THE SAINT PHILOMENA MESSENGER
Dear Friends of Saint Philomena,
Our last issue was dedicated to explaining the reasons for our celebrating
the traditional Roman
Many of you wrote in to thank us for our words. Some asked for extra copies, a few courteously reasoned against our position. No hostile reaction was received. Nobody demanded to be removed from the mailing list. This is very encouraging, for the debate in the Church continues.
So it must. We are living in extreme times. Never in her history has the One True Church been so assailed by her enemies, so wounded, so weak, appearing to be dying on the Cross once more. But, she can never be conquered. True, she may appear to die, but she will rise again! We have the promise of Our Lord: “the gates of hell shall not prevail” (Mt. 16:18).
MAKING SENSE OF THE MADNESS
To an outside observer, today’s Catholic Church appears to be dying. Worse, it is self-destructing. Whilst its leaders - perhaps justifiably likened to two of the “Three Brass Monkeys” – “See no evil” and “Hear no evil” -continue to grin and sing the song of the so-called “New Pentecost” of Vatican II, that the “Great Renewal” is taking place; churches, seminaries, convents close, vocations are ever fewer,millions become Protestant or just cease to practice their faith, our poor parish churches and cathedrals that remain are stripped of their beauty (at vast expense) to become centres for a liturgy that is –apart from being the occasion of daily sacrilege- banal, uninspiring and embarrassingly childish.
This situation, unparalleled in Church history, has been described as one of “diabolical disorientation”.
Diabolical disorientation is when the Church, the barque of Peter, is abnormally tossed about by the devil. No immediate human solution can be found. Divine intervention is the only answer. In conditions like this one might think that the Church must sink. Of course it cannot. We must continue to have faith and pray.
We must never lose courage, especially when, after forty years of misery there is hope, at last, on the horizon.
For almost 40 years now, Catholics of tradition have fought for the correct translation of the formula of Consecration in the Mass. As a Protestant (Anglican) I well remember our (defective) liturgy correctly translated the words of Our Lord for the consecration of the chalice:
“This is my Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins” (Book of Common Prayer).
In St. Matthew’s Gospel we read: Jesus “taking the chalice…
gave thanks and gave to them
“For many” is a correct translation of the Latin “pro multis”. In the new Mass the “translation” is “for all”. In Latin this would read “pro omnibus”.
This a very, very serious deliberate mistranslation, based upon mistaken
At last the Vatican has commanded that the words “pro multis”
be correctly translated as “for
This is a sign of great hope and a reason to give thanks to God for Pope Benedict XVI. We need to pray for our Holy Father!
More cause for hope in to be found in so far as it is no longer fashionable to criticize the priest for “turning his back on the people, i.e. –insulting them” during the celebration of Mass.
When the priest offers Mass, he is not turning away from the people, but turning towards God!
In the time when Jesus walked this earth, Jews prayed facing Jerusalem –as they do today- they face the Jerusalem temple – or, what is left of it after its destruction by the Romans in 70 A.D.
After the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ the Apostles taught the faithful to pray towards the east because when Jesus ascended into Heaven He rose towards the east and they believed that He will return in glory from the same direction.
Christians – Catholics_ worshipped facing east from the earliest
times. Churches were built
Our Holy Father Benedict XVI has this to say:
He continues: “The common turning towards the east was not a ‘celebration towards the wall’….For just as the congregation in the synagogue looked towards Jerusalem, so in the Christian Liturgy the congregation looked together “towards the Lord”.
Our Holy Father considers Mass facing the people unhealthy and disoriented:
”The turning of the priest towards the people has turned the community into a self-enclosed circle.” In facing east “they did not close themselves into a circle; they did not gaze at one another, but ….they set their gaze on Christ who comes to meet us.”
For my tiny part, I have fought an apparently losing battle since being
confronted with “Novus
The Pope has argued for more than twenty years that the “spread
of the celebration of Mass
We can do no more than agree and pray that the Good God will give our Holy Father the courage to put into practice his beliefs!
Since we now find ourselves coming to the end of the Holy Season of Lent, we wish you and your loved ones a most Blessed and Holy Easter!
Let us turn towards the Lord!