‘Sacraments’ Category Archives
by Arnold Jago in Australia, Family, Modern Church, Politics, Sacraments
For some thousands of years, marriage has been important to human communities.
Has the current “same-sex marriage” debate trivialised it?
If so, that wouldn’t be good.
But is the “same-sex marriage” issue a mere sideshow?
To include homosexual couples in the definition of marriage – off-putting as it might be to most people – may not be the real problem.
What the government (i.e. politicians) — even what Australian Law (i.e. compromises arrived at by politicians) — say marriage is or is not is trivial in comparison with what the Church says.
If the Church weakens its understanding of what marriage is — bingo — it will have demolished one of its own foundational Seven Sacraments.
Thus stepping onto the banana-skin of decomposition, decay and fragmentation, not only of marriage, but also of the Church.
And of the human race itself?
Some “progressives” in the Church seem to want this to happen soon – after the October 2015 Synod on Family Life.
Then the Pope will make the decision.
by Arnold Jago in Faith, Family, Modern Church, Recent Developments, Sacraments
At the moment an “extraordinary” Synod of Catholic bishops is meeting in Rome — its theme being simply “The Family”.
The media hint that the Synod may decide to “relax” the Church’s law of refusing divorced-and-remarried persons eligibility to receive Holy Communion.
But Cardinal Burke says that topic isn’t appropriate and should be “taken off the table”. (http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1404066.htm)
He is Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, a senior position with the Vatican.
But such a decision couldn’t be taken by this Synod anyway.
The 2014 Synod merely prepares a suggested agenda for the definitive 2015 Synod, which will make formal recommendations to the Pope who then issues his instructions to the Church worldwide.
Today’s biggest need isn’t a formula for balancing compassion and justice re this almost impossible problem of divorce . . . .
. . . but to find ways to avoid divorce in the first place.
(1) the Church must provide more excellent preparation instructions to couples contemplating marriage.
So that they understand Matrimony as a Sacrament — with supernatural power enabling couples to cherish their marriage lifelong despite the inevitable problems.
Catholic families thus becoming living examples to other families to note and emulate.
(2) the issue of priestly child abuse against children shouldn’t be side-stepped.
Until that is addressed properly and visibly at top level, the Church won’t have the authority and credibility that the world needs to be able to accord it.
by Arnold Jago in Faith, History, Modern Church, Sacraments
A few weeks ago, an Italian newspaper published rumours that Pope Benedict XVI had last year been forced to resign because of Vatican scandals.
In response, the ex-Pope yesterday posted on the internet a denial:
“There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my resignation . . . The only condition for the validity of my resignation is the complete freedom of my decision. Speculation regarding its validity is simply absurd.”
At the time of his resignation, Pope Benedict had said, “I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited . . . For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom, I declare that I renounce the ministry of bishop of Rome, successor of St. Peter.”
Some people may choose not to believe what he said.
Some say that, for various reasons, Benedict was not a good Pope.
* * *
On 7 July 2007, Pope Benedict confirmed formally that the old Mass, celebrated in Latin by the worldwide Church in various versions over the centuries, was a valid Mass:
“The last version of the Missale Romanum prior to the Council, which was published with the authority of Pope John XXIII in 1962 and used during the Council, will now be able to be used as a Forma extraordinaria of the liturgical celebration.
“It is not appropriate to speak of these two versions of the Roman Missal as if they were “two Rites. Rather, it is a matter of a twofold use of one and the same Rite.
“As for the use of the 1962 Missal as a ‘Forma extraordinaria’ of the liturgy of the Mass, I would like to draw attention to the fact that this Missal was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted.”
* * *
Since the 1962-1965 Second Vatican Council, three Popes, over a period of 40 years, had not got around to spelling this out.
Pope Benedict did.
That makes him a big Pope.
He did what he had to do.
Non-Catholics may think these details regarding how Mass is celebrated are a minor matter.
Catholics know they are not.
by Arnold Jago in Faith, God, Modern Church, Recent Developments, Sacraments
ABC radio news announced yesterday that the Pope’s first Mass, celebrated with the College of Cardinals who elected him, “climaxed” with his first sermon preached as pope.
See what the Church is up against?
The Catholic understanding is that the climax of every Mass is the consecration of the bread and wine – that is what makes the Mass something unique.
Unique because in those consecrated elements the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ — and therefore the whole Christ — is truly, really and substantially present.
This comes about when the priest pronounces the words, “This is my body . . . This is my blood.”
* * *
If those words are true, then the consecration outstrips the importance of any sermon — no matter how brilliant.
In today’s scientific world, can this all be believed?
Science is strictly speaking a system of measuring things. It never tells us what they mean.
Science can tell, for example, what the consecrated bead at Mass weighs, its diameter etc.
But it can’t tell us what it actually is.
A Mass can be a Mass without a sermon.
But it can’t be a Mass without Christ himself being present on the altar.
This is explained better than I can explain it at www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/eucha3.htm
by Arnold Jago in Faith, History, Modern Church, Sacraments
In 2005, when Pope Benedict became pope, the biggest dilemma facing Catholics was the same as it had been for the previous 35 years.
Until 1969-70, the key act of Catholic worship, the Mass, had been basically unchanged since the beginnings of the Church.
Alterations brought in by various popes prior to that date had involved details.
The basic foundations:
(1) that the Mass is a sacrifice of the real Body and Blood of our Lord offered up for our sins.
(2) that the priesthood confers on celebrants of the Mass a unique capacity to make Our Lord truly present on the altar, making the Catholic priesthood uniquely fundamental to our race’s relationship to God . . . .
These basics had remained continuously emphasised and unchanged.
* * *
The “new” Mass de-emphasised those foundations.
It is central to Catholic religion to believe that the Catholic Mass is a true Sacrifice.
And that if the Mass was not a true Sacrifice, it could not atone or make amends for our sins.
So when many bishops started teaching Catholics that the old Catholic Mass liturgy had been abrogated/abolished, and that they must now attend this very different kind of worship — many felt obliged to disobey.
Such Catholics sought out priests willing to celebrate the old Traditional Mass for them.
They were often vilified for their trouble by some — even denounced as schismatics.
But were they right?
* * *
That’s where Pope Benedict XVI made a historically crucial move.
On 7 July 2007, he announced that they (the ‘traditionalists’) were right . . . .
That they had been right all along.
He declared that it is the “right” of any Catholic, any time, to participate in the Traditional Mass.
In practice, not all local priests and bishops have been keen to comply with what the Pope said.
But the fact remains that this is the most significant thing Pope Benedict XVI did.
by Arnold Jago in God, History, Jesus, Sacraments
Primitive religions approach God in the presence of blood.
The ancient Jews permitted God’s name to be spoken only once a year by one man in one holy place – and only after sprinkling the place with blood.
Isn’t that primitive?
But religion has got to be primitive.
The only alternative to primitive religion is pop-religion, no-sweat religion . . . .
Christian religion centres on the reality that when the bread and wine are consecrated at Mass, Christ’s Body and Blood become truly present.
Literally present. Jesus himself said, “He that eateth my Flesh and drinketh my Blood, abideth in me and I in him.”
This literal union with Christ includes, of course, union of our will with his will. Absolute obedience.
Isn’t that what Christmas means? With Christ’s birth, God entered history — incarnated in the flesh (and in the blood).
Shifting the emphasis at Christmas to something other than that Incarnation is blasphemy.
Santa is not funny. Santa is God’s enemy.