Mediator Dei 176

Remember, this document is written to and for bishops. Keeping that in mind …

176. In keeping with your pastoral solicitude, Venerable Brethren, do not cease to recommend and encourage these exercises of piety from which the faithful, entrusted to your care, cannot but derive salutary fruit. Above all, do not allow – as some do, who are deceived under the pretext of restoring the liturgy or who idly claim that only liturgical rites are of any real value and dignity – that churches be closed during the hours not appointed for public functions, as has already happened in some places: where the adoration of the august sacrament and visits to our Lord in the tabernacles are neglected; where confession of devotion is discouraged; and devotion to the Virgin Mother of God, a sign of “predestination” according to the opinion of holy (people), is so neglected, especially among the young, as to fade away and gradually vanish. Such conduct most harmful to Christian piety is like poisonous fruit, growing on the infected branches of a healthy tree, which must be cut off so that the life-giving sap of the tree may bring forth only the best fruit.

It’s a difficult discernment for individuals, parishes, dioceses, and all. Catholicism is rich and has many options, even poor ones with great followings. What contributes to the building up of holiness? What detracts? Who decides, and how carefully is it presented? I don’t know the background of Pope Pius’ complaints here. The methodology is clear: post-Reformation circle-the-wagons, but with a dash of openness to the new age in which he’s been thrust.

Mediator Dei on the Vatican web site.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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