A few musings about Card. Levada’s homily in Nebraska

Card. LevadaI am listening to Card. Levada’s homily at the consecration of the new FSSP chapel in Nebraska.

A few things popped out at me.

First, I think it very interesting that he mentioned Anglicanorum coetibus in this talk.

The Cardinal, Prefect of the CDF to be sure, but also the President of the Pontifical Ecclesia Dei, cited a preface for the anniversary of a consecration of a church in the newer missal of Paul VI.  He also mentions that Pope Benedict at the time of Summorum Pontificum spoke of the appropriateness of using Ordinary Form prefaces with the older Extraordinary Form.

Okayyyy… but didn’t the PCED just write that that was not to be done?  Did I miss something?

My first thought is that that clarificatory letter from the PCED to a priest in Poland had to say that for the sake of the talks going on with the SSPX.   There might also be something in the new document about Summorum Pontificum which is is preparation, some regulation of the same.  Until then, don’t do it. 

Also, he raised the point that I made the other day: priests aren’t ordained for a book.  Fine.  But did he really have to press the point of the Ordinary Form in that context? Why not just let their day be their day?  That would be my main point of concern.

I very much liked his contrast of the "dustiness" of the Gospel story, about Zacchaeus up in his tree, and the splendor of the rites.  He also explains that the use of the story of Zacchaeus is appropriate because the Lord eventually goes to Zacchaeus’ house.  Salvation came to his house. 

His dictis it was a great honor for the FSSP and all those who embrace also a traditional form of the sacraments that the Cardinal was present, representing as it were the Holy Father for this occasion.

Also, someone tell the announcers that the man’s name is pronouced Le-VAY-da, not Le-VAH-da.  His name comes from Portuguese.

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  1. Sedgwick says:

    Ever read what was said about Cardinal – then Archbishop – Levada in “Priest, Where is Thy Mass”?

  2. JohnMa says:

    I was very disappointed with the sermon by His Eminence. The theme that he weaved throughout the whole sermon was that he thought that we should be bringing parts of the 2002 MR into the 1962 MR. He then went on to lecture the FSSP about the OF and the EF and how they must be seen as the same act. (Which of course is correct, in both the Body and Blood of Christ is brought to the altar.) However, I don’t think that it was neccesary. He then decided to take a not so veiled shot at the SSPX. There was absolutely no need for that.

    Maybe I was seeing things but when the camera panned the Choir a few times during the sermon I thought I could see the distaste for the sermon in the faces of the priests and seminarians present.

    (Cross posted from other post)

  3. sacerdosinaeternum says:

    I thought it was both curious and interesting. He definitely had some money quotes for the FSSP about the mission given to them by the Holy Father in these times. At the same time, he did- as usual- take a “middle of the road approach” to all that he said. Certainly not a homily of the Holy Father. Still, not terrible.

  4. I found the part about the Prefaces very confusing, or maybe it was the letter from Ecclesia Dei that was confusing…I really don’t know any more about what to think about any of this. But then again, I’m in Toronto and we’ve just lost the…oh, nevermind, it’s just too, too painful…but at least we have had the beauty of their presence and we can rejoice for them this day and for the ones we met and got to know while they were here, and our own Toronto area young man that is there at the Seminary. But inside, we are in deep mourning, in this our long Lent without them. Maybe in seven years, he’ll come home to us but in the meantime, it still hurts on what we’ve lost, what we had and what we could have had.

    Fiat voluntas tua!

  5. wolfeken says:

    I thought the homily by the cardinal was extremely inappropriate.

    It was like he went to someone’s wedding and started chastising a devout bride and groom in the middle of the ceremony.

    That was neither the time nor the place for such a rude homily.

  6. Jon says:

    I saw the performance. Talk about sour grapes.

    His Eminence left his manners back in Rome, or maybe San Francisco.

    Anyway, since his mother’s probably no longer with us to do the job, when he gets home, the Pope should spank him.

  7. DCtrad says:

    JohnMa –

    Well said John…

    Indeed, I could not help but feel unexplainable crash from the climbing elevation of satisfying justice God was finally getting in the reverence due to his house. The sermon seemed so disgustingly sobering almost saying something of the effect : come off your high tree “this liturgy is no different of better then any modern one.”

    Now I have been meditating with holy terror at the words now spoken by his eminence :

    “the two forms of usage of the Roman Rite can mutually enrich each other. …. “Summorum Pontificum”

    How can this happen “mutually” when the Traditional Latin Mass is celebrated as this one is to be Traditionally, Historically, Culturally, Reverently, Artistically, Theologically, a FAR, FAR, FAR more PURE external expression in Christendom?

  8. Jason Keener says:

    I was not impressed with Cardinal Levada’s homily. The entire thing seemed to be offered as some sort of apologetic for the Ordinary Form of the Mass. I can see why the SSPX remains somewhat skeptical about the doctrinal discussions with the Holy See. It seems some in the Roman Curia like Cardinal Levada still harbor a subtle distrust of those in the Church who prefer the Extraordinary Form and prefer living the Faith in more of a traditional way as Catholics did for centuries.

    To some extent, Rome and the SSPX have to both move towards each other and let go of the mutual distrust. The Roman Curia has to take a more positive approach towards traditional Catholic worship, Thomistic theology, etc. On the other hand, the SSPX has to take a more positive approach towards some of the more authentic developments in theology of the recent decades.

  9. Dauphin says:

    What a trite, tiresome sermon. I’ve attended economics lectures that were delivered with more feeling. [That’s a “no” vote.]

  10. Rose in NE says:

    Some of his comments certainly put a damper on what was otherwise a very beautiful day. Seems to me this was not the appropriate venue for a lecture.

    I did appreciate his explanation of the story of Zacchaeus and why it was fitting to this occasion.

  11. DetJohn says:

    I find it intresting that Cardinal Levada is in the USA and mentions Anglicanorum Coetibus at the consecration of the FSSP Chapel. This at the same time that the Traditional Anglicans USA ask for full admission to the Catholic Church.

  12. patergary says:

    I just missed the video of the new FSSP seminary chapel, where can I find the video or are they going to do an encore? what time?

  13. I expected better from His Eminence.

  14. gloriainexcelsis says:

    My satellite dish allowed me to see and hear Cardinal Levada’s sermon. While I gritted my teeth at so much of it, I wasn’t really surprised. I did feel that it was inappropriate for the day. But, what a beautiful and inspiring ceremony.

  15. maynardus says:

    No class!

    I think you said it very politely, Father – it was indeed a great honor to have a cardinal representing the Holy Father present. Unfortunately Cardinal Levada felt unable to let his presence speak for itself, he had to interject his own personality into things. Sounds like he’s read too many of those books by Huck, Hovda, et al…

  16. ghlad says:

    At 14:30 – “The tear in the fabric of unity evidenced by those that would reject Vatican II as the work of the Holy Spirit must be repaired by loyal testimony to the living tradition of the church in accord with the directives of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.”

    It’s such a good message, but said so poorly. It feels like the reference to “living tradition” was a buzz word thrown in just to make people uncomfortable, especially at such a glorious day for FSSP.

    When the SSPX decided to reject and usurp the See of Rome, those who were disciplined and knew that such a schismatic act was wildly scandalous and destructive fled from them. The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter has been nothing but obedient and listened to every word from Rome. (Correct me if I’m wrong, I simply have never heard anything indicating any sort of tension or pulling away from obedience to Rome.) So therefore it seems out of place that Cardinal Levada would use such references and warnings.

    When he talks about the Charism of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, his remarks also seem… obfuscated. Being masters of the 1962 Missal secures a very small but very rich and potent salvific nugget of the Church’s arsenal against Satan. Keeping one of your best weapons safely guarded is hardly a poor decision, tactically speaking, for the Church Militant. Furthermore, I’ve also never heard anything from FSSP’ers to indicate that they are at war with the Novus Ordo.

    I just… yeah… I’m not sure, from what I heard in the podcast above (thanks, Fr.Z!) it just struck me as very weird and odd that he would choose to make those comments. Like it comes across as being defensive or belying an interior unease with the goals of the Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Petri.

  17. ghlad says:

    (Pardon the double post, but I just had a mental image of an FSSP priest ‘attacking’ an Ordinary Form Mass in California… covertly making his way up the isle towards the alter and then snatching away the Crate & Barrel ‘chalice’ from the alter prior to the Consecration…)

  18. SkiingCatholic2010 says:


  19. paulbailes says:

    “When the SSPX decided to reject and usurp the See of Rome” – what a load of rubbish! (with the greatest of respect)

    1. Blind Freddy could see who’s really “rejecting” what. Do you want a catalog of un-Catholic innovations (altar girls, Communion in the hand, minimalist Eucharistic Prayers, the attempt to suppress the TLM/EF from 1969 to 2007 etc etc etc) that the “See of Rome” endorsed or even promulgated?

    2. Anyone who knows anything about the SSPX would realise that usurpation is the last thing on their mind. As one who identifies with the SSPX position on the crisis, the hardest blow these days is that it is legitimate authority that persecutes us, and we are forced to resist. It would be nice and relieving to think that the See of Rome was illegitimate and thus ripe for usurpation, but not so (as I am sure anyone associated with the SSPX could explain). But not to complain … Paul had to stand up to Peter, so we have to stand up to Peter’s successors (and their acolytes) who would promote error. [I trust it’s superfluous in this forum to provide citations on the limitations of Papal Infallibility?]

    God Bless

  20. Liz F says:

    It was such a beautiful day. I just sat there and prayed for all of the FSSP priests and future priests! It brought tears to my eyes to think of how it used to be just dirt there (and in the middle of Nebraska of all places.)The blessings sure abound. Wow. God is so good!

  21. Amerikaner says:

    *It brought tears to my eyes to think of how it used to be just dirt there (and in the middle of Nebraska of all places.)*

    Remember to pray for the Diocese of Lincoln. Bishop Bruskewitz retires this year. May God provide another great prelate for Lincoln.

  22. everett says:


    You seem to forget the fact that SSPX are schismatics. Saints practice obedience, not open rebellion. Paul stood up to Peter, but didn’t disobey Peter. There’s a big difference. FSSP are to be praised for their obedience and “fighting the good fight” within the confines of the Church, rather than rebelling. SSPX knew the consequences of their actions, and were repeatedly warned and chose to undertake them anyway.

  23. paulbailes says:

    “… SSPX are schismatics …” – says who? Not the Pope!

  24. TNCath says:

    I thought the sermon wasn’t bad at all, and he was certainly within his right to say what he said. If the Extraordinary Form is going to co-exist with the Ordinary Form, folks are going to have to recognize that (1) that the Extraordinary Form is just that: “Extraordinary.” Nonetheless, it has to be acknowledged as well that the Ordinary Form held in equal esteem by the Church. Perhaps Cardinal Levada felt that there would be some SPPX attendees present who needed that reminder. Nonetheless, the “preface issue” is confusing, conflicting, and annoying. If the Pope said they could, why did the PCED say they can’t? I wish this “imminent” clarification on Summorum Pontificum would get here soon.

  25. paulbailes says:

    “Paul … didn’t disobey Peter” because Peter had the good sense and humility to take notice of Paul’s charitable correction of him. He didn’t respond with the kind of intimidation and bullying meted out to Abp. Lefebvre by the latter-day “Peter” or his delegates! [RABBIT HOLE. We are NOT going down that tired dark path.]

  26. paulbailes says:

    ‘If the Extraordinary Form is going to co-exist with the Ordinary Form, folks are going to have to recognize … that the Extraordinary Form is just that: “Extraordinary.” ‘ – conceivably, but in reality the coexistence won’t last. Rather, once those in power who have some kind of emotional stake in prolonging the Novus Ordo pass on, then it will surely wither and die (if not more actively terminated by a really “Great” pope) leaving us back with the TLM as “ordinary” just like before this nightmare began.

  27. dcs says:

    Is there a difference between acknowledging that Vatican II was a valid Ecumenical Council and therefore protected by the Holy Ghost on the one hand, and believing that it was the “work” of the Holy Ghost on the other? The latter sounds very close to saying that the Council was inspired by the Holy Ghost. I don’t think one is required to believe that. One can reject Vatican II “as the work of the Holy Spirit” without rejecting the Council itself.

  28. ghlad says:

    I apologize for the part of my comment that got off-topic as well. The only reason I should have brought up the SSPX was to point out that one of the things that struck me was that it sounded like Levada was afraid that the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter was headed down the same road.

    Paul, maybe we should both pray that all remaining obstacles are overcome and concerns from both sides of the isle can be heard and corrected – ad maiorem Dei gloriam!

  29. DCtrad says:

    Att paulbailes-

    I like you, ya got the rad-trad-zealrage-for-the-lord-going-on look me up on facebook


  30. paulbailes says:

    Dear ghlad,

    “Paul, maybe we should both pray that all remaining obstacles are overcome and concerns from both sides of the isle can be heard and corrected – ad maiorem Dei gloriam!”

    You are quite correct, sincere thanks for your charity! FWIW my family prays each day for our Holy Father BXVI and for the reconciliation of the SSPX (not to show that I am anything other than most miserable sinner on WDTPRS, but rather that even “Lefebvrists” like me have Hope).

    Cheers, and God bless

  31. Geoffrey says:

    I am really saddened by all of the negative comments being made here about His Eminence and his homily. It’s no wonder why many good orthodox Catholics are weary and even distrustful of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

  32. Tim Ferguson says:

    Geoffrey, I don’t see any disparaging of His Eminence personally here – just some strong disagreement with the things that he said. People seem to be expressing that disagreement in a prudential and rational manner. It’s called engaging ideas.

    Would you prefer that folks pretend they don’t disagree and keep their difficulties bottled up? Repression is seldom a healthy thing. If people are “weary and distrustful of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite” because some people say negative things, I think that says more about those who are weary and distrustful.

  33. Geoffrey says:


    Here are just a few of the comments I was referring to:

    “I thought the homily by the cardinal was extremely inappropriate.”

    “His Eminence left his manners back in Rome, or maybe San Francisco. Anyway, since his mother’s probably no longer with us to do the job, when he gets home, the Pope should spank him.”

    “I expected better from His Eminence.”

    “No class!”

    I would not put these in the category of “engaging ideas”. Charity is what is needed.

  34. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Half of the homily focuses on the hunger of sinners to enter the Divine Presence. In a Catholic Church, there abides the same Lord who called out to Zacchaeus; there abides the same Lord who is the slain Lamb in the Apocalypse of St. John; there abides the same Lord who is sacramentally present when His Calvary is renewed on the altars of the seminary chapel.

    Some may protest that Jesus should not abide with us, just as they protested when He went to Zacchaeus’ house because he had entered the house of a sinner. And yet, the Cardinal says, “Jesus defends us today,” for He wishes to be with us, sinners though we are. As the Eucharist makes Him present in our church and on our altar, like Zacchaeus, we can be overjoyed as He proclaims for us, “salvation has come to this house (seminary chapel).”

    In the context of speaking of the Sacrifice of the Mass as the cause of the communion of the Church, he makes an appeal to see both forms of the Roman Rite as both building up the Church’s mystical communion with each other and with Christ, under the headship of Peter, and as a prefiguration of the fulfillment of the Mass at the altar of the heavenly Jerusalem. Again, there is a nice explanation of the preface for the dedication of a church.

    I am not sure why these words should upset people. They are quite fitting words for the consecration of a seminary chapel. And he ends by invoking Our Lady of Guadalupe’s intercession for the seminarians.

  35. Geoffrey, of course charity is needed…none of the attacks were on his person, (at least I can speak for mine), when I said I expected better from His Eminence, I was referring to his sermon and the lack of prudence in it, not to His Eminence personally.

  36. Breck says:

    As a counterbalance to the Cardinal’s remarks, the narrator of the program on EWTN made reference to “the Mass of the Ages,” and one or two other code expressions that warm the hearts of us Trads.

  37. fateagk says:

    Fr Sotelo,

    You seriously can’t see how offense can be taken by the various points of his sermon?

    Had he been making this sermon at the consecration of any other seminary chapel, I might agree with you. However, this priestly fraternity has as its charism the celebration of the sacraments according to the liturgical books of 1962. Each seminarian devotes a great deal of time to learning these rituals, the symbolism they contain and their underlying theology, as part of their formation to the priesthood. It is this charism to which these men have been called – they become priests in an Ordinary Form world who are dedicated to the Extraordinary Form.

    This is not the right time to press, over and over, the Ordinary Form and its equivalence to the Extraordinary Form, while never mentioning, not even once, a single virtue of the form to which this fraternity is dedicated to. Nor is it the time to imply that their place in the Church is limited to one of only ministering to those who are somehow damaged by a rift in the Church, “repairing communion” and “keeping unity” as he said, as if that is all their charism has to offer to the Church.

    God Bless

  38. Joshua08 says:


    Do you really lump all those statements into the same category? While the comment about spanking as disrespectful, is that really the same as saying the remarks were inappropriate?

    I say that his sermon as inappropriate. That is, it was not fitting the occasion as it touched tangential questions that were at the same time awkward in the circumstances, without saying anything about rightness of wrongness. If I were at a wedding of faithful Catholics, and the priest gave a sermon that included many tangential things that were also controverted, would I suddenly be wrong and disparaging of the priest to say his sermon was inappropriate.? Let him be 100% correct, were his words really befitting the occasion?

    How is that wrong?

  39. Dan says:

    I watched the ceremony live today, and it was an incredible event that truly gave honor and glory to God. Congragulations to the Fraternity and their benefactors for coming this far. That said, I had an uneasy feeling after hearing Cardinal Leveda’s sermon. While I thought his exposition of the readings for the Mass to be engaging and enlightening, his repeated remarks on the ordinary form and the extraordinary form seemed to set up just the kind of disconnect that the Holy Father has been trying so hard to pave over during his pontificate. It was almost as if he was setting up some sort of conflict between the “ordinary” vs. “extraordinary” forms by vaguely insisting that those who adhere to the extraordinary form are somehow not fully on board with the Church in 2010 AD. For example, his characterization of the Fraternity as an organization that exists to simply promote unity for dissidents who like the old Mass does not recognize them or the extraordinary form for what they really are- gifts to the ENTIRE Church…not just a few trads! Just when we were starting to think that the divisions were being healed and that both forms could exist in continuity, His Emminence opened up some old wounds by pitting the two forms agaist each other. While I am sure that this was not his intention, the continued references to imposing ordinary form prefaces on the ’62 Missal and those who do not acknowledge Vatican II (which the FSSP does acknowledge!!!) seemed to create an atmosphere reminiscent of the pre-Summorum days when loyal Catholics in communion with Rome who took part in the traditional rites and usages of the Church were looked down on as suspect and disobedient, even by their own bishops. On a day celebrating such a wonderful work of God’s grace, I think it would have been more appropiate to discuss how great a gift the extraordinary form is to the entire Church, and how it can lead all Catholics to a greater appreciation of the divine mysteries of the altar through its vibrant witness to God’s transcendent power and grace. Instead, I got the impression that His Emminence was talking about it as a concession to a few retrograde Catholics by Rome in order to keep them in line. As a Catholic who attends both forms of the Roman Rite I found it a bit alienating, and if I were a priest or seminarian with the Fraternity I would probably have been offended.

  40. mfg says:

    Father Z: You said it so well: why couldn’t he just let their day be their day. And he was doing so well with Zacchaeus… I felt so sorry for the entire congregation (especially the FSSP priests and seminarians) when Card. Levada wandered down those rabbit trails: Anglicans, Prefaces from Paul VI, Ordinary vs Extraordinary. Excuse me–it was not the time or place. What a scold! It is a real head scratcher. Who chose him–the Holy Father knowingly or the Holy father unknowingly. Father Berg or Archbishop Bruskewitz innocently? You can bet it was the gossip all around after that beautiful Mass instead of the ethereal glow that should have lasted all day. Now I more fully understand the the consternation from some quarters regarding the SSPX talks with Rome. With Card. Levada running that show, yeah, good luck with that.

  41. Central Valley says:

    Those of us in California, familiar with Cardinal Levada, we are not at all surprised. In most diocese in California it would not be uncommon to hear things like this. I recall a priest in the diocese of Fresno telling the traditional community they should attend the ordinary form because the prays were they same but only in english. On that note I will say there are several priests in the diocese of Fresno that go above and beyond the call in service to the traditional communities here, with many having no use at all for those of us attatched to the traditional liturgy. The FSSp should have invoted Archbishop Burke. The other bishops in attendace serve and care for their traditional communities, after the homily I don’t think this could be said of Cardinal Levada.

  42. Fr_Sotelo says:


    Out of a homily which was 18 and a half minutes long, about 9 minutes were dedicated to an exegesis of the story of Zacchaeus. At the 9 minute mark, he makes reference to Summorum Pontificum and the “mutually enriching” phrase–there is no statement of the “equivalence” of the Ordinary Form to the Extraordinary Form.

    The Cardinal’s statement is made in order to speak of the new preface for the anniversary of a church’s dedication, and to give an exegesis of the preface and its connection to the reading from St. John’s Apocalypse. This is a perfectly acceptable transition. After expounding on the Gospel he wishes to expound on the scripture passage from the Apocalypse.

    The second part of the homily expounds on the “vision of communion” which is brought to us in the Apocalypse and which is made real in the sacred liturgy of the Church. Levada repeats that the heavenly Father is praised in the OF Mass preface for the “mystery of your communion with us”. He states that this is a central reality to think of as we dedicate a church building, for the building/chapel represents the Communion of Saints–a central article of the Apostles’ Creed and of the traditional Faith.

    Again, the Fraternity of St. Peter is never insulted, put down, or somehow presented as of restricted importance. The Cardinal mentions that there is a “diversity” of rites in the Church. At the 11 minute mark there is a return to Summorum Pontificum, and the Pope’s teaching that there is a “continuity” between the EF and the OF. But no where does Levada tell the FSSP that the Mass of Paul VI is “equivalent” to the EF Mass.

    There is a statement that wherever the liturgy is celebrated in “whatever rite or form of a rite” the same mystery of communion is accomplished. If anything, this is a defense and apologetic for the FSSP’s existence, for it contradicts the conventional wisdom that they are not needed, or that the Novus Ordo alone is sufficient and valid for expressing the communion of the Church. In fact, says the Cardinal, even the Anglican use liturgy can be used since diversity of rites and forms is not going to divide the Church.

    Levada then states at 12.45 that the EF was freed by the Holy Father in the hopes that its use will help to “repair” and “build up” the Church, a mission entrusted to the FSSP (the SSPX have always emphasized that the two forms must be at war with each other, disqualifying them from a unique role in this mission). Perhaps I am missing something, but stating that the freeing of the EF Mass is for “repair” and building up of the Church are not phrases of apathy or neutrality. The FSSP hold a special place in the mission of repairing the Church by offering that form which will contribute to the repair.

    What would be helpful for me is for you or others to quote from the Cardinal those phrases which are supposed to arouse indignation. I am not finding them. And if we are going to criticize the Cardinal, there should actually be a concrete reason for doing so from his actual words, not from our feelings or impressions. From my point of view, the many clergy and bishops who do not like the FSSP would not have been happy at all with this homily. If anything, it presents the FSSP as having a special role in the Church of unique importance to the Holy Father.

  43. puma19 says:

    My comment concerns the liturgy that went on for so long at this consecration. I watched most of it on EWTN live and it was some ceremony.
    BUT, I have never ever seen a server kiss a bishop’s ring so many times when he gave him his pastoral staff. He genuflected every time. Now, this NEVER happens even with the Pope and you can go back to John XXIII to see that his corzier is handed to him and that is it. But here we had constant genuflections and kissings that I found so distracting and really over the top.
    There must have been more liturgical indians here than chiefs, though you had to wonder at all the assistants to the other three bishops in attendance.
    Overall, for a seminary chapel, this ceremony has had too much hype.
    Yes it was the consecration of a new church done with dignity and all that.
    BUT I often thought what is the real focus here? The details, the liturgical movements, the liturgical traffic signals, OR the presence of Jesus our risen saviour?
    I love latin, I love the Mass and the great ceremony of the Church, but it appeared yesterday in Nebraska that the mechanics of the whole event were so dominant.
    The vatican still does it better. It did so under Paul VI, John Paul II and now Benedict XVI none of whom has the huge number of acolytes around them for the celebration of the eucharist.
    I thought so much of it was distracting.
    Still, a very beautiful chapel and I hope and pray that those seminarians who go on to be ordained priests will be close to the Lord and preach the gospel in the manner of the Apostles and martyrs.

  44. Zosimas says:


    So first you accuse the FSSP of ignoring the rubrics, then accuse them of paying too much attention to rubrics?
    The Rubrics of the Holy Mass have been set down by Holy Mother Church for a reason: they are to be followed.

  45. Henry Edwards says:

    While agreeing that Cardinal Levada appears not yet to have acquired the famous Roman facility of disguising his true feelings, let me comment (late) just on the preface matter.

    1. At least as early as 2001 — in the Fontgombault conference proceedings — Cardinal Ratzinger suggested that inclusion of some of the OF prefaces in the EF missal might be a useful enrichment. As Pope Benedict XVI he repeated this suggestion in Summorum Pontificum.

    2. The recent “clarification” from PCED reminded that only the prefaces currently in the EF missal should be used.

    No contradiction here. Even if some new prefaces arguably ought to be inserted in the EF missal, surely their use in the EF should wait until this has been done. Whatever the OF ethos, the EF ethos does not include insertion of whatever good ideas even a pope may suggest.

    Comment: The 1962 missal contains only 15 pre-1962 prefaces plus the 5 ancient Gallican prefaces that were late additions to the 1962 missal (the latter including a beautiful preface for the dedication of a church).

    The 1970 missal contains over 80 prefaces. Understandably, no one who has heard these only in 1973 ICEL translation could agree that their use could enrich the EF. However, unlike their English translations — which may be even worse than some of the English translations of the collects — many of their Latin originals might well (in my opinion) meet the strictest TLM standards. Indeed, the question What Does The Preface Really Say is one reason I’m anxious to see the complete new English translation of the OF missal.

  46. Wayne NYC says:

    I have waited for this day for many years.
    What grandeur and solemn joy !
    In each Rosary as a member of the
    Confraternity of St.Peter I pray
    for the priests and seminarians
    of the Fraternity ( with special thanksgiving
    on this day of Consecration of the Chapel
    of Sts.Peter and Paul).
    The “rightness” of the ceremony was sublime.
    It was the most beautiful symphony marred
    (temporarily) by the dissonance of an imprudent sermon.

  47. puma19 says:

    I have now read on another, supposedly Catholic blog, some highly vitriolic words aimed at Cardinal Levada. I find this amazing that the senior cardinal prefect invited to speak at the chapel’s consecration, and who delivered a well measured and sensible homily should come under attack AND from Catholics. This tears at the fabric of the Church about which the cardinal spoke in his homily and the place of both the old and new rites in the life of the Church.
    It is obvious that these attacks are blatant and disrespectful. Go back and few years and you can see attacks on John XXIII by some of the cardinals at that time and also of Paul VI and JP II The Great, the pope heading for canonisation and who celebrated the new ordo for all of his pontificate with dignity.
    Also, check out some of the last Masses celebrated by ST Pio of renown and see how he faced the people and celebrated the Mass with the greatest of spirituality and purpose. I know of no attacks on the new Ordo by him before he died, nor do I know of any by Mother Teresa of Calcutta, in line for canonisation. We ought look to these modern day saints to see what they focus on and see what do they criticise and attack – in M Teresa’s case she was always vehemently opposed to abortion – and I heard hr say that many times when in her presence.
    Semper fidelis

  48. Fr_Sotelo says:


    The comments about Cardinal Levada certainly are not encouraging. It is this nitpicking that makes some priests and bishops run and hide when someone mentions learning and offering the Tridentine Mass.

    I imagine that when Levada gets back to Rome, some of the curial cardinals, seeing how some trads got their underpants bunched up in a wad over a very harmless homily, will be laughing at him for responding to the invitation.

    Perhaps the more liberal cardinals will banter along these lines: “Sorry Bill, that you took that flak, but we told you so” or “when we heard you were going to the dedication of that chapel, we said ‘better him than us’.” Cardinal Levada himself could probably say, “no good deed goes unpunished.”

  49. Steve K. says:

    I suspect these comments – mostly in blog comboxes – are noise level to cardinals. I am not aware of negative comments in more public and credible places.

  50. moon1234 says:

    JP II The Great

    He has not been officially given that title, he is not even beatified. It is disrespectful to all of the other former Pontifs to use such a title when it has not been awarded. Little things like this irk many people.

  51. Henry Edwards says:

    Rorate Coeli has posted an unofficial transcript of Card. Levada’s sermon:


    From a comment there by a well-known traditionalist:

    “I see this homily as being directed, not at the FSSP, but at the public at large (the ceremony was broadcast over EWTN, keep that in mind). If anything it is the liberal liturgical establishment that should feel apoplectic about this speech. The first half of the address is a frontal attack on the “liturgics” that has dominated the Church for the past 40 years.”

    From another comment there:

    “His wanting to draw appropriate lessons from a Pauline preface wasn’t out of place, but was specifically relevant to the occasion. There are no grounds for seeing him as “playing troublemaker.” Only a tendentious reading of his homily would lead to that conclusion.”

    Still another:

    “I was anxious to read the transcript to see for myself what offense might have been given, implicitly or explicitly. Having done so, I see only a positive encouragement of the mission of the FSSP.”

    This last comment somewhat mirrors my own feeling. I experienced an ineffable negative reaction when I heard the sermon live, which however was not duplicated upon reading it.

  52. dcs says:

    I know of no attacks on the new Ordo by [Padre Pio] before he died

    That is because he died in 1968, one year before the Novus ordo was promulgated. At the time of his death it was still possible to celebrate the Roman Missal with traditional options.

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