Filipino liturgists react against Summorum Pontificum

The Archdiocese of Manila has posted on their website a statement made after a meeting of liturgists from the Philippines under the aegis of the bishops conference of the Philippines.

Included in this short statement is the following:

Liturgical Inculturation. The interest in recent times to revive the Tridentine Liturgy should not draw the attention, especially of the Church leaders, from the unfinished agenda of liturgical inculturation. We are of the persuasion that liturgical renewal, as envisioned by the Constitution on Liturgy of Vatican II, entails liturgical inculturation and that our rich cultural heritage has much to offer to make the Roman liturgy truly Filipino.

You can sense the paw print of Ansgar Chupungco here.

I wonder what the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" thinks of this.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    This is quite possibly the most disjointed statement I have read regarding the EF, to date.

    What is the “unfinished agenda?” Last I checked, the Mass has as it’s only agenda to re-present the bloody sacrifice at Calvary in an unbloody way.

    What is “liturgical inculturation?” I don’t remember that phrase being used in Sacrosanctum Concilium. The concept exists, but only insofar as making certain proper parts of the Mass more intelligible. This certainly doesn’t mean that the Mass is to be re-formed into something wholly regional. I do believe that nos. 22 and 23 of Sacrosanctum Concilium warn against this expressly.

    And exactly what do they mean by making the Roman liturgy “truly” Filipino? If the liturgy “truly” becomes Filipino, then does it not cease to be Roman? And I don’t believe that anywhere does Sacrosanctum Concilium or any other document since, expressly allow for a particular church to form it’s own rite. I think that no. 22 specificially speaks against that.

    So much for the EF enlightening the OF in “Filipino World.”

  2. mysticalrose says:

    Two words: swan song.

  3. Surely they mean that they should sing Latin polyphony by Filipino composers, and wear maniples embroidered with Filipino designs. :)

    Obviously, laudable local customs and art have their place. But since Filipino Catholic history is almost as long as Catholic history in the Americas (and Manila was a lot more thriving Catholic town than any town in the US for most of that time!), and since most of its religious local culture came from the Mass of Trent, I’m not really seeing this inculturation thing. Pagan tribes somewhere in the back jungle just now getting evangelized, or evangelization of Muslim areas, is a different matter.

    In fact, if you ask a lot of people in Catholic areas of the world, they’re more likely to be inculcated with Filipino Catholicism than vice versa. The Philippines are hardly some frail fragile flower of dying culture, desperately in need of inculturation into the Latin Rite. Just ask your local devout Filipino ladies and their rosaries. Sheesh.

  4. amicus1962 says:

    The Philippines is liturgically frozen in the 70s. Chupungco and his like-minded ilk will not stop until they create and ram down our throats a “Filipino rite” that bears little resemblance to the Roman rite. The reference to the liturgical renewal called for by Sacrosanctum Concilium is silly because nowhere in that document is to be found a basis for creating national rites based on a country’s culture. On the contrary, the Catholic faith and the rites of the Mass are already fully inculturated in Filipino culture as can be seen by traditional religious practices, popular devotions, fiestas, even sacred music developed during the Sapnish colonial era. There is no need for further inculturation.

  5. lofstrr says:

    Or maybe someone is hoping to get tapped for an early retirement. :)

  6. Konichiwa says:

    It is pitiful sometimes that some people try so hard to bring their own culture into the Liturgy that important elements of the Mass become secondary or lost. For instance, the Mass in Vietnamese parishes, the music may be in Vietnamese, but that it is hardly bringing in Vietnamese culture. The music rythm is written by “composers” to the beat of waltzes, rumba, etc.

    Aside from things hardly derived from culture, some things just seem to detract. The dances (not wacky stuff)of culture origin often performed before Mass begins to express adoration for Christ or to honor Mary seem to draw equal or more attention to the little children performing. Usually applause follows and this adds more to the sanctuary being a liturgical stage.

    One ought to be Catholic first and whatever ethinicity second.

  7. Jayna says:

    So…they want the Roman liturgy to not be…Roman, then? Why do they even bother being Roman Catholic? People like this baffle me.

  8. Henry Edwards says:

    I wonder what the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” thinks of this.

    I not sure what this might have to do with the PCED. Would not “inculturation” pertain solely to the ordinary form of the Roman rite, rather than to the extraordinary form?

  9. irishgirl says:

    ‘One ought to be Catholic first and whatever ethnicity second.’-comment by Konichiwa.

    AMEN to that! I agree with you totally!

  10. trentecoastal39 says:

    In the Philippines,There Are Celebrity Priests on TV,that change the words of the Mass to make it more “relevant” to the faithful,there is silent dissent in Theology Schools, Religious Orders,Parishes.

    There is Also The Flourishing of Protestant Sects,because The Homilies of Priests don’t Have Good Delivery(and some of them are not honest enough to proclaim the Truth)and NOT enough catechism and good example from parents and schools.The Outrageous Contraceptive Mentality that is Pushing Dissenters to Cry for the Passage of the Reproductive Health Bill(Sex Education/Condom Death Bill),Lack of Priestly Vocations(not enough to even sustain 1000 parishes per Province), The(almost)Obsessive Focus of the Bishops on National Politics,The Steady Rise of Secularism and The New Age,The Wreckovation of Old Churches,etc…(Same as America,Europe)

    Therefore,They are to Blame for The Spiritual Desolation of The Philippines(But They Are Good Fruits there,Renewed Interest in Apologetics,Steady Rise of Conversions,On-Air Playing on Television and Radio of The Divine Mercy Prayer,a spin-off of the Chaplet at 3 o’Clock,as well as the Angelus,dynamic lay movements,renewed interest in giving concrete help to the poor etc… Deo Gratias!!!)

    If there is Hope for the Philippines,There is an Una Voce Chapter There,and Here’s Their Website:

    and The Blog of Their Founder,Fr Michell Joe “Jojo” B. Zerrudo:

    P.S They are In the Process of Building an Oratory,to counteract the SSPX’S Influence there(Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart)

  11. oratefratres says:

    Father Z,

    Does this constitute as a material schism?

  12. Hold on, folks. If you read the statement, all they said was that they thought there should be discussions of it. You can’t call schism on that.

    Re: good inculturation of various times and places — Anybody who thinks that it never happened in the EF back in the day, I’ve got several bridges I’d like to sell you. But mostly this kind of thing was restricted to non-essentials (however striking and decorative). There was a world of difference between the decor and music and vestments of a silent Mass in Ireland on a Mass Rock while hiding from the English priesthunters, and a High Mass during big holidays in Spain in a baroque cathedral. But that inculturation was limited; the Mass itself was the same (allowing for High vs. Low, etc.).

    Of course it’s stupid to try to make Mass in Ohio in 2010 exactly like Mass in France in 1772. That sort of thing does get oppressive. But top-down stupid inculturation by duress is also oppressive.

  13. Before everybody thinks that ALL Filipinos are so stuck in the kumbaya era, let me get things in straight.

    As a Filipino Catholic blogger, blogging in the Philippines, I am following closely the liturgical developments here in the country.

    And may I say this:

    1. Whatever you read, was all done by Fr. Anscar Chupungco. The Diocesan Liturgical Ministers who attended are mostly his students or fans. They signed it just as it was written.

    2. Fr. Chupungco, along with his protege, Fr. Genaro Diwa, his successor as Executive Director of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on the Liturgy, are trying hard to suppress SP. We in the Philippines feel that we are living the privileges of Quattuor Abhinc Annos.

    3. Liturgical inculturation is the life’s work of Fr. Chupungco who is now trying desperately to turn back the hands of liturgical time. His brand of liturgy is a complete carbon copy of Abp. Piero Marini. So you get the picture of his kind of liturgical inculturation.

    4. Most Filipino bishops are against SP. Only a handful have celebrated them openly. Only a handful follow the Benedictine altar arrangement. Manila’s Cardinal is so viciously anti-SP.

    5. Theology schools in the Philippines are anti-Rome. I can name two: Loyola School of Theology where Bishop Chito Tagle teaches. His view on the Eucharist is Lutheran! And the other dissenting school is Maryhill School of Theology. I have friends who graduated there who teach Enneagram, Eco-Spirituality and the Feminine Goddess as part of their retreats.

    Yes, the Philippines is a deeply religious country. But most bishops, priests, theologians and nuns are the ones doing most of the damage.

    There are a handful of bishops, priests, theologians and nuns who are working hard to stay faithful to the Magisterium…at the expense of being ostracized.

  14. catoholic says:

    I would like to say a few words in support of thepinoycatholic and all other Filipino Catholics…

    Here in Tokyo, Filipinos make up about 70% of the average congregation at any English Mass. As a new convert with no real idea of what I’d gotten myself into, I learned how to be Catholic from Filipinos. I watched their devotions before the statue of the Virgin Mary and copied them; I learnt the Rosary by mumbling along with them until I knew the words. Filipina nuns showed me an ideal of service to Christ. I learnt about Adoration of the Holy Eucharist from a Filipina. Most of all, Filipinos taught me by example about Christian joy! I wonder if I would have learned as much in the average Western church…?

    All of which is to say, in my experience, the people of the Philippines have Roman Catholic culture in their bones. They do not seem keen on the Latin rite, because they like what they have… and what they have is a stronger living piety than is to be found in many countries in the West.

    So on a charitable interpretation, maybe the good bishops are just trying to say “Let’s not fix what isn’t broken!”

    On the other hand, I will defer to thepinoycatholic’s interpretation of Fr. Chupungco’s theology.

  15. jaykay says:

    Catholic: since that statement very clearly misrepresents the intention of ‘Summorum Pontificum’ then there is obviously a lot broken. The reference to ‘reviving the Tridentine Liturgy’ is a dead give-away, since of course SP states that it was never abrogated.

    The reference to the ‘agenda’ of inculturation really lets the cover slip…

  16. jravago says:

    It all makes sense now. As a Filipino who was raised in the U.S. and attends the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at St. John Cantius, I am always confused as to why Masses at various “fiestas” and Masses in the Philippines are celebrated they way they are celebrated.

    I also had an interesting and intellectual conversation with a young Vincentian priest who argued for and supported the idea that the Mass should be flexible and tailored to the Philippine culture.

    …How sad…

  17. Jesson says:

    This is true. The sacred music developed during the Spanish era are disappearing.

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