Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Liturgical Police Sting in Kohler!

In Kohler, WI, a new blog was started by a Catholic who feels fatherless (FL). Why exactly, because Bob Lotz, the priest at St. John's in Kohler does not refer to God as Father and does not celebrate the Mass "by the book."

In one of her/his latest blog entries, FL goes point by point of the abuses and follows with a long list of addresses for concerned citizens to write to.

FL, among a few others, seems concerned that Jesus may not be coming Mass (or at least not coming to Mass happily) because Lotz celebrates Mass a little different than the GIRM exactly specifies.

There seems to be a concern that using a glass cruet at consecration means that Jesus will not become present in the wine or least disdains having to become present within in it. Jesus: "Well, the the Pope said, ‘No glass,’ so I guess I’ll skip this Mass.”

And I'm certain that in the first decades of the church, before the Mass became standardized, that people substituted all sorts of words for Father and used many non-standard materials for chalices. According to FC's logic, I bet Peter and Paul themselves said a few illicit or invalid Masses. And since the synoptic Gospels portray Jesus as using different words and rubrics during the Last Supper, perhaps two of the Gospels have taught us illicit or invalid consecrations.

This is just nitpicking legalism. In any case, the Mass is always in need of reform. If it was not, then the bishops of our church would not be constantly changing it. Where does the legalism end?

A Faithful Catholic


Terrence Berres said...

"Where does the legalism end?"

I believe I discerned that line at a parish meeting on liturgy. The pastor said he would not genuflect at the Consecration, though he acknowledged that was the rule, and said he would enforce the rule against any communicants genuflecting before receiving.

Faithful Catholic said...


What do you mean that he would enforce the rule against any communicants genuflecting before receiving. I know that that it is not liturgically correct, but I didn't know there was an enforceable rule against it. Please enlighten the ignorant.

A Faithful Catholic

Dad29 said...

Why am I not surprised at your confused rant, FC?

1) There ARE rules which MUST be followed. You don't know what Peter, Paul, Linus, and Clement did, and it is irrelevant, because there is current legislation.

2) Depending on how Fr. Rebellious in Kohler says the formula of Consecration, he may well NOT confect the Eucharist, which is a concern to any Catholic worthy of the name.

And by the way, your flip "...Jesus might not come..." demonstrates precisely the lack of respect and reverence which infects a number of Milwaukee-area priests.

The "legalism" ends when obedience begins. Most teenagers learn that. But some who didn't went to the Milwaukee Seminary and actually never reached maturity.

Terrence Berres said...

As I understand it, the U.S. Bishops prescribed a bow of the head as the gesture of respect before receiving. (Our parish liturgy team came up with its own variation, instead having us bow during the "Lord, I am not worthy... .") The pastor said if someone genuflected instead, he'd later have to take them aside and tell them they were violating the parish custom against kneeling.

A couple had come to the meeting to appeal for more reverence at Mass, and cited the priest genuflecting at the Consecration as a particular example. The pastor went so far as to shuffle about on his knees, in an attempt to convince all present that kneeling can't be a gesture of reverence, only of petition. I suppose that means it would have done no good for someone to get on their knees and beg him to genuflect.

Anonymous said...

The funny thing is that the description of liturgical policeman implies that a lay person actually has the power to do something to force a priest to follow the liturgical norms set forth by the Holy See.

In reality, the people with the power to enforce the Liturgical Norms are the Bishops of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee who at the present moment are silent on these issues and obviously tolerating these things.

Even Father Lotz at St. John has made it clear to this lowly lay person (far from any one with any power to enforce any of the liturgical rules) that he is not sticking his neck out here in this Archdiocese by being disobedient to legitimate Church authorities on the Liturgy.

Redemptionis Sacramentum says:

"Christ’s faithful have the right that ecclesiastical authority should fully and efficaciously regulate the Sacred Liturgy lest it should ever seem to be “anyone’s private property, whether of the celebrant or of the community in which the mysteries are celebrated”"

Unfortunately, Father Lotz behaves as though the Liturgy belongs to him personally and when he was told that his words and actions were offensive to those in the community because they were not in line with the instructions of the Holy See, his response was 'I will not celebrate the Liturgy in a way that makes me uncomfortable!" How dare the Pope tell him how to celebrate HIS dinner party!!!!!

In other words, the Liturgy belongs to him and not to the Church and he can do these things because he is the presider over the Liturgy and the lay people (who according to legitimate Church authority have the right to receive a licit and obedient Liturgy) are forced to endure his performance. This is clericalism at its worst and the good people of Kohler are victims which is a far cry from being policemen as we have very little power if any to change any of it.

Faithful Catholic said...

It's clericalism because he changed a couple things that had been put together by another cleric? Did I miss something? Did you have input in the making of the GIRM, or any other lay person for that matter? Couldn't I just as easily as you say that the current GIRM is clericalism at its worst?

Terrence Berres said...

"It's clericalism because he changed a couple things that had been put together by another cleric?"

So, unlike the Centurion (Matthew 8:5-13), a pastor is not a man under authority?

M.Z. said...

While I'm sympathetic to concerns about liturgical police and have a general disdain for letter writing campaigns, the objections are legitimate. You obfuscate your point about being deferential to legitimate authority when you deny the significance of the priest not being deferential.

m.z. said...

Couldn't I just as easily as you say that the current GIRM is clericalism at its worst?(emp. added)

I see you're one of those types. Learn what clericalism is. Then learn that clericalism has never been an issue in the country, and realize that clericalism will never be a problem in this country.