Editorial in Latin in Libero, praise of Mass in Latin, the MP, and Italian politics

You are wondering about the Motu Proprio, I am sure.

There are factors in Italy and in the Church at large which are probably influencing the release date.

Let’s move toward this with a not irrelevant tangent.

In the Italian daily Libero there is today an article by Marcello Veneziani in Latin.  It isn’t good Latin, but it’s readable Latin.  There is a rather amusing typo of the name Caesar in the very first sentence, for example.  First, and second part.

Veneziani argues for the return of the use of Latin in two phases, first, in his Latin letter, then, in a postscript in Italian.  The former for the use of Latin to help Italians understand who they are, recover what they have lost, and to help Europe be whole.  The latter, argues for Latin in church.  I will focus on the latter.

In the second part, the postscript in "the vulgar tongue", Veneziani shares memories of a solemn Mass he attended as a child.  He has never forgotten.

    "Seeing as this is Easter, I would like to call to mind a Mass in Latin during my childhood, in the cathedral of my city, with an offering of 20 lire to sit in the choir with my father.  I still have it before my eyes, in my nose, in my ears, the beauty of the rite, the scent of incense, the mystery of the words.  It seemed to me I was truly linked to the Lord’s own network.  The priest addressed himself to God and didn’t turn his back on Him in order to humor the faithful.  The words, whispered and ancient, the mystery of those phrases, exuded the sacred and drew you closer to God.

    Because Mass is not a soap opera, it in not necessary to understand the words; it is a rite of communion with God and not an instruction sheet for installing a washing machine.  Whoever says that the mystery of those words only made power inaccessible to the people, isn’t taking into account all the obscure, esoteric, incomprehensible jargon used today in the fields of technology, economy, and physics to make them impenetrable and necessitate a caste of mediators.  No.  Better to have Latin, which above all wouldn’t be obligatory, but a free choice, as if by a democratic committee (the request of 30 devout souls, the Cobas* of the faith, would be enough).  And so it is wonderful to think about the Resurrection of Latin at Easter of 2007, 30 years after the savage attacks on it by "Cursore Vespertino"’s (alias Corriere della Sera‘s) Giorgio Manganelli, now reprinted in the book Mammifero Italiano (Adelphi, 2007).  Let’s reinstate Latin also in view of the dies familiae – which sounds better than "family day"** (though "gay pride" sounds bad even if you translate it as idem sexus amator superbia)."

* "Cobas" – "Comitati di base" are radical trade unions which control nearly everything in Italy.
** "Family day" is a demonstration, a confrontation really, schedule for May about legislation proposed on civil unions, homosexual marriage, taxation rates for families, etc.  

Veneziani deftly slides into the discussion of Italian politics and the influence of the Church in public life.  There are references to Italian political life all through the pieces he wrote.  For example, the reference to "mani pulite", or "clean hands" isn’t just about what the Pope told young people in his homily on Palm Sunday.  It is also a reference to the Italian political scandal in the 90′s (and still going on) of corrupt government officials receiving kick-backs for favors.  When the Pope speaks about anything, it has a big impact on the press in Italy, and the intertwining of Church and state here is more tangled than a plate of long spaghetti.

These factors are of huge importance to anyone who wants to understand how decisions are being made about the life in the Church, both in Italy and abroad.  Remember, the Pope is the Bishop of Rome.  He has the good of the whole Church to consider, but he is also a bishop here in Italy, the Primate of Italy.  As I have tried to explain to people for years, you have to grasp what is going on in Italian Church/State relations to really get what is happening even with decisions and documents of global importance.

The "Family Day" reference is crucial right now even, I think, for the date of the Motu Proprio.

Very bad legislation has been introduced in Italy about homosexual marriage, taxation rates for families, etc.  The Pope and CEI (Italian Bishops Conference) have said clearly and repeatedly that Catholics must oppose this bad legislation every way possible.  They have been very vocal about this and the lefties all going completely bananas.  In their view of things, the Church is supposed to be a silent partner in reshaping society (after all… that’s the purpose of the Church, right? an instrument of social activism and change?).

Various Catholic groups suggested a demonstration, against these legislative projects, in favor of the family properly understood.  Tension is building.  The simmering hostility toward Benedict and the Church is starting to boil.  I posted in another entry about posters put up in Genova, which is where the new president of the CEI, the Italian Bishops Conference is the Archbishop and soon to be cardinal.

In light of the importance of "Family Day" in resisting the evil legislation, it was decided by the Pope and the CEI that bishops should not participate in the May demonstration, though priests could. 

"But Father! But Father!" you are saying with furrowed brow, "Why no bishops?  Shouldn’t they be out there in the front lines?" 

This is probably a good decision.  In Spain on a similar occasion the leftists emphasized the conflict among the bishops on these matters, and that seriously undermined the Church in Spain, took away it’s voice.  They are trying to rebuild their moral capital there.  So, in Italy it was decided that LAY PEOPLE had to make themselves the force for change in the public square.  The Family Day demonstration would not be led by clergy.  It is better than lay people do this themselves, to test the wil of lay movements.  Having bishops step aside is not going to be the best scenario in all social issues, but on this one, in ITALY, it probably is.  People are divided on this, but there it is.

In Italy, Pope Benedict is making a huge splash.  Since he was elected, the left-wing has gone nearly insane with confusion and rage.  The main-stream press is waging a bitter campaign against him and the Church.  The problem is that he is hugely popular especially among young people who are beginning to ask questions of their teachers and others about things they are not supposed to question (the left-wing agenda).   Since the education system in Italy has been run by Communists for decades, this question asking trend is a very bad development.  And… it is the Pope’s fault!  If John Paul captured the imagination of young people and drew them in, they are now listening to Benedict with rapt attention.  He is the only great public figure saying anything new or that makes sense.  While the secularists are all shrieking about "thinking outside the box", the Pope is the only one really doing it.

Benedict XVI is handling a great number of very difficult issues both in Italy itself, in larger Europe, and within the Church.  There is huge tension now because he just isn’t doing what every splinter group thinks he ought to be doing.  Instead the Pope is being the Pope.  When you thnk about why we haven’t seen the Motu Proprio yet, consider that when he released Sacramentum caritatis it wasn’t enough for some people and it was ignored by others.  He increases the use of Latin and it isn’t enough.  If he releases the MP, it won’t be enough for many who will be the chief beneficiaries of what the Pope is trying to accomplish.  I think if I were the Pope, I too would be very careful with the release of this document. 

The Motu Proprio will be interpreted in a larger context of what Benedict is doing on many levels in Italy and Europe. 

When Benedict does this, he must get it as right as he possibly can.  The stakes are high in other sectors of the life of the Church.

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62 Responses to Editorial in Latin in Libero, praise of Mass in Latin, the MP, and Italian politics

  1. rob says:

    “The problem is that he is hugely popularity especially among young people who are beginning to ask questions
    of their teachers and others about things they are not supposed to question (the left-wing agenda).
    Since the education system in Italy has been run by Communists for decades, this question asking trend is a
    very bad development.”

    Some of the best news I’ve heard… Whether or not the pope releases the MP soon, the children have gotten a
    good dose of “Latin fever”. In today’s society, if the teachers don’t give them satisfactory answers, then
    they will find the answers themselves online.

  2. Cerimoniere says:

    Father, thank you for this very interesting reflection. In terms of how the Motu Proprio might fit into the Holy Father’s wider priorities, it seems to me that it would form part of his attempt to reawaken society to its Christian heritage, and help it to understand its true reliance on the gifts of its Christian past, in order to encourage people to return to the sources of grace. I found his words from the Good Friday Stations rather striking in this resepct: his emphasis on the harshness of paganism, and the Fathers’ understanding of Ezekiel’s prophecy of the heart of stone being replaced with one of flesh being fulfilled in Christian compassion.

    Evidently, the Church cannot call society back to its authentic foundation, if the Church is seen to share the consensus that 1965 is Year 1, and that everything earlier is oppressive. However, I am not sure how these considerations would actually affect the manner in which the Holy Father would release the document, beyond what the accompanying commentary will say. Perhaps he is simply refining his explanation, which Cardinal Bertone tells us that he will provide for the faithful and the bishops; and, therefore, to the wider world.

  3. The present Holy Father played a part in my reversion. I had been
    told for decades (by dissenters) how backwards and horrible he was.
    Then, I actually read his writings for myself and he won me over: now
    and forever. Brilliant mind. A very compassionate man. Fierce, yes,
    but in a good way.

    I suspect many are as surprised by Pope Benedict as I was which is why he is more popular then his naysayers want.

    I will pray for the Holy Father’s safety.

  4. JPG says:

    It is good to hear that people are listening in Italy.
    My sense is that the same cannot be said in the USA.
    The recent Apostolic Exhortation has largely been
    ignored not only by the secular press but at the parish
    level.Is anyone’s experience different?
    JPG
    Fairfield, CT

  5. Adam van der Meer says:

    “The recent Apostolic Exhortation has largely been ignored not only by the secular press but at the parish level.”

    JPG,

    Do you really think changes are going to happen over night? There are probably many priests and bishops who have not even had the TIME to read it yet. I am a transitional deacon/seminarian, and I couldn’t even find the time to read it until just yesterday. I would have seriously neglected more pressing duties if I had read it sooner. The same probably goes for many priests and bishops. Let’s be reasonable. This is Lent, Lent is a busy time for priests and bishops. Especially Holy Week. Why would any pastoral priest or bishop consider starting new initiatives in the middle of Lent? He cannot just introduce changes without a prior catechesis.

    The anti-spam word that I had to enter to post this was “Chillin’ the Veuve”. I suggest that you buy another bottle of Veuve (I am sure that you already have one on ice), and take the present one off the ice and have a little (after the Easter Vigil of course). Relax a little, settle down, and have some more reasonable expectations!

    (If you do not like champagne, might I suggest a good Cabernet? Simi is a good brand.)

    A peaceful Holy Saturday, and Blessed Easter to you and to all!

  6. Adam: (If you do not like champagne, might I suggest a good Cabernet? Simi is a good brand.) But don’t chill the cab! Quod Deus avertat!

  7. Henry Edwards says:

    In the southern U.S., I’m hearing a fair amount of “Latin fever” and Latin snippets in Mass — e.g. Kyrie (Gr), Sanctus, Agnus Dei seem common at least for Lent when they weren’t before — and Thursday night the Gloria sung in Latin in a parish where I’d not heard it below (and also Panis Angelicus seemingly for the first time, instead of some campfire song for Holy Communion).

    But I don’t know whether this sort of thing — a generally increased awareness of Latin among people who previously haven’t mentioned it much (indeed, some of them fearing a “return of the Latin Mass”) — stems from the apostolic exhortation, from the largely Latin papal Masses on EWTN, or from speculation about the expected motu proprio.

  8. swmichigancatholic says:

    Americans, though, generally tend to be oblivious. Part of it is distance, part of it is cultural and part of it is just habit. The internet has us looking around at the rest of the world more than usual, if anything. We’ll get to the AE, when it gets bounced around enough. The drivers here for the regular catholic are the young clergy and the mid-stream-to-right “I’m just sayin” folks. And mass attendance, who runs the school, etc. Strange but true.

    We probably don’t comprehend fully the disconnect from history and culture that the young there feel either because we tend to be ahistorical as a defense mechanism–we have precious little history and we are involved in other things anyway! We have to have something to claim that we “are.”

    I’ve thought for a long while that the abrupt fracture that was the second vatican council had everything to do with the abrupt fracture that occurred in various European cultures c. WWII. Literally, they felt they just could not go on as if nothing had happened. But in many cases, as in most big decisions undertaken in the funeral parlor, huge mistakes in direction were made.

    Now is the correction because the young want to know who they are and what Europe is. They feel as though it has been taken from them without their consent, and is still being taken from them re empty buildings and immigration surges. And they are correct.

    The Church must respond in a degree which is proper, but generous, while the impulse is there. The young must have the ability to find themselves in the true culture of the Church, as she has always been, if nothing else. If she does not, something sinister will take her place: something dark and full of force with which the Church will have to contend.

    Europe is in a bad way and the young ones are wondering what on earth they have inherited. There is risk of Europe imploding in a few years, on demographic grounds alone….

  9. Bruno Maria says:

    Our present Holy Father doesn’t exhibit the “forehead resting in the hand with the agonizing face while deeply immersed in prayer” image that I can still see in my mind’s eye from Pope John Paul II; but when I watch Pope Benedict XVI at his litugies, he appears to be deeply recollected although much more conservatively in outer appearances. Pope Benedict seems to have a deep love for his Lord in the Eucharist and is very concerned about the Church and her liturgies. He’s trying to restore a sense of the sacred in liturgy and I can understand in today’s world how that is threatening to secularized societies whether that is in his own Italian backyard or anywhere else. But what saddens me and I feel this sadness while watching this recollected man is that he appears to have far too many enemies in his own Church. We all know what’s happened to the Church in the last forty years and the Holy Father is trying to restore at least some of what has been lost. Why that meets with so much resistance in the hierarchy of the Church is puzzling and alarming. But whether it’s within the Church or with the Italian government, or any other source, this, to me, is a spiritual problem as the devil will try anything to stop the release of the Motu Proprio. I really believe the MP is the new sprigtime that JPII prophesied about.

    Thank you Fr. Z for this post. It was most interesting and troubling. Pray for us Pope John Paul II!

  10. Henry Edwards says:

    Adam,

    He cannot just introduce changes without a prior catechesis.

    I’m sure this dictum is big in seminary instruction, but I’ve rarely if ever seen liturgical catechesis used to any good purpose in real parishes, more often as a vehicle for mischief and frequently the alleged need for it being simply an excuse for doing nothing.

    But in a number of parishes I’ve seen at least the Latin snippets of my preceding post introduced successfully without any catechesis (which more likely would have engendered complaints where there were none before). Just with the hymnal numbers posted — even the lousy OCP-type hymnalettes usually have some Latin hidden in the back — the people are singing along with the choir pretty well after a very few weeks. Of course, no one needs to be told what the words to the Kyrie, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei actually mean.

  11. I agree with what Henry Edwards said: I’m noticing more Latin in some parishes in St. Paul, MN then I used to. For example; for the first time in recent memory in my parish, we sang the Pange Linqua in Latin on Holy Thursday as well as Tantum Ergo in Latin. Previously unheard of: it used to be the wretched English translations.

    Praise God!

  12. swmichigancatholic says:

    One has to understand that Europe is in a much more volatile, even existential, condition than America. This explains why you can see photos of those truly weird Austrian masses with all the vested children and at the same time know those children probably play “Mein Teil” & “Spring” on their CD players at home.

    Both make Americans go “tilt” if they even ever hear/see them. It’s incomprehensible to us.

  13. Athanasius says:

    Father,

    Thank you for your reflection, and your excellent and detailed explanation of political life in Italy.

    I think the reason why Traditionalists are upset is because going in they felt that Josef Ratzinger was their guy. Certain groups had taken one or two statements of the Pope, for instance his comments on the Novus Ordo in the preface to Monsignor Klaus Gamber’s work “Reform of the Roman Liturgy”, and read them outside the context of his overall work and persona. He is very much a modern man (but not a modernist) somewhat progressive, somewhat conservative, who understands the nature of Liturgy and called it like it is. Unfortunately many Trads got radicalized with the idea that the media spinned that he was the “evil inquisitor” that he was “busting up heretics and cleaning house” and if only he was made Pope, everything would be great! The Ecumenism would stop, the Traditional Latin Mass would be restored and we would enter a golden age of sorts. These same trads became hugely disappointed when Benedict did not do any of these things, or not enough to meet their satisfaction, primarily because they read his criticism of the Novus Ordo outside of the wider context of his writings, which show that he is very much a man of Vatican II and a man to progress to things in a moderate, balanced manner. I know this because I warned Trads that this would be the case and they didn’t believe me.

    The only place where I find disagreement with you here, is that the MP really is that important, and I find that it goes hand in hand with his focus as Pope of fighting secularism and atheism and making the Church more relevant in society. In my opinion it is the perfect time given the reactions I have seen. That the FSSP and Una Voce will have priest training seminars, that many even if they don’t know what the Traditional Mass is are interested and excited to learn, and a lot of people are favorable to at least allowing it. I really think the Pope needs something like this to shake some of the bishops, especially in Europe, out of their ivory towers and realize they are servants first not leftist activists. An act like this would send a clear signal: I’m still the Pope, whereas the style of John Paul II, to rule with the Bishops and never upset them was directly contrary to Leo XIII’s teaching in Satis Cognitum and Vatican II’s teaching in Lumen Gentium which echoed it.
    The way I see it, the sooner the better, especially out here in Southern California, where Cardinal Mahony deemed it appropriate to set aside very clear guidelines laid down by the Church in Redemptionem Sacramentum in favor of a “custom” of abuse in his detestable Cathedral.

    You also referenced that Sacramentum Caritatis wasn’t enough, and I wanted to explain briefly why. It doesn’t address the problems with the Liturgy, it only addresses symptoms. I do realize that some translations were off, I noticed that in the Latin and I stayed away from those portions which are translated poorly in the critique on my blog. It says more Latin and Gregorian chant. It is a good thing, but it is not enough. Here is why.
    I live in the diocese of Fresno. Now according to SC, it is dignified to say Mass in Latin and Gregorian chant is the music proper to the liturgy. However, the only place in the whole diocese where I could find that according to the 1970-2000 Missal is at a little Norbertine convent where Norbertine priests say the New Missal in Latin facing the altar for 30 nuns with Gregorian chant. The Bishop, John Steinbock, has forbidden Catholics in his diocese from attending Mass there on Sunday, and said we must stay in our own parishes for our Holy Day of obligation. What in the world is the purpose of that? He is forbidding Catholics to go to the one place in his diocese where Sacramentum Caritatis says the liturgy is fittingly said in Latin where that music proper to the Roman Liturgy is sung. Therefore I have to drive hours to the Byzantine Cathedral or hours more to an independent chapel just to feel Catholic. Maybe its just me, but holding hands and singing mariachi music while the priest uses glass vessels and wears a rainbow stoll just doesn’t seem Catholic.

    This is why in the whole of the Church, for Catholics to experience the “actio” spoken of so well in SC, we need the Motu Proprio to sidestep the liturgical totalitarianism of the Bishops, unless Benedict is planning on removing hostile Bishops that truly hate Traditional expression, such as occupy the chanceries in my area.

  14. Paul, South Midlands, UK says:

    The foaming of the lefties reminds me of the spoof headline in “Private Eye” lampooning the shocked lefties in the UK when Benedict was elected and their third vatican council dreams hit the dust. It was

    “On other pages – Shock as Catholic elected Pope”

    On a more serious note I think the putting in place of Cardinal Bertone is the most important thing Benedict has done but it won’t be widely realised for a generation. The person who appoints the nuncio forms the next generation of Bishops in a country. I suspect that the rumours that our own dear Cardinal will have his tenure extended are true, I don’t suppose they will want to appoint a new one until the new Nuncio is in place….

  15. swmichigancatholic says:

    That’s the point of this post, I think. The terms “liberal” and “conservative” may be about to lose their relevance, at least internationally &/or in the Church–indeed may already have become meaningless, perhaps much farther back than Americans realize.

  16. Adam van der Meer says:

    Henry: I’m sure this dictum is big in seminary instruction, but I’ve rarely if ever seen liturgical catechesis used to any good purpose in real parishes

    Therefore we should just give up on it, and not have any catechesis. I don’t follow your reasoning. I suppose it is easy for you to dismiss my comments — perhaps I am buying into the seminary system’s ritual brainwashing. But I would simply observe that the changes in 1969/1970 were dropped on the people without catechesis and look at what has happened.

    Sure, there are some who are eagerly expecting the changes that Sac.Car. proposes, and do not need catechesis about it. There are also some, probably many Catholics who are docile and will accept whatever changes the priest makes without explanation. But there are also many who simply do not understand and have been misled for many years by priests (and the newsmedia) with anti-Tradition agendas. SOME explanation/catechesis is needed to try to convert them, to lead them along. Perhaps they won’t accept it, and will leave. But at least the priest then will be able to sleep with a clear conscience knowing that he has done his best not to alienate anyone.

    Maybe you think that that is soft, that it is idealistic, whatever… Well, just because priests have not given good catechesis in the past does not mean that they can’t start. You might have a little more confidence in the guys who are going through seminary today, and give them a chance. It isn’t easy, and things aren’t going to change over night. Pray for us!

  17. swmichigancatholic says:

    Perhaps laypeople ought to try a few classes OUTSIDE mass in order to understand their faith and leave the Mass alone because it’s too important to play kindergarten games with.

    Lots and lots of good materials are available for catechesis, starting with the recently released compendium.

  18. swmichigancatholic says:

    If people are too darned lazy or stubborn to read the compendium, or attend a few sessions to have it explained to them, then, Adam they’re probably too darned lazy or stubborn to get it from the Mass either. Did you ever consider this?

    Meantime, trying to use the mass as a kindergarten opens it up to all manner of distortion by people with various motivations.

  19. Eric G. says:

    INSERTED NOTE FROM FR. Z: STUPID COMMENT ALERT:

    BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH . . .

    More excusing of the inexchusable. There absolutely should not be “divisions” among the bishops for the Left to exploit; any bishop who opposed “the Pope’s egenda” is a Modernist heretic at worst, and at best an incompetent buffoon, and the Pope has a God-given authority AND OBLIGATION to remove said bishops(s) and/or priest(s).

    I’m not being this diplomacy shinanigans. How many untold souls are lsot through all the confusion while Ratzinger continued being “diplomatic” from his plush armchair? We need action, and we need it now.

    It’s a sin that I have to worship in Byzantine Catholic parishes this Holy Week, but NOT A SINGLE Roman-Rite parish in my Archdicoese celebrates Mass reverently — NOT ONE. (I am excepting here our approved Latin Mass Community in Miami — Holy Week was canceled, save for Palm Sunday and Easter.)

    Our Pope is not a “reformer of the reform”. Check out his unwarranted, useless, banal innovations of this year’s Stations of the Cross:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/04/07/weaster07.xml

    The Pope is a hypocrite; his actions do not match his supposed words. And I’m sick. And tired.

    And quite frankly, we the faithful only exacerbate the problem when we continue to give these men (the Popes) celebrity-cult status and endless adulation. We need to hold these incompetents accountable, using all the lawful means at our disposal.

    No, John Paul Two: I do NOT love you, any more than I am REQUIRED to by natural and divine law. Your Pontificate was a miserable failure. Pray for us, that your Successor might not bring as much shame, scandal, ridicule, and confusion to Christ’s Church as you did by your laissez-affair approach to Church governance!

    INSERTED NOTE FROM FR. Z: CONCLUSION OF STUPID COMMENT ALERT
    TODAY’S SOUR GRAPES AWARD WINNER

    Another Sour Grapes Award Winner

  20. Malcolm Moore in the Daily Telegraph has gotten something of significance wrong in every single one of his dispatches from Rome that I have ever read: in other words, he is a most definitely untrustworthy journalist.

    Happy Easter, and many thanks!

  21. Geoffrey says:

    “INSERTED NOTE FROM FR. Z: STUPID COMMENT ALERT… BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH…”

    Thank you, Father! :-)

  22. Mary Jane says:

    Thanks for this post. I was in Italy briefly in early February – and was reminded very forcefully that there is more to the Church (and to the world) than my own corner of it. As a music director, I’m seeing less resistance to Latin and much less resistance to chant than I had to deal with two years ago. But right now it’s Holy Saturday – the blessed Sabbath on which Christ rested and a day on which we should rest from our controversies as well.

    Buona Pasqua!

  23. Exactly – that piece from the Telegraph is totally ridiculous.

    Firstly, I doubt that many Catholics were ‘shocked’ by the Stations of the Cross.

    Secondly, the Pope hasn’t asked anyone to ‘update’ the ceremony. Yes, this year’s stations aren’t the ones found in most parishes, but it should be noted that for the past number of years it has been the custom to alternate the traditional stations with the so-called ‘scriptural stations’ as used last night. Thus, last year (2006) the traditional stations were used, and I should be surprised if they aren’t used again next year.

    It’s a mistake to rely on the secular press to interpret the actions of the Holy Father for us. Eric, you have my sympathies that things are not as they should be in your diocese, but you need to be careful that your rage is not misplaced.

  24. John Polhamus says:

    Father, I think that the implication that the MP is being forwarded as a sort of counterbalance to Italian secular policits is unfortunate; as is the inference that if Italian politics suddenly gets very holy, then the MP is no longer needed. If the Holy Mass through the MP is salutory in the worst case scenario, then it is just as salutory in the best case scenario. We need it now in any event, so why wait?

  25. John Polhamus says:

    By the way, I’m forwarding this article and your commentary to my Pastor who HATES latin, a real relic of the ’60′s, and who is about to fire me for programming three latin hymns in the Palm Sunday Italian mass, despite the fact that the little Italian hymn booklet doesn’t have any Palm Sunday hymns. That’s how irrational they can be. It’ll do him good.

  26. swmichigancatholic says:

    And I agree with Henry on the return of some latin to the local masses. We are seeing it on occasion too, that and the Kyrie in Greek. It requires very little to none in the way of explanation for most people because it means the same thing the English in its place would have said. DUH. We could use some mimeographed copies of the prayers in Latin placed on the ends of the pews though, because although we know what the Latin says, we just can’t yet pronounce it yet ourselves without prompting. It will come soon enough.

  27. Sid Cundiff says:

    To rescript Zola: Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last Soviet war memorial falls on the last Cultural Marxist — to which I add, and when the Frankfurter Institut für Sozialforschung is turned into a showroom for BMWs — or even more poeticly just, an Islamic daycare center.

  28. John Polhamus says:

    “And I agree with Henry on the return of some latin to the local masses. We are seeing it on occasion too, that and the Kyrie in Greek. It requires very little to none in the way of explanation for most people because it means the same thing the English in its place would have said. DUH.”

    swmichigancatholic: We tried it at my parish in San Diego, and it was blackballed by the weak, old, sick pastor because a few people complained exactly that they didn’t understand what Kyrie Eleison meant. Pitiful reason, pitiful excuse! It’s being used elsewhere though.

  29. Brian Day says:

    Father Z,

    Thank you for the posting. It answers the question I asked in an earlier post as to why the Church cannot walk and chew gum (metaphorically speaking) at the same time.

    I will continue to pray for HH B16.

  30. swmichigancatholic says:

    John,

    I’m not sure that the timing of the MP should be described as a “counterbalance to Italian secular politics” at all, in any description I’ve seen here.

    It’s just that the MP’s timing has to be considered in Europe as well as here, because they have their own set of pressing problems just like we do. And frankly theirs are worse than ours and may affect the future of Rome itself. I’m rather sure that, given things Pope Benedict has said, he is aware of all this and more.

    The fact is that the MP, or a generous vehicle of its content at any rate, will come sooner or later by its own weight as the Church rights herself from ravages of the 20th century. I firmly believe this.
    In other words, I think the MP is occurring because it’s correct in the order of truth & fidelity.

    The important things for Americans to do are already starting to occur, in other words:
    1) staying in close touch with Rome as the internet has made possible,
    2) steadily objecting to novelty & silliness of all sorts,
    2) & continuing the return to the universal application of what the church has always taught as much as we can, in season & out.

    More will be obtained by steady prayer and consistent corrective pressure than by any sort of violence of emotion or act. Just stay the course like a bulldog and it’s going to happen because it has to.

  31. John Polhamus:

    No one inferred that. That is not what the editorial in Libero says, nor my comments.

  32. Henry Edwards says:

    Adam,

    Therefore we should just give up on it, and not have any catechesis.

    I meant only what I said — in the context of my post — that no great catechesis is needed to introduce those snippets of Latin and bits reverence in the liturgy. Most people are thirsty for this, and for long-awaited leadership from their priests.

    But I would simply observe that the changes in 1969/1970 were dropped on the people without catechesis and look at what has happened.

    However often you may have heard this allegation, it remains untrue in my experience and recollection. I was there, and actually in the thick of it (a “liturgy leader” and all that). In the parishes where I was active in the liturgy, we had been catechized constantly for years prior to the official promulgation of the Novus Ordo, which introduced nothing that was not already familiar. The reason for “what has happened” is not lack of, but rather wrong-headedness of catechesis and leadership. But advocates for failed programs, whether religious or political, always take refuge in claims that they were not “done right”, that their cockeyed ideas would have worked out fine if only they’d been implemented correctly.

    You might have a little more confidence in the guys who are going through seminary today, and give them a chance. It isn’t easy, and things aren’t going to change over night. Pray for us!

    I suspect, Adam, that as a young priest you’ll find constructive change easier than you expect, and a lot easier than your older seminary professors expect. I’m acquainted with a number of seminarians, young men headed for seminaries, and recently ordained young priests whom I’m trying to encourage in both tangible and intangible ways. Every one of them is faithful and orthodox in a way that many priests of a certain older generation too often haven’t been. They are our hope for the restoration of the Church, which clearly is underway already, even though not everyone is yet aware of it.

  33. Janet says:

    When the Motu Proprio is finally issued, I find myself wondering how the reality of it will filter down to parish level. For instance, our most junior priest is pretty traditionalist in the way he celebrates mass; he includes the confiteor, Kyrie, Agnus Dei, he includes extra gestures such as bows, genuflects (taken from the TLM as best I can tell), into the liturgy, and concludes each mass with the prayer to St. Michael. Now, let’s assume the MP has been issued and this priest wants to include a latin Mass, using 1962 missal, weekly for the parish. The pastor, who is much more Vatican II-ish, tells junior priest “no way Jose!” So, in this theoretical circumstance, our parish could quite possibly still end up without the TLM even after the MP is released. (I’m not saying our pastor would forbid it, but it’s always a possibility)

    Kick same scenario up a notch: the Bishop of a given diocese could reassign priests who offer the latin mass, to places like nursing homes, or demote them from pastor positions, thus inhibiting the actual freedom to celebrate the TLM for any priest who wants to continue being pastor of his parish.

    I’m trying not to be pessimistic, and actually I am quite hopeful because locally I know the Franciscans at EWTN will provide a latin Mass in a skinny minute, once the MP is released. But there are still sadly the internal politics and power games that are played even within our beautiful Church. Can the Holy Father somehow circumvent some of the above-mentioned problems within the MP document itself?

    A secondary question not related to the MP: how soon are priests supposed to start saying “for many” instead of “for all” in the Consecration at Mass? Ours are still saying “for all”.

  34. Henry Edwards says:

    Janet,

    I think you’re right, that it’ll be a mixed bag. Although I see a rising tide, different boats — different parishes and dioceses — will be lifted differently, depending on particular pastors and bishops.

    As for that “for all”, I’m afraid it’s still proper English usage for the consecration for now (pity albeit is). The bishops are instructed to make it “for all” in the new translation. So until perhaps late 2009, unless the bishops decide the faithful require several years more catechesis in order to use an accurate, beautiful, and faithful translation …..

  35. Mike says:

    Eric,

    Welcome to the club.

    m

  36. John Polhamus says:

    A thousand pardons, Padre, I stand corrected. Happy Easter!

  37. JPG says:

    Mr Van Der Meer
    Your comments are well taken, however
    the same was true of Redemtionis Sacramentum
    and Ecclesia De Eucharista long after these were released.
    JPG

  38. In my first parish 20 years ago I put in a Latin NO mass.I was gradually putting the various parts in Latin after the people got used to them.When I put the Creed in latin a parishioner came upto me after mass and crying saud,”I cannot say the creed now in English in my owm parish”.I nodded at her and then gave her benign neglect.By the time I was transferred-9 years-the mass was almost all in a Latin.A parishioner came upto me after mass and complained that there was English in the Latin Mass. If a pastor is patient and kind but committed he will prevail and the parish will be the better for it.As for the priests who want to say the TLM being sent to the boondocks,I question if there are any of those places left.A Bishop who came from a large Archdiocese told me that those out of the way parishes had a waiting listsb of priests who wanted to be Pastor,escaping their debt ridden aging parishes with a schools.Therev a few Bishops who might try to get around the MP as they do the exhortation.A priest I know who says one mass a week in Latin was called in by his Archbishop (who is well place in the american hierarchy)and told to stop.When the priest cited Redemptionis Sacramentum,the bishop said “But I am your Bishop”.Then there is the bishop who will be nameless who at a priests’s meeting was asked by a priest (who told this on another blog)about the MP.The bishop (who is slated to retire) replied that he would treat a priest who wanted to say the TLM as he would one accused of pedophilia!

  39. swmichigancatholic says:

    Yes, Fr. Mcafee and he is slated to retire, which means he has how many more years in him?

    The same way with your examples, Janet.

    The old ones will take their nonsense with them to the grave. This won’t happen overnight but it will happen. It’s already begun.

  40. Craigmaddie says:

    The bishop (who is slated to retire) replied that he would treat a priest who wanted to say the TLM as he would one accused of pedophilia!

    Tonight I’m celebrating one year since my reception into the Church and behaviour like this on the part of bishops is still something I am trying to comprehend.

    Actually, in a perverse way, the hostility of the priest who took me through the RCIA last year to the traditional Latin Mass was one of the motivating factors in me seeking out an Indult Mass…

  41. Craigmaddie says:

    This isn’t just for Eric but for any of us who are tempted to bitterness in the face of so much that is just bloody awful in the Church at the present time (including myself):

    “Fight all error, but do it with good humour, patience, kindness, and love. Harshness will damage your own soul and spoil the best cause.” – St John Kanty

  42. techno_aesthete says:

    Father, Regarding the photo from the Good Friday liturgy, when did the Pope’s prostration take place relative to his removing his shoes and kissing the cross – before or after? Thanks in advance. Gaudium Paschale!

  43. swmichigancatholic says:

    Understood, Craigmaddie, but all of us who have been here for a while have suffered much. What you say is right, but it’s very, very, very difficult. It’s actually getting better now. There were literally thankless decades of this when it seemed like there was no light at the end of the tunnel and no recourse.

  44. Geri says:

    “Of course, no one needs to be told what the words to the Kyrie, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei actually mean.”

    Henry, I beg to differ.

    When we began singing the Missa Primitiva Agnus Dei (the Pastor put the kibosh on trhe Sanctus,) I received an email from a parishioner, as well as an anonymous letter complaining about “that a capella thing just before” communion that everybody ELSE seemed to know, so it must be some local custom, but it was in some foreign language, so it excluded everybody who wasn’t local, and it’s hard enough making friends and fitting in when you move to a new town…..
    She seemed not to notice that “Lamb of God, You take away…” was not sung.

  45. John Polhamus says:

    “The bishop (who is slated to retire) replied that he would treat a priest who wanted to say the TLM as he would one accused of pedophilia!”

    This is a very serious threat. The disobedience and vindictiveness of some on the militant left will know no underhanded bounds, and there could be some worse threats than withdrawing your pension, or sending you to Barstow. The episcopate is out of control, and needs reigning in.

  46. Geri says:

    “there is the bishop who will be nameless who at a priests’s meeting was asked by a priest (who told this on another blog)about the MP.The bishop (who is slated to retire) replied that he would treat a priest who wanted to say the TLM as he would one accused of pedophilia”

    Beggin your pardon, Fr McAfee, but WHY nameless? He should be named, not to harm his reputation but to warn the faithful.
    I would register in another diocese if I found myself living in the territory of such a misguided shepherd.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

  47. swmichigancatholic says:

    There’s always one in the crowd, Geri.

    Seeing Latin & Greek start to appear in the liturgy needs to be done with a little care so everyone can join in regardless if they remember it all or not. Perhaps a xerox machine would be a good idea. One of the great things about the ancient liturgy in Latin is that I believe it ought to be in the public domain and therefore no one can sue you for using a xerox machine (unlike many other litugical things nowdays which have become a business). You can simply make nice copies and place them at the ends of the pews. =)

  48. Geri says:

    SWMichiganCatholic, I agree with your prescriptions — but in this case, the Latin Agnus is something the parish has been using for at least part of the liturgical year for at least the last 18 years (since long before I moved to town and became music director,) and is in the hymnal and pew missal.
    And at the beginning of a season when any new ordinary, or part of the ordinary, is being introduced, it is announced and taught before Mass.

    I just find it sad that at the very time when many people are losing their parish “homes” (due to consolidation, the nomadic nature of American life,) there is less and less that we can count on as shared heritage, as universal, as normative ritual.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World.)

  49. swmichigancatholic says:

    We’ll get there Geri, this is going to be a little strange for some people, that’s all. Probably particularly for Americans who think their way of doing things is the only way to do things.

    This is actually the twinkle of light at the end of the long sleep, not the other way round.

  50. swmichigancatholic says:

    “I just find it sad that at the very time when many people are losing their parish “homes” (due to consolidation, the nomadic nature of American life,) there is less and less that we can count on as shared heritage, as universal, as normative ritual.”

    I don’t know what that means. The Catholic faith is about Christ, not about real estate.

  51. Sean says:

    Bravo Fr. McAfee. Also, dropping all the homiletic guff about justice and peace would improve matters no end. Who is challenged by that? Or does every catholic congregation contain several warlords and dictators?

  52. Craigmaddie says:

    Understood, Craigmaddie, but all of us who have been here for a while have suffered much. What you say is right, but it’s very, very, very difficult. It’s actually getting better now. There were literally thankless decades of this when it seemed like there was no light at the end of the tunnel and no recourse.

    Believe me, you have my sympathy! I have seen enough in the last year since being received into the Church to last a lifetime. And, after attending a Mass in Canada that was barely recognisable as Catholic other than in the name of the church, I can appreciate some of the horrors that Catholics on the other side of the Pond have been forced to put up with. I also understand the motivation that has driven many good Catholics to the chapels of the Society of Saint Pius the X over the years.

    But for that very reason we need to learn to accept the blows and buffets of being orthodox Catholics at this time in history – even with some joy. I hope I don’t sound sanctimonious saying this but, really, for the sake of our souls we have little choice other than to “…rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed”.

    Though, of course, we always have a choice.

  53. swmichigancatholic says:

    And it is getting better, even here.

    I went to Mass this morning and aside from the usual fare of familiar tunes with mangled lyrics ala missalette, the music was actually pretty decent. That is, until they got down to the very end, and then out of nowhere at all, came a “Christ is here if only in community, because of us” type jingle which was just un-stinking-believable. I am not at all exaggerating when I tell you they were a full 1/2 tone off key in both “solos,” failing to hit notes, piano louder than usual to keep them going, the works. It sounded like they had practiced all of say, 1.5 minutes. All I could do was smile and swallow to avoid not breathing. They sounded literally like the last gasp of the modernists, which after all, a person with ears has to regard as a good thing. Come to find out, today, our music director retired. So apparently there is the explanation. One can only hope things will improve now.

  54. Jordan Potter says:

    “A secondary question not related to the MP: how soon are priests supposed to start saying ‘for many’ instead of ‘for all’ in the Consecration at Mass? Ours are still saying ‘for all’.”

    That change will take place when the Pauline Missal is translated into English. They are now working on translating the Mass into English, but it won’t be done for another year or two, so until then the current mistranslation still carries the force of law.

  55. Sean,when you refer to justice andpeace it depends on the accuracy of what one says.Sometimes it does not matter.I used to deliver the keynote address at the annual Rosary Congress held at the National Shrine in D.C. ever since it began.One time I made a remark about landmines.Senator Dole,who was running for president,had just come from Hollywood where he had chastized an audience of Hollywood power people for the dangers to youth of their product.Also at the same time the American bishops met and issued a statement condemning landmines.In my sermon I said that it should have been the bishops who reprimanded the entertainment industry and Senator Dole who spoke out on landmines. I asked the crowd which filled the upper church if any of them had lost a child by a landmine,then I asked how manyhad a child affected by the violence,drugs,or immoral sex,advocated by the entertainment power establishment.I received a standing ovation.Later on I found out that a bishop,(a consertvative one) had been present and was offended at my remark about bishops.I was never invited back again. So many bishops are sensitive to their image and will pass on some liberal nut but not on a person who is more traditional

  56. Jordan Potter says:

    Fr. McAfee said: “A priest I know who says one mass a week in Latin was called in by his Archbishop (who is well placed in the american hierarchy)and told to stop. When the priest cited Redemptionis Sacramentum,the bishop said ‘But I am your Bishop’.”

    Then he should act like a bishop, and not like a bully.

    “Then there is the bishop who will be nameless who at a priests’s meeting was asked by a priest (who told this on another blog) about the MP.The bishop (who is slated to retire) replied that he would treat a priest who wanted to say the TLM as he would one accused of pedophilia!”

    That’s nothing but bluster — even if he weren’t slated to retire, he has no power to suspend a priest simply for wanting to say the TLM. He would have to trump up some real charges against him, and if he tried that, the priest could challenge him canonically. It would become public pretty quickly.

    I agree with the above comments: I think it does more harm to the Church to keep the names of these bishops secret that it does to let them continue to get away with their malfeasance under cover of darkness.

  57. Jordan Potter says:

    Sorry, make that, “I think it does more harm to the Church to keep the names of these bishops secret, and to allow them to get away with their malfeasance under cover of darkness, than it would do to reveal the bishops’ names.”

    Well, that’s my twopenn’orth anyway, and it could well be worth just that, or less.

  58. T. Chan says:

    Unfortunately many Trads got radicalized with the idea that the media spinned that he was the “evil inquisitor” that he was “busting up heretics and cleaning house” and if only he was made Pope, everything would be great!

    I don’t think many Trads actually thought this of Cardinal Ratzinger–many have not been shy in making their criticisms of the way the CDF was run known.

  59. swmichigancatholic says:

    No, actually it was more like we breathed a bit of relief because we thought things might be shaken out of their seemingly intractable torpor and we might not be persecuted quite so hard for a bit. It’s been a great relief, these past 2+ years.

  60. swmichigancatholic says:

    There was also an interesting thing about prediction. For years, the prediction had been bounced about that a revolutionary progressivist would take PJP2′s place. I mean it was the great hope of those who seemed “in charge” for so many years. And it didn’t happen. To the amazement of many, it simply didn’t happen. And perhaps like the fall of the iron curtain, that kind of force simply outlived its usefulness and fell away into oblivion.

  61. Eduardo says:

    I’m in Southern California, and attended an Easter Vigil last night. It was a bi-lingual service (English/Spanish), but I was pleasantly suprised at a couple of Latin elements (Pater Noster and Agnus Dei). Our priest explained that they were being introduced due to the Pope’s Apolstolic Exhortation. I haven’t heard any Latin elements in a church around here for a long time, and hope it is a clue for things to come.
    Anyone else seeing similar things?
    Thank you,
    Eduardo

  62. Chironomo says:

    I can add my parish to the list of those who made greater use of Latin during Holy Week than had been done for probably 40 years. As the Music Director, I decided that we would use the traditional versions of the Ubi Caritas and Pange Lingua (Holy Thursday), Crucem Tuam (Good Friday)and Vidi aquam and Veni Sancte Spiritus for the Vigil, as well as the Agnus Dei which we had done throughout Lent. This seemed to scandalize the choir at rehearsals (we’ve never done ANY of this stuff before!), and the Pastor didn’t know about it as he is usually not too interested in the music anyhow, so I kind of came in under the radar. The results were astounding… the Pastor received enough positive comments on the music, PARTICULARLY the chants, that he felt obliged to speak to me the following day (Easter Sunday)to thank me and let me know how many compliments HE had received about the liturgies and the music… and he is a pastor who I would characterize as “progressive” and not usually open to such things. It (the liturgy) truly is able to change hearts.