Cleansing Fire

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Not What I Would Consider Rolling Out the Welcome Mat

November 26th, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

A St. Thomas the Apostle parishioner shares the story of their first week worshiping away from home following the “closing Mass” a week prior. This past weekend, a large number of STA parishioners chose to worship at Christ the King in order to give that community a shot (see, the orthodox aren’t closed-minded and living in a cave like some wish to think). Here is their experience:

“The 10 AM Mass at CTK was pretty crowded today.  I got there about 9:45 and the parking lot and the spots in front of the church were pretty much taken.  People stood in the back during Mass.” [Remember that the ample St. Thomas the Apostle church, which seats 1,000, was not chosen by Fr. Tanck and the planning committee. Now situations such as this will prove problematic in the remaining, smaller churches. Then again, perhaps they are expecting their bouncy 5 PM Mass to relieve the overcrowding. The only Mass at STA was taken away so that there can be this extra Mass at Christ the King]

“The music director mentioned that the young children will be able to participate (during designated songs) with rhythm instruments that were passed out before Mass. …  The instruments I saw reminded me of baby rattles.  She said they could be used with the beat of the music.  (I wonder how many little children are musically gifted, and I wonder how many little ones won’t end up putting some of the instruments in their mouths. [A good concern with regard to the spread of germs and choking hazard for younger children])  They are to be put into an adult’s pocket after completion of the song, and then returned to a basket after Mass!”

“Fr. Tanck processed up the aisle and before making the Sign of the Cross, said there were new people in the pews and for everyone to turn around and greet each other.  Of course, the moments of greeting felt excruciatingly long and when Father started into the Mass, you could hardly hear him (people were still talking).” [While Mass at STA was reverent and focused on God, the first journey for many of these people to CTK revealed a more man-focused community. It’s also disappointing to hear that the people do not realize to keep quiet once the Mass has begun]

“We saw no signs of any STA traditions being incorporated into the Mass.  (Back in August Fr. Tanck mentioned that an STA style potluck dinner might occasionally follow the new 5 PM Sunday Mass.  I wonder if this is the only “tradition” they thought worthy of incorporating.  Do you think Fr. Tanck would like to borrow the STA torches that were used in the recent Rosary for Vocations and Benediction?  Somehow, I think most folks would think the torches out of place at CTK.” [This is a complete lie from Fr. Tanck. They had no intention at all to incorporate traditions from St. Thomas. Rather, the whole thrust behind the merger was to force conformity upon the STA parishioners, and to press these people to embrace the “Spirit of Vatican II.” Don’t believe this is their intention? Then how come the only STA parishioners on the bloated parish staff is relegated to the duty of “business manager”? All the liturgical/pastoral positions were given to members of the other four parishes.]

“just before the young children left during the Liturgy of the Word, Fr. Tanck had the members of the congregation stretch out their hands to participate in the blessing.” [Seems inappropriate, since lay people may not confer blessings within the Mass. The Congregation for Divine Worship has addressed this issue]

“The whole Mass felt like a stage production.  I know that different people like different styles, but this Mass paled in comparison to the “last” Mass at STA.  Maybe this “upbeat” music has its place (e.g. a school concert in an auditorium), but whatever happened to elevating our minds and hearts to another place–the realm of God?  Songs like Panis Angelicus and Ave Maria seem to help me.” [The churches which embrace the Spirit of Vatican II have little in common with those who embrace Catholic tradition]

And the most troubling of all…

Fr. Trovato concelebrated the Mass with Fr. Tanck.  Fr. Rice was saying the 9:30 Mass–not somewhere else in the new BKT parish, but instead at St. Andrews!  Guess there is a surplus of priests in Irondequoit!  I can’t believe we aren’t allowed even one Sunday Mass at STA!” [For all the hooey about a priest shortage in Irondequoit, there seem to be an awful lot of concelebrated Masses lately (something which should be rare anyway). So let’s see… no priest shortage, and no financial difficulties at St. Thomas. Why again were they closed?]

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36 Responses to “Not What I Would Consider Rolling Out the Welcome Mat”

  1. avatar Anonymous says:

    That liitle blurb in the Holy Cross bulletin doesn’t mean anything. When I go to Mass at various churches in my area, and people don’t kneel when they’re supposed to, I take it upon myself to kneel anyway. What next, Fr. Wheeland will put in the bulletin that everybody has to hold hands during the Our Father? This diocese is a COMPLETE JOKE!!! Can we please have that list of orthodox parishes on this website again? It won’t take up much space.

  2. avatar Monk says:

    Dr. K…. With so many STA parishioners showing-up at Holy Cross (fleeing Fr. Tanck’s parish), Fr. Wheeland is making sure that their “rigid” practices don’t infiltrate his parish. How sad that he can’t accept them as they are…..they would enrich his parish greatly if given half a chance.

  3. avatar Monk says:

    This is a complete lie from Fr. Tanck. They had no intention at all to incorporate traditions from St. Thomas. This statement pretty much sums up the way STA parishioners have been dealt with right from the get go.

  4. avatar Choirloft says:

    Dear STA parishioners – I would like to extend to all of you an invitation to attend the Traditional Latin Mass. Perhaps you would consider making this your regular place of worship. It is quiet, reverent and, obviously, very traditional. Per the rubrics, Holy Communion must be received kneeling (if possible) and on the tongue only. Like you, we too believe that the House of God should be a place of devotion and not a place of commotion.

    Our Mass time is 1:30 p.m., this will give you time to sleep in later on Sunday morning, attend Mass and still have a good share of the afternoon for family obligations. Mass is celebrated at St. Stanislaus Church at the corner of Hudson Avenue and Norton Street. Parking is across the street from the church or, in the back parking lot off of Saint Stanislaus Street. There are restrooms and a full security staff, along with a elevator for those in wheelchairs or who have a hard time negotiating the steps. Confessions are usually heard after Mass.

    There is a excellent book table with a wide range of good, solid Catholic books and literature. There is even a “sale table”. We have High Mass once a month. The next one will be December 12th.

    Like you, we love our Catholic tradition and we would be grateful if you would consider attend the Traditional Latin Mass. There is plenty of seating in the church and not a bad seat “in the house”.

    Thank you!

  5. avatar Mike says:

    The General Instruction of the Roman Missal states,

    The faithful kneel after the Agnus Dei unless the Diocesan Bishop determines otherwise.

    I have been told that Bishop Clark has determined otherwise and directed that the faithful in DOR continue to stand after the Agnus Dei.

    Does anyone know for certain whether this is the case?

  6. avatar Dr. K says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if it were true.

  7. avatar Mike says:

    If it’s true, then shouldn’t all DOR parishes be following that directive?

  8. avatar Anonymous says:

    OLV 10 AM, no “new liturgical practices”

  9. avatar Monk says:

    Isn’t it interesting that congregants are given the option to kneel after Communion but not before? Fr. Wheeland knows that there has been a strong resistance for standing after receiving Communion in other parishes that have tried this so he is willing to “bend” the rules. However, for the longstanding practice at STA of kneeling before Communion there is to be no option. Also, since the general norm is to kneel, isn’t this always an option regardless of the local norm?
    :

  10. avatar Mike says:

    Monk,

    Kneeling after the Agnus Dei and remaining so until one stands to join the Communion line has ALSO been a longstanding practice at Holy Cross. I suspect it dates back to the institution of the Novus Ordo.

    Fr. Wheeland has already received some flak over this from parishioners who read their bulletins prior to last weekend’s Masses and I suspect he’s in for a lot more this week from those who didn’t.

    One thing is for sure: He is not risking the certain wrath of many of his own parishioners just “to force conformity upon STA” (which is the motive Dr. K. – without any evidence – imputes to him). That would just be plain stupid.

  11. avatar Monk says:

    Mike,
    Thanks for the clarification Mike! At least Fr. Wheeland has the guts to try to establish a norm for his parish. In many parishes in the DoR, there is no norm established and so some parishioners stand while others kneel. To an outside observer, it looks really chaotic which should never be the case at the Mass. I applaud and thank God for Fr. Wheeland and his parishioners for being so open to the many displaced Catholics surrounding Holy Cross – including my family!

  12. avatar Mike says:

    Monk,

    Another possible scenario leading up to this change at Holy Cross has just occurred to me:

    Bishop Clark visited HC last Labor Day weekend to celebrate the 10:00 am Sunday Mass and there is no way he could not have noticed a few hundred parishioners dropping to their knees right after the Agnus Dei. If he didn’t see it happen (unlikely), he certainly would have heard all the rustling and wooden kneelers being dropped on the wooden floor. The bishop decided he didn’t like this show of reverence and leaned on Fr. Wheeland to put an end to it.

    Now I have just as much evidence for my theory as Dr. K. has for his – zero – but I ask you, which scenario seems more probable?

  13. avatar Monk says:

    I’ll have to admit – yours! See you at HC!

  14. avatar Dr. K says:

    which is the motive Dr. K. – without any evidence – imputes to him

    Now I have just as much evidence for my theory as Dr. K. has for his – zero – but I ask you, which scenario seems more probable?

    I did not state that I thought this was Fr. Wheeland’s doing. Obviously such orders are coming from above, meaning Bishop Clark. I will remove the Holy Cross clipping so as to prevent any further confusion.

  15. avatar Sfomo says:

    So standing after the Sign of Peace up until Communion emphasizes that we are ready to take Jesus out into the world. And kneeling emphasizes our unworthiness to receive Jesus. I prefer to remember my unworthiness. In the Eastern rite, the faithful say a prayer before receiving Communion pointing out their sinfulness. Can we ever be too humble before the face of God?

  16. Wasn’t it the USCCB that recommended these changes in regards to when to kneel and when not to? When we made the change (remain standing) after the Agnus Dei, we were told that the US Catholic Bishops instituted these changes.

  17. avatar Anonymous says:

    avoid liturgical BS, go to Mass in the Extraordinary Form!

  18. avatar benanderson says:

    IC – I think you’re right. I believe the universal norm is to stand and that the US has a special permission to kneel, with the local bishop being allowed to revert to the universal norm. I believe I heard that or read that somewhere, but don’t remember exactly where.

  19. avatar Gretchen says:

    When we moved to DoR from NC a couple years ago, I asked one of the priests at our parish here why everyone stood instead of kneeling between the Angus Dei and Communion. (It was causing confusion with my family.) He said that “the local ordinary can determine” whether the people kneel or stand and that here the bishop had determined that people should stand. (Where we lived in NC, everyone still kneels.)

    When we went to Mass in Italy this summer, everyone knelt after the Agnus Dei up until Communion.

    Where does that leave us?

  20. avatar benanderson says:

    interesting, Gretchen. Well, that invalidates my thought – I was thinking that they stood after the Agnus in Italy, but I’ve never been there, so what do I know?

  21. avatar Dr. K says:

    Let’s assume this is coming from Bishop Clark… Does he have anything to say about the rampant liturgical abuses at Assumption and St. Mary downtown? Or does kneeling after the Agnus Dei warrant more of his attention?

  22. avatar Gretchen says:

    Dr. K, I wasn’t trying to harp on kneeling vs. standing after the Agnus Dei, I was just trying to point out what we noticed happening elsewhere. Obviously it’s not the big issue here; it’s just another symptom of the big issue. Bishop Clark makes his own rules.

  23. avatar Dr. K says:

    Bishop Clark makes his own rules.

    Without explaining his decisions. When other bishops mandate something, such as moving the tabernacle to the central axis, they often provide an explanation for their decisions backed with scriptural and Church document references. Do we get that here?

  24. avatar Anonymous says:

    Bishop Clark has the authority to have his diocese stand after the Agnus Dei, which he did a few years ago. According to the USCCB, kneeling during the consecration is the norm (unless there is an issue regarding space/numbers/etc). No priest or Bishop can insist on standing during the consecration, but we are supposed to stand after the Agnus Dei.Holy Spirit Parish still kneels after the Agnus Dei. Of course, we pray as we believe.

  25. avatar Dr. K says:

    Can anyone furnish a document from the diocese pertaining to this?

  26. avatar Anonymous says:

    “Dr. K…. With so many STA parishioners showing-up at Holy Cross (fleeing Fr. Tanck’s parish), Fr. Wheeland is making sure that their “rigid” practices don’t infiltrate his parish. How sad that he can’t accept them as they are…..they would enrich his parish greatly if given half a chance.”

    Now you’re starting on Fr. Wheeland? Why don’t you just go to Our Lady of Victory where you will all be happy. No one is stopping you and no one will stop you kneeling or standing whenever you want to. Please don’t bring further division to our parishes.

  27. avatar Anonymous says:

    Anonymous 8:09 “bring further division to our parishes” What does that mean? What divisions have STA parishioners brought to “our parishes”? The only division brought to “our” parishes is the chaos of disunity brought upon all of us as a result of such a poorly administered DoR. The DoR is full of administrators doing whatever they want. That’s the problem, not the poor parishioners of STA. Shame on you for such a condescending attitude!

  28. avatar Anonymous says:

    This link explains Bishop Clark’s changes to the posture after the Agnus Dei.The change was implemented in 2003 by most parishes.
    http://www.catholiccourier.com/news/local-news/liturgical-revisions-get-under-way/?keywords=agnus%20dei&tag=&searchSectionID=

    Hope that helps clarify any misunderstandings.

  29. avatar Dr. K says:

    “In this instance, Bishop Clark has approved a recommendation from the diocesan Liturgical Commission for the congregation to remain standing. The overriding philosophy, Workmaster said, is “to not break the posture of unity. There has to be a common posture.”

    I still am not seeing a why for his decision. There could easily be just as much unity if all the congregation kneels after the Agnus Dei.

  30. avatar Anonymous says:

    “I still am not seeing a why for his decision. There could easily be just as much unity if all the congregation kneels after the Agnus Dei.”

    But that’s not what your bishop decided and it is his authority to decide, not yours. He is not required to explain to your satisfaction the reason for his decision. As conservative Catholics are fond of repeating, the Church is not a democracy. If a conservative bishop more to your liking decided the opposite, that the congregation kneel after the Agnus Dei as you prefer, you would be swift to tell Catholics who remain standing that they are being disobedient. You would not grant them the choice of posture you feel entitled to now. What would be the difference? That you agreed with the bishop which according to the rules of the Church has nothing to do with it. The bishop decides.

    I found this quote from the article telling.

    “However, the granting of certain exceptions does not mean that parishes and individuals are free to maintain their own variations. Although they may have begun innocently enough, Workmaster stated, “there cannot be parishes initiating their own customs.”

    That would describe the past variant practices at St. Thomas and currently at Our Lady of Victory where the conservative congregations choose the postures they are acustomed to and feel are most reverent. Regardless of the above quote Bishop Clark did not order the congregants at St. Thomas to conform to the rest of the diocese as he now apparently looks the other way for Our Lady of Victory. I think that is a wise move. It would be better for everyone if there were a few very conservative parishes for the minority of “orthodox” Catholics to feel comfortable in. The rest of us and I suspect the bishop would not bother them. If former members of St. Thomas wish to attend Holy Cross instead of the new Irondequoit parish that is their right and seemingly a logical decision. But if they expect Holy Cross to change its practices just for them that’s demanding too much. I don’t care but apparently it’s a big deal for everyone to do the same thing at mass. Former St. Thomas parishinors are demanding special allowance to do their own thing when everyone else is doing what the bishop instructed. By going against the diocean norm they are saying that the reject the authority of the bishop and the pastor, something they would rain fire and brimstone on other Catholics if they defied the kind of conservative bishop they are hoping for after Bishop Clark retires. As far as Fr. Wheeland and Holy Cross not being traditional enough, wow. I have attended the noon mass at Holy Cross many times over many years and have never seen anything that was not mainstream normal Catholic. If anything it is more traditional than most parishes. It reminds me of the church I grew up in. To come into Holy Cross or any parish with the expectation that everything should change to suit new members is arrogant and rude. Perhaps the word “infiltrate” is not far off.

  31. avatar benanderson says:

    @anon 7:15 PM
    much of what you say is attacking a straw man. I think you’re equating DrK’s inquiry into why Bishop Clark decided this way as a refusal to follow his orders in this particular matter. But I didn’t hear that refusal from DrK. It seems this diocesan norm is news to many people (it certainly is to me). If Bishop Clark wishes to enforce it, then I think everyone at CF would follow his orders. In many of the various parishes I’ve attended, I haven’t seen this norm put into place. So it’s not like OLV and STA have willfully been bucking the bishop in this regard while everyone else is in lockstep. Also, the only thing we have to go on here is a CC article from many years ago which doesn’t contain any of the bishops own words (maybe a few – I don’t remember).

    “However, the granting of certain exceptions does not mean that parishes and individuals are free to maintain their own variations. Although they may have begun innocently enough, Workmaster stated, “there cannot be parishes initiating their own customs.”

    actually, I think we’d all agree w/ that.

    It would be better for everyone if there were a few very conservative parishes for the minority of “orthodox” Catholics to feel comfortable in

    I’m not sure we’re quite the minority you think we are. Also, the vast majority of “us” just want to follow the rules. I personally don’t need anything over and above what’s called for in the rubrics.

    As far as Fr. Wheeland and Holy Cross not being traditional enough, wow.

    It seems you’re implying that everyone on the site is in agreement with that statement, but that is certainly not true. You’re basing this whole rational off of a few comments. Please don’t take those as representative of a whole. That is a great mistake is any discussion when you start saying stuff like, “you people are like”.
    It seems you’re doing a good amount of overgeneralization with your labels and sweeping statements. I’d ask that you stick to the direct topic.

  32. avatar Dr. K says:

    But that’s not what your bishop decided and it is his authority to decide, not yours. He is not required to explain to your satisfaction the reason for his decision.

    Did I suggest otherwise? No, I did not. You’re looking for something to pounce on that isn’t there. I said earlier that when other bishops have made decisions, they often explain why such a decision is for the better of his flock. What we get instead is this little piece in the Courier, with not a word from Bishop Clark.

    Also, why did you say “your” bishop? Isn’t he your bishop too? You seem to know an awful lot about the area parishes, so I’m assuming he is.

    That would describe the past variant practices at St. Thomas

    Let’s say one day a law is passed making it illegal for a person to wear blue jeans. That does not mean one can go back and prosecute people for wearing blue jeans in the past when such a law did not exist.

    It would be better for everyone if there were a few very conservative parishes for the minority of “orthodox” Catholics to feel comfortable in.

    You’re underestimating the number of “orthodox” Catholics in Rochester.

    The rest of us and I suspect the bishop would not bother them.

    And overestimating the number of people who think like you.

    But if they expect Holy Cross to change its practices just for them that’s demanding too much.

    I hardly think asking for the rosary to be recited after daily Mass is a demand that is unreasonable, especially if there are a decent number of STA parishioners coming over who would participate.

    everyone else is doing what the bishop instructed.

    Not true.

    As far as Fr. Wheeland and Holy Cross not being traditional enough

    Your words, not mine. I have no opinion one way or the other. There are things I like and things I don’t like, but that’s the same with almost any priest. Few, if any, are “perfect.”

  33. avatar Anonymous says:

    “It would be better for everyone if there were a few very conservative parishes for the minority of “orthodox” Catholics to feel comfortable in. The rest of us and I suspect the bishop would not bother them.”

    Anon 7:15 – I think that has demonstrably been proven false with the closing of STA.

  34. avatar Anonymous says:

    “It would be better for everyone if there were a few very conservative parishes for the minority of “orthodox” Catholics to feel comfortable in. The rest of us and I suspect the bishop would not bother them.”

    There is no place for the adjective”conservative” to describe Catholic. I absolutely hate when people do that. I thought being orthodox meant being Catholic; at least it should. “Right belief” is the proper translation of Orthodox. Being Catholic means having the “right belief.” If it means being the minority, then I’m all for it. I guess it also means suffering for it. It was that way for the Master too.

  35. avatar Dr. K says:

    Right belief” is the proper translation of Orthodox. Being Catholic means having the “right belief.” If it means being the minority, then I’m all for it. I guess it also means suffering for it. It was that way for the Master too.

    Very well said.

  36. avatar Sfomo says:

    I am a former STA parishioner who has been attending the weekday Mass at Holy Cross for years. To the best of my knowledge, no STA parishioner has demanded that Fr.Wheeland make changes for our benefit. As a matter of fact, on the first day that we were closed out of our weekday Mass, the STA parishioners who attended Holy Cross stood, as was our custom, for The Invitation to Prayer. We immediately sat back down when we noticed that the Holy Cross parishioners did not stand and we continued to stay seated at that time until
    Father announced in the bulletin that all should stand.
    With the exception of kneeling for Holy Communion and kneeling after the Agnus Dei (which many other parishes also still do), we were not so different. Yes, we try to maintain quiet in church and prefer that emphasis be more on the Liturgy than the choir, like many other parishes. I think our conservatism has been greatly exaggerated.


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