Wherein Fr. Z rants about our Catholic identity and dangerous times

In another entry, about the priest/penitent privilege and a state’s violation of the same we read:

I don’t believe it is likely that secret eavesdropping on conversations between priests and penitents is a growing trend in this country, but the revelation of truth and the limits that the law allows between civil authorities and clergy are being pushed to more narrow levels.

In my recent article in The Catholic Herald I mentioned that we, as Catholics, are in a fight for our lives. 

For our Catholic lives to be sure, but also for the sake of the life of society.  

This is an ad intra (Catholics considered as Catholics among themselves) and ad extra (Catholics considered in relation to the wider world).

I have mentioned too many times to count in this blog pages that I think Pope Benedict is implementing a kind of "Marshall Plan" for the Church.  Just as there was a plan to rebuild Europe after the devastation of WWII so as to create strong partners in trade, a healthy society and a bulwark against Communism, Pope Benedict is trying to revitalize our identity and the life of the Church in continuity with the past after the devastation of the last 40 years since the Council and the false hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture which have so pervaded every facet of the Church’s life.  In doing so, he is trying to provide for a healthier, holier Church and create a breakwater against the rising tide of relativism.

Catholics, as Catholics, have been shoved out of the public square.  They are more often than not excluded from contributing to discussion of the burning questions of our day.  This is often because Catholics themselves, as Catholics, excluded themselves from contributing a Catholic voice because they are either dissenters or because they are weak or because they are tepid. 

But Catholic must contribute to the discussion in the public square, or as Pope Benedict called this phenomenon recently the "digital continent".  We have an obligation, each of us according to our vocations, to shape the world around us to the extent we can.  Holy Church has a God-given mission to teach both ad intra and – of course – ad extra.

The ad intra dimension entails Catholics knowing who they are and what they believe.  If we don’t know these things, if we are not firm in them, then we are vulnerable to every manner of marginalization and, don’t doubt it, persecution.   If we don’t know who we are as Catholics, we will never be able to articulate anything clearly about the burning questions of our day and make a contribution as Catholics according to our vocations.

There is an incremental erosion of human, common sense values taking place.  At a certain point, the erosion will pick up speed and, suddenly, we will wake up in a new kind of world.  Similarly, the process of revitalizing our identity and our Church will also take time.  Our gains will be slow and incremental.  Brick by brick. 

We must not be complacent or one day we will find we are living a nightmare.

I return to what I wrote in my liturgical-political manifesto after the Notre Dame Debacle.

I urge all priests and bishops who read this blog with any slight quaver of resonance or benevolence, to consider this with care:

If you sense that something quite serious and important is going on right now, for the love of God rethink your approach to how you foster Holy Church’s proper public worship.

Do all in your power and through your influence to foster a worship of God which conforms not to worldly goals – as praiseworthy as they may be in a world still dominated by its dire prince – but rather to the real point of religion: an encounter with mystery

Our worship must become more and more focused on the one who is Other.  Seek what is truly above in your rites and raise people to encounter mystery.

You will be challenged and reviled, blocked and attacked as you do.  You will be worn down and afraid under the weight of resistance.

But I think that to save the world we must save the liturgy.

[The Notre Dame Debacle] reaffirmed this for me. 

They can’t compete with the fullness of Catholic liturgy and sound preaching.

Reforming the liturgy along the lines Pope Benedict has proposed may be the most loving and effective option we have in these ever hotter times.

People will have to keep working very much in the sphere of the secular.  Of course!  Our inward Catholic Christian identity must find outward expression and bring concrete fruits.

But I think the real work now – where we will make some effective headway – must be done at the level of our public worship.

In the present circumstances, we are not going to argue most people out of danger or error.  But together we can draw them in and along and back through worship.

So long as we remain doctrinally faithful and active in works of mercy both spiritual and especially temporal, if we get our public worship together we will have a strong bastion against error

Holy Catholic worship will be an attractive force for conversion.

We need to foster worship which stuns, which leaves the newcomer, long-time practicing Catholic, above all the fallen-away simply thunder stuck.  Worship must at some point leave people speechless in awe.  We need language and music and gesture which in its beauty floods the mind with light even while it swells the heart to bursting.

The more people encounter mystery through liturgy, the more hollow will clang the false or incomplete messages of those who have strayed from the good path, either to the left or to the right.  

Our goal must be that which is good and beautiful because it is true, that which reflects what is of God, not man’s image merely.  Give us mystery, not fabrications smacking of the world, fallen and transitory.

Fathers, and you Reverend Bishops, if anything of alarm has sounded in your hearts and minds of late, rethink your approach to our worship.  Examine your approach with an eye on the signs of the times.  Take a new approach

The approach we have had least last few decades isn’t getting it done.  Really … it isn’t

Going neither left nor right along the road toward the Lord, even as He comes to us, take the flock now deeper, now higher on that path, but always to encounter the mystery which distinguishes truly Catholic liturgy… and therefore true Catholics.

Lines are being drawn, sides taken, choices made.

More than ever we need what Christ, the true Actor of our liturgy, desires to offer us through Holy Church’s worship.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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28 Responses to Wherein Fr. Z rants about our Catholic identity and dangerous times

  1. Tom in NY says:

    Principium probatum in foro: Fortis identitas clientes allicet et tenet. Principium probatum in religione: Forte identitate fideles et ecclesiam sese firmant.
    Noli timere.
    Salutationes omnibus.

  2. rinkevichjm says:

    I hardly think that Catholics have been shoved out of the political sphere. House leader, Pelosi, claims to be a Catholic, but it appears she has a malformed conscience. I have met a lot of Catholics who have that kind of malformed conscience: they know the biblical story and Catholic tradition but they just don’t think that Catholic morality applies. The Church needs to restore formation of good Catholic consciences to its members. This needs to be a left corner approach: we need to start at the bottom and connect it with the top leadership of the Church. She needs to become army in the battle for morals. Right now she look like a uncoordinated bunch of small special force teams.

    The King speaks of His bride with this:
    Who is she that comes forth as the sun rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as a battle arrayed army? (Song 6:10)

  3. Tom in NY says:

    corrigendum: “ecclesia”, non “ecclesiam”
    Patientia gratias ago.

  4. Mike says:

    Well said, Fr. Z.

    What would happen if:

    B16 mandated: 1. 1st Eucharistic prayer for all Sunday Masses; 2) Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei all in Latin; 3. Ad Orientum during the canon of the Mass.

    This with the new, more faithful, English translation! Think of it!

    One more, and here I’m really dreaming: 75% of all Youth ministers sent to Siberia, for a monastic retreat of total silence for one year.

    Ok, well, we’re not going to get that, it’s asking for the sky!

  5. Random Friar says:

    Fr. Z: Let all the people of God say, “Amen, amen, alleluia!”

    Mike: are you trying to PERMANENTLY kill hopes of communion with the Russian Orthodox Church? ;) I kid.

  6. AnnLewis says:

    Any way you can somehow do a presentation on this at a USCCB meeting? This is definitely a message the princes of the Church need to hear.

  7. Hey, Fr. Z, I offer a new way to think of this:

    I stated in my blog that maybe we need to think of this as a strange kind of springtime for the Church: a springtime of martyrdom. What I mean is, instead of the popular conception of JPII’s “new springtime” for the Church as a time of peace, I think that Catholic society will spring up admist the bigotry around us.

    This will be achieved by both the rain of the Holy Spirit and the rain of “internal martyrdom”: suffering (which is analogous to a real martyr’s blood). Remember that the blood of the martyrs helped the Roman church grow? It might be the same in America but in a more spiritual than literal way.

    Hope that helps, if any. Might be a new concept, but it works.

  8. Lee says:

    Also, padres, it would be helpful to the max would you throw out your damnable televisions sets and urge the fathers of families to do the same.

    We are so busy watching, watching, watching that we have become a passive couch-potato people.

    We have to stop “informing” ourselves about what is going on in the world and start BEING what is going on in the world. We’re getting bogus information and bogus formation as we sit there hour after hour.

    We need to read to our children the gospels and the lives of the saints, bring ourselves up to speed with the teachings of the Church by teaching our kids the catechism.

    We need, our kids need, family evenings together. Not watching, watching, watching together, either, but reading together, playing board games together, conversing.

    We need to cleanse our homes of secular garbage and make them oases of prayer, joy and peace. There should be some token of our Catholic faith on the wall of every room in the house, a crucifix, a picture of Our Lady, of the Holy Family. At the end of the day, every day, there should be some prayer together. If not a whole rosary, then a decade, if not a decade, then an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be…something.

    One home at a time, one parish at a time, we could become in this way a revitalized Church, capable of lighting the way for our country.

  9. Whoa, that springtime of martyrdom idea might work, but I accidentally linked it somewhere else. Here it is: http://saacdelacroix.blogspot.com/2009/11/springtime-of-martyrdom.html.

    My bad!

  10. Thank you,Father, for laying out your points very clearly. The tepid liturgy of today is the product of fifty years of weak, effeminate leadership in the Church which could not deal with confrontation or firmness. Ergo, no lines ever drawn in the sand from the popes down. Until now. As Christ said to Peter: Feed My lambs, Feed My sheep. I have prayed for you, Peter, so that Satan would not have you, so you might strengthen the brethren. Once Original Sin and mortal sin and Hell where souls can be sent were removed from important teachings which MUST be taught, who cared?

  11. kenoshacath says:

    WDPBRS (What Does Pope Benedict Really Say?)

    “Art. 5. § 1 In parishes, where there is a stable group of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition, the pastor should willingly accept their requests to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962, and ensure that the welfare of these faithful harmonises with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the guidance of the bishop in accordance with canon 392, avoiding discord and favouring the unity of the whole Church.”

    As a practical approach, let us all promote the soundly liturgical TLM everywhere. It should be asked for at EVERY parish. Do not back down. Keeping asking with charity, patience, and perseverance.

    Here is a link to aid you in your efforts: http://unavoce.org/s-p-resources/requesting-tlm-post-sp/

  12. Mitchell NY says:

    A heartfelt plea with all the hermeneutic of continuity one can muster is indeed needed in this day and age. Catholics are too complacent..If only the false interpretation of the Council had been avoided and perhaps Pope Paul VI been more “pastoral” by allowing us to continue using the 1962 Missal our Catholic identity would have come through intact. So many are just “paralyzed” with uncertainty as to what it even means to be a Roman Catholic. It is a journey I am on and everyday I am discovering more and more what it means to be just that. Discovering the Tridentine late in life was my inertia. It will not be easy for the world, as many are just discovering or re-discovering who they are as Roman Catholics, the Italians have been told to remove their crucifixes from classrooms. Rome their capital, the Vatican, seat of Christendom within, is a part of their national identity more than anyone or any other country I can think of. I pray God they resist it and prevail. God Bless the Italian nation and all of us who continue to speak out in defense of our Faith.

  13. Traductora says:

    Great remarks, Fr Z! The women’s schola in which I sing is singing Compline tonight (much chant, much Latin) at a church whose pastor has taken a while to warm up to the idea, but I think these same thoughts have been going through his mind.

    I believe that even the “liturgically resistent” are beginning to rethink things, and these years of plugging away are beginning to pay off, if only because of the sense of crisis that many people are feeling right now.

    Somebody – possibly Fr Z, possibly a poster here, or possibly somewhere else altogether – posted something that I thought described the Pope’s program very well: “Benedict is building an ark.” I think that’s true. He knows what’s coming and is trying to get as many people as possible onto the ark.

  14. DisturbedMary says:

    For 40 years I did not practice my faith. But at the death of my mother I found myself suddenly and quite unexpectedly wanting to pray. It was a very strong desire; so for a year I searched the internet, prayed with mom’s frayed prayerbook, visited bookstores….looked all over for “prayer.” Then on the first anniversary of her death, my husband had a memorial Mass offered. After “Go the Mass is ended” I heard myself thinking: “this is the prayer I’ve been looking for.” [Thunder.] Just like that. It was the Mass. So I began to go daily even though I was thinking, what is the Mass? [Mystery!] All I could remember from my child’s catechism was this memorized snippet: “The Mass if the sacrifice of the new law in which Christ through the priest offers Himself….” With an abundance of God’s grace and daily Mass offered by Polish Dominicans, I’ve come back. Yes, Father Z, it begins with worship. And as we know from last November’s election, Americans are in love with worship. Just let us direct it towards God. It is the Year of the Priest. We are behind you. We pray for your conversion for our conversion.

  15. RosaMystica says:

    Amen, Father Z. I’m posting this entry on my FB, but I wish I could do more to spread the word.

  16. Norah says:

    As two songs from my teenage years said:

    There’s a battle outside and it’s ragin
    Which side are you on boys, which side are you on?

  17. isabella says:

    DisturbedMary,

    I am sorry about your Mother. With a few minor differences, my Mother’s early death from cancer brought me back to the Church and I can only hope she knows it now. She used to tell me she prayed for me and I would tell her that was just a superstition; I would give anything to take those words back. And FWIW, we have Dominicans at my parish as well.

    But I think the Church is waking up, and that God is softening our hearts to hear His call. My pastor gave a wonderful pro-life homily tonight. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d find myself praying outside an abortion clinic. The worst part was when some friends of mine said “that looked like you with ‘those people’ ” and I took a deep breath and said that it probably was me because I was there.

    Like that saying goes, “Nature abhors a vacuum”. I think that may be why so many people, including me, voted for Obama. He seemed to have a benevolent plan, while the Church has been fragmented. Yes I know now it was an illusion, but it seems like the Church is waking up. It’s like Obama has caused the great silent majority to realize what we have to lose if we choose his plans over God’s plan – like choosing a mess of pottage over our birthrights.

    I hope my Mother is still praying for me from Heaven. And the return of the Latin Mass (I can’t keep up with the right words) is a blessing, and a source of power and grace. When I pray for the intentions of the Pope, I vaguely remember when he was elected he said something like ‘pray that he has the courage to stand firm when the wolves come after him’. I didn’t understand completely what he meant, but when I am praying for plenary indulgences, that always comes back to me.

  18. Tom in NY says:

    It appears Norah remembers Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A’Changin’” from 1964. While others have sung it later, “Which Side” has roots in a coal strike in Harlan Co. KY in the 1930s. Was Norah a teen then?
    Regards.

  19. mgseamanjr says:

    This is a cogent article. Keep in mind that, as the great Bishop Chaput recently said here: http://members7.boardhost.com/CathPews/msg/1258659539.html), being Catholic in today’s world often comes with a heavy cost. That cost can often be your job and livelihood, which is not easy for large Catholic families. I work in academia, one of the hotbeds of liberalism in the worst sense and am surrounded by anti-Catholicism. Witness, for example, a recent faculty meeting at my university, a leading liberal arts school in the Midwest. The faculty voted 80-5 to support gay marriage (what a faculty’s “debating” this issue has to do with the governance of a university is beyond me). When I proposed a screening a “The Passion of the Christ” on campus last Lenten season, in conjunction with an academic panel to discuss the Roman trial of Jesus and the science of crucifixion, I could not find a sponsor and generated a heated email exchange among faculty and administrators during which I was told that, assuming I could find a sponsoring department to pay for the screening rights (which I could not), I could expect campus-wide protests. The same week (Holy Week), the university (ostensibly Christian, mind you) sponsored and invited to campus an ex-prostitute, now turned porn-star, to give a presentation on how to empower yourself and be a porn star, show a film clip of herself flaunting her stuff, and do a solo-sex act on stage. Some students were required to attend by their professors. And the “Passion” is too controversial. Make no mistake. Catholics who stand up to speak the truth will be “tarred and feathered” (at the least) and often fired for “intolerance.” This is our future.

  20. helgothjb says:

    Fr. Z,

    I can’t remember if it was on your blog or somewhere else, but someone mentioned that one striking difference between the way holy Mass was celebrated before Vatican II was that it exuded confidence and firm belief in both what was being done and what was being proclaimed (in the preaching, action and the prayers). When I watch video of Masses celebrated before Vat. II, I notice that the priest knew how to lead public worship. There is a difference between offering prayers and performing actions in the confident manly/priestly manner of Fulton Sheen (for instance) and that of a friendly mild mannered priest who does not want to offend anyone. No wonder so many were so much more confident in their faith! This is a point that is not often spoken of when speaking about liturgical reform, but it needs to be. Priests need to be manly in their leadership, especially while offering the holy Mass.

  21. FrJimTucker says:

    Excellent article! We are in the midst of a world that wants to fashion God in its own image. As a presider I am acutely aware that the Mass is never my Mass — it belongs to Jesus Christ, and maintained by His Church. Therefore, no priest has a right to experiment with it or add their own creative “sparkle” to it.

    People, even some Catholics are doing the same to the doctrines of the Church, especially the moral doctrines. They are telling the world that these firm beliefs are just fables (re: Pelosi) and what’s worse, they are teaching the children these falsehoods, thus perpetuating error. Those who are faithful to the church MUST speak up with a louder voice.

    May God give us the grace!

  22. kenoshacath says:

    Worth Noting
    by Fr. Thomas Kocik

    November 20th was the 62nd anniversary of the promulgation of Pope Pius XII’s encyclical Mediator Dei (1947), widely regarded as the magna carta of the 20th-century Liturgical Movement. Probably most New Liturgical Movement readers are familiar with this encyclical principally for its admonition against romantic antiquarianism, which took for granted (among other things) the versum populum posture of the priest-celebrant in the Early Church. In article 62, the Pope states:

    Assuredly it is a wise and most laudable thing to return in spirit and affection to the sources of the Sacred Liturgy. For research in this field of study, by tracing it back to its origins, contributes valuable assistance towards a more thorough and careful investigation of the significance of feast-days, and of the meaning of the texts and sacred ceremonies employed on their occasion. But it is never wise nor laudable to reduce everything to antiquity by every possible device. Thus, to cite some instances, one would be straying from the right path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive table form; were he to want black excluded as a color for the liturgical vestments; were he to forbid the use of sacred images and statues in churches; were he to order the crucifix so designed that the divine Redeemer’s body shows no trace of His cruel sufferings; and lastly were he to disdain and reject polyphonic music or singing in parts, even where it conforms to regulations issued by the Holy See.

    Like Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae, much of Mediator Dei has proven to be, if not prophetic, then prescient — and worth reading, or re-reading, now that the Church has moved into another stage of liturgical renewal, consolidating gains and learning from mistakes.

    http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/

  23. DisturbedMary says:

    Isabella, you say, “I hope my Mother is still praying for me from Heaven.” All I can tell you is what my brother said to me when I told him I returned to my faith: “Mom is a gift that keeps on giving!” I too spend time weekly praying outside the enemy encampment. And, as for the old Mass, I love the ‘slavishly literal’ changes just approved by the UCCB especially “Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, say but the word and my soul shall be healed”. Just as we used to say it!(yay) but not three times (boo). And for you and all here, and our beautiful gift of the Church, more thunder please!!

  24. mvhcpa says:

    First, allow me to offer my apologies on the length of this post, but the topic is falling right in the wheelhouse of something I have been hashing over and over in my head and heart for some time. Fr. Z has been adamant and ubiquitous in the mention and promotion of our Catholic identity in this blog. But I have to ask the question, just what IS our Catholic identity?

    Is it merely our allegiance to a set of doctrines? Is it Mass on Sundays and eating fish on Fridays? Is it simply acknowledgement of our Church leadership as the folks who dress in “funny clothes” like white cassocks and sashes?

    More seriously, does our identity rest solely in such things as our belief in Real Presence, veneration of the Blessed Mother, and Purgatory? Or is it yet even more of an encompassing worldview of the purpose of our lives and how to lead them? If so, what exactly is that worldview we should uniformly espouse as our identity? (I know what the doctrines are, and I think I know what the worldview is, but the question is still open.)

    Where do we go to get this identity? Do we need to go back in time? Did we have it back in the Fifties? The Thirties? Just before the time of Luther? At the time of the Apostles? The Protestants, especially the charismatic/Pentecostal types, are too quick to say they have the real identity of the first-century church before “Romish Popery” messed it up. So I guess we have to be careful before engaging in simple “Antiquarianism” (whether we look back fifty or two thousand years).

    I believe that in Archbishop Tobin’s letter to Patrick Kennedy, he proposed that a minimum definition of Catholic identity was the recognition of the teaching authority of the Church. Clearly, rejection of that authority puts one outside Catholic identity, but I think there is more to our identity than subjection to the Magisterium.

    My own feeling is that the Catholic identity, after the essentials of doctrine of course, really revolves around a sense of responsibility for one’s actions, a recognition that we pray as if everything depends on God and work as if everything depends on us. It means recognizing we are NOT just the same as other faiths, Christian and non-Christian–the Catholic Church IS the fullest expression of the Church Jesus said he would build on the Rock of Peter. And it means the understanding that there is one exclusive TRUTH in the world God made, that applies to EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE WORLD, even if we can’t grasp that Truth in its entirety at any one time (i.e., NO RELATIVISM).

    I think that the greatest hit to our Catholic identity was of our own making, and it wasn’t Vatican II. Rather, it is a set of circumstances unique in the history of the Church. For the first time, let’s say starting in the 1800′s, the Church found itself in the position where it isn’t calling all the moral and sometimes political shots (like in pre-Reformation Europe), but it isn’t in danger of being stamped out either (like in first-century Roman times). The Church is institutionally stable, and relatively safe, but it doesn’t command allegiance (I use the word “command” intentionally) to its doctrines and moral teachings like it used to. As such, it has to compete in the marketplace of ideas. This is especially true if one looks at the state of the Church in America, where we Catholics tried so hard (successfully, I would say) to convince majority Protestant society that we were just another Church like the Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, etc., that we unfortunately and unintendedly ended up convincing ourselves of that fact as well.

    So how do we get our identity back? Should we do like the Hassidic Jews and cut ourselves of socially from the rest of the world? Do we go to mandatory Catholic schooling and fish on Fridays? Is repudiating the Novus Ordo and the alleged Protestant orientations contained therein the right thing to do, either as a good start or as sufficient to start identity reclamation? (Here, I have to say that I am not either questioning the validity nor advocating instant repudiation of the Novus Ordo; I merely ask the question.) Maybe it is simply getting rid of the “big-tent” approach to identity that seems to have descended upon us, perhaps by actually “culling” our membership of folks like Kennedy, Pelosi, Biden, and anyone who supports them.

    I find it is a shame to have to even ask this question–it seems that McDonald’s has a better idea of its identity than we as Catholics do.

    This has been on my mind for some time, and I would love hearing what Fr. Z and you folks might think about it.

    Michael Val
    (who thinks he knows what Catholic identity is, and hopes others come to see it in themselves soon!)

  25. Kimberly says:

    This is beautiful Fr. Z. For anyone who has ever seen St.Pio pray the mass (Can be found on the net), it reminds one what it is all about.

  26. Tom in NY says:

    I suggest that history has shown the Church has been under a measure of outside pressure since it was big enough to be organized.

    More recently, rationalists didn’t like Church competition for truth. Nor, in later times, did the Modernists or Post-Modernists. To maintain a strong identity, the Church can emphasize its attachment to unchanging truth. This factor alone can be a powerful attraction.
    “kai gnosesthe ten aletheian, kai he aletheia eleutherosei humas.” – Jn. 8:32
    Salutationes omnibus.

  27. ssoldie says:

    We need to foster worship which stuns, which leaves the newcomer, long-time practicing Catholic, above all the fallen-away simply thunder stuck. Worship must at some point leave people speechless in awe. We need language and music and gesture which in its beauty floods the mind with light even while it swells the heart to bursting.
    Ah Yes! The Taditional Latin Mass ‘Gregorian Rite’ the liturgy as the fruit of development, the organic , living process of growth over the centuries, the awesome ‘immorial Mass’, “the most beautifil thing this side of heaven”.

  28. ssoldie says:

    We have a crisis in the “Church” and the last time I read of such a crisis, was when the council of Trent was called.Now I wonder that Bishop Tobin has told Patrick Kennedy, that he will refrain (in his Diocese) from recieving Our Lord in Holy Communion, will the same hold in another Diocese? Will at last those who defy the traditions and teachings of the “Church” be excommunited? Is not excummunication a call to penance? Should a Vatican III be called to right the wrong of so much ambiguity of Vatican II? Has the last 45+ years led to so much of this crisis? Confusion, disunity, chaos, distruction, not only of our Sanctuary’s, but of our traditions, our devotions, and our centuries old Mass. One cannot serve two masters, modernism, (progressive relativism) or the Catholic Faith that has been handed down through the ages.