Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday: More good signs of Pope Benedict’s reign
Walked to Mass at the town parish church in good old-school fashion (fedora, suit and topcoat as it’s wicked cold: a dusting of powder snow overnight and a clear sky now so no insulation to keep the heat from buildings etc. close to the ground).
  • Father Administrator, a six-foot-something vocations recruiting poster, wears a cassock! He’s a Pope Benedict man. Hope to see a biretta soon. I’ve spotted a fiddleback at a big city church so one should show up here. (Not today. Plain modern Gothic but all according to the rules.)
  • As Fr African Assistant (his English is hard to understand) celebrated (the earliest, lowest Mass, most orthodox Catholics’ lifeline during the 40-year novusordism winter), Fr Administrator preached, in cotta (Roman surplice really: long) and old stole! Good riddance, ’70s vestments.
  • The parish patron had a feast this past week. Fr Administrator had a Latin High Mass (I assume Novus).
  • Fr Administrator is big on that patron, someone who arguably never existed but is OK for private devotion. (1800s devotion based on an archæological find that was misread; turns out there is no evidence this person was real. Expunging this person liturgically – done at the end of the good old days – was nothing to do with post-conciliar calendar-cleaning, much misunderstood. People – St Christopher for example – are not de-sainted. They just don’t clutter the Roman Rite universal calendar any more.) Same rules apply as for private revelation: church approval means the legend is not heresy and there’s no proof it’s a hoax. You don’t have to believe in it! (Even though you can name churches after it: confusing.) I can take or leave the legend and its devotions but of course I defend the principles of the invocation of saints and the rule I quoted on private revelation. Like a Catholic Anglican or Catholic Lutheran, my thinking’s Christ-, Eucharist- and liturgy (Mass and office)-centred. (Mary is the Mother of God so her image is here, much loved, but I’m not Mary-crazy. The rosary is my default office substitute, often while driving, as my job in a dying industry runs me into the ground.) But the legend, at least in Fr Administrator’s practice, comes in an orthodox ‘package’ so as long as we’re clear on the teaching, may the devotion thrive!
  • A treat: real chant, in English, for the Agnus Dei, from the sweet little old lady who’s probably been a cantrix for 40 years. (She kneels for Communion! So she’s on board with Benedict’s renewal.)
  • Ugh! The lady Eucharistic ministers, two of them at a well-attended Low Mass, and Communion in the hand the finger-grabbing way are still around. Like I wrote, the Pope and Fr Administrator have to choose their battles. As long as the Mass text is fixed, and it is! So 40-year-old ‘traditions’ stick around for now. Wise toleration. Churchy people (liturgy geeks and heresy-hunters like us bloggers and some of the simply shellshocked trads) see the agenda behind the EMs but I imagine the unchurched don’t: it just looks like appropriate lay participation like glorified altar boys. (Speaking of the chierichetti, none showed up for this Mass.) This attempt by the libs to soft-sell women’s ordination will always stall because the church’s mind and heart seem to say WO is impossible.
  • Anglo-Catholic extra: After Mass the sweet lady cantrix sang a new hymn to the parish patron, to the tune of ‘Jesu! my Lord, we thee adore’.
In other news:
  • Fr Catania and Mt Calvary, Baltimore, will be in the church by the end of the month.
  • Bill Tighe brought this to my attention. The Neocatechumenate. I don’t know what to say. Seems like a cousin of that other devout, well-meant low-church post-conciliar phenomenon, now on the wane, the charismatic movement. I’ve met a lot of nice older folk in pro-life activism, WWII and Korean War generation, who dove into that because it was the only doctrinally sound, non-skeptical game in town from their parishes 30-40 years ago. With that you had the weird occurrence of so-con imitation evangelicals, even orthodox doctrinally (charismatic Catholics love Communion, Mary and miracles), and old Modernist priests and church workers working together. (All they had in common besides ‘in Jesus’ name’ was this anti-high church, anti-pre-conciliar mentality. The Thomas Day factor.) But yeah, weird cult-like church-in-a-church stuff, militant anti-high churchmanship (from Spaniards?!) and iffy on doctrine (anti-transubstantiation: sound general quarters). Like those charismatic covenant-community cults and their rulers, these two Spaniards are basically their own Pope. Obviously the church, the bishops, should watch these folks like a hawk. Nip it in the bud if need be like the Bishop of Mostar did to the charismatic ninnies at Mud Gorge, case closed.

No comments:

Post a comment

Leave comment