American papal Nuncio score a goal on Summorum Pontificum, reform, ad orientem

I was alerted to a piece on a blog called Island Envoy, the blog of the papal nuncio to a whole bunch of places in the Carribean, the Antilles.  He is Most Reverend Archbishop Thomas Gullickson, originally a priest of the Diocese of Sioux Falls, SD.

Here is a piece he posted on his blog.   Let’s have a look with my emphases and comments.

But before we read this together, watch this.  It’ll help.

Pick up the Ball and Run!

Taking a Stance on the increasing Sentiment in favor of a
Reform of the Liturgical Reform

Recently I happened across what I presume was a sports shoe commercial for television but of a very surreal sort built around a rugby theme. In the video the ball comes crashing through the front window of a restaurant and the next thing you know the men from the restaurant in business suits are joining in the game on the streets of the busy city outside. The video resembles as much urban warfare as it does a sport. I know rugby has become a genuine “thing” for boys and young men, replacing for our day and time the quest for the “red badge of courage” once to be gained in a forgotten type of warfare that was far from all-out for the civilian population but oftentimes mortal for the flower of a nation’s youth. In watching the video, the thought came to me that much of what goes on in the area of vernacular liturgy, its planning and celebration is not without parallels to the sport of rugby and its ethos. The incongruity of this thought is as shocking to me as watching the video “rugby” chase over cars, down alleys and onward through a bustling business district of town. The ethos of Divine Worship should be another.  [This fellow is an engaging writer. The use and description of the commercial sets up a great segue.]

Since the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum the calls for a genuine reform of that liturgical reform which we have netted over the past forty years have become more insistent but likewise more eloquent and credible as proponents clarify their positions and line up behind the Holy Father. [I like this.  "a genuine reform".  I like also the use of "netted".  Because along with "net" there is "loss".  Note also "more eloquent and credible".] The contrast to the at times rugby-like status quo [there’s an oxomoron!] presented by the Pope’s gentle hand and his balanced words, notably during his recent visit to France, has led me to draw my little parallel between what has been touted as a reform [excellent] according to the mind of the Second Vatican Council but which many times over the years and even yet today rather seems to resemble rugby rules for picking up the ball and running with it, that is, if you dare. The liturgical renewal which many of us have experienced in many parts of the Western World is unfortunately tinged with an inclination on the part of the priest celebrants to protagonism and no small amount of bravado being shown by others (let’s point our fingers at some of the pop choirs, musicians and dancers, leaving aside people with feminist and other agendas who also occasionally attempt to highjack what we were taught was the work of all God’s people).  [Okay.  I’m sold.  May His Excellency live a houndred years with heath and happiness and clarity of mind.]

I do not believe I am alone in having witnessed attempts by individuals or groups to steal center stage or at least run as far as they can with the “ball” without being tackled. Today’s Catholic youth and a goodly number of folk on the brink of or even immersed in middle age have known only this situation where what was cautiously and wisely decreed by Sacrosanctum Concilium has been bowled over by the “cavalry charge” initiated by enthusiasts who saw their chance to take the high ground. The fundamental appreciation which the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council had for the need to set forth the liturgical reforms begun by Pope St. Pius X and Pope Pius XII seems to have been lost in the shuffle or huddle.  [I believe the word is "scrum".]

The recent announcement of the intention of the Bishop of Tulsa, Oklahoma to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in English but ad Orientem on the First Sunday of Advent and on Christmas is clearly motivated by a commendable desire on the part of the bishop to reestablish the continuity of the reform within the tradition, one of the hallmarks of the reform as intended and decreed by the Second Vatican Council. The publication in an Italian liturgical “blog” recently of a very eloquent page taken from a publication penned in 2001 by our present Holy Father dealing with being Christian in the new millennium has given new urgency to my own sense of obligation to take a stand in this “game”. For some strange reason, not wishing to challenge anyone’s good will, it seems evident that vernacular liturgy as celebrated today is not only too open to abuse, but is seemingly distant from what the Council Fathers intended and what could have been accomplished since then if everyone had held to their words of instruction and direction[NB: he wrote "vernacular liturgy".]

Were we (priests and people) ill-advised by the liturgical experts to stop praying in the same direction and start facing each other across the table? [Yes.] We know now that the nearly absolute banishment of Latin from our musical repertoire was an impoverishment, a form of iconoclasm, not dissimilar to that which whitewashed and stripped once pretty little churches of their countless votive offerings: sometimes leaving behind barren places where formerly one had felt at home with God, the Blessed Virgin and all the Saints. ["bare ruined choirs"] Could we not then also have been ill-advised in accepting something without precedent in our history (remember that the advice came from the same people and who evidently didn’t sufficiently understand the history of divine worship or care enough about what the Council Fathers had prescribed)? The negative consequences of this personalizing of worship (face to face) are patent. They place unreal expectations on the priest celebrant who as often as not instead of leading us in prayer seems obliged to seek engagement or even eye contact with the people before or around him[I agree.  But it also places unrealistic expectations on the congregation who have to function in the world without everything they might have been able to gain from what should have been an encounter with mystery rather than an all too human priest grinning at them over the altar.]

Sacrosanctum Concilium N. 23 laid down the following principle among others for renewal: “Finally, there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them, and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing.”  [This has been honored more in the breach than the observance, and from the very beginning and, more shockingly, by those tasked with the reform, e.g., the Consilium… Bugnini, Lercaro and crew.] Even in the best celebrations of the reformed liturgy today, one would be hard pressed to show any urgency for celebrating across the altar table as “genuinely and certainly” being required for the good of the Church[YES YES YES!] Organic growth too is hard to plot in what so many people have experienced as rupture.

When N. 33 of the same conciliar decree urges that the sacred liturgy be instructive it does so reminding us that “… the sacred liturgy is principally the worship of the divine majesty…” The above cited page from Cardinal Ratzinger from 2001 rightly emphasizes that it is of the utmost importance that we reacquire respect for the liturgy and once again recognize that it is not open to manipulation; it is not placed at our discretion to be planned and presented as our talents allow. The present Holy Father called in this article for the reestablishment in a clear and organic way of the connections with past history.

[Watch this…] I cannot help but think that the multiplication of celebrations according to the usus antiquior since Summorum Pontificum will be of aid in helping us back to the tradition. A full restoration of things as they were before Sacrosanctum Concilium, however, denies the wholesome analysis and the longing of saintly past Popes and an historic ecumenical council. Pope St. Pius X was right to come to the defense of Gregorian Chant and Pope Pius XII gifted us with a renewal of the Sacred Triduum to reflect the sublime mysteries celebrated therein. Both Popes’ interventions brought genuine change to the liturgy in an atmosphere of profound respect for the sacredness of the words and gestures they were modifying. It was undoubtedly the intention of the Second Vatican Council to set forth this same sort of cautious and organic reform. But, as I say, one has the impression that rugby rules were often applied and more than one stalwart decided to pick up the ball and run for it.

The article I read on the decision of the Bishop of Tulsa contains two great quotes from Bishop Slattery: “I hope that this common posture of the Church at prayer will help you to experience the transcendent truth of the Mass in a new and timeless way… “I pray that this restored practice will help us understand that at Mass we participate in the authentic worship which Christ offers to His Father by being ‘obedient unto death’ (Philippians 2:8)”. A modest wish on my part would be that many more chief shepherds would soon be setting a similar example[We join you in that, Your Excellency.  I hope people will chime in below and add their voices to yours!]

The attraction held by the usus antiquior for young people in particular ought to give pause for thought. The explanation for this phenomenon could be as simple as recalling the God experience of the Prophet Elijah on Mount Sinai: he went to the opening of the cave and covered his face with his cloak at the tiny whispering sound of God passing by. God was not to be found in the storm or tempest. Much of what is propagated as youth liturgy today must certainly be judged at odds with Sacrosanctum Concilium N. 34: “The rites should be distinguished by a noble simplicity. They should be short, clear, and free from useless repetitions.” Though my life as a child was much quieter and free of external stimulation than is that of my nieces and nephews, I still found respite even as a preschooler in the big, quiet church of Sunday morning, where if it wasn’t High Mass, the silence might be broken only by an organ prelude, by another subdued organ piece during Communion and by the antiphons sung by a single voice from the choir loft on high. The genius of the past and its attraction for people of today comes from being able to perceive the Mass as gift, as withdrawn from the ambit of my discretion or caprice, as something of God, something sacred. Pope Benedict XVI speaks with urgency of our need to reawaken an interior sense of the sacred.

We have something altogether priceless in the renewed liturgical calendar and in the bounty of the lectionary with its three year cycle for Sundays and Solemnities. The introduction of the vernacular to worship certainly responded to an almost desperate hunger outside of the Latin world at least, if not universally within the Church. I would like to believe that the Bishop of Tulsa is on to something when he very simply and humbly moves to reestablish a single orientation for prayer in his cathedral this Advent and Christmas. May his attempt succeed to rescue the Mass from those who would beat it down with personal inventions or change the rules of the game to those of aggression! There’s a time and a place for rugby and not all of us are hearty enough to play such a game.

Highest WDTPRS kudos to Archbp. Gullickson!

His Excellency wrote:

A modest wish on my part would be that many more chief shepherds would soon be setting a similar example. 

We join you in that, Your Excellency.  I hope people will chime in below and add their voices to yours!

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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49 Responses to American papal Nuncio score a goal on Summorum Pontificum, reform, ad orientem

  1. Tom says:

    Wondeful, especially coming from a man ordained in 1976, well after the Revolution. Papal nuncio is indeed an important post, but is it wrong to wish and hope and pray that His Excellency be given the care of a major US diocese? One can hope!

  2. Anne Gomes says:

    Maybe by netted the Bishop was making a nautical/fishing reference, as in throwing out your net after which you have to sort the good from the bad? AnneG in NC

  3. Anthony says:

    This man needs a red hat.

  4. Joan says:

    I am thrilled at this, Fr. Z. Archbishop Gullickson is my Nuncio! He resides in Trinidad, as I do. I have been impressed with his thought on more than one occasion (at Masses where he was the chief celebrant and gave the homily).

    I am aware of only one location in Trinidad where the Extraordinary Form Mass is available, and that only (I think) once per month – in the chapel of a local High School. This is not even publicised in our local Catholic Newspaper, but, rather by word of mouth.

    I sincerely Archbishop Gullickson will be influential in the growth of the EF in the region.

  5. EJ says:

    A Vatican diplomat who actually takes a strong stance on an issue and makes it public – my kind of diplomat. This man is needed at either the CDW or a major U.S. metropolitan see.

  6. Tom Lanter says:

    Fr. Z. and Friends;

    Archbishop Gullickson gets it.

    This week we have a new bishop, Most Rev. Dennis M. Schnurr, the bishop of Duluth, coadjutor of Cincinnati please pray for him.

    JMJ
    Tom Lanter

  7. TNCath says:

    A man like Archbishop Gullickson won’t be in the Antilles for long. Thank God for him, and, please God, send us more bishops like him!

  8. Fr. Andrew says:

    As a priest in the Sioux Falls Diocese, this is beautiful. An article like this, form a trusted “local boy done well,” is a great boon. As a seminarian, I was present at Archbishop Gullickson’s episcopal ordination, which he requested to be held in St. Joseph’s Cathedral. He still likes to keep in touch with priests in our diocese. God bless him!

  9. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:

    “Te Deum laudamus: te Dominum confitemur. Te aeternum Patrem: omnis terra veneratur…”
    (I’d write out the whole thing but it would take up a lot of blog room).

    Ad multos annos! Eis polla eti!

    His Excellency’s words bring almost ineffable joy! Indeed his use of the word “iconoclasm” has thrown the entire issue into a brand new light for me. Just as the iconoclasts ruled for decades, so the iconodules came back with even greater power. Indeed, the Eastern Churches, to this day, celebrate the Feast of the Triumph of the Icons. Perhaps the anniversary of the motu proprio will, one day, rank alongside it.

  10. Jeff Pinyan says:

    The anti-spam word was “continuity”!

    I think I will print this out and mail it to my pastor and my bishop.

  11. Daniel says:

    I am pleased that a few Churchmen have finally broken from the party line — that being the notion that we’ve experienced a “liturgical springtime” brought about by Vatican II — that had been promoted for decades by post-Vatican II Popes and bishops.

    We are moving slowly from denial (that we’re in a Vatican II liturgical springtime) to the “reform of the reform” (favored by conservatives). The “reform of the reform” will, in my opinion, fail as it is not what we require, which is the full restoration of Holy Tradition to renew the Church.

    A new New Mass, which is what the “reform of the reform” movement wishes to invent, to replace the post-Vatican II New Mass, would likely be an improvement over the current liturgical debacle. But only the full return to the Traditional Mass (which is decades away from happening) would restore Holy Mother Church to Her pre-Vatican II glory.

    But I notice a bit of revisionism among folks who who promote the “reform of the reform.” Rather than acknowledge that the Novus Ordo debacle is exactly that Mass which the Council promoted, “reform of the reform” adherents claim that the liturgical debacle is tied mainly to Monsignor Bugnini and liturgical abuses.

    The reality is that Popes Paul VI and John Paul II and thousands of bishops approved the liturgical novelties that have wrecked the Roman Liturgy. Communion in the hand, altar girls, EMs, all-vernacular Masses, pianos, guitars, drums, permitting non-Catholics to perform liturgical functions, ugly churches, etc.

    The good news is that at least we’re moving slowly from decades of official denial from Rome and our bishops to the “reform of the reform.”

    But decades from now, the finally stop will be the full return to the TLM.

  12. Romulus says:

    Well, that was a refreshing read. No disrespect to Archbishop Gullickson or his superiors, but couldn’t his talents be put to better use in a pastoral position? Men like him are badly needed.

  13. John says:

    I pray that more bishops will join up in this trend. Reformed vernacular Masses and Gregorian Masses alternating in the regular Mass schedules. I hope to live the day but my dioscese is on the other side of the mountain, the north-side where the sun rarely shines (Richmond).

  14. Vincent says:

    Absolutely incredible. This essay shows an strong influence by Dom Alcuin Reed’s book Organic Development of the Liturgy. I suspect His Grace will receive the opportunity to put this liturgical thought into action at some point.

  15. Ttony says:

    Rugby isn’t actually played in quite the way he thinks it is – but we’ll forgive him for writing such a wonderful piece of sense.

    So wonderful, unfortunately, that we might find ourselves not shuddering at the thought that a Bishop might have to write this sort of thing, instead of its going without saying, or writing.

  16. mississippi catholic says:

    I really wish many of us woud do our bishops the kind favor of passing along this great treatise.

    We need more and more (and more) of this type of explanatory writing from “the top.” Truth is, the liturgical tide will truly change only when more bishops (not laypeople) are convinced this path is the right one.

  17. Tom Lanter says:

    Fr. Z.;
    I can’t help but to think what if an Archbishop like Archbishop Thomas Gullickson had been our papel nuncio from 1973 until 1980?
    You will recall during those years we had Archbishop Jean Jadot as our apostolic delegate.
    He gave us, Bishop or Archbishops, Sullivan, Weakiand, Mahony, Clark, Hubbard, DuMaine, Sanchez, Ferrario, Flores, Gerety, Imesch, Kelly, Untener, Cardinal Law, and etc. etc..
    But Tom, but Tom; Yes, Yes I know two popes named these men to their seas. I contend the catholic church in the US would today be more like the church of my youth.

    JMJ
    Tom Lanter

  18. Michael says:

    The thing are moving, thank God. I am not Lefebvrist, because he went astray with regard to the docrine of Vatican II, but we all must be grateful to him for the courage with which stood up in defence of the TLM. Without him we would never see the present developments.

  19. David says:

    I appreciate Biship Gullickson’s thoughts and sentiments. It certainly was a refreshing read as another poster commented above.

    However, those thoughts and sentiments, as I read them, still only deal with surface issues such as posture and language. There are more fundamental problems inherent in the new order of the Mass that far outweigh these, such as the additions, changes and manipulations of the actual prayers of the Mass. I’m not referring to translation. The ancient Latin prayers were manipulated, changed and rearranged in such a way that the very logic, the theological and philosophical presupposition inherent to the prayers, was altered, radically in some cases.

    What does His Excellency mean by, “a full restoration of things as they were before Sacrosanctum Concilium, however, denies the wholesome analysis and the longing of saintly past Popes and an historic ecumenical council”? Is this a refusal to consider that the work of the Concilium was, as experience has demonstrated, a tragically poor implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium?

    I think it is becoming increasingly obvious that in order for Holy Mother Church to set down the road of liturgical reform according to Sacrosanctum Concilium, we need to set aside the work of the Concilium and the new order of the Mass, and begin anew in a fashion that is germane to the historical nature of organic development. The new order of the Mass is, simply, too far off the rails to act as a starting point. The only starting point that is adequate will have to be the starting point the Council Fathers had, that is, the Traditional Latin Mass.

    I don’t think any reform of the reform will take place without first setting aside what, it is becoming increasingly clear, was never a legitimate reform to begin with.

  20. John L says:

    As a rugby fan and a former rugby union player I find this comparison of rugby to the Novus Ordo deeply offensive.

  21. Joe says:

    John L: he didn’t really mean rugby, he meant the ugly version of it imagined by Nike.
    I suspect David put his finger on something Daniel overlooked: His Grace wants an authentic understanding of Sacrosanctum Concilium. The Archbishop refers to “the wholesome analysis and the longing of saintly past Popes and an historic ecumenical council”. I take this to mean that St Pope Pius X and Pope Pius XII are examples of Popes who reformed the Liturgy authentically, and that there could be an authentic way to reform the Liturgy according to “the wholesome analysis and the longing of … an historic ecumenical council”, viz. Vatican II.

  22. Daniel says:

    Tom Lanter wrote…”He gave us, Bishop or Archbishops, Sullivan, Weakiand, Mahony, Clark, Hubbard, DuMaine, Sanchez, Ferrario, Flores, Gerety, Imesch, Kelly, Untener, Cardinal Law, and etc. etc..
    But Tom, but Tom; Yes, Yes I know two popes named these men to their seas. I contend the catholic church in the US would today be more like the church of my youth.”

    How could the Church today be more like the Church of your youth when the “Church in the US today” abandoned the Traditional Mass in favor of the Novus Ordo?.

  23. Daniel says:

    David wrote…”I don’t think any reform of the reform will take place without first setting aside what, it is becoming increasingly clear, was never a legitimate reform to begin with.”

    The decision by Rome in the 1960s to launch a radical liturgical “reform” was an act of spiritual suicide.

    And our bishops’ willingness to support the reform was spiritual suicide. The reform is a debacle. It’s a tremendous failure that led to the collapse of the Church.

    But think about what you said. There is no way a Pope or bishop (other than an SSPX bishop) would ever have the nerve to acknowledge your premise.

    The reason is that Popes Paul VI and John Paul II spent nearly 40 years teaching that the post-Vatican II liturgical reform — the Novus Ordo Mass — flowed 100 percent from Vatican II’s document on the Liturgy and flowed from the numerous post-Vatican II liturgical documents approved by the Popes.

    Everything from Communion in the hand to altar girls, from permitting non-Catholics to perform liturgical functions to guitars, pianos and all-vernacular liturgies have received Rome’s (and our bishops’) approval.

    Can you ever envision the day when a future Pope or any bishop (other than an SSPX bishop) would declare the post-Vatican II liturgical reform “illegitimate”? I can’t.

    Can you imagine what such a declaration would mean to the reigns of Paul VI and John Paul II? The Church would be forced to confront the following: Popes Paul VI and John Paul II spent nearly 40 years promoting an “illegitimate” liturgical reform that they taught had launched the Church into a “new springtime”.

    Your premise is something to ponder. But Rome and our bishops (except SSPX bishops) will not be among those who, at least publicly, ponder such a premise. Never. Never.

  24. Ygnacia says:

    “The new order of the Mass is, simply, too far off the rails to act as a starting point.”

    Yes. As someone who ‘grew up’ with the Novus Ordo, and is now also attending the EF, it is more and more clear to me with each Mass how watered down the NO is. It’s so obvious as to be ridiculous…

  25. Michael says:

    YGNACIA
    I think we should all stop using the terms “EF” and “OF” in the sense of “exceptional” and “ordinary”. The EF means Superior, and OF means Inferior.

    DANIEL
    “Can you ever envision the day when a future Pope or any bishop (other than an SSPX bishop) would declare the post-Vatican II liturgical reform ‘illegitimate’? I can’t.”

    Your are right in the way that you have put it; and in much of what you say. But the Inferior Form can be made, without much effort, almost indistinguishable from the Superior Form.

    It can be quite legitimately celebrated in Latin, ad orientem, with Canon I (and nobody can objectively reject Canon III, apart from saying that it is a new product), with Pro Multis, with altar rails, Communion kneeling and on a tongue, no lay ministers, no women in the Sanctuary, no ICEL fabricated “first” acclamation, no hand shaking, no guitars and other nonsense of similar kind … no sitting while the Consecrated Species are on the altar etc. A limited use of vernacular wouldn’t be contrary to the tradition, because in the coastal area of what is now Croatia it had been the liturgical language of the Western Church since 10th century at the latest.

    There is no need to admit that “Popes Paul VI and John Paul II spent nearly 40 years promoting an ‘illegitimate’ liturgical reform that they taught had launched the Church into a new springtime”; only that the Mass should have been celebrated as above, but there were “abuses” which the popes were not able to eliminate by documents (there was no shortage of these) because the bishops wouldn’t obey, and even if they did want to obey, the clergy and their associated “activists” wouldn’t.

    At this stage, the main point is not to tamper with the Superior Form, particularly not to permit the elements of the Inferior Form to creep into and thus inferiorize the Superior Form; and I am much afraid that it is already happening, at least with the way how the Holy Communion is administered.

  26. Matthew says:

    Three cheers for Apb Gullickson. May he soon be translated to St. Louis! I have honestly wondered for some time and I would greatly appreciate an honest answer whether SC, 23 does not actually forbid the Novus Ordo Missae. Granted the Holy Father (Paul VI) was competent to determine whether it did but if so then his successors are competent to determine that it does not, yes?

  27. supertradmom says:

    What a phenomenal letter! And “scrum” is the word I would use for the horrible youth liturgies inflicted upon parishes for the past 40 years in the name of “relevance”. Ick! Thank you, Bishop, and God grant you many, happy years…..

  28. Daniel says:

    Michael wrote…”There is no need to admit that “Popes Paul VI and John Paul II spent nearly 40 years promoting an ‘illegitimate’ liturgical reform that they taught had launched the Church into a new springtime”; only that the Mass should have been celebrated as above…”

    Michael, the point of the Novus Ordo Mass is that it wasn’t invented to be celebrated “as above.” Pope Paul VI, for example, taught that the new Mass was a radical and even shocking innovation that was far removed from the Traditional Mass.

    Michael, if Pope Paul VI and the bishops of the early Conciliar Era had wished to have Mass celebrated as you indicated, then they would not have invented a radical new liturgical movement designed to eradicate the Traditonal Mass.

    Pope Paul VI’s teaching says it all.

    During his General Audience on November 26, 1969, Pope Paul VI declared the following: “Our Dear Sons and Daughters: We ask you to turn your minds once more to the liturgical innovation of the new rite of the Mass.

    “A new rite of the Mass: a change in a venerable tradition that has gone on for centuries. This is something that affects our hereditary religious patrimony, which seemed to enjoy the privilege of being untouchable and settled.

    “We shall become aware, perhaps with some feeling of annoyance, that the ceremonies at the altar are no longer being carried out with the same words and gestures to which we were accustomed — perhaps so much accustomed that we no longer took any notice of them.

    “We must prepare for this many-sided inconvenience. It is the kind of upset caused by every novelty that breaks in on our habits. Even priests may feel some annoyance in this respect.

    “So what is to be done on this special and historical occasion? First of all, we must prepare ourselves. This novelty is no small thing. We should not let ourselves be surprised by the nature, or even the nuisance, of its exterior forms.

    “As We said on another occasion, we shall do well to take into account the motives for this grave change. The first is obedience to the Council. That obedience now implies obedience to the Bishops, who interpret the Council’s prescription and put them into practice.

    “This moment is shaking the Church, arousing it, obliging it to renew the mysterious art of its prayer.

    “It is here that the greatest newness is going to be noticed, the newness of language. No longer Latin, but the spoken language will be the principal language of the Mass. The introduction of the vernacular will certainly be a great sacrifice for those who know the beauty, the power and the expressive sacrality of Latin.

    “We are parting with the speech of the Christian centuries; we are becoming like profane intruders in the literary preserve of sacred utterance.

    “We will lose a great part of that stupendous and incomparable artistic and spiritual thing, the Gregorian chant.”

    Michael, that is the point of the Vatican II Era liturgical “reform.”

    Pope Paul VI told the truth. The “reform” was/is all about radical liturgical innovation.

  29. Michael says:

    DANIEL
    I know all that. Still, whatever Paul VI’s account, the fact is that his Mass can be celebrated as I have described above, and I have attended it in the form nearly as above. It can be done. And I believe that is what the present Holy Father actually wants, besides the Superior Form.

    After all, the Inferior Form is what it is, not what Paul VI said about it, because the Mass is a ritual, the words about the ritual are not the ritual itself.

    Judging from implications of Cardinal Ratzinger’s writings, Paul VI was seriously mistaken about the very nature of the Liturgy. Fortunately, his tendency to provide for “varieties” has provided for the variant which, while not ideal, can be made acceptable, and thus provide for what the present Pope has at heart: continuity without break.

  30. David says:

    Michael,

    Then, isn’t it true that the priest and congregation that assists at the new order of the Mass “celebrated as above” is just another brute “picking up the the ball and running with it”??

    Is a neo-conservative interpretation of the new order of the Mass, with all the smells and bells, with Latin and ad orientem posture, a better or more authentic interpretation as the clown Mass or the rock Mass? If so, what is the criteria that makes it a better interpretation?

    I have to agree with Daniel. The new order of the Mass was created by individuals and propagated by individuals who never for a moment would have considered the neo-conservative interpretation. They meant to end the artistic, musical, and, yes, I honestly believe, the theological and catechetical patrimony of the Latin Rite.

  31. David says:

    Never. Never.

    But there are whispers. It took over 170 years for the Eastern Church to overcome iconoclasm. For those who spent their whole lives hiding the icons, I’m sure there were more than a few moments of uttering “never, never.” In the end, glory was restored. So, whether the whispers become roars, or Christ returns triumphantly, for now, I’m happy with Summorum Pontificum and those faint whispers.

  32. Daniel says:

    Yes, it can be done. But the point of the “legitimate” Vatican II liturgical reform was, as Pope Paul VI taught, to inflict radical and unprecedented liturgy novely upon the Faithful. That is the legitimate Vatican II liturgical reform. Pope John Paul II confirmed that teaching.

    Popes Paul VI and John Paul II combined to introduce into the following novel and radical breaks with Roman Liturgical Tradition:

    Communion in the hand, altar girls, EMs, female “lectors”, non-Catholics who perform liturgical functions, destruction of Gregorian Chant (again I quote Pope Paul VI: “We are parting with the speech of the Christian centuries; we are becoming like profane intruders in the literary preserve of sacred utterance. We will lose a great part of that stupendous and incomparable artistic and spiritual thing, the Gregorian chant”).

    Michael, we shouldn’t pretend that the “legitimate” Vatican II liturgical reform envisioned the Mass that you described.

    As Popes Paul VI and John Paul II taught, the “legitimate” Vatican II liturgical reform is based upon innovations that are designed to alter the Roman Mass radically.

    Popes Paul VI and John Paul II either intrepreted Vatican II and the liturgical reform correctly or not. If they were correct, then the “legitimate” Vatican II liturgical reform is a series of seemingly endless novelties, endless innovations that are designed to “refresh” the Roman Mass.

    But if Popes Paul VI and John Paul II were wrong, and the “legitimate” Vatican II liturgical reform is that which you described (which is basically the Traditional Latin Mass), then serious questions arise regarding the teachings and interpretations that flowed from the above-mentioned Papacies.

  33. Daniel says:

    Never. Never.

    David replied…”But there are whispers. It took over 170 years for the Eastern Church to overcome iconoclasm. For those who spent their whole lives hiding the icons, I’m sure there were more than a few moments of uttering “never, never.” In the end, glory was restored. So, whether the whispers become roars, or Christ returns triumphantly, for now, I’m happy with Summorum Pontificum and those faint whispers.”

    You may be correct. And I’m with you in that I’m happy with Summorum Pontificum.

  34. RBrown says:

    Judging from implications of Cardinal Ratzinger’s writings, Paul VI was seriously mistaken about the very nature of the Liturgy.
    After all, the Inferior Form is what it is, not what Paul VI said about it, because the Mass is a ritual, the words about the ritual are not the ritual itself.

    Fortunately, his tendency to provide for “varieties” has provided for the variant which, while not ideal, can be made acceptable, and thus provide for what the present Pope has at heart: continuity without break.
    Comment by Michael

    The fact that the Novus Ordo can be said in so many opposing ways undermines its status as ritual.

    Under Paul VI the liturgy of the Eucharist changed from being the center of the life of the Church to a tool that can be manipulated for activist ends, e.g., Ecumenism and Social Justice.

  35. RBrown: The fact that the Novus Ordo can be said in so many opposing ways undermines its status as ritual.

    Good point.

  36. RBrown: It occurs to me that one could also say that

    “because the Mass is a ritual, the words of the ritual are not the ritual itself.”

    What I mean is this … One could delete the 4-hymn sandwich from a Novus Ordo Mass (and perhaps replace the pop songs with chant), always use the confiteor form of the penitential rite, always use the Roman Canon, and the OF priest could say silently (as some do) the same offertory prayers as in the EF, and always make the most traditional choice where verbal options are presented.

    Then the words of the resulting OF Mass would more closely correspond to those of an EF Mass. One can even say all those words in Latin.

    But it would still be clearly recognizable as a Novus Ordo Mass, if its ritual is that of an OF instead of an EF Mass. So I wonder whether the essence of each form does not lie in its ritual actions and ceremony rather than in its words.

  37. Michael says:

    DAVID
    I suggest, read the third paragraph of my comment to Daniel to see what I mean “as above”, and, if possible, define what you mean by the “neoconservative interpretation.”

    DANIEL
    We seem to have two issues here: one is whether under existing legislation, as it stands, the Mass can be celebrated “as above” (third paragraph of my earlier comment); and another, whether such celebration, if possible, would be legitimate in the sense in which Paul VI and John Paul had it in mind.

    Regarding the first question, the answer is – yes. In other words, if the present Pope, whose mind is well known, chooses to celebrate it according to his mind, we should have no objection to it whatsoever.

    Regarding the second question, the answer depends on what the two Popes had in mind. That can’t be established from conveniently selected passages from a doctrinally low grade statement of one of them, selected deliberately to prove a particular view, but from a balanced study of the whole corpus of what they both said on the subject. Even that particular address should be read in Italian.

    I am sure if Paul VI were asked whether he “taught, to inflict radical and unprecedented liturgy novelty upon the Faithful”, that he would have denied it as unjustified accusation. Likewise that “the ‘legitimate’ Vatican II liturgical reform is based upon innovations that are designed to alter the Roman Mass radically”. Or that it “is a series of seemingly endless novelties, endless innovations that are designed to ‘refresh’ the Roman Mass”

    I am also sure that they did not want “Communion in the hand, altar girls, destruction of Gregorian Chant” – it was the fait-accompli imposed on them.

    EMs are necessity in some parts of the world, female “lectors” were in use before Vatican II if my memory is correct and in any case they are used in the Orthodox Church – surely the Western Church can’t teach the East how to worship, non-Catholics who perform liturgical functions are still illegal, as far as I know.

    The things to read are: Mysterium Fidei, Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum, Foreward to the Institutio Generalis, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, John Paul’s letters to priests, C IC and CCC, as well as scrap the SSPX “study”.

    But even granted for the sake of argument that all that means what you think it means, it wouldn’t affect the text and rubrics of the Inferior Form which are open to another meaning, in the same way as the pagan temples were open to Christian meaning and adopted for Christian worship.

    It goes beyond saying that I would like to see the Inferior Form abolished, and if you push me: replaced with the Byzantine Liturgy (although I am “Latin”) but I do not think that it is more than a wishful thinking, likewise the replacement with the Superior Form; and I do not think, that the Pope is keen to do it.

  38. RBrown says:

    Henry,

    I agree. But the use of the vernacular opens opportunities for priests to ad lib. And so even the words, when they are changed by the celebrant, also undermine the rite.

    For example, a priest here always excises the word Sacrifice from the Orate, Fratres–Pray that our GIFTS are acceptable . . .

    There are other manifestations of the loss of ritual in the Novus Ordo: The use of hymns in lieu of the Entrance, Offertory, and Communion antiphons is anything but liturgical. This is still permitted in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal.

    I might add that there is, and has been, much talk for sometime about the recovery of the sense of the sacred. IMHO, this cannot happen without the recovery of the sense of liturgy.

  39. Michael says:

    RBROWN
    Paul VI ….has provided for the variant which, while not ideal, can be made acceptable, and thus provide for what the present Pope has at heart: continuity without break.

    That has been my point all along. Your comment is irrelevant to it.

    FR. ZUHLSDORF
    RBrown’s point is good, and that is the reason why we are in a mess, but that doesn’t rule out one acceptable variant I am talking about.

    HENRY EDWARDS
    The meaning of my original use of the word “words” has drifted from what I had in mind, i.e. the words Paul VI used to qualify the changes; you took it to refer to the words of the text of the Mass.

    By the “ritual” I meant both the words pronounced in whatever way and the things and actions prescrcibed in the rubrics. And my point is that the Inferior Form can be celebrated without violation of the text and rubrics, and yet filly comply with the principle lex orandi lex credendi. See my original post.

  40. Michael: [The Novus Ordo] can be quite legitimately celebrated in Latin, ad orientem, with Canon I … with Pro Multis, with altar rails, Communion kneeling and on a tongue, no lay ministers, no women in the Sanctuary, no ICEL fabricated “first” acclamation, no hand shaking, no guitars and other nonsense of similar kind

    My point was that — while a Novus Ordo Mass celebrated in this manner might be excellent liturgy, and you or I might have find it entirely salutary — it still would lack the ritual action and ceremony of an EF Mass. I refer to the intrinsically and powerfully sacrificial ritual, behavior and demeanor of the priest — which, rather than the words he speaks (whether aloud or silently) — invests the liturgical action of the Mass with much of its perceived ethos and meaning.

  41. Michael says:

    HENRY EDWARDS
    You are talking to the converted while you yourself need conversion. [Carefulllllll…..] I speak about the Superior Form, which is for you only EF, i.e. your language betrays you.

    Joke aside, the real situation is that to expect, after 40 years, a U turn is unrealistic, and the present boss is not in favour of discontinuity. It is, however, possible to “tridentize” the Inferior Form gradually, alongside with a gradual introduction of the Superior Form.

    And because the “tridentization” can be accomplished within the terms of the existing legislation, there is no need to declare the latter illegitimate – that was my point to Daniel.

  42. marty says:

    I’ve been asked whether the island envoy blog is really the archbishop’s. Does any one know with certainty the answer? Are we absolutely sure this isn’t a hoax?

  43. roger b. says:

    Marty,
    I know for absolute, 100% certainty that the island envoy blog belongs
    to Archbishop Gullickson.

  44. Mark John says:

    Lets hope for more bishops like him!

  45. marty says:

    Roger, how do you know this? It seems peculiar that the author identifies himself as “Thomas” . . . I don’t know many bishops who refer to themselves so casually. And, what about the zodiac and astrological sign stuff? I know they have Christian origins, but it seem very fishy to me.

  46. roger b. says:

    Marty,

    Here’s a few websites that might help-

    http://www.sfcatholic.org/communication/bulletin/2004/november/index.html -the first 5 or 6 sentences should be enough.

    http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/bishop/bgull.html -his current Church position

    http://islandenvoy.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2008-08-03T20%3A16%3A00-04%3A00&max-results=7 (scroll to Friday, May 16, 2008)
    “Speak, Lord, Your Servant is Listening” – the first sentence in the third paragraph, “…the fact, that I (the Nuncio), a non-European, …”, and the final paragraph begins, “The nuncio prays for you …”.
    I have been blessed to know the Archbishop, his mother and brother for
    a few years now. The casualness is really a type of modesty/humility.
    Hope this helps.

  47. Daniel says:

    Michael wrote…”I am sure if Paul VI were asked whether he “taught, to inflict radical and unprecedented liturgy novelty upon the Faithful”, that he would have denied it as unjustified accusation. Likewise that “the ‘legitimate’ Vatican II liturgical reform is based upon innovations that are designed to alter the Roman Mass radically”. Or that it “is a series of seemingly endless novelties, endless innovations that are designed to ‘refresh’ the Roman Mass”

    Why would Pope Paul VI deny the above when he confirmed the above?

    Regardless, even if Pope Paul VI denied the above, the reality is that Rome has inflicted upon us radical liturgical “reform” and novelties that have altered the Roman Mass dramatically.

    Any number of orthodox Catholics, such as Monsignor Gamber, have demonstrated that reality.

    I respect the fact that the Pope is the Pope and that we’ve been blessed in that our recent Popes were holy men.

    That does not alter the fact that Pope Paul VI would have been wrong had he denied that the liturgical “reform” inflicted novelties and great damage upon the Church.

    Who hasn’t witnessed the staggering damage that the Vatican II liturgical reform has created. No matter what a Pope may say regarding the liturgical reform, any informed Catholic is aware that tremendous damage has been done to the life of the Church by said reform.

  48. Daniel says:

    Michael wrote…”I am sure if Paul VI were asked whether he “taught, to inflict radical and unprecedented liturgy novelty upon the Faithful”, that he would have denied it as unjustified accusation.”

    Michael, how could Pope Paul VI possibly deny the above when he confirmed the following during his November 26, 1969, General Audience?

    Pope Paul VI referred to the “liturgical innovation of the new rite of the Mass…a change in a venerable tradition that has gone on for centuries. This is something that affects our hereditary religious patrimony, which seemed to enjoy the privilege of being untouchable and settled.

    “We shall become aware, perhaps with some feeling of annoyance, that the ceremonies at the altar are no longer being carried out with the same words and gestures to which we were accustomed…

    “We must prepare for this many-sided inconvenience. It is the kind of upset caused by every novelty… this novelty is no small thing.

    “No longer Latin, but the spoken language will be the principal language of the Mass. We are parting with the speech of the Christian centuries; we are becoming like profane intruders in the literary preserve of sacred utterance.

    “We will lose a great part of that stupendous and incomparable artistic and spiritual thing, the Gregorian chant.”

  49. Michael says:

    DANIEL
    I do not dispute that what you quote of Paul VI he indeed said if the English text is accurate, but I do dispute what you make of it.

    As I said already, you have to put your selected quotations in the context of all he has said on the subject, on that occasion and elsewhere, if you wish to get an idea of what he had in mind. If you believe Paul VI only what suits your claims, and are neither interested nor willing to believe him when he clearly reiterates the Catholic doctrine on the Eucharist, that is your own problem.

    I am familiar with Msgr.Gamber’s research, and with much more that you haven’t mentioned; I agree that the liturgical reform was in no way the change for the better, although I am not sure that the situation would have now been better if no reform had taken place. The underground hostility to the Superior Form was boiling long before Vatican II, and there was a danger that individuals and groups would start tampering with it openly. Actually, the abuses were already under way in sixtieths. I attended the Mass facing people some time between 1960 and 65 at the latest; Communion in the hand in 1966, girl altar servers and wild music by 1970 at the latest. If my recollection is correct, it was by 1970 at the latest that the Dutch bishops concelebrated together in a secular dress. During the same period “Dutch” Catechisms were published with Dutch and American Imprimaturs respectively, although both editions were without amendments required by the Papal Commission. It is conceivable that the official inauguration of reform was the only way of keeping a check on these trends under some kind of control.

    But, really, all your points are irrelevant to what I said to you on 5th December at 3.37, and, briefly, the following day to Henry Edwards at 4.55.