A response to a comment posted

Under the entry Summorum Pontificum: my intro comments and the text one Paul Dion, who inter alia is the theology editor for Parish World, takes Pope Benedict to task for the Motu Proprio. 

His comments exemplify some of the thought and attitudes of people who are opposed to Pope Benedict’s decsion.  He merits special focus:

I am an unabashed admirer of BXVI.  I have admired him since the late 50’s.  My admiration has never waned.  I admire him still, but I wholeheartedly disagree with him about his latest Motu Proprio.  I do not have a "mandatum", but I do have an STL, and I earned it by knowing Latin fluently. 

I have many reasons (about 4) that I can bring to the fore about why I am against this opinion of BXVI. 

You seem to be very sure of yourself in this matter. Since you have offered that you have an STL, could you kindly let us know in what field and from which institution?  I think it is germane to the discussion and you, after all, brought it up.  It will help me understand what your approach is.  A person steeped in liturgy will see this topic through a different lens than someone who studied pastoral theology.  Getting to the point, I am surprised that someone with an STL calls the teachings offered by the Pope and provisions he decreed in Summorum Pontificum an "opinion".  In a document like this, they are not opinions. 

The main [reason] is this:I think that it is diametrically opposed to the Mission of Jesus Christ to "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." (Mk 10; 17 – 30) True Catholics are disciples of Jesus.

This strikes me as rather a good example of proof texting.  I will wager our readers could find all sorts of Scripture passages that could take this in a different direction. 

Disciples are not only about taking care of themselves, they are about reaching out to those who are sick and weak and need the grace of God in them.  We are not true Catholics if we are not missionaries.  Latin does not feed missionaries.  It feeds those who are in love with what they feel when they hear a language that they do not even understand. 

How does frequenting Holy Mass in Latin prevent anyone from performing spiritual or corporal works of mercy?  Did it prevent St. Camillus of Lellis, or Bl. Theresa of Calcutta?  Mass in Latin was the Mass that formed them when they began their work.  Have we seen great figures like them raised up in the Church after the introduction of the vernacular?  There has been time, after all.

And from the point of view of the poor, no one will be constrained to hear Mass in Latin.  Mass in the older form will not be obligatory to anyone anywhere.  And even if this were the case, just because a person is poor, that does not mean either that he is so stupid as to not understand what is going on or that he cannot be taught. 

How does Latin prevent anyone from being ministered to? 

What is needed more than the vernacular is sound liturgical catechesis.  Once that is in place, Latin could enrich them, rather than limit them. 

Somehow when the Church’s liturgical language was only Latin the missionary work of the Church thrived in a way it does not today.  And while it is true that Catholics must be at the same time missionaries, one cannot at the same time a true Catholic and insist that people are ignorant.

Jesus never caved in to those who opposed him, even if they represented the majority.  He was carrying the message of God the Father, not the wishes of the discontent. This in and of itself, to me, is a terrible about face on the part of Josef Ratzinger.  Isn’t this the same guy who once said publicly, "if you don’t agree with the doctrine of the Catholic Church, you are free to go somewhere else?"

Worse and worse.  Jesus, being God, had different lights than anyone ever in the goverance of His Church.  Jesus’s reasons for what He did by far transcend our own.  We can strive to emulate Him, but we must do so in our own vocations and according to our own lights and the proper use of authority which instructs us.  Joseph Ratzinger has a vocation in the Church: he is Peter.  He exercises the Petrine Ministy.  These provisions in Summorum Pontificum are an act of Peter.  I think it very slippery to oppose Peter to the will of Christ in the governance of His Church. 

Furthermore, you seem not to have taken account of one the main purposes of Summorum Pontificum: it is intended to unite.  It is intended to gather into unity also those whose unity with the Church is in question along with foster the unity of all others.  It does so warmly and without recrimination.  In just such a way Christ invited many to come to Him.  Many whom He called found His teaching too hard and they did not following Him more closely. 

But was it Christ’s intention to drive them away by His invitation? 

Similarly, this invitation of Pope Benedict may not meet with perfect success in every case, but he cannot be faulted for not opening the door. 

It is Peter’s role to be the reference point of unity, not of division, though sometimes division must be sadly foreseen for the sake of integrity.  Of course people are free to leave the Church, but no one wants that people actually leave, though their departure might be foreseen. 

Finally, this "leaving the Church" because of Latin rhetoric just smacks of, well, hysteria.  It is a dramatic red herring.

I am not going anywhere, but I am not going to the Tridentine Mass either, even though I understand Latin and even though I can live the "Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi" to the letter.  I can also live the axiom of Paul, "Faith comes through hearing" (Romans 10;17).  That means that if your have to be reading the translation, you are not living the basic tenets of how to acquire nor how to grow your faith. 

You are very very sure of yourself, I think.   I am not so presumptuous as to consider these things easy to fulfill "to the letter".  If they are for you, God has given you special graces.

That said, today is the feast of the Chinese martyrs.  I recall reading the story of a little girl murdered by the enemies of Christ.  They did terrible things to her.  The only Mass this poor little Chinese girl had ever heard was in Latin.  In rural China they had no resources as we have today in wealthy Western countries.  She won an unfading crown of glory.  We could say the same for St. Maria Goretti or any of a number of saints whose names will pop into the minds of the readers here.

Say what you want, Latin is a dead language, there is no away that it can help to revivify the faith of the world. 

A moment ago you said you were fluent.  Or is that not, in fact, the case?  

Latin lives whenever it is spoken and received. 

Mr. Dion, I submit that even though you have an STL, you might not be qualified to make determinations about what can "help revivify the faith of the world".  Perhaps you might not be qualified to say that Mass celebrated also in Latin cannot help.

Do you think that this could be the reason why BXVI did not have the theological part of his Motu Propio translated?  How many bishops and priests do you think are going to be able to appreciate the finer points of the official language of the letter?  This is the 21st century, wake uop and make it God’s.

Latin, being the official language of the Church (therefore living) is the reference point.  No matter whether there are official translation or not, we have to consult the Latin.  I suspect the official translations are not ready yet, because they are taking care to do them properly.  I doubt there is anything nefarious involved. 

Since you are so fluent in Latin, perhaps you can use your knowledge to help people understand and love the document.  That is what a Catholic would do.  That would be missionary work, a true work of spiritual mercy: instruct the ignorant… correct those who err.

In the final analysis, I believe I may have more confidence in the intelligence of bishops and priests than you do.  The people most affected juridically by this document, bishops and priests, will understand the finer points. 

Benedict XVI, being a fine teacher and a master of his material, has always been able to make difficult things understandable.  This document is both teaching document and a juridical document.  Before the MP goes into force, there is time to discuss it.  Afterward, there is a Pontifical Commission which can clarify it.  

Many people think everything, including what happens at Mass, must be instantly comprehensible by everyone everywhere all the time.  That expectation merely calls for everything to be continually reduced to the lowest common denominator which, while not as low as you seem to think it is, is not a good expression of confidence in people who love Christ and will, from that love, desire to know more once they discover that the Faith is a deep ocean full of possibilities. 

I think the primary readership of this document, namely, bishops and priests, fit this description.  In their love for Jesus, the Church, and the flock, they will strive to understand and seek clarifications in the proper way and pass along what they understand.
 

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21 Responses to A response to a comment posted

  1. I swear if I hear (read) one more hack say something like “It feeds those who are in love with what they feel when they hear a language that they do not even understand.” I’ll just scream. It’s Latin, up until a couple of years ago every doctor, lawyer and man of letters took a couple of years of it on their way to an education. It’s not that difficult a language in the grand scheme of things.
    For a dead language there are quite a collection of books published in it. You can pick up Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis at Amazon for about twenty bucks. Perhaps Cattus Petasatus by Dr Seuss is more Mr. Dion’s speed.

  2. Le Renard says:

    The main [reason] is this:I think that it is diametrically opposed to the Mission of Jesus Christ to “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (Mk 10; 17 – 30) True Catholics are disciples of Jesus.

    And what did Jesus say?

    “He who hears you hears me; and he who rejects you rejects me; and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me” (Luke 10:16). And: “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven” (Matt. 18:18).

    No, Dion, it is your very opposition to the Vicar of Christ that opposes the Mission of Jesus Christ!

    We are not true Catholics if we are not missionaries. Latin does not feed missionaries. It feeds those who are in love with what they feel when they hear a language that they do not even understand.

    Have you disregarded the whole of Christian History???

    Latin became the official language of the Church since the 4th Century!

    Do you not know that Christianity was, for the most part, spread throughout the world due to Catholic missionaries? Not to mention, Catholic missionaries, the majority of whom were Latin Rite Catholics who adhered to the Roman Canon?

    Your very premise that Latin does not feed missionaries is contradicted by the whole of Christian History from the early Church to times as recent as the advent of the Novus Ordo!

  3. mike says:

    Padre Z,

    Can’t say I like your approach here – somebody’s meanspiritedness is coming thru and I don’t see the value in rehashing it. There must be a more positive way of addressing it.

    In the same breath – This blog brings me joy every day. Thanks!

    m

  4. sigil7 says:

    mike:

    while i see your point, at the same time–on his own blog–he writes this:
    “Istum judicium Benedicti decimi sexti pressionem sanguinem meum augmentare causat. Lex orandi, lex credendi per ipso violetur.”

    is that the same charitable response we need here? looks more like one of our brothers in Christ in need of a teaching moment by our shepherd.

    oremus pro invicem.

  5. Hammerbrecher says:

    Fr. Z,

    Good work. I think it was a very good rebuff. It wasnt too hard, that guy must have an STL from Liberal U where they forgot to teach liturgy…

  6. sigil7 says:

    中華殉道諸聖,為我們祈禱吧!

  7. RBrown says:

    Kudos to Paul Dion for having an STL, but he makes a common mistake by assuming that vernacular liturgy is somehow more pastoral. As I’ve noted before, almost every indicator of pastoral success is in the red since the vernacularization of the liturgy.

    He also says: “We are not true Catholics if we are not missionaries. Latin does not feed missionaries. It feeds those who are in love with what they feel when they hear a language that they do not even understand.” This is unpardonable error which basically says that strict contemplatives, e.g., St Bruno, St Robert of Molesmes, St Terese of Lisieux, St John of the Cross and Dom Prosper Gueranger (the father of the liturgical movement), are not true Catholics.

    BTW, St Terese is the patroness of missionaries.

    BTW2, Msgr Marcel Lefebvre was himself a missionary.

  8. Opinion

    “Summorum Pontificum”: Pope Benedicts’ Hermeneutic of Continuity
    By Deacon Keith Fournier
    © Third Millennium, LLC

    Introduction

    On December 22, 2005 , Pope Benedict XVI addressed his annual Christmas greetings to the Roman Curia. True to form, the message is theologically precise and deeply inspiring. We have a wonderful theologian in the current occupant of Peter’s chair. However, this expert theologian is also a true pastor of pastors with keen prophetic insights.

    Within this address he reflected upon the mixed implementation of the Second Vatican Council. He did so by asking several insightful questions and then answering them within a framework, a lens, what theologians call a “hermeneutic”. In fact, he contrasted two hermeneutics and then articulated the proper way to proceed, giving direction to all the Shepherds of the Church of Jesus Christ . I set forth a substantial portion of this address because it helps to understand his recent action of liberalizing the use of the Older Western Liturgical Rite:

    “…What has been the result of the Council? Was it well received? What, in the acceptance of the Council, was good and what was inadequate or mistaken? What still remains to be done? No one can deny that in vast areas of the Church the implementation of the Council has been somewhat difficult, even without wishing to apply to what occurred in these years the description that St Basil, the great Doctor of the Church, made of the Church’s situation after the Council of Nicea: he compares her situation to a naval battle in the darkness of the storm, saying among other things: “The raucous shouting of those who through disagreement rise up against one another, the incomprehensible chatter, the confused din of uninterrupted clamoring, has now filled almost the whole of the Church, falsifying through excess or failure the right doctrine of the faith…” (De Spiritu Sancto, XXX, 77; PG 32, 213 A; SCh 17 ff., p. 524).
    “We do not want to apply precisely this dramatic description to the situation of the post-conciliar period, yet something from all that occurred is nevertheless reflected in it. The question arises: Why has the implementation of the Council, in large parts of the Church, thus far been so difficult? Well, it all depends on the correct interpretation of the Council or – as we would say today – on its proper hermeneutics, the correct key to its interpretation and application. The problems in its implementation arose from the fact that two contrary hermeneutics came face to face and quarreled with each other. One caused confusion, the other, silently but more and more visibly, bore and is bearing fruit.

    “On the one hand, there is an interpretation that I would call “a hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture”; it has frequently availed itself of the sympathies of the mass media, and also one trend of modern theology. On the other, there is the “hermeneutic of reform”, of renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church which the Lord has given to us. She is a subject which increases in time and develops, yet always remaining the same, the one subject of the journeying People of God.

    “The hermeneutic of discontinuity risks ending in a split between the pre-conciliar Church and the post-conciliar Church. It asserts that the texts of the Council as such do not yet express the true spirit of the Council. It claims that they are the result of compromises in which, to reach unanimity, it was found necessary to keep and reconfirm many old things that are now pointless. However, the true spirit of the Council is not to be found in these compromises but instead in the impulses toward the new that are contained in the texts.

    “These innovations alone were supposed to represent the true spirit of the Council, and starting from and in conformity with them; it would be possible to move ahead. Precisely because the texts would only imperfectly reflect the true spirit of the Council and its newness, it would be necessary to go courageously beyond the texts and make room for the newness in which the Council’s deepest intention would be expressed, even if it were still vague.

    “In a word: it would be necessary not to follow the texts of the Council but its spirit. In this way, obviously, a vast margin was left open for the question on how this spirit should subsequently be defined and room was consequently made for every whim. The nature of a Council as such is therefore basically misunderstood. In this way, it is considered as a sort of constituent that eliminates an old constitution and creates a new one. However, the Constituent Assembly needs a mandator and then confirmation by the mandator, in other words, the people the constitution must serve. The Fathers had no such mandate and no one had ever given them one; nor could anyone have given them one because the essential constitution of the Church comes from the Lord and was given to us so that we might attain eternal life and, starting from this perspective, be able to illuminate life in time and time itself.

    “Through the Sacrament they have received, Bishops are stewards of the Lord’s gift. They are “stewards of the mysteries of God” (I Cor 4: 1); as such, they must be found to be “faithful” and “wise” (cf. Lk 12: 41-48). This requires them to administer the Lord’s gift in the right way, so that it is not left concealed in some hiding place but bears fruit, and the Lord may end by saying to the administrator: “Since you were dependable in a small matter I will put you in charge of larger affairs” (cf. Mt 25: 14-30; Lk 19: 11-27).

    “These Gospel parables express the dynamic of fidelity required in the Lord’s service; and through them it becomes clear that, as in a Council, the dynamic and fidelity must converge.

    “The hermeneutic of discontinuity is countered by the hermeneutic of reform, as it was presented first by Pope John XXIII in his Speech inaugurating the Council on 11 October 1962 and later by Pope Paul VI in his Discourse for the Council’s conclusion on 7 December 1965.

    “Here I shall cite only John XXIII’s well-known words, which unequivocally express this hermeneutic when he says that the Council wishes “to transmit the doctrine, pure and integral, without any attenuation or distortion”. And he continues: “Our duty is not only to guard this precious treasure, as if we were concerned only with antiquity, but to dedicate ourselves with an earnest will and without fear to that work which our era demands of us…”. It is necessary that “adherence to all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness…” be presented in “faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine, which, however, should be studied and expounded through the methods of research and through the literary forms of modern thought. The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another…”, retaining the same meaning and message (The Documents of Vatican II, Walter M. Abbott, S.J., p. 715).”

    The Motu Proprio: “Summorum Pontificum”

    On July 7, 2007 ( 07/07/07 ) Pope Benedict issued his long anticipated Motu Proprio liberalizing the use of the older Roman Rite for the Sacred Liturgy. It is often called the Tridentine rite because it is identified with the liturgical reforms of the Council of Trent. This form of the Liturgy was the Catholic Mass of the Western Church, as it was celebrated for centuries prior to the more recent reform of 1970. The term Motu Proprio is a Latin expression which simply means that this Papal decree was issued on the Holy Father’s his own authority. The title “Summorum Pontificum”, as with other Church teachings, simply comes from the first two words of the Latin text.

    This anticipated pontifical action has been the subject of extraordinary interest, intense speculation and much prayer among Catholics and other Christians for many months. Upon its release it was enthusiastically received in many circles. In others, it is being cast as some kind of “throwback” to a former age or, a rejection of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, this action of Pope Benedict XVI is a perfect example of the hermeneutic of continuity and reform of which he spoke in the 2005 address partially set forth above.

    I welcomed this action with great joy. I believe that it continues the “reform of the reform” the genuine ongoing work of liturgical reform which is currently underway in the Catholic Church. I am a Catholic Deacon who loves – and tries to live – the Sacred Liturgy. I currently serve as a deacon at a so called “Novus Ordo” Mass. That term means “new order” of service and refers to the Liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council. I have the privilege of assisting at the side of a priest who faithfully adheres to the proper rubrics of the Mass without improperly inserting any of his own innovations, because he understands his role as a priest at the heart of the mystery of our beloved Catholic Christian faith.

    Our Liturgies every weekend progress in both their formality and the use of Latin. We move from a “low Mass” in the early morning, said entirely in vernacular, to a “High Mass” with full choir and the use of incense at 11 A.M. Every Mass follows the rubrics as set forth in the General Instructions of the Roman Missal without variance. They are all quite beautiful, drawing the faithful into participation in the Mystery which is made present at the altar of sacrifice at every Mass.

    I am also authorized to serve the Divine Liturgy as it is celebrated by Byzantine Catholics. I received this approval several years ago from the Roman Rite Bishop who ordained me and Bishop John Elya, the now retired Eparch of all Melkite Greek Catholics. I requested the approval because I love the Eastern Liturgy and have a deep appreciation for Eastern Christian theology and worship. The “Divine Liturgy” is the Liturgy that all Eastern Christians, Orthodox and Catholic, have celebrated for centuries.

    Now, with the issuance of the Papal decree, I will learn to serve as a deacon at this beautiful ancient Mass, now made available, without any special permission, to any priest. Whether my current parish will offer this Mass or not, I do not know. However, I want to learn to serve as a Deacon at this Mass in order to be available at the side of a priest no matter which Liturgy he offers. The Liturgy is the very heart of the ancient Catholic faith.

    Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi

    This Latin maxim is roughly translated “The Law of Worship, the Law of Belief and the Law of Life”. It means that as we worship so we will believe and so we will live. This trajectory is crucial to understanding Pope Benedict’s recent action. The Divine Liturgy or Mass is not some formality that we engage in, subject to the whim of a celebrant and easily changed. Nor is one form superior to another. The Eucharistic Liturgy, properly and beautifully celebrated, is the Churches liturgy and a fountain of grace for all the faithful. Grace flows from the altar and is incarnated in the practice of the Catholic faith as it is lived within the Church. The Church really is the Body of Christ, sent into the world to continue the redemptive Mission of Jesus Christ.

    The Eucharistic Liturgy constantly nourishes the faithful and gives direction to the development of an authentically Catholic lifestyle which is meant to then inform a Christian “culture”, a pattern of living. When celebrated with the fidelity, dignity and centrality which it deserves, the Mass bears abundant fruit as evidenced in the piety of the faithful, the practice of authentic community and growth of true charity and holiness of life. In the words of the Catechism:

    “The Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life.’ “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.””The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of God’s action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit.” Finally, by the Eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all. In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith: “Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking.” (CCC. #1324-1327)
    The Church is not simply an organization or association where we Christians meet, a sort of organizational “add on” to the Christian life. The Church is Christian life because the Church is Christ, still present, risen from the dead, continuing His redemptive and sanctifying mission through the Holy Spirit in His Body. The Eucharistic Liturgy is not simply some kind of memorial service, it is the Sacrifice of Calvary made truly present and the very heart of our participation in the Trinitarian communion. The Church is fundamentally relational, a communion, the place of our continuing encounter with Divine Life, (grace), which is mediated through the Sacraments and most especially through the Eucharist.

    Through our Baptism, the Church has now become our home and our mother, the place in which we now live our lives in Christ. She is, properly understood, a Sacrament of Christ as He is the Sacrament of the Father: “The Church, in Christ, is in the nature of a sacrament – a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all men”. (Lumen Gentium# 1) The Church really is Christ’s Body and His Bride. This reveals the reason why the word “Mysterion” (Mystery), is so often used to describe the Church. That word is translated as “Sacrament” in the West. The Sacrament confected on the altar is Christ made present.

    Christ promised He would not leave us orphans. He has sent the Holy Spirit. The Magisterium is a gift, a manifestation of the Holy Spirit. What the Church teaches, Christ teaches. The grace mediated through the sacraments comes through Jesus Christ. This understanding of Catholic ecclesiology is more than an academic or theological concept. It should inform the way in which we live and how we worship in the Church. In the Church we come, in and through Jesus Christ, into communion with the Trinity. And, in the Church, we are joined, in Him, with one another and for the world.

    This kind of ecclesial identification is also more than a source of inspiration or piety for the Catholic Christian; it is to become the pervading reality of our lives, now lived in Christ. To perceive, receive and live this reality requires a continuing and dynamic, ongoing encounter, a continual conversion. That happens in the Church and, in a special way, is renewed at every Mass. The early Church Fathers spoke of the Church as “the world reconciled.” As sons and daughters of the Church we now carry forward in time the continuing redemptive mission of Jesus Christ who is the Head of His Body. In its treatment of this “mystery” of the Church, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

    “845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son’s Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is “the world reconciled.” She is that bark which “in the full sail of the Lord’s cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world.” According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah’s ark, which alone saves from the flood. [St. Augustine, Serm. 96, 7, 9: PL 38, 588; St. Ambrose, De virg. 18, 118: PL 16, 297B; cf. already 1 Pet 3:20-21] [30, 953, 1219]”
    At the heart of this ecclesial identity is the Divine Liturgy, the Mass. Sadly, too many of the faithful have suffered through Liturgies which have been less than what the Church has requested and directed. Sometimes this was “justified” by a misguided reference to the “spirit of the Council”.

    My sincere hope is that the liberalization of the use of older form of this mystery will raise the water level of all the proper Liturgical celebrations in the One Church ! May the hermeneutic of continuity be demonstrated and embraced by all of Christ’s faithful and, in particular by priests. May the Novus Ordo Mass, the Tridentine Mass and the Byzantine Liturgy, all be celebrated with the beauty, dignity and fidelity that the faithful deserve and may the Holy Spirit continue to guide the Church into this new missionary millennium.

    May Pope Benedicts’ Hermeneutic of Continuity continue the authentic reform of the reform.

    Note: Thomas Storck’s analysis is in preparation. Check back.

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  9. mike says:

    Siggy,

    I don’t savvy the Latin so I’ll take your word for it. Still, I’ve seen our man in better form – in this one case the discourse seems needlessly harsh and the clarity of the arguement is lost to me.

    m

  10. Paul Stokell says:

    Consider the audience…the Parish World site includes such gems as an article on the U.S. “deaconate,” barbecue tips and links to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Think of U.S. Catholic kicked down a notch.

    I have only a lowly MTS degree, but feel qualified to state: Oh, puhleeze.

  11. Paul Dion says:

    One final word. A motu proprio is opinion. It is considered, well researched opinion, but opinion nonetheless. Weighty opinion, but opinion, nonetheless.
    No, my STL is not in Liturgy. It is from a renowned pontifical university in Rome. Dated 1965.
    Even though Latin is the official language of the Roman Catholic Church, I still do not agree that it should be the language of prayer for those who do not understand it fluently. Even if they ask for it. Period.

  12. Le Renard says:

    Paul Dion:

    Where the Western Church is concerned, for centuries, the Mass was said exclusively in Latin.

    If Latin is so abhorrent a language and one that, in fact, is considerably detrimental to missionary work, then what a horrendous fluke it is that the Catholic Missionaries from the early church up to modern times (prior to the Novus Ordo) achieved such success in spreading Christianity to several parts of the world considering the Masses they celebrated were actually in Latin!

  13. Ted says:

    I am pained that so many judge others. I can only speak for myself, and I hope no one speaks for me, for who I am, and of my faith. When I hear the Latin of the Mass, the Faith of the Church comes to me. For when I actively participate at the Mass of St Gregory, my faith is nourished with those ageless words and beautiful actions that are fit to offer to a King; it has never been so in the bland vernacular. Why do people always want to take those beautiful things away from me and my Faith?

  14. Hammerbrecher says:

    Dion, Sorry I will side with the Holy Father and not your opinion. You have still not even made a real argument

  15. sigil7 says:

    Paul Dion:

    An “opinion”? It’s a legislative document from the hand of the supreme legislator of the Church, and the introduction which is not directives or prescriptions or proscriptions, etc., is the pope showing the reasons for– and the intent behind–his legislation, the “mind of the legislator”, so crucial in interpretation, regardless of whether the context is ecclesiastical or secular law…

  16. Le Renard says:

    Further, I doubt that the people these missionaries converted understood a word of Latin!

    But, by golly, then how did these folks developed into a Christian people, I wonder???

    And to think they actually ended up passing Christianity on down to future generations.

    Must’ve been a fluke!

  17. Mike says:

    I would like to know Mr. Dion’s response to Bl. Juniperro Serra’s efforts (and those if his fellow missionaries) in Alta California, as just one example of succesful missionary efforts undertaken with the Mass said in Latin (it being understood that latin is not the sole issue with regard to the preference for the ’62 missal). Would he have been more succesful if the Mass had been transalted into the vernacular? If so, would this not have been obvious? If missionary work was so hard with the Mass in Latin, why didn’t previous generations of missionaries request vernancular translations?

  18. Paul Stokell says:

    A side note: the MP now has its own Wikipedia article, which in its current form has its share of comments, criticism and discussion.

  19. DoB says:

    You know, its like a hug really.
    You can read/hear vernacular words that attempt to describe what a hug is, in a context where the act of hugging is hidden/unclear (NO mass)
    or
    you can receive a hug (and read its description if you like) (Classical Mass)
    Which is the better method to teach the nature of HUG and receive its bounty?

  20. Jay says:

    It is always Latin, the language people do not understand. Roman Missal is always bilingual, every page is in Latin and vernacular. We all can read, then what is the problem? This argument could be more suitable several hundred years ago when not many faithful could actually write and read. But despite of this, generations of poorly educated Catholics for ages lived and nourished their faith on Latin Mass, for the most important in the Mass is the Holy Sacrifice Priest offers for the remission of sins. We can participate in the Mass in the most proficient way by offering ourselves to God in union with the Sacrifice of Lord Jesus. If we follow the Missal, or say our private prayers or the Rosary it does not matter really.

  21. Paul Dion: One final word. A motu proprio is opinion. It is considered, well researched opinion, but opinion nonetheless. Weighty opinion, but opinion, nonetheless.

    Legislation is not opinion.

    No, my STL is not in Liturgy. It is from a renowned pontifical university in Rome. Dated 1965.

    Okay, mine is from the “Augustinianum”. In Patristics. It’s no secret.

    Even though Latin is the official language of the Roman Catholic Church, I still do not agree that it should be the language of prayer for those who do not understand it fluently. Even if they ask for it. Period.

    Your comment, friend, is opinion. I am glad you returned to respond.

    Now that Mr. Dion has responded, I will close off the comments, lest many people pile on. Mr. Dion can respond in e-mail and I can post what he sends if he desires.