"It is...Our will that Catholics should abstain from certain appellations which have recently been brought into use to distinguish one group of Catholics from another. They are to be avoided not only as 'profane novelties of words,' out of harmony with both truth and justice, but also because they give rise to great trouble and confusion among Catholics. Such is the nature of Catholicism that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected: 'This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly; he cannot be saved' (Athanasian Creed). There is no need of adding any qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism: it is quite enough for each one to proclaim 'Christian is my name and Catholic my surname,' only let him endeavour to be in reality what he calls himself." -- Pope Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum 24 (1914)

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Case Against Communion In The Hand

A Letter from Our Cathedral Rector
Dear Parishioners,


Very Rev. Fr. John Lankeit
Ss. Simon & Jude Cathedral

Reclamation Project Anyone?

The Collapse of Cultural Catholicism

SheryWeddell at the St Catherine of Siena Institute reports that 32% of Americans raised Catholic abandon the identity altogether by their mid twenties. An additional 38% retain the identity but rarely practice their faith. 30% of those who call themselves Catholic attend Mass only once a month. On a given Sunday only about 15.6% of American Catholics attend Mass.

What is the reason for these disastrous statistics? Basically because for the last forty years Catholics themselves have not taught Catholicism to their children. They've taught 'American Catholicism' which is a watered down blend of sentiementalism, political correctness, community activism and utilitarianism. In other words, "Catholicism is about feeling good about yourself, being just to others and trying to change the world." The next generation have drawn the obvious conclusion that you don't need to go to Mass to do all that. You can feel good about yourself much more effectively with a good book from the self help shelf, or by attending a personal development seminar. You can be involved in making the world a better place without going to church.

If only 15% of Catholics go to Mass on a given Sunday, look around and see how many of them are old. Even the 15% who are there won't be there for very long.

The solution is simple: we must return to the supernatural realities of the historic faith and evangelize like the Apostles of old. The big difference is that the Apostles knew their targets were pagans and the pagans knew they weren't Christians. We're dealing with a huge population of Americans (Catholics and Protestants alike) who are pagan but who think they're 'good Christians.' It is very difficult to evangelize people who already think they're fine just as they are. We don't know what we don't know, and the vast majority of poorly catechized, lazy and worldly Catholics aren't aware that there's anything wrong.

What will it take for us to wake up?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

For Comparative Purposes


Firstly, a few key names to define:

Tridentine Mass: the traditional Mass that was codified through the Council of Trent (1545-63) - hence the name, Tridentine, meaning "of Trent" - by St. Pope Pius V as the standard liturgy in the Western Church. It does, however, go back in its essentials to St. Pope Gregory the Great (590-604) and beyond.

Novus Ordo Missae (New Order of Mass): the new liturgy as introduced in 1969 by Pope Paul VI. It was a radical re-write of the previous Roman rite (the Tridentine Mass), performed by the Consilium (liturgical committee) after the Second Vatican Council (1962-65).

Cranmer: Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556) was the apostate Archbishop of Canterbury who destroyed the Catholic faith in England through liturgical change according to his Protestant views. He introduced two main new liturgical books: the 1549 service that was a compromise between the Catholic rite before and a fully-blown Protestant service, and the 1552 service that truly embodied his Protestant beliefs. He was burnt at the stake during the reign of Queen Mary of Tudor, convicted of heresy (a capital crime at that time).

The Sarum rite: The Sarum rite was a usage of the Roman rite as celebrated in England until the Reformation. Essentially, it is the same as the traditional Roman rite (codified as the Tridentine Mass), but with local variations due to regional customs and traditions.

The Tridentine Mass

1. Entitled "The Mass"

The Novus Ordo Missae
Cranmer entitled his 1549 service: "The Supper of the Lord and the Holy Communion commonly called the Mass".
The Novus Ordo Missae was entitled "The Lord's Supper or Mass" in the original Article 7. The term "Lord's Supper" is still included in the revised Article 7.

2. Celebrated in Latin.
Cranmer's Lord's Supper celebrated in the vernacular.
The Novus Ordo Missae celebrated in the vernacular.

3. Much of the Mass said inaudibly.
Cranmer's service one of public praise and thanksgiving and therefore said audibly.
Novus Ordo Missae said audibly throughout.

4. Celebrated on an eastward-facing altar.
Cranmer's service celebrated on a table facing the people.
Novus Ordo Missae celebrated on what is clearly intended to be a table facing the people.

5. The Psalm Judica me, unacceptable to Protestants in virtue of its reference to the "altar of God".
Suppressed by Cranmer (Cranmer's Godly Order, p. 101).
Suppressed in the Novus Ordo Missae.

6. Double Confiteor distinguishes between priest and people, which is unacceptable to Protestants as is the invocation of saints.
Cranmer abolished the Confiteor (Cranmer's Godly Order p. 101).
The double Confiteor has been suppressed in the Novus Ordo Missae thus blurring the distinction between priest and people. A truncated Confiteor invoking the angels and saints is included as an option but other penitential rites containing no such invocation and thus completely acceptable to Protestants are provided.

7. The prayer Aufer a nobis evokes Old Testament sacrifice with its reference to the Holy of Holies which the High Priest entered to offer the blood of the sacrificial victim.
Suppressed in the Novus Ordo Missae.

8. The prayer Oramus te, Domine refers to the relics in the altar stone.
The use of an altar stone is no longer obligatory for movable altars or when Mass is celebrated outside a consecrated building. An altar stone is only "commended" for permanent altars (Institutio Generalis 265-6). The prayer has been suppressed in the Novus Ordo Missae.

9. Introit, Kyrie, Gloria, Collect, Epistle, Gospel, Creed.
Retained by Cranmer.
Retained in Novus Ordo Missae.

10. The Offertory Prayers:
Suscipe, sante Pater Deus, qui humanae Offerimus tibi, Domine In spiritu humilitatis Veni, sanctificator omnipotens; Suscipe, sancta rinitas.
Comparable prayers in the Sarum rite suppressed by Cranmer (Cranmer's Godly Order, pp. 101-2).
All these prayers suppressed in the Novus Ordo Missae but for an extract from the Deus, qui humanae and the In spiritu humilitatis (see p. 322).

11. Orate fratres.
Suppressed by Cranmer and suppressed by the Consilium in the draft for the Missae Normativa. Restored as a result of pressure at the 1967 Synod in Rome (see p. 324).

12. Secret Prayers (Proper of the Mass).
These prayers often contain specifically sacrificial terminology. They were abolished by Cranmer but have been retained in the Novus Ordo Missae though frequently emasculated in the ICEL translations. As these prayers do not form part of the Ordinary they do not provide an obstacle to achieving an ecumenical Ordinary.

13. Sursum corda dialogue Preface, Sanctus.
Retained by Cranmer.
Retained in Novus Ordo Missae.

14. Roman Canon.
Abolished by Cranmer.
Retained as an option in the Novus Ordo Missae, which also contains a Canon (Eucharistic Prayer II) which some Protestants consider acceptable. It makes no distinction between priest and people and does not include the word "Hostia" (victim).

15. The Consecration Formula.
This was considerably modified by Cranmer and the Novus Ordo Missae has incorporated his most important modifications. This was demonstrated in Chapter XV which examines Canon II in detail.

16. The prayer Libera nos after the Pater noster.
Luther and Cranmer abolished this prayer, owing to the invocation of saints at its conclusion.
A modified version has been retained in the Novus Ordo Missae with no invocation of saints.

17. Haec commixtio.
A version of this prayer in the Sarum Missal was abolished by Cranmer.
A modified version of the prayer has been retained in the Novus Ordo Missae but with the significant omission of the word "consecratio."

18. Domine Jesu Christe, qui dixisti.
This prayer did not occur in the Sarum rite but contains nothing to which a Protestant could object beyond the words "ne respicias peccata mea" in which the priest asks forgiveness for his personal sins. This is another prayer distinguishing between the priest and layman, and in the Novus Ordo Missae "peccata mea" has been changed to "peccata nostra" - "our sins."

19. Domine Jesu Christi, Fili Dei and Perceptio Corporis tui.
Modified versions of these prayers are included in the Novus Ordo Missae, one of which the priest says in his personal capacity before Communion. It is a matter for some satisfaction that such a prayer is included. Too much significance should not be attached to to use of realistic language regarding the Real Presence in these prayers. It was primarily sacrificial language which the Reformers wished to eliminate. They were able to reconcile the use of language apparently expressing belief in the Real Presence with their own theories e.g. Cranmer's prayer cited in Cranmer's Godly Order, p. 108.

20. The Communion Rite
(a) Communion given to the laity under one kind.

(a) Communion given under both kinds in Cranmer's service.
The occasions when this is done in the Novus Ordo Missae are multiplying. It is already permitted at all Sunday Masses in the U.S.A. (see Chapter XXI).

(b) Traditional style altar breads.
(b) the relevant rubric in Cranmer's 1549 rite states that altar breads should be: "unleavened, and round, as it was before, but without all manner of print, and something more larger and thicker than it was, so that it may be aptly divided in two pieces, at the least, or more by the discretion of the minister."
Article 283 of the General Instruction reads: "Bread used for the Eucharist even though unleavened and of the traditional shape, ought to be made in such a way that the priest, when celebrating with a congregation, can break it into pieces and distribute these to at least some of the faithful."

(c) The Host is placed on the tongue of the kneeling communicant by a priest.
(c) Cranmer retained all three traditional practices in his 1549 rite but in the 1552 rite Communion was given in the hand to signify that the bread was ordinary bread and the priest did not differ in essence from a layman (see p. 464).
Communion is now given in the hand in almost every Western country (though not Poland or Italy) but the Novus Ordo Missae has outcranmered Cranmer by allowing communicants to stand and received from a lay minister.

21. Quod ore sumpsimus and Corpus tuum.
The explicit references to the Real Presence included in these prayers would not commend them to Protestants, although Luther felt able to retain them owing to his theory of consubstantiation. The Quod ore was not in the Sarum Rite, but the corpus tuum was, and Cranmer suppressed it.
Both were suppressed in the New Mass, but the Quod ore was subsequently restored.

22. Placeat tibi.
The Placeat tibi was a bete noire for Protestants (see Cranmer's Godly Order, p. 109).
This prayer alone would have rendered the Novus Ordo Missae unacceptable to them had it been retained. Following the example of Luther, Cranmer, and other Reformers, the Consilium suppressed this prayer.

23. Last Gospel
There is nothing in the Last Gospel incompatible with Protestantism but its retention in the Novus Ordo Missae would have clashed with the pattern of Protestant Communion services which conclude with a blessing. The Consilium suppressed it.

24. Leonine Prayers
The prayers after Mass do not form part of the Ordinary itself but in practice appeared as an integral part of the liturgy. Five prayers less compatible with Protestantism would hardly be imagined. They have been suppressed by the Consilium.

"Pope Paul's New Mass" (Published by The Angelus Press, 1980) by Michael Davies

Brick By Brick (as Father Z likes to say)

Here's a neat little home-made video made after the SSPX purchased their New Hamburg school in 2007.


Holy Mass is now celebrated in a converted class room.

Wish I Wrote This...

Springtime in Pottersville 
Christopher Gawley

"Even so at this present time also, there is a remnant saved according to the election of grace. "
Epistle of Saint Paul to the Romans (11:5)

 I recently found myself standing before an old Catholic church and school building in the middle of New York. The abandoned structures were fairly typical of scores of churches and schools financed by immigrant dimes and nickels in the northeastern United States during the latter half of the Nineteenth Century.

If I’d looked around a little more I probably would have been able to figure out which nearby building had once housed the convent in which the teaching nuns had lived. The impressive stone facade of the church, along with the red-brick school building, was obviously built to withstand the test of time. The immigrant Catholics who’d raised these towering steeples were certainly not rich. But they understood they were housing the Real Presence of our Lord, and thus sacrificed a great deal to make it happen.
Sadly, many of these Catholic complexes, built in urban neighborhoods, have long since been turned into apartments or community centers or simply shuttered. Those that remain open could be much needed oases of light in a desert of urban blight, but, alas, are locked most of the time, their campuses hauntingly silent.

I closed my eyes and imagined the energy and activity that once defined these places a hundred years ago: the children of immigrant Irish or Italians, dressed neatly in school uniforms, Baltimore Catechisms in hand, in the tow of young nuns in full habit or chasing after good-natured priests in cassocks. I can hear the children’s laughter and the bells ringing, and smell the incense lingering over the holy sacrifices offered daily. I can see and hear and feel the lives of my forefathers that once bustled in this now-dead place. These men actually made things in America. They used their hands and toiled for long hours, six days a week. Their wives made due with little, despite considerable hardship and suffering.

While our culture today points to the "Greatest Generation" as that comprised of good guys, loyal wives and wise-cracking World War II soldiers, I would humbly submit that the previous century's immigrants who eked out a hardscrabble existence in a country that neither valued or appreciated them, raised large families in chronic poverty and persevered in building their faith— may well be more deserving of the accolade. The sacrifices they expended are literally carved into the brick and mortar of their churches and schools that still stand, if empty, today.

So, what went wrong?

In the century that separates us from the hope and optimism of the Christian people who laid the cornerstones for these buildings, something dreadful happened.
Like almost anyone born after the Second Vatican Council, I am a "convert" to Tradition. I was born in 1971, the high-water mark of optimism following the Council. The new Pentecost was in full bloom. No change was off-limits, even to that which had been previously considered unchangeable. The very foundations of Holy Mother Church shook from the tremors of novelty and transformation. The new theology was all the rage, even if it was boring, bland and modern. To see the physical manifestations of this theology, one need look no further than the churches built in the early 1970s. Even architecturally, the human element of the Church was running from everything that had come before.

Like almost all of my generation, I spent most of my life completely ignorant of the fact that traditional Catholicism existed. Like the prisoners in Plato's cave, we genuinely believed that the shadows of Catholic reality – existing in new and heretofore unrecognizable forms – were the real thing. We did not know that the priest used to face the altar during Mass, for example, or that the prayers were once offered in an ancient tongue. We never knew that priestly vestments were anything other than those polyester bed-sheets, or that Communion was distributed in any other manner but in the hand and to folks dressed in Led Zeppelin tee-shirts and ripped jeans.

The things that I now love so much about the Faith are the same things of which my generation had been kept utterly ignorant. We’d been robbed of our birthright and given a modernist mess of pottage in its place. Are we angry about that? You bet!

Even long after my re-version to the Catholic Faith, after years of reading the Church Fathers and the Lives of the Saints, I still did not know about the real thing. Re-version to the modern Church can be a confusing experience. I had read of great men and women of faith who were ready to sacrifice their lives for our Lord, but what I encountered in reality was modern Catholics who seemed to be going through the motions. My enthusiasm ran into the strong headwinds of aging hippie priests who told me the Church I was reading about didn’t exist anymore. My RCIA teacher informed me that "purgatory" is a doctrine on the way out and artificial birth control is not wrong so long as I didn’t believe it was wrong for me.

It was almost as if there was a conspiracy of silence by the vast majority of Catholics about how things used to be. The very meaning of what it meant to be Catholic had been radically altered, but nobody told us. It is only by the grace of God that a few of us managed to discover a whole new world of traditional Catholicism. When I first participated in the old Mass—when I first heard Gregorian Chant—I understood that this Catholicism of old – the constant and changeless Catholicism – was precisely what I’d been missing my whole life. I also understood why men and women from previous generations had suffered so much at the thought of losing it. I was grateful to God when I discovered that authentic Catholicism was being preserved by the spiritual equivalent of the survivors of a nuclear war. In the midst of an utterly broken and immoral society, men and women of good will were preserving the soul of the Catholic Faith.

So, there I was, standing before an example of the old Catholic church that can be found in any New York neighborhood, pockmarked by urban rot. I began visualizing what once was, while lamenting what has been so tragically lost. A thought occurred to me just then: Maybe we’re all living a nightmare. Maybe we will wake up tomorrow to see reality as it should be and as it once was. In our churches perhaps we’ll again see the ancient liturgy of our fathers offered in all its glory once again. Our schools will teem with wide-eyed children taught by faithful sisters. Convents and monasteries will again be filled with holy men and women storming the gates of heaven with their prayers and sacrifices for the world. Our bishops will fearlessly proclaim the unique salvific power of our Lord and his one true Church. They will educate Catholics and non-Catholics alike on the social kingship of our Lord and the Catholic vision of social order. Our seminaries will be filled with devout young men anxious to offer their lives for the greater glory of God. Orthodox Catholic colleges will educate young people in mind and soul in the greatest traditions of the Church's intellectual life, and these young men and women will again become the seedbeds of a society based on faithful Catholic families and vocations.

Large families centered on faith will become the norm again as they always were – with mothers raising their little ones, fathers supporting them by hard work. The Church's missionary work will be reignited as Protestantism continues to collapse, resulting in numerous adult baptisms again becoming a regular Easter occurrence. Our Church will again lead the way against divorce, abortion, obscenity and contraception.

Yes, I can see it: I can see a bright, vibrant society. It happened before; it could happen again. But first we must face the hard facts. We live in a world where every single measure of Catholic life is in abject decline. Instead of life, we see death. Instead of vibrancy, we see decay. Every day we’re made to witness the diabolic assault against our Lord's holy priesthood that shakes Holy Mother Church to her very core. Bankrupt dioceses, shuttered schools, and empty seminaries tell the real story—it’s been a disastrous fifty years since the opening of the Second Vatican Council!

Standing before that venerable old church building, I was reminded of It's a Wonderful Life. In that fabled film, George Bailey is provided the opportunity to see the value of his life through a vision of how the world would have been had he never been born. The homey town of Bedford Falls is thus transformed into the seedy, shameful Pottersville—a dark place much like the whole modern world today. The moral of the film is that the good we do in life, however seemingly insignificant, reverberates over time to change the world. The vision of a locked church and a padlocked school reminded me that we’re all living in a spiritual Pottersville, almost as if the Catholic Church had never been born.

It is hard to meet an intelligent, Mass-going Catholic today who still denies the Church is in crisis. Most recognize the decline but still refuse to lay blame at the feet of those who had the audacity to arrogate to themselves the power to change virtually every aspect of the Church's identify in less than a generation. What took millennia to organically grow through rites and rituals and ideas and Tradition –while nurtured by the hands of saints – was deemed anachronistic by an imperious generation of churchmen who thought they knew better. In time, when the age of novelty is far passed, our descendants will no doubt marvel that these men got away with it.

But even today with the wreckage of Catholic life so evident, and a "cause and effect" of that wreckage so obvious, many good Catholics recoil at the notion that the changes brought about by the Council are the cause. They seem to miss the forest for the trees. Instead of an honest appraisal of the reality around them, they cling to the idea that if only the Council were implemented correctly things would get better; or if the new Mass were only celebrated reverently the liturgical crisis would end. But if we look at the crisis in the Church as a whole, the problem is clearly not one of execution, but rather of principles.

What is the use of quibbling over whether a more honest translation of the new Mass will cure its many ills when the fruits of the whole experiment have proven so disastrous! I stood before that shuttered Catholic church because the liturgy for which it was built ceased being offered there, and the clear Catholic doctrine that used to be preached from its pulpit is no more. This was not a mistake made on the margins; rather, it was a wholesale change in direction with cataclysmic effects. We took the wrong path, and when one takes the wrong path and realizes it the only solution is to turn around. There is no other choice. Indeed, a remnant in the Church is doing exactly that right now, working their way back to the right path and begging shepherds and fellow sheep to do the same.

They say we are experiencing springtime in the Church, and indeed we are. But not the springtime promised or anticipated. Springtime is necessarily a period of rebirth – and we are witnessing the rebirth of the Church in the most unlikely of places. It is not happening at ordinary Catholic parishes. It certainly is not happening at meetings of regional conferences of bishops. It is happening, however, on the dining room tables of home-schooled families. It is happening at afternoon Masses offered in inconvenient places according to the ancient form. It is happening among large families that reject artificial birth control and its surrogate— "natural family planning". It is happening among teenaged girls wearing veils in churches. It is happening with young priests discovering the fullness of their priesthood in the old Mass. It is happening among fathers who embrace their role as head of the household and single providers. It is happening among mothers who once again are the hearts of Christian homes. It is happening among families that pray the rosary together. Simply stated, it is happening among those who view the traditional Faith as the single most important part of their lives. It is happening, and, to the extent that any of us are a part of it, we can take heart in knowing that the revolution has failed. God will not be mocked much longer.

Instead of the Orwellian "springtime" that was as manufactured as the liturgy upon which it was based, the real "springtime" is an organic movement of the faithful who are coalescing around the ancient traditions of Christianity. And as miniscule as it may seem at the moment it is growing, and it is growing at a time when the world thought it long dead and buried. Like the mustard seed of the first century, the Christian men and women of the remnant of faithful Catholics are again at work in the vineyard.

So while we may live in Pottersville for the moment, it won’t be forever and all hope is certainly not lost. Rebuilding Christian civilization is going to be difficult and it’s going to take time but, Deo Gratias, it has already begun.



Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Media Protecting Murderers

As the Church teaches, life begins at conception.  It's absurd to think or state otherwise.  This past Monday, approximately 400,000 people marched in Washington D.C. to protest the legalization of abortion in the U.S. due to the Supreme Court's decision on Roe vs Wade.  The "Roe" in the case was actually Norma Leah McCorvey who never did get an abortion.  The radical feminist movement found someone they could manipulate for their evil agenda and the result has been over fifty million deaths in America alone. 

Last week a man was charged in the deaths of seven people and witnesses say there are over a hundred more.  Yet, these two events drew little attention from the mainstream media.  Their complacency and cover up are mortal sins, a breach of the Fifth Commandment, to which they will have to accept the consequences of on their Judgement Day.

U.S. President, Barak Obama marked the Roe v Wade anniversary by stating abortion should be a Constitutional right.  Given his mother's circumstance and situation at the time he should consider himself lucky he beat the odds and lived to see the light of day.

The March: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/400000-march-for-life-in-dc-with-great-joy

Norma Leah McCorvey: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_MUUvcvjEg

Philadelphia Serial Killer: http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news%2Flocal&id=7906881

Pro-Life Obama Ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2CaBR3z85c

Monday, January 24, 2011

The First Post

Welcome to the first post of this blog.  The intention of this blog is to serve as a resource for Catholics in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph and the surrounding areas.  More specifically, it will hopefully be a local guide to the unchanging truth of the Catholic Church in teaching and practice.  It does not bear any bishop's imprimatur, nor is associated with the Diocese of Hamilton, any parish, order, or lay association.  However, it will make every effort to state authentic Church teaching and factual historical events.  Being Catholic isn't easy, but it is simple if you know how.