America Mag reacts to NYT Op-Ed

An Op-Ed in America Magazine gives a predictable reaction to the Op-Ed piece in the NYT.

First read my take.

Now America with my emphases and comments.


by Francis X. Clooney, SJ

Cambridge, MA. You may have read Kenneth Wolfe’s Op-Ed piece in Sunday’s New York Times (Week in Review), Latin Mass Appeal. Mr Wolfe’s argument has to do with what he considers the undue and ill-considered influence of Father (and later Archbishop) Annibale Bugnini on the reform – or deform – of the Eucharistic liturgy of the Church in the years before Vatican II. Mr Wolfe laments the movement away from the Latin Mass, the turning around of the altar to face the people, and an array of later changes including altar girls, communion in the hand, etc. I am not sure why the Times chose to publish this piece — because it was the First Sunday of Advent? — but I found it unconvincing, not as a liturgist or liturgical historian or Vatican-watcher (I am none of these), but as a Catholic who is old enough to have served Mass in Latin as an altar boy, young enough to had no say about the changes in the liturgy, but nevertheless privileged to serve as a priest for more than 30 years thus far in the parishes and campuses of our Church, here and abroad. So here’s what I think: First, we’ve been taught for centuries to trust the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church. Many a time the Vatican has called to work in the Vatican men without any particular training or experience that would justify their appointment; many a time, Popes have trusted such individuals with very important roles in shaping the theology and practice of the Church; and many a time, God has worked through such men. Archbishop Bugnini is one such person, and I see no reason to think that the Spirit, and intention of the Church, did not work through his sincere and humble efforts. [Really? No reason?] reason?] Second, while as a child I found the liturgy of the pre-Vatican II Church deeply satisfying and loved the ritual, the Latin, the mystery of this worship, I have never found it the case that the conciliar changes were a mistake or a loss[Really? Never?] The typical Eucharistic celebration is no less holy or sacred now than it was in 1960. Many of the reforms were intended to restore practices of the Church far older than Trent, and it is good that we were — and are — reminded that neither Latin nor particular forms of music and piety are essential to the effective celebration of the Eucharist or to the grace that is the real presence of Christ in our midst through it[I have a problem with this. It seems to me that we must go beyond reducing our worship to what is valid. Sure, it is important and consoling to know that every was valid despite music, ugliness of translation, etc. But our worship must aim at mystery or it misses the mark. Am I wrong? Shouldn’t we avoid reducing liturgy to the bare essentials?] Third, Mr Wolfe notes that Archbishop Bugnini sought to reform the liturgy to remove barriers dividing us from our Christian neighbors in Protestant traditions. I gather that he sees this as a fatal mistake, but I think it was a very good thing to remove, for many good reasons including the ecumenical one, barriers that made the Eucharist needlessly different or divisive. It is not a good thing when we Christians are divided to no good purpose; and when there are real differences, such as different theologies of the Mass (as meal, as sacrifice), we can still seek, as did Archbishop Bugnini, to show in our practice that such differences can be signaled in various ways. There is nothing essential or unchanging about receiving communion on the tongue, for instance, or faddish about welcoming girls as well as boys to serve at the altar efforts. [Really? I thought service at the altar had theological implications. Perhaps "fad" isn’t the best category for this subject.] — and if some of Archbishop Bugnini’s changes meant that our worship would become more like Protestant worship, that seems to have been for the better. [LOL! Really? Well… I guess I am not that surprised to read that statement here.] (Yet even today, I doubt very much that even newcomers will confuse Catholic and Protestant Sunday worship.) Fourth, Mr Wolfe finds it particularly disappointing that the altar was turned around to face the people; he cites Pope Benedict that externally at least, when the priest faces the people, this signifies a community “closed in on itself.” But this is unfair, just as it would be to complain that in the old liturgy the priest kept turning his back on the community[This is an example of using a cliche to address Ratzinger’s deeper theological argument.] If there is deep meaning to the community and priest facing forward together, in worship, so too there is deep meaning in a community context where priest and people face one another[What if it is the wrong meaning?] in my 30+ years of presiding at the Eucharist, [Note the vocabulary choice.] I have always found it a grace that in this way we gather around the sacrificial gifts, face to face, and in attentiveness and vulnerability stand together before our Lord, around the altar. [If feeling are the basis, what about the feelings of those who don’t want Mass that way?] Given the rich and beautiful and deep commitments and faith that people bring to a parish Mass on Sunday morning, there is nothing merely “closed in on itself” in our way of worship,[So, Pope Benedict doesn’t know what he is talking about, I suppose.]  and I am sorry that Mr Wolfe has found it to be so. Perhaps in an Advent mode of expectation, Mr Wolfe concludes with a visionary look foward: the Pope, and good Catholics, are doing away with the reforms and putting things back the way they were, and should be. [Name one thing, Father, with citations of Sacrosanctum Concilium in Latin, that Pope Benedict is doing against the Council.] But I think he has not seen deeply enough: God does bless us in the way we worship today, Christ is present in the Eucharist as we celebrate it, the Spirit touches our minds and hearts as we stand, hands outstretched, to receive the Body of Christ, and then proceed to drink his Blood from the cup. [And let’s find out how many people are going to confession, or going to Mass at all, or what they think it is all about.]  Even the English language serves very well as the language of prayer. [It may someday.] Thanks be to God, Deo Gratias. As always, I welcome reader comments.

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46 Responses to America Mag reacts to NYT Op-Ed

  1. Bede says:

    “Shouldn’t we avoid reducing liturgy to the bare essentials?”

    Any husband will tell you that doing only the bare essentials is a quick route to the dog house. We are called to love the Lord, our God, with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind, and that seems to require more than just the “bare essentials”.

    Lovers who do the bare minimum for their beloved do not remain lovers long.

  2. Marius2k4 says:

    When exactly did the Jesuits all go crazy? Didn’t they used to be good, even fanatical, papists? When exactly did modernism corrupt the Society of Jesus?

  3. chironomo says:

    It is not a good thing when we Christians are divided to no good purpose; and when there are real differences, such as different theologies of the Mass (as meal, as sacrifice), we can still seek, as did Archbishop Bugnini, to show in our practice that such differences can be signaled in various ways

    Oh yes…so long as it is done your way and not in the “other” way. I suppose that the divisions caused by the various innovations he cites are for a good purpose then?

    I have never heard a convincing argument for why, if feelings are the basis for judging the success of VII reforms, the feelings of those who oppose said reforms are less worthy of consideration. It is as though there is an a priori assumption that the status quo is now the default, and if divisions cannot be resolved, we just do it the new way.

  4. haleype says:

    Lex orandi, lex credendi – “As we pray so do we believe”. Having also served the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) in my youth, I can say without any exaggeration that it characterizes my beliefs much better than the NOM. But the more important aspect, I believe, is that changing the Mass which for centuries had nourished the Faith of millions and produced many illustrious saints was a miscalculation of enormous proportions. Statistics tell the story and they tell me that the decision to implement the NOM was a mistake that hindsight tells us did enormous damage to the Church. But, that’s the Jesuits for you…they know everything don’t you know…at least some think they do. Thank God, the Edmundites were the ones that taught me Theology and Philosophy in my undergraduate years.

  5. r.j.sciurus says:

    Seems America is wanting to challenge National Catholic Reporter for the WDTPRS Hall of Lame Award for 2009.

  6. thomas tucker says:

    If the Mass should never change, I guess we should do it like Jesus and the Apostles did
    at the Last Supper- reclining at table while celebrating Passover.

  7. thomas tucker says:

    btw, my point is that “changeless” isn’t the most important criterion.

  8. Scott W. says:

    Number of people who read NYT vs. number reading America.

    ’nuff said.

  9. “I have always found it a grace that in this way we gather around the sacrificial gifts, face to face, and in attentiveness and vulnerability stand together before our Lord, around the altar. Given the rich and beautiful and deep commitments and faith that people bring to a parish Mass on Sunday morning, there is nothing merely “closed in on itself” in our way of worship…”

    And yet I hear, fairly often, priests misspeak (?) the words of the Ecce Agnus Dei. They say, “Happy are we who are called to this supper,” instead of “Happy are those who are called to His supper.” Whether those two changes flow FROM to lead TO a “closed in on itself” mentality, I do not know.

  10. Doc Angelicus says:

    Excellent comments, Fr. Z.

    Ultimately, all the whining about EF and Pope Benedict’s reforms are really about hurt feelings and insensitivity to the efforts of good people. If little kids put on their own little, technically inept Christmas pageant, the adults praise them. But now, because it is immoral to offend people and hurt their feelings, we have to praise adults and professionals who put on the same inept pageant when they deserve severe criticism. In terms of the psycholocial dynamic involved, it would be good to keep that in mind. But it is out of love that one criticizes, for the critic wants the other to live up to his potential.

    The odd thing about Protestant services is that they are the ones who modified the Catholic Mass to suit their theologies — it is not as though these services are equally ancient and venerable as the Mass, like the Byzantine Divine Liturgy, organically developing from the mists of apostolic practice, they are innovations of self-important men to make a self-important theological point in distinction to Catholicism. So, to make the Mass more like their services — by reducing the differences between Protestant and Catholic worship — it *necessarily* accomplishes two things over and above the putative ecumencial benefits: It validates Protestant theology for the Catholics attending (not only sacramental theology inclusive of both Holy Communion and Holy Orders, but also ecclesiology, and by extension everything else); and it makes it less imperative to remain Catholic. These things are inseparable from a Protestantization of the Mass.

    The new Mass was also introduced in a time of catechetical barrenness. The adults may have been pretty well catechized, but everyone born in the late 1950s and later had no clue and no teachers. Had the new Mass been introduced along with sound catechesis, perhaps the changes would not have had the devastating effect they had.

    And the new Mass was embraced especially by people with a penchant for self-important innovations, while seminarians were taught that the only way to make the Mass relevant was to inject their own self-importance, and that of “musicians” and others, into it….

    Hey, wait… introduce a particular theological viewpoint in the Mass…. onto unsuspecting and poorly catechized people… by intimidating self-important whiners… Now, either that’s all a huge coincidence or the strategic plan of a nefarious mastermind…

  11. Ferde Rombola says:

    “I think it was a very good thing to remove, for many good reasons including the ecumenical one, barriers that made the Eucharist needlessly different or divisive. It is not a good thing when we Christians are divided to no good purpose;”

    Somebody ought to tell this clown where the divisions he mentions came from; who it was who created the barriers he laments. And is still putting them up at warp speed. He ought to look around and see the results of the reforms he champions.

    I wish the Jesuits were merely crazy. Crazy would be a step up for most of them.

  12. maskaggs says:

    I find it particularly telling that those critical of Extraordinary Form are often quick to accuse adherents of the EF of superstition or blind obedience to the Church hierarchy, but as soon as a person reasonably criticizes/deconstructs/examines the OF and VII, they snap back with “It was the work of the Holy Spirit – how dare you question it!” True, we must always place our trust and hope in God through the Holy Ghost, but there is great value in the ability to discern the work of the Spirit from the work of men.

  13. It seems to me that Fr. Clooney is towing the ancient line that the Tridentine Mass was bad and that the New Mass is good. I’ve heard this point of view countless times from various people within my own diocese. But I have also heard from Jesuit priests who openly lamented the fact that everything changed so quickly adn drastically during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Many of them were shell shocked when it happened, but just went along with the changes.

    Per Fr. Clooney’s comments, I think that “feelings” have absolutely nothing to do with the way that we worship God. We don’t go to church on Sunday expecting to feel good about ourselves. Rather, the point of the Sunday obligation is the worship of God and that is what the Mass is ultimately about. Not our feelings, not the music that is being played, or the self-important viewpoints that are being shoved down our throats. Rather, it is about God. The sooner people wake up and realize this, the sooner that we will have a much more reverent Ordinary Form.

  14. Athelstan says:

    “…and if some of Archbishop Bugnini’s changes meant that our worship would become more like Protestant worship, that seems to have been for the better.”

    What an astonishing statement.

  15. Gabriel Austin says:

    Would it not have been simpler to have a headline “A Jesuit priest thinks all is hunky-dory with the new form of the Mass”? So what is new?

    And all you people who did not go to Jesuit schools are out-of-line.

    And besides which the Jesuits of St. Louis collect royalties on many of the unsingable hymns.

  16. Theodorus says:

    Many Anglicans feel hurt by our Holy Father’s generosity towards some traditional and conservative groups of Anglicans. I think in exchange for receiving those traditional Anglicans, the Catholic Church can give Anglicans the Society of Jesus that is so eager to become Protestant. That can purify the Catholic Church and make Anglicans feel better at the same time.

  17. thomas tucker says:

    I don’t know what is meant by the mass becoming more like a Protestant service-
    I have never been to a Lutheran or Episcopalian service. But I can tell you it
    ain’t nothing like a Baptist or Methodist service.

  18. MichaelJ says:

    thomas,

    I asked my brother-in-law (a methodist) for his impressions of a Mass he attended with my Sister. His reply: “Methodist-Lite”

  19. ds says:

    “Yet even today, I doubt very much that even newcomers will confuse Catholic and Protestant Sunday worship”

    Actually I have heard of many people becoming confused. Certainly Protestants (around here mostly Lutherans and Methodists) are since the Mass is so similar to their service that when they come to a Catholic Mass for a wedding or funeral they feel just fine about waltzing up for communion. Something tells me that these people would at-least pause for a sec. and think about it if communion meant kneeling on a rail and recieving on the tounge.

    I have also hear of situations in England where Catholics from Eastern Europe were mistakenly going to High (anglo Catholic style) Church of England parishes where the liturgy was more familar to what they knew than what was at the local Catholic Parish which they just figured was some Protestant sect.

    I also knew a Polish guy who was an exchange student in highschool, when he first came to America he was going to a local evangelical church, it seemed weird to him, but he just figured that is how American Catholics did things.

  20. M Heller says:

    “I have always found it a grace that in this way we gather around the sacrificial gifts, face to face, and in attentiveness and vulnerability stand together before our Lord, around the altar.”

    It took me 15 years to get over this kind of gobbledygook that we were fed in the 1970’s. What does it mean?? My head hurts when I read “vulnerability”, “community”, “tradition.” I’m sorry, but in my parish we’re not “gathered around the sacrificial gifts” and, unfortunately, “attentivess” is probably not the best description of the state of the congregation. With all the “busyness” and hand shaking that goes on in between the consecration and the reception of Holy Communion “distractedness” is probably a better word to use.

  21. asperges says:

    ..and I see no reason to think that the Spirit, and intention of the Church, did not work through his sincere and humble efforts.

    Were there any? He was found out by Paul VI and sent away. He is the single greatest vandal of the Roman liturgy and history will bear this out. Where has this writer of the article been for the last 40 years? Do we learn nothing from this dark period? Dear me..

  22. chcrix says:

    Maybe there is a reason the College of Cardinals don’t want to elect a man with the dreaded SJ after his name as pope.

    My time frame of reference is similar to Father Clooney. I too served the Latin mass as an altar boy. I too had no say in the revision of the liturgy. I did not become a priest. Instead I was driven from the church when I disagreed with the changes. For more than 40 years I wandered. I came back when Father Ratzinger’s writing lead me to believe that the god of the philosophers could be combined with the personal God. He was the religion teacher I needed to answer my questions in 1967.

    Father Clooney’s predecessors had nothing of importance to say in 1967. Father Clooney has nothing of importance to say now.

  23. I bet this guy would never dream of telling Muslims that they should change the direction they pray in. He’d never say that praying toward Mecca is a matter of facing the wall of the mihrab, looking away from the people you’re with and ignoring them.

    But his own church’s direction of prayer? The direction of prayer for 2000 years, that’s in memory of Jesus’ Ascension and looks toward His Second Coming? No problem. Change it around and never have a second thought about it.

    All you can do is shake your head.

  24. EnoughRope says:

    Fr. Z had some really good comments, but I have to shake my head when people start referring to priests as “clowns”. Show some respect.

  25. thomas tucker says:

    MichaelJ- that boggles my mind. The Methodist services I’ve been to were
    nothing like a Mass, either NOM or TLM!

  26. Nathan says:

    I had a couple of reactions to Fr. Clooney’s article.

    First, Father Z and many in the combox do a fine job pointing out the problems with the article. What strikes me, though, is that this discussion is taking place at all, and in both “America” and in the NYT. We went through so many years where the only critical discussion of the Novus Ordo at all took place behind closed doors or on the pages of the Remnant and the Wanderer (and, in the UK, in the LMS and in Michael Davies’ books). That alone is indicative of how far the liturgical restoration has come in the last five years. It is, IMO, astounding that this discussion has moved to the NYT and America and Commonweal.

    Second, it seems that the will of the Holy Father is to open the hearts and minds of those opposed to the restoration of tradition in the liturgy. How can those of us who love the TLM win the hearts (not to discount the importance of the Holy Ghost or the intercession of the saints)of the likes of Fr. Clooney? I would suggest attending to what he has to say carefully, and taking extra steps to show charity and justice (as difficult as that may be for the many who suffered lack of charity and injustice when the liturgical changes occured).

    This article seems to me to indicate some of the basic premises for those who strongly support the Novus Ordo as currently practiced in much of the US:

    –“First, we’ve been taught for centuries to trust the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church.” Translation: Please do not make those of us who are attached to the N.O. in its current form out to be caricatures or straw men. We are not, generally, died-in-the-wool modernists who hate all things traditional. We were and are doing what we truly believed and believe the Church has told us to do. Disagree with us, convince us, but please do not treat us with less than our shared dignity conferred in Baptism.

    –“there is deep meaning in a community context where priest and people face one another.” Translation: We hear you about mystery in the liturgy, but there is a communal aspect to the Mass that we don’t recall hear you Trads mention. How do the TLM and the more traditional ars celebrendi for the Novus Ordo reflect our Christian unity?

    –“…neither Latin nor particular forms of music and piety are essential to the effective celebration of the Eucharist or to the grace that is the real presence of Christ in our midst through it.” Translation: We take the concept of “effectiveness” in liturgy seriously. Why do you claim that our approach doesn’t take God fully into account? How do the TLM and the more traditional ars celebrendi for the Novus Ordo make “God as a Person, not a Concept” effective to us?

    Look, I don’t know if traditional litugy will ever warm the heart of Fr. Clooney again. But there are a good number of people who have accepted his premises in good faith, and the most successful way I see to increase the number of people attending the TLM and N.O. “non-happy-clappy” Masses is to, as a group, approach them in a way that respects their intelligence and their good faith. And, if the Church is moving in the traditional liturgical direction that I hope it is, wouldn’t it be consistent with God’s will that we do what we can to keep as many as we are able with us?

    In Christ,

  27. Nathan says:

    Thomas Tucker: The Methodist services I’ve been to were nothing like a Mass, either NOM or TLM!

    Point well taken. However, I remember when I entered the Catholic Church from being a Methodist 29 years ago. I came into the Church via the TLM, then went to my first Novus Ordo (admittedly at the height of the liturgical innovation, in a very “progressive” diocese). My immediate reaction was, “If I wanted this, I could have stayed Methodist and had better music!” On a continuum, the N.O. was more toward the Methodist end and the TLM was on the other. It took a lot of study and many years of adopting Catholic culture before I could appreciate the fact that perhaps I was being a bit harsh on the N.O.

    In Christ,

  28. Ferde Rombola says:

    I don’t need any lessons on respecting priests, thank you. Some of them get referred to as ‘clowns’ when they act and speak like clowns. Killing the messenger has never been profitable.

  29. paladin says:

    ds wrote:

    Actually I have heard of many people becoming confused. Certainly Protestants (around here mostly Lutherans and Methodists) are since the Mass is so similar to their service that when they come to a Catholic Mass for a wedding or funeral they feel just fine about waltzing up for communion. Something tells me that these people would at-least pause for a sec. and think about it if communion meant kneeling on a rail and recieving on the tounge.

    Excellently put.

    Above and beyond making *Protestants* think twice: it would be so much of a challenge, I think, that heterodox priests (and/or lay liturgists, etc.) with a mind to distort even the (forgive me) somewhat liturgically/theologically anemic Novus Ordo would (and do, apparently) avoid Holy Communion kneeling at the rail, and reception on the tongue, like the plague. That, in fact, is the main reason why I think much of the rebellion against the Holy Father’s “resuscitation” of the TLM is due to pride. Nothing humbles like receiving Our Blessed Lord while kneeling, and waiting with humble trust for Him to be placed on our tongue. (I know it was a watershed moment for me, when I first experienced it!)

  30. MichaelJ says:

    Yes Thomas, it does boggle the mind. I was not implying though, that a methodist service was like a Catholic Mass. Instead, I was saying that the Catholic Mass my brother-in-law attended as well as all of the NOM Masses I have attended were virtually indistinguishable from a methodist service.

    The point was to refute the assertion (which you seemed to agree with) that “newcomers will [not] confuse Catholic and Protestant Sunday worship”

  31. Thomas S says:

    Francis X. Clooney taught at Boston College while I was there. He specializes in Eastern thought. Yes, another Jesuit a little too enamored of Buddhism, Zen, and all the rest. Sound familiar?

    The man is a synchretist. So I find no surprise in his thinking the Protestantization of the Mass was a good thing.

  32. Sid says:

    1. it is good that we were — and are — reminded that neither Latin nor particular forms of music and piety are essential to the effective celebration of the Eucharist

    2. I have always found it a grace that in this way we gather around the sacrificial gifts, face to face, and in attentiveness,

    A shotgun marriage of Bauhaus Brutalism (#1) and sentimental Kitsch (#2)

  33. Stu says:

    America…What have they done since Sister Golden Hair?

  34. Lurker 59 says:

    God does bless us in the way we worship today, Christ is present in the Eucharist as we celebrate it, the Spirit touches our minds and hearts as we stand, hands outstretched, to receive the Body of Christ, and then proceed to drink his Blood from the cup.

    The sentence above is the core of the problem with Fr.’s thoughts and indicates where exactly his education and formation, and thus his thought process, got off track.

    Lets look at some of the presuppositions

    1. God bless us in the way we worship today (Worship is about what we do, as opposed to what Christ does. God must blesses it because we do it, and it is assumed that God blesses it (with empty pews???) because we do it). The usage of we here is both a flattening of the distinction of the members of the body of Christ as well as a condescending reduction of the laity’s participation in Mass to simply receiving the Body of Christ from the minister’s hands)

    2. Worship is reduced to receiving the Body and Blood of Christ. (There is no indication here of sacrifice, of the priest as vicar of Christ offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar with the Son through the Spirit to the Father for the remission of sins, for the healing of the faithful, and for the source, summit, and consummation of our communion with the most Holy Trinity.)

    3. The Spirit touches our minds and hearts because of what we have done. (This is simply unfounded. Who says that the Spirit is pleased or displeased? Fr. is assuming that because he is a priest and he is doing stuff the Spirit is pleased.)

    4. The underlying assumption that people have a right to receive Christ, rather than the Eucharist being a free gift given out of love, one which many are called to come to, but where few are chosen.

    The problem here is that Fr.’s identity as priest is not strong. Its partially his fault partially the fault of those who educated him. Many priests have this problem and the only way that it is going to get better is if
    1.) we pray for them
    2.) we understand who we are (laity, clergy, religious) and who the Church is better
    3.) we are willing to listen to Christ and be lead by Him and not try to lead Him around
    4.) we help out more in our parishes and help our priests to discover what exactly it means to be priest.

    This will greatly help to win people to the Pope’s side, which is important because he is the Pope of Christian Unity — and he is not creating unity around “community” or any human based idea, but rather he is creating unity by uniting himself and all of us to Christ, who is the only source for unity that exists in this universe.

  35. Mitchell NY says:

    If that is all Bugnini wanted, to remove obstacles to worship, another “rite” or “form” could have been created to accomplish that and been offered to those who wish it..It was the brutal suppression of the 1962 Missal that lead people to distrust his motives. Not just his novel ideas about creating a new Mass. In the words of the Pope, “Never (underscore, bold face, highlight) in the history of the Church has this occured”

  36. quietbeginning says:

    It would be interesting to know whether Rev. Clooney believes in objective truth or not. My suspicion, admittedly based as it is on what little I have read of him, is that he does not. I suspect that he, like most (by far) of the NO clergy I have known, is a situational ethicist. In trying to square 19 centuries of pre-Vatican II Catholicism with a post-VII religion that is antithetical to it, he would probably say something like “Back then it was true for them, but now we’ve moved on and it’s not good for us.” These people do not seek the truth–they seek themselves.

  37. Sam Schmitt says:

    Nathan makes a startling point which most commenters seemed to have ignored – that this discussion is going on at all. For years conservatives / traditionalists have complained that no one listened to their arguments, and now that someone is actually listening, he’s dismissed and discredited.

    You’re not going to convince many by being caustic, sarcastic, insulting, and dismissive of people who disagree with you. I’d hate to think that at the end of the day we conservatives / traditionalists don’t really care if anybody listens to us after all, as long as we can all pat each other on the back about how right and clever we are.

  38. Maltese says:

    I think it was old scratch who was the inspiring spirit behind Bugnini’s desire to transform the Roman rite to eucharist-as-meal (versus the Unbloody Sacrifice.) Here is what a canonized SAINT said regarding the same, which, I’m guessing, the mass “presider” above would be flummoxed by:

    “The principal excellence of the most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass consists in being essentially, and in the very highest degree, identical with that which was offered on the Cross of Calvary: with this sole difference, that the Sacrifice on the Cross was bloody, and made once for all, and did on that one occasion satisfy fully for all the sins of the world; while the Sacrifice of the Altar is an unbloody sacrifice, which can be repeated an infinite number of times, and was instituted in order to apply in detail that universal ransom which Jesus paid for us on Calvary. So that the bloody Sacrifice was the instrument of redemption; the unbloody is that which puts us in possession: the one threw open the treasury of the merits of Christ Our Lord; the other affords the practical use of that treasury. And, therefore, observe that in Mass there is made not a mere representation, nor a simple commemoration of the Passion and Death of the Redeemer, but there is performed, in a certain true sense, the selfsame most holy act which was performed on Calvary. It may be said, with all truth, that in every Mass Our Redeemer returns mystically to die for us, without really dying, at one and the same time really alive and as it were slain—–vidi Agnum stantem tamquam occisum, “I saw a Lamb standing as it were slain” (Apoc. v. 6).”

    Saint Leonard-Port Maurice, “The Hidden Treasure of the Holy Mass,” 1890

  39. edwardo3 says:

    Marius2k4,

    I would put the start date of the Jesuit insanity in North America in the mid 1700’s during the supression. I see in this article some of the same language and ideas espoused by Archbishop Carroll that got him into not a little trouble during his reign in Baltimore and which blossomed so well in the 19th century into the Heresey of Americanism which had as a particular end that we should adpot styles of worship and governance more suited to our protestant neighbours in order that we could be more like them and less offensive to their particular tastes.

  40. JohnRoss says:

    I say it is time for Pope Benedict XVI to take a page from the book of Pope Benedict XIV and suppress the Jesuits.

    They are barely even Catholic anymore, which is sad considering their vaunted historical reputation.

  41. Cathomommy says:

    *sigh* I recently read through a biography of St. Francis Xavier with my 7-year-old son as part of his homeschooling. Son said, “Wow, the Jesuits are brave and really good; look how many people they converted! Maybe I’ll be one someday.” Sad to have to explain to him that things went awry.

  42. wolfeken says:

    Just a short note to say thanks, all, for your comments, compliments, corrections and charity this week. We kicked open a huge door. I especially thank Father Z for the information on this blog, including the story of Paul VI and the octave of Pentecost. Letters will probably run soon — perhaps some of yours are in the mix.

  43. mfg says:

    Oh, well, a Jesuit. That explains it.

  44. ssoldie says:

    LEX ORANDI – LEX CRENDENDI, they had it right along time ago. Show me the ‘FRUITS’ of the Super Pastoral Progressive Council of Vatican II. Not every council in the history of the Church has been good for the soul’s of the faithful, and in my opinion this has been one of the worst. The Church is and has been in ‘crisis’, and confusion has abounded for the last 45+years in the Church, and who is the father of confusion?

  45. cl00bie says:

    This may be disrespectful, and Fr. Z. may nix my post as lacking Christian charity, but is there some lab in some hippie commune somewhere where they are turning out this particular brand of Jesuit?

    I took a look at the good father’s course list:

    Hindu Goddesses and the Virgin Mary (Fall 2009)
    Reading Hindu Texts Interreligiously III: The Brhadaranyaka Upanisad with Sankara’s Commentary in Translation (Fall 2009)
    Tamil Love: Tiruvaymoli (Spring 2010)
    Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion (Spring 2010)
    Reading Hindu Texts Interreligiously IV: The Yoga Sutras and Commentaries in Translation

    Sheesh!

    Well, the biological solution will be tealing with this before long.