Heterodoxy

Let’s put all the fussy traddies on one side for the moment and allow them to argue about the buttoned maniple. Instead let us consider the ordinary Catholic who simply wants the Novus Ordo celebrated in a modest and reverent manner. He wants to avoid all the extreme abuses one hears about, and simply wishes to worship God through a liturgy that does not call attention to itself either for being extremely traddy or trendy.

I was asked for my opinion about such a situation. I would still say that the best thing to do is to go to your local parish and stick with it. However, if the local parish really is replete with terrible abuses then find a parish you can live with and stick with that. The problem with this solution is that one man’s ‘terrible abuse’ is another man’s mild annoyance. At what point do you pull out from a parish? When the priest forgets to bow at the correct place to a thurifer or when Sister Sandals puts on her leotard and does a liturgical Native American rain dance during the offertory? When a middle aged woman warbles ‘Eagle’s Wings’ or when Father Flamboyant defends the gay lifestyle?

Will you transfer parishes when the priest annoys you with political views you disagree with? Will you transfer over music choices? Over heterodox homilies? If so, who decides if it is heterodox? Will you move parishes if the priest does not give you all the things you and your pressure group desire? Will you shift because Father does a good hip hop sermon or because he does not?

What I’m digging at here, dear readers, is not an attack on traddies or on trendies, but (in case it hasn’t sunk in yet) the prevailing American Catholic opinion that in religion (as in all else) the consumer knows best. This mentality is a downward spiral, for the more people shop around for the priest and the liturgy they like best the more the priests will start asking themselves what they have to do to ‘keep the people’. This can only end with both the priest and the people losing their bearings completely and succumbing to the consumer culture religion-wise.

I realize what annoys my readers is my insistence that this attitude prevails amongst both traddies and trendies. Both sides think they are right and people from both sides are usually nice, sincere, well meaning Catholics who ‘only want what is best for their children.’ What the more traditionally minded out there don’t seem to get is that the very reason many Catholics have fled traditional churches for AmChurch Catholicism is exactly the same: “We want what is best for our children.”

So I am dismayed, but not surprised to find that in our location a large number of people have deserted the two parishes where the worship and preaching is traditional. When I ask why they did so they say things like, “There was nothing there for our children.” or “Our kids like more informal worship.” or “We left after Father brought in all that gloomy music” or “We like Father so and so’s preaching. He really relates to the kids.” or “I’m just an ordinary guy. I don’t go in for all that formal stuff. I like the Mass to be more ordinary.”

So my solution and plea is, “Choose your parish if you must, but then stick with it. You might learn something.”

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13978540582978450208 Charlotte

    You are 100% correct in your views, Father. It dismays me to see that people are so vehemently against being in the "middle." But like you said, the problem with being in the middle is: Whose definition of "middle" should we use?Just wait until the new mass starts up in Advent 2011. The parish-hopping ought to get real interesting then (because I am absolutely convinced all kinds of churches will refuse to completely implement it.)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04555354586251657108 Gregory

    Fr. Dwight, I humbly pray for all Priest, even dismayed priests!O Jesus, I pray for Your faithful and fervent priests;for Your unfaithful and tepid priests;for Your priests laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields;for Your tempted priests; for Your lonely and desolate priests; for Your young priests; for Your dying priests; for the souls of Your priests inpurgatory.But above all I recommend to You the priests dearest to me:the priest who baptized me;the priest who absolved me from my sins;the priests at whose Masses I assisted and who gave me Your Body and Blood in Holy Communion;the priests who taught and instructed me;all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way.O Jesus, keep them all close to Your heart, and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity. Amen.St. Therese of Lisieux

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02288730018702281708 Babs

    This week I read about a non-Catholic church that compared worship to a mall: we choose where our taste is met. In this case, one person said they liked the "kick-back," coffee and donuts, atmosphere of a particular church. The pastor said he worked hard to give the people what they wanted.This is so wrong-headed, and I shudder to think that it could become even more prevalent in the Catholic church. I want to say, "People, it isn't about us, and what makes us comfortable." There is a lot to be said, and learned from stability. Luckily for me, I live in a rural area where I can't run off someplace else for Mass. I've learned that the Mass surpasses all of the small t traditions that local churches tack on. Priests move on to new parishes, and we adjust to the change. You may grit your teeth, but I say build some spiritual muscle, have some charity, even if it isn't returned, and stay where you are. Offer it up, if you have to.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13112547391607836919 Scott W

    Father,Thank you for the last two clarifications on the original Tuesday post that started this debate. Since I said plenty there, I'd just like to express my esteem on how you've taken the humble road and sensitively clarified your original post. Those of us who were alarmed or dismayed by that post are now edified by your clarifications. Also, pardon our presumption–especially mine–that you had "gone off the deep end" for the day. Now we can just focus on the original point you wanted to make.For those interested in these issues from a social science point of view, read the short classic "Exit, Voice, Loyalty" by Albert Hirschman. Father asks for more "voice"–meaning we stay and change where plausible–whereas most of us are simply choosing "exit" to find our perfect parish.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03954832843414652616 Steve

    I have a question, as pertains to the variation of liturgical experiences: aren't there rubrics anymore? How about encyclicals that discuss liturgical deviations like Mediator Dei or Redemptionis Sacramentum, and pontifical instructions like Instruction on Certain QuestionsRegarding the Collaboration of the Non-Ordained Faithfulin the Sacred Ministry of Priest? Aren't those good places to start when determining where one should attend Mass? Why is it considered so subjective when the lay faithful take it upon themselves to discern heterodoxy or inappropriate liturgical celebrations? Don't we have standards set out by Holy Mother Church herself that we should use as our guiding principles?We, as Catholics, exist at an unprecedented time in the Church when one really considers these questions. We have more access to her teachings than ever before, a higher rate of literacy than ever in history, a higher number of lay Catholics trained in the study of Theology (I, myself, have a BA even though I don't use it at all in my daily work) and greater mobility than any one who came before us. Because of these things, it seems logical that we can:A) Make some reasonably well-informed decisions – using the mind of the Church as our guide – about what is or is not spiritually nourishing, heterodox, etc.B) Find reasonable accommodation for worshiping in a parish within a reasonable distance of our home that is most suited to these conclusions.Granted, not everyone is doing this. Some people are only following their hearts and not the Church. But doesn't it at least stand to reason that this change in our behavior, on the whole, might be rooted in some substantive consideration, rather than simple capriciousness?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06375449214052411277 JoannaB

    I think this idea of the priest's pleasing the people is where the Church of England has gone wrong.

  • http://wbbritton.wordpress.com/ Brian

    Ah. So I get it. Father has issues with his parishioners jumping ship for other parishes, and that certainly clarifies things for me. But I still find it awfully condescending to use words like traddy and now "heterodoxy." Funny, heterodoxy is what I was running from, but now am I accused of it because I choose Mass in the extraordinary form? Interesting.One other thing, I don't think I have ever come across anyone complaining of the type of maniple used at Holy Mass with the exception of one of our priests who wants to use it in celebrations according to the ordinary form but he has been told that since its use is supressed in the ordinary form he should probably not use it. But I am sure this was just one of Father L's uses of hyperbole.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13978540582978450208 Charlotte

    Brian,Then you haven't spent alot of time over at Fisheaters. They complain about stuff like that all the time – and Father Z is routinely emailed with cry-baby traddy complaints ala "Father Z! Father Z! A priest missed three latin words at a certain part of the mass! I'm worried that the whole mass was invalid!"As far as using the term "traddy", I literally just hit the publish button on my blog about TRADS complaining about being called TRADS:http://cheekypinkgirl.blogspot.com/2010/09/forgive-me-father-for-i-have-said-trad.html

  • http://wbbritton.wordpress.com/ Brian

    Charlotte,No, I haven't been to fisheaters, ever. I don't think it is right to assume that all people with an affinity for the extraordinary form of the Mass fit that mold. I couldn't care less if the priest mispronounces the Latin or has the right type of maniple or any of that stuff. I happen to prefer the extraordinary form because I am able to pray without distraction to God the Father through his Son the Lord Jesus in the Holy Spirit. It is not about music. It is not about the homily. For me and all that I know (and I just realized that Arturo Vasquez is one and the same Arturo who stands next to me in the schola at my parish-Hi Art!) it is solely about God. It has nothing to do with some feeling of satisfaction I get. It is all about God who calls me to communion with Him. As to your blog post, congratulations. I am glad that you see nothing wrong with offending people who would rather not be labeled with silly terms like TRAD or traddy or Rad-Trad. As I have repeatedly said, I prefer simply to be called Catholic. Brian

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13978540582978450208 Charlotte

    Well then, Brian, you are a very, very rare bird in the world of traditional Catholics who inhabit the online world. The rest seem intent on complaining and pontificating.But I take issue with how calling a traditional Catholic a TRAD is in any way offensive. TRAD is a shortened form of traditional. If you're not traditional, then what are you? Most trads want to make it point to make sure they are set apart from us other, less-than Catholics. I see no other way of doing that than to call you all what you are – traditional Catholics – of which TRAD is simply likened to an acronym.You guys can't have it both ways.

  • http://wbbritton.wordpress.com/ Brian

    Charlotte,I read your blog post. SSPX…heh. The ironic thing is that I have never made any comment as to which form of the Mass is superior, or that because I attend Mass in the EF that I am theologically superior or that the OF is invalid or lacking or heterodox. I have never referred to the EF as the Mass of the ages or the Mass of Tradition. I have never belittled someone for feeling perfectly at home with Mass in the OF. I have simply said I don't feel that I am a church shopper for preferring to attend Mass in the EF at a parish 30 miles from my residence. YET, you have me all figured out, someone you don't know from Adam. Look back over your posts, including the somewhat churlish post on your own blog and compare them with my posts. Who has been the one who has chosen to throw labels and cast aspersions? It certainly wasn't I. I am Catholic, period. I don't ask to be identified in any other fashion. I am not asking to have it both ways, but apparently I am the victim of your ire simply because I choose to pray before God Almighty in the EF of the Roman Rite. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.Brian

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13978540582978450208 Charlotte

    Like I said Brian, then you are a very rare bird.As far as what I've written on my blog – how can you be offended by it and think I have you all figured out if you're not one of those TRADS that I'm talking about? *YOU* are the one stating here that you don't fit the usual model. My issues with TRADS are the ones who DO fit that model.So be gald you don't.

  • http://wbbritton.wordpress.com/ Brian

    Charlotte,I am offended because of one paragraph which I will quote:"It seems that some TRADS are now taking offense at being called TRADS, rad-trads, and traddies. Indeed, some of them don't even like being called "traditional Catholics," and instead asked to be simply named as "Catholics.""I find it difficult to believe that this paragraph simply appeared out of thin air, because I posted this very thing in Father Longenecker's com box. My whole point in the discussion we have had is to prove the point that not everyone who prefers the EF of Holy Mass neatly fits into some preconceived notion of "traddy"-ness. Perhaps to bring this back to then issue at hand, I could say that I don't think that Mass in the EF is something that fits me, rather it is more like I fit it. It draws me to it rather than being something that I choose to fit my needs. It is hard to explain, and in the beginning it shocked me as well because I never thought it would draw me in the way that it has. The only satisfaction I get from attending Mass in the EF is communion with God. I don't think this is any different than what a person who attends the OF of Mass experiences.Brian

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13978540582978450208 Charlotte

    Brian,That comment came staight out of FATHER Z'S commbox – on a post written, I think, around August 30th? Perhaps you made that comment there, too? It was a post about Vatican II belonging to the TRADS, rather than the liberals. There's like 154 comments and someone said they simply wanted to be called a Catholic, rather than a TRAD.I assure you that it's true.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13112547391607836919 Scott W

    Brian,Calm down. As an impartial observer who attends the EF once a month and was shocked by Father's initial Tuesday post, you are coming off a bit shrill and defensive. Charlotte seems like a lovely, inoffensive person, and I'm not offended by all the "trad" descriptions. I think you are too thin-skinned. Also, on the internet we have all run across dozens of times the kind of "trad" she is describing. Now skewer away…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07331688544544080299 Mitch

    the use of labels like trad and trendy, or novos ordo and tridintine, or new and old are all divisive. You can talk about liturgical preferences, you can talk about political positions but we should remember that those are the accidents of our faith, what matters is the substance. I don't like the labels because they do not fulfill Ut Unam Sint, but rather a world in which we are all in our own tribes afraid to even talk to our neighbors, who if we spent half an hour getting past the polemics we would realize they are Catholic too. They may emphasize social justice, and we liturgical orthopraxy. If we combine our ideas then we can change the world by becoming truly one, truly catholic.

  • http://wbbritton.wordpress.com/ Brian

    ScottW, I am perfectly calm. Sorry, I just don't understand the division that is being caused in the community of faith simply because of where a person happens to attend Mass. One would think priests and faithful would simply be happy that folks are attending Mass at all. I have no personal issues with Charlotte. I am sure she is a nice lady who is faithful to God and Church. I don't think reactionary language and labeling does anything to edify the body of Christ. Call out triumphalist EF Catholics if they need to be, but it would be much more charitable to not paint all people who attend mass in the EF with generalized invectives, and Charlotte, your use of the word TRAD seems inflammatory and reactionary to me. Funny, I haven't used inflammatory language yet I am the one who seems shrill and thin skinned. I am not thin skinned, I don't see how fighting inflammatory words with more inflammatory words brings people together. Fighting fire with water works a lot better than fighting fire with fire.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13112547391607836919 Scott W

    Brian/Mitch–Dare I say it, but perhaps we can learn something here from the ancient pagans about masculinity. As we all know, masculine ideals are under attack in our culture, and so our men have become overly-sensitive, demanding, and the virtue of fortitude and a certain virtuous "dullness" have begun to disappear. Now before you each freak-out and think I'm questioning your manhood (which I'm not), let me throw myself under the bus. Through long exposure in secular academia, I noticed that I had become progressively more effeminate in all sorts of ways to get along and put others at ease (I'm a large man and that can intimidate people sometimes). Once I became a Christian I noticed this and began to reverse the process, and it has been like re-discovering the true me. We men are made to be masculine, and part of that means, a la the ancient pagans, being above this kind of hyper-sensitivity. Nietzsche had that much right anyway… Try it, you'll like it.Now, the phrase "rad trad" is transparently demeaning and unhelpful, and is a political "act" to marginalize that viewpoint by "branding" TLMers before the debate even begins. So I'm with you there. @Mitch: Non-demeaning labels are necessary and useful in intellectual conversations: in one word they can signify a vast range intellectual/moral commitments. Think of the labels "Christian", "Humean", "Marxist", "game theorist", etc. Christ used labels: "the poor", "the Pharisees", "the Gentiles", "the Jews". QED

  • http://wbbritton.wordpress.com/ Brian

    ScottW,You make me laugh. How in the world you came up with that line of reasoning I have no idea. I don't quite see how rejecting blanket labels thrown at a person simply because a) he sees himself as Catholic and b) he prefers not to be labeled as a radical makes him in some way effeminate. That is the biggest stretch I have seen in quite some time and truly it made me laugh out loud.The real issue here is that ironically there are those who prefer the OF of Mass who complain about the EF folks making Mass an "us vs them" issue when they are doing the exact same thing! We are all Catholics. There is no us vs them. And as for not wanting to sow seeds of discord in the body of Christ, I will take St. Paul's (evidently effeminate) admonition to preserve unity any day to the bickering that goes on in com boxes on the Internet. Thanks for the laugh.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13112547391607836919 Scott W

    Brian,You don't address my arguments, but simply "laugh". As I made explicit, "rad trad" is unacceptable because in the US the term 'radical' is derogatory (whereas in France it can be a compliment). The term 'trad' does not have a prima facie connection to radicalism.I don't think you are sowing seeds of discord, I just think you've been unduly influenced by our culture and our playing the "victim" card with Charlotte. Stand above it like St. Paul would have done. Re-read your discussion with Charlotte in the morning when you can get a fresh look at it. Peace

  • http://wbbritton.wordpress.com/ Brian

    ScottW,Now who is getting shrill? :-)I didn't directly address your comment on masculinity and femininity because it was a non sequitur. Re-read my comments. My issue is not that my poor little feelings got hurt because Charlotte or Fr. Longenecker called me a TRAD or traddy. They didn't hurt my feelings. My intent was to say it is not edifying to the body of Christ to divide the Church into "us vs them" camps using words that are obviously by their context meant to demean or separate, and that goes for BOTH sides of the argument. When I say I prefer to be called Catholic, I mean that. I don't see myself as a TRAD or Traddy and certainly not a rad-trad. Although I prefer to worship in the EF of the Mass, I am comfortable going to the OF of the Mass provided it doesn't devolve into a cult of personality of Father ________ or the venue of the hipster choir or cantor who is waving his/her arms about wildly trying to get the congregation to sing. Those things are distracting from the reality which is going on at the altar.I did have another thought, though, and this is not directed at you ScottW. Has it not occurred to anyone that the loose interpretation of the rubrics of the OF of the Mass by some lends itself to church shopping? We see it all the time: 10:30 am is the "folk" Mass, 7:30 pm is the "youth" Mass, 7:30 am is the "old folks" Mass. Is this really what the council Fathers of Vatican II envisioned in the liturgical reform? Should the Mass be geared toward specific groups of people, or should it simply be done according to the GIRM with no particular group in mind?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03954832843414652616 Steve

    Anyone care to answer my question about rubrics? I may need to elevate this to another forum of discussion, because I really think it's a legitimate question.

  • http://arturovasquez.wordpress.com/ arturovasquez

    One irony to this whole conversation is that American Catholics have historically "church shopped", but they did it by ethnicity. Anyone who lives in urban areas will know that there are certain churches that were the Polish church, the Irish church, the German church, etc. often within a stone's throw away from each other. The Church here thus seems to have started out as being heterogeneous, and it is no surprise that it continues to be so for some people. American Catholicism has never been a cohesive whole the way it is in the "old country" (wherever that happens to be). So the fact that people feel no particular allegiance to the parish down the street may be something embedded in the Catholic collective sub-consciousness.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06349146033236890779 Giovanni A. Cattaneo

    If anything Father your example just brings up that the point that one side is right and the other is wrong. At the end of your article you mention that those parishioners had left because they "did not like that formal stuff" or "there was nothing left for our kids" or "I like the other pastors views better." that to me seems like a disconnect. In all three of the reasons given there seems to be a complete misunderstanding on Mass was about. That being of course, God.The three reasons given if anything sound very familiar to a protestant to pick an choose churches on those artificial ways, on things from choirs to lighting to size of congregation or preaching from the pastor. This goes of course to the very hart of the argument that as you call them "traddies" try to make. The Mass in the Church has become so protestantized that what we believe is in jeopardy."lex orandi lex credendi"I think that your example illustrates and gives merit to what the "traddies" say rather than your original intent for the article.

  • http://wbbritton.wordpress.com/ Brian

    Arturo is correct. In New Orleans there were two large churches, St. Alphonsus Ligouri and St. Mary's Assumption (where Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos' relics are) were literally across the street from one another. The archdiocese closed St. Alphonsus and consolidated the two parishes.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15889136111159025019 cy

    Dear Father,Thank you for your reply to the questions of so many of us. Though if I may politely pick an additional bone? [After all you made a blog and asked for comments]You seem to indicate a parity between "I don't want my kids to be taught that an ex-nun should give the homily and grip about the 'patriarchical system' int he Church" on the one hand and "I don't want my children to go to 'gloomy' Masses." Those two comments are starkly different. And yet you present them as if they are the same. You seem to indicate a relativism that I find unusual. Speaking as a "non-traddy" (though I don't think that makes a difference), the parishioner who does not want an ex-nun giving the homily is CORRECT and the parishioner disliking what they view as "gloomy" music is INCORRECT. Thank you for your brief comment to the effect, "sometimes you have to go" as far too many do indeed "agonize" (trust me) about this very problem. And we still don't know what to do about it. Thank you Father for your patience and constancy. – Cy

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15889136111159025019 cy

    Here is actual language from an actual Catholic parish bulletin written by an actual Roman Catholic priest and pastor:"Often Vatican officials and bishops short-circuit dialogue andmake decisions from the top down without properconsultation. Such decisions, dealing with the role of womenin the church or sexual morality or the ordination of marriedmen or the appointment of suitable bishops need to engagea wider variety of people and include more scientific datafrom the modern age. A spirit of humble dialogue speaks tothe age more than apodictic statements drawn from arcanesources. There is a mind-set among some curial officials andbishops that they are the teachers of the church and so theydo not have to listen."Whither shall be go?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06400691261382506978 Jenny

    "…they did it by ethnicity. Anyone who lives in urban areas will know that there are certain churches that were the Polish church, the Irish church, the German church, etc. often within a stone's throw away from each other."Arturo is absolutely correct!And ALL of you are oblivious to the Eastern Catholic arm of the Church, of which there are totally different expressions and liturgies. We would ALL do well to give each other some space and more than a little credit for intelligence in seeking our path to holiness. I have loved some of the comments on this "board" (Father does play his blog role well!) because some verbalize far better than I could what has become of Catholicism in our culture. We ARE all on the same path, God willing. Let us allow God to do His work…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06400691261382506978 Jenny

    I should have mentioned in that last post that I am an Eastern Rite Melkite Greek Catholic, and my husband is a Roman Catholic. We each travel 25 minutes to get to our respective liturgies. There is a closer RC Church that my husband won't attend anymore since children are grown (they were in the parish school) because the liturgy is abominable to him, and there is a much more reverent RC church in the next community. He would give most anything to have a TLM available locally, but it is not.My question, born of this blog discussion: I assume Father L would not deny me my Eastern Rite liturgical expression, but would he frown on my husband's choice to move from a "free form" liturgy to a much more reverent one?

  • http://wbbritton.wordpress.com/ Brian

    Jenny, Exactly. Many rites/usages/forms but one faith.Brian

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16142633311407145793 Wine in the Water

    Brian,The answer to your question about rubrics is quite simple. Of course we have every right to appeal to the magesterium about what is and is not proper in the liturgy. One might even say that it is not just our right but our responsibility. But the question is, "What then?"Is discerning what is proper in the liturgy or teaching in a parish a foundation for shopping around for what parish to attend? Or is it the foundation for working to heal those ills in the parish to which we belong in accord with Canon Law?As someone who has suffered many liturgical assaults, I can say that it would have been much better if the people who could see what was wrong stayed. While they went off to their enclaves, we were left with far fewer allies in trying to fix what was wrong with our parishes. While they were off being fed by their abuse-free liturgies, we had all the steeper hill to climb to remove the abuses from our liturgies. When they used the light of their knowledge of what was wrong to leave, they left those without that knowledge all the more in the dark and less likely to see the light.If you can see what it wrong with a parish, that is the biggest reason to stay instead of go .. not the other way around.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12218771096085701665 Tito Edwards

    Steve,Again, you speak so eloquently and simply to the matter of the problem. Your comments reflects what I believe.Father Longenecker used a sledge-hammer to swat a fly instead of a fly-swatter.I think it's disingenuous to attack a struggling minority of worshipers who actually believe and practice what the Church say and compare them to the more banal among us as simply another group of ne'er-do wells.

  • http://wbbritton.wordpress.com/ Brian

    Wine in the water,I cannot explain why I go to an EF Mass other than to say it draws me to it. Staying in a parish without the EF would almost seem disobedient to me. I know that sounds odd, but I cannot explain it any other way. I have been a faithful parishioner at this parish now for 3 years, trekking across a 24 mile long bridge at 6:15 a.m with my oldest son who serves at the altar, and I sing in the schola (with Arturo Vasquez. We sing the propers from the Liber Usualis) only occasionally missing this Mass due to various reasons, but attending an OF Mass instead when I can't make it to the EF, of course. I would never intentionally miss Mass simply because I couldn't get to an EF liturgy, although I am sure there are some misguided souls who would. The problem with the "tailored Mass" is that it is widely accepted as the norm in many dioceses. The bishops not only allow them but celebrate them in some cases. I think it draws attention away from the Mass as sacrifice and only serves to reinforce the idea that Mass is all about me. Staying in a situation such as this would only lead to frustration, and frustration clouds the intellect and the will.

  • http://arturovasquez.wordpress.com/ arturovasquez

    I just wanted to point out as well that nowhere does it seem that Fr. Longnecker is singling out traditionalists, though the word "trad" can be interpreted by some as an epithet. (One should be more obsessed with the term, "just plain Catholic", or rather disturbed that we have to put any adjective in front of "Roman Catholic".) Some of the worst church shopping offenders have had nothing to do with the traditional missal, and indeed, I would wager to say that a majority don't.Far more, I think, would be people who go out of their way to go to a "conservative Novus Ordo". I'll admit that I know people who go to a particular church because they think it's prettier than the one closest to them. (Living in New Orleans with so many nice old churches, this is a great temptation. My wife and I were married in my sister-in-law's church because it was one of the older, prettier ones.) The dirty little secret of the Eastern rite churches in this country is that they are full of Latin-rite Catholics escaping the innovations of their local parish. Some have taken to the Eastern Catholicism thing, but some are just there for the "reverent Mass".In short, if one is really going to address the problem, one shouldn't just pick on people who go out of their way to go to the traditional liturgy. Some just want more bells and whistles on the Pauline missal Mass, and some want to go to an intercity Gospel Mass because it makes them feel "politically correct". It is problem that crosses partisan lines, in other words.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03679435933685771007 R.C.

    Fr. Dwight,You ask, "At what point do you pull out from a parish? When the priest forgets to bow at the correct place to a thurifer or when Sister Sandals puts on her leotard and does a liturgical Native American rain dance during the offertory? When a middle aged woman warbles 'Eagle's Wings' or when Father Flamboyant defends the gay lifestyle?"Well, I would think, SURELY at the point of the rain dance and of the pro-gay-lifestyle homily, it would be time for SOMEBODY to go.But then, I would think that that's the point when Sister Sandals and Father Flamboyant would be (should be!) pulled out. If I'm an obedient and orthodox Catholic, I shouldn't have to feel chased from a parish by such abuses because the abusers should be chased from the parish FOR such abuses.I mean, what's the point of the Church having a guarantee from the Holy Spirit that truth will be taught, if it isn't going to be taught at the parish where we can actually hear it?So it seems to me there MUST be some kind of "quality control" mechanism in the Catholic world to prevent Sister Sandals and Father Flamboyants from happening…at least, not without some disciplinary measures happening in a timely fashion.Or am I mistaken about that?I don't know from experience, because I have only been in the Church for less than six months, having come from an Evangelical background assisted by your friends C.S.Lewis and G.K.Chesterton.So I have probably not learned the mind of the Church on such things as of yet.But if abuses such as those by Sister Sandals and Father Flamboyant were to arise in my parish, what should I do?In the Evangelical churches of my upbringing, assuming that the deacons or elders or members were relatively orthodox (as Evangelicals understand orthodoxy), Pastor Flamboyant or Church Lady Sandals would be asked to pack their bags and a pastoral search committee would form.Or, in a worst case where Pastor Flamboyant and Church Lady Sandals could not be unseated, then the members would go elsewhere, causing offerings (and thus the Pastor's and Church Lady's salaries) to dry up. The less-orthodox churches hemorrhage members and the more-orthodox churches rack up committed congregants — I believe this could be shown to be a true generalization (overall, and with some exceptions) even by the standards of Catholic orthodoxy.So that's the feedback mechanism which serves to ensure some accountability for Pastor Flamboyants and similar crazy folk in the Evangelical world.In a sense, Evangelicals WANT that mechanism, because it's the only mechanism they have that can prevent doofuses like Westboro Baptist Church (you know, the "god hates…" people) from looking successful. They can still preach their nonsense, but they'll be preaching to five people in a ramshackle building.But in the Catholic world, that methodology won't function, or not reliably.So, then, what accountability mechanism IS there, really, in the case of a Father Flamboyant or a Sister Sandals? Do the parishoners complain to the bishop, or what? Does the bishop send unidentified observers round to different parishes, like secret restaurant critics?I'm new around here, and I'd really like to know.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03679435933685771007 R.C.

    Fr. Dwight,You ask, "At what point do you pull out from a parish? When the priest forgets to bow at the correct place to a thurifer or when Sister Sandals puts on her leotard and does a liturgical Native American rain dance during the offertory? When a middle aged woman warbles 'Eagle's Wings' or when Father Flamboyant defends the gay lifestyle?"Well, I would think, SURELY at the point of the rain dance and of the pro-gay-lifestyle homily, it would be time for SOMEBODY to go.If I'm an obedient and orthodox Catholic, I shouldn't have to feel chased from a parish by such abuses because the abusers should be chased from the parish FOR such abuses.I mean, what's the point of the Church having a guarantee from the Holy Spirit that truth will be taught, if it isn't going to be taught at the parish where we can actually hear it?Tthere MUST be some kind of "quality control" mechanism in the Catholic world to ensure some timely disciplinary measures happen occur in response to abuses.Or am I mistaken about that?I don't know from experience, because I have only been in the Church for less than six months.So I have probably not learned the mind of the Church on such things as of yet.But if abuses such as those by Sister Sandals and Father Flamboyant were to arise in my parish, what should I do?In the Evangelical churches of my upbringing, Pastor Flamboyant would be asked to pack his bags and a pastoral search committee would form…or else the members would go elsewhere, causing offerings to dry up.So that's the feedback mechanism which serves to ensure some accountability for Pastor Flamboyants and similar crazy folk in the Evangelical world.In a sense, Evangelicals WANT that mechanism, because it's the only mechanism they have that can prevent doofuses like Westboro Baptist Church (you know, the "god hates…" people) from looking successful. They can still preach their nonsense, but they'll be preaching to five people in a ramshackle building.But in the Catholic world, that methodology won't function, or not reliably.So, then, what accountability mechanism IS there, really, in the case of a Father Flamboyant or a Sister Sandals? Do the parishoners complain to the bishop, or what? Does the bishop send unidentified observers round to different parishes, like secret restaurant critics?I'm new around here, and I'd really like to know.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03679435933685771007 R.C.

    Fr. Dwight,You ask, "At what point do you pull out from a parish? When…Sister Sandals puts on her leotard and does a liturgical Native American rain dance during the offertory? When…Father Flamboyant defends the gay lifestyle?"Well, I would think, SURELY at the point of the rain dance and of the pro-gay-lifestyle homily, it would be time for SOMEBODY to go.If I'm an obedient and orthodox Catholic, I shouldn't have to feel chased from a parish by such abuses because the abusers should be chased from the parish FOR such abuses.I mean, what's the point of the Church having a guarantee from the Holy Spirit that truth will be taught, if it isn't going to be taught at the parish where we can actually hear it?Tthere MUST be some kind of "quality control" mechanism in the Catholic world to ensure some timely disciplinary measures happen occur in response to abuses.Or am I mistaken about that?I don't know from experience, because I have only been in the Church for less than six months.So I have probably not learned the mind of the Church on such things as of yet.But if abuses such as those by Sister Sandals and Father Flamboyant were to arise in my parish, what should I do?In the Evangelical churches of my upbringing, Pastor Flamboyant would be asked to pack his bags and a pastoral search committee would form…or else the members would go elsewhere, causing offerings to dry up.So that's the feedback mechanism which serves to ensure some accountability for Pastor Flamboyants and similar crazy folk in the Evangelical world.In a sense, Evangelicals WANT that mechanism, because it's the only mechanism they have that can prevent doofuses like Westboro Baptist Church (you know, the "god hates…" people) from looking successful. They can still preach their nonsense, but they'll be preaching to five people in a ramshackle building.But in the Catholic world, that methodology won't function, or not reliably.So, then, what accountability mechanism IS there, really, in the case of a Father Flamboyant or a Sister Sandals? Do the parishoners complain to the bishop, or what? Does the bishop send unidentified observers round to different parishes, like secret restaurant critics?I'm new around here, and I'd really like to know.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03679435933685771007 R.C.

    Whoops.Sorry for the double post. The comment thing told me the first time failed with an error.


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