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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Slander of Vatican II and the Tridentine Mass

I am constantly shaking my head over people who claim to be "Catholic" and embrace Vatican II...yet by their comments, they have clearly never bothered to read what the documents actually said. Nor do they have any idea what it means to be Catholic.

Pope John Paul II dedicated his pontificate to Vatican II, so time and time again TOLD PEOPLE TO READ THE DOCUMENTS!!! And yet, here we are, with ignorance being spewed, and now the Old Mass being slandered right along with Vatican II. If these people understood how foolish they are for speaking such nonsense, they might never speak again. I know I used to feel that way once I took the time to ask my questions...and was confronted with reality. It's embarassing to be caught with one's foot deeply inserted into one's mouth.

What is causing this tirade? Thanks for asking. Check out this article, of which I will post excerpts of special interest.

But the Latin Mass has stirred controversy — partly because its Good Friday liturgy includes an explicit prayer for the conversion of Jews and refers to their "blindness" and "darkness."

Actually, my understanding is that this is complete fallacy. While the original text specifically prayed for the conversion of the Jews, the current translation which is to be used has removed this language. Can someone verify this for me, and those for whom it is a concern?

As far as my own opinion goes (it's my blog; I get to share my opinions, shrinking violet that I am), I am happy to admit I do pray for the conversion of the Jews to the fullness of the faith, for the Messiah has come, and He came for them, too, if they but had eyes to see. If we are Catholic, then we SHOULD be praying for the conversion of the Jews, for don't we want them to have what we have? Aren't we praying for the conversion of the Baptists, the Evangelicals, the Muslims, the Atheists, the Agnostics, the Buddhists, the Hindus, etc etc? If we are praying for all religions EXCEPT those who embrace Judaism, doesn't that make us anti-semite???

Give me a break! It's our CALL to pray for the conversion of all those NOT CATHOLIC! Ecumenism is not about watering down our faith and making it palatable to those who disagree; rather, ecumenism is about sharing our faith and praying that others embrace it and come into the fullness of the Catholic Church.

Which, brings us to the next quote:

The more conciliatory post-Vatican II language calls the Jews "the first to hear the word of God" and prays for them to "arrive at the fullness of redemption."

Um, that post-Vatican II language is another way of saying "conversion". Thank you for making my point. Or rather, the Church's point.

But Kathleen Kennedy, a Catholic from Swatara Twp., said the old language troubles her. "I think the problem is that Christianity has such a poor track record of interacting with Jews and Judaism," she said

Hi, Kathleen. Maybe that's partly true, but have you ever heard of a small, little-known Pope by the name of John Paul II? Or what about "Hitler's Pope" who was anything but, and actually saved THOUSANDS of Jews during the Holocaust? Please study history...apart from the popular media, that is, because they never get it right...even current affairs.

Some Catholics are dismayed by the direction of the pope, who recently not only encouraged wider celebration of the Latin Mass but asserted that Protestant and Orthodox churches are defective.

That's not what Pope Benedict XVI said. Rather, if these "Catholics" had bothered to actually READ what was said, the actual words of the Pope and not what the Washington Times or The Journal of American Idiocy, or whatever News Rag they like to read reported he said, they would realize that the Pope simply reasserted Catholic teaching. And in fact, the Pope stated the Truth; that the Catholic Church is the fullness of the faith, and other Christian religions, while they have a portion of the Truth, do not have ALL of it. We, as Catholics, members of the Church instituted by Christ, have what is called the fullness of the faith. Thus, this is the reason other Christian Churches are called "denominations." The prefix to the term "Denomination" indicates a subtraction. Thus, all other Christian faiths are missing part of the equation. The Catholic Church is NOT a "denomination". We have it all, and to state otherwise is a betrayal of Christ. Do we expect the Christian Denominations to agree with us? No. Nor did the Pope. His audience was not the world in that particular address, but rather, he was speaking to Catholics, his primary flock.

"I remember Vatican II with great joy, and I am so saddened that there seems to be a move by this pope to make it a thing of the past or even say it was misguided," said a eucharistic minister from Lemoyne, asking not to be identified for fear of offending people she serves.

OK, first of all, let's correct the term "Eucharistic Minister." The ONLY Eucharistic Ministers are men ordained as priests or deacons. (Holy Orders) Period. The proper term for the laity who assist in the distribution of the Blessed Sacrament during Mass, or to hospitals and the homebound is "Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion", or "EHMC", or "Extraordinary Minister", for their ministry is extraordinary, not formal.

Now that that bit of catechesis is out of the way; His Holiness Benedict XVI IS reinforcing what Vatican II actually taught. He is not, contrary to popular ignorance, making it a "thing of the past." In fact, it's clear he is completely EMBRACING Vatican II and trying to help us all do the same.

In the document on the Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, which is the Vatican II document most abused, slandered and libeled, it states very clearly:

ARTICLE 36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites

ARTICLE 54. In Masses which are celebrated with the people, a suitable place may be allotted to their mother tongue. This is to apply in the first place to the readings and "the common prayer," but also, as local conditions may warrant, to those parts which pertain to the people, according to tho norm laid down in Art. 36 of this Constitution

Nevertheless steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.

So we see, the Pope is not out of line to make the Old Mass more available; rather, he is trying to assert the formal teachings and recommendations of the Vatican II document on the Liturgy.

So, given this evidence, I must ascertain that the person who was quoted in this article who refused to be named might have actually feared that her ignorance might be found out. I find it far more offensive not that she is uncatechized, but that she is very representative of the majority of Catholics who really haven't the slightest idea what the Church teaches or why. I'm offended because, we, the laity, have been neglected, we have been mislead, and now when someone legitimately tries to teach us the truth, we spout off ignorance that reflects upon us and NOT those who are responsible for the bad catechesis.

Oh, yes, I am offended. After all, the following soul so exemplifies the misunderstanding of the role of the Church AS an anchor:

The church "should be a rudder and help us move forward into the centuries," said Lou Gehosky, 66, of New Cumberland. "But this is worse than an anchor."

In other words, the Church is doing what she should; keeping us from going with the currents. In movies, those who go with the current tend to go over big waterfalls or dams. And we know about waterfalls and dams; they drag bodies down, hold them under and drown them, and if they eventually release them, they are no longer live bodies, but corpses.

Thank you, Jesus, for instituting Holy Mother Church, for providing us the Water of Life, the Anchor (ROCK) of safety, and the Eternal Truth that keeps us from being damned by the fickle yet powerful currents of modern times. Amen.

To Mr. Gehosky; if you want to let go of the anchor, go ahead. But we'd all prefer you hold on a little longer, and read the inscription on the anchor you currently condemn. That anchor is there to save you. Ask any sailor caught in a storm.

The pope's recent decrees provide more evidence of how conservative the Catholic hierarchy has become, said Chester Gillis, professor of theology at Georgetown University.

Well, in all honesty, Georgetown University has no credibilty here. They aren't actually Catholic. And basically, what Mr. Gillis is saying is that, once again, the Pope has professed that he, and the Catholic Church, are Catholic. How Shocking!

Pope John Paul II's 27-year tenure left that legacy.

Praise God and thank you, John Paul the Great!

Another example emerged recently in Harrisburg, when indulgences, pledges of personal sacrifice and worship intended to reduce the time souls spend in purgatory, were offered for pilgrimages to St. Patrick Cathedral during this, its 100th anniversary year.

Indulgences, whose abuse helped spur the Reformation, are understood to reduce the time a believer spends in purgatory after death. Downplayed after Vatican II, they were revived in 2000.

Shortly after his decree on the Latin Mass, Pope Benedict asserted that though other Christians might find salvation, Catholics represent the one true "Church of Christ."

OK, this quote is actually a conglomeration of formal ignorance, lazy journalism, and pretty much is a transition designed to throw people off. It's a strawman, a red herring, and plays only to the ignorance of the masses, both Catholic and non-Catholic.

Indulgences don't have anything to do with this article, and they have been completely misrepresented. They were, in fact, downplayed after Vatican II, but it had nothing to do with the abuses of bad Popes, but rather, with the complete spiritual acedia that actively quashed devotions in the THC-inspired air of the late 60's and early 70's.

And, in fact, the Catholic Church IS the "one Church of Christ". I wouldn't be Catholic if I didn't believe this. Nor would be the Pope.

People, listen to the Pope. Listen to John Paul II who TOLD you all to read the Documents of Vatican II. They're all readily available.

One of the things Vatican II recognized was a need for the active involvement of the laity in life in general. It is the job of the priest to preach the Gospel to us, to offer the Sacraments, and to "raise" us as children of God. The priest is called out of the world, so as to enable the children of the world to go out and spread the Good News of Christ. THAT is what is meant by "active participation". The Church is not the domain of the priest; but the priest is acting as our spiritual Father. He is our Shepherd. Vatican II defines this, and John Paul II continually taught that Man must be the way of the Church in the modern world, that all are called to holiness, all are called to this renewal. We, the laity, are in the world, here to serve the order to bring the world to Christ.

Read the documents. Really. You can find them all HERE.


Warren said...

I recently had the pleasure of dealing with a recently renewed friendship, someone I knew as a childhood friend. She had a bad experience around some catholics, and decided upon the idea that all Catholics were anti-semites. I was flustered by her insuperable confidence, and complete inability to separate hysteria from reality. When one is going to level blame on anyone, it seems reason goes out the window. Whether it's an athiest delivering a tirade on religious quackery, or a tirade on the loss and destruction of the Mass due to the horror which is Vatican 2, or the center-left crowd's horror and disgust for the rad-trad movement, why can't every body just simmer down and start to use reasoned, careful, limited language.

Instead we all head off and pull out our copy of Polemics for Dummies off the shelf. Chapter One, how to alienate people and shut down discussion. I recommend calling someone a nazi, a wife-beater, and a communist, and perhaps not at all a nice person.



Unknown said...

You've raised some important issues, Adoro, that I have been thinking about for a long time.

I think that you have ultimately resolved your question about the changes in liturgical language with respect to the Jews. The language has been "softened."

On one day a year, Good Friday, we are asked to pray for the "fullness of redemption" of the Jews and Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League goes ballistic. He apparently wants approval rights to all use of the word "Jew" or "Jewish."

Frankly, what I really think Foxman wants is job security. He finds what he calls anti-Semitism everywhere he looks.

Adoro: If we are praying for all religions EXCEPT those who embrace Judaism, doesn't that make us anti-semite??? Bingo!

The barely schooled Catholics today want a democratic church with regular referendums on moral issues and Church beliefs and practices and are very upset that the Church hasn't thrown open its doors to other Christians.

The Church has tried to include others. But the mainline Protestant churches are discarding major parts of their beliefs and regulations as fast as they can. Whether some of them are still Christians is a serious question.

Just yesterday, the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) voted to authorize practicing, cohabiting homosexuals to be pastors of Lutheran parishes.

Countless meetings and events have been held in the name of ecumenism over the last 40 years. The Church has modified its liturgies even to the point of adding Protestant prayers to them ("For thine is. . . .") and we beg for reciprocation.

I defy anybody to point to one single issue where Protestants have conceded that the Church is correct and have formally modified their beliefs.

In fact, the word "Protestant" has been actually outlawed in the Catholic Church unless it is pronounced as "our Protestant brothers and sisters."

There have been some quiet ecumenical successes with some of the Orthodox churches and those faiths that can make a claim to apostolic succession.

And for that we should all be grateful.

But the objections from Catholics such as we see in this Harrisburg newspaper article , as Adoro has said, are the product of poorly formed individuals who know very little about their Church.

And the Church is indeed responsible for the malpractice rampant in its educational ministries.

Anita Moore said...

The ONLY Eucharistic Ministers are ordained priests.

Actually, this should read "The ONLY Eucharistic Ministers [i.e., ordinary ministers] are men in Holy Orders," since deacons are also ordinary ministers of the Eucharist.

Anonymous said...

so, adoro, when do your classes start?
and are you a student or a teacher?

i hereby grant your MTS [honorary of course] but you seem to have it down.ixvrfu

Adoro said...

Ultra ~ How right you are. There's no such thing as debate anymore. It's all mudslinging. While I was never schooled in the art of debate, I was on the speech team in High School (yes, I'm a geek, even lettered), and there was a section for "debate" as well as "discussion" which was a lesser form of debate, more informal, but likely with the same rules. I think what a lot of this comes down to is basic manners, but in our overly-politicized society, manners gets thrown out in favor of whoever can shout the loudest and fling unbased insults the best.

Ray ~ Thanks for the clarification.

Anita ~ You're right, of course, and I hadn't caught that. I had meant to mention deacons...and now I feel really bad for slighting them! The correction has been made.

uncle jim ~ LOL! Thanks, but I'm not there yet! Classes start end of August, and then it'll be 3 years before I complete my degree. God willing. What does ixvrfu mean?

paramedicgirl said...

Good post, Adoro. There is lots of misinformation out there, feeding the anti-Catholic frenzy. Now, how do we get the corrections made publicly????

Adoro said...

paramedicgirl ~ One at a time. We had a similar conversation last week at our orientation for classes (for Ave Maria University) last week. We are in the New Springtime, the New Evangelization now. And that Evangelization applies to those of us apparently called to educate others.

All we can do is try; we can educate, we can speak, we can lead by example, we can let our voices be heard, and we can be careful to make sure our own conduct is faithful.

And God will do the rest.

Just keep blogging; the current medium is the internet. John Paul II called us to use technology. You and I and others like us are using this medium, and it IS making a difference, although it wouldn't be measurable for years, if ever.

Anonymous said...

ixvrfu = the "word verification" qualifier to post that comment ... only it ended up in the comment box through some mysterious interposition

Adoro said...

uncle jim ~ That's hilarious! And here I was thinking it was some weird Latin abbreviation or something I was supposed to know...LOL!

Hidden One said...

For the record, Adoro, I think it's possible to link to the Vatican 2 documents at least a few more times in your post. But that might get distracting.

Always Praying and Occasionally Laughing,
Hidden One

Adoro said...

hidden one ~ I was wondering when someone was going to pick up on that! LOL!

Alice said...

Hi Adoro,

I'm a bit behind in catching up with your blog, just got back for o/s.

But as to the reference to the Jewish people in the Old Mass, here it is from my missal (New Marian Missal 1961 - ed Fr. Juergens)

Prayers in 'The Great Intercessions'.

'Almighty and everlasting God, who drivest not away from Thy mercy unbelieving Jews: hear our prayers, which we offer for the blindness of that people: that acknowledging the light of Thy truth, which is Christ, they may be rescued from their darkness.'

and just to really annoy everyone else...

'Let us pray also for the pagans: that almighty God would remove iniquity from their hearts: that, putting aside their idels, they may be converted to the true and living God, and His only Son, Jesus Christ our God and Lord'.

Also, how can we be accused of being anti-Semite?

Jesus was a Jew!!!!

Anonymous said...

You should have left the indulgenced prayers/masses/actions for the holy souls in Purgatory out of your blog. How exacly were they abused? Pope Leo XIII probably added the most indulgenced prayers/actions to the burgeoning list of indulgences in the late 1800's. Pope's added to the list and Pope Paul VI in 1967streamlined things with his INDULGENTIARUM DOCTRINA. "Downplayed" a spiritual act of mercy? No way! People stopped praying for our brothers and sisters in the Church suffering in Purgatory, because everyone 'of course' is going to heaven. "There is no hell or purgatory", circa 70's, 80's, 90's, and today. How about a blog on prayers/praying for our dear suffering souls in Purgatory!

Adoro said...

Anon ~ I was speaking of the SELLING OF INDULGENCES, not the practice of it. I'm sorry you misunderstood.

I often pray for the holy souls in purgatory and in fact have suggested on my blog that others do the same.

Adoro said...

Sorry, also hit enter too soon. My point with reference to what happened to indugences after V2 was that they were downplayed, meaning that this doctrine of the Church was not taught or upheld. I'm COMPLAINING about what people wrongly attribute to Vatican II. Perhaps you didn't read my post correctly, or with an agenda, or perhaps you're assuming something of my position without taking time to ask first?