Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Rome wants!

One of the things that really irritates me about our English Church is selective Romanisation, if it suits, "Rome wants", if it doesn't then in the words of Cardinal Hume, "this document doesn't apply to England and Wales. Rome is used to back Gay Masses, Cafod's ABC pro-condom policy, the stifling way we use the collect and a great deal more. Of course everything depends on who one asks and how one frames the question,
Father Simon Henry, who seems to be a priest after my own heart shares my own concern, today he draws attention to why the heirarchy should have implemented Redemptionis Sacramentum. It is so sad when one hears of Bishops using ceramic vessels, offering Mass sitting at a coffee table, dispensing with vestments, encouraging people to pass the Body and Blood of Christ from one another, or simply being incapable of following the rubrics or dressing appropriately.

One directive that has unambiguously come from "Rome" is the Instruction Sacramentis Redemptionem. This document says of itself that:
" the Supreme Pontiff has mandated that this Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, in collaboration with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, should prepare this Instruction."
Couldn't be any clearer as coming from "Rome". It is:
"set forth for Bishops, as well as for Priests, Deacons and all the lay Christian faithful".

Couldn't be any clearer that it applies to everyone.

It says that the Instruction has been prepared because:

"In some places the perpetration of liturgical abuses has become almost habitual, a fact which obviously cannot be allowed and must cease. The observance of the norms published by the authority of the Church requires conformity of thought and of word, of external action and of the application of the heart."
Fr Simon then gives a whole list of things in the liturgy where what Rome wants is actively ignored.
read it


Michael Petek said...

This is backed up by the following comments by John Smeaton of SPUC last week.


The "failure of Catholic bishops" to teach on life issues is "directly responsible for great confusion and, consequently, for the failure of the overwhelming majority of Catholics, both clerical and lay, to provide truly effective resistance to the greatest legalized slaughter of human beings in the history of the world".

"Countless millions of unborn children are being killed each year and the policy of very many Catholic bishops is contributing hugely to this deplorable situation."

Smeaton quoted Cardinal-designate Raymond Burke, head of the Vatican's highest court, who commented in a talk earlier this month at the World Prayer Congress in Rome on the need for bishops themselves to be obedient to the Magisterium.

"If the shepherd is not obedient, the flock easily gives way to confusion and error," said Archbishop Burke.

Smeaton insisted that his own bishop, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, "was not being obedient to the magisterium when he said on BBC television that he did not know if the Catholic Church would eventually sanction gay unions."

"I affirm," he continued, "that Archbishop Nichols and the Catholic bishops of England and Wales are not being obedient to the magisterium in their co-operation with the British government policy of providing children at Catholic schools with access to abortion."

"I affirm that Archbishop Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation is not being obedient to the magisterium when he stands by the original wording of his article in L'Osservatore Romano last year which implied that there are difficult situations in which doctors enjoy scope for the autonomous exercise of conscience in deciding whether to carry out a direct abortion."

"I hear in country after country throughout Europe about the disobedience of bishops to the magisterium and everyone knows that the flocks are well and truly scattered, not least on abortion, IVF, human embryo research, euthanasia and issues relating to homosexuality."

Fr Ray Blake said...

Thanks not so much Latin more laziness about cutting and pasting.

shane said...

I suspect Clown Masses are actually quite rare, but the standard liturgy in the Church nowadays is embarrassing.

Dominic Mary said...

Oh thank you, Father . . . I do agree with both this post of yours, and that to which it refers.

It would be so wonderful if English Bishops started not only to tolerate, but actively to promote, the points made in that post.

Michelle Therese said...

Why can't we just go to Mass like grownups? Do you know what I mean, Father? It's like spin-the-wheel, you never know what you're going to get. A normal Mass or will there be some new add-on that doesn't belong, and thus your resistence = "you're a trouble maker!" How nice it would be for all of us Catholics if we could just plain go to Mass without the liturgical abuses. When will "The Spirit of Vatican II" grow up??

universal doctor said...

Some of this is really too close to home. I guess that most of us have witnessed most of these abuses and sought redress through the Bishop.
Perhaps in the list should be included the ubiquitous glass flagon of wine left on the altar during the consecration and subsequently "decanted" into a chalice.

Mike said...

The common use of EMHC in all Masses (nothing extraordinary about any of them) is the norm in my local church. At weekday Masses they usually stand either side of the priest. The priest distributes the Body of Christ while the EMHC distribute the Blood of Christ. I can’t say what proportion of people take both. This morning we had a very beautiful Requiem Mass (OF). The lady who had died was obviously highly respected and loved as the church was nearly full. (It’s not an enormous church – several hundred people, maybe.) It was a concelebrated Mass – four priests. Despite the number of priests, when it came to the usual part when the EMHCs enter the sanctuary (with their usual little bow) up they jumped and did what they usually do. I obviously had better things to do than observe what all the priest were doing during this time and so can’t say whether they were all involved.

The question is: Should we just accept this flagrant ignoring of the regulations or should we do something about it. If we should do something about it, what is the appropriate action to take?

Jacobi said...

My parish is one that nowadays would be considered liturgically mainstream, but I counted 9 items in Fr Simon's list that would apply, and I have noticed a new "variation" recently,which is not in the list, so it goes on.

We have as a Catholic community in the UK become used to laissez faire and have lost our understanding of the meaning of the liturgy.

I think that the answer is protest. Not violent or strident, but a quiet word with the PP, followed by a reminder, and if that does not work then a polite letter to the bishop - or further.

If just the odd person here and there does it, it will have no effect. But if enough do then something will happen.

It is up to like minded PPs and laity to take such action in support of the Holy Father.

Francis said...

Fr. Ray,

When I lived in England, I unfortunately witnessed some serious liturgical and doctrinal abuses at one of the churches I attended. But I didn't complain because I needed the parish priest's signature on the application form for the local Catholic school.

shane said...

Father Mildew has started blogging again.

Sadie Vacantist said...

Nobody wants to talk about the liturgy and appalling standards of worship in general. One of the worrying phenomena is that of the 'communion service' when father is away. Surely the priests and bishops are adult enough to think through impact of this development.

Sixupman said...

A church I visited in the South of Scotland, an ex CofS church, had been refurbished at some expense by the then bishop. The arrangement of the Altar (?) was a table at the head, from which the priest celebrated, two tables down each side and one across the end. Parishioners were, one and all, seated around the side and end tables. Of course the then bishop, in my hearing, placed the priesthood of the laity above that of the ordained ministry and much more beside from the Langholm arrangement.

Independent said...

Like the Anglican bishops the Catholic Bishops are perhaps too preoccupied with the reduction in excessive housing benefit, and maintaining the rights of unemployed people to live at the expense of ordinary working people in areas where the latter cannot afford to live, to be concerned with such trivia as the worship of God or the right to life of the unborn.

By such exclusive concern with secular issues, sometimes like "Fair Trade"morally rather dubious, they secularise the Gospel.

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