Thursday, October 11, 2012

Vortex:Part II of Bishop Taylor Commentary

Michael Voris continues his commentary on Bishop Taylor’s audio message on the Year of Faith in today’s (October 11) Vortex. The full script is below.

The Script:

Following up on yesterday’s Vortex where we looked at some of the comments from Little Rock Arkansas bishop, His Excellency Anthony Taylor about Vatican II, in an audio recording on the diocese website, we wanted to expand a little more because we think it’s needed.

Anyone who thinks that there wasn’t a massive change in the Church following the Council isn’t paying attention. The question is, was the magnitude of the change the intent of the Council or did something happen in the wake of the Council which threw much of the daily life of Catholics into chaos?

The answer to that question kind of depends on who you ask. And in some ways, at the end of the day, it isn’t the most important question – although it does demand much thought.

The most important question, however, is what can we do to stem the death blow that has been dealt to the Church in much of the western world? But that someone would even ask such a question betrays their sympathies already.

Many in the Church today – including bishops and theologians – don’t see a real crisis; or if they do, they are content to say it’s because the so-called reforms of the council haven’t been fully implemented yet.

And that sword cuts both ways. When modernists and progressives in the Church say that, they mean the Church needs to ordain women, marry gays, lighten up on birth control…yada yada.

When the less liberal crowd says that, THEY mean, in summary, Vatican II was fine, but just implemented incorrectly; it got off the tracks and we need to get it straightened out again.
As an aside: you’ll forgive the more traditional-minded Catholics for finding that a little difficult to swallow. Why, they ask, is it only now, after fifty years of disaster, that there are concerns starting to be heard?

Famous Catholics, within a couple of years of the close of the council, were writing books, articles…appealing personally to Pope Paul VI that a disaster beyond the imagination of the Church was about to befall Her. And their anxieties were ignored.

Today, there is little hope for the Church regaining her mojo in the West because there is little consensus among the leaders that there is: 1) a real crisis; 2) what the nature of any crisis really is; and 3) what the fix should be.

Some leaders have sloughed off what may in fact be the deepest crisis to infect the Church in her entire 2000 years as just another bump in the road. Others are happy to point to the culture as the real issue, skipping right over the rather obvious point of – how did the culture get so bad in the first place? Was it not the responsibility of the Church to prevent or slow just a march toward worldwide evil?

Isn’t this the very reason for existence of the Church – to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world?

Not a few scholars and very holy men have observed the inescapable parallel between the dissolution of the culture and the demise of Catholic liturgy. In fact, a phrase has come about, growing in popular use: that phrase is “Save the Liturgy, Save the World”.

It means that the as long as we Catholics understand that the greatest thing we can do is worship God – as long as we worship Him in the way that he commands us – our lives and everything else in our lives will be ordered correctly; or at the very least we will be aware that something is NOT in order and rush to fix it…that when we are of this mindset, we will be the leaven to the world that Our Blessed Lord said we would.

But if we get our worship wrong, then everything else is gonna head to Hell on a rocket ship. That’s the meaning of that phrase. So it’s not at all strange to look around the world, see it rocketing to Hell, and realize that we – the Church – probably have something to do with this.

In fact, there is no other entity that can prevent this cultural demise other than the Catholic Church. So if the Church is in decline, then the world will automatically follow suit. And here is the important part: the Church falls into decline when She has Her worship wrong.

When we have our worship wrong, we have an out-of-balance relationship with God. At Mass, GOD is to be worshipped- not the community, not the priest, not the band or musicians; they are each to be essentially non-existent. To the extent that the congregation is present or a choir or anybody else, they are there ONLY to fixate and spur on the worship of God.

This is why applause at Mass is so out of place. It’s why the priest facing the people can be so spiritually intrusive, to both priest and people. It’s why solo acts and jam sessions on drums and guitars is so disturbing.

And this idea of WORSHIP, not just attendance and socializing, but actual fully GOD-centered worship dictates body posture – from genuflecting to bowing to kneeling and that it is all done with a uniformity to God, not just a conformity with others on the pew.

It is simply undeniable that there has been a massive degradation in the Catholic mind of true worship since the changes in the Mass after Vatican II. Bishop Taylor says what many in the Church say today which essentially boils down to, “Well, no one understood Latin and now I can more fully participate.”

Bishop Taylor audio: “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 prior to Vatican II.”

That attitude, however, betrays a lack of a complete understanding of the term participation.  

Participation is not just going back and forth with the priest in a sing-song fashion, or turning around shaking hands with everyone within 18 pews distance around you. It is an interior participation – a spiritual act of humility and bowing before God, who at this moment is preparing us for a communion with His own Divine Majesty as we stand at the foot of Calvary witnessing the re-presentation of His sacrifice to the Father.

Anyone who thinks that that reality is easily grasped and lived in the usual parish Mass today is high, simply put. The tension has been between the notion of sacrifice versus the notion of a meal.

And this is where a Protestant understanding has permeated the ranks. Protestants routinely call their services “the Lord’s Supper”, because for them, that’s what it is: a recalling of the Last Supper. That’s where it begins and ends. To them, the Last Supper has no significance beyond the fact that is was the LAST supper between Jesus and his Apostles…kind of a nostalgic thing.

But for Catholics, that Last Supper was the First moment that Our Lord opened His Divine mind to the Apostles to show them how he would stay present with His Church to the end of the world – physically, not JUST spiritually. It was the indicator of His upcoming sacrifice that he would grant them the power to re-present to the world and offer to the Father for time immemorial.

It would in fact be the “pure offering” made to the Father by the Gentiles from the rising of the sun to its setting. It would be the manner in which God commanded to be worshipped.  
This is why Our Blessed Lord made a point at that Last Supper of showing the Apostles what he wanted done and then commanding them to do it after He had departed.

This is the Mass. But this reality has been buried under a mountain of abuse heaped on top of abuse, and errant theology and a mixing up of terms which places much more emphasis on the table and the meal and the congregation than the altar and the sacrifice and Almighty God.

The Catholic Mass, as it is usually celebrated in the average Catholic parish much more resembles a Protestant service than a Catholic liturgy. We have bands, and applause, and a celebrant instead of a priest, and lay people running all over the altar performing as mini-priests, and a congregation largely unaware and therefore unbelieving of the Real Presence, and people who stroll up to get their bread in their hands instead of kneeling and being fed with the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

We have hand-holding and hand waving; emotionalism and noise…so much noise. We have funny one-liners from the pulpit. We have constant chatter in the pews before and after Mass. Few genuflect before entering of leaving those pews because they are unaware or – perish the thought – don’t really care that the God of the Universe is present in that tabernacle – that is IF the tabernacle is even visible.

But boy oh boy, we sure have lots of participation don’t we. Lectors and lay people distributing Holy Communion and singers and loads of ushers; but for all that participation, we have 75 percent fewer Catholics actually going to Mass at all now than we did when the opening bell sounded for Vatican II.

It has been said that back in the day, few people went to Holy Communion. Well that has certainly changed. But back in the day, nearly everyone went to Confession. Today we have the opposite. No one goes to confession, but everyone marches right up there for Holy Communion.

I ask you which is worse: not receiving Holy Communion frequently, or quite possibly committing a sacrilege while receiving it?

One of the common criticisms of the pre-Council days is that some people at Mass would say their rosary.

Bishop Taylor audio: “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.”

This is true. My own grandfather would do that – my mom’s dad. But you know what? When he was found dead in the chair form a heart attack one Sunday before the family went out the door to Mass, it was his rosary that was in hands and on being prayed on lips that was his exit from this life.

God Bless you, Grandad; pray for me.

There is also the common complaint that the Mass was the priest’s Mass; not the laity’s.

Bishop Taylor audio: “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.”

Again a betrayal and lack of understanding of what the Mass is. It is neither the priest’s nor the laity’s. It belongs to God. Priest and people participate – just differently according to their state.

And this is one of the major issues with the Church AFTER the Council: there has been a melding and knocking down of the separation between priest and laity. This is not by accident. There are those in the Church who after the Council desired to destroy the difference between priest and lay. This is reflected dimly in having lay people crawling all over the sanctuary, preparing the altar, distributing Holy Communion and so forth.

It’s silly to say that all the lay people involved in the Mass has increased participation in any meaningful fashion. What do you have at the end of the day – an extra dozen people of so out of a congregation of a couple of hundred or more. How is that any significant participation rate. 99% of the congregation is just as uninvolved as they were before the Council.

But it suited the agenda to have lay people doing things that looked priestly so as to blur the line of distinction between priest and lay. That absence of distinction is at the very heart of Protestantism – the priesthood of the faithful with no belief in or regard for the ordained ministerial priesthood.

If there is no REAL priesthood, then there is no REAL sacrifice and the Mass becomes a meal around a table. Can there be any doubt as to why the overwhelming majority – over 90 percent of Catholics today have no belief or understanding of the Real Presence? Our priests aren’t seen as much more than liturgy functionaries; heck we don’t even call them priests – they are celebrants or presiders. What thoroughly Protestant terms.

See, priests offer sacrifice. That’s what makes them priests. But if you get rid of the understanding of priests and the priesthood – those ordained to offer sacrifice – then you eventually get rid of the notion of the sacrifice as well. Get rid of the notion of sacrifice and you abolish the idea of worship in the manner in which GOD commands He be worshipped.

This is precisely why it is possible that so many abuses, profanations, sacrileges have been allowed to pile up over these past fifty years. If the Mass is really about US, then we can make it out to be whatever suits us.

We can drop Latin, chant; turn the altar around; shove that medieval tabernacle thingy to the side or some room down the hall. We can gather around and hold hands and sing songs that celebrate us; we can offer a non-stop string of weird global prayers of the faithful; have the celebrating presider ad-lib his way through the various parts; and why not? It’s all about US, right?

The goal here is FULL PARTICIPATION in a language we can all say with no mystery at all because Jesus is my friend, he’s my bud, and we can show up dressed like we are hanging out with our bud on the way to the beach; catch a few tunes at church; show up late, duck out early, and listen to the head presider crack a few jokes.

Why is the world rocketing to Hell? Because Catholics no longer worship God the way he commands to be worshipped. With no sense of the Divine, we lose our faith; we suffer the loss of supernatural faith and are unable to stand fast in the terrible winds blowing and howling around the globe.

When the ancient Israelites abandoned true worship, bad things happened. Look around. Why is there even a need for a New Evangelization? Because what has happened over the last two generations has been an epic fail in almost every conceivable measure.

But hey, at least the few Catholics in the last few parishes still standing – for now – are whooping it up and fully participating. Too bad their children won’t be.

We need to share with you that the worldwide meeting of bishops going on in Rome right now talking about the New Evangelization isn’t all the smiles and happy faces it’s being portrayed as.

We got an email from a bishop who is in Rome for that meeting who said he was deeply worried about what was going on. He’s not alone.

Pray for Holy Mother Church my fellow Catholics. She is very sick right now and She needs your prayers.


  1. God have mercy on us all!

    Dr. Boyd, thank for your blog. I don't feel so alone anymore. There are actually other Catholics INSIDE the Church who think like me.

    A mantilla tip to "Catechist Kev" who told me about Philothea On Phire!


  2. As Michael Voris has asked us : The Holy Catholic Church is sick right now and needs our prayers.
    God help us all.
    How is it that our fellow Catholics cannot see the error in all this , and why is it we can Lorraine and Jay.
    For many years I was "blind" my self , just going along with the status quo and attending my NO parish mass UNTIL I attended St. Francis de Sales Oratory and I was in awe of the Majesty of what was taking place. I don't remember the Mass being taught at my NO Parish...that we are going to Calvary and that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was just that , a SACRIFICE .
    But most people in the pews probably don't that either ...most probably go to fulfill their obligation ...I did the same thing at one time.
    Today is a NEW DAY ...I go because I desire to worship my GOD , which I longed to do each and every day .
    It is all about GOD and not about us .
    Yes the Catholic Church is sick . PRAY is needed my friends!

  3. "How is it that our fellow Catholics cannot see the error in all this , and why is it we can Lorraine and Jay."

    Speaking only for myself, I have very often pondered whether it is a blessing or a curse. Many, many times I have looked longingly on the "ignorance is bliss" crowd and wished I could be one of them. It is a very great cross, in my opinion, to be able to see what is going on. Having been born in 1954, I remember well the Church before She got with the times. I am here to tell you that the Church of 2012 bears no resemblance to the Church of 1962. However, I do see signs of things changing since Benedict XVI became pope.

    There is all the hope in the world for our Church. But I don't think I will be alive to see Her full recovery. Our former pastor told me he thought another fifteen/twenty years. I told him I didn't have another fifteen/twenty years for one and, for two, I didn't think (and don't think) that I have the stamina to wait around for another generation. As it is, I am worn out and weary of the battle.


  4. You are so right Lorraine ...thanks for all you share.
    I would love to be around for the FULL RECOVERY of Holy Mother Church but that is up to the good God.
    The Battle is on and the Battle is real : Let us pray for Her Full Recovery ...well said!
    The Church of 2012 does NOT resemble the Church of 1962 , that is for sure. This is sad , and my heart breaks .
    But as you have stated so beauitfully : There is HOPE and there are signs of change. Thanks to Pope Benedict XVI we have to pray that our Bishops will be totally OBEDIENT to Our Holy Father. PRAY, PRAY and Pray !

  5. Jeanne, you hit the nail on the head. THAT'S the problem - disobedience. If all of our bishops got behind our Holy Father and actually followed him, we would see vast improvements within a year. As it is, many bishops still insist on doing their own thing, but they are in the minority these days. Thanks be to God!

    As you say, Jeanne, PRAY PRAY PRAY...and then pray some more!! A little penance won't hurt us either!

  6. Oops! Forget to sign my name...again!!

    That's me - Lorraine!

  7. Lorraine and Jeanne - you're both right of course: prayer is THE answer!


Please be courteous and concise.