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Indigenous prayers, dancing in San Bernardino Synod Mass spark backlash

Michael Madrigal, a lay minister in the Diocese of San Bernardino, recites the “Native American Prayer to the Four Directions” at the beginning of the diocese’s opening Mass for the Synod on Synodality, Oct. 17, 2021 at Holy Angels Church in Riverside, California. / Screen grab photo of YouTube video.

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Oct 23, 2021 / 11:33 am (CNA).

The Diocese of San Bernardino says its opening Mass for the Synod on Synodality Oct. 17 sought to celebrate the California diocese’s rich cultural diversity and welcome those on the “periphery” of the Church.

But the liturgy’s unusual pageantry, featuring liturgical dancers, a Native American prayer to the “four directions,” and the appearance at the end of Mass of a colorfully costumed figure that resembled traditional representations of an Aztec demon, has raised eyebrows and sparked criticism on social media.

“Paganism in full bloom,” read one comment on YouTube. “This is an absolute disgrace to God and His Holy Church,” stated another.

The Synod on Synodality is a global consultative process that Pope Francis initiated earlier this month to gather input from Catholics and others around the world about important issues confronting the Church. Many U.S. dioceses held Masses last weekend to inaugurate a yearlong period of listening sessions and other means of soliciting feedback.

Bishop Alberto Rojas was the main celebrant of the San Bernardino diocese’s approximately two-hour-long opening Mass, held Sunday evening at Queen of Angels Church in Riverside, California. San Bernardino Bishop Emeritus Gerald R. Barnes concelebrated the Mass.

The live streamed, multi-lingual liturgy began in dramatic fashion. A lay minister who works at a nearby Indian reservation led the procession into the sanctuary, waving a large bird feather with one hand while carrying a basket in the other, to the accompaniment of beating drums.

After circling the altar and arriving at the lectern, Michael Madrigal, who the diocese identified as a lay minister at St. Joseph Mission Catholic Church on the Soboba Indian Reservation, removed a wooden rattle from the basket and shook it while chanting in a Native American language. Then, in English, he recited the “Native American Prayer of the Four Directions.”

“We begin to the North,” Madrigal began. “It is the direction of the cool winter snows and ice. It is the direction of our healing medicines from where we receive prayer and ceremony and blessings from our creator. In this direction, we pray for all of our spiritual leaders. We pray for strength and blessings for Pope Francis, as he has called us together for this year of Synod. We pray for all of our bishops, priests, religious, and community leaders. We ask you to give them wisdom, strength for the journey.” Similar prayers directed to the East, South, and West invoked the Trinity and asked God for guidance, healing, and protection.

You can watch the full Synod Mass in the YouTube video below. The Mass begins at the 7:53 mark. The entrance procession begins at the 11:15 mark. Matachines dancers appear at the 2:03:13 mark.

Contacted by CNA, a spokesperson for the diocese explained in an email that the prayer’s significance is two-fold. First, the prayer is meant to “reflect the multicultural character of the Diocese and to give voice to Catholic expressions that could be considered on the periphery.”

Second, “this prayer, by its nature, helps the faithful reflect on the entire web of life that God has created — a central idea in Pope Francis’s [encyclical] Laudato Si.”

There is a danger, however, that cultural expressions during the Mass can distract from the proper focus on the Eucharist, said Fr. Daniel Cardó, Benedict XVI Chair of Liturgical Studies at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver.

“There are many occasions in the life of a diocese or a parish for cultural and self-expression, but the Mass is not the place for these,” Cardó wrote in an email to CNA.

“True and lasting ecclesial unity comes from the Eucharist, not from our well-

intentioned human experiments,” he stated. “Celebrating the sacraments according to the rubrics and their spirit is the ordinary and simple path for genuine participation in the graces God offers through them.”

Bishop Alberto Rojas of San Bernardino during the diocese’s opening Mass for the Synod on Synodality, Oct. 17, 2021 at Queen of Angels Church in Riverside, California. Screen grab photo of YouTube video.
Bishop Alberto Rojas of San Bernardino during the diocese’s opening Mass for the Synod on Synodality, Oct. 17, 2021 at Queen of Angels Church in Riverside, California. Screen grab photo of YouTube video.

In his homily, Rojas described the synodal path as an invitation to listen to and welcome “all the people in the margins of society.”

“Guided by the Holy Spirit, we come together from different cultures and languages around the world, but united in Christ as one family of families to pray and to listen to each other,” he continued. “We want all the people in the margins of society to know that they are welcome in our communities because they are all children of God created in the same image and likeness of God our Father.”

Near the end of the Mass, Rojas took a moment to explain the symbolism of the entrance procession.

“If you noticed, when we entered the Church, the entrance procession, it was a little different than what we have done in the past,” the bishop said. “Normally, the priest or the presider or the bishops come in the very back, at the end of the process. You noticed this time we were in the middle, symbolizing walking together.”

Moments later, traditional Mexican Indian dancers, called matachines, wearing bells on their clothing and tall, feathered headdresses, filed in front of the altar. After a final blessing, interspersed with loud drum beats, they processed out of the church, dancing.

One of the two drummers positioned at the foot of the steps leading to the altar appeared to be wearing a jaguar costume, which some viewers associated with the Aztec jaguar-demon Texcatilpoca. The diocese did not respond to a followup email from CNA seeking an explanation.

While some social media commentators said they were deeply offended by some of the cultural aspects of the Mass, the Church generally has provided wide discretion in the liturgical use of cultural traditions.

Inculturation of the liturgy has a long history, but has come to particular prominence since the Second Vatican Council’s constitution on the sacred liturgy included norms for adapting the liturgy to the culture and traditions of peoples.

Echoing Sacrosanctum Concilium and recent documents of the Congregation for Divine Worship, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal indicates that “the pursuit of inculturation does not have as its purpose in any way the creation of new families of rites, but aims rather at meeting the needs of a particular culture, though in such a way that adaptations introduced either into the Missal or coordinated with other liturgical books are not at variance with the proper character of the Roman Rite.”

Cardó, however, said there is a proper time and place for celebrating cultural traditions and diversity.

“Thankfully, there are plenty of occasions for other kinds of human and cultural exchanges,” he stated. “But the Mass is the supreme act of adoration, thanksgiving, expiation, and petition, and this is truly experienced through a beautiful and reverent celebration of the Eucharist.”


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52 Comments

  1. “Some social media commentators were deeply offended”. REALLY??? And so were some ordinary Catholics. And these folks have been moving out the door for some time because of inappropriate experimentation and the abandonment of traditional Catholic teaching. This will increase exponentially if this “anything goes” experimentation and refusal to set standards of truth remains in play for the church. Its fine to appreciate other cultures and learn about their beliefs. But when you grant them access and put them on the same footing, dont be shocked when a great deal is permanently damaged. Why are we not shocked that some in the church no longer believe in the real presence? Think that it is ok to bless homosexual unions? Native American belief is very interesting to me culturally, but would never be placed on the same footing as my Catholic belief. Treating people of different beliefs with respect is NOT the same as granting them equivalent legitimacy where your religion is concerned. Going down this road hoisting the banner of diversity and “niceness” is much easier than turning back around. In some cases we will be SO far down the road that turning back will no longer be possible.This Mass was a grave, grave error and if the Pope lacks the gumption to say something, I hope other Cardinals and Bishops do so. And make it clear an episode like this is not to be repeated. Maybe the church should also stop giving so much “latitude” for “adapting the liturgy” to local cultures and stick to what is standard. Nobody is forcing you to be a Catholic. Accept it as is, or continue on your search elsewhere.

    • I wouldn’t want to be the messenger who has to tell Pope Francis that the Vatican’s Pachemama statue didn’t arrive in San Bernardino in time for the opening diocesan Synod Mass.

    • I found TLM 10 years ago like mant others, and have rarely looked back except in anger and pity LJ. Pity for all the honest folks who have had their inner sancturies smashed to smitherines since that fateful Conclave of 1958, and anger that my vocation along with thousands of others was smashed by the movements and networks that have poisoned the Church, her seminaries, her Parishes from the network of Rampolla, down through the P2, and landing at rock bottom in the Sankt Gallen Lavender Wolves today. Take Heart. Summorum Pontificum is not killable, whilst the living Pope who wrote it survives! And as he is a living Doctor of the Church, it will be restored and framed by a future fully valid Pope. In the meantime, find the real Latin Mass and once again find yourself leaving a Catholic Church with the wonderful sense of having lived the Holy Mass. Treat yourself and your soul to the Real McCoy! The transition phase takes a few months, then the latin prayers take hold of you and carry you through the storm. You once again look forward to Sunday Mass, knowing whats going to take place! An end to the bolderdash fluffy pastry homiletics too…

        • Believe me, I do, so do my many fellow parishioners. But I only see him now as Bergoglio, not the pope, nor the Vicar of Christ (which he refuses to identify himself as anyway).

  2. “The Synod on Synodality”?

    “Prayer to the Four Directions”?

    This is a joke, right? I mean, do these people even listen to themselves?

  3. I agree with all you say, LJ. What has occurred here is not only “a grave, grave error” but also a hideous sacrilege and blasphemy. However, isn’t the real problem with it that most of the people in the “Diocese” of San Bernardino had already ceased to be Catholic before this act of mass apostasy occurred? Survey after survey over the past 60 years has shown that huge majorities of “Catholics” do not believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist and gladly accept contraception, abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, and transgenderism. Is it really surprising then that they and their hireling “Bishop” introduce the Aztec jaguar-demon Texcatilpoca as part of their “Mass”? Calling on them to accept the Church as it is fails to recognize that for years now they have “continue[d] [their] search elsewhere”. And moreover, I ask how can you and I somehow be in communion with them?

  4. I have only one question to you all dear readers and cwr staffers:
    What have this anything to do with the Holy Catholic Church?

    Wake up people!
    I mean it, wake up!

  5. And yet I see again today, in another forum, sedevacantists and other “rigorists” being savaged for a host of relatively minor flaws, while the cesspool that our church has become is stirred by pagans, atheists, and perverts of every description, with no end in sight. But gee, at least it’s a unified cesspool. That’s what counts.

  6. This is not Catholicism. This is paganism. It is worship of false gods. It is in violation of the very 1st Commandment. We have a Church run amok.

  7. Seems like a concerned start to Frances Synodal Path right off the blocks? “Margins of Society” is a slippery term to me. Partisanship will most likely end this process in the end. Maybe some good result, I don’t know. If it can last that long and in the end I feel it will run off the rails, out of energy, lose interest.
    If this is any inclination of the start, good luck

  8. What did anyone believe would transpire when theological illiterates and far worse emerge to give the Church into the hands of a thinly veiled Marxist proletariat? And then we have the modeling of the Supreme Pastor venerating, reverencing, a deity from the confections of pantheism. Wait until Romper Room Katholicism ends its Synod on Synodality. Many are convicted that we will be rescued from this abomination in the short term. We are generations away from bringing the corrective to this abomination. The Bergoglian Captivity is with us for a few more generations at least and when it terminates Jerusalem will be found in utter ruin.
    When the Son of Man returns will He find any faith on the earth?

    • Yes, thankfully ours and most CWR readers. We have to be united, we have to be strong and courageous, passionate and powerful. We know Who is in charge, definitely not Bergoglio.

  9. Vatican II opened the floodgates for changes to Mass protocol so I wouldn’t get too excited over this. What about the hippie style masses.

    My first thought was that if Jesus had come to North America he would have made many friends with the Indians.

    • Is that before or after they scalped Him? Before or after they threw His bones to the four corners of the winds and shrunk His head into their totem pole?

  10. This act of pagan worship follows in the footsteps of Pope Francis, who on October 4, 2019, attended an act of idolatrous worship of the pagan goddess Pachamama as a special prelude to the opening of the Amazon Synod, allowing the idolatry to take place in the Vatican Gardens where he blessed a wooden image of Pachamama.

    Nothing more reflects the condition of the Catholic institution (not the Church) than these all-to-common “ceremonies” worshiping the creature rather than the Creator. Remember the “Catholic Churches” that held gay pride masses in 2019? This, too, reflects a “Catholic” people worshiping the creature rather than the Creator.

    This is the spirit of the worldwide synodal path initiated by Pope Francis.

    Read Romans 1:18-32. It is worth noting that when man exchanges the truth about God for a lie and worships and serves the creature rather than the Creator (idolatry, paganism), the first indication that God has given them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity is that they dishonor their bodies by exchanging natural same-sex relations for unnatural relations (Rom 1:26-27).

    The continued silence from Rome is nothing less than acceptance, permission, support. Whether intended to be such or not.

    • In the weeks following Francis’ blessing of Earth Mother idol and granting her a place of honor in a side alter at St. Peter’s Basilica, from Wuhan, China, the Coronavirus began to spread throughout the world. Francis followed his egregious first idolatrous act by denying priests use of those same side altars to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Next, the Vatican and worldwide Episcopate locked Church doors and dispensed everyone from the sacraments. Francis said Easter Mass to an empty basilica.

      If anyone feels the need to scratch his head about this chain of apostatic cause/effect events, I’ve got land in heaven to sell.

      • I pray that whatever repercussions there may be from this may be confined to San Bernardino. We already have our own problems in San Diego.

    • You and “merion” make the obvious point very well: this abomination differs little from the travesty that occurred at the Pachamama synod and bears the stamp of approval from the Francis Vatican. Those crude and simplistic social media commentators who CNA deplores correctly observe that this goes well beyond being liturgically abusive; it amounts to nothing less than pagan idolatry at a Catholic Church with a bishop presiding. Perhaps a well credentialled seminary professor will make an appearance and explain how we uncharitable rubes have it completely wrong.

      Also, as others here remind us, these people want to suppress the Latin Mass while mockeries like this are allowed, or rather, encouraged, to flourish. They don’t only want to kill the Latin Mass, they also intend to destroy Bendict’s reform of the New Mass as well. This is total war and the other side will settle for nothing less than unconditional surrender.

  11. Pagan prayers are allowed but the traditional, Latin Mass is not. The Catholic culture of the past is replaced by the pagan and savage culture of the future. Diversity exists for everyone except Catholics attached to the Church founded by Jesus Christ and his disciples.

  12. I’ve attended ethnic masses, the beauty of the Catholic mass is in it’s variances. Church to church, city to city, state to state no two are identical. My only question in this instance would be, are the performers members of the congregation? If so, then it’s an expression of the church community. If not, were they hired to provide a colorful backdrop to the the political statement the Bishop wished to make regarding Synod.

    • Frankly, there are not supposed to be “variances” in a Catholic Mass. This is not a “fly by the seat of your pants” service. Some Protestant services are “flexible” but ours are not. There is a grave danger in letting people improvise whatever they wish in the name of cultural diversity during Mass. Do you recall the recent case of a priest who saw the taped version of his baptism and realized he was never validly Baptized because the priest who conducted the Baptism improvised the words of Baptism? Meaning all his subsequent sacraments, including his ordination and thus all the sacraments HE had administered as a priest (weddings, confessions, last rites) were also not valid. It was an awful mess.The church has enough problems with sex abusing Priests who violate both the laws and their vows, politicians who trade on their catholicism, and a church hierarchy so fearful of public backlash they refuse to talk about sin in any way.They dont need worship services that wing it.Again, this is like people wanting to join a club and then change all the rules to suit themselves.

  13. May the backlashes continue!
    It might be that it’s the backlash and not open-minded synodality itself, that will be the real working of the Holy Spirit. As G.K. Chesterton put it: “Do not be so open-minded that your brains fall out.”

    And, about synodality as an “endless journey” now possibly in all four directions!—Instead, this from Pope Leo XIII, Divinum Illud (May 4, 1897) and Mirae caritatis (May 28, 1902):

    “The Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops to rule the Church of God, which he hath purchased with His own blood (Acts 20:28);” and “…The Eucharist, according to the testimony of the holy Fathers, should be regarded as in a manner of continuation [!] and extension [!] of the Incarnation.”
    So, as for our bishops as successors of the apostles, this too from G.K. Chesterton:

    “Those runners gather impetus as they run. Ages afterwards they still speak as if something had just happened. The have not lost the speed and momentum of messengers; they have hardly lost, as it were, the wild eyes of witnesses….[the message] is not pessimistic; it is still as optimistic as St. Francis of the flowers and birds [and Francis’ planet earth….] For these men serve a mother who seems to grow more beautiful as new generations rise up and call her blessed. We might sometimes fancy that the Church grows younger as the world grows old” (“The Everlasting Man,” 1925).

    And, as for the unconverted Pachamama and now the Aztec jaguar-demon Texcatilpoca—eat your hearts out! But try not to be so literal about it…

  14. Modern attempts to “include” and “respect” various cultures seem to be unaware that the thousands of people who converted to the Catholic Faith throughout history had no problem embracing the Catholic faith without all of these concessions to pagan practice. They converted despite vast differences between their culture and the cultures of those who brought the faith to them. Wake up!!! The current, modern approach isn’t respecting them, it is denying them true inclusion.

  15. A return to the sixties liturgical silliness. After Pachamamma on the grass worship Vatican style most are gun shy. Franciscans in our Southwest where I served had ages to do it right. What they learned is that the forbidden traditional Mass appealed more to the transient raider Navajo, Apache, the Pueblo [village people] Laguna, Acoma centuries earlier. Christ’s revelation presented faithfully in the Mass touched their inherent interests. What we all have in common. Matteo Ricci SJ was a revolutionary in China whose innovative use of the vernacular and customs caused back and forth papal sanctions. San Bernardino’s unhappy experiment will hopefully take the same route back to a liturgy that appeals to faith in Christ rather than ethnic adoration and the religion of diversity.

  16. It’s time Catholics started thinking and acting like Jesus. Seems the church is awash with those who like the Phillistines are searching for ways to attack those that reach out to welcome and embrace those marginalized and sinners. Why do we expect any difference when it happened while Christ was himself accused by those who prefer to keep the letter of the law while ignoring the heart of it.

    • ‘…letter of the law.’

      Really?

      You are equating the Sacrifice of the Mass to a welcoming orgy of cultures in real time? There are so many opportunities to welcome ‘marginalized’ people or cultures in the parish outside the Mass. By combining both you seriously denigrate the Mass and take the concentration of those attending away from the worship of Christ to a feel good nothingness. And the marginalized realize the Mass can be interrupted and cannot be all that solemn.

      Where is the Scripture verse or in Acts is there any mention whatsoever of the spirit versus the letter of the law in regard to the Last Supper? Where is the evidence in the first few centuries of the Church that the Mass was indeed the vehicle for the presentation for that which never belonged there in the Rite from the beginning?

      • Indeed. The essence of the Last Supper and the Passion and Death of Christ which the Mass continues is the taking, thanking, breaking and giving of the Bread of Life. The ‘marginalized’ are all sinners; all are equally lost, found, and loved by Christ. To attend, during the Mass, on only one subgroup of Mass participant is to discriminate and exclude the others. IT IS NOT ABOUT any one’s culture. It is about what HE has done for every person of every culture, every last marginalized one.

    • Betty, let me better state my poorly expressed intention above. Where I’ve served in missionary settings the Southwest and East Africa there were many instances of incorporating indigenous music, drumming, sometimes dance. African sisters chanted softly, rhythmically shuffled to receive the Eucharist. At a Kiowa funeral Mass I offered the liturgy was supplemented by traditional mourning chants and drumming, among the Jicarilla Apache similar [one deceased Apache chief’s face was painted red in accord with custom]. Similar liturgical supplement to the liturgy among the Maasai added to the principle Catholic liturgy. Although in one instance at a Franciscan Mass with Zuni a shaman sprinkled blue corn powder as a spirit blessing. That posed an issue because our faith in Christ and manner of worship while it may be supplemented cannot be replaced. The same allegiance to Christ holds true regarding the heart of the Law. Faith in Christ reveals the heart of the Law, which is to love the Father in spirit and in truth. Merciful love was absent among Pharisees who observed the letter but lacked that merciful love for sinners, and for anyone. As a priest I often intermingle with persons called sinners. Although, if, as a priest I decline to teach repentance for the remission of sins then it is no longer love of Christ that I teach, rather love of self and accommodation of sin. The heart of the Law compels us to conform our life to Christ, and remove from our own life that which offends him. Anything else is a religion of self gratification. Meditate on what I say and ask whether the love of Our Lord actually means to live and act just as he did.

      • Our faith in Christ can be supplemented?

        Christ needs to be supplemented? Really? No wonder the Church is going down the gurgler.

          • Fr Peter, with deep respect, surely the trick of the Vatican II infiltrates was to equate the sacred liturgy with colonial behaviour in order to sack Rome? “Taking people where they are at” is for after the Sacred Mysteries, not during… Hymns allowed for vernacular expression, and that was sufficient. The sledge hammer used to smash the church drew honest priests down the protestant liturgical circus invention avenue. And Catholics must be kind: priests had to be in that mould to get ordained… But since Summorum Pontificum things have changed. And now with 60 years of aftersight, the wreck is painful to behold. The Protestant movement itself was, afterall, part of the 400 year Masonic attack on Christendom. The Council of Trent recognised what Christendom was up against and took action. Vatican II caved in to the Rampolla network – the woodworm that had burrowed its way into the heart of the Council chamber like rarely before… That does not mean masses apeing protestantism have given no spiritual fruits, nor that the sincerity of worship was not pleasing to the Lord. The harm done was structural and historical to the Universal edifice: and that was the aim of the Sankt Gallens of your day. Freemasonry is built on the systematic destruction of the Roman Catholic Church. It is a cruel reality we are all waking up to. Many intelligent, sincere, loving priests were hoodwinked on board for the Transform the Church trip in a Yellow Submarine. I hope no offense willbe taken. Aged 50, I have to accept that I too was hoodwinked by the Vatican II coup d’état in my youth.

    • I think you’d be happier attending a clown mass or this nonsense, Betty. Thinking that Christ would be pleased with the growing frequency of liturgical abuses and the worship of pagans is indicative that you really don’t comprehend Jesus Christ at all.

      “Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” Jesus Christ, Matthew 5:17

      • Gary, The video posting actually contains two signs of hope:
        1) Most of the participating 100 or so clowns had gray or white hair;
        2) Youngsters numbered about 5-6.

    • “Philistines”? The people known as the Philistines were long from the region of Philistia before the time of Christ. Perhaps you are talking about people who are hostile to art and culture. However, these “philistines” wouldn’t necessarily be people who hold to the letter of the law or attack people who reach out to sinners. Surely you intended to say “Pharisees”.

    • The lack of innovation in the TLM may in fact be the real reason the papacy of Francis has severely restricted its celebration. Modernistic practices and abuses have no place in TLM rubrics.

      Requiring a priest to request Vatican permission before he celebrates the TLM is like requiring a kindergartener to obtain a pass before he may visit the bathroom.

    • Have you ever heard the Album “Missa Luba?” That was a reverent Latin Mass which incorporated indigenous tribal music forms. Beautiful and inspiring. However, it sounds to me like this Riverside Mass was not that but deliberate infusion of pagan theology.

  17. “ It’s time Catholics started thinking and acting like Jesus …”

    Right. Because Jesus wove rituals to Baal and Mithra into temple worship.

    When it comes to the synod on synodality, this sort of thing is a feature not a bug.

    The point is to subvert Catholicism and real religion.

    Show it the contempt it deserves.

  18. A bad sign of the times that is happening now. The best description of San Bernardino’s Synod Mass is that it is a WOKE joke. None of the performers’ featherly recitations to some god(?), or wearing indigenous WOKE clothing should ever be part of the Holy Mass; especially in today’s world.

  19. These abuses and demon idol worship garbage must stop. Protestants are mocking us over this and using outrages like this to paint us as non-Christian pagans, to insult and denigrate our faith. It’s discouraging young Catholics worldwide and making them question their faith.

    • Protestants are doing nothing of the sort, and saying so is disrespectful and slanderous. Protestants have seen the same activities in many of the mainline denominations as they have slid into liberalism. It’s now a faith without faith. What’s happening in the RC Church is just a symptom of the broader spiritual decay permeating the culture.

  20. So, shall the San Bernardino diocese now be called simply “The Joke”

    I am sure a more miserable excuse for a Catholic diocese can be found but at the moment I am stumped.

  21. Fr Peter, with deep respect, surely the trick of the Vatican II infiltrates was to equate the sacred liturgy with colonial behaviour in order to sack Rome? With TLM hindsight, “Taking people where they are at” is for after the Sacred Mysteries, not during… Hymns allowed for vernacular expression, and that was sufficient. The harm done was structural and historical to the Universal edifice: and that was the aim of the infiltrates. Freemasonry is built on the systematic destruction of Rome.

  22. This has less to do with synodality and more to do with syncretism. Christ has already given the Church her mission. It is called the Great Commission:
    *
    The Commissioning of the Disciples
    *
    16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20 RSVCE)

  23. Since we are an offshoot of Judaism, I think we can borrow a lot from our Jewish sisters and brothers. I learned from an acquaintance why he is Orthodox. His father is a rabbi and explained that, all throughout history, there have been factions who wanted to eradicate Jews. So, if they started out with a watered-down version of the faith, those people may have succeeded.

    Sounds very familiar to me as we seem to keep diluting that which I grew up with!

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