Five wounds inflicted on Christ’s Mystical Body through our liturgy

Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan gave a speech on 15 January 2012 in which he listed  “five wounds” of the liturgical mystical body of Christ.  His whole address is on  Paix Liturgique.

His basic premise is that the rupture in our liturgical worship that has resulted in abuses after the Council and because of going beyond the Council’s 6 clear mandates in Sacrosanctum Concilium about liturgical reform, have resulted in wounds to Christ’s Body the Church.

Then he goes through “five wounds” of the liturgical mystical body of Christ.

You can read his explanations on your own, but here are my bullet points based on Bp. Schneider’s text:>

  1. Mass versus populum.
  2. Communion in the hand.
  3. The Novus Ordo Offertory prayers.
  4. Disappearance of Latin in the Ordinary Form.
  5. Liturgical services of lector and acolyte by women and ministers in lay clothing.


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  1. Father K says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. I would also add, as a crown of thorns, the woeful state of the music used in so many places in the liturgy.

  2. wmeyer says:

    …and the pervasive use of EMHCs, of either sex.

  3. levi1991 says:

    Although it dates back to 1955, the suppression of all the octaves of the year bar three and the re-organising of the liturgical year as well as the ridicalously simplified rubrics are serious problems as well.

    As for going beyond the will of the council, No, those who supported the council implemented it as well, this argument that Vatican 2 was merely ‘badly implemented’ rather than simply wrong is tiresome. Fact is the very same council fathers that voted in all its radical changes, implemented and interpreted it, it is illogical to say that we 40 years know more than those who were responsible for the council in the first place. It is also more than a little naive.

  4. APX says:

    …and laity/priestly role reversal. There’s something wrong when an deacon and a priest are doing “music ministry” during Mass and not up in the sanctuary for distributing communion, but the laity are.

    Ooh, and sing-a-long homilies with the deacon (of a certain age) up at the ambo with his guitar leading the congregation in a sing-a-long song that he wrote about how much Jesus loves me. This is something right out of the folk Mass era. I saw it on the cover of an old folk Mass album recently. Now I know where the deacon gets it from.

  5. ContraMundum says:

    Describing these as wounds in the Body of Christ is a great way to add heat rather than light.

    I doubt seriously that anything other than sin can actually count as a wound. However unwise he may think the offertory prayers, for example, was it in fact sinful for Paul VI to make these changes? If not, does this not mean the whole OF is illicit? It will take quite a bit of convincing to make me think that. It seems more likely that they are an example of a poor judgment that is nevertheless authoritative, like the lenient rules of fasting to which we are subject.

    Also, the count of “Five Wounds” has, of course, special significance. Christ suffered innumerable wounds during His Passion, but Five attract our special attention. Problems which pertain only to the Latin Rite should probably not be highlighted as so uniquely important.

  6. disco says:

    Can we get this guy somewhere where he can get a red hat already? Guy just flat out knows what’s what.

  7. irishgirl says:

    Amen to what Bishop Schneider said!
    On all five ‘counts’!

  8. ContraMundum says:


    Do you recognize your deacon here?

  9. albizzi says:

    And the Church has spent 40 years until an obscure bishop of Kazakhstan made these discoveries that remained unnoticed by the highest spheres of the Vatican.
    Certainly Rome is no longer in Rome.

  10. Hm… I don’t disagree with any of those points, but I feel like the wholesale attack on the traditional propers is one of the more serious consequences. The propers cut right to the heart of what makes the Roman rite Roman, so by generally either throwing them out altogether or altering them beyond recognition, the Roman character of the liturgy was (perhaps irreparably) damaged.
    I’m not saying those other things aren’t serious, they certainly are very very serious issues, but you can’t say (except to a certain extent what I think he meant by the offertory prayers) that they attack the actual essential characteristics of the Roman rite.

  11. Supertradmum says:

    Sadly, indeed with grief, I agree wholeheartedly. Christ is crucified, through disrespect and even disregard, while millions of souls have been lost. Eloquent metaphors….

  12. Indeed, to quote Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger: “It is in the treatment of the liturgy that the fate of the Faith and of the Church is decided.”

    I doubt that Bishop Schneider has said anything in this article that Pope Benedict does not know full well. Without criticizing our Holy Father, I have found it difficult to understand why he has not done anything definitive to repair the historical rupture that Bp. Schneider describes, and thereby bring the ordinary form into more continuity with tradition. Might it be because he thinks that heterodoxy is so pervasive in the Church as to preclude definitive steps for its correction at the present time? Or perhaps that the restoration of orthodoxy must await the passage of the episcopal generations invested in the spirit of Vatican II?

  13. Geoffrey says:

    “Describing these as wounds in the Body of Christ is a great way to add heat rather than light. I doubt seriously that anything other than sin can actually count as a wound.”

    I agree also. These 5 points should be debated and all, but to classify them as wounding Christ? That would put them up there with sin. Say what you will, but there are more than a few Masses celebrated reverently in the Ordinary Form, and many lay “ministers” who are devout and feel they are doing the right thing because the Church allows it.

    “Man sees your actions, but God sees your motives”.

  14. brotherfee says:

    Well, I am not sure about this. It nice to have a variety of mass styles. I can go to a Catholic store for daily mass which is traditional with communion placed on the tongue and several women wearing veils or I can go to a Sunday afternoon mass with a folk group which can be a relaxing way to end the weekend.

    My preference is, regardless of style, that the priest performs the mass in a solemn prayerful manner. What I do not like is everybody standing to greet each other at the start of mass, or the priest trying to be a comedian with too much joking, or political comments from the congregation during the intercession.

  15. I gather that some commenters do not realize that Bishop Schneider is speaking of wounds to the mystical Body of Christ, the Church.

    If indeed, “It is in the treatment of the liturgy that the fate of the Faith and of the Church is decided” as Cardinal Ratzinger has said, how can anyone doubt that defects in the liturgy–or the “arbitrary deformations” that as Pope he has lamented as causing deep pain to the faithful–have wounded the Church, the mystical Body.

  16. ContraMundum says:

    Yes, I understand that he is talking about the Mystical Body of Christ. He is, however, drawing a parallel with the standard “Five Wounds” — the wounds to the two feet, the wounds to the two hands, and the wound to the side.

    The Mystical Body of Christ, however, is not the Latin Rite. It does not subsist in the Latin Rite, either, any more than it subsists in the Dominican Order. It subsists in the Catholic Church. How then can the loss of Latin be one of the most important wounds in the Mystical Body?

    Even if we are talking about only the Latin Rite, to say that these are the five biggest problems with the Church is to show a disconnect with reality. I don’t like versus populum either, but how can that make the list when the sex abuse & coverup scandal does not?

    These really cannot be reasonably compared with the Five Wounds. They are more like the bruises from stumbling on the way to Calvary.

  17. jbas says:

    Henry Edwards,
    I think you may be right about the missed point here. Indeed, I fear there are some sincere Catholics who believe the Mass affects no one but the immediate congregation, an understanding likely brought on by the diminished sacrificial “feel” of the reformed Roman Mass. But if we understand the Mass to be an action of the whole Church on Earth and beyond, then every deficit named affects the whole.
    That said, is God entirely unaffected by wounds to his mystical body?

  18. jbas says:

    Contra Mundum,
    Latin is the language of the whole Church on Earth, even if it is not the liturgical language of the Eastern Churches. But apart from that, if the Latin Church is unfaithful to its liturgical nature, surely this affects the whole mystical body in serious ways.
    As for moral poverty versus liturgical poverty, the Church never changed her teachings regarding sexual relations between clergy and children, but did change the order of worship used by most Catholics in the Most Holy Eucharist.

  19. ContraMundum says:

    These would be, however, among the more serious considerations if we are restricting our selves to liturgical problems that are widespread in the Latin Rite.

    (Widespread would get rid of the most extreme atrocities — cowboy Masses, puppet Masses, etc.)

    Even then one has to cut out from “liturgical consideration” the many homilies that are useless (“Be happy but don’t rock the boat!”) or sew seeds of doubt without explicitly endorsing heresy (“Many scholars believe that the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 was just the people’s response to an example of generosity”) — to say nothing of those that actually do endorse heresy.

  20. ContraMundum says:


    You’ll need to back up the declaration that Latin is the language of the whole Church on Earth. Is this just what you consider obvious, or do you have some document in mind?

    The Church never changed Her Teachings about either the Mass or what is morally out of bounds sexually. If the changes to the practices of Mass were officially endorsed, so (at least at the diocesan level) were many of the practices that fed the scandal. As for what has done more damage to the Church, I’m sorry, but there really is no question that it’s the scandal.

  21. JKnott says:

    To wound the Mystical Body of Christ is to wound Christ.
    Love for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is love for Christ as this good Bishop Schneider exemplifies.
    Maybe these 5 points expressed as wounds could be compared to the Seven Deadly Sins.
    And the end result- loss of reverence, faith and humility, and a massive loss of belief in the Eucharist as well as sacrilegious actions which are consistently nourished by the false adaptations of the OF….open, broken, and bleeding wounds indeed. Who can deny that?

    And to quote the Bishop:
    “… we need new saints today, one or several Saint Catherines of Sienna. We need the “vox populi fidelis” demanding the suppression of this liturgical rupture. The tragedy in all of this is that, today as back in the time of the Avignon exile, a great majority of the clergy, especially in its higher ranks, is content with this rupture.

  22. aspiringpoet says:

    I agree with ContraMundum. I don’t think these things can or should be put on the same level as sin.

  23. jbas says:

    Contra Mundum,
    Vatican documents, including those issued for the whole Church, are issued in Latin, including the Code of Canon Law for the Eastern Churches.
    If sexual perversion against children was more common among Catholic clergy than among the general population, or if Catholic bishops had a history of responding to it in unusual ways or contrary to civil law, then I would agree that this will be a lasting problem for the mystical body of Christ.

  24. Capt. Morgan says:

    May God richly Bless Bishop Schneider. We are told “you shall know them by their fruits”. Can anyone look at the state of the Church in Europe and the US and not see the fruits of Vatican Council II? The fruits of tampering, and allowing others to tamper with the Holy Mass? The fruits of destroying Catechesis?
    “[16] By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? [17] Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. [18] A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. [19] Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. [20] Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.”
    Scripture from


  25. NoTambourines says:

    The worst part is, two or more generations have now grown up with things as they are, and don’t know things could or should be different. They take on faith, for lack of a better word, what was actually in Vatican II.

    I think the priority in lay people distributing the Eucharist is time. Getting people out of the door faster.

  26. ContraMundum says:


    We can’t stoop as low as civil law or to the argument that “Billy did it too!”

  27. NoTambourines says:

    Father K–

    As a church musician, I can tell you I would love all the guidance and suggestions we can get from our priests. I play the guitar in the guitar Mass, because I have an advanced degree in music performance, and I couldn’t bear as a member of the parish not do something to help. But I worry about how much of the congregation doesn’t like the music, and I worry more about annoying or offending our priests.

    We only use about 20%, maximum, of the Gather hymnal, because the rest is often useless (not enough reference to Scripture, or the other reasons the Orthometer blog lists). If the repertory is going to improve, we need our pastors spearheading the shift in demand, or the same complacency and inertia are going to continue, and there will be more of what I like to call Catholic Trance Music (see also: Song of the Body of Christ, Peace Prayer, etc.).

    In the meantime, these are what I can offer as a guitar player:

    – I will show up to rehearsals on time, take them seriously, and make good use of time. Some things, I practice on my own during the week.
    – I will tune with a tuner, but not during the Rosary before Mass. (Twannnnnngg!)
    – I sit in the back so as not to have to yip-yap with other choir members before Mass.
    – I will not noodle around on the instrument before Mass.
    – I will dress well, and I will dress modestly.
    – I will be reverent and attentive, not goofy.
    – I can’t control what is put in front of me — I don’t have enough clout to start or win that battle. But I will strive to play it well.
    – I will not cover the text of the Mass with music if it is in my control (I cringe when the 2nd or so offertory hymn covers “Blessed are you Lord, God of all creation,” and more)
    – I suggest traditional hymns when I can, but the final call is not mine
    – I will leave all the rock/pop connotations of the guitar at the door. No, on the curb. No, down the street in the vacant parking lot.

  28. May God bless and Protect Bp Schneider. He is absolutely correct. The damage that has been done in the Latin Rite of the Church has unfortunately bled into some Eastern Rites here and there. Pray for our Bishops.

  29. Father K says:

    Dear NoTambourines

    No offence meant, truly, but most of what you say is irrelevant and navel gazing , but please read on…

    Why wait for priests? The problem started 40 odd years ago because priests who knew no better thought they had to be ‘relevant’… all to do with Simon and Garfunkel…Peter Paul and Mary… [nothing wrong with their music, but not appropriate for the liturgy]; along with huge back up and pressure from religious, not to mention lay people …[ the me-first…anti-establishment generation…politically correct agenda mentality] .

    Then of course, contrary to what Vat II actually said Gregorian Chant and Polypony were seen to be too ‘square’ even to be given a dishonourable mention.

    My suggestion is to read the documents of the Church on the liturgy and yes, ‘sacred music’ and start effecting real, attainable and constructive changes in your situation according to the mind of the Church.

    Yes, in fact, you can control what is put in front of you… someone had control in the first place. I have seen parishes transformed because people put an end to the mentality of ‘playing the guitar in the guitar Mass, because I have an advanced degree in music performance, and I couldn’t bear as a member of the parish not do something to help.’ For Heaven’s sake, start being helpful for the People of God, and allow them to have what is rightfully theirs. In my own diocese and in others around the globe, I have seen enormous strides being made by courageous people who can fire young people with an enthusiasm for authentic liturgical music and their work has been accepted by bishops. I can assure you, no-one who was born after 1980, if not before, and is still practising wants anything to do with guitars. Believe in yourself, if not in the music ministry leader guy [or gal].

    So, [kindly meant!], stop being a cry-baby and start doing something which will truly help…look what our Holy Father has done to, at least, improve, if not yet to transform, Papal liturgies. Use your ‘advanced degree in music performance’ to really serve the Church instead of wringing your hands and serving some outmoded ‘music ministry.’

    Maybe..this is your Lent

  30. Tradster says:

    If I may add one more, it would be the wholly ill-advised replacement of the word “priest” with “presider”. The laity and the clergy alike need to get back to the idea that the man up there at the altar is an ORDAINED PRIEST who celebrates the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass FOR us, not WITH us. Maybe then the “presiders” will get out of their chairs and actually conduct themselves like priests.

  31. NoTambourines says:

    My apologies.

  32. Father K says:

    Don’t want to sound harsh..maybe I do!

    But please, please use your talents for what I have suggested can actually be done… Noli timere

    Kind regards

    God bless you as you discern your work

    Father K

  33. Ambrose Jnr says:

    I would like to second what another commentator said above. Distinguish between what the Vat II documents say and what the Spirit of Vat II (which for me is pretty much the Spirit of the Devil) purported it said. Read them again and again.

    Also bear in mind that the most ambiguous bits of Gaudium and Spes and Lumen Gentium have been corrected by JPII and BXVI in their encyclicals.

    SSPX supporters – join us again to fight for tradition within the Bride of Christ.

    I also think that the reform of the reform in the liturgy by the Pope is sooo slow because of the remaining liberal bishops and fear of a schism…once there are almost no liberal bishops anymore, but only liberal priests, the reform of the reform can proceed full steam.

    Lex orandi, lex credendi…that’s why healing these 5 wounds is so vital!

  34. Centristian says:

    I’m not entirely certain what exactly the problem is with respect to the Offertory prayers of the Ordinary Form.

    With respect to the rest, however, and more than those four things, they combine to deform the Ordinary Form into what I once described to a priest who is a good friend of mine as the “short bus” form of the Mass, which I complained was not the same thing, in my opinion, as the Ordinary Form of Mass. I told him that what the Pope does is the Ordinary Form of Mass, that what they do at EWTN is the Ordinary Form of Mass…and that what he does is not the Ordinary Form of the Mass, but the “short bus” form of the Mass.

    *rolls eyes*

    “Oh, Centristian, Centristian, Centristian (he doesn’t call me “Centristian”, obviously, but my name), what you don’t understand is that Mass wasn’t said any better in the average parish before Vatican II than it is now!”

    “So what?” I responded, flabbergasted. “THAT’s your excuse?! You justify what you do now with the laxity that you witnessed before the Council??? I thought the whole point of the liturgical reform was…reform! Are you telling me that the point of the reform was just to continue to celebrate Mass badly, only in the vernacular while facing the people?”

    *rolls eyes*

    “My point is…if we weren’t expected to do it up with all that solemnity you harp on about, back then, why on earth should we be expected to do all that today?”

    “So, then by ‘reform’ all the Council ever envisioned or hoped for was a new version of bad liturgy.”

    *rolls eyes*

    “Oh, you’re impossible!”

    And yet we remain the best of friends. And if you’re reading this…it’s just a Ginger Ale.

  35. UncleBlobb says:

    Red Hat now!

  36. benedictgal says:

    Father K:

    As someone out in the trenches in the South Texas brush country, I am living out the situation you described in both my dad’s parish and my own. The situation in the former is a little better than in the latter. In the former, I am able to chant the Introit and the Communion antiphon sans accompaniment, ncluding the ICEL chants. Even though this is mostly at one Mass, the faithful are accepting it. In the latter, I was allowed to chant the Introit and the Communion Antiphon, as well as the Attende Domine for Ash Wednesday Mass. In the latter, we are stuck with OCP drek. This, in my opinion, has probably wounded the mystical Body of Christ more than allowing laity to proclaim the readings. The worse offender is an OCP product called “Spirit and Song” which actually includes, along with the Protestant Praise and Worship genre, the secular rhythm and blues hit, “Lean on Me”, as the final song. Worse yet, we have had to contend with a song like “Mary, Did You Know” as a “meditation” piece on Good Friday. It is not easy to right a ship whose wooden beams have been rotted by poor, unsuitable music. Worse yet, this past Sunday, we had to contend with the choir singing “Seek He First” as the offertory. Anyone who knows this piece is well aware of the fact that it has “Alleluia” as the chorus. This was the Third Sunday of Lent. Jesus is addressing the. After of offering God proper worship in His house and we are using music that is most unfitting for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

    The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass deserves better.

  37. chantgirl says:

    NoTambourines, I feel ya. On my journey I went from playing guitar for charismatic Masses to now singing chant and polyphony in a TLM only parish, but at some point in the middle I remember playing Panis Angelicus accompanied by guitar at a Novus Ordo Mass and I think the priest’s head nearly exploded. Somehow the convergence of guitar and latin left him feeling completely befuddled. I really didn’t know better at the time, and I pray God forgives me for all of my younger craziness. I’m sure your musical skills can transfer to something more in-line with the Church’s tradition of sacred music.

  38. benedictgal says:

    I am still having problems navigating through my tablet. The offending song was “Seek Ye First”. Furthermore, the point that I was trying to make was that Jesus was forcefully addressing the matter of offering God fitting worship in His house and we were really botching it with poor music.

    Fr. I, incidentally, if you want navel-gazing music, try having to endure “Table of Plenty”. And “One Bread, One Body.”. Why the USCCB does not do anything to clean our musical house is beyond me.

  39. Athelstan says:

    I agree with Irenaeus – the demolition of the ancient propers of the mass was as arbitrary and damaging as anything done by the Concilium. The collects we’ve been left with in the OF are jury-rigged anthropocentric creations.

    But that aside, an outstanding commentary by His Excellency. Get this man to a major see.

  40. chantgirl says:

    benedictgal, you are so right about the music quality. I was frustrated after singing for some Latin Masses that were in regular parishes and trying to find Latin hymns in the Gather or Music Issue. There are more Spanish hymns than Latin. Finally, I just started buying my own hymnals to use like the St. Gregory Hymnal, The St. Basil Hymnal, the Traditional Roman Hymnal (although that one’s from the SSPX so some priests might freak out if you use it). Corpus Christi Watershed and Musica Sacra also have a variety of resources available online, and much of the Church’s really good music is in the public domain and can be downloaded free off of the internet. Getting the priest’s permission to do Catholic music right can be a little harder, though, as I’ve found even a lot of good, orthodox priests really have not been trained very well when it comes to sacred music. Keep trying!

  41. Tom Esteban says:

    I don’t get why some are attributing to Bishop Schneider something he didn’t say. Destroying the liturgy is wounding the Mystical Body of Christ. He’s not saying it is sinful – you (commentators) are saying that. No doubt you’ve read it somewhere that sin wounds of the Mystical Body of Christ and now you think anything that comes close to saying the same thing is wrong if it’s not about sin. Relax I say.

    Things can wound the Mystical Body of Christ quite easily without directly being mortal sins or even venial sins. Even if that isn’t true in a deep theological sense it is certainly true in a poetic sense – and I have a feeling Bishop Schneider is speaking in both ways. Perhaps too much overthinking is being done here instead of actually paying attention to what is being said. We don’t all email Fr. Z telling him that “Save the liturgy, save the world” is not strictly theologicaly true because only Christ can save the world… unless Father Z thinks Christ is the liturgy and is sprouting some quasi-pantheistic-liturgy heresy and means xyz etc. C’mon. You understand what Father Z means by his motto; and it’s just as easy to understand what Bishop Schneider is saying. In fact, it seems just two different ways of expressing the same truth about the absolute importance of the liturgy in the Christian life.

    More on topic – give this good Bishop a red-hat. It’ll happen within the next 10 years, give it time. God will be using him in a big way. People say “Oh but he’s been pushed to some unimportant country who will listen to him this is so unfair!”. Ummm… Who will listen to him? Well, EWTN, Una Voce, his publishers, most good Catholic blogs. The fact that you know who this “Bishop of obscure-country” is means he is hardly being ignored. He’s making waves. The good kind.

    I also completely agree with his points and can bet he’s got a few more up his sleeve waiting for the opportune time to make known his feelings.

  42. Warren says:

    The sonic crap is the most obvious wound for me. Recently, however, as I may have lamented here too often – so I’ll be brief this time – I have discovered that a Mass can be artfully served by a priest with a poisonous tongue. By “poisonous” I mean heretical. Heretics are usually easy to spot because they can’t serve Mass without improvising ad nauseum. A new breed is emerging – the artful dodger I call him. The Mass looks good but homilies are filled with slick near truths.

  43. New Sister says:

    I believe our Holy Father once said (in an address – can’t recall the exact document), that “bad music and architecture are offenses to God”.

  44. Glen M says:

    IMHO the pope and other senior clergy haven’t implemented much corrective action yet because they fear schism. Communion in the hand and female altar servers were originally ruled against by the pope only to permit it after wailing and gnashing of teeth by a loud and effective minority.

    Furthermore, based on how much time and resources were spent on preparing the flock for the corrected translation, imagine how much would be required to implement the changes Bishop Schneider identifies.

    The NcR currently has a column on the ‘spirit of V2’ priests fading away – the biological solution. Perhaps Pope Benedict is waiting for that two. It will hopefully be his successor who makes the necessary corrections to the Ordinary Form. As the column admits, the young generation of priests are more orthodox – same for the laity.

    In the meantime, rather than wait for these changes to come to us, how many here are pro-active in our parishes? Are we on the liturgy committee? Supporting the local Extraordinary Form or working to get one? Writing any letters? It was a small yet effective minority that caused all these errors so that’s what it will take to fix them.

  45. dominic1955 says:

    A couple points. Bishop Schneider is specifically talking about the liturgy. He is not even trying to address the problems of the whole Church in every way possible. Also, in case we haven’t noticed, the Roman Rite is by far the dominant rite of the whole Church. When something is wrong with the Roman Rite, the others suffer in a way that simply is not equally felt if something is wrong with one of the Eastern Rites. The Easterners end up suffering our liturgical stupidity and wrongheaded policies even if its just by such existing in our own rite in a way that they could never possibly inflict upon us.

    As to the analogy, it is that-an analogy. The liturgical “five wounds” are areas in which Bishop Schneider thinks that the most damage is being done to our liturgical heritage. His address has nothing to do with sexual abuse, its about liturgy at a conference concering Summorum Pontificum. The sexual abuse stuff is not relevant here, he’s talking about liturgy. Liturgy. To fault the good bishop for this is like chiming in to a conversation about which is the better land yacht (Continental or Eldorado) with your opinion that Matisse’s “Vase of Sunflowers” is underappreciated under the shadow of the more famous van Gough. Completely. Missed. The. Boat…

    As to the offertory prayers from the NO, they are basically Jewish meal blessings with no basis in the liturgical tradition. Actually, the NO as a whole doesn’t have much basis in the liturgical tradition. Laszlo correctly and aptly calls it the Neo-Roman Rite. Its as Roman as the Neo-Gallican Rites were Gallican. We would do well to abolish the whole thing, but applying the corrections suggested by Bishop Schneider would go a long way in improving the real life liturgical situation we find ourselves in.

  46. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Arguing about “wounds” terminology seems like semantics to me, this doesn’t change the facts that the Latin Liturgy is in disrepair and has caused grave consequences.
    If you read the Ottaviani Intervention, the most succinct and accurate document that I know describing issues with the New Mass, maybe the term ‘wounds’ won’t be so far-fetched.

    You may say “oh I read that, yea”, “studied it at school”, “read about it”, “heard of it” – that approach may be inadequate. Try studying each sentence in this short document, look up each instance that it describes in the Mass or the General Instruction, compare what existed before and after the changes, and analyze these differences with an open mind. The document is short, but packed with meaning that you might miss with a quick read. Written by a Cardinal who had a firm grasp of the purpose and meaning of the Mass, its theological significance, and the consequences the changes represented, this letter to the Pope conveys love of the Church and panic over what he feared happening.

    Bishop Schneider understates the impact of the present state of the liturgy, IMHO. And there are other problems, as commenters have noted, that the Bishop doesn’t cover. For instance, its not just Communion in the Hand, its handling the Eucharist with any unconsecrated hands that I find egregious, such as lay distributors of Communion. Also the apparent disregard for possible particles of the Host demonstrated by that and by the priest who no longer is required to close his fingers after handling the Eucharist is egregious.

    I agree with Henry Edwards on both points.

  47. Tina in Ashburn says:

    In regard to music, a choir director is helpless without the support of the pastor. If the pastor forbids improved musical practices, there is nothing a good choir or director can do.

    Until pastors, directors and choir members are given faithful instruction on Liturgical music and the Church’s intentions, it is almost hopeless. I know of NO diocese that demands that directors get any diocesan training. And pastors are left to themselves as well. There has been an occasional chant workshop, ineffective because those in authority never attend. And other workshops push the happy-clappy agenda of the NPM.

  48. dominic1955, I’m glad you brought up Laszlo Dobszay. :D That’s who I was getting at with my original comment about the liturgical discontinuity of the propers.

  49. frjim4321 says:

    So this is about an an author attributing to the five precious wounds his idiosyncratic, ideological complaints? That is at least blasphemous if not narcissistic.

    I am sure we can quibble about pet peeves, but to elevate them to this absurd level scandalously trivializes the Passion.

  50. acardnal says:

    @Tina in Ashburn: I agree that everyone should read the Ottaviani Intervention. You said, however, that it was “written by a Cardinal . . . .” According to the book “Most Asked Questions about the Society of Saint Pius X”, Angelus Press, 2011 edition, page 122, the following is stated:
    “On April 3, 1969, the Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum presented a
    new order of the Mass. Archbishop Lefebvre gathered together a group
    of twelve theologians who wrote under his direction the Brief Critical
    Examination of the Novus Ordo Missae often called the Ottaviani Intervention.
    Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci wrote indeed an introduction and presented the
    study to Paul VI.”
    Cardinal Ottaviani agreed with what was written, I assume, and he presented it to the Pope as a Prince of the Church and former head of the Holy Office which would give the Intervention more weight and credence.

  51. Good advice, Tina. Indeed, it would be therapeutic for every priest and bishop to re-read the Ottaviani intervention annually. (Not being a priest, I don’t necessarily remember this every year myself; thanks for the reminder.)

    In regard to Bp. Schneider’s third wound, it’s already an option for most of us to say the traditional sacrificial offertory prayers. For many years, I’ve carried copies of them in my OF prayer book to say to myself during the preparation of the offerings.

    As lay persons, we enjoy privileges that the ordained don’t. For instance, at OF Mass I usually follow the vernacular prayers in Latin, whereas at EF Mass I usually follow the Latin prayers in English. In this way, I can actively pray in my own words, rather than merely passively listening to the priest’s words. At OF Mass, I originally began this practice because of the audible canon, when–like many or most, I assume–I’d occasionally find myself drifting into auto-pilot (or couch potato) mode as the priest droned on.

  52. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    So this is about an an author attributing to the five precious wounds his idiosyncratic, ideological complaints?

    Your various comments on this blog have indicated that you don’t know the difference between theology and ideology.

    That is at least blasphemous if not narcissistic.

    Funny, but that has been my reaction to so many priests hamming it up when they say mass versus populum.

    I am sure we can quibble about pet peeves, but to elevate them to this absurd level scandalously trivializes the Passion.

    Your various comments here have indicated that you don’t see the relationship between the Eucharistic liturgy and the life of the Church.

    I recommend the Ratzinger book The Spirit of the Liturgy.

  53. St. Rafael says:

    As far as EMHC, this sad situation falls on the priests. I don’t understand how any priest, who is a man, can stand to have all these lay people invade the sanctuary and touch what rightly belongs to him as an ordained priest, the sacred.

    What’s the point of being a celibate priest who sacrificed it all to be an alter Christus and have this special relationship with God, only to see all these lay women coming up to the altar, touching the altar, touching the linens, touching the ciborium? It’s spiritual adultery for a priest, and it’s a fact that over 75% of EMHC are women because of the feminization of the Church and liturgy.

    EMHC only exist because the priests have become lazy, effeminate, and emasculated themselves. This will only change when priests get together, get off their cans, and assist each other at all the parish Masses by distributing Communion. You don’t need EMHC for the Sacred Host, if the pastor and assistant priests show up at Communion to distribute for each and every single parish Mass.

    Here’s a great website and resource with numerous articles and Church documents on Communion in the Hand:

  54. Mary Jane says:

    @ St. Rafael — perhaps you are being too hard on priests? I am guessing that the use of EMHCs is so widespread is not because priests are lazy or effeminate but rather because of pressure…and that probably from the congregations themselves. “Father, Father! We want to help!” That sort of thing.

    Again, I’m just guessing. I attend a FSSP parish exclusively so I don’t have to witness the situation first-hand. But, that would be my guess.

  55. St. Rafael says:

    @Mary Jane,
    If priests are bowing to lay pressure, it just shows how effeminate they have become. The parish is not a democracy. The pastor runs the parish and is the chief liturgist. He says how it’s going to be. It just highlights how priests have failed to teach and educate their flock on the nature of the Eucharist and priesthood. When was the last time priests preached that St. Thomas Aquinas taught that to touch the sacred species belonged to the ordained? Or even read and spoke on Pope John Paul II’s paper attempt to stop EMHC with Dominicae Cenae in 1980?

    I don’t think I have been too hard on priests. In fact, I have been too kind. The sad reality is that most priests are mediocre. The vast majority of priests in the Catholic Church are mediocre with a very bad or poor formation. Many are flat out Modernists and heretics. Others are just misguided mediocre men. I won’t even begin to try to estimate how many don’t even belong in the priesthood, since estimates on Homosexual priests run anywhere from 30% to 50%. The solid orthodox traditional priest is the exception and rarity. Good faithful priests are absolutely no more than 30% of all priests.

  56. frjim4321 says:

    Quotes from robert brown:

    Your various comments on this blog have indicated that you don’t know the difference between theology and ideology.

    Well, that may well be your opinion but I was first in my class in the oral comprehensive for the M.Div.

    Theology is about universal principle, ideology is basically a shared fashion statement.

    Funny, but that has been my reaction to so many priests hamming it up when they say mass versus populum.

    But that’s not what the post is about. It’s about a prelate comparing his own liturgical pet peeves to the precious wounds. I certainly have my own pet peeves (e.g., imposing the discipline of mandatory celibacy on faithfully Catholic candidates while lowering standards from those who defect from their own churches) but I would never compare that to one of the wounds of Christ.

    I share your disdain of “presider as cheerleader” or “presider as sports banquet emcee (do any NY prelates come to mind?)” but even Padre Pio said mass facing the people, so you can’t argue that the standard mode of celebration is inherently narcissistic. That is not unless you want to wrestle in the mud and argue about Padre Pio and what was really going on with him psychospiritually.

    Your various comments here have indicated that you don’t see the relationship between the Eucharistic liturgy and the life of the Church.

    Seriously. Might I remind me that you don’t know me at all. That’s a fairly insulting thing to say to a priest of 28+ years and a pastor of a growing parish for nearly a third of that time.

    I recommend the Ratzinger book The Spirit of the Liturgy.

    I’ve read it.

  57. frjim4321 says:

    I think the text editor is bolding texts not intended to be bold.

    I noticed that in a few posts, not just my own.

  58. Nicole says:

    Geoffrey said: Say what you will, but there are more than a few Masses celebrated reverently in the Ordinary Form, and many lay “ministers” who are devout and feel they are doing the right thing because the Church allows it.

    Regardless of whether these lay people “feel” like they are doing the right thing or not and simply because the Church “appears” to allow some practice or even merely to tolerate a practice, does not make the practices not objectively sinful.

    Contramundum: Pope St. Pius X tells us that the language of the Roman Church (the Church in communion with Rome) is Latin in his Motu Proprio of Nov. 22, 1903 on Sacred Music.

    Quite a few commentors seem to be finding fault with Bishop Schneider in that he appears to them to be taking exception with that which is not sin. Well, I think he is taking exception to sin in his “five wounds” discourse. Besides, what other than sin wounds the Mystical Body?

    If Mass versus populum is a practice opposed to the rubrics or the GIRM (which I believe Fr. Z has told us are binding upon pain of sin) then if the priests transgress in this way, are they not sinning at least objectively?

    If communion in the hand was introduced in disobedience as Bishop Schneider states in his Paix Litugique, how is that not objective sin? If communion in the hand continues to be a source of abuse of the sacred species and scandal to the communities, how is there not sin there?

    It also appears that he is accusing the author of the Offertory Prayers for the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite Mass of having transgressed what is laid down in the Second Vatican Council’s constitution on liturgical reform. I don’t see the transgression, myself, but it appears to be an accusation of sin.

    If the Second Vatican Council binds both our belief and actions as people professing to be Catholic, then would not a disappearance from the Latin Rite of the Latin language (in apparent transgression to Art. 36 and 54 of Sacrosanctum Concilium) be evidence of sin?

    If women (in the ambo) and lay ministers in profane garb serving in place of acolytes or lectors at Mass transgress the ancient canons of the Church and the Second Vatican Council, does not the presence of such “ministers” show evidence of sin?

    I am not claiming to know to whom Bishop Schneider believes these sins are to be imputed, but if these things are not sins, why bring them up at all?

  59. benedictgal says:

    If we believe, frjim, that the Eucharist is the “source and summit” of our life as the Church, then the good bishop makes some valuable and valid points. Jesus did not mince words when he threw out the money changers and the vendors from the Court of the Gentiles. Bow we pray matters very much to God. If you were to read the meditation that the former Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger closed for the ninth Station, you will see that he notes how much Christ suffers in His own church, how we are only focusing on ourselves during worship, how much filth there is in the Church, even among those who belong to Him, and the abuses that He endures when empty hearts receive Him in Holy Communion.

    If you do. It find the bishops words insightful, I fear that the Holy Father’s meditation would fall by the wayside.

    The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the most important act that we do as the Church. The first commandment is to love God. Loving God means offering Him the form of worship that is worthy of His supreme majesty. If we fail at that, everything else loses its meaning.

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  63. mwk3 says:

    Thank you, Tom Esteban. You saved me ten minutes of my time, and made the point better than I could.

  64. robtbrown says:


    Excuse the delay.

    First, I want to say that I admire your dedication to and perseverance in the priesthood. That does not mean, however, that I don’t think that, through no fault of your own, you received poor formation at seminary.

    1.Congrats on doing well in the Mdiv program—but it just proves my point. The problem is that the theological requirements in most MDiv are rather slight, often less than 60% of what is required for just the STB at the Angelicum.

    2.If you read the Ratzinger book and still think that criticism of versus populum celebration is merely idiosyncratic, then you didn’t follow what the author was saying.

    3. If you think that the preference for Latin liturgy is merely idiosyncratic, then I recommend you read the Bl John XXIII Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia. The document basically says that Latin is catholic (universal) and the vernacular is not.

    4. It is well known that Padre Pio did not want to use the new mass.

    5. T hat a prominent New York prelate hams it up at mass merely confirms the argument that versus populum celebration is not a good idea.

    6. I find it laughable that you accuse Abp Schneider of comments that are “blasphemous if not narcissistic”, yet you bristle when I say that your comments here have indicated that you don’t understand the relationship between the liturgy and the life of the Church, saying that I don’t know you.

    7. Pastor for almost one third of 28 years? Congratulations. BTW, how many vocations to the priesthood and religious life has your pastoral leadership produced?

    8. I agree about the inconsistency between mandatory celibacy and the married Anglican clergy now entering the Church. My understanding is that celibacy will be grandfathered in.

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