When diocesan priests choose to use exclusively the Extraordinary Form. Fr. Z rants, a lot.

baby foodOur friends at Rorate have an interesting piece, which you should read in toto over there.

Here are some salient points.

Can one be a diocesan priest and
celebrate the traditional Mass exclusively?
A true motivational example
[We [Rorate] consider this to be one of our most relevant and inspiring posts ever.]

Soon after the publication of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, three priests of the Diocese of Novara (Piedmont, Italy) tried to celebrate the Traditional Mass exclusively (we reported on these developments here and here).  [I, also. One of the posts is here.]

In an interview released a few days ago, Father Alberto Secci tells his story, and presents us with the wonderful account of his life after Summorum. Yes, there is a life for diocesan priests celebrating the Sacraments according to the ancient use exclusively. And it can be beautiful, and powerful, and glorious, despite the normal difficulties of life.

Can you imagine what would happen if all diocesan priests chose to do this?” This is the kind of weak argument one would expect to hear – it is not one that holds water, not with us, being on the same level as, “There should not be monks, for mankind would cease to exist if all men became exemplary monks”: yes it would, but no they wouldn’t… What we hope to provide by this example is that there can be comfort and consolation for that extremely small number of priests who choose to make use of their right of celebrating in the “Extraordinary Form” in a radical way. And why should that choice shock us? Almost all choose to celebrate the “Ordinary Form” in a radical and exclusive way, and they are not villified for this. [True.] There is tribulation in these priests’s radical choice, [Very true.] and that is fine: the priests who choose this path must be completely aware that they will be removed, moved, transferred, demoted, despised, mocked and ridiculed, made an example; they will have to give up favors, ecclesiastical careers, sabbatical years, special appointments; [Absolutely true… for now still true.] but, thanks to Summorum, they may face all this in perfect peace of conscience, with a Mass, that, in the words of a great cardinal, provides “greater spiritual fruit”. And, as for the tribulation, if you may modestly allow us to quote a great layman, “they therefore, I say, that are in tribulation, have on the other side a great cause to take in their grief great inward comfort and spiritual consolation.” (St. Thomas More, “A dialogue of comfort against tribulation”).

Summorum is the charter of manumission of traditional-minded priests; [Since day one I have been calling it the Emancipation Proclamation.] it is good that those who contemplate making the same radical choice of these Italian heroic priests know that they are not alone, that, when there is a will, there is a way. If at least one single diocesan priest is moved by this translation to at least consider the possibility of following this radical path, then all our work here in Rorate over all these years will have been worth every second. This is dedicated to you, dear diocesan priests: if they can do it, so can you.

[Interview granted by Don Alberto Secci to Marco Bongi]
[Source: Una Fides. Translation: contributor Francesca Romana.]


You can go over the Rorate and read more.

An intriguing, and provocative, post, nicht wahr?

It is also pretty easy for lay people to suggest this to diocesan priests.  Lay people, in making these suggestions, have to be willing to stand there with those priests and give them cover and help bind their wounds when they are dealt with (as one can predict) by their bishops.  No one in the Church is, these days, as vulnerable to attack from within and without as diocesan priests.  Believe me.

BTW… I am adding this entry to my category “New Evangelization”.

But now allow me to rant for a while.

Some questions are raised by this post at Rorate.

I have long said that priests are not ordained “for a book”.  They are ordained to serve God’s people.  Priests have to be ready to give people what they need from sacrificial love for them, charity.  This means looking to what is best for the people, even if it means sacrificing their own preferences.

On that basis, then, we have to think about the state of the Church today in our respective places.  Older people haven’t had the older form of Mass for decades.  Many haven’t a clue what it is.  Some want it or are curious but don’t know it.  Consider also the state of catechesis, the weakened role of priests in many parishes and dioceses, the corrosion of our Catholic identity which cannot be reversed by a single stroke, the problems that were caused 40 years ago by sudden changes.

At the same time, I maintain that no renewal of any of these aspects of Catholic life can take place without a revitalization of our liturgical worship. Furthermore, I think that Pope Benedict’s provisions in Summorum Pontificum are a key element in such a revitalization.

Back to preferences.

Long-time readers here will recall that I liken addressing these problems to the feeding of children and the feeding of adults.  Think of the Letter to the Hebrews 5:11-12:

About this we have much to say which is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.  For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need some one to teach you again the first principles of God’s word. You need milk, not solid food.

In the Gospel of John the Lord says:

“I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.”

The hard teaching of the Lord in John 6 notwithstanding, the Lord also said the above in John 16.

Shepherds, modeling their work after that the Savior who is our Chief Shepherd and High Priest, and His Vicar, must give the flock what they can bear and then change what they give as the capacity of the flock changes.

T-Bone SteakParents do not give their toothless babes the T-Bone and Cabernet Sauvignon which they prefer for themselves.   They give their children whatever goo they need until they can bear more.

Some will find this provocative, but those who think that the Extraordinary Form is more like the T-Bone and the Ordinary Form like the goo, perhaps should consider that we need a little patience in the way we approach the spiritual needs of the flock.

The new English translation will help the flock move from goo to food cut up into tiny pieces.  After that, with changes to music, a shift in the ars celebrandi, etc., I – ever an optimist – think that many people will crave the T-Bone and clamor for it.  Some won’t.  There are always some who will stick to smoothies and tofu (which, by the way, increases estrogen).

I am using these stark images not to be inflammatory, but rather to hammer home the point that priests also have to consider the state of their flock and how fast they can move, personal preferences aside.  From charity, it may be necessary for a priest who despises the Ordinary Form nevertheless to use it, with the view of what people can handle hic et nunc… here and now.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am not like the liberals or dissenters who ran down and protested the production of a new translation into English of the Missale Romanum.  They were for the most part condescending about the capacity of people understand the new language, etc.  I think people can adjust well.  At the same time, when our Catholic identity has been so eroded, enervated, compromised, is it smart for a priest to try to take people from zero to sixty in a few seconds?  Put the whole big T-Bone down in front of the 5 year old?

There may be some communities ready for such a shift because they have had good pastors along the way, men who have tried to apply a “hermeneutic of continuity” in their pastoral and liturgical practice.  But what about most communities?

Another thing.

As a matter of charity, priests have the obligation to protect themselves and their standing for the sake of the flock they hope to serve.

Many officers desire to be with their men when they are ordered into battle.  Some can and must lead their men into the fire.  But there are some officers who must keep themselves safe and alive so that they can direct the battle and help keep their troops alive while attaining their objective.  It is irresponsible for officers directing their troops needlessly to expose themselves to harm.  Getting killed or wounded in the midst of a fire-fight could result in the death of everyone else as well together with a disastrous failure of mission.   Similarly, priests – who are in great shortage and will be in greater shortage – have an obligation to take care of themselves so that they can work as officers for the Church Militant.  Since some officers are far better than others, those better officers, knowing what the stakes are, have an even greater responsibility not to get shot up by the enemy (read = chancery, diocesan curia).

Let’s face facts.  These days there isn’t always a warm relationship between chanceries and priests in the field.  And in some places there is still profound hostility, though the baggage of days is now passing, on the part of some men of a certain age who still hold positions of power.  I can show you the scars.

I have great sympathy with the notion that a priest should be able to opt for the Extraordinary Form as his chief manner of saying Holy Mass, administering sacraments, blessing, etc.  But there are some other factors which, depending on the circumstances (the history of the parish and the pasts and present priests, the present bishop and his underlings, etc.) may render the choice of the Extraordinary Form less than prudent… at least for a time.  And there are the provisions and the words of the Holy Father himself about the Ordinary Form which must not be set aside if we are going to embrace his other words about the Extraordinary Form and its importance in his, as I call it, Marshall Plan.

I think you can tell by what I write in what direction priests should try to guide people.

Some may object along these lines: “But Father! But Father!  Going back to your military battle analogy, if someone is badly wounded, you need swift, not gradual action.  Sometimes you need to do something invasive, like open a chest or cut off a limb, and you need to do it right now!  We are in such a bad state of things today that we need bold action, not gradual.  Therefore, we should sweep aside the Novus Ordo and bring in the Extraordinary Form in order to save the dying soldiers of the Church Militant.”

Okay.  That is an argument.  However, I will go back to the analogy myself.  Perhaps the bishop is the surgeon at the field hospital, which the parish priest is the corpsman on the line.  While we praise corpsman and chaplains who will risk death to help the wounded, when they get killed there are many others who can no longer benefit from their critical work.  Medics need to stabilize the wounded, while bishops do the big interventions.  Not many corpsman can, in the field under fire, open a chest or amputate a limb.

Analogies can be multiplied, of course.  We can do this all day in comment after comment below.  The fact remains that Fr. X can do something dramatic in his place and Fr. Y has to move more slowly.  In either case, Father has to weigh the good of the flock against his own preferences.

And doesn’t this apply to liberal, dissenting priests and bishops as well?  If they realize that what they are doing is not in keeping with the Church’s teachings or the vision offered by Pope Benedict through gentle examples and the expansion of the rights of priests, then should they not – in charity – set aside their own liberal and dissenting preferences for the sake of the good of the flock and adjust their courses?   The key is, I think, discerning what the good of the flock is and, in sacrificial love, work for that good.

Personally, I think that moving in the direction of implementation, at whatever pace possible, will be part of this, because of the critical need to revitalize our Catholic identity.  We simply must reintegrate the traditions which work and reconnect with our forebears.

In any event, thus endeth the rant.

The Rorate post will provoke some interesting discussion.  I hope what I posted can be seen as a positive contribution.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Fr. Z,

    Thank you for your post. Your argument is definitely reasonable and, of course, a prudential one. How do we go about making a good thing (i.e. the TLM) more widespread within the Church. I must say, however, that I don’t agree with the idea of the TLM being only a preference, as though it were a choice between vanilla and chocolate ice cream. It seems to me that since the Novus Ordo has deeply problematic aspects to it, making the TLM ubiquitous should be the end goal. The prudential question becomes how to achieve this.

    The most interesting part of the interview, in my opinion, was Fr. Secci’s response concerning “biritualism”. I find his answer persuasive.

    Q. Why have you refused the so called “biritualism” in contrast to other priests who have welcomed Summorum Pontificum?

    A. I shall be brief. I find the obligation of biritualism absurd. If one has found that which is authentic, which is best, that which expresses the Catholic Faith more completely, without dangerous ambiguities, why would there be the need to celebrate something much less? With biritualism, in actual fact, one rite dies and the other stays. With biritualism, the priest gets weary, with the sadness of a sort of schizophrenia, and the people are not edified, instructed, consoled in the beauty of God. I shall avoid discussing the theological liturgical aspects – an interview is not the place for that. I will say only that whoever stays with biritualism, sooner or later abandons the Old Rite and manufactures reasons to stay in the world of the reform, lived perhaps in a conservative way but with an interior sadness, like one who has betrayed the love of God since his youth. I have to add that it was very helpful for me to read “The Anglican Liturgical Reform” by Michael Davies – a fundamental text which is very clear: the ambiguity of the rite leads to heresy in fact. Is it not this that has happened?

  2. Andy Milam says:

    Fr. Z,

    “It is also pretty easy for lay people to suggest this to diocesan priests. Lay people, in making these suggestions, have to be willing to stand there with those priests and give them cover and help bind their wounds when they are dealt with (as one can predict) by their bishops. No one in the Church is, these days, as vulnerable to attack from within and without as diocesan priests. Believe me.”

    I don’t know if it’s quite as easy as you think. A lot of the faithful make the suggestions knowing that there will be pushback from their pastors, even if they be orthodox and good priests.

    I do believe you, I have seen first hand (as have many), but I’m speaking to you specifically what can happen. I will say this…

    If my pastor (and I know he reads this blog, I hope he’s reading this) were to make such a decision, I would stand with him arms linked and I would support this decision 100%. I would “tend his wounds” and I would continue to pray for his spiritual strength daily. I would give him the cover and I would take on the chancery for him. I am not bulletproof and I am by no means perfect (when I make mistakes, I tend to make big ones), but if it takes me taking a bullet for my pastor, bring on the rifles.

    I believe this is THE ONLY WAY to fix the hermeneutic of rupture. The faithful must stand up with pastors and demand the theology, the philosophy and the legality (liturgical and canon) of the Church must be held up and restored.

    So, for this Catholic….I will do what is necessary, how many more are willing to say the same thing?

  3. jbas says:

    Well said. There’s no point leading where no one is following. These things take a little time. If priests simply take advantage of the present law and offer both forms of the Roman Mass for now, this will allow the Holy Ghost to gently prompt the more sensitive Catholics first over towards liturgical tradition. Others will then follow. It must be God, in the end, who saves the Western Church, and the method provided by the Holy Father allows this to happen.

  4. Nathan says:

    Father, I cannot question your logic at all. As a lover of liturgical T-Bone and Cabernet Sauvignon, I can only be thankful to God and grateful to my priests for allowing me that every Sunday.

    I have one observation to offer, though. There seems to be a very large contingent of both clergy and the faithful who will continue to opt for the goo, be it because they think that everybody ought not to chew or because they were taught that “Vatican II said we aren’t to chew anymore,” or “not chewing is more welcoming.” I have had a series of good, strong, orthodox priests in the parishes where I am active, and whenever in the context of the OF they try to bring in solid food, the largest attended Masses are the gooiest, and in one situation a significant percentage of the parish started going to the much gooier parish a couple of miles down the road.

    At what point does a pastor or bishop insist that his flock move to solid food?

  5. disco says:

    Whether you prefer the goo or the t-bone, how about fish on Fridays?

  6. St. Rafael says:

    What an amazing article. Everyone should read the complete interview at Rorate.

    Not every priest will be able to do what this courageous priest has done, but let me suggest a way to get there for diocene priests.

    There is no reason why priests couldn’t exclusively say the TLM at least at the weekday Masses. The TLM should replace all the Novus Ordo Masses on weekdays. Most Catholics don’t go to Masses during the week, so it may fly under the radar and be less controversial. Catholics go to Mass on Sunday, so there will still be the Novus Ordo there on Sundays to make the bishop happy along with some of the faithful.

    It goes without saying that priests should be celebrating the TLM privately for themselves as much as possible for the graces they need on a daily basis. By now priests should also have taken it upon themselves to celebrate all Novus Ordo Masses Ad Orientem in keeping the tradition of the Church, closing the gulf between the two rites, and preparing the faithful for the return of the TLM side by side in this era of transition.

  7. jbas says:

    St. Rafael says, “by now priests should also have taken it upon themselves to celebrate all Novus Ordo Masses Ad Orientem…” The problem is that most of the faithful do not want this sort of thing just now, and will rebel against a priest who chooses to do it. The bishop will more than likely order the priest not to make such changes. It’s good that there are traditionally-minded and well informed Catholics out there, but what they need to understand is that priests cannot make unilateral decisions that leave the other Catholics behind, especially when the established (but admittedly novel) practices are still legitimate.

  8. Supertradmum says:

    Excellent post, Father. What many traddies do not realize is that they are in a minority preferring the EF. People in my parents generation, Dad is 88 and Mom is 83, very independent and in their own house, etc., do not want to go back to the Latin, even though they experienced it half of their lives. A priest, as the servant of the servants, must give what is needed, and not merely want he prefers.

    Although I admire the three priests mentioned, they would not last one minute in many dioceses, where the bishops allow the EF for political reasons, or out of obedience (not a small thing), but not because they want it. Little by little, the EF will become more accepted and more desirable. It is a matter of teaching, experience, and all demanding patience.

    As to Baby Goo, one can grind up and pulverize top sirloin in a blender and give it to Baby Blue Eyes, but it is not the same. In this era of the New Evangelization, I am convinced the “New Mass” will do more to bring people around to the EF than any strong statement against the NO.

  9. Jucken says:

    Except this battle is not won by us, it is won by God. That’s why we must give Him our very best, and that is the Mass of all times.

    “It is true, according to St. Thomas, that all the sacrifices are, as Sacraments, equal in rank; but they are not, therefore, equal in the effects resulting from them; whence the greater the actual or habitual piety of the celebrant, so much the greater will be the fruit of the application of the Mass; so that not to recognize the difference between a tepid and devout priest, in respect to the efficacy of his Mass, will be simply not to heed whether the net with which you fish be small or great.” (St. Leonard of Porto Maurizio)

    “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself.” (St. John XII, 32)

  10. St. Rafael says:

    The problem is that most of the faithful do not want this sort of thing just now, and will rebel against a priest who chooses to do it.

    Most of the faithful actually do not like Versus Populum, the novelties, and the current liturgical status quo. 75% of Catholics don’t go to Mass. That is proof right there that what we have right now is not working.

    Ad Orientem will go a long way in creating the liturgical atmosphere needed to bring back well over two-thirds of Catholics back to the faith. Some of the 25% who go to Mass might not like it, but the other 75% who don’t, will be more attracted to the liturgy and will help get them back into the pews.

  11. Cathy says:

    I don’t expect priests to stop providing the Ordinary Form. I just wish that out of the 6 parishes within a half hour drive of my home that one of them would offer the Extraordinary Form once a week that satisfies the Sunday obligation. I would like to see this both for those of us who want the EF and for the benefit of all the other Catholics who might discover its richness if they had more opportunity to experience it. Our priests here tell us they don’t have time to devote to learning it and providing it for such a small number of people. They see the EF as being only a preference – no different theologically or in terms of grace from the OF. I wish the Holy Father would more strongly encourage priests and bishops to learn the EF and make it available as a necessary means to bring about authentic reform.

  12. Supertradmum says:

    Cathy, I sympathize with you, as I have only attended three Latin Masses since coming to England in April, as there are so few available in most places, on a regular basis. This is not because of the laity not desiring it, however, but an old, liberal priests who really do not like it. This, too, will change. God bless you.

  13. St. Rafael says:

    What many traddies do not realize is that they are in a minority preferring the EF

    There is actually a minority prefering the Novus Ordo. 75% of Catholics don’t go to the Novus Ordo. 75% of Catholics don’t go to Mass in the U.S. In Europe, only 5% go to Mass.

    Catholics have said no thank you to the New Mass. Catholics have rejected the new rite, they are looking for something else. They want something else. That is the TLM, they just don’t know about it. Protestants have converted many Catholics and ex-Catholics make up half of those sitting in Protestant pews in many Protestant churches. Other Catholics turn to the New Age or other forms of spirituality.

  14. Supertradmum says:

    sorry –not an, but many

  15. Random Friar says:

    I work, not only at our parish, but thanks to the number of priests available in our house, out in the field, doing supply work wherever and whenever I can best support my diocesan brothers-in-arms — be it a parish, a nursing home, a hospital, or some mission. I’ve learned Spanish to serve the vast population there. I’ve even considered learning an Eastern Rite just to help out our overworked Eastern brethren. Overall, though, few of them offer either the Latin OF, or the EF.

    I don’t say this to boast. Many others work likewise. However, my conviction at this time is that the best way I can serve the People of God right now is the OF, in English or Spanish, with dignity and reverence, befitting the august Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, wherever I am. I almost always get a positive response from the people, and if the people are happy, the pastors likewise are happy.

    If the pastors wish me to celebrate in Latin, I gladly will. I could technically just celebrate in Latin, but I would probably be relegated to very few public Masses. How would that serve the People of God? If I were to be “promoted” to being a pastor (the ecclesial equivalent of painting a bulls-eye on someone, it seems), then I may slowly, “brick by brick” move to at least offer one option in some Latin form.

    Anyone who says that I offer a Mass that is inherently a lesser Sacrifice, I would argue against, since I do not lessen the reverence and awe with which I celebrate the Mass. You could argue that the EF or Dominican Rite, celebrated with the proper disposition, is inherently more conducive to true participation by the laity. That’s fine, and I probably would agree. But if the people are not properly prepared and catechized, then I would be doing more harm than good to “the cause” of our beautiful tradition.

    That’s my 2 cents, anyway, for what it’s worth.

  16. kgurries says:

    Dear Fr. Z, I had a similar impression. On one hand we can certainly respect the sacrifices made by priests that choose one form of liturgy (book) to the exclusion of all others. On the other hand, are they merely choosing one set of sacrifices for another? Are the chosen crosses the ones that Christ intends them to carry as priests given charge of a particular flock? It seems that pastors may have to be adaptable at times to the particular circumstances of the flock that they are tending to. All of this makes me think of Priests (such as Msgr. Pope and others) who attend to Latin Mass communities and other so-called charismatic communities. I doubt such priests consider themselves to suffering from “schizophrenia” — even if they are suffering from other crosses.

  17. jaykay says:

    “thus endeth the rant”

    That was no rant, Father! It was a carefully-reasoned exposition and beautifully phased to boot. I think you have used the word (I lurves it) “gloop” as well, to describe the pabulum too many of us have been force-fed over the decades. Essentially, we’ve been treated as children, and recalcitrant ones at that whenever we might have dared to suggest that the Emperor’s clothes were becoming a bit… well, transparent? As in the average age at Sunday Mass being 60 (I’m in Ireland) and yet the average age of the participants on the Chartres pilgrimage and World Youth Day being about 25. It don’t add up … to your average Establishment liberal.

  18. Alice says:

    Apparently one of the priests in our diocese feels he cannot in good conscience celebrate the OF so the bishop gave him assignment where he didn’t have to. I doubt if he will ever be a pastor again unless there is at some point a special parish for the EF in our diocese.

  19. Supertradmum says:

    St. Rafael,

    To be fair, you need to look at the full Churches in areas where Catholicism is strong and thriving in the OF. My diocese took a survey and the vast majority of the people did not want the EF, but stated they were happy with the OF. There are 28 seminarians from one parish in Michigan which is OF. These young men are all home-schooled. They may well be more conservative and end up wanting to say the EF, but they grew up in the OF.

    As to the drop -out rate of Catholics, one can point to abortion, contraception, divorce, and many other reasons for the small rate of Church-goers and not blame that statistic on the NO. In fact, if one looks at statistics from before the NO was promulgated, especially in Europe, Mass attendance was already dangerously low. Statistics may or may not prove your point.

    The John Paul II generation of young men who are in the seminary did not, for the most part, grow up in areas where there were Latin Masses. Young men from FSSP parishes or Institute parishes most likely would have been influenced, but not those men in the diocesan seminaries.

  20. Jucken says:

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough in my first comment: it’s not about what the people prefer, it’s about what God prefers.

  21. anilwang says:

    I actually agree with both Fr. Z. and Rorate.

    WRT, the key phrase uniting the two views is “the priests who choose this path must be completely aware that they will be removed, moved, transferred”.

    If a Priest in the heart of “Liturgical Western Clown Dance country” wants to do EF masses he will likely be rejected. People will not understand the EF and would prefer to not go to Church rather than to attend a mass “directed at foreigners in a dead language with priests that are so stuck up even look at you for most of the mass and force you to beg for your Eucharist on your knees”. Such a priest will be transferred both for the spiritual health of the Priest and the parishioners.

    *But*, there are plenty of places that are in dire need of EF priests, and for those parishes and for the health of EF priests, they will be welcomed.

    Priests who want to practice EF exclusively need to be encouraged, but they must also accept the consequences of those decisions.

    So what about the “Liturgical Western Clown Dance country” parishes? They’d “tolerate” a plain old orthodox NO mass. That’s a start. Giving sermons that actually spell out “the hard truths of the Catholic faith” and actually explain the mass is another step. Far too many priests give “talk show host thought of the day” type sermons that make the Catholic faith look like a poor imitation of a secular social organization, so no wonder the “Liturgical Western Clown Dance country” laity want to “jazz up” the liturgy. They have no idea what’s going on and even if they did, it would seem completely absurd (as it does to most Protestants) since they have little foundation in what Catholicism is.

  22. jaykay says:

    Supertradmum: your point is very good. The experience of properly reverent and dignified liturgy has been missing in too many places for too long so that it is a wonder to me that, from my own experience over the last (only) 3 years we now have in our parish church the full Benedictine altar arrangement on a regular basis but two of the priests use Roman vestments often and… they’re in their 30s. Which means that they came through the horror story of our national seminary (Maynooth) and certainly have known nothing but the OF. Yet something has been handed on to them, somehow. They have no Latin as I know from talking to them and are not about to learn the EF, yet they are fostering the shoots of (dare I say?) a new springtime of reverent worship.

    The first stage of the new translations comes in next Sunday here in Ireland. I really look forward to it with these young men. They’ve already “got it”. Maybe, in time, the OF. I would like to think so. But this would have been unthinkable just 10 years ago.

  23. Capuchin says:

    Fr. Z,

    I really liked this post. It speaks a lot to what Priests are going through in terms of the war in parishes. I wonder though if a Priest chooses the slow, gradual (“Trench Warfare” to use battle terms) approach to changing things the effect that can have on the faithful who already have their senses geared toward the TLM. I have a new Priest at our Parish who is doing the gradual approach and eventually plans on having a TLM on Sundays not necessarily because he has his own convictions about the TLM (being better or anything) but because he is faithful and he believes that is what the Holy Father wants. So he wants the faithful to come to his parish to help out with renewal, however, I find it, as do others, incredibily hard to sit through this as the liturgy is really dismal and in two years there has only been minimal improvement and see the FSSP apostolate up the road just flat out the only thing to do to maintain my sanity because the process is taking far too long. I understand the above scenario from the perspective of the Priest but it leaves the faithful with not much choice other than suffer the liturgical chaos for years until something positive can happen. You can win a battle through trench warfare but sometimes the faithful who fight with you can go insane from the “shell shock” long before the battle is won. I guess Priests must discern what they have to do and the faithful must do the same. This is a war and no matter what decisions the leader makes I guess there will always be casualties and the proper approach is to win with minimal damage.

  24. Rellis says:

    There’s a practical problem with this, as well. S.P. says that only one parish Mass on a Sunday can be in the E.F. Does that mean a priest who only does the E.F. has limited himself to one (or maybe no) Sunday Mass at the parish to which he has been assigned by his bishop?

  25. Glen M says:

    Speaking only for my diocese, if a priest tried to say the Extraordinary Form exclusively he’d end up in the national centre for psychiatric help with the pedophiles and addicts. We will get to back to this point in our litugical history eventually, but not now.

  26. Rellis: S.P. says that only one parish Mass on a Sunday can be in the E.F.

    I’m not certain that the word “only” is implicit in the Latin text of Art. 5, no. 2 that is sometimes referenced in regard to the claim you quote.

    In any event, the generous openness to EF the that is emphasized in Universae Ecclesiae would seem to render unlikely in the future any such rigid interpretation in a parish where the number of those desiring the EF has come to exceed the capacity of a single EF Sunday Mass, and the number of those desiring the OF has decreased correspondingly.

  27. Pachomius says:

    The desired result here, surely, is that the Mass of Paul VI is celebrated in a reverent and prayerful way, and in harmony with the liturgical tradition of the Church (which is, yes, entirely possible). The basiscs would be the removal of hymn-singing (barring at the end of Mass, with something like the Salve Regina), the singing of the plainchant Ordinary in Latin, the wider use of incense in the liturgy, the restriction to Eucharistic Prayers I-IV (with I as normative rather than II) and the Mass celebrated ad orientem. Other small changes could be reintroduced, too – the practice of the priest keeping his fingers joined from the moment he first touches the host (simply omitted in the 1970 MR), and so on. This alone will take a long time and a lot of patience to achieve.

    There are other changes which would be nice, too: the removal of the “… or whatever Father thinks best” options in the Missal, the phasing out of all eucharistic prayers except I and III, the reintroduction into the Missal of various actions laid down in the older Missal (cf: joining fingers), the expansion of the 1970 MR’s offertory rite/the incorporation of the 1962 MR’s offertory, the inclusion of the prayers at the foot of the altar as an option for the beginning of Mass, the inclusion of a (spoken or sung) Last Gospel, the formulation of a Solemn High Mass in the OF, the replacement of the ‘new’ calendar with the old (with Old Testament readings chosen as applicable for the day), and so on, but I imagine that a good chunk of this (though by no means all) will occur naturally as a result of a more reverent, more traditional Mass.

    (NB: It is sometimes suggested that some of these things requires “tradding up” the OF, as though it exists outside of tradition, and should not be read in its light. But how else should one read any document the Church solemnly promulgates?)

  28. Perhaps many people don’t understand what Fr. Z is saying because we are too used to seeing the hero putting himself in harm’s way and getting away with it because it has such dramatic effect. We see it so often that it looks almost ordinary to us. David Gerrold, in his book The World of Star Trek, said that perhaps the most serious criticism of the original series is that a starship captain would not beam down to every planet he passed.

    “A Captain is too important an officer, his training is too expensive, his skills are too vital to the running of the ship to be risked. A good Captain is like a good general… He tells other people what to do… An army general doesn’t hit the beaches until they’ve been secured.”

    We can certainly substitute “bishop” for “captain” or “general” here. Captain Kirk, like Perry Mason, almost always won because that’s how TV works, but in real life, one may have to be very patient, lay low, and pick the right spots until the right opportunities arise. Some priests, too, must survive in order to become bishops. But if they get shot down in the seminary or as pastors, how will they become bishops?

    And even bishops are not immune to trouble– even though I was about 4 or 5 when it was going on, I’ll never shake from my mind how no less than Bishop Fulton Sheen lasted only three years as bishop of Rochester.

    We should also keep in mind that if big changes are possible, maybe little changes are possible too, and maybe they can come first. If revolution is possible, maybe evolution will work too, and evolution tends to have longer-lasting effects.

  29. Rellis says:

    @henryedwards, I’m trying to see what is unclear about the “one Mass on Sunday” language from S.P.:

    § 2 Celebration in accordance with the Missal of Bl. John XXIII may take place on working days; while on Sundays and feast days one such celebration may also be held.

    This seems to allow an EF on “working days” (I assume that means ferias and lower-ranked feasts), and on Sundays and festal days (solemnities, presumably) “one such celebration may also be held.”

    If this could mean more than one on Sundays and solemnities, why mention this at all and give a number? The plain reading would seem to me to be a restrictive one.

  30. benedetta says:

    There is much to think about here. In the past when I have read Fr. Z discuss:

    “Shepherds, modeling their work after that the Savior who is our Chief Shepherd and High Priest, and His Vicar, must give the flock what they can bear and then change what they give as the capacity of the flock changes.

    Parents do not give their toothless babes the T-Bone and Cabernet Sauvignon which they prefer for themselves. They give their children whatever goo they need until they can bear more.”

    It has reminded me that I have read explanation of Our Lord’s words with reference to the ‘hard saying’ that we should food on His Body, True Food and True Drink. I have read that the word Our Lord used was specifically not just eat but somewhat closer to the meaning of “gnaw” at to eat. To me it seems that Our Lord recognized not only that it was hard to say as in a saying, hard to conceptualize, but, that in the practice, would require exertion and that what would be required would be different from the way we are fed in infancy.

  31. benedetta says:

    I also think that this is why adults, often having reverted or converted later in life, ought to try to fortify children in their care with the best resources available in the Church, and prepare them for a future. It is very difficult to change a lifetime of habits as an adult. But in taking responsibility for another’s questions and need to grow in the faith parents can receive the spiritual food even late in life. Most adults, regardless of faith or no faith agree that culturally young people were not supported in growth in the faith or in terms of virtue or fortitude a generation ago and preparation was lacking in terms of moral or spiritual formation. Not only lacking or compromised catechesis or liturgy but in the most concrete way of spiritual growth, in the living the way of faith. Now culturally, values are that much less encouraged in the wider culture. Yet children need the voice of conscience and values, the supports the Church offers for many reasons now more than ever, ranging from simple aspects of health to the most important problems of our time.

    It seems like there is a great concern to be authentic, to be free, to not do things by habit or because of cultural conditioning as in the “old days”. Yet many adults simply have never updated their authentic engagement with the Church whether in catechesis or liturgy. Viewing things because the media says or because that was what one learned about the time one received a learner’s permit to drive doesn’t really seem on balance to be authentic or based on concrete reality. It could be an easier way of life in many respects.

  32. A reader sent me email with the following. NB: These are the first couple paragraphs of what he sent. In my opinion his concluding paragraphs were rather strange and weakened his argument. Here is the stronger part. You decide what to think about it. He makes a concise argument. I am not saying he is right or wrong. You tackle it:

    Regarding the post on diocesan priests offering the Old Mass exclusively, you speak of the priest needing to “sacrifice his preferences.” But traditionalists, as you doubtless know, do not view the Old Mass as a mere “preference” equally viable with another’s “preference” for the New, but as objectively superior to the New Rite in its presentation of the Catholic Faith.

    You also said they must look “to what is best for the people.” But that’s precisely the point; the more Catholic form of worship IS what is best for the people, even if they don’t realize or like it, just like sermons which warn a sinful congregation of the need to repent and confess are better than those which obscure the truth so as to spare feelings. The analogy to the goo is not entirely useful, because if the baby was not getting essential vitamins and minerals from his goo, he would need the steak. The parents can also chop up the steak (e.g., devote every homily for a month to discussing the Old Mass, write pastor’s letters explaining the differences, provide those cheap red Ecclesia Dei Missals). This gentle pragmatism, this attitude of “let’s reform very slowly,” will see convents, seminaries, and pews continue to empty at rates which will spell catastrophe for the Church.

    Another commentator said it best: “it’s not about what the people prefer, it’s about what God prefers.” Does God prefer a Mass which has systematically eliminated the notion of propiatory Sacrifice (e.g., the new offertory, the loss of the Veni Sanctificator, Suscipe Sancta Trinitas, and Placeat Tibi), reverence for the Real Presence (e.g., the suppressed genuflections), the connection of the Mass with Calvary (e.g., the suppressed Signs of the Cross), references to sin, death, Hell, etc. (as your own series on the collects demonstrates), etc.? If God prefers it, then that is what is best for the people, whether they like it or not.

    Well? What do you think?

    Would his implied approach have a chance of broad success?

  33. cpaulitz says:

    I fought the urge to say this all day, but your emailer is right.

    A drug addict going through withdrawal thinks more drugs is what he needs. But you don’t give him more drugs.

    The Novus Ordo, valid or not, does not glorify God as the TLM does. Period. Doesn’t matter how many smells and bells or how much lipstick you slap on the pig it’s still an inferior form of worship.

    There are many modern Catholics today who put their own so-called needs above what God demands. It’s ot their fault entirely. The NO made them narcissistic in their religion.

    But that doesn’t mean that priests who now have every right to only say the TLM refuse to abandon the NO over a phony sense of duty. Our only duty is to God.

  34. kgurries says:

    Dear Fr. Z, I think the reader misses the point of the analogy between milk and the steak. It seems misguided to argue that steak is objectively superior to milk. What matters is that milk may be more suitable for infants than steak. As they grow and mature they ought to be introduced to more meaty foods, etc. I think the message is that a pastor needs to consider the state of his particular flock (hic et nunc) — and not only what is considered more perfect in the abstract. This approach reflects the authentic “realism” of St. Thomas.

  35. cpaulitz says:

    Kgurries, that attitude, which is rather elitist, is exactly what everyone here beats up on Bishop Troutman for, and rightfully so.

    You don’t hold truth and beauty back from Catholics just because they’re not accustomed to it. I hear that same lame argument about how black parishes would never accept the TLM. What do you think, they were singing gospel music before Vatican II in those churches? No, they were chanting and singing polyphony, just like any white church.

    As President Bush would say, it’s the soft bigotry of low expectations.

  36. pm125 says:

    Faith, Hope, Love
    About 30 (?) years of emphasis on love without the underpinning of why (the reasoning of faith and hope), can be reversed in the time it takes for hierarchy, such as USCCB for the USA, to call for the Lord’s Day messages to relay the meaning of souls to God with the guidelines that help souls move from sin to salvation, and how life and death serious those guidelines are. Maybe the news would spread reverence.

  37. Tuotilo says:

    SO, shouldn’t this 40 year old baby be able to tolerate some meat by now?

  38. Tuotilo says:

    This milk must not be nourishing the people if they can’t eat their meat after all this time.

  39. Felicia says:

    Generations have been brought up on pablum, and one cannot move them to steak right away without causing a sudden case of indigestion. I’ve tried taking Hubby and Offspring to an EF Mass, wanting to be parishioners at that FSSP parish, but it didn’t work out. Too much page flipping and “where are we now” whispers. It was culture shock. However, we’re now parishioners at a very reverent OF parish which throws in a fair bit of Latin (Gloria, Agnus Dei, Pater Noster) complete with full smells and bells at one of their six Sunday Masses. We’ve been to that particular Mass fairly often, and the baby steps are working: my formerly EF-hostile husband is now saying things like how nice it is to get in touch with our Catholic tradition!

  40. Young Canadian RC Male says:

    Alright Fr. Z. So sticking to the minitary analogy, how about telling us grunts how we can aid our fellow corpsemen and surgeons in battle and turn our rifles to the enemies who truly deserve our bullets?

    It’s times like this I think that laypeople like Voris in his Hildenburg blimp known as RealCatholicTV is one of the biggest weapons we wield in this war.

  41. Michael J. says:

    Maybe this is too simplistic, but I think it should at least be considered. When the Mass was changed from the Mass of 1962, with some changes in between, and the Mass of Pope Paul VI became the Mass, that was the end of it. Perhaps at that time people still wanted the Traditional Mass (Extraordinary Form) but were given what they were given. Since when do the laity tell the Priest how to Celebrate Mass or which form to use? And, Mass is primarily a Sacrifice, and offered for the Glory and Honor of God, not for our comfort level. And the way you make it sound, one is not capable of benefitting from the E.O. Form of Mass in certain circumstances. This certainly is not true. They may not prefer it, but I prefer a daily E.O. Form of Mass, but I do not get one. Why is it that saying the Extraordinary Form of Mass exclusively is like commiting, “career destruction”,? Are the Bishops that vindictful, and if so, perhaps they need to adjust their outlook? In any event, I think it always benefits a person to attend an Extraordinary Form of Mass, for many graces can be obtained from attending Mass, any valid and licit Mass. If we who yearn for the Extraordinary Form of Mass cannot just, “get it”, whenever we want, and we can deal with it, then I’m sure the people who attend the Extraordinary From of Mass who prefer the Ordinary Form, can learn to deal with it, as we have.

  42. Tuotilo says:

    I don’t mean to be rash in my above comments, I just fear that this type of reasoning can lead to all kinds of compromise. It seems to happen first in the watering down of the teachings of the faith, mix that with a novel liturgy and eventually you have “Catholics” who deny every major tenant of Catholicism.

  43. Michael J. says:

    One sad fact we cannot underestimate is that many priests simply do not know Latin. How they made it through the Seminary without knowing the official language of the Church, I cannot understand. They will all need to take classees in and learn Ecclesastical Latin. The Extraordinary Form should be offered at least in every deanery on a daily, Sunday, and Holy Day of Obligation basis, for those who want to attend. We have all seen the numbers since the 1960’s-1970’s in the U.S., we should give the Extraordinary Form a chance to see if it can change some of these horrible statistics around. In the Diocese where I reside, we have closed or merged numerous churches. When I mention to the Bishop that perhaps he can keep one open if he invited a priest from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter into the Diocese to say Mass in the Extraordinary Form, it never happens. However, at least one of the closed churches is now office space for a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, and many sit generally empty. I guess it is better to sell the church to a protestant sect or something else than to invite in the F.S.S.P.

  44. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Rather than using the T-bone steak and the gooey food as analogies to the EF Mass and the OF Mass, I would apply the T-bone steak symbolism to those faithful who are advanced in the state of perfection, regardless of which form or rite of Mass they attend. I would apply the gooey food of children to those faithful who barely understand the importance of liturgical piety and need to grow in their Eucharistic spirituality, regardless of which Form of Mass they happen to attend.

    At the EF Mass, not every person who attends, even over a matter of years, has grown and matured in liturgical piety or Christian perfection. This is my honest experience after offering Mass in the Extraordinary Form. At the risk of provoking ire and indignation, the EF Mass, quite frankly, is gooey food, also, in the mouths of some Catholics.

    If they go because they like not having to pay attention to the liturgy, because it “sounds nice to hear Latin being rolled off the tongue of the priest” or because “all the gestures and symbols keep me awake” they are certainly not entering the spirit of the liturgy, as the Church sees this spirit properly. If they go because they like the fact that no one interacts with anyone else, and then they can take off right after with nary a hello to a fellow human, they certainly are not going to help the parish become active and grow. There are other examples of using the usus antiquior as a crutch, instead of the instrument of holiness, but I will stop there.

    The EF Mass, by itself, does not constitue T-bone steak. There can be profound immaturity, doctrinal ignorance, superficial spirituality, abrasiveness, and mental issues in the faithful of a Tridentine Latin Mass community, no less so than a Novus Ordo community. True, there are outstanding apostles and saints there as well, but that is because outside of the celebration of Mass, they have exerted the initiative to grow as faithful Catholics.

  45. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Actually, the novus ordo Mass does glorify God exactly as the EF does.

  46. Fr_Sotelo says:

    If a diocesan priest does not have the presence of mind, and common sense, to see the needs of the Catholic faithful around him, and chooses to exclusively offer EF Mass from the mindset of selfishness, immaturity, or theological ignorance, I would strongly, strongly caution the faithful not to surround him with support.

    There are priests who, for instance, have serious mental issues with authority and obedience, issues which were not worked out in the seminary. The “I’m only going to offer EF Mass” mindset, if done from the place of these mental issues, would not be spiritually wise, for the moment, nor an act done selflessly for the good of souls. Let me add that it is neither mentally healthy nor mature for priests to stomp their foot and swear “I will NEVER offer the EF Mass” either.

    But because the OF Mass is normative for 99% of the Church, the priest who chooses the EF Mass exclusively, for the wrong reasons, and is then punished, is not going to automatically sore to the heights of holiness and now walk around in the unitive state. He is going to become hardened in his problematic mindset with authority and obedience, and because of punishment, will suffer depression, cynicism, bitterness, and will be a trainwreck in short time.

    The Catholic faithful have to encourage priests, especially younger priests who may still need growing and maturing as a human and person, in what will help them persevere in the Church. We want good priests, in the field, to stay out there in the field, and to do the good they are able to from within the Church. We don’t need people to cheerlead while young, good, but imprudent priests, are suspended, and sent into the deserts of administrative leave, with no faculties and no ministries, when there is still so much to rebuild and renew within the Church!

  47. Centristian says:

    To my way of thinking, the Ordinary Form of Mass is by no means “goo”. Having said that, I acknowledge that the way it is typically served is, alas, “gooey”. It may be a mistake to compare the Extraordinary Form of Mass to a Steak dinner while comparing the Ordinary Form of Mass to baby food, though. Had Paul VI never issued a new Missal, Mass celebrated according to the 1962 Missal would likely be as deformed–as “gooey”–today as the Ordinary Form often is.

    The Extraordinary Form of Mass, celebrated well in its more solemn forms, is liturgical steak, I agree. But the Ordinary Form of Mass, celebrated solemnly, can also be. In fact, with 4 entrees (anaphora) to choose from instead of just one, it can be more than just a T-Bone Steak: you can choose between a T-Bone steak, lobster, fliet mignon, and…um…scallops over risotto.

    The Ordinary Form of Mass can be celebrated beautifully. It can be celebrated entirely in Latin, too. For my part, I don’t prefer that it should be. I like the idea of an Introductory rite in English (or perhaps in Latin), a penitential rite in Greek and Latin, a Liturgy of the Word in English, a Liturgy of the Eucharist in Latin (ad orientem), and a concluding rite in either English or Latin. All the propers chanted, all the rubrics followed, and the ars celebrandi of the Roman tradition maintained.

    If the Extraordinary Form of Mass, then, is to be compared to a T-Bone steak and a glass of Cabernet, then the Ordinary Form, celebrated beautifully, should be compared to the full range of entrees and wines on the menu. I, personally, would not wish to be limited to a T-Bone steak every Sunday when there are other satisfying items on the menu.

    But we can’t really look forward to that menu so long as the clergy and “liturgists” of today insist upon throwing it all into a blender and serving it as “goo”. Thus the faithful imagine that the Ordinary Form is “goo”, and not just served as “goo”.

    Insisting upon T-Bone steak every Sunday may be tempting when compared with “goo”, but until we start asking for lobster, filet mignon, and scallops, too, we’ll be forever confronted with two choices: T-Bone steak and “goo”.

  48. Pachomius says:

    Fr. Z: The quoted stuff looks like archetypal trad arguments. I have a sinking feeling the final, omitted paragraphs went on to talk about protestantisation, Bugnini-was-a-Freemason, and all the rest of the usual laundry-list of half-truths. Some responses:

    “But traditionalists, as you doubtless know, do not view the Old Mass as a mere “preference” equally viable with another’s “preference” for the New, but as objectively superior to the New Rite in its presentation of the Catholic Faith.”

    This is all well and good, but since it is not the mens of the Church, either Universal or as embodied in the Vatican, it is an irrelevance. The teaching of the Church is that neither is better, so it is a matter of preference. Roma locuta est, and so on. (I’m afraid that on this, Summorum Pontificum cuts both ways for trads – yes, you can have the EF, but you can’t insist it’s the better Mass any more, since its one of two complementary forms.)

    ” But that’s precisely the point; the more Catholic form of worship IS what is best for the people, even if they don’t realize or like it, just like sermons which warn a sinful congregation of the need to repent and confess are better than those which obscure the truth so as to spare feelings.”
    Note more building on the shaky premise that what I think is more important than what the Church says. My opinion is that XYZ is objectively superior to ABC, therefore it is, therefore it is “more Catholic”. Given the most usual complaints about the NO, I would suggest that the author should consider what a Papal Mass prior to the eighth century would have looked like: celebrated facing the Faithful (and ad orientem), with an audible Canon (cf: Jungmann, etc.).

    It also, I note, assumes that abuses are to be treated as the default nature of the thing for the 1970 M.R. (i.e., that the 1970 MR must be treated outside of the Tradition of the Church), but that they are to be considered extrinsic to the 1962 MR (i.e., that it must be considered to be part of the Tradition of the Church).

    “The analogy to the goo is not entirely useful, because if the baby was not getting essential vitamins and minerals from his goo, he would need the steak. The parents can also chop up the steak (e.g., devote every homily for a month to discussing the Old Mass, write pastor’s letters explaining the differences, provide those cheap red Ecclesia Dei Missals).”
    More of the same; the New Mass is valueless, the Old Mass was handed down from on high, and so on. Good rhetoric, bad argumentation.

    “This gentle pragmatism, this attitude of “let’s reform very slowly,” will see convents, seminaries, and pews continue to empty at rates which will spell catastrophe for the Church.”
    I was going to ask based on what evidence, but that’s usually what sparks the “look what’s happened in the last 40 years!” reply, so I will simply say: cum hoc ergo propter hoc, which, as all good classics/philosophy students know, is a fallacy.

    “Does God prefer a Mass which has systematically eliminated the notion of propiatory Sacrifice (e.g., the new offertory, the loss of the Veni Sanctificator, Suscipe Sancta Trinitas, and Placeat Tibi)”
    Yes, the 1970 MR has a massively abbreviated offertory, and this is an issue. But on the idea of sacrifice, does God need reminding it is a sacrifice? No. But we do, of course. And while the ‘new’ Mass does have less of an emphasis on this, it can at least be heard and understood by the congregation; the old prayers were silent and so to the understanding of the Faithful it made no difference (and if one reads Fr Vaggagini, he is clear that even before the New Mass, the Faithful frequently had little idea what the Mass was actually about; the problem here is catechesis, not the liturgy itself.) In any case, for a long time the Mass (prior to what evolved into the ‘Tridentine’ Mass) did not have much in the way of an offertory anyway, so while it’s a desideratum, it’s not essential that the ‘new’ Mass have an offertory to be pleasing to God.

    Furthermore, I dispute that the idea of sacrifice for sin is actually so absent from the 1970 M.R.; certainly, the Offertory does not make reference to it, but the Sacrifice is not really to do with the Offertory at all, and its mention there is simply an employment of prosphora, as I understand it. The notion does, however, occur quite clearly in the Eucharistic Prayers, I think. EP 1 (i.e., the Roman Canon) should need no defence on this count, but I will quote from EPs II and III (IV being so rarely used I see little point in quoting it, and in any case I’m sure it’s doctrinally orthodox: it’s just that it’s about as beautiful as a… well, a theology textbook. Please not that these are the “old” translations of the 1970 MR):

    Eucharistic Prayer II (from pseudo-Hippolytus):
    “In memory of his death and resurrection, we offer you, Father, this life-giving bread, this saving cup. We thank you for counting us worthy to stand in your presence and serve you. May all of us who share in the body and blood of Christ be brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit.”
    Here, the idea is admittedly not explicit, but I would say that the words do imply the link between sacrifice (very clear at this point in EP II) and the extinguishing of sin.

    It is even clearer in Eucharistic Prayer III:
    “Father, calling to mind the death your Son endured for our salvation, his glorious resurrection and ascension into heaven, and ready to greet him when he comes again, we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice.

    Look with favor on your Church’s offering, and see the Victim whose death has reconciled us to yourself. Grant that we, who are nourished by his body and blood, may be filled with his Holy Spirit, and become one body, one spirit in Christ.

    May he make us an everlasting gift to you and enable us to share in the inheritance of your saints, with Mary, the virgin Mother of God, with the apostles, the martyrs, and all your saints, on whose constant intercession we rely for help. ”

    Now here, it is explicit that: (1) the Mass is connected intimately with the Sacrifice of Calvary, the crucifixion and the resurrection which were for our salvation; (2) the offering on the altar is the sacrificial Victim (Christ); (3) Christ’s death reconciles us to God (that is to say, wipes away our sins). This is told to us in that order, to boot.

    “reverence for the Real Presence (e.g., the suppressed genuflections)”

    I would argue that genuflection, as with kneeling, is not something that in and of itself marks reverence as opposed to any other action (especially since kneeling on the Sabbath was condemned by some of the councils of the Early Church). Furthermore, as I recall the genuflections in question either took place as part of a ritual no longer in the Mass (the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar), at “et homo factus est”, and “et verbo carum factum est”, or were repetitions of the genuflection after the elevation of each of the sacred species. In the first instance (i.e., before the Judica Me), as I recall the priest must still either genuflect or make a profound bow before the altar in the 1970 MR. The genuflections at the two references in the older Mass to the Incarnation would seem specifically related to the incarnation and so not about the Real Presence as such, and the more frequent set of genuflections have in general been pared back to a single act of adoration; personally I think that makes it a more effective symbol.

    A profound bow is the practice in the East, an I would say is no less reverent (and if you’ve ever seen an Eastern-Rite Catholic or Orthodox person bow, you know what I mean)

    “the connection of the Mass with Calvary (e.g., the suppressed Signs of the Cross)”
    Again, I don’t think the 1970 M.R. does do down the connexion with Calvary (see the EPs above); but it has restored some of the parts of the Mass which are about other things as well which had over time become omitted or reduced.

    ” references to sin, death, Hell, etc. (as your own series on the collects demonstrates)”
    Indeed, the collects are an area of the ‘new’ Mass which need fixing; how much of this is a problem of the translation of the 1970 MR and how much is a problem of the texts themselves I’m not sure. However, aren’t the collects in the older Mass silent and in Latin? Again, if its a problem of what the Faithful understand the Mass to be about, then…

    And if it’s about what God understands us to be saying, God knows the the thoughts of our hearts; if our intention is pure and is reflected in a reverent celebration, surely that the offering is made with humility and repentance is what matters?

    [NB: I have written of the sacrifice of Calvary wiping away our sins. I am aware that doctrine on sin and redemption consists of more than this alone, but the wider context of the teaching is not strictly relevant here, and would over-extend an already all-too-lengthy piece.]

    As to what this EF-or-nothing approach would do to Mass attendance: Look what the OF-or-nothing, if-you-don’t-like-it-get-out approach did in the 1970s to those it alienated. Personally, given the choice between a EF Low Mass and an OF Mass I will choose the OF Mass. I might even do so over a Solemn High Mass.

    For myself, if I was forced to choose between the EF Low Mass and no Mass at all, I might in time choose no Mass at all. Yes, I think being forced to attend the EF (and nothing else) could drive me out of the Church altogether. That might be an extreme reaction.

  49. danphunter1 says:

    The Church is not a democracy, and as such because the majority of Catholics adore at the NO Mass it does not follow that this is the best Mass to worship Almighty God at.
    The TLM expresses what Mass is much more accurately than the NO does. This is just a fact.

    If more pastors and curates exposed the faithful to the TLM and explained it to them, then many more would worship God at it.
    They have to expose and explain it to Catholics though.
    You see this in some parishes but not many.

  50. benedetta says:

    I read what Fr. Z posted from the reader. They are interesting points. I understand that many who worship in the EF are not doing so out of preference. Still though the Church embraces both forms and further it seems at this time, regardless of what some official or self-official people have said, I don’t see that the Church wishes in any way to denigrate or pit one against the other. Further it seems to me that the Church very much acknowledges the problems in the way that the NO has been hijacked and overwhelmingly in many places lacks reverence. At the same time some still are able to worship at the NO form and there is great care extended to reverence and faithfulness. Currently some of us are enabled to exercise a preference for one or the other (not all). It is not that we prefer first and then agitate the Church to do one thing or another according to our preference. It is that the Church wisely encourages both forms and leaves the preference up to us so that whatever preference we exercise we may be faithful to the unity of the Church. Even in the just barely valid but entirely irreverent NO styling which with the help of priests who appreciate the EF will also be able to encourage greater reverence in the NO. If a priest is able to celebrate only in the EF I see no problem but I think the mission of all Catholic priests is quite broad, even broader than we may conceive of. I understand the tendency to want change, now, like yesterday although many people have suffered patiently for forty years or so and many have realized the necessity to do something different in themselves first and foremost. My sense is that preparing the next generation to be able to pray with whatever forms and rites our Church offers will be more effective than dedicating however many diocesan priests to exclusively celebrating the Mass in one form or the other. A priest who appreciates the EF might do some outreach in terms of young people in his local area to support the desires of parents that their children eventually be able to have real food, in addition to celebrating in the EF. That’s my sense of it. I would like to hear others’ take on the reader’s comment.

  51. Hidden One says:

    I would rather have someone, Catholic or otherwise, attend a licit and reverent Novus Ordo Mass than to not attend any Mass.

    I think that it is irresponsible for a diocesan priest to say that he will offer the Novus Ordo Mass exclusively, precisely because there are Catholics and others who will choose no Mass over the EF. It may not, in a given pastoral situation, be irresponsible for a particular diocesan priest to offer the EF Mass exclusively; things could even occur such that it would be irresponsible of him to celebrate Mass in the Novus Ordo at all… but to celebrate Mass in the EF exclusively as a matter of principle? It is not the charism of the diocesan priest, and so I do not think that it should be done. I dare go so far as to say that it is contrary to the duties of the Latin rite diocesan priest to deny the faithful the celebration of the Mass in the Ordinary Form without just cause, and nothing about the actual or perceived superiority of the Extraordinary Form constitutes such a cause.

    I will note, in conclusion, that I would strongly defend (if and as needed) a diocesan priest who attempted to celebrate Mass exclusively in the Extraordinary Form if I agreed with him in the belief that he was justified in doing so according to his situation.

  52. Pachomius: “if one reads Fr Vaggagini, he is clear that even before the New Mass, the Faithful frequently had little idea what the Mass was actually about”

    Fr. Vaggagini’s perception, however learned, was different than mine.

    In the process of my Catholic conversion and thereafter in the 1950’s, I talked to a great many very ordinary Catholics about the meaning of the Mass. None of then was learned, none of them had any catechesis beyond school catechism. None of them was a liturgical expert like most every com-box nerd today fancies himself to be. None of them ever read a theological book or Vatican document (or even heard of them). Just ordinary Friday fish-eaters.

    But all of them–each and every one that I can recall–had a plain if simple understanding of the Mass as an unbloody reenactment of the bloody sacrifice of the Cross. It was absolutely impossible to ask any Catholic–adult or school child–about the Mass without hearing in reply the word “sacrifice”. A word that made a real impression on a Protestant boy who’d never heard it before in any worship context.

    But without fancy catechesis, even kids have a way of seeing through to the heart of the matter. Recently a 12-year old boy was brought by a relative to our EF Mass, only having attended the OF previously. Asked his impression afterward, without any sort of prompting he replied “It was like taking a spiritual shower.”

    If people go to OF Mass week after week and never perceive the Mass as primarily “the sacrifice of the Cross perpetuated down through the ages”, perhaps it’s because that sacrifice is not being consciously perpetuated in the minds of their priest and congregation.

  53. Pachomius says:

    danphunter: And the corollary of that is that just because a tiny minority want to shove the EF down our throats doesn’t mean that the rest of us have to take it.

    Hidden One: Your point about pastoral provision is good, but if it is wrong for a priest to celebrate the OF exclusively, I cannot see how it can be right for him to celebrate the EF exclusively.

    Henry Edwards: I appear to have misspelt Fr Vagaggini’s name. Apologies. On your point about Catholics of the 1950s, I can only say that, indeed, your experience is different to that particular priest’s. Perhaps it was not an issue evenly distributed across the Church. What I will say is that I don’t think the concept of Christ’s sacrifice is under-represented in the Paul VI Missal; it may be under-represented however in the way that Missal is implemented. I do think this is a point where the issue is bad catechesis, not the Missal, however.

  54. Pschomius: “I can only say that, indeed, your experience is different to that particular priest’s.”

    Perhaps it is pertinent that “that particular priest”, Dom Cyprian Vagaggini, OSB, was a leading liturgical activist and “expert” before, during, and after Vatican II. A harsh critic of the Roman Canon, purported author of EP III (admittedly, the best of the “extras”), a principal author of the pre-conciliar schema that led to Sacrosanctum Concilium, and heavily involved in the post-conciliar construction and implementation of the Pauline Mass.

    None of which, of course, disqualifies him from expressing his personal opinion about pre-conciliar parish life, however little personal exposure he may have had to it, and having spent his entire priestly career as a Camaldolese Benedictine academic and monk in more refined circles than mere parish service.

    But it seems at least conceivable that a more representative opinion might be gotten by asking most any pew Catholic of the era with at most an 8th grade Catholic education.

  55. Pachomius says:

    It is indeed the liturgical expert Fr Vagaggini, sorry if I seemed to be obscuring that. I wasn’t aware that he had spent his entire life as a priest in the monastery, though. I sometimes forget that the model in this country – where the monasteries have parishes which they support – is not the norm.

  56. Supertradmum says:

    The prairie experience of monasteries is very different from most countries, except England. I just read a great book on the monastic history of England, in which the last chapters dealt with the parish problem regarding monasteries here dating back to the Middle Ages. There were huge arguments over the maintaining of Benedictine mission churches here right up to the mid-20th century. It might be in your library. As to the monk in question, I am glad to cleared up the confusion.

  57. Supertradmum says:

    sorry, Internet problems and typing in the dark…I am glad YOU cleared up the confusion as to the name of the monk

  58. danphunter1 says:

    “danphunter: And the corollary of that is that just because a tiny minority want to shove the EF down our throats doesn’t mean that the rest of us have to take it.”


    Is it asking to much to have one TLM per parish on Sundays when we have a Spanish Mass, several vernacular NO Masses perhaps Igbo and filipino Masses and other assorted language Masses?

    Is it “shoving it down ones throat” to have one TLM per parish, the Mass that was offered for 1500 years and nourished thousands and thousands of saints.
    Is this “shoving the TLM down ones throat”?

  59. Pachomius says:

    danphunter: Actually, the 1962 Missal is a product of… 1962, not AD 500, being post-Pian, and in any case, even the 1570 Missal’s form is largely high mediaeval, and many of its features which define it in contrast to the 1970 Missal (i.e., the silent canon) only gained wide acceptance around the 12th Century.

    As to whether or not it is acceptable to have an Extraordinary Form Mass on a Sunday, yes it is, and no it isn’t shoving it down one’s throat. That, however, was not the implication of your post. Or at least, not the tenor I picked up from reading it.

    Supertradmum: The Stripping of the Altars? It’s on my “to-read” list.

  60. I was thinking… the Novus Ordo is like a steak, often undercooked or overcooked, that is served on a paper plate with a plastic knife and fork. But it is steak nonetheless. It isn’t the steak’s fault that those serving it are lousy cooks and have no class.

  61. dspecht says:

    I find the obligation of biritualism absurd.
    … If one has found that which is authentic, which is best, that which expresses the Catholic Faith more completely, without dangerous ambiguities, why would there be the need to celebrate something much less so? … with the sadness of a sort of schizophrenia, and the people are not edified, instructed, consoled in the beauty of God. …, like one who has betrayed the love of God since his youth.

    … the ambiguity of the rite leads to heresy in fact. Is it not this that has happened?”


  62. Fr_Sotelo says:


    The offering of Mass in Spanish, Filipino, or Igbo, did not come about in the U.S. because American clergy wanted to supplant Latin with other languages which were randomly chosen from a hat, and then impose that on unsuspecting parishioners. Different ethnic groups have clamored for these Masses, and then when they are finally conceded, they fill the churches.

    In the case of the Spanish-speaking, from the numbers of babies and children “hanging from the rafters” so to speak, it is obvious these are people who are faithful to Church teaching. After the EF Mass is begun in a parish, it is considered to be “well attended” if there are 200 or 300 people, and that is with people from all the surrounding area. On the other hand, the typical ethnic Mass, say in Filipino (Tagalog) easily fills a church with 800 to 1,000 people, and that is with those who only reside in the local area.

    The typical Spanish Mass, that is filled with no less than 500 people, would have 50 the next Sunday if the Spanish were taken away and supplanted with Latin.

  63. Hidden One says:


    “Hidden One: Your point about pastoral provision is good, but if it is wrong for a priest to celebrate the OF exclusively, I cannot see how it can be right for him to celebrate the EF exclusively.”

    I shall give a couple easy, albeit purely theoretical, examples: If His Excellency, the Bishop of Such-and-Such, says to Father N., “I am assigning you to Such-and-such Parish, in the city of Whatever, where, I must inform you, most of the present congregants formerly attended Mass at the FSSP apostolate that just closed elsewhere, and the remainder, to my knowledge, are all former attendees of the local SSPX chapel and their families”, I could see how Father may find that celebrating any sort of Novus Ordo Mass at such a parish could be entirely superfluous. Or, suppose that Father N. was supplied to the chaplaincy of a Catholic university (or a multi-priest parish) where demand for the EF was high and no one else was able to say it.

    I will note, however, that I also hold that, for pastoral reasons, I do believe that a diocesan priest can be justified in not offering Mass in the EF, and even in not learning it if he does not know it. (There are, in fact, ‘traditionalist’ and ‘traditionalist-leaning’ priest bloggers who are or were in one of the above situations. I recall reading one explaining that he was already celebrating as many Masses as he could in his understaffed diocese, they were all packed, and they were in the Novus Ordo. Further, there was no pastoral need for the EF, as much as he might have liked to learn it and provide it to his people.) I do not think a diocesan priest justified in not celebrating the EF as a matter of principle, of course.

  64. Fr_Sotelo says:


    Priests, no less than the laity, have very strong feelings about what has happened to the Church in these last years, with the loss of faith, etc. And no less than the laity, they are capable of searching for the easy answer, the culprit that appears obvious and apparent but isn’t–the Ordinary Form Mass.

    But heresy is the corruption of doctrine which requires more than ambiguity of liturgical texts. It requires social and cultural forces which contrary to the Gospel and which promote conduct and behavior which erodes belief in orthodoxy long before orthodox teaching is explicitly denied. It is not at all accurate to resort to the comparison of the Anglicans, for in that case Cranmer actively Protestantized the texts and rites. Pope Paul VI did not, however, publish a form of liturgy which was Protestant.

  65. Jucken says:

    But heresy is the corruption of doctrine which requires more than ambiguity of liturgical texts. It requires social and cultural forces which contrary to the Gospel and which promote conduct and behavior which erodes belief in orthodoxy long before orthodox teaching is explicitly denied.

    I’m sorry father, but if you mean that the Holy Church is a victim of the culture’s corruption then you are wrong (and it sure seems you do). She is not. The Holy Church is the culture’s mother and guardian. To quote Belloc, “Europe is the Faith and the Faith is Europe.”

  66. Jucken says:

    Also, about the Novus Ordo being protestantized, allow me to recommend some interesting reading on this: The Roman Rite: Old and New, by Don Pietro Leone.

    Readers do keep in mind though that, as much as I agree with Fr. Leone, my deepest reserve about the new rite of Mass is about it being fabricated (i.e. not “organically developed” as Pope Benedict XVI would say).

  67. Fr_Sotelo says:


    My reference to heresy was in relation to individuals who fall into heresy, not the Holy Church, which is indefectible and cannot be “victimized” or corrupted either in her sacramental life of grace or in her transmission of the True Faith. What I am saying is that when clergy or members of the laity fall into heresy in these times, they do not have the “Novus Ordo” to blame, because it is a Catholic liturgy as promulgated by Pope Paul VI.

    Rather, the “no” of the herectic begins before the liturgy, in the decision to ignore or reject the Church’s Magisterium as she guides and reforms the outer culture. Heresy begins in the decision to submit before different authorities outside the Church’s hierarchy, or submit to no authority, instead of that of the Holy Father and the college of bishops; and heresy begins in the failure to live the Catholic morality, either in public or private (although some heretics have maintained publicly a very moral life). The liturgy alone does not create and form the heretic, unless it is promulgated by heretics, which is not the case of the liturgy of the Catholic Church. I think the good Father, in asserting the opposite, is being a bit dramatic and exaggerrated.

    I tire of the pseudo-scholarship of alleged Protestantism in the OF Mass, but thank you anyway for the reference to one more article. I have been reading this stuff for 30 years, and absolutely nothing is proven, and everything is repeated from the polemics of the 1960’s. What these authors fail to point out (and a good polemic never gives credit to the truth in their adversary) is that many alleged Protestant customs pre-date the heresiarchs of the 16th century or are even found in the ancient liturgies of the East. As for Benedict XVI and his alleged reference to the OF Mass being a fabrication, that has already been thoroughly and completely disproved in past threads on Fr. Z’s blog.

  68. Fr_Sotelo says:


    As a diocesan priest and a pastor of almost 20 years, let me let you in on a little fact. Almosts all diocesan priests know this, but most don’t bother repeating it, because they consider it wasted on most Catholics clamoring for the EF Mass.

    So long as the OF Mass is subjected to ridicule, attack, or even the insinuation of its Protestantization, the EF Mass will forever remain a ghetto-ized liturgy, with celebrants few and far between, and attendees all over who can only wish to see it grow but must be condemned to travel far and wide to assist at it. When the internal reconciliation of which Pope Benedict spoke in SP comes about, and people have cooled their heels about the OF Mass, the clergy will be far more disposed to finally offer the EF Mass more frequently and in more parishes.

  69. dspecht says:

    re Fr_Sotelo and “ridicule attack … insinuation of its Protestantization…” resp. “pseudo-scholarship of alleged Protestantism”:

    It´s not “pseudo-scholarship” if you consider carefully the historical evidence.

    (It could be rather called “pseydo-sholarship” to close your eyes and to ignore this facts and their sources, that are open for all)

    So first we have the historical fact that there were 5 protestant “observers” invited to the reform-committee. – Ok, you will say, but only observers…. but hm, …… – ask yourselfe: why 5 protestant “observers” if you want to reform the Catholice Mass ?!?!

    Well, much more important, secondly: if you consider the concrete reforms
    (- obmission of the knee bend immediately after consecration,
    – totaly suppression of the offertory by the hebrew meal-prayers,
    – partial suppression of the Roman Canon and his offertorical-language by putting aside the 2. Canon as alternative,
    – same partial suppression of the “orate fratres”,
    – canceling of many invocations of the Holy Mother Mary and other Saints [you can say the NOM acc. to the rubrics without any mentioning of the merits of the Saints and without any invocation of intercession of the Saints!!”],
    the protestant direction is nearly evident

    And then, most important, thirdly (and especially if combinded with #1 and 2), we have EXPLICITE statements from Paul VI (via his friend Jean Guitton), by Bugnini and by others like Lengeling, that say that the goal and also the the concrete realisation of the reform was an oecumenic one, with the intention to suppress and omit what the seperated brethern disliked.

    I can surch out the concrete number of the OR f.e. were you can read this from Bugnini himselfe!
    (You can also find it in Barth, H.-L: Nichts soll dem Gottesdienst vorgezogen werden. RESPONDEO-Reihe. – I could also check up the whole titel of this littled book of the German philologist Dr. Barth of the University of Bonn if you want.)

    So what more historical evidence could be given, why do you call this “pseudo-scholarship” and so vilify persons like me or jucken as “pseudo-scholars”??

  70. Fr_Sotelo says:

    dspecht: Do you know who the consilium members were who helped in the formulation of the 1970 Missal? Do you know the principal members were from liturgical faculties all over Europe? Do you know how the texts were submitted to faculties at various Catholic universities, so that hundreds of scholars gave input? Did you know that revisions were submitted which had been suggested since the earliest days of the reform movement, going back decades? And who are these alleged Protestant observers? Where were they observing? Were they gathered at some kind of “cut and past” table in the Vatican? LOL. The images conjured up and the conspiratorial fodder are silly, and not at all accurate. Many more theologians besides Bugnini examined the texts of the 1970 Missal, which was subjected to even further revisions after the so-called “Ottaviani Intervention.”

    Give the Catholic Church some credit of those days. There were scholars from pontifical faculties all over the world who spent their entire lives in libraries and dealing with ancient manuscripts, who examined the Missal of 1970. It was not slapped together like the script for a high school drama play.

    It doesn’t shock anyone that Bugnini wrote a book later, attempting to take credit for much more than he should. It also does not surprise anyone that he makes it sound as if whatever he asked for was conceded in the publication of the new Missal. And nothing you mentioned, even the “Hebrew meal prayers” is left unexplained by authors such as Josef Jungmann, SJ and others writing before, during, and after the promulgation of the Missal. What type or form of prayer do you think the first Christians, coming straight out of the synagogue, would pray? These changes are found in many ancient patristic liturgies, both of the Latin as well as of the Oriental churches. If you consult even “Orate Fratres” issues published in the 1930’s and 1940’s, you will see many of these “novelties” being suggested, long before Bugnini had any influence.

    And to close by addressing another of these famous urban legends, which “separated brethren” were we trying to placate and make content with our 1970 Missal? Was it the Lutherans? Because you can’t please them and leave the high church Episcopalians happy? Or were we trying to impress the Baptists? You can’t make them happy and expect the Presbyterians to not find objections. If, as our old catechisms tell us, we could hardly find any agreement amongst Protestants in either worship or doctrine, how is it that, magically, we publish a new Missal in 1970 and it is supposed to remove objections from the lot of them? They can’t find peace and agreement using even their own texts of worship. LOL.

  71. Fr_Sotelo says:

    dspecht: I regret sincerely that you felt that I “vilify” you by referring to “pseudo-scholarship.” I never stated anything about you or Jucken which was negative, in fact. The fact that I mention reading about these theories for 30 years should make it clear that I am referring to authors and books I have read through the years. Please don’t take that as a personal attack on you or Jucken.

  72. dspecht says:

    No real offense taken, Rev. Fr. Sotelo, all ok :-)

    And my intent is not to open a discussion “ad personam”/ “ad personas” – that is not relevant (if you said it or me or X.Y.) but to discuss “ad argumentum”.

    So my point is: I do not feel like a “pseudo-scholarship” because the arguments are not “pseudo-scholarship”.

    You first spoke of “pseudo-scholarship” , “alleged” protestantization and , “nothing is proven”.

    But thanks. Now you gave some arguments and also spoke about “alleged protestant observers”. Well, the names of these observers are known – but let us leave this discussion aside.

    I do not – and would never, as a historican (studied in Mainz Univerisity, Germany – so sorry for my bad English ;-) – say there is a “monocausal” explanation for the outcome of the NOM or that there was only one kind of causes, of goals: the oecomenistic one.

    Of course in this whole and complexe process of forming the NOM there were different intentions, goals, different causes, different people were involved, some perhaps totally orthodox, some more or less, some semi-modernists, some 3/4-modernists etc.

    Some did not argue that oecumenical, the most perhaps were only influenced by a (wrong but perhaps not heterodox per se) archeologism (condemned by Pius XII) and argued like you did above: old prayers, very ancient, very simple, that has to be the model…

    But that was NOT the only kind of persons and argumentations.

    I insist that we have historical evidence that one stream of thinking and intentions – and one very influencing stream of very influential people like Bugnini (and he was influential, you won´t deny this, will you?) – was this oecumenical one.

    So I give you one exact quote/source: read statements of A. Bugnini in the OR of the 19.3.1965, or read the OR of 13.10.1967 were it is clearly stated that the goal is to assimilate to the protestants, namely to the Lutherans. – That is not riciculouse as you tried to point it — that was the atmosphere in the 60ies and 70ies, that they want to be oecumenic to the Lutherans.

    Or cf. Louise Boyer (Le metier de theologien – Entretiens avec Georges Daix, Paris 1979, esp. p. 79 – cit. acc. to Barth, H.-L: Keine Einheit ohne Wahrheit. Stuttgart 1997).

    We have plenty of historical material that shows that influential persons in the reform openly conceded that (at least one/a) goal was the oecumenical convergence, esp. towards the Lutherans.

    And if you consider the concrete reforms, you can see exactly this. — but you know this arguments, I know.

    so f.e. it is clear enough and I also know it that there were some other arguments – besides the oecumenical one – to opress the offertory-prayers and replace them by preperatory-prayers. And one was that the blessed sacrament is not yet confected and so it would be inappropriate to speak of “hostiam immaculatam” and of really offering etc.

    But as you mentioned Jungman – he himselfe said (perhaps also in miss. soll., I have to look it up, but at least in a littel booklet that I have in my library) that the Roman offertory is such deep in his content and shows perfectly the goals of the Mass etc. and it is like a real jewel or brilliant.

    And of course there is no real liturgical problem in anticipating things – so there was no need to change the offertory, praised as a a real jewel by authors like Jungman.

    The problem was: it was so Catholic and so anti-protestant (cf. what m. Luther said about the “smal Canon”!) – it was not oecumenic.

    Well, go to a library and read the OR quoted above, please – so there is proof! (or Louise Boyer … or Lengeling … etc. — all influential persons! So there is this oecumenical intention, of course! We have the written sources! Yes, besides other ideas and influences – not monocausal, of course – but that is not the problem discussed here.)

  73. robtbrown says:

    If I might make a few points:

    1. Although many arguments can be made against the deficiencies of the Novus Ordo, its major problem is that it is almost always said in the Vernacular Versus Populum. VVO facilitated the introduction of the Mass as Meal concept.

    2. IMHO, the lack of explicit reference to sacrifice in the NO Offertory (which is at least partly modeled on Passover) is no small matter. NB: Cardinal Ratzinger was very clear in his insistence that the Eucharist is not a Christianized Passover meal.

    3. It is historical fact that MaM (based on the Protestant idea that the Eucharist is a memorial of the Last Supper) was introduced at the same time the Novus Ordo was promulgated.

    Cf no. 12 http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/P6601119.HTM

    4. Although I agree with Pachomius that EPII can be interpreted as implying Sacrifice, such a possibility is undermined by the liturgically ubiquitous MaM concept.

    5. IMHO, it is the policy (not the teaching) of the Church that neither 1570 or 1970 Missals is preferred.

    6. It is not true that “the model in this country, (that) monasteries have parishes which they support, is the norm”. Although this tends to be the case among OSB monasteries (most of which had their source in Germany or Switzerland), the 16 Trappist did not take on parishes.

  74. Jucken says:

    You might be right, father. But then please consider the following at least: if the solution to the liturgical crisis is to bring the OF closer to the EF, then why don’t we simply rollback wholly? You may cite a practical reason, but then how was it practical to replace the EF with the OF altogether in the first place?

    It is told that Pope Saint Pius X once asked some young students of a Catholic school in Rome what are the distinctive marks of the true Church of Christ. One student answered there are four: she is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. The Pope replied, “aren’t there more?”, to which another student answered that she is also Roman. The pontiff then explained they were forgetting to mention one of her most evident characteristics: that she is also persecuted!

    The Mass of all times is persecuted for a reason.

    By their fruits you shall know them.” (St. Matthew VII, 16)

    The fruits of the Council and of the Novus Ordo Missae are very well known.

  75. GregB says:

    I thought that the Catholic Church is an old and a big Church. The Church contains many different spiritualities. Off the top of my head I can name (in no particular order) the Carmelites, the Dominicans, the Jesuits, and the Franciscans, just to name a few. The Church is neither all Carmelite, nor all Dominican, nor all Jesuit, nor all Franciscan. Why then do some people say that the Church has to be either all EF or all OF? I prefer OF, but I also believe in peaceful coexistence between both forms of the Mass.

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