Some misconceptions

Someone sent me a PDF of a flyer from the Diocese of St. Petersburg in Florida promoting a series of talks on Sacrosanctum Concilium.

Hopefully the talks will be great.

The flyer, however, isn’t so great.   There are a series of statements which perpetuate goofy notions that have been circulated for a long time.  Let’s have a look with my emphases and comments:


  • Did you know that before the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy we did not always have Old and New Testament readings at Mass? (Chapter 2, #51) [This is a false statement.  There are Old Testament readings in Extraordinary Form. Furthermore, every Mass includes texts from the Psalms.  The Antiphon are mostly Old Testament.]
  • Did you know that reception of the Eucharist under both kinds for the people came into practice after the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy? Before the document, people did not receive the Eucharist at every Mass and did not receive the blood of Christ at all. (Chapter 2, #55) [This is a misleading statement.  Frequent Communion was strongly promoted by St. Pope Pius X.  However, people still understood before the depredations that took place in the wake of and name of the Council that if you are not in the state of grace, you shouldn’t go to Communion.  Furthermore, this statement makes it seem that if people are not receiving the Precious Blood, they are somehow being deprived of receiving the Eucharist.]
  • Did you know that before the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Mass was only offered in Latin – not in the multiple languages allowed today? (Chapter 1, #36) [This is a manipulative statement that also hides the truth of what the Council commanded.  First, it is not entirely desirable that multiple languages be used, because the multiplication of languages has fractured our unity, both across borders and across centuries.  The illicit elimination of Latin also slammed the doors of our treasury of Sacred Music.  Moreover, the Fathers of the Council commanded that Latin be retained!  They allowed for some limited use of the vernacular on occasions.]
  • Did you know that the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy reestablished the adult catechumenate? The RCIA process was developed to bring adults (and children age 7 and above) into the Church. (Chapter 3, #64) [This statement is much ado about nothing.  Adult converts and children above 7 were constantly being brought into the Church before the Council, and not in a one-sized mainstreams all method. Additionally, I can’t tell you how many people I have spoken to who wished they had had the opportunity of private instruction rather than the silly RCIA stuff they had to endure.]
  • Did you know that prior to the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, people were not expected to actively participate in Mass by responding, praying, or singing – people were there just to “hear” the Mass? (Chapter 2, #48) [This is a falsehood.  Of course people were expected to participate actively at Mass, but actively in its most authentic sense of interiorly receptive activity. Furthermore, Popes throughout the 20th century urged people to make responses during Mass and clarified which parts they could participate in also with outward, vocal participation.]
  • Did you know that the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy calls for conscious and active participation in Mass and affairs of the Church by all the faithful by reason of our baptism? It set in motion the ability for lay people, including women, who were previously not even allowed in the sanctuary, to be lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, [No!] altar servers, [altar girls were promoted contrary to the law] and hold leadership positions. (Chapter 2, #14) [This is incorrect. Before the Council began, during the Pontificate of Pius XII there was an important document on Sacred Music which promoted congregational singing and gave a clear, strong definition of “active participation”. Also, lay people cannot be “Eucharistic Ministers”.  They can be ministers of “Holy Communion”.  Only the ordained are truly Eucharistic Ministers.]

These statements are misleading. They reflect an attitude of, “Before the Council, bad. After the Council, good.” It is not uncommon among people of a certain age to find a view that the Church really began with Vatican II.  They want you simply to accept their premises (e.g., women being allowed into the sanctuary is a good thing).

Keep in mind that Vatican II’s importance is mainly in their own imaginations. It occurred in living memory, which makes it seems more important that it was. Vatican II was one Council among many, in the Church’s history. Furthermore, it wasn’t even among the more important Councils. Nicea… Chalcedon… Trent… Those were truly important Councils.

Look.  The Council had its effects.  But let’s look at the Council with some sobriety for a change.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    And, just to be perfectly accurate, lay people are not ministers of the Holy Communion, they are extraordinary ministers. Which, among other things, means “not usually.”

  2. ClavesCoelorum says:

    Pleeease someone tell us Germans what Father wrote here! This is exactly the talk that we hear over here constantly. :( Thank heaven I will be able to attend the Extraordinary Form when I move for university in April. :)

  3. MikeM221 says:

    I have always found it ironic that the use of the vernacular was pushed at the very time that the world became “smaller”. In the past half-century, it has become commonplace for people to travel internationally, whether for business or pleasure, and I always thought it would be so much better if the Sacrifice of the Mass was offered in Latin around the globe.

    There was a time when my work required that I travel to various countries in Europe and Latin America. When attending Mass in those countries, I would have felt a much greater unity with the congregation if I had been able to participate in the Mass using the universal language of the Church, rather than trying to follow it in German, French, Spanish, etc.

  4. APX says:

    Actually, prior to Vatican II in certain areas of Croatia Mass wasn’t offered in Latin, but rather the ancient Slavonic language.

  5. Allan Gillis says:

    I find this curious… almost an intentional swipe at the wonderfully-effervescent interest in the EF and Latin chant by Catholic faithful. I think some folks are a bit uncomfortable with the progress that we’re making “brick-by-brick”! Thank You Father Z for all your encouragement! Thank God for Veterum Sapientia!

  6. Unwilling says:

    “Hopefully the talks will be great.” Heroically hoped..

    The subject matters raised and the level of discussion on this blog are too interesting to stop looking. But it is so dispiriting so painful to encounter such misinformation as on this brochure!

  7. acricketchirps says:

    And we always got the Blood of Christ at Communion as well as His Soul and Divinity under the species of bread.

  8. Cordelio says:

    The second statement reproduced above is not just misleading; it is formally heretical.

  9. mburn16 says:

    “They reflect an attitude of, “Before the Council, bad. After the Council, good.””

    In fairness, a similar – albeit reversed – attitude is also present in many traditionalist circles: “before the council, good. after the council, bad”.

    Of course there are more than enough misconceptions – and in some cases, willful distortions – about the EF, but its in no way unfair to say that the theory behind the OF, if always its application, has its own merits.

    I maintain that the liturgical endgame for our church will most closely resemble the AO, [What on Earth is that?] with influences from both the EF and the OF. Will we have major reform of the reform? Yes. Will that reform return us to when the “norm” was always Latin, quiet prayers, and Ad Orientem? I very much doubt it.

    @MikeM221 – Its a tradeoff. When the Mass is in Latin everywhere, any Catholic could go anywhere in the globe and hear exactly the language he heard at home, if he could understand the accent. Then again, most Catholics don’t speak Latin, so listening to an OF Mass is German may be no less comprehensible (eh, liturgical anomalies among our Germanic brethren aside) than an EF Mass in Latin right down the street. What was gained for that loss was the ability of ANY person to enter a Catholic Church off the street and understand the Mass, and for the Catholic faithful to be able to experience their worship in what we might call a more “literal” manner.

  10. mhazell says:

    The first statement about OT and NT readings is clearly made by someone who is ignorant of the facts, to put it mildly. In the EF, the OT is used for the lesson on (among other places) ember days, in Lent and Passiontide, on Epiphany – as well as in the various commons and votive Mass formularies. It is true the OF has more scripture, but that in and of itself is not necessarily preferable.

    Father, I hope you will forgive my shameless self-promotion… but partly to help people defend the usus antiquior from the less-scripture-so-must-be-inferior argument, I compiled a table and index of the use of scripture in the EF. They cover the chants (introit, etc.) as well as the readings. The tables and other resources can be found at my lectionary blog, and everything is free to download for anyone who is interested. The blog’s not been updated for a while, but I’m hoping that will change in the next few weeks.

  11. Margaret says:

    Golly. I hope the talks are more grounded in reality than that flyer is.

  12. wmeyer says:

    Include me among those who endured RCIA. In my case, replete with handouts by the likes of Joan Chittister and Richard Rohr. And with a deluge of misleading statements. Wonen’s ordination? “Well, not yet.” Ad Orientem? “Priest facing away from us.” The Rosary? “It’s not for everyone.” I could go on, but why?

    And they were all huge fans of what they believed Vatican II said (though none of them, I’m afraid, ever read any of the documents, much less studied them.)

  13. wmeyer says:

    As to the liturgy, when it was in Latin, it was consistent, wherever you went. Now, however, the differences are striking, even in neighboring parishes. And the music? Please, I am trying to be charitable.

  14. MarkJ says:

    Vatican II? Oh, it was the most wunderfullest council ehh-vurrr. Everything that happened since has been so grooooovvvyyyyy. What, wait a minute… there were other councils?

  15. Legisperitus says:


    Funnily enough, I misread the beginning of the post as saying it was a series of talks on Summorum Pontificum, and therefore I assumed the bullet points were written by some well-meaning but very scantily-informed traditionalist, of a certain age, to inform younger Catholics that things in the Church used to be very different. Naturally I wondered why Fr. Z was giving the sweet little old lady such a hard time! But it’s interesting that I was just as easily able to read the ill-researched bullet points as trying to say “Before the Council, good; after the Council, bad.”

  16. Cathy says:

    Cordelio, I agree, it undermines the doctrine of concomitance. I have actually met people who refuse the authority of the Catholic Church in regards to this single point. I honestly hope that every Catholic has a basic understanding of utraquism and why it is a heresy. I pray that more emphasis be placed on the efficacious reception of The Holy Eucharist than promoting the reception under what is termed as a “fuller sign” under both species. It honestly scares me that people think they are being denied any of the Lord Jesus, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity if they are only allowed to receive Him in the Host.

  17. mrshopey says:

    What I have seen, regarding RCIA here, is that if the whole family is coming into the Church, including the children (above 7) and they don’t have a separate RCIC course (enough to have one Or teachers), the children are baptized and then put with the other children. This doesn’t seem to be what the Church had in mind when whole families come in. I have also seen some do this, put children in with cradle Catholics, to not start fights because when children come completely in, they receive confirmation also. We know that it is 17 yo and above here.

  18. Robbie says:

    A deacon assigned to the parish I normally attend delivered a sermon much like this last November as a way to mark the 50th anniversary of Sacrosanctum Concilium. Needless to say, it wasn’t one of my favorites because he delivered many of the same one sided arguments made in this flyer. I contemplated writing the deacon, but, in the end, I decided it wouldn’t accomplish much. The Obama 2012 bumper sticker on his car was the deciding factor.

  19. BLB Oregon says:

    Well, at least they said “All are invited to attend” and not “If you know better than to swallow these ‘facts’ wholesale without offering us the corporal mercy of a correction, we’re not so sure we’d like to have you there”

  20. BLB Oregon says:

    Excuse me, the spiritual mercy of an instructional correction. (The first version was a test.)

  21. Michael says:

    Even when you receive under the species of bread only, you still receive the Precious Blood!

  22. tcreek says:

    Should I disregard the (Latin) teaching of the first three popes of my life.
    For the Church, precisely because it embraces all nations and is destined to endure until the end of time … of its very nature requires a language that is universal, immutable, and non-vernacular.
    Pope Pius XI, Officiorum Omnium, 1922

    The day the Church abandons her universal tongue [Latin] is the day before she returns to the catacombs.
    Pope Pius XII

    The use of the Latin language prevailing in a great part of the Church affords at once an imposing sign of unity and an effective safeguard against the corruptions of true doctrine.
    Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei, 1947, Sec. 60

    Finally, the Catholic Church has a dignity far surpassing that of every merely human society, for it was founded by Christ the Lord. It is altogether fitting, therefore, that the language it uses should be noble, majestic, and non-vernacular. …

    And We also, impelled by the weightiest of reasons — the same as those which prompted Our Predecessors and provincial synods — are fully determined to restore this language to its position of honor, and to do all We can to promote its study and use. The employment of Latin has recently been contested in many quarters, and many are asking what the mind of the Apostolic See is in this matter. We have therefore decided to issue the timely directives contained in this document, so as to ensure that the ancient and uninterrupted use of Latin be maintained and, where necessary, restored.
    Pope John XXIII – Veterum Sapientia

  23. A few comments:

    1. The sacred Liturgy has always been offered in multiple languages. In the earliest era of the Church, the language was usually Greek. Many of the Eastern Catholic Churches continued that liturgical tradition, while after +Damasus I the Church of Rome adopted Latin as its liturgical language and the West followed her lead in the ensuing centuries. The permission Vatican II extended for greater use of the vernacular pertained only to the Roman Rite, and only in increments. It fully envisioned Latin being the norm in the Roman Rite; this is identical to the position maintained by both Pius XII and John XXIII.

    2. As an Eastern Catholic, we don’t have RCIA, and for that I am grateful. Coming into the Catholic Church, I received private catechesis directly from a Priest, which was much more helpful and personal.

    3. That last statement is demonstrably heterodox according to the mind of Rome, and of John Paul II in particular (cf. Redemptionis Sacramentum on EMHC, who are, quote, “not intended for the sake of a fuller participation of the laity but rather, by its very nature, is supplementary and provisional.”

  24. gretta says:

    AO – think he means Anglican Ordinariate, or the Divine Worship mass celebrated by the Ordinariates?

  25. Magpie says:

    I’m washing my hair when the talks are on.

  26. iPadre says:

    “Did you know that the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy reestablished the adult catechumenate? The RCIA process was developed to bring adults (and children age 7 and above) into the Church. (Chapter 3, #64)”

    One thing that I find very ironic; in the Extraordinary Form, we have the “Mass of the Catechumens” and the “Mass of the Faithful.” And after the restoration of RCIA, they went to “Liturgy of the Word” and “Liturgy of the Eucharist.” What a contradiction!

  27. Anti-Relativist says:

    @tcreek – Wait, Pope John XXIII respected Latin and advocated for its use to be maintained? But wasn’t he the hippest, coolest, grooviest Pope ehh-vurrr (at least until Francis)?

    I have my doubts sometime, such seeing a quote like that and knowing how it has been ignored at best and essentially denied at worst….but, brick by brick. We just need to keep educating people about the true intent, and history of VII so they put it in proper context and understand that while it may have been important, it was not the be all, end all.

  28. Netmilsmom says:

    mburn16 – It always makes me laugh when people give the “Then again, most Catholics don’t speak Latin, so listening to an OF Mass is German may be no less comprehensible”. I was five when the Holy Mass was changed to the vernacular. I could say all the prayers of the rosary in both Latin and English. I knew what they meant.
    My parents didn’t “speak” Latin. No one outside of seminary did! It’s a “dead language” and was normally not for conversation. They did, however, know liturgical Latin and could understand EXACTLY what was going on in the Holy Mass. In fact, back when most Catholics went to Catholic school, we (including my older sisters in the late 60s) had Latin classes. You may be lost today in an EF but they sure weren’t.
    My girls, today not 40 years ago, have had 5 years of Latin studies and are currently on their last year of High School Latin. They don’t “speak” it either. However, they understand it and even though we normally do not attend the EF, the two times we did, they understood everything going on while my husband and I were basically lost.
    You are looking through the lens of 2014. Back in the 1950s most adults understood what was going on in a Pre-Vatican II Holy Mass. Whether they were in America or Germany. Can’t say that today. How do I know? My girls dance in a Polish Dance troop. When we have to attend funerals at the Polish Church in the Polish language, I’m as lost as I was at the EF.

  29. scarda says:

    Brick by brick works best, but sometimes I want to throw them.

  30. frjim4321 says:

    Wow. Pamphlet very poorly done.

  31. benedetta says:

    I was definitely taught that “anything before the Council” was bad or worthless or a waste of time or primitive/ignorant/unenlightened by many in the Church who appear not to have revised their technique with the realization that what was good previously remains good. How can the Mass that say, Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati assisted at, be in a flash be deemed all bad? And pretty much all other saints, even of more recent vintage. In their rendering, those who managed to live holiness or become saints in that time was due to their feeble ignorance and lack of imagination or adventure of life. They could not help but be saintly, the calumny goes, because they were imprisoned in a Church in which the windows were shut, and thus not relevant for our times. Only local historic curiosities were worth memorializing in some way as one collects trivia. Further, the narrative was always that the “Bishop of Rome”, that foreign guy across the world, has nothing relevant to say to us and is again a curiosity or throwback from an earlier, less sophisticated time. We are evolved and so do not need any of these things. Interestingly I was listening to something about the Jannsenist heresy the other day. People were told they were not to receive Holy Communion more than once per year. I marveled, because where I am, people have been essentially told they really ought not come to the church, ever. So some of the current elements have succeeded where the Jannsenists failed.

  32. Uxixu says:

    The Diocese of St. Petersburg could use a pamphlet with the quotation from Sacrosanctum Concilium with quotations from:

    paragraph 54:
    “Nevertheless steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass”

    and paragraph 112:

    “The musical tradition of the Universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art.” and “”Sacred music is to be considered the more holy in proportion as it is the more closely connected with the liturgical action itself.”

    and paragraph 114:

    “The Church acknowledges Gregorian Chant as specially suited to the Roman Liturgy. Therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.”

    hat tip to Fr. Fessio’s excellent article on what the Council intended for the partially vernacular Mass versus what we actually have:

  33. mburn16 says:

    I was indeed referring to the Anglican Ordinate, or, more properly, the Anglican Use Liturgy. See here:

    With differences of course, but I think this provides a good illustration of, at least, the general direction in which things will move.

  34. Nan says:


    From the time of SS Cyril and Methodius, Mass was also offered in Slavonic.

    @APX, see above. Vernacular was offered in Slavic lands long before in other locations. In the 80’s I sang in the choir of a radical dissident parish in Ljublana, the former Roman city of Emona, which is my explanation for Latin being the vernacular. The parish ignored that whole VII Mass change thing.

  35. Tradster says:

    So since the diocese is saying pre-VII is bad will they be punished by having the NO taken away and told they must use only the TLM? Fair is fair, right? Yeah, right.

  36. The Cobbler says:

    “Before the document, people … did not receive the blood of Christ at all.”
    Leaving aside the doctrinal issue here and just assuming they meant to refer to the accidents of wine, I thought it was not that people didn’t receive under that kind at all, but rather that they reserved it for high feasts as a symbol of joy. Not sure where I heard that one, but…

    “Did you know that before the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Mass was only offered in Latin – not in the multiple languages allowed today?”
    If by “Mass” you mean the Latin rite only… I mean, I guess the others do tend to call it “the Divine Liturgy”, but I always thought those were different names for the same thing preferred by different rites, more than different names for the same thing in different rites, let alone different names for different things, you know what I mean?

    I find it particularly interesting that the flyer uses citations of Sacrosanctum Concilium. I would be mightily surprised to discover that Sacrosanctum Concilium contains these factual (and in some cases doctrinal) errors. It seems like the flyer is committing the same fallacy commited by the folks who think councils that defined xyz dogma, against Protestants or Arians or whoever, therefore must have invented the doctrine in question — the assumption that if the council said it, it must not have been said before, even if actually reading the council’s records reveals that the basis for it was all manner of examples of how it’s already been taught. (Funny how Vatican II, Trent and Nicea all get the didn’t-actually-read-it treatment, but only Vatican II gets it from people who claim to be for its teachings.)

  37. lsclerkin says:

    A disturbance in the force, indeed, Father.
    A not too subtle swipe.
    Every time I see these things now, it’s confirmation that truth and tradtion are back and being felt big time.
    Progressives feeling a disturbance in their “force”?


  38. CharlesG says:

    I don’t think RCIA in and of itself is such a bad thing, it is just that it seems many of the people running it seem of questionable orthodoxy and the catechism is rather shallow. In the RCIA program I went through, I don’t recall anything blatantly heretical, but I did a lot of self education from catechetical resources on my own in addition to the classes. I thought the whole “inquiry” half of the year was rather a waste, but my interest was increased when we got to the catechetical classes proper. I wish they had been a bit more meaty, but there you go. In an ideal world and Church, which unfortunately we are not in, bishops and priests would ensure that these programs are run by orthodox teachers and that the catechetical instruction is orthodox and rigorous.

  39. Volanges says:

    Netmilsmom, I thought it was a telling comment the other day when someone posted on Facebook “They’ve stopped teaching Latin in most high schools and have started teaching remedial English in university.”

  40. Volanges says:

    CharlesG, unfortunately most parishes have few people who would really qualify to teach RCIA. In my experience the people teaching it are, in many cases, volunteers who have an interest in it but no specific training.

    It’s the same with catechetics. When I read that to teach religious ed. in the US you have to have degree in it I’m amazed. I’m in Canada and at no time have I known a parish catechist to need anything more than free time. I’ve taught it and have no training. I felt totally unprepared and when I asked the kids at the end of the first year what they’d learned they told me they’d learned a lot about leprosy. You’re 9 years old and you ask the nurse/catechist what leprosy is in RE class and chances are you’re going to get a detailed answer. ;)

    A few years later I ended up teaching the Confirmation/First Communion program. If you followed the book exactly, as in don’t deviate from the scripted page, you were OK but if they asked a question? Many catechists weren’t prepared to answer.

  41. Jack Phinn says:

    Bishop Lynch of St. Petersburg is not a fan of the EF. From his blog:

    “My personal memory of the liturgy prior to Vatican II is an awful one. I remember the daily Requiem Masses screeched by the eighth grade girls of St. Charles Borromeo parish in Peru, Indiana, mandatory prior to the start of every school day, and even with their screeching, the Mass gratefully only lasted about twenty minutes. Communion distributed to the kneeling at the altar rail was more comic than reverent (remember hearing the words “Corpus Domini. . .as the priest started at one end and then eternam” as he reached the thirtieth person kneeling?). Also strong in my memory remain Masses on Holy Days of Obligation when at the beginning of Mass, during the Offertory and at the Pater Noster, the assistant priests would come out and give communion to anyone who needed to “duck out” and get back to work (this was especially true at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York even when the Cardinal was the celebrant). Adult choirs attempting Mozart were only slightly better in most churches than the eighth grade girls at St. Charles. My grandparents and parents taught us to distract ourselves during Mass by following their example and either praying the Rosary continuously throughout Mass or attempting to follow along using a Missal which had Latin on one side of the fold and the English translation on the other. It was mystery, for sure, but not the kind of mystery which is reverentially spoken of now for the past. Monsignor Wadsworth calls in his talk for more attention to be paid by celebrants to the General Instruction to the Roman Missal which guides the liturgical celebration. I agree but he had better be careful for the growing practice of shielding the celebrants from congregants with candles and crosses of such size as to block the vision of many at Mass is explicitly forbidden in the same GIRM. ” – July 17, 2012

    – See more at:

  42. benedetta says:

    Oh well. In that case then with the reform we went from bad to worse, since my experience growing up with the ordinary form such as it was in every area he raises was far worse, and, on top of it, we had angry priests, abusers, professional church haters and dissenters. And yet with all the reforms people by and large in this country have stayed away from the Church, leading with his own generation. So apparently it wasn’t what they all were looking for after all although they designed it all according to their preferences and according to what they loathed about attending Mass in their youth. Pretty sad overall.

  43. Priam1184 says:

    If one would like to look at the Second Vatican Council with sobriety then I suggest that the Holy Father call another to correct all of the the pernicious errors that have invaded the Church over the last half century, and to put Vatican II in its place as just one of many ecumenical councils and not the start of a new religion as so many attempt to portray it.

    PS I realize Father that you don’t have the authority to call a Council and I appreciate the fact that you tolerate my repeated ventings on this essential and necessary but all too often entirely undiscussed topic.

  44. C N says:

    Not surprising anyone here, but my RCIA class was also a complete joke. The tragedy was that the person who ran it had a degree in religious education, the priest was phenomenal and really stuck to church teachings and doctrine. In a super liberal college town, the priest was able to hold that parish grounded in true Catholic teaching… If only he could have taught our class.

    Yet there were so many fluff and “feel good” sessions it seemed like all they were trying to do was make the non-Catholics who were taking the class feel like they weren’t actually converting it joining a church that was far different and more fulfilling than anything they were already attending.
    Make the sinful college students feel good (yes, I include myself in that criticism). Make the contracepting couples feel good. Make everyone feel good about their political tendencies that do not align with the Church. I didn’t learn anything about Catholicism from RCIA. I was just fortunate enough to have good Catholic friends.

  45. Pingback: Ignorance, Sheer Ignorance | The American Catholic

  46. pigg0214 says:

    TIA just posted a great article about “active participation”.


  47. robtbrown says:

    Where do they dig up these people who produce this kid of garbage?

  48. tcreek says:

    Bishop Robert Lynch would have no trouble to “dig up these people…”

  49. Bob Glassmeyer says:

    Being Catholic is a joy. It is hard work, too, but it is a joy, and no mistake.

    For a long time, it was hard for me to find joy in being Catholic, due in part to many of the misconceptions promoted – in parishes, in the confessional, and in the seminary. Being in seminary was one of the best things that ever happened to me, and I still know it was a profoundly grace-full experience, in spite of some of the crazy stuff going on there. The formation team loved us, and would have taken a bullet for us – that’s how much they loved us. We were blessed men for this. Glory to our good God!

    Looking back on much of what was happening in the Church, particularly in the 1980’s, I’m amazed at how we were sold a bill of goods, and our patrimony “sold for a pottage of lentils” and sent down the river. Not only was the baby thrown out with the bath water, but, as Fr. Andrew Greeley said once (may God grant him rest and take care of his family) “they threw the Baby’s Mother out, too,” and also, the Baby wasn’t done with His bath! By the by, if you want to read a good criticism of RCIA, read Fr. Greeley’s article “Against the RCIA” in the 1989 volume of America Magazine. I wish I still had my copy. (Yes, Fr. Greeley wrote questionable some stuff, but this was spot on).

    A good friend of mine went through the RCIA. He is a lovely man, a dear friend, a committed Christian, and a joyful baby Catholic. His love for the Lord and for the Church is unmistakable and contagious! Still, I wonder at times about the stuff he was taught in his RCIA class. I told him once that it was important to me that his “catechists” teach him the Truth, because he is my dear friend, I love him, and I don’t want him being spiritually malnourished and spiritually endangered.

    Once I asked my friend if his RCIA class taught what the four ends of the Mass are. He said they had not. That said volumes! What’s sad, among other things, is that while there are good RCIA teachers out there, teachers who are orthodox, what we so often see is the “I’m okay, you’re okay” version of Catholicism, taught by converts who are often every bit as Protestant as they were before they joined the Church. My friend and I have shared our faith together throughout our friendship (in fact, we shared faith the first day we met!), and once he said to me, “Bob, I can see what you need is tradition.” Well, okay, but what I need is for people – from RCIA teachers, to seminary professors, to priests – to stop messing around with the Catholic Faith and diluting it!

    We were given a great deal of ideology that was treated as theology and spirituality, and I, like many others, ate it up with a large soup spoon and even asked for seconds. Sure, it sounds great, gets us all fired up, and we think the stuff is the cat’s pajamas…until we’re face to face with evil, and are totally unprepared, or realize that, after how many years, we are spiritually starved, and wonder why.

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