“…no substance to the stories…”

I found an interesting blog blurb called Forest Murmurs posted by Fr. Michael Brown, the blog’s demiurge (my emphasis).

Apart from this there are the never ending rumours about a general permission for the traditional Roman rite. The latest suggestion, reported by Fr Zuhldorf [sic] is that the permission will be made public on December 8th. The only evidence that something may be going to happen is the reports of French bishops making clear their opposition to any such move. Meanwhile in this country we are assured that it is all hype and that there is no substance to the stories.

Well… I guess we shall see if there is any substance to it or not.  And, I don’t think I ever gave a specific date.

This makes me curious. 

I don’t know if there are such things as "liberal" Catholic blogs.  There might be.  But, really, imagine such a thing.  So….

Perhaps you readers might give me a hand.  If you find things out there against the idea of any use of the older Mass, or who are completely blowing off all possibility of an indult, let us all know!  Post links and excerpts.  The way I see it, if I am going to post my opinions, suppositions and bits of news, it is only fair to consider the naysayers. 

After all, they might stumble into something true.  Accidently, of course.  Even broken clocks are right twice a day, right?

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.

83 Responses to “…no substance to the stories…”

  1. RBrown says:

    Meanwhile in this country we are assured that it is all hype and that there is no substance to the stories.

    I distrust people who elect themselves as spokesmen for some group.

  2. Dennis says:

    Fr. Brown is based here in the U.K. Reports of the Pope’s
    plans for the Tridentine Mass have been in the Catholic
    press here for weeks, since before the French Bishops
    Conferance.
    I don’t know which “we” he refers to but I feel quite
    assured that there’s substance to the stories.

  3. Augustinus says:

    I recall reading an interview with Cardinal Murphy O’Connor not long ago (can’t recall where), where he said as much. The general trend of the episocopal leadership in the UK would not suggest any disposition towards charity in terms of making the Old Rite more widely available.

    The French episcopate may be the mouthpiece – but I’m sure they’re not alone in what they apparently think about the issue.

  4. Fr Michael Brown says:

    Dear Father, I am as anxious as everyone else that the indult should come out as soon as possible. If you read my blog you`ll see that I am rather keen on the 1962 missal and celebrate it myself often. I was only repeating your own comment which was `With my luck, just because I will be out of Rome for a little trip with a priest friend on 8 December, I predict that that is the day the document will be released`. Just grasping for straws. I read too much into your comment as did a number of people ho left comments. As for the `we` I should have said `I`.

  5. Fr. Michael Brown: Thanks for the comment. I did not mean to imply that I thought your reverend person was against the derestriction. You seem to have quite the right bloodtype, as far as I am concerned.

    You did prompt me to wonder, however, about those who are against it and what they may be saying.

    Thanks for dropping in a making the clarification. Come around often and keep up the good fight!

  6. Christopher says:

    I think that – as far as the situation in England and Wales goes – there are a lot of priests and bishops of a certain type and generation who are *hoping* this is not going to happen, and that if they put their fingers in their ears and chant a mantra against it long enough and hard enough it will go away. These are not (all?) bad sorts, but for many the Tridentine Mass has been so demonised and the II Vatican Council’s legitimacy made to depend so much on the Pauline Rite that they cannot see the situation objectively.

    There are of course a lot of priests like Fr. Michael (and a lot of lay people, and a lot of seminarians) who simply do not view the situation through this distorted lens. My suspicion is that the Church in England and Wales is gradually changing in this regard, and in fact becoming more like itself again. That may be a trifle naif, but I pray not!

  7. RBrown says:

    Dear Father, I am as anxious as everyone else that the indult should come out as soon as possible. If you read my blog you`ll see that I am rather keen on the 1962 missal and celebrate it myself often. I was only repeating your own comment which was `With my luck, just because I will be out of Rome for a little trip with a priest friend on 8 December, I predict that that is the day the document will be released`. Just grasping for straws. I read too much into your comment as did a number of people ho left comments. As for the `we` I should have said `I`.+

    Do you know Fr Martin Edwards? He is an old friend from Rome.

  8. Fr Michael Brown says:

    Dear RBrown I do indeed know Fr Martin Edwards. We overlapped for a year at the English college.

  9. Fr Michael Brown says:

    Christopher, you`ve hit the nail on the head!

  10. Paul Murnane says:

    Fr. Z,

    I’m not sure if you’ve seen this blog: http://josephsoleary.typepad.com/my_weblog/, but the author is a Catholic priest whose screen name when posting to other blogs is “Spirit of Vatican II.” I definitely think he qualifies as a “liberal” blog. Regarding the indult, while I have not seen him specifically oppose it, I figure it’s only because I haven’t looked hard enough. Anyway, to get a flavor of his thinking on a topic near and dear to you, start here: http://josephsoleary.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/06/letter_to_bisho.html

    Also note that he as written on St. Augustine: http://josephsoleary.typepad.com/my_weblog/historical_theology/index.html. I have this feeling that you may see St. Augustine’s writings a bit differently than you do. :)

  11. Séamas says:

    Sigh… he is apparently an Irish priest, too.

    Oh, Beloved Ireland, Land of Saints and Scholars, what has become of you?

  12. Séamas says:

    Here’s some more about him, from the Against the Grain blog:

    http://tinyurl.com/tryyu

    Just so you know who it is you are dealing with should you wish to engage his ideas.

  13. If I may say so, I am at present more keen on the “reform of the reform” questions needing resolution, than I am on wider permission for the Pian Rite. Before someone goes off on me, I have nothing against it; I don’t know how to offer it; my constraints in that regard are entirely practical — i.e., I have many demands on my time, and learning the older rite has to be fit in, somehow; and I have some reservations that a “freeing” of the old rite will hinder a reform of the reform, rather than help.

    Of course, in the latter-most point I may be entirely wrong, and I have no power of prognostication. It is simply — as others have said — that a freeing of the old rite may tend to attract away — from the newer rite — the very people who form a constituency for “reform of the reform” — leaving those who, for a variety of reasons, resist any re-enchantment of the liturgy.

    In some of the comments folks have offered, you’d think that folks in the pews are aching for the return of the old form; well, that may be true in some places, but really, that’s a bad misestimate of the actual situation in most parishes. And to expect a priest simply to impose something that is dramatically different is not only astonishing, it’s ironic, is it not?

    May I say, also, that pitting the older rite vs. the newer rite — as I saw in the recent, other thread on the M.P. — is problematic, both theologically and practically. Theologically, because doesn’t that run counter to the “hermeneutic of continuity”? Practically, because it is a lot harder to gain allies, either in the pew or the pulpit, if you force them to an either-or choice.

  14. Except, Father, if you’ve looked at your lovely missalettes lately, you’ll see there’s nothing in the N.O. that qualifies as “hermaneutic of continuity.” The whole game with the N.O. is novelty.

  15. anon says:

    Father,
    I believe that the hermeneutic of continuity refers to the documents of Vatican II, not necessarily to their implementation (eg, NO).

  16. Bah, are you really defending the new ICEL translation?
    All we have heard of it so far and all we have been allowed to see of it suggests that it will be a DISASTER.

  17. Jordan Potter says:

    Speak of the Devil . . . .

    Well, there goes the neighborhood.

  18. As to the Latin Mass, I would love to be able to celebrate it on all occasions (ad orientem too). What I do not think is good is to favor schismatic and violent movements like that of Archbihop Lefebvre. The Latin Mass would be a great improvement on our present liturgy (since we have refused to learn from Anglicans how to celebrate in the vernacular) but of course i can only be celebrated in communion with the Church and also we may not override the wishes of the faitful.

  19. By the way, if anyone really thinks that DIGNUM ET IUSTUM means RIGHT AND JUST or that PRO MULTIS means FOR MANY they know neither English nor Latin. Happily Cardinal Arinze has mentioned the correct translation FOR THE MANY.

  20. David says:

    In some of the comments folks have offered, you’d think that folks in the pews are aching for the return of the old form; well, that may be true in some places, but really, that’s a bad misestimate of the actual situation in most parishes. And to expect a priest simply to impose
    something that is dramatically different is not only astonishing, it’s ironic, is it not?

    Father Fox, most young Catholics whom I know believe that the Novus Ordo is merely a translation of the “Latin Mass” and therefore see traditionalists as merely being elitists who just want to hear the priest talk in a language that few people can understand. There has been an awful lot of misinformation concerning the Church’s own traditions over the last 40 years. Listening to some priests you might think that before Vatican II the faithful were no better than ignorant serfs in bondage to a pharisaical. So much of the awfulness of the last 40 years is justified with the help of the continual denigration of the Church’s own spiritual, moral, and liturgical traditions.

    A great many people have half-conciously imbibed the sense that the Tridentine Mass is somehow beyond the pale. When I was first received into the Church I was given the impression by the priest who was running the RCIA that people who knelt for Communion were somehow disobedient. So, when I finally decided to investigate the Traditional Latin Mass for myself I had to overcome a certain trepidation on my part as for many people it certainly seemed to eminate a whiff of sulphur. No wonder the number of people actively campaigning for the liberalisation of the Tridentine Mass is relatively small (although growing very quickly it seems) – why ask for something that your priest has told is a relic of a bygone, pharisaical age.

  21. David, as one who grew up on the Tridentine Mass I feel you are presenting fool’s gold to people. The Tridentine Mass is simply the Eucharist. It contains no mysterious earth-shattering treasures that have been hidden over the last 40 years. The central text of the Tridentine Mass is the Roman Canon which is the same as the first Eucharistic Prayer of the present Mass — I have used it sometimes in the Latin version. I don’t get it when people talk as if the Latin Mass were a panacea for all the ills of the Church.

  22. Luke says:

    I agree with the coments about the Church in England. About one third of the entire English and Welsh episcopate will turn 75 within the next 5 years.(Deo gratias!). Although pockets of malignancy will no doubt continue to thrive, the changeover will be like a full blood transfusion
    to our part of the Church. Pray please that the good Lord allows only the most faithful men to be elevated (and not those in the image and likeness of most of the incumbents). For that we need a nuncio who serves the interests of the Pope first, and whose discernment is sound.

  23. David says:

    David, as one who grew up on the Tridentine Mass I feel you are presenting fool’s gold to people. The Tridentine Mass is simply the Eucharist. It contains no mysterious earth-shattering treasures that have been hidden over the last 40 years. The central text of the Tridentine Mass is the Roman Canon which is the same as the first Eucharistic Prayer of the present Mass—I have used it sometimes in the Latin version. I don’t get it when people talk as if the Latin Mass were a panacea for all the ills of the Church.

    When I first attended a Catholic Mass last year with the intention of becoming Catholic I felt a tremendous sense of disappointment. I couldn’t say at the time exactly why I felt this way; but, in retrospect, I can see that it had much to do with how the Eucharist was treated and how Communion was received. Communion in the hand, standing up, and distributed by a bored-looking layperson. Perhaps that sounds judgemental but I know that it had a very strong impact on how I felt. I had heard that Catholicism reverenced the Eucharist in a way that no other Christian church did. Which is why I moved onto it after a brief spell in a Scottish Episcopal church. But in the Catholic churches where I went to Mass it seemed that the emperor had no clothes and the Mass was a rather banal obligation with no tangible sense of the sacred.

    When I first went to an indult Traditional Latin Mass I realised that here was what I had been looking for when I became Catholic: the sense of the sacred and the very visible reverence towards the Eucharist. When I had initially been received into the Church I found myself struggling with the doctrine of the Real Presence – it seemed and felt simply far-fetched. But when I attended the Traditional Mass a light went on inside me and I felt, “yes, the Church really does believe that this is the Body and Blood of Christ”. It was quite an experience, I can tell you. It also helped me realise that my struggle with the doctrine of the Real Presence wasn’t just anindividual struggle on my part but a communal one that the whole Church is struggling with at the moment. At the New Mass I felt no sense that the Eucharistic ministers (I’ll use that expression at risk of being gainsaid) believed that what they were distributing was the Body and Blood of Christ. At my first Traditional Latin Mass when I saw the priest keep is fingers conjoined after the consecration until Communion I had a very strong sense of what the Real Presence means. You can talk all you wish about how the Real Presence is still a core Catholic dogma but if priests and laypeople don’t behave as if it is true then they will gradually stop believing in it.

    But also in the Traditional Latin Mass there is a consistency with the Catechism that I don’t find in the New Mass. Of course, there is the Roman Canon, which when used gives a sense of the truly sacred to the Mass. But in the last 12 months of attending Mass I have heard the Roman Canon used precisely twice in the New Mass.

    What finally forced me to stop just attending the nearest Mass to me was the sight of our local parish priest trying to decant the Precious Blood from one chalice to another and spilling the Blood over the table and all over the floor – and not even wincing. It was a horrible sight. The only word I can think of to describe it is “injurious”. I felt the utter lack of even respect towards the Eucharist in this Mass injured my faith.

    That is why I, as a 34-year old recent convert, dearly hope that the Traditional Latin Mass will be made much more widely available than it presently is.

  24. It contains no mysterious earth-shattering treasures that have been hidden over the last 40 years.

    Surely, Spirit of Vatican II, you cannot be unaware that, for many if not for all, these treasures have in fact been hidden these past 40 years. Precisely because so many have tried so hard, with much success, to hid them.

  25. Absolutely correct, Henry. And this is so because the eternal claims of the Catholic Church are truth claims and truth claims have consequences–consequences people, even priests, don’t want to think about. It’s “un-modern” to be bound by truths.

  26. Irulats says:

    Father Z.,

    Fr. Frank Doyle, an Irish Jesuit, working as chaplain in Gonzaga College in Dublin, is another Irishman who might come under your classification. He writes the Sunday Gospel Reflection for The Irish Catholic Newspaper.

    http://www.irishcatholic.ie/ and has his own web-site here http://www.sacredspace.ie/livingspace/

    This is one of his opinions concerning John 6:51-58.
    … “But let us be there with Jesus on that day and hear those words for the very first time: “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood…” Any normal person would have recoiled in horror and disgust…

    How to understand these words?

    And here is Jesus telling them to drink his own blood! No wonder he was thought by people to be out of his mind. However, it is very clear that Jesus did not intend his words to be taken literally…”

  27. Irulats says:

    Rest of missing post….re: Fr. Frank Doyle SJ

    He has this to say about the Eucharist, “…I have said in another context that, if we had to make a choice between having either the Liturgy of the Word or the Liturgy of the Eucharist but not both, there would be a strong argument for choosing the Liturgy of the Word…”

    Yours in Christ,

  28. Maeana says:

    “What I do not think is good is to favor schismatic and violent movements like that of Archbihop Lefebvre.”
    My Mother, my brother, and his family all go to an SSPX church. The schismatic I understand (although their picture of Pope Benedict just before you enter the chapel is far more prominent than anything I’ve seen at my Novus Ordo parish). Violent? In what way? Quite honestly, my husband and I find ourselves longing to go there. We’ve been a couple of times for first communions, etc. My husband was a convert, and it is only there that he sees a mass of reverence. We are not the only family there with more than two children. Instead we have one of the smallest there with four children. It is a vibrant and thriving parish, full of more love and community than ANY novus ordo parish I’ve been to. It seems so odd that this church, which treats Christ so obviously as he wants to be treated is consistantly demonized, while the abuses in so many NO parishes continue. Still, the bishop tells us to stay away, so we do and then watch 6 “extraordinary” ministers come up, squirt some Purell on their hands and distribute communion to the fifty parishoners at mass. This is with two priests also distributing. I apologize. I know this is a tangent, but really, I fail to see how the SSPX is nearly as bad as so many make them out to be.
    Maeana

  29. RBrown says:

    He has this to say about the Eucharist, “…I have said in another context that, if we had to make a choice between having either the Liturgy of the Word or the Liturgy of the Eucharist but not both, there would be a strong argument for choosing the Liturgy of the Word…”

    It seems to me that he is just another Jesuit, who, having fought the Protestants for many years, came home with a war bride.

    Perhaps someone should relieve him of his Protestant inclinations by pointing out that any layman can celebrate the Liturgy of the Word in his home–but it takes a priest to celebrate the Eucharist.

  30. Jesuits only come in 2 varieties: as holy as an angel or as evil as a devil. It’s their training I think, that makes them positively committed to whatever they do, one way or another.

  31. RBrown says:

    David, as one who grew up on the Tridentine Mass I feel you are presenting fool’s gold to people. The Tridentine Mass is simply the Eucharist. It contains no mysterious earth-shattering treasures that have been hidden over the last 40 years. The central text of the Tridentine Mass is the Roman Canon which is the same as the first Eucharistic Prayer of the present Mass—I have used it sometimes in the Latin version.

    Partially true.

    1. You’re correct that the Roman Canon is almost the same as the First Eucharistic Prayer. But, as we both know, it is recommended that it be used only on certain occasions. Mostly, we are treated to the instant consecration of the II Eucharistic Prayer, presumably because it leaves more time for vapid homilies and the non-liturgical prayers of the faithful.

    2. The Novus Ordo offertory is much different than the offertory of the Roman Rite.

    3. Paul VI himself referred to it as an innovation and new rite.

    4. Having said all that, I think the Latin/vernacular change is more important than the text of the Novus Ordo, which needs a few adjustments. And so I would prefer a Latin Novus Ordo (minus the picnic table) to a vernacular Roman Rite.


    I don’t get it when people talk as if the Latin Mass were a panacea for all the ills of the Church.

    I think John XXIII would disagree with you. Once again, I recommend reading Veterum Sapientia. I don’t think Latin would be an instant cure-all, but it would solve a lot of problems.

    http://www.adoremus.org/VeterumSapientia.html

  32. RBrown says:

    By the way, if anyone really thinks that DIGNUM ET IUSTUM means RIGHT AND JUST or that PRO MULTIS means FOR MANY they know neither English nor Latin. Happily Cardinal Arinze has mentioned the correct translation FOR THE MANY.

    I’ll repeat this for the zillionth time:

    1. To me the best translation of “pro multis” is “for the multitude” (cf. French).

    2. Pro multis and peri pollon embrace two concepts: First, that Christ died for all men; Second, that it is possible that not all be saved (and even that the number is actually rather a few). One of the Fathers says that pro multis actually means pro multis gentibus–not just for the Jews.

  33. Jeff says:

    I’m pleased to see that Fr. O’Leary has discovered this blog. He’s a job of work to handle and takes up much space in the comments section. But I think it’s good for him to be in contact with Catholics.

    I was very amused to see his commentary on For Many. I’ll bet Fr. Zuhlsdorf knows any number of times more about it than he does…

  34. Jeff: If he (or anyone else) is a pest, I can make sure they don’t post.

  35. RBrown says:

    Bah, are you really defending the new ICEL translation?
    All we have heard of it so far and all we have been allowed to see of it suggests that it will be a DISASTER.

    And the current translation isn’t a disaster. Maybe it will be less a disaster than the present one (including the Lectionary), in which case at least some progress is being made.

  36. Father O’Leary has opinions that are probably not shared by the majority of the
    readers of this blog.

    However, I fail to see how insulting him (and most of the Jesuits) is acceptable
    behavior on this blog or anywhere else.

  37. RBrown says:

    Should read:

    And the current translation isn’t a disaster?

  38. May I point out something for sake of accuracy?

    Both the current rite of Mass, and the rite that prevailed prior to Vatican II, are “the Latin Mass.” The current rite is a — and in another sense, the — “Latin Mass,” even when it is translated.

    It is misleading, and a little polemical, to keep referring only to the Pian Rite as “the Latin Mass.” I think it is also somewhat counterproductive.

  39. dad29 says:

    I see that another blog has an interview w/Fr. Fessio in which F. states that ‘B-16 has written a motu proprio…’ (on the topic of the Tridentine) and that it was in its third draft recently…

    Substantiation for your informed guesses, eh?

    http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/mershon/061206

    (Via Rorate Coeli)

  40. Kenjiro Shoda says:

    How much I am beginning to think that all this speculation about the “Moto Proprio” is dead wrong.
    Just remember all the expectation and hype that came out at Eastertime. Many people were extatic…and all turned out to be for nothing.
    Just remember that everyone has been waiting for the instructions coming from Pope Benedict XVI regarding the Synod on the Holy Eucharist (why didn’t they say “Holy Mass” instead. The other sounds so Protestant! Afterall, we don’t go to Sunday Eucharist (like I’ve heard Lutherans and some Presbyterians call it). Hopefully we still call it Mass!!
    Anyway, there has been nothing….no instructions…zilch. And it’s been well over a year.
    Likewise about the Moto Proprio……lots of gossip, lost of expectations and getting up hopes….but in the end nada.
    Pope Benedict XVI began His reign saying He was’nt going to do much. He just wanted to make sure that John Paul II’s teachings and legacy were absorbed by the Faithful. That’s weird beyond words.
    So if Benedict XVI is just content to let things slide for 2, 3 4, or however many years the Lord grants Him, what a terrible squandering of time and opportunities to restore the Church and the Mass with a return to tradition, and a housecleaning of the Church.
    In case He didn’t realize it (and I can’t believe He’s that naive), the liberals in the Church are falling over themselves with glee that Benedict XVI hasn’t measured up to His previous reputation, and they are making their own powerplays (Milingo and His “Married priests Now”, “Cardinal” Hummes and His diatribe about celibacy, the push to allow condoms in cases of Aids, “Womenpriest” ordinations this past Summer with no vatican condemnation, etc. etc.
    I wish people would stop printing about the “Moto Proprio”.
    Knowing Benedict, there probable will be nothing coming.

  41. Yes, “pour la multitude” is the best translation, but “for the multitude” is odd in English. Yes, the current English text of the liturgy is flat and uninspiring. But that is exactly why I found it so disheartening that the chairman of the new ICEL said he thought that writing a new English translation would be a relatively straightforward task. The French translation has occasioned no wincing and groaning, because it is a good, usable text, and the reason it is so is that a poet was involved in its composition.

    When I referred to the violence of Lefebvrists I was referring to how they took over the Church of St Nicholas de Chardonnet in Paris, physically removing the Parish Priest from the altrar.

    I note that Anglicans receive the Eucharist with great devotion, at altar rails, on their knees, under both species.

    As to the Jesuit (I am not a Jesuit by the way) who said that if we had to choose the liturgy of the Word would be a preferable option to the Liturgy of the Eucharist without the Wrod, that is qutie correct. The Eucharistic presence is the climax of the presence of Christ in the community and the Word — and without this context it would be distorted into some kind of magic. John 6 speaks of Christ as the bread of life in general terms, referring to his presence in htis word and in the community before it makes explicit reference to eating his body and blood (and some exegetes, chiefly Lutheran, do not even find a reference to the Eucharist at all in John 6).

  42. anonymous says:

    Actually, the eponymous poster has succinctly and correctly given voice to the “spirit” of vatican ii. Which is why it is a spirit to be avoided by Catholics. And the author of the spirit of vatican ii post above is not posting Catholic truth. If he is indeed a priest, I pity him all the more. Father, I beg you to look to your soul, and do not sell your birthright for a mess of pottage. The Second Vatican Council cannot be interpreted in the way you do without rejecting the unbroken magisterium of the Church.

  43. tim says:

    sorry, didn’t mean to post as anonymous. the above post is mine.

  44. tim says:

    And, Anglicans receive, with great devotion, at altar rails, mere bread and wine.

  45. Yes, “pour la multitude” is the best translation, but “for the multitude” is odd in English.

    That’s just because we are not used to it. If you heard it every week for a couple of months or for a year, you’d get used to it. Every change will be “odd” at first, but people will get used to it. Nobody would argue that the Tridentine and the Novus Ordo are very similar, but now the argument is that everyone is “used to” the Novus Ordo. That’s why I think the arguments against a “drastic” change are rather weak.

  46. Kenjiro Shoda says:

    Yesterday, I made a post saying I thought no news to be coming from the Vatican about the supposed “Moto proprio”.
    Some had speculated that maybe today the Feast of the Immaculate Conception would be a good day for the promulgation of both the Moto proprio and the INstructions on the Synod on the Most Holy Eucharist….but both were a No Show.
    News of a story filled everyone with great hope and joy (the restoration of the Traditional Tridentine Latin Mass). But now all the gossip, hopes, rumors, whispers, reports, semi-reports from officialdom etc.have become instead downright boring as all H___. Especially when nothing has happened, or even remotely looks like it will happen
    Benedict prayed at the Piazza di Spagna today and left roses at the feet of the column bearing the image of Our Lady like many Popes have done. But then we had the horrible sound of the Sistine Choir singing off key (their modernist music Maestro brought in by Marini is the worst. He should be sacked along with Marini), and the usuall improvised readings. Finally a little baby kissing in the style of Papa Woytyla.
    Nothing came of the reports of today being THE DAY !!!!! No news at all. And none likely.
    As my Jewish friend Benjamin from NY always says
    “So, you expecting any different?”
    Not from Papa Ratzi.

  47. Motu proprio, please, not “moto” proprio. It is ironic that the most ardent fans of Latin in the liturgy seem to make no effort to learn the language, which is not a very difficult one. It is said (by Sertillanges I think) that two months study is all that is required in order to be able to read St Thomas Aquinas in the original.

    Do Anglicans receive “mere bread and wine”? Certainly this is not claimed by the Roman Catholic Church at the moment, as far as I am aware.

  48. I agree that we should not be too chary of unusual expressions in the language of prayer. THe slavish adherence to Orwell’s criteria of clarity are inimical to truly spiritual use of language. BUt in inventing new words and phrases we must of course proceed with caution, and also they should be invented by poets or other gifted users of language, who are rooted in the life of the worshiping community, and not by committees.

  49. Jeffrey Stuart says:

    Kenjiro,

    So you are down because “some had speculated that maybe today” and it didn’t happen? If it is going to happen (if the Lord wills it), it will come at the right time and not a moment sooner. In the words from The Agony and the Ecstasy:

    “When will you make it end?”

    “When it is finished.”

    God Bless Papa.

    -Stu

  50. This extreme focus on an alleged planned revival of the Tridentine Mass (whatever that means) seems to me very unbalanced. Catholic faith and its enactment in response to the sings of teh times is something much larger than this. To suggest that the present liturgy is so bad that it has become an article by which the church stands or falls is to suggest that the liturgy is somehow heretical — which itself is a highly schism-oriented stance. There is no heresy hwatever in the liturgy of the Church. Its defects are on the level of the aesthetic, and these could easily be amended if imaginative and consultative translation procedures were followed. Unfortunately the new ICEL does not seem to be interested in such procedures.

  51. Oops, “signs of the times” I meant, not “sings”. For this central Vatican II categor, so much neglected today, see Gaudium et Spes.

  52. Jeff says:

    I believe that Fr. Zuhlsdorf has presented evidence that “for THE many” is not an particularly accurate translation, but that “for many” is far more accurate.

    If I’m not mistaken, in Greek and other liturgical languages that make this distinction, it is not the word or expression corresponding to “multitude” or “THE many” that we find, but rather simply “many.”

    Since Latin lacks an article and can be read both ways, the correct translation is “for many”, not “for THE many” or “for the multitude.”

    Have I got that right, Fr. Z?

  53. RBrown says:


    When I referred to the violence of Lefebvrists I was referring to how they took over the Church of St Nicholas de Chardonnet in Paris, physically removing the Parish Priest from the altrar.

    There was no violence in removing the priest from St Nicholas.

    And what do you think of the violence carried out by Cardinal Marty on the archdiocese of Paris? When he took over, 78% were practicing Catholics. By the time he retired, that number was down to about %25.


    I note that Anglicans receive the Eucharist with great devotion, at altar rails, on their knees, under both species.

    As someone who was raised an Anglican, I think those comments are naive.


    As to the Jesuit (I am not a Jesuit by the way) who said that if we had to choose the liturgy of the Word would be a preferable option to the Liturgy of the Eucharist without the Wrod, that is qutie correct.

    Nope. And I never thought you a Jesuit.


    The Eucharistic presence is the climax of the presence of Christ in the community and the Word—and without this context it would be distorted into some kind of magic. John 6 speaks of Christ as the bread of life in general terms, referring to his presence in htis word and in the community before it makes explicit reference to eating his body and blood (and some exegetes, chiefly Lutheran, do not even find a reference to the Eucharist at all in John 6).

    1. Congratulations, you’ve done a masterful job of making the priesthood irrelevant. The point is–as all the Protestant reformers knew–it doesn’t take a priest to celebrate the liturgy of the word.

    You are practicing vocational suicide.

    2. Lutheran exegetes? Have you ever read St Thomas’ commentary on John?

    3. From looking over your blog, you seem to be one of those people who is more interested in spirituality than in the Truth.

  54. RBrown says:

    This extreme focus on an alleged planned revival of the Tridentine Mass (whatever that means) seems to me very unbalanced. Catholic faith and its enactment in response to the sings of teh times is something much larger than this. To suggest that the present liturgy is so bad that it has become an article by which the church stands or falls is to suggest that the liturgy is somehow heretical—which itself is a highly schism-oriented stance.

    “I am convinced that the ecclesial crisis in which we find ourselves today depends in great part on the collapse of the liturgy,”
    JRatzinger, from My Life: Remembrances 1927-1977.”


    There is no heresy hwatever in the liturgy of the Church. Its defects are on the level of the aesthetic, and these could easily be amended if imaginative and consultative translation procedures were followed. Unfortunately the new ICEL does not seem to be interested in such procedures.

    You are correct about lack of heresy, but the problems with it are more than aesthetic. I suggest you read The Spirit of the Liturgy by JRatzinger.


    Oops, “signs of the times” I meant, not “sings”. For this central Vatican II categor, so much neglected today, see Gaudium et Spes.

    JRatzinger has also written about those who make the mistake of using G&S as the hermeneutic to read all the VII documents.

  55. In English, “for many” is used usually as follows: “For many, the Beatles are the greatest pop singers of all time, but not everyone agrees”. In short, “for many” has a negative, restrictive overtone, meaning “for many but not for everyone”, whereas “for the many” has a positive, affirmative thrust.

  56. “3. From looking over your blog, you seem to be one of those people who is more interested in spirituality than in the Truth.”

    Odd, since I have written reams on the topic of truth, in Buddhist, Christian and philosohpice
    perspectives. My writings on spirituality are very sparse. I had better download some of my laborious book on “Religious Pluralism and Christian Truth” to correct this impression.

    “JRatzinger has also written about those who make the mistake of using G&S as the hermeneutic to read all the VII documents.”

    Hmm, as a theologian he may have held that opinion, but it is a slightly eccentric one given the immense prominence the Fathers gave to GS.

    I agree, however, that bad liturgy is more than an aesthetic problem — it is a spiritual tragedy and has done more harm to the church than the attacks of atheism or than sexual scandals.

    But the clamor about restoring the Tridentine Mass is a short-circuiting of the issue. What is needed is a deep regrounding of Catholic liturgical culture beginning from a new appropriation of Scripture.

    You may say that Vatican II attempted that, and failed. As I see it Vatican II made a beginning but it was not followed through. Now we need to go back to that good foundation.

  57. dcs says:

    To me the best translation of “pro multis” is “for the multitude”

    “For the multitude” would be “pro multitudinis” or as Dr. Sippo suggests “pro multitudinibus” (“for the multitudes”).

    It seems to me that “pro multis” can mean either “for many [i.e., many people]” or “for the many” since Latin lacks the article.

    “Dignum et justum” — if it doesn’t mean “right and just” then what does it mean? “Dignum” is translated as “worthy” elsewhere in the Mass (“Domine, non sum dignus”) and “right” is a synonym of “worthy.”

    Some exegetes, chiefly Lutheran, do not even find a reference to the Eucharist at all in John 6

    I am shocked, shocked!!, Fr. Leary, that this is true! Why, next thing you know Lutheran exegetes won’t find a reference to the merits of good works in the Epistle of St. James. ;)

    It is misleading, and a little polemical, to keep referring only to the Pian Rite as “the Latin Mass.” I think it is also somewhat counterproductive.

    It is, however, easily understood by most readers. A truly polemical phrase would be “the True Mass” (i.e., as opposed to “the New Mass”) or, as the French like to say, “la Messe de toujours” (“the Mass of All Time”). “Latin Mass” is really a relatively innocuous phrase.

  58. Jeff: Actually, I think “for the many” is better than “for many”. Also, I have argued in my past articles that “for the multitude(s)” as the French have it is very good, if clunky in English.

    Back to my brief vacation now! I am in San Quirico d’Orcia connecting through my cellphone.

  59. I notice that Matthew and Luke have has “pro multis effundetur” (to enkhynnomenon hper polloon , Mk: peri polloon Mt) and Luke “pro vobis fundetur”. I Corinthians 11 has no such phrase in connection with the chalice.

    Do we allow the eucharistic words of Jesus to speak in their full revelatory eloquence in our celebration of the Eucharist? Have we divorced them from their context? Lack of biblical culture is perhaps the root cause of our liturgical penury.

  60. By the way, Greek does not lack an article — Mk and Mt could have written toon polloon rather than just polloon. So if the article were the only issue “for many” would be better; however, for many has a restrictive sense in English that peri polloon perhaps does not.

    Or, just maybe, the Evangelists or their sources (for these presumably very ancience texts, if not the actual words of Jesus himself) had not yet developed the more universalist understanding of the application of Christ’s death that later prevailed. Matthew say Jesus will “save his people from their sins” etc. If peri polloon can be read as pointing beyond the strict limits of Israel that is already an advance in a universalist direction.

  61. “Worthy” is a better translation of dignum than “right” ^^ “it is meet and fitting so to do”

    “Lord it is not right that Thou shouldst enter…” would be wrong.

    “iustum” does not mean “just” here; the Latin word has many other associations. “fitting” is better.

    I am not an expert on Latin usage, but I fear the ICEL committee have greatly underestimated the subtleties involved.

  62. Kenjiro Shoda says:

    I think that the contributor who signs as “Sppirit of Vatican II”, is too much the “Spirit of Vatican II”.
    To answer one of His posts, Yes, the Catholic Church believes (as do most Anglicans themselves), that in an Anglican service all communicants recieve is ordinary Bread and Wine.
    It would be an ultimate heresy for the Catholic Church to overturn this and claim that the Anglican service is a valid “Mass” whereby the Bread and Wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. By the Anglican women priests?!!!? Absolutely not. The Church at present does not recognize this as valid….and never should.

    As for the actual “Spirit of Vatican II”, our parish hosted a celebration-conference to commemorate Vatican II. The liberal pastor and femal parish staff (3 laywomen in their late 50′s-early 60′s and 2 radical femminist nuns in their late 60′s) planned extatically for months. A big festive “improvised-fabricated -make -everything-up-as-we-go-along” Novus Ordo was created, and 2 new one-play-then-throw-away musical compositions were comissioned. You know, like most of the low class clap-happy Protestant style hymns in the Catholic Church today.
    For all their planning and booking of speakers (all liberals of course), only 20 parishioners (out of 11,000 on the books) came for the conferences, and about 200 to the “Mass”. All were older Catholics (late 50′s and above).
    Meanwhile, at a neighboring parish, they had “40 Hours” Eucharistic devotion, and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament with Latin hymns and a procession. All pre-Vatican II style stuff. The township police had to be called to direct traffic, and about 3,000 turned out for the final procession.
    It says something about what Catholics really want spiritually.
    The actual “Spirit of Vatican II” is rapidly dying out with the elderly generation of frustrated and spiritually bankrupt Cardinals, bishops, priests, nuns, monks, friars, deacons, men and women who were devoted to it so much and who wrecked the Church with it.
    If you want to see the coming Catholic Church, I suggest you view a beautiful website, http://www.icrsp.org about the future of the priesthood. It’s what the young people want.
    Speaking of priesthood, the SSPX seminary in the USA, St. Thomas Aquinas in Winona, MN. now has 84 seminarians…making this Lefebrist seminary which uses only the Tridentine Latin Mass perhaps one of the largest seminaries in the USA.
    That’s ironic, isn’t it.

  63. dcs says:

    Do we allow the eucharistic words of Jesus to speak in their full revelatory eloquence in our celebration of the Eucharist? Have we divorced them from their context? Lack of biblical culture is perhaps the root cause of our liturgical penury.

    Msgr. Gamber suggests in his book The Reform of the Roman Rite (now back in print for those who are interested) that “many” is the correct translation, rather than “all” in part because “effundetur” (“will be poured out”) should be the present tense instead (“is poured out”) and refers to the Sacrifice on the altar and not the Sacrifice of the Cross — “pro vobis et pro multis” actually refers to the congregation.

    I have to wonder whether your last sentence, regarding lack of biblical culture and our liturgical penury, is correct. Evangelicals have a biblical culture, don’t they? And they are even more liturgically impoverished than Catholics are.

    It would be an ultimate heresy for the Catholic Church to overturn this and claim that the Anglican service is a valid “Mass” whereby the Bread and Wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

    My guess is that Fr. O’Leary took exception to the word “mere.” Of course Anglicans receive bread and wine at the altar (except in the unlikely event that their priest is validly ordained and intends to confect the Eucharist), but they might also receive some spiritual benefit from their devotion.

    It would not be heretical to say that the Anglican service is a “valid Mass.” The problem isn’t necessarily the content of the service, the problem is that their ordinations generally aren’t valid and so they don’t have priests to offer the Sacrifice.

  64. Adam van der Meer says:

    By the way, Greek does not lack an article—Mk and Mt could have written toon polloon rather than just polloon. So if the article were the only issue “for many” would be better; however, for many has a restrictive sense in English that peri polloon perhaps does not.

    The object of a preposition in Greek does not need an article to be definite. If it has an article, it has to be definite, but if it lacks the article, it may be taken either way. A familiar example of this is “εν αρχη ην ο λογος” (en archei ein ho logos) – the object of the preposition lacks the article but is nevertheless taken to be definite.

    Therefore “peri pollon” can be taken either way. And in any case, the issue of what the Greek says is a bit of a straw man, since the text that is to be translated is in Latin, wherein we see “pro multis”; since there is no definite article (technically speaking) in Latin, it may be translated either way. We can dispute what is the best way, i.e. whether one way is more negative or one way is more positive; Fr. Z. has proposed his ideas. We will have to wait and see what the bishops decide and what the Vatican approves.

  65. RBrown says:

    “3. From looking over your blog, you seem to be one of those people who is more interested in spirituality than in the Truth.”

    Odd, since I have written reams on the topic of truth, in Buddhist, Christian and philosohpice perspectives. My writings on spirituality are very sparse. I had better download some of my laborious book on “Religious Pluralism and Christian Truth” to correct this impression.

    There would be no need for you to write on spirituality because you have reduced theology to it by using a subjective method that ironically has been obsolete for at least 20 years. No one is interested anymore in attempts to “de-Hellenize” Scripture simply because those attempts were based on the false assumption that anything that seemed Hellenistic was a later addition. In fact, using that same method certain Old Testament texts would seem to have been written toward the end of the first century AD.

    No one is really interested anymore in “de-mythologizing” Scripture simply because any attempt at doing so almost always produces a Jesus reduced to little else than various national myths. Bultmann’s Jesus is much like the hero of Germanic myths. And Crossan’s Jesus seems like a member of the IRA–I’m surprised Crossan doesn’t turn him into a the owner of a pub.


    “JRatzinger has also written about those who make the mistake of using G&S as the hermeneutic to read all the VII documents.”

    Hmm, as a theologian he may have held that opinion, but it is a slightly eccentric one given the immense prominence the Fathers gave to GS.

    In what way did they give it immense prominence? Unlike Lumen Gentium and Dei Verbum, it is not a Dogmatic Constitution. Unlike Sacrosanctum Concilium, it does not concern the worship of God. Unlike Presbyterorum Ordinis, it does not concern the priesthood.

  66. I must refine my thinking on “for many” a little more. In Mark, Jesus says: “The Son ofMan came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many (or for the many — thanks, Adam ven der Meer). The Greek is “anti polloon”. Here “for many” does not have a restrictive feel. But in the phrase “for you and for many” it seems to have such a restrictive sense, which “pro
    vobis et pro multis” has not.

    Luke may have rejected Mark’s talk of “the many” because he felt it would be misleading, or becasue his Gentile audience no longer thought of themselves as a “many” outside of Judaism.

    “There would be no need for you to write on spirituality because you have reduced theology to it by using a subjective method that ironically has been obsolete for at least 20 years.” No,I upohodl the objectivity of propositional dogmatic truth — but always situated in a given historica; perspective.

    “No one is interested anymore in attempts to “de-Hellenize” Scripture simply because those attempts were based on the false assumption that anything that seemed Hellenistic was a later addition. In fact, using that same method certain Old Testament texts would seem to have been written toward the end of the first century AD.” I say in Questioning Back (1985) that Christianity cannot be dehellenized. But the limits of the Western inculturation must ;bve seen as we seek to inculturate the Gospel in non-Western cultures.

    Indeed, the same may be said of the limits of the original Jewish inculturation — though only a Marcionite would say that Christianity can be de-Juiaizied.

  67. No one is interested in demythologizing Scripture? Probably because it is taken for granted now.

  68. Bultmann’s Jesus is like the hero of Germanic myths?

    This is an extraordinary idea –please explicate.

  69. “At all times the Church carries the responsibility of reading the signs of the times and interpreting them in the light of the Gospel” (Gaudium et Spes 4); the first part of the Pastoral Constitution sets forth the Church’s doctrine on humanity and on its own
    relationship to humanity.

    The document embodies what is perhaps the major innovation of Vatican II, the warm embrace of the world.

    The documents rethinking the Church are logically prior to this. One important part of these is the emphasis on the inseparability of Christ’s presence in the Sacrament from his presence in the Word, and the rethinking of priesthood as ministry of the Word and of the Sacrament (integrally conjoined).

    “Pro vobis et pro multis” — multis adds something positive, it is not an anticlimactic afterthought.

    “For you and for all” and “pour vous et pour la multitude” captures this positive movement.

    But “for all” is dismally flat, as so much of our current liturgical language is (especially the collects, prefaces and postcommunion prayers).

    The new ICEL translations are being imposed precipitously and without any consultation — their authors have no conception of how unsuccessful their predecessors have been — and have learned nothing from their mistakes.

  70. Someone said the Anglican Eucharist is mere bread and wine.

    But the Vatican invites the Archbishop of Canterbury to celebrate the Eucharist at a papl altar.

    Clearly the Vatican does not subscribe to the view that Anglicans do not have the Real PResence.

    “The conversation [with Benedict XVI], he [Rowan Williams] says, went on to the subject of the sacramental heart of the Church. The Eucharist, of course, remains a sticking point for Roman Catholic-Anglican relations, and that was apparent during the visit to Rome, with no combined Eucharist service. Yet the Catholic Church made another gesture of fellowship and recognition of its special relationship with the Anglican Communion, following the gifts of the papal ring by Paul VI and the pectoral cross by John Paul II. This time it was the suggestion by the Secretariat of State that Dr Williams celebrate the Eucharist at the papal altar of the Dominican church of Santa Sabina.”

  71. Sorry to post so much here, but I think you’ll be interested in Rowan Williams’s views on the new translations of the liturgy:

    What the two Churches do share at the moment is common prayers – the same vernacular English of the Gloria, for instance, so that those attending one another’s Eucharist can at least pray together. That will change, of course, should the new translation of the Mass into English, as seems very likely, comes to be used. Dr Williams is too diplomatic to comment on any internal divisions of the Roman Catholic Church caused by its liturgical texts, but it is apparent that he finds some of the intricate squabbling over literal translation a rather curious and not entirely appealing characteristic of the Catholic Church – “one of those Counter-Reformation things”, as he puts it.

    “I do find the ideas of translation puzzling, and what communicates itself as a level of anxiety about getting the words right. It isn’t characteristic of the early or medieval Church: there’s not a fear of getting it right nor even is there is a sense of one model against which everything else has to be tested.”

  72. Some Anglicans clearly do receive mere bread and wine, S of V2, because some of their clergy are illicit AND invalid, and very few Anglicans know which are which. This goes for any “blended” group where some have lines to apostolic succession and some don’t.

  73. The same would apply to Lutherans and so on, as well as some of the contemporary groups.

  74. I would advise you all to do a little homework on Fr. O’Leary aka Spirit of Vatican II before you believe anything he says. I’ve come across him before–an interesting case of poison.

    Fr. Z, you threw in your little line and caught a big one here. I’d advise you to disinfect your hook.

  75. Andrew says:

    The best rendition of “pro multis” is “pro multis”. As I recollect the great Latinist, Fr. Suitbertus Siedl who used to say: “nullum vocabulum Latinum habet sensum Anglicum, aut Germanicum, aut Gallicum, nec ullum alium, nisi sensum LATINUM”. (No Latin word has any English, German, French, or any other meaning: but Latin words have only Latin meaning).

    The more ink is spilled on this, the more we highlight one simple truth: that the Liturgy should be in Latin. (Other than some rather rare exceptions).

    Pro multis is pro multis. Forget about Greek, Hebrew, English, French or what else there might be: IT IS “PRO MULTIS”. Hello out there: we are Roman Catholics, no?

  76. RBrown says:

    “At all times the Church carries the responsibility of reading the signs of the times and interpreting them in the light of the Gospel” (Gaudium et Spes 4); the first part of the Pastoral Constitution sets forth the Church’s doctrine on humanity and on its own
    relationship to humanity.

    The document embodies what is perhaps the major innovation of Vatican II, the warm embrace of the world.

    And of course that warm embrace was followed by a warm embrace of altar boys by homosexual priests. And the warm embrace of altar boys was followed by the warm embrace of the money paid by the Church for such unspeakable crimes. Maybe that’s why Christ said in the Fourth Gospel, The World hates Me.


    The documents rethinking the Church are logically prior to this. One important part of these is the emphasis on the inseparability of Christ’s presence in the Sacrament from his presence in the Word, and the rethinking of priesthood as ministry of the Word and of the Sacrament (integrally conjoined).

    Anyone who has ever read St Thomas is aware of that inseparability. As a matter of fact, anyone with an ounce of common sense is also aware of it.

    One the other, anyone familiar with German thought knows that analogy is alien to the Germanic mind, which tends toward univocity. And so I can see how someone imbued with the German approach could think the relation of the Word to the Sacrament is something new.

  77. Pssst, RBrown, check out Fr. O’Leary’s page. And run “Google” on him.

  78. Andrew says:

    Michigancatholic:

    I checked it briefly (the website) and when I saw that under “US Bishops declare war on love” he speaks out uncompromisingly in defense of homosexuality, I didn’t need to see anything else.

    This man is not a Catholic.

    Not going to discuss linguistic with someone who has difficulty grasping the basics about the birds and the bees.

  79. RBrown says:

    Someone said the Anglican Eucharist is mere bread and wine.

    But the Vatican invites the Archbishop of Canterbury to celebrate the Eucharist at a papl altar.

    Clearly the Vatican does not subscribe to the view that Anglicans do not have the Real PResence.

    No, they have the Real Absence.

    Hardly. It’s an Italian trap. Let the Anglicans get the impression that they have valid orders, and let them grow close to Rome. Then when they decide to become Catholics, they are told they cannot be presumed to be in orders.

    That’s the way it has worked

  80. RBrown says:

    When I read the Irish Fr O’Leary’s gushing on the English Rowan Williams, the phrase Stockholm Syndrome comes to mind.

  81. Rowan Williams is not English, but Welsh — a distinction well-known to all of us int eh Celtic realms.

    His visit to Rome was a magnificent success. He had Benedict watching the DVD of his talk on St. Benedict. His admirable common sense was a breath of fresh air and cannot but do good. And Rome itself put out its flags and showed its deeply human and hospitable side.

    The suggestion that offering Rowan the papal altar was an “Italian trap” is of course perverse.

  82. michigancatholic says:

    Whatever.

    In order to see a person’s website, just click on their name. That’s how it usually works.

  83. Um. Maybe we could stop slinging insults at each other? It seems to me that it only creates more ill-will between “traditional” and “liberal” Catholics and does little to resolve the issues at hand.