Silly me! I did not know the Bible had it wrong!
  • Our archdiocese (Detroit) along with many others will celebrate Ascension SUNDAY tomorrow. So, forty-THREE days after He rose, Christ ascended into heaven. Thank goodness that the liturgical-forces-that-be saw the error and corrected this! (Forty days, indeed!) I lump this mindless logic with (1) priests, who on Good Friday, announce to the congregation, "Please be seated so that you can be comfortable during the reading of the Passion" and (2) "We can't use big words like CONSTUBSTANTIATION! People won't be able to understand!" All this (and much, much, much more) go along with the misguided thinking that results in the moving of Ascension Thursday to Sunday to make things "easier".

    No wonder people find church (liturgy) boring and irrelevant. No wonder that there are best selling books at Borders and Barnes & Noble about "Practicing Catholics" (who really don't) and the cheers from Catholics across America about Obama's speech at ND.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    We also can't use big words like consubstantiation because the Church doesn't confess it. The Church confesses TRANsubstantiation.

    And yes, moving Ascension is ridiculous. But that's what happens when bishops set themselves up as masters over the liturgy rather than stewards of it.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,518
    What else can you do when you bind your people under pain of sin to attend on holy days, but many of them don't? Move the holy day to Sunday when they will more likely be there, of course. Crazy, legalistic Latins! ;-)
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    CharlesW, I think, is exactly right here on the motivation. Priests get tired of being flooded with confessions following a Holy Day.
  • Gavin (and others): My mind was elsewhere this morning. Just the other day, I was in a long discussion about consubstantiation and transubstantiation and had "con" in my fingers. I should have written "metousiosis"!
  • Steve CollinsSteve Collins
    Posts: 1,003
    I think the word alluded to is the proposed "consubstantial" in the new translation of the Creed, replacing "of one substance". Clearly the use of the word would be ineffable!
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    "Priests get tired of being flooded with confessions following a Holy Day."

    If people are not inclined to attend on Holy Days to begin with, why would they be inclined to go to confession about it?

    I think it's silly to move feasts around, too. Messing with the symbolism of the church is dangerous, because for us, it's not merely symbolic. The liturgy takes place outside time and the liturgical year is not just a year's worth of things to remember. We live the Gospels and saints' lives, year in and year out. Messing with dates and arguing about things takes us back into time, into our fallen world, and makes us forget the point of the days, and why they really are when they are, and why we are celebrating them.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Here's a half mocking but someone serious question:

    If one goes to the EF Mass on Sunday, without having attended the EF on Thursday, does one commit a mortal sin for missing the obligation to hear Mass on the Solemnity of the Ascension?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,518
    Careful with questions like that. You'll turn into a Jesuit. ;-)
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    Related question: Does attending Pentecost Vigil "count' for Pentecost Sunday? (Now, Easter Vigil does "count" for Easter Sunday, right?)
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,331
    Yes to Mark, no to Gavin.

    The obligation to attend Mass on holy days is specified in the 1983 Code of Canon Law and applies to all Roman-rite Catholics. It's not based on anything in the old or new Roman Missal, so it doesn't matter whether you attend EF or OF Masses.

    Which liturgical texts are used doesn't matter. A wedding Mass or a confirmation Mass fulfills the obligation, if it's said within the time window allowed by the diocese. The Mass can be an Eastern-rite Divine Liturgy: any Catholic rite said by a Catholic priest.

    Yes, including the SSPX (Rome has answered affirmatively on this).
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    I thought the SSPX were in schism with the Roman Catholic church.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,331
    The Church hasn't delivered a judgment about the status of SSPX priests in general, so they are treated, for purposes of law, as not in schism. For the Sunday/holyday Mass obligation, that suffices, even though they lack faculties to offer Mass.

    The status of the SSPX bishops is more problematic, since Pope John Paul II did state (in Ecclesia Dei Adflicta) that their consecration was a "schismatic act". So that has to be set right as part of a reconciliation.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    "A wedding Mass or a confirmation Mass fulfills the obligation." That I did not know. So one could (theoretically but surely NOT ideally) go to a funeral on the day of, say, the Assumption, and have fulfilled the obligation?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,331
    Can a funeral be celebrated on a Solemnity? If so, then yes.
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749
    Isn't it elitist to assume John and Mary Catholic understand the numbers?

    ps note how I avoided the math/maths thing.
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    Chonak, that sounds really legalistic. If a group came into being due to a "schismatic act," and you go to their church because you espouse their schismatic beliefs, then it shouldn't matter what "obligation" you fulfill -- you're separating yourself from the Roman Catholic Church in that act.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Jam - not to pry into personal matters, but I might assume such legalism is why you are an Orthodox catechumen rather than an RC.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,331
    The case of the SSPX is truly complicated, Jam. Contrary to your suggestion, the group existed for about 20 years before the "schismatic act", so it's hard to make a case that every priest in it intends schism.

    The lay people who attend SSPX Masses are a step further removed from accusations of schism. They don't control SSPX. Many people attended SSPX Masses to escape liturgical abuse or bad doctrine in regular parishes.

    I agree, Jam; this all sounds legalistic. This isn't argumentation I've invented; it's just what seems to be the standard answer among experts. In one sense, it's charitable -- it looks for a way to avoid accusing someone of an offense.

    In a sense, the Church has been keeping the ambiguity of SSPX's status alive on purpose, with the aim of eventually bringing all of SSPX to a reconciliation, rather than forcing the issue, which would have made the split permanent. That would have stigmatized the traditional liturgy permanently, and harmed the cause of reconnecting the liturgical tradition and Catholic life.
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    All right; that makes more sense. I didn't know that they existed before the illegal ordinations.

    But I would still think that the reason WHY you chose to attend a certain church would also have some bearing on whether you've "fulfilled" your obligation (which is again legalistic language -- and Gavin, you're right, actually).

    I guess no one really has an answer for Catholics seeking refuge from bad liturgy and doctrine/theology in supposedly Catholic parishes.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,331
    But I would still think that the reason WHY you chose to attend a certain church would also have some bearing on whether you've "fulfilled" your obligation

    How so?
  • There may be some question as to whether the SSPX is in schism de jure, but it would seem evident that it is so de facto. I cannot imagine why a Catholic would want to receive the sacraments from SSPX ministers, all of whose ordinations and consecrations are at best illicit. Nor does the existence of this society from before the Council legitimise its actions after the Council. It has no intent to conform to that Catholicity and Magisterium which we all here accept, but, rather, adheres (like all schismatics) only to its own definition of what is Catholic. It is, indeed, the recipient of much undeserved charity from the Holy See. (And, shame on those in the Catholic Church whose own infidelity and horrid liturgical ethos drives innocent people to participate in such aberrant adventures!)
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    I guess...

    Mass wouldn't mean anything if it was just about proper procedures and not about unity and faith and love. Maybe you've fulfilled some random canon law requiring Mass if you went SSPX and agreed with all their schismatic activity. But you wouldn't be helping your soul any, would you? And aren't the canons supposed to be there to help your soul, not to just legislate the faith into juridical terms and take human freedom and love out of the equation?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,331
    Yes: and this is an important point, Jam!

    The Church sets in laws a few minimum requirements for religious practice (attendance, fasting, annual confession) to warn people against totally falling away. It's a rather limited goal.

    Church law is not intended to be a codification of rules to strengthen your spiritual life or your moral life much. It doesn't address people's motivations of the heart. It can't. Law, evidence, procedures -- none of that can deal with the heart, which only God sees.

    So you're right: if somebody fulfills their Sunday obligation at an SSPX Mass, but approves of all sorts of disobedience and rebellion, they're not helping themselves.