Monday, October 31, 2005

"New Hope for the 'Old Mass'...or Not?"

Robert Moynihan and Andrew Rabel of Inside the Vatican* report (links and boldface emphases added by yours truly):

Some signs point in one direction, some in another. Is there a Vatican document in preparation on the subject? Perhaps. The decision will have to be taken by Benedict XVI...

VATICAN CITY, Friday, October 28, 2005

Waiting... That's the mood in Rome this October.

Waiting for what?

For Pope Benedict XVI to take decisions.

Most Vatican watchers are waiting for personnel decisions in November regarding the Roman curia. Will Cardinal Angelo Sodano be replaced as Secretary of State? Who might replace him? These sort of questions.

Most are also now waiting for the text of the first papal encyclical. It has been widely reported in recent days that the text is finished, that it is being translated into various languages, that it will be released on December 8, and that it will be a reflection on the words in John's Gospel, "God is love."

And almost everyone is waiting for what a document on the criteria for admission into seminaries will say about homosexual tendencies as an impediment to priestly ordination.

But only a few, it seems, are interested in what Benedict will decide about the Roman liturgy -- the way the Church worships God.

Benedict has been saying for more than 20 years that there were grave oversights and omissions in the way the Second Vatican Council's liturgical reform was implemented. And he has written repeatedly that what is needed in the Church is a "reform of the reform" to remedy some of those oversights and omissions.

But there has been no indication, though Benedict has now been Pope for more than half a year (he was elected on April 19) of what course Benedict will chart in the matter of the Church's liturgy.

What seems clear from the Synod of Bishops, which met here from October 2 to 23 to discuss the Eucharist, is that the vast majority of bishops in the Church today do not share Benedict's reservations about the problematic nature of the conciliar liturgical reform.

The mood of the Synod bishops with regard to the liturgy was by and large "upbeat," with few bishops offering more than mild critiques of the liturgical revolution which swept the Church following the end of the Council (1965).

But in early October, an official very close to Pope Benedict, Msgr Camille Perl, Secretary of the Holy See's Ecclesia Dei Commission (the body entrusted with keeping contact with those Catholics who are devoted to the old Tridentine-rite liturgy, especially the group around Archbishop Lefebvre which went into schism in 1988) had some thought-provoking things to say that have gone entirely unreported up to now.

"Inside the Vatican" magazine, in keeping with the hopes and concerns expressed by Pope Benedict, has consistently followed the work of the Ecclesia Dei Commission with great attention.

Therefore, two of our writers were present at an October 8-9 conference in Rome sponsored by Una Voce ("With One Voice"), a group which has labored for 40 years to have the "old Mass" remain available throughout the Catholic Church for those faithful who would like to attend Mass celebrated in that rite.

On October 9, Msgr Perl addressed the gathering.

Perl first of all brought the greetings of Cardinal Castrillon-Hoyos, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy and President of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, adding, quite candidly, that Castrillon-Hoyos has done more to support the old liturgy than any of his predecessors.

Then Perl gave a sketch of Benedict's present mind regarding the liturgy.

"We have had a new Pope already 5 or 6 months," Perl said. "And I must say, there has been a change in the atmosphere. There is a new spotlight focusing on us." His point was clear: in the months since Benedict's election, the Ecclesia Dei Commission has come into far more prominence than during many previous years passed in the "Vatican shadows."

Perl related that, for the past two decades, while serving in his post at the Ecclesia Dei Commission, "I was ignored by very many people in Rome." But in recent months, he continued, "When I am on the streets, now people stop and greet me."

This does not mean that the Ecclesia Dei Commission has become a real "power center" in the Vatican scheme of things. Not at all. "We are neither powerful or all-powerful," Perl said.

Still, he continued, "the wind in Rome has changed (since April and Benedict's election)."

One of the changes: "We have a Pope in Benedict XVI a man who has written many books on the liturgy, and that it is incumbent upon us to study them," Perl said. "The liturgy is too important to be left to the liturgists."

There have been a few interesting recent developments, according to Msgr Perl. "Cardinal Medina-Estevez (former liturgy dicastery head) recently dedicated a church to the sisters associated with the Fraternity of St Peter," he said. The Fraternity of St. Peter celebrates Mass according to the old rite, and is in full communion with Rome. The significance of this development is that the Fraternity seems to be vigorously expanding.

Perl then added his most explosive news: that the Vatican's theologians, canonists and liturgists are currently studying the whole question of the liturgy and what needs to be done to "reform the reform," summing up: "They are preparing some important things in this field." The implication was clearly that some sort of Church document is under consideration.

When might these studies issue in some sort of official document, and what might that document say?

"I don't now," Perl said.

Then Perl went a step further.

Making clear that he was sharing his "best judgment" despite his lack of certainty, he referred to the diocese of Campos, Brazil, as a "possible model" to be followed in the future.

The diocese of Campos, which lies in a sugar plantation region in northeastern Brazil, is a unique place. It was headed in the early post-conciliar period by Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer (bishop of Campos from 1949 to 1981). Castro Mayer, a very traditional bishop who opposed some of the documents of Vatican II, never implemented the conciliar liturgical reforms in his Brazilian diocese. When the Vatican forced him to retire in 1981, the traditional Latin Mass was still being celebrated by virtually every priest in every church in Campos.

Even after his resignation, throughout the 1980s, Castro Mayer continued to be the leader of the traditional Catholics in Campos, who were a vast majority in the diocese, because they had never known any other liturgy. Though this caused tensions with the new bishop, there was no official schism.

Then, in 1988, Castro Mayer officiated along with Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre at Lefebvre's consecration in Econe, Switzerland, of four bishops to lead the Society of St. Pius X, despite the Pope's specific order not to do so. This led the Holy See to declare Lefebvre, Castro Mayer and the four new bishops excommunicated. The "Lefebvrist Schism" was born.

Castro Mayer died in April, 1991. The traditional Catholics in Campos -- again, the vast majority of all the Catholics in the diocese -- were now being led by Bishop Liciano Rangel, who was ordained in 1991 by three of the four excommunicated bishops of the St. Pius X Society. So in Campos, there was a traditional Catholic community far more numerically predominant than in any other diocese in the world -- and it was in schism.

After more than a decade of separation from Rome, Bishop Rangel on January 18, 2002, made his peace with Rome, and Rome with him. The Holy See appointed Rangel "Apostolic Administrator of St. John Maria Vianney" -- a type of notional diocese within the territory of the Campos diocese, which continued to have its own bishop.

This solution emerged after Rangel made independent overtures to Rome, to the disappointment of many in the larger St. Pius X movement.

Rangel's apostolic administration thus became the world's first Tridentine-rite Mass community headed by a legitimate bishop recognized by Rome.

Thus, by this decision, Rome brought back into communion a schismatic group of traditionalists -- and at the same time publicly accepted the old rite as a fully legitimate rite within Roman Catholicism.

But how could the Campos diocese be used a "model" by Rome?

Perl did not give a complete answer, but he did confirm the basic point: "Some (in the Vatican) are asking if this (Campos) solution can be applied to the whole Church."

Perl did not clarify, so it may be assumed that the precise mechanism by which this "model" can be applied "to the whole Church" is still under discussion.

But it does seem at least possible -- and this has been rumored in published reports for some time -- that Rome may be considering a proposal to create a worldwide "Prelature" for traditional Catholics. The only "Prelature" in the Church today is that of Opus Dei, which received the status of "Personal Prelature" from Pope John Paul II in 1982.

Thus, three important facts emerged from Perl's October 9 remarks:

(1) That the mood in Rome regarding the old liturgy has changed since the election of Benedict XVI, with more respect being shown to those attached to the old liturgy (and Vatican monsignors who once ignored Msgr Perl now tipping their hats to him in St. Peter's Square).

(2) That to deal with the problems that have become so commonplace in the conciliar liturgy, there is occurring a very quiet but very intense debate in Rome about what precisely to do, in order to advise the Pope on this very different problem.

(3) That an effort will be made to bring the disaffected traditionalists -- the largest group being the Society of St Pius X -- back into union with Rome, perhaps on the model of the Campos solution.

Msgr Perl then asked: "Will the Pope finish his work? Will he have time? Will his medicine be received?" And he answered: "I am not a prophet -- but often there are shadows and light comes, as when the first Christians came out of the catacombs."

Perl's reflections correlate with statements by a Hungarian liturgical scholar, Laszlo Dobszay, who argues in his recent book "The Bugnini Liturgy and the Reform of the Reform" that "the Tridentine liturgy belongs to the family of the Roman Liturgy. If the Tridentine liturgy in its essence, is nothing other than the ancient Roman liturgy itself, it cannot be written off as Renaissance or Baroque or 'zeitbedingt' (the product of a very particular historical period)."

We at "Inside the Vatican" have known Msgr Perl for 20 years -- including the years when he would walk across St. Peter's Square saluted by almost no one. And we have never seen him speak so positively about the traditional Mass. In his gestures and demeanor, Perl was active, confident, optimistic. This suggests that there may be reason to hope that the traditional Mass may soon emerge "from the catacombs" where it has been for almost 40 years.

*As always, read with discernment.

Friday, October 28, 2005


This lovely item was a reward for aimless wandering in the library of the Pontifical Insitute of Mediaeval Studies in Toronto. Fruits of indolence, having taken in too much of the Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina or my beloved dusty volumes of the Patrologia Latina. I can't imagine who would use it as a bookmark. Furthermore, I wonder who had it.
This day saw the promulgation of, among other things, Nostra aetate. Forty years hence, the Council formally closed on Immaculate Conception 1965.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Ecce Rex vester!

Today, about 200 traditionally minded Australian Catholics will be setting off for Ballarat for the 15th annual Christus Rex pilgrimage, beginning tomorrow (Friday) and ending on the feast on Sunday.

"Inspired by the ancient Chartres Pilgrimage in France, the Christus Rex Pilgrimage has been an annual event since 1991. It is a three-day pilgrimage, in the medieval tradition - with singing, daily Masses and enriching fellowship, walking through the Victorian countryside from St Patrick's Cathedral, Ballarat to Sacred Heart Cathedral, Bendigo."

This will be my first time attending, and I will remember you all along the way, and in my prayers. Fellow Australian Juventutes will be attending too, so I will send your regards! I'm off now to see the 'Exorcism of Emily Rose' (in the day time you see), then I have Latin, and then I hop on the bus to Ballarat! So, Dominus vobiscum, fratres - have a glorious feast on Sunday :)


Inspired by the Whapsters, I dare someone to dress up as St Erasmus for Hallowe'en. All you need is some thickish rope and a glow stick. You still have time.

Alas, my dream of dressing up as Pope Innocent III was dashed this year. Apparently such pagan activities are uncommon in Italy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Stop ai tradizionalisti

Il Sinodo non cambia la messa
"La riforma del Concilio è viva"

Or so says last Sunday's Corriere della Sera (not online), captioning a picture of the Holy Father holding aloft an ostensorium. The article latched onto the affirmation at the Synod of the beneficial effects of the liturgical reforms following the council.

Dear readers, especially members of the Italian press, let me take this time to explain that traddies ≠ schismatics. Yes, there are other types besides our friendly Lefebvrists, namely, we Juventutem pilgrims. If it's unfortunate that some rad-trads have taking to attacking Holy Mother Church and the Successor of Peter, that doesn't prevent the faithful from propagating our heritage with love and joy. I don't recall any one on this blog, for example, agitating about the Council. For my part, I believe the reforms are discrete from the abuses of the present time. None of us are asking to abolish the Novus Ordo Mass, which has nourished us and even guided our path towards the Tridentine Mass.

As others have noted, perhaps the best realisation of the ideals of the Council itself (as found in the texts) is the current state of the Tridentine Mass. Active participation, good music, Latin, seriousness, and other good things attract youth such as ourselves. We are asking for the opportunity to exercise our right of citizenship in the Church, by adhering to the continuous tradition of the liturgy. We are asking for wider application of the Indult, even a universal indult, decreased opposition from bishops and lay 'liturgical committees,' and the recognition that the praxis which has nurtured great saints and saved countless sinners is valid and much needed in today's world.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

An addition...

You know you're at home in the old Mass when...

you receive the Lord at a Latin Novus/Typica and Fr. communicates you under the old formula.


Editing the editor

(I was going to relegate this to the comment box, but it got lengthy enough to merit its own entry. I'm going to close comments here, but anyone who wants to respond to it may do so in the comment thread found in the original post. It's really part of that thread, anyway.)

This serves to correct some inaccuracies that were found in the article mentioned in the previous post, and provide a fuller contextual background to the comments employed by same article.

Although Remnant* editor Mr. Michael J. Matt cites this weblog as a source for his article, all weblog comments attributed to this weblog originate at Open Book, the weblog of Catholic author Amy Welborn.

Here is the Remnant passage in question:

Juventutem’s blog sheds some light on these questions. One teenager sounded off against The Remnant, Catholic Family New [sic] and The Latin Mass, which, according to him, are "rags" that are not fit for "mopping up floors." Another seconded that. Still another went a bit further:

Let me "third" hieronymous' comments on "the rags". It may interest people to know that the "Remnant" is prohibited reading for the seminarians of the Fraternity of St. Peter, and wisely so.

I can appreciate the confusion "ordinary" Catholics have with these groups and sub-groups, but if you travel in trad. circles long enough you can tell after five minutes of conversation whether somebody has "mens nostra", or is, as Fr. Devillers says best with his French accent, "a wacko".

Posted by: David Kubiak at Aug 19, 2005 12:33:52 AM

While the full context of the conversation cited by the article may be seen here, below are the relevant comments. Passages to which Mr. Matt alludes are in boldface:

Did any American traditionalist kids go [to Juventutem]? From their publications here (e.g., The Remnant and Catholic Family News), they despised the WYDs of the past on account of the (they claimed) vulgar, popular music and lax or immoral clothing/life-styles and attitudes of the youth attending.

Posted by: Celine at Aug 18, 2005 10:51:29 AM

Celine, those publications don't speak for American traditionalists.

Posted by: hieronymus at Aug 18, 2005 11:01:56 AM


If Catholic Family News or The Remnant (or Latin Mass?) don't speak for American traditionalists, who or what does? Every single person I know (and I know several) who self-identifies as a traditionalist also identifies with one or the other of these publications.

Anyway, my main question is: Do American traditionalists (whoever speaks for them) participate in WYD? If so, who organizes/represents them? If not, why not?

Posted by: Celine at Aug 18, 2005 1:24:09 PM

The Latin Mass is a much more mainstream publication than The Remnant or Catholic Family News. There undoubtedly are American traditionalists at WYD as part of Juventutem through the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, which has about 30 North American apostolates. Other "mainstream" traditionalist voices would include the Institute of Christ the King and Una Voce America.

Posted by: Mark C. at Aug 18, 2005 1:31:48 PM

Well, I self-identify as a traditionalist (although I may not fit the stereotype that well) and I wouldn't use those rags to mop my floor, much less read them. They speak for conspiracy-theorists and cranks who happen to be traditionalists (and admittedly, traditionalists have relatively high proportions of both), but that's all.

As for who actually "speaks" for American traditionalists... well, nobody really. The magazines and organizations and priestly societies are pretty much autonomous.

To answer your question - yes, Americans are participating in Juventutum [sic]. And I imagine that many trads regard kindly the idea of World Youth Day, but find much of the vulgar music and lax clothing at the event distateful. I see nothing wrong with that.

Posted by: hieronymus at Aug 18, 2005 1:53:48 PM

I second hieronymus' statement. There is no necessary connection between traditionalism and loony conspiracy theories, often peppered generously with 'neocon' and 'Israel' (though this may not be the kind of looniness that hieronimus [sic] had in mind).

hieronymus, your posts are as impressive as your art. And, just to eliminate all ambiguity from that statement, let me say that I think that your art is very impressive.

Posted by: reluctant penitent at Aug 18, 2005 2:51:33 PM

Let me "third" hieronymous' comments on "the rags". It may interest people to know that the "Remnant" is prohibited reading for the seminarians of the Fraternity of St. Peter, and wisely so.

I can appreciate the confusion "ordinary" Catholics have with these groups and sub-groups, but if you travel in trad. circles long enough you can tell after five minutes of conversation whether somebody has "mens nostra", or is, as Fr. Devillers says best with his French accent, "a wacko".

Posted by: David Kubiak at Aug 19, 2005 12:33:52 AM

Furthermore, while the passage may be read to imply that three of the above commenters are adolescents (hieronymus, reluctant penitent, and David Kubiak), it is doubftul that any of them are - for example, David Kubiak is a classics professor at Wabash College, an all-male liberal arts school in Indiana.

Lastly, all comments were made on or around August 19, 2005, while this weblog was initiated on August 30, 2005.

At this time, it is entirely appropriate to refer once again to the letter of Rob Martin, FSSP addressed to the author of another denigratory and inaccurate Juventutem article found in the same publication - fortunately or not, that article did not make its way onto the Internet for all to see.

*As with everything, read with discernment.

'The Remnant' on Juventutem and prudence in participating in WYD

A most interesting article here, brought to our attention for prayerful consideration.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Eucharist: Living Bread for the Peace of the World

Direct link to Zenit here.

The West needs to "recover the sacredness of the liturgy"

Date: 2005-10-21

East Beats West in Sense of Sacred, Says Cardinal Ouellet

Canadian Evaluates Synod

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 21, 2005 ( Despite increased popularity in Eucharistic adoration, the West still has a ways to go in rediscovering the sacredness of the liturgy, says the archbishop of Quebec.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, president of the Synod of Bishops' commission for writing the final message, made these and other comments in an interview with Inside the Vatican, in which he assessed the synod on the Eucharist.

"My feeling at this point, and we are close to the end, is that the synod has been successful," he said.

The cardinal said a key to its success has been the presence of the Pope: "His personal interventions have really given a sort of rhythm or a depth to our synod. He has been very attentive, very receptive and respectful, of great cordiality.

"He is a man who has a deep conviction and security in his doctrine, so he can listen very much and very carefully to any other position because he doesn't fear to be shaken up in his own convictions because he has also the charism of Peter, the gift of the Holy Spirit, to support his brother bishops in the faith."

Another key aspect, according to Cardinal Oulett, was the participation of the Eastern Churches.

There is "something very enriching was the experience of the Eastern Churches," he said. "They have different liturgies and they have a different sense of the liturgy and so to hear them speak about the holy Eucharist was very defining for us."

Eastern faith

"The Eastern Christians exploit the architecture of their churches to be respectful of the Church herself and of the holy Eucharist, which is the heart of the temple," said Cardinal Ouellet, 61. "They have a deep sense of the sacredness, and so to hear them speak about the holy Eucharist was very edifying for me."

"In the West," he continued, "we need to recover the sacredness of the liturgy."

On the positive side, he said: "Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is awakening and developing all over the world, and this will help to restore the sacredness of the liturgical celebration of the Mass."

Cardinal Ouellet said "the renewal of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament … is a sign of the times, and a great sign of encouragement."

"At the same time," he continued, "I think that the synod has a message of encouragement for the priest. They are in many parts of the world asked to cover long distances and celebrate many Masses on Sundays, so it is a hard job.

"They need encouragement; they need to be sustained by the people of God, by their prayer and sacrifices."

Hooray for Sunday! :)

I am almost sure that we will be having Solemn Mass tomorrow - we have the FSSP General Bursar Abbé René de Reboul, visiting us at the moment, and I think he will be celebrating! It will be so lovely hearing French-tinged Latin again, I love it! :) Our visitor is a blessing, and another sign that I must really learn French! I am sure that the dear priest would understand my 'Salve pater!', though! hehe! Update: Mass was glorious, and our dear visitor's English is actually very good!

A young girl's awe destroyed... with a chain-saw!

St Anne's Bondi Beach, of whose primary school I attended from 1993-1995 and received First Communion:

From this:

To this:

More can be found on the story here.

I knew something was wrong in 1995 when the new priest came to our school - I don't recall a collar, and confessions were moved from the confessional to the front of the church. I once read the Epistle in year four from that lovely sandstone pulpit, and I remember our class were given free potato chips for the effort! I also remember (participating in!) some semi-liturgical dance in 1995...

Anyway, this church is (erat?) quite magnificent, with two lovely side chapels, one containing a most beautiful Byzantine inspired mosaic of Christ. I expected all churches to look like this! I remember the stained glass windows too, and walking round the church ALWAYS with hands folded. Genuflecting ALWAYS before the sanctuary. I just knew. I was an awe-inspired little child (and very much enjoy today seeing other awe-inspired little children), and I do wish that I could remember my prayers from back then. The Most Holy Mother of God has surely taken care of me - noticeably from this time. Our motto was 'Sub tuum praesidium'. Indeed. What a joy it has been after such a long journey, to be finally home at the Latin Mass - and to know it! I felt like that child again, committing myself totally to it and for it on my 21st birthday in May before the Blessed Mother's chapel, which strongly resembles the one I would kneel before in St Anne's, deep in prayer from ages 8-11. I finally feel like the little child again, though with some things to purge, again at a St A's!

After I return from the Christus Rex pilgrimage (100km walk over three days with solemn Masses etc), and after the ceremonies of All Saints and All Souls, I will go on a personal pilgrimage back up to Sydney to visit the place where our dear Mother first placed her mantle around me, and I'm certain showed to me 'a mystical book'. I'm still not sure what it was! :) I'll also visit the FSSP Sydney apostolate.

In the meantime, I beseech St John Damascene and the Holy English Martyrs to pray for us during this new (and very clear period of iconoclasm! Perhaps add him to litany for the Church in our time! :)

Traddy love song

Alternate lyrics to Cole Porter's "You're the Top", courtesy of our own Boeciana who, for whatever reason, didn't cross-post it to this site.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A rather serious quick question -

The 'dies irae' sequence et al are no longer said at requiem Masses, are they? Is there a difference between the 'rite of Christian funerals' that I have been reading on the internet and a post-conciliar requiem Mass? Are they the same thing? I'm a little confused.

On Benediction and some other things...


On this most beautiful spring day, I thought we might consider an excerpt from the following link:

Revised norms (regulations) governing exposition and Benediction were first published in the 1967 Instruction on the Eucharist and appeared again along with new prayers and rubrics in the 1973 Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass (HCWEOM).
These current norms concerning the reserved sacrament emphasise that devotions must be related to the celebration of the Mass. Practices during Benediction have been brought into line with practices during Mass. For example, the former double genuflection has been abolished and reverence is shown by genuflecting on one knee (HCWEOM #84); the number of candles used at Benediction is the same as at a festive Mass, that is, four or six, not seven placed in a special candelabra as in the past (#85).

Hmmm... I think I best forward this one to the Fathers. Firstly, cutting down on our candle consumption from the daily fourteen will surely save money. Secondly, doing away with double genuflection and other useless reverences will certainly be much easier on dearest Father McD's knees.

The circumstances which led to the origin and growth of Benediction have changed. We need to find forms of worship that respond to contemporary spirituality, piety and needs and are in the best liturgical traditions of our church.

Yes of course! We could use that line of discussion to create another rite of exorcism! (The following thoughts from over lunch yesterday!) "Now let's all gather round the bed and hold hands. No Father, they are not the afflicted - they are our liturgical dancers! Father, please make sure that you use inclusive language, we don't want to give offence!" We finally decided that the demon would actually cast itself out due to sheer boredom.

Anyway, I have started to come up with a 'you know that you are at home at the Latin Mass when' list. So far:

  • After talking on the phone, you realise that you have subconsciously transcribed the Gloria on the scribble pad in front of you
  • You begin to forget the Ordinary in the vernacular and you don't really mind
  • You sing the 'Asperges' in the rain
  • You want the Pater Noster ringtone for your mobile phone
  • You are proud of the bruises on your knees

And so on, and so forth! They are all true too :)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

"Outreach to Latin Mass Catholics proposed for final message"

From John L. Allen, Jr. of the National Catholic Reporter*:
A rather deafening silence at the Synod of Bishops about the pre-Vatican II Mass was broken on Saturday, when Colombian Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos proposed that the bishops' final message contain an opening to Catholics attached to the old Mass, perhaps treating it as one among several approved rites in the Catholic church.

Sources told NCR that Castrillón Hoyos did not specifically mention the idea of a "universal indult," meaning permission for priests to celebrate the old Mass whenever they like, but that his remarks "could be read in that way."...

During discussion Saturday morning, Castrillón Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy as well as president of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, created in 1988 to meet the pastoral needs of Catholics attached to the pre-Vatican II Mass, proposed inserting language that would essentially treat the old Mass as a legitimate rite of the church, comparable, for example, to the various Eastern rites that already exist.

Under current rules that date from 1984, priests may celebrate the old Mass only with the permission of the local bishop.

Prior to Castrillón Hoyos' proposal, no one at the synod had spoken about the old Mass. Cardinal Francis Arinze, president of the Congregation for Divine Worship, defined the old Mass as "not a priority for the synod" at a Thursday press conference.

The synod will next see a draft of the final message on Oct. 21, at which time it will be put up for a vote. The Committee for the Message will now decide whether or not to include Castrillón Hoyos' proposal, along with others heard Saturday morning.

Castrillón Hoyos has long been an advocate of reconciliation with the adherents of the old Mass, above all the breakaway Society of St. Pius X founded by French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre after the Second Vatican Council (1962-65).

Efforts at reconciliation date to 1999, when Castrillón Hoyos wrote to four bishops ordained illicitly by Lefebvre in 1988, addressing them as "my dear brother," and saying that the pope's arms were open wide to embrace them.

A meeting between three of the bishops and Castrillón took place on Aug. 14, 2000, in Castrillón's Rome apartment.

One public signal of progress came on Aug. 8, 2000, when more than 1,000 members of the society entered St. Peter's Basilica for a prayer service to mark the Jubilee Year. Though the event had not been on the Vatican calendar, officials acknowledged it had taken place with the approval of the Holy See.

On Aug. 29, Pope Benedict XVI received the current head of the society, Bishop Bernard Fellay, also one of the four men consecrated by Lefebvre, in a private audience at Castel Gandolfo.

Full report available here.

(Hat-tip: Dominicanus)

*As with everything, read with discernment.

Quintum Mysterium Gaudiosum....

Me praying the Rosary in Latin at a Holy Hour at St John Cantius in Chicago, IL. Reminds me of the good old times back in Germany. Who can forget all of us praying the Rosary in front of Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament at the Dominican parish in Dusseldorf. Loud and proud and in Latin...they way it should be.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Tridentine Mass "Not a Priority," Says Cardinal Arinze

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 13, 2005 ( No one at the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist has addressed the issue of the "Tridentine rite" Mass that the Latin Church used before the Second Vatican Council.

The prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, Cardinal Francis Arinze, mentioned this at a press conference today when he evaluated the first phase of the synodal assembly.

"No synodal father has mentioned this point," said Cardinal Arinze, the co-president of the assembly. The so-called Tridentine rite was approved by Pope St. Pius V.

"If there are groups that desire the Tridentine Mass, this is already provided for," he said. "Bishops may allow it for groups."

"It is not a priority for the synod, as no one has spoken about it," the cardinal concluded. "The problem we have discussed is that many people don't go to Mass, and those that come don't understand -- they go to Communion but not to confession, as if they were immaculate."
Have you all seen the priorities for this Synod? Communion for the Orthodox. Communion for protestants. Communion for the divorced and remarried. Why is it that heretics and schismatics get more concessions from the Church than Catholics who just want to worship the way Catholics did for, arguably, nearly 2000 years?

Sometimes it takes real effort to convince myself that the gates of Hell will never prevail....


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Event: Pilgrimage, London (UK)

From Gregory Flash:
Saturday 22 October
Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Willesden
Nicoll Rd London NW10

High Mass 11.30am
preceded by talk on the history of the Shrine at 10.30am
& Rosary 11am

We would very much like to have as many singers to sing the plainchant as possible. Anyone interested in singing should send an email to

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Revolution of God

ARTICLE: Oct. 11 ( - The Revolution of God, the first book produced by Pope Benedict XVI since his election to the papacy, was released by the Vatican on October 11.

The 130-page book contains all of the speeches that the Holy Father delivered during World Youth Day celebrations in Cologne, Germany, from August 18 to 21. It also includes the text of his remarks at a general audience on August 24, after his return, commenting on the trip.

The Italian-language edition was produced jointly by the Vatican publishing house, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, and St. Paul Editions. Separate editions, in appropriate translations, will be available in coming weeks in the US, Canada, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Portugal, and Poland, among other countries.

At a press conference in Rome announcing the book's appearance, Cardinal Camillo Ruini said that the volume offers a better opportunity for readers to reflect on the thoughts that Pope Benedict offered to young people in Cologne. He recalled that World Youth Day had generated enormous media attention, but the focus was largely on the spectacle rather than the content of the Pope's message.

Cardinal Ruini, who contributed an introduction to the book, observed that the Pope's thoughts deserved wider circulation, and by putting them in permanent form the book allows for "better assimilation of their content." In the collected addresses, he said, the dominant impression is "joy in the beauty of the faith, in the beauty of Christ, and in the life of Christ."

Archbishop Stanislas Rylko, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, also spoke at the book-launching press conference. He said that the Pope's book should not be regarded as a "souvenir volume," but as a manual for guidance, particularly for those who work with Catholic youth.

The Revolution of God includes 12 addresses. In addition to all of the Pontiff's remarks to the World Youth Day participants, it also includes his talks to Jewish and Muslim groups, and to the German bishops. The final address is from the August 24 audience in the Vatican's Paul VI auditorium, in which he reflected on the World Youth Day celebration.

The book takes its name from the talk that Benedict XVI delivered to the young people gathered at the Marienfeld park on August 20, 2005. There the Pope said: "The real revolution, the decision change in the world, comes only from God."

Pope Benedict XVI reviewed and approved the transcripts of his talks before publication, the Vatican revealed. Since the book is based on his prepared texts, however, it does not incorporate the extemporaneous remarks that he added during several appearances.


That's the way to do it. Skip the mosh and the multiplicitous languages, indulge in Juventutem activities, and just read the addresses later! I think I'm going to buy that book. :-)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Synod through Russian Orthodox eyes

Orthodox bishop says Vatican assembly confirms Orthodox traditional values

ROME, October 4 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Orthodox Church considers current discussions at the Catholic Synod of Bishops assembly in the Vatican to confirm the Orthodox Church's traditional values, a Russian bishop said Tuesday.

Bishop Yegorevsky Mark, deputy head of external relations for the Moscow Patriarch, who is leading a Russian Orthodox Church delegation to the Vatican, said decisions made by Catholic leaders over liturgical issues would ultimately result in a return to traditions.

More than 250 bishops are attending the general assembly, which opened Monday. The assembly, scheduled to run for three weeks, is focusing on the theme "the Eucharist, source and summit of the life and mission of the Church".

Mark said changes made 40 years ago had substantially relaxed access to Catholic communion.

"The aim of the Catholic Church to adapt to the modern world, to make Christianity more understandable and 'easy' for the world has had serious negative consequences," he said.

According to Mark, this situation has also caused a reverse reactionary process, geared towards returning to the same traditions the Orthodox Church has faithfully observed.

"We view this process as a confirmation of the correctness of our own experience and the importance of maintaining our traditions," the bishop said.
(Hat-tip: The Inn at the End of the World)

Monday, October 10, 2005

A Latin Mass Parish? Suuuuuuure.

Yesterday afternoon I was wishing I had something to be sarcastic about, some incident to recount with a bitter edge.
I got it.

I attend the Tridentine Dialogue Mass every Sunday at 5pm. The celebrant is a 70 year old diocesan priest whose orthodoxy and Philadelphian-Italian temperament have landed him in a tiny, unedifying parish in Ajo. Ajo is about 3 hours drive from Tucson. Every Sunday Fr. Rego celebrates a couple Novus Ordo masses in exile, then drives a few hours across deserty Indian reservation to show up for confessions and the Latin Mass at 5. Usually he has a few morning masses Monday-Wednesday, then heads back to the "hell-hole". His withering terminology, but I can't help but concur. This morning another old and sickly priest passed away, Fr. Clark Moore. He also celebrated the Latin Mass fairly regularly, but has been known to say some odd things from the pulpit so we never went to his unless necessary. Another retired priest, Fr. DeVine, is filling in. So that's the set up.

Nobody is really happy with the arrangements. Father is old, his Tucson flock appreciate him but would like daily access to the sacraments i.e. a parish. And what happens when Father kicks the bucket? So in a disorganized fashion Fr. Reo has been petitioning the bishop for a parish within the city limits. This same bishop has been complaining of priest shortages, shutting down parishes, or placing nuns as parish coordinators. Mark Balustreri, who instigated the (Canon) lawsuit against American "Catholic" politicians, has been helping us out and probably been the only thing that forced the bishop to take us seriously, with our "rightful aspirations" for a Latin Mass. So seriously, that he agreed to meet and address our concerns tonight.

Bishop Kicanas attended Mass, and read the readings in English. But first he prefaced them with "In the Universal Church, we read about....while here today we read....". Sigh. His homily was pathetic, as usual. When we went to the parish hall he declared this was a meeting to answer our questions: everyone would get only one turn to have their say. So we saw from the beginning this wasn't for a resolution to the question of whether we, who were humbly asking permission in full communion with the Holy Catholic Church, the Pope, the Bishop himself to have a little Latin Mass PARISH. This was about diplomatically massaging us into complacency and urging us to patience. The very first question was "What is your opinion of a Latin Mass parish?" He said he had no opinion. He had to talk it over some more with the other bishops, and see whether this was really what was good for the church. He is afraid of division. Unity is of prime importance, apparently. See, there are lots of schismatic madmen out there causing disruption in the Church (none of them here of course! he'd add soothingly). Of course you can't judge a group by its extremes. He had no misgivings about the community talking to him right now, but the bishops just weren't sure whether promoting the Latin Mass is good for the unity of the Church. Some were cautious, some not so cautious. He admitted that the Tridentine Mass has been encouraged and promoted by the Vatican. Dad said he didn't understand why, if the only problem the bishop could see was a problem common to all rites and all human endeavors anyway, it was reasonable to be wary of a Latin Mass parish. The Bishop didn't answer. Immediately our choir director chimed in and asked what we as a community had to do to gain the Bishop's approval and confidence. Again, no answer. In fact, he never even glanced over at our side of the room again. With only one shot per person there was no chance of anyone forcing him to quit dancing round the subject with his reiterations of caution and the "importance of collecting many opinions to make a prudent judgment on the matter". 'Twas all very irritating. Effectively, he's trying to stalemate us. If he doesn't say no right off, we might wait around and not take it to the Vatican in a lawsuit. He's certainly not going to say yes unless it becomes convenient for him to do so. People kept emphasizing that the movement was a serious movement, that it was growing, that it wanted to grow, that it was devoted. Wrong thing to say. He doesn't want it to grow. He wants it to die quietly. When a gentleman bought up that all the Novus Ordo masses he'd been to were irreverent and included abuses, the bishop had the gall to say *his* Novus Ordo mass was reverent, and challenge that the abuses were as widespread as the whole room maintained. Pfft. There's plenty of abuses at his masses and every NO mass in Tucson. Sadly, this was as much a failure on our part for lacking organization. The latter half of the meeting was about people gushing over how attached to the Latin Mass they were. It did not force the bishop to face the issue at hand. He was free to say, Hey, you’ve got a community or two going here, be content! What more do you want? Nevermind the mass times have a somewhat random quality, that the churches are too small, that we don’t have access to the other sacraments, that our elderly and unhealthy celebrants do not have any assurance of succession. How exactly the meeting ended I don’t know, I had to go outside and babysit. But quite frankly, the bishop isn’t going to give us what we want unless we take steps to sue him or perhaps until Pope Benedict issues some sort of mandate he would deem politically imprudent to ignore. Unfortunately, Fr. Rego thought the meeting was encouraging. He has no intention of suing, he wants a good relationship. We’re all working at cross purposes here…and such a pity too, because we’re not a schismatic group…

I'm so glad I'm moving back to the Norbertines. Abuse free NO sacraments on a daily basis sure beats this desert.

Kneeling in the Novus Ordo

Last weekend I went on a retreat with a group of about twenty people. At the first mass (novus ordo) I knelt to receive communion on the tongue and thought nothing of it. The next day I was accosted by the priest just before mass and told that I was not to receive communion kneeling again. I enquired why this was and was told that he found my kneeling embarrassing and saw it as an attempt to seek admiration from my peers, as well as disrupting the ‘reverent procession’ for communion. I stated that the church has explicitly taught that the faithful may legitimately receive communion kneeling (as stated in Redemptionis Sacramentum) and that it is unlawful to refuse Catholics communion on these grounds. The priest refused to have any of this stating that kneeling was an act of disobedience to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales as it has ruled that the faithful should stand to receive communion. He also said that receiving communion kneeling was not part of tradition (!) Again I argued that since Rome has stated that the faithful can kneel to receive communion this should take precedence over what the Bishops’ have ruled, i.e. they can state a norm of behaviour expected but they cannot proscribe a practice, which Rome has ruled as legitimate. Again my protests fell on deaf ears and consequently I did not receive communion at the next mass.

Now this incident is interesting for a number of reasons as it reveals a great deal about the attitudes of some of the post-conciliar clergy. If one looks at the reasons against kneeling for communion proposed in this small incident we find that this practice is seen as ‘embarrassing’, ‘a desire for admiration’, and a disruption of the ‘reverent procession’, disobedient and non-traditional. Taking the first example cited that it is ‘embarrassing’ to kneel for communion, we have to ask who is being embarrassed by it? Are the people who don’t kneel embarrassed by it and if so why? Is the priest embarrassed to have to distribute communion in this way or is it the kneeler who is embarrassed? There is a quite serious question here as to why anyone should be embarrassed by this at all. If we look at the novus ordo mass we find that kneeling is still a significant aspect of that rite, whatever faults it may contain. In particular, kneeling is mandated for the Eucharistic prayer and by custom after the Agnus Dei – that is - the key moments of the Liturgy of the Eucharist – the Consecration and before communion. It is also expected that clergy and laity will kneel throughout the distribution of communion. It is perhaps important to consider why we kneel at all here. The reason has to be out of respect for the great mystery of the mass – the miracle of Calvary re-presented by the Priest in persona Christi. Therefore we are kneeling out of reverence to the Real Presence of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Is this not the same as when we kneel to receive communion?

The second criticism levelled against kneeling was that it was done out of a desire for admiration or even if this was not desired, the fact that it could lead to admiration meant that one should not kneel. This again is rather an interesting point and one, which does raise some awkward questions. It is true that the majority of people receiving communion do so standing; therefore those who receive communion kneeling will, generally speaking, be in a conspicuous minority. Knowing this, it is important to be aware of ones motivations for kneeling. It should not be done out of a desire to appear different or out of condemnation of those who choose to receive communion standing. However, since this relates to one personal motivation it is difficult to see how this could lead to the proscription of kneeling to receive communion, since there would be no indicator as to whether the persons motivation for kneeling was licit or otherwise. Therefore, this is surely not grounds to refuse communion to those who kneel. It may be the case that the laity should be reminded that they should not kneel out of pride or a sense of superiority. But again this really does not ring true – the act of kneeling is one of humility, of subjugation to God and an acknowledgment of the Real Presence. It is not an act of a proud man to kneel, rather, it is the act of one who is contrite before God; one who recognises his own failings and his own inadequacies – Domine non sum dignus ut intres sub tectum meum, sed tantum dic verbo et sanibata anima mea.

The next aspect of his criticism was that kneeling disrupts the ‘reverent procession’. This is interesting because it is expected that those who receive communion standing should make an act of reverence before receiving communion such as making the sign of the cross or genuflecting. Yet how often is this ever done? The fact is that whilst many people do make a sign of reverence a great many more people do not. Therefore, if one is to be critical of the posture of kneeling as disrupting the reverence of others is it not also appropriate to criticise those who fail to make a sign of reverence before or immediately after receiving communion? Unsurprisingly, there is usually no criticism for those who fail to make a sign of reverence even though this has called for by the Church since Eucharisticum Mysterium (1967) and in Inaestimabile donum (1980). The Church states that the sign of reverence is not to be considered optional and should follow the norms established by the appropriate Bishops’ Conference. However, the norms for a sign of reverence are to be regarded as usual practice but not a legal obligation. Therefore, the faithful may make a sign of reverence as indicated by the Bishops’ Conference but they may also make an alternative sign of reverence as long as the sign does not unduly delay the reception of communion by others. The time taken to kneel is hardly sufficient to justify its prohibition on these grounds alone.

The question of disobedience is somewhat complicated. We are expected to be obedient to the Bishops as figures of authority within the Church but they are also obliged by their own obedience to the Holy See. A Bishop has authority – that is not in doubt, but he must in turn submit to the authority of the Holy See and in so doing ensure that “the principle shall be respected that each particular Church must be in accord with the Church universal” (GIRM).Therefore, if the Holy See mandates that the practice of kneeling to receive communion is legitimate it is not possible for any Bishop or Bishops’ Conference to prohibit the practice – still less to refuse communion on those grounds; for that would lead to a de facto excommunication of those who choose to kneel. Therefore the question of whether kneeling to receive communion is an act of disobedience towards the hierarchy is clear. It is not disobedient. On the contrary, they are disobedient to the wishes of the Holy See if they attempt to prohibit or discourage it. As the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments has stated:

“Even where the Congregation has approved of legislation denoting standing as the posture for Holy Communion, in accordance with the adaptations permitted to the Conferences of Bishops by the Institution Generalis Missalis Romani n. 160, paragraph 2, it has done so with the stipulation that communicants who choose to kneel are not to be denied Holy Communion on these grounds.“

Jorge A. Cardinal Medina Estévez, Prefect Congregation de Cultu Divino et Disciplina Sacramentorum. Rome, 1 July 2002

"... while this Congregation gave the recognitio to the norm desired by the Bishops' Conference of your country that people stand for Holy Communion, this was done on the condition that communicants who choose to kneel are not to be denied Holy Communion on these grounds. Indeed, the faithful should not be imposed upon nor accused of disobedience and of acting illicitly when they kneel to receive Holy Communion".

Mons. Mario Marini Undersecretary Congregation de Cultu Divino et Disciplina Sacramentorum. Rome, 26 February 2003

I was slightly surprised to hear standing described as the traditional method of receiving communion since for centuries kneeling has been the accepted practice. Whereas, to receive communion standing has been the norm for barely thirty years - so I don’t think it is necessary to elaborate any further on that point.

As for myself I shall continue to receive communion kneeling.

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Pray for us.
St. Nicholas Owen, Pray for us.
St. Edmund Campion, Pray for us.

Hooray 'little flock'!

Last night, Father gave his blessing for an official group of young people to be formed at St A's. Essentially, it is a 'youth group' - but that term has connotations that I don't like. There is already a strong group of about 15 of us ready to go.

Although the majority are yet to be consulted, I would envision the group serving the following purpose:
  • Organising theocentric, tasteful social activities/outings on a monthly basis
  • Praying and providing real support for our priests, community, and one another
  • Forming a platform from which the young people in our apostolate can be addressed
  • Sending delegates to represent the apostolate at diocesan events
  • Promoting the Latin Mass within the diocese, particularly amongst youth (giving them rightful option!)
  • Growing deeper in our love and appreciation for the venerable traditions of which we are custodians
  • Discernment of vocation

We are the front line soldiers, we are the spring lambs! Please let me know your thoughts! There is also all of that fun stuff about coming up with names etc :)

Saturday, October 08, 2005

With distinction

A tip of the biretta in honour of today's saint. Possibly the coolest habits on earth.

More from Abp. Kondrusiewicz

In an interview with John L. Allen, Jr. of the NCR(eporter), the archbishop expands on his synodal statement (mentioned earlier on this site):
Generally, we feel that failure to preserve the norms and to be accurate in the liturgical rites is one of many reasons that causes the faith of the people to decline. If there is no piety, if there is no accuracy, if the priest is doing I don't know what … if the priest doesn't seem to take the Mass seriously, why should the people?
(Hat tip: Amy Welborn)


More Synod snippets.

Antonio Maria Cardinal Ruoco Varela, Archbishop of Madrid:

Vatican Council II brought together, in a beautifully concise theological synthesis, the doctrinal and pastoral fruits of the liturgical, spiritual and apostolic renewal of Church life in the first half of the twentieth century. ... (But) attention must also be given to the antithesis of the Council, as represented by radically secularized interpretations of the content, significance and ways of celebrating the Eucharistic Sacrament 'fons et culmen totius vitae christianae.' Nor must we forget the obstacle presented by the questioning of liturgical reform on the part of small groups. And so, we have reached the moment for a new doctrinal and pastoral synthesis in order to clarify and overcome this antithesis: by way of a Paschal renovation of the doctrine, catechesis and practical experience of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, wherein Christ's sacrifice and priestly oblation are conveyed ... by way of canonical and pastoral education ... that eliminates subjectivism and arbitrariness in the celebration of the Eucharist; ... and by fomenting a Eucharistic spirituality based on the habit and experience of adoring the Sacrament par excellence, 'the Sacrament of the Love of Loves'.
Canonical education? An emphasis on the uniqueness of orders?

Godfried Cardinal Danneels, Archbishop of Malines-Bruxelles:
This Eucharistic Synod has two objectives. In the first place, we wish to reflect upon and deepen our knowledge of the richness of the mystery of the Eucharist. ... The second objective is to work so that all this richness may take root in a postmodern culture which, ... at first view, is unfavorable to such a seed. And yet our culture is full of paradoxes. ... It is difficult for modern man to perceive the invisible, yet there exists real interest in what lies beyond the horizon, beyond the realm of the senses, beyond the rational, beyond efficiency and productivity. Modern man is, above all, a man of action, yet the same man also conceals within a great thirst for gratitude, for giving; he does not like rites because of their repetitiveness and monotony, yet he is always inventing his own rites. Christian eschatology appears to be forgotten, even deceptive, yet never has there been so much thirst for a better world, nor so much need for hope. ... Modern man wants to move, and our liturgies have frequently become very active, even activist. But we forget that many of our contemporaries have a real need for silence. Not always have we well understood the meaning of 'actuosa participatio,' which also implies silence in the face of the mystery. All these elements of our culture carry within themselves the seeds for an evangelization of that culture.
Seventh Congregation of the Eleventh Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, 7 October 2005.

He's got this one bang on, now let's see some proposals.

Bishop Javier Echevarria Rodriguez, Prelate of the Personal Prelature of Opus Dei:

Paragraph 34 of the 'Instrumentum Laboris' highlights the importance of a sense of the sacred in celebrating the Eucharist. We should study practical ways to help the faithful to a clearer understanding of the sacredness of Eucharistic sacrifice. ... It would therefore be useful, on the basis of the Instruction 'Redemptionis sacramentum,' to try to remove abuses that harm the sacred nature of Eucharistic celebrations, and to rethink certain regulations which may be interpreted and applied in an abusive fashion. For example, I suggest reviewing the appropriateness of Eucharistic ceremonies in which there is such an excessive number of concelebrants as to make the dignified celebration of the liturgy impossible; and re-evaluating whether communion should actually be given to all participants in a Mass where great numbers of believers are present, when such general distribution may harm the dignity of worship.
Sixth General Congregation of the Eleventh Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, 6 October 2005.

Communion in mud-encrusted hands, anyone? Superlingual administration would solve that problem.

And now from our friendly Syro-Malabars, Archbishop Joseph Powathil of Changanacherry:

The variety of liturgical traditions and therefore of the Church's traditions of faith serves to manifest the richness of the mystery of Christ and the divine plan of salvation. Hence the patrimony of all the Churches must 'remain whole and entire' and the Churches should return to those traditions, 'if they have fallen away due to the vicissitudes of time or persons.' Unfortunately the Oriental Churches have in various ways through the vicissitudes of history failed in different degrees to preserve their valuable heritage. In the present day context of globalization and standardization there is the danger that these small Churches may further lose their perspectives. Therefore we hope that the Successor of Peter, endowed with the duty of confirming his brethren in faith, will help the Oriental Churches in a special way to grow and bear more effective witness before the world with greater fidelity to their valuable heritage. This will surely strengthen the cause of Christian unity and the proclamation of the mystery of Christ in our times.
Fifth General Congregation of the Eleventh Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, 5 October 2005.
He may as well be talking about the Latins.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Our Lady of the Rosary

Please pray particularly for Europe and all her people today. So many enslaved to sin and never having heard the Gospel; so many governments who have ceased to seek the true good and failed to protect the weak; and so many of us in the Church still lukewarm and failing to show forth the Lord's love and hope.

May the peoples of Europe hear their true King's voice, and arise 'stunned for liberty'!

Pontifical low Mass, NO hymns

"Yes, just look at her! She's wearing... A HAT! And, woe is me, she's following... THE (their very) RUBRICS!" I did all this right under His Grace's nose, too! Shock horror! His Grace of course NOT the one shocked at my hat-wearing, knee-bending antics.

"It's very nice to have the Archbishop at X to celebrate Mass, but moreso than that..." (My paraphrase, but keeping the original idea in tact).

Yes, moreso than the Mass. Why on earth are our seminaries and religious houses not overflowing? Young people and families absent from our pews?

I didn't make a show, let alone a false one. I can't happily attend that Rite anymore, I just can't. I am not being a seperatist, I am not denying validity, nor condemning anyone. I would do anything for my Clergy, but I am being honest. The Lord surely knows how I feel, even if I can't express it. Lord, what happened...

Quare tristis es, anima mea, et quare conturbas me?

I will be attending Mass 'at home' tonight however, and will be remembering all of you during overnight Exposition in my poor prayers :)

Please pray for me.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

More from the Synod

This time from John L. Allen, Jr., Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter*:

An area of clash came in discussion of the Eucharist as sacrifice, and the need to balance between the horizontal and vertical dimensions of the Mass.

In the open session Wednesday night, Cardinal George Pell of Australia voiced concern that talk about "various presences" of Christ, such as in the community, in scripture, and in the individual believer can blur the centrality of the real presence in the Eucharist.

"We are not pantheists," he warned the synod.

One bishop from Eastern Europe warned that a lack of reverence in treating the Eucharist reflected "maybe even veiled forms of profanation."

At the same time, Bishop Jacques Perrier of Lourdes, France, warned that an exclusive focus on the real presence of Christ in the reserved host could lead precisely to a neglect of the other "real presences," and an overly individualistic sense of the sacrament.

Full report available here.

(Hat-tip: Amy Welborn)

*As with everything, read with discernment.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

"Sydney Youth Day to be in July"

From Catholic World News:
The next celebration of World Youth Day, scheduled to take place in Sydney, Australia, in 2008 will be held in July of that year, according to Cardinal George Pell.

Cardinal Pell told the I Media news agency that the World Youth Day festivities would be held in July -- probably July 8 through 15. He cautioned, however, that the dates and the theme for the event must be confirmed by the Vatican.
Unlike the, ahem, hot and humid weather we were prepared to experience in Bavaria and Cologne, there seems to be little chance of either in Sydney, so pack accordingly.


(Hat-tip: Domenico Bettinelli, Jr.)

Today's Synod update

From Archbishop Jan Pawel Lenga, MIC of Karaganda, Kazakhstan:

Among the liturgical innovations produced in the Western world, two in particular tend to cloud the visible aspect of the Eucharist, especially as regards its centrality and sacredness: the removal of the tabernacle from the center and the distribution of communion in the hand. ... Communion in the hand is spreading and even prevailing as being easier, as a kind of fashion. ... Therefore, I humbly propose the following practical propositions: that the Holy See issue a universal regulation establishing the official way of receiving communion as being in the mouth and kneeling; with communion in the hand to be reserved for the clergy alone. May bishops in places where communion in the hand has been introduced work with pastoral prudence to bring the faithful slowly back to the official rite of communion, valid for all local Churches.
Fourth General Congregation of the Eleventh Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, 4 October 2005.
Courtesy of Vatican Information Service.

Clarification, please

Could someone please clarify the following for me which is taken from 'excerpts of the Constitutions of the FSSP':
15. The Fraternity of Saint Peter will seek to encourage vocations of auxiliaries for service to the Altar and all that is related to it: participation in the liturgy, in the Sacraments, in catechetical instruction and generally in all that is necessary to assist the priests in their ministry, in conformity with Can. 738 § 2.
Does that encompass the possibility of a sorority?

UPDATE: With Seminarian Rob Martin's permission, I can post the following:
At one point, there was an order of sisters that was assisting the FSSP. However, they decided that they wanted to pursue a more contemplative vocation, and they are no longer directly associated with us, although they still have a very close relationship with the FSSP. They are called the Oblates of Mary and they are located in Pennsylvania ( Currently, I know of no plans to establish another order of sisters to work in conjunction with the FSSP, but that's not to say that it couldn't be done. In fact, there seems to be a desperate need for an order of traditional teaching sisters to work in FSSP parish schools.
I have been looking at the Oblates actually, they seem absolutely wonderful - but it is awfully hard being in Australia, though I am not ruling anything out. I suppose my aspiration is for something to flower from the Divine Will that will mean that an international community is established to help serve our Fathers in their needs, particularly it seems through prayer and teaching, because they need all the help that they can get, and in all the places where they are.

Fiat voluntas tua!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Looking West

From a statement by Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of the Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow:
Liturgical reform has led to more active, fruitful and conscious participation of the faithful in the Eucharist. However, alongside the positive aspects, this has also led to some negative ones. Insufficient liturgical discipline ... in the celebration of the Eucharist also has a negative effect on ecumenical relationships. The violation of liturgical norms clouds the faith and the doctrine of the Church on the Eucharist, and leads to betrayal of the rule 'Lex orandi - Lex credendi.' ... Pope Benedict XVI calls us back to Eucharistic devotion, to clear and courageous expression of faith in the real presence of the Lord in all its solemnity and correctness. It is, therefore, necessary to accept the fact that the nature of the Liturgy is 'established from above and not libertarian' and that it is, by its essence, 'incorruptible.' ... The corruption of liturgical life requires the approval of a new doctrinal document emphasizing the observation of liturgical norms. Christ should not suffer because of abuses in the celebration of the Eucharist, which should always be received and experienced by the faithful as 'sacrum,' as the mysterious renewal of Chris's sacrifice, as His saving energy that transforms man and the world, as reinforcement of faith and the source of morality.
Second General Congregation of the Eleventh Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, 3 October 2005.
Courtesy of Vatican Information Service.

Monday, October 03, 2005

On the way to the station to go to Mass...

Yes, on the way to the station going to Mass - I am confronted with two options. Study Catholic theology (!?) or continue my patriarchal heritage of freemasonry. I went to Mass.

I do apologise for these rather senseless posts - the Don's post below is much more edifying, but I did want to share this! :)

Seminarian Rob's post is being discussed here: If only they knew of plans of mutiny from Marienfeld the night before, the Holy Father saying the Roman Canon, and the soothing Dominican Rite afterwards! I'm glad we were there.

"I've been to a papal Mass, you know?"
"Really? How wonderful! Was it amidst the glories of St Peter's?"
"No, amongst mice, rubbish, and pop-music on a cold German field. Veils, missals, and mud, I tell you!"
"Well, it's one more than me!"
"Deo gratias."

Any suggestions?

In all charity, I am asking for your suggestions for improvements to a certain person's (?) educational institution chapel. I post this not to complain, but to seriously look for solutions. I've complained far too much! The Mother of God looks quite cold...

Saturday, October 01, 2005

With a script

Discussion has arisen on other blogs about the possible removal of restrictions on the Mass of 1962. Inevitably these posts generate much (and impassioned) commentary about the relative merits of the Novus Ordo and the classical rite.

The Novus Ordo Mass can indeed be celebrated with all smells & bells commonly associated (exclusively) with the older liturgy. My college had a daily Latin NO, ad orientem with chanted ordinary (introit and recto tono communion antiphon on feasts), kneeling for communion, surpliced male server, chasuble lifting at the Consecration, full Canon. It was very beautiful, increasing my love of the liturgy, and paving the way for my regular assistance at the Old Mass. There is nothing to prevent the simplest NO Mass from being celebrated with reverence, and we must judge not from the worst examples but from the best, and in this regard the Mass of 1968 is certainly worthy of our respect, proven by my happy experience.

I came to the Tridentine Mass through the text. Having a love of the Psalms, I was so very pleased to see much greater, and indeed more subtle, use of Scripture, where lines or half lines evoke countless generations of lectio divina. The entire Mass is one prayer, the Bible accompanying every sacred action. The words of Scripture are on his lips: as he approaches the altar (Introibo ad altare Dei), reaches it (Deus, tu conversus), says the propers, incenses at the offertory (Dirigatur oratio mea), washes his hands (Lavabo inter innocentes), and so on. The fumes of incense are not mere decoration: the Tridentine Mass offers a harmonious fusion of vocal prayer and corporal gestures, joined by a proper interior disposition. It is not a show enhanced by antique vestments, glorious music, or gilt ornaments, a shallow spectacle for the leisured and educated classes. If anything, the very visibility of the external signs causes distraction—and, unfortunately for some, scandal—from their symbolism and textual correspondences. The harmony between internal and external action—always extant—has been ruptured, the acts pretty but meaningless.

Having intellectually dispensed with the necessity of external dimension of the liturgy and the fusion of word and action, the equivalency of the two rites of Mass is assumed. Looking solely at the visible aspect, the Mass of Pius V and the Mass of Paul VI seem extremely alike. Why do we still need the older form? one asks.

The Tridentine Mass matters because words matter. The verbal richness of this venerable action prevents (if properly understood) a facile reduction of the visual elements which we all love into a gaudy pastime for reactionaries. The newcomer need only open a missal to be rewarded most amply by words of depth and antiquity, to realise that gestures once foreign have assumed meaning. He discovers that the priest is always praying—and that he, with all the faithful, is praying as well. Directing our eyes from the action to the text, the images in our memory lay their foundation upon the words impressed in our souls. Viam veritatis elegi; iudicia tua non sum oblitus.

Thus, I join my prayers to the priest as he prepares for the Sacrifice: Dilexi decorem domus tuae et locum habitationis gloriae tuae… pes meus stetit in directo: in ecclesiis benedicam te. The fumes of incense have filled the sanctuary, the heavens have opened to us, and we mirror the actions of the archangel, Stetit angelus iuxta aram templi habens thuribulum aureum in manu sua… et ascendit fumus aromatum in conspectu Dei, standing before the face of our God in unceasing worship. Our words and deeds are united to each other and to the liturgy of the triumphant. In conspectu angelorum tuorum psallam tibi Deus meus. I look around the statues around the church; Melchizedek glances back, holding his offering in one hand, and a thurible in the other.

Myself being 'paxed' and some words of wisdom from Mr GK Chesterton

"It is very hard for a man to defend anything of which he is entirely convinced. It is comparatively easy when he is only partially convinced. He is partially convinced because he has found this or that proof of the thing, and he can expound it. But a man is not really convinced of a philosophic theory when he finds that something proves it. He is only really convinced when he finds that everything proves it. And the more converging reasons he finds pointing to this conviction, the more bewildered he is if asked suddenly to sum them up. Thus, if one asked an ordinary intelligent man, on the spur of the moment, "Why do you prefer civilisation to savagery?" he would look wildly at object after object, and would only be able to answer vaguely, "Why, there is the bookcase ... and pianos..." Orthodoxy, pg 150 (1935 Ed).