"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)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

In Case You Skipped Reading Fr. McDonald This Week



Today's neo-Protestant Reformation:

On the post below this one, I had the following comment and question that I thought was rather good and would allow me to clarify my position if it is muddied in the eyes of anyone:

Blogger Catholic in Brooklyn said...

I'm a little confused, Father. Are you saying that Vatican II is to blame for the crisis of faith in the Church, that it produced the rebellion against Humanae Vitae, and the pro abortion, anti-Catholic catholic politicians in our era? Are you also saying that unlike other councils, Vatican II is not infallible? Are you saying that we should ignore and discount Sacrosanctum Concilium?

Not to be disrespectful, but your post left me with more questions than it answered.

December 20, 2012 6:38 AM

My response was:

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I think the Second Vatican Council was hijacked by well-intentioned reformers who wanted to take the ball and run with it. I don't think the documents of Vatican II read in a strict, literal sense called for the type of rupture in Catholic identity, either liturgically, ecclesially or otherwise that the "spirit of Vatican II" theologians and bishops thought that it did.

I am very much in agreement that Ecumencial Councils are some of the most authoritative forms of Catholic teaching and promoting pastoral practice, the most authoritative way that the Pope and bishops in union with him excerise their commission to "teach, rule and sanctify."

Thus I very much think we should have followed Sacrosanctum Concilium to the letter in revising the 1962 missal and I think the 1962 missal should have been allowed from the beginning to maintain a place of pride in the liturgical life of the Church and if it had it would have certainly balanced the unbridled experimentation with the Ordinary Form we saw after the Council.

So, I would say that I am a disciple of Pope Benedict and his vision for reform in continuity and accepting all of Vatican II through the lens of continuity. That vision when implemented will bring about the authentic renewal that Vatican II desired and perhaps a reformed liturgy that is actually more in continuity with the 1962 missal. But I still contend that the revised missal as it is today can be in continuity with the 1962 missal if celebrated ad orientem, with some Latin, and kneeling for Holy Communion, not anything that is radical or opposed to Vatican II at all and in fact allowed since the Council, but who really knows and understands that when most Catholics were told all these things were wrong!

December 20, 2012 7:04 AM

My final comment:

I think too, that all the progressive, liberal neo-reformers today want to refashion the Catholic Church according to some corrupted ecumenical model embraced by the more liberal Anglican Communion and its expression in the USA, the Protestant Episcopal Church as well as the more progressive branches of Lutheranism and Presbyterianism. This model of Church will be governed by democratic principles, popular election of bishops and priests and the end to what they call the monarchy of hierarchy or the old 1960's worn out cliche "patriarchy."

What they desire is an "ecumenical liturgy" that allows for women priests, a church that allows for gay marriage, birth control and pro-choice morality when it comes to both contraception and abortion. They want a church that is more like the Unitarians but with a broader appeal to make what the Unitarians had desired into a reality.

They wish to do away with Scripture, Tradition and Natural Law as it concerns sexual morality and marriage. They are truly anarchists and perhaps anti-Christ.

They want a neo-Reformation Church that would make Martin Luther, John Calvin, King Henry VIII and other significant Protestant reformers blush in shame and regret what they had wrought.

Posted by Fr. Allan J. McDonald at Thursday, December 20, 2012 No comments:



I am amused when I read other blogs that are of a more progressive bent and find a creeping infallibility applied not only to Sacrosanctum Concilium as a document, but even more so to a liberal interpretation of it as seen through the eyes of rupture with what preceded it.

Folks, the Second Vatican Council while one of the most authoritative ways that the Pope together with the bishops of the world fulfill their commission to teach, rule and sanctify, is not primarily a dogmatic Ecumenical Council, but rather a pastoral one. Because of that much of what is taught is in reaction to the social trends and changes of the late 1950's and early 1960's in light of the aftermath of World War II, the Holocaust and the liturgical movement of the 20th century.

What also had changed even more gradually was the relationship of the Church to Protestantism, to the Jews and to other religions. The Church at the time of the Council and certainly today saw dialogue with all of these realities as important and the need to find commonality with one another to build a better world.

With all the talk of how Sacrosanctum Concilium reflecting a new ecclesiology of the Church where the laity take their rightful, proactive place in worship by acknowledging their own baptized priesthood, the primary emphasis of Vatican II's ecclesiology powerfully symbolized by the call to holiness of the laity in addition to the clergy and religious was that they would bring their Catholic faith in a more public, less private way, to the public square, such as their home, their places of work and where they recreate. It was hoped that those public Catholics who are in high places of business, politics and government would do so in the most spectacular way of Catholic witness to the truths of the Church, not something they manufacture for themselves.

This is where Vatican II has failed and on a grand scale. Or it might be better for me to say this is where Vatican II has been neglected by liberal, progressive Catholics and even by more conservative pundits.

The priesthood of the baptized is primarily for the world and the witness that the Catholic baptized give to the world by their actions.

How then can we say that Vatican II has been fulfilled when nearly 80% of Roman Catholics do not go to Mass every Sunday, thus diminishing the hope-for participation of Catholics in a conscious, present way at Mass?

How then can we say that Vatican II has been fulfilled with the majority of Catholics who enter public politics appear to accept abortion of demand, the HHS mandate and same sex marriage?

How then can we say that Vatican II has been fulfilled with a great number of Catholics who dissent from Humanae Vitae that emphasizes the three legs of Catholic morality and from that point of view is indeed infallible, Scripture, Tradition and Natural Law?

How then can we say that Vatican II has been fulfilled when we see priests and religious in Austria and other places creating a neo-Protestant reformation that will lead to a break with the Catholic Church and her Faith and Morals?

The progressive, liberal element of the Church since Vatican II has been a miserable failure for the Church, fragmented and lacking in common sense. That truth is especially symbolized by the form and type of liturgy they would like to see for the Church and in fact have foisted upon two to three generations of Catholics since Vatican II, an iconoclastic liturgy and architecture to match it, an empty, sterile liturgy that focuses on the horizontal and leaves the vertical, the God aspect, on the periphery.

Infallibility that is creeping and creepy as it concerns Sacrosanctum Concilium is a liturgy that blurs the distinctions between the ordained and the laity, the holy of holies and the nave, that emphasizes what the symbols of the liturgy look like, taste like, smell like and act like while neglecting Jesus Christ and His clear mandates. Progressivism makes a god out of bread and wine eaten and drunk, standing to receive and liturgical actions and signs that are big and expansive. But it fails to connect the believer to God in any real sense of Mystery, awe, wonder and humility in the Divine Presence.

What really freaks progressives out is that traditionalists for the most part, while not entirely of course, accept Vatican II and the Liturgy it has wrought and appreciate Vatican II when interpreted within continuity with what preceded it. It freaks them out that the theology of Pope Benedict and his followers is on the ascendency while the post-Vatican II "spirit of the Council" is clearly descending into its own manufactured anarchy and decomposition. It is not long for this world or the next.

Traditionalists who love the hermeneutic of reform in continuity love the post Vatican II liturgy celebrated by the book (say the black and do the red) when sacred music is in continuity with sacred chant of the past, when Latin is allowed, kneeling for Holy Communion a clear option and ad orientem more frequent.

We also love the Extraordinary Form of the Mass as Pope Benedict has allowed it! We see it as in continuity with the reform when the reform is celebrated in continuity with it!

I think Pope Benedict's view of things will impact the future of the Church in a way that no one ever imagined in the 1970's, that is those from the 1970's (like me, but at least I've tried to move on) who are still living as though it is still 1970 and can't believe that God has reversed things on them through the Magisterium of the Church and by popular demand. God is good.

Being stuck in the 1970's is tiresome and the 1970's really is over except where it is still practiced by a dying generation.

Posted by Fr. Allan J. McDonald at Wednesday, December 19, 2012 11 comments:



But I like it!

The New Liturgical Movement has a photo of a recently installed mean, bad, new altar railing in St. Gabriel's in Stamford, Connecticut:

The theology I was taught as to why these mean, bad, old and new altar railings should be removed is that it separated the laity from the sanctuary making them spectators rather than participants and made it appear that what was most important was what was happening at the altar rather than what was happening in the congregation and the priestly people's actions at the liturgy should be as important and unseperated from the ordained "presider's" actions at the altar. So out they went to make the priestly people of God feel a part of the Mass and here they come again and the priestly people of God still feel a part of the Mass.

Do you ever feel like you are living in a revolving door in the Church these days, like everything old is new again and you wonder why the old was gotten rid of and that the reasons given then seem so dumb now?

Posted by Fr. Allan J. McDonald at Tuesday, December 18, 2012 9 comments:

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