Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Jan, a parishioner at St. Joseph's Parish in Fitchburg: If you don't care for the falsification of Catholic Liturgy, don't come

In my last post, I noted how Saint Joseph's Parish in Fitchburg omitted the Nicene Creed at Holy Mass and that, because I took exception to this, a parishioner left a comment at this Blog calling me an idiot.  Now another parishioner named Jan (who some have indicated is most likely the parish secretary Janice Potter), left a comment here  saying, "What a wonderful church. I love it here. If you have a problem with it, which you obviously do as you seem to slam it every chance you get, then don't come."

In other words, if I believe that the priests who celebrate Mass at Saint Joseph's should not omit the Creed, that's my problem and I am the one who should solve the problem by leaving.

In other words, Jan is implying that that the priest has a right to alter the liturgy at will and to omit the Creed [or anything else he desires] and if I don't like it, I am the problem.

The Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum stresses that, "Whenever an abuse is committed in the celebration of the sacred Liturgy, it is to be seen as a real falsification of Catholic Liturgy. St Thomas wrote, 'the vice of falsehood is perpetrated by anyone who offers worship to God on behalf of the Church in a manner contrary to that which is established by the Church with divine authority, and to which the Church is accustomed.'" (RS, 169).

The same document tells us that, "In order that a remedy may be applied to such abuses, 'there is a pressing need for the biblical and liturgical formation of the people of God, both pastors and faithful,' so that the Church’s faith and discipline concerning the sacred Liturgy may be accurately presented and understood. Where abuses persist, however, proceedings should be undertaken for safeguarding the spiritual patrimony and rights of the Church in accordance with the law, employing all legitimate means." (RS, 170).

An excellent article over at EWTN tells us that:

"When the justice of obedience to ecclesiastical law is not rendered and thus the proper Order of the Mass is violated, there can be no real unity in the parish and thus no peace. As a result, the Catholic unity of communion with the bishop and with and through the bishop with Peter is disturbed. Hierarchical Communion is one of the three marks of unity to be found in the Church, the others being unity of faith and unity in the discipline of the Sacraments. Liturgical disobedience uniquely disturbs all three! This is not surprising since the Eucharist is the principal source and sign of the unity of the Church. By its very nature, it MUST be either a sign of unity or a sign of disunity.

Of course, many other evils enter in by liturgical disobedience, including the serious injustice of depriving the faithful of licit, and in some cases valid, sacraments, something to which as Catholics they have a right.

Canon 214 The Christian faithful have the right to worship God according to the prescriptions of their own rite approved by the legitimate pastors of the Church, and to follow their own form of spiritual life consonant with the teaching of the Church.

When these evils occur they have the right, and even the responsibility, to make their voices heard.

Canon 212

1. The Christian faithful, conscious of their own responsibility, are bound by Christian obedience to follow what the sacred pastors, as representatives of Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or determine as leaders of the Church.

2. The Christian faithful are free to make known their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires to the pastors of the Church.

3. In accord with the knowledge, competence and preeminence which they possess, they have the right and even at times a duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church, and they have a right to make their opinion known to the other Christian faithful, with due regard for the integrity of faith and morals and reverence toward their pastors, and with consideration of the common good and dignity of persons.

Bishop Robert McManus needs to look into this situation.  Liturgical abuses are very serious.  The solution is not for faithful Catholics to be told to "move on."  The solution is for the priests at Saint Joseph's Parish to return to fidelity, to cease abusing the liturgy and disrupting the Church's unity.


Wendy said...

Nothing short of arrogant. It would seem that the parish believes itself independent of ecclesiatical authority, Church teaching and liturgical norms.


Michael Cole said...

When the Creed is omitted, the Mass is still valid but it is not licit.

Bishop McManus should address this immediately. Too many parishes do this today from time to time.

HolyCross2013 said...

Jan comes across as puffed up with pride. Who is she to tell people that they should not come to Mass if they don't agree with liturgical abuses? Or is she speaking on behalf of the pastor there? Is it really Father Trainor speaking through her? I have never read anything so outrageous. If this angry woman is the parish secretary, she should be fired as soon as possible. If she is speaking on the pastor's behalf, then the pastor should be replaced.


I have not got time to speak now. However, it sounds like you are doing a solid job at your church. I am also doing the same thing at my church but, I have to say that we have quite a good priest and it is the laity who are the problem.

Go to my blog and click on the parish complaint letter to see if it may be some use to you. It is not perfect but you may be able to use parts of it.

Great blog by the way.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

You have a nice Blog Ora Pro Nobis. The problem is that, for many, the Mass has become little more than entertainment and self-worship. I have even witnessed applause at this parish and several others.

In his book The Spirit of the Liturgy, Cardinal Ratzinger writes, "Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a SURE SIGN that the essence of the liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment. Such attractiveness fades quickly - it cannot compete in the market of leisure pursuits, incorporating as it increasingly does various forms of religious titillation. I myself have experienced the replacing of the penitential rite by a dance performance, which, needless to say, received a round of applause. Could there be anything farther removed from true penitence? Liturgy can only attract people when it looks, not at itself, but at God, when it allows him to enter and act. Then something truly unique happens, beyond competition, and people have a sense that more has taken place than a recreational activity.." (pp. 198-199).

Ellen Wironken said...

Wendy, I second your comment. I think Father Trainor might be behind Jan's comment. If not, then he should fire her. There is no place for a parish secretary who tells Catholics to stay away from the parish because they oppose liturgical abuse.

If Fr. Trainor doesn't fire Jan, it's because he agrees with her statement.

In that case, the Bishop should remove him as pastor.

Stewart said...

Janice Potter is known on Facebook by the alias Jancanman. She has "liked" a Facebook page titled "Hope There's Wine In Hell."

That page may be found here:

StBernard'sGal said...

And a photo of her sporting devil horns. Bizarre.

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