Viewpoint: The Ongoing Problem of Liturgical Clericalism

by M. Francis Mannion

Since I am considered something of an expert on the matter, I have occasionally been asked the question: What is the fundamental problem today with the Church’s liturgy? My answer is simple: clericalism.

By clericalism I do not mean the existence of a clerical order in the Church (I am after all a cleric myself). By clericalism, I mean an “ism,” a deformation of something good and necessary–in this case, of something essential to the life of the Church: the liturgical ministry of the ordained.

Liturgical clericalism occurs when the role of those in holy orders overpowers the Church’s rites and disempowers the baptized from the full and active participation in the liturgy for which the twentieth-century liturgical movement and Vatican II called.

Essentially, there are today two kinds of liturgical clericalism: the “old-fashioned” (a carry-over from pre-Vatican II) and the “new fashioned” (since Vatican II).

In the old-fashioned kind, the priest assumes unnecessarily the roles of readers, intercessors, or altar servers; the sign of the peace is dropped out; the chalice is withheld from the people; and the laity (especially women) are kept out of the sanctuary as much as possible.

Indeed, in some quarters this kind of pre-Vatican II clericalism seems to be on the rebound, as many younger clergy state a clear preference for the “extraordinary” (Tridentine) Latin Mass over the “ordinary” form (the Mass we have had since 1970). In this attitude, little consideration seems to be given to the fact that the people do not understand Latin. (This trend goes with a resurgence of an exaggerated theology of priesthood.)

The second kind of liturgical clericalism–the new-fashioned–is very much a product of the post-Vatican II era, and is found today mostly among an older generation of priests. What is often referred to as the “talk show” style of priestly presidency of the eucharist serves–like the older kind–to focus unduly on the priestly role and to disenfranchise the people, who have a right to the liturgy of the church in its integrity.

The tendency among priests of this school toward excessive personalization, unpredictable intervention, and textual and ritual experimentation has the effect of compromising the objectivity of the liturgy and turning worship into an exercise of personal priestly expression.

The character of the liturgical life of parishes and communities is fundamentally dependent (like it or not) on priestly leadership. Wise priestly leadership reveres, trusts, and faithfully enacts the official rites, recognizing them as media of divine grace, and it consciously respects the baptismal dignity of the people who worship in and through them.

Old-fashioned clerics need to recognize the values of the Mass of 1970–with it provision of the vernacular, the chalice for the people, and a rite characterized by “noble simplicity,” and to appreciate the pastoral superiority of this form over the old Latin Mass.

New-fashioned clerics need to learn the importance of respecting the objectivity of the liturgy; attending to the fact that they are servants of the liturgy, not its masters; and the necessity of avoiding anything that is annoying or offensive to the congregation.

These would also do well to recognize the values of the pre-Vatican II liturgy, especially in the area of music, art, and architecture, as well as its solemn and reverent style, when done well–which was not always the case.

All this points out how crucial are seminary formation in liturgical leadership, the ongoing education after ordination of priests in matters of worship, and strong episcopal oversight of the liturgical life of parishes.

 

Msgr. Mannion is pastor emeritus of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Salt Lake City. Reprinted by permission of Catholic News Agency.

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34 comments

  1. I applaud Msgr. Mannion’s balanced comments. Having myself been a perpetrator of “new-fashioned clericalism” as well as a person in the pew victimized by both kinds of clericalism, I appreciate his valuation of the purpose of the liturgy and the role of clerics therein.

  2. Another excellent commentary by Msgr. Mannion. But I don’t think the ordained are the only ones guilty of clericalism. For example, I might be accused of clericalism by seeming to call too much attention to myself in my introductory remarks at the beginning of the liturgy. But these same critics would gush with delight over similar comments coming from Pope Francis or from the local bishop.

  3. Msgr. Mannion writes, “Old-fashioned clerics need to recognize the values of the Mass of 1970–with it provision of the vernacular, the chalice for the people, and a rite characterized by “noble simplicity,” and to appreciate the pastoral superiority of this form over the old Latin Mass.” [my italics, bold]

    I find Mannion’s statement [in bold] to be extremely condescending. Are not the “one sheep” of the modern Tridentine faithful nourished pastorally by the medieval liturgy? The packed Sunday pews at my local EF church demonstrate the pastoral failure of a “one liturgy” policy for Roman Catholicism. Any presumption that the Ordinary Form is “pastorally superior” presumes that all Catholics can be accommodated by one liturgical philosophy and one liturgical ideology. The resurgence of the EF, as well as the beautiful diversity of rites in communion with Rome, demonstrates that the postmodern Roman rite alone cannot serve the spiritual and temporal concerns of every layperson well.

    Last weekend I attended the feast of a local Greek Orthodox parish. A parishioner gave us a tour of the church. After he found out that my parents and I are devout and familiar with the EF, he shared with us his understanding of Orthodox liturgical spirituality. In his view, the nave is the ship which carries the struggling faithful to heaven through an intense focus on the sacrifice of the Mass. His main concern with the some celebrations of the Ordinary Form is an over-emphasis on the anthropocentric. In his view, some Roman clerics have inverted the order of pastoral care and spirituality: now the emphasis is on the comfort and temporal welfare of the sailors in the boat, and not the journey to the sacrifice. I found it hard to disagree, given that some priests preach psychotherapeutics more than the Gospel.

    I’ll worship at this parish more often. My Orthodoxy clock has been forwarded to 23:59:50.

  4. “In this attitude, little consideration seems to be given to the fact that the people do not understand Latin. (This trend goes with a resurgence of an exaggerated theology of priesthood.)”

    Interesting. In the many communities I’ve worshipped in that utilize the generous provisions of St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI for the classical Roman liturgy, I have seen generally a very high level of awareness and understanding of the liturgy — what it means, what’s going on, what the prayers are saying — much more than in the mainstream Novus Ordo context. This is because the people take their catechesis more seriously, they follow in the missal and pay attention closely, and their spirits are stirred by the reverence (and often, great beauty) of what they experience. This sounds to me like the authentic liturgical movement.

    This piece is redolent of the reaction against the reaction, inasmuch as it refuses to see how many millions (yes, readers, millions today) are nourished by the same liturgy that nourished almost all the saints.

    1. @Peter Kwasniewski – comment #6:
      “None of the saints of the Catholic Reformation drew their spirituality from the liturgy. Ignatius of Loyola, Theresa of Avila and John of the Cross developed their religiuos life solely from personal encounter with God and from individual experience of the Church, quite apart from the liturgy and any deep involvement with it.” Joseph Ratzinger on the problem with worship, 1964

      1. @Alexander Larkin – comment #7:
        Actually, according to some analyses I have read, John of the Cross developed the poem “Dark Night of the Soul” at least in part as a reflection on the Easter Vigil of his time. And while I don’t know enough about them, I would think that Ignatius and Theresa were influenced, at least in part, by the liturgy of their time.

      2. @Gordon E. Truitt – comment #16:
        I’ve had the same thought. Ignatius was at Montserrat and exposed to the daily Benedictine liturgical life. The connections have seemed rather obvious to me.

    2. @Peter Kwasniewski – comment #6:
      I think what you’re describing here is not dependent on the liturgical form, but the interior and communal commitment to the faith, an intentionality about being a Christian. In addition to the citation from Fr Ratzinger, consider also the Directory for Popular Piety and the Liturgy, sections 34ff. It is widely conceded that medieval liturgy as well as the Tridentine had vanishingly little effect on the spiritual life.

      I don’t like to look back, but the truth is undeniable: if we had had real liturgical reform in the 16th century when we needed it, Roman Catholicism would have been a lot richer and deeper than it is today.

      Fr Kenney, I recommend a deeper reflection and study of the liturgy, starting with the praenotanda and GIRM. Liturgy is deeper than Cooking For Dummies.

      1. @Todd Flowerday – comment #15:

        In addition to the citation from Fr Ratzinger, consider also the Directory for Popular Piety and the Liturgy, sections 34ff. It is widely conceded that medieval liturgy as well as the Tridentine had vanishingly little effect on the spiritual life.

        It is undeniable that Mass as an event of human drama is not the totality of the spiritual life. The ritual and performances are the foundations of the spiritual life, but not the end results. Participation in Mass need not be overt for the taproot of spiritual nourishment to run directly through the altar and sacrifice. So while many saints might not have understood the intellectual plane of the liturgy as found in the Latin prayers, they understood, to a degree much more profound than I will ever know, the immensity of the union of heaven and earth effected at every Mass. Mass is never a sum of its intellectual parts but rather a total action which renovates the faithful and the world. At every second of the day a Mass is being said in our world. All Masses renovate our brokenness even if each cannot be understood intellectually because of physical absence.

        I do not want to glorify “western” European feudalism, as its abuse at the hands of even ecclesiastics was not only an abuse of charity but also an abuse of human dignity. Still, this question must always be at the forefront of our minds: did not the sacring or church bells which announced the unbloody sacrifice to the community communicate exactly what the serfs needed to know about their salvation? Perhaps most could not pronounce the responses, and let alone know them. Still they knew that their axis mundi was the total expression of the Mass as propitiation and a means of grace, respite from their toil and the promise of everlasting life. No Mass commentator could ever and will ever impart this sense of total immersion in the Eucharist.

      2. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #28:
        There is also a difference between the supernatural effect of God’s grace, and the human cooperation with it. In my meager studies of Ignatian spirituality, I do not find much inspiration derived by St Ignatius from the Mass. Devotion to Christ and to the apostolic example of the saints strike me as the backbone of the Spiritual Exercises. That’s in keeping with the material that inspired his conversion. Ignatius of Loyola sought God in all things, as do his spiritual sons and daughters. At best, the Mass would be one of many sources.

        An official document of the Church concedes a disconnect between popular piety and the Mass from the early medieval period through to the present day. I think that clergy can do the right actions, say the right words, and people in the pews can be praying or even saying the words and singing the songs. But the real effect of liturgy in the spiritual life involves a deeper connection. And God is not bound by rubrical correctness or even the optimal form of the Mass.

        God may be disappointed that we don’t derive more benefit/fruit/consolation from the liturgy. But he’s clearly not inclined to dry up the well of grace in other areas. I might report the bad news, but it doesn’t mean I don’t, like you, regret it.

      3. @Todd Flowerday – comment #30:

        There is also a difference between the supernatural effect of God’s grace, and the human cooperation with it.

        Quite true. The Church has unequivocally condemned “irresistible grace”. Jansenius taught that even those in mortal sin could be passively affected by grace. He in effect drained the grace out of confession. For many years, I never understood why the Church has persecuted pietism so strongly. I now realize that, as you note Todd, grace cannot be separated from human cooperation. The heartfelt response to Christ cannot be unilateral on behalf of the believer. Grace does not rain on people indiscriminately.

        What bothers me about the reformation of the Mass is not the texts themselves, but rather an obsession with external response, gesture, and performative innovation. I understand that these emphases are designed to suppress pietism. Still, for some the engineered nature of the Ordinary Form turns thought inward, even to the point of heresy. There are many days when I would rather steal away and pick TULIPs. I realize though that even if I find many celebrations of the Ordinary Form emotionally intrusive, the rite is certainly orthodox.

        If I cannot conform to an orthodox understanding of cooperation with the grace of the sacraments, and specifically avoid a skewed understanding of the sacraments which values the sacrificial action of the Mass over participation in the Mass, then I cannot be Catholic. Nevertheless, I am also not convinced that orthodoxy is fulfilled by the Ordinary Form alone. This is where we have consistently parted company. Perhaps there is nothing else to say.

      4. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #32:
        Thanks for the reply, Jordan.

        With regard to “pietism,” I suspect the council bishops wished that somehow, they could undo several centuries of the gulf between popular piety and the liturgy, and that liturgy would slide in ahead of piety and devotion as the formative bedrock and foundation for believers. For Catholics who were willing to engage letter and spirit of conciliar reform, I would say it has been largely fruitful. For the majority of Catholics, I would say that the modern Roman Rite and devotions both are humming at a very low level. Just as they were before the Council.

        The dangers of the modern Roman Rite you describe I don’t see absent from the TLM, especially in the smug self-congratulation I read on many web sites. How is that any less about Me?

        I don’t know if it helps, but I see the virtue of participation as a “practice,” in part. The Christian life is demanding. The Mass provides a platform for the believer to practice what is preached/proclaimed, to respond to God’s grace, to begin or hopefully continue a dialogue that exists outside of Mass.

        Regarding the TLM and me, while I would find musical aspects of the High Mass edifying, and possibly even fruitful, I would find it woefully insufficient for the spiritual life. If I had no other options, I can see myself retreating into Lectio Divina and the Spiritual Exercises and giving liturgy not much thought at all.

      5. @Todd Flowerday – comment #30:
        Is it possible Ignatius and his contemporaries found the core of the Mass inadequate to enhancing their spiritual health? It raises the question Is the Roman canon inadequate for accomplishing this enhancement– a secret, silent, priestly act to be observed, but one that leaves the person in the pew to find alternative spiritual exercises? How many medieval lay people had a missal or prayer book to follow, since most couldn’t read and write?

        I was observing a Coptic Orthodox liturgy on youtube recently celebrated at a church in Washington DC. The parish priest made a point of explaining in great detail every minute portion of the largely English Coptic liturgy. I came away wondering are we in the west missing something by having what appears to be a too narrowly focused, and, therefore, an incomplete euchology expressed in the anaphora of the Roman Mass? If that’s the case, could it explain Catholics’ search for spiritual aids outside the liturgy to fill that void. Something the Mass, be it the Ordinary or the Extraordinaly form, fail to provide?

        Despite their great length, what is it about the liturgy of St. James and the Coptic liturgy of St. Basil, especially in the vernacular, which immediately invite the engagement of the people in ways totally absent from any western liturgical tradition I’m familiar with?

  5. Fear of the second kind has allowed the first kind to wreak havoc in the Church in the last fifteen years or so. I agree both are problems, but proportionally, you rarely see the second unless it is tied also to aspects of the first. For every one of the ‘new’ form, there are ten of the ‘old’ form, which is more likely to drive people from the church, by about the same ratio.

  6. I think a lot of what is listed as old fashioned clericalism is really just another side of the new clericalism. The 1970 missal is very clerical in the sense that it lets the priest decide pretty much everything that goes on. It allows the priest to add talk show commentary, but it also allows him to withold the chalice and prohibit female servers. In the EF (which 99 percent of the time is only celebrated for those who really want it, so the criticism above is moot) options regarding readers and servers do not exist. Now before someone chimes in to say all the ways a priest can speed through and omit things in the EF, I want to make it clear that I am talking about legitimate options rather than liturgical abuses. Leaving out prayers is an abuse in both forms, but excluding women from serving is a totally legitimate option in the new form.

  7. Mannion points to a continuing temptation for the presider. Our cult of the priest aids and abets it. I’m sure that If I were ordained I would walk into the trap, because as a lector I occasionally crossed the line. The ordained clergy who preside can avoid the new-fashioned clericalism by making God’s work rather than their chatter and glad-handing the center of their liturgical ministry. They can reflect prayerfully on the words of the liturgy, which are already full of the spirit of welcome and encouragement. They can take to heart the instructions and guides that point to the entire assembly’s prayer. The words in first-person plural would be said aloud, while those in first-person singular (except for the misguided insistence on “I believe”) would not be heard any more than anyone’s personal devotional words would be.

  8. “In this attitude, little consideration seems to be given to the fact that the people do not understand Latin.”

    I’ve attended on various occasions services that were entirely in Latin or entirely in Greek. Each time, I had a pew Missal that had English on one side and Latin or Greek on the other. The pew Missal in these contexts is a handy thing. No matter where I am in the world, I can follow along, and the liturgy will be the same. I only have to worry about one language I may or may not know. And since the Ordinary of the Mass never changes, even if someone doesn’t directly “know” Latin, they will know what the Ordinary means within a few months if they’re half alive in Church. The Propers may change, but they’re in the Pew Missal. It’s not an impossible or even especially burdensome barrier, if proper care is made.

    Side story: When the Church of England switched to “vernacular” masses, people in Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and most of England outside of the area around London protested in favor of Latin, which they could actually understand, unlike a random dialect (at the time) of English.

    With vernacular Mass? Well, now. I would have to know a different language every place I go, or else I will be lost, and I will need a new Pew Missal with whatever vernacular language on the one side and English on the other.

    The Church is in a better position now, I think, in that people who attend a Latin Mass a) want it and b) benefit from it, as has been observed earlier. I doubt the Catholic Church will ever go back to only Latin; it would be nice, however, and in accordance to what Sacrosanctum Concilium actually says, if more parishes made it available in the Novus Ordo, if not the Extraordinary Form.

    (Self-Disclosure – I’ve been a student of Latin since 1998 and a teacher of Latin in some form or another since 2005. I am, therefore, admittedly biased and in favor of more Latin, though not hitched to the horse of Only Latin.)

  9. GIRM 111 and 352 are pivotal in this matter of liturgical clericalism:

    111. Among all who are involved with regard to the rites, pastoral aspects, and music there should be harmony and diligence in the effective preparation of each liturgical celebration in accord with the Missal and other liturgical books. This should take place under the direction of the rector of the church and after the consultation with the faithful about things that directly pertain to them. The priest who presides at the celebration, however, always retains the right of arranging those things that are his own responsibility.

    [Please note that the entire last sentence of 111 is new to this edition of the GIRM.]

    GIRM 352. The pastoral effectiveness of a celebration will be greatly increased if the texts of the readings, the prayers, and the liturgical songs correspond as closely as possible to the needs, spiritual preparation, and culture of those taking part. This is achieved by appropriate use of the wide options described below.

    The priest, therefore, in planning the celebration of Mass, should have in mind the common spiritual good of the people of God, rather than his own inclinations. He should, moreover, remember that the selection of different parts is to be made in agreement with those who have some role in the celebration, including the faithful, in regard to the parts that more directly pertain to each.

    Since, indeed, a variety of options is provided for the different parts of the Mass, it is necessary for the deacon, the lectors, the psalmist, the cantor, the commentator, and the choir to be completely sure before the celebration which text for which each is responsible is to be used and that nothing be improvised. Harmonious planning and carrying out of the rites will be of great assistance in disposing the faithful to participate in the Eucharist.

  10. I find it a rare occasion when the OF is celebrated in manner which is “noble,” but I agree that it is possible. Much rarer is the “simplicity.” The reformed rites are anything but simple. I find this to be the case not only with the Missal but with the other liturgical books as well. The options can be staggering. Which is often why people actually have a difficult time “actively participating.” Blessings, anointings, and even daily Mass in the OF often have the presider prompting in order to get a response and often simply making the responses in lieu of participation. In my opinion the reformed liturgical books are anything but simple.

  11. #13
    Cranmer made much the same criticism of the Sarum Rite ………… one the one hand it led to the English Reformation, on the other he did translate the collects with an ease and grace that seems to have eluded our present version.

  12. #15 Todd Flowerday, I’d prefer that you were less rude when you presume to know what I have or haven’t studied. Indeed, liturgy is a deep subject. I stand by my impressions of the reformed liturgical books (which I use daily). I suspect that the complex nature of the options especially the varying responses is responsible for a shallow level of participation. I think that it really is too much for most of the people to handle. Of course, in any circumstance where the community is thoroughly trained, the Holy Mass fares much better. I think the OF also requires more not just from the celebrant but all the ministers and the faithful. My experience is people are not interested. They can’t be convinced that it matters that some texts belong to them and some to the celebrant. If I don’t prompt them they won’t respond. It becomes most evident when using the Book of Blessings and in the other rituals like Anointing of the sick.

    1. @Fr. Keith Kenney – comment #17:
      It’s testing to read poor-dumb-laity testimonials from clergy. Good participation is less a matter of priests educating people than it is of good liturgical formation. If the people need prompting, it may be because you’ve conditioned them to wait on you. Or that new pastors change things with too much frequency. Or that you are using too many options. Or they are not interested because you are not interested in them.

      Of course the modern Roman Rite demands more of its liturgical leadership. And the people. That’s the whole point. Sheesh.

      1. @Todd Flowerday – comment #19:
        Thank you for a warm welcome to Pray Tell. At no point did I insinuate poor-dumb-laity is the problem. I’m interested in looking at the difficulties and discussing them. You’re interested in making snarky comments at my expense. At least I know where not to find conversation or advice.

  13. Msgr. Mannion strikes me as a fair-minded commentator, so I found it uncharacteristically snarky or obtuse of him to suggest that “little consideration seems to be given to the fact that the people do not understand Latin.” Those who celebrate highly- or exclusively-latinate liturgies are well aware of the barriers to direct verbal comprehension, they simply don’t view this as problematic. Some admit a problem that they see resolved through the use of worship aids like hand missals. Others reject to varying degrees the premise that the sort of verbal comprehension expected in the OF is a necessity for active liturgical participation.

    It is on his understanding of liturgical participation, that I believe Msgr. Mannion reveals himself as a clericalist, though not one of the two sorts he describes above. Clericalist has no fixed definition, but as my own shorthand I like to describe this prejudice as the assumption and enactment of the premise that full Christian dignity resides solely with the clergy, while laymen are second-class citizens. This could take many forms, such as a belief that politicians must bow to priestly policy recommendations, or an unwillingness to accept an explanation of points of doctrine unless coming from the mouth of the ordained. But in the case of the liturgy clericalism shines through not when certain roles are restricted to clerics (the rites themselves still do this, just not in as strict a fashion as previous discipline) but instead when it assumes that performing these clerical roles is the only manner in which one might participate fully and actively.

    Joe Catholic in the pew is perfectly capable of full, conscious, and active participation without being given any “extra lines” to say or any objects to carry from one place to another. To suggest otherwise (by claiming, e.g., that being excluded from proclaiming readings “disempowers” laymen from “participation”), denigrates rather than dignifies the majority of the Church.

  14. Like you, I’m just a commentator. You did write:

    ” I think that it really is too much for most of the people to handle. Of course, in any circumstance where the community is thoroughly trained …”

    Would you care to elaborate on this? Many of us here worship and serve parishes where people participate well with problems that center more on acoustics, or leadership. The idea that a little training/catechesis/head knowledge will do the trick is just plain old.

    You are new here. I should have been more kind and far less bilious. Urging and forming a less-than-intentional faith community in good liturgy takes hard work, patience, and more artistry than the 1570/1962 Rite has ever mustered. It’s a path that will frustrate any clericalist, and there’s no sure reward for either a liberal or conservative.

    As for your implied personal experiences, clearly fewer options are better. Just because they are in the book, especially in MR3, doesn’t mean they have to be used, or that they are well-rendered for the Roman Rite.

    I apologize for the insults. It was unseemly, and I request forgiveness.

    1. @Todd Flowerday – comment #22:
      Todd, you say that you “should have been more kind and far less bilious,” but then simply can’t resist a sideswipe at the Extraordinary Form.

      Doesn’t this strike you as putting paid to your stated apology for insults and unseemly behavior?

      1. @Christopher Queen – comment #27:
        No. I admit I’m not the ideal poster boy for arguing against the TLM. But there’s a difference between offering an apology for a personal affront and turning off the spigot on my point of view Fr Kenney did not identify himself as a TLM advocate, by the way. He was insulted by my insults. You are insulted by my argument. Big difference, there.

  15. @Todd Flowerday

    You are a piece of work. I think we all know full well what Father Kenney was speaking about when he was mentioning the “community being thoroughly trained”…

    Of course, one that is usually doesn’t put up with the prancing all about the altar and the “intentional faith community” crap that spews out of the intentionally FEW.

    1. @Todd Orbitz – comment #23:
      We are all pieces of God’s work, my friend.

      Call me a practitioner of a hermeneutic of suspicion when it comes to catechesis, training, education, and information when it applies to developing a good liturgical spirit.

      I wouldn’t be so hasty to denigrate intentionality, especially when it comes to the TLM and their communities. One prime reason traditionalist parishes do so well is because a much higher portion of their membership take their faith very seriously. In a way, if all Catholics took their faith with deep seriousness, it would hardly matter what form the Mass took, as it would have accomplished a substantial part of its mission.

      Thanks for the comment and the criticism.

      1. @Todd Flowerday – comment #24:

        One prime reason traditionalist parishes do so well is because a much higher portion of their membership take their faith very seriously.

        Interestingly, I have just been hearing tonight about a number of traditionalist parishes where numbers are declining. It seems that the pastors are turning people off….

      2. @Paul Inwood – comment #25:
        Paul, I’ve also seen the phenomenon in the US in liberal parishes. A new pastor is appointed. Things change. Sometimes on the order of the bishop, sometimes on the whim of the new priest. People get discouraged and drop away. I wonder as new, perhaps persnickety pastors get appointed in these traditionalist communities, there will be more parishes in decline.

        It’s an interesting side-effect of clericalism, eh? The culture of celebrity: making the Gospel all about the particular leader rather than Jesus Christ.

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