My Photo

Insight Scoop

Catholic World News Top Headlines (

The Curt Jester


Poor Box

Render Unto Us

Tip Jar
Blog powered by Typepad

« Satan's Thanksgiving | Main | "EU a Christian Club?" »

Monday, November 20, 2006



What a load of rubbish! What about the Barney costume?

TM Lutas

I welcome the apology. As limited as it is (as the above comment notes, it doesn't address things beyond the core devils/demons gaffe), this act shows that there is a recognition that something went wrong. I think that we should all appreciate that the response isn't as bad as it could have been. We haven't defined deviancy down that far that there is a circling of the wagons over this.

There are two outstanding questions when a pastor admits that his congregation was so poorly formed as Fr. Bailey admits that his is and that he was guilty of serious enough pastoral neglect that a formal apology to the bishop is called for. The first is how to enhance the formation of these lay people so that their formation and inculturation in the catholic faith is raised to a better level and the second is whether the current pastor is the man to correct what he himself now admits has gone seriously astray.

So with love and understanding we should be happy at the contrition shown but going back to business as usual should not be an option. Changes should be made, perhaps in parish personnel, perhaps in supervision, certainly in catechesis. The focus should be on ensuring that a better educated, more deeply faithful community will come out of this. If Bishop Brown is up to the challenge on this, fine. If not, the man needs a helper. Bishop Weakland's later years might be a good model.


It's the old convenient "mea culpa." I'm sorry, not for the blatant scandal I have caused, but because someone got it on tape and blasted it all over the internet from here to Timbukthree.

The Saints who never had to endure any of this nonsense must be rolling in their graves. Shame on anyone who has contributed to this 'Catholic-Community,' whatever that means...


I find it very interesting that MOST folks who comment here never really expose themselves as to who they are--they are typically the same people who pass judgment on those they are making comments on regarding many of the posts on this blog. I have followed these Halloween mass postings from day one and I believe most of what is said here is an over-reaction. There are so many more things in the Catholic church that much more important that need to be addressed. Some of you have too much time on your hands.

Mona Alona

Hey Blacktop, I think you're over reacting to our over-reaction.


Someone made an interesting observation to me regarding this. They pointed out that once you get rid of the tridentine mass and you make mass less reverent and more casual, how can one be surprised that people end up making it like a social event. They went on to point out to me that they’ve seen people (routinely) show up for Sunday mass like they are going to the beach or something and wondered how big a stretch it was for these people to make the leap in their mind ‘if it’s ok to go in a tank top and flip flops why not a Halloween costume?’ So it’s part of the overall irreverence toward the holy we are experiencing in the Church.

Kevin in Dallas

I am 43 and come from a "mixed" marriage; my mother is Catholic and my father was raised Baptist, but is basically agnostic. Growing up, we attended Mass every Sunday as a family. Once my sister and I went off to college my father stopped attending Mass. He probably hasn't attended Mass in about 20 years.

Last September my niece was Baptized in the Catholic Church and my father was in attendance. After the Mass and the Baptism, my father's first comment was on the lack of reverence exhibited during the Mass. It appears that the further we get from Vatican II, the more lax, irreverant and ordinary the Novus Ordo becomes.

Some may say that there are serious issues confronting the Church and I agree. This Halloween "Mass" may not appear serious to some, but it is a symptom of a broader and more serious issue.

I don't know of a parish, where I have attended Mass in the past 10 years, that didn't have at least one Priest who was seriously lacking in reverance during the Mass. Priests chatting and joking with their servers during the Collection. Priests sitting down before the Eucharist is properly returned to the Tabernacle. Priests using the Altar as a prop or regular table. Priests allowing announcements to be made prior to the Eucarist being returned to the Tabernacle and the Altar being cleared. Priests directing parishioners during Communion like a flight attendant. When we celebrate Mass here on earth we are joining the Saints and Angels in their celebration in Heaven. I'm pretty sure that this tomfoolery doesn't take place in Heaven and it shouldn't take place here.

The beauty of the Tridentine Mass is that reverence is "built in" to service. Pre-Vatican II, I would assume that one could go to any parish in the world and would be guaranteed a high standard level of reverence during the Mass. Today, one is not even guaranteed a standard level at all Masses celebrated in the same parish.


I would accept Fr. Freds "apology", but the fact is, he din't apologize. This is a classic PR stunt! Fr. Fred gets caught on the world wide web doing what he "likes". People are outrage write to The Papal Nuncio, Bishop Brown feels some heat from The Vatican and gets scared a bit, he dosen't want to loose his job, because he fancys an " exclusive lifestyle". Bishop Brown tells Fr. Fred make an "apology" but word it the right way, don't focus on the "blasphemous", that way your rich and affluent Alisio Veigo parishioners won't be upset at you for what they believe as Catholicism . You know I need their money and Fr. Fred you do too. Even some of the people who were outrage will fall for itand settle down and forget about it. Fr. Fred agrees, writes his "twisted" worded "apology". Presto! Barneyatized!!!

This "crap" shouldn't be happening in the first place! Flipant so called apologies are not the start! It is just makes the situation far much worse for all of us. I do pray Fr. Fred goes on a sabatical soon and the Blessed Mother appears to him and shows him Calvary! I have this same prayer for Bishop Brown. My friend says we want their conversion. I agreed with him, and said " but shouldn't the Bishop and Fr. Fred already be converted?" Just my thoughts on it all!


Mona Alona,

Thomas A.

Father Fred's apology makes me almost as sad
as I was when first watching the unholy
excerpts from the Halloween Mass video. He
still does not get it. The Holy Sacrifice of
the Mass is not delightful; it's not fun-filled; it's not a time to frolic; it's not
a childrens' playtime; it's not joke time.
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is HOLY. It
is the most intimate moment between Jesus
Christ and his followers in this world.
It is the most important encounter between
human beings and God this side of heaven.
It is "the source and summit of the Christ-
ian life" according to Vatican II. It is THE
greatest act of worship for mankind - - and
it is the only act of worship which Christ
ordered his followers to do "in memory of
Me". Every saint and Church father for the
last 2,000 years has held the Mass in the
highest state of holy reverence and esteem.
This is what our Catholic faith teaches now,
and has always taught.

Not to acknowledge this reality in his
apology letter shows me that Father Fred has
been inadequately formed in the seminary,
or that he simply does not believe in the
Real Presence, or both. Because if he were
properly trained and/or believed, he 1)would
have held his Halloween party in the parish hall (sans devils and witches), and not have ever celebrated a "Halloween Mass" in the first place; and 2) he would have apologized to God our Father publically for
belittling His Son's Mass.

Father Fred's Halloween Mass is Exhibit 1
of the evidence which reveals why 70-75%
of Catholics either no longer attend Mass, or switch to Calvary Chapel or the Vineyard Church to practice their Christain faith. What Father Fred did was UNHOLY; but we can be amused with unholy stuff anywhere in our culture - - watching T.V., listening to music, sports, surfing the internet, going to comedy shows, visiting Chuck E.Cheese,
the movies, the malls. That's entertainment. The Mass is NOT entertainment. It is supposed to be unlike
anything else in this world.

I wanted to hear Father Fred admit to the
fact that His Halloween Mass was utterly
UNHOLY - -that his seemingly intentional
allowance of two (not one) participants at
Mass to dress as Satan was a supreme insult to the body, blood, soul, and divinity of
our precious Savior. He didn't just offend
people. His Mass offended Almighty God.

While I am not surprised I didn't see this
in Father Fred's "apology", I am still very sad, because you can't give what you don't have.

Pray for Father Fred. Pray for good priests. Pray for a stronger bishop. It's later than you think.


"BlackOps", are you saying that the Mass isn't the most important thing Catholics do? If so, God have mercy on the person who taught you your catechism!

I would like to echo TM's words. I too welcome this apology. I hope that this becomes an occasion that Fr. Fred will use this episode to deepen his appreciation for the reverence and solemnity of the Mass. Perhaps we can continue to give him a good example by dropping him a line of encouragement, and some more helpful and charitable advise. Of course, as Thomas has pointed out, prayers more than ever now.


Having a "Halloween Mass" is an outrage and should lead to a severe rebuke of the pastor and the parish. Liturgically speaking, I can't think of anything less tasteful than this. This priest and his supporters should be ashamed of themselves.

Kevin in Dallas

The National Catholic Register had a great article on how to "celebrate" Halloween: Have your children dress up as their favorite Saint.

carol blankfield

This apology is as disgraceful as the Mass.
He apologized for not telling his lay ministers not to wear devil costumes. It's a backhanded apology that STILL placed the blame on his lay ministers.
It's a joke. A sad, but true, joke.

If he had been doing his job(for the past 7 years) and teaching the faith, and teaching the adults and children what the Mass truly is instead of planning what costume could be worn under vestments (one of the many liturgical abuses which he did not apologize for)- they would have been as offended as the rest of us are.

By example, they have been systematically de-sensitized by him to reject and ridicule what is holy and what is proper.

Fr. Bailey did NOT apologize for ANY of the liturgical abuses HE participated in. That was at least as bad as him allowing someone dressed as a devil to distribute the Body of Christ. It is HE who is supposed to be transforming the minds of those people - to BE LIKE GOD! and to BECOME SAINTS! THAT'S his job. He's a PRIEST! He's not the social director of Aliso Viejo!

We are TRULY in God's PHYSICAL PRESENCE at the Mass. And Fr. Fred had a costume party - with a stage show that included jokes about making "the misconduct scandal look like nothing"(at which most in the congregation laughed). Comments mocking the prayers of the rosary ("vale of tears" comment) and the infallibility of the papacy. How inconceivable for someone who is supposed to be "in persona Christi".

He needs to be removed. He is a spiritual danger to all those at that parish, and his weak and lame apology shows he is completely ignorant of his responsibility to the Mass.

And because his apology does not include the things he DID, and the liturgical abuses HE PARTICIPATED in or ALLOWED as the pastor - people should be calling the bishop's office (714-282-3000) and writing the Nuncio, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, 3339 Mass. Ave, Washington DC 20008 and requesting his removal.

Don't stop defending the true Roman Catholic Church. We are not called "the Church Militant" for nothing!

A Simple Sinner

Reminds me of when a petulant child is scolded and told to apologize to a playmate.

"Sorry you're such a big stupid head!"

No apology there at all.


The real problem isn't with the Novus Ordo Mass, after all, it is a continuation of the older rite--it is the Tridentine Mass, only evolved. The core of the problem is stupid and foolish men, like that incompetent heathen Fr. Baily, who have willfully misinterpreted the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and created this abomination we call a mass. VII, demand reverence at Mass and commands the use of Latin, yet we almost never see the two. The current Mass can be reverent and moving, but its these old die-hard priests, nuns, bishops, etc., that are still stuck in some imaginary idea of some none-existant future church that welcomes these horrors and experiments with the liturgy. Its sad to say, but Ive met many priests who justify blashphemy and the watering down our sacred faith, by stating that they are only living in the "spirit of Vatican II." The truth is that these people have convinced themselves that its ok to murder the faith of their parishioners with this evil, anti-Catholic, spirit that does not and has never existed. IF ANY PRIEST IS READING THIS AND IS SHAKING HIS HEAD, know that you are lying to yourself and hiding behind your intelectualism and false faith, admit the truth to yourself and be a good holy priest! The new wave of priests/sisters/bishops/whatever are going to be orthodox! And they will stop you and your halloween masses!!! I will be entering seminary one day, and I live for the day when I can place a cruxifix over the altar, restore the statues of saints, bring back the Real Lord in the Eucharist into the the center of the Church, and install new kneelers! Catholic and orthodox, no apologies!

carol blankfield



It is my personal opinion that ever since Rome seceded from the Church in 1054 to become the original protestant denomination, there has been a long, slow melding of the secular world and the spiritual world. 2 of the distinguishing factors which make up the one true Church are Scripture and Tradition. Since 1054, Rome and all successive protestant faiths have slowly done away with tradition, replacing it with secular practices so that today we see things like rock bands, lay preaching, teaching and administering of sacraments and a host of other "modern" church practices, all in the name of worship. The Halloween Mass doesn't surprise me at all, nor does Fr. Baily's attempt to apologize for it. I do believe he knew what he was doing was wrong, hence his comment, "Oh a live cameraman, I hope he's friendly." Translation - I know I can get in trouble for this so I hope the cameraman keeps the footage to himself and doesn't take it public. It's nice however to see that there are some Romans who understand the purpose of Divine Liturgy and hope for repentance on the part of their church, but folks, I hate to tell ya, Rome has been creating and sustaining heresy since 1054, so there's a lot of work to be done.


What about an apology for all the abuses of the Mass?
What about an apology to the victims of priestly abuse?
What about an apology to Opus Dei?
What about an apology for not offering his congregation a time for the SACRAMENTS?(confession or daily mass) or doesn't HIS god believe in those things?


Wow. People... spend more time uniting and less time dividing. This is looking like the inquisition. You are taking a good man and a good priest, who has tirelessly brought THOUSANDS to come to know Christ (myself included). Chide him for minor lapses in judgement if you will, encourage him to make adjustments if you must, but stop the convenient personal attacks on this good man. Accept his apology... our faith is being attacked enough from the outside... we are all on the same side arent we? Father Fred brought me back to the Catholic Church after years of turning away. He has helped many like me to re-discover the person of Jesus. I now head a prayerful family of five. Let you who are free from guilt, cast the first stone. Otherwise... forgive, pray, have hope, do kind deeds, love, encourage.

Jack Burns

A little background on me: I am a former alter-boy (no I was not abused) and I spent 9 years in catholic schools. I have many questions.

1. What is truth?
2. What does “god” want?
3. What is moral?
4. Ever contemplate those questions when you think of what was moral to the Mayans; or to various tribes in Africa; or the ancient Greeks; or to those in the Unification Church; or to Buddhists?
5. Ever think deeply about why we think the way you do? Ever think about why they think they way they do?
6. Ever contemplate the children who are being raised in the middle East right now? Those being raised to believe that if they die killing Jews, that they will be rewarded by god?
7. What makes our thoughts more “right” than those of other cultures, past and present?
8. Ever think about the amount of pain, killing, suffering that has been perpetrated in the name of “god” or the church? On the “persecution of individuals” level, I think of those persecuted for thinking scientifically, or being pregnant outside of marriage, or having oral sex. On a larger scale, I think about how “god” is claimed to be on both sides in many deadly conflicts.
9. Ever think about the numerous injustices caused in the past and presently by those in charge of various churches?
10. Have you ever wondered what happened to the fictional god of old? I have. What happened to the really big, non-mistakable miracles? The big ones, like parting the sea, plagues, bringing people back to life in front of crowds? Can you imagine the converts if any of those miracles were performed for a television audience?
11. Ever contemplate which version of the bible is true? People believe in the bible as the word of god. As a young man I discovered many bible versions out there… and wondered how did they come to be. As far as the new testament is concerned, I learned that the language at the time of Jesus was Aramaic, and that many of the stories in the new testament were written many years after the fact. The new testament(s) we have now were translated from Greek for the most part. Some stories were included and some stories were rejected based upon “god-inspired” choices made by religious clergy at various times in history (
12. Ever contemplate how difficult it is to truly understand the writings of something written in English just 150 years ago? Take Alice in Wonderland” for instance. Without some study, we cannot really understand the author’s thoughts. That is a book written in our own language a few generations ago (see a version of Annotated Alice Now contemplate how old the bible is, and how many transformations it has gone through. What is truth?

Over time, we all have seen science explain-away and dismiss gods of the sun, moon, star constellations, etc… It seems at this point in humankind’s existence, that as far as religion goes, there are very few things left (where we come from and where we go after death) that are not scientifically explainable. So humankind continues to make up ways to explain the unexplainable.

I can understand scientifically explainable events and thoughts. But I have some difficulty understanding or believing in the religious beliefs that persist today given the history and science we know. I find in interesting that there are so many cultures who continue to build fictional stories and religious thoughts on top of other fictional stories and religious thoughts? There are so many instances throughout time of what we may consider today to be odd beliefs. I have walked through the remains of Pompeii—a snapshot in time of 79AD. You know there are many penises… yes penises in the paintings, in the sculpture, in the architecture, and jewelry (yes it was also worn on a chain around the neck). The penis was viewed as a good luck charm that warded off the “evil eye”. By the way, there were all sorts of graffiti on the walls, but there was no sign of Christianity (no crosses). Why is that? I just searched the net and came up with this site and discussion:

Why does organized religion spend so much effort imposing guilt trips on couples and individuals because of misguided fantasy-based beliefs on oral sex, contraception, and manual manipulation (masturbation)? Lighten up. Stand back and look at life and consider the probability that many man-made religious rules go against nature. Maybe you should consider the United States Bill of Rights as the basis for your future beliefs.


What is bad is that they are using the name of the Old Catholics (Catholic Christians) to identify themselves... as if there were some Catholics who were not Christian.


Are you serious? No, really!? The priest was obviously just trying to bring a little good humor and togetherness to his congregation. Anyone who tries to argue the irreverance of this man's approach to his service and the people of his church are seriously missing the point of "celebrating" your faith. You are probably also the same people who would wish to turn the mass into a ritual of robotic, autonomous chanting and genuflections. I would much rather attend a service by Father Fred and celebrate the word, than sit through a Latin mass that I can't understand or follow. Today's Catholics are so confused, not only to the purpose of the mass, but as to the meaning of the liturgy that most of you shouldn't even be posting. Father Fred had to apologize to you sanctimonious simpletons, and he did an excelent job of it. Whereas, I can tell you what is on my mind without fear of repercussions from you or God. In fact, I would like to think that the big man would even agree with me.
All I have to say is,"Keep up the good work, Father!" As to the rest of you,"Judge not, lest ye be judged," and seriously, lighten up!



You have been poorly catechized and are in grave error. I'm very sorry that whoever was supposed to teach you the Catholic Faith failed to do so. Perhaps they did not know the Faith themselves.

You might find it helpful to read the resources available here: The Eucharist as Sacrifice and Sacrament

You should also read Sacrosanctum Concilium Constitution On The Sacred Liturgy (Document of The Second Vatican Council):

22. 1. Regulation of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church, that is, on the Apostolic See and, as laws may determine, on the bishop.

2. In virtue of power conceded by the law, the regulation of the liturgy within certain defined limits belongs also to various kinds of competent territorial bodies of bishops legitimately established.

3. Therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority.

As well as these books and Church documents:

The Spirit of the Liturgy by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)

Inaestimabile Donum by The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacrament

Dominicae Cenae by Pope John Paul II

Redemptionis Sacramentum by The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacrament

Reform of the Roman Liturgy: Its Problems and Background by Monsignor Klaus Gamber

Trojan Horse in the City of God: How Godlessness Crept into the Sanctuary-And How to Thrust It Out Again by Dietrich Von Hildebrand

Iota Unum: A Study of Changes in the Catholic Church in the Twentieth Century by Romano Amerio



The comments to this entry are closed.

Pope Benedict XVI Homilies & Statements

Codex of Catholic Blogs

Orthodox Blogs

Blogs From People We Wish Were Catholic