In the most recent issue of The Wanderer we have been alerted that, in lieu of the sacred and Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, he proposes his vision of the American Church by saying, "In all honesty, we have hardly begun to give the basic shape of the Eucharist the sounds and movements and gestures and arts of our many cultures." We realize Hollywood comes under his domain but such a production flies in the face of the sacred nature of the Mass. But to him, that doesn't seem to matter for he faults those who have not gone far enough in changing the Mass. Rather than the priest celebrating the Mass and offering sacrifice on behalf of the people, he wants to emphasize the people with such statements as "Why does liturgy so often fall short? Because we have not acted as if we were an assembly celebrating the liturgy." He further denigrates tradition with such new-age jabberwocky as "At Sunday Eucharist, there is no reverence for the body of Christ when we have not sought bread that is bread to all the senses, when we have not the habit of enough wine for the cup to be shared by every communicant..." First of all, since when did it become "Sunday Eucharist" rather than the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? Secondly, the "senses" nonsense masks the concept of Jesus as Divine and we as His subjects; rather it elevates man to an equal status. Thirdly, the wine in the cup can be shared with all, but the Blood of Christ, Soul and Divinity can only be shared with those who are in the state of Sanctifying Grace. Without a clean slate in the Sacrament of Penance, one cannot share in the Body and Blood of Christ. Sadly, the Cardinal makes no mention of this vital sacrament...in fact, no mention of sacrament at all but rather the words "liturgy" have supplanted the Mass. He reinforces this agenda when he says, "A good presider is thoroughly attentive to the liturgy...This is an attitude, a way of being and conducting oneself. It can only happen when we have left behind all magical notions of liturgy and priesthood." In effect, he is asserting that what Rome has declared over the past nineteen hundred years is now passe. It doesn't fit his image of the American Church where "The assembly is to be gathered round, if possible, right around the altar, for what occurs here involves not only the bread and wine, but those standing around. We too are consecrated, changed, shared." It gets worse, but our question is, if this were truly the answer to how the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was to be conducted, then why didn't Christ bring all His disciples, not to mention everyone who was lingering outside, to the Last Supper? Why didn't the great Doctors of the Church and her wise popes throughout the ages recognize how shallow the Mass had been and bring it into conformity with this kind of thinking? Why has it taken so long for Roman Catholics to understand we've been doing it wrong all these years? Quick, show us the right way, Cardinal Mahoney, for we're so sorry we've been led astray by all those rich traditions, doctrines, dogmas and mislead by such luminaries as Saint Augustine, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Francis de Sales, Pope Saint Gregory the Great, Pope Saint Gregory VII, Pope Saint Pius V, Pope Saint Pius X, and now Pope John Paul II to name just a few in the glorious list of great saints and Church visionaries. But now, we have a new visionary on the scene - a prophet, if you will, albeit a "false prophet." If the reader perceives this editor to be a bit facetious, one would be right on. For enough is enough. We've been doing an extensive study in our on-going megaseries WHERE IS HOLY MOTHER CHURCH HEADING AS WE NEAR THE MILLENNIUM? on the proprosals of the progressives in their attempt to steal away our faith as handed down to us. The Wanderer also quoted national liturgists regarding Mahoney's remarks and one prominent liturgist flatly exclaimed, "This is straight heresy." Another said of Mahoney's intent, "He thinks that liturgy is nothing more than a human action that leaves you exhausted at the end. There's no recognition that the Mass is a sacrifice. There's no recognition that you can't have a sacred event when the language is so banal. He has a congregationalist concept of ministry; he has no sense of sacred liturgical music; he thinks the most powerful element of liturgy is people gazing into one another's eyes; there's no notion of the Catholic understanding of the Mass as an action redolent of the Trinity, Christ, and the Blessed Virgin Mary. In his 'vision,' there's no notion that liturgy is the worship of Christ; the eschatological character of the Mass is gone: Nothing in it makes you think of Heavenly things or the Four Last Things." The esteemed Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith, Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, the second most influential man in the Vatican after the Pope, has issued a strong responsory caution flag against actions like Mahoney's when he speaks about the changes in liturgy from the tradition-rich Tridentine rite to the Novus Ordo rite, "...the fact that [the latter] was presented as a new structure, set up against what had been formed in the course of history and was now prohibited, and that the liturgy was made to appear in some ways no longer as a living process but as a product of specialized knowledge and juridical competence, has brought with it some extremely serious damages for us...I am convinced that the ecclesial crisis in which we find ourselves today depends, in great part, upon the collapse of the liturgy, which at times is actually being conceived etsi Deus non daretur: as though in the the liturgy it did not matter any more whether God exists and whether He speaks to us and listens to us."
We normally are very careful to say anything bad about anyone, remembering first and foremost Christ's command to "Love one another", but He also admonished us to correct our brothers, too. In addition, Saint Francis de Sales said, "It is true that we can speak openly of infamous, public, notorious sinners, provided it is in a spirit of charity and compassion and not arrogantly and presumptiously. Nor should we take any pleasure from the evils of others, for this last is always the act of a mean, debased heart. However, I exclude the declared enemies of God and His Church. It is our duty to denounce as strongly as we can heretical and schismatic sects and their leaders. It is an act of charity to cry out against the wolf when he is among the sheep, wherever he is." Saint John Chrysostom said, "...the main characteristic of a false prophet is that he separates the people of God from the Magisterium of the Church, through which Christ's teaching is declaredto the world. Our Lord also indicates that these deceivers are destined to eternal perdition."
What do we do? First of all pray for the Cardinal and his cohorts in the episcopacy, along with their cadre of radical implementators and the countless number of confused Catholics that are being led down this dangerous new-age path to perdition. Secondly, expose this garbage for what it is: heresy! As loyal Roman Catholics we cannot sit idly by and let them change our beloved Church right before our eyes. "We've grown up since Vatican II." That's the cry many of the rebellious radicals fall back on, but we've grown up since Vatican II, too!!! We should recognize when what we're being told by American bishops is pure poppycock and definitely not in accord with the Holy Father. When that happens, we must be prepared to thwart their aims by arming ourselves with the truth for as Christ said, If you abide in My word, you shall be My disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8: 32). That is the main objective of this ministry at MIR-A-CALL Center and the CATHOLIC-INTERNET NETWORK - to provide the essentials necessary to know the truth - the dogmas, doctrines, teachings and traditions of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. In the next installment, part two of "Beware of False Prophets in the American Church", we will examine this further and see the insidious ways these practices are penetrating the parish level in a not-so-clandestine manner to totally break from Rome.