Archbp. Ranjith interview in L’Osservatore Romano on liturgy – UPDATES

His Excellency Most Reverend Malcolm Ranjith, the intrepid Secretary of the CDWDS is in the news a great deal these days.  So much so, with so many interviews and comments that I am thinking he has been purposely set cat-like amidst the progressivist pigeons.

Today we also see what a different a new director for the Holy See’s daily L’Osservatore Romano can make.  Signore Vian is having an impact!

Here is the whole interview in Italian from the 19-20 November Italian edition.  I want to get it out there. 

The causa movens is the 60th anniversary of Pius XII’s great liturgical encyclical Mediator Dei.  Now that Pope Benedict has issued Summorum Pontificum, people are revisiting the Council and the Council’s roots.

Here is a representative excerpt in my translation:

Q: After the publication of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum there ignited again confrontation between the so-called traditionalists and innovators.  Does a contrast of this sort between the two make any sense?

Absolutely not.  There wasn’t and there isn’t a break between a before and an after, there is rather a continuous line.

Speaking of the Motu Proprio let’s go back instead to a topic just examined.  There was over time, slowly but surely better organized, a growing demand for the Tridentine Mass.  On the other side, fidelity to the norms for celebration of the sacraments continued to decline.  The more that fidelity diminished, the sense of beauty and awe in the liturgy, the more there grew requests for the Tridentine Mass.  So then, really, who really was asking for the Tridentine Mass?  Not only whose groups, but also those who had been shown little respect for the norms for worthy celebration according to the Novus Ordo.  For years the liturgy has endured too many abuses and many biships ignored them.  Pope John Paul II had made a sorrowful appeal in Ecclesia Dei adflicta which was nothing if not a call to order to the Church to be more serious in the liturgy.  The same thing happens with the Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum.  Even so, in certain circles of liturgists and liturgical offices this document was criticized.  The problem, therefore, wasn’t the request for the Tridentine Mass, as much as a limitless abuse of the mobility and dignity of the Eucharistic celebration.

In the face of such a situation, the Holy Father couldn’t be silent: as we see in the letter writteen to bishops about the Motu Proprio and also in his many discourses, he felt a profound sense of pastoral responsibility.  This document, therefore, beyong being an attempt to find unity with the Priesty Fraternity of St. Pius X, is also a sign, a powerful call to arms by the universale shepherd to a sense of seriousness [serietà, felt almost in the sense of Latin gravitas.]

Archbp. Ranjith also says that a document for a new Antiphonale is being worked on.  He speaks in very strong terms about the need to train seminarians well in Gregorian chant and the Latin language and to avoid an attitude of liturgical "creativity" in their formation.

He also speaks of architecture and mentions a study day on 1 December (which I will attend, btw).

UPDATE: 20 Nov 13:25 UTC

The great Fr. Finigan of the highly admired Hermeneutic of Continuity translated another part of the interview and added some interesting comments about L’Osservatore Romano and the new director.  Here is his translation (my emphases):

Is there an appeal also to those who form priests?

I would say yes. After all, faced by certain arbitrary and less serious conceptions of the liturgy, it must be asked what is taught in some seminaries.

We cannot approach the liturgy with a superficial and less than scientific attitude. This applies to those who adopt a “creative” interpretation of the liturgy but also for those who presume to establish too easily what the liturgy was like at the origins of the Church. A careful exegesis is always needed; we cannot throw out naive interpretations.

Above all, in some liturgical circles, there is a certain tendency to undervalue how much the Church matured in the second millennium of its history. They speak of the impoverishment of the rite but this conclusion is too banal and simplistic: we believe rather that the tradition of the Church is shown in a continuous development. We cannot say that one part is better than another: that which matters is the action of the Spirit in continuous growth, both in the high and low points of history. We must be faithful to the continuity of the tradition.

The liturgy is central for the life of the Church: lex orandi, lex credendi, but also lex vivendi. For a true renewal of the Church – so much desired by the Council – it is necessary that the liturgy is not limited to a solely academic study: it must also become an absolute priority in the local Churches. Therefore it is important that the proper importance should be given at the local level to liturgical formation according to the mind of the Church. In the final analysis the priestly life is strictly bound to what the priest celebrates and how he celebrates it. If a priest celebrates the Eucharist well, he is challenged to be consistent and to become part of the sacrifice of Christ. The liturgy thus becomes fundamental for the formation of holy priests. This is a great responsibility for the Bishops who can thus do so much for a true renewal of the Church.

This is a rich paragraph and Fr. F did well to present it.  I can make these observations.

  • Much, I daresay, most seminary liturgical formation was for a long time both shallow and narrow.  Extremely so.
  • Some people are of the mind that ancient is automatically better or somehow "more authentic".  That is not the case.  This error was operative at the infamous Synod of Pistoia and in much of the nonsense that led to and followed the liturgical debacle after the Council.  Pope Pius XII warned in Mediator Dei (nisi fallor) about a "false archeologizing", that is, an imposition of supposed ancient elements on today’s practice.
  • Many of the things some liturgical scholars assumed about ancient liturgical practice turned out to be false.  For example, many claimed that the Apostolic Tradtion of Hippolytus was an ancient anaphora.  Thus, it is a basis of the 2nd Eucharistic Prayer.  The Apostolic Tradition wasn’t an anaphora.  Also, the claims about the position of the altar and orientation of worship were eventually repudiated by titans of the liturgial sphere such as Jungmann and Bouyer, while men like Gamber were silenced by progressivists who controlled who published.  So, if someone makes a claim that X or Y was done "thusly" in the ancient Church, we had better check our facts.
  • In the event that we know with clarity how things were done, that doesn’t mean that we have to do it that way now.  There is growth and change also for the better!  For example, the deepening understanding of the nature of the Eucharist eventually produced unfathomable riches in every sector of the Church’s life.  
  • Not all times of liturgical change were good.  There were (and are) low points.  I think ARchbp. Ranjith is referring to much of today’s liturgical practice as a "low" point.  We might also remember that Joseph Ratzinger stated that not all Councils were that good or effective and it might have been better not to have them.  The point is, however, that we can also learn from the low points.  For example (and this freaks out the more radical trads), the way Holy Mass is celebrated with the TLM is probably far better, more careful, more reverent and also consciously aware of both the texts and the people in the congregation than it was for the most part before the reforms struck.  We do learn from low points as well.  Because the Holy Spirit really is at work in the Church to keep us from total disaster, we can endure questionable Councils, sinful Popes, and artifically imposed liturigcal reforms that sometimes devoled into irreverence.  Yes we can.
  • As Benedict XVI has pointed out, we are our rites.  The Eucharist (the Sacrament and also its celebration) is source and summit of Christian life.  Thus, how we deal with the Eucharist, how we prayer around It will have a reciprocal relationship with what we believe.  Liturgy affects every dimension of Catholic life.  Therefore, since we all have a duty to shape the world, each according to his vocation, when we change Mass or celebrate it in a certain way, Holy Church’s liturgy changes the world.  Also, there is such a strong and constitutive connection between the priest and the Mass, and this who and where the Church is, that liturgy must be central to the life of every local Church.  This is why I said that Summorum Pontificum is all about priests.  Greater familiarity with the older form of Mass will change how many younger priests understand themselves.  It will change how they say the Novus Ordo.  Thus, the whole life of the Church will change (intra).  This in turn changes the impact the Church has on the wider world (extra).  There is a direct connection between the two recurring motos here at WDTPRS.  "SAY THE BLACK – DO THE READ" and "Save the Liturgy – Save the World"  These are connected by a close bond.

L’arcivescovo Ranjith interviene nel dibattito sulla liturgia
Fedeltà al Concilio

Maurizio Fontana
A sessant’anni di distanza dalla pubblicazione dell’enciclica di Pio XII Mediator Dei, il dibattito sulla liturgia è quanto mai aperto e vivo:  la recente entrata in vigore del motu proprio Summorum Pontificum - con il quale Benedetto  XVI ha concesso la possibilità di celebrare l’Eucaristia secondo il messale tridentino senza dover chiedere il permesso del vescovo – ha alimentato un confronto che a partire dal Concilio Vaticano II non è stato, in realtà, mai sopito.
Ne "L’Osservatore Romano" di domenica 18 novembre, Nicola Bux, proprio richiamandosi alla Mediator Dei, ha riaffermato l’importanza di un dibattito ampio sulla liturgia, portato avanti "senza pregiudizi e con grande carità":  un confronto – ha specificato – necessariamente guidato dalla Congregazione per il Culto Divino e la Disciplina dei Sacramenti.
Su questi temi abbiamo intervistato il segretario della Congregazione per il Culto Divino, l’arcivescovo Albert Malcom Ranjith.

 

Partiamo proprio dalla Mediator Dei:  possiamo riassumerne gli aspetti qualificanti?

Con l’enciclica Mediator Dei, Pio XII – sulla base anche di quanto affermato da Pio X nel motu proprio Tra le sollecitudini – cerca di presentare ai fedeli una sintesi teologica dell’intima essenza della liturgia:  si sofferma a coglierne le origini e la definisce come l’atto sacerdotale di Cristo che rende lode e gloria a Dio e – soprattutto attraverso il suo sacrificio – effettua la volontà salvifica del Padre. In questo senso Cristo è al centro della preghiera e del ruolo sacerdotale della Chiesa.
"Il Divino Redentore – leggiamo nell’enciclica – volle, poi, che la vita sacerdotale da Lui iniziata nel suo corpo mortale con le sue preghiere e il suo sacrificio, non cessasse nel corso dei secoli nel suo Corpo Mistico che è la Chiesa". In sostanza l’enciclica evidenzia che il culto non è il nostro, ma è quello di Cristo nel quale tutti noi siamo inseriti. Più o meno è la linea che Benedetto XVI ha offerto nei suoi scritti liturgici prima e dopo la sua elezione:  non siamo noi che compiamo l’atto liturgico ma in esso ci conformiamo all’atto liturgico celeste che già sta accadendo in eterno.

L’enciclica di Pio XII "sulla sacra liturgia" anticipò di sedici anni la Sacrosantum Concilium:  quali rapporti possiamo trovare fra i due documenti? C’è una continuità fra di essi? Davvero – come ha scritto Bux – senza la Mediator Dei non si può comprendere appieno la costituzione conciliare?

Si può senz’altro affermare che la riforma liturgica preconciliare fu una sorta di apertura verso ciò che sarebbe poi successo nel Concilio Vaticano II.
Del resto, il fatto che la Sacrosantum Concilium sia stato il primo documento dell’assise ecumenica conferma non solo l’importanza primaria della liturgia per la vita della Chiesa, ma anche che evidentemente i padri conciliari avevano già a disposizione gli strumenti pronti per procedere a una rapida definizione e al rinnovamento della liturgia. Si deve poi ricordare che la maggior parte degli esperti che avevano lavorato per guidare la riforma preconciliare, sono stati integrati e coinvolti nella preparazione della Sacrosantum Concilium.
C’è insomma una continuità pratica che fa il paio con la continuità teologica:  la Sacrosantum Concilium infatti – pur  nella spiccata preoccupazione pastorale  di  rendere  la  liturgia  più  efficace e partecipata – esprime bene il concetto della partecipazione alla liturgia celeste. Questo aspetto della Mediator Dei in un certo senso confluisce in maniera naturale nella Sacrosantum Concilium. Anche guardando all’impostazione dei due documenti, troviamo più o meno uno stesso schema compositivo. I legami appaiono chiari:  la Sacrosantum Concilium continua la grande tradizione della Mediator Dei, così come la Mediator Dei si era posta sulla linea dei precedenti pontefici, in particolare di Pio X.

Di fronte a questa continuità vanno forse superati certi pregiudizi sulla Chiesa preconciliare e in particolare sullo stesso Pio XII.

Certamente. Del resto il cardinale Ratzinger – nel Rapporto sulla fede – parlava della distinzione tra una interpretazione fedele del Concilio e un approccio piuttosto avventuroso e irreale allo stesso, portato avanti da certi circoli teologici animati da quello che veniva definito lo "spirito del Concilio" e che lui invece definisce "anti spirito" o Konzils-Ungeist. Tale distinzione si può cogliere anche relativamente a quanto accaduto in materia liturgica:  in diverse innovazioni introdotte si possono infatti riscontrare delle differenze sostanziali tra il testo della Sacrosantum Concilium e la riforma postconciliare portata avanti. È vero che il documento lasciava spazi aperti all’interpretazione e alla ricerca, ma ciò non vuol dire che esso invitasse a un rinnovamento liturgico inteso come qualcosa da realizzare ex novo; al contrario, esso s’inseriva pienamente nella tradizione della Chiesa.

Come  lei   stesso ha  ricordato,  dalla Mediator  Dei  ai  documenti  conciliari la centralità di Cristo nella liturgia è sempre affermata con chiarezza e vigore:  la cosiddetta Chiesa postconciliare ha saputo incarnare pienamente questa realtà?

Con questo tocchiamo un tasto doloroso. C’è infatti un problema pratico:  il valore delle norme e delle indicazioni dei libri liturgici non è stato pienamente capito da tutti nella Chiesa. Faccio un esempio. Quello che accade sull’altare è ben spiegato nei testi liturgici, evidentemente, però, certe indicazioni non sono state prese del tutto sul serio:  c’è infatti una certa tendenza a interpretare la riforma liturgica postconciliare utilizzando la "creatività" come regola. Questo non è permesso dalle norme. La liturgia in certi luoghi non sembra riflettere il suo cristocentrismo ma esprime invece uno spirito di immanentismo e di antropocentrismo. La verità è ben diversa:  un vero antropocentrismo deve essere cristocentrico. Quello che succede sull’altare è un qualcosa che non operiamo noi:  è Cristo che agisce e la centralità della figura di Cristo sottrae quell’atto al nostro governo. Noi siamo assorbiti e ci facciamo assorbire in quell’atto, tanto che alla fine della preghiera eucaristica pronunciamo la stupenda dossologia che recita:  "Per Lui, in Lui e con Lui".
La tendenza "creativa" cui accennavo non è permessa dalle istruzioni dei libri liturgici. Purtroppo essa deriva da una cattiva interpretazione dei testi o forse da una scarsa conoscenza di essi e della liturgia stessa.
Dobbiamo renderci conto che la liturgia ha una peculiare caratteristica "conservativa" – ma non nell’accezione negativa che oggi alcuni danno alla parola. Nell’Antico Testamento emerge una grande fedeltà ai riti e lo stesso Gesù ha continuato a essere fedele al rituale dei padri. In seguito, la Chiesa ha proseguito su questa stessa linea. San Paolo afferma:  "Io trasmetto a voi ciò che ho ricevuto" (1 Corinzi, 11, 23), e non "ciò che ho inventato". Questo è un aspetto centrale:  noi siamo chiamati a essere fedeli a qualcosa che non ci appartiene ma che ci viene dato; dobbiamo essere fedeli alla serietà con cui si celebrano i sacramenti. Perché dovremmo riempire pagine e pagine di istruzioni se poi ciascuno si ritiene autorizzato a fare quello che vuole?

Dopo la pubblicazione del motu proprio Summorum Pontificum si è riacceso il confronto tra i cosiddetti tradizionalisti e innovatori. Ha senso una contrapposizione del genere?

Assolutamente no. Non c’era e non c’è una cesura tra un prima e un dopo, c’è invece una linea continuativa.
Parlando del motu proprio ritorniamo piuttosto al discorso appena affrontato. Riguardo alla messa tridentina c’è stata una domanda crescente nel tempo, via via sempre più organizzata. Di contro, la fedeltà alle norme della celebrazione dei sacramenti continuava a calare. Più diminuivano tale fedeltà, il senso della bellezza e dello stupore nella liturgia, più aumentava la richiesta per la messa tridentina. E allora, di fatto, chi ha realmente chiesto la messa tridentina? Non solo quei gruppi, ma anche coloro che hanno avuto poco rispetto per le norme della celebrazione degna secondo il Novus ordo.
Per anni la liturgia ha subìto troppi abusi e tanti vescovi li hanno ignorati. Papa Giovanni Paolo II aveva fatto un accorato appello nell’Ecclesia Dei afflicta che altro non era se non un richiamo alla Chiesa ad essere più seria nella liturgia. La stessa cosa è avvenuta con l’istruzione Redemptionis sacramentum. Eppure in certi circoli di liturgisti e uffici di liturgia questo documento è stato criticato. Il problema quindi non era la richiesta della messa tridentina, quanto piuttosto un abuso illimitato della nobiltà e della dignità della celebrazione eucaristica.
Di fronte a ciò il Santo Padre non poteva tacere:  come si nota nella lettera scritta ai vescovi sul motu proprio e anche nei suoi molteplici discorsi, egli sente un profondo senso di responsabilità pastorale. Questo documento perciò – oltre ad essere un tentativo di cercare l’unione con la Fraternità Sacerdotale san Pio X – è anche un segno, un forte richiamo del pastore universale a un senso di serietà.

È un richiamo anche a chi forma i sacerdoti?

Direi di sì. Del resto di fronte a certe concezioni arbitrarie e poco serie della liturgia c’è da chiedersi cosa s’insegna in alcuni seminari.
Non ci si può accostare alla liturgia con atteggiamento superficiale e poco scientifico. Questo vale per chi adotta un’interpretazione "creativa" della liturgia, ma anche per chi presume troppo facilmente di stabilire come era la liturgia alle origini della Chiesa. Occorre sempre un’attenta esegesi, non ci si può lanciare in ingenue interpretazioni.
Oltre tutto in alcuni circoli liturgici c’è una certa tendenza a sottovalutare quanto la Chiesa ha maturato nel secondo millennio della sua storia. Si parla di impoverimento del rito, ma questa è una conclusione troppo banale e semplicistica:  noi crediamo invece che la tradizione della Chiesa si manifesti in uno sviluppo continuo. Non possiamo dire che una parte è migliore di un’altra:  ciò che conta è l’azione dello Spirito in continua crescita, pur negli alti e bassi della storia. Noi dobbiamo essere fedeli alla continuità della tradizione.
La liturgia è centrale per la vita della Chiesa:  lex orandi, lex credendi, ma anche lex vivendi. Per un rinnovamento vero della Chiesa – desiderato tanto dal Concilio – è necessario che non si limiti la liturgia a uno studio solo accademico, ma che questa diventi una priorità assoluta nelle Chiese locali. Perciò è importante che alla formazione liturgica secondo la mente della Chiesa sia data la giusta importanza a livello locale. In fin dei conti la vita sacerdotale è strettamente legata a quello che il sacerdote celebra e a come lo celebra. Se un sacerdote celebra bene l’Eucaristia è sfidato a essere coerente e a diventare parte del sacrificio di Cristo. La liturgia diventa così fondamentale per la formazione di sacerdoti santi. È questa una grande responsabilità dei vescovi che possono così fare tanto per un vero rinnovamento della Chiesa.

Un aspetto non secondario del dibattito sulla liturgia è senz’altro quello dell’arte sacra, a cominciare dall’importante capitolo della musica liturgica. Tra l’altro "L’Osservatore Romano" proprio nei giorni scorsi ha affrontato questi temi riportando delle considerazioni non certo rassicuranti di monsignor Valentín Miserachs Grau.

La Congregazione sta ancora studiando il documento per il nuovo antifonale, abbiamo anche consultato lo stesso Pontificio Istituto di Musica Sacra e speriamo di poter arrivare a una rapida conclusione.
Cantare significa pregare due volte e questo vale soprattutto per il canto gregoriano che è un tesoro inestimabile. Il Papa nella Sacramentum caritatis ha parlato chiaramente della necessità di insegnare nei seminari il canto gregoriano e la lingua latina:  noi dobbiamo custodire e valorizzare tale immenso patrimonio della Chiesa cattolica e utilizzarlo per rendere lode al Signore. Bisogna sicuramente lavorare ancora su questo aspetto.
Vi sono poi nell’uso comune molti canti che non si rifanno alla tradizione del gregoriano:  è importante assicurare che siano edificanti per la fede, che alimentino spiritualmente chi partecipa alla liturgia e che dispongano realmente il cuore dei fedeli all’ascolto della voce di Dio. I contenuti, poi, devono essere controllati dai vescovi per evitare, ad esempio, tendenze new age. A questo riguardo anche nell’uso degli strumenti musicali bisogna esercitare un grande senso di discrezione:  che tutto sia solo per l’edificazione della fede.

Nel campo dell’architettura sacra il dialogo con gli specialisti sembra più delineato; più difficoltoso sembra invece quello con gli artisti figurativi. Se alcuni grandi artisti contemporanei appaiono coinvolti nell’interpretazione dei temi sacri, ciò accade molto meno per la produzione pensata appositamente per i luoghi di culto. È solo un problema di committenze o il dialogo tanto sostenuto da Paolo VI necessita di nuovo impulso?

Il Concilio ha dedicato un intero capitolo all’arte sacra. Tra i principî affermati, essenziale è quello del legame tra arte e fede.
Il dialogo è fondamentale. Ogni artista è una persona tutta particolare, ha un suo stile di cui è molto orgoglioso. Bisogna saper entrare nel cuore dell’artista con la dimensione della fede. È difficile, ma la Chiesa deve trovare le vie per un dialogo più profondo.
Il 1° dicembre ci sarà – sul tema – una giornata di studio in Vaticano organizzata dalla Congregazione:  noi contiamo che possa essere un’occasione per dare impulso a questo dialogo e alla promozione dell’arte sacra.

 

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

77 Responses to Archbp. Ranjith interview in L’Osservatore Romano on liturgy – UPDATES

  1. Richard says:

    What a great service Fr. Z would perform to translate this whole thing…

  2. RichR says:

    I am thinking he has been purposely set cat-like amidst the progressivist pigeons

    http://aycu37.webshots.com/image/34196/2001563012849347978_rs.jpg

  3. Bill Haley says:

    Fr. Z,

    For some reason, Firefox says it is done pulling up the front page of your blog when the screen is empty.

    Luckily, I have your blog saved as a custom link or some such thing in my toolbar where it scrolls out all your posts. I can access any of the posts individually, but not your main page.

    Bill

  4. prof. basto says:

    The Pope should include him in the list for Saturday’s Consistory.

    If an Archbishop deserves a Red Hat, Mons. Ranjith is that man.

  5. prof. basto says:

    “…In diverse innovazioni introdotte si possono infatti riscontrare delle differenze sostanziali tra il testo della Sacrosantum Concilium e la riforma postconciliare portata avanti. È vero che il documento lasciava spazi aperti all’interpretazione e alla ricerca, ma ciò non vuol dire che esso invitasse a un rinnovamento liturgico inteso come qualcosa da realizzare ex novo; al contrario, esso s’inseriva pienamente nella tradizione della Chiesa.”

    So true!

  6. Andrew says:

    Il Papa nella Sacramentum caritatis ha parlato chiaramente della necessità di insegnare nei seminari il canto gregoriano e la lingua latina …

    The Pope in Sacramentum Charitatis spoke clearly of the need to teach Gregorian chant and Latin in the seminaries …

    What was that? Did you say Latin? Did you menttion chant?

  7. Archbp. Ranjith also says that a document for a new Antiphonale is being worked on.

    I find this extremely interesting in light of something I just read in Lazlo Dobszay’s book “The Bugnini-Liturgy and the Reform of the Reform.” In it, he looks at the current Liturgy of the Hours, and points out that with the multiplication of antiphons, it would highly impractical (I think he says virutally impossible) to develop an antiphonale for the Liturgy of the Hours that would cover the whole liturgical year. I have an old Roman Antiphonale for the old office and it is a rather large tome. I’m not saying he is absolutely correct, but the fact that it would probably have to be at least two large volumes would make it rather onerous IMHO.

    Then that will have to be translated into the vernacular.

    Of course part of the sad thing is that the reform of the office called for music and we’re only hearing about this being done over 35 years after the fact?

  8. If he’s referring to the “Antiphonale Monasticum,” I believe it was last revised in 1934. It is published by Solesmes and is available through GIA.

  9. Malta says:

    I love Ranjith, but I don’t buy this: “Pope John Paul II had made a sorrowful appeal in Ecclesia Dei adflicta which was nothing if not a call to order to the Church to be more serious in the liturgy. The same thing happens with the Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum. Even so, in certain circles of liturgists and liturgical offices this document was criticized.”

    It is well know that the JPII’s own commission of Cardinals and Bishops had recommended twenty years ago doing exactly what Benedict has just done with Summorum Pontificum, stating that the vetus ordo was never abrogated and yet he continued the de-facto suppression.

    JPII’s Vatican heirarchy also suppressed every form of traditionalism while the real schismatics and heretics were coddled. That episode of our Church should not be sugar-coated….

  10. Jordan Potter says:

    Malta fantasized: JPII’s Vatican heirarchy also suppressed every form of traditionalism while the real schismatics and heretics were coddled.

    “Real schismatics and heretics”? You don’t mean the Eastern Orthodox, do you?

    And if John Paul II’s Vatican hierarchy suppressed every form of traditionalism, then how do you explain Ecclesia Dei adflicta and the FSSP and the ICK? Are you sure you’re not just engaging in your usual wild inaccuracies and irresponsible hyperbole?

  11. Richard says:

    I, another Richard, also hope that Fr. Z will translate the entire interview for Italian-challenged readers.

  12. Malta says:

    Jordan,

    Ecclesia dei was a result of SSPX, not a concept in the Pope’s mind. Do you think the pope, sua sponte, initiated his directives in light of SSPX? If so, you are mistaken (and I say that with all charity). You say I “fantasized” about the then Vatican’s suppression of traditionalism while the true heretics ruled the roost. I couldn’t do so in the amount of space I am permitted on this comment box, but I exhort you to read “The Great Facade” by Thomas E. Woods Jr. and Christopher Ferrera. These are two highly intelligent, faithful, Catholics in-line with the modern Church who devastate the notion that everything was peachy-keen during JPII’s pontificate (though he, like any Pope, is a fallible human being).

    FSSP, as you may know, was, again, a direct result of SSPX, and itself was on the fringes of the modernistic Church, and was kicked around, by the prelates in the Vatican for a while. Here’s a fact of history worth chewing on by those wishing to sugar coat this dark history of our Church:

    “In 1986, Pope John Paul II convened a commission of nine Vatican Cardinals to provide answers to two questions: 1) Did Pope Paul VI authorize the bishops to forbid the celebrations of the traditional Mass? 2) Does the priest have the right to celebrate the traditional Mass in public without restriction, even against the will of his bishop?

    Vatican Cardinal Alfons Stickler, at a 1995 Christi Fidelis conference in Fort Lee, New Jersey, related that he was one of the Cardinals on the Commission. Cardinal Stickler said, “the answer given by the nine cardinals in 1986 was ‘No, the Mass of Saint Pius V (the Tridentine Mass) has never been suppressed’.”

    So, JPII suppressed tradition in spite of the findings of this commission. This is no light matter. JPII was a principal drafter of Gaudium et Spes, so it is no surprise that he wanted to advocate VII at all costs, but I think he unfairly suppressed the tridentine mass TWO YEARS before ecclessia dei….

  13. Tom says:

    The Archbishop said that bishops who try to restrict the Traditional Latin Mass have disobeyed the Holy Father. Does that apply to priests who refuse to receive the Motu proprio with joy?

    I’ve approached priests in Dallas about celebrating the TLM and they’ve refused.

    The last priest I talked with said that the Motu proprio is only about nostalgia. Then he said something about only an existing “stable” group that I didn’t follow well as it was convoluted. Then said that Jesus didn’t celebrate the Mass in Latin. He said celebrating Mass in Latin doesn’t make sense anymore as we are far removed from Vatican II. He said had we kept Latin in the Mass following Vatican II, then it would make more sense to use Latin today.

    Finally, after a lot of zigging and zagging, he said that he refuses to celebrate the Mass in Latin…period!

    Are such priests considered rebellious against the Pope?

  14. Templar says:

    Tom;
    My understanding is that if your parish priest refuses to offer the TLM, then you should appeal to your Bishop, who is obligated to find a way to make it available within your deanery (not necessarily in yor parish). Assuming “a stable group” exists, the Bishop must find a parish that has a structure that is liturgically appropriate (most modern churches are not suited for the TLM) and must also arrange for a priest who is capable of doing it. The later part is much easier than the former part, and to be honest, I don’t think I have read anything in writing about a proper structure, but it does strike me as necessary. No matter how hard I twist my mind I can’t picture my NO parish offering a “real” TLM in the Baptist Auditorium it calls a Church. Maybe that’s just perception and not real need.

    Anyway, if you want to debate your Pastor try reminding him that VII did not remove Latin from the mass, and in fact, he’s falling down on the job if he doesn’t know Latin, since VII states it shall be given pride of place in the liturgy and even an NO mass should contain Latin. granted my parish is as bad as yours sounds, but facts are facts, and all Priests should know Latin, and all should use it in the celebration of the Liturgy, yes even in an NO mass.

  15. momoften says:

    UNFORTUNATELY IF A QUALIFIED PRIEST IS AN ASSOCIATE PASTOR HE IS DOOMED
    TO THE POLITICS OF THE DIOCESE OR PASTOR OR BOTH. HE HAS NO RECOURSE TO
    SAY A PUBLIC LATIN MASS

  16. Bernard says:

    Tom, the “stable group” argument should be cleared up soon, but the point behind it seems to be that a group which has an ongoing interest in attending the EF has a right to do so, rather than a 0ne-off request.
    This got me thinking though; if I ask a priest to say Requiem Mass OF and he accepts the commission, I understand that he may not necessarily say the Mass himself, he may give it to another priest to say. Fine. As long as the Mass is said I don’t care which priest says it! So if I make a request for Requiem Mass EF will the priest now, if he does not say the Mass himself, have to find a priest who will?
    I’m obviously not a group and won’t have an ongoing interest in Masses for the Dead but I will be one of many who prefer the Requiem in the Old Rite.

  17. xathar says:

    Fr. Z,
    Actually, it’s the Apostolic TRADITION of Hippolytus (215) to which most liturgists refer. (The Apostolic Constitutions were a later 4th century Syrian work which includes parts of the the AT.) The entire work is not an anaphora. Rather, the prayer following the ordination of a bishop in the AT is an anaphora which the author of this work (probably not Hippolytus of Rome) offers as a sample on which the new bishop could elaborate. Alternatively, he could also just come up with his own on the spot, according to the AT.

    What I have always found strange is that the reformers wanted so much to get away from the Roman Canon. Yet, they took the anaphora found in the AT and reconstructed it to follow the outline of the Canon (eg placing a consecratory epiclesis prior to the Institution Narrative)!

  18. danphunter1 says:

    “Joseph Ratzinger stated that not all councills were that good or effective and it might have been better not to have them”
    Exactly. See Vatican Council II.
    It is so heartening to hear our Pope and Archbishop Ranjith acknowledge this truth in all humility.
    God bless you.

  19. Maria says:

    Father Z–“As Benedict XVI has pointed out, we are our rites.” Whence this line? When explaining the New Mass–Old Mass thing to people I sometimes wish to have an expression like this handy (as opposed to “lex orandi, lex credendi” which is TRUE but source is a problem).

  20. Patrick T. says:

    Isn’t this the same as the Antiphonale? If not, what is the difference?

    “The Mundelein Psalter is the first complete one-volume edition containing the approved English-language texts of the Liturgy of the Hours with psalms that are pointed for the chanting of the Divine Office….It uses the Grail Psalms and contains Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer. It also includes the Sanctoral cycle and the Office for the Dead.”

    Just curious…Thanks

  21. If he’s referring to the “Antiphonale Monasticum,” I believe it was last revised in 1934. It is published by Solesmes and is available through GIA.

    I would doubt he’s referring to the Antiphonale Monasticum, since it already exists. A problem with that is that it is only for the Benedictine Office which Solemnes developed for themselves after the council. Monastically, that is a problem because so many monasteries around the world abandoned the traditional Benedictine Divine Office (something which was even stable in its form than even the Roman Office), and then each monastery either adopted the current Roman Liturgy of the Hours, or just created their own form of the Divine Office. There isn’t as much unity in the Benedictine world nowadays regarding the Divine Office. Just about every monastery I’ve visited (be it Benedictine, Cistercian, or Trappist) have each had a different form of the office.

    I would think that the Archbishop is referring to the Roman Antiphonale, which has been needed since the reform of the Roman Office. Ironically there was such an emphasis on the how the ideal was to sing the Liturgy of the Hours, but it’s been practically impossible since there is no music for it (unless you make up your own … and Mode VIII’s reciting tone gets boring after awhile). Again the problem is the monumental task of having to compose new chants for all the new antiphons, responses, and intercessions which were created.

  22. Tom,

    Yes, there are a lot of priests in Dallas who are extremely hostile towards any tradition. Most have been formed poorly and thus use, in Archbishop Ranjith’s words, “naive interpretations.” However, I know that the traditional Latin Mass situation in Dallas is about to improve on at least a couple of fronts. Be patient.

  23. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Some people are of the mind that ancient is automatically better or somehow “more authentic”. That is not the case. This error was operative at the infamous Synod of Pistoia and in much of the nonsense that led to and followed the liturgical debacle after the Council. Pope Pius XII warned in Mediator Dei (nisi fallor) about a “false archeologizing”, that is, an imposition of supposed ancient elements on today’s practice.

    Indeed he did, paragraphs 61-64.

  24. Henry Edwards says:

    For example (and this freaks out the more radical trads), the way Holy Mass is celebrated with the TLM is probably far better, more careful, more reverent and also consciously aware of both the texts and the people in the congregation than it was for the most part before the reforms struck.

    Perhaps this is what is meant by the common remark that \”Vatican II has done more for the celebration of the older Mass than for the newer Mass\”.

    In that the average quality of celebration of the older Mass has gone uphill since Vatican II, whereas the average quality of celebration of the newer Mass often appears to have gone downhill since its introduction (even if the Council itself is not to blame for this).

    As for those \”more radical trads\”, I wonder whether it\’s the improvement observed in the typical celebration of the TLM to which they object, or the implication that this improvement should be credited to the Vatican II Council.

  25. dcs says:

    As for those “more radical trads”, I wonder whether it’s the improvement observed in the typical celebration of the TLM to which they object, or the implication that this improvement should be credited to the Vatican II Council.

    It’s the implication that everything wasn’t hunky-dory in the years prior to the Council.

  26. Neal says:

    I’m one of the “more radical trads” of which you write, and I’m not at all freaked out by the suggestion that the tridentine Mass is celebrated better now than before Vatican II. I’ve always thought that if it was celebrated worthily before the Council the Novus Ordo would not have been welcomed as it was. Nevertheless, I don’t think the Second Vatican Council deserves praise for it, any more than Martin Luther deserves praise for the Counter-reformation.

  27. Jeff Pinyan says:

    xathar: Rather, the prayer following the ordination of a bishop in the AT is an anaphora which the author of this work (probably not Hippolytus of Rome) offers as a sample on which the new bishop could elaborate. Alternatively, he could also just come up with his own on the spot, according to the AT.

    Where in the AT does it make those two statements, that it is provided as a sample, and that the newly-ordained bishop could make such a prayer up on the spot?

    I agree that the particular anaphora is for the occasion of a newly-ordained bishop; it does not appear to be one of general use.

  28. englishcatholic says:

    Neal,

    In his ‘Response to Luther’ St Thomas More compared Luther to a stick with which God was beating the Papacy in order to reform it.

    He concluded the analogy by saying that the Papacy would be saved but that the stick (Luther) would be thrown into the fire once the work was done.

    Maybe a new counter-Reformation is not so far away, and it will be in response to the crisis of the last forty years.

    However many of those responsible for the crisis will surely not escape the fire once the work is done.

  29. Dana Cole says:

    RichR–

    Great photo! Thanks so much.

  30. Bernard says:

    We may not have had the Novus Ordo without Vatican II yet there were certainly innovations in the Old Mass well before the Council. Experiments in France, Holland, USA with Mass facing the people, dialogue in the venacular and this in parish churches after WWII, not merely in monastries.
    The Second Vatican Council gave its blessing to some of this, rather than making it up. It accelerated an ongoing process which may have happened anyway, without Vatican II.

  31. xathar says:

    Jeffrey,

    AT 9:3 — “The bishop shall give thanks according to all that was said above. 4It is not at all necessary
    that he prays with the very same words given above, as though by an effort of memory giving
    thanks to God. Each shall pray whatever is according to his ability. 5If someone has the ability
    to pray a lengthy and solemn prayer, that is well. If someone else, in praying, offers a short
    prayer, this is not to be prevented. That prayer must only be correct in orthodoxy.”

  32. Dorothy says:

    Thank you, Templar, for the good phrase “to find a way to make [the TLM] available”. It will form a useful basis for a gentle, diplomatic approach to my parish priest.

  33. michigancatholic says:

    Jordan,

    From a human perspective, remember that Ecclesia Dei was brought into being within 3 (!) days of the trouble with Abp. Lefebre. It was an attempt to contain the damage and what was feared, at the time, would be a schism of large proportions. For them, it worked, although to a lesser degree than the powers that were would have liked.

    I don’t pretend to think that the SSPX exists as she does by the power of God–it’s all a complicated issue with many facets. However, the existence of Ecclesia Dei had, I believe, a meaning and a genesis which would have shocked some of the people in charge of it, had they known then. It was destined to keep the extraordinary rite alive and in constant use, and I believe that was the will of God. God does, as they say, draw straight with crooked lines and this is one of the greatest examples of it I have ever seen.

    This will all sort itself out over the course of years. The Church will endure and so will the liturgy, regardless of the tacky and sick manipulations of those among us who pander in that sort of thing. God, and the Church, is bigger than all of that. This just happens to be one of those periods in church history where things are a stupid mess. We’ve had them before, unfortunately we’ll probably have them again. It’s just that it’s not great living in one of those periods…..but oh well. We didn’t get to pick, right? God picks–for whatever reason.

  34. michigancatholic says:

    No, dcs. It’s an implication that the ones who wanted an egotistical party all along are in the other building with the ones they’ve misled, unfortunately. That means all the monkey business is over there, so voila, the post-V2 extraordinary form is presented in its essence. It’s been through a trial and survived.

    It takes guts and perseverance to find and attend the extraordinary form. Standing up to powerful people who call you names is always tough and this has been extra tough. I have a lot of respect for many of these people who stuck with the extraordinary form. Say what you want, it won’t change that.

    The N.O. needs to go through a good hard trial to clean it up.

  35. Jordan Potter says:

    Malta, you claimed that Pope John Paul II suppressed every form of traditionalism. I showed that he did not. It doesn’t matter *why* he permitted some forms of traditionalism — the only thing that matters here is that you said something that is undeniably false, and you are now welcome to retract your false statement.

    Best regards,

    Jordan

  36. Bernard of Arezzo says:

    I think the Jordan/Malta debate has a supressed premise. The premisis that EO/TLM = Tradition and OF/NO = Untradition. Most people on this web page would probably sign off on that — but would JP II have? Or did he believe that the NO was a revision of the TLM rather than a complete break from it. I mention this because the debate is less about what he did or didn’t do, but the attitudes behind it. The options are (a) his attitude was anti-tradition [Malta] or (b) he was not anti-tradition [Jordan]; but I wonder if there isn’t a third more complex option (c) he didn’t believe the new mass was a break with tradition — i.e. he disagreed with the assumed premise. Just a thought.

  37. michigancatholic says:

    Jordan,

    The Holy Spirit prevents some things from ever happening. It’s part of the papal office. Some things one is not allowed to do no matter what–the Holy Spirit holds one’s hand back. It’s happened many times in history.

    Regardless of what transpired in this case, which we may never know, this action of the Holy Spirit is completely reliable. You do know this, right? Let’s give credit where credit is due. And not put too fine a point on the human aspects because we just don’t know some of these things. We may never know why things happened the way they did on the human level.

  38. Bernard: did [JPII] believe that the NO was a revision of the TLM rather than a complete break from it.

    I can answer that question.

    When I worked at the PCED I read the notes of the meetings of the Commission of Cardinals along with the Holy Father when they gave their views. The Holy Father remarked that he thought that the newer form was an outgrowth of the older and was the same Roman Rite. I don’t remember the exact words, after all these years. I have precise notes on this, but they are buried somewhere in files I will not be able to put my hands on quickly.

    Whatever His Holiness thought, our present Holy Father, Benedict now gloriously reigning, would have a very different view, in my opinion.

  39. michigancatholic says:

    Bernard,

    I’m not sure PJP2 ever actually dealt with it. Someone correct me if you have an example that says otherwise, please.

    It’s well known that PJP2 didn’t deal with abuses in the liturgy because his actions and words seemed to display unconcern with the liturgy. How this could be, I never was able to figure out. But you know, I am not alone on this one.

    Huge abuses occurred during those years. People were allowed to do pretty much anything that popped into their heads. IF you doubt me, I can show you pics of bare breasted lectors at papal masses and very weird pics from Assisi. Meanwhile all over, we had clown masses and you name it, with the complicity of the hapless USCCB crowd. I don’t need to go on–you can bring all of the hilarity right up on your computer screen anytime you want. It’s all a matter of history. YOu can see it in black & white. Heck, you can see it in living color.

    The real slap in the face is that they allowed it to be photographed over and over and it just kept happening! And it circulates on the Internet to this day to prove that point. That’s the contempt with which we were viewed in those days. Did they think we woudn’t notice or that we were too stupid to know the difference???

    So the answer to your rumination, I think, is that no one was watching the farm. It’s not a matter of having taken a private attitudinal stance. It was a matter of caring about the liturgy enough to do the job that was needed, regardless of outlook.

  40. Jordan Potter says:

    Bernard said: I think the Jordan/Malta debate has a suppressed premise.

    I don’t, but then there isn’t really any “Jordan/Malta debate” per se. There’s just Malta falsely claiming that John Paul II suppressed every form of traditionalism, and me pointing out that, whatever his motives and whatever the immediate causes, he in fact permitted and gave his blessing to certain forms of traditionalism. I’m just inviting Malta to moderate his rhetoric. As for other issues that Bernard or michigancatholic have mentioned, those are all beyond the scope of the purpose and intent of my comments in this thread.

  41. michigancatholic says:

    What’s history is history, Jordan. It needs no defense by you or anyone else. It’s all public. Interpret it any way you like. Fussing over it one way or another doesn’t change a thing.

  42. Bernard of Arezzo says:

    Thanks for your answer Father — that was what I suspected.

  43. michigancatholic says:

    You’re telling me that PJP2 thought that what we’ve had to put up with (including the Assisi fiasco & [use your own photos here]) were natural sequelae consonant with the Latin Rite proper? Ummm. That’s even worse than I thought.

    I know in one of his last memoirs he said that perhaps he thought he had been too lenient. (ya think?) I had hoped perhaps it was just good-natured weakness and not something else.

  44. Tom says:

    Thank you, Roman Sacristan. It’s really tough in Dallas. My parish and a lot of parishes around me go in for everything but Tradition. My parish is almost all altar girls, so many EM’s, and poor quality music.

    I talk to people in parishes offices around town and it seems they all hate Tradition. I don’t understand how it’s come to this. We have the FSSP priest near downtown Dallas, but the chapel is tiny and not located in the center of the area.

    I just don’t know how the Vatican’s new attitude toward the TLM will affect the situation in Dallas. The people at the Chancery are so opposed to Tradition, and the priests around the diocese want no part of the TLM. I don’t know if the Vatican can really change things here.

  45. danphunter1 says:

    Tom,
    What your chancery needs is a giant dose of justice Achille Ratti style.
    Guns a blazin’
    Name takin’ to follow.

  46. Henry Edwards says:

    …it seems they all hate Tradition…..are so opposed to Tradition…

    Isn’t this just a polite euphemism for “they deny fundamental beliefs of the Church and the Catholic Faith”?

    If so, why be polite about it? It seems to me that we lose the battle for truth when we confine ourselves to fuzzy euphemisms in lieu of plainly stated truths.

    Isn’t the purpose of such euphemisms to suggest that there are varieties of quite different but still acceptable Catholic belief? That, for instance, Catholics can have different beliefs as to whether the Mass is a propiatory sacrifice, the same sacrifice as the Sacrifice of the Cross. As to whether the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ are confected at the words of consecration, and are Really Present so long as the Sacred Species remain.

    In my experience, expressed “opposition to Tradition” is virtually always a mask for unbelief in such fundamental de fide doctrines, rather merely a result of different tastes regarding language, music, posture, style, vestments, etc.

    People who deny such unambiguous truths do not accept the Faith of the Church as expressed by Pope and Magisterium, from ancient times to the present. Why allow unfaithfulness to be obscured by polite niceties?

  47. Jeff Pinyan says:

    xathar: AT 9:3—“The bishop shall give thanks according to all that was said above. [4] It is not at all necessary that he prays with the very same words given above, as though by an effort of memory giving thanks to God. Each shall pray whatever is according to his ability. [5] If someone has the ability to pray a lengthy and solemn prayer, that is well. If someone else, in praying, offers a short prayer, this is not to be prevented. That prayer must only be correct in orthodoxy.”

    Ah, thank you. I missed that part.

  48. Flambeaux says:

    Tom,

    I used to live in the Dallas Diocese and I now live in the Fort Worth diocese.
    I’ve been in the Metroplex for the last 12 years.

    If you’re looking for refuge, I might be able to suggest a few places.

    Email me off thread at flambeaux_bearer AT yahoo DOT com.

  49. Just out of curiosity, why has Archbishop Ranjith been in the news so much lately?
    Is it normal for a secretary of a congregation to be so outspoken compared to the head of the congregation. I’m not saying that Cardinal Arinze never talks, but I am just curious as to why Archbishop Ranjith has been in the limelight lately. Not that I am complaining, it is great to hear the honest observations he is making.

  50. RichR says:

    That original photo wasn’t as blended as I could have done it. Here’s a touched up version…

    http://aycu01.webshots.com/image/34160/2006068300992886003_rs.jpg

    Fr. Z., can you display it?

  51. Jim R. says:

    With regard to Pope John Paul II and tradition, I think it is fair to say that maybe at the highest levels of the Church, the Novus Ordo may very well look like an organic change from the traditional Mass. At least more so than at the average parish level. Consider the Christmas Midnight Mass from the Vatican. A lot of Catholics probably think that this is the Traditional Mass because it is in Latin. And it is very beautiful.

    I found an interesting comment in a booklet I have commemorating the 10th anniversary of the TLM in Pittsburgh. It’s about the introduction of the Novus Ordo Mass in Pittsburgh on Pentecost Sunday May 1970. “Buried on page five of the Saturday Pittsburgh Press was the small headline”Catholics to Start New Rite of Mass; Pentecost Sunday to be First for Use in Pittsburgh Diocese.” Why was this seen as such a non-event? In reality the Roman rite of Mass had already been altered slowly and incrementally over the preceeding six years. This new Missal of Paul VI was just the latest in a seeminly unending series of visible changes in the Catholic Church.

    Probably on that Pentecost Sunday in 1970, most Catholics in the Pittsburgh Diocese still had altar boys who dressed in cassocks, knelt for Communion at an altar rail, had Holy Communion distributed by only the priests, sang traditional Catholic hyms accompanied by an organ, etc, etc, etc. So the Novus Ordo Mass probably didn’t seem like a big deal at the time. I think it was the other cumulative changes over the years that caused a “tipping point” where people started realizing something was wrong. For most people it wasn’t 1970, but probably sometime much later. And remember, Pope John Paul II was elected only eight short years after introduction of the Novus Ordo. He almost had to give it his full support and give it more time to try to work. Now we have the luxury of over thirty seven years experience to look back and compare where we were, where we are and where we should have gone.

  52. Jordan Potter says:

    michigancatholic said: What’s history is history, Jordan. It needs no defense by you or anyone else. It’s all public. Interpret it any way you like. Fussing over it one way or another doesn’t change a thing.

    I’m not really sure why you directed that comment my way, but the historical record certainly does need to be defended. If history records something, and someone comes along and says something that conflicts with the historical record, then, voila!, you whip out the historical record and demonstrate what actually happened.

    John Paul II did not suppress every form of traditionalism. History is clear on that point at least.

    Oh look, a rabbit! Let’s try and catch it!

  53. Paul says:

    “Pope John Paul II was elected only eight short years after introduction of the Novus Ordo. He almost had to give it his full support and give it more time to try to work. Now we have the luxury of over thirty seven years experience to look back and compare where we were, where we are and where we should have gone.”

    Good comment Jim R.! Remember, too, that John-Paul II needs to be taken in his own terms, and not just based on liturgical preoccupations, or in terms of others’ chief concerns. In terms of tradition, his main concern was devotional, not liturgical. His preferred institutional strategy was to circumvent those who opposed him, by going “straight to the people,” rather than cleaning out the curia, or whatever. In every papacy after all, their is just one pope, but work enough for a dozen of them. Also, I dare say, because he was so bright a fellow, many failed to realize (and still do) that there was an element of the “Holy Fool” about him, as St. Francis. Definitely more a “pipe you a tune” sort than “wail you a dirge.” But God writes straight by crooked lines, including by the different priorities and personae of his pontiffs.

  54. Habemus Papam says:

    Difficult to understand how John Paul II can have believed the Novus Ordo to be one with the old Rite when Paul VI had repeatedly referred to his Missal as a New Rite.

  55. Jordan Potter says:

    HP said: Difficult to understand how John Paul II can have believed the Novus Ordo to be one with the old Rite when Paul VI had repeatedly referred to his Missal as a New Rite.

    And what was the name of the New Rite? If it was a new rite, then it couldn’t be the Roman Rite drastically reformed and rearranged, but had to be something completely new, a rite that didn’t exist before. So, what did Paul VI call his alleged new rite?

  56. Habemus Papam says:

    JP: according to l’Osservatore Romano 4 December 1969 he called a New Rite of the Mass;

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/P6691126.HTM

  57. Maria says:

    To Dallas Tom: Rumor is the FSSP group has permission from the diocese to build or acquire a church. Don’t look for anything soon, but it seems in the next few years things should get better.

  58. Patrick T. says:

    Habemus,

    The word Rite has two meanings one as a form of religious practices (“The Roman Rite”) and two as a specific liturgical form (“the rite of baptism”, “the rite of marriage”, “the rite of the Mass”). It is clear that the document to which you linked is using it in the latter sense. It is not saying there is a new Rite distinct from say, the Byzantine or Latin Rite, but rather there is a new rite of the Mass for the Roman Rite.

    Hope that helps!

  59. Habemus Papam says:

    JP said: And what was the name of the New Rite? If it was a new rite, then it couldn’t be the Roman Rite drastically reformed and rearranged, but had to be something completely new, a rite that didn’t exist before. So, what did Paul VI call his alleged new rite?

    The point is not so much the fact that Paul VI promulgated a New Rite, as that John Paul II was ignorant of the fact that the Missal of Paul VI was a change of the Roman Rite.

  60. Habemus Papam says:

    Patrick T; Indeed. The Missal of Paul VI is a New Rite of the Mass. However John Paul II apparently belived this Rite to be a continuation with, of, the Old Rite.

  61. Jordan Potter says:

    HP said: The point is not so much the fact that Paul VI promulgated a New Rite, as that John Paul II was ignorant of the fact that the Missal of Paul VI was a change of the Roman Rite.

    John Paul II obviously was not ignorant of the fact that the Pauline Missal was a change of the Roman Rite. It’s silly even to suggest such a thing. How could John Paul II, of all people, be the only Catholic in the entire hierarchy not to know that the Roman Rite had undergone a major reform during the 1960s?

    And if the point isn’t really that Paul VI promulgated a wholly new rite, how come you said, “Difficult to understand how John Paul II can have believed the Novus Ordo to be one with the old Rite when Paul VI had repeatedly referred to his Missal as a New Rite”?

  62. Habemus Papam says:

    JP, I refer you to Fr. Zs comment above concerning the 1986 Commission of Cardinals when Pope John Paul II said that he thought that the newer form (of the Mass) was an outgrowth of the former and was the same Roman Rite.
    Hence my comment that I find it difficult to believe that JPII was unaware of the fact that Paul VI called his Missal a New Rite.

  63. Malta says:

    Jordan wrote: “Malta, you claimed that Pope John Paul II suppressed every form of traditionalism. I showed that he did not. It doesn’t matter why he permitted some forms of traditionalism—the only thing that matters here is that you said something that is undeniably false, and you are now welcome to retract your false statement.”

    Here is what I really wrote: “JPII’s Vatican heirarchy also suppressed every form of traditionalism while the real schismatics and heretics were coddled. That episode of our Church should not be sugar-coated….”

    Since you are into details to the point of Sophistry, you should also not forget the nuance of the arguments being made in these comment boxes, where, clearly, we’re not at our absolute most exacting best.

    Here is an interesting question-answer from one of America’s newest Cardinals:

    http://www.americancatholic.org/messenger/nov2005/feature4.asp

    There is a lot of nonsense contained therein, Cardinal or not.

  64. Malta says:

    to follow up with my preceding post, for instance, what is THIS all about:

    “two years later, the Council had mandated change. I remember the first concelebration in St. Peter’s with cardinals using golden straws to receive the Precious Blood”

    Remember this was spoken by a Cardinal now in our Church; “golden straws” sucking the most Sacred Blood of our Lord? He says it so non-chalant, like it’s a tradition dating back centuries!

    Although Cardinal Foley is certainly a very worthy recipient of his title in many way, he is not above reproach in many way. He is a human being, too, afterall, even if we respect his position extraordinarily.

    Here is another quote I would like to touch upon concerning Foley:

    “As a professor, it was difficult to follow the globetrotting activities of our quasi-international ethics and metaphysics professor. Some days in class, other days out with the papal entourage of John Paul II, but always keenly concerned about the proper education and happiness of his students at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary.”

    http://www.catholic.org/featured/headline.php?ID=5175

    the appellation of a “globetrotting,” “quasi-international,” “metaphysics” professor could apply to John Paul II. In fact, I often wonder if JPII was so concerned with “trotting” the globe, and being a celebrity-politician, than he sort of forgot about the Church in the process, and allowed all sort of aberrations to come creeping in?

  65. Ut videam says:

    Malta said:

    “two years later, the Council had mandated change. I remember the first concelebration in St. Peter’s with cardinals using golden straws to receive the Precious Blood”

    Remember this was spoken by a Cardinal now in our Church; “golden straws” sucking the most Sacred Blood of our Lord? He says it so non-chalant, like it’s a tradition dating back centuries!

    Ahem.

    It certainly is a tradition. In fact, it\’s part of the ceremonial of a papal Mass according to the usus antiquior. See the comments on this earlier post for a discussion of this liturgical object of the papal sacristy, known as a fistula in Latin. It\’s also referenced in a Catholic Encyclopedia article, The Liturgy of the Mass, contributed by none other than the Reverend Father Adrian Fortescue.

  66. Ut videam says:

    Hrm. The links disappeared from my post. Here they are again:

    Earlier post with comments referencing the fistula:
    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2007/07/pope-might-celebrate-older-mass-on-1st-sunday-of-advent/

    Catholic Encyclopedia article “The Liturgy of the Mass” by Fortescue: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09790b.htm

    BONUS: An excerpt from Archdale A. King’s 1957 Liturgy of the Roman Church, describing the ceremonial of the Solemn Papal Mass in detail (including the use of the fistula):
    http://pagesperso-orange.fr/civitas.dei/PapalMass.htm

  67. michigancatholic says:

    Jim R,
    Au contraire, I don’t know what little burg you go to Mass in, but everywhere I’ve been (and I looove to travel), the N.O. is a dramatic departure from the extraordinary form. They’re absolutely different from the get-go, only the barest framework is the same.
    I’ve been to mass in St. Peters, St. John Lateran, Santa Maria Maggiore, Notre Dame in Paris, cathedrals in Montreal, Toronto, Madrid, Avila, Assisi, Lourdes, many shrines and more. I’ve been to mass in Chicago, Washington DC, San Antonio, and more parish churches than I can count, including some tiny ones here in rural Michigan. It is most emphatically NOT the case that the small churches are more faithful to the rubrics than the large ones==often quite the opposite, actually. And it is most emphatically NOT the case that ANYWHERE one can count on the priest to follow any rubrics whatsoever. It helps to be in a place where you know the priest is reliable, but even that can change.

  68. David2 says:

    Malta certainly is in error in his disdain for the \”golden straws\” – actually called fistula. He says and part of the traditional Solemn Papal Mass. It IS a \”tradition dating back centuries\”!!

    \”The Epistle is sung first in Latin by the Apostolic subdeacon and then in Greek by the Greek subdeacon, and likewise the Gospel first in Latin by the cardinal-deacon and then in Greek by the Greek deacon. While elevating the Host and the chalice the pope turns in a half circle towards the Epistle and Gospel sides. After he has given the kiss of peace to the assistant priest and assistant deacons, he goes to the throne, and there standing receives Communion. The deacon elevates the paten containing the Host covered with the asterisk, and places it in the hands of the subdeacon, which are covered with the linteum pectorale, so that the subdeacon can bring it to the throne, then the deacon elevates the chalice and brings it to the pope at the throne. The pope consumes the smaller part of the Host, and communicates from the chalice through a little tube called the fistula. He then divides the other part of the Host, gives communion to the deacon and subdeacon, and gives them the kiss of peace, after which he receives the wine of the purification from another chalice and purifies his fingers in a little cup. The deacon and subdeacon, having returned to the altar, partake of the chalice through the fistula, the subdeacon consumes the particle of the Host in the chalice, and both the deacon and the subdeacon consume the wine and the water used in the purification of the chalice. The pope returns to the altar to finish the Mass. After the blessing the assistant priest publishes the plenary indulgence. At the end of the last Gospel the pope goes to the sedia gestatoria, puts on the tiara, and returns in procession as he had entered. \”

  69. michigancatholic says:

    The point is not so much the fact that Paul VI promulgated a New Rite, as that John Paul II was ignorant of the fact that the Missal of Paul VI was a change of the Roman Rite.

    Whether he was ignorant of it or not (BTW, it would have been a dazzling display of cluelessness if he hadn’t known), the fact is that he acted as though he didn’t know. The explanation I have heard over and over from high places is that he just didn’t care about the liturgy enough to fix it. Amazing. Utterly amazing.

    BTW, PJP2 ignored and punished traditionalists at every turn. Many were the times when progressives mocked him to his face and uttered schismatic words when he visited South America, North America and Europe. And he effectively did nothing.

    A certain strange archbishop who will remain unnamed even took a wife by a noncatholic ceremony more than 5 years ago–in the middle of his heretical and schismatic ravings–and got a second chance with hugs as a result. Even though he had developed an alliance with a schismatic pseudo-pastor-making machine and also another religion in the USA. Only finally in 2006 was he dealt with by Pope Benedict.

    The historical record must stand and it must record the truth. I’m sorry but sugar-coating it doesn’t make it true. Lying about the things you didn’t like won’t make them go away. It happened.

  70. michigancatholic says:

    How could John Paul II, of all people, be the only Catholic in the entire hierarchy not to know that the Roman Rite had undergone a major reform during the 1960s?

    On that being an interesting question, we agree. Perhaps he didn’t want to be the slightest bit analytical about it. Perhaps he didn’t want to admit it or own up to it. Perhaps he wished it were so. Perhaps in a general sort of way he might have thought it would have been admitting “someone made a mistake.” [There is huge confusion on whether this can happen and maybe he just didn’t want to go there or didn’t see how it could be that way since he was a “big picture” type of generalist intellectually.] Maybe he thought it didn’t matter in light of other concerns. Maybe he was trying to appeal to whom he thought were “modern people” or something of the like. Maybe he was trying to position the church re globalism and thought the rest was less important somehow. We may never know. Or maybe he just hadn’t noticed? (Hmm.)

    However, I can tell you that if you ask anyone here–from the plainest of people to the most grand–“Did the mass “change” completely & dramatically in the 60s & 70s?” they will *to a person* tell you *YES*, no matter what their disposition toward it was/is. IN addition, they will look at you like you have two heads. (Even the young who have been triumphantly regaled with the stories about how bad the church used to be.)

  71. Rose in NE says:

    Comment by michigancatholic: “However, I can tell you that if you ask anyone here—from the plainest of people to the most grand—”Did the mass “change” completely & dramatically in the 60s & 70s?” they will to a person tell you YES, no matter what their disposition toward it was/is. IN addition, they will look at you like you have two heads. (Even the young who have been triumphantly regaled with the stories about how bad the church used to be.)”

    Perhaps most especially the young who have “discovered” the ancient mass. Just ask my 13-year-old son who after attending his first TLM asked in a shocked voice, “Mom, why was the mass changed–the old one is so much better?!” Out of the mouths of babes.

  72. Neal says:

    My mother took my little brother to a novus ordo Mass one Sunday because they couldn’t make it to the one vetus ordo Mass in town. Halfway through the celebration he leaned over and asked if she was sure it was a Catholic church that they were in.

  73. Jordan Potter says:

    Malta said: Here is what I really wrote: “JPII’s Vatican heirarchy also suppressed every form of traditionalism while the real schismatics and heretics were coddled. That episode of our Church should not be sugar-coated….”

    Since the Vatican hierarchy acts at the behest and by the authority of the Pope, there is no functional difference between falsely claiming that John Paul II suppressed every form of traditionalism and falsely claiming that John Paul II’s Vatican hierarchy suppressed every form of traditionalism. If the hierarchy at the Vatican, of whom John Paul II was the head, had suppressed every form of traditionalism, then there shouldn’t have been any Ecclesia Dei adflicta, nor any FSSP or ICK. John Paul II’s Vatican hierarchy permitted certain forms of traditionalism. I think they should have permitted and encouraged far more than they did, but the fact remains that they didn’t suppress every form of traditionalism.

    Since you are into details to the point of Sophistry, you should also not forget the nuance of the arguments being made in these comment boxes, where, clearly, we’re not at our absolute most exacting best.

    Pointing out that what you said isn’t true is sophistry? Are you sure you know what that word means?

    This isn’t something that can be “nuanced” away, Malta. Either John Paul II’s Vatican hierarchy suppressed every form of traditionalism, or it didn’t. You know full well that it (he) didn’t, and your argument is not going to hit the mark if it includes incorrect assertions. You say that we’re not at our absolute most exacting best in these comment boxes, which is very true, and I suppose that’s the closest I’m going to get to a concession on your part that your words were hyperbolic at best.

  74. michigancatholic says:

    Jordan,

    As has been pointed out many times, Ecclesia Dei appeared a mere THREE DAYS INCLUSIVE after the excommunication of Abp Lefebre. It was designed to prevent a schism that they thought might occur. IT was NOT put in place for the nourishment of people. IT was put in place to prevent a stampede by throwing people a bone. That’s not what happened, BTW, because God used it, but that is how it was born.

    The other documents that you cite were interpreted myriad ways, because they could be. AND the traditional or even the mainstream interpretations were never, ever enforced by the Holy See. Never.
    The HOly See put out a document; the progressives laughed; things went on business as usual (before the internet, very few ever heard of these documents); the pope shrugged and bought another airplane ticket.

    I wish you could tell me it was different and have it be true. But it was what it was. I was there and so were many others, in pain over the situation which never seemed to get better.

  75. michigancatholic says:

    The FSSP and the ICK were not the work of the Vatican, BTW. They were founded by faithful & enterprising people to serve the needs of Ecclesia Dei–the document that was promulgated 3 days after the excommunication of Abp LeFebre in order to prevent a feared stampede.

    Otherwise, the majority of the bishops were allowed,even encouraged, to treat members of the FSSP & ICK like lepers all these years, with absolutely no interference from the Vatican. IT was a span from 1988 til this last year and coincided almost exactly with the reign of PJP2. Anyone who’s paid the least bit of attention to the Traditionalist world (or even been conscious, heh) knows what people who love the traditional mass have lived through. There was no help, no help whatsoever.

    (The same hopeless situation existed for those people willing to attend the N.O. but distressed by the constant and pervasive heresy and error preached from the pulpit, pushed in catholic schools and retreat houses, shoved down the throats of RCIA candidates. The coincidence of error and force during those years should not be ignored.)

    WHEN you could find the older form of mass, you had to travel for miles, usually. And it was the business of the powers that be to move it every few years or discontinue it outright intermittently–and not tell anyone–in attempts to decimate it. Priests who were brave enough or dedicated enough to say it were treated like pariahs and given the worst assignments. To this day, to hear an extraordinary mass, one usually has to go to the boondocks or to the ghetto.

    People who attend the traditional mass have been called names and reviled in public for all this time! Come on. Get real. Where have you been all this time?

  76. Malta says:

    ut videam and davidr, thanks for the clarification on the “golden straws,” mea culpa.

    Jordan, it is sophistic to take a quote, omit portions, turn it into something else, and then attack the new quote. Perhaps this was unintentional on your part.

    I certainly do think that a Pope’s “Vatican hierarchy” can take actions that the pope wouldn’t necessarily take himself. For instance, the The Great Facade, we read:

    “Meanwhile, the Vatican does next to nothing about the doctrinal dissent and sexual scandal that riddle the Catholic hierarchy, yet is quite careful to monitor the traditional seminaries of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter for any signs of deviancy from postconciliar correctness. At the same time, traditionalists are herded into reservations know as ‘indult Mass center,” where the received and approved ancient liturgy of the Roman Rite is treated as if it were a strain of anthrax that must be contained at all costs.” (The Great Facade, Thomas E. Woods Jr., Christopher Ferrara, Remnant Press, 2002, pg. 394.)

    Obviously written before Summorum Pontificum, the book pretty well states the obvious: traditionalists, under JPII Vatican hierarchy, were suppressed even while they were tolerated. FSSP and ICK were tolerated (to avoid schism) but not promulgated by the Vatican. I’m not sure how much of the suppression was due to JPII or his hierarchy. It should be stressed that Ecclesia Dei, under JPII, was created not because of JPII’s love for traditionalism, but to avoid a defection of Catholics to groups such as SSPX. I am sure that JPII was also motivated by a spirit of love and wanting to care for his flock, but I think he, personally, could have cared less about the Vetus Ordo mass. Remember the JPII was a major drafter of Gaudium et Spes: he was a VII aficionado and promulgator until the day he died. In his mind, I am fairly certain, VII really was a positive turning point in the Church; a supplanting of the crusty old Church with a new “springtime.” God rest his soul.

  77. michigancatholic says:

    And people who have screamed and yelled and called names for all these years were wrong. There is no “old church” and “new church.” There is no “old gospel” and “new gospel.” There is no “new way” other than Christ, who has himself been continuously present with the Catholic Church for the whole time of her existence. There is no point in “Singing a New Church,” or talking about a “New Pentecost.” There are no grounds for persecution of a segment of people based on beliefs that continued in time and were never abrogated.

    I don’t know what church people who claim they belong to a “new
    church” belong to, but it isn’t the Catholic Church which is continuous in time. Any pretense that the Church broke in time and started over again after Vatican II is dead wrong. As Abp Ranjith said, “There wasn’t and there isn’t a break between a before and an after, there is rather a continuous line.”

    Regardless of the religious abuse that has been the currency of the Spirit of Vatican II, regardless of the attempt to make people believe otherwise by force, the church HAS NOT CHANGED. The Church has NOT become a different organization. It CAN’T.