Skip to content

Developing a Global Catholic Awareness

By Hugh McNichol

Perhaps there are multiple reasons for the confusion about Benedict XVI's relaxed restrictions on the Tridentine Rite, which preceded the II Vatican Council. Some points are mired in the political juxtapositioning always associated with the old tried and true Liberals against the Conservatives, the Traditionalists against the Modernists and so on. However a point that crosses my mind is not related to either camp of theological thought, but rather relates to a more basis and underlying issue associated with the matter...namely the lack of proper catechesis and evangelization in regards to the knowledge curve associated with a basic understanding of Church sacraments and their sacramental significance.

Prior to the Second Vatican Council, especially in the United States, religious education consisted of primarily the Baltimore Catechism and the rote memorization of statements that included proper matter and form for sacramental validity and often neglected the historical and social significance of the development of the sacramental nuances over the centuries. For example, the Tridentine Liturgy was never quite explained well to Catholic believers, but rather it was an enigmatic ritual wrapped in a mystery of a sacrifice and adequately isolated with the vernacular of Latin. Most people understood more about biochemistry than they knew or understood about the Sacred Liturgies. This author laments the fact that fellow Catholics are not more keenly aware of the historical development of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, as well as the contributions Catholic life and liturgy have made to the history of civilization ever since the Incarnation of Jesus.

If there is a confusion about the Mass and its proper implementation and celebration...the matter might well be considered Catholic institutional indifference to the proper teaching and understanding of even the most basis premises of our faith. St. Anselm is often quoted for the saying, "Fidens quarrens intellectum!" and the premise indeed is correct. Faith does seek knowledge! However the correct knowledge needs to be communicated to the body of believers.

It amazes me on a regular basis how little the average Catholic thinks about the rich tapestry of their Catholic faith outside of the 3 essential moments of Baptism, Marriage and Burial. The Church in the past 2000 years or so has accumulated quite a heritage of traditions in its prayerful expression of faith, in its institutional hierarchy and in its revolutionary approach to social progression. These are the things we need to spend our resources on...namely a primer of Catholic identity that incorporates all of the rich traditions of the past, the practices of the present and the aspirations of the Church's future into a holistic theology and philosophy that appreciates each chapter of the Church's mysterious life.

Firstly our Catholic faith is based upon the message and mystery of hope. Benedict's recent encyclical on the theological aspects of "spes" shows us very clearly that we are an expectant faith that revels in the positive expectations that include world peace, domestic harmony and a restoration of the Kingdom of God among all peoples. Our faith does not include the development of divisive theologies and activities that are meant to divide or degrade God's people and creation...but rather bring knowledge of God's divine existence to all peoples, places and times.

Secondly as a religious group of faithful Catholics we need to educate ourselves and each other about our most sacred religious beliefs and explain how our Catholic life and existence is rooted in the celebration of Jesus' divinely instituted Sacraments. Sacramental rituals are important for us as a community of faith because they are tangible signs and symbols of our participation in God's life and his providential intervention through the Incarnation and the Church into our human life. These moments are sacred communications between God and Man, intended as a foreshadowed example of our future celebration of eternal life. They are moments of time...outside of time, the Divine touching the human, and the mundane interacting with the Divine cosmology. With that being said...there is substantially more to our religious experience than just the routine participation in Sunday Mass. The Eucharistic Sacrifice we experience in our Catholic liturgy is a distinctly unique ritual that joins the entire People of God, regardless of past, present or future into a contemporary eschatological and rejuvenating reality that transcends human time and space...and brings us into a Divine understanding of cosmology and harmony that we hope to enjoy after this temporal life.

Finally, our educational premises regarding the sacraments need to be clearly identified as "developmental" understandings of our unfolding conceptualization of God's existence. Rituals develop; rituals change...but the underlying premise of religious beliefs remains always the same. We worship and praise God through our sacraments and rituals not because we have achieved religious truth...but because we are on a constant journey that seeks ever deeper knowledge and understanding of God's divine life.

As Catholics, we should not really be too concerned about the reintegration of rituals that represent Pre-Vatican II practices, or Post-Vatican II practices. What we should always and everywhere be acutely aware of is the true heritage and richness all of our sacred rituals incorporate into our ever growing appreciation and understanding of God and his unfolding plan for universal peace and harmony.

Hugh McNichol is an author that writes articles on Catholic interests. His blog: appears on a regular basis to stimulate Catholic faith and intersts!


TriNet Technologies Consultants Inc DE, US
Hugh McNichol - Author, 302 6339348



Catholic Awareness

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.