Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

Mass

All of the posts under the "Mass" category.

Pope Francis Denies the Catholic Faith and Precepts of the Church…Again

Three years ago I publicly blogged that Pope Francis was a heretic. The reason being that he stated, “if you do not feel you are in need of God’s mercy, then you better not go to Mass.” While we might initially react that this is sound advice, we must remember that Catholics are morally obligated to attend Mass every single Sunday. What we are not morally obligated to do is to receive the Holy Eucharist. We are only required to receive only once a year, and it is preferable to do so around Easter.

Pope Francis Staring

Being that this was still early in his papacy, not even completing his first year, I faced much criticism. I ended up taking the original post down and republishing it on the two-year anniversary of the original publish date. Interestingly enough, Pope Francis has again said something similar.

Speaking to the youth of the parish of Santa Maria in the city of Guidonia, Pope Francis said:

If I say I am Catholic and go to Mass, but then don’t speak with my parents, help my grandparents or the poor, go and see those who are sick, this does not prove my faith, there’s no point. So it is none other than parrot Christians, words, words, words, I wonder if you remember that song. Christian witness you do with three things: the word, the heart, the hands.

While these acts fall under both the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, they are not required, nor are they morally obligated to stay in a state of grace. What is necessary is going to Mass each and every week, whether you want to or not.

It is good to perform the works of mercy, as there is great grace that God bestows to those who perform them faithfully. But to say that one who does not perform these works makes Mass pointless, and then to call the individual a “parrot Christian,” is not only insulting to the Catholic who does fulfill his weekly Mass attendance, but to Christ and His Church who gave us the commandment.

Time and time again, we have witnessed the Holy Father insult the Catholic faith and those who make a conscious effort to follow Jesus faithfully. For those who have been paying attention these last four years, especially this past year, you have realized that we have a Pope who very likely doesn’t believe the Catholic faith, as he is constantly rushing to change pastoral practice at every turn.

There are still those out there who believe that Pope Francis is a holy man and is in the mold of his predecessors. Can you imagine Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict XVI insulting Catholics who faithfully practice their faith by calling them “parrot Christians” for their shortcomings? Can you imagine either of these Popes being offended that a particular group prayed so many Rosaries for them? Can you imagine either of these Popes changing the rubrics of the Mass simply so that they can break them after they go into effect?

I can’t.

Simply put, upon the election of Pope Francis, it was very evident that there was a clear break from previous Popes. When faithful Cardinals who were very close to Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI were ostracized, and unfaithful Cardinals who were clear enemies by the previous two pontiffs become best friends with Pope Francis, you know that we have a problem. And you are silly for thinking that everything is just fine.

Jeff January 17, 2017 2 Comments Permalink

Pope Francis Snubs 2,000 Years of Church Teaching…Again…

Two years ago to the day, I wrote my first post in which I was highly critical of Pope Francis. I received a lot of backlash from many close friends in which they accused me of starting to go off the rails and questioned if I was really on team Catholic. By the end of the night, I had received so many complaints from such close friends and even family that I ended up pulling the article and apologizing. It was the first time I had ever retracted a post and it has haunted me ever since.

None of the thoughts I had in the article have gone away. If anything, they have become stronger since my original article was published and have been validated by some of the antics performed by Pope Francis.

Seeing as this is the second anniversary of publishing and pulling the article, I have decided to republish it. What you will read below is the original article with only minor edits made for grammar and to clarify any points that I feel need further explanation. This article was the first time in which I felt that calling Pope Francis a heretic was not only warranted, but justified based on the teachings that Christ and His Church has given us. We see further evidence of Pope Francis’ disdain for Christ and His Church only recently when the Bishop of Rome while meeting with Lutherans, informed them that if they could receive the Holy Eucharist during Communion if they discussed it with God and felt called.

It is even more important that we revisit this article as it is the Year of Mercy and we must understand that the mercy that Pope Francis speaks of is not the same mercy that Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speaks of throughout the Gospels.

Originally posted on February 13, 2014:

Today, during his Wednesday audience, Pope Francis said:

“If you do not feel in need of God’s mercy, if you do not feel you are a sinner, then it’s better not go to Mass, because we go to Mass because we are sinners and we want to receive the forgiveness of Jesus, to participate in His redemption, His forgiveness.”

This statement is contrary to 2,000 years of Catholic teaching.

pope-francis

I understand some of you want to defend him, as he is the Pope after all, but this error cannot stand. This statement is a blatant disregard for church teaching, and can not be defended as a “well if you look deeper” moment.

His statement isn’t a “well what he’s trying to say is that you should want to go to Mass. Otherwise, you shouldn’t go” moment either. Obviously, the soul who, in his humility and full understanding of the Mass and Christ’s presence in the Eucharist and His sacrifice on Calvary, would desire to go to Mass. This statement says nothing of that.

Let’s use another analogy. What would happen if I was to say to your child “if you do not feel that you are in need of your parent’s mercy, or feel that your room is dirty, it is better that you do not clean your room”? You would tell me how crazy I am and inform me that your child would not clean his room. Ever.

Similarly, the poor soul who thinks that they do not need God’s mercy because really, we are all good people, and when we die we go to Heaven no matter what (another heresy), will think that they do not need to go to Mass.

No matter how you look at it, if you replace it with any scenario it comes out wrong, especially the fact that we are required as Catholics to attend Mass every single week.

I’m tired of hearing the nonsense that comes out of Pope Francis’ mouth. (And how much more nonsense has he spewed in the last two years?)

Unfortunately, there is nothing charitable to be said about what he said today; it is just wrong no matter how you spin it, or how you look at it. Yes, we should want to go to Mass as that is the desirable attitude we should strive for continually.

However, giving an ambiguous statement like this is irresponsible, reckless and, unfortunately, is a condemnation of these poor souls to go to Hell. It permits anyone who is Catholic in name only, and doesn’t feel like going to Mass can now say “well, Pope Francis said I don’t have to go to Mass unless I want to”

Missing Mass on Sundays without a serious reason (and by serious I mean something that will prevent you from going such as dangerous weather, No Mass within a reasonable distance of going, or for health reasons) is a mortal sin. If we die with unconfessed mortal sin, we will go to Hell. That is 2,000 years worth of Church teaching. That is dogma.

Frankly, I cannot wait for the heresies of this papacy to end. Pope Francis has made a mockery of the pontificate; he’s made a mockery of the papacy, and he has made a mockery of the Catholic Church.

These mockeries would not stand in any age of the Church, but only in the post-conciliar age where anything goes, as long as it feels good and makes you happy.

Pray for Pope Francis and pray that God will not let this travesty continue however He sees fit. May Our Lord’s Holy Will be done and may you stay in a state of grace.

Jeff February 13, 2016 11 Comments Permalink

Pope Francis Proves the Novus Ordo Doesn’t Care About Rules

Pope Francis has changed the rules and is now allowing women to have their feet washed during the Holy Thursday Mass. Granted Pope Francis has done this every single Holy Thursday since he’s been Pope; he has now codified it. If the Pope can make drastic changes to the Liturgy based on his personal preference and the Liturgy allows for it, then you know you do not have a God-given Mass, but a man-made Mass.

Careful Consideration

During the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, we saw the renewal of the traditions that make the Catholic Mass Catholic. We saw the return of Ad Orientem, Latin, and of course, the Tridentine Mass. The faithful credited the Holy Spirit for this renewal of the Liturgical rubrics. Since March 13, 2013, we have seen many rubrics thrown to the wayside for novelties and the personal whims of the reigning Pontiff. And yet, the faithful credit the Holy Spirit for this breath of fresh air.

So the question must be asked; does the Holy Spirit have multiple personalities? The answer is no. The Holy Spirit, who IS GOD, can not contradict Himself, as God is unchanging throughout all time. He is the same yesterday as He is today as He will be tomorrow. To say that the changes made under both of these pontificates are what God wants would be incorrect; it must either be one or the other and since God is unchanging, it is safe to say that tradition will uphold over novelties.

But maybe we are looking at this from the wrong perspective. Maybe the Novus Ordo doesn’t have the clear rubrics as we once thought and proclaimed? For the longest time, faithful Catholics who desired a reverent Novus Ordo would cite the rubrics to demonstrate what should and shouldn’t be done at the Mass. But as mentioned above, if the Pope can change these rubrics at any given moment, why does it matter?

The thing is, Pope Francis has been abusing the Holy Thursday foot washing rite for a very long time. During his time as an archbishop and Cardinal, he would abuse the liturgical rubrics and allow women have their feet washed, despite clear wording in the laws of the rite that state otherwise. Now that he is the Pope, he has struck out the rule so that he will no longer be breaking said rule. It reminds me of

Cardinal Bergoglio Washes Womans Feet

And this is the funny thing about the creation of the Novus Ordo Mass. The entirety of the Mass, except several parts that have been lifted from the Tridentine Mass, were all abuses that had crept their way into the Mass in one way or the other. Reception of Communion in the hand, bringing up the gifts, versus populum, unworthy music, Mass in the vernacular, receiving the Precious Blood, holding hands during the Our Father, the Sign of Peace, altar girls, etc, were all abuses that have now been deemed “permissible” by the Church. If a Rite doesn’t care about rules and ends up throwing them away when it becomes inconvenient, then why have any rules in the first place? And if it doesn’t have any rules, can we trust that it is truly pleasing to God, the giver of Divine Law?

The fact is the Novus Ordo doesn’t care about the rubrics. If it did, it wouldn’t be subject to so many drastic changes from day to day. Much like a teenage girl who can’t figure out what she wants to wear on her first day of school, the Novus Ordo can’t figure out what rules she should keep or throw away.

Jeff January 25, 2016 3 Comments Permalink

The Rise of Low Expectations Catholicism

Over the course of the last couple of decades, there has been a growing mentality in the Catholic Church that I would like to coin as “Low Expectations Catholicism”. By low expectations, I mean the average Catholic is willing to settle for far less when it comes to different aspects of the Catholic faith.

Low Bar

There are many examples in the Catholic Church today that demonstrates the laity’s acceptance of a crisis that has gone on for far too long.

The Catholic Church, especially the Catholic Church in America, has been witnessing a decline in the faith for the last 50 years or so. Moreover, the laity has become lukewarm to the crisis at hand that they celebrate what would have been red flags to the Church only a handful of decades prior.

As a Church, we have become acclimated to such low expectations that we have forgotten how high the bar is actually set. There are several instances where the faith has succumbed over these last few decades, that it is crucial we examine them and shed light on them. Several examples that come to the top of my head and I will elaborate further in follow-up posts would be specifically the attitude of the clergy, the sharp decline in vocations for both priests and especially nuns, and the removal of reverence in the Liturgy.

As an example to whet your appetite, when it comes to the clergy, we are so used to poor priests, bishops, and Cardinals, that when we find a prelate who is better and more “orthodox” than your average prelate, we rush to their defense and lift them up on a pedestal. Unfortunately, since they are only slightly better than their colleagues, when they err and their error is pointed out, those Catholics who have lifted him upon this pedestal will rush to his defense and accuse those who point out the error as being too traditional.

Likewise, when it comes to vocations, when a diocese has a “50-year record high of five new priests” there are posts of jubilee that everything is looking better. However, it wasn’t too long ago that five new priests were the expectation for every four or five parishes within a diocese of over a hundred.

Finally, the Novus Ordo has been celebrated so illicitly with all types of novelties that when a priest does celebrate the Novus Ordo with some respect to the GIRM and the rubrics, that we consider that a “very traditional” Mass, when in reality, it is still illicit, just not as much as the average Novus Ordo.

I will be going into further detail on each of the above examples in their own respective posts, as there is much to discuss in relation to each. In the meantime, if you can think of an example in which the Church has settled for low expectations in other areas of our Catholic faith, please feel free to drop a comment and I would be happy to comment on it.

Jeff November 9, 2015 Leave A Comment Permalink

The Liturgy of the Crucifixion

The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines the Mass as:

The memorial of the Lord’s Passion and Resurrection.

The Holy Sacrifice, because it makes present the one sacrifice of Christ the Savior and includes the Church’s offering. The terms holy sacrifice of the Mass, “sacrifice of praise,” spiritual sacrifice, pure and holy sacrifice are also used, since it completes and surpasses all the sacrifices of the Old Covenant.

The Holy and Divine Liturgy, because the Church’s whole liturgy finds its center and most intense expression in the celebration of this sacrament; in the same sense we also call its celebration the Sacred Mysteries. We speak of the Most Blessed Sacrament because it is the Sacrament of sacraments. The Eucharistic species reserved in the tabernacle are designated by this same name. CCC 1330

We also read in the Baltimore Catechism:

The Mass is the Sacrifice of the New Law in which Christ, through the ministry of the priest, offers Himself to God in an unbloody manner under the appearances of bread and wine.

(a) The name “Mass” comes from the Latin word Missa meaning dismissal. In the early days of the Church the catechumens were asked to leave after the gospel and sermon were finished. The faithful, however, remained until they were dismissed after the sacrifice was completed. Then, as now, this was done by saying or singing Ite Missa Est. In the course of time the word Missa, or dismissal, was used to designate the entire sacrifice. BC 357

In short, the Mass is the unbloody sacrifice of Christ on Calvary in which Jesus Christ is fully present in the form of bread and wine. When you go to Mass, this is the image you should be reminded of.

Jesus Crucified

When we see this image of Jesus bloodied and dying on the cross, we are witnessing this at Mass. We enter into this mystery. With the Novus Ordo, and its countless variables at each Mass, we must ask ourselves a serious question. Would this be appropriate if you were at the foot of the cross?

Contemporary Music

Praise and worship music would be inappropriate as it possesses no solemnity, that is, no respect for the dignity of the Holy Sacrifice. Praise and worship music, by its essence and intent, is upbeat, which elicits a response of happiness. Playing a guitar before Christ Crucified and singing “Gather Us In, the Rich and the Haughty” is insulting. If you disagree, imagine yourself dying a wrongful death upon a cross, suffocating in agony and a group of people singing this song. What would you think of them? What would you be tempted to say to them?

Gregorian Chant possesses the somber tone which from antiquity instills reverence and awe. Pope St. Pius X instated in his Motu Proprio Tra le Sollecitudini (Instruction on Sacred Music):

These qualities are to be found, in the highest degree, in Gregorian Chant, which is, consequently the Chant proper to the Roman Church, the only chant she has inherited from the ancient fathers, which she has jealously guarded for centuries in her liturgical codices, which she directly proposes to the faithful as her own, which she prescribes exclusively for some parts of the liturgy, and which the most recent studies have so happily restored to their integrity and purity.

On these grounds Gregorian Chant has always been regarded as the supreme model for sacred music, so that it is fully legitimate to lay down the following rule: the more closely a composition for church approaches in its movement, inspiration and savor the Gregorian form, the more sacred and liturgical it becomes; and the more out of harmony it is with that supreme model, the less worthy it is of the temple.

The ancient traditional Gregorian Chant must, therefore, in a large measure be restored to the functions of public worship, and the fact must be accepted by all that an ecclesiastical function loses none of its solemnity when accompanied by this music alone.

Special efforts are to be made to restore the use of the Gregorian Chant by the people, so that the faithful may again take a more active part in the ecclesiastical offices, as was the case in ancient times.

Gregorian Chant is the only form of music which will draw us into these Heavenly mysteries.

Standing During the Consecration and Receiving Communion

Standing is inappropriate as this is not just some man dying, but our Lord. When a mother loses her child, she does not stand, but rather, she collapses. She collapses over the despair of losing her beloved child. She collapses at the horror of never seeing him again. She collapses in grief and sorrow.

Much like any of us would collapse after tragically losing a loved one, we too should collapse to our knees out of grief and agony for the loss of Jesus, because He is our Lord. With the appearance of bread and wine, Jesus is fully present, Body, Blood, Soul, And Divinity. We should kneel out of respect and humility as He has dominion over us.

During the Consecration, we should kneel as the Holy Ghost descends upon the bread and wine and transubstantiates the Essence it into the Most Holy Eucharist. We kneel to receive Him because He is our Lord and only hands that have been consecrated to bring forth His transfiguration should touch Him. Those brave men who have been ordained to the priesthood or the diaconate have hands consecrated to touch Him.

Remember the conversion of St. Thomas, in John 20: 24 – 29. Thomas, both doubting and boastful, sees Jesus for the first time since their Last Supper together and the Betrayal in the Garden. Is it too much to imagine that Thomas, upon seeing Jesus, would jump up and run to Him, calling, “My Lord!” in excitement? And then, realizing that the Wounds in His Hands, Feet and Side are neither bloody nor healed, immediately fall to his knees, his face to the floor, exclaiming, “My God!” in breathless ecstasy and adoration? It all happens together, in that Eternal Moment of Sanctification.

If only hands have that have been consecrated to touch Him are allowed, then logically Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion should not be allowed, as their hands have not been consecrated. While I understand the distribution of Holy Communion would take much longer, this should never, ever be a hindrance at the Mass, but a benefit. During this time, we should be offering prayers of Thanksgiving to Our Lord for allowing us to receive Him worthily. We should bring our prayer intentions to the Lord, focusing on His Holy Sacrifice on Calvary, and thanking Him for paying the debt which we cannot pay. In a society where we are constantly bombarded by noise, this provides ample opportunity to pray in silence before our Crucified Lord.

Clapping

Pope Benedict XVI, while still Josef Cardinal Ratzinger wrote:

“Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of the liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment.” Spirit of the Liturgy

applause

Applause is used to signify an accomplishment of an individual or group. It is not meant for the Mass, especially when we remember that the Mass is the Sacrifice of Christ Crucified. We would not applaud someone else while we are standing before Christ dying on the cross. We should not clap while we are at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The focus of the Mass is not us, but on Christ.

This includes all aspects of the Mass, even when the Mass is concluded. We are in the House of God, present before Jesus Christ in the tabernacle. We do not applaud the choir, nor any other individual or group of individuals. We read in Sacrosanctum Concilium:

32. The liturgy makes distinctions between persons according to their liturgical function and sacred Orders, and there are liturgical laws providing for due honors to be given to civil authorities. Apart from these instances, no special honors are to be paid in the liturgy to any private persons or classes of persons, whether in the ceremonies or by external display.

Altar Girls

Only men can be elevated to the calling of the priesthood. Many priests, while not all, were formed and called during their time as altar boys. A direct correlation has been observed between having altar girls and boys no longer being interested in serving at the altar. When boys are not interested, they may not heed their calling to a Vocation of Holy Orders.

When boys and young men miss their vocation to the priesthood, we are left in the vocations crisis that we are currently facing. Parishes are closing because we do not have any priests to minister to them.

These are but a few examples of abuses that we should aim to eliminate from the Mass if we want to restore a sense of the sacred. Prayerfully consider encouraging your pastor to begin removing elements that are not aimed at bringing forth reverence to Our Lord.

Jeff October 12, 2015 3 Comments Permalink

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