By 'Sarah', Director of the Ecumenism n’ Feels Ministry
One culture within the Catholic Church needing major reform is that surrounding the practice of the Novus Ordo Mass.
In a previous era, the Latin Mass was merely a uniform and standard way of celebrating the liturgy in the United States. In the wake of un-needed reforms instituted by the Second Vatican Council, the NO Mass has become a rallying point for culture destroying aging hippies within the church.
The ultra-liberalism, and borderline heresy, practiced by these NO hippies radical and narrow-minded, despite their claims of tolerance. They utilize the lack of structure in the NO Mass, along with charges of “racism”, “colonialism”, “misogyny”, or “being too rigid” to wield control over believers — particularly the faithful who actually believe and try to be faithful to the Magisterium of the Holy Mother Church.
Although it may be offered reverently, the NO Mass fosters disunity, and at times, sacrilege in the church. The liturgy — spoken in modern local dialect — ensures visitors of the Faith from other nations won't understand a flippin' thing. The priest faces the people for most of the ceremony, reminiscent of family reunions. Instead of occasional responses, allowing the priest to lead in worship and offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the congregation plays a hyperactive part in worship, to include clapping, shaking hands, talking, and singing songs sounding like Gordon Lightfoot covers. The altar rail has been removed because, you know, expecting people to show reverence and not play around at the altar is like, rigid or judgmental, or something.
Instead of a unifying form of worship, the NO Mass has become an instrument of oppression and a gathering point for schismatic hippies.
Meanwhile, unlike the rigidity of TLM that’s existed for hundreds of years, tracing it origin back to the Apostles, the recently discovered NO "tradition" empowers womyn. Womyn are expected to wear mini-skirts and booty shorts instead of dressing modestly.
Similar rules exist for the men, who can often be seen in Birkenstocks and team jerseys, depending upon which sport is in season. It is asinine and not the type of attire one would wear to a job interview past 15 years old, and therefore the misinterpretation of the NO Mass actively endorses irreverence.
In most cases, it is useless to politely disagree with people in the NO Mass sect. Their attitude creates blindness — not only to true faith, but to their own behavior. They treat dissenters with animosity for being pro-life, believing in the Real Presence, voting for Orange Man (he’s, like, bad), or even singing part of Kumbaya off-key.
Anyone who may accuse me of not knowing what I'm talking about — a favorite indictment of the NO Mass ideologues — would be wrong. My opinion is based on facts and personal experiences.
Plus, I grew up in a household who attended our local vibrant ecumenical faith community. I was confirmed and went to a Catholic high where I never heard the words “transubstantiation” or “Eucharist”, but that still makes me an expert in all things Catholic.
The NO Mass rears its patchouli smelling head in this unholy history at several points. The last NO Mass I went to made no mention of Christ, the Real Presence, or sin. Instead, it was offered by “Father Jim” dressed as a Rusty Nails the Clown and riding a Segway.
Needless to say, anything in the church looking remotely masculine, Catholic, or reverent was completely banished. The people had the immature humor and reverence of the 3-way love child of Jim Carey, Sarah Silverman, and Beavis. Between the rambling sermons about “Jesus said be nice”, the talking and laughter during the Consecration, lack of reverent attire (yes, I realize that not everyone can afford a suit and tie/nice dress, but seeing someone’s underwear and butt crack because of their shorty-shorts is a bit much), we did not feel any closer to God.
Rules, also, were a strange issue. As in a complete lack of them. I had read that the altar was supposed to be treated as a sacred area, yet anyone who wanted to go up there was allowed to do so. In addition, the tabernacle, supposed to contain the Blessed Sacrament, was moved from the altar to a corner, like a naughty child. Further, I could never understand why, if the Eucharist is the Real Presence, i.e. the most sacred thing this side of Heaven, requiring the priest to cleanse his hands prior to handling, it would be given to parishioners, I mean faith community members, in their hands. Especially thinking of all the dirty things one touches between leaving the house and Communion. Immediately we stopped going to Mass at that parish.
After almost leaving the church as a teenager, I chose to stay Christian-ish by practicing my faith as a free agent — belonging to no church, attending different churches sometimes for Sunday service. On one instance, a Catholic priest noticed I was showing up semi-regularly and approached me with a persuasive speech designed to convince me to return to the Novus Ordo faction — disguising discrimination as encouragement. "You should come to the NO Mass instead and wear whatever suits you. Womyn look the most beautiful in church when they dress however their inner Pachamama inspires them," he tried to persuade. "Birkenstock, booty shorts, mini skirts, whatever.”
Most disturbing about this conversation was his effort to make deliberately dressing like a street walker in God’s presence sound positive. Indignant, I asked him to explain why he thought I should wear those things.
"Because how else are you going to attract a male to be a potential husband. Or female, if you’re into that. It’s all good. Jesus said to be nice. And Pope Francis, the best pope EVER, said not to judge people," he replied ecstatically.
The priest's attitude towards showing leg and cleavage is typical of NO Mass cultists. They seem to believe that women look better in church when their attire leaves nothing to the imagination. They try to sell all kinds of attire to girls, trying to convince them that showing one’s ass is the pinnacle of womanhood and throwing off the oppressive yoke of the patriarchy. They flaunt their “goods” like a butcher would display steak and chorizos in a Buenos Aires carniceria. Then they get mad when men stare.
Given such practices, it should come as no surprise that a contingent of men and womyn active within the NO Mass environment have distorted worldviews on sexuality. Instead of realizing that men and womyn complement each other, these types believe men are inferior to womyn simply because they are male. Or that men can become womyn or vice versa.
Lemme give a couple examples, dear reader, that seem to cover what I’ve experienced at the NO. One occasion that remains burned into my memory was when I attended Mass at a nominally Catholic university. It was a busy Sunday and my schedule demanded I attend Mass at a particular time. I did not know it was a Catholic Mass even after I stumbled over the doorstep. The atmosphere was reminiscent of a carnival. I was surprised to recognize some people there. One of them was a professor who was known to be a rather loud and aggressive person. When I saw her husband, I was shocked — and suddenly realized the ugly extent of her hatred of all thing male. Her husband was a mere shade of a man. He carried her coat and purse, not in an act of love and devotion as one would expect, but out of what appeared to be fear. As she carried on with her harpy-like shrieking about patriarchy, womyn’s ordination, and gender identity, he stood silently behind her, never saying a word. If he dared to object, or simply ask, nay, beg, permission to go talk to someone he recognized, she instantly berated him, yelling at him for daring to oppress her with his micro aggressions of interruptions. He kept his head bowed and always walked behind his wife, and looked physically weak — almost ill.
The professor, by contrast, looked swaggering and hearty. She strutted around and chatted with others in church as he followed him like a pale, neutered shadow. Seeing this, I believed I had witnessed a very dark side to the professor's spirituality. Her religion was a mechanism of abusive control and militant feminism.
My second example concerns an older group of aging Catholics — many of whom seem to have retained some residue from experimenting ala Timothy Leary, and had apparently fallen victim to the uber-liberal Liberation Theology, modernism, and general irrational dislike of anything traditional which is promoted in and on college campuses. A female acquaintance of mine, about my age, decided to brave the NO Catholic/college dating scene — a recipe for disaster, in my personal opinion. Among the stories I heard from her were of nominally Catholic males shopping for one night stands, not potential wives, asking her and other girls, "Are you willing to put out if I get dinner?" before agreeing to date them. These men did not want to associate with women whom were seeking more than just physical intimacy. And, to be blunt, why should they, when most of their modern womyn peers will give them said gratification with no commitment? And if they should be willing to commit, what does he have to look forward to? Showing mutual love and respect toward each other? Or being nagged and belittled as in the case of the afore mentioned professor’s husband?
It is very unfortunate that younger generations of Catholics seeking to deepen their faith are getting sucked into this vortex of toxic, hippie-esque radicalism. I saw some young families at a NO Mass recently, although most were in their 70s and up. I arrived early, sat down, and began to pray my Rosary. Unsurprisingly I found myself surrounded by yoga pants and mini skirt wearing women who entertained themselves in between gossip fests by casting disapproving glances at my veil.
Unsurprisingly, while there I had another memorably bad experience. I asked to receive Communion on the tongue. Normally, even the most liberal of priests I'd encountered in my lifetime would give me the Eucharist on the tongue. Not this pastor. He literally made a scene at the altar and jerked the Eucharist away from me when I reached out to receive it — saying something about those “toxic traddy types who need to get with the program”. After Mass I decided to respectfully address my concerns to the priests.
His response to my query could be found in the dictionary next to “clericalism”. Which the greatest pontiff EVER says is bad. When I informed an assisting priest that the pastor had been very rude to me at the altar, why I only receive on the tongue (and preferably kneeling), and asked that my views be relayed, he replied, "He did nothing wrong, maaaaan. You’re just being too rigid. Now excuse me, it’s time for interfaith yoga while listening to “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.””
His attitude was a trademark example of the culture within the Catholic Church that encourages abuse. His first reaction was to circle the wagons around any potential abuse, then lay the blame on the laity.
What I gained from this experience was a deeper recognition of how the NO Mass foments the clericalist culture within the Catholic Church that Pope Francis (the bestest pontiff, like, EVER) is actively working to force down everyone’s throat, whether they want to hear Gordon Lightfoot at Mass or not. Tradition be damned.
In his homily earlier last month, Pope Francis warned Catholics against hypocrisy. He described hypocrisy as "appearing one way, but acting in another," and said that a hypocritical attitude "always kills."
The intolerant atmosphere of the NO Mass is in lock step with Pope Francis's vision of how to fundamentally change the Catholic Church (Change you WILL believe in). "The church is not a fortress, but a tent capable of expanding and offering access to everyone, except those darn trads" said Pope Francis. "Now ‘scuse me while I bestow an honor upon a transgendered lesbian atheist abortion pimp, whose values are in complete opposition to what the CCC teaches.“
It would appear that a misguided sense of compassion defines modern NO Catholicism. The children of the 60s hippie movement that wrought destruction upon the Church’s cultural landscape forget that while Christ did indeed call sinners, he also instructed them to “Go, now, and sin no more.”