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Invalid Catholic Baptisms?


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15 minutes ago, rongo said:

Given the very stark changes to the temple, I don't criticize things like baptism by sprinkling. We've had very big changes to the physical ordinances in favor of "symbolic only," which is the change from immersion to sprinkling. It's the authority that is all-important. If the authority is there, then the ordinances are valid, even when they undergo radical changes. 

In your opinion, how does that change in philosophy impact the "evidence" of apostacy that we used to use on missions. 

IIRC- the basic argument went something like this. After Jesus and all of the apostles with were killed the priesthood authority was lost from the earth. This is evidenced by the many schisms in the church and the loss of the plain and precious teachings and ordinances (child baptism and sprinkling sometimes used as examples).

Of course the priesthood succession continued through the catholic church with Peter passing the keys to popes etc. So if a plain and precious teaching or the precise way ordinances were performed may have been altered or lost or confused, or wrong words used, isn't the LDS church position that ALL of those ordinances performed and received over time during the apostacy in good faith were of no effect? Essentially taking the error back to a supposed origin and everyone who participated since then are out of luck? (except for LDS temple ordinances for the dead)

 

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1 hour ago, MiserereNobis said:

This issue has appeared in other parishes, too. It's a post-Vatican II "we're reforming the Church" thing. The problem in the other parishes was that the priest was using "we" not to refer to God, but to refer to the congregation (as this priest was doing). The community of believers was baptizing through the priest instead of Christ through the priest. That is a HUGE doctrinal problem. See how it teaches the priesthood of all believers? I mentioned this in another thread, but a very important idea in Catholicism is "lex orandi lex credendi" = the law of prayer is the law of belief. The way we pray and worship teaches us what to believe. Mess with the worship and you mess with belief.

In the case of the other parishes, the priest was actively and intentionally undermining the traditional Catholic understanding of baptism and priesthood. He was not intending to do what the Church intends, so the baptism were invalid on two fronts: wrong intention and wrong formula (the words). It appears that this priest was intentionally doing this, though.

This all makes sense to me (especially with the word "we" giving the idea of the priesthood of all believers).  Where it doesn't make sense (to me) is the Catholic acceptance of baptisms performed by other churches where there is no idea if the person said "we" or not, or the right words (other than knowing it was with the Trinitarian baptismal prayer), and the acceptance of those baptisms teaches the idea that there is a priesthood of all believers outside the Catholic church.  I'm not trying to be critical, I just don't understand the logic.

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6 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

This all makes sense to me (especially with the word "we" giving the idea of the priesthood of all believers).  Where it doesn't make sense (to me) is the Catholic acceptance of baptisms performed by other churches where there is no idea if the person said "we" or not, or the right words (other than knowing it was with the Trinitarian baptismal prayer), and the acceptance of those baptisms teaches the idea that there is a priesthood of all believers outside the Catholic church.  I'm not trying to be critical, I just don't understand the logic.

I hear ya. I don't have an official answer (there's probably one out there, though). My initial thoughts are this. If it is discovered that baptism has been done incorrectly, then the onus is on us to fix it. If it is not discovered, then I trust God will, in his infinite mercy, will make things right. I keep coming back to the idea that salvation is bound to baptism, but God is not bound by His sacraments. We have to do all we can to adhere to the sacraments, but I don't believe God will punish someone because of a mistake they had no control over. However, I do believe He would be unhappy if we found out about a mistake and then did nothing to correct it. So, in this (and other) instances, once knowledge of the mistake came out, then every remedy possible to correct it needs to occur.

I imagine LDS have a similar view?

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19 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

Catholic baptism leaves an indelible mark on your soul that cannot be removed.

You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave ;) 

 

7 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

I hear ya. I don't have an official answer (there's probably one out there, though). My initial thoughts are this. If it is discovered that baptism has been done incorrectly, then the onus is on us to fix it. If it is not discovered, then I trust God will, in his infinite mercy, will make things right. I keep coming back to the idea that salvation is bound to baptism, but God is not bound by His sacraments. We have to do all we can to adhere to the sacraments, but I don't believe God will punish someone because of a mistake they had no control over. However, I do believe He would be unhappy if we found out about a mistake and then did nothing to correct it. So, in this (and other) instances, once knowledge of the mistake came out, then every remedy possible to correct it needs to occur.

I imagine LDS have a similar view?

It's moreso the reality of white privilege sunk in when they turned their backs on me in my moment of need, that and everything else going on.  No way would I do now what I did then, I was in outpatient therapy for domestic violence, almost homeless and desperate for a community of some kind, in the end all they did was step on me.  On top of that, i'm LGBTQ, far as I can tell their kind wants us dead and gone.  We're a disease to them, they hate us just like anyone else who's not like them.  Their kind would love to oppress us like they used to and are pulling every political/religious trick in the book to do it, the arch bishop here is quite the homophobic bigot.  See, this is partially why when Rory asked about Lutheranism I stuck to it, at least with the ELCA I can be me, if I even went to church.  I am so sick and tired of their kind, lets see what happens when they finally push too far and everyone else finally has enough.  I have a feeling thats coming soon too.

Edited by poptart
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1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

In your opinion, how does that change in philosophy impact the "evidence" of apostacy that we used to use on missions. 

IIRC- the basic argument went something like this. After Jesus and all of the apostles with were killed the priesthood authority was lost from the earth. This is evidenced by the many schisms in the church and the loss of the plain and precious teachings and ordinances (child baptism and sprinkling sometimes used as examples).

Of course the priesthood succession continued through the catholic church with Peter passing the keys to popes etc. So if a plain and precious teaching or the precise way ordinances were performed may have been altered or lost or confused, or wrong words used, isn't the LDS church position that ALL of those ordinances performed and received over time during the apostacy in good faith were of no effect? Essentially taking the error back to a supposed origin and everyone who participated since then are out of luck? (except for LDS temple ordinances for the dead)

I think the more radical temple (and other ordinance) changes we undergo, the more it undercuts our traditional arguments and "evidence" for the Great Apostasy. If God did remove His authority from the earth by not ratifying with the Holy Spirit of Promise, then that is that, but it is harder to demonstrate logically when explaining. We used lists of councils (with dates) and major changes in discussing Catholicism/Protestantism with investigators and members, but as you point out, our own radical changes really blunt making that point with other churches. 

Our argument remains that perpetuating ordinations don't retain authority if God doesn't acknowledge them, but that is something that each individual has to settle with his own conscience and lights. 

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3 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

This issue has appeared in other parishes, too. It's a post-Vatican II "we're reforming the Church" thing. The problem in the other parishes was that the priest was using "we" not to refer to God, but to refer to the congregation (as this priest was doing). The community of believers was baptizing through the priest instead of Christ through the priest. That is a HUGE doctrinal problem. See how it teaches the priesthood of all believers? I mentioned this in another thread, but a very important idea in Catholicism is "lex orandi lex credendi" = the law of prayer is the law of belief. The way we pray and worship teaches us what to believe. Mess with the worship and you mess with belief.

In the case of the other parishes, the priest was actively and intentionally undermining the traditional Catholic understanding of baptism and priesthood. He was not intending to do what the Church intends, so the baptism were invalid on two fronts: wrong intention and wrong formula (the words). It appears that this priest was intentionally doing this, though.

Ha!

I very nearly wrote something like, "This is clean up from the Vatican II mess."

You've got it covered, though.

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5 minutes ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

Ha!

I very nearly wrote something like, "This is clean up from the Vatican II mess."

You've got it covered, though.

Just a sincere question. Is it not true that Catholicism today and yesterday is not a monolithic entity, but has its own divisions, groups, perhaps sects, etc. who may rally in part around Pre and Post Vatican II as well as differences of mission, vision, and conduct. Here in Mexico, history teaches that the black and brown robed priests were very different with very different missions and priorities. Aren't there differences in priesthood vows in different branches of Catholicism? Right here in our own little village of less than 1000 people, we have two different Catholic churches, one Diocesan in nature and one that practices a much more syncretistic frame of mind, using matachin(e) dancers, agricultural blessings, etc. Are there not now Charismatic catholic parishes and other groups approved by Rome to which folks like the new supreme court justice belong? It seems to me as an outsider that the pre and post Vatican II division and debate is a big thing. Here in Mexico we had a huge disparity in response to the Cristiadas in the 1920s and 1930s depending on the bishop and even local parish. I don't think the Catholic church is as monolithic as we think. Is that an unfair summary? 

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12 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

This issue has appeared in other parishes, too. It's a post-Vatican II "we're reforming the Church" thing. The problem in the other parishes was that the priest was using "we" not to refer to God, but to refer to the congregation (as this priest was doing). The community of believers was baptizing through the priest instead of Christ through the priest. That is a HUGE doctrinal problem. See how it teaches the priesthood of all believers? I mentioned this in another thread, but a very important idea in Catholicism is "lex orandi lex credendi" = the law of prayer is the law of belief. The way we pray and worship teaches us what to believe. Mess with the worship and you mess with belief.

In the case of the other parishes, the priest was actively and intentionally undermining the traditional Catholic understanding of baptism and priesthood. He was not intending to do what the Church intends, so the baptism were invalid on two fronts: wrong intention and wrong formula (the words). It appears that this priest was intentionally doing this, though.

I agree that this was intentional. Surely his training included the the correct forms.

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7 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

I agree that this was intentional. Surely his training included the the correct forms.

It might be important to note that this priest has been removed from ministry and asked to work to repair the harm he has done. 

This is the third case of which I have heard. I would be surprised if this is all of it. It starts in the seminaries. This, in my opinion, is probably learned behaviour, that these changes are acceptable.

 

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My apologies if I missed a post addressing this, just point me to it; but if it hasn’t been explained, can it be please:

Quote

As the entry point to other sacraments, an invalid baptism therefore invalidates any subsequent sacraments, especially confirmation, marriage, and holy orders (ordination to the priesthood or diaconate).

If marriage is invalid, what happens to the status of the children, are they seen as illegitimate?  If the parents can’t be married, perhaps they are dead, what does this change in the eyes of the Church?

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

My apologies if I missed a post addressing this, just point me to it; but if it hasn’t been explained, can it be please:

If marriage is invalid, what happens to the status of the children, are they seen as illegitimate?  If the parents can’t be married, perhaps they are dead, what does this change in the eyes of the Church?

It means they can't inherit the Crown. 😊 Heh. Presumably, a case by case basis. I can not think of many penalties for illegitimacy in our days. Not even a social stigma. And certainly not if parents justly assumed they were married.

 

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4 hours ago, 3DOP said:

It means they can't inherit the Crown. 😊 Heh. Presumably, a case by case basis. I can not think of many penalties for illegitimacy in our days. Not even a social stigma. And certainly not if parents justly assumed they were married.

 

Thanks…I can imagine a murder mystery where a wicked cousin bribes a priest to screw up the baptism of his rich, old uncle’s new young wife so their marriage is invalid and any child born illegitimate and therefore cannot share in the family fortune. 🧐

Read way too many variations over the years of evil matriarch of family paying someone to remove the marriage lines from the parish register of the young heir and his ‘common’ wife after he has gone off to war and kicked it.
 

And for the parents, would they have been viewed as living in sin or not?

Edited by Calm
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11 hours ago, Calm said:

Thanks…I can imagine a murder mystery where a wicked cousin bribes a priest to screw up the baptism of his rich, old uncle’s new young wife so their marriage is invalid and any child born illegitimate and therefore cannot share in the family fortune. 🧐

Read way too many variations over the years of evil matriarch of family paying someone to remove the marriage lines from the parish register of the young heir and his ‘common’ wife after he has gone off to war and kicked it.
 

And for the parents, would they have been viewed as living in sin or not?

Hey calm. Great question...not so sure of the difficulty of the plot if it were a Catholic situation.

Perhaps a simple solution would be to get baptised, once the plot were made known? The marriage would then be sacramental.

When married, but unbaptized people both receive baptism, the marriage becomes fully sacramental. They would not have been living in sin. The Church recognizes marriages of unbaptized people as valid, with all the privileges that naturally accompany marriage. What is missing is the grace of the Sacrament of Matrimony, which comes so soon as the parties are baptised. Unbaptized married people who observe marital norms do not commit adultery.

So a couple converts to the Catholic faith and is baptised with their children. Could this make those children already born illegitimate in the eyes of the Church. I doubt it. They were born to married persons.

Rory

Edited by 3DOP
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Quote

The bishop uses discretion when asking for the prayer to be repeated. He ensures that doing so does not cause undue embarrassment or detract from the ordinance. Another person at the sacrament table can help as needed.

I might be the reason that the priests are now excused to sit with their families after the sacrament. I dozed off several times at the sacrament table and I am not a quiet sleeper.

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On 2/16/2022 at 1:19 PM, Navidad said:

Just a sincere question. Is it not true that Catholicism today and yesterday is not a monolithic entity, but has its own divisions, groups, perhaps sects, etc. who may rally in part around Pre and Post Vatican II as well as differences of mission, vision, and conduct. Here in Mexico, history teaches that the black and brown robed priests were very different with very different missions and priorities. Aren't there differences in priesthood vows in different branches of Catholicism? Right here in our own little village of less than 1000 people, we have two different Catholic churches, one Diocesan in nature and one that practices a much more syncretistic frame of mind, using matachin(e) dancers, agricultural blessings, etc. Are there not now Charismatic catholic parishes and other groups approved by Rome to which folks like the new supreme court justice belong? It seems to me as an outsider that the pre and post Vatican II division and debate is a big thing. Here in Mexico we had a huge disparity in response to the Cristiadas in the 1920s and 1930s depending on the bishop and even local parish. I don't think the Catholic church is as monolithic as we think. Is that an unfair summary? 

Yeah Navidad, Not perhaps unfair. It might be better to say an uninformed summary in my opinion. Until the 20th Century, you have a  "monolithic entity". At the end of the 19th Century, Pope Leo XIII foresees a terrifying and confusing future for the Catholic Church. In the 20th Century, Sister Lucia of Fatima, prophesies a "diabolical disorientation" in the Church which will happen when popes lean to their own wisdom, and fail to obey the requests of Our Lady of Fatima. 

For an outsider, it is understandable, that you would see mere division in the Catholic Church in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries. For a faithful Catholic, we see the fulfilment of prophecy.

 

 

 

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On 2/16/2022 at 9:50 AM, MiserereNobis said:

My initial thoughts are this. If it is discovered that baptism has been done incorrectly, then the onus is on us to fix it. If it is not discovered, then I trust God will, in his infinite mercy, will make things right.

Hmmm.  Ok I get it.

We are saved by grace after all we can do.

Now THAT is something that makes sense!  🤔

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17 hours ago, 3DOP said:

Hi InCog.

So I thought this was an understandable question coming from a Latter-day Saint, who might naturally assume that the minister of baptism in the Catholic Church would be an ordained priest. To be sure it is the most fitting way, however, in the event of emergency, anyone may baptize, even someone of another religion, or no religion at all. The only qualification is to "intend to do what the Church does" by baptizing someone....  The reason I mention it, is because the main reason that a plural pronoun is inappropriate for Catholic baptism is because the minister of any of the Sacraments is primarily our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rory             

This part is so interesting to me.  In your belief, how can someone who does not believe that Christ exists stand in for Him without it being a bit blasphemous (since he or she would basically be pretending to be an imaginary person)?

Thanks!

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On 2/16/2022 at 2:19 PM, Navidad said:

Just a sincere question. Is it not true that Catholicism today and yesterday is not a monolithic entity, but has its own divisions, groups, perhaps sects, etc. who may rally in part around Pre and Post Vatican II as well as differences of mission, vision, and conduct. Here in Mexico, history teaches that the black and brown robed priests were very different with very different missions and priorities. Aren't there differences in priesthood vows in different branches of Catholicism? Right here in our own little village of less than 1000 people, we have two different Catholic churches, one Diocesan in nature and one that practices a much more syncretistic frame of mind, using matachin(e) dancers, agricultural blessings, etc. Are there not now Charismatic catholic parishes and other groups approved by Rome to which folks like the new supreme court justice belong? It seems to me as an outsider that the pre and post Vatican II division and debate is a big thing. Here in Mexico we had a huge disparity in response to the Cristiadas in the 1920s and 1930s depending on the bishop and even local parish. I don't think the Catholic church is as monolithic as we think. Is that an unfair summary? 

In my perspective, Catholicism is not, and never has been, monolithic. In the sense that the Christian Church is the body of Christ on earth, and that the Catholic Church has all seven sacraments, the Catholic Church certainly isn't "just any organization."

However, I see any distinctions within the Catholic Church as being intrinsic to the parts of the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27). I would only use a term like "divisions" in reference to schismatic brothers and sisters in the Orthodox Churches and to "separated" brothers in sisters in the Protestant Churches--as being intrinsic to the parts of the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27). I won't bore everyone by parsing the SSPX from the PFSP, the differences between the Jesuits and the Dominicans, TLM and the Ordinary Form of the Mass, etc. but suffice it say, I wouldn't consider any distinction within the Catholic Church as a "sect."

All priests have a vow of obedience, and all have a vow of chastity (although the vow of chastity is different for the few married priests).

There's a tendency amongst those who leave a religious organization to think of that organization in monolithic terms. I suspect that those who leave the LDS Church, for example, might tend to consider the LDS as monolithic. That doesn't, of course, make it such.

I'm trying to keep this short, but hope you get the gist.

 

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1 hour ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

In my perspective, Catholicism is not, and never has been, monolithic. In the sense that the Christian Church is the body of Christ on earth, and that the Catholic Church has all seven sacraments, the Catholic Church certainly isn't "just any organization."

However, I see any distinctions within the Catholic Church as being intrinsic to the parts of the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27). I would only use a term like "divisions" in reference to schismatic brothers and sisters in the Orthodox Churches and to "separated" brothers in sisters in the Protestant Churches--as being intrinsic to the parts of the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27). I won't bore everyone by parsing the SSPX from the PFSP, the differences between the Jesuits and the Dominicans, TLM and the Ordinary Form of the Mass, etc. but suffice it say, I wouldn't consider any distinction within the Catholic Church as a "sect."

All priests have a vow of obedience, and all have a vow of chastity (although the vow of chastity is different for the few married priests).

There's a tendency amongst those who leave a religious organization to think of that organization in monolithic terms. I suspect that those who leave the LDS Church, for example, might tend to consider the LDS as monolithic. That doesn't, of course, make it such.

I'm trying to keep this short, but hope you get the gist.

 

Yes, agree, there is no similarity between these differences in emphasis in Catholicism and the "denominations" found in Protestantism, like perhaps the difference between Lutherans, or Episcopalians and Baptists.

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On 2/19/2022 at 3:18 PM, 3DOP said:

So I thought this was an understandable question coming from a Latter-day Saint, who might naturally assume that the minister of baptism in the Catholic Church would be an ordained priest. To be sure it is the most fitting way, however, in the event of emergency, anyone may baptize, even someone of another religion, or no religion at all. The only qualification is to "intend to do what the Church does" by baptizing someone.

It's quite interesting to compare the different views. 

So from a Catholic point of view, which (if any) of the sacraments that are administered by the Church require apostolic authority from an ordained priest?   And for any that may require divine authority, are there ways of providing those sacraments to individuals that have passed on, or are they out of luck?

I'm sure you know our views on this, as this is the reason we perform baptisms for the dead and do temple work.  But your concept of "intending to do what the Church does" with respect to baptisms seems to handle situations where a person is baptized into another denomination (making sincere followers of Jesus from other Christian denominations part of "the Church" in a sense), but I don't know how that works out for those who are dead already and haven't received baptism. 

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Many good questions...and replies...yes St. Bonaventure...never monolithic...agreed. No time until Saturday/Sunday. God bless and love you all...faithful, heretics, and even sinners. Yes sinners especially, God bless me, a sinner certainly, and maybe even wrong in what he thinks. Miserere Deus, with good hope. 

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On 2/20/2022 at 10:21 AM, bluebell said:

This part is so interesting to me.  In your belief, how can someone who does not believe that Christ exists stand in for Him without it being a bit blasphemous (since he or she would basically be pretending to be an imaginary person)?

Thanks!

Thank you bluebell. Sorry for the delay. A reply has been on my mind. I hope this helps.

One would not expect for this action to be a common occurrence. Presumably, it would only happen if someone who was wishing to be baptized was somehow in danger of death and no Catholics were around. And so, a dying person who wants to receive baptism can be consoled by the fact that in extreme circumstances, anyone of good will, who merely wants to comfort someone who is dying, can take the place of a priest. "To do what the Church does", in this case would not require any Sacramental theology on the part of the extraordinary minister. All that would be necessary would be a good intention to merely try to do what those hard to understand Catholics do when they baptize. It seems unlikely that all Catholics understand very well, the idea that the actual minister is Christ Himself. Much less would a Good Samaritan of another religion or no religion. It would not be blasphemous. Indeed, it might be a real good thing to having unknowingly cooperated with Christ in a baptism on the day when such a non-Catholic meets Jesus Christ. Surely, this "minister of baptism" did far more for a neighbor than give a cup of cold water to one who was thirsty! One would have to hope that this single act would go very far to winning the mercy and grace of God for a non-believer.  

Even though one receives the grace of the Sacrament with mere desire, it is important to make every effort to receive it sacramentally. One cannot say, "Oh I desire to be baptized", and then make it a low priority. That would not be baptism of desire! There is an inspiring history of scattered communities which had accepted the Catholic faith in Japan beginning from a short but fruitful period of missionary outreach. This speaks to another reason why the minister of baptism can be other than a priest in extraordinary circumstances. About the time that the great Jesuit missionaries were evangelizing the Far East in the 17th Century, the Japanese people and their Emperor suddenly concluded that Japan did not approve of western influences. All Europeans, including the Catholic priests were required to leave. Japan did not open back up to the West until in the 19th Century, when the country found that it had fallen behind other Asian nations technologically. Along with European merchants and other westerners, the Catholic priests returned as well, and to their joy and amazement, found small, but thriving pockets of Japanese Catholics who for more than two centuries had handed down the faith that their fathers and grandfathers had embraced long before, having baptized their own in the absence of the priests. I imagine what a comfort it must have been for these priest deprived Catholics, to have the first and most important Sacrament, knowing that it united them with the faithful in all parts of the world, even as they maintained the truths of the Gospel without a priest, without Confession, and without the Mass, from generation to generation.

I link to a video I have not seen, but behind the moderator on his bookshelf is my beloved Liturgical Year of Dom Gueranges which I am so fond of quoting. I will take my chances in thinking that this will be a pretty good presentation that I will have to wait to see later. I am going to be in a ping pong tournament in less than an hour! More tomorrow hopefully. Wish me luck!

God bless,

Rory         

Edited by 3DOP
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