Archbp. Chaput on liturgy and evangelization

H.E. Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop of Denver has delivered a talk about evangelization and liturgical renewal.

You long-time readers by now have my liturgy speech down pat.   You know what I have to say about Pope Benedict’s "Marshall Plan" and that liturgy is the tip of the spear.  We must renew our Catholic identity, and our worship is our key component.

A strong Catholic identity is a key to affecting the world around us.

Here is the CNA recap. 

Archbishop Chaput: Liturgical renewal should create martyrs’ love for the Mass

Chicago, Ill., Jun 24, 2010 / 06:58 pm (CNA).- Christian witness is intended to prepare for and to live the “cosmic liturgy” in which all mankind adores God, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput declared in a lecture on Thursday evening. Noting the cultural obstacles to liturgical understanding, he said the renewed liturgy should create Christians who would die rather than not celebrate Mass.

Delivering the Hildebrand Distinguished Lecture at the Liturgical Institute of the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Illinois, the Archbishop of Denver praised Chicago’s “historic role” in the renewal of the liturgy and the evangelization of America. He said the 10th anniversary of the Liturgical Institute shows that this legacy continues.

He opened with a reflection on the respected liturgist and theologian Fr. Romano Guardini. Soon after the Second Vatican Council published its “groundbreaking” document on the liturgy, “Sacrosanctum Concilium,” the priest sent a letter to the Third German Liturgical Conference wondering whether man in an industrial and scientific age is “no longer capable of the liturgical act.”

“I think he put his finger on one of the key questions of mission in his time, and also in ours,” Archbishop Chaput remarked, explaining that the liturgical act is the transformation of personal prayer and piety into “genuine corporate worship” and “the public service that the Church offers to God.”

This act requires an inward awareness of the unity of the whole person, body and soul, with the spiritual body of the Church, present in heaven and on earth, he added.

It also requires an appreciation that the sacred signs and actions of the Mass — standing, kneeling, singing and so forth — are themselves ‘prayer’.”  [signs]

However, he warned, this awareness is obscured in a society organized around a “narrow” vision of technological progress in which truth is judged by what can be perceived and verified through research and experiment.

“In practice, almost nothing of what we believe as Catholics is affirmed by our culture,” commented the archbishop. “Even the meaning of the words ‘human’ and ‘person’ are subject to debate.”  [Exactly.]

This has implications for Catholic worship in which we profess to be in contact with “spiritual realities” and to receive the true Body and Blood of the Lord.

“We preach the good news that this world has a Savior who can free us from the bondage of sin and death. What can our good news mean in a world where people don’t believe in sin or that there is anything they need to be saved from?” Archbishop Chaput asked. “What does the promise of victory over death mean to people who don’t believe in the existence of any reality beyond this visible world?”

The archbishop said Chicago priest Fr. Robert Barron is one of the few to have wrestled with such issues. For him, the liturgy is not to be shaped according to modern suppositions; rather, the liturgy should “question and shape the suppositions of any age.” While modern man is probably incapable of the liturgical act, this is no grounds for despair. Instead, we should “let the liturgy be itself,” the priest has said.

Archbishop Chaput agreed with Fr. Barron that in recent decades the “professional liturgical establishment” chose to shape the liturgy according to the world, which has proven to be “a dead end.” Seeking relevance through “a kind of relentless cult of novelty” has only resulted in confusion and division between the faithful and the true spirit of the liturgy, continued the archbishop.

He said liturgical renewal should build “an authentic Eucharistic culture” to instill “a new sacramental and liturgical sensibility that enables Catholics to face the idols and suppositions of our culture with the confidence of believers who draw life from the sacred mysteries …”

To this end, the Archbishop of Denver offered several suggestions: [1] the need to recover the “intrinsic and inseparable connection” between liturgy and evangelization; [2] the need to see the liturgy as a participation in the “liturgy of heaven” where Christians worship “in Spirit and truth” with the Church and the communion of the saints; [3] and the need to recover and live the early Christians’ “vibrant liturgical and evangelical spirituality.”

Liturgy is both the source of the Church’s mission and its goal,” explained the prelate. “The reason we evangelize is in order to bring people into communion with the living God in the Eucharistic liturgy. And this experience of communion with God, in turn, impels us to evangelize.”

The “pedestrian” and self-focused nature of many contemporary liturgies results from the loss of the sense of this participation in the heavenly liturgy, he suggested.

“The Eucharist … is a cosmic liturgy that unites the worship of heaven with our own worship here on earth… Heaven and earth are filled with the glory of God,” he continued. Worship is a window through which “the reality and destiny of our lives is glimpsed.[Does that sound familiar?]

This truth should “make us strive for liturgies that are reverent and beautiful, and that point our hearts and minds to things above.” The ultimate purpose of Christian witness is to “prepare the way for the cosmic liturgy in which all humanity will adore the Creator.”

The archbishop encouraged the faithful to look to the early Christians, who found their identity in the liturgy and said “we cannot live without the Mass.”  ["Sine dominico non possumus" is what some North African martyrs explained before they died.]

“This is the kind of faith that should inspire our worship. And this is the kind of faith that our worship should inspire. Can we really say today that we’re ready to die rather than not celebrate the Mass?[A question to be asked.]

Describing the liturgy as “a school of sacrificial love,” [charity] he said that all Christians should see themselves as a Eucharistic offering, “a perfect offering holy and acceptable to God.”

“The liturgical act becomes possible for modern man when you make your lives a liturgy, when you live your lives liturgically — as an offering to God in thanksgiving and praise for his gifts and salvation. You are the future of the liturgical renewal.”

Archbishop Chaput closed his lecture with the words of one of the dismissal prayers of the new Roman Missal: “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.”

To read Archbishop Chaput’s full lecture, click here.

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.

75 Responses to Archbp. Chaput on liturgy and evangelization

  1. Thank you, Archbishop Chaput.
    I am reading an “ancient tome” on the Sacred Liturgy that says just what he is emphasizing.
    May we return, with God’s grace and the work of many, to this most essential understanding of what the Holy Mass is really about.
    The Sacrifice of the Mass and martyrdom are linked in a very organic manner.

  2. Roland de Chanson says:

    Instauretur Missa Vera atque amittatur istud folderol maledictum. Ex Ecclesia eiciantur omnes piskies latentes. Quonam, Domine, fugisti? Quare Ecclesiam Tuam dereliquisti?

    Can we really say today that we’re ready to die rather than not celebrate the Mass?” [A question to be asked. {Fr. Z}]

    Ane the answer is?

    Let the bishop of Rome celebrate the True Mass. Let him celebrate it publicly and frequently in his own diocese. Let him lead by example and not by verbiage. Let Chaput do the same. Factis non dictis.

    Roma locuta. Roma bene loquitur. Roma semper loquitur. Causa numquam finita. Viles sunt verba; gesta grandiora.

  3. Roland: Sorry. But the Mass is the Mass.
    If it is celebrated according to the norms of the Church, if it celebrated with dignity and reverence, no matter the Form, the Sacrifice of the Cross is re-presented.
    That’s all I’m going to say; I also repent of any intemperate comments I have made in the past…I’m getting old and grumpy but I’m trying to reform:<)!

  4. idatom says:

    Fr. Z.;

    To my mind always comes the question, why has Rome allowed this “liturgical establishment” to continue in it’s attempt to destroy The Church for the past forty years? How many millions have lost their faith because of this group’s efforts? Boat loads of letters have been mailed pleading for help and none was sent. Why?

    Tom Lanter

  5. Dr. Eric says:

    Living in the Belleville, IL diocese I have a much different view of the seminary in Mundelein than the good Archbishop.* We have a plethora (about 60%) of our priests who are outright heterodox in their preaching, in the way they say Mass, and in their personal lives- guess where the vast majority of them went to Seminary? Guess where the more orthodox priests in our diocese didn’t go?

    *I mean good Archbishop too, I am a fan of Archbishop Chaput.

  6. Brian Day says:

    Tom L,

    Our gracious host has addressed this just a couple of days ago, although not specifically addressing your question.

    From the opening lines:
    When John Paul II came to the See of Peter in 1978 the Church was in the verge of splintering. One of the late Pope’s greatest accomplishments was to drag us back from the edge of schism. Richard McBrien’s favorite bishops! Make popcorn.

    I think it is fair to say that Rome was aware of the situation, but it had other priorities. The “liturgical establishment” is controlled by the seminaries. The seminaries were controlled by liberal bishops. The liberal bishops had to be replaced before the seminaries – “liturgical establishment” – could be brought back under control.

  7. MikeM says:

    Archbishop Chaput and Fr. Barron mentioned in one article? Awesome!

  8. Tom L., for a deep understanding of the abdication of the hierarchy, including the Popes, in liturgy and other matters since Vatican II, read the excellent work _Iota Unum_, by Romano Amerio, which is available here: http://www.angeluspress.org/oscatalog/item/6700/iota-unum

  9. Sam Schmitt says:

    Dr. Eric,

    There’s been some big changes at the seminary in recent years with Archbishop George, especially his establishment of the Liturgical Institute there. (Let’s just say that the liberals were not too happy about it.) So the seminary is moving away from the way it was in the past.

  10. TrueLiturgy says:

    Father,

    No added kudos for the Archbishop?

  11. Hieronymus says:

    Soon after the Second Vatican Council published its “groundbreaking” [better: “shipwrecking”] document on the liturgy, “Sacrosanctum Concilium,” the priest sent a letter to the Third German Liturgical Conference wondering whether man in an industrial and scientific age is “no longer capable of the liturgical act.”

    Perhaps someone should have questioned whether man in an “industrial and scientific age” — I would add revolutionary and immoralist — is capable of creating a whole new liturgical system. The testimony of the past 40 years has returned a clear verdict: NO!

    What I don’t understand is that these bishops, including the Pope, will make statements about the importance of the liturgy and the need to restore its authentic sacred character, but a quick scan of their own Masses and those in their dioceses shows that they continue to be willing participants in the Mass destruction. Actions speak louder than words.

  12. Maltese says:

    “Shipwrecking”–very true!

    “In all truth Modernism hid itself under the cloak of Vatican II’s hermeneutic…The new rite of Holy Mass practically silenced the nature of sacrifice making of it an occasion for gathering together the people of God…the eucharistic gathering was given the mere sense of sharing a meal together…After having said all of this about Vatican II, if someone were to ask me if, in the final analysis, the modernist corruption had hidden itself within the Council documents themselves, and if the Fathers themselves were more or less infected, I would have to respond both yes and no…But yes as well, because not a few pages of the conciliar documents reek of the writings and ideas of Modernism–this can be seen above all in GS.” Msgr. Gherardini, Vatican Council II, a Much Needed Discussion.

    http://hospitallers.blogspot.com/2010/06/ecumenical-vatican-council-ii-much.html

  13. Henry Edwards says:

    Roland: Let the bishop of Rome celebrate the True Mass. Let him celebrate it publicly …

    As Nazareth Priest reminds, the Mass is the Mass. So let me edit your request:

    Let the bishop of Rome celebrate the traditional Latin Mass. Let him celebrate it publicly …

    Pope Benedict certainly celebrates the OF Mass in a holy and exemplary and inspirational manner. However, I fear that many or most priests do not watch him so carefully, and are not so inspired by his example as we might wish they were. Indeed, I suspect that if you call a priest in your local rectory during the broadcast of however an exemplary papal Mass from St. Peter’s Basilica, he likely will not have to tear himself away from EWTN to speak with you.

    In short, I’m afraid the pope’s model liturgical celebration of the OF Mass and his repeated liturgical message have minimal impact on the very priests and bishops who need it most. Is it not possible that his public celebration of the EF Mass could have much greater impact? That it might be noticed by many who pay little attention to his exemplary celebration of the OF Mass?

    In short, might not his public celebration of the EF Mass make the point he’s been trying to make about the vital importance of right celebration of the liturgy, including particularly the OF, but make it more plainly and strongly than heretofore?

    Certainly the pope’s primary concern has to be the reform of the OF which affects so many more Catholics. But might his celebration of the EF serve to spotlight his message about continuity in all liturgy?

  14. becket1 says:

    Sounds like the Archbishop should become Orthodox if he wants to experience a “heavenly liturgy”. The Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite does not allow for it, and the Extraordinary Form is still not known by many mainstream Catholics, thanks to the lack of promotion by the mainstream clergy and religious orders. So in my opinion, it’s good to see the Archbishop talking about a liturgy to die for. But words are only words, and your not ever going to get a liturgy to die for from the Ordinary Form.

  15. priest up north says:

    Admitting that ignorance and a lack of true commitment to learning are the reasons more than any other that have kept me from learning the EF, I find those comments here that are riding off the OF as incapable of being celebrated unto the level of a fortaste of the “heavenly liturgy” are unfortunate.

    As a priest who strives to celebrate well the OF in parish churches that do not easily lend themselves to an encounter with mystery (the larger of the two parishes that I serve has a converted multipurpose room that was meant as the chapel in the school for its church), I think the problem today is not in the OF – but in the severe damage that bad liturgy and catechesis of the last 40 years has mired us in. Every parish that I have served as pastor (I am in my third different assignment now as a pastor of parishes) has included many who say my approach is “stoic,” or “unfriendly,” etc. Yet, I have also always received my share of “he’s so reverent;” and the like. I take from this plethora of comments that some are unwilling to look beyond their unformed or ill-formed mentality that the liturgy is “all about me,” while others who understand the liturgy, at least in a basic manner, are open and capable of experiencing the heavenly reality in the OF.

    Hence, I think rather than saying that the Holy Father, and in the case of the lecture, that Archbishop Chaput needs to practice what he preaches by celebrating the EF, I think all of us need to strive for a reverent celebration of both forms, especially the OF (seeing it is the OF, after all), even in not so perfect circumstances.

  16. TJerome says:

    priest up north, you hit the nail on the head. Our attitudes for the Mass are often shaped on misinformation or poor catechesis and the “all about me” syndrome are part of that baggage. You sound like a very sensible and experienced pastor. I pray you keep doing what you are doing. As the older generation of poorly trained Catholics fade I think the Liturgy will continue to recover from an unfortunate era. Best, TOm

  17. everett says:

    I find myself deeply disturbed by those who appear to be claiming that the OF is not the “true mass” or incapable of being a foretaste of heaven. These claims are bordering on heretical – the mass is the mass, EF or OF, regardless of what your personal preferences might be.

    If instead you are claiming that priests who do not celebrate the OF under the principles of “say the black, do the red” make it difficult to experience the true mass and to look upon the mass as a foretaste of heaven, you really need to better clarify your position, so as not to promote scandal in denigrating the sacramental nature of the OF.

  18. TJerome says:

    for those who want to see how the OF can be a foretaste of Heaven please attend the OF at St. John Cantius in Chicago.

  19. Gregg the Obscure says:

    The part of liturgy that we cannot live without is the Real Presence of Our Lord. That is even true when there are kumbayas, bongos and homilies that tend to the heretical. The beauty of liturgical arts, the richness of what the prayers really say, acts of reverence and devotion – these are all good things, but they pale in importance next to the Real Presence.

  20. boko fittleworth says:

    Interesting talk. I wonder if it contains some hints as to why Chaput has embraced the creepy Neocatichumenal Way cult. Is there a taste of archeologism in Chaput’s remarks? Chaput’s idea of “reform” may be radically different than yours, Fr. Z. I know we’re not supposed to speak ill of anyone, but the Neocats are weird and dangerous.

  21. Linz says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with Archbishop Chaput and with most of the comments posted here re: the liturgy but what struck me the most was his questioning of our willingness to sacrifice, even die for the mass. A pretty stinging indictment – of my behavior at least. Rather than pointing fingers at those who’ve failed to promote the TLM (Benedict and Chaput?), we might want to look at our own shortcomings in promoting the Truth. I would agree that the degradation of the liturgy has been a major problem, primarily because it has undermined belief in and respect for the real presence; but it’s only part of the problem. The restoration of the mass is necessary but not sufficient.

    Perhaps more important has been the failure of so many of us (probably not many readers of this blog, but certainly me) to make a full conversion. I’m sure I far outshine Priest up North in terms of ignorance and laziness. I often complain of the lack of TLMs and reverence in my area, but I can’t say reform would cure my spiritual lethargy. Certainly an atmosphere of true faith and reverence fostered by a more consistent offering of the TLM would help, but it’s not a panacea. More thorough catechesis, as some have pointed out, and a stronger emphasis on sacrifice are also needed.

  22. Supertradmum says:

    One of the priests in the Peoria Diocese, who is pastor of a minority parish (all Spanish-speaking) is a Neocatechumenal Priest. I was skeptical of this group, as they had a hard time giving up some very heretical points of view and were finally reprimanded by the Vatican. Thankfully, the leaders came to be “in line” with the rest of the True Church. This pastor is fantastic, a holy man, a real leader, and a phenomenal preacher. He talks about real issues from the pulpit and is energizing his Mexican parish.

    Not all Neocats are weird and dangerous. The Vatican approved their statues in 2008 and asked for reforms, which were received in obedience. The spirituality is not my cup of tea, but they have been accepted by both John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

    As to the great Archbishop Chaput, I am so glad he spoke at St. Mary’s, one of the bastions of liberalism in the past and I hope, not of the future.

    And from the Marian Catechists website: Martyrs of Abitene

    In Abitene, a small village in present-day Tunisia, 49 Christians were taken by surprise one Sunday while they were celebrating the Eucharist, gathered in the house of Octavius Felix, thereby defying the imperial prohibitions. They were arrested and taken to Carthage to be interrogated by the Proconsul Anulinus.

    Significant among other things is the answer a certain Emeritus gave to the Proconsul who asked him why on earth they had disobeyed the Emperor’s severe orders. He replied: “Sine dominico non possumus”: that is, we cannot live without joining together on Sunday to celebrate the Eucharist. We would lack the strength to face our daily problems and not to succumb.

    After atrocious tortures, these 49 martyrs of Abitene were killed. Thus, they confirmed their faith with bloodshed. They died, but they were victorious: today we remember them in the glory of the Risen Christ.

    The experience of the martyrs of Abitene is also one on which we 21st-century Christians should reflect. It is not easy for us either to live as Christians, even if we are spared such prohibitions from the emperor. From a spiritual point of view, the world in which we find ourselves, often marked by unbridled consumerism, religious indifference and a secularism closed to transcendence, can appear a desert just as “vast and terrible” (Dt 8: 15) as the one we heard about in the first reading from the Book of Deuteronomy. God came to the aid of the Jewish people in difficulty in this desert with His gift of manna, to make them understand that “not by bread alone does man live, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of the Lord” (Dt 8: 3).

  23. Henry Edwards says:

    Two additional paragraphs from Archbishop Chaput:

    “In this regard, the Novus Ordo, the new order of the Mass promulgated after the council, has been a great blessing to the Church. Our liturgy gives us the zeal for the evangelization and sanctification of our world. The vernacular has opened up the liturgy’s content in new ways. It has encouraged active, creative participation by all the faithful — not only in the liturgy but in every aspect of the Church’s mission.”

    “By the way, for the record, I’m also very grateful that the Holy Father has allowed wider use of the older Tridentine form — not because I personally prefer it, in fact I find the Novus Ordo, properly celebrated, a much richer expression of worship; but because we need access to all of the Church’s heritage of prayer and faith.”

  24. becket1 says:

    Quote: “for those who want to see how the OF can be a foretaste of Heaven please attend the OF at St. John Cantius in Chicago”

    Only one parish out how many thousands if not millions worldwide?. And the attitude that the “Mass is the Mass” is a post “spirit of Vatican 2″ mentality. Tel that phrase to the FSSP or SSPX priest and you will get a strange look.

    Listen to this from the FSSP

    http://fssp.com/press/2010/05/audio-the-battle-for-the-ancient-mass/

    And no the Mass is NOT just the Mass!!.

  25. becket1 says:

    I find myself deeply disturbed by those who appear to be claiming that the OF is not the “true mass”.

    If you have been to many of the happy clappy Bugnini OF Masses, that I have, and that are still taking place. You can see why this statement is mentioned. I’n not a Protestant and don’t care to worship like one!!.

  26. idatom says:

    Thanks Timothy Mulligan and Brian Day for the links I will check them out.

    Archbishop Chaput is my kind of priest.

    Tom Lanter

  27. everett says:

    “If you have been to many of the happy clappy Bugnini OF Masses, that I have, and that are still taking place. You can see why this statement is mentioned. I’n not a Protestant and don’t care to worship like one!!.”

    So have I, and I hate them. While they are grating, and make worship more difficult, Christ is still fully present in the Eucharist, Priest and Victim; Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. You can’t be a Catholic and deny the validity of the OF. What you can (and often should) do is question the beauty of the OF, and if it best expresses all that is good and holy about the mass.

  28. Maltese says:

    Sounds like the Archbishop should become Orthodox if he wants to experience a “heavenly liturgy”. The Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite does not allow for it, and the Extraordinary Form is still not known by many mainstream Catholics

    Well, I truly believe in the abolishment of the Novus Ordo, or the “rite of Bugnini,” the history of it makes me truly believe that it was an abomination in the annals of Catholic history. In the words of then Cardinal Ratzinger, it was a “Liturgy by commission.” Yet their are company-men die-hards who think that everything that Vatican Council II did, and every act of every Pontiff since is justified and approved by the Holy Spirit.

    Lol! These people need to get their heads out of the sand and delve a little more into Church history!

    To end on a positive not, I will say this: I truly think that John Paul II and now Pope Benedict XVI are truly exemplerary souls, who are doing their best to steer this massive bark amidst the tempests!

  29. Dr. Eric says:

    A priest from ICKSP told me that Our Lord suffered on The Cross because of abuses such as those that take place during the Mass all over the world. That when we happen to be present at the abuses that we should offer our love in reparation for the abuses.

  30. robtbrown says:

    Sounds like the Archbishop should become Orthodox if he wants to experience a “heavenly liturgy”.
    Comment by becket1

    Or he can visit Fontgombault.

  31. Maltese says:

    Dr. Eric,

    Agree! Although I am a little more sanguine than you, but I appreciate your sentiment!

    I mean, for goodness sake, without FSSPX, there would be no Traditionalist movement, and without a
    Traditionalist movement, we might all be trapped in, Mass-wise, a Twilight Zone!

  32. Maltese says:

    robtbrown: “Or he can visit Fontgombault” I have two of their CDs, and they are awesome!

  33. Jerry says:

    [blockquote]I find myself deeply disturbed by those who appear to be claiming that the OF is not the “true mass”.

    If you have been to many of the happy clappy Bugnini OF Masses, that I have, and that are still taking place. You can see why this statement is mentioned. I’n not a Protestant and don’t care to worship like one!!.[/blockquote]

    We need to be careful to distinguish between “the OF” and ” _celebrations_ of the OF”, the latter of which includes the abuses which are not part of the Mass as defined in the Roman Missal, GIRM, etc. I’m not sure what the original author considers to be “happy, clappy”, but the things I think of are all abuses — not part of “the OF”. Ultimately, the abuses ae not a problem with the liturgy, but rather with the priests who celebrate it improperly.

  34. becket1 says:

    Check out this story and read the comments. Just in from RORATE CAELI. Seems like parishiners have to pay for a EF Mass.

    Appeal: Catholics in Long Island and in the Tri-State Area

    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/

  35. Carolina Geo says:

    We need to be careful to distinguish between “the OF” and ” celebrations of the OF”, the latter of which includes the abuses which are not part of the Mass as defined in the Roman Missal, GIRM, etc.

    While that distinction can certainly be made, I believe it’s a matter of picking bad or worse. In October of 1967, the Novus Ordo was offered as a “preview” to a synod of bishops. Afterward, John Cardinal Heenan of Westminster made the following comment: “At home it is not only women and children but also fathers of families and young men who come regularly to mass. If we were to offer them the kind of ceremony we saw yesterday in the Sistine Chapel we would soon be left with a congregation mostly of women and children.”

    In other words, the good cardinal saw the defects within the very structure and nature of the Novus Ordo Mass – before the accelerated lunacy and abuse of the 70s and ever since manifested itself within the new Mass. He foretold the exodus of the faithful from the pews, not because of abuses in the Mass but because of the Mass itself. You are correct in saying that abuses in the Novus Ordo are a problem with the celebrating priests, but that does not excuse the problems that are inherent to the Novus Ordo itself.

  36. Henry Edwards says:

    I have always found Cardinal Heenan’s remarks about that 1967 Sistine Chapel preview of the Novus Ordo somewhat surprising, because I understand that it was celebrated ad orientem in Latin, six candles on the altar, the ordinary and propers in beautiful Gregorian chant by the Sistine Chapel choir, so it must truly have seemed like the heavenly liturgy in comparison with what was to come.

  37. Hieronymus says:

    Spot on, Carolina.

    The problem with the N.O. is not just its tendency to be celebrated in ridiculous ways; it starts with the missal itself — in latin, without any consideration of its performance. That is what Card. Heenan was criticizing, as well as Cardinals Bacci and Ottoviani (as head of what would become the CDF, this is no lightweight opinion).

    The fact that the designers of the new Mass were willing to scrap the entire liturgical system (the calendar of feasts, all of the rituals for all of the sacraments, the divine office — everything!) and create something from scratch shows an attitude completely at odds with the Catholic sense of tradition and respect for what has been handed down. This was a complete and total novelty. Is it any wonder that the Mass they crafted is so problematic, and bears in its missal the hazy theological confusion of the sixties? Valid, sure — but that is a pretty low bar. A satanic black Mass could be valid.

    It is just so spiritually impoverished in comparison that I feel ripped off every time I have to go now (practically never) — like I have shown up for an advanced course in metaphysics, only to find that the Professor has been replaced by a kindergarten teacher who is going to teach us the ABC’s and finger painting. Or I have come expecting a steak dinner and find only boiled hot-dogs. I can’t stomach the spiritual spam, I need the porterhouse!

  38. Roland de Chanson says:

    Henry Edwards,

    I’m afraid I can’t agree with your editing of my exhortation to the pope; I reject the Gertrude Stein school of liturgy: the mass is the mass is the mass.

    I must admit, I think that there is serious doubt that some half-educated ad-libbing balloon-toting clown processing with the Vestal Viragos milling about the sanctuary is celebrating a “true mass.” Odi profanam formam et arceo (with apologies to old Flaccus).

    And I should have better self-edited my Latin. I originally had typed “viles sunt voces” but substituted “verba” before submitting the comment. I think I will use “vilia verba, gesta grandiora” in the subject line of my email to Pope Benedict. If he’s on Facebook maybe I should write it on his wall instead? One can only marvel at how far the technological aggiornamento has revolutionized the Holy See. Festina celeriter.

  39. TJerome says:

    I attend both the OF and EF. Although I prefer the overall structure of the EF, the majestic Offertory Prayers and the Roman Canon, there are some things that could be changed and should have been changed, like the needless repetition at the Prayers of the Foot of the Altar and the Last Gospel and the concluding Rites. Those changes were made in 1965 and that is where they should have stopped.

  40. Hieronymus says:

    “needless repetition at the Prayers of the Foot of the Altar and the Last Gospel”? You would throw those out? I think comments like these solidify my belief that the Vatican would do well to freeze the traditional Mass as is for a number of years to let the spirit of the age pass. People who have been formed in the N.O. are so willing to ditch something the significance of which they do not understand.

    With all do respect, TJerome, I wholeheartedly disagree.

  41. Hieronymus says:

    I meant “due” respect. I’m going to have to fire my editor. ;)

  42. Henry Edwards says:

    Roland de Chanson,

    You of course are free to reject my editing of your own words, as I am free to reject your implied misinterpretation of mine.

    I referred to our Holy Father’s holy and exemplary celebration of the OF Mass, not to “some half-educated ad-libbing balloon-toting clown processing with the Vestal Viragos milling about the sanctuary”. (I would not only reject but condemn as heretical any suggestion that Benedict XVI does not celebrate a “true Mass”.)

    Even in 40 years of exposure to the Novus Ordo, including plenty of the bad and ugly as well as the good, I have never witnessed personally such a ridiculous caricature of the OF, and I suspect that neither have you (other on YouTube).

    In any event, while I am now blessed to attend the TLM daily (except Saturday) as well as Sunday, on those occasions when I attend an OF Mass, it resembles both the TLM and Pope Benedict’s OF more than the straw man Mass you allude to.

    For example, at the OF Mass I did attend this morning, the priest processed in silently, wearing Roman vestments and carrying the veiled chalice topped with burse. He started by leading the people in the introit in verse-response-gloria-verse form, then the Confiteor followed by Kyrie (Greek). No sermon, silent offertory rite (just as at TLM), Sanctus and Agnus Dei in Latin, quiet Roman Canon with nothing omitted, no people’s exchange of peace, some kneeling at kneelers for communion, others receiving on the tongue while standing, Mass ending with prayer to St. Michael and triple Sacred Heart invocation, etc. Plainly a re-presentation of the Sacrifice of the Cross, nothing even a pretty rigid TLM type like me could ridicule.

  43. AnAmericanMother says:

    I’m also going to have to reject the idea that the OF is somehow inherently defective. Or Protestant. I used to be one, and I know the difference.

    It is fair criticism to say that the OF is more often abused, but that has more to do with the people involved than the rite itself.

    In fact, our rector was ordained before VCII, and he has mentioned that there were abuses of the old form. Not as egregious as some of the stuff we hear about or see on YouTube in connection with the OF . . . . but I think we’re fighting the “do your own thing” ethos of the 60s and 70s more than the OF itself. And that will pass.

    Because I travel a lot with my dogs, I have seen a pretty good cross-section of parishes in GA, SC and TN, as well as several in the Diocese of Richmond. Other than one suburban parish (which shall remain nameless) which featured for O.L. of Guadelupe a dozen half-naked Mexican dancers in loincloths and feather headdresses with flutes and drums . . . in the courtyard, not the church, but still . . . , there is very little nonsense around here. I realize that we’re relatively blessed here (compared to Richmond, oh my goodness), but I’ve seen no serious abuses and certainly nothing that would call into doubt validity. Plenty of parishes have hideous music, but there’s no ad-libbing or emcee stuff that I have encountered. CERTAINLY no clowns, anywhere (I wonder, by the bye, if some of the “Clown Masses” on YouTube aren’t really Anglicans calling themselves Catholic, as some do. There’s actually a tradition in the Anglican church dating back to Victorian times of a Mass for Joseph Grimaldi, the first clown, at the church near the British circus winter quarters. It’s still silly, but it has historical warrant and of course it’s invalid anyway, so what’s another bucket of water to a drowning man.)

    I would consider our parish an orthodox and reverent OF parish — and our priests, especially the young parochial vicars who are on fire for Our Lord, celebrate beautifully, reverently, and completely by the book. Nobody has any opposition to Latin – we chant the Ordinary in Latin (and Greek) on First Sundays, and one of our young men who is quite a good Latin scholar keeps introducing more and more Latin, so I anticipate eventually we will have the OF completely in Latin, and then in due time a weekday EF and eventually on Sunday. Our rector is one of your level-headed canny Irishmen, so all this will play out slowly but surely.

  44. Maltese says:

    As others have said, the problem with the NO is not the holy priests who may offer it, but the inherent structure to the rite itself: the emphasis on community meal, and the persistent, insistent, blatant ad hoc deemphasis of the Sacrificial aspect. It is a scientific fact that this reorientation (rather, “disorientation”)–done with the intention of synthesizing protestant belief with Catholic–has led to a near abandonment of belief in the Real Presence.

    “[T]he Liturgy which systematically boycotted the versus Domino orientation, the sacredness of the rite, the sense of latria, the irreplaceable beauty of Gregorian chant, the solemnity of gestures and vestments, and kneeling…[was committed in a] boundless cult of man…” Msgr. Gherardini, Vatican Council II, a Much Needed Discussion.

  45. Roland de Chanson says:

    Henry Edwards,

    I agree that the Holy Father celebrates the OF as well as it is capable of being celebrated. But the ballon mass is not a straw man – I’m sure an internet search or a perusal of Catholic blogs will turn up the evidentiary image. But you’re right – I have not personally witnessed such a charade. Had I, I would have recessed down the main aisle at a swift pace against the juggernaut of the processing balloon bearers. Perhaps I am a stickler for Tradition, but I cannot imagine the early Church approving inflated bladders as sacramentals. But tempora mutantur: oves et mutemur in illis. Haudquaquam!

    Yet I cannot but take notice of the fact that you most fervently praise the OF just insofar as it mirrors the EF. This is as it should be: the deficient should emulate the perfect. Perhaps the Holy Father by his example will some day teach the Catholic people that lesson.

  46. Hieronymus says:

    I think people are focusing entirely too much on the externals of the presentation. Those are very important, but as it is possible (though neither mandated nor normal), that these be in line with Catholic tradition in the N.O., it is pointless to shoot back and forth about it. I think most people here who support the N.O. do not support the way it is celebrated in the average parish — thus all of the comments about how it “can be done reverently” and the references to the NO Mass at St. John Cantius.

    The real problem lies not in the externals — since those are more or less agreed upon — it is in the missal itself. What has been stripped out and re-written, and why was this done? The answers to those questions are far more disturbing than a random clown mass. The proponents of the N.O. should ask themselves a question: if the architects of the new liturgical system wanted the new Mass to look like the Mass at St. John Cantius (i.e. in latin, ad orientem, sacred music, et al), why did they change it at all? Why such a thorough demolition and re-writing of the entire liturgical system if their intention was that it be as much as possible like the one that they already had?

    I think the evidence supports the hypothesis that the “St. John Cantius Mass” was not in any way what they had in mind. They were seeking a break with tradition and wanted a liturgy that supported the Nouvelle Theologie — the new theology that was embraced at Vatican II. Lex orandi, lex credendi. The older form of Mass was the product of pre-modern philosophy, spirituality, and theology, and would not support the new orientation that they wanted the Church to take. So, out the door it went. Is the new Mass valid, per se? Absolutely. Does it support and nurture the orthodox faith that was handed down from the Fathers to our day? Absolutely not. It is the enshrinement of a theology built on modern philosophy — a confused mess of ambiguity and contradiction. Its fruits are empty churches, priest shortages, misinformed and uninformed faithful, and the collapse of civil society into a post-christian wasteland.

    I appreciate the new orientation of Pope Benedict and his attempt to apply a “hermeneutics of continuity”, but this is a post hoc attempt to re-connect the thing to a tradition to which it doesn’t really belong. He is stuck with a missal that is itself a rupture, so he is laudably attempting to redirect the externals — to make the new Mass look like it did previously. But if he wants an authentic continuity with Catholic tradition, the only solution is to restore the Mass which is its bearer. Save the liturgy, save the world!

  47. Jerry says:

    “[T]he Liturgy which systematically boycotted the versus Domino orientation, the sacredness of the rite, the sense of latria, the irreplaceable beauty of Gregorian chant, the solemnity of gestures and vestments, and kneeling…[was committed in a] boundless cult of man…”

    Most, if not all of these faults, are those of the celebrants (or their superiors, in those cases where the offensive practices were dictated), not the liturgy.

  48. Henry Edwards says:

    Roland de Chanson,

    “But the balloon mass is not a straw man.”

    But of course it is. Neither you nor me nor (I certainly hope) anyone else reading this has ever personally witnessed one. My objection to your fixation on it being that reliance on liturgical parodies cheapens legitimate and necessary criticism of the serious abuse of Our Lord in the liturgy that has crippled the Church and destroyed the faith of millions in recent decades.

    If anyone here has contributed more “time, talent, and treasure” to the TLM than I have, then I salute him. But the liturgical issues that torture the Body of Christ at the present time are not OF versus EF issues. (Indeed, all these real abuses were seen in various places in the TLM before the OF was fabricated.)

    The reason I as a notorious TLM advocate emphasize this is that even I know that the restoration of Faith and Church depends not on the abolition of the OF — which for better or worse will remain indefinitely the Mass of the mass of Catholics throughout the world — but on the reform of its ars celebranda to eliminate real rather than merely straw man abuses.

  49. Andrew says:

    Contrasting opinions:

    From the Archbishop’s lecture: “The vernacular has opened up the liturgy’s content in new ways. It has encouraged active, creative participation by all the faithful — not only in the liturgy but in every aspect of the Church’s mission.”

    From the Pope’s Apostolic Constitution: “Usage of Latin has recently become controversial in many places, and many are asking what the mind of the Apostolic See is in this matter. We have therefore decided to issue these timely directives, so as to caution that the long-standing and uninterrupted use of Latin be maintained and, where it has been abandoned, it is to be restored.” (John XXIII, Veterum Sapientia).

  50. Eric the Read says:

    On the whole, I’m very glad to be moving to Abp. Chaput’s archdiocese. Not to complain about the Diocese of Joliet– I attended my first regularly scheduled High Mass here, and have enjoyed it tremendously– but on the whole I’m happy to be moving to a diocese run by a man like this.

  51. Jerry says:

    re: becket1 – “Check out this story and read the comments. Just in from RORATE CAELI. Seems like parishiners have to pay for a EF Mass.”

    Here’s a link directly to the article: http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2010/06/appeal-for-catholics-in-tri-state-area.html

    The reasons given for canceling the EF Mass are low attendance and poor collections “among other reasons”. The “other reasons” weren’t discussed in the article, however some of the comments, if accurate, suggest that the other reasons may be as, if not more, important than those the author chose to focus on.

    It was mentioned in a comment that the priest saying the EF Mass is in poor health. If this is so and there is no replacement available, this alone would be a show stopper.

    Per the article, average attendance is 75-100 with an average collection of $400 ($4-5/person). I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect that the total collection from this Mass at least cover the expense of offering it, especially if, as one commenter claims, many of the attendees are non-parishioners. Why should the parish be expected to support free-loading outsiders?

    Another comment claims the pastor of the parish has also canceled 40% of the weekend OF Masses, 75% of confession hours, etc. If true, this would suggest the problem may be more general than just an attempt to get rid of the EF Mass.

  52. Hieronymus says:

    Henry,

    The elimination of a lot of the clear sacrificial language of the Missal has nothing to do with the celebrant. The inclusion of options for the “Eucharistic Prayer” that are scandalously stripped down has nothing to do with the celebrant. The replacement of the Confiteor with a list of cheesy, stripped down options has nothing to do with the celebrant. The elimination of the prayer of the priest while distributing Holy Communion — May the body of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve your soul unto life everlasting — in favor of the stripped down, “Body of Christ”, has nothing to do with the celebrant. The elimination of ancient features of the liturgical calendar like the Ember Days has nothing to do with the celebrant.
    And I am barely scratching the surface.

    Just comparing the low Mass, without such things as the asperges at the beginning of the High Mass, and the beautiful prayers for the blessing of incense and the prayers said while incensing the altar that are features of the old liturgy and not the new, you can take a look at the link below and read the changes in the prayers themselves — and the N.O. compared here includes the most conservative options and none of the ad libbing that is commonplace at the average parish. And again, this is the Mass — one small part of the upheaval that overthrew all of the sacramental rites, the breviary, and the liturgical calendar.

    http://www.latin-mass-society.org/missals.htm

    It is not the celebrant, the rupture happened before the first N.O. Mass had even been offered.

  53. Hieronymus says:

    That last comment was directed at Jerry, not Henry. My computer rewrites my posts to include mistakes to keep me humble!

  54. AnAmericanMother says:

    Henry, Roland,

    I have to agree that the ‘clown mass’ and the ‘balloon mass’ have attained legendary status far beyond any actual event . . . sort of like the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot or UFOs.

    And ‘photographic evidence’ is fairly worthless (see Loch Ness Monster). The participants could be Anglicans or Unitarians. It could be just a gag (I know, not funny. But it happens.) They could be some idiotic “campus ministry” (like the horrible one at my daughter’s school. She went to St. Mark’s or Belmont Abbey instead. But that was run by a feminist loon and I’m sure Bishop Jugis is going to catch up with her sooner or later.) Or the bishop could have come down on them like a ton of bricks after one episode.

    Because I move around a lot during the fall and spring hunt test season, I attend many different parishes all over the Southeast. Now Southerners ARE inherently more conservative than any other area of the country, and Catholics DO tend to be more orthodox here, especially in isolated rural parishes.

    But if that sort of nonsense were around, I would have seen it or heard about it, either in person or in the bulletins of all these different parishes.

    Even in the Diocese of Richmond I’ve never seen balloons or clowns –

  55. robtbrown says:

    I knew a priest who had attended a clown mass, and he liked it. Although a Dominican he spent some months in a Jesuit program for novice masters, where the clown mass was said.

  56. robtbrown says:

    Even in the Diocese of Richmond I’ve never seen balloons or clowns—
    Comment by AnAmericanMother

    Wasn’t that the diocese where a priest once entered on a motorcycle?

  57. Hieronymus says:

    robtbrown,

    Yes, it was. I lived in the Richmond diocese. That priest was finally suspended after MANY years of horrendous offenses against Catholic piety; the straw that broke the camel’s back was the inclusion of vulgar comments about the birth canal of the Blessed Mother in a Christmas homily. This was not the worst of his offenses and he was already old enough to be retired when he was censured, but I guess it was better late than never. He had also previously dressed up as Superman and the Grinch for Mass.

    see: http://hamptonroads.com/2006/02/retired-priest-reprimanded-after-offensive-sermon

  58. AnAmericanMother says:

    Yikes! Never went to Mass in Hampton Roads. What a horrible situation!

    The parish in Richmond, near my m-i-l’s house, is rather unpleasant . . . but nothing like that. Just a lot of laypeople milling around doing extraneous stuff, banners, church-in-the-round, an emcee priest playing for laughs, and no tabernacle ANYWHERE in sight.

    In contrast, the parish in S GA near my parents’ house is run by a group of Franciscans all of whom are wildly eccentric, although in a perfectly nice way. The music is abominable . . . but the Mass is absolutely reverent. And you can’t talk to any of the priests for more than five minutes without realising that they really believe. I mean, really. These are devout priests who happen to be a bit odd. Which is quite different from the odd birds who make you wonder if they really believe anything.

  59. Roland de Chanson says:

    Just a quick update while I nurse my profound tristesse at the US loss to an excellent Ghana team — the picture of the clown with the balloons can be found on Rorate Caeli s.d. 11 June 2010 (I don’t know how to link to it directly.) He is apparently some hierarchical mucky-muck who seems to think that yellow and blue are liturgical colors. He probably also thinks that the BVM dog and pony show has been continued indefinitely in the Balkans. I do commend him on his firm hold of the balloon. An airhead like him should by the laws of physics rise above the balloon. Geez, you just can’t make this stuff up.

  60. Okay, just have to say this one thing; after, I’ll (probably!) be silent.
    The Sacrifice of the Mass is “beyond” a Rite; it is a mystery, a “sacramentum”, that transcends a particular Rite for form (because we have multiple rites and forms in the Catholic Church).
    Let’s separate abuses from what is given in the rubrics. Okay…you don’t like the OF because of what it “omits” and of what is present; the EF explicitly significates what you believe.
    Fine.
    But the OF is an approved Form, a rite of the Roman Church.
    If idiot priests don’t celebrate it according to the rubrics, that’s just wrong, insane, blasphemous.
    But to say that the OF is inherently wrong or invalid, I’m sorry, is not Catholic.
    If a priest in a concentration camp can only say “This is my Body” over pieces of bread and “This is my Blood” over liquid that has been fermented by raisins (cf. Cardinal Ngygen van Tuan) then it’s a Mass. You receive our Lord. Not the norm; not perfect; but it’s our Lord’s Sacrifice and you receive Him. We live in dire days; better to have His Sacrifice than to constantly argue and quibble and hate one another over what does NOT, in the long run, matter.
    I’m preparing for the “Recusant Days” re: England during the Reformation. We do what we can.

  61. Hieronymus says:

    NP:

    I don’t recall anyone saying that the N.O. is invalid, per se. Either form of the Mass can be invalid if not offered properly, but the question of validity is really outside the realm of this discussion.
    What is questionable is the the N.O.’s ability to nurture proper Catholic belief, and its place within the Tradition of the Church. I will keep coming back to this: it was constructed in the 1960’s (reason enough for alarm) by people who were proponents of a philosophical and theological system that was not consistent with the Church’s traditional belief. The N.O. is the liturgical manifestation of the Nouvelle Theologie, and as such is the grandchild of modern philosophy. As it is impossible to build a cogent Catholic theology and identity on that incoherent mess of ideas, total confusion about the faith and the nature of the Mass have followed, as well as the collapse of an authentic Catholic identity.
    In short, the problem is the Missal, the unchecked and widespread liturgical abuse is just a symptom.

  62. Hieronymus: That’s not Pope Benedict’s take on this. From what I know and have read.
    Far be it for me to “read the mind of the Holy Father”…but from what he has written and what he has done, so far, we cannot blame “the Missal of 1970″, per se, for this.
    I know there are problems; I know there are all kinds of “departures” from the Missals of 1962 and beyond; I am not arguing this, at all. This is for our future, I’m afraid.
    But if a priest offers the OF, even in the vernacular, according to the rubrics, according to the mind of the Church, the Catholic Faith is re-presented, either implicitly or explicitly (more perfectly in the EF, no argument). The approved Missale Romano CANNOT be the problem…otherwise, we are in apostasy. And I cannot believe this is true. The present Missale Romano (1970) can have defects, can have problems; it CANNOT be THE problem. No way.
    Then, we are sedevacantists…and there is no hope…
    Sounds like a contradiction?
    No.

  63. AnAmericanMother says:

    Roland,

    I went and found the photo you referenced. Once again I reiterate that photographic “proof” is highly suspect without context.

    There is nothing in that photograph to indicate that this occurred during a Mass. The priests have the good sense to look rather embarrassed; I suspect the balloons were handed to them as somebody shouted “Cheese!” Maybe in the narthex before or after Mass.

    I’m certainly not going to accuse them of having engineered a “Balloon Mass” without any more evidence than that. Isn’t that somewhat slanderous?

    And the host of that blog (which I’ve never happened to visit before) has a tendency to accentuate the negative and eliminate the positive. He goes so far as to accuse the Holy Father of having abandoned his ‘reform of the reform’. I try not to spend too much time with naysayers of that stripe.

  64. becket1 says:

    re: becket1 – “Check out this story and read the comments. Just in from RORATE CAELI. Seems like parishiners have to pay for a EF Mass.”

    Here’s a link directly to the article: http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2010/06/appeal-for-catholics-in-tri-state-area.html

    The reasons given for canceling the EF Mass are low attendance and poor collections “among other reasons”. The “other reasons” weren’t discussed in the article, however some of the comments, if accurate, suggest that the other reasons may be as, if not more, important than those the author chose to focus on.

    It was mentioned in a comment that the priest saying the EF Mass is in poor health. If this is so and there is no replacement available, this alone would be a show stopper.

    Per the article, average attendance is 75-100 with an average collection of $400 ($4-5/person). I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect that the total collection from this Mass at least cover the expense of offering it, especially if, as one commenter claims, many of the attendees are non-parishioners. Why should the parish be expected to support free-loading outsiders?

    Another comment claims the pastor of the parish has also canceled 40% of the weekend OF Masses, 75% of confession hours, etc. If true, this would suggest the problem may be more general than just an attempt to get rid of the EF Mass.

    Comment by Jerry — 26 June 2010 @ 1:20 pm

    Hey Jerry what time did they offer the EF Mass. 1:30 pm. No wonder they had poor attendance!.

  65. becket1 says:

    A balloon Mass in the Pope’s backyard.

    http://blog.messainlatino.it/2010/06/liturgia-romana.html

    I guess this was valid. Or was it the Pope’s Birthday they were celebrating?. Even see the progressive Franciscans enjoying and clapping at the Sacrifice of the Mass. I wonder if there is a painting of the Holy Apostles clapping at the last supper?.

  66. Roland de Chanson says:

    AnAmericanMother,

    You might be right. Context is everything. Schönborn may be merely blessing the Monday evening bingo rite. But if I were the pope, I’d can his can just for looking like a jerk. Mind you, I’m not saying that the Asperges cannot be validly performed with a balloon pinned to one’s maniple (provided the aspergillum is held in the right hand – a fluttering balloon is distracting even to the most devout novus ordinarians.)

    But what the blazes are those tie-dyed sheets those fellows are draped in? They look like something left over from a gay frat party.

  67. Maltese says:

    I have a friend, who is a priest, and, as a good friend I will not tell you where he is; but he earnestly wants to say say the EF, but because the bishop is so fey, he cannot. And if he did (and he is already under the cross-fires) He would be shipped of to who-knows-where!

    These “Rhanerian” Bishops are actually persecuting young priests to this day!

    http://hospitallers.blogspot.com/2010/06/ecumenical-vatican-council-ii-much.html

  68. TJerome says:

    Hieronymus , I didn’t say “throw the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar” out, I said eliminate the needless repetitions which is precisely what happened in 1965. They were pared down but maintained. It was tragic that they were eliminated altogether in the OF. Tom

  69. Henry Edwards says:

    Nazareth Priest,

    But the OF is an approved Form, a rite of the Roman Church. …. But to say that the OF is inherently wrong or invalid, I’m sorry, is not Catholic.

    Of course, no faithful Catholic would argue that the normative Roman rite of the Church is invalid. However, he may believe that history has shown the promulgation and implementation of the Novus Ordo to have been a disastrous pastoral error with tragic consequences for many millions of souls.

    This does not necessarily imply that he thinks the Tridentine Mass should have been maintained without change, nor that it can or should now be restored as the normative Roman rite. For instance, he may think instead that the Council’s recommendations for an organic renewal of the Tridentine rite should not have been blocked and sidetracked in the years following the Council by a complete abandonment of age-old rituals and the substitution of a new liturgical form that is now associated with a disastrous decline in faith and morality, private devotion and public devotion throughout the Church.

    Indeed, perhaps many or most serious students of contemporary Church problems may be inclining towards some such view — generally phrased in terms of the need for a reconnection with tradition, even if few can claim to know precisely how to get from here to there (while hoping and praying that our Holy Father does know).

  70. 1. The NO is NOT a protestant Missal. For if it were the Body, Blood, Soul, Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ would NOT be present AT ALL. Now, are there deficencies with the Missal? Of course, Heck, we’re finite creatures expressing the infinite, of course there are going to be deficiencies in Theological expression. God is a mystery (CCC 234, 237) and reason alone can not comprehend such.

    2. Did we forget about ex opere operato? The Sacraments operate independent of the state of grace of the minister, independent of any theological deficiencies. Why? It is Christ HIMSELF, through the person of the priest. Nothing happens on the priests own merit. Christ is not dependent on our own weaknesses, whatever they may be. He is God, lest ye forget.

    3. If we’re not willing to die for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we ought to look at ourselves more closely. The good archbishop is correct.

    4. The instability is with the Ordinary Form of the Mass (let me explain), the abuses, the sacrileges are going on the OF, The Holy Father is absolutely right in focusing on the one lost sheep in the Liturgical shipwreck, rather than the 99 who are safe from the shipwreck. He must first bring sobriety and reverence back to the OF before even getting to celebrating the EF in public. (Which as I’ve mentioned on here is something that is very complex to pull off), don’t anticipate a Solemn Papal Pontifical High Mass, anticipate a Papal Low Mass if you’re expecting the EF to be celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI. How about praying for our Holy Father that he not get attacked by the wolves?

    5. I’ve seen my fair share of liturgical abuses, but I’ve never seen these clown Masses, we don’t know if these pictures were taken from actual Catholic Masses. Henry is right, when the photographic so called evidence isn’t enough, we don’t have absolute certainty.

  71. Maltese says:

    Joe, one might say in a sense the new mass is a “protestant” form of Mass, since it is clearly a protest against the sensus catholicus of the Traditional Latin Mass, and the vertical, Sacrificial orientation of Holy Mass.

    In the article titled “The Attractiveness of the Tridentine Mass,” Cardinal Alfonso Stickler discussed the protestantizing of the Mass and mentions that Jean Guitton, a friend of Paul VI, said his purpose was to “assimilate as much as possible of the new Catholic liturgy to Protestant worship” (Latin Mass Magazine, Summer 1995).

  72. Hieronymus says:

    I think it is well to remember, for all who are becoming defensive about the criticism of the construction of the N.O. Mass (again, not talking about validity), that this Mass was created by a group of people in the 60’s. We are not comparing the traditional Mass to, say, a Byzantine Divine Liturgy. Both of those are the products of 2,000 years of prayer and consideration — at once being slowly shaped by the faith and bearing that faith through the centuries to all who would be truly Christian. Those rites were formed by Saints, and forming of the Saints. As a result of this, they do not open themselves up to debates about the orthodoxy of their spirit — they are thoroughly Catholic.

    The NO, again, was crafted by a small group of theologians in the 1960’s who were students of a very new and highly suspect system of theology built on modern philosophy. The missal is the child of THAT theological school, and was very much fashioned on its principles.
    It was revolutionary, and the fact that it was adopted by Pope Paul VI doesn’t mean that suddenly its problems go away.

    To illustrate: think of the LA Cathedral. It’s architect was obviously of a very modern school which rejected the classical definitions of beauty. His ideology is now enshrined in the building that he designed, and it will be there until it is destroyed. JPII wrote a complimentary letter for the event of its consecration. 1) This does not mean that after the Pope complimented it, the Cathedral is no longer a post-modernist, ugly building completely out of line with the very reasoned and deliberate architectural tradition of the Catholic Church. 2) It does not mean that people entering said building will not suffer some confusion about the Catholic faith. 3) Some future papal declaration about Catholic church architecture needing to be informed by a Catholic aesthetic, would also not make the LA Cathedral less horrendous. So, to summarize, the LA Cathedral is validly a Catholic cathedral, but it bears the ideological marks of its architect, and as such it is ugly and leaves viewers with confused notions about the Catholic faith. No Papal document can change that — save the one that demands its demolition.
    As with the Rog-Mahal, so with the N.O.

  73. AnAmericanMother says:

    Hieronymus,

    Can we save the wall tapestries from the Taj Mahony? I like them.

  74. Hieronymus says:

    You can take the tapestries, but everything else stays inside for the detonation. Once the building has been reduced to powder, we sow the ground with blessed salt, and Archbshp Gomez can start anew on a different piece of land. I would hate to build again right over the top of that, lest its black spirit leak up through the floor.