About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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  1. Curt Stoller says:

    Good discussion! What if some people went into the Louvre, destroyed all the art and then used the space to hang copies of articles by art critics? Do you think only the elderly would “miss” the art? What about the children? Would destroying centuries of art enrich the lives of children? No way! The same goes of Catholicism. There is something in children that longs for the sacred. There is something in children that hungers for the truth and aches for the 2000+ years of Roman Catholic tradition. If a child doesn’t understand the Pieta, you don’t destroy it. . . you explain it to him! How does it help children to throw out altar rails, to substitute Roman numerals for the Stations of the Cross, to replace a beautiful crucifix with two pieces of drift wood tied together with a piece of postal twine, to use a Dixie cup for a chalice or to replace sacred music with music that was already on the way out in 1960. As a student, I asked a Dominican if he would help me understand a little about St. Thomas Aquinas. He told me he was “bored” with Aquinas. He handed me a book on the Christian-Marxist dialogue. I was young and couldn’t articulate my feelings. But what I wanted to say is: “Just because you are burned out on Thomas Aquinas doesn’t mean that I am?” What do you think?

  2. Curt Stoller says:

    Ignatius, at my parish you can hear applause during the Homily, after songs and before the final blessing when the various achievements of parishioners are praised. I once saw a musician complain to an Assistant Pastor after Mass that the priest’s somber homilies detracted from the upbeat spirit of the music. This was followed by the musician telling the priest that part of the altar was blocking the “sight lines” and that some of the people couldn’t see all the musicians. I couldn’t believe it!

    I had a professor who had converted to Roman Catholicism from Protestantism. He had come to the Church through Grace and a love for Blessed Cardinal Newman. Sometimes it takes an outsider to see things clearly. And I think he saw what was happening in the Church very clearly. He was shocked by the number of unbelievers teaching Catholic theology in a Catholic university, but what he said perhaps equally applies to many so-called liturgical experts. He said that in the old days, if a man lost his faith, he would leave the church. But now, when a man lost his faith, he would stay and try to bring the Church down to whatever level of unbelief he had fallen. It would be like a man saying: “Okay, I can only sustain a watered down Catholic faith, so that watered down faith is what I will teach my students.” Instead of saying: “I’ve lost my faith, I quit,” the person says: “I will stay but only teach Rudolph Bultmann or Soren Kierkegaard.” Instead of passing on the 2000 year patrimony of Catholic theology, students are left with thinking that whatever state of unbelief the teacher is in is identical with Catholic theology.

    Ignatius, I don’t know how things are at your church, but at mine, I often wonder whether there are liturgists who have also lost the faith? Don’t get me wrong. I have seen reverent but simple Benedictine and Franciscan Masses celebrated. And I have seen very Baroque Masses celebrated. But why do so many Catholics [perhaps I over-estimate their number?] seem to love only the new and consider anything from the past to be abhorrent?

  3. I really think is is dis-respectful, even after the choir is finished after Mass, also at the time when there is a good comment by the priests or introduction of a priest that is assisting at the Mass. I do not like it. It is done all the time..The church is God’s house not a THEATER..

  4. Curt Stoller says:

    Amen to that, your Grace! Many well meaning and honorable contemporary Catholic theologians have gone so far in emphasizing the humanity of Christ that the teaching of the Divinity of Christ is being lost. Even the sense of the Divinity of God is being lost to many Catholics. Why can’t Catechism teachers teach the via negativa or what St. Thomas Aquinas taught on the Divine Attributes? We expect high school students to have a familiarity with Algebra, even Calculus. Are we selling them short with Catechism books covered with cartoon illustrations of sun flowers and butterflies and little squirrels? I just saw a You Tube video of Carthusian monks prostrating themselves on the floor during the Rite of Consecration at Mass. Maybe I’m dead wrong, but I think we should raise up the standards for young Catholics and not dumb them down. If I am wrong about this, I stand corrected.

  5. Ignatius Martinus says:

    Although I don’t hear any applause during Mass, I do often hear applause after the choir has finished the recessional hymn. Even this, I think, is inappropriate.

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