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U.S. Bishop: Christianity "Running on Fumes" - VoxClamantis - 01-31-2016


From NCR:





Christianity 'running on fumes,' U.S. bishop tells eucharistic congress
Simone Orendain Catholic News Service  |  Jan. 26, 2016
Cebu, Phillippines


Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron said popular culture's message of individuals being "infinitely right" is "repugnant to [Catholics'] eucharistic faith." But he also said Christianity is "running on fumes" as it tries to counter the trend of people leaving the church or staying away from the Eucharist.

"To stretch out like someone dying of hunger is the right attitude toward the Eucharist," Barron said at the 51st International Eucharistic Congress. "What's sad today is so many in the Catholic world have become blase about the Eucharist."

Vox Wrote:Gee, ya think? When the Most Holy Eucharist is treated by priests (and Bishops and Popes) as nothing more than a snack, what the Hell do you expect? Seriously, can people be so intellectually challenged that they can't see the very obvious reasons why belief in the Real Presence has dwindled?

The bishop said only 30 percent of Catholics in the United States actually receive Communion, calling this a "disaster."

Vox Wrote:Yes, it is. It's a disaster beyond all disasters. And our priests, Bishops, and Popes are at fault for it.

At a news briefing after his presentation at the congress, he said that, unlike the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche's ideology of self-invention, Catholic faithful "did not invent (their) own story, we belong to a story" and that is "God's drama."

Vox Wrote:We don't invent History. But the presentation of History is twisted by the media and our own prelates. We can't truly invent our own story, but what has actually happened can be spun a thousand ways, and, lately, it seems that any way to hurt the Church is the way things get spun, even by our Pope, who'll be off celebrating the greatness of Luther.

Barron -- author of numerous books and a longtime faculty member, then president of Mundelein Seminary, major seminary of the Archdiocese of Chicago -- said the call of the church today is to retain Catholics and attract new ones.

"If the church can't find a way to tell that story in a theo-dramatic way, people will drift away to this easy self-invention philosophy," he said. "So it is a real challenge to the church. ... We've got to be bold. We've got to be confident. We've got to be smart."

Vox Wrote:
You've got to go trad. And you've got to simultaneously focus on community and public service -- on acts of charity. You've got to go trad, teach about our real History, make our schools unapologetically Catholic, catechize well, arm Catholics with arguments against atheism and Protestantism, refrain from going down the path of legalism, focus on the true conversion of the heart and on charity, on service to others. If you do this, the Church WILL grow.

Patrician Br. Peter John Hayes of Ballyfin, Ireland, was in the crowd of about 12,000 who listened, took notes and clicked cameras as the bishop drove home the message of the Eucharist as a meal, a sacrifice and "the real presence" of Christ.

Hayes told Catholic News Service the problem of dwindling numbers of those taking the Eucharist has been on his mind.

"When you wonder, 'What do we have to do? What can we do? What can I do? ... At an event like this ... we get it that some of us are on the same road, anyway," said Hayes.

The bishop used a reading from the Gospel of St. Luke as an example of the two disciples who did not realize that the risen Lord was right next to them on Easter.

Barron said they were "walking the wrong way," turning away from God as everyone does, since people are all sinners. And that made it hard to recognize Jesus in their midst. But once they heard his words and were compelled by the power of his life, then begged him to stay, he shared a meal with them and gave the same command he had given the night before he died, "Do this in memory of me."

Vox Wrote:To use this Bishop's metaphor, they've taken the Risen Christ, put a mask on Him, did everything in their power to make sure no one noticed Him, and then blame Catholics-in-the-pew for not recognizing Him. Dummies.

People ignore Jesus' commands all the time, said Barron, but "over the centuries that one dominical command has been massively obeyed." That revelation of the pattern of Jesus' life in the breaking of the bread is the moment the faithful "get it" and are no longer walking the wrong way, he added.

The bishop highlighted the Eucharist as a sacrifice, a theme that he said was the least-known and least-developed.

Vox Wrote:The Eucharist as Sacrifice -- THE Sacrifice -- a "theme" that is the "least-known and least developed" -- brother! It isn't that way in the traditional Mass. But that "theme" is lost in the Novus Ordo. It's obliterated. Gone. The Mass was whitewashed to make it pleasing to Protestants, so what does he expect?

Barron emphasized that God does not need the sacrifices of the faithful because he "doesn't need anything," but by returning something to God, they "are united to him."

"The little we bring, if offered to God in the right spirit, breaks against the rock of the divine self-sufficiency and comes back elevated and multiplied for our benefit," he said.

Julius Maquiling, a eucharistic minister of 25 years from the Cagayan de Oro Archdiocese in the southern Philippines, said he was struck by this concept of sacrifice.

He also told CNS he was touched to be reminded "that the bread is the true bread, Jesus Christ."

Vox Wrote:For 25 years, this (undoubtedly good-willed) man has been handing out the Eucharist, and is now "touched" to be "reminded" what the Eucharist actually IS. But instead of getting rid of Eucharistic ministers, who, good-willed or not, add to the problem of Catholics not knowing Christ when He is right there in front of them, under the accidents of bread and wine, the audience would likely come to the conclusion that they need more "EMs" and "better" catechesis. Returning to Tradition and eradicating all the signs and symbols that are in place in NO-Land that point toward the idea that the Mass is not much more than a Happy Meal likely wouldn't be seen as an option, let alone the answer.

In the talk, Barron said, "Wealth, pleasure, honor, power ... we sinners, we go lusting after them all time, but they won't satisfy us. Look for eternal things, eternal bread."

When Jesus says his body and blood are given up for everyone, the bishop said: "If he's the word of God, what he says is. What he says reaches into the very roots of something and changes it. Really, truly and substantially present, yes."

Vox Wrote:
This article doesn't even give Christ the honor and reverence of capitalizing pronouns referring to Him, or capitalizing "Body" and "Blood." And they wonder why people leave the Church. All of these "little things" matter.




Re: U.S. Bishop: Christianity "Running on Fumes" - Renatus Frater - 01-31-2016

So basically, bishop Barron reinvents the wheel (or tries, using von balthasarian language, because fashion) and everybody is amazed.

And then he wonders why people leave the Church. I think this kinda proves the NO land is beyond repair.


Re: U.S. Bishop: Christianity "Running on Fumes" - puppy99 - 01-31-2016

Does it mean that NOM has destroyed the church?


Re: U.S. Bishop: Christianity "Running on Fumes" - Jeeter - 01-31-2016

(01-31-2016, 08:01 AM)puppy99 Wrote: Does it mean that NOM has destroyed the church?

I'm not sure if it's the NOM, the "spirit of Vatican II," or a bit of both. I tend to lean towards the third option. Having grown up solidly NO, I've personally experienced a lot of the abuses that are posted on this forum; nasty jeans, mini skirts, socializing in front of the altar, Woodstock-like band with heavy enough bass that I've walked out of Mass with a headached. Due to scheduling conflicts, distance, and young crib midgets, I don't get to go to Latin Mass very often, so my wife and I normally attend a reverent and conservative NO parish. I've  never see any of that blatant disrespect at a TLM. That being said, neither do I see it at our current or former parishes either. To be honest, our former pastor in N Va is the one who impressed upon me the absolute sanctity of, and reverence due to, the Eucharist, and that this reverence starts with the "little things" as Vox correctly stated. Honestly, at this point I don't know how much irreverence is from V2 itself, or from individuals deciding they know better than the Church and running rampantly out of control with the "spirit of Vatican II."

All of the above ramblings being stated, I think the Latin Mass and associated sense of reverence is the way forward.


Re: U.S. Bishop: Christianity "Running on Fumes" - formerbuddhist - 01-31-2016

Any rebuilding of the Church will be a slow build up from the peripheries, and it will largely be lay driven. I can imagine small house churches, oratories and very small but dedicated numbers of Christians that act like leaven in the dough of the local communities. Perhaps each community will have bishops associated with them too. That might be cool.

These days I can't say that the pope, the hierarchy or the current system in place is trustworthy or functional in anything other than to basically pass on Apostolic Succession so that there can be a real Eucharist. That's it.


I guess I'm off in the margins anyway. I attend Mass during the week when I can, on Sunday's and Holy days but personally I'm on the Julian calendar and pray using the Old Orthodox Prayerbook and Horologion. I still go to confession and these days I'm communing with regularity but I can't say I'm invested much in any kind of program put out by the pope or the bishops. I'm basically an Old Rite Russian Catholic stuck in the Novus Ordo.

I can say that there is a real grace that comes from the Eucharist, and that there's a noticable difference in my life from when I was actively a home aloner just praying the Office and now. Its subtle...but there is a real grace.

I'm sorry to say it Bishop Barron but any restoration will not come from the top, through committee meetings,gimmickry or public lamentation. It'll come from the bottom up.

The new Mass definitely doesn't make the Eucharist seem special. There is no profound reverence at the consecration, no bells etc. Its also just banal to have laity assisting the priest to give Communion to people. There is no line between the sacred and the profane in the new rite. In my own experience I have to go to Mass early and pray the pre Communion Canon from my Prayerbook to get in the right frame of mind.






Re: U.S. Bishop: Christianity "Running on Fumes" - Jeeter - 01-31-2016

(01-31-2016, 09:49 AM)formerbuddhist Wrote: Any rebuilding of the Church will be a slow build up from the peripheries, and it will largely be lay driven. I can imagine small house churches, oratories and very small but dedicated numbers of Christians that act like leaven in the dough of the local communities. Perhaps each community will have bishops associated with them too. That might be cool.

Interesting comment. It reminded me of Pope Benedict XVI's statements years back about he envisions a smaller, yet more devout Church reeling from loss of political influence. Something along those lines. I'll try to reference the quote later.


Re: U.S. Bishop: Christianity "Running on Fumes" - austenbosten - 01-31-2016

Well no shit Your Excellency!

Here I am sitting about one hour before heading off to another degenerate NO Mass....a "Spanish" NO Mass.  Where only 12 Mexicans show up to have their little shindig at the expense of a whole congregation who cannot understand a word of Spanish.

I am sitting here wondering what the hell I'm doing with myself.  A Mass (now that the neophyte novelty has worn off) where it is more like a Protestant service, makes it hard for me to want to remain Catholic.  I will because it provides Joy to my beleaguered soul, but if I was not a convert, I would probably be leaving the Church right about now.

And why not?  No one in the Church believes anymore...at least not in a genuine sense.  It's all a bunch of showy, charismatic, Protestantish Bullshit.  The pope is begging people to leave the Church with this little stunt of his.


Is this how is that supposed to be for a Catholic?  Going to the Mass with dread and bitterness?  Is that how a Catholic should feel?


I am starting to wonder if it even is valid...should I even feel obligated to attend....if I don't then surely I would probably fall away.


Re: U.S. Bishop: Christianity "Running on Fumes" - formerbuddhist - 01-31-2016

(01-31-2016, 10:38 AM)Sir Charles Napier Wrote:
(01-31-2016, 09:49 AM)formerbuddhist Wrote: Any rebuilding of the Church will be a slow build up from the peripheries, and it will largely be lay driven. I can imagine small house churches, oratories and very small but dedicated numbers of Christians that act like leaven in the dough of the local communities. Perhaps each community will have bishops associated with them too. That might be cool.

Interesting comment. It reminded me of Pope Benedict XVI's statements years back about he envisions a smaller, yet more devout Church reeling from loss of political influence. Something along those lines. I'll try to reference the quote later.

The RadTrad blog recently had an interesting discussion along those lines. I will have to post it, but I'll probably start a thread rather than derail this one. At any rate it's interesting.  Here's the link...it's well worth a read...trust me.

http://theradtrad.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/christian-communities-restoration.html

What just dawned on me is that men like Bishop Barron lament the loss of the sacred, but they were the ones responsible for undercutting it in the first place. Christianity is about life and death, transfiguration and resurrection, it's not a gimmick or a shtick that one can attract people to using the techniques of advertising and public relations. These men don't get it. It being Sunday I'll put the Troparion in the second tone since it speaks clearly of what Christianity is in a way the modern hierarchy just don't get:

When Thou didst descend unto death, O Life immortal, then didst Thou slay Hades with the radiance of Thy Divinity; and when Thou didst raise the dead from the nethermost depths, all the powers of heaven cried out to Thee: O Life-giver, Christ God, glory to Thee

The various prayers from the cycle of services show Christianity to be a matter of life and death, something earthshattering and poweful. Modern Churchmen have reduced the Faith to something like bad advertising.

One must have a life of prayer and really meditate on just who Jesus Christ is. You cannot give what you don't have...


Re: U.S. Bishop: Christianity "Running on Fumes" - Qoheleth - 01-31-2016

(01-31-2016, 09:48 AM)Sir Charles Napier Wrote:
(01-31-2016, 08:01 AM)puppy99 Wrote: Does it mean that NOM has destroyed the church?

I'm not sure if it's the NOM, the "spirit of Vatican II," or a bit of both. I tend to lean towards the third option. Having grown up solidly NO, I've personally experienced a lot of the abuses that are posted on this forum; nasty jeans, mini skirts, socializing in front of the altar, Woodstock-like band with heavy enough bass that I've walked out of Mass with a headached. Due to scheduling conflicts, distance, and young crib midgets, I don't get to go to Latin Mass very often, so my wife and I normally attend a reverent and conservative NO parish. I've  never see any of that blatant disrespect at a TLM. That being said, neither do I see it at our current or former parishes either. To be honest, our former pastor in N Va is the one who impressed upon me the absolute sanctity of, and reverence due to, the Eucharist, and that this reverence starts with the "little things" as Vox correctly stated. Honestly, at this point I don't know how much irreverence is from V2 itself, or from individuals deciding they know better than the Church and running rampantly out of control with the "spirit of Vatican II."

All of the above ramblings being stated, I think the Latin Mass and associated sense of reverence is the way forward.

The NOM is the result of Modernisn in which we we repeatedly warned.

First we had this:

Frightening Vision of Pope Leo XIII
Posted on September 5, 2012 by Defeat Modernism

On September 25, 1886, Pope Leo XIII was favored with a vision of the legions of Hell and their efforts in destroying the Catholic Church. The vision so frightened Him that it caused Him to lose consciousness. In response to this vision, He composed a prayer to St. Michael the Archangel and commanded that this prayer be said every day after the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. A relevant part of that prayer is here presented, as it was found in the foremost book of indulgenced prayers of the Catholic Church (the Raccolta) in 1930: (It is noteworthy that later editions of the Raccolta have extracted this portion of Leo XIII’s prayer).

“These most crafty enemies [the devils] have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.”

then we have this:

THE OATH AGAINST MODERNISM

Given by His Holiness St. Pius X September 1, 1910.

To be sworn to by all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries.

I . . . . firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day. And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (see Rom. 1:19), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, his existence can also be demonstrated: Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time. Thirdly, I believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ when he lived among us, and that the Church was built upon Peter, the prince of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors for the duration of time. Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical' misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely. Fifthly, I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our creator and lord.

Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili, especially those concerning what is known as the history of dogmas. I also reject the error of those who say that the faith held by the Church can contradict history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, are irreconcilable with a more realistic view of the origins of the Christian religion. I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say that a well-educated Christian assumes a dual personality-that of a believer and at the same time of a historian, as if it were permissible for a historian to hold things that contradict the faith of the believer, or to establish premises which, provided there be no direct denial of dogmas, would lead to the conclusion that dogmas are either false or doubtful. Likewise, I reject that method of judging and interpreting Sacred Scripture which, departing from the tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See, embraces the misrepresentations of the rationalists and with no prudence or restraint adopts textual criticism as the one and supreme norm. Furthermore, I reject the opinion of those who hold that a professor lecturing or writing on a historico-theological subject should first put aside any preconceived opinion about the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition or about the divine promise of help to preserve all revealed truth forever; and that they should then interpret the writings of each of the Fathers solely by scientific principles, excluding all sacred authority, and with the same liberty of judgment that is common in the investigation of all ordinary historical documents.

Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact-one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history-the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles. I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way.

I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God. . .

and finally  this:

http://www.catholiceternaltruth.com/2011/02/what-you-should-know-about-synthesis-of.html

so in the end V2 must be repudiated  and all forms of modernism must go if the Church is to be restored....


Re: U.S. Bishop: Christianity "Running on Fumes" - divinesilence80 - 01-31-2016

I think the Church's leaders need to stop being afraid of offending people and just say "here is what we believe. if you don't like it, you are free to walk out the door." As Jesus said, "many shall be called, but few shall enter." That is reality. Not everyone truly wants to be saved.