Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

Traditionalists

All of the posts under the "Traditionalists" category.

The TradCast Episode 01

On the first episode of the TradCast, I give you a bit of history about me. I discuss my experience at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ Rediscover: Catholic Celebration. What do you do with your orthodox leanings in a progressive parish? And finally, what does it mean to be Catholic and who do we look to in this day when modernism reigns supreme?

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Currently, you can download or listen from SoundCloud. Due to some technical difficulties and lack of foresight on my part, this is the only way you can listen to it. I am working on getting iTunes and self-hosted working soon.

Enjoy and thanks for listening!

One correction, the verse is Romans 16:17-19

Jeff October 14, 2014 3 Comments Permalink

A Weekend in Madison

This past weekend, I had the honor and privilege of seeing my friend, the Reverend Deacon Chris Gernetzke, get ordained by Bishop Morlino to the Deaconate of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin. I have never been to an ordination of any sorts, so I was unsure what to expect.

When my wife and I arrived at the Bishop O’Connor Center, we were looking out for some friends that I had met on Facebook. We met one couple outside in the parking lot, and chatted for awhile in the main lobby. While we waited, we noticed Father Richard Heilman of Pine Bluff come in the door. After some waiting we went in to pray before the Mass.

As Mass started, the procession was long. We saw Fr. Z process in in choir and he had his biretta on. No other priests had their biretta on. Even Deacon-Elect (at that moment) Gerntzke processed up, and I was moved. He had quite the man-lace on. Bishop Morlino also processed in after many priests did so. It was rather an awesome experience.

The Mass, was very reverent. Bishop Morlino managed to give about a 20-25 minute homily. He had 4 points, though I do not recall them all. I do recall how he mentioned a great point to give in regards to married priests. If Catholics give like they do when they don’t like the priest (not much), how is a priest supposed to support a family on that kind of an income? On top of that, how is a priest, who is supposed to love his flock, going to love them if they are mean to his family and taking away their food?

Bishop Morlino also talked about how he calls it as he sees it. Truth is truth. As an example he said he was “chubby wubby” and would not get offended if someone called him that.

The rest of the Mass was very reverent. Deacon Gernetzke did an awesome job. After he was ordained, he vested, and he ad some pretty awesome looking vestments. Solid gold. Nice! All in all there were 3 new Deacons. Apparently the Diocese of Madison has had many years where they had no vocations. Pray for vocations to the priesthood.

Afterwards, my wife, friends and I all went to an Old Chicago for some celebratory food and brews. We had some great conversation about all things Catholic. I asked about how they held their hands in prayer and why their thumbs were crossed over each other. They politely informed me that all of my prayers up to this point didn’t count because I was doing it wrong. Kidding, of course.

The next day, we awoke rather early and went to Deacon Gernetzke’s first preaching Mass. They had quite a few priests who con-celebrated as well as another Deacon. There were several other Seminarians who were also assisting. Deacon Gernetzke gave an excellent homily about Mary, and what the Deacon’s role is in the Church. The Mass was also reverent even though the parish wasn’t exactly the “prettiest”.

A fun fact, the Church was shaped like a fish! Groovy!

All in all though, the Mass was good. Everything was say the black and do the red. There was a nice reception afterwards. We talked with Deacon Gernetzke, for a bit. He informed us that Sunday morning he would be doing an Extraordinary Form with Fr. Z!

View Photos Here

Unfortunately, we were not able to attend this. However, we were able to go to Pine Bluff with Fr. Heilman!

Fr. Heilman has done an excellent job at restoring and preserving tradition at St. Mary’s in Pine Bluff. I have only spoken with him on Facebook and then briefly before the ordination. When we walked in, he was standing right there and recognized us and welcomed us. Traditionalists can be welcoming too! We chatted for a bit and then proceeded to walk into the Church.

Everything had been restored. Absolutely amazing. Fr. Heilman brought in new high altar and two side altars. He got rid of the coffee table altar that is generally used. He celebrates the Mass Ad Orientem, that is, back to the people. He reinstalled the communion rail. Everything looked pristine. It was like being transported outside of time itself and into Heaven.

St. Mary’s of Pine Bluff with new Altar Rails. Via Fr. Z.

Father Heilman had an excellent homily about how complaining is unchristian. He said that we as Catholics should not be seeking what is comfortable, but what is uncomfortable. We have to bear our crosses daily. He also talked about how awesome soldiers are and that we need to become an army for Christ and His Church. This was a manly homily that called every single one of us to not be content with the ordinary. We need to live our lives for Christ and be obedient to Him and His Church. We need to be good Catholics.

The music was incredibly prayerful. I have heard some of the songs before sung by various different choirs, including the dreaded Praise and Worship choirs. However, this time, it was sung from the heart with the organ. It was prayerful. It reminded me of listening to one of those chant CDs. The songs we sing (or preferably chant) at Mass need to be sung from the heart and need to be prayerful. Its not a performance. You don’t need to be a pop artist. You just need to do it.

Father said Mass intentionally and to the T. He wasn’t trying to entertain us. He was there to say Mass. There was something great about the consecration as well. Reverence. Real reverence at the presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. You can tell that he believes it (the real presence), reveres it, and worships it.

We received communion at the communion rail and on the tongue. It was incredible. It was beautiful. I was overwhelmed by emotion that Father believes and encourages that we should receive in this regard. I have been criticized a few times and even denied communion for kneeling and receiving on the tongue. Father Heilman has a great article on why we should receive on the tongue AND kneeling. I suggest you read it.

I have lately been a critic of the Novus Ordo. Mostly, because I felt that it was not as good as the TLM. I still feel that the TLM is better, but after going to Fr. Heilman’s Mass, I am not entirely convinced that the NO should be completely abandoned. The Novus Ordo, in order to succeed, needs to be free from any form of irreverence and influences from the world.

Father Heilman’s Novus Ordo celebrated Ad Orientem felt as if I had indeed gone to a Mass that took place outside of time and space. This is how every Mass should be celebrated. Restore the sacred. Say the black and do the red. If you ever get the chance to go to St. Mary’s of Pine Bluff, GO! It is well worth it.

Please keep Fr Heilman and Deacon Gernetzke in your prayers. Deacon Gernetzke will be Deaconing or Sub-Deaconing two more EF’s in the month of June in the diocese of Madison.

Are Traditionalists The Modern Day Pharisees?

Many who are faithful to the Church and Her Magisterium are mocked by their enemies as being a “pharisee”. Fortunately for the faithful, and unfortunately for the enemy, the term pharisee is being used incorrectly.

What is a Pharisee?

The Concise Catholic Dictionary of 1943 (CCD) states that Pharisees are:

“Those Jews who in our Lord’s time scrupulously observed the Jewish law and refused to have communication with the gentiles; the proud and self-righteous.”

Now, when the term “Pharisee” is thrown around, it is usually used to mock a certain point of view. Its used to mock it, ridicule it and silence it. Nobody wants to be a Pharisee. We know through Scripture that all they did was follow the rules, appear to be Holier Than Thou and had Jesus killed. They aren’t good people.

The people who are called this vile and ugly word, may in fact be devoted to the rules, the doctrine and the teachings of the Church. However, the are far from being smug, “Holier Than Thou” and are usually humble people who recognize that they too are sinners and in need of God’s love and mercy. It is important to keep in mind that there are always some of those who ruin it for everyone else. We are talking about the average traditionalist.

The Pharisees are the enemy in the Gospels. Every time they are mentioned, it is to prove a lesson to them. The Pharisees externally appeared to be “saints” but interiorly were wretched, unrepentant sinners. They cared more about their place of power, as opposed to their place in the Kingdom of God.

Traditionalists, from my experience, are not in any way Pharisees. They hold true to the Dogmas, Doctrines, and teachings of the Church. If the Pharisees did this, then this is the only area in which there is overlap between Pharisees and Traditionalists. Where they differ, is that the Traditionalist recognizes that he is a sinner. The Traditionalist tries his hardest to live his life as Christ and the Church has asked of him. Granted, he may be stern in what he believes, but that is only because the teachings of Jesus are not negotiable. What Jesus has taught goes and what the Church teaches in congruence with her spouse, is also the law of the land.

Pharisees in Scripture

Jesus mentions the Pharisees in Scripture numerous times. Often it is to drive a point home. God does not want you lukewarm, that is, following his law when those around you are looking, and ignoring it when no one is around. He doesn’t want you to follow it out of pride either. The error of the Pharisees is that they think that because they are following the law, that they are saved and because you are not following the law, you are not saved.

Jesus points out that no, those who are not following the law, but repent are more likely to be saved than those who pretend to follow the law, but are unrepentant.

“But what think you? A certain man had two sons; and coming to the first, he said: Son, go work today in my vineyard. And he answering, said: I will not. But afterwards, being moved with repentance, he went. And coming to the other, he said in like manner. And he answering, said: I go, Sir; and he went not. Which of the two did the father’s will? They say to him: The first. Jesus saith to them: Amen I say to you, that the publicans and the harlots shall go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of justice, and you did not believe him. But the publicans and the harlots believed him: but you, seeing it, did not even afterwards repent, that you might believe him.” Matthew 21:28-32 Douay-Rheims

Jesus also condemns the false traditions as well and that its not what is on the outside, but what is on the inside. These traditions were created by the Pharisees before them. The Traditions of the Church are given by her authority.

After he had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you. Woe to you Pharisees! You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb, but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God. These you should have done, without overlooking the others. Woe to you Pharisees! You love the seat of honor in synagogues and greetings in marketplaces. Woe to you! You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk.” Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply, “Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too.” And he said, “Woe also to you scholars of the law! You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them. Woe to you! You build the memorials of the prophets whom your ancestors killed. Consequently, you bear witness and give consent to the deeds of your ancestors, for they killed them and you do the building. Therefore, the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles; some of them they will kill and persecute’ in order that this generation might be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who died between the altar and the temple building. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood! Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.” When he left, the scribes and Pharisees began to act with hostility toward him and to interrogate him about many things, for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say. Luke 11:37-54 NAB

Jesus makes it very clear though, that we are to follow the “rules” and Traditions that He has given us numerous times as well (c.f. Matthew 19:16-30 and John 13:31-35).

It is clear that when Jesus talks about the Pharisees, that we must be repentant of our sins and we must follow whatever Commandments that He has given to us. That means that anywhere in Scripture in which Jesus tells us to do something, we are to do it. Because He is God, we know that that is the Truth. There is nothing wrong with following the teachings, doctrines and traditions of the Catholic faith. There is nothing wrong with asking others to do it and making sure that our priests and religious follow them as well, as long as it is done in love. The problem is when we follow only the rules to appear better than those around us. If it is out of general love for God, then it is perfectly acceptable to ensure that our brethren follow the traditions.

Not All Pharisees Hated Jesus

You read that correctly, not all of the Pharisees were bad and wanted Jesus to be killed. As a matter of fact, we read that after Jesus had cured the man born blind and sent him to the temple to wash his eyes, that there was disagreement between the Pharisees. We read:

Some therefore of the Pharisees said: This man is not of God, who keepeth not the sabbath. But others said: How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. John 9:16 Douay-Rheims

Jesus cured the blind man on the sabbath, and some of the Pharisees (the bad ones at least) felt that Jesus’ curing of this man violated the sabbath. Meanwhile, other Pharisees (the good ones) believed that if you are doing something that is good on the sabbath, than you can not be sinning. There was a definite division among the Pharisees. This demonstrates that not all were bad and that more than likely, a percentage of the Pharisees thought that Jesus was God and followed His teachings. We also know of the Pharisee Nicodemus. We read:

And there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night, and said to him: Rabbi, we know that thou art come a teacher from God; for no man can do these signs which thou dost, unless God be with him. John 3:1-2 Douay-Rheims

It is an important distinction to highlight the good Pharisees. The Pharisees were generally bad, but to allow the good Pharisees to be lumped in with the bad is uncharitable to those who did follow Jesus (assuming they later converted). It also weakens the analogy that traditionalists are all “bad” as this is what the comparison is used for.

Conclusion

Every group has its members who are not good and give a bad name for the rest of them. Just like there were bad Pharisees, there will also be bad Traditionalists. The important distinction is to see how the Traditionalist lives his life as a Catholic to determine if he is like a Pharisee or not. The Pharisees aren’t only those who followed the law to a t, but those who exteriorly followed the law to a t when people were around to witness it. This is a clear sense of pride. But, when they weren’t around they were corrupt and interiorly were diseased and unclean. To lump those on the “ultra-conservative” or “ultra-traditional” side as pharisees, is an assumption and a judgment that you know better what is going on interiorly in their hearts, which Jesus warns against (c.f. Luke 6:37).

Most of the people I know may follow the law to a t, but it is out of love for God and love for others in helping them get to Heaven. If they are actually living out their faith, both when people are around and aren’t, then to call them a Pharisee is an error and an uncharitable error that only goes to create divisions within the Church. I don’t see how that helps anything.

Jeff April 2, 2014 8 Comments Permalink

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