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Author Topic: Schism in Roman Catholic Church  (Read 6389 times) Average Rating: 0
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bkovacs
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« on: March 23, 2009, 04:09:23 PM »

I've been reading allot of "Traditional Catholic"  posts on other forums lately and it seems to me that there is a huge problem in the Roman Catholic Church today. Those who wish to rediscover and defend their traditions "Traditional Catholics" and those who want to continue modernizing the Roman Catholic Church pretty much everyone else. What is the Orthodox take on all this. Do you think there might be a schism in the future. It seems like the present Pope of Rome is taking sides with the traditional Catholics and orthodox teachings. 
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2009, 04:24:31 PM »

Schisms in the future over the problem of modernization in the RC church?  Like there haven't already been such schisms in the 45-or-so years since Vatican II?  What about Bishop Marcel Lefebvre and his SSPX (Priestly Society of St. Pius X), for instance?


BTW, welcome to the forum, bkovacs. Grin
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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2009, 04:56:46 PM »

I've been reading allot of "Traditional Catholic"  posts on other forums lately and it seems to me that there is a huge problem in the Roman Catholic Church today. Those who wish to rediscover and defend their traditions "Traditional Catholics" and those who want to continue modernizing the Roman Catholic Church pretty much everyone else. What is the Orthodox take on all this. Do you think there might be a schism in the future. It seems like the present Pope of Rome is taking sides with the traditional Catholics and orthodox teachings. 

It's really not a concern, or, at least it shouldn't be.  Even if the Pope were consistently enforcing traditionalist Catholic dogma and teaching, most of it would still be incompatible with Orthodox teaching.  We would still be separated.  The only question is if we are separated by what has been added to the true faith (RCs) or what has been subtracted from the true faith (Lutherans; Anglicans) or some combination of both (Evangelicals, Liberal Protestants).  All we can do is witness the one true faith as it has been revealed and taught.  If those on the outside wish to join us, great, but we will not meddle in their individual affairs.
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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2009, 05:12:01 PM »

Most of the arguments seem to be regarding the Mass and the ancient Roman Catholic traditions (ex: dress, piety, etcc). The Mass as it was done for hundreds of years up to Vatican 2 vs the way they do it today watered down and very protestant like. I feel for the traditionalists.  I'm glad we Orthodox don't have this problem.  Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2009, 05:23:40 PM »

Most of the arguments seem to be regarding the Mass and the ancient Roman Catholic traditions (ex: dress, piety, etcc). The Mass as it was done for hundreds of years up to Vatican 2 vs the way they do it today watered down and very protestant like. I feel for the traditionalists.  I'm glad we Orthodox don't have this problem.  Smiley
We don't? Huh  Listening to the many different opinions regarding liturgical and other reforms in the Orthodox Church, I'd say that we certainly do have the same problems, and that it's a triumphalistic, head-in-the-sand approach to deny this.
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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2009, 05:28:26 PM »

What liturgical reforms are you referring to?
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« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2009, 06:01:09 PM »

What liturgical reforms are you referring to?
For instance (since I can't name them all):
  • Which calendar to use for the Menaion
  • Whether to pray the litany of the catechumens or not
  • The prayer of epiclesis spoken aloud vs. silently while the choir sings
  • The reintroduction of the Kiss of Peace within the congregation prior to the Creed
  • The use of the organ
  • Pews vs. no pews

You may think each individual change of no consequence in and of itself, but taken together they represent our underlying attitude toward the very essence of our liturgy, whether it is something that should be "modernized"--oh, how I hate that term, since it doesn't do justice to what I see as the motive behind liturgical reform in the Orthodox Church--based on our study of ancient church practice or if we should adhere to the practices that have been passed on to us without changing them.  Of course, the calendar issue is by itself a major problem that has resulted in schisms and other resistance churches (trying very hard to be respectful to the position of our admin, Fr. Anastasios Wink).
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bkovacs
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« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2009, 06:04:42 PM »

Well if you look at the Tridentine Mass, or old Latin Mass. Like in the Divine Liturgies, the priest faces east, you only have male altar servers, and priests and deacons are the only ones allowed to distribute the Holy Mysteries. Plus they use Gregorian Chant, were we have the Byzantine chant, and other forms of really nice liturgical music. Were as with their modern Mass, they allow female altar servers, the laity, not counting altar servers or the deacon to distribute communion. They call them Extra Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. They use guitars, and modern day contemporary music, and last but not least, the priest faces the congregation during the whole Mass.  It looks like a huge change from traditional Roman Catholicism worship.
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« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2009, 08:52:26 PM »

What liturgical reforms are you referring to?
For instance (since I can't name them all):
  • Which calendar to use for the Menaion
  • Whether to pray the litany of the catechumens or not
  • The prayer of epiclesis spoken aloud vs. silently while the choir sings
  • The reintroduction of the Kiss of Peace within the congregation prior to the Creed
  • The use of the organ
  • Pews vs. no pews

You may think each individual change of no consequence in and of itself, but taken together they represent our underlying attitude toward the very essence of our liturgy, whether it is something that should be "modernized"--oh, how I hate that term, since it doesn't do justice to what I see as the motive behind liturgical reform in the Orthodox Church--based on our study of ancient church practice or if we should adhere to the practices that have been passed on to us without changing them.  Of course, the calendar issue is by itself a major problem that has resulted in schisms and other resistance churches (trying very hard to be respectful to the position of our admin, Fr. Anastasios Wink).

Only two (organs and pews, just say no) are modern. The kiss of peace is different, but it survived in Alexandria, now only among the Copts.  The rest are quite old.
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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2009, 12:50:01 AM »

Some clarifications:

-The SSPX is not in schism, at least according to the Holy See. In fact, the Holy See has stated that the faithful CAN attend SSPX Masses and fulfill their Sunday obligation if their intentions are right.

The problem with the SSPX is that Lefebvre consecrated four bishops against the will of the Holy See. This act of disobedience brought excommunication on them. Earlier this year, the excommunications on the four bishops were lifted---negotiations, the result of which is to be full, regular and canonical status, are ongoing.

-Thanks to Summorum Pontificum, the traditional form of the Roman rite has been established as free for any Latin Catholic priest to celebrate around the world.

Part of Pope Benedict's intentions for this document (aside from recognizing that the traditional form has never been abrogated) is to allow the traditional form of the Roman rite to exert an influence on the way the modern form is frequently celebrated.

It is all part of Benedict's program to fix the problems with the liturgical reform that followed the Second Vatican Council.

The problems mentioned in this thread (girl altar servers, celebrant facing the people, armies of lay "eucharistic ministers," vulgar modern liturgical music) are not things at all called for by the Second Vatican Council's constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, nor by Paul VI's Missale Romanum (which established the modern form of the Roman rite).

These problems are not in the texts themselves but in a harmful inculturation of the liturgy. Many of these things began as abuses which were later tolerated (like communion in the hand and girl altar servers). I think the root of the terrible "deformations" (Benedict's words) of the liturgy as practiced in so many places is a kind of modernist-inspired New Iconoclasm taken from cultural changes in the broader society.

Under the guidance of the Holy See and with the advent of younger, more traditional bishops, priests and laity, things are changing.

The full restoration may take a couple of generations, but it is happening. Look at the significant changes so far. The numbers of traditional Masses offered regularly have multiplied by several orders of magnitude over the last 10 years, especially since Summorum Pontificum. Traditional orders are taking in so many vocations that they do not have room for them all. The modern Mass itself is being celebrated with greater reverence in many places, not least of all at the Holy See (where Benedict has forbidden anyone to receive Holy Communion standing or in the hand---of course this posture has always been an exception allowed to the universal rule which has never changed, the frequency of the exception notwithstanding). In the English speaking world, new (far more reverent and dignified) translations of the Mass are almost finished and will be in place within 2 years.

And beyond the Roman rite, things are also happening. For example, I am an aspirant to the Order of Preachers (the Dominicans). The Dominicans had their own rite, going all the way back to their founding in the 13th century. Along with other orders, the Dominicans abandoned their rite and adopted the new Roman rite at the end of the 1960s. However, the old Dominican rite is beginning to make a comeback. This summer there will be a major Dominican Rite conference out in San Francisco, with speakers from across the Dominican world and training sessions for friars (and, of course, Dominican-rite Masses).

Now, you may respond, there are a lot of abuses out there, a lot of "liberals" about (As Peter Kreeft likes to say, they used to be called heretics, but we're "nicer" now). Indeed---the crisis is still here. But Benedict's vision of a numerically smaller but more orthodox Catholic Church is slowly coming into being. The orders of the future are like those you see on EWTN (Mother Angelica's Poor Clares and the order of friars she established, the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word). These traditional and traditionalist orders (traditional and traditionalist---the main difference: celebrating the New Mass in a traditional way vs. celebrating the Old Mass) are the future because they are the only ones getting vocations. The same goes for the laity---orthodox Catholics are the ones having the kids. The "cafeteria Catholics" are contracepting and aborting themselves away.

The destructive and sweeping sociocultural changes of the later 20th and early 21st centuries have not been kind to any church. Do not think that the Orthodox churches are immune.
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« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2009, 12:50:03 AM »

Sorry for the long post. I'll make up for it with the following amusing depiction of Benedict XVI's famous Reform of the Reform:

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« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2009, 12:50:03 AM »

Regarding the question of schism, well, there have blessedly been no major schism since Vatican II (though you could argue that there are many right now in psychological schism!).

There are plenty of tiny schisms, though---mainly groups on both extremes, ranging from sedevacantist groups all the way to might-as-well-be liberal Episcopalians.

I'll post links to a couple of examples of each:

http://www.cmri.org/

http://www.truecatholic.us/ (not sedevacantist but conclavist---they have an antipope, "Pius XIII")


http://www.ecchurch.org/index.htm

http://www.spirituschristi.org/


----------

As for future schisms, some might well come. There may be more schisms on the liberal side. A lot of Catholics today joke about a future "Society of John XXIII" or "Society of Paul VI" started by white-haired hippies FINALLY coming to terms with the fact that they were defeated in their efforts to capture the Catholic Church after the Council. (though they fail to appreciate the irony that both John XXIII and Paul VI were quite orthodox---Paul VI's papacy was a disaster because he was weak, not because he was a liberal).
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« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2009, 08:11:08 AM »

Quote
Only two (organs and pews, just say no) are modern. The kiss of peace is different, but it survived in Alexandria, now only among the Copts.  The rest are quite old.

Pews, yes, modern. Organs? No. While not ancient, a pipe organ was used in the Church of the Holy Wisdom in Constantinople in the 14th century. Not exactly modern.
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« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2009, 11:39:02 AM »

Sorry for the long post. I'll make up for it with the following amusing depiction of Benedict XVI's famous Reform of the Reform:
That's pretty creative. Thanks for sharing.
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« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2009, 12:03:20 PM »

What liturgical reforms are you referring to?
For instance (since I can't name them all):
  • Which calendar to use for the Menaion
  • Whether to pray the litany of the catechumens or not
  • The prayer of epiclesis spoken aloud vs. silently while the choir sings
  • The reintroduction of the Kiss of Peace within the congregation prior to the Creed
  • The use of the organ
  • Pews vs. no pews

You may think each individual change of no consequence in and of itself, but taken together they represent our underlying attitude toward the very essence of our liturgy, whether it is something that should be "modernized"--oh, how I hate that term, since it doesn't do justice to what I see as the motive behind liturgical reform in the Orthodox Church--based on our study of ancient church practice or if we should adhere to the practices that have been passed on to us without changing them.  Of course, the calendar issue is by itself a major problem that has resulted in schisms and other resistance churches (trying very hard to be respectful to the position of our admin, Fr. Anastasios Wink).

Only two (organs and pews, just say no) are modern. The kiss of peace is different, but it survived in Alexandria, now only among the Copts.  The rest are quite old.
They may be quite old, but I bring them up as "modern" because they fell into disuse many centuries ago, iirc, and attempts to reintroduce them to the Liturgy have often been met with derision as "innovations".
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« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2009, 05:22:44 PM »

Quote
Pews, yes, modern. Organs? No. While not ancient, a pipe organ was used in the Church of the Holy Wisdom in Constantinople in the 14th century. Not exactly modern.

What?!  Shocked
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« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2009, 05:23:37 PM »

(organs and pews, just say no)

My hero!
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« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2009, 11:08:22 PM »

Some clarifications:

-The SSPX is not in schism, at least according to the Holy See. In fact, the Holy See has stated that the faithful CAN attend SSPX Masses and fulfill their Sunday obligation if their intentions are right.

The problem with the SSPX is that Lefebvre consecrated four bishops against the will of the Holy See. This act of disobedience brought excommunication on them. Earlier this year, the excommunications on the four bishops were lifted---negotiations, the result of which is to be full, regular and canonical status, are ongoing.

-Thanks to Summorum Pontificum, the traditional form of the Roman rite has been established as free for any Latin Catholic priest to celebrate around the world.

Part of Pope Benedict's intentions for this document (aside from recognizing that the traditional form has never been abrogated) is to allow the traditional form of the Roman rite to exert an influence on the way the modern form is frequently celebrated.

It is all part of Benedict's program to fix the problems with the liturgical reform that followed the Second Vatican Council.

The problems mentioned in this thread (girl altar servers, celebrant facing the people, armies of lay "eucharistic ministers," vulgar modern liturgical music) are not things at all called for by the Second Vatican Council's constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, nor by Paul VI's Missale Romanum (which established the modern form of the Roman rite).

These problems are not in the texts themselves but in a harmful inculturation of the liturgy. Many of these things began as abuses which were later tolerated (like communion in the hand and girl altar servers). I think the root of the terrible "deformations" (Benedict's words) of the liturgy as practiced in so many places is a kind of modernist-inspired New Iconoclasm taken from cultural changes in the broader society.

Under the guidance of the Holy See and with the advent of younger, more traditional bishops, priests and laity, things are changing.

The full restoration may take a couple of generations, but it is happening. Look at the significant changes so far. The numbers of traditional Masses offered regularly have multiplied by several orders of magnitude over the last 10 years, especially since Summorum Pontificum. Traditional orders are taking in so many vocations that they do not have room for them all. The modern Mass itself is being celebrated with greater reverence in many places, not least of all at the Holy See (where Benedict has forbidden anyone to receive Holy Communion standing or in the hand---of course this posture has always been an exception allowed to the universal rule which has never changed, the frequency of the exception notwithstanding). In the English speaking world, new (far more reverent and dignified) translations of the Mass are almost finished and will be in place within 2 years.

And beyond the Roman rite, things are also happening. For example, I am an aspirant to the Order of Preachers (the Dominicans). The Dominicans had their own rite, going all the way back to their founding in the 13th century. Along with other orders, the Dominicans abandoned their rite and adopted the new Roman rite at the end of the 1960s. However, the old Dominican rite is beginning to make a comeback. This summer there will be a major Dominican Rite conference out in San Francisco, with speakers from across the Dominican world and training sessions for friars (and, of course, Dominican-rite Masses).

Now, you may respond, there are a lot of abuses out there, a lot of "liberals" about (As Peter Kreeft likes to say, they used to be called heretics, but we're "nicer" now). Indeed---the crisis is still here. But Benedict's vision of a numerically smaller but more orthodox Catholic Church is slowly coming into being. The orders of the future are like those you see on EWTN (Mother Angelica's Poor Clares and the order of friars she established, the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word). These traditional and traditionalist orders (traditional and traditionalist---the main difference: celebrating the New Mass in a traditional way vs. celebrating the Old Mass) are the future because they are the only ones getting vocations. The same goes for the laity---orthodox Catholics are the ones having the kids. The "cafeteria Catholics" are contracepting and aborting themselves away.

The destructive and sweeping sociocultural changes of the later 20th and early 21st centuries have not been kind to any church. Do not think that the Orthodox churches are immune.

On most of your points, I find agreement. 

Concerning "inculturations," however, I do not think it's as easy as people over-stepping magisterial standards.  While certainly armies of lay Eucharistic ministers and women altar servers blatantly contradict the specific guidelines for the former, and the assured non-acceptance of the latter (at least in early documents), the same cannot be said of celebration facing the people, which is unabashedly promoted by the Sacred Congregation of Rites (as in their 1964 instruction Inter Oecumenici on implementing the standards of Sacrosanctum Concilium).  Cardinal G. Lercarco, among others in the implementation, pushed for celebration facing the people, in the belief that this would facilitate active participation in the liturgy.  This can be easily accessed, since we have preserved the letters he sent out to the bishops. 

I am glad for the recent motu propio allowing greater freedom in offering the "extraordinary" form of the Mass.  However, I wish the Vatican would come out and admit that the Novus Ordo Mass, even when celebrated properly according to the rubrics, still does not possess the organic development that should be characteristic of the liturgy.  There is a disconnect that even loyal following of the magisterium cannot transcend.               
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« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2009, 11:42:45 PM »

Regarding the question of schism, well, there have blessedly been no major schism since Vatican II (though you could argue that there are many right now in psychological schism!).

There are plenty of tiny schisms, though---mainly groups on both extremes, ranging from sedevacantist groups all the way to might-as-well-be liberal Episcopalians.

I'll post links to a couple of examples of each:

http://www.cmri.org/

http://www.truecatholic.us/ (not sedevacantist but conclavist---they have an antipope, "Pius XIII")


http://www.ecchurch.org/index.htm

http://www.spirituschristi.org/


----------

As for future schisms, some might well come. There may be more schisms on the liberal side. A lot of Catholics today joke about a future "Society of John XXIII" or "Society of Paul VI" started by white-haired hippies FINALLY coming to terms with the fact that they were defeated in their efforts to capture the Catholic Church after the Council. (though they fail to appreciate the irony that both John XXIII and Paul VI were quite orthodox---Paul VI's papacy was a disaster because he was weak, not because he was a liberal).

How about the Sacred Society of Pelosi XX? ---  the SSPXX  Grin   Not to confuse them with the SSPX. 
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« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2009, 09:23:22 AM »

However, I wish the Vatican would come out and admit that the Novus Ordo Mass, even when celebrated properly according to the rubrics, still does not possess the organic development that should be characteristic of the liturgy.  There is a disconnect that even loyal following of the magisterium cannot transcend.               

Pope Benedict has admitted as much (though it was before he was pope).
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« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2009, 03:30:20 PM »

How about the Sacred Society of Pelosi XX? ---  the SSPXX  Grin   Not to confuse them with the SSPX. 

Let's keep political references in the politics section.  Thank you.

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« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2009, 10:32:27 PM »

However, I wish the Vatican would come out and admit that the Novus Ordo Mass, even when celebrated properly according to the rubrics, still does not possess the organic development that should be characteristic of the liturgy.  There is a disconnect that even loyal following of the magisterium cannot transcend.               

I agree with you that not much is said from the curia about the imprudence of the Bugnini reform (Archbishop Ranjith excepted).

Though you can certainly find criticisms in the writings of Cardinal Ratzinger, who once described the new Mass as a "banal, on-the-spot product." There is nothing to lead one to believe that his views have changed as pope.

However Benedict recognizes the general imprudence of much of the liturgical reform as it was carried out, he has chosen an incremental course of restoration. Of course, a big part of his general program to ground the Novus Ordo back in the organic tradition is Summorum Pontificum---exposure to the traditional Mass will influence how the Novus Ordo is celebrated.

One of these developments, the so-called "Benedictine" altar arrangement, is proceeding along. I am always delighted when I run across a parish that has followed the Pope in setting the candles and crucifix on the altar:



Though I obviously prefer the ad orientem posture, this is definitely an excellent interrim development. (Of course, it's not really new; the orientation of the priest in the ancient Roman basilicas has always been towards the congregation.)

I think Benedict recognizes that the new Mass is here to stay for the time being. The best we can do is ground it in the organic tradition as much as possible (including making changes to the Missal itself, which are expected in coming years---something begun by John Paul II).

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« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2009, 10:32:29 PM »

How about the Sacred Society of Pelosi XX? ---  the SSPXX  Grin   Not to confuse them with the SSPX. 

 laugh

Response here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19810.45.html
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« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2009, 04:33:57 PM »

However, I wish the Vatican would come out and admit that the Novus Ordo Mass, even when celebrated properly according to the rubrics, still does not possess the organic development that should be characteristic of the liturgy.  There is a disconnect that even loyal following of the magisterium cannot transcend.               


One of these developments, the so-called "Benedictine" altar arrangement, is proceeding along. I am always delighted when I run across a parish that has followed the Pope in setting the candles and crucifix on the altar:



Though I obviously prefer the ad orientem posture, this is definitely an excellent interrim development. (Of course, it's not really new; the orientation of the priest in the ancient Roman basilicas has always been towards the congregation.)



I agree that this is a nice transitional layout of the altar. I'm with you that ultimately that parish needs to have it so the priest faces east. One thing I noticed, and not to be picky, but isn't the glass for that sanctuary candle that indicates the presence of the Blessed Sacrament supposed to be clear and not red?
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Jakub
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« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2009, 11:49:29 PM »

but isn't the glass for that sanctuary candle that indicates the presence of the Blessed Sacrament supposed to be clear and not red?

T'was red when I was a altar boy in '58...
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« Reply #25 on: March 30, 2009, 09:16:13 PM »

but isn't the glass for that sanctuary candle that indicates the presence of the Blessed Sacrament supposed to be clear and not red?

T'was red when I was a altar boy in '58...

I asked my priest about this. He told me that traditional Roman usage is clear, but in most English-speaking countries and other places, red has also been used. I'm just happy to see the lamp burning in that picture, indicating the Blessed Sacrament is present.

Reader Kevin


Blessed, praised, worshipped, hallowed, and adored be Jesus Christ on his throne at the right hand of the Father, in the most holy sacrament of the altar, and in the hearts of his faithful people, now and for ever, world without end.  Amen.
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StGeorge
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« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2009, 02:23:25 AM »

but isn't the glass for that sanctuary candle that indicates the presence of the Blessed Sacrament supposed to be clear and not red?

T'was red when I was a altar boy in '58...

I asked my priest about this. He told me that traditional Roman usage is clear, but in most English-speaking countries and other places, red has also been used. I'm just happy to see the lamp burning in that picture, indicating the Blessed Sacrament is present.

Reader Kevin


Blessed, praised, worshipped, hallowed, and adored be Jesus Christ on his throne at the right hand of the Father, in the most holy sacrament of the altar, and in the hearts of his faithful people, now and for ever, world without end.  Amen.


One of my former professors, a Dominican priest, told us that the red was used by the Irish, and that it symbolizes the Pillar of Fire of the OT--i.e. God's presence. 
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