Wednesday, November 04, 2015

A recent ex-Catholic preaches online, and my answer

From 2012: He's still outside the church.

1. "...over a year ago when I was still nominally a Roman Catholic." A new convert to anything shouldn't preach. The Orthodox agree! 2. You bring up some good points: Calvinism eventually shatters into unbelief; the Novus Ordo never should have been written. 3. You're Catholic: now you're trying to buy into a system that really believes only Byzantium is the church but your experience and your heart tell you otherwise. Basically, 20 years ago I was you (except I wasn't born Catholic). You obviously still care about traditional Western Catholicism. Good. 4. Latinization wasn't our original plan. Nine times out of 10, Eastern Catholics latinized themselves. Both the unlatinized and the latinized versions have the right to exist. 5. Although writing new services is un-Catholic, the Novus Ordo isn't heretical. Benedict XVI fixed its mistakes in English. It has grace even though the old Mass is better. (I go to the old Mass almost exclusively.) 6. We should learn a lot from the Christian East: the church should be a grassroots communion run by custom. That and the Pope aren't mutually exclusive, as Benedict XVI reminded. 7. Eastern Christian cultures are great, but to become Orthodox is to confuse culture with the essence of the church. Catholicism is one set of doctrine not tied down to any one culture. 8. We include the East. The East doesn't really include us. An Orthodox can either mirror our recognition of his church or believe we are bogus, even our baptisms. Orthodoxy has its tiny Western Rite experiment but the Orthodox obviously don't really want it. 9. I owe something to the East: my first traditional Catholic Mass 30 years ago was Ukrainian. 10. Eastern Catholicism is endangered in America due to assimilation (the main reason the Orthodox lose Americans too); unlatinized and latinized, it needs and deserves our support.

15 comments:

  1. One should mention that in the Byzantine Orthodox western rite experiment, outside of Antioch which has preserved the traditional Roman and Anglo-Catholic rites, the liturgies used are also simply invented, except not by a committee, but usually by individual personalities.

    The so-called "Rite of St Gregory" used in ROCOR uses not only very modern English, but the three readings, not the traditional two are novus ordo as are the offertory prayers. Glass houses comes to mind: http://www.rwrv.org/files/SaintGregorytheGreat.pdf

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    1. Sure; it's made up. Because they hate the real Western Catholic tradition, because they fear it. They fear it because a notion of true Christianity outside their empire, whatever that empire happens to be at the moment, undermines their whole identity.

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    2. "Sure; it's made up. Because they hate the real Western Catholic tradition, because they fear it."

      Did Paul VI and the Consilium "hate the real Western Catholic tradition" and fear it since they also made up new liturgical rites to replace the historic Roman Rite? Answer this question before engaging in speculations as to the motives of others, much less close to home, and far less significant to your spiritual life.

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    3. As I mentioned on this blog in the past, I am not generally a supporter of the Orthodox Western Rite since it is often artificial in origin and execution. However, my stance has led to accusations that I limit the Church to "Byzantium." Apparently, if I have supported the Orthodox Western Rite, I would have not been spared criticism accusing me of supporting innovation (ironically by others who approve official liturgical innovation in the Latin Church), thus demonstrating that some on this blog have more interest in attacking Orthodoxy with "whatever works," than in making principled arguments against her teachings and practices.

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    4. Thanks for the comments. Your first reminds me how I talked myself out of the church 20 years ago. Byzantium's mistake is to confuse the empire, ethnos, or culture with the church. The mistake of Bugnini and other heretics in the Catholic Church last century (men who, like Protestants, hated "the real Western Catholic tradition") was to fall for space-age progressivism; related but different. Creating a whole new rite (a new Mass for a new people in a new age) is unprecedented and unfortunate but not heretical. As you know as a regular reader (if only because you're trying to convert me and the others here), the old Mass is better but I have no conscience problem with the new: I can go to a Catholic church anywhere, even one I don't like, and hear Catholicism and have the Real Presence (thanks to Benedict XVI's reform in English; the new Mass in Latin was always fine). The heretics in the church 50 years ago didn't change our doctrine, because they couldn't; it's impossible in the church. A universal set of doctrine that includes you while your side, blinkered by its cultural chauvinism, doesn't include us. For example, of course I appreciate the Byzantine Rite's symbolism, such as the leavened bread for the dynamism of Christ's presence, the descending epiclesis, and only one Liturgy on one altar per day to symbolize the church's unity. The Catholic Church doesn't want you to change any of that. But more important I appreciate the teaching that Christ's full presence, his sacrifice made present when the priest pleads it on the altar, is there but not limited to those expressions.

      What either limiting yourself to Byzantium liturgically (which most Orthodox do and want) or making up a so-called Western rite have in common is you are setting up a false church to oppose the real one. In the church, Byzantium's wonderful. Outside the church, it becomes an idol. Ditto the cobbled-together services of the so-called Orthodox Western rites. By the way, in contrast, Eastern Catholics are real communities with continuity to their past and centuries of history. Western Rite Orthodoxy is basically an a-historical, largely unwanted experiment, not a substantial community (much like Anglo-Catholicism and high-church Lutheranism, where many of its few people came from).

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  2. Oh, if one thinks that Byzantium cannot come up with self-invented, goofy liturgies, here is the place to start, these are all officially approved.

    http://www.rwrv.org/wrliturgy.html

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    1. In Internet-speak, "FLAWLESS VICTORY". There's a Western Rite parish not too far from me, I plan to never darken its doors. They boast about using a liturgy that almost nobody else uses. Though apparently they use some of the standard OCA settings for music for the parts that are (probably inauthentically) shared, based on what visitors from there to my parish have told me.

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    2. Dale, I'm really trying to understand your M.O., so please help me. So what if all the liturgies on the Rocor site are leavened with antiquarianism? Given all the crap that your average Roman Catholic has had to endure these past 50 years - and in many places still does - isn't it an exercise in Christian charity to offer something to Western Christians that may in some way help them recover their great liturgical patrimony? Otherwise, ROCOR and other Orthodox trying to do something are damned if we do offer something (cause it ain't perfect), and damned if we don't (cause then we're accused for only wanting to push Byzantium or Rus on the world). We can't win with people like and John no matter what we do, yet God forbid we place the blame for the destruction of western liturgy at the foot of the Pope and western magisterium, and leave nothing but crumbs for their own faithful. They always get a pass.

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    3. Given all the crap that your average Roman Catholic has had to endure these past 50 years...

      Another comment echoing how I talked myself out of Catholicism 20 years ago.

      Otherwise, ROCOR and other Orthodox trying to do something are damned if we do offer something (cause it ain't perfect), and damned if we don't (cause then we're accused for only wanting to push Byzantium or Rus on the world). We can't win with people like [you] and John no matter what we do.

      Correct. Because you're obviously not the Catholic Church. Catholicism cut off from the universal church becomes the mascot of the state or tribe, which is exactly what you have become.

      Trying to rewrite history by setting up little fake Western Rite parishes isn't doing us a favor. No, thank you.

      God forbid we place the blame for the destruction of western liturgy at the foot of the Pope and western magisterium, and leave nothing but crumbs for their own faithful. They always get a pass.

      As an avid reader of this blog you know well that I criticize our churchmen, even Popes, for things such as the liturgical revision 50 years ago. The only way your statement is wrong is when you blame the magisterium. Defined doctrine is unchangeable, so of course Vatican II teaches the same thing as Trent, for example, about the Eucharist.

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    4. Stephen, the magisterium has nothing to do with the promulgation of any particular liturgy. The magisterium is the teaching authority of the Church on faith and morals through the Popes, councils and bishops acting in communion with Rome. Things like transubstantiation, the Immaculate Conception, the nature of the Trinity, the Hypostatic Union would all be part of magisterial teaching. No magisterial teaching can be discarded or altered as they are truth and protected by the Holy Spirit through the infallibility of the Church which the pope gets his infallibility from. The most recent case of the magisterium at work was the recent synod in Rome, where the teaching on marriage was upheld. Although it can be unfortunate, liturgical rites can be suppressed or altered as they have nothing to do with the magisterium and are not infallible.

      Anthony

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    5. Anthony, that you choose to divorce faith from praxis is up to you; if you're innovation is so enthusiastically shared by your co-religionists (as I suspect it is), then you have none to blame but yourselves for the thin gruel you have for communal prayer. Sure, it's prayer, but if you're only concept of cheese is Velveeta, don't blame those who appreciate brie and gruyere to pass when all you bring to the table is Velveeta, or in John's case, cheese whiz.

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    6. It appears that someone, someplace, is reading this blog from the Russian heaven. They have deleted all of their bogus self-invented novus ordo liturgies and now seem to be offering at least something approximating the pre-Vatican II Missale Roman Mass with very few oddities and surprisingly even less Byzantinizations than the Antiochians. They have deleted all of the introduced Byzantine litanies, bellowed by the deacon one supposes. What byzantinism that they have are the reception of communion prayers, mentioning the communicant's name and they have placed the asperges after the introibo prayers, which liturgically makes very little sense. But all-in-all far better than the invented dreck they had before.

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    7. Stephen, the problem was was what they were offering, especially, now deleted, in their Liturgy of St Gregory, fellowship version was basically a very tarted up novus ordo, hardly encouraging. And their hatred of the western tradition was/is so endemic that they had to dump in a whole bunch of post-1666 Russian liturgical stuff to make it palatable to the Russian chauvinists.

      In the end, the so-called western rite is with the Antiochian a property grab and with the Russians a bait-and-switch. One simply needs to read their July 2013 condemnation of the western rite to know these people are not serious.

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    8. Of course, they still seem to offering this frankenliturgy, so perhaps the more things appear to change, the more they are the same: http://www.rwrv.org/files/SaintGregorytheGreat.pdf

      Steven, outside of being tarted up and use of incense, why is this an improvement over the novus ordo? It is an invented tradition.

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    9. "[L]eavened with antiquarianism"; truly you jest! Have you seen their so-called "Gallican" rite, it is not leavened with anything other than fantasy.

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