Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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Voris sums up CleansingFire in <10 min.

March 11th, 2013, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

Yeah, what he said:

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38 Responses to “Voris sums up CleansingFire in <10 min.”

  1. avatar annonymouse says:

    I’m not sure that I can argue with much of his content, but Mr. Voris sure seems mighty angry – not a whole lot of Christ-like love coming from this man!

    He might wish to spend some time meditating on the father’s love in yesterday’s Gospel from St. Luke.

  2. avatar Sassy says:

    Michael Voris went to Notre Dame?!!? Well, I guess I can forgive some of the pot shots he game them (as I have tended to do the same). I will need to check out ChurchMilitant.tv are little closer.

  3. avatar Sassy says:

    Oops…supposed to say “a” little closer.

  4. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    ok, I usually give my disclaimer in the post, but I got excited and forgot 🙂

    I certainly don’t endorse everything Voris says. I find his demeanor in these videos not to be a great pattern to follow. BUT I completely agree with his overall message and when he nails it, he nails it (as he did here).

  5. avatar Scott W. says:

    MV has zeal and strident tone and that stridency causes him to go overboard on a number of occasions. Not in this example at all and the accusation of lacking in Christ-like love is utterly without foundation.

  6. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    No one can deny Michael Voris got our attention.

    He is making an impact.

    Angry, Strident, accusatory?

    Sounds like an Old Testament Prophet.

    As he gets under people’s skin, let us pray for
    him, the people he attacks and the Church which
    He and We love.

  7. avatar annonymouse says:

    My point is this – we will attract no followers to Jesus Christ or the Church He founded if we are strident, angry and divisive. Yes, we must speak truth, and truth to power. That is our right and our obligation. But if we speak without love, we are noisy gongs and clashing cymbals.

  8. avatar JLo says:

    Voris is doing yeomen’s work. He doesn’t please you in his every sentence? He’s sometimes too passionate and never smaltzy or (heaven forbid) delicate in speaking of the matters he devotes himself to? I say thank you, God, for such passionate defense of your Church. I expect no perfection on earth, just honest aim. I say give this man a break as perhaps we look in our mirrors and ponder what we see there… how many of us reflect the wounded hands and feet and heart of Christ? +JMJ

  9. avatar Scott W. says:

    My point is this – we will attract no followers to Jesus Christ or the Church He founded if we are strident, angry and divisive. Yes, we must speak truth, and truth to power. That is our right and our obligation. But if we speak without love, we are noisy gongs and clashing cymbals.

    Again, you just feel its without love. Accusing a fellow Christian of lacking Christ-like love is a serious charge. And serious charges require serious substantiation, not feelings.

  10. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Forget about the messenger. Examine the message.

    Pope Benedict: The Rupture, false hermeneutic
    of discontinuity.

    Clerical indifferentism. Loss of faith in the Church
    Christ founded.

    Claiming this and that based on Vatican II yet the
    Council never declared nor intended the abusive
    This and that.

    Philosophical and theological presuppositions
    which undermine and empty out revelation and
    Sacred Tradition.

    Liturgical abuses.

    No belief that hell is real and a real possibility
    for those who die in mortal son.

    Thank you, Michael, for reminding us of the crisis
    of truth and the attack on our faith, morality and mission.

  11. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    Forget about the messenger. Examine the message.

    BINGO!!! I’d love people to take the same approach with CF. Don’t like our tone? Our black background? Don’t agree with 100% of what we say? Fine – that’s quite alright. But you can’t just ignore the message because you don’t like him/us.

  12. avatar Jim says:

    I think Michael Voris speaks with passion and integrity. He cares about the Church and its future direction. Is he TOO direct? When Jesus spoke with passion and conviction in the Gospels, we don’t accuse Him of being unloving. Sometimes Our Lord let certain people know, like the scribes and Jewish leaders, and even his twelve apostles, what He REALLY meant, without beating around the bush. Give him a break. We need more people to speak up for the Church.

  13. avatar Thinkling says:

    Not bad for MV. Typically vague (“many” etc. Names please!), hyperbolic (Michael’s Magisterium of Presumption) and clumsy (No Michael, altar girls are not comparable to dissent in seminaries or even lay homilies). But with the exception of Michael’s Magisterium of Presumption, he hasn’t elevated any of his opinions to doctrinal claims (e.g., this or more tellingly this). That is the usual danger and scandal that one needs to be wary of when partaking in CMTV. So better than many.

    For the most part I see the applicability towards your parish, as per the post’s title. Where I come from, OTOH, this message seems about 20 years out of date. If I were less well formed I would get a very wrong idea about our faith from this. To each their own then.

  14. avatar Diane Harris says:

    I agree that Michael Voris is like an Old Testament prophet. We are blessed to have him answering the call. This is what the world needs to hear in this day and time. “Nice” has for too long been the tone of interaction in our Church; it takes COURAGE to do what Michael does. And much RISK. I applaud him for both, and have learned a lot from him, and am braver in what I say as a result.

    Those who see anger in his demeanor are seeing the prophetic stance of righteousness in speaking up for God. Let us all remember that we too are called to roles as “priest, prophet and king” and it is up to us, in our own individual spiritual DNA, to find the right way. But, for sure, speaking TRUTH and making it sound like “just my opinion” is very wrong. If we are speaking Christ’s Teaching to others it is TRUTH and we have an obligation to speak strongly and accurately, without wavering. That is what Christ did. If our lack of courage causes us not to speak for Him before men, we are told that He will deny us before His Father. Our work is clear; so must be our resolve. And we need to encourage each other in that work. If we can’t speak to others with clarity and conviction, then we have an obligation to get catechized enough to do so.

    Christ’s turning over the tables in the Temple was a justifiable anger in defense of His Father’s House. When we write/speak of liturgical abuses we are helping to do what Christ did. When he called men “whitened sepulchres” or said they were full of dead men’s bones, He was speaking pretty clearly of the inner state of those who want to lead but not serve. When He said He’d rather we be hot or cold than lukewarm, wasn’t He warning about the risk of ambivalence delivering the fullness of the Church’s teaching?

    Let’s face it –what makes most people uncomfortable about Michael Voris is that he is doing exactly what we are all supposed to be doing and, if we were, then his words would sound exactly appropriate.

  15. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    My major beef with Voris isn’t really his tone or demeanor. I’m not a big fan of it, but since it’s a matter of opinion, it’s not a deal breaker for me*. The downside to Voris is that he is often wrong (as Thinkling pointed out). IMO, if you’re going to set out to do this type of work (old testament prophet style) you gotta do the research and make sure you are 100% correct… and when you realize you made a mistake and were wrong – you gotta recant. I think of someone like Jimmy Akin who goes well above and beyond to make sure he gets his facts straight. I can pretty much trust everything he says and be only a few clicks away from verifying it. It’s not the same with Voris – he shoots from the hip. But as I said, I do appreciate the overall message – which is why I posted this.

    * I think the angry demeanor can have a negative effect on some people who seem to confuse orthodoxy with anger-at-the-current-state-of-the-church. It’s just so easy to fall into sin in so many different ways and we must constantly be on the lookout. There is such a thing as bad anger and losing one’s peace and forgetting that God is in control. I’m not accusing Voris or anyone here of that sin, but I think “leaders” must be very conscience of possibly leading others down that path.

  16. avatar JLo says:

    Can you provide examples of MV presenting untruths? That would be helpful, else your charge, Ben, becomes “vague” as Thinkling charged Voris with. Without specifics from the two of you, we have only your opinions and derogatory commentary on the man. +JMJ

  17. avatar JLo says:

    Thx. Need to give a listen.

  18. avatar Jim says:

    I’ve only heard about a dozen or so of Voris’ teachings. This one though hits the nail on the head…I agree with what he said, and he isn’t afraid to lay it right out there…

  19. avatar JLo says:

    I listened, Ben. I see some of what you claim… dear me, mistakes! ???? … but I still think that given the huge body of work MV provides, the outright nasty condemnation of Thinkling and your mentioning reservations every time MV is even mentioned is somewhat over the top… IMO.

    Just want to mention that I like the novus ordo mass when celebrated in all truth, but I think the last time I experienced it thusly was on pilgrimage… with priests who counseled to not hold hands or raise them, who didn’t even pause for the sign of peace but went right to the Agnus Dei, who requested that we receive on the tongue (Fr. Pacwa in the Holy Land), who used no EMHCs, etc. I believe those additions and bad music and shout-out general intercessions (one could go on and on) are what MV was disparaging. Perhaps I gave him too much leeway in that regard; but all in all… ALL IN ALL… the man does a service to the Church and Catholics. What a shame to so seriously, snidely, and virulently denigrate him as Thinkling did, and for you to believe you must always provide a disclaimer when you link him and his good work.

    Too bad your post became about Michael Voris the man and not about the subject of needed reform he raised in his message…. a message you cheered. +JMJ

  20. avatar annonymouse says:

    If we are to rebuild the Church, drawing back the stray and drawing newcomers to Jesus Christ (and evangelization is our baptismal call!) then tone and affect matter. I cannot imagine that Mr. Voris will attract ANY to the Church with his strident anger, and I dare say that he will alienate many.

    And those in ecclesial power simply will not take him seriously, given his unconcealed level of anger, bordering on vitriol.

  21. avatar Scott W. says:

    If we are to rebuild the Church, drawing back the stray and drawing newcomers to Jesus Christ (and evangelization is our baptismal call!) then tone and affect matter.

    True, but there is a lot of room between when tone and affect are acceptable and when it is over the top.

    I cannot imagine that Mr. Voris will attract ANY to the Church with his strident anger, and I dare say that he will alienate many.

    Then imagine better. Believe it our not, there are many people that appreciate a blunt and uncompromising style and won’t wilt at language that is less than Mr. Nice Guy.

    And those in ecclesial power simply will not take him seriously, given his unconcealed level of anger, bordering on vitriol.

    All you have established is that you don’t like him. Fair enough. I concede that point. What you haven’t established by a long shot is his “unconcealed anger” or that anything in this video is unacceptable in content OR tone.

  22. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    The discussion regarding Michael Voris draws me in.

    I am not interested in determining whether he is ever mistaken, too angry,
    ineffective / unfruitful in drawing souls to the Lord Jesus, or whether Michael seeks vain glory by hearing himself talk and by watching him self on the internet.

    The first question we could ask for clarification sake has to do with understanding Michael Voris’ purpose. What is his service to the Church?

    Frankly, while he is apt to mention the mission of the Church and the salvation of souls, Michael Voris in the Vortex is not an evangelizer per se. (Because I am not a premium subscriber, I do not know his other programs. So my comments are based on what I have observed in the Vortex.)

    An evangelizer announces GOOD NEWS. Sure, appreciating bad news first could help one really appreciate the good news.

    The Vortex, however, is the place where lies and falsehoods are trapped and exposed. Voris announces BAD NEWS to believers.

    Doesn’t sound like he is about drawing unbelievers to faith, does it?

    Voris in the Vortex does remind us of Old Testament prophets, maybe even a little like John the Baptist. The Baptist had no fear calling a king an adulterer. Voris has no fear calling bad bishops BAD. Old Testament prophets had no fear calling idolaters IDOLATERS. Michael has no fear reminding Catholics that contraception, for example, is intrinsically evil.

    Still doesn’t sound like he is about drawing unbelievers to faith.

    The Old Testament prophets were called to bring the Children of Israel back to covenant faithfulness. No body likes being told he is unfaithful. Distasteful job telling people bad news.

    Is it necessary? Given the crisis of truth and the attack on the Church’s faith, identity, morality and mission, YOU KNOW IT IS NECESSARY TO EXPOSE THE FALSE.

    Maybe, hopefully, those of us who need to repent, will. That includes scandalous prelates, secularized nuns and lay Catholics who have been led astray for yearS.

    Evangelization is the Church’s first and most important service of love.
    The Church exists to evangelize. Many of the virtues and characteristics that annonymouse discussed are indeed necessary for announcing the saving announcement and for inviting inquirers to encounter, experience and surrender to the Only Savior of the world.

    Voris’ calling in the Vortex, however, is different. His role, his purpose is to trap lies and falsehoods so the rest of us will either become free of them or avoid them all together.

    While I suspect that our brother likes notoriety and applause, it really isn’t ours to worry about. (prayer is good, so pray for him and I would not rely only upon the Vortex for spiritual sustenance)

    Perhaps Michael Voris, out of love for Christ and his Catholic Church, is doing the best he can with what he has in light of his woundedness and crosses.

    Rather than being overly concerned with the messenger. let’s discern the message.

    It’s the message that matters.

    Try this one on for size: http://www.churchmilitant.tv/daily/?today=2013-03-12

  23. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    Thank you, Mr. Zarcone. amen.

  24. avatar annonymouse says:

    Dominic, you speak the truth. However, I will point out that anyone who watches/listens to Mr. Voris is at risk to take on similar strident, seemingly uncharitable attitudes. I think many of us here have been guilty of such attitudes – I know I have. Yes, we all must boldly speak the truth, as prophecy is part of our baptismal call (as priest, prophet and king). But we firt should have attitudes of humility and charity, should we not?

  25. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Annonymouse,
    Spiritual direction is not my competency.

    Yet, since you ask me a direct question I will answer as I understand.

    Are humility and charity attitudes?
    Charity is a theological virtue.

    Yes, both are necessary in the Christian life
    and in Christian service.

    Can one be charitable and strident?
    Is stridency necessarily a bad thing?

    Thank you for the discussion.

  26. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    A priest told me The Delivery Is the Message.

    I disagree.

    Sure, a speaker could alienate
    his audience because of a lot
    of reasons. Homiletics professors
    will insist the way one conveys does
    the conveying. (my professor used
    critical red ink to tell me I used
    “stained glass window” language…sigh)

    If I want to listen, reflect, discern and decide,
    I will no matter the delivery.

    Calvinist friends have told me the story of
    18th century revival in the colonies. In the most
    dead pan monotone, Jonathan Edwards read his
    sermon “Sinners In The Hand of An Angry God”
    Lots of conversions that day!

    When bishops oversee, Catholic schools teach
    Catholicism, liturgies are celebrated well, people
    love and forgive, the Vortex will go out of business.

    People are angry.
    Is it righteous anger?

  27. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    I don’t like the delivery and I wonder about pride and arrogance but I do think what he says is important. It confirms things I thought about the Church. This is something that cannot be swept under the rug and the extent of the rebellion needs to be told, not only to unmask the culprits but also energise the faithful so they can know their enemy and be more knowledgable in proclaiming Christ’s gospel.

    Once a roach is out in the open, they will not be as dangerous as when operating in the shadows.

  28. avatar DonCope says:

    I’m 74. What Voris says is so true. I have witnessed the destruction of our churches such as relocation of the tabernacle, ripping out of alter rails, removal of statues, conversion of pews to chairs, use of non noble metals in the liturgy, protestant liturgy in the new mass such as the prayers of the faithful and that extra prayer at the end of the our father. I have seen communal penance services where everyone gets absolved, communion shoved in your hand, non clergy giving sermons. Before the new mass, when you entered a church you were respectful and quite. People could pray. Now if one tries to pray before or after mass your thoughts are drowned out by ever increasing din of loud conversations and disrespect going on all over. Almost no one knows how to genuflect anymore as many genuflect toward the alter and not toward the tabernacle. In many churches we now have music provided by those playing pianos, guitars, horns and drums.
    A recent quote. “When the Protestants split from the Catholic Church in England in the 16th century, they changed the Mass to reflect their heretical beliefs. The altars were replaced by tables. Latin was replaced by English. Statues and icons were removed from the churches. The Last Gospel and the Confiteor were abolished. “Communion” was distributed in the hand. Mass was said out loud and facing the Congregation. Traditional music was discarded and replaced with new music. Three-fourths of the priests in England went along with the New Service”……………. Deja vu?
    When I was in the 8th grad in Catholic school, we had to attend Sunday Mass with our class. If we did not attend with our class we had to see the priest after Mass and get a ticket to bring to school on Monday to show we went to Mass. Someone once complained about that. Our teacher, a nun, said something like, “remember this, when you no longer have the Mass, you will regret ever complaining”. She must have seen the future.
    These days there is no teaching of our religion, no instruction in the faith. Of course the priests never taught religion, it was the nuns who did it. God bless them.
    I have to travel over 70 miles round trip to attend the only Latin Mass in Rochester.
    “Is it not true? With the suppression of our beloved, all-holy, Tridentine Latin Mass, we can easily see the rise of evil in the world, and the confusion in our own Catholic lives”.

  29. avatar annonymouse says:

    DonCope – let’s run down all the bad stuff you’ve cited, and try to discern which have been done in accordance with the Church, and which are abuses:

    Relocation of the tabernacle – for the most part, not an abuse. The rubrics call for the tabernacle to be placed in a prominent place, accessible for private prayer and adoration.

    Ripping out of the altar rails – The GIRM allows that communicants may be standing or kneeling. Generally, this is not an abuse.

    Removal of statues – I’m not familiar with a single Catholic church that has no statues.

    Conversion of pews to chairs – I don’t think what we sit on is specified in the rubrics.

    Non-noble metals in the liturgy – this is often an abuse. Glass, earthware, etc are not allowed.

    “Protestant liturgy” – prayers of the faithful are required by the Church, as is the “extra prayer” at the end of the Our Father.

    Communal penance services with general absolution – an abuse, to be sure.

    Communion “shoved” in your hand – I’m not sure what that would look like.

    Non-clergy giving sermons – first of all, Catholics don’t have “sermons” – we have “homilies” but it is an abuse for non-ordained to preach the homily at Mass.

    Well, that’s enough. I think it’s clear that much of what you don’t like is simply that – stuff you don’t like. But it’s important, isn’t it, that we differentiate among those things that are real abuses and those that are merely different than you were accustomed to, growing up?

  30. avatar Dr. K says:

    “I’m not familiar with a single Catholic church that has no statues.”

    Last time I checked, St. Paul in Webster does not.

  31. avatar Diane Harris says:

    Annonymouse and I have disagreed every time the subject of Tabernacle placement comes up, and I see no reason to stop disagreeing now. So, here it is again. But before I paste in the same text, which I still believe to be true, I’d like to note that not once did Don Cope use the word “abuse;” that is annonymouse’s word. Even if something doesn’t rise to some technical definition of a particular abuse, it is still very possible for a collection of actions to rise to the point of being abusive, even if none is a technical abuse. Anything that causes distraction in prayer, confusion in worship or less than optimum respect for the Eucharist can well be abusive, even if not a technical abuse. As I read Don Cope’s list I agree that the net effect of the compilation (and more I could add) is abusive to respect for the Eucharist, even if some are technically permitted. The loss of faith in the true and Real Presence (quantified by surveys) has tracked with the sub-optimization of worshipful and respectful practices. This Protestantization of Churches has taken fragile faith in the wrong direction, and been a stumbling block to many. Now, what follows is just what I’ve said before:

    “Redemptionis Sacramentum states, for the universal Church, and not just for the sake of the US Bishops, “130. “According to the structure of each church building and in accordance with legitimate local customs, the Most Holy Sacrament is to be reserved in a tabernacle in a part of the church that is noble, prominent, readily visible, and adorned in a dignified manner” and furthermore “suitable for prayer**” by reason of the quietness of the location, the space available in front of the tabernacle, and also the supply of benches or seats and kneelers. In addition, diligent attention should be paid to all the prescriptions of the liturgical books and to the norm of law, especially as regards the avoidance of the danger of profanation.”

    ** note: it doesn’t say “private” prayer, annonymouse. Prayer that is communal (like a rosary after Mass) shouldn’t have to crowd into a corner to be in front of the Tabernacle.

    Certainly the “legitimate local customs” for hundreds of years had been the Tabernacle in the MOST noble, prominent and readily visible position, which is right in the center of the church. “Local customs” didn’t begin with the abuses post-Vatican II; local customs were already in place. It was a departure from local custom to force the removal of so many tabernacles to a less noble, less prominent and less readily visible position. That is not to say that some of those new locations aren’t somewhat visible or prominent, but not as much as at the center of the Sanctuary. The high altar is (fortunately) still in the center of many Sanctuaries, although unused except for plastic ferns or (yes) a plastic pumpkin at Halloween, or maybe a live pointsettia at Christmas. It shows how far we have drifted from awareness of Christ’s Presence being missing in the most prominent place. It isn’t just where the Real Presence is moved to, it is what is put in the space where the Tabernacle had been, and on which all eyes inevitably focus during Mass. Pumpkins, plastic ferns and even flowers make a mockery of the noble position.

    And staring at a plastic pumpkin peering out from behind a priest celebrating Mass is hardly conducive to building respect for the Eucharist. And that is the point that I am making: the Eucharistic Presence is NOT prominent enough in many churches in the diocese, some priests don’t even genuflect when walking in front of the tabernacle on a side altar outside of Mass, so why shouldn’t people in the pew miss the most important point of all when the “source and summit” of our lives is relegated to a remote spot, treated like a relative who embarasses us? Since by your own words, you say there is “no preference,” then what possible objection can there be to putting/keeping the King front and center? The only legitimate exception I can understand is in churches with many tourists who might distract those trying to pray, interfering with the very purpose of Church. Otherwise, WHY move the Eucharistic Presence out of our sight?

    I have quoted Pope Benedict before, writing as Cardinal Ratzinger in The Spirit of the Liturgy: “The Eucharistic Presence in the tabernacle does not set another view of the Eucharist alongside or against the Eucharistic celebration, but simply signifies its complete fulfillment.” I recommend the reader go to http://cleansingfire.org/2012/11/fr-spilly-dissident-organizations/
    in order to read more of this argument. Annonymouse has supplied a quote from the bishops, but there are many other points I raised which have received no response.

    Moreover Pope Pius XII warned about lessening esteem for the Real Presence and action of Christ in the Tabernacle. He insisted that “To separate tabernacle from altar is to separate two things which by their origin and nature should remain united.”

    I applaud the efforts of faithful priests to bring Christ prominently back into the Sanctuary. The Real Presence is a key point of needed catechesis. I find no compelling argument either to remove the Real Presence from the most noble position, nor to resist returning Our Lord to a central position of prominence in our churches and in our hearts. As we worship, so will we live.”

  32. avatar annonymouse says:

    Diane, I went to the Fr. Spilly link – you still fail to see the difference, and you confuse, Fr. Spilly’s public dissent against the Church’s teachings and his placement of the tabernacle. In your eyes, they are equivalent. They simply are not.

    I will engage your specious arguments when I have more time. For now, two points will have to suffice:

    1. The United States bishops are the competent ecclesiastical authority on this matter. We are obliged to listen to them.

    2. The “source and summit” of our Faith is the Eucharist, the real presence of the Blessed Lord IN THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS – in the Mass at hand, not in the presence of the Lord made real at a prior Mass. Our full and active participation in the present liturgical action ought not be distracted in any way by our private devotion and prayer. There is plenty of time before and after Mass for our private prayer. But the reason we have church buildings is not for our private prayer (as your post makes clear you believe) but for our public, corporate liturgical worship!

  33. avatar Scott W. says:

    I’d like to note that not once did Don Cope use the word “abuse;” that is annonymouse’s word. Even if something doesn’t rise to some technical definition of a particular abuse, it is still very possible for a collection of actions to rise to the point of being abusive, even if none is a technical abuse

    Or what Rich sometimes calls, the “Please don’t eat the daisies” approach to liturgy.

    There is good news however over here in Buffalo. My parish is refurbishing the 1970’s sanctuary. Gone will be the featureless stained-glass; to be replaced with stained-glass depicting saints. Gone will be this massive and unflattering plaster bas-relief of Our Lord doing the “touchdown” pose. Gone will be our tabernacle that was off to the side, again made of plaster, that looked like a remedial art project. It will be moved front and center and be artistically better crafted.

    I had a brain wave about this: for many decades since the 70’s the emphasis was on ecumenicism, so church architecture tended to blur Catholic distinctives. The crucifix was too much of a reminder that the Mass is primarily a sacrifice, so we started using resurrected/ascending depictions of Our Lord. The Eucharist is the center of the faith, but that is off-putting (if not offensive) to our separated brethren, so we move the tabernacle off to the side or or even out of sight. We’ve been using proper precious-metal patens and chalices for awhile now, but many still use stuff that looks like average dining ware for that more ecumenical “meal sharing” view.

    But now we’ve turned a better corner. Since virtually every mainline denomination has gone off the rails into Secular Lefty Looneyland, there is simply no reason to pander any more, so we are seeing parishes move to recover Catholic identity. May it be so!

  34. avatar Diane Harris says:

    Thank you for the update, Scott! Praise God that some sanity is coming back. The people have suffered long enough.

    @ Annonymouse: For the dignity of the subject, at the very least, we ought not attribute motives or comments to each other which are not true. So, to begin, please stop reinterpreting what I said. Quote me, but don’t reinterpret me or attribute motives.

    I wrote what I wrote and I did NOT write that public dissent against the Church’s teachings and placement of the tabernacle “are equivalent.” I don’t even know how in good faith you could attribute that conclusion to me. And your accusation that I am making “specious” arguments certainly should be backed up when you “have more time.”

    For the sake of orienting other readers, I didn’t reintroduce Fr. Spilly; we’ve had enough of him. I simply posted about the placement of the tabernacle from a previous thread that had been about him, and I was faithful to the exact prior post by including it all. Good thing I did, because there is no mention of “equivalent” there either.

    To your other point, you wrote: “1. The United States bishops are the competent ecclesiastical authority on this matter. We are obliged to listen to them.” Actually, not so. For example, there are prudential judgment issues in which they keep getting wound up; we may listen but we are not obliged to follow. Yes, various bishops have permitted setting the Tabernacle aside. Under Canon 212 we can certainly make know our opinions, and we have no obligation to drop those opinions once we have expressed them, nor do we have an obligation not to repeat our opinions. My opinion is that removal of the Tabernacle from front and center of our liturgical life (where it was for hundreds of years) was a bad mistake and, just for the symbolism alone, Christ should be restored to the Throne on the high altar. That opinion is NOT disobedience. Rather, it may well come under a DUTY to reiterate that opinion to the bishops, asking and praying for change.

    Anonymouse also wrote: “2. The “source and summit” of our Faith is the Eucharist, the real presence of the Blessed Lord IN THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS – in the Mass at hand, not in the presence of the Lord made real at a prior Mass.” THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. The Lord who dwells in His Real Presence in the Tabernacle is exactly the same Lord Jesus Christ who comes to the altar in each Mass at the Hands of the Priest. He doesn’t get stale, or less Holy, or is there any diminishment of the reality of His Presence, whether on the high altar, in a corner, or in my mouth at Communion. Since He is the same Lord God, why should He be off in a corner?

    Annonymouse also wrote: “Our full and active participation in the present liturgical action ought not be distracted in any way by our private devotion and prayer.” I don’t actually see how the two can be separated. Maybe that is my inadequacy. I come into the Church and genuflect to Our Lord in the Tabernacle, wherever He is hiding, I say a prayer. I kneel down and prepare myself for Mass in private prayer. I bow in contrition for my own sins at the Kyrie. I ask my “brothers and sisters to pray to the Lord our God for me.” I hear the Word and take it to heart. The periods of silence such as after the homily are times we are to reflect in prayer. I pray “Credo (I believe)” not Credimus (We believe.) FInally that got fixed! Even the priest has silent prayers he says for himself during the Mass (as in washing his hands.) I place myself as an offering at the Offertory. I adore the elevated Consecrated Species quietly within myself. I pray “I am not worthy,” not “we are not worthy.” I return from Communion, and now I am a Tabernacle, and I adore Him in private prayer. I accept the final blessing, as does each other person in the church. How can you say private devotion and prayer is not an INTEGRAL part of attending Mass? How can you say it is a “distraction?” It is what makes for full participation!

    You continue: “But the reason we have church buildings is not for our private prayer (as your post makes clear you believe) but for our public, corporate liturgical worship!” Once again, you create a ‘straw man’ to argue against. You interpret what I said into what I never said, you audaciously decide what I believe. To clarify, obviously we would not need large buildings were we not to be attending Mass en masse, but given that we have those buildings and that Christ is truly presnet there 24 hours a day, 363 days a year (excepting Good Friday and most of Holy Saturday) why would we not want that to be one of our places for private prayer? But of course it is not the only place.

    There is nothing in what you have written, Annonymouse, that refutes the centricity of the Eucharistic Presence before, during and after Mass, nor is there any evidence that a practice of centuries has now become a “distraction.” What I don’t understand is why it is such a threat to some people to put Christ front and center, in the Church, and in their lives — public and private.

  35. avatar annonymouse says:

    Diane –

    When the Fathers write:

    According to the structure of each church building and in accordance with legitimate local customs, the Most Holy Sacrament is to be reserved in a tabernacle in a part of the church that is noble, prominent, readily visible, and adorned in a dignified manner” and furthermore “suitable for prayer**” by reason of the quietness of the location, the space available in front of the tabernacle, and also the supply of benches or seats and kneelers. In addition, diligent attention should be paid to all the prescriptions of the liturgical books and to the norm of law, especially as regards the avoidance of the danger of profanation.

    Taken as a whole (not prooftexting “suitable for prayer”) it is clear that they are asking for an accessible location (“by reason of the quieness of location, space available in front of the tabernacle, etc”).

    Admit it – you (erroneously) see moving the tabernacle off center as some sort of slight to Our Lord. You are asserting your personal preference.

    But I am not going to continue to argue with you. You are as closed to authentic Catholic liturgical theology as BigE is closed to the magisterial teachings on human sexuality.

  36. avatar annonymouse says:

    Well, one more argument – I point you to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1379:

    “The tabernacle was first intended for the reservation of the Eucharist in a worthy place so that it could be brought to the sick and those absent outside of Mass. As faith in the real presence of Christ in his Eucharist deepened, the Church became conscious of the meaning of silent adoration of the Lord present under the Eucharistic species. It is for this reason that the tabernacle should be located in an especially worthy place in the church and should be constructed in such a way that it emphasizes and manifests the truth of the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.”

    Hopefully you can see that the “silent adoration of the Lord” is a different action than what is happening in the liturgy, in the Mass, although perhaps you cannot. One is a private action; one is a public, corporate action. Yes, He is One Lord, but our involvement, our demeanor, our participation in each is intended to be very different, and that is why it is not required that the tabernacle be in the center (and why it is required that the altar of sacrifice be in the center!).

    That is why the priest kisses the altar at the beginning and end of Mass and not the tabernacle, or the high altar, and (during Mass) doesn’t genuflect in front of the tabernacle. All of these gestures are intended to convey meaning and emphasis. And during Mass the emphasis is on what is happening on that altar. Why is that? Because the action of the Mass is intended to not only change bread and wine into the Sacred Body and Blood of Our Lord, but it is also intended to change me and you into us, the living Body of Christ, the Church, empowered to go forth in mission to the world. To focus only on the first change and on the transsubstantiated species risks completely missing the second change, which is intended to be just as real.

  37. avatar Diane Harris says:

    Here we go again. First, I note that you didn’t answer any of the specific points I raised. No comment on Canon Law 212 as a reason and permission and even obligation to express our opinions and to keep expressing them? No comment on private prayer being integral to the Mass and the many examples I set forth? No apology for mis-quoting me? No response to my reply about exceptions to listening/obeying Bishops? Just a thematic restatement of the same thing? That doesn’t feel like dialogue.

    You wrote: “Admit it – you (erroneously) see moving the tabernacle off center as some sort of slight to Our Lord. You are asserting your personal preference.” Yes, I do see (in most cases, tourist churches excepted) moving the Real Presence off to an obscure corner as a slight to Our Lord. I absolutely admit it; I’ve been SAYING just that. And I admit it is my personal preference. I think that is obvious. But I do not admit it is “erroneous” as you attribute to me, but if it were, I’d rather be guilty of wanting to give too much to the Lord, rather than too little.

    You write “But I am not going to continue to argue with you.” Yes you will. You showed just that by posting again 45 minutes later. The following which you wrote is one serious example of not contributing to dialogue: “You are as closed to authentic Catholic liturgical theology as BigE is closed to the magisterial teachings on human sexuality.” Wow! How judgmental can one be? Unless it is what you teach and preach, somebody else is “closed?” You didn’t even bother to address any and all of the points raised. And I’m the one who is closed? But in my opinion your slam against BigE is totally uncalled for, someone not even a participant in this discussion, but it is similar to the way you’ve gone after BigE in so many other postings. Can you undertand that people don’t agree with you? And that disrespect for their opinions makes it all the harder for them to take seriously what you say?

    In your post at 2:53 PM, your second paragraph seems to be a complete non sequitor to your first paragraph, from the Catechism. The second paragraph isn’t logical — two different actions even if separate (though I don’t believe they are) do not necessarily require two different locations. There is no disharmony between the Real Presence of consecrated hosts and the Real Presence after the consecration in the Mass. As a matter of fact, from a purely logistical point of view, most Masses require someone to go to the Tabernacle and bring previously consecrated hosts to the altar (even though we all know that is not the most desirable situation.) However, the Real Presence in both places after consecration is no more of a problem than having hundreds of people tabernacling the Lord with them after Communion.

    I see in all your arguments, and in no response to mine, an inconsistency of attitude to the One Eucharistic Presence. Churches are built for the Worship of God; Adoration is not a single act reserved to non-Mass times. We are to Adore God ALL the time.

    It is interesting that you claim the altar of sacrifice must be in the center. Perhaps you haven’t been to Holy Spirit in Penfield?

    You write: “That is why the priest kisses the altar….” I’m not sure what the “why” refers to, but to use not kissing the Tabernacle (which of course is not in the rubrics) as some kind of argument for moving the Tabernacle aside doesn’t make sense. I am a bit stunned by your odd theology in the last paragraph. Christ told Peter to follow Him. I don’t see your last paragraph as being consistent with that Teaching, or what “missing the second change” can possibly mean. I do think that the last paragraph is an excellent example of why lay preaching should never be allowed at Mass.


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