My Friend, You are Damned

My Friend, You are Damned

Father Joseph Wilson has written a profile of Stephen Brady, the founder of Roman Catholic Faithful, for the next issue of The Wanderer The article shows how Brady, a pizza parlor owner, started his one-man crusade to clean up the Church from within, years before the Boston Globe blew open the story on its pages.

Before then, Brady was considered by many people as a crank and boor. But he’s not. He has done outstanding investigative work, including the expose of the explicit web site for homosexual priests, St. Sebastian’s Angels, where we first heard the name Bishop Reginald Cawcutt. That article was published in my magazine, Catholic World Report.

Father Wilson relates the story of St. John Vianney who once told a penitent, “My friend, you are damned,” not out of malice, but out of love for him, warning him that if he did not change his ways he would surely go to hell. And Fr. Wilson compares Brady favorably with the Cure of Ars.

Steve Brady is not a priest, but hestified. The letter writer, Fr. Patrick McMahon, president of the Carmelite Institute in Rome, disagreed.

Mind you, Father doesn’t offer any citations that the Pope said otherwise. He just makes assertions, something he castigates the student for doing. He also appeals to statements by various cardinals and the Vatican spokesman as if those should be considered morally binding. He fails to mention the Church’s clear teaching that judgment of a just war is a prudential judgment for civil leaders. In any case, after those statements, Father really goes off the rails.

I dond the most holiest of music in the universe. And these sounds can still inspire awe, even today.

The article speaks about the symbolism inherent in everything including every precise form of the rite. The author makes it clear that no deviance from the rite can be permitted because each gesture and word has a specific meaning. At the end, a group of Catholic teens visiting the church offered their own assessment of something none of them had ever experienced:

“Did you enjoy it, first of all?,” asked their teacher, Bob Bennett.

The teens nodded their heads but each had caveats to discuss.

Heather Thompson, 13, of Smithville, said she felt left out when the priest turned his back to the parishioners. “It made me feel like a spectator, instead of a worshiper,” she said.

A bit of catchesis would help that objection. She should be taught that the priest, hasn’t really turned his back to the people so much as he’s leading them in worship before the throne of God.

“It was very different from what I was used to,” said Kaitlin Wiseman, 13, also of Smithville.

“I wouldn’t want it every week because I don’t understand what’s going on,” said McKynlee Westman, 14, also of Smithville. “I kept losing my place on the guide.”

Of course, someone who hasn’t attended a regular Catholic Mass in the vernacular could say the same thing. It takes time and practice to get it.

In the end, none of the caveats are deal breakers

All the teens said they’d like to come back again after studying the symbolism some more.

But then comes the final blow to every modern liturgist.

But they all agreed with Nathan Daraban, who said: “I really liked that during communion we kneeled before the altar. I shut my eyes then, too. Kneeling sort of made everything mean so much more.

“And that was way cool.”

Heaven forbid! They actually want to kneel and kneel to receive the Eucharist! What would Art & Environment and the diocesan office for worship say? It’s funny how the instinctive sense of propriety and worship has to be indoctrinated out of children. We have to be taught by modernists that what we instinctively know about worship is wrong and that their way is the right way.

Perhaps if we exposed more teens to the beauty of the Mass as it should be celebrated—not necessarily Tridentine Masses, even just good Novus Ordo Masses—we could see a return in the Church to better worship and better liturgy. That would be way cool.