Tuesday, June 04, 2013

PRESIDERS AND CREEPING PROTESTANTISM

LUTHERAN SERVICE
There is nothing dearer to the hearts of Catholics than the experience of assisting at Holy Mass. Very often in the history of my country, Australia, that privilege has not been available to some Catholics due to their remote location and the lack of Priests.

WHERE HAS FATHER GONE?

 But in the last 50 years, in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, we have seen  more than a few innovations. Firstly the number of occasions on which Priests were withdrawn from serving their Parishes to attend "Conferences" and "Seminars" and " Assemblies"seemed to go from none to regular. Secondly, to fill these newly invented voids, the spirit of the Council practitioners produced the Communion Service - a ritual resembling the Mass with the Eucharistic Prayer and Consecration deleted and the Blessed Sacrament reserved from a previous Mass distributed.

Now this practice was already essential in Mission lands and the procedures well developed for situations where a Priest might only appear on his circuit say, once in a month. Well trained Catechists were always available to lead these rituals.

In the fertile grounds of the post-Conciliar Churchquake less loyal souls saw an opportunity to advance a very different agenda.

FALSE "SPIRIT OF THE COUNCIL"


TARGETS - THE SACRIFICE AND THE PRIEST
CARDINAL FRANCIS ARINZE OF NIGERIA
CELEBRATES MASS IN MANILA
One of their key objects was to destroy the idea of the Mass as a Sacrifice. Sacrifices are of course offered by......Priests.  Yes, troublesome term that...what could they do....? Celebrant?....No that was a very Catholic term and clearly identified with the Priesthood. No, something neutral was needed.....Why , of course " Presider" the Protestants use it - could be anyone really, just the one out of the assembly who happened to be in the Chair.

 A bit of scrambling about in History showed that the term President had been used on one occasion before a Roman court by Tertullian in describing the Mass to the Roman authorities. He was of course trying to avoid offending their pagan sensibilities since Rome had her Priests offering sacrifices to her pagan "gods".Besides, archaism was "in" with the post-Conciliar set, so this worked a treat. 

Even to-day one still hears the term "Presider" instead of Priest in some quarters, and even in the occasional official text.

OBJECTIONABLE OBFUSCATION

But the startling potential for ill of this objectionable bit of obfuscation only came fully home to your scribe yesterday.

Arriving for morning Mass, I found that there was to be no Mass as both Priests were away. An Acolyte robed in his " ecumenical" Alb handed me a copy of the Order of Service which he was about to lead.The document was, I learned, a Parish production. Throughout it the person leading the ritual is described as "The Presider" and referred to as  " He/She". 

Now we see the project moving toward its completion. Priest becomes Presider and we don't talk about Sacrifice. Presider becomes Lay Person and we are left with just a "Service". Perhaps next there will be no Communion and we will have a Lay Preacher - Hey Presto! Congregationalism! 

EXCEPTION BECOMES THE NORM

It is typical of the post-Conciliar mischief to seize upon every official exceptional concession to extraordinary needs, and make it the norm. We saw this in the case of the Third Rite of Reconciliation.

To resort in this way so readily to a Communion Service when Holy Mass was available at several surrounding Parishes, and would be available the very next day within the Parish is completely unwarranted. And coming as it does within the Broken Bay Diocese where the soon to retire ( 161 days) Bishop David Walker has actively promoted the idea of Lay Leadership of Parishes (desisting only in the face of stiff opposition from the laity), one is inclined to see the thin edge of a wedge.

YES GOOD CAN COME OUT OF BRISBANE - NOWADAYS!

ARCHBISHOP MARK COLERIDGE OF BRISBANE
My instinctive reaction in this matter has been confirmed and strengthened by the discovery that the new Archbishop of Brisbane has felt it necessary to write to his clergy on a wide range of issues concerning liturgical practice. In the course of his letter, His Grace makes explicit mention of the abuse of making such Communion Services normative. Moreover he is quite direct in his letter making it clear that such services are to be rare , so much so, that in suburban or nearby areas they are almost unimagineable.

O Happy Day when such Catholicity in liturgical practice comes from the Archdiocese of Brisbane - how times have changed! We will deal with His Grace's letter in detail in a later post. 

I have survived 73 years without submitting to a " Communion Service" and I was not about to commence buckling under this week, nor did most of those arriving in the hope of attending Holy Mass. I greatly missed not receiving Our Lord in Holy Communion but could not give support to practices inimical to His intentions for the celebration of the Eucharist in normal conditions.

Broken Bay awaits the liberation that Brisbane has already attained .
161 Days to go.

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