"I wonder how Luther ever broke the spell"
#1
I don't know if any of you caught the EWTN coverage of the Pope's speech at Independence Hall.  As they were awaiting the arrival of the Papal motorcade, one of the commentators (not Raymond Arroyo) read a long quote from John Adams regarding one of his ventures into a Catholic church in Philadelphia (Old St. Mary's) one Sunday afternoon in the early days of the United States.  Adams described in detail a Missa Cantata. Here is the quote:

“This afternoon, led by Curiosity and good Company I strolled away to Mother Church, or rather Grandmother Church, I mean the Romish Chapel. Heard a good, short, moral Essay upon the Duty of Parents to their Children, founded in justice and Charity, to take care of their Interests temporal and spiritual.


This afternoon’s entertainment was to me most awful and affecting. The poor wretches fingering their beads, chanting Latin, not a word of which they understood, their Pater Nosters and Ave Marias. Their holy water– their crossing themselves perpetually– their bowing to the name of Jesus wherever they hear it– their bowings, and kneelings, and genuflections before the altar. The dress of the priest was rich with lace– his pulpit was velvet and gold. The altar piece was very rich– little images and crucifixes about– wax candles lighted up. But how shall I describe the picture of our Saviour in a frame of marble over the altar, at full length, upon the cross in the agonies, and the blood dropping and streaming from his wounds.

The music consisting of an organ, and a Choir of singers, went all the afternoon, excepting sermon Time, and the Assembly chanted– most sweetly and exquisitely.

Here is everything which can lay hold of the eye, ear, and imagination. Everything which can charm and bewitch the simple and the ignorant. I wonder how Luther ever broke the spell.

-John Adams
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That last line is what caught my attention.  The ETWN commentator took pride in this quote by John Adams.  He seemed to think that somehow the Catholicism that Adam's was describing was still the norm.  The irony was so intense that I literally had to walk away from the television.  The Catholicism that Adams was observing no longer exists except for in small pockets.  Indeed, the "spell" has been broken.  And it wasn't by the Protestant "Reformers", but by the very sons of the Church at the Second Vatican Council.  If anything, this observation of the Catholic Mass by Adams should have evoked in the commentator a sense of shame or embarrassment on behalf of the Novus Ordo Missae.  Instead, the fact that the liturgy Adams described was oppressed and virtually eradicated by Vatican II, effectively "breaking the spell", seemed to sail right over his head as he proudly recited the quote as if it describes today's Church.
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#2
And that's just it, the type of Catholicism John Adams was captivated by literally does not exist today outside a barely tolerated minority, a good many who are outside the canonical boundaries of the Church!

It's precisely this disconnect between the Church of the past and the Church in reality that make stuff like Catholic apologetics tracts from the turn of the last century ridiculous...it's not even the same anymore except in fantasy. The Church of Fulton Sheen doesn't even exist anymore. 

All the triumphalist and smug stuff from ages past is laughable in the face of Francis and the average parish Novus Ordo.



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#3
This afternoon’s entertainment was to me most awful and affecting. The poor wretches fingering their beads, chanting Latin, not a word of which they understood, their Pater Nosters and Ave Marias. Their holy water– their crossing themselves perpetually– their bowing to the name of Jesus wherever they hear it– their bowings, and kneelings, and genuflections before the altar. The dress of the priest was rich with lace– his pulpit was velvet and gold. The altar piece was very rich– little images and crucifixes about– wax candles lighted up. But how shall I describe the picture of our Saviour in a frame of marble over the altar, at full length, upon the cross in the agonies, and the blood dropping and streaming from his wounds.

I think that if it was in the afternoon it was not mass. Maybe it was Vespers?
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#4
This sort of thing makes me wonder if non reverent NOMs are not actually good. In reverent NOMs people might still delude themselves into thinking everything is fine.
Of course, bad worship is a grave sin. But I was listening to Fr Wolf the other day and he argued that the crisis is positively willed by God to punish us. I wonder if conservative NO Catholics are not simply allowing the sin to go deeper and think the punishment is an illusion of a few excentric "ultra traditionalist".

On the other hand, we might turn on the bitterness factor and complain endlessly about the pope, but this is also a masking of the problems within us.
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#5
(09-27-2015, 01:03 AM)Poche Wrote: This afternoon’s entertainment was to me most awful and affecting. The poor wretches fingering their beads, chanting Latin, not a word of which they understood, their Pater Nosters and Ave Marias. Their holy water– their crossing themselves perpetually– their bowing to the name of Jesus wherever they hear it– their bowings, and kneelings, and genuflections before the altar. The dress of the priest was rich with lace– his pulpit was velvet and gold. The altar piece was very rich– little images and crucifixes about– wax candles lighted up. But how shall I describe the picture of our Saviour in a frame of marble over the altar, at full length, upon the cross in the agonies, and the blood dropping and streaming from his wounds.

I think that if it was in the afternoon it was not mass. Maybe it was Vespers?


How common was solemn vespers in Philly during John Adams time? I've no clue,just asking. I'd love to see more public recitations of the Office,like Vespers on Sunday's and on the eves of feast days.
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#6
(09-27-2015, 01:23 AM)Renatus Frater Wrote: This sort of thing makes me wonder if non reverent NOMs are not actually good. In reverent NOMs people might still delude themselves into thinking everything is fine.
Of course, bad worship is a grave sin. But I was listening to Fr Wolf the other day and he argued that the crisis is positively willed by God to punish us. I wonder if conservative NO Catholics are not simply allowing the sin to go deeper and think the punishment is an illusion of a few excentric "ultra traditionalist".

On the other hand, we might turn on the bitterness factor and complain endlessly about the pope, but this is also a masking of the problems within us.

I have thought about that before and I see what you mean. "Reverent" Novus Ordo Masses tend to keep alive in some deceptive, superficial way that lethal idea among neocons that "everything is just fine."  But after these absolutely brutal Papal liturgies this weekend (see for example the Philadelphia priests taking selfies and pictures AT THE ALTAR during the Holy Sacrifice, the openly homosexual lector at Madison Square Garden, our Pope's refusal to genuflect before Our Lord after the consecration, etc.)  many will hopefully reconsider.  These papal liturgies are meant to be the bench mark of what the Novus Ordo should look like. Once again, the utter banality of our emasculated once great liturgical heritage is on full display before the world. Will it ever end?
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#7
(09-27-2015, 11:47 AM)Christus_Vincit Wrote:
(09-27-2015, 01:23 AM)Renatus Frater Wrote: This sort of thing makes me wonder if non reverent NOMs are not actually good. In reverent NOMs people might still delude themselves into thinking everything is fine.
Of course, bad worship is a grave sin. But I was listening to Fr Wolf the other day and he argued that the crisis is positively willed by God to punish us. I wonder if conservative NO Catholics are not simply allowing the sin to go deeper and think the punishment is an illusion of a few excentric "ultra traditionalist".

On the other hand, we might turn on the bitterness factor and complain endlessly about the pope, but this is also a masking of the problems within us.

I have thought about that before and I see what you mean. "Reverent" Novus Ordo Masses tend to keep alive in some deceptive, superficial way that lethal idea among neocons that "everything is just fine."  But after these absolutely brutal Papal liturgies this weekend (see for example the Philadelphia priests taking selfies and pictures AT THE ALTAR during the Holy Sacrifice, the openly homosexual lector at Madison Square Garden, our Pope's refusal to genuflect before Our Lord after the consecration, etc.)  many will hopefully reconsider.  These papal liturgies are meant to be the bench mark of what the Novus Ordo should look like. Once again, the utter banality of our emasculated once great liturgical heritage is on full display before the world. Will it ever end?

Perhaps he couldn't genuflect.  He's been traveling a lot lately- I'd think he'd be pretty tired by now.  I'd prefer that he not genuflect than try to genuflect when he really can't and fall.  I probably won't be able to genuflect either when I'm his age.
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#8
In regard to your comment, Christus_Vincit, according to the commentary from EWTN, the Holy Father's Sciatica is acting up. Sciatica pain occurs in the back and travels down to the leg. Not to mention, he did a lot of walking in Cuba before getting to the United States, and he's 78 years old. :)
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#9
(09-27-2015, 08:36 AM)formerbuddhist Wrote:
(09-27-2015, 01:03 AM)Poche Wrote: This afternoon’s entertainment was to me most awful and affecting. The poor wretches fingering their beads, chanting Latin, not a word of which they understood, their Pater Nosters and Ave Marias. Their holy water– their crossing themselves perpetually– their bowing to the name of Jesus wherever they hear it– their bowings, and kneelings, and genuflections before the altar. The dress of the priest was rich with lace– his pulpit was velvet and gold. The altar piece was very rich– little images and crucifixes about– wax candles lighted up. But how shall I describe the picture of our Saviour in a frame of marble over the altar, at full length, upon the cross in the agonies, and the blood dropping and streaming from his wounds.

I think that if it was in the afternoon it was not mass. Maybe it was Vespers?


How common was solemn vespers in Philly during John Adams time? I've no clue,just asking. I'd love to see more public recitations of the Office,like Vespers on Sunday's and on the eves of feast days.

I think it was more common than now. I mean, I once read an article the Vespers are actually very common in many well-kept parishes across the globe, however after the Second World War it became exceeding rare even in many cathedrals and large churches.

N.
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#10
(09-27-2015, 11:47 AM)Christus_Vincit Wrote:
(09-27-2015, 01:23 AM)Renatus Frater Wrote: This sort of thing makes me wonder if non reverent NOMs are not actually good. In reverent NOMs people might still delude themselves into thinking everything is fine.
Of course, bad worship is a grave sin. But I was listening to Fr Wolf the other day and he argued that the crisis is positively willed by God to punish us. I wonder if conservative NO Catholics are not simply allowing the sin to go deeper and think the punishment is an illusion of a few excentric "ultra traditionalist".

On the other hand, we might turn on the bitterness factor and complain endlessly about the pope, but this is also a masking of the problems within us.

I have thought about that before and I see what you mean. "Reverent" Novus Ordo Masses tend to keep alive in some deceptive, superficial way that lethal idea among neocons that "everything is just fine."  But after these absolutely brutal Papal liturgies this weekend (see for example the Philadelphia priests taking selfies and pictures AT THE ALTAR during the Holy Sacrifice, the openly homosexual lector at Madison Square Garden, our Pope's refusal to genuflect before Our Lord after the consecration, etc.)  many will hopefully reconsider.  These papal liturgies are meant to be the bench mark of what the Novus Ordo should look like. Once again, the utter banality of our emasculated once great liturgical heritage is on full display before the world. Will it ever end?


Papal liturgies are the official benchmark for Roman Catholic liturgy period. What went on in Philly, Madison Square Garden or World Youth Day is the public face of Roman Catholicism. If you want to see what Catholicism looks like today look no further than the latest papal liturgy and what type of antics go on.

Like I said before it's impossible to outside an act of blind faith in some sort of promise about " the gates of hell" to believe that the Church of today is in any way shape or form the same Church as 100 or even 500 years ago based on watching these officially sanctioned liturgies.

Seriously, what goes on in Philly, Madison Square Garden or World Youth Day is what passes for Roman Catholicism today in the upper echelons of the Church.

The saddest thing is that even the new rite liturgy does not have to be a cheesy free for all, there's no need for it. There are parishes and monasteries that offer the new rites with a sense of holiness and reverence,and yet it's in spite of the pope and the hierarchy!

What is needed is an end to ultramontanism and a revolt against the papacy and the hierarchy at the hands of the laity, good and holy priests and a handful of bishops. What's needed is for faithful serious about safeguarding the Faith and our liturgical heritage to start living the Faith as fully and reverently as possible even if it means telling the pope and the world episcopate to shove it.

I hate to say it but the pope and the bishops are the problem, not the solution. I owe no allegiance to men who destroy our patrimony and reduce our liturgical heritage to selfies at the altar, sock puppets and rock and roll music.
Prayers for them yes, but allegiance no. 
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