[NOTE: Point here is certainly not to excuse Bishop Williamsons’ notions. The connection is merely that many people have quite obviously taken issue with his false opinions of historical fact, and have said it is a reason he should not be in communion with the Catholic Church. Now here is a pastor of a church “in union with Rome” giving a homily challenging the very history of the Church itself, and I doubt the enemies of the Society of St. Pius X will care].
Well, it’s been 2 years. It’s been a good run. We have some great priests here in Columbia. Several very orthodox ones. So far, while I know certain parishes and pastors have liberal leanings, I have yet to be really bothered by anything I’ve heard in a homily.
OK, maybe that’s a factor of how few homilies I actually get to *hear*, but, nonetheless. . . .
Today the two year streak was broken by what is probably on the line of the worst homilies I’ve ever heard, certainly equalling the “I hope this Pope dies soon so we can get a new one who will get rid of canon law . . ..” trope I’ve heard so many times.
This just took the cake. Ironically, I had just come out of my Carmelite meeting, feeling very inspired and ready for Mass. Then this had to happen.
I left in the middle of it, so I don’t know if it got to where it was logically going. I don’t want to know. I couldn’t stand it if it did.
Msgr. Lehocky at St. Peter’s has raised red flags for me before. The parish has three things going for it: gothic architecture, a really good “traditional” music group (they regularly do polyphony, Latin, etc. at the Sunday morning Masses, though we usually don’t make it), and a very orthodox parochial vicar. But he named the parish center after Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, among other things.
So, tonight, he started off well, noting how 4 out of 7 Resurrection accounts in the Gospels include food. That could lead two ways, I thought: the importance of the Real Presence (“they knew Him in the breaking of the bread”) or the physical reality of the Resurrection.
First red flag was when he talked about how significant it is to dine with others. He said how it’s one thing to see an important person you admire–“Let’s say Pope Benedict or President Obama”–in a crowd. Quite another, he said, to shake his hand or get his autograph. But what an honor to eat as his table! He returned to the example of President Obama, and what an honor it would be to have supper with him.
Then he began a step-by-step deconstruction of the Liturgy and, by implication, of the Eucharist Itself.
“You know, in the early Church, there were no churches. Mass was held in people’s homes. . . . ” The rest was a lecture on “communal meals” right out of Roger Cardinal Mahony’s playbook, full of outright lies and falsehoods about the history of the Church, and implicitly undermining the authority of the Church herself to “loose and bind”.
Nevermind the archaeological evidence of first century church buildings.
“It was usually held in the context of an evening meal. They got together to eat. They’d read short passages from Scripture and discuss them.”
Why were there ordained bishops and presbyters to preach the Scriptures if this was the case? Why were deacons and deaconesses specifically ordained to *go into people’s homes* and read the Scriptures and distribute communion if Liturgy was already in their homes?
He talked about how people found such a presence of Christ in these alleged dinner parties that they were converted, and they were converted in such numbers that the Church had to build buildings. “And they didn’t know how to build a church, so they based it off of Roman government buildings.” HUH?
How about “they based it off the Jewish temple”? How about “they based it off the synagogue”?
Then he said, “And they needed more room, so they kind of pushed the table back, to make room for more chairs.” WHAT?? They didn’t even sit in chairs! If you’re going to make this ludicrous claim to begin with, you can at least get the facts right. In Roman days, one reclined on something like a chaise lounge to eat.
“And since they moved the table back to the wall, the priest had to turn his back on the people.”
What about praying to the East, as both Jews and Muslims do as well??
“And the crowds got so big that they started to worry about people coming up to the altar, so thye put up barriers. That’s where altar rails came from.”
What about protecting the Sacred Mysteries???
What about keeping the Sacred Mysteries mysterious???
“And the priest didn’t have a microphone, so he just started mumbling the words in a language nobody understood.”
It was their official language!!! And everything else he’s saying–barriers, praying ad orientem, fixed altars–applies just as well to the Eastern Churches, which used the vernacular. In fact, in the Eastern CHurches, they use the Vernacular and the priest still prays parts of the Liturgy silently.
By this time, I really wasn’t even paying close enough attention, because I was turning my wheelchair back on, but he did a sweeping gesture towards the Tabernacle and said something like, “They gradually built up all of this, and all of this is completely not what Christ intended.”
That was the point where I turned my wheelchair around and left.
If it got any worse, I would’ve had to rend my garments.
Most Holy Trinity,Father, Son and Holy Spirit,I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences whereby He is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners. Amen.