Value Added Mass

I recently attended an evening Mass at a Church in the South East. I'm not a 'mystery worshipper' so, as is my habit, I'm not giving the name of priest or parish.

I've never been to a Mass wherein the (visiting) priest, who in this instance was senior in years, during Holy Communion, announced that he was going to play a "hymn" (which, was in fact, like all of the songs he played a kind of modern Christian 'pop' anthem about the Lord Jesus and how much he loves him).

The emotive device was also used at the beginning of Mass to serve as some kind of 'introit'. Whatever you think of modern Christian 'worship music', it really didn't flow well at all as the priest pressed a loud 'click' just 10 seconds into the 'second song'.


Followed by silence. It just doesn't work and what youths were there looked distinctly unmoved. Finally, at the end of the Mass, the exit 'hymn' was another modern 'vocals, guitar, drums, bass' Christian 'anthem'. The stereo device and its sound, its 'relevance', I think the priest thought 'added value' to the Mass. 'Click!'

However, all this modern musical innovation which I assume the priest thought added value to the worship of Almighty God, to the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, or to our 'experience' took a backseat in my mind during the homily, in which the said priest gave the congregation the distinct impression that 50 years ago the Catholic Church taught that if you were not baptised then you wouldn't be able to enter Heaven, but now... '(insert your vague belief here-_______________').

The Mass took place on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord - a fine opportunity to remind us of our Baptismal promises and the Lord's command to His Apostles to go forth making adopted children of God of those who remain in the darkness of error and in slavery to Darkness's very own Prince.

For the first time in my Mass-attending existence, I approached the priest afterwards to politely, but reasonably firmly, ask whether he had basically told us the Church no longer believed Baptism was necessary for Salvation, as She once did. I covered the expected territory:

  • This teaching on Baptism is of the Lord. Christ said it. I repeated His view on the matter.
  • That no angel came had down from Heaven to tell the Church the teaching had changed.
  • That Baptism of desire was already a possibility to those who sought Salvation but did not have the opportunity to receive it physically from a priest and that the Church already taught that.

But the more we talked, the less Catholic teaching as I understand it seemed to matter. It was simply 'vacuumed up' when raised. There had been, in his mind at least, a 'great unveiling' of hidden truth five decades ago. He assured me that his moral theology was impeccable and that he was re-iterating Church teaching. On Baptism of desire, he agreed that the Church already believed it, but that the Church had not taught it openly but had 'hidden it'. But fifty or sixty years ago, it 'all came out', I guess was his point of view. No, he said that, I am sure. He seemed to think that (I assume he was referring to the Second Vatican Council), that fifty years ago things were revealed in the Church that changed everything, even our view of the necessity of Baptism.

He cited the days Scripture reading as the reason why this should be the case:

Peter addressed Cornelius and his household: ‘The truth I have now come to realise’ he said ‘is that God does not have favourites, but that anybody of any nationality who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to him.

‘It is true, God sent his word to the people of Israel, and it was to them that the good news of peace was brought by Jesus Christ – but Jesus Christ is Lord of all men. You must have heard about the recent happenings in Judaea; about Jesus of Nazareth and how he began in Galilee, after John had been preaching baptism. God had anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and because God was with him, Jesus went about doing good and curing all who had fallen into the power of the devil.’

He treated this text as if St Peter was saying to Cornelius and his household (who I think were indeed baptised):

'The truth I have now come to realise is that God does not care whether people believe in Christ or whether they are baptised or not, just as long as the unbelievers and pagans follow their own religions and consciences as best they can'. It'll all be okay.

The priest believed that God accepts the Hindu who follows his path and who tries to be a good Hindu, the Muslim who does the same, the Jew and the unbaptised pagans. Conversion to any faith in Jesus Christ is not required. The priest really believed this. Of course, Christ never said this, but never mind. Let's not the Lord get in the way of a 70s zeitgeist perpetuating itself into 2016 and beyond.

 The priest really believed this and - irritating ad libbing and unnecessary low Mass stereo interference aside - implicitly told the congregation that the Church no longer believes in Baptism as in any way necessary for Salvation.

Oh - and he also suggested - no, said explicitly to me, that Pope Francis is the one who is 'lifting the lid' on all these hidden realities of the Church helping us all to 'see things as they really are'. This really is the dawn of the new age of the Church according to his mind, a new age that extends its love and mercy to the divorced and remarried also, who despite being, according to the words of Jesus Christ, adulterers, are simply now in "a tricky situation".

What was truly frightening in all this - oh and don't worry, we still ended the conversation with a 'Thank you, Father' handshake as one does at the end of Mass - was the way in which Christ our Lord and His actual words had been forced to so well and truly step aside. Nothing Our Lord actually said or did seemed any longer to have relevance any more. Where Liturgy was once able - or could be able - to speak of Christ's beauty and love, he had stepped in. We were not even allowed to communicate in silence.

Speaking with him, it became clear that relativism had truly come to reign while he taught me his doctrine that each person is judged not on what is objectively right and true, wrong and false, but on what a person thought was right and true, wrong and false - even if they were wrong. Extended to its logical conclusion, if the Hell Christ taught about existed, there would be very few people who would go there, rather than (in Our Lord's words) the 'many [who] go down that road', because sins and offenses only become real sins and real offenses to God when the person actually believes they are. That'll be a free pass for the unrepentant abortionist, I guess. Following his logic, every sin can become not just not a sin, but a virtue in the free exercising of conscience.

All this the priest told me, face to face, with no hint of embarrassment. He is retired and of no doubt he is of a generation of priests who were ill-informed and were not fed on Christ's truth, but modern scholars "interpretations". Not long after this Mass, I heard from another friend that the priest in his local parish has put up a picture of Adam Ant in the Presbytery for all-comers to see.

Over all, in terms of the homily, I sensed real contempt in the priest's voice for what the Church gave to Her children 60 years ago. Perhaps the message that went out to the pews on Baptism was sure and not so nuanced, but then Christ Himself didn't offer such nuance and at least the people 60 years ago knew what the mission of the Church was. No wonder people are left wondering what the mission of the Church is with homilies like the one I heard.

Yes, if you ask me, Pope Francis and this priest are singing from the same hymn sheet. The Church will only be 'relevant' in their view if She adapts to the mores and movements of the age, the 'beats of our time'. The priest was adamant that in terms of the Presence of Christ in the Church (he and I both remonstrated and pointed towards the Tabernacle) its primacy was in 'us', the body of Christ, rather than in the Tabernacle, in which is housed the very Body of Christ. In terms of 'Presence', and in terms of 'Christ', His Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament appeared to be very, very secondary. One wonders, therefore, who is more worthy of worship? Us or the Lord Jesus?

For some reason, David Bowie - and all he represented or meant to music and our culture - has produced an industry of commentators within Catholicism since his death. Personally, I will always remember him as the guy who introduced us to 'The Snowman'. However, let us not miss an opportunity to reflect on what the artist sang and just how much he and the Church in modern times, agree....Makes you wonder whether the Church influences the culture or the culture influences the Church?  Who is mirroring whom?




Lourdesman said…
Is this a Catholic blog?
If Bowie's saved, everyone's saved said…
"What was truly frightening in all this - oh and don't worry, we still ended the conversation with a 'Thank you, Father' handshake as one does at the end of Mass - was the way in which Christ our Lord and His actual words had been forced to so well and truly step aside. Nothing Our Lord actually said or did seemed any longer to have relevance any more."

What's truly frightening to me is how many people who think they are "faithful", actually as Voris would say, belong to the "church of nice".

Same w/your video of Bowie and R.I.P.--the man was a satan worshiper. His last 'album' mocked Jesus Christ and his crucifixion and five most precious wounds. And yet all the 'faithful' Catholics act like it is hard to say whether he's a non-Christian. If you don't believe Hindus are "saved" w/out baptism, i.e. you are talking to the priest about it after mass, how can you say "RIP" about a man who spent his life in grave sin, corrupting everyone he could, and cursing Jesus Christ--like he is one of the faithful? Seems you have as many problems as the old retired priest. If you gave a sermon it would probably sound the same wishy washy way as the perverse fairies' sermons.
That poor old priest obviously never got to read the punch line:

Acts 10,47 "Then Peter answered: Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then they entreated him to stay with them some days."

With clergy like this priest, this Pope and this joker Cardinal who thinks Catholics should celebrate the Deformation, there is no wonder the Church is being flushed down the toilet of apostasy.
Oakes Spalding said…
Okay, I apologize for spamming your comment box but I thought this was interesting. Since you put up a picture of Adam Ant, I was curious as to what he was up to these days. This is a Daily Mail story from 2010:

Adam Ant abuses Christians walking out of charity gig while his crew get into fight backstage with promoter

Adam Ant caused a storm last night with a foul-mouthed rant at a charity concert which led to a fight behind the scenes.

The Eighties pop star also offended the audience of devout Christians when he told them to 'f*** off', right after performing a cover of the Rolling Stones' song Sympathy For The Devil.

Adam, 55, real name Stuart Goddard, was due to play a 30-minute set at the Oasis Centre in the town - where he has been holidaying for the past two weeks - to raise money for starving children in the Phillipines.

But while the crowd may have been expecting him to roll out hits such as Antmusic and Stand And Deliver, he invited a four-year-old boy up on stage and began to teach him the words to The Who's My Generation.

As the frustrated crowd started spilling out the doors, Adam screamed obscenities at them.

He even asked if there were any Christians in the room, to which several people put their hands up, and responded by telling them to 'f**k off'.

Goddard was then booed off the stage...

Eye-witness Kevin Johnson, 45, who was among the 300-strong audience, said: 'Adam's behaviour was totally unacceptable.

'The Oasis centre is a religious venue and most of the crowd were devout Christians. He will never be welcomed back.'...
The Bones said…

Because God is the true Judge, not you or me. Those who in this life wish people in Hell will most likely end up there themselves.
The Bones said…
Whatever he did, or was, or did not do, we can pray he repented and pray for him.
Felix M said…
Really, Mr Bones, I question the need for this post. Anyone who goes to a Novus Ordo Mass has similar tales to tell.

For example, my PP was recently talking about the old days and commented that, "In those days it was obligatory for Catholics to attend
Sunday Mass". (It was still obligatory under St John Paul II, but I guess Pope Frank has gotten rid of all such rules.)

But, despite thinking your post unnecessary, I would really like to know why Adam Ant's picture was posted in a sacristy. Is it just because the priest is an ageing rocker or because Mr Ant is a deeply spiritual figure?

Oakes Spalding said…
Catholics: can we cut the bull, please? David Bowie wasn't a Satan worshipper. That's ridiculous. He was a tortured, confused agnostic like 80% of the people I personally know. The only reason we're debating his un-Catholic beliefs is because he was a celebrity. Well, okay, he wore glam outfits in the 1970's, but still. He posed as a bisexual for a few years to shock. But it was obviously a pose. (My wife watched just 10 seconds of a 1972 video and declared, "that man is obviously heterosexual!") And he didn't do it because it was the popular thing to do (unlike so many these days). If anything, it was the opposite.

Should priests and cardinals be gushing over him? Of course not. That's not their job and it's unseemly. But at least he was a more honest man (by all reports) that, say, most of those priests and cardinals. Did Bowie come to know Christ? Not that we could see. But by not knowing Him he also never betrayed Him. The words and actions of many on the Catholic hierarchy have had a much more insidious influence on faith that the example of that all too human rock and roller.
viterbo said…
This what might appropriately be called the fruit/s of the VII-Sect. Their belief in their own 'catholicism' is as false as the Eastern Orthodox or the Anglicans. All three are at odds with the Bride of Christ and do not constitute the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Instead each three follow a heirarchy that broke with the Bride of Christ. What are the 'marks' of VII-Sectarianism? Schism, heresy, and the denial of the Incarnation. All three marks are constituted in VII, its Novus Ordo and the antichrist 'magisterium' of its heresiarchs. The indifferentism is anti-Incarnational to say the least. Cardinal Manning saw the above three 'marks' as 'notes' of Antichrist and the fuel of the 'mystery of iniquity'. The formal definition of 'schism' is "the rupture of ecclesiastical union and unity, i. e. either the act by which one of the faithful severs as far as in him lies the ties which bind him to the social organization of the Church and make him a member of the mystical body of Christ, or the state of dissociation or separation which is the result of that act." The VII-Sect promulgates the 'notes' of the Antichrist universally. No Catholic belongs to it. The Eastern Orthodox ceased to be Catholic when they broke with the Holy See. Likewise the Anglicans. The 'difficulty' of following a heirarchy that descends from those that 'went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would no doubt have remained with us', is the 'excuse' of the VII-Sectarians, which isn't an excuse. The fact is the VII-Sect 'went out from the Catholic Church', it did not remain the Catholic Church. "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them." Which is why plain Catholic truth that concludes 'sedevacantism' is something the devil will fight against anyone conforming to. If we do, the VII-Sect - the evil tree - loses all 'credibility'...and then we may again have a Catholic Heirarchy and a Catholic Pope.

PS. I think for some Catholics of the change-over/VII-Novus Ordo period they ceded the Faith because of bad shepherds who taught true doctrine, celebrated true Mass,  but had no sentiment for the flock - at least I know this to be the reason for some of that era - the perceived lack of charity was all the excuse itching ears needed. That said, the wicked and perverse hatred and abuse towards the 'pew-punters', especially children, overseen by the VII-heresiarchs and their henchmen is satanic in so many ways. 

PSS. Did not know David Bowie was longer with us - a vanguard of hyper-individualism.

Eternal Father have mercy on his soul, and all souls who have passed to the other life this day, that Thou wouldst save them from the pains of hell, and admit them quickly to the possession of Thy glory, by the Eternal merit of the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
viterbo said…
PS I think it is more fruitful to highlight the unCatholic beliefs of the Novus Ordo heirarchy.
newguy40 said…
hahahaha. Several years back, after a much touted trip to Disneyland, a celebrating priest used "Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas animated movie thru out the Mass. As I recall thru my gritted teeth that there were also paper streamers in the sanctuary, too while this was being sung. hahahah.
Anonymous said…
The link below is pointed to a reputable site, imo.

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