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Voris on the ‘secret agreement,’ and I rant February 10, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, North Deanery.

One thing that continues to surprise and dismay me is the utter lack of substance conveyed during the Mass by an unfortunately large proportion of priests.  Now, there are some who do a very good job of conveying the faith, even those “controversial” subjects like contraception, the need to go to confession, and abortion/homosexuality, but there are many more who do not touch these subjects.  Watch this video by Michael Voris and see if you agree with what he has to say:

Boy, do I know about those tacit agreements!  There is a local priest who can’t celebrate certain Mass times at his parish because his homilies have become “too challenging” and made the ‘good’ people sitting in the pews feel bad, like perhaps they’re not quite doing enough to live their faith.  And I know of many priests who observe the ‘tacit agreement’ to a tee, always ready with the quick joke and a homily of supreme banality, but making sure, always, that the parish finances are in very good order.  And then there are the other tacit agreements, like knowing new age is a bunch of dangerous balderdash derived from various pagan/wicca/eastern religions, but still allowing the new age sister or priest to come in to speak at the parish – after all, it does bring in a nice chunk of change.  I’d love to have a Catholic voice to state clearly and unequivocally where this mush mouthed indifferent lukewarm faith leads, and I even posted a video of a goofy evangelical yesterday who is well on the road to orthodox Catholicism if he could get over his blatant bigotry (I’ve watched more videos of the guy), but, alas, I haven’t got the time to scour the archives for some Fulton Sheen gold, or some early Edison-esque silent of Pope St. Pius X, so I’ll have to rant away. 

At the heart of so many of the things I have posted on over the past year plus is this concern – that many, many Catholics may be putting their souls in jeopardy of damnation out of some of the most severe sins against the Holy Spirit – presumption, obstinacy, and resisting the known Truth, among many other personal sins.  Isn’t contraceptive use still a very grave sin?  97% of Catholics use contraception during their adult lives.  Do they go and confess this sin?  How about masturbation, isn’t that a grave sin?  90+% of all American males now masturbate regularly, and 2/3 of women.  Do these folks go to confession?   I could go on and on – even among those who go to Mass every Sunday, the amount of doubt, dissent, and plain rejection of the Faith is stunning.  Only about 3-5% of Catholics go to confession – ever.  How will these sinners be saved with all these unconfessed, probably mortal sins?

I don’t say these things to be judgemental, to put myself on high.  I have plenty of sins – but I also go to confession regularly.  I strive to lead a more holy life, and the only way I have made any progress is through the Grace I have availed myself of through regular reception of the Sacraments!  Our priests bear an awesome responsibility, and our bishops even more.  They are responsible for forming all the faithful, so that the faithful can conduct their lives in a manner pleasing to God.  But how many priests and bishops are willing to ‘offend’ the Catholics in their charge by saying what needs to be said, by calling out, by name, the sins that so many Catholics are constantly engaged in?  A paltry amount, in my experience.  A priest or bishop cannot say ‘oh, well, my people don’t sin very much (don’t laugh, I’ve heard a prominent local Monsignor say exactly that) – bull!  Look at the stats.  Your people DO SIN!  When are you going to call them on it?!  “But if anyone causes one of these little ones to sin…….” That means you, and sins of omission, by refusing to talk the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church in bold and uncompromising terms is a huge sin of omission.  Their sins are your sins.  You will not escape the fire.  Or are so many now infected with modernism that we just don’t believe that stuffy, uptight crap about judgement and damnation?  Are we all von Balthasar’s now…..and all will be saved?  Check the Doctors of the Church, or the Church Fathers – they certainly don’t think so.  Shall we throw them out the window now?  Too inconvenient?

“Truly we deceive ourselves through the inordinate love we bear to our flesh. What other things shall the fire feed on but thy sins. The more thou sparest thyself now and followest the flesh the more grievously shalt thou suffer hereafter and the more fuel does thou lay up for that fire!  It is better now to purge away our sins and to cut off our vices than to reserve them to be purged hereafter!”  Or WE will be purged hereafter! 

I know right now, in this Diocese, there are priests who have been called to account at the Chancery for being “too orthodox,” for calling for more Confession, for stating that contraception use is a sin, for decrying the weak faith of so many Catholics.  Or even for celebrating the Mass in a reverent and holy way in the manner the Pope desires! 

We are all responsible to spread as far and wide as we can the TRUTH Jesus Christ has revealed through His Church!  Am I alone in feeling that we, the Church, the local Church, could be doing a much better job of this?


1. thewhitelilyblog - February 10, 2011

“When will our local Church get serious about doing so?”

When they fix Vatican II, tantum.

The longer we wait, the greater the chance of martyrdom on the other side of it.

2. George - February 10, 2011

Great post Tantum. There is only one church where I can hear a challenging Homily without fail. As someone who lives in Dallas like you I try to attend Mater Dei whenever possible. I know from your posts you go there sometimes too. When I cannot go there I tune in to the homily at http://www.audiosancto.org.

3. tantamergo - February 11, 2011

I agree about Mater Dei and a few diocesan priests. Beyond that, though, it’s slim pickens.

4. thewhitelilyblog - February 11, 2011

Tantum–I got the following reply in My Comments in my own blog dashboard, not from your blog:

“Secularism is our enemy. Liberalism is our enemy. It’s all one thing.” [I said]

[You replied] I agree with that! I just friended FSSPX on Facebook!

[You added] So, Voris floated the idea of a Catholic monarchy being the optimal form of government. Did you see how that was received? Even by nominally orthodox Catholics, let alone the seculars? We have so very much work to do. I scoff at that Gallup poll – they may like that idea in concept, but then why don’t they conduct their lives just a little bit by those 10 Commandments and stop contracepting, divorcing, etc? I’ve actually been thinking about the Catholic party thing, however…..it may have some merit – in 8 or 10 years.’

Tantum, I can’t seem to negotiate your blog to reply to your perfectly wonderful replies to my rants, and thus I continue to rant. (You do post a lot!) The one above, for example. Which rather puts us in the same boat, instead of me trying to shout across the water. (I did put a checkmark in the right place to get updates to comments but it’s not happening, and I can’t ever find the original post to see if you said anything back to me. And I can’t find the place to put a new checkmark, in case the old one didn’t work. Sigh.)

Regarding this particlar comment of yours, not related to this post it’s attached to: man, do I hear ya. You said Voris floated the idea of a Catholic monarchy and it didn’t go over very well. But that oughtn’t to make us give up, because the discussion hasn’t even been opened yet, in the world. I think I have the original question Gallup asked, and it must have been put in such a way that people were able to put aside contradictory noise and just focus on that content. Voris’ audience is not random, either. If it’s mostly traditionalists, they are being bombarded more than any other group with totally right wing crap, that is, reacting to islamic statements or more likely statements about islam, which throw them into ‘pro-democratic’ certainly anti-monarchy and certainly anti-religious-state positions, even though democracy is no longer the god it once was. (I think we’ve all realized by now, CNN constantly repeats it, a society has to be ‘ready for democracy’ meaning they have to agree with everything we want. Democracy is not a panacea. Duh, we’re sinful!)

But we’re years ahead of that discussion, as you said. There’s groundwork that has to be done. We have to shake off the liberalism we’ve been spoon-fed for fifty years (and us Americans, for three hundred years), point by arduous point. It’s hardly less arduous in an SSPX chapel, because so many are there for the mass only, and besides, it’s really hard going to understand it. I read the constitutions of Vatican II three times, once with the guidance of an Pius V priest in Pittsburgh, and could not find a single thing ‘wrong.’ You have to get one of the day by day and blow by blow analyses to see how they came to the language they used, and what it is code for. Like Wiltgen. E.g. every time they say ‘dignity’ they mean a person’s absolute right to act out every dictate of their conscience, without any exterior control–that never was the teaching of the Church, which taught interior freedom from compulsion always, but exterior not so much. So, Tantum, I see you’re not avoiding the question, as I might have thought from not being able to find your replies. So I’m happy. It might take you a few years but eventually you’ll put the pieces together, and way better than I do, because I’m getting so old, that for everything I learn, I forget something else. Maybe it’s not age, maybe it’s heartbreak.

I just know liberalism has failed us, but we’re going to push it on islam via war anyway, Halliburton’s going to put us on the front lines to push it. I’m writing now about the synod of bishops from Syria, Jordan, Egypt, etc., last October. They demand–let’s see, let me itemize: women’s lib, absolute religious freedom including specifically that non-muslims ought to be able to be presidents of muslim states (I kid you not), diversity, multi-culturism [I kid you not] and an end to muslim distrust of banks that lend at interest. I suppose if they had remembered that Kelantam had gone on the gold standard, they’d be against that too. They recommended a modernization of muslim prayer life. I kid you not. Almost the same language as VII. It was the whole sad, sick menu of what’s wrecked Europe, and they’re just happily pushing it in the middle east, and then acting surprised at the re-ignition of violence against Catholics. And we’re going along with it (not you). I have traditional friends who forward around the most horrible attacks on islam for wanting the sanity of a religious state–just like Pius X taught. I try to tell them how Iran saved the UN from re-defining ‘reproductive rights’ to always mean free access to abortion. Iran stood up alone and walked out. The Vatican sat there. That was about eight months ago, as I recall. And I’ve had pro-life friends say to me, ‘so what? So what if they did? What does that matter?’ It’s no wonder we haven’t rolled back RoeVWade; we don’t understand the concept of ally!

SSPX says the issues could be boiled down to three, ecumenism, religious freedom, and collegiality. On their .org website, under articles I think, they have some pithy explanations. When you have time, perhaps you could familiarize yourself with theological details. The political format of a state that honors God, maybe has to politically compromise with protestantism to do that, honors life, honors marriage, honors breaking up the too big to fail, isn’t too extreme but extreme enough, that can come later. I’m pushing for it now because I need to find a couple of people who see that. (Women don’t do so well without collaboration, is all I can say.)

5. thewhitelilyblog - February 11, 2011

By the way, if Mater Dei is an indult site–permitted under the motu proprio–you’re going to get the mass, but not the orthodox doctrine. And I’ll make you a bet: they talk in church after mass. That’s how it is here, at our big, wonderful indult site (St. John Cantius.) Plus their choir is ‘professional’ and has any number of gay activists, divorced/remarried, etc. If you were to go read The Merits on the Mass on my blog (which is not by me and is quite good), you’d see why the latter matters. Everybody figures into the extrinsic merit of a mass, which varies, unlike the intrinsic merit based on the offering of the same Christ always and everywhere. The greater the number of people participating not in the state of grace, especially in a liturgical function like choir, the less merit. I need the merit. As well as a good multi vitamin.

tantamergo - February 11, 2011

Mater Dei is FSSP and only very recently got their own parish. There’s no professional choir, and no talking after Mass except the noise that comes through the doors from the hall a short distance away. The only noise is the periodic cries of many little children. I don’t know abou the sexual proclivities of the choir, but since they’re ‘regular’ parishioners, I doubt there are too many gay activists. I think it’s pretty solid, but I’m sure could be improved in a number of ways. The parish building is a former Korean Methodist church, but the church itself has been redone to be at least fairly Catholic – the Sanctuary itself is fine, as are the side altars. Needs some stained glass, but that will come with time – if the parish doesn’t have to move to a bigger facility, or better yet, build their own.

6. thewhitelilyblog - February 12, 2011

Well Hey that sounds good about Mater Dei, and the talking in the church itself after mass, try to hold it that way because somehow this seems to go with the novus ordo mindset, even among those who like the old mass . If the choir’s ‘regular,’ it’s the same crap shoot as any other congregation, regarding the merit/state of grace algorithym–I mean, at least you won’t have people there just to sing.

That’s really, really good. I hope you have daily mass! I don’t here in Chicago. I had the privilege in Guadalajara, daily traditional mass, twice a day even! And rosary! Rich, rich. By the way, if you ever want to learn to speak Spanish, get the prayers of the rosary in Spanish and go pray with the folks before mass. Your tongue will learn before your brain does and your accent will be darn near native. It’s like being born again into that language. From the rosary you can branch out, of course, but you’ll have this framework to hang everything else on. : ) It gives one a slightly biblical vocabulary which causes people to consider you curiously for a moment: how did they learn to speak Spanish like that, and where? you can see it flit across their face. Way fun.

This is not on Mater Dei. Sorry. Siento mucho.

7. KathiBee - February 13, 2011

White Lily – as a member of Mater Dei for over a year now —- the FSSP priests are very big on silence after Mass. When our family travels, we always seek out a TLM, and by chance those Masses have always been FSSP around the country. I have yet to be in a FSSP-run parish where there aren’t large numbers of people praying a thanksgiving after Mass & everyone else leaving is doing so quietly.

At Mater Dei there is even a “Silence Please” sign in the narthex outside the Sanctuary doors.

Knowing most of the people in the choir, the predominant activist is the pro-life type.

The priest’s sermons are SO spot-on; I can’t believe my soul was sucked into thinking it was sustained on what was preached to me from the pulpit for most of my life before we went the traditional route. Not to say there are not diocesan priests who aren’t awesome — I know of two in our diocese who fit that description & I’m sure there are a few more —but we all know what we find out there in general.

I would love it if we didn’t have to choose this path to best practice our faith. That true Catholic teaching was more mainstream – and I mean mainstream in Catholic parishes, not popular culture. We have been forced, in a matter of speaking, to choose the Catholic ghetto route, but we are convinced this is what will save our souls, as well as our children’s.

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