Charlie's Blog: Random Thoughts on Various Subjects 37


Random Thoughts on Various Subjects 37

When you battle with your conscience and lose, you win. 


There isn't a day that goes by where I do not read in the Catholic blogosphere or discuss with someone the Liturgy Wars in the Catholic Church. I call them Liturgy Wars because that is what it is. Say what you will, the Tridentine Mass had the supreme virtue of being unifying. Today, you have modernists with their Novus Ordo fighting the traditionalists with their Latin Mass with many faithful Catholics taking a position between these extremes. Regardless of liturgy, I think reverence should always be the aim.

People debate Latin and ad orientem, but I think a study of the history of liturgy can gave us great insight when it comes to the current liturgical debates. One of those things is the rood screen. For those unfamiliar with the term, a rood screen was essentially a barrier between the priest and the people. The priest would consecrate the elements behind the screen away from the people. Rood screens were ubiquitous in Catholic Churches before the Council of Trent and served a similar function as the iconostasis found in Orthodox Churches.

The Protestant Revolutionaries were zealous in their destruction of the rood screens seeing in them idolatry and separation. But the death knell for the rood screen came not from Protestants but from the Council of Trent. Here is a choice quotation fron Wikipedia on the matter:
The decrees of the Council of Trent (1545–1563) enjoined that the celebration of the Mass should be made much more accessible to lay worshippers; and this was widely interpreted as requiring the removal of rood screens as physical and visual barriers, even though the Council had made no explicit condemnation of screens. Already in 1565, Duke Cosimo de' Medici ordered the removal of the tramezzi from the Florentine friary churches of Sante Croce and Santa Maria Novella in accordance with the principles of the Council. In 1577 Carlo Borromeo published Instructionum Fabricae et Sellectilis Ecclesiasticae libri duo, making no mention of the screen and emphasizing the importance of making the high altar visible to all worshippers; and in 1584 the Church of the Gesù was built in Rome as a demonstration the new principles of Tridentine worship, having an altar rail but conspicuously lacking either a central rood or screen. Almost all medieval churches in Italy were subsequently re-ordered following this model; and most screens that impeded the view of the altar were removed, or their screening effect reduced, in other Catholic countries, with exceptions like Toledo Cathedral, Albi Cathedral, the church of Brou in Bourg-en-Bresse; and also in monasteries and convents, where the screen was preserved to maintain the enclosure. In Catholic Europe, parochial rood screens survive in substantial numbers only in Brittany, such as those at Plouvorn, Morbihan and Ploubezre .
As you can read, the Tridentine Mass was revolutionary in its changes. It changed architecture and the style of worship. Plus, it was provoked by those damn Protestants. The goal of these changes was to make the Mass more open and inclusive. Worshipers would participate instead of just sitting there in befuddlement practicing private devotions as the priest and his altar servers did their thing. You can see that Trent and the Novus Ordo had the same end in mind. It is ironic that rad trads today are so willing to go to the mattresses in defense of a traditional mass that broke with tradition in its day. If we are going to bring back Latin and ad orientem, why not the rood screen as well?

Much of my thinking about the liturgy is influenced by a priest who is passionate about the novus ordo mass but who also has a deep knowledge of the history behind our liturgy. His own mass in the ordinary form was thoroughly modern but utterly reverent in its expression. And I understand what he was getting at. He saw what the novus ordo could and should be. Meanwhile, masses in the extraordinary form benefit from the simple fact that both the priest and the people in the pews at a Latin Mass are very passionate and devoted to our Lord and are very reverent. Yet, it was not quite like this prior to Vatican II when the Tridentine Mass was the norm, and people would be fidegting in the pews. In the days of the rood screen, congregants basically operated an open air market and bazaar beyond the screen. You may laugh at this, but I would argue that the cry room present in many Catholic Churches is a reintroduction of the rood screen.

A study of the history of liturgy and reform brings me to one inescapable conclusion. Every solution breeds new problems. This is why I have no problem attending Mass in either the ordinary or the extraordinary form. I'm just not going to the mattresses myself over the issue. Both forms have their virtues and their problems.

The one thing that matters is reverence. When that is lacking, it doesn't matter what form it is in. Some would argue that the extraordinary form is inherently reverent, and I am inclined to agree. But wait until it is celebrated with a disengaged congregation in our smartphone era, and we can see the weakness there. Reverence is more about attitude than form.


It is obvious to virtually everyone that the sheepsuit has dropped off of Pope Francis, and he has decloaked to reveal a Society of Judas wolf underneath. A Protestant friend of mine candidly confessed his admiration for John Paul II but said he did not trust the current pope who cares more about global warming and Marxism than about the faith. Speaking for myself, I had enormous respect for both Pope St. John Paul II and St. Theresa of Calcutta when I was both a Protestant and an atheist. I respected them even if I disagreed with them. Now, I ask for their intercession daily.

Pope Francis is not in the same league as these saints. He brings scandal with him. I pray very much for the Holy Father, and I swear undying allegiance to the Vicar of Christ. But in the end, he is still a man. Ultimately, my allegiance is to Christ. Unfortunately, I think the allegiance of Pope Francis is to himself. I pray for his contrition and repentance.

3. Q&A

Q: Do you believe the Russians hacked, rigged, or influence the 2017 election in favor of Donald Trump?

A: My unqualified answer is no. Of course, evidence to the contrary may emerge, so I will qualify my answer.

I don't think voting machines were hacked or rigged except by Democrats. I do think the Democrat Party is as crooked as any mobster or foreign dictator. I think blue states have vote rigging in favor of Democrats. This happens mostly in cities where Democrats have iron fist control. On a recent pre-election trip to a state that Hillary won, I saw no stickers or posters for her anywhere. But I saw plenty of Trump stuff. Absent the crookedness, I don't think Hillary Clinton won a single state. This stuff needs to be investigated. The Russian thing is a red herring.

Do I think the DNC got hacked by the Russians? This is possible, but I think every other government hacked them as well. This is called "intelligence" which is something the USA engages in constantly. You can take it to the bank that the NSA has hacked some Russian servers and knows all sorts of stuff about Putin. But this hacking would have zero effect on the outcome of the election unless that information was delivered to Wikileaks. We know that it was. But was Russia the source? I doubt it.

I suspect that Russia may be guilty of hacking but not leaking. I think the murdered Seth Rich fellow may have been the source of the DNC info delivered to Wikileaks. The fact that Obama and the Democrats are willing to risk World War III over this makes me think they may have found no qualms about murdering a traitor to their cause.

This leaves the fact that Hillary lost because of that damning information that came from Wikileaks. In the worst case scenario, Russia did a fine job of journalism. They did what our mainstream media no longer do. They helped to inform our electoral process. Only dirty Democrats could see this as an act of war.


A Jesuit and a Franciscan are walking down the street one day when a man approaches them. He asks, " Brothers, have you seen my Mercedes? It has rosary beads hanging from the rear view mirror."

The brothers look at each other.

The Franciscan asks, "What's a Mercedes?"

The Jesuit looks at the Franciscan, slightly horrified and asks, "What's a rosary?"


Liberals imagine that law-abiding citizens do not have any idea how to use a gun responsibly — and that criminals will start following rules.

It is difficult to practice obedience, but it is even more difficult to practice leadership.

The first end I propose in our daily work is to do the will of God; secondly, to do it in the manner He wills it; and thirdly, to do it because it is His will.


--Hillary Clinton running for mayor of New York City only proves that evil never dies and would be the ruination of that great city.

--Chicago is already ruined.

--Apple should go ahead and fire Tim Cook. The reason? AirPods.

--Joe Biden tells Trump to grow up and stop using Twitter. Nevermind that every other world leader including Biden has a Twitter account. Trump actually writes his own tweets which is more grown up than letting a staffer do it for you.

--Colleges and universities today are little more than giant sponges for federal student loan dollars.

--Verizon would be foolish to buy Yahoo.

--Good riddance to Megyn Kelly. I predict her ratings will be lackluster, and she will vanish into obscurity after her programs are cancelled. Fox News just got better.

--Senate Republicans should abolish the filibuster rule they never use for themselves. Even when Republicans win, they lose.

--Defund Planned Parenthood NOW.

--All crimes are hate crimes. But if you insist on prosecuting hate crimes, hating white people for being white should certainly count.

--I reject the Benedict Option. You stay. You fight. The Ben Op is merely a Plan B after they put you out. But you don't retreat until then.

--I hate when musicians talk during a concert. Shut up and perform.