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Is the Church subsumed in protestantism? July 14, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Latin Mass, North Deanery.

Michael Voris says yes:

I don’t think it an overstatement to say that the Liturgy, the Mass, is the lifeblood of the Church.  Yes, the Church is far more than just the Mass, but the Church is nothing without it.  In coming into the Catholic Church as a protestant convert, I was very comfortable, because the Mass as it is celebrated in the vast, vast majority of Catholic parishes today is extremely familiar to a “sacramental,” or mainline, protestant.  There is very little difference between the Mass at your average suburban (or urban) parish, and the church service at an episcopal or lutheran church.  At first, that was fine for me, because I initially only became Catholic to please my wife.  After I had a genuine conversion, I found this status quo to be lacking a great deal.  I wanted a truly Catholic Mass, I wanted  distinictively Roman Catholic worship.  Although they are hard to find, the Mass is celebrated in a manner which is distinctive from the episcopal or lutheran or other churches.  It’s not even so much the language in which the Mass is celebrated, although it does seem that the great preponderance of very reverent, distinctively Roman Catholic Masses are celebrated at least partly in Latin.  I challenge any priest to attend an episcopal church service in their town, compare it to their normal Mass, and tell me what is really different about the two.  In the past, this would be an easy list, but since the changes in the Mass that occurred after the release of the 1970 Missale Romanum, I think formulating this list would be more problematic, and the differences minor. 

Is this a prime reason why so many Catholics leave the Faith, and why so few take it seriously?  I don’t know, I think there may be a confluence of factors, but mediocre, indistinct Liturgy certainly does not help.  I can name some very concrete benefits to having a more reverent, distinctively Catholic Mass: increased donations to the parish (all such parishes I have ever attended are financially sound), more consistent and higher levels of Mass attendance, far more vocations, generally increased parish involvement, the serious and effective transimittal of the Faith from one generation to the next, and many more.  Now, the fact that more seriously minded Catholics tend to be drawn to these more reverent liturgies I am certain plays a role in those benefits, but the effect is so widespread and consistent that I think there is more to it than just having the “right” people making up the membership. 

Again, I think this is less a matter of language than it is of reverence and a uniquely Catholic nature that focuses on the Eucharistic as a salvific action absolutely necessary for the redeeming of unworthy sinners.  Yes, for some, celebrating the Mass in this manner may be a massive turn off, but I think the evidence supports the claim that far more will be transformed and engaged by a distinctively Catholic Mass.  As Voris says, the last 40 years of ho hum Masses has not produced good fruit.  Given the problems facing the Church, and the benefits seen at those parishes offering a more distinctively Catholic Mass, isn’t it perhaps time for a change?


1. Grrr - July 15, 2010

Blech. There was a season of joy when being a Catholic was important, proud, relevant & inspiring. Now we are an archdiocese of the Republican & Southern Baptist faiths.

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