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Abuses in the Mass are still prevalent June 15, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in foolishness, General Catholic, scandals, silliness.
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Many traditionalists, the “rad-trad” type in particular, complain bitterly about the Novus Ordo Mass.  Some claim it isn’t valid.  Some say everything since Vatican II is heresy.  They’re wrong.  But, these complaints tended to arise due to a), a strong preference for the old Mass, which was virtually banned for many years, and b) abuses in the new Mass that made criticism much easier.  However, great strides have been made, and abuses are less egregious today, if perhaps still too common.  Since the pontificate of Benedict XVI, things seem to be getting even better, with the ability to celebrate the Extraordinary Form and a general increase in reverence at Mass.  Unfortunately, abuses still exist.  From the infamous “balloon Mass” celebrated by Cardinal Schoenborn in Austria to frequent craziness in the Diocese of Orange, CA, there are still some who can’t adhere to the simple guidance of Fr. Z, “Say the black , do the red.”

Since I always try hard to document everything I say here with concrete support, a sampling for your perusal.

First up, the always entertaining Fr. Fred Bailey of the Diocese of Orange, CA, with the Barney Mass:

That’s Fr. Bailey in the costume.  I don’t know what’s  more disturbing, the Barney costume, or the fact that everyone thinks it’s great. 

Next, the clown Mass:

I can’t think of a legitimate reason to make use of clowns at a Mass.  This seems mocking, even if done with good intentions.

The always popular liturgical dance:

I don’t think that dancing is covered in the General Instructions of the Roman Missal.

Call to Action is always known for their strict orthodoxy and rigid adherence to liturgical norms, so this next one is actually surprising.  Oh, wait, reverse all that.

What is it with leftists and papier mache?

And finally, a mass with “women priestesseses”. 

This is not a Mass.  No Sacraments are conferred here.  This is utterly false.  Women cannot receive the graces from God that make a man a priest. 

Why am I showing all this?  To demonstrate that while we have fewer Masses celebrated with everyone sitting indian style around a cardboard box, we still have a ways to go.  All of the above occurred within the last few years. This also demonstrates that things can always get alot worse, so be thankful for what you have, but always be willing to exhort in fraternal charity.

This is what the Mass is June 15, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic.
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This highlights the need for Ad Orientem worship, with the priest and people facing the tabernacle and altar.  The Benedictine compromise, with a cross on an altar that is not along the rear wall, is OK, but a rear altar is so much to be preferred.  Theologically and liturgically, this orientation highlights the focus of the Mass as being a Sacrifice to God, the re-presentation of Christ’s once and for all time Sacrifice, and less on being a community meal with the focus on human activities (the vertical bar of the Cross should be much longer than the horizontal, yes?).  And don’t even say this means “the priest has his back to the people.”  While technically true, it is also incredibly myopic, missing the nature of the Mass as Sacrifice and the fact the priest is acting on our behalf to offer the only Sacrifice acceptable to God.  There are very deep reasons for why everything is done in the Mass the way it is done, and “liturgical experts” to the contrary, this orientation makes the most sense when the Mass is viewed as a holocaust, as an offering to God. 

I love how Heaven comes down to the altar in this painting.  This is literally what happens!  That is why there should be statues of angels and saints around the altar, to remind us that Heaven is literally present in this Sacrifice!  Again, that explains the nature of altars built in the past (many of them ripped out of churches), such as the one below, to remind the faithful of the nature of the Mass.   Viewed in this light, our present very barren sanctuaries seem terribly out of touch.  I do not know how they came to be so predominant.

Pope – “The Church too must use the Shepherd’s rod” against those twisting Faith June 15, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Latin Mass, North Deanery.
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 a really good blog that reads alot of Italian Catholic news sites (and they have much of the best information), reports on a portion of Pope Benedict XVI’s Homily for the Closing Mass of the Year for Priests, celebrated on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.   The Pope stated the following:

Your rod and your staff – they comfort me”: the shepherd needs the rod as protection against savage beasts ready to pounce on the flock; against robbers looking for prey. Along with the rod there is the staff which gives support and helps to make difficult crossings. Both of these are likewise part of the Church’s ministry, of the priest’s ministry. The Church too must use the shepherd’s rod, the rod with which he protects the faith against those who falsify it, against currents which lead the flock astray. The use of the rod can actually be a service of love. Today we can see that it has nothing to do with love when conduct unworthy of the priestly life is tolerated. Nor does it have to do with love if heresy is allowed to spread and the faith twisted and chipped away, as if it were something that we ourselves had invented. As if it were no longer God’s gift, the precious pearl which we cannot let be taken from us. Even so, the rod must always become once again the shepherd’s staff – a staff which helps men and women to tread difficult paths and to follow the Lord.

“….as if it were something that we ourselves had invented.”  Ouch.  It is very significant that the Pope has now again tied the priest abuse scandal to those who misrepresent and twist the faith.  I think it is clear that the Pope is driving home his belief that the climate of self-seeking and hedonism that perpetuated so much of the abuse by priests is tied, philosophically and literally, to the sad misrepresentations of the Faith we have seen so repeatedly over the last 50+ years (see: Sister Carol Keehan).   This Pope is amazing in many regards – he routinely outsmarts the conventional wisdom and his adversaries within the Church (and they are legion).  But in this case, the Pope is going to have challenges due to that opposition – it will be much like the implementation of Summorum Pontificum, where a number of local ordinaries have placed limitations on the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (Traditional Latin Mass) in spite of the clear instruction of the Pope in Summorum Pontificum that they were not to do so.  I cannot see a more rigorous enforcement of doctrinal and liturgical norms without an example being set, on  multiple occasions, by Rome.  But this Pope has surprised before, so we shall see.

Michael Voris has his usual low key reaction to this statement by the Pope:

Voris makes a very salient point.  The problems in the Church have been a long time coming – dating back far beyond the mid-60’s, when many people think the problems primarily emerged.  As Voris says, the explosion may have occurred in the mid-late 60’s, but the factors that precipitated that explosion were present long before.  The same applies to our collective culture – the 60’s of the popular memory could not have occurred without much ground being laid in the preceding decades.  Changing to a more reverent and traditional Faith will require a very long time, and that change is by no means certain, as Voris seems to indicate.  We have much work to do.  Especially prayer, but also action.  Ours is a Faith that values works, that sees works as a necessary part of living in Christ – if you feel called to help bring a greater sense of reverence and orthodoxy to the Church, you must work to achieve that calling.