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A little bread and wine can’t hurt you…

Here’s an interesting The Week thing about the Cardinal Sarah kerfuffle.

This is the main virtue of the ad orientem posture. It says, loudly and clearly, “This is not about you.” The Mass is supposed to be about God — an act of worship of God. The priest does not have “his back to the people,” traditionalists say. He faces in the same direction as the rest of the people: toward God, to worship Him.

Saying “It’s not about you!” is a message that is counter-intuitive in a culture that is overly invested in affirmation and self-centeredness. This explains why this conservative Catholic practice turns off so many people. It also explains why it’s so needed.

It’s been fun watching the various bishops issuing their own statements slamming the cardinal. “I trust we’ll never have any of that weirdo ad orientem stuff in this diocese!” It’s what subordinates in an ideological state do when they want to signal the leadership that they’re onside.

I had a nice non-Catholic lady on FB today asking what the big deal is. I sent her to the Fisheaters site to get her started on general Catholic liturgical issues. She’s got a steep learning curve ahead.

I’m still not really all that interested. But this little line in The Week thing reminded me of an interesting conversation I had once with a Canadian archbishop…

“Only a few nerds and wacko birds even seem to care about this stuff.”

Yep, and apparently the people in the Vatican and their toadies in the national conferences who are so interested they’re willing to publicly humiliate a curial cardinal over it to make sure the liturgical practice never, ever goes back.

I once was having a conversation with my archbishop friend about the whole Communion in the Paw thing. He said something like, “Man, people get themselves worked up over such dumb things…”

I said, “Yeah. The people who lied, cheated, clawed and sold their souls to get the change of practice into place really got themselves worked up about it. And it’s funny how the only people who think it’s important are us Traddie weirdos and the people who will fight like a pack of rabid dogs to make sure the change stays good and changed.”

This is something that has been interesting about this whole disaster. The only ones who think the Communion-for-divorced-and-remarried is important are the notorious proggie heretics like Kasper, and the Trads…

… and the secular media who have hooked onto it from the first day. These three groups seem to be the only ones who understand what these things mean.

Apparently, we’re the only ones who have a notion of what the fight is really about.

And what the stakes are.

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Also, here’s that quote from Ganswein (who at this point I think is just messing with us) where he says, no, the official magisterium of the Catholic Church doesn’t come in “vague footnotes”. It’s what people seem to be highlighting in that interview.

But the whole quote, talking about the two popes, will take your breath away:

“I have already asked myself the question; and I still affirm according to all that, what I see, hear and perceive. With regard to the principles of their theological convictions there is definitely a continuity. Of course, I’m also aware that there might occasionally be doubts cast by the different ways of representation and formulation. But when a pope wants to change something in teaching, he must say it clearly, so that is also authentic. Important teaching concepts can not be changed by sub-sentences or something openly formulated in footnotes. The theological methodology in this regard has clear criteria. A law that is not clear in itself, can not bind. The same is true for theology. Magisterial statements must be clear if they are to be mandatory. Statements that allow for different interpretations, are a risky business.”

The certainty that the pope was considered a pillar of strength,  as the last anchor gives way, is starting to slip in fact. Whether this perception corresponds to reality, and reproduces the image of Pope Francis correctly, or if this is more a media concoction, I can not judge. Uncertainties occasional confusions and a muddle, however, are growing.”

I can’t figure Ganswein, but I think I’m confused by him in the same way I’m confused by modern churchmen in general. How at this stage of catastrophic disintegration can they still be so utterly insouciant about it all?

I’ve had quite  few conversations with laypeople who interact with their doctrinally orthodox priests who report it over and over. The “good” men seem to have absolutely no notion at all of how serious it all is. One of my interlocutors was asked, “Why do you care so much about this, anyway? What has it got to do with you?”

Really-wwe-25489536-1280-1024

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11 thoughts on “A little bread and wine can’t hurt you…”

  1. Mac says:

    “…the people in the Vatican and their toadies in the national conferences who are so interested they’re willing to publicly humiliate a curial cardinal over it to make sure the liturgical practice never, ever goes back.”

    I’ve been Catholic since 1981. As far as I can remember the first time I ever set foot in a Catholic church (with the possible exception of a 1967 wedding) was only a few years earlier, in 1978 or ’79. Which is to say, it was impossible for me to be nostalgic etc about the traditional Mass, and I had no interest in it. As a convert from the Episcopal Church, it was the Anglican liturgy I wanted. But from the very beginning I was puzzled by the obvious hatred and contempt on the part of the bishops and clergy toward those who lamented its loss. The contrast between that and the suck-up-ness shown to, for instance, feminists was striking. Obviously there was something wrong with the picture. I still don’t think I understand it.

    “Why are you making such a big deal out of this little thing?” is often a dishonest tactic. If you really think it’s unimportant, why are you insisting on having it *your* way?

  2. Hilary White says:

    Yes, this seems to be a common weirdness in Oratories everywhere.

  3. Rory Donnellan says:

    Hilary, sorry to inform you, but the reform of the reform nonsense is not yet dead. Here in the Brisbane area we have Oratory Priests who are still trying to merge the Novus Ordo with the traditional Latin Mass. They add a few traditional elements to the Novus Ordo like saying the Novus Ordo ad orientem, and they modernise elements of the traditional Latin Mass – like reading the Epistle and Gospel in the vernacular. – and dropping the Leonine prayers after Low Mass.

  4. Isabel says:

    Ganswein is very confusing. To me, he seems like some poor critter trapped inside of a jar, frantically tapping to get out or at least be heard. But I think he’s very devoted to BXVI, and some of his ambiguities are meant to protect BXI (literally, meaning the Pope will wake up the next morning – don’t forget how they got rid of JPI after he announced that he wanted to do a roll-back).

    That said, I don’t think the problem is Ganswein, the Novus Ordo or even Bergoglio. The problem is and always will be Vatican II, which should be revisited, declared a heretical council, and have the clock set back. There were (minor) reforms to be made to the mass, and better and more humane clarity in the expression of doctrine; but none of this justified the changes of VII. That’s where the problem lies, and nobody wants to address it.

  5. Tommaso says:

    “It’s not like they’re asking you to *actually* offer incense to the gods… It’s just a little paper *saying* you offered incense to the gods…”

  6. Hilary White says:

    I realize it’s awful to watch, but I can’t tell you how glad I am that the “reform of the reform” nonsense is over.

  7. Steven Cornett says:

    It seems to give the Gnostic poem by Yeats a evil prophetic tinge.

    “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

  8. Warren Memlib says:

    I feel the same way (not about sacrilegious Communion for adulterers and sodomites but about Missa ad orientem in the “Ordinary Form”) especially after Westminster, England (Cardinal Nichols), Rome (FrankenPope in a private audience with Cardinal Sarah, Fr. Lombardi in a public statement, and Fr. Spadaro in the Jesuit Civilta Cattolica – whose contents are censored/approved by the Secretariat of State) and AmChurch (in statements from the USCCCP and a few of its local appartachiks) kiboshing not only that idea but also the one about a “reform of the reform” of the Ordinary Form.

  9. Marcus20 says:

    I’ve had quite few conversations with laypeople who interact with their doctrinally orthodox priests who report it over and over. The “good” men seem to have absolutely no notion at all of how serious it all is. One of my interlocutors was asked, “Why do you care so much about this, anyway? What has it got to do with you?”

    ———-
    If you deny there’s a problem, you don’t have to do anything about it.

    If you feel that you can’t do anything about the problem, then you might as well ignore the problem.

    If you’re a moral midget, and a coward, then there’s even more of a reason to deny there’s a problem.

    And some priests are just tired.

    They want to retire already.

    They’ll start to worry when they realize they won’t be getting a pension.

    “What does it got to do with you?”

    Well, Father, you might not have a pension.

    And people might laugh at you when you tell them you’re a priest.

    Some of the smarter priests are figuring this out.

    When I told one that I wouldn’t be giving any donations anymore, he said, “But where I will get my pension from?”

    He was one of the far sighted priests, so concerned about souls, and so on.

  10. susan says:

    You forgot this little bit…..

    Even after three years of the pontificate of Pope Francis, Msgr Gänswein states, “you couldn’t put a piece of paper” between the two successors of Peter.

    that was what elicited the long drawn-out ‘Fahrvergnügen ‘ from my lips….(I’m trying to stop swearing; this being the last few days before the fire and brimstone and trumpets and harvesting angels n’all….it’s not working out for me too well.)

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