Fr. Hunwicke on “The Big Lie”

I hope hereby to draw the readership’s attention to the blog of Fr. John Hunwicke, Mutual Enrichment (olim “Liturgical Notes“).  In particular Fr. Hunwicke posted two entries:

Since I have often been – much to my amusement – accused of being a crypto-Lefebvrite – the first title caught my eye.  Both entries are worth your attention, as is pretty much everything Fr. Hunwicke posts.

However, in the second entry I found this, which merits a wider audience:

Secondly: Summorum pontificum confirmed juridically that the Latin Church had lived for some four decades under the dominion of a lie. [RIGHT!] The Vetus Ordo had not been lawfully prohibited. Much persecution of devout priests and layfolk that took place during those decades is therefore now seen to have been vis sine lege. For this so long to have been so true with regard to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which lies at the heart of the Church’s life, argues a profound illness deep within the Latin Church. And the Big Lie[™] was reinforced by multitudes of Little Lies[™] … that the Council mandated reordered Sanctuaries … that the Council mandated exclusive use of the vernacular … The de facto situation created by the Big Lie and the Little Lies combined ought not to be regarded as normative. [Do I hear an "Amen!"?] Its questionable parentage must give it a degree of provisionality, even (perhaps especially) to those who find it comfortable to live with. The onslaught upon the Franciscans of the Immaculate suggests that there are those, high in the Church’s administration, who have still internalised neither the juridical findings of Summorum pontificum nor its pastoral call for harmony.

Read the rest there.   His commentary on “conciliar hermeneutics” is also good.

By the way… it really is Summorum Pontificum rather than Summorum pontificum.  Pontifices, referring to Popes of yesteryear, is, in papal documents capitalized.   This can be confusing.  We should write, for example, Lumen gentium and not Lumen Gentium.  On the other hand, we write Sacrosanctum Concilium not Sacrosanctum concilium.  A small point.

Fr. Z kudos to Fr. Hunwicke.

 

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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26 Responses to Fr. Hunwicke on “The Big Lie”

  1. Whoa! What? How long has this elephant been in this room, anyway?

    We need more who tell it like it is. Or as Oliver innocently asked, “May I have more please?”

  2. benedetta says:

    The idea of you being “crypto” – anything, Fr. Z. is to laugh! That’s why you blog, right?

  3. “there are those, high in the Church’s administration, who have still internalised neither the juridical findings of Summorum pontificum nor its pastoral call for harmony.”

    They’ve not yet “internalized” SP? What a masterful example of British understatement! Some high Church officials like those stomping on the Franciscan of the Immaculate evidently are determined to reverse SP and re-impose the Big Lie on the faithful who endured it so long.

  4. torch621 says:

    If I may, Father, it’s not that these folks want a return to the older usage that bothers me, it’s the prevailing current in may traditionalist circles that they’re the only real Catholics left and those who are not traditionalists are not fully Catholic. One cannot deny that this exists, even if it’s not always outright stated. In particular, the term “neo-Catholic” absolutely bothers me, because it carries the implication that you’re not a true Catholic unless you’re a full-throated Traditionalist.

    I think that the term “crypto-Lefebvrite” would likely apply to someone who thinks like that. Archbishop Lefebvre and those who followed him seem to have adopted that idea and it continues in many Traditionalist circles, even some that do not follow SSPX.

  5. Palladio says:

    I love the post, Fr. Z, for which thanks.

    But the labels, so far as they are labels, have got to go. They, including ‘Traditionalist,’ are most uncharitable at best, just plain dumb at worst.

  6. greenlight says:

    I keep hearing that ‘Traditionalists’ (for lack of a better term) have this holier-than-thou, superior attitude towards everyone else. I have yet to see it but I’m assured that it’s there all the same. To be sure I do sense a frustration with tepid and sometimes illicit NO liturgies. And I do sense a longing for timelessness and transcendence and reverence in the Mass that is often lacking in many parishes and maybe that gets misinterpreted as superiority. I’ve mostly been following the debate on the internet. I was born just after V2 and I don’t have much memory of my childhood Masses. I went to an EF Mass a few weeks ago and the only other one I’ve been to was close to 20 years ago. As I feel this desire for more antiquity and richness in the liturgy I find myself sympathizing with the EF crowd and wondering why so many simply can’t wait to tell you everything that’s wrong with them. Maybe I need to get out more.

  7. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Secondly: Summorum pontificum confirmed juridically that the Latin Church had lived for some four decades under the dominion of a lie. ”

    Since to lie is to sin and the Church cannot sin, one must postulate the existence of a Church of Light and a Church of Shadows that coexist in the same region of space. This has the beginnings of a very scary story.

    The Chicken

  8. The Cobbler says:

    This was half of my main takeaway from SP in the first place.

    The other half was that the Novus Ordo isn’t supposed to be some separate rite, although I already knew that, having been to Mass in Latin for years.

  9. The Cobbler says:

    @The Masked Chicken: I kind of assumed the Church was the one being lied to and not the one doing the lying… but I suppose that doesn’t rule out the existence of a counter-church in the same space, and I do love a theoretical physics analogy. Not sure how light and shadow — which is by definition absence of light — can be in the same time and place, though: seems like that would violate the Law of Noncontradiction…

  10. discipulus says:

    Speaking as someone who almost exclusively assists at Mass in the Extraordinary Form and Eastern-Rite liturgies, I must say that I whole-heartedly agree with you, torch621. Very well said:)

  11. @The Masked Chicken: “one must postulate the existence of a Church of Light and a Church of Shadows that coexist in the same region of space.”

    Golly then, apparently the concepts of Matter and Anti-Matter have been prefigurative constructs all along of an allegory of the Holy Church battling an Ape-church of demons.
    And then there’s It-Doesn’t-Matter – those are the uninvolved non-believers that couldn’t care less about this battle of Light and Shadows. This doesn’t take any space at all.

  12. joan ellen says:

    torch621 says:
    Thank you for your words “…it’s the prevailing current…”. I agree with discipulus…torch621…your words are very well said.
    I practically beg my Traditionalist friends…including…SSPX ones…to use their time to pay attention to the Mass and the Sacraments and our Catholic prayers…as isn’t that what primarily separates us from all non-Catholics? I tell them them they already do that, but to do it more…a lot more.
    I want to make a bigger deal out of the Mass…preferably Tridentine…but also Ordinary Form, and the Sacraments…and our Catholic prayers. It is so very easy to get caught up in…well, other stuff.
    I don’t mind being aware of the other stuff, I just don’t want to get caught up in it. It does not convert us nor others. IMHO. We do not reach out that way. And as Fr. Z mentioned in another post…it is time for ecumensim. Thank you Fr. Z.

  13. joan ellen says:

    Sorry for not proofing…
    @ torch621
    Thank you for your words “…it’s the prevailing current…”. I agree with discipulus…torch621…your words are very well said.
    I practically beg my Traditionalist friends…including…SSPX ones…to use their time to pay attention to the Mass and the Sacraments and our Catholic prayers…as isn’t that what primarily separates us from all non-Catholics? I tell them that they already do that, but to do it more…a lot more.
    I want to make a bigger deal out of the Mass…preferably Tridentine…but also Ordinary Form, and the Sacraments…and our Catholic prayers. It is so very easy to get caught up in…well, other stuff.
    I don’t mind being aware of the other stuff, I just don’t want to get caught up in it. It does not convert us nor others. IMHO. We do not reach out that way. And as Fr. Z mentioned in another post…it is time for ecumensim. Thank you Fr. Z.

  14. paulbailes says:

    Great kudos to Benedict XVI for admitting that the TLM had never been outlawed.

    But one can’t say the same about his predecessors. By granting indults for conditional permission to say the TLM (e.g. Paul VI with the “Agatha Christie Indult”, JPII with Quattuor abhinc annos in 1984 end Ecclesia Dei in 1988), they were both complicit in maintaining the “big lie”.

  15. Anyhoo, understanding and acknowledging The Lie, sympathizing with much of what the SSPX stands for, doesn’t make one a Lefebvrist, or an SSPXer [which I am beginning to wonder might not be the same thing anymore]. We can still be Catholic and at the same time recognize The Lie, which is not that the Church lies or changes Her Teaching, but that The Liars make it look like the Teachings have changed by suppressing/hiding what She teaches.

  16. RJHighland says:

    I think there is a need for adjective when you state that you’re a Catholic because there are huge differences in practice and to some extent belief especially when speaking of a Progressive Catholic or Neo-Catholic and Traditional Catholics. Now each of those could be broken out into sub classes but when someone says their Catholic it is almost like a Protestant describing himself when asked what faith he practices he says Christian. All those that pro claim Jesus Christ as Messiah are Christians but with-out an adjective in front of that you have no idea how that person practices his/her faith. Donna Pelosi is a “Catholic” but her and I do not practice or believe anything close to the same religion. There are cultural Catholics, practicing Catholics, dessenting Catholics. How many people have walked into a Catholic Church and witnessed a mass that completely different than anything they have ever seen? Imagine a traditional Catholic walking into a “Teen Life” mass. When the individual is expecting Gregorian Chant and notices a Rock Band setting up as they are praying their Rosary before mass, bit of a shock. Just as well it is an incredible shock to someone raised in a progressive Novus Ordo parish to walk through the doors of a parish that worships in the High mass in the extraoridnary form. Both Catholic but very different. But the thing about the article I like the most is that he comes out and says that the vast majority of the hierachy over the last 40 yrs. has lied to us and purposefully tried to exterminate the traditional form of the Latin Rite Mass. Now who do you’all think wanted to get rid of the Traditional mass God or Satan? Now I’m not saying going to a Novus Ordo is evil there are many incrediblely faithful Catholics that assist at Novus Ordo masses, I am saying those shepherds that have tried to get rid of the TLM could be playing for the other team. Tradition to a progressive is kind of like garlic or a crucifix is to a vampire.

  17. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Not sure how light and shadow — which is by definition absence of light — can be in the same time and place, though: seems like that would violate the Law of Noncontradiction…”

    Well, if space has six dimensions (as the later Kaluza-Klein models of String theory postulated back in the late 1980′s), then the light occupies three dimensions and the shadow occupies the other three :)

    This, by the way, is, exactly, why a joke can appear to be true and false at the same time. It only appears to violate the Law of Non-contradiction.

    Of course, don’t ask me how the shadow snuck into the other three dimensions. The Devil has no sense of humor.

    The Chicken

  18. The Cobbler says:

    Ah, now I see!

    Sounds like your research is going well. I am both impressed and, of course, amused. 8^)

  19. torch621 says:

    @RJHighland
    But I think the notion that someone who isn’t a Traditionalist is somehow defective in their Catholicism is wrong, and you have to admit that that undercurrent is there in more than a few circles.

  20. RJHighland says:

    Just a clarification, attending an SSPX chapel does not make a lay person a member of the SSPX, it is a priestly fraternity that offers the traditional latin mass. Just like a lay person that attends an FSSP chapel is not in the FSSP. One a side note, I personnally believe that until Rome and many of the bishops of the world stop trying to abrigate the TLM it is necessary to have both priestly societies coexisting. As long as the SSPX exists Rome can not do to the FSSP what it has done to the Friars of the Imaculate because many of those faithful that love the TLM would simply go assist at mass offered by the SSPX.

    Torch 621,
    I agree I have seen that attitude and have been guilty myself of it but I also have been the recipient of discrimination and forced compliance with modern novelties by Novus Ordo priests. But this article is about the lie that progressives have been hammering the faithful with for 40 yrs. Who are the bad guys the Traditionalists that have been called schismatics for wanting to maintain something that was never officially abrogated or those denying them the mass and forceably changing the form of worship? A progressive Novus Ordo Parish and a TLM parish are like oil and water, they may both be Catholic but you will never get them to blend together. If one were to use the Sylibus of Errors as a standard for Catholic Doctrine which parish would you think would have higher test scores? The Sylibus of Errors is something that is not in use anymore, I wonder why? Then we get into a discussion on what does it mean to be Catholic. I think Father would call that a rabbit hole.

  21. jjoy says:

    It’s still the Spirit of V2 making the shadow, and the proponents have erected an SEP (Somebody Else’s Problem) field around SP, hoping that if they continue to ignore it with all their might, perhaps no one else will notice it either….

  22. Vecchio di Londra says:

    I’ve never personally heard anyone say or write that those who attend the NO are not Catholic or not ‘as Catholic’ as those who attend the EF. If that view were ever expressed, it would be generally thought stupid, blinkered, patronising, and ludicrously illogical.

    I have heard some modernists (priests and monks among them too, shamefully enough) express a fearful condemnation of the older rite, and with breathtaking ignorance ascribe a scheduled, orthodox local diocesan celebration of the TLM to ‘the SSPX’, or ‘the Lefebvrists.’ They believe unthinkingly – one might say, superstitiously – that the TLM is invalid or at least ‘weird’, and that its devotees are reactionary separatists. One needs some sense of post-WWII ecclesiastical and social history to understand this wilful and amnesiac ignorance. It is astonishingly widespread.

    I’ve occasionally heard one or other elderly conservative TLM-goer petulantly dismiss the NO as ‘not a proper Mass at all.’ But then they probably have other views as well with which one would not see eye to eye: I wouldn’t regard these inflamed reactions as forming a theological school.

    I have certainly heard many say – and this is a view I happen to share – that the NO is poorly-conceived, lacks the EF’s concentrated and rich liturgical depth, and is open to serious misuse and abuse. That is no judgement on the faith and fidelity of those who attend the NO: which is the form of Holy Mass more generally offered. We frequently have little choice in the matter, after all.

    As long as the matter is left to the personal taste of the bishops and clergy, we shall have a dog’s dinner. That was why SP was so vitally important. And why any Pope who neglects or tries to suppress it would make a terrible and divisive mistake. The people can now tell the difference between bread and a stone.

  23. kiwiinamerica says:

    The most succinct, right-on summary of the problem I’ve ever read.

    “Lived for four decades under the dominion of a lie.” Yesss!!!

    But wait……it’s not over. Shouldn’t it be “four decades and counting??” Isn’t the FFI situation simply a continuation of this lie? And more importantly, if it is indeed a lie, what does this tell us about the current pontificate and its antipathy towards the “rosary counters” and “self-absorbed, Promethean, Neopelagians”??

  24. Palladio says:

    An adjective is not, to my mind, a label, and labels, including the nonsensical ‘Traditionalist,’ are getting us nowhere fast. If I say I am a Roman Catholic–because I am–stricto sensu surely all I have said and can say by that is I participate in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church. That Rite has mostly clearly defined and explained, thanks to the Summorum Pontificorum well known to Fr. Z’s readers–two Forms. If I attend a Novus Ordo Mass, I am no less participating in tradition than if I attend an Extraordinary Form Mass. If you disagree with that claim, take your argument up with Pope Benedict XVI, but please do so very quietly, since the usual claptrap is obviously divisive and un-Catholic (cf. SSPX). The only perfect liturgy, Fr. Cassian of Norcia well puts it, is in heaven. Which ever Form I have available–and I will drive a distance for the EF–I am a Catholic.

    FSSP, the Benedictines of Norcia (who, thanks to Pope Benedict XVI, santo subito!!!!, celebrate both Forms), they are our guides, and of course there are others.

    One Rite, Two Forms: let’s get on with it.

  25. StWinefride says:

    Palladio: One Rite, Two Forms: let’s get on with it.

    I agree with that, but if I call myself a Traditional Catholic it is because I have a need to distinguish myself from other Catholics, whether they go to the Old Rite or New Rite: it’s the all-important LEX VIVENDI.

    I do my best to live out the teachings of the Church and pass these teachings on to my children. By the grace of God, some Catholics are blessed with a very reverent Novus Ordo Mass, solid Catechesis and good homilies, so they too have a good chance of living a truly Catholic life.

    LEX ORANDI, LEX CREDENDI, LEX VIVENDI!

  26. Palladio says:

    StWinefride: I cannot address, nor was I addressing, individual need. I was referring to public claims pretending to make serious sense via labels, which are fatal to the One True Faith.

    “Is Christ divided?”

    Well, His Church is NOT: without Sacred Tradition–is there any other that matters?–there is NO Church. That, however, is as true of one Form as of the other, within the Roman Rite.

    All of the resources within the Church charged with right worship–FSSP, the Benedictines at Norcia are two perfect examples–are growing by leaps and bounds. THEY are getting on with it, they are not angering and estranging others with labels.