Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Matthew Clark is Not Alone

June 29th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

Often times on the blog and in personal conversation, people ask me, “Why doesn’t the Pope do something about what’s going on? Why are we being forgotten about?” I always respond the same way, but this is a new manner of explanation which, perhaps, will show you why things are the way they are.

This video is from a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna in Wolfsthal, Lower Austria. Keep in mind that this is a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. We can’t sort out our local bishops and their liturgical improprieties without first doing away with the insipidity of our higher-ranking Church leaders.

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16 Responses to “Matthew Clark is Not Alone”

  1. praedicator says:

    What’s even worse is Cardinal Schoenborn is an exceptional theologian. He’s famous for his work on the Catechism, but I also recently read one of his books, “God’s Human Face,” about the iconoclast controversy. Not only remarkable in its Church historical scholarship, but steeped in the Fathers, and presenting a refreshingly orthodox Christology.

    Kyrie, eleison!

  2. Ludwig says:

    The situation isn’t helped by a drummer who seriously dragging behind the beat.

  3. TL says:

    Why would parents would allow their teenagers to be exposed to such an indecent event? And furthermore, what kind of teenager would think this is cool? Does anyone know any teenagers who like this kind of thing? TL

  4. John 8:32 says:

    I love this! God forbid anyone actually experience joy at the Mass! Do we have to be shrouded in black or write things in archaic Latin that no one understands to be considered reverent or “Catholic?” Is God some gloomy, mean deity who will send us to hell for having balloons? Sometimes I think we have turned into the Pharisees with all of our rules, legalism and judgment of others, as if we and only we knew the one true way. God came to us to “so that our joy would be complete.” And I recall that Jesus’ first recorded miracle was to turn water into wine at a wedding bash.

  5. Gen says:

    “Do we have to be shrouded in black or write things in archaic Latin that no one understands to be considered reverent or ‘Catholic?'”

    No, but you do have to follow the rubrics set forth by the Second Vatican Council and subsequent documents from the popes. The Following is stated quite clearly about the liturgy:

    “The Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.” – Sacrosanctum Concillium (SC)
    “But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters.” – SC
    “116. The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.

    But other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded from liturgical celebrations, so long as they accord with the spirit of the liturgical action, as laid down in Art. 30.

    117. The typical edition of the books of Gregorian chant is to be completed; and a more critical edition is to be prepared of those books already published since the restoration by St. Pius X.” – SC

    “282. Sacred pastors should take care to ensure that the faithful who participate in the rite or are present at it are as fully aware as possible of the Catholic teaching on the form of Holy Communion as set forth by the Ecumenical Council of Trent. ” – General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM)

    “It is preferable that priests who are present at a Eucharistic Celebration, unless excused for a good reason, should as a rule exercise the office proper to their Order and hence take part as concelebrants, wearing the sacred vestments. Otherwise, they wear their proper choir dress or a surplice over a cassock.” – GIRM

    “It is, therefore, permissible to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal promulgated by Bl. John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Liturgy of the Church.” – Summorum Pontificum

    How many of these are commonly followed in the Diocese of Rochester? The administration of the diocese has constantly made things more than difficult for the Tradition-minded Catholics, and has never extended them any sign of pastoral leadership unless forced by Rome to do so. The Extraordinary Form was NEVER ABROGATED, and yet the DoR didn’t allow the Latin Mass Community to have one until Rome intervened.

    Your grasp of liturgy and sacramental theology is shallow, or at least, significantly flawed. Of course Our Lord’s first miracle was at a wedding feast, but the Holy Mass is not wedding feast at all – it is the unbloody reenactment of Calvary. To treat it like a wedding-feast is to completely miss the depth of the mysteries presented to the faithful in the words of the Eucharistic Prayer, especially in the words of consecration.

    You also say we are being legalistic and judgmental. Can not the same be said for anyone who adheres to even one document released and cherished by Holy Mother Church? Who is more legalistic than the DoR administration, who clings to rubrics when it suits them, and discards them when it is wholly convenient to do so. Liturgical dancing at the cathedral is just one example. The people at the cathedral are not tribal Africans who have had this kind of liturgy because their culture dictated it – they’re middle/late-aged Caucasians celebrating a kind of diversity which simply doesn’t exist in the Cathedral Community.

    The use of black vestments is also wholly permitted. I don’t understand why you’d want to find fault with something which is absolutely 100% liturgically legal. The same with Latin – the Church declares it to be the language of the liturgy, with the option for the use of the vernacular. A wholly-vernacular Mass is NOT what the Council intended, and that is clear if you actually read the conciliar documents with an eye for truth, not bias.

    I pray that you may learn to have more respect for the liturgy as the pontiff and the Church universal see it. It is a commemoration of the Sacred Mysteries, not a “wedding bash.”

  6. Gen says:

    Also note that “pride of place” is a mistranslation of “principum locum.” The literal translation means “principal place.” That doesn’t mean “it’s important and valuable.” It means, “it is the norm.” It has FIRST place in the liturgy, and can only be replaced licitly when swapped out with music of the highest caliber. i.e. polyphony and Masses in the Viennese tradition, such as Mozart and Schubert. Note that Marty Haugen and David Haas don’t fit into the category of “undeniably sacred and Catholic liturgical music.”

  7. Dr. K says:

    God forbid anyone actually experience joy at the Mass!

    If Mass to you is more about how much joy one feels rather than how much honor one gives to God, I think you seriously misunderstand the meaning of Catholic worship. “The liturgy is above all things the worship of the divine majesty” (Sacrosanctum Concilium). It is NOT the glorification of ourselves! Plenty of joy can be derived from giving honor and praise to God.

    Is God some gloomy, mean deity who will send us to hell for having balloons?

    I don’t think we’ll know what earns a person salvation or condemns one to damnation until we meet our maker. However, balloons at Mass is tacky and disrespectful. The celebration of the Eucharist at each Mass is a re-enactment of the events at Calvary, hence the “sacrificial” nature of Mass. Say you were present for the crucifixion of our Lord. Would you find it appropriate for there to be balloons hanging about while our Lord is screaming in bloody agony as he hangs nailed to a piece of wood so that you and I can enter the kingdom of God? At every Mass we relive Calvary. Were only Catholics today properly catechized to understand that.

    Sometimes I think we have turned into the Pharisees with all of our rules, legalism and judgment of others, as if we and only we knew the one true way.

    Kind of like the DoR leadership when they forced various parishes to move the tabernacle off the central axis, or remove the altar rail, or shut down a stable parish in St. Thomas the Apostle? Also, how about when the DoR forbade the people from having a Traditional Latin Mass community? How about the judgment of the people who wish to worship the Lord through the Extraordinary Form by various priests of this diocese? What about all those priests who call traditional Catholics “archaic”, “stubborn”, “reactionary”, or similar terms in an insulting fashion?

    And I recall that Jesus’ first recorded miracle was to turn water into wine at a wedding bash.

    Meaning what exactly? He also raised the dead, cured the sick, fed the hungry, and oh yeah… rose from the dead and ascended into heaven thus trampling death and opening the gates of the Kingdom of God. I do hope you’re not trying to tie the miracle at the wedding feast to Christ somehow endorsing irreverent worship. “My house is a house of prayer” (Luke 19:46). How did Jesus pray as recorded in the Bible? Do not forget: “Again, when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites, who love to pray standing in the synagogues and at the street corners, in order that they may be seen by men. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. But when thou prayest, go into thy room, and closing thy door, pray to thy Father in secret; and thy Father, who sees in secret, will reward thee.” (Matthew 6:5-6).

  8. Joe says:

    Were there no rules, wouldn’t there be anarchy? I think Rochester is a good example. Spiritus Christi went schismatic because Bishop Clark failed to enforce the rules of the Catholic Church. Thousands of souls have been lost because of this man and his lack of respect for the laws of the Church.

  9. Nerina says:

    Ludwig – LOL!

    John, you must get tired of picking the straw out of your hair. No one is arguing that you can’t experience “joy” at Mass. I wonder, though, how you define joy. Do you really think this video shows true, Christian joy? It looks more like a night club complete with strobe lights (was there a dry ice machine working, too ?). What I saw was sacrilege – from the physical setting of this Mass to the demeanor of the participants. It is not too much to ask for a modicum of respect for the Creator of the universe contained in the Eucharistic species. There is nothing pharasitical (if that is even a word) about expecting reverence, wonder, mystery and awe.

    As for “having the one true way” – yes, the Church does. It is not on display in this video and the fact that you can’t recognize the problematic components of this particular Mass only tells me we have a lot more work to do in explaining the liturgy.

  10. benanderson says:

    have a listen to the “The Mass in Slow Motion” series on this page:

  11. Nerina says:

    Thanks for the link, Ben. Downloading now…

  12. benanderson says:

    once again – don’t thank me. Thank Christopher.

  13. Nerina says:

    Christopher, (if you’re reading this thread)

    I just finished listening to the first talk in the series “The Mass in Slow Motion.” Great, great stuff. I was jotting notes through out. I think John would benefit from listening to it. Thanks for the links.

  14. praedicator says:

    @John: Do you know what’s most telling of all about this? There is, in reality, no such thing as a “Youth Mass.” In fact, no adjective belongs before “Mass” except maybe “Holy”. In no way does the Church desire the public and divine worship of God to be subject to the fickle whims and changing fashions of our day. And so, it takes a deep humility to follow exactly all that the Church, having received this power from Christ Himself, has laid out in the rubrics. There is no place for a balloon rite IN THE LITURGY. There is no place for that music IN THE LITURGY. The liturgy is set, and no one, the Second Vatican Council teaches, not even a priest, can add or subtract anything from it. Adding things which do not belong in the liturgy should strike us as even more odd than inserting a song or a speech into the middle of the Hail Mary — for the Mass, too, is a prayer, not an improvisation!

    The problem with the Pharisees is not that they followed the “rubrics,” or even followed them “too much,” as if Christ frowned upon the ritual worship of the Old Covenant. In all honesty, they did not follow the rubrics enough — our Blessed Lord said that our righteousness must SURPASS that of the Pharisees. The Sacrifice of the Mass is deeply connected to the solemn ritual worship of the Jews. Christ did not come to wipe away even an iota of the Law, but fulfill it; He did not lessen the Law, but He actually obeyed the Law, and did not stray from it. And here’s the real clincher: following the rubrics is not Pharasitical, and it’s not just an exercise in obedience. Following the rubrics is not parallel to true worship, as external is to internal, but what -enables- us to worship in spirit and in truth. Does that make sense?

    There is a great, spiritual joy that comes from that.

    Finally, Christ, by His first sign at Cana, sanctified marriage, making it a supernatural sacrament. The celebration of a marriage is wonderful, most of all because the union of the spouses points to the “great mystery” Paul speaks of in Ephesians, the marriage between Christ and His Church. Indeed, the Mass is a Wedding Feast — that of the Lamb, the covenental union of God and man by the Eucharistic Sacrifice and solemn oath (sacramentum). However, the Mass is no place for teen pop drivel and partying revelry. This mystical marriage is a profound one, not within the reach of pop music, not expressed in the least by silly balloons. It is the Wedding Feast of our Mighty King and God — not a rock concert.

  15. LarryD says:

    To John 8:32 –

    You should read John 8:31, too – “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples”. One of Christ’s words was “What you bind on Earth shall by bound in heaven”. The Church has not only the right to determine the rubrics of the Mass, but the responsibility as well.

    So…if people worship any old way they want, then they’re not continuing in Jesus’ word, and thus are not their disciples. We are disciples on Jesus’ terms, not our own.

  16. Christopher says:

    Nerina, no prob. I haven’t heard that series yet as I’m usually busy listening to Fr. McAfee’s homalies, check em out, you’ll love em.

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