Saturday, May 14, 2011

Technical Difficulties

My silence over the last few days was due to technical difficulties on Blogger.  After a hectic week I had a few minutes to blog, but I could not access my account.  So I'm back, God help you all!

So much to talk about.  I see the Bishops of England and Wales are restoring the Friday fast from meat - great news, and yet the abstention from meat on Fridays was never abolished - Vatican II did not do away with it, though many Catholics are under the impression that it did. 

Here in Ireland the Bishops gave greater freedom with regard to a Friday penance.  While abstaining from meat was traditional, people were invited to do another form of penance if they decided to eat meat on Fridays.  Of course, as with lots of things in the Church, when you do this people just start eating meat and don't replace it with another penance.  I remember when Pope Benedict issued his Letter to the Irish he told us (not asked, or suggested - told us) to offer our Friday penances for a year in reparation for the abuse of children.  Many of those that read the Letter (very few I fear) did not understand what he meant - "What's this Friday penances thing?" I was asked.   I hope the Bishops here will considering following their English and Welsh brothers.

I also see that the long awaited Instruction on the Extrarordinary Form has been released: Universae Ecclesiae.  I'm sure the hearts of the Traditionalists have finally stopped beating madly.  There has been wild speculation and almost fanatic fears on the blogs that the freedoms granted by Pope Benedict would be taken back or restricted.  They were not.  So the online rosaries to protect the Pope from the evil machinations of the Curia were not needed, though I suppose you'll find some people claiming the Rosaries worked.  I just think the Curia did what Benedict told them to do.

Speaking of Rosaries, I got an email today from a group planning a Rosary Procession in Dublin to stop the visit of the Queen of England to our country.  Apparently Ireland should not welcome the Queen because we already have one - Our Lady is the only Queen of Ireland.  If the media get hold of this they will use it to bash the Church again.  I can see the headlines; Catholics Protest Queen's Visit (minus clarifications).  You know sometimes your own worst enemies are are your own people!  At a time when reconciliation and peace have finally come to our country, and we are gradually developing a mature relationship with the neighbours, there are some, be they terrorists or right wing Catholic republicans, who have to make the process of peace difficult.  

The Queen will visit some nationalist hotspots in our country - the Garden of Remembrance and Croke Park where the British murdered fourteen innocent people as they attended a football match - one of them was a player called Hogan (no relation).  I think these visits may prove to be vital and I think we should listen carefully to what she has to say - I think there will be a gesture of reconciliation coming.  That said, we should have enough confidence in our people and nation not to be threatened by the Queen's visit.

Of course all of this is ironic given most Irish people follow and support English football teams, eat English produced foods, speak the language and watch English TV - many being addicted to English soaps.  And whenever we face financial crisis, many have taken the boat to England to find work.  Irony of ironies.


  1. The decision of the Bishops of England and Wales to restore the Friday abstinence from meat is very welcome but unfortunately I can't agree (for reasons given here) that the new Instruction "Universae Ecclesiae" is good news for either the Catholic Church or the traditional Roman liturgy. The sacred liturgy is in an awful mess. Pope Paul VI and Bugnini get a lot of the blame but the problems go much deeper than the Novus Ordo. The Tridentine Mass itself is a drastically cut down curial version of the Roman rite.

    As for the visit of QE2 I imagine the vast majority of people are neither hostile nor enthusiastic but totally indifferent. I’ve no problem with her coming here, popping into the Aras, shaking a few hands, getting enough photos for an article in Hello! before going home again, such as regularly has happened with previous visits of other European heads of state (monarchs included). This visit is way over the top and to me seems like a waste of money. I'm going to abstain from reading the Sunday Independent tomorrow for fear I might vomit.

  2. So, Shane, having read your objections via the link you are basically saying that "merging" the calendars will be a disaster for the Church?

    I thought we were a universal Church. Do we not have Saints after 1962 which deserve to be commemorated in the liturgy? Are you adopting the Protestant position of no Saints after a certain period of time? Or are your objections based on the attitude that these Saints are not Saints because they accepted the validity of the Mass after Vatican II, as so many of those who reject Vatican II and the teachings of the more recent popes seem to imply?

    I really cannot agree with you. You seem to want the Church to be frozen into one period in time and to stay there, or as one commentator put, do you want the Church to repeal the 20th century?

  3. Typical Traddie response above. The Church will never satisfy them - the only way forward with this lot is to return to the 1950s and pretend the 20th and 21st centuries do not exist. I'm not against Pope Benedict's decisions, I think it is good that the Extraordinary Form should be made more widely available, and as it is there is complete freedom. BUT - now we have to get rid of Saints canonised since the 1960's - they must be invalidly canonised so they can't appear on the Traddie calendar. So much for the universal Church. Perhaps the reason some are not happy with Universae Ecclesiae is because it states that must accept the validity of the Vatican II Mass. Can't have that in the 50s bubble.

  4. Aine did you actually read my comment or are you just genuinely stupid?

  5. Shane, yes, I read your comment and I read your comments via the link, and, no, I am not "genuinely stupid", I just disagree with you and the attitudes of many in the Traditionalist movement - that does not mean I am not intelligent, or a heretic as many of co-Traditionalists would make me out to be. The return of the EF, lovely and all as it is, is not going to solve the problems in the Church.

  6. While I love to see comments being left on the blog, may I remind those who do leave them to be courteous and remember we are all Christians. While we may disagree on certain points charity must be the rule of conduct. Shane and Aine please remember that.

  7. Aine, if you read my "comments via the link" you would know that I was not suggesting a "return to the 1950s" and that I criticised the liturgical reforms that took place in that decade. Clearly you are bad at reading or just aren't very bright.

    And given that I also criticised the Tridentine Rite, along with the Novus Ordo, I fail to see how my comment can be characterised as a "Typical Traddie response". Most 'Traddies' revere the Tridentine Mass and see it as coterminous with the Roman liturgical tradition.

  8. I have to say Shane, irrespective of the pros and cons of the arguments you have been very rude to Aine. Disagreeing with someone doesn't mean they are stupid or bad at reading or nor very bright.

    Your comments from the link were, in the main, not clear and difficult to understand. What was crystal clear was your opening sentence that the Instruction is a disaster for the Church and you highlighted new saints as a trojan horse.

    Peronally I think it is vital that the two calendars be completely harmonised; otherwise the Church will drift into two rites instead of two forms of the one rite. The same must be true of liturgical law which allows for female altar servers and communion on the hand if the ordinary allows it. The Extraordinary Form cannot become a gheto for people who don't like the way the Church has changed.

  9. Smashingthecrew: ALtar girls were introduced by liberals in the CHurch. Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Arinze both opposed it, but for some reason JPII permitted it, I imagine after being threatened by liberal bishops and cardinals.

    The Popes have condemned the use of altar girls.

    Altar girls in the sanctuary are immodest and totally against tradition.

    They ought not to be used.
    Altar girls are used by liberals who see them as the camel's nose under the tent. They don't mind manipulating the girls in order to prove an ideological point.

    I was at a 1st Holy Communion at the weekend and there were altar women. It was an awful sight - they were like pagan priestesses. Their use is spiritual immodesty. It also denies boys and young men the chance to serve at the altar and foster vocations. Of course, liberals don't want priestly vocations.

    This article is a good commentary on the issue:

    The whole idea behind altar girls is part of the feminist ideology.

  10. ''Like the recurring pressure to consider female ordination to the diaconate, continued support for and advocacy of female altar servers, at least in part and certainly in the case of some of its advocates, is frankly seen as another wedge issue. Just as women are said by some to have a "right" to ordination if it can be conferred on men, so girls are said to have a "right" to serve at the altar if boys are so allowed. This is considered to be a matter of simple justice by many. From the point of view of the proponents of female ordination, having girls serve at the altar helps keep the whole female ordination issue alive and active.

    Whatever the intention, the 1994 letter allowing female altar servers, even if only on a "temporary" and limited basis, thus undermined the Holy Father's definitive judgment in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, issued only a few weeks later.

    In the view of its proponents, however, the issue must be kept alive. Their hope is that some day another pope will relent and allow "justice" finally to be done to women, and their "rights" vindicated. The present pope's exclusion of female ordination as something beyond the power which Christ conferred on his Church is ascribed not to the Church's two-thousand-year unbroken tradition in the matter but merely to the Polish pope's relative "conservatism".''

    -- Kenneth D. Whitehead

  11. The problem with both traddies and liberals is the same problem - they cannot accept the full teaching of the Church; they want to pick and chose the bits they like and reject the rest, liberals on the basis of modernity, traddies on the basis of some "tradition" of which they, rather than the teaching authority of the Church, are the arbiters.

    Whether you like it or not, Mark, the Holy Father has allowed altar girls, female readers and female extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. If you are Catholic then you must in obedience accept that this is the case.

    But what's most alarming, frankly, is the notion that the sight of a woman or worse, a young girl, on the sanctuary is immodest. If there's any immodesty it's in your head if you can't see a girl without having bad thoughts.

  12. Smashing I hope your comment is not directed at me since it is unfounded - I'm not rejecting any Church teaching - I have about four copies of the new Catechism in my possession.

    For your information smashing, no priest can be compelled to use altar girls. If a priest does not want to use him, nobody can compel him. That is a fact. As regards Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, the fact is that in most parishes the Church's norms on this are routinely flouted.

    CHeck this:

    ''Re: Instruction on certain questions regarding the collaboration of the non-ordained faithful in the ministry of priests

    "Extraordinary Ministers" may distribute Holy Communion only "where there are particularly large numbers of the faithful, and which would be excessively prolonged because of an insufficient number of ordained Ministers to distribute Holy Communion."

    Among the practices to be "avoided and eliminated where such have emerged [is] the habitual use of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion at Mass."

    Far from it are Catholics like myself disobedient - we subscribe fully to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.

    Read this:

    What I call for is fidelity, not disobedience.

    If our bishops and priests are obedient, they will implement Redemptionis Sacramentum, which to date has been a dead letter in Ireland.

    When I spoke of spiritual immodesty, I was not speaking of any immodesty or impurity on my part. The very use of altar girls is a disobedience against venerable tradition and a point-proving exercise in so many cases.

    As an informed and catechised Catholic, I am perfectly free to hold the position that altar girls are a bad idea, as are women in the sanctuary, and the abuse of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. I can affirm all of this and remain a Catholic in good standing.

    I call on you to retract your unfounded allegations about good Catholics who seek only to be holy, chaste, and obedient in God's Church.

  13. You are perfectly free to hold the view that altar girls are a bad idea. You are not free to hold the view that they are not allowed when clearly they are - the Church allows them, as it does extraordinary ministers; it's a matter for the diocesan bishop to determine. Of course there are abuses, but the fact remains they are allowed by the Church and are therefore not in any sense "disobedience against venerable tradition".

    If you didn't mean "immodest" perhaps you shouldn't have used the word as people will think you meant immodest when obviously you meant something unspecified but completely different.

    If Catholics want to be good Catholics then they may not like it but they must certainly lump it.

  14. Smashing,

    I never said they were not permitted. They are, sadly, most likely because Pope John paul II was bullied and threatened by liberals prelates that if he didn't permit them, they would go into schism.

    You obviously didn't read the links, nor do you have knowledge of the responsibilities of bishops. Bishops are not free to ignore Magisterial documents, but they do, routinely, ehre in Ireland. I am thinking particularly on the Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum. Bishops are NOT free to ignore the CHurch laws on the use of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. If I didn't think it would ruin any hope of ever working for the Church, I would make an issue of it and do what is my right under Canon Law and report the matter to the Bishops, and if action is not taken, I can report it to the Congregation for Divine Worship in Rome.

    You seem to have a definite axe to grind. I think you should examine your own heart and discern why it is you feel the need to attack faithful Catholics just because they call attention to disobedience in the Church.

    The facts are:
    -No priest can be compelled to use altar girls.
    - Extraordinary Ministers of HC are routinely used in Irish dioceses against the Church laws.

    Consider this:

    ''In 1994, while allowing girls to serve, the Vatican stated the following:

    '[T]he Holy See wishes to recall that it will always be very appropriate to follow the noble tradition of having boys serve at the altar. As is well known, this has also led to a reassuring development of priestly vocations.'

    John Paul II in 2004 accordingly encouraged priests to show a special concern for altar boys, saying that they “represent a kind of ‘garden’ of priestly vocations” and that their service at the altar can be “a valuable experience of Christian education and become a kind of pre-seminary” (Letter to Priests for Holy Thursday 2004).''

    --- Now, why would any priest or bishop disregard the wishes of the Holy See on this matter? I will tell you why: ideology. Liberals do not want vocations to the celibate male priesthood. They want women priests. They know that altar girls are a tool they think they can use to advance their agenda.

    One final thing: what message do you think it sends to girls to allow them to dress in a cassock and serve the priest on the altar? Ask a selection of altar girls what they think about 'women priests'. Then compare their answer with infallible Catholic teaching on the priesthood.

  15. BTW, when I said spiritual immodesty, let me explain: the priest acts in the person of the male Christ at the sacrifice of the Mass. To have females in the sanctuary is a kind of immodesty and impurity. I cannot explain it better than this writer can:::>

    '' There are other analogies which should help us see this. Pope John Paul II's well-known argument against contraception is a case in point. He says that such practices are like telling a lie, not with words, but with the language of the body. The conjugal act, by its very nature, is a way in which the spouses say with their bodies, "I give myself totally and completely to you." But when contraceptives are used, the act is deformed and becomes a kind of falsehood or dishonesty, because the couple are not then giving themselves unreservedly to each other, but rather, are withholding their life-giving potential, their fertility. In the same way we can say that since 1994 the Latin-rite Church, by inviting females to serve at the place of priestly sacrifice, dressed in the priestly garb of alb or cassock, gives the impression of speaking with a forked tongue. At the level of her purely verbal communication the Church promulgates documents asserting clearly that women can never be priests; but in her "body language", as it were, namely, in her most sacred liturgical action, she now seems to be insinuating the exact opposite.

    Another analogy from the area of sexual ethics concerns marriage itself as the only legitimate place for male-female intimacy. As a corollary of the sixth commandment, Catholic tradition, and indeed the natural law as recognized by practically all cultures, has always insisted that it is incompatible with true fidelity for a married person even to flirt or become involved romantically with someone other than his or her own spouse (by regularly spending time alone with such a person, exchanging loving glances, words, caresses, letters, and so on), even if no sexual act takes place. Such behaviour is rightly understood by everyone as naturally conducive toward physical sexual union even if it does not always reach that point. In exactly the same way, the constant and emphatic tradition of the Church has been that service at the altar is objectively ordered toward priesthood, even though not every altar boy or acolyte actually ends up becoming a priest. From this perspective we could say that a woman or girl serving at the altar, no matter how devout her personal intentions, no matter how reverent, recollected and modest her deportment and dress, is by her very presence in the sanctuary engaging in what is objectively a kind of spiritual immodesty. She is flirting, as it were, with the goal of priestly ordination - mimicking it, drawing as near as she can to it with an indecorous familiarity and an intrusive intimacy. Her liturgical role insinuates and suggests ordination as its proper goal or fulfilment, even though this is absolutely excluded by the Law of Christ.

    Indeed, this natural symbolism of altar service as signifying potentiality for priesthood is so clear and deep that I suspect that there are very few Catholics, liberal or traditionalist, who do not recognize or accept it. To those who feel deeply convinced that female altar service is good and proper, I would put this simple question: "Is it not also true that you are unconvinced by the Catholic Church's stand against women's ordination, and that you would indeed like to see women as priests as well as altar servers?" ''

    You can answer that question yourself smashing.

    Read the whole article here:

    If you read the full article, then you can come back and share your reflections on the writer's points. If you are not prepared to do that, then we are done here.

  16. You say "Women in the santuary are a bad idea." Explain yourself dinosaur boy!

    If I was a reader or sang the Psalm from the santuary, you would not approve. But if my husband were to read or sing from the santuary, this it would be acceptable to you?

    In your opinion you are faithful, obedient, informed and catechised Catholic, but that does not stop you from sounding like someone who is just afraid of women!

    Would you approve of a female cleaner in the santuary area?

    You also said, "Altar girls in the sanctuary are immodest... " Immodest? How? Shame on you!

  17. Let me explain why the are immodest.

    ''... the constant and emphatic tradition of the Church has been that service at the altar is objectively ordered toward priesthood, even though not every altar boy or acolyte actually ends up becoming a priest. From this perspective we could say that a woman or girl serving at the altar, no matter how devout her personal intentions, no matter how reverent, recollected and modest her deportment and dress, is by her very presence in the sanctuary engaging in what is objectively a kind of spiritual immodesty. She is flirting, as it were, with the goal of priestly ordination - mimicking it, drawing as near as she can to it with an indecorous familiarity and an intrusive intimacy. Her liturgical role insinuates and suggests ordination as its proper goal or fulfilment, even though this is absolutely excluded by the Law of Christ.''

    I also picked up the following comment left on another blog:

    ''I once belonged to a wonderful country parish. The priest beautifully preached the authentic Catholic faith and offered Holy Mass with reverence as would bring a tear to a pious Catholic's eye. Then he left the area, and the diocese sent us a series of liberal priests that gradually drove away much of the congregation. Finally, a new full-time pastor introduced altar girls. In very little time, the shy altar boys - who had served for several years with ideal reverence and seriousness - no longer wanted to be on the altar. Finally. they and their parents gave up and left the parish.

    This is an agenda that works flawlessly - that is, if destroying the local Church is your objective. Not only do we lose vocations as a result of altar girls, but the larger liberal agenda destroys parishes. Yes, that wonderful little country parish is now closed, along with the neighboring parish and countless others that have followed the same scheme. And if the diocese had determined to close it from the beginning, I suppose it wouldn't have done differently a single thing.

    When a parish is closed as a result of the liberal agenda, the totally cool pastor turns out the last light and says to humself, "Gee, I hope these darned traditional Catholics have learned their lesson." ''

    Rather than attack me (after the example of smashing?) you might like to engage with the arguments I have presented. For simplicity, you can begin with the contents of this comment.

  18. Your words "a woman or girl serving at the altar, no matter how devout her personal intentions, no matter how reverent, recollected and modest her deportment and dress, is by her very presence in the sanctuary engaging in what is objectively a kind of spiritual immodesty. She is flirting, as it were, with the goal of priestly ordination - mimicking it, drawing as near as she can to it with an indecorous familiarity and an intrusive intimacy. Her liturgical role insinuates and suggests ordination as its proper goal or fulfilment, even though this is absolutely excluded by the Law of Christ.''"

    This is rubbish. If you pushed this type of thinking far enough, people like you would not even allow women in Church at all!

    Mark, Your use of the words "immodesty", "mimicking", "flirting", "indecorous familiarity", "intrusive intimacy", is loaded and wrong. To apply these words to women inparticular in the santuary is wrong. It is insulting.

  19. Dear Caroline, those are not my words, they were written by somebody else. I agree with them wholeheartedly.

    COnsider for a moment why anyone would go against the Holy See on this matter.

    COnsider this extract from the letter from Cardinal Antonio Maria Javierre Ortas, giving permission from the Holy See to local bishops to use altar girls:

    ''2) The Holy See respects the decision adopted by certain Bishops for specific local reasons on the basis of the provisions of Canon 230 2. At the same time, however, the Holy See wishes to recall that it will always be very appropriate to follow the noble tradition of having boys serve at the altar. As is well known, this has led to a reassuring development of priestly vocations. Thus the obligation to support such groups of altar boys will always continue.''

    Whether you care to admit it or not, this is about ideology. The whole context of how this permission came about was, like Communion in the hand, based on disobedience. Many bishops had already introduced COmmunion in the hand, which the Holy See ended up approving, and many bishops also introduced altar girls illegally, with the result the the Holy See caved on the issue whilst insisting that the obligation remained to foster and encourage altar boys, so as to nurture vocations. Ask any of the altar girls and their mothers what they think about the idea of women priests. Then come back to me and tell me what answers you were given. The fact is, when the girls comes in, the boys tend to leave, and with that, vocations will reduce.

    I strongly encourage you to read the article by Mr Whitehead on the Adoremus site:

    You should forget about subjective feelings and concentrate on the points that I have raised.

  20. Caroline, how dare you leave comments on the blog of a holy priest, how immodest of you to dare to give an opinion in the presence of men; clearly you are an hysterical woman who secretly wants to be ordained and to destroy the Church from within.

  21. Mark, I read the adoremus article you linked to. It is far from persuasive. No one doubts that the former practice did not allow for altar girls, in the same way that for several hundred years the Church did not allow Mass in the vernacular, nor did we have a proper diaconate. For 1950 years we had no dogma of the assumption. Things can change and the person with the authority to change them is the Holy Father and in this case he has. Saying that the noble tradition of having altar boys is to be retained does not detract from the fact, the fact, the irrefutable fact that our Holy Mother Church has sanctioned the use of altar girls.

    A sentence in the article struck me as the sort of creeping confused theology we often get from traditionalists:

    "There is profound symbolism inherent in the male priest representing the male Christ giving himself to His bride, the Church. Most fittingly, those who serve the priest directly during the Eucharistic Sacrifice should themselves be male."

    The first sentence is fine, it is orthodox, it represents the teaching of the Church. The second sentence is nonsense. At Mass the server has tradtionally represented the congregation, giving the congregational responses. If anything it could be said that it is more appropriate that the congregation be represented by a woman, the bride for home Christ sacrificed Himself.

  22. smashing, you seem to have a bee in your bonnet about 'traditionalists'. Adoremus would not really be considered a 'traditionalist' publication. I would imagine they would simply describe their publication as mainstream, conservative, and orthodox.

    You are correct: some things can change. Unfortunately, for one thing that can't change (the impossibility of women priests), the agitators for change have pushed the issue of altar girls and they won. They began by using altar girls illicitly. The Holy See eventually caved in to the already widespread and established abuse. Did you know that that is also how Communion in the hand began? It was introduced illicitly, and then eventually the Holy Father (I think it was Paul VI) caved in to the demands of bishops to make licit the widespread abuse. We all know that Communion in the hand has led to greater reverence for the Holy Eucharist...

    Both altar girls and Communion in the hand are two changes which have not come about as part of an authentic development. Both came about through abuses which were introduced by liberals and then the Holy See caved in to the demands of bishops who wanted to sanction the practise.

    With a heavy heart, Pope Paul VI gave permission for bishops to have Communion in the hand, but we strongly encouraged the retention of the Communion on the tongue. Likewise, it was with a heavy heart and against his own wishes that Pope John Paul II permitted bishops to introduce altar girls. The Holy See, in the letter allowing bishops to do this, they implored the retention of altar boys.

    Now, do you approve of using disobedience to get what you want in the Church? The agents of 'change' did precisely that. I recommend you research the history of these things. Then you will see how some Catholics cannot approve of actions which came about through disobedience based on non-Catholic ideology (altar girls, and Communion in hand; feminism on the one hand, neo-Protestantism on the other). You may not realise that the Protestant 'Reformers' used Communion in hand to diminish belief in the Real Presence.

  23. The above paragraph should read:

    ''With a heavy heart, Pope Paul VI gave permission for bishops to have Communion in the hand, but HE strongly encouraged the retention of the Communion on the tongue.''

  24. Mark, it really doesn't matter what Adoremus is, and it really doesn't matter how the Holy Father reached the decision to allow altar girls and communion in the hand. The fact is he did. If you start questioning how his decisions are made where do you end? Paul VI caved in to conservative pressure in writing Humanae Vitae; Benedict caved to traditionalist pressure to pretend the 1962 Missal had never been abrogated.

    You either believe and accept the Pope or you don't. You want to cherry pick.

  25. Wrong smashingthecrew.

    Paul VI defended the Traditional Doctrine as was his duty and he was protected and guided in doing so by the Holy Spirit.

    Communion in the hand and altar girls are both against small t tradition, and are also assaults aimed at attacking large T Tradition. I expect you may not know the difference between large T and small t Tradition. Read this:

    The fact is, Communion in the hand was against the tradition of the Church for very good reason and the Popes were against it.

    Pope Benedict XIV in Allatae Sunt in 1755 wrote: “Pope Gelasius in his ninth letter to the bishops of Lucania condemned the evil practice which had been introduced of women serving the priest at the celebration of Mass. Since this abuse had spread to the Greeks, Innocent IV strictly forbade it in his letter to the bishop of Tusculum: ‘Women should not dare to serve at the altar; they should be altogether refused this ministry.’ We too have forbidden this practice in the same words in Our oft-repeated constitution.”

    "To touch the sacred species, and to distribute them with their own hands, is a privilege of the ordained ... " - Pope John Paul II.

    smashing, you're way off in your attitude which is not actually an authentic Catholic attitude, in fact it is commonly called 'Neo-Catholic'. It's the kind of mindset that would say Catholics must never question the Pope or Bishops or priests about anything.Such an attitude does not in fact protect the Church but can lead to abuses.

    On the contrary, criticism of our shepherds' words and actions is not only allowed, but at times obligatory.

    I don' think we need look far to see how Catholics SHOULD have cried out 'til they were heard about the sexual abuse in the Church.

    I'd say it's the mindset you've expressed which was a large part of the problem: ''Don't criticise Father!'' We know where that got us.

    St. Catherine of Siena and St. Paul were both vital critics of the Pope when he needed to hear it.

    This is NOT about cherry picking nor about not accepting the Pope. I accept and embrace the Magisterium and the Pope. But your blind neo-con approach has not served the Church well at all, don't you agree?

    In your latest comments you've expressed ignorance about how the Church works. You think a Catholic has to agree with the Pope about every prudential decision he makes; this is not the case. See hre for instance:

    All Catholics are bound to assent to the Magisterial teachings, but no Catholic is bound to accept that altar girls or Communion in the hand is a good idea or should be approved. I think those two decisions wee a mistake and I am perfectly free to think that and remain a Catholic in good standing. In fact, the recent instruction from Holy See on the EF Mass means that altar girls may not be used in the EF MAss, and there are whispers that the permission for Communion in the hand may be revoked in the not too distant future.

    Lay Catholics have an obligation to play their part in the Body of Christ, not keeping your heads down and staying silent which is what you appear to be advocating.

  26. Oops. I forgot the article about 'Tradition' versus 'tradition':

  27. Brendan O'DwyerMay 18, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    Dear Shane: You are a gifted young man, but you have much to learn in the areas of wisdom and courtesy! It is too easy to insult from behind the veil of internet anonymity. Be a man, apologise for your rude words, and be more gracious in future.

  28. Mark, altar girls are allowed, Holy Communion in the hand is allowed, and you are not the Pope, so it does not really matter what you think! You have no power to change anything.

    Brendan is right you have a lot to learn. You come across as as arrogant and proud. Where is the love?

  29. Caroline, neither you nor Smash have actually addressed any of my arguments nor any of the points raised. All you do is parrot facts which I have already acknowledged, call my integrity into question, and accuse me of being disobedient. You seem incapable of questioning whether, in light of Catholic Tradition, whether or not they were for the good of the Catholic Church. Is it fear? I don't know. Is it lack of formation in the Catholic faith? Maybe.

    I have power to change anything, actually. The great Servant of God, Archbishop Fulton Sheen said:

    “Who is going to save our Church? Not our Bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to the people. You have the minds, the eyes, the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops like bishops and your religious act like religious”

    I can also influence others by my own example and by the dissemination of sound Catholic information.

    Brendan's comments were actually directed at Shane, not me. Is the care you used to read Brendan's comment the same as that which you gave mine?

    Read this article:

    It addresses the disobedience through which Communion in the hand came, as well as looking at the harm done to the faith and to the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

    If any of you have genuine love for the Church, you will read the arguments instead of attacking the faith and integrity of Catholics.

    Smashingthecrew said:

    ''The same must be true of liturgical law which allows for female altar servers and communion on the hand if the ordinary allows it. The Extraordinary Form cannot become a gheto for people who don't like the way the Church has changed.''

    That is NOT correct. The recent instruction Universae Ecclesiae, in a surprise development, FORBIDS the use of altar girls and Communion in the hand. You might like to check your facts before you come back to me about that one.

    You really sound like a 'progressive' - 'change for change's sake' is to be welcomed, even if it harms the Church and damages the faith of the people.

    As it stands, you and Smash have failed to address any of the points I have read, and it would seem also that you have failed to read any of the excellent materials I have directed you towards.

    Until such times as you have read the material and can make a meaningful contribution, I can see that any further engagement is a waste of my time.