Two articles worth reading

I could say a lot more about both these articles than I am going to, simply because it is getting late and I have written a lot more about other things tonight.

But you might be interested to follow up one or the other:

Article One: Bishop Soto speaks in support of Marriage and “Proposition 8”

This one is a real suprise. In the US there is a thing called the “National Association of Diocesan Gay and Lesbian Ministries”. This is a kosher group (so to speak) working within the Church’s structures and for the good purpose of assuring Gay and Lesbian Catholics that they are welcome in the Catholic Church and loved by God just like any other repentant sinner. But of course it is always difficult when working “at the coal face” in an area such as this to avoid being influenced by the prevailing ideologies. Any way, they invited Coadjutor Bishop Jaime Soto of the Diocese of Sacramento to give the keynote address and some got a little more than they were expecting. Here’s a snippet or two:

When we meditate on the person of Jesus, we often call to mind the many ways that Jesus cared for people. In all the many instances in the gospel when people come to the Lord Jesus with their needs, he fed them, he healed them, he forgave them, and he saved them. This can oftentimes lead us to the conclusion that Jesus always said “yes.” He always gave people what they wanted. He was an agreeable person.

That is not always the case in the gospel…

…Desire tempered and tested by “renunciation, purification, and healing” can lead us to God’s design. This is true for all of us. It is also true for men and women who are homosexual. We are called to live and love in a manner that brings us into respectful, chaste relationships with one another and an intimate relationship with God. We should be an instrument of God’s love for one another.

Let me be clear here. Sexual intercourse, outside of the marriage covenant between a man and a woman, can be alluring and intoxicating but it will not lead to that liberating journey of true self-discovery and an authentic discovery of God. For that reason, it is sinful. Sexual relations between people of the same sex can be alluring for homosexuals but it deviates from the true meaning of the act and distracts them from the true nature of love to which God has called us all. For this reason, it is sinful.

Married love is a beautiful, heroic expression of faithful, life-giving, life-creating love. It should not be accommodated and manipulated for those who would believe that they can and have a right to mimic its unique expression.

…This is a hard message today. It is the still the right message.

Mmmm.

Article Two: Rediscovering Traditionalism

This was originally published at Opendemocracy.net, but do yourself a favour and read it with Fr Z’s commentary here.

This is a great article to read if you want to understand where Past Elder and his ilk are coming from. Consider this paragraph:

The ultras have a point. A pious Catholic who had fallen asleep in 1960 and woken up forty years later would be puzzled indeed at a modern mass (unless he had been allowed to slumber all those years in Brompton Oratory or a few other traditionalist redoubts.) He would find the modern Church culturally and psychologically so altered that he might be tempted to see it as a new religion masquerading under the old name. He might, like my Polish acquaintance, decide not to bother any more.

For my own part, I must confess that, while having much sympathy with the traditionalist point of view, I repeatly fail to see the sharp “rupture” between the older form of mass and the novus ordo.

To be sure, there is indeed a “rupture” in the way it is interpreted and performed by many (the vast majority), and there are numerous minor points where the revisions most certainly OVER revised. One has to grant Fr Z’s point that “In the book that came out under Archbp. Piero Marini’s name, the writer states that the changes in the liturgy were about changing doctrine.”

However, I don’t think they succeeded. Yes, they succeeded in moving the altars. Yes, they succeeded in a complete reinterpreting the sacrifice of the mass as a community meal of participation. Yes, they succeeded in the virtual abolition of latin in favour of the vernacular, etc. etc. But they did not succeed in abolishing the mass. Despite all the hatchet work, the Holy Spirit preserved the liturgy of the Mass for this and future generations. The old ways of celebrating mass can and are being restored, along with a reaffirmation of the traditional doctrines, and this is can and is being done within the novus ordo rite.

My joy in the motu proprio is precisely that it will accelerate this recovery. I don’t attend the Extraordinary Rite – I have only ever done so once, years before becoming a Catholic. But I have attended many novus ordo masses, in English and Latin, done with a sublime reverence – some fully in the manner of the older form of mass (Latin, kneeling for communion, priest facing east etc.).

I must say too that I do not share the author’s feelings about the liturgy of the Word. In fact in two areas I think the Novus Ordo wins over the older form: One is that Scripture is given greater prominence. That might just be the protestant in me, but I think if we are going to evangelise the world, we have to start with evangelising ourselves. That doesn’t mean to say I don’t have criticisms of the current lectionary, but it is an improvement over the older lectionary (which in fact I grew up with in the Lutheran Church). The other area of improvement is in the restoration of the prayers of the Faitfhful. My one comment on this is that we could have a single or several standard prayers so that we were sure to prayer for universal and not just personal and local concerns.

Any way, I commend both these articles to your for your enjoyment and edification.

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23 Comments

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23 responses to “Two articles worth reading

  1. Terra

    I would suggest going to a traditional mass a few times and then making a judgment about whether there is a hermaneutic of continuity or rapture in evidence. Once before you became a catholic is not enough to make an informed judgment!

    And I strongly disagree on the lectionary – with the old lectionary, catholics actually really learnt some key parts of Scripture, including virtually the entire Gospel of St John, well. Now, the everchanging roster of readings means it mostly washes right over them and they know a lot less, less well!

    It is also important to appreciate, as Scott Hahn’s book on Revelation ahs pointed out, that the whole of the text of the Mass is rich in Scriptural texts and allusions, not just the readings.

    It is of course still possible to discern the original theology of the mass in the novus ordo if you work at it. But as the article points out, ideas such as scarifice, of veiling the sacred, and of the priest offering the sacrifice on behalf of the people are much much clearer in the Extraordinary Form.

  2. Schütz

    I still don’t think that this is any particular deficiency in the novus ordo itself, but in the way in which is performed.

    You are correct about what you say about my needing more experience of the old mass. But in terms of the two forms of the roman rite as such – not the ceremonies that attend them – I don’t see the yawning gap that many others seem to see.

    I think Benedict himself has come to this understanding within his own theology. His earlier strident remarks on the Novus Ordo have not been repeated in his papacy. Rather, as with Vatican II, he prefers to emphasis the continuity rather than the rupture – cf. his emphasis that in the ordinary and extraordinary form are two forms of the one rite, not two different rites.

    Regarding the lectionary, I don’t share your opinion. My experience in teaching adults whose only formation in scripture has been listening to the readings in Mass has shown that they are remarkably familiar with many key passages in Scripture – even if they would be hard pressed to tell me the book, chapter and verse.

    The way in which the new form of the rite is structured means that a great deal depends upon the quality of the preacher.

    Is this a weakness of the form? or is it a weakness in formation of priests as those commissioned to “open up the Word” to their people? I would suggest the latter, and it is a weakness that did not just appear with the new form of the Mass!

  3. Terra

    We can agree to disagree on the lectionary, but on Pope Benedict XVI’s views, I would suggest he is exercising pastoral judgment about what can and can’t be done rather than necessarily backing away from his earlier stated positions.

    The one rite thing is I think a legal technicality. It is a clever way of protecting the right of priests to say the ‘EF’ without all the problems that come from authorisation to use a different rite – but I think that few serious scholars of liturgy regard it as a reality in terms of the similarities or lack thereof of the two forms, particularly if you look at how similar other distinct ‘rites’ such as the Dominican are to the TLM.

    To get a real feel for the differences, I do think you have to experience them both – just comparing texts doesn’t really give you a feel for the issue, particularly when it comes to the sung mass (which is supposed to be the norm for the TLM) and its ‘parallel tracks’ between priest/servers and choir. The only time the two seem anything close to being the same rite to me is at a mass like the Brompton Oratory’s High Mass sung ad orientem in Latin. So head over to Caulfield for a few Sundays and check out the difference!

  4. Schütz

    The only time the two seem anything close to being the same rite to me is at a mass like the Brompton Oratory’s High Mass sung ad orientem in Latin.

    Well, that’s my point. If the Novus Ordo was done like this on all occasions, there would, I think, be few who would object to it.

  5. Past Elder

    Nonsense. It is never more apparent to me than at the broadcasts from time to time from big deals in Rome itself that the novus ordo is in no possible way a form of the Roman Mass. And, if there were ever anything to Roman Catholicism, that God does not blast from the altar at St Peter’s the diabolical strange fire now offered there is a miracle of divine mercy indeed.

  6. Schütz

    You are in an odd mood today, aren’t you, PE?

  7. Past Elder

    Do you guys take classes in how to make a discussion about a person’s state of being rather than an issue?

  8. Mike

    1) I hadn’t realised NADGLM was(officially) “kosher”. From past reporting, I thought it was a regular, liberal gay group who somehow made an astonishing stuff-up in inviting a bishop they hadn’t properly checked out first! It makes some more sense of the situation, but still, I’m scratching my head as to what the board thought they were doing, such that they could then say . . .

    “On behalf of the board, I apologize. We had no idea Bishop Soto was going to say what he said.”

    http://www.calcatholic.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?id=cbbf34a9-d1cd-49a4-ab61-4cf77f14e121

    2) Paid-up traditionalists could offer more than me with my lapsed gift-subscription. But although I probably agree with you on the topic as a whole, your commentary seems puzzling . . . almost self-contradictory. You don’t see a rupture, but:

    “Yes, they succeeded in a complete reinterpreting the sacrifice of the mass as a community meal of participation”

    Never mind the Latin. The above would kind of be enough for any traditionalist to see a major rupture. And really, most regular orthodox Catholics, if we conceded the point. The whole point of the Mass redefined!

    I guess your point is not that the Mass has now actually changed in meaning, but that people have, as part of the same movement of “change”, developed a preference for talking about it differently – and de-emphasising the Sacrifice.

    But still, this brings up a few thoughts in sympathy for traditionalists’ ideas:

    – the changes made (including what is permitted, even if not mandated such as versus populum etc) seem to change the focus of the Mass to the community meal idea.

    – And these changes were made (acc to the book you mention) *for the very purpose* of orchestrating a corresponding doctrinal change.

    (Aside: Isn’t this the same argument as to why we reject Anglican Orders? cf the argument made by Michael Davies in his trilogy).

    So isn’t it reasonable to interpret the new Mass in the light of the intention of those who put it together? And, even though we all recognise that the Holy Spirit kept it basically together despite them, for the sake of the Church (unless we’re debating some extreme sedevacantists who might deny that), it’s still not something we can hang our hats on and be proud of, and shouldn’t we therefore favour the TLM?

    And couldn’t you call it a kind of “rupture”?

    Further, the Novus Ordo can certainly be celebrated with many of the “old ways”, but it nearly always isn’t, and that’s without any liturgical abuses. So isn’t it fair to compare and judge each “form” based upon its most common legitimate practice?
    And then, perhaps, compare each according to its “highest” form? (Though while it is very clear what this means for the TLM, there might be substantial debate as to what the highest form of the NO is – Marini vs Marini, for example).

  9. Past Elder

    Ipse dixit.

  10. Schütz

    I guess your point is not that the Mass has now actually changed in meaning, but that people have, as part of the same movement of “change”, developed a preference for talking about it differently – and de-emphasising the Sacrifice.

    Yes, that is my point. The “reformers” actually made more changes to attitude and style than they did to the substance of the mass. They certainly attempted to change the Mass itself–but I would contend unsuccessfully. The Liturgy remains intact in the Novus Ordo, whereas the real changes were to the way in which the mass was conducted and the way in which people thought about it. In this, they succeeded for a time (a “Babylonian Captivity”) but the momentum of Catholic tradition is reasserting the balance and the attitudes and style are returning to “normality” as the boat slowly stops rocking.

    I don’t believe that any of the mandated changes (ie. the text and rubrics of the rite itself) actually change the focus of the Mass to the community meal idea.

    Rather where the “reformers” succeeded was in a two pronged attack of changing attitudes (through work of “liturgists” in journals and seminars etc.) and in the host of changes that were made to the way in which the mass was conducted. The latter include the complete adoption of the vernacular, the versus populum celebration, the elemination of kneeling for communion, communion in the hand. These were the changes by which the “reformers” succeeded. And yes, this was indeed a “rupture”.

    My point, and the point of the Holy Father, I believe, is that the Mass has survived in the Novus Ordo. [A point to take note of – and one with which both traditionalists and PE would agree, me thinks – is that if there were indeed a rupture, if the Mass indeed had been abolished with the NO, then the Church itself has been abolished because without the Eucharist there is no Church.]

    There are some changes to the NO which would be desirable (the pope has already pointed to shifting the passing of the peace to before the Sursum Corda), but essentially it is attitudes and style that need to be changed for us to regain the continuity.

  11. Past Elder

    Judas with a Big Mac, I have been with you all this time and still you do not understand?

    Let me be sure I understand! You say, I think, that I would agree that “if there were indeed a rupture, if the Mass indeed had been abolished with the NO, then the Church itself has been abolished …”

    Yes, I agree with that. And I add, such a rupture, such an abolition, is exactly what happened, therefore the Roman Church is indeed abolished as such, though an entity carrying its name (not to mention its money and real estate) survives.

    We all (here) agree about the excesses. The excesses are not the point. The text and rubrics of the rite itself, untranslated, are the point of “traditionalist” rejection of the NO. This is what I mean in saying, in my preferred mode of discourse, the Nietzschean word dance, that the only thing worse than a “spirit of Vatican II” NO is a by-the-book NO. The Mass may be found in the NO, but is not necessarily in the NO due to its defects rendering matter, form and intent unsure in any given instance.

    You write as if there were these “reformers” who set out to change everything, and didn’t really because some sort of Roman orthodoxy prevailed, but they went on to change attitudes only.

    God bless me, I was there, it was nothing like that. Nothing. No-one went into the Council opposed to any changes whatsoever in the existing rites. Holy living frogmasters, even the 1962 rite some uphold now as traditional isn’t anything more than that, Bugnini 1962, not the Mass I learned and served (at least until 1962).

    So, in addition to the argument that the text and rubrics themselves retreat from and obscure Catholic doctrine, there is also the argument that the NO which resulted is far beyond the scope of liturgical revision called for at the Council itself.

    Your argument is a version of the “nothing really has changed” that has been the party line since everything changed, right along with the “tide is turning against the mistaken attitudes and styles” that is supposed to have been happening any day now for thirty odd years.

    To place the Tridentine Rite and the NO as two forms of the same thing is a monstrosity. Not at all that the Tridentine Rite must remain unchanged until the trumpet sounds, but that the NO is precisely that, a new mass, not a new form of the Mass. A sham and an utter disgrace, and I say again, that the mouth of the Lord does not blast the vile strange fire from St Peter’s and any other church thinking commnion with it is full subsistence with the Church of Christ and the Apostles, should that belief be true, is the greatest display of divine mercy in our time.

    Or, indeed, the Roman Church has abolished itself with its abolition of the Mass.

  12. Schütz

    Here is something for you to think about, PE – as a Lutheran, not as a Catholic.

    Luther called (what was effectively) the “Old Mass” in his time “an abomination”, due to its emphasis on the sacrifice of the mass. Nevertheless, He and all other Lutherans to this day acknowledge that the “Abomination of the Mass” was still, nevertheless, the true Sacrament of the Altar, without which there would have been no church from the time of the Apostles up to the Reformation.

    Catholics today look at the “new mass” of the Lutherans (with the entire canon chopped out but for the words of institution) and see it as a Liturgical abomination – but the only thing keeping us from recognising the validity of the Lutheran Eucharist is the deficiency (or complete absense of) the sacrament of orders in Lutheran churches. As far as their eucharists go, they have the words of Christ, they have the bread and the wine, they have the intention to do as the Church does (Well… perhaps not… after all they don’t have the intention of offering the sacrifice of the mass…). If their priesthood was valid, methinks we would recognise a valid, if illicit, Eucharist as well. The liturgical quality of the rite doesn’t really enter into it.

    I am inclined to understand the liturgical history of the last 40 years in the Catholic Church within the time honoured paradigm of a “Babylonian Captivity”.

    I am not inclined to believe that Christ’s Church on Earth has become extinct.

  13. Past Elder

    Oh for throwing coins in the Trevi Fountain.

    I quite agree with the Lutheran position you lay out, but I don’t primarily come here as a Lutheran.

    Yes, the Mass I would zealously guard and defend (now there’s a phrase for you) as a Catholic, as a Lutheran I regard as an abomination, but which nonetheless does contain the true Sacrament of the Altar — in fact it is precisely because it does, that what is laid over it is an abomination — and as a Lutheran I say the novus ordo likewise does contain the true Sacrament of the Altar.

    This is not about quality or style of a rite. Conciliar Catholicism always get back to that, because apart from that the novus ordo becomes apparent for the abomination on Catholic grounds that it is.

    In my synod’s latest service book, some of the orders for Divine Service reflect a movement toward a fuller Eucharistica, as some call it — bringing back something of a canon, and I do not have a problem with that, and I do not maintain that a canon which is not an abomination is not possible.

    However, and maybe it is a convert’s perspective, especially in view of from what I converted, I much prefer our Common Service with nothing at all but the Verba.

    Canons, even perfectly acceptable ones, are not of divine institution but human custom; the Verba are not. But even though I may grant a point to those who maintain the Verba-only approach is unnecessary reductionism, nonetheless for me the Verba-only makes it sun clear to me that this is Christ and Christ only, no time for human custom however correct and venerable, but His Word and its power to do what it says, and without the reinterpretation of the source of the power in an idea proper to a pagan Imperial priesthood but foreign to the church of Christ.

  14. Past Elder

    PS — I’m not inclined to believe Christ’s Church on earth has become extinct either. That’s why there was a “Lutheran” Reformation.

  15. Christine

    But as the article points out, ideas such as scarifice, of veiling the sacred, and of the priest offering the sacrifice on behalf of the people are much much clearer in the Extraordinary Form.

    Having backtracked to this post, I see several issues worth pondering (speaking as one who grew up in a family of Catholics and Lutherans).

    I far more prefer the current (and Biblical) emphasis of the Body of Christ exercising their royal priesthood in assisting at the Holy Sacrifice. Yes, the importance of sacramental signs and symbols will always necessitate Holy Orders as the priest offers the Sacrifice in persona Christi but as the liturgy developed over the centuries it almost seemed a throwback to temple Judaism by the Medieval period. As a European by birth the Christian influences of my culture were a bit different than those in the Australian/American English speaking world.

    A former co-worker of mine, a devout Irish Catholic who grew up in the preconciliar church was amazed to learn about the Old Testament sacrifices. She said she had never heard of them. My husband distinctly remembers that at the parish of his youth missals in any form were not available and the good Sisters who taught him at the parish school were always quick to emphasize that reading the Bible is difficult and should not be attempted on an indiviudal basis. Questioning was NOT encouraged (in part because of the immigrant generation’s struggles with a predominantly Protestant American culture. Lutherans, too, were looked upon as still too “catholic” in those days). One of the problems with “the good old days” was that there was such a sharp distinction between clergy and laity that the folks in the pews became convinced that the Bible really belonged to the clergy. I saw plenty of evidence of this on the Catholic side of the family (although truth be told, there’s so much Biblical illiteracy today that it’s no longer just a “Catholic” thing and thankfully many Catholic parishes now have systematic Bible study).

    Yes, if one paid diligent attention and attended daily Mass one could glean a good deal of Scripture even from the former lectionary but as a postconcilar Catholic I too welcome the three readings because they offer a much richer fare of salvation history and its context. I do attend Mass during the week but when I am unable to do so I always read the daily lectionary readings and that, in addition to the many forms of the Liturgy of the Hours that are now available I find an even greater feast of the Word in the Catholic Church now (not discounting personal Bible reading and study) than I knew as a Lutheran (back in the day). It was always there but until universal literacy and mass printing not always drawn upon by the laity (and I am by no means discounting the value of the liturgy itself, as well as the ecclesiastical environment of Catholic Churches in teaching the faith in the old days but the renewed emphasis of Scripture was long needed.

    The Tridentine Rite does offer a deep sense of the numinous and here I agree with David that because Vatican II was not uniformly implemented there has been a sort of “Babylonian captivity” in the Church,but not unfiformly across the board (just as some Lutheran churches are more faithfully liturgical than others). A couple of weeks ago I attended Mass at a neighboring parish, St. Michael the Archangel. Since St. Michael is strongly revered by the German people (of which I am one) I wanted to attend the parish’s feast day liturgy. This parish offers the best of the “old” and the “new”. The church building is very beautiful as well as the high quality ecclesiastical art inside. The choir and musical offerings were superb. The entrance antiphon, Goria and Agnus Dei were sung in Latin, in fact most of the liturgy was sung in a spirit of joyful reverence and dignity.

    As David pointed out, the Novus Ordo can be celebrated very well. I have found the spiritual sustenance I need both at Mass and as a participant in Perpetual Adoration.

    It’s also interesting that Terra quotes former Presbyterian minister Scott Hahn. His allusions to the Mass being heaven on earth in his book “The Lamb’s Supper” are written, of course, from the point of view of a convert who attends the Novus Ordo.

  16. Christine

    Oh, and a couple more thoughts. There was definitely a divide after the Reformation in that my Lutheran mother’s spiritual formation was in a congregation that placed heavy emphasis on the written and preached Word. Holy Communion was celebrated four times a year and individual confession and absolution kind of fell by the wayside. It’s probably why so many Lutherans of her generation had some very definite misconceptions about what confession in the Catholic tradition really entailed.

    It’s also the reason that many Lutheran churches display what was the perpetual lamp burning before the tabernacle by the lectern to emphasize the Biblical Word.

    The Council of Trent reemphasized the sacrificial nature of the priesthood and the Mass and Christ the living Word to whom the Scriptures testify.

    Word and Sacrament belong together.

  17. Past Elder

    Brings back memories — I used to chide who became the pastor who married us about the lamp. It fulfills the lamp in the Temple by the showbread, as the Eucharist fulfills the showbread itself, so you get rid of the Eucharist and keep the lamp signifying its presence?

    I used to say such things.

    God revealed temple Judaism. A religion of Scripture and preaching (rabbinic Judaism)is what happens when God’s religion is not possible, or, viewed differently, has been fulfilled, which is precisely what Roman Catholicism, the one sacrifice of the one priest and the one priesthood, and a religion of Scripture reading and preaching (Protestantism) is what happens when you deny that.

    I used to say such things too. In that view, lack of “Bible study” was an over-reaction, yes, but based on something good, that this isn’t a religion of Bible study and preaching and could get along, as could temple Judaism which preceded it, quite well without it. It’s also why Sunday sermons rarely exceeded ten or minutes.

    So the comparison to temple Judaism is a good thing and quite at the heart if what ii is — or was — to be Catholic.

  18. Christine

    So the comparison to temple Judaism is a good thing and quite at the heart if what ii is — or was — to be Catholic.

    Well, “back in the day” there was too often a spirituality that saw Mary and the Saints more accessible and merciful than Christ (understandable in those times and circumstances. In an age before antibiotics and other remedies people faced with the Black Plague wanted assistance from any and all corners they could get it). It still persists in some nooks and crannies of Catholicism, especially among the extreme traditionalists (just as some radical evangelicals separate the Church from Christ).

    Catholics very much believe in the principle of mediation but it can be exaggerated in the wrong direction. A reminder of the Temple era which saw a strict separation between the “holy” and the “profane”, especially as regards women (to be fair, present in most ancient cultures) in teaching a sometimes stubborn and resistant people what it means to belong to the one Lord of the Universe.

    Catholics (and it can be a problem in Orthodoxy too) cannot be faulted for their lack of exposure to the Bible in the days before the advent of mass printing. Bibles were rare, expensive and had to be copied by hand so yes, the liturgy and the art in Catholic Churches served to teach the faith and did so admirably in many cases. But now we have the opportunity to grow into the fullness of the knowledge and stature of Christ in a way that earlier generations did not have. And ten minute sermons? Not a problem with me if they are preached well. My idea of purgatory is having to attend an evangelical service where the preacher goes on, and on, and on . . . . .

    Yes, God revealed Temple Judaism but the Temple was ultimately destroyed, enabling the nascent Christian faith to grow, bloom and become “catholic” in a way that it might not have done had the Temple remained. The New Temple is the living stones, both lay and clergy who now make up the Body of Christ, with Christ Jesus as the Head (yup, the Church belongs to Christ, not the Pope although I am grateful for the gift of the Papacy).

    Temple Judaism will no doubt always be the ideal for some forms of Judaism (witness the ongoing clash for the Temple Mount where some Orthodox Jews want to reinstate the sacrifices) but it is no longer relevant in the same sense to Christianity. We are, to be sure, an “enfleshed” and incarnational faith (in continuity with our Jewish roots) that uses matter and the beauty of signs and symbols to worship (sacraments after all being symbols that enact what they signify – an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible grace) but we are no longer the Temple with its court of women, court of gentiles, and step-by-step approach to the Holy. The Temple curtain was, after all, rent at the death of Christ and modern Judaism sees prayer, study and good works as the acceptable “sacrifices” to God (as PE pointed out, its rabbinic form). Which leads me to an aside – the Jewish people have always been marvelous storytellers (as was our Lord). I just love the varying explanations for why glass is broken at a Jewish wedding:

    •Temple: Breaking of the Jewish wedding glass is a reminder of the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem.
    •Superstitious: A loud noise is thought to drive away evil spirits.
    •Sadness/Joy: A reminder that even in times of great joy that there is sadness. That life will bring sadness as well as joy.
    •Hymen: A breaking of the glass represents symbolically the breaking of the hymen, and the consummation of the marriage.
    •Fragile: The glass symbolizes the love and relationship of the couple and is fragile, so it must be cared for and not broken.
    •Broken World: A reminder that although the couple came together as a single union, the world as a whole is broken and needs mending.
    •Marriage is Forever: A broken Jewish wedding glass is forever changed, likewise, the couple are forever changed by the marriage and take on a new form.
    •Be Fruitful: A hope that your happiness will be as plentiful as the shards of glass…or that your children will be as plentiful as the shards of glass.

    Many reform Jews have no desire to rebuild the Temple (acknowledging, nonetheless your hat tip to Orthodox Judaism). Reminds me of an afternoon I was watching Fiddler on the Roof (I love that movie) with my cradle Catholic mother-in-law. At the scene where the wife was lighting the Sabbath candles my mother-in-law sighed, “so much like our Catholic religion.”

    Now some Protestants will likely say that Catholicism and Orthodoxy are still stuck in the Temple mode. Yes, we too offer sacrifice but it is not the sacrifice of animal victims who had no choice and had to be continually repeated, as Scripture says. We join our sacrifice of praise to the one, living and perfect Sacrifice offered by the Son eternally at the heavenly altar and by virtue of our baptism can approach the throne of mercy in a way that Temple Judaism veiled. The New really does fulfill the signs and symbols of the Old.

    Catholics are also blessed by the Presence that is available in tabernacles all over the world, day and night. I cherish the peace that my weekly hour of adoration brings.

  19. Past Elder

    A Jew who does not pray daily, as even I did when a Righteous of the Nations, for the restoration of the Temple and the sacrifices is not worthy of the name.

    Your mother in law and David’s seem to be the best theologians in their respective families!

    After we were married, but before we became (or in her case re-became) Lutheran, it was great to finally have Sabbath candles. As a male, I cannot light them.

    Roman Catholicism is precisely Messianic “temple” (the only kind given by God) Judaism.

    How well this blog fulfills my (convert from Protestantism) Dad’s characterisation after the Council, that it’s become just another Protestant church except with a pope.

    Neither fish nor fowl. Nothing.

  20. Christine

    A Jew who does not pray daily, as even I did when a Righteous of the Nations, for the restoration of the Temple and the sacrifices is not worthy of the name.

    Well my Reform Jewish friends would disagree with you, but you knew that. Of course from a Christian perspective there is no going back. Animal sacrifice ended for us with the destruction of the Temple. We could never go back to offering the blood of lambs and goats after the spotless offering of His Blood once and for all.

    Your mother in law and David’s seem to be the best theologians in their respective families!

    Don’t give her too much credit on that score. My mother-in-law, growing up in an insulated ethnic Polish Catholic neighborhood wasn’t all that well-informed about what went on beyond it nor did she have the slightest idea of what authentic Judaism versus authentic Christianity really involved. She was reacting to externals, purely and simply.

    As for the Catholic Church being just another Protestant church except with a Pope, you’ll never convince the Protestant side of my family.

    As my Protestant brother-in-law commented when he and my sister visited Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral (referring to the abundance of ecclesiastical art), “How can anyone pray here with all these distractions?”

    I got a good chuckle out of that one. The Mass also, I’m afraid, is still a mystery to them. The “Protestant” image you paint of it is not at all self-evident in their eyes.

  21. Christine

    Here is something for you to think about, PE – as a Lutheran, not as a Catholic.

    I’m still amazed at this. PE is officially Lutheran yet continues to come here in his alter ego as a disaffected PREconciliar Catholic to tell POSTconciliar Catholics who identify as CATHOLICS that their Church is NOT Catholic.

    It makes my head hurt.

    I’m glad I just identify as a Catholic (ooops, sometimes I do append that dreaded and pagan “ROMAN” nomenclature to it!!)

  22. Past Elder

    Judas with fish and chips, there’s no alter ego about it. I am a Lutheran; I was a Catholic. This blog — which I did not seek and whose author I ran across on a Lutheran blog — and some of its commenters are Lutherans who became Catholic since the Council. For whom my message is, I know what you think you got, and I’m not here to argue that but to say you didn’t get it, you got a disgusting sham put in its place.

    We have a bunch of Lutherans who went Orthodox too, but at least they got Orthodoxy!

    As an Orthodox friend summed up the Brave New RCC, “very sad”.

    What poor writing skills I must have to have come across as posting about post-conciliar “Catholicism” as seen by Protestants.

  23. Christine

    But, but (she sputtered) — we LIKE it !!