in the East stand and suggested we Latin-Riters should just concentrate on an icon or statue in the sanctuary. The problem with that is: There are no icons or statues in the sanctuary at my parish or many others. They were all taken out years ago because “they are not allowed anymore”. So the problem with having kneeling taken away is that it is just one more thing being taken away. Ok for those in the East to stand, you already have statues, icons, art, etc.. I have blank white walls to focus on.



report abuse
 

michigancatholic

posted March 23, 2004 at 11:47 pm


Or the midriff of the madonna look-alike in the pew ahead of you…LOL. Or the guitar player who thinks he sounds like Brad Paisley, when he sounds like Alvin (of Chipmunk fame).



report abuse
 

Mark Shea

posted March 23, 2004 at 11:53 pm


David:
Nope. Sherry Weddell and I are not in business together. We don’t even live in the same state. I am merely a fan of her St. Catherine of Siena Institute.



report abuse
 

michigancatholic

posted March 23, 2004 at 11:53 pm


Sorry, but sometimes you also have to see the humor in some of this. Sick humor, yes, okay, but it’s still kind of funny sometimes.
The funniest thing about it is how deadly serious the progressive types take all this. I mean really, have you ever seen the pics of those fake womenchurch ceremonies..?? ROFLOL. No way. Looks alone defeats natural law.
When we get done with the silliness and it hits everyone how completely inane-polyester-leisure-suit-stupid this all is, maybe things will finally get better. And we will maybe finally be able to be realistic and honest…..



report abuse
 

James Kabala

posted March 23, 2004 at 11:53 pm


David Kubiak:
Could we have some documentation on that Mother Teresa quote?
Rod Dreher:
I don’t know what to say about that woman’s letter, because, as Michigan Catholic said, she doesn’t really say what the problem was. Was it seriously heterodox practices, or was it mere annoyances (like having to stand after Communion)?



report abuse
 

Colleen

posted March 23, 2004 at 11:53 pm


Wow. I was wondering, all through reading the letter, if there was something of my family in there, we’ve shopped around for a couple of years and there have been things that have gone on in our own parish that have angered me… and I know I let it show. Some things have angered my kids or made them laugh (music). But then I mercifully reached the end of the letter and realized that that poor woman felt forced to be a Catholic, when I rejoice in my faith and feel very blessed every day, regardless of what goes on around me – scandals, liturgy arguments, all of it. I know I am a much happier person since I went “faithful.” My teenaged daughter is just starting to plumb the depths of Catholicism and she is happy and loves the new priest, my 10 year old son admires him. Any time we visited a new parish it was a decision by all of us whether or not we would fit in. No parish is ever going to be perfect, – certainly no one in it is perfect – but you have to be at peace where you are.
I think the woman who wrote you looked at Catholicism as a yoke and a burden and that is so tragic and sad. Sadly, my husband isn’t Catholic and doesn’t go to Mass with us, so he isn’t a factor. I can’t conceive going so far so as to jeopordize your marriage and pretty much scandalize your kids. I hope that family is happy and I pray someday she will see the truth and embrace it in her heart.



report abuse
 

Mark Shea

posted March 23, 2004 at 11:55 pm


Ottanbrus:
Thanks for your lovely note. It was beautiful.



report abuse
 

Brian Amend

posted March 23, 2004 at 11:55 pm


David:
“I am afraid that a certain kind of Protestant convert will always be obsessed with dogma and never quite understand or appreciate the liturgical traditions of the Roman Church. Mr. Shea is such a person I think. He is better off not commenting on the liturgy, since he invariably gets something wrong.”
In all things…oh, never mind.
Rod:
I would not comment on this lady’s specific situation because I don’t know her heart.
In terms of her general point that one should leave the RCC if one finds one is in it out of fear of punishment for leaving…I would say that’s one option. It may be a limitation of my imagination, but it seems to me it would be the most pressing one if one had never experienced the romance of being part of the Church Christ founded (the terms I would use rather than his only Church). Another option, if one has had that romance, would be to nourish it, however layered over it is by anger and fear. It’s still there though dormant.
More personally, I love the Church like I love America. I’ll keep on loving her even when she’s wrong, just as I love America when she’s wrong.
I think also that one of the reasons I am able to love the Church and America and even my wife rather than burning out when things go wrong is that I want all three of them to become more like themselves rather than more like me. I think many activists in Church and State, on the left and the right, want Church or State to look more like themselves rather than for their Church or their State to become more fully what it already is. This is deadly as it is in marriage, when one wants to change the other into something rather than helping that person to be more fully what he or she is already is. When this endeavor fails, one feels, one must give up.
(I would hasten to add, and Rod who knows me can confirm this, I and not my wife am the problem in our marriage, :-)
Perhaps hope is related to love in that when you hope and love, you don’t expect things to turn out like you want them to but how they should be, which is, you know all the time, differently from how *right now* you’d want or expect.
I recognize that my words could be put in the mouth of a CTA denizen and would mean something completely different from what I mean. As I said above, though, love must be bound to truth to not be sentimentality. Hope too, must be grounded in truth or it becomes mere optimism or will to power.



report abuse
 

michigancatholic

posted March 23, 2004 at 11:56 pm


James, having to stand after HOly Communion **IS** a heterodox practice.



report abuse
 

michigancatholic

posted March 24, 2004 at 12:00 am


“Not very long ago I said Mass and preached for their Mother, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and after breakfast we spent quite a long time talking in a little room. Suddenly, I found myself asking her — don’t know why — ‘Mother, what do you think is the worst problem in the world today?’ She more than anyone could name any number of candidates: famine, plague, disease, the breakdown of the family, rebellion against God, the corruption of the media, world debt, nuclear threat, and so on.
“Without pausing a second she said, ‘Wherever I go in the whole world, the thing that makes me the saddest is watching people receive Communion in the hand.'”
– Father George William Rutler, Good Friday, 1989 in St. Agnes Church, New York City (a precise transcript taken from a tape of his talk available from St. Agnes Church)



report abuse
 

Colleen

posted March 24, 2004 at 12:01 am


James: it was Father Rutler who recounted what Mother Theresa said about Communion in the hand.
“Not very long ago I said Mass and preached for their Mother, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and after breakfast we spent quite a long time talking in a little room. Suddenly, I found myself asking her (I don’t know why): “Mother, what do you think is the worst problem in the world today?” She more than anyone could name any number of candidates: famine, plague, disease, the breakdown of the family, rebellion against God, the corruption of the media, word debt, nuclear threat, and so on.
“Without pausing a second she said, “Wherever I go in the whole world, the thing that makes me the saddest is watching people receive Communion in the hand.”
From Fr. George William Rutler Good Friday, 1989, sermon at St. Agnes Church, New York City. Transcribed by Ron McCloskey from the “St. Agnes Cassettes” recording.



report abuse
 

Colleen

posted March 24, 2004 at 12:04 am


mc – you are always way ahead of me!
Ottanbrus – I might copy and paste your note into a frame and put it on my wall – it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read. Thanks for enriching my life!



report abuse
 

Cristina

posted March 24, 2004 at 12:07 am


+JMJ+
James:
I found that Mother Teresa quote intriguing, too. This is what I found through Google:
http://www.latin-mass-society.org/teresa.htm
The quote is from an anecdote about her told by Fr. George William Rutler.
On other pages, there are tons of quotes from other people, all against Communion in the hand. Type in “Mother Teresa Communion Hand” and see what you can find.



report abuse
 

michigancatholic

posted March 24, 2004 at 12:07 am


That’s exactly what I typed into yahoo, Christina.



report abuse
 

michigancatholic

posted March 24, 2004 at 12:09 am


Colleen, I think we posted almost at the same time…LOL.
Ottanbrus, thank you for your post. What you say is so true. I love the Church too. It’s the reason I get so upset with this stuff.



report abuse
 

David Kubiak

posted March 24, 2004 at 12:28 am


On Mr. Dreher’s letter. How sad I feel for this family, especially when I think of the great Anglican converts like Cardinal Newman and (in his quirky way) Evelyn Waugh. The greatest sadness is that this family converted to a Church which portrays membership in it (I use the word portray to avoid claiming anything about the substance of the doctrine; I mean only how it is presented pastorally) in a radically different way than it did to Newman and Manning and Waugh. I am reminded of a case of a man in New York raised by Catholics who discovered he was Jewish, and decided to return to Judaism. Cardinal O’Connor was shown in a television interview all smiles because the young man had followed his conscience, and said that neither God or the Church blamed him for what he was doing.
It is unfortunate that there is no Mass celebrated anywhere close to this family that can allow them to worship in peaceful unity with the Church. But given the present state of things, I don’t think God will blame them for what they felt forced to do.
(I am also reminded that some bishops have not been anxious to receive Anglo-Catholic parishes who want to come over because both their liturgy and theology are too high.)



report abuse
 

Lynn

posted March 24, 2004 at 12:36 am


I also thank you for your post, Ottanbrus.
I too love the Church, and my comments about liturgy nuttiness are not made in the spirt of hopelessness.



report abuse
 

Carrie

posted March 24, 2004 at 12:39 am


Earlier today I quoted E. A. Sovik’s statement on kneeling in a comment about Richard Vosko copying Sovik’s ideas. I looked at the book a bit more this evening and found a quote from Sovik that comes close to things which have been said here. Incidentally, the book is titled ARCHITECTURE FOR WORSHIP, and to the best of my knowledge Sovik is not Catholic. He writes about the communion rail:
“At its worst it has been a fence intentionally dividing the people from the clergy. In effect it always does this and should be avoided for this reason. But an equally good reason is that the posture of kneeling for communion contributes to the general attitude that the Eucharist is essentially a penetential and individualistic event. This view diminishes the meanings of the words “celebration” and “communion.” A celebration ought to be joyful, but kneeling is not the posture of joy; in a communion one ought to be particularly conscious of the community, who together participate in Christ; but kneeling is not a posture in which we can properly commune. The Eucharist is not a private ritual; it is something shared. Even when the Eucharist is given privately, as to the sick, it is intended to be the warrant of the individual’s participation in a community of Christians….
The procession which has become the rule in Catholic churches where the Eucharist is given standing is surely an improvement on kneelilng. But the best celebration of which I have been a part was one where the distribution was much less a routine, and the members of the parish took the occasion to greet each other, introduce each other, and declare to each other their joy in many ways. The room swarmed for a few minutes, and the mood was one of warmth and thanksgiving and love.”
(p. 86-87)
Sound familiar?



report abuse
 

alias clio

posted March 24, 2004 at 12:40 am


I think the unhappy ex-Catholic in Mr Dreher’s letter has life problems that are not directly concerned with Catholic liturgical practise or the Church’s moral lapses.
It sounds as if her husband found her conversion distasteful and burdensome from
the start. Further, it sounds as if this discord with her husband, and the effect it had on her children, was the main reason she decided she had to leave the Church, notwithstanding her fear of eternal damnation.
This woman seems to have responded to her painful situation by persuading herself that after all, no moral issue is really at stake in her remaining a Catholic. Well, perhaps there isn’t. That’s a matter of faith, and if she’s lost hers then risking her marriage for the sake of a faith she doesn’t have would be foolish. But which came first – the threat to her marriage or the loss of her faith?
I may be misreading the letter, or it may have lost something in Mr Dreher’s editing. But if I am correct, I can’t think that leaving the Church is going to help her much in the long run. When a husband and wife are deeply divided over some moral issue, they are likely to find that the division deepens and spreads over time, especially since the husband in this case seems to have resorted to emotional blackmail to get his way.
Please excuse me if I have misunderstood the situation, or if I sound unsympathetic to what must be a very painful problem!



report abuse
 

David Kubiak

posted March 24, 2004 at 1:04 am


If you want to feel even more sad over the plight of Mr. Dreher’s friend, consider this quotation from Cardinal Newman, who had to combat rumors that the many slights he had received from the ultramontanist party were going to drive him back into the Anglican Church:
“I have not had one moment’s wavering of trust in the Catholic Church ever since I was received into her fold. I hold, and have ever held, that her Sovereign Pontiff is the centre of unity and the Vicar of Christ; and I have ever had, and have still, an unclouded faith in her creed in all its articles; a supreme satisfaction in her worship, discipline, and teaching; and an eager longing, and a hope against hope, that the many dear friends whom I have left in Protestantism may be partakers of my happiness.”
“This being my state of mind, to add as I hereby go on to do, that I have no intention, and never had any intention, of leaving the Catholic Church and becoming Protestant again, would be superfluous, except that Protestants are always on the look-out for some loophole or evasion in a Catholic’s statement of fact. Therefore, in order to give them full satisfaction, if I can, I do hereby profess “ex animo” and with absolute internal assent and consent, that Protestantism is the dreariest of possible religions; that the thought of the Anglican service makes me shiver, and the thought of the Thirty-nine Articles makes me shudder. Return to the Church of England! No! “The net is broken and we are delivered.” I should be a consummate fool (to use a mild term) if in my old age I left “the land flowing with mild and honey” for the city of confusion and the house of bondage.”
Cardinal Kaspar would never approve.



report abuse
 

RC

posted March 24, 2004 at 2:23 am


When faced with officious liturgical Pecksniffs, let us follow the example of Hilaire Belloc, as described in this anecdote:
‘At St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York he stood, as was the French custom, where the Americans knelt. An usher tugged his sleeve and whispered, “We kneel at this point, sir.” Belloc to usher, “Go to hell.” Usher to Belloc, “I’m sorry, sir, I didn’t know you were a Catholic.”’
(told by Fr. Neuhaus.)



report abuse
 

John Lilburne

posted March 24, 2004 at 3:46 am


I think the issue of obedience is important.
Before ordination seminarians are required to take an oath of fidelity, including “I will observe the Code of Canon law”. I believe before ordination as a bishop an oath is taken including “I will insist on the observance of the Code of Canon Law”.
Part of Canon Law is “The liturgical books, approved by the competent authority, are to be faithfully followed in the celebration of the sacraments.” (Canon 846)
So I think its important that what the liturgical books says be followed. Otherwise we have leaders who are not following their oaths and general confusion about what to do.
On the issue of standing during communion both the 2002 GIRM and the US bishops conference said that people may “they may sit or kneel during the period of religious silence after communion” (n. 43). But if a communion song is being sung (as it normally should be) it is not this period of religious silence.
I wrote about standing during communion, in more detail, on 24 August 2002 at http://www.romanrite.com/j240802.html



report abuse
 

John Lilburne

posted March 24, 2004 at 3:49 am


I think the issue of obedience is important.
Before ordination seminarians are required to take an oath of fidelity, including “I will observe the Code of Canon law”. I believe before ordination as a bishop an oath is taken including “I will insist on the observance of the Code of Canon Law”.
Part of Canon Law is “The liturgical books, approved by the competent authority, are to be faithfully followed in the celebration of the sacraments.” (Canon 846)
So I think its important that what the liturgical books says be followed. Otherwise we have leaders who are not following their oaths and general confusion about what to do.
On the issue of standing during communion both the 2002 GIRM and the US bishops conference said that people “may sit or kneel during the period of religious silence after communion” (n. 43). But if a communion song is being sung (as it normally should be) it is not this period of religious silence.
I wrote about standing during communion in more detail on 24 August 2002 at http://www.romanrite.com/j240802.html



report abuse
 

John Lilburne

posted March 24, 2004 at 3:55 am


I think the issue of obedience is important.
Before ordination seminarians are required to take an oath of fidelity, including “I will observe the Code of Canon law”. I believe before ordination as a bishop an oath is taken including “I will insist on the observance of the Code of Canon Law”.
Part of Canon Law is “The liturgical books, approved by the competent authority, are to be faithfully followed in the celebration of the sacraments.” (Canon 846)
So I think its important that what the liturgical books says be followed. Otherwise we have leaders who are not following their oaths and general confusion about what to do.
On the issue of standing during communion both the 2002 GIRM and the US bishops conference said that people “may sit or kneel during the period of religious silence after communion” (n. 43). But if a communion song is being sung (as it normally should be) it is not this period of religious silence.
I wrote about standing during communion in more detail on 24 August 2002 at http://www.romanrite.com/j240802.html



report abuse
 

Nathan

posted March 24, 2004 at 6:26 am


Am I missing something? I thought the GIRM said to kneel before and after Communion?



report abuse
 

Donald R. McClarey

posted March 24, 2004 at 6:57 am


Mark, I was aware of the orthodox practice of standing. I doubt very seriously if the liturgists who cooked up this latest liturgical battleground had any intention of doing this to copy the East. I stand by my conntention that this change is yet another attempt to focus on the congregation in litury rather than on God.



report abuse
 

kevin

posted March 24, 2004 at 7:08 am


Well, after reading all of the posts this past weekend, and the 89 in question by “Reader”, and now all of the posts on this thread I have come to the conclusion I have no idea what the heck I am supposed to do at Holy Mass.
“We believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church” (disclaimer: well, okay, except in liturgy!)
Yeah right.



report abuse
 

Therese

posted March 24, 2004 at 7:56 am


Sherry, one word, AMEN!
Rod, reading that heart breaking story, I couldn’t help but get the sense that that family did not connect with God but rather with a sense of the way they thought church should be. They converted to have a certain set of beliefs exist perfectly. It’s a tendency I see in my Protestant friends. There is unity and togetherness due to a shared sense of collectively being passionate about “Church our way rather than Theirs (outsiders)” Also being involved is their tangible sense of doing something for God. They need to do something for the church to be affirmed in their faith. There is more homogenity within a congregation. There is also more of a sense of having to give to make the church work as there is no larger organization to pull it all together. (Catholics are often guilty of being lazy and institutional in their worship — I show up, get what I want, and I leave after dropping a pittance in the basket.) And if one finds oneself no longer homogenizing, then one goes down to the Church down the street.
Catholicism is a different animal. At its heart is the sacramental presence of God. That is enough and really all that is enough. All of our machinations can’t erase that presence. We can dis-respect it but we can’t erase it. It doesn’t matter how holy, worthy or brilliant the priest is or is not. Nor how holy, worthy, or beautiful the liturgy is or is not. Christ can and will come to us in our brokedness and despite our theological misunderstandings. Dismas certainly didn’t have half an inkling of theology, but he knew Jesus was the Christ and Jesus was present to Him and offering his body for the salvation of mankind including Dismas. That was enough. It is that real presence of Christ in the Eucharist where heaven touches earth that is enough! It’s focusing on what’s not right from a human perspective that can take our eyes of what is really important…its what leads to despair.
If we are nourished by Jesus, we will reach out to others and create a community that lives and loves in Christ. I visit parishes all over the country..I see this happening. Bullentins are often full of small groups. The parishes where this is most true tend to be parishes with Eucharistic Adoration. At mass sure..there is no sense of togetherness,due to the large groups, but stay late or come during the week and you will find people together. Or join one of the many lay groups for small group togetherness.
PS. I went back to amend my posts from yesterday (on the closed thread)..what I wrote ate at me all day..the negativity and urging such an active protest was wrong and could only contribute to the same sense of a culture of despair. Writing such a post was really not trusting that God can overcome charity challenged priests (more than one or two rubically orthodox priests have been charity challenged too!) or the position my body is in when I pray. All I can do is be a believer. All I can do is believe that Christ is present in the Word, the priest, the assembly, but most especially the Eucharist. His presence is enough food for me.



report abuse
 

Rod Dreher

posted March 24, 2004 at 8:09 am


Hey David K., I wonder if Cardinal Newman would have called the Anglicanism he left behind “the dreariest of all possible religions” if he had gone to Amchurch? Seriously, the only thing I miss about the Episcopal Church, which I left 11 years ago for Rome, is the liturgy. To leave that and become Catholic is to give up beauty for the sake of truth.
I should explain that the woman who wrote the letter to me said that the reason she wrote initially was that she saw so much of herself in the struggles I said I was having about sticking with the Church as a father. How can it be good for myself and my family if the practice of Catholicism, especially the mass, is the chief source of anger and depression in my life (as it is)? She said that this is what eventually drove her out of the Church — seeing how much it was hurting her family, and how little return she was getting for that sacrifice (in other words, she was as fed up with Amchurch as am I, and as are many of us). Because she loves Jesus — and I believe she really does — and her family, she felt that she had to leave Catholicism. I don’t blame her. I really don’t.
But in the context of her fuller letter, it’s obvious that she had difficulties that I don’t have. Her conversion to Catholicism seems to have been primarily intellectual. She says she’d always felt like an alien in Catholicism, whereas for me, it’s always seemed like home. And I don’t have any reason to believe her husband blackmailed her emotionally; it sounds like he kept his peace, and only when she said she wanted to leave the Church did he open up about how hard the absence of spiritual unity in the family had been for him.
Anyway, nobody has bothered to answer the question the lady’s experience poses: under what conditions, if any, is it permissible to leave the Catholic Church for the sake of saving your faith and/or the faith of your family?
The part of the lady’s letter that really gets to me is her warning that if the practice of your faith is a source of anger and bitterness, your kids *will* pick up on it. And they’ll learn from it.



report abuse
 

Therese

posted March 24, 2004 at 8:22 am


Rod
I think the only way it is permissiable is at the point you don’t believe that Christ’s presence is enough. The moment you don’t belive that Christ in the Eucharist is bigger than our human follies. The moment you believe Christ can be best found in a quest for human perfection of things that are intrinsically not capable of perfection except through a faith in Christ so strong that you will remain one in Him. Because He IS enough. St. Thomas the great theologian eventually was reduced to realizing that all his work, all his reason, was not nothing in comparison to Him who is all. Eyes, have not seen, nor ears heard…



report abuse
 

Therese

posted March 24, 2004 at 8:25 am


…. Christ not only died for us but He also willfully entrusted His church to fallible humans. How can we question His judgement?



report abuse
 

Sulpicius Severus

posted March 24, 2004 at 8:30 am


What happens if you come to believe you have to leave Catholicism for the sake of your family, or to save your Christian faith?
God have mercy on your soul. Statements like this prove Satan has been most happy with Vatican II swinging the doors of the Church open for all malevolent spirits.
Thankfully, Mr. Dreher, the church she left was the Vatican II modernist church, yes?
Where does she live? Tell her that God is merciful, and that if she approaches the True Sacraments at one of the remaining outposts of Faith, Christ Our King through Mary Our Queen will confer graces upon her and her family, if they humbly approach Him with an open heart. If her kids find the True Sacraments, they won’t bellyache, but rather thank God that their mother persevered in finding the True Faith. UIOGD,
P.S.: Mr. Dreher, have you been by Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Ft. Worth, yet? Praying for you —



report abuse
 

alias clio

posted March 24, 2004 at 8:50 am


Mr Dreher,
It was I who wrote of “emotional blackmail”, and I apologise if I misconstrued the husband’s attitude.
Your correspondent’s family problems are a distraction from the real issue: is there salvation outside the Catholic Church? And where is “outside”?
Your own question is phrased so paradoxically as to be unanswerable. How can you save your faith by abandoning it? Your correspondent herself phrased her dilemma better, saying that she had to leave the Catholic Church to save her Christian faith.
And I did answer the question. I said that if this woman has lost her faith (in the Church), then it would be foolish of her to jeopardise her marriage and relations with her children for its sake. (But did she lose it, or was she driven away by the unhappiness of her family?)
Where real moral issues are at stake, neither family harmony and personal happiness are relevant to the decisions one must make. If you were to imagine a different kind of moral question – for example, if she and her family had been KKK members and she upset them by giving it up to become a civil rights advocate – this would become obvious.



report abuse
 

Poppi

posted March 24, 2004 at 9:00 am


I was going to throw in my “two cents” until I read the comments from Ottanbrus, so rather than try to think of a creative way to say what he says I’ll just say “ditto” to that with a pinch of Sherry’s “hope” thrown in for good measure.
I’m new to this blogging and it’s been edifying to hear from so many Catholics who are passionate about their faith. I think I understand the “Reader”‘s point of view, but I think his/her response is a little thin skinned and sounds more like an excuse to change the subject.
I’ve always liked the quote from St. Boniface: “Let us not be silent onlookers nor act like dogs that do not bark.”



report abuse
 

Sage

posted March 24, 2004 at 9:36 am


I think we’ll quit going nuts over every little change when we stop having to fight four hundred such changes a year. Any one liturgical innovation, beheld in isolation, is tiny indeed. But we aren’t talking about one, are we? How about we make a deal with the new liturgists: Since you started this mess, why don’t you put down your knife first, then we’ll put down ours. Stop attacking our rite and there’s no problem.
If the Eucharist really is all that matters, then why are you so obsessed with pointless and confusing distractions that only serve to divide the church? If it really is a small thing to you, then drop it, since it’s obviously not a small thing to everyone else. It’s a bit like those who say that Bush’s defense of marriage is “divisive.” Excuse me, but who threw the first punch here?
I don’t see what’s so hard to understand about this. It’s like jabbing at a sick tiger with a stick for about three days and then affecting shock when he “overreacts.”
I had a priest try to employ the argument that since it’s the Eucharist that matters most, my attachment to the Latin rite was missing the point. My answer was simple, I think: If you really believed that, you wouldn’t be so insistent on the vernacular. That thing cuts both ways, I’m afraid.



report abuse
 

Colleen

posted March 24, 2004 at 9:46 am


“under what conditions, if any, is it permissible to leave the Catholic Church for the sake of saving your faith and/or the faith of your family?”
I don’t think there are any conditions that would be acceptible if you are a Catholic who believes the Church is the one He left here on earth, with Peter at Her helm. How could you leave? This poor woman’s struggle was with herself, not with the Church. For all that goes on around us (human sin, bad teaching, erroneous theology, crummy music, liturgical struggles, ad infinitum) we have been blessed with a living, teaching Magisterium that trumps all of those things – including ourselves. All one has to do is to look towards it and hear what the Magisterium has taught and is teaching. When I realized, with the grace of God, the above, that’s when I came home. Nothing can pry me loose.
What is Truth?



report abuse
 

Maclin Horton

posted March 24, 2004 at 10:05 am


under what conditions, if any, is it permissible to leave the Catholic Church for the sake of saving your faith and/or the faith of your family?
For me this is a logical contradiction. I am long past the point where I can separate God from the Church, because it is only through the Church that I can know him. I have come close to losing my faith at times but for me the alternative to the Catholic Church is not Protestantism or even Orthodoxy but nihilism. (Orthodoxy might be intellectually tenable but for reasons too complex to articulate here I don’t think it would solve the problem.)
I could probably find some kind of Anglican offshoot group somewhere that would appeal to me in some human ways but it would be like looking at perfect artificial fruit instead of eating fruit that is damaged but real.
For my family: well, I have a lot of faith in the efficacy of the sacraments, and on the human level I can only hope my dogged perseverance will be some kind of witness to the power of truth.
I have an acquaintance who holds that he would rather someone be a bad Catholic than a good Protestant. Now there’s something to gnaw on.



report abuse
 

Tom

posted March 24, 2004 at 10:39 am


If you think the Catholic Church is identical to the set of Catholic churches, then you might think “leaving the Catholic Church” is “not going into a Catholic church.” And then you might come up with situations in which you have to not go into a Catholic church to preserve your Catholic faith.
If you think the Catholic Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, membership in which is obtained through baptism and maintained by faith, then you might think “leaving the Catholic Church” is “leaving the Catholic faith.” And then you can’t conceive of a situation in which you have to leave the Catholic faith to preserve your Catholic faith.
If you find your habitual anger, restlessness, or irritability is interfering with your habitual faith, hope, and love, I’d recommend working on changing the former habits, rather than the latter.



report abuse
 

Mark R

posted March 24, 2004 at 10:49 am


Sherry is right. About ten years plus ago I was a big liturgical complainer (now I am just a little complainer) and was trying to discern a religious vocation. From my meagre vantage point at that time, I really thought that there was no hope for improvement. I eventually left the Church and became an agnostic.
I returned to the Church last year. Now, I happen to live in a superior Archdiocese, but I am 100 per cent impressed with the quality of the younger clergy and with most of the older clergy. And some of the religious orders I had looked into in the past are now turning out some very fine priests. Now, a bit too old, I am kicking myself for not having had a hopeful perspective and for not having the courage to stick with a calling that could have turned out just as well.



report abuse
 

Matt W.

posted March 24, 2004 at 12:10 pm


Rod,
The lady’s letter was painful to read. And her comments on how her anger infected her children has given me much to think about. I do not have to deal with the major abuses I have read about on these threads, and still I often find myself frustrated to the point of distraction by bad music (do I give better witness by singing a bad hymn or praying silently?) and the lack of reverence I perceive in my fellow worshipers, etc. To date, I have been fighting this as a matter of striving for personal holiness and thankfully, God has not seen fit to challenge me with bigger problems about which to get angry. Hopefully, thinking of the negative effect my attitude can have on my children (only 1 small one right now, but, God willing, more will follow) will provide stronger motivation for change.
And I think that gets at the answer to the question. As she related it, the division in her family seemed to stem from her own negative feelings. Her solution was to remove herself from the situation leading to those feelings. But ultimately, the problem was that she was being controled by her feelings.
What if we change her situation to one in which she is constantly frustrated and angered by her husband’s failings. Try as she might, she cannot hide those feelings completely from her children. This, of course, is having a strong negative impact on them. Would any of us counsel her to leave her husband whom she views as the source of her negative feelings?
I don’t want to sound overly harsh or unfeeling (though compassion is not my strongest trait), but I cannot accept that leaving the Church is a true alternative to her problem. (Alice von Hildebrand wrote a good article in a recent issue of This Rock about the problem of false alternatives.) I do believe that God does allow people to leave His Church for a time and uses that foray for their good. Many reverts come back to the Church having gained a stronger love for Scripture, etc., and are thus a blessing to the Church. But if we send ourselves out into the dessert without being called we will only end up hot and thirsty.



report abuse
 

Ian

posted March 24, 2004 at 12:27 pm


Amy,
and all those who misunderstood my comments:
Please note that I did not say that people should not pray in church. You can read that for yourself. michigancatholic probably just read my comment to quickly and didn’t grasp my point.
And that point is that all prayers should be said standing on Sunday.
Pay attention next time you go to Mass. Whenever the congregation offers prayers, they stand. It’s not just an “Eastern thing”. It is the tradidion of the entire Catholic Church.
Note the words of the GIRM quoted by another commenter: “they may sit or kneel during the period of religious silence after communion”. ‘Religious silence’ is not a time of prayer, for if it were, it would not be ‘silence.’
Now, as other commenters have pointed out, this action may be an implementation of some goal of “self worship” among liturgists, but as things happen to work out, these liturgists are right for once. Even a broken clock is right twice a day…
To test that hypothesis, ask your parish priest why we stand at certain parts of the mass and kneel at others. If he dismisses our traditions, he’s just getting weird with the liturgy. If he cites our traditions to the beginning of the Church, I wouldn’t worry about him being a “liturgical innovator”.
Regardless, we should still only offer prayers while standing on Sunday in acknowledgement of Our Lord, Jesus Christ as our saviour.



report abuse
 

Rod Dreher

posted March 24, 2004 at 2:06 pm


As I said, I don’t see leaving the Church as an option for me and my family, but the reason I bring all this up, and posted the lady’s letter, is that the sort of cerebral defense I built for myself to ward off the anger and depression all of us face in dealing with American church life really doesn’t work so well when you’re considering its effect on children. I don’t think there can be a starker contrast in my experience than the rich, beautiful, healthy Orthodox parish in suburban Baltimore, filled with families who really believed their faith, and took joy in it, and the washed-out Amchurch Catholic parish nearby, which was as dry and as gray dryer lint.
If I were living there, I know that I’d have an incomparably greater chance of me and my family living an authentically and fruitfully and JOYFULLY Christian life resting in that Orthodox parish, in the Real Presence (which we know they have), rather than fighting anger and bitterness every Sunday at the Catholic parish. I couldn’t become Orthodox because I am still convinced intellectually of the Catholic claim. Yet I really can’t abide the brittle logic that says a family should just suck it up for the sake of a concept — that the Roman church is the One True Church — that may be true, but which can trap a family in a spiritually destructive situation, one that eventually leaches all enthusiasm for Christ out of them.
The lady who wrote me clearly had a situation with her family which affected her decision. Still, the thing I take away from her story is the effect on her children of her misery in Amchurch. I cannot tell her that she is in a worse place now, not with any confidence. Nor can I tell Horace and Janet Patterson, whose son was raped by their priest, and died a suicide, that they are worse off staying out of the Catholic Church, and that their daughter, Eric’s sister, is worse off having left the Church for Protestantism.



report abuse
 

Tom

posted March 24, 2004 at 2:16 pm


Any Catholic who regards the truth of the Catholic faith as only an intellectual concept is indeed on thin ice. The truth of the Catholic faith is a Person, not a proposition, although of course “The truth of the Catholic faith is a Person” is a proposition.
The good news is that the Person Who is our Truth will help us convert that proposition from an intellectual concept into the cornerstone of our lives. If we ask Him.



report abuse
 

Carrie

posted March 24, 2004 at 4:25 pm


I know a lot of people reject even Church approved Marian apparitions. I know that we have no obligation to believe in them. I also know that La Salette, while approved, has a cloud hanging over parts of the message.
Having said that, let me then propose that it may be an authentic message in its entirety. If it is, part of that message is that “Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the antiChrist.”
Scripture tells us that a time will come when persecution must be shortened or even the elect will reject Christ. I’m paraphrasing, but that’s fairly close.
So what would all of you do if you came to believe in your heart of hearts that this prophecy had been fulfilled in your lifetime?
Would you stay in the Church and follow the lead of antiChrist, trusting in God to get you through it? Would you leave the Church and try to hold on to the faith? Would you convert to Orthodoxy?
I ask because I believe that the abuse scandal is a fulfillment of part of the prophecy of La Salette.



report abuse
 

James Kabala

posted March 24, 2004 at 4:38 pm


Is this the Orthodox Church really that great? I am sure that there are many wonderful Orthodox parishes, but it is difficult to extrapolate the condition of a church from one parish, whether a really great one or a really bad one. According to my Almanac of American Politics, there are two Greek Orthodox senators (Snowe of Maine and Sarbanes of Maryland), and both are pro-abortion. So, there’s one problem we have that they apparently also have. It would be great if any Orthodox readers of this blog could comment in an intelligent and non-polemical fashion on what the current situation of Eastern Orthodoxy in America is, both the good and the bad.
I am starting to have a lot of sympathy with the “buck up and meditate on some real suffering” mentality. Obviously, there are some like the Pattersons who have left the Church because of genuine horrors that do indeed merit comparison with the sufferings of the martyrs. But as for most of these complaints about “AmChurch”: Is any hymn, even “Anthem” or “Ashes”, so bad as to be worth leaving the Church over? As for homilies – if they’re heretical, that’s one thing, but if you’re leaving the Church merely because your priest’s homilies are vapid or boring, you’re pining away for a Golden Age that never was. Do you think that there were no bad homilies before 1962? The same is true even today. I went to an (authorized) Tridentine Mass once, and the homily was OK, but no better than your average “Novus Ordo” homily. The Catholic chaplain here at my graduate school gives excellent homilies and sometimes even uses the Roman Canon. On the other hand, we also have the “shake hands before Mass” thing. This is not my favorite part of the day, but if I left the Church over it, I would have to be insane



report abuse
 

Mark Shea

posted March 24, 2004 at 4:57 pm


Carrie:
Your question, like the question “What’s so bad about incest?” is the sort of question I regard as a temptation to sin, not as a subject that really merits serious consideration. It takes a dubious premise (La Sallete), posits an *extremely* dubious hypothesis which is something like “What would you do if you discovered Jesus was gay?” or “What would you do if you discovered the gospels were written by a cabal of liars?” and then tempts us to think about how we would rebel against the Church given these remote and absurd hypotheticals. Frankly, I could care less about your opinion that the present crisis is a “fulfillment” of a dicey “prophesy” when it leads to the conclusion that the way to heal the Church is to reject it as the lair of Antichrist. The promise of Christ is that he will be with the Church to the end. The promise of Christ is that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it and it is built on Peter. The Church of Jesus Christ will not be led by Antichrist. Period. However, when people tempt others (and allow themselves to be tempted) to rebel against the Church on the basis of some ridiculous “What if the Holy Spirit bags out and allows antichrist to take over the Church?” hypothesis, they are voicing rather well the fond wish of the spirit of antichrist. Stop this nonsense.



report abuse
 

Michael King

posted March 24, 2004 at 5:00 pm


Standing is not a traditional practice of the Western Church. Its one of those things introduced in the 1960s to make the Roman Rite seem more like the Byzantine-like deacons, concelebration and Communion in both kinds.
Like Archimandrite Serge (Keheler) said, though, the Novus Ordo is actually a step backward form the East. Its a fad for Roman Catholics to like the East, but putting up a few trendy icons in their parishes isn’t going to cut it.



report abuse
 

Michael King

posted March 24, 2004 at 5:03 pm


I have no problem with refugees from the Novus Ordo going to on of the Eastern Catholic Churches. However, the Romans need to reclaim their heritage, which was pretty much lost during the 1960s and 70s.



report abuse
 

Carrie

posted March 24, 2004 at 5:18 pm


Mark,
This prophecy, as I said, has the approval of the Church. Now I realize there is no requirement to heed it. Nevertheless, it is consistent with Catholic teaching to consider the message contained in the prophecy and to honor Our Lady of La Salette.
What to you is a near occasion of sin is consistent with the teachings of the Church, which makes your claim somewhat problematical, at least as a general policy.
The portion I quoted has the imprimatur of the Bishop of Lecce which was given at a time when imprimaturs were not controversial. Hence my question is legitimate. But by all means feel free to ignore it.



report abuse
 

ottanbrus

posted March 24, 2004 at 5:18 pm


Mr Dreher:
You are so on-target with that bit about “cerebral defense” as a basis for remaining in the Catholic Church. The intellectual reasons for being and remaining a Catholic are compelling, as I’m sure most of the readers here know.
In your postings on this thread, you have used one example to help us all consider the experiences of the “little ones” who can’t approach faith matters in the abstract. You’ve helped me to remember that most folks DO experience the Church through the lens of their own personal situations and histories. I don’t see how those of us who actually can be intellectual about faith matters could ever insist that every Catholic must be so. Most people just ain’t put together that way. And besides, we’re not gnostics who welcome only enlightened elites to our table.
It seems to me that all of this is a very good argument for why those of us with “cerebral defenses” need to be engaged in the so-called “liturgy wars”. It’s true that we don’t want to be harbingers of despair, and so that can never be our purpose. But we do want our Church to always be about faith and goodness and life and joy. We do want everyone in our Church (not just the intellectuals) to experience the “peace that passes understanding”. We do want our Church to grow and to thrive, and we do need for our Church to be a bulwark against everything that is harmful in our culture. Our worship is not ancillary to any of this; it is rather the source of all that is good and right and true in our Christian experience. That is why (in my opinion) all this “liturgical stuff” matters so much and why we must continue be nitpicky and cantankerous about it. If we want to get everything else right–catechesis, morality, community, education, vocations, service, etc.–then we need to start by getting the liturgy stuff right. The Mass, it seems to me, must always be the first thing.



report abuse
 

RC

posted March 24, 2004 at 5:28 pm


Ian’s interpretation that the “period of religious silence” after communion is not an appropriate time for prayer sounds pretty strained. According to him, such prayer would break the silence.
Ridiculous — as if there were no such thing as silent prayer!



report abuse
 

Mark Shea

posted March 24, 2004 at 5:30 pm


It is consistent with the teaching of the Church to entertain thoughts of apostasy and to assert that the See of Peter will become the seat of Antichrist?
Give me a break.
Don’t you realize that you sound exactly like the sort of person who says, “The Church teaches free will” therefore it is consistent with the teaching of the Church to belong to Catholics for a Free Choice.



report abuse
 

RC

posted March 24, 2004 at 5:35 pm


The particular LaSalette “prophecies” to which Carrie refers come from later in Melanie’s life when she was traveling around Europe as a religious celebrity.
If Melanie claimed to have received the messages while in the diocese of Lecce, then that bishop was competent to rule on their authenticity; otherwise he wasn’t.
In any case, he doesn’t seem to have ruled on their authenticity, only on the question of whether they were heretical. That’s all an imprimatur means.
It is therefore misleading to say that “this prophecy…has the approval of the Church.”



report abuse
 

Mark Shea

posted March 24, 2004 at 5:42 pm


Sherry was right. Think about it. We’ve gone from a discussion of standing after communion… I’ll say that again, we’ve gone from a discussion of standing after communion–to somebody seriously proposing for conversation the dalliance with the thought of apostasizing from the Church. Why? Because some dubious prophecy somewhere makes her feel as though Jesus is going to break his promises to remain with the Church, to guide it into all truth, and to build it on Peter in such a way that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. So it’s okay to tempt herself and others in to doing evil and rejecting Christ’s church.
We’ve gone from bitching about standing at communion to entertaining *apostasy*. And in less than a hundred comments.
Shameful. Completely shameful.



report abuse
 

Colleen

posted March 24, 2004 at 5:50 pm


How come there aren’t any blogs bitching about kneeling before, during and after Holy Communion? Or are there?



report abuse
 

Nathan

posted March 24, 2004 at 5:58 pm


I’m still trying to figure out why we’re standing after receiving Communion. Doesn’t the GIRM say to kneel?
Or am I missing something?



report abuse
 

Rod Dreher

posted March 24, 2004 at 6:21 pm


Somebody, I forget who, wrote:
Any Catholic who regards the truth of the Catholic faith as only an intellectual concept is indeed on thin ice. The truth of the Catholic faith is a Person, not a proposition, although of course “The truth of the Catholic faith is a Person” is a proposition.
Yes, but that Person is worshiped by Protestants and Orthodox as well. Even the Roman Catholic Church recognizes that, and teaches that in some sense, anyone who loves Jesus and claims Him as Lord belongs to the Church, regardless of any defects in their understanding, and impairment of their communion with the See of Peter.
What I’m talking about is people who, for whatever reason, believe that the only way to establish and maintain a real, fruitful relationship with Jesus is to be in a church other than the Roman Catholic one? You say that Jesus is a Person, and of course He is — but not even the Magisterium holds that the only way to approach Our Lord is through the institutional Catholic church. This is not, of course, to embrace indifferentism, but only to recognize that for reasons — some good, some bad — some people may conclude that in their situation, they can more authentically worship and commune with Christ in another Christian confession.
I believe that can happen, and that God, in His mercy, will be the judge of their hearts and motives. To believe that being Catholic is the only way of being authentically Christian is to reject Church teaching, is it not?
Look, I don’t want people going around saying, “Rod Dreher says it doesn’t matter what church you belong to, that you should do what feels right.” I don’t believe that. But if I were in an extreme situation, I’d rather my children grow up knowing Jesus imperfectly, as a schismatic Orthodox, than not knowing Jesus at all as a Catholic. I’m reminded of something a priest once posted on this blog. He was quoting an older priest, who sighed over the best and brightest of their diocesan seminarians: “We send them off to Rome in love with Jesus, and they come home in love with the Church.”



report abuse
 

Sherry Weddell

posted March 24, 2004 at 7:33 pm


Rod:
“but not even the Magisterium holds that the only way to approach Our Lord is through the institutional Catholic church.”
Strange that you should raise that topic since I have just spent the last week doing exhaustive research into Church teaching on the theology of evangelization, salvation out the Church and invincible ignorance.
Actually Rod, Church teaching is that communion with the Church is the normative way to approach our Lord and the *only* licit way for those who actually know this to be true.
“4. This sacred Council wishes to turn its attention firstly to the Catholic faithful. Basing itself upon Sacred Scripture and Tradition, it teaches that the Church, now sojourning on earth as an exile, is necessary for salvation. Christ, present to us in his body, which is the Church, is the one Mediator and the unique way of salvation. In explicit terms he himself affirmed the necessity of faith and Baptism (cf. Mk 16:16; Jn 3:5) and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through Baptism as through a door men enter the Church.” Lumen Gentium 4.
The question is whether one *knows* that Christ ordained that membership in his body is the normative way of following him and being saved.
If, in good faith, you either have never been exposed to this idea (because you were a cradle Catholics who was never catechized or a nice Southern Baptist who has never dreamed of such a possibility) or can’t begin to grasp the idea, you are only responsible for responding to the grace that you have, and of course, if you are validly baptized, you are a real Christian period.
But if you were once a reasonably intelligent, decently catechized, committed Catholic adult who understood and believed this point and then left, not because you had, in conscience, ceased to believe this to be true, but for some other reason, then we’ve got problems.
“Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved. Lumen Gentium 14″
With all the usual caveats that the person probably doesn’t *really* know what they are doing because they are so overwhelmed with emotion or stress or whatever that their judgement is temporarily suspended and that only God can judge, etc., etc.
Mevertheless, dogmatic Church teaching would not only *not* say that leaving for another Christian body was a valid expression of Christian faith but that you might just be endangering your own eternal destiny.
It’s enough to give a person pause.



report abuse
 

James Kabala

posted March 24, 2004 at 7:56 pm


Rod: I don’t dare stand in judgment over you. However, are we really supposed to believe that in Dallas, one of the most conservative cities in America, there is not even one good parish now that Fr. Weinberger is gone? I am in liberal Providence, Rhode Island, and I know of at least three unquestionably orthodox priests within a one-mile radius of my apartment. Maybe you just need to look harder.
Carrie: Even if the prophecy is true, it says that ROME will become the seat of the Antichrist. It doesn’t say anything about the Pope. I would interpret as meaning that an evil leader of some kind would take over Rome, not that the Pope himself would be that man. Indeed, since I believe that the prophecy is probably false, I think that what the “seer” had in mind was the conquest of Rome by Victor Emmanuel. Victor Emmanuel was no Antichrist, but the loss of the Pope’s temporal power was a great shock and was probably regarded by many as the work of Satan at the time



report abuse
 

Sherry Weddell

posted March 24, 2004 at 8:08 pm


Hi James:
I must say that I’ve wondered the same thing. I mean I entered the Church in *SEATTLE* (while Archbishop Hunthausen was still presiding) and I still was received by one very orthodox priest (Redemptorist) and then shortly joined a lovely old Dominican parish that became a veritable convert-magnet and we sang the Agnus Dei with a Byzantine chant. But there were other famously conservative parishes, including St. Monica’s on Mercer Island which has perpetual adoration, etc.
When we moved to Colorado, the only parish I knew of in town turned out to have solid homilies and a pastor passionate about evangelization so we stayed – although there are other more self-consciously conservative parishes in town where we could go if we wished. I miss the Dominican celebrations of Holy Week very much (I do so love Tenebrae) but it just isn’t available here.
Neither Seattle or Colorado Springs are exactly famous havens of orthodoxy but in a big city, you have a lot of options.



report abuse
 

Carrie

posted March 24, 2004 at 8:58 pm


Mark,
I don’t know your faith story, but assume, since you reject prophecy, that you joined the Church at some time after Vatican II.
Had you been around before Vatican II, you would know how much credence was put in prophecy, particularly Marian prophecy. What I’m doing in looking at an approved prophecy and considering whether or not it is or may come true is what the majority of Catholics were doing in the 1950s. Today that aspect of Catholicism is often rejected, but those who became Catholic before the Council and are still Catholic now, find Marian prophecy of value.
What’s more, the Church encouraged it prior to the Council. It was very much a Catholic thing. As it is still a Catholic thing in many places.
If you are not comfortable with it, fine. There is no reason you need to pay attention to it. But at least have the grace to allow those who believe in Church approved prophecies the opportunity to discuss them without being ridiculed.
RC,
As I said in a previous post, there is a cloud over portions of the prophecy. The portion I quoted is contained in the booklet written by Melanie and given the imprimatur.
I believe it has been said that Melanie became associated in some way with Nostradamus, which would lead me to wonder if she was somehow involved with members of the Paris occult revival, or with Vintras in some way. Nowhere have I seen any clear evidence of it, however. In any case, while this portion of the prophecy has been questioned, it apparently was not condemned. Thus I have considered what I would do if I came to believe that this portion had come true.
There have been times in the history of the Church when we have had more than one pope. It could happen again. It is possible that the Pope would be exiled from the Vatican and an impostor sit on the throne of Peter…an impostor who has the backing of the College of Cardinals, even.
We have much evidence of hierarchy who ignore what the Pope teaches. Those bishops and cardinals are not without power. If they are in the majority, it is reasonable to assume they could elect a Pope who fits their agenda. We saw a hijacking of Vatican II, so this is not impossible by any means.
Certainly the Church described in Revelation is a catacomb Church with few members. It would have to be for the question to arise, “When Christ returns, will there be any faith on the earth?”
So I’ll restate the question, what would you do if you came to believe that the La Salette prophecy had come true?



report abuse
 

Kevin Miller

posted March 24, 2004 at 9:13 pm


It is beyond absurd to describe the Church of Revelation as a catacomb church of the sort promoted by schismatics. It is being persecuted by an emperor – not by a pope! Carrie, for someone who sees variations on gnosticism absolutely everywhere, you gotta start looking in the mirror.



report abuse
 

Andy

posted March 24, 2004 at 9:24 pm


>Oh, you want me to sympathize with any kind of activity that >puts food on the table??? How about bank robber, or maybe >embezzler or how about mercenary? Huh? Get real, Andy
I was simply saying I wouldn’t wish unemployment of anyone. My family has gone through it quite a bit and it’s awful. I wasn’t implying that robbing banks or embezzling are anything less than mortal sin.



report abuse
 

Charlotte Allen

posted March 24, 2004 at 10:07 pm


Having posted elsewhere on this site from time to time about bizarre liturgical interpretations, I’d like to say something brief about the question Rod poses: When, if ever, is is permissible to leave the Catholic Church in order to save one’s faith?
Isn’t the answer that the Catholic creed itself contains a profession of faith in the “one, holy, and catholic, and apostolic church”? Ipso facto then, you can’t save your Catholic faith by leaving the Catholic Church. If your faith no longer includes faith in the Cathoic Church for whatever reason, you’re not professing the Catholic creed.
You’re certainly entitled to leave the Church at that point, but you should keep in mind that you’re not leaving it in order to save your faith–because you’ve already lost part of your faith. This is sad, of course, and my prayers are with Rod’s correspondent.



report abuse
 

Brian Amend

posted March 24, 2004 at 10:22 pm


Carrie:
Apparitions should not, I repeat should not, guide our interpretation of world history. If an apparition helps you believe more firmly and fondly, then by all means go with it. But if it starts becoming a key to interpreting world events put it away. This is not just me talking. St. Teresa of Avila would say the same thing.
If you must have a grand, sweeping narrative of history and Christ acting in it from alpha to omega, please pick up Augustine’s City of God.



report abuse
 

Tom

posted March 24, 2004 at 10:32 pm


If someone believes he may more authentically worship and commune with Christ in another Christian confession, then I suppose he should move to that confession.
Such a belief, however, is contrary to the Catholic faith, and therefore false. Christ’s great prayer the night before He died was that His disciples would be one. It’s unreasonable, on top of contrary to the Faith, to imagine the Person of Christ, in Whom all Christians should find their faith, and the Holy Spirit, by Whom we become one Body, would call some to be Catholic and others to belong to confessions that deny truths of the Faith.
I do think, though, that we can distinguish between leaving the Church as an act of faith and joining a non-Catholic church for Sunday worship as a matter of [faulty] prudential judgment.



report abuse
 

Jeanne Schmelzer

posted March 24, 2004 at 11:22 pm


I think Colleen’s first instinct was correct. That maybe she didn’t have the surety of the faith to begin with, or at least settled faith. She didn’t sound very sure of herself, and appears to have been looking by going from church to church, not to find what parish she would be in but to find something she couldn’t articulate in the Catholic Faith itself. Her anguish was resolved by going back to her original faith. Her inner faith wasn’t resolved, just the feelings.
Carrie needs to go back to the gospels to see what Jesus said about his Church, not rely on prophecy. Prophecy is only as good as the gospel foundation it rests on.



report abuse
 

Sulpicius Severus

posted March 24, 2004 at 11:42 pm


Carrie: Remember the words of St. Louis de Montfort in True Devotion:
54. God has established not just one enmity but “enmities”, and not only between Mary and Satan but between her race and his race. That is, God has put enmities, antipathies and hatreds between the true children and servants of the Blessed Virgin and the children and slaves of the devil. They have no love and no sympathy for each other. The children of Belial, the slaves of Satan, the friends of the world, – for they are all one and the same – have always persecuted and will persecute more than ever in the future those who belong to the Blessed Virgin, just as Cain of old persecuted his brother Abel, and Esau his brother Jacob. These are the types of the wicked and of the just. But the humble Mary will always triumph over Satan, the proud one, and so great will be her victory that she will crush his head, the very seat of his pride. She will unmask his serpent’s cunning and expose his wicked plots. She will scatter to the winds his devilish plans and to the end of time will keep her faithful servants safe from his cruel claws. (Emphasis added).
Mary Our Queen will watch over you and the Church if you are faithful to her. Taken with Lourdes and Fatima, La Salette completes a message that we would do well to heed. Any interpretation of Mary’s Message that is inconsistent with the Faith is of course an incorrect interpretation.
More important interpretations to deal with are the inconsistencies between Vatican II teachings and The Faith. If anything would cause Mary Our Queen to weep as bitterly as she did at La Salette, it would be Modernism’s assault on so many souls. So Carrie, continue to persist in your Faith as a Holy Slave of Mary. Mary will deal with her enemies as God’s justice determines proper. UIOGD,



report abuse
 

michigancatholic

posted March 25, 2004 at 12:22 am


IAN, ever hear of silent prayer? A person can pray with their mouth shut you know.



report abuse
 

Carrie

posted March 25, 2004 at 12:25 am


Brian, just yesterday the Pope in his audience reflected on his fulfillment of the consecration requested at Fatima. The Pope interprets history in light of a prophecy. That was why he made a consecration of the world to the Blessed Virgin.
The prayer to St. Michael was formulated by a Pope who had a vision. Pope Leo XIII interpreted history in light of a prophecy.
Pope Paul VI spoke of the “smoke of Satan” having entered the Church.
I repeat, it is a very Catholic thing to listen to prophecy and act on it. Just ask Mel Gibson. Also consider many Catholic devotions have come about in response to prophecy. The Sacred Heart and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel come immediately to mind.
Tom, what would you have said to the Catholics in Russia in 1950…go to Divine Liturgy at the Orthodox church? Or would you have told them to be loyal to the Pope and thus attend no service at all?
What would you have recommended to the laity during the Arian Heresy? Some authors even indicate that the Pope fell victim to this heresy for a time, though others claim he didn’t.
Kevin, the idea of a pope is not mentioned anywhere in Scripture. The Church is being persecuted by the antiChrist in Revelation, with the ten rulers of the earth in league with him. Who is the antiChrist? Satan, of course. But the antiChrist provides the leadership for the ten kings. He must be some sort of corporeal being, or he must employ a corporeal being to do his work. I believe Revelation describes a catacomb church because the ten rulers of the world all work for the antiChrist persecuting Christians. Under such a system, I believe it is reasonable to assume the Church would be in hiding.
Regarding variations of Gnosticism everywhere, well, that would be becuase variations of Gnosticism really are everywhere if you know how to identify them. Since you apparently don’t see it, I presume that you don’t know how to identify them. Have you ever studied the subject?
Jeanne, where is it written that the Church will survive in the Cleveland Diocese until Christ returns? In fact, we have no guarantee that it will not once again become a catacomb church. Remember, during the Arian Heresy, the Church survived in the person of one man only, who preserved the Church from destruction so that She could flourish in another age. If it happened once, what is going to prevent it from happening again? “When Christ returns, will He find any faith on the earth? That’s a good indication of the state of the Church immediately before Christ returns.



report abuse
 

michigancatholic

posted March 25, 2004 at 12:29 am


James, a very nice advertisement for the acceptability of “boiling the frog,” I must say.



report abuse
 

michigancatholic

posted March 25, 2004 at 12:35 am


From the CCC: “675 Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.”



report abuse
 

michigancatholic

posted March 25, 2004 at 12:36 am


“677 The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection.579 The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God’s victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven.580 God’s triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world.581 ”



report abuse
 

michigancatholic

posted March 25, 2004 at 12:41 am


The two above quotes are directly from the Catechism of the Catholic CHurch. Many people aren’t aware of them.



report abuse
 

Carrie

posted March 25, 2004 at 12:48 am


Sulpicius,
CCC No. 675 indicates a “supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.”
That is a rather good description of the new religion in the developmental phases. At the present time Rome is speaking much of the same language as those who leave no doubt of what is their ultimate goal…a syncretistic one world religion worshipping Gaia.
It is certainly possible that John Paul II is in the process of instituting a parallel system which will do for Christians what the system of deception will do for the rest of the world. It is possible. But it is also possible that Rome is helping to usher in this system of deception in the false belief that man can bring about the unity that only God can accomplish, that a false or secular messianism as mentioned in CCC #676 is being promoted in Rome as the result of this religious deception.
URI has been in the formative stages for a century, though it has had other names. The current ecumenism promoted in Rome is contrary to what has been taught in the Church for centuries. What once was called heresy is now called imperfect communion.
So it is quite reasonable to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Hence my question, if you believed in your heart that the La Salette prophecy was coming true and Rome has lost the faith, what would you do?



report abuse
 

Carrie

posted March 25, 2004 at 12:51 am


Ah, Michigan, I see that our thoughts were on the same passages.
I just don’t know how to fit the current dealings in Rome into those passages of the CCC. They certainly seem to describe ecumenism. And both Mickiewicz and Soloviev were Messianists.



report abuse
 

Sulpicius Severus

posted March 25, 2004 at 10:12 am


So it is quite reasonable to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Hence my question, if you believed in your heart that the La Salette prophecy was coming true and Rome has lost the faith, what would you do?
Carrie, I have no doubts about the Message of Our Queen, and it’s meaning and bearing on our Modernist Age. “Rome will become the seat of the Antichrist.” Clear words from Our Lady, supported by clear evidence when observed using God-given reason.
As we’ve discussed on your web log, the measure of our Faith is what will save us — and in this age, it takes the Faith of Mary’s Holy Slaves, kneeling with her at the Foot of the Cross, praying over the bruised, battered, bloodied Mystical Body of Christ.
Cleave to Tradition. Find your local catacomb outpost of Faith and seek nourishment from the Holy Sacraments. Soon, the Holy Sacraments may no longer be available to us (as is the case for many Catholics already). If you stew too much over the theological profundities that only a future reliable pope will resolve, you risk the sin of Despair. So persevere in Hope, Carrie; you’re well on your way, as you know what you must avoid, as inimical to your soul and to Holy Church. Specifically, Modernism and all it has wrought.
Join Mary at the Foot of the Cross, especially on this, her blessed feast of the Annunciation. See again paras. 49-59 of True Devotion, “Mary’s part in the latter times.”
Praying for you, Carrie. Faith, Hope, Charity . . . and Fortitude. UIOGD,



report abuse
 

James Kabala

posted March 25, 2004 at 11:46 am


I have discovered that the prophecy referred to by Carrie was placed on the Index of Forbidden Books. Go here for details.
The Index no longer brings automatic excommunciation, but it remains a good guide for which books are dangerous, and that goes doubly for “catacomb” Catholics who probably wish that the reading a book on the Index still carried the old penalty.



report abuse
 

James Kabala

posted March 25, 2004 at 11:46 am


I have discovered that the prophecy referred to by Carrie was placed on the Index of Forbidden Books. Go here for details.
The Index no longer brings automatic excommunciation, but it remains a good guide for which books are dangerous, and that goes doubly for “catacomb” Catholics who probably wish that the reading a book on the Index still carried the old penalty.



report abuse
 

James Kabala

posted March 25, 2004 at 11:49 am


The link didn’t work, so let’s try again:



report abuse
 

James Kabala

posted March 25, 2004 at 11:50 am


I give up. I’ll just provide the address: members.lycos.co.uk/jloughnan/sal_decr.htm



report abuse
 

James Kabala

posted March 25, 2004 at 11:54 am


Also, it is an exagerration to say that the Church under the Arians that the Church survived “in the person of one man.” Athanasisus was the great champion of Trinitarianism, but not the only believer in the whole world.



report abuse
 

Sulpicius Severus

posted March 25, 2004 at 2:29 pm


Mr. Kabala, see here on the actual message of Our Lady of La Salette (discussing the unapproved falsities promulgated by some).
I don’t see Carrie citing the forbidden works in the comments, but if you wish to point out where she does, I’ll be happy to take note. Our Lady of La Salette, pray for us!



report abuse
 

Mark Shea

posted March 25, 2004 at 2:57 pm


“it is a very Catholic thing to listen to prophecy and act on it. Just ask Mel Gibson.”
Uh, Mel Gibson is a schismatic.
“Kevin, the idea of a pope is not mentioned anywhere in Scripture.”
Big news to the author of Matthew 16:18.
Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable. The ambiguous words of some private seer (which were placed on the Index) are used to try to persuade us that the Church will be led by Antichrist. Proof? Mel Gibson. And besides, Scripture never mentions the Pope (except for all that rot about “the gates of hell shall not prevail”).
Carrie: there is indeed a new religion being invented here. And you are inventing it in your panicky refusal to trust the Church Christ founded. Get out of the hothouse of your own head. You are, slowly but surely, talking yourself away from the Catholic Church and into some paranoid alternate universe. It doesn’t have to be this way.



report abuse
 

James Kabala

posted March 25, 2004 at 3:22 pm


Dear Suplicius,
Thank you for providing a link to that detailed site on La Sallette. However, both the site you linked to and the site I linked to seem to agree that the words “Rome will become the seat of the Antichrist” are part of the later, condemned version of the secret. Perhaps the false secret contained elements of the true one, but since the details of the true one are unknown, we can never know either way.



report abuse
 

James Kabala

posted March 25, 2004 at 3:23 pm


Suplicius’s link also confirmed my suspicion that the unification of Italy formed the backdrop of the phony secret.



report abuse
 

Victoria

posted March 25, 2004 at 3:28 pm


I left the Catholic church to be loyal to Jesus Christ. (today I am an indep Baptist) I had enough of the liberalism of the Vatican, the “interreligious dialogue”, finding “Seeds of the Word” in false religions.
As an ex-UU who left the Unitarian-Univeralist church knowing Jesus was Lord, I tired fast of the Popes Theosophical viewpoints, the unending support of the United Nations–biggest supporter of anti-Christian agendas, the out and out universalism promoted under a Christian veneer and more. With scriptural study I came to know the true gospel. I pray for Catholics and hope the best for all of you but sincerely believe that the Catholic church is being led by a pack of wolves.
As for Lasette and the rest of Catholic prophecy why are those prophecies given far more validity then what is scriptural in Revelation in the Catholic church?. Read Revelation to know what is to come. The book of Daniel and the 4 gospels.
I dont know if Carrie is same blogger I wrote her but I discussed with her that the Vatican is barely even Christian anymore. I discussed the collusion with interfaith groups that promote New Age agendas. I left to be loyal to Christ. There is a time where the point seems to be missing and this squabbling over whether to sit or stand seems to be such minor, insignifiant thing, that I ask myself Where is Christ in that? Where is the promotion of goodness and Christian fellowship in having human beings being told to sit or stand like robots? I also wonder of the elderly and those who have difficult time standing for long periods of times. It seems to be even more nonsense adding to the confusion that is the Catholic church today. (Of course the world is full of confusion even in other type of churches) Christ’s church is not the Vatican. They dont own the place. Consider that. For me, If its a choice between ANYONE ELSE, ANYTHING ELSE, and JESUS CHRIST..>Jesus Christ will win! Amen! Praise Him!
Im praying for all of you. I do read this blog, I read this one and Sheas and find the writing to be good but my heart is being more and more burdened for Catholics who are having even more confusion and heartache laid upon them.
And Mark it doesnt help to call someone paranoid. People realize what is going on. There are things I could not accept according to Gods Word and this is true of many who choose to leave the Catholic church. I know there is no way I can accept the breaking of the first commandment and that is just the tip of the iceberg. When I became a saved Christian after years of darkness in the UU church, I had no other choice. I do not regret my decision. I belong to Jesus Christ.



report abuse
 

Victoria

posted March 25, 2004 at 3:37 pm


comment: I was UU for 13 years and cradle Catholic who returned briefly to RCC after leaving UU church….(so people understand above)
Why condemn those who are in despair or angry? Considering what is going on and the many changes and affronts to people, these emotions while we should always have hope in God and look to Him do not come out of a vaccumn.
And Mark please dont sink to the level of those who reject the interfaithism and new teachings of the Vatican to be paranoid. While I wish Carrie look to the Word of God rather then these private revelations, she is realizing some of the many things that are wrong with the picture. If the Catholic response is “always you paranoid person!” Can you blame people for realizing there is no forthcoming accountability? Many of us have researched and studied these things and made our decisions in good conscience.



report abuse
 

Carrie

posted March 25, 2004 at 5:52 pm


Mark,
What Mel Gibson is doing is what Catholics have done for centuries. Look back through Catholic prophecy…especially Marian prophecy…which inspired so many of our devotions. The Immaculate Conception. The Rosary. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Our Lady of Guadalaupe. Our Lady of Lourdes. Our Lady of Fatima. Our Lady of Czestochowa. Our Lady of Akita.
In fact, Marian devotion, more than any other aspect of theology, marks the Catholic Church apart from Protestantism. It is devotion to Mary, much more than acceptance of Real Presence, that is most difficult for converts from Protestantism to accept, according to Scott Hahn.
You claim that Scripture speaks of a pope. I say that Scripture speaks of Peter. Peter was the bishop of Rome. When was the word “Pope” first used? It is not in Scripture.
Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable. The ambiguous words of some private seer (which were placed on the Index) are used to try to persuade us that the Church will be led by Antichrist. Proof? Mel Gibson.
No Mark, I did not say that. If you are going to disagree with what I say, you at least first have to get it right.
The apparition in question, La Salette, has the approval of the Church. It is not clear what part of the prophecy was put on the index. Nor is it clear why it was put on the index. Something could be true and still be a danger to the faith. “Rome shall lose the faith and become the seat of Antichrist” is certainly a danger to the faith no matter whether it is true or whether it is false.
And besides, Scripture never mentions the Pope (except for all that rot about “the gates of hell shall not prevail”).
I have no idea what you are saying here.
Carrie: there is indeed a new religion being invented here.
Indeed there is a new religion being invented. It is being done through teachings on ecumenism which contradict prior Catholic teaching about other religions. This new religion being invented will work nicely with United Religions Initiative which also intends to stir all religions together into one syncretistic mix, much like the prayer event at Assisi arranged with the Pope’s blessing.
Are you aware that “apostolic succession” is being slowly redefined with the help of Cardinal Kasper?
And you are inventing it in your panicky refusal to trust the Church Christ founded.
Which is the Church Christ founded, Mark? The one contained in Her official documents up to Vatican II, the one the Popes through Pius XII defended, or the one we are seeing emerge on a daily basis from Rome? It can’t be both of them because they are theological opposites on the subject of ecumenism.
Get out of the hothouse of your own head.
On the contrary, I am not in any “hothouse of my own head.” It is because I don’t trust my own head that I am reading what other Catholics have to say who are better versed in what the Church has taught than I am, that prompts me to ask questions and consider controversies.
You are, slowly but surely, talking yourself away from the Catholic Church and into some paranoid alternate universe. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Mocking me will not change reality. No matter how much you want the conspiracy theories to go away…no matter how snide and bitter toward those who consider them you may choose to be…the material in Zenit and other press coming out of Rome is still a reality that you must deal with. If you refuse to deal with it, it will be you and not me who is existing in the “hothouse of your own head.”
What are you so afraid of?



report abuse
 

Mark Shea

posted March 25, 2004 at 6:47 pm


Carrie:
I’m afraid of heresy, apostasy and schism, which you are advocating. It’s what any Catholic in his five wits should fear since it endangers souls. It is a denial of Catholic teaching to say that the See of Peter will become the Seat of Antichrist. It is a sin to agitate for apostasy. And it’s silly to say that there are two Church, pre and post Vatican II. The Church is indefectible.



report abuse
 

Eric

posted January 11, 2005 at 10:59 pm


Shea,
Don’t be ridiculous. I attend a Byzantine Rite parish. They would laugh in your face if they saw this post. Yes, we have a tradition of standing instead of kneeling during the consecration. But that action has been incorporated into our churches and practice and taken on various meaning in its act of worship–Just as kneeling has done in the Latin Rite.
Nobody on this forum is arguing that kneeling is somehow a dogma of the Latin Rite. But in most cases, I have found that priests and liturgical terrorists who want to take away kneeling are doing so out of a desire to down play certain important dogmatic aspects of the Mass.
In your zeal (correctly) to oppose rad-trad organizations, you downplay how the style and organic growth of the liturgy has been undermined by individuals who have their own foreign and erroneous ideas they want in the Mass.
If you think my comments and those of others on this blog are radical, why don’t you read Ratzinger’s?
Eric
Eric
This was indeed the teaching of Nicaea and it remains the practice (not the “dogma”) of the Eastern Church today. Now, imagine an Eastern Catholic, inheriting centuries of practice going back to Nicaea and beyond, being told that “Standing rather than kneeling after communion is yet one more attempt by avante-garde liturgists to convert the Mass from the worship of God to the celebration of Man.” One could perhaps forgive an Easterner for forming the impression that some disgruntled Westerners appear to have the notion that the Council of Trent was the only council in the Church’s history. Particularly, when yet another angry Westerner declares “Ian, that is someone’s interpretation or bad translation. Someone has seriously misled you.”



report abuse
 

millard fillmore

posted February 18, 2005 at 10:26 pm


WAKE UP
READ THE NEWS
ACT
REFORM
ALLOW PRIESTS TO BE MARRIED.
>2/19/05
Roman Catholic leaders said Friday they received 1,092 new abuse claims against American priests and deacons last year, even after they had already paid more than $800 million in settlements during the long-running crisis over predatory clergy.
THIS IS SIN. WAKE UP.
“The Machine / church headed by the PJP II is broken.



report abuse
 

M. Schneider

posted June 16, 2009 at 2:44 pm


Vatican 11 was the beginning of watering down our true faith. Little by little they have brought in heresies. Ecumenisim has watered down the true church the Roman Catholic church to please the protestants not Jesus and now ecuminism will bring in interfaithism that will eliminate our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When your priest tells you to stand during the consecration, don’t listen to him. Knell before Jesus even if you are the only one in the whole church. Receive Holy communion on your tongue, humble yourself before our God. John Paul 11 started bringing back the Latin Mass, now Benedict XVI, is fighting the good fight. Not many want to admit that our church is in crisis, but as our Lord stated, “the gates of hell shall not prevail”.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

There is nothing I shall want
A couple of weeks ago, a memorial Mass for Michael was held here in Birmingham at the Cathedral. The bishop presided and offered a very nice, even charming homily in which he first focused on the Scripture readings of the day, and then turned to Michael, whom he remembered, among other things, as on

posted 9:24:16am Mar. 05, 2009 | read full post »

Revolutionary Road - Is it just me?
Why am I the only person I know..or even "know" in the Internet sense of "knowing"  - who didn't hate it? I didn't love it, either. There was a lot wrong with it. Weak characterization. Miscasting. Anvil-wielding mentally ill prophets.But here's the thing.Whether or not Yates' original novel in

posted 9:45:04pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Books for Lent
No, I'm not going to ask you about your Lenten reading lists...although I might.Not today, though. This post is about giving books to others. For Lent, and a long time after that. You know how it goes during Lent: Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving, right?Well, here's a worthy recipient for your hard-

posted 9:22:07pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Why Via Media
How about....because I'm lame and hate thinking up titles to things? No?Okay...how about...St. Benedict? Yes, yes, I know the association with Anglicanism. That wasn't invovled in my purpose in naming the joint, but if draws some Googling Episcopalians, all the better.To tell the truth, you can bl

posted 8:54:17pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Brave Heart?
I don't know about you, but one of effects of childbirth on me was a compulsion to spill the details. All of them.The whole thing was fascinating to me, so of course I assumed everyone else should be fascinated as well in the recounting of every minute of labor, describing the intensity of discomfor

posted 10:19:45pm Mar. 03, 2009 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.