The great Bishop of Hong Kong Joseph Card. Zen

A tip of the biretta to NLM.     o{]:¬)

The great Bishop of Hong Kong Joseph Card. Zen.

Happy Easter indeed!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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


  1. Tim Ferguson says:

    Venientes autem venient cum exsultatione, portantes manipulos suos!

  2. Kimberly says:

    Kneeling, on-the-tonge, gold chalice, communion patten, beautiful vestments, the holy hands of the priest. Priceless

  3. TJM says:

    What a beautiful MANIPLE! Ineffable. Tom

  4. Jack says:

    I want kneelers !!!

  5. irishgirl says:

    Wonderful to see…God bless His Eminence!

  6. LCB says:

    The Lion of Hong Kong.

    That man is fearless.

  7. PMcGrath says:

    Just one word:


    On a further note:

    Yesterday, I had lector duty at my parish. The lector has a reserved spot in the first pew on the right hand side. So there was a visitor next to me, an older fellow with a cane, who asked me, “Would you be able to help me with communion? I can’t walk.” I said, “Sure,” knowing that one of the communion stations would be right in front of his face.

    However, as the gears in my brain spun during Mass, this thought came through: If my new elderly friend can’t walk, it’s going to be a royal pain for the rest of the pew. I wonder how we’re going to work it out?

    Sure enough, the pastor came out for distribution, and I pointed out to him my new elderly friend. He received, kneeling. Then, in a fit of inspiration, he did the entire front pew, kneeling.

    Man, I was pumped.

    Ironically, the only one who didn’t kneel for communion was me — because I stood up, went to the other priest (on tongue), and was prepared to assist the others — only to find myself smiling at my pastor’s inspiration.

  8. lkfl says:

    This picture is from the EF Mass he celebrated for Easter yesterday. I heard about this several weeks ago from the Tridentine Latin Mass Association of Hong Kong, but I haven’t seen any other coverage so far. What a shame. And not that it needs to be said even more, but those sure are pretty vestments!

    Please keep HK (and mainland China especially) in your prayers. The two special administrative regions are the only places in the country where there is any semblance of religious freedom.

  9. Mark says:

    As much as I, as a white American of Western European descent, love the traditional Roman Rite…I can’t help but feel that there is something incredibly sad about the people of another civilization, especially one with such a rich culture of it’s own, using the rite of a people on the other side of the world instead of having been allowed to develop their own.

    Assimilationism is always a tragic thing to see. People should be proud of their own culture, and the Faith is certainly able to take on the garb of any. Not by “dressing up” the Novus Ordo in the local externals, but by true, traditional, organic development of local rites, suited to the “iconographic language” of that locality.

    These pictures, to me, are as awkward and humiliating looking to me as when they dressed the native Tasmanians in Victorian garb: Fil…_aborigines.jpg

    Well, full-blooded Tasmanians were extinct within one generation of that photo being taken, so it goes to show you where this sort of colonialist assimilationism leads for a culture!

    It’s culturally castrating, like when the Native American children werent allowed to learn their own languages, or when immigrant parents refuse to teach their children their ancestral tongue. It represents a psychological imperialism by the West, and insecurity the Church should not be supporting.

    Now, all that being said, at a certain point, the Latin Rite DID become traditional for Chinese Catholics, tradition being measured only in a human lifetime, after all. And as long as that tradition remained truly ingrained, it would for me take precedence to any of the “theory” discussed above. If that’s what those people came to know and love, then even if it was originally the result of a colonialist or imperialist mindset on the part of the Latin Rite missionaries at the time…changing it would not be worth the destabilization once it truly took root and had been “grandfathered” into their own rhythm of life. After all, we can’t go back and redress every wrong in history, there is a certain statute of limitations, as it were, after which the status quo IS traditional by definition.

    But…seeing as the Novus Ordo has made the traditional Roman Rite largely fall out of memory in much of the world, it might be best, when the Restoration comes…to restore the Latin Rite in Western Europe, but then take the opportunity the rupture offers…to encourage other places to use rites developed from rites more proper to their theoretical geographic patriarchate, as they theoretically should have in the first place.

    It would make much more sense for China to use some sort of rite developed from the Syriac rites of India.

    Certainly trying to restore the Latin when continuity has already been lost is hearkening back to the “Latin Rite Colonialism” that I dont think we should try to restore. To most of these people today, the Old Latin Rite is no more traditional, on a personal level, than a Syro-Chinese Rite would be. And yet the latter would be more geographically proper…so, why not? Except that I suspect many trads still have evangelization confused with some sort of Europeanization.

    Since we have something of a clean slate from all the liturgical chaos…it may be an opportunity to not simply reproduce the wrongs of the past or try to simply bring the world back to how it was in, say, the Fifties…but rather to restore tradition according to how it always should have been but which the inertia at the time wouldnt have allowed.

  10. Justin says:

    Mark: as an ethnic Chinese, I could not disagree with your post more, and it saddens me to think that there are those who love and appreciate the EF, who understands its riches and its superiority, and yet would want to deny it to their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ on account of their background.

    The Roman Mass, as celebrated from the ancient times, codified at Trent, and reaffirmed by Benedict XVI gloriously reigning, is not the property of Europe or the old heartlands of Catholicism alone any longer. Rather it is a treasure and a gift from God to the whole world, and we Chinese treasure it just as much as our counterparts in Italy from where it originates. We too feel a deep sense of belonging and affection of the EF, and it is much a part of our history and our culture (yes) as it is yours. St Gregory the Great, St Francis Xavier, the Saints of the Canon – those are as much our predecessors as they are yours.

    The suggestion that the TLM does not belong to us Chinese, who have such a great love for it, shocks me.

  11. Rancher says:

    Outstanding post!

  12. Great close-up! But what a contrast between the Cardinal, his vestments, and a Communion rail compared to the background building.

  13. MAJ Tony says:


    Given the concept of “organic change” or “hermeneutics of continuity” it would make no sense to transition from a Roman Rite form to a Syriac Rite form. That would cause **way more confusion** that to transition one way or another between the two forms of the Roman Rite or something in between.

  14. David C says:

    I agree with Mark insofar as I regret that the Jesuits were not allowed to translate the Mass into Chinese in the 17th century. Then we might have seen a traditional Chinese Mass develop organically.

    However, to compare us Chinese Catholics with aboriginal Tasmanians is inapt (some might say insulting), and to suggest that they should worship according to a Syriac rite from India instead of the Roman rite is historically inaccurate.

    China was never colonized by Western powers like Tasmania was. It was subjected to them to a humiliating degree in the 19th century, but not when Catholicism arrived in China. As for the modern period — if you look at a picture of the president of China today, most likely you will see him dressed in a Western business suit. No one would say that he had been dressed up that way by Western imperialists, or predict that the Chinese people will go extinct within a generation! No one is forcing him to wear that suit. And if a Westerner says that he ought to dress more like a Chinese, isn’t that just as sad as if he says that he ought to dress more like a European? So if the people of Hong Kong want to worship according to the Latin rite and the Latin-rite bishop of Hong Kong wants to celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form, some Westerner might find that sad, but why does his opinion matter?

    For the same reason, for Chinese Catholics to worship according to the Syrian rite would be much more foreign than worshipping according to the Latin rite. Cultural distance is not the same as geographic distance. One could argue that the Assyrians reached China first, but they vanished in China many centuries ago, and in any case had more adherents among ethnic Mongols than Han Chinese.

  15. Fr Andrew Wadsworth says:

    God bless this outstanding hero of the Catholic faith ! I had the great honour of meeting Cardinal Zen some years ago when he was in Westminster to address Aid to the Church in Need. Like the present Holy Father, he combines personal holiness and love of the Church with great courage in proclaiming the truth. He is such an inspiration – please God his example will bear fruit in the strengthening of the Chinese Church.

  16. Noel says:

    love the fine pattern and, presumably, needlework

  17. J. Wong says:

    I also agree with you. God bless!

  18. Salesian Past Pupil says:

    As a past pupil of a high school run by the Salesian fathers, it is a point of pride that the Church has appointed Salesians in very promiment roles, e.g. Cardinals Bertone and Amato. Father Z’s friend, the fair minded and ubiquitous journalist, John Allen, Jr. wrote a great column for NCR about the Salesians after Cdl. Bertone was appointed Secretary of State –,%202006.pdf – Happy Easter season!

  19. Salesian Past Pupil says:

    The relevance of my previous post is that Cardinal Zen is a Salesian =)

  20. Mark says:

    First of all, remember that I admitted that however un-ideal the overstepping of the Western patriarchate from its geographical bounds…the fact is that is how it happened, and if the rite became traditional for the Chinese, then it is traditional and shouldnt be touched.

    However, it is arguable whether the TLM is really personally traditional for most Latin Rite Catholics in the world today. If not (and based on my experiences bringing young cradle Catholics to the Old Rite for the first time…they see it as practically unrecognizable, all “hermeneutic” of alleged continuity aside)…then that rupture may be an opportunity to fix some problems with the traditional set up (and they existed for sure) which, previously, I would be inclined not to touch because of the pre-existing inertia. That inertia IS gone, and anything we do is going to be a Restoration. So, the question is…must we simply restore what it was like before? Or can we use it as an opportunity to return to a somewhat alternate traditional model; the traditionalism that “could have been,” as it were?

    As for the Chinese wearing business suits, that DOES disturb me. It is part of the Anglo-Amero-Protestantization of the world. It is part of Globalization. Sure, no one is “forcing” them to do that. But the fact is the reasons they are doing it are quite obvious; it’s part of assimilation, it’s part of trying to prove (to themselves and to us) that they can be modern and advanced and Western-like too. I mean, we know that’s why people in the Japanese parliament still wear victorian dress-code. It started as a sort of Uncle Tommish cargo-cultism. And it is deeply disturbing to see a people psychologically insecure about their own culture like that. It’s a form of cultural self-loathing or ambivalence. Assimilation should be resisted. We should be proud of ethnic dress. The yoke of the harlot Victoria must be throne off all of us at last!

    The fact is, that part of Asia is really within the patriarchate of Antioch. Perhaps parts of it should be Byzantine through Russia. But certainly not Roman. Of course, since the Orthodox split off, the Latin was the only significant rite with missionaries to spare. But they could have been respectful enough to become bi-ritual, learn the most local rites possible and set up their jurisdictions according to the proper patriarchate…after all, they were expecting their converts to learn a whole new religion and language!

    The Latin Rite is NOT “meant for the whole world”. Rites are inherently local. The situation of the Latin Rite being a sort of “international rite”…besides being one of the things that eventually led to the removal of all the quaint Rome-specific things in the New Rite…is a fluke. It is the result of specific historical circumstances of the Second Millenium that we should try to rectify when going into the Third.

    To view the Roman Rite as the default “global” rite as most Catholics seem to, is incredibly un-subsidiary, and offensive to the East. It is one rite among many, meant for the Patriarchate which includes Western Europe, the Americas by default, and possibly it could be argued Australia. But Asia and Africa are the clear provinces of Antioch and Alexandria, and the other opinion has been nothing but allied with colonialist mindsets.

  21. Mark, as a minority language rights activist I am a very staunch opponent of Americanization and entirely agree with most of what you said. However if you take some of it to its logical extension then surely the TLM is far from the ideal for many countries even within the Latin patriarchiate, and the ancient rites of not least the British Isles ought also to be revived.

  22. David C says:

    Mark, how do you figure that the Americas should belong to the Latin Rite? I thought I read somewhere that in the Nicene division of the world into three patriarchates, newly-discovered lands would go by default to the patriarch of Antioch and All the East. But I could be mistaken. In terms of geographic distance, it looks to me like South America should go to Alexandria and South Africa certainly should. And Australia should go to Antioch.

    As for the lost inertia of the TLM…..actually, in mainland China I believe there IS still inertia because the reforms of Vatican II were not implemented there for a long time. Beijing’s cathedral, for example, has a daily TLM.

    Mark, I don’t know whether you are Chinese or not, but I observe that there are three Chinese people here (Justin, J. Wong, and myself) basically agreeing that if Cardinal Zen wants to celebrate the TLM, he is affirming his heritage, not denying it. Why shouldn’t he have the freedom to do so?

  23. Erin says:

    PMcGrath – nearly the exact same thing happened at my parish yesterday, except the person in the reserved seat at the end was an usher, not a lector. Hopefully this will catch on!

  24. dominic1962 says:

    First of all, this whole idea of the poor native who has been culturally raped by the Roman Rite is really a backhanded paternalism. Also, isn’t there something really paternalistic about telling Chinese businessmen that they shouldn’t be wearing Western suits? Does the white man know better that the yellow man should be dressed in a Mao suit or other more suitable Celestial silk attire? It is much the same as the liberal while liturgists who think Spanish Mass needs to be mariachis and all sorts of other nonsense. Go to Mexico or other Hispanic countries-the “Spanish Mass” often found in the U.S. is just a liturgist innovation. Maybe we need to introduce pistol shots in the air and yelling to replace that colonial slave yolk of the handbell at the elevations.

    Secondly, could you imagine letting some Bishops’ Conferences have the green light to create a local Rite? That is sheer idiocy. The liberals would have a field day making up their own “relevant” neo-neo-Gallican liturgies packed with all sorts of false inculturation and nonsensical liturgical kitsch. To allow the development of new Rites now would be almost universally liturgical suicide. The development of Rites was possible in the day when even schismatics and heretics had to good sense to maintain a traditional sense of liturgy. Such is not the case today. There is nothing like Indian bellydancers in an Ambrosian cathedral or 8 or 9 different languages being used for the readings in the heart of the Latin Church is there?

    Furthermore, if Asia and Africa are really under the sphere of Antioch and Alexandria, they have done a pathetic job of spreading their Rites. Granted, the Muslims took them over, but why didn’t Ethiopia spread the Coptic Rites to Africa? Why didn’t the St. Thomas Christians go past India? No, Rome has to ride to the rescue and bring the world to Christ. The Roman Rite brought much of the world to Christ and there have been cultural embelishments on it or the devotions surrounding it-at least before the debacle in the post-Vatican II world. Actually, I’m all for the spread of the other Rites but even in that effort, it would be Rome that would have to provide the muscle and money for it to succeed.

    I’m completely happy that Roman Rite missionaries introduced the Latin Rite to my ancestoral Poland and basically ended up wiping out the pre-Christian culture. Same with various other pagan cultures. We inculturated them as much as possible and destroyed what was bad. Deus vult.

  25. David C says:

    I should be clear and say that, obviously, if Chinese Catholics around the world came to church one Sunday to find that their Mass was all in Latin, they would feel pretty annoyed, not affirmed. On the other hand, if someone took away all their “Western” rosaries, they would be pretty annoyed too.

    Mr. O’Neill: you don’t mean that celebrating the TLM is Americanization, do you? I think Americanization is singing “I Love You and You are Mine” translated into Mandarin. Ancient ritual, flowing robes, incense, chanting, and bowing seem to me very unamerican and typically (perhaps stereotypically) Chinese.

  26. Maureen says:

    In other news, all the English have decided to get in touch with their own ethnic heritage by wearing woad to work tomorrow. “Business suits are oppressive signs of assimilation, since they were developed by the French fashion industry. Naked and blue is better for you.”

    And now you know why blue was a liturgical color in the Sarum Use….

  27. Mark says:

    Shane, yes, I do believe that local western rites should be revived. And, frankly, everything I say would HELP ecumenism with the Orthodox, which is the only ecumenism with any chance of accomplishing anything.

    Orthodoxy very much agrees with the sorts of things I’m saying, and in fact “Western Orthodoxy” (under the jurisdiction of Antioch oddly) has already reconstructed medieval Western Rites being said.

    Rome has to make a choice. Talk out both sides of their mouths while
    really just trying to maintain the status quo as long as possible, or pick a better model and radically commit to it. Right now, we’ve got the former.

    As for the Americas, DavidC, note I said “by default”. That’s just how it happened and I see no overriding theory that would suggest any other solution would make any sense. The Americas were reached coming from the West, not the East, and were evangelized (and colonized, for better or worse) by the Western Europeans.
    There could be nothing even remotely close to a native Native American Rite, obviously, so in that case, it really was whoever got their first. In practice if not in theory. However, it might make sense to base the American Rites on the native Spanish and Portuguese (and possibly French and English in some places) Latin Rites instead of the Roman. Italy didnt colonize anything here.

    As for Cardinal Zen, I think he certainly has the “freedom” to do so if he chooses. But to me it just screams cultural identity crisis to see a Chinese Catholic cardinal wearing baroque vestments and saying Mass in Latin. It’s like…he really has just become an agent of Western Civilization and Europeanization, just exactly like the Chinese accuse the Church of being and therefore repress it. The Church must disentangle herself from the monster “Western Civilization” however much a role Catholics might have had in
    creating it during the Renaissance in the first place. It is a suffocating (and, at this point, evil) meta-narrative that should
    be put down with a vengeance.

    Dominic, I am aware of the “backhanded paternalism” dynamic and want to be careful to avoid it. The Chinese specifically, in my mind, are anything but “poor natives” exactly because they had a rich civilization of their own. At the time missionaries reached them, they were probably more civilized than Europe! Greco-Roman culture was “baptized” and in many ways adopted pretty much wholesale. That a similar model wasnt used for China doesnt make sense, except it makes perfect sense in the logic of Europeanization. I dont know enough about Chinese culture to make
    any specific proposals. I wouldnt dare suggest pagoda churches or jade vessels or anything petty like that just based on stereotypes. But I know that what we see is certainly not baptized Chinese culture in any pure sense. It’s baptized-and-then-Latinized.

    Could I imagine letting local rites develop today?? Interesting question. Certainly there’d be no such thing as a “local bishops’ conference” in my ideal world! It would have to be from the bottom up, not the top down, something I fear hyper-unsubdiary Rome-centralized Catholics cant even begin to imagine anymore. But if anyone could do it, it would be the persecuted Chinese, who
    probably would still have the good sense to maintain orthodoxy and proper aesthetics in their innovations. How organic development happens/happened is something that needs to be further studied, but also needs a certain amount of experimentation that I think we are (perhaps rightly) uncomfortable with today. But I’d trust the
    Chinese with it in a way I wouldnt trust, say, Americans or Europeans.

    Your second to last paragraph shows the Latin Rite hubris that just convinces me I’ve been right all along, as that’s exactly the thing I’m talking about. The other rites didnt spread as much for many reasons including, yes, Islam, and also the lack of a history of colonialism, forced-conversion, and exploitationism that Europe inherited from the Roman Empire. The Americas were converted (and in God’s Providence, they were, so, yes, in some sense, Deus Vult) but only because 90% of the natives were wiped out! Not to discount Our Lady of Guadalupe or whatever, but that was in many ways after the fact and is used by some as a thought stopping cliche to put a pretty spin on what was not so pretty.

  28. wsxyz says:

    To me, Mark’s post above seems almost racist. Dominic1962’s description of it as “backhanded paternalism” is right on the money.

    What if one were to claim that Yo Yo Ma is disgracing himself and his race by playing a cello — something he would certainly never do if not for evil western imperialism?

    What makes me incredibly sad to see people who “love the Traditional Roman Rite” so infected with postmodern liberal ideology that they spout off this kind of crap.

  29. wsxyz says:

    Mark’s latest post makes it clear that he is a convinced segregationist.

    “No drinking at this water fountain, sir – it’s for Europeans only. The Chinese water fountain is over there. And don’t worry, I won’t try to drink at your water fountain either (yuck!)”

  30. Joe says:

    Mark, if Orthodoxy agreed with you then the Patriarchate of Moscow and the Ecumenical Patriarchate would not be competing over the local churches in Asia, and over the correct interpretation and application of the 28th canon of the 4th Ecumenical synod. Do you think that the countless western missionaries in Africa and Asia should have prepared people for baptism and then handed them over to the Orthodox? or do you prefer the Catholic Patriarchs of Antioch and Alexandria? if that is so, in terms of Alexandria, do you prefer the Melkite Patriarch or the Coptic Catholic Patriarch?

    I think you have overlooked the essentially oriental origins of western Christian forms. Strongly influenced by Roman style, yes, but still basically Judaic and Greek.

    As you say, the Western rite is “oddly” under Antioch. It seems to me that you have taken a few strands of historical ecclesialogy and stretched them far beyond what they were useful for.

  31. Rose says:

    Re Mark’s comments: funny that I should think the opposite: to the Chinese sensibility in things sartorial, there is something vaguely satisfying and familiar in traditional liturgical vestments. Maybe because of the elaborate embroidery, the rich sheen of silk, the symbolic patterns, the use of garments to express one’s role and authority, etc. etc. all dominant features in classical Chinese dress.

  32. Mitch_WA says:

    Mark is a Troll, the same thing was posted under the name Trenty over at NLM. He is just trying to cause trouble. Ignore him, don’t give him the attention he wants.

    Missionaries spred their rites to the area’s they mission to. There were russian orthodox missionaries to China, they weren’t as sucessful, but there are Russian churches their. TO me this issue is a non-starter. There are small area’s in South America that were missioned to by Byzntine Priests, those areas are still Byzantine Catholic. Is that wrong because that area is in the area under the jusisdiction of the Western Church??? Should the Byzantines here in the US become Latin because that is the area they live in??? People are now more moble, so they take their culture and particular version of the faith with them. The idea that a right should only exist within its cultural area is not as important as it once was because of the moblity of people today, their is a primary rite in each region but that does not mean it should be exclusive. The missionaries should represent the faith in the way they know, not change it because they are in an area that could have been in another patriarch’s jurisdiction.

    “As for the” Italians “wearing business suits, that DOES disturb me. It is part of the” Germanization “of the world.” “Sure, no one is “forcing” them to do that. But the fact is the reasons they are doing it are quite obvious; it’s part of assimilation, it’s part of trying to prove (to themselves and to us) that they can be modern and advanced and” German-like “too. I mean, we know that’s why people in the Italian parliament still wear” german clothing clothing like pants and shirts.” It started as a sort of Uncle Tommish cargo-cultism. And it is deeply disturbing to see a people psychologically insecure about their own culture like that. It’s a form of cultural self-loathing or ambivalence. Assimilation should be resisted. We should be proud of ethnic dress. The yoke of the harlot” Germania “must be throne off all of us at last!”

    Just thought a little creative editing was in need on what you said Mark. Because it bothers me that the Romans assimilated many northern European customs, traditions, and other cultural things after Rome fell. I mean the Roman/Italian Senate should still wear Sentorial Robes right. The mixing of cultures and inter-development of cultures is just plain wrong, cultures should stay frozen in time right? Culture should be a museum piece!

    Come on! So rediculous Mark!

    Cultures should mix, interdevelop, the mixing of cultures gives us new creative cultural forms over time. There is nothing wrong with that. The romans exproted Catholicism to Germania, the Germans came and added their traditions to it over time (like Saying the Nicine Creed during Mass). SO we should now look forward to this cultural exchange between Latin Catholicism and the Chinese culture and spirituality (which B16 said we may be able to learn much from). It is exciting to think of how China a land of deep traditions may add many more riches to the traditions of the Church, and how the Church may add many wonderful treasures to Chinese culture.

    Sorry for getting all excited about this (especially after I said we shouldn’t… mea culpa.)

  33. Anglican Use girl Mary says:

    I love the pre-Trent local uses, especially as my parish is Anglican Use. But such things could only develop rightly in a culture completely based on and filled with the Faith. That’s why Trent made everyone follow the Roman Use; with the rise of Protestantism, the culture of Europe was no longer fully based on the Faith. It’s a tragedy, but it happened, and the Church had to respond.

    Since China was evangelized after Trent, and China has never yet experienced a period of fully Catholic culture, the Roman Use of the Roman Rite is what’s called for. And if they *were* develop a more inculturated liturgy, it would not mean they would have to revert to pre-contact-with-the-West Chinese culture. They would inculturate the Faith with the salutary elements of whatever Chinese culture will be in this hypothetical future time when China’s culture may become Catholic through and through.

    To use my Use as an example, the Anglican Use is based on the pre-Reformation, pre-Trent Use of Sarum, but it’s not exactly like Sarum, because it isn’t aimed at/developed by medieval British people anymore, it’s aimed at/developed by Episcopalians who have come into the Church. Similarly, a Chinese Use now would and should not be aimed at the Chinese of a hundred years ago.

    I note that by Mark’s logic, I shouldn’t be allowed to attend an Anglican Use parish because I’m not a former Episcopalian. I guess by his reckoning I’d have to follow the Texas-born-Catholic-who-lapsed-into-a-Puritanical-Paschasianism-returned-to-the-Faith-upon-understanding-better Rite.

  34. Mitch_WA says:

    I gotta agree with Mary. I really wish that Trent hadn’t killed off so many uses of the Roman Right, BUT it was needed to deal with Protestantism. If China became a thuroughly Catholic Country (which in the long run would not suprise me) then it would be cool if a Chinese Use of the Roman rite developed, but it is too risky to have that much local variaty when the Orthodox are still off in a schismatic state from Rome, and the protestant communities are in an often heritical and/or schismatic state from Rome.

    Also antiquarianism for the sake of itself is no good. Look to the traditions that have developed you should not shelve everything to return to the ancient past. Bringing somethings forward is fine, but shelving the whole system to get to an earlier system is bad for joe or jane lay person that much change can be tramatizing for their faith.

  35. Said nothing of the sort, Mr C.

    Mary: “That’s why Trent made everyone follow the Roman Use”
    No it didn’t. The reason why the older liturgies in the British Isles fell into disuse was because persecution forced British and Irish priests to be trained at continental seminaries.

  36. C Law, Jr. says:

    As the organiser of Cardinal Zen’s Mass last Sunday, I am quite thrilled to see how it sparked such invigorating exchange of ideas. I personally wish to see more the flourishing of the traditional Chinese virtues of humility, obedience, reverence, and diligence as fruits of the usus antiquior among the faithful who attend the EF Masses in Hong Kong, regardless of its externally western-looking apparel. At first I have wanted the choir to sing a Missa Laudis (written 1962 by a Chinese composer, lyrics in Latin) in distinct Chinese style rather than Victoria’s Missa O Magnum Mysterium, and using the Chinese fabric vestments rather than the high Mass set you saw on the photos. BUT, it would have invited more bleak criticism from among our Chinese faithful than you can imagine. So, I think we did what we did in good faith. Btw, Byrd and Palestrina are quite pleasing to our ears, methinks. God bless.

  37. Anglican Use girl Mary says:


    Yes, I know the British Isles would have lost their Uses anyway because their rulers became Protestant. But Trent did ordain the Roman Use for everyone, except if the different liturgical practices went back 200 years or more. That’s what saved the Ambrosian Rite, and that one in Toledo (I don’t remember the name) as well as the Uses of some religious orders. But lots of local Uses, in France particularly, were lost.

    Now, when the hierarchy was reestablished in England, Rome gave them the option of returning to Sarum Use, but they were eager to prove themselves good *Roman* Catholics and declined.

  38. Dr. Eric says:

    By Mark’s logic, I should stop performing acupuncture and prescribing Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang to my patients who are fatigued since I am mostly German with some Irish, Serb, and American Indian blood. The only Chinese in me is what goes in my mouth when I visit the Hunan Garden.

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought that in some regions of China the Mass was in the local dialect but the Oracle Bone Characters (jia gu wen) were used in the books instead of the clerical (li shu)or standard script (kai shu).

  39. tertullian says:

    Justin, you’ve defined in many ways what it means to be Catholic.

Comments are closed.