Skip to comments.In the Gullet of a Wolf
Posted on 02/25/2005 4:50:22 PM PST by Land of the Irish
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In the Gullet of a Wolf
I know that after my departure fierce wolves will get in among you,
and will not spare the flock.
Acts 20; 29
Two Catholics died in January of this year. One Id been acquainted with for some time; the other Id never met. Both had three things in common: 1) They kept the Faith and served the Church throughout their lives, 2) They gave to the Church, besides decades worth of tithing, a good number of children and 3) On their deathbeds, both were shown less regard by their bishops than death row inmates are shown by their wardens.
Their crime? Faithful adherence to the Mass of their childhood. This is their story.
Allen Cain, RIP
On the 3rd of January, 2005, Allen Francis Cain died at the age of 89. Id known Mr. Cain (though not well) for many years. He was a kind and gentle soul, well beloved by those who knew him. Hed somehow managed to raise twelve children while working himself to the bone on a 200-acre, 100-year-old family farm in Murdock, Minnesota. He was part of that dying breed of Catholic farmers who proudly work the land and till the soil even as their fathers had done for generations before them.
After the constraints of old age had forced him from his fields, Mr. Cain, by that time a widower after some five decades married to his high school sweetheart, spent his last years making rosaries lots of them. The local newspaper printed the following lines as part of a glowing obituary: Allen was a member of Our Ladys Rosary Makers, long ago passing his goal of making a rosary for every day of his life...Many times every day you could find him quietly reading, reciting his prayers, and making rosaries.
Get the picture? This was one of those living saint types who comes along only every now and then but who makes the world a better place for having been born. Look up faithful Catholic in the dictionary and you might just find a picture of Allen Cain. Trouble is, after 1965 he became increasingly ostracized by this noisy new world of ours, and especially by the renewed Catholic Church of Vatican II. Come to think of it, family farms like his were being swallowed up during those years about as exponentially as Catholic high altars were being bulldozed. In any event, Mr. Cain never became a traditional Catholic; he just sort of stayed on that way all the days of his long life.
He lived the Faith as hed been taught it by the Catholic nuns and priests of his childhood almost a hundred years ago. He wasnt interested in being renewed.
Over the years, small checks from Allen Cain came into The Remnant office on a regular basis. They were always attached to handwritten orders for a new subscription or a reprint article for this family member or that friend or the barber or the butcher or some acquaintance who the old man was gently leading back to Christ. He never made a big deal about it; he just quietly went about the Lords work as best he knew how. And so in peace his years passed.
After raising twelve children and who knows how many flocks of turkeys, and after threading miles of wire though several hundred thousand beads, he was quite unceremoniously called home to the God hed well served. He died like hed livedwithout making a fuss. To the very end he asked nothing of anyone, except, that is, for one final request: Bury me in the old way, with the old Latin Mass that I learned to love when I was a boy.
Who could refuse such a simple request from one so guileless, and just moments from death? For that matter, whod even consider refusing it, except, perhaps, a bully with an axe to grind.
Nevertheless, someone did refuse the last request of Allen Cain. Never mind that, even on death row, the final wish of the most hardened criminal is respected; old Mr. Cains was not. As if all the sexual abuse cover-ups werent enough, yet another scandal involving an American Catholic bishop was brewing.
A day after Mr. Cain had passed, his son, Colin Cain (a trusted board member at a Catholic parish in So. St. Paul) called the Murdock parish priest and informed him of his fathers last request. Because it was the church where Mr. Cain had been baptized, married his bride, been a life-long parishioner, dropped who knows how many thousands of dollars into the collection basket, Sacred Heart Church was the natural choice for his funeral.
The pastor, or Sacramental Minister as hes now called in the Parish Directory, said no problem, but permission would have to be obtained from the Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt, Bishop of New Ulm.
This is where the nightmare began.
With the help and close cooperation of a sympathetic priest in St. Paul, Colin Cain called the Vicar for the Diocese of New Ulm, asking to speak to Bishop Nienstedt. The Vicar stated that the Bishop was on retreat. Could the Vicar himself, then, perhaps expedite the old gentlemans deathbed request? He was sympathetic but said that the Bishop does not grant permission for those.
But, the son pleaded, the pastor has given his permission and we have two priests who are willing to say the Mass.
The Vicar thought a moment and then promised that hed take it under advisement and pass the information along to the bishop.
The Bishop will let you know.
The family waited but there was no call-back. Finally, they called the chancery office again. This time the Vicars response was: The Bishop said no.
May we have a reason?
The Bishop gave no reason; he will not give permission for a Tridentine Requiem Mass to anyone.
This prompted letters from the family, pleading and begging the bishop to honor their fathers dying wish .Daughter-in-law Jane wrote to the Bishop. Granddaughter Maria wrote to the Bishop. Daughter Catherine wrote to the Bishop. Catherines coworker a non-Catholic, scandalized by the Bishops refusal to honor a deathbed request wrote to the Bishop. Another of Catherines shocked coworkers wrote to the Bishop. Daughter Patti wrote to the Bishop. Daughter Ann wrote to the Bishop. Youngest daughter Shannon wrote to the Bishop and even telephoned the Vicar.
Many friends sent letters to the bishop and many more called his office, but all of this was met with a disdainful silence from the castle on the hill.
Out of options and running out of time, the peasants had to settle for a burial service in Murdock, sans a Requiem. A simple burial service would have to suffice to accommodate the old mans many friends, neighbors, and family members, including his last surviving sister, who wanted to say goodbye to a pillar of their small community and join together in prayer for his soul.
And so, rather than violate the sacred last wishes of the deceased, a faithful Catholic of 89 years was laid to rest without any Mass at all.
A Requiem was eventually offered in St. Paul, long after Allen had been interred in Murdock. It was the best the family could do. As Jane Cain pointed out in her letter to the Bishop, in the past there were really only two reasons why a body might not be present at a funeral Mass: the person had died on the battlefield or drowned at sea. As Mr. Cain had died in his hospital bed, there now seemed to be a third, more sinister, reason involving the personal power trips of individual bishops who think they know better than the Pope. This apparently rattled His Excellency, for he did finally respond. The pertinent portion of his letter to Jane Cain follows:
because of our close proximity to the Archdiocese of St. Paul Minneapolis, which does offer this possibility [to offer the old Mass] at St. Augustine Church in South St. Paul, there would be no need to add to the parochial responsibilities of our priests in responding to this request [to grant Mr. Cains Requiem].
What the Holy Fathers document does not consider, however, is an individual request for the Tridentine Mass in a specific instance such as Allen Cains funeral. One has to understand that the Sacred Liturgy is a communal event. Every celebration of the Mass is of and for the whole Church, as clearly enunciated by Pope John Paul in his encyclical, The Eucharist in Relation to the Church. What Mr. Cains deathbed request would entail, therefore, would be turning the Mass into a private devotion, which would be totally wrong and diametrically opposed to the theology of the Catholic Church.
Diametrically opposed? Allowing a Catholic to have a funeral Mass offered exactly as it had been for well over a thousand years is, according to the Bishop of New Ulm, a private devotion that is diametrically opposed to the theology of the Catholic Church? Evidently, the Holy Father never anticipated this diametric opposition? I realize that post-conciliar seminaries arent exactly bastions of vast intellectual acumen, but is this man serious?!
How could a shepherd of souls develop such a transparent loathing for the venerable Catholic liturgical heritage of the Roman Rite and those attached to it? The Archbishop of St. Paul Minneapolis, Harry Flynn, certainly doesnt share this peculiar phobia of the old Mass. What is Bishop Neinstedt afraid of a grassroots movement of octogenarians in New Ulm, rising up from their deathbeds and demanding the return of the old Mass?
Yes, crush the rebellion! Down with the insurgents! Call in the AARP!
Such an attitude against something so sacreda foundational stone of Christendom and the touchstone of the Faith itselfsavors of the demonic, whether the Bishop of New Ulm realizes it or not. This is the Mass of St. Thomas Aquinas, Pope Pius X, St. Maximilian Kolbe, Pope Pius XII! Granting permission for that Massthe only
Mass the saints ever knewconstitutes something that is opposed to the theology of the Catholic Church? One is reminded of the vampires of folklore cringing in horror at the sight of a crucifix or holy water or the Mass. After all, what difference does it make to the Bishop if one old man in Murdock wants a Latin Mass at his funeral? What could possibly explain such intolerance?
And it gets worse: it turns out that there were Protestant observers taking all of this in, having become privy to this apparent contempt for the Roman Catholic liturgical heritage and for a dying mans last request. Sensing that the Cains were getting nowhere, one Protestant friend of the family tried to intervene, in fact. When her efforts also failed, one can only imagine the distain for all things Catholic that she must have felt in her heart. After all the sex and sewage and ecclesiastical scandals of the past decade, imagine how this Protestant ladys worst anti-Catholic suspicions were beautifully confirmed by the bull-in-a-china-shop antics of the Bishop of New Ulm:
My name is Denise Stipes and I am a dear friend of Catherine Cain (and her family) whose father, Mr. Allen Cain of Murdock, MN, recently passed away. He was 89 years old. I was informed today that he has been denied a Tridentine Funeral Mass. I would like to ask for your reason for denying Mr. Cain the dignity of this service.
It is my understanding that one of the great strengths of the Tridentine Mass is its uniformity. Wherever Catholics go in the world, the Tridentine Mass is exactly the same. The movements and gestures of the Mass are clearly prescribed, so theres no room for personalization of the liturgy. The time-honored Latin of the Mass reverently reflects the sacrificial nature of the celebration.
The Pope approves the Tridentine Funeral Mass. In his 1980 letter to the Bishops on the Holy Eucharist, Pope John Paul II said: There are also those people who, having been educated on the basis of the old liturgy in Latin, experience the lack of this one language, which in all the world was an expression of the unity of the Church and which, through its dignified character, elicited a profound sense of the Eucharistic mystery. It is therefore necessary to show, not only understanding, but also full respect towards these sentiments and desires. As far as possible, these sentiments and desires are to be accommodated.
From what I understand, the parish priest has no objections to this request. I respectfully ask that you reconsider your decision and allow Mr. Cain his last dying wish to have a Latin Mass at his funeral. I fully support the Cain family and the rights of Mr. Cain. I look forward to a positive response.
Denise Stipes, Chicago, IL
In the dismal ecclesial reality of Vatican II, one is no longer surprised by anything, even such previously unthinkable realities as Protestants who are more sensitive to the will of the Pope, exemplify more compassion, and practice greater charity than a Catholic bishop. But, there it is.
One wonders what the Bishops reaction might have been had the Cain Family requested that a Buddhist monk be allowed to perform a smoking bowls ritual at the funeral Mass in Murdock . Certainly! The Church understands the great value of other faith expressions. And this would promote greater ecumenical awareness. So long as the Buddhist reveres Vatican II, we have no objections and we welcome him to our worship space.
Virginia Teehan, RIP
I did not know Mrs. Virginia Teehan (who died in Maryland six days after Allen Cain), and so her story will here be told by a compelling letter written by her daughter and addressed to the attention of the Most Rev. Sean Patrick OMalley, Archbishop of Boston, successor of Cardinal Bernard Law of most unhappy memory. Though the Teehan Family had found two priests willing to offer the Tridentine Requiem at Mrs. Teehans parish church, St. Pius X Church in Milton, MA, the Archdiocese flatly refused to grant permission for it, even though traditional Requiems are allowed in Bostons Holy
Trinity Church (Indult). With considerable finagling and at the very last moment, the family did manage to have a hastily thrown-together Requiem for Mrs. Teehan all the way down in Boston. But the Archdiocese in no way suggested this as a possible recourse; permission for the Requiem in Milton was simply denied with no reason given. Despite their grief at a very difficult time, the family members were left to fend for themselves.
The letter speaks for itself.
Read it and weep:
Our family recently requested the Tridentine Latin Mass for our beloved mothers funeral. We had no problem finding a priest willing to say it but the Archdiocese denied our request.
Virginia Teehan passed away on Sunday, January 9, at 12 noon, as her family finished saying the rosary. She was a devout Catholic who loved the Tridentine Latin Mass and made the trip to the South End with her missal in hand whenever she could. When she become ill a year ago, she attended Mass at a local church. She asked the priest if he would say the Tridentine Latin Mass once. Again he was willing but the Archdiocese said, No.
Our mother prayed hard for our Holy Father, bishops and priests her whole life; but while she was in Brigham and Womens Hospital at various times throughout the year, she requested Communion from a priest. They kept sending a layperson, and she kept requesting a priest. After many, many requests the priest camewithout Holy Communion. He told her he couldnt promise to bring it to her; so, basically, if she didnt accept Communion from a layperson that was her tough luck. He never did come back. Oh, but before he left, he asked our father and me to put our hands on her and gave her a blessing?!
On January 9th at about 4 a.m., my mother was about to be put on a ventilator and was told she may never be able to communicate again. She requested a priest. Eight hours later she passed away. A priest never came.
Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident. We were calling priests all over Boston throughout the year to bring her Communion, and the majority of them were just too busy.
We find it extremely tragic that the leaders of the Church that she devoted her life to and prayed so hard for could deny her her right to the Tridentine Latin Mass, Communion from a priest and a priest by her side on her deathbed. The latter two we need for you to be aware of, but please tell us why you denied our request for the Tridentine Latin Mass for our mothers funeral. What could you possibly have against that Mass? We found a priest, actually a couple of them, willing to say it; my mother loved that Mass, and the Archdiocese said, No. Why? Our mother found parts of the new Mass offensive because of irreverence and many things that were done and said. Whether you agree with this sentiment or not, our Holy Father said you could allow us to have the Tridentine Latin Mass.
So why did you deny our request and make an extremely stressful time for us even more stressful? We dont understand and nobody else does, either
There are problems within the Church, in case you havent noticed, and were begging you and praying that you will do something about them. We dont have our mother here anymore to set us straight according to the old Catholic teachings, so we can only depend on you. The salvation of our souls and others depends on you.
Enclosed are some poems by our mother that we never really appreciated before, but theyre helping us get through this difficult time. Wed like to share them with you and hope that you will cherish them as much as we do.
Mary Bennett (John, Michael, Ann, Paul and Matthew Teehan).
It is said that a society can be judged by the way in which it treats its young and its elderly. If this is so, and it certainly is, then what can be said of the renewed Church which has failed to teach the Faith to its children (most Catholic grade-schoolers have trouble with the Hail Mary, let alone an entire rosary), which has victimized its young men (or covered for priests who did so), and which is now in the business of denying the sick and dying their deathbed requests? What are they so afraid of? That their habit-less nuns, altar-less sanctuaries, congregation-less churches, priest-less parishes, and vocation-less seminaries are signs that the end is near for them? Is this why they resent tradition-minded Catholics enough to lord it over them whenever possible, even those lying on their deathbeds? It would seem so.
Its no wonder theres standing room only at chapels operated by the Society of St. Pius X!
Id like to close with one of those little poems written by the late Mrs. Teehan. To think that it was penned by a beautiful Catholic soul whose Bishop denied her simple request to have a Requiem Mass just as all Catholics for centuries had been given. Shame on him and God help us all!
The Catholic Church
Where Jesus does dwell
In Rome, the Pope
To guard it well
Divine as her founder
Holy and One
The Bride of Christ
May His Kingdome come
To every nation
As He did command
The apostles who preached
In every land.
His Cross and His rock
Are the visible signs
For salvation and life
For all of mankind
Christ is the Good Shepherd
He has one flock
And none will be lost
Who cling to the Rock
Virginia Teehan (RIP)
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Diametrically opposed?Allowing a Catholic to have a funeral Mass offered exactly as it had been for well over a thousand years is, according to the Bishop of New Ulm, a private devotion that is diametrically opposed to the theology of the Catholic Church? Evidently, the Holy Father never anticipated this diametric opposition? I realize that post-conciliar seminaries arent exactly bastions of vast intellectual acumen, but is this man serious?!
The Novus Ordo is another religion. It is opposed to genuine Catholicism. At least this bishop admits it.
Liberals like Flynn and Mahoney often grant the widest use of the Tridentine, since they believe in a diversity and inculturation of worship.
"... but is this man serious?!"
He sounds pretty serious to me. IMO,this is another manifestation of the same evil which allowed poofter prelates to move criminal pervert padres from parish to parish.
The agency of Satan is clearly at work here.
I wouldn't go near either one of these guys on a bet.
May God help their sheep.
May God look with mercy upon Mr. Cain and grant him peace.
" Faithful Catholics are denied even the most basic of courtesy and respect "for their rightful aspirations" by Ordinaries ..."
As my parents were buried before promulgation of the new Mass, I have not had to deal with this situation.
I am afraid that I would not have been as patient as the family of Mr.Cain.
What I would have said to that evil bishop probably would have gotten me excommunicated.
I'm waiting for some of these bishops to be excommunicated, rather than given promotions to Rome or easy retirements. (Such as Boston's Bernard Law, for example.)
Ha! You obviously don't live in LA. There is but one--count it--one Indult Mass offered by the beloved Cardinal Mahoney. And, it is only offered three weeks out of the four. Further, it is at a different location each week, all geographically dispersed throughout the diocese. Some "diversity of worship". And his liberal brother bishop Todd of Orange County is only slightly more generous--he allows us one Indult Mass in a tiny--albeit beautiful--chapel in San Juan Capistrano. Hmmm... where is the tolerance? the diversity?
The members of the old boys club take care of each other. They are above the rules which apply to mere mortals.
They kind of remind me of queens on a chess board.
You didn't read what I said.
LOL. I just may use that one!!!
I disagree. Here in the Detroit we have only one indult which was allowed just last year. Adam Cardinal Maida is the ordinary and one of the bishops is a known "progressive".
I also would tend to disagree.
Our progressive bishop allows only one Sunday Indult Mass - in an industrial area of Portland - at 8:00 AM. To reach this Mass from some areas of the diocese one would have to leave home as early as 1:00 AM.
I get so tired of the liberal crap. Our modernist pastor is now using the Canon from the Children's Liturgy at our weekend Masses.
If we had an Eastern Rite, SSPX, or Orthodox Mass within driving distance I would attend it in a heartbeat.
Huh. Maybe rogator and COT didn't either. It would help if you would explain how we all collectively missed your point.
Wolves is a good analogy, as a good number of our bishops behave much like canines. Some even take to dry-humping each other.
Well, with Detroit, its dangerous. I used to pass the church that has the indult (which I think was kept open simply because of the Mass, dont remember the details) on I-75 every saturday and think "man, I hope I don't have to come all the way down here ever". Luckily, the SSPX have chapels in Redford and Armada, which are in close driving distance (half hour to hour and fifteen min. of driving, depending on which one.) The parish here in east Lansing is supposedly too liberal from some liberals (and its a college town!)
This is a lie, perhaps not yours, but it is a lie, nonetheless. I live in Mahony's (not "Mahoney's") diocese and anyone here who wants a Traditional Latin Mass ("Tridentine" is a misnomer) has to get himself to places many miles away, passing numerous novus ordo venues on the way, and if he's lucky, the bishop has not preempted the Mass without warning, having some other ceremony going on there instead.
In the true form of a died in the wool Modernist, Mahony only "allows" enough traditional Catholicism to happen here for him to get face time and be able to make the CLAIM that he provides for the faithful. He does not give us what we have asked for.
Why? Well, if he provided a Traditional Latin Mass at each parish, and the crowds all surged in the doors at that Mass only and not at the others (you and I know full well, that's exactly what would happen), well, would that promote his revolutionary agenda?
There is only one place where a weekly "indult" Mass is offered, at the San Buenaventura Mission at 1:30 pm. Why? Do not even try to go toe to toe on this one with me. I personally know the priest who years ago started offering a Saturday Traditional Latin Mass nearby the Mission at a secular venue. Mahony installed the regular "indult" there to try to lure the traditonally-inclined faithful away from the independent priest. What a criminal!
If Mahony has any chance for his eternal salvation, it's because so many of us are praying for him, because he absolutely refuses to speak with us. I know, I've tried.
That's exactly what would not happen. In dioceses like Washington, DC, where three indults are offered every Sunday, the attendance is decent, but it's far from standing-room-only at any of them.
You have the mistaken notion that Catholics are just chomping at the bit to attend a Tridentine Latin Mass. Let me assure you that they're not.
If the Tridentine were offered in every parish, it would be the most sparsely attended Mass in 95% of those parishes. Only a very few Catholics desire the TLM.
Mahony installed the regular "indult" there to try to lure the traditonally-inclined faithful away from the independent priest. What a criminal!
I thought you were in favor of the TLM? Mahoney offered this indult to try to bring Catholics back into the Church; as it was, they were attending a traditional chapel not in union with the Catholic Church.
There was obviously a need there, and Mahoney met it.
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