The first readings at Catholic Masses for the current week are from the book of Maccabees. The readings relate the attempt made at that time to secularize Jewish culture, and the response of heroic Israelites. On Monday Pope Francis preached on the readings, “We would do well to think about what happened in the Book of Maccabees, about what happened step by step, before we decide to follow an ‘adolescent progressivism’ and go along with what everyone is doing.”
One hopes the Holy Father’s order, the Society of Jesus, is listening. In two previous articles (July 1, 2013, “Gay pride Sunday – parishioner in tears,” and January 7, 2010, ”Church or Museum? USF’s St. Ignatius Church has replaced confessionals to make room for art gallery”) CalCatholic has reported on the secularization at St. Ignatius, the church of the University of San Francisco. The 2013 article concluded: “The St. Ignatius Jesuits have actually replaced Catholicism with something else. In 2010, CalCatholic reported that the Jesuits had replaced the confessionals at St. Ignatius with an art gallery.”
The redecorating continues at San Francisco’s flagship Jesuit parish. On August 4, the parish bulletin contained an entry which sounded as if it was from the satirical website Eye of the Tiber: “Pardon Our Dust! In the next few weeks, the last three pews in the southeast corner of the church (by the statue of St. Ignatius) will be removed and put in storage. The purpose is to create space at the back of the church for social gatherings. We look forward to inaugurating the space at the end of summer!”
The removal of the pews was delayed beyond “the next few weeks” and finally occurred this month.
The bulletin announcement gives the location of the removed pews as being “by the statue of St. Ignatius” but it could as accurately have given the location as “by the entrance to the art gallery.”
Knowing the Jesuits, confession is so not with it, that they probably don’t know how to hear confessions anymore anyway – it’s so traditional, after all. And look, an art gallery is so far out, that they can have parties inside the Church, don’t you know?
Though they’re Jesuits, can’t the archbishop do anything? How about the apostolic nuncio?
Pew removal in Catholic Churches in CA is widespread. So are Church closures. There are fewer Catholics in the pews on Sunday and the SJs at USF are responding to the decline by tightening up the space used for worshipers. Many, many Catholic Churches in CA are following this practice. The Church I was baptized in San Rafael removed 50% of its pews due to poor attendance. The Church I was confirmed in was closed by the Bishop due to tumbling Mass counts. Art exhibits might be a stretch for a Catholic Church, but the removal of pews is widespread due to declining Mass attendance.
good cause, to what should we give credit for this increase in empty pews? Might it be the “necessity” of contraception? Maybe its the replacing of the preaching of the “harsh” Gospel message with a gentler, kinder relativistic philosophy? Maybe it’s because the Sunday day of rest has been replaced with a more productive work week forcing more people to choose between their jobs or Mass? Or maybe worshiping God is just sooooooooooo not fun!
Well, I can tell you at USF and the surrounding area, it’s probably shifting demographics. There are no fewer than six churches within a two mile radius of USF. If you’re looking for TLM, there’s Star of the Sea, Gothic architecture; Saint Dominic’s (which appears to be the best attended). Saint Mary’s has Abp. Cordileone at the helm, though he rarely (if ever) says mass there, so if USF is offensively liberal, you’re not likely to find anything similar there.
The neighborhood has changed a lot since any of those were built, and you’re more likely to find the area residents at yoga classes and Whole Foods on a Sunday.
And USF has changed too. It’s become a large academic institution that happens to be Catholic, rather than a Catholic college like the smaller liberal arts schools. Only 38% of the student body is even Catholic.
Siollán M, what you point out is true as well. Several million non-Christians have recently moved into the area where I grew up and still live. Many of houses where these pagans now live, were originally built and occupied by Catholics who also built the Catholic Parishes which still stand in these neighborhoods. Unless this new populous is evangelized and converted to Catholicism, the pews in these churches will soon be completely empty.
You point out an important distinction, Sollian. Catholic universities should first of all be Catholic, regardless of the demographics of its student body. One would expect that a Catholic college or university would be academically superior to most other similar schools. BUT, you would also expect it to be a Catholic presence among the students and faculty. The majority of professors, at least tenured ones, should be Catholic and teach from a Catholic perspective. A Catholic college or university should not be ashamed to be Catholic and to teach Catholic dogma. That does not make the school discriminatory in its practices. Anyone who attends a Catholic college or university should know that they will be constantly exposed to the Catholic view point. They don’t have to agree with it, but they must know that they are in the midst of Catholicism. If the Bishops insisted on that small matter, the schools of the nations would change dramatically.
I don’t know that I necessarily agree. For one thing, USF is undeniably a Catholic school, but it’s always been on the more liberal end of things. My dad went there in the 1950s, I think precisely because it was a little rebellious (while still Catholic). I’ve had lots of friends my age who have gone there (and to SCU and Georgetown), none of them Catholic.
Orthodox Catholics now go to schools like TAC, which are so overtly Catholic and culturally normative that they aren’t amenable to non-Catholics. I know someone who was called before a disciplinary board and expelled from TAC over rumors of sexual activity. You could never even conceive of something like that with an integrated student body (it’s the diametrical opposite of the nearby Isla Vista), But that’s precisely the environment the students (and even more so, their parents) are looking for. Orthodox Catholics I know would rather go to SF State than USF.
I think of Catholic universities more like hospitals or other institutions. They’re really in league with other large secular institutions, and the Catholic influence is present and accessible, but can’t be too much in the foreground without excluding the gene pool that competes with other large academic institutions. USF might not be a good example… but maybe Georgetown. Its peers aren’t other Catholic schools, but other top tier universities. It’s good to be in that league.
More important to be in the league with truth in advertising, Siollán M. Catholic Schools should be about the business of being Catholic first. After all, the business of the Church is teaching the Faith and saving souls. Otherwise, they should just get out of the biz because running a school that’s main concern is competing in secular education at the expense of its higher calling is nothing but an overpriced diversion from the end goal.
What you wrote:
“…It’s become a large academic institution that happens to be Catholic, rather than a Catholic college like the smaller liberal arts schools. Only 38% of the student body is even Catholic.”
…is a sorry symptom of that sad shift in priorities.
On this one, Bob One, I concur with you. Thanks for your post.
All Catholics should encourage and actively promote the reading and study of the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition in entirety, for the true teachings of the Church.
We all must do everything possible to stop heresy, schism, and relativism within the Church.
Catholic Seminaries, Convents, Universities, 11th and 12th grade Catholic High School classes, and every Catholic home should use the CCC as a required text for study and reference.
Give a copy of the CCC to literate adults for Christmas gifts, along with a copy of a Catholic Bible. (Saving a Soul is the best gift you can give.)
For quotes about the CCC from Pope Francis, Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict – on the internet go to: “What Catholics REALLY Believe SOURCE” which includes links directly to their official statements.
This is a sincere question. In reference to the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH,” Why is the “second edition” of it always referred to in many of these posts. What are the differences from the “first edition?”
Regarding the CCC. A incorrect copy was printed and distributed in early 1994 which contained a few errors in some language translations including English. Unfortunately various copies were distributed by various Bishops conferences to the public.
Here is a link to the corrections in the USA –
On September 8, 1997, Pope John Paul II formally promulgated the editio typica (the definitive Latin language edition) of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The next day the modifications to the original editions, published in the various modem languages, were made public. The modifications are intended to bring the texts of the modem language editions into conformity with the Latin text. The “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” contains the modifications/corrections to the English language text published in the United States in 1994 in trade editions and in 1995 in mass market editions.
The correct “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition” besides saying “Second Edition” on the cover also states: “revised in accordance with the official Latin text promulgated by Pope John Paul II.”
The Holy See holds the copyright. It is printed by the USCCB. And the first printing of the Second Edition in the USA was March, 2000. (This all can be found on the copyright page.)
For those who may be interested – there have only been two official “CATECHISMS of the CATHOLIC CHURCH”.
One was the “Catechism of the Council of Trent” written in 1566. This was written mainly for Priests since many people in the world were illiterate.
And today’s: “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” written in 1994 for everyone. “….the Catechism has raised throughout the world, even among non-Christians, and confirms its purpose of being presented as a full, complete exposition of Catholic doctrine, enabling everyone to know what the Church professes, celebrates , lives, and prays in her daily life.” – Pope John Paul II (CCC pg xiv)
All other catechisms are “local catechisms” and may not be as complete as the CCC, but are necessary for age appropriateness, literacy ability, etc.
Every home should contain a copy of the CCC to insure against human error in the teaching of the Faith.
On target, Mike: The infamous “Dutch Catechism” of 1966 was notorious for a series of openly false positions on Catholic theology thanks to many of the talking heads of V2 who infested Holland and advised the episcopate, (false positions such as: ever-virginity of the BVM, sacramental priesthood, Sacrifice of the Cross and the Mass, transubstantial change in Eucharist, etc, just to name a few)—yet it was used as a required reading and as a model “new catechism” in US Jesuit university classes on theology well into the 1980’s. Even Paul VI had to have [world-class progressive Catholic] Card. Frings lead point with 5 other Cardinals to try to stanch the bleeding. Too late: it halved the membership of the Dutch Catholic Church even to this day. There are only two truly “approved” catechisms for the whole Church, that of Trent and the 1994 CCC.
Mary, how about giving a copy of the “old” Baltimore Catechism? Oh, I forgot — it’s “so yesterday”.
Give me a break it must be a very slow news day newsday!!
Thank you! So Shakespearean: Much ado about nothing.
All churches should have pews and kneelers. This is directly the province of the bishops and Vatican to assure proper architecture, protocols, and the availability of the sacraments. Without this, apostate groups and clergy, including many in the Jesuits and elsewhere, will take all the effective power that a vacum provides. The firm, masculine, leadership of a true Father is needed.
This church DOES have pews and kneelers.
They have removed some in the back so people can mingle after Mass, rather than standing out in the street.
Many years ago, this church was a crown jewel, but now it is being recovated. I have attended what are now called wake services (they used to be called a funeral Rosary), and at the back of the last pews, there is set up, coffee, donuts, water, and soda pop. I am NOT making this up. The churches are becoming, or are social gathering areas, which are no longer used to glorify and worship God, but instead worship man. We have dethroned God, and put man in His place. May God have mercy on us for this present day idolatry!
The basilica in Santa Fe, New Mexico had a fundraising table smack dab in the Church with folks chatting and exchanging money right behind the pews when I visited. I can assume this was justified because they removed Our Lord to a sideline anteroom in His Own House.
But as others will assert, this is done at the Bishop’s pleasure. And yet there are those who assert all over CCD that there are no modernist Bishops and no shift in the teachings of those entrusted to protect, promote, and primarily love Holy Mother Church.
I, too, have seen this sad progression over the last few years of this “Lion of Churches”, architecturally speaking, which many know was modeled on the re-built St Paul Outside the Walls near Rome. Growing up as a child here when this great church was a safe haven from the din of the noon-day devil, it is no more what it was. Each of the side altars, which were of course magnificent marble pieces or art themselves, with traditionally consecrated relics of the martyrs, were one-by-one removed, for these art exhibits. There is a perfectly ghastly floating head of ST Ignatius in one “gallery” (yes, a bronze head), on a metal rod (reminiscent of the French Revolution for me, where priest’s heads were skewered on pikes) and many other anomalies. It is a logical progression that in the post-belief age that the Jesuits are part of, that they will (like Lenin and Stalin’s followers) replace the houses of worship with art museums and libraries. And tell me, the SSPX is the problem? Really?
Will someone kindly forward this article to the Archbishop!
I have tried but been unsuccessful.
Father Karl, Protestantism has been in since Martin Luther and has slowly and insidiously crept its way into the church. Unfortunately those blind do not see it has happened, they have drank the modernism/liberalism Koolaide, like and defend it to be that way. Where is the true Roman Catholic Church? You will know it by its fruits.
Anne, Your description reminds me of the gospel in which Our Lord banished the money changers from the Jewish Temple on account they have insulted God the Father turning His house (the temple) into a house of thieves. Again, Our Lord said: “You will know them by their fruits.
Well said Steve! Returning to the roots of our Roman Catholic Faith, returning to tradition is the answer, not as the liberals who treat them as schematics, and persuade others not to follow them or any other true Roman Catholic parish or organization that follows tradition completely. The modern Church, its magisterium, and its followers have it all backwards.
Only the Holy Ghost, providing sanctifying grace can remove the scales from our eyes that are blinding us to the truth in what has happened over the last 50 years and what is continuing to happen. Only the Holy Ghost can remove the log from our eyes that we don’t see when we criticize others having splinters in their own eyes.
The answer for all Roman Catholics, to receive sanctifying grace, is to fervently, humbly, and devotedly pray the Rosary. Grace will come over time, and we will see God’s Holy Truths, especially the Biblically foretold great apocalypse, and return to tradition. Our Blessed Mother will help us, trust in Her.
Macabees hmmmm. I think it would also be very fitting for the modern church in these times after all the priestly pedophile abuses that are still going on, priests practicing homosexuality, and for those bishops unwilling to “judge” those errors to review and discuss the Old Testament Book on the Prophecy of Malachi, Chapter 2:
 And now, O ye priests, this commandment is to you.  If you will not hear, and if you will not lay it to heart, to give glory to my name, saith the Lord of hosts: I will send poverty upon you, and will curse your blessings, yea I will curse them, because you have not laid it to heart.  Behold, I will cast the shoulder to you, and I will scatter upon your face the dung of your solemnities, and it shall take you away with it.
As a Benedictine Monk and traditional, orthodox Catholic, it disturbs me deeply that what the Jesuits are doing to St. Ignatius Church at USF, goes unchallenged by laity, parishioners, religious, clergy, bishops, USCCB, et. all. It is apparent to anyone who has eyes that this “church” has now become an art gallery/social hall/auditorium instead, but, alas, the eyes of many (Jesuits, San Franciscans, et. all) cannot see. And I bet they do not even know where in the New Testament Gospels this reference to a saying of our Lord, Jesus Christ is (Book, Chapter, Verse)! Hark! Do I hear the sound of St. Ignatius screaming from Heaven at what his Society of Jesus has become? You decide. Vaya Con Dios, Compadres! AMEN.
Sadly, that was very well said, Dom Thomas.
I would recommend the following title, available from TanBooks.com: “Liberalism Is A Sin” by Rev Fr Felix Sarda Salvany. These things are not matters of opinion or option, no matter how many malformed Catholics might think so. There are not separate branches of Catholicism, there is only Catholicism; alternatively, there is error. Please listen, those with ears to hear, before it is too late.
Cute. it begins with “Catholic Monarch Queen Isabella of Spain, Glorious Promoter of the Inquisition”.
Don’t know about Liberalism being a sin, but Hubris is one of the seven deadly…