Wanna read some comments under an NCR post?

I am sure you remember how the NCR instrumentalized an old priest of the Diocese of Kansas City, MO, to attack his bishop… NCR’s bishop… His Excellency Most Rev. Robert Finn.

NCR published a letter from a priest of the Kansas City, MO diocese, Fr. Michael Gillgannon to Bishop Finn.  The letter reveals the thought processes and categories of the deeply entrenched left-leaning Catholic liberal democrat now evolving into a mean-spirited whiner in the face of a shifting American episcopate.

As a little followup, you might want to see what some of the comments say on the NCR site in support of Fr. Gillgannon’s positions.

The deeper aims of NCR is to pit the laity against faithful bishops and "John Paul II priests" – who terrify the editors into incontinence – and pit "discontinuity and rupture priests" of yesteryear against faithful bishops and "John Paul II priests", and pit disconunity priests against faithful priests, etc.  You get the idea.

A WDTPRS reader made a selection:

Submitted by Fr Francis O (not verified) on Sep. 19, 2009.

Did you not see the famous painting by DaVinci based on a genuine photo of the Last Supper. Brown and Howard made a film of it [And we’re off to the races!] and turned St. John into Mary Magdalene as the token female priest of the Twelve who seduced Jesus according to some true-fictional stuff based on a fgake List in the French National Library (Brown explained it both ways) Judas was so shocked he did the Opus Dei (Work of God) and turned Jesus in to the Hierarchy. Peter was ashamed and used very bad language and denied knowing Jesus ( maybe still angry that He cured Peter’s mother in law?). Only John was at the Cross with Mary, Jesus’ Mother and the same Mary of Magdala to be with Jesus when He died. Nothing much has changed since. The Hierarchy are not there for Jesus so often, but [Here it comes!…] they probably would object if the Magdalene wanted to use birth control or have an abortion. The Holy Spirit finally got to their hearts and they did the GOSPEL OF LIFE and protected Life from Womb to Tomb – did not selectively decide who received pastoral care.  [And Paul VI issued Humanae vitae…] Jesus served them FISH for breakfast Easter morning (John 21) – McDonald’s one assumes so Domino’s Pizza was not on the menu. [!? … huh?] Way to go Father Michael. 

ROFL!  The writer identifies himself as "Fr".  Fun!

Submitted by Fr. Bill Taylor (not verified) on Sep. 22, 2009.

Re Anonymous Sept. 15. When I was in the seminary, I learned that the most solemn Spirit-filled moment in the Church occurred at an ecumenical council. There was no council as spectacular as Vatican II, where the pope gathered in consultation with thousands of bishops from throughout the world. It never happened before on such grand scale.  Its impact on priest of my generation was like a thunder-clap. The Church had become a narrow medieval curiosity spouting answers to questions nobody was asking. Because of the Council, I felt liberated and a whole new future seemed to be opening in the Church. Pope John Paul did everything possible to diminish its impact. This put me into a spiritual quandary: If the Spirit was not present in a great council, and its powerful aftermath, why should I believe the Spirit is present in the almost unreadable ponderings of Pope John Paul? And above all, why should I listen to a mere bishop who seems to imagine that he is the voice of God?

This guy passes these judgments, but admits that he doesn’t understand the writings of John Paul II.  Smart, huh?   If he can’t understand John Paul II’s writings, he probably doesn’t have a clue about what the Council’s documents say.   

Here is a real winner.  Just sit back and read this with a beer, or cup of tea, or something.  Enjoy!

Submitted by Aileen (not verified) on Sep. 21, 2009.

After reading through all of the comments again this past weekend,   I was struck with a curious thought.  [A thought curious to whom?]   It would be most revealing if everyone who made a comment had included their year of birth and the year of their first holy communion…   and whether they are laity or ordained. My real life experience has been that those who so fervently desire to return to the old traditions and ways of pre-Vatican II (or how they imagine it), are too young to actually remember it,   and just how burdensome and depressing it could be to live under such repressive and unforgiving rules. [LOL!  Excellent.  What she doesn’t understand is that people want "continuity" with our tradition, not rupture.]   Today’s retro-uber-orthodox would have a rude awakening if they achieved their wish.   Most Catholics today are not aware (or perhaps have forgotten?) just how oppressive the situation was.     One example among many (for those of us who do remember):   ANY divorced person was formally excommunicated for the mere fact of divorce; [Really?]  even the wronged spouse who had been left for another person through no fault of their own, nor had they remarried.  [?!?]   Marriage tribunal to address such an injustice was virtually unheard of for the average Catholic in the pew. [Why would they?  People would have recourse to the tribunal if they were thinking about divorce.]    Pope Paul VI (post-V2) changed that unjust rule,   thankfully.  [What rule was that?] Because laity were considered an inferior sub-culture below clergy,   the list of misery perpetuated upon them was long and final.  ["misery"?]   One reason there was a bumper crop of clergy in those days was because,   for Catholics,   it was the only game in town.   Being ordained,   or having a child or sibling who was ordained,   provided some modest ‘status by association’ for their family members among the laity.  [Ahhh… that‘s why men were ordained!]   Some folks today have the illusion that people in the old days were just "more spiritual".     Actually,   they were pragmatic. In those supposedly good old days,   laity "paid and obeyed" without question…   and got their ticket punched for Mass.     They got ‘zero’ input on anything   (forget any pastor/parish council).     A woman’s only Catholic badge of honor was hinged to remaining continually pregnant during her entire reproductive span.     Infertility had the reverse effect,   and was considered a disgrace… even carrying a ‘suspicion of secret sin’.   Babies born dead (and so unbaptized) were denied a funeral Mass or burial in consecrated ground…   the same denial held true for the mentally ill who committed suicide (they were consigned to hell). [Wow… lot’s of baggage here.]  For women,   the only ‘holy’ alternative to marriage and marathon procreation was to ‘take to the cloth’ in a convent.     Those are just a few of the nostalgic “goodies” of the good old days that some in today’s Church long for so fervently.     There was much more than just the "old" Mass in Latin or the happy black and white Bing Crosby movies.     Like so many romantic notions,   they tend to fade in the harsh light of day and actual practice.  No one was a bit more “spiritual” as a result — only intimidated and guilt-ridden.     To desire a return to those former ways actually approaches being pathological…   possibly masochistic[ROFL!] When Pope John XXIII “opened the doors and windows of the Church” and convened the Second Vatican Council,   it was this dark oppression and joyless legalism that he sought to remedy.  [Ahhh….that‘s what he did.]   How ironic that today there are some who would take the Church back to that dark,   enclosed place where only those who could perfectly keep the rules were welcome,   and the hierarchy’s imposed unjust suffering on laity was believed to be the will of God.     I can understand why certain bishops would love that arrangement.     I cannot understand the appeal to laity.

I bet you can’t. 

There is more baggage in these comments than in the hold of a 747.

Okay… this is the opposition lined up against those who desire continuity and reform, rather than discontinuity and rupture.

There will always be one or two of these last types in a parish.  They will rise up against anything that does not fit their total rupture model, which is usually fueled by anti-clericalism and low theology, if any theology at all.

Forget the dopey errors.  People on both sides get things wrong about details of Church law or the Church’s teachings.

How do you bring people like this around?

I propose that the Five Rules could be of use.  You know the Rules?  From when Summorum Pontificum was released?

Fr. Z’s 5 Rules of Engagement for after the Motu Proprio is released:

1) Rejoice because our liturgical life has been enriched, not because "we win".  Everyone wins when the Church’s life is enriched.  This is not a "zero sum game".

2) Do not strut.  Let us be gracious to those who have in the past not been gracious in regard to our "legitimate aspirations".

3) Show genuine Christian joy.  If you want to attract people to what gives you so much consolation and happiness, be inviting and be joyful.  Avoid the sourness some of the more traditional stamp have sadly worn for so long.

4) Be engaged in the whole life of your parishes, especially in works of mercy organized by the same.  If you want the whole Church to benefit from the use of the older liturgy, then you who are shaped by the older form of Mass should be of benefit to the whole Church in concrete terms.

5) If the document doesn’t say everything we might hope for, don’t bitch about it like a whiner.  Speak less of our rights and what we deserve, or what it ought to have been, as if we were our own little popes, and more about our gratitude, gratitude, gratitude for what God gives us.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. ericc says:

    People keep crutching up their arguments by an appeal to the ‘spirit’ of this or that; or just ‘spirit’, without being specific. What has happened to being led by the Holy Spirit?
    Couldn’t you replace spirit with conscience, they’re used the same way, and seem equally meaningless.
    Unfortunitly, when I read people like this, many times I come to the conclusion that they really don’t believe in much at all.
    Ley’s see, I might be scraping up against 1,2 and 3.

  2. Fr. John Mary says:

    Oy veh!…it just doesn’t end, does it?
    The projectile vomiting of every last “abuse” or “horrible old days” just gets more and more…well, projectile.
    How, I must ask with all sincerity, does the present situation help further the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, as understood in the teaching Magisterium of the Church and Holy Tradition? Women priests? Liturgical anarchy? Catechetical confusion and heresy/apostasy? Disobdience of public figures, like priests and women/men religious?
    I shake my head in confusion and misery. I left a Protestant denomination over thirty years ago that denied the rights of the unborn, the divinity of Christ, the Real Presence of our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, the prerogatives of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the primary of Peter, to name just the essentials. My confusion and quandry has been, ever since I was in a “Catholic” college is, why do these people stay? I don’t get it (I know, I know, they want to change the Church from within)…but for heaven’s sake, get a life!!

  3. Fr. John Mary says:

    That should read, “the primacy of Peter”…sorry…

  4. Fr. John Mary says:

    And one more comment: I think I need something stronger than a beer to handle this post…maybe a double vodka martini??? Just kidding.

  5. Jayna says:

    Everyone in my family from my mother and back grew up in the pre-Vatican II Church. Now, they all have their eccentricities, but judging from the last woman’s comments, you’d think they’d all be so mentally and emotionally scarred from the experience that they’d be nothing but quivering puddles by now.

  6. In response to that last woman’s comments. . . My mother and her family actually LEFT the Catholic Church because of what happened in the US after Vatican 2. They returned from living abroad in Europe and Australia to guitar masses, art and alters destroyed and hand holding and various other hippy-dippy clap-trap. They didn’t know what was going on and were chastised by these kinds of nuts for automatically responding in Latin for Mass parts, my mother who had always gone to confession a certain way was told “that’s not how we do it any more” so after 2 months they left and drifted to a high Anglican church for a while and just stopped going to any church all together not long after that.

  7. Geoffrey says:

    Why oh why don’t people actually read the Council documents? (And that goes for both sides!)

  8. Hans says:

    Because, Geoffrey, why should they read them when they already know what they should say.

    Wanna read some comments under an NCR post?

    Okay, in all honesty? No. Thanks for asking.

    I try to reserve reading those posts for when I’m feeling rather stupid and depressed; they always cheer me up then, because I’ve never sunk that low. But when I’m not feeling down, they have just that effect on me.

  9. Jordanes says:

    I don’t believe for a second that Aileen had any such real life experience of the Church that was anything like her deformed caricature.

  10. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Aileen needs some chicken soup and a hug. She makes me think of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz after she wakes up at the end of the movie. But instead of talking of Oz, Aileen says, “Auntie Em, I had a terrible dream about this mean Bishop Finn. He started to pray in Latin and wouldn’t let me respond in the vernacular. He said Toto couldn’t have a funeral Mass because he was unbaptized and he tried to turn back the clock to the days of dark oppression and joyless legalism.”

    Autie Em says, “that’s all right, sweetheart. It was just a bad dream.” And Aileen responds, “No Auntie Em; it was so real.”

    “I was told I had to always be pregnant, and if I wasn’t, I was a disgrace. Then, if I got a divorce, I would be excommunicated and no tribunal would help me. So I got scared and ran with Toto to a pre-Vatican II convent, where the priest chaplain told me he didn’t have a vocation, but only became a priest to give his family status. Auntie Em, when I cried that all the rules were repressing me with unforgiveness, the priest just laughed at my lay inferiority and started to play black and white movies with Bing Crosby.”

    Auntie Em finally has to be forceful and say, “Aileen, there was a tornado, and part of the window hit you on the head, making you say stupid and incoherent things. Now, leave the nice traditional people alone before I have to take you to a dark, enclosed place and leave you there until you perfectly follow all the rules, like in the old days.”

  11. Orate Fratres says:

    The main thing I find irritating is the belittling and condescending attitude towards the faithful who have these “rightful aspirations” (to quote Pope John Paul II) to the TLM as having some kind of mental sickness or as some kind of “false nostalgia”. With all their talk of “open mindedness” and “movements of the spirit”, they certainly demonstrate themselves to be quite the opposite, refusing to see that there are REAL people (particularly those born after the reforms) out there who do desire the TLM and wish make use of all the devotions and sacraments (Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, more frequent confessions, etc) that the Church has to offer without any watered down nonsense, all out of a “movement of the same spirit”.

  12. Fr. John Mary says:

    Fr_Sotelo: ROFL!!!!

  13. JARay says:

    Well I belong to the pre-Vatican II lot.
    I grew up as a boy who would rush along to serve Mass before going to school. I took part in May processions around the streets outside my parish church and the police directed traffic around the procession.
    I remember walking in a Catholic Young Mens’ Society procession from Leeds Cathedral in the centre of Leeds (UK)….see! I spell centre the English way!….and we processed out of Leeds to the ruins of Kirkstall Abbey (destroyed by Henry VIII). The procession was so long that men were still leaving the Cathedral when the vanguard were in the Abbey grounds, a distance of three miles.
    We had Benediction in the Abbey grounds when all had finally arrived (afternoon Masses were not very common then). We, men, simply filled the grounds and we rejoiced in being able to demonstrate our Catholicity and love of the Blessed Sacrament to the whole populace outside of our Faith. What a wonderful experience. I doubt very much if I will ever see its like again.
    I too remember in 1948, that men from all over England set out from 14 different centres carrying crosses to Walsingham in in Norfolk, the ancient pilgrimage centre going back to the Middle Ages. They all arrived on the same day at Walsingham. On the way there these men were lodged with different families as they went along. Two of those men stayed in my parent’s house. The crosses are at Walsingham to this day and are set up to form the Stations of the Cross.
    Google “Walsingham” and go to the Catholic site. You can read all about it for yourselves.
    My Catholic life stays with me and is of blessed memory.

  14. Aileen is clearly not a feminist. She demonizes dark enclosed spaces, as well as the womanpower of living in religious orders separate from men, or of being a matriarch. Instead, she privileges masculine images of entry, violence, and light as being inherently more powerful and just.

    It’s like shooting mental fish in a barrel, really. People glommed onto these myths way back in 1965, and all the movements and mental contortions they’ve gone through on other issues haven’t touched this one. Too bad I haven’t the heart to do the global warming activism critique of her statement.

  15. Nerinab says:


    I am covered in goosebumps reading your post (or perhaps I should say “goosepimples?” as the English?:)). What I fear most for my children is that they will have NO vivid memories of the type you describe. There are so few uniquely Catholic customs, traditions and devotions practiced in our church. No weekly abstinence from meat, no lines for the confessional, certainly no Eucharistic processions, no May crownings, no Marian devotions, no St. Joseph celebrations. Nothing. All they will remember is bad guitar music, felt banners and Christmas plays during the Christmas Eve Mass (I guess that’s something). Which is why I will attend my first Latin Mass this weekend and hopefully introduce my entire family to this ancient form of worship.

  16. mpm says:

    As to why people didn’t read the documents of Vatican II:

    I would say (from experience) that people didn’t read the documents of Vatican II because a) they were not instantly available, and b) when they became available, they did not have a background in theology which would allow them to grasp the nuances of what was written. People who were 35 in 1965 were born in 1930 and had experienced the Great Depression and WWII until 1945. They were mostly not university educated (until after the war — GI Bill for many). They depended on the clergy and nuns (and “Catholic” magazines and newspapers) to get an idea what it all meant.

    They assumed they would not be “lied to”, and if they were betrayed (willingly or otherwise) they had no basis on which to question what they were told. (Lot’s of lay-people had a hard time believing what they were told when it was contrary to everything they had understood, but time “heals” all wounds.)

    “Aileen” seems to be one of those people who accepted what she was told, and never looked back. When even the Catholic universities “abandoned” the Catholic intellectual tradition (just ask Germain Grisez about that!), the integral formation of everyone went south. There is a lesson there for all of us: our growth (mental, moral, emotional) in the Spirit can never end.

  17. Bruce says:

    “People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something heavy,
    humdrum, and safe. There never was anything so perilous or so exciting
    as orthodoxy. It was sanity: and to be sane is more dramatic than to
    be mad. It was the equilibrium of a man behind madly rushing horses,
    seeming to stoop this way and to sway that, yet in every attitude
    having the grace of statuary and the accuracy of arithmetic.
    The Church in its early days went fierce and fast with any warhorse;
    yet it is utterly unhistoric to say that she merely went mad along
    one idea, like a vulgar fanaticism. She swerved to left and right,
    so exactly as to avoid enormous obstacles. She left on one hand
    the huge bulk of Arianism, buttressed by all the worldly powers
    to make Christianity too worldly. The next instant she was swerving
    to avoid an orientalism, which would have made it too unworldly.
    The orthodox Church never took the tame course or accepted
    the conventions; the orthodox Church was never respectable. It would
    have been easier to have accepted the earthly power of the Arians.
    It would have been easy, in the Calvinistic seventeenth century,
    to fall into the bottomless pit of predestination. It is easy to be
    a madman: it is easy to be a heretic. It is always easy to let
    the age have its head; the difficult thing is to keep one’s own.
    It is always easy to be a modernist; as it is easy to be a snob.
    To have fallen into any of those open traps of error and exaggeration
    which fashion after fashion and sect after sect set along the
    historic path of Christendom–that would indeed have been simple.
    It is always simple to fall; there are an infinity of angles at
    which one falls, only one at which one stands. To have fallen into
    any one of the fads from Gnosticism to Christian Science would indeed
    have been obvious and tame. But to have avoided them all has been
    one whirling adventure; and in my vision the heavenly chariot flies
    thundering through the ages, the dull heresies sprawling and prostrate,
    the wild truth reeling but erect.”
    G.K. Chesterton – Orthodoxy

  18. irishgirl says:

    Oh…my…word…I can’t find words to respond to these posts…especially ‘Aileen’s’.

    Fr_Sotelo, you outdid yourself again! I’m ROTFL, too!

  19. Rob Cartusciello says:

    Bad old days with ignorant laity, eh?

    One night I sat with a bunch of Irish-American Catholic veterans of WWII & Korea discussing some fairly sophisticated theological concepts. They not only knew the issues themselves, but argued the theological concepts with exceptional agility.

    Today’s young Catholics couldn’t pass a seventh grade catechism test from 1960. As for discussio of theological matters, the best most can must is emotional indignation.

  20. JoeGarcia says:


    As a catechist, I’d stake my left kidney the parents of today’s young Catholics couldn’t pass a 7th grade catechism test.

    And there’s the wellspring of all our troubles. That, and heretofore invertebrate bishops.

  21. Richard says:

    I am 60 years old (born in 1949) and a cradle Catholic. I received my first Holy Communion at age 7 and was confirmed at age 8. I was an altar boy in the pre-Vatican II days. I am sure everyone’s experience, then and now, is unique but I do want to share a few thoughts:
    Altar boys in my parish “learned our Latin” phonetically and had virtually no idea what we were saying (except Mea culpa and “Ecum spiri tutu o” [Yes, that is how we learned it!])
    Most of the Masses were “low Masses” – no singing, frequently rushed through by the priest who seemed as eager to get out as the congregation did. (For us altar boys the 8:00 mass was the most desirable – not too early and always “low” so not too long.
    When we were not serving we knew we didn’t have get to church before the offetory and could leave as soon as the priest took communion. What we now call the Liturgy of the Word was not very important.
    In the pews, many followed the Mass in their St. Joseph’s Sunday Missals while others said their rosary or read the bulletin.

    As I have grown older and lived as a practicing Catholic several things have impressed me:
    In the Church I knew as a child there was only one relationship with God – He was judge and executioner. One did not hope or pray for God’s blessing; one only hoped and tried not to violate a rule and incur God’s wrath. One did not aspire to a relationship with God and thus entrance into His kingdom; rather, one tried to avoid being sent to hell.
    Since Vatican II, with more focus on the Scripture (Liturgy of the Word) and on relationship to God as loving Father, Jesus as Savior, Holy Spirit as comforter and giver of strength, I have come to see that one can be a Catholic Christian without living in constant fear.

    No question some things have been lost or obscured since Vatican II, but there have been a lot of positives as well.

    As we debate and live our pilgrim lives let us remember the great virtures: Faith, Hope and Love. And the greatest of these is Love

  22. Agnes says:

    I’ll pass, Fr Z, except to reiterate your exceptionally deep spiritual advice that is always so near and dear to my heart:

    *Quit bitching*

    I love it. Yes, and the greatest of these is love. Amen!

  23. MichaelJ says:

    Not to belittle what you went through, but don’t you think it a bit presumptuous to assume that your personal experiences are universally shared? For example, you say that “we” didn’t know what the prayer’s meant” when all you can really say with any certainty is “I did not know what the prayers meant”

  24. Richard says:

    I said “I am sure everyone’s experience, then and now, is unique”. While I obviously cannot speak for everyone, I do think I remember what my classmates and I did as we learned our Latin.

    More to the point, however, is that TLM had positives but was not as universally a mystical and involving experience for those of us who grew up with it as some have romanticized it to be. The results of some of the changes in the Church since Vatican II are not, as one might come to believe from some of the comments one reads on this site, all bad.

    That I will not go to hell because I attend a friend’s son’s bar mitzvah, that stillborn babies are not consigned to “Limbo” and that I am now encouraged to read the psalms and Isaiah and the Gospel according to Luke instead of being told that I will be told what I need to know and not to ask questions are all good things.

  25. Fr. John Mary says:

    Richard: I think it’s important to separate “cultural” Catholicism with the Tradition of the Church. For various reasons, what you describe is, in fact, what many, but not all, people experienced. And yes, everything that has happened since Vatican II is not evil.
    In my very limited experience, and as one who was not raised a Catholic, I find the richness of the Extraordinary Form and in the Sacraments according to the ritual of 1962 a “grounding”, if you will, in the reality of what is being signified. So much of what has happened over the last 45 years was revolution in the area of the Sacred Liturgy, the discipline of priestly, religious and lay faithful life, and the teaching of the Faith.
    We needed “renewal”. But not the kind that in 95% of the cases (I am guessing here) where the Mass was completely revised from what was formerly held to be sacred, the liturgical abuses that went beyond any intent of the Council Fathers,
    the lack of proper catechizing of the Faith, the discipline of priests, religious and lay faithful.
    In my humble opinion, a deepening of the interior life, a greater explanation of what the Mass truly signifies, an encouragement for all the states in life to live “in the Heart of the Church” rather than just do your obligations, is what the pastoral Council of Vatican II is all about.

  26. Fr. John Mary says:

    The first sentence should read: I think it is important to separate “cultural” Catholicism FROM the ancient Tradition of the Church.

  27. staggering but still standing says:

    Alas, I don’t have time to read all the comments now. Tonight awaits the time I can. I’m wondering how old “Aileen” is. Me? I’m 65, born 1943 and made my First Communion when I was seven (and shortly thereafter was Confirmed). Betcha I’m dead before my diocese does any changes. The nicest thing is that the side addition of the Cathedral faces (would you believe it!) East, and the priest faces to the front. Guess where I sit. I LOVED going to Mass before 1961. LOVED, LOVED, LOVED. One of my fondest memories is singing in the upper loft for Christmas Midnight Mass (which was at midnight, and we, yup, walked a mile and a half in the snow to get there). We sang in(horrors)LATIN and, I must confess, I knew the words in English, too. That was Grade Four. Before I could read my mother taught me all kinds of parts of the Mass. (And I was the fourth child she’d had in five years. My brother next to me was REALLY CHEESED off because he knew all the Latin parts of the Mass for altar boys along with the English, but they wouldn’t let him serve because he was only five.) And, wonder of wonders, our prayer books had the left side in Latin and the right side in English. It was impossible NOT to know what was going on. Aileen, how old are your friends? Truly, I am so sorry you don’t know what you are missing. It would make you cringe, I’m sure, to know that the best memory of my life was when I was five and my parents took me to the Corpus Christi procession. I looked up, and there was Jesus in the monstrance. He’s pretty much looked the same ever since, but I knew Jesus was there then, and I know Jesus is there now, but I wish we had a choice about how we can participate at Mass. I know what mine would be in a nanosecond. That is something I don’t think I’m going to get a choice about and it rankles a bit.

  28. Scelata says:

    I’m certain Aileen’s right, the baby simply HAD to be thrown out, there was bathwater that needed changing! ;oP

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

  29. Richard says:

    Of course, one should not throw out the baby with the bathwater but once the baby urinates or defecates in the bathwater, it is a good idea to change the bathwater, refreshing it with clean water, for the sake of the baby. It doesn’t help the baby or the person washing the baby to keep saying “We have always used this bathwater. This is our bathwater, sacred to our fathers and grandfathers unto the 7th generation.” That way lies infant mortality and a filthy baby who, if it lives, may stop bathing.

  30. dinsdale says:

    Richard, I appreciate your perspective, but your experience was almost certainly not unique, nor was it solely confined to the pre-Vatican II Church. I was born in 1962 and therefore pretty much all of my formative years in the Church were centered on the Pauline missal and post-Baltimore Catechism CCD classes. You mentioned that you did not learn what the prayers meant. In my CCD, I didn’t learn prayers at all – or who the Holy Father was, or what Mass was about, or what Catholic morality was, or anything biblical. (My favorite example of how little we learned was in the eighth grade when one of our books asked the question “Why did John go to the River Jordan?” and not one of us knew who John was.) We did not learn the importance of the Sacrament of Penance – we were given the strong suggestion that the Confiteor at the beginning of the Mass was sufficient. Regarding your comments about the length of Mass, that is also not unique to your experience – only a few years ago there was a priest assigned to a parish near me who’s nickname was “Half-Hour” because he could (and usually did) offer the Ordinary Form Mass in about 30 minutes.

    The problem, Richard, is not the tools. It is what people do with them.

  31. Richard says:

    I could not agree more. My “problem” is dealing with those who think only they know the right way (Gnositics who have a secret knowledge of God’s will; those who pick the pope or bishop or priest or encyclical they agree with and denegrate or ignore the others). There are basic truths, Jesus’ description of the two great commandments and the Creed cover most of them, and to paraphrase Hillel (a Jewish rabbi, I know) the rest is commentary. Perhaps I am too liberal for this site but it seems to me that we should be grateful that our God is so loving that He reaches out to his children where they are and tries to bring them back through many, sometimes different, paths.

    PS: Pre Vatican II a low Mass could be said in a half hour too. Again, just an opinion but if the goal (of the priest or the congregations)is to “get through it” I doubt it is fullfilling the purpose for which God gave it to us, even if it is “licit” because they did the red and said the black (quickly).

  32. Fr. John Mary says:

    Richard: You are absolutely right. “Getting through” the Mass is not what God intended. The reverent and thoughtful offering of Mass (whether in the EF or the OF, I offer both) must be in the “praying” of the Mass. Purely rubrical procedure is not the intent of a “full, conscious, and ‘actual'[active] participation” according to ‘Sacrosanctum concilium’; it must be done for the glory of God.

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