Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"The Exodus Begins, Come Let Us Go"

 
This photo from the Cleveland Plains Dealer, of the new St Peter's parish, may be worth far more than a thousand words for the Archdiocese of Cleveland and the halls of Rome.

 
The new break away community of St. Peter's in Cleveland is perhaps a more threatening situation for hierarchical authority than St Stanislaus Kostka in St. Louis.  In this case a parish community and it's priest has more or less said 'take your church building and shove it', we'll keep our living church.  This is both a simple but very radical understanding.  Once a person has gotten past the unexamined mental connection of church building equals valid parish, and makes the connection that a congregation is in fact centered in it's people,  one is free to begin questioning a whole boat load of other unexamined connections and assumptions.  A person begins to see that there really is a hierarchy of spiritual understandings that the Institutional Church has done it's best to commingle and subsume to clerical authority and tangible signs of power--like church buildings which they control and can close with impunity.
 
St Peter's represents a very possible future for Catholicism.  More and more Catholics who cherish their sacramental, communal, and spiritual life are going to decide that those aspects of their faith are more important than obeying hierarchical decisions.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that the Vatican's failure to put lay sacramental access above mandatory clerical celibacy and the all male priesthood is one of the root causes of parish closures and consolidations.  This position is in fact insulting to the faith of the laity.  There will be more and more parishes like St Peter's who go their own way, and for those whose priests won't follow, these groups will find other sources of priesthood.
 
These parishes will undoubtedly manifest different styles of worship and doctrinal conformity.  Some will be traditionalist in the extreme and some far less so.  They will however share the Living Jesus in all His manifest forms.  It could even be the somewhere down the line there will be a truce called between the various factions of Catholic understanding because all sides will share the same freedom to express their unique understandings.  One thing both sides already share, even if one side seems loathe to admit it, is listening to Rome doesn't imply one will go directly to hell for not obeying Rome. There is a big difference.
 
Most Catholics when pushed to articulate why they are Catholic or why they care about being Catholic, don't wax eloquently on about the triumphant infallible papacy.  Rome does that.  What lay Catholics can wax eloquently about is the spiritual connection they have with Catholicism.  That's true for both trads and progressives.  That they have differences of opinion in how that spiritual connection is fed should not be surprising because that has been a very traditional aspect of Christianity from the get go.  For instance it's hard to imagine the Johanine community which produced the Gospel of John would have derived a great deal of spiritual insight from many of the early Gentile Jesus followers who produced Luke.  These two Gospels, reflecting two different early groups of Jesus followers, speak to two different levels of spiritual understanding.  Just as the whole conflict between the Jerusalem Jewish view and Paul's trans Jewish view was another example of not every follower of Jesus being on the same page. And yet the Church flourished, somehow managing to encompass and finally validate all these diverse spiritual views to some extent or another.  If only the modern Institution could somehow take this lesson from it's Apostolic origins.
 
It won't though, because two thousand years later the emphasis is not on spiritual growth, but economic and secular power.  Uniformity and inculcating obedience to central authority are far more important now than they could ever have been to groups of Jesus followers who essentially had nothing of this sort and didn't care if they did. Just like Jesus taught.
 
The 'exodus' from the controlling tentacles of the Institutional form of Catholicism will escalate as more and more people give themselves permission to exit.  All the Burkian threats will go unheard because they are not about authentic Catholic spirituality.  They are about inauthentic institutional control and Catholics of all persuasions are beginning to develop eyes to see and ears to hear.
 
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Personal update about this blog.  I have pretty much come to the end of my financial ability to sustain Enlightened Catholicism.  In the coming weeks I will be relocating back to Montana and won't have the resources to keep the Internet connection which makes this blog possible.  I am hopeful that given a few months to generate some actual income I will return. EC and the community which shares their thoughts mean too much to me to end in any permanent sense.  Until then, keep the real faith burning.
 
 
 

59 comments:

  1. oh! Sorry to hear that, indeed. In fact, I'm rather shocked. Wish I were in a position to help. I can't believe you will be 'gone' for long, however and the wherewithal must be just around the corner. Great departing post, however, very uplifting and hopeful. This is, indeed, what the Spirit is compelling us to do. Peace/love Jayden

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  2. I'm sorry to hear this. Your blog provides so much enlightenment to me and many others: Thanks from the heart! I hope that you find new resources in your new setting.

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  3. Jeez. It seems like every blog I link to ends up disappearing. I'm beginning to sense a pattern developing. Hope to see you back. I got a lot out of your posts. Well done.

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  4. This is undoubtedly the shape of things to come. In the article you linked to it says, "the bishop sent letters...to each member of St. Peter's, suggesting their salvation was in jeopardy if they conducted worship services outside of a sanctioned church."

    I laughed out loud when I read that. And then I felt bad: either he really believes that, which is sad; or he doesn't believe that, but thinks they will, which is even sadder; or, he doesn't believe that and knows they won't believe it either, but feels obligated to say it, because he's a bishop and bishops are required to say that, which would be saddest of all. The priest's description of this situation as "a tragic comedy" is exactly right.

    I'm very sorry to hear about your situation, Colleen. I wish you well, and hope that you will find the means to return to blogging before too long.

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  5. Prickliest, I read that line as well and my conclusion was your third, that he sent it because he had to and he knew neither he nor his recipients actually believed it. The priest is right, the whole drama in now tragic comedy.

    Thanks folks, I will do my best to find the dinero to keep this going, but in the meantime does anyone want to buy a very nice set of golf clubs?

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  6. Colleen -

    I wish I could help, but am on SS....so....no tengo dinero:(

    A key point is hit upon in this blog entry: the 'church' is not the building. Or the oh-so-precious art work. Etc. It is the people.

    In ancient Greek, 'ekklesia' was a civil law term for an assembly. Assuming Jesus actually used a word related to this in Aramaic.....he referred to 'a ppl set apart, called out, an outcalling'. But nowhere were buildings referenced. Much less a centrally controlled hierarchic entity.

    So whether they be traditionalist in mode, centrist or whatever....the only thing important is that they pray & live as a community. That they focus on Jesus.....and not on paintings & statues.

    Frankly, I am really fed up with seeing ppl touching, kissing, rubbing, offering flowers (and food!) to virtual idols in Catholic churches.....while ignoring the Tabernacle.

    Historical truth: the ONLY real purpose for a church building (originally) was as a chapel to pray before Christ in the tabernacle. Mass can be (and was...) said anywhere. And you can pray anywhere. The ONLY thing which makes a church building special is the Tabernacle. All else is....fluff.

    ...but the consecrated Host can be kept in a lay person's home too.

    Anon Y. Mouse

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  7. Paul tells us that we ourselves are the living stones of the Christian community. For so long I've thought that things like huge churches were forcing so many unnecessary expenses and tying people to the kind of thing which is NOT "the one thing necessary". People can and do meet in all sorts of places. When churches burn or are otherwise unavailable, people find themselves "sharing space" in a variety of ways. Not having a huge building, or the willingness to let go of one, FREES people to find new patterns and to find God in the Presence of the Community when it gathers for the Eucharist, which is the real meaning of what that community ultimately stands for anyway, and is in complete accord with the Early Church.

    It is perhaps very fitting, Colleen, that your blog has to "close" at this exact point.
    At a point where so many of us have already RCC, as it has been, must change (or else the People of God must do the changing!).

    This is a moment of great freedom. And if your blog changes - at this exact moment - that too offers freedom. Others will step into the breech, I feel sure. Perhaps some time away from this "one place" is in order for all of us.

    I bid you good tidings. Montana is a lovely state! And I hope all goes well for your move and in whatever way you feel led by the Spirit.

    Again, I think the timing here is amazing! And fitting.

    God Bless!

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  8. Mouse, there was no sense in the early church of keeping a "tabernacle" for private worship. That custom dates to medieval times, when people began to worship the consecrated elements apart from the Liturgy. We can pray to God anywhere! Making do without a church building will make it clear that God is present when people gather to celebrate Eucharist together.

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  9. Agreed, TheraP....this devotion to the tabernacle developed because the institution strong-armed the Liturgy AWAY from the people..they were 'unworthy.' They were not even allowed to receive Eucharist...the cup having been taken away completely and the bread being allowed only rarely. People found a way to experience the real presence. I believe that the same thing is happening today....the people are finding a way to experience the real true presence of Christ....just not in a building anymore.

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  10. Godspeed on your latest journey, Coleen.

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  11. I know others will disagree with me, but I think the Catholic Church really needs to get past this idea that the priest has some kind of "power" to effect an ontological change in the Eucharistic elements. This is pure ideology. This is what keeps the laity in a state of dependence. For too many people the Eucharist is like a drug, and they think the Catholic priesthood is the only place to get it, because only a Catholic priest is "validly ordained."

    The Eucharist was supposed to be a celebration, not a means to control people.

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  12. "The Eucharist was supposed to be a celebration, not a means to control people"

    Very true.

    TheraP -

    You are correct that the conception of the tabernacle as a standard feature did come much later. Though there seems to be evidence that some early Xtian groups MAY have privately reserved the consecrated host to be brought to the sick.

    I cannot prove that statement - nor do I think anybody can; but it's prolly true to some extent.

    In the earliest forms of the Mass, there was some sort of rite of confession of sin & giving of general absolution. This way (assuming sincere individual contrition) all would be free to receive Communion.

    Most Protestant services include such a rite. Where do you think they got the idea from? :)

    Let's not fall into the trap of (unintentionally) denigrating private prayer before the Tabernacle. An easy trap to fall into. It is ALSO true that Eucharistic Devotion flowered because Communion was being 'restricted'.

    A validly ordained priest IS needed to confect Transubsantiation. BUT the problem has been in ascribing what happens by the power of the Holy Spirit (transubstantiation) to the priest himself. In ordaining him, he is consecrated as a spiritual vessel.

    ...not as Bwana.

    A case of misplaced emphasis....intentionally, to keep the laity in subserviance.

    It is similar with Confession & Absolution from sin. The priest is merely the vessel; NOT the power itself.

    Anon Y. Mouse

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  13. "A validly ordained priest IS needed to confect Transubsantiation."

    According to whom, exactly?

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  14. "Most Catholics when pushed to articulate why they are Catholic or why they care about being Catholic, don't wax eloquently on about the triumphant infallible papacy. Rome does that. What lay Catholics can wax eloquently about is the spiritual connection they have with Catholicism. That's true for both trads and progressives."

    I like this because, even though I don't think I have the vitrol that many others do against the Papacy, I do have at least one foot (and I'm really hoping it turns out that I have more than two feet) in the Trad movement.

    I admire alot of Trads for their obedience to something beyond Roman centralism and whatever the Pope happens to say at the moment----but rather, the enduring principles of sacred small "t" tradition that we have seen sloughed off to great grief of many.

    It's ironic that certain factions of the Trad movement, without being necceassrily sedevacantist, have provided me personally with some of the strongest critical tools against the dominance of the Papacy.

    Two years ago, I would have thought to be "traditional" meant to be "a papist" of a sort. I'm less of that sort of thing every day.

    I'll pray for your financial situation.

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  15. Mouse, remember your own heart is a tabernacle! That is part of the revolutionary Good News of Christianity! That WE are a Temple of God!

    I'm really going to address this issue of the Universal Priesthood. I'm thinking of doing that in a new blog in fact. Lots of work. As it relates to so much in Scripture. And especially to an understanding of Baptism. Baptism, the only Sacrament specifically named in the creed. The sacrament which unites us all.

    Lots to ponder. I don't want to promise too much. But I'd like to create a blog that addresses the theology of these things and refrains from a lot of polemic. Something very much based in Scripture and the Early Fathers. (I was thinking about it already - before Colleen's news.)

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  16. https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=8383701632927065467&postID=1545521813965383055This is a MUST READ:

    http://ochlophobist.blogspot.com/2010/08/well-done-new-satire-blog-catholic.html#links

    I send you to the place where I just learned about it (scroll up to get to the post). You can then read the post - after which, I suspect, you will feel hooked and addicted and click on the "real thing" - Fascist Catholicism. It may just be the place to land while waiting for Colleen's return. ;)

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  17. That was supposed to read a MUST READ:

    http://ochlophobist.blogspot.com/2010/08/well-done-new-satire-blog-catholic.html#links

    I posted where I first learned about "Fascist Catholicism" - and I hope you read it! And follow the link to it. ;)

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  18. I too am so sorry to see this blog go on hiatus. It has been a blessing to me. Will hope Colleen is able to bring it back soon. And I am thankful for what has been shared here so I can learn.

    I've been inside some very beautiful church buildings. Some were beautifully plain and others ornately so. And I've found those buildings assist me in focusing on the relationship between God and me. So I can't be quite so disdainful of the preference for a building or space set aside for the purpose of worship. Can I do without the ritual of lighting a candle in preparation for concerted prayer? Yes, of course. Nor am I attached to a particular building in preference to providing some relief for those who hunger or thirst. But I do also think it reasonable to set aside some portion of resources to set up such a space. Be it in one's private home or in a grand cathedral or something in between.

    Of course I leave it to reasonable people to decide what is reasonable!
    Veronica

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  19. word verification is shtsh....... I missed this yesterday... was busy in the studio......

    So sorry to hear this news... because your blog is so helpful in sorting out a lot of clutter & disinformation from the real information and keeping the focus on the true Faith.

    I can't thank you enough Colleen for bringing us this blog! You will be missed very much!!! I look forward to your return!!

    All the Best Wished for You!!

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  20. "A validly ordained priest IS needed to confect Transubsantiation."

    According to whom, exactly?"

    In reality - while the precise terms used have varied over the ages - this has always been the truth. If I am not validly ordained, I cannot say mass - the heart of which is in transubstantiation.

    There is no point in arguing about what constitutes ordination, as that has changed over time. Its heart is in the laying on of hands & invocation of the Holy Spirit upon the ordinand. This need only take 5 minutes. Ditto for the consecration of a bishop. All else is fluff.

    But the concept of those chosen, prayed over & annointed as some type of elder or 'presbyter' has always been from Apostolic times.

    A group of non-ordained folks holding hands & swaying does not equal a valid mass, regardless of any good & genuine intentions. This notion has been a major flaw in the thinking of Liberal Catholics. It is simply wrong & was never true.

    In the primitive Church someone was always an 'elder'/presbyter (insert term of your choice) who was leading the Eucharistic service. They were always commissioned/ordained by those with Apostolic Succession.

    And if you want a 'whom' to answer that question, one such 'whom' is Mary. In her messages she refers to the "priests, the ministers of my son". That they have a legitimate sacramental office.

    The horrors they have done in deriliction of the spiritual duties is another matter - of which she spoke much!

    Anon Y. Mouse

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  21. TheraP -

    "remember your own heart is a tabernacle!"

    ....when you receive Christ, either in Sacramental or Spiritual Holy Communion, yes.

    Christ is present in many ways; the consecrated Host in the Tabernacle is one. A 'static'one (to use a term I despise). He waits there for us to visit Him in private prayer & adoration. Or even just to sit in His presence.

    That is a different type of presence then that of reception of Communion (Sacramental or Spiritual). It is also short lived.

    One problem with Liberal Catholicism is the reactionary sense many have taken to sound tradtional Catholic theology. In this, ppl are falling into a clever trap laid by Opus Dei. A Strategy of Tension means controlling BOTH sides. Causing them to war against each other & within their ranks. AND to cause both to err in extremes.

    The ministerial priesthood has always had a place in Christianity from the beginning. But not the hierachial sense & structure. The elitism & "priestly caste" mode.

    You can have ordained priests/elders/presbyters (or what have you....) and NOT have hierarchy. Actually you didn't in the early church. As the clergy were in material poverty & dependent upon Providence for their bread, it tended to keep them humble.

    Francis of Assisi rediscovered this in his conversion. He had ministerial/sacramental priests....who were poor, who lived hand to mouth. WHo were at one with the poor. Bringing things back to what Christ intended.

    Sadly, the Church did not listen to him.

    Anon Y Mouse

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  22. Anon Y. Mouse

    I don't know where you're getting your history from, but you're quite mistaken on a number of points.

    In reality - while the precise terms used have varied over the ages - this has always been the truth. If I am not validly ordained, I cannot say mass - the heart of which is in transubstantiation.

    If by "say mass" you mean "preside at the Eucharist," you are quite mistaken. The Eucharist was celebrated prior to the emergence of an ordained ministry. Transubstantiation is a post-apostolic doctrine, so it can hardly be "the heart" of the Eucharist. St. Augustine explicitly rejected the idea that the bread and wine literally become flesh and blood, so it couldn't have been considered that important at the time.

    There is no point in arguing about what constitutes ordination, as that has changed over time.

    If the point at issue is whether a "validly ordained priest is needed" to celebrate the Eucharist, then there certainly is a "point in arguing about what constitutes ordination."

    Its heart is in the laying on of hands & invocation of the Holy Spirit upon the ordinand....But the concept of those chosen, prayed over & annointed as some type of elder or 'presbyter' has always been from Apostolic times...In the primitive Church someone was always an 'elder'/presbyter (insert term of your choice) who was leading the Eucharistic service. They were always commissioned/ordained by those with Apostolic Succession.

    I don't know where you're getting this information from. Perhaps you could cite your sources for this--ancient sources, preferably.

    A group of non-ordained folks holding hands & swaying does not equal a valid mass, regardless of any good & genuine intentions...It is simply wrong & was never true.

    This is a silly caricature.

    And if you want a 'whom' to answer that question, one such 'whom' is Mary. In her messages she refers to the "priests, the ministers of my son".

    Again, I don't know where you're getting this from. Source?

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  23. I don't really have to believe in "Apostolic Succession" in order to believe in Jesus Christ, or to preach the Gospels. The "primitive Church" was really not so primitive. People were truly open to receiving the Holy Spirit and in discerning the Holy Spirit in others!!

    The Church today has so much baggage bogging it down in the form of rituals that essentially are meaningless because the intentions, the ACTS of the Church go against God!

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  24. I will miss this blog so much - I especially liked your comments on the official news from Rome. They were always thought-provoking and put the official word into its proper perspective.
    I will not say good-bye but god-speed till we meet again.

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  25. I have actually begun a little blog as promised. You can find the first post here:

    http://castingwordstothewind.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/baking-bread/

    And the second is now above it.

    I'm going to concentrate on trying to tease out all the aspects of the universal priesthood we were each given at the time of our Baptism - something we need to live into, of course, but it's there for each of us to claim. I'll look at the scriptural grounding for this and also at whatever I can find among the Fathers and Mothers - on up to the present day.

    Mouse, if you want to believe a narrow understanding of God's Presence within the heart - you are welcome to do that. But there is ample scriptural and historical documentation for this understanding - whereas the one you're claiming (as the only one) is of recent origin. Christ tells us in John over and over. Things like "I in you and you in me" and promises the Spirit will remain with us - and his words did not include, in any way, words like "spiritual communion" or the like. (From your comments of late, it appears you have a very mechanistic view of God, as if God's sustaining Presence within the Heart of each of his beloved children were short-lived unless we keep reciting formulas. Not so!) Nevertheless you are entitled to your view, one which seems more indicative of the Old Testament than the New. IMVHO

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  26. PrickliestPear -

    Regardless of your opinion.....there has ALWAYS been 'ordination'. The conferring/passing on of the spiritual power & responsiblity given by Christ to the Apostles, via the laying on of hands. The precise form has changed many times over the centuries. So there has always been an 'ordained ministry'.

    If you do not wish to believe this, then take it up with God.

    "Mass", regardless of rite or form, has always been conducted by some form of 'elder/presbyter'. Christians have ALWAYS believed that the consecrated elements are the literal body & blood of Jesus. True - certain persons of groups diverged on this point. That does not make them correct, as the reality of it has been repeatedly confirmed by Mary & many saints.

    Nobody - least of all me -cares what Augustine said, as his mental gymnastics (along with the occultist Aquinas) have been used as the basis of Canon Law. Which has been used to justify all manner of horror & atrocity.

    My 'carictature' is not silly, it is accurate. As it shows the folly of ppl who do not understand or have been led into unfaith. The 'silliness' is that such think they are 'saying mass'; it is self-deception. They are not - though they may be very well intentioned.

    You claim to be ignorant of the words of Mary over the last 150 years. My suggestion would be to read up about what she has REALLY said. And of what legitimate saints (like Francis of Assisi or Padre Pio) have said of the Blessed Sacrament.

    If you think I am supporting the Imperial Church, you are dead wrong. On the other hand, many 'Liberal Catholics' have allowed themselves to go to the opposite end of extremes. Both are wrong.

    Sanity & spiritual coherence are found toward the middle.

    Anon Y. Mouse

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  27. TheraP -

    "Nevertheless you are entitled to your view, one which seems more indicative of the Old Testament than the New"

    Reality check: the Old & New Testaments are Coherent. All that Christ taught is found in the Old Testament. He was not inventing anything, as God does not change.

    Now (due to much editing & mistranslation by our friends in the Vatican) the OT may SEEM to be vastly different. Or of a different mode.....of different God. But it is not. Linear, textual, AND socio-historical issues of contextual coherence must be comprehended. Despite the Vatican's best efforts.....

    At the same time it is true that when Christ was Incarnate in the mode of Messiah, man had progressed to a level where God could communicate to (more of) him on a different level. Pointing away from strict ritual Fundamentalism to Altruism & beyond.

    Yet Jesus changed NOTHING of the Law. He did place a different emphasis. More on "Thou Shalt...." then "Thou Shalt Not". Every iota of the Law still applies to us. But He taught that we are to go far BEYOND mere slavish obedience to the Law, as if that were all we needed to do!

    As to 'spiritual communion', very real saints have spoken of this; so has Mary & Jesus in legitimate apparitions. As well as the reality of the Tabernacle & the need to visit & console Jesus there.

    'Spiritual Communion' is a very real thing. It is free, and completely out of the clutches of the spiritual frauds in Rome. They think they control God; God always has them checkmated. Spiritual Communion is the penultimate 'escape clause'.

    Let them try to deny you Sacramental Communion. By Excommunication or proferring unconsecrated hosts (intentionally, as they are now doing). They cannot prevent you from access to God. He will come to you in Spiritual Communion. Just ask for it.

    Jesus manifested Himself in the Incarnate human mode of Messiah. Yet he is beside me now. He is also in the Tabernacle in the church up the road. All at once. This is due to the metaphysical & 'super physics' of the interrelationship between Time & Eternity.

    He is, in Eternity, at the right hand of the Father. Yet all of the above are just as real and of now.

    These are different "types" of presence; yet all equal in value. All the same God.

    Anon Y.Mouse

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  28. About Transubstantiation -

    The key to the Transubstantiation is the "imposition of hands". That is, when the hands are held outstretched over the offerings and the appropriate invocation pronounced, it is when the bread and wine are transformed into the true Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    For those with a mind attuned to mystical theology, the highlights of the mechanism are basically as follows:

    At the appropriate invocation, the Spirit of God descends upon the Officiating Priest, enters his physical manifestation [body] at a point located on the forward extreme of the top of the head [where the Flames of the first Pentecost are shown in St. Jude's Epistle and others present at that time] and flows out through the palms of the hands which should be extended over the gifts.

    After this has been properly achieved, then it is proclaimed (confirmed) in Time ["Accipite et manducate ex..."]

    The essence of the substance change is by the action of God through Man (not because of the man). God causes this change & His Spirit makes it.

    I am not the source for the above, nor will I define it. But it is coherent with legitimate understanding of the Sacrament.

    For one to be a legitimate Officiant/Celebrant, one needs to be consecrated & sealed by the Holy Ghost. We are not speaking of 'getting the permission of the bishop' or venerating his backside.
    We speak here of the transmission of a type of 'Apostolic Succession'.

    Like a 'hot potato' one must have it passed to you by one who has it. Without 'consecration/ordination' you cannot say a valid mass.

    In the early church, 'elders/presbyters' were commissioned & sealed by the imposition of hands & the invoking of the Holy Spirit. Annointing them with oil also. Not as exalted rulers, but in the service of Christ as spiritual guides. The Apostles were made into vessels of the Holy Spirit; that is truly what a priest/elder or 'bishop' is supposed to be & do.

    Those who can understand this, let them.

    Anon Y. Mouse

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  29. "In the early church, 'elders/presbyters' were commissioned & sealed by the imposition of hands & the invoking of the Holy Spirit. Annointing them with oil also. Not as exalted rulers, but in the service of Christ as spiritual guides. The Apostles were made into vessels of the Holy Spirit; that is truly what a priest/elder or 'bishop' is supposed to be & do. "

    That was a long time ago, Mouse, the early Church. The RCC hierarchy and Pope Beneduck & cover is not "in the service of Christ as spiritual guides." They are more like spiritual thieves than guides.

    Their priesthood and ordination is utterly a waste and meaningless as they are no longer vessels of the Holy Spirit! Hence "The Exodus Begins, Come Let us Go."

    word verif is lasomen

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  30. A lot of these sites offer the opportunity to contribute to the cost. You should do the same. Every little and other bit would help!

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  31. Butterfly -

    "They are more like spiritual thieves than guides.

    Their priesthood and ordination is utterly a waste and meaningless as they are no longer vessels of the Holy Spirit!"

    Sadly true - both for them & those whom they deceive.

    At the same time, assume for the sake of discussion that their ordinations WERE valid. What exactly do you think that God will do with them in Judgement?

    The answer is easy: they have already judged themselves by gross betrayal. We read of their fate in Revelations.....and it is for that reason that prayer for the conversion of priests & bishops is proper. Those priviledged souls who had have visions of hell have noted many priests, bishops & cardinals there. And foolish laity who were Blind enough to think that they were 'the way to heaven'.

    Christ taught that those in the greatest spiritual danger of damnation are those who 'think' they are pious. Or that membership in something of rank is an automatic ticket.

    In Revelations 18 (read the whole chapter in context) we see:

    "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying: Go out from her, my people; that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues."

    http://drbo.org/chapter/73018.htm

    The admonition is NOT to leave the Catholic Faith, the core of which is VERY true & entirely coherent with the Gospel! But to seperate outselves from the evil mode & control of the Vatican Administrators. To have nothing to do with them.

    "And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth."

    Where else do we find that but in what is atop Vatican Hill?

    Anon Y. Mouse

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  32. Mouse... you need to start a blog...

    Friendly advice.

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  33. TheraP -

    ...and have a 'party van' of Opus Dei thugs show up at my door? I think not.

    Look what they did to thousands upon thousands of the poor in Latin America who dared to protest against the poverty which Opus Dei forced them to live it?

    In real life there are many of just such 'thugs'. They come in different sizes, shapes, genders, cleric & lay. But they are rule by Satan as it is he whom they serve (whether they know it or not). Their kind has been known to torture (physical or psychological), maim or kill their perceived foes. They are not above causing ppl to lose their source of income & become homeless.

    N.B. the exact same types have been noted in Regnum Christ/LC, NeoCats, etc. As they are Opus subsidiaries anyway....

    On orders they have done & will do just such things; and there are written accounts of such by real persons. And you will NOT find this in the NCR....as it is in the OD loop. So...you thought the NCR was truly 'liberal'? The (very sick) joke is on thee.

    Why do you think Fr.James Martin SJ used such cautious diplomacy when he wrote his articles on Opus Dei? Simple: he wanted to live.

    I do not think that most ppl have even contemplated half of this & the ramifications. Very few truly know & serve God. Many serve evil, often thinking they are 'serving God'.

    Conspiracy? Oh yes - the Devil wants you dead for all eternity, separated from God. He will use this or that person to do this. To trick you. He will use those close to you & strangers too. Most mortals do not know how much both real & potential evil there is around them, seen & unseen. Opus Dei is a major factor in this. Evil cloaking itself as good is the Devil's hallmark.

    In the final analysis, you are alone - as it is you & only you who make the choice for or against God. If you make the choice for God, then you must know one overriding reality:

    The only true friend you have is Jesus. He will never desert you. Mortals will. Thus we are alone, yet protected, if we desire His love & help.

    Anon Y. Mouse

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  34. Regardless of your opinion.....there has ALWAYS been 'ordination'. The conferring/passing on of the spiritual power & responsiblity given by Christ to the Apostles, via the laying on of hands. The precise form has changed many times over the centuries. So there has always been an 'ordained ministry'.

    You are making historical assertions that require historical evidence, which in this case would be ancient documents. I take it you don't know of any that would support your position, is this correct?

    If you do not wish to believe this, then take it up with God.

    I had hoped we might have an intelligent exchange. I can see I was barking up the wrong tree.

    "Mass", regardless of rite or form, has always been conducted by some form of 'elder/presbyter'. Christians have ALWAYS believed that the consecrated elements are the literal body & blood of Jesus. True - certain persons of groups diverged on this point. That does not make them correct, as the reality of it has been repeatedly confirmed by Mary & many saints.

    You're obviously referring to apparitions of Mary, as I suspected. If you think this consititutes valid evidence for your position, then obviously I've erred in supposing you could provide any.

    Nobody - least of all me -cares what Augustine said, as his mental gymnastics (along with the occultist Aquinas) have been used as the basis of Canon Law. Which has been used to justify all manner of horror & atrocity.

    Regardless of what one thinks of Augustine, the fact that someone of his prominence could explicitly reject the literalist interpretation of "this is my body, this is my blood," etc., and the fact that his having said so would be copied and preserved by others within the church, shows that the literalist interpretation was not considered essential at the time, even if it was widely believed.

    You claim to be ignorant of the words of Mary over the last 150 years. My suggestion would be to read up about what she has REALLY said. And of what legitimate saints (like Francis of Assisi or Padre Pio) have said of the Blessed Sacrament.

    Thank you for saying that. This tells me everything I need to know about you as far as this conversation goes.

    If you think I am supporting the Imperial Church, you are dead wrong. On the other hand, many 'Liberal Catholics' have allowed themselves to go to the opposite end of extremes. Both are wrong.

    You are uncritically accepting a lot of ideologically-motivated doctrine from said Imperial Church, whether you realise it or not.

    The fact that you think that such things as Marian apparitions consitute valid evidence in support of historical claims effectively disqualifies you from the kind of conversation I thought we were having.

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  35. The fact there is in actual Tabernacle, external to us and housing the Sacrament to which we give such reverence, is what makes this talk of "the Tabernacle of the heart" meaningful.

    To say that an external Tabernacle is not really necessary to Catholic spirituality by appropriating the image internally would be to the eventual irrelevance of the symbol.

    This is part of what I consider the genuis of Catholic spirituality, this correspondence between the inner and the external. Jesus Christ is the true sacrifice. Every week we partake in the sacrificial cult. Jesus Christ is the true high priest. Our religion has priests. The Jews worshipped in the Temple. We have our own temples. The Blessed Virgin is the Ark of the Second Covenant. We worship before the Ark that houses His Presence, and onwards.

    It is a religion of typology, which enriches the internal and gives it dimension exactly for the fact of external counter-part.

    Some people think that "progressive spirituality" means abolishing the external (decrying it as superifical) and absorbing it in the interior. While this is a fulcrum of much of Protestant spirituality, it is not Catholic, and everywhere it is implemented it is proven near sighted: it ends in the loss of a profound sense of mystery and arrives at secularization and often the outright loss of faith.

    I am not criticzing these people's disregard of their bishop, but I disagree with vandalizing Catholic spirituality for progressive ideology.

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  36. JD, you might appreciate this link:

    http://avowofconversation.wordpress.com/2008/06/23/dom-andre-louf-on-the-liturgy-of-the-heart/#comment-1490

    As far as typology goes, if that is your leaning, then you are so close to being Orthodox!

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  37. Prickliest Pear -

    You make it obvious by your words that you do not neither believe that Mary has appeared as a messenger of God to mortals, nor do you believe that what she said is to be taken seriously. That is unfortunate for your soul.

    The Mother of God does not do interdimensional travel, as per the Will of the Father, to come for tea & cookies. What she says thus is of the same import as an Angel whom God has sent to humans. Moreover, what she has said has complete coherence with the Gospel & Scriptural Prophecy.

    If one is going to assert factually (as the Church has done) that Mary has appeared & given messages from God, then what she said MUST be believed. As such has been officially termed Credible. Thus to refuse to believe it is to call Mary a liar.

    So if you assert that you are of the Catholic Faith then logically what she said is for real & you should pay attention to it. Brushing off what Mary has said as if it were mere pious prattle is extremely foolish.

    1) in re Augustine - that he did not believe in the reality of the Eucharist makes him a non-believer. Period. What this shows is that this man had no faith in God & was not Christian. Thus ANYTHING else he had to say is of little relevance to the Catholic Faith.

    Faith in the Eucharist/transubstantiation is not optional.

    2) The conferring/transferring of power & invoking of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands is all throughout Scripture (both Canonical & Non). The Apostles did this when commissioning those for a particular ministerial service.

    Hint: try actually reading the Bible.

    3) as to the words of Mary & of many legitimate saints in re the reality of the Blessed Sacrament - of you cannot accept what they say, then you have no faith. These are men & women given mystical/spiritual knowledge by God. I will take their words any day over an academic theologian, as saints & mystics are taught by the source of all knowledge: God.

    He is the source of knowledge for all Prophets & wise men & women.

    4) The 'Imperial Church' only began to exist at Nicea in 325AD. The true core of the Catholic Faith far predates that, as it goes back to the Apostles. The Imperial Church did not invent the Blessed Sacrament or Transubstantiation, the concept of ordination/consecration of on into God's service. Nor did it invent the Trinity, the Divinity of Christ, et. al. Nor did the 'Early Fathers' invent such.

    Finally - as to the messages of legitimate Marian apparitions - I find it somewhere between amusing & absolutely hysterical that ppl refuse to believe what the Mother of God says (in coherence with Scripture). But they will believe the alleged words of some Vatican approved theologian/writer (living or dead)merely because it has a stamp of approval on it.

    Or (almost as bad) some 'Early Church Father' whose words may well have been 'politically edited' by the Vatican (assuming he actually wrote them).

    Anon Y. Mouse

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  38. Wow, what a string of comments. A friend of mine came through with money to keep the inter net connection, but I will still be off line more or less until I get this relocation thing finished.

    Mouse, your last comment was classified as spam which was why it didn't post right away. I had to clear it for publication...Hmmm.

    There is so much I want to say, but that's going to have to wait. I will say JD is onto something. There is a very important connection between internal focus and belief and the symbolic externals.

    I will also say I find truth in both the positions of Prickliest and Mouse. Truth in this context is different from literal fact. My literal understanding of Mouse's position is probably not Mouse's, although I sometimes wonder.

    It is critical that Catholicism take a serious look at current biblical scholarship and admit there was a great deal of theological development surrounding the meaning and life of Christ. A great deal of it appears motivated by cultural conditioning or authority agendas.
    I encourage readers to check out Far From Rome, linked to the side of this blog- where Prickliest deals with Paul. The truth is that only certain Pauline letters are considered authentic and the theology in these authentic letters is not the mainline theology we have now.

    For my own self, I will say this much for now. Jesus came to teach a Way into the kingdom. What I would call the greater quantum reality in which His father is the grounding and guiding principle. He was somewhat constrained by Judaic traditional religious conceptualizations of humanity and creation.

    He drug His Apostles around 24/7 because they had to live and experience Jesus's reality in order to teach it and to give others access to this same reality.
    It was a highly practical understanding of what could be accomplished in material reality from connection with the greater reality. They did heal, they did cast out what they considered demons, they did manifest, they did get useful information, they did ground their authority first in the person of Jesus and His teachings and then by demonstrating the teachings had serious pracitical merit.

    The theological trend towards abstraction coincides with the downward spiral in practical charismatic application. As leaders no longer demonstrated they could do as Jesus did, they began to find abstract ways to maintain their authority by attaching their status to their connections with previous Apostolic authority and their academic qualifications.

    Hopefully I'll have a new post soon, maybe even tomorrow. In the meantime let the conversation roll.

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  39. If one is going to assert factually (as the Church has done) that Mary has appeared & given messages from God, then what she said MUST be believed. As such has been officially termed Credible. Thus to refuse to believe it is to call Mary a liar.

    The same "Church" that says Marian apparitions are valid also says private revelations are only binding on those who receive them. If you're going to cite the magisterium as an authority, be consistent.

    1) in re Augustine - that he did not believe in the reality of the Eucharist makes him a non-believer. Period. What this shows is that this man had no faith in God & was not Christian. Thus ANYTHING else he had to say is of little relevance to the Catholic Faith.

    Augustine did not believe the bread and wine are physically transformed into the flesh and blood of Christ. The same "Church" you cite to validate your belief in literal Marian apparitions regards him as a saint and a doctor of the church. If they are wrong about Augustine, is it possible also that they were wrong about Marian apparitions?

    2) The conferring/transferring of power & invoking of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands is all throughout Scripture (both Canonical & Non). The Apostles did this when commissioning those for a particular ministerial service.

    Please cite a single passage of scripture depicting the Apostles laying their hands on someone in order to confer the authority to preside over the Eucharist.

    Hint: try actually reading the Bible.

    I've read it, several times. I regularly read the NT in the original Greek. I've even translated large segments of it. I have found nothing that would support your claims. Where in the Bible are you finding this information?

    3) as to the words of Mary & of many legitimate saints in re the reality of the Blessed Sacrament - of you cannot accept what they say, then you have no faith. These are men & women given mystical/spiritual knowledge by God. I will take their words any day over an academic theologian, as saints & mystics are taught by the source of all knowledge: God.

    You are free to believe whatever you want. But you have made dubious historical assertions without providing any valid historical evidence. "Private revelations" are not and cannot be considered valid historical evidence. It astonishes me that I even have to point this out.

    This argument has grown tiresome. If you are not prepared to cite ancient documents in support of your historical assertions regarding ordination and the like, then I see no point in continuing and will not respond.

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  40. "The admonition is NOT to leave the Catholic Faith, the core of which is VERY true & entirely coherent with the Gospel! But to seperate outselves from the evil mode & control of the Vatican Administrators. To have nothing to do with them."

    Mouse, I was not saying to leave the Catholic Faith. If, however, the Catholic Church no longer is exhibiting any Faith and desires to continue to persecute people of Faith, an Exodus is necessary.

    An Exodus in the sense that one will "have nothing to do with them." That would mean, have nothing to do with evil. Yet, even Jesus recognized evil and would often desire to be alone with God. Jesus would then return to the people and heal them and teach them of God's Kingdom.

    Yet, I pray for their conversion.

    I agree with Colleen that JD is on to something. The externals can reflect what is interior in the soul's consciousness of God and Faith itself, say something about God and divine supernatural nature communicating to us as persons and us in communion with God. I'm looking forward to Colleen's reflections and insight into this.

    Mouse, you could write anonymously. You could even write using your own name and not be fearful of evil coming after you. If you write using your own name against Opus Dei, if something were to happen to you, the first suspects would be Opus Dei. Yet, if you are anonymous, who will know of the enemy or the rift?

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  41. Prickliest Pear -

    1) The books of the New Testament were not originally written in Greek. A few may have been; most were definitely not. Secondly the MANY non-Canonical texts were largely not in Greek.

    Many if not most texts were originally written in Aramaic, Hebrew & the Coptic & Syriac tounges. Only at a later date were these translated into Greek - then Latin.

    2) Since you do not believe in 'private revelation' you should therefore rip out the following from your Bible (either their books or references to them):

    Revelations, Isiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Noah, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Ezekiel, Zechariah, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Habakkuk, Haggai, David, Nathan, Gad, Elijah, Joshua, Elisha, Samuel, Saul, Azariah, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, John the Baptist..........and major portions of the words of Jesus, as they are literal prophecies.

    Since Christ's ascension into heaven, God has sent numerous wise men, prophets, scribes (as he indicated prophetically in Matthew 23). Most of these have been (as He prophecied) either ignored and/or persecuted by the Church. The words given by Mary have been both ignored and/or heavily edited so as to eliminate the condemnations God has made against the Vatican.

    ...the sites of her visitations have been turned into Disneylan-type religious theme parks. For this, they will answer to God.

    3) As to Augustine, the Vatican has 'approved' of whatever writer supports their hegemony. All too typically, the 'approved ones' had little to no real faith. In some cases they were so vile as to exhibit symptoms of possession. At best, they merely played semantical/theological gymnastics to 'prove' what was pleasing to their patrons. Not to God.

    By contrast, the words of those with REAL faith are either ignored (or suppressed) or relegated to 3rd class citizenship.

    4) The oh-so-exalted Magisterium has deigned to force the admission that the messages of Mary are 'worthy of belief'....yet refuses to believe in them & do as God requested through them. This is called: Duplicity. It is neither spiritual honesty nor coherence in ANY way.

    In other words: they are full of s***! You either believe something is real - or do not. There is no middle ground. Due to this, subsequent messages have increasingly condemned the Vatican & confirmed its destruction (as prophecied in Scripture) for its sins.

    The penultimate reality is this: the core truths of the Catholic Faith have come down to this day IN SPITE OF the Vatican, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

    As they refuse to listen to Him, they are not led by Him. Two prime examples of this are the election of Ratzinger & the 'canonization' of Escriva.

    Anon Y. Mouse

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  42. Mariolotry: one of the key Achilles' heels of Catholicism. But, then, so are Papal Infallibility, Apostolic Succession and Transubstantiation.

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  43. Two of the four of your achille's heels are fairly bogus. The other two I know exist in some form as an energy event. Very lovely energy. I don't feel compelled to define them as they are literally expressed by Church teaching, nor as abstractly expressed. It is enough for me that they are.

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  44. Speaking of transubstantiation, I've been meaning for a while to write something about this comment about the doctrine made in a published interview by then-Cardinal Ratzinger:

    "But this is not a statement of physics. It has never been asserted that, so to say, nature in a physical sense is being changed. The transformation reaches down to a more profound level. Tradition has it that this is a metaphysical process. Christ lays hold upon what is, from a purely physical viewpoint, bread and wine, in its inmost being, so that it is changed from within and Christ truly gives himself in them." (God and the World, 408)

    I really don't know what to make of that. On the one hand, we're supposed to believe that the bread and wine (physical substances, both) really do become the body and blood of Christ (two physical substances quite different from the first two). On the other hand, there is no physical change. Someone will have to explain that to me.

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  45. Prickliest Pear, I wouldn't trust what the the Pope said about this because his level of spirituality is so backward and shallow and oh so pompous & selfish. He sees the bread and wine and no external change or interior change on a spiritual level. He uses it rather as a tool.

    Here are some thoughts I can offer. They are just my thoughts in the moment.

    Regarding Transubstantiation, it is taken on Faith that there is a "change" in matter taking place in a gathering of the faithful. The matter of bread and wine is changed into the Body & Blood of Jesus Christ. This is what I have been told. That change in my opinion takes place on the condition of the Faith of the priest and the Faith of the congregation, as well as individuals, and the sharing of this bread in remembrance of Jesus. The process of Transubstantiation seems to be communal, of relationship with Christ, and all partake in the "change" of the substance to the body and blood of Jesus via Faith. The priest begins this process. It would seem to me that the "proof" of transubstantiation is in everyone who partakes and receives, is given the opportunity to become "the body of Christ." It is His substance, His Being, that we allow or disallow by our free will and faith to enter into our Being and "change" us. If we can become Christ-like in our Church and in the world and in our homes, we initiate via Faith the Transubstantiation, the process and the effect of which is to ACT like Christ, be as Christ, have Christ present in our ACTS and in our being.

    I am wondering what the Saints say about this Transubstantiation.

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  46. The photo reminds me of Dignity Hartford back in the mid 1980's when we met (over 100 of us) each Sunday evening for Mass in the small basement of a community center. As a gay Catholic coming out in my thirties after a life-long struggle trying to reconcile my faith and my sexuality, I found the Dignity community to be my life-line. The difference was that Dignity initially did not get displaced - we were a community that waited patiently outside the door, hoping to be invited in. Our tenuous relationship with the Archbishop at the time deteriorated completely following the infamous Ratzinger Letter. (http://reluctantrebel.blogspot.com/2009/11/update.html)

    I have since described Dignity as providing my Grace-Full exit from the Catholic Church, to which I will always have genetic and emotional ties. In more recent years Dignity Hartford went through some bizarre changes and is now defunct. I wonder if such prophetic communities are prone to self-destruction.

    As for your suspending the blog and transitioning, I will both wish you the best and say that I always enjoy the current events and the informative articles. I do find that I don't always have the time to read all the articles and your commentary in their entirety (you can be long-winded) - but do so occasionally.
    As I have mentioned once before, the comments section often tends to get off subject and becomes tedious (I am being kind here). It is unfortunate that you do not have a larger, more diverse group of followers/commenters, but I think this may be due in part to the fact that some readers may be "turned-off" to the discussion. Sometimes it really sounds like the Medieval theologians arguing about how many angels could dance on the head of a pin - and no I don't have any historical documentation for that reference. While I am not really interested in arguing theology, I do appreciate the comments of PrickliestPear who has attempted to provide some serious balance to the discussions.
    Wishing you the best. - Frank DeFrancesco

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  47. Prickliest Pear -

    Even Luciferian Thelemists like Alester Crowley understood what Transubstantiation is. While his ilk would describe it 'from the other side of the fence', the same spiritual laws are known by & effect 'both sides'.

    It is a change is the true substance of something, while retaining its mundane outward appearance. Ratzinger speaks Lie: it IS Physics......penultimate Phsyics. What some have called 'high science', of which most classroom academics are clueless.

    The prophet Enoch knew of it in its fundamental systems & properties. The mechanism which makes Transubstantiation occur is indeed 'scientific', but not as most mere mortal understand science. He was taught in these things by both angels & fallen angels, by God's permission.

    The difference is simple: what the priest does on the altar is by the power of God acting through him. What an occultist does is via the power of evil.

    You have heard the phrase "the devil hath power to assume a pleasing form". That is shape-shifting, which is a type of 'transubstantiation', though not literally identical to the Eucharist.

    As to the assertion that, in some manner, the Eucharist is a communal action or that which is dependent upon the community - this is false. Sorry, folks. Proof? A priest who says a private Mass does indeed confect Transubstantiation. It does not depend upon the laity. It is solely dependent upon the action of the Holy Spirit via the vessel of the celebrant (assuming he projects the correct intention).

    However, in a public mass, the laity should unite their intentions with that of the officiating priest. Understood in this light, there is a 'communal' aspect to the Divine Liturgy.


    anon Y. Mouse

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  48. Sometimes, Mouse, you are too self-assured that you are correct about everything. I said that the priest started the process of transubstantiation and never said anything about the priest being alone. The priest in a sense is the community of believers if saying the Mass alone, no? Or, is it a Mass with its own individual personal intentions? Just asking.

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  49. butterfly:

    I wouldn't trust what the the Pope said about this because his level of spirituality is so backward and shallow and oh so pompous & selfish.

    I should clarify: I was not asking whether Ratzinger should be trusted. My own understanding of the Eucharist is very different from both Ratzinger's and that of the Council of Trent. I only meant to point out that the former seems to me quite different from the latter. That a man could say something that contradicts the Tridentine doctrine of transubstantiation (which, as I understand it, asserts that a physical change takes place) and later become pope is rather unexpected. Perhaps I've misunderstood something, but I don't know.

    I did a little research after posting that comment, and found that a number of traditionalist Catholics were actually very upset about Ratzinger's claim that transubstantiation involves a "metaphysical" and not a "physical" change. He made the same point even more explicitly in a more recent book, God Is Near (84-86), which was also upsetting for traditionalists. So I'm not the only one who sees an incongruity between Trent and Ratzinger. But whether there is or not has no bearing on my own understanding, as I disgree with both.

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  50. After those last comments I can truly say I'm inclined to relate intimately with the sentiments of Anne Rice, when she said recently, “For those who care, and I understand if you don't: Today I quit being a Christian ... It's simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I've tried. I've failed. I'm an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.”

    And, you know, I can sit back, watch the action, and enjoy my popcorn.

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  51. Geesh Frank, I barely recall you contributing to any discussion here, but what a fine exit you are making and in a hostile manner.

    Maybe you should read your input here and see that it is "quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious" of you to say Colleen is "long-winded" yet you admittedly did not read everything, so perhaps you do not understand the discussion.

    The many issues we are discussing are not easy and communicating them is not easy either. To be clear in our understanding is a process. I take no offense if someone does not agree with me. Lumping us all in as what you and Anne Rice call "Christians" that you can no longer call yourselves sounds like a real cop-out if I ever heard one.

    Thanks for sharing your hostility and judgmentalism. Enjoy your popcorn!

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  52. Butterfly -

    Let's start with something we both can fully agree on: in a public mass, the laity are not spectators. While I have nothing against the TLM, the reforms of Vatican II were needed...

    ...so that the laity were not moo-cows staring into space:p

    The mass needed to be in the common tongue so ppl would understand what is being said. They need to respond/participate in the mass both verbally & in the silent prayer intentions.

    While the bare mechanics of this have been achieved, we still have moo-cows. Because they a) have not been taught well, and b) many of them are too mentally lazy to do anything but chew their cud.

    In most parishes, many pew sitters are clueless as to why they are there or what is going on. They are 'just beeeing good Cattlicks'....who have not made an examination of conscience in years, much less confessed their sins. They think that 'getting the cookie' is a mere ritual.

    Let's be honest: in many cases I have described most of the ppl in the pews in the average parish.

    Now we DO have some real Catholics (liberal or conservative) in most parishes who know why they go to mass. Do pray. Do unite their intentions with those of the priest. Examine their conscience & know what the Eucharist is.

    In an occult ritual/working, ALL present MUST be of one mind in the intention of the ritual for it to succeed. Not just in reciting/chanting the correct words, & performance of actions, but in consciously projecting the correct intention. Otherwise it fails.

    Given the all too real scenario of a typical parish above, would this construct work for a mass? Nope.

    If we 'do Eucharist together' as an assembly....where does that put those who are clueless? Asleep? Don't care? Want dinner? Are just doing this as a social ritual? Often that accounts for half the congregation. Or more.

    To be fair, I have mentally approached this from every theological, metaphysical....and cold, dead logical approach. It don't woik!

    The only plausibly workable scenario is a 'con-celebrated mass'. Yet even then, the only person whose projected intention counts....is the principal celebrant.

    Anon Y. Mouse

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  53. I disagree mouse. Intent is everything. Your scenario places too many limits on God's interaction.

    Mass is on a very real level an invitation to participate in a Divine action. And not just for the priest and the congregation. Your system implies God can't accept an extended invitation unless everyone is serious about the invitation, including the priest. Jesus guaranteed all such invitations would be accepted. Does that mean a given individual will benefit from the acceptance of the invitation--no, but it does mean than any sincere person whose intent is pure will not have their right to the Presence nor their free choice to recieve compromised by the unbelief or poor intent of others.

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  54. Yes, Colleen, "when two or three are gathered together" - doesn't say anything except "in his name" - that's enough! There was also a heresy that was combated where some wanted to claim that unless a priest was sinless etc the sacrament was invalid. Nope!

    Colleen, get ahold of Andrew Louth's book on mysticism... the latest edition from 2006. And read just the Afterword! It really nails a lot of what we've been discussing, shows how in the 12th century so much went awry - concept of the Eucharist, the Church, and the Priesthood. The west veered off and began to "worship" the "host"... (the priest was viewed as sacred and affecting a miracle) also says fascinating things about women's spirituality at the time. About 15 pages I think. Just reading this now.

    Here's another great link re current events and problematic thinking. Very helpful!

    http://www.incommunion.org/2007/05/09/zealous-for-truth/

    Best wishes as you navigate your changes! (The source of these two articles is the ex-nun, living in a tent - just so you don't feel alone in your current circumstances.)

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  55. Dear Friends and Bloggers on Enlightened Catholicism,

    At the end of this article about the breakaway parish this blog's administrator - COLKOCH - has put in a personal note about financial difficulties she is having at this time in her life. I was saddened that very few of us even commented on her situation. Many went on about this and that point of theology, in some cases very hotly I might add, but seemed to neglect to respond to the reality of C.'s situation.

    As others have said before those on the conservative side of these religious issues are more supportive of those who venture into the public arena and articulate their conservative views publicly. We progressives are not always as forthcoming with real material support for the brave, consistent, articulate, insightful voices that so wonderfully speak out for our vision of progress for the People of God.

    We enjoy our ability to read the information brought to us by those who devote their time and effort to keeping up with the fast moving events in the world of the Church and Spirit. We love to engage others on this blog (and probably other blogs as well) about our reactions and opinions to the latest events that are brought to us here on EC. It is for me a very important place to directly connect to these very crucial issues, a place to feel connected to a community of intelligent and wise spiritual/religious
    folks who are struggling to bring about much need in our Church.

    C. - your passion, wisdom, anger, and ability to analyze and clearly articulate your insights on these issues is such a gift to all of us - a gift that we all need and cannot lose.

    I URGE ALL WHO PARTICIPATE IN THIS BLOG TO MAKE A DONATION TO C. WHO IS SET UP ON PAYPAL. OF COURSE MANY OF US CAN'T BECAUSE OF OUR OWN SITUATION BUT TO THOSE OF US WHO CAN PLEASE DO SO. SEND WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD. THANK YOU.

    C. - Blessing on you for who you are and what you do......Sincerely, Michael Ferri

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  56. Thanks Michael Ferri for writing your open letter.

    Paypal is very easy to set up and it is secure. Any questions please feel free to ask here. Even if you can only send ten dollars would be helpful. If you can send Colleen more, please do and be very generous.

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  57. Re: Donation

    Yes. I do want to support this blog.

    It will take a week or so to get set up, given all that's on my plate right now.

    At the moment I'm looking at a model of a sailing vessel that was constructed by a neighbor. He sold it to me at a yard sale. It is incredible really. The details are so precise that I can see the rigging is set for the wind to propel her along the port tack. He handcrafted every minute piece lovingly.

    I appreciate Colleen's attention to detail, her craft in prose and the spirit it evokes. The cost of internet and/or computer resources is a mere pittance compared to the value of the heart and soul she weaves into every article.

    When my neighbor sold the miniature schooner he told me that if he'd done it for the money he'd only be making about 3 cents per hour. Not really worth it from that point of view. But that's not why he built miniature boats. He was a true amateur, in the best sense of the word. We understand EC is a labor of love and we couldn't possibly pay enough for the riches here.

    Hang in there Colleen!

    p2p

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  58. butterfly –

    I began reading Enlightened Catholicism some years ago as I was/am sympathetic to its prophetic voice. I have commented on a rare occasion but mostly I follow by reading the posts – admittedly not every word and not every post. But I did not realize that comments were limited to an exclusive group of readers.

    I am clearly commenting as an “outsider” and, as such, I think I have a point of view with a unique perspective. Perhaps it is a point of view that can be informative and constructive if not dismissed out of hand as hostile and judgmental. My comments reflect the fact that I care deeply about the potential of Enlightened Catholicism as a source or a voice of contemporary spirituality and the fact that the commentary has not often met my expectations in this regard.

    I apologize for being flippant but my point was that the discussions do not always rise to what I perceive as the visionary level of Enlightened Catholicism, and in my opinion do not do justice to Colleen’s dedication, time, thoughtful commentary and sustained efforts in writing the blog. - Frank DeFrancesco

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  59. Frank, comments have never been limited to an exclusive group of readers. Never. I've been coming to this blog & the one before that Colleen had. We've been through a lot here & sometimes it can get rough because the issues can hit deep. Emotionally. Intellectually. Interiorly. We're trying to discern the truth and get through difficult times. We are truth seekers, mystics, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers from all walks of life.

    Our Church has been led to a dark place by people in darkness. This affects us very deeply. We feel shut out, cut off, abused even, by the RCC hierarchy & this Papacy in particular. We are Catholics, yet are told we are not wanted in our Church and they wish we would just roll over and die. We can't do that, because we have integrity and we have love for our neighbor.

    You are always welcome to comment. No one has control over the comments. Sometimes it takes on a life of its own. It is part of the process of growing & learning & we are each at different levels at different times. We learn about so many things here. It is a lot to digest at times.

    Sometimes we may need to take a break from it and call it a day and just pray, spend time with God alone and meditate, read the Gospels, read something by a mystic, a saint & share that with others in the context of what Colleen has written. Some people who write here are much more learned and scholarly than others, some have other gifts to bring. No one is excluded.

    Sometimes we are on different levels of understanding. The one thing I know for sure is that Colleen has the gift for being able to make sense out of all the craziness that goes on & keep us on the right path. We all go through a time when we might be angry about a particular subject. We have wounds. Deep one's. We need to heal. I hope that this can be a place for people to heal.

    Don't be an outsider Frank. Come on in and we can learn something together. It's not about agreement, it is more about understanding than being understood. It is about being spiritual and dealing with our own selves that we need to let go of to Let God do the work in us, if God so wills and we unite our will with God's.

    Basically, we are all imperfect and rather than focus on that, we need to focus on the one who is perfect and above us all that we have faith in to guide us.

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