Father Z rants about the meaning of words

Here’s an excerpt:

When you change the words, you change the concepts.

The liberal progressivist liturgical terrorist reformers were successful in changing our way of speaking about our sacred liturgical worship.

For example, they made us – and no one asked them to do this, by the way – give up talking about “sacrifice”. And when we lost “sacrifice”, we therefore lost a clear understanding of “priesthood”. No “sacrifice”, no “priest”. Today, “minister” dominates. We are losing or have, in some places, lost the words “worship” and “adoration”. Now we talk about “celebration”. We “gather”. We still “pray”. But do we? Really? To whom or what?

“Sin”?  It is to laugh. “Hell”?  What’s that?

“Worship” and “adoration” had to go, of course. They smack too much of Tantum ergo, and all that stuff. You can see why the now aging-hippies tried to do away with those words. In seminary, after all, the same generation of Richard McBrien types incessantly crammed down our throats “Jesus said ‘Take and eat’, not ‘sit and look’!”

“Altar” is now associated more with protestant “altar calls”. Catholics, talk about “table”. Altars are connected with “sacrifice”. Thus, the concept of altar had to go. “Tables” are us!

Thankfully, I see worship and adoration coming back.  Your thoughts?

I think he’s right about a certain mindset you can find among some in the Baby Boomer Generation who embraced the “hermeneutic of rupture” concerning Vatican II.

Because they so wanted to implement the Council’s teachings about the shared priesthood by virtue of our baptism of the People of God, they went to extremes in reducing the role of the sacramental priesthood.    Yes, the idea of sacrifice is repugnant to many of these people, so the whole meaning of the priesthood and what truly happens in the Eucharist is lost.   Hence you have arguments for women’s ordination that proceed from that misunderstanding.

And sin?  That hits the nail on the head.  I attended a conference on the Second Vatican Council recently and in one of the workshops on baptism, a sheet was handed out with a list of about 20 different statements about what baptism does.   All of them came from the Catechism or from some teaching materials given to catechumens.  Anyway, the participants were asked to check off the ones they agreed with or best found met their understanding.

Well, one lady in front of me, said she didn’t like any of the ones that referred to sin; she was not going to have anything to do with any reference to original sin, or to our being translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light.

Most of the folks liked that baptism makes us “part of Christ.”

Whatever that means to them, because without the sin business, I am not sure they get it.   So it seems some of them think their sin selves are part of Christ and that when they consult this sin-self they are hearing from the Holy Spirit.  We must die with Him to rise with Him, not skip the inconvenient dying part aka the cross.

This is a gospel of welcome and inclusiveness, and God loves you just as you are without the cross, without any requirement of repentance or conversion on our part.

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4 Responses to Father Z rants about the meaning of words

  1. Pingback: Father Z rants about the meaning of words | Catholic Canada

  2. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    Your quotation from Fr. Z: “Altar” is now associated more with protestant “altar calls”. Catholics, talk about “table”. Altars are connected with “sacrifice”. Thus, the concept of altar had to go. “Tables” are us!

    Like most descriptions in theology, this is not an “either-or” but a “both-and.” The last supper, the passion and crucifixion, and the resurrection of the Lord are one event, just as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are the one true God.

    In the Catholic Church, the counterreformation sought to counter the errors of the Protestant “reformers” by emphasizing the truths denied by the reformers. Alas, over the overemphasis of these truths over the course of four centuries from Trent to Vatican II led to virtual omission of the complementary truths taught by the reformers. For example:

    >> Reformers: “Christ is present in the Word of God.”

    >> Counterreformers: “Yes, and Christ is also present in the blessed sacrament.”

    Alas, the “yes, and” and the “also” were forgotten, and the prevalent Catholic mindset became: “Christ is present in the blessed sacrament” (and, implicitly, not anywhere else).

    >> Reformers: “Christ works through all of believers.”

    >> Counterreformers: “Yes, but Christ also works in a special way through the person of the priest.”

    Alas, again, the “yes, but” and the “also” were forgotten, and the prevalent Catholic mindset became: “Christ works through the person of the priest” (and, again implicitly, not through anyone else).

    Likewise, the font of baptism is both the tomb in which we bury the old self and the womb that gives birth to the new self. And in the same way, the altar is both the table of the Lord’s supper and the place of fulfillment of the sacrifice.

    You wrote: Yes, the idea of sacrifice is repugnant to many of these people…

    In reality, there’s a more fundamental problem here. Many people seem to interpret the concept of sacrifice in the manner of a Pagan sacrifice rather than a Judeo-Christian sacrifice. When one looks at the prescriptions for the Jewish sacrifices in the old testament, they all end with those offering the sacrifice coming to a sacrificial meal — symbolically, entering into the intimacy of table fellowship with God, which is the fruit of atonement (“at-one-ment”) in the sacrifice. So, too, the Christian eucharist is the anemnesis (making present) of the sacrifice of Calvary, and most especially of its fruits — the flesh and blood of our Lord — so that we may partake of this sacrificial banquet of atonement (“at-one-ment”) in our risen Lord. Thus, the sacrifice (Calvary) and the meal (the Lord’s Supper) are one. We gather as the Body of Christ to partake of the Body of Christ that we might become more fully the Body of Christ.

    Norm.

  3. Foolishness says:

    I think the reforms of Vatican II are good ones, but like you say, Norm, people have a tendency to take things too far.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      Deborah,

      You wrote: I think the reforms of Vatican II are good ones, but like you say, Norm, people have a tendency to take things too far.

      Yes, but at least those who took things too far were making a sincere effort to incorporate them, and guidance often was less than perfect. There are as many who made no effort at all, either by complete rejection of the reforms or by utter minimal compliance with explicit directives to do certain things. I would not want to drive a car that does not have a brake system that’s functioning properly, but you also won’t get very far if all you do is step on the brake pedal when you get into the driver’s seat.

      Norm.

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