Brisbane: confusion continues over validity of baptismal form

I am sure you recall that the CDF issued a note about the invalidity of baptisms where the sacramental form was changed to a non-Trinitarian version.

This was sparked by what was going on in Brisbane, Australia, where priests were changing the form and therefore baptizing invalidly.

I posted on this and have a PODCAzT on it.

Now I read this in the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Brisbane.  My emphases and comments.

Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane admits baptism blunder

By Neil Hickey

March 06, 2008 12:54pm

DOZENS – even hundreds – of Catholics in Brisbane may have been illicitly baptised in a bungle the church is now trying to correct. 

The Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane says the blunder may affect anyone baptised at the St Marys Catholic Church before 2004. [Oh gee whiz... sorry! Just a blunder... just a little mistake!]

The notice has been issued after a fresh directive this week from the Catholic Church in Vatican City.  [Good heavens!  Who is this writer?]

The baptisms used two illicit formulas: "I baptise you in the name of the Creator and of the Redeemer and of the Sanctifier and "I baptise you in the in the name of the Creator and of the Liberator and of the Sustainer.  [Ehem... not just illicit but also INVALID.  That is the point... right?  They were INVALID!]

The legitimate [valid] formula is "I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

The chancellor of the diocese, Father Jim Spence, said the priests at the parish were ordered to revert to the traditional formula in 2004 but that some people may still be unaware their baptisms were wrongly administered.

He said he was unaware how many people it may affect. The church is currently considering whether there will be a need for those illicitly [INVALIDLY] baptised to have the ritual legitimately. [VALIDLY]

"It doesn’t mean it’s invalid, it just means it’s illicit, he said.  [ .....  ?!??! ... ]

"It doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen, it means that it shouldn’t have happened.

"I guess (those affected) would have all sorts of reactions. I would hope that anybody whos [sic] troubled by it would get in touch.” [!]

Baptism, the first of seven sacraments in the church, is the rite of initiation into the church and is usually administered shortly after birth.
 
Fr Spence said the illicit baptisms did not invalidate subsequent sacraments, including confirmation, penance and marriage.  [Ummm.... Father... are you sure?]

Anyone concerned they may be affected should call 3268 3040.

What did the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith say:

CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH

RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS PROPOSED

on the validity of Baptism conferred with the formulas

«I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier»
and «
I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Liberator, and of the Sustainer»

 

QUESTIONS

First question: Whether the Baptism conferred with the formulas «I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier» and «I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Liberator, and of the Sustainer» is valid?

Second question: Whether the persons baptized with those formulas have to be baptized in forma absoluta?

RESPONSES

To the first question: Negative.

To the second question: Affirmative.

The Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, approved these Responses, adopted in the Ordinary Session of the Congregation, and ordered their publication.

Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, February 1, 2008.

William Cardinal Levada
Prefect

 Angelo Amato, S.D.B.
Titular Archbishop of Sila
Secretary

What does this mean?


"The response of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith constitutes an authentic doctrinal declaration, which has wide-ranging canonical and pastoral effects. Indeed, the reply implicitly affirms that people who have been baptised, or who will in the future be baptised, with the formulae in question have, in reality, not been baptised. [Read: the baptisms are INVALID, not just illicit.]  Hence, they must them be treated for all canonical and pastoral purposes with the same juridical criteria as people whom the Code of Canon Law places in the general category of ‘non- baptised’".

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39 Responses to Brisbane: confusion continues over validity of baptismal form

  1. protestant convert says:

    The above is all rather serious and it will damage a lot of people’s trust in the Church around St. Mary’s. People need to have a confidence that what their priests are doing is correct. If people start doubting, then you have outbreaks of scruples and laity second guesing everything that the priest is doing.

    I have a question that is related to this topic.

    I am a convert to Catholicism from United Methodism. My baptism was in the UMC. I had the paper work and everything for that baptism so I was not conditionally baptized when I was confirmed nor was I ever asked about the structure or form used.

    As I have grown in the Catholic faith over the years, I have come to understand baptism a lot better and there is no way I can be certain that the baptismal form was correct. It was a moderate UMC, the Creed was done correctly at the services, but I remember the Lord’s Supper (on the rare occasion when it was done) being a tad “new age”. It is not possible to determine if the minister read from the book or not during the private baptism that I had.

    What is the general suggestion for a case like this?

  2. Claus says:

    (Sorry, my english is not very good…)

    The really sad things are: First, people dont get baptized. That is a catastrophe. Let’s hope, that the Lord knows another way to save them. Second, those priests, who learned about validity and invalidity of sacraments and are still doing wrong are dooming themself. And if they did not learn about this: What are the seminaries are teaching there? What are the universities doing down there? Between all the stuff about ecumenism and welfare work it’s the primary duty of a priest to administrate the sacraments and to preach the gospel. As soon as people start doubting, people loose confidence in church. As soon as they loose confidence in church, the loose hope. Many priests should ask themself one question: Am I Priest for myself (to shine bright in peoples eyes) or am I priest for the Lord?

    Now about you: Ask your godparents. What else are they for. If this is not possible anymore, talk to other people of the UMC. What do they know about other baptisms in this communion? If there are still serious doubts, talk to a priest. He must decide, if a baptism “sub conditione” is necessary.

    Correct me, if I’m wrong, but at least your deep faith gives yourself a hint of the presence of the holy spirit.

    Best regards.

  3. Claus says:

    (Sorry, my english is not very good…)

    The really sad things are: First, people dont get baptized. That is a catastrophe. Let’s hope, that the Lord knows another way to save them. Second, those priests, who learned about validity and invalidity of sacraments and are still doing wrong are dooming themself. And if they did not learn about this: What are the seminaries are teaching there? What are the universities doing down there? Between all the stuff about ecumenism and welfare work it’s the primary duty of a priest to administrate the sacraments and to preach the gospel. As soon as people start doubting, people loose confidence in church. As soon as they loose confidence in church, the loose hope. Many priests should ask themself one question: Am I Priest for myself (to shine bright in peoples eyes) or am I priest for the Lord?

    Now about you: Ask your godparents. What else are they for. If this is not possible anymore, talk to other people of the UMC. What do they know about other baptisms in this communion? If there are still serious doubts, talk to a priest. He must decide, if a baptism “sub conditione” is necessary.

    Correct me, if I’m wrong, but at least your deep faith gives yourself a hint of the presence of the holy spirit.

    Best regards.

  4. vexilla regis says:

    Dear Father Z,
    Both the Catholic Leader article and the comments of the cleric quoted are truly representative of the Archdiocese of Brisbane at the official level.The Archbishop has been completely au fait with the goings on at St Marys South Brisbane – the Parish involved- for years. As in so many other matters he has done nothing effective.St.Mary’s Parish has virtually no resident parishoners , but has become a centre for disaffected “Catholics” .
    Problems are more widespread. Consider this from Archbishop Bathersby’s 2006 Advent Pastoral Letter : ………”He was the prophet par excellence, the Messiah, the long awaited messenger of God who announced the arrival of the Kingdom in Himself. This conviction of Jesus must have developed during his comparatively short life of 33 years, when through prayer, study and action he came to realise, in a mysterious process we will never be able to understand, that rather than being merely one of the prophets he himself was the Messiah, the anointed one of God. He must also have realised that in himself God was not merely calling the chosen people into an ever deeper relationship as God had done with the prophets and patriarchs, but that in relating to Himself people were relating to God. He must have realised that relationship with Himself would save the world and change it forever……”
    {On the other hand the Catholic Church’s teaching is well covered in Mystici Corporis” #75}.
    In that same Advent Season of 2006 Suffragan Bishop William Morris of Toowoomba issued his own Pastoral letter in which he offered as “options” recognising Anglican, Lutheran and Uniting Church {Presbyterian and Methodist} orders, ordaining women, welcoming former priests, married or single back to active ministry and ordaining married men . Surprisingly {!} this outrage reached the Holy See. In due course an Apostolic Visitator in the person of Archbishop Chaput of Denver arrived in Toowoomba ,conducted extensive and thorough interviews ,visited Archbishop Bathersby and returned home.
    wITHIN WEEKS IT WAS ANNOUNCED THAT CARDINAL WILLIAM LEVADA PREFECT OF THE CDF WOULD BLESS AND OPEN THE NEW HOLY SPIRIT PROVINCIAL SEMINARY ON SATURDAY 26 APRIL 2008.
    This is a Seminary with 8 or 9 seminarians 5 of whom are Ugandans ( thats right the 900,000 Catholics in the Province have only 3 or 4 of their own as seminarians – do you wonder}.
    Our newsletter FOUNDATION last month made it clear that Cardinal Levada obviously had larger fish to fry during his visit. In December 2006 FOUNDATION had front paged the Toowoomba story with the headline “Is the Bishop Well?” , and The Archbishop Bathersby Pastoral was the lead item on Page 3.
    Archbishop Bathersby reaches 75 in July 2011. Pray for the faithful Catholics in the Province of Brisbane. The above lowlights are but the tip of the iceberg, a book could be written.

  5. While I am not normally one to overreact to progressive theological and liturgical idiocies, should not these priests at least be defrocked? Committing a sacrilege and perpetrating a sacramental fraud like this with potentially devastating spiritual consequences for innocent laity (especially infants) would seem to make them prime candidates for losing their clerical state and, if unrepentant, being formally excommunicated from the Church.

    It’s tantamount to doctors committing malpractice by doing brain surgery with tinker toys. If we read such news, would anyone doubt that they would lose their license?

    I think we need to recover the medicinal value of canonical penalties, for the sake of both the corporate body of the Church and its failing members. I would put these priests first in line.

    In ICXC,

    Gordo

  6. vexilla regis,

    You have my prayers today, as does the Archdiocese and its faithful.

    The Archdiocese of Brisbane has the following official “Mission Statement”:

    “In baptism God calls all to be active in the life and mission of the Church, promoting the Reign of God in our world, as people who….celebrate, care, collaborate, evangelise and learn.”

    In light of the recent issues that have come to light, I thought that the mission statement of the Archdiocese was quite interesting on two levels:

    1. Very clearly its mission is rooted “in baptism”, which presumably means “valid” baptism as opposed to invalid, creative liturgical theatrics.

    2. The use of “…” in a mission statement is quite interesting. (I say this as one who works internationally with corporate leaders who develop mission statements) It leaves one wondering precisely what text is left out and replaced by a “…”! Apparently, it includes things like “dissent from Catholic teaching and practice” and “disobey the explicit commands of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ as contained in the Gospels”.

    Those little “…” spaces are dangerous things. Nature abhors a vacuum and eventually people start to fill them in with all sorts of nonsense! :-)

    In ICXC,

    Gordo

  7. MD says:

    ‘…there is an interpretation that I would like to call “hermeneutics of discontinuity and rupture”; it was frequently able to find favour among mass media, and also a certain sector of modern theology. ‘
    —Pope Benedict XVI

    The 40th anniversary of the Vatican II Council: discontinuity and reform

  8. Paul Mac says:

    Hard to believe that Fr Spence either had not read what the Congregation said, or doesn’t know the difference between “illicit” and “invalid”. So it looks like a blatant contradiction of Rome. And on such a serious matter, did he consult Archbishop Bathersby before going into print? The Brisbane archdiocese has been notorious for years for its aberrations. Now that we have the CDF weighing in because of one suburban parish. perhaps we can hope that Cardinal Levada will run a hose through the Augean stables.

  9. If the Church is the dispenser of the Grace of God, and one receives a Sacrament in good faith from a minister of the Sacrament who has invalidly dispensed, does not the Church provide for what is lacking? I remember this principle being taught well before Vatican II. Certainly the Baptisms should be redone wherever possible, but sometimes it isn’t possible.

  10. Legisperitus says:

    hieromonk: I think that principle (ecclesia supplet) applies only to jurisdiction– not to the “opus operatum” itself.

  11. Adam C says:

    I recall that baptism can if necessary be performed by any Catholic in extremis. Could not a person of the older generation who has had an undoubtedly valid baptism perform this sacrament? Or does this only apply in danger of death to prevent one dying unbaptised?

  12. Victor says:

    As far as I know, you do not even have to be baptized yourself in order to validly baptize. It is sufficient to be a human being.

  13. RBrown says:

    I am a convert to Catholicism from United Methodism. My baptism was in the UMC. I had the paper work and everything for that baptism so I was not conditionally baptized when I was confirmed nor was I ever asked about the structure or form used.

    As I have grown in the Catholic faith over the years, I have come to understand baptism a lot better and there is no way I can be certain that the baptismal form was correct. It was a moderate UMC, the Creed was done correctly at the services, but I remember the Lord’s Supper (on the rare occasion when it was done) being a tad “new age”. It is not possible to determine if the minister read from the book or not during the private baptism that I had.

    What is the general suggestion for a case like this?
    Comment by protestant convert

    The Baptismal form refers only to the specific words spoken by the minister when that the Sacrament is administered. If I Baptize you/thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit were the words spoken, then the form was valid. Whether the Creed was said or not said and whether silliness went on at their celebration of the Lord’s Supper is not relevant.

    BTW, I converted from Episcopalianism, and I asked to be conditionally Baptized.

  14. RBrown says:

    The story from Brisbane is yet another non surprise.

    In the early 90′s I was at table in Rome with a priest from Australia. He was there to study canon law, and was a friend, a good man, serious, studious, and disciplined. In addition to living in the same residence, we did Foster’s 3rd and 4th Latin experience together.

    Anyway, the talk turned to John Wayne and his deathbed conversion and Baptism. The priest said, “I don’t know why anyone would be Baptized on his deathbed–the Sacraments are for the living.” I responded in my usual pious manner, but with words full of technical theological distinctions, “I can’t believe you’re an f-ing priest.”

    But I understood his situation: Baptism 1) effects the remission of all sin, including Original Sin AND 2) confers grace and virtues on the recipient. The sad truth is that when this priest was in seminary, Original Sin was out.

  15. RBrown says:

    If the Church is the dispenser of the Grace of God, and one receives a Sacrament in good faith from a minister of the Sacrament who has invalidly dispensed, does not the Church provide for what is lacking? I remember this principle being taught well before Vatican II. Certainly the Baptisms should be redone wherever possible, but sometimes it isn’t possible.
    Comment by hieromonk Gregory

    If the Sacrament was invalidly dispensed, then on one has received it.

    And I agree with Legisperitus about Ecclesia Supplet.

  16. RBrown,

    Great story!

    Yes – sacraments are for the living, and the last time I checked, a man on his deathbed was still alive.

    I know of a priest who was critical of the decision to ordain a dying man to the priesthood. The words “priest forever” seem to be lost on him. I also know of a priest who was healed of his cancer miraculously at his ordination.

    I guess that is what happens when the sacraments are emptied of their spiritual, supernatural deifying power. They become flat, empty, rituals that receive their meaning and power, not from God Incarnate acting and speaking through the Church, but from the aggregate, nebulously defined “community” gathered for the corporate meal of sharing and caring.

    Sacraments viewed only through an anthropological, lateral lens are no longer sacraments, but “snackcraments”! I am personally tired of progressive snackcramentology. GIve me the meat of sacramental realism as taught by the Gospel any day over that.

    Or, as Flannery O’Connor once said, “If the Eucharist is only a symbol, than to hell with it!”

    In ICXC,

    Gordo

  17. Tom S. says:

    I don’t think it’s confusion at all, Father.

    As the warden said in Cool Hand Luke, “What we have here – is a complete failure to communicate”. And just like Luke in that film, these people down under seem to be abjectly refusing to accept reality.

    On the other hand, for the faithful in their care, I suppose it is totally confusing. I can’t imagine not knowing if I was baptized at all! I’d be panic-stricken myself. And beating on the door of every rectory I could find until I got it taken care of for sure.

  18. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    How do these priests, who know so little theology, make it to positions of power. If you are not validly baptized NONE of the other Sacraments you receive are valid. This is a huge deal that should have been dealt with in 2004. I can not believe that a bishop needed a dubia from Rome to take action, and once he received the dubia, he is so nonchalant about it. The bishop should be removed, and all the priests of the diocese be made to take mandatory classes in the basics of theology.

  19. Pater, OSB says:

    That the priests originally simulated baptism in such a matter was itself incredible – but for the paper of the archdiocese to write it off as a clerical error that has no bearing (unless of course it bothers you) takes it (if it is possible) to a whole new level.

  20. pdt says:

    Fr Z – We have two priests who modify the words of the consecration. In one case it becomes “whenever you do this, do it in memory of Me.” In the other, “My Lord” is added to the end of each elevation, as in “Do this in memory of me, My Lord.” The first instance seems to change the focus from the command “DO” to the command “REMEMBER”; the second seems to deny the fact that the priest is acting in the person of Christ.

    Does this modification of (what I consider to be) the most sacred words of the Mass make the consecration illicit? Does the transubstantiation take place or is our communion just bread and wine? Would it be worth sending a question to our bishop or Cardinal Levada?

  21. canon1753 says:

    I am reminded (regarding the priests involved) of a phrase of St. Josemaria Escriva, “There are no bad priests, only those who I (we) haven’t prayed for.” As mentioned above Ecclesia Suplet does not apply here. Maybe Deus Suplet or the idea of God providing if one is not baptized. I was thinking if the priest who baptized me used the wrong formula, I can think of what kind of mess there would be how many invalid Masses, confessions, blessings, official acts and so on….

    Proves yet again how important it is to just do it right. Otherwise we are letting our egoes get in the way of the works of Grace. If that isn’t Grave matter for a Priest I don’t know what is…

  22. Garrett says:

    My, how can a priest be so wrong in so much of what he says? Almost in every circumstance, if you take the EXACT opposite of what this Father Spence had, then you will actually get Catholic teaching. It would almost be funny if it weren’t so sad.

    “It doesn’t mean it’s invalid, it just means it’s illicit,” ———–> CHANGED TO: “It doesn’t just mean it’s illicit, it means it’s ivalid”, he said. (Ahhh, much better, and much more orthodox).

    “It doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen, it means that it shouldn’t have happened.” —————> CHANGED TO: “It doesn’t just mean that it shouldn’t have happened, it means that it [the baptism] actually didn’t happen.” BETTER!

    “Fr Spence said the illicit baptisms did not invalidate subsequent sacraments, including confirmation, penance and marriage.” ————> CHANGED TO: Fr Spence acknowledged Catholic teaching when he said the ivalid “baptisms” also invalidated subsequent sacraments, including confirmation, penance and marriage.

    Gosh, what has become of our Church when almsot every single thing a priest has said has to be parced apart by laypeople for its blatant lack of orthodox and accuracy?

  23. Garrett says:

    Gosh, how can a priest be so wrong in so much of what he says? Almost in every circumstance, if you take the EXACT opposite of what this Father Spence had, then you will actually get Catholic teaching. It would almost be funny if it weren’t so sad.

    “It doesn’t mean it’s invalid, it just means it’s illicit,” ———–> CHANGED TO: “It doesn’t just mean it’s illicit, it means it’s ivalid”, he said. (Ahhh, much better, and much more orthodox).

    “It doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen, it means that it shouldn’t have happened.” —————> CHANGED TO: “It doesn’t just mean that it shouldn’t have happened, it means that it [the baptism] actually didn’t happen.” BETTER!

    “Fr Spence said the illicit baptisms did not invalidate subsequent sacraments, including confirmation, penance and marriage.” ————> CHANGED TO: Fr Spence acknowledged Catholic teaching when he said the ivalid “baptisms” also invalidated subsequent sacraments, including confirmation, penance and marriage.

    Gosh, what has become of our Church when almsot every single thing a priest has said has to be parced apart by laypeople for its blatant lack of orthodox and accuracy?

  24. RBrown says:

    How do these priests, who know so little theology, make it to positions of power. If you are not validly baptized NONE of the other Sacraments you receive are valid. This is a huge deal that should have been dealt with in 2004. I can not believe that a bishop needed a dubia from Rome to take action, and once he received the dubia, he is so nonchalant about it. The bishop should be removed, and all the priests of the diocese be made to take mandatory classes in the basics of theology.
    Comment by Christopher Sarsfield

    There have been a lot of men ordained in the past 35 years who had zip in the way of theological training.

    A few years ago I taught a class on, among other things, The Sacraments in General. When I finished explaining ex opere operato, I told the class that now they knew more Sacramental theology than all four priests in my hometown.

  25. RBrown says:

    Fr Z – We have two priests who modify the words of the consecration. In one case it becomes “whenever you do this, do it in memory of Me.” In the other, “My Lord” is added to the end of each elevation, as in “Do this in memory of me, My Lord.” The first instance seems to change the focus from the command “DO” to the command “REMEMBER”; the second seems to deny the fact that the priest is acting in the person of Christ.

    Does this modification of (what I consider to be) the most sacred words of the Mass make the consecration illicit? Does the transubstantiation take place or is our communion just bread and wine? Would it be worth sending a question to our bishop or Cardinal Levada?
    Comment by pdt

    You’re asking whether it’s invalid, not illicit.

    The Sacramental form is the words that designate the Sacramental Matter–in the Eucharist, Bread and Wine. It is a bit like saying this is my car or this is my computer.

    The words that designate the Bread are “This is My Body”; likewise, the words that designate the Wine are “This is My Blood”.

  26. pdt says:

    RBrown – Thanks for the response, but unfortunately it doesn’t quite cover what I’m asking. I’ve had two differing opinions from priests over whether it is licit (i.e., legal) to change the words. They both agreed, however, that the act of Consecration incorporates the entire section of the Sacramentary that is in upper case letters, rather than the “This is my Body/This is my Blood” components themselves, with which you seem to disagree, so the validity remains in question.

  27. The response of this diocese is absolutely disgraceful! Considering the gravaty of the case and the great sacrilege caused by invalid and illicit baptisms, the clergy responsible should have been removed from the ministry, and immediate conditional rebaptism ordered for all who were involved! Instead they are doing everything to save face, to the point where they are contradicting what the Holy See has explicitly stated. All they are doing is causing further scandal and confusion among the laity.

  28. David2 says:

    Just a minor correction on a secular matter; the Courier Mail is the Rupert-Murdoch owned Brisbane daily newspaper. It’s not a “newspaper of the Archdiocese”, except insofar as it is the major secular newspaper published in the Archdiocese. Just thought that ought to be clarified.

  29. RBrown says:

    RBrown – Thanks for the response, but unfortunately it doesn’t quite cover what I’m asking. I’ve had two differing opinions from priests over whether it is licit (i.e., legal) to change the words. They both agreed, however, that the act of Consecration incorporates the entire section of the Sacramentary that is in upper case letters, rather than the “This is my Body/This is my Blood” components themselves, with which you seem to disagree, so the validity remains in question.
    Comment by pdt

    I follow St Thomas in these matters, and so, just from what you say, I would disagree with those priests.

    It is acknowledged that the Sacramental form is what designates (or signifies) the matter. That which obviously designates the wine is This is the Chalice of My Blood.

    Now St Thomas makes a distinction between the Substance of the Sacramental form and the essence of it. According to him the substance of the Sacra Form can be changed with no effect on validity as long as the essential sense of the form remains.

    The Substance of the Sac Form of the consecration of the wine according to the Novus Ordo is:

    Accipite et bibite ex eo omnes:
    hic est enim calix Sanguinis mei novi et aeterni testamenti, qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum. Hoc facite in meam commemorationem.

    Thus: Any change of the above text not in bold letters does not affect the validity of the Sacr Form.

  30. RBrown says:

    pdt,

    I have given you reasons for my opinion in this matter. What reasons have the priests given you?

  31. pdt says:

    RBrown – Thanks for the St. Thomas reference! They didn’t have citations other than agreeing that they had been so taught. Where they disagreed was on the addition of “My Lord” to the end of each prayer, the one citing that in some English-speaking countries the amendment is taught as a matter of course (and the priest who does so at our church is non-American).

  32. RBrown says:

    Where did they study theology?

  33. RBrown says:

    RBrown – Thanks for the St. Thomas reference! They didn’t have citations other than agreeing that they had been so taught. Where they disagreed was on the addition of “My Lord” to the end of each prayer, the one citing that in some English-speaking countries the amendment is taught as a matter of course (and the priest who does so at our church is non-American).
    Comment by pdt

    I said “reasons” not “citations”. I think St Thomas’ reasons make sense, and that the reasons for opposing opinions in this matter do not.

  34. Katy says:

    Oh, this is really shocking. This isn’t just hand-holding during the Our Father or insipid music… there are people out there who may think they’re Christian and they are not. Somebody may die in an accident tomorow and go to Hell because they’re still burdened by original sin!

    And, anybody on the Church’s payroll who doesn’t react to this with anything short of alarmed alacrity is in need of a good shake.

  35. Daniel says:

    I’m a “resident St. Mary’s parishioner”, and I caution readers about giving the vexilla regis any credence, s/he is being vexatious, bearing false witness when s/he writes

    “St.Mary’s Parish has virtually no resident parishoners , but has become a centre for disaffected “Catholics” .”

    The faces I see in the communion lines on the weekend I also see in the local shopping precinct during the week, so if V.R. is right, they must be disaffected shoppers as well, driving here from all over the city. I can assure you, the merchants of South Brisbane aren’t offering anything compelling to make that happen.

    Actually, the parishioners of South Brisbane is not at all disaffected, rather we are famously affectionate, largely due to the example and charism of our Fathers, that’s why we have a community of faith that is a bit more metropolitan and cosmopolitan, less geographically constrained than the rest of the diocese. ( I’m not sure if I’ve been sacriligeous in using a capital letter referring to the Priests, being as they are Our Lord’s earthly representatives, I’m sure some dogmatics here will condemn and correct me if I shouldn’t, and I’ll take my chances on forgiveness with the Lord if it was).

    Sometimes I do go to mass with my mum at her parish, I’m not a dogmatic splinter or beam eyed sectarianist.

    You’ll all hate the fact that they don’t wear traditional vestements at Mass either, more often than not it’s a Timorese tais, or a gift from some other sharing and caring faith community. There’s a grand piano, around which the choir gathers, on the altar side of the olde marble rail. And you make a donation to get bottles of rain forest collected rain water, “Heavenly Drop”. But you can’t buy holy water, or indulgences, or doves.

    Have you thought about changing the name of your blog to “The Whitened Sepulchre”?

    Dominus Vobiscum.
    (Yes, I was an altar boy too, from the olde days. I too loved the pomp and circumstance, am blessed with the gifts of Wisdom Understanding Counsel Knowledge Fortitude Piety and Fear of The Lord, but I assure you, if you have hardened your hearts, as it sounds, no amount of incense and monstrances will get you into heaven. Without love you are noisy gongs and clanging cymbals.)

  36. Fr Paul Chandler says:

    As a priest of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, I am saddened to read some of the untrue and denigrating comments about my archbishop, to whom at my ordination I promised obedience and respect. Many of the things said about him are selectively quoted or said out of context. He is orthodox, faithful to the teaching of the Church and loyal to Rome. Some contributors seem to not understand that a diocese and a religious community can have errant, even disobedient members. The force of law is more easily said to be brought to bear against such people than in practise it can be. Our archbishop acted decisively in 2004 when he became aware of the matter forbiding the incorrect formula of baptism. He has acted properly and I know he is saddened by this series of events. The letter he wrote to all clergy of the archdiocese makes this clear. It is also interesting to note that the covering letter from Cardinal Levada to the CDF’s response is addressed to the Presidents (plural) of Episcopal Conferences and it is response to “a number of inquiries”. It is not just Brisbane that has had this difficulty.

  37. Fr Paul Chandler says:

    As a priest of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, I am saddened to read some of the untrue and denigrating comments about my archbishop, to whom at my ordination I promised obedience and respect. Many of the things said about him are selectively quoted or said out of context. He is orthodox, faithful to the teaching of the Church and loyal to Rome. Some contributors seem to not understand that a diocese and a religious community can have errant, even disobedient members. The force of law is more easily said to be brought to bear against such people than in practise it can be. Our archbishop acted decisively in 2004 when he became aware of the matter forbiding the incorrect formula of baptism. He has acted properly and I know he is saddened by this series of events. The letter he wrote to all clergy of the archdiocese makes this clear. It is also interesting to note that the covering letter from Cardinal Levada to the CDF\’s response is addressed to the Presidents (plural) of Episcopal Conferences and it is response to \”a number of inquiries\”. It is not just Brisbane that has had this difficulty.

  38. Fr Chandler: I am glad you chimed in with your point of view.

  39. It seems to me that this entry has run its course.