Thursday 23 June 2011

Impressive forward thinking Bishops

With Cardinal Ranjith who addressed the topic "Objections to Eucharistic Adoration". Apparently, there are none!

He is a very inspiring bishop with great energy, still full of zeal despite much suffering and many setbacks in his life.

Cardinal Ranjith was also the main celebrant at Mass yesterday.

In his address to the Conference he spoke of the lack of faith in many parts of the Church itself, a lack of faith in the objective presence of the Lord in the Holy Eucharist. He thought there was often a lack of wonder and reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, quoting St Augustine saying, "We would sin if we did not adore Him before receiving Him."

The Cardinal spoke of the meaningless and tasteless (in many senses) experience of the Eucharist in many parishes because of a noisy and frenetic atmosphere that was no longer devout, adoring and contemplative. These aspects are not of choice but essential to a celebration of the Mass - an experience much more usual in the "Tridentine" Mass.

Of the priest facing the people instead of the Lord, he said that it promoted an attitude of showmanship, a silent body language of entertainment inevitably enters into the Mass. It is an innovation never advocated by the Second Vatican Council and is not respectful of the awesome mystery of the Holy Eucharist. (There was here an extended interruption for as applause echoed around the auditorium.)

He re-iterated the view that active participation does not mean outward activity but interior adoration, which takes a great deal of effort and spiritual activity.

Later over dinner he was also telling us of some of the changes he has made in his own diocese:

Each and every church has altar rails once again for the reception of Holy Communion, which is to be received kneeling.

The allowance to deviate from the universal norm of Holy Communion on the tongue has been withdrawn. So Communion is always on the tongue.

Priests must dress in the proper vestments for Mass.

Priests are forbidden to bring elements or styles of worship from other religions into the sacred liturgy.

Cardinal Raymond Burke addresses the Conference on the "Importance of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the formation and life of Priests" reminding us that Priesthood exists PRIMARILY for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. I was also struck by him reminding us that the Church (the physical Church building) is a HOLY place. So often our churches are deliberately turned into spaces resembling other secular gathering places.

Pictured here (if rather fuzzy) with Bishop Schneider who is present for the whole Conference. He is a very impressive man, immensely kind and gentle yet unafraid to speak out firmly.

NB. Apologies for some of the strange layout and spelling mistakes on these recent posts. The Italian server and my laptop do not seem to be a happy mix and the text is not always obedient to my typed commands!


torchofthefaith said...

Dear Fr. Simon

Thank you for these most heartening updates from this amazing conference.

We have been updating our website to make it a little more streamlined and focused. We have also finally got around to adding you to our links page - something we'd meant to do for ages!

God bless you and your witness.
Alan and Angeline

Joe said...

Thank you, Father, for these updates. It is so heartening to know that these good bishops and priests like yourself are not afraid to speak out about the truth.

Jacobi said...

The Holy Father has said that the crisis in the Church is due to the collapse of the liturgy, so we need the "Reform of the Reform" as quickly as possible in the "Novus Ordo" with the Tridentine Mass as the yardstick against which progress can be measured.

The two things I would personally prefer to see quickly are the priest "ad orientum" and the re-introduction and widespread use of Latin as the Church's universal language, as in for example the Confiteor, Gloria the Credo and so on.

Parate Viam Domini said...

Dear Father,
Thanks for your postings from Rome. Good it is to see and hear such positives.
Meanwhile back in the Archdiocese of Liverpool and sorry for the length of this but the following is what passes as a First Holy Communion Mass. I want the world to see what middle-class converts who are the little-church leaders and most ably assisted by the Catholic Primary School are teaching the Catholics of tomorrow. Please READ THE READINGS!!!!!!!
Entrance: Here I Am
Welcome Prayer read by a child
Gloria – The Clap Gloria
“The First Reading if from a wise man named Isaiah”
Child 1 reads
“When you call for help I will answer, “Here I am”, and I will help you. You, in your turn, be ready to help one another. Be a kind friend and never a bully. Don’t pick fights and be ready to make friends. Instead of making fun of someone, or telling hurtful jokes about them, try to find something good to say.”
Child 2 continues
“Share what you have, especially with people who have little or nothing. When you act like this everyone will be happy. You are like a light that shines in the dark; you never know who will be cheered up. Everyone who acts this way is working with God. Everyone who acts in this way makes the world a better place.
This is the Word of the Lord” (OH NO IT’S NOT!!!!!!)
Responsorial Psalm: Father we come in prayer
The next child reads:
“The second reading is taken from St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians
Dear Friends,
At the last supper before he died, Jesus took some bread saying “Father thank you for giving us this bread to eat”. Then he broke it up into pieces and said: “This is me this is my body. This is my gift to you. Remember when you do this in future”.
The next child continues:
Later on when the meal was finished, Jesus took a cup of wine and said, “This is the cup of my friendship that is filled with my love, remember me when you do this in future. Whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, let everyone know that I died for you because I loved you”.
This is the Word of the Lord
A New Rule
Jesus said “I’m going to give you a new rule. It’s this: Love one another as I have loved you, and I want you to love each other. When you’re all happy together everyone will know that you love one another and that you are my friends”.
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Followed by a sermon about Wayne Rooney
Followed by 9 bidding prayers
Followed by an Offertory Procession that would have put Cecil B De Mille to shame with that lovely Eucharistic hymn “Take our bead”.
Gathering Mass Holy Holy
Sign of Peace conducted by 5 children
Communion Hymns: The Parable followed by All is Well followed by Be still for the presence of the Lord followed by the First Communicants singing You have called us by your name.
Recessional : Will you come and follow me?

The answer to the last question "no I bl**dy well will not!"

I'm sorry but the Faith in England is DEAD!

Genty said...

My father used to say, not apropos of the Faith: "Dead, but it won't lie down." I have to remember this when I attend iffy Masses and the red mist descends.

The First Holy Communion fiasco in Liverpool could be repeated almost word for word at a recent HC prep Mass in a southern diocese. It appeared to come from a booklet called "Mass for Children", a travesty presumably approved by the bishops.

The same naff songs; the children all had "parts" in the readings, including the Gospel which was not of the day; there was a Q&A session with the children which was all about the elderly priest as knockabout entertainer.

The only child who knew his school's motto and gave it in Latin was treated to a Dick Emery response: "Ooh, he knows Latin. That's clever. I had to say the Latin Mass for 12 years and never understood a word." Cue laughter. During the clapping Gloria the priest jigged around the church. I wondered, seriously, if he'd lost his marbles.

The congregation was 98% women and children. Noise, bustle and more noise. But I will say this for the priest. He was soberly reverent during the Consecration. So sad about the rest; even sadder for the children to be deprived of their spiritual inheritance.

Conversely, way across town is a priest who immerses himself so fully in the Mass that even when he faces the people you hardly notice him.

I don't think the Faith is dead in this island but is slumbering, waiting to to be revived. The lead is coming from Rome as we can see from Father's excellent summary of the conference. That many of our bishops and priests are undermining the clear signals from the Pope is as much their tragedy as ours.

But a new breed of younger priests is coming through. We have the Ordinariate. I think of the turnout for Benedict's visit last September which was one in the eye from a blissful laity to an apparently lukewarm and truculent hierarchy.

I must say that I sometimes feel like an old time recusant in my own Church. But then . . . . .
I went to Corpus Christi Mass last night and witnessed a group of young men learning to serve the EF. How heartening is that.

Anonymous said...

Father, you have given me such hope. How could I have ever doubted Holy Mother Church?


Anonymous said...

I wish that these Bishops were here in the diocese of Salford!!! My priest will be desecrating my church once again by REMOVING THE MARBLE ALTAR RAILS!! It's soul destroying and makes me shed tears that my Church, aged 161 years, is having it's beautiful Altar rails taken away so that there's no barrier between the congregation and the Sanctuary. This is Saint Mary's in Bacup, Lancashire.

Genty said...

Anonymous. How very, very sad. Is there any way to ensure that sections of the marble rails remain intact (rather than just smashed up) and some parishioners each keep a piece safe until the renewal? I realise this may not be practical.
Prayers for you and your fellow worshipers.

Tom said...

Anonymous - how truly sad and destructive.

What possible rationale can be given for this anywhere - but according to the diocesan website (, this Church doesn't even have Mass on a Sunday - only a Saturday vigil and 2 Masses during the week. Who can possibly benefit from this willful act of destruction?

If only one of the traditional orders could have this parish, I'm sure that the decline could be reversed.

Andrew said...

My apologies for posting as Anonymous.. I'm not very good with these blog thingymajigs.

That is indeed correct, St. Mary's only has one Mass for Sunday on a Saturday night. I've had to attend that when I knew that I was unable to attend either the real (Latin) Mass or VaticanII Mass on a Sunday. It's very sad that the church will be desecrated in this way.

The priest does not say the Confiteor in his VaticanII Masses and when I enquired, his response was "it's optional" The Confiteor is a way of hunbling ourselves for our sins and faults and in its place, we just the the Kyrie - very few bow their heads in remorse for their sins. My church is a lovely church but it's becoming more and more like a bingo hall with folk talking loudly in Our Lord's House and the priest says nothing! Have a look at I grew up in the St. Anselm parish and moved to the St Mary parish eight years ago. St. Anselm's is not a patch on what it used to look like.

God bless you all, Andrew