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Are these the worst hymns of all time? July 6, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, foolishness.
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I don’t have an argument with any of these.  What do you think of this list of “worst ‘Catholic’ hymns?” 

10. “Pescador de los Hombres” (Lord, When You Stood by the Seashore)

According to some sources, this was the favorite hymn of Pope John Paul II.

9. “I Am the Bread of Life,” by Suzanne Toolan

8. “On Eagles’ Wings, ” by Michael Joncas

7. “Pan de Vida, cuerpo del Señor,” by Bob Hurd and Pia Moriarty

6. “Sing a New Song,” by Dan Schutte

5. “We Remember,” by Marty Haugen

4. “Here I Am, Lord,” by Dan Schutte

3. “City of God, ” by Dan Schutte

2. “Gather Us In,” by Marty Haugen

Oddly, “Gather Us In” reminds some of us of a much better secular song, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” by Gordon Lightfoot

1. “Sons of God, Hear His Holy Word,” by James Thiem
Because this onetime favorite has disappeared (mercifully) from most modern hymnals, no video seems to be available. Here are the lyrics.

Pan de Vida, On Eagle’s Wings, and Gather Us In are three that just drive me nuts.  There is a woman at daily Mass at a local parish that insists on singing Pan de Vida before, during, and after Communion.  Normally, there is no music, just sacred silence.  It has tested the limits of my charity not to either say something to her, or just shout “callase!” when she starts singing.

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Your prayers, please July 6, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin.
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My aunt died yesterday.  Eleanor Belle Smith nee Meyers was 89 years old.  She died of complications from pneumonia after a decline of some months.  She is survived by her sister, brother, daughter, and 3 grandchildren.  Would you, in your charity, say a prayer for the repose of the soul of my aunt?  Eleanor Belle had faith in God, she was raised episcopalian and later attended an Orthodox church after the episcopalians started becoming crazy.  I prayed the prayers of St. Gertrude for the souls Purgatory last night – I pray that my aunt will receive God’s Infinite Mercy and be able to sing praises to Him eternally in the Light of Salvation.

The prayers of St. Gertrude:

5 Credos

1 Salve Regina

1 Pater Noster

1 Ave Maria

1 Gloria

1 Requiem (Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them, and may they rest in peace. Amen).

Then say: “Eternal Father, I offer thee the most precious blood of they Divine Son, Jesus, in union with all the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Amen.”

Will everyone in Heaven be Roman Catholic? July 6, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Ecumenism, General Catholic.
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Michael Voris says yes.  St. Thomas Acquinas, St. Augustine, and every other Doctor of the Church I can think of say yes, too.  Voris’ logic here is consistent with what has been the doctrine of the Faith for many hundreds of years.  He does not say that all Catholic go to Heaven, nor does he say that one must be Catholic to receive Eternal Salvation, but that once you are in Heaven, to enjoy the Beatific Vision one’s Faith must be conformed to that of the Church. 

For many hundreds of years, from St. Augustine up until a couple of decades ago, the Church taught that there was no salvation outside the Church.  At the “ecumenical” 2nd Vatican Council, the Church changed that stance remarkably, to stating that there may be many paths to achieving Eternal Salvation.  We can never place limits on God’s Mercy, but it is hard to argue with Voris’ thesis that the achievement of the Beatific Vision, which is unity with God in Heaven, could not allow for a multiplicity of beliefs. 

More later.  For now, the video:

Is Obamacare meant to force the Church to support abortion? July 6, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic.
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We may soon know the answer to that question.  As Jill Stanek reports, the ACLU has demanded that the Department of Health and Human Services, headed by pro-abort catholyc Kathleen Sebelius, investigate hospitals run by religious bodies that refuse to perform “emergency reproductive health care” (also known as abortion on demand).   The ACLU claims that these hospitals that refuse to perform abortions are in violation of federal law and should be denied participation in Medicare and Medicaid (and, in a few years if nothing changes, Obamacare).  Since a very large proportion of a hospital’s income comes from Medicare (due to almost all seniors being involved in that disaster), this is no idle threat.  Given the ideology of the current administration, it seems likely that this “request” by the ACLU could be translated into a reality, of a full blown investigation intended to cow Catholic hospitals into performing abortions.

Even if the present request comes to nought, when Obamacare becomes law, hospitals will be in an even more precarious position.  That is why it is critical that, at the least, the pro-abort provisions of Obamacare be rolled back.  One way to do this is to support the Protect Life Act, which is currently pending in Congress.  You can sign a petition, also, encouraging the Catholic Health Association and Sr. Carol Keehan, who represent most Catholic hospitals in Congress, to support the Protect Life Act.  This Act will repeal the portions of Obamacare that fund abortion and essentially enshrine abortion as a fundamental right guaranteed forever by law.

UPDATE: Thomas Peters has much more.  He sees this move as a threat to the entire Catholic hospital system, especially since Obama has appointed a man to head Medicare that feels abortion is a right and socialization of health care is the only possible path forward.

Why the Extraordinary Form (and Latin in Ordinary Form) should see expanded use July 6, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Latin Mass, North Deanery.
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From the website of the English Catholic weekly newspaper, the Catholic Herald, comes an article from a priest who practices both the Extraordinary Form and the Ordinary Form of the Mass at his parish.  The article was reviewed by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, who offers some valuable commentary, and so I’m posting all of Fr. Z’s post here (his comments in red).   I don’t agree with everything the English priest has to say, but I do think there is much of value here, especially for priests in the Dallas Diocese, to consider.  This is a bit long, but I think it very worth your time to read.  I have a few comments at the end.

Why the Old Form thrives in my parish

On the eve of the third anniversary of Summorum Pontificum Fr Gary Dickson says it is unfair to accuse the bishops of obstructing liturgical reform

By Fr Gary Dickson on Thursday, 1 July 2010

Three years ago, in July 2007, the Holy Father published Summorum Pontificum giving parishioners the canonical right to have their parish priest celebrate the Old Form of Mass (the Extraordinary Form) for them alongside the New or Ordinary Form. In places Summorum Pontificum is resisted, and it is important to recognise and address the causes.

Some say the obstruction comes from bishops, but this is unfair. The problem seems to lie within the Church as a whole, being an aversion to formal, God-directed worship in favour of a liturgy that entertains with cheerful hymns, is undemanding to follow and casual in celebration. This aversion harbours resistance not only to Summorum Pontificum but even to the new translation of the New Form. [I think he is right.  But there is active and direct resistance from some priests and bishops.] As the end of the three year period of assessment on how the implementation of Summorum Pontificum has gone approaches, I offer a reflection from one of the several parishes which celebrate in the Old Form every Sunday.

In scheduling the Old Form, objections came mainly from those who experienced the heady days of the Church’s surge into change after Vatican Council II and who saw change and informality as the order of the day. It is understandably hard for them to welcome back their heritage when it evokes things considered long gone and appears to undo what was established by priests they have loved. But honesty compels us to acknowledge that we all abandoned things the Council decreed we retain, [exactly] while loyalty demands we recover them by authentic catechesis on both the Council and the Ordinary Form.

For example, the “full, active and conscious participation” of the people (Sacrosanctum concilium #14) is a call of the Council frequently misunderstood, [Let’s see where he goes with this!] for the word translated “active” is actuosis; an engagement beyond mere “activity” (actives). Indeed, external activity is but participation in the liturgical rite, and can be present without internal, conscious participation in the Mystery of Faith. [I wonder if the writer has been reading WDTPRS!] Significantly, the Council began its teaching on the liturgy by stating that the Church is “present in the world as a pilgrim [and is] so constituted that in her the human is … subordinated to the divine; … action to contemplation”. The Sacred Congregation of Rites confirmed this contemplative element in 1967: “This participation is first and foremost internal” (Musicam sacram #15). [YES!  And it goes back before that as well.  Good work!] Still, to externalise the internal, participation by word and gesture remains important. Sadly, the loss of focus on internal participation has resulted in [horrors…] the imposing of drama, dancing – even puppet shows – on to the rite. To be recovered here, then, is the core of participation; that lifting up our hearts to the Lord, and actions required by the Missal: striking the breast in the Confiteor; bowing during the Credo etc.

Undoubtedly the lay ministry of Lector (Reader) was built into the New Form so as to facilitate lay activity in the rite itself (Extraordinary ministry is not built-in; it was established for use only in exceptional circumstances), but this seems to have created a sense that unless one has a ministry one does not participate. [Right! In fact, it leads to a worse sort of clericalism than that of which liberals accuse those of a more conservative stripe.] This is clearly wrong since it would mean 95 per cent of Catholics never participate. It is necessary, then, to recover an awareness that active participation consists not in mere activity but in “raising the mind and heart” in “full, active, conscious” attention expressed by heartfelt responses, postures and singing.

Next we must acknowledge the Council’s decree that “Latin is to be retained” (Sacrosanctum concilium #36). Latin all but vanished following the Council’s permission to use the vernacular for the readings and commonly called “bidding prayers” with authorisation to extend its use, yet the Council limited that extension by decreeing: “Never the less, care must be taken to ensure the people be able to say or sing in Latin those parts of the Mass that pertain to them” (cf Sacrosanctum concilium #54). [How many times have I quoted that, I wonder.]  Gregorian Chant, which was to have “pride of place in liturgical services”, was also lost, yet its use was reaffirmed by Pope Paul VI in 1974 when every Bishop was sent a copy of On the minimum repertoire of Gregorian Chant. Accordingly, use of Latin – which demands a conscious, active attention the vernacular does not – must be recovered if we are to be genuinely formed by Vatican II.

Again, having the priest face the people was not mentioned by the Council but given as an option in the Ordinary Form (cf 1970 General Instruction #262). [The option overran the norm, which was the objective of the innovators.] In fact, the rubrics of that Form direct the priest to alternately face the people (#133) and the altar (#134). The Congregation for Divine Worship noted that even the phrase “which is desirable whenever possible” in reference to facing the people remains an option, not an obligation. [He is talking here about GIRM 299, about which I have written many times. Here is one entry.  The English translation provided by the USCCB, for example, and I am sure elsewhere, is wrong.  The Latin was even clarified by the same CDWDS, but few liberals want to acknowledge that.  Instead, they persist with their bad translation as more congenial to their agenda.] Thus for faithfulness to the Ordinary Form, the altar-facing position too needs some recovery. Practised correctly, it accounts for only a quarter of the entire Mass. [Good point.]

Acknowledging that things frequently cited as contrary to Vatican II are in fact decreed by the Council (Latin) and directed by the Missal it generated (the altar-facing priest) their more regular use should be promoted in order to make genuine our claim of being faithful to Vatican II and eliminate misinformed resistance to the Old Form and the new translation. [And here we get to it…] How then did our parish facilitate reception of the Extraordinary Form in a pastoral way?

We began by educating the parish in the actual decrees of Vatican II, the rubrics of the New Missal and the reasoning behind them. Once aware of what the Council and Missal actually said, most were well disposed toward implementing the Council and New Missal in a more authentic manner.

Secondly, when celebrating the Old Form, several pastoral supports are utilised.

First, the readings are – as proposed and recommended by Vatican II – proclaimed in the vernacular with use of a free-standing microphone. [In place of the Latin?  At the same time as the Latin?] Since God is speaking to the people at this point it makes sense that they be able to understand without difficulty.

We also sing three vernacular hymns: at the Entrance, Offertory and Recessional as permitted pre-Vatican II (cf De Musica sacra et sacra liturgia #14, Sacred Congregation of Rites, 1958). This allows for continuation of both the characteristic silence of the Old Form and the verbal contribution of the people in a manner to which they have become accustomed. [People like to sing hymns.]

We also supply missalettes with the people’s responses highlighted so as to enable participation in the rite itself. Missalettes for children are picture booklets showing the varying positions of the priest and servers at specific points, enabling the children – and adults new to this Form – to more easily follow the rite.

Finally, we ensure that those who wish to receive on the hand may continue to do so in accord with current canonical rights and obligations. Receiving in the hand while kneeling poses no problem, while those who cannot kneel make the required act of reverence by receiving on the tongue. [This will be controversial for many adherents of the TLM.  I think he is right in his upholding the Church’s present law.  Please understand that I dislike Communion in the hand enormously.  It should be phased out.  People should be moved away from it.  But while it is the law of the Church to permit this (bad) option, priests must uphold the (bad) law.]

There are some who still resist solemnity in celebration; the use of Latin and the altar-facing priest. [Minimalists.] Yet these unintended losses in the New Form are not difficult to recover: if we can lose them overnight after centuries of use we can recover them after only decades of loss. Such recovery is not “going backwards”, or doing a U-turn, since the Ordinary Form will continue in use. Rather, it is a halting of the train to retrieve what has fallen from the carriage before our continuance. Many folk seem unable to grasp the distinction.

It is important to say that attendance at our Extraordinary Form accounts for a third of our weekly Mass numbers. Some who said they would never attend do so occasionally, and with decreasing prejudice. Further, the parish is not divided by differing liturgical preferences – friendships and working relationships remaining unaffected. [See my Rules of Engagement.] Finally, as with the Ordinary Form counterparts, those who attend the Extraordinary Form display great devotion to Christ in the Eucharist and personal prayer; a concern for social justice by running coffee mornings to support SPUC, Aid to the Church in Need and Let The Children Live, and engage in collaborative ministry as catechists, extraordinary ministers, Legion of Mary and finance committee members.

I believe we can no longer refuse the Extraordinary Form and for two main reasons. First, [1] because the Church declared it to be sacred, and while the Church has all authority to forbid what is evil she has no authority to forbid what is sacred; her authority is “to build up rather than destroy” (1 Cor 13:10). Second, [2] this Form is the rightful heritage of future generations; one to which we have no moral right to deny them access. Use of the Extraordinary Form is then a matter of recognising and promoting the holy, and an act of justice towards future generations.

Fr Gary Dickson is parish priest and Sacred Heart and English Martyrs, Thornley, Co Durham

I’m going to agree with Fr. Z – there has been active obstruction of requests by the faithful, which Summorum Pontificum states should be honored if at all possible, by bishops and priests.  Yes, there is a “general sense” among a large segment of the Church that the use of Latin in the Mass is somehow old fashioned and a rejection of Vatican II, but a reading of the documents of Vatican II does not support this “sense.”  In many cases, those who were around at the time of Vatican II refuse to countenance any connection with the pre-Vatican II Church, which they found to be legalistic, Jansenist, too strict, and focused on hell and punishment.  But as Pope Benedict XVI has been at great pains to show, too much was lost in the transition – there must be a continuity with the pre- and post-Vatican II Churches.  Expanding the use of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, or the use of Latin in the Novus Ordo Mass, is a prime, liturgical means of achieving this connection between the Church of ages past and the present Church.  The Liturgy is the life of the Church.  Allowing for expanded use of Latin does not mean that the Church must revert to some negative institution of the past (if it even was negative).  There are many great blessings that come from adding some Latin to the Mass – a great strengthening of our Catholic identity as distinct from other Christian denominations, historical ties, a greater sense of mystery and the transcendent – these are all palpable reasons to encourage more Latin in the Mass.  This does not mean that the Ordinary Form or vernacular Masses should be done away with – that is not the intention.  What is the intention is to follow the actual words of the documents of Vatican II, and Summorum Pontificum, to strengthen the connection with this Great and Mysterious Sacrifice that Christ offers once and for all time.

What is going on with Cardinal Schoenborn? July 6, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, General Catholic, scandals.
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Cardinal Schoenborn, who has been known as an ‘ally’ of Pope Benedict XVI and for being rather orthodox, has allowed quite a bit of craziness of late in his archdiocese of Vienna.   There was his presence at a recent balloon Mass/rave party, he has seemed to endorse women and married priests, and he has argued that the Church’s 2000 year old doctrine regarding homosexuality should be changed because the culture at large demands it. 

Now this.   Cardinal Schoenborn specifically approved, according to the German Gloria.tv, a Mass to be celebrated at a Viennese country music festival (which may sound a strange concept, but American country/western music is very popular in parts of Europe).  Unfortunately, there was no clear distinction between Mass and festival, and so you had people chugging beer and smoking cigarettes during the Mass, as well as eating and talking and doing what people normally do at outdoor music festivals. 

The report from Gloria.tv is below.  Anyone able to translate this German?   I can pick up a little, enough to know that the Mass was sacriledge and that the Cardinal knew what this Mass was going to be.

I don’t know what Cardinal Schoenborn is thinking.  He presides over one of the most “rupture” oriented, disfunctional diocese in the world.  It is in Austria more than anywhere else, and this is truly saying something, that the Faith has been turned on its head in an attempt to “engage the culture.”  Nothing appears sacrosanct there.  The Vatican has expressed deep concern over the ‘We are Church’ mentality very common in Austria, and the growing secularization of the Church.  As if we did not have enough things to pray for, here is another – pray for the Church in Europe generally and Austria (and Belgium and Germany and France and……) specifically.