The flier from Orange County

The flier from Orange County

In the comments on yesterday’s post about the expulsion of Catholics from a parish in Orange County, California, some people said that the flier distributed by the parishioners may have been lacking in charity or engaged in calumny and justified some reaction from the bishop. Of course until we see the disputed flier we can’t know.

Thus it is very helpful that I have been sent a copy of the flier and am now posting it in PDF form. So go ahead and download it and see for yourself if the parishioners were out of line by distributing it.

Update: I’ve fixed the link.

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  • Dom, this is what I have been hoping to view with my own eyes. 

    It sure will be very interesting to have the reactions of all considering the appropriateness of the flier. Is the flier truly what one individual expressed it to be????

  • Thanks for fixing the link so quickly!

    I skimmed the document and ran a word search for the Bishops name and it only came up three times, and in only one case was it used in any sort of accusation.

    What I did see was a lot of frustration with a diocese that may be worse off than Boston.  I think this situation is an example of the reason why we have a SSPX.  For some bishops attending the Novus Ordo isn’t enough, rather they must force traditionalists to experiece the most irreverent, non-sensical, anti-traditional Mass imaginable,  I guess as a form of shock therapy to divest them of their queer (original usage) ways.

  • The shock therapy is to get the parishioners to accept queer (original and non-original usage) ways.  This is the program of the USCCB, Bishop Brown and Cardinal Mahoney.

  • Dom, I have printed out the flier and have had the time to re-read it. Objectively I see nothing objectionable in its presentation of the information. The flier is not unkind, uncharitable, contentious, disrespectful. It does not say anything that is close to calumny, rash judgement, etc.

    John Paul the Great has asked that all bishops be caring and attentive to the spiritual needs that would nourish and build-up the spiritual life of those under his care. That is all that is being asked. Now what is wrong with this?

    I attend a parish that the pastor allows all the options permitted by the Holy See. People, kneel or stand, they recieve in the hand or on the tongue. The pastor uses only extra-ordinaly Eucharistic ministers when needed. One and two or more only if attendance demands it. The pastor abides by all the directives of the Holy See in celebrating the Holy Sacrifice. The parish thrives and people come from miles around and from various New England state to join him in the Holy Sacrifice.

  • As far as charity goes, who cares?  If someone has a valid complaint but presents it uncharitably, is the complaint invalidated?  Is the lack of charity a greater sin than the injustice which apparently provoked the uncharity? 

    Pastors should encourage charity, but a pastor against whom a complaint is lodged should not accuse his accusers of uncharity in response, because it’s obvious that he is a biased observer, and such a remark is unlikely to have any effect except further scandal.  Pastors who notice uncharity in complaints directed against their own conduct can certainly confess to causing the scandal whose fruits perturb them.  They should bear the uncharity with charity and offer it up for the uncharitable. 

    The flyer encourages disobedience to liturgical norms.  While the Holy See has told bishops and priests not to enforce these norms “rigidly”, they are still the norms and encouraging rebellion against them is wrong.  It is doubtful that the Holy See’s responsum ad dubium about Mass posture was meant to apply to cases of open rebellion. 

    The flyer also contains language that is ambiguous and could be considered Donatism:

    When you are told to obey a bishop who is not obeying the Magisterium on issues of morality and liturgy, you are not morally obligated to obey those orders. 

    So while Archbishop Levada was wearing his stole over his chasuble, he had no authority to teach on issues of morality and liturgy?  Did he regain that authority afterward?

    Remember that because of disobedience from the American Bishops to the liturgical norms, indults were obtained from Rome to receive Communion standing, Communion in the hand, altar girls and female lectors among others.

    Is the above intended to encourage disobedience because disobedience is effective, or to encourage disobedience only against indults obtained by disobedience, or to encourage disobedience against those who have themselves disobeyed, or something else? 

    Female lectors is also an impossibility.  Women may serve as lectors, but they can never be lectors.  The ministry of lector is reserved to adult men, as is the ministry of acolyte.  In fact, one way to stomp out the use of female lectors and EEMs is for the men of the parish to step forward and get instituted in these ministries.

  • The statements in the flyer are accurate.  Probably it isn’t the most tactful document in the world, but it’s not slander.  I don’t really blame laypeople for finally getting their dander up either.  I’m only surprised it’s taken this long.

    For myself, I know legally that I can’t be prevented from kneeling, but it’s also a practical matter.  What are they going to do?  Wire my knees so they don’t bend?  They can’t guard us all to prevent us from falling to our knees. 

    They can’t throw us all out.

  • For more information on what the flyers have said and what memebers of Restore the Sacred from St. Mary’s by the Sea have said, read the earlier thread in this blog:

    The facts are eye opening.

    You might also check what local Catholics are saying (as well as the excellent articles on the issue by Steven Greenhut and John Seiler) at the Orange County Register’s blog, Orange Punch:

    The picture of those bulletins in the dumpster is priceless!

    The people were told there was a “delivery error” from the pulpit at St. Mary’s.

    Deception like that troubles me deeply.

    If Fr. Tran is willing to be untruthful about things like that, how can he be trusted about other matters?

  • Fr. Joseph Fenton, is another fine example of Bishop Brown’s carefully selected diocesan appointees.  His gaffes in the press have only increased the embarrassment of Catholics in the Orange diocese.  His imprudence is really quite extraordinary.

    He certainly managed to offend Gustavo Arellano of the OC Weekly:

    However, I must personally admit that I have appreciated Fr. Fenton’s candor.  He had a phone conversation with a Catholic woman from the Orange diocese who had called him asking what the diocese was going to do to protect children from homosexual priests who are preying on adolescent boys.  Fr. Fenton bluntly retorted, “If we did that, there would be so few priests left we’d have to turn it [the Church] over to lay people to run it.”  While I understand that Fr. Fenton probably intended to be hyperbolic, we are all as well aware as Fr. Fenton apparently is that there are a lot of homosexually oriented priests in the Diocese of Orange and in the Church as a whole.

    On Wednesday, February 25, 2004, Ann Pepper wrote a column for the Orange County Register entitled, “Orange County Clergymen Share ‘Passion’ Reaction.”  The article reflected the reactions of four Orange County spiritual leaders who got together Monday for an early look at Mel Gibson’s The Passion Of The Christ, and, at the Register’s request, each described what they saw and how the movie affected them.

    Here’s what Fr. Joseph Fenton, Bishop Brown’s diocesan spokesman for the 1.1-million member Catholic Diocese of Orange had to say:

    “I saw a very tedious, slow-moving, graphic, violent motion picture.  Anyone who has examined the life of Jesus will have problems with it. The message of Jesus offering a new covenant based on love and compassion is missing. What is emphasized is the sacrificial nature of Christ’s life to the extent that it is played with extreme violence. Nobody under 15 should see that film. I would not take my mother to see it.  You have to already know the story to understand the film. It does not give you any context. You have no sympathy for Jesus if you don’t know anything about him.  You have to come into this film with some perspective in your own life about who Jesus is. If you are of the bent that feels that graphic suffering makes you feel the terrible sinner that you are and Jesus is saving you, then this is going to be a very big plus in your favor when you see the movie.  I saw nothing that was anti-Semitic in a classic sense, but I think people should discuss the film, because I think it could lead some uninformed people to think that way.” (Orange County Register, February 25, 2004)

    Fr. Fenton’s antipathy toward any notion of sin, suffering, and sacrifice shine through loud in clear in his comments.

    Why does this matter?

    If you look at Bishop Brown’s diocesan appointees (liberal priests like Frs. Joseph Fenton & Gerald Horan, and Msgr. Wilbur Davis) a pattern emerges, and that pattern says a lot about Bishop Brown.

  • Examples of catechesis in the Diocese of Orange:

    “Theology In Wonderland”, Los Angeles Lay Catholic Mission, December 2000:

    Note that there was an editorial correction for the story above:

    The article mistakenly said that Father Chris Heath was the director of the Orange diocese’s Institute for Pastoral Ministry instead of Fr. Chris Smith.  Other than that, the article was completely true.  I know, because I know the source for the story.

    Here’s another example of what is tolerated under Bishop Brown’s leadership:

    “It’s Just A Pumpkin”, Los Angeles Lay Catholic Mission, January 2001:

  • Dear Seamole,

    Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. (1Cor XIII:1)

    Charity is of great import for all sides involved.  While the flier may not be diplomatic, for the most part it seems charitable.  The response however seems to lack the same charity.
    The fact remains, however, as Thomas teaches, if these people are told by their conscience that they ought to remain faithful to the ancient tradition of kneeling in the Western Church before the blessed sacrament, although they owe religious obseqium (respect) to their bishop, they sin if they do not follow their conscience. 

    It is interesting to not that the issue of kneeling has been contentious throughout the history of the Church, mostly because pagans thought it was unseemly for a free man to kneel (only the barbarians did this), this is certainly so before the pagan “gods” and may be true before man, but before God no man is free, we are all radically dependant on him.  The Greek tradition of not kneeling comes from this Hellenistic idea about the ignobility of kneeling, however they make up for it by profound bows (where they acctually touch the ground) and prostrations.  If we would like to substitue kneeling for these other customs that is fine, but moral I personally see a problem with showing no sign of respect whatsoever to the Most Blessed Sacraments.

    This is why as scriptures states at the name of Jesus every genu (knee) flecti (will be bent).

  • Read this opening paragraph from Fr. Tran’s bulletin announcement asking parishioners to leave the diocese:

    “We are in Lenten Season. And the purpose of the Lenten Season is metanoia which is conversion. But in order to have a real conversion, which is a complete turn away from ourselves (self-denial), to focus only on the Lord, we need to accept the fact that we are all sinners. Therefore, we need in total humility to re-examine ourselves to prepare for a spiritual surgery, individually and communally. It is very painful to the degree of shedding lots of tears, enduring lots of suffering to carry our cross to Calvary with Jesus so to die, to bury our old sinful persons in order to rise with the Risen Christ in our new persons and new community with total new life in love with God and with one another.”

    Does anyone else think this sounds like he’s asking parishioners to become one of the pod people from “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”?

  • The flier Fr. Tran criticized:

    Restore The Sacred, issue #15, dated February 19, 2006 essentially reprinted the following article from the March 2002 issue of the Homiletic & Pastoral Review:

    Lex orandi, lex credendi, by Rev. Anthony J. Manuppella:

    The attorney’s letter sent to Fr. Tran had this to say about Fr. Tran’s allegations:

    Your contention that “Restore the Sacred” of “Save Saint Mary’s group”, issue #15, dated February 19, 2006 contained “false allegations against the American Bishops” is somewhat vague and in need of specifics.

    As you know, the primary substance of the issue #15 was a reprinting of Lex orandi, lex credendi, by Fr. Anthony J. Manuppella from the March 2002 issue of the Homiletic & Pastoral Review.  The Homiletic & Pastoral Review is published by Ignatius Press.  Ignatius Press is also the exclusive publisher for all of Pope Benedict XVI’s writings in the United States.  I’m sure you would not contend that the same publisher Pope Benedict XVI has chosen to print his written works in the United States and with which he has had a relationship that has spanned decades would print an article that contained “false allegations against the American Bishops”?

  • The url below has to do with theology of kneeling by Cardinal Ratzinger, now Benedict vxi

    Where in the world is there any inference of “Donatism” in the flier?  Where is that ambiguos language???

    There is one statement that needs changing or clarified——One is not really obliged to show obedience to a bishop who is not in communion with the Teaching Magisterium in matters of faith and morals.

    Where is the flier asking explicitly for disobedience to litugical norms?  It is only asking that thier preferences be respected which is legitamite. Now, if they do mean to impose their preferences on the whole Church, then we have another issue here.

    John, you certainly have the documentation. This diocese under the present leadership is not in communion with the Teaching Magisterium in matters of faith and morals. The faithful should use methods of “public” protest” and loads of fliers or even a small newsletter to be distributed to as many as possible in the diocese.

    Look, the bishop has the Catholic media, his own pastoral letters, the pulpit, the CCD classroom, even the public media.  What is their for the faithful? Letter writing? This is a “private” avenue which the bishop and chancery love. The faithful have only the choice of public protest, distribution of fliers or newletters documenting the just the facts. I know from personal experience that this method works.  The other method gives the bishop or the chancery all the time they need to continue “rooting” their disobedience and dissent. This cancer should be “surgically removed” as soon as possible. Why? Because souls are at stake. For Heaven’s sake, put on the life jacket of the Word of God, then rock the boat and let the dissenter fall overboard.

  • This flier is shameful, and the Bishop did the right thing. In fact, I think perhpas he did not go far enough. But I’m sure his pastoral nature wouldn’t want to go all the way – yet.

    I would personally confront this people if they were in my parish, and I would tell them they are more then welcome to leave for good.

    “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem” Please!

  • Of course, if the flier had advocated the ordination of women priests, homosexuals or a more “democratic” Church, there would be no issue here. The signatories would be conceded the habitual slack, which by now is customarily cut for wreckers, dissenters and heretics and has been for several decades. Advocate any sort of traditional practice which for generations nurtured the faith of Catholics and the wrath of the hierarchy will fall on you. Call for respect for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and you’ll be run out of town. Turn the Mass into a hootenany and preach that the Eucharist is some sort of symbolic meal and you become the parish liturgical guru.

    What does this tell us about the direction of the Church in America today? Who said the Bishops now longer wish to exercise authority? They’ll use it alright! To stamp on anyone who shows signs of not having imbibed the AmChurch Kool Aid.

    However, I don’t believe that this alone is what made the bishop see red. The signatories really crossed the line when they advocated the withholding of money. Whoooaaaaa!!!!! Big red flag for a bishop! You can call into question Church teaching or monkey around with the liturgy and that’s OK. You can even even sodomize the children of your parishioners and you’ll be counseled and consoled. But what will definitely see you on the receiving end of an episcopal rocket is attempting to screw up the money supply or soliciting others to do so. Now that will put you in deep do-do in a skinny minute.

  • I fear for how a poor, working class recent immigrant who loves their church must feel about this. It smacks of Gnosticism, a “we know best” attitude on part of the trads. Something the Church decided to leave behind well before latin was ever the main language.

    I fear for the souls of these people.

  • TKozal,

    You condescenion towards the working class may cause one pause to consider your arrogance vs. your condemnation of the traditional.

    Who is proposing the “we know best”?  Sounds like you are taking the role of the all-knowing here, speaking for the “poor, working class, recent immigrant who loves the church”.  Your demeanor smacks of the worst kind of pride, while the traditionalists are appealing to the heavenly father for his fatherly guidance.


  • umm Condescension? I think not, not when compared to the arrogance of trads, my friend.  The simple, basic catholic wants none of these gnostic bordering on schismatic things.

    One mass for all in one rite.

  • TK,

    Good TK,

    So then let the (sarc) pitiable “simple basic catholic” decide that, rather than you demanding from high that Catholics dispose of their traditions to meet your idea of fashion.

    If I recall, Gods house has many rooms, and Jesus compares His only one Church to one tree with many branches, neither of which require your demands to trash 2000 years of religious devotion.


  • I am completely sympathetic to the ideas in the flier.  I am a little queasy, though, with its tone.  I can understand any Bishop feeling “pushed”.

    That being said, until the Bishop’s responses to dissent (liberal and traditional) are consistent, the laity will be made suseptible to breaking the fourth Commandment.

    Garbage in, garbage out.

  • RPF,

    I think we’d all prefer sounding brass and tinkling cymbals to Marty Haugen.  tongue laugh

    My job, thank God, isn’t to judge which of the participants amounts to something, and which to nothing.  I am not saying that charity is unimportant, but that giving scandal which leads to a sin against charity is just as bad as taking scandal and sinning against charity.  We can share in another’s sin by provoking it.

    If someone sees a lack of charity, let him correct his brother, but only according to the principles of fraternal correction.  Among those principles is that the fraternal correction must have a likelihood of success, and is not likely to provoke more sin. 

    As far as the signs of respect for our Lord, if at the name of Jesus every knee should be bent, then what about genuflecting at the name of the Lord in “Ecce (genuflect) Agnus Dei, Ecce (genuflect) qui tollit peccata mundi, Beati qui ad caenam agni vocati sunt.  (Genuflect, or begin kneeling) Domine, non sum dignus, ut intres sub tecum meum, sed tantum dic (Genuflect?) verbo, et sanabitur anima mea.” 

    The problem here doesn’t seem to be that individuals are following their own consciences and the promptings of the Spirit, but that they are apparently organizing together to follow their own liturgical norms as de facto normal—at least for this parish—in rebellion against those norms officially and explicitly declared.  What could be allowed before—kneeling after the Agnus Dei in violation of the Papal Indult, or wearing a rainbow sash for the heck of it—cannot be allowed once it becomes a sign of adherence to a public rebellion against the Church.  The flyer does not argue that this should be done from conscience, but that it is a good object which can help accomplish the desired end of “Saving St. Mary’s”. 

    Kneeling physically before the Lord is important, but you also need to kneel before the Lord in the form of the bishop, whose authority is in His Name.  Just as the Lord imprisoned in the form of impure bread—mixed with sugar or honey, for example—is still the Lord and deserving of our Adoration, so also is the Lord still present in the lawful superior and deserving of our obedience, even if the superior is in such a deficient form as Tod.  It is not that Tod has control over all posture during the liturgy, of course, but that Tod has been given particular authority by the universal Bishop, the Bishop of Rome, over this question of declaring the norm of posture after the Agnus Dei.  Ultimately, the liturgical authority being protested in the name of “conscience” here is that of the Apostolic See.

    I really think that it would be a greater “act of humility” (the name for the Domine, non sum dignus) for one to stand in obedience to the bishop, than to kneel according to one’s own desires.  “I will be more humble than my lawful superior allows me to be” isn’t very humble. 


    I understand that the Church in Orange is run by an orangutan.  But if the argument is that the orangutan has lost his mitre (i.e. is out of Communion with the Apostolic See), then participation at a Mass at which “Orangutan our Bishop” is mentioned by name in the canon might become schismatic itself, no?  Also, kneeling after “dona nobis pacem” then becomes a public and formal sign of belief that the See of Orange is vacant.

  • JBP,


    2199 The fourth commandment is addressed expressly to children in their relationship to their father and mother, because this relationship is the most universal. It likewise concerns the ties of kinship between members of the extended family. It requires honor, affection, and gratitude toward elders and ancestors. Finally, it extends to the duties of pupils to teachers, employees to employers, subordinates to leaders, citizens to their country, and to those who administer or govern it.

  • Is anybody here familiar with the Neocatechumenal Way? 

    I am not a member of Saint Mary’s by the Sea, but I am a member of the Diocese of Orange.  If you are not familiar with the Neocatechumenal Way here is a good article that can give you some clarity as to they way they celebrate Mass.

    Being such the case this movement is gaining ground at the Diocese of Orange and never I have heard that Bishop Brown has asked them to correct the way they celebrate Mass.  The most anyone with authority has done in the line of correction was the pastor of a parish in Santa Ana, Our Lady of the Pillar.  He asked for the Neocatechumenal people at this parish to use an actual altar during their Masses and to stop doing what they call the “Ecco”, which are basically homilies from all the members of the congregation.  Well this did not do much as for corrections, they left the parish and were invited to relocate to another parish in same city.  This movement has been in the Diocese since Bishop Brown has been in charge, since 1998.  Not once has he asked them to correct themselves even after numerous complaints from different people.  And there is no argument; many of the things they do during their Masses are extremely questionable. 

    Can you see the double standard?  The issue at Saint Mary’s is more than kneeling after the “Agnus Dei.”  It is about the constant reminder that for more than twenty years this parish became a liturgical oasis under the care of Father Daniel Johnson.  Back in the days of Father Johnson, people would come from miles to be part of this liturgical experience.  Masses were packed.  Something was going on that you did not see anywhere in the Diocese.  Now, the excuse that the current Administrator is using for the implementation of the changes is that the parish needs to be part of the uniformity of the Diocese. 

    This is nonsense, I attend different Masses at different churches throughout the Diocese and the only uniformity that I have seen is the contempt for actual liturgical norms.  Every week I have to offer up my sufferings and long for the day when, if allowed by the grace of God, I will be part of the eternal heavenly liturgy that will not have water-down theology, abusive use of extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers, women dresses with pants that they were only able to fit with butter and they can only take off with a potato peeler and many other things.

  • This is just dumb. Smarter bishops give people who want altar rails and kneeling at the Angnus Dei, etc., etc. their own parish where they can do it the old way. This takes the pressure off everywhere else.

  • seamole,
    there is no offense against chairty here. There certainly might be a lack of diplomacy in an effort to make things right.  The one giving scandal or acting uncharitably seems to be coming from the bishop and his represntative of that parish.

    I am somewhat surprised that you would term the bishop of the diocese of Orange to a orangutan. Might this not be a questionable sign of “uncharitableness”?

    Yes, we must always Honor to our parents. But we are not obliged to obey them if they ask us to do what is against the Will of God or to deliberately disobey the Teaching Magisterium in faith or morals.

  • TK:

    Let’s cut the Trads a little slack on this one, shall we? Were they disrespectful and uncharitable? Maybe. Maybe not.

    One thing is for sure, though. A lot of people have had enough. They’re ticked. And they have a right to be. They’ve watched 40 years of liturgical lunacy and catechetical mayhem go unchecked. They’ve watched seminaries and the priesthood become faggot-infested. As a result of this, right now, they’re watching dioceses being bankrupted and millions of dollars of their hard earned pennies being used in abuse settlements. They’ve watched a couple of generations sold a bill of damaged goods with respect to the Catholic faith and they figure that if the bishops won’t defend the faith, then they will.

    So yeah, there’s a few people out there a little steamed up. But to focus on their human weakness and how they express their exasperation in this matter is to miss the point entirely. That the bishop should react in this manner is utterly ridiculous. How many “Catholic” abortion-rights supporters has he expelled recently? How many openly defiant homosexual marriage protestors? I’m thinking a number not unadjacent to zero.

    Are these Trads a bigger danger to the faith than these others? Less Catholic? A greater source of confusion and conflict?

    What suddenly happened to the “big tent”??

  • Fear not Orange County!

    Solution set being worked on by the Pope can be found at:

    Our Lady of the Angels Church
    1100 W. Duarte Road
    Sunday 7:30am & 10:00am
    Mon-Sat 8:00am

  • Thomas, 

    Do you know how far Arcadia is from Orange County?  And besides is this an independent church?  If it is, do not bother to promote it, we already have a similar church here in the Diocese called our Lady Help of Christians.  It is located at the city of Garden Grove.  The existence of this particular church is only helping Bishop Brown because those who do not have the stomach to make a stand go there and operate in their little universe pretending that everything is fine and dandy.  Numbers mean something, those who left are no longer here with us to speak out and remind Bishop Brown that not everything is fine and there that there are those who are watching him. 

    So if this church in Arcadia is like the church in Garden Grove, I say, thanks but no thanks, I want to honor the memory of Saint Thomas More and stand firm not matter how ugly it gets.

  • marshmallow,  you have said it very well.

    It seems that too many have their heads in the sand.

  • Great observation Miguel. I have experienced the same many, many, many times.  In fact my wife and I travel 25 miles to a parish to get away from this kind of thing.

    This is nonsense, I attend different Masses at different churches throughout the Diocese and the only uniformity that I have seen is the contempt for actual liturgical norms.  Every week I have to offer up my sufferings and long for the day when, if allowed by the grace of God, I will be part of the eternal heavenly liturgy that will not have water-down theology, abusive use of extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers, women dresses with pants that they were only able to fit with butter and they can only take off with a potato peeler and many other things.

    Posted by Miguel Agustin Pro

  • Seamole

    >>My job, thank God, isn’t to judge which of the participants amounts to something, and which to nothing. 

    I hope you don’t think that I am doing this, as a rule I try not to judge people I know only by a pseudonym.  What I do like to do is correct percieved errors.

    First of all if A sin against charity and B responds in kind, then A may share guilt for the sin of B, however if B is a priest or bishop B should know better.  HOWEVER MY POINT WAS THAT A DID NOT SIN AGAINST CHARITY, according to what I read.

    Secondly, Sacred Scripture does not say at the name of Jesus—or any pronoun, relative pronoun, or title that relates to Him—every knee must bow.
    And even if it did, although I do keep the tradition of bowing my head at the Holy Name, we are not literalists or fundamentalists!

    Thirdly since conscience is formed by reason, society, Scriptures, and the Church; it is indeed possible for a person to follow his conscience in the exact same way that a group did, as if this was a moral (or liturgical) norm.  And since the Tradition in the Western Church before the council, as well as the norm TODAY in the US (usccb approved), England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Germany, Poland… was/is to kneel, it is not unreasonable for their conscience to tell them that this norm may be immoral. Since, as Lumen Gentium and Canon Law discribe the duty of the lay Catholic to his Bishop is OBSEQUIUM (respect) and not nessisarliy OBOEDITUS (subserviance) a Catholic does indeed have a duty to follow his conscience over the dicta of his Bishop (c.f. St. Thomas).

    ALSO FYI on the matter of Sacramental Theology…

    For valid consecration the hosts must be:

    made of wheaten flour, mixed with pure natural water, baked in an oven, or between two heated iron moulds, and they MUST NOT be CORRUPTED (Miss. Rom., De Defectibus, III, 1).

  • RPF,

    You’ve got the order confused, I think.  A is the priest or bishop.  A takes some action.  B, in response, produces and distributes the flyer.  A claims that B’s action lacks charity. 

    You claim that B’s action shows no evidence of a lack of charity.  OK, B accuses three diocesan organizations of heresy, and one of abortion and contraception, a former priest of a scandalous lifestyle and a bishop of hiding the truth about it.  Have you truly investigated the known facts surrounding these cases and found whether the conclusions reached by the pamphleteers are justified in charity?  If not, then how can you acquit them of sins against charity?  In fact, how can you acquit them at all, when the sin could be hidden in their hearts?  So at best you are saying that one cannot accuse them of lack of charity without assuming the worst, and being uncharitable himself.  And so the cycle of accusations about uncharitability continues.  Let God judge the hearts of men definitively, and let men in the Church avoid the occasion of quibbling brought about by accusations of lack of charity in arguments.  Don’t even validate the argument by stating that you don’t see any sin against charity. 

    You claim that canon law does not require OBOEDITUS to the Supreme Roman Pontiff.  Canon 212.1:

    Can. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.

    The Latin, BTW, is “christiana oboedientia”. 

    The appeal to conscience over obedience requires the authority to have ordered you to commit a sin.  If the sin is subjective, for example if kneeling is necessary for you to achieve a proper disposition for receiving, then the pamphlets ought to have indicated this.  If the sin is objective, then what is it?  You appear to be claiming that the sin is against Tradition, that the Apostolic See has no authority to alter the rubric of kneeling after the Agnus Dei.  That’s fascinating, in a train wreck sense.  See Redemptionis Sacramentum, paragraphs 1-18 for magisterial teaching to the contrary. Regardless, the pamphlet doesn’t state that standing is a sin at all, rather using the diocese’s failure to discipline the Neocatechumenates as some sort of justification for “insist[ing] that our traditions be respected”.

    Lastly, as far as I can tell, your quote on Sacramental validity does not come from De Defectibus, at least not the original one.  A molecule of other matter would not alter the validity of the wheat bread or its nature, and how many molecules of other matter do enter into the flour under normal conditions?  A stray bacterium will contain some glucose, for example.  The word “corrupt” in De Defectibus refers to corruption from decay, as you can see in point 5.

  • Blanchard,

    As I said, charity seems irrelevant to the issue at hand.  If there is uncharity on the part of the parishioners, then it may have been provoked as you said by the clerics.  And, no doubt, vice versa.

    It seems whenever there’s a spat in the Church, one side accuses the other of a lack of charity.  And that’s idiotic, as I said, because it’s not charitable to accuse of being uncharitable an adversary in an argument about which of you is acting more immorally.  You can only correct people who will listen to you.

    Obviously I don’t really think the bishop is a monkey, because monkeys can’t be bishops, only humans.  Even if you tried to consecrate a monkey as bishop, it would be invalid matter.  Thus the orangutan could not lose a mitre he never had. 

    I am merely conceding the point, which it seems that a lot of off-topic posts on this thread are leading us to reach.  Again, it doesn’t matter if the bishop is a murderer, prostitute or stigmatic.  As long as he’s a bishop, he gets to set this particular norm.  I think it’s a stupid norm, but I don’t see it as sinful to follow.  Sinful to issue, perhaps.  Sinful to name a child “Tod”, definitely.

  • seamole ,

    The point here, is not if a bishop is a sinner because he commits murder, or prostitution, or otherwise; it is whether he is one with “Peter”. If, in fact he is not, then his office of ruling is “voided” and hence his norms, if unjust, are not carrying the weight of “obedience”.

  • Blanchard,

    Once again, if you think he’s not the bishop, then assisting at a Mass at which his name is read in the canon is objectively sinful.  They must leave St. Mary’s.

    The excommunication of the bishop needs to have been effective at the moment of his order w/r/t the liturgy (about a year ago) for it to be a valid argument against obedience to that order.

    If this is the belief of the protesters, then the pastor has erred in not declaring them officially excommunicated from his church and in not denying them Communion.

  • Seamole,

    I did not say he is not the bishop. He still is a consecrated bishop. He still lawfully administers the Sacraments to the faithful. Until Rome recognizes the fact that the bishop is not one with Rome, then Peter and only Peter removes the bishop.

    I am only guestioning the bishop’s lawful right to be given “obedience” from the faithful. Remember, if it is a proven fact, a documented fact that the bishop is not one with Peter, the in conscience the faithful have just cause not to obey him.

  • Blanchard,

    Canon law declares that excommunication for heresy or schism immediately and without sentence (latae sententiae) deprives an office holder of his ecclesiastical authority.  Therefore, he is not the bishop if he is out of Communion with Rome.  It is an either/or situation.  You do not have to wait for Rome to rule. 

    In fact, you aren’t waiting for Rome to rule.  You have already declared his office vacant.  By appealing to Tod Brown’s excommunication, you are stating that he did not possess the administrative power proper to his office by virtue of the liturgical Indult at the moment he made the decision on it.  This adds new meaning to the decision to kneel at the Agnus Dei, and makes it a manifestation of your schism with Tod Brown.  By imbuing the act with this meaning, you have voided the applicability of Cardinal Arinze’s responsum ad dubium, which refers to posture in the general sense, not when posture is used to manifest one’s schism with a bishop and the priest who is celebrating Mass.

    You are trying to have your cake and eat it too.  Another word for this is hypocrisy.  You want the Sacraments celebrated by priests whose authority derives from Tod Brown and who themselves claim to be in Communion with Tod Brown, but when Tod Brown makes a decision you don’t like you claim you don’t have to acknowledge it because you expect Rome will remove him.

    Also, if you are wrong that Tod Brown is out of Communion with Rome, i.e. if Rome overrules you, then you yourself are out of Communion with Rome, period.  The sin of schism extends to breaking Communion with anyone with whom the Bishop of Rome is in Communion.

  • seamole,
    Boy, you sure can get the issue all tangled up and out of the boundries of the discussion at hand.

    Let it be clear, I do not have any authority to declare any bishop to be in dissent.  No layperson has any kind of authority whatsoever to declare any bishopric to be vacant.

  • Can. 375 §1 By divine institution, Bishops succeed the Apostles through the Holy Spirit who is given to them. They are constituted Pastors in the Church, to be the teachers of doctrine, the priests of sacred worship and the ministers of governance.

    §2 By their episcopal consecration, Bishops receive, together with the office of sanctifying, the offices also of teaching and of ruling, which however, by their nature, can be exercised only in hierarchical communion with the head of the College and its members.