ROME: Sacra Liturgia Conference – Day 2

Day 2 of the Sacred Liturgy conference in Rome is underway.

The first talk this morning was by Gabriel Steinschulte on sacred liturgical music. He is the nephew of the late, great Msgr. Johannes Overath (a friend and colleague of my old pastor and mentor Msgr. Richard Schuler). Alas, he spoke way too quickly for the simultaneous translator to keep up well, a usual problem with Germans at international conferences.


The second talk was by Bp. Peter Elliott on are celebrandi. He was, as usually, informative and humorous. He paced his talk very well for the translators and even warned them along the way when he was condensing or moving to another page. Experienced and thoughtful!


There was a nice break for coffee.


We are back at work now, with a talk by Fr. Stefan Heid, about ancient Christian altars. My German is pretty good, but it is a bit rusty. I am alternating between viva voce and the translation device.

The twitter tag for the conference is #saclit

Stefan Heid dismantled the bad archeology and theology that drove the turning around of altars after the Council. It’s all fake. It makes me mad to think about all the money, the people of God’s money, wasted on a shame.

Tracey Rowland is up now. She is talking about how the Usus Antiquior can aid the New Evangelization and can be an antidote to secularism.

I’ll post some pics of well-known people, some of whom I have known for quite a while, some new a acquaintances.

Bp Schneider. He has made good suggestions for understanding better what Vatican II was about.

Tracey Rowland, one of the best speakers so far.


Waiting in choro for Mass to begin. Card. Cañizares Llovera celebrant.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Brick by Brick, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Evangelization, On the road, Our Catholic Identity, The future and our choices, What Fr. Z is up to and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Dr Guinness says:

    Looks rather impressive… I’m a bit sore I couldn’t make it, but duties here at home are pressing… Enjoy!

  2. MichaeltDoyle says:

    “Stefan Heid dismantled the bad archeology and theology that drove the turning around of altars after the Council.” Anyone know if they will they be publishing transcripts? Or a good source for background on this? I’d like to understand this issue better. Thank you.

  3. The conference proceedings will be published next year.

    Magdalen Ross, J.C.L.
    Sacra Liturgia 2013, Conference Secretary

  4. Andrew says:

    I was asking myself what language was spoken at this conference and now the question has been answered: simultaneous translation of various vernacular tongues!

    Perhaps a talk should be given on the need of learned people to be fluent in some universal language. Better yet, a language that would be universal, unchanging, and sacred.

    Brick by brick! I guess those bricks will show up some day too.

  5. Hank Igitur says:

    What is Rowland’s expertise with the Tridentine Mass please?

  6. William Tighe says:

    “Stefan Heid dismantled the bad archeology and theology that drove the turning around of altars after the Council. It’s all fake. It makes me mad to think about all the money, the people of God’s money, wasted on a shame.”

    Agreed; and I remember how this “sham(e)” was thrust on us undergraduates with interests in Theology and Liturgy – a small group, to be sure – at Georgetown in the early 70s by Jesuit scholars who should have known better.

    To respond briefly to MichaeltDoyle, there is the second half of Klaus Gamber’s *The Reform of the Roman Liturgy* (Una Voce, 1993; now reprinted by “Roman Catholic Books”); U. M. Lang’s *Turning Towards the Lord* (Ignatius Press, 2004) and, as long ago as 1962, the Anglican Cyril Pocknee’s *The Christian Altar;* and innumerable scholarly articles.

  7. acardnal says:

    Andrew, do you think Fr. Z may give an address in Latin? ;-)

  8. Lady Catcliffe says:

    Speaking of the preservation of Catholic altars, the Boston Chinese Evangelical Church plans to purchase Holy Trinity Church in Boston to hold worship services for its burgeoning congregation of over 1200.

    They detail their plans in this video:

    Cardinal O’Malley closed Holy Trinity in 2008, and its reduction to profane use is in its final appeal at the Apostolic Signatura. His Eminence gives as his grave reason for the reduction to profane use the inability to pay the maintenance costs and property taxes on the closed church, which to date total about $300,000. The costs are actually the responsibility of the Cathedral Parish, one of Boston’s poorest, which was forced to take out a loan to pay for them. The church is in good structural condition, but, were it to reopen, the costs of deferred maintenance and upgrades could exceed $1,000,000. Parishioners wishing the Cardinal to reopen the church would perhaps have done well to have something to offer in return: the funds to restore it.

    Perhaps over coffee during the conference (or in comments here), you could discuss the feasibility of establishing a “Custos Redemptoris” fund that historic churches such Holy Trinity could draw from so that they could remain as places of Catholic worship. If you are willing to assist with this effort, please contact me at
    ladycatcliffe [at]

  9. MichaeltDoyle says:

    Thank you for the help and information.

  10. Andrew says:


    I think that a piece of the puzzle is missing when scholars meet at international events such as this one and they have to resort to translation services in order to understand each other. It runs very much contrary to what they’re trying to promote.

  11. Jim R says:

    @Lady Catcliffe
    For those who do not know, Trinity is not just any run-of-the-mill church. It was designed by famed architect Patrick Keely who designed many cathedrals, the basilicae at the U of Notre Dame and in Halifax, and numerous churches. The loss of even one Keely church is a loss of our patrimony. Below is a list of just the cathedrals and basilicae he designed:
    • Cathedral of St. Andrew, Little Rock
    • Cathedral of St. Joseph, Hartford (burned)
    • Cathedral of St. Augustine, Bridgeport
    • Cathedral of the Holy Name, Chicago
    • University of Notre Dame Basilica of the Sacred Heart, South Bend
    • Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Portland, Maine
    • Cathedral of the Holy Cross , Boston
    • Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, Fall River
    • Cathedral of St. Michael, Springfield, Mass
    • Cathedral of St. Joseph, Manchester (with Patrick W. Ford)
    • St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Buffalo, New York
    • Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Albany
    • Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Cleveland
    • St. Peter Cathedral, Erie
    • Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, Providence
    • Cathedral of Saint John and Saint Finbar, Charleston (burned, rebuilt and renamed)
    • Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Burlington (burned)
    • St. Mary’s Basilica, Halifax, Nova Scotia

  12. inexcels says:

    I’d be kind of curious for a complete catalog of languages known by Fr. Z. To date I’ve counted English, Latin, Italian, and German.

  13. Therese says:

    On the subject of ‘orientation’ and other liturgical matters, let me recommend the thirteen FIUV Position Papers on the 1962 Missal compiled by the (UK) Latin Mass Society:

  14. tjg says:

    Brick by brick indeed. There are many things to address but one I am trying to patiently wait for is the return of the altar rail and kneeling to receive the Body of Christ. I know of at least one local priest who will be shocked to know that the Church is His House (Christ’s) and not his house (the priest.)

  15. acardnal says:

    CNS Video of Tracey Rowland, Australian philosopher, discussing same-sex marriage issue.

  16. vetusta ecclesia says:

    Any chance of a transcript or abstract of the talk on turning altars round?

  17. acardnal says:

    vetusta ecclesia, see Magdalen Ross’ entry above at 6 AM.

  18. Serviam1 says:

    Seconding Jim R,
    In an era where we talk of recovering Catholic identity and recognize a dire need for Re-evangelization, the rubber stamp ratification of Cardinal O’Malley’s ‘Relegation to Profane Use’ by the Apostolic Signatura by Holy Trinity Church [Boston, MA] reflects a continuation of a certain ignorance and blatant disregard for our Catholic patrimony in Boston. This closure seems well grounded in ecclesiastical bravado [churchman vs. layman], secular utilitarianism [developers] and local politics [Mayor Menino and the BRA]. I am quite upset that Cardinal Burke’s office has perhaps unwittingly contributed and given cover to shameful actions under Cardinal O’Malley’s watch.

    Here’s an images of what we are about to lose:

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