Consequences of Vatican II
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The Golden Calf Dancers - IV

No to the Liturgical Revolution

Kathleen Willet Redle, M.F.A.

Miss Kathyrn Mihelick, author of "On the Appropriateness of Sacred Dance for Liturgical Use" and a liturgical dancer herself, announced that her “Leaven” dance troop would perform an inter-religious pagan dance extravaganza of various religions in the Sanctuary of Holy Family Church (Stow, March 20, 1999). The performance was titled "Beyond Belief." It really was beyond belief, I witnessed the fact.

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Above, The Leaven Dance Company founded by Kathryn Mihelick performs at a "worship service" Leaven Dance Company website
Many parishioners such as Eleanor Willett, I and others (core members of the St. Catherine of Sienna Society) wrote and called the chancery. Notwithstanding, Fr. Zsabo, the pastor and his assistant Fr. Joseph Leiberth were still going to have it in the Church. So people faxed the Vatican in protest. ….

Inundated with faxes and phone calls from the laity on this aberration planned by Mihelick, Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez, then Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, told Bishop Pilla that it seemed that the "feelings" of the parishioners were hurt and it would be better to move it to the school hall. (This account was told to me by Fr. J. Glen Murray with whom I was in "dialogue" on the phone concerning this issue.)

Yet in the bigger picture, this was just a small victory, given that Pope John Paul II himself allowed something very similar in Assisi 1986 and 2002 with liturgical pagan dancers. He also has permitted analogous initiatives at his different World Youth Days and various beatification Masses, e.g. the rhythmic movement of women at Mother Theresa of Calcutta's Mass shown on EWTN.

“Dance in the Liturgy” establishes norms

It could be argued that such dances do not violate the thinking set out by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, which has pointed to an essay “Dance in the Liturgy,” which first appeared in Notitiae (November 1975, pp. 202-205) as an “authoritative point of reference for every discussion on the matter."

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New Delhi, India (Nov. 7, 1999) Dancing young women bring the Offertory gifts to the papal Mass - Pope John Paul II, America Media, Inc., 2002
Ms. Mihelick wants Rome to clarify its position, because although the article "Dance in the Liturgy" clearly affirms in some passages that the dance must be performed "outside of strictly liturgical areas," in other passages it implies that liturgical dance is something positive that could be allowed in Eastern liturgies under certain conditions.

Dance in any culture is universally used for courting rites and sensual entertainment, so why would an African's or Asian’s use of dance be more religious than an European’s or American’s? This precedent opens up a Pandora's Box for Catholics of every geographic area to "sensualize" the liturgy. In fact, it is going on in many Novus Ordo parishes throughout the world. The feel-good Charismatic movement also promotes this. The Aarons of our day, like the Israelites of old, are clamoring to bring on "the golden calf dancers!"

The Notitiae article says that "rhythmic movements" express religious sentiments for "primitive peoples.” Later it affirms that "theoretically, it could be deduced … that certain forms of dancing and certain dance patterns could be introduced into Catholic worship." ….

It is a clever progressivist ploy that has been used to detonate "liturgical time bombs" at a later date, just as Michael Davis has indicated in his latest book Liturgical Time Bombs in Vatican II. Where are the bomb squads to defuse these time bombs when needed? ….

Meanwhile the Novus Ordo establishment makes use of Hegelian dialectics in its “authoritative commentary” on liturgical dance. For instance, it uses some traditional phrases, some liberal progressivist ones, and then adds concluding statements in an attempt to synthesize the two opposing views.

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Above, dancing girls on the altar of St. Sebastian's Church in Akron, Ohio. Below, a liturgical rock group at St. Alphonsus LiguoriChurch in St. Louis, Missouri.

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The clincher in the fuzzy Notitiae liturgical dance article is found in the last two contradictory footnotes with Gaudium et spes as a reference. First, there is a statement “in favor of the insertion of artistic dancing into the liturgy;" next, a different view: "nonetheless it can hardly be said that the conciliar Fathers had in view also the reality of dancing." …. This article is an example of what Pope St. Pius X called the "covenant and compromise between these two [opposite] forces of conservation and progress ...." (Pascendi Dominici gregis, n. 27).

Dr. James Hitchcock recently wrote about these problems in an article titled, “The End of Gaudium et spes?” In this document, Dr. Hitchcock is critical both of the Council and how the Pope has handled apostasy in the Church. Some excellent books that demonstrate these topics in greater detail are The Rhine Flows into the Tiber by Fr. Ralph Wiltgen and a series of books by Atila Sinke Guimarães on Vatican II: The Murky Waters of Vatican II, Animus Delendi I, and Animus Delendi II. …. But for many progressivists, Vatican II didn’t go far enough. Now, revolutionaries like Hans Kung want a Vatican III. Fr. Paul Trinchard, SJ, suggests that what Catholics really need is a Trent II. Amen to that!

The Notitiae article also admits that the overly indulgent "Norms for Adapting the Liturgy to the Temperament and Traditions of Peoples" could easily be based on a passage from Sacrosanctum Concilium (§ 37) on inculturation. These Vatican II norms seems to coincide with the following modernist assertion, condemned by St. Pius X:

"The chief stimulus of the evolution of worship consists in the need of accommodation to the manners and customs of peoples, as well as the need of availing itself of the value which certain acts have acquired by usage. Finally, evolution in the Church itself is fed by the need of adapting itself to historical conditions and harmonizing itself with existing forms of society" ("On Modernism," n. 26).

One should recall that Cardinal John Henry Newman’s words to conservative and liberal Catholics, that "a developed doctrine which reverses the course of development which has preceded it is no true development, but a corruption."

Moreover, Vatican I clearly stated,

"For the Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter that by His revelation they might make known new doctrine, but that by His assistance they might inviolably keep and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of Faith delivered through the Apostles" (session 4, chapter 4).

The inculturation and pan-religious ceremonies going on in the Conciliar Church today are an expression of syncretistic Naturalism, and a stark dismissal of the statements above. Such acts are also prohibited by Pius XI's On Fostering True Religious Unity, which states: “This Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics" (n. 15).

No Pope in the history of the Catholic Church has ever presided over pan-religious services until Vatican II. Therefore, an argument cannot be made that the "spirit of Assisi" is an organic development consistent with Scripture and Tradition, for both prohibit it.

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Sensual clothing and positions on the altar are clearly forbidden by Scriptures and tradition - Arizona Liturgical Dance company website
Scriptures is clear on this matter. Pagan worship is demonic as the Apostle Paul has pointed out very clearly in 1 Corinthians 10:20, and Romans 1:19-29. In 2 Corinthians 6: 14-18 he entreated us not to be yoked together with non-believers. In Psalm 96 David spoke: 5, "For all the gods of the Gentiles are devils." In Psalm 74: 3, he said, "See what things the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary."

It is important to also realize religious syncretism was condemned in 1 Kings 1-14, in reference to King Solomon who loved women of pagan nations who practiced idol worship. We see this condemnation again in Exodus 32, Isaiah 1, Jeremiah 11:13, Machabees 1: 11-19, 21-24, 36-64; and Ezekiel 3: 17-21. Daniel avowed this in chapter 9 and especially in 12:11 on the "abomination of desolation," which is reaffirmed by Our Lord in Matthew 24: 15. In Apocalypse 21: 8, the sorcerers and idol worshippers are sent into the burning pool of sulphur. ….

Another time bomb

One town that is constantly disparaged for being the belt buckle of the rust belt is good ol' Cleveland - my Diocese. There are many good things about this city on Lake Erie, yet often times it is deridingly and falsely referred to by detractors as the "mistake by the Lake." Unfortunately, a true mistake is about to emerge from this area, for Bishop Pilla and Ms. Mihelick are trying to light the fuse of one of these liturgical time bombs to get this dancing blaze legalized in "the New Rite" by trying to persuade that liberal body of the USCCB to officially validate liturgical dance as an appropriate form of worship.

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An acrobatic performance on the altar in Menzingen, Switzerland
Will Rome cave in to these disrupting firecrackers, as she did with communion in the hand and the altar girl fiasco? St. Pius X tells us that to “make the laity (and their individual consciences) the factor of progress in the Church” is a “pernicious doctrine.” If Rome and the Bishops’ Conferences worldwide legalize liturgical dance, then everywhere we will see neo-pagan ceremonies taking place in the churches. Can you imagine the holy Pius X allowing an "indult" for dancing at Mass? He would have excommunicated anyone for such a thing!

With a typical liberal statement, Ms. Mihelick asks, "Is any opportunity for another avenue of connection with our Father/Creator to be denied? It has not been denied to other art forms in the liturgy why, then, is it abrogated only in dance and movement?"

She ignores the fact that in 2000 years of Catholic History neither the East nor the West used dancing at Mass, other than during wedding ceremonies in the East when the wedding couple and priest circled around the lectern. This is the exception, not the rule in the Eastern Rites, and very ceremonious and sacral. …. Any dancing done in religious ceremonies was always made by pagans, not Jews or Catholics, and often the dance degenerated into sexual orgies as in the mithraic cults. Were there dancers at the foot of the cross at Calvary? Why put these "naturalistic" dancers in the Mass?

A dual front is needed: Prayer and action

This topic reminds me of the great St. John the Baptist who "lost his head because of a dance." Let's not lose ours by ignoring the liturgical dance issue or the problems that plague the Church. Let's be that voice crying out in the wilderness to the post-conciliar authorities. Prayer is a must, but action must accompany it. Call or write your Diocese and the Vatican and tell them you don't want pagan practices to enter the Holy Mass. Tell them that you don't like what happened at the Fatima Interfaith Shrine on the 10th and 12th of October 2003. Don't hesitate to e-mail Msgr. Luciano Guerra in Portugal at

Talk to your conservative friends and encourage them to act also. You may ask how this will effect the Traditional Latin Mass that we go to? Whatever affects the faithful in one branch or rite of the Church is bound to have effects on the traditional rite. First of all, the glory of God demands we try to stop any abuses in the liturgy that we can. Second, it makes it harder to have peace, sanity and good theology when bad things go on in Novus Ordo parishes and souls are damaged.

We must ask the authorities to stop this "Mass Madness," as Fr. Trinchard calls it, and stop suppressing the Old Latin Mass.

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The Adoration of the Golden Calf by Nicolas Poussin, 1634
National Gallery, London
What it basically boils down to, dear friends, is that we must respectfully say to our Shepherds: “No” to the liturgical and doctrinal Revolution! Our Lord Jesus is the only way to the Father and the Catholic Church is the only means of salvation. Have you forgotten the dogma of the Church extra Ecclesiam nulla salus? ….

We the laity must respectfully request of our superiors that the "golden calf" dancer shenanigans be stopped. We must tell the Vatican we will not attend these bad masses and if our Bishops do not correct these problems, we will search out a valid Catholic Latin or Byzantine Mass somewhere that will assist us in saving our souls. Since Vatican II, we have seen a gross exhibition of clergy sex scandals, bad catechesis, Modernism, and the "diabolical disorientation" spoken of by Sr. Lucia; we have the new Mass (see Dancing up a storm!) and every novelty to satisfy "intercultural dialogue" with the world. ….

Everything old has been suppressed and replaced with a supposedly new and improved religion to please our enemies, now considered friends. When will the stupefied faithful in the pew realize that inside the sanctuary there are false prophets, wolves dressed in shepherd's clothing, pulling the wool over our eyes?

You may contact the author at the e-mail address

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Cardinals and Bishops to address your letters to and their respective addresses:

Cardinal Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Piazza Pio XII, 10
Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11
00193 Vatican City

You can fax Cardinal Ratzinger at 011-390-6988-3499. Though it is not official, you might be able to get through by e-mailing him at

I also encourage you to write:

Cardinal Francis Arinze
Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship
Piazza Pio XII, 10
00193 Vatican City

You can fax him as well at 011-390-66988-3499.

Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos
Prefect Congregation for the Clergy
Piazza Pio XII, 3
00193 Vatican City

or write the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States:

Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo
3339 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20008-3687

If you think it will help, you can also fax Cardinal Francis George at 312-751-5307 or fax Bishop Wilton Gregory (President of the USCCB) at 618-277-0387. For addresses and e-mails of other Bishops go to USCCB.


Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted July 26, 2004

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For the complete text of this article, click here.

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