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dumb dogs and unseasonable silence

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Apr 07, 2008

An OTR reader tipped us off to this homily preached by Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis at the ordination of James Vann Johnston as bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. The best part is Burke's admonition to the bishop-elect:

May the cathedra or bishop's seat, which gives the name to the chief and mother church of every diocese, symbolize for you and all of the faithful your fundamental responsibility to teach the faith and to safeguard the integrity of the faith and of its practice. As chief teacher of the faith, guide and direct all who are catechists, so that the greatest treasure which is ours may be handed on faithfully, in all its richness, to succeeding generations. Recall the wise counsel of Saint Paul to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:1-5), and the admonition of Saint Gregory the Great, inspired by his reading of the prophet Isaiah and the Parable of the Good Shepherd:
The ruler should be discreet in keeping silence and profitable in speech, lest he utter what should be kept secret, or keep secret what should be uttered. For just as incautious speech leads men into error, so, too, unseasonable silence leaves in error those who might have been instructed. Often, indeed, incautious rulers, being afraid of losing human favor, fear to speak freely of what is right, and, in the words of the truth, do not exercise the zeal of shepherds caring for the flock, but serve the role of mercenaries; for when the wolf appears, they flee and hide themselves in silence. Wherefore, the Lord reproves them through the prophet, saying: They are all dumb dogs, not able to bark.
By your tireless care to be a loyal and selfless teacher of the faith, you will draw all to Him Whose glorious pierced Heart never ceases to pour out upon souls the truth and love of God the Father.


"When the wolf appears, they flee and hide themselves in silence." Perhaps Pope Gregory wouldn't have been so stern had he lived in the 1960s when, as you remember, it was discovered that wolves are vegetarians.

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  • Posted by: a son of Mary - Oct. 14, 2009 1:28 PM ET USA

    My little boy said to me, "That's not Mass, why are they doing that?" Despite being exposed to some incredibly dreadful liturgical music, he immediately recognized this for what it was, a hopeless clutch of disoriented priests embarassing themselves to some really awful French music.

  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Oct. 09, 2009 4:10 PM ET USA

    Anselm makes a good point and we need to know more about what this was about. It could be grotesque or it could be clergy dancing for love of the Lord. Doesn't the Bible say "Sing unto the Lord a new song? Praise him with the tymbral and dance?" This certainly appears to be unorthodox behavior, but we just need to know more about what's going on. It's not something I think I would enjoy see, but on the other hand, more needs to be known. Certainly, it doesn't appear to be Mass-appropriate music.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 09, 2009 11:31 AM ET USA

    Let's see... Alb, check...cincture, check...stole, check...neckerchief, oh yeah. We make up the music; we make up the rubrics. why not the vestments, too?

  • Posted by: - Oct. 08, 2009 11:43 PM ET USA

    I know this group! They are: The Fruits of the Second Vatican Council.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 08, 2009 10:46 PM ET USA

    The North American Jesuit Martyrs did not die so that French prelates could bird dance for Gaia. How do you say "man up!" in French?

  • Posted by: Anselm - Oct. 08, 2009 7:28 PM ET USA

    Question is, was it a Mass. Yes, they are in vestments, yes it is an altar, but was it during a Mass? After? Before? At least this time we got a link to the site, however, the site does not provide any information about what was going on. Hopefully, it was not a Mass. At least it isn't a clown Mass. That would put me in counseling!

  • Posted by: - Oct. 08, 2009 1:59 PM ET USA

    Notice the evil stare on the last frame at 1:04. Creepy.