Tuesday, August 28, 2012

More Liturgical Abuse

Here are a few more thoughts on a couple more cases of liturgical abuse, and some thoughts on liturgical abuse in general.

First, the other day there was a story on Rorate Caeli blog about a “Memorial Mason Mass”, with several photos of the event. It was noted that:

What makes this mass noteworthy, therefore, is the occasion: it is a memorial new mass for the "Day of the Freemason", celebrated by Father Geraldo de Magela Silva, of the Diocese of Pesqueira (state of Pernambuco, Brazil), on August 20, 2012. Its images were actually posted on the Facebook page of a Masonic organization.

Talk about a contradiction in terms! The Masons have been condemned by the Church for centuries, and the Catholic faithful are still forbidden to be members!

Also occurring in Brazil was this ludicrous and sacrilegious scene:


Apparently, the young woman has joined the priest in the “Agnus Dei”. And in the photo below, she is administering Holy Communion under both species. 

As Tantamergo noted:

Is this dress considered sufficiently modest to take the very Lord of the Universe into one’s hands and then distribute it to another?

Amen, brother.

Back to that imminent water park Mass in the Diocese of Honolulu…I have had a few thoughtful comments from readers. CatholicSacristan said (my emphases):

When will prelates, priests and people realize that the aged hippy-dippy generation, shorthand for "Spirit of Vatican II" folk, was and is wrong about the Liturgy? They mistakenly think that making the Liturgy "relevant" will engage young people. My experience with contemporary college students indicates that a different tack is required. The college students I know have indicated in no uncertain terms that they want Tradition. They want Catholic identity and substance not frothy, abuse ridden liturgies which focus on the people (rather than Christ) and only serve to create a cult of personality. They want deep ritual and many routinely go to the TLM at Our Lady Queen of Peace and the Latin OF on Saturdays. In brief, they want Christ not kitsch, Jesus not cheesy. [See also his post “A Tale of Two Maui Parishes”]

I don’t know very many college students these days, but I keep hearing that young people are looking for something more than the fluff that’s too often all there is to the typical parish Novus Ordo Mass. I pray it is true!

Another reader emailed me with this comment (my emphasis):

It seems to me that if there was one thing I would want Catholics to know, it would be that the Mass is the most important thing there is, and that it is separate from all other gatherings/celebrations/ meetings/missions/services, etc. Just leave the Mass alone and you can do whatever with all those other things. Sing all that music and do all your dancing, etc. somewhere else. In the window of my parish church it says, 'Daily service 8:00'. SERVICE!!! To me that shows a huge lack of catechesis at the very basic level.

Exactly! The Eucharist is the source and summit of our Christian life! Why do we see it marred and mocked by liturgical abuses?

I think that in many cases, the liturgy is abused in ignorance. People just don’t know. And they’ve been Protestantized to the extent that their Catholic sensibilities are not speaking very loudly. Sometimes the faithful “just know” something is wrong in a particular Mass, but they can’t put their finger on it; other times, the abuse screams so loudly that even our numbed and dumbed-down Catholic identity recognizes it and objects.

The sad fact is that we can find priests and bishops who seem to hold the correct Catholic moral view of things like abortion, contraception, and homosexual “marriage”, and who might even “go public” in trying to educate the faithful about these things. But these same priests and bishops fall flat when it comes to the liturgy. They will uphold Catholic moral teaching in the same Mass where liturgical abuses abound!

And yet, the Mass is the foundation! The Eucharist is the source and summit of our Christian life! If we would just get it right, so many wrongs would be corrected.

Save the liturgy, save the world.


  1. The concept of a "Mass for Freemasons" is the most amazingly scandalous occurence I think I've ever known of in my life time. "Tradition in action" site has covered this problem for years though. There have been masons blessed in masses in both brazil in Italy for the last decade, there are photos to prove it. None of them were quite as blatant as this, but they were close enough. I think the fact that this "abuse" is being taken more seriously now shows that the a better understanding of the faith is now more popular among some pockets of the laity. I myself am glad that I am now in communion with Patriarch Cyril of Moscow. Indeed. While there are problems in the Orthodox Church too, but thank God they are not comparable to this. Perhaps someday back in soviety bloc times something remotely like this could have happened???

    One thing you have to realize though is that many lay catholics / lay orthodox do not know what masons are or look like... especially in countries where there prescence is not very significant. So in that regard I do wonder how ignorant people are.

    The ignorance of the laity has allowed a great deal of trouble to occur in the past century.

    Best wishes...

  2. Chris, I don't think people talk about the Masons as much as they used to, and in these times of "let's just loooooove one another", no one wants to say anything bad about a "club". Also, since people tend not to believe in hell or satan any more, they just pooh-pooh any talk that the masons might be involved in such things. We're just too enlightened these days, ya know.


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