PODCAzT 48: Athanasius on Mary and Christ; Gamber, Schuler and turned around altars

In this first PODCAzT of a new year of salvation, and the first in a long time, we hear from that lion of bishops, St. Athanasius (+373), about the Blessed Virgin and the true humanity of Christ. 

We talk about January, and where the word comes from and hear the Christmas Martyrology reading.

In a retrospect, we will drill into what Msgr. Klaus Gamber said about turned around altars and what Msgr. Schuler wrote back in 1993 in Sacred Music about the lies told about the requirements of the the post-Conciliar liturgical reforms.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Irulats says:

    This is a wonderful podcazt father. I hope many priests get a chance to hear it. It was worth waiting for. Thanks be to God for your wonderful gifts and that you use them as you do.

  2. Henry Edwards says:

    Father Z: I have listened to all 48 podcazts so far. If I could choose just one for every priest and bishop to hear and ponder, this might well be it. As we look janus-like both forward and backward, thanks for a podcazt fully worthy of the wonderful year 2007 of Summorum Pontificum, and of our hopes and prayers for the continued success of Benedict’s “Marshall plan” in 2008. Truly, “Happy days are here again!”

  3. Pleased as Punch says:

    Dear Fr. Z,

    The new Roman Martyrology (2004) has a somewhat different text at the beginning of the Christmas reading. I don’t have it in front of me, but, as I recall, the ordinal numerals given in connection with the the years of the creation and the flood have been replaced with indefinite adjectives modifying centuries ( *innumerabilibus saeculis* since the creation, and *permultis saeculis* since the flood, I think). I believe the rest of the ordinal numerals are either the same or nearly so. It’s interesting how the Church modifies her account of the physical universe in accordance with the most contemporary accounts provided by natural science. It’s only sensible, I guess, but it is curious that an official liturgical text once told us that the world was about 5200 years old when Jesus was born. It seems like an easy potshot for critics of the Church to make.

  4. Jordan Potter says:

    Is it only in the 2004 Roman Martyrology that the traditional Kalends of Christmas were edited to remove the specific chronological numbers for the age of the world and the year of the Flood? I became a Catholic in 2000, and every year since then I’ve seen that indefinite language in the Christmas Kalends. I would expect the previous edition of the Roman Martyrology had the same language.

    I too find it interesting that the Church formerly was so specific in her liturgy about the age of our world. Granted, a liturgical text is not a formal teaching document, but even so, the liturgy is to convey and enshrine the faith of the Church.

    The figure of 5,200 years, by the way, seems to be based on the Septuagint chronology, which places the creation of Adam around 5,500 years before Christ. That figure of 5,500 was very popular in the early Church, and appears in several places, including the fictitious Gospel of Nicodemus. Anyway, I’ve long been fascinated that the Septuagint chronology would place the Flood around 3,300 years before Christ. The Masoretic chronology would date the Flood to historical times, but 3300 B.C. is safely prior to the emergence of written records around 3100 B.C.

  5. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Many dates in Sacred Scripture are, of course, symbolic. That liturgical texts respect this is laudable. To think that liturgical texts have to be flattened to a scientific outlook is to miss the point altogether.

    No one is denying anything scientific, especially not those who employed those datings in Scripture: they were not trying to be scientists. They were literary giants in their own right, and were inspired as well.

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