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A must read January 13, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, General Catholic, Latin Mass, North Deanery, sadness, scandals.
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Whether you value the Traditional Latin Mass or not, I highly recommend reading this booklet length analysis of the Novus Ordo and Traditional Latin Mass at Rorate Caeli.  It’s about 60 pages, but highly worth your time.  I’ve not read as concise a comparison of the two types of Mass anywhere else.  A small sample:

The Council of Trent declares (s.22 canon 3) : “If any-one should say that the Sacrifice of the Mass is only a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving… and not a propitiatory sacrifice…and should not be offered for the living and the dead, for sins, punishments, satisfactions and other necessities: Anathema Sit”.
In other words the Council teaches that the finality of the Holy Mass is not merely praise (/ adoration) and thanks, but also [ actually, primarily – ED] expiation and petition. This declaration was made in response to the Protestant denial that the Mass was a Sacrifice, and as such expiatory and petitionary in character.
In fact, since the Protestants deny that the Mass is a Sacrifice, the service with which they replace it is not only signally lacking in the finality of expiation but also in that of adoration.
The New Rite in its turn is also much impoverished in this regard. The finality of adoration, that is to say, the adoration of the Most Holy Trinity, has been all but totally suppressed. The Gloria Patri in the Introit has been removed, the Gloria in excelsis Deo is recited less frequently, and the Trinitarian formula per Dominum Nostrum Jesum Christum… which concludes many of the prayers in the Old Rite, has been dropped in all cases except for the Collect. The prayer at the Offertory, Receive O Holy Trinity, Suscipe Sancta Trinitas…, and the prayer at the end of the Mass, May It Please Thee, O Holy Trinity, Placeat Tibi Sancta Trinitas…, have been abolished, and the preface of the Holy Trinity is no longer recited every Sunday, but only once a year on the respective feast day.
The finality of expiation has also been much reduced. As the Critical Study explains (III), the accent has been shifted from the remission of the sins of the living and the dead, to the nutrition and sanctification of those present. The following elements have thereby been suppressed: the prayer that God might give us life (in the psalm at the foot of the altar); the prayers Aufer and Oramus Te in which the priest asks to be pardoned for his own sins; the Confiteor recited by the priest with a deep bow and with the faithful on their knees; the Offertory prayers that the Immaculate Victim offered for “my innumerable sins, offenses, and negligences may be accepted by God” and that the chalice may rise with “the odour of sweetness for our salvation”; all the prayers of humble supplication in the Roman Canon which no longer appear in the new canons; and the thrice-repeated prayer Domine non sum dignus prior to the Communion, both of the celebrant and of the faithful.
In the same vein, the memento of the dead and the mention of the souls suffering in Purgatory have been eliminated from the three new Eucaristic prayers, as well as the entire Requiem Mass in all its extraordinary catechetical power.
As the finalities of adoration and expiation retreat into the background, the finalities of thanksgiving and petition advance into the foreground (and the more charismatic the Mass, the more notably so), but with a certain detachment from their principal object, that is, the remission of sins through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Indeed the term “Holy Sacrifice of the Mass” has been largely replaced by the term “Eucharist” (meaning thanksgiving), and a section of petitionary prayers, known as “the prayers of the faithful”, has been added to the Mass (often for merely temporal or material advantages), as if the Mass were not itself a prayer of petition.
In fact, it may be more accurate to say with the authors of the Critical Study, that the real finalities are suppressed and new finalities are invented: “the spirit of communion between those present and the spirit of a Charity banquet” (III), where again we witness the shift from the concept of a sacrifice to that of a meal.

The supreme function of the Church is to worship God, and the supreme expression of this worship is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on a consecrated altar in a church consecrated for this purpose. The altar represents Christ, Who sacrificed Himself on the altar of His Own body. The altar must be of stone because it represents Christ, Who is the living foundation and corner-stone of the Church. It must be covered with three linen cloths which represent the Church, and the cloths with which He was wrapped in the tomb. The altar should be elevated since it is a mystical Mount Calvary . It is incensed, and adorned with a cross, which enables priest and people frequently to gaze upon the image of the Crucified. It (and the tabernacle) is hung with frontal hangings which represent the saints with which the great King is clothed in glory. The altar contains the relics of the martyrs (cf. MD p. 389 – 393).
In contrast to this Catholic theology of the altar, Cranmer states (MD p. 413-14): “First, the form of a table shall more move the simple from the superstitious opinions of the Popish Mass unto the right use of the Lord’s Supper. For the use of an altar is to make sacrifice upon it: the use of a table is to serve men to eat upon.”
In regard to the Postconciliar liturgical revolution, Michael Davies notes that “not one of the mandatory requirements (such as those mentioned above) developed over two thousand years to ensure that the altar which represents Christ is of fitting dignity, has been retained by the Conciliar Church” (MD p. 395). And we observe that, in effect, in the vast majority of cases, the altar has been supplanted by a table, despite Pope Pius XII’s categorical prohibition of this in Mediator Dei (MD p. 416).
Michael Davies further remarks (p. 413) that “the Mass versus populum and the … table are part of the same phenomenon, the Protestantization of the Catholic liturgy. It is a carbon copy of what took place at the Reformation.”

I know there are some Catholics who believe that the Novus Ordo Mass is beyond reproach, and that any criticism of this current ‘ordinary’ form of the Mass indicates an imbalance and an inordinate adherence to the Latin (or whatever).  I do not believe this is a fair assessment.  There are many questions regarding how the Church went from the documents of Vatican II, which indicate one thing (the Mass still predominately in Latin, Gregorian Chant, Ad Orientem worship, the centrality of Mass as Sacrifice, etc.), to the Missale Romanum of 1969 and the hurried correction of 1970 (1969 being much worse!).  Essentially, what we got is not what the Council fathers intended, in spite of the propaganda campaign waged by the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ crowd to the contrary.  There are so many areas of concern, it is difficult to know where to start – should we insist first that priests return to using ONLY the Roman Canon, or Ad Orientem, or making the Sacrificial nature of the Mass #1, or adding back in the genuflections and bows that communicated great reverence, or?  Or should I just give up and only assist at Traditional Latin Mass?

Lots of things to think on.  Another very good analysis of the same subject here.

Bishop Tobin on ‘separation of Church and state’ January 13, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, sadness, sickness, Society.
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‘Separation of Church and state’ is a chimera, a statement found nowhere in the Constitution, a fabrication dreamed up by leftists to advance their agenda in the face of religious opposition.  You will note, when bishops or priests or whatever religious figures speak on topics that the left views favorably, the left fully endorses ‘a religious voice in politics.’  But when the religious voice is in oppostion to the leftist agenda, the howls of ‘church and state’ echo endlessly through the chambers of government, and reverberate ad nauseum in our electronic media.   Christianity was always meant by our Lord to be the most public of religions, and its constant morality and fidelity to Truth make it an increasing enemy of the left, an enemy to be squashed without mercy.  Bishop Tobin:

The point is this: religion has an important, indeed a unique contribution to make to the governance of our society. Can we, once and for all then, put to rest the bogus interpretations of the “separation of church and state” so often cited these days?

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, in his outstanding book, “Render Unto Caesar,” makes this observation: “Americans have always believed in nonsectarian public institutions. But the founders never intended a nation that privatizes religion and excludes it from involvement in public affairs. Nor did they create any such nation. The secularism proposed today for our public life is not religion-neutral. It is antireligious.” (p. 29)

The Archbishop goes on: “A truly secularized United States would be a country without a soul; a nation with a hole in its heart . . . Secularism as a cult – the kind of rigid separationism where the state treats religion as a scary and unstable guest – hollows out the core of what it means to be human.” (p. 30)

A “country without a soul.” A “nation with a hole in its heart.” I wonder – is that the kind of nation we long for? Is that the kind of state we want Rhode Island to become?

Pope John Paul hit the nail on the head when he wrote about the “practical and existential atheism” of our age. He describes the individual who is “all bound up in himself.” For such an individual, “there is no longer the need to fight against God; he feels that he is simply able to do without him.” (Pastores Dabo Vobis, #7)

The Pope’s insight leads me to wonder: Is our nation, and our state, in frequently appealing to “separation of church and state,” promoting an atheistic worldview? Are we creating a secular wasteland, bereft of any spiritual or religious influence? And is that how we want to live?

As I said, the left and its authoritarian media allies are perfectly happy to have vibrant religious voices in the public square, provided they support whatever agenda the left is pursuing.  But when authentic Chrisitianity, as it must, opposes vast swaths of the leftist political viewpoint, then it is an intolerable intrusion that must be “separated” (read as silenced). 

The broader implications of the increasing, practical atheism of our society are darker and more disturbing.  Atheist societies are not beacons of tolerance and human advancement, they fetid wastelands of hate, suffering, and death.

The war against Christianity is really just beginning.  It will get much,  much worse.

Pope JPII to be beatified soon? – UPDATED! January 13, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, Our Lady, Society.
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Rumors from the Vatican are indicating that a miracle has been attributed to Venerable Pope John Paul II and that he will be beatified as early as May 1.  That’s very quick – he’s only been dead for 5 1/2 years.  Many great saints required far longer, but the good Pope has such a large and fervent cult that perhaps this should not be too surprising.  And, up until the 11-1200s, Saints would often be beatified or canonized within in a few years of their death, and sometimes quicker.  Nevertheless, for those with a particular devotion to this Pope and Catholics generally, this is welcome news:

Workers at the Vatican have already begun preparations for transferring the body of Pope John Paul II, in anticipation of his beatification.

The body of the late Pope, currently buried in the crypt of St. Peter’s basilica, will be moved to the main floor when he is beatified. The tomb will be in the chapel of St. Sebastian, near the main door of the Vatican basilica.

Earlier this week, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints reportedly approved the authenticity of a miracle through the intercession of the late Pontiff. If their decision is ratified by Pope Benedict XVI—a decision that could be made within days—the final requirement for beatification would be fulfilled and the ceremony could be scheduled.

In a related development, a retired Polish bishop suggested that the beatification of John Paul II could take place as early as May 1.

After beatification, one more miracle will lead to canonization.

UPDATE – Pope Benedict XVI has confirmed, Venerable Pope John Paul II will be beatified on May 1, Divine Mercy Sunday.