Friday, April 15, 2011

Holy Week, The Eucharist , Failings of Catholic Hierarchy ,and Converts

Archbishop Dolan of NYC has some excellent thoughts at A Blessed Holy Week

Lisa Graas at American Catholic has a follow up on that as an convert that I as a Convert largely share. See News Flash: Catholic Priests are Human Beings.

Let me also include Catholic female Religious that yes too can be a pain in the neck, and have failings just like everyone else.

Father over at Standing on My Head has a fun fictional character that makes guess appearances at time called Mantilla the Hon. He uses her to make points about Catholic Liturgy at times. I always recall good ole Mantilla making this comment that was in a post Mantilla on Lutheran Lady Bishops

.............Why don't these people want to have a traditional cope and miter? It's because they hate tradition, that's why. They wear radical clothes because they are radical people. They wear clothes that express themselves rather than expressing the office they hold. I remember one time in Barcelona we get this young bishop who said he didn't want to wear a miter and a cope and ring and all the bishop's special vestments because he doesn't want to be special and he doesn't think he is any better than anybody else. Mgr. Quixote, who was my professor of Ecclesiastical Haberdashery at Salamanca University took him aside and said, "Your Grace, with the greatest respect, everybody already agrees with you. They don't think you're so special either." The new bishop kind of misses the point hon because he says, "Really! Then I won't wear them. I think they embarrass me. I don't want them to be looking at me."

So Monsignor Quixote says, "What I mean is they don't think it's all about you. They want to see the Bishop. They are not coming to see you. They are coming to see the Church and the Bishop stands for the Church. The Bishop's robes do something very important your grace. They block you out. With any luck you will get your wish and no one will see you at all. Then when you're gone the next bishop will wear the same cope and miter and they won't see him either."

Lucky this priest is pretty smart, so he says, "You mean instead of the fancy robes making me special they actually make me not so special?"

"You got it!" says Monsignor. "The splendid robes are not because you're a splendid person, but because the office of the bishop is splendid. The better bishop you are the more you will forget about yourself............"

There is a powerful point in which goes beyond the Liturgical. The people coming into the Church have seen the Church with all her warts exposed. Yet they will still come in this Holy Saturday. I think they get what our Liturgical Fashion expert is saying in all facets of the Church.

Quite a bit of a ruckus was had in St Augustine's time if "bad" Priests could confect valid Sacraments. The answer thank God was affirmed in the yes.

When the Church has gone through her past Clergy scandals I think this is what has got the average Catholics through it. They would shake their head but still somehow knew they were receiving grace though the human side of the Church was imperfect.

If people leave the Church over clerical weakness then they better not point that all powerful microscope toward the laity. They might not get out of bed. There will be no faith community anywhere that can avoid those pitfalls of that group of the faithful.

Next week we start through Holy Week and thank goodness we know how it ends. Take a chance if you can not only to introduce yourselves to these new Catholics in your Parish but look for opportunities to help them along the way.


Nicole said...

Great opinions & great idea to be welcoming of the Church's newest members. Thanks for being such a strong witness! The Church is alive & well!

Michael said...

I would like to start by asking you two questions. One: Can you can give an accurate definition of the phrase: "Lamb of God"? We all know that this is one of the names used for Jesus, like Messiah, Savior, Son of Man, or Christ.

But exactly what is the importance of the name "Lamb of God"? And why is it important to me as a Catholic? The second question I would like to ask you is: Why the Catholic Church would offer The Holy Eucharist every day at every Mass throughout the world in over 3000 languages.

What knowledge do they have that would make them feel compelled to do this for thousands of years? In answering this question, we'll see why the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that "The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life.'" (CC 1324)

For more information on Jesus New Covenant and how everything ties together -- Passover Meal -> Manna -> Prophecy of the New Covenant -- go to The 4th and watch the video! You can also read along while the video is playing.