PODCAzT 100: Benedict XVI, Pius XII, Justin Martyr and Fr. Z rants about liturgical abuse

Here is PODCAzT 100.  I wasn’t feeling very creative today, so I set out with the intention of simply reading to you about St. Justin Martyr (+165).  A selection of his 1st Apology is in the Liturgy of the Hours today and his feast was just on 14 April, in the older, traditional Roman calendar.

It seems as if I am running into Justin Martyr all the time these days.

But… then I got going and started with digressions and… the rest is history.

So, in this project we will hear Pope Benedict XVI from one of his Wednesday General Audiences back in 2007 talk about St. Justin.

Then I drag into service Ven. Pius XII about people who go astray in liturgy because they want to return to earlier forms.  Thus we hear something from Mediator Dei of 1947.

Then I start to digress on liturgical abuse and haul out Redemptionis Sacramentum which explains that all the faithful have the duty to report liturgical abuses.

And I rant for a while.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I rant and rant. I rant nicely, and sometimes not so nicely. It doesn’t matter. The bishop is too busy with other issues plaguing the Church right now. The priests who do care aren’t in positions where they can change anything. They are holding out until they are pastors. So frustrating to have to travel 30 miles one-way to go to a church where there are licit liturgies. Yet that is what we do because we love the Mass regardless of form. I prefer the Traditional, but it is too inconvenient because of distance and time. I pray for the Church and our pope and constantly remind myself that, “The gates of hell will not prevail against it.”

  2. hawkeye: You just hang in there. I am sorry to hear about your plight, sincerely.
    God rewards your sacrifices; you are not alone in all of this. Pray to the martyrs of England/Wales/Scotland/Ireland who loved the Holy Mass and were horribly persecuted/tortured/executed because of that great love. You will know the tremendous graces of our loving Father for all you have to do to attend a Mass that is pleasing to Him. My prayers.

  3. ghlad says:

    Thanks for putting this up, Fr. Z. Made for some good listening just now. :)

  4. Jillian says:

    Thanks, Fr. Z!

    What music do you use in the background for your podcazts/prayercazts? I love it.

  5. Randii says:

    Is it really that hard to have a modicum of liturgical uniformity/reverence? Apparently it’s not just hard it’s virtually impossible it seems.

    I live in an area with a lot of Orthodox congregations. You can go to any Sunday liturgy from one end of the metropolitan area to another – a huge area, and the Orthodox services are one in their liturgy. No abuses, no winging it.

    What are the Orthdox doing that Catholics can’t seem to do?

  6. gloriainexcelsis says:

    To whom does one rant when the Cardinal is the chief liturgical abuser, encouraging abuse throughout his Diocese and presiding over such liturgies in different venues? Young women from my once Catholic college participate in his annual religious education(?) conference by sashaying around with bowls of incense and dancing, vestal virgin style, around the -“table”. I reported what was going on at the college,totally corrupt liturgy,in a long letter to classmates with whom I graduated in the early 1950s, and how the chapel was destroyed. Not one person answered my concerns; and I noted in the annual donation report that they had ALL sent their annual donations. To whom does one rant? The Cardinal will soon retire and I have hope again after seeing the information about his replacement. And THAT one will need many prayers.

  7. Social ethics/justice seems to just concern poverty, the poor, the indigent, those deprived of the proper wage, the vulnerable/helpless. And that is proper and right.
    But what about the social injustice/religious injustice that is perpetrated upon the faithful when priests do not “say the black, do the red”?
    How is this any different?
    I deal with people time and time again, who are deprived of the Church’s official worship, either at Holy Mass or in the confessional, because some priest decides he knows better than what the Church has given as the rubrics for the Sacraments.
    How is this any different than depriving the poor, the vulnerable, the indigent, the helpless?
    Laity are at the mercy of our very hands, good Rev. Fathers and Bishops. With all due humility and respect, I plead that you conform your celebration of the Sacraments to the rubrics of Holy Mother Church; the faithful are dependent upon us. How can we, as spiritual fathers, be so callous and prideful as to deprive them of what our Church has provided?

  8. Seumas says:

    I hear you, Hawkeye. But I have to travel 50 miles each way–to Holy Rosary in Portland, OR–and I am chronically ill, so it is a difficult trip which I usually spend all week recovering from (and I couldn’t go at all this week because of an attack of severe vertigo, which makes me sad).

    Of course, even there the liturgies aren’t always entirely licit. Depending on who is celebrating, sometimes they get a bit free with the words when not reading from the missal. But there is reverence, beauty, the people pray instead of chat, and there is some of the best chant and polyphony… well, in the world.

    There used to be a weekly traditional Mass over at St. Birgitta in Portland, but the priest who celebrated it retired and I haven’t heard if they found a replacement. That was at 8am anyway, and it’s hard enough for me to get to Portland for an 11:00am Mass.

    I tried, really tried to attend my own parish. For a long time the Saturday Vigil at least had no music except the congregation singing an opening and closing hymn, which were usually decent ones like Holy God We Praise Thy Name, etc. At least when I wasn’t being bombarded by horrible folk or praise and worship music, guitars, drums, etc., it was somewhat bearable.

    But out new priest, who in some ways is very good (orthodox, wears beautiful vestments, chants some of his parts, etc.) has not only not changed anything (and he won’t–I asked and he said he has bigger fish to fry, as if the beauty and dignity of God’s house and our worship isn’t the most important thing by far), but now has music every Saturday Vigil, provided by a nice, well meaning couple who sing folkish type stuff, which the man accompanies with guitar.

    That was the last straw. When I go to Mass there it puts me in a horrible state of mind–upset, angry, offended, sad, all at the same time. I tried to not let it affect me, I tried to recollect myself, I prayed and prayed and prayed, but nothing helped. It wasn’t good for me spiritually to go there, and I wasn’t worshiping and receiving God in a worthy manner.

    So, it was either go there and do harm to my soul, or go to Portland and do harm to my health. I decided my soul is much more important than my body. So will keep going there until either my car or my body finally gives out. Then, I don’t know what I will do.

    But this is just another example of the kind of burden and harm that is done to the faithful because of the situation of the liturgy, music, art, architecture, etc.

    Of course, the people who are completely fine with it all are being harmed by it as well, they just don’t know it. For those of us who know better, it affects our state of mind in a bad way and makes it difficult to worship properly or receive the graces that are available from Mass and Communion, and sometimes may even drive us to sin. For those who don’t know any better, their faith becomes gradually distorted and disordered without them even knowing. Lex orandi, lex credendi.

  9. WBBritton says:

    That recording of today’s Introit is just beautiful. Mode 4 is my favorite.

  10. hawkeye says:

    When people from my “Parish” ask me where I go to Church, I say, “Depends on the day of the week.” However, I have found 3 very good priests who try very hard to make the Liturgy beautiful. Unfortunately, they are all in different parishes. I have also found a convent whose Liturgies are very good as well. One of the priests is finally getting his own parish. Will probably go there most of the time now but his parish won’t get me any closer to home. He knows my situation and is very compassionate and understanding of my situation.

    To those of you out in LA, you are lucky. Your new ABP is very good and will make very positive changes over there. Don’t expect them to happen overnight though

    Most people in my parish have no idea what is wrong with the Mass anyway. When I talk to my friends about the abuses, they don’t understand why I get so upset in Mass when things aren’t according to the “Big Red Book.” My cross to carry I guess. Most of them don’t even care. They tell me to let it go, and sometimes I wish I could.

    Nazareth priest are you at liberty to reveal where you are? Your comments are so appropriate for what is going on in the Church today. However, I think there are so many secular issues that seem to suck the life out of the priests and bishops today that they have no energy left to correct abuses in the celebration of the Mass and Sacraments. Trust that people are praying for priests while at Mass and in Adoration. Keep up the good fight.

  11. Maltese says:

    Randii: the problem with the Orthodox is that they are schismatics. Some falsely attribute that appellation to SSPX, but even the Vatican rejects that notion. Really, SSPX is acting as second-captain in the post Vatican II seas for the Vatican. When Pope Liberius exhumed his predecessor’s body and put it on “trial” one might have been ashamed to be Catholic. So, too, today we are confronted with a world weighing down on us, as Catholics. But you just aint gunna have a perfect Church; the trend was set with the first Pope, Peter, who denied Christ thrice.

    But, there is no path to heaven except through the bark of Peter, so that’s where I’m stacking my cards.

  12. hawkeye: We’re in the Diocese of La Crosse, Wi.
    Cor Jesu Oratory. I’m afraid we’re very rural and very out of the way. Our community’s website is: isjoseph.com.
    The posts here break my heart; I mean this sincerely.
    Why can’t priests just offer Holy Mass according to the rubrics?
    It’s not that difficult.

  13. Sorry.
    The website for our community is: http://www.isjoseph.com/

  14. Maltese says:

    seumas: I have to travel 50 miles each way—to Holy Rosary in Portland, OR—and I am chronically ill, so it is a difficult trip which I usually spend all week recovering from

    Btw: St. Brigetta still has mass, I called a few weeks ago when I was in Portland (I enjoyed their shanghai tours!)

    Here’s the trick when you can’t physically attend a Traditional Latin Mass (and this might anger some, but you can’t make everyone happy.) If you have to fulfill your obligation at an utterly absurd happy-clappy post-Vatican II Mess, then bring your 1962 Missale, a good pair of ear buds, read your missale while completely ignoring the ignoramus peach-speech from the celebrity-priest; take the validly consecrated host, and be done with the affair! And then, when you can, go to the TLM and be filled with awe at the unbloody Sacrifice!

  15. Maltese: Please don’t quote me on this: “Absolutely”.
    Ear plugs may be required:<)! And the 1962 Missal, as well!

  16. joanofarcfan says:

    Maltese: I agree it can do you harm. I felt literally sick after every Mass and even walked out on a few. When I complained to an older wonderful priest about the ikcy Masses that left me angry, he said, “If you come out of Mass more frustrated and angry than when you went in, you don’t have to go.” He was not a happy man either. Somehow I felt this wasn’t quite right; and when I questioned another good but much younger priest about this, he said, “If I can put up with it for seven years in the seminary, so should you.” I persevered and was rewarded with TLMs in three different locations within an hour of my house. I don’t know if I could have lasted more than the seven years, though.

  17. I have to say this with a heavy heart; I am so very, very sorry that the faithful have to endure such atrocities at Mass.
    I don’t think it’s the New Missal, per se. At least I hope it’s not. If a priest does what he is supposed to, with reverence, faith and attention, I would hope that would make up for any other deficiencies; I celebrate both forms…I understand the spiritual need for the Extr. Forma. But if a priest celebrates according to the “mind of the Church” and does not do anything strange, it still is the Sacrifice of the Mass; I don’t get that any of the posters are saying it is not.
    But, please, Brother Priests, I implore you, PLEASE offer Mass according to the rubrics and mind of the Church. That is an act of social justice, in and of itself.

  18. Maltese says:

    joanofarcfan: it can be hard, but the important thing is staying close to our Pope, because he is the authority that our Lord Jesus Christ established on this earth to lead pilgrim man.

  19. irishgirl says:

    Great podcast as usual, Fr. Z! The words of St. Justin, Pope Benedict and Pope Pius XII are very wise!

    But I had to smile at the closing hymn by the Irish tenor; the tune was the theme music for the BBC ‘Brit-com’ of the 1990’s [I think] ‘Bless Me, Father’! That was such a funny show! When I heard the same tune on a visit to the Carmelite shrine at Aylesford, England in 1997, I had a grin a mile long!

  20. hawkeye says:

    nazareth – you are right about the reverence and not the particular form. As I was telling someone, I don’t care about the form or language, as long as the rubrics are followed. However, it is a little harder to abuse the Mass in Latin – either form – because it’s too hard to add inclusive language, ad lib etc. The music tends to be better as well. But you are very kind to implore your brother priests to give the faithful what they need and deserve – Liturgies without the added personalizations, except where they are allowed of course.

    Too bad you are so far away, You are just a little out of my driving range by a couple of 1000 miles.

    And I have actually done what maltese suggests. I have beautiful hymns on my ipod, and I use it when sermons and music are truly absurd. Ridiculous, but it works. Gazing upon the Crucifix helps as well.

  21. Patikins says:

    I was visiting my mom this weekend and she wanted to go to the Saturday evening mass which happens to be the “guitar mass” at her parish. Ugh. Luckily, I had to be back to my own parish for a baptism Sunday morning. What a night and day experience. The Gloria on Saturday evening was one of those unsingable verse and refrain arrangements in the Haugen/Haas style. Sunday morning it was chanted in Latin. The “communion hymn” on Saturday was suitable for Protestant worship but not for the Catholic mass.

    If you haven’t seen it already, please watch this video on the use of sacred and secular music in the liturgy:
    It’s a well made 10 minute presentation that quotes from several magisterial documents including documents of the second Vatican Council.

    The musical differences between the two parishes is indicative of other significant differences between the two parishes. I could go on about these differences but I won’t. This saddens me because this is the parish I grew up in and I have many relatives in the parish who I fear are being led astray.

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