Why did we need Summorum Pontificum?

More proof, with the help of Fr. Blake, of why we really needed Summorum Pontificum, especially in France, especially in the cathedral of Lille.

Does that chalice look sort of like a part broken off of a 1960’s lamp?

The "altar" cover looks like the basket from the baloon in the Wizard of Oz.

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  1. Craig says:

    Are they using the lava as a sanctuary lamp? At least it is unleavened bread
    and a metal chalice.

  2. Derik Castillo says:

    The chalice is huge! From personal experience, the wider
    the cup, the harder is to drink from it. I suppose
    this chalice puts the priest in danger of spilling the
    Most Precious Blood of Christ.

    The chalice /should/ have a pomel in between the base and the

  3. EJ says:

    The vessels are similar to the oversized ones used by the priests of the Neocatechumenal Way in their own funky liturgies.

  4. Peter says:

    Why do bishops insist on wearing their crosses outside their chasubles?

  5. Derik Castillo says:

    Why can’t I see candless in the altar?

  6. Habemus Papam says:

    Why can’t I see an altar?

  7. Mark says:

    The theatricality of the Pauline Mass is becoming unbearable at times!

  8. Jeff Pinyan says:

    I wonder if the vessels are so freakin’ large so that they can be seen from the back of the church, because if they can’t be seen by the laity, how can they be “actively participating”?!

  9. Paul says:

    Where is the missal? His Excellency seems to be reading from a plastic sleeve on the altar.

    It all looks so protestant, although I know a couple of protestants who would be horrified at how awful this looks!

  10. Geoffrey says:

    At least it appears they are using vessels made of precious metal, and not glass! Glass vessels seem to be all the rage here in California.

    After attending Ash Wednesday Mass yesterday, I’ve decided to coin a new phrase: “Why is it so hard to find good liturgy?”

  11. Brian Jilka says:

    Wow. Calling those vessels, er, distasteful or impractical, is certainly not hyperbole.

    Speaking of hyperbole, does anyone else (particularly other nerdy engineer and math types) think that chalice resembles the conic section know as a hyperbola? I think there’s also, heaven forbid, a pouring spout at the top of it.

  12. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Brian Jilka – Yeah, it looks hyperbolic, and yes, it’s clear from the top picture that there’s a spout of sorts. So they can pour the Precious Blood from it to other cups (not chalices, I’m sure). Nevermind that it’s a GRAVE ABUSE. They’ll do it anyway.

  13. Bill says:

    Speaking as a lay Catholic of somewhat advanced years who is trying his best to understand what is going on in our beloved Church, I just want to ask you gentlemen (and lady/ladies if any are participating here) whether you are saying that the Eucharist under these circumstances is in any way not valid? Sometimes it is hard to understand what the issue is, and I can tell you that many of the laity are confused, if not upset, by arguments and comments by priests and educated lay persons that sometimes verge on outright disrespect for certain members of the church hierarchy and for points of view that are contrary to the commenters’.

    I am old enough to remember the Tridentine Mass very well. I was a well-trained altar server, and took Latin courses for four years in high school and college, so understanding the Tridentine Mass and the prayers was never much of a problem for me. But when I talk to other lay people of my age about the Mass “back in the day” I am often amazed to discover that (1) they never had a clue what was going on (even with a Latin/English Missal), and (2) they actually like and prefer Mass in the vernacular. Not that liking and preference are important theologically, but it sure helps people stay faithful and in the Church. They don’t care about ad orientem, and amazingly enough they do understand the point of having everyone facing the crucifix when someone explains it to them/reminds them.

    I am not making this up. These conversations include practicing Catholics and lapsed Catholics, and ones who attended parochial schools where they were taught by nuns, those who received their catechesis in Sunday school, and those who never had any particular catechesis at all. This is actually a topic of conversation in my parish, as many of us are actively engaged in trying to figure out what’s going on, how to reach out to lapsed Catholics, and how to deal with the many evangelicals in our area (suburb of Dallas) who are constantly chipping away at the Catholic population.

    Thank you for helping an old man understand.

    To Jesus through Mary.

  14. dob says:

    Ah come on now. This looks so silly it is beyond stupid.

  15. Fr Ray Blake says:

    Fr Z, Another rise in my statistics but it really belongs to http://cathcon.blogspot.com/ .
    Isn’t the whole arrangement of vessels, vestments, altar and presumably the celebration itself so dated?
    I am sure the next bishop is in for a long and expensive restoration job of his Cathedral and an equally long re-catechesis of many people in his diocese.

  16. Bill says:

    Oh, and to be perfectly clear, I do understand that the reason for the post that this comment is attached to is concern for possible disrespect for the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist, and probable abuse of the liturgy. My concern is for the more general questions that I was trying to raise in my previous comment.

    To Jesus through Mary.

  17. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Bill – (Before I begin, I’m a 26-year-old male, raised on the Ordinary Form and still regularly attending it.)

    You asked: whether you are saying that the Eucharist under these circumstances is in any way not valid? Using ridiculous sacred vessels doesn’t effect the validity of the confection of the sacrament, but it can effect the general impression the faithful have. When they see vessels that do not seem special or sacred, they can get the impression that what they contain is nothing (truly) special or sacred. It can lead to a diminished belief in the Real Presence. It can lead to a false understanding of the Real Presence that one finds in certain denominations.

  18. Bill says:

    Jeff, thank you for your reply. I understand your point. However, I know plenty of young(er) people who attend the Ordinary Form in parishes where the vessels and altar are of more conventional/traditional design, who also have the impression that what they contain or support is nothing truly special or sacred. But that’s a different problem. We’re working on that one in our parish, too.

  19. Jonathan Bennett says:

    I am sorry, but I just cannot see how anyone could find THAT tasteful and proper for the Mass. Even someone remotely Catholic would find this outrageous!

    Either these priests (the Archbishop…) are smoking something or they are just trying to see how far they can push things. There is no possible way they can really be serious. Is there?

  20. Bill says:

    Jeff, thank you for your reply. I understand your point. However, I know plenty of young(er) people who attend the Ordinary Form in parishes where the vessels and altar are of more conventional/traditional design, who also have the impression that what they contain or support is nothing truly special or sacred. But that’s a different problem. We’re working on that one in our parish, too.

  21. jarhead462 says:

    Well thank you Fr. Z!
    Now I have to gouge out my eyes…….yuck!

  22. RandomLutheran says:

    Paul wrote:
    “It all looks so protestant, although I know a couple of protestants who would be horrified at how awful this looks!”

    Here’s one more who is!

  23. Aelric says:


    I would suggest that one possible reason behind such grave concern – sometimes hiding behind acerbic humor, given the rubric of “I laugh so as not to cry” – is precisely *because* one affirms the validity of such a Mass (and, of course, what the Mass really IS). Where there is no reality, there is no sacrilege. For the reasons offered here and other similar blogs (and, more importantly, in the Holy Father’s writings), sacrilege is what this sort of thing too often becomes. And one has to wonder to what one is “staying faithful” at clown masses or the ubiquitous homiletic denials of Jesus’ beatific knowledge every time the Temptation of Our Lord comes around.

    Perhaps this is why some commentators (such as myself) don’t perhaps get as choleric when discussing the simulacrums of women’s ordinations (so-called) or protestant (e.g. anglican) “eucharists”. The former are absurd and pity-ful; the latter well-intentioned but mistaken.

    What we see above, however, is , to my mind, not unlike imagining a slave child forced to watch his mother spat upon all the while the masters jesting amongst themselves as to what a fun game it all is and asking themselves, if challenged, “what’s all the fuss about?” Do not abortion “rights” proponents say the same? They don’t view themselves as evil; they wonder why the fuss? They don’t care about the rights or nature of the unborn child (or what the act of abortion actually does to the mother or others who cooperate in it), but they pat themselves on the back for being good custodians of the environment and take tea or latte in self-congratulation for being advocates of free expression.

    Not everything was perfect in the 1950’s – and many things seriously wrong. But the problems now are ghastly and insidious: and our relative insensitivity to them only a symptom of how bad things have become.

    Bill, you (and your parish) might find reading Dorothy Sayer’s “Creed or Chaos” an interesting read vis-a-vis your post. The Dogma truly IS the Drama.

  24. Fr. Michael says:

    One need not have Summorum Pontificum in order to correct ill-prepared and ill-celebrated Paul VI Masses. Such “abuses” (whatever word you want to use) could be corrected by less drastic measures than SP.

    Fr. Z., anytime a “wacky Ordinary Form” Mass is used to justify the existence of Summorum Pontificum and the Extraordinary Form only weakens the very premise by which the Church now in fact has two forms, namely, that both forms are valid and legitimate.

    I secretly enjoy such photos or youtube videos – they cause me to roll my eyes and work harder in celebrating well the Mass. But, in my opinion, it would be pastorally prudent not to draw connections between such examples of “abused” Masses and the need for Summorum Pontificum. Instead, such photos and examples only point to the need for episcopal oversight of clergy and liturgical practices; not a motu proprio reviving a pre-reformed Mass.

    God bless.

  25. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Bill – in response to your general sentiment, then, I’d say the problem is that catechesis has fallen by the wayside. The liturgists of the Ordinary Form expected it (with all its innovations and changes) to be more self-explanatory (or to include banal explanations). I hardly ever hear a liturgical homily anymore. I’d love to do a Liturgy Study (analogous to a Bible Study) where I lead a group of interested (I hope!) Catholics through the Mass. I just don’t know if I’d get approval for such a thing. At my parish, probably… at another parish (where I see a handful of abuses), probably not.

  26. Henry Edwards says:

    Bill: Unlike Jeff, I am probably about your age, but like him I regularly attend the new Mass (ordinarily 4 or 5 times a week).

    The disapproval some of us have and express for those who profane the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is surely a measure of our own love for the Eucharistic. How could we love anything with heart and mind and soul without being offended by those who trample on it?

    You should understand that this, in essence, has nothing to do with old versus new Mass or with Latin versus vernacular Mass. The new Mass I am privileged to attend daily is sacred and reverent; as is the old Mass I am privileged to attend weekly. However, it has not always been that way, and many who attend reverent liturgy today still suffer the effects of a couple of past generations of liturgical chaos.

    It is often said that “every valid Mass is a holy sacrifice of infinite value”. That is, its intrinsic merit as a re-presentation of the Sacrifice of the Cross is infinite. However, the external value — for instance, its effectiveness as a channel of grace to the faithful — of a Mass depends greatly on all manner of exterior factors, all those things the faithful feel and hear and see in the liturgy that affect their individual receptivity to the grace made available by the sacrifice.

    So it is that even a perfectly valid Eucharistic sacrifice can be profaned — and its value to participating faithful tragically decreased — by priests and bishops who evidently do not respect the liturgy as many of the rest of us do.

    As a member of your generation, I often feel that a cross I bear, and a personal sacrifice I must offer up at each Mass, is the suffering of the Mystical Body of Christ during my adult life as a Catholic, when so many millions of Catholics have had their faith weakened or even lost because of the way Christ Himself has been tormented through disrespect and irreverence in the performance of His sacred liturgy. For I am convinced that more faithful have been lost to the Church because of liturgical disintegration than for any other reason (to which Cardinal Ratzinger himself has attributed the present crisis in faith).

    I might append the comment that this also has nothing to do with pre- versus post-Vatican II issues per se. The immediate pre-Vatican II Church was unsuccessful in eliciting universally meaningful participation in the liturgy, just as the post-Vatican II Church has been.

  27. TJM says:

    These gentlemen are soooooooooooooo 1960s. By by, Tom

  28. Bill says:

    Henry, Jeff, and Aelric — thank you for taking the time to respond.

    Maybe I’ve been lucky. I have not, at least in the last 25 years or so, been exposed to more than a couple of liturgies that involved gross abuses, and maybe only one of what some here would refer to as a “clown” Mass. The priest involved in the latter caught so much grief from the parishioners that it was never repeated. So maybe that’s why I look at some of the comments here and think, “What in the world are they talking about?”

    Incidentally, in our parish, it’s 100% the Ordinary Form. We’re talking (some of us) about asking Father to offer one TLM a week. He knows we’re having discussions, and hasn’t given any indication that he would be opposed. The problem is that we are a large parish and only have one priest, so losing him even for a few days while he gets the necessary training could be a problem. Mechanically, even though the church was built in the early 80s, it wouldn’t be difficult to shift the altar a few feet to give him enough room ad orientem. We already have a very large, very traditional crucifix on the front wall, and the sanctuary is very clearly and physically delineated by steps.

    If it’s supposed to happen, God will find a way and help us find it too. We have a new bishop, and none of us knows how he feels about the Motu Proprio (yes, I know it isn’t supposed to matter what the bishop thinks, but …).

    In the meantime, I am committing thread drift here, so I will shut up. Time to go back to work anyway.

    To Jesus through Mary.

  29. Gavin says:

    If I may ask in earnest, how much of this wouldn’t be allowed in the EF? The wicker basket altar? The Cup Beyond Pejorative Adjectives? The poncho-chausibles? And, furthermore, which things that aren’t allowed ARE in the OF?

    It seems to me the difference between the two forms is less about rubrics and the form than the people which frequent and celebrate either. I’m of a strong belief that the good of Summorum Pontificum will come from the people of the EF rather than the Mass itself.

  30. mike says:

    All roight – buck up Padre ‘ere we go…Ohhhhh Posh Posh gimme the loyyyfff its the terravelin’ loyyfff fer me…


  31. Summorum Pontificum, with its accompanying letter, had, as part of its purpose, to go after intollerable liturgical abuse, perhaps especially in France.

    Many people want a comparison between good examples of the 1970 Missale Romanum and the 2008 Missale Romanum. Because of abuses, that is not possible in most places in France (or other parts of the world). People can only compare abuses of the 1970 Missale Romanum with the beauty of the 2008 Missale Romanum. That’s just the way it is.

    In France, more people attend the extraordinary form than the ordinary form (making the terminology somewhat odd).

    Most bishops in France are frantic. They want more frenetic novelty. A great example of this has been going on for some time now. Imagine walking into a church in France which has kept its side chapels. One might feel relieved, hoping to be successful in finding the tabernacle in one of those side-chapels without too much trouble (having gotten used to the throne replacing the tabernacle). When one finds the tabernacle, one might even notice an intact altar rail at that side altar, and kneel down… only to be horrified, finding oneself — I am not kidding — staring at a huge television taking up all the space underneath the altar, providing you with scenes of nature and such like.

    One might like to click one’s heels three times and go back to Kansas in the balloon basket as pictured above, but it doesn’t work.

    Let’s remember to pray for those who are suffering intolerable liturgical abuse, the worse kind of abuse there is (as will be demonstrated in the TRILOGY). Although more people attend the extraordinary form, most people in France simply do not go to Mass. They are scarred deeply. Children, if any, know nothing about Christianity, even remotely.

  32. mike says:


    Getting my Chittys & Ozs mixed up or am I…I…Oh, the poppies…


  33. Chironomo says:

    What I find rather humorous about so many Masses performed in this way is that what they would like to think of as “innovation” has become so outdated (or more properly “dated” circa 1976) because the very concept of this type of liturgical innovation is so strongly rooted in the 1970’s. The same is true of “contemporary” liturgical music… most of the repertoire of this genre is from 25-40 years ago. Not that older music is not relevant (at least not good older music)… It’s just a bit naive to think that “Earthen Vessels” might be attractive to Teens in quite the same way that it was in 1974. The only people who find this kind of innovation “ever-new” are the aging hippies who instituted it 40 years ago. It will die out eventually.

  34. Wendell_G says:

    Gavin –

    That’s the best and most thoughtful comment in this thread. So I’ll repeat it: what in these photos wouldn’t be allowed in the EF?

    Quite seriously and earnestly, the question gnaws at me. Aside from aesthetics (and taste varies, let me remind you), is there any reason why that altar cover and those vestments couldn’t be used in an EF? I’m a trad of the extremely inflexible variety, but I don’t know that I’d call out an EF that incorporates modern aesthetics elements.

    There seems to be a deeper question here, and one that I am completely unsuited to answering, but it goes something along the lines of – to what degree does the EF dictate the aesthetics – for lack of a better word – incorporated into its celebration. Obviously, one wouldn’t want to perform an EF in a clown suit, and some might suggest that these vestments ARE clown suits. But what’s difficult about this, as I see it, is that the line is not black and white.

    Fr.Z – some help on this point would be appreciated. And Gavin – thanks for making me think!

  35. Paul says:

    French Catholics are better off in the SSPX. If they permit this (and the clown Mass) in a cathedral, I don’t even want to imagine what goes on at a regular parish.

  36. Habemus Papam says:

    Fr.Michael: Pope Benedict hopes the Extraordinary Form will have a corrective influence on the Ordinary Form. In theory episcopal oversight could correct abuses…but it would be good to see this happen in our lifetime.

  37. Kiran says:

    Maybe, Pope Benedict could write a new prayer to be inserted into either form, in the Good Friday Prayers, for those suffering from liturgical abuse and those souls who have been led astray by it.

  38. don Jeffry says:

    Fr. Michael,
    Quote: “Instead, such photos and examples only point to the need for episcopal oversight of clergy and liturgical practices; not a motu proprio reviving a pre-reformed Mass.”

    As you will notice in this picture, there are two bishops at the breadbasket “themed” altar. Episcopal oversight implies discretion and, unfortunately all too often, there is neither discretion nor shame. The lack of shame is comparable to anonymity at carnevale (where everyone is masked)… “Everybody’s doing it so I will too.” One no longer hears the question: “Have you no shame?” Perhaps bishops do not criticize fellow bishops directly in private so all is a go. don Jeffry

  39. To Kiran,

    An excellent idea! A Good Friday prayer for the conversion of liturgical abusers and the consolation of their victims. That could already fall under another category, but it would good to make it explicit. The problem is that it calls upon the governance of bishops who pray that prayer to follow it up with governance. There's the difficult part.

    To others,

    You answer your own question about what is allowed in either form by using the word "allowed". No system of law, including liturgical law, can dictate the exclusion of all liturgical abuse in all its possible forms. This does not mean that something that is not explicitely excluded is allowed. Abuse remains abuse. Those who are guilty of it or allow it will be called to task for it, sooner or later. Pray that bishops govern their priests and that priests offer the Holy Sacrifice well.

  40. Vincenzo says:

    Father Z. wrote:

    Does that chalice look sort of like a part broken off of a 1960’s lamp?
    The “altar” cover looks like the basket from the baloon in the Wizard of Oz.

  41. Henry Edwards says:

    Wendell: to what degree does the EF dictate the aesthetics – for lack of a better word – incorporated into its celebration.

    A good question. Perhaps the vertical ethos of the EF and its orientation toward God so strongly discourages such aberrations as those pictured that they are never, ever seen in it. Whereas the horizontal ethos of the OF and its orientation toward the community can encourage them if celebrant and/or community are so inclined.

  42. Hardman Window says:

    Folks, don’t blame it on the Novus Ordo, blame it on bad taste and bad interpretation of the rubrics. Condemn the abuse, not the Mass.

  43. TJM says:

    Father Z, let me help you with a real life example. When I was an altarboy in the pre-Vatican II days, instead of ringing the bells at the elevation
    by hand, we had (and I kid you not) an automatic push botton device in the floor, and it sounded like Ding, Ding, Dong. Tom

  44. tertullian says:

    Between this photo and the discussion about the Good Friday Prayer, I am reminded how much Cardinal Lustiger is missed.

  45. TNCath says:

    Once again, it looks like Brigitte Bardot might appear at any minute to say, “Shabam! Pow! Blop! Whizz!”

  46. Fr. Z is right about the chalice looking like part of a 1960s lampshade.

    But that was the unhappy decade when all this nonsense began !
    These men are displaying a sort of 1960s / 1970s mindset, even today in the year 2008.
    That is why, as Fr. Ray Blake points out, it all looks rather old fashioned and dated.

  47. elizabeth mckernan says:

    The mention of the television reminded me that this year in Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris there were two screens incorporated into the Christmas Crib. They both showed a sea scene with waves lapping the shore. No I could not see a connection either!

  48. David says:

    Dear Father,

    I just have to ask, what purpose do you see in posting such photos as these? They seem to serve only to give scandal, while accomplishing no constructive purpose that I can ascertain. Yes, the Sacred Liturgy is often very poorly and irreverently celebrated, as so many of us experience on a regular basis. But why, exactly, do we need to be reminded of it again now?

  49. Flambeaux says:

    TJM wrote:
    Father Z, let me help you with a real life example. When I was an altarboy in the pre-Vatican II days, instead of ringing the bells at the elevation
    by hand, we had (and I kid you not) an automatic push botton device in the floor, and it sounded like Ding, Ding, Dong. Tom

    Flambeaux notes:
    That’s how we do it in our parish today. We have a set of bells for the sacristy with a pull cord run through the wall. We have a set of hand bells for use at certain points. And we have the electronic bell system with a button tucked under the Credence Table that issues a bell note through the speakers on the roof. Expense and city code prevented a real bell system being put in, so we do the best with what we have.

  50. Sean says:

    flies in amber, pickles in aspic, boring old farts.

  51. I have a Lava Lamp with that base. Cool, huh?

  52. JML says:

    Can we overlay this to the video? Those of you who remember the early 1970’s probably sang this at Mass.

    “Here we are, all together as we sing our song,
    Here we are, all together as we pray we always say:

    Gather now my friends, and celebrate the brotherhood we share
    All as one
    Keep the fires burning, kindle it with care
    As we all join in and sing:”

    (Repeat chorus)

  53. TNCath says:


    Permit me to correct those lyrics:

    Last line of refrain: Here we are, all together as we pray we’ll always be!

    First line of first verse: Join we now as friends, and celebrate…

    Last lines of first verse: Keep the fire burning, kindle it with care,
    And we’ll sing a song of love.

    Believe me, I lived through this from Grades 1-8 and suffered persecution for objecting to it.

  54. Joy says:


    You’re mixing your songs. That’s from Sons of God

    Sons of God, hear His holy word
    gather ’round the table of the Lord
    Eat His Body, drink His Blood
    And we’ll sing a song of love
    Allelu,allelu,allelu, alleluia.

    By the way, I’ll have to practice Palestrina for an hour now to get that out of my head.
    Thanks be to God for REAL sacred music!


  55. Art says:

    Be charitable
    I agree with you
    but truth must be cooked in love until it is sweet

  56. Art says:

    I agree with you
    but please be more charitable
    truth must be cooked in love until sweet

  57. Dr. J says:

    In all fairness, are we sure that the priests in the picture aren’t just really really tiny? :p

  58. John Fannon says:

    I have followed the measured discussion between Bill from Dallas many others with great interest.

    Everyone is agreed for the need for reverence during the Mass in general and in particular during the Canon.

    Inappropriate vestments, chalice etc are bad enough, but one can always close ones eyes!
    What about inappropriate music?

    St Thomas Aquinas sang
    “Sight, touch and taste in Thee are each deceived,
    The ear alone most safely is believed”

    I fully agree but it makes it extremely difficult take Holy Communion with due reverence
    if the organ starts playing distracting airs like ‘Plaisir d’amour’

    At the Post Communion on Ash Wednesday this week a Good and Holy Nun started singing a hymn to the tune of ‘The Carnival is Over’

    I suppose she was accurate. The carnival had ended the day before!

    I shall have to bring my ear defenders to Mass.

  59. Jack007 says:

    “Believe me, I lived through this from Grades 1-8 and suffered persecution for objecting to it.”

    Amen to that TNCath!
    I was branded a “nut case”, as only my parents felt as I did. It didn’t help that my mom insisted on wearing her mantilla. Literally 1000 parishioners and she was the ONLY one who wore one. She grew up in the old country and that’s what Spanish Catholic women wore. Fortunately overall, I was lucky. I was blessed with an older pastor who made sure things never got too wacky. He tolerated the guitars, etc. When the younger assistants preached their homilies, he would sit in the presider’s chair and read his John XXIII breviary. They were all taped up and falling apart. I served Mass for him all through grade school, so I sat next to him a lot. I asked him why the older, taped up breviaries one day, and he told me he had changed in the forties and fifties. When they changed again in the sixties, he said he was done changing. After high school I found a SSPX chapel and he told me, “Oh, I fear you’re going to lose your faith”. I replied, “No Father, I actually found mine again.” Years later, abused by the bishop, and in failing health, he understood and appreciated my journey.

    I have noticed a bit of a disconnect between those that suffered through those days of darkness, and the younger crowd who show up at EF Masses. There’s no way to impart to them the constant, DAILY, pain of living through that. It’s analogous to the newer Blacks identifying with the older generation. They don’t REALLY know what it’s like to LIVE with ALWAYS knowing you are GOING to sit in the back of the bus. Hence some of the bitterness of some traditional Catholics, (myself on occasion).
    It will take, TIME.

    Oh, and about those taped up breviaries…he gave them to me right before he died. He couldn’t believe anybody would want them. Except for me of course…after all, everybody knew I was a little nuts. :-)

    God bless the Vicar of Christ, Benedictus XVI!

  60. mpk says:

    It is so painful to hear that Catholics continue to debate how to stem the tide to Evangelical churches. I was one who drifted so I hope this helps you. My parish was typical suburban,irreverent gathering to celebrate ourselves at the table. NO kneeling allowed. I went to a so called non-denominational Bible study and within the year I was going to an Evangelical non-denominational church. The transition was easy, the music and atmosphere were exactly the same. There was absolutely no reason that I could see to remain a Catholic. At that point I didn’t believe in the real presence as the Catholic Church teaches it but the way Evangelicals teach it, the “real spiritual presence”. I think this was pretty much what most in my parish believed and truly I don’t know what the priest believed.

    Catholics leave because they no longer believe that Jesus Christ is truly present in the Eucharist and we are present at the unbloody sacrifice. Some don’t believe because they have never heard a word about the Mass even being a Sacrifice. No wonder there is so much irreverence during the Eucharist, standing for the Consecration and to receive the Body and Blood, vulgar music that is not worthy of our Creator, absolutely no idea that this is sacred space and we should behave appropriately. And, eucharistic ministers. As I look back, eucharistic ministers and not kneeling for the Consecration were the major reasons that I didn’t believe the communion at my church was any different than my Protestant friends’ churches. If we really believed then we would only receive from the consecrated hands of the priest and wouldn’t we kneel in adoration at the miracle.

    I suspect most in your parish believe that the best way to keep the Catholic youth is to in essence act more Protestant, be upbeat, play loud pop music and never tell them to go to Confession before receiving the Eucharist. In my experience though this is exactly the opposite of what your parish should do. Reintroduce reverence to the liturgy and teach them why they are Catholic and not the watered down version. Practically impossible I know.

    And here’s the answer to Fr. Michael, perhaps that’s why the Holy Father issued the mp. It looks downright impossible to those of us in the pews to influence all that goes on that contributes to the irreverent casual attitude. We can only pray that the EF can influence the celebration of the new Mass.


  61. PubliusIII says:


    I’m from the northeast and in my visits to Dallas, I have always been ipressed
    by how the ordinary Catholic parish there seems sane. I am also impressed about
    how Sunday morning in Dallas is dominated by Church- not recreation and
    shopping as it is here in the northeast. The pull of the evangelicals must
    be rather strong down there as it is even here to those seeking real bread
    but given stones by the Catholic new age.


  62. Geeze. I wish we could take a sledge hammer to all this horrid decor like they did to the traditional stuff in the 60’s. I don’t understand why it seems like they want more people to enter the Church, but then they use things and “decorate” the Sanctuary in such a way that I don’t think anyone thinks they take Mass seriously. What’s really sad is that on a worldly level, so much money was wasted on that.

  63. RBrown says:

    The “altar” cover looks like the basket from the balloon in the Wizard of Oz.

    Dorothy, we’re not in the Catholic Church anyone.

  64. David Andrew says:

    A colleague of mine brought up an interesting observation: While the purpose of the motu was to help “cross-pollenate” the rites, with the hopes of correcting liturgical abuses, can it truly be said that high art and good taste necessarily go hand-in-hand with the EF?

    He suggested, and I agree, that good taste in music and the arts (design of altar vessels, vestments, etc.) has always been possible with the OF. There are examples of the OF being attended with excellent music and beautiful vestments, and not necessarily all in the baroque style. But, as with the rest of our culture, it’s simply not possible to legislate taste. That may have been the very trap that the Council fell into back in the late ’60’s.

    I’m sure that there is some kind of inherent tendency towards high quality and standards for music and art in the EF, but I’m sure there are plenty of examples of music and the like during the pre-VCII days that demonstrates bad taste (or unsophisticated taste) and poor quality.

    On a side-note, I think Bill’s concerns over causing scandal with the posting of these pictures is well-taken but misplaced. The folks that visit this blog aren’t likely to miss the point of posting these pics, nor the connection between why we need S.P., and the content of the pics.

    Although I’ll admit, like a similar post of a pic of a really nasty poncho-style “Blue Meanie” chausuble, it is rather like chumming for sharks.

  65. Michael says:

    I do not care for the design of the Altar, but I do not have a problem with the rest of it.

  66. CarolinaGeo says:

    People, people, people. We ought to all be thanking these good folks. They are embracing the Holy Father’s motu proprio. In fact, they are almost explicitly telling the parishoners that they need to run, not walk, to the nearest Traditional Mass.

    You can’t BUY that kind of publicity.

  67. Matthew W. I. Dunn says:

    Honestly, I’ve seen worse. To each his own: It doesn’t look that bad.

  68. Luís says:

    Hey! At least they are using chasubles… (come visit Brazil someday, Fr. Z.)

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