November 4th, 2011
03:43 PM ET

Big changes to Catholic Mass spur confusion in the pews

By Gabe LaMonica, CNN

Washington (CNN) - The Roman Catholic Mass is undergoing a major overhaul.  In an effort to unify how the global church prays, the English translation of the church's worship service is being modified in order to more accurately reflect the Latin from which the Roman Missal is translated.

The Catholic Church is known by some as a bastion of permanence that has not often yielded to the forces of change in the modern era. In many ways the changes harken back to the Mass spoken in Latin, as it was in the United States prior to the 1960s.

“There is an Italian proverb,” said the Rev. Msgr. Kevin W. Irwin, a professor of liturgical studies at the Catholic University of America, “that ‘every translator is a traitor.' "

“Every translation is less than the original,” he said.

The liturgical changes are “all within the responses and the language of the Mass. In the grand scheme of things, they’re fairly minor,” said Mary DeTurris Poust, whose book The Essential Guide to Catholic Prayer and the Mass, on the subject came out in March.

“It will be a great chance to think about what the prayers mean again,” said Theresa Leyva, a choir member at St. John Neumann Parish in Gaithersburg, Maryland, as she browsed new translation of the missal at a book store.

“I’m sure the first few weeks, it’ll be a little rough, but we’ll slip into it,” said Sara Hulse, a student at Catholic University from Milford, New Jersey, on her way to Mass on Thursday.

Experts acknowledge mixed reactions to the changes in the mass amongst members of a Catholic Church unaccustomed to change.

“Part of what’s going on is just the way human beings deal with changes,” said the Rev. Michael G. Witczak, an associate professor of liturgical studies at Catholic.

“Some people love change and some people hate change and some people deal with it as it comes and they’re not really hot or cold about it,” said Witczak.

The alterations in language are drastic enough that for longtime Catholics “it will be a big change to have to use a sheet of paper or a worship aid to say prayers,” said DeTurris Poust.

Some of the changes include, instead of responding, “And also with you,” to the priest when he says, “The Lord be with you,” Catholics will now respond with, “And with your Spirit.”

During the penitential act, where Catholics once said, “I confess to almighty God and to you my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault,” they will now say, “that I have greatly sinned.”

In the Nicene Creed, where once Catholics said that God is the “Maker…of all that is seen and unseen,” they will now say God makes “all things visible and invisible.”

And in that same prayer, where Jesus was once “Begotten, not made, one in being with the Father,” He is now, “begotten, not made, con-substantial with the Father.”

Where Catholics once said, “Lord I am not worthy to receive you,” they will now say, “Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof.”

The Second Vatican Council, a meeting of the world’s Catholic bishops beginning in 1962 under Pope John XXIII and ending in 1965 under Pope Paul VI, “made some tentative decisions about translating the liturgy into the vernacular languages of the people,” said Witczak, “but once the process started, people really liked it, so bishops around the world, not only in English speaking countries, but also other countries, began making more and more requests to have more and more of the sacraments in the vernacular, until finally everything ended up in the vernacular.”

“It wasn’t exactly what the bishops had wanted,” said Witczak, “but the dynamics of the process ended up with that as the outcome, and different languages translated the Latin differently.”

The International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), formed in 1963 by 11 English language speaking countries, wrote a liturgical constitution called "Sacrosanctum concilium" that same year. Their initiative was to translate “texts from a form of Latin that dates back 1500 years,” said the Rev. Msgr. Rick Hilgartner, executive director of the Secretariat of Divine Worship for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“Some of these prayers have been maintained in our celebration of the Mass since the fourth and fifth centuries. We have many source texts that come from the sixth, seventh, eighth centuries,” he said.

That first generation of translators, in the aftermath of Vatican II, relied heavily on a philosophy of translation called “dynamic equivalence,” originating in a 1969 French document, Comme Le Prevoit, and emphasized a style of translation that focused on the language into which the Latin was translated (French in this case), rather than Latin. The first complete English translation of the Roman Missal, what was called The Sacramentary, dates to 1973.

The changes, put into motion in 2000 by then-Pope John Paul II when he announced an updated addition of the original Latin book, the Missale Romanum, affect not only the U.S., but “really the church in the English speaking world: the Catholic church in Australia, New Zealand, England, Wales, and Ireland and Canada, in various other parts of the world, in India, in some countries in Africa, and in Asia - this is also happening around this time, some are a little bit ahead of us, some are a little bit behind us,” said Hilgartner.

“This is a moment that’s not just about the church in the United States,” he said.

“In 2001,” said Irwin, “the Vatican published a document, Liturgiam authenticam, in which all countries which use the vernacular, their native language, in the liturgy would need to make sure that their translations from the Latin were as accurate as possible.”

This “new” document, new in the relative sense of “church time,” as DeTurris Poust so accurately characterizes the speed at which change is implemented in the Catholic Church, de-emphasizes the dynamic equivalence philosophy of translation, which, according to Witczak, “led the first generation of translators to choose to translate text in a way that in retrospect may have been a little bit too simple in not paying enough attention to the richness and content of the Latin prayers.”

“The watchword has been fidelity to the Latin ... and every vernacular translation needs to revisit their translations in light of the document,” said Witzcak, meaning that Catholics in English-speaking countries are not the only ones who will be seeing liturgical changes.

On the first day of Advent, November 27, on the beginning of the church year, “the new translation of the liturgy will be implemented,” said DeTurris Poust.

And, she said, “there’s no going back, except that we’re going way back.”

“Every diocese and each parish will prepare for and implement the changes as they deem proper,” said Irwin.

“The United States Conference of Catholic Bishop's website has posted information about and resources on the new translation for over a year and a half,” he said.

The old books, which cost up to hundreds of dollars each will be sent to libraries and archives or buried in church cemeteries.

“There’s specific guidelines on how to retire older books because they’ve been used in liturgy and there’s a blessing on them. You can’t just throw them onto an ash heap,” said Witczak.

“I’m keeping mine because I teach liturgy,” said Witczak.

CNN's Eric Marrapodi and Athena Jones contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Catholic Church • Church • Mass • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope John Paul II • United States • Vatican

soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. Click to see

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    June 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  2. John Conrad

    Here are some suggestions of changes that could be done to lessen the confusions:
    1) Scrap out the doctrine of trinity. It is confusing and totally incorrect. I read a statement somewhere saying "cows get calves; little cows, cats get kittens;little cats, humans get babies;little humans. When God gets a son, what is he....little god? So now there are two gods? A big one and a small one? And Christianity claims to be a monotheistic belief!! Hah!
    2) Simplify the acts of worship. Tell everyone just to pray to God, not to mothers of gods, sons of gods, saints etc etc. Pray in the name of God, not in the name of Jesus who claimed times and again in the Bible that he is a son of Man!!
    3)Beg for forgiveness directly from God, and not through those corrupted priests (who happened to be humans unfree of sins). If God that you believe in is all powerful, all forgiving, He will hear you up and forgive you if you truly repent.
    4) Get rid of those so-called His Holinesses. Hierarchy in religious belief is confusing. Every man should be able to elevate himself to a high position in the eyes of God by working on his/her level of piety.

    Just some suggestions that are a part of my belief. I have lot more to say but maybe next time. Have nice day.

    March 13, 2012 at 2:31 am |
  3. C.F.Martin

    I understand the reason behind the changes. My only meloncholy is that a side by side comparison of the old language to the new shows that the old language was truly beutiful, elegant, poetic, and reverant. The new language feels clumsy, simple, and akward. The new langauge sounds like a person who is trying to say something, but is not fluent in the language they are speaking in, and not quite selecting the best words. I really miss the old lnaguage. I feel the desired meaning behind the words was more accurate before. Now we have a more accurate translation, but a lesser accurate meaning.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • D. Mosi

      I totally agree with you. The "old" way was so beautiful and meaningful, it was joyful to go to Mass. The "new" way has no beauty and for me, the joy of the Mass is gone, it seems almost punitive. I wish there were still Masses the "old" way, like some Churches had Masses in Latin for those who didn't like the last change.

      March 24, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
  4. Eric Sedillos

    Why are there so many Roman Catholic haters out there. After reading a number of the posts it just goes to show that people are people and aren't any more superior to anyone else everyone is the same. But I would never ever show so much hate towards a religion or sect because I dont know about them though I would research for more information...so quit hating..gheesh

    December 28, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  5. Sheila

    As of today, Catholics will have to think about their responses, rather than doing them in their sleep. That's a giant change.

    November 27, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Jennifer

      You are right these responses will make people think about what they are saying. But for me as a Catholic it is hard to change the meaning of things that are so important after so many years. The meanings have not changed for the better and some are just more confusing. I do not think this is the kind of change that Catholic churches needed to make. There are more imprtant things that need to be changed.

      February 18, 2012 at 4:43 am |
  6. Jon

    This is great. All they are doing is actually translating the mass, instead of mistranslating it. It must be that the first translation of the mass was done by someone who is allergic to beautiful metaphors and explicit scripture references, and they tried to hide their biases under the cover of "translation." This new translation is fixing all that, and many people have been waiting for it for a long time.

    November 27, 2011 at 5:45 am |
  7. derp

    Big changes?

    Did the priests get new dresses and hats?

    November 22, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  8. Lori

    Love God. That is all.

    November 21, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
  9. Relictus

    Religion is a fiction for controlling sheep.

    November 20, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Love Christ

      If your not a sheep your a goat. The sheep get to go to Heaven when they die, the goats the Lake of Fire.

      November 21, 2011 at 1:53 am |
  10. Iqbal Khan

    Check this out....and increase your knowledge.....


    November 18, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
  11. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    I was discussing this today with a good friend who is a Roman Catholic priest. He said this whole thing came down because the previous Pope, John-Paul II was fluent in many languages and literate in many more. In all his foreign travels he offered the Mass in the local language. It was then that he noted the translations of the Tridentine Mass in different languages didn't match.
    Unfortunately, the translations were accomplished by linguistic scholars who gave a literal translation of the Latin into the modern languages. The problem is they were basing their translations on strict literalism, not on the meanings, especially in the prayers using scriptural references. In this case, they were providing a literal word-for-word translation based on the meanings of the words in classical Latin instead of a meaningful translation based on the Vulgate Latin of the 15th Century Roman Catholic church.
    Even in English, as young of a language as it is, the meaning of a word may change not only based on territorial differences, but it may also evolve over time to have different meanings. Now my friend who has offered the Mass for the same way for the past 30 years must now completely relearn everything. Also, in a return to tradition, some of the prayers in the service will be in plainsong chant. He and I were joking about some of the clergy we both know that can't carry a note in a bucket, and how much "fun" this will be for them.
    About the only clergy that may not be bothered by this are those who were ordained and had offered Mass before the new liturgy was adopted back in the early 70s. Unfortunately for the Church, many of them are close to, if not already at, the mandatory retirement age of 75.

    November 17, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • Leslie B

      Or, we could also acknowledge the fact that the Catholic Church is doing its best to drag everyone back to the paternalistic, "Father knows best" era of the 1950's. We talk, you listen. We change things, you obey. We do the "thinking" for you, and don't question. They are afraid they have lost too much of their power and are doing everything they can to get it back. You don't bring people closer to God by changing the way sentences are phrased during the Mass; you do it by living the word of God, not playing semantic games with it.

      November 26, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • booklass

      Thanks for explaining that, Joe. I have not been around the Church much lately, and as I get ready for mass this morning, this article caught my eye. I wondered what had brought about recent changes. I know the newer re-translation of the Catholic Bible was made for much of the same reason.

      November 27, 2011 at 8:21 am |
    • Frusty Catho

      THanks JOe
      Cathaholic Hiercracky needs to be revamped.
      Bishops have no time for Confirmation. No time to be with the flock, but lots of time for all this confusion. Stuff that will take people away from the church.
      hmmm...wordy phrases as the pharasees and hypocrites ?....... wonder where this all fits in
      Wonder who is the author of confusion ?
      Differences between wordys of Canadian and US Bishops?

      Successor of St. Peter. mmm...St. Peter and theology ...proper latin phrases ? Bishops ? WHere is all this found ?

      November 29, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
  12. Formersheep

    The only over-haul needed in the catholic church is the removal of all pedophiles and their accomplices.

    November 16, 2011 at 4:43 am |
    • sortakinda

      So, when they're all gone, you'll come back? Don't use other people as an excuse for the choices you make.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  13. Iqbal Khan


    November 15, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  14. Iqbal Khan


    November 15, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  15. Thinker

    The Iluminati "controls it all," even many christian movements and ministries as well as the catholic church. What they can't control however, is the fact that God loves you, Jesus died for your sins and trough your faith and God's grace, you become children of the Most High. And by the power of the Holy Spirit all fear is gone, all demons are subject to you and the darkness cannot prevail.

    We' re entering into spiritual times where the arguments of the atheists will perish altogether. Times of one world government where all religions wil convert into 1 and through powerful and demonic signs and wonders many will be led astray.

    But "the just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17)

    November 13, 2011 at 9:40 am |
    • sortakinda

      You may be reading too many novels and watching too many Tom Hanks movies.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  16. Al

    Major overhaul? I think the only confusion is on the part of this author. This is not a "major overhaul" by any stretch of the word. Yes, there are changes ... but hardly anything major.

    November 11, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
  17. ___.__

    When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

    November 8, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
  18. Reality

    Again, for the next change:

    The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.


    November 8, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      Well THAT is one explanation of what you (and others) believe about the "historical" Jesus. It is based on how you see it. Others have a different view. I recently went to a Mexico "revival" here in the U.S. and they had Mexican flags all over the place, played Mexican patriotic music, had Mexican political officials tell great things about Mexico ..and most attending said they had chills up and down their spine and great inspiration about Me-hi-co (nobody actually wants to go back) .. nationalistic fervor about "their country." On the other hand I see Mexico as a country where the very rich do nothing for the very poor, the banditos are stronger than the poe-leece, you stand a good chance of being kidnapped (especially near the border) and held for ransom, and it is hard to eke a living .. where the U.S. Justice Department supplies the banditos with guns from Dallas gun dealers (but deny it under oath). Two different views of the same Mexico. Yet I have many Mexican friends (half) .. with roots in Mexico, speak Spanish, NOW I ask you WHICH is the real Mexico? (Mine or theirs?)

      November 8, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Reality

      Some references for those who want to read more about the historical Jesus:

      1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"

      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html
      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.

      November 8, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      @Reality people ought to read more than is reflected in their discussions. You (Reality) have some excellent sources and anyone who is a deliberate Christian should not be dissuade by the "con" readings nor actually persuaded by the "pro" readings .. simply read and be familiar with the body of work (just as though one were researching the "civil war" or the Berlin Airlift. And I would not accept any one as being authoritive about either of those topics on the basis of an undergraduate survey course. If something is important then it ought to be researched and it ought to stand up to research (reading). You could not discuss the battles of Shiloh or Gettysburg if you merely heard about it in high school. I have read the bible several times (in depth and analytically) but I do not quote it and I do not and do not ever claim that God wrote it .. nor is it a singular source. It is a source. Some of it (actually) is not worth reading. Some of it is .. even if you do not believe it. Decisions about WHAT you believe are not easily made and certainly are not some bop on the head and a swoon at an altar call. I would not understand if anyone said they believe a penny is a dollar .. so what someone believes is reflected in what someone is actually persuaded to believe based on sufficient knowledge (reading) and reflection about it. Belief is a complex posit including feeling as well as reasoning and reflection. It also changes over time .. from decade to decade. It matures.

      November 8, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • David Johnson


      There were no eyewitness accounts of Jesus. The Gospels were written by god knows who in the third person. The Gospels were written with an agenda i.e., Jesus was the Messiah and Son of God. No one even knows who actually wrote the Gospels.

      The list you presented before was crap. In no way was it evidence. Hearsay cannot serve as evidence. If hearsay is allowed, then you cannot rule out any of the "mythical" Greek gods.

      If Jesus was the Messiah why isn't there tons of evidence? Even a decent likeness or description of Him. Why isn't there enough evidence to convince more than 33% of the world?

      You paste the same things over and over. Does a new idea never enter your head? Pfui!

      November 10, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
    • Reality


      You're just so envious coz you know your copying and pasting could never parallel mine. I'm the original while YOU..are just a second rate TRYING HARD copy paste!LOL!

      November 11, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Printlight

      No, you should not believe in any such god, as described by you. Obviously it is a creation of your own imagination or something that you took off of those crazy internet sites. No respectable scholar would look at what you are saying and give it a second. In the end, people like you are gods unto themselves. As someone who is not a Christian or Jew or Muslim, I find your ignorance most distasteful. I love intelligent criticism of any body of knowledge, including belief, but what you show is neither. Go back and take couple of courses before you spew more nonsense.

      November 16, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
  19. Beverlee

    They should go back to the Latin.

    November 8, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Reality

      The Mass in Latin? You must be kidding as using this dead language only adds to the insanity.

      To wit:

      Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

      Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

      Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

      So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher man would do or say in English, Aramaic or Latin?

      November 8, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      T h e L a t i n m a s s w a s b e a u t i f u l a n d e s p e c i a l l y t h e h i g h m a s s T h a t w a s o n e o f t h e w o n d e r f u l t h i n g s a b o u t t h e R o m a n C a t h o l i c c h u r c h T h e t h i n g s t h a t w e r e w r o n g ( d o c t r i n e ) a r e w h a t t h e y d o n o t h a v e t h e c o u r a g e t o c h a n g e ( l i k e c e l i b a c y a n d b i r t h c o n t r o l p o l i c i e s ) T h e y a r e n o t f o u n d e d i n t h e g o s p e l s a n d w e r e n o t p r e a c h e d b y J e s u s o r t h e A p o s t l e s T h e i s a c t u a l l y n o d o c t r i n a l b a s i s f o r a p o p e a n d t h a t c a u s e d t h e s c h i s m s T h e r e i s n o t d o c t r i n a l b a s i s f o r t r a n s u b s t a n t i a t i o n T h e r e i s n o t d o c t r i n a l b a s i s f o r M O S T o f t h e s a c r a m e n t s ( b u t t h e y h a v e m a d e m o n e y o n t h e m ) T h e r e i s n o d o c t r i n a l b a s i s f o r a w e / t h e y d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n l a y a n d c l e r g y ( o r f o r o r d i n a t i o n o f c l e r g y ) T h e r e i s a b s o l u t e l y n o d o c t r i n a l b a s i s f o r c a r d i n a l s o r m o n s i g n o r s f i c t i o n a l o f f i c e s T h e r e i s n o t d o c t r i n a l f o r a c u r i a T h e r e i s n o d o c t r i n a l b a s i s f o r e n c y l i c a l s , b u l l s , e x c a t h e d r a , i n f a l l i b i l i t y , a b s o l u t i o n , c o n f e s s i o n o r c o n f i r m a t i o n T h e r e i s n o d o c t r i n a l b a s i s f o r e x c o m m u n i c a t i o n o r a p p o i n t i n g s a i n t s ( c a n o n i z i n g ) T h e r e i s n o t d o c t r i n a l b a s i s t o d e i f y M a r y o r a n y o f t h e f o l l o w e r s ( a n y m o r e t h a n a n y o t h e r f o l l o w e r s ) T h e r e i s n o d o c t r i n a l b a s i s f o r m e d a l l i o n s , s c a p u l a r s , c a n d l e s , h o i y w a t e r , r o s a r i e s o r r o s a r y b e a d s , s t a t i o n s o f t h e c r o s s , n o v e n a s l i t a n i e s , f i r s t F r i d a y s , F i r s t S a t u r d a y s , d a y s o f o b l i g a t i o n , t i t h i n g ( b a s e d o n W – 2 ' s ) o r i n d u l g e n c e s

      November 8, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      I'll do another one .. I took out the separators and their Bot ran everything together .. the Bot is a nemesis

      November 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      OK here is is with separators .. now it looks like expanded text, I run a Visual Basic on things the BOT does not like .. I once treid to do it on just certain words .. but the BOT has a dictionary as big as Websters .. of words it does not allow .... so this is my solution

      T h e . .L a t i n . .m a s s . .w a s . .b e a u t i f u l . .a n d . .e s p e c i a l l y . .t h e . .h i g h . .m a s s . . . .T h a t . .w a s . .o n e . .o f . .t h e . .w o n d e r f u l . . . .t h i n g s . .a b o u t . .t h e . .R o m a n . .C a t h o l i c . .c h u r c h . . . . . .T h e . .t h i n g s . .t h a t . .w e r e . .w r o n g . .( d o c t r i n e ) . .a r e . .w h a t . . . .t h e y . .d o . .n o t . .h a v e . .t h e . .c o u r a g e . .t o . .c h a n g e . .( l i k e . .c e l i b a c y . .a n d . .b i r t h . .c o n t r o l . .p o l i c i e s ) . . . . . .T h e y . .a r e . .n o t . .f o u n d e d . .i n . .t h e . .g o s p e l s . .a n d . .w e r e . .n o t . .p r e a c h e d . .b y . .J e s u s . .o r . .t h e . .A p o s t l e s . . . .T h e . .i s . .a c t u a l l y . .n o . .d o c t r i n a l . .b a s i s . .f o r . .a . .p o p e . .a n d . .t h a t . .c a u s e d . .t h e . .s c h i s m s . . . . .T h e r e . .i s . .n o t . .d o c t r i n a l . .b a s i s . .f o r . .t r a n s u b s t a n t i a t i o n . . . . .T h e r e . .i s . .n o t . .d o c t r i n a l . .b a s i s . .f o r . .M O S T . .o f . .t h e . .s a c r a m e n t s . .( b u t . .t h e y . .h a v e . .m a d e . .m o n e y . .o n . .t h e m ) . . . . .T h e r e . .i s . .n o . .d o c t r i n a l . .b a s i s . .f o r . .a . .w e / t h e y . .d i s t i n c t i o n . .b e t w e e n . .l a y . .a n d . .c l e r g y . .( o r . .f o r . .o r d i n a t i o n . .o f . .c l e r g y ) . . . .T h e r e . .i s . .a b s o l u t e l y . .n o . .d o c t r i n a l . .b a s i s . .f o r . .c a r d i n a l s . .o r . .m o n s i g n o r s . . . .f i c t i o n a l . .o f f i c e s . . . . . .T h e r e . .i s . .n o t . .d o c t r i n a l . .f o r . .a . .c u r i a . . . . . . . .T h e r e . .i s . .n o . .d o c t r i n a l . .b a s i s . . . .f o r . .e n c y l i c a l s , . .b u l l s , . .e x . .c a t h e d r a , . . . .i n f a l l i b i l i t y , . .a b s o l u t i o n , . .c o n f e s s i o n . .o r . .c o n f i r m a t i o n . . . . . .T h e r e . .i s . .n o . .d o c t r i n a l . .b a s i s . .f o r . .e x c o m m u n i c a t i o n . . . .o r . .a p p o i n t i n g . .s a i n t s . .( c a n o n i z i n g ) . .T h e r e . .i s . .n o t . .d o c t r i n a l . .b a s i s . .t o . .d e i f y . .M a r y . .o r . .a n y . .o f . .t h e . ., f o l l o w e r s . .a n y . .m o r e . .t h a n . .a n y . .o t h e r . .f o l l o w e r s ) . . . .T h e r e . .i s . .n o . .d o c t r i n a l . .b a s i s . .f o r . .m e d a l l i o n s , . .s c a p u l a r s , . .c a n d l e s , . .h o i y . .w a t e r , . .r o s a r i e s . .o r . .r o s a r y . .b e a d s , . .s t a t i o n s . .o f . .t h e . .c r o s s , . .n o v e n a s . .l i t a n i e s , . .f i r s t . .F r i d a y s , . .F i r s t . .S a t u r d a y s , . .d a y s . .o f . .o b l i g a t i o n , . .t i t h i n g . .( b a s e d . .o n . .W – 2 ' s ) . .o r . .i n d u l g e n c e s

      November 8, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • ...

      RTC check your word ti-thing (just one that popped out at me with a quick bleary-eyed look)

      November 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      T.i.t.hing was a BIG deal for Cardinal Cody in Chicago. He got a computer listing or everyone's 1040 income and his little helpers went to every parish and every house and insisted on how much Cody thought they ought give (immediately and on demand). Well at least half the RC's stopped going to church when that happened. [they called him "New Orleans Fats after a movie character] He had been bishop of New Orleans. Then he was an Archbishop in Chicago (no office of Archbishop was established by Jesus).. then he got to be Cardinal (Jesus did not talk about Cardinals). Supposedly the Apostles were "bishops" (teachers) and they appointed Stephen as a priest (not ordained) .. and they were the only two "positions." They voted to replace the Apostle Judas but God over-ruled them. (so He did not want them to do that). Well anyway by the middle ages they were *selling* offices and indulgences and reinstatements after excommunication .. and absolution and "indulgences." (just like Chicago - everything was for sale). Over the centuries the RC ceased to adhere to Christian doctrine. (they can explain why BUT .. still they did).

      November 8, 2011 at 5:08 pm |

    The only see-saw is that Catholics in the 50's and 60's were confronted with these changes before and appears reverted again. God is the same yesterday and today but we changed.

    November 8, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.