Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Vortex: Bishop Taylor Speaks

Michael Voris brings to our attention an audio homily by Bishop Anthony Taylor of the Diocese of Little Rock, Arkansas. Bishop Taylor recorded the message in order to introduce his thoughts on the Year of Faith.  

You can listen to it here, if, as Michael Voris says, you have the stomach for it. I warn you, if you have an ounce of “traditionalist” in your soul, you will be appalled. (You have to click on the little photo of the bishop where it says “Listen to Bishop Taylor’s Year of Faith homily”.)

I wrote about the battle for the TLM in the Diocese of Little Rock last February

Here are some excerpts I transcribed from the audio (my emphases), interspersed with Voris's and my own comments:

…It’s really hard for young people today to have any concept of the ghetto mentality that pervaded the church 50 years ago, especially in places like Arkansas where the Catholic Church was a small minority.

I remember well what it was like to be discouraged from reading the Bible out of fear of misinterpreting it; and to be forbidden to attend practically anything except funerals in a non-Catholic church out of fear of contagion.

Michael Voris address the “misinterpretation” in the Vortex, asking pointedly, “Given the MASSIVE misinterpretations that have resulted from individual reading of Sacred Scripture all the way back to Martin Luther and the 500 years since, isn’t that a legitimate concern?”

Voris also addresses the “contagion” issue  - the idea that Catholics were discouraged from interacting with Protestants in formal worship settings. Voris says, “Yep. From the point of view of our eternal lives, what is to be gained from formally associating with people who subscribe to a heresy?... ‘Sharing’ our faith traditions with each other gives the impression that all of them are equally valid…and they are not.”

Bishop Taylor goes on in his homily:

… Many of those who today seem so gripped with nostalgia for the time before Vatican II, have no actual lived experience of what those days were really like. So as you pray these documents, I invite you to consider what a blessing it is to be able to participate fully in the Mass, which was not the case before Vatican II.
In the past, much of the laity prayed the Rosary privately during Mass, especially prior to the introduction of the dialogue Mass in the 1950’s.  

And very few people went to Communion on any given Sunday.   In those days it was very much the priest’s Mass, and only the priest and altar boys had liturgical roles. And only they could even hear, in Latin, much of what was going on, because a lot of it was whispered. That was the reason for the bells, to alert people that the priest had reached the consecration, and so they should interrupt their Rosaries and other devotions and now direct their attention to the altar.

So first I invite you to consider what a blessing it is to be able to participate fully in the Mass, thanks to Vatican II.

Give. Me. A. Break. I guess no one had a missal back then. But you know what? After a while, you know what the priest is praying. You don’t necessarily have to hear it or read it or follow along with it word by word. You know the Mass. And there have been the parts for the people for ages. In fact, I’ve been told that people used to know how to sing the various ordinaries, and would sing along with the schola at the appropriate times.

I had a little argument with the Apostolic Administrator of our diocese about a year and a half ago, when he had effectively eliminated the EF Mass here. He said all the politically correct things about how the EF Mass was “fine” and “permitted” and “some people like it”, but he stubbornly maintained that people could not participate fully because it was in Latin. When I mentioned that we provided Mass booklets with the translation, he dismissed that with a wave of his hand, saying, “They won’t read it.” Hogwash! I told him that my own personal participation was greater at the “Latin Mass”, and he told me that my participation would be greater in English! I suggested that we agree to disagree.

Bishop Taylor goes on with other statements that give me a headache:

…I invite you also to marvel at how the Holy Spirit inspired the Council Fathers to  use the inclusive, dynamic image of the People of God to express the common ground we share with other believers. Vatican II enabled us to recognize that as pilgrims on a journey we should support our fellow non-Catholic believers in our common effort to know and do God’s will as best we understand it. This ecumenical approach was the diametrical opposite of what we had been doing up until then. Not to mention the positive new approach the Council took regarding our interfaith relationship with Jews, Muslims, and other non-Christian religions.

Really?! How can something that is the diametrical opposite of the previous 1900 years of teaching be seen as a good thing? Where’s the continuity? Was everything the Church taught about “ecumenism” before Vatican II wrong? As Voris notes, “His Excellency, in a not-so-veiled slam, implies that all that went before Vatican II was not really what Jesus taught. THANK GOD for 1962 when the Church FINALLY came into existence. Most of those previous 1900 years were not REALLY what Jesus taught.”

My final quote from Bishop Taylor’s audio is this:

…Sure, there are funny stories, even horror stories, about aberrations and missteps in the implementation of the reforms of the Council - people who acted on what they perceived to be the spirit of the Council rather than on what the Council documents really said. But these were the exception and serve only to cloud the picture.

Are you kidding me?! “Exceptions”? We see these “exceptions” every Sunday in parishes all over the US! These “exceptions” are standard fare in the Novus Ordo – some abuses are more egregious than others, but the “interpretation” of the Council documents has been free and loose from the beginning and remains so today.

Case in point: EVERY YEAR this kind of liturgical abuse goes on under the noses of various archbishops and bishops at the Los Angeles Religious Ed Conference. No one corrects it, and "educators" and "youth ministers" come home wanting to imitate the "liturgical dance" and other anomalies. But these are just "exceptions"...yeah...right...

Incidentally, Michael Voris also discussed Bishop Taylors audio clip on the “ChurchMilitant.TV Mic’d Up” internet radio show this evening (Wednesday); you can listen to the radio program here, or watch the video version sometime tomorrow.

Here’s today’s Vortex, with the full script below.

With this week’s onset of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, many Catholics around the world have been holding their breaths – fearing that a round of tradition bashing would be unleashed.

It appears that has begun. The lead-off hitter appears to be Little Rock Arkansas bishop Anthony Taylor.

He has just released an audio version of his take on Vatican II. We have attached a link for you to hear…if you can stomach it.

Now let’s be clear right from the outset: this is not a challenge to the bishop’s authority or anything of the kind.

But it is a focus on a mindset that has permeated much of the Church in the west – including many bishops – and consequently their priests and seminary rectors and staffs at the chancery and so forth. This mindset is so pervasive that many may not even realize that it is the very air they breathe.

It is the mindset that most of what went on before the Second Vatican Council was bad or insufficient or deficient or somehow not correct and that practically everything that happened after the council was good and better and some coming-of-age fulfillment of a “BETTER” church.

So with that in mind, we are exploring Bishop Taylor’s assessment of the Church before Vatican II and after.

It begins about 4 minutes in on his audio. His point of reference is his own childhood memories of how terrible things were then and how blessedly blissful they are now.

If that is his base of authority on which to speak – that he lived before during and after the Council – ten we think that His Excellency needs to be reminded that there are MANY MANY people who have the same base of lived experience who would disagree full-throatedly with his points and conclusions.

First, he has a self-admittedly four-year experience with the Pre-Vatican II days, from when he was 10-14 years old… not a particularly mature platform that – your middle school years – to be making vast sweeping judgments about the world.

He first mentions a “ghetto” experience of the Church. Really? A Catholic GHETTO?
Let’s look at those pre-council days and consider the utter absurdity of that observation.

Does anyone remember Bishop Sheen? NATIONAL television figure?

And how about Loretta Young, who, on her NATIONAL television series over several years, played Sister Ann, head of nursing at a Catholic hospital who was seen IN FOUR EPISODES making visits to the Blessed Sacrament, blessing herself with holy water, blatantly showing her trust in, etc.

And there was the series special "Road to Lourdes" about, well, Lourdes. And speaking of Lourdes, how about the 1943 FOUR-time Oscar winning movie “The Song of Bernadette”?
And what about "Dial O for O'Malley”, Bing Crosby in "Going My Way" and "The Bells of St. Mary's", who, while obviously an idealized portrayal of a Catholic priest, was close enough to NORMAL experience of Catholic priests that he could inspire you rather than make you laugh at the absurdity of the idealization.

And how about Pat O'Brien and Spencer Tracy as Fr. Duffy and Fr. Flanagan, respectively, with Tracy taking home the best-acting Oscar?

The amazing thing about this supposed Catholic Ghetto was its ability to inspire a PROTESTANT, quite often anti-Catholic culture, to accept its message. This “Catholic ghetto” inspired a world with its proclamation of its ideals.

Catholics of the day had no shared anything to speak of except their faith. We didn’t dress alike, have the same ethnic backgrounds, eat the same foods, do the same work, live in the same places.

Heck, in many cases, depending on the ethnic background the original different groups of immigrants, we didn’t even have the same devotions. Of course, there were shared experiences – but those experiences were rooted in the faith…our beliefs…what is called our Catholic identity.

Incidentally, it is that same Catholic identity that many bishops in the US have stated quite  openly we need to discover again. How, pray tell, can we re-discover and live our Catholic identity without fear of returning to the ghetto? There appear to be contradictions even among the bishops.

His Excellency seems to have bought into a revisionist history of a time largely before he was born.

Now here was another humdinger: that Catholics were discouraged from reading the bible for fear of misinterpreting it. Given the MASSIVE misinterpretations that have resulted from individual reading of Sacred Scripture all the way back to Martin Luther and the 500 years since, isn’t that a legitimate concern?

And those misinterpretations have resulted in a world full of woe.

Even today, all over the western world, Catholics gather for “Bible Studies” that are nothing more than “tell me how that passage makes you FEEL sessions”. That’s not bible study, and it most certainly is not learning about the scriptures with the mind and heart of the Church.

That Catholics don’t KNOW the Bible is a Protestant canard. Sure, many may not know book, chapter, and verse – as if that’s really all that important anyway – but faithful Catholics absolutely do know those scriptural truths, whether they could cite the book or not.

Then he goes on to say how Catholics were discouraged from interacting with Protestants in formal worship settings. Yep. From the point of view of our eternal lives, what is to be gained from formally associating with people who subscribe to a heresy?

That isn’t to say shun them and be rude and not invite them to barbeques. But it is to say that to mingle truth with heresy in a form that appears to be condoning of error will bode nothing but bad.

“Sharing” our faith traditions with each other gives the impression that all of them are equally valid…and they are not.

Unless your goal is to evangelize and convert them, what’s the point? It’s like dating a girl you aren’t gonna marry. Sure, you might have some laughs or fun times along the way, but in the end, what’s the point? The Catholic life has a very definite end – and it is salvation and bringing others to it.

His Excellency, in a not-so-veiled slam, implies that all that went before Vatican II was not really what Jesus taught. THANK GOD for 1962 when the Church FINALLY came into existence. Most of those previous 1900 years were not REALLY what Jesus taught.

In a broad and dismissive statement, totally unbecoming of his role as a successor of the Apostles, he says that today’s young people who are – notice the language here –  GRIPPED – by a nostalgia for a time they never knew, just don’t realize what “those” days were really like.

Yep, Your Excellency: it must have been horrible to have packed churches; vocations by the millions; faithful catechism being taught in a thriving Catholic school system; two-hour long lines for confession; attended Mass; believed in sin; believed in Hell; didn’t shack up, abort their children, use birth control, support same-sex marriage, divorce and re-marry like the rest of the world; actually believe that Jesus was present in the Eucharist; have their children baptized into families that actually believed and understood what that baptism meant; honored the Mother of God; and on and on.

Oh, the horror of what the Church must have been like in “those days”.

Imagine: balanced books in parishes; Catholic educational institutions popping up everywhere; converts coming to her by the hundreds of thousands; award winning movies; number-one ranked TV programs; best-selling books;so many vocations we could export religious to the missions, instead of importing priests to now shrinking parishes.

Bishop Taylor goes on to say more and imply even much more in the next section of his audio and we are going to pick up with that tomorrow.

And it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he takes direct aim at Traditional Latin Mass – a Mass he comes close to portraying as a kind of meaningless waste of time for the laity that had no real connection to anything.

Excuse me, Your Excellency, but that MASS was what brought my father into the Faith in the late 1950’s – a Faith that he passed on to me. And his experience was certainly not singular; millions of people came into the Church because of the solemnity and mystery of that Mass, unlike the abuse-ridden current Mass, which while absolutely valid, has resulted in a near collapse of the Faith in the west.

That’s why the Pope and many others in the Church are taking a long hard look at what’s gone wrong and trying in fits and starts to fix it. It’s why we have a new translation – to be faithful to the original Latin.

To paint pre-Vatican II types as either nostalgic children too stupid to understand what things were “really” like – as if YOU are the sole expert – or a bunch of old doddering dementia victims, is an approach that should elicit an apology.

The Church before Vatican II knew who she was, produced countless saints and the greatest minds the world has ever known, brought untold millions of converts to the Church  established by Our Blessed Lord as his ONLY one true Church.

What do we have now? Look around Your Excellency, look around. A near bankrupt bureaucracy that needs to run one fundraising campaign after another to fleece the flock to make up for billions paid out in legal costs for homosexual predator priests…and shrinking …nuns who hop on a bus and travel the nation’s highways whipping up support for a child murdering president…2000 parishes closed in twenty years.

With all due respect Your Excellency, you need to drop the revisionist history and get out more. More on this tomorrow. 


  1. The Bishop can best be described as a kool aid drinker

  2. It was just sickening listening to that yesterday...

    It did give me a renewed appreciation for our Bishop, since we have a Latin Mass in the cathedral here!

  3. SAD to hear this Bishop say these things about Our Catholic Church before Vatican II ...God help us all .
    Michael Voris was again great in his presentation , speaking the TRUTH about the Catholic Church before Vatican II....and the HOLY SACRIFICE of the Mass , the most wonderful thing this side of Heaven . Each and every Sunday I go to Calvary to assist at Holy Mass at St. Francis de Sales Oratory...I don't attend some atered down liturgy or community meal Your Excellency ....I want reverence and awe when I worship Jesus Christ my Lord , not some puppet, hand holding , community supper....NEVER!
    Much prayer is needed for our Bishops let us begin to do just that.
    Yes Jay , the Remnant is here .

  4. One more thing:

    The past 1900 years is not what JESUS taught ...are you for real Your Ecellency .

    God have mercy on you and all Bisops who speak these horrible lies.

    I was told that one of our GREAT Saints spoke this truth: THE CORRIDORS OF HEEL ARE PAVED WITH THE SKULLS OF BISHOPS ....

    We beg MERCY for Your Church Lord Jesus, MERCY!

    I am just in shock at the words of this Bishop is truly sad and alarming!

  5. In the deepest part of hell, there is yet another pit, deeper and darker than the first. It is to this pit all the evil bishops and other clergy are condemned.

  6. They've been saying these things so long that the majority of the Catholics in the pews now believe all this nonsense - even those old enough to know it is not true.

    I am a former sedevacantist/SSPXer. Does anyone here have any idea how hard it is for me to stay in the Church? I have the misfortune of being in the worst parish in our diocese - by "worse" I mean most liberal. As a former assistant priest there told me, it is more Protestant than Catholic, and he would never, if he was a layman, choose to live out his faith in such a place.


  7. I'm afraid that one look at the photo of Bishop Taylor does not exactly suggest a Shepherd willing to protect his flock. Nor, I'm afraid, does his visage suggest manliness.

  8. Dan, I thought the same thing, but wasn't going to say it...him being a successor of the apostles and all.


  9. Dan and Lorraine...well...LOL! I have seen some photos recently of some dorky-looking prelates, but then I look at my own photo and have to laugh at myself, too. We can't "judge a book by its cover", of course!

  10. Dr. Boyd, I solved that problem. I don't take any more pictures of myself! Bad enough I have a mirror.


  11. Lorraine - ROFL!!! I know what you mean!

  12. Timing is everything.

    Take a look at one of the current entries at Fr. Z's.

    Why do they loathe Tradition? I fail to understand this. I say this as a Catholic who has assisted at one (1!) EF of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. (not available to us - a long way off)


  13. I just listened to Bishop Taylor's audio ..and it made me sick to my stomach .
    I could have almost thought I was listening to a protestant minister ...when he talked about having personal relationship with Jesus Christ and all the other lies he spoke ..God have mercy on him.
    Then he talks about this modern secular society we live in and embracing our brothers and sisters of other faiths.
    What happened Your Excellency to what the Fathers of the Church taught and proclaimed : No Salvation ouside the Catholic Church and to my knowledge Jesus Christ founded ONE CHURCH and ONE CHURCH : it happens to be the Catholic Church ...all others are FALSE because they are all MAN MADE! Pray for Our Bishops !

  14. Jeanne!! Get with the program!!! Where have you been the past 50 years????
    "No Salvation outside the Catholic Church and to my knowledge Jesus Christ founded ONE CHURCH and ONE CHURCH : it happens to be the Catholic Church ...all others are FALSE because they are all MAN MADE!"
    That's all been updated. I believe it is called "evolution of doctrine"...or some such thing.


    P.S. This is my attempt at some Vatican II humor! :)

  15. Lorraine, you had me worried there for a minute, till I saw your name! LOL! Yeah, and as commenter Terry C says, "The Church only started after Vatican II."

    We need a list of good Vaddican Too one-liners.

  16. Dr. Boyd, my husband always says that Vatican II is the dividing line in the sand.



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