Fr. Anscar Chupungco, OSB – R.I.P.

Fr. Anscar Chupungco, OSB, a well-known and influential liturgist, has died. He was 73.

I will remember him in my prayers, sincerely. In my opinion he created a lot of damaging confusion to our understanding of liturgical worship and inculturation.

An era is passing. The Biological Solution is working … on all of us.

Memento mori.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Prayers for him, and all holy priests of God.

  2. Liam says:

    Requiescat in pace.

  3. heway says:

    I just finished readubg the comments re: Father Anscar on Facebook. He is obviously loved and respected….God speed, Father……

  4. pinoytraddie says:

    His Theology was deep and he contributed to the Outdated Translation of the OF Missal. But having said this,Let us Pray for a New Era of TRUE Liturgical reform in the Philippines(which is Deprived of the Fruits of the Motu Propio liberating the EF) and for the Repose of Fr Anscar’s soul. Kyrie Eleison!

  5. asperges says:

    RIP – a man who doubtless believed in the Vat II reforms and regretted the long overdue brakes being applied to liturgical reform under the present Holy Father and said so.

    His views were ‘progressive.’ and fixed in to the old mantra of necessary change. “The issue about rupture of liturgical tradition is a polemic question that overlooks the history of the liturgy, which time and again has undergone adjustments in textual and ritual expressions. The true issue is whether the postconciliar reform has promoted the Church’s “earnest desire” that the faithful worldwide are led to “full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations” (SC 14) and are enabled to encounter Christ through the ritus et preces of Vatican II’s liturgy.” (acceptance Speech 2011).

    Well it hasn’t. I agree with the issue, but not the outcome. Liturgical awareness is worse now than for centuries amongst the faithful. The argument of ever-changing adjustments to liturgy is also wholly unconvincing. It hadn’t changed much in over 1000 years until Vatican II, nor had there been any movement for it to do so; then we all became so newly enlightened in the 1960s that we allowed ourselves not only wholesale reform, but a substantial break with all that had gone before from facing the people, through use of the vernacular, to near abandonment of all we had treasured in the liturgy.

    Only now are we picking up the pieces again – slowly.

  6. BeckyCA says:

    I am interested in hearing more about what his views were. It sounds like he was hugely influencial. To my dismay, I did read that he complained about “the reform of the reform”. I would like to know what he envisioned that liturgy should be.

    It particularly struck me, in an obituary I read of him, that he was ordained in 1965. Over and over again, I have noticed that the most radical priests I’ve met are the ones who were ordained in that era. Frankly, I think that is true of laypeople as well: the most liberal are not the Boomers, but the Silent Generation that preceded the Boomers and were young adults in the early ’60’s.

    I have always tried to put my finger on what “radicalized” young Catholics in that era. From what I’ve heard, there were certain problems — my very orthodox father-in-law calls them “hypocrises” — in Catholic circles before Vatican II. And so I think when Vatican II was convened, young adults of that era saw it as a radical, and welcome, break from the problems in the Church they had experienced. Forever after, they have clung to this vision of Vatican II and this is why they resist anything that seems “preconcilar” to them — they see the Church of the ’40’s and ’50’s as problematic and are afraid of anything that’s a throwback to that era.

    Is there anyone reading this who was a young adult in the early ’60’s and can speak of the pros/cons of Catholic culture in that era? If so, I would love to hear more.

  7. twele923 says:

    Here’s the answer to BeckyCA’s question. A 2011 speech by him when he accepted an awards by the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions.

  8. Marie Veronica says:

    @ Becky,
    Apologies, I believe I hit the post button before finishing my reply.
    In sum – yes- I believe the Silent Generation embraced the novelties of the 1970s and in a way were the real radicals. Some of this may be rooted in how they experienced Catholicism in their youth. I think, broadly, they remember the period as exceedingly rigid or even superstitious. In the case of my family and many of their friends, they were the children and grandchildren of NYC area immigrants (Irish, Polish, Italian) and wanted very much to join mainstream American society – and brush off the old ways. That included dumping European religious art, ethnic feasts, liturgical calendars and forming their habits along more Protestant-American lines. I find it is among this generation that there is the most push-back to anything that harkens to pre-1960s Catholicism – almost an irrational fear. Some are wistful and miss the reverence, others seem very much oblivious to the damage done (can’t or won’t connect the dots). And not a few love all things novel and Protestant-inspired. This includes absolute shock over anyone who would willingly seek out a Latin Mass, practice NFP, or want to revive the old ways. If there is a book on this, I’d love to know. If there isn’t, there probably should be one.

    I think this idea of the desire to be thought of as modern Americans probably has a lot to do with it.

  9. BeckyCA says:

    @ Marie Veronica
    I would love to read a book about this. I am gathering enough material I could someday write one! One book I’ve come across does touch on some of the issues you raise, in the context of explaining why so many in the Silent Generation rejected Humanae Vitae. It’s called “Catholics and Contraception: An American History” by Leslie Woodcock Tentler. It’s clear in reading the book that the author herself “leans left” but overall I thought it was a fascinating work of history. Not that I agree with the rejection of HV, or other rejections of Church teaching, but this book helped me better understand the mindset of people who struggle with it. I think for many Boomer and Gen X Catholics, there is not even an awareness that the Church still teaches birth control is wrong. If you go to Sunday Mass at the average Ordinary Form parish and take CCD using the average textbook . . . how would you ever learn that?

  10. pvmkmyer says:

    Dear Marie Veronica:
    I think you are on to something when you discuss the desire to assimilate. I converted to Catholicism in 1980, but was raised in the 50’s and 60’s in a secular Jewish family (what I call culturally Jewish – no prayers, no temple, no bar mitzvah, etc). The desire of my parents’ generation to assimilate into the American mainstream, as opposed to my grandparents who were immigrants from Poland and Russia, was very strong. So strong, in fact, that we had a Christmas tree for many years in my youth.

  11. A Sinner 2 says:

    May the Lord have mercy on Fr. Chupungco.

    From the McManus Award speech:

    “In a quarter of a century the postconciliar reform had taken deep root in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Oceania.”

    I have heard even orthodox Catholics repeat this mantra, but it is certainly not true of Latin America, where people have been leaving the Church in droves since the Council. I’m not going to Google the stats right now. Rather, if you don’t believe me, the next time you’re in a Latin American neighborhood pay attention to all the Protestant iglesias and storefront evangelical chapels that dot the communities of a people who were one solidly Catholic.

  12. Johnsum says:

    Why did the silent generation become so passionate about the V-2? Hard to know. However, many were glad about the permission to contracept (they got permission in the confessional). The word spread. Some were glad of abolition of the Friday fast. They were not proud of their Catholic identity. Much more interested in being like their protestant friends. Catholic GI bill graduates of state universities embraced secular values. At the same time, Catholic faculty at Catholic universities, clergy and lay equally, shed the faith for grants and protestant and secular peer recognition. Their students followed suit.

    The silent generation lost the faith in great numbers because they lost interest in salvation by the time V-2 happened. They were the beneficiaries of the post war economic boom. The Council as it was implemented failed to change their mind. Now, they do not want to hear that they made the wrong decision. Not much more complicated than that I would guess.

  13. jravago says:

    I pray for his soul. He will have to account to Our Lord for his actions. The actions I speak of are the progressive and unorthodox Liturgy that is prevalent in most of the Philippines. I always enjoy returning to visit except going to Mass. With due respect to the priest and fellow Catholics that is really all I can say. If you have or currently attend a regular OF Mass in the U.S., you know what I am talking about.

    I pray that his death will open the return of a more traditional liturgy in the Philippines.

  14. wmeyer says:

    Johnsum, the lovers of V2 are not in love with the documents. Far from it. If they ever actually read the docs, they would scream. They are in love with the changes made after the Council closed, none of which are in the documents.

  15. Marie Veronica says:

    @Johnsum – You hit on several major points. GI bill is an interesting insight – remember my dad talking about the effect this had. I’m glad pmkvmyer mentions the Jewish experience, there’s been some good books on this. great area for a scholar to gather interviews and data for a study.

  16. Huxtaby says:

    What utter claptrap! but nevertheless prayers for his eternal repose and may he rest in peace.

  17. heway says:

    I ‘love’ all the comments by those who were not young adults during the 60’s I was…being born in 35. Funny, I never used or practiced contraception. As an Irishman, I was and am still proud to be and still celebrate the feast of the great saint. I still like novenas, although they are hard to find in any churches. What I was excited about -the vernacular. I was tired of flipping pages and looking at the back of the celebrant. Our church was huge and European but had no choir. For the first time we were told as Catholics to get up and evangelize. Don’t talk about helping your neighbor via an envelope…get up and do it. There is a place for everyone in the church and it isn’t isolation in a pew. It’s true that many people said their rosary during Mass. The only catechesis occured in a Catholic school, certainly not in church. The Altar Society put on meetings were you learned how to decorate a cake. I particularly take offense at those who judge others and their response to the Blessed Sacrament. ‘Judge not, lest you be judged’.
    Most of what I read is baloney!

  18. Gregory DiPippo says:

    Well, thank goodness for all those changes, then. They MUST be the reason the Catholic Faith is flourishing like never before on the fair Emerald Isle.

  19. jaykay says:

    Heway: with respect, you’ve posted a fair bit of baloney yourself, and related only to YOUR perception.

    “… helping your neighbour via an envelope, get up and do it”. Oh o.k., so the many active help societies, such as the Vincent de Paul to name only one where lay people actually do visitations etc., didn’t come into existence until 1965, eh? “The only catechesis was in a catholic school, certainly not in a church”; ummm, so no sermons on catechesis at all, anywhere, ever, for hundreds of years? “The Altar Society put on meetings where you learned how to decorate a cake”. Yeah, right, everywhere, all over the world. Please don’t mistake your parochial experience for the generality.

    And just where has any of the posters commented on the Blessed Sacrament?

    Gregory DiPippo: he’s not living in Ireland – you can tell by the spelling.

  20. Seraphic Spouse says:

    @JayKay. If true, that might be an interesting example of the phenomenon of Americans with Irish ancestors (who, e.g., left Ireland in 1847) claiming to be “Irish” themselves . I wonder if the sentimentality of Americans who call themselves Irish, when they were not in fact born in Ireland, is related at all to the sentimentality of those who treat Catholicism as if Catholicism were an ethnic identity completely separate from the doctrines it teaches?

  21. Marie Veronica says:

    You’re right. It’s important not to over-generalize nor question the state of someone’s soul or particular devotion. I meant only to relate what I heard from adults who grew up in that place and time. Whatever happened, it affected how the Faith was transmitted within families within a few short generations in America. that’s why I think formal interviews, rather than my random anecdotes, would be best.

  22. “Fr. Anscar Chupungco OSB, 73,, former -president of the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy- and -rector of the Ateneo Sant’Anselmo-, Rome. He had also served as consultor in the Sacred Congregation of Divine Worship and the Sacraments, and had lectured to bishops’ conferences and assemblies of the clergy in the US, Africa, Asia, and Europe.

    Father Anscar died from a heart attack early in the morning, 9 January 2013, at the Paul VI Institute of Liturgy in Malaybalay. The body will return to the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat, Manila, for the Mass of Christian Burial, Tuesday, 15 January.”
    -With Fr.. Anscar,osb, ,by Gods mercy may he rest in Peace , with Benno Walter Gut osb, Rembert Weakland ,sob, Notker Wolf,osb, and others in high position at/ in St Anelsmos and its connected Liturgical offices of reform over the years, no wonder the lame Liturgical results , and especially the liturgical wasteland in most Monastic milieus who are supposed to be he exemplars, thank God for Fr Cassian Folsom osb, in the midst of it the P.I.L./Ateneo Sant’Anselmo crowd……..

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