Fr. Murray on who are the traditional young Catholics… NOT.

My friend Fr. Gerald Murray has a good commentary at The Catholic Thing on some comments Pope Francis made about people, especially about young people, who desire the older, traditional form of Holy Mass and the Latin, Roman Church’s sacred worship.

In Ecclesia Dei adflicta, St. John Paul II said that the desire for the traditional forms were “legitimate aspirations’.  He even commanded by his Apostolic Authority that they should be provided with what they desired generously and that respect should be shown to them everywhere.

Pope Francis, however, does not seem to agree with his predecessor, St. John Paul.   He sees these younger people who want tradition not so much as having legitimate aspirations, but rather having a “defensive” attitude of “rigidity” that hides their “insecurity” or “perhaps something else.”

Fr. Murray digs digs into this a bit to help us understand better what’s being said.  HERE

We jump in part way…. with my patented… you know.


Fr. Spadaro [here he is again…] continued and asked Pope Francis: “Other than those who are sincere and ask for this possibility out of habit or devotion, can this desire express something else? Are there dangers?”

Pope Francis replied:

I ask myself about this. For example, I always try to understand what is behind those individuals who are too young to have lived the pre-Conciliar liturgy, and who want it nonetheless. I have at times found myself in front of people who are too rigid, an attitude of rigidity. And I ask myself: how come so much rigidity? You dig, you dig, this rigidity always hides something: insecurity, at times perhaps something else. . . .The rigidity is defensive. True love is not rigid.

This sweeping psychologizing indicates that the pope sees no reasonable motivations for those want to attend the EF Mass. The young cannot be nostalgic, since they did not grow up with the EF Mass. Rather, they have a “defensive” attitude of “rigidity” that hides their “insecurity” or “perhaps something else.” What does this mean?

Rigidity is a psychological impairment, an unreasonable refusal, if not a complete inability, to change one’s outlook or behavior. Francis says it is “always” a mask for insecurity or “at times perhaps something else,” which I take to mean something worse than mere insecurity.

In the last fifty years, “rigidity” has been a code word used to denigrate conservative Catholics who treasure the spiritual patrimony of the Church.

Earlier Pope Francis said: “It is necessary to approach with magnanimity those attached to a certain form of prayer.” Yet this spirit is absent from his remarks that characterize attachment to the EF.

This is really a caricature. It displays a readiness to find psychological deficits or imbalance as the cause for such interest among both young and old. This line of argument frees one from the need to engage in an objective analysis of the reasons why a young (or old) person might be attracted to the Church’s perennial form of worship instead of to the reformed Mass, as experienced in many parishes.

As regards Pope Francis’ statement that “to speak of a ‘reform of the reform’ is an error,” this notion is something that has been widely discussed and, in some ways, already put into effect (e.g., the 3rd edition of the Roman Missal and the new accurate translation of it into English) precisely because, as Pope Francis told Fr. Spadaro “Vatican II and Sacrosanctum Concilium must go on as they are.”

The reform of the reform is an effort both to implement the reforms of the Mass that the Conciliar Fathers voted for when they approved SacrosanctumConcilium, and, as needed, to undo the innovations and accretions they never dreamed of, and that were introduced into the Roman Missal or became standard practice with the new Missal.

Those who love the EF Mass are serious, sane Catholics who seek God in the beauty of sublime worship. They deserve a sympathetic hearing from their shepherds.

Can one wonder how much of that is Francis and how much of that is actually Fr. Spadaro?  Who’s to know?

Moderation queue is ON.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    While it is most assuredly a sweeping generalization, I do have to say that I’ve met a few people at some EF masses who would fit the definition of ‘rigid’ and a little ‘off’. From the standpoint of the Church though, why would you seek to dump on people who are likely the most loyal portion of your flock?

  2. rmichaelj says:

    While agreeing with all in the post, there are some who go to the EF Mass just because they have been seriously misinformed or unable to get straight answers about the Faith from their pastors at the OF mass. I wouldn’t say it is necessarily the fact that they don’t trust the OF pastor (although that certainly could be the case as well) but that they don’t trust how the OF pastor was trained-

    To wit: “Hmm, that historical-critical analysis about sharing sure is an interesting view on the multiplication of the loaves and fishes Fr. Poindexter. And I think you are a nice guy who likes puppies and wants to help people. But I’m sure that Jesus really did perform a true miracle and my children will be hearing about that from the Pastor at the EF from now on.”

  3. LeeF says:

    For Jesuits who are not known for caring about or emphasizing the liturgy, they seem to care an awful lot when it involves something they personally don’t like. Do they wonder why Eastern Rite Catholics are attached to their liturgies?

  4. michael de cupertino says:

    Fr. Jerry Pokorsky’s article from Wednesday is also very good — “Rigid” for so long has been a code word to keep orthodox young men from pursuing their vocation. The “vocations crisis” is largely self-inflicted.

  5. Jim Dorchak says:

    I would think that if you are not Rigid in your faith then you are Flaccid or limp or spineless like a WORM?

  6. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    “Can one wonder how much of that is Francis and how much of that is actually Fr. Spadaro?” An excellent question, the answer to which depends on how big a hand Fr. S. had in it’s preparation for publication. “Who’s to know?” One would hope the Holy Father to a considerable extent – whose moral responsibility it would seem to be to correct anything erroneous or misleading in the presentation of his answers, now they have been published.

    “They deserve a sympathetic hearing from their shepherds.” Indeed! Meanwhile, Fr. Rutler has recently written, “while the popular election of bishops probably would be no improvement over the present system, the Church must address the simmering dissatisfaction of the faithful with the clerical establishment, which is as intense as the public vote against the Washington establishment. Mediocre bureaucrats easily talk about the People of God but they disdain a populism that would consult the people seriously, just as liberal humanitarians think that humans lower the tone of humanity.”

  7. FrAnt says:

    I wrote and deleted, wrote and deleted, wrote and deleted. Never mind.

  8. Poustinik1 says:

    This why I have so much respect for Father Murray. Great Priest-authentic to the core.

  9. Matt Robare says:

    “This is really a caricature. It displays a readiness to find psychological deficits or imbalance as the cause for such interest among both young and old. This line of argument frees one from the need to engage in an objective analysis of the reasons why . . .”

    That also seems to be how some us in this country (shamefully including myself in the first few days, though I was certainly no supporter of Millard Fillmore’s corpse’s rival) are viewing the voting choices of some of the other people in this country.

  10. jameeka says:

    I don’t care if this is coming from Pope Francis, or his sidekick. These statements from them are quite condescending, and demonstrate ZERO understanding of the beautiful, quiet and deeply active participation afforded by prayerful EF Liturgy. That Father Murray is calling them on it, I say “Amen, and more of it” We should not be silent, no matter how strongly we are dismissed. It’s the same mentality of liberal/socialist politicians— “we know, better than you, what you need”. Extremely insulting, and intellectually and spiritually bereft.

  11. Cantor says:

    It is not surprising that some younger Catholics should feel insecure. They’ve likely heard stories about “the olden days” where things were so much more black and white. Those days seem to have passed in our society, and they are passing in our Church. Youngsters who could once seek stability in their religion are finding it difficult to do. And they’re unwilling to attend classes or Masses that leave them unsatisfied.

    Some of them, certainly not all or even a vast majority, but some do seek something more settled, more distinctive and more meaningful than being merely called a Catholic. And they are able to see something special in our Latin tradition.

    If tradition and the Latin Mass can reduce the insecurity and restore the faith of one young person, is it not worth the effort?

  12. LarryW2LJ says:

    Not that the Church is a democracy, but I think Pope Francis would do well to keep in mind the US Presidential campaign. People really resent when they are labeled, and no attempt is made at all to address their concerns. Dismissing people out of hand and insinuating that they have psychological problems isn’t the paragon of charity.

  13. robtbrown says:

    VAcatholicdude says:

    While it is most assuredly a sweeping generalization, I do have to say that I’ve met a few people at some EF masses who would fit the definition of ‘rigid’ and a little ‘off’. From the standpoint of the Church though, why would you seek to dump on people who are likely the most loyal portion of your flock?

    Does anyone really think the percent of rigid people at an EF mass is anything close to the percent of people at an OF mass who favor gay “marriage” or abortion on demand?

  14. robtbrown says:

    Can one wonder how much of that is Francis and how much of that is actually Fr. Spadaro?  Who’s to know?

    Fr Spadaro is a wooden puppet on the pope’s knee.

  15. IloveJesus says:

    Ad hominems are so much easier than understanding.

  16. JKnott says:

    I have never heard of the Church calling legitimate prayer from the heart, especially in the liturgy, a psychological aberration. What ever happened to: “Who am I to judge?”

  17. JabbaPapa says:

    Well, Spadaro’s question does pertain to those who are attached to the TLM for reasons other than sincerity and devotion, so really it’s a question IMO about the nature of any abuses of the TLM rather than about its proper practice.

  18. FrPJ says:

    Well said Fr Murray! I note his apt definition of rigidity as an inability to change one’s outlook or behaviour. As one who came to the EF in my thirties, how can the Holy Father accuse me of rigidity when I had to honestly assess and re-evaluate the type of liturgy I had been raised with and ordained in? I was open to change. That’s why I learned the EF: because it was a true progression in faith and reverence. Methinks the Holy Father and our elders who look askance at us should look in the mirror: the true rigidity lies in those who ignore the deficiencies of modern liturgy and refuse to do anything about it. They are the ones afraid to change. Why? I do not know.

  19. Grant M says:

    Dig, dig..the Pope certainly does not dig the TLM, as we would have said in the 70’s.
    Or maybe what he really said was something like: Cava, cava et invenies thesaurum absconditum ac pretiosum, rigidum nec distortum in formas profanas, sicut saepe ritus novi distorti sunt. Odi profanum ritum et arceo.
    I guess he’s thinking of flecte quod est rigidum and we’re thinking of recte quod est devium.

  20. Grant M says:

    Rege quod est devium, that is.

  21. Tony Phillips says:

    What’s encouraging is that Pope Francis said, ‘I always try to understand…’ I hope he keeps trying, as should we all.

    Like other bêtes noires (bigotry, clericalism, etc), ‘rigidity’ is something speakers always apply to others, never themselves. But I’m always amazed at how rigidly die-hard NO liturgists want to deny the EF to others.
    Are they afraid that allowing the EF is the thin end of the wedge, that there’s a grand tradionalist conspiracy to re-impose it on the church and ban the NO? (No doubt there are some traditionalists who think that way, though certainly not all.) Or do they just sincerely believe they know what’s best not only for themselves but for everyone else? Perhaps they should follow Pope F’s lead and ‘try to understand’.

  22. JabbaPapa says:

    Tony Phillips :

    What’s encouraging is that Pope Francis said, ‘I always try to understand…’ I hope he keeps trying, as should we all.


    A point by the Holy Father that most IMO are missing.

  23. Kerry says:

    Where I read this, I’ve been unable to find. There was a man in England whose task it was, (I believe after V-2) to smash carved stonework at a church in England, stonework that, (and I recall this exactly), “No one living now in England has the skill to do”.
    If I wish such stonework to be restored, it is not rigidity, but because I want all things restored in Christ!
    From Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis, Peter Swasniewski: “Of the holy Cure of Ars, St. John Vianney, who wore tattered clothes, slept on the floor, and subsisted on potatoes, we read: ‘When it was a question of the objects destined for divine worship, he could not findd anything beautiful enough…His joy was unspeakable when he received from the Vicomte d’Ars a magnificent canopy, superb chasubles, benners, a large monstrance in silver gilt, a tabernacle of gilded copper, some beautiful candlesticks and six reliquaries.”
    A tattered Mass with potatoes elevated just won’t do.

  24. The Masked Chicken says:

    So, from 1560-1960 the Church was psychologically deformed?? Were there not Popes insightful enough to notice? This is what this condemnation implies. What Pope Francis doesn’ t seem to understand is the possibility that 400 years from now, Pope Francis I might be saying the same thing about the NO Mass. The EF and OF Masses should stand or fall on their own merits,not on a personalist response. What makes the NO so special, anyway? May I remind the Pope that the EF was, also, the by-product of an Ecumenical Council, so he has no basis, in that regard, for pronouncing either Form better.

    His comment, in other words, is nonsense and hardly worthy of a thinking man, let alone, a Pope. This is the argumentum ad novatum, writ large – new is better :(

    The Chicken

  25. robtbrown says:

    JabbaPapa says:

    Well, Spadaro’s question does pertain to those who are attached to the TLM for reasonsother than sincerity and devotion, so really it’s a question IMO about the nature of any abuses of the TLM rather than about its proper practice.

    As I have said here more than once, accusing people of rigidity (1) is an great example of the pop psychology that infected priestly and religious formation in the Church in the 70s and 80s. What it boils down to is tedious group speak: We’re liberal, and if you’re not, there is something psychologically wrong with you. It was a tactic used by Communists against their opponents for decades.

    (1) Or lack of sincerity and devotion, which are subjective terms that have little to do with liturgy.

  26. The Astronomer says:

    I have only fleeting memories of the Traditional Mass as a young child in the 1960s. The only thing I was ‘rigid’ about was not letting my little brothers play with my G.I. Joe action figures. Then, as the church building was being updated for Vatican Two, we had Mass in the school gym with the folk group and Peter, Paul and Mary. Through high school and college (both with (c)atholic in their formal names, I was slowly led out of the Church by heterodox teachers, a number of whom were priests.

    By the time I was living in NYC in my early 30s, I was living a life of go-along-to-get-along. One day, I went to the Traditional Rite at the Church of St. Agnes near Grand Central Station, with the Holy Sacrifice being celebrated by either Fr. George Rutler or Fr. John Perricone, both very holy priests. I was entranced, and not by ‘rigid nostalgia.’ As I attended Mass, I thought to myself “GOD lives here…” Over time, I became the head of the altar servers at the church at the request of Msgr. Clarke, the pastor.

    Now having spent the better part of twenty-five years with the opportunity to compare and contrast both Rites, I know in my core I will live and die a Traditionalist Roman Catholic. As a former intelligence officer of almost fifteen years, I know a ‘false flag’ operation when I see one and agree with Dietrich von Hildebrand about ‘Trojan Horses in the City of God.’ To see that papal ‘spokesmen’ have to stoop to mocking legitimate critics of dangerously ambiguous teachings with schoolyard taunts on Twitter makes me wonder whatever happened to being a MAN?

    I have ears to hear with and eyes to see with, and I know in my heart what I think of AL and the controversy surrounding it.

    God bless Cardinal Burke and his compatriots with the faith, common sense and bravery to advocate for the Truth of Christ. They will be hated for His Name’s sake.

  27. Serviam says:

    Either the pope needs a new “mouthpiece”…..
    Or I need counseling for an attachment disorder of some sort.

    But seriously, pray…
    Pray and FAST.

  28. Agathon says:

    I am one of these young people the Holy Father describes, too young “to have lived” the TLM “who want it nonetheless.” Can he really find me and my motivations that opaque? I am happy to tell him in frank terms what I am thinking if he wants to listen.

    It’s true that I am too young to have lived the TLM, but I have lived the post-Conciliar liturgy, and my personal experience of its poverty — I refer to what is typical in my suburban American environment: bland architecture, bare interiors, endless Haugen and Haas music, the 1973 ICEL translations, the total absence of chant, a lack of propers, etc. — has left me hungry.

    I’m not rigid; I’m starving!

    I do not have access to the TLM where I live, but I have seen it many times through audio and video recordings and I have read all about it. I can see that it is good, that it is nourishing. It attracts me to it through its heavenly qualities, through its goodness, truth, and beauty. Its timelessness and connection to the saints, whose constant intercession is so vital and precious to me. It pains me that I cannot take part in it.

    If I could say one thing to the Holy Father, it would be something like the paragraphs above. This is not some childhood trauma buried deep in my psyche or a mental illness to be diagnosed. It’s a longing for what the Church has believed, taught, practiced, and handed down to me, a storeroom packed with riches and goods I am dying to access.

  29. Lurker 59 says:

    It seems that Catholicism confuses Pope Francis. He has quazi Protestant attitudes towards a lot of normative Catholic beliefs and personal piety, coupled with a myopic view of the Church. I agree with LeeF. Pope Francis is probably perplexed by the Eastern Catholics.

    Whenever I try to understand where Pope Francis is coming from, his thought seems to be a jumble of half-remembered pieces of legitimate theological writings applied in an incorrect way.

    For example, the rigidity nonsense (and it needs to always be labeled as nonsense by those that reply) reminds me of warning out of Dietrich von Hildebrand’s “The Heart”, thought skewed.

    It seems to me that when Pope Francis, or others, throw around armchair psychoanalysis, that they invite armchair psychoanalysis of their own positions. This is all too easily done. Do not just LEAST thou be judged likewise. It is not a command to not judge, but it is just another iteration of the Golden Rule — do unto others and you would have done unto you.

  30. Absit invidia says:

    What Pope Francis is really displaying is his own rigidity. There is a broad variety of liturgical expressions in our Church. Why do those of a certain age group like to pick on this particular one, the EF? It tells me their minds are closed to this for some “nostalgic” reason. They have bad memories of it from their own past, and apply this prejudice to judge even those who prefer it but have not experienced it before. It seems that this age group opposed to the EF have themselves something to hide – perhaps the rebellious spirit that came with the pop culture of the 1960’s, or perhaps something more.

  31. chantgirl says:

    JabbaPapa- Out of the many people I know who assist at the EF, I don’t know one who assists for reasons other than devotion and love for Christ. If there are any, they would be a negligible percentage.

    I’m tired of the name-calling and impugning of motives, and from the one who is supposed to be our spiritual father! His constant insults are leaving many in the flock feeling like battered children.

    Holy Father, if you or anyone close to you reads this, please know that those of us in our 30s with young families chose EF parishes because the EF is a window into Heaven like nothing we’ve ever seen anywhere else, and because they are safe places to raise and teach our children the faith, hoping that they will beat the odds in our culture and keep their faith as adults.

    In short, we are trying to catechize our children in a war zone, and have chosen the most well-fortified position to buy some time to pass on our faith.

  32. Nan says:

    Tony Phillips, there have been comments here over the years indicating just that; some preferring EF would like to eliminate OF, in some cases because they claim OF is invalid.

    [I would be surprised to find many comments on this blog by people who claim that the Novus Ordo is invalid. A few, maybe. I don’t go for that with much patience.]

  33. Pingback: Respecting Traditional Catholics |

  34. albizzi says:

    The true rigidity was on the side of of the bishops who enforced the Bugnini’s Novus Ordo in the wake of VATII while saying to their appalled trad flocks that the latin mass was forbidden forever.
    Benedict XVI flatly belied them when he declared it never was.
    Summorum pontificum now is a painful thorn in the modernist’s feet.

  35. KatieL56 says:

    On a ]nother mainstream site the topics of both the dubia and then Pope Francis’ response have come up. I’ve had to unsubscribe from the threads because the atmosphere there is so rigid–rigidly against any who wish to participate in or have others participate in a TLM, rigid against those who believe that the four cardinals and any other person has a right to question the Holy Father; rigid against anything which is not lockstep Am-Catholicism of the majority since the 1980s. The patronizing tone, the outright disdain, the ‘digging’ at the motives of those who are not deliriously happy with the vernacular OF, are heartwrenching. Sadly one of the most vocal opponents identifies as a priest himself, and reacts with exactly the same ‘pop psychology’ phrases, based on his ‘years of counseling families in which the ‘rigid’ parents had alienated their children from Catholicism. Apparently he equates the EF with that (although how he can when it was all but nonexistent in the years he was doing said counseling confuses me), and that whole ‘rigid’ attitude. I have tried, keeping the sarcastic button firmly in off position (and succeeding enough that I haven’t been banned or even suspended!) to question why a position of constant ‘nay saying’ to the EF is not itself as rigid as the so-called ‘clinging to some bygone era’, but the questions are ignored or deflected.

    Truly, I am open to enlightenment. I know that I might be wrong. I’m not so ‘rigid’ that I can’t be convinced if I’m given real information, not just sound bytes and blanket statements made as if ‘everybody knows this fact’ when there is no evidence given to support it AS fact. Heaven knows I would love to be as happy, well-adjusted, secure, merciful, and Christ-loving as those who are telling me how far short I’m falling. But I just cannot take the facts that I have gleaned in these years of my life and knit them together to form the ‘sleeveless garment’ of the current prevailing interpretations of Catholic teaching. There’s just too many holes.

  36. Traductora says:

    I think we have a “post-truth” Pope who sees adherence to fact as just one of those fusty, musty, rigid old things that doesn’t belong in the modern world (assuming the modern world is that of the 1970’s, of course, since those were his glory years).

    But aside from that, I think he has two “prophets” who call the shots in his mind: Marx and Freud. Marx, of course, is fairly easy to see in everything he says. Freud is also easy to see, but Freud, like Pope Francis, is kind of yesterday and embarrassing and many people now are not even familiar with his theories.

    However, that doesn’t prevent Francis from seeing sex and the necessity of rejecting the father as the heart of everything, and it definitely shapes his mindset and his statements. He sees traditional Catholics as being “sexually repressed” and not having fully rejected the father (meaning that they cling to the law), and although he didn’t say it, that was clearly what he was implying with his “hiding something else” remark. If you lived through the Church in the 1970s, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

  37. The Masked Chicken says:

    “The rigidity is defensive. True love is not rigid.”

    Then, how should one interpret True Love saying this (Matt 5:18-20)

    “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them.

    [18] For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.

    [19] Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    [20] For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

    Come to think of it, wasn’t the buzz word of Vatican II, resourcement? Wasn’t the goal to make the Mass more like the original? Who is really clinging to a false past, the NO or the EF people, eh?

    Just to show how odd this whole notion of rigidity is, instead of the OF and the EF, substitute, Old Coke and New Coke into the sentences. Were those who loved the Original Coca-Cola too rigid, hmm? No. New Coke didn’t taste as good. Oh, they were both Coke, just like the OF and EF are both Masses, but unlike the OF, the public wasn’t forced to drink New Coke under obedience. That is the only way New Coke would still be around. In other words, sometimes, the general public should be listened to, even by an Ecumenical Council.

    Now, New Coke has probably got some wiggle room with regards to ingredients, so, it tries to be all things to all taste buds, but, you know, there’s something to be said for the classics in a world where everything is fluid and you really need something to hold onto. Let’s face it – when you’re really down in the dumps, would you rather have your mother giving you a glass of New Coke or Old Coke? I mean, who ever walked into a bar and ordered a glass of New Coke when their girlfriend (or boyfriend or other-gendered darling) dumped them on a Sunday (so, no alcohol)?

    Rigidity? Really?

    The Chicken

  38. Mike of Arkansas says:

    Bugnini. Bergoglio. I am reminded of Matthew 10, 36.

  39. Eric says:

    You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of EF’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The rigid, insecure, defensive, nostalgic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that.

  40. Aquinas Gal says:

    Young people have no experience of the Latin Mass (unless they were raised that way) so for them it’s a matter of discovering something new. A young woman about 30 told me recently that when she went to the TLM for the first time, she was enthralled with it because for the first time she understood what the Mass is really about. Rigidity? No, not at all.

  41. EoinOBolguidhir says:

    Rigid is so demeaning. I much prefer “ossified.”

    [Well done.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  42. Tamquam says:

    Hmmm. Sounds like a case of the pot calling the kettle black… or perhaps something else.

    Yet I know of a parish out here on the Left Coast in which the the “youth Mass” is sung in Gregorian Chant by teens. To them who don’t remember the culture wars following Vatican II it is beautiful and uplifiting. Nobody forced it on them, it all started because one man asked permission to sing the commons and propers at an OF early morning Mass. One of the young people there heard it, was enthralled and asked to learn. Now there’s a whole pack of them learning Latin and chant. Given that these kids are from a seriously disadvantaged non Caucasian majority area nobody with even a shaky grasp of reality can claim that they are defensive rigiditarians.

    I will not suggest that the opponents of Catholic tradition fear losing power to the power of the shining clarity of the ancient manner of Divine Worship. It could be something else.

  43. Ben Kenobi says:

    I wish I could sit down with Pope Francis and have a long chat with him. I was an Anglican. I got to see them drift away from the faith entirely and pursue madness. It hasn’t stopped. What drew me into the Catholic church is the strength of some of the amazing, absolutely amazing young people. You know the ones hosting rosaries at their homes and sharing with you the beauty of the Catholic faith. I’ve drawn tremendous comfort from the eternal truths that the Church has held while so many others have drifted.

    I lost one church to this madness. I won’t lose another. For many of us, the Church has been the only sense of constancy. I’ve got to watch as the world I grew up with – has been utterly shattered by men and women, both older and younger for their drive to remake the world anew. Not a day in the last 15 years goes by when I don’t recall how the world used to work and how the world works now.

    Madness. Sheer Madness. How I miss der Panzerkardinel. :(

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