The Cardinal Cardinal Mahoney, should he deign to read this humble blog, may wish to charge me with an offense under Canon Law, Title IV: The Offence of Falsehood. After all, this is the same Mahoney to bullied Mother Angelica of EWTN nearly to her grave with a false charge of Falsehood. Time has come, though, that the church militant stand up against this anti-Catholic fraud of a priest and bishop who seems bent on destroying Catholicism in Los Angeles, California.
The Crime In 1997, Mahoney issued a directive on changes to the Eucharist which contained false teachings, which Mahoney knew to be false or should reasonably have known to be false, in perfect violation of the same Title of Canon Law with which he cowardly badgered that saintly old woman:
Can. 1391 The following can be punished with a just penalty, according to the gravity of the offence:
1–a person who composes a false public ecclesiastical document, or who changes or conceals a genuine one, or who uses a false or altered one
2–a person who in an ecclesiastical matter uses some other false or altered document;
3–a person who, in a public ecclesiastical document, asserts something false.
In this letter, Mahoney’s obvious, if unstated, goal was to marginalize the role of the priest, which he refers to exclusively as “presider”. To a lay reader, Mahoney seems to deny that the priest represents Christ. Instead, he states boldly that the priest merely represents … Cardinal Mahoney, Archbishop of Los Angeles. (Perhaps in Mahoney’s mind, Christ, too, is simply the archbishop’s represtantive in heaven.)
Catholic scholars and apologists do a much better job than I could of explaining the anti-Catholicism of Mahoney’s desire to minimalize the priesthood. I can summarize it thusly: if the priest is not Christ’s human representative at the sacarifice of the Mass, then all Christianity is a fraud, our faith is in vain, and we are the most pitiable of men.
The Adoremus fisking of Mahoney’s letter points to another fraud he perpetrated with illegimate references to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Mahoney’s references are to parapgraphs in the CCC which carry little or no resemblance to the Cardinal’s desceptive letter:
LETTER: “Liturgical renewal is a matter of passion, of catching some glimpse of the way strong Sunday Liturgy makes strong Catholics, and of how these Catholics make their Sunday Liturgy. (ccc: 1324)” [page 4]
CCC, 1324: “The Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life.’ The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.”
Comment: The Catechism passage cited as a source for this comment says nothing about “liturgical renewal”, nothing about “passion”. In fact, the only common words in these two passages are: “is”, “of”, and “the”. This is deceptive, whether or not it is intentional. Such passages do not promote confidence in the Letter.
In addition to Adoremus’s comment, I would another point of departure: the Catechism paragraph makes sense. Cardinal Mahoney’s is an idiotic blend of New Age nothingness and psychobabble.
Further, while Adormus states that “Such passages do not promote confidence in the Letter,” I would add that they, in fact, indict its author as a man seeking to usurp the authority of the church for his own ends.
Finally, that entire statement is theologically wrong! A strong liturgy makes not strong Catholics; strong faith, prayer, devotion, works of mercy, humility, and penance make strong Catholics. And Catholics do not make the Sunday Liturgy. Jesus Christ, who sends forth the Holy Spirit transforming bread and wine into His true Body and Blood makes the Sunday Liturgy and every other Liturgy. What can man do, even in great numbers, to equal what God does by offering Himself for the redemption of our sins? Can a bunch of confused Catholics standing around a table in a barren, white room with their hands over their heads do any such thing?
As the Cardinal admits in the Letter, most Catholics can’t even understand transubstantiation, much less do it. Worse, by making the Eucharistic celebration more profane, more ordinary, more “diverse” instead of “through Him, with Him, in Him, in the Unity of the Holy Spirit,” Phony Mahoney’s Letter makes the true meaning of the Eucharist less clear. Like evey other liberal initiative in Church and politics, Mahoney worsens the problem he claims to fix.
The Footnote Defense In a Los Angeles Lay Mission column on the Letter, published in 1997, writer Christopher Zehnder notes
One wonders how a liturgical renewal can be founded on such unclear teaching of the Eucharist. Perhaps the cardinal himself realized this, and so presented the traditional teaching on the Eucharist in a footnote. … Why would His Eminence relegate such an important teaching to a footnote, especially since misunderstanding of the “very nature of the Eucharist” “sadly exists among some [others would say many, if not most] Catholics”?
Noting a previous example of the Cardinal presenting anti-Catholic teachings atop a meaningless disclaimer, the writer speculates:
Could His Eminence’s footnote be such another attempt to disarm critics? Or is it a sincere attempt to clarify Eucharistic teaching in a document open to more than orthodox interpretation?
I say, neither. More likely, the footnotes are a defense against the Offence of Falsehood cited above. By stating, though parenthetically, that questions about the validityof his Letter should be decided in favor of the Catechism, he seems to be indemnifying himself, not against theological critics, but Canon lawyers.
Anti-Life Why, Bill, do you dig up all of this garbage from the past? Well, for two reasons: First, Tom at The Donegal Express made me think of the Liturgy today. Second, the Church has an obligation to police itself.
Cardinal Mahoney and his ilk have been preaching heresy, encouraging mortal, and giving the Christ’s Bride a bad name for 40 years. It’s time for the Holy See to send the Mahoney and his Amen corner on a long pilgrimage through the dessert until they reach the place where penance flows as naturally from their hearts as aspostacy does now from their lips. The sooner the Catholic Church starts acting like the Catholic Church instead of some New Age freakfest, the sooner we’ll have to expand the naves to house those seeking the Truth at the Holy Mother the Church’s manger.