The À la Carte Catholic Church

On our money we proclaim “In God we Trust”. Yet today in the United States of America we are fighting for our RELIGIOUS FREEDOM while calling ourselves the Land of the FREE

The church has an obligation to proclaim and defend the teachings of Christ – not those of a government. We in this country are fortunate that our predecessors have fought for our religious freedom. To that effect, we then fight against any person or institution that threatens to rob us of such freedom.

The sad truth is that if the Catholic Church had the “Catholic” support, today the USA would have a president who respects our religious freedom. Unfortunately, they don’t. Data shows that President Obama won at least fifty percent of “the Catholic vote”.

The Catholic Church has become an à la Carte Church; (not unlike some others) we pick and choose that which we believe suits our lifestyles and discard the rest, still proclaiming ourselves “Catholic”. This cherry picking is not limited to the laity but rather the church’s hierarchy as well. Here are some examples:

  1. The groups of “social justice” nuns and priests, who rally the supposed “faithful” and form organizations while seeking a corrupt media to promote their mission, easily come to mind. Since when did the church start looking to the government to ensure help for the indigent? Christ clearly instructed us to care for those who needed help. Is it any wonder people like “Catholic” Vice President Joe Biden think it unnecessary to donate much to charity but rather look to the government to do more? Isn’t this consistent with the message being “taught”?
  2. Several well intentioned clergy arbitrarily say pre Vatican II masses with prayers in Latin and/or their back to the congregation because they want to. I have heard some priests explain that it keeps them more focused, others say that it shows they are part of the community, others just believe everything sounds better or perhaps holier in Latin. Didn’t Vatican II introduce the mass and prayers in native tongues, to encourage the faithful to have a “personal relationship” with God and participate wholly in the Eucharist? What about someone who arrives at a mass expecting to participate in their native tongue, but mass parts are being said in Latin – is it alienating to those who do not know those parts? I have traveled extensively and am always grateful that in faraway countries there is at least one mass in English – allowing me to participate in communion with other Catholics. Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter what you think you’re promoting, it inadvertently sends a message that you can pick and choose in the Catholic Church.
  3. Some of our leaders “don’t want to take a political stand”. So don’t be political – you do not need to defend or promote the government but you have a moral obligation to protect and defend God’s laws – or don’t call yourself “Religious” – we lay people can do better! By the time some of our leaders mumbled about what the church stands for, the horse had already left the barn! Was this lip service – or did you really want to send a message? Frantic novenas at the last minute (though I did say them) is grasping at straws. We need to be PROACTIVE not REACTIVE. Really, it’s not that difficult. The fifth Commandment says “Thou shall not kill”. No ifs, ands or buts… Why do we need to dance around the issue? Abortion IS killing. We have no strategy to combat the feel good marketing that lures many “Catholics” into believing the secular message. When we try to combat the cultural message by explaining it and even mixing it with contraception, our message becomes murky and we lose ground. Keep it simple. Taking a life is wrong – it is not about anyone’s choice – no one has the right to kill another. Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King kept their message simple “All men are created equal” and eventually won. Much of the population at that time argued that it was a “choice” to own slaves – especially if one could afford them or it suited their lifestyle. Today, no one can argue that slavery isn’t intrinsically wrong.
  4. Then there is the displaced loyalty of some “leaders” who have no credibility because they waste time attacking the media for “attacking the Catholic Church” – even when certain incidents are AGAINST Christ’s teachings and plain WRONG. We are not called to cover up wrongs inside a church or any other institution.  We are supposed to defend the truth – Christ’s truth – ONLY. Once again picking and choosing what we applaud or condemn sends a distorted message.
  5. Are our clergy and hierarchy too afraid to call a spade a spade because they are afraid of losing the popularity contest or the fat check in the collection? At what cost? It doesn’t matter if the president is white, black, grey or green! If you are wining and dining with those who are overtly against the teachings of Christ, you have an obligation to use the opportunity to INSTRUCT and if they continue to proclaim a counter message, sever the loyalty. Notice I did not say communication – I said “loyalty” – Or you send the message that it’s OK. You may lose the money battle but you will win the LIFE war.

Some lay people – like me, did not believe that our God would really be worried if we said “and also with you” instead of “and with your spirit”. However, eager to participate in our Catholic community, I embraced the change and encouraged my daughter to do the same. We are supposed to be a TEAM. If more than half a class flunked a test, wouldn’t we be looking at the teacher? If more than half of the “Catholics” voted against the teachings of Christ, shouldn’t we evaluate the message being imparted?

I am reminded of the scene in the movie “Remember The Titans”“You want to talk about a waste? You’re the captain right? Captain is supposed to be the leader, right? You got a job? You been doing your job? … Nobody plays – yourself included… I’m supposed to wear myself out for the TEAM? WHAT TEAM? …Attitude Reflects Leadership, Captain!

Leaders of our Catholic Church: Fight without compromising – LEAD BY EXAMPLE! Lives are at stake!

Marisa Pereira

By

Marisa Pereira is a mother, fashion designer, currently runs a Design and Image Consulting business in Atlanta, GA, is a freelance writer and volunteers at her church and in the community. She holds a BA in Fashion Design and a BA in French with a minor in Psychology and has worked in the Fashion Industry for over twenty years. Frustrated at her inability to find appropriate church clothes for her 14 year old daughter, she heeded God’s call, and created the stylish but modest, Michaela-Noel clothing collection, now available on-line. Having lived in multiple countries, she is acutely aware of the emphasis cultures place on visual appeal. She analyzes the importance of presenting the best image of ourselves and passionately insists that it starts within. She regularly addresses adult and youth audiences – encouraging and teaching them to make a memorable first impact but more importantly - to create a lasting impression. Her websites are: www.mpcimage.com and michaela-noel.com.

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  • Bill in New Zealand

    Marisa, it’s lovely to hear a Catholic woman take a whack at the à la Carte Church mentality that is epidemic in the U.S. Still, it would be best if you based your opinion on facts. You are way off beam on item 2. Don’t assume that all Latin Masses are being said by priests from an Order that makes its living by being disobedient. In New Zealand, we often attend a Latin Mass, because my wife loves it. This Mass has the approval of the Pope and the local Bishop and is said by a diocesan priest. I trust that’s good enough for you!

  • marisa

    Bill from New Zealand – thank you for your comments. I have nothing against a Latin, French, Spanish or any other language mass – ALL of those are GREAT – they include & encourage people who want to pray in that tongue and are pre-publicized as such. I specifically refer to the arbitrary decisions that end up being exclusionary – which is contrary to the goal of Vatican II.

  • Maria Elena

    I agree with Bill in New Zealand. The Latin Mass is approved by the Church and Vatican II aloud for the Mass to be said in the native language, it also called for Latin to be kept in “pride of place”. For the most part those that attend the Latin Mass here in the U.S. are probably the most faithful to the teachings of the Church. Evidently, hearing the Mass in the venacular hasn’t helped in communication since most homilies are short and empty. The music is dreadful. Truth is not being taught and the way people dress is disrespectful and at times indecent.

  • frank farrell

    It is ceertainly disheartening to hear that almost half of those who self identify as Catholics voted for Obama. There are many reasons for this. One reason might be that many of these “Catholics” are Catholic in name only. Another might be the confusing message the Chruch sends every election season. The “Social Justice” wing of our Church misleads (intentionally I believe) the flock when they equate government spending with charity. They then jump to the conclusion that while the Rupublicans may be right on Life Issues the Democrats are right on scocial justice. As if more food stamps is equally as important as protecting innocent life.

  • drea916

    You’re out of place on the latin mass, there was nothing that did away with that. It is perfectly valid. If you don’t like it, then don’t attend. There ARE those who have a deeper relationship with God through the TLM. I’m not one of them, but it should be available for those folks. B16 agrees with me. “What was sacred then, is sacred now.”

  • marisa

    drea916, Thank you for taking the time to comment. When people attend a mass that is not pre-publicized as “latin” or “pre vatican II”, and cannot participate wholly in it, it becomes alienating to some. Christ focused on including people not excluding them. What percentage of the Catholic population speaks Latin? What if a fallen away Catholic returns one day to mass and cannot particpipate wholly or understand the prayers? Would they be encouraged to return? Let’s keep the goal in mind – we are supposed to evangelize…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001299617319 Terry Carlino

    I would maintain that the problem is that no one should be in the position of not knowing enough Latin to participate in a Mass in which the Ordinary of the Mass is said in Latin. Vatican II REQUIRED that the clergy ensure that the faithful under their guidance know how to say the Ordinary of the Mass in Latin. So if the clergy were doing their job no one would be in the position. Let’s unpack what you said. Why should anyone who speaks English expect that they can go to any part of the world and hear a Mass in that language? What’s special about English (other than you and I speak it?) Exactly nothing. Latin on the other hand is the language of the Church. If only a small percentage of the Church understands enough of it the understand a Mass it is because they were betrayed by those who were consigned by the Church to teach them. In a correctly ordered world you or I would know enough Latin to attend Mass anywhere in the world, and standing next to speakers of other tongues be able to be one in our active participation of the Mass in the language of the Church, rather than be segregated in our own little Masses by language.
    As for your fallen away straw man, fallen away Catholics returned to the Church for a thousand years when Latin was used in Liturgy. I know of no who stopped by and said, “If only the Mass was in English (of Spanish, or Swahili) I would have come back sooner.”
    This is an especially egregious fallacy in a country with a practically 100% literacy rate and a very high rate of multilingualism when anyone who wants to can become conversant enough in Latin to understand a basic Mass in the Ordinary Form with the propers in Latin.

  • marisa

    Thank you Terry Carlino for your comment. So you disagree with Vatican II? And that is exactly one of my points. Jesus didn’t speak Latin. If we really believe it’s our words or the language we speak them in, that give God the greatest glory, I believe we have missed the mission of Christ. I understand each country can speak in their own tongue, I’m just grateful that I can participate in a Mass said in English. I speak a couple of other languages too – but when I converse with God, I converse in the one I am most familiar with… this helps me have a personal relationship with Him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001299617319 Terry Carlino

    Before you speak of the goal of Vatican II I would suggest you read or re-read Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy. There were indeed arbitrary decisions involved after Vatican II. Those decisions included arbitrarily dropping use of Latin from the Mass in direct contradiction to what the Council Fathers required and the completely arbitrary turning of the altars, an act never discussed at the council, and one for which any authoritative reason is completely missing. Even to this day the exact time line for the decision to change from ad orientum to verses populum is vague. No one seems to be able to point to a particular document, council or meeting where the decision was made to suddenly, in the face of a thousand years of liturgical tradition to turn the altars from facing Liturgical East to facing toward the people. If the plan was to redefine the Mass from a Catholic sacrificial act to a Protestant community meal it couldn’t have worked better.

  • marisa

    Terry you make my point of a fragmented church…

  • Enrique I. Alonso

    Marissa, You asked: “Since when did the church start looking to the government to ensure help for the indigent?”

    I would ask you to provide some statistics, for there are an estimated 600 thousand homeless people in the United States. How many of these has the Church taken care of?
    What percentage of Catholic parishes provide shelter for the homeless?

    Consider that one out of four Hispanics (12.5 Million) lived in poverty in 2009 according to the U.S. Census. That number must be higher in 2012. Around 60% of young Catholics are Hispanic, but how many can afford a Catholic school today?

    The Church does not have the financial capacity to materially relieve the poor and provide homes for the indigent. But please correct me if you believe I am wrong.

  • marisa

    Dear Enrique Alonso, Thank you for your comments. WE are called by Christ to give to the poor. When we in turn point to the government, we abdicate our God given responsibility. If each of us did our share without pointiong the finger elsewhere, we WOULD make a difference. My daughter doesn’t attend Catholic school either but she is still informed in her faith. My prayer is that she will bloom where she is planted. I believe she can.

  • Enrique I. Alonso

    Mrs. Pereira,

    It is true that all Catholics are obligated to the poor, and not just because charity is the way to heaven, but because justice requires that the goods of creation be distributed to all (Catechism 2452).

    However, Catholics don’t control all of the goods in a pluralistic society.

    Furthermore, seventy-five percent of the wealth is controlled by a minority of ten percent of the people, leaving the other ninety percent in poverty or close.

    Doing one’s share, as you advocate, is good and necessary, but not enough, because there are many who don’t, and will not. If the government doesn’t do its part either, how will the needs of the poor be taken care of? For the poor also need food, housing, education, access to capital to start businesses, and jobs.

    It is an issue of justice, and Catholics should always stand for what is just, and not in its way.

  • marisa

    Enrique Alonso, thank you for your comment. As long as we believe it is someone else’s responsibility – namely the government, we will NEVER tithe as called. Besides, if we first do not protect and cherish the gift of LIFE, how can we say we are CHRIST-IAN? This is the fifth commandment – it is NON-NEGOTIABLE! It is more than a matter of justice – it’s a matter of LIFE.

  • Enrique I. Alonso

    Mrs. Pereira,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond. But you haven’t answered my questions or objections, so it is fair to assume you have no answers for them.

    But for some reason you mention that the Fifth Commandment was not negotiable? Did I write that it was? No. Did I write that we should not protect and cherish life? No. Therefore, why are you making these statements, as if I had?

    You argue that if Catholics believe it is the government’s responsibility (to help the poor, I presume), no one will tithe. Are you suggesting that the poor must be deprived of government assistance for food, shelter, education, etc., so that people will be motivated to tithe? And that the poor should just wait until enough people are loving enough to tithe as generously as necessary? Do you have any idea whatsoever what that amount might be? What should 50 million poor people eat in the while they wait for others to tithe enough? Are 600 thousand homeless people going to receive enough from tithing to move in to a house?

    I wonder how many Catholics who think we should eliminate government assistance to the poor have thought this through.

  • marisa

    Enrique Alonso, this article deals with the fragmentation of the church and its inability to count on “Catholics” to aid it in fighting the HSS mandate. While I understand the definition of “poverty” first hand as a prime example of it at different times in my own life; ultimately I choose not to debate the social justice point further because I cannot be convinced that it is a greater crisis than killing innocent babies and being able to exercise our religious liberty. Without a society there is no “social justice”. I understand you believe differently which is exactly my point in the article. I applaud you for indulging in a civil exchange and wish you the best. By the way, should you choose to opine on another article of mine- please feel free to call me Marisa.

  • Fr. RRT

    Dear Marisa,

    I appreciated your past blog post on appropriate dress at the altar. It is a wonderful example of your application of your area of expertise to Catholic life, and especially to its “source and summit,” i.e., the Holy Mass. Moreover, I am considering using it as a list of guidelines for dignified service as a lector or extraordinary minister of Holy Communion.

    I would also like to suggest, however, that perhaps there might be some room for deepening your knowledge of the meaning of various aspects of the liturgy. Within the context of lamenting the lack of unity in the Church regarding various issues, you cited the choices of some priests to celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (what some call “pre-Vatican II,” although Pope Benedict said in his motu proprio in 2007 that it was never abrogated/abolished) as evidence that the Church’s unity is hampered by illicit or at least arbitrary personal choices. One thing to remember, however, is that there are many areas of Catholic life and worship that have legitimate options, so that one is not forced to do things in solely one way; in particular, Pope Benedict wrote that “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.” (cf. Summorum Pontificum, 2007)

    Pope Benedict further wrote, “Let us generously open our hearts and make room for everything that the faith itself allows…What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred …It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.”

    You make the point that the Latin language is foreign to many people. But so is Spanish to a third-generation Latin-American who never bothers to learn his/her ancestors’ language. Although certainly the vernacular is fitting for our expressing and developing our personal relationship with God, we should also be open to the value of a universal language of the Church that actually unites over centuries and cultures all Christians who take the time to learn the traditional and official language of the Church (similar to the way American-born Jews or Muslims study Hebrew or Arabic, respectively, to enrich their faith, even if in everyday life and prayer they use English).

    Regarding the direction of the celebrant, you would find helpful what Pope Benedict wrote as Cardinal Ratzinger in Ch. 3 of his wonderful book “The Spirit of the Liturgy” about facing liturgical east as unified worship of the Lord. Another aspect is that facing east is not about turning backs on people (otherwise, the whole congregation should worship in a circle, so no one would look at another’s back); facing east together expresses the fact that the priest, in the person of Jesus Christ the One High Priest and Victim, not only prays *with* His people but *on behalf of* His people, as their *priestly mediator*–representing the people to God. When the priest turns to face the people for various actions (see the Roman Missal), he performs the reciprocal role of the priestly mediator, i.e., representing God’s Word to the people; moreover, the Roman Missal (and the General Instruction of the Roman Missal) explicitly instructs the priest at certain points to face the people, and this instruction is only necessary if the priest is otherwise assumed to be facing liturgical east (“ad orientem”).

    Finally, I would like to reflect on a difficulty for us priests, when we are asked–implored–commanded by laypeople to “lead.” At one point in the article, you exhort leaders of the Church to lead; yet at an earlier point, you minimize priests’ leadership in praying a legitimate option of the Mass. So I wonder: When laypeople ask leaders to lead…will they then rally around their leaders who legitimately and sincerely follow Church teaching (including legitimate options), or will they only do so if their leaders choose the options that *they* choose, for example, their personal interpretations of Vatican II without having digested the Council’s constitution on the liturgy and the succeeding documents on its implementation?

    Peace in Jesus
    through Mary,
    Fr. R.R. Torres

  • Pete P.

    Enrique, it seems to me that you are comfortably resigned to the fact that many don’t do their share and have adopted an alternative. I don’t believe that the government should be seen as an means or mandate to providing for those who lack. Communism sought to do so, with God explicitly left out of the equation.

  • Stephen & Marie

    Well stated!

  • marisa

    Fr. Torres, Thank you for taking the time to respond. By all means use
    the article on dressing – glad to be of service.

    Father, you have outlined in detail why a Latin mass is “legitimate” and I have no issue with the Latin mass being said. However, I believe it should be publicized as such – for example: “10.00 am Mass every Sunday at St. Anthony’s will be in Latin”. It’s a matter of clear communication and expectations. I have been at masses where a handful of people are able to participate in the responses and prayers – that is exclusionary – Jesus preached inclusion. Our goal is to evangelize – to draw people in. If third generation Hispanics don’t speak Spanish anymore, they need to know that theycan attend mass and communicate with God in ANY language – He still hears them. The question we need to ask is whether we are conveying this by introducing Latin at our masses WITHOUT FIRST PUBLICIZING IT AS SUCH. Even in business meetings involving mixed cultures, carrying on a conversation in a separate tongue is unacceptable.

    Regarding your question on leading… The role of a leader is to get people to follow – if that is not happening, I believe it is time to reevaluate. The goal of my article was to point out the fact that the Catholic Church does not have the support of the “Catholics” and to identify possible areas to address if the situation is to be reversed. With all due respect, I pointed out five areas and you picked the one on the use of Latin. My guess is that you thought the other four had merit. My guess is that the question needs to be asked and answered – is it more important for the Catholic Church right now to be urging people to learn Latin to participate in the Mass or is more important to preach Jesus love and message in the language that the “common man” understands and relates to. In the words of St. Paul: I have become all things to all, to save at least some. All this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I too may have a share in it”. Whatever the church needs to convey, they need to come to a consensus on how best to convey that message so that there is cohesiveness and one message in solidarity. Anything less and we have the current chaos. I wish you Peace and thank you for all you do to promote the message of Christ.

  • Enrique I. Alonso

    Mrs. Pereira, I did not write that poverty is a “greater crisis” than “killing babies”. However, the early death of an innocent person because of poverty is no less important, and no less a societal killing, than that of a baby.

    The fact that some Catholics may be (as they are obligated to) seriously concerned about the poor, does not mean that they are less concerned about abortion or the assault on religious liberty by the Obama administration.

    But it is also true that being concerned about religious liberty and abortion does not relieve any Catholic of his obligation to help the poor share in the goods of creation, as God intended.

    Advocating that government assistance for food, etc. be taken away from the poor –without offering to provide them an immediate replacement — is tantamount to advocating genocide of the poor.

  • Enrique I. Alonso

    Pete, I don’t see how your position is consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church. A government that gives the poor what they need, and are due, is not communist. What should it do? Let them starve?

    Catechism 2436 states “It is unjust not to pay the social security contributions required by legitimate authority.”

    Catechism 2446 states: “Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs.”…”The demands of justice must be satisfied first of all; that which is already due in justice is not to be offered as a gift of charity”

  • marisa

    Enrique, I can’t find where I “advocated taking away government assistance for the poor” therefore any parallel you draw to “advocating genocide of the poor” is rendered null and void.

  • Marcus Allen Steele

    Marisa,

    The great benefit of perspectives on Catholic life, such as your latest a la carte article, is that it engages your readers to not only think about an issue but learn. Even when people disagree with you on whatever, if they’re civil and instructive (from their POV) in their argument/opinion, it’s a net gain for me. I’m more informed.

    Thank you very much for your time and energy to write this article. A very thoughtful piece.

  • Mark

    I rarely attend Latin Masses but I do respect and appreciate them. Latin is special part of out history and the language that unites us. If we have taken the time to familiar ourselves with the mother tongue of the church then this is an aide to unity not a hindrance, but it requires a little effort on our part and respect and value for our heritage. When I attend a mass that has Latin, I envision us all sort of living in some type of existence before the tower of Babel, all of coming together worshiping in a common language that transcends time and space.

    I know of a small church that has spanish and english masses and that on feast days and holy days when there is only 1 mass after everyone has left work they celebrate the Novus Ordo in Latin bringing both communities together.

    To your point of being surprised by masses because it has not been made clear that the mass was going to be a Latin Mass, I would suggest that a lot of people would rather have that surprise than to have a Novus Ordo done with all the liturgical abuses that are so common now days. If I walked into a random church church and heard Latin, while it’s not my preference, I would at least be comforted to know that I would not have to endure liturgical abuses. The priests and people that use Latin are the most orthodox people that I know and for me that is a source of comfort.

    Do these churches that are using Latin not have missals with translations? Every church that I have been too that used Latin had translations to English and some also in Spanish.

    It doesn’t not require learning a lot Latin since only the commons of the mass are done this way.

    God bless,

    Mark

  • marisa

    Mark, thank you for your comments and taking the time to calmly explain your thoughts. I think the word people are missing in my post above is “arbitrarily”. The places I am speaking of that choose to say parts of the Mass in Latin do not have a translation of the mass because they are not predetermined. If people want to hear a latin Mass – they should be able to. If people want to hear one in their native tongue, they should be able to as well. Praying in Latin or English or Spanish doesn’t make one holier than anyone else and ALL should be encouraged to particpipate in the Eucharist. I for one am eternally grateful to those who made that decision so many years ago – it has allowed me to have a better understanding of what I am participating in.

  • Enrique I. Alonso

    Great! I may have misunderstood or you likely did not mean to.

  • MarkGarcia

    Actually my preference for the mass is for something like the mass that is done on EWTN. I too prefer English but like hearing the words that are common to every mass such as the “Lamb of God” done in Latin. It takes a little effort to get used to the common parts but I do feel as though they promote a unity for us in that a traveler could walk into the mass and use the common everyday language of the church and that I too could travel to any part of the world and that I would also feel comfortable having parts of the mass done in a language common to us all. For me the emphasis is on making everyone feel welcome while realizing that we can’t use every language but that we can at least use a common language that makes us feel like family.

    I don’t think anyone that uses Latin feels any holier. I would say that it’s like reverencing and connecting with you patrimony. Who could not be appreciative of all that was fought for in the past by the saints to be handed down to us? What else could be more welcoming to a stranger than a common heritage and a familiar language?

    Basically it comes down to perspective and maybe something you had never considered before. I know that once saw things just like you and to a great extent I do think like you. I go a latin mass only about 4 times a year but I do prefer when I can find one or travel to attend masses with some of the commons done in Latin. Again as some of the posters have noted that if you read the documents of Vatican II that the use of Latin was never called to be abolished and that the vernacular was more meant for the propers of the mass which change everyday. The mass on EWTN is most like what the documents of Vatican II called for and and helps us connect bride the past with present.

    BTW – I read all of your articles and I appreciate your time and efforts towards the build up church. I have especially enjoyed your articles on how to dress for both men and women and will likely use them for future use if I return to be being a catechist. Keep up the good work and I look forward to more of your articles.

    God bless,

    Mark

  • DYoung

    Marissa, while I agree that the leadership needs to step it up a notch, I also wonder if you considered the following:

    Some people are prompted to learn more when they do not understand something. Parts of the mass that are said in Latin may cause some to look more deeply into the mass and learn more.

    I was once told by a Political Science professor that anyone can write a survey to get the answers they are looking for. When 50% of Catholic voters supported Obama, what were the questions that lead to this statistic? Where their questions or statement that explained what it means to be Catholic? I work with my wife preparing young couples for marriage. When we ask about confession and Eucharist, many say they don’t go, are too busy, etc…. When we ask why they want to get married in the Catholic church many answer “because their faith is important to them”. It may very well be possible the this 50% of Catholic support for Obama is part of the liberal media’s effort to convince everyone of their causes.

    The recent changes to the Mass (“and with your Spirit”) should be embraced. As U.S. Catholics we were given a translation of the Mass that was “close enough”. Close enough is not good enough when proclaiming the Truth. I know it may sound simple and naive, but maybe our “close enough” translation is also part of what got us to that 50%.

    Finally, I agree that our Catholic leadership should listen to their own preaching. God will always provide to everyone who is open to the working of the Holy Spirit. As long as we are open to doing Gods will, he will provide. Should there be a Catholic school on every corner. If it is what God wants, he will provide. Should there be Catholic homeless shelters in every town. If God wants it, he will provide.

    I try to live my life according to Matthew 16:26. “What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life?” Again, may be simple and naive, but it sure makes life much simpler.

  • di Girolamo, D

    Sorry, but this is a very difficult read – an article about ills of the Church should be without error – most, not all, of the comments need attention, including the author’s. I can only suggest we read the Catechism and/or the 16 books of Vatican ll before writing a blog or making comments. A little study of the Mass, its purpose and objective, would also be helpful. Not enough time for either – start with these two brief articles. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kathrynlopez/2012/11/do-we-even-know-what-were-talking-about-when-we-talk-about-the-catholic-church/ and http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2012/11/in-the-land-where-everybody-is-a-protestant-including-the-catholics.html
    Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  • Annie

    The recent changes in the Mass come from someone high up in the Church wanting to make a name for himself. Do you really believe that we were only “close enough” all these years? Were the leaders of the Church not inspired enough by the Holy Spirit before and therefore only got “close enough”. There were absolutely no need for these changes and in my opinion it has only hurt the Church.

    I grew up going to Catholic school where the priest were happy all the time and where they focused on us being kids and the good point we had, not on constantly telling us to avoid sin. I once went to church with my husband who was raised Southern Baptist and In the almost hour long sermon I heard the words hell and sinner 28 times; I never went back. I know I am a sinner, I don’t need to go to church to hear that again and again. I go to church to believe God will help guide me to a better life and give me hope in myself. I was brought up that you go to church for healing.

    As far as your statement “if God wants it, he will provide”, so does that mean we do not have world peace because God does not want it? Does that mean people are starving all over the world because God does not want it? It is an easy thing to say and I understand where you are coming from, but when people hear that and see something else they start to question God, not themselves.

    To me the bottom line is that the Church is lead by imperfect men. God has given me the education and common sense to make my own choices while knowing my intent behind them. If you know the history of the Catholic Church you know how much corruption has gone on for centuries, do you really think it doesn’t go on today. The Catholic Church is one of the biggest political powers in the world and I do not believe that many of the things they do is in their followers best interest but rather in their own. I focus on the very clear, simple, and unchanged things about the teaching of the Church, The Ten Commandments, well until they rewrite those also.

  • Nobody

    The “Jesus didn’t speak Latin” canard is as old as Protestantism itself. You are way off base on number 2, setting yourself against the Pope himself.

  • marisa

    Nobody: I believe you are “somebody” so will remind you that I do not “set myself against the pope” as you put it. I am just asking that my right – to be able to pray during the Mass in a language I speak – be respected. I respect anyone else praying in whatever language they choose.

  • Kay

    Marisa, I think you have missed the point the gentleman from New Zealand was making. Vatican II NEVER called for the turning around of altars nor did it call for the eradication of Latin from the Mass. Priests who have decided as you say, “because they want to” are actually obeying. You should read the Vatican II documents. That is all he is saying. You should admit you got that one wrong.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sheila.warner Sheila Warner

    Agreed.

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