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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Have Catholics Become Whining Pundits?

I was again in conversation with a priest friend who made the following statement in the course of conversation:

Have Catholics become whining pundits? I can remember the day when Catholics didn't complain for they knew a complaining spirit was not of the Holy Spirit, so they usually brought it to confession and the seal of confession
I've heard or read where some priests so dislike the new English translation that they find it a burden now to celebrate Mass! I wonder what the laity think about a priest who feels that way. Is he committing the sin of idolatry? Has he made the words of the Mass into a god or the form of the Mass into a god?
....Any Mass that is validly celebrated no matter the vocabulary, language or style of celebration is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The one Sacrifice of our crucified, Risen and Ascended Lord is made present to us on every Catholic altar in the world, in the Eastern Rite and Western Rite and all the Eastern Orthodox Churches and even in schismatic Churches which retain valid sacraments.
That is not a fair assessment, Father. While I understand that you're entitled to your opinion, your opinion is wrong by my estimation.

Here is why.

There is more to the Mass than validity. There is also the matter of being licit. When a Mass is licit the graces imparted are at their greatest, because it is at that point the Sacrament is being confected in a manner which is consistent with the AUTHENTIC magisterium of the Church. However, when the Mass is not celebrated in a licit manner, then the graces are reduced and the subjective error of the self becomes more important (to a greater or lesser degree) than the objective truth of the Rite.

So, when those of us clamor, lobby and complain that the Mass is not being celebrated properly, we are clamoring, lobbying and expressing our wishes that we are given what is our right (and it is our right). Namely to have a Mass celebrated not as the individual priest sees fit, but rather as the Church sees fit.

It is a gross mischaracterization to simply say that those who are calling for the valid AND LICIT form of the Mass to be celebrated as "whining pundits."

So, to answer your questions, I will do so now:

"Is he committing the sin of idolatry?"
--No. But he is breaking liturgical law and therefore should amend his action to conform to the authentic magisterium. The Mass is his, but only insofar as he celebrates it, the actions by which he celebrates it are very defined. Or at least they should be.

"Has he made the words of the Mass into a god or the form of the Mass into a god?"
--Again, NO. But since he is acting outside the authentic magisterium, he is acting in a manner which is contrarian and spiteful, even if unintentionally so.

The real question isn't what you're asking. The real question is why are priests so disobedient? And the bigger question is, why aren't the bishops doing anything about it, by and large.

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