Edit: Today is the feast of St. John Vianney, patron of Priests, feared of the Devil. It is a terrible mockery that on this feast, we're presented with someone who is an anti-Cure, and were it not for his approved status, we'd think he was an imposter. He thinks no differently, actually, than the rebellious priests on the Viennese Cardinal's watch who say a lot of the same things he does.
The following is a parish bulletin file from the Parish of Divine Savior in Joliet, Illinois, we received from "Concerned Catholic". He says that the pastor, Father William Conway, is downplaying the Immemorial Mass of All Ages. In another bulletin this priest even praises Allah and Islam.
Father, despite his spiritual and liturgical eccentricities, does make a good point, though, as the designation of "extraordinary" seems to make the Mass of all Ages into a preferential luxury.
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I had heard a little while ago about a priest in that diocese "praising Islam" and wanted to see what was said but I had trouble finding anything. Now I know where to look — thank you.
This is what was said about Islam:
[...]The chapel, octagonal in shape, crowned with a dome, was quite simple and unadorned. In the middle under the dome was a large rock that seemed to protrude from the floor. Tradition says that it was on this rock Jesus stood before ascending to the heavens. Each of us in the group after praying together one by one knelt to kiss the sacred stone.
Reflecting on the visit two things stood out for me. The first that a place sacred to Christians was guarded and protected by a Muslim. Like the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the keys were entrusted not to Christians, but to Muslims. Why? The answer is simple and unfortunate. The history of the Christians – Catholics and Orthodox – has been through the centuries contentious and at times violent. How Jesus must weep!
The second thing to come to mind was the hiddeness of the chapel of the Ascension. I suspect many a pilgrim visits Jerusalem without ever coming to this holy site. A place that is crucial to the Easter story lies tucked away, almost hidden from sight, in a poor Palestinian neighborhood. Once again what is the message?
In old Jerusalem if one walks to the site of the Temple, one comes to a place sacred to the Muslims. It is adjacent to the precincts of the Jewish Temple. It is the Dome of the Rock. According to the Koran the Prophet Muhammad was told to go from Mecca to Jerusalem. He was accompanied by the archangel Gabriel. When he arrived at the Mount of the Temple, he encountered Abraham, Moses and Jesus whom he led in prayer. Afterwards he ascended by golden ladder through the seven heavens where he met with Allah. After the encounter he was accompanied back to Mecca by the archangel Gabriel.
For me there is a certain irony that surfaced from my visit to both the Chapel of the Ascension and the Dome of the Rock. Both are vary much linked to Islam as well as Christianity. But the Dome of the Rock stands out in its beauty, especially the brilliant gold dome. It can be seen far and wide throughout Jerusalem, while hardly anyone, Christian, Muslim or Jew, would notice the chapel of the Ascension. At the Rock of the Ascension one hears Jesus telling His disciples to go out to all the nations, proclaiming the Good News. At the other rock, the Dome of the Rock, one not only recalls the ascension of Muhammad but also his prayerful encounter with Abraham, Moses and Jesus that serves to remind all of us of our common origin and history.
The irony in all of this is that the place most sacred for all the children of Abraham – Jew, Christian, Muslim – is stained by the blood of so many because we attend not to what unites us but to what divides us. And until we come together in mutual respect and love – Jew, Christian, Muslim, no one will hear the Good News!
Yeah, the only problem is that the very thing that he claims "unites us" and reminds us of "our common origin and history" is a fabrication of the devil.
"How must Jesus weep" indeed.
Here are some other nuggets from various bulletins from the same priest:
April 17, 2011 (http://dsparish.org/Documents/4%20april%2017%20%282011%29.pdf):
Those who dare to embrace the passivity of Jesus, those who not only preach, but live non-violence, those who are courageous enough to meet hatred with love, injury with forgiveness, seem to pay a heavy cost for their faithfulness. They are the martyrs - Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Oscar Romero, etc.
He also manages to quote Teilhard de Chardin a couple of times in that one.
July 10, 2011
One might remember the expression in magic “hocus pocus”. Sadly its origin comes from a mockery of the Latin words “Hoc est enim Corpus meum” (“this is my Body”). A criticism sometimes made by Protestants about the Mass was that Catholics practice some kind of superstitious pagan ritual. While this idea came from anti – Papist bigotry, unfortunately there might be some validity to the critique.
And what might that be? He doesn't really go on to say (although, he does bring up that Trent defined the doctrine of Transubstantiation); but, in the paragraph before this he says,
What one does find looking at various Eucharistic texts is that the disciples of Christ gather to do what the Lord did at that meal in memory of Him (anamnesis) and that it was the Holy Spirit (epiclesis) who brought about the presence of Christ in the gathering for Table Fellowship (Transubstatiation).
March 27, 2011
Prior to the reforms of Vatican II preaching was done in the form of a sermon. A sermon by nature treats a particular doctrine of the faith but with little or no connection to the Word. In the old liturgy there was a set schedule for the content of the sermon. One year would be the moral life, another the sacramental life of the Church. The Scriptures read at the Mass had no connection to the sermon.
With Ezra and Nehemiah comes a new group of religious leaders – rabbis – to proclaim and interpret (homily) the Scriptures. Because of the importance of the Word in Hebrew one sees the development among the scribes and Pharisees new literature important not only for Jews but also Christians in understanding the Hebrew Scriptures – Targums, Midrash and Mishnah. All of these volumes help immensely in coming to understand and live the holy Word of God. It is from this world that the homily comes.
July 24, 2011
The other night I happened to tune into a discussion on EWTN concerning the extraordinary form of the Latin Rite. This refers to the publishing of the revised Tridentine Mass by Pope John XXIII just prior to the Second Vatican Council (1962). The missal or sacramentary presently in use – the ordinary form – is the Missale Romanum of Pope Paul VI (1969). The English edition – Novus Ordo Missal – appeared in 1974.
While I found the discussion interesting and to some degree informative, there were some points made in the discussion that I found problematic. First, the participants seemed to put both the ordinary and extraordinary forms on the same footing. They are not. In fact, for a number of years, one was not permitted to celebrate the Tridentine Mass (1962). It was only in the late 1980s that Pope John Paul II in an effort to reach out to the schismatic St. Pius X Society permitted a limited use of the Tridentine Mass. Sadly the Society did not respond to the overture of the Holy Father. In recent years Pope Benedict XVI has tried once again, going as far as lifting the excommunication of the St. Pius X Society. And once again olive branch was not accepted.
Along with matter of the schismatic Society of Pius X (Archbishop Lefebre), there has been the establishment of several societies with approval of Rome who are dedicated to the preserving of the Tridentine Rite, e.g. Fraternity of St. Peter.
In the past few months a second motu proprio has come from Pope Benedict concerning the use of the extraordinary form for the celebration of the Mass. It would seem that the Pope, as Shepherd, is concerned that some within the Church feel alienated because they have been denied the opportunity to celebrate the Mass of John XXIII (revised Tridentine liturgy). The second and more recent motu proprio appears to liberalize the use of this form.
Two points need to be kept in mind with all this. First, the official text of the Novus Ordo Missal (Paul VI) is in Latin. Translations into the vernacular are made from this text. Therefore, one could celebrate the Mass in Latin without adverting to the extraordinary form. Secondly, attending to the principle clearly articulated in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium) that speaks to “full and active participation by all the people”, one must question how this principle can be applied to the extraordinary form? Indeed, was not the point of reforming the liturgy to enable the faithful (laity) to move from passive to an active role in the prayer of the Church (all of the baptized)? Ironically it was St. Pius X who first articulated the principal of the full and active participation in the liturgy.
Returning once again to the discussion on EWTN, I found that that this discussion raises several serious questions concerning ecclesiology or one’s understanding of both Church and the Liturgy. In some ways, I have no problem with praying in Latin (I have my M. A. from Loyola in Latin) and I do pray from time to time the Divine Office in Latin, but I see no reason if I were to celebrate Mass in Latin for making use of the extraordinary form. There are situations where the use of Latin can be helpful in creating a sense of unity in the Mass, but I do not see how the extraordinary form (Tridentine) is needed to accomplish this end. In fact, I find its use to divide more than unite the people of God.
And so on and so forth... Too much else to mention really.
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