Category Archives: Church crisis

The Martyrs of Bosnia

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https://www.catholicfamilynews.org/blog/2018/2/22/february-1945-the-30-martyrs-massacred-by-the-communists-in-bosnia

The following is from Catholic Family News & is a must read, recounting the evil of the communist agenda, as shown in the torture of these great priests and brothers.

During the Turkish domination of Bosnia-Herzegovina, twelve Franciscan friars of Herzegovinian origin, came from Kresevo in Bosnia, deciding to construct a monastery in their land of origin, as a sign of faith, choosing to do so in Široki Brijeg.

Establishing themselves in this small village, and after having bought a large plot of land at a high price, they began to construct a church dedicated to Our Lady Assumed into Heaven. The work to build the monastery soon began, and then a building to use as a seminary.

Nearby they erected a scholastic center which included a gymnasium where the friars taught the young generations of Bosnia-Herzegovina. A house for borders from far away was also built. And so the place became a Christian cultural center, and the shrine transformed into a symbol for Herzegovina. Exactly 100 years later, the monastery was devastated and destroyed.

It happened in this way: on February 7, 1945, the Communist party members decided to destroy from the Christian symbol from its foundations, and to uproot the Catholic Faith, kindness and the recognition of the Franciscan friars from the hearts of the people.

They arrived at three in the afternoon, finding 30 religious in the monastery; many of them were professors in the gymnasium adjacent to the monastery.

The communists said: “God is dead, there isn’t a God, there’s not a Pope, there’s not a Church, there’s no need for you, go back to the world and work.”

They tried to persuade the friars, with threats and blasphemies, to take off the religious habit. They responded: “We are consecrated religious, we cannot take our habits off.”

Then, an angry soldier took the Crucifix and threw it out on the ground. “There,” he said, “now you can choose either life or death.”

Each of them knelt, embracing and kissing Jesus, holding the Cross to their breast, all of them saying like Saint Francis: “My God and my All.”

As mentioned, some of the Fathers were very famous professors, they had written many school books and manuals.

But they didn’t embrace their books and say: “You are everything for me.” No! They embraced Jesus, the Master! Full of hate and malice, the persecutors then took the friars one by one, taking them out of the convent, and killing them; they then doused the bodies with gasoline and burned them.

The Friars went to their death praying and singing the Litany of Our Lady.

These things have been to testified to, by the soldiers who had been part of the execution squad.

One of the soldiers was shocked by the heroic behavior of the Friars. He recounted: “Ever since I was a little boy at home, I always heard from my mother that there is a God, that God exists. Lenin, Stalin, Tito had always affirmed the contrary and did everything to instill in us that there is no God, that He doesn’t exist!

When life’s circumstances brought me to the martyrdom of Široki Brijeg and I saw how the Friars faced death, praying and blessing their persecutors, begging God to pardon the sins of the executioners, then my mother’s words rang clear, and I thought: my mom was right, there is a God, God does exist!”

Today, that soldier converted, and has a priest-son and a daughter who is a religious.

In their fury, they ravaged and wiped out the writing on the stone placed above the main entrance of the friary, on which was written the Name of God and the dedication to the Assumption of Our Lady.

Today the dedication is no longer legible, but the blood of the Martyrs has written it even more deeply in the hearts of the people, and brilliantly shines in the eyes of the Lord.

A dedication can be erased, it can be burned, destroyed, ruined, but the Faith cannot be taken from the heart of the Church.

To this day, Our Lady is lived, honored and celebrated with great love, at the Shrine.

The shrine is the largest in all of Bosnia-Herzegovina: it is a symbol, a sign. The communists had thought that by destroying the “sign,” the Faith would be finished too. Instead, the Faith has grown and developed under the mantle and protection of Our Lady.

Our Franciscan Martyrs had also grown and lived enveloped by Our Lady’s mantle. The bodies of the 30 witnesses of the Faith were left hidden in the earth for years and years; one could not name them or commemorate them in any way.

But the blood of the Martyrs cried out and was an example for everyone, and so new vocations flowered in hearts, the Church and Faith grew like a thriving tree.

At the time, I was four years old, and I remember how often my parents told us of what had happened to the Friars. And this was also the case in many families of my peers. The desire to imitate our Martyrs and ourselves become friars grew more and more.

Our Martyrs are witnesses to the Faith, witnesses to the love of God and neighbor. The 30 Franciscans didn’t become martyrs by chance, or by accident; they offered their lives and testified to the Faith consciously and with great joy.

This is very important. As the Church has always done and taught, so did they forgive their enemies, pray for their persecutors and bless their killers.

In the same way as Maximilian Kolbe and many others! Among the various Martyrs, the only difference is that of the means and method of martyrdom, but all have always manifested a great ardor and love: the love which burns hate, which burns and destroys violence, and everything changes and transforms into joy, a celebration, in the victory of Our Lord’s grace.

The Church takes life from the blood of her martyr-sons. These will always remain a great (source of) strength of the Church.

We who live in this place, and you who come here as pilgrims, we can reflect a little on the worth of our Faith and examine how much our Faith is important to us; how I am ready to give my life for my God, what I can do for my Jesus, what my Christ and His Cross and my Christian vocation mean to me.

A week after the massacre at Široki Brijeg, the communists went to Mostar and found seven friars in the monastery.

Although they knew what had happened in Široki Brijeg, they had decided not to escape, but to remain in the friary.

One of them was Father Leon-Grgo Petrovic, doctor of Theology, born in Klobuk in 1883. He, as Franciscan provincial, had the grace to consecrate all of his friars, who he felt were in danger at the beginning of the war, to Our Lady.

Now we can see how that consecration flourished. The devotion to Our Lady, that beautiful flower offered to the Blessed Virgin, bloomed on the day of the massacre, February 7, 1945.

As God the Father sent His Son to die, for the salvation of the whole world, and Jesus remained obedient, accepting the sacrifice of Himself, so our Martyrs offered their own lives and blood for the salvation of men, for peace, for our conversion.

They were immolated for the peace and good of the whole Church. I now want to present to you our Friars who became mature through martyrdom – some were only 20 years old – and who were capable of giving witness for Christ, and to demonstrate Who Christ was for them, for us.

With love and veneration, I give you their names…

The Martyrs of Široki Brijeg

Friar Bruno Adamcik, with degrees in philosophy and music from Bratislava, was 37 years old when he went to the glory of Heaven.

Friar Marko Barbaric, 80. Devoted to Our Lady, he had a reputation for sanctity among the students and seminarians, who witnessed that while walking in the park, he often spoke with the birds. These, as soon as they saw him, hastened to greet him and perched themselves on the hand he extended to them. He had lost his memory and was unaware of the war. On that February 7, 1945 he was in his cell, sick with typhus. The Communist officials ordered that he also be brought out, and so he was carried outside on a blanket. Then he was killed and thrown in the fire.

Friar Jozo Bencun, 76. He had been pastor in Humac and Široki Brijeg.

Friar Marko Dragicevic, 43. With degrees in history, Greek and Latin, he could not think of any of his students failing, so he found ways to bring out their positive sides.

Friar Miljenko Ivankovic, 21. He was very devout and humble. Today his brother and nephew are Franciscans.

Friar Andrija Jelcic, 41. He had been Father Guardian of Široki Brijeg. He built the church in Capljina. The people remember him as being a good shepherd and a true father.

Friar Rudo Juric, 21. A cleric in simple vows.

Friar Fabijan Kordic, 55. Very pious and good, he made habits for the brothers, and prepared himself to receive the habit which never wears out: that of martyrdom.

Friar Viktor Kosir, 21. When all the youngest seminarians, although not wishing to leave the monastery were commanded by the Rector to return to their own villages, knowing well that the Communists were coming to kill them, Friar Viktor resisted more than the others, but obediently returned home. There, he stayed only a few hours, despite his parents’ pleas, who heard the rumble of the airplanes who were bombing. He died with the others, as he desired. His mother had another son, and gave him the same name. However she often cried, looking at the picture of her dead son. The little one calmed her, telling her that he would take his brother’s place. Today, in fact, he is a Franciscan priest who exercises his ministry especially in the confessional.

Friar Tadija Kozul, 36. Professor of philosophy, Greek and Latin, a teacher of the clerics who loved him very much and preferred to die together, rather than leave him.

Friar Krsto Kraljevic, 50. He had been a great example to the people, in how he carried his cross of sickness, in this way preparing his soul for martyrdom.

Friar Stanko Kraljevic, 74. Preacher, professor, formator of clerics in Široki Brijeg.

Friar Zarko Leventic, 26. He confessed the sick, and bringing them the Eucharist, fell ill with typhus. He was also taken out of bed and killed. Chaplain in Široki Brijeg.

Friar Bonifacije Majic, 62. Professor and catechist, he got up during the night to fix the boys’ sheets. He was very loved by the people as a friar, professor and pedagogist.

Friar Stjepan Majic, 20, he had finished the novitiate and pronounced temporary vows shortly before.

Friar Arkandeo Nuic, 49. Graduated from the Sorbonne (University of Paris) he taught Latin, Greek, German and French. He was called the “little sheep of God” for his meekness.

Friar Borislav Pandzic, 35. Professor of Religion, he was a friar of true and simple Franciscan life.

Friar Kresimir Pandzic, 53. He had several degrees and had been provincial for three years. Professor of classical languages and director of the school, very active, he demanded the best of his students. He had great duties, but always remained humble.

Friar Fabijan Paponja, 48. Responsible for the boarding school, he was very tenderhearted toward his students, to whom he always gave little gifts.

Friar Nenad Venancije Pehar, 35. Professor of philosophy. Loved by his students because he did not differentiate between them.

Friar Melhior Prlic, 53. A laybrother and carpenter. He was respectful of the Rule, never absent from community prayer, much loved by the other brothers.

Friar Ludovik Rados, 20. He had just finished the novitiate and made temporary vows.

Friar Leonard Rupcic, 38. Professor of French, he gave such an example of humility and goodness that his students were more embarrassed when they hadn’t studied, than with any other professor.

Friar Mariofil Sivric, 32. Chaplain and teacher, as well as vicar of the friary. He was a classic example of a humble brother faithful to his Franciscan vows.

Friar Ivo Sliskovic, 68. After having worked in various parishes, he came to Široki Brijeg to spend the last years of his life.

Friar Kornelije Susac, 20. In temporary vows.

Friar Dobroslav Simovic, 38. Having become a doctor of Theology in Paris, he was then a seminary professor, he wrote a dissertation in French on the Our Father.

Friar Radoslav Vuksic, 51. He studied in Vienna, and was then a professor of mathematics and physics, besides being director of the gymnasium for six years. Ex-Yugoslavia had decreed that teachers also be examined by the government of Belgrade. When Friar Radoslav appeared before his examiners, they were stupefied by the Friar’s wisdom and culture. One of his students, today a famous philosopher in America, wrote that he was the most intelligent man and professor he had ever encountered.

Friar Roland Zlopasa, 33. A philosophy professor who taught more by his life, than with words. Known for his profound meditations.

Friar Leopold Augustin Zubac, 55. An excellent priest and professor, assistant at the hydro central which produced electric energy, constructed by the Friars for their needs, and those of the surrounding area.

 

 

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Notre Dame de Paris is crumbling

 

Notre-Dame Cathedral close up and Seine River

Literally.

Is this not a sign of the crisis in the Church, that the greatest church in all of Christendom is in danger of collapse just as every facet of true Catholicism has crumbled?

http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/notre-dame-cathedral-paris-crumbling-paid-admission-inevitable-fix

With its construction started nearly a millenium ago, France’s most famous cathedral has withstood invasions, wars, and revolution. Now weather and grime are its greatest enemies.

200 keys. That was the capacity a priest’s belt needed to have in order to access all the stairwells, corridors, and rooms of Notre Dame de Paris. And so, it was not until a few years ago – when all the locks in the cathedral were standardized – that many of the resident priests of the archdiocese of Paris were able to fully inspect the cathedral for the first time in more than a century.

What they found was disheartening. The most public parts of the cathedral and its exterior had shown obvious states of decay, but closer inspection revealed stone walls held up by 100 year-old planks of wood, interior supports with rot, and nearly impassible stairwells. France’s most beloved and visited church was just a few short years from serious, irreparable damage.

A Silent Victim of Abuse

Construction started on the cathedral dedicated to the Blessed Mother in 1163, and was completed within about a century. Its French Gothic building techniques – like most of the great cathedrals of the time – was designed to last a thousand years. And, like its stone sisters throughout Europe since the mid-1200s, it has witnessed a history of violence.

The invading Hugenots were the first to deface portions of its walls. Various fires throughout the 16th and 17th centuries weakened its mortar and beams, with hasty repair techniques causing almost more damage. Two world wars took their toll, and the French Revolution invited sacreligious revelers to break away large portions of its statuary – though mostly isolated to past monarchs’ figures.

But it is a more subtle, almost invisible violence that is to blame for the current state of Notre Dame; weather and soot.

Over the centuries, wind and rain have weakened the exterior construction. Further, coal soot from the industrial revolution (and recently, more modern forms of pollutants) when mixed with this moisture, accelerated the process. This slow, chemical decomposition of the stones and ancient mortar did what no Hugenots or revolutionaries bothered to do – weakened the famous flying buttresses and towers to the point of near collapse.

A Hunchback’s Blessing and Curse

Though the condition of the cathedral is dire today, it is not a new state of affairs. After the French Revolution, Notre Dame lay in disrepair, with the faithful no longer attending to her as they once lovingly had. Then in 1831, Victor Hugo wrote The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The main figure in the novel, deformed Quasimodo, lived in the bell towers, with the cathedral taking on the role of another character. Hugo spoke of the “mutilations, amputations, dislocations of the joints” that could be found in the stones then. “Beside each wrinkle on the face of this old queen of our cathedrals,” he wrote, “you will find a scar.”

The beloved French writer’s words stirred up the passions – if not the Faith – of the French people, and various campaigns throughout the latter half of the 19th century were undertaken to restore Notre Dame’s “mutiliations” and “scars.” However, the effort, for its good intentions, was only a short-term postitive step. In fact, it has been an ironic reality that the repairs caused more harm than good. Low-quality stone and even cement was used in these restoration efforts, since France at the time could not produce the quantities of high-grade material that the job required.

Now, 200 years later, this 19th century construction is crumbling, leaving the higher-quality Gothic work underneath behind, and even more exposed. During a recent visit, Time magazine’s writers described what they saw:

Chunks of limestone lay on the ground, having fallen from the upper part of the chevet, or the eastern end of the Gothic church. One small piece had a clean slice down one side, showing how recently it had fallen. Two sections of a wall were missing, propped up with wood.”
The famous gargoyles, carved as various devils and creatures, and placed on the outside of the cathedral to signify the outside sinfulness of the world (and serving as rain spouts) are jarring to see. These artistic figures, due to their cantilevered position, are disintegrating even more obviously from the elements. Many are completely destroyed, cleaved off the walls like icebergs, replaced simply with pipe and sometimes PVC material. The ones that remain are almost unrecognizable – more grotesque than their artisans could have imagined when they carved these demons – necrotic nubs of stone jutting out from the cathedral. “They are like ice cream in the sun, melting,” says Michel Picaud, head of the nonprofit Friends of Notre Dame de Paris.
Who is to pay for the repairs?

The question of Notre Dame’s repairs has bedeviled the archdiocese. Under the strict secular laws of post-revolutionary France, the government owns the cathedral. The archdiocese is allowed to use it for free, in perpetuity.

Recently, the archdiocese asked the goverment to support the vital repairs on the property it owns. The government refused. It states that it already gives €2 million ($2.28 million) a year for this purpose, but this amount only covers basic upkeep. The repairs needed, including removing past restorative efforts, and replacing them with proper materials and techniques, will cost many times more that amount. And Notre Dame is crumbling more every day.

The Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris has agreed to help shoulder the burden. Michel Picaud, recently estimated the costs at a total of €100 million, noting that the work needs to be carried out within the next six to ten years. With funds not forthcoming from the goverment, and unlikely to come from the dwindling Catholic population of France, Picaud also set up a second non-profit organization in the United States last fall in order to reach its fundraising target. André Finot, a spokesman for Notre Dame cathedral believes the bulk of the money will need to come from the Americans, millions of whom know Notre Dame and who are less hesitant than the French about giving money to the church. “People don’t want to give money because of laïcité,” he says, referring to the strict secularism that infuses French law.

Admission Fees to the House of God

With these fundraising drives ongoing, further sources of revenue are being explored. Edouard de Lamaze, says churches that are in need of repair should charge an entrance fee. He is president of the Religious Heritage Observatory, which has the daunting mission to save France’s nearly 120,000 historic churches.

France must start charging for tourist visits of some religious buildings – notably the cathedrals as happens in Spain, for example, or the U.K. The cathedrals are places of worship but they are not only places of worship. They are also places of history. And it is right and proper that tourists’ entrance fees be used to maintain them.”
Admission fees from the 13 million visitors each year would certainly help. But the idea of paying to enter a sacred place is anathema to most Catholics in France, and the opposition has been fierce from clergy and conservative lawmakers.

The Conference of French Bishops has rejected the idea of making visitors pay, saying it doesn’t want money to come between people and God. Nathalie Goutlet, a French senator, took to Twitter recently: “to make people pay to enter cathedrals is a violation of the 1905 law (separating Church from State) and a violation of equality before the law.” Eric Ciotti, a Right-wing opposition MP, wrote: “Our cathedrals are sacred places, open to all and guardians of our identity! They must thus escape the commercialisation of our society!”

The pastors have not been silent, with Pierre-Hervé Grosjean, saying: “…more than ever we need places of silence, beauty (that are) free of charge, open to all.”

A point of consideration to the contrary: One notes that realistically, the vast majority of the 13 million entering Notre Dame each year do not visit for prayer, but tourism. If you have visited a famous cathedral in Europe, you know that they resemble museums with talking, selfies, and pictures taken – in reality, they are not “places of silence” as Fr. Grosjean states. And those who do actually visit to pray – ostensibly Catholics – have a duty in any regard to support the financial well-being of the Church. Would it be wrong to require a small admission of €1-2 per person to the main cathedral, leaving a side chapel freely open for adoration?

Mr. Luis De la Serna, founder of Regina Pilgrimages, which organizes trips accompanied by Society of St. Pius X priests, has a wealth of experience visiting cathedrals and shrines throughout Europe and the Holy Land:

As fewer Catholics attend Mass, there is less income for the historical churches, thereby making it impossible to pay for all the necessary maintenance and repairs for these old buildings. So if French Catholics are not financially supporting their churches, how else can they be preserved? A small, reasonable alms per visitor, which is to be solely for the benefit of the church, would help ensure their preservation and enjoyment for years to come.”
A Cathedral Reflecting its Church

The story of Notre Dame cathedral, as well as its many sister cathedrals throughout Europe, sadly mirrors the Catholic Church as a whole.

This grand building has stood resolute throughout past centuries’ conflicts which shook it directly. And if damage was sustained, the faithful and the government stepped up to rebuild.

But Notre Dame’s greatest test proves to be today’s subtle erosion of its mortar and foundation, while her people watch in apathy.

Sources: notredamedeparis.fr / KERA / Time / France24 / sspx.org

 

Born of a Virgin

God was born of a Virgin. Miracle of miracles yet so many reject this sacred truth.

Damsel of the Faith

It is dogma that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, who remained as such before, during and after the Birth of Christ.  To those who think differently or outright reject this sacred truth, do you not think that God is all powerful and can do as he wishes?  If He can create the world from nothing, do you not think that he can allow a child to born from a virgin in the most miraculous manner?

Here is a beautiful meditation from Pope St. Leo I:

“Therefore, when the time came, dearly beloved, which had been fore-ordained for men’s redemption, there enters these lower parts of the world, the Son of God, descending from His heavenly throne and yet not quitting His Father’s glory, begotten in a new order, by a new nativity. In a new order, because being invisible in His own nature He became visible in ours…

View original post 284 more words

Blasphemous ‘crucified cow’ on display in Catholic Church

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https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/crucified-cow-on-display-at-center-of-catholic-church-locals-outraged

This is an absolute sacrilege and blasphemy against the Crucified Christ! Make reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, horribly outraged in His very home. Those responsible for this should be defrocked and excommunicated.

Local Catholics in a Belgian town are outraged as a cruciform cow has been erected as art at the center of a consecrated Catholic church. They are urging the local bishop to have it removed and offer public prayers of reparation.

The “art” exhibit by Tom Herck is to be displayed until early December in the small parish church of Saint John the Baptist of Kuttekoven, in the Flemish town of Borgloon.

Last Sunday, a group of several dozen Catholics came to pray and demonstrate in front of the religious building where occasional Masses are still read, asking for the local bishop, Mgsr. Patrick Hoogmartens, to intervene.

The “artist” went through the grueling process of actually nailing the 500 kg corpse of a cow to a cross before covering it with silicone paint: it is the resulting mold that hangs, “crucified” in the center of the church as a sneering mockery of one of the most sacred images of the Catholic faith: that of the crucified God and Saviour of mankind.

Read the rest at the link. Spineless, heretic clergyman allow this outrage. The Faith is lost in these heretics. We must pray for their repentance. If you are Catholic, you should be protesting this outrage committed against the Crucified Christ, who continues His crucifixion in the Mystical Body of His Church,

~Damsel of the Faith

Removed by the police for praying the rosary

 

https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2017/10/catholics-praying-hail-mary-removed-by.html#more

In Brussels Cathedral, in the midst of a celebration of the Portestant Revolt, these young Catholics prayed the rosary in reparation. The enemies of Our Lord and the the Church had these faithful young souls thrown out of the church. The fact that the revolutionary rebellion of Luther is extolled and celebrated is a great thorn in the side of Our Lord.  Millions of souls have been thrown from salvation due to the Protestant revolt. Those who know not Christ will be thrown to the pit of hell. Pray for the lost souls.

“We do not hesitate to affirm again publicly that We put great confidence in the Holy Rosary for the healing of evils which afflict our times. Not with force, not with arms, not with human power, but with Divine help obtained through the means of this prayer, strong like David with his sling, the Church undaunted shall be able to confront the infernal enemy, repeating to him the words of the young shepherd: ‘Thou comest to me with a sword, and a spear, and with a shield; but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of armies…and all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear, for this is his battle, and he will deliver you into our hands’ -I Kings 17, 45-47)” ~Pope Pius XII, “Ingruentium Malorum”, 1951 A.D.

Blessed are you, fellow soldiers, when they revile you and persecute you.

 

Novus Ordo Lamentations: The Altar is no longer

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https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2017/07/paul-claudel-at-le-figaro-1955-mass.html#more 

Paul Claudel, French poet and writer, laments the growing implementation of the Novus Ordo and its dangerous effects for the life of the faithful and the Church, in 1955, long before the Novus Ordo was officially forced upon the Church. Words to heed and reflect upon.

Paul Claudel
Le Figaro
January 23, 1955

I wish to protest with all my strength against the growing practise in France of saying Mass facing the people.

The most basic principle of religion is that God holds first place and that the good of man is merely a consequence of the recognition and the practical application of this essential dogma.

The Mass is the homage par excellence which we render to God by the Sacrifice which the priest offers to Him in our name on the altar of His Son. It is us led by the priest and as one with him, going to God to offer Him hostias et preces [Victims and prayers]. It is not God presenting Himself to us for our convenience to make us indifferent witnesses of the mystery about to be accomplished.

The novel liturgy deprives the Christian people of their dignity and their rights. It is no longer they who say the Mass with the priest, by “following” it, as the saying very rightly goes, and to whom the priest turns from time to time to assure them of his presence, participation and cooperation, in the work which he undertakes in their name. All that remains is a curious audience watching him do his job. Small wonder that the impious compare him to a magician performing his act before a politely admiring crowd.

 

It is true that in the traditional liturgy the most touching, the most moving part of the Holy Sacrifice is hidden from the view of the faithful. But it is not hidden from their hearts and their faith. To demonstrate this, during Solemn High Masses the sub-deacon stays at the foot of the altar during the Offertory, hiding his face with his left hand.We too are invited to pray, to withdraw into ourselves, not in a spirit of curiosity but of recollection.

In all of the Eastern rites the miracle of transubstantiation takes place unseen by the faithful, behind the iconostasis. It is only afterwards that the celebrant appears on the threshold of the sacred door, the Body and Blood of Christ in his hands.

A vestige of this idea lingered for many years in France, where the old missals did not translate the prayers of the canon. Dom Guéranger protested energetically against those who had the audacity to do away with this custom.

Today’s deplorable practice has turned the ancient ceremony upside down, to the great consternation of the faithful. There is no longer an altar. Where is it, this consecrated stone which the Apocalypse compares to the Body of Christ Itself? There is nothing but a bare trestle covered with a tablecloth, reminding usdepressingly of a Calvinist workbench.

Naturally, as the convenience of the faithful was held up as the guiding principle, it was necessary to rid the aforementioned table of the “accessories” cluttering it up: not only the candlesticks and the vases of flowers, but the tabernacle! The very crucifix! The priest says his Mass in a vacuum!When he invites the people to lift up their hearts and their eyes…to what? There is no nothing left in front of us to focus our minds on the Divine.

If the candlesticks and crucifix were kept, the people would be even more excluded than in the old liturgy, because then not only the ceremony but the priest himself would be completely hidden from view.

I would resign myself to this situation with the greatest grief, as henceforth, it would appear that not the slightest spiritual effort will berequired of the common people. It seems necessary to stick the most sublime of mysteries in their faces, to reduce the Mass to the primitive form of the Last Supper and in doing so, change the entire ritual. What is the meaning of Dominus vobiscum [The Lord be with you] and orate fratres [pray brethren] spoken by a priest separated from his people and requiring nothing of them? What is the significance of the sumptuous vestments worn by those we have delegated as ambassadors to the Divinity?

And our churches, is there any reason to leave them as they are?

 

Cardinal Sarto exhorts Catholics to keep the Faith alive – in 1895

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One of Cardinal Sarto’s (the future Pope Pius X) most important duties as Patriach of Venice, and one that he placed high priority on was the pastoral visitation, whereby he traveled from parish to parish, assessing the spiritual needs of both clergy and laity alike. Hear these words, given to his faithful, in 1895. They could be spoken of with just as much truth today.

~Damsel of the Faith

“How necessary it is to stir up again the spirit of faith, at a time when there is a growth of that malignant fever which would discredit everything and deny every dogma of revealed religion! How necessary it is at this present time when people are trying to dismiss the mysteries of our faith, when people are claiming to explain them – while Christ has demanded the submission of the intellect – when they are casting doubt on the most established prophecies, when they are denying the most manifest miracles, when they are rejecting the sacraments, deriding pious practices, and discrediting the magisterium of the Church and her ministers! We must build a dyke against the torrent of evil which is spreading everywhere; we must find the antidote to the poison which is threatening the life of society; we must give this sick world the remedies which will cute it; we must save, by a single word, even the souls of those who hate that word and persecute it, because for them too Jesus Christ shed His precious blood.”