ARCHBISHOP Tartaglia has issued a clarion call to Catholics everywhere to rediscover the Mass. In a heartfelt message, the Archbishop calls for a new era of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, a deeper appreciation of the Mass and a new effort to encourage the lapsed to come back to Sunday Mass.
The Archbishop’s plea has been circulated to every parish in the diocese. It is a summary of the Church’s teaching on what the Eucharist is, how it should be received and why it needs to be rediscovered. In it he warns against “casual or banal” reception of Holy Communion, emphasises the need for care in taking communion in the hand and encourages a new appreciation of silence.
Speaking to Flourish, the Archbishop said: “This is what I long for people to read and understand and act upon. To receive communion is everything. The Eucharist is truly the source and the summit of our Catholic faith and we can never marvel enough at this miracle of God’s love.”
It’s certainly laudable that the Archbishop is seeking to restore reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, calling for “a new era of reverence… a new appreciation of silence [and] a deeper appreciation of the Mass”. Who could argue with those noble words? However, it is certainly questionable whether or not any of these goals are achievable while we see lay people receiving in the hand, and the continued rejection of the traditional Latin Mass in favour of the Novus Ordo Missae.
Shouldn’t the archbishop be pushing a root and branch reform, a restoration of the ancient Mass along with the discipline of receiving Communion on the tongue, kneeling, in the traditional gesture of adoration? Wouldn’t that be more likely to encourage the lapsed to return to Sunday Mass, rather than some noble sounding words which, sorry to say, are likely to be ignored, given that lack of reverence resulting from widespread diminution of belief in the Real Presence is now endemic in Scottish parishes?
“One group of German bishops, with their president [i.e., of the German Bishops’ Conference] in the lead, see themselves as trendsetters of the Catholic Church on the march into modernity. They consider the secularization and de-Christianization of Europe as an irreversible development. For this reason the New Evangelization—the program of John Paul II and Benedict XVI—is in their view a battle against the objective course of history, resembling Don Quixote’s battle against the windmills. They are seeking for the Church a niche where it can survive in peace. Therefore all the doctrines of the faith that are opposed to the “mainstream,” the societal consensus, must be reformed.
One consequence of this is the demand for Holy Communion even for people without the Catholic faith and also for those Catholics who are not in a state of sanctifying grace. Also on the agenda are: a blessing for homosexual couples, intercommunion with Protestants, relativizing the indissolubility of sacramental marriage, the introduction of viri probati and with it the abolition of priestly celibacy, approval for sexual relations before and outside of marriage. These are their goals, and to reach them they are willing to accept even the division of the bishops’ conference.
The faithful who take Catholic doctrine seriously are branded as conservative and pushed out of the Church, and exposed to the defamation campaign of the liberal and anti-Catholic media.
To many bishops, the truth of revelation and of the Catholic profession of faith is just one more variable in intra-ecclesial power politics. Some of them cite individual agreements with Pope Francis and think that his statements in interviews with journalists and public figures who are far from Catholic offer justification even for “watering down” defined, infallible truths of the faith (= dogmas). All told, we are dealing with a blatant process of Protestantising.
Ecumenism, in contrast, has as its goal the full unity of all Christians, which is already sacramentally realized in the Catholic Church. The worldliness of the episcopate and clergy in the 16th century was the cause of the division of Christianity, which is diametrically opposed to the will of Christ, the founder of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. The disease of that era is now supposedly the medicine with which the division is to be overcome. The ignorance of the Catholic faith at that time was catastrophic, especially among the bishops and popes, who devoted themselves more to politics and power than to witnessing to the truth of Christ.
Today, for many people, being accepted by the media is more important than the truth, for which we must also suffer. Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom for Christ in Rome, the center of power in their day. They were not celebrated by the rulers of this world as heroes, but rather mocked like Christ on the Cross. We must never forget the martyrological dimension of the Petrine ministry and of the episcopal office.” Read entire report here
Is the Church in Germany really much different from the rest of the world? Isn’t the attitude of the German Bishops, as outlined by Cardinal Müller above, exactly what we are witnessing everywhere else, to a greater or lesser extent?
Catholics will please God by holding to true beliefs and correct moral norms. The Mass you attend is secondary…
Editor, Catholic Truth writes…
I keep finding myself in conversations with diocesan Catholics – defined simply as those who attend the new Mass – who consider that being orthodox in doctrine and morals is the most important thing today, not which Mass we attend. The point is always made that, for those brought up in the new Mass, with no alternative, it’s all they have, and therefore, surely the most important thing is to be wholly orthodox, stick to right beliefs and moral norms. When I ask if they go along with ecumenical events, I get a variety of responses tolerant of through to positive about ecumenical activities. To date, I’ve never met with an outright denunciation of ecumenism.
Ditto, these Catholics seldom denounce the false apparitions at Medjugorje, instead focusing on the adherents in their circles who have experienced “conversions” and vocations, including priestly ordinations. All wonderful people.
I’m told too, that “traditionalists” need to stop talking so much about the Mass and focus on God more. Don’t go on the “attack” in conversation with diocesan Catholics right away, to ask if X attends the old or new Mass – speak about God first.
My answers to the above have not been successful in changing hearts and minds. Help!
April 3, 2018 – There is a strange tendency nowadays to think that the external aspects of a thing matter very little, while the “inside” is all that counts. For example: as long as you’re “a good person on the inside,” it doesn’t matter what you look like, how you dress, how you speak, what music you listen to, or even (taken to an extreme) what religion you profess.
There is a grain of truth in this view: one’s height or build or skin color, for instance, are not moral qualities; sinners and saints come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. The problem is rather that we are too quick to forget how the outside wells up from within, how it often reveals to us just what is in the heart. A good person will dress modestly, speak respectfully, and listen to music that builds up a noble character instead of assaulting it—and all this, because of dispositions in the heart, invisible to men’s eyes but visible to God’s. The profession of a religion, while obviously done with external words and gestures, is rooted in the deep soil of the soul, and shows outwardly what a man’s most intimate worldview and priorities are.
The great British philosopher Roger Scruton comments:
There is truth in Oscar Wilde’s quip, that it is only a shallow person who does not judge by appearances. For appearances are the bearers of meaning and the focus of our emotional concerns. When I am struck by a human face this experience is not a prelude to some anatomical study, nor does the beauty of what I see lead me to think of the sinews, nerves and bones which in some way explain it. On the contrary, to see “the skull beneath the skin” is to see [merely] the body and not the embodied person. Hence, it is to miss the beauty of the face.
With perfect consistency, therefore, our medieval forebears would never have agreed with the platitude “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” For they spent enormous sums of money on Evangelaries or Gospel books with heavy bindings of gold, silver, and jewels, so that it was perfectly obvious that this book held the very words of God Himself, and deserved our utmost veneration.
The sacred liturgy, too, holds the very words of God—indeed, astonishingly, the Mass holds God Himself, the Word made flesh. It is utterly inconsistent with its inner contentthat the outward form of it should be anything but glorious, majestic, beautiful, solemn, reverent. We should be able to judge this book by its resplendent cover, that is, the Mass by its appearances, musical, textual, ceremonial; we should be able to see the heart in the actions. We should not “miss the beauty of the face.”
Nowadays we hear a lot of emphasis on not paying too much attention to externals in the Mass but just remembering that “Jesus is present.”
To lapse into a bit of slang: Sorry, this ain’t gonna cut it.
Throughout history, Christians have offered the best they can to God in the liturgy, especially the beauty attainable in the fine arts, in order that the souls of worshipers might be better disposed to adore and glorify the Lord. This is the sense in which St. Thomas insists that the liturgy is not for God’s sake but for ours. Of course it is directedto God; there would be no point in liturgy if God did not exist and if Christ were not our Redeemer by whose Sacrifice we are saved.
But the liturgy does not benefit God or Christ, as if making them better; they are already as good, holy, and glorious as they can be. Rather, it benefits us who offer Him the sacrifice of praise, by ordering our souls to Him as our ultimate end, by filling our minds with the truth of His presence and our hearts with the fire of His love. These things are best accomplished by a liturgy that is impressive in its setting and furnishings, gestures and vestures, chants and ceremonies—one that is permeated from start to finish with manifestations of the nearness and otherness of God. A liturgy that is thoroughly sacral will be one that cannot be co-opted for secular purposes but compels the respect, wonder, and prayer of the beholder.
Put simply, man as a creature of intellect and sensation will not be benefited nearly as much by liturgy that is either verbal-cerebral or superficially flashy (as in the circus exhibitions of the Three Days of Darkness in Los Angeles) as he will by liturgy that is packed with rich ceremonial-textual content and saturated with sensuous symbols. This is exactly what all historic Christian liturgies are. Sadly, this is exactly what most contemporary Catholic liturgies are not.
A happy exception would be the growing number of places where the traditional Roman rite or “Extraordinary Form” [Ed: Traditional Latin Mass] is being offered, for this rite is saturated with sacrality and nearly compels one to pray, to go deeper into the mysteries of Christ through the outward appearances, just as the disciples at Emmaus “knew him in the breaking of the bread” (Lk 24:35). The liturgical rite is like bread miraculously multiplied down through all the centuries and placed in front of every king and pauper who seeks the food that will not perish. When we break this bread by entering into the rite, we come to know the risen Christ.
Matthew Schmitz has remarked:
It is amazing that the leaders of a ritual faith imagined that they could dispense with traditional forms of prayer. Among the few elites who saw the folly of this project, most were artists, naturally alert to the way supposedly superficial things can in fact be essential.
In like manner, aphorist Nicholas Davila observed: “When religion and aesthetics are divorced from each other, it is not known which is corrupted sooner.”
For all these reasons, then, a liturgy not only may but must be judged “by its cover,” by appearances—for, as Aristotle says, it is the appearances of a thing that point to its nature and substance. The Catholic Church has to care not only about realities but about appearances. Human beings come to know the truth through their senses; they cannot have concepts without phantasms. In religion, in the encounter with the God-man in His life, death, and resurrection, our senses, memories, imaginations, and emotions play as important a role as our intellects and wills. Source – LifeSiteNews
Bishop of Paisley calls on the [uncatechised] faithful to halt ’25 years of decline’. Yes, you read that right. He wants the blind to lead the blind. It’s the latest in pastoral practice.
The laity needs to take up more leadership positions in the Church to save it from a 25-year period of decline, the Bishop of Paisley has said. [Notice, no mention of the nature of the “decline” or the cause of said decline – that would require facing some uncomfortable truths.]
Speaking as the diocese prepares to implement the next stage of an historic synod, Bishop John Keenan urged the faithful to decide for themselves how to shape the future and create ‘new skins for new wine.’ [A tad difficult when the poor kids have no experience of the “old wine”]
Paisley parishioners have been taking part in an ongoing synod in the diocese in recent years, discussing its future against a background of a 31 per cent drop in Mass attendance over the ten years from 2005-2015. [Getting close there – how many of the Paisley youth realise that the Mass they attend is a relatively new liturgy; that there is such a thing as “the old Mass”? And that there are young people who attend it? Young people who love it? I wonder why they don’t know that?]
Other dioceses in Scotland are struggling with similar issues, with Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh indicating this month that as many as 40 parishes in his archdiocese could close. [Ouch! Not exactly a sign of rip-roaring success, is it. Vatican II, please say “sorry, folks”! ]
Bishop Keenan said a small number of parish closures could be a part of his diocese’s future, but he stressed he would take his lead from parishioners. [Well, there’s a novelty. A bishop who refuses to lead. A shepherd being led by his sheep. WOW. Original or what? Cool, man.] Source – Scottish Catholic Observer
Vote in the very serious poll below and then share your thoughts…
Young people are ‘leaving the Church in droves,’ says Scots delegate to Vatican youth synod By James Farrell
Young people are ‘leaving the Church in droves for all the wrong reasons,’ according to Scotland’s representative to a global Vatican meeting of young people. Sean Deighan, 23, a youth worker for Glasgow Archdiocese, will be one of 300 young representatives to attend the Synod on Young People, the Faith, and VocationalDiscernment to be held in Rome from March 19 to 24.
The meeting is being held ahead of a Synod of Bishops in October that will focus on youth.
“I didn’t realise it was such a select group [attending the meeting] and it’s a great privilege,” Mr Deighan said. “I hope that my voice will be heard and by extension I hope the representative voice of all young people in Scotland will be heard. I’m optimistic that real results will materialise from the pre-synodal meeting. I think what needs to be addressed is that young people are leaving the Church in droves for all the wrong reasons.
“They are leaving the Church because of what they think the Church is and not the reality. If we want to pursue the new evangelisation authentically then we need to present the Church authentically and young people need to see that.” “When young people see the Church being presented authentically, it’s attractive,” Mr Deighan said. “We have never had to dress things up or use false pretences to get people in the Church. It has always been the reality of the Church’s message which they are attracted to.”
At the Angelus on Sunday February 18, Pope Francis called on young people from around the world to take part in the preparatory work of the upcoming synod. “I strongly desire that all young people might be the protagonists of this preparation,” Pope Francis said. “And so they will be able to contribute online through linguistic groups moderated by other young people.”
The Pope was referring to an initiative promoted by the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, under the direction of its general secretary, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldiserri. Young people have been invited to join a Facebook group through the Synod website, http://www.synod2018.va, and from March 12 will have the opportunity to send questions to Pope Francis for the Synod on the group page.
“Pope Francis insisted on showing great concern for the ‘distant’—the young people of the ‘peripheries,’ those who are not part of our network of Catholics faithful,” Cardinal Baldisseri said in conversation with the Vatican website.
“The participants will be able to ask questions, propose ideas and therefore act as intermediaries between the ecclesial institution that derives from the people of God and secular society. The experience that will be proposed to them will consist in getting to know the Church better, discovering what we are more deeply.”
At the end of the youth meeting representatives will approve a document, the result of the work of the entire week, which will express their point of view on the reality of youth in the Church and present their expectations, their doubts and their hopes. This document will then help guide reflections at the synod in October. Source – SCO
I know it’s been a while, but when I was a schoolgirl we were taught about the Faith, that we were Catholics and should be knowledgeable and be able to explain it to those we met outside of school, friends etc. and later, in the workplace, colleagues. There was no mention of, let alone emphasis on, the fact that we were “young Catholics”, a separate type of Catholic from everyone else. We didn’t have “special” Masses for the young, etc. That’s the beauty of the Traditional Latin Mass, with which I grew up – it cannot be manipulated into a performance tailored to particular groups. We were simply Catholics. This contemporary emphasis on reaching out to the young as if they ARE a different type of Catholic has led to a great deal of muddled thinking, beginning with this…
Those young people identified in the above SCO report, are not leaving the Church because they are young. They are leaving it – as the author writes – for all the wrong reasons, and that is because, there ISno “right reason” to leave Christ and His Church. Someone needs to clarify for those youngsters who say they believe in Jesus, admire Jesus etc. but just don’t like the Church or “institutionalised religion” that, like love and marriage, as the old song goes, you can’t have one without the other. Christ cannot be separated from His Church – that’s the way HE has arranged things.
Think of your favourite quotes from Scripture and from saints, to drive home this message to the young. Plenty read this blog, I’m told, so how would YOU convince them that, not only is there no right reason to leave Christ’s Church, but there is no “wrong” reason either – leaving the Church for any reason means that they are risking damnation – spelt out, they are risking suffering Hell fire for all eternity. Not cool. Convince them to begin their journey to the fullness of the Faith which they have manifestly not been taught and which, if they truly knew it, would love it and never dream of leaving it. What’s the first thing you would advise a young person seeking the Faith in its fullness to do… where’s the best place to begin that journey?