Category Archives: NO

I’m speechless.

I am unable to think of any possible, rational reason why there would be a screening of the movie “Milk” on the premises of a Catholic parish.  However, I am able to think of several disgusting, irrational reasons – the most obvious of which being that, said parish being the one that serves the local university students, this was a (very) misguided attempt to ‘mentor’ or ‘validate’ a group of students whose struggles with sexual identity are naturally at odds with their Catholic faith.

Lest you think I jest, have a look at the online bulletin for this parish; go to page 2 and check out the box on the right-hand side, it’s the second event listed for Monday, March 29.  Click here for the pdf bulletin.

Charity prevents me from commenting further; although you, dear reader, are welcome to speculate at will in the comments.


We interrupt this blog

for a period of relative busyness at work.  Evidently there is some sort of a huge gala this weekend for the children’s hospital, and of course everyone who is anyone is attending….and they have known about this for a month at least but didn’t purchase the dress until now, and of course it doesn’t fit.  Note:  I am not anyone, so I am not going, but a whole slew of my work is….I’m the one who makes the somebodies look that way!

This post will be a bunch of random stuff I have to get off my fingers, which I may or may not fill out some later.

First, why don’t priests were clericals any more?  (RC priests, that is…..EC priests are REQUIRED to look priestly even when ‘off-duty’ – this means cassock or dog collar, thank you very much).  This evening we went out to one of the RC parishes to partake of thier Mardi Gras dinner (free, I didn’t have to cook or clean up so of course I was all for it) and there were TWO, count ’em, priests there and neither one was in clericals.  They looked like they were just somebody’s generic uncle or something. (May be they were afraid someone would want to confess or something, it being Shrove Tuesday and all).

Second, get a look at what was sitting on the fence outside my back door this morning:


I took this in a tearing hurry, through the glass (wet from recent rain) in the back door, so it isn’t a great picture, I know.  But it’s a ROBIN, people!!!  And it’s February!  Woohoo!  Spring will be here (soon, I hope).

I’m still cruising around to the other Fun Monday participants, and I am going to try to visit all 80 (wow, that’s a LOT) before next Monday, but I have to think of my answer to the next assignment which is going to be very hard for me.

Oh, and for those of you who guessed about the picture (and for those who looked but didn’t guess – chickens):  May 1989, in the Goreme Valley, Turkey (please mentally put those two little dots over the “o” in Goreme, I don’t know how to type in foreign alphabets).  The doorway at which I stand is the entrance to one of the ‘cave churches’ in this region, and St. Paul and companions preached here.  Here, as in, just inside that door.  Is that cool, or what?  (And what if St. Thecla had stood just where I’m standing, listening to Paul tell the Good News along with Silas and Barnabas….gives me chills, it does).

Wow, my little editor thingy says I have typed 444 words (and have said nothing at all worth noting).  I think tomorrow is another Catholic Carnival, and I may find time to post proof that younger boychec (AKA biker priest) is really the mystery child of Lt. Horatio Caine (not really, but it is a funny story).

Aahh! My eyes!

Go to The Crescat and get a load of this picture.  I am not surprised at all that the wearer has his back to the camera.

I’m thankful….

to have found such a wonderful parish as mine…..I just checked my voice mail and my only message was from one of the other readers at my parish, calling to let me know that she thought I’d done a very nice job with the Epistle on this Sunday past.  I should say first of all that when one is a reader in a Byzantine church one is really a singer…..the Epistle is chanted just as the rest of the Divine Liturgy (we do have a couple of readers who actually read, but I sing).  Second, this past Sunday’s Epistle was one of those that I don’t think you’ll ever hear in a Novus Ordo parish – 1 Corinthians 6:12-20.  I am too lazy to look it up in the NAB to see how the words “prostitute” and “fornicator” are rendered in that translation, but suffice it to say that the former word was in the reading twice, and the latter once.  And I was very nervous about the possibility I might stumble over the words, and cause people to think I was being immature and doing that teenage twittering thing.  So when I listened to my fellow reader’s message on my voice mail, I got a bit misty and am going to do something very nice for her in the near future.  Anonymously, probably.

“Have Expectations Been Fulfilled?”

The following are excerpts from a lecture given in Rome on December 2, 1965 by Oscar Cullman, then a (Protestant) professor of New Testament in Basel and Paris. The text comes from a book The Council and the Future, by Mario von Galli, S.J. published 1966. It has the Imprimatur thusly: Turici 15 Aprilis 1966; F. X. Walker Praet. Vic. Prov. Helv. Soc. Jesu.

Have our expectations been fulfilled? The question, put this way, is perhaps premature. For this Council, to a much greater degree than earlier councils, can only be judged in terms of its effects….

[paragraph omitted]

I would especially like to emphasize the fact that the renewal of the Christian Church has to mean more than mere adjustment to the modern world; consequently, aggiornamento can never be the sole motive for renewal. this was also John XXIII’s position, when he spoke of the difference between unchangeable substance and formulation. Yet neither Pope John XXIII nor the Council have dealt with this problem…..I do not overlook the fact that many Protestant theologians, too, in their effort to make the biblical message acceptable to the present world, give this problem no attention at all….

[two paragraphs omitted]

…We Protestants … expected that these reformulations {of both substance and formulation} would proceed from a certain rearrangement of values within the unchangeable substance….It may be that certain elements belonging essentially to the core were at length wrongly removed to the periphery and peripheral elements shifted to the center. A renewal can aim at a rearrangement which refocuses on the original situation without surrendering any element of substance.

Pay attention, now! Anyone who is still laboring under the misconception that the Novus Ordo Missae is not a Protestantized version of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass better note this next part:

The liturgy schema, which filled us with joy from the very beginning, not only makes suggestions for liturgical reform which are entirely in line with our own suggestions (emphasis mine), but it is inspired throughout by the Bible. This is clear not only from the language used, but in the fundamental treatment of Christian worship of God. Here my expectations were not only fulfilled, they were entirely surpassed….

The schema on the Church not only uses a new vocabulary but also, where it speaks of the People of God, speaks in language which brings the Catholic concept of the Church very close to our Protestant concept….Everywhere we find ourselves on common ground, despite the fact that some very profound differences do remain. Many sections of these texts we can accept without any alteration.

Other duties require my attention, but I shall continue in the next post. Stay tuned….

Mea culpa, mea culpa,

mea maxima culpa.  I certainly did not intend to some across as superior and arrogant about Eastern Church tradition, although it may have seemed that way.  I sincerely apologize if I have offended anyone.

It will never cease to amaze me, however, how Roman Catholics who are blessed with reverent and orthodox priests, rubrically correct Masses (under either form, NO or Tridentine), and modestly attired and attentively reverent parishioners with whom to worship, can seem so taken aback by reports ‘from the field’ about liturgical dancers, Zen-friendly spirituality being preached from the pulpit, icky modern-art Stations of the Cross (where they exist at all), and parishes where the focus is on community rather than Communion.  I know there parishes and dioceses exist (the good ones) – I’ve been to Masses in them and know people who have nothing but good things to say about their priest and Bishop.  But I also know the state of affairs in the Latin diocese where I live.  It’s one reason I was able to so easily hear my call to move East.  And I readily admit that perhaps in some other Easter parishes some strange things may have gone on, and could still be going on, for all I know.

The fact is, the Latin Church is in a real mess, truly, and we all ought to be praying for the Holy Father as he does what he has discerned to be the Will of God to move the Western lung of the Catholic Church back to where it is truly “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic.”

‘Nuff said.

Update on St. Mary’s

I went, as I think I said I was going to, to Mass at the previously mentioned St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church (although it might be more appropriately called St. Mary’s Aircraft Maintenance building since that it what it most closely resembles, especially since the bell tower has been amputated – but I digress). I did this so that I would be able to speak of what goes on firsthand, without all this vague ‘sources say’ baloney.
We (checs and I) arrived about 10 minutes before Mass was scheduled to begin, and found an empty pew toward the rear of the (ahem) worship space. The church began filling up quickly, and there was a ever-increasing buzz of conversation as parishioners nattered and grommished to their neighbors in the pews near them. There was, properly, no processional/entrance hymn/gathering song (points added here)…..and except for a decidedly bored tone of voice from the presiding priest, things proceeded just inside the limits of the GIRM – until the Gospel.
the weirdest thing was that at the Responsorial Psalm, the cantor had to hike all the way from the cantor’s podium (on what would be the Epistle side of the sanctuary) to the ambo on the Gospel side, to lead the Psalm. Odd. Made for much dead air, so to speak.
At the Gospel, we the people were subjected to having to interject, at several points in the reading, a sung antiphon (the Gospel in question was the Woman at the Well, and the antiphon was “Give us living water…..”) to say it was weird doesn’t even begin to express it.
The altar servers did not sit in the sanctuary, but in the two front pews on either side of the center aisle, and when they were required to do things they had to enter the sanctuary, bow to the altar, do their thing, and then reverence the altar and go sit back down.
The homily was on the OT reading and I really felt as if I was being lectured, not instructed and/or inspired. It is so difficult to get anything coherent out of a homily when the person delivering it acts like they would rather be in Barbados (or staked to an anthill).
Eucharistic prayer OK….the sign of peace was rather too much like halftime or intermission (but then again I am a Byzantine and we don’t have any of that social nonsense while we’re supposed to be worshipping GOD)….I really only paid attention to the 5 or 6 people directly in front of me for Communion, but only a couple made any sign of reverence before receiving (checs excepted). Most people sat after receiving.
The strangest thing was after the final blessing, Father turned to the people and said (quite cheerfully) “Thank you all for coming so that we could celebrate the Eucharist.” There then commenced a mad scramble for the doors, most people being halfway out before the processional cross made it to the back of the (ahem) worship space.
My impression: I didn’t hear any heterodoxy on that particular Saturday evening, but it was decidedly uninspiring, and to hear a statement that made it sound as if the Mass being celebrated depended on the people’s presence was depressing. The general atmosphere was pretty blah even allowing for the fact that it is Lent. I think if I had to go there for any length of time I would probably be in danger of losing my faith.