How to Destroy the Faith in Five Easy Steps

holysacrificemass

In the 50 years between 1912 and 1962, the Catholic Population of England and Wales more than doubled in size. Attendance at Sunday Mass in 1991 was recorded as 1.3 million, a drop of 40% since 1963. (So what happened to the Holy Mass in the 60s, may we ask?) Since the 1990s, attendance at Mass has continued to decline, though the rate of fall has been slowed by the large number of immigrants from Catholic countries to the UK. Statistics for the US and other Western nations are on similar lines; all show a decline of the percentage of Catholics who attend Mass once a week (or more) in the last 50 years or so.

Defendants of the Novus Ordo Mass will argue that many other factors came into play during the ‘swinging sixties’, the era that heralded in the so-called ‘sexual revolution’ at the start of the decline. They have a point of course as this, together with a greater secularisation of life in general, started the side-lining of those who held firm Christian religious beliefs. Man became the new ‘god’ in the general mind set of modern day culture.

Yet it is also undeniable that once the Divine Liturgy was interfered with, and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was replaced, from the God-centred, sublimely beautiful and reverent Tridentine Mass, where the Canon of the Mass is celebrated in Latin, to the more community-centred, versus populum Novus Ordo Mass celebrated in the vernacular, the falling away from the practice of the Faith became unstoppable. By changing the way people pray and adore God, the way they believe too had been greatly weakened in consequence.

Below is another superb post from Liturgy Guy, bringing us his usual insights into where the root of the problems lie within our lex orandi and how they can be counteracted.


By Brian Williams (Liturgy Guy)

Those of us who write about the Catholic Church, and the liturgy specifically, often speak of the ongoing crisis of faith which has constituted much of the post-conciliar narrative. What we have seen over the last forty years is nothing less than the widespread desacralization of the holiest act of religion known to man, the Sacrifice of the Mass. Sadly, the impact upon millions of the faithful, many of whom have simply fallen away from the one, true, Church is staggering to say the least.

It might be good at this time to recall what Fr. Robert Southard wrote in the April 1974 issue of Homiletic and Pastoral Review:

The Catholic Church will survive on this planet til the end of time, believing, teaching and practising essentially what Christ wills of her…But we must understand this promise correctly. The Church in this or that particular place can be destroyed. There are no limits to Christ’s promise; It applies to the Church as a whole, not to every member or parish or diocese, not even to nations as a whole.

Understanding this to be true, we can look to see what post-conciliar practices and attitudes have been introduced to the Mass contributing to a loss of the sacred. Where a sense of the sacred has been lost, a sense of the supernatural has inevitably been lost as well, leading to a widespread loss of the faith.

Five Easy Ways to Destroy the Faith (in no particular order):

1. Make the Mass about Man. Nothing erodes a sense of the sacred more than anthropocentric liturgies. Versus populum masses, the removal of altar rails, and armies of readers and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion all feed into our own narcissism, our own incorrect understanding of participation within the Mass, and instill pride when humility is most needed.

2. Distribute Communion in the Hand. Bishop Athanasius Schneider has identified this as the major crisis in the Church today. The loss in reverence for the Eucharist leads to a loss in belief in Our Lord’s Real Presence. While many have offered compelling arguments in favor of the traditional practice of receiving on the tongue (including Rome itself), no one can offer a good defense of the new practice which (until the 1970’s) had completely disappeared from the Church for well over a millennium.

3. Remove Objective Beauty from Churches. The post-conciliar architectural minimalism has been nothing less than an assault against beauty. Beautiful high altars and classic statuary were discarded in the years after the Council as parishes began to look more like Quaker meeting houses instead of Catholic churches.

As the physical beauty of the Church was removed, so was her musical beauty. The recovery of sacred music, the very focus of much of the twentieth century liturgical movement (from Pope St. Pius X to Vatican II’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy), has been largely ignored in much of the Church. Profane instruments and even Protestant hymns and praise songs were introduced into Catholic worship, as if to add insult to injury.

4. Innovate. Constantly Innovate. Possibly nothing has been more instrumental to the loss of faith than the incessant drive to continually tamper with the liturgy. Much as we have seen in the secular realm, the spirit of innovation has been constant, leading to never-ending liturgical experimentation. A sense of obligation to hand down the tradition that they themselves had received was completely lost upon the innovators. Their hubris told them that they must always reinvent…that they could make the Mass better.

The greatest tragedy in all of this is that the most compelling arguments in favor of the Church, her antiquity, her immutability, her constancy (Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever) was undermined by all of the instability.

5. Never Reference the Supernatural. Ever. The four last things. The fate of our eternal soul. The reality of heaven. The reality of hell. The reality of Satan and of demons. The reality of purgatory. The sacraments. The wages of sin. The death to the soul caused by mortal sin. The destruction wrought by fornication, contraception, sodomy, pornography, abortion. The obligation to go to Mass every Sunday and holy day of obligation. The need to repent. Sacramental confession. The need for prayer. The need for contemplative prayer. The need for silence.

The vast majority of priests and bishops today preach with little to no sense of the supernatural. (Not surprisingly, they also fail to demonstrate a sense of the sacred when offering the Mass). There is no urgency in their teaching. No bold presentation of the truth to counter the lies of the cultural revolutionaries. They are spiritual fathers who refuse to parent for fear of offending. They are spiritual doctors guilty of malpractice because they refuse to diagnose the true sickness or prescribe the necessary medicine.

Thankfully in recent years we are beginning to see more orthodox priests recovering this sense of the sacred and the supernatural. The traditional axiom lex orandi, lex credendi is understood and embraced by these holy men. Unfortunately, very few bishops (with only a few notable exceptions) have done anything to address these problems. Until this occurs, we are likely to see a continued loss of faith and with it, the loss of countless souls.

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49 Responses to How to Destroy the Faith in Five Easy Steps

  1. John says:

    Other major factors in the loss of the Catholic faith are not even mentioned here such as the indoctrination of children with pietism at Catholic schools which is later ditched when they begin to think for themselves and the sexual abuse scandals involving children and minors occasioned by Catholic priests and religious.

  2. kathleen says:

    What in Heaven’s name is wrong with the teaching of “pietism at Catholic schools”, Mr Kehoe?? Piety, Catholic devotions, prayer and so on is all part of our Catholic Faith and should be taught at Catholic schools. In fact, it is precisely because it has been pushed to one side in the post V2 era that we are in the predicament we are now, with so many falling away from a ‘c’atholic teaching that centres more on social issues than true Catholicity.
    You really do say some extraordinarily unCatholic things!

    However, in the second part of your comment above, I partly agree with you. The sexual scandals in the Church, despite having been grossly exaggerated by an anti-Catholic press*, have certainly caused many to blame the Church, instead of blaming the very small percentage – less than 1% globally, but over 1% in Ireland – of homosexual offenders who had infiltrated the priesthood to get easy access to minors for their disgusting and sinister aims. This scandal therefore has indeed tragically caused many in Ireland to have fallen away from the Faith.

    * A comment below from JabbaPapa discussing this topic that I have taken from another site. (Hope he doesn’t mind!):
    “The scandal of child sex abuse has been VERY UNJUSTLY dumped onto the Catholic Church as a scapegoat, which is not to say that clerical child abuse didn’t happen, but to say that there was an institutionalised failure of child protection of the Police, the legislators, the Governments, and of most of the families themselves who preferred to keep these crimes hidden rather than face the social embarrassment of admitting publicly that a brother or cousin or uncle was a kiddy fiddler.”

    Apart from having responded to you above, we would be grateful if you could keep to the subject of the post (which is about the Liturgy and the abuses that have been introduced there) than to constantly bring in off-topic issues.

  3. sixupman says:

    We abrogated care for our youth to The State and care for our own to Social Services, yet all we hear from the majority of pulpits is a call to Social Justice, which we abandoned in great haste post-Vatican II. Al in partnership with the Protestantisation and denigration of The Liturgy, not to mention the abandonment of proselytisation.

  4. Indeed, all of these issues need be addressed at some point before the whole Church loses its focus on Christ and doubts even the real presence in the Eucharist. I wonder how many bishops and priests have even read Pope Benedict’s instruction on receiving the Eucharist kneeling and on the tongue: http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/details/ns_lit_doc_20100526_communion_en.html

    And, then, the reason I quit being an “extraordinary” minister of the Eucharist, was also ignored. That document is rather important and people should read it and take it to heart: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/laity/documents/rc_con_interdic_doc_15081997_en.html

  5. JabbaPapa says:

    The issues are worse in some places than in others — between 15% and 60% of priests and bishops in the US are active homosexuals, a quarter of these suffering from AIDS, which is between 10 to 30 times the proportion of gays in the general male population. It is no big surprise, despite the general truth of what I wrote in relation to the universal Church rather than where the scandal was at its worst, given that the great majority of clerical sex crimes involving minors were the sexual abusing of teenage boys by active homosexuals.

    When one correlates these shocking statistics with the fact that in the general population, 20% of such sex crimes against minors are committed by gay men, who are only 2% of the male population — even given the FACT that even in these shocking circumstances, these homosexual clergymen are still FAR less likely to commit such crimes as the statistical average in the general population — it becomes clear that the Church is in crisis to a great degree because it has been infiltrated and infected to a significant degree by abandonment to worldly values of sexual promiscuity and willful sin.

    The moral ugliness of this “gay mafia” is, not unsurprisingly, mirrored in the rampant liturgical abuses and plain ritual ugliness that is to be found where these scandals of active homosexuality in the clergy have taken root.

  6. Good Lord, this article is good!

  7. Roger says:

    Opinions aren’t really necessary. Heaven does nothing without first telling Us through His Prophets.
    The Truth is simply Cain and Abel. Cain’s sacrifice wasn’t acceptable.Abel’s was. Cain slew Abel and went off to the land of Nod (that’s the world UN ). If you place yourself in the Hands of the World and walk away from God you have simply done what Cain did.

    http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/homilies/2010/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20100513_fatima.html

    “..
    We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete. Here there takes on new life the plan of God which asks humanity from the beginning: “Where is your brother Abel […] Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!” (Gen 4:9). Mankind has succeeded in unleashing a cycle of death and terror, but failed in bringing it to an end… In sacred Scripture we often find that God seeks righteous men and women in order to save the city of man and he does the same here, in Fatima, when Our Lady asks: “Do you want to offer yourselves to God, to endure all the sufferings which he will send you, in an act of reparation for the sins by which he is offended and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?” (Memoirs of Sister Lúcia, I, 162).

    At a time when the human family was ready to sacrifice all that was most sacred on the altar of the petty and selfish interests of nations, races, ideologies, groups and individuals, our Blessed Mother came from heaven, offering to implant in the hearts of all those who trust in her the Love of God burning in her own heart. At that time it was only to three children, yet the example of their lives spread and multiplied, especially as a result of the travels of the Pilgrim Virgin, in countless groups throughout the world dedicated to the cause of fraternal solidarity. May the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfilment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.
    ..”

  8. John says:

    Kathleen,
    You ask what is wrong with the teaching of pietism at Catholic schools ? My answer is a lot.
    My generation in this part of the world were reared on rosaries, novenas and talks about apparitions supposed to have happened at Lourdes, Fatima and other places. These non essentials were easily abandoned in adulthood and with them Catholicism.. Something more substantial is required to sustain a lasting faith.

    As for the clerical scandals, while I was not personally abused- at least not sexually- I was aware of such abuse at close range perpetrated on others at the Irish Catholic boarding school I attended where one priest-teacher as a result went to jail ,and was defrocked, while another priest associated with the school committed suicide before the law caught up with him and another died. Pardon me, but I think factors such as these are far more negatively influential than whether, for example, we receive communion in the hand. My experience of Catholic schooling was by no means unique. In the UK, the first item on the agenda of the current government Goddard Inquiry is the Catholic Benedictine schools which have achieved notoriety for sexual abuse of pupils.

    I thought this blog was about the reasons for the abandonment of faith. Liturgical practice may indeed contribute to that, but to ignore the elephant in the room … ?

  9. JabbaPapa says:

    We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission

    Is EVERY thread in here to be devoted to Roger’s Fatimist fetishism ?

  10. Roger says:

    Jabba.

    Thank you for your kindness and concern for my soul. Its true I am a Lover of Jesus and Mary and devoted to the Holy Rosary. What has been thrown away, trampled on and derided is my especial care and love.

    The Blog is How to Destroy the Faith . Who is the better judge of what is missing Man or Heaven?

    Benedict’s homily is only six years ago 2010.
    “..We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete. ..”

    We have Heavens promise of the Triumph Of The Immaculate Heart of Mary. We have the example of children living the life of Prayer and Penance the proof of their Wisdom is they are in Heaven and on the altars.

    Rejoice because Fatima is once again before Our eyes as the 100th Anniiversary of the Miracle is celebrated.!

  11. johnhenrycn says:

    Kehoe keelhauling Kathleen (“I thought this blog was about the reasons for the abandonment of faith”) is getting out of hand, not to mention kinky.

  12. John says:

    Johnhenrycn,

    Kinky the teacher-priests at my Catholic school, and other such Catholic schools, were indeed but that was the unfortunate reality for their victims occasioning their loss of faith. Hard to blame them.

  13. johnhenrycn says:

    Since John K. has already strayed off topic here, can I be so bold as to ask which way CP&S readers who are also UK citizens (including ex-pats) are inclined to vote tomorrow? I hope John K. will desist from butting in with his irrelevant two cents worth.

  14. John says:

    Johnhenrycn,
    Are the reasons for loss of faith, including the major one I have posted about, really off topic ? The blog is about ‘How to Destroy the Faith in Five Easy Steps’. Perhaps in our over- pious way on this blog we do not wish to address the obvious ones.

    Speaking of being off topic how is the way CP&S readers who are also UK citizens may vote tomorrow on topic in regard to destroying the faith in five easy lessons ?
    Speaking of butting in, you are yourself quite adept at that, my old enemy, with irrelevant interventions that are scarcely worth more than the two cents with which you credit me.

  15. toadspittle says:

    I won’t vote, but would for remaining in the EU, if I could.
    Plenty of self interest here, but not all.
    I like the idea of a United Europe.

  16. johnhenrycn says:

    Later maybe.

  17. John says:

    Johnhenrycn,
    If later, perhaps on topic, and with fewer unnecessary barbs ?
    Thank you, my old enemy

  18. kathleen says:

    Mr John Kehoe @ 13:54

    “My generation in this part of the world were reared on rosaries, novenas and talks about apparitions supposed to have happened at Lourdes, Fatima and other places. “

    Well all I can say to this, Mr Kehoe, is how very lucky you were! And so were my father and my Irish grandparents. They LOVED their Catholic Faith through thick and thin and would have been horrified by your words.

    My generation, OTOH, was raised within the crazy ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ raging all around us, and nearly all of my contemporaries never returned to their Catholic Faith once they left school. The only ones who did not abandon their Faith, were those fortunate few (like me) who lived a devoutly Catholic life at home, thanks to wonderful caring parents who refused to be sucked up into that diabolical above-mentioned ‘spirit’!
    Even so, I remember being greatly confused by the conflicting views reigning in the Church at that time. But my parents’ solid witness, my priest uncle’s good advice, certain holy older (traditional) Catholics I met in life’s journey who guided me through difficulties, kept me safe. That is not to say that I am not a poor sinner too of course – I most certainly am – but thanks to these ‘guardian angels’ I was saved from being swept up into the rampant ‘New Church’ ideas around me that were (and still are) more Protestant and Secular than Catholic.

    You call Catholic devotions and simple pieties “non-essentials”, but that is not true. Holy devotionals, e.g., the Holy Rosary, novenas, Lectio Divina, pilgrimages, visiting Catholic shrines, etc., are all a very important part of our Catholic Faith, and the abandoning of them (especially the Holy Rosary when devotion to the Blessed Virgin was frowned upon by New Church) is part of the cause of so many losing their Faith, not the other way round.

    Yet it was the changing of the Traditional Mass, “the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven” (as Father Faber called it) to a diluted, more man-centered version, that struck at the heart of the Catholic Faith, and became the catalyst for the greatest loss of Faith since the Protestant Deformation Reformation. That is the real “elephant in the room”.

  19. JabbaPapa says:

    My generation in this part of the world were reared on rosaries, novenas and talks about apparitions supposed to have happened at Lourdes, Fatima and other places. These non essentials were easily abandoned in adulthood and with them Catholicism.. Something more substantial is required to sustain a lasting faith.

    In fact, Faith is ALWAYS a Grace given to us by God, and the means that He may choose by which to open our hearts and souls to Divine Reality are extremely variable.

    Just because XYZ didn’t work for you personally does not make it universally ineffective — only Protestants imagine any such thing.

  20. kathleen says:

    sixupman @ 13:22

    Spot on! Thank you.🙂

    ——–

    Servus Fidelis @ 13:23

    “Indeed, all of these issues need be addressed at some point before the whole Church loses its focus on Christ and doubts even the real presence in the Eucharist”

    A very VERY important point, Servus, and it is probably this lack of belief (or at least, a weakening of belief) in the “Real Presence” that has started the whole ball of dissent and apostacy rolling.

  21. John says:

    Kathleen, my dear enemy,
    The Catholic legacy which you describe, as inherited from your good parents, is one with which I am very familiar as corresponding to my own life with my parents
    Alas, it is not one I can share with you arising out of my own experiences which were calculated to destroy the Catholic faith, the subject matter of this blog’
    As a boy and young man I consistently attended Sunday Mass and later Sunday evening devotions to Our Lady of Perpetual Help presided over.by a priest, since deceased, who was later exposed as a serial abuser of young girls and father of at least one child.
    The Catholic boarding school I attended [REDACTED]
    [Moderator: yes, yes, John, you’ve already told us about all that, thank you very much.]
    I am now more taken by the lines from Matthew Arnold’s poem ‘Dover Beach’ which describes the contemporary Irish Catholic situation :
    ‘The Sea of Faith
    Was once,too, at the full…
    But now I only hear,
    Its melancholy ,long, withdrawing roar.’

  22. Robert says:

    Mr John Kehoe @ 13:54
    “My generation in this part of the world were reared on rosaries, novenas and talks about apparitions supposed to have happened at Lourdes, Fatima and other places. “

    I appreciate John’s honesty and He is right. Sounding brass without Charity.
    Praying is speaking to God. Talks are just that lecturing. But what about teaching how to listen to God. Its all one Way isn’t it?

    This is what Our Lord told Us.
    He knows His sheep and His sheep know Him, They hear His voice.

    Kathleen’s description of a living Faith at home illustrates this, God talking through her parents and relatives.

  23. JabbaPapa says:

    How sad —

    Though physically abused, I was not sexually abused as some others were.

    Child abuse is child abuse, whether it is sexual or not — my mother once succeeded in putting an end by whistle-blowing to a horrendous case of systematic institutionalised child abuse in a children’s hospital in Lutheran Finland, and you would do well to contemplate on the fact that these evil abusing individuals are defined by their psychotic evil, and not by the smiley face lies that they use to hide it in.

    What you describe, and what my mother described to me during my own childhood in warning, is as utterly antithetical to Christianity as it is possible to be, outside Hell itself and its demons.

    This was regarded as a ‘good Catholic education’

    Not by any Faithful Catholic it can’t be. Evil abuses of this kind are motivated by a Satanic rejection of every single fundamental Christian truth.

  24. toadspittle says:

    “The Sea of Faith
    Was once, too, at the full…
    But now I only hear,
    Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar.”

    Marvellous, alliterative, last line. The melancholy roar is down to a whimper these days.
    Darwin must take much of the blame (or credit) for that.

    Religion has its good points, but on the whole I think we are better off without it.
    More trouble than its worth.
    A somewhat unpopular view, on a Catholic blog, to be sure

  25. Crow says:

    John, the poem you quoted is beautiful, sad and true. The sexual abuses have, it is true, led to a rejection of the Church by those who are disgusted with the hypocrisy of a church preaching love and respect, while tolerating and even covering up, abuse of the most vulnerable. I understand that someone who is subjected to such hypocrisy would allow anger and disgust to poison their view of the teachings of the church. I won’t go into the percentages of abusers compared to the general population, or the self-righteous glee with which the media reported the matter (notably absent from reports on abuse by others, celebrities and even other, non-denominational or Protestant schools). Sexual abuse in schools had always been there, indeed, wasn’t it an English parliamentarian who said, ‘I was b…d in school like everybody else ‘. Homosexuality, abuse, and fagging were never taken seriously in English public schools until the Catholics did it. So the attack on the Catholic Church was based by many and much of the media, in anti-Catholicism, but it was not only that -it was combined with a legitimate and well-founded disgust that the one religion which is the real religion, the Church that is the symbol of religion to the whole world, allowed this to occur. I am interested in Jabbapappa’s statistics re the percentage of homosexual clergy in the US – where were these figures obtained? And how? Michael Rose’s book, ‘Goodbye Good Men’ speaks about the US situation.
    My rather long-winded point is this; while I understand that someone would leave the church for these reasons, I would counsel you to look at what you have lost – you have tossed away a philosophy of incredible beauty, that, if applied, enriches every aspect of your life, and why? Because some people have used the trust that has been generated by centuries of close relationships of mentoring and guidance (without abuse), to deceive vulnerable and impressionable children. These abusers have acted absolutely contrary to the teachings of the Church and, if church officials have covered up, they too, have acted absolutely against the express teachings of the Church. Do you then turn around and blame the Church? Do you abandon the one, powerful, force of good in the world and fall in with the empty and vacuous culture with which the rest of the world is indoctrinated?
    Which brings me to my second point- you seem to equate ‘pietism’ with a lack of ability to think for oneself. Yes, Catholic children are indoctrinated in the faith, that is, we are educated in doctrine. We are not brainwashed, and, indeed, an essential part of the Catholic faith is teaching mental discipline with which to equip the individual to truly think for themselves. That is why Catholics are so dangerous to totalitarian regimes. That is why Catholicism is so closely aligned with philosophy AND that is why you, and so many Catholics have fallen away from the faith, not because the Catholic faith taught you not to think for yourselves, but because it did. And, don’t for a minute assume that because you reject the values of Catholicism and adopt the prevailing culture of consumerism, that you are thinking for yourself.
    I would say to you and to those who, like you, have rejected the faith for these very understandable reasons, that you look at what the faith can do for you and your life and take from it what means something to you, not that you throw the lot away. Engage in a search for the true aspects of the faith that will enliven your life and nourish the spiritual side we all have. You don’t have to accept every apparition, every miracle, every story – the Church has 1 billion members – you will get some nutters, but they belong in the Church just as much as everybody else. It is Catholic – for everybody.

  26. Crow says:

    I know I am turning from an occasional contributor to a monopoliser (I am confined to bed with a badly bruised hip and very bored), but I would also counsel you to reconsider your attitude to the Rosary. The Rosary is the most amazing and grounding thing to have in your life. It is a healing and growing exercise for the spirit and the soul, both psychologically, in relation to material, everyday aspects, and spiritually, in regard to the soul. It is so far ahead of the cumbersome attempts of psychology, and it delves so far and so deep into the psyche that it can only be divine and given to us by grace. The only thing, it takes time and praying it every day, with true meditation on the mysteries. It is not an overnight pill and its workings are very subtle, but don’t think of the Rosary as you saw it as a child, belting around 52 beads as fast as you can. It is a truly rich and sacred resource and you will find its healing properties will work on you.

  27. toadspittle says:

    What excellent comments by Crow.
    I disagree with some essential points, but how refreshing to hear the voice of general reason on here again.

    “AND that is why you, and so many Catholics have fallen away from the faith, not because the Catholic faith taught you not to think for yourselves, but because it did.”
    There’s something to chew on.
    Is it because the Church encouraged me to read to read books like Sartre, Voltaire, Montaigne and others on the list here (anyone worth reading really)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_authors_and_works_on_the_Index_Librorum_Prohibitorum
    by banning them? Thanks, Church. You made me what I am. (So it’s all your fault.) I’m not denying the church had an enormous effect on my development (pitiful as it is). If the Church said, “Don’t do that – and don’t read that.” I’d think to myself, “Why shouldn’t I? What are they trying to hide?”

  28. Croe says:

    Thank you, Toad. Yes, but you know the Cstholic Church, it always bans stuff. Peter Kreeft described it as a ‘conservative head with a liberal heart ‘. But Voltaire perhaps proved the point – he was educated by the Jesuits in rhetoric and effectively used it against the Church!

  29. Robert says:

    Croe so was Stalin.

    Something the Rosary has taught me is how shallow this worldy wisdom really is. I know those who have spent a lifetime studying subjects which within a decade are obsolete. The deceptive simplicity of the Truth (Faith isn’t to be confused with Religion)
    What is Religion? Don’t know! Perhaps it means the pagan fables and myths of Fallen Man struggling to comprehend the incomprehensible.
    The Truth and this incorporates Creation.

    Matthew 10
    16 Behold I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves.

    Matthew 11
    25 At that time Jesus answered and said: I confess to thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to the little ones.

  30. John says:

    Dear Crow, Thank you for your long thought-provoking contribution @23.45 yesterday. The Catholicism of most of us Irish to-day, just like other Europeans, is merely a remnant cultural thing with several causes. The subject matter of this blog identifies five ways in which the faith has been destroyed. To take but one, the reception of communion in the hand, does not at all to me seem persuasive, After all, it is permissible and communicants are given the choice. They can kneel and I note whenever I might attend Mass that several ultra pious communicants kneel and receive on the tongue prompting me to wonder whether at the last Supper the Apostles knelt and received on the tongue, given the Lord’s command to ‘take and eat’.
    I think it is legitimate to look for more substantial reasons for loss of faith and confidence in the Church. I am clear about my own.It corresponds with that of many friends which is the abusive, arrogant Catholic schooling we received at a time when the Catholic Church was dominant in civil life. Priest-teachers and religious teachers beating religion and other ‘values’ into students at Catholic schools in a manner which to-day would be regarded as criminal assault raises serious questions as to the morality of the Catholic regime then existing. Not surprisingly, these ‘values’ were easily later ditched.despite strong parental religious adherence. Matthew Arnold, from whose poem Dover Beach I quoted, was the son of Dr Thomas Arnold of Rugby,of strong religious persuasion, whom he so much admired as he expressed in ‘Rugby Chapel’ ; but this did not prevent Matthew from becoming agnostic and articulating the ‘melancholy, long, withdrawing roar’ of the ‘Sea of Faith’ he once knew. For what it is worth, my sentiments precisely.

  31. JabbaPapa says:

    But Voltaire perhaps proved the point – he was educated by the Jesuits in rhetoric and effectively used it against the Church

    But if you’ve actually studied rhetoric and literature, Voltaire starts seeming as shallow as Dawkins. As for Montaigne, he was of course a devout Catholic.

    For me, my education helped me accept the Church, not the opposite, by opening access to what the Church *really* teaches, instead of the ridiculous dumbed-down hippy Jesus teaching of the 70s and 80s etc.

  32. toadspittle says:

    Foxed up coding – re-run. Sorry.

    “But if you’ve actually studied rhetoric and literature, Voltaire starts seeming as shallow as Dawkins..”
    Well – that’s that – for poor old Voltaire, then. Put firmly in his historical and rhetorical place by Jabba. Reputation in shreds. The laughing stock of Paris. Merde alors.
    Where’s that masterpiece of yours that will put “Candide,” in the shade, eh – Jabba?
    Still working on the happy ending?

    “As for Montaigne, he was of course a devout Catholic.”
    Nobody said he wasn’t. He got put on the index, anyway. And not by me.
    And Pascal was on it. Didn’t know that. Blimey.

  33. kathleen says:

    It was our commenter, Tom Fisher who first quoted Matthew Arnold’s stirring poem, Dover Beach once here on CP&S. This was on an article about the fall of the whole of Christendom in the West. A much more appropriate subject for it than the one we are discussing above – which is about the loss of Faith in the Catholic Church – for Arnold was not a Catholic and never intended to describe “the Irish situation”. Instead he was reflecting his own declining Protestant Christian beliefs…. until he lost his faith completely. Like most Protestants of the 19th century he was probably as anti-Catholic as his father, Dr Thomas Arnold, who was disgusted when Matthew’s godfather, John Keble, joined the Oxford Movement and began to move towards the Catholic Church!!

    Mr Kehoe, your interventions on our blog are most incredibly depressing! You repeat ad nauseam your Eeyore story of woe, but fail absolutely to ever mention anything good about Our Holy Catholic Church. What is your point in doing this? It serves no purpose. We’ve heard your negative tale, full of anger and loathing for those who offended you, so many times before (as our Moderator has reminded you, BTW). Many Christians have suffered terribly in life, but they still manage to shoulder their ‘cross’, come up smiling, and look for that ‘silver lining’ (faith and hope) that the promises of Christ Our Lord gives them.

    Crow (@ 23:45 & 00:46) has given you some very sound and encouraging advice, and Jabba has explained how you can face up to your bad experiences (put them in perspective) and move on.

    There is so much that is incomparably wonderful about Our Catholic Faith. Those who lose their Faith by blaming the whole Church for the sins of a few (or due to a lascivious life of sin; e.g.,as depicted literarily in “Letter from Beyond”) are the most pitiful of creatures.*

    P.S. * Here we must all be alert and watchful (i.e., no exceptions), for our “enemy, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” – (1 Peter 5:8).

  34. kathleen says:

    Receiving the Sacred Host in the hand, rather than kneeling (when possible) and on the tongue, is not an insignificant issue at all. Together with all the other points Liturgy Guy mentions above, it is just one more step towards a general lack of reverence for the Holy Eucharist. Who are we with our unconsecrated hands to touch the Most Sacred Body of Christ? Through signs and gestures we demonstrate our true beliefs and inner feelings. There is masses of very good orthodox material about it if you do a Google search, and we have written about this many times on our blog. This simple video of an interview between Fr Mitch Pacwa with Bishop Athanasius Schneider sums it up very well.

  35. John says:

    My dear enemy Kathleen, I never claimed that I was the first to quote from ‘Dover Beach’ on
    CP&S. So what ?. The decline in the Christian beliefs of Arnold in his day is mirrored in our day, in Ireland and elsewhere, by a similar decline in Christian (Catholic) beliefs. No surprise in that.
    My story, paralleled by so many other Catholic men I know, is not unique nor is it a ‘story of woe’. Mine is in fact a liberating story from the excessive pieties of an out-dated Catholic upbringing about which there is nothing to be angry. It was historical, typical of the time, but transitory allowing me to move on from the old-style religiosity of the past.
    As for loss of faith and confidence in the Church being down to a ‘lascivious life of sin’ i have to disappoint you. My life is pretty ordinary with no such aspects. My goodness, Kathleen, you do come up with alrming possibilities.
    I do not know how you, or anybody else, can take issue with the reception of communion in the hand. As you are well aware, this is fully permissible under current liturgical practice and to my mind a great deal more reverent, and dignified also, than sticking out your tongue for the priest or extraordinary minister of the Eucharist.

  36. toadspittle says:

    “Many Christians have suffered terribly in life, but they still manage to shoulder their ‘cross’, come up smiling, and look for that ‘silver lining’ (faith and hope) that the promises of Christ Our Lord gives them.”

    “..and try to find the sunny side of life.” How true.

  37. Robert says:

    Its all very simple.
    Satan’s attempt to enslave Man by taking Mankind back to where He was before Our Lord’s Passion.
    The Holy Sacrifice Of the Mass is the perpetual sacrifice. Destroy the Mass you enslave Man back under Original Sin without the means of reparation to God.
    Man’s State would be ten times worst than it was before the Passion.

    Cain and Abel
    The two offerings (Sacrifices) that of Abel and that of Cain. One acceptable the other not.

  38. toadspittle says:

    “Its all very simple.”
    No it isn’t. It’s not a bit simple.
    Nobody else on CP&S believes that it is, Rebrot – I’m confident of that.
    But, if I’m wrong and anyone does agree with him, let them explain how.

  39. Robert says:

    Years ago I was fortunate to befriend a devout holy priest. He impressed on me a few very simply observations.

    The Bible reveals characters and types and events which are repeated. Thus Christ comes/came twice. The first time to suffer the Passion the second as Judge. The Jews knew the Prophesy’s but they were confused muddle the prophesy’s between these two comings.
    His coming was and is always through the Virgin (hence the Triumph of Mary is the road to the Triumph of Christ). This is why the two Dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption are so important.

    The really important things of God are always of a Private Nature.
    Consider the Immaculate Conception, The Virgin Birth, The Annuciation/Incarnation.
    You find a few chosen souls and it is their testimony’s which we find in the Bible.

    This world is a place of exile and as such the Cross will always be found here until Our Lord’s second coming. The Laws (science) that we know with their limitations are those of a place of exile. The world and Universe we know is violent and dangerous. Without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass God cannot be appeased for Sin(s). Sin and Grace can and do change Our world improving it or denigrating it. Sin is darkness, blindness and this in turn bedims the human mind.

  40. The Raven says:

    prompting me to wonder whether at the last Supper the Apostles knelt and received on the tongue, given the Lord’s command to ‘take and eat’.

    Given that the last supper would have been eaten reclining, not sitting or standing and that it was considered a sign of favour for the host to place food in the mouth of his guests, it is not unreasonable to assume that the apostles did receive communion on the tongue.

    And you’re hanging far too much on that translation “take and eat”. The Greek text uses the word Λάβετε, which can be translated “take” but also as “receive”: the same word is used in St John’s gospel, where it is translated as “receive”.

    I have to say, John that your comments on this thread are doing a sterling job of validating the contention that there is a direct link between loss of faith and the practice of receiving communion in the hand.

  41. Robert says:

    Toad
    This was pointed out to me years ago God isn’t complicated.
    Why do I say its simple? Because it is a simply choice of Eternity.
    The Lords pray points out the intervention of Temptations , these do not exist in Heaven.

    The expression is the devil is in the detail, but this is a reflection of how the human mind works.

    What are the fundamental moments in created time.
    1/ Original Sin because this fashions the world of exile known to Man. Adam and Eve
    2/ The Immaculate Conception (called the second Eve) because this is the Sinless necessary road required by God for Our Redeemer.(second Adam)
    3/ The Passion since this is the price of Original Sin and Sins
    (Our Lord made a distinction between Communion and the Holy Sacrifice. The Pascal Lamb)
    It was necessary for a priest to be present offering up the Lamb and this was St John.

    The Passion changes Man’s destiny and the spiritual world because Heaven is opened to Man who accept Our Redeemer. The perpetual sacrifice is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass where the true blood and body of Our Lord is offered in perpetuity until the End Of Time.

    It is the Communion of the priest celebrate that is the actual sacrifice. The sacrament of the priest is the channel for Man’s prayers to God.

    God would destroy this world if the Apostolic Succession died out (priesthood died out since there would be nobody to offer the perpetual sacrifice) No priests means no perpetual sacrifice and Sin would turns this world rapidly into Hell.

    Understand that the world can exist without the Papacy but cannot exist without the Mass.

    Mankind existence depends upon the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

    It is simply and should focus the mind on what is important and what isn’t important..

  42. kathleen says:

    Mr John Kehoe @ 20:09

    In all honesty, I was not referring to you personally when I said that loss of faith can often be put down to a “lascivious life of sin”; in fact I’m sure that’s not your case. I only mentioned this in passing as another of the major reasons people lose their faith.
    To elaborate a bit further on this point, little Blessed Jacinta of Fatima warned: “More souls go to Hell for sins of the flesh than any other sin”. I have heard one apologist explain this as meaning that grave sins against morality often start one down a lustful path of pleasure-seeking, vice, selfishness and pride, a gradual loss of the sense of sin, and will grow steadily worse over time if there is no effort to pull oneself away. (Through God’s immense merciful love for the ‘lost sheep’, there is always hope that sinners will wake up to His grace and repent of course.) That the great apostasy from the 60s onwards coincided with an onslaught of changes in the Church to the liturgy and Catholic practice, at the same time as a complete breakdown in morals everywhere (the so-called ‘sexual revolution’) it is plain to see that this was a double-edged sword the devil used with which to attack the Church.

    Mr Kehoe, your “story” of abuse that I do not doubt is true, is in the past. Discipline was much harsher everywhere, not just in Catholic schools, in your times. Besides, whattever happened to you was committed by a minority of men who should probably never have become priests in the first place. It is an injustice to blame the vast majority of holy priests (many, yes, who came from Éire) for the sins of a few.

    You may see your Catholic upbringing as “out-dated”, but it was the way Catholics were taught the Faith, and loved it (the amazing growth of the Church is proof of that) throughout the centuries of the history of Christendom. My generation OTOH (and those who are younger) have been generally deprived of that beautiful sense of the Sacred and holy piety that you scorn. We have heard about it from old films, books, our parents, grandparents, and from so many of those still alive who cherish their memories of it. Reverence and awe, befitting attitudes when attending the holy Sacrifice of the Mass (the Holy Tridentine Mass, naturally) raised men’s hearts and souls to God. In contrast, the noisy disrespectful circus you often find in churches nowadays must make the holy Angels weep, where the Holy Presence of God is mostly ignored and chatter replaces prayer.

    BTW, there have been many abuses of the Blessed Sacrament since the custom of receiving in the hand was introduced. Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI both distributed Holy Communion only on the tongue.

  43. Crow says:

    Dear John, I am reluctant to get into a discussion about your experiences with abusive teachers because first, obviously, I have no reference point for your subjective experience and secondly, it is way off topic (although, on second thoughts, perhaps not, as I take your point that it has led to Catholics abandoning the faith). I do not know your age, but I agree that corporal punishment, at any time after the 1980’s, would be called assault. I also do not wish my comments to be taken by you as dismissing your complaint or your emotional reaction to your experiences. I merely wish to share with you my observations which I make as somebody who has been brought up in a different social context, perhaps to give a different perspective. Apologies about the length, but it is a hard one to unravel and necessarily subjective.
    As you were brought up in Ireland, the education system experienced by you was in a Catholic context. You have no Protestant or secular comparison. As said above, I do not know your personal experience – maybe you had the misfortune to be subjected to true abusers of the system or people with substantial problems of their own, which they meted out on the kids.
    My experience was different, in that I was Catholic educated and my brother was educated at State and Catholic schools – all in a predominantly Protestant country. My mother was a teacher in the state system. My husband was educated at a Presbyterian private school. At my husband’s private, very prestigious school, the boys were frequently brutally beaten. There was also an ongoing culture of sexual abuse that was covered up by the school authorities which allowed a pedophile ring to operate with impunity. This appears to have been supported by the board of the school, as the chairman of the board, an old boy of the school, was a judge and also involved, as a judge, in a pedophile ring which was exposed as involving police protection.. These facts were exposed and the judge committed suicide.
    My brother had attended a state primary school where he was taught by a woman who was so vicious and abusive that my mother, who was a teacher at the school,& observed her first-hand, wanted to report her. My brother later talked about the fact that he had been taught by the Jesuits and that they had been abusive (ie., hit boys indiscriminately and for no good reason). As I knew this to be untrue in his own case, I questioned him, and his description referred to the fact that the Jesuit teachers carried leather straps that were not, in fact, used on him. My brother, incredibly, did not even remember the woman who had taught him in the state school, who had truly been abusive. Until my brother had spoken with my husband, my brother too, had believed that hitting, caning was the sole domain of Catholic schools.
    What is difficult in this discussion is that people can only talk from their own experience, and their experience is not always broad enough to allow true comparisons. It is true that the Catholic system was, and is, strict. However, to abuse children is not a religious dogma – it is a social outcome. Having seen the outcome of those of my friends who were brought up in more liberal environments, I now see the value in strong boundaries and a moral framework that is uncompromising. However, I didn’t at the time. I also saw an example yesterday of a young girl who used emotive techniques to manipulate in a dishonest way. It was apparent that her parents, friends and whole environment rewards her for her role-playing and the result is that she is essentially living her life at a dishonest level. She will not change, as she is rewarded for this. She had confronted a person who called her bluff and ruthlessly honestly, honed in on rational facts. Neither of these people were Catholic, by the way. the one who was doing her a favour was the person who exposed her manipulation, in the process humiliating her, not by a personal attack but by not being deflected from a focus on the truth. This type of person will never be thanked by her for this. She will be sympathised with by her parents, but, if one is to live in accordance with the truth, one must be honest with oneself and others. Thatis a Catholic attitude (not confined to Catholics of course), that may be reflected in an uncompromising discipline that may appear harsh to those who do not adhere to it.
    I speculate that my brother remembered the Jesuits perhaps because they made a greater impression on him, as they wore full habits, perhaps his memory was coloured by the fact that every Catholic at the time was talking about the abuse they received at Catholic schools and talk of the value of the discipline at a Catholic school did not find such a sympathetic audience.
    Until speaking with my husband, my brother was completely unaware that everybody in his generation was caned. The fact that his children were not caned when he sent them to a state school was not because the Catholics were so happy with the cane, but because the whole society had stopped using the cane. In fact my mother observed that the cane was used far less in Catholic schools than state schools, yet Catholics here talk of nuns hitting kids and brothers caning boys, in the comfortable misapprehension that this did not occur in the state schools. The state schools, as an extension of the whole population, and representative of such are approached with the understanding of ordinary human experience, that is, that people range in degrees of goodness, capabilities and fitness and sometimes these variables occur in one’s school career. Therefore the weird abusive female teacher in the state school is just a weird aberration, a representative of the weirdness in the broader community, but a brother, priest or nun who is not either the epitome of Christ’s message of love or, even worse, is a weird aberration, is representative of the whole of the Catholic faith.
    i am not saying that your concerns are not real. I a saying that encountering weird or incomplete people is part of life’s experience. The outcome of the prison of constant psychoanalyses on every action within the state schools here is the retreat of teachers from disciplining at all and, where students have discipline issues, they are referred to a psychologist rather than disciplined, as the teacher will get into trouble for discipline but will get no blame for referring to a psychologist. I, and those who can, for these reasons, send our kids to private schools, where the teachers are given the support by the school to discipline the kids. I do not want my child to be mixing with a peer group of self-indulgent people who are told how wonderful they are. I do not want my child’s education disrupted because everybody has to pay attention to someone who thinks they are more important than everybody else and that they can do what they like with impunity (narcissism anyone?) I actually respect the teacher who cares enough to do the hard thing and take it up to the kid and say ‘No – that is not ok/good enough’.

  44. Crow says:

    Well, I suppose the EU vote has rendered this discussion irrelevant!

  45. Robert says:

    Watch and Pray!

  46. toadspittle says:

    “Well, I suppose the EU vote has rendered this discussion irrelevant!”
    I don’t follow, Crow. What do you mean?

  47. Crow says:

    Only that it is momentous- I was not connecting the EU vote with abuse!!!

  48. toadspittle says:

    Yes, I suppose it is momentous. It might even ultimately benefit me personally, as a Brit in Spain. But then, it might not. We shall see. Whatever happens, I intend to die here.

  49. Crow says:

    We don’t want dead toads, Toad. You must keep bouncing about! The interesting effects will be Ireland and Scotland, as Northern Ireland will be out.

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