"And so my larger point is that the bishops are/were not singularly evil men, but were rather the products of the ecclesiastical culture of their age. And that culture is largely reflective of the culture that surrounds us. But therein resides the true nature of the “winter” in which we find ourselves, and the true nature of the disease that afflicts us. In short, at some point in her history the Church in North America and Europe ceased to be culture-forming and came to be, instead, formed by the culture. "My claim, therefore, is that the fundamental crisis in the Church today is not rooted, primarily, in sexual perversion. It is rooted, rather, in the idolatry of worldly comfort, which I take to be the very essence of the bourgeois spirit. It is an idolatry made respectable (and therefore unrecognized as idolatry) by the Church’s modern acceptance of the Enlightenment’s co-optation of the Kingdom of God by politics and economics. This entails as well the de facto, practical atheism that ensues when God’s Transcendence comes to be viewed competitively over and against our worldly fulfillment. In such a bourgeois regime, where Christianity has been tamed and has become just one more aid or help to our self-improvement in this life (Shmemann’s genius insight), the Kingdom of God has to be gutted of its true supernaturally transformative power and replaced with either the ridiculous Gospel of prosperity or the totalizing social/political Gospel of the Left. And, as Schmemann further points out, our status as homo adorans, as primarily in our essence “worshipers of the true God”, is thus replaced by homo faber, or humanity viewed as a mere economic commodity, either as a producer or as a consumer, and as a forger of brave new worlds in the here and now."
An Inside Look at Voice of the Faithful on Long Island
In January of 2004 I posted about an article in Crisis Magazinethat gave a behind the scenes look into Voice of the Faithful on Long Island (when I was getting the print edition). It showed how the group had good intentions but seem to end up doing nothing more than being another forum for liberal dissenters. I did not link to the article at the time but it is on line here. One line that jumped out at me was this line about Newsday's Bob Keeler speaking at a local VOTF meeting:
"Keeler did issue a warning: It seems many of the younger priests and those currently in seminaries are leaning in an orthodox direction, and in 15 to 20 years these men will be our pastors. There were reflexive gasps from the crowd."
This was written 16 years ago and the day has arrived! Some pastors are much more traditional but I do not hear much complaining about them. So far, I have heard positive feedback and no one seems to be pushing for the 1970's style Catholicism to return. Again, I think a lot of the people in the 1970's - 1980's thought that everything in the Church had to change but the vast majority of Catholics just want solid, true Christianity.
Tomorrow, Friday, in addition to the usual 8:30 morning Mass (from an exotic location with some special guests!) we will also celebrate a Divine Liturgy in the Byzantine Rite at 5:00 pm. After the Divine Liturgy, we will together make the Consecration to St Joseph. Please join us!
Their Livestream is on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/GlenCoveCatholic/
I do not know much about the Byzantine Rite so this should be interesting to see.
"The Byzantine rite is one of several Eastern rites recognized by and in full communion with the Bishop of Rome. Its origin can be traced to the ancient city of Byzantium (modern-day Istanbul), renamed Constantinople when the emperor Constantine relocated his capital city there from Rome in A.D. 330.
Although in full communion with the Church in the West, the Byzantine rite retains distinctive features. Byzantine churches are beautifully adorned with icons, and the sanctuary is separated from the congregation by an iconostasis, a screen covered with icons. Leavened bread is used for the consecration of the body of Christ in the liturgy (not called the “Mass” in Eastern rites), which is either the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom or that of St. Basil the Great. Communion is received under both kinds and administered by the priest from a spoon."
"The next time you go to Mass, someone wearing a medical protective mask may take your temperature and ask if you have a sore throat or shortness of breath.
You may see every other pew roped off to keep the faithful 6 feet apart from each other. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers could be located throughout the building. The seating capacity will probably be reduced, so not everyone who wants to go to church may be allowed inside.'
"As more governors begin talking about reopening their states, most of which have been shut down for almost two months because of the coronavirus pandemic, a growing number of the nation’s Catholic bishops are looking to bring back public Masses, albeit with restrictions.
“Proper distancing, all must wear a mask, holy Communion only on the hand,” Bishop Richard F. Stika of Knoxville, Tennessee, tweeted April 28 in announcing that public Masses in his diocese will return on Pentecost weekend.
By late April, the dioceses of Great Falls-Billings and Helena in Montana, as well as Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Lubbock, Texas, had resumed public Masses, but with conditions that limited the number of people who could attend the liturgies and that mandated the gatherings still comply with public health regulations aimed at stemming the pandemic.
In Great Falls-Billings, for example, social distancing has to be maintained at all times. The sign of peace is prohibited, as is receiving Communion on the tongue. The offertory procession is not held, the precious blood is not available to the faithful and baskets are not used for collections."
Where Did All The Catholics Go?
The above link is to the latest from one of my favorite writers Rod Dreher. I have been reading him since he wrote in the NY Post, remember him writing of his conversion to the Catholic Church and then his exit to the Orthodox Church. I consider him to be one of the most reliable sources of info and ideas on the Church, especially because he has written from an outside-inside-outside viewpoint. I was able to read The Benedict Option during this lockdown and highly recommend it. In today's link he quotes Ryan Burge:
I know, the nones are growing rapidly.
But, the share of evangelicals who are going to church weekly or more has never been higher - same for mainline Protestants.
There's been no real shifts among black Protestants. The real decline is Catholics - 45% in 1970's, 25% today
Of course the corruption of the clergy accounts from a lot of it, but most Catholics were not aware of how extensive this problem was until recently. What has driven people from the Church is that for 50 years we were told that anything traditional was bad, no good, terrible and also immature. They built or redecorated Churches to make them look bland or just without any beauty. They tried to water down all the teachings and when all is said and done most Catholics did not see any reason to continue with any of it. The traditional Mass is making a big comeback (I can longer keep up with how many of the newer priests celebrate it) and hopefully with the Mass will come more traditional teachings and practices. In the end though, the most traditional priest celebrating the most traditional Mass will mean nothing if he and the people are not authentic followers of Jesus Christ. This is why I consider myself a 'Reform of the Reform' guy, whereas so many in my shoes have gone full Traddie. Catholics, especially those in positions of authority in the Church have been so fearful and angry of anything traditional that they lost sight of what it was Catholics were looking for - authenticity.
During this whole Covid 19 and lockdown situation I have seen more veiled chalices, traditional latin Masses, Ordinary Form Masses celebrated Ad Orientem, Eucharistic processions and house blessings than ever before. This is amazing when you lived through the 1970's and 1980's. When I first was blogging (17 years ago!) I followed all the arguments and discussions on the Church and kept up with all of it. Now, I can't keep up with it all and don't have any desire to but the Church on Long Island is looking a lot more traditional than in the past. One of the best bloggers Amy Welborn at Charlotte Was Both puts it best in this post: Pendulums. It is well worth a read.
"There are countless angles to come at in examining the past few decades of Catholic history, but one that I emphasize frequently – because I see it neglected in other discussions of the time – is that a major focus of the changes in that period was the conviction that the Stuff of Faith, from buildings to ritual, to objects of devotion, to devotional practices themselves, were not actually helps to authentic faith, but obstacles. "
Catholic Event This conference has a lot of good speakers and is of course online - Catholic Family Conference May 1-2, 2020 Presented By: Regina Caeli Academy, Ignatius Press and Solidarity Healthshare
Speakers include Dr. Scott Hahn, Bishop Strickland, Dr. Janet Smith, Lila Rose, Matt Walsh, Matt Fradd, Kathryn Lopez, Danielle Bean and others.
UNESCO announced last week that construction has commenced on the Conventual Church of Our Lady of the Hour in Mosul. Mosul was once Iraq’s second-largest city before it was overrun by the Islamic State terrorist group in 2014 but liberated by U.S.-backed coalition forces in 2017.
"With the official approval from The Dominican order, UNESCO — in close collaboration with relevant authorities — will now start the stabilization and rehabilitation of The Conventual Church of Our Lady of the Hour in Mosul,” the international body said in a statement. "