Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Future?

I had a visit from a former parishioner who is now a brother of one of the new Oratories. Oratories seem to be on the rise. Birmingham and London have existed since the 19th century but almost 30 years ago Oratorians took over St Aloysius in Oxford and a the failing Jesuit church began to thrive. In recent years bishops have entrusted churches in York, Bournemouth and Cardiff to them. No-one would dispute that the Oratories have a very distinct flavour, even the new ones; there is what some might suggest is a certain dustiness about them. a tendency, even if most of their Masses are Novus Ordo to look to ‘Tradition’, they, like St Philip Neri, tend to look to the formation of young men in doctrine and liturgy, in both Cardiff and Bournemouth part of their mission is acting as chaplains to the universities.

The Oratories are part of a trend, in Preston both the Institute of Christ the King and the Fraternity of St Peter have been given churches where others have failed, so too in New Brighton. It might be that these bishops are acting in desperation and simply want museum curators for huge but splendid old churches that they cannot find the manpower to cover. Yet these institutes are happy to take them on, they have plenty of other offers round the world but they feel they can turn these churches into mission centres, that what others have fail at doing they can succeed.

I have another young friend, again a former parishioner, who will be ordained priest next year, he studied at Econe, his large family are staunch supporters of the Fraternity, one of his brothers is also a seminarian and a sister is a Dominican novice. I am rather saddened that the FSSPX have chosen to close their chapel here in Brighton but that is not the general trend, they are growing:
635 priests,
215 seminarians
40 pre-seminarians,
117 religious brothers
79 oblates
The priests live in 165 priories in 32 countries and have 772 centers in 72 countries around the world. I don't know many of their priests but those I have met seem to be, rather than having two heads, or as they are often pictured anti-Semitic sede vacantists, rather normal young men with a passion for the mission of Christ and his Church.

This year it was reported that a quarter of all ordinations in France were of 'traditional priests' which presumably means they were ordained in the traditional rite but then one is led to suspect that the majority of the rest also had traditional sympathies.

As most dioceses, most religious congregations are contemplating decline or even closure, (most priests throughout the western world have a sense they will be the last in their parishes) we should be asking if we have anything to learn from the traditional and radically orthodox. and asking ourselves too why the Church that some might describe as the "Church of yesteryear" seems to be about mission when the "Church of today" is concerned with maintenance and is in general quite unsuccessful at that.

37 comments:

M. Prodigal said...

Many of the 'powers that be' do NOT want to see the answer which is faithfulness, orthodoxy, and tradition.

Simon Reilly said...

So let me get this right. The SSPX are closing their centre in Brighton at a time when the only alternative EF Mass has ceased and kept their centre in the most inaccessable place possible in Sussex? How stupid is that!

Jeremy said...

Perhaps in the "new" Church, there is no thirst for souls. The current leadership seems to discourage even conversion and all religions seen as of equal value. Frankly the period since the 60s has seen little but constant decline. We are too far off now to blame the new traditional movements for simple, dumb nostalgia, which was the old excuse. What they advocate, practise and enthuse over now actually works, gives hope and attracts the faithful. These are very active churches. Thank God for them.

Physiocrat said...

There was a row of elms growing near St Nicholas Church in Brighton, which were cut down because of Dutch Elm disease. There are new shoots coming up from the base but have never developed into trees. Eventually they will probably die off.

Are these shoots of new growth the last efforts of a dying tree or will they develop into new a new stately avenue?

The big question must be whether the next Pope be a Francis or a Benedict? Within the College of Cardinals, there are but a handful of potential Benedicts. The odds that one will be elected are slim. And even if elected, “Benedict XVII” would have a battle royal on his hands. Bearing in mind the old adage “Lex orandi, lex credendi”, what real hope is there for the Latin church?

Maureen Lash said...

Why has the EF mass at St Mary Magdalene's been discontinued?

Sixupman said...

The bishops who have sought the assistance of 'traditional orders' have themselves a traditional outlook. My own diocese with similar problems and an announced major closure programme seeks no such relief, even though surrounded on three sides by those who are. There is also an Oratory, doing sterling work, in Manchester, St. Chad's. Unfortunately, their wish to establish themselves at The Holy Name, adjacent to the university, was not practicable, but where the clergy were originally based with a very sound following. The Jesuits had previously sought to sell the Holy Name, but the outcry averted the disaster - they did sell the presbytery which was of short-term thinking.

Simon Platt said...

A slight correction, in respect of the ICKSP and FSSP in the north west:

The ICKSP has one church in Preston, soon to be two, and also offers Mass on Sundays in Penwortham, across the river in the far north of Liverpool archdiocese.

The FSSP is not in Preston but in Warrington, also in Liverpool archdiocese.

The ICKSP is also in New Brighton, in Shrewsbury diocese.

I'm sure that many readers already know this, but point it out just in case.

I know a little of each diocese and its bishop. The situation of the Church here is very bad: we have gone in two generations from a position of apparent rude health to a position of near collapse, and this has doubtless influenced their Lordships. But, certainly in respect of Bishops Campbell and Davies, and presumably Archbishop McMahon, too, "desperation" and "museum curators" are far from the mark. They are very supportive.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Maureen,
1 Because I have been so ill and physically unable to say two Masses on the trot.
2 Because we couldn't afford the stipend/expenses for another priest to say it
3 Because only a dozen people came

Physiocrat said...

Here is a question on which I need advice.

With the Tridentine Masses suspended for the holidays, I could not face the Novus Ordo vernacular Masses with Lutheran hymns which were all that was on offer in the Catholic church locally. I would come out feeling irritated and unsatisfied, if not outright angry at the liturgical vandalism verging on abuse.

The question that arises is this. Catholics have an obligation to go to Mass every Sunday. I have not missed going to Mass every Sunday, but the Masses I have attended have been Orthodox liturgies in a Serbian/Russian congregation. Is this a sin that needs to be confessed? Can it even be confessed? Can a priest give absolution? If, at some point in the future I am received into the Orthodox church, what is the situation then?

Advice needed here please or as a comment on this blog or here. It is an uncomfortable place to be.

Maureen Lash said...

Then I wish you a speedy return to strength and health! I do hope that reason 3 on its own would not be sufficient reason for the discontinuation. Perseverance does pay in these things.

Nicolas Bellord said...

The question is why do not more of the hierarchy understand what is happening or is that there are more bonus points to be won for the ambitious in not favouring traditional things?

Pulex said...

Dear Father,
the no. 3, doesn't it somehow contradict the optimistic mood of this post?

Deacon Augustine said...

Physiocrat, I generally find that when somebody asks if something is a sin which needs to be confessed, they already know the answer - yes.

Our Lord did not invite us to pick up our crosses and follow Him only when the going was easy and edifying. We have to carry on carrying on even when we are wading knee-high in filth. Sometimes that might mean enduring banal, puke-making Masses like the rest of us have to endure on a more-or-less regular basis. You never know, God might give you the opportunity to bring a suffering Novusordo-ite to the knowledge and delight of the traditional Mass.

Physiocrat said...

@Deacon Augustine.

You might be correct about the sin in the interim period - that was why I asked, but the real question that arises is that "banal, puke-making Masses like the rest of us have to endure on a more-or-less regular basis" are unworthy as worship and spiritually damaging. Their universality also calls into question the claims of the Catholic church itself to be the one true church founded by Jesus Christ himself. How can we be sure that we are not in a schismatic and heretical church founded in 1054?

I am not sure there is any spiritual merit in putting up with atrocious liturgy. There is a failure here which stems from the top of the hierarchy and passes all the way down. We, the faithful are entitled to a worthy liturgy for our spiritual well being. If the shepherds do not feed the sheep, what should the sheep do?

Then there is the use of the vernacular. Latin is both a sign of Catholicity and a means of maintaining it. Having abandoned the universal language, can the Catholic church claim to be a universal church? This is not a theoretical thing - my own parish is divided into Swedes, Poles, Hungarians, Italians, Spaniards, Slovenians, Slovakians, Croatians, English speakers - all Latin Rite Catholics - who hardly ever get to meet. There is not much universality in a church where the priest struggles to celebrate Mass in a language in which he is not proficient.

The problem originates in the monarchical claims of the Bishop of Rome. If the Papacy had held to the Orthodox view as first among equals, these liturgical changes could never have happened.

Once one starts looking at the Orthodox position, other subtle but important points emerge, such as the Filioque clause, both in its substance and the manner in which it was adopted, Transubstantiation, the Immaculate Conception, Purgatory, Original Sin, the use of statues, the design of churches, even the Sign of the Cross.

The Roman changes are all subtly damaging in different ways. The Catholic view of Transubstantiation seems to be that it is necessary only for the words of consecration to be pronounced by a validly ordained priest, whereas the Orthodox seem to take the far more sensible position that Christ becomes really present within the overall action which includes the building in which the liturgy is held, the music, and the Liturgy in its entirety. If the latter view was held, nobody would even have considered messing with the liturgy.

Orthodoxy is not a light and easy option to be followed because of the beauty of the liturgy, where, incidentally, standing is obligatory for most of the time, usually between 1 1/2 and two hours. It is a tough choice. During the fast periods only vegan food is permitted. There are not only the Advent and Lent fasts; there are also the four week fast before the Feast of St Peter and St Paul and a two week fast before the Feast of the Dormition (Assumption). In addition, with a couple of exceptions in the year, Wednesday and Friday in the non-fasting periods are vegan days.

The Orthodox Eucharistic fast begins at midnight and nothing, not even water, may be taken before receiving not just the sacrament but also applies to the antidoron.

If you just want some nice music, there are easier ways of getting it than by going to an Orthodox liturgy. You could stay in bed on a Sunday morning, have a leisurely breakfast and listen to whatever you want in comfort.

Fr Blakes original piece referred to the small numbers attending the EF Mass. It is a tiny minority within the church. The real picture is of a majority accepting the NO Mass but within that group an impending catastrophic decline, for which the 1960s liturgical reforms must bear an important responsibility.

Sixupman said...

For complicated reasons with which I shall not bore you, but I was perforce to hear Mass at my actual parish. There the PP and even a supply priest (convert) openly preached against the Magisterium. Permanent Deacons of similar leaning and one actually dressed in clerical garb.
I discuss the issue with a priest, sadly now deceased, some fifteen miles distant, mid-week, he opined treat it as a penance. The Diocese was Clifton.

JARay said...

Dear Father. Although I do not even live anywhere near Brighton I was aware of your illness and I have kept you in my prayers praying for your recovery. May God bless you with renewed vigour.
John Rayner

Matthew said...

Physiocrat: A dozen or so years ago I was in a position not dissimilar to yours. A priest whom I consulted (a widely respected Benedictine monk) advised me that the Sunday obligation could indeed be fulfilled by attending the Liturgy in an Orthodox church. One thing led to another: next year I celebrate the tenth anniversary of my reception into Orthodoxy, in whose teachings and ethos I found (and continue to find) the authentic faith and practice of Apostolic Christianity. May God lead and guide you! (You might profit from reading Alexander Schmemann's 'For the Life of the World', a slim but significant introduction to Orthodox sacramental theology.)

JARay said...

I'm sorry to read that you have moved out of the One True Catholic and Apostolic Faith Matthew. Unfortunately it is not the Church which Jesus Christ himself set up. The Orthodox are an interesting and close connection to the true Faith and they do have valid priests and liturgy. Their theology is questionable. Their understanding of Baptism is shaky. They are wrong about the Filioque. Their understanding of Grace is also shaky. Need I say more?

Physiocrat said...

@Jay

You need to say more. Please do.

Sixupman said...

JARay: Nonetheless, all of nearly seventy years ago, I was told by my PP that when holidaying abroad, if no Catholic Church was available one could fulfill Sunday Duty by attendance at an Orthodox Church. I was warned about Anglo-Catholic Churches which were discernable only with great scrutiny as not being Catholic.

Pelerin said...

I recently bought the book by Cardinal Sarah 'Dieu ou Rien' and have been most impressed by his courage when living under a dictator. I had no idea that he had been top of a list of people who were due to be executed. Happily for him - and for the Church - the dictator died before the execution could be carried out.

Cardinal Sarah points out in his book a very optimistic fact for the future that in 1900 there were 2 million African Catholics whereas today there are 185 million. He does however add that 'the beauty of the Church does not depend on the number of its faithful but on their holiness.' But this is surely good news.

Looking round at the congregations in Lourdes last week I came to the conclusion that the future of the Church does indeed seem to lie in Africa. Their devotion and their joy in attending the ceremonies there stands out and often contrasts strongly with the chatter from European pilgrims who seem sometimes not to understand the word 'Silence'. And I am far more likely to hear an African sing the Credo there than a European. One lady from the Ivory Coast told me she had learnt it at her school and always sang it on Sundays in her parish. How many English parishioners can say this?

Maureen Lash said...

And their clergymen wear beards, JARay.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Pelerin: I do not know whether you have ever attended a "Day with Mary" in this country but if you did you would find the majority of attendees are from ethnic minorities from Africa and elsewhere and perhaps half of the liturgy is in Latin. I once asked a Nigerian lady how she got on with so much Latin and she replied, quite scornfully, that she had learnt it all back in Nigeria. By the way after 'Dieu ou Rien' you must read "La Force du Silence" - even more brilliant.

T.Cranmer said...

I very much doubt that either Pope Francis or Pope Benedict would share JARay's views on ecclesiology. Both would wish Physiocrat well in his pilgrimage and both would confirm that there is nothing wrong at all in his attending Orthodox liturgies.

All canonical Orthodox have valid sacraments. It would be difficult to say that of Rome these days.

JARay said...

I have an excellent article entitled "Eastern Orthodoxy Unveiled" which was written by James Larson and it is something which I downloaded online from Christian Order. I do not know if they still have it available because it is some years since I found it there. For those of you who do not know, "Christian Order" is published in the UK and its publishers are very strong adherents to the SSPX. In the article James Larson rips Orthodoxy into shreds. He starts by noting that almost all of us are very ready to accept that Orthodoxy and Catholicism are close to each other.
However, he writes:-
"The extraordinary fact is that virtually any serious Orthodox writer will claim that Orthodoxy and Eastern Spirituality represent a faith ....in profound opposition to the Latin Tradition"
eg Vladimir Lossky writes "The Eastern Tradition know nothing of 'pure nature' to which grace is added in a Supernatural sense....since grace is implied in the act of Creation itself" thus they deny our teaching that God created everything 'ex nihil' since they claim that the Holy Spirit is a function of humanity itself. This is a form of Pantheism.
Try to get hold of the article itself. It is quite lengthy and takes a lot of reading.

Pelerin said...

On KTO today there was an interesting discussion on Vocations or the lack of. There was a young seminarian, a deacon, a couple of priests one of whom was the superior of a seminary and a bishop present. One of them pointed out that in France there are as many priests aged 75 and over as there are under 75 which means that in ten years time the number will be halved unless the number of vocations grows. I wonder if this is the same for Britain.

I was struck by a comment which appeared on screen from a member of the public saying:'I don't think there is a crisis in vocations because God continues to call but there is a crisis in those not replying to His call.' Food for thought.

The Bishop present pointed out that he was once in a Scout group and that 12 of his fellow scouts became priests, five of them now being Bishops. Quite a record. Do Catholic schools here have scout groups today encouraging fraternity, helping others etc? And whatever happened to Bob-a-Job week? Did it disappear with the 'bob?'

William Tighe said...

Two things:

(1) "Nonetheless, all of nearly seventy years ago, I was told by my PP that when holidaying abroad, if no Catholic Church was available one could fulfill Sunday Duty by attendance at an Orthodox Church."

A priest with whom I am well-acquainted, a canon lawyer, told me that what is asserted above was the case under the 1917 code of Canon Law, but is not the case under that replaced it (the 1983 Code for the Latin Church and the 1990 code for the Eastern Catholic churches).

(2) "The problem originates in the monarchical claims of the Bishop of Rome. If the Papacy had held to the Orthodox view as first among equals, these liturgical changes could never have happened."

I can say with some confidence, as an historian, that I am not aware of a time when the papacy, or, for that manner, any pope, ever "held" - let alone "held to" - "the Orthodox view (i.e., of the Bishop of Rome) as first among equals." It is a view incompatible with the views expressed by St. Leo the Great (d. 461) about his papal office of (to use his phrase) the "indignus heres beati Petri," as also of explicit statements of any of his predecessors running back at the very least - speaking of explicit statements only - to Julius I (d. 352) and of such of his successors as Gelasius I (d. 496).

On St. Leo the Great, in particular, see "Leo I and the Theme of Papal Primacy," by Walter Ullmann, *Journal of Theological Studies,* new series, XI (1960), pp. 25-51; on the papacy in general in this period I refer interested readers to a learned book by an Anglican author, one-time Vicar of St. Thomas the Martyr, Oxford, *The Church and the Papacy: An Historical Study* by Trevor Gervase Jalland (London, 1944: S.P.C.K.) which is the published version of its learned author's 1942 Bampton Lectures.

EditorCT said...

JARay,

I'm not sure what makes you think that Christian Order is pro-SSPX - far from it, unfortunately. The very writer whom you name, James Larson, is openly opposed to the Society. One reader noted that it was strange that he criticised Pope Francis for his "material heresy" and yet denounced Archbishop Lefebvre's "disobedience". Yip, one of those "blind obedience as long as it's a pope" types.

I am a great admirer of Christian Order - the editorials by Rod Pead are excellent and many of the articles, ditto, but pro-SSPX - sadly, no, more's the pity. CO is terrific at analysing the problem but ignores the solution.

Physiocrat said...

Endless bitter and obsessive criticism of the Pope and the Catholic Church is surely more damaging to the soul than regular attendance of a Liturgy at an Orthodox church and following the Orthodox fasting rules. Christian Order seems to be one such obsessively critical website. There are many others. It is better to put up with the situation or walk away.

As regards the Schism; there was no due process and the Pope was dead at the time. I am not sure how well such a decision would fare if subjected to the normal scrutiny that a judicial procedure should be able to withstand.

Pelerin said...

Nicolas Bellord - yes I have attended one in Westminster Cathedral and noticed the same thing. Thanks for the recommendation to read 'La Force du Silence' You are the second person to recommend it to me.

Being half way through 'Dieu ou Rien' I see that the comment seen on the KTO programme I mentioned was a paraphrase of one made by Cardinal Sarah in his book:- 'Dieu appelle toujours autant que par le passe, C'est l'homme qui n'a pas la meme ecoute.' (God is calling just as many as in the past but it is man who is not listening)

EditorCT - we fully accept that Fr Ray does not yet feel physically up to celebrating the Old Mass. I am sure he will do so in good time but would not wish to hurry him in any way. We have been so grateful to have had an EF Sunday (and Friday) Mass for the last few years after so many years without - we can wait a little longer this time. It must be his decision if and when he can resume the celebration.

William Tighe said...

Physiocrat wrote:

"As regards the Schism; there was no due process and the Pope was dead at the time. I am not sure how well such a decision would fare if subjected to the normal scrutiny that a judicial procedure should be able to withstand."

1054 is not "the date" of the schism, merely a vivid symbolic date of the growing estrangement and hostility between "the Greeks and the Latins.". Rome and Constantinople had been out of communion with one another, technically, since 1009 (the obscure "schism of the two Sergii,*" so obscure we don't know what it was about); Rome and Antioch were in communion until around 1207, Rome and Jerusalem until 1187, and Rome and (Orthodox) Alexandria until well after 1204. Many on both sides considered the two "sides" alienated from one another by their respective "errors," but not in full schism, such that one was "Church" and the other was "not-Church." If one wants to hit upon a date at which both sides regarded the other, for the most part, a alien bodies, it is for me 1484, when the four Eastern patriarchs formally repudiated the Council of Florence and made the renunciation of "Latin errors" followed by chrismation a condition of Westerners receiving Orthodox sacraments. Even then, however, the Church of Kiev managed to remain in communion with both Rome and C'ple until a few years prior to 1500.

* so-called after Sergius IV of Rome (1009-1012) and Sergius II of C'ple (1001-1019)

Physiocrat said...

@William Tighe

The four main "errors of the Latins" are given as baptism, use of unleavened bread, Filioque and Petrine Primacy. The accusations are not entirely without substance and could have some bearing on our present problems.

The first two of these are about signs. Change the sign and the thing signified is changed with it. To take one of these examples. Unleavened bread is apparently trivial, but why do we use it? The usual answer one gets is that the Last Supper was a Passover (Seder) meal ie it was on the night of 15 Nisan. Clearly it was not since Good Friday was "Preparation Day for the Passover" ie 14 Nisan. Jews often eat unleavened bread outside Passover but not during the preceding week; it is used for the first time at the Seder.

This perhaps has a bearing on the post-V2 liturgical changes. There is a widespread misconception that the Mass is a re-enactment of the Last Supper as a Jewish Seder celebration, which the use of unleavened bread promotes and the practice of celebration facing the people further reinforces. When the action of the liturgy takes place behind an iconostasis, there can be no doubt that it is anything other than a sacrifice in the Jewish sense of the term, as the representation of the Sacrifice of Calvary and the completion of the Jewish Temple sacrifices.

It goes on. Leavened bread cannot be conveniently reserved, so that the communion distributed must normally be that consecrated at the celebration; the practice of consecrating one host and distributing from the ciborium taken from the Tabernacle is at least confusing.

From there follows the practice of Eucharistic Adoration. Since we know that Christ, God, is really present in the consecrated elements, should be be putting it in a glass case and contemplating it as one would contemplate an ikon, or carrying it in a procession around the streets? We are, after all, told (Ex33:20) “You cannot see My face, for no man shall see Me and live!” Furthermore, the instruction given to us was "eat my body and drink my blood", not preserve it in a tabernacle. The use of the Eucharist as polemic seems a long way from this instruction.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ5aYoSr3Hg

From this follows the concept of "transubstantiation" which seems to suggest that everything happens when the words of consecration are uttered by a validly ordained priest. Now clearly, there is something very special about those words but they take place within the context of an overall action; the architectural setting, the music and all the other accoutrements of liturgy. That is something we have lost sight of, so we have ugly buildings, ugly music, ugly vestments, ugly altars - in fact we have turned ourselves into a cult of ugliness. If beauty is truth, and truth beauty, where does that leave us?

Filioque, the double procession of the Holy Spirit, is a change to the Nicean Creed. It contradicts John 14:26; in 15:26, Jesus indeeds states that he will send the Spirit from the Father but that surely conveys the idea of Jesus as agent? Filioque in some sense places the Holy Spirit at a lower level than the Second Person of the Trinity.

As regards Petrine Primacy, the subject has been argued about for so long that historical truth is irretrievably lost behind the polemics of both sides. However, the state of the Papacy since 1960 suggests that there could be something not quite right; that is something that can be traced far back into history; the good and holy ones are the exceptions. For the most part it has been an office at the centre of political intrigue and contention.

Pelerin said...

There is some good news today for the immediate future of the Church - The Feasts of the Epiphany and Ascension in England are reverting to their proper days according to the Catholic blogosphere. At least that will mean that we will once again be in step with the Anglicans!

Charmaine Lamont said...

I was rather surprised when I heard that the ICKSP were to be given a second church in Preston because according to a friend who often goes there, they do not have a large attendance, so why take over a second church? I have since heard that Sunday Mass will move from St. Wulburge's to English Martyrs although the former will still be used.

Sixupman said...

English Martyr's is more accessible, certainly. Nonetheless both should be preserved.

Physiocrat said...

@JARay

The article by Larson in Christian Order, Unveiling Eastern Orthodoxy is here.

The author relies heavily on Vladimir Lossky's writings, which I have managed to obtain. I have read what is a very turgid translation from the original French, which was also, presumably, similarly and unnecessarily turgid; the original would be difficult even for a native Frenchman to understand. For that reason the reader, in either language, can not be certain that they have correctly grasped what the author intended.

However, Larson is clearly misreading Lossky when he accuses the latter of identifying God as an Absolute in the Hindu philosophical sense. Lossky expressly spells out the distinction.

A reading of the relevant chapter by Vossky on the Trinity suggests also that Larson has not understood Vossky on the subject of the procession of the Holy Spirit.

As I said at the start, given the turgid translation of a turgid text, errors in understanding are excusable and to be expected. Thus it is not useful of Larson to pluck out selected chunks of Vossky's barely comprehensible text. A critique of Orthodoxy needs to go back to better sources. Unfortunately these are not readily available to English readers as the texts are mostly in Greek or Russian and so the translation problem is always an issue.

Cressida de Nova said...

I sympathise with Physiocrat's dilemma about Sunday Mass.If the services that are offered are disrespectful and heretical then that constitutes a danger and possible loss of the faith.No one should be expected to attend these sinful charades damaging to faith causing physical illness at the prospect of even attending them.For example if a priest has publicly declared he will support same sex marriage then it would be anti Catholic and morally wrong to receive any sacraments from this priest or attend his services.Catholics must familiarise themselves with Catholic doctrine which is immutable and brilliant in its clarity. To destroy the liturgy and beautiful traditions of the Church is wickedness perpetrated by the anti Catholic forces thriving within the Church. We have been promised that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church. We were not promised that there would not be a concerted onslaught from our enemies. All of us must be prepared to dig in and defend the true faith.Attending orthodox Churches is not the answer.