“The Catholic Tradition has never required a timeless adherence to only one Order of the Mass. The Mass is always the same—always the sacrifice of Christ sacramentally re-presented—even though its ordering can vary in different cultures and in different centuries. What Christ gave for the benefit of all races and all ages cannot be locked into the order that belonged to one particular time and culture. In fact, the Missal of Pope Pius V has been revised by several Popes, including Pope St. Pius X and Pope Pius XII.”
"Great art thou, O Lord, and greatly to be praised; great is thy power, and infinite is thy wisdom."
This is how Saint Augustine begins his Confessions and so shall I begin. I will not confess the petty sins of my youth or the sins of the present that I commit daily against my God. For it would be a tediously long confession and I haven’t the time to compose thirteen volumes as Augustine did. I will however confess my previous schism and the complications born from it. I will also present some of the arguments that convinced me that I was wrong.
The quotation at the beginning of the narrative is a true statement. How one can adhere to the teaching of the Church if they take this attitude toward revision and reform of the Mass? Why is it that the Society of Saint Pius X can choose to reject the Missal of 1969 and accepts the Missal of 1962, but they refuse to acknowledge those who refuse the Missal 1962 and will only accept that of 1955 or perhaps 1945? Do they not see that the there position on the subject is no different than that of the sedevacantists who reject the reforms of H.H. John XXIII or H.H. Pius XII. But I digress.
In 2003 I was a convinced member of a conservative, if the word can be applied properly, Methodist church. I had attended for about two years with my closest relatives. My family had always been very secular in teaching, refusing to discuss the subject of God. My stepfather didn’t necessarily disbelieve in God, but he was as agnostic and anticlerical as they come. His opposition of his childhood faith was intense and burning, though he rarely spoke about his teenage apostasy. My aunt, whom I was very close with, purchased me my first bible and she asked me if I wished to attend her church. I was sceptical, but I did accompany her. The ceremonies where mild and elegant, but meaningless and void, I felt this immediately, but continued out of love for my aunt. Then the cassocks and surplices were replaced with suits and then casual clothing, the organ and hymns replaced by a jazz band, and then a rock and roll band. The sermons went from lofty and solemn to excursions in the Pennsylvania back country with a twelve gauge and a bottle of beer. This was too much for so I discontinued my attendance. I was always the kind of person who disliked modern modes of expression, I was always more comfortable I the strict formalities of the past and the codes of ritual that guided life. I was at peace in the gardens of poetry and the tomes of literature. This departure from the traditional ceremony angered me. I was not of the position that things should change.
I fell into a period of doubt in which I studied the Oriental Philosophies that supported the intense culture of China and Japan that had flourished for centuries. I was on common ground with Buddha, Confucius, and Lao Tzu. I never embraced any religious teaching of the East, but was interested in the fundamental principles that guided them, many of which can be found in Christian Theology. It was at this time that I decided I would like to study Theology for a living. From this Oriental Philosophy I gradually drifted to Islamic Theology and History, which I must admit was very advanced and successful in its own right. The visualization of desert nomads couldn’t be applied to the Persian, Arab and Moorish cultures. They had highly advanced sciences, medicines, poetry and architecture. The monotheistic premise of Islam was simple and philosophically sound, but the Qur’an was too unbelievable in his assertions. Then I slipped into the surrounding society and touched briefly the tip of the Judaism. I was fascinated by the complex system of ritual and the focus of the Talmud on cleanliness. To this day I can not shake the habit of washing my hands immediately after waking, and before and after meals with a Jewish flair, no soap only warm water flung from the tips of the fingers with the palms raised. Perhaps this is a weakness, but I don’t think it affects my theology, nor does the fact that when I bath I wash with hot water and rinse with cold. “If one bathes with hot water, and does not follow with cold, it is like iron which is inserted into a furnace and not afterward plunged into cold water.” The Talmud, the Caddish and the Cabbala were my light reading.
It was strange though I never believed any of these religions and privately retained my Christian tendencies. From here I progressed into the study of the Greek Church with its absolute pacifism unlike the Augustinian Theology. The Byzantine Culture followed and then the study of Eastern Orthodoxy and finally Catholicism. My study of Catholicism stemmed from the medieval texts and my understanding was that it preserved its ancient rituals.
In 2004 I was returning from school and I discovered to my surprise a small church with a Franciscan friar at its front plucking weeds from a flower garden. I had been whistling and he addressed me casually as to what tune I had been attempting to replicate. I had been doing so subconsciously and wasn’t sure, though I walked and introduced myself to him anyway. We discussed theology for about three hours and I promised to return. I did so twice a week for a couple of months.
I attended the Mass there and was fairly ignorant of its proper celebration. This was my first encounter with sedevacantists who celebrated the Mass of 1962 invalidly. I recently provided Wikipedia with a brief description of this group’s leader. I will print it here.
Chester Olszewski, alias “Peter II”, is a defrocked Episcopalian bishop who claims to be the "Catholic Archbishop of Bradford, Pennsylvania". He is a sedevacantist claimant to the papacy. Olszewski claims to have been appointed by Jesus Christ himself, along with His mother, Mary. Although he is considered by some to be an antipope,he does not meet the word's traditional definition. This is because he fails to adhere to the Traditional pre-1962 Rubrics. His masses are said very informally, indentifying that he was never trained in the Tridentine Rite. He wears Eastern Orthodox/Catholic vestments, and at times obscure vestments which can not be indentified. He has altered many of the prayers that are central to Catholicism such as the 'Hail Mary' and the 'Sign of the Cross'.
Changing them to:
Hail Mary, Full of Grace, The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is thy Divine son, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, and our mother, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of His coming.
He adds as a continuation to the Sign of the Cross, "Mary, mother of God."
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia....ster_Olszewski"
Olszewski’s strange and uneduacated theology I soon rejected, but not until I had already been baptised. I quickly departed and while I feared for a long time that I had received baptism outside of the Church, my understanding was that it’s valdity stood. That was until recently when I realised theat the prayer of batpism had been altered, I have recently confirmed this. I was “baptised in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Mary, Mother of God.” Which is hardly valid. Of course, this lead to the complication of my recieveing the Eucharist and I have coincidentally been baptised properly into the Church as should have occurred, Blessed be God. :
Now after I departed I attended the Mass of 1969, it was in a small parish near my home and I was immediately appalled at the state of the church, it was literally brimming with liturgical abuses, which I clearly recognize today. This was a repulsion that threw me into the black hole that is the Society of Saint Pius X. And it was difficult escaping there tight, though incomplete arguments.
It is common practise of the Society of Saint Pius X to push propaganda that is reminiscent of only the most liberal and extremist abusers of the Catholic Church. There image of the Novus Ordo Mass is an image of abuse, neglecting the actual structure of the Mass, whem they do consider the General instuction of the roman Missal they fail to mention anything except those things which taken of context support there cause. Not to mention their silent apostasy, there literal schismatis tendencies. I spent six weeks being fed the propaganda of this orginaization at there retreat house in Ridgefield Conneticut, eating with the priests, attending and serving Masses. It was immediately evident that they had no intention of ever uniting with Rome. The Catechism Classes where Survival Guides to avoiding the post-Vatican II changes. It was insanity.
Their perception of post-conciliar Religious Liberty and related Theology is twisted and morphed to there liking. They speak so ill towards the Jews and then refuse to admit that one of their beloved historians, Hilaire Belloc believed that the restitution of Israel to the Jews was necessary to prevent a crisis like the Holocaust, or that he, a supposedly Traditional Catholic, said thus. “So to act is the fruit of that spirit which is called by various phases and names: “compromise,” “common sense,”… …and all the rest of the suicidal litany. There was a time when we could afford to talk rubbish, just as a rich young man in a secure home can afford to play the fool. That time is gone.”
This can be applied to the evident crisis that the Church is in. the crisis’ root is in the lack of unity in the professors of faith. We now have a liberal group, a moderate group, a conservative group, and radical groups on both ends. We should have only one group, the Catholic group. Traditionalists claim to be the only way, but the damage that they have done is their true fruit. They are violently uncharitable, they have no time to consider the validity of Vatican II, and they pull everything out of context. I may have taken a long time to find the right tributatary in this vast river, but finally I realized that I didn’t need to change course, the Catholic Faith is the river, the tributaries shouldn’t be heeded. Without the true faith, or the trunk of the tree, the branches would fall. Protestants, Schimsatics, and even Traditionalists woud cease to mean anything if they didn’t have an opposition, and that opposition is the Mystical Body of Christ.
I still have a passionate attachment to the Missal of 1962 and think that groups such as the FSSP and the Institue of Christ the King Sovereign Priest pastorally may help us curb the liturgical abuse and laxity of faith in the rest of the Church. I hope to become a priest in one of these two groups, as a personal preference, but as you can clearly see I’ve outgrown the Traditional Movement. I’m not that narrow. :lol_grin:
I am so happy to be in the Church. And to be among friends.
Now if you don't mind I just finished my fifth cup of coffee and I need another. Ciao.
If you have reached this line I commend you.
Edited by petrus_scholasticus, 17 July 2006 - 03:06 PM.