Escape From the Absurd! |
Priests need to realize and educate their flocks that Holy Mass does not entail opening your mouths, but your hearts. Only when the priests open their hearts to the Truths that no pope had the authority to change the Immemorial Mass canonized by the infallible decree of Trent and codified by Pope St. Pius V, will order be restored to their parishes! You cannot wallow in the mud without getting dirty! Clean things up and cleanse yourselves with the only cleaning agent that gets souls totally cleansed - the Sacramental divinely ordained Traditional Latin Mass! Say "NO!" to the NO!
"This is a call to all parish priests who are remotely interested in dedicating themselves to a return to the unadulterated priesthood of the authentic Catholic Church. What I propose here may be asking a lot of a parish priest, but the faithful deserve much better than jabberwocky in the name of the Catholic Church. Frankly, I don't care if you have to be made a bit uncomfortable, or if you are uncertain as to where your next meal may come from, or where you may find accommodations to rest your weary head if you take this essay seriously. If you decide not to follow the party line and your bishop kicks you out, there are a host of devout Catholics who will take you in on a moments notice. Trust me."
Who can any longer be surprised by the absurdity going on within the establishment that is (and has been for 40 years now) masquerading as the Catholic Church?
On the one hand, we have some seriously hopeful priests, helplessly insistent on remaining entombed in the quagmire that is the modern church, who are aware of the fatal crisis asphyxiating the faithful, but remain seemingly powerless to do anything about it. An excellent and touching example is the essay by Fr. Joseph F. Wilson, "The Communion Controversy: Almost Beside the Point."
On the other hand, we have a couple of bishops, such as Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs, who would like to offer the faithful some portion of the truth (which hasn't been heard full-force from a pulpit there in years and years under the leadership of retired bishop Richard Hanifen), but at the same time, insists on remaining stiffly entrenched in the entire fiasco of the Novus Ordo which includes the inane man-centered liturgy with its completely inferior theology and vacuous catechesis. Sunday after Sunday the mundane minded traipse through this diocese and every other, approaching the altar with the cheerful certainty that their membership in the "catholic social club" is right-on. Their comfort zone may be a bit tousled by the bishop's recent comments, but it will take a really big excavation to get back to the whole truth which has been obfuscated for nearly half a century.
Another telling tale comes to us from the Diocese of Spokane which is facing huge liabilities due to lawsuits against its homosexual perpetrators wearing priestly vestments. The bishop there is Bishop William S. Skylstad who has been there since 1990 and, what is even worse, is next in line to head up the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops when Bishop Wilton Gregory's term is over. God forbid! God help us! The attorney for Skylstad's diocese says the damages being sought by the victims amounts to nearly $85 million, enough to "put the diocese out of business." Of course, no one thought to mention that the dioceses of the real Catholic Church are not "in business" and the sole work of its bishops and priests is supposed to be proclaiming the Truth for the salvation of souls, without riches or mansions or millions.
Priests continue to lap up the disorder that has been heaped in front of them, whether coming from the bishops or from Rome itself, and remain powerless to confront heresy because they are head over heels in love with the personality of the man who currently occupies the chair of Peter, as well as their own powerful positions in parish churches and chancery offices. Those priests, who are trying to buck the system, are persecuted and forced to adhere to the party line, or else.
People can complain here and there about the lack of reverence in the new mass and hope a little tinkering will give it some depth and God-centeredness, but they are not willing to give up their roles as lay entertainers and return the Mass to the consecrated hands of the priest. Priests can complain about the insanity that has invaded the sanctuary, but they will hardly ever refuse it, nor will they refuse obedience to disobedient bishops who are spiraling headlong into heresy, dragging countless victims with them.
The Wanderer and its cohorts continue to dig up every dirty story on any "bad bishop" they can find, and stand superiorly over and above the "church in America", as if the church somewhere else is really any different or much better. We are supposed to believe that what goes on in the church in America is all done behind the back of the John Paul II and without his approval.
A news item at Zenit.org regarding the Pope's exhortation to the faithful in America to recover devotions is a fitting example of the absurd. I am including the text of it here in its entirety.
VATICAN CITY, MAY 23, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II recommended that U.S. Catholics recover "devotions of popular piety" as a means of personal and communal sanctification.
"For centuries the holy rosary, Stations of the Cross, prayer before and after meals, and other devotional practices have helped to form a school of prayer in families and parishes, acting as rich and beautiful supplements to the sacramental life of Catholics," the Pope said.
He made his suggestion Saturday when meeting with U.S. bishops visiting from the ecclesiastical provinces of San Antonio and Oklahoma City.
"A renewal of these devotions will not only help the faithful in your country grow in personal holiness but will also act as a source of strength and sanctification for the Catholic Church in the United States," the Holy Father added.
God bless John Paul II for any realistic effort he may be putting forth - if that is truly the case - but let's be candid and admit the reality here. First of all, the Pope is only able to make a "recommendation" because of his obeisance to the holy cow of collegiality. His "suggestion" was made to the U.S. Bishops from San Antonio and Oklahoma City.
Secondly, the idea that Catholics must recover devotions of popular piety is an admission that such devotions have been lost, vanished, kaput! Well, where did they go, and by whose authority were they swept out with the altars and communion rails? Did this just happen overnight? If these devotions have "for centuries" been helpful in promoting personal holiness, strength and sanctification for the Catholic Church, why hasn't John Paul II made it his business to make absolutely certain that they were restored to their rightful priority in the lives of every parish when he became Pope back in 1978?
Thirdly, the majority of modern "Catholics" do not know what John Paul II is talking about because "devotions of popular piety" are not part of the catechesis of the ecu-maniacal New Springtime. Neither do the terms "personal holiness," or "sanctification" have any meaning. Other than possibly the Rosary, the devotions to which JPII is referring will only be understood by old timers or old fogeys.
Fourth, while the words of John Paul II sound exceedingly traditional and hopeful, they manage to skirt the real issue which must be acknowledged: The majority of Catholics in the U.S. do not have a "sacramental life," because Catholicism has been destroyed in favor of the heartless agenda promoted on a worldwide basis within the Church over the past 40 years. It is none other than John Paul himself who continually refers to this destructively dark epic in the Church's history as "renewal" and "the New Springtime."
So, absurdity reigns supreme. While complacently nodding to the bishops as they continue to apply fatal doses of ether to the faithful of this land, John Paul II suggests applying white gauge bandages in the form of devotional practices. As long as Catholics must endure Sunday "liturgical celebrations" where they are sing-songfully forced to worship themselves, promote their own talents, and skip joyfully to the table to get a bit of 'holy bread' and feel good about themselves, they will never ever get the real thing. People will not be drawn to personal holiness and the desire for devotions of popular piety when the TRUTH is not proclaimed, lived and actively pursued by the clergy of the very establishment which is purporting to be Catholic.
If we could get past the absurd and get to the truth, it would do so much to promote holiness. Quite a few priests and journalists are willing to admit that the Church is in a mess, but by their actions we understand that they expect us to endure it. When will somebody honestly explain to the starving faithful that they don't have to open their mouths during the Holy Mass, except for that one precious moment when the Body of our Lord is placed upon their tongues? Contrary to all the Vatican II effluent that has been poured into the liturgy, during the entire Mass what the people must be about is opening their hearts, not their mouths!!
We need somebody in authority to actually get down to brass tacks and admit that the mucked up celebration which we have come to know as the Novus Ordo Missae is the BIGGEST part of the problem, and Catholics don't have to support it any longer. If John Paul II is serious about the need for the faithful to grow in personal holiness and for the Church to find her source of strength and sanctification, why won't he "suggest" a return to the Holy Mass of devotion and piety? Shrug your shoulders and turn away if you want, but this IS the heart of it all: the rebellion, the new religion.
There is a cleansing in the process, and we are witnessing a stronger repulsion to the darkness from within the recesses of the Church. Parish priests, because of the power of the office of their ordination have got to get down on their knees and pray for the holy guts to stand for the truth no matter the repercussions from any bishop or money-withholding parishioner. As Christ is Lord and Saviour, compromise will not suffice.
This is a call to all parish priests who are remotely interested in dedicating themselves to a return to the unadulterated priesthood of the authentic Catholic Church. What I propose here may be asking a lot of a parish priest, but the faithful deserve much better than jabberwocky in the name of the Catholic Church. Frankly, I don't care if you have to be made a bit uncomfortable, or if you are uncertain as to where your next meal may come from, or where you may find accommodations to rest your weary head if you take this essay seriously. If you decide not to follow the party line and your bishop kicks you out, there are a host of devout Catholics who will take you in on a moments notice. Trust me.
Before going further, you've got to admit that the abortion issue is just the tip of the iceberg, but if a priest can't tell his people the truth about the sin of abortion from the pulpit, how will he ever be able to tell the truth about the entire vacuous, godless, contraceptive induced, oversexed lifestyle that has engulfed just about every person in his parish? If a priest won't tell the truth about the reality of Christ's miracles, or insist on the Church's absolute teaching regarding the actual and real presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist, then such a priest will never be able to tell the truth about the need for weekly reception of the Sacrament of Confession (not social counseling sessions) behind a screen, on your knees, prior to coming to receive the Holy Sacrament of the Altar. The style of the "good guy" priest must be thrown out forever and replaced with the devotion and pious bearing of a priest more reminiscent of the Cure d'Ars - who spends several hours a week before the Blessed Sacrament and knows his own unworthiness at the foot of the altar. A priest who wears a cassock to show his "conservative" side and insists on center stage theatrics complete with good jokes, arm waving and crowd pleasing homiletics has "conserved" nothing, and has reduced what is left of the Mass to a social club meeting designed to make everyone feel good. We need more men with the backbone of Father Lawrence Smith and Father Stephen Zigrang.
The modern church desperately needs priests who will call the bishops and tell them, "No more girls parading about as altar boys in my parish. No more women lectors, cantors, etc. No more Eucharistic ministers. From now on, I'm requesting a special dispensation because Holy Communion will be received on the tongue only, and while kneeling. No more choirs up front and center to entertain and show off their talents during the Mass. We're throwing out Marty Haughn and all the other trite music in exchange for good old solid Catholic hymns and Gregorian chant. And no more stupid catechism books." This is the round about way of getting to the point of saying that the Novus Ordo Missae and the rubrics and the general instruction and everything that goes with it including Redemtionis Sacramentum are woefully inadequate for people who honestly want to be Catholic.
Any priest who is really worth his collar has got to be aware of this, and be willing to begin the process to disengage himself from that which is inferior and consequently destructive to souls in order to bring the faithful the Holy Immemorial Mass of All Ages which is their birthright. What will be the backlash for such gutsy priests intent on rectifying the damage which has been inflicted on souls who looked to the Church for right teaching and direction but for the past 40 years got jabberwocky instead? Is there a network out there to help our poor priests who are battling in this quicksand, and give them the helping hand they desperately need?
How much longer do the faithful have to wait to be rescued from the insanity that has engulfed the Church? How much longer will priests countenance the travesty of a liturgy stripped of the power of the Gospel which has been edited and abbreviated in order to avoid social and political discomfort? How much longer before our priests will stand up and refuse to be accomplices to the mass murder of souls in the name of Vatican II? If every priest were to read the words of the Gospel of John 21:15-19 with the understanding that God is speaking to him as well as the Apostle Peter, he would perhaps find the strength to go forward seeing that indeed priests have been girded by others (with apostasy in the name of "reform") and carried where they did not wish to go (forced to be part of a "new religion").
A Novus Ordo congregation, while remodeling its "worship space" is adding a 60 foot steeple to the building (built in the 1970's) in order to make it appear more Catholic. They are spending a tremendous amount of money and are extremely delighted and proud of the "renovation." What the dear people don't understand and many don't want to hear, is that the steeple of true devotion to our Lord as passed down through the centuries by the Catholic Church must be built within our hearts, where the true renovation must take place. A fan-shaped seating arrangement that allows the choir director to have eye contact with everyone present, and gives the priest lots of leg room to walk around during his homilies is counterproductive to the true worship that we owe to our great God. The idea of "appearing more Catholic" has less to do with the structure (ask those traditional Catholics who have been forced to worship in the catacombs of hotel banquet rooms, crowded living rooms, garages, etc. since the illegal suppression of the Holy Mass), and a lot more to do with the teaching one receives at the hands of a holy priest and a consistent diet of prayer and pious worship before a God Who is truly magnificent and deserving of all our love and devotion.
Let us pray with Pentecost this weekend that the Advocate - the Holy Ghost - will imbue these men with the strength of purpose and truth and, like the Apostles, go forth unafraid as we pray:
"Come Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of your priests, and enkindle within them the FIRE of Your DIVINE LOVE."
For past columns by Catharine, see 2004lam.htm Archives