Bp. Zubik (D. Pittburgh): “The No. 1 priority has to be, ‘We need to make our worship better.’”

Bp David ZubikI was sent an article from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about Bp. David Zubik and his view of, plans for the Diocese entrusted to his care. Apparently the horizon is pretty dark for the Church in Pittsburgh (as it is in many places) and some changes have to be made. Here is some of the article with my usual emphases and comments.  

There is one point, the first point, about his first priority, that really struck me:

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh must focus on “better homilies, better music and more people” as its six-county territory attempts to reverse a series of “sobering” trends and prepares for a major overhaul in 2018, Bishop David Zubik said Wednesday.

The No. 1 priority has to be, ‘We need to make our worship better,’” [YES! A thousand times YES!  As I have been shouting for decades now, no undertaking or project we initiate in the Church will bear lasting fruit unless we revitalize our sacred liturgical worship of God!  The first thing we owe to God, by the virtue of religion, is worship.  If we don’t have that in order in the hierarchy of priorities, nothing else will be in order.] Zubik told the Tribune-Review. “Second of all, we need to do the best job that we can to get not only more ordained leaders, but we really have to open up lots of doors for the lay leaders of the church.”  [Work on vocations to the PRIESTHOOD.  And I know a way to foster BOTH revitalized worship AND vocations: the Extraordinary Form of Holy Mass!  Widespread use of the Traditional Rite will shift the way priests say the Novus Ordo, their ars celebrandi.  That will have an knock-on effect in parishes, congregations.  Also, it will draw more vocations to the priesthood. For the love of God and of the Church, train seminarians in LATIN (explicitly required by the 1983 Code of Canon Law, can. 249) and the older, traditional form of the Mass and the Office.  If they don’t know the Extraordinary Form then they don’t know their Rite! And if they don’t know their Rite, they haven’t been properly formed in seminary!  Thus, when they come to ordination, and someone attests that they were properly formed….]

The Pittsburgh diocese is closing in on the parishioner-input phase of a comprehensive planning initiative called “On Mission for the Church Alive!,” through which leaders are examining how to strengthen church participation, reorganize aging infrastructure and make the most of dwindling resources.

They’re up against dismal data.

The number of active Catholics within the Pittsburgh diocese has declined rapidly in recent decades, from 914,000 in 1980 to 632,000 in 2015, diocesan figures show.

Since 2000, weekly Mass attendance has dropped by 40 percent [whew!] — for almost 100,000 fewer regular churchgoers; K-8 Catholic school enrollment fell by 50 percent; and the number of active priests plummeted from 338 to 225.

By 2025, if trends hold, the diocese projects that just 112 active priests will remain.  [I’ll say it again: EXTRAORDINARY FORM!]

[…]

Empty pews correlate with dwindling coffers: About half of almost 200 parishes lost money in 2015, compared with one-third of parishes operating in the red in 2012, Zubik said.

Critics of a massive reorganization — such as small groups of parishioners who’ve fought recent closures of cash-strapped churches — worry that too much emphasis will be placed on consolidation breaking up longtime faith communities.  [Want to revive a church?  Try the EXTRAORDINARY FORM!]

 

[…]

There is a lot more to read and it is rather grim, alas.  I’m afraid that this is the situation all over.   I know a diocese in Louisiana which will lose 50% of their priests over the next 5 years.   This is GRIM people.  It’s heading straight at us like the Big Death Meteor.

And those are only the problems within the Church.  We also are going to have to contend – soon – with horrific pressure from without, especially if a certain criminally negligent un-named woman candidate is elected and starts retooling the Supreme Court in her own ghastly culture of death image.

Let’s try something old/new.   The older Mass built our Church back in the day.  I think it can be a principle tool for rebuilding the Church in our day.

I know that this post will be read in chanceries across these USA.  Please, Fathers, Bishops, open your hearts to this proposal.  Let’s return to the basics and take to heart what Benedict proposed: side by side use of the two rites, extraordinary and ordinary.

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51 Responses to Bp. Zubik (D. Pittburgh): “The No. 1 priority has to be, ‘We need to make our worship better.’”

  1. KingofCharity says:

    The problem is the triple blow from liberally infiltrated public schools, diabolical catechesis from the institutional Church, and the total immersion of self in social media.
    Public schools have been deliberately producing atheists for the past 40 years. Kids are taught the myth that there is an intrinsic contradiction between reason and faith, science and Christianity. A lie. They are taught that rational, enlightened, modern global citizens believe in science and religious fundamentalists and extremists believe in God. They are given the impression that they must choose between science and their faith. This myth is destroying the Church and religious belief in general. There are public school teachers who are recommending kids read books like “God Is Not Great” by Hitchens and “God Delusion” by Dawkins.
    The Church must reclaim her position as not only the guardian of the “deposit of faith” and orthodox Christian doctrine, but also the guardian and protector all that is true, good, and beautiful. She must reclaim herself as the patron of the sciences, arts, philosophy, and humanities. The Church is the guardian of civilization. She feeds and protects the family, and therefore, protects civilization. We must show young kids that Catholicism is highly intelligent, faithful, and rational and the bedrock of civilization. There is NO contradiction between Catholicism and a true humanism spirit rooted in faith.
    The kids come out of high school and college thinking like moral Darwinists– as a result, they embrace hedonism and consumerism.
    The old are dying and the young are leaving- that is the problem.
    In addition, the institutional church has had horrible catechesis.

    The extreme emphasis on “dialogue,” “tolerance,” “diversity,” “cultural pluralism,” and “religious ecumenism” has decimated the fragile minds of our youth. It has not generated more compassionate, understanding youth. Rather, the extreme and misguided emphasis on these ideas have been falsely interpreted by our youth as moral and religious relativism. As a result, the institutional church and public schools have generated moral relativists and atheists.

    The real problem is not just within the RCC. Professed atheists, agnostics, and “nones” are starting to sky rocket. This is a direct result from public schools, the church’s misplaced emphasis on false ecumenism, and social media. Catholic parents allow kids to spend way too much time immersed in the wasteland of social media and the Internet. Without parental guidance and supervision, social media will bombard them with progressive, liberal, and modernists ideas about politics, sexuality, religion, and morality.

  2. James in Perth says:

    I am sorry to hear this news but glad to see Bishop Zubik is facing up to reality and taking appropriate actions. I remember when he first assumed leadership in Pittsburgh. He was very confident that he could significantly increase the number of vocations in the diocese. Unfortunately, while the numbers have been steady there simply have not been enough.

    Let us all continue to support and pray for this holy bishop and the Pittsburgh diocesan seminarians.

  3. chantgirl says:

    Last weekend, out of necessity, I was not able to take my children to our regular EF Mass. I took them to a local NO Mass which tends to be more reverent (although I chafe at the altar girls and the music). I had been a parishioner at this parish only eight years ago and noticed a dramatic aging of the people in the pews. This is one of your bustling, well-funded suburban parishes which still has a functional school. I looked around at approximately 150-175 people and perhaps 15-20 were under the age of 50. In fact, the brand new young priest saying Mass was so excited to see my gaggle of children that he rushed to greet us in the back after Mass like we were magical unicorns or something. I felt a moment of kinship with him because we are young Catholics trying to pass something on so that Catholicism still exists in a few generations. This parish may be able to hold on for a few decades because of their money, but if they don’t find a way to transmit the faith to the next generation and pray for their lost sheep, there may be no one in the pews in 15 years.

  4. Thomas Sweeney says:

    Needless to say I heartily applaud this Bishop. Since Vatican II we have lost sight of our reason for being, the First Commandment clearly spells that out. For 1969 years, our ancestors developed our worship of God, in a way that was sublime and personal. A return to that way, in my mind, would be pleasing to God and beneficial for the salvation of our souls.

  5. Good. I am tired of having people equate true liturgical reform with rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. If liturgical abuses are not big enough to bother about, then nothing ever will be. That’s why we are where we are.

  6. Absit invidia says:

    Let’s hope some other leaders are listening. We may need another way of getting through to them, because it seems that this Bishop’s solid and well thought out suggestions as well as Cardinal Sarah’s advice is being brushed under the rug. These good men are getting the “ignore them until it goes away” treatment.

  7. Dan says:

    We turned the liturgy in on the people and the people decided they were more important than the liturgy, we literally turned our backs to God. With God set aside why would anyone come?
    Turn around, face the Lord, Ad Orientem, Traditional Latin Mass.

  8. capchoirgirl says:

    It’s about time!
    I spend a lot of time in this diocese because I have extended family there. The last two times I’ve been at Mass at my grandmother’s church, the number of liturgical abuses has been staggering. Not just points of taste that could be different–actual, verifiable points of abuse. It’s terrible. There are some wonderful parishes in the diocese, but far too many of them have gone to drum Masses, absolutely ZERO reverence, and priests that change the words of Mass whenever they feel like it.
    I was just there last month and I remember thinking–this is one parish that could USE ad orientem worship! There needs to be proper, reverent liturgical celebration brought back.

  9. iPadre says:

    When the bishop says we need better Liturgical “music,” I ask, What does that mean? For me it means chant and polyphony, for others it means Haugen and Hass, and for others it means Praise & Worship music. These things need to be spelled out today. Let’s begin with the official documents – chant, polyphony and actually singing the propers as they are mean to be. Sing the Mass, not songs surrounding the Mass.

    [Right. We can start by doing what the Council asked: Gregorian chant and polyphony. And let’s do stick to the texts of Holy Mass!]

  10. KingofCharity says:

    But the problem runs much deeper than just liturgical reform. [No one is suggesting that it is the only problem.] Bad liturgy is just the outward fruit of a much bigger and deeper spiritual and intellectual problem. Bad liturgy is a reflection of bad theology and doctrine, but also bad philosophy. [Bad liturgy also causes the problems and a vicious cycle begins. But liturgical restoration is an essential part of the cure, a sine qua non.] The greatest irony of the modern age is that they have rejected philosophy as a legitimate school of human knowledge and laugh at Catholic Scholastics, yet, the modern age is running exclusively on their own secular humanist philosophy with dogmatic vigor.
    Generations of Catholic students have been indoctrinated by the Marxism, secular humanism, philosophical materialism, and scientism that underlies all education in public schools. Many well- intentioned teachers have simply accepted these philosophical foundations and aren’t even aware. They, too, are unsuspecting victims of this philosophical poison fed to them in their college years. Unknowingly, these teachers go on to perpetuate these dangerous philosophies. However, a good number of teachers are very aware of these philosophies and continue to push them on kids. So either way, public schools, the institution responsibly for educating and forming the vast majority of American Catholics is a cesspool of liberalism.
    These philosophical values are then constantly reinforced in social media and simply become “reality” for kids.
    Due to their destroyed and distorted intellects from public education, they no longer can recognize what is good, true, and beautiful . . . . simply because they no longer believe that anything is objectively good, true, and beautiful. They have unconsciously embraced a secular humanist philosophy that inevitably leads to moral and religious relativism. In addition, ambiguous, misleading, and flat out erroneous teachings from he church about the “primacy of conscience” have confused many kids and has contributed to their growing acceptance of relativism, skepticism, and agnosticism.
    That is the problem.

    We have to fix their intellects and consciences while simultaneously correcting and restoring beautiful liturgy.
    The current Novus Ordo appears as just another service of the world. There is nothing special or unique about it that “sets it apart” from this world. WHY would any kid or adult think that the Catholic Church is the one objective reality founded by Christ IF our liturgy looks like every other commonplace service of this world? Trying to “meet people where they are” and playing on the world’s terms, we can not compete. We don’t hold up. We fail miserably. So no wonder kids want to leave the Catholic Church and go to a fun, emotive church? They are playing on worldly standards like comfy seats, fun music, movie screens, volleyball courts, etc. If we try to play that game . . . .we will always lose. We are not good at that and never will be. Even if we do become good at it, we are so far behind the rest of the world and Protestantism, that we will always be a few steps behind. Base on current bad Novus Ordo liturgies, there is nothing that cries out with objective beauty, objective truth, and transcendence.
    However, the Tridentine Mass reminds all observers that: 1) God is real. 2) there are metaphysical, supernatural, and transcendent realities, and 3) objective beauty is real. 3) The Catholic Church really is “not of this world.” 4) The Mass of the Catholic Church provides a beautiful and “other world” sanctuary from he humdrum, mundane, mediocre, and common noise of this world.
    How do we fix their intellects so that they can recognize objective truth, goodness, and beauty?
    Home schooling

  11. MitisVis says:

    This article fits timely with some recent information I was not previously aware. Many diocese supplement their priest numbers with missionary priests from other countries. For the last 15 years or so I’ve taken it upon myself to meet these priests and introduce and inform them of other priests in the two dioceses I’m close to, so they may speak to brother priests in their own language or similar, find confessors etc in what must be a very difficult assignment fresh off the boat so to speak. In most cases these priests have been from India, Nigeria, Tanzania and Poland and a few from other African nations. Also in most cases these priests have been formed rock solid and their only shortcomings at times is their accent.

    After my youngest son received his First Confession and Communion on the Feast of the Assumption I asked one of these good priests if he knew Latin and whether or not he said the traditional form of Mass. His response was that he had no idea how anyone could be a priest without knowing the language of the Church and the tradition of the Church. An interesting conversation followed and what I was unaware of was, in many cases their seminaries are following can. 249 and they not only know Latin but say the Extraordinary Form. It is not all seminaries but a good number as they too have a few difficult bishops or circumstances are not available.

    I’ve always felt the root of our troubles is the seminary and proper formation, yet as laity and even clerics there has not been any legitimate means to address the core problem. I was lucky enough to address this subject with a neighboring bishop and to his credit did much to straighten out our wayward seminary. This type of opportunity is rare at best if not unheard of. Perhaps as we try and resolve the issues here we might inquire with our missionary priests. It may be we have a resource sent to us by God’s grace, or with a little training an alternate option. Since the future will probably include more of these missionary priests it might even merit writing the appropriate bishop overseas to thank and encourage them and their faithfulness. I feel it is worth considering and looking at more closely.

    I wish Bishop Zubik all the proper success.

  12. William says:

    This diocese did everything it could to prevent the Pius X Society from buying and restoring a beautiful, old, suppressed church. Alas, they failed and the Church of St. James is reclaimed, gorgeous and up and running. By their fruits ye shall know them!

  13. JohnMa says:

    iPadre hit the nail on the head re: what type of music is His Excellency speaking about. Based upon his comments at the last On Mission for the Church Alive meeting, he means praise and worship music.

    Also, why won’t his excellency celebrate the EF at the personal quasi-parish in the diocese?

  14. robtbrown says:

    KingofCharity says:

    But the problem runs much deeper than just liturgical reform. Bad liturgy is just the outward fruit of a much bigger and deeper spiritual and intellectual problem. Bad liturgy is a reflection of bad theology and doctrine, but also bad philosophy. The greatest irony of the modern age is that they have rejected philosophy as a legitimate school of human knowledge and laugh at Catholic Scholastics . . .

    You are minimizing the consequences of Latin liturgy.

    Latin liturgy requires the study of Latin, and the study of Latin means the study of grammar, one of the three members of the Trivium (Logic and Rhetoric being the other), which are the prerequisite to the study of philosophy.

    I have a good friend who for years was the head of the FSSP spiritual year (the de facto novitiate). During that year he taught them the basics of English grammar, which he considered a must before the study of Latin is begun. How can the Nominative and Accusative be taught if they don’t know the difference between a Subject and Object? There were some who were unable to grasp these basic concepts and left formation.

    Latin was eliminated from the liturgy and seminary formation for the same reason that philosophy was all but jettisoned. Theology became Existentialist, thus highly subjective. Truth was crowded out to make room for opinion.

  15. marthawrites says:

    A note of hope: I understand that the seminarians studying for the Diocese of Pittsburgh are top-notch. Let us pray for them and the future of the Church in that great city and diocese.

  16. Prayerful says:

    Bp Zubick is someone who has made considerable efforts to uphold Church teaching urging people to be mindful of its teaching on abortion and same sex marriage. He lamented Pres Obama’s commencement address to Notre Dame University, but his statement about not being attached to buildings and his support for immigration reform (which often means Open Borders) does show he is no stalwart conservative. +Zubick merits our prayers, as do all priests and bishops, even those with whom we disagree, but I don’t see him as a supporter of the Mass Of All Time. His prescription appears to be more of the same, Praise and Worship/Folk Masses, which really are not a good thing (doing the same things which have failed again won’t bring success).

    Yet switching to TLM is easier said than done. There are not too many priests with sufficient education, or any education, in Latin. St John Vianney was considered to be weak in Latin, but the minimum in the early nineteenth century would likely be daunting even to priests considered good with Latin nowadays.

  17. tlawson says:

    Great news…well, good news, at least. I don’t think the bishop fully “gets it” – like most bishops (and priests) today. [And you are making this judgment based on a few quotes in a secular newspaper article…. ?] It’s not (merely) a matter of “making” worship “better” (although, as Fr Z points out, it IS the sine qua non). As pointed out above in a couple of different comments, going back to the documents (the real ones, which talk about REALITY) is necessary, but relatively few today can even do THAT without getting sidetracked, or simply stuck. Going further, people need to know the WHY — hence the fundamental requirement for a solid, realistic metaphysical foundation, which too, too, too few have.

    Thus, the (supposed) “defenders” and “teachers” of The Faith, our bishops (and priests), mostly, since they have no philosophical foundation to their formation (and/or no one to clue them in to its incredible importance), have no real clue as to the reality and truth of what they are supposed to defend/teach.

    The liturgy, The Mass…is The Center of Reality. Anything less than that awareness –and proclamation — is not fit to be taught to God’s People.

    Jesus and Mary, please send us more like Cardinal Sarah, and please stop sending us the smiling, “I’m OK, you’re OK” naïve kind that we are so full of in the West.

  18. joan ellen says:

    “‘We need to make our worship better.'” as per Bishop Zubik. The form of Mass is one consideration. The priest & his formation is another & adherence to the rubrics another. The parishioner is yet another.

    The parishioner can start by dressing for worship of the one, true God…not for the golf course…but for Jesus, the Son of God. Women can start by dressing as women & distinguishing themselves from the men by wearing modest tops/skirts & dresses. Women can let the men be the leaders. Two times I have seen women tell the men who were going to do the readings at Mass that they were going to do them instead. The men, in the kindness of their hearts, let the women do the readings.

    Modern psychology, (aka atheistic humanism), along with modern social communications, emphasize the self in a selfish manner. This in contrast to Catholicism & the Gospel, (aka theistic humanism) & self examination, as for the Sacrament of Confession, emphasizing the self as Jesus & His Church would have us do, along with re-emphasizing the family school…all as commented on by KingofCharity…is, it seems to me, moving in the right direction…towards Eternity, not Nirvana.

  19. joan ellen says:

    Back again RE: atheistic humanism…some, maybe a major portion, of the problem…a dwindling church… lies here…& not exclusively with the Liturgy…though I certainly applaud efforts to ‘Make the Liturgy Better’. But, also…sometimes it has been written, for example, that ‘depression’ is spiritual & chemical. That Confession can take care of the sins…& that psychiatry can take care of the chemical.

    Well…if ‘mental’ illness is about my sin…my burden…or the sin of others…their burdens…(which becomes my baggage, if I allow it) & chemistry…let the cook adjust her (or his) kitchen chemistry to accommodate the chemical problem(s) in the family. Why not use natural chemicals from the kitchen?

    The problems we have can be ‘fixed’ with graces from the Liturgy & the Sacraments, Prayer, adhering to the Moral Order, & ‘Keeping the Faith’ as given to us in the Creed. Imagine…the 4 Parts of the Catechism of the Catholic Church delivering ‘us from evil’…along with good Kitchen Chemistry. Thanks be to God.

  20. SundaySilence says:

    Brief observation on NO: Last week while speaking with our priest I said “I feel bad for you (priests) during Mass. How can you possibly give your total attention to Our Father when you have so many people in front of you as distractions? Especially during the Consecration.”

  21. frjim4321 says:

    I think some of the problems are: (1) The “Crisis.” (2) Sports has become the new god. Young families are running around to sports activities all weekend. It’s about scholarships and upward mobility. (3) No more suspension of disbelief with regard to clergy and religious. Father and Sister are no longer automatically considered experts in the community, and in many cases they are not (as was the case two generations ago) the most highly educated individuals in the locale. (4) Pop culture. (5) Catholics have “arrived,” and are now caught up in the consumer mentality.

  22. CalvinistConvert says:

    Oh Father, you are just full of fun this week…first with the Jesuit Mockery and now with Bishop Zubik’s priority to “make our worship better”….Trust me, the direction he wants to move worship is not in the direction you are thinking and are correctly encouraging … [I don’t know that. Although if he has in mind to make the liturgical worship of the diocese more along the lines of what are usually billed as “youth Masses”, everything they do there will probably fail.]

  23. SaintJude6 says:

    I think the use of the title “On Mission for the Church Alive!” says it all. This is going to end up being about making the worship “more relevant.” The parishes in our area are all on this “forming intentional disciples” and “weekend experience” kick right now as well. More musicians, slide shows during the homily, small study groups, LifeTeen Masses (everybody be sure to wear your LifeTeen t-shirt to Mass and sing along with the band), more “Eucharistic Ministers,” etc…
    And that is why my family drives 30 miles to get to the sanity, beauty, and reverence of the TLM parish.

  24. Gabriel Syme says:

    The Bishop correctly identifies one of the main necessities of the restoration – the restoration of authentic Catholic worship.

    A stumbling block to this, in my opinion, is the great pride of the older hierarchy who cannot bring themselves to admit that changing the liturgy to mimic protestant worship was a major error (and from men who should have known better). This is why we hear mostly about “making improvements”, as opposed to a “returning to what is authentic.”

    The solution will be the biological one, as elderly Bishops are replaced by younger men who do not feel their own honour is tied to the erroneous direction of the post-conciliar Church.

    Liturgy should reinforce the truths of our faith, and lift the hearts and minds of the people to God. And it should provide a direct link between Catholics throughout the ages. What is mainstream currently is instead designed chiefly to give a platform to false ecumenism and to glorify lay people (especially women and girls) in order to make them feel important. Its garbage.

    The other main necessity of the restoration is a return to proper catechesis, as opposed to the wishy-washy rubbish inflicted on at least 3 generations now. After 13 years of Catholic schooling, (1982 – 1995), my total knowledge of the faith was being able to say an Our Father and a Hail Mary. That was it. (No wonder I lapsed as soon as I could at that time.)

    Of course, I was taught all about the Jewish faith and I could describe Jewish liturgical items and even knew words and phrases in Hebrew. And I knew how supposedly brilliant the Protestants were. But I knew very little about Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church. I will ensure my own children receive better.

  25. PTK_70 says:

    The beloved pope emeritus left a great gift to the family of God in completely destigmatizing use of the Missal of 1962. After Summorum, it makes perfect sense that Roman Catholic priests should be trained in both forms of the ROMAN RITE, ordinary and extraordinary.

    The ordinary form of the ROMAN RITE can certainly be celebrated with beauty and reverence but at the end of the day, it’s up to the celebrant-priest (who sets the tone for Mass), the pastor (who fosters the “culture” of the parish) and the bishop (who can choose to provide “top cover” for young priests aiming for change).

  26. Kerry says:

    iPadre, Amen! Chant and polyphony are prayer. The mass does not need background music.

  27. clarinetist04 says:

    There is an EF Latin Mass community in Pittsburgh at the beautiful Church of St. Boniface on I-279 heading south into Pittsburgh (they call themselves the “St. John XXIII Parish” – they are part of the Diocese, not an SSPX or other irregular entity). The mass there is faithful, beautiful, reverent, and well-attended. Bishop Zubik is not an opponent of the Latin Mass and I think there might be another EF mass in the diocese too but I can’t remember where.

    Masses in the suburbs of Pittsburgh have always been a little…..”hokey” where I’ve been (my family is from there and I went to college there). That’s been around much longer than Zubik (I’m thinking about the tenures of Bevilacqua and Wuerl). I’ve never seen any evidence that he’s on the “Marty Haugen” bandwagon (or worse), but he is certainly someone who has promoted reverent liturgy in the past. So the few posters who say his comments shouldn’t be read in a necessarily “positive” light – it would be interesting to here WHY you say that.

  28. Athelstan says:

    Reading chantgirl’s recounting of her expedition into a Pittsburgh parish with her children was sobering – and all too familiar. In too many parishes, too few young people or children, and however bad it is now, you wonder what will happen to these parishes when the Boomers finally vanish from the scene. It’s not just priests they will be running short of, but laity, too (actually, given the stats in the story, that’s a present tense concern, too).

    It’s frustrating that His Excellency does not spell out what is meant by “better worship.” I have also heard that he seems keen on praise and worship music. There *is* an audience for that sort of thing, but the hard realities are that a) we’ll never do that kind of thing as well as the evangelicals do, and b) it’s not what the church’s teachings and tradition present as our model for Mass.

  29. Athelstan says:

    Reading chantgirl’s recounting of her expedition into a Pittsburgh parish with her children was sobering – and all too familiar. In too many parishes, too few young people or children, and however bad it is now, you wonder what will happen to these parishes when the Boomers finally vanish from the scene. It’s not just priests they will be running short of, but laity, too (actually, given the stats in the story, that’s a present tense concern, too).

    It’s frustrating that His Excellency does not spell out what is meant by “better worship.” I have also heard that he seems keen on praise and worship music. There *is* an audience for that sort of thing, but the hard realities are that a) we’ll never do that kind of thing as well as the evangelicals do, and b) it’s not what the church’s teachings and tradition present as our model for Mass.

  30. CalvinistConvert says:

    clarintist04 they call themselves the St John XXIII (!!!!!) parish because Bishop Zubik chose this name for them….they actually called themselves the Latin Mass Community of St Therese of Lisieux .
    As to WHY we say this see JohnMA comment “Based upon his comments at the last On Mission for the Church Alive meeting, he means praise and worship music.” and also i would suggest you go and talk to some of the young priests who have tried to bring Tradition into their parishes….it is not welcomed ,in fact many times they have been disciplined for doing so.

  31. KingofCharity says:

    Playing the “let’s be cool,” and “let’s be more welcoming and engaging” and “let’s meet the kids where they’re at” game hasn’t worked and doesn’t work. It makes us look like desperate panderers. It makes us look as if we’ve lost our way and all we can do is try to be “like evangelicals.” But this doesn’t work. In fact, it is part of the problem. The reason our kids are running off to “more fun” churches is because we try so hard to be like them. We play the worldly emotive game.
    Ask any teacher or parent: what happens to students or children when you try to “meet them where they are” and be extra “understanding”? What happens to kids when you “compromise” on the rules to be more compassionate and understanding? Kids and students eventually lose respect for you. They push the boundaries. They think you are foolish and that they can easily take advantage of you. Even the “good kids.” If they think you are a push over, you’ve lost. Effective parents and teachers are those who remain loving, yet strong and firm. If they do compromise, it is always on their terms. They are disciplinarian, not permissive. We need the Church to be a firm, loving disciplinarian Mother, not a “cool Mom” who tries desperately to get “her children to like her.”

    Ultimately, people will believe in what they know is “true,” not on emotion or how good the music is or how many programs a church has for teenagers, or how “warm” the fellowship is. In fact, faith in general is dying in America because it has been running on “warm emotions” and “feel good” music for so long, but once that wears off and the emotions are gone, people are left with nothing. They have no real intellectual faith to fall back on and no sturdy, dependable institution to rely on. Ultimately, they become religious relativists and “nones.”

    The Church needs to reclaim her moral and doctrinal authority and confidence. People will be attracted to what is true, good, and beautiful.
    True = clear doctrine and strong apologetics for the existence of God, the truth of the existence and resurrection of Jesus, the biblical and historical truth of Catholicism, the compatibility between Catholicism and science, reason and faith. Orthodox catechesis in ALL church institutions- secondary schools, colleges, RCIA, CCD, etc.
    Good = Reclaim our rich treasury of moral teaching- promote all of our social teaching, promote our charities, universities and hospitals, live the beatitudes, live the corporeal and spiritual works of mercy, promote the cardinal virtues and theological virtues, cultivate the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit. We have a treasury of spiritual tools and resources to transform our dead secular culture.
    Beautiful = Latin liturgy, authentic and reverent Novus Ordo masses, sacred music, sacred art, beautiful statuary, transcendent architecture, patrons of the sciences and arts, museums,

  32. tominrichmond says:

    Well, I guess it all depends on what the Bishop means by “better” liturgy… some hints it might not mean a return to our roots include his comment about more lay leaders (usually code for bossy, under-educated laity taking over more and more priestly functions), and the typical AmChurch 70’s-style lingo, “On Mission for the Church Alive!” How many times have we heard that kind of meaningless, Soviet-style slogan used to foist some new cultural revolution on the poor idiots who continue to throw money in the basket.

    I hope and pray I’m wrong, and that the good Bishop has in mind a return to *really* good liturgy and music, but I’m sad to admit, it’s hard to be optimistic when he uses the Newspeak that is often a harbinger of awful things to come. It’s very hard for men who have spent 50 years committed to the revolution to admit it was all a colossal failure.

    These guys are like drunks, they apparently need to hit rock bottom before admitting reality and sobering up. I’m not sure we’re at rock bottom yet.

  33. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear KingofCharity and robtbrown,

    You, both, are pointing to the fact that theology, both within the lay and the priestly domains have been, essentially, corrupted by the subjective. While I agree, I would like to analyze a bit more why this has happened, because these sorts of things don’t happen in a vacuum. Public school, in itself, before 1960 had practically no impact on the religious outlook of students. It was only when students got to college that faith began to dwindle – at least that is the evidence. Of course, it was only in college of that time that students would have been exposed to subjective philosophy. Back in the 1960’s the focus was on catching up with the Russians in space, so science, at every level, was taught raw and objectively, since Nature doesn’t care about your opinion on how fast escape velocity should be.

    What changed between 1960 and 1970 that fomented such deterioration? In every argument, in order to accept a proposition, there must be a warrant for it – some permission granted by an agency one respects. If one looks at history, it is easy to see what happened. The problems did not start in the 1960’s. They started in the 1880’s, truth be told. The 1960’s were when things exploded (and it was an echo of an earlier social explosion).

    I would love to give a lecture on this, but this is a comment box. Suffice it to say that there is a trail leading from Hume to Kant to the German Idealists to Hegel and Marx to Bultmann, the German Bible scholar who, enamored of German science of the 1880’s, founded, “scientific,” Bible research that fed into the emerging Modernism (itself, an off-shoot of German Idealism), to Blondel, the philosopher who began the push towards Nouvelle Theologie, to Freud and Jung, who changed the orientation of analysis of man towards emotional responses. This subjective school went underground during WWI (wars tend to bear little of sentimentality) only to re-emerge with a vengeance in the 1920’s, when society underwent a liberal revolution adopting many of the philosophical outlooks of the Marxist school. Greek and Latin were dropped as compulsory subjects in favor of, “scientific,” (read, John Dewey) education as early as 1913 in the U. S. and many of the problems that would be echoed in the 1960’s emerged during this decade and the early 1930’s (the first X-rated movie was made during this period, fashions became immodest, racism was rampant, and there was a youth movement) – including the first movements toward a reform of the Liturgy that would emerge after Vatican II.

    During WWII, this liberalism, again, went underground. It began to re-emerge after 1950 with the rise of the Beat Generation, who eschewed traditional societal structures of language and morality. The unresolved issues of race and sexuality, present in the 1920’s resurfaced, as well, and coupled with a resurgent youth movement (although, it was second-generation youth after WWII, as the youth of WWII put their energy into regenerating the population and developing suburban growth) made the notion of change the dominant theme of the period. Unlike the 1920’s, however, not only society, but political establishments were, also liberal. Most of the Supreme Court were liberal Roosevelt appointees and, in the famous case, Baker v. Carr (which drove one Justice to a nervous breakdown and, essentially, killed another), the court came under the control of Chief Justice Warren, which began a systematic program of legal positivism, granting aid and shelter to many liberal causes, from birth control and abortion rights, to gender and race equality, etc.

    The effects of these liberal influences touched all areas of society, including the Church. After Pope St. John XII gave admittance to Novelle Theologie at Vatican II (in contradiction to Cardinal Octaviani’s conservative schema) and liberal Protestantism embraced abortion, morality would, obviously, go downhill, rapidly. Social experimentation, so popular in the school of Idealism, took hold and, coupled with the rise of psychology seen as a valid medical field, began its relentless march through primary and secondary educational institutions.

    At the root of all of this is a, how shall I put this, a flaw in statistical reasoning. It would take some time to go into the background of this. All I can say is that many of the principles of liberalism, including its manifestation in religion as Modernism, can be rigorously shown to be incoherent. Until the legs are cut out from under the liberal impulse, I fear that those who hold to objective reality will be in retreat. While a reverent Mass will help, the reasons why the reverent Mass is a closer reflection of reality than a sentimental Mass must be presented, not merely as an option, but at the level of a proof to both the laity and religious, or else, given the intense pressures for autonomy present, today, the sentimental Mass will just go underground, waiting to re-surface at a later time.

    Of course, along with a reverent Mass, other, alternative, “expressions,” of piety have to be shown to be inconsistent. The fastest growing segment of Christianity is the Pentecostal movement, which is autonomous worship pushed to the extreme. It wouldn’t hurt for the Church to crack down on contraception and other antinomian practices, as well. In other words, Mass must form consciences, not consciences form the Mass (or the masses).

    So, how we got to where we are is not unknown to historian, who have known about this bipartite splitting of the Twentieth-century along the axes of the two World Wars for some time. The patterns of social development after each World War are eerily similar, but we missed our Depression in 2008, so society will continue its long rot until either we come to our senses or the inevitable economic collapse occurs sometime within the next 60 years and conservatism is forced upon us.

    Sorry for going on, but while reverence at Mass is important, it is the tip of the iceberg in terms of the underlying driving forces at play in Western society that have been in effect for the last two centuries.

    The Chicken

    P. S. I’ve been a little wordy this week. I think I may try my hand at one word comments for a while :)

  34. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear KingofCharity and robtbrown,

    You, both, are pointing to the fact that theology, both within the lay and the priestly domains have been, essentially, corrupted by the subjective. While I agree, I would like to analyze a bit more why this has happened, because these sorts of things don’t happen in a vacuum. Public school, in itself, before 1960 had practically no impact on the religious outlook of students. It was only when students got to college that faith began to dwindle, I think. Of course, it was only in college of that time that students would have been exposed to subjective philosophy. Back in the 1960’s the focus was on catching up with the Russians in space, so science, at every level, was taught raw and objectively, since Nature doesn’t care about your opinion on how fast escape velocity should be.

    What changed between 1960 and 1970 that fomented such deterioration? In every argument, in order to accept a proposition, there must be a warrant for it – some permission granted by an agency one respects. If one looks at history, it is easy to see what happened. The problems did not start in the 1960’s. They started in the 1880’s, truth be told. The 1960’s were when things exploded (and it was an echo of an earlier social explosion).

    I would love to give a lecture on this, but this is a comment box. Suffice it to say that there is a trail leading from Hume to Kant to the German Idealists to Hegel and Marx to Bultmann, the German Bible scholar who, enamored of German science of the 1880’s, founded, “scientific,” Bible research that fed into the emerging Modernism (itself, an off-shoot of German Idealism), to Blondel, the philosopher who began the push towards Nouvelle Theologie, to Freud and Jung, who changed the orientation of analysis of man towards emotional responses. This subjective school went underground during WWI (wars tend to bear little of sentimentality) only to re-emerge with a vengeance in the 1920’s, when society underwent a liberal revolution adopting many of the philosophical outlooks of the Marxist school. Greek and Latin were dropped as compulsory subjects in favor of, “scientific,” (read, John Dewey) education as early as 1913 in the U. S. and many of the problems that would be echoed in the 1960’s emerged during this decade and the early 1930’s (the first X-rated movie was made during this period, fashions became immodest, racism was rampant, and there was a youth movement) – including the first movements toward a reform of the Liturgy that would emerge after Vatican II.

    During WWII, this liberalism, again, went underground. It began to re-emerge after 1950 with the rise of the Beat Generation, who eschewed traditional societal structures of language and morality. The unresolved issues of race and sexuality, present in the 1920’s resurfaced, as well, and coupled with a resurgent youth movement (although, it was second-generation youth after WWII, as the youth of WWII put their energy into regenerating the population and developing suburban growth) made the notion of change the dominant theme of the period. Unlike the 1920’s, however, not only society, but political establishments were, also liberal. Most of the Supreme Court were liberal Roosevelt appointees and, in the famous case, Baker v. Carr (which drove one Justice to a nervous breakdown and, essentially, killed another), the court came under the control of Chief Justice Warren, which began a systematic program of legal positivism, granting aid and shelter to many liberal causes, from birth control and abortion rights, to gender and race equality, etc.

    The effects of these liberal influences touched all areas of society, including the Church. After Pope St. John XII gave admittance to Novelle Theologie at Vatican II (in contradiction to Cardinal Octaviani’s conservative schema) and liberal Protestantism embraced abortion, morality would, obviously, go downhill, rapidly. Social experimentation, so popular in the school of Idealism, took hold and, coupled with the rise of psychology seen as a valid medical field, began its relentless march through primary and secondary educational institutions.

    At the root of all of this is a, how shall I put this, a flaw in statistical reasoning. It would take some time to go into the background of this. All I can say is that many of the principles of liberalism, including its manifestation in religion as Modernism, can be rigorously shown to be incoherent. Until the legs are cut out from under the liberal impulse, I fear that those who hold to objective reality will be in retreat. While a reverent Mass will help, the reasons why the reverent Mass is a closer reflection of reality than a sentimental Mass must be presented, not merely as an option, but at the level of a proof to both the laity and religious, or else, given the intense pressures for autonomy present, today, the sentimental Mass will just go underground, waiting to re-surface at a later time.

    Of course, along with a reverent Mass, other, alternative, “expressions,” of piety have to be shown to be inconsistent. The fastest growing segment of Christianity is the Pentecostal movement, which is autonomous worship pushed to the extreme. It wouldn’t hurt for the Church to crack down on contraception and other antinomian practices, as well. In other words, Mass must form consciences, not consciences form the Mass (or the masses).

    So, how we got to where we are is not unknown to historian, who have known about this bipartite splitting of the Twentieth-century along the axes of the two World Wars for some time. The patterns of social development after each World War are eerily similar, but we missed our Depression in 2008, so society will continue its long rot until either we come to our senses or the inevitable economic collapse occurs sometime within the next 60 years and conservatism is forced upon us.

    Sorry for going on, but while reverence at Mass is important, it is the tip of the iceberg in terms of the underlying driving forces at play in Western society that have been in effect for the last two centuries.

    The Chicken

    P. S. I’ve been a little wordy this week. I think I may try my hand at one word comments for a while :)

  35. The Masked Chicken says:

    Sorry, for the double comment. The Post button seemed to behave oddly. Now, it has disappeared from the comment box until I hit Preview. Have I been that bad or should we call for an exorcist?

    The Chicken

  36. anachy says:

    CalvinistConvert and others who have suggested that the good bishop’s idea of improving the liturgy may not be quite what we on this board would like to see are correct. I could spend all day recounting horror stories about the liturgical wasteland that is the Pittsburgh Diocese. Yes, there is one lone, regular TLM as others have mentioned. It is practically inaccessible for most people in the diocese given the situation with our roads and distances in these parts (will refrain from launching into comment on that, as, again, I could spend pages detailing how difficult it can be to travel even short distances around here). I have seen the special issue of the diocesan newspaper that spelled out the bishop’s plans for this “Church Alive!” business (a slogan, by the way, which has always made me think of the title of a horror movie) . I was thoroughly depressed after reading through it. The plan is a morass of committee upon committee, meeting upon meeting, report upon report planned, surveys, focus groups, etc. Some “professional” church consulting outfit has been hired to direct this effort – which also doesn’t bode well and means bureaucratic rather than spiritual or liturgical renewal, IMO. I know of priests in the diocese who have retired (or wish they could) because they couldn’t take all the endless, pointless meetings, record-keeping, surveys, etc., that are involved in this effort. I have heard from the bishop accolades for pastors who engage in wreckovations of their (formerly) beautiful, traditional gothic churches, lengthy renewal of terms for pastors who run their Masses like old-time tent revivals, and
    evident approval of pastors who install “mega church” devices that project the lyrics of the dismal “glory and praise” music and of the readings onto the wall of the sacristy during Mass. Yeah, these are all recent occurrences. And did I mention the “African Joy Masses” and the Spanish language Masses? If I thought the bishop was serious about liturgical renewal, I wouldn’t have joined a Byzantine parish (I am not an Eastern Rite Catholic).

  37. mharden says:

    The headline of this post at first confused me:
    “Bp. Zubik (D. Pittburgh)”
    I thought it was a sarcastic reference to him being a representative of the Democratic party, representing Pittsburgh. Having read the article, I see it is a reference to the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

  38. Athelstan says:

    King of Charity:

    Playing the “let’s be cool,” and “let’s be more welcoming and engaging” and “let’s meet the kids where they’re at” game hasn’t worked and doesn’t work.

    Worse, we’ve been trying almost every possible variation of this approach since the mid-1960’s. And the results have been – certainly over the long-haul – extremely underwhelming. At best, it results in a momentary spike that dissipates over time. You’d think people in the Church would learn.

    But we still get ever new adaptations, like “REBUILT.” Too many prelates are desperate to try evangelization and liturgical approaches that cut with rather than against the American cultural grain. To be really countercultural is unthinkable!

  39. Thorfinn says:

    The laity should realize that we do have a great deal of influence on the prospects of church consolidation & so forth. We must evangelize our family, friends & community — we have the Good News and twenty centuries of teaching to draw from, no excuses. We can request the Traditional Latin Mass & follow the process set up by Pope Benedict to make sure it happens – pastor, then bishop, then Vatican — we have the benefit of Summorum Pontificum, no excuses.

    Yes, there are plenty of other things that we can’t do without the pastor on board (as may be the case), but that’s a plenty good start.

  40. New Sister says:

    Even when bishops’ (save Bishop Schneider’s) exhortations are on the right track, they still disappoint for being too ambiguous (“…open up lots of doors for the lay leaders of the church”…?), too little, too late, & too watered down. The only thing I give a hearty “Amen!” to in Bp Zupik’s article is Fr Z’s commentary in red.

    @frjim4321, the symptoms you enumerate are due to a defective “lex orandi” (i.e., the Novus Ordo)

  41. KingofCharity says:

    The Masked Chicken,
    Thank you for your thorough, insightful, and informative follow-up post. You make some very interesting points.
    Ben Wiker’s “Moral Darwinism: How We Became Hedonists” is another good book that provides a sweeping overview of the philosophical warfare that has been ongoing behind the scenes since antiquity, but gained steam after the “Enlightenment.”

    We all agree that public schools are under the control of atheistic philosophies and are irrevocably damaged and will continue to poison the minds of our children. There will continue to be a mass exodus from the RCC and Christianity until this threat is acknowledged and combatted. Public education is producing skeptical relativists who doubt everything and challenge everything, sadly, they are not generating curious thinkers who ask questions and pursue truth.
    We need serious reforms in our Catholic schools, and we need a push for more home schooling. Or, we need to do a much better job armoring our kids through strong orthodox catechesis before we send them into public schools. But if nothing is done and the status quo remains, faith in Christ and church attendance will continue to dwindle everywhere.

  42. Dave N. says:

    My sister lives in this diocese. I don’t think the readership here will much care for this bishop’s ideas about “making worship better.”

    As for vocations, the Church needs to fiercely and rapidly counter the idea circulating among young people that the priesthood is a “gay” job. This means ACTUAL bans of homosexuals from Catholic seminaries beginning today, not just paper policies to which no seminary administrator pays the slightest attention. Even then, it will be decades before this perception is resolved through attrition.

  43. un-ionized says:

    Dave N you hit the nail on the head. The issue often is not the expected behavior but the immaturity which is at its root and which causes much bad social behavior. Worse is when several live together in a rectory and the parish can start seeing behaviors like those of fifth grade girls.

  44. leftycbd says:

    We should all pray for Bishop Zubik and many other bishops who are facing these challenging times head on.

    There is good news in Pittsburgh!

    I will once again point out the good work the Pittsburgh Oratory does with the Universities (CMU, Pitt, Chatham) in the Oakland area of Pittsburgh.

    With 6 priests and 3 seminarians/novices, they must be doing things right! (I just counted on their website).

    I have also conversed with a seminarian in my own diocese who was helped by the Oratorians in his discernment process while at my alma mater.

    They teach the faith to students openly and fully. My faith today grew because of what I learned from them as a student.

    http://www.thepittsburghoratory.org

  45. CalvinistConvert says:

    anachy ….your description of Church Alive! business ie”The plan is a morass of committee upon committee, meeting upon meeting, report upon report planned, surveys, focus groups, etc” and the “mega church” devices that project the lyrics of the dismal “glory and praise” music and of the readings onto the wall of the sacristy during Mass…..rings vaguely familiar to me ….oh wait ….i know ….it’s coming back to me….this is exactly how Protestants run their churches (little c)…

  46. Polly Wogs says:

    I lived in this diocese for nine years – from 1999 to 2008 – and I taught in a Catholic school there. If the bishop is looking for a model from which liturgical improvements could be considered, a good place to start is the Pittsburgh Oratory. The Oratorians serve the university community. They say the new Mass, but it is always reverent (or was when I was there), and the homilies were typically excellent and always doctrinally orthodox. They had (still have?) the latest weekday Mass in town (or taaawwwnn – as Pittsburghers say), and I think they understood the importance of late Masses and intimate liturgical ambience to students who are filled with questions and looking for peace (examples – low lighting, candles, properly proportioned statues, and respect for silence). The Oratory’s chapel is a beautiful, quiet, and tasteful space.

  47. robtbrown says:

    MC,

    I almost agree with you.

    1. The purpose of liturgy is not to inspire reverence. Liturgical does not equal devotional. If you don’t believe me, go spend a week at Clear Creek.

    2. Re philosophy and the life of the Church. After the death of St Thomas, it was not uncommon that anyone doing philosophy (theologus philosophans, as Gilson notes) adopted the Quaestio method of St Thomas. Unfortunately, beginning with Scotus, it was without the Real Distinction (except for Dominicans). IMHO, this let Rationalism enter Catholic philosophy via the back door: The result was structured minds but without reference to Reality. The paedogogy was almost always top down–descending, as Garrigou LaGrange put it.

    This situation remained in the Church until the coming of Existentialism, whose starting point is experience and method is ascending. The change, therefore, was not from Faith to Infidelity. Rather, it was from Rationalism to Existentialism, even though it produced attacks on Doctrine.

    NB: The Summa Theologiae uses both descending and ascending approaches. For example, being a theological work, it begins with God (descending), but then uses ascending method to demonstrate God’s existence.

    3. Likewise, neo-scholastic theology tended to ignore the importance of the Fathers, which created lacunae into which La Nouvelle Theologie landed. Unfortunately, LNT ignored those Fathers who didn’t fit its ideology. Ditto Resourcement, which as JRatzinger pointed out, ignored the great Medieval Sources.

    4. Modernism, as I have noted here before, is just an updated version of Gnosticism.

  48. santanna says:

    I have lived in Pittsburgh for 40 years. Bishop Zubik has inherited a challenging demographic slow-motion train wreck. But I do not have much expectation that his diagnosis of the problem reflects the point of view of this blog or involves a recognition of the spiritual desert of the post Vatican II era. He is friendly to the TLM community but has done nothing to encourage more widespread availability of it. Altar girls, lay readers, daily use of extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist and highly entertaining contemporary music are not in any way discouraged. Masses at the Cathedral are reverent but standard NO priest-as-the-center-of-attention fare even though the sanctuary is perfect for ad orientum. The sad truth is that were he to speak out emphatically on issues of authentic Catholicism, the Sunday mass-going population would likely shrink further before it grew. This is probably true everywhere that watered-down Catholicism and protestantized Catholic worship have been the norm for more than a generation. The vast majority of remaining mass-goers are content with things as they; at least half of them are voting for pro-abortion candidates because they are good on “social justice”. After all, His Excellency declared “affordable” “health care” a “right” numerous times leading up to the passage of the ACA and then had to sue for the right not to provide “affordable” (free) contraceptives. And essentially lost. The diocese supports ” immigration” much as the USCCB.
    Nevertheless, my prescription for Pittsburgh is:
    *Encourage your Sunday worshippers to attend daily mass more often.
    *Encourage you Daily Mass Catholics to deepen their prayer lives further through the writings of the great saints and encourage your priests to consult these holy guides in preparing homilies.
    *Encourage you sizable retired population to “pray like it’s your job” because it is; and to “excuse yourself from daily mass only under the same serious circumstances which would excuse you from Sunday mass. The church needs you NOW.
    *Ban mass facing the people. Ban communion in the hand; reinstall communion rails so that even old people can get up off of our knees. Even if you did nothing else, a better understanding of the mass will ensue. TLM will eventually seem much more natural to more people.
    *Finally, I encourage Pittsburgh’s frustrated Latin Rite Catholics who do not live near St. Boniface to find your nearest Byzantine Catholic Church. This is a major part of Pittsburgh’s ethnic history, now also struggling with demographic shifts despite liturgy that is supremely reverent, traditional and rich in theology. It is easy to adapt to as it is in English and chanted from start to finish. No hokey music. The priests are grounded in Tradition.

  49. CalvinistConvert says:

    Father… here is an article with little more background ….and some of things mentioned in the article are why i do not think that Bishop Zubik is moving worship in a positive direction….your name is also mentioned in the article :)
    https://akacatholic.com/bishops-committee-to-study-what-it-means-to-be-catholic/

    [Perhaps you should re-read the top entry, in particular what I wrote.]

  50. KingofCharity says:

    The only justified reason to believe anything is whether or not it is True. If bishops are trying to lure lapsed Catholics back to the pews in ANY other way than preaching the truth of Christ to save souls then any and all their efforts are simply propaganda and marketing schemes. Hence, the church is nothing more than a business- an NGO pandering for customers.

    There is no need to waste time and energy on expensive studies, programs, protocols, curriculums, pastoral approaches, etc.
    Embrace the fullness of the Apostolic Deposit of Faith has received by Christ and protected by the Holy Spirit through Catholic Tradition, Scripture, and the Magisterium. Anything less is a lie.

  51. Maineman1 says:

    The same bishop who urgently warned Pittsburgh parishioners not to attend the fledgling SSPX parish in a previously closed church? Meanwhile, he attends and prays at multifaith, interdenominational events?

    I would not be overjoyed by the bishop’s statement. All he could be suggesting is that modern Catholic worship become more “dynamic” and “evangelical”. I would wager that is the direction in which he will lead worship. Meanwhile, Catholicism will continue its steep decline.