USCCB Liturgical Adaptations & Exceptions (Who Else Is Sick & Tired of Them?)

Here in the “Liturgy & Sacraments” forum, it seems no topic can go untouched without debating, discussing, lamenting, or expounding the liturgical adaptations and exceptions that exist for American (Latin) Catholics through the courtesy of the USCCB.

I am so sick and tired of being the exception to the universal norms of the Church! Why must the USCCB seek special privileges in these matters…and why does Rome assent to them?

Among these exceptions:

[list]
*]Standing for Holy Communion (and a Simple Bow of the Head as the Sign of Reverence)
*]Pouring of the Precious Blood
*]Sacred Vessels Made of Hard Woods, etc.
*]Wooden Altars
*]Holy Days of Obligation Relegated to the Nearest Sunday
[/list]
This thread is intended for expressing your thoughts on the reasons for and the results of so many American adaptations. Of special interest are the opinions of those beyond the reach of the USCCB and of Eastern Rite Catholics. Is there indifference toward American nonconformity? Jealousy? Contempt?

Money is one of the reasons. The Holy See receives a significant monetary infusion from the American Church each year.

Now, we’d all like to think that the Holy See is above such base considerations as money, but come on. I could spend a lot more time doing “God’s work” if I didn’t have to eat and sleep every day. But that’s reality. If I don’t, I’ll die. Same with the Church. Without money, she can’t perform the charitable works, spread the Gospel and run a sovereign state.

So, that’s why we get so many exemptions. Rome doesn’t want the money spigot to be shut off. This also goes back to why there is fear of the American de facto schism being formalized. Rome can only push so far.

But just where is the so-called “push” for these adaptations coming FROM?

The average rank-and-file Catholic over the last 40 years has NOT been pushing for any of the above. In most cases, the “exceptions” were shoved into place over protests from the congregation, and often even from the clergy.

Just how many of our bishops have been active in asking for these things over the last 40 years? I’ll bet not all that many, and I’ll also bet that most of the other bishops either had too much else on their plate, or trusted the “wiser” ones who ASSURED them that these changes were what the PEOPLE wanted, yadda yadda.

For all the talk of cafeteria Catholics, most of them are NOT in any sort of position where they sought or were able to implement most of these changes. They just “growed”–in a sense, they “trusted” that newer means better, that change is always good, that the church needs to be a democracy, basically all the little buzz words.

I am not a conspiracy person and I tend to err on the side of caution and dryness. . .but I am REALLY starting to wonder WHAT happened in my lifetime. It just doesn’t seem purely coincidental that the whole atmosphere since a few bishops “ran” with “the spirit of Vatican II” has basically been not a refreshing of the faith but a twisting, a revising, and even outright defiance of the faith.

FTR (and as a datapoint), while the US does *translate *some holy days to Sunday (Epiphany, Corpus Christi), some others simply “lose” their obligation when they fall on Saturday or Monday (Assumption, All Saints).

The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales, on the other hand, translate some holy days when they fall on Saturday or Monday (ie, both the celebration and its attendant obligation (naturally) move to Sunday). cf. the bottom of this page

By far, the goofiest calendar shenanigans in the US involves our national patroness, the Immaculate Conception. It remains a day of obligation even when 8-Dec falls on Saturday or Monday. **But: ** When it falls on Sunday (necessarily the 2nd Sunday of Advent), the celebration is translated to Monday 9-Dec, but the obligation does not translate? (cf. the bottom of this page) :confused:

tee

The responses so far are very insightful.

So…what’s the official cut-off for declaring a thread a “dud”? :o

Pouring of the Precious Blood

[list]
[/list]

Isn’t this an abuse, not an exception?

Judge for yourself:

usccb.org/liturgy/q%26a/chalice.shtml

Like female altar servers, it likely began as an abuse only to be made an authorized exception at a later time. According to Redemptionis Sacramentum and the link I provided, it seems that pouring the Precious Blood is once again considered an abuse by the Holy See. Personally, I agree. However, there are many who contend that the law (allowing it) is still in effect.

Why our Bishop’s would desire such a dangerous and illogical practice to continue is beyond me!
:confused:

[quote=msproule]Judge for yourself:

usccb.org/liturgy/q%26a/chalice.shtml

Like female altar servers, it likely began as an abuse only to be made an authorized exception at a later time. According to Redemptionis Sacramentum and the link I provided, it seems that pouring the Precious Blood is once again considered an abuse by the Holy See. Personally, I agree. However, there are many who contend that the law (allowing it) is still in effect.

Why our Bishop’s would desire such a dangerous and illogical practice to continue is beyond me!
:confused:
[/quote]

Here’s something to think about…
dotm.org/jadot.htm

I believe the real reason is that many, if not most of the Bishops in the United States are products of and adherants to the whole 60’s mentality. You know, change is good, stability is bad, being modern is good, holding on to tradition is bad etc, etc.

Until that mentality is gone, hopefully soon, we can expect more and more of the same nonsense that they have thrown at us since 1965.

I have settled into a bunker mentality of simply waiting for more faithful and zealous pastors to replace our current bishops (not the stellar ones, but those who might be found less than satisfactory). However, even if a new crop of bishops does not seek out more exceptions, does anyone think it will be a priority for them to roll back the current ones? While I think many of them might be in favor, it seems to me that the USCCB currently has its hands full with child protection and may not feel itself, even under new leadership, free to direct its attention to such matters as the present acrobatics of the liturgical calendar.

Now for a personal rant: What lamebrain decided to move Ascension Thursday to the nearest Sunday?!? Forty days after Easter. It’s not that difficult!

Fuzzy math?

Faulty reasoning, rather than fuzzy math. The ones who started it (in places like Alaska, involving long distance traveling for parishioners and shortages of priests) were trying to make it “easier” for people NOT to miss an obligation.

Unfortunately, for many if not most, making things “easier” often makes them less desirable, not more desirable.

I say bring back MORE holy days of obligation (we used to have 10 to 12 in the U.S., not 6 most years and a pitiful 4 I believe this year since a couple of them fall on Monday and hence are given a “pass”). Maybe fewer people will come because it’s not so easy–but of those people, many wouldn’t come when it WAS easy anyway. . .and for the ones who do come, it will ultimately mean more and help to strengthen the faith.

Ever hear of killing someone with kindness? Honestly, some bishops (bless their hearts, they mean well) must think that Catholics are as fragile as GLASS and must have the shortest communion fasts, the least amount of “Latin”, the fewest obligations, the least devotions, and the most watered down instructions just to keep from shattering into a billion pieces from the STRAIN!

I agree with Tantum Ergo (by the way, my absolute favorite hymn) that the bishops have acted under a sincere but misguided attempt to alleviate the “burden” placed on the faithful. When you look at historic Catholicism, though, we have it tremendously easy to begin with, we don’t need more relaxation of rules to ease any burden. For example, the 1700s saw a redistricting of the parishes in the Austrian Empire so that no one should have to hike more than 3 hours one way to Mass. Keep in mind that during Easter this would have to be done at least once without having any food or drink AT ALL since midnight. And before redrawing the parishes people were hiking farther than 3 hours. Even that is tame compared to the penitential practises of the early Church. Bottom line, we don’t realize how easy we already have it, without dropping holy days and all the other exceptions and relaxations.

It appears that a strong Protestant influence did not cease at the end of VatII, but continues today.

But there are more priests (young) coming forward to bring back the reverence of the liturgy. They are the ones most excited, and in anticipation, of the fruits of the Synod.

If “money” is an underlying reason, perhaps any letters to a Bishop should allude to that - “Gee, your Eminence, how can I support you in your financial needs, when my efforts must be directed toward spiritual needs?”

At a recent installation of a pastor, more than a few people actually said similar things to the bishop. He made no comment, and left soon after.

**Fr Perrone

** October 16, 2005

It’s been made public that the Vatican has ordered the  	seminaries of our country to be evaluated. The media has buzzed much over  	the single issue of the proposed ousting of homosexuals from the seminaries.  	This is, however, a small if necessary focus of this investigation. 

For many years, these institutions of higher theological learning have been  	dizzying the brains of seminarians with confusing accounts of some pivotal  	teachings of the Catholic Church. Young men entering the seminary usually do  	not do so to become rebels against the magisterium and defamers of Catholic  	tradition. Rather, this is a thing inculcated in them over a period of years  	of ‘formation.’ They are tutored in the subtle art of theological ambiguity,  	of how to conserve a veneer of Catholicism while personally believing and  	practicing what is contrary to the faith. Especially through the technique  	of an oppressive psychological conditioning, they are led to espouse  	aberrant theological views (for example, to regard the sacred Scripture as  	mere literature whose inerrancy is to be debunked; or to doubt that our Lord  	possessed divine knowledge during His life on earth). They are permitted to  	hold and sometimes openly express opinions on matters contrary to the  	defined teaching of the Pope, such as the moral impossibility of women  	priests (an issue now forever determined by the definition of Pope John Paul  	II). They may be taught by word or example to disregard liturgical norms.  	Much more insidious than these is the infusion of a cynical mental attitude  	regarding holy things and defined beliefs, an attitude due to years of  	‘formation’ in classroom teaching and group discussions, by faculty  	evaluations, and in psychological counseling. Often there is no single thing  	that is the cause of this kind of malformation. It’s rather the cumulative  	effect of a twisted and persistent conditioning which clouds reason, foments  	arrogance, stifles the devout life, and, in the end, destroys the faith of  	the seminarian. Behold the result: the unbelieving, rebellious, impious  	priest who enters the parish to undo the holy apostolic and Catholic faith  	and root out any vestige of Catholic piety in the faithful. 

more…

[quote=Tantum ergo]But just where is the so-called “push” for these adaptations coming FROM?

The average rank-and-file Catholic over the last 40 years has NOT been pushing for any of the above. In most cases, the “exceptions” were shoved into place over protests from the congregation, and often even from the clergy.

Just how many of our bishops have been active in asking for these things over the last 40 years? I’ll bet not all that many, and I’ll also bet that most of the other bishops either had too much else on their plate, or trusted the “wiser” ones who ASSURED them that these changes were what the PEOPLE wanted, yadda yadda.

For all the talk of cafeteria Catholics, most of them are NOT in any sort of position where they sought or were able to implement most of these changes. They just “growed”–in a sense, they “trusted” that newer means better, that change is always good, that the church needs to be a democracy, basically all the little buzz words.

I am not a conspiracy person and I tend to err on the side of caution and dryness. . .but I am REALLY starting to wonder WHAT happened in my lifetime. It just doesn’t seem purely coincidental that the whole atmosphere since a few bishops “ran” with “the spirit of Vatican II” has basically been not a refreshing of the faith but a twisting, a revising, and even outright defiance of the faith.
[/quote]

And a lot of Catholics in their twenties would like to see a return to the Tridentine Mass. There would no doubt tbe more if more were exposed to it.

[quote=buffalo]Fr Perrone

October 16, 2005

It’s been made public that the Vatican has ordered the     seminaries of our country to be evaluated. The media has buzzed much over     the single issue of the proposed ousting of homosexuals from the seminaries.     This is, however, a small if necessary focus of this investigation. 

For many years, these institutions of higher theological learning have been     dizzying the brains of seminarians with confusing accounts of some pivotal     teachings of the Catholic Church. Young men entering the seminary usually do     not do so to become rebels against the magisterium and defamers of Catholic     tradition. Rather, this is a thing inculcated in them over a period of years     of ‘formation.’ They are tutored in the subtle art of theological ambiguity,     of how to conserve a veneer of Catholicism while personally believing and     practicing what is contrary to the faith. Especially through the technique     of an oppressive psychological conditioning, they are led to espouse     aberrant theological views (for example, to regard the sacred Scripture as     mere literature whose inerrancy is to be debunked; or to doubt that our Lord     possessed divine knowledge during His life on earth). They are permitted to     hold and sometimes openly express opinions on matters contrary to the     defined teaching of the Pope, such as the moral impossibility of women     priests (an issue now forever determined by the definition of Pope John Paul     II). They may be taught by word or example to disregard liturgical norms.     Much more insidious than these is the infusion of a cynical mental attitude     regarding holy things and defined beliefs, an attitude due to years of     ‘formation’ in classroom teaching and group discussions, by faculty     evaluations, and in psychological counseling. Often there is no single thing     that is the cause of this kind of malformation. It’s rather the cumulative     effect of a twisted and persistent conditioning which clouds reason, foments     arrogance, stifles the devout life, and, in the end, destroys the faith of     the seminarian. Behold the result: the unbelieving, rebellious, impious     priest who enters the parish to undo the holy apostolic and Catholic faith     and root out any vestige of Catholic piety in the faithful. 

more…
[/quote]

I agree with the excerpt above and I took a quick look at the home page of the web site. It looks like a wonderful parish!

[quote=msproule]Judge for yourself:

usccb.org/liturgy/q%26a/chalice.shtml

[/quote]

Let me quote from the end of the first question at the link.

with a letter modifying the Congregation’s “original confirmation in regard to numbers 36 and 37 of these Norms” and including an emended text of the USCCB Norms which eliminates both the pouring of the Precious Blood and the use of flagons.

So you see, ths bishops in the US are seeking conformity with the Holy See. What I do not understand is ranting against our bishops for lack of respect for the authority of Rome while exhibiting a far greater lack respect for authority.

[quote=pnewton]So you see, ths bishops in the US are seeking conformity with the Holy See.
[/quote]

The portion of the link that you pasted above does *not *demonstrate the USCCB’s desire to conform. Rather, it describes Cardinal Arinze’s revocation of a previous approval. I think you may be misreading it.

What I do not understand is ranting against our bishops for lack of respect for the authority of Rome while exhibiting a far greater lack respect for authority.

I do conform to the norms that they have established. No disrespect is intended. Remember, this thread is for the purpose of expressing our thoughts on the reasons for and the results of so many American adaptations.

[quote=pnewton]What I do not understand is ranting against our bishops for lack of respect for the authority of Rome while exhibiting a far greater lack respect for authority.
[/quote]

Not all cafeteria Catholics choose the dessert line; some of them choose the salad bar instead. But in the end, it’s the same cafeteria.

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