La Reppublica: Motu Proprio news

In today’s La Reppublica there is an article from Marco Politi confirming two things which we already know.

First, the Motu Proprio is coming.  Second, Mr. Politi doesn’t understand what he is talking about on this matter.

Keep in mind that there was a dustup a week or so ago about a Jewish group which raised concerns about the language in the pre-Conciliar Missale Romanum.  People just don’t seem to grasp that changes were made to the Missal after  its release in 1570.  Really!

Here is the relevant bit in Politi’s article.  Try not to laugh.  (My translation and emphases)

 

Great expectation surrounds also the imminent publication of the papal Motu Proprio which will fully authorize traditionalist Catholic community to celebrate Mass in Latin according to the rite of Pius V.  Pope Ratzinger will explain in the document the rules to follow, but the text of the Missal is already ready and new copies are already on sale in bookstores.  The Missal turns out to have been emended in respect to the original of Pius V, following decisions made in the Vatican in 1962 and even before by John XXIII. [Yah... this news is only 45 years old.]

Obviously the mention of the "perfidious Jews" has disappeared, but also gone are the deprecationes, the curses against "schismatics and heretics", namely, the orthodox and protestants, just as also passages which ring as anti-Muslim.  What is striking in the reading of the old rite is the total abolition of the active role of the faithful, [He grasps nothing about the true meaning of "active participation".] relegated once again to the function of a flock which follows the one officiating.  Curiously – for the followers of absolute necessity to preserve the traditional text and to celebrate Mass in Latin – the Missals have the text in Italian on the facing page[Probably because these are "hand missals" to be used by the faithful iduring Mass to facilitate their full, conscious and active participation.]

Repubblica, 27 April 2007

This was a tag to the greater issue of what the Pope did in regard to the Synod of Bishops.

The key to understanding where Mr. Politi goes wrong here is that he doesn’t understand what "active participation" means.  It seems that he thinks "active" necessarily means that people must be constantly talking or singing or clapping or carrying stuff around.  That is a facile understanding of participation.

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26 Responses to La Reppublica: Motu Proprio news

  1. Humboldt says:

    So many assertion in this sense in so many news media!
    It must be true.

  2. Humboldt says:

    As for the Synod of Bishops, can the Church stand
    to have a mini council every three years. What are they
    going to be able to change every three years?

  3. Jonathan Bennett says:

    Besides his obvious lack of understanding in regards to these liturgical issues, Mr. Politi is also showing some defiance (and insolence in my opinion) by reffering to the Holy Father as “Pope Ratzinger”. Or is this just a common pratice in Italy to use the Pope’s given name?

  4. Jonathan: No, don’t be concerned about that. In Italy it is not at all uncommon to refer to the Pope as “Pope LAST NAME”. As a matter of fact, I do it from time to time for variety in my own writing. There are few people more “papalino” than I am.

  5. danphunter1 says:

    What I believe His Holiness the Supreme Pontiff is doing is tantamount to a weeding out process.
    He will now seperate the wheat from the chaff in the episcopate.
    What we will now,finally begin to see is an very vocal admonishment and chastisement of dissident bishops.The result will obviously flow down to parishes and those pastors who previously,and presently persecute the faithful will now be forced to listen to a line towing chancery.
    We shall begin to witness the salutary effects of the bishops in UNION with the Holy Father.
    God bless Pope Benedict and God bless the Catholic Church.

  6. afanco says:

    “Keep in mind that there was a dustup a week or so ago about a Jewish group which raised concerns about the language in the pre-Conciliar Missale Romanum.”

    That group sounds perfidious ;)

  7. danphunter1 says:

    Father,
    My post is appertaining to your previous information.
    God bless you.

  8. RBrown says:

    It seems that he thinks “active” necessarily means that people must be constantly talking or singing or clapping or carrying stuff around.

    Didn’t you forget hugging?

  9. Janet says:

    Sounds like it’s about time to go ahead and get that 1962 Missal that I’ve recently bought blessed by my priest. :-) I’ve been waiting til the MP was within days of release and was a ‘sure thing’. Sounds like the time is ripe now, and sometime soon I’ll be able to attend my first TLM Mass with my new (and newly blessed) missal.

  10. gaude says:

    Father Z., I’m sure you’ve done this before, but I was wondering if you could clarify what active participation means in re: the TLM. Someone who attends one told me they do respond to prayers and sing, etc., but she attends a ‘dialog’ Mass and I understand this is the lowest form–am I wrong?

    I’ve had others tell me that ‘active participation’ means actively watching, praying silently if you know the words (either in Latin or English) or just praying any prayer if you don’t know what’s going on (as I didn’t.) Someone else said to get a Missal, but that it’s much more important to stand silently and watch what’s happening than to get lost flipping back and forth between the propers of the Mass and the things specific to the day (the readings?). I’ve kind of had it summed up as, we’re not there to do anything, Father offers up the worship of the Mass to God, we’re not priests so we can’t worship God in this way, but the worship is offered on our behalf and we’re supposed to watch what he’s doing in gratitude and appreciation and then pray silently in our hearts the sort of prayers that are appropriate to the laity (the Our Father, etc.)

    As someone born after Vatican II I guess I’m just confused about what exactly it means to participate actively in something we’re supposed to watch. Can anyone clarify? I’d really appreciate it.

  11. Cerimoniere says:

    Am I missing something? What are the “deprecationes” he mentions?

  12. Jordan Potter says:

    “but also gone are the deprecationes, the curses against ‘schismatics and heretics’, namely, the orthodox and protestants, just as also passages which ring as anti-Muslim.”

    The old Missal didn’t have any curses against “schismatics and heretics.” It had prayers for their conversion to Catholicism, and it had prayers that God would protect the Church and the Pope from the harmful designs of the Church’s enemies, but there wasn’t a single imprecation or curse in the entire Missal.

    The “deprecationes” were merely the Good Friday Prayers of the Faithful. “Deprecation” is an old Latin word that means “prayer.” For example, in the Gloria, we sing, “Qui tollis peccata mundi, suscipe deprecationem nostram” — Who taketh away the sins of the world, receive our prayer. Of course the old Missal as well as the new Missal are filled with “deprecationes” from beginning to end.

    This Politi fellow is FAR less informed about matters pertaining to the liturgy than most journalists are.

  13. Marcin says:

    As for those anti-anti-semitic purges, some circles of the Eastern Orthodoxy call for similar measures:
    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull&cid=1176152838943

    I was not able to confirm it from Orthodox sources, though.

  14. Maureen says:

    Obviously, “actuosa” participation (sp?) doesn’t mean watching — otherwise, blind people wouldn’t be able to participate. Likewise, listening. Likewise, moving about and saying words.

    “Actuosa” participation means praying the Mass with all your heart and mind and strength. It means dragging your mind back to the Mass and away from what’s on TV tonight, and it also means meditating on the Mass as it goes on. Sometimes it means watching; sometimes it means hiding your eyes. Sometimes it means moving and singing and responding; sometimes it means being breathlessly still.

    It’s as simple and as hard as paying attention and sticking to the rubrics. What follows from that is between you and God.

  15. AM says:

    Actuosa means actual.

    A good modern English word for it is “engaged”.

  16. Fr Martin Fox says:

    AM just gave me a sudden idea: why can’t there be a new translation of the Council documents? That would seem to be the sort of thing the holy father could help make happen. Perhaps Father Z, with his hands on all the levers of power in Rome, can pull the right one?

  17. Adam van der Meer says:

    Fr. Fox: Why can’t there be a new translation of the Council documents?

    In any case, it might be helpful if someone someplace somewhere could offer some advice concerning the different translations that are out there. This is what I know about them:

    The Tanner-Alberigo translation is nice because it has Latin & English, but it also uses “inclusive” translation standards, so sometimes it is problematic; and besides, the cost is prohibitive, since it is a multi-volume set containing all the ecumenical councils.

    The Walter Abbott SJ translation, which came out almost immediately following the Council and is now available only used (so far as I know) is OK, except that it was translated by different people instead of one translator or one translation team with common standards, and it also has heretical footnotes and specious commentary by non-Catholics.

    The Austin Flannery translation, which is sort of the standard edition used in seminaries and perhaps the easiest to obtain, has several typos and several rather egregious errors, particularly in Dei Verbum where it translates at least one relative clause totally incorrectly, thereby distorting the meaning. The other (significant) problem with this edition is that it paraphrases/reduces chapter and section titles instead of translating what is actually contained in the text.

    The Daughters of St. Paul published a different translation, which is now out of print, with commentary by Douglas Bushman et al., which was overall quite good, but of course now is practically impossible to get for an affordable price. I’m not really sure why the Daughters of St. Paul took it out of print.

    I am not aware of any other tranlsation currently available in English. The bottom line is, none of them seem particularly good. Fr. Fox is right – we need a new translation!

  18. Sean says:

    gaude: As someone born after Vatican II I guess I’m just confused about what exactly it means to participate actively in something we’re supposed to watch. Can anyone clarify?

    For me (born during Vatican 2) it is the veiling of the old mass within Latin and ad orientem that invites participation far in excess of the new mass with its superficial immediacy of vernacular and ad populum. At the old mass I am consciously tuning in whereas at the new mass I am unconsciously tuning out.

  19. Cerimoniere says:

    Mr. Potter: that’s what I thought he must mean. However, not only are the Good Friday collects not especially known as “deprecationes,” they weren’t changed by 1962, except for the omission of “perfidiis” and “perfidiam” which he mentions separately, and of course the new prayer in place of the one for the Emperor.

    Or has he suddenly switched from comparing the 1570 and the 1962 missal, to comparing the 1570 with the 1969? I assumed the second paragraph was still talking about his discovery that John XXIII had made some changes in the liturgy!

    I suppose his article simply bears even less relation to reality than I had first thought. It is rather amusing to note that he conceives of the prayers against heretics and schismatics as referring primarily to the Orthodox and Protestants. I suppose in a way that’s true in the modern world, but they were hardly in the mind of those who first used those prayers. And of course, there is absolutely nothing in these prayers which speaks of the Muslims, unless one thinks of them also as heretics. Presumably he saw the reference to “infidels” without reading further.

  20. Geri says:

    Wasn’t Politi one of the poor souls quoted in the New Yorker piece on the Pope, who basically bemoaned the fact that the Pope had gone ahead and delivered the Regensburg liecture desptie the fact that he, Politi, had told the Vatican it would be inflmmatory, and then he, Politi, did his best to ensure that passions were indeed inflamed by the speech?

    Poor dear…

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

  21. gaude says:

    Thank you, Maureen and Sean.

    Sean, I just have one more observation. When I’ve been to a N.O. Mass in Latin (twice now) the Mass is also ‘veiled’ in the language. So if the N.O. Mass were said in Latin and said ad orientem, would it still be inferior to even the low, dialog Tridentine Mass? Thanks for helping me understand this.

  22. dcs says:

    The only “deprecationes” of which I am familiar are the ones in the Psalms . . . that were removed from the Divine Office when that was revised.

  23. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Accurate English will help the Pauline Missal. Pared down Latin and some odd choices of editorial cutting damage the Latin of the same Missal.

    Examples of what I mean.

    “…for our good and the good of all His Church.” [The Latin Pauline Missal has "Eccclesiae Suae SANCTAE" - His Holy Church]

    “…through my own fault” [one wonders how "mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa" could be so senselessly reduced.]

    “…but only say the word and I shall be healed”. [I am more than my soul, for the Latin reads "et sanabitur anima mea"; what was the point of eliminating that in the translation?]

    The Latin of the Pauline Missal eliminates the constant repetition of the saints during the Confiteor, changes psalms for the Lavabo, and exhibits many other weaknesses.

    So yes, Latin ad orientem Pauline Missal celebrations are still weaker than dialogue Masses.

  24. Andrew says:

    Actuosa means actual. A good modern English word for it is “engaged”.
    Comment by AM — 28 April 2007 @ 12:16 am
    ———————————————————-
    AM just gave me a sudden idea: why can’t there be a new translation of the Council documents? That would seem to be the sort of thing the holy father could help make happen.
    ———————————————————-

    Fr. Fox et ceteri:

    Not everything can be translated. Latin remains the Church’s language out of necessity. Not everything that can be said in Latin can be said in English. Actually, nothing that is said in Latin can be said in English. Languages are not like bricks: where one brick can be replaced by another. Languages are unique, irreplaceable, unsubstitutable. Latin can never become English as much as most of you (all of you?) might wish it to be so. I have a much better idea: why don’t we all learn Latin so well that we won’t need any translations. Especially priests: so that the words of Pope Pius XII will not apply to them: “sacrorum administer qui linguam latinam ignorat reputandus est lamentabili mentis laborare squalore.” (a priest who is ignorant of latin is to be thought of as one afflicted by a lamentable mental squalor).

    And, by the way, ‘actuosa’ does not mean actual. Not even close. If it was, how would you explain a sentence such as this: “Vita actuosa est, mors quieta (Lactantius).”

  25. Sean says:

    gaude: When I’ve been to a N.O. Mass in Latin (twice now) the Mass is also ‘veiled’ in the language. So if the N.O. Mass were said in Latin and said ad orientem, would it still be inferior to even the low, dialog Tridentine Mass?

    The new mass properly celebrated, in Latin, with ad orientem does approach the old mass but I find the shifting focus from chair, to lectern, to procession, to altar, to lectern, to sign of peace as dictated by the underlying structure of the new to distract rather than engage my attention. There is of course a lot more movement in an old high mass as compared to the economy of an old low mass but it is all much more intriguing and altar-centred than in the new equivalent which to me seems a little bombastic.

  26. Sean says:

    gaude, I would add that I first went to an old mass about ten years ago and really didn’t ‘get it’ at the time so disposition is important.