Ecce Sacerdos Magnus!


Well, the best news is the latest news, and before anyone else in the blogosphere gets in, I can report to you that Bishop Anthony Fisher OP was well and truly installed and plugged in to the Diocese of Parramatta this evening. And the best thing about the ceromony (other than the Real Presence our Lord and Saviour under the appearance of bread and wine, of course) was the music! I had a copy of the installation service hot of the press during the week, because it was prepared by our own Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Communications team (a sterling production in itself, and I am sure the mass book will become a collectors item).

The mass opened with the singing of St Patrick’s Breastplate IN FULL eight verses while the priests entered. Bach’s Kyrie Gott Vater in Ewigkeit on the organ, and then Gregorian chant by the Schola for the Solemn Reception of the new bishop and the Congregation responding with “Ecce Sacerdos Magnus”. The bishop and metropolitan (+Anthony and +George respectively) came into the Church during the singing of “In faith and hope and love”. The Gloria and the Agnus Dei were from Mozart’s Mass in C Major, the psalm was by Roger Heagney, a Taize response to the prayers of the faithful, a new piece by Flor Peeters on Psalm 100 for the offertory, the Sanctus in Latin from Mass XVIII, Gregorian communion chant, “Sing my tonue” and “Let all mortal flesh keep silence” for communion, the Te Deum in English chanted responsively between the congregation and the choir, ending with the Ave Regina Caelorum and Now Thank we all our God. Wonderful. My friend Peter, with whom I am staying, commented: “They sang like Lutherans!” One piece that had me giggling (my sense of the ridiculous always lets me down on these solemn occasions) was the singing by the choir before the Solemn Entrance of the setting of Psalm 23 which features as the theme song for the Vicar of Dibley… A sublime piece, but wrong connotations, unfortunately!

Deacon Paul OP chanted the gospel beautifully. One got a very strong impression that things were done at this mass to set an example for how things would follow later. I chatted with some choir members at supper later, and commended them on their work. They will be appreciated, I think, by the new incumbant.

One good thing that can be said for the new Parramatta Cathedral (aka St Bunnings) is that it has good acoustics, thanks to plenty of hard edges and a high roofline. Aside from that, the set up of the Cathedral – with pews in rows facing eachother “choir” style, the large central granite square altar, bishops cathedra one end under a very modern huge metal crucifix and the lectern at the other end – means that there is effectively no “sanctuary” and people enter at the beginning and mill around afterwards all around the altar. The old Cathedral – used now as a Narthex – houses the Blessed Sacrament Chapel (inside a large “easter egg”) and the baptismal font and pool. As one person said: It is an excellent example of “that” kind of layout. All in all it is not what one would call practical. And someone from the other side of the Cathedral said they spent the mass trying to work out what was on my tie (I was seated at the back of the other side facing them). In fact, it was a Calvin and Hobbes tie, which I wore largely because I thought Prof. Hadyn Ramsey, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Notre Dame, would appreciate it. (I am saving my Phantom tie for Bishop Anthony’s 50th Birthday party on Saturday night). Just illustrates the problem of a church designed so that everyone can see everyone else.

But at least everyone got a good view of the action. And of the 30 odd bishops from around Australian and the Pacific who attended. Quite astounding, given that it was just the installation of a bishop, not his ordination. Shows the regard in which +Anthony is held by his brothers, I guess.

What else? Well, there was the obligatory welcome by the Aboriginal Elders at the beginning, which was a nice touch, but didn’t actually flow with the liturgy as such. Makes one wonder if we should (as one bishop once commented to me) feel obligated to make such an acknowledgement a part of our liturgy or not. My preference (and this is just a personal thing) is that the greetings from the elders should have been done along with the greetings from the various other groups, such as priests, religious, people and civil representatives which took place after the entrance. But each to their own.

I expect that the new Bishop’s homily will be published on the Parramatta Dioceson Website sooner or later, but for the moment, I would like to note a couple of things that +Anthony said. These installation homilies are usually the opportunity the new bishop has to thank his predecessor (+Kevin) for all their work and their contribution to the life of the Diocese, but also to set the tone for how he intends to do things in the future. In one section of the homily (and I don’t have it word for word, but this is the gist of it), Anthony said:

“We are not either a pre-Vatican II or a post-Vatican II church. We are not either a Roman church or an Australian church. We are not either a desert church or a church of the Western city. We are a Catholic Church.”

[Update: His actual words were “for we are not either a pre-Vatican II or a post-Vatican II Church; either a Roman or an Australian; either a Western Desert or a Western suburbs one; we are the Catholic Church embracing all time and space and cultures. Nicaea and Vatican II, Rome and Australia, the bush and the city.]

I took this to mean that he was not going to tolerate people trying to push a party line, but that he would be a Catholic bishop for all Catholics in Parramatta. He also told us a bit of history about the woes of the first Dominican priest in Sydney, and commented that when this Dominican first began ministry in the western region almost 200 years ago, he found that less than “one in six Catholics attended mass, and many Catholics never went to confession”. He said later in his homily: “We will not let the situation slide back to those days”. Of course, we know that in fact at this point in time, we would be lucky if one in six Catholics attended Sunday Mass, but he made is point. This is not a level he finds acceptable and he will work to raise the level of participation in the Sacraments during his time in this See.

He also noted that there had in fact been “four churches built on this site”, and each has changed and altered over the years. “This building too will evolve during the 21st Century”. And I guess that the point of that is “Let the reader understand”.

He spoke of the importance of justice for every inhabitant of the diocese, referring to the first reading from Isaiah 61:1-3 which Jesus also used at the beginning of his ministry. He said that whatever their particular captivity, the Gospel had come to liberate them. Let this night be “good news” for everyone in the Parramatta diocese, Catholic or otherwise. He spoke of working closely with the civil representatives of the area, to ensure dignity for every person “from conception to natural end of life”. We remember that Anthony’s particular area of expertise is bioethics. Someone told me at the supper afterwards that Anthony has a regular Thursday morning slot on the local ABC Radio station. You can expect that his voice will continue to be heard on all manner of issues that require the Church’s attention.

Finally, +Anthony also said in his homily a heart felt thank you to his family and friends who had travelled a long distance to come to Parramatta tonight. “Thank you for loving me so well”, he said. We do love you, Anthony, and trust that your people will too.

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47 Comments

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47 responses to “Ecce Sacerdos Magnus!

  1. Terry Maher (Past Elder)

    Glad you identified the event — looks like Halloween at the Senior Centre otherwise.

    I’m actually glad they got Jesus out of the way in his little “easter egg” rather than have him as the focal point of the church as he is in a Catholic Church rather than a Protestant place of assembly. Jesus has nothing to do with this in any manner of presence.

    But I’m sure it was a nice concert so it wasn’t a total loss. The megachurches do that too, just with a different idea of what is a nice concert.

  2. “[You’re] actually glad they got Jesus out of the way in his little “easter egg” rather than have him as the focal point of the church as he is in a Catholic Church rather than a Protestant place of assembly.”

    I’m reluctant to defend the Conciliar Church, but you’re off the mark here, PE. The Tabernacle ought to be the focal point of an ordinary church, but isn’t traditionally the focal point of a Cathedral:

    “As a rule, in cathedrals and monastic churches it is not set upon the high altar but upon a side altar, or the altar of a special sacramentary chapel …”
    [The Catholic Encyclopedia, article “Tabernacle”,
    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14424a.htm%5D

    Though the Tabernacle’s “easter egg” design does sound unworthy of housing Our Eucharistic Lord.

  3. Christine

    As a rule, in cathedrals and monastic churches it is not set upon the high altar but upon a side altar, or the altar of a special sacramentary chapel; this is to be done both on account of the reverence due the Holy Sacrament and to avoid impeding the course of the ceremonies in solemn functions at the high altar.

    Right. St. Peter’s Basilica has a Blessed Sacrament Chapel. The diocesan Cathedral here has the tabernacle on a side altar which one would have to be literally blind not to see.

    Christne.

  4. Christine

    And as for the vestments. Sigh. I’m a sucker for ’em, bring ’em on, funny clothes, hats, all of it.

    “We are not either a pre-Vatican II or a post-Vatican II church. We are not either a Roman church or an Australian church. We are not either a desert church or a church of the Western city. We are a Catholic Church.”

    Ad multos annos!

  5. Terry Maher (Past Elder)

    Jeez, I must have missed that in the cathedrals I was in prior to the 1960s. I guess that was something else up there. Wonder what is was?

    Point is, I do not dispute that the location of the reserved Sacrament has been varied over history. The Church used to think it moved under the direction of the Holy Spirit, who does not let things fall into decay to be rescued centuries later by scholars pursuing some Rousseauian “noble church” aka “early church.

    Resource my butt. Any goof ball who can say with a straight face the this is neither a pre nor post conciliar church while standing in a Protestant place of assembly while the reserved Sacrament is carried off in Cromwellian style somewhere is so full of, uh, newspeak duplicity as to have no credibility on anything whatsoever.

    • Peregrinus

      Well, I think the hammer of irony is about to strike the anvil of “preconciliar Catholicism” with particular force.

      Possibly, Terry, being an American, most of the cathedrals you were in prior to the 1960s were American cathedrals. And possibly most of them were erected in the 19th century, or not too long after it.

      There was a tendency in the 19th century to think of cathedrals as large parish churches, and to design them accordingly. And this tendency was particularly pronounced in the U.S., and in other places where Catholicism was a minority religion, surpassed by various forms of Protestantism. And this tendency was to some extent the outcome of Protestant-influenced ideas of church function and design.

      The result was what I think of as a “theatre” design, with the altar/sanctuary/tabernacle grouped together at one end of the building, and the bulk of the space given over to seating oriented towards (and offering a clear view towards) that end. We think of this as putting a unified focus on the altar and the tabernacle, but of course it also puts a strong focus on the congregation. It also lends itself to preaching.

      Older cathedrals tended more towards a more diffuse and decentralised design, and this is especially true of pre-reformation Cathedrals (most of which, necessarily, are in Europe). The altar was often centrally located (often at the crossing, which itself was midway between the eastern and western ends of the building) and the tabernacle was the subject of a separate (and comparatively minor) focus, which might or might not be on an axis with the main altar and the main door. The nave tended to occupy less space, and the aisles and transepts more, than we find in 19th century cathedrals. And, where there was seating, it was often oriented in a variety of directions, e.g. towards side-altars. There was usually significant space dedicated to the Cathedral chapter, often in the form of stalls which faced not the altar, or the tabernacle, but one another, very much on the pattern of a monastic church. (The chapter was, of course, very often a monastic community.) Sometimes the stalls surrounded the altar, so that they face the altar [i]and[/i] one another, in which case they and largely or completely blocked the altar from the view of people in the nave. Sometimes the stalls interposed between the altar and the tabernacle so that, even if they [i]were[/i] on an axis, people in the nave could see the altar but not the tabernacle. Cathedrals were not constructed in the expectation that they would accommodate large congregations; that was what parish churches were for.

      In other words, what you think of as a classically Catholic cathedral design is something quite recent, which reflects modernist and Protestant influences.

      • Salvatore

        Actually, the reason that Cathedrals have Blessed Sacrament Chapels is because it was assumed that a Cathedral would have a Chapter (regular or secular) singing the office every day. If the Sacrament were reserved on the High Altar the offices would have been constantly interrupted every time some-one had to go to the tabernacle. In mission territories (like Australia & the US) there were no Cathedral Chapters, so the difficulty never arose, and the strong impulse to place the Sacrament in the place of greatest honour meant that reservation was on the High Altar. This was even the case in Cathedrals which were provided with Sacrament Chapels (such as St Patricks Melbourne).

        Incidentally, the idea of the Church as a ‘theatre’ is not a 19th Century one but earlier. It was the Counter Reformation that first stressed unimpeded visibility and audibility in Church design. It was all downhill from then on. 😉

        • Peregrinus

          Good point.

          Though, it has to be said, there is no “default” that the sacrament should be reserved on or near the principal altar in the absence of some other consideration. This is to a significant extent a matter of liturgical fashion.

          At one time in history, tabernacles were not normally found in churches at all, at another time they were mainly to be found in the Sacristy. Even as late as the nineteenth century there was guidance from Rome to the effect that the tabernacle should not be at the principal altar in churches which were frequently used for weddings, funerals, etc (i.e. in parish churches) as well as in churches where the divine office was celebrated. It has to be said, though, that liturgical architects of the nineteenth century tended to ignore this guidance. The feeling was, I think, that during such liturgies attention would be distracted from the tabernacle and focussed elsewhere, and that it was better that the tabernacle should be in a place which was used for eucharistic devotion more than for any other purpose – a eucharistic chapel, or dedicated side altar.

        • Terry Maher (Past Elder)

          Well, Sal’s account is what I was taught.

          Right up to the last. I was taught that the Counter Reformation was a GOOD thing from which everything now went uphill.

          I was taught the Counter Reformation actually WAS the Reformation, and what we conversationally call the Protestant Reformation is more properly termed the Protestant Revolt and was no reformation whatever but a descent into doctrinal error and ecclesiastical anarchy.

          We did not then think in terms of some “early church” which is the Holy Grail to be sought, a Rousseauian “noble church” whose purity was to be rediscovered through scholarly resourcing.

          We actually thought this Holy Spirit guided the growth of the church, and if you said “Well that’s not how the church did it originally or universally” one would wonder, as they say now, And your point is …? Because that objection was no objection at all, any more than a man in his middle years should dress in a diaper to show he is the same man and in harmony with himself.

          We were taught that the Counter Reformation accomplished two great things, one, it addressed the legitimate moral concerns of the revolters, and also built an everlasting defence against the errors into which they unfortunately fell.

          Then came the Revolution, and we were told this was all wrong, and if you don’t think so shut up and sit down because the people want it and so does the Holy Spirit do get with it or get out of the way.

          But of course, nothing REALLY changed!

          • Peregrinus

            “Well, Sal’s account is what I was taught.

            Right up to the last. I was taught that the Counter Reformation was a GOOD thing from which everything now went uphill . . .

            We were taught that the Counter Reformation accomplished two great things, one, it addressed the legitimate moral concerns of the revolters, and also built an everlasting defence against the errors into which they unfortunately fell.

            Then came the Revolution, and we were told this was all wrong, and if you don’t think so shut up and sit down because the people want it and so does the Holy Spirit do get with it or get out of the way.”

            You seem to be assuming, Terry, that if the counter-reformation was good no other change in the church can ever be good, and alternatively to advocate a further change in the church is to assert that the counter-reformation was bad.

            I am a child of the post-conciliar church – I was born in 1962 – and I was never, ever, ever taught that the counter-reformation was a bad thing. It has always been presented to me in a positive light.

            The belief that you are articulating here is not so much that the counter-reformation was a good thing, but rather that the counter-reformation – and the church shaped by it, experienced by you before the Second Vatican Council – is, always and forever, the [i]only[/i] good thing.

            This is, of course, a superficially Catholicised version of the quintessentially modernist belief that now (whenever “now” happens to be) is the summit of history, the high point of existence, the end point towards which all that has gone before was working. Because we are the Church, and because we have gone through the counter-reformation, then the counter-reformed Church must be, always and forever, the Church As God Intends It To Be.

            There is, in truth, no reason to believe that the church was somehow perfectly Catholic after the counter-reformation in a way that it was not before the counter-reformation. The counter-reformation was a reaction – a good and positive reaction – to the particular circumstances in which the church found itself at the time. The church continues to react to the circumstances in which it finds itself – as it should. When you stop reacting to your environment, you die. In fact, failure to react to your environment is one of the principal clinical indications of death.

            To put it simply, if the church that Martin Luther challenged viewed itself as you suggest the church you experienced viewed itself, there would never have been a counter-reformation. The need for such could never have been recognised or admitted.

            The challenges encountered the church didn’t come to a stop with the 95 Theses, and a church which defines itself eternally against the Errors Of Luther is a church which has chosen oblivion. There are other fish to fry.

            “But of course, nothing REALLY changed!”

            Nothing whose constancy is fundamentally important. Christ is constant. The Gospel is constant. Liturgy is very mutable. (If the counter-reformation shows nothing else, it shows that liturgical change is not inherently bad.)

          • Terry Maher (Past Elder)

            That’s certainly the Vatican II party line, heard it for years.

            The fact is nobody but marginal reactionaries assumes any such thing, but the company boys lump them all to-gether as if they did.

            Never ever was I taught that Trent solved everything for all time, or that any further changes would of necessity be bad. Or that they did not in fact continue to happen — for example, chosing it not because it is unique but because it is within my living memory — the changes to the Holy Week liturgy made by Pius XII (the last pope worthy of the title) in the 1950s.

            Change per se was never the issue. The issue was and is the particular changes made by Vatican II. Christ and the Gospel are indeed constant; who we think Christ is and what we think the Gospel is, which necessarily involve what is our relation to them and to each other in that light, is another matter.

            It is amazing, until one realises the either utter duplicity or total self delusion of those involved, that the voices in the decades leading up to Vatican II stridently proclaimed that we had gone seriously afield in these matters and change was sorely needed, so much so that the Church warned against such thinking time after time in encyclicals and other documents to the point where the advocates were banned from teaching and/or publishing under the name Catholic, one of them even making the Index of Forbidden Books (Chenu), turned up at the council as periti and later even cardinals and popes, but after the council stridently said oh no nothing has changed or ever will REALLY after their Kristallnacht was done and Rome was sacked yet again.

            Alicia in terra mirabile.

            • mdhoerr

              I can’t find anything in English online on what Chenu wrote. It appears he influenced Father Schillebeeckx, though, who, judging from his writings, is clearly a heretic.

              • Terry Maher (Past Elder)

                I supplied some links to get you started, Mary, but they await “moderation” by the censor deputatus.

  6. Terry Maher (Past Elder)

    I visited St Peter’s right after the Revolution. The blood was barely dry. Any Catholic would cry at the desecration done to it. I see it now on TV and laugh.

  7. Christine

    I have to say this, only the Catholic Church could provoke these kinds of reactions. I’ve only met two types of Catholics (and that would include those in my family) — those for whom the RC ceased after Vatican II and those for whom it didn’t.

    Controversial, yes. Boring, never.

    Christine

  8. Terry Maher (Past Elder)

    Rome is full of ruins. The old state church is among them, the new state church still has its real estate — all that matters, the $$$ — but it is in ruins otherwise too. Sooner or later, without its Empire, the real estate will go too, Vatican Bank or no Vatican Bank. There ain’t no more Holy Roman Empire to rob for its money.

  9. Christine

    No, there truly ain’t no more Roman Empire and for that I’m glad.

    But the church is still with us.

    Christine

  10. Terry Maher (Past Elder)

    Yes, the church is still with us. So is the RCC. You can even find the former in the latter!

  11. While all this nice chit chat has been going on, the happy lot over at Catholica have picked up this story (cf. http://www.catholica.com.au/gc3/satire/001_dh_050310.php) . This post is reviewed as “public relations spin”. And they liked the photo enough to run it – thankfully with acknowledgements. I hope I don’t get into trouble over the picture of Anthony. It was just one of those very human moments that are sometimes caught on film – or SD card, as the case may be. Like our beloved Holy Father, +Anthony has a very expressive face, and again, like the Holy Father, his expression always makes me smile.

    • PM

      That is the face of a man who takes his vocation seriously but not himself. Ad multos annos! Pity I couldn’t be there.

      I note also the generous – and well deserved – tributes he and his predecessor have given each other.

      That might extend to the excellent choir, which will certainly continue but was put there by +Kevin.

  12. Christine

    Yes, the church is still with us. So is the RCC. You can even find the former in the latter!

    Ya got that right, my friend!

    I appreciate Peregrinus’ comments about the cathedrals of Europe, his point regarding the tabernacles is well taken. I have seen what he describes in the cathedrals of my native Bavaria.

    Nothing whose constancy is fundamentally important. Christ is constant. The Gospel is constant. Liturgy is very mutable. (If the counter-reformation shows nothing else, it shows that liturgical change is not inherently bad.)

    Amen to that!

    Great photos, David.

    Christine

  13. Terry Maher (Past Elder)

    As a Lutheran I have no problem with saying the true church can be found within the postconciliar RCC, though it’s with some difficulty due to the errors pushed. It’s as a Catholic that the postconciliar RCC fails as either the Catholic Church or the catholic church, or its ludicrous claim that the former is wherein the fullness of the latter subsists.

    People always say “nothing has changed” when they change stuff. Standard corporate talk re a takeover, whether in business suits or stylised period costumes like churchy garb. As I mentioned above, Christ doesn’t change but our understanding sure can, and did at Vatican II, hence all the previously banned ideas promulaged and silenced promoters thereof turning up as periti and cardinals and the duplicity intended or not of how decades of “change, change, change” suddenly became “nothing changed, nothing changed, nothing changed” after they got their way.

  14. Terry Maher (Past Elder)

    As to the photos, you sure it really wasn’t Halloween at the senior centre? The CA piece has a much more realistic awareness of the politics behind the nice show. Seen that stuff up close and personal as they say, and it makes our horsecrap in LCMS look like a day in the park by comparison.

  15. Christine

    Seen that stuff up close and personal as they say, and it makes our horsecrap in LCMS look like a day in the park by comparison.

    Which LCMS? There seem to be a couple of them floating around these days.

    I’ll take Halloween at the senior center over praise bands and babes any day.

    Even Luther, when he wasn’t finding the devil lurking around every corner was forced to admit that the RC still contains the Sacraments and the Gospel. Although as my countryman I still have a great deal of fondness for good Dr. Martin.

    Christine

  16. Terry Maher (Past Elder)

    Which LCMS? Which RCC? Seems like there’s several now, the usual crap and one you hear tell of but never see but it doesn’t matter because it’s nor Catholic either.

    Let’s not be too quick to jump on praise babes (OK bad choice of words). As Sister Janis used to say in Social Studies re Karl Marx, they work pretty hard you know.

  17. Christine

    Which RCC? The one in communion with the Bishop of Rome.

    The LCMS is a bit harder to locate these days.

    Let’s not be too quick to jump on praise babes (OK bad choice of words). Very bad choice indeed but I’ll make an exception for Jimmy Swaggart and his lovely ladies 🙂

    Christine

  18. Terry Maher (Past Elder)

    Hell the bishop of Rome isn’t in communion with the bishop of Rome, so doesn’t matter.

    Speaking of music, I’m no fan of Contemporary Christian Music, but I love Gospel Music right up there with Chant. You’re all invited to sample some great Gospel chosen to reflect the themes of the Sundays in Lent (the real ones, not the novus ordo replacements) on Past Elder. Next week for Oculi — Brother Swaggart doing “Looking For A City” tears it up.

    What? Chant and Gospel? Melismas in Gospel like Notker never thought possible over at St Gall. I wasn’t there, I was at the monkery across the street, St Bladder, where the schola was lead by Notker Balbulus’ lesser known brother, Notker Flatulus. Great Gospel.

  19. Christine

    Hmm. These folks seem to feel that the Bishop of Rome is the Bishop of Rome 🙂

    http://salesianity.blogspot.com/2010/03/100-us-anglican-parishes-convert-to.html

    Christine

    • Terry Maher (Past Elder)

      Utter fools. One former state church justifies itself via another. Nothing whatever to do with Christ’s church.

  20. Christine

    Except — Anglicans in America ain’t part of a state church 🙂

    Christine

    • Terry Maher (Past Elder)

      I said, former. Typical Catholic inability to read anything that doesn’t swoon about the only god the RCC knows, itself, The Catholic Church The Catholic Church The Catholic Church once the Roman hallucinogens set in.

  21. Peter

    “We are not either a pre-Vatican II or a post-Vatican II church. We are not either a Roman church or an Australian church. We are not either a desert church or a church of the Western city. We are a Catholic Church”

    The quote ended with the words “We are THE Catholic Church.” I double checked the video cast.

    • Terry Maher (Past Elder)

      Bull. (Not on your part, Peter, but this ludicrous “bishop”, you just unfortunately bought the company line.) The pre-Vatican II church built itself loudly lambasting the then existing church, then the post-Vatican II church says oh nothing happened really. Utter duplicity, and the disdain in which the postconciliar church holds anything before itself is evident even in the more conservative of its many faces, such as this blog.

    • Salvatore

      Well I’d have to say that I find the quote both silly and offensive. After all he is a Roman Catholic and the Roman Church is not coextensive with the Catholic Church. I would have expected better from +Fisher (from what I’ve heard of him). Perhaps it worked better in context?

      • mdhoerr

        Salvatore,
        I would guess that since the comparison was Roman Catholic vs Australian Catholic, he meant to stress the lack of division between Rome and Australia.

        You’re right, of course, that there are other Catholic churches — the Eastern Orthodox comes to mind.

  22. Peter

    David: I didn’t mean my correction of the quote to sound as abrupt as it did sorry. I was rushed at the time.

    Terry: We get that you don’t like the Catholic Church mate. Just thought I’d let you know in case your repetition of that theme was due to an impression that you weren’t coming through load and clear.

    The point is, whether any of us agree with the claims of the Catholic Church or not, Bishop Fisher is at comitting himself to a faith representation of what the Catholic Church declares herself to be. It is a proper intention for a Catholic Bishop.

  23. Christine

    Peter, I’ve been on both sides of the fence. I spent the last year in a Missouri Synod Lutheran congregation thinking that perhaps that was where I belonged, having been raised a Lutheran.

    I’m not going to malign the good people I knew there but suffice it to say, what I saw hardly represented the “catholic church” that Terry insists is now lacking in the RC.

    The worship wars are in full swing in the LCMS, other Lutheran bodies now ordain women and have approved gay marriage, and a host of other heterodox practices.

    I’m glad to be back at the Mass where I still encounter the Catholic faith, Terry’s protestations notwithstanding.

    Christine

    • Great to hear that you’re back, Christine – congratulations, and please spare a prayer for me, as I will for you; oh, and for Terry too!

  24. Terry Maher (Past Elder)

    We get? SCE has a spokesman now?

    What I like and don’t like is entirely irrelevant, but to think making a point of what I do or don’t like is why I came here is a typically Catholic religious imperialism: since The Catholic Church The Catholic Church The Catholic Church alone has the Truth, and any truth anyone else has is simply a part of that truth, anything against The Catholic Church The Catholic Church The Catholic Church proceeds from personal opinion, unbalanced emotions, whatever, so let’s dialogue (ie talk until you turn Catholic but don’t say that).

    One does not encounter the Catholic faith in a novus ordo service, not by a long shot, and no developments on this earth would lead me to the absurdity that a body could teach ideas are dissent but then later normative, could count people as banned but then later advisory experts and high officials, could teach something as devotion and then as ridicule, and say but oh it’s the same thing.

    There is no Protestant church or service on this earth which is as apart from the Catholic faith, and no Protestant church on this earth which has ever done greater damage to it.

    • I reject your silly statement that “One does not encounter the Catholic faith in a novus ordo service, not by a long shot” – the Gospel is read, the Creed is read, the Eucharistic Prayers (whether the Roman Canon or the new compositions) accurately state the Sacrifice of the Mass (e.g. in E.P.IV, “we offer you [Father] his [Christ’s] body and blood, the acceptable sacrifice that brings salvation to the whole world”), and on any theory, Lutheran or Catholic, the Body and Blood of Christ are administered to the faithful for their supernatural comfort unto everlasting life.

      So Terry, try to stop ranting.

      • Terry Maher (Past Elder)

        Sorry pal, your Protestant justification of the novus ordo confirms what I said. As a Lutheran I have no problem acknowledging the novus ordo as a valid Eucharist. It’s as a Roman Catholic Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that it utterly fails. But typical of Vatican II “Catholicism” to justify it so.

  25. Christine

    Hi Joshua,

    Thanks for your kind words, you and everyone here will certainly be in my prayers and I thank you for yours.

    As for the venerable Past Elder, we must keep in mind that he now rejects any form of Catholicism whatsoever, be it pre or postconciliar while admitting, along with the venerable Dr. Luther, that the catholic Church can be found in the Catholic Church so whether he acknowledges that the Holy Sacrifice is present in the novus ordo isn’t really an issue.

    But I’m guessing if Papa Benedict came to town Terry would still be willing to sit down over a fine meal of German sausage to shoot the breeze with him!

    Christine

  26. Terry Maher (Past Elder)

    Whether I acknowledge that the Holy Sacrifice is present in the novus ordo isn’t an issue at all.

    For one thing, “acknowledge” is a loaded term, assuming it is there, and the question is does one acknowledge it.

    For another, “I acknowledge” is another loaded term, assuming that it is there, and if I don’t acknowledge it the problem is me.

    Typical of Catholic argumentation, which, since it is always right, no argument or evidence against it need be considered, except to find a reason why no such arguments or evidence should be addressed as such, since a piori it cannot have something to say.

    An argument is an argument, whether the arguer personally believes what he argues or not. At one time anyone undertaking Catholic apologetics understood this, following Aquinas who said that one must be able to state a position at least as well as those who believe it.

    But it is in character with everything else on this blog, that it is not characteristic of what was Catholic, neither as to orthodoxy, nor even dissent.

  27. Terry Maher (Past Elder)

    PS. It takes a little more than repeating the usual Catholic confusion of justification and sanctification as demonstrated in the EPIV excerpt above to make something the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as taught once upon a time by the RCC.

    Let alone that it is thoroughly unChristian; we are not offering God anything in the mass, he is as the priest; and he offers us everything who have nothing to offer.

  28. Christine

    Let alone that it is thoroughly unChristian; we are not offering God anything in the mass, he is as the priest;

    And yet he still needs human hands to renew the once-for-all Sacrifice that is made present at the Mass.

    Just checked my Daily Roman Missal, yep, it’s still the Sacrifice of the Mass.

    • Terry Maher (Past Elder)

      We are not offering God anything. The priest stands in Christ’s place; Christ is the priest, and that is why the priest was spoken of as an alter Christus, not that there is another Christ, but that he instances the one priest there is as much as if Christ himself were there.

      • Well, we do offer God something – both priest and people. The very gift he gave us. This – the body and blood of our Lord Jesus – was the only sacrifice that could or needed to be offered.