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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Catholic Church in Austria: Defining Deviancy Downward

Watch the abomination as reported below, a putative celebration of the Mass, and savor the spectacular horror. Then wonder to learn it has been perpetrated three times this past year and will be yet again this coming June 26th: the so-called "Western" (as in cowboy) Mass, with the imprimatur of the ineffably bewildering Cardinal Schönborn of Austria. It is tempting to rattle off a list of the atrocities to be seen (e.g. ashtrays for smokers, take-out food and the Confederate flag) but far better to watch the video in its entirety--you don't want to miss a thing. If it is not yet exhausted, stretch your capacity for wonder one more time and ask yourself why, oh why, will the Holy Father and the Vatican not drive a stake into the heart of these monstrosities.

It's a well-worn trope on this ol' blog but worth trotting out once again: however deplorable the state of Catholic worship in America, it is far, far worse in Europe and with its continued celebration of the "Western Mass," the Church in Austria may well be comfortably ahead in the race to the bottom.




UPDATE: a warm welcome to fellow afficianados of liturgical grotesquery at Bad Vestments.

h/t New Advent.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I could not watch the whole thing. My tolerance level for such a travesty is not high enough. Bring back the Hapsburgs.

I wish Cowboys for Christ could ride in and run these poltroons out of town.

Paula

Christopher Johnson said...

Great googly moogly. That Confederate flag looked embarrassed to be there.

Richmonde said...

Where did she get that nice 80s cardigan? Wish I could forget the "folk masses" of the 60s.

Emily said...

Ok, so this is absolutely horrific and unfortunately this sort of thing does go on in Austria and should be stopped. However I take offence at your statement that the Austrian church is "comfortably ahead in the race to the bottom". I have lived here 2 years and have never attended a Mass which wasn't reverential with quality music (choral or organ) and said correctly. I have been to several different churches and they were all the same - traditional and respectful. Of course the thousands of Masses like this that are said every week in Austria are not good headline or blogging material. Thank you for drawing attention to this horrific cowboy Mass, but please remember the many many priests, bishops and parishioners who are true to the proper sacrifice of the Mass.

The Bovina Bloviator said...

Emily,

Point well taken: I have made a slight emendation to make the statement less sweeping.

Therese Z said...

The fact that Europeans smoke more than Americans shouldn't have been the filmed emphasis: the fact that food and beer and smokes and newspapers and cell phones were the focus instead of Jesus would have been more effective.

It was eye-opening, anyway.

Conchúr said...

Emily,

Be that as it may, Austria also happens to be the location of the worst diocese in Europe - Linz.

Emily said...

Thanks Bovina for the slight alteration.
Conchur - although it is well known how appalling the goings on are in Linz diocese and that the Cardinal is not doing enough/anything to deal with this, I still object to sweeping condemnation of the entire Catholic church in Austria.

Fr Theodore said...

I wish I was surprised...

LSP said...

I like smoking. I like beer. I like the odd Confederate flag. But I have to agree with Anonymous -- "I wish Cowboys for Christ could ride in and run those poltroons out of town".

Purge Linz.

Anonymous said...

What is really funny is Europeans always put down Americans for various reasons, but with things like this that happen so often - the football mass in the Netherlands and countless other examples, Europeans display a profound lack of class, dignity or a remote sense taste.

Snaggle-Tooth Jones said...

"That Confederate flag looked embarrassed to be there."

As it should have been.

Michel Cousins said...

As a child in Tripoli, Libya, in the late 1950s, I would go to mass at the cathedral (since converted to a mosque by Qaddafi). Families would come in from the countryside, sometimes bringing something to eat with them. During the homily, salami and bread would be cut up on the benches and handed to family and friends, and even wine passed around. I've never seen it since. Perhaps it happened elsewhere as well.

On the other hand I have seen at St Marks in Venice, during the moment of consecration during high mass, a nun in front of the congregation trying to interest them in a loud voice in the postcards and stamps she was selling.

As the writer of Ecclessiates said: Nihil nove sub sole.

1569 Rising said...

Many thanks to Emily for putting the record straight. There are abuses everywhere in the Church, not least here in the UK, but there are sufficient good and faithful Catholics, both clerical and lay to well and truly counter the loonies.

Anonymous said...

I like the Confederate Battle Flag.

rusmeister said...

My sympathies and support for serious Catholics (I am an Orthodox Christian myself). I'm glad we don't have this in our Church, but these ideas seem to have penetrated into every form of western faith. I do hope the Vatican will come down on this sort of thing; as far as I'm concerned, the longer we hold out against the spirit of the age the better for all, Orthodox, Catholic or otherwise.

Wine Club Gift said...

I have made a slight emendation to make the statement less sweeping

granite rockville md said...

this ia really should be stopped.

Gerry Lynch said...

I am a liberal High Anglican, and a pinko liberal European. I do not agree with as much that is written here. But when you're right, you're right. I can't quite come up with a watertight theological reason for condemning this, but one instictively knows that this ineffibly awful. And sad. Read the Gospel accounts of the Lord's Supper - this is not what the Sacrament of Holy Communion was instituted for.

Many of you might find us watery and Protestant, but do remember that this is simply inconceivable at my Parish Church.

The Bovina Bloviator said...

Gerry Lynch, thank you for your thoughtful comment. The chief objection to this ghastly slop, even more so than its rotten bad taste, is the degradation of the ineffable beauty of the Mass, the mystical recreation of our Lord's sacrifice, to the jejune and commonplace. All thoughtful people's reaction to it, whether Catholic or Protestant, liberal or conservative, should be: "How dare they!"

countertop display said...

Interesting....

Mixture V ranks said...

Europe in general has not been in the business of taking the Lord too seriously at many levels in life. That's been true, since at least WW II. As has been pointed out here, there are many exceptions to this, but these things always seem to make for public display.

Another facet of this, though, is the European concept of what they think America is or does. Cowboys, the BBQ and anything having to do with the West seems to fascinate them endlessly. Their culture cannot relate to this, so they take delight in everything related to it. While pretending a superior cultural attitude to us at every occasion, they really are envious of many things we have and are able to do and, while the Mass here is beyond a travesty, it may be one way they have of trying to do what they think we are able to do. The problem here, of course, is that they have the occasion completely confused! We don't hold BBQ's during the Mass! Vienna should be indicating its displeasure to Linz. This travesty tells those people the wrong thing about Christ and His sacrifice.