Monday, July 18, 2016

Orientation: The crucial question is what is the Mass?

The crucial question is what is the Mass?

St Paul gives the answer, "When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus, until you come in glory" 1Cor 11:26.
The Church, from its very beginning until the 1960's, zealously defended this understanding of the Mass over the 'fraternal meal' as its core teaching and consequently its understanding of the Church's life and mission.

Christ's death and return, and our place in it, is at the very heart of Catholic (and Orthodox) belief, it is this after all that is the essential part of the kerygma. It is this that page for page is the substantial part of the Gospels. It is this rather than Jesus' teaching or life that concerns the writing of the Apostles, and the writers of the sub-Apostolic age.

It is with Protestant worship in the sixteenth century where the idea of  the 'fraternal meal' takes over from the proclamation of the Lord's death and return in glory. Protestantism has a supreme discomfort with the notion that the Mass is a supernatural event. In the Catholic Church the 1960's brings in an understanding of the Mass that is essentially one of the 'meal'. It would obviously be foolish to suggest that the Eucharist is not set within a meal but for the New Testament and the Fathers, in fact everyone up to VII, this meal is the sacred act of the Pasch,  a communion  sacrifice with him the Lamb and Victim Priest.

The loss of a sense of the Mass as being about Christ's death and coming again has been the most significant change in both the Church's understanding of herself and her mission. It would be ridiculous to suggest that this change is not signified by the 1960s re-orientation of the Mass and it is for that reason that Cardinal Sarah speaks about the return to the ancient (and correct) orientation of the Mass as being both 'urgent' and 'necessary'.

To suggest that ad orientem and, errr..., contra populum worship are equal I would suggest is without foundation, certainly ecumenically and historically. The Temple was orientated to the East, there are countless reference Salvation coming from the East or with the dawn, the archaeological evidence, the Tradition of all the Eastern Churches all point to the norm of eastward facing as being normative for Christian prayer both liturgical and private,  Msgr Pope in a useful article here reminds us of the care for proper orientation in the Didiscalia written around 250 A.D.
Now, in your gatherings, in the holy Church, convene yourselves modestly in places of the brethren, as you will, in a manner pleasing and ordered with care. Let the place of the priests be separated in a part of the house that faces east. In the midst of them is placed the bishop’s chair, and with him let the priests be seated. Likewise, and in another section let the laymen be seated facing east. For thus it is proper: that the priests sit with the bishop in a part of the house to the east and after them the lay men and the lay women…Now, you ought to face east to pray, for, as you know, scripture has it, Give praise to God who ascends above the highest heavens to the east…
What is significant is that the correct orientation of worship was important for our forefathers. It was not arbitrary, one orientation or another was not a matter of choice, as it is still not in the Churches of the East today. One of my Orthodox friends seriously regards the Catholic Church as being protestant simply in regard of abandoning the the ancient orientation. For the Eastern Churches it is a serious issue, and not one of mere preference.

Westward or  contra populum worship can best be seen by its fruits, the first and foremost is to diminish the crucial question of what the Mass is about: the proclamation of Jesus' death and return in glory, that is unlikely to be the answer coming from most Catholics today, despite mouthing it in the 'Mystery of Faith' after the consecration.
If we get that wrong then our ecclesiology is bound to collapse, because of course the question raised by lay participants is, "what are we doing here?" If the answer is that we are guests at a fraternal meal, then that in itself raises questions, when there are far more fraternal fraternal meals around than a Catholic church on a Sunday morning. Of course what it marks is a departure from Scripture and Catholic Tradition

For the priest too there is more than a little danger, certainly he has always been seen as alter Christus but he has always seen in this role (literally) on the side of worshippers, like them in all things but ontology, rather than a stand in, or even replacement, for Christ the host of the meal. With the magnification of the priestly role comes also the exultation of congregationalism. Cdl Nichols warns against "personal preference" and yet the whole notion of forgetting the Pauline understanding of the Mass and raising the role of the priest means that individual congregations develop their own style of worship, their own musical tradition, their style of ministry, their own set of preferences, and ultimately their own theology.
Some priests reject the celebration of ad orientem worship based simply on the fact that their congregation would re-act against it. Could it actually be that they have already developed their own congregational theology that is at odds with the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church also includes the Eastern Rites and has a history that goes back through the centuries to Jesus Christ and the apostles. Not understanding the significant fracture that non- ad orientem worship introduces is itself a sign of seriousness of our break with the past and the depth of the hermeneutic of rupture.


Woody said...

Dear Father, this post from Fr. Edmund Waldstein, O.Cist. here: Is definitely worth a new reading. I find it especially ironic that initially the versus populum orientation was favored by the authoritarians in the new liturgical movement. Maybe one could mention to His Eminence that versus populum might be crypto-fascist.

mark wauck said...

Excellent. Thanks.

David O'Neill said...

Thank you again Father. As you said "by their fruits shall ye know them". One of my greatest concerns is the apparent lack of belief in the Real Presence. How can anyone pass the tabernacle with (at best) a cursory nod of the head? I'm not speaking of just laity here but priests & religious. If they do not acknowledge the Real Presence by at least a profound bow, if they cannot genuflect, then how can our children & young people be expected to?
Catholicism has been dumbed down since Vatican 2 & by those you should know better. The children & young people are the future of the Church but are being badly guided or not guided at all. It concerns me when I see children being "done" (baptised) at ages 4 or 5 years. A good friend has a saying which is very apposite "The Pauline experience on the road to education"! They have children baptised just to (hopefully) gain a place in a good Catholic school but how many do we see in the pews?

Unknown said...

Lots of issues here but one thing I would point out is that the 1960s onwards did not, I think, just reduce the mass to a fraternal meal. It is that and a sacrifice. I have never heard anything else in all my days of journeying towards the Catholci Church when I was soaking up post Vatican II teaching and liturgy in my Anglican days. I think the contemporary push for ad orientem to restore the sense of sacrifice is misplaced, therefore, though it is an equally valid option, and the widespread usage in antiquity. To say that most priests in most parishes today are stressing a fraternal meal is not right. We gather before a Table and an Altar at one and the same time.

1569 Rising said...

Thank you, Father.
Very profound and thought-provoking.
You have put in words much better than I could have done, what I truly believe

Fr Ray Blake said...

Fr Kevin,
My point is that they are not equally valid, yes according to the CDW's letter of 2000 (and that when most had adopted the ad populum stance) but certainly not historically or ecumenically, it is a novelty. No-one before 1960, except for a few odd-bods in the extremes of the Liturgical Movement would claim that.
I do not say "that most priests in most parishes today are stressing a fraternal meal", I say that that is signified by the orientation.
If you want proof ask most Catholics what they understand the Mass to be, I think few would quote St Paul or the Fathers.

Victor S E Moubarak said...

I agree with David O'Neill. (Above).

A friend of mine told me recently that "he is running out of priests he can confess to" because he cannot trust or respect them. He explained about a priest who openly believes the bread and wine are just symbolism and not to be taken seriously/literally. For a Catholic priest to say this publicly is scandalous.

Another priest often preached that marriage is for life and divorce is wrong. Then a year or so later, he had an affair with a parishioner and left the Church to marry her. When my friend met him in the street months later and challenged him. The man replied: "Circumstances change!"

Sadly, a number of our Catholic priests are a bad example of what a good shepherd should be. They have a special responsibility to Our Lord for the job they freely took on when they became priests - and not to keep an eye for the next promotion or self-interest.

God bless you, Father.

Pétrus said...

Fr. Kevin, you say the 1960s did not reduce the Mass to a fraternal meal.

I've been reading a lot on this subject over the last few days. Pretty much every single person I have read arguing for Mass to be celebrated, with the Priest's back to God, has had a similar view. They have been very much of the opinion that the Mass is a shared meal.

While "the 1960s" might not have changed what the Church teaches, what the people in the pews believe has changed.

Jeremy said...

The point of the liturgy is in part to give a physical expression to belief, historically through detailed and beautiful symbolism. The new Mass may not have intended to distort what so clearly the old rite portrayed, but it it most certainly did. Facing the people on its own might not be so critical, but combined with a highly simplified ceremony, the use of the vernacular and the general lack of a sense of the sacred, with countless abuses undreamt of in the past, you have suddenly a whole different scenario. We have to find a way out of this somehow. 'Ad orientem' would be a very good start.

Jacobi said...

Catholicism is about the Death and Resurrection of Christ, a subject many Catholics, in addition to Protestants, these days are uncomfortable with. But it is that or it is nothing.

And that is not pedantry Father, just the simple Truth which in times of confusion is so often called pedantry. I just happen to be re-reading Path to Rome in which B was very hard on pedants, who puff up with pride on matters they are ill qualified on yet never use for example the phrase “tut tut , you don't say?”

Salvation will come from the East and it is in that direction we should be facing when we follow the Mass, the re-enactment of the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, so that Fallen Man might have the choice of Salvation.

Deacon Augustine said...

Fr. Kevin, if you would like evidence to support Fr Ray's assertion that the "meal motif" has come to dominate the understanding of the Mass since the 1960's then you need to look no further than the Acta of the 2005 XIth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops which took as its subject matter: "The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church." which led to Pope Benedict XVI promulgating his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis (22 February 2007).

I remember it well because I followed it closely at the time and I was appalled that significant numbers of the 241 Synod Fathers did not know or would not accept that the Mass was a sacrifice - they believed it was only a meal. Pope Benedict himself had to intervene in the proceedings to settle the dispute in which, of course, he affirmed that Holy Mass is both a sacrifice and a meal.

Obviously there are many clergy, like yourself, who still understand the Mass as a sacrificial meal, but speaking as a convert myself, the sacrificial nature of the Mass is very obvious when compared to the low church "liturgy" which you or I would have been used to. However, when a Catholic remembers Mass as it used to be, or is exposed to the old Mass or ad orientem worship for the first time, the difference in tone which the orientation makes is palpable. The eastward orientation of both priest and people is a powerful sign of what is taking place in the Mass and of Who it is Who is being worshipped.

And, sad to say, for every priest who understands the Mass as the Church understands it, there are plenty more who do just treat it as a meal, or just a "gathering of the worshipping community", because it fits in "with my ecclesiology". In fact I would suggest that the greatest challenge the Church in this country faces is one of maintaining unity in the face of a clergy which is divided by different ecclesiologies - so divided that one priest will not work with or speak to another in some places. And these "different ecclesiologies" certainly affect what is believed and taught about the Mass.

William Tighe said...

"It is with Protestant worship in the sixteenth century where the idea of the 'fraternal meal' takes over from the proclamation of the Lord's death and return in glory."

Well, I would agree with this only if one does not include "Lutheranism" under the phrase "Protestant worship." I am not certain whether "fraternal meal" might be better put as "community meal" or "memorial meal," but whatever the term one chooses it is certainly true of the Reformed Protestants, the Radical Protestants (Anabaptists and the like) and even of (Elizabethan) Anglican Protestants (with a few exceptions or qualifications for "eccentrics" like Lancelot Andrewes; the
formation of the "high-church party" as a party was a phenomenon of the reign of James I).

Lutheran worship, however much it mangeled the Mass, did retain most of the outward form and "shape" of the Mass (except in SW Germany, where Lutherans replaced the "Catholic pattern" of worship with one closely resembling that of the Reformed, and so it is perhaps no wonder that 150 years latter this area was a stronghold of Pietism, as it wa slater of Liberalism), including (contrary to Luther's velleity) Ad Orientem celebration. German and Scandinavian Lutheran worship practices looked far more Catholic than their Anglican counterparts until well into the 18th Century.

Unknown said...

But that is our disagreement and a faux traditionalist narrative at present. Both positions are valid masses and both have offering and also assembly at the altar. The meal aspect is secondary in both and that is always how I have seen the Novus Ordo and when celebrated westward facing. The offering aspect cannot be denigrated or airbrushed out. Westward facing might have been a minority sport in earlier centuries but it has been allowed and is allowed right across the Church today. There is no need to push for a change though anyone is free to face east. We do not need to go back, to to be who we are. And you can be who you are and be loved for it.

Unknown said...

All these problems that you have highlighted in your recent posts all occur in the New Mass which has in many instances undermined the sacrificial nature of the Mass and belief in the Real Presence. There are also many instances on record where it has been sacrelegious and a scandal to the faith. The answer is a return to the Traditional Latin Mass.

Anonymous said...

This was an excellent article, and I can also see that those that commented are quite intelligent. In fact so much so that I fear to comment. All compliments. One of the reasons I like to read your blog is because you are Catholic in a country that is the heart of Protestantism. You understand the subtleties between the two better than most, especially in America. There are a couple of things I have wondered about with the VII Liturgy. Even with the alter and the priest facing the people, are there specific points in that VII Mass where the priest should turn and face east? That is different from saying the entire Liturgy of the Eucharist facing east, or with the back towards the people. The main point being; can a proper Mass ever be said with a VII altar, and with that altar standing between the Priest and the people?

Physiocrat said...

As a convert of Jewish origin, an essential aspect of Catholic worship is that it is a continuation of the ancient Jewish temple sacrifice.

The priest makes the sacrifice on behalf of the people. He is leader of the sacrificial ceremony and should therefore be one the same side of the altar as the people.

As a matter of everyday, the "facing" position is a service position assumed by shop assistants, bank clerks, interviewers, teachers and judges; it is, literally, confrontational. The sooner priests stop doing it, the better, both for their own good and that of their flocks.

David O'Neill said...

I recall a priest friend saying that some celebrations of the OF Mass reminded him of a rugby scrum - including the chat which went on!!

White Owl said...

fr kevin,

I agree with your post, it is both a meal and a sacrifice.Might i be bold and also the kingdom of heaven there are few words and even fewer orientations, merely love. Let us not forget that it is love that gathers us round the altar/table. where two or three are gathered in my name...'you must face east otherwise im not coming...'
nah..didnt think so.

White Owl said...

i prefer the latin mass because it gives more time for personal participation than the modern version. However i do think the novus ordo is a work in progress and over the eons it will improve. its a bit rough, a bit too busy and far too much 'work out' for the average sinner. i can see the merits of both and we do have to be careful we dont create false splits in the body of Christ...for such a thing is in reality, impossible. if i could never go to a latin mass again then it wouldnt ultimately matter because the main reason for going to mass completely obliterates any 'errors' in the liturgy. I also think it is a red herring to argue that the churches problems all started the day the novus ordo was printed. it was a long time coming, way before that. My view is that it all started with st anselm and cur deus homo.

John Fisher said...

The Passover is not a meal it is bringing present a sacrifice. What exactly was killing lambs and painting the blood of the lamb over the door lintels if not a sacrifice delivering from death. I have never understood the claim it was just a chance to eat some food and chat. Those that hold this are fakes... such as the Neocats and silly mutant Protestant sects.

John Fisher said...

Exactly who were these men like Bugnini and even Paul VI that they were so self important that they would manipulate and creatively deceive, reinterpret. invent a new Mass liturgy? It just an obvious manipulation and cannot stand up to any scrutiny. The status quo, following orders, perpetuating the deception with great gravity and authority does not paper over the fraudulent deception. There is a deep distrust these days that time will not dim.

John Nolan said...

On the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, what were those officers doing turning their backs on their men as they led them 'over the top'?

Ray Sunshine said...

if i could never go to a latin mass again then it wouldnt ultimately matter because the main reason for going to mass completely obliterates any 'errors' in the liturgy.

Thank you for that, White Owl. Sadly it is increasingly rare to be reminded of this fundamental truth. The mass is the mass and both forms are equally valid because the Church has said so. By all means let us look for ways and means to increase the frequency and availability of the EF, and by all means let us propose changes to the OF that will tend to meet the kind of objections that are expressed on this blog. But the caricature traddie and the caricature happy-clappy arm-waver, who both claim sole ownership of the “true” mass, are both equally guilty of making the same mistake.

John Vasc said...

It seems we are being sidetracked from Fr Ray's point, which is the essential nature of ad orientem worship, with priest and people all facing the high altar, united in worship. Ad orientem worship is and can be employed in the OF (there is no rubric that contradicts it) and is of course mandatory in the EF.
And it was the way Holy Mass was prayerfully celebrated for many centuries, before we decided we knew better.
Similarly, Holy Mass *can* be seen as a sacred meal, but that is not its primary purpose for the faithful: its primary purpose is to witness the Miracle of the Coming of Our Lord on the altar. An entire congregation might refrain from Communion, individually considering that they are for whatever reason not in a fit condition to receive the Lord, and yet still devoutly adore and participate in the Sacrifice, and Holy Mass would still be fully and entirely fulfilling Christ's Redemptive purpose.
As for the mumbled 'Mystery of Faith' after the Elevation, to me it seems a typical product of the post-VII year zero ideology: instead of mute, inward adoration and contemplation of our Lord Truly Present, just this moment come down to us on the altar, we have to open our mouths yet again in a trite chorus, as if the briefest moment of prayerful silence is too much for us, and we all have to be shaken back into corporate uniformity.

Cosmos said...

Uncle Brian,

You can add to your caricatures the caricature moderate who deems himself above the fray and able to cut through all the problems and contradictions of the age with a little sprinkling of common sense, good will, and proper theological perspective.

If it was just a matter of good-natured prelates making a few knuckle-headed liturgical errors, we certainly would not be where we are. "Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear?" We are well past the point that we can pretend that is the case. The fact is that the Church is being intentionally remade from the inside by men who have no respect for what was handed to them. If you don't think that is a problem, it may be you who are ignoring centuries of magisterial teaching.

JARay said...

Fr. Ray, your post was a delight to read. Thank you for it and I agree with all you have said.
May I also point out to several of the posters here, that not only does the orientation of the priest at Mass emphasise that it is a Sacrifice not just a communal meal, but also the very way in which we print it when talking about the Mass. Hence we also take the care to use the CAPITAL LETTER when speaking about the Mass. The printed word 'mass' can refer to all kinds of masses whereas the printed word "Mass" only refers to the holy sacrifice which Jesus undertook for the forgiveness of our sins!!!
If you print 'mass' when you mean "Mass" you are guilty of downplaying what it is that you are talking about!

William Tighe said...

"over the eons it will improve"

Eons, forsooth! Best get rid of it right away if it will take eons. (But I think it would not take "eons" if there were mandated improvements to it, like Ad Orientam, getting rid of the sign of peace, or at least making it a formalized ritual gesture rather than a kind of "intermission" to the ritual, getting rid of communion-in-the-hand (and restoring altar rails and kneeling for communion) and, ideally, getting rid of Eucharistic Prayer II and those four silly banal EPs for children and for "reconciliation.")

"Westward facing might have been a minority sport in earlier centuries but it has been allowed and is allowed right across the Church today."

Only in the Latin Rite (and the Maronite Rite, which seems to be an uncritical emulator of every post-1960s Western Catholic tendency in liturgical matters to take omne ignotum pro magnifico); the Eastern Catholic Churches either (like those of the Byzantine Rite) never embraced such silliness, or else, as with the Chaldean Catholic Church at its November 2005 synod, resolved to end the practice where it had been embraced, as contrary to its entire liturgical tradition.

Truth Seeker said...

One of the parishes in our city was recently remodeled and expanded to accomodate the overcrowded attendance at the Sunday masses. A chapel was built..added on to the back of the altar..where now all daily Masses, including Saturday morning..are held, while the main church remains locked and only open for Sunday Masses..and weddings, funerals, etc.

What struck me as very strange..sad actually, is the Tabernacle is in the new chapel..added onto the back of main church separated by wall of original church and side halls. After the Consecration,the ministers leave the main church to go to the back chapel and obtain the hosts from the tabernacle and retun to the altar before distribution of Communion.

So no Tabernacle even visible at a side altar, but in a separate building added on to the back. No Jesus present in Mass..until consecration! Also in new stations of the cross..but at least there is a large crucifix...and Jesus in the Tabernacle...

I went to one Sunday Mass there with this new configuration..and it felt so wrong to me. I now attend a newer parish..altar..with beautful Tabernacle is center...priests' chairs off to side. We lost our Latin Mass in town ...also very sad.

This parish..if priest were to say Mass ad orientum..he would be facing a wall with crucifix only. It is a very progressive that will never happen anyway. Just sad to me.

John Nolan said...

Truth Seeker

In cathedrals the Blessed Sacrament is not reserved in a tabernacle on the High Altar, and when a bishop celebrates in a church where the tabernacle is so placed, the Blessed Sacrament is removed. Your comment 'no Jesus present in Mass ... until consecration' explains why liturgical reformers wanted the tabernacle removed from the High Altar; Eucharistic adoration is important, but the idea that the priest somehow celebrates Mass towards the reserved Sacrament is utterly misguided and erroneous.

In medieval England the Sacrament was reserved in a hanging pyx usually in the shape of a dove. Since the laity communicated but rarely, it was only necessary to reserve what might be needed for Viaticum.

Fr Seán Coyle said...

Thank you, John Nolan, for your point above. May I add that, ideally, Holy Communion should be received from hosts consecrated at the Mass itself, not from hosts reserved in the tabernacle. This helps to reinforce the idea that the Mass is a Sacrifice. In sacrifices in the Temple in Jerusalem the priest sprinkled the congregation with the blood of the animal just sacrificed, not with blood from a previous sacrifice.

Of course, the reserved Blessed Sacrament is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Risen Lord but for centuries the Church has allowed what I consider an aberration of 'tabernacle Communions'. I know from experience as a parish priest here in the Philippines that it is possible to ensure that most people receive Holy Communion with hosts consecrated at the Mass they are attending. Otherwise we have, as I see it, a Communion service within the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. As John Nolan points out, the Blessed Sacrament was reserved before for Viaticum. And for adoration.

Another advantage of trying to ensure that sufficient hosts are consecrated at each Mass is that we wouldn't have extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion going to the tabernacle to get ciboria to place on the altar. In one church where I was celebrating a Sunday Mass - filling in for the resident priests who were away - I saw them going, during the Our Father, straight from the tabernacle to their Communion stations. This is utterly wrong and I was very upset.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Thank you.

John Nolan said...

Fr Coyle

By the same token, Communion outside of Mass is now discouraged. It's odd that since Vatican II lay-led 'Services of the Word with Holy Communion' have proliferated. If the faithful gather without a priest they should recite (or better still, sing) the LOTH.

The whole EMHC thing is an abuse. I attended a weekday Mass in Westminster Cathedral which had a priest, a server, a lay reader and two (!) female EMs. The Chalice was not offered and the relatively small number of communicants preferred to receive from the priest. What is going on here?

Sixupman said...

My diocese, Salford, is engaged upon a programme of 'managed decline', copying Beeching & McKinsey & Co. In considering the matter, my parish church to be closed [whatever that means I will seek to establish], I came across a church which I assume was re-ordered, post-Vatican II and has been re-ordered again. Cardinal Sarah would approve. The church is in immaculate condition and they have salvaged a 'side altar' from somewhere, utilising the same a the high altar - placed directly against the wall. The church, St. Joseph's Longsight Manchester also sports a very impressive web-site.The only drawback, the church has a western orientation. I heard Mass there this a.m. It is surprising they were allowed to ditch the ubiquitous 'table'.

Sadie Vacantist said...

What seems staggering to most of us is the unwillingness to even discuss the possibility of a link between the state of the liturgy and the decline of the Church in the West.

Fr Seán Coyle said...

John Nolan, thank you for your comment on my comment. I agree with you. I can't see any need for Communion services on weekdays in parish churches. We need to reclaim the Liturgy of the Hours as the Prayer of the Church, not just the prayer of priests and contemplatives. There has been a lot of progress in that since Vatican II.

25 years ago I did a two-month programme in directed retreat-giving in a Jesuit-run place n the USA. During two eight-day retreats there were two weekdays on which there was no Mass. Instead there was a Communion service with a woman presiding, a priest beside her. I remember one of my retreatants, a woman, who was so angry about this. Masses and services usually began 'In the name of the Creator, the Redeemer and the Sanctifier'. To my shame, on the day when I was asked to be main celebrant I did the same. The two-month programme was a blessing for me in many ways. One of the blessings was that I began to reject a lot of the nonsense that I had partly succumbed to over the years.

Sadie Vacantist, I agree with you. Though I cannot prove it, I am convinced that there is a real connection and that it is a factor in the rejection by many in my native Ireland not only of the Church but of the Christian faith itself.

BEANO44 said...

It seems clear to me...
“The altar should be built separate from the wall, in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated at it facing the people, which is desirable wherever possible.” (GIRM 299)

fzk5220 said...

Are we not forgetting the little iPhone and the influence of the internet? I know of several devout Muslims who have their iPhone compass arrow set exactly pointing at Mecca. Which compass setting should we Catholics set our iPhone to? Where exactly is our East?

KitKatCot said...

Sadie Vacantist, thank you for this:

"What seems staggering to most of us is the unwillingness to even discuss the possibility of a link between the state of the liturgy and the decline of the Church in the West".

I was really beginning to wonder if I was the only person to think that.

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