Posted by: Joe of St. Thérèse | February 16, 2008

Not for the faint of heart

My Dear Catholic Brethren:

It was a Lenten promise of mine to be more charitable to others, consider this letter to you out of charity and not out of condemnation. I have said these points on various occasions and since no one listened, I have to put it in this format for all of you to read over.

I have a saying, if you’re going to be Catholic, be Catholic, if you reject one teaching you are protestant, whether you want to admit it or not. This means acting out of humility to the rules of the Church, whatever they may be. It also means to be aware of what’s going on around you, and to correct those that are in error. I shall break this letter down into 3 parts: Catechesis, Liturgy and Politics.

i. Catechesis.
If you’re going to teach ANYTHING, it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to know the material to the best of your knowledge. No textbook has the charism of infallibility. You can not just teach what is in the text and leave it at that. What if the book was to say that Mary wasn’t a Virgin? In good conscience you CAN NOT TEACH THAT!. You must know the Catechism of the Catholic Church (the official teachings of the Church) as well as Sacred Scripture as well as the writings of the Saints, Catholic Theologians (and no, Protestant Catholics don’t count), Church documents, as well as Canon Law. I know that it sounds difficult, but eh, being Catholic is difficult, don’t blame me, blame Jesus for that since the Faith comes from Him. You can not be under prepared as a teacher of the Faith. A lot of you are in college, you know when a professor doesn’t know what he or she’s talking about, or when they did not prepare for a class. We are handing down the Catholic Faith in no way should we ever communicate to our kids that our Faith is something to be taken lightly. We do this when we are under prepared for a class or what not. (Ex: Confirmation is not about self-acceptance of your Faith (CCC 1302-03, 06)
The Church does NOT need to be made “cool” and “hip.” We CAN NOT water down the Gospel of Jesus Christ and our Faith as Catholics. It was once told to me that if the kids understand something it was okay to teach heresy if the kids understood point. This is absolutely NOT okay, and not right. The Truth is absolute, and if you go around changing one thing, nothing as you know it exists. If the kids can not handle what it takes to be Catholic, then that is on them,. Being Catholic is more than a religion it’s a way of life and a difficult one at that. Every time that we try to make Mass “fun,” we are watering down the Gospel. What happens if tomorrow Pope Benedict bans guitars, drums from Mass, what are you going to do? (Oh, by the way, let me mention that he has banned guitars, drums, etc in Masses in his diocese just as a note). I’m afraid that the kids are not coming for the substance rather than for the good time for an hour and a half or whatever time that they are there. I have heard it said that “as long as they come, it’s good.” Listen to yourselves! That’s like doing the bear minimum, being like the Scribes and Pharisees in the Gospel reading the other day. What they need is the TRUTH of the Catholic Faith, un-edited, un-altered (in otherwords, no Wal-Mart version of a CD). The teens need to understand the Mass for what it is….The Holy Sacrifice at Calvary made present (anamnesis)…You know there’s problems when teens don’t even know the OUR FATHER. We need to get back to understanding of Catholic Doctrine.
Catholicism is not a religion of feelings and emotions. This change of so called catechesis to that of emotions and what do you “feel” needs to be replaced by What does the Church teach on Abortion?. I’m very much sick of all this emotional feeling not even catechesis. They need to know the basics of our Faith, not how good do I feel today.
The Annual Dissenters horrible Liturgy Congress is here. (Translation: Cardinal Mahony’s Religious (not so) Education Congress). How many of you took the time to Google any of the speakers? I honestly don’t know how all of you can go put yourselves in the position to listen to HERESY…How can you be okay with that? I know that many of you love the Church, and because of this love you MUST STAND UP FOR THE TRUTH OF THE CHURCH! Women Priests, violations against the GIRM, the list goes on at the dissenters congress.. If you want more information on why not to go e-mail me, or just Google the name of a particular speaker to check if they are inline with the Church.

Lex Orandi, Lex Crendi: The Law of Prayer affects the Law of Belief. Our Liturgy is a reflection of what we believe as Catholics. When we have a lazy whatever attitude towards it, our belief becomes just like that. The reason why the small details are important is because if you let those go, you can let the big things go too. If say for example, you don’t genuflect in front of the Tabernacle, whose to say you won’t change the words of consecration? All the details are important.

ii. Liturgy.
I was at a particular Church in Orange County, and I saw teens at the time of the presentation of the gifts putting the gifts on the altar. This is absolutely condemned by the GIRM (General Instruction of the Roman Missal).
GIRM 73…..The offerings are then brought forward. It is praiseworthy for the bread and wine to be presented by the faithful. They are then accepted at an appropriate place by the PRIEST OR THE DEACON AND CARRIED TO THE ALTAR….
GIRM 75: The bread and wine are placed on the altar BY THE PRIEST to the accompaniment of the prescribed formulas….
The laity are NOT the priests last time that I checked. There exists a hierarchy, relax, I’m not done.
I have seen people not genuflect in front of the Tabernacle (qualification to those who have knee problems of course) as well as priests in several Churches where the Tabernacle hasn’t been removed from the center of the Altar….again, there’s an instruction on this
GIRM 274: A genuflection made by bending the right knee to the ground signifies ADORATION and therefore it is reserved for the MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT, as well as for the Holy Cross from the solemn adoration during the liturgical celebration on Good Friday until the beginning of Easter Vigil. During Mass three genuflections are made by the priest celebrant namely, after the showing of the host, after the showing of the chalice and before Communion….IF HOWEVER THE TABERNACLE WITH THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT IS PRESENT IN THE SANCTUARY, THE PRIEST, THE DEACON, AND THE OTHER MINISTERS GENUFLECT WHEN THEY APPROACH THE ALTAR AND WHEN THEY DEPART FROM IT. But not during the Mass itself (that’s going to be changed in the new GIRM as in the TLM it’s always genuflect in front of the Tabernacle)
GIRM 275: A bow signifies reverence and honor shown to the persons themselves or to the signs that represent them. There are two kinds of bows: a bow of the head and a bow of the body. A. A bow of the head is made when the THREE DIVINE PERSONS ARE NAMED TOGETHER AND AT THE NAME OF JESUS OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY AND OF THE SAINT IN WHOSE HONOR MASS IS BEING CELEBRATED. A bow of the body, that is to say a profound bow is to be made to the altar during the prayers munda cor meum (Almighty God cleanse my heart) and In spiritu humilitas (Humbled by Spirit); in the Creed and at the words Et incarnatuss est….
There is no right to change any of the Eucharistic Prayers. (As horrible as II, III and IV are), nor can there be any others than those approved by Rome (which are I-IV). I have heard more than once a Eucharistic prayer that is not of I-IV….This is condemned in the fairly recent Redemptionis Sacramentum.
RS 51: Only those Eucharistic Prayers are to be used which are found in the Roman Missal or are legitimately approved by the Apostolic See, and according to the manner and the terms set forth by it. “It is not to be tolerated that some Priests take upon themselves the right to compose their own Eucharistic Prayers” or to change the same texts approved by the Church, or to introduce others composed by private individuals
RS 52: The proclamation of the Eucharistic Prayer, which by its very nature is the climax of the whole celebration, is proper to the Priest by virtue of his Ordination. It is therefore an abuse to proffer it in such a way that some parts of the Eucharistic Prayer are recited by a Deacon, a lay minister, or by an individual member of the faithful, or by all members of the faithful together. The Eucharistic Prayer, then, is to be recited by the Priest alone in full.
RS 53: While the Priest proclaims the Eucharistic Prayer “there should be no other prayers or singing, and the organ or other musical instruments should be silent”, except for the people’s acclamations that have been duly approved, as described below. (I saw this at St. John Vianey where there was music during the consecration)
RS 59: The reprobated practice by which Priests, Deacons or the faithful here and there alter or vary at will the texts of the Sacred Liturgy that they are charged to pronounce, must cease. For in doing thus, they render the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy unstable, and not infrequently distort the authentic meaning of the Liturgy
RS 62: It is also illicit to omit or to substitute the prescribed biblical readings on one’s own initiative, and especially “to substitute other, non-biblical texts for the readings and responsorial Psalm, which contain the word of God” (Lifeteen Masses all over have done this with the Responsorial Psalm. You are ABSOLUTELY NOT ALLOWED TO CHANGE ANY OF THE LITURGICAL TEXTS!)
RS 64: The homily, which is given in the course of the celebration of Holy Mass and is a part of the Liturgy itself, “should ordinarily be given by the Priest celebrant himself. He may entrust it to a concelebrating Priest or occasionally, according to circumstances, to a Deacon, but never to a layperson. In particular cases and for a just cause, the homily may even be given by a Bishop or a Priest who is present at the celebration but cannot concelebrate”
RS 66: The prohibition of the admission of laypersons to preach within the Mass applies also to seminarians, students of theological disciplines, and those who have assumed the function of those known as “pastoral assistants”; nor is there to be any exception for any other kind of layperson, or group, or community, or association
RS 69: In Holy Mass as well as in other celebrations of the Sacred Liturgy, no Creed or Profession of Faith is to be introduced which is not found in the duly approved liturgical books. (I’ve seen this violated at some LT Liturgies that I have been to)
I was at a particular parish, where I was almost denied Communion kneeling…..
RS 91: In distributing Holy Communion it is to be remembered that “sacred ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who seek them in a reasonable manner, are rightly disposed, and are not prohibited by law from receiving them”. Hence any baptized Catholic who is not prevented by law must be admitted to Holy Communion. Therefore, it is not licit to deny Holy Communion to any of Christ’s faithful solely on the grounds, for example, that the person wishes to receive the Eucharist kneeling or standing.
Further GIRM 160…..Communicants should NOT BE DENIED COMMUNION BECAUSE THEY KNEEL.
The Paten should still be used….
RS 93: The Communion-plate for the Communion of the faithful should be retained, so as to avoid the danger of the sacred host or some fragment of it falling
RS 94: It is not licit for the faithful “to take . . . by themselves . . . and, still less, to hand . . . from one to another” the sacred host or the sacred chalice (I see this at almost every Mass, not just LT Masses)
RS 119: The Priest, once he has returned to the altar after the distribution of Communion, standing at the altar or at the credence table, purifies the paten or ciborium over the chalice, then purifies the chalice in accordance with the prescriptions of the Missal and wipes the chalice with the purificator. Where a Deacon is present, he returns with the Priest to the altar and purifies the vessels. It is permissible, however, especially if there are several vessels to be purified, to leave them, covered as may be appropriate, on a corporal on the altar or on the credence table, and for them to be purified by the Priest or Deacon immediately after Mass once the people have been dismissed. Moreover a duly instituted acolyte assists the Priest or Deacon in purifying and arranging the sacred vessels either at the altar or the credence table. In the absence of a Deacon, a duly instituted acolyte carries the sacred vessels to the credence table and there purifies, wipes and arranges them in the usual way. (That’s right, Extra-Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion DO NOT CLEAN THE VESSELS, THAT INDULT WAS DENIED BY POPE BENEDICT XVI LAST YEAR)
They are not called Eucharistic Ministers: RS 154: As has already been recalled, “the only minister who can confect the Sacrament of the Eucharist in persona Christi is a validly ordained Priest”. Hence the name “minister of the Eucharist” belongs properly to the Priest alone. Moreover, also by reason of their sacred Ordination, the ordinary ministers of Holy Communion are the Bishop, the Priest and the Deacon, to whom it belongs therefore to administer Holy Communion to the lay members of Christ’s faithful during the celebration of Mass. In this way their ministerial office in the Church is fully and accurately brought to light, and the sign value of the Sacrament is made complete
RS 156: This function is to be understood strictly according to the name by which it is known, that is to say, that of extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, and not “special minister of Holy Communion” nor “extraordinary minister of the Eucharist” nor “special minister of the Eucharist”, by which names the meaning of this function is unnecessarily and improperly broadened
Inviting Teens to the Altar (or little Children) is strictly forbidden. ABSOLUTELY NO ONE BESIDES THOSE ASSISTING IN THE MASS ARE ALLOWED IN THE SANCTUARY. (Those beautiful Altar Rails at OLG, sigh, that are now gone when Vatican II did NOT say to wreckovate the Church)…THE PRIEST ALONE IS ACTING ALTER CHRISTUS AT THE ALTAR…..The Mass is not a party just for people to go up to the altar.
RS 45: To be avoided is the danger of obscuring the complementary relationship between the action of clerics and that of laypersons, in such a way that the ministry of laypersons undergoes what might be called a certain “clericalization”, while the sacred ministers inappropriately assume those things that are proper to the life and activity of the lay faithful…..(FOR THIS REASON, NO ONE BESIDES THOSE IN MINISTRY DURING MASS (Lector, Acolyte, Priest, Deacon)
The Choir is not supposed to be in the sanctuary in the Front of the Church if the Church design doesn’t allow it to happen. The old Churches that have Choir Lofts (or in the case of Lifeteen Band Lofts). Basically, the way to figure out if you don’t belong, is wherever the Altar Rails would have been, that’s where you’re not allowed. ..
GIRM 312: The choir should be positioned with respect to the design of each church so as to make clearly evident its character as a part of the gathered community of the faithful fulfilling a specific function. The location should also assist the choir to exercise its functions more easily and conveniently allow each choir member full sacramental participation in the Mass. (Well, as I said, if the altar Rails were there, that’s where you shouldn’t be. Performing in the Front is alright, however not in the sanctuary as I’ve seen at many parishes)

The Right to Life is the most important Issue as Catholics. As Catholics we CAN NOT SUPPORT anyone who is pro-abortion, pro embryonic stem-cell research, pro-euthanasia.

iii. Politics
Supporting Barrak Obama is impossible as a Catholic. Anyone who promotes killing babies after trying to kill them can not be voted for. As a registered Democrat it is difficult since for the majority, the party line is pro-abortion. Now it’s not a sin to be a democrat, but it is a mortal sin to support someone who is pro-abortion. This means in good conscience I won’t be putting anyone down for a presidential candidate. There are no excuses for voting for a pro-abortion candidate, EVER J
If you’re going to violate Church teaching, at least vote for Hilary, she’s the lesser of two evils on the Democratic end.

You may wonder why I took the time to write out 6 pages. It’s because I love you all, not because I want to condemn people. But if you’re going to be Catholic, be Catholic, which means abiding by the rules that are set up for us, remember disobeying the Church is just like disobeying Christ 😉 (Lk 10, 16)

Pax Domini Sit simper vobiscum

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