NCR: another editorial whine about Pope Benedict and liturgy

The ultra-leftist National Catholic Reporter has another predictably whiny editorial against the Holy Father’s vision for the Church and his moves to reform the liturgy.

My emphases and comments.

Issue Date:  December 28, 2007

Liturgy reform: No going back

When the definitive history of the Second Vatican Council is finally written, beyond all squabbles over the council’s actual intent, [In what future fantasy world will that happen?  At least this is an admission that the vision of the "School of Bologna" isn’t perhaps very clear after all. ] one undisputed fact will stand — that taking up the draft for the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy as the first focus of debate had a decisive impact on the tone and direction the council took in all its subsequent deliberations. Though the discussion was liturgy, the real subject was ecclesiology — the church’s understanding of itself.

By invoking the church in biblical terms as the pilgrim people of God [NB: Joseph Ratzinger was a primary contributor of an examination of the Church as "house and People of God".  One would think Pope Benedict hasn’t forgotten what he contributed to the Conciliar discussions.] and as the body of Christ, Vatican II set the stage for a crucial shift away from the juridical “perfect society” embodied in the unabashedly monarchical church of Trent. [Notice that the writer, perhaps not capable of too much authentic nuance, plays a zero-sum game with "models" of the Church.  Why cannot the Church be seen as more than one thing at the same time?] Nowhere would this be reflected more clearly than in the way the church prayed. The throne room protocols of the Tridentine Mass, the elevations, barriers, brocade, structures and language separating clergy from laity [Problem: the very concept of clergy indicates "separateness".   What the NCR doesn’t like is the very concept of clergy.  Watch what happens in what follows.] gave way to a worshiping community in which all the baptized were called to full, conscious, active participation. [However, this call had been made long before the Council.] A new way of worshiping marked the beginning of the end of the vertical ecclesiology that for 500 years had shaped every aspect of the church’s life and ministry around hierarchical and clerical preeminence. The council carried the same biblical imagery [As if nothing "biblical" had ever happened before?   I have in mind, for example, how in the Novus Ordo some of the deeply biblical prayers were excised from the Mass… as were biblical concepts like sin, guilt, and judgment.] and expansive approach into the major constitutions on the church and the church in the modern world.

For those who still ask if any of this matters and who might care, the recent book by Archbishop Piero Marini [Clearly their hero in their melodrama.] (see story) looking back [And this is the key: Who is it who is truly "nostalgic"?] over his 20 years as the personal liturgical planner for Pope John Paul II and, until recently, Benedict XVI, gives a glimpse into the tensions within the inmost circle of church leadership over liturgy as an expression of church identity on the world stage. Marini, most eloquent in his support of Vatican II reforms, managed to survive as the chief choreographer [I must restrain myself.] of events at which John Paul II presided. Those events were often richly inculturated, inclusive and ecumenical liturgies marked by full participation by the laity. [I think there are other possible ways to describe them.] John Paul II, known for his love of theater, evidently acceded to Marini and was in the end blessed by a remarkable funeral under Marini’s direction.

If liturgy has characteristically been below the radar for most Catholics, opponents of Vatican II [Notice the intellectual dishonesty here.  Anyone who opposes the vision they have presented are lumped together as being against Vatican II.  There is no possibility that one can embrace Vatican II, but also not reject everything that happened before Vatican II.] knew from the outset that the one way to preserve Trent was to halt liturgical reform. [Ehem…. Vatican II wanted to "preserve Trent".  Unless, of course, the editor truly sees that Vatican II constituted a break with the ecclesiology of Trent.  That would be a devastating (and stupid) admission.] To look back over the 42 years since the close of the council is to see that progress in the reform has been real but slow, [Shall we take a moment to enumerate the great fruits we see in our parishes, schools, seminaries, colleges, religious orders, hospitals….] and to admit that any awakening of Catholic laity to their full baptismal identity is still in the future.  [Perhaps.  And maybe the path is the older form of liturgy, rather than the new one.  Think for a moment of the explosion of lay groups after TRENT which gave us the structure the liberals are trying to destroy?] At the same time, those devoted at many levels to a pre-Vatican II model of the church have worked hard to bring down many aspects of liturgical reform. Frustrating the process of vernacular translations, crimping the rubrics for Mass to accentuate the ordained and, most recently, restoring the Tridentine rite, are among the more visible signs of successful retrenchment.  [And we can only thank Almighty God that these things are happening and that NCR has noticed.]

But there really is no turning back. [Again, the NCR’s zero-sum vision.] “Vatican II helped us to rediscover the idea of the priesthood as something universal,” Marini said in an interview. “The faithful don’t receive permission from priests to participate in the Mass. They are members of a priestly people, which means they have the right to participate in offering the sacrifice of the Mass. This was a great discovery, [One that was pretty well known for, oh, say since St. Paul wrote his letters?] a great emphasis, of the council. We have to keep this in mind, because otherwise we run the risk of confusion about the nature of the liturgy, and for that matter, the church itself.”

What they have always known in Rome is important for all of us to know: Liturgy is the visible expression of the arrangement of power.  [This is a key insight to the mind of a liberal.  Priesthood and liturgy are really, for them, about power.] The 2,500 bishops of Vatican II, perhaps surprising themselves, began the process of opening up the church to its own members and to the world. We all have a say in the kind of church we are. The reform of the church was a struggle worth undertaking more than 40 years ago, [Doesn’t this sound like Marxist rhetoric?] and it is a challenge each of us, in our own way and in our own faith communities, should prize and not lose sight of today.

National Catholic Reporter, December 28, 2007

UPDATE:  The Bonfire has some additional insights.

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127 Responses to NCR: another editorial whine about Pope Benedict and liturgy

  1. Patrick says:

    How very sad! Sounds very much like the Tablet, our home-grown journal of apostasy in the UK. These people are so rattled that they have lost control of the Agenda.

    If he described Marini’s book as eloquent, clearly we haven’t been reading the same book! I picked up a second-hand copy last weekend from a charity shop- clearly someone had junked it pretty rapidly! I was appalled that it is all about process – bureaucracy and infighting. Nothing about how the principles of reform were carried out or their spiritual or theological significance- no wonder we have such a mess! The contrast with Joseph Ratzinger’s beautiful and very uplifting book the Spirit of the Liturgy is very striking.

    Talking of whom, the Holy Father does not cease to astonish us. We are living through truly wonderful times! Let us all be very vocal in his support. I suspect he will be subject to a lot of flak from the usual suspects – many with vested interests – in the weeks ahead.

  2. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Father:

    At this point, shouldn’t we be grateful that the two sides are taking up arms?

    On an unrelated question, why does this entry list for December 28th? Around here we’re still celebrating the feast day of St. John the Evangelist.

  3. Deborah says:

    “The 2,500 bishops of Vatican II, perhaps surprising themselves, began the process of opening up the church to its own members and to the world.”

    This is very deceptive, isn’t it? It would give a reader the impression that this “opening up” of the Church to the world caused people to flock in the church doors.

    Rather, the truth is that 60% of the faithful ran out the doors away from the forced V2 changes.

    This is a fact and was not due to anything else including Humanae Vitae as some claim who wish to deny the effects of V2 changes being forced even abusively down the faithful’s throats.

  4. Joshua says:

    One thing that gets me is that the author clearly does not know what is meant by a perfect society, or is being deliberately misleading. Most readers will read that as meaning the Church viewed herself without flaw. But perfect society uses perfect in the old sense of complete. It merely means that it is a society which has its own end, not ordered to the end of a larger society, and the means in itself to attain that end.

    There are two perfect societies, the State and the Church. The state can be a republic, monarchy or what have you, it is still a perfect society as long as it is a community of people and it has the means in itself to attain its end.

    I agree with Fr. Z… it does sound Marxist

  5. Scott says:

    “On an unrelated question, why does this entry list for December 28th? Around here we’re still celebrating the feast day of St. John the Evangelist.”

    Chris: THE NCR was just THAT eager to publish this rant! :) Either that or the grapes had soured ahead of schedule. Then again, if the latter, I suppose the NCR could’ve published this in the 1970s.

    Merry Christmas to all.

  6. Greg Smisek says:

    Rapprochement vs. retrenchment?

    Oh, the agony of it all…

  7. Henry Edwards says:

    If liturgy has characteristically been below the radar for most Catholics …

    One must wonder what kind of Catholics they are, for whom public worship of God is “below the radar”.

  8. Bill says:

    I suspect that we should get ready for more of the same in other publications, including from diocesan bishops, in anticipation of and following the clarifying instructions to be issued by Ecclesia Dei. I perceive a coordinated and concerted effort to challenge the Motu Proprio on whatever grounds and in whatever forum the anti-Traditionalists can find..

  9. mike says:

    The county is installing a new storm sewer in my neighborhood – like when the Germans attacked Pearl Harbor – Hunger strike – who’s with me – Heyyyyyooooooooooooo

    m

  10. Cody says:

    “This is a key insight to the mind of a liberal. Priesthood and liturgy are really, for them, about power.”

    Yes, many actually see this as a power struggler. It’s the king versus the peasants. But in this fantasy world, every king is a despot. To sing about “Good King Wenceslas” is to sing an absurdity. It is a distinctly American way of thinking: egalitarianism, yes! kings, no! The priesthood of all Christians is a true teaching, but this does not preclude an ordained priesthood which is separate and set above the universal priesthood. Jesus, despite preaching his message to all people, still kept a close circle of 12 men, not 12 men and 1 woman, and not the 120 gathered together in Acts 1:15. But why should that matter, for if all kings are despots, and Christ is a king, (cf. Mt:2:2), is not Christ just another despot?

  11. M Kr says:

    I am curious why so many liberals think only in terms of a dichotomy between “Trent” and “Vatican II”. How do they envision the situation before Trent? The truth is that Trent basically reaffirmed the doctrine and structure of the medieval church, while ordering reform and clearing up abuses, nothing revolutionary was introduced.

  12. Grunt says:

    Did anyone get Archbishop Marini a book for Christmas?

    We must be far more resolute than heretofore in opposing rationalistic relativism, confusing claptrap and pastoral infantilism. These things degrade the liturgy to the level of a parish tea party and the intelligibility of the popular newspaper. With this in mind we shall also have to examine the reforms already carried out.

    (The Ratzinger Report)

  13. Mary says:

    Unless, of course, the editor truly sees that Vatican II constituted a break with the ecclesiology of Trent. That would be a devastating (and stupid) admission.

    Now, Father Z, do you mean “sees that it is true” or “believes”–that the admission is stupid because it is a point to be concealed, or because it is false?

    I took a course on the Reformation from a very liberal Catholic professor and finally got him to admit that the Novus Ordo leans towards removing those elements of the liturgy which Luther found offensive (“these gifts, these offerings, this holy sacrifice”; the long Offertory)–“inexplicably,” I said. “It’s not inexplicable at all! Clearly the Council Fathers decided that Luther was right.” For a month after that remark I had much more affection for the SSPX than I had had for a long time.

  14. Jim Kalb says:

    “Liturgy is the visible expression of the arrangement of power.”

    Brilliant. A sacrament is the visible expression of spiritual reality. For progressives, the ultimate spiritual reality is power. QED.

    One reason the Old Mass was always the same, and changed only very slowly and practically unconsciously, is that it was not an expression of power. It was what it was. Everyone had to live with it, from village priest to Pope, so no one could think of it as the expression of his own purposes and potency. Making the celebrant face the same direction as the people had the same effect.

    More recently the liturgy has been viewed as an expression of the beliefs and purposes of the particular worshipping community. As a practical matter, of course, that means the beliefs and purposes of those who decide things in the name of that community. Tyranny today is always exercised in the name of the people. The functionaries who make such decisions decide what the community is, what God wants of it, and even what God is. What could be a more extreme tyranny?

    Nobody wants that, of course. The question why people stopped going to Mass when it began to look like something invented answers itself.

  15. Charles says:

    Father:

    Did you see last week’s editorial??? It boasted nothing but praise for the “renewal winds blowing from Holland”, with regards to that very non-sensical proposal (I daresay cuasi-heretical, perhaps?) by the Dutch Dominicans on liturgical experimentation, lay participation, etc? Magister reviewed it a few months ago (“In Holland, They’re Inventing Their Own Mass – Copyrighted by the Dominicans” on http://www.chiesa).

    The most sad thing is that these editorials are unsigned, which 1) makes it easy to “throw the stone and hide the hand” in a very cowardly fashion, and 2) drags the entire publication to share the erroneous, biased point of views of the mysterious editorialist. Well, this last thing might be the entire point and line of the NCR, but then again, what on Earth is John Allen still doing there??? Why share credits with lovely Sr. Chittister, and holy Bishop Gumbleton…

  16. Proud Tridentine Catholic says:

    At the Novus Ordo parish I attend sometimes we are privileged to have lesbians playing guitars and metal slinkies bi-monthly. It is particularly poignant when they give each other longing looks when holding hands during the Pater Noster and embrace with a peck on the cheek during the Pax. They are quite skilled at making the banal ditties of OCP sound even more liberal and awful than they were written. This truly open minded forward-thinking progressive parish prides itself on their diversity in accepting this B.S.. Would you believe that it is ran by a “nun” that does not even dress in her habit? Yes, that is real progress since Vatican II now is it not? Is that really what the Liberals want? Or do they want liberal lesbian priests and armies of EM handing out “snacks” at their banal “celebrations”?! Thank God, Trent and Pope Benedict for the Tridentine Mass! When I go to the “real” Mass I do not have to worry about all of that B.S. and I can pray in peace without having hateful thoughts about the direction and eternal destination of the people around me.

  17. Malta says:

    \”richly inculturated, inclusive and ecumenical liturgies\”

    The phrase \”ecumenical liturgies\” should be oxymoronic, but unfortunately it is not in the milieu of the modern Church. In the syncrenistic new Church (where often invalidly ordained priests perform ceremonies in Cathedrals once occupied by authentic Catholics) we see even pagan elements combined with Catholic, where it is not unusual to see even the \”priest\” dressed as a clown. What is the result of this mess? Dwindling mass attendance, closing parishes, and an almost non-existent belief in the Real Presence–essentially a protestant assembly in a once Catholic Church.

    \”“It’s not inexplicable at all! Clearly the Council Fathers decided that Luther was right.” For a month after that remark I had much more affection for the SSPX than I had had for a long time.\”.

    Of course it was Paul VI who commissioned Bugnini–a hater of tradition–to compose a new mass. Nothing in Sacrosantum Concilium called for a brand new mass. I am with you in my affection and sympathy for SSPX. Truly, they had no choice but to oppose Paul VI and the rapid destruction of the Catholic faith. Athanasius also opposed Pope Liberius, was \”excommunicated\” and is now a Saint.

  18. RomanRevert says:

    *yawn*

    Same ole recycled drab hopeless leftist dribble. I guess the fight or flight instict is kicking in.

    *yawn*

  19. Chironomo says:

    Why do we concern ourselves with what the NCR has to say anyway. They are the “Air America” of the Catholic Press, trying to pitch themselves as the voice of the Catholic laity, when in fact they are the voice of the progressive Catholic laity only, and a voice that few really take seriously anyway. Perhaps if they had a commitment to “Things Catholic” rather than “Things Progressive” they might be an actual news source. As it is, they are little more than a propaganda rag, and an oft poorly written one at that! Look for a LOT more of this kind of editorial in the coming years. Eventually, the NPCR will find itself in a position of actually opposing Catholic doctrine as a whole, and will become little more than a complaint forum for the losers of the liturgy wars.

  20. Cristhian says:

    that kind of thinking is the real fruit of the Vatican II reform. So sad :(

  21. TNCath says:

    Hmmm, so who are the reationaries now? This is a very good sign that things really are changing for the better. And yet, on the home front, we still endure the “party line.” Sitting at a Christmas gathering with my family, an elderly aunt of mine remarked that the new “music minister” in her parish is getting better every day now that he has switched from the guitar to the piano at their Sunday Masses. It was all I could do to keep my composure. How long will it take for these liturgical developments in Rome to eventually trickle down to the parish level when the “music minister” has to go from the piano to the organ? How long, O Lord? How long?

  22. magdalen says:

    “Liturgy is the visible expression of the arrangement of power”

    And here I thought the Mass was the mystical unbloody Holy Sacrifice that is
    the offering of the Son of God to the Father. Silly me, it is all about
    expressing our ‘power’.

  23. Karl Meier says:

    “How long will it take for these liturgical developments in Rome to eventually trickle down to the parish level when the “music minister” has to go from the piano to the organ? How long, O Lord? How long?”

    What makes the piano less appropriate than an organ? Did Jesus play it? Was it even around then?

    How long, O Lord, until we focus on the meaning of the mass rather than the structure. Jesus write the TLM or the Novus Ordo.

  24. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Wonderful, magdalen. Strange, though, in a way they don’t think so, the statement, on one level, is absolutely true: “Liturgy is the visible expression of the arrangement of power.”

    We call God almighty, all powerful, but God is Love. The power of His love on the cross draws all to Himself, from beginning to end. That’s power! The power of fatherly love. Priests as fathers have nothing to do with any “power-trip”, or, at least, they shouldn’t. Rather, a family picture is good.

    Of course, the Liturgy cannot be reduced to a visible expression of the arrangement of power, but it is amazing to me that it is admitted that the Liturgy can be visible, which is essential to the Church as a functioning society, partially upon this earth as the Church Militant. What? Church Militant? Such powerful terms!

    Thanks magdalen!

  25. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Actually, Karl, a wonderful thesis was done which traces the words of the Roman Canon back to Scripture. So, in a way, the Holy Spirit wrote it! Isn’t that good!

    The difficulty here may be mixing up what participation is. The role that Jesus plays in the Liturgy is not dependent on whether or not He played a piano! The point is what’s appropriate. If you insist on “your liturgies”, well, is that the right structure by which to be able to appraise the Liturgy that actually belongs to God, the Liturgy that He draws us into?

  26. Karl Meier says:

    Fr Renzo, I have already stated in previous posts (which I’m sure you read since you have quoted them) that I mispoke in using the phrase “my liturgies.” My point, which none of you seem to be able to answer, is what makes an organ more appropriate than a piano, or a properly played guitar?

    Don’t give me rhetoric, give me scripture. Give me church teaching. The fact is that focusing on the individual details of these practices is the behavior of the new Pharisees.

    The use of contemporary music in the liturgy of the sacred mass draws many people closer to Christ while participating in His gift to us. THAT is what is important.

    For you, more traditional (more, not the most, because gregorian chant wasnt around at the time of the apostles) brings you closer, and that is beautiful too.

    The fact is that the traditional that you cling to is a time period that doesn’t date back to Christ. At one point, it was modern. It was new. It had opposition, just like the music I sing, and you, who have no appreciation for the music I love, cannot tell me that it does a lesser job of uniting me to the liturgy of the mass. You have no scriptural basis. You have no cannon to base it on.

  27. Roleigh Martin says:

    To either Father Z. or readers of the comments familiar with Father Z.’s tastes, what Catholic print periodicals does Father Z. favor/recommend? (those published for an English language audience) – Thanks!

  28. Malta says:

    here\’s a good one (they\’ve just switched from conservative to traditional Catholic):

    http://www.newoxfordreview.org/

  29. Fr. Christopher says:

    Karl: the church teaching (at least one ) regarding the organ and liturgy is SC # 120: “The pipe organ is to be held in high esteem in the Latin Church, for it is the traditional musical instrument, the sound of which can add a wonderful splendor to the Church’s ceremonies and powerfully lifts men’s minds to God and higher things. But other instruments also may be admitted for use in divine worship…on condition that they are suitable for sacred use…”

  30. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Karl, archeologism is NOT the point, ever, but gereralities about instruments is.

    I wish I had the papal writings on this for you (and papal writing are OK, too, don’t you think?). However correct you may be about an individual whose exception proves the rule (and, actually, we agree on most everything), the prudence of the Church if I remember this correctly, is to categorize instruments as banal or not in whatever given age. Guitars are banal, even if you, exceptionally, can make a guitar sound celestial.

    The Church makes such prudential decisions, even without your input or mine, for the sake of church unity and promoting what is, generally speaking, the most likely to be the most appropriate for the Liturgy. That’s the whole of it. Like it or not. Anyway, I’m sure you must have all these documents with you.

    Perhaps someone can jump in here, possibly from St Agnes, possibly from Musica Sacra, possibly from … and provide some texts for Karl. He really wants to know, and that’s a very good thing. This is aleady a HUGE sign that things are a changin’.

  31. Neal says:

    Another quote concerning the piano:

    “19. The employment of the piano is forbidden in church, as is also that of noisy or frivolous instruments such as drums, cymbals, bells and the like.”

    From: Inter Sollicitudies
    Motu Proprio of Pope St. Pius X on Sacred Music
    November 22, 1903

    http://www.omm.org/documents/inter-sollicitudies.html

  32. Neal says:

    Concerning the organ:

    “The traditionally appropriate musical instrument of the Church is the organ, which, by reason of its extraordinary grandeur and majesty, has been considered a worthy adjunct to the liturgy, whether for accompanying the chant or, when the choir is silent, for playing harmonious music at the prescribed times.”

    “Let our churches resound with organ-music that gives expression to the majesty of the edifice and breathes the sacredness of the religious rites; in this way will the art both of those who build the organs and of those who play them flourish afresh and render effective service to the sacred liturgy.”

    From: Divini Cultus
    Apostolic Constitution of Pope Pius XI on Divine Worship
    December 20, 1928

    http://www.omm.org/documents/divini-cultus.html

  33. Father Bartoloma says:

    Waaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  34. Little Gal says:

    Another quote concerning the piano:

    “19. The employment of the piano is forbidden in church, as is also that of noisy or frivolous instruments such as drums, cymbals, bells and the like.”

    I guess this means that our gospel- singing, piano playing African American brothers and sisters are in serious violation of Section 19 (Inter Sollicitudies).

  35. Sid Cundiff says:

    Y’all help me.

    As Grace would have it, I spent the morning reading Sacrosanctum Concilium. While quantitatively the fathers called for a little more of this and a little less of that, qualitatively I see the fathers calling for one, and only one, novelty – the “prayers of the faithful”. Have I overlooked something? Might one say that the liturgical development in the wake of Vatican II is itself against Vatican II?

  36. Neal says:

    Sid Cundiff:

    I don’t follow. Could you please elaborate?

    Pax.

  37. Little Gal says:

    “The traditionally appropriate musical instrument of the Church is the organ, which, by reason of its extraordinary grandeur and majesty, has been considered a worthy adjunct to the liturgy, whether for accompanying the chant or, when the choir is silent, for playing harmonious music at the prescribed times.”

    “Let our churches resound with organ-music that gives expression to the majesty of the edifice and breathes the sacredness of the religious rites; in this way will the art both of those who build the organs and of those who play them flourish afresh and render effective service to the sacred liturgy.”

    Yes, the organ is always the most appropriate instrument for sacred music:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glLQrEijrKg

  38. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Wow, Little Gal, you just don’t stop do you, this time with the fully prejudicial idea that “African American brothers and sisters” (of which group you presumably, then, do NOT belong) are all doing the wrong thing. Prejudice never sees the picture correctly. What do you think, Karl?

    As it is, great missionaries in Africa have left many parts of Africa with a great love for Mass offered with the 1962 Missal. I mean, would you be shocked to find non-white priests offering Mass with the 1962 missal, or non-white laity assisting at a Mass offered with the 1962 Missal? You mean, that doesn’t fit into your ideology of multiculturalism, anti-Catholic style? Just some questions, Little Gal.

  39. RichR says:

    Ohmigosh! I can’t believe what I’m reading in this NCR article. But yet, I can believe it.

    NC DISTORTER
    “Vatican II helped us to rediscover the idea of the priesthood as something universal,” Marini said in an interview. “The faithful don’t receive permission from priests to participate in the Mass. They are members of a priestly people, which means they have the right to participate in offering the sacrifice of the Mass.

    Lumen Gentium (10)
    Though they differ from one another in essence and not only in degree, the common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial or hierarchical priesthood are nonetheless interrelated”

  40. Karl says:

    Guys, those quotes are from a motu proprio from 1903. Motu proprios are only valid until another pope writes one that supersedes it. I can have the citation for you tomorrow, but a future one was written that states that any instrument may be used provided the solemnity of the event is considered when the music is chosen and played.

    I appreciate the information, but unless you all have something NOT from that document, I still believe that piano, guitar, and other respectfully played instruments are valid for use in worship.

    Recall that a previous pope also declared that the earth revolved around the sun.

  41. Karl says:

    strike that last comment and reverse it…the sun around the earth

  42. Karl says:

    “I guess this means that our gospel- singing, piano playing African American brothers and sisters are in serious violation of Section 19 (Inter Sollicitudies).”

    WOW! Oh man. This is an unbelievable quote.

    Here is the motu proprio I previously spoke of.

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/letters/2003/documents/hf_jp-ii_let_20031203_musica-sacra_en.html

  43. Neal says:

    Karl,

    I accept your argument about a motu proprio being able to be superseded, and I await your quote so I can read it in context.

    The quotes from Pius X and Pius XI at least serve to illustrate what was the mind of the Church regarding sacred music. The hermeneutic of continuity suggests that more recent decisions concerning sacred music should develop, rather than overthrow, the intentions of these earlier popes. I am not sufficiently familiar with modern sacred music to make this judgement, so I leave that up to you. Perhaps you could suggest a piece or two?

    Pax.

  44. Neal says:

    Sorry, Karl, I’m a slow typist. I will get reading.

  45. Andrew says:

    Karl:

    What did you want to prove by providing that link? This is what it says about the pipe organ:

    Among these, it recognizes without hesitation the prevalence of the pipe organ and establishes appropriate norms for its use. The Second Vatican Council fully accepted my holy Predecessor’s approach …

    What is the point?

  46. Neal says:

    I think Karl was referring to the following passage:

    “…It should be noted that contemporary compositions often use a diversity of musical forms that have a certain dignity of their own. To the extent that they are helpful to the prayer of the Church they can prove a precious enrichment. Care must be taken, however, to ensure that instruments are suitable for sacred use, that they are fitting for the dignity of the Church and can accompany the singing of the faithful and serve to edify them.”

  47. Proud Tridentine Catholic says:

    “I guess this means that our gospel- singing, piano playing African American brothers and sisters are in serious violation of Section 19 (Inter Sollicitudies).”

    I would say it mattered just what the content of those “gospel” songs was. Were they heretical protestant songs or heretically liberal OCP “modernist Catholic” ditties? I have found many of the “spirituals” in the OCP books to be filled with Modernist and Relativist heresies. In those parishes are they shamefully embracing liturgical abuses such as the so-called “liturgical dance”? Are they following the Rubrics of the Mass? These are valid questions not are they playing a piano at Mass?

  48. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    So, Karl, to heck with Church authority for that over which the Church has absolute authority: the Liturgy, and this because of your understanding of an unrelated argument from, um, when? At the time of an inquisition about earth and sun revolving around each other? Karl!

    Neal has the quote right, the crux of which is this:

    “Care must be taken, however, to ensure that instruments are suitable for sacred use, that they are fitting for the dignity of the Church and can accompany the singing of the faithful and serve to edify them.”

    The first distinction made is key, for it refers not to the individual instrument, but to its class, which is previously legislated, legislation which is accepted. It’s true that restricting legislation is interpreted strictly, while that which grants privileges is interpreted broadly. However, in this case, what is to be strictly interpreted is included in the privilege. There we have it!

  49. Karl says:

    “This is what it says about the pipe organ”

    Andrew, it said a lot more than that about the pipe organ…in fact, that is not even a complete quote.

    Neal, that is one of the passages I refer to. The other says that music native to a culture, if appropriately written, can be used as sacred music.

    My point overall is this: We all differ in our opinions of what is appropriate music, and with something that artistically based, the way we need to make that decision is in how the music aids the congregation in prayer. In my church, piano and guitar have been an effective combination. We also offer three other masses with three different styles. One classical latin with a choir or schola, one silent, one solo voice and piano/organ. Maybe in your parishes, these types of music would not be received prayerfully. And if they ever become inappropriate in our parish, we will change them.

    In the teen mass I organize music for, we use newly written catholic music which is carefully selected and approved by the pastor. We also arrange new instrumentation for several traditional songs. The pastor, who doesn’t personally enjoy the music we use, has told us that it has a valuable place in the parish, and the monthly teen mass will soon be made weekly.

    Modern music reached a portion of our population that traditional may not. It opens a door to the truths that the mass offers. I pray that you all might realize that even if it is not your choice, and does not reach you, that you not condemn it as leftist. I believe the same moral teachings that you all do. I am forward with my catholicism and am proud to be catholic and so are the members of my band, and the youth who attend the mass. They do not condemn your choice in music, why should you condemn theirs.

  50. peretti says:

    Proud Tridentine Catholic, you have hit this on the head. I’ve been around a while. I am pre and post V2 (that’s a great line at coctail parties). I’ve seen things in church that would curl peoples hair. I’ve seen amplifiers in the sanctuary that Led Zepplin would be envious of. Not once. Not ONCE have I ever come across a drum playing, guitar (or sitar) playing, cymbal crashing person who believed in the dogma of the Hypostatic Union. Mainly the denial was of the Divinity of Christ, though there was also some refutation of the duality of natures. Most of those are no longer Catholic. If you hold to a bunch of milk sop, you don’t usually stay long. How we worship is how we believe.

  51. Karl says:

    In the document, he leaves the specific guidelines up to the conferences of bishops. The US conference of bishops issued a statement saying that no one instrument would be banned, but the music must suit the mass.

  52. Fr. Anthony Forte says:

    Karl,

    We must remember that the purpose of music at the liturgy to to support prayer. The piano and guitar, one being a percussion instrument and the other strummed, both have a strong attack to the note which then quickly dies out. This produces a musical form that draws attention to itself rather than providing a supporting role as would a wind or bowed instrument such as the organ or a violin. This, I would suggest, has been why they have been traditionally resisted in the liturgy.

  53. Karl says:

    This is from the second vatican councils instruction on liturgical music:

    9. In selecting the kind of sacred music to be used, whether it be for the choir or for the people, the capacities of those who are to sing the music must be taken into account. No kind of sacred music is prohibited from liturgical actions by the Church as long as it corresponds to the spirit of the liturgical celebration itself and the nature of its individual parts,[7] and does not hinder the active participation of the people.[8]

  54. Filippo R. says:

    I find it interesting how the exchanges in these threads become more and more agitated as one scrolls down. For what it’s worth, I agree with Karl’s comment (the one at 6:29 pm). And really, the liturgy is important, no doubt, but it is not the most important thing. Otherwise we make the same mistake as those “zealous” innovators around the time of Vatican II, who confused liturgy changes with substance.
    Peace on Earth to all men of good will.

  55. Karl says:

    Fr Anthony,

    With due respect, it is YOUR opinion that they do not support the singing. In my parish, the parishioners sing with a piano and guitar more than with the organ. It is all in what they are used to and what musical language they understand.

    I work with an extremely talented pianist and her music is more reverent than any organist I have ever heard…and I have heard a lot of sacred music.

    I must emphasize that I love all types of sacred music, and am only suggesting that this particular style has merit and should not be bashed.

  56. Proud Tridentine Catholic says:

    Karl,
    I would ask what is your definition of Catholicism? It sounds like you may hold some heterodox beliefs. This reminds me of the quote “I’ll accept Vatican II if you accept the first 20 councils and actually read Vatican II”. One may not be a Catholic and choose only the teachings that he wants to belief in or agree with. You are Catholic or Protestant, In the Church or out of the Church. It cannot be both ways. There are no shades of gray; it is black or white. It has always been just that simple, liberals want to make it complex so that they can confuse, change and subvert the Church from within, Saint Michael defend and pray for us!

  57. Little Gal says:

    “The piano and guitar, one being a percussion instrument and the other strummed, both have a strong attack to the note which then quickly dies out. This produces a musical form that draws attention to itself rather than providing a supporting role…”

    You are referring to the quality of timbre and that is in itself not a bad thing. Any instrumental music badly executed draws attention to itself in an inappropriate way… This includes bad technique,inability to stay on pitch, excessive volume etc. I don’t see how one can isolate the type of instrument as the single qualifier; good music requires more than just the instrument…

  58. Pat says:

    Karl,
    Perhaps “my liturgies” was one huge freudian slip that even though retracted once said is still very revealing.
    You seem to be stuck on a rhetorical tactic I’ve met before, what would Jesus do only for you “what instrument Jesus would have played”. I’ve been screamed at by one too many Fundamentalists that what Catholics do at the Mass is not what Jesus (or his apostles) would do. Explaining to them that we do not seek one particular moment in time when the apostles were still alive and then copy this as our worship is impossible because the concept of development through time seems to be way over their heads. Your argument then is that Gregorian chant and modern pop music are somehow equal because neither one existed in the 1st century? This makes sense how?
    Pat

  59. Filippo R. says:

    Proud Tridentine Catholic,
    Where do you get these ideas about someone else’s heterodoxy? That judgment does not seem pertinent. And honestly, the initial exchange was about liturgy in general, then it narrows down to music, then gratuitous accusations…

  60. Proud Tridentine Catholic says:

    Filippo R,
    Understanding from where someone is doctrinally is most salient in conversations like this one. I have seen in Karl’s statements on this topic and others that he may be “progressive” and Heterodox, and clarifying it seems best in order to move further. In Karl’s quote “I am forward with my Catholicism and am proud to be catholic and so are the members of my band, and the youth who attend the mass.” The next logical question would be “I would ask what is your definition of Catholicism?”. If this is not the next logical question please suggest the best one to ask.

  61. Andrew says:

    Pat:

    Your argument then is that Gregorian chant and modern pop music are somehow equal because neither one existed in the 1st century? This makes sense how?

    This is precisely what needs to be answered. And also, one should ask: “is anything better, or is everything equal? Is there any way that music can be ranked based on refinement?”

  62. Joshua says:

    Karl, pope after pope, from Pius X to Benedict, has stressed the necessity of the sacred form of music itself.

    Here is a key test, apart from the lyrics, would the music itself be recognised as sacred, not just by this culture, but by all. Gregorian chant has that character, so does Russian chant, though perhaps the latter would not be suitable in the Roman rite.

    I think you should read Plato’s Republic, the sections on music and poetry, and Aristotle’s politics on the education of children. Music like language signifies beyond itself; whereas language signifies things through the mediation of concepts, music signifies undergoings of the soul. It is necessary that sacred music move the soul in a certain way, namely it must move it to prayer in the Mass. That means:

    1. Secular pieces, even very beautiful ones, should not be used, because they become an end in themselves
    2. Music should be different from what is on the street. It should not be common. People who think contemporary forms need to be used to reach the youth have alienated them by so doing. I am a youth, and believe me even the gang members in my CCD couldn’t stand the folk Masses.
    3. It should follow certain standards that transcend cultures though some national influence can be had

  63. spanishgrad says:

    The guitar/piano vs organ debate returns to the “active participation” question. For some people, “active participation” means singing–lots of it, by everyone. For others, this means prayer–lots of it, by lots of people. And yes, I know that singing is supposed to be “praying twice”, but at least for me the hymns chosen in the folksy Mass were 1) not actually prayers (were more about the congregation than about God), and 2) distracting.

    In my parish, our Masses are best described as “teen”, folksy, middle-of-the-road, Gregorian Chant, and quiet/instrumental. I’ve been to all of these and in my move from the folksy (you could be sure when they said “meditation hymn”, the tambourines were about to come out) to the quiet/instrumental one, I have noticed that fewer people are singing along with the organ. Part of this is simple: more of them are down on their knees in prayer before, during, and after receiving the Eucharist (this also carries over into how many people I see kneeling before & after Mass at each of these). At the folksy Mass, I and everyone else were singing our hearts out and few people were kneeling in prayer. Announcements of new songs, jarring instruments (especially the dreaded tambourine), and rhythms not appropriate to meditation (“Say ‘hey’ to the Carpenter” should be banned forever) made this nearly impossible even if you were so disposed, and did little to dispose you to deeper meditation.

    A friend recently commented that her children’s friends don’t consider any celebration/Mass in which people aren’t singing loudly and often (& getting the emotional “high” from it) true worship. So she brings her kids to a quieter service every once in a while so they can realize that yes, one can worship and participate fully in silence/quiet.

  64. Stephen says:

    How do you separate the NCR and Marini from Paul VI and John Paul II? The Popes allowed if not encouraged all that you rail against. What if another Paul VI succeeds Benedict?

  65. kdpfam says:

    The NCR is not the only place repleat with intellectual dishonest. Bugnini’s book “The Reform of the Liturgy” is full of the same. If you are not with me you are, stupid, arrogant, anti-Vatican II, etc. What is really scary, is that Bugnini lays out everything they were trying to do and but for Pope Paul VI and the CDF, things could have been a lot worse than they turned out to be . . . if you can believe that.

  66. Jordan Potter says:

    Karl quoted Vatican II: No kind of sacred music is prohibited from liturgical actions by the Church as long as it corresponds to the spirit of the liturgical celebration itself and the nature of its individual parts,[7] and does not hinder the active (sic) participation of the people.

    Well, that would pretty much rule out most of the music played at Masses in this country, including pretty much anything pop or rock or swing or jazz, which cannot but hinder the “active” participation of the people and does not correspond to the spirit of the liturgical celebration and the nature of its individual parts.

    As for me, I’d prefer Gregorian chant or no music at all to the schlock we must endure every Sunday. St. Cecilia had the right idea, I think, when she stopped her ears during her martyrdom rather than hear the music being played by her tormentors — there’s a reason she’s the patroness of sacred music and musicians, after all: by her gesture we learn that sometimes closing the ears to music is the best form of “active” participation during Mass.

  67. Michael O'Connor says:

    Karl, I understand your position. I disagree that pop music really should be used at Mass (at many other events to be sure!). Look over the CMAA FAQ on Sacred Music and let me know what you think. http://www.musicasacra.com/pdf/smfaq.pdf

    The idea of sacred music being \”set apart\” is a valid one I think. My observations have been that pop-style music gives folks only a superficial good feeling. Nothing wrong with that in itself, but far too many Catholics who want to go deeper through the music of the Church must \”offer up\” their pain every Sunday since there are still very few churches that have or even allow traditional hymns and chant, the latter of which is the only music officially tied to the Roman Rite. All others are tolerated, if one reads the documents closely. For my part, I don\’t mind the use of other music as a means of mission and reaching out, but once reached, the Church should bring the soul along to more meaningful musical prayer. This is the prayer which sustained the saints. I think it will work for us too.

    BTW Chant, traditional hymns, and \”classical\” settings were once new. Yes, that\’s true. I would love to hear new sacred music which continues that tradition. Pop-style music, by its nature is ephemeral and meant to be disposable. That is simply the raison d\’etre of pop music. Music by the Beatles does tend to be the exception that proves the rule I think. Notice that we don\’t often sing the drippy ditties of the 1920s anymore. This is fate of the 80s OCP fare.

    Please, however, keep in mind that I am talking about music for the Mass and Office, not for anything else.

  68. Jordan Potter says:

    Karl claimed: gregorian chant wasnt around at the time of the apostles

    No, but something rather similar to it was (not in Latin, of course, but still sacred chant, much as the priests and Levites used in the Temple).

  69. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    So, Karl, once again, since you didn’t answer it the first time:

    “Care must be taken, however, to ensure that instruments are suitable for sacred use, that they are fitting for the dignity of the Church and can accompany the singing of the faithful and serve to edify them.”

    The first distinction made is key, for it refers not to the individual instrument, but to its class, which is previously legislated, legislation which is accepted. It’s true that restricting legislation is interpreted strictly, while that which grants privileges is interpreted broadly. However, in this case, what is to be strictly interpreted is included in the privilege. There we have it!

    Comment by Fr Renzo di Lorenzo — 27 December 2007 @ 6:18 pm

  70. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Karl, also, you didn’t answer this one: ARCHEOLOGISM is NOT the point, ever, but gereralities about instruments is.

    Also, Fr Forte had a brilliant point utterly in line with previous papal statements, providing them, in fact, with a key of interpretation.

  71. Karl says:

    before I leave this board for good, which don’t worry everyone, will happen in about 2 minutes, I would like to point out that I never claimed “pop” music to be the music I defended. I play original compositions and compositions by contemporary catholic artists that have a firm textual basis in scripture.

    When the pope speaks, I listen. If I don’t understand, I seek answers in the documents of the church. Earlier a motu proprio was brought to my attention that I hadn’t heard. Before answering, I searched for church documentation, and I found what I believe to be an answer…still, my faith has been called into question, not even just my musical taste.

    Most of you need to look to yourselves. You remind me of pharisees, clinging to practices that may or may not bring you and others to the faith. Say an honest prayer about it. I will as well. If I am wrong, then tomorrow morning at mass, I am sure God will tell me something.

    I have wasted a good bit of the day arguing something worthless with all of you, and I am ashamed of it. In all the gospels, Jesus preached about our relationships with God, with each other, walking the path to heaven and becoming better people. Never did he focus on the details of ritual, or the way someone worshiped.

    If you all still decide to close your minds to the possibility that there is more than one way to celebrate a liturgy, it’s on you. There is no scriptural or doctrinal evidence of that. I will continue to attend all types of roman catholic liturgies, and will benefit from each of them, and learn what they offer.

    There is no longer a need to reply to my posts, because I will not be back to check them. I will pray for the posters on this site. Particularly the priests, who I hope will learn a bit more compassion.

  72. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Pouting doesn’t solve anything. You wanted interpretation of legislation and, now you have it. But you choose to ignore it. Those who want to promote the custodial authority of the Church over Liturgy are not being Pharisees. Instead, they are promoting unity in the Church.

    Disobedience is the cause of disunity. Singing nice things that are excluded by the authority of the Church may seem charitable on your part, making you nice, but isn’t disobedience to the authority of the Church leading to disunity and lack of participation in the faith altogether?

    It we think we can do what we want with the Liturgy, like it was our little play-thing, congratulating ourselves that we are nice, then, what is left, but the promotion of ourselves. What is it you were saying about Pharisees?

    That may seem rough to you, as in, “mean ol’ priest”, but maybe the old guard, however young we are, may be doing the most charitable thing by being concerned with your eternal salvation and that of others.

    It is not just a nice little conversation we are having here. Souls are at stake, for the liturgy is just that serious. God loves us, and we are to go from “trembling as we stand” to our knees.

  73. RBrown says:

    Karl,

    You use the same old liberal strategy: There is something wrong with anyone who doesn\’t agree with you–they are Pharisees. The irony is that your attitude, which betrays both arrogance and ignorance, is a good example of that of the Pharisees.

    1. If you or anyone else wants to write or play new compositions that express your religious sentiment, that\’s fine. But Catholics have an obligation to attend Sunday mass–and that obligation should NOT include being subject to your own personal musical whims. It is unjust for you or anyone else to exploit the Sunday obligation so that you might have people at your performance. If you want to use the parish hall for a concert outside of mass, that\’s fine. No one is obligated to attend. Let those go who want to go.

    2. To me the use of contemporary music at mass is as if someone would take mass time to show their homemade paper mache figures of persons from Scripture.

    3. Over the years I have discovered that teenagers don\’t like \”Teen Liturgies\”. Now I\’m sure you have your little group that likes them, but most teenagers go to teen masses because their friends are there. And of course, anyone who has been to college knows that–guitars or not–students attend the 5 pm mass simply because they\’ve been out late Sat night.

    4. You say that Jesus never said anything about the way people worshipped (which is not true), but you seemed very concerned about it. Why else would you spend so much time with music?

  74. danphunter1 says:

    Heres hoping that the NCR in its insipid ignorance dies a miserable death.

  75. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Ditto, danphunter1. That sums it up perfectly. Error has no rights. Even more poetically, Fr Z says, so unforgettably:

    I have contended for years, with others, that the true reform of Church music will come to fruition when the last guitar is busted over the head of the last uneeded lay minister of Holy Communion.

  76. Jordan Potter says:

    RBrown said: Over the years I have discovered that teenagers don’t like “Teen Liturgies”.

    That’s been our experience in our parish too. We used to have Lifeteen Masses, but those got way too free and easy with the Liturgy and our pastor canceled them — they never attracted that many people anyway. Then we tried a “contemporary” Mass for teens every week — Lifeteen with fewer liturgical abuses, more or less — but again, they just didn’t attract that many people, so they were dropped.

    The whole idea of “Teen Masses” using “contemporary” pop music to attract people betrays a complete lack of understanding of what music in liturgy is for. Music isn’t a means to an end — a tool or gimmick or marketing ploy to try to get people to come to Mass — it’s an end in itself, a way that those at Mass draw closer to God in worship. This pernicious idea feeds the notion or expectation that Mass is about what I can get out of it. Sorry, but I got my fill of that mentality when I was a Protestant; I don’t have any more use for it now that I’m a Catholic.

  77. TNCath says:

    Wow! I didn’t realize my “How long, O Lord” post about the guitar and piano would touch such a raw nerve. I am afraid that Karl’s negative reaction to the direction the Church is taking regarding music is shared by many people currently not only engaged in “music ministry” but also sitting in pews throughout the United States. They have been poorly educated/indoctrinated in what they THINK is what is considered “good liturgy.” Karl is one of those victims–sincere in his beliefs, perhaps, but erroneous in his opinions. Unfortunately, these folks have the sympathy of many U.S. bishops who have publicly upheld them and their well-meaning but misguided parishes for years as models for the “post-Vatican II liturgy.” Righting the wrongs of the past 40 years will not be an easy thing to do when faced with the likes of the liturgical establishment and their bishops, collectively the weakest link in the Church. And, we haven’t even considered the passive aggressive parish priests, many of whom ordained between about 1965 and 1974, who will simply say, “I’m the pastor, and we’re going to do it my way” when faced with parishioners simply wanting the right to a Mass said with proper music according to the rubrics. Ironically, it is these same priests who are now established pastors who were raising cane back when their old monsignorial pastors were objecting to yet giving into such innovations as guitar Masses, clown Masses, burning sins in a hibachi for Lent, subsidiarity, shared ministry, and stoles on the outside of the chasuble. Now, these “young upstarts” at the time who are now the “old guard” see everything they “fought for” come tumbling down, much like their predecessors. In the words of the immortal Bette Davis, “Fasten your seatbelts! It’s going to be a bumpy night!” Liturgically, that is!

  78. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    TNCath: Just a note on terminology… “old guard”, when it comes to priests, does not refer to age, but to Catholicity. Usually, today, the “old guard” is made up of younger priests.

    Of course, many priests who are older and who are not very Catholic only pretend to be the “old guard” but are not. Age doesn’t help them. The last thing they would do is to guard anything or anyone. All is up for grabs. Cheers!

  79. TNCath says:

    Fr. Renzo: Thanks for the input, and I certainly understand what you are saying about the younger priests who are truly the “old guard” of the Church. When I was referring to “old guard,” I was not referring to their Catholicity at all. I was referring to their age and longtime status in diocesan structures, especially those in parishes and/or working in chancery offices charged with “keeping a lid on things.” Indeed, the only thing they are truly guarding is the “kingdoms” and comfort zones, which are very important to them. A Motu Proprio such as Summorum Pontificum and similar directives from Rome are particularly unnerving to them. Let’s hope it continues!

  80. Mark says:

    All,

    I have a slightly different take on all the LifeTeen of today and the “folk Masses” that we got when I was a kid.

    My experience is that they are popular and liked, but only for a short while. I remember when we had our first folk Mass, circa 1970 or so, and my family loved it. It seemed fun and fresh, and I remember that we loved the new songs too like “Michael Row Your Boat Ashore” and “Kumbaya”, though no one ever explained to us what either of them meant. I can’t exactly pin it down, but somewhere along the way, the novelty wore off and the folk Masses dropped from sight. Right around that time, I dropped out of the Church entirely.

    What’s been missed too, is that there is no way that any parish would have accepted the folk Mass back then, or the LifeTeen Masses now if there had not been the Novus Ordo Mass first. I can’t see any parish going straight from the TLM to LifeTeen directly. What happened was that our sensibilities for what is proper had been changed by the NO Mass and that prepared the way for all the circus Masses, and LifeTeen things.

    Sure, some people like these things to this day, and they always will. But my experience with kids, and I work with teenagers myself, is the one thing that they don’t like is to be talked down to, and that’s what LifeTeen is. Besides, no adult, especially a Catholic priest can be contemporary with the kids. The best we adults can do is be a laughable version of what was cool four years ago. Look at the folk Masses. The folk era died out by the mid-1960’s, but the folk Masses didn’t show up for several years later. Kids know better, and they don’t like to be fooled by an adult trying to be cool.

    Having said all of this, it’s still going to be hard to get them and their parents to change their sensibilities back to the TLM. Just as it was the NO Mass that paved the way for the clown Masses, the NO Mass is the obstacle to a real return to worship as compared to fellowship. Even if we can get most of the parishes to accept that the LifeTeen, guitars and pianos are not proper in Church, most will still opt for the NO Mass as the acceptable alternative. Compared to LifeTeen, the NO Mass does seem dignified, and it is. The subtle shifts that were made in the switch, things like the emphasis on the horizontal rather than the vertical, fellowship over worship, the egalitarianism of the NO as compared to the regal TLM – these have all been absorbed at a deep level by most of the Church.

    I saw an old interview with Cardinal Ratzinger from 1970 where he said that the Church should hold on to its traditions, and accept that its membership will drop while the world chases the idols of materialism. When people have hit rock bottom and are in need, they will come back to us. I assume he was talking in 1970 about something other than a return to the TLM, but the point is still valid.

    A possible entrance to making this change back to the TLM aceptiable could come from what’s look on as a rather dry subject – architecture. Even if people like the egalitarian, prosaic, community based NO Mass, they still no not like the cinder-block, shock of the new churches. In fact they’re hated. Only the most far out radicals do not like the old art and architecture. But just as the new, Protestant based architecture of the 1950’s and 1960’s paved the way for the NO Mass, perhaps a return to Gothic, Romanesque or Baroque architecture will pave the way for a return to worship over the Protestant community meal.

    By the way, I see Cardinal Ratzinger’s great book The Spirit of the Liturgy everywhere these days. Think of what a seed he’s planted with that.

    Mark

  81. Robert of Rome says:

    Thanks, Fr. Z, for your insightful commentary on this awful NCR editorial. One of your best to date.

  82. Richard says:

    If anyone is still in any doubt that the organ’s sound and music is joyous, passionate and uplifting, the best instrument for the Church, look at this demo by Daniel Roth at the famous Church of St Sulpice in Paris. Plinky guitars and pianos pale in comparison. In music we should be striving for grandeur and uplifting of souls in every liturgy, in large churches and small.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=kau-hubf2Gc

    Richard

  83. Pat says:

    Like Mark, I too left the Church. When Mass becomes a service and music is all about us, even though as a teen you can’t explain why you’re leaving, years later you understand that you left because you can praise yourself anywhere.
    After agnosticism I tried very hard to be a Protestant, the Evangelical variety (because of the moral teaching). You can go to any mega-church and you’ll find them packed and the congregations that sing the praises of the “contemporary” music that they say brings them closer to God. This is the model that the music ministers like Karl follow. But what makes us think this brings anyone closer to God? How can it really when so much emphasis is placed on me, me, me? Even when the “paise music” is out of the right out of the Bible and not all about me the rythm is very often literally hip moving inducing emotional highs that in the euphoria of the moment are often confused with love of God. Eventually I had to grow up and return to the Holy Catholic Church where Mass no matter how it’s done is really about the Triune God, it’s just sometimes harder to realize this but it’s far better than being out of the Church where there is no Divine Liturgy in any form.
    As Pope Benedict has written, the Liturgy is a gift from God that cannot be remade at the will liturgical committees who sincerely believe they are improving on the Mass. Once I began to understand this, which was only recently, I began to look at Mass in an entirely different and life-changing way. Fr. Z is so right, “Save the liturgy, save the world”.
    The question is though, how to reach the music ministers who weild so much power?
    Pat

  84. elizabeth mckernan says:

    Richard – many thanks for the information to the organ lesson at St Sulpice by Daniel Roth. I found it very moving reminding me of the occasions when as a young child he allowed me to sit next to him in the organ loft and showed me the many different sounds available using the different stops.
    My father was a cathedral organist and composer but sadly I did not inherit his great musical talent. I do, however, have a love for organ music particularly when played on some of the historic organs such as that of St Sulpice and Notre Dame in Paris. I defy anyone not to be deeply moved when the great doors of Notre Dame are opened after Mass, the sun streams in and the organ thunders above while the congregation files out. It never fails to move me.

  85. elizabeth mckernan says:

    Correction! I should have written that it was my father I sat next to as a child. Problems with the typing.

  86. Mark says:

    All,

    Pat is so right. I believe that many people leave the Church without really knowing why. What I felt at the time was just the our parish was cold, lifeless, not interesting and did the Mass like they were just going through the motions.

    Though part of this was the liturgical problems, another one was poor Catholic education. I got a great, and I mean a great education in the faith, the Bible and the sacraments in the early grades. We were taught the Trinity, Transubstantiation, how to examine our consciences, etc., plus we learned about the whole Bible. By the time I was in 8th grade however, around 1973, all of the stuff had gone out the window. Instead of the rather complicated but profound doctrines that we got at a younger age, we got instead this large picture book with stories about famous non-Catholics, such as Martin Luther King, Gandhi and John L. Lewis. We also got one of those hip and happening “plain English” Bibles, the kind that is dumbed down to read like an 8th grade novel. But I remember that we all loved both of these books at the time. And yeah, the dreaded colored felt banners were everywhere. The problem with all of this is that the novelty wears off pretty soon, and this is when I left the Church.

    Once I had got into what I used to think of as the “Protestant schools” (9th grade in a public school), we had a priest try to teach us something about the Church once a week in the evening. It’s funny. I can remember lessons that were taught to me when I was in 2nd grade, what we read, what we wrote, what the nun said, but I can’t remember anything from over two years of these V2 inspired evening classes when I was a lot older. I know we didn’t have any books to read, and we wrote nothing. I heard this former evangelical leader who just swam the Tiber also talk about his own Catholic education as a teen in the early 1970’s. He described it as “all colored felt banners and Jonathan Livingston Seagull.” When I read that I screamed, “That’s it!” At a time when I was becoming a teenager, and could both handle a deeper spirituality, and at a time when I needed it more as a teenager, this is what we got. My guess is that the priest actually thought he was being more topical and less dogmatic than the earlier pre-V2 syllabus that we had. I believe in his good intentions. But what we got left a whole in me and a feeling that the Church was not relevant. It’s interesting, by trying to be relevant to the passing fads of the moment, the Church became even less so. There’s a lesson in that.

    I think what we as Catholics need to do is to get back our liturgy, sacraments, music and architecture, but also hunker down for what’s going to be a struggle that’s going to last at least forty years. The process to get back the Church that we all want will be opposed, and as we grow, so will the protests against it. There may even be a drop in attendance in some people’s parishes. But we should trust in the power of the Lord. Someday, the mega-churches will be empty and new, more beautiful true Catholic churches will be built.

    On a note of hope, take a look at this new church being built in the suburbs of Washington, DC, “http://www.holytrinityparish.net”. They say they have over 2,000 regular members, and click on the link for “Building”, and in particular look at the pictures dates “12-01-08-07″. It’s a return to the Gothic, though done in a revised modern form. But still they have flying buttresses, a nave, side aisles, and an apse!

    Thank God for Bishop Paul Loverde! We have a healthy crop of young men, almost thirty of them, in seminary. We have many studying to learn Latin so they can say the TLM Mass. And get this… we even had a new Catholic high school open, staffed by YOUNG NUNS IN FULL HABITS! The Washington Post said it’s only one of two new Catholic high schools in the nation in an era when they are closing, and that this Order of nuns is growing in numbers and in youth.

    I wonder if this will all be covered in the NCR?

    Mark

  87. Giusebio Chocolino says:

    That NCR is far from being Catholic. There is no such a thing as a catholic leftist (or socialist, whatever).

  88. A.Williams says:

    Isn’t it a coincidence that the “School of Bologna” is SO FULL OF BALONEY???

  89. Sid Cundiff says:

    As Grace would have it, I’m reading Martin Mosebach, The Heresy of Formlessness: The Roman Liturgy and its Enemy. So far, it’s a very beautiful book, speaking to the issues raised here. I commend his insightful reasoning on why “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name” is inferior to the Gregorian “Te Deum”, pp. 43-45, and the problem with vernacular hymns in general, in Chapter 2.

  90. Mike Williams says:

    As much as I prefer the use of organ and chant, I have to point out that disciplinary pronouncements about music have changed over the centuries more than many would like to think Pope John XXII (that’s 22nd) banned the use of polyphony for all time and in all places (in language much like the preface to Quo Primum), but that didn’t last more than a century. In the US, masses by Mozart and Haydn were forbidden for liturgical use for much of the 20th century.

    Personally, I think the most productive discussion is about the use of good, rather than bad, music. I’d rather hear a well-sung motet by Poulenc than a badly-sung one by Palestrina. But that gets us into awfully subjective territory for an internet debate!

  91. M Kr says:

    Regarding Church music:

    It is crucial to note that there exists music intrinsic to the celebration of Mass itself – the most correct way of incorporating music into Mass is to use the propers in the Graduale Romanum – they are Gregorian melodies. This is the appropriate music for Mass – not hymns. A processional and recessional hymn is acceptable, but this is before and after Mass, strictly speaking.

    The hours of the Office according to the 1962 liturgical books also have their own music, in the Antiphonale Romanum, they are also Gregorian melodies. A compendium of the most important parts of the Graduale and Antiphonale is the Liber Usualis.

    Again, the Roman Rite already has its own music “built-in”, so to speak.

  92. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Actually, Mike Williams, papal legislation on music has changed less than you think, especially in the past 100 some years. Read my comments to Karl further above…

  93. M Kr says:

    Pat:

    Just a note on terminology. The Mass IS a “service”. The true meaning of the word “Church service” or “Divine service” is the worship, and service of God. It is the Latin equivalent of “liturgy”, which comes from Greek and means the “work (service) of the people”, of course, the work done is for God.

  94. Malta says:

    stephen wrote: “How do you separate the NCR and Marini from Paul VI and John Paul II? The Popes allowed if not encouraged all that you rail against. What if another Paul VI succeeds Benedict?”

    Excellent point! This is why the best popes, eg. Pope Saint Pius X, have been adamant defenders of the deposit of faith, whereas the worst popes, eg. Pope Paul VI, have intentionally or unintentionally been bent on destroying the deposit of faith. A pope’s duty, first and foremost, must be defending, guarding and passing on the deposit of faith and tradition to the next generation of believers.

  95. Pat says:

    Mark
    You make a really good point that as a teen you were ready for something deeper yet were given a watered down version of the faith. Is that what the teen Masses are, a watered-down Mass? Someone above said there are often liturgical abuses. I wonder what would happen if instead of talking down to teens we were to actually respect their intelligence. What if instead of giving them a pop Mass they were given the MEF and sound catechesis?
    M Kr
    I understand your explanation and you sound like you know what you’re talking about. The reason I used the word service is in a little seminar I did about the Mass the material that was used was a booklet written by Mark Shea and published by Ave Maria Press and it said that the Mass is not properly called a service, that a service is something you do (as you said) but in the Mass the action is entered into. I wondered about this and thought I had heard Mass referred to as a service and was left confused since I’m pretty sure the material had the imprimatur. I’ll see if I can find it.
    Pat

  96. Louis E. says:

    Perhaps the TLM-banning Cardinal Darmaatmadja can be transferred from the Archbishopric of Jakarta to become Episcopal Chaplain Extraordinary of the Notionally Catholic Reporter?
    Unlike Cardinal Ratzinger he was on their list of papabili before the 2005 conclave…

  97. Stan G says:

    Stephen said (yesterday) — “How do you separate the NCR and Marini from Paul VI and John Paul II? The Popes allowed if not encouraged all that you rail against. What if another Paul VI succeeds Benedict?”

    Yes, there is always the danger that a more liberal Pope can derail the current “reform of the reform,” at least to the extent of not taking decisive action where needed and trying to “lead by accommodation” rather than by authoritative direction. But the key thing is that all authentic acts of the Church are cumulative — they cannot actually contradict the Church’s message, only complement each other in the interpretation and implementation thereof.

    Paul VI, who anguished over the direction the Church was taking, and a fortiori John Paul II who was the present Pope’s mentor in a sense, certainly did not “encourage all that you rail against” — and if they had, it could only have been to the extent I mentioned above, NOT in any truly revolutionary or doctrinally novel way.

  98. Mark says:

    I’d like a clarification on the difference between calling the liturgy a Mass or a service. Personally I prefer to not use the term service as to me it has a Protestant connotation. But I’d like to know what the Church says on this matter. Either way, I prefer to refer to the liturgy as a Mass as it is a uniquely Catholic term.

    Mark

  99. Henry Edwards says:

    Mark: I prefer to refer to the liturgy as a Mass as it is a uniquely Catholic term.

    When a priest begins Mass with a reference to “this liturgy” or “this Eucharist”, I already have a pretty good fix on him. (Let’s not even think about a priest saying “this service”!)

    As I do when he refers to “the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass”.

  100. Jordan Potter says:

    Mark said: Someone above said there are often liturgical abuses.

    If I recall correctly, one of the worst abuses at the former Lifeteen Masses in our parish was the priest inviting the kids to enter the sanctuary after the Consecration, hold hands in a circle around the altar, and sing the sappy and self-exultatory Pentecostal tune, “(We are standing on) Holy Ground” (sung to the tune of Kumbaya, by the way). They used to do the same thing at “We Are The Church” weekend retreats for adults too, and I fear they still do.

  101. Franklin Jennings says:

    M Kr,

    The Old Oligrach says it better than I ever could…

    “Liturgy. From the Greek, Leitourgia, from leitos, people; and ergon, work. If I had a nickel for each time this one was abused, I’d be a rich man! Liberal liturgists often falsely remark that this word means “the people’s work.” Their intention is to justify more “active participation” of the congregation in the Mass, or worse, the theory that the presence of the congregation is necessary for the validity of the Eucharist. The proper translation of this etymology is a public service. Don’t believe me? Consult the LSJ’s entry at Perseus.

    A leitourgia is an event staged for the general public by experts at the expense of a private individual. When my rich friend Plutarch agrees to dole out money to commission Aristogeiton to produce a performance of Antigone for the edification of my town, he’s just performed a leitourgia. As you can see, the emphasis couldn’t be more traditional. Far from being involved in the actual performance of what takes place on stage, the people are the audience and beneficiaries of the service.

    The service is performed by a professional corps of actors, whose specific competence is the task at hand. In the same way, a military officer oversees the leitourgia of a corp of carpenters and masons erecting a public building. Performance of the service is the actors’ duty alone. As with any public service, there may be some audience members who are better educated than the actors, or more devoted to the works of Sophocles, or more charismatic in the community, but this does not make them actors. That is the task of the priest. Lastly, the play itself is written by a genius (the Lord), carefully preserved over time (tradition), and made possible by the gift of a rich man (i.e., drawn from the apostolic deposit of the Church).

    Is there no role for the audience then? Of course there is. It is receptive, which is, after all, an action. (Receptivity is based on captio, capturing, after all!) Their mode of activity is to become fully immersed in the dramatic action, participating in its heights, pondering its depths, and experiencing its catharsis at the end. A play cannot be a play without presuming some audience, however small or however private. Yet the play is always for them, not by them. If these liturgical liberals weren’t shameless pragmatists, they would pay closer attention to what is contained in the word, leitourgia.”

  102. Fr Martin Fox says:

    Henry:

    Re: Mass vs. “liturgy” vs. “Eucharist” . . .

    I concede your intuition is probably right a lot of the time; however, I wouldn’t press the point. The Orthodox — who handle these liturgy matters far better than we do these days — call it “the Divine Liturgy”; and the holy father, in Sacramentum Caritatis, repeatedly referred to the Mass as “the Eucharist,” teaching something important: that “Eucharist” properly refers not only to the Sacrament per se, but also to the sacrificial liturgy from which we receive the Body and Blood.

    I.e., there’s no reason someone with all the right understanding of the Mass shouldn’t call it “the liturgy” or “the Eucharist.”

    I agree about “service,” however, and I cringe when parishioners use the term.

  103. M Kr says:

    Mark:

    Your questions is perhaps in the wrong order. You asked whether to called the liturgy the Mass or a service. The Mass is a church service, specifically, the service at the heart of which, the body and blood of our Lord are consecrated. There are other services, the most important of which are the Hours of the Divine Office, for example, Vespers, etc., Benediction, etc. Service is meant in the sense of an official act of worship for which there are prescribed prayers, ceremonies, etc. in the official service books, as opposed to private prayers which don’t have such prescriptions. There is nothing Protestant about the term.

  104. Henry Edwards says:

    Fr. Fox: I.e., there’s no reason someone with all the right understanding of the Mass shouldn’t call it “the liturgy” or “the Eucharist.”

    Certainly true. I was commenting not on what the words mean, or what they should mean, or even on what is preferred usage … But solely on what can ordinarily be inferred from their usage by a priest in his introductory remarks at Mass.

    Simply as an observational matter. For instance, one probably can predict from an English-speaking Roman rite priests’ informal Eucharistic language how high he is most likely to elevate the Host and Chalice after the consecration.

  105. Templar says:

    Wow, after wading through these rather lengthy thread all I can think to say is it sure would be nice if the “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church” had one Liturgy, and one defined doctrine for the Sacred Music to be used therein. It would sure put an end to all this “interpretation” that seems to be leading to these debates.

    But then again, we did have that at one time didn’t we?

  106. Mark says:

    Mr. K.

    Thanks so much for your explanation. So then the Mass is one of several Catholic services. I get it.

    At least in my little part of the world, since the Protestants also use the term service to describe their Sunday worship, I still prefer to use the term Mass to avoid confusion and to show our unique Catholic heritage. For example, when people ask what I did during my lunch hour, I say that I went to Mass so that they know I’m Catholic, instead of just saying I went to church, or went to services, which could imply that I’m Protestant. It’s just a small act of bearing witness to Jesus and to the Church in a way that is clear and non-confrontational.

    But I accept what you said about the word’s inherent meaning.

    To Templar:

    I wish that we had some unity in the fundamentals of the liturgy too. From the little I know about the pre-V2 Church, it seems that there were many liturgies, but that they all agreed at their core values over things like is the liturgy directed more to the vertical (to God) or to the horizontal (to us), and from that inner essence flowed the forms of the different liturgies that we still united in their core values. So it’s not a unanimity of liturgy that people want these days, but rather a unified core of what the liturgy is about.

    In Cardinal Ratzinger’s book The Spirit of the Liturgy, he argues strongly in favor of a liturgy that is focused on the vertical, that is directed ad orientam, that looks forward in hope for the New Jerusalem, and that is cosmic in it’s goal of redeeming not just man but the whole of creation. Now that he’s the Pope, the big question is what will he do to bring this about? He warns against making changes too frequently, which would tend to show that he’s not going to declare the NO Mass obsolete. Yet his writings are so clear about what he prefers, that it makes me wonder how he will lead us out the wilderness to the goal that he so strongly believes in. Let’s all pray for him because he’s going to need it.

    Someone wisely posted a comment that what we’re perhaps seeing is the formation of two kinds of Catholic communities, a high Church and a low Church similar to the Anglicans. If this happens, though it would solve the problem of a possible schism over the use the TLM Mass, where those who have wanted it for long have faced excommunication over it would be drawn back into full communion, it also brings up the possibility of further schism down the road. As the Anglicans have found, the kind of liturgy that you have produces and draws to it a congregation that matches the values and spirit of the liturgy. It’s clear to anyone that in the US at least, we have a pretty big divide over issues like lay participation, social issues, and community building versus worship of God. Though we can already see the sides picking which Mass they prefer, we still for the most part all go to the NO Mass. We still are united by one Mass. Even if we don’t like the NO Mass, we can agree that unity is a great thing. But I know that I am starting to go the TLM Mass more and more and I sure hope and know that my bishop will fully let that trend grow in our diocese. But the potential for schism or at least for strife is still there. Lincoln quoted the Bible when he said that a house divided against itself cannot stand.

    I don’t agree with Bishop Trautman of Erie, PA a lot but he is right to make sure that his diocese always has a choice, and that the TLM Mass is not used exclusively. At the present time that would only produce a lot of resentment and confusion. It’s going to be a lot harder to bring back a liturgy that is more deep and profound in its theology and is in a language that most people don’t know than it was to basically dumb down the liturgy and switch to the vernacular. This is especially going to be hard when we know that the left wing of the Church will see their beloved lay programs and social outreach causes wrapped up in the debate over the form of the liturgy. And we can’t honestly say that the two are not related because they are.

  107. Jordan Potter says:

    Templar said: But then again, we did have that at one time didn’t we?

    No, we didn’t. You’re confusing the Latin Church with the entire Catholic Church, in which there has always been a diversity of rites and liturgies.

  108. Stephen says:

    Stan, I’m not sure what Pope Paul’s anguishing had to do with anything. He certainly seemed to anguish less over what Bugnini was doing than what Lefebvre was doing. My question remains, why is the Pope given a pass by so many on this blog? Eisenhower sacked Patton. Paul VI could have sacked Bugnini et al. anytime he wanted, but did not, and so at a minimum put the full weight and might of the Papacy behind the Novus Ordo. What is to stop that from happening again?

  109. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Prayer, Stephen, yours. We get what we deserve when we do not pray. Let’s pray that we see martyrs.

  110. M Kr says:

    Mark:

    I too use the word “Mass” on all such occasions. I only use “service” when speaking about Church services in general. You’re right, the word “Mass” makes an unambiguous statement that one is a Catholic and not a Protestant.

  111. M Kr says:

    The Catholic Church never did have one Rite. Even the Latin Church in the West had all sorts of local usages (not to mention the usages of the various religious orders). Even where the (strictly) Roman Rite of Pius V was used, there were (and still) are small local variations, such as whether to ring the bell at the smaller Elevation or not, etc.

  112. Habemus Papam says:

    Interesting how many Catholics these days speak of “going to Church” rather than to Mass. A subconcious acknowledgment perhaps. Time was when going to Church meant becoming Protestant.

  113. Templar says:

    Hmmm, perhaps I am guilty of pride, but I consider the Latin Church, THE Church, and that is what I meant. I consider all others to be wounds to the separation of God’s Church, whether they be Eastern, Lutheran, Anglican, et al.

    As for the variations in the Rites for various orders, and even the minor local variations, yes I understand, but that is small potatoes to what we have today. I have gone to 4 different parishes in 3 different Diocese in the past year, and have not experienced the same Mass, in any of them, and only in one of them was the Mass , whether NO or TLM, done correctly. Prior to the introduction of the NO you could walk into any Parish anywhere in the world and follow the basic Mass. But now, it’s like playing religion roulette. What the Church needs is Freedom FROM Choice, in my humble opinion.

  114. Habemus Papam says:

    Stephan, the full implications of what Paul VI did to the Church are too disturbing for many Catholics to contemplate. The most charitable view may be that he lost his mind, or had it taken from him. Whatever, it will take more than one Pope to undo the damage he caused.

  115. Joe says:

    Templar: The Latin Church is not THE Church in the Catholic Church. It has never been so and will never be so. I hesitate to point an accusatory finger. Please do a little research on the Maronite Catholic Church, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the Melkite Catholic church, and the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church. At one time or another, the Latin Church hierarchy has made life difficult for them. For what it’s worth, none of them celebrate the “Mass”. They have their own names for their Liturgies, and they are all as valid and as beautiful as our own TLM.

    All: I often sense some hostility/resentment/lamentation about John Paul II, and IMHO it isn’t called for. John Paul II of Eternal Memory was, by his own admission (I believe) not a great administrator by any means. He wasn’t perfect, but the man was a brilliant writer who often enraged the so-called “Catholic Left” just as Benedict XVI does now. I look at the life Karol Wotyla had to lead during the Nazi and Communist occupation as a priest and as a bishop, and then having to deal with an assassination attempt, the liberation theology mess in Latin America, and the struggles of his homeland behind the Iron Curtain – among other things.

    No, all did not go perfect for the Church under JPII. Far from it. Yet, today, the Iron Curtain is no more. The UGCC is growing in Ukraine and is building a new cathedral in Kyiv. Polish emigres have made the Catholic Church the most-attended in England since before Henry Tudor divorced the daughter of Queen Isabella, the greatest Catholic woman (except maybe for Mother Teresa) in the second millenium. Polish emigrees may yet save the Church in Ireland. JPII did give the Indult. Blame the Bishops who blew it off, just like blowing off Ex Corde Ecclisiae and Orientale Lumen, among others.

    John Paul II brought Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to the Holy See and John Paul II managed to keep him there.

  116. Jordan Potter says:

    Stephen said: My question remains, why is the Pope given a pass by so many on this blog?

    Have you been reading this weblog that much? I find quite a few people here not inclined to give the Pope a pass.

    Anyway, you’ve asked your Papacy question here more than once, and if you’re the Stephen I’ve seen elsewhere on the internet, you’ve also questioned or denied the authority and role of the Papacy on other websites. You’re not asking a question because you want the answer, you’re asking a question because you want people here to stop being Catholics, as you have stopped. (Indeed, I wonder if you’re the Stephen who was contemplating leaving Christianity and becoming a Jewish proselyte, though I know that could be a different Stephen.)

    What is to stop that from happening again?

    Nothing is to stop Popes from making mistakes, sometimes big mistakes. But that doesn’t cancel your duty to honor and obey St. Peter’s successors.

  117. Templar says:

    Joe: CCC 816 “The sole Church of Christ [is that] which our Savior, after his Resurrection, entrusted to Peter’s pastoral care,…”

    So the Latin, or Roman, Church is THE Church, and the Maronites, Melkites, Greeks, Chaldeans, et al, who came later, or developed separately, and have since accepted communion with Rome, are now part of THE Church. Their Liturgies would have all been approved (or accepted) by Rome to be accepted into Communion with Rome. But point being that they became part of THE Church and not vice versa. I don’t see how it can be interpreted otherwise.

    Respectfully.

  118. Stephen says:

    Jordan, I do find analysis of Paul VI relatively paltry compared to the umbrage heaped on Bugnini, Marini et al, who after all are only small fry. So, to find answers, it just seems logical to start and the top, doesn’t it?

    And, I try not to project myself onto other people, or attempt to know their motives, especially over the internet. It would be presumptuous of me to think I know you, and consider your presumptions evidence of tremendous hubris on your part. I take everything at face value, as that seems only courteous. I would appreciate the same in return.

    Also, I find nothing in Catholic teaching to require your obedience when it’s in conflict with your conscience, but do correct me if I’m wrong.

  119. Joe says:

    The other Particular Churches in the Catholic Church did not develop “later”. Their origins are as old as the Latin Church. Some were out of communion with the Holy See and later returned, but Templar’s reading of CCC 816 reads like Latin triumphalism.

    I don’t see how it can be read any other way.

  120. Templar says:

    If it be triumphalism to acknowledge the supremacy of Rome I am in good company.

    “For with this Church all other Churches must bring themselves into line, on account of its superior authority.” St Irenaeus of Lyons, 2nd Century.

    “To be in communion with the Bishop of Rome is to be in communion with the Catholic Church.” St Cyprian, 3rd Century.

    “I will give unto thee, the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven”. Jesus to Peter as reported in the Gospel of Matthew

    Respectfully.

  121. Stephen says:

    Templar, I take it you had no disagreement with the Novus Ordo, then? Or the moving of tabernacles out of the center? And I take it further that you believe those who are uncomfortable with these and other Papal approved changes are less Roman Catholic than yourself?

  122. Jordan Potter says:

    Stephen said: Jordan, I do find analysis of Paul VI relatively paltry compared to the umbrage heaped on Bugnini, Marini et al, who after all are only small fry.

    I don’t. On the other hand, greater respect is owed Paul VI than is owed “small fry” like Bugnini, Marini et al.

    So, to find answers, it just seems logical to start and the top, doesn’t it?

    No, not necessarily.

    And, I try not to project myself onto other people, or attempt to know their motives, especially over the internet.

    I remembered that anti-papacy beliefs are your special hobby horse. As far as I recall, it’s the only thing you’ve ever talked about here.

    It would be presumptuous of me to think I know you, and consider your presumptions evidence of tremendous hubris on your part.

    It would be presumptuous and extremely mistaken, and not especially kind, of you to consider my wondering if you’re the same Stephen I’ve met elsewhere on the Internet to be evidence of tremendous hubris on my part.

    I take everything at face value, as that seems only courteous. I would appreciate the same in return.

    No problem. So, are you going to actually come out and say whether or not you’re the Stephen who elsewhere has expressed opposition to Petrine authority and has also investigated abandoning Christianity to become a Jew?

    Also, I find nothing in Catholic teaching to require your obedience when it’s in conflict with your conscience, but do correct me if I’m wrong.

    No, there’s no obligation to obey when your conscience is in conflict — but there is an obligation to properly form the conscience, and there is no absolute obligation to obey a misformed conscience.

    Templar said: If it be triumphalism to acknowledge the supremacy of Rome I am in good company.

    Templar, I have to agree with Joe — from where I’m sitting, it looks like you’re not just acknowledging Rome’s supremacy, you’re expressing a tendency to identify the Latin Church as THE Church and the other Particular Churches as Churches only in so far as they abase themselves before Rome’s ultramontane supremacy. But the Catholic Church acknowledges the Eastern schismatics as genuine Churches even though they have departed from unity with the See of St. Peter.

  123. Stephen says:

    Jordan, greater respect is of course due the greater office. But where does the buck stop? If you say Marini or Bugnini, I say you have intellectually punted. While that may be acceptable on other blogs, this ones seems to me to be honest intellectually.

    And, if identity were no problem for you, you would not worry about whether or not I was that Stephen, as it does not matter, and focus on the truth of the topics at hand. Your insistence otherwise strikes me as a ruse, to deflect from addressing the issues, such as what is to stop another Pope from unleashing another Novus Ordo.

    Agreed on the issue of conscience.

  124. M Kr says:

    Templar:

    Hopefully the following explanation will help:

    Nobody here is denying that one must be in communion with the Bishop of Rome to be in full communion with the Catholic Church. The issue here is that there have since the earliest days of the Christianity been various liturgical traditions in the Church. This was not seen as a problem. For various reasons, many Eastern Christians, including the Monophysite Syrians, Copts, Ethopians and Armenians and the East Syrian Nestorians split from the Church during the first millennium. In the early part of the second millennium, the Orthodox Eastern Church drifted into schism from the Church as well. Then, starting in the sixteenth century, parts of these various bodies returned to communion with Rome, while maintaining as much of their traditions as possible. Obviously, heretical ideas were expunged from the services.

    Thus, as of the late eighteenth century, there corresponds to each schismatic Eastern Church, a particular Church (a canonical term) in union with Rome. In this sense the Latin Church is a particular Church within the entire Church.

    Hopefully that explanation helps.

  125. Templar says:

    Stephen: I do have a problem with the Novus Ordo that is done poorly, but not as it was originally presented. If forced to choose between the NO or the TLM it is no contest, but until the NO is declared invalid by Rome, I can not do so on my own authority. I have a HUGE problem with the removal of the tabernacles and pray for a reversion daily. I do not spend much if any time considering the Catholic-ness of others, as it is all I can do to keep up with me and my family.

    Jordan: Well, I wouldn’t word it as strongly as you have put it. I’m not looking for any Church to “debase themselves” before Rome. But to my mind it is clear that the Latin Church is THE Church, as it has never left THE Church, but has been there from the beginning. That makes it first amongst equals if you prefer that term. And I believe this is consistent with what I have been taught.

    M Kr: Thank you for your clear and patient explanation, I am in complete agreement with what you have said, and have been all along. As I mentioned in (I believe) my second post, I meant Latin Church when I said THE Church, and I am not confused on the different rites within the Church. I apologize for any confusion that may still exist on that account. As for the position of the Latin Church within the Church, I believe history and the Catechism support what I have said. Is it our modern mindset that instinctively rebels against the idea of a Hierarchy within the Church? Is not Christ the King and we all his subjects? Why would any group, or anyone, object to their place within that Hierarchy if they professed Christianity?

    Respectfully;

  126. Prof Basto (on holiday) says:

    NCR: \”Liturgy is the visible expression of the arrangement of power.\”

    Isn\’t that the same kind of heresy that can be found in Leonardo Boff\’s book
    \”Church: charism and Power\”, already condemned by a formal statement by the CDF?

  127. Habemus Papam says:

    Stephen:”What is to stop another Pope from unleshing another Novus Ordo”
    In theory, nothing. Paul VI was the first Pope to authorise a New Rite (his own description). So a precedent has been set.
    On the other hand, the fact that none of his 260 predessors authorised new rites might indicate that Paul VI in fact had no authority to do so. If one day a Pope solemly declared that Paul VI was WRONG to do so, this would stop a future Pope from unleashing another Novus Ordo.