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October 12, 2005


Mary Kay

"Reading these interventions is a quite useful little mini-course in the global experience of Catholicism."


"They received a charge from synod officials to come up with a statement that will grab the attention of the media, reflecting a concern that the synod should seem relevant to the broader world"

Playing to a media that doesn't get it? Too early for me to be coherent, but doesn't sound right.


Thank God, some sanity from some holy Bishops, now where is the "loud clapping" the African Bishops received when the demanded native dance and to throw away the past for these holy men? Maybe the Pope, if he is a TRUE leader should compliment these men, as Pope Pius X would have, and establish that no nonsense will be permitted and this is the course like it or not

Mike L

John, didn't Paul VI et al do exactly that, they established the NO and said no nonsense would be permitted, and left TLM behind, likd it or not. Exactly what you claim you want.


Mike L

I would approve of the no nonsense approach if the Vicar of Christ had sworn to protect the faith, church doctrine, and teachings, as all Popes have done since the 600's except the V2 popes. Changing the liturgy to compliment an overall church "renewal" is not that.

Lets pose a question here. Most of us agree that such forms of worship such as Buddhism and Hinduism is pagan (I would think that we all agree on that though the V2 church tells us we should find some truth in these false faiths and even let Hindu worship occur at Fatima in the name of Ecumenism)

That aside-if B16 told you tomorrow that you, as an educated Novus Ordo supporter were to worship as a Hindu and Buddhist (dont laugh as this is happening in Catholic schools today with our children)-would you go along with this out of "obedience" even though you know this is wrong, or would you stand by your beliefs and the teachings from scripture, the Apostles, saints, and Doctors of the church? Please answer


I am pretty uninterested in the discussion John is attempting to start. Hint.


Thanks, amy. Can anyone here pronounce "sede vacantes"?

Mike L

Well, John, you bring up some interesting questions. You certainly imply that the V2 Popes are not dedicated to protecting the Church Doctrines, and as such are not really Popes at all. One teaching that I do hold to is that Christ will protect His Church. Your point of view certainly seems to indicate your belief that the His Church is no longer the Roman Catholic Church, but some sub-fragment of it. I would admit that this is possible, and I wonder what sub-fragment you think that is, and who the true Pope is?

If Hindus and Buddhists wish to visit at Fatima to worship, I don't see a problem with that, except that I think Buddism is more a phillosophy than a religion. So far as I know, Christ died to save all men, not just a select few. There have certainly been some non-Catholics that have wondered into Catholic churches and found themself converted, some quite dramatically. You might want to cut these people off from salvation, but I do not.

I have had no experience of being told to worship as a Hindu, nor do I believe that I shall ever be asked to do so, therefore I really can't answer your question. But, the Church does teach that we have to follow our conscience, and in some cases I do. But I do not turn around and condemn the Church for not teaching what I think it ought to. I do my best to follow my conscience and quietly pray for guidence as well as talk to my spiritual advisor. And no, I do not search for a spiritual advisor that agrees with me.

John, I think I recognize a thread of anger that runs through your posts, I have certainly felt it, and at times still do. When I feel it I know that I am too much locked up in my own will, and trying to make others follow it. I have also found that it is tremendously destructive to my own peace of mind. The diversity in the comments from the Synod have been very calming to me, it tells me that I can follow my needs, and you can find the liturgy that you need. But if I insist that you follow the liturgy that I need, and you that I follow the one you need, neither of us is going to have much of a spiritual life.

Mike L

Sorry, Amy, you posted you hint while I was composing my response. Uh, luckily my wife knows enough latin to translate Carlo's Latin, but she can't tell me how to say "I agree".


I want to comment on Archbishop Gregory's point, about the importance of preaching, in relation to precision of the celebration of the liturgy...

I may be wrong, but I am concerned by certain hints I pick up from many active Catholics whose comments suggest that the homily is the main thing for them, at Mass.

Is anyone else hearing such things?

The priest I know very well (wink) does try to offer good homilies, and can't help being gratified when people express appreciation. He tries to elicit specific comments, so as to know what's working, what's resonating, etc.

But the main event of the Mass is not the homily.

If we think of the two parts of the Mass, the Liturgy of the Word, and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, each one has a climax:
the climax of the Liturgy of the Word is the proclamation of the Gospel...

The Gospel itself is the climax, hence we stand, we greet it with Alleluias (the sequences are extended alleluias), we have a procession, perhaps with incense, and there is an option to chant it; and only an ordained minister may proclaim the Gospel. And the Gospel is kissed--by the bishop, if he's present.

The homily, the Creed, and the prayers, are a response to the Gospel; and then we begin building to a new climax, this time to the Seed of Christ, the Word in our midst, doing something new and wonderful among us.

Some have compared the Gospel procession and proclamation to the event of the Incarnation, in contrast to the Liturgy of the Eucharist bringing us to the Passion, Death, Resurrection (and glorious return) of Christ.

Thus, the Eucharistic Prayer would be the second climax--different folks could disagree on the exact moment, but I'd say you have a series of climaxes, each rising higher: the entering into the Holy of Holies, with the Sanctus; the Epiclesis, calling down the Spirit, Christ's own words of insitution; the offering of this Sacrifice (following the "mystery of faith" acclamation), to which we join all our prayers, all summarized in the concluding prayer: "Through Him, with Him, in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, Almighty Father, forever and ever. Amen!" If memory serves me right, St. Ambrose described this amen as "thunderous" -- as it should be.

The subsequent parts of the Mass are, again, our response: we "pray with confidence" the Our Father, we acknowledge Jesus our Peace present on the altar ("Lord Jesus Christ, you said..."), and--if we have been made worthy, we receive the Eucharist--and then Mass concludes very quickly, as we are sent.

We might see the Agnus Dei and the Fraction as the climax; but look at the Roman Canon: at one point, the priest bows, and prays, "Almighty God, may your angel take this Sacrifice to your altar in Heaven...then as we receive from the altar..." -- i.e., the Fraction and sharing the Eucharist are a "coming down" from heaven, and the power derives from the summit of the Offering of Jesus eternally for us.

As I say, others could see it differently; but all this is to say: a good homily, devoutly to be wished for, is subordinate to the real power of the Mass, which is the Sacrifice.



that last post wasn't too bad; Amy, do you mind if I post it on my own blog? I'll give a link here...


"And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further, but they constrained him, saying, "Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent." So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished out of their sight. They said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?"

It seems to me that one of the successes of the Second Vatican Council was to renew a more holistic approach to the Liturgy of the Word in its connection to the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Let's face it, in the old days Catholics just weren't all that well formed in the Bible. I welcome that we now have three readings every Sunday and a review of the Emmaus account shows that before the disciples encountered Jesus in the Living Bread they were first prepared by the Living Word as he opened the Scriptures for them. The homily should make that connection.


The bishop points out that in an era in which intellectual and theological relativism reigns, beauty can still have the power to attract and communicate

Then why is our liturgy becoming minimalist to the point of absurdity and our churches minimalist to the point of ugliness?

A bud of mine often talks about "a cult of ugliness" in modern (or is it post-modern now? or post-post-modern?) society.


Mike L and Amy

Anger? Yes , sure, seeing the church contradict herself and conforming to society instead of society conforming to her

So I answered the question you posed-do you have the guts to answer mine?

Guess not?


Mike L-So you are OK with Hindu worship, a pantheist faith in the shrine where our blessed mother appeared??

I guess you and others are just going with what you were taught, as V2 taught in the Declaration of the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions where it taught Catholics:

“From ancient times down to the present, there has existed among divers peoples a certain perception of the hidden power that hovers over the course of things and over the events of human life... Religions bound up with cultural advancement have struggled to reply to these questions with more refined concepts and in more highly developed language.

Also :“Thus, in Hinduism men contemplate the divine mystery and express it through an inexhaustible fruitfulness of myths and a searching philosophical inquiry. They seek release from the anguish of our condition through ascetical practices or deep meditation or a loving, trusting flight toward God.”

Imagine that- Hinduism is a pantheistic as well as a polytheistic religion. It recognizes various gods in the created world. The world and everything in it, including man, is god.

Among the various Hindu divinities, there are three of great importance — Brahma, the creator; Vishnu, the preserver; and Shiva, the destroyer. Hindus worship many animals as god. Cows are the most sacred, but they also worship monkeys, snakes and other animals. Man is supposedly involved in an endless evolution of birth and death called reincarnation.

So this Declaration of Vatican II uses the terminology that Hindus make “a loving, trusting flight toward God”? — Which god is referred to? Certainly not the true God.
“And express it through an inexhaustible fruitfulness of myths and a searching philosophical inquiry.” — How can one express “the divine mystery” (which is not defined) through myths and philosophical inquiry?

What about the First Commandment of God:
“I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have strange gods before Me”?

Buddhism, like Hinduism, is a pantheistic religion which equates the natural order of creation with God and also believes in reincarnation.

How then could the Second Vatican council officially declare the praises of this false religion? What kind of doctrine is it to proclaim that Buddhism “teaches a path by which men, in a devout and confident spirit, can either reach a state of absolute freedom or attain supreme enlightenment by their own efforts or by higher assistance”?

This is religious indifferentism which holds that all religions are equally good and that men can attain salvation in the practice of any religion.

This is false because God has revealed the true religion by which He is to be worshipped through His Only-begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was truly a historical person and He worked the most stupendous miracles to prove His Divine Mission. To maintain that all religions are acceptable is to imply that Jesus Christ wasted His time to reveal the true Faith and found the true Church.

But one can expect confusion in the church, and posts such as yours, when the church is teaching this. Sede vacantism? I am a Catholic, that is all that matters, a catholic who belives in what the church taught for centuries. God bless you


I want to comment on Archbishop Gregory's point, about the importance of preaching, in relation to precision of the celebration of the liturgy...

You're right, Septimus, that was an especially good post.

It's hard to argue that better sermons would not be a good thing. But, in attending a good many more Masses in his archdiocese than Ab. Gregory has (yet), I've observed the same thing there as elsewhere. On balance, I cannot help wondering whether the obligatory homily does not detract from the liturgy more often than it supports it.

Would it be a bad thing to call a time out on homilies -- or perhaps at least try skipping them at daily Masses -- and put the whole focus on reverent liturgy and actual worship? Or maybe allow only homilies on the real presence and the sacrifice of the Mass. Then perhaps, after getting the liturgy back on track, homilies and due attention to them could return.

Admittedly, I may be only half-serious. But it's a serious problem in the U.S. church that so many homilies are distractions from rather than contributions to the liturgy.

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