Saturday, October 31, 2015

Disrespected tabernacles and more

  • Man dressed as tabernacle at Halloween party ignored; is moved to corner of room. Seriously, first, the Protestants' and Catholic liberals' point: Jesus didn't institute the Eucharist to be reserved but to be used. But just because reservation and adoration outside of Mass aren't the Eucharist's main purpose doesn't mean we can't or shouldn't do them. (He didn't institute Choral Matins or Evensong either.) We reserve it in order to use it (why Episcopalians have aumbries now: to give Communion to the sick instead of having a bedside Communion service). Logically, if you reserve, you can have holy hours, Exposition, Benediction, etc. And traditionally the church didn't distort this by exaggerating it as the liberals claim. "It's the Mass that matters." Technically, use of the Blessed Sacrament outside of Mass and Communion is tightly controlled: a parish church etc. needs to get the bishop's permission to have Benediction. (A hundred years ago Communion apart from Mass was normal.) If I recall rightly, even the ceremonial around reserving and exposing the Host ties it into the Mass so in theory that Mass continues until the Host is eaten. That said, here are the problems with the Protestants and their Catholic liberal imitators in this regard. The Protestants think Jesus' saving work is all in the past; Communion isn't the re-presentation of his sacrifice, just a commemoration so the "fellowship" and "participation," laudable in themselves, are ALL that matter. (Related: the idea that ANY "participation," no matter how inane, is good, better than adoration, which is considered backward.) It's just bread and wine. Catholic liberals fell for this 400 years later. (Not the church as such, whose teachings can't change. Trent is our doctrine.) Pushing the tabernacle "out of the way" is a sign of heresy: Catholic liberals don't really believe in the Mass. Another tell is they call the consecrated species bread. If it is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ, then the sacrificial (echoing the Jewish Temple) and courtly ceremonial of the traditional rites (Western and Eastern; low-church liberals praising the East are hypocrites), and extra-liturgical devotion to the Eucharist, are only meet, right, and our bounden duty. (The Eastern rites don't have these devotions natively for historical reasons, not theological ones, as Ware has written. They do reserve: Communion for the sick, and the Presanctified service, Communion from the Reserved Sacrament, during Lent.) By the way, for the past 25 years such low-church neo-Protestantism has been slowly fading away; why blogs such as Fr. Zuhlsdorf's and the New Liturgical Movement exist. (Reform of the reform, including Pope Benedict XVI, like what the old high churchmen and especially the Anglo-Catholics did to the Prayer Book.) And conservative Novus Ordo Catholics' Exposition fad is a distortion, though not heretical. Don't overdo Exposition; bring back the old Mass! Vespers too (hard to do since modern technology for entertainment killed Sunday-night church services). Plus: not reserving on the high altar is traditional in a cathedral.
  • By the way, because Quebec used to be so Catholic (been there; I could tell that in the '50s it had been a "Catholic country"), the strongest cuss words in Quebec French are Catholic words, "tabernacle" being the strongest. (Thanks to 1800s-1925 immigration, my region, the urban American Northeast, is/was almost a Catholic country.) Quebec's part of Canada because the King kept his word. Colonies including us weren't under English religious law; the King's being Protestant wasn't our problem, and loyalty oaths to Christian kings matter, so in the American Revolution I would have been a Loyalist. (By the way, we were freer under the King than we are now.) When the French lost Quebec to the British, the King said it could remain Catholic and keep speaking French, so Quebec never supported the radical Protestant/skeptic American rebels to the south. The Puritans turned into agnostics (still our ruling class) but revivalism and Catholic immigration made the "godless republic" more religious than the British and Canadians.
  • I understand some Conservatives in the western provinces are so upset over the Canadian government overtaxing them (and their getting no benefit) and by the Liberal Party's win (so "dumb as Joey from 'Friends'" Justin Trudeau is PM) that they are proposing secession or even being annexed by the U.S. I don't see the last ever happening; Canada has a proud history of not being American going back to the refugee Loyalists (such families get to use "U.E.", United Empire, after their names). The first proposal offers a blue version of the Maple Leaf flag for a Republic of Western Canada. With some friends I'd prefer at least making the new country another dominion like Canada (the Queen as head of state), which would make sense for Tories (then again, like the mother country and Australia, all of Canada skews left of the U.S.), and while they're at it they can bring back the Red Ensign (Canada's unofficial flag until 1965, the flag with the British flag in the corner, like Australia's Blue Ensign). It could probably make it as a country; it's their Midwest, their breadbasket, and their West Coast.
  • RIP Maureen O'Hara. Not only beautiful but of course proud of being Irish, and God and the church mattered to her. I've read that Ireland was so Catholic that even American Catholics visiting 50 years ago had culture shock. People stopped on the street for the Angelus, which was also announced on TV. The church and Irish republicanism are not synonymous but good Catholics such as de Valera were part of that story.


  1. I've never heard of priests needing permission to do Benediction. The parish priest does Benediction when he so pleases. I think that only modernist amchurchers would demand Benediction to be only by episcopal permission. Of course, I live in Poland where Benediction is regularly practiced - every first Sunday and on major solemnities so maybe it's different here.

    Anyways, how would a parish priest get permission in the olden days, when his parish was 200 miles away from the bishop's seat? I don't think that it is feasible to say that the bishop was always on hand to have priests nagging him to ask for permission to do Benediction. The parish priests have a lot of autonomy in their own spheres - they are pretty much independent of the bishop.

  2. They still have the Angelus at 6 o'clock in the Republic of Ireland but it's no longer a blue screen with a tacky image of Our Lady. Now it's some modern, multicultural rubbish on video as a bell tolls. State-sponsored spiritualism.

  3. Vatican II said we get to drink the wine! An oldie but as relevant as ever in the Franciscan era:

    1. Good video; thanks. I was going to mention in the original post that the now high-churchified Episcopalians giving Communion to the sick from the aumbry of course believe in concomitance as we do, vs. the "Reformation," which saw one species only for the laity as an example of papist superstition perverting the Lord's Supper. As for the chalice for the laity in Western rites, I like the way Anglicans have done it, reverently at the altar rail; ditto Communion in the hand (I like the way Anglicans have done it since the 19th century). Also, I've seen small-o orthodox Novus Ordo priests do intinction, putting the dipped Host on the communicant's tongue, reminiscent of the Eastern rites.

    2. "vs. the "Reformation," which saw one species only for the laity as an example of papist superstition perverting the Lord's Supper."

      This is not true of Luther, and of those Lutherans who follow him on this matter. Luther believed that there were three errors in the Catholic Mass: (a) the idea of the Mass as a sacrifice offered for the living and the dead, (b) the "withdrawal" of the Chalice from the laity, and (c) transubstantiation. Of these three, Luther believed that (a) was an absolute abomination, on which compromise was impossible (hence his deletion of of both the Offertory as a whole and the Canon of the Mass from his "reforms" of the Mass). Concerning transubstantiation (c) he believed both that it was "bad philosophy" and also that it was am improper intrusion of philosophical reasoning into theology - BUT he said more than once if that was the only issue about the Mass dividing him and "the papacy," he would willingly submit to it - in contrast to the Reformed and other (radical) Protestants who thought that the whole idea of any "transformation" of the elements, or indeed of any "corporal presence" of Christ's Body and Blood "in, with, and under" the species of bread and wine ("in" and "under" were Luther's words; "with" was Melanchthon's, which some may see as introducing an ambiguity into Luther's teaching; Melanchthon was moving towards Calvin's position on the matter at the end of his life, and although he never quite reached it, many of his followers moved over to it after his death - Calvin believed that the bread and wine were "instruments" or "implements" conveying Christ's Body and Blood "spiritually" but not "corporally" to worthy [i.e., elect] recipients) was both blasphemous and ridiculous (the Reformed, and Elizabethan Anglicans, rejected Lutheran eucharistic doctrine as vehemently as they did Catholic doctrine on the Sacrament).

      As to (b) Luther maintained that "the papacy" had no authority to withdraw the Cup from the laity, and that in doing so it had acted as "Antichrist," usurping Christ's authority - BUT he firmly believed in concomitance. On many occasions he declared, rather hyperbolically - and certainly Luther was no stranger to hyperbole - in response to Reformed/Zwinglian insistence (and Calvin shared this Zwinglian view) that communion in one kind destroyed the Lord's Supper, such that the Catholic Mass was in no sense a fulfilling of the Lord's "ordinance," that he was inclined to demonstrate his disdain for their view by henceforth receiving, every time that he communicated, from the Cup only, and not the host. And it is well known, to those who study the matter, that Luther believed that at the Catholic Mass the Words of Institution, embedded though they were within the abhorrent Canon of the Mass, did effect the consecration of the elements, so that they did indeed become Christ's Body and Blood - whereas he believed that "nothing happened," at Reformed communion services, and that the bread and wine remained mere bread and wine, such that their services had no sacramental character to them, and that such Reformed communion services were no different in their spiritual effect than drinking bread and wine at a tavern.

    3. Luther in the Smalcald Articles doesn't sound like he cares much one way or another about concomitance.

      [For] we do not need that high art [specious wisdom] which is to teach us that under the one form there is as much as under both, as the sophists and the Council of Constance teach. 3] For even if it were true that there is as much under one as under both, yet the one form only is not the entire ordinance and institution [made] ordained and commanded by Christ.

  4. Fr Blake once lamented that Adoration Chapels overemphasized Adoration over Ritual Particpation of the Holy Mass.


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