Monday, July 8, 2013

Why We Need to "Criticize" What's Going on in the Church

I enjoy watching Michael Voris on the Vortex, and I’ve never found him “negative” – though he gets that criticism often enough. I get it myself! I am sometimes accused of having nothing good to say - always complaining about what's going on in the liturgy and the sacraments and the everyday practice (or non-practice) of the faith, and criticizing the bishops and priests who either don't do anything to remedy the problems or else actively contribute to them.

First, a word of self-defense: I do try to find good things to say on my blog. I have written about bishops with backbone and persevering priests who truly defend the faith, and who truly shepherd the faithful; and I've even found some hopeful stories about the Traditional Latin Mass being re-introduced in various places around the country, even if my diocese isn't one of them...yet.

But, second, let me just shrug my shoulders and say, “So..?” It happens that there’s a lot wrong with the Church these days - not with the Church Herself, and her teachings, of course, but with the implementation of those teachings - and I’m not the only one voicing that opinion or giving examples of the shortcomings.  And it’s not just me ‘n’ MV, either – there are plenty of others. There have been plenty of others for decades now. In fact, there have probably been people being accused of being “negative” and “critical” since the beginning. After all, the Church is comprised of human beings, each of whom has a fallen human nature. The Church is full of sinners.

In the last 50 years, though, the problems seems to have been exacerbated by some unidentified (ha!) force. There was Vatican II, and then there was the steep decline of the Catholic Church. Well, correlation, as they say, does not imply causation; there were lots of sociological and political factors at work at the same time, including the “sexual revolution”, and Protestant groups acquiescing to artificial contraception, among other issues. Still, there does seem to be some evidence that Vatican II didn’t really help matters any. There are dozens of litanies out there about the ways in which the Church – especially in the West – has declined, and I’m not going to recite them here. You readers know what I’m talking about – even you “liberal” readers who lurk around the corners of this blog, waiting to jump on me for being “critical”.

Anyway, the point is that the Church is in trouble. The Church – certainly the Church in the United States – is divided. That division hasn’t come about simply because a handful of people in a particular parish or diocese have clamored for the traditional Latin Mass, either - despite the fact that traditionalists are often accused of being "divisive". The division doesn’t really have much to do with the TLM, at least not currently, and not directly. Rather, it has to do with the political views of the Catholic population of this country and the way “liberal-progressive-modernist” Catholics have sought to redefine important concepts like “conscience” and “social justice” in alignment with their political views. The division is about the truth of the teachings of the Church, which and how many of those teachings can be changed in order to bring the Church into the modern age.

As I have said, there are plenty of people talking about all that’s wrong with the Church today. But ask yourself: is anything being done to change the downward trends in vocations, Mass attendance, frequency of confession (if ever!), etc.? No. Duh. In fact, as Michael Voris has pointed out numerous times, the “establishment Church” doesn’t want to hear about it. The “establishment Church” will acknowledge some problems, some of the time, but gloss over them and tell everyone to hurry to the next LA Religious Ed Conference to get their annual fix of liturgical dance and youth-oriented Kathlic teaching. Put on a happy face.

Right.

While I am happy to give credit where credit is due, and applaud bishops who are taking courageous steps to reverse the trends and once again build up the Church, the fact is, there are not many of these. Thirteen years ago, Rod Pead, editor of Christian Order, said at a conference (see this post):

A prelate stands up to condemn sodomy or abortion – the minimum one might expect of a Catholic bishop – and we go weak at the knees and lose all sense of proportion in our rush to congratulate him. In our desperation for something – for someone – to hold on to, we blithely ignore the standards set by St. Paul, who wrote to Titus that “a bishop must be beyond reproach, since he is the steward of God's house…”, and that the bishop is duty bound to “rebuke sharply” the “many disobedient, vain talkers and seducers” who “bring ruin on entire households by false teaching”; false teachers who, St. Paul concludes: “must be silenced.” [Titus 1:7-13].

Rod Pead was speaking in 2000. Thirteen years later, we’re still in the same boat.  We’re still praising the bishops who say something that is the minimum we would expect a shepherd of the Church to say. When I am critical of bishops and priests for going decades without really impressing on the faithful the immorality of artificial contraception, I hear, “But at least they’re doing something now!” Yeah. Right. They are standing up for our first amendment rights, our freedom of religion; but have they taken a poll lately to see how many “Catholics” believe the Church teaching on contraception (or abortion or “gay marriage”)? If they haven’t, they'll have no problem locating someone who has, and the statistics are far from encouraging.

To me, that says we don’t need fewer of those who raise their voices in protest against what is going on in the Church today; we need more. We need to raise the roof until our shepherds run the wolves out of the flocks and start preaching and teaching the absolute Truth of the Catholic faith.

Just replace the politicians with some Church leaders...
In one Vortex episode, Michael Voris likened the crisis in the Church to that of a house on fire. If you saw a house on fire – and especially if it was your own house – wouldn’t you sound the alarm?! Wouldn’t you shout to your family members, “The house is on fire!” Wouldn’t you warn them of their imminent demise?! Wouldn’t you try to get them to grab a fire extinguisher and or garden hose and do something to save the house?

Yes, you would. So would I.

And that is why I write what I write on this blog. I want to help save the House. I came to the Church all too late in life, but I love Her. I loved Her before I knew that the house was on fire! Now that I know, well, I’m trying to make up for lost time.

35 comments:

  1. One of your best articles yet. When I hear that drivel about the societal changes in the 1960's all I can think is, "Why didn't the Church "hold the line?"

    The Marxism that has infected our society has infected the Church. Marxists and Communists must destroy the Church. They're well on their way...

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    1. Back in the 1960s I heard that the Communists were infiltrating the Catholic Church with priests. I didn't believe it then, but I so now!

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  2. You've got to accentuate the positive;
    Eliminate the negative;
    Latch on to the affirmative (and)
    Don't mess with "Mister In-Between."

    You've got to spread joy up to the maximum;
    Bring gloom down to the minimum;
    Have faith or pandemonium's
    liable to walk upon the scene.

    To illustrate those last remarks:
    Jonah in the whale, Noah in the ark.
    What did they do just when everything looked so dark?

    "Man," they said "We'd better accentuate the positive (and)
    Eliminate the negative;
    Latch on to the affirmative" (and)
    don't mess with "Mister In-Between!'"

    You've got to spread joy up to the maximum;
    Bring gloom down to the minimum;
    Have faith or pandemonium's
    liable to walk upon the scene.

    You've got to accentuate the positive;
    Eliminate the negative;
    Latch on to the affirmative (and)
    Don't mess with 'Mister In-Between.'

    Oh Yes!

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  3. Well, in the days of good catechesis, children learned the spiritual works of mercy, two of which apply to your blog: instruct the ignorant and admonish the sinners. We must do these at the peril of our own souls and many of us have received nothing short of persecution for doing our baptismal duty. Keep it up, Sister.

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  4. As I recently said on my blog, I used to think that all the liberal cliches were made up. One day I started to get into more depth about the faith with the parishioners and I soon discovered it was ALL true. I then discovered that quite a few people had left the parish because they were effectively (as one person put it) being treated like imbeciles for practicing the faith.

    Two of us were not particularly impressed by this and we literally took the liberals in the parish to task. Don't get me wrong, it was not pre-meditated, but we did literally lambast them on numerous occasions out of sheer frustration and dis-belief.

    The other thing we did (but in a more controlled way this time) was actually go to the majority of the liberals and accuse them face to face of their (genuine) misnomers. They didn't like it, but it certain calmed down their nonsense and we are now starting to get control back of the parish.

    One of our rules was that we would not put pressure on or bully the priest in to getting the tradition back. We simply asked him. Since then we have had good catechetical events, the Crowning of Mary etc and we are just organising a Traditional Latin Mass. We have also got a group together that actually like being Catholic and we have social events.

    I am absolutely convinced that the following (class) article on the Latin Mass Society website is one of the factors that has rarely been discussed, but is a key component to the demise. It was certainly choking St. Mary's Louth.

    In the end it took direct action against the liberals to get anything to change. I do not advise anger (though in my case I was angry due to be totally perplexed by the situation). However, I would advise accusing people where they have caused genuine problems. It soon stops them in their tracks and it is biblical.

    http://www.lmschairman.org/2013/07/the-old-mass-and-workers.html

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  5. It's difficult times when the rot spreads all the way to the top, to the point of canonizing popes who sat by and did nothing while the Church fell apart. The Church needs MEN as bishops, and vice-versa. And forget thinking that His Holiness will do anything. He is as emasculated as the rest of the hierarchy. Pray and find a parish where the sacraments are real and the Faith is expounded. Focus on Christ, and forget ever trying to change these shepherds who behave as sheep.

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  6. I personally think having Mass in my own language is a good thing. Why would that be the cause of the downfall of the Church?Don't want to throw out the baby with the bath water myself.

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    1. Hi Cjfunnier,

      If you are a promoter of and believe in Vatican II you might want to read the constitution on the Sacred Liturgy "Sacrosanctum Concilium" - paragraphs 36, 54, 91 and 101.

      (link here)

      http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19631204_sacrosanctum-concilium_en.html

      God bless you Cj,
      Catechist Kev

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  7. Thanks, Jay. You make a lot of good points, and a lot of sense.

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  8. Yes, the pastoral, fallible Council was problematic but how many people in the pew followed the drama that was Vatican II? Their contact with the Church is the Sunday Mass, which began changing.every.week in the late 60's. It would be interesting to see how many priests left the Church after the N.O. Mass was introduced, as well as how many laity stopped attending Mass and how many nuns left their convents. Tradition (the TLM and the Church's traditional teachings) will save the Church.

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  9. Amen to everything you have said.

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  10. fRED, I'm not really sure what your point is, but if you think the crisis in the Church will be resolved by "accentuating the positive", you are wrong. An analogy: some parents think only "positive reinforcement" should be used to shape children's behavior. It can work wonders, for sure (I'm a developmental psychologist by training, remember). But if you are trying to train your child not to run into the street, you might have to rely on a bit of punishment (NOT "negative reinforcement", which is different than punishment - a lesson for another time). If you only praise the child for staying on the sidewalk, that won't prevent him from running out into the street at some point, and then he might be dead. But if you have punished him a few times for attempting to run into the street, he might think twice about doing it when you're not watching. He's more likely to survive that way.

    Anyway, fRED, whatever your point really is, how about you just come on back into the Church and defend the faith!

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  11. We are one in the Spirit,
    we are one in the Lord,
    We are one in the Spirit
    we are one in the Lord,
    And we pray that all unity
    may one day be restored:

    And they’ll know we are Christians
    By our love, by our love,
    Yes, they’ll know we are Christians
    By our love.

    [L]ive in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. [Eph 4:1-6]

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    1. OMG, fRED. That song drives me nuts. Give it up with the happy-clappy stuff already! ;-)

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    2. Master fRED,

      *That* is funny!

      Thank you, good sir, for a fine moorning laugh. :)

      God bless,
      Catechist Kev

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  12. Very true...there is much to continually point out. We just cannot ignore the rot in the walls so to speak, or eventually the house will fall down. It is definitely a balance, to avoid becoming negative personally in such a time, but we still cannot blindfold ourselves for the sake of a happy dance. God bless you in your work to fight the good fight.

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  13. A wonderful blog, all the problems seen in the States are here in Australia too. Cardinal Pell at least sounds up, but it is a hard road for him.

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  14. “Those who consider themselves righteous, they can cook in their own stew!” Pope Francis

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  15. That quote is very appropriate for this blog, Anonymous.

    And Dr. Jay what is wrong with Happy/Clappy hymns,,,especially the one mentioned by fRED?

    If you can't stand a song like that, be sure not to attend the 25th anniversary Mass for one of your African priests....lots of clapping and lots of tongue sounds from the African attendees
    and con-celebrants.
    Let's sing TOGETHER Good People!
    Love, Justice & Peace

    George McCartin
    Priest/lawyer

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  16. This is the time in our human history that the generations of the future will be looking. Is this the age in which saints will arise from within the ashes or a time when the hundreds of thousands of Catholics are given over to our secular societies? Saints of the Church, now is the time to take courage! Now is the time to unify under the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ. We must clean house! We must expose those Careerist, Professional, and Fake Catholics from our hospitals, schools, and charites! It is time to stand up!

    Let the Revolution begin!
    www.revolutioncatholic.com

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  17. Phil - tell it! Your website looks great, too.

    George, George, George. What can I say? You're old enough to know better. I'll be praying for the salvation of your soul daily at the Divine Mercy chaplet. In the meantime, keep hanging out here. Maybe you'll get converted!

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  18. Hi Mrs. Boyd!

    I just wanted to say I LOVE your blog! Thank you for writing in defense of tradition and Holy Mother Church. It's great to know I'm not alone in my thinking. It's voices like you and Michael that the Church needs today. I despise Modernism and will try to do everything I can to rid the Church of it by clinging to tradition and praying for Holy Mother Church. I'm a teen, you see, and love Holy Mother Church and her traditions more than anything else. It's good to know I'm not alone. Thank you, Mrs. Boyd. Please keep up the good work.

    Pax Christi!

    ~Hannah

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  19. Yes , Yes
    Let the Revolution begin ....
    We were made for this ....we are SOLDIERS FOR CHRIST !
    Let us hold fast to the complete TRUTH and Tradition ...
    Oh how I love the TLM ...THE MASS !
    It is where heaven and earth meet .
    To God be the Glory!
    I am on the blog you suggested Dr. Jay .
    Let us continue to run the race and fight the good fight !

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    1. Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
      with the cross of Jesus going on before.
      Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
      forward into battle see his banners go!

      At the sign of triumph Satan's host doth flee;
      on then, Christian soldiers, on to victory!
      Hell's foundations quiver at the shout of praise;
      brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise.

      Like a mighty army moves the church of God;
      brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod.
      We are not divided, all one body we,
      one in hope and doctrine, one in charity.

      Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane,
      but the church of Jesus constant will remain.
      Gates of hell can never gainst that church prevail;
      we have Christ's own promise, and that cannot fail.

      Onward then, ye people, join our happy throng,
      blend with ours your voices in the triumph song.
      Glory, laud, and honor unto Christ the King,
      this through countless ages men and angels sing.

      Delete
  20. Tell us more Hannah, I am curious how you came to love Tradition and Holy Mother Church being a teen !

    God Bless you for your love for Holy Mother Church !

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  21. Thank you, Jeanne!

    Well, I received all three Sacraments of Initiation at a traditional parish when I was 12 years old (which happens to be the only parish with a Latin Mass in my diocese). That was 4 years ago. I love tradition because of Papa Benedict also. I've done reading and reading and more reading. That's actually all I do! Study the Faith and tradition and the truth of the Church. I know one thing. Christ deserves BEAUTY, NOT Modernism. I HATE Modernism. Poor Pope St. Pius X must be rolling in his grave looking at the state of the Church today. I love tradition and reverence and beauty.

    Anyway, a little about me because you asked. I wouldn't want to take over the combox, now would I? :)

    God bless!

    ~Hannah

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  22. Hannah
    GOOD FOR YOU...and the interesting thing is that there are a LOT of young people who really like the TLM and thirst for the structure and certainty that existed in the Church before it was hijacked by those who intentionally misinterpreted and distorted Vat II. It isn't just us old folks who were around pre Vat II who reject modernism. It is VERY refreshing and a source of inspiration in our fight to restore beautiful liturgy to see teens who see the real truth. God Bless

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  23. Thank you for your message, Anonymous!

    I know there are young people out there like me. No, we didn't see the time before Vatican II. We didn't see the Pope wearing the Papal Tiara. We didn't see any of that, but we look forward to the purification of the Church. We look forward to the triumph of the Immaculate Heart.

    Pope St. Pius X, ora pro nobis.

    God bless!

    ~Hannah

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  24. Dear Hannah,
    Thanks for taking the time to share you story, AMAZING and WONDERFUL ...You are a bright light in the darkness that surrounds you and each of us.
    You see I am a "older adult" and I returned to the TLM in 2010 after my complete re-version back in 2009 to the Holy Catholic Church, thanks be to GOD! I do not attend the NEW MASS and I am blessed to have the TLM about 20 minutes from my home, thanks be to God!
    I feel blessed to have found St. Francis De Sales oratory and the TLM , I actually did not think it was still allowed or going on...
    I was all caught up in the Novus Ordo Mass ....but when I began to study what actually took place and how , I turned away and embraced THE MASS ...the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven where the good God is worshipped in Spirit and TRUTH.
    Oh how blessed we are Hannah , we have been given the grace to embrace the complete TRUTH and reject Moderism ...let us REJOICE together .
    Pope St. Pius X, ora pro nobis.
    Joyfully, Jeanne

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  25. Thanks for sharing, Hannah and Jeanne! And Jeanne - us "older adults" are still young at heart, right?!

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  26. Can I just take the moment to say how great Archbishop Sample is?! Seriously. Every Diocese should have a Bishop like him. He's another Bishop Fulton Sheen to me! Your so so so so so blessed to have a Bishop like him, Mrs Boyd! So not fair to the rest of us!! How young, holy, and traditional he is. Hearing him reach sets you on fire. God bless him.

    Jeanne,

    That's so great that you have a TLM so near! I'm personally attending the New Mass right now for various reasons. I still see it as the Mass,though. At least, I try my best to see it as the Mass. I treat it the same. I still dress modestly (I know wow) and wear my veil. One day they'll be TLMs in every parish. One day... Michael Voris says we will be the majority one day. Can't wait.

    God bless!

    ~Hannah

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  27. If the essence of the Mass is unchanged then there is little to benefit by debating the differences between the OLD mass and the NEW mass.

    On the other hand, if the two masses are so substantially different then the reality is that two different sects exist rather than one universal faith.

    If you want to break away, then do so. Otherwise, "let's get together" (yeah, yeah, yeah).

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  28. I agree with your assessment of Archbishop Sample, Hannah, but sadly, he's not my bishop. I'm in the Diocese of Baker. We're hoping the Archbishop will be able to pull our diocese along with him as he cleans up the Archdiocese of Portland!

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  29. Did anyone see and hear Michael Voris video clip today ?

    I just listened to this AMAZING clip ......

    Better sit down for this one ....I was actually shocked at what he stated .

    God Bless one and all on here!

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  30. fRED, many think there are theological problems with the NO. I'm not a theologian. However, the NO Mass opens itself to abuse, and it is in fact widely abused. So the problem is more with the liturgical abuses that have resulted from the NO than with the NO itself. The abuses sometimes DO change the "essence" of the Mass, and that would make it invalid. With the NO, people get confused as to what abuses make the Mass invalid or "just" illicit. The confusion detracts from the grace of the Mass. You have a pretty Protestant mindset on all of this! The true Catholics won't leave the Church; the Catholics-in-name-only, the "liberals" who want happy-clappy hymns, tons of lay ministers, etc., changes in Church doctrine and teaching regarding abortion, homosexual behavior, and contraception, pretty much already have.

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