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the good catholic

By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 01, 2005

It is the right of all of Christ's faithful that the Liturgy, and in particular the celebration of Holy Mass, should truly be as the Church wishes, according to her stipulations as prescribed in the liturgical books and in the other laws and norms. Likewise, the Catholic people have the right that the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass should be celebrated for them in an integral manner, according to the entire doctrine of the Church's Magisterium.
-- Redemptionis Sacramentum §12, 2004.

"Are we lost, daddy?" I arsked tenderly.
"Shut up," he explained.

-- Ring Lardner, "The Young Immigrunts," 1920.

Of course we know it never happens in reality, but suppose, just suppose, that your pastor were to depart from the words or rubrics of the Roman Rite in his celebration of Mass. Suppose further that, after approaching your pastor personally, the chancery by phone, and your bishop by letter, you received no substantive explanation and no amendment took place. As a devout and committed Catholic, how do you account for the circumstances?

Account A. You reason that the designated provider of the Eucharistic liturgy is your pastor, that your pastor wouldn't be in the position he is unless your bishop wanted him there, that your bishop wouldn't be your bishop unless the Pope wanted him to be. Ergo, you have the Mass the Church wants you to have. Call this the Nuremberger with Fries Approach.

Account B. You reason that, appearances notwithstanding, the liturgy as conducted by your pastor -- being at least passively ratified by your bishop -- is in actuality the Mass according to the Roman Rite, but that you yourself are too sinful to see it. Ergo, in the eyes of the saints, you have the Mass the Church wants you to have. Call this the Rex Mottram Approach.

Account C. You reason that, even though your parish Mass is not the Mass the Church says she wants you to have, she is the supreme and ultimate guarantor of your rights. Ergo, the Mass the Church wants you to have is a Mass the Church doesn't want you to have. Call this the I Guess It Was None of My Business in the First Place Sorry to Have Bothered You Approach.

Don't be bashful. Tell your Uncle Di: which line of thinking is most in keeping with our authentic ecclesial maturation and the kind of churchmanship the recently-concluded Synod of Bishops wants us to have? I can imagine other possibilities beyond the three mentioned but, alas, they all entail the imputation of discreditable motives to others. Far be it from us to take that path.

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Show 12 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Nov. 03, 2005 6:56 PM ET USA

    All the yap about a priest shortage and yet apparently all you have to do to get a team out there is to make it a travesty.

  • Posted by: Sterling - Nov. 02, 2005 9:47 PM ET USA

    Account D: The Brideshead Revisted It's-Really-Raining-Spiritually Approach Remember when Julia's fiancee is taking lessons to enter the Church and is asked something like, what if the Pope says it's raining when it's not? And the man replies, "Then I suppose it must be raining spiritually?" Maybe the we are just "seeing" a clown with our eyes - spiritually this priest is acting in a dignified way? Naah.

  • Posted by: Coco - Nov. 02, 2005 9:01 PM ET USA

    May I propose Account D: That when Jesus made His great Sacrifice on the cross He was not finished being humuliated by those He loves, and this is an example of His current Passion acted out at Masses every day. I go to Holy Mass and pray that I can endure the cruelty and disrespect shown Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament with the charity He endured His Passion. I often fail...

  • Posted by: Eleazar - Nov. 02, 2005 10:13 AM ET USA

    Right on Inquisition! We don't need any more proof that Catholicism, especially American Catholicism, is in dire trouble. And the news that Bp Wuerl might be headed for the Congregation for Clergy provides no comfort or relief. Bring on the Inquisition...good and joyful, of course.

  • Posted by: www.inquisition.ca - Nov. 02, 2005 7:15 AM ET USA

    That priest wouldn't clown around very long if we had a good and joyful inquisition!

  • Posted by: benedictusoblatus - Nov. 02, 2005 12:02 AM ET USA

    Jesus has chosen to allow these miscreants (and their bosses in purple, red and white) to crucify Him anew within and by His Church. Eventually He will put an end to this, probably not until a bloody persecution from without.

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Nov. 02, 2005 12:00 AM ET USA

    As for the "priest" and his "friend," let's pray for their conversion to the Fullness of the Faith in the Roman Catholic Church. In the meantime, remove the "priest" from all & any form of public ministry, suspend all his faculties immediately, & send him to Siberia, or in leg-irons to a local soup kitchen for the homeless until such time that he comes to his senses... All the saints, pray for us!

  • Posted by: Venerable Aussie - Nov. 01, 2005 9:53 PM ET USA

    The Nuremburger was definitely a novelty. But it’s getting worse. It may be girm-free but last time I had it with fries, not only was the salt tasteless but they gave me a free Big Mac (the “McBrien”) with it. I was thirsty, and I certainly received a good shake, though it wasn’t what I had in mind. I complained to the Manager and was later shown a letter from his regional boss which said that he has visited many restaurants and “has not become aware of any serious abuses.”

  • Posted by: Oliver Plunkett - Nov. 01, 2005 9:32 PM ET USA

    This is an absolute disgrace. I'm actually that horrified I'm stuck for words.

  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Nov. 01, 2005 7:35 PM ET USA

    on ALL accounts... off with his head! in all charity, of course.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 01, 2005 7:22 PM ET USA

    The "clown" mass is truly the worst sort of sacrilege. It must be nipped in the bud by severe action against the offender clergy: Public pennance, lengthy probationary period, and immediate defrocking for violation of any terms of probation. Lower the boom, bishops.

  • Posted by: Remigius - Nov. 01, 2005 5:17 PM ET USA

    Self-caricature as practice by this Padre and his sidekick supplies one more piece of evidence that we are in serious trouble. The holiest action of the Church becomes here a vehicle for ridiculous self-promotion. In what sense can the word "worship" be used in reference to this scene? I'll hazard the guess that two-thirds of the parishioners present saw nothing wrong with this display. No, we've turned our Mass into an entertainment forum, and insipid clowning replaces adoration of the true God

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