Archbp. Coleridge hits a liturgical home run

Ever since the papal Master of Ceremonies Msgr. Guido Marini gave a talk in Rome to English-speaking priests about liturgy and liturgical reform, liberals have been coming out of the wood work.

They are now emboldened to attack Benedict XVI and his vision through the easier target of Msgr. Marini.

There are many reasons for their attack on the Holy Father, but the more immediate casus belli in the new translation.

You might recall that, inter alia, Msgr. Marini said that when the Council mandated the reform of the liturgy, the people put in charge of that reform didn’t really understand well what they were doing.  

While I agree with that to the extent that the "experts" probably didn’t really get the point of what the Council Father’s mandated, taken up in their own agenda as they were, they certainly knew what they wanted to do, regardless of what the documents said.

Now comes this about what Bp. Mark Coleridge of Canberra said about the new translation of the Roman Missal.

My emphases and comments.

By Anthony Barich

PERTH, Australia (CNS) — The newly translated Roman Missal to be issued in Australian parishes in 2011 will help address the serious theological problems of the 1973 missal currently in use, said one of Australia’s most senior liturgists.  [Get that?  "Serious" theological problems.  Rememer: the way we pray as a reciprocal relationship with what we believe.]

In the process, it will more faithfully implement the liturgical vision of the Second Vatican Council [Because the liturgical vision of Vatican II was never really tried.] and also fulfill the reforms of the much-maligned 1570 Council of Trent, Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Canberra-Goulburn told approximately 200 liturgists gathered in Perth in early February.

Archbishop Coleridge is chairman of the Roman Missal Editorial Committee of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy; he is also chair of the Australian bishops’ Liturgy Commission.

While Archbishop Coleridge acknowledged that the missal used since 1973 has made gains in accessibility, participation, Scripture, adaptation and inculturation, he said it also has “serious problems theologically” and “consistently bleaches out metaphor, which does scant justice to the highly metaphoric discourse” of Scripture and early Christian writers.  [It is important to remember the role that biblical positivists played in the liturgical wars.  Blinkered by their approach to Scripture they effectively evacuated a great deal of the significance of the liturgical texts.]

This is the result of a misunderstanding of Vatican II’s reforms, he said.  [Yes.]

Occasional claims of the Roman Missal revisions being a “merely political right-wing plot of the church” to turn the clock back miss the point of reform and of the purpose of the Mass, which is “a gift from God, not something to be manipulated,” he said.

“Nothing will happen unless we move beyond ideology and reducing the church to politics and the slogans that go with them, which are unhelpful,” he said. “Drinking from the wells of tradition passed on supremely in the liturgy is what this new moment of renewal is all about.”  [Very well said.]

[Note this well:] Archbishop Coleridge’s speech to the liturgists came just two weeks after Benedictine Father Anscar Chupungco, a former consulter to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, said Jan. 22 that the reforms were part of an attempt to turn the clock back 50 years.  [Precisely.  Remember: Liberals want to control the narrative of the Council and the post-Conciliar reform.   They must be set straight.]

Archbishop Coleridge said that one of the ironies of criticism of the new missal is that “we can fail to attend to history even though perhaps the most fundamental achievement of Vatican II was the restoration of historical consciousness to the life of the Catholic Church.”

“A claim that troubles me is that this initiative is somehow a retreat from all that Vatican II tried to promote and enact and a betrayal, therefore, of the (Second Vatican) Council and, by implication, the Holy Spirit,” Archbishop Coleridge said.

He said if that were true, he and thousands of others involved in the missal process “would not have shed the blood, sweat and tears of the last seven years.”

“We would’ve saved ourselves a lot of time and money if we’d just stuck with the Latin, but that’s not what the Spirit is saying to the church,” he said.  [With due respect, I am not sure how that can be demonstrated.  But let’s move on.]

However, Vatican II’s reforms were not properly implemented and were taken too far, he said, after the Latin texts were translated in 1973 with “breathtaking speed.”  [And breathtaking incompetence.]

Since then, the liturgy has largely lost the sense of the liturgy as primarily Christ’s action, [YES!] as something received “not just what we do; a mystery into which we are drawn.”  [Wow… does this sound like WDTPRS?]

“We can’t just tamper with it,” he said. “Celebrants sometimes act as if it’s their own personal property to do with what they like. You can’t.”

An overly cerebral approach to liturgy, loss of ritual, oversimplification of rites, loss of a sense of silence, beauty and an unwitting clericalism [No one is more "clerical" in the negative sense than a liberal.] have all led to the Mass lacking its full potential to catechize the faithful and renew the church, he said.

The Second Vatican Council’s “catechetical thrust” that encouraged priests to catechize in the process of celebration has led to the Mass “drowning under the weight of supposed catechetical verbosity,” he said.

The new translations will attempt to control “clerical verbosity and, dare I say, clerical idiosyncrasy,” he said.

“Let the texts stand as is and let catechesis draw out from the texts in a way that communicates to the community, rather than trying to build into the texts a catechesis that runs the risk of corrupting the texts or diluting their power,” he said.  [Just Say The Black and Do The Red.]
 
The proposed English translation of the second Latin edition of the Roman Missal was never approved by Vatican, and a translation of the third Latin edition promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 2002 is near completion, the Vatican said in late January.

 

 

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46 Responses to Archbp. Coleridge hits a liturgical home run

  1. Oneros says:

    “A claim that troubles me is that this initiative is somehow a retreat from all that Vatican II tried to promote and enact and a betrayal, therefore, of the (Second Vatican) Council and, by implication, the Holy Spirit,”

    A claim that troubles me is that even the merely disciplinary decrees of Vatican II were some sort of Inspired text or Divine Mandate. They weren’t.

    By this logic, Vatican II itself was a betrayal of Trent and therefore, by implication, the Holy Spirit.

    But the Pope is not bound by the merely disciplinary decisions of a council, which are the products of men. Yet he calls the reform “a Gift from God” as if it is a divine mandate, as if a Pope could not totally reject or ignore the disciplinary decrees of the Council, though he could.

    The Holy Spirit only guarantees that they won’t teach heresy (and Vatican II didnt); infallibility is a negative protection. However, Councils are not, anymore than popes, positively inspired oracles of some sort.

  2. Oneros says:

    Notice also the absolute commitment to the “idea” of “Vatican II”.

    It has become just a watchword like “democracy” or “freedom” in US politics which both Democrats and Republicans unwaveringly claim to value, even though they each have their own interpretation of what it “really means”.

    I’m with Cardinal Ratzinger:

    “Not every valid council in the history of the Church has been a fruitful one;
    in the last analysis many of them have been just a waste of time”

    We need to MOVE BEYOND Vatican II.

  3. TJerome says:

    Fess up, Father Z. You’re the ghost writer of Archbishop Coleridge’s magnificent and cogent address!!!!

    This is fabulous. Perhaps we should mail a copy to a certain bishop in Pennsylvania?

    Just kidding.

    Tom

  4. TJerome says:

    Oneros, naughty, naughty. I kind of doubt that Pope Benedict who was a young peritus at Vatican II would deem it a waste of time. There were a number of decrees that were sound and necessary. Now the way Sacrosanctum Concilium was implemented by Bugnini and company was a travesty, to that I would agree. I’m just shocked that more bishops didn’t follow Cardinal Ottaviani’s lead and raise cain over the Novus Ordo. Were they guilty perhaps of papalotry? My pope, right or wrong? Tom

  5. Oneros says:

    No, but he said Councils can be, and I believe this one was. A. Waste. Of. Time.

    You say “by Bugnini” but he was authorized by the Pope to do it, and the Pope approved the final result, and the bishops accepted it (most were, actually, quite enthusiastic). There is no mandate to take the disciplinary decrees of a Council in a strict-constructionist way. The Pope has the authority to modify, adapt, or ignore them. And in approving the Consilium’s work, that’s just what Paul VI did. But, even if it had been “strictly” interpreted, it still would not have been great.

  6. Oneros says:

    I would also say that the fact that a certain generation saw Vatican II as their personal project, the fact that the recent Popes were all there…was part of the big reason why there was and is such stubbornness against just admitting it wasn’t great or successful. They were personally invested, emotionally and mentally and politically, and want to save face. I mean, how embarrassing for them to have something like that fail. But it did. And they should have the humility to admit it for the good of the Church.

  7. viennaguy says:

    How is no one more ‘clerical’ than a liberal? (I’m not a liberal, I would just sincerely love to be able to argue this point!!)

  8. Dave N. says:

    “We would’ve saved ourselves a lot of time and money if we’d just stuck with the Latin….”

    Duh. And problems beyond measure.

    “….but that’s not what the Spirit is saying to the church….”

    Reminds me of appeals to the “Spirit of Vatican II” i.e., if you can’t really back something up, appeal to the authority of “the Spirit.”

    While there’s a lot commendable here, one thing that disturbed me a bit about the article was the Abp’s statement about theological problems with the 1973 Missal. So does he mean there are theological problems with the 1973 Editio Typica? Its previous revisions? Or problems with the English translation of the 1973 Missal? Or problems with implementation? Or problems with the adaptations and use of the Missal? (Or all of the above?; the article’s all over the map in terms of “problems.”) How can something simultaneously be a “gift from God” and yet have “theological problems”?

    I don’t think it’s good to make a bombshell claim like this without being crystal clear about what you mean and providing some concrete examples. And how exactly does issuing a new translation of the Missal address the problem of clerical idiosyncrasy? (We could actually see more of it, not less.)

    It seems like he’s raising a laundry list of doubts about the NO Mass and then leaving the faithful hanging as to how/if they are being dealt with.

    Of course this could just be a CNS editing issue.

  9. Oneros says:

    “How can something simultaneously be a “gift from God” and yet have “theological problems”?”

    Because, if you read carefully, he doesnt seem to be saying that the Novus Ordo is the gift from God, but rather “the reform”. The nebulous reform that never happened, that rainbow we’re all still chasing…

  10. Hidden One says:

    The good archbishop has done a good thing. Can we stop nitpicking him? We don’t criticize baseball players for mishitting when the home run ball merely lands in one of the lower sections of the seats.

  11. Supertradmom says:

    I am thrilled by this article. The wheel is turning…

  12. zgietl says:

    Perhaps the next Archbishop of Sydney assuming Cardinal Pell is transferred to the Congregation for Bishops.

  13. chcrix says:

    I agree that the comments are a very good thing. But it is not necessary for one to agree with them 100%.

    Many topics, like the intrinsic value of V2 are debatable, and it may even be difficult to discern the verdict of history at this point.

    Here’s my nit: “An overly cerebral approach to liturgy” – apparently meant as a critique of the V2 outcome. I tend to think that far from being cerebral, the outcome was quite shallow and narrow. To my way of thinking the cerebral (in a good sense) are on the TLM side of the equation.

  14. catholicmidwest says:

    The new translations will attempt to control “clerical verbosity and, dare I say, clerical idiosyncrasy,” he said.

    AMEN.

  15. Clinton says:

    “We can’t just tamper with (the liturgy). Celebrants sometimes act as if it’s their own personal property to do with what they like.
    You can’t.”

    Amen and amen. Words deserving to be posted in golden letters above every sacristy door.

  16. Oneros says:

    “Many topics, like the intrinsic value of V2 are debatable, and it may even be difficult to discern the verdict of history at this point.”

    Agreed. I’m fine with debate on this point.

    That’s exactly why the current party-line on the issue disturbs me: it seems to say that there can be no debate, that Vatican II WAS definitively valuable by the mere fact of being a valid ecumenical council, and if you question this you are tantamount to a heretic.

    And so we have to accept SOME sort of monumental paradigm shift even if the “liberal” one was the “wrong” one, because Vatican II was a New Pentecost for the church, its documents are a divine mandate, blah blah blah…

  17. moon1234 says:

    As for me, I will just continue on with the TLM and try not to see the tornado of change blowing through again with all of the people and things that will undoubtedly get sucked in and thrown out as it blows through.

    The church need s a few centuries of NO CHANGE (other than maybe forgetting what has happened the last 50 years). There is much to be appreciated in stability. It (The TLM for me) brings peace to the mind and comfort to all of us who have been afflicted with liturgical sickness.

  18. Norah says:

    they effectively evacuated a great deal of the significance of the liturgical texts.

    Fr do you mean ‘eviscerated’?

    I wouldn’t be a bit surprised that should Cardinal Pell be summoned to Rome Abp Coleridge would get the nod.

  19. Maltese says:

    Fr. Z: *While I agree with that to the extent that the “experts” probably didn’t really get the point of what the Council Father’s mandated, taken up in their own agenda as they were, they certainly knew what they wanted to do, regardless of what the documents said.*

    Very true; but I actually thank God that the concilium didnt get its hands on the venerable rite of trent. Instead, they basically started over, including incorporating Jewish customs.

    If they had meddled with the Tridentine Latin Mass (the extraordinary form) if would have been a jumbled mess.

    Instead, SSPX preserved the Eternal Sacrificd, as in amber; the Extraordinary Form mass, worshipped by our forebears for many generations before us..

  20. Jord says:

    A Down Under Cricket Run if I ever saw one.

  21. southern orders says:

    On the Pray Tell Blog, in reaction to Benedictine Father Anscar Chupungco, another Benedictine,Fr. Nathanael Hauser, O.S.B. who must be a contemporary of Fr. Anscar, reacted to Fr. Anscar’s shrill against Msgr. Marini who had given a speech to the English speaking clergy who had gathered in Rome in early January. Msgr. Marini of course was basically speaking about Pope Benedict’s agenda of the “reform of the reform” which caused Fr. Anscar to pontificate negatively about the direction the Vatican was taking and setting the clock back 50 years. This is Fr. Nathanael’s response to Fr. Anscar’s rants as it appeared in the Pray Tell Blog. It is excellent:

    Written by: Fr. Nathanael Hauser, O.S.B. on February 1, 2010 – 10:29 pm

    I hesitate to enter the Liturgical controversies, being an art historian rather than a Liturgist. However, I have been personally acquainted with Fr. Anscar since 1980 and greatly respect his work, having spoken with him and read many of his books and articles. It is because of my respect for his work that I am disappointed with this speech. I think that it is important recognize it as a speech that is meant to rally the troops, rather than a scholarly article. Given that, one must allow him room to overemphasize and even to exaggerate.

    His remarks, though, seem to me to grossly misstate the history of the past 50 years in order to inflame the current liturgical situation rather than to add to the scholarship that his status demands. Fr. Anscar implies in his second paragraph that we are in a new “autumn” that has suddenly blighted the bright springtime of the Church. However, nothing has been said in the recent past that was not said over twenty years ago by the Holy See in “Vicesimus Quintus Annus” of 1988 (for instance in v13: “It cannot be tolerated that certain priests should take upon themselves the right to compose Eucharistic Prayers or to substitute profane readings for texts from Sacred Scripture. Initiatives of this sort, far from being linked with the liturgical reform as such, or with the books, which have issued from it, are in direct contradiction to it, disfigure it and deprive the Christian people of the genuine treasures of the Liturgy of the Church.”).

    More important is Fr. Anscar’s assertion that “The agenda is, to all appearance, an attempt to put the clock back half a century.” He then asks some rhetorical questions that, if taken as serious questions, would indeed contribute to the conversation that is so needed today. The one question that I would like to discuss is his questioning of the new translations. To be clear, I have nothing invested in the new translations. From my reading, I can agree with many of the criticisms of them. The problem that I see is the assumption in Fr. Anscar’s speech that the current translation was the philosophically best kind of translation and to move away from that philosophy is to turn the clock back fifty years.

    This declaration is to pretend that the question of the best way to translate was settled in 1960. The translators of that time followed the then new ideas of Eugene Nidal and his idea of Dynamic Equivalence. The difficulty with Fr. Anscar’s approach is that since then this philosophy has been critiqued by many in the field and has even been corrected by Nidal himself who dropped the term. (see: “Theories of Translation.” TTR: traduction, terminologie, redaction 4.1. 1991. 19-32 and also “The Sociolinguistics of Translating Canonical Religious Texts” TTR, 7.1. 1994. 191-217). Further, Nidal’s philosophy of translation was developed as a way to translate the Bible in a non-Catholic context: that is, freed of any authoritative tradition.

    One need only scan the articles in “Meta: journal des traducteurs” to see how active the level of critique of this form of translation has been since 1960 and continues to be today. One article I would recommend is: Jacobus A. Naudé. “On the Threshold of the Next Generation of Bible Translations: Issues and Trends.” Meta 50. 4. 2005. http://id.erudit.org/iderudit/019851ar

    The question, then, is not one of scholarship but of ideology. To pretend that the “historical research, theological investigation, and pastoral consciousness” of the 1970s would inevitably lead the Church into its present condition is ridiculous on its face. It is obvious to any historian (even an art historian as myself!) that any major disruption in culture is brought about by politics and ideology not by research and investigation.

    That this is ideology is clear in Fr. Anscar’s rhetorical questions. For instance, he asks “Will the priestly role of mediation be reinforced by praying at the altar with the back to the assembly?” The question itself reveals the author’s implied response and gives no credit to the past fifty years of scholarly attention that has been given to the question of the orientation of the altar. This question is not about scholarship, or of turning back the clock, but of what the writer prefers. Indeed, that there is no real scholarship behind the turning of the altars was admitted as early as 1959 in an article by John H. Miller, (“Altar facing the People: Fact or Fable” Worship 33. 2. 83-91) in which he says that given the scholarship of the day “… advocates of the altar “versus populum” base their cause on other reasons BESIDES historical ones. We invoke two theological reasons: a deeper consciousness of the reality of sacramental priesthood and a valued appraisal of the Mass as a banquet in format. To this we add a valid psychological motive: the people can see better the actions of the priest and understand them as, at least partially, directed towards themselves.” (Emphasis in the original.)

    The question then is, as it has always been, one of theological views. A particular viewpoint was ascendant for many years but is now being increasingly questioned by many in the Church in 2010. In my estimation, these important theological questions would be better served if all parties admitted that and ceased to try to hide behind the conceit that one’s interlocutors are simply romantics attempting to turn back the clock.

  22. ruadhri says:

    Fr Z’s comment that the liberals are coming out of the woodwork is right on. As a member of our parish council with responsibility for the liturgy, I proposed distributing Msgr Marini’s address to the other members and approached our new PP. He wouldn’t have a bar of it (the usual “turning the clock back” story) and said he was a “product of post-Vatican II”,(note the “post”!!) and knew what he wanted to do and was going to do it. I resigned. [Oh dear.] Now he wants to remove the tabernacle from view, among other moves that have locals saying the church looks like a garage. Needless to say, I’m now attending the EF Mass, in another church in the same parish.

  23. JARay says:

    I’m just interested as to where you got Anthony Barich’s article. He writes for my local Archdiocesan newspaper, “The Record” and I read this article in my copy of the paper. Where did your copy of the article come from? He incidentally is a local “boy”, I know his father very well. (local, means, Perth, Western Australia)

  24. Ef-lover says:

    “How can something simultaneously be a “gift from God” and yet have “theological problems”?”

    Because, if you read carefully, he doesnt seem to be saying that the Novus Ordo is the gift from God, but rather “the reform”. The nebulous reform that never happened, that rainbow we’re all still chasing…
    ——————————————————————————–

    I think if you read this line again — the good bishop is not refering to the Novus ordo nor “the reform” as a gift from God but to the the “Holy Mass” in general handed down to us through the centuries from our Lord

  25. thesheepcat says:

    Very refreshing, Father. Now, may I ask you to elaborate, please, on this term “biblical positivists” you used. I think I get the general drift, but …

  26. Hieronymus says:

    While I agree with that to the extent that the “experts” probably didn’t really get the point of what the Council Father’s mandated, taken up in their own agenda as they were, they certainly knew what they wanted to do, regardless of what the documents said. — Fr. Z.

    Father, I am going to have to respectfully disagree. Bugnini was in charge of writing Sacrosanctum Concilium, and then in charge of its implementation. It is clear that some of the Bishops didn’t know what they were signing on to due to the ambiguous and duplicitous wording that Bugnini used in SC, but I think we would also do well to recognize that we ended up with the liturgy that SC was meant to bring about.

    Many who realize that the modern liturgy is in very bad shape keep talking about “going back to the document”, but in doing so we are drinking from a poisoned well. If we start a reform with the document, we end up right back where we are today.

  27. Hieronymus says:

    Tom, you said:

    Now the way Sacrosanctum Concilium was implemented by Bugnini and company was a travesty, to that I would agree. I’m just shocked that more bishops didn’t follow Cardinal Ottaviani’s lead and raise cain over the Novus Ordo.

    The problem is, as I pointed out above, the Novus Ordo is the liturgical child of Sacrosancum Concilium. The document was written by Bugnini and company, and used by the Concilium to give us the NO. After all, if anyone could be said to understand the document, it is the person who wrote it. He’s the same person who gave us the NO. Whether we like it or not, it IS the mass of Sacrosancum Concilium. That is why I think any “solution” which attempts to found itself on the document itself is ill fated. It is a house built upon the sand.

  28. TNCath says:

    Lord, have mercy! This might be a liturgical grand slam home run! The line “clerical verbosity and, dare I say, clerical idiosyncrasy” is the essence of “liberal clericalism.” For years we have been enduring priests who think they have to “talk the Mass to death” and “doctor up” the Mass as if they were enhancing a frozen pizza with additional ingredients. I certainly hope and pray the implementation of this new translation will put an end to these aberrations. Of course, the problem is WHO will enforce it? Again, this will be up to the bishops.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Archbishop Coleridge gets a red hat sometime soon. As we know, the rumors are flying that Cardinal Pell will soon be changing addresses to the Congregation of Bishops. If this indeed happens, it certainly seems within the realm of possibility that Archbishop Coleridge might succeed him in Sydney.

    If you are reading this, Archbishop Coleridge, God bless you and keep you!

  29. james says:

    “I would also say that the fact that a certain generation saw Vatican II as their personal project, the fact that the recent Popes were all there…was part of the big reason why there was and is such stubbornness against just admitting it wasn’t great or successful. They were personally invested, emotionally and mentally and politically, and want to save face. I mean, how embarrassing for them to have something like that fail. But it did. And they should have the humility to admit it for the good of the Church.” –
    Spot-on, Onerus!

    We would’ve saved ourselves a lot of time and money if we’d just stuck with the Latin…….but that’s not what the Spirit is saying to the church….” – Says whom? Seems the rapid increase in vocations to the Traditional Orders might prove this statement wrong.

    “We can’t just tamper with (the liturgy). Celebrants sometimes act as if it’s their own personal property to do with what they like.
    You can’t.” – This is the “spirit” of Vatican 2, in many ways.

  30. Mitchell NY says:

    First off, was there a 1973 MIssal?? I understood there was a 70, 75, and 2002 Roman Missal version. Tampering, changing, deleting prayers, rewriting whole section, hardly seems to the ideas of the Council and in the best interest of the faithful. The opposite has proven true. ANd what intense thelogical study was done before these changes were introduced? Even if they wanted the Concilium probably could not have thrown something together faster. How can the Pope, as Cardinal make similiar observations and comments in his books and then simply fail to fix them? Or simply show us how things should be done by example. One of the best, mostly former now, strengths of the Catholic Church was its’ clarity and precision. It is as if it has been wiped out or completely knocked off its’ own axis’, by what now has been coined the Spirit of Vatican II. Thigs have gone so apparently wrong and the evidence is in the reaction of the faithful, often bitterly divided over the Council, its’ documents, the New and Old Mass. The disorientation is overwhelming to most. Yes, it is all coming to light under this Pontificate, but will it continue to do so and unfold in the next? I wonder how much convincing evidence is needed for some of the easier steps to be implemented and some of the more difficult ones to be sorted out over the next few years, not generations. Some mention Ad Orientem, well wouldn’t it be prudent, under the premeise this is the rule, not exception, to state that at every Sunday there will be one Ad Orientem Mass in the schedule, or weekdays will be versus populum Mass for teaching and understanding (visual), however weekend Mass will follow a more strict outline of the rubrics. The GIRM indicates the “Priest is facing East and then turns to the people to say”.Maybe a few weekday Masses would go up in attendance as people attempt to Cathechise themselves by taking this available option to see and learn what a Priest is actually doing at our Sunday Masses. Use weekday Masses as a tool of learning to point out etc. It has to start somewhere and not too abrubtly, but it has to start if the Catholic whole is going to re-orient themselves. Not 12 out of 400 parishes for example. Without more overall participation by the Faithful in such ritual, we are in grave danger of this becoming the “fancy of this Pontificate”. A very real danger if focus is lost or sidelined by something else, which can happen in an instant nowadays. We need to have some legislative acts to look upon in times of upheaval, change, or chaos, Not only videos of example set by Rome. People need documents.It seems in most parishes the torpor that Paul VI continues, now without the rosary but with cell phone games and silent video play during Mass. I have seen it. At least the Rosary was prayer or meditation. So the malaise continues, albeit with different instruments. Rome can not continue much longer to speak from both sides of her mouth any longer. Yes a great new opportunity is upon us now that this is being brought into the open. A chance to finally clarify the things that have gone wrong is upon us, and to put the brakes on the car as it fights its’ way uphill, endangers the very climb.

  31. TonyLayne says:

    Instead, SSPX preserved the Eternal Sacrifice, as in amber; the Extraordinary Form mass worshipped by our forebears for many generations before us.

    Of course, amber is a good medium for preserving fossils. I’m sure that’s not what Maltese was trying to say, and I don’t say that, either. However, it makes a good jump-off marker:

    I have to disagree with Oneros–VII would have been “a complete waste of time” if absolutely nothing, good or bad, directly resulted from it. The very fact that we’re having such discussions and arguments now is a sign that the Church is alive and fighting (as befits the Church Militant) rather than dying of marginalization as an heirloom of the Middle Ages or succumbing, like the Anglicans, to the forces of secularization and “relevance”.

    Without undermining anything anyone (especially Fr. Z) has said about the value and necessity of Latin, the fact still remains that to most of the world Latin is a dead language, its only value being that–unlike Esperanto and (God save us) Klingon–real people actually once spoke it. In order to function effectively as a sign of contradiction, as a function of its teaching mission, the Church has to speak to people where they are, in a way they can understand, while at the same time avoiding the trap of over-simplification.

    This has always meant that, while doctrinal development has been in the liturgical language, catechesis takes place in the vernacular, usually creating an idiom within the vernacular that partakes of both. Under ordinary circumstances, the whole Mass should be a catechesis, not just the homily; having an Ordinary Form in the vernacular–especially with a vocabulary tailored to liturgical meaning–meets that need better (IMHO) than does the EF.

    At the same time, I note that the struggle to create an authentic Catholic “liturgical English” has been forcing the Church to look back to the source Latin as a corrective. Because we have the benefits of universal education and universally pervasive media, we lay people are better enabled to participate in the intellectual life of the Church than at any other time in history. This means that the process of recapturing the liturgy–a skirmish in the greater battle of recapturing the True Faith–is stimulating a greater interest in Latin among the faithful. It may be too early to make a definitive pronouncement on the matter, but perhaps Latin will come back as a living second language among Western Catholics.

    Again, it’s still too early to make a final judgment on the value of Vatican II. Perhaps, in the end, we’ll come back to the same place we started, or at least close to it. Oneros might contend that it would have been better had we not left that point. But sometimes the reason for a journey is to come back to where you started from and see it again as if for the first time. The first gift the Holy Spirit bestowed upon the Church on that first Pentecost so long ago was the ability to speak of the mighty works of God in all the languages of the world (Acts 2:1-11). Perhaps, in working towards the perfection of the liturgy in English, the Holy Spirit will bestow that blessing again.

  32. Oneros says:

    “having an Ordinary Form in the vernacular—especially with a vocabulary tailored to liturgical meaning—meets that need better (IMHO) than does the EF.”

    But why not just an EF in the vernacular?? Why this assumption that if we want vernacular liturgy, it has to be Novus Ordo? Why not a nice Old Rite in English ala the Anglican Missal?!

    “sometimes the reason for a journey is to come back to where you started from and see it again as if for the first time.”

    I actually would agree. The past 50 years have been subject to Providence as much as any other time period. There must be SOME reason for it. But that’s hardly a justification for it. God uses our sins and errors for good, that doesn’t justify sin or error.

  33. sgreener says:

    +Coleridge speaks in front of 200+ liturgists. But we don’t know from the article who these people were. The liturgy in my diocese is in the hands of a woman (a woman will well know heretical ideas who is Chair of the local Diocesan Liturgy Commission and member of the National Liturgical Council appointed by the Catholic bishops of Australia): one would expect lay people (and “nuns”) like her to be there.

    Isn’t this the problem though? The bishops have let these people determine what happens in the parish yet they have no real role to play. If the priest “Said The Black and Did The Red” why then would anyone need lay liturgy coordinators at all? Each priest, by virtue of his ordination is the only liturgical “expert” anyone needs. +Coleridge is prepared to go so far, but not to take the axe to the forest of “experts” (who are not) that have arisen to “manage our experience” of liturgy (note lack of definite article) and who are, frankly, not needed.

  34. Oneros says:

    “If the priest “Said The Black and Did The Red” why then would anyone need lay liturgy coordinators at all? Each priest, by virtue of his ordination is the only liturgical “expert” anyone needs. +Coleridge is prepared to go so far, but not to take the axe to the forest of “experts” (who are not) that have arisen to “manage our experience” of liturgy (note lack of definite article) and who are, frankly, not needed.”

    But, sgreener, for many (including priests and bishops, mind you)…the Church exists to “create jobs” for them. They’re all in this sort of pact whereby they let each other exist, needlessly, to live off our donations.

    I mean, frankly, most full-time salaried priests are “needless” too. You let part-time volunteers be ordained as “priests simplex”…well, it doesn’t take 5 years of seminary training to say Mass or pour water over a baby. And even pastoral things like spiritual direction and counseling…are done by even just permanent deacons. It’s not rocket science.

    But then…what work would there be for the ones who want to say their morning Mass, visit a hospital a few times a week, and have their food prepared and house cleaned by a housekeeper? I’ve shadowed priests and that’s pretty much all many of them do all day…it’s a VERY cushy position.

    And many of them can find a niche for themselves, and additional income through books, articles, speaking engagements, etc, as a Liberal “bastion” or a Conservative “stalwart” and so the “culture wars” in the Church serve as a sort of entertainment that we keep paying for, to support men who aren’t really doing much except talking.

    It’s an industry. As corrupt as the darkest depths of the Renaissance, just a lot less interestingly, centered a lot more around SLOTH than anything. So its an I Scratch Your Back, You Scratch Mine situation.

  35. Hieronymus says:

    Hatred for the Latin language is inborn in the hearts of all the enemies of Rome. They recognize it as the bond among Catholics throughout the universe, as the arsenal of orthodoxy against all the subtleties of the sectarian spirit. . . . The spirit of rebellion which drives them to confide the universal prayer to the idiom of each people, of each province, of each century, has for the rest produced its fruits, and the reformed themselves constantly perceive that the Catholic people, in spite of their Latin prayers, relish better and accomplish with more zeal the duties of the cult than most do the Protestant people. At every hour of the day, divine worship takes place in Catholic churches. The faithful Catholic, who assists, leaves his mother tongue at the door. Apart form the sermons, he hears nothing but mysterious words which, even so, are not heard in the most solemn moment of the Canon of the Mass. Nevertheless, this mystery charms him in such a way that he is not jealous of the lot of the Protestant, even though the ear of the latter doesn’t hear a single sound without perceiving its meaning .… . . . We must admit it is a master blow of Protestantism to have declared war on the sacred language. If it should ever succeed in ever destroying it, it would be well on the way to victory. Exposed to profane gaze, like a virgin who has been violated, from that moment on the Liturgy has lost much of its sacred character, and very soon people find that it is not worthwhile putting aside one’s work or pleasure in order to go and listen to what is being said in the way one speaks on the marketplace. – Dom Prosper Gueranger, first Abbot of Solemnes.

    Please stop recommending that people use the EF in the vernacular. We created the current problem in two ways:

    1) By ceasing to instruct Catholics to have an authentic understanding of the Mass, wherein one realizes that a dialogue between priest and people is not necessary, nor really is even understanding the words being said (though for those who are aided by that understanding there is a very easy to ready missal available).
    2) By ceasing to instruct them in the Latin language.

    We can solve the problem by beginning to teach these things again. Sure, it will take time, and there will undoubtedly be many people who refuse to go the traditional Mass in the meantime because of their “inability” to understand. But once you allow the vernacular, there is no going back. Look at the new mass, which is still officially in Latin, though a NO in latin is an extreme rarity. And the language is not just some superficial thing. Read the above quote, the loss of Latin would be another major severing of the bond between contemporary Catholics and our venerable ancestors. Must everything be lost? If people insist on a vulgar language, let them go to their vulgar liturgy. If they wish to be connected to tradition, let them come to the traditional Mass and drink deeply from the stream which flows from that source.

  36. MikeM says:

    As for “turning back the clock,” I’m reminded of one of my favorite C.S. Lewis quotes.

    “We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.”

  37. TonyLayne says:

    Oneros: But why not just an EF in the vernacular?? Why this assumption that if we want vernacular liturgy, it has to be Novus Ordo? Why not a nice Old Rite in English ala the Anglican Missal?!

    Your assumption, not mine. You’ll note I said “an Ordinary Form”, which doesn’t need to mean the Novus Ordo Mass … at least, in its current problematical state. A “nice Old Rite a la the Anglican Missal”, if we speak of the “Anglican Use” Catholic congregations, might work fine so long as its language is theologically appropriate. Although I grew up with the NO, I’m not so tied to it that I don’t want to see any changes.

    The past 50 years have been subject to Providence as much as any other time period. There must be SOME reason for it. But that’s hardly a justification for it. God uses our sins and errors for good, that doesn’t justify sin or error.

    Agreed once, a thousand times agreed. However, where we disagree is whether VII was the cause of error or merely its pretext. I can share your horror concerning liturgical abuses without necessarily needing to attribute them to VII, or conceding that Masses in the vernacular was a mistake to begin with. And that was very much my point.

  38. Oneros says:

    “If people insist on a vulgar language, let them go to their vulgar liturgy. If they wish to be connected to tradition, let them come to the traditional Mass and drink deeply from the stream which flows from that source.”

    Your opinion. Thankfully, with Summorum Pontificum, the Old Rite is no longer just the province of “trads”.

    If you want it all in Latin, fine, I’m sure there would still be places that would do it that way. But I have no doubt we would see a HUGE explosion of the Old Rite, and all our liturgical problems would become non-issues. The language-barrier is the only thing holding that back.

    I’m not going to “please stop” anything.

    For many of us, it just isn’t about the Latin, which is really neither here nor there.

  39. TonyLayne says:

    Hieronymus: Please stop recommending that people use the EF in the vernacular. We created the current problem in two ways:

    1) By ceasing to instruct Catholics to have an authentic understanding of the Mass, wherein one realizes that a dialogue between priest and people is not necessary, nor really is even understanding the words being said (though for those who are aided by that understanding there is a very easy to ready missal available).
    2) By ceasing to instruct them in the Latin language.

    I disagree, Dom Prosper’s interesting words notwithstanding. While I agree that catechesis has been abysmally bad in the last 50 years, it wasn’t because people were taught in their native tongues. Catechesis of the faithful has always started from the vernacular, though, starting in the Middle Ages, the privileged few who went on to higher education would learn to speak Latin fluently. Rather, catechesis has been bad because it was hijacked in the ’60s and ’70s by liberals caught up in the Marxist dialectics of their university professors, who in turn were allowed to flourish (and subvert) under the aegis of academic freedom in the ’40s and ’50s. And people turn away from regular communion not because they can understand the liturgy but because their priests deliver insipid homilies, their music ministers assault their ears with tasteless tunes, and their liturgists inflict senseless innovations into their worship.

    “Must everything be lost?” I submit that nothing has been “lost” by mere dint of celebration in a language other than Latin. So far as anything has been “lost”–I would argue “temporarily misplaced”–it has been by a concerted effort to turn the Church into a “PC” political action committee. Again, I have nothing against the EF–indeed, I welcome it, and I appreciate its esthetic splendor. However, Latin isn’t holy, just old. And to call the vernacular “vulgar” may be technically precise, but its as much of a graceless insult as it is to call Jews “faithless”.

  40. Hieronymus – “a dialogue between priest and people is not necessary”

    Could you develop that proposition further? Why do all the liturgies involve dialogue between the priest and the congregation if it is not necessary?

  41. For what it’s worth from my humble estimation: we need to stop reading and interpreting the VII documents according to the faulty and absolutely incorrect “hermeneutic” of dissenters.
    The “interim Mass of 1965″ seems to be the product of ‘Sacrosanctum concilium'; however, the Mass of Pope Paul VI, promulgated in 1969/1970 is a real change from this. I believe the revolution that has taken place, unfortunately credited to the documents of VII, must be seen in its historical situation. We’re not in the ’60’s anymore; we’ve endured forty-five years of chaos, liturgically, morally, catechetically…
    You can read anything you want to in a document (just think of the Protestant fundamentalists and Sacred Scripture). If you have an agenda, you’ll find ways to make your point.
    Pope Benedict’s “hermeneutic of continuity” is not just a phase or an “easy out”.
    These documents, whether pastoral or dogmatic, were written with a certain mindset, a certain understanding of things. They need to be interpreted according to this and not to some other agenda.(In other words, in the light of Catholic Tradition).
    Yeah, it’s difficult and confusing. But that’s why we have a Pope. Whether or not things are “perfect” is another matter. But Pope Benedict is surely making inroads. He is correcting the things that have gone awry. We just have to be patient and faithful.

  42. Mother says:

    For JARay;

    http://therecord.com.au/site/

    Incidentally, our family may be relocating to Perth. It is good to know about the wonderful Archbishop. This article has quelled my fears in regard to AU’s traditional pulse, so to speak.

  43. Hieronymus says:

    Oneros- with all due respect, Latin is a whole lot more important than you make it out to be. I would refer you to the above quotation of Dom Gueranger. The Latin language is the official language of the Catholic Church; it has been, and indeed is, the vehicle by which the faith and culture of the Catholic Church has been handed down to us for 2,000 years. While I do not in any way place the Latin language above the missal itself (I would drive 2 hours to go to an English traditional Mass before walking next door to a N.O. in Latin), I think its return to prominence is a very important part of the rediscovery of a Catholic identity. Again, if the people were taught properly, there would be no problem with the traditional Mass in Latin.

    TonyLane: The ambiguities of the English language have caused a misunderstanding. When I said that one of the causes of the current problem people have with the Latin Mass is our “ceasing to instruct [people] in the Latin language,” I didn’t mean that instruction should be taking place in Latin, I meant that Catholic schools should be teaching Latin to their students. What you say about poor catechesis I agree with; I think it is precisely the poor teaching which has made people complacent with the N.O. Mass.

    As far as English being vulgar, it is precisely that. It is the common tongue of the people, and I have no problem with that. But its use in the Mass makes the Mass vulgar in some way also. It draws the liturgy down to earth and makes it common instead of drawing the congregation up out of their everyday experience of the world. We hear english used all day every day in every context from buying groceries to hearing terrible pop music to the foul mouthed drunk ranting on the street corner. It is rare that anyone today hears Latin outside of a Catholic, most often liturgical, context. Its use in the Mass automatically gives it an aesthetic that is . . . extraordinary.

    Jeffrey- There is no dialogue in the traditional Mass between the congregation and the priest (though in the years leading up to the council such a dialogue was allowed). The priest is offering a ritual sacrifice with the assistance of servers and sometimes other clergy; the laity, if any are present, participate by internally uniting themselves to the action of the priest. They need neither make responses, nor even know what particular words are being said by the priest (though it is a good and noble thing to follow along and pray the prayers in the missal silently). In fact, as traditionally priests would offer Mass every day (which traditional orders still require), if there were more than one priest at a parish and only one public Mass, the other priest(s) would offer a private Mass, where there is no congregation and sometimes not even a server. Again, the sacrifice is offered by the priest, no congregational dialogue necessary.

  44. Hieronymus says:

    nazareth priest: Annibale Bugnini was in charge of writing Sacrosanctum Concilium. He was also in charge of the post VII Consilium which produced the new mass based on that document. It is safe to say that since he was the author, his interpretation of the text would be an accurate interpretation. After all, who could understand the motive and meaning behind a text better than its author? Thus, it must be conceded that the Novus Ordo which Bugnini and his Consilium produced is an accurate interpretation of the council document.

    The question is, what do we do now that it has become clear that the motivations behind the new mass were heterodox?

  45. ssoldie says:

    Annibale Bugini and his committee knew exactly what they were doing when constructing the New Mass, it was an agenda that the progressives wanted and had planned for from the beginning of the council when Paul VI continued it, and all the shemas from John XXIII were thrown out and all new shemas were put in play by the progressives. ‘from the preface to the French edition: ‘J.A. Jungmann, one of the truly great liturgists of our century, defined the liturgy of his time, such as it could be understood in the light of historical research,as a ‘liturgy which is the fruit of development”…

    “What happened after the council was something else entirely: in the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over the centuries, and replaced it–as in a manufacturing process–with a ‘fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product.( Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) Does it get any clearer then this?
    Restore the Roman Missal of 1962, as the Ordinary Mass of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

  46. Jayna says:

    “We can’t just tamper with it,” he said. “Celebrants sometimes act as if it’s their own personal property to do with what they like. You can’t.”

    …and liturgists and music directors and “lay ministers” and so on. I can only pray that these new translations will curb my parish liturgist’s penchant for writing prayers for Mass. Yes, you read that right, she writes prayers for Mass.