NCReg Interview with the new VP of “Ecclesia Dei”, Archbp. DiNoia

At the National Catholic Register there is a long interview with the new Vice President of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, His Excellency Most Reverend, J. Augustine DiNoia, OP.

He said that, since he hasn’t actually begun his work at the PCED yet, wouldn’t comment a leaked SSPX letter describing the “Doctrinal Preamble” as “clearly unacceptable.”

Here are some high points with my emphases and comments:

[...]

Q: What stage has the Vatican reached in its talks with the SSPX?

DiNOIA: To be honest, I don’t know. I have a steep learning curve in terms of the issues as they have developed in the dialogue. When I came here, I studied the history of the reform and took a close look at the council, so I’ve learned a lot about the objections that come from that world. I’ve read books by Romano Amerio and Roberto de Mattei on the [Second Vatican] Council, and, of course, I’ve been studying the Council for years; so, in that sense, I have a framework out of which I can talk with them about their problems.

Another factor of great importance, autobiographically for me, is that I had lived my entire religious life, until I came here to Rome, in a Dominican priory, mostly in Washington or in New Haven, Conn. In those places, the hermeneutic of continuity and reform, if I may put it that way, was lived. I never experienced the Council as a rupture. It’s interesting — only as I’ve begun to read this traditionalist literature and interpretation have I begun to understand that, in a certain sense, there are problems that are real. But if you cease to believe that the Holy Spirit is preserving the Church from error, you cut your moorings.

The councils cannot — whatever their interpretations may be by the left or right, or whatever the intentions of the authors were of the council documents — be led into error. All of the documents stand. Schism is not the answer. So I’m sympathetic to the society, but the solution is not breaking off from the Church.

Q: That being the case, why do you think some Catholics have decided to stick to “frozen” tradition, as it were, rather than coming into full communion?

DiNOIA: I don’t honestly know; I can only speculate. To say why people are traditionalist I’d have to say it depends on their experiences. The [reform of the] liturgy has been a factor; it was a terrible revolution and shock for people. Many of these people feel abandoned, like the Church left them at the dock with the ship. So the reasons are very complicated and vary from one type of traditionalism to another and from countries, cultures and contexts in which they have arisen.

Another issue is there’s a failure to recognize a simple fact of the history of the Church: that all theological disagreements need not be Church-dividing. So, for example, the Jesuits and Dominicans had a tremendous disagreement in the 16th century about the theology of grace. In the end, the Pope forbade them to call each other heretics, which they had been doing. The Pope said, “You may continue to hold your theological opinion,” but he refused to give a doctrinal determination, saying the Jesuits or Dominicans were right. Now, this is a very interesting example, because it shows that Catholicism is broad enough to include a tremendous amount of theological diversity and debate. Sometimes the Church will act, but only when it sees people slipping into heresy and therefore breaking off from communion. [This has been my point all along.  Many of the things in the Council documents and after to which the SSPX object are actually very hard questions in which we should have some room for discussion.]

Q: You’ve worked closely with Pope Benedict XVI in the past. How important is this reconciliation for him?

The Pope hopes for reconciliation — that’s the Pope’s job. The ministry of Peter is above all to preserve the unity of the Church. So, apart from whatever personal interest Pope Benedict might have, he shares his concern with John Paul II. As you know, he has been involved in this from the beginning.

The Pope is bending over backwards to accommodate them, but he’s not going to give in on the issue of the authenticity of the teaching of Vatican II as a series of acts of the magisterium.

The Society of St. Pius X argues the Second Vatican Council promulgated no infallible and irreformable teaching. It was pastoral and not dogmatic. If that is so, why is it important that they agree with it?

There’s enough that’s dogmatic in it. The sacramentality of episcopal ordination, to take one example, is a development of the teaching of the episcopacy, so it is doctrinal.  [That, friends, was a big shift.]

[...]

There are doctrinal developments here and there. And the society thinks, of course, that the whole teaching on religious liberty is a departure from the tradition. [A huge deal for the SSPX.  I refer the readers to the work of Thomas Pink on this topic.] But some very smart people have tried to point out it’s a development that is consistent.

[...]

Q: What do you say to the argument that if the Council documents are neither infallible nor unchangeable then they are therefore not binding?

DiNOIA: To say they are not binding is sophistry. The Council contains swathes of the ordinary magisterium, which is de fide divina [of divine faith].

Now, the pastoral constitution “On the Church in the Modern World” [Gaudium et Spes] makes comments about the nature of culture which, generally speaking, everyone now believes was overly optimistic. Well, that’s not de fide divina. It’s not precise; it’s very imprecise. But the Council’s full of the ordinary magisterium. [...]

[DiNoia here talks a bit about Ordinary and Extraordinary Magisterum.]

[...]

Q: Yet Cardinal Ratzinger stressed the Council should not be seen as a kind of “superdogma.”  [Neither should it be view as a kind of "superheresy"!]

DiNOIA: It did not seek to define infallibly any doctrines; that’s what he’s saying, but he’s not saying it doesn’t contain great amounts of the ordinary magisterium.

If you take the dogmatic constitutions, they are called dogmatic constitutions — Divine Revelation [Dei Verbum], Lumen Gentium, those two surely, but other ones, too.

Q: What would the Society of St. Pius X bring that would positively impact the Church if they reconcile?

DiNOIA: The traditionalists that are now in the Church, such as the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, have brought what the Pope has insisted upon: that in the solemnity of the way in which they celebrate the liturgy, especially in the area of the liturgy, they are a testimony to the continuing liveliness of liturgical tradition previous to the Council, which is the message of Summorum Pontificum. The thing is: They can’t say that the Novus Ordo is invalid, but their celebration of the 1962 Missal is something that remains attractive and nourishes faith, even of those who have no experience of it. So that’s a very important factor.

I’ve tried to find an analogy for this. Let’s say the American Constitution can be read in at least two ways: Historians read it, and they are interested in historical context: in the framers, intentions of the framers, the backgrounds of framers and all of that historical work about the Constitution. So, you have a Constitution you can study historically and shed a great deal of light on the meaning of it.  [This analogy doesn't work for me.  Interest in the older forms is not mere interest in history.]

However, when the Supreme Court uses the Constitution, when it’s read as an institutional living document upon which institutions of a country are based, it’s a different reading. So what the framers thought, including not only experts upon whom they’re dependent — they are parallel to the bishops, and the experts are parallel to the periti [theologians who serve participants at an ecumenical council]. [Alas, Your Excellency, this is how we eventually got to the Roe v Wade decision from the Supreme Court.  Analogies limp.]

[...]

Q: What else positive can they bring?

DiNOIA: If they are accepted by the Church and restored to full communion, they will be a sort of living witness to the continuity. They can be perfectly happy being in the Catholic Church, so they would be a living testimony to show that the continuity before and after the Council is real.

[...]

[He speaks a bit about "error" and unity with the Church.]

[...]

Q: Some have argued that you have been brought in to help prepare a canonical structure for the SSPX should they reconcile. Is this based on the extensive work you did in helping to create the Anglican ordinariate?

DiNOIA: I don’t know; the Pope didn’t tell me why he chose me. I was involved in the ordinariate from the beginning. I was under secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, involved in discussions that led to formation of the ordinariate, but I am not a canonist. I didn’t have a direct role in the composition of the constitution, but, yes, I have experience, perhaps of dialogue.

[...]

Q: How much is a perceived weakening of the dogma extra Ecclesiam nulla salus (no salvation outside the Church) a major part of the problem, as some traditionalists assert? Has today’s understanding of the dogma contradicted its earlier teaching?  [This is the religious liberty question and also the problem that, decades ago, Fr. Feeney got into (he was reconciled).]

DiNOIA: I don’t know if you can blame this on the Council so much as the emergence of a theological trend that emphasised the possibility of salvation of non-Christians. But the Church has always affirmed this, and it has never denied it. … [Karl] Rahner had a disastrous effect on this with his “anonymous Christianity.[Do I hear an "Amen!"?] But the Council does not alter the teaching of the Church.

Q: And yet they argue it does?

DiNOIA: This is a very good example of two of the things we’ve mentioned: the danger of reading this as it’s been read by Rahner, instead of in the light of the whole Tradition.

Q: They claim that salvation is hardly proclaimed anymore.

DiNOIA:Ralph Martin agrees with that. We do have a crisis, because the Church has been infected with the idea that we don’t have to worry or be anxious or we don’t sufficiently take the mandate to proclaim Christ seriously. But it’s not because of Vatican II, but bad theology. [So, not only would the SSPX help underscore continuity (see above) but they would also reintroduce a strong dose of clear catechesis, thus helping our Catholic identity in many ways.] That’s why Dominus Iesus was part of the response to all of that theology of religion. There is no question that the necessity of extra Ecclesiam nulla salus has a long history. But they were talking about heretics, not nonbelievers. That formula addresses the problems of heresies. It has its history.

The Council did say there are elements of grace in other religions, and I don’t think that should be retracted. I’ve seen them, I know them — I’ve met Lutherans and Anglicans who are saints.

Q: Some traditionalists say secular humanism frequently wins over dogmatic assertions in the modern Church. To give an example: The Holy Father has said he wouldn’t have lifted the excommunication on Bishop [Richard] Williamson had he known about his anti-Semitism. But while anti-Semitism is heinous, traditionalists say that such views aren’t a dogmatic position. And yet Catholic politicians can freely speak against the dogma and remain in full communion with the Church. [cf can 915!] What do you say to such an argument?

DiNOIA: That’s a trap. Edward Norman, in his very good book Secularization, says there’s no question that what he calls internal secularization, secular humanism, has definitely invaded parts of the Church. They [SSPX] are probably right about that, and I could give them a longer list of examples than they could probably make themselves.

However, to try and defend Williamson on this basis is disgusting and odious. Is a politician the same thing as a bishop? Give me a break. It’s garbage; it’s sophistry.  [Hmmm... sometimes the "Duck Argument" applies... but leave that go.]

Do they want a blanket excommunication of everyone who’s pro-choice? And yet here is a person, a bishop, who openly proclaims a position which the Church is desperately trying to suppress in the Church itself, which is anti-Semitism.

[Trads might perk up here a bit...] Q: In the CDF statement that accompanied your appointment, it said your experience “will facilitate the development of certain desired liturgical provisions” in the celebration of the 1962 Roman Missal, commonly known as the Tridentine rite. Could you explain this in more detail?

DiNOIA: There are two things: [NB] In the calendar, there are a lot of saints they [Who are "they'? The CDW for whom he was Secretary for some years?] would like to add, but the Roman Missal is fixed. There’s got to be a dialogue between them and the Congregation for Divine Worship on how to incorporate elements of the Roman calendar and how it has developed over the last 50 years. ["elements"?  And note that point about "dialogue".  This clearly is what is going to happen over time between the newer and the older forms.  But does it have to happen right away?  It seems to me that the older form needs greater visibility first.  Let it be more fully recovered.] And then [NB] the prefaces: The old Roman Missal of 1962 has a very limited number of prefaces, and they [Who, again, are "they"?] are also interested in incorporating some of the prefaces. But because it’s the 1962 edition, who can revise the 1962 edition of the Missal? [I recently did a POLL on this HERE.  The results at the time of this writing were:

NO! (52%, 775 Votes)
YES! (20%, 299 Votes)
I don't know enough about this to form an opinion. (17%, 256 Votes)
I am indifferent (and I regularly attend the Extraordinary Form). (5%, 76 Votes)
I am indifferent (and I regularly attend the Ordinary Form). (6%, 76 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,482

Thus, I suspect that this would be a rather unpopular move and, I suspect again, many priests using the older books might choose not to use them.]

In effect the Novus Ordo, the current Roman Missal, is a revision of the 1962 Roman Missal. So the issue is: How can they do this? I don’t know, but the job has to be done. [!]We already had two meetings, between representatives of the congregation and representatives of Ecclesia Dei, to discuss how that could be done.  [I would rather see the PCED put its energy into making sure that seminarians are being taught the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite - so that they actually know their Rite before ordination!]

[...]

Q: Could a reconciliation be timely, given the problems in the Church and culture?

It’s my instinct; remember that until Benedict said in December 2005 in his address to the Curia, in which he made his famous discourse about hermeneutic of continuity, you couldn’t even talk about these things. So Benedict has liberated us for the first time.

You can now criticize [theologians Cardinal Henri-Marie] De Lubac, [Cardinal Yves] Congar, [Father Marie-Dominique] Chenu. And many young people are writing dissertations and books that were somehow impossible before. So I would say that the dominant progressivist reading of the Council is in retreat. It’s never been in retreat before. [Interesting.] But insistence on continuity — they have to embrace that too.

Traditionalists have to be converted from seeing the Council as rupture and discontinuity.

This is a distinction [historian Roberto] de Mattei makes. The Council was experienced as a rupture, but doctrinally and theologically it has to be read in continuity — otherwise you must just as well throw in the towel.

[...]

Okay, that is a lot for a blog post. Read the rest there.

It is worth your time.

 

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51 Responses to NCReg Interview with the new VP of “Ecclesia Dei”, Archbp. DiNoia

  1. jhayes says:

    I was very impressed by Archbishop diNoia. I’m glad he has come onto the scene.

    Here are a couple of other lines from his interview:

    “What I’ve tried to argue is that all they have to do is to say there’s nothing in the Council that is contrary to Tradition

    And

    Do you think SSPX fears their concerns won’t be safeguarded if they reconcile?

    How will they not be safeguarded? Who’s telling them what to do? The only thing I’m telling them is: Vatican II is not a departure from Tradition

    Are you optimistic or pessimistic about reconciliation?

    I’m neither; I just don’t know. I think it will be an act of grace.

  2. acardnal says:

    Fr. Z, I like your comment about the PCED making sure that seminarians are taught the EF of the Roman Rite so they know how to celebrate it immediately after they are ordained! What can lay people do to encourage this??

  3. Legisperitus says:

    If the EF is currently a fly in amber, “they” should take time to soften the amber. Warm it by bringing it into contact with the larger body of the Church until it becomes familiar to all Catholics, part of the full living body again.

    If “they” try to break their way too far into the amber while it’s still hard, they’ll destroy the fly.

  4. B Knotts says:

    His Eminence’s use of the term “pro-choice,” while certainly just an example of misspeaking, shows how thoroughly the secular has invaded even our language. In my opinion, he did not sufficiently answer that argument, instead mischaracterizing the motivation of asking the question (e.g., almost no one, even Bishop Fellay, seems very interested in “defending” Bp. Williamson). The question is a valid one, that I think deserves a serious answer. I think there are many options short of excommunication for pro-abortion public figures. Criticism could perhaps be tried.

  5. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    Why “doctrinally and theologically it has to be read in continuity — otherwise you must just as well throw in the towel.”??? Why do you have to throw in the towel? Why can’t a council be considered as being “discontinuous”? Things have been changed before.

  6. papaefidelis says:

    From my reading of the DiNoia’s answers, esp. the juxtaposition of the CDW and the “they” and dialogue between “them” and the CDW, it would seem fairly certain to me that “they” refers to officials of the PCED, though it is amorphous enough to leave some doubt.

  7. Gail F says:

    “That’s a trap” — +Di Noia seems to know his stuff!!!!

  8. St. Rafael says:

    What a confused man and what a convoluted mess his statements are. His errors and his ignorance on what traditionalists and the SSPX believe and are saying is astounding. Where to begin? There is too much to be able to respond to it all, but let me try to take apart some of his statements and thinking. For a man use mentions sophistry so much in the interview, it’s ironic how much sophistry he actually uses.

    But if you cease to believe that the Holy Spirit is preserving the Church from error, you cut your moorings.

    The problem is that you have to invoke the Holy Spirit to preserve you from error. That is why infallibility exists. You have to use it and invoke it. It’s not automatic. God didn’t grant the Popes and bishops impeccability at all times and in every instance.

    The councils cannot — whatever their interpretations may be by the left or right, or whatever the intentions of the authors were of the council documents — be led into error.

    They can if you don’t use infallibility to protect yourself from errors. All the other councils invoked infallibility in the documents themselves to protect infallible dogmas and doctrines from error. Vatican II was the first council not to use any of this protection, because it defined no new dogmas or doctrines, and it did not invoke infallibility and the protection of the Holy Ghost in the documents themselves. These are the first council documents to be entirely pastoral in nature, in the history of the Church.

    The Council contains swathes of the ordinary magisterium, which is de fide divina [of divine faith].

    He fails to make a proper distinction within the Ordinary Magisterium. Not everything in the Ordinary Magisterium is infallible. There is the infallible Ordinary Magisterium and the Authentic Magisterium, or if you prefer different terms, the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium and non-Infallible Ordinary Magisterium. There are teachings of the Magisterium which are not infallible or de fide. They are not automatically protected from error. They are owed proper assent if they do not contradict the infallible Ordinary Magisterium. If these teachings contradict infallible Magisterial teaching, they must be resisted and discarded.

    I often say that what Council Fathers intended doesn’t matter because it’s how you apply it today that matters. It’s a living document.

    That doctrine is “living” or alive is Modernism. Something that is living can change. Doctrine doesn’t change. Living documents imply the doctrines change with time or are different in meaning depending the what year or age it is. Documents from past councils contain infallible teachings that are not living. They are fixed eternal teachings and truth with the same meaning yesterday, today, and forever.

    And the society thinks, of course, that the whole teaching on religious liberty is a departure from the tradition. But some very smart people have tried to point out it’s a development that is consistent.

    These people are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. No one can show how it’s compatible with Quanta Cura or Pius IX’s Syllabus because these Magisterial teachings oppose religious liberty.

    They can’t say that the Novus Ordo is invalid

    They don’t claim it’s invalid, but that it is poor liturgy, a poor missal, and an inferior Mass that has had tremedous negative effects on the Church.

    In effect the Novus Ordo, the current Roman Missal, is a revision of the 1962 Roman Missal.

    He’s delusional if he thinks the novus ordo is a revision. It’s a completely new Mass, hence its name. It has absolutely no organic development from the prior missal. It’s not the TLM. It’s a new Mass that was created, not developed from any prior missals.

    I’ve met Lutherans and Anglicans who are saints.

    No pre-Vatican II relate would have ever said such nonsense. We are not discussing their salvation, because it is all speculation, and their salvation is in the hands of the judgement of God. Wether they can be saved is a different matter. However, they cannot properly be called saints, because they are outside the Catholic Church and the one true religion. Sainthood belongs to the Catholic Church. While they are alive, they belong to a heretical religion.

  9. Elizabeth D says:

    “I’ve seen them, I know them — I’ve met Lutherans and Anglicans who are saints.” I am no SSPXer, I do attend EF Mass once a week (and NOM every day), and I went “whoa!” when I read that. Now, in a sense God only knows. But if they have the opportunity to be truly united to the visible unity of the Church, the one body and bride of Christ, and refuse, then definitely insofar as they know God has made the Catholic Church necessary for our salvation, they cannot be saved (this according to Vatican II). Doesn’t Christ have one Bride only, one body? Is a body not a visible unity? Did He not say unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood you have no life in you? How can Christ be united with anyone who is not actually a member of the Bride? A baptized Christian has some kind of relationship to the one Church but is it actually membership? Is a bridegroom married to a limb severed from his bride (or to some other individual, no matter how good, who is not his bride)? A severed body part initially still has some vitality in it but receiving no nourishment from the body it always soon dies and cannot be restored short of a miracle. In the case of someone who for some reason cannot formally be received into the Church I think this union with the Bride could be by means of desire and act of assent to all that the Catholic Church teaches, and faith, hope and charity, that would be a great miracle deathbed grace, right?

    Are there any Lutherans or Anglicans that have attained to the age of reason who decline to enter the Catholic Church and receive the Eucharist yet are somehow united anyway with the one bride and body and will be capable of the Beatific Vision if they die? We don’t know that, right? Are there any babies that died unbaptized without having been killed because of hatred for Christ or the Faith and who are in heaven receiving the Beatific Vision? We don’t know that, right? I don’t think we know the contrary either. But I don’t feel comfortable with a statement that there are Lutheran or Anglican saints, by which I mean absolutely no offense to Lutherans or Anglicans.

  10. St. Rafael says:

    However, to try and defend Williamson on this basis is disgusting and odious. Is a politician the same thing as a bishop? Give me a break. It’s garbage; it’s sophistry.
    Do they want a blanket excommunication of everyone who’s pro-choice? And yet here is a person, a bishop, who openly proclaims a position which the Church is desperately trying to suppress in the Church itself, which is anti-Semitism.

    This comment needs a post all of its own. If DiNoia is going to accuse someone and a bishop of anti-Semitism, maybe somebody should ask him to define anti-Semitism. If you are going to throw around anti-Semitism, you should know what anti-Semitism is, or else you have no idea what you are talking about.

    I don’t hold Bishop Williamson’s view on the holocaust and don’t agree with him, but I will be fair and objective to him. Bishop Williamson does not deny the holocaust, but questions aspects of this historical event. He has problems with gas chambers and the numbers of Jews killed. He doesn’t deny that Jews were killed by Nazis during WWII, but questions the official number and methods of execution. Whether 6 million, 2 million, or half a million were killed is an argument to be made. Does questioning figures make one anti-Semitic? It’s absurd to claim so. It maybe a pointless debate, but it is not evidence of any racial hatred.

    Let’s also consider the point that Williamson shouldn’t have had his excommunication removed over his views on a historical event, like the WWII genocide of the Jews. Excommunication is a penalty for dissent on Church doctrine on faith and morals and over schism. Historical events and political opinions have nothing to do with faith, morals, or schism. To claim so is error and injustice. Lets take it further and say a Catholic is anti-Semitic and a racist. If you are a racist you are a bad person and a sinner. However, you can’t be excommunicated over racism. Anymore than a liar, cheater, or fornicator can be excommunicated over these sins or issues. A bishop who is a racist or anti-Semitic can be removed from public office, but he cannot be excommunicated.

  11. Elizabeth D says:

    acardnal wrote: “What can lay people do to encourage this [having all seminarians trained in the EF]??” Say thank you to our good bishop… if a rumor I heard recently is true. I underscore I consider it a rumor at the moment and have not attempted to verify it.

  12. moon1234 says:

    @Elizabeth D

    There is also another rumor that said certain Bishop may use the Pontificale Romanum for an event of upcoming ordinations to the diaconate and possibly presbyterate, but again this is only a rumor…….. The person from who I heard it though would seem to be very upbeat about said rumor. I know I would be bursting at the seams to attend.

  13. moon1234 says:

    Regarding the interview. It would seem the good cardinal is coming to his new position with many pre-formed decisions on how events should unfold. The commenters so far have pointed out a LOT of the issues with the interview.

    I was SHOCKED to see that they are having meetings on inserting new prefaces and other changes in the 1962 missal at this point. “They” seem bent on driving people away as quickly as possibly. MOST traditionalists want no changes at this point in the game. Saints on the calendar are one thing, playing doctor with the missal, just like the new Mass seems to be their current obsession.

    WHY can they not just leave the missal alone for a few decades?

  14. Ambrose Jnr says:

    Considering the odd position of Vice-President of a Commission given to Di Noia, it seems nigh impossible for DiNoia to be the new Prefect of the CDF this year…unless Levada stays one more year. If Mueller becomes the new CDF head this week, Muller would be the Ecclesia Dei president, so he could block good initiatives Di Noia would propose…

    Strangely enough, I don’t think Mueller is anti-SSPX…I think he’s quite an authoritarian bishop, so that’s why he’s been blasting the SSPX over their ordinations in his diocese…however, if the SSPX recovers its canonical standing, I wouldn’t be surprised if Mueller was helpful to them…an authoritarian CDF head is what the Church needs right now…

    All of this would put Archbishop Di Noia’s new role in a broader context for negotiations with the SSPX.

  15. Sixupman says:

    “.. only as I have begun reading this traditional literature ………. . “.

    That appears to be a major part of the problem. The episcopate and clergy have relied upon that which advisers have told them what Vatican II meant, without reading the documents [akin to politicians in the UK and the EU Agreements]. Likewise their minds have been closed to the writings of those holding a more analytical view of the Vatican II documents – yet such minds were open to Rahner, et al. How then do they admit that, indeed, ‘the emperor may have been naked’.

  16. St. Rafael says:

    WHY can they not just leave the missal alone for a few decades?

    Because the Modernists can’t leave anything alone. Everything must change. Everything must be constantly updated. Everything in flux. Everything “evolves” and “lives”.

    We had the ’55 Missal. They couldn’t leave that alone. So only 7 years later they brought out the ’62 Missal, and 8 years later, just set that aside, and started from scratch, inventing a completely new Mass.

    They seemed to be obsessed with the ’62 Missal. The can’t wait to bring out the scissors and the knives, and start carving it up, yet they leave the ’70 Missal alone. They have left that horrid ’70 Missal alone for 40+ years, even though it has destroyed the priesthood.

    The one missal they leave alone is the missal that has caused empty churches, no vocations, 3% Mass attendance in European countries, bored teenagers texting away during Mass, no belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, sacrilegious Communions, immodesty, and an ocean of liturgical abuse. It took them 40 years to actually translate the thing to the original Latin found in the original texts. You would think that they would have gotten a clue by now and actually made an effort to change this failure with a new missal. That they would have abrogated this missal, like they abrogated every TLM missal, every ten years, during the 20th century.

  17. asperges says:

    On the whole, his is encouraging and I love to read the actual words of prelates such as this rather than endless speculations about what they might think or have said. I balked too at the “In effect the Novus Ordo … is a revision of the 1962 Roman Missal.” Whilst not *entirely* incorrect, no traditional Catholic would ever accept that without considerable debate. If that’s all the problem was, we would not be where we are now.

    The heart of the matter is division. Traditionalists (for want of a better word) do still feel largely marginalised. It happens daily in small ways. Try organising an EF Mass as see the obstacles you will encounter. Attitudes are miles apart: clergy attitudes condescending or hostile. You have little in common with your fellow Catholics. All this is hurtful and difficult to cope with even after 40 years and more.

    Although there is much we can do ourselves, we need strong and sympathetic leadership. His Eminence seems well set to help rather than hinder that process.

  18. Clinton R. says:

    Sadly, most of His Eminence’s comments just sound like more of the modernism that has been in vogue since Vatican 2. I agree with those that state that the 1962 Roman Missal needs to be left alone.
    Perhaps it will still be a long while longer before we have leaders in the Church that are not as beholden to Vatican 2 and the Novus Ordo. This interview does not bode well for a reconciliation with the SSPX, but as I’ve stated before, the solution will not come from man, but from the immeasurable wisdom of God. May Our Lord bless Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop DiNoia, the SSPX and all who love Him and His Bride. +JMJ+

  19. BaedaBenedictus says:

    “Do they want a blanket excommunication of everyone who’s pro-choice? And yet here is a person, a bishop, who openly proclaims a position which the Church is desperately trying to suppress in the Church itself, which is anti-Semitism.”

    How about the culture of death (which His Excellency euphemistically calls “pro-choice” views) as something the Church *should* be “desperately trying to suppress in the Church itself”? Or is anti-Semitism a much more widespread problem? I suppose changing the liturgy and parish Seder suppers during Holy Week is not doing enough to prevent hatred of “our elder brothers in the Faith”?

  20. JonPatrick says:

    I guess I’m not as alarmed at the possibility of revision to the ’62 Missal as some. We cannot take the position that the EF is frozen in amber. It’s not like they are suggesting we insert Eucharistic Prayer II from the ’70 Missal. Over the years since the Council of Trent there have been numerous revisions of this nature. It makes sense to move to reconciling the calendar with the one used in the OF. It seems that might help wider adoption.

    Perhaps while they are in the process of revising, they could restore the 2nd Confiteor after the priest’s communion, which is added in most EF masses I have attended, an official option in the Missal.

  21. BaedaBenedictus says:

    Also, in response to His Excellency’s contention that he has not experienced the hermeneutic of rupture, as someone with some experience of his province of the Dominicans, I have to question this. I have been to the “re-ordered” sanctuary of St. Mary’s priory in New Haven and have seen the meal-table altar set up at the very front of the sanctuary at Immaculate Conception priory in Washington (partly to allow for “full, active and conscious participation” to… the friars—at least now that courses taught in Latin and even required study of Latin have been abandoned—and also partly to make space for the regular versus-fratrem super-concelebrations at the daily conventual Mass).

    I need not mention the order’s sudden abandonment of virtually its entire 800-year liturgical tradition when the English Novus Ordo came out. And while it is true that Modernist theology did not penetrate His Excellency’s province quite as deeply as it did other provinces, and while things are looking very bright there with the growing younger friars very much favoring the restoration of traditional forms, I must differ with His Excellency (whom, BTW, I admire as a man of profound grace, erudition and faith) that the hermeneutic of rupture was not experienced there.

  22. Supertradmum says:

    acardnal, simple answer, find out which seminaries do not teach Latin or the EF to all the seminarians and refuse to give money to those seminaries. Laity are in control through their legacies in their wills and contributions.

    Three points on the interview. Good interview and I shall read the rest when I have time. However, I am not happy about the salvation outside the Church dance. Secondly, I do not understand the bit about episcopal ordinations. Is this the difference between consecrations and ordinations or specifically the SSPX? Thirdly, happy about the Rahner reference, a theologian still too popular in some circles.

  23. Imrahil says:

    Dear @St. Rafael, while you are logically right that a non-antisemite Holocaust denier is a theoretical possibility, two points: 1. It is Holocaust denial to say it was only 200000 Jews that were killed and these outside gas chambers. 2. In the practical world, none but an antisemite would deny the Holocaust.

  24. Imrahil says:

    Also, while the II Vatican Council is indeed of ordinary Magisterium and binding, ordinary Magisterium is not necessarily de fide divina; and while the process Abp Di Noia describes (in the parts left out here) is indeed the way it happened, still there’s been 2000 years, and I wonder what central part of Church teaching has been left undefined.

    The analogy with the Constitution however is a problematic one. The Constitution has to mean today exactly what it meant in 1788 (or 1949). The Faith has to mean today exactly what it meant in the year 100 when St. John closed his eyes on the island of Patmos. There is not so much of a difference here, indeed; except that lawyering has gone into a wrong direction.

    Works also vice versa: Of course law is developing; of course Tradition is developing. But, if happening naturally, this development is itself the explaining process; if it can be suggested that a historical approach would actually bring different results, then something has gone wrong. (In law, which is not infallibly guided, the process can take wrong directions, even by direct breaching of the Constitution, as Roe vs. Wade or the Crucifix Decision of Germany in the 199os were.)

  25. Father K says:

    As I read the comments on this post, the language used, the underlying attitudes the language reveals and the way in which theological terms are tossed about willy-nilly, [with little or no actual understanding of the terms] I see what an Herculean task it will be to have a reconcilition between the SSPXers and the Church. If it happens, it will truly be a miracle in our day.

  26. Andrew says:

    Another factor of great importance, autobiographically for me, is that I had lived my entire religious life, until I came here to Rome, in a Dominican priory, mostly in Washington or in New Haven, Conn. In those places, the hermeneutic of continuity and reform, if I may put it that way, was lived. I never experienced the Council as a rupture.

    I do not understand how anyone might arrive at such a sweeping conclusion. Didn’t the institution he talks about celebrate the all vernacular Novus Ordo (old ICEL translation) during all that time? What about (to be extremely brief) Sacrosanctum Concilium No. 36 p. 1? Has his Excellency never asked himself any quaestions about that?

  27. acardnal says:

    @St Raphael: I could not have said it better myself!

  28. mitdub says:

    I’m a fan of Dominicans in general; I attend the Trad Mass about 1/3 of the time and the NO Mass the rest of the time; primarily because of logistics, availability, etc. If the Trad Mass was more widely integrated, I’d attend it pretty much exclusively. I chant for the Trad Mass. I tend not to sing at the NO Mass as the music is ridiculous and dreadful and not integral to the Mass.
    I’ve heard many great things about Abp DiNoia. This interview made me rethink all of them. While the Eastern Dominicans are generally known as the “orthodox Dominicans” in the USA, to say that there is no rupture is living in Di Nial. Are the propers sung in all the priories and parishes of the Eastern Province? Were they sung in any for twenty or thirty years until the more recent crop of youngsters?
    And I agree with a previous poster — why mess with the Trad Mass? Why not mess with the Mass that is messy? Where are the Rogation Days and Ember Days? Where is the chanting of the Propers and readings? Why impose the new Lectionary (the logical next step) rather than reform the New Lectionary to conform to the old, which was accessible to people and not just biblical scholars.
    Uggh, I am so very disappointed. I may just become an SSPXer, or go to the Orthodox, which is probably what I should have done 20 years ago when I discovered Tradition.
    Someone please pray for me, I can’t take much more of this.

  29. Ezra says:

    Seems a bit of a trainwreck of an interview, but one question occurred to me:

    Abp Di Noia is clear that one can criticize documents of Vatican II; he gives the example of Gaudium et Spes. Pope Benedict has himself written that when Gaudium et Spes speaks of human freedom, it “falls into downright Pelagian terminology”. On the other hand, Abp Di Noia is also clear that the Council contains “contains swathes of the ordinary magisterium, which is de fide divina”. One imagines that the Holy Father would agree.

    So we have a council in which some passages are ambiguous, some passages use – according to the Holy Father – heretical terminology, and some passages contain de fide teaching. And we’re surprised that the SSPX aren’t willing to given an unconditional “yes sir!” to the package? Wouldn’t it be helpful for the CDF to compile a list of all those conciliar propositions which constitute exercises of the ordinary magisterium – rather than heretical expressions (per Ratzinger) and undue optimism (per Di Noia) – and present those to the Society for approval?

    Such an exercise would certainly provide a clarifying moment in the life of the Church.

  30. Tradster says:

    “Do they want a blanket excommunication of everyone who’s pro-choice?”
    Um, yes, actually that would be the correct action. But at the very minimum there needs to be a blanket excommunication of all who publicly endorse and promote abortion.

  31. Texas trad says:

    Di Noia and Muller appointed in the last 48 hours will derail the SSPX talks. Both do not understand the mentality of tradition. Muller questions openly the perpetual virginity of Mary and also questions transubstantiation. What was the pope thinking? How could Bishop Fellay ever be expected to negotiate with these two? And Di Noia excusing Catholics who are pro-choice. Seriously? Pro choice is OK and SSPX is not??

  32. acardnal says:

    @Texas trad: I read that this morning on Rorate-Caeli’s site. Definitely controversial!

  33. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    Seems that the embrace of Newman’s “development of doctrine” is a pretty slippery slope to whatever the current generation wants it lead to.

  34. Maltese says:

    There are doctrinal developments here and there. And the society thinks, of course, that the whole teaching on religious liberty is a departure from the tradition. [A huge deal for the SSPX. I refer the readers to the work of Thomas Pink on this topic.] But some very smart people have tried to point out it’s a development that is consistent.

    I agree with you Fr. Z, that is huge for them.

    A lot of people misunderstand their position on the matter, so, if I may, in three sentences I’ll try to explain if for readers here unfamiliar with their position. The SSPX doesn’t believe in forced conversions, and never has; in fact, it is a great sin to try to force someone to believe.

    Their opposition to “religious liberty” is actually very simple. No one has a God-given right to believe in any other religion than the one God gave us (meaning the one Christ died to give us). You can believe whatever you want, but God is offended when you offend Him by refusing His Grace. And there is only one true religion; so, when you reject it, you, in a sense, reject God.

    Vatican II, whether ambiguously or intentionally, makes it seem like women or men have a right to choose whatever religion they want. They do not. That, in a nut-shell is the SSPX’s rejection of the notion of “religious freedom”, “freedom of religion”, whatever you want to call it, which is an Americanist, Masonic invention, which is antithetical to traditional Catholic belief.

    Vatican II adopted Jeffersonian, Masonic, modernistic, 1960′s liberalism at the exact time she needed to stick to her guns; very sad.

  35. Maltese says:

    One more thing, my grandfather was a 32 degree Mason, and my great-grandfather a 33 degree Mason, and my father is a Deist. I’m the first Catholic in my family tree for at least 300 years.

    I only mention this so you don’t think I’m BSing on my last post–I come from a family of Americanist-lawyer Masons; and I think it’s only by my accepting God’s Grace I became a Catholic.

    I just left the South; the land of Baptists, Masons, Shriners and racists, and I will never go back!

  36. Johnno says:

    I’m wary of this guy. It seems that word is he denies the Perpetual Virginity of Mary and upholds Liberation Theology.
    http://www.cfnews.org/page10/page43/page43.html

    And Benedict XVI as Cardinal Ratzinger also had suspect theological ideas…
    http://www.cfnews.org/page10/page39/page39.html

    I like to believe that as Pope he has changed, and that maybe he appoints such men because of a grave shortage of orthodox curia, which itself is a grave troubling admission…

    Religious Liberty is a heresy, and the Catholic Church is to aim at nothing less than the goal of total conversion to Catholicism of the entire world and establishment of governments that uphold Catholic morality and subsidiarity completely. God is chastising the Church for succumbing to this error as the Bishops in America and Canada are discovering as their causes of having their countries grant them exemptions from immoral policies is failing embarrassingly. There will be liberty for every religion except Catholicism when all is said and done. It doesn’t look like the Pope and Vatican will help in any meaningful way. God help us…

  37. robtbrown says:

    1. The criticism that Vat II did not invoke the Holy Spirit is, IMHO, problematic. Neither Quanta Cura or the Syllabus of Errors invokes the HS. For that matter, neither did Ineffabilis Deus (Imac Conc), Munificentissimus Deus (Assumption), or Ordinatio Sacerdotalis–and all 3 are infallible. The authority of the documents, like the Vat II documents rests on the authority of the pope. No matter how many bishops vote for a document, it has no authority until the pope signs it.

    2. With those priests who invoke Vat II I just mention that Vat II said that clerics are to say their Office in Latin. Almost none do. A bit of advice: After saying that to a priest, stand back to give him room to try to tap dance around the question as he hems and haws.

    3. Interesting and good that he attacks Rahner. The notion that the likes of Chenu, Congar, and DeLubac couldn’t be criticized before 2005 goes a long way to explain why the Church is in such a mess. Is the next step recognizing that they influenced certain texts of Vat II?

  38. Charlotte Allen says:

    Oh dear, so many of the comments above lead me to believe that there will NEVER be rapprochement between Rome and the SSPX.

  39. Texas trad says:

    Maltese:
    We must be twins! I left a Masonic family identical to your family tree!! I became a Catholic in 1996, was expelled from the family and disinherited. I second everything you have said here on both your posts.

  40. acardnal says:

    Regarding H.E.’s statement concerning modification of the Prefaces of the 1962 Missal, Una Voce International Federation completed a study recently of this and published their report in June of 2012. Their belief is ” . . . adding new Prefaces to the 1962 Missal does not seem to us to fulfill the criterion of Sacrosanctum Concilium that ‘the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires’ a liturgical change, particularly while the Extraordinary Form is still at an early stage of adoption in the mainstream of the Church’s liturgical life.” I agree.

    http://fiuv.org/docs/FIUV_PP_PrefaceFinal.pdf

  41. acardnal says:

    Herewith Una Voce’s concluding paragraph from the above referenced document:

    “19. Our final conclusion is in favour of a moratorium on new Prefaces. It does not seem to us that
    there is any urgency about adding new Prefaces, or that the criterion of Sacrosanctum
    Concilium, that the ‘good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires’ a change, has been
    met in this case. It must be recognised that after a period of unprecedented liturgical change
    over a short period of time, which has caused such confusion, long term damage, and
    suffering,29 a period of tranquillity would seem practical and indeed essential, particularly in
    relation to anything which might seem a novelty. We may end with the words of the Holy
    Father:
    A more important objection is of the practical order. Ought we really to be
    rearranging everything all over again? Nothing is more harmful to the liturgy than a
    constant activism, even if it seems to be for the sake of genuine renewal. 30″

    Footnote 30 is from the Cardinal Ratzinger’s book The Spirit of the Liturgy.

  42. With the exception of his venture into US Constitutional interpretation, which is just plain wrong – in addition to a lousy analogy – overall I’d say this is a great interview.

    First, and most important, he shoots down so many of the icons of modernism, and does so unequivocally and directly – even aggressively. Maybe I am being a bit polyannaish, but I am frankly amazed to see it.

    Second, he treats V2 as exactly what it is, just a part of the ongoing tradition of the Church. That is a fact which cannot be denied – deal with it. One can not like them or disagree with some of the documents, but they are there none the less. They MUST be dealt with, not simply ignored, and any problems addressed. And is that not what he is saying? Is that not exactly the same as the position of the SSPX? He is in no way claiming he has all the answers, nor does the SSPX have all the answers. The answers will need to be hammered out over time, just like with every other council.

    Third, in accepting that he does NOT have all the answers to every question he both direclty and implicitly admits that he will have to learn all of the details of the history and negotiations of the situation. This seems to me to be no more than an admission that he is and has been a busy man with many demands on his time and keeping himself current on all of the minutiae of the SSPX-Rome situation was something that he did not need to do – at least until now. That is a GOOD thing. It shows that the man was taking what he was doing seriously and concentrating on that while letting those whose job it was to worry about this situation.

    Fourth, his “lets just get to work and get the job done” attitude is just what is needed in this situation. I think he has been appointed as the antidote to the Italian (European?) long march of debate and discussion. In other words, he’s more inclined to just shut up and get to work, and not take too much pleasure in the debate itself. Debate, and discussion and dialogue are the means to an end, no an end in and of themselves.

  43. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Re: new 1962

    Now, folks, let’s not misdiagnose this. It doesn’t sound like Attack of the Modernists so much as Attack of the Busybodies. The same people who couldn’t stand dealing with non-Ciceronian Latin hymns, because it hit their nitpick buttons, have heirs today who are sitting up nights, pacing the floor, because there’s not a preface for “Common of Five-legged Android Confessors Whose Feasts Fall on the Second Tuesday of the Month.” And it doesn’t matter whether they’re traditionalist or crazy hippies.

  44. WesleyD says:

    St. Rafael wrote:

    He fails to make a proper distinction within the Ordinary Magisterium. Not everything in the Ordinary Magisterium is infallible. There is the infallible Ordinary Magisterium and the Authentic Magisterium, or if you prefer different terms, the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium and non-Infallible Ordinary Magisterium.

    Well said. I am astounded that Fr. DiNoia seems unaware of this distinction. Any modern textbook on the magisterium would have explained this distinction (e.g., Dulles, Sullivan, or Gaillardetz, although the latter two of these have other problems!), as would any of the pre-Vatican II manuals. Or he could read the Ratzinger/Bertone commentary on the Professio Fidei. It’s on the Vatican website; hopefullly DiNoia will read it soon.

    However, in his defense, if I were offered a new job, and before I started that job someone interviewed me about the details of the job, I would say a lot of silly things in that interview. Hopefully Fr. DiNoia will be learning a lot about theological notes and about what Traditionalists really believe before he reaches the point where he has to make major decisions!

  45. dspecht says:

    St. Raphael – AMEN to all, very good remakrs!

    Also of you, Wesley D. – the distinction between oridnary, universal infallible mag. and only authentic (ordinary not infallible) magisterium is mising here.
    He got a domenicanian education, didn´t he? –?!
    He never gives a clear answer when asked about the possibility of error etc. If some teachings of Vat. II are only authentic teachings and not infallible, then the possibilty of doctrinal error can not be excluded a priori – like DiNoia or Ocariz try to do.

    And then see the contradictions:
    On the one hand they say we have to be obedient to all teachings of Vat., even if not solemn-infallible mag., but only oridnary – infallible – mag or only authentic (non-infallible) mag./teaching.

    But does this not also apply to the new head of the CDF? Must he retract his statements re the virginity of Mary in birth? – Because even if not solemny defined it is at least an authentic teaching of the Church. And more, it is the unanimous teaching of all bishops, Popes, theologians, doctors, fathers and saints of the Church for centuries now – so clearly infallible oridnary universal magisterium (as also Ott states). And Müller holds the contradictory opposite, he rejects what all the Popes, fathers and theologians taught before.

    So now?!

    Don´t you get it?!

    And then DiNoia critizies Rahner (and get´s an “Amen” of Fr. Z.) (and also critizises de Lubac, Congar etc.) – but on the other hand DiNoia says that we should not critizise the Vat. II texts and not read them in the light and interpretation of Rahner.
    But – wait, it was exactly this Rahner (and also the influence of de Lubac, Congar, …) that formulated and influenced many of the texts. They are Rahnerian. And the language is often Rahnerian.
    It were only the “bad theology”, of Rahner, de Lubac, Chenu, … – but not the council.
    Are we beeing foold here? – Exactly this bad theology of those theologians influenced the texts of Vat.II, this men were (and are) still praised by high ranking Church men, even by Popes. F.e. the new head of the CDF always cites Rahner and is a great fan of him (and of reading in his light), cf. f.e. his Kath. Dogmatic. These theolgians and the “bad theology” were there before Vat. II, spreading in the late fities. And we had very traditional and sound documents at the opening of Vat.II – and they were overthrown by Rahner and the Rahnerian-, de Lubacian- theology. That are non-questionable facts, best documented and checkable.
    So when Rahner and his “bad theology” is so bad – and if he and it have influenced Vat. – then … what would be logical?!

    as robtbrown said: “Is the next step recognizing that they influenced certain texts of Vat II?” – Yes, that´s to the point….
    And then the next logical step needed be following.
    But they do not seem to think logically at the Vatican, do they?

  46. Athanasius says:

    What I worry about is that he doesn’t seem to have the intellectual clarity to address these issues,[?!? And you... you... little shave tail... can judge that. Marvelous. Bp. M might not have the "intellectual clarity to address these issues"... and you heard it here.], especially in the technical errors he makes with respect to the nature of the council and the ordinary magisterium, thus the SSPX will reel away from him. As it is, Levada’s re-inserting texts that Fellay already said he could not sign will be an indication to the hardliners that Rome “can’t be trusted”, which is a position that is not without a basis. This interview will not bode well in the Society.

  47. Parasum says:

    @Raphael:

    “What a confused man and what a convoluted mess his statements are. His errors and his ignorance on what traditionalists and the SSPX believe and are saying is astounding.”

    ## You got there first. And since when was denying the Shoah a reason for denying a man communion in the Church ? It’s become a Super-Dogma, just as V2 has become a Super-Council. Absurd. It’s impossible to have much respect for these people: including the Pope, what with his appalling “formula” – he’s as ghastly as his predecessor. That they are Popes, makes their blundering far worse than if they were mere nobodies. The same applies to other bishops, in their measure. Popes who betray the Catholic Faith saw off the branch on which they sit.

    @dspecht:

    As for Muller’s remarks. I think they, or some of them, can be defended.

  48. Parasum says:

    @ WesleyD

    “However, in his defense, if I were offered a new job, and before I started that job someone interviewed me about the details of the job, I would say a lot of silly things in that interview. Hopefully Fr. DiNoia will be learning a lot about theological notes and about what Traditionalists really believe before he reaches the point where he has to make major decisions!”

    ## OTOH, di Noia is one of Ratzinger’s circle. Given his mentor’s shortcomings, his own are unsurprising. Bishops in di Noia’s job have no excuse for making blunders the laity might make; for they meant to know better, and to have graces of their state that we, lacking that state, do not have.

  49. Pingback: More Commentary on Gerhard Ludwig Müller And Other Appointments | The Anglo-Catholic

  50. dspecht says:

    @ Parasum:

    Re Abf.Müller: see my comments there (yes, some might be defendable – but some not, see there).

  51. acardnal says:

    I realize the NCRegister is an American periodical but it’ curious that A.B. diNoia specifically mentions Ralph Martin, an American Catholic evangelist. Hmmmm . . . .