QUAERITUR: Pastor threatened by bishop after making liturgical changes

From a reader:

We were very recently assigned a new priest, and he has only finished his second week at our church. He wanted to make some changes that would put us more in line with the new liturgical movement.

These changes included offering all Masses ad orientem (including and especially the Novus Ordo Masses), and changing our Mass schedule and format to include one EF Low Mass and one EF High Mass each week. This schedule would have allowed us to have an equal number of Novus Ordo and EF Masses on a regular basis.

There are a number of parishioners who have been pleased and delighted in these changes. However (as it usually is) a small but loud minority of our parish called our Bishop and complained. Within a matter of days, our Bishop called a meeting with our new priest and told him (as the Bishop claimed to have received “a number” of complaints) that he was to not make any changes in the Mass schedule or format, and that he was not to offer Mass ad orientem. He also told our priest that he would be watching his every move and that he didn’t want to hear any more complaints about him – not so much as a blip.

I am confused, Fr. Z. I thought the Instruction Universae Ecclesiae released in May addressed the issue of the reforms our new priest has attempted to make. Why would our Bishop choose not to honor this???

I, and those at our parish who support the intentions of the Holy Father, are deeply disappointed in the Bishop’s reaction. There are plenty of people who wish to complain to the Bishop as a result, but there is concern that in doing so, it may look as if the new priest alone influenced their actions.

Take a few things into consideration.  First, although it is good for a priest to take the bull by the horns and start getting things done where they need to be done, starting these initiatives within only two weeks of being there may have been a little less than politically wise.   Consider that some people react negatively to any change at all.  And with liberals, multiply that by one-hundred fold if any of the changes involve a return to continuity or the name “Benedict”.  A little of preparation and catechesis might have been a good idea.

Part of this also involves micro-managing things which need no micro-managing.  If find it interesting that bishops are often happy to jump into parish situations when the priest is doing something along the lines the Holy Father is indicating, but when it comes to correcting clear liturgical abuses or strange preaching they are nowhere to be found.  When the priest is implementing Summorum Pontificum or using the Missale Romanum correctly, some bishops put on their “chief liturgists of the diocese” hat, but when in other places there are wanton liturgical abuses which upset the faithful, the bishop recedes into light inaccessible.

At this juncture, perhaps it would be a good plan for you and others who support the pastor to write letters to the pastor… to the pastor… clearly stating both your support of him in prayer and also explaining to him your legitimate aspirations for your liturgical worship.  Many people should – in writing – request Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form.  Many people should write asking for the Novus Ordo Mass ad orientem.  They might express in a kind way all the things they hope for and their pledges of support to make it happen if any material things are required.  Let them – many of them – ask for catechesis and preaching on liturgical matters.

This will give the pastor a sense that these things are worth working for and also give him a thick folder of letters of support for those things.  If the pastor is afraid of an abusive bishop coming after him because he is getting whiny letters from a handful of cranky aging liberals, the pastor will at least have the consolation that many do support him, and that this is a battle worth fighting down the line, if not at this moment.

Don’t lash out at the other parishioners or at the bishop in writing or words around the parish.  Instead, include them and their guardian angels in your prayers.  Ask the Holy Spirit to soften their hearts and move them from their entrenched errors.

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Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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78 Responses to QUAERITUR: Pastor threatened by bishop after making liturgical changes

  1. rfox2 says:

    Political correctness not withstanding, I cannot, for my life, understand why bishops – BISHOPS – suppress what is good, and allow what is evil, on a regular basis. The laity can only do so much. If the bishop, the ordinary of the local diocese, does not set an example for doing the good no matter the cost, how can anyone expect that the local Church will do what is right, true, and good? This is completely and utterly baffling. To suppress evil (no matter how painful or “politically incorrect”) and to promote the good (no matter how painful or “politically incorrect”) — isn’t that what Bishops are called, by God, to do?

  2. What if, in order to satisfy the devotion of his supportive parishioners, Father were to offer weekly Mass in the Extraordinary Form on a private basis (i.e., not in the official schedule, not published in the bulletin, spread by word of mouth)?

  3. pfreddys says:

    Could not the parishioners themselves write to the Ecclesia Dei Commission? I would certainly hope the priest would.

    [Some people think that the most aggressive approach should be tried first. The priest has been there only two weeks. A little time is useful.]

  4. heway says:

    Describing this as suppresing good and allowing evil is harsh. The priest has promised obedience to his bishop.
    A better tack might be to contact the head or dean, of the local deanery. That is the person who can advise your priest on how to make these changes and how to approach the bishop. It has been my experience on pastoral council that each bishop is a different person -not a ‘cookie cutter’ crowd. They like to be told beforehand and dislike letters of complaint. The bishop is not a bull Father, but can be more dangerous! (this is meant to be humorous)……. [Now that the bishop has pre-preemptively dropped the hammer on the priest, a deeper strategy is necessary.]

  5. Shellynna says:

    Unless Fr. Z’s inquirer is an animagus fly and gained access to the episcopal wall during this meeting, how did the inquirer become aware of the details of this meeting — inluding the warning to the priest? It seems clear that this priest, however noble his intentions, is politically unwise on more than one front. He should never have disclosed to his “supporters” the details of his meeting with the bishop, thereby potentially aggravating an already delicate situation.

  6. Pachomius says:

    Ms Moore, the idea is problematic because (1) the rumour would inevitably reach the bishop, and sooner rather than later, and (2) that’s still disobeying his bishop, which is against Canon Law and contrary to the nature of the priesthood. We have to remember that a bishop is not a ‘line manager’, or a ‘super-priest’, but a successor to the apostles and the head of the church in his diocese. Disobeying your bishop is not something to be done lightly.

  7. Genna says:

    Perhaps it would have been wiser to introduce changes gradually with catechesis beforehand. However, it is likely that some parishioners would still have complained. I wonder if the most vocal were those who feared their own “ministry” was about to be downgraded.
    I think Fr. Z is on the button to suggest letters of support sent to the new priest. He must be feeling very isolated and intimidated, knowing that several pairs of beady eyes will be on the look-out for any “mistakes”.
    Perhaps a Rosary group, if there isn’t already one, could be set up. He certainly needs our prayers and I will include Fr X (and his bishop) in my nightly decade of the Rosary for the Pope and all priests.

  8. jarhead462 says:

    “Don’t lash out at the other parishioners or at the bishop in writing or words around the parish”
    I disagree. I say beat them about the head and chest……….OK just kidding. But I think the written requests and letters of support are a great idea. Let this young Priest know that you will support him.
    Semper Fi!

  9. Ms Moore, the idea is problematic because (1) the rumour would inevitably reach the bishop, and sooner rather than later, and (2) that’s still disobeying his bishop, which is against Canon Law and contrary to the nature of the priesthood. We have to remember that a bishop is not a ‘line manager’, or a ‘super-priest’, but a successor to the apostles and the head of the church in his diocese. Disobeying your bishop is not something to be done lightly.

    There is no disobedience. The bishop is not here exercising lawful authority — the key word bieng “lawful.”

  10. JohnMa says:

    I respectfully disagree with Fr. Z on this one. If I was in the reader’s shoes I would fire off a letter to the Vatican and would copy the Bishop. I would cite all the relevant documents the Bishop was violating and let it be known that the Diocese would not get a penny until the Bishop had a change of heart. [The priest has been there only a couple weeks. A little time is necessary, now that the bishop dropped a hammer on him. He needs support from people on paper now. Si vis pacem, para bellum.]

    We wonder why the liberals win these kind of battles. It is because they are willing to do this sort of stuff. They are willing to play hardball politics while we that follow the Church’s teachings are not willing to. Things need to change. We need to be the one’s that withhold support from the Bishop and let the Holy See know how we feel. [You have no idea what a bishop can do to a priest, do you. No idea at all.]

    /rant and ready for Fr. Z’s red comments. [Your advice was not very good... in this case.]

  11. digdigby says:

    Thank you, God for my beautiful oratory, for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. Thank you my brave priests in complete and unshakable union with Mother Church come what may. Thank you Cardinal Burke for establishing my spiritual home – I would never have become a Catholic otherwise for I was too sophisticated (i.e. too superficial) to see beyond the splendor of the Church and needed that splendor to ‘recognize’ that it was indeed The Church.
    Again and again I read of Catholics in situations as described above and I am in awe of your endurance. Someone mentioned on another post, of surviving 25 years of Bishop Weakland. I literally cannot imagine it. I am very spoiled, I know, and my prayers are with those who must endure these degradations.

  12. everett says:

    Fr. Z’s advice is excellent. One other key reason to encourage large numbers of letters to the priest in support of both EF masses and ad orientem OF masses is that the priest can then return to the bishop and display these letters showing that he is merely trying to meet the needs of his parishioners. One of the unpleasant parts of being a priest can be having to play politics both on a parish level and sometimes in dealing with his bishop. This is where wisdom and discernment is so key.

    Should the priest not be allowed to have EF masses and/or ad orientem masses after a few months have passed and he has had the opportunity to show his bishop the many letters from his parishioners, it might then be an occasion to write a polite letter to the bishop and/or Ecclesia Dei (see Fr Z’s guidelines for writing such letters).

  13. raitchi2 says:

    Fr. Z, you wrote, “You have no idea what a bishop can do to a priest, do you. No idea at all.” What are some of these things? With the current vocations crisis, I doubt the bishop would remove you from ministry. You write as if the bishop could cut off you limbs. Other than moving you to an undesired assignment, what can he do?

  14. RobertK says:

    This will be really interesting to watch in the future, when other priests, who are learning the EF Mass, and the Holy Father’s reform of the reform, are let loose on their first parish assignments. Looks like all that good training will be in vain, unless the priest makes the decisions and not some lefty parishioners, who go crying to their Bishops. I guess I’m right about the Popes last statement on the Extraordinary form. If you love the EF Mass, you must love the OF Mass. but if you love the OF Mass only, you have every right to criticize and hinder the EF Mass. Seems like this was the situation. Thank god we have other rites in the Church.

  15. donantebello says:

    I am a priest.

    This has arisen in our Diocese with young priests who are fully on board with the full totality of the Benedictine reforms having to pace things in a reasonable and prudent manner given the “conditions on the ground” once they become pastors.

    2 weeks is WAY WAY WAY too fast. Talking to other priests and pastors who are in the trenches, it really is wise to pace it the first year, gain the people’s trust, and catechize soul by soul, as well as in larger teaching/catechesis sections. Priests can always utilize the Benedictine idea of prominent cross and candles while still facing the people as a starter. He can, over time, perhaps 1-1.5 years after being in said parish, begin to introduce EF and ad orientem, as well as all the other trappings (in all their glory!!!).

    Some people might read this and be disgusted, but this is the best case scenario in the vast majority of the U.S. Church. The biological solution or use of the Bux protocol is our only way out of this one guys. Was the Arian crisis healed overnight? No.

    [Bux Protocol. Do I hear an "Amen!"?]

  16. DT says:

    @ raitchi2-

    One thought that came to my mind is the possibility for a bishop to never allow a priest to take possession of a parish as pastor, thus keeping him relegated under the authority of another priest.

    I agree that the changes that the pastor implemented were done too quickly. While those who agreed with Father’s actions would certainly cheer him on, regular catechesis could have softened the hearts of those who were obstinate against his actions.

  17. GMRUNNER says:

    Miss Moore,
    Lawful or otherwise, Pachomius correctly sees that the bishop would view the private Masses as insubordination especially after warning the new priest he did not want to hear “blip”. The bishop could likely reassign this new priest as chaplain to the nursing homes or gasp! minister to the patients in an insane asylum.

  18. Mike says:

    We have a young priest in our parish–very smart, excellent homilies–he breathes interior peace.

    Now, when I scratch my head, and wonder why he is, apparently, going along with our folksy, locked-in-the-70s pastor who wants to reduce Sacred Liturgy to a community service assembly, I understand. Fr. Z is right—you’ve got to be really clever here, especially if you’re a young priest.

  19. AnAmericanMother says:

    “Be ye therefore wise as serpents; but harmless as doves.”

    Kind of embarrassing to have to proffer that advice to a priest vis a vis his bishop. . . .

    The received wisdom in management practice is to try to wait a year before instituting any major changes . . . unless the place is actually on fire (or some other sort of crisis that just won’t wait). It gives the new manager time to get a handle on his team — the individual members, their strengths and weaknesses, and how those mesh with his own strengths and weaknesses. Not to mention figuring out who the troublemakers, goldbricks, and walking liabilities are.

    Sometimes you get young men who are just eaten up with enthusiasm, and they want to get everything PERFECT – RIGHT NOW! They wind up stepping on toes without meaning to.

    But now that the damage is done, I think Fr. Z’s advice is the very best that can be done to avoid making a bad situation worse. It will have to be a slow and careful road back, much slower than it would have been in the first instance, with much catechesis, “listening sessions”, and all the other devices one can use to disarm the hostile and organize the sympathetic.

    My prayers will be with this priest. I was young once myself.

  20. jaykay says:

    (Fr.) Donantebello: agree with you entirely. “Slowly, slowly catchee monkey”. In our parish here in Ireland over the last year we have seen the Benedictine arrangement introduced on Sunday Masses by some priests (we’re lucky, we have 5!). Others don’t use it. But it doesn’t cause a stir. One young priest has started using Roman vestments sometimes, not always… he told me he was given them and was delighted when I congratulated him after Mass when he first used them. And the veiling of the images was re-introduced for holy week this year, something not seen for at least the last 2 decades. The thing is: the sky did not fall in. Smelling salts were not called for. People just accepted it. The feeling was “oh yeah, nice to see that back again, looks great”.

    But all of this would have been inconceivable even 10 years ago. Thus far have we come in the liturgical waste land that is Ireland: or at least my parish. It will be a slow, slow process and all uphill. We are still a good bit away from having a TLM. But with the new translations and the younger generation of priests I am now really hopeful for the first time in what has seemed like aeons.

  21. Gail F says:

    Fr. Z is right — too fast, and WAY too much all at once. The best thing to salvage the situation now is for EVERYONE who liked the changes to write this young priest supportive letters that do not bash the other parishioners (don’t be nasty, even if the others were nasty — who wants to be in the middle of nastiness from all sides?). The letters could even suggest that he start slowly after a year or so.

  22. donantebello says:

    @rfox2: alot of our present bishops who were ordained around the close of the Council were systematically taught in seminary and in the environs of the times that everything pre-Conciliar was the boogy man.

    What can also be witnessed is that the new rungs of bishops who were ordained priests within the last 20 years tend to be more removed from the initial “jolt” of the 60′s and 70′s, thus they are able to more soberly assess what actually happened, and are more attuned to the authoritative interpretation of Vatican II via John Paul II and Benedict. This is where the future lies.

    You almost have to feel sorry for these older priests and bishops, they were formed erroneously, and they are witnessing the next generation coming up not being interested in the 60′s – 70′s configuration at all. It has to be difficult for them. In many ways they “bet on the wrong horse.” Perhaps this can partly answer why some bishops and priests get so bent out of shape when it comes to the EF and the Benedictine reforms.

  23. Paul says:

    We all move so slowly while quite rapidly, souls slip into hell. Carefully, we try to salvage a brick or two from the wreckage, while souls tumble into hell. Gently, so as not to provoke the bishops, we beg like dogs at the table for a scrap of our true inheritance, as souls cascade into hell.

    Father forgive me, but is it so wrong to pray for the conversion of the bishop’s thinking or that he be summoned home to speak with the ultimate Judge?

    [You saw the reference to The Bux Protocol, right?]

  24. Miss Moore,
    Lawful or otherwise, Pachomius correctly sees that the bishop would view the private Masses as insubordination especially after warning the new priest he did not want to hear “blip”. The bishop could likely reassign this new priest as chaplain to the nursing homes or gasp! minister to the patients in an insane asylum.

    Yes. I am aware of this. I myself live in a diocese that is very hostile to traditional worship. There is no TLM within 150 miles. But there is a difference between being imprudent or overzealous and being disobedient.

  25. RichR says:

    As I said in a previous thread, if your priest does something liturgically proper and sticks his neck out to do so, then you should write a big fat check to the parish, in a letter addressed to the Priest and labelled “PERSONAL” in which you state that this big fat check is specifically written to show your support for his actions, and that as long as these liturgical traditions continue, he can expect an above-average donation from you, then that gives the PP ammo in case a bishop comes knocking at his door with a few complaint letters.

    Bishop: Fr. Ted, you need to reconsider this.

    Father: But Your Excellency, collections are up 20% specifically because of Mass being offered this way! Here are letters to prove it.

    Bishop: Hmmmm………. Maybe you should bring this up at the next presbyteral council.

  26. flyfree432 says:

    No, I don’t know Father Z, what can a bishop do to a priest? That sounds cryptic…

  27. donantebello says:

    @flyfree432 True story:
    A young zealous “Benedictine reform” priest goes a little too fast in implementing EF mass, ad orientem OF, Latin in the OF, and Latin Chant…with little to no preparation for his tiny little parish. Complaints filed to the Diocesan Offices by 1 or 2 people (most parishoners liked it, even if they thought he was going about it too fast). The Bishop sends one of his representatives to “speak” with this young on fire priest. The message is clear: stop doing what your doing (or else).

    A priests can me moved. A priest can be relegated to an obscure assignment in the depths of the Diocesan office, or in a hospital as a chaplain. They can be sent to small poorer parishes to limit their influence. I have heard of priests simply not being given an assignment for their adherence to tradition principles in Liturgy. I have heard of Bishops threatening priests that if they leave the Diocese for more “traditional” pastures, that they will put a document in their permanent personnel file stating that they were disobedient to their Bishop (even though they weren’t), and thereby making them a marked man. The really bad part is that once you are a marked man, you and your priesthood can possibly permanently remain under a microscope, which can be psychologically excruciating to say the least. And it will happen, and you can count on it.

  28. Jack Hughes says:

    @donantebello

    As Paul says, souls are sliding rapidly into hell whilst Traditional Priests tiptoe around the eggshells, begging the swine to give the pearl or two back.

    If I am ever ordained it will most likely be for a Diocese about 3000 miles away from home because in the UK being a Traditional Catholics = not even getting to meet the bishop.

    Fortunately the VD of this particular diocese is a friend of a very Traditional Priest I know so I guess the Bishop is to.

  29. BaedaBenedictus says:

    [You have no idea what a bishop can do to a priest, do you. No idea at all.]

    Boy do we live in evil times when bishops allows priests to do evil things but comes down like a hammer on priests doing *good* things!

    These bishops are hurting souls and damaging the Church. Do they not know this? Do they not know (like I do) the Catholics who left for Orthodoxy or elsewhere because they just couldn’t take it anymore?

  30. I think it’s great that this young priest wants to make these changes. This is a good sign. However, I have to agree with Fr. Z. This was very imprudent, and I would suspect that this imprudence is due to youthful enthusiasm. I’ve learned over the years, though, that trying to force my enthusiasm on others can backfire. It is better, especially for a diocesan priest, to teach, lead by example, and make only gradual changes. The fight requires strategy, not just blind courage.

    Encouraging traditional devotions, and by constantly harping on things like the daily rosary, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary, recommending the reading of the spiritual classics, giving evenings or recollections centered on traditional themes, promoting vigorously the sacrament of the confessional by actually spending a good deal of time in the confessional hearing confessions, and doing other things that deepen prayer life and promote the formation of traditional Catholic homes ought to precede these kinds of liturgical changes. These kinds of changes should be made only after a very long period, years even, of promoting traditional prayer and giving good, traditional sermons. Those who will complain will probably drift away long before the changes are implemented, and those who will welcome the changes are more likely to gravitate toward the parish.

  31. flyfree432 says:

    It seems to me that some of the most infamous names in the history of the Church were ordained bishops, so there is precedence. As Father Z says, pray for priests. Every day. Our spiritual good and theirs depends on it.

    It would seem though that the FSSP would be a safe haven for a traditional priest who has been harpooned by his own bishop. [No. Not really.]

  32. “No, I don’t know Father Z, what can a bishop do to a priest? That sounds cryptic…”

    Well, I know a guy who tends bar in Chicago now who used to be a…

  33. catholicmidwest says:

    “No, I don’t know Father Z, what can a bishop do to a priest? That sounds cryptic…”

    Not at all. I saw it happen with my own eyes over this very issue in my diocese. It was very fast & nasty and the priest was far away by the time more than a few people caught onto what had happened. I know of others as well. There are more priests without dioceses and faculties than many laypeople suspect.

    Two weeks is darned fast. I agree with Fr. Z. If the priest had given people time to warm up to him and adjust their comfort zones, he would have been able to get away with a lot more before anyone complained. When you come on great guns, you tend to get dramatic resistance. That’s just how these things work–in the classroom, in the lab, in the office, pretty much anywhere you have to deal with people who have stiff comfort zones. [And I can't think of anywhere that people have stiffer comfort zones than in church. Strange but true.]

    This is secular-like reaction of bishops is unfortunately a product of the common CEO mentality so many of them exhibit. Don’t rock the boat, you know.

  34. APX says:

    @Paul

    By getting called home do you mean pray for him to die? That’s a little extreme dontcha think? Careful… It might come true.

  35. RichR says:

    Send your money to faithful parishes, chanceries, and religious orders. Give sacrificially.

    Withhold your money from fruitcakes.

    And send letters explaining your actions.

    That reminds me, I forgot to donate to WDTPRS.

    There, money well spent!

  36. BaedaBenedictus says:

    David, we are a liturgical church. The flock will be formed by the liturgy no matter how many devotions or good preaching you introduce. We need to learn from the Orthodox who truly recognize the Eucharist as the “source and summit” of the Church’s life, that the Divine Liturgy forms us, not vice versa. It is a given.

  37. raitchi2 says:

    @DT: If the priest were trying to play politics, then yes , it was way too early. But I’m sad that our priest (you know… the ones of Almighty God… yea I mean the true and living One) need to play politics to the laity (who need them for salvation).
    Again @ Fr. Z: What power does a bishop have over his priests that maketh them quake so? What can he do to make the rest of a priest’s life terrible? Please for us laity, who see all this politicking as a sign that the Church is little more than a glorified Elk Club–what can the bishop do to a priest?

  38. michelelyl says:

    Political correctness not withstanding, I cannot, for my life, understand why bishops – BISHOPS – suppress what is good, and allow what is evil, on a regular basis.
    Rfox2:
    Really? Isn’t this a bit of a stretch? Good and Evil? I think you are extrapolating too much from this decision.
    Most Pastors are counseled to wait to make changes after 1 year of observation after their appointment.
    I don’t think this is a matter of ‘good’ vs. ‘evil’. Ad Orientem is not the usual posture for NO Masses in the United States. EF Masses must have a stable group of the faithful requesting the EF…although there may be a group who are ‘pleased’ as the poster said, did they request? Perhaps you judge the Bishop too harshly…and too quickly.
    Michele

  39. JSArt867 says:

    I am a seminarian for a Southern diocese. This story pains me to read as much as any of you. But Paul, in some way we of the traditional bent will have to suffer our way through the undeniable evils of bad liturgy, evils of episcopal suppression of good liturgy, etc., while we wait for opportune times and occasions to spread the influence of the Reform of the Reform on a pastoral level. This patience will itself be redemptive, I feel, and will in its own way contribute to the salvation of souls. We ultimately have to simply trust that the same Divine Providence that has allowed so many of the Church’s leaders to fall prey to Modernist ideas will also work to obtain the salvation of as many souls as possible, despite the circumstances.

    Re: the Fraternity of St. Peter — since they work with diocesan authority they would probably try not to alienate individual bishops, whom they probably (I really don’t know) see as at least potential supporters of reform. There are a few that are, as their newsletter often indicates.

    James

  40. Ana says:

    Pray… pray… pray…

    Yes, it is hard to hear this has been said to a priest, but there are several questions that come to my mind:

    Why did he share this with anyone? If he needed to speak to a confidant, that’s one thing, but most confidants wouldn’t be writing a blog regarding the situation.

    Why did he make changes so quickly? Anyone with management training or experience much less training as a priest should know to observe before making changes and then make the changes slowly.

    As for the parishioners, pray… support your priest through letters and emails. Do not complain to the Bishop regarding this. If you want to write the Bishop, write letters praising your new priest!! Let the Bishop know this priest is supported by the parish, but do not complain. Complaining to the Bishop can, in turn, only make things worse for your priest.

  41. Prayers for the priest, parish and bishop in question!

  42. Sixupman says:

    Congregations are the nub of the problem, with the parisg commissars ruling the roost. In England a Tradionalist priest operated a parish with both Rites of Mass, Ad Orientam, et al. The parishioners were fully in support, of this true pastor, regardless the wrath of his bishop was exercised and the parish closed. Also, another priest, promised an Old Rite parish, by his bishop, the latter reneging because of the pressure brought on him by Modernist clergy.

    Charity must be exercised, lest we emulate the clerics and bishops post-VaticanII who swept aside the heritage of Mother Church seemingly overnight and God help anyone, clergy or laity who deigned to complain. Some folk have short memories. Fr. Oswald Baker was correct and Obedience to one’s bishop is the Catch 22 of all Catch 22 situations.

  43. Federico says:

    Fr. Z, you wrote, “You have no idea what a bishop can do to a priest, do you. No idea at all.”
    What power does a bishop have over his priests that maketh them quake so?

    Every diocese has a Siberia. Every priests’ faculties can be taken away with a stroke of the pen. Each parish can be micromanaged and drowned in paper. Etc. Etc. Etc.

    Rome is far away.

  44. GTW says:

    A while ago I had heard a quote, I believe it was attributed to St. John of the Cross, that said something to the effect that the floor of Hell is paved with the skulls of bishops. Wasn’t sure where that was coming from at the time; however, well into midlife and with a 32 military career behind me, I recognize that with power and authority come great responsibility. It seems to me that if a bishop isn’t a holy man, the consequences of his actions can be very hazardous to his salvation. I think trying to become a holy priest is hard enough. A bishop? I would be terrified. I’d rather be in combat.

  45. GTW says:

    Then again, a bishop already is….

  46. Tim Ferguson says:

    A common theme seems to be questioning what a bishop can do to a priest. As Federico says, every diocese has a Siberia. Now it may seem that exile to “Siberia” might not be such a bad thing afterall, if we envision “Siberia” as a nice, quiest little country parish where Father can spend his exile chanting the Office in a lovely little wooden church, disturbed only by the occasional sick call or the need to bless a newborn calf.

    Sadly, that image of ecclesiastical Siberia is ephemeral. Siberia is usually three or four parishes in the hinterlands, several miles apart, each filled with parishioners who are used to the days when each had its own priest – and each expecting the same amount of work from one priest that they used to get from four. There’s rushing after Mass, oftentimes still fully vested, to hop in a car and hope to get to the next parish for the next Mass on time – and dealing with the ire of parishioners who might have to wait five minutes for Mass to begin. There’s the mountain of work in trying to balance the books of three separate parishes, and keeping expenses clearcut. From which parish budget does Father take the gas money he uses when driving daily between St. Henry in the Woods and St. Barnabas by the Sea? St. Elphege needs a new lightbulb in the sacristy, can he take one from the gross of lightbulbs the maintenance man bought on sale for St. Wilburga?

    And “quiet” rural parishes are not the only type of parish Father can be assigned to. There are the inner city parishes, huge heaping structures, full of beauty and history, but with only 40 people at Mass on Sunday, and heating bills that dwarf the monthly collection intake. There are parishes with ruinous debt. Churches built in the 60′s with no redeeming devotional value, but with debt and expenses so high that there is no possibility of spending anything to bring an ounce of beauty into them. There are the notorious parishes that drain the energy of the pastor – parishes with internal fueds going back 80 years, mixed-ethnic parishes that require the skills of a tight-rope walker to pastor without ending up with a horse’s head in the pastor’s bed. Parishes with schools built for 800 that currently have 80 students, but Father is given no authorization from the diocese to close the school, merely to “try to keep it afloat.”

    Other examples of Siberia include being assigned a “helpful” deacon, who undermines everything the pastor does; being given the care of an elderly priest in the rectory who needs to listen to the TV at the highest volume in his room every night until 4:00 a.m., despite the fact that the pastor needs to be up at 7:00 for Mass the next morning. Being assigned an associate pastor who just got back from “time away” for alcohol treatment, or other problems, who needs to be “watched carefully” because he’s still an emotional wreck and probably should have spent another year in counseling, but the diocese couldn’t afford any more.

    That’s just the pastoral assignments – there are also any number of hospital, convent and school chaplaincies where the priest does not have any real authority and ministers at the direction of the hospital director, the mother superior or the principal, who may or may not be terribly friendly. There are the “desk” jobs in the chancery, at which many priests excel and thrive, but which others view as a soul-crushing drudgery.

    Besides assignments, there are a number of things a bishop can do to a priest, such a send him off for “treatment” for his “obvious” psychological issues. That often gives the priest a taint among his fellow priests that he carries with himself for the rest of his life. He can brand him as “disobedient” causing other priests to back away or turn their backs when he walks into a room. He can leave the priest where he’s at, but make it a bureaucratic nightmare for him, with continual audits of the parish finances, pile on multiple mandatory meetings – some at conflicting times, mandate a study of the parish plant that results in the need for replacing the electrical work and plumbing, at considerable expense to the parish. The bishop can write letters of support and encouragement to those in the parish that are working against the pastor, emboldening them to agitate more openly.

    There are many things a bishop can do to make a priest’s life very miserable.

  47. And, just to add a brief coda to Tim Ferguson’s pretty devastating answer, suppose a priest has only one desire in life, to celebrate right liturgy freely and publicly in the traditional form, as pastor in a parish in which he can develop support for and participation in truly glorious and heavenly liturgy. If by rash and precipitate action he provides ammunition to charge that he simply is not pastoral material, his bishop can easily guarantee that never in his life as a priest will he ever get that opportunity. Never. Ever. So the rest of his life on this earth is already purgatory (if not hell) for him.

    The savage irony is that, only for the best and most sincere priest is such a permanent liturgical limbo so dire a punishment. After all, what threat would be denial of liturgical opportunity be to a priest who has no interest in right liturgy?

  48. muckemdanno says:

    So much criticism here of this priest, but not much about the bishop. The bishop here is the one being disobedient to the pope. The priest is being obedient to the higher authority here.

    The unjust commands of a superior need not be obeyed. If this priest waited 2 years to make changes, there would still have been complaints, and this bishop still would unjustly prevent this priest from making these changes.

    It’s better for this priest to find out early that his bishop is disobedient to the pope. He can now plan accordingly. Should he go along with unjust commands to get along, and hope something changes? The evidence of the last 40+ years is otherwise! Why should the disobedient bishops change if the “liberal” priests as well as the “conservative” priests both go along with his “liberal” agenda?

    [Easy for you to say.]

  49. kat says:

    Want to see what priests who want to say the EF suffer?
    Read:
    http://www.amazon.com/Priest-Seventeen-Independent-Priests-Celebrate/dp/1892331268
    Priest, Where Is Thy Mass? Mass, Where Is Thy Priest? Seventeen Independent Priests Tell Why They Celebrate the Latin Mass [Paperback]

    It is eye-opening!

  50. LisaP. says:

    We had a priest who came in as an assistant pastor and he seemed like the real deal. Greatly loved. Made us feel there was hope.

    Less than a year later, the pastor had him removed from the parish. He addressed the issue in a homily because there was distress. He noted that it was a private matter but that the two of them differed in their idea of “pastoral care”. There were hints that there were inproprieties.

    The priest soon was pastor of a neighboring parish, then suddenly there was an announcement that he could no longer give the sacraments in the diocese and it was the end.

    If there had been inpropriety, it seems unlikely he would have been made pastor of a parish. It seemed clear to me that this priest had been maligned, and everything was done through whispers and hints. People who loved him were disarmed when their parish priest or others in the parish pulled them aside and confided in them, that kind of “there’s more to the story, if you knew you’d understand, but I can’t say anything — wink, wink” sort of thing.

    It was slimy. And extremely effective. Because the parish was ready to rise up, and then fphewp — all that energy was gone in a minute.

    I don’t know what the answer is, though. By standing up, he drew their ire. But by not standing up, we allowed those who would do such a thing to prevail. They run the parish they drove him out of. Those who wait, and wait, and wait again — how long do we have to wait? I’m forty-three years old. I have yet to see a good priest and a good liturgy prevail, even endure for more than a brief time. How long do I wait? How long can I sit on my hands?

  51. RCGuerilla says:

    I’m from the Si vis pacem fac bellum school. Our bishop has stood in the way of every priest who does anything the least bit “traditional” and has even castigated priests who “insist” or using the confessional to hear confession and wear the “collar” on “off hours”. I complained about a priest who was reading the newspaper waiting for people to confess and failed to turn off his cell phone and even attended a call during one. I saw all this because they just sit at a table by the altar waiting for people to confess, in full view of everyone. He just looked at me and asked me to remember that “priests are men, just like me, and read and have cell phones”. He has said he will not authorize any priest to say the EF mass until a “substantial” number of the faithful have demonstrated a clear understanding of Latin. I prepared a letter to Ecclesia Dei but showed it first to the spiritual director at the Opus Dei house (FYI I am not a member, but attend their meetings and functions regularly). He strongly advised me against it at this time and said I should pray for now. And I do. I pray during Mass, and I pray the Rosary for my bishop. But I sure have the hankering to sharpen the knives in the down time.

  52. chcrix says:

    But, after all things take time. Sometimes longer than we have.

    Benedict XVI is an example. He became pope at 78 and is now in his mid-eighties. One could argue that he didn’t (and doesn’t) have much time. Still and all, he has slowly but persistently pursued his agenda. Turning the barque of Peter is like turning the battleship Yamato (72,800 tons). It can’t be done in a few minutes or a few thousand feet.

    If the Pope can be determined but patient, the rest of us can also try.

  53. Gladiatrix says:

    I realise that there are obedience issues between a priest and a bishop, but any priest who is moved without good reason from a parish and who is the subject of rumours or who discovers one of these letters has been put in his permanent personnel file should sue the bishop responsible immediately for libel and malice.

    A salutary and hopefully very critical judgement from a court, and a jury, might make bishops rather hesitant to try this sort of thing in future.

  54. Lurker 59 says:

    Don’t just pray and wait and wait and wait. Volunteer for every position that you can, run to be on the parish board, teach Sunday school / CCD, put together bible studies, put together catechism studies, put together prayer chains, basically if there is something that a lay person can be involved in at the parish do it. Instead of only giving money figure out that which your parish needs and then provide the parish and priest with the traditional versions of those items. Invite your priest to have a meal at your house from time to time — seek to find ways to make his very harried life easier (even your liberal priests have way too much to do). Don’t just wait expecting a priest to come in and make things better by himself. The laity represent the bride to the priest’s bridegroom masculinity so adorn yourselves and make yourselves ready for the “right man”.

  55. RCGuerilla: He has said he will not authorize any priest to say the EF mass until a “substantial” number of the faithful have demonstrated a clear understanding of Latin.

    Since the central parts of the EF Mass — the offertory and canon — are said silently by the priest, it might be more pertinent to require that the faithful have superhuman hearing. (Shhhh! Maybe you’d better not tell that bishop of yours about this. He might insist that only dogs qualify to attend the TLM is his diocese.)

  56. Xmenno says:

    I am so fascinated that the liturgical changes after Vatican II could be composed, written and implemented in one fell swoop, but corrections to these changes take subtle, political finesse, and tact and time, lots of time.

  57. Young Canadian RC Male says:

    donantebello: which is why lay people need to get in on this and start revolting against wayward bishops who DO NOT teach the faith or are contrary in example. Michael Voris (though I discourage frequent watching of his videos) is an example that comes to mind. As a lay person he knows that bishops cannot touch him legally in the Church unlike priests, as long as he preaches the True Faith and that we do not make a vow of obedience to our bishops (outside of obedience to the Magisterium on matters of faith and morals and doctrine). Therefore he produces his videos and calls out bishops when need be for their actions. Hey speaking of which, Fr. Z. or anyone, forward this to him. This I think deserves in internet/media slang to “be put on blast”.

  58. Young Canadian RC Male says:

    Tim Ferguson: You know Tim, this brings up a sad issue that we the laity are to balme for: economics. Parishes don’t just run on air and slowly but surely the few rich families with their patriarchs and matriarchs are dying off. Combine that all the remaining parishoners and their subsequent generations not having a care whatsoever for their religion and being greedy/selfish to the point of squandering their money and not giving to the parish, you have the dire situation you have just described. If only parishoners would care enough to donate even just an extra dollar or two at the least (if they are in a dire state/semi-poverty) then maybe Father in suburbia wouldn’t have to wait for that rare sale to buy a light bulb. Maybe Fr. alcoholic would have had his extra year of treatment because the whole diocese provided that extra $60K for the year’s treatment from those little 2-5 dollar givings. And maybe a combination of parishioners ACTUALLY caring about their faith combined with their donations in those urban 60′s parishes.
    BTW don’t worry about the schools being kept “afloat”. While this is a sad state of affairs in modern times with the Church, with the number of declining Catholic families thanks to no-fault divorce, contraception and abortion, and kids who’ve become parents who aren’t coming back to the Church and raising their kids atheist/agnostic/do what you please spiritually, eventually those schools will close because there will be no one to teach in them.

  59. Young Canadian RC Male says:

    Sorry addenum to “donations in those urban 60′s parishes …” would redeem or provide new some devotional value.

  60. jflare says:

    I rather agree that this priest likely moved rather too quickly. It would’ve been wiser to “get the lay of the land” first, THEN work out a game plan for the parish to make appropriate changes.
    I must ask though: Wouldn’t it be wise for the parishioners to cc the bishop with regard to the good that this priest has begun? Or write separate letters to the bishop to more or less the same intent?
    If the priest is “in the doghouse” with the local bishop because a relative few parishioners have howled, seems to me the same bishop ought to hear–in a charitable manner obviously–about how other parishioners LIKE the changes, so the bishop might not hit the priest quite so hard.

  61. donantebello says:

    @ Young Canadian RC Male

    It’s good to be informed of where these bishops are coming from. They’re not bad people who wish to do bad things, they were formed badly during a period of cultural and educational collapse. They REALLY do think tradition forms of worship are spiritually dead, and that the Holy Spirit has breathed his new life into OF Mass in venacular with guitars drums and girl altar servers, etc……. Thus the visceral reaction to Benedict’s reforms. This is important to properly assess what can realistically be done while moving forward.

    The deepest issue at hand is not so much what you can do right now this instance, but what can you form yourself to become. You must realize that no one is going to give you anything. Teach yourself Latin, study Chant, learn to serve the EF, study the EF, study sacred art and music, teach yourself and master all of Sacred Tradition and it’s riches so that when the right people come into powerful positions in the Church you will be ready and equipped to edify and re-build Her. Like Mother Theresa says: “You can’t give what you don’t have.”

    Find priests and pockets of people who are informed about Tradition and foster learning, community, and worship to the limit of what can realistically be achieved. This is what Benedict XVI is talking about when he speaks of the “creative minority.” As civilization circles the drain, we are like the new monasteries and pockets of intensification from which a new Christian civilization can be reborn.

  62. servusmariaen says:

    Why does a priest need permission to celebrate Ad Orientem? It is my understanding the rubrics of the Missal of Paul VI assume this orientation. How can a bishop forbid a priest from following the rubrics? I’m confused………this doesn’t make sense to me.

  63. What so many of us just don’t grasp is that Jesus did not say that doing the right thing would be easy. Think of St. Peter. Even when the angel opened the gates of the jail, it wasn’t to take Peter up to heaven, or to spare him any further effort, or to fee into hiding somewhere safe. Peter had to go back and start using more or less conventional means to preach the Good News, and eventually was crucified.

    The next point is that being right alone is not always sufficient. If a man demonstrates absolutely no ability to get along with other people, or only an ability to get along with those with whom he agrees, he probably will not be ordained, much less get to say an extraordinary form Mass anywhere except in his dreams. Even the FSSP or SSPX probably would not take such a candidate. At some point, one has to be able to listen to others’ opinions and try to build consensus. The saying “error has no rights,” is not entirely true, and the saying, “error has no power,” is clearly hogwash. Even the most holy, righteous priest is going to encounter error among the laity, fellow priests, and even bishops, and he simply must be able to deal with it in some way apart from turning into a buzzsaw.

    Consider also St. Paul. One of my favorite moments in Scripture is when he visits Athens and encounters a city full of statues to false gods, including one to “the unknown god” just in case they missed one. He does not simply condemn them in a blaze of fire and brimstone– he looks at that one statue, takes something of value from their error, and declares that his God is in fact “the unknown god” that they have worshipped all along without even realizing it.

    I think we all need to accept that one generally does not acquire power by being difficult or abrasive. You simply don’t get to be or remain a pastor or bishop that way. That said, at least Catholic priests can be thankful they can’t be hired or fired at will by the congregation, like their Protestant brethren.

  64. Young Canadian RC Male says:

    donantebello: Already part of the way there: http://unavocetoronto.blogspot.com/ I’ve signed up as a single membership and have been to one of their TLMs. I couldn’t go to yesterday as I was celebrating Canada day with some more conservative/happy young Catholic friends of mine I met through U of T Newman Center. Catholicism is alive and well at NM at U of T.

  65. JMGriffing says:

    GTW Said:
    A while ago I had heard a quote, I believe it was attributed to St. John of the Cross, that said something to the effect that the floor of Hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.

    St. John Chrysostom

    [He did not say that. It is a false attribution. St. John did say, however, that he thought the number of bishops who would be saved is quite small. Cf. Sermon 3 on Acts: "οὐκ οῖμαι εῖναι πόλλους ἐν τοῖς ἰερευσι τοὺς σωζομένους, ἀλλὰ πολλῳ πλείους τοὺς ἀπολλυμένους" ]

  66. Paul says:

    “By getting called home do you mean pray for him to die? That’s a little extreme dontcha think? Careful… It might come true.”

    That is precisely what I meant. I have quite nearly reached the point where my patience with the destruction of souls is at an end. If God could strike down Ananias and his wife Sapphira for withholding some monetary gain from Him, how much more a cleric who obstinately rejects the teachings of the Holy Father and in doing so, leads others to hell?

    For example, Psalms 5, 6, 11, 12, 35, 37, 40, and others contain various imprecatory pleas. While I absolutely would never raise a hand in anger to another person, is it too much to ask God to act to preserve His people? My strong preference would be for the conversion and obedience of the dissenting clergy, but if not, then as God wills.

    Such are my daily prayers.

  67. Glen M says:

    Thank you Fr. Z. for posting this story. It is a poignant reminder to how we need to conduct ourselves during this rebuilding project. Yes, the priest acted too quickly. May God bless his youthful exuberance and I’m sure purest of intentions. Although a small minority, the anti-traditional element in most parishes is well established and battle tested. It’s unfair but reality, that proponents of traditional liturgies, devotions, and culture need to be intrepid in their efforts. It’s frustrating and sometimes humiliating to have to conduct such conversations with hushed volume or the need to scruntize a new face (“Is she Latin friendly?” “Is he one of us?”). I don’t say this lightly, but sometimes I feel like a member of the French Resistance. Yes, souls are being lost, but the greater good will be served by acting with charity, prudence, and fortitude. The Church won’t be rebuilt overnight. It’s far more easier to tear down than build up.

  68. rfox2 says:

    I would never advocate that a priest disobey his bishop. That is manifestly wrong, and it would be extremely rare for a bishop to command a priest to do something immoral. In this case, the priest needs to be obedient, and he was probably not politically wise.

    However, I stand by my statement that bishops regularly, and knowingly, give evil a pass, and suppress the good. There are several courageous bishops to be sure, but very few.

    I also find it sorrowful that individual bishops can suppress what is clearly good, as in this case, but Rome fails to clamp down on bishops who are lax or immoral. We’ve had quite a litany of those in the past 40 years, and what we’ve seen from Rome has been mostly silent tolerance. A good example if this would be what’s happening in Austria right now.

    “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” — Edmund Burke

  69. Federico says:

    I read a lot of anger and frustration in the comments to this post. There seem to be two threads: “strident call for ‘war,’” or “prayer in the face of human impotence before the ecclesial ‘machine.’”

    Let me suggest there exists a third way.

    Make your voices heard. Do it quietly, do it politely, do it respectfully, and stick to the facts. Most importantly, follow the chain and don’t assume any facts that would have required some confidence.

    For example: write to your pastor expressing disappointment that his traditional liturgical practices were discontinued. After a couple of weeks, write the same to the bishop, attach the letter from the pastor and enclosing the pastor’s response (if any; if none was received, state the same) and once again express your disappointment that traditional liturgical practice has been discontinued by Fr. X and ask the bishop to encourage Fr. X to start it again. The bishop might write you a letter telling you how wrong you are, or explaining the reasons, or he might be silent. In either case, now write Rome, and explain the entire chain of events. Copy your bishop on that letter.

    You will hear nothing from Rome (most probably). That’s OK. Please be certain that, when your bishop is in Rome for his ad limina visit, all the letters from parishioners in his diocese will be brought out and the bishop will be asked to explain them. Bishops don’t like that. Over time, they will start to take these concerns more seriously.

    Finally, if you’re faced with a real violation of rights (for instance, refused the Eucharist because you knelt) by all means get a canonist and begin a recourse (do this quickly, the window is narrow). It’s hard for priests because they can win and end up in Siberia. But as a layperson, you too have rights. Rights that are not exercised are lost.

  70. shin says:

    RE:
    [St. John did say, however, that he thought the number of bishops who would be saved is quite small. Cf. Sermon 3 on Acts: "??? ????? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ??????? ???? ??????????, ???? ????? ??????? ???? ????????????" ]

    I’ve seen this quote alternatively translated as priests or bishops, and am wondering what the exact root word meaning is — a generic term like ecclesiastics, or more specific?

  71. Young Canadian RC Male says:

    Federico, what is the proper procedure for recourse? It is similar to a lawsuit or other legal proceeding in civil/criminal law with prosecution or defense attorneys?

  72. Bill Foley says:

    from Bill Foley
    The priest saying Mass ad orientem and using the extraordinary form is simply a tempest in a teapot. There is no reason for him doing this, and he should obey his bishop in a spirit of humility. I am 71 years old, and I served Mass when it was in Latin; in fact, I still say some ejaculatory prayers in Latin, and I would like to see more Gregorian Chant. However, I agree with Bishop Chaput in his preference for the ordinary form of the Mass in English for the same reason–a much greater use of the holy Bible. When Blessed John Paul the Great visited America, he always said Mass in English facing the people. The original translation of the ordinary form was not as accurate as it should have been; thanks be to God that is now being remedied. There is an undertone in so many of these blogs and in so many of the comments that the ordinary form is really not fully kosher, that Blessed John Paul the Great really lacked something, and the Second Vatican Council is the root cause of so much that is wrong. None of this is true. The first Mass in the upper room was in the vernacular, and any priestly personality cult can be greatly diminished by placing six large candles and a large crucifix on the altar. I attend Mass in a very papist parish; the pastor follows the GIRM in every detail, and the two assistant priests say very reverential Masses. Even though I live in a diocese with a liberal bishop, those who prefer the extraordinary form have their own parish. The priest in this situation should concentrate on his sanctification because this is the greatest act of charity that he can do for his flock (see This Tremendous Lover by the spiritual master Dom Eugene Boylan for the exact quotation). He can also preach the truth in charity; he can promote the frequenting of the Sacrament of Penance. He can defend marriage; he can promote pro-life activities. He can promote total fidelity to the papal magisterium. He can do so much spiritually and pastorally without introducing ad orientem and the extraordinary form.

  73. Federico says:

    @Young Canadian RC Male: “Federico, what is the proper procedure for recourse? It is similar to a lawsuit or other legal proceeding in civil/criminal law with prosecution or defense attorneys?”

    Recourse in the Church can be taken against acts of administrative (executive) power. As such it is not at all like a civil or criminal trial in the secular world (this would be closer to a canonical trial, which is generally referred to as a “process,” but even that comparison limps).

    A recourse is, basically, taking a matter to the superior of the one who committed a specific act, arguing that the act exceeded discretion or some other constraint on the exercise of executive power, and requesting some sort of redress. Recourse can be taken, hierarchically, all the way to the Apostolic Signatura.

    As far as what constitutes executive power, a simple rule of thumb is that, excluding acts that are mere acts of administration (e.g. signing the payroll checks) acts that are not acts of judicial power or legislative power, are exercises of executive power.

    This was cursory to the point of useless. A nice introduction to administrative recourse is: Beal, John. “Hierarchical Recourse: Procedures at the Local Level.” CLSA Proceedings 62 (2000) 96-104.

    Federico

  74. Mr. Foley,

    Actually, if as nearly all Biblical scholars think, the Last Supper was a Passover Supper, then the ceremonies would not have been “in the vernacular” (Aramaic) but in the liturgical language of the ancient (and modern) Jews, Hebrew.

  75. Glen M says:

    Dear Mr. Foley, As priests should be obedient to their bishop, should bishops be obedient to the pope?

  76. robtbrown says:

    Mr Foley,

    It is well known that JPII and BXVI disagreed on liturgy. When JPII was pope, he had the authority to make liturgical changes or not–he chose the latter. BXVI has the same authority–and he has chosen the former.

    Personally, I think Latin ad orientem celebration (possible in both forms) is more important than comparing rites. That having been said, the Mysterium Fidei in the EF is a clear affirmation of the relation between Christ’s Redemptive Act and the Sacrificial nature of the Eucharist. Nothing like is is found in the memorial acclamations of the OF.

  77. davwen says:

    Why do bishops allow liberal or non-orthodox liturgies to persist while ignoring pleas for Novus Ordo Masses ad orientem and EF Low and High Masses ? Some possible reasons (depending on the bishop): $$ from liberal parishioners, the devil, cowardice, homosexual influence, modernist theory, protestant influence, fear of radical feminists, fake ecumenical thinking, and again – the devil.

  78. BLB Oregon says:

    I have to agree with Fr. Z on the imprudence making changes too quickly, even where they are necessary. There might be no reason a new priest wouldn’t continue to say Mass as he says Mass (e.g., ad orientum), but changing the schedule of Masses before sounding out whether there are aspects of the change he hadn’t considered is another matter.

    A strong rider might be able to make any horse do what he wants, but it is a far better use of the energies of both to take the time to train the horse to want what the rider wants. If it is the ideal for a horse and rider to move as though one mind moves them, how much more true is this concerning a pastor and his parish!