"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)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Rev. Michael Coren?



On Facebook, recently unemployed Michael Coren announced he's going back to university to get his Masters of Divinity degree. 



Pursuit of a Masters Of Divinity degree is no mere hobby. It takes three years of full time study to complete the program. 



So why would anyone still in their earning years take three years off work to get a Masters Of Divinity degree? It doesn't make sense to do it just for farts and giggles, does it? Could it be the reason most people go to unversity?



The three jobs that come up under M.Div. opportunities are ordained ministry, chaplaincy, and counselling. Can you see Michael Coren hanging out on campus or in some community outreach centre giving spiritual advice?

However, getting a gig as a pastor with an open pulpit from which to promote your version of the good news does make sense, and guess who's hiring?

The Diocese of Toronto, Anglican Church of Canada




Of course this is just speculation, but it would make sense of things. Last summer Michael read the tea leaves and anticipated his employer's (Sun News Network) demise. Realizing his career in television was probably over, he did a 180 degree about face on a few contenscious issues in order to become more palatable to a desperately politcally correct institution. 

"You know what's funny, sister? I read somewhere female priests are un-biblical."


Michael wouldn't become the first self-promoting celebrity reverend.

    


The main problem with this self-preserving move is the Anglican Church Of Canada is a sinking ship.




ACoC mrmbers


However, it's unlikely the CoE in Canada will become financially desolate prior to Michael's need of a pension and medical benefits...assuming that's the plan. 


 Archbishop (Sans Apostolic Succession) Of Cantebury

Hey, with Michael Coren's lightening scruples if he did get into the Church of England clergy, he might rise all the way to the top! That would be nice indeed.

Michael Coren Schism Update

On Twitter, Ex-Catholic Michael Coren says he's been worshipping as a Protestant for a year now. 


Somehow I doubt all the Cathoic parishes and organizations he took money from for his appearances were aware of his schism. I also doubt he'll be issuing any refunds.


Back in November 2013, Michael Coren was contracted to speak on the subject of 'Catholic Education In Ontario's Public Schools". When he arrived at the event he informed the gathering he'd rather do a general Question & Answer session instead. No refund.

He laments being cancelled to appear on EWTN by stating we should all be more concerned about the Baltimore Riots than his defection. Nice try, Mike. Maybe we should be more concerned about Nepal or Nigeria than the riots? Maybe we should be most concerned about the eternal destination of our souls?

It seems word is getting around Michael Coren is no longer Catholic, or he's trying to hide the fact. The empty rows beneath his photo used to contain his speaking schedule. Legatus, Great Lakes Catholic Men's Conference, and the Diocese Of Calgary Priest Days were there.




Michael says he has a new book coming out. Possible titles:

"Why Anglicans Are Right"
"Why Catholics Are Wrong"
"Why Taliban Catholics Are Wrong. Forward by Rev.Rosica"



Michael is portraying himself as a martyr now apparaently the victim of slander and hate from 'right wing Catholics'. He has a poor memory because it wasn't long ago he wrote in Catholic World Report:

"The Catholic Church looks neither right nor left but up. In other words, the Church is not a vehicle for conservatism or liberalism, capitalism or socialism, but a vehicle for Catholicism. Anyone who thinks and believes otherwise has surely misunderstood the teaching and purpose of the institution left us by Christ Jesus."

It's also worth noting Christ Jesus did not leave us the Church Of England; King Henry VIII did that.

Based on this photo it seems Michael was wrong about female ordination too:



"It’s a pride thing, really. Not the Papacy, not the Magisterium, not Scripture, but I, me, we, will dictate what is to be believed and rejected. A quintessential example of this is female ordination. It’s un-Biblical, it perverts the meaning of a Sacrament and the place of the priest during Mass, and it fundamentally misunderstands God’s creation."

Had the Anglican Diocese Of Toronto not put this picture on its Facebook page, I wonder if/when Michael Coren would have announced publicly he's now a Schismatic Catholic?

Monday, April 27, 2015

Dissecting Michael Coren: The Opportunistic Christian

On Sunday, April 19, 2015, Michael Coren left the one and only Church created by Jesus Christ and entered the Protestant denomination created by King Henry VIII fifteen hundred years later.


King Henry VIII wanted a male heir to his throne and blamed his streak of daughters on his wife. Since divorce/remarriage has never been allowed by Jesus Christ nor His Church the monarch of England went on his own way.

Michael Coren doesn't seem to be seeking a divorce so what caused his apostasy? It's been a very sudden about face for him. On Saturday, June 28, 2014, the Toronto Sun published his "I Was Wrong" column. Prior to it he was considered a doctrinally orthodox Catholic, a 'conservative' if you so choose, in line with the 'hate the sin not the sinner' philosophy, not the 'turn a blind eye' prominenet in many Moderrn parishes and dioceses today.

Let's take a look at his argument for his 'evolution' against doctrine.

Michael says he changed his position on homosexuality/gay marriage due to ...
"largely and ironically because of the angry and hateful responses of some people to my defence of persecuted gay men"

Let's examine that approach, shall we?

What Michael is saying is that extemism in a position nullifies it. Think about that. If true then...
- Westboro Baptist Church disproves Christianity 
- Corporate thieves disprove capitalism
- Watergate disproves democracy
- Holligans disprove English football
- Maple Leaf fans disprove hockey


What I always admired about Michael Coren is his sharp reasoning skills. He wouldn't agree to any of the above so it begs the question how did he come up with such a faulty premise?

Here's another oddity from his column:

"I have evolved my position on this issue not in spite of but precisely because of my Catholicism. My belief in God, Christ, the Eucharist, and Christian moral teaching are stronger than ever."

Image result for why catholics are right

There are a few problems with this statement. The first is doctrine does not evole so why should any Catholic's opinion?

Obvioulsy his belief in the Eucharist changed ten months later since he has gone from receiving the actual Body Of Christ to a symbol of it. 

His belief in Catholic moral teaching changed too since sodomy is still a sin that cries out to Heaven. Michael Coren is far too intelligent to have been duped by the mainstream media's interpretation of Pope Francis' "Who am I to judge?' quote. He understands the context so can't use that utterance as an excuse for heresy. 


Then he brings his kids into it:

"My kids? They’re not political, they respect and love me and they would never waste their time trying to change my mind. That they’re accepting of gay people and gay marriage is axiomatic – they’re aged 16, 20, 24, and 25 -- and, whether you like it or not, that generation in the west simply does not comprehend opposition on these issues."

I wonder why Coren brings his kids into his sudden break from Catholic doctrine. It would be understandable for a parent upon learning one of his children suffers from same-sex attraction to question his faith.

The problem with his self-descibed Cathoic kids is that they accept gay 'marriage'. Sorry Michael, that dog doesn't hunt. Catholic and accepting gay marriage are mutually exclusive. You know that. 

Continuing on with his column...

"I have evolved on this single subject because I can no longer hide behind comfortable banalities, have realized that love triumphs judgment, and know that the conversation between Christians and gays has to transform -- just as, to a large extent, the conversation between conservatives and gays has."

First, was there a Freudian Slip with the 'banalities' choice?

Second, love does not triump judgement, at least in a theological discussion. Such nonsense might make a NDP Youth gathering break out into song and dance, but it's not solid reasoning. Check the Bible and Church teaching - we are judged. One mortal sin is enough to cast us off to eternal damnation.

Third, the conversation between 'conservatives' and gays has not transformed or changed. It's just more reasonable than contrary opinions on the other side. Indeed, we hate the sin, love the sinner, Michael. 

If Michael wants to make his newly found alliance with sodomites and other unnatural perversions a political position than it won't be a surprise to see him in next year's gay pride festivities:


Does that mean his fiscal political positions have 'evolved' too? Is generational debt now righteous? Has the baby been thrown out with the gay borrowed bath water?

So if extemism is a valid plank in an 'evolved' platform does that mean Michael Coren necessarily endorses Ben Levin's sexual grooming/education curriculum legistlated without a mandate by "Wild Woman" Kathleen Wynne who has finally found her sexual energy? Perhaps he realized he could not support it as a Catholic so found a receptive audience in the morally challenged church of England?  

If you think this is confusing read Coren's Wikipedia page. 

"I am not prepared to throw around ugly terms like “sin” and “disordered” as if they were clumsy cudgels"

Well, gosh, Michael, that's might white of you. Too bad Jesus Christ felt differently. He spoke of sin quite often. Indeed he dined with sinners after absolving them of their sins and telling them to sin no more. As pope of your new found belief system how will you handle your flock's sins assuming they have any?

Since Michael has thrown away the Church it's safe to assume he's tossed the Catechim too. It's quite clear how to understand homosexuality. Pro Tip: just like any other afflication (i.e. alcoholism, etc.). I won't be throwing rocks. 

"I am sick and tired of defining the word of God"


Bingo. Michael Coren's entire argument is exposed with this statement. As a Catholic scholar he should know it is in fact not his nor anyone else's preogative to define the Word Of God. That privlidge was given to Peter and the Church his successors rule over. The 33,000 denominations of His Church prove once you break away into personal interpreation then by definition it dissolves. 

Michael, I suggest you got yourself into this mess by succumbing to the Devil's temptations. He seducced you into thinking your intellect is higher than the Church's. Your opinion great that the pope's. It's probably what happened to King Henry VIII, Luther, etc.

Finally, "If we live, we grow. The alternative is, of course, death." Michael, any Scriptural or Traditional proof for that statement? Of course not. You can not make up doctrine. 

Reading Michael's Wiki page it seems like he has profitted from his Christian allegiances. There is some suggestion that something very personal caused his 'evolution' in gay marriage which then precipitated his departure from the Church. Some people expect him to become an Anglican minister in the near future. Whatever the cause we should pray for him since every soul Lucifer wins is a loss for us. 


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

SIGNS OF HOPE: THE UNDER-35 PRIEST




BY THOMAS PETERS


Is an American Catholic renaissance possible in our lifetime?

Nine years ago I started writing as the “American Papist” because I was, and remain, proud to be both Catholic and an American.

We as Christians understand that hope is a necessity of being Catholic because there is no better foundation for hope than the promises of Christ.


Newly ordained priests. Copyright: The Catholic Spirit, newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

But what signs of hope can be gleaned for the future of the Catholic Church in America?

This year, interspersed with my other writing, I’m launching a series of essays around the theme “Signs of Hope” to share and explain what gives me inspiration and optimism about the future of the Catholic Church in America.

And I hope you actively take part in sharing with me and your fellow readers what gives you hope.

My first sign of hope is the Under-35 Priest.

When I get into debates about the future of the Catholic Church in America with Catholics who disagree with me about the importance of orthodoxy, one of the realities I keep in mind is that, because of the type of young men studying in seminaries and serving in parishes already, the papist revolution has already begun.

We tend to think about the shortage of priests in numeric terms. And we take hope when the latest reports show that there are more men studying for the priesthood now than a decade or two ago. But what fascinates me more is the quality of the men studying for the priesthood now and of priests in general under the age of 35. One of the most striking features of these young priests is their orthodoxy, especially when you contrast their theological views with the set of priests who graduated seminary in the 1970′s. Just as we talk about the shared characteristics among generations of Americans (i.e. the baby boomers, the “greatest generation” etc.) we can talk about shared characteristics among generations of priests. So many of the men who became priests in the 1970′s sought to change the world through the Church. Men under 35 become priests to serve the church.

Think about what a young man choosing the priesthood knows he is getting himself into: overwork, due to the shortage of priests, and ridicule from most anyone outside the church. It takes dedication and determination to choose such a path.

Here’s a dynamic I’ve seen in parish after parish. The liberal monsignor is the pastor. He is in his 60s. His homilies and pastoral priorities are cryogenically frozen and preserved from the 1970′s. He never preaches against sin. The assistant priest (i.e. parochial vicar) is probably in his 30s, maybe late 20s. This under-35 priest loves St. John Paul II. He loves Latin in the Mass. He may have fallen away from the church in college, but he had a powerful conversion. He talks about sin and the beauty of confession in his homilies. He quietly tries to introduce Eucharistic adoration.

Does this sound like a parish you know of, maybe even your own?

It’s happening all across America. And it’s going to change the face of the church in this country.

Over the past decade I have met hundreds of seminarians and young priests. I can only recall a handful who didn’t fit the pattern I’m trying to describe.

And, of course, I have also met and studied under scores of priests over the age of 35 who are every bit as loyal and as dedicated to the Church as the young men I’m describing. We owe these priests an incalculable debt for their perseverance and for passing on the faith in its fullness.

We must also consider how many young priests in the 1970′s began their priesthood with stars in their eyes and orthodoxy in their hearts but changed their views along the way. Who knows how the rough and tumble of vocation lived out in the real world can alter priestly attitudes and sensibilities. So the way priests view themselves and the Church obviously can change over the course of a lifetime. But at the same time, I wager that today in 2015 we’ve already reached a critical mass of young, orthodox priests who will have a significant impact on the Church in America in ourlifetime, even if trends change eventually and the next crop of priests are less orthodox than the current set.

The saying goes that the church “outlives all heresies”, and the makeup of young priests in America is testament to the truth of that adage. I once heard a story about several seminarians complaining among themselves that their professor (an older priest) was misrepresenting scripture and trying to turn parts of the New Testament into proto-feminist propaganda. Most of the secondary sources they were assigned were published in the 1970′s. It was the beginning of the semester and the course was required. They were trying to figure out what could be done — they didn’t want to miss this opportunity to understand the scriptures more fully. Finally one of them suggested that the solution was that some day they would be teaching the course and when that happened they would teach it differently. The answer was not to overthrow the heterodoxy, the solution was to outlive it. I have never forgotten that perspective.

I think it’s impossible not to trace this quiet revolution to St. John Paul II, and in particular the 1993 World Youth Day in Denver. So many young priests trace part of their vocational discernment either to St. John Paul II or a World Youth Day (Denver in particular). This positive trend also appears to be more pronounced in America than in other parts of the world.

I think it’s also particularly revealing to note which bishops and religious orders are attracting the most vocations — orthodox ones. That’s why the Dominicans on the east coast are flourishing while the Paulist Fathers are having a harder time. Or why Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz can have over two dozen men in formation in a diocese that numbers less than 100,000 and another diocese did not ordain a single priest in ten years because the bishop refused to ordain another man until he could also ordain women.

One simple way of looking at all this is to say: if you are willing to put up with all of the challenging and difficult things that come with being a Catholic priest, you might as well be really Catholic.

The under-35 priest is not running the show right now. He is waiting in the wings, serving the church he loves. The vast majority of these young priests will not be old enough to be appointed bishops for another decade or two. But when they do, one of the pillars of an American Catholic renaissance will be in place.

===

What do you think? In your experience, are younger priests more likely to be orthodox than older priests? What are the dynamics in your parish and your diocese? What gives you hope for the future of the Catholic Church in America?

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Agendas Have Consequences

Back in my hometown of approximately 3,000 people up in North Western Ontario (aka The Backwoods) we only had one pizzeria. We also had a Ministry Of Natural Resources fire fighter base.  Their relationship was mutually beneficial: one day a week was designated as "Pizza Night". I don't know how many pizzas were ordered but it would have been a lot.



The owner of the pizzeria lived near the base. The fire fighters were transported to the forest fires by helicopters that usually took off between five and five thirty in the morning. As you can imagine, the pizzeria owner didn't get home before two in the morning so getting woken up three hours later by helicopters wasn't ideal.

One day the pizzeria owner complained. He actually requested the base to not send the helicopters until after seven so his sleep wasn't interrupted. From what I was told it wasn't a nice request either. The manager of the base responded by ordering pizzas from the nearest pizzeria an hour's drive away in another town.

That's how we used to settle things. Today there are human rights commissions, legislation, and biased media brainwashing the masses. Today the owner of the pizzeria would take his complaint to such a tribunal, get a favorable ruling, the fire fighters wouldn't get to the fire as early and more trees would be destroyed.

It's not supposed to make sense.

If I went into a bakery to order a First Communion cake only to be told by the owner that as an atheist he wouldn't be comfortable making a cake that went against his beliefs I'd gladly take my business elsewhere. I might even go to social media to let as many people know that Christians aren't welcome in that establishment. The baker and I are free to choose who to do business with.

That's not how everyone reacts though. Today you are likely to get death threats, arson, and demands the state intervene to close your business down.



The Left's obsession with a pizzeria in Indiana isn't about gay marriage, equality, or human rights. If it was they'd be harassing Muslim businesses too. It's not so much an obsession either - it's an agenda.

Scratch the surface of the more militants trumpeting the gay agenda and you'll invariably find socialists. Gay conservatives aren't demanding Christian bakeries or florists serve their weddings. Read the biographies of the militants and you'll find support for leftist parties, Marxist philosophies, and social engineering.



So how did some relatively obscure television news station in middle America get to such infamy anyway? It was no fluke one of their reporters drove half an hour to walk into Memories Pizza last week. My theory is someone on their staff had been in that establishment before. Maybe someone who works at the station is from Walkerton, Indiana or maybe someone was just passing through town and needed something to eat. The owners are Christians and display items of their faith in their restaurant. There's nothing illegal about that. It's something most people wouldn't notice or would quickly forget - unless you have an agenda against Christians.

When Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act was signed by the governor this television station saw an opportunity to further the agenda. Someone (probably the producer of the news program) wanted to 'catch' a Christian business person state they wouldn't provide service to a gay wedding, as is their right under the law. Someone else remembered the Christian items on display in Memories Pizza in Walkerton and off they went.

If this media outlet had any integrity they'd also be doing an expose on the following:

- A black photographer refusing to take pictures of a KKK rally
- A Jewish baker refusing to make a swastika cake
- A gay florist refusing to make arrangements for a traditional marriage rally

Don't hold your breath.



How many weddings have you been to that served pizza, anyway?

Western nations, democratic and capitalist, were established with Judeo-Christian beliefs. To rid society of democracy and capitalism you also have to get rid of Christian influence. Forcing Christian businesses to serve gay weddings isn't the last step. The next item on the agenda is to force Christian churches to perform gay weddings. The plan is those who resist will lose their tax exempt status and either close or suffer financial loss. Sadly, since churches are do a lot of charity work many of society's most in need will suffer.

Socialists believe they are the best provider of services to the needy. The entire Russian Revolution was launched on that faulty premise. They are also generally atheists, just as the Soviet Union was.



Religions appeal to a higher authority for moral clarity and guidance. Those living in contradiction to such teachings find other authorities. In our times that authority is the socialist state. Socialists aren't attacking Islam because that would be considered racist and their extremists kill you. Hindus and Buddhists aren't much of a threat and generally vote in blocks so there's nothing to gain by going after them. So the socialists have Christianity in their sights and won't stop until they've overtaken our society's very foundation. They want to control what we think, say, teach our children, etc, just as life was in the good old USSR.

Sexually "Wild Woman" Premier Kathleen Wynne said "It's certainly not how we behave in Ontario" in response to Indiana's religious liberty law. She's right about that. Since taking power in 2003, her party has lied ('No New Taxes') cheated (E-Health Emails) stolen (Oakville Natural Gas Plant) bribed (Sudbury By-Election) and now want to indoctrinate children into unChristian sexual behavior (Sodomy) with a curriculum authored by a convicted pedophile who's into incest.



As always, going back to Judas, the Church's greatest opponents have been from within. It's no surprise Ontario's publicly paid Catholic teacher's union fully supports the gay/socialist agenda since they accepted their bag of silver a long time ago.

James Ryan‏@OECTAPrez
Catholic Teachers welcome a new Health & Phys Ed. Curriculum which will give students the knowledge they need to be safe. #oecta #onted
RETWEETS55
FAVORITES23

6:13 PM - 23 Feb 2015

Unlike the fundamental basis of Protestantism, once you get in bed with the socialist agenda there is no picking and choosing doctrine. It's all or nothing:

Waterloo OECTA retweeted

Jerry DeQuetteville @jdeq · Mar 8
Happy International Women's Day. The attached infographic shows how much work remains to be done in Canada. #ETFO





I don't know if my home town's pizzeria and the forest firefighters ever reconciled but it would seem logical. The pizzeria lost business and the firefighters' pizzas weren't as hot or fresh as when purchased locally. Neither side had a hidden or ulterior motive against the other.

Reconciling isn't on the socialist menu. Even if Memories Pizza changed their mind and agreed to cater a gay wedding it wouldn't be the last news story. Christianity's opponents won't be satisfied until they have changed society and the Church. Just like the first radical, they too refuse to serve the source of liberty and freedom.

If our current pontificate is accomplishing anything it is drawing the curtain open on the wolves. The priest who has always spent more time with the social justice committee than in the confessional, the bishop who shies away in his chancery mansion, the cardinal pushing for Communion to the divorced/remarried, are all coming out of the woodwork.





Round Two of Pope Francis' Synod On The Family will put one side against the other. It won't be the first time leaders of the Church have been at odds - during the Arian Crisis 80% of the bishops didn't believe in Christ's Divinity. Did the laity even know their bishop was a heretic back then? Apparently most pewsitters didn't know the 'Spirit Of Vatican II' didn't call for all the changes thrust upon them.

If we were still pre-Internet when the Synod's midterm report came out most of us would not have known about it. Presumably most of the bishops would have just gone along with it. However, that's not what happened. The Great Equalizer, the Internet, responded and the threat quelled. Prior to the blogosphere, a bullying prelate would have silenced his orthodox critic.

The consequences of silence or acquiescence are real and present. The enemy wants your liberty; they want to be your god. Talk to anyone who fled communism if you still require more proof.

Theoden: I will not risk open war.
Aragorn: Open war is upon you whether you would risk it or not.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

When Extremism Meets Balance

Dialoguing Generations: Priests in Discussion

priestsFB: Hey Fr. Chris! Are you busy?
FC: No Fr. Brook, what’s up?
FB: I wanted to pick your brain about a conversation I just had with one of my parishioners. Do you know Sara Smith?
FC: Sure, I was recently talking to her.
FB: She mentioned that. She came up to me and withdrew from the RCIA team and said that you had encouraged her to do so.
FC: *sigh* I didn’t exactly say that.
FB: What happened? She basically told me that after talking to you she felt unqualified to teach at RCIA. It should be noted that she gave me permission to talk to you about this.
FC: Yeah, she called me and mentioned you’d be stopping by – I wasn’t sure about what though… She was planning on teaching that hell does not exist or that one day nobody will be in it to the RCIA candidates. I explained to her the teaching with regard to hell being inescapable, loosely connecting it to the parable of Lazarus and the Richman. She agreed with it as a conclusion. But I added that it was important to not teach arm-chair theology and that people who are teaching the faith should be educated on these matters.
FB: Please be careful to avoid administrating another parish that you are not in charge of. Sara is a valuable volunteer who has much to offer the candidates in the RCIA program.
FC: It was never my intention to provide dual-formation or to in anyway usurp your own leadership in the parish.
FB: Thanks for saying that Father. Would you mind convincing her to return to the RCIA process to be one of the catechists?
FC: I’d be uncomfortable with that Fr. Brook.
FB: Why?
FC: Well, I do take an issue with her teaching the class. For one, she herself no longer wants to, not because of what I said, but because what I said resonated with her. Second of all, for the reason I mentioned to her, which is that only experts on the faith ought to be teaching it: those who have a formal education in these matters.
FB: You young priests.
FC: What do you mean?
FB: You are all so obsessed with orthodoxy that you lose the real-focus of the faith: the heart.
FC: ouch
FB: Look, Fr. Chris, the damage you are doing to your parish and now my parish is discouraging the people from evangelizing others, and that has been the task given to us by your beloved Popes in the recent past.
FC: Fr. Brook, I feel some level of hostility. I understand that the paradigm I am operating from is different than yours. Would you mind giving me the chance to explain it?
FB: Fine. But all I see in it is the undermining of what a lot of good priests have spent a great amount of time building up as our culture in this diocese and throughout the rest of the western world.
FC: I think your desire and appreciation for the new evangelization is a wonderful thing, and I think it is something we are both passionate about. That is something to celebrate. However, I suppose what we are lacking is a fraternity of mind, rather than a fraternity of heart?
FB: I’m not sure. You younger priests seem to be so legalistic and obsessed with externals.
FC: I’m sure it might appear that way. But if I’m given the chance to explain the “why” behind what we are doing, perhaps we can develop some mutual understanding. Is that fair?
FB: Fine: why do you want to wear your cassocks, and black or purple vestments at funerals? You want to alienate everyone from the good news of the Resurrection?
FC: I hope that you don’t think that I consider the Resurrection bad news?
FB: Whether or not you do, that is what you communicate. You cling to all these traditions out of sentimentality, not deep faith.
FC: As I said, Fr. Brook, if you would give me the chance to explain my motives, I would appreciate that.
FB: You are locked up in an outdated Church. It is time to get with the times and unite yourselves to Vatican II and all its good changes.
FC: Fr. Brook, I think the conversation we are having right now will have to continue later.
FB: I thought you said you weren’t busy.
FC: I’m not. But right now, it seems that I’m only here to have my motives imputed by you. I’m not sure what good that will do both of us?
FB: I’m sorry Fr. Chris. I’m just frustrated.
FC: Me too.
FB: With what?
FC: I find that my generation and yours are always in a state of conflict. I don’t think that is an absolute statement about each priest in the two generations. But it is an over-all feeling. I wish we could be of one heart and one mind. When we are not, I feel as if we are divided against ourselves, and working against each other.
FB: That is exactly how I feel too.
FC: That is good to hear.
FB: Good to hear? You like me being frustrated?
FC: Not at all. Rather, I like knowing that I’m not in this struggle alone. Furthermore, the fact that you are frustrated tells me you actually care about me, the priesthood and the people we are to serve. If we were apathetic to our differences, you’d be a lone-ranger, neglecting your mission, as would I.
FB: Of course I care. What also frustrates me, Fr. Chris is it seems as if you young priests think you can’t learn from our own experience. I feel as if you are simply trying to wait until we all die so that you can take over.
FC: The thing I worry about is when you are gone, and we are left in the wreck of a vocation crisis. We need help Fr. Brook. I’m also worried about regaining people’s trust from the sexual-abuse Crisis that has been going on for generations prior to our generation became priests, and left unchecked. But I also realize that not everything that has come from your generation is a complete failure. I can’t even imagine how confusing going through the changes of Vatican II would have been on every possible level. Perhaps had I been in your shoes, I would have done the same thing. I’m not saying that “thing” would have been right, but perhaps I would have done it, being the weak-sinner that I am as well. I also think that every generation has its own unique set of being tested. And while ours at times judges yours quite harshly and with deeply rooted resentments, I’m sure that if we are not careful, we might make different mistakes of the same gravity?
FB: The sexual abuse has really been difficult for a lot of us priests. Some of these people were our friends, who betrayed not only the people of God, but our trust as well. It is one of the reasons I no longer wear my collar in public. I am ashamed of the priesthood at times, and I can’t bear to think of lifting it up to some sort of dignity amongst the people in the world considering the fall we just experienced.
FC: Thank you for sharing that Fr. Brook. That gives me a great deal of insight on an issue that has confounded me for some time. I wear my collar all the time, but my reasons are a bit different. Do you mind if I explain?
FB: Sure
FC: One of the Canon-Laws that we have is to wear what would identify us as a priest for the sake of making ourselves available as servants. I don’t really look at the dignity of the priesthood – which is Christ Himself – as something for public-adulation, but rather public-service. The white collar represents that, and in many ways has been a spiritual yoke for me, always reinforcing an interior motivation to be holy and an example to others, but also readily available to be present to the people.
FB: You mentioned Canon-Law. You realize that is merely ecclesiastical law, and not dogmatic, right?
FC: I realize that Canon-Law, has ecclesiastical laws that can be relaxed. But as I mentioned previously, there is a “spirit” to why the law is followed, and why it is there. I think there is also a spirit attached to being obedient to the universal law that has a mysterious benefit for the Church that sometimes goes beyond even our own comprehension of what makes a ministry fruitful. I think one of the fruits in our own spiritual life is that we give up our will and intellect to God through a concrete authority. That is a non-abstract authority, but a real one. And what liberation do we experience through such obedience!
FB: Your stress on obedience disturbs me. Obedience is often done by people who don’t want to know why the rule is there, but simply want to avoid difficult grey issues by making everything black and white. It makes religious people stupid and complicit.
FC: I think there will always be exceptions. Sometimes we shouldn’t obey an authority, especially when they are contradicting God’s divine law as maintained by the Church. However, I feel as if, Fr. Brook, that sometimes the exception-becomes the rule, meaning that people learn to purposefully excuse themselves from legitimate rules in order to live comfortably.  That is what I have experienced growing up.
FB: I’ve heard that rhetoric before. But God gave us a brain and he expects us to use it.
FC: Unfortunately, Fr. Brook, I’m not at that level of holiness where I have completely overcome the effects of concupiscence. Sin is still deeply rooted in my spirit – as scripture would call it: sins of the flesh. It affects my reasoning, and I have found that in the saints, they often prescribe humility as the solution. That humility to me has always meant that we do not cling to our own judgment, but rather defer to a more competent authority. But in that process we do need to discern the spirits.
FB: So I’m not humble?
FC: I didn’t say that. But I don’t think any of us really are. I was, nonetheless, merely speaking in principle, and in my own experience. Don’t you find, Fr. Brook that your passion can override your thinking-process sometimes?
FB: Well of course. I don’t mean to imply I’m not a sinner.
FC: Phew. I thought I might be alone in that category. Its  good to know I have some company.
FB: What I don’t understand Fr. Chris is all the focus on traditions that don’t seem to be part of our culture as a diocese. You know very well that habits for nuns and brothers, the usage of Latin with regard to the Ordinary parts of the mass, and the style of vestments you use are not common practices within your own community. Where is a spiritual obedience to the culture in that?
FC: I don’t think culture is ever meant to be stagnated or unchanging. I think culture is fluid, and I think it is important that we assess two things with regard to culture: what is unchanging and what is changing. As a priest, I had hoped that perhaps I could contribute to the culture, and not merely be put into the melting-pot. But I also want to maintain the immaterial, universal truths of the Church in the meantime. Those never change.  Furthermore, it seems evident to me that in the dioceses where they have resurrected these external practices, the vocations are increasing.  I remember once hearing a priest being invited to speak to a group of nuns on how to promote vocations.  This priest was the rector of a seminary in the United States who had a successful program, and it was filled to the brim with seminarians.  His first piece of advice to the nuns was to bring back the “habit.”  The superior of that religious order declared:  “We’d rather let the community die than bring back the habit.”  To which the priest responded:   “That is a viable option.”
FB: You cannot expect to just walk into a community and change everything without some fall-out.
FC: Change needs to be slow, sometimes. But when there is a crisis, I think it needs to be swift. I think it’s a complicated thing too, and sometimes situations are dealt with on a case-by-case scenario. Wouldn’t you agree?  And would you agree with a statistic that suggests 86 % of Catholics don’t practice their faith indicates that the culture in the diocese needs to be changed rather than kept the same?
FB: I agree. But I wonder why you think a vestment or some smoke will change the Church for the better. It is the heart that needs to change, not the externals.
FC: Could you imagine, Fr. Brook if Mary had said this to the Angel Gabriel. That we do not need a saviour in the flesh, that is visible, tangible, that is sensible, that is the image of the invisible God. Rather we merely need good-sentiments?
FB: But even Christ hated external-practices.
FC: Christ is an external. He couldn’t have hated himself. What he was doing, and correct me if I’m wrong, was teaching us how to allow there to be some consistency between our life in the Spirit and in the Body. As if, there could one day be a unity between the two of them, through grace.  In fact, He was put onto a hill for everyone to see.  He truly allowed His light to shine before others.
FB: You are saying that Christ cares about externals?
FC: Have you ever been hugged before Fr. Brook?
FB: Are you insulting me?!
FC: No! I’m not saying you need a hug…haha. I’m asking you if you appreciate hugs?
FB: One of the things I’ve learned in ministry is that touch is incredibly powerful. When going to the hospital, I like to hold the hand of an infirm person who is dying. I want to show them that they are not alone.
FC: Exactly. That is beautiful. And it is an example of exactly what I am talking about. External or sensible realities transmit love and grace. A person can have an encounter with Christ’s healing touch through their senses being activated through sensible worship. The ritual of the mass touches all five senses, and can transmit to that person what is actually taking place in heaven: Divine Love. It could go beyond even human love.
FB: But why are you and all the overly conservative seminarians spending so much time in adoration, when they could be serving Christ in the poor?
FC: How could we ever serve the poor if prayer were not a part of our life. Prayer is supposed to purify our hearts, so that our service to our neighbour can be truly authentic. But you raise an important point, something that I think we need to remember.
FB: What is that?
FC: We need to have a consistent spirituality between what takes place in the Church-building and what takes place outside of the Church-building.  Since we are the Church, regardless of where we are, we should make sure there is a consistency between both. The centre of our lives is the Eucharist, but part of the celebration of the Eucharist is bringing to Christ the sacrifice of our lives. That is: all the deeds, works of charity and mercy we have done throughout our day or week. If we neglect our brother or sister in a grave way, we, as St. Paul seems to imply: “Drink condemnation upon ourselves.”
FB: That is really good to hear you say. Although I do think that you also emphasize receiving communion in mortal sin is a bit out-dated and sometimes hyperbolic. People are not black and white, they are ambiguous.
FC: I definitely agree that people are ambiguous, but it is that ambiguity that is precisely the reason why such a person shouldn’t receive holy communion, especially when that ambiguity reaches a gravity that is significant. When a person is in mortal sin, it does not diminish the fact that other actions might be done in good will. For instance, a murderer might still care for his children. Nonetheless he is still guilty of murder. It is that ambiguity that is intolerable to God. A spiritual schizophrenia, where God is blessed and cursed by the same heart. Consider how Judas kissed Christ – a sign of love, an external sign of love, meanwhile in his heart there is betrayal.
FB: I do not believe that the majority of people commit mortal sins. I often tell them this in confession. Most people would agree that they don’t explicitly hate God in-the-act. Their mind is not on hurting God explicitly, but on something else.
FC: Mortal sin is as much of a possibility as is love.  It is a radical possibility.  One does not need to explicitly or consciously be hating God in an action in order for it to be mortal. In fact, it is part of our freedom to silence our conscience so that we don’t think about the logical consequences of an action we take. For instance, a murderer might not think of all the people he is harming when he kills another man, including the man he kills. But he allows only a convenient flow of information to inform his conscience so as to appease his own passions. This very act of willful ignorance or rationalization is a hatred for all those people, it is a type of choice-neglect, a willful disregard for the good of another.
FB: You seem to have a logical answer for everything.
FC: Thank you.
FB: It wasn’t meant has a compliment. I don’t mean to be rude Fr. Chris, but logic will only get you so far.
FC: And passion will only get us so far as well. I think neither the intellect nor the heart are entirely redeemed. But I have found reason helps me to encounter God in a way that also guides my passion through proper discipline. I think passion is like the flow of water, and reason and truth is like the banks of a river. Truth is definitive and limited, and the passion of the water is what gives it life and meaning. When you put the two together, you get something that moves in a particular direction. But if it’s just passion, I think what happens is you get nothing but a body of water that moves nowhere, a body of sentiments that changes nothing, and resists change at all costs: its comfortable and doesn’t involve risk. And when all you have is a trench, or the limits of a river but no water, you have what Christ called a white-washed tomb. Nothing but death.
FB: I can’t say I disagree with your point. I sometimes get the impression that with all the traditions you guys are bringing back, that all you are doing is digging a trench.
FC: God forbid it. Can I tell you about an experience I had in my first parish?
FB: Sure.
FC: Our youth went to Steubenville Ohio for a conference. Many of them had an experience of Christ, most especially during adoration. And for many of them, that experience changed their whole life. They encountered God as a healer and lover of their soul. When some of those youth came back, during periods of adoration, some of them experienced ecstasy and visions of God. It took about an hour to snap some of them out of it. When you talk about adoration as being archaic or unimportant, and I see how it has changed this person who has now developed into a full blown Catholic, evangelizing and actually doing some mission work. In this sense, I am judging this practice by its fruits.
FB: I see your point. I’m not against adoration. I’m just against having only-adoration.
FC: As I said before, I agree with that point.
FB: We’ve gone off topic. Let’s get back to the original reason I’m here. Sara.
FC: Okay. As I said to Sara, I have no problem with her helping with the RCIA, or even offering a testimony pertaining to her faith. But when it comes to catechesis, I don’t think it makes sense to have a uncatechised person catechize.
FB: That is a judgment that belongs to me, Fr. Chris.
FC: Are you aware of what she was planning on teaching to the RCIA class?
FB: I believe I had assigned to her the task of judgment, heaven and hell, and purgatory. She is always praying for the souls in purgatory, so she seemed like the perfect candidate.
FC: Are you aware that she was going to teach the same heresy Origen taught that was condemned by the Church? The notion that one day hell will release the souls of the damned?
FB: Hmm. I wasn’t. But in the broad scheme of things, does it really matter?
FC: You asked, so I’ll answer. Yes, it does matter. We should be aware of the inescapable consequences of sin that could devastate a soul for eternity or reward a soul for eternity. If you were selling someone a car and said: “This will not get you to your destination, but will leave you stranded in the desert where you will die” do you think the salesman is right in telling you this?  Of course.
FB: As a Church, we no longer emphasize this anymore. It causes a person to only promote a relationship with Christ that is purely fear based.
FC: I often hear that criticism, but I couldn’t disagree with it more. Fearing the loss of God is a sign of a love of God. We fear losing what we love, do we not?
FB: Should we fear that God would abandon us? That doesn’t seem healthy.
FC: That is an evil type of fear, the type of despair that makes us doubt God’s Love. Christ felt it in his bones but did not give into the passions of such abandonment.
FB: So what kind of fear is holy then? Fear of God really means a reverence for Him.
FC: Yes, and if we revere the goodness of God, if we have a deep love for who God is, we would want to avoid anything that might cause us to not be with Him for eternity. God never abandons us, but we abandon Him, and it is in that freedom that He permits that fear can reasonably exist. God does not kidnap anyone of us into heaven.
FB: That is a different way of putting it. But don’t you think we should be spending more time talking about how to fall in love with God rather than fearing walking away from Him?
FC: I think both need to be discussed: don’t you? Christ after all spoke more about hell than anyone else in the bible. I suppose that was because He loved us, and wanted to protect us from danger. Isn’t there love in that very action! We have a God who saves us.
FB: I understand that God saves us. But this preoccupation with sin is unhealthy.
FC: How can we ever fall in love with God if we don’t grasp the depravity of our sin? We would cheapen the gift of his mercy.
FB: What do you mean?
FC: God forgives our sins. But we would never appreciate that gift if we didn’t spend time realizing we don’t deserve forgiveness. Instead, we would fall into the trap of presumption.
FB: I’m dealing with a lot of people who are in despair. They grew up in a Church that made them think swallowing toothpaste before mass was a mortal sin.
FC: This is another example of making sure we focus on both sin and mercy. But there is Love in focusing on both. I’d add that it sounds like sin wasn’t really the focus, but rules without the spirit being united to it?
FB: I’m beginning to get the impression that you actually do care about the people and the spirit. But when I see the externals come back, my automatic reaction is to go back to that place where things were done for their own sake. Rules for rules, that is what I’m reacting to and trying to avoid.
FC: May I be completely direct with you Fr. Brook?
FB: I have been, so it would be unfair for me to not extend you the same favour.
FC: Thanks. I don’t mean this to sound rude: but what you just said to me outlines a complete ignorance of what my own generation of Catholics has experienced in our world. In your own words you are “reacting” to an external, but it might also be said you are reacting to a generation of Catholics that isn’t mine. Is it perhaps possible that you are projecting your negative experience of traditions without the ideology behind them upon my own generation?
FB: It was not my intention to misjudge your generation. But when I see the rise of externals, I always associate them with a legalistic attitude.
FC: And that is where I want to introduce you to another possible category: that there is a world where the spirit behind the external and the external itself can be united, and through that unity can transmit to others a grace. But when we have a visceral reaction to the external as a result of generational baggage, that grace is blocked and shut out.
FB: You are saying I have baggage?
FC: I think everyone does. I do. I know sometimes I struggle with resentments of the past generation of priests, and the trail of wreckage they have left behind them in the Church. But I’ve come to the conclusion that resentment is not a fruit of the Holy Spirit, and I’m doing everything I can to make sure I’m not reacting myself. I think that some in our generation have slipped into that trap. Especially those in the SSPX or those who condemn the Novus Ordo, the Ordinary Form of the mass. But I also don’t think that everyone involved in the Traditional Latin Mass have that same demeanor, and that community needs to be served just as much as everyone else. Sometimes they are treated like lepers by the Catholic Clergy. And when people are isolated and mal-treated it naturally creates a temptation to become resentful. It is funny how by resisting what is legitimately permitted in the Church ends up polarizing the situation even further. Extreme begets extreme.
FB: You mentioned a lot of things there. You also mentioned earlier that your experience of the Church wasn’t the same as I had mentioned. Could you tell me a little more about your experience of the Church?
FC: I’m blown away by you asking me that question. You are the first priest who has ever wanted to know where I was coming from! Usually we are just told the way it is by the Power-base.
FB: Power-base?
FC: Sorry that is a term I had learned from one of the priests who spoke to us at the CCCB organized event for newly ordained priests in the Ontario region. It means the Vatican II generation who for the most part are in “power” right now.
FB: It sounds a bit derogatory and inflammatory.
FC: Typically having power involves a knee-jerk reaction from people. I suspect that the title was given to remind people of the dynamic of power that exists. The newly ordained are not in charge, and you are. That will naturally create a power-dynamic amongst the clergy. Some may be intimidated, especially if there is an abuse of authority, or a paradigm difference.
FB: Sometimes I am in my mind still thinking of what we went through with the past generation of priests that I forget what type of power and authority we have.
FC: That seems normal. But I think that there are things that have changed in the culture. You asked me what my experience was like, I’d like to share with you a couple of things.
FB: sure.
FC: Growing up I rarely ever encountered friends in the Church who agreed with the Church’s teaching. Rather, we had everyone making up their own mind about what the truth was, without the guidance of the Church. People naturally looked at the authority of the Church as having no divine authority, especially considering all the sexual abuse scandals that seemed to dethrone us from having any moral authority. So as a result people have no sort of fraternal unity, because none of them are united by any truth, but everyone’s individual truth. That sounds abstract, but let me explain the impact it has on us, which is very real: we are lonely. And when we go to the Church, we look for refuge from the cultures radical-individualism. If the Church is truly united in the creed and all that is a consequence of it, we finally belong to something that fosters genuine unity, not just in the heart, but in the mind as well. Without a common-mission, we are always working against each other.
When we see priests in their collar what we see is a hero: a man who rises above the culture and is willing to be a sign for us of that unity and fraternity we deeply long for. When we see nuns in their habits, it is the same thing: instead of a bunch of individuals, we see a community that wants to express its solidarity like a light shining in the darkness.
That fraternity needs to be visible and tangible since the individuality in our culture is also visible and tangible. It means nothing if the spirit itself is not in it, of course, but again, its about both of them going together. Habits, cassocks, collars, vestments, and tradition all speak of something even more deep and profound: a fraternity with the past: with the history of the Church. Not only do we belong to a current trend in our contemporary culture, but we belong to something historical, something that is culturally grounded in the history of civilization as we know it today. And lastly, that not only do we belong to a cultural reality, to something deeply grounded in the identity of the past, but something created by our infallible and all-loving God: something Divine in its nature.
FB: Wow. So it isn’t just about some sort of sentimentality. Do you judge priests who don’t wear their collars?
FC: I try not to, but I struggle with it for a few reasons, as I mentioned before. One of the reactions I have inside of me is that when I see a priest not wearing their collar in public I immediately feel the disunity in the priesthood, and the lack of fraternity which runs even deeper.
FB: What runs even more deeply?
FC: Liturgical norms in each particular parish vary. The laity are greatly frustrated with that. I often hear men saying: “Every priest says, ‘this is the way to celebrate mass’ and yet every priest celebrates differently.” We both know that there are a variety of acceptable situations that are legitimate, and then there are acceptable situations that are not legitimate, and then there are unacceptable differences that are always illegitimate.
As the phrase goes: when you give an inch people will take a mile. People want to belong to something transcendent that is a basic design of any human being. But when each church does everything different, or each diocese, it merely buys into the culture of radical individualism. When we see that, we want to run far away, as it will merely offer us everything the world offers us already.  It is that tough balance that we need to somehow strike. And I think examining the radical-individualism of our culture today, whether people want it or not, we need more of a stress on what is universal.
People don’t go to Church today, in our diocese, and I think part of the reason is they don’t find anything much different from the culture there. I think people are looking for something unworldly, something transcendent of both history, and of the world.
FB: St. Paul teaches that the Church is dynamic, and that everyone is different for a reason, and through that difference we develop unity.
FC: Absolutely. That is why I think uniformity is not always a good thing. But growing up in the Church there wasn’t much of it. We are attempting to bring it back moderately.   I think using the professional standard applies here.
FB: Professional standard?
FC: In order to discern if we have our priorities straight sometimes it’s helpful to compare the expectations of what exists in the world and to the Church. For instance: the statement goes; “Come as you are.” And we assign this to God. I think it’s a fair statement…but the question I would ask is: “What do we have the potential to do when we come?” It seems unreasonable to give a future employer more respect than God in how we dress.
FB: I try not to judge people based upon the clothing they wear.
FC: Does that extend to priests who wear cassocks?
FB: Touché
FC: I think we can both agree that wearing clothing is important. It certainly is mentioned in scripture. My question here is what the motive behind the clothing we wear is, is it appropriate given the various circumstances we find ourselves in. If someone wears something simple and is not dressed up well, is it because they want to be in solidarity with the poor or is it resulting from a lack of reverence for Christ? If a person dresses in their best, is it to show off their bling or to give honour to Christ. We can both agree that the motives might be bad in both situations, and we can both agree that perhaps there are two different legitimate ways to dress for mass. But we must both agree that the motive is important, and that some clothes are never appropriate: like a bikini or a thong, or boxers or showing too much skin, or a shirt with graphic images that are inappropriate (everywhere).
FB: ha…the standards do seem to keep getting lower. I can agree with you on that. It is nice also to note that you promote a certain clothing to be in solidarity with the poor. Franciscan Habits have always reminded me of the importance of being in solidarity with the poor and not being obsessed with externals.
FC: It is interesting to note that St. Francis actually noted the incredibly evangelical dimension to externals that he would dress in something that was a sign of great poverty to convey a spirituality. But St. Francis also spoke very highly of the importance of gold chalices and beautiful vestments.
FB: Really? I thought he was all about poverty in the liturgy too?
FC: No. St. Francis of Assisi insisted that poverty be a way of life, but reserved the sacredness and riches of the Church to the Eucharist and its celebration. It is interesting to note that St. Jean Vianney was the same way. I recently went to a Social Justice meeting, and a woman was complaining about all the statues and art within the Church. She went on about how all the younger priests and some older priests don’t care about the poor at all. She then spoke about selling all the art and giving it to the poor, and bringing back clay vessels for mass. She missed the whole point. I stood up and said, “Everything in the Church belongs to the poor. What doesn’t is what exists in the rectory. We should be selling all the lavish things that we priests have in the rectory before we start taking away from the poor and the Lord in the liturgy.” If we as priests really want to be in solidarity with the poor we won’t use the liturgy to convey this, but we will live it out in our way of life.
FB: But we aren’t monks.
FC: Nor was St. Jean Vianney
FB: But he is an extreme example and part of the past.
FC: A saint, worthy of honour who sets us an example. Just because he is in the past doesn’t make him irrelevant, just as Christ’s past doesn’t make Him even more irrelevant.
FB: What I mean is that we have a tendency to go to extremes with the spiritual life.
FC: That is true. However, I think sometimes people say that as a way of escaping a legitimate spirituality. When I clean my bedroom (which is often messy) I think it looks clean. Someone else comes in and says, “Wow you are messy.” I think to myself: “I just cleaned it…” My point is this: when we live in a spiritual mess, we begin to look at mediocrity as excellence, and excellence as extreme. I think the saints often had to deal with the same criticisms we might give the saints of the past today.
FB: Why do you think we aim for spiritual mediocrity today?
FC: First, 86 % of Catholics in the diocese of London do not practice their faith. So the majority of the Catholics baptized and confirmed don’t live up to the bare minimum. Then when mass is celebrated I rarely see the ideals being lived out. The Church teaches that “Gregorian chant” is preferred. But most of the lay-faithful never hear it. According to Vatican II and since Vatican II the faithful were expected to know how to participate in the mass with Latin in the Ordinary parts of the mass. If you sing the Agnus Dei today, it’s a huge change. We don’t use incense, and if we do, we rarely use it at the most important part of the mass:  the consecration.  Altar servers often don’t get trained very well, in some places they don’t even wear Albs. And this is the standard we live by in the Church building. If the standards are set low, it sends the message that what is taking place is not of great importance.  Therefore it makes sense that about 70 % of Catholics do not believe in the true-presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Even our social-justice events rarely speak the name of Jesus and give him the glory in such activity.  We have pushed God aside as a politically incorrect name to avoid mentioning.  We are purposefully making Christ anonymous, and someone who loves Him wouldn’t do that…ever.incense-and-icon
FB: You’ve given me a lot of things to think about Fr. Chris. I don’t know what to make out of this last comment. It somewhat bothers me. But I’m going to think about it.
As for Sara, I think it’s clear that her teaching something erroneous was not a good idea. It seems to me that we have a lot more to talk about. I’d like to share with you more of my experiences of the past as well, so you might understand where we are coming from too.
FC: I think that would be a good idea. Of course, we should also get some of the Pre-Vatican II priests in here if we can as well to let them speak too. I realize that these categories can be demeaning, since not everyone fits neatly into each box we might label them with.