Saturday, November 19, 2005

Is The New Mass Itself The Cause Of All The Problems In Todays New And Improved Catholic Church?
Mama use to say... ambiguous is as ambiguous does

A friend of mine and I are having a running debate on what is the cause of the ever growing liberalism in todays New & Improved, Vatican II Approved Catholic Church. He asserts that the New Mass, in and of itself, is just fine if celebrated in accordance with the GIRM de jure. I however, see the problem is the New Mass itself. I do consider The New Mass to be valid, but by it's very nature, it's vague and ambiguous... hence, wide open for the possibility for scandal and error.

Some info I found concerning The New Mass. My comments are in italics.

Without obliging priests to face the people at Mass, the 1970 Roman Missal called for this orientation to be made possible: "The main altar should be freestanding so that the ministers can easily walk around it and Mass can (not "will", or "will not"? "can" leaves a lot of wiggle room. Ambiguous) be celebrated facing the people" (GIRM 1975). The 2002 edition of the GIRM added a phrase declaring a freestanding main altar "desirable wherever possible" (GIRM 299).
WOW! "Desirable whenever possible"? There's that Mack truck sized loop hole again

On the USCCB website , here are some excerpts from the 2000 GIRM. Again, my comments are in italics.

The Structure of the Mass, Its Elements and Its Parts

I. The General Structure of the Mass

27. At Mass—that is, the Lord's Supper—the People of God is called together, with a priest presiding and acting in the person of Christ, to celebrate the memorial of the Lord, the Eucharistic Sacrifice.37
Now, is he the "presider" (president of the assembly) or is he in persona Christi? Again, ambiguous.

33. The priest, in fact, as the one who presides...
Again with the presider nonsense?

The definition of "preside"?
preside verb, intr presided, presiding
1. To take the lead at (an event), the chair at (a meeting, etc); to be in charge.
Thesaurus: govern, head, lead, manage, direct, run, supervise, officiate, control, chair, conduct, administer.2. To dominate; to be a dominating presence in (a place, etc).
Example: His statue presides over the park
Etymology: 17c: from Latin praesidere to command, from prae before + sedere to sit.

Here's what I'm getting at with the word "preside"... it's open ended. Is he really the Alter Christus, is he really In Persona Christi? Or is he simply "officiating" or "administering" at a worship service? Now we can go round and round on this, but here's the unarguable... the particular words used here with the Mass of Paul VI are open ended and subject to a myriad of definitions. The can cause confusion to the Faithful, hence; ambiguous.

34. Since the celebration of Mass by its nature has a "communitarian" character,45 both the dialogues between the priest and the faithful gathered together and the acclamations are of great significance;46 in fact, they are not simply outward signs of communal celebration but foster and bring about communion between priest and people.
What??!! What happened to the sacrificial nature of the Mass? Is this just a community get together? Could this be any more protestant? Even the most ardent apologist for the New Mass has to admit that this very well could cause confusion to the Faithful. Again, ambiguous.

The Importance and Dignity of the Eucharistic Celebration
I. The General Structure of the Mass
17. It is therefore of the greatest importance that the celebration of the Mass—that is, the Lord's Supper—be so arranged that the sacred ministers and the faithful taking part in it, according to the proper state of each, may derive from it more abundantly26 those fruits for the sake of which Christ the Lord instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of his Body and Blood and entrusted it to the Church, his beloved Bride, as the memorial of his Passion and Resurrection.2718. This will best be accomplished if, with due regard for the nature and the particular circumstances of each liturgical assembly, the entire celebration is planned in such a way that it leads to a conscious, active, and full participation of the faithful both in body and in mind, a participation burning with faith, hope, and charity, of the sort which is desired by the Church and demanded by the very nature of the celebration, and to which the Christian people have a right and duty by reason of their Baptism.28
Hold the phone... "best be accomplished"? "BEST BE ACCOMPLISHED"??!! Was it somehow "lesser" when Catholic priests said Mass in communist jail cells by themselves? Sould we tell Cardinals Kung and Mindszenty that while they were rotting in communist dungeons, their Masses were lesser? But I digress... again with the ambiguity.

19. Even if it is sometimes not possible to have the presence and active participation of the faithful, which bring out more plainly the ecclesial nature of the celebration,29 the Eucharistic Celebration always retains its efficacy and dignity because it is the action of Christ and the Church, in which the priest fulfills his own principal office and always acts for the people's salvation.
Hold on again... "presence and active participation of the faithful" bring out WHAT? Who exactly here is consecrating? We don't NEED a congregation to bring out the ecclesial nature of the Mass. I smell protestant influences. And again, there is an ambiguous nature to this passage.

20. Because, however, the celebration of the Eucharist, like the entire Liturgy, is carried out through perceptible signs that nourish, strengthen, and express faith,31 the utmost care must be taken to choose and to arrange those forms and elements set forth by the Church that, in view of the circumstances of the people and the place, will more effectively foster active and full participation and more properly respond to the spiritual needs of the faithful.

21. This Instruction aims both to offer general guidelines for properly arranging the Celebration of the Eucharist and to set forth rules for ordering the various forms of celebration.32
Catholicism, you have a call. Inculturation on line 2

For the diocesan Bishop, the chief steward of the mysteries of God in the particular Church entrusted to his care, is the moderator, promoter, and guardian of the whole of its liturgical life.33 In celebrations at which the Bishop presides, and especially in the celebration of the Eucharist led by the Bishop himself with the presbyterate, the deacons, and the people taking part, the mystery of the Church is revealed. For this reason, the solemn celebration of Masses of this sort must be an example for the entire diocese.
This is a very telling paragraph.
1. Another example of the bishop being reff'ed to something other than shepherd or leader. Glorified waiter? Yes. Leader? No.

2. Again with the "preside" nonsense

3. All throughout these documents, I have found this phrase "celebration of the Eucharist", but I can't find one example of the words "Sacrifice of the Mass". I'm sure their here somewhere, but the undeniable emphasis is on "celebration" on not too much on "sacrifice". In a nut shell, ambiguous.

The Bishop should therefore be determined that the priests, the deacons, and the lay Christian faithful grasp ever more deeply the genuine meaning of the rites and liturgical texts and thereby be led to an active and fruitful celebration of the Eucharist. To the same end, he should also be vigilant that the dignity of these celebrations be enhanced. In promoting this dignity, the beauty of the sacred place, of music, and of art should contribute as greatly as possible.
Here's another one. I see the word "should" hand over fist. Rare indeed do I see "will" or "will not". Want to know why we have architectural monstrosities like that so-called "Cathedral" in Los Angeles? Simply look to this rather ambiguous paragraph.

23. Moreover, in order that such a celebration may correspond more fully to the prescriptions and spirit of the Sacred Liturgy, and also in order to increase its pastoral effectiveness, certain accommodations and adaptations are specified in this General Instruction and in the Order of Mass.24. These adaptations consist for the most part in the choice of certain rites or texts, that is, of the chants, readings, prayers, explanations, and gestures that may respond better to the needs, preparation, and culture of the participants and that are entrusted to the priest celebrant. Nevertheless, the priest must remember that he is the servant of the Sacred Liturgy and that he himself is not permitted, on his own initiative, to add, to remove, or to change anything in the celebration of Mass.34

Wait, wait wait. The first two sections that I placed in bold give a green light to Inculturation, but the 3d section I placed in bold says no. But wait! The first two sections say go ahead! BUT WAIT! The 3d section says no!! I"M SO CONFUSED!!!!!

OK, all joking aside. Could these two paragraphs be more contradictory? It is precisely because of ambiguous language like this that we have abominations like the "Hula Mass" in Hawaii, or the "Polka Mass" in Ohio, or may personal favorite... the "Animal Blood Sacrifice Mass" in South


Blogger Gaufridus said...

The New Mass is ambiguous. Because it is ambiguous, there is a significant danger of it being misinterpreted and misused. It might be valid, but you can never be certain. Therefore, it would be prudent to avoid it like the plague.

Pax tecum

11:36 AM  
Blogger Tito said...

Non Sum Dignus,

Thank you for the link on your blog.

This particular posting is very interesting to me. Sometimes in my emails to my Bible study group, I state that we will 'celebrate' Mass. I'm now going to rethink this wording.

I was born a year after Vatican II ended, hence I am a product of Vatican II. I faithfully believe Vatican II is clear and correct, but I also am becoming familiar and longing for the pre-Vatican II Church.

This will aid me in my discernment and prayer.


8:53 PM  
Anonymous Joe D said...

I remember the Latin Mass as a boy. You could go from one Church to another and and feel as if you never left your parish Church. No modifications or feel-good add ons. Discipline was the order of the day.

6:54 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Actually, "celebrate" is correct. Unfortunantly, we use to "Celebrate the Unbloody Sacrifice of the Mass" in the Latin rite.

Not in the Mass of Paul VI, there is a "celebration" as in some type of community get-together.

As far as I faithfully believe Vatican II is clear and correct, I couldn't agree with you more! But here is what many folks don't understand... in all of the documentation that came out of the Second Vatican Council, the ONLY part that is binding upon pain of sin is Lumen Gentium (The Dogmatic Constitution of the Church). And all L.G. did was to reinterate 2,000 years of Catholic Teaching. Nothing new... nothing added.

Here's the kicker, the vast majority of Vatican II is simply NON-BINDING! Every bit of it is up for discussion, modification, and yes, even total nullification.

A faithful Catholic most certainly can disagree with the vast majority of V2 and still be a good and faithful Catholic.

Unfortunantly, we have many (and I mean MANY!!) within The Church that seem to think that Catholicism wasn't even around until 1962. As Pope Benedict said, we shouldn't worry about baptizing the converted... we need to convert the baptized.

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Joe D said...

Having read some parts of Vatican II documents, I believe the Council was inspired by the Holy Spirit but once the bishops got back to their dioceses then the "Spirit of Vatican II" was taught by the dissenters when they couldn't use the actual wording. I use the actual words of Vatican II documents in debating these people.

7:52 AM  

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