Should Catholics Be Concerned About The New Forms Of The Sacraments?

Yesterday, I found myself in conversation with a reader  (we’ll call her Jo, because that’s not her name but it’s short and sweet) who has started attending the SSPX Masses in Glasgow.  We were discussing the hostility which I have personally witnessed at a number of Fatima meetings recently, when novus-attending Catholics became furiously hostile, especially at the very idea that the traditional Latin Mass needs to be restored as soon as possible. Even put a million times more tactfully than that, hostility spilled out like fresh cream in a gorgeous Dairy Sponge cake. Except there was nothing “gorgeous” about it.  Anyway,  when I asked Jo if, after attending the Society Masses for several weeks now she planned to continue, she replied, without a second’s hesitation: “yes”, because she just could not return to the novus-ordo – especially after reading the Open Letter to Confused Catholics, penned by Archbishop Lefebvre.   Got me thinking that, although we have discussed various chapters from that excellent book from time to time, we’ve never examined the chapter on the new forms of the Sacraments, so let’s check the Archbishop’s writings on that topic: do we need new forms of the sacraments? If so, why?  Or, should Catholics be concerned about these new forms of the Sacraments?

Archbishop Lefebvre writes….

The Catholic, whether he be regularly practising or one who goes to church for the great moments of life, finds himself asking such basic questions as, “What is baptism?”

It is a new phenomenon, for not so long ago anyone could answer that, and anyway, nobody asked the question. The first effect of baptism is the redemption from original sin; that was known from father to son and mother to daughter.

But now nobody any longer talks about it anywhere. The simplified ceremony which takes place in the church speaks of sin in a context which seems to refer to that which the person being baptized will commit during his or her life, and not the original fault that we are all born with.

Baptism from then on simply appears as a sacrament which unites us to God, or rather makes us members of the community. This is the explanation of the “rite of welcome” that is imposed in some places as an initial step, in a first ceremony. It is not due to any private initiative since we discover plenty of variations upon baptism by stages in the leaflets of the National Center of Pastoral Liturgy. It is called “deferred baptism.” After the welcome comes the “progression,” the “seeking.” The sacrament will be administered, or not administered, when the child is able, according to the terms used, to choose freely, which may occur at quite an advanced age, eighteen years or more. A professor of dogmatic theology, highly esteemed in the new Church, has established a distinction between those Christians whose faith and religious culture he is confident he can verify, and the others–more than three-quarters of the total–to whom he attributes only a supposed faith when they request baptism for their children. These Christians “of the popular religion” are detected during the preparatory meetings and dissuaded from proceeding any farther than the “ceremony of welcome.” This method of going on is “more appropriate to the cultural situation of our civilization.”

Recently a parish priest in the Somme department who had to enroll two children for their First Communion asked for their baptismal certificates, which were sent to him from the family’s parish of origin. He then found that one of the children had been baptized but not the other, contrary to what the parents believed.  This is the sort of situation that results from such practices. What they give is in effect only a semblance of baptism which those present take in good faith to be the true sacrament.

That you should find this disconcerting is quite understandable. You have also to face up to a specious argument which even appears in parish bulletins, generally in the way of suggestions or testimonies signed with Christian names, that is to say anonymously. We read in one of them that Alan and Evelyn state, “Baptism is not a magic rite which will efface by miracle any original sin. We believe that salvation is total, free, and for all: God has elected all men in His love, on any condition, or rather without condition. For us, to be baptized is to decide to change our life, it is a personal commitment that no one can make for you. It is a conscious decision which implies preliminary instruction, etc.” What frightful errors are contained in those few lines! They lead to the justifying of another method; the suppression of infant baptism. It is another alignment with the Protestants, in defiance of the teachings of the Church right from its beginnings, as St. Augustine wrote in the fourth century: “The custom of baptizing children is not a recent innovation but the faithful repetition of apostolic tradition. This custom by itself alone and without any written document, constitutes the certain rule of truth.” The Council of Carthage, in the year 251, prescribed that baptism should be conferred on infants “even before they are eight days old,” and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a reminder of the obligation in its Instruction Pastoralis actio, on November 21, 1980, basing it upon “a norm of immemorial tradition.”

That is a thing you should know so as to be able to insist upon a sacred right when someone attempts to refuse your newborn children their share in the life of grace. Parents do not wait until their child is eighteen years old before deciding for him his diet, or to have a necessary surgical operation. Within the supernatural order their duty is even greater, and the faith which presides at the sacrament when the child is not capable of taking on for himself a personal engagement is the responsibility you would have in depriving your child of eternal life in Paradise. Our Lord Himself has said in a most clear manner, “No one, unless he be born again of water and the Holy Ghost can enter into the Kingdom of God.”

The results of this peculiar pastoral practice were quick to appear.  In the diocese of Paris, whereas one child out of two was baptized in 1965, only one child in four was baptized in 1976.  The clergy of one suburban parish observed, without appearing concerned about it, that there were 450 baptisms in 1965 and 150 in 1976. From the whole of France, the fall continues. From 1970 to 1981, the overall figure dropped from 596,673 to 530,385, while the population increased by more than three million during the same period.

All this is the outcome of having falsified the definition of baptism. As soon as they stopped saying that baptism wipes out original sin, people have been asking, “What is baptism?” and straightaway after, “What is the good of baptism?” If they have not got as far as that, they have at least thought about the arguments that have been put to them and accepted that there was no urgency, and after all, at the age of adolescence the child could decide for himself and join the Christian community in the same way as joining a political party or a union.

The question is raised in the same way regarding marriage.  Marriage has always been defined by its first aim which is procreation and its secondary aim which is married love. Now, at the Council they sought to alter this definition and say there was no longer a primary aim, but that  the two aims of which I speak were equivalent. It was Cardinal Suenens who proposed this change and I still remem- ber Cardinal Brown, the Master General of the Dominicans, getting up to say, “Caveatis! Caveatis!–Beware! Beware! If we accept this definition we go against all the tradition of the Church and we pervert the meaning of marriage. We do not have the right to modify the Church’s traditional definitions.”

He quoted texts in support of his warning and there was great agitation in the nave of St. Peter’s. Cardinal Suenens was pressed by the Holy Father to moderate the terms he had used and even to change them. The Pastoral Constitution, Gaudium et Spes, contains nevertheless an ambiguous passage, where emphasis is laid on procreation “without nevertheless minimizing the other aims of marriage.” The Latin verb, post habere, permits the translation “without putting in second place the other aims of marriage,” which would mean “to place them all on the same level.” This is what is wanted nowadays; all that is said about marriage comes back to the false idea expressed by Cardinal Suenens, that conjugal love–which was soon termed quite simply and much more crudely “sexuality”–comes at the head of the purposes of marriage. Consequently, under the heading of sexuality, everything is permitted–contraception, family planning and finally, abortion.

One bad definition, and we are plunged into total disorder.  The Church, in her traditional liturgy, has the priest say, “Lord, in Thy goodness, assist the institutions Thou hast established for the propagation of the human race…” She has chosen the passage from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians, which points out the duties of the married couple, making of their joint relationship an image of the   relationship uniting Christ and His Church.  Very often the couple to be married are nowadays invited to make up their own Mass without even having to choose the Epistle from Holy Scripture, replacing it by a profane text, and taking a reading from the Gospel that has no connection with the sacrament to be received. The priest in his exhortation takes good care not to mention the demands to which they will have to submit, for fear of giving a forbidding impression of the Church or even of offending any divorced people present among the congregation.

Just as for baptism, experiments have been made for marriages by stages, or non-sacramental marriage, which scandalize Catholics. These experiments, tolerated by the episcopate, take place following lines laid down by the official organizations and are encouraged by diocesan officials. A form put out by the Jean Bart Center shows some of the ways of going about it. Here is one:

A reading from the text: “The essential is invisible to the eyes” (Epistle of St. Peter). There is no exchange of vows but a liturgy of the hands,  symbol of labor and workers’ solidarity.  Exchange of rings (without the blessing), in silence. Reference to Robert’s work:  welding,  soldering (he is a plumber).  The kiss.  The Our Father by all the believers in the congregation. Hail Mary. The newlyweds lay a bouquet of flowers at the statue of Mary.

Why would Our Lord have instituted the sacraments if they were to be replaced by this kind of ceremony devoid of everything supernatural, excepting the two prayers at the end? A few years ago, we heard a lot about liturgy in the department of Saône-et-Loire.  To justify this “Liturgy of Welcome,” it was said that they wished to give young couples the desire to come back later and get married for good.  Out of something like two hundred pseudo-marriages, two years later not a single couple had returned to regularize their position. Even if they had, the fact would remain that the priest of this parish had actually recognized officially, if not actually blessed, over a period of two years, something none other than concubinage. An official Church survey has revealed that in Paris, 23% of the parishes had already held  non-sacramental weddings for couples, one of whom if not both were non-believers, for the purpose of gratifying the families, or the couples themselves, often out of concern for social conformity.

It goes without saying that a Catholic does not have the right to attend such goings-on.  As for the so-called married couple, they can always say they have been to church and doubtless they will end up by believing their situation to be  regular by dint of seeing their friends follow the same path. Misguided Catholics will wonder if it is not better than nothing. Indifference takes over; they become willing to accept any arrangement, from a simple registry-office wedding to juvenile cohabitation (in respect of which so many parents want to show themselves to be “understanding”), and finally through to free unions. Total de-christianization lies ahead; the couples each lack the graces which come from the sacrament of marriage in order to bring up their children, if at least they agree to have any. The breakdowns in these unsanctified households have increased to such an extent as to worry the Council of Economic and Social Affairs, of which a recent report shows that even a secular society is aware that it is heading for ruin as a result of the instability of these families or pseudo-families.

Then there is the sacrament of Extreme Unction. This is no longer the sacrament of the sick or the feeble. It has become the sacrament of the old: some priests administer it to persons of pensionable age who show no particular sign of approaching death. It is no longer the sacrament that prepares one for the last moment, which wipes out the sins before death and disposes the soul to final union with God. I have in front of me a notice distributed to all the faithful in a Paris church to warn them of the date of the next Extreme Unction:  “For those who are still active, the sacrament of the sick is celebrated in the presence of the whole Christian community during the Eucharistic celebration. Date: Sunday, at the 11 o’clock Mass.” These anointings are invalid.

The same collectivist mentality has provoked the vogue of penitential celebrations. The sacrament of penance can only be of an individual nature.
By definition and in conformity with its essence, it is, as I have previously pointed out, a judicial act, a judgment.  A judgment cannot be made without having examined a cause; each one’s case has to be heard in order to judge it and then to remit or to retain the sins. His Holiness John Paul II has insisted several times on this point, notably to the French bishops on April 1, 1982 telling them that personal confession followed by  individual absolution is “a requirement of the dogmatic order.” It is consequently impossible to justify these ceremonies of reconciliation by explaining that ecclesiastical discipline has become more relaxed, that it has adapted itself to the needs of the modern world. It is not a question of discipline. There was formerly one exception: general absolution given in a case of shipwreck, war, etc.; an absolution whose value is debated by learned writers. It is not permissible to make a rule out of the exception. If we consult the Acts of the Apostolic See we find the following expressions uttered both by Paul VI and John Paul II on various occasions: “the exceptional character of collective absolution,” “in case of grave necessity,” “in extraordinary situations of grave necessity,” “quite exceptional character,” “exceptional circumstances.”

Celebrations of this type have, however,  become habitual though without becoming frequent in any one parish, due to the scarcity of faithful who are disposed to put themselves right with God more than two or three times a year.  They no longer feel the need, as was quite foreseeable since the idea of sin has been wiped out of their minds.  How many priests still remind people of the need for the sacrament of penance? One member of the faithful has told me that in going to confession in one or another of several Paris churches where he knows he will be able to find a “priest on duty” he often receives the congratulations or thanks of the priest, surprised to have a penitent.

These celebrations subjected to the creativity of the “animators” include singing, or else a record is played.  Then comes the turn of the Liturgy of the Word, followed by a litany type of prayer to which the assembly responds, “Lord, have mercy upon me, a sinner,” or else by a sort of general examination of conscience. The “I confess to Almighty God” precedes the absolution given once and for all to the whole congregation, which only leaves one problem: would a person present who did not want absolution receive it just the same? I see on a duplicated sheet distributed to those taking part in these ceremonies at Lourdes that the organizer has asked himself this question: “If we wish to receive absolution, let us dip our hands in the water and make the sign of the cross upon ourselves,” and at the end, “Upon those who are marked by the sign of the cross with the water of the spring the priest lays his hands. Let us unite ourselves to his prayer and accept pardon from God.”

The British Catholic paper, The Universe, a few years ago lent its support to a movement launched by two bishops which consisted of bringing back to the Church those of the faithful who had long since given up the practice of religion.  The appeal made by the bishops resembled the public notices put out by families of runaway adolescents: “Little X, please come home. No one will grumble at you.” It was then said to the future prodigal sons, “Your bishops invite you during this Lent to rejoice and celebrate. The Church offers to all her children, in the imitation of Christ, pardon for their sins, freely and without restriction, without their meriting it, and without their requesting it. She urges them to accept and begs them to return home. There are many who wish to return to the Church after years of separation but are unable to make up their minds to go to confession.  At any rate, not straightaway…”

They could then accept the following offer: “At the Mission Mass which will be attended by the bishop in your deanery (here is given the time and the date) all those who are present are invited to accept the pardon of all their past sins. It is not necessary for them to go to confession at that moment. It will be sufficient for them to repent their sins and desire to return to God, and to confess their sins later, after having been again welcomed into the fold. Meanwhile they have only to let Our Father in heaven take them into His arms and embrace them tenderly. Subject to a generous act of repentance the bishop will grant to all those present and desiring it pardon for their sins. They may then immediately receive holy communion…”

The Journal  of the Grotto,  the bi-monthly magazine from Lourdes, reproducing this curious pastoral letter under the heading “General Absolution: Communion now, confession later,” made the following comment: “Our readers will be fully aware of the deeply evangelical spirit which has inspired it, likewise the pastoral understanding of people’s actual situation.”

I do not know what results were obtained, but that is not the issue. Can pastoral needs take precedence over doctrine to the point of undertaking to give Communion in the Body of Christ indiscriminately to people who are probably in many cases in a state of mortal sin, after so many years without the practice of religion? Certainly not. How can we so lightly consider paying for the conversion with a sacrilege, and how much chance has this conversion of being followed by perseverance? We can observe, in any case, that before the council and before this “welcoming” pastoral method there were between fourteen and fifteen thousand conversions annually in England.  They have dropped off to about five thousand. We recognize the tree by its fruit.

Catholics are just as confused in Great Britain as in France. If a sinner or an apostate, following his bishop’s advice, presents himself for collective absolution and at the holy table in these conditions, does he not risk losing his confidence in the validity of sacraments so lightly accorded, when he has every reason to consider himself unworthy of them?  What is going to happen if later on he neglects to “regularize” himself by going to confession? An unsuccessful return to the house of the Father will only make more difficult a final conversion.

That is what dogmatic laxity leads to. In the penitential ceremonies which take place, in a less extravagant manner, in our parishes, what certainty has the Catholic of being truly pardoned? He is given over to the same anxieties as Protestants, to interior torments provoked by doubt.  He has certainly gained nothing by the change.

If it is a bad thing from the point of view of validity, it is also bad psychologically.

For instance, how absurd to give collective absolution with the reservation that people with grave sins have to confess them personally immediately afterwards! People are not going to draw attention to themselves by showing that they have grave sins on their consciences, that is obvious!  It is as though the secret of the confessional were violated.

We should add that the faithful who communicate after collective absolution will no longer see the need to present themselves before the judgment of penance, and that one can understand. The ceremonies of reconciliation are not complementary to auricular confession, they eliminate and supplant it. We are proceeding towards the disappearance of the Sacrament of Penance, established like the six others by Our Lord Himself. No pastoral concern can justify this.

For a sacrament to be valid, the matter, the form and the intention are all needed.  The Pope himself cannot change that.  The matter is of divine institution; the Pope cannot say “tomorrow we will use alcohol for the baptism of infants, or milk.” Neither can he change the essential of the form. There are essential words. For example, one cannot say, “I baptize thee in the name of God,” because God Himself has settled this form:  “Thou shalt baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.”

The Sacrament of Confirmation has been equally maltreated. One formula current today is, “I sign thee with the Cross, and receive the Holy Spirit.” But the minister does not then specify what is the special grace of the sacrament by which the Holy Ghost gives Himself, and the sacrament is invalid.

That is why I always respond to the requests of parents who have doubts regarding the validity of the confirmation received by their children or who fear it will be administered invalidly, seeing what goes on around them.  The cardinals to whom I had to explain myself in 1975 reproached me on this and since then similar reproaches are repeated through the press on all my journeys. I explained why I carried on in this way.  I meet the wishes of the faithful who ask me for valid confirmation, even if it is not licit, because we are in a period when divine law, natural and supernatural, has precedence over positive ecclesiastical law when the latter opposes the former instead of being a channel to transmit it. We are passing through an extraordinary crisis and there need be no surprise if I sometimes adopt an attitude that is out of the ordinary.

The third condition of a valid sacrament is a right intention.  The bishop or priest must have the intention of doing what the Church wills to be done. Not even the Pope can change that.

The priest’s faith is not among the necessary elements.  A priest or bishop may no longer have the faith;  another may have it less; and another a faith that is not quite complete.  That has no direct effect on the validity of the sacraments they administer, but may have an indirect one. One remembers Pope Leo XIII’s decision that Anglican ordinations are invalid through a defect in the intention. Now it was because they had lost the faith, which is not only faith in God, but in all the truths contained in the Creed, including, “I believe in one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church,” that the Anglicans have not been able to do what the Church wills.

Are not priests who lose the faith in the same case? There are already priests who no longer wish to confect the Sacrament of the Eucharist according to the Council of Trent’s definition. “No,” they say, “the Council of Trent was a long time ago.  Since then we have had Vatican II.  Now it’s trans-signification, or trans-finalization.  Transubstantiation? The Real Presence of the Son of God under the appearances of bread and wine? Not in these days!”

When a priest talks like this, he makes no valid consecration. There is no Mass or Communion. For Christians are obliged to believe what the Council of Trent has defined about the Eucharist until the end of time.  One can make the terms of a dogma clearer, but not change them; that is impossible. Vatican II did not add anything or retract anything; and it could not have done so. Anyone who declares that he does not accept transubstantiation is, in the terms of the Council of Trent, anathema, that is, cut off from the Church.

This is why Catholics in this latter part of the twentieth century have a duty to be more vigilant than their fathers were. They must not let just any idea be imposed upon them, in the name of the new theology or the new religion: for what this new religion wants is not what the Church wills. [Emphases added]
Source – The New Forms of Sacraments Baptism, Marriage, Penance & Extreme Unction

Comment:

Should Catholics be concerned about the new forms of the Sacraments? 

Why On Earth Do We Need Una Voce Scotland Or The Latin Mass Society?

FR JOHN BOLLAN, St Joseph’s Parish, Diocese of Paisley writes:

“I’m conscious of a dissonance in my own mind with regards to Mass in the Extraordinary form (sic).  It appeals to me aesthetically… And yet I make excuses. Perhaps my principal concern is that this Mass should not be a vehicle of protest or nostalgia, but something free of such baggage. In other words, the Mass is no place for the grinding of axes…” Click here to read the entire article (and click on image right, to watch a Traditional Latin Mass on video).

Attempting to uncover this priest’s age (he is kinder in his remarks about the Traditional Latin Mass than priests of the older generation although unfortunately he uses the modernist name “Extraordinary Form” and appears blissfully unaware that there IS a need to “grind axes”) I discovered an interesting incidental detail: that clergy lists seem to be disappearing from some diocesan websites; on one site, for example, there is a list of deceased clergy but not the parish priests still alive and, we presume, well.  Curious.

Anyway, while reflecting on Fr Bollan’s piece on the Mass published in the Scottish Catholic Observer, consider, too, the following piece written by Ellen, a member of the Catholic Truth team:

Ellen writes…

I was shocked by the article by Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society in England and Wales, published in the Catholic Herald, 1st September, 2017.
[Ed: in which he calls for “liturgical pluralism”: “Rather than throw every parish into confusion with a new top-down reform, it is better to foster the existing liturgical pluralism, which includes the reformed Roman rite…” [ i.e. the novus ordo – the new Mass]

Both the Latin Mass Society and Una Voce Scotland were established for the preservation and restoration of the Tridentine Rite of Mass. The chairmen of both these Societies seem to have lost sight of these aims.

I am really troubled by the hatred of the Traditional Mass that we have encountered recently from Novus Ordo going Catholics. The ignorance of these Catholics is appalling; they don’t see anything wrong in their going along with all the novelties introduced and which have in turn destroyed their true Sensus Fidelis.

What horrifies me is that the above Societies are spending their time and their subscribers’ hard earned cash on promoting heresies and on the cult of personalities. They have always, from their establishment, been too subservient to their bishops in the hope of a few scraps from the table instead of fighting for the right of every Catholic to serve God in the way Catholics have worshipped since time immemorial.

I think the time has come when all good priests who say that they prefer the Traditional Mass would stand up and say this Mass only. The parishioners are so entrenched in the new ways that they would require much education but with good leadership and encouragement it could be done. When the Cure D’Ars was first appointed to that parish, no-one attended Mass; he persevered and with his prayers and holiness eventually it became a great parish. Priests today must see that the real answer to their problems is the lack of that holiness. This can only come from the Holy Mass and Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.

We, the laity who are aware and love the Mass must really rally round and not accept anything less. And if we truly love our neighbour we must try to encourage them to seek the nourishment they would receive from the truth rather than the insipid falsehoods peddled to them by false shepherds. END.

Comment:

When she speaks of the the hatred of the Traditional Mass that we have encountered recently from Novus Ordo going Catholics” Ellen refers to various conversations we have had in the context of spreading the Fatima Message.  The minute the issue of the new Mass is raised, so are hackles, and a tangible atmosphere of animosity and, yes, hatred quickly becomes evident – and this, we must emphasise, among the older generation, who should know better.  Safer to recommend attending a Salvation Army service than a traditional Latin Mass.

It’s all about what we enjoy, what we find beneficial – the very concept of offering true worship to God  doesn’t arise.  It didn’t arise, either, in Father Bollan’s piece. His claim that “the Mass should not be a vehicle of protest or nostalgia” is only partly correct; martyrs, like our own Scottish Saint, John Ogilvie SJ, died in defence of the Mass. It was essential to protest attacks on the Mass during the Protestant Reformation (more accurately, “revolution”) as it is essential, lamentably, to protest attacks upon it now – in the form a new Mass created in the most worrying of circumstances and for the express purpose of making it acceptable to Protestants.  Pictured below, Pope Paul VI with the six Protestant Ministers who actively contributed to the creation of the new Mass –  click on the photo to read an article on the subject, and see Michael Davies: Pope Paul’s New Mass for thoroughly academic coverage of this scandal, in the context of the history of the Novus Ordo Missae.

From Left: A. Raymond George (Methodist),     Ronald Jaspar (Anglican),
Massey Shepherd (Episcopalian),
Friedrich Künneth (Lutheran),
  Eugene Brand (Lutheran),
Max Thurian (Calvinist-community of Taize).


Father Bollan is right about the nostalgia though.  There should be no need for “nostalgia” – the Mass for which St John Ogilvie and the other martyrs gave their lives should be available in our parishes on a daily basis; it’s a dead cert that there would be sufficient priests to make it available daily, had the Second Vatican Council never darkened the doorstep of the Catholic world.  As it is, we have priests here today and gone tomorrow, because the new Mass does not nourish them – little wonder that it’s easier to find that needle in the haystack than a lengthy clergy list on diocesan websites today. 

So, things have developed quickly, from the pleasure at having a new Mass in the vernacular, to hatred of the Mass that nourished Catholic souls, and raised them to sanctity for many centuries.  How come Catholics have moved so far away from the very fundamentals of Catholic life and the truths of our Catholic Faith? And how come the organisations allegedly set up to preserve the ancient Mass for us, have decided to go along to get along, after all?

For,  Una Voce Scotland (UVS) and the Latin Mass Society (LMS) appear intent on organising everything and anything except a simple Low Mass in the local parish; instead they are organising sung Masses, High Masses, you name it, with members of the episcopate, including the recent visit to Scotland of Cardinal Burke, invited for the purpose of drawing large crowds, and perhaps some kind of kudos. Who knows.  What we do know is that some of us love the Low Mass, the peace, the reverence, the time to concentrate of the prayers of the Mass, the action of Calvary, but, it seems, that is not good enough for the Chief Executives who seek higher things, in a manner of (satirical) speaking.  

Perhaps it’s time to replace UVS and the LMS … or, on second thoughts,  perhaps not. Is it a case of “better the devil(s) you know…?”  Or is there any need for such groups at all, given that they are all too ready, as  Ellen writes, to accept the crumbs that fall from the episcopal table. Shouldn’t every knowledgeable Catholic simply encourage others to seek out a chapel of the Society of Saint Pius X, and go there for Mass, until they can persuade their Parish Priest to provide one in their local church? After all, it is to the sacrifice of Archbishop Lefebvre that the Chairmen of UVS and the LMS owe their living, so to speak.  But for that saintly Archbishop, there would BE no traditional Latin Mass available to us in this “post-Catholic” Catholic Church…  Below, to remind us all of that truth, is a short video clip on the subject. Then, share your thoughts…

A Tale of Two Priests & Two Masses

From America Magazine…

An ordinary Sunday morning. No parish assignment, no preaching. So I decide to go to a church that celebrates the Latin Mass every Sunday at 11 AM. I knew it would be in Latin, but I wasn’t sure if it would be the old Tridentine or new post-Vatican II Latin Mass. Clearly it was Tridentine! One reason to attend was to see if I could feel comfortable being the main celebration of the Latin Mass.  

A female altar server assists at a Mass celebrated by Cardinal O’Malley in 2013.Pilot file photo/ Gregory L. Tracy

A female altar server assists at a novus ordo Mass celebrated by Cardinal O’Malley in 2013.

The church was half-filled, older men and women, some families with children, and a number of people in their 30’s who followed with their missals. The music, all in Latin, was in abundance with 90 percent sung by the choir and little by the congregation. The opening procession included 8 servers in surplices (all male), an assistant to the priest and the main celebrant…

REACTIONS. During the celebration I felt very uncomfortable. It was strange and foreign. Even though I was very familiar with the Tridentine Mass from my childhood, it seemed remote and distant. The Mass seemed to focus on the priest whose words for the most part could not be heard (they were in Latin anyway!) and who rarely faced the people. The choir performed well and their singing overrode the priest, who had to wait several times until they finished singing.

In my mind I could not but think back to the Second Vatican Council, and all that the Council and subsequent documents tried to bring about – active participation, emphasis on the important things, vernacular, elimination of accretions and repetitions, etc. It was sad and disheartening. What happened? Why would the Catholic faithful seek out and attend this older form of the Mass? Is the Tridentine Mass an aberration? What does it say about the reforms of Vatican II?

After the Mass, I was tempted to talk with some of those present. But I decided not to as I feared I would have been negative and perhaps controversial. My feelings were still very raw. One thing I know: I myself will never freely choose to celebrate the Tridentine Mass.  Click here to read article in full

From Traditional Catholic Priest (Blog)…

Constantly I hear from people that they do not go to the Latin Mass because they do not understand Latin.  (Some even think that the homily is in Latin.)  So please, just for now, let us put aside the argument of the language; Latin or English and go to the prayers and actions that are part of the rubrics of the two masses.  Let us also look at who is the center of focus and the way the people participate, dress and receive God in Holy Communion at the two masses. 

Traditional (Latin) Mass

Traditional (Latin) Mass

As a priest, I want to re-clarify what are the differences on how Jesus is treated in the two masses.   This will be from my own stand point as a priest who has for years celebrated the New Mass in English and Spanish, and now, for the last 7 years offered the Ancient Holy Sacrifice of the Mass…

From my view up on the altar, the difference between the Ancient Mass and the New Mass is like day and night.  Archbishop Sample, from Portland Oregon, put it well when he said at the Sacra Liturgia Conference in Rome, that he wants all of his priests to learn and offer the Latin Mass because of the effect it has on them understanding their role as priests.  He said that offering the Holy Latin Mass has changed him completely and now he finally understands the sacrificial aspect of his priesthood..

As a priest who says the New Mass and the Latin Mass, the Latin Mass has by far more rubrics built right into the Latin Mass to protect the Body and Blood of Jesus from being desecrated in any manner.  It clearly has the strong sacrificial component of the Holy Mass and priesthood.  It does not have the protestant emphasis on the Last Supper and “doing this in remembrance of Me” like the Luther advocated.  It also has prayers and gestures that facilitate more easily the adoration that Jesus deserves from us His creatures.  And because of this, the Latin Mass pleases God way more than the New Mass. Click here to read article in full

 

Comments invited – how did YOU vote in the poll: and why?

26 May: Feast of Corpus Christi

PANIS ANGELICUS (Lyric)
Cesar Franck

Panis angelicus
Fit panis hominum;
Dat panis coelicus
Figuris terminum;
O res mirabilis!
Manducat dominum

Pauper, pauper
Servus et humilis.
Pauper, pauper
Servus et humilis.

Panis angelicus
Fit panis hominum;
Dat panis coelicus
Figuris terminum;
O res mirabilis!
Manducat dominum

Pauper, pauper
Servus et humilis.
Pauper, pauper
Servus, servus et humilis. 
________________
(translation)
HEAVENLY BREAD

Heavenly bread
That becomes the bread for all mankind;
Bread from the angelic host
That is the end of all imaginings.
Oh, miraculous thing!
This body of God will nourish 

Even the poorest,
The most humble of servants.
Even the poorest,
The most humble of servants.

Heavenly bread
That becomes the bread for all mankind;
Bread from the angelic host
That is the end of all imaginings.
Oh, miraculous thing!
This body of God will nourish 

Even the poorest,
The most humble of servants.
Even the poorest,
The most humble of servants.


From the Vatican…


OFFICE FOR THE LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS 
OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF

 Communion received on the tongue and while kneeling

The most ancient practice of distributing Holy Communion was, with all probability, to give Communion to the faithful in the palm of the hand. The history of the liturgy, however, makes clear that rather early on a process took place to change this practice.

From the time of the Fathers of the Church, a tendency was born and consolidated whereby distribution of Holy Communion in the hand became more and more restricted in favor of distributing Holy Communion on the tongue. The motivation for this practice is two-fold: a) first, to avoid, as much as possible, the dropping of Eucharistic particles; b) second, to increase among the faithful devotion to the Real Presence of Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

Saint Thomas Aquinas also refers to the practice of receiving Holy Communion only on the tongue. He affirms that touching the Body of the Lord is proper only to the ordained priest.

Therefore, for various reasons, among which the Angelic Doctor cites respect for the Sacrament, he writes: “. . . out of reverence towards this Sacrament, nothing touches it, but what is consecrated; hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest’s hands, for touching this Sacrament. Hence, it is not lawful for anyone else to touch it except from necessity, for instance, if it were to fall upon the ground, or else in some other case of urgency” (Summa Theologiae, III, 82, 3).

Over the centuries the Church has always characterized the moment of Holy Communion with sacredness and the greatest respect, forcing herself constantly to develop to the best of her ability external signs that would promote understanding of this great sacramental mystery. In her loving and pastoral solicitude the Church has made sure that the faithful receive Holy Communion having the right interior dispositions, among which dispositions stands out the need for the Faithful to comprehend and consider interiorly the Real Presence of Him Whom they are to receive. (See The Catechism of Pope Pius X, nn. 628 & 636). The Western Church has established kneeling as one of the signs of devotion appropriate to communicants. A celebrated saying of Saint Augustine, cited by Pope Benedict XVI in n. 66 of his Encyclical Sacramentum Caritatis, (“Sacrament of Love”), teaches: “No one eats that flesh without first adoring it; we should sin were we not to adore it” (Enarrationes in Psalmos 98, 9). Kneeling indicates and promotes the adoration necessary before receiving the Eucharistic Christ.

From this perspective, the then-Cardinal Ratzinger assured that: “Communion only reaches its true depth when it is supported and surrounded by adoration” [The Spirit of the Liturgy(Ignatius Press, 2000), p. 90]. For this reason, Cardinal Ratzinger maintained that “the practice of kneeling for Holy Communion has in its favor a centuries-old tradition, and it is a particularly expressive sign of adoration, completely appropriate in light of the true, real and substantial presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ under the consecrated species” [cited in the Letter “This Congregation” of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, 1 July 1, 2002].

John Paul II, in his last Encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia (“The Church comes from the Eucharist”), wrote in n. 61: “By giving the Eucharist the prominence it deserves, and by being careful not to diminish any of its dimensions or demands, we show that we are truly conscious of the greatness of this gift. We are urged to do so by an uninterrupted tradition, which from the first centuries on has found the Christian community ever vigilant in guarding this ‘treasure.’ Inspired by love, the Church is anxious to hand on to future generations of Christians, without loss, her faith and teaching with regard to the mystery of the Eucharist. There can be no danger of excess in our care for this mystery, for ‘in this sacrament is recapitulated the whole mystery of our salvation.’” 

In continuity with the teaching of his Predecessor, starting with the Solemnity of Corpus Christi in the year 2008, the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, began to distribute to the faithful the Body of the Lord, by placing it directly on the tongue of the faithful as they remain kneeling.  Source – Vatican website

From the Catholic Truth Team…

Happy Feast Day!

Comment:

As always on these devotional threads, readers are invited to discuss any relevant issues, but also to post favourite prayers, hymns, stories – you name it… 

Reminder:  if you wish to post a video straight onto the page instead of merely the link, then you right click on the video screen (as it’s playing, if you wish) to select “copy embed code”.  Then go to the comment box here, and right click to select “paste”.  Submit the comment and when it goes up, you will see that the video itself has appeared, not just the link.  Now, (I hear you saying) there’s a hint to post some of the lovely hymns of adoration to the Blessed Sacrament! Whatever – Happy Feast of Corpus Christi to all bloggers and visitors to this site … Enjoy!

Scots Priest Bans “Communion To Go”

ExtraordinaryMinisterWomanWe frequently hear stories of liturgical shenanigans from readers who are still attending the novus ordo Mass.  A reader sent us the bulletin for his parish in Glasgow dated 24th April, 2016, wherein the following item stood out – a mile…
NB: the item is copied below as originally published,  punctuation included, without comment, although the wrong use of “Eucharistic Minister” is highlighted throughout. Emphasis in the original…

EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS [sic]. The new Eucharistic Ministers [sic] rota for the period May to July is now available in the sacristy. 

A very big thank you to Eucharistic Ministers [sic] – and all who exercise any liturgical ministry in the parish – reading, music, pass keeping etc.  New ministers for each of these and other parish activities are always very welcome!

Eucharistic Ministers [sic] who take Holy Communion to the sick and housebound parishioners do a wonderful job, and our grateful thanks go to all of you.  It may be opportune to mention however that parishioners who wish someone to bring communion to a relative or neighbour must always first approach one of the priests of the parish.  Eucharistic Ministers [sic] should never act on a request from another parishioner unless this has been raised with one of the priests. There are two serious reasons for this. First, Eucharistic Ministers [sic] are EXTRAORDINARY Ministers, which means they are always appointed to specific functions.  Second, only those who are PVG checked to carry out such visits are allowed to do so. The parish MUST always have a record of who is receiving Holy Communion and home, and by whom. [Ed: presume “and home” should read “at home”.]   END OF BULLETIN NOTICE.

Hi Katie! Do me a favour, would you? I'm racing out to a party, but been meaning to phone you all week - where DOES the time go? Could you be a darling and take my neighbour Communion, when you do your rounds on Sunday. I feel she's very lonely and could use a chat. I'm busy myself or... well, you know what I mean You will? Great! Thanks Katie.

Hi Katie! Do me a favour, would you? I’m racing out to a party, but been meaning to phone you all week – where DOES the time go? Could you be a darling and take my neighbour Communion, when you do your rounds on Sunday? I feel she’s very lonely and could use a chat. I’m busy myself or… well, you know what I mean  You will? Great! Thanks Katie. She lives right next door, so you’ll find her no bother.

Comment:

There are plenty of reasons why the indiscriminate distribution of Holy Communion by these lay people is not a good idea: it is, in fact, a huge scandal.  The priest who wrote the above bulletin notice has not even scratched the surface of why these lay people must stop, with immediate effect, this disgraceful practice of supplying the Blessed Sacrament on demand. Of course, they shouldn’t be handling the Blessed Sacrament at all, and this arrogance just proves the point made more than once on this blog, that this “ministry” bears all the hallmarks of the Devil’s prideful influence.  As, it must be said, does the now widespread practice of Communion in the hand itself. 

What would I do if I were the PP of that parish?  I’d (tactfully, of course, you know me…) dispense with the services of  every single one of these lay people without delay. I’d then use my NEXT parish bulletin to announce that, forthwith, we’d be offering the Traditional Latin Mass, in a serious attempt to offer true,  pleasing worship to God, in the hope making reparation for the many scandals that are now endemic in the novus ordo, especially this latest horror.  That’s what I’d do. What about you? 

House of Prayer – Den of Dancing…

 Click here to read The Remnant’s exhortation to the Society of St Pius X, to regularize now!

Comment:

Would YOU attend a Mass celebrated by any of the priests in this video?  It’s true that the dancing took place after Mass, but, still.  Makes one think, does it not. If this is how they treat the House of God at any time, never mind straight after Mass, what is their “take” on the Holy Sacrifice?  “It is written: My house shall be called the house of prayer, but you have made it a  den of thieves” (Matthew 21:13)

Dunkeld Priest: Scottish Catholicism is quite Presbyterian – No surprise then…

ElevationofHosttradmassThe headline of this thread is part of the front page headline of our March 2007 newsletter, Issue No. 44.  The complete headline reads:  Dunkeld Priest: “Scottish Catholicism is quite Presbyterian” – No surprise then that he disposes of the doctrine of Transubstantiation.

The headline introduced a report on a Dunkeld priest – Fr Tom Shields –  who completely betrayed the Faith in an interview which was published in the Church of Scotland periodical Life & Work…

The Life & Work interviewer remarks that  “Catholics have varying interpretations, even mongst themselves, about what exactly Transubstantiation means” (and it is not clear if this observation comes from the interviewer, or the priest) but Fr Tom Shields comments:  “If you understand ‘substance’ in a commonplace way as ‘depth’ (as in ‘that person has depth’) most Catholics would agree that, yes, in the substance of the bread and wine something special happens here.”

Now, as I pointed out in my commentary at the time, “something special” is the description you would apply if you witnessed a daylight robbery at your local bank and managed to find a policeman within an hour…  And, again, as I pointed out in my commentary at the time, I know of at least one RE teacher on record as saying that if she ever has the power to remove one single word from the dictionary, it will be the over-used to the point of being meaningless term “special”.

So, why am I resurrecting such an old newsletter report? Has Fr Tom Shields repented of his theological and ecclesiastical gaffes? Not quite. Unfortunately, like most of the priests who have featured in our newsletter over the years, Fr Shields is now featuring in the secular press for less than edifying reasons.    Click here to read report.

But before anyone jumps to the conclusion that I’m keen to discuss this sad news of another priest suspended pending police enquiries into historical abuse claims, not so.  I was about to close down and look for another topic, when I noticed this little nugget:   Last year, Bishop of Dunkeld, Stephen Robson appointed Shields to head up the church’s youth formation programme and to help with religious education in schools.

A priest who can’t explain the doctrine of  Transubstantiation to an adult Protestant, isn’t going to be a raving success in the world of the Terrible Teens, now, is he?