Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Observer at Boston College

The Observer at Boston College, the Catholic student newspaper of Boston College, many times the only paper willing to stand for Truth, and past winner of the Collegiate Network award, is in need of $3,100 in donations to expand its operations with four additional pages, drop boxes on campus, and color photos. If anyone can help in anyway, please contact me with Subject line: Observer.

Please forward this to anyone who may be interested. Hopefully, soon we will have tax exempt status for donors.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Make Your Own Mass

The sole element that offers any possibility of renovation is the Word of God, in its inexhaustible richness. However, an instinctive horror, purely negative in effect, of the Catholic tradition has in practice left to the presiding minister the choice of readings from the Bible, and of the hymns to be sung. As to the prayers, generally he improvises them himself, just as likes. Ultimately, then, everything normally centres on the ideas or forms of religious sentiment he has decided to impress on the congregation in his sermon. The scriptural passages are chosen with this in view. The hymns are those which will in his opinion best prepare his audience to accept what he hsa decided to say to them. The prayer itself is simple a second version of the first sermon, but addressed to God.

The final result is that the Protestant who seeks, in his Church, food for his faith finds it only in the form of a total subjection to all the peculiarities, the momentary idiosyncrasies, of his minister's personal devotion.

One cannot imagine any system more completely effective in replacing the authority of God y that of the individual minister, at the same time subjecting to him the religious personality of each participant in the worship of his Church.

Morever when Protestant Churches try to react against this by setting up lituries-which, as experience shows are never adopted without being everywhere adjusted and made subservient to the minister using them-all they do is to impress on a greater number of persons the formulas, the feelings, the private opinions, of a minister or group of miisters, and the remedy is soon found to be worse than the disease.

The above quote is from a must read book, The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism by Louis Bouyer. Written in 1954, Bouyer entered in the Catholic Church after time as a Lutheran minister. He was ordained a priest. Can we not see what he warns as a problem in Protestantism present today in the Catholic Church? The Church has exhorted priests consistently that they are not to add, remove, or change anything of the Mass. This is rarely followed. Many times this is accidental, sometimes it is intentional. When priests do this, it is the highest form of clericalism: the priest denies to the laity something that is rightfully theirs, that being the Mass as approved by the Church, and gives to them his own Mass. This mentality makes the laity, as Bouyer notes about Protestant laity, a slave to the priest's whims. No priest can extemporaneously created texts that rival the beautiful collects of the liturgy, which the Church in Her great Motherly wisdom has deemed to be what the laity need to hear and what should be said to God.

Say the black, do the red.