Oddity during the broadcast of the Pope’s Easter

A reader sent the following observation.

Apparently during the EWTN re-broadcast of the Holy Father’s Easter Mass, the announcer opined that the reason the Holy Father distributes Holy Communion only to people kneeling is… wait for it… because he is short and it is easier for him that way.

?!?

It might be good for him to explain this.

I didn’t see the broadcast of the Mass, being busy with other things.  I don’t know if that comment was made or not.

But if it was….

The Holy Father is distributing Holy Communion to people kneeling to give positive reinforcement to a deeper reverence of the One whom we receive.

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83 Responses to Oddity during the broadcast of the Pope’s Easter

  1. Joe says:

    lame comment. I didnt hear/see the Easter Service, but the others he was distributing communion to those standing.

  2. TJM says:

    I think Cardinal Foley said this. A very strange and very undiplomatic comment if there every was one by a subordinate. However, given the fact that
    the Pope is working on a reform of the reform and that kneeling for Communion was the praxis from time immemorial it seems like a really dumb comment
    as well. Maybe His Eminence was having a geriatric moment. Tom

  3. Wm. Christopher Hoag says:

    Apparently the comment was made by Cardinal Foley.

    I did not see the broadcast and am searching for an on-line archive to view the Mass.

  4. Jeremy says:

    I’m afraid EWTN is not without a certain banality in its commentaries. I have noticed this before. They have a very irritating way of speaking over anything that isn’t in English. Less comments and more observation would get the point across better sometimes.

  5. J.Haye says:

    I watched the broadcast and can attest that it was Cardinal Foley who said this. I remember being a bit stunned when I had heard this given the source.
    I also remember at some point he said something to the effect of: that the reason that the Pope’s mass was being said in Latin was because there were too many speakers of various languages present for it to be said in another language (although he did later call it the “universal language of the Church”)

    I’m from Texas and I remember that Cardinal Foley was the commentator for the local news station’s broadcast of the dedication of Galveston-Houston’s new co-cathedral last year. During the dedication Mass a deacon sung the gospel in Latin first and then in English. One of the news reporters questioned the Cardinal as to whether Latin was making a comeback in the church. I think he said something similar and also pointed out that most people in the Church had accepted the use of the vernacular. (Cardinal DiNardo, incidentally, in his homily thanked the deacon for singing the Gospel in Latin.)

    It’s really a shame that he said this on air, there’s no doubt that he knows better.

  6. TNCath says:

    I heard that, too, and was amused by the comment. It was as if the dear cardinal was trying to rationalize reception of Holy Communion kneeling to the U.S. Bishops. In a related broadcast note, during the Easter Vigil broadcast, the two commentators did a very good job, talking only when necessary. However, they did point out that this telecast was being broadcast not only by television but by radio, and that was while they had to make commentary during moments of silence.

  7. Prof. Basto says:

    According to other blogs, the commentator was Cardinal Foley, a prelate elevated to the Sacred Purple by the Holy Father himself, and who is maintained by the same Holy Father as Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

  8. Banjo pickin' girl says:

    I saw it and heard it. It was a Cardinal who said it.

    The commentary over EWTN’s broadcasts of Masses from Rome usually doesn’t originate with EWTN, it is the Radio Vatican feed. Since it is for radio it tells what is happening as if you don’t have a picture. That makes it annoying.

  9. Henry Edwards says:

    Joe: but the others he was distributing communion to those standing.

    Actually, having watched — and taped, so I can easily check this — all four Sacred Triduum services at St. Peter’s (Chrism Mass, Mass of the Last Supper, Good Friday Passion, and Easter Vigil), I do NOT recall him distributing Holy Communion to any laymen other than on the tongue while kneeling.

    However, he did distribute Holy Communion to cardinals, bishops, deacons and clerical altar ministers while standing.

    I was particularly impressed with the large number of cardinals and bishops at the Friday Passion service — all of whom received on the tongue from the Holy Father. As I recall, the first cardinal to do so after the two cardinal deacons was Cardinal Sodano, and the first in the long line of bishops was Archbishop Burke.

    Should the sight of perhaps fifty cardinals and bishops all receiving on the tongue should say something to the reach and grabbers, if not to their clerical facilitators?

  10. Is this the same Foley who is the former bishop of Birmingham, Ala., and gave Mother Angelica such a hard time about her televised ad orientem Masses?

    “They have a very irritating way of speaking over anything that isn’t in English.”

    O my golly, YES! The announcer felt some insane need to translate the Creed while the choir was singing it. Hey, I know what the Creed says, for crying out loud, and I think pretty much all Catholics do. I just wanted to hear it sung in Latin, which is very beautiful and stirs me down to the depths of my soul. But I couldn’t because the announcer would not shut up.

  11. TJM says:

    Sean P. Dailey, no it’s not the same Foley. Actually the Bishop Foley who got in a hub-bub with Mother Angelica has said the EF publicly himself.
    I really don’t know why he chose to make an issue of ad orientem because he does not seem hostile to tradition. Tom

  12. Paul Haley says:

    It was, indeed, His Eminence, Cardinal Foley who said this and very disheartening to hear such a thing. But, then, “it is what it is” and the idea that communicants receive while kneeling because the Holy Father is so short is, well, almost scandalous as if he were apologizing to the viewers for the practice of kneeling. He also talks too much over the sacred Latin hymns and IMHO ought to be quiet and listen more. I don’t think this was EWTNs fault as they were receiving the Vatican feed.

  13. JlovesR says:

    We were watching the re-broadcast prior to leaving for Easter Mass. Cardinal Foley did say this. I noted it on plurk at the time. Was not amused by his opinion.

  14. Cosmos says:

    I am no longer suprised when I discover that something I have been taught is simply false. The reality is that many of our best priests and bishops were taught things that we traditionalists argue are false, anachronistic, sloppy, and/or misleading. When they hear us challenge them, they compare what we say with their very formal training, and guess who they trust? It makes sense.

    They have jobs to do, and they carry them out as faithfully as they can based on what they have learned in seminaries, read in books and magazines, and from people in authority. This does not change the fact that they are wrong, but all of us were there at some point, and are still there with other things, and I think that is easy to forget.

    That is why this board is so important. Education truly is the answer when you are dealing with people of good will. I assume Cardinal Foley is.

  15. Herbert says:

    I also noted that. I think the English over voice was a Cardinal, was it Foley? or similar to that. That was different from the earlier liturgical celebration, like Maundy thursday where the announcer was a Lady, she explained it right. She said that the reason why the Holy father was administering the communion Kneeling was that he wanted to emphasize that kneeling and on the tongue was the ordinary form and that standing and on hand was the extraordinary. The lady announcer made it right, but the cardinal announcer was wrong and I was appalled that a high cleric at that could say such things or be ignorant of Church customs.

  16. I am not Spartacus says:

    I was underwhelmed with the Mass and the EWTN presentation/commentary.

    My family had to listen to me yell that “Et cum spiritu tuo” did NOT mean “And with your spirit” as the EWTN Commentator asserted.

    I am sorry but I just can not stand the perfidy and insipidity of it all.

    We Catholics deserve much better. And I ought not to have read The New Liturgical Movement or listened to Fr. Z’s podcasts prior to seeing a Mass from Rome because the descent from Liturgical beauty to our epochal reality is so severe that I had to be receive treatment in a hyperbaric chamber.

  17. Fr. Aidan Logan, OCso says:

    I too heard the cardinal say this and was appalled. I suspect that he was in that mode of “pastoral speak” that avoids any hint of controversy or admission that things might not be perfect in the day to day life of the Church. Heave forbid that the word should get out to simple Catholics that the way we celebrate Mass at St. Suburbia is not the real norm.

    The Vatican Radio people are utterly inane and have no idea what they are talking about. On Holy Thursday the commentator prattled away about how we were “preparing” for the offertory when, in fact the Mandatum was about to take place. Did you known that just before the gospel the Holy Father incenses the deacon?! Anyone who has read that venerable howler “1066 And All That” will recognize this schoolboy muddle of half-remembered facts regurgitated to hilarious effect. Unfortunately, the effect is not all that humorous. These people are the voice of the Catholic Church.

    His Eminence, on the other hand, gives us all sorts of information about the people involved, their position in the curia, their home diocese — but has almost nothing to say about the spiritual, liturgical or historical significance of what is taking place. When giving the English translation of the Latin or Italian he doggedly stick to the ICEL texts in front of him, even when they do not correspond to what is actually being said or sung.

    Thank God for the mute button!

  18. LCB says:

    Spartacus,

    Ehhem, then what does Et Cum Spiritu Tuo mean?

  19. Banjo pickin' girl says:

    i think he meant it doesn’t mean “and also with you.” even I know that and I am just a banjo pickin’ girl!

  20. Most Excellent Sledgehammer says:

    I just saw this (Ah, the miracle of the DVR). Sad, really. Although it is, no doubt, true that the Holy Father is a bit on the shorter side, The Office of Pontifical Ceremonies released the reason for this some time ago, and His Holiness’ height had nothing to do with his decision. I doubt this is the OPC just offering a trumped up reason. When the Pope began using the Leonine Papal ferula, Msgr Marini made it clear that one of the major reasons is that one of the major reasons Benedict uses this ferula is that it is substantially lighter than the Pauline ferula.

  21. Henry Edwards says:

    TMJ: I really don’t know why he chose to make an issue of ad orientem because he does not seem hostile to tradition.

    At this time, in the late 1990s and around 2000, there was a good of pressure on Birmingham exercised from outside the diocese. Allegedly, there were those higher in the U.S. episcopate who feared that ordinary Catholics might be “confused” by the spectacle the Mass being shown on TV celebrated contrary to the alleged spirit and direction of Vatican II.

  22. kd says:

    Pope Benedict is said to measure 5-7 (1.70m) (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1909127/bio), so he’s not exactly a midget. Given that the communicant is generally a step lower than the priest, Cardinal Foley\’s statement makes no sense.

    IF indeed the Holy Father has a Marshall Plan, he surely needs to communicate it better to his officers and they to the troops. Or is it just our wishful thinking?

  23. EWTN’s coverage would be so much better if you could do away with the commentary. Turning down the volume is an option, but then you miss what’s being done in the liturgy. Still, it is often better than the (usually) annoying comments. This is a liturgy, not a sporting event.

  24. Henry Edwards says:

    Let me try to put to rest the term “EWTN commentator” regarding papal Masses. EWTN has nothing — zero, zilch, nada — to do with these English language commentators on telecasts from Rome.

    I learned all about this several years when I contacted EWTN to complain that I had been unable to hear the Gospel chanted in Latin when the commentator drowned out part of it by reading the English translation and the rest with some personal reflections.

    They passed my complaint along to Vatican Radio, which is solely responsible for these vernacular commentaries that are sent out along with the video feed. Presently I was exchanging e-mails with the commentator herself — no longer with VR — who patiently explained to me that the commentary was directed not at types like me but at natives in various country to whom the Latin would mean nothing.

    That said, it seems to me that the current crew of newer VR English language commentators is generally doing a much improved job. Though I did not hear the comment by Cardinal Foley and would be at a loss to explain it.

  25. Butters Stotch says:

    Jesus saith unto her, “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father”

  26. Henry Edwards says:

    In fairness, I should had added that the Vatican Radio commentator explained that the real difficulty — and the reason for complaints from TV viewers — is that the radio commentary is heard on Vatican Radio by people who are not watching video, and therefore require much much more detailed commentary than those who can see it for themselves.

    This same audio feed is sent with the video feed to the half dozen English-language TV networks (including EWTN) around the world that carry these events.

  27. Bruce Barker says:

    EWTN fine print on ALL Rome-originating broadcasts: Commentary provided by Vatican Radio.

    Often it is Cardinal Foley, sometimes VR staff.

    Kneeling to receive from Pope – anyone else notice this started shortly (April 08) after Vatican Press published Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s, fine little book (Jan. 08) “Dominus Est” (explaining the history of kneeling and receiving on the tongue)?

    Pope Benedict teaches by example.

  28. TJB says:

    I think the Cardinal sometimes uses these broadcasts to voice his opinion on various matters rather than just comment on the unfolding events. Just before the Urbi et Orbi address, while he was time waiting for HH to appear at the window, he critisized the inscription on the front of St. Peter’s because it pays homage to Pius V rather than the ideas that the Basilica stands for. I don’t know much about the topic but still found it an odd comment. Did anyone else hear that?

  29. J.Haye says:

    In defense of the Vatican Radio commentators, I will say that the same audio feed that you hear on TV is also used for radio transmissions of the event. Which is a good thing: I was able to listen to part of the Easter Sunday Mass from St. Peter’s Square while driving.

    So, it’s understandable that the commentors describe what actions or movements are taking place. Sometimes they over do it though. I don’t think a translation of every “Dominus vobiscum”. And it doesn’t matter how long after Vatican II someone came, who doesn’t know what “Gloria in excelsis…” means?

  30. J.Haye says:

    TJB,

    I’d have to agree with Cardinal Foley on that one. The renaissance popes weren’t known for their humility.

  31. my kidz mom says:

    Saw it, heard it. Saddened by it.

  32. TJM: thanks for clarifying.

  33. Jordanes says:

    J.Haye, what are you saying? That St. Pius V wasn’t humble, or wasn’t humble enough? That St. Pius V ordered that an inscription about himself be placed on the basilica? I rather suspect that it was not one of the Renaissance Popes that put the inscription there, and I kind of doubt St. Pius was giving himself homage – the inscription may have been posthumous.

  34. TJM says:

    Henry Edwards, thanks for the insight on the ad orientem issue. What is somewhat amusing about the whole thing is that the rubrics themselves
    pre-suppose the priest is facing the liturgical east when celebrating Mass. I think some of our bishops need to “read the red” a bit closer before
    pontificating their “great thoughts.” Tom

  35. Jordanes says:

    I am not Spartacus said: My family had to listen to me yell that “Et cum spiritu tuo” did NOT mean “And with your spirit” as the EWTN Commentator asserted.

    It doesn’t?

    Did you perhaps mean to say that it doesn’t mean “And also with you”?

  36. Sean Cleary says:

    My wife made the exact same comment — *positive reinforcement*…

    We’re a pretty young family, and after seeing the kneeling for communion on the EWTN broadcasts we’ve been watching (from Taiwan), my 10 year old son decided that was the way he wanted to do it, so at the Easter Vigil, he did. My wife has been kneeling for communion for some time… I still have some sort of mental barrier up that I need to get past. But seeing the people kneel before Benedict, it just seemed so natural. Nothing pompous or “overly medieval” about it… It really helped reinforce what my little family is striving towards… I think we feel kind of isolated a lot of times…

    The commentary was a little… mundane a couple of ties, but overall, it was one of my best Easters ever since we were able to share in the Masses, etc from Rome via EWTN… it really brought us together, We all hung out, as a family, watching Papal Masses and celebrations… Just a good feeling… :)

  37. FrGregACCA says:

    I thought Archbishop Foley got kicked upstairs when he was made a Cardinal…

    Why is he still doing these broadcasts?

  38. I was thinking the same thing Cdl. Foley constantly translating drove me insane watching the TV, and I did hear the comment.

    Though could we use the new translations if we are going to translate the Latin for the “non Catholic public?” I didn’t know et cum spiritu tuo meant and also with you.

  39. Sieber says:

    That was Cardinal Foley. That is what he said. I was shocked.

  40. Matt Q says:

    Father Greg, Cardinal Foley was asked by the Holy Father to continue contributing to the English-language broadcasts for major events even he is no longer part of the Pontifical Council For Social Communications.

    I didn’t catch the Mass on EWTN but did see Urbi Et Orbi. That was nice. Was it actually Cardinal Foley who was narrating the Mass? I find it rather difficult to think Foley would have made that comment about the Holy Father and kneeling for Communion. Does anyone actually know who was narrating at the time?

    It’s evident some real winners are at Vatican Television on the other hand. I’ve heard a few incidents of some real dim-bulb comments they’ve made. Also they don’t shut up, and keep on talking and talking so one hears more of them than Mass.

  41. Ken Simpson says:

    Was watching and recording and had wondered who was the speaker making such a dumbwit comment. Now that the kneeling bit is sorted, how about explaining why Pope Benedict always distributes on the tongue? Maybe because the tongue is sited higher up in the body… or because it’s often windy in St Peter’s square… It cant be anything to do with reverence.

  42. Shea says:

    I watched all of the coverage from the Vatican and from the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston on CatholicTV. The commentary was excellent throughout the Sacred Triduum. I do not live in Boston and watched on cable (Sky Angel) for some celebrations and on their website for when I wasn’t at home. I enjoy ETWTN but during these services they seem to lack respect for the liturgy itself and want to fill in silences, that doesn’t occur on CatholicTV

  43. Charivari Rob says:

    re: commentators talking over everything

    Does EWTN have the option (in the sense of the source, their use license and their technological capacity) to run a non-narrated feed on the SAP channel?

  44. Nathan says:

    C’mon folks, let’s give the Cardinal a bit of a break. Yes, if it is deliberate, then the statement is problematic. I haven’t heard too much, though, about Cardinal Foley making such gaffes in the past. Could it be that he was simply imprudent in making a less-than-thought-out comment during a live telecast?

    As a professional bureaucrat, I’ve come to often apply the dictum “90% of what is attributed to malice and foresight is actually the result of inertia and incompetence.” As a father and a CCD teacher and altar boy trainer, I’ve noticed that the same applies to any of my off-the-cuff general statements.

    Has H.E. made any similar comments in a different context?

    Happy Easter–

    In Christ,

  45. J.Haye says:

    Jordanes,

    The inscritpion on St. Peter’s has nothing to do with Pius V. Across the facade of the Basilica reads: IN HONOREM PRINCIPIS APOST PAVLVS V BVRGHESIVS ROMANVS PONT MAX AN MDCXII PONT VII (In honor of the prince of apostles; Paul V Borghese, pope, in the year 1612 and the seventh year of his pontificate).

    Maybe someone who is a historian can claify when the incription was written and if it was done at the request of Paul V. Yes, there have always been saints and sinners among the popes, but the whole era leading up to the construction of the new St. Peter’s Basilica was not a moral high point of the papacy. Sorry for leading this thread into a tangent.

  46. Matt Q says:

    Sieber wrote:

    “That was Cardinal Foley. That is what he said. I was shocked.”

    )(

    I am too, now! What is the matter with him?

    =====

    Joe of St Therese wrote:

    “I was thinking the same thing Cdl. Foley constantly translating drove me insane watching the TV, and I did hear the comment.

    Though could we use the new translations if we are going to translate the Latin for the “non Catholic public?” I didn’t know et cum spiritu tuo meant and also with you.”

    )(

    Same here, Joe. I hated it during the Urbi Et Orbi in fact and that’s when Foley’s narration began to annoy me. When the Holy Father was greeting the congregation in the Square in the various languages, Foley just had to translate each and every phrase. Why not just let us enjoy what the Pope was saying as it was? Never even heard before what some of those languages were so why not just give us a chance to hear what they sound like? For instance, “Esperanto.” What is that, a derivative of Espanol…? Didn’t even hear what it sounded like because Cardinal Foley was in full-blab mode.

    Like you said. If Foley translated Et Cum Spiritu Tuo as “and also with you,” maybe he really doesn’t know. Heck, he said giving Communion to kneeling communicants was easier for the Holy Father because his “stature.”

    =====

    Shea wrote:

    “I watched all of the coverage from the Vatican and from the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston on CatholicTV. The commentary was excellent throughout the Sacred Triduum. I do not live in Boston and watched on cable (Sky Angel) for some celebrations and on their website for when I wasn’t at home. I enjoy ETWTN but during these services they seem to lack respect for the liturgy itself and want to fill in silences, that doesn’t occur on CatholicTV.

    )(

    Well, perhaps EWTN could look at CatholicTV with a sense of low-key competition. While I am very slow to criticize EWTN for anything ( being the wonderful gift it is ) they could tighten a few screws and glue down a few things.

    Shea brought up some good points. EWTN narratives do have this OCD issue to talk all the way through things also, and it’s a bad habit. Constant chatter is not necessary. The network is for Catholics whom already have a broad general idea of their Religion. It doesn’t exist to compete with the secular media for exceptional events. Granted, not all Catholics are completely versed in the Faith but to approach everything from the lowest common denominator like rest of society makes the information worthless for everyone but the lowest common denominator.

    Raymond Arroyo is a case in point. I like his delivery and on-screen persona but he has been known to prattle on and make comments at unnecessary moments. IMO :/

  47. I rise to offer a brief defense of commentary during the Mass! To understand the reason for television commentary, we have to look at the history of televised Masses.

    Throughout the 50s, 60s and into the 70s it was not unheard of for a broadcast network (ABC, CBS, NBC) to televise Mass on Christmas and Easter, or on other major occsions (JFK’s funeral or papal visits, for example). ABC, for many years, covered Midnight Mass from the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in D.C., and NBC broadcast Midnight Mass from St. Patrick’s Cathedral prior to picking up the Papal Mass broadcasts in the late 70s. In this sense, I think we have to give Vatican communications a bit of a break. Remember, not all people watching the Mass are Catholic, and even many of those who are Catholic may not truly understand what they are hearing. Of course, when Mass in Latin was standard, the commentator’s function was to explain to the viewing audience, many of whom were not Catholic, just what was going on. But even WGN’s coverage of Midnight Mass from Holy Name includes a commentator, and that Mass is in English.

    Prior to my conversion many years ago, I was fascinated by the Mass on television – and I wouldn’t have had a clue were it not for commentators such as (then) Archbishop Foley. And for the sake of uniformity, we have to remember that his translations (e.g. “And also with you”) are probably according to the current translation provided in the Missal – introducing other translations, even if they are more “correct,” are really fodder for increased confusion among viewers. I can’t imagine that a commentator would be allowed to freelance that even if they wanted to.

    Granted, this makes the quality of the commentary that much more important (and, not having heard the moment in question, I’m not about to debate those specific issues), but still – commentary on the Mass, as it is in other situations(sporting events, presidential speeches, etc.), functions to let people know what is happening. We all have our quarrels with various commentators in these areas, and I’m not about to claim that commentary of the World Series is as important as commentary of Easter Mass. (As for the Metropolitan Opera, I might not go that far…) Perhaps Charivari Rob is correct that EWTN’s best bet would (if possible) be a secondary audio feed without the commentary – but try to keep in mind that this commentary exists for everyone, not just for those intimately familiar with the Mass. By all means let us try and improve the quality if need be, for it is a most powerful form of apologetics – but I don’t know that we can expect a Mass presented without commentary or explanation to serve the greater good of the viewing public at large, many of whom may well be tuning in out of curiosity.

  48. Mike says:

    I wish EWTN could get an un-annoying audio feed. I don’t know how many times I yell at the tv for the commentator to just be quiet. During the Lumen Chisti during the vigil, the commentator kept saying how beautiful the silence was, yet he couldn’t stop talking. Yes, I know it’s a radio feed but I’m watching tv, not listening to the darn radio. It’s 2009, it can’t be impossible to have an un-commented audio feed for tv.

    I gave up watching the morning Easter mass. The commentator translated every word said during the mass. I honestly don’t think there was a time where more then 10 seconds passed without him talking.

  49. Amy says:

    So I just have to find a parish with a short pastor?

  50. TJB says:

    It would be neat if EWTN offered two separate feeds online for Papal events, one with the commentary and one without. Then you could take your pick. Seems it would be easy enough to do…

  51. Hopefully, in the future Holy Church will use the best tools of social communication as technology develops. Hopefully, we will be able to follow the raw feed without voice over.

    Until then, we must offer it up.

    So… have we gotten to the bottom of this yet?

    Are we certain that it was His Eminence Card. Foley speaking during the Easter Mass?

  52. cuaguy says:

    I know he did the Ubi et Orbi, since I heard him sign off. Also, after watching stations on Friday, he did his sign off, and said that we could join him again for the HF’s Easter Mass from St. Peters Square.

  53. Clinton says:

    Amy, that was brilliant!

  54. Matt says:

    It would be neat if EWTN offered two separate feeds online for Papal events, one with the commentary and one without. Then you could take your pick. Seems it would be easy enough to do…

    They actually do, but you will need a smallish satellite dish (around 2-3 feet) and a free to air (not pirate) DVB receiver. EWTN actually has many feeds destined for around the world. The “US” destined feed actually has many different audio channels. When there are live feeds they always have an audio channel that is “live” audio without the announcer. This is what I prefer to watch.

    Depending on where in the world you are, you should be able to find a free satellite feed of EWTN:

    http://www.lyngsat-address.com/df/EWTN.html

    I generally watch the feeds on Galaxy 17 since I am in the US.

  55. Matt says:

    Here is there “official” location for US based viewers.

    http://www.ewtn.com/tv/download_satellites/DOMsatellite.asp

  56. Amy, or find a tall priest like me who has no problems bending down ;-)

  57. Nick says:

    Until all those battalions of priests at the Papal Mass in St. Peter’s also distribute communion to people kneeling (how? there are no kneelers) it doesn’t much matter why His Holiness insists on doing it. Unfortunately at times it merely seems that it is done from personal nostalgia. A simple directive would change everything.

  58. Jason Keener says:

    This troubling comment by Cardinal Foley, who I believe is even a member of the CDW, shows how far we still have to travel in the realm of liturgical renewal.

    The Holy Father should start doing straightforward teaching about his liturgical renewal program for the Church. For example, a year of Wednesday audiences could be geared towards liturgical issues like Gregorian chant, kneeling for Communion, the use of Latin in the Liturgy, the ad orientem posture, and the riches of the Extraordinary Form. The Holy Father could even proclaim a Year of the Liturgy or a Year of Liturgical Reform with substantial preparations for real reforms before that year. The bishops of each country could also be directed by Rome to focus on actually cleaning up the Ordinary Form in their dioceses.

    In the end, I don’t know if this drip-drip approach that the Holy Father and Msgr. Marini are using will be enough to substantially reform liturgical practice in the average parish today.

  59. michigancatholic says:

    Nick, it’s easy to kneel on the ground. You put the ubiquitous bag, jacket or newspaper on the ground. You genuflect and then drop the other knee besides the one on the ground. Voila! You’re kneeling. Who needs a kneeler? That’s an excuse.

  60. bobmoretti says:

    It was Foley and it really was out of line. He might be out of it because he commented that the 2008 Easter Mass at St. Peter’s was switched indoors because of the rain. That is nonsense because I was there and it was one of the worst downpours I have ever seen but the Mass went on outdoors. I received Holy Communion and was ankle deep in rain water.

  61. pinoycatholic says:

    the announcer opined that the reason the Holy Father distributes Holy Communion only to people kneeling is… wait for it… because he is short and it is easier for him that way…

    Sounds like the White House Press Secretary justifying Pres. Obama’s bow to the King of Saudi Arabia while shaking the king’s hand.

    And they expect us to believe that… ROFL.

  62. Biff says:

    Thank you Jason.

    I didn’t think much of the comment when I first heard it because I’ve grown so accustomed to this sort of thing with EWTN.
    For once, it wasn’t their fault.
    Deo gratias

  63. Nick says:

    Nick, it’s easy to kneel on the ground. You put the ubiquitous bag, jacket or newspaper on the ground. You genuflect and then drop the other knee besides the one on the ground. Voila! You’re kneeling. Who needs a kneeler? That’s an excuse.

    Really? Who would have guessed? Of course that presupposes physical fitness. I don’t expect many grandmothers would take to the idea.

    Presumably His Holiness has a kneeler so that there is no other option. I don’t recall people dropping to the marble before it was implemented. With the crowd in St. Peter’s, plus those barricades, I tend to doubt there are that many brave souls who by kneeling would be practically invisible to the priest anyway.

  64. Jason Keener says:

    Hi, Biff.

    I just can’t understand why Rome doesn’t come out and say that this is what we are going to do, and this is why we are doing it. People will respond well to changes if they make sense and are explained.

    The readers of this blog have read Monsignor Marini’s interviews here and there about issues like the ad orientem posture and kneeling for Communion, but most Catholics have no clue about those interviews. Most Catholics also have no clue about what good liturgy is. They have no clue because their bishops and priests have failed to implement good liturgy!

    I wish the Pope would give a greater emphasis to HOW and WHY Tradition has to be re-introduced into the Liturgy. This re-introduction has to done by both example in the papal liturgies AND through clear directives to bishops and pastors that they have to finally get on board. Why is it that some 40 years after the Council we still have few parishes using Gregorian Chant or Latin? Why are hardly any priests celebrating the Novus Ordo using the ad orientem posture? Honestly, how long, O Lord? How long?

    We’ve seen now that Cardinal Foley and others like the Cardinal-Archbishop of Vienna do not understand the Pope’s liturgical program. In a recent interview, Archbishop Dolan (going to NYC) made it sound as if having Latin in the Liturgy was just another option and a matter of taste. If these Cardinals and Archbishops can’t discern what the Pope is trying to do, how is anyone else supposed to?

    I am praying that Rome will start taking bold and straightforward action so that there will be no doubt in anyone’s mind about the Pope’s liturgical program and what it is meant to accomplish.

  65. pinoycatholic says:

    I completely agree with you Jason! Maybe its time that Rome cracks the whip in terms of liturgical discipline. These liturgical hobbyists and choreographers are testing how Rome reacts to their disobedience.

  66. Rose says:

    Yep, it was Cardinal Foley (I recorded the Mass for watching later). Thought it was an odd comment, particularly before a world wide audience…but perhaps Cardinal Foley is proud of being tall?

  67. Joe says:

    the commentator himself said, during the Lumen Christi, that even though the silence was beautiful the commentary was for those listening to the radio. So they know there is a problem. I would ask, though, if listening to the silence, broken by the proclamation, isn’t worthwhile in and of itself. The commentary is too often in the simple present tense – “the deacon stands and turns to face the Pope” rather than the present continuous “the deacon is standing and turning to face the Pope” which would make it a little less stuffy.
    Is it correct for prelates to receive Communion from the Pope and to consume It right then? They don’t all receive and then commune at the same time (as concelebrants)?

  68. Scott says:

    Jason Keener wrote: “I just can’t understand why Rome doesn’t come out and say that this is what we are going to do, and this is why we are doing it. This re-introduction has to done by both example in the papal liturgies AND through clear directives to bishops and pastors that they have to finally get on board. I am praying that Rome will start taking bold and straightforward action so that there will be no doubt in anyone’s mind about the Pope’s liturgical program and what it is meant to accomplish.”

    The Pope made the following clear in his letter to the bishops regarding his motu proprio Summorum Pontificum:

    “The use of the old Missal presupposes a certain degree of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language; neither of these is found very often. Already from these concrete presuppositions, it is clearly seen that the new Missal will certainly remain the ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, not only on account of the juridical norms, but also because of the actual situation of the communities of the faithful.”

    The Pope has made it clear that the Novus Ordo is here to stay. The “Latin Mass” (in either form for that matter) cannot possibly become widespread as the Pope declared that even “some knowledge” of Latin is not “found very often” within the Latin Church. That says it all. The Novus Ordo vernacular Mass is here to stay.

    Jason Keener also stated:

    “In a recent interview, Archbishop Dolan (going to NYC) made it sound as if having Latin in the Liturgy was just another option and a matter of taste. If these Cardinals and Archbishops can’t discern what the Pope is trying to do, how is anyone else supposed to? I am praying that Rome will start taking bold and straightforward action so that there will be no doubt in anyone’s mind about the Pope’s liturgical program and what it is meant to accomplish.”

    Jason acknowledged that Rome has not taken “bold and straightforward action so that there will be no doubt in anyone’s mind about the Pope’s liturgical program and what it is meant to accomplish.”

    Therefore, Jason is correct when he indicated that the laity and Archbishop Dolan and “Cardinals and Archbishops” are unable “to discern what the Pope is trying to do.”

    His Holiness has not declared that he has implemented a liturgical plan. Therefore, any talk that a Papal liturgical plan is in place is mere speculation.

  69. Michelle Marie Romani says:

    Yup. It was Cardinal Foley who said this. I am thinking of dropping him a line, if I can get his address, and telling him that his comment was grossly inaccurate. Apparently, he did not listen to the Holy Father’s homily from Corpus Christi 2008 where he explained the importance of kneeling That is where he resumed the posture of kneeling and receiving on the tongue. Cardinal Foley apparently also did not read what Msgr. Guido Marini said when he explained why the Holy Father had indicated that kneeling and reception on the tongue would be employed at all of the Papal Masses.

    By the way, the best commentator for VR broadcasts is Chris Alteri. He remains silent during the Liturgy of the Eucharist and lets the beauty of the Mass penetrate via the broadcast. Emer McCarthy is good when she is by herself, as is Sr. Janet Fearns. Chris Collins is really bad.

    Personally, I would rather have had Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, if he were still with us, giving the commentary. He was much better than Raymond Arroyo.

  70. trespinos says:

    I didn’t catch Cdl. Foley’s comment. Fortunately. It would have irritated me, but perhaps only slightly more than the Vatican Radio’s commentators’ refusal to keep silent during the glorious organ music after the dismissal and during the recessional of the Easter Vigil Service. There should be no need to talk over that music!! Let us all, radio listeners and TV viewers, listen and enjoy!!

  71. Sixupman says:

    I further noticed, that whilst the Holy Father was giving Communion on-the-tongue, an assistant priest was distributing in-the-hand – not emulating the Holy Father’s example. But what of the Communicants, they also ignored the Holy Father!

  72. I am not Spartacus says:

    My family had to listen to me yell that “Et cum spiritu tuo” did NOT mean “And with your spirit” as the EWTN Commentator asserted.

    Yikes. Sorry. Thanks to all who noticed my error.

    The EWTN Commentator, of course, said that Latin phrase meant, “and also with you.”

  73. RBrown says:

    Jason Keener,

    For years Catholics, including priests, religous and those studying for the priesthood, have been told over and over that vernacular, versus populum, and communion in the hand were the correct way to do things. Although I wish that liturgical reformation would happen quickly, nevertheless, the fact that so many people have been misled means that the pope must move slowly. If he tries to move too quickly, he will isolated himself, and everyone will ignore him.

    I also wouldn’t say that Cardinals Foley and Schoenborn don’t understand the pope’s liturgical views. Both were capable profs, the former in philosophy, the latter in theology. Both are good men–but also non controversial types. They are the opposite BXVI. Whereas Foley and Schoenborn will bend over backward to avoid confrontation, JRatzinger has a history of initiating it.

    Schoenborn has been less than successful in Vienna–he’s backed down when pressured by the liberals. He would like a job in the Roman Curia.

    Foley is a man who moved from being a prof to job in the Curia that did not involve making decisions that would affect the life of the Church. He has been very good in defending the Church against outside forces, e.g., advocates of women “priests” and homosexuality. The Ratzinger Marshall Plan, however, is by and large oriented toward loyal Catholics–even though there will obviously be consequences for the fringe elements.

  74. I doubt the faithful will fall for Card. Foley’s comment. It was a nice attempt, though.

  75. RBrown says:

    I doubt the faithful will fall for Card. Foley’s comment. It was a nice attempt, though.
    Comment by Pope Evaristus, Martyr

    Most faithful Catholics I know simply follow the custom of the Church.

    Most don’t know that Vat II did not call for the vernacularization of the liturgy or versus populum celebration. They just lump the entire liturgical wreckovation into the Vat II category.

    Come to think of it, most priests don’t know it either.

  76. raymond says:

    this topic: the Pope’s humble example, is the be-all-end-all for the following blog

    http://kneelingcatholic.blogspot.com/

    btw, you all did see Cardinal Schoenborn’s balloon mass?
    as long as big-shots in the Church enforce this cognitive dissonance:

    orthodox: credendi
    heterodox: orandi

    on the faithful we will suffer

  77. Carolina Geo says:

    Oh great: Maybe I’ve spent too much time at amusement parks, but I’m having visions of seeing signs at Mass that say, “You must be *this* tall to kneel for Communion.”

  78. Jason Keener says:

    Hi, Rbrown.

    When I say “bold” and “straightforward,” I don’t mean fast or uncharitable. For example, one liturgical issue could be focused on at a time. The Pope or the CDW could issue a teaching document geared specifically towards an issue like ad orientem worship. In that document, the Pope could lay out the entire case as to why this practice has to be re-introduced. The Pope could also give a timeline for when ad orientem worship has to be re-adopted in the parishes. Many Catholics will respond well to clear catechesis that makes sense. Sure, some Catholics will ignore it. Those are the Catholics that will ignore anything the Pope says. Should we always take an easy, light, and indirect approach just because we never want to alienate anyone? Look at how many Catholics are alienated by the sloppy and banal liturgies celebrated in most parishes today.

    I realize too that priests and bishops have been educated out of Tradition. That was the failure of the previous papacy that let those things go unchecked year after year. What good was the directive in the Code that seminarians learn Latin if no one was ever going to enforce it? What good was the Council’s directive that Gregorian Chant have pride of place if no one was going to promote it? JP2′s own MC could not be bothered with the promotion of Gregorian Chant.

    I also agree that Cardinal Foley, Cardinal Schoenborn, and Archbishop Dolan are good men; however, they are still maintaining the status quo with regards to the Liturgy. That is why we need more straightforward and clear communication from the top about what exactly needs to improve in the Novus Ordo and why it needs to improve.

    The Pope can move slowly, but I just wish he would use a clearer and more direct method of communicating his liturgical ideas. How many Catholics are going to dig around for Msgr. Marini’s few interviews? Why isn’t the Holy Father asking the national bishops’ conferences to devote their meetings to liturgical reform? Where are the papal documents directing Catholics to finally begin implementing Gregorian Chant, the ad orientem posture, etc.? When will we see the Roman Pontiff celebrate the Traditional Mass of the Roman Rite? Why hasn’t the Pope named apostolic visitors to go around to the world’s dioceses to make sure they are actually promoting good Liturgy? Why doesn’t the Pope openly sponsor some Gregorian Chant seminars in Rome where the Pope gives the opening talk? Why hasn’t the Pope declared a “Year of the Liturgy?” Where is the Pope’s five-year or ten-year plan to reform the Novus Ordo entirely?

    The breakdown of the Liturgy is our biggest problem, and I’m afraid we need bold and out of the box thinking to correct it. In the end, this drip-drip approach might be too little too late.

  79. TJM says:

    RBRown and Jason Keener,

    The liturgy is beginning to improve a great deal in many places, particularly where you have younger priests and laity. I really see this as a
    generational issue. Priests and many laity 50 plus years of age are hopelessly mired in the past, the 1960s to be exact. As someone who has lived
    on both sides of the divide of Vatican II, I am actually more optimistic than ever, that things like Latin, gregorian chant, ad orientem, and
    liturgical beauty in vestments, art, and furnishings will feature much more prominently in the future as the 1960s crowd goes to its “eternal
    reward.” They fail to see that the banal, the mundane, and pedestrian cannot ultimately hold the Faithful’s attention.

    Tom

  80. RBrown says:

    Jason,

    The pope has moved boldly by promulgating the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. The next step is not to move on to another facet of liturgical reform. Rather it is to implement SP. That involves not only permitting the use of the 1962 Missal but even encouraging it to be said in every parish.

    The consequences of that are many. Latin will be returned to the curriculum of every man studying for the priesthood. Further, as Fr Z has noted, learning to say mass using the 1962 Missal will produce a certain centripetal force on the way the Novus Ordo is said.

    We don’t need any more documents. As one of my professors (one of the main authors of the Credo of the People of God) once said to me: “Documenti? Abbiamo gia’ i documenti a qui. Abbiamo bisogno del’implmentazione.” Documents? We already have documents up to here (extending his hand waist high). We need implementation.

  81. I am not Spartacus says:

    We need implementation.

    R. Brown. Amen. The Stuarts were,once, fairly close to regaining the Throne in England.

    I know Easter is not the time for fear but I do fear the opposition to the EF Mass, and modernity in general, can crush the restoration underway unless some dramatic action is taken -soon.

    I could compile a long list of cautions, warnings, etc against such a radical act of restoration but I recognise this great Pope is quite elderly.

    I pray some radical restorationist act will occur during the next year or two or I fear a long and severe retrenchment of the traditionalist inertia will occur.

  82. Jason Keener says:

    Rbrown,

    I agree that Rome should be implementing “Summorum Pontificum” better. Why aren’t they?

    Why doesn’t the Pope ever speak out about the beauty and riches of the Extraordinary Form? I haven’t heard the Holy Father say much at all about the Extraordinary Form. We received the great gift of “Summorum Pontificum,” but we haven’t heard the Holy Father say much of anything since. Why doesn’t the Pope celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass? Why isn’t the Vatican sponsoring workshops and conferences on the Extraordinary Form? Why hasn’t the Pope come out and said unequivocally that the Extraordinary Form is to be made available in every parish? If this is how the Vatican implements its ideas, I can see why the liturgical reform has gone no where in 40 years.

    Regarding the documents, many of them in the past have been just a waste of time. They are often too unclear and allow for too many options. We need liturgical documents that stick to one clear topic that no one can wiggle out of. After that, we do need actual implementation. I’m afraid we’ll be waiting for a long time with the pace things are going. Most parishes I know of in the United States are totally ignorant of the Pope’s plans for liturgical renewal. Others are just hoping to wait Pope Benedict out. Our only hope for good liturgies might be the Traditional Latin Mass and the Eastern Catholic liturgies. In reality, not much at all is happening with the Novus Ordo in the typical parish.

    (Rbrown, please email me at keener_jason@yahoo.com) Thanks.

  83. eko says:

    We were THERE! Could not get to communion through the crowd (we were standing as we didn’t get there early enough :( ) – but went to Easter vigil, and received the Holy Eucharist on the tongue (and will from now on.) There are no padded kneelers in many European churches – never stops us. ;-) I have only had EWTN since arriving in Europe, and have translations in German, never english – and have discovered the mute button. WHY is there even any translating – there is none when there in person. :sigh: