Dealing with McBrien on the new, corrected translation

From the dissident Fishwrap‘s long-time dissident columnist, Fr. Richard McBrien, comes this piece about the new, corrected translation.

Pay close attention to the contempt he shows for a vast number of people and also the attitude of disobedience he promotes.

It is not merely that he doesn’t like the new, corrected translation.  He doesn’t like the people who like the new, corrected translation.

Furthermore, note that McBrien will advocate that priests disobey lawful authority and continue to use the obsolete ICEL translation.  He advises them to impose their own will on the people in the pews.  He has advised disobedience before (click HERE).

McBrien’s suggestion is scandalous in its disrespect toward proper authority.  It also shows contempt for people in the pews, who have the right to a liturgy celebrated as the Church desires.  People have a right not to have the priest impose his pet ideas on their worship.  This is a particularly brutal form of clericalism.

The faithful are obliged to attend Mass.  McBrien would oblige people to endure the oppressive whims of a priest.

In this piece McBrien reveals his ultra-clericalist attitude.

Dealing with the new translation of the Mass
by Richard McBrien on Dec. 26, 2011

There used to be an anti-liturgical joke circulating that said that the only difference between a terrorist and a liturgist is that you can negotiate with a terrorist.  [I think there is another which involves finding yourself with two terrorists and liturgist and having only two bullets in your gun….]

By the same token, there is a seriously mistaken impression abroad that the new translation of the missal was inspired and promoted by liturgists. Nothing could be further from the truth. [I think I know what he means here, in this muddled statement.  I think he means the final product.  But is what he wrote true?  Liturgists did not “inspire and promote” the new translation?  If not, who did “inspire and promote it”?]

The great majority of liturgical scholars were opposed to the new, literal translations. [Fact check: the new translation is NOT a “literal” translation.  And note his phrasing here.  LOL!] Those who favored the changes were adherents of the so-called “reform of the reform.” [I wonder what he thinks that phrase means?]

In other words, the changes were inspired and promoted, not by liturgists, but by traditionalists in the hierarchy and a minority of ultra-conservatives within the Catholic church generally.  [Oooooo.  I guess this means that McBrien’s brand of liturgists must be incredibly feckless!  No?]

Such Catholics were never supportive of the liturgical reforms initiated by the Second Vatican Council: turning the altar around so that the priest would face the congregation during Mass, [Where is that in the documents of the Council?] receiving Holy Communion in the hand, [Where is that in the documents of the Council?]celebrating the Mass in the vernacular, [The Council said that the liturgy was to remain in Latin.]having altar girls as well as altar boys, [Where is that in the documents of the Council?]and so forth.

In the extreme, they attended Latin Masses wherever they were available. [Imagine such a thing! Members of the Latin Church going to Mass in the language the Council said Mass should be used. No. Wait. Again, McBrien is playing fast and loose with terms. I think he means the Traditional Latin Mass. “Latin Mass” can be Novus Ordo.] Their celebrants continued to wear the so-called fiddle-back chasubles and birettas. A Catholic Rip Van Winkle awakening from a long sleep beginning sometime in the 1950s would assume that nothing had changed in the meantime. [puhleez]

To be sure, the advocates of the “reform of the reform” have won only a partial victory with this new translation (for example, “I believe …” rather than the more communal “We believe …” in the Credo). [Is the writer unaware that Latin credo means “I believe”?  But, no!  Wait! “I believe” would be literal.] But the Mass is still in the vernacular; the altar is still turned around; the great majority of people receive Communion in the hand; and there are more likely to be altar girls in the sanctuary than boys. [And there won’t be any vocations from the parish.]

Such changes as these are anathema to traditionalist Catholics, who continue to receive Com-munion on the tongue (as is their right), grit their teeth when they see girls serving Mass and attend a Latin Mass from time to time. [Which is their right.]

But they are happy nonetheless to see so many of their fellow Catholics out of sorts because of the new translation of the Mass. They know that it galls Catholics for whom Pope John XXIII is a hero and Vatican II was a great event. [Is this an example of “rash judgment”? Cf. CCC 2477-78.]

I’ve heard Catholics say that their pastors, though not conservative, have praised the new translations. Either their pastors are not being honest because they don’t want to be reported to their bishop or they are deep-down right-wing in their thinking. [Again? So, McBrien, apparently a psychic who can read minds at a distance, is accusing the aforementioned pastors of being liars. Did I get that wrong?]

A retired pastor I heard prepare his congregation the week before the changes were to go into effect had the congregation practice giving the simple response, “And with your spirit.” But he said by way of introduction that the “what” of the changes he and they could handle; the “why” he would leave to the Holy Spirit. [And that is supposed to be proof of… what exactly?]

I suspect many older priests had the same reaction. Only some of the younger (or not-so-young), conservative priests, ordained during the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, would more likely be in favor of the changes than opposed to them. [He finally got something right!]

But what good would come of outright opposition? A well-respected priest in Seattle led a movement recently to have the U.S. bishops slow down the process until all the kinks could be worked out, but that movement, though it gained thousands of supporters, fizzled and died in the end. [Again the word that pops into my mind is feckless. So many people. So little power. Maybe they were just wrong.]

The Vatican had already made up its mind, and the largely conservative U.S. hierarchy [Have you gotten his not so subtle point yet? Liberals/liturgists good… conservatives bad.] would not buck the Vatican, even if it were disposed to do so.

Some Catholics may continue to say “And also with you” rather than “And with your spirit,” or “We believe …” instead of “I believe …” in the Creed, or “one in being with the Father” instead of the highly technical and indecipherable “consubstantial,” also in the Creed. [Do you find it disconcerting that McBrien, who taught what was billed at theology at Notre Dame, finds the word “consubstantial” to be “indecipherable”? Or does he mean that it is “indecipherable” to everyone else?]

Presiders at Mass will have the most difficult time because there have been many tongue-twisting changes in the texts of the Eucharistic prayers. [Maybe they will have to slow down a little.]

Those priests who have been reciting these prayers for many years will inevitably stumble over the new wording, and those priests whose eyesight has failed them and who have memorized unchangeable parts of the Mass will continue to recite the words with which they have been long familiar. At least, that is what I would advise them if they were silly enough to ask. [Tu enim dixisti.]

This column will return to this subject a number of times in the future because it affects us all. In the meantime, I wanted to dispel a few of the most common misunderstandings about the new translations and their origin. [When will that take place?]

What happened at the beginning of Advent 2011, and the implementation of a more accurate translation, was a tiny change compared to the imposition of an artificially created, “New Order” of Mass in Advent of 1969.

Since McBrien uses his liberal psychic powers, I will use my even more powerful conservative psychic powers.

I think McBrien doesn’t like the new translation because he doesn’t like the theology of the Latin prayers, even those of the Novus Ordo, which now comes through more clearly with the new, corrected translation. Therefore he rains his atrabilious scorn down on those who respect their Catholic identity and want both what the Second Vatican Council actually asked for and also what their legitimate liturgical tradition has passed down through the centuries.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Pò sì jiù, Throwing a Nutty and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Tim Ferguson says:

    I suspect that we will see more and more vitriol from ecclesiastical dufflepuds like Fr. McBrien as time goes on. They will, of course, see their written salvos as being very courageous and witty, and will applaud each other heartily, unable to see that the rest of the Church views them as increasingly irrelevant and altogether foolish. The fact that their heterodox theology and liturgical practices have not begotten the springtime they envisioned is lost on them. The bare ruined choirs they have spawned, the empty seminaries, the declining Mass attendance are still trumpeted by them as success. The corrected translations should be yet another occasion for them to stop, reflect on what they’ve done, and realign themselves with the Church, but it will be another missed opportunity for most of them, who will go down to the end, raging against their Master and their Mother, whose loving intentions they have totally misunderstood.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  2. APX says:

    Do people actually take this guy seriously?? Whenever I see that picture of him, I’m reminded of a crazy old guy, rocking away in an old rocking chair, wrapped up in an afghan, rocking back and forth laughing in a crazy old guy laugh coming through a toothless grin. And then I just smile and laugh.

  3. Ah ……. another wackadoodle that refutes Truth because it interferes with what he thinks and feels is right and JUST!

    I have a perfect organization for this person. It is probably just down the street. Within its walls he would be able to believe and do anything that he “feels” is right. And get gold stars for disobedience. I left it. I think he would make a great addition.

  4. Paul says:

    “Presiders at Mass will have the most difficult time because there have been many tongue-twisting changes in the texts of the Eucharistic prayers.”

    Yet our very holy, soft-spoken, priest from Columbia seems to be handling it just fine. Hmm….

  5. What I don’t understand is how Fr. O’Brien can so openly attack the authority of the Church, sow seeds of discontent and confuse the faithful.

    According to Wikipedia, he is a priest of the Archdiocese of Hartford. That bishop is the Most Reverend Henry Mansell (previously of Bishop of Buffalo, NY) who will be 75 next October.

  6. Marc says:

    I know I have made the same comment before on this blog regarding Rev. Fr. Richard McBrien: where is Fr. McBrien’s bishop? Why have his various bishops, through the years, allowed him to confuse and willfully mislead Christ’s flock? I hold them more responsible the Fr. McBrien himself.

  7. Marc says:

    Fr. Z- your Fishwrap picture: PRICELESS!!!

  8. Charles E Flynn says:

    Please see the second comment at A Simple Question.

  9. acardnal says:

    Nice critique, Fr. Z, as usual.

  10. acardnal says:

    I like Rev. McBrien’s clerical garb . . . NOT! I wonder if he is aware of his ontological transformation that occurred during his ordination. I would love to report what the late Servant of God Father John A. Hardon, S.J. stated on tape about Fr. McBrien and the National Catholic Reporter but “it wouldn’t be prudent.”

  11. UncleBlobb says:

    @FatherZ: Is my Schadenfreude a sin? :)

  12. Sword40 says:

    I would comment on the “priest” but I cannot do so in words that are printable on this forum.

  13. JKnott says:

    And Detroit wants “Catholic” removed from Real Catholic TV?

  14. Girgadis says:

    “Their celebrants continued to wear the so-called fiddle-back chasubles and birettas. A Catholic Rip Van Winkle awakening from a long sleep beginning sometime in the 1950s would assume that nothing had changed in the meantime. ”


    I would ask if McBrien seriously believes the changes we’ve seen are for the welfare of Christ’s Church, namely the drop in Mass attendance, the disregard for moral principles including the sanctity of life and the sacredness of matrimony between one man and one woman, and the profanation of the Eucharist when people who are in state of mortal sin are permitted and even encouraged to receive Holy Communion in the name of unity and diversity.

    Some bishop somewhere needs to make an example out of him and any other cleric who wishes to turn the sacred liturgy into an opportunity to protest by stubbornly clinging to the previous translation.

  15. campello says:

    “Only some of the younger (or not-so-young), conservative priests, ordained during the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, would more likely be in favor of the changes than opposed to them.”

    Thanks be to God!!!

  16. wmeyer says:

    It strains charity to the breaking point to use no more harsh word than disingenuous to describe McBrien’s screed. He is appalling, embarrassing, and should have been offered a Trappist cell many years ago, in which to meditate on the many harms he has perpetrated on the faithful. He is no more faithful to the Church teachings than is the scandalous Fr. Fluger(sp?) in Chicago.

  17. Rich says:

    I wonder if it is possible in McBrien’s world for someone to exist who not only likes the new translation but also be one “for whom Pope John XXIII is a hero and Vatican II was a great event”.

    McBrien reveals his narrowmindedness when he paints Catholics who would prefer the new translation as not being happy necessarily for the new translation’s sake, but being happy that Catholics “for whom Pope John XXIII is a hero and Vatican II was a great event” are out of sorts because of the new translation. I don’t even think the new translation has been implemented long enough to pinpoint a collective happiness on the part of “ultra-conservatives” over the fact that others are not happy about the new translation. First, the latter group needs to show somehow that they are out of sorts consistently enough for it to be fairly apparent that they are so, second, the “ultra-conservatives” would need to show some sort of happiness, and, third, their happiness would have to be consistently shown as resulting not necessarily from some other reason – like the fact that they happen to like the new translation – but because others are unhappy, and not just unhappy in general, but because of the new translation. It is such a stretch to presume to paint “ultra-conservatives” with so broad a brush, that it seems apparent that McBrien is so stuck in this “us vs. them” mentality that he is taking out his unhappiness with the new translation on “ultra-conservatives” by painting them as spiteful people who are happy not necessarily because of reverent worship, but because others are unhappy. Poor guy.

    And, I think Fr. Z. hit the nail on the head by indicating that McBrien displays an attitude of extreme clericalism. Even if I were a Catholic who wasn’t crazy about the new translation, for me it would be a very clear indication that the priest were making the Mass his own private prayer as opposed to that of the community by deciding to use the old translation again.

  18. Joseph-Mary says:

    Yes, RealCatholicTV attacked but men like Fr. McBrien continue with impunity…but here is the thing: does anyone under the age of 60 pay any attention to him seriously? You know with all those young priests ordained under these last two popes and all that….the Church in America just may have turned a corner!

  19. Supertradmum says:

    I was at Notre Dame when McBrien first came. He never taught theology by McBrienology. His two volume”Catholicism” was proscribed by the local ordinary as a Catholic text. Rather than fall into the fallacy of ad hominem, I should like to point out his logical errors: one, where are those priests and people who do not like and are boycotting the New Translation? I have not met one priest in multiple places who thought the New Mass was anything but wonderful-English, Irish, American priests and people have made the transition easily. Two, to what conservative bloc of bishops in America is he referring? There are more conservative bishops, but I would hardly label the USCCB as a conservatvie. Three, old priests seem to be adjusting just fine. My pastor here is about 70, and priests I know in England who are in their late 60s are not falling over the words or getting confused. Weeks of stumbling, perhaps for some, but years of stumbling does seem like an exaggeration. Four, does he know any priests ordained under Pope Paul VI who are having difficulty with the philosophy behind the changes and have written such protests in a logical manner?Older priests are most likely not to engage in controversy, as they have seen change before. Again, priests who are older with eyesight problems will probably know some of the wording, such as “under my roof'” from the Latin they learned in seminary, if they are that old, and a known condition of older people is that they remember things from the far past better than the recent past. Logically, the Pauline priests have more experience with the older texts. If they are blind, they are not saying Mass anyway. Five, as to outright opposition, that seemed to me and others like a “storm before the calm”. It petered out because there was actually no reason to get upset in the first place and those “theologian” priests who did express dismay have been quieted by the fact that the expected revolutionary event of change causing distress has proven to be a “non-event”. Six, name the upset liturgists, please. Quotations are missing and sources are missing in this article which indicate there may be no such rebellion in the ranks.

    I ignore the comments regarding Vatican II as these are so illogical as not to be worthy of comment other than Father Z’s amazement at the lack of historical scholarship.

  20. Geoffrey says:

    What a bunch of tripe. Has he ever even read the documents of the Second Vatican Council? Apparently not!

  21. NoTambourines says:

    Fr. Longenecker observes somewhere in his Gargoyle Code that the devil delights in sowing discord and suspicion between parishioners, and between parishioners and their priests.

    There has been a lot of sensationalizing of the traumatic event that this translation is supposed to be that I just don’t see playing out in real life.

    As far as I know, we still have yet to see a schism of Catholics who will give up their ICEL ’73 when you pry it from their cold, dead hands.

    Mr. Tempest, I believe you’ve met Mr. Teapot.

  22. Supertradmum says:

    sorry by in first sentence should be but…

  23. McBrien is a priest in good standing? Who is his Bishop or religious superior? Why is this man not suspended from all priestly function? Someone is obviously in tacit agreement with his views. Lord have mercy!

  24. NoTambourines says:

    A few more thoughts:

    The media clearly delights in creating the image of an out-of-touch priesthood and an angry laity (and a some priests along with them) ready to stomp out in a huff, in hopes that life will imitate “news.” The problem, if I may quote Blazing Saddles, is that “they’re staying in droves!”

    And there are Catholics who think they’re “fixing” the church by bringing it in line with popular sentiments (because the world is in such fine shape for all the social engineering and experimentation) who use that impression to their purposes: to create the impression that they must be allowed to “save” the Church from itself.

    In that regard, I find yet another news item on “dealing with” the translation unhelpful. Even that headline is overstated from the get-go. You “deal with” bereavement. Or a serious illness. But a translation?

  25. tcreek says:

    McBrien says – “But they [traditional Catholics] are happy nonetheless to see so many of their fellow Catholics out of sorts because of the new translation of the Mass. They know that it galls [liberal] Catholics for whom Pope John XXIII is a hero and Vatican II was a great event.”

    For some REAL thoughts from Pope John XXIII, read these ASTOUNDING excerpts from his Apostolic Constitution, VETERUM SAPIENTIA, On the Promotion of the Study of Latin, proclaimed JUST EIGHT MONTHS BEFORE THE OPENING OF VATICAN II. (sorry for shouting but couldn’t help it)
    Furthermore, the Church’s language must be not only universal but also immutable. Modern languages are liable to change, and no single one of them is superior to the others in authority. Thus if the truths of the Catholic Church were entrusted to an unspecified number of them, the meaning of these truths, varied as they are, would not be manifested to everyone with sufficient clarity and precision.

    Finally, the Catholic Church has a dignity far surpassing that of every merely human society, for it was founded by Christ the Lord. It is altogether fitting, therefore, that the language it uses should be noble, majestic, and non-vernacular.

    In addition, the Latin language “can be called truly catholic.” It has been consecrated through constant use by the Apostolic See, the mother and teacher of all Churches, and must be esteemed “a treasure … of incomparable worth.” It is a general passport to the proper understanding of the Christian writers of antiquity and the documents of the Church’s teaching. It is also a most effective bond, binding the Church of today with that of the past and of the future in wonderful continuity.

    It will be quite clear from these considerations why the Roman Pontiffs have so often extolled the excellence and importance of Latin, and why they have prescribed its study and use by the secular and regular clergy, forecasting the dangers that would result from its neglect.
    And We also, impelled by the weightiest of reasons — the same as those which prompted Our Predecessors and provincial synods — are fully determined to restore this language to its position of honor, and to do all We can to promote its study and use. The employment of Latin has recently been contested in many quarters, and many are asking what the mind of the Apostolic See is in this matter. We have therefore decided to issue the timely directives contained in this document, so as to ensure that the ancient and uninterrupted use of Latin be maintained and, where necessary, restored.

    It is a matter of regret that so many people, unaccountably dazzled by the marvelous progress of science, are taking it upon themselves to oust or restrict the study of Latin and other kindred subjects….

    With the foregoing considerations in mind, to which We have given careful thought, We now, in the full consciousness of Our Office and in virtue of Our authority, decree and command the following:

    1. Bishops and superiors-general of religious orders shall take pains to ensure that in their seminaries and in their schools where adolescents are trained for the priesthood, all shall studiously observe the Apostolic See’s decision in this matter and obey these Our prescriptions most carefully.

    2. In the exercise of their paternal care they shall be on their guard lest anyone under their jurisdiction, eager for revolutionary changes, writes against the use of Latin in the teaching of the higher sacred studies or in the Liturgy, or through prejudice makes light of the Holy See’s will in this regard or interprets it falsely.

    3. As is laid down in Canon Law (can. 1364) or commanded by Our Predecessors, before Church students begin their ecclesiastical studies proper they shall be given a sufficiently lengthy course of instruction in Latin by highly competent masters, following a method designed to teach them the language with the utmost accuracy. …No one is to be admitted to the study of philosophy or theology except he be thoroughly grounded in this language and capable of using it.

    4. Wherever the study of Latin has suffered partial eclipse through the assimilation of the academic program to that which obtains in State public schools, with the result that the instruction given is no longer so thorough and well-grounded as formerly, there the traditional method of teaching this language shall be completely restored. Such is Our will, and there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind about the necessity of keeping a strict watch over the course of studies followed by Church students.

    Hence professors of these sciences in universities or seminaries are required to speak Latin and to make use of textbooks written in Latin. If ignorance of Latin makes it difficult for some to obey these instructions, they shall gradually be replaced by professors who are suited to this task.

    8. We further commission the Sacred Congregation of Seminaries and Universities to prepare a syllabus for the teaching of Latin which all shall faithfully observe. The syllabus will be designed to give those who follow it an adequate understanding of the language and its use. Episcopal boards may indeed rearrange this syllabus if circumstances warrant, but they must never curtail it or alter its nature. Ordinaries may not take it upon themselves to put their own proposals into effect until these have been examined and approved by the Sacred Congregation.


    Given at Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on the feast of Saint Peter’s Throne on the 22nd day of February in the year 1962, the fourth of Our pontificate.

  26. FrCharles says:

    hodie liturgistas hoc petere, cras vero aliud velle. (Canon Aimé Georges Martimort, from the work of the Consilium for the implementation of the liturgical reforms of Sacrosanctum concilium, quoted in Stanislaus Campbell, FSC, From Breviary to the Liturgy of the Hours: The Structural Reform of the Roman Office, 1964-1971.)

  27. FrCharles says:

    What’s the difference between a liturgist and a systematic theologian? The liturgist doesn’t care if there are four persons in the Trinity, so long as they match.

  28. PhilipNeri says:

    Just more pitiful mewling from another dinosaur stuck in the liturgical tar pit of 1972.

    Vive la nouvelle traduction!

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  29. Mike Morrow says:

    Excellent commentary, as usual, on the delusional hysterics of McBrien’s flyspeck mind. But…I must take exception to Fr. Z when he states: “What happened at the beginning of Advent 2011, and the implementation of a more accurate translation, was a tiny change compared to the imposition of an artificially created, “New Order” of Mass in Advent of 1969.”

    In truth, absolutely *nothing* detectable took place in my parish or any other in Advent, 1969. The MR for the novus ordo wasn’t even published until 1970, nor were standard translations available for quite some time afterwards.

    The liturgical effluent from the Vatican II waste plant was in full flow five years earlier. Anyone who went to sleep in early 1965 and didn’t wake up until 1966 would NOT have been able to recognize the Church after the many extreme and radical alterations to liturgy, music, and demeanor of clergy and laity that took place during that short period. If anything, all the NOM did was clump together the wet liturgical dung that had been piling up in different shapes and locations for five years and attempt to bring some sort of standardization to its presentation. The initiation of the official NOM was a total non-event everywhere, compared to the comedy of horrors that had spewed through the sluice gates since 1965 by wrecking-crew clerics like the young Fr. McBrien, encouraged by an episcopal hierarchy that was either incompetent, ill-educated, deliberately ill-intentioned, or some combination of all three. [Whew!]

    I lived through it all. I’ll say it again. The introduction of the MR 1970, whenever it took place in a parish, invariably caused changes that were at most barely perceptible. The jack-booted liturgical Einsatzgruppen had landed five years earlier. Resistance had been ridiculed, suppressed, exiled, or annihilated with the force Stalin would have admired long before the MR 1970 NOM crept out.

    [Well penned! His point about 1966 is surely right.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  30. AnAmericanMother says:

    No Tambourines,

    When the Episcopalians got the awful 1979 Book of Common Prayer (which bears more than a passing resemblance to the Lame Duck Translation) in the place of the beautiful ’28 BCP based on the 1662, there was a major schism, so I know what one looks like. This was not one.

    And wrt Fr. McBrien, it seems to me that when you make a really huge mistake (and all of us do, sooner or later, unless we’re paralyzed by the fear of making one) you have two choices:

    You can be a good sport (or humble, if you prefer to put it that way) and say, “Oh, my goodness! I really messed that one up! Sorry! I was wrong! I’ll do better next time!”

    Or you can shut your eyes and put your fingers in your ears and insist that you were right, you are still right, and you will always be right.

    That is called doubling down on stupid in some quarters.

  31. campusdan says:

    I love how many years this man and others continue to disobey the Church’s teachings and teach others to do so, but yet this “catholic” news company can continue to use the name Catholic and Real Catholic TV can not. Looks like the liberals heretics are not going to go quietly, I pray for their conversion but if they are obstinate then to hell with ‘um.

  32. NoTambourines says:


    I wasn’t around yet at the time, but my dad told me a priest in the early 1970s told him he would go to hell for criticizing the loss of the Latin Mass.

    I think that was the beginning of the end for Dad and the Church, though we were weekly Mass-goers until I was a freshman in high school. The end of the end was when we switched parishes and went from organ music to a pianist with a mind for novelty (drum machine, suburbanites with “international” percussion instruments), and from an older church to a bare, sterile auditorium of a church. I think that was one too many “you can’t go home” moments.

    Dad stopped going. My other sibling stopped (and later left the church). Mom and I hung on for a while, but when Dad isn’t on board, and the head of household isn’t taking it seriously, momentum is against you. I went back one Sunday on a whim when I was 19, not intending to make a regular “thing” of it, but I’ve been going ever since.

    Mom will go to Mass with me when I visit home. Dad won’t. Both of them pray, but don’t see the need to go to Mass. I’d be grateful for any prayers for the return of the rest of my family to Mass.

  33. MargaretC says:

    Yes, Father, there are theological issues involved. And in the case of Dr. McBrien (I refuse to call him Father), there are probably psychological issues involved. But it finally comes down to truthfulness — do the faithful have the right to know what the prayers really say?

    I recently had the privilege of studying Latin at the University of Wyoming. (I had a job there, and staff get a waiver of tuition on one course per semester.) The Classics faculty there are very proud of the fact that, if a student can survive three semesters of intensive Latin, he or she can read classical authors.

    Half way through my second semester I started comparing the “lame duck ICEL” prayers with the actually Latin texts. If I had handed in a translation assignment of that quality, Magistra would have given me Hades.

    While I suppose one can quibble over the new translation (and having enough Latin to quibble with is definitely fun), nobody with any grasp of Latin can dispute the fact that the old translation was in many places just plain wrong. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!

    Happy New Year, Father.

  34. Chatto says:

    Why is it he thinks ‘consubstantial’ is too difficult for the people in the pews, but he happily uses a much longer word (‘indecipherable’) in his article? “People don’t know consubstantial means”? How many people could explain what a ‘cypher’ actually was?

  35. NoTambourines says:

    For “other,” read “older.” And I’ll give the keyboard a rest for the day.

  36. TNCath says:

    Fr. McBrien’s reactionary stance is indicative of those of his generation, where facts are manipulated and downright ignored.

  37. letchitsa1 says:

    The difference between McBrien and the Protestants is the Protestants at least have the guts to openly admit they are not in union with Rome.

    May God have mercy on his soul, and may the sufferings of all who must listen to such drivel from heterodox baby boomers be offered up for the repose of the holy souls of purgatory. At the rate these dinosaurs are going, that should shorten the stay of quite a number of such souls.

  38. Mike says:

    No Tamburines…I will pray for your parents at Mass.

  39. contrarian says:

    The general sentiment of this comment thread is exactly right: these are the ravings of a confused man, a man is who is a product of the lost generation. We younger kids not only find what he says wrong, but delusional. I’m surprised, in fact, that Father Z found anything worth fisking here. It’s just…unhinged. The ravings of a man who has waged an unjust war and lost.

    We younger folks simply have to smile and nod at these older fellows. Their time has come and gone.

  40. mrose says:

    Fr. McBrien: a priest in full communion.

  41. Warren says:

    Fr. McBrien made himself irrelevant long ago when he declared himself pope and uttered his first of many myths about the Second Vatican Council. Does he really expect any thinking person with a computer to reject the mountain of primary source information available on the internet nowadays in order to buy into his vision based on half-truths?

    Fr. McBrien is, sadly, living proof that a good mind gone bad will try to drag down others to its level, that level being the hell of the damned. Misery loves company, after all.

    He really needs our prayers.

  42. One of the questions that recurred in this discussion is “why doesn’t someone do something about McBrien and his kind?” The answer is simple. Beating a dead horse is a waste of time. Beating a dying horse isn’t exactly gentlemanly. In any case, the horse won’t be with us much longer. The Church is moving in a certain direction, and there’s no stopping it, at least not for now. It may be moving more slowly than many of us would like, but it is moving and for the better. The aging hippies are not being replaced by like-minded folks as they die; they are being replaced with reverent, orthodox priests and religious. That is why they are heaving their last gasps so loudly– because they know they are beaten. Just try not to pay too close attention as they try to go out in a blaze of fire. Let our newer bishops tend to more pressing matters, looking forward instead of looking back. Imagine us as a Church running from the flames of destruction and devastation, while some of these folks stumble and fall along the way or simply will not head for the exit– we don’t have time to stop and argue with those who will not be helped. We just have to keep moving forward and offer prayers for those who are left behind for whatever reason.

  43. JMody says:

    No Tambourines, I’m praying for your folks, too.

    Fr. Z, at that part where “father” MacBrain, er, McBrien says that the word “consubstantial” is “indecipherable” … what does that mean? I feel scanad-, sadcandle-, “Scandinavalized” again by the big five-dollar words.

    But seriously, when is someone going to make him the diocesan vicar for Salvation through Pushups, where theology and muscle failure meet to keep this SAP from lifting a pen ever again? And will Roger Card. Mahony be the Vatican director of the dicastery-level office?

  44. Cassie says:

    No Tambourines –
    I will pray for your family, and will especially ask the intercession of St. Monica.

  45. Robert of Rome says:

    I want to thank publicly Mike Morrow for his excellent, articultate and accurate portrayal (see his comment above) of the liturgical nightmare that we lived through from the end of the Second Vatican Council until and beyond the introduction of the MR 1970 in the United States. Well said, sir.

  46. wanda says:

    Fr. Z., How about starting 2012 off right by adding a special ‘Protest the Fishwrap’ donate button?

    P.S. My nightly prayers always include a petition for all those who have strayed from the Church. My own family members included.

    [Good idea! I’ll add that.]

  47. frdgss says:

    @ NoTambourines.
    I’ll make a memento for your family in my TLM this morning.
    Fr S

  48. Novum Eboracense says:


  49. trad catholic mom says:

    Thank you Father Z for turning what I expected to be a headache inducing read into an entertaining one.

    I shall pray for poor Father McBrien.

  50. jilly4ski says:

    Why does Fr. O’Brien think that us mere pew sitters are stupid? Indeed any Catholic with any sort of formation (even poor formation) has heard the word “transubstantiation” and generally knows its meaning. I admit that I must have had better than average formation, because we even broke down the parts of the word. But I taught it to my seventh graders as a highschooler and college student, and they understood it. This is a very important word to us as Catholics and describes a centrality of our faith. So why can’t people in the pews learn a much shorter and less involved word as “consubstantial” which describes a reality of God? Really if a seventh grader can learn it…

  51. jilly4ski says:

    My deepest apologies to any priests named O’Brien. I will keep you in my prayers.

  52. Dr. K says:

    For the good of his eternal soul, I propose that the Rev. McBrien retire from whatever it is he does and spend the rest of his life in quiet, prayerful contemplation. Every word that originates from this man’s pen is tearing apart the Body of Christ.

  53. lux_perpetua says:


    my family is literally in the exact same position as yours, down to the description of the suburban church. absolutely praying for you. please pray for me and my family as well.

  54. Centristian says:

    “They know that it galls Catholics for whom Pope John XXIII is a hero and Vatican II was a great event.”

    No, Father, you’ve got it all wrong; many of us who support the revised translations and the “reform of the reform” are, in fact, Catholics for whom Pope John XXIII is a hero and for whom Vatican II was a great event. We aren’t happy that it galls Catholics like that…we’re happy that it galls Catholics like you.

  55. JohnnyZoom says:

    Wow, I am reminded of Saruman retching in Orthanc after the Ents sprayed down the place and Gandalf wizard-whupped him. After his worldview was soundly falsified, he could either swallow his pride, or be consumed by it. He chose the latter, snarking and blustering to his last. Very sad.

    Fr. Z., I would only suggest you do not fall into McBrien’s (and others’) trap of describing this conflict as a liberal/conservative one. While too often these labels work, in reality it is between obedience/unity/orthodoxy/orthopraxis and disobedience/division/heterodoxy/dissent. By using ‘liberal/conservative’, you may lead others into seeing a false moral equivalence between McBrien and those he rebukes, similar to arbitrary choices like between taking cream or sugar in coffee. McBrien no doubt uses those labels a lot by design, so I encourage you (and veryone) to avoid them if possible.

  56. TC says:

    I’ll grant Fr McBrien his vernacular and even turned around altar IF he agrees to use the 1964, fresh-from-the-Council translation of the Missal.
    I have a copy and it strikes me that a lot of folderol could have been avoided by simply reverting to it with a few changes.

  57. Geoffrey says:

    I’ve seen that 1964 Missal. I can’t help but wonder if that wasn’t what the Council Fathers had in mind…

  58. Eriugena says:

    “Prof” Mc Brien teaches the hermeneutic of discontinuity in its purest, most poisonous form. All the set texts for his courses seem to be written by Congar, Schillebeeckx, Rahner, and so on. Nothing at all written by a Saint or Doctor of the Church, and nothing from any other century than the twentieth (when Our Lord founded His Church).


  60. Supertradmum says:


    For your information, Father McBrien frequently teaches Ecclesiology. Can you imagine? This class has included in recent times studying “developments generated by the Council”. More heretics are being churned out of the system still. The Theology Department is, frankly, schizophrenic, with some conservatives (sorry JohnnyZoom) mixed in with real loonies, who only stress documents since Vatican II and those who teach syncretism. Sadly, the next generation is polluted by these men and women, so we are in for this type of breaking with Tradition and Teaching for many years to come. When Fr. McBrien finally stops lecturing, teaching and writing, he has his own school of followers who will carry on the disobedience, sadly. As as alum, I weep.

  61. Supertradmum says:

    Mike Morrow,

    Do you know about the “twelve experimental dioceses” regarding liturgical changes in the mid-sixties? This is not urban legend, as I was living in one and here is what happened. The liturgical changes were introduced in America in twelve different dioceses and monitored. Along with those changes, were intensive adult education, with the pastors setting up adult discussion groups concerning documents and liturgical changes. I know, as I was a teenager and some of those groups met in my parents’ house, as the groups were home based with the pastor visiting. Later, in the 1980s, I was told by a Monsignor that this ploy was to insure that the changes were accepted and then, sprung on other dioceses as a fait accompli. The dioceses involved made sure that the feedback to Rome was highly positive, but the framework for such feedback were these adult study groups. These changes were introduces slowly with explanations of how these changes were in keeping with the history of liturgical worship in the church. The deck was stacked. I do not want to mention any names of the priests, pastors involved, but some were nationally known figures. This all happened very early on and when I finally moved out of the diocese in 1975 and met people for whom the changes were abrupt and not incremental, and without explanation or study, I was surprised. It was then I realized that our diocese had been selected for this set-up trial to insure success. I have since talked to other priests in years past, all in their eighties or nineties now, or passed on, who knew about this. I assume most people do not, as I repeat, only twelve dioceses in the States were involved. God allowed me to experience this for a reason.

  62. Supertradmum says:

    please excuse errors were not was…

  63. Moscatelli says:

    Where is it in the Council documents that altars should be turned? Not in the constitution on liturgy, but in the subsequent document Inter Oecumenici, which explicitly says that it intends to implement the Council document. Approved by Pope Paul VI, who intended to give an authentic interpretation of the Council, I suppose.


    1. Among the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council’s primary achievements must be counted the Constitution on the Liturgy, since it regulates the most exalted sphere of the Church’s activity. The document will have ever richer effects as pastors and faithful alike deepen their understanding of its genuine spirit and with good will put it into practice.

    2. The Consilium, which Pope Paul VI established by the Motu Proprio Sacram Liturgiam, has promptly taken up its two appointed tasks: to carry out the directives of the Constitution and of Sacram Liturgiam and to provide the means for interpreting these documents and putting them into practice.

    3. That these documents should immediately be properly carried out everywhere and any possible doubts on interpretation removed are matters of the utmost importance. Therefore, by papal mandate, the Consilium has prepared the present Instruction. It sets out more sharply the functions of conferences of bishops in liturgical matters, explains more fully those principles stated in general terms in the aforementioned documents, and authorizes or mandates that those measures that are practicable before revision of the liturgical books go into effect immediately.

    91. The main altar should preferably be freestanding, to permit walking around it and celebration facing the people. Its location in the place of worship should be truly central so that the attention of the whole congregation naturally focuses there.

    This Instruction was prepared by the Consilium by mandate of Pope Paul VI, and presented to the Pope by Cardinal Giacomo Lercaro, President of the Consilium. After having carefully considered the Instruction, in consultation with the Consilium and the Congregation of Rites, Pope Paul in an audience granted to Cardinal Arcadio Maria Larraona, Prefect of the Congregation of Rites, gave it specific approval as a whole and in its parts, confirmed it by his authority, and ordered it to be published and faithfully observed by all concerned, beginning on the first Sunday of Lent, March 7, 1965.

  64. Supertradmum says:


    Good reminder for everyone here! I was just re-reading this document last week in order to contradict a stupid article on Vatican II written by a lib priest, of course. When I was in high school and in college, we studied these documents. It is very important for all adult Catholics to read such. Thanks for the quotations. We cannot be lazy about our history of liturgy lessons.

  65. david andrew says:

    As to O’Brien’s characterization of priests who laud the new translation (especially publicly and in their homilies) as either being afraid of appearing disobedient to their local bishop or being a closet “traddie”, I say bosh. Great bosh.

    And, I find it tragic (and inexcusable) that priest/academics like O’Brien and dissident newspapers like the Fishwrap repeatedly get a pass from scruitiny and close examination, while folk like Michael Voris are constantly under attack for their use of the word “Catholic (TM)” from chancery offices that are truly tarnishing the trademark.

    To my mind, the longer the Church remains silent about folk like O’Brien and the willing useful idiots in the Catholic media, and the longer the Holy See remains slow to act in these matters, the harder it will be for the Church to regain her identity and legitimate voice in the public square.

  66. irishgirl says:

    david andrew-that’s ‘McBrien’, not ‘OBrien’. Just so you know….
    I was appalled to read what ‘Father’ McBrien wrote…and I’m glad that you took his words apart, Father Z!
    I, for one, thank God that McBrien and his fellow dissidents are a dying breed.
    That being said, why doesn’t his Bishop (whoever and wherever he is) suspend him?

  67. robtbrown says:

    In fact, it is one of the tasks of the priest to decipher what seems to be indecipherable.

    Frankly, I am tired of Fr McBrien. As a theologian, he is a 3rd rate hack who relies on the sophistry of the demagogue to advance his opinions.

  68. Cathy says:

    Why do I get the feeling that Fr. McBrien’s respect for the old, obsolete ICEL is new found. I bet he did not bother to say the black and do the red with the obsolete translation either. I find it interesting when he mentions “those priests” who memorized the liturgical prayers and did not include himself. I get the strange feeling that he looks down, even upon “those priests”, as not being innovative enough to make up their own prayers as they went along.

  69. NoTambourines says:

    Thanks for all the prayers — for your spiritual works of mercy for my folks.

  70. Peggy R says:

    Wow. A popular thread already!
    Two things I’ll note:
    1. Au contraire to Fr. McBrien regarding the willingness of the faithful to accept the novus ordo. My mother, a pre-boomer, already a mother of six little ones at the time, was danged angry. I learned of this feeling when I discussed the changes that came about ~’02 or so. She yelled that first “they” said everything they were doing (before N.O.) was wrong. Now, they’re telling us again what we are doing is wrong. She’s taken these changes with greater humour, having been more prepared by her pastor. She’s also been busy caring for her elderly mother, who was laid to rest this Advent.
    2. EMCHs and the right to receive on the tongue. At our Christmas vigil mass, the children are invited to sit on the floor before the sanctuary leaving seats for adults. The EMHCs distribute Our Lord to them. Our boy who has made his first communion was passed over b/c he didn’t hold his hands out as the kids to his left and right did. He was upset by that and talked to me about it afterward. I am angry about that and haven’t decided how to broach it with the pastor yet.

  71. bernadette says:

    I live in an average city and belong to an average parish and am involved in several Catholic organizations. The new translation just hasn’t been a big deal to the Catholics I have talked to. Everyone is generally happy with the changes. The only complaints were about “consubstantial” but no one was angry or ready to storm out of the church but just a little put off that they had to go to the dictionary to look it up.
    And please, don’t blame the boomers for Father McBrien or VII. McBrien was born way before the boomers, in 1936 to be exact. The boomers didn’t start coming along till 1946 and the oldest boomers were in high school when the changes started coming about.

  72. wmeyer says:

    Cathy, I suspect your observation about Fr. McBrien not bothering to say the black and do the red is correct, but I can’t help wondering, since I think I have never seen him in vestments, does he ever celebrate the Mass? Or did he?

  73. wmeyer says:

    Supertradmum, I have not had the benefit of any formal education in Church history, much less that of the Council of Vatican II, but I wonder whether you can suggest any books which may help me to remedy this lack? I have read The Rhine Flows into the Tiber, but other books which had been recommended to me lacked the substance of Fr. Wiltgen’s, and worse, were clearly twisted to mis-characterize — and with great certainty — the objections of such fine men as Card. Ottaviani. I was not fooled, but was somewhat resentful of the time wasted.


    Per Fr. Z’s recommendation, I am making my way through Edward Feser’s The Last Superstition, and I would assert that most, if not all, of the Spirit of Vatican II priests lack the formation in philosophy which would have prevented their diversion from Church teaching. My assertion may easily be in error, but if so, I would be forced to assume in its place evil intent.

    [Feser’s book is really good.]

  74. oddfisher says:

    wmeyer: Try anything by James Hitchcock, and John Eppstein’s “Has the Catholic Church Gone Mad?” , (out of print, but you should be able to find it).

  75. wmeyer says:

    Bernadette, you are exactly right. I was born in 1948, and graduated high school in 1966. On the other hand, my own parish is overloaded with people only a few years my senior, to whom McBrien is a leading interpreter of all things Catholic. And even my pastor, who is 11 years younger than I was educated in a seminary which used McBrien’s tome in some classes.

  76. Supertradmum says:


    Thank you for the question. As to learning the Faith, I would not concentrate on those books which are merely critical of the changes and chaos, but emphasize the Truth and Beauty of the Catholic Church. If you know your Faith, you can criticize from your own well-informed conscience, the best defense against heresy and nonsense. Rather than listing my favorites for “Catholic Training for the Church Militant”, here is my email and I shall send you a list to keep you busy and happy for ages. God bless you and I wish all laymen out there were like you-eager to learn and be good Catholics. I miss being active in catechetics and firmly believe that adult education is needed now.

  77. Scott W. says:

    “But they [traditional Catholics] are happy nonetheless to see so many of their fellow Catholics out of sorts because of the new translation of the Mass. ”

    More accurately, I am pleased, but it is not at people’s personal discomfort, but that there is actually a glint of hope against a pernicious ideology that follows much of those clinging to the informal language of the previous translation. As far as feelings, not that they are relevant, I actually do feel sorrow for the Episcopal and Lutheran denominations as they capitulate to the prevailing cultural winds and people leave faster than if their church buildings were on fire. That is, doing exactly what Fr. McBrien would have the Catholic Church do. How anyone can look at the smouldering piles of rubble that those denominations have become and still say, “Yeah, let’s do that” boggles the mind. So yeah, I am pleased. The new translation is an opportunity for Catholics to dump a dreadful and destructive ideology and finally actually be Catholic.

  78. wmeyer says:

    Supertradmum, I have taken you up on your offer, in e-mail. Thank you!

  79. schmenz says:

    I don’t necessarily have a dog in this fight because I never attend the Novus Ordo, though I hasten to add that if the New New Mass is an improvement over the New Mass then that is a step in the right direction. But Mr McBrien is, as others here have said more eloquently, well on his way to joining the dodo bird. That his superiors in the Church allow him to continue his smug and insufferable articles is what is truly serious about all this. He is a nothing, a nonentity; but a Church that allows this to go on unchecked is in a seriously troubled situation. Yes, we should pray for this man, but we must pray more for the leaders of the Church, that they may grow a backbone and deal seriously with the McBriens of the world.

    Like others I, too, lived through the 1970 nightmare. The pastor of our parish happened to be an auxiliary Bishop and he basically told them that he would continue saying the Mass of the ages until he was absolutely forced to do so. Conveniently for them he died around that time and the new pastor quickly implemented the changes in early 1970. I shall never forget how shocked and stunned we all were. The utter childishness and banality of this concoction made it difficult for me to continue going to Mass. I thank God that four years later, in 1974, we discovered the last parish in town that offered the traditional Mass said by a priest who calmly and respectfully but firmly reminded the Bishop that he had no right to suppress this Mass. The Bishop let him alone.

    Like others who have responded my heart goes out to “no tambourines” and I have added my poor prayer for the intention he requested. I would hope that he might seek out a quiet, reverent Mass in the ancient Rite that he could attend. A quick Google check on the locations of these Masses would most likely show him the most convenient place; indeed there may even be one in his own diocese. But if he could find this Mass and then, one day, cordially invite his parents to attend with him, it might give them hope. It might show them that this nightmare will indeed come to an end one day. One of my daughters recently began dating a fine young man, a Catholic, who naturally had known nothing of the Mass other than the various new ones. When he accompanied her some weeks ago to the traditional Mass said in our diocese he came out rather stunned saying, “I can’t believe I’ve never been exposed to this.”

    This is another illustration of the fact that Masses composed by committees stand in stark contrast to a Mass that grew organically and slowly over centuries while keeping the essentials from the time of Christ intact. Something, of course, an intellect like O’Brien’s cannot comprehend.

  80. Gail F says:

    I left a comment over there. Usually the comments at that site make me sad but today they were just funny. All about “the revolution” and the awful heirarchy that doesn’t care about people in the pews. Seems to me that the hierarchy is finally paying attention to the people in the pews!

    Centristian: This is a classic! “No, Father, you’ve got it all wrong; many of us who support the revised translations and the “reform of the reform” are, in fact, Catholics for whom Pope John XXIII is a hero and for whom Vatican II was a great event. We aren’t happy that it galls Catholics like that…we’re happy that it galls Catholics like you.

    wmeyer: Check out the archives at the Rev. Know it All’s site. He has a mutli-part series on the “Hootenany Mass” that is a humorous — yet sobering — explanation of how the changes to the mass that we know came about, from the perspective of someone in a seminary at the time. It will leave you amazed that things are as good as they are. (some time i the mid- to latter-part of 2011). “The Mass and Modernity” by Jonathan Robinson is an excellent book about how various influential philosophers (Hume, Kant, etc) influenced the thinking of Catholics — not in a good way. It is very readable and will make a lot of obscure things clear, as it’s about fundamental ways of looking at things rather than particular theological doctrines. I’ve read it twice and need to read it again! Philosphers don’t “stick” in my brain.

  81. Gail F says:

    Here is a link to a pdf of the whole “Hootenany Mass” series:

    It’s REALLY good.

  82. wmeyer says:

    Gail F: I am a big fan of the good Rev. Know-it-all. The Hootenanny Mass is far too similar to the one-and-only folk Mass I ever attended (ca. 1968, in Kalamazoo, MI).

  83. There were a lot of priests who worked hard to say the OF Mass with dignity and beauty, of which my home parish’s pastor was one. (Which, come to think of it, must be why the parish of my childhood was always crammed to the gills on Sunday morning.) It wasn’t until the Eighties when things got really undignified; and even then, what lived in our heads for a long time was the more dignified style that we’d had. Now it’s coming back, and I’m glad.

  84. david andrew says:


    A dissident by any other name . . .

    But, as you’re Irish (at least to judge by your pseudonym), and I’m Scottish-Irish, I understand and accept the correction!

  85. cl00bie says:

    I revere Pope John XXIII, and Vatican II was a much needed council inspired by the Holy Spirit, however it was the implementation that left much to be desired. The documents of the council are beautiful as written, but it is the spirit not of Vatican II, but I believe of Satan that has turned our masses into bread and circuses. :P

  86. jflare says:

    I read through some of the comments over there, they’re fairly beside themselves with fury! I hope I don’t gall anyone too much: I commented that I actually LIKE to have something memorized, the better to remember how I might cry out when I’m feeling miserable.
    ..Wonder how many will go berserk because I mentioned that I intend to buy a missal. I think I need to begin memorizing the liturgical prayers, the better to pray along with the priest.
    Seriously, I didn’t know you could even consider that before Pope Benedict commented on the subject. My, what things we can read in books!

  87. Supertradmum says:


    Some of the documents are seriously flawed and open to discussion as to breaking the continuity with the past. Here is a small thing I recently had published. You can look up these references on line.

    A few comments on the main Documents of Vatican II, in response to Father Borg’s letter, may help elucidate some the problems which have caused an age of confusion.

    Dei Verbum was criticized by Benedict XVI when he was Cardinal. “The brief form of the Preface and the barely concealed illogicalities that it contains betray clearly the confusion from which it has emerged.’ I had to appeal to the earlier document Providentissimus Deus by Pope Leo XII to omit confusion among my students. There is a hermeneutic of continuity necessarily missing here .

    Lumen Gentium needs more explanation in 16 which affirms universal salvation, condemned in the Syllabus of Errors from Pope Pius IX, as heresy; “Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ.”

    The present Pope said that Article 17 was “downright Pelagian”.

    Gaudium et Spes, which our Pope has criticized as the weakest of the documents, is unnecessarily optimistic and has minimized the emphasis on sin and evil in the world,.

    Pope John Paul wrote that ” in the years following the post-conciliar liturgical reform, as a result of a misguided sense of creativity and adaptation, there have been a number of abuses which have been a source of suffering for many. ” Sacrosanctum Concilium has perversely been used as agenda for a break in the continuity of the Mass– the two dubious themes of open-ended change and “democratization” in the Mass do seem to be there, but, “… there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them, and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing.”

    This did not happen.

  88. Blaise says:

    Moscatelli posted some quotations from Inter Oecumenici. It is interesting that the context of paragraph 91 could be taken to impy that it was primarily concerned with new Churches not messing around with the ffabric of older ones:

    Chapter V. Designing Churches and Altars to Facilitate Active Participation of the Faithful


    90. In building new churches or restoring and adapting old ones every care is to be taken that they are suited to celebrating liturgical services authentically and that they ensure active participation by the faithful (see SC art. 124).


    91. The main altar should preferably be freestanding, to permit walking around it and celebration facing the people. Its location in the place of worship should be truly central so that the attention of the whole congregation naturally focuses there.
    Choice of materials for the construction and adornment of the altar is to respect the prescriptions of law.
    The sanctuary area is to be spacious enough to accommodate the sacred rites.

    Since 90 deals with new Churches in general the temptation is to read 91 as dealing with Main Altars (o for the word “High”) for new Churches. However, I suspect you can just as easily read it as distinct – 90 is about New Churches; 91 is about Main Altars in any Church.

    But it is also interesting that the purpose of having a free standing altar is just as much to allow “walking around” it as saying mass facing the people. Presumably for the purpose of better incensing :)

  89. Luke Whittaker says:

    For my part I am still considering therapy for suffering near psychoses due to being saddled with a theologically misleading English translation ever since I came into the Church. The new corrected translation is a real gift. It was interesting to me that Father McBrien includes a story where his priest-friend plans to leave the “why” behind the new translation to the Holy Spirit. Do they realize that such an attitude requires receptivity? The answer becomes clear in Father McBrien’s public sarcasm in opposition of the Magisterium: Dissension is an antonym for receptivity. “A person has as much of the Holy Spirit as is his love for the Church of Christ” (St. Augustine PL 35 646). To miss the point of the “one necessary thing” is to miss out on a relationship with God, the absence of which point suggests that one might find oneself outside of the mystical body of Christ when it matters most; we know not the day or the hour. May God lead us.

  90. Panterina says:

    “Cosubstantial” is not “indecipherable”: Co- = same, substantial = substance = of the same substance. Easy. To me, “one in being” was always the indecipherable phrase.

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