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Cardinals: liturgical abuse weakens the faith

By on Thursday, 3 March 2011

Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera elevates the Eucharist during a Mass at the Basilica of St John Lateran in Rome (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera elevates the Eucharist during a Mass at the Basilica of St John Lateran in Rome (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

A weakening of faith in God, a rise in selfishness and a drop in the number of people going to Mass can be traced to liturgical abuse or Masses that are not reverent, two Vatican cardinals and a consultant have said.

US Cardinal Raymond Burke, head of the Vatican’s supreme court, said: “If we err by thinking we are the centre of the liturgy, the Mass will lead to a loss of faith.”

Cardinal Burke and Spanish Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, spoke yesterday at a book launch in Rome.

The book, published only in Italian, was written by Fr Nicola Bux, who serves as a consultant to the congregations for the doctrine of the faith and for saints’ causes and to the office in charge of papal liturgies.

The English translation of Fr Bux’s book title would be, How to Go to Mass and Not Lose Your Faith.

Cardinal Burke told those gathered for the book presentation that he agreed with Fr Bux that “liturgical abuses lead to serious damage to the faith of Catholics”.

Unfortunately, he said, too many priests and bishops treat violations of liturgical norms as something that is unimportant when, in fact, they are “serious abuses”.

Cardinal Cañizares said that while the book’s title is provocative, it demonstrates a belief he shares. “Participating in the Eucharist can make us weaken or lose our faith if we do not enter into it properly,” and if the liturgy is not celebrated according to the Church’s norms, he said.

“This is true whether one is speaking of the Ordinary or Extraordinary form of the one Roman rite,” the cardinal said.

Cardinal Cañizares said that at a time when so many people are living as if God did not exist, they need a true Eucharistic celebration to remind them that only God is to be adored and that true meaning in human life comes only from the fact that Jesus gave his life to save the world.

Fr Bux said that too many modern Catholics think the Mass is something that the priest and the congregation do together when, in fact, it is something that Jesus does.

“If you go to a Mass in one place and then go to Mass in another, you will not find the same Mass. This means that it is not the Mass of the Catholic Church, which people have a right to, but it is just the Mass of this parish or that priest,” he said.

  • Peter

    You can’t really blame the laity. A laywoman did indeed question whether it was correct for her to read a pastoral announcement in the place reserved for the homily. She had originally expected to read it in the period after the Communion prayer, which is allotted for such purposes. However, she was assured that it would be perfectly fine for her to read it in place of the homily. It is the responsibility of the pastor not to mislead his flock.

  • pascal78

    Latin should be retained. That’s the teaching of Vat2. The English language changes all the time consequently we have to keep on re-translating the original latin. Also it is a sign of unity. Same Mass in any part of the world. Locals can have the translation in their dual language missal as in the pre-Vat2 times. Latin also holds together the integrity of the Faith and prevents self appointed theologians from bending the Mass to their own ideas.

  • pascal78

    The local bishop is often an advocate of the ‘spirit of Vat2′. He is often oblivious to the fact that the Church is the True Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ and is the sole repository of Truth and Grace. He most likely thinks we are (via a phoney ecumenism) a pilgrim church moving towards some amorphous ‘unity’ with our separated bretheren. He will not realise that we already have that unity and it is for the separated bretheren to forego their heretical beliefs and be reconciled with the One Church founded by Christ i.e. the Roman Catholic Church. THIS is why they seem as you righty say “irrelevant” Once they get rid of their false anthropocentric irenical mind set Then will the Church be once again seem relevant.

  • Drusus5845

    Have you put into words my experience in the Church. I have not gone to church to attend Mass since I find the music distracting, more in fitting with “Sister Act”, recorded music, recorded accompaniment etc. I stay away because Palestrina, Mozart, and all the religious hymns have been thrown out to be more in fitting with pop and bar music than the holy. If you check you will find that most of us over 40 watch EWTN than go to Mass. In addition very few Catholic priests know how or what a seremon consists of.. That is not something new though. They were never taught that in seminary. I was surprised the other day to find that very few priests know Latin or can translate. Poorly educated. Probably don’t know what a conditional syllogism is or deductive reasoning. The American Catholic church has been destroying itself since Vatican II whereas it took a Catholic ruler to destroy the Catholic church in England.by force.

  • Mark

    I dont understand Latin at all but I love the latin mass. As long as you have a guide book you can recite the prayers on your own by whispering. I feel like I am participating much more actually rather than the ordinary form which does seem to lack reverence when you consider beautiful liturgies such as the Latin Mass and the Eastern Liturgy of St John Chrystondom (another favorite of mine).

    The worst case of Liturgical abuse I ever seen was in 2003, Palm Sunday at a Parish in Virginia Beach, where a priest had Wizard of Oz characters dressed up to do a skit. Also the church was redecorated to reflect a yellow brick road.

  • Gordon S

    Oh boy! Liturgical abuse? What about real abuse in the Church? Like the 21 priests in Phiadelphia USA who were just suspended. Or how our women in the Church are still treated as a lesser person. Not good enough to be a priest. Or the abuse of God’s children by archaic Church laws, such as compulsory celibacy etc.
    These things are the real reason why there is a drop in Church attendance. I believe these Cardinals have their priorities just a little mixed up. I would also say that their theology is mixed up too. The first Mass was celebrated as a meal- a meal that all shared in. The Christ presence is in all of us. We are all ‘priest’ and by virtue of our baptism, we too as the community offer Eucharist.
    Time to look at the real issues in the Church and never mind worrying about such frivolous things as what he sees as liturgical correctness. Jesus must laugh at these guys! blessings… Gord

  • pascal78

    Sorry Gord you are all wrong. Your thinking is typical of the result of 40 years of lax or none teaching & false catechising by our bishops and priests and the destruction of the ancient liturgy by the “spirit of Vatican II” If you had grown up in the Roman Catholic Church before VatII you would know your Faith. You would know that the Holy Mass is a sacrifice, that only an ordained priest has the power to offer it, that it is Christ Himself who offers the Holy Mass not the community. Your ideas are very protestant . .I could go on . . Have a good Lent. . . God bless . .

  • Frederickgrimldi

    Amen

  • Servusmariaen

    What is truly amazing after reading the comments here is that this must even be a discussion. I grew up in the “hermeneutic of discontinuity”. I grew up in the Novus Ordo. I grew up in the windstorm. I felt robbed for many years and cheated. I was robbed and cheated of a traditional Catholic upbringing. All I had to do was look at photos from how my parish Church used to look before an iconoclast priest came to the helm and with a sledgehammer made it (the church) into a proper Novus Ordo Hall. I learned my Catholic faith from the Penny Catechism on my own. I learned about tradition at the public library in the 1970s. What are the fruits of this liturgical renewal? I recently read that Catholics contracept at the same rate as pagans and others. Most Catholics do not believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. One can witness this by how the Blessed Sacrament is received and revered in most parish churches. I for the life me do not understand why with the stroke of a pen (just as the 1970 missal was introduced) there could not be a universal reintroduction of Ad Orientem, Latin Ordinary, Gregorian chant (Jubilate Deo minimum reportoire of parish chant), reinstallation of altar rails and kneeling communion on the tongue? what keeps this from happening? is that that it would not be obeyed if were to be signed into legislation? The Mantra is that one’s parish church is always in communion with Rome regardless of heterodox or heretical sermons, liturgical abuse, sacrilege. This all seems insane to me and many pretend that all is well just as they have for 40+years.

  • pascal78

    Servusmariaen How very right you are. I was lucky to have been brought up in the Church before all this nonsense came along and I wonder how I would react if I had been born in your time. Would I too be a luke warm liberal etc. Luckily I am not because I had a good Catholic education reinforced by my own supplemental readings mostly of old encyclicals. My parish is regretably turning more and more to worship of the choir, the priest, liberal values and God seems to be an optional add on.. What can one do? Only to join with like minded Catholics and form some kind of pressure group. Any group can ask for the traditional Mass and the bishop has to grant the request, even if he is a pelagian/arian liberal. You should thank God that you have been given the gift of Faith(I’m sure you do). Now use it and reinforced with your confirmation gifts to work towards a return to the true Faith of your fellow Catholics.

  • Child of the 70s

    I couldn’t agree more. What a drag it is to be born a Catholic child in 1974. I am particularly saddened when some parts of the Mass have Latin and I have no idea what it means. Stupid fool that I am – no one bothered to teach me Latin! I home educated my children so even my kids know Latin now but I still don’t know much. I particularly despise the Protestanty feeling that continues to take over. I detest the sing-songy liturgy full of modern Protestant music of which our poor catechised musicians gladly accept praise and clapping for! They sing for God not for your entertainment!
    I am a devout Catholic woman who with the grace of God didn’t leave the Church after being raised in it during the 70′s and 80′s – unlike my brother who has left. Instead I read and read to understand my faith – even after spending my entire education in “Catholic” schools.

  • The Bovina Bloviator

    “I for the life me do not understand why with the stroke of a pen (just as the 1970 missal was introduced) there could not be a universal reintroduction of Ad Orientem, Latin Ordinary, Gregorian chant (Jubilate Deo minimum reportoire of parish chant), reinstallation of altar rails and kneeling communion on the tongue?”

    Because the bishops will fight it tooth and nail.

  • Mark Carlo G. Medalla

    I first encountered LEX ORANDI LEX CREDENDI while we were studying Vatican II in High School. That time, liturgical abuse was not as bad as it became during the twilight years of Pope John Paul II, so it has little or no impact on me at all. However, as things got worse where the priest [and the lay "gods" of the parish)] fashions and refashions the liturgy like a fabric (Thanks to Cardinal Ottaviani) in the name of creativeness and whatever choo-choo, one can see what kind of faith people now have. The pious became shallow. Those who used to hold the Mass sacred now treats it profanely. Even now that Pope Benedict XVI is stepping on the brakes, priests and people do not pay attention because “the pope doesn’t understand us”. The faith in the real presence has been weakened so much. One can count by the fingers the number of those who genuflect before the tabernacle (most of the times relegated to the side of the church). Not even a profound bow!!! And the irony of it all, hordes flock to Holy Communion like famished sheep but only a handful goes to Confession. And worse, priests set a only few minutes of Friday (only) for Confession. Here in the Philippines, disobedience to the Pope is something like a badge of honor that one should be proud of. Holding of hands at the Our Father should be no more. Nobody cares. Priests who say Mass on TV even encourage people to hold hands. Quite sadly, LEX ORANDI LEX CREDENDI (the law of prayer is the law of belief) now means something for me. I wonder if it has little or any effect on the Philippine Heirarchy and the Presbyterate who seems to think that the church in the Philippines is not a part of a conglomerate whose corporate headquarters is in the Vatican!!!

  • psyvoc

    You have obviously not read the praises of leading Protestants of the time either, who declared their delight with the suppression of an obvious sacrifice in the New Mass.

    Excuse me, but did you notice that the secular western media was jubilating that the Pope finally endorsed the use of condoms? Did you believe them too?

    apply the same principle, which is this: be skeptical about the praise of opponents.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TRPTFKGX2JXT2EIBKLMSTA2IZA x

    “Just imagine: If you could go to Mass, anywhere in your own country, or in even anywhere in the world, and hear the same Mass in the same language on either occasion, and you could be sure that Jesus, not some Presider, were at the centre of that Mass – wouldn’t that be just wonderful?

    Pardon me for asking, but isn’t that how it used to be before the Second Vatican Council?”

    Are you kidding me?

    Have you heard about the Eastern, Maronite rites? There are up to ten existing rites in the Catholic Church.

    And if I were to attend any of them, I would still be participating in the ‘same sacrifice’.

    so how is the New Mass different?

    The biggest problems of Traditionalists is that they fail to realize the existence of these other rites, and that the New Mass replaces only the Tridentine, and at that the translations to English were loose, therefore not very faithful to the original Latin.

    this was in fact deliberate, yet it was not done for diabolic purposes, as Traditionalists would have us all believe.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TRPTFKGX2JXT2EIBKLMSTA2IZA x

    For me, it’s a huge disappointment that there are still ‘Catholics’ out there who can do nothing but slander the Mass and VCII, spreading lies that were begun by disobedient clergy and a cunning liberal media.

    Very sad.

  • Peter

    Agreed. But it is also very sad that within certain parishes there are cliques of laypersons who are active in the operation of the parish and yet who prefer to remain silent so as not to rock the boat when liturgical abuse does take place during the celebration of the Mass. They are reluctant to speak out for fear of losing their status or position at the heart of the parish.

    This is a terrible tragedy but it does happen. The end result is that a culture of systematic liturgical abuse developes unopposed within the parish, and the faithful are slowly but surely led away from the authentic celebration of the Mass.

    Examples of abuse are the minister failing to give the homily of Sundays; laypersons giving the homily in his place; the congregation joining in to recite of parts of the eucharistic prayer; part of the congregation in the sanctuary during the eucharistic prayer; the excessive use of extraordinary ministers of communion when there is clearly no need; the improvised and unnecessary omission, alteration or expansion of the liturgical text by the minister.

  • HuskerTom

    Sorry that your experience was so bad, but after attending the TLM for over 15 years, I have yet to find an “angry priest”. Perhaps a trip the U.S. would be beneficial to you to avoid the negative stereotype this one experience gave you. You’d be amazed how beautiful the old liturgy can be when celebrated by a holy priest.

  • Kulandaisaroja

    In most cases, the holy masses are celebrated, as a re enactment of a drama, thinking that the celebrant is the hero, and the faithful, are sinners and slaves
    only when there is a good participation, by the laity, the holy mas has some relevane and meaning

  • Peter

    Good participation is one thing, but there must remain a clear demarcation between the ordained ministers and the laity. Extraordinary eucharistic ministers, for example, are laity not clergy. They ought not to take communion separately from the congregation, at the same time and in the same place (i.e. around the altar) as the celebrant or concelebrants of the mass, which is a regretful practice in many parishes. They should take communion with the laity, albeit be the first to do so, ahead of the altar servers and the choir.

    The gradual delaicisation of extraordinary ministers of the eucharist is a worrying development because it serves to blur the distinction between the consecrated ministers and the unordained congregation, thereby weakening and trivialising the special ministry of the ordained clergy. This is a trend towards Protestantism.

  • DBMcGinnity

    IS GOD LOVE?
    Quite inadvertently I attended two masses today. I attended Novus Ordo Mass which was wonderful. The church was modern architecture and it was bright and lovely. The priest wore a colourful Pancho, and was well turned out. There were children of all ages present. Some little tots sat up front and chattered and made child noises. Older children sang hymns that they and composed and arranged themselves. They sang beautifully.

    The parents looked happy, everyone looked happy. During the sign of peace, people shook hands and kissed and hugged. Three ladies and the priest distributed communion. It was a real community and I left the church feeling very happy in the knowledge that God was present in the sound of chattering toddlers, and the child singers, and their parents. I could not find any fault. It was wonderful.

    In the afternoon I visited a friend and she wanted to go to Pius X Tridentine Mass, so I went with her. The church was beautiful and steeped in solemnity. There were The Stations of the Cross, The Altar Rail, The High Altar and all the trimmings, flowers, ubiquitous lighted candles, the fragrance of frankincense just like when I was an alter boy.

    The Mass began with the priest dressed in a cope blessing of the congregation with holy water. He returned to the altar and changed into his Roman Chasuble. And he began to celebrate Holy Mass in Latin. The Mass was beautifully sung with the Introit, Kyrie Eleison, The Gloria, The Credo, The Preface, The Sanctus, Pater Noster, Agnus Dei etc. The priest gave communion on the tongue to people kneeling at the altar rails. It was a very spiritual experience and I left the church feeling whole, and at one with God. It too was wonderful.

    When I worship God in the Mosque, Synagogue, Hindu Temple and at the Buddhist Temple or Ashram and sometimes at the Elim Pentecostal Church and the Mormon Tabernacle, I find God there too and I come away feeling happy and fulfilled. The God I found is non denominational, and in fact is not a person at all. I do not search high up or far away for some abstract God, as my old tutor said. “let God find you”. The God I found was in the hearts and souls of the congregations, regardless of denomination and not in abstract texts and archaic rituals. The God I found is in the heart of atheists as well.

  • DBMcGinnity

    IS GOD LOVE?
    Quite inadvertently I attended two masses today. I attended Novus Ordo Mass which was wonderful. The church was modern of architecture and it was bright and lovely. The priest wore a colourful Pancho, and was well turned out. There were children of all ages present. Some little tots chattered and made child noises. Older children sang hymns that they and composed and arranged beautifully.

    The parents looked happy, everyone looked happy. During the sign of peace, people shook hands and kissed and hugged. Three ladies and the priest distributed communion. It was a real community and I left the church feeling very happy in the knowledge that God was present in the sound of chattering toddlers, and the child singers, and their parents. I could not find any fault. It was wonderful.

    In the afternoon I visited a friend and she wanted to go to Pius X Tridentine Mass, so I went with her. The church was beautiful and steeped in solemnity. There were The Stations of the Cross, The Altar Rail, The High Altar and all the trimmings, flowers, ubiquitous lighted candles, the fragrance of frankincense just like when I was an alter boy.

    The mass began with the priest dressed in a cope blessing of the congregation with holy water. He returned to the altar and changed into his Roman chasuble. And he began to celebrate Holy Mass. The mass was beautifully sung with the Introit, Kyrie Eleison, The Gloria, The Credo, The Preface, The Sanctus, Pater Noster, Agnus Dei etc. The priest gave communion on the tongue to people kneeling at the altar rails. It was a very spiritual experience and I left the church feeling whole, and at one with God. It too was wonderful.

    When I worship God in the Mosque, Synagogue, Hindu Temple and at the Buddhist Temple or Ashram and sometimes at the Elim Pentecostal Church and the Mormon Tabernacle, I find God there too and I come away feeling happy and fulfilled. The God I found is non denominational, and in fact is not a person at all. I do not search high up or far away for some abstract God, as my old tutor said. “let God find you”. The God I found was in the hearts and souls of the congregations, regardless of denomination and not in abstract texts and archaic rituals. The God I found is in the heart of atheists as well.

  • Aaron

    I’m sure SSPX will be jumping here… But anyways. Yes there are things I don’t like and some go against things that are right. I don’t like drums or clapping in church. I don’t think it is right for normal people to hold the host while it is being elevated. These errors and abuses, some grave some small but all deleterious. But unlike the SSPX I will not abandon the Catholic Faith brought to us by the Rock who Our Lord Jesus said to feed his sheep. Every mass I believe Jesus, God!! Is there. This is one area where we need to help the whole church improve. but not by openly rebelling, a sense of obedience that is false. Let’s pray for guidance that the whole Church whom God wills, may change. Please We need more masses that are sacred, reverent and holy.

  • DBMcGinnity

    This is a trend towards Protestantism.
    I was taught to hate protestants and despise Jews. In class the Christian Brother asked the boys which shops their parents used. I said ‘McCaldins’. It was a protestant shop. Several other boys parents also shopped at Protestant shops. Catholic shops were renowned for their price mark-up and for under weighing produce and shirt changing. Protestants never cheated and never short changed anybody.

    All the boys whose parents shopped with Protestants, had to satnd out to the side of the room, all day, and were not allowed out to play or to use the toilet. This Christian Brother spent over an hour with this nonsense when he could have been teaching concepts like: truth, ethics, morality, duty, loyalty etc. No! He taught us hate, fear and anger. He was a zealous, blind to truth monster. I feel a bit disheartened that opinions and attitudes in the Catholic Church things have changed so little in sixty years.

    Does god not love Protestants, Jews and Muslims? God loves everybody; believers and non-believers equally. Catholics do not have the monopoly on God.

  • DBMcGinnity

    “Every mass I believe Jesus, God!! Is there”.

    If Jesus and Mary ascended into heaven ‘body and soul’, then they are still alive and well and able to walk and talk as they did whilst on earth. If this is so, then why does Jesus not appear more often and work a few miracles, like raising the dead and healing the sick. It seems absurd to me that Jesus; The Son of God could sort out these doctrinal conundrums in no time at all, yet he does not do so. Why Not?

    He could be like Constantine and call a Worldwide Ecumenical Council of all the people and tell them straight: “I am God, and this is how I want things done”. He can then decide who is right like in a manifesto and decide to implement it. Then he could say “And that is the end of it, OK” !! Then, it would be “PEACE ON EARTH”

  • DBMcGinnity

    “WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND”

    Would it not be a good idea to dump all post Constantine doctrine as dubious, because the Pope was not even present at the council of Nicea, and because of the cynical antecedents to the Council. In 326-28 Helena undertook a trip to the Holy Places in Palestine. After three hundred years she found the True Cross and she clearly identified the places of Jesus Birth, Death and Resurrection, In recognition of his mother’s piety, Constantine made Jesus a God in keeping with Roman Tradition, just as the Pope makes saints today.

    She was furious and reminded him that in Christianity there was only one God. That is why the Council of Nicea was called in order that Constantine could decree that Jesus was God. (The Sun of God) and not the Son of God as was later decreed. It was much later when he admitted in order to justify his change to Christianity that he had seen the Cross in the sky with a sign saying “By this sign shall you Conquer”.

    When he said that he did not mean that he was converted to Christianity, which he never did. He continued with Sol Invictus and to sacrifice young boys and virgin girls and shed lots of blood to drink.(the symbolic ritual still exists in the sacrifice of the Mass). Constantine meant “By this sign shall you Conquer”. was Machiavellian in context, He reasoned that it was foolish to fight wars on the battlefield when it is possible to achieve the same thing through the belligerence and arrogance of Christians. They will carry my message, of domination and no one will dare to disobey them. So they were let loose, and the rest is a history. Please read: The Popes: A History [Hardcover] John Julius Norwich 528 pages Publisher: Chatto & Windus (10 Mar 2011) ISBN-10: 9780701182908 ISBN-13: 978-0701182908 ASIN: 0701182903 Well worth reading, and very enlightening.

    Marcus Aurelius had warned against Christianity and foresaw the forthcoming danger that has turned out to be Marcus Aurelius believed in the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive anxiety. His philosophy held that being a clear and unbiased thinker allows one to understand the meaning of universal reason. His principle also applied to the realm of interpersonal relationships; “to be free from anger, resentment, bitternes, spite, envy, hate and jealousy and guilt,” A primary aspect of Marcus Aurelius’s stoicism was to improve the individual’s ethical and moral well-being and be at one with nature. It is called Civilisation

    The History of Roman Catholic Church is littered with incidends of anger, resentment, bitterness, spite, envy, hate, jealousy, and guilt, blood torture, child abuse, Just read some of the acrimonious, adversarial and rancorous comments in the Catholic Herald to support this view that the Catholic Church is far from being at peace, even though Jesus Christ’s message was “Peace I give you; Peace I leave you; Peace be with you. Muslims are now doing the very same that thing to Christians that Marcus Aurelius had warned against. “What goes around comes around”

  • Bain

    for crying out loud! Silvana has admitted she might have used the wrong word and that her belief in the Sacrament of the Eucharist is truly Catholic. God bless her! What she instinctively had in mind, I do not doubt, is this:- “Holy Communion has a fuller form as a sign when it is received under both kinds” because “the sign of the Eucharistic banquet shines forth more completely and the Divine will by which the new and everlasting covenant is ratified in the Blood of the Lord is more clearly expressed . .” [General Instruction of the Roman Missal, §281]

  • DBMcGinnity

    You did not say anything wrong and no one has the right to tell you how to relate with God, no matter how big their ego or their soapbox is. Offering the cup was stopped during the plague for obvious reasons. For clinical reasons, it is still unsafe to use the cup communally because bacteria like “Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus” (MRSA) that can be easily transmitted

    Unless the cup is wiped with ‘Chlorhexidine in Spirit’ each time someone uses it. (please check the facts with your doctor). If some ignorant, zealous Roman Catholic idiot says, “the body and blood of Jesus Christ cannot be infected or contaminated”; believe them at your peril. God can be infectious too!!

    I have worshipped at “The Divine Liturgy” of Saint John Chrysostom where it is customary to offer ‘The Blood of Christ’ in the Holy Chalice. John Paul II accepted that “The Body and Blood of Christ” was just as present ‘whole and entire’ at the consecration of The Divine Liturgy , as also with The Anglican Catholic communion. It does not matter how many pig-ignorant Catholic bigots, disagree this, Just check it out.

    Last week , I was listening to ‘an ignorant gook’ pontificating about whether the Mass should be in the vernacular or in Latin. When I asked him about the influence of Saint James of Jerusalem, Saint Basil, and Saint John Chrysostom. He looked at me as if I had two heads; he had never heard of them; but he was pontificating about the Mass.

    When an officious, sanctimonious ass decides to pontificate and preach to others about virtue and piety, the best way of dealing with this is to say: “Please verify your opinion”! Please give references!!

  • Evelynicholson

    I think he is quite right!

  • DBMcGinnity

    The Arguments of you Protestants are really Ridiculous. (Luke 23:34).

    The wise old priest Father Bonaventure who told me not to look for God, but to let God find me, was so correct. He justified his opinion because he talked about the danger of piety and religious zeal.
    There is clear evidence of these hostile and self righteous opinion in the pages of The Catholic Herald. These subjective and sometimes bitter emotions are incomprehensible and incredulous not amenable to reason and show on evidence of whatsoever of logical thought.

    Father Bonaventure (like Bede Griffiths he had been a Protestant) taught us the importance of Occam’s philosophy “Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate” [Plurality must never be posited without necessity] In simple terms this means using epistemological (justifiable research of knowledge) intelligently based induction, logic, pragmatism, and using probability theory and not on facile, sanctimonious, ideological, made up, theological nonsense. He taught me to think and reason.

    This concept is beautifully dealt with in the book Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco Book Club Associates, London. 1984 William of Baskerville (William of Occam) explains to Adso, “Learning does not consist only of knowing what we must or we can do, but also of knowing what we could do and perhaps should not do” He teaches Adso how to think and reason, not through subjective emotion (false piety and religious zeal) but by applying the principles of Occam’s philosophy, in other words the application of Lateral Thinking

    William of Baskerville (William of Occam) explains to Adso the importance of cognitive, incisive, objective, thought. He says, “I have been teaching you to recognize the evidence through which the world speaks to us like a great book”. It was clear in the book and film God had abandoned the monastery because of idiotic senseless piety fear and superstition. William says “We are living in a place abandoned by God” and then goes on to say to Adso “Have you found any places where God would have felt at home?” This very concept of God abandonment could be applied to the Vatican and the whole Catholic Church today.

    Some monks thought that because Jesus was poor, then all monks should be poor and they decided to rob them of their riches and in many cases kill them. However the Church was quick to move and it pontificated that Christ was King later to become “Christ the King” and they used the text of Cyril of Alexandria to make their case to keep their wealth. The riches remained in the church, that that is why priests and bishops look so well fed.

    It is a disgrace and an embarrassment to God and humanity to read such unjustified opprobrium and insulting comments about Protestants, Jews, and Freemasons. The people who write this sort of stuff seem to be “Conspiracy Theorists” are completely ignorant of any reason and logical thought. Never were the words “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). more appropriate.

    Some monks thought that because Jesus was poor, then all monks should be poor and they decided to rob them of their riches and in many cases kill them. However the Church was quick to move and it pontificated that Christ was King later to become “Christ the King” and they used the text of Cyril of Alexandria to make their case to keep their wealth. The riches remained in the church, that that is why priests and bishops look so well fed.

    It is a disgrace and an embarrassment to God and humanity to read such unjustified opprobrium and insulting comments about Protestants, Jews, and Freemasons. The people who write this sort of stuff seem to be “Conspiracy Theorists” are completely ignorant of any reason and logical thought. Never were the words “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). more appropriate.

  • DBMcGinnity

    CORRECTION
    The Arguments of you Protestants are really Ridiculous. (Luke 23:34). Very Naughty Protestants!!!

    The wise old priest Father Bonaventure who told me not to look for God, but to let God find me, was so correct. He justified his opinion because he talked about the danger of piety and religious zeal.
    There is clear evidence of these hostile and self righteous opinion in the pages of The Catholic Herald. These subjective and sometimes bitter emotions are incomprehensible and incredulous not amenable to reason and show no evidence whatsoever of logical thought.

    Father Bonaventure (like Bede Griffiths he had been a Protestant) taught us the importance of Occam’s philosophy “Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate” [Plurality must never be posited without necessity] In simple terms this means using epistemological (justifiable research of knowledge) intelligently based induction, logic, pragmatism, and using probability theory and not on facile, sanctimonious, ideological, made up, theological nonsense. He taught me to think and reason.

    This concept is beautifully dealt with in the book Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco Book Club Associates, London. 1984 William of Baskerville (William of Occam) explains to Adso, “Learning does not consist only of knowing what we must or we can do, but also of knowing what we could do and perhaps should not do” He teaches Adso how to think and reason, not through subjective emotion (false piety and religious zeal) but by applying the principles of Occam’s philosophy, in other words the application of Lateral Thinking

    William of Baskerville (William of Occam) explains to Adso the importance of cognitive, incisive, objective, thought. He says, “I have been teaching you to recognize the evidence through which the world speaks to us like a great book”. It was clear in the book and film God had abandoned the monastery because of idiotic, senseless, piety, fear and superstition. William says “We are living in a place abandoned by God” and then goes on to say to Adso, “Have you found any places where God would have felt at home?” This very concept of God abandonment could be applied to the Vatican and the whole Catholic Church today.

    Some monks thought that because Jesus was poor, then all monks should be poor and they decided to rob them of their riches and in many cases kill them. However the Church was quick to move and it pontificated that Christ was King later to become “Christ the King” and they used the text of Cyril of Alexandria to make their case to keep their wealth. The riches remained in the church, that that is why priests and bishops look so well fed and the poor, remain very poor and hungry, and not well fed.

    It is a disgrace and an embarrassment to God and humanity to read such unjustified opprobrium and insulting comments about Protestants, Jews, and Freemasons. The people who write this sort of stuff seem to be “Conspiracy Theorists” who are completely ignorant of any reason and logical thought. Never were the words “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). more appropriate.

  • Anonymous

    It seems you base your beliefs on the book “Name of the Rose,” a work of fiction. I base my faith on a book also: it is called Sacred Scripture and it’s a work of fact.

    You are welcome, then, to your “lateral thinking” and I’ll stick with my sacramental grace, piety and infallible teaching that outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation. Did your convert, Fr. Bonaventure, ever mention that dogma of the Faith by any chance?

    I’m afraid that, whether we like it or not, this dogma clearly states that the souls of Protestants, Jews, Freemasons, and many others you didn’t mention, like Muslims, Hindus, etc., are in real danger of perishing for all eternity.

  • DBMcGinnity

    Hell must be a busy place with all those poor souls being perished. God must be very cruel to allow Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, The Queen, Jonathan Sachs, Bernard Shaw, and all the millions of souls who lived for tens of thousands of years before Christ and all the millions of people who never heard of Christ, and people like me who question the logic of the Vatican. No!,I don’t think God would allow Hell.

    Mind you, many members of the Schutzstaffel or (SS) were Roman Catholics, as was Hitler, Reinhard Heydrich, Adolf Eichmann. Then there was Mussolini, General Franco, Ferdinand Marcos etc., I bet according to your faith that God has forgiven them that they are seated at the right hand of God this very minute. Amen.

    I will not produce any argument to persuade you to change your faith. As in “The Name of the Rose”, Why have fun and laughter if you can live in misery. I have always thought the Catholic Church has a better quality of corruption and their lies are more convincing.

    After all “Faith of our Fathers is “a-live-in-still” (not a moonshine still) but the real thing. Some of the writing and opinions expressed seem as if they were written by the fumes and influence of “a live-in-still” (the moonshine sort) because they sound most incomprehensible, illogical and seem like fatuous tomfoolery.

  • Anonymous

    Mockery of Christ’s Church is fairly common today and a sure sign of a troubled soul. I will not debate the doctrine of Hell with you, primarily because it is not for me to say who is in that dread place and who is not, that knowledge is for God alone. Suffice it to say that Our Lord Himself refers many times to Hell in the Gospels “where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” So by denying Hell it is not me you are calling a liar, but God.

    I will say this, though. God condemns no one to Hell. He merely pronounces the just judgment that we ourselves choose on this earth by the way we exercise the free will He gave us to either live in grace or in sin.

    And one final point. If any of the names you mentioned above are in heaven, it is because they made use of the incredible mercy offered by God even to the worst of sinners, if only they are sorry and make use of the Sacrament of Confession.

    Two final reflections: 1. Hell is full of souls who didn’t believe in it! 2. To those who argue that the Catholic Church is full of hypocrites, I respond that there is always room for one more!

  • DBMcGinnity

    I am Puzzled by What you Mean.

    If Jesus and Mary ascended into heaven “body and soul”, that means that they are still alive and well and can visit this earth anytime they wish. Jesus who is God, can do anything. He could alleviate suffering and raise the dead. Mary (Our Lady of Good Counsel) could give solace and comfort to the poor and needy and could guide the ignorant and afflicted. I do not and never have accepted The Ascension into Heaven, because Heaven and Hell are mythical concepts that can he explained in terms of: altered states of consciousness, mystical states, transcendental meditation, neurochemistry and neurotransmission.

    I genuinely admire your faith; it is a wonderful gift . I never mentioned hypocrites because I view it to be a very serious matter to pass judgement on the integrity of another human being without just cause, inquiry and investigation. The eight commandment says: “Thou shall not bear false witness”, so why do hypocrites arise, I am puzzled by what you mean. But, Nonsense is Nonsense and has to be challanged.

  • DBMcGinnity

    A Bit of a Paradox
    Sorry, I am a bit slow on the uptake. Marcus Aurelius purports that a person can only be insulted if he acknowledge the insult. Some pious chap told that “my cup of ignorance runneth over”. I was not insulted, I invited him to guide me to where I was in error, but he has not acknowledged my request. Another fellow made a veiled allusion that I was mentally ill, and he compared me to Mr Toad of Toad Hall and that I am due for a comeuppance. You seem to suggest that I am to join the hypocrites. All of this is very funny and I am not insulted. Can you answer me this this question about Catholics (that I found at seminary, and in the Catholic Herald). Why are those who are most pious and the most committed Catholics also the most caustic, insulting, intemperate, and viciously rhetorical? Loving Jesus and causing deliberate hurt and insult to others seems like is a bit of a paradox, does it not?

  • Anonymous

    I do not recall insulting you! I merely took you up on your inference that Catholics were hypocrites (oh yes, you did!) and responded that there is always room for one more. We are all a little hypocritical before God, don’t you think?

    As for those other Catholics you speak of as being intemperate, insulting, caustic, etc. Well, we are all sinners at the end of the day. At least they are animated enough about the truth to get passionate, even if some do go a little too far. Better that than a person who is indifferent to what is right and wrong, I would say.

    Now, it is clear to me, the more so since you mentioned being a former seminarian, that you once had the Catholic Faith, but have since suffered the most terrible thing that can happen to any soul and lost it.

    You probably won’t agree with me on that but I remember a well-known Jesuit saying that when a person loses the Faith they don’t realise they’ve lost it. What they believe is that they have had their eyes opened to reason and cast aside all that pious superstition that the average pleb believes in. Therein lies the pride of Lucifer himself, whose famous clarion call is non serviam (I will not serve).

    Your position being clear, then, there really is no point in us entering into discussion on matters pertaining to the Catholic FAITH, since you obviously no longer possess that gift from God. You will not be able to see beyond poultry human reason to accept things that you cannot see and feel and touch. In other words, you would wish to debate on a purely natural level, while I would wish to converse on a supernatural level. The gulf, then, is too great for further exchange. I pray that you will regain the Faith by the mercy of God and go on to become an ardent defender of it.

  • DBMcGinnity

    My understanding of hypocrite is one who pretends to be virtuous but in in reality is the opposite. I do not think that Catholics are hypocrites at all. I think they know exactly what they have done and what they are doing. I have been to the Vatican, and not just as a visitor and it is probably the last place on earth that God or Jesus would want to reside. God would probably not even know or care where the Vatican is.

    I do not think that The Roman Catholic Church’s support for Hitler and anti-Semitism was hypocritical, They knew exactly what they were doing and they are still doing it. I suspect that like many Catholics, all your information about Protestants, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and Freemasons and everything else about religion is probably second or third hand, and not from personal experience as I have endeavoured to do. So I will not be guided to God by a few, well meaning, uninformed “armchair zealots” and bigots.

    How can you pontificate, and who are you to judge what my relationship with God is? You state: “since you obviously no longer possess that gift from God” How do you know that? Do you not think that it is a bit dangerous to be so judgemental. State your case objectively and cogently as to why I am out of favour with God. If you cannot do that, please be quie!!!. I must go, before “My Bath runneth over, with Water”

  • Anonymous

    I have been to the Vatican, and not just as a visitor and it is probably the last place on earth that God or Jesus would want to reside.”

    I take it you’re referring to the beauty and splendour of the Vatican as being too grand for a poor carpenter? But you must remember that Our Lord is no longer the poor carpenter since His glorious resurrection, He is the King of kings and Lord of lords worthy of all the outpouring of beauty and splendour His earthly children can give Him.

    And lest you take Judas’ position – who remonstrated in the Gospels with the woman who poured expensive ointment on Our Lord, claiming that said ointment would be better sold and the money given to the poor – I remind you of Our Lord’s own response to Judas’ pretended love of the poor, who said “the poor you will have always with you.” So let us not pretend that the riches the Church lavishes on the House of God would be best sold and the money given to the poor. The Church has always been, for at least 1000 years, the foremost benefactor to the world’s poor. What she gives to God in beauty and splendour, though, is not weighed in base monetary terms.

    Is it not normal for human beings to want to give the very best they can afford to those they love? So why criticise the Catholic Church for doing what is normal to human nature?

    I do not think that The Roman Catholic Church’s support for Hitler and anti-Semitism was hypocritical, They knew exactly what they were doing and they are still doing it.”

    Are they really? I assume you’ve done some objective research into the matter before coming out on the side of Stalin’s ‘Black Legend’ which commenced with Rolf Hochuth’s play The Deputy? No, I thought not.

    I happen to be something of an expert on the reign of Pope Pius XII and his dealings with Europe’s Jews during the War. This Pope didn’t win the Chief Rabbi of Rome over to Catholicism (who took the name Eugenio in honour of Pius) by being a Nazi anti-semite at the head of an anti-semitic Church, now did he!

    Anyway, In 1958, at the death of Pope Pius XII, Golda Meir, then Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, delivered a eulogy on behalf of the nation of Israel to the United Nations, stating: “We share the grief of the world over the death of His Holiness Pius XII. During a generation of wars and dissensions, he affirmed the high ideals of peace and compassion. During the 10 years of Nazi terror, when our people went through the horrors of martyrdom, the Pope raised his voice to condemn the persecutors and to commiserate with their victims. The life of our time has been enriched by a voice which expressed the great moral truths above the tumults of daily conflicts. We grieve over the loss of a great defender of peace.” Golda Meir went on to become Israel’s Prime Minister.

    The great Jewish physicist, Albert Einstein, who himself barely escaped annihilation at Nazi hands, stated in Time Magazine (December 23, 1940): “Being a lover of freedom, when the Nazi Revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, but the universities were immediately silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers, but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks. Then I looked to individual writers… they too were mute. Only the Church,” Einstein concluded, “stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing the truth… I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel great affection and admiration… and am forced thus to confess that what I once despised, I now praise unreservedly.”

    In September 1945, Dr. Joseph Nathan —who represented the Hebrew Commission —stated: “Above all, we acknowledge the Supreme Pontiff and the religious men and women who, executing the directives of the Holy Father, recognized the persecuted as their brothers and, with great abnegation, hastened to help them, disregarding the terrible dangers to which they were exposed.”

    Dr. A. Leo Kubowitzki, secretary general of the World Jewish Congress, came to present “to the Holy Father, in the name of the Union of Israelitic Communities, warmest thanks for the efforts of the Catholic Church on behalf of Jews throughout Europe during the war.”

    The Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Isaac Herzog, sent the Pope a personal message of thanks on February 28, 1944, in which he said: “The people of Israel will never forget what His Holiness and his illustrious delegates, inspired by the eternal principles of religion which form the very foundations of true civilization, are doing for us unfortunate brothers and sisters in the most tragic hour of our history, which is living proof of Divine Providence in this world.”

    Now, there is plenty more where that came from. Would you like more authoritative Jewish testimony or are you sufficiently ashamed already?

    How can you pontificate, and who are you to judge what my relationship with God is? You state: “since you obviously no longer possess that gift from God” How do you know that?”

    I know it because you attack the Catholic Church, which is the only true Church on earth founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of souls, outside of which there is no salvation. That’s how I know it. And it’s not me pontificating, the Supreme Pontiffs since Peter have pontificated that particular truth. Just because you reject it doesn’t mean it’s untrue.

  • DBMcGinnity

    I will have a ‘double- double’ Holy Water and a pint chaser of Lourdes Water and we will leave it at that.

  • DBMcGinnity

    I had no right to be flippant or disrespectful and I’m sorry for any offense caused. Time for me to butt out.

  • Anonymous

    No offense taken.

  • Anonymous

    Fantastic! Yes, please let’s return to the Latin Mass. In fact, let’s just completely return to the 16th Century and pretend the real problems of dwindling attendance in the church can be solved with tweaks to the Mass. You are in a dream world if you think a return to Latin is somehow a magic cure for what ails the church.

    I love this foolishness! The idea that making the church even more backward in the attempt to make it more appealing is laughable. Yes, go ahead. Return us to the Latin Mass and add a dash of frightening language to the liturgy. Sure, that’ll bring the kids back to church in droves. Sure!

    In the meantime, I’ll continue to look for moral leadership in my own family and community where we still act on correcting mistakes and take responsibility for our sins. Why? Because the “leaders” of the Catholic church are too busy rewriting the Mass to notice that they are completely out of touch with their own congregations. They have lost their way and are quickly losing their flocks – as they should.

  • Anonymous

    I have some questions regarding the Latin Mass:

    Do I need to understand Latin to get into heaven? Did Jesus speak Latin? Are my parents sinful for not teaching me Latin as a child? If I only get a C+ on my Latin test, will I be sent to hell? People don’t go to bowling alleys as much as they used to, so would attendance improve if they required Latin spoken in the bowling alley? Should we have a “Latin test” for political office? Were the Founding Fathers able to speak Latin? Why isn’t the Constitution in Latin? My church was called St. Michael the Archangel, so in deference to god should I vandalize the sign outside the church and make it say Santi Michael Archangelus? If I pray my Act of Contrition in English, does it still count? If I go to a Latin Mass and have no idea what they’re saying, have I still done my Sunday duty? My wife and I were married in a non-Latin mass, so is she still my wife? Should I rename my kids with a Latin name? Italian is very close to Latin, so do they need to change the Mass in Italy? Can Italians still be Catholic if they keep the Mass in Italian?

    And one last question: does the leadership of the Catholic Church, currently atoning for the rape of children in parishes around the world and the immoral criminal coverup of those chronic rapes, STILL believe that dwindling attendance by modern Catholics has something to do with Second Vatican Council and the Latin Mass!? Is this really the answer to the church’s current problem of having immoral leaders?

  • Anonymous

    If the Latin Mass means nothing more to you than your post suggests, then you have some serious reading to do. May I suggest you start with “The Incredible Catholic Mass” by Fr. Martin von Cochem?

    When you have read it, you might want to join me in what you mockingly call “my dream world”.

    You might also want to bring your children to understand this wonderful tool for helping us attain eternal life.

    I do agree with you about the conciliar Church having lost the plot since Vatican II, and can but pray that Pope Benedict XVI will consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary before God loses his cool with this sinful race and annihilates the world as He did at the Flood.

  • Anonymous

    I haven’t read “The Incredible Catholic Mass”, but I have attended Mass throughout my life. I also had the good fortune to study Latin while in Catholic school and for many years after as a personal hobby. Latin is a wonderful language and a great doorway into understanding all languages. But, as much as I myself like it, the Latin language is not the issue. The church is the issue.

    The issue, as I see it, is that the current leadership of the Catholic church has proven itself to be deaf to its own congregation’s serious moral concerns about the state of the church. The leadership of the church has insulated itself from reality and lives only within its own dictates and rules. Yes, this is a “dream world” wherein everything will be fixed if we just pretend that it’s 1950 again – the pedophile priests are still hidden, atheism has little traction, church attendance is high, and the priesthood is an attractive life for young Catholic men. And the insinuation is that this entire dream will be reality if we only say the mass in Latin? No way.

    This idea of Latin Mass being a panacea is obviously a distraction and not connected to the true day to day needs of the adult faithful. And again, I repeat the charge – a return to Latin is not the solution to the serious moral decay within the church’s own leadership. Christianity existed and expanded long before the bible was written down in Latin, Greek, English or any other language on earth. And it likely will continue with or without the Catholic church, no matter what language the dithering Catholic leaders finally settle on.

    That the pope and church leadership is caught up in such trivialities when it has major moral crises on its hands and a quickly-exiting flock is a clear sign to me that they do not see that they are becoming irrelevant. The faithful will move on in faith and continue to believe, but there are fewer and fewer reasons to go to the building we call church every day. Without major revolutionary change within the church hierarchy itself, I can see a day soon when the very structure of “church” and the mass might no longer involve clergy at all. The Catholic Church, that is – the people, may survive all this. But right now, I see no reason that the clergy’s numbers and their relevance in our lives will not continue to decline. Sprinkling Latin back into our lives won’t change that.

    As I’m sure you’ll agree, when we all go to our judgment, we’ll be held responsible for our own lives, not the language within which we received the Gospels.

  • DBMcGinnity

    Yes you are right. T. J. Barnum said “There is one born every minute”. He was right too..

    Once in the Vatican I saw people climbing stairs on their knees. I saw the actual cross of Christ and the nails and a piece of the crown of thorns that Helena the mother of Constantine found in Jerusalem in 320, nearly three hundred years after the crucifixion. The Holy Ghost directed her exactly where to go as soon as she arrived. Imagine that millions of people still accept this nonsensical fallacy. That is when Constantine & Co began.

    The Catholic Church is a big business, a multi million pound conglomerate and the Mass is a very saleable commodity. On my shelf I have 11 DVD versions of the Latin mass. I just love The Tridentine Solemn High Mass sung in The Gregorian Chant, in the same way that I love, “La Traviata, Madame, Butterfly and the Magic Flute”. George Bernard Shaw said “The second act of the Magic flute is all the religion I need”.

    There is simple solution to all on this based on the fact that Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven body and soul and became Christ the King. If he is alive and well he, and his mother, The Virgin Mary also ascended into heaven can come back to Rome and be the Permanent Pope, and King of Heaven and Earth. He can cure illness and change water into wine; the people would love that and he would have a great following. All the worlds problems would be resolved immediately. WHY NOT?

  • DBMcGinnity

    I have read “The Incredible Catholic Mass” by Fr. Martin von Cochem? He lived in Germany and wrote the book in about 1660. I have 22 books on the life of Jesus Christ and 9 about the history of the Catholic Church. I have read books in Latin and Aramaic about the whole caboodle of The Birth, Life, Death and Resurrection of Christ by Catholic and other Academic scholars. I have also read and attended several dozen seminars about the history of Christianity up to the present time. I am throwing all of these books and the other Catholic paraphernalia in the skip after I have shredded them because they are not worth a light. Sanctimonious Theology, made up through, ignorance, zeal and piety has been, and still are a menace to the world today . The Roman Catholic Church has kept the people of the world in pain, poverty and ignorance, and still wishes to do so. Any suffering that I have ever known in my life was at the hands of Nuns, Irish Christian Brothers, Jesuit Priests and Catholic Cruelty and Sadism. Nothing has changed.

  • Anonymous

    It saddens me to read such bitterness as there is in your post. It seems to me that you could do with an uplift in the actual grace within you – a situation I felt myself to be in after many years in the Vatican II wilderness and prior to my return to Tradition.

    May I humbly suggest that you override any sense of revulsion that may well up within you, and that you make the devotion to Our Lady known as the Five First Saturdays? It can be found amongst “Prayers used by Catholics” on the http://www.proecclesia.com web site. Ask Our Lady to help you return to the Faith – she will not fail you, just as she did not fail me – and countless others.

    May God and His Angels assist you in your efforts.

  • Anonymous

    Sketto,

    May I refer you to the Douai-Rheims bible and James 1 v23 where you will read: “For if a man be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he shall be compared to a man beholding his own countenance in a glass”.

    This is sometimes better known from the poem “The Elixir” by George Herbert: “A man that looks on glass, On it may stay his eye; Or it he pleaseth, through it pass, And then the heav’n espy”

    From your post I get the impression that although you have attended Mass all these years, you have never really comprehended what happens during the Mass. That is why I urge you to read “The Incredible Catholic Mass”. If only you knew what and why, you would never write as you have written, that there is nothing to be gained by returning to saying the Mass in latin.

    Do not fall into the trap of thinking that the Church is driven by what the majority think and do. It is not. The Church is Divine and we have Our Lord’s promise that the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. Also we have Our Lady’s assurance that in the end her Immaculate Heart will triumph.

    The decline in moral standards, and in the numbers being trained for the priesthood, and in the numbers attending Mass can all be attributed to the loss of Grace that has come about from displacing the Holy and Sacrificial mass with the commemoration of a banquet (after the style of the Protestants) foisted on the Faithful with Vatican II.

    You are right to say that the leadership of the Church is presently in apparent disarray. St Lucia of Fatima warned us of the “Diabolic Disorientation” that would overcome the Church, and you are now seeing that happen – that is why Catholics the world over have just presented Pope Benedict XVI with the recitation of 19 million rosaries to urge him to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

    Do not lose heart – pray for the Pope and for the Church.