Lenten tattoos catch on at Houston church

From the Houston Chronicle: “Lenten tattoos catch on at Houston church.”

“This is a fascinating, creative, and provocative project,” said S. Brent Plate, who teaches a course on religion and pop culture at Hamilton College in New York. “The Stations as tattoos is clearly a product that fits in well with the so-called ’emerging church” movement. Among other things, the emerging church is thoroughly embedded in contemporary pop culture, generally remains theologically conservative, but is somewhat left-leaning in issues of social justice.”

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  1. Well, Anthony, since this might be one of those “roll the dice” posts…’
    I’ll help ya get started.
    In the half-decade from 50-55 I managed to acquire a few of the bodily alterations mentioned, including

    An homage to stigmata

    The Frederick Hart Processional Crucifix of the Corpus within a prismatic crystal crucifix. (I believe this was used at JPII’s visitation to DC in ’87.)

    A Celtic Cross (with abstract guitar forms interwoven, which should increase my cred with at least someone who thought I was only a chant head on this forum.)

    My students in the parish school occasionally remark on the “wounds” visible (despite my long-sleeved shirts) on my wrists. I’m pretty sure they’re intrigued as to whether they’re self-inflicted scars….(sigh)…. but I gain a teachable moment.

  2. Isaiah 49:16? “I have engraved you on the palms of my hands

    The commentary says: Alluding to the Jews’ custom (perhaps drawn from Exodus 13:9( This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that the law of the LORD is to be on your lips.) ) of puncturing on their hands a representation of their city and temple, in token of zeal for them ( Solomon 8:6 (Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. )).

    Pretty bizarre, in any case.

  3. In the article — Jesus is nailed to the cross, the seventh station??? Must be the Reader’s Digest version!

    Edit — My mistake! Seems they only do 10 stations, not 14, conflating the three falls into one. Sorry!!

    1. Fr. Ron, I’m so glad you appreciate my gimmicks. Some flop like rocks and ashes in holy water fonts. But of course there are gimmicks and then there are gimmicks. My first gimmick with pebbles and ashes in holy water fonts could be categorized as but one definition of a gimmick: “a device employed to cheat, deceive, or trick.” But the gimmick of enrichment of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass upon the Ordinary Form would be more like the second definition of a gimmick: “an ingenious or novel device, scheme, or stratagem, especially one designed to attract attention or increase appeal.”
      You are correct, the Schubert Mass in G as a Ordinary Form Mass for our Patronal Feast of Saint Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary with Extraordinary Form enrichment is indeed a gimmick of the second degree.
      BTW, thanks for the advertisement, between you and Bill advertising Southern Orders, I’ve increased my followers by about 10 more in the last week and had the most pages viewed on Ash Wednesday, 1,131 and my blogging is just a little old pedestrian hobby! And it has been great fun and therapy for me, but also work! 🙂

      1. It seems like Father has taken on board the substance of Kurt Koch’s address alerting us all that Pope Ratzinger intends to move towards a hybrid of the current Roman rite with the abrogated version. Father will be in favour when it happens and who knows, he may be even made a monsignor for his prescience.

        His chances won’t be diminished by the fact that English is not his first language.

        Bravo, padre!

      2. Mary, hybrid won’t happen.

        Below I’ve copied a post I made at the What If We Just Took Stock. It was about overturning the recent translation but could easily apply to the hybrid, reform of the reform etc. For what it is worth here it is:

        “Well, things may indeed change soon for the old guard.

        From none other than John Allen who reports on the “Vatican leaks” that recently occurred. One telling leak:

        “Another anonymous document, written in German, describing a conversation Cardinal Paolo Romeo of Palermo, Sicily, allegedly had during a trip to China, in which he predicted the pope would be dead within 12 months and replaced with Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan.”

        My take is this. If the leak is to believed, the Italians may be in charge again and the Italians are indeed sympathetic, recently telling B16 they would NOT be implementing the changes, then this recent translation may not last long at all.
        Again, just speculation…..

        You can read about the leaks here at:
        http://ncronline.org/blogs/all-things-catholic/five-questions-about-vaticans-leaks-scandal

        So there you have it Mary, for what it’s worth….. but don’t bet the farm on gossip but there is sometimes a kernel of truth underneath.

  4. Actually, Fr. Allan – you well knew that I couldn’t stay out of this thread. Fr. Ron and Chris – please go to earlier post on “Is there water in your font this Lent?” – check out #22:

    Bill states: “So, you appear to have learned from your “misguided” devotional/liturgical creativity. So, inquiring minds want to know:
    – does this mean that in a few months, you will wake up and realize that your “Southern Orders” falls into the category of a “gimmick” and that folks who touch it are walking around with smudges on their minds?
    – does this mean that you have learned that the “new translation” may, in the future, be just another “gimmick” that has smudged our lips for a period of tiime? Will you reflect on teaching your 1st and 2nd graders responses in latin as just another “gimmick”?
    – and, say it ain’t so, but will you arrive some day at the understanding that EF and TLM are just some retro “gimmicks”?

    Needless to say – when will healthy ecclesiology and liturgy”

    Fr. Allan’s response – “Bill, seriously”

    Well, in fact, IMO, your Southern Orders babble about the EF or TLM enriching the OF is just a “gimmick” – sorry, there is not first or second degree. Using your own liturgical invented language (sort of an inside club) consisting of endless conversations about low and high EFs from god knows what era with a little bit of TLM thrown in will do wonders as gimmicks (ah yes, another gimmicky catch phrase – “enrichment”) to increase the spiritual devoid of our OF. Yes, OF – EF – TLM – low, high – could have sworn that language went away in the last council of the church – the highest community decisions and practices possible. Ah yes, enrichments – original latin, purple covered statues, cappa magnas, birettas, EWTN, etc. etc. etc.

    1. I guess Bill my gimmicks are making you see red too! I’m glad. I’m seeing red too, I’m making my mother’s Bolognese sauce even as I type, for my post-Mass, Saturday night dinner of linguini. However, I didn’t have any ground beef in the house, so I substituted Swanson’s canned chicken. We Italian cooks make do with what we have!
      It’s a bit of a gimmick, but it tastes great. Hey, come on over! But I’ll post pictures
      on Southern Orders later a la Z! 🙂

    1. Hey padre, how about posting your recipe for Bolognese sauce (minus the Swanson chicken)!
      I’m sure your Bolognese sauce is better than Z’s Baloney sauce!

  5. Mary Burke :
    It seems like Father has taken on board the substance of Kurt Koch’s address alerting us all that Pope Ratzinger intends to move towards a hybrid of the current Roman rite with the abrogated version. Father will be in favour when it happens and who knows, he may be even made a monsignor for his prescience.
    His chances won’t be diminished by the fact that English is not his first language.
    Bravo, padre!

    Only comments with a full name will be approved.

    Are you suggesting that the Holy Father will be using a Missal from ancient times or perhaps pre 62? I am confused as to which Rite you are referring. Have you heard something different, maybe merging a Missal with the previous Holy Week version?

    1. Mitch, maybe your comment is tongue in cheek and I’m missing it.

      But I think Mary was referring to the hybrid mass from a letter written by Cardinal Ratzinger to Dr. Heinz-Lothar Barth, dated 23 June 2003:

      “I believe, though, that in the long term the Roman Church must have again a single Roman rite. The existence of two official rites is for bishops and priests difficult to “manage” in practice. The Roman rite of the future should be a single rite, celebrated in Latin or in the vernacular, but standing completely in the tradition of the rite that has been handed down. It could take up some new elements which have proven themselves, like new feasts, some new prefaces in the Mass, an expanded lectionary – more choice than earlier, but not too much, – an “oratio fidelium”, i.e., a fixed litany of intercessions following the Oremus before the offertory where it had its place earlier.”

      That is the “hybrid” mass that she is posting about and in my opinion a mixed up stew of both rites that will never happen (as I posted above).

      1. I was referring to which Missal Mary Burke was referencing when she stated that the current Roman Rite was being mixed with an abrogated one. Surely she was referring to a pre 1962 Missal as the John XXIII Missal has been found by the Holy Father and a group of 9 Cardinals circa 1986 to never have been abrogated. I am not opposed to a hybrid type Missal that may grow organically from what had come before it. As to my subjective opinion of what I may like to see, it seems of little importance. So I was just trying to be clear as to which Missal she was referring.

      2. Mitch, even though you quoted what I said you don’t seem to have understood it.

        I was referring to Kurt Koch’s claim that Pope Ratzinger intends in the not-too-distant future to establish a hybrid between the current Roman rite and the abrogated Tridentine Rite.

        One line of thought is that the current translation is so appaling that when the time for the hybridisation comes, English-speaking Catholics will not mind abandoning it. In other words, its literary defects and language deficiencies are deliberate. Or again, those responsible for selecting translators opted in a calculating way for people of mediocre ability for the same reason.

      3. Mary, it is a troubling thought: when I tune out from the new missal prayers, I am reverting to what my parents said they did when they were young. My dad likes to explain that his remarkable ability to tune out while still providing expected answers at the requisite times was a skill acquired at Mass. Indeed, if someday the language is changed again to something even more foreign, like Latin, then the loss will be smaller because it is already being incurred now. By getting used to tuning out in my current adjustment to the new missal, I am playing into the hands of cynical schemers.

    2. You call that a hybrid, but it really isn’t, it is doing what SC asked to be done but which the later reforming group ignored. I have no problem with Paul VI’s authority in doing so, but let’s name it for what it was, going way beyond what SC envisioned. And just as Vatican II asked religious to go back to their founding documents and charism for renewal, shouldn’t we go back to SC for on-going renewal which is in fact already taking place, read my blog for the Solemnity of Saint Joseph! And our Ordinary Form Mass with Extraordinary enrichment is far from a hybrid but more an enrichment in the art of celebrating. 🙂

  6. And again, we have Fr. Allan positing that he knew and knows exactly what SC and the 2400+ bishops wanted in liturgical reform – Fr. does know best!

    And, again, we have his “allegation” that the “later reforming group” ignored the wishes of VII. How he knows this is anyone’s guess – and it completely ignores the well documented and researched history of Vatican II by folks such as Rev. J. Komonchak who actually happened to be a peritus at VII.

    Instead, Fr. Southern Orders advertises his “Solemnity of St. Joseph ad orientem liturgy which seems completely out of place in terms of the season of Lent and the liturgical principles around Lent – but, one person’s “enrichment” is another’s “Gimmick”.

    1. Bill, Bill, Bill, I won’t question your education as you do of others, but you must be having a “senior” moment–Pope Paul’s legitimate reforming committee didn’t “ignore” the wishes of Vatican II–just went way beyond what SC envisioned for the Tridentine Mass and licitly so under the authority of the Holy Father; the 1965 transitional missal’s order and rubrics (not necessarily its prayers) is certainly within the parameters of SC’s vision for the reform of the Order of Mass; the Lectionary’s reform came later and I believe is what was envisioned, but others might disagree. I personally like the 2012 Roman Missal and wouldn’t change a thing except mandating the Introit, offertory and Communion antiphons, return to kneeling for Holy Communion (I know that’s anathema with you although your types say they hate anathemas) and making ad orientem the norm and facing the people the exception. I know, you hate these suggestions as they go against your god of ecclesiology but you know what Bill, even the Episcopalians allow for kneeling for Holy Communion and ad orientem all the while allowing for standing and facing the people–you shouldn’t be so rigid and anti-ecumenical especially with your own brother and sister Catholics. 🙂

      But more to the point about Solemnities during Lent such as Annunciation and Saint Joseph–we step out of Lent for such solemnities and sing the Gloria and are freed from any obligation to fast or abstain, even if such fall on a Friday. I am shocked that you didn’t know that. On top of that Saint Joseph’s Solemnity is our Patronal Feast–it won’t be Lent in our parish on that day! We will sing the Gloria and eat until we drop and maybe like in New Orleans we’ll have the Saint Joseph tables available for all to pig out. You’d really hate Savannah on St. Patrick’s Day and Saint Patrick isn’t even a solemnity!

  7. Fr. Allan, Fr. Allan, Fr. Allan – I won’t question that you are putting words in my mouth (never stated that you were doing anything illegal). And my comments were directed exactly at your point – per you – “….Pope Paul’s legitimate reforming committee didn’t “ignore” the wishes of Vatican II–just went way beyond what SC envisioned for the Tridentine Mass and licitly so under the authority of the Holy Father; the 1965 transitional missal’s order and rubrics (not necessarily its prayers) is certainly within the parameters of SC’s vision for the reform of the Order of Mass” – thus, your interpretation that this “committee” went way beyond what SC envisioned is your opinion based upon what – your imaginings again?

    Actually, my “god of ecclesiology” is supplemented by my “god of sacramental theology” and in that approach have difficulty when I see some push for celebrating the eucharist by highlighting ancillary (yes, licit) and minor rituals as if they are the “end of the eucharist”? Communities celebrate eucharist as an action (verb) that nourishes us for our catholic mission. Your “special feast” celebrations highlight ad orientem, kneeling at communion, the original latin, Schubert – these really are not the primary purpose of our eucharistic liturgy – you have turned things upside down in your legalistic “read the black/do the red” approach with SP giving you cover.

    So, technically, you can do this but my point was to say that (yes, ecclesiology and sacramental theology being what it is today) you have ignored the principles and spirit of VII; the recovery of liturgical seasons; the recovery of the essential roots of our liturgy via a more developed understanding of the Paschal Triduum, the 40 days of Lent, and ways to pastorally reinforce this through music, sacramentals, outreach, and witness.

    Really, is the point of our eucharist to witness to ad orientem and Schubert’s latin?

    Something about the Pharisees keeps…

  8. Bill, let me get this straight, if I did not plan special Masses for these two wonderful solemnities, one my parish’s patronal feast, and only had daily Mass celebrations of them, you would be quite content? But because we are going to celebrate these in grand fashion as the Church of 2012 allows, you think we’ve ignored the “principles and spirit of VII?” Really Bill?
    Perhaps if these horrible things, such as ad orientem, Schubert’s Latin Mass, kneeling for Holy Communion were foisted upon the laity of this parish by me each Sunday I would agree. But for two solemnities that are purely optional and only those who wish to come will come, you really harbor such negativity and antipathy?
    Bill, you are a fundamentalist, and rigidly so, when it comes to your interpretation of the “principles and spirit of VII” aren’t you? You must have been an ultra-rigid conservative, legalist prior to the Council, weren’t you? And you really haven’t changed, have you, not that I’m clairvoyant or anything like that? 🙁

  9. Well, Father, you have figured me out – thanks be that I fit into your “conspiracy theories”.

    Now for the rest of the story – at the close of Vatican II, was not quite 14 years old; had just received by Ad Altare Dei Catholic Award in Boy Scouts and was hoping to graduate the following spring from 8th grade at Most Precious Blood Catholic Elementary School in Denver, CO.

    Would you like my “dated” MMPI results to confirm your psychological ad hominem attack?

  10. Bill, I agree w/ you and don’t you think there is lots of “Monday Morning Quarterbacking” about what SC envisioned?

    First, to quote Rita Ferrone on Jan 31, 2012:

    “Inter Oecumenici, the First Instruction for the Right Implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (1964) — issued even before the Council was over — instructed that new altars should be freestanding, so that the priest could walk around it and face the people. This Instruction was approved by Pope Paul VI.

    Secondly, from QUO PRIMUM Pope Paul VI:

    All other of the churches referred to above, however, are hereby ***denied the use of other missals, which are to be discontinued entirely and absolutely;*** whereas, by this present Constitution, which will be valid henceforth, now, and forever, We order and enjoin that nothing must be added to Our recently published Missal, nothing omitted from it, nor anything whatsoever be changed within it under the penalty…
    We specifically command each and every patriarch, administrator, and all other persons or whatever ecclesiastical dignity they may be, be they even cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, or possessed of any other rank or pre-eminence, and We order them in virtue of holy obedience to chant or to read the Mass according to the rite and manner and norm herewith laid down by Us and, ***hereafter, to discontinue and completely discard all other rubrics and rites of other missals,*** however ancient, which they have customarily followed; and they must not in celebrating Mass presume to introduce any ceremonies or recite any prayers other than those contained in this Missal.

    Furthermore, by these presents [this law], in virtue of Our Apostolic authority, We grant and concede in perpetuity that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely..

  11. Fr. Allan – from another post/topic by Fr. Ruff:

    Says it all about the “spirit of VII” which you allege you know so well:

    “The actual changes as they panned out went much further than SC states or even suggests.”

    No, Nicholas. No. See this post, which shows that the ambiguity allowed for the changes that happened, indeed, the changes could have gone further:

    http://www.praytellblog.com/index.php/2010/12/04/sacrosanctum-concilium-at-47-the-second-spirit-of-the-council/

    See this post which shows that there is a “spirit” of Vatican II which is an innovative attitude unlike the language of any previous ecumenical council:

    http://www.praytellblog.com/index.php/2010/07/07/omalley-what-happened-at-vatican-ii/

    1. Bill, you allege I say (write) many things, but the most important thing about the “Church in the Now” (as there is a mega church in Atlanta by that name) which I will make explicit, is that I personally like the revised missal, all of them since Vatican II; I like facing the people, the variety of music that is available and lay involvement. I also appreciate that I can now say the EF Mass which I never thought would be possible, but it is no longer abrogated if it ever was, I’ll leave that to academics to debate, but it isn’t anymore at least in practice.
      I also appreciate that there is on-going development with the revised missal; and that ad orientem is possible and being done in a few places and that some are kneeling for Holy Communion. I recognize too that in many places there is not a kneeler to be found. We’re in a period of great liturgical and ecclesial diversity and transition and that certainly is one of the fruits of Vatican II as well. We’re also in a period of recovery of certain practices that some thought would not return but are. Where the Holy Spirit is in all of this will be determined when we get to heaven and all will be explained to us, although it will take an eternity to do so.
      But I commend Jordan for actually writing something that is on the topic of this post–sorry I distracted so many from that! 🙂

      1. Thanks, Fr. Allan – from the “fundamentalist, and rigidly so, when it comes to the interpretation of the “principles and spirit of VII”; ultra-rigid conservative, legalist prior to the Council who hasn’t changed”

        Your response is priceless: “It is all about Father Allan”

        As Fr. Ruff said eloquently above – your have thrown out the “First” Spirit of VII and replaced with your “Second” Spirit of VII (which, of course, rewrites history; rejects 50+ years of liturgical study and reform leading up to the 2400+ bishops who overwhelmingly approved the principles of this reform. A reform that specifically set in motion reforms that moved away from ad orientem, universal kneeling, latin only, EF, etc.

        Period of “great litrugical and ecclesial diversity and transiton” – yes, that is an accurate description upto around 1998; the 1% of EF/TLM/SSPX and the papal special groups seem to exhibit the only diversity at this point in time.

        Sad that you continue to hold these opinions since you were ordained to serve the people of God (not a special group; not Fr. Allan; not a small remant that holds on to the pre-VII times, etc.)

        And your 2/28: 2:14 PM comment really doesn’t synch up with what you portray on Southern Orders.

      2. Bill, I guess this means you’re not coming to our patronal Feast of Saint Joseph, Husband of Mary on March 19th at 7:00 PM with Schubert’s Mass in G in the Ordinary Form with Extraordinary sensibilities? Also, I guess I can’t expect you for the Extraordinary Form Annunciation Mass on March 26th with Ordinary Form sensibilities? And did you make my pasta sauce yet with Swanson canned chicken? That’ll tattoo your intestines.

      3. And Father, will you have any idea at all of the meaning of any or much of what you are reading aloud in your “extraordinary” form of Mass?

    1. Meant to add, so much for the “extraordinary form”, the TLM and the Tridentine Rite, etc., they were abrogated including their rubrics so no ad orientem.

      1. If the old rite was abrogated, it was done so in a very weak way. Indults were allowed almost immediately (and not with any intention of them being temporary measures for the elderly, such as the English Indult).

        Beyond legalistic reasons, I’ve yet to see a decent argument for why the 1962 missal should be abrogated or severely limited, nor have I seen any real evidence that SP has actually had a negative effect on the Church. On the other hand, the severe limiting of the old Mass (and abuse of power) for many years has resulted in many problems that still plague the Church today.

      2. Jeff, yes.
        Quo Primum is clear.
        Taken from doc’s post: “hereafter, to discontinue and completely discard all other rubrics and rites of other missals”
        The problem is that there are lots of people who speculate that changes occurred after VII that shouldn’t and apparently ad orientem shouldn’t have been changed etc.
        And there are those who think that the present Mass should have some of the characteristics of the Tridentine mass ie ad orientem etc.

        However, Q.P. states emphatically that all other rubrics are to be discarded and that the previous Tridentine Mass is abrogated: “are hereby denied the use of other missals, which are to be discontinued entirely and absolutely;*** ”
        So in my opinion, based on this:
        1. At the very least, no extraordinary form.
        2. Only the new Mass w/ its rubrics. That means ad populum as Rita Ferrone pointed out in her post.
        3. No hybird.
        Also, Jack yes indults come and go BUT this was a Quo Primum, from a Pope AND a Council. Much more force of law and an indult shouldn’t overturn a council and pontiff’s Quo Primum in my opinion. The language is clear and forceful.

      3. Kim, “Quo Primum” was Pius V’s Apostolic Constitution, not Paul VI’s (as Dr. Dale wrote).

        Paul VI’s Apostolic Constitution was “Missale Romanum”.

        The 1969 Roman Missal (and its 2nd and 3rd editions) imply that Mass may be celebrated ad orientem by their rubrics, which direct the priest at times to “face the altar” and at other times to “face the people”. (See the Order of Mass 1, 29, 127, 132, 133, 139, 141, and 144; also see GIRM 124, 146, 154, 157, 165, 181, 244, and 268.) The Missal allows celebration facing either way.

      4. Mr. Wayne – let’s correct some of your impressions and inaccuracies:
        – please document an “almost immediate indult” beyond the UK one…..really?
        – “beyond legalistic reasons……..” obviously, you havent’ been paying attention to many posts or topics on the PrayTell Blog that have documented and provided details on why the 1962 Missal was abrogated (way beyond Merely legalistic reasons). Would suggest that your statement is opinion colored by your own biases
        – “SP has had no negative effects on the church”….again, really. Well, JPII did this over the objections of most of the conferences of bishops and in particular, the European bishops begged him not to do this for exactly what has happened – a second rite that has created polarizations, anger, expense, costs in manpower, etc. And this, granted, has not been well documented given that any bishop who details this would be looked upon negatively (it’s not exactly an open and transparent environment)
        – “severe limiting resulting in many problems that still plague the church” What exactly are you talking about? Guess it depends upon your starting point or whose ox is being gored.

      5. I think you have the wrong document – Quo Primum is the Papal bull that accompanied the Tridentine Mass. Missale Romanum accompanied the promulgation of the Novus Ordo. Quo Primum is often cited by some traditionalists as reason for why the old Mass could not have been abrogated sicne it stated the Tridentine Missal could be used forever.

      6. Mr DeHaas:

        Why do I need to document an indult beyond the UK one when that is the example I gave of an indult? Apparently the old Mass was totally forbidden everywhere in perpetuity except where it was still allowed in perpetuity.

        As for the problems caused by SP – could you give numerous concrete examples? As I said before, I’ve yet to see one and your post provides nothing concrete. What division has been created that was not already there and actually caused by the old Mass being suppressed?

        As for the problems that came from suppressing the old rite? Well, many have been personally hurt and several groups have broken away. I have to wonder if the SSPX would even exist had the old rites simply been allowed more freely. What about the “polarizations, anger, expense, costs in manpower” caused by suppressing the old Missal? We probably wouldn’t have any “reform of the reform” talk going on had there always remained a traditional option.

        I would suggest it is your statements that are colored by bias.

      7. I think the following shows some evidence for the damage done by suppressing the former Missal: http://ncronline.org/news/hidden-exodus-catholics-becoming-protestants

        It sates that nearly ten percent of Americans are former Catholics and talks about the many reasons why that is so, and also states that 11% of those polled complained that the Church had strayed from traditional practices, such as the Latin Mass. While 11% doesn’t sound like much (and the article sort of dismisses the number), it translates into around 3,000,000 Americans leaving in part because the Latin Mass was taken away.

        Of course, I don’t wish to suggest there weren’t any other factors – people rarely leave for one reason – but allowing the old Mass more widely may have kept a small number of those people from leaving.

    2. Oops,
      Kim, thanks for the confidence.
      Jeff & Jack, thanks for the correction. That’s what happens when you copy and paste without proof reading.

  12. Tattooing, scarification, or body modification in general has been practiced throughout human history and in diverse cultures across continents. In some places, body modification has fallen in and out of favor depending on belief, sociocultural, and ritual changes within a culture. Cultures which have maintained an uninterrupted tradition of body modification also experience periodic resignifications. Body modification is an anthropological topic I know little about but nevertheless find fascinating. I wish to learn more.

    Regrettably, the Houston Chronicle article has not touched upon the details of Pastor Chris Seay’s program of religious formation both before and after the tattooing. Did the participants in this indelible devotion go through a structured discernment process (such as the discernment and instruction of the catechumenate) before committing to body modification? I do not doubt the sincerity of the tattooed assembly at Ecclesia (ecclesia at Ecclesia?), but I suspect that some might later regret a decision to mark the self without having followed a long period of self-examination and study beforehand..

  13. Great observation, Jordan. Though I regret upsetting Mary and Marcy, the point of my “sharing” was that initiating a series of particular iconic images to be indelibly etched resulted only from some need to demarcate in an extreme and personal way those aspects of my life’s journey that, with the sole exception of an image of my wife as well, have only to do with our Lord Jesus Christ. And, without going into depth, none that are so anachronistic that, to me, seem caricatures. And as I clearly said, after thirty years of service to the Church and age 50. ‘Nuff said.

  14. by Jack Wayne on February 29, 2012 – 4:34 pm

    It sates that nearly ten percent of Americans are former Catholics and talks about the many reasons why that is so, and also states that 11% of those polled complained that the Church had strayed from traditional practices, such as the Latin Mass. While 11% doesn’t sound like much (and the article sort of dismisses the number), it translates into around 3,000,000 Americans leaving in part because the Latin Mass was taken away.

    The exact quote from NCR is:
    ” The principal reasons given by people who leave the church to become Protestant are that their “spiritual needs were not being met” in the Catholic church (71 percent) and they “found a religion they like more” (70 percent). Eighty-one percent of respondents say they joined their new church because they enjoy the religious service and style of worship of their new faith.
    In other words, the Catholic church has failed to deliver what people consider fundamental products of religion: spiritual sustenance and a good worship service. And before conservatives blame the new liturgy, only 11 percent of those leaving complained that Catholicism had drifted too far from traditional practices such as the Latin Mass.”

  15. Thanks, Brigid but Mr. Wayne has already shown that he either didn’t read what Fr. Ruff posted or he didn’t understand it. My guess is that anything you present to him will be seen through (what Fr. Allan calls) the ultra-conservative rigidity and fundamentalism prior to VII. That statement alone makes one smile given how nonsensical it was especially when applied to someone who was barely 14 years old in 1965.

    More and more, it feels like we are talking past each other or we are trying to address our concerns to an apologist for the sedevacantists.

    1. You’ve shown you haven’t read anything I’ve written either. You also seem to assume people are exactly what you want them to be.

      I see maybe I misread the original article and it was referring only to those who left for Protestant churches. That would make it a smaller number, but so what? Souls are souls, and people are people. I really don’t understand the progressive liturgist obsession with dismissing people who fall away because they aren’t a large enough minority.

      Your assumptions about me are really funny because I’m neither conservative nor an apologist for the Sedevacatists (where you got that, I’ll never know). Perhaps you could quote back to me where I demonstrated those qualities. I’m an ardent supporter of the Latin Mass, but that’s really the only side of me I’ve shown here at PrayTell.

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