Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


Unfortunately, not much has changed since 1999.

January 16th, 2013, Promulgated by Bernie

This article appeared in the New Oxford Review way back in 1999. It was the archival link of the day in today’s NOR news feed. It’s over ten years old but I couldn’t help thinking while reading it “Wow, many of these things are still going on, even after all this time!” Many of the specific liturgical abuses he mentioned I have experienced first hand just as the writer reported it. In fact, I had to stop reading and check to see if he had connections to Rochester. Maybe some of the friends who related experiences did have connections to Rochester.

…These willful alterations — several of which I discuss below — may not strike every Catholic in the pews as significant, since so much of our liturgy is now done in a seemingly casual and impromptu manner. That very casualness is part of what I want to caution us about. Our acts and words at Mass are tremendously significant, and we must pay close attention to what goes on. Join me for a moment at a typical weekend Mass.

When the priest and lectors and altar servers and extraordinary ministers and cross-bearer all finally gather near the vestibule, there will generally be no solemn sign — no thurifer or asperges — to start Mass off. The synthetic notes of the “gathering song” will signal the start of a casual amble up the aisle. From beneath the cassocks of the servers protrude the enormous white or variously colored basketball shoes that serve our adolescents as Sunday footwear.

Reaching his spot before the altar (now often called “the table”), the priest (now often called “the presider”) begins not with the sign of the cross but with “Good morning, everybody.” This may be because he feels jovial or because he feels awkward, but a secular greeting is jarring and out of place in our liturgy. The people politely or reflexively shout it back to him anyhow. (I’ve even heard “Good morning, folks,” “Good morning, Father,” at a Saturday evening service.) Continuing in this extraliturgical down-home style, the “presider” may ramble into an extemporaneous little disquisition. It may be on the central theme of the Mass, or it may be on what happens to be on his mind that day — say, the weather, the Super Bowl, or the three-day weekend in honor of whatever or whomever. This opening sets the tone, a tone far removed from that of the solemn and exalted colloquy with which our Mass used to begin: Priest: I will go in unto the altar of God. People: Unto God, who gives joy to my youth (Psalm 42). The tone today is more like, “Hey, gang, let’s do some liturgy”…

…An acquaintance tells me of a “presider” at the Newman Hall near one of America’s premier public universities who regularly alters the Eucharistic Prayer. All the standard versions of the Eucharistic Prayer speak of our sharing faith or growing in love “with John Paul our Pope, our Bishop, N., and [the rest of the faithful].” The priest in question, however, says the following: “with John Paul, the Bishop of Rome…” What can (that) purpose be, if not to demote the Pontiff and downgrade the Holy See? If John Paul is just the bishop of a city in far-off Italy, then the papacy is all the easier to dismiss…

…Sometimes casual lingo and casual action coalesce into outright disrespect for Christ’s Presence in the Eucharist. I shall never forget the Mass at which the celebrant announced that there would be “two bread stations.” If anyone should want “a sip of wine,” he added, “help yourself from the chalice on the altar.” Of course, that “bread” and “wine” had been transubstantiated, and so his reference to them as merely bread and wine minimized what occurs at the Consecration…

Read the whole article HERE

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31 Responses to “Unfortunately, not much has changed since 1999.”

  1. avatar Scott W. says:

    Read the whole article. The real eye opener for me was (my emphasis):

    Consider for a moment another detail, the sanctus bells. Those are the little bells that the server, kneeling, picks up and rings at the elevations of the Host and the Chalice. Recently I asked one of the priests at my parish why the servers were not ringing the sanctus bells. The priest replied that he disapproved of their use. I mentioned that the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (109) says that sanctus bells are desirable in most circumstances. The priest informed me that he omits the sanctus bells at the Consecration because there is no special action at the Consecration, since Christ is present throughout the whole Mass. He added that he would ring bells at the Consecration if and when he could also “ring them at the reading of the Word.” Here is an understanding of the theology of the Mass that is not the understanding of the Church, and it is expressed and promoted by manipulation of the details of the rite. A friend who is himself a priest said to me, “Ah, the bells. That’s the first thing liberals want to get rid of. The ringing bespeaks the mystery.”

    We are always henpecked about being too much of a stickler for small stuff, but here is testimony about a priest who point-blank tells someone that his little tweaks are fully expressive of his off-the-rails theology. Remember that the next time you get the “Oh who cares about stuff like that?”

  2. avatar annonymouse says:

    Perhaps it’s just me and my parish, but I have found that the new translation has brought about a much more uniform, and dare I say, reverent Celebration of the Holy Mass. I really haven’t seen any ad-libbing any more, although perhaps as some priests become wholly familiar with it they will take it upon themselves to “improve” it.

    One minor correction to the original article – Elisha is, in fact, pronounced E-LEESH-aw.

  3. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    I wonder where that priest went to seminary. Who formed him. Does he believe in the Real Presence? He, like all priests need prayer.

  4. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    After mass at Saint Andrew Catholic on Portland Avenue (before
    it had been closed and sold but during its transition into
    St. Frances Xavier Cabrini) I spoke with the priest about how
    he made it difficult for me to pray.

    He virtually accused me of legalistic pharisaism when I
    told him I loved him but could not conscience his saying
    at the consecration that Jesus shed his blood for
    UNITY and PEACE.

  5. avatar annonymouse says:

    It is arrogance and pride for priests, deacons or anyone else involved in the Sacred Liturgy to change (“improve upon”) that which is in the General Instruction.

    I too have seen a priest show off by reciting the Gospel from memory, right here in the DoR, ignoring that the Book of the Gospels is specifically referenced in the instructions, is to be carried in and placed on the altar, is to be crossed at the beginning of the Gospel and reverenced after the proclamation of the Gospel.

    Where do these guys get it into their heads that they are the arbiter of what is said and done in the Sacred Liturgy, as if they owned it? It is utterly arrogant. The Faithful have a RIGHT to experience and participate in the Sacred Liturgy as it is meant to be celebrated. That priest at St. Andrews was trampling on your rights, and obviously could care less.

  6. avatar Monk says:

    Dominick Anthony,
    If the devil had the opportunity to change just one word in the Holy Mass it would be …”for the forgiveness of SINS.” The Mass is all about sin.
    Changing this word in the Mass is just evil.

  7. avatar y2kscotty says:

    The Mass is more about Redemption than Sin. Also, I’d emphasize this way – FORGIVENESS of sins.

  8. avatar Diane Harris says:

    Bravo Dominick Anthony! The best arugment I know against UNITY and PEACE is
    Luke 12:51-53:

    “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; for henceforth in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against her mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

    That priest needs to spend more time in Sacred Scripture.

  9. avatar Monk says:

    Well yes redemption and forgiveness are God’s loving response to our sin, but unfortunately the root of redemption is sin. Sin is what the devil wants us to forget about, to negate the need for Christ’s redemption and forgiveness. Replacing the word “sins” to “peace and unity” helps accomplish his goal.

  10. avatar y2kscotty says:

    Thanks for your comment. I’ll agree that “sin” is better for replacing “peace and unity”. But I still would replace it with forgiveness and redemption. We pray for that, whereas we pray against sin. As a doughnut advertisement on a billboard once said, “Wherever you go through life, brother… whatever your goal… keep your eye on the doughnut and not on the hole.” Better to accentuate the positive.

  11. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    “Take this, all of you, and drink from it,
    for this is the chalice of my Blood,
    the Blood of the new and eternal covenant,
    which will be poured out for you and for many
    for the forgiveness of sins.
    Do this in memory of me.”

    During the transition period from LIGHT OF CHRIST CATHOLIC CHURCH AT ANNUNCIATION AND ST. ANDREW to ST.FRANCES XAVIER CABRIN, a number of different priests came to preside over our worship. I assisted at Holy Mass at least once a month, sometimes more, when the priest in question celebrated at the altar.

    Routinely, consistently and without fail, something other than “for the forgiveness of sins” would be uttered by the ‘alter Christus’ at the consecration of the precious blood. After a while, I began asking other parishioners how they felt about Father changing the words of consecration. No one admitted to hearing it. Talk about feeling alone!

    ‘For forgiveness and peace’ was the usual formula.

    So I went to the female co-administrator of the newly transitioned parish. She did not seem willing to confront the innovator. Infact, my only encouragement from her was to confront him myself.

    At one Mass in particular, right after the priest said, “for forgiveness and peace”, sitting in the second pew from the front I spoke out loud clearly and distinctly saying: FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.

    After Mass one parishioner told me that she heard what I said and understood why I said it.

    The very last time I saw the priest at Saint Andrew was fall 2011. This time he changed his words all together and said, “Take this, all of you, and drink from it,
    for this is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant,
    which will be poured out for you and for many for unity and peace. Do this in memory of me.”

    I was practically traumatized. I even worried that it might be sinful on my part to receive Holy Communion. Yet, that finally was the day I confronted him, striving to speak the truth in love. Although accused of legalistic pharisaism, I knew that no one has the authority to change the words of institution.

    Now when the priest comes to mind, I offer prayer on his behalf and wish him well……..from a distance.
    On August 15, 2012, I took a step of faith and joined another Catholic parish.

  12. avatar ROBERT says:

    Why not name the priest? It is probably Bob Werth? I doubt if it is Mickey McGrath. It’s about time that if you don’t want to conform to the Church, then it’s time to get out! Werth has done this at every parish that he has been a failure at. Just look at his past assignments. Time for +Cunningham to dig in.

  13. avatar Bernie says:

    Priests who change the set prayers and rubrics of the Liturgy are immature. No matter their actual age, they are still adolescents. They put themselves first and have no consideration whatever for proper channels and other people’s rights or feelings. People who act this way usually have an inferiority complex of some kind that is masked by actions that suggest just the opposite; “I’m smarter and better informed than everyone else (including those who have actual knowledge and authority).” For their own sake and growth these priests should be reported so they can be corrected just as any child and teenager needs correction in order to mature into a healthy well-adjusted individual.

  14. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Brother Robert,
    To avoid the sin of detraction I will not publish his name.

    Yet, Robert, do the math. I had written last time I saw him was
    fall 2011 . I joined new parish 8/15/12. What are the probabilities
    I saw Fathers Mickey and Werth until then?

    Do you owe Werth a public apology?

  15. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    “What, then, does this make us? Sometimes we can feel like crypt-keepers of antiquity. Some of us rather look the part, too. Other times, we feel like Crusading knights, defending all that is right and chivalrous. But those of these images are flawed. The former is often inaccurate, for true Christian foot-soldiers must be joyful in their duties, and not guard the empty tomb; it needs no guard. The latter is often too gallant and noble for what we do. We might consider ourselves great defenders of Truth, donning mantillas, wielding our missals, and chanting our war cries of “Christus Vincit!” Our duty, though, is simpler than this. It consists of bearing, at all times and in all places, a gentle demeanor of prayerfulness. Respect for the liturgy, devotion to Our Lady, reverence throughout life, not just in the pew on the the internet or on the sidewalk before an abortion clinic. We must remember that “we are Church.” We are the guardians of the Guardian of Truth, we are servants of the Servant. And it is through our orthodoxy, our “traditionalism,” our “conservatism,” our…Catholicism…that we make a whole and complete offering of ourselves.”

    Now the above from Gen’s post is the way to go in our ongoing Church militancy.

    May Jesus Christ be praised, now and forever!

  16. avatar ROBERT says:

    DAZ, Stop using sin as an escape. If you have a complaint then tell all. I’m sure you’ll be commended for your honesty. To hide is a coward. I’ve been around a long time at both Annunciation and St. Andrew’s and know what is going on. The truth is the truth!

  17. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    To hide is a coward

    DAZ is NOT a coward. The sin of detraction is a very serious sin and one we all should be on the lookout for. There are many who might claim this website commits this sin. Here’s a couple good articles I found on it:

    If you carefully read, you’ll see that it becomes a judgment call whether the injury to tell all is greater than the injury of those not knowing and damage done to the individual’s reputation. A few factors come into play including whether or not the sin was a private sin and whether or not the person is in a position of leadership. Obviously, in the opinion of those who run this site, we think it prudent to expose those who knowingly and emphatically defy teachings and disciplines of the Church. However, you are not going to hear me calling anyone who doesn’t follow suit at all times and in all situations a coward. Each person must carefully evaluate, pray, and decide whether they think it’s God’s will for them to speak out in a given situation.

    I’ll repeat – DAZ is NOT a coward! Anyone who fearlessly thought ND had a chance against Alabama does not fit the profile of a coward 🙂 Forgive me, Dominick – I’m still bitter about the Pitt loss.

  18. avatar raymondfrice says:

    Robert:”To hide is a coward.”

    Robert: What is your full name???

  19. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    No doubt the luck of the Irish prevailed in the Pitt game. Pitt deserved to win. The Non-Fighting Irish were over the top lucky. (non-fighting Irish was coined by one of our Transit Union’s stewards after the Alabama thrashing)

    Now to the matter at hand.

    Thanks, brother Ben, for your 8:36 PM post. I intend on reading the articles to which you posted links. Because detraction has been a besetting sin for me due to my tendency to complain and criticize out of frustration, I chose and still choose to withhold the priest’s name. To ROBERT or anyone else miffed by my decision I offer a reminder.

    As written above, the priest in question “routinely, consistently and without fail” used the formula “for forgiveness and peace”. Only once, and that being the last time I saw him, did the priest change his formula with “for unity and peace”.

    Therefore, those who must know who he is merely need to be attentive.

    Speaking of being attentive, how is it, ROBERT, that you have been around a long time at both Annunciation and Saint Andrew, know what is going on, and don’t recognize the priest’s words of liturgical abuse?

    Escape? TV, movies, stories, fantasy can all be forms of escape. Even play can be a healthy escape. Sin? No way is sin an escape. It is slavery, bondage, darkness and death. The horror of sin is frightening. When I look at Christ crucified, I see not only the love and mercy of God, I see the horror of sin. So if I tell you I didn’t reveal the priest’s name it is because I fear the pains of hell and dread the loss of heaven.

    You are sure I will be commended by being honest about telling the world the priest’s name! Keep your commendation. I want to flee the praise of man.

    You wrote that if I have a complaint, then tell all. This is where you have missed the entire point of my post. While I admit, and have admitted above, that complaining is one of my weaknesses, in this post I gave witness. Or as Bernie wrote, UNFORTUNATELY,NOT MUCH HAS CHANGED SINCE 1999. My story gives witness to that unfortunate reality.

    But more significantly, I was thinking about Gen’s recent post about WE ARE CHURCH.
    While I can’t conscience what the priest does at the consecration, I love him for the Lord’s sake and want so much for him to recover himself, stop the abuse, and serve the Lord Christ faithfully so that God is glorified and the people sanctified. As such, in light of Gen’s poetic like post full of solid exhortation for Catholic life and witness, I described the abuse, my reactions to it, the priest’s response to me and my wishing him well, remembering him in prayer but staying away from wherever he celebrates mass.

    ROBERT, at the risk of writing too much, I will mention one last thing. Coward.
    Yes, there have been those times I feared rebuke, non-acceptance, marginalization and rejection. Yes, I have been a coward. God forgive me those times I sought man’s praise.

    God bless you, ROBERT; we are brothers. Anytime you want to identify your self to me and perhaps fellowship and share Annunciation and Saint Andrew stories, give Ben Anderson your contact information or ask him for mine.

  20. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    What this priest did ws a public action. It was not done in private. So many already are aware of his actions.

    Does this change the situation of publically naming him?

  21. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Good question based on a good point, Richard Thomas.

    What keeps me revealing , however, is the fact every
    time I asked parishioners or expressed to parishioners
    my disdain for the liturgical abuse, no one admitted to
    hearing it, realizing it (or apparently being concerned).

    The one parishioner who one time spoke to me did in
    fact hear my “for forgiveness of sins” exclamation about
    which I described earlier.

    More likely than not, the public nature of the abuse might
    actually allow public disclosure. While I might be unnecessarily
    scrupulous, I’d rather not name him. I haven’t seen the priest
    since early October 2011 and who knows maybe he has stopped
    doing it.

    I just wanted to testify in agreement
    with this posts title, tell the story and demonstrate my various

    If the good of the diocese and the well being of souls are at stake
    and the Apostolic Administrator consequently ordered me to divulge the priest’s
    identity, I imagine I would.

    More importantly however, I am wondering, how could those words of consecration
    be changed time and again and virtually no one else ever heard it, discussed
    it or confronted the priest about it?

    What a disappointment.

  22. avatar Diane Harris says:

    I would like to thank Ben for his comments, which clearly note that revealing a truth that will affect someone’s reputation: “becomes a judgment call whether the injury to tell all is greater than the injury of those not knowing and damage done to the individual’s reputation.” And, I would add, whether “all” must be told, or only part. I faced that problem in writing the 20-part exposition of the destruction of much of the St. Januarius Sanctuary, and in assembling another complaint to the Congregation for the Clergy, which therefore requires members of the laity to collaborate with each other, inevitably sharing their grief and grievances. Among the best advice I received from confessors, other priests and a canon lawyer were:

    1) to pray-pray-pray for discernment, as once something is revealed it cannot be “unrevealed.”
    2) to carefully and continually discern my own motivation – is it for the good of souls or is it driven by retaliation?
    3) to understand that the Church provides methods for complaints, and that using what is allowed is permissible, including Canon Law cases (section 212.3 pertains directly to laity sharing with each other),
    4) to follow the Gospel of Matthew, which states: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” Implicit in these words is the discussion with others as well as the preparation of a case to the Church.
    5) Christ warned His Disciples and His audiences about dangerous people, hence His use of calling Herod a “fox” and some Pharisees “whitened sepulchres full of dead men’s bones” and warned His Apostles to beware the “leaven” of the Pharisees, and more.

    I offer those comments for the sake of discernment, and to share the difficulty of making decisions in this arena, and to carefully examine motive. The use of “witnesses” is yet another protection against us succumbing to our own motives.To leave the less catechized vulnerable may be a more serious offense than warning them. Clearly there is a step at which to involve others.

    One of the references Ben gave I have some reservations about; the other I found very helpful, even though from 1997. I have sometimes been disappointed in New Advent, although their indexing is more convenient than the Catechism. But recently I was looking up resource to explain to a Protestant friend that we don’t “worship” the Blessed Virgin, but that we venerate her. Unfortunately, New Advent has not indexed the word “venerate” but I found it used in part under Canonization. However, the use of worship in addition to or in place of veneration, IMO, confuses the issue, and limits the apologetic value of the site. In order to reduce the length of this post, I will post my concerns about New Advent (using worship as an example) in a following set of comments.

    The Catechism seems more useful and clear:

    CCC2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury.278 He becomes guilty: of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them;279

    CCC2478 To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way: Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.280

    CCC2479 Detraction and calumny destroy the reputation and honor of one’s neighbor. Honor is the social witness given to human dignity, and everyone enjoys a natural right to the honor of his name and reputation and to respect. Thus, detraction and calumny offend against the virtues of justice and charity.

    CCC2480 Every word or attitude is forbidden which by flattery, adulation, or complaisance encourages and confirms another in malicious acts and perverse conduct. Adulation is a grave fault if it makes one an accomplice in another’s vices or grave sins. Neither the desire to be of service nor friendship justifies duplicitous speech. Adulation is a venial sin when it only seeks to be agreeable, to avoid evil, to meet a need, or to obtain legitimate advantages..

    CCC2487 Every offense committed against justice and truth entails the duty of reparation, even if its author has been forgiven. When it is impossible publicly to make reparation for a wrong, it must be made secretly. If someone who has suffered harm cannot be directly compensated, he must be given moral satisfaction in the name of charity. This duty of reparation also concerns offenses against another’s reputation. This reparation, moral and sometimes material, must be evaluated in terms of the extent of the damage inflicted. It obliges in conscience.

    CCC2488 The right to the communication of the truth is not unconditional. Everyone must conform his life to the Gospel precept of fraternal love. This requires us in concrete situations to judge whether or not it is appropriate to reveal the truth to someone who asks for it.

    CCC2489 Charity and respect for the truth should dictate the response to every request for information or communication. The good and safety of others, respect for privacy, and the common good are sufficient reasons for being silent about what ought not be known or for making use of a discreet LANGUAGE. The duty to avoid scandal often commands strict discretion. No one is bound to reveal the truth to someone who does not have the right to know it.283

    CCC2492 Everyone should observe an appropriate reserve concerning persons’ private lives. Those in charge of communications should maintain a fair balance between the requirements of the common good and respect for individual rights. Interference by the media in the private lives of persons engaged in political or public activity is to be condemned to the extent that it infringes upon their privacy and freedom.

    I’ve only noted the paragraphs which seem to apply in the current situation. In section 2480 I call attention to the word “complaisance” or letting someone get away with something which is wrong. I also call attention in section 2492 to the matter of detraction referring to private lives. A priest, a “public person,” making pronouncements from the pulpit or persistently misusing the words of the liturgy seems to me not to be exhibiting problematic behavior in “private” but rather quite publicly. Sections 2488 and 2489 clearly reflect Dominick’s right to not supply information to everyone who asks for it. His discerned decision is to relate the problem to warn others, but not the identity which can apparently be readily obtained by those who, having been warned, seek to be protected. These considerations are all valid to take into account. No one has the right to infringe on the discerned conscience of another and sometimes it is better to be “too careful,” even when we sometimes look back and see something that went on for too long and put others at risk by postponing our own taking action. Truly, each of us in good conscience might draw the line at a different point, based on our knowledge, understanding, courage and personality.

    I found the second reference which Ben gave to be quite well founded on the Catechism, particularly its call for a “proportionately grave reason.” Public disobedience to Church teaching, the misuse or abuse of the Eucharistic prayer, may well be considered as proportionately grave in the judgment of those who know that the laity has the right to have Mass and the Sacraments properly conducted. Will taking no action make it worse or will it give the priest time to repent? Will souls be hurt? Will greater harm be done?

    Fr. David C. Trosch further writes:

    A: “The essence of detraction is the unwarranted disclosure of a hidden failing, which implies that there are occasions when the disclosure can and even should be made.” As mentioned, public display is hardly a “hidden failing.”

    B: “… there must be adequate proportion between the lessening of a person’s reputation (which is not intended) and the good to be achieved by the disclosure (which is intended).”

    C: “It is also not detraction to make known what has become juridically notorious, since the culprit has lost his right to esteem in [such a] matter. [e.g.] “It is conducive to public security that criminals should be known for what they are.”

    D. “It is not detraction when the truths told, about a person or group of persons, serves the best interest of the public good and/or serves in defense of innocent people ….”

    E. “Scandal, i.e., the occasion of sin, follows from omission of required acts as well as from direct acts. Bishops, having failed to actively and repeatedly oppose abortion, have been and are continuing to be an underlying reason for many in their jurisdictions to not act according to the will of God in regard to the defense of the innocent. …” “… indifference to abortion on the part of bishops should be understood as the source of grave scandal.” “Scandal gives cause or reason for another to sin, i.e., being an occasion for wrong doing.” “Love of neighbors as yourself.–It is clearly seen in the story of the “Good Samaritan” that everyone is to be considered your neighbor.“

    F. “Only those who have been taught falsely — or not taught — (by bishops and their subordinates) will fail to understand that those in the office of bishop are not certified as perfect by virtue of their office. As with humanity as a whole, goodness or perfection is not guaranteed by office or social status. … Bishops and ministers have a grave duty to make reparation for their failure to teach the word of God as required for the salvation of souls.”…. “Withholding the truth from the ignorant only allows them to continue to be misled.”…. “By omission of discipline in regard to pro-choice, pro-sodomite and pedophiliac priests, bishops have allowed great scandal to come upon the whole Church. By their omission, the scandal of abortion, euthanasia, abuse of the sacraments and other evils are now prevalent throughout the Church.”

    G. “Calling one to repentance and change is not condemnation. To convert the sinner, to instruct the ignorant, and to counsel the doubtful are called spiritual works of mercy. Sometimes new and even dramatic means are necessary, particularly in an age when only the super spectacular is paid very much attention.” Fr. David C. Trosch

    [The author relates this last comment also to exposure by electronic media and is worth relating to activities such as Cleansing Fire.]. I apologize for the length of these comments, but given what we do here, I thought a wider exposition of Ben’s comments might be helpful.

  23. avatar Diane Harris says:

    This is a separate post to explain my concerns about New Advent in more detail:

    1. “The worship of latria (latreia), or strict adoration, is given to God alone; the worship of dulia (douleia), or honour and humble reverence, is paid the saints; the worship of hyperdulia (hyperdouleia), a higher form of dulia, belongs, on account of her greater excellence, to the Blessed Virgin Mary. … If we accept this doctrine of the worship of the saints, …etc.”

    2. “The decision as to the martyr having died for his faith in Christ, and the consequent permission of worship, lay originally with the bishop of the place in which he had borne his testimony.”

    3. “The worship of confessors — of those, that is, who died peacefully after a life of heroic virtue — is not as ancient as that of the martyrs….Later on, confessors were those who had lived a holy life and closed it by a holy death in Christian peace. It is in this sense that we now treat of the worship paid to confessors.”

    Under the entry of worship, it states: “This article will deal with Christian worship according to the following definition: homage paid to God, to Jesus Christ, to His saints, to the beings or even to the objects which have a special relation to God.” … “In accordance with these principles it will readily be understood that a certain worship may be offered even to inanimate objects, such as the relics of a martyr, the Cross of Christ, the Crown of Thorns, or even the statue or picture of a saint.”

    Unfortunately, these uses in New Advent make it difficult to use that resource apologetically, in the sense of Luke 4:8: “And Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’’'””

    Thus, while the New Advent reference tries to split hairs between mortal and venial sin in detraction, it seems to do so without sufficient consideration of motive, or of vulnerability of souls or of scandal. I just think we need to be careful with this site, so that it accurately reflects the Catechism and doesn’t purport to go beyone it.

  24. avatar BigE says:

    I like the New Advent, although you have to be a little careful –> as the information it contains is about 100 years old now…..

  25. avatar Scott W. says:

    I like the New Advent, although you have to be a little careful –> as the information it contains is about 100 years old now…..

    Agreed. I’ve had discussions where someone appealed to the encyclopedia over the Catechism and the section alcohol was obviously written be a Temperance Movement teetotaler.

  26. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    To be clear NewAdvent is a website that makes the Old Catholic Encyclopedia (among other things) available online for free (as it’s now in the public domain). Catholic Answers site ( also made it available online a year or two ago. Sure, it’s not as good as the CCC and thanks for providing all that info, Diane. However, I don’t have the same reservations about the word “worship”. The word now typically has a narrower meaning than it once did, but so what? Where we today use the word venerate (probably to be extra-special-careful with protestants), they would use the word worship in earlier times. But it wasn’t meant to blur the lines between worship directed to God and worship directed to things not-God. Here’s an article by Jimmy Akin explaining:

  27. avatar Diane Harris says:

    Thanks, Ben — that is very helpful. It will give me a better context in which to view the New Advent articles. Somehow I’d missed the lapse of a century, and now it makes some sense — or at least de-fense — from its being used to “prove” Catholics do a no-no.

  28. avatar y2kscotty says:

    Your reference to Luke 12:51 tells only half the story and should be interpreted in the light of the dramatic scene in Luke 4:18 in which Jesus reads from the scroll,
    ““The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
    Because He has anointed Me
    To preach the gospel to the poor;
    He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,[a]
    To proclaim liberty to the captives
    And recovery of sight to the blind,
    To set at liberty those who are oppressed;…..”
    and then asserts that this scripture is fulfilled in the listeners’ hearing.
    In my humble opinion, this is truly what Jesus’ mission was all about. That is why anyone should try to follow Jesus.
    Any comments from anyone else?

  29. avatar Diane Harris says:

    y2kScotty: Rather, Luke 12:51 should be interpreted in light of John 17, Christ’s High Priestly Prayer, and especially verses 14 to the end. To me, the Lord was speaking absolute Truth when He prayed for unity and so prominently defined the root of disunity:

    “I have given them Thy word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” Whatever the modern secular issue, the world hates those who embrace the Truth.

  30. avatar JLo says:

    Calmly confront the priest. Don’t argue with him; simply tell him he is in error and thus not serving The Lord as he ought. If he disregards your concerns, write to his bishop. That’s doing our duty, and the rest is up to the Holy Spirit. All the research and counseling others is a distraction, and the evil one loves to distract us from our role in salvation history. Holy Mother Church makes our role quite simple, so do your duty and move on… as DAZ did! +JMJ

  31. avatar raymondfrice says:

    Any comments from anyone else?

    We must not just focus on what Jesus did, but also the manner in which He did it. We can’t give food to the poor with a smug and/or arrogant manner.

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