Friday, June 3, 2016

SOME THOUGHTS ON THE PROBLEM IN NEW JERSEY


As noted many times on this blog, the sinister insertion of the NCW into established parishes does not happen in a vacuum. Usually the faith is already crippled or the clergy compromised. And there are a few telltale signs from the story related to us by Chuck White in his post TROUBLE IN NEW JERSEY

Just from the picture showing the front entrance to the parish church I knew there was a problem. The church is “1970’s Ugly.” Rather than a Catholic church which looks like a Catholic Church, it could pass for any kind of church or a meeting hall or for a pancake house for that matter. This video shows a few glimpses of the ultra modern interior which strips away any sense of the sacred. The ugly building and abstract aesthetics presage Kiko’s ugly architecture and art, making this an easy church to kiko-ize. Essentially this church, long before the kiko-priest arrived, had already stripped its altar and turned into a table, and got rid of any sense of a sanctuary. 


The relatively recent installation of a pastor from a foreign country (Tanzini is from Italy) is an indication that local vocations have dried up. A recent post on the parish website announced the death of the previous pastor: Fr. Eugene Hazewski, who died May 3rd, 2016. His obituary tells us that he was a New Jersey native. 

Another part of the story tells us both why local vocations have dried up and why the parish was probably already in its death throes before Tanzini came along: the neocats are meeting in “the parish school that closed in 2012.” 

In case after case across the country, this is the pattern. First the parish school closes and then the parish. It points simply to a lack of children which points simply to a Catholic culture which has simply been contracepting itself out of existence since the bishops themselves essentially gave the green light to do so only months after Paul VI issued Humanae Vitae.*

Human Life in Our Day, issued by the nation's bishops on November 15, 1968. The letter affirmed the teaching of Humanae Vitae but then went on to authorize dissent. And dissent is exactly what most American Catholics did - which a generation later has given us closed schools and emptying churches. 

And then there is also this:
Angered, the parishioner — a layman who as a Eucharistic minister, helps administer Holy Communion — said he recently confronted Tanzini, telling him, “Your heart is not into the parish, your heart is in this ‘neocat’ way. It’s just destroying the church.”
I find this amusing. Obviously the parishioner identified himself as a Eucharistic minister even though there is no such thing. The proper name for a lay person deputed to help with the distribution of Holy Communion is Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. The Church insists on this wording because it wants to emphasize that the deputing of lay persons to assist with the distribution of the Sacred Species is NOT to be an ordinary thing. 

On several occasions the Church has reminded us of this, and most specifically in its 1997 Instruction on the Collaboration of the Non-Ordained, wherein we are warned that laypersons may collaborate with the priest in the distribution of Holy Communion ONLY under specific circumstances. Yet, in parish after parish, "Eucharistic ministers" (sic) are a fixture even at daily Mass. 

In other words, by our insistent and persistence ignorance or outright disobedience to the specific and urgent instruction of the Church we are no better than the neocats and it is we ourselves who are "destroying the church," paving the way for the insertion of guys like Tanzini who pave the way for Kiko's takeover of parish after parish. 

And make no mistake. While the NCW is presented as simply an option, IT IS NOT AN OPTION. This message of "it's only a proposal" reminds me of the Nazi's assuring the naked Jews that they were only going to take a shower. 

In a parish bulletin, Tanzini, attempting to sooth his rattled parishioners, apparently inadvertently tells them that their worst fears are well founded:
The transition our parish is facing at this time may cause uneasy feelings in some of you. I believe that we should look at the events that all that is happening now – as well as others that took place in the past months – with eyes of faith, open heart and clear mind. Most of the “suspicions” and “worries” that many are affected by are the result of hasty assumptions, misinterpretations and lack of information. I hope that this time of transition may provide the opportunity for sound and honest conversation, keeping in mind that the Lord has the power to dispel all fears and resolve any conflict or division that may arise.
Tanzini forgets that this is just a "proposal" and stumbles right off the bat into revealing that this is a full out "transition."

The real problem though is not Tanzini or his Kiko-agenda. The real problem is the same problem we have here in Guam and throughout much of the Catholic world (which is why the NCW is expanding so rapidly). The real problem is summed up in these words from an anti-neocat parishioner:
"I’m comfortable with how I practice my religion."

* The above picture obviously shows people waiting for Mass to begin. Rather than reverent prayer and solemn silence to prepare oneself for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, there is the roaming and chatting that we have become all too used to in our own non-neocat Masses, stripping away the sense of the sacred even before the Sacred Event itself - even without a flower-laden plywood table or menorah. 

15 comments:

  1. "Just from the picture showing the front entrance to the parish church I knew there was a problem. The church is “1970’s Ugly." How can you call God's house ugly? Shame on you!

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    1. It's easy. I just did. Perhaps you should educate yourself before attacking me. Read the article linked under the comment.

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    2. I disagree with your opinion, Tim, that the 1970s ugly look is a warning sign of a weak church, Church architecture is a reflection of the times and how God's people express their love for him at different periods in history. I appreciate both modern and traditional church styles. The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels is one of my favorite places in downtown LA. The tapestries of saints along its walls used current, modern people as models and the tapestry behind the altar has a grid of LA's roads woven on it. The classy, modern bareness of the building in no way detracts my focus away from God. I find that Cathedral extremely peaceful and sacred and still attend Mass there ocassiomally with my family even if I live in Orange County. I get that same type of peaceful, sacred feeling at the National Shrine in Washington DC or at St. ignatius in SF. Both of these churches have a much more traditional feel to them.

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    3. You make my point: "I - I -I - I - I feel - I get - I appreciate - I find - I - I - I...."

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    4. http://www.amazon.com/Ugly-as-Sin-Michael-Rose/dp/1933184442

      How Catholic churches are being sapped of their spiritual vitality -- and what you can do about it!
      The problem with new-style churches isn t just that they re ugly -- they actually distort the Faith and lead Catholics away from Catholicism.

      So argues Michael S. Rose in these eye-opening pages, which banish forever the notion that lovers of traditional-style churches are motivated simply by taste or nostalgia. In terms that non-architects can understand (and modern architects can t dismiss!), Rose shows that far more is at stake: modern churches actually violate the three natural laws of church architecture and lead Catholics to worship, quite simply, a false god.

      Not content to limit himself to theory, Rose in Ugly as Sin takes you on a revealing tour through a traditional church and a modern church. He shows conclusively how the traditional church communicates the Faith, while the modern one simply doesn t. In the process, he ll give you a renewed love and gratitude for the gift of faith that is your traditional church -- plus a keener sense of just what s wrong with modern churches that look like anything but churches. Rose provides you with solid arguments (as easy to explain as they are hard to refute!) and practical tools that you can use to reverse the dangerous trend toward desacralized churches -- and to make our churches once again into magnificent Houses of God!

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    5. I don't get your point. Clearly, I would have to use the word "I" since it is my opinion. Once I step inside a beautiful church- either modern or traditional, my focus automatically shifts to God and his presence alone.

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    6. Yes. Your opinion. I didn't present my opinion.

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    7. Precisely. Read CS Lewis' "Abolition of Man" if you want to see the how his predictions have come true. The loss of the objective truth, replaced by an internal sentiment or experience, has put us on the path to trouble.

      Vatican II, unfortunately (whether intended or not) has had a similar effect within the Church, and the NCW is the epitome of this subjective, self absorbed reinvention of truth - simply listen to the "testimonies" and "echoes", or if you really want to punish yourself, read the catecheses.

      Its all about me, and how I feel.

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    8. RIGHT ON >>>>>>>4:10 PM

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  2. - People now-a-days should read the "whole posting" instead of what they "ASSUME" it meant!

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  3. I agree, Tim, that we are not to be comfortable in the way we practice our religion. Who could be comfortable, while standing under the cross? If we are not sharing in Christ's passion (cf. St. Paul), we are living inauthentic Christian lives. And if we are comfortable in the practice of our religion, then we are also probably not growing in the knowledge of God (again, cf. St. Paul). Complacency is, indeed, a problem, but we must first recognize it as a problem. You are doing your best to point it out as a problem. Thanks.

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  4. i've just come back from a short visit to spain. i was able to attend three Masses there, ranging from the very reverent to the highly abusive.

    i say "abusive" because there really isn't a better word to describe it. it was the sunday Mass, on the feast of Corpus Christi, in a newer church structure with modern design. there was no responsorial psalm, no second reading. as a result, the Mass itself lasted only 35 minutes long.

    the worst abuse in that Mass was the fact that people had the option to take the Body of the Lord, for themselves, from a ciborium on a side table. just like how you would pick up a tortilla chip from a serving bowl. i'd say between 1/3 to 1/2 of the congregation availed themselves of that option.

    needless to say, i was shocked, saddened, and disappointed by it--and even on the feast of the Body and Blood of the Lord, no less!

    given this, i'm not surprised that the average age of the people at that Mass was in the upper 60s, and that the church was barely filled.

    spain, ireland, italy--let's pray for these once-strongly-Catholic countries, as we all need to pray for guam too.

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    1. Thanks for the report, Rey. It is sad to hear of the decay of the Catholic church around the world at the same time we are witnessing the crumbling of our local church.

      Tim has pointed out some things that can get us going in the right direction (music sacra, creating a reverent environment for prayer and worship, Sunday Mass, receiving communion, etc.). Let's not waste this opportunity to learn more about our faith, get back to basics, and do the right thing.

      Many lament the dwindling numbers of practicing Catholics. It is possible they might be drawn back if they see us doing what we are supposed to be doing in the first place. True, reverent and solemn Catholic worship is a powerful thing to experience. There is no reason we can't experience this every week, or every day for those who attend daily mass. People leave the church for a reason. Let's give them a reason to make the journey home to the Catholic Church.

      There is a weekly program on EWTN called The Journey Home. It is a wonderful presentation of people drawn to the Catholic Church and their journey of faith.

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  5. I once attended a Mass where at the inside front entrance of the Church, there was a bowl of wafers on a small table next to a basket of different size veils. As one walk in, that attendee would transfer a wafer to another bowl. And any female or confused male can use "borrow" a veil to use for the Mass. Found this to be interesting.

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