A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Thursday, December 30, 2004


More proof that the Catholic Church is in decay, and that the French have long since lost their marbles.

Thanks, Dave!



Blogger Aussiegirl said...

Tim -- what is the Novus Ordo church? Is it a legitimate part of the Catholic church? If so this is just horrible. Being Orthodox myself, I can't comment on any internal problems the Catholic church may be having, but this does seem ridiculously out of the mainstream, to say the least.

I would be outraged to see my own beautiful and sacred liturgy profaned in this manner. Aussiegirl

6:39 AM  
Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Aussiegirl, the Novus Ordo IS the mainstream of the Catholic Church. This is merely Latin for New Order, meaning the revised, vernacular liturgy created by the Vatican II council during the `60`s. The Catholic Church was always admired as a bedrock of values-until Vatican II. The reforms made were designed to increase the ``inclusiveness`` of the Church, and Protestant ministers were used as advisors on how to reformulate the liturgy. The quest for inclusiveness is often facilitated by enormous compromise of principles; the Catholic Church did just that. Why is it that the Catholic Church is hemorraging worshippers, while the Fundamentalist Protestants are growing? Because the Cahtolic Church has lost it`s soul; attending Mass has become an exercise in futility because nothing of any value is said, nothing controversial or firm is discussed. Mustn`t offend those who disagree, you know! So the priest meanders on about his second cousins auto repair shop and how we have to be a little better to each-other while in the Fundamentalist churches we are being informed, exhorted, in short PREACHED TO. People are interested in going to Church to hear Truth, not watch circuses.

That`s why Islam has been growing throughout the world. Islam has a firm message. This is very attractive to those who are trying to see beyond the confines of this earthly life. The Catholic Church used to offer this, as well. No longer. The Catholic Church has become apostate.

My friend Dave, who sent this to me, attends the only Latin mass in the St. Louis area (and he`s always trying to get me to go, too. Laziness usually overcomes me, and I sleep too late on Sunday morning.) He rightly identifies the decline of the Church to the reforms of Vatican II. He should know; his brother had been in the Seminary but was pressured to leave because he was too ``judgemental`` (read faithful).

Aussiegirl, I don`t know the circumstance with the Orthodox Churches. I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject! I really hope the Orthodox have kept better faith than the Catholic.


9:04 AM  
Blogger Aussiegirl said...

Thanks, Tim -- I hate to comment on things I know little about, and I was aware that many Catholics are disenchanted with the recent changes in the Catholic liturgy and tenets. I was surprised myself when I attended a Catholic service at the large Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, to find that it was very similar to a service at the Episcopalean church I used to occasionally attend when I was "church shopping". In many ways, it was even more Protestant feeling than the Episcopal one (this was years ago, and I fear the Episcopals have also strayed from the path of true Christianity).

There are many branches of the Orthodox Church mostly divided by country of origin -- in America there are a number of simply American Orthodox churches -- attended by a lot of converts or Orthodox who no longer wish to attend at the churches which are more ethnic. Because Orthodoxy never had a Pope or centralized authority as such, each country tends to elaborate on the basic liturgy (still the same one laid out by St. John Chrysostom all those centuries ago) with its own customs and music. Our Ukrainian church, for instance, decorates the church highly with a beautiful Iconostasis with many icons of the various saints and scenes, and there is elaborate decoration of the church with traditional embroidered cloths etc.-- and of course, I think our music is unexcelled, an a capella choir which sings antiphonally with the chanting of the priest through the entire service.

The American Orthodox churches have adopted new music for the service and some have translated into English the beautiful music of Bortniansky and other Slavic composers of liturgical music.

The Orthodox still maintain everything pretty much as it was. The liturgy and teachings of the church never change, and the Gospels are the center of every service -- with the taking of communion as the culmination of every service -- we take communion in both kinds -- both bread and wine -- offered in a little spoon -- a square of bread soaked in wine.

The church is filled with burning candles and incense, and I find it always a transporting experience -- the visual effect, the music and chanting, the words of the choir and the priest, the candles and all the iconic images of the story of Christ sort of seeping into you in a multi-sensual way -- sight, sound, smell, verbal, etc. -- so that it becomes a whole worship experience to me.

I also sometimes enjoy a good Protestant sermon that makes me think and presents a good lesson from the biblical point of view. Both the intellect and the rational -- the approach of the Protestant - and the sensual - the approach of the Eastern church -- have their place - depending on your emotional frame of mind. I love the feeling of losing myself in the liturgy - I feel closer to God and to an experience of spiritual oneness -- it is almost an experience of meditation -- as the world seems to recede -- and a new world is created before your eyes and ears.

I'm prejudiced of course, and not every church creates quite such an atmosphere -- Orthodox parishes are independent -- they hire and fire their priests, but are loosely confederated and associated under various heirarchies -- which have some power over the parishes - but not like the Catholics do, as I understand it. Liturgically -- and theologically, however, we are all the same -- and nothing ever changes in the liturgy. No one laid out a better liturgy than St. John of Chrysostom - one of the earliest church fathers -- why change a good thing?

And you are absolutely right, in a rapidly changing world people want and need to find a bedrock of faith to rely on, not wishy-washy equivocations and philosophizing, which, as you correctly say, makes Islam more and more appealing to more and more people. The church needs to get back to the fundamental teachings of Christ and the Gospels -- and get all these men out of the way and their endless equivocations. The message is so simple, and yet, so profound -- it changed the entire world.


Nice to have a discussion about religious things -- it is a topic that is always touchy and not discussed enough in our culture anymore. That's why the left is so uncomfortable with George Bush, they can't even begin to understand a true Christian faith.

Thanks for the information -- Aussiegirl

11:22 AM  

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