Was Card. Burke prohibited from saying Mass in Austria?

Is it possible that this actually happened? I’ll try to get more information.

It seems that Card. Burke has been prohibited from celebrating Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form at the parish near Klosterneuburg in Austria, held by Augustinian Canons.

And HERE In Spanish:

Noticias en Español 30/10/2014 22:56:31
Gloria.TV News on the 31st of October 2014

A Cardenal se le prohibe celebrar Misa:
El próximo miércoles el cardenal Raymond Burke se suponía que debía celebrar una misa de rito antiguo en la iglesia parroquial de Viena de San Leopoldo, que pertenece a los monasterio muy ricos de Klosterneuburg. Pero la misa fue cancelada. El preboste de Klosterneuburg, el Padre Bernhard Backovsky ha prohibido personalmente al pastor local permitir al Cardenal celebrar.

Cardinal’s have faculties to celebrate anywhere, but they will certainly not do so if local authority is set against it. Since Card. Burke is the consummate gentleman, it is unlikely that he would press the case.

Fall out from the Synod? Perhaps someone didn’t like that Card. Burke objected to certain paragraphs of the mid-point Relatio?

We will know more about this soon.

UPDATE: 2 Nov 1306 GMT

From a friend:

People that I know at Klosterneuburg have told me that the EF is a huge point of contention there, since it was the home of Pius Parsch. Many of the older canons, some of whom knew him personally, are very proud of the fact that they were doing “the Reform” before there was a reform. When Pius XII condemns “false archeologism” in Mediator Dei, Parsch is his principal target, since he was already doing Offertory processions with the faithful carrying the gifts, Mass versus populum etc. back in the ’20s. But of course, the majority of the vocations in that house now are young Americans (or at least non-Austrians) all on fire for tradition, not just in the liturgy, but in the whole canonical life generally. If Card. Burke was in some way refused permission to say the EF, it’s a pretty safe bet that it was the canons themselves, rather than the Archdiocese of Vienna, that did it.

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  1. oldcanon2257 says:

    We all know Pope Francis has been encouraging Catholics to go to confession. As recently as February 19 of this year, His Holiness said during his Wednesday general audience to the pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square, “Be courageous, and go to confession.

    Father Z’s post: https://wdtprs.com/2014/02/pope-francis-go-to-confession/

    According to the 1983 Code of Canon Law, Canon 967 §1:


    In addition to the Roman Pontiff, cardinals have the faculty of hearing the confessions of the Christian faithful everywhere in the world by the law itself.

    Perhaps Cardinal Burke could help implement the New Evangelization by visiting St. Leopold’s Church and exercise that privilege and be pastoral by lending a hand in hearing confession there. (If Cardinal Ranjith could spare a few days from his busy schedule running the Archdiocese of Columbo, perhaps he could come along and help as well…) They could take turn spending 16-18 hours a day in the confessional like the Curé of Ars (Saint John Vianney) did back in the days.

    If anybody (ecclesiastics included) is willfully doing anything to impede a Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church from hearing confessions from the Christian faithful, that person is clearly going against what our Holy Father has been preaching about the sacrament of confession.

    Just saying… :D

    His Eminence would not get drawn into a fight on purpose unless it involves saving souls (like he did on various occasions in La Crosse, in St. Louis or at the recent synod).

    By the way, didn’t Matthew 10:14, Mark 6:11 and Luke 9:5 all say something about “shake off the dust from your feet”? :)

  2. markomalley says:

    His Eminence appears to still have a very full schedule in Austria this week, including a panel discussion rebuffing Cardinal Kasper’s proposals to destroy marriage and a Pontifical High Mass in the Karlskirche.

    See here:


  3. Genna says:

    It wouldn’t be the first time. In 2009 Cardinal Archbishop Cormac Murphy O’Connor used Canon Law to prohibit the celebration of the traditonal rite by Cardinal Burke at Westminster Cathedral, London.

  4. A.D. says:

    “. . . and Jesus wept.”

  5. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    More sadness.

  6. Juergensen says:

    Cardinal Burke knows the world will hate him because of Him.

  7. Joseph-Mary says:

    I rather think that Cardinal Burke is a ‘persona non grate’ these days. So was St. Athanasius in his time…

  8. AdamRules247 says:

    Genna, when Card. CMoC used that piece of Canon law Cardinal Burke was at the time still only Archbishop Burke so he was within his rights, technically, to enact Canon law against him

  9. Alba says:

    If you go to the English language pages of the website of the monastery (http://www.stift-klosterneuburg.at/en) you will find a short section on faith but a much larger section devoted to wine.

  10. Kathleen10 says:

    I’m going to try to regularly increase my prayer for Cardinal Burke. I may send him a note of thanks as well.
    What liberals fear and can’t control they censor.

  11. Rob22 says:

    Its hard to know if this is just a continuation of some bishops opposing the EF as happened under Benedict or the sign of a more emboldened effort to stop it from advancing more than it has.

    It will be interesting to see how the new Bishop of Chicago relates to Catholic traditionalists in that archdiocese. Will he be less accommodating than George was?

    The new bishop just went out of his way to praise specifically Fr. Phleger. He clearly is from the progressive wing of the church but that does not mean he won’t encourage traditional forms of Catholicism in his diocese.

    This is not a priority for the current Pope and how that plays out with the bishops over time is TBD.

    I don’t attend a TLM but at times visit traditional forums and some there are worried that bishops could require FSSP EF parishes to start offering the OF also. That does not seem to be such a big deal to me especially if the EF parish is the only on for miles around and needs to (should) cater to Catholics not interested in the EF.

  12. Unwilling says:

    Semeiotically speaking, signification or a sign signifying has three parts or aspects: signifier [Sr], signified [Sd], interpretation or code [C]. The interpretation, C, is a shared knowledge and social trait held in general by the community which recognizes, supports, and enacts the signification. {Scholastically, the Sr has a potency in relation to the Sd that is reduced to actuality by the C.}

    All the rites, considered as signs of supernatural realities, depend (for their ability to signify and thusly open Heaven to human eyes of Faith) on there existing a community in possession of the codes, who understand what Sd the Sr is (capable of) pointing to, and then actually taking the Sr that way. If no one can see the holiness of glorious vestments, Gregorian Tones, and solemn movements, etcetera, then the Sr will not actually signify them. If a community can be prevented from seeing the sign in act, they will never learn the codes; or if they have seen them can forget them. Then the rites will at most be social relics not living signs.

  13. Patti Day says:

    Is there a book that would explain why the changes of Vatican II were made and how they have affected the Church that could be recommended to someone who has recently come back and sees all this hardness of heart against the Traditional Mass and some of the beautiful devotions that seem to have been lost?

  14. Gratias says:

    I found it noteworthy that they were already trying to attack the Holy Mass in 1920. Modernists probably never imagined that the TLM could be brought back.

    God bless Benedict XVI. Viva!

  15. frjim4321 says:

    All of this tends to support the theory I formulated more than seven years ago that Summorum Pontificum would in the end be a source of division and animosity. [Only for liberals.]

  16. oldcanon2257 says:

    Genna says:

    It wouldn’t be the first time. In 2009 Cardinal Archbishop Cormac Murphy O’Connor used Canon Law to prohibit the celebration of the traditonal rite by Cardinal Burke at Westminster Cathedral, London.

    Wasn’t it most ironic that in the post-Summorum Pontificum era (in 2009), Cormac Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor of Westminster would use Canon 838 to justify his preventing then-Archbishop Burke from celebrating Mass in the Westminster Cathedral?

    Whereas, compare and contrast, 17 years earlier, even before “Summorum Pontificum” ever came into existence, in 1992 when the Church was still in the “Ecclesia Dei” indult era, the other O’Connor (John Cardinal O’Connor) welcomed the late, great Alfons Cardinal Stickler to the Archdiocese of New York to celebrate the TLM at Saint Agnes Church in Manhattan. And barely 4 years later, in 1996, John Cardinal O’Connor once again warmly welcome his brother Cardinal to New York, that time to celebrate Pontifical Mass at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.

    By the way, Cardinal Stickler was a great friend and supporter of tradition in general and of the TLM in particular.

  17. Fr. Jim,

    Wasn’t Christ about two thousand years ahead of you in predicting that the true faith would be a source of division and animosity?

  18. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:


    Jesus Christ was a self-proclaimed source of division among people. Luke 12:51.


  19. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Gratias writes, “I found it noteworthy that they were already trying to attack the Holy Mass in 1920.” To get a first-hand idea of the thought of Pius Parsch, see his book, The Liturgy of the Mass, in the 1936 English translation by Father Frederic C. Eckhoff (Nihil Obstat: F.J. Holweck, frequent contributor to the Catholic Encyclopedia; Imprimatur: Archbishop John J.Glennon, who also contributes a “Foreword”), a scanned 1940 Fifth Impression of which is available at Internet Archive.

    An English translation of the Encyclical “Mediator Dei” of 20 November 1947 is available at the Vatican website. I have never read it, nor heard it had any connection with Pius Parsch, whom the ‘word seeker’ tells me is not mentioned by name (neither does it discover the phrase “false archeologism” in that translation: “false opinions” in 107 seems to refer to something the opposite of Fr. Parsch’s thought, while the praise of 105 seems thoroughly to apply to as much as I know of it and him!).

    Insofar as I have an impression of Pius Parsch, I would expect ‘Parschians’ who understood him to welcome Cardinal Burke, rather than the opposite. So, I would be interested to learn more!

  20. Traductora says:

    I have been reading the Spanish blogs – they love Cardinal Burke because he is what they think a cardinal should be: intelligent, learned, serious and solid. This latest act is being perceived as a very conscious slight, the death of a thousand cuts, which is not being inflicted directly from the Vatican but by people who are really just underlings and yet now feel empowered to harass and taunt. One poster described it as mosquitos ruling over a lion.

    That said, many posters saw it primarily as an attack on the EF rather than on Cdl Burke, and there was a general feeling that bishops and other authorities are feeling that they can finally get away with stifling it in any place under their control. According to an Argentinian poster, Pope Francis, as Abp of Buenos Aires, attempted to prevent the implementation of Summorum Pontificum, but received a letter from the Vatican telling him that he could not do this. He then left it to lower level authorities to simply make it more difficult and burdensome for people who wanted to celebrate it. I honestly don’t know why they have such hatred of the Old Mass. No one is making them celebrate it or even go to it, but just knowing that it exists enrages them.

  21. stadtpilger says:

    Liturgical renewalist Pius Parsch may enjoy a certain honor for having put Klosterneuburg on the map, but it’s far from certain that the canons are behind the cancellation of Cardinal Burke’s Mass. Cardinal Schönborn — not the abbot — is not only legally the pastor’s boss as regards what happens in St. Leopold’s, he is also the one whose “party line” would stand to lose face if a crowd were to show up there for a Wednesday morning parish Mass. St. Leopold’s is huge — built in workng-class, peripheral Vienna with a view to possible use as Lower Austria’s cathedral (when Vienna was still the capital of that province, in addition to being itself a province and archdiocese with its own cathedral), the church holds 5000 even by today’s safety standards. It has a chapel with Perpetual Adoration.
    Cardinal Schönborn, who was a major proponent at the Synod of what has been called “lifestyle ecumenism”, has been repeatedly criticized in the past for affronts to fellow members of the hierarchy (https://wdtprs.com/2010/01/pope-benedict-may-have-told-card-schonborn-to-be-careful-about-medjugorje/ ; http://americamagazine.org/content/all-things/schonborn-attacks-sodano-calls-new-look-gays-and-remarried-catholics). If he didn’t want to go there openly again, he might easily have persuaded the abbot to take the rap for him.

  22. disco says:

    Summorum Pontificum isn’t a source of division. The hatred of the liberals for the authentic Catholic faith is.

  23. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    Unwilling: I grew up in a typical NO/OF diocese with typical NO/OF liturgical abuses and was a typical half in / half out of the Church cafeteria Catholic into my early twenties. The first time I observed an Extraordinary Form Mass, and it was even a Low Mass at that, I remember thinking “Dear God, even a space alien would know what the most important thing in this building is: the Eucharist.”

    One doesn’t need to understand the nuances of signification or interpretive codes to understand the universal character of respect given to the Sacred Species in the EF. I am still of the opinion that if a space alien walked into an EF Mass, they would easily intuit that the Eucharistic species was the most precious thing involved in the Mass and that it was a sacrifice. The space alien would know these human creatures greatly respect the white wafer, the priest is the only one handling it so he must have a special job, and it is being offered to something.

  24. acardnal says:

    frjim4321, your theories are not too credible. As I recall, you thought either Fr. Robert Barron or AB Broglio were going to be the next AB of Chicago. Wrong on both counts.

  25. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:
    All of this tends to support the theory I formulated more than seven years ago that Summorum Pontificum would in the end be a source of division and animosity.

    Great! Glad to see that trimmers are being shaken out of their dogmatic slumber. Their worship of the status quo begins and ends in timidity and mediocrity.

    Shake down the thunder from the sky!

  26. PAT says:

    frjim4321 says: “All of this tends to support the theory I formulated more than seven years ago that Summorum Pontificum would in the end be a source of division and animosity.”

    As if several decades of the Spectre of Vatican II were not a source of division and animosity? Summorum Pontificum is where the healing began.

  27. Dom Kilian says:

    Alba, please do not judge a German speaking monastery based on the English version of the main website. That site is mainly for tourists.

    For an english language site please see http://www.augustiniancanons.org

  28. AnthonyJ says:

    Yes, the American Augustinian Canons are very pro-tradition. I went to an EF Mass for All Saints yesterday at St Patrick’s in Glen Cove, NY (one of their parishes in the U.S.) celebrated by the same Augustinian Canons. They also visit my parish St Matthew’s in Dix Hills, NY and twice a month celebrate the EF Mass there.


  29. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Dom Kilian,

    Thank you for linking such an interesting site! (It quickly and easily takes me beyond puzzling over the German Wikipedia article as far as Klosterneuburg history is concerned, though that seems worthwhile, too.)

    The section on Vocations has two very interesting extended quotations on the priesthood and ‘cura animarum’ by Pius Parsch (from the second edition of a book published in 1940), which conclude “the Word of God and the liturgy are the two great sacramental means for the care of souls.”

    Meanwhile, I see that both the English and German Wikipedia articles about Parsch link to a lively autobiographical note by him, in English translation. There is a lot in it I am not sure I understand, but it leaves me eager to learn more. He call Pius X “the great pope of the liturgical reform” and recalls how, as a front-line Austrian army chaplain, “Again my love for the breviary and the psalms appeared. Just at that time the new Psalter of Pope Pius X had been introduced. I now began a commentary on it, a liturgical explanation of the psalms of each of the hours.” He notes of the “Mass leaflets” published at Klosterneuburg before and after its devastation by the Nazis – “sixteen page booklets which contain the Mass of the day with both the proper and the common parts” – that “Millions of these leaflets were distributed in the past twenty years and have helped countless Catholics to understand the Mass and the ecclesiastical year.” Yet the “Brief History” at the augustiniancanons site says that, after the war, “the Holy See […], upon learning that Parsch had been experimenting with the vernacular at his Masses at St. Gertrude’s, placed Klosterneuburg under interdict.” All rather bewildering!

    Klosterneuburg is reported to have 47 canons in residence, at present: any who knew Pius Parsch there (whether before 1941 or from 1946 on until his death in 1954) must now be 80 at the youngest, if they joined, as he did, at age twenty.

  30. Unwilling says:

    Dear Atra…Agenda. There is a great deal of truth in what you say (aside from the alien) due to our human nature, as Augustine said, quia fecisti nos ad te. I am willing to judge your comment has more value. One of my godsons, an atheistic professor of Classics, chanced to look through the door of the cathedral (while it still had vestiges of its 19thC reverent architecture, before the young bishop painted it all purple and pink [recently restored]) and was instantly converted. That said, I stand by my technical remarks above — compare them to the Lesson of Thrasybulus.

  31. Gratias says:

    Dear Fr. Jim 4321:

    I have followed you since you blogged in California Catholic Daily. Always you lobb a divisive hand grenade into the discussion. Division is the work of the Devil. Rethink your attitude toward us.

    In Christ too,


  32. Urs says:

    Does anyone know how to write to Card. Burke and thank him? How much longer will he be at his Vatican office ? I would love to do that!

    [His Eminence
    Raymond Card. Burke
    Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura
    00120 VATICAN CITY]

  33. stadtpilger says:

    I have no way of knowing what I said, that Cardinal Schönborn had any part in this decision. Rash judgment on my part — sorry.

  34. Supertradmum says:

    I do not know why, but I still think Cardinal Burke will be Pope someday. Maybe after the Big Modernist Schism.

  35. Supertradmum says:

    I do not know why, but I still think Cardinal Burke will be Pope someday. Maybe after the Big Modernist Schism.

  36. robtbrown says:

    PAT says:

    frjim4321 says: “All of this tends to support the theory I formulated more than seven years ago that Summorum Pontificum would in the end be a source of division and animosity.”

    As if several decades of the Spectre of Vatican II were not a source of division and animosity? Summorum Pontificum is where the healing began.

    Liberals like to trot out the Divisive Mantra whenever anyone dares to reference Catholic Doctrine.

    Of course, Christ Himself said (Mt 10:34)

    Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.

    I wonder when this has been read at mass, how often it was followed by: And this, my brothers and sisters, is the Good News of the Lord.

  37. Dom Kilian says:

    Venerator Sti Lot,

    The history of Pius Parsch is confusing. The first thing to know is that he loved the Mass. As you have found he wrote on it extensively. It started as his time as a Priest in the trenches during WWI, where he found that the Catholics did not know enough about their faith and knew very little about the Mass. He returned and spent his time devoted to educating lay people about the Mass, the Breviary and the Church year. His books are wonderful. Some of his writings are even reprinted be SSPX. But, he also became a reformer and expirementer at St Gertrude’s in Klosterneuburg. There over the course of the decades he developed a strong community, but also made a laboratory for reform.

    I would recommend his writings. In English, they can be found used on Amazon. In German, you can get them new. His devotion to the mass is apparent. But, from his expirements which really weren’t written about too much developed a ‘spirit of Pius Parsch’ that is often at odds to what he wrote especially now.

    There are 3 members who would have been taught by him. He taught New Testament theology, I believe.

    One thing I have found is that the English versions of his writings are not always accurate translations. Sometimes they make changes. An example off the top of my head is in an explanation of the prayers at the foot of the altar. He states that we must be without sin especially mortal sin and adds and adds something like ‘ that should be self explanatory’ in the English that comment is missing.

    Pius Parsch did do good things, he did do things that went too far. He caused division and he helped people understand their faith.

    In addition to the leaflets, he produced something very similar to Magnificat, he translated the breviary into German and encouraged lay use of it, he printed a lay Ritus for home use and many other books.

    I hope that answers some of your questions.

  38. SimonDodd says:

    Traductora says: “One poster described it as mosquitos ruling over a lion.”

    A most evocative image, with echoes of Aslan.

  39. Michael_Thoma says:

    The same thing was said about our Eastern Catholic ancestors when they first landed in NY in the late 1910s thru 30s. Too divisive.
    Archbishop Ireland violently opposed our ‘quirky’ married clergy, our ‘divisive’ Liturgy, our ‘odd’ Traditions; since we were not like the ‘real’ Catholics (which of course he was). His opposition to authentic Catholicism smells eerily similar to the statement mentioned earlier.. Archbishop Ireland’s lack of forward thinking, his not practicing subsidiarity and charity, not welcoming his fellow Catholics in love, and failure to be welcoming in ‘unity without expecting uniformity’ all led to him being considered the father of the ‘Orthodox Church in America.’ By 1917, the OCA (then called the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Diocese in America) took in more than half of the Byzantine Eastern Catholics numbering 100,000 faithful, over their being abused by their own Catholic bishops.

    The same scenario replayed itself with the creation of the American Carpatho-Ruthenian Orthodox Diocese which consisted of 37 Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic parishes left Catholicism, due to being forced into Latinized Liturgy and being prohibited their ‘divisive’ clergy, they were called “divisive” because their Liturgy was different and their priests were married with children.

    It seems the same mentality is replaying itself, not only from Latins to minority Easterners, but even within the non-majority within the Roman Rite. Why do all these principles of subsidiarity, solidarity, charity and love only apply to non-Catholics (Muslims, Bahai, Buddhists) or atheists, and not to fellow Latin and Eastern Catholics?

  40. LarryW2LJ says:

    “Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them.”

  41. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Dom Kilian,

    Thank you for telling more about Pius Parsch!

    I would agree, as far as I have made their acquaintance, with your saying, “His books are wonderful.”

    So far, I have read the first part of what is called The Church’s Year of Grace (in its English translation), though reading it neither in the original nor in English: it makes me very much want to read the rest of the Year! I have also read in what is called The Liturgy of the Mass in its English translation (though, again, neither the original nor the English), but not yet read it from cover to cover, reading it with gratitude (but also with the thought that liturgical scholarship has continued to exist for many decades since it appeared).

    It is sad to think that from his practical liturgical experiments there “developed a ‘spirit of Pius Parsch’ that is often at odds to what he wrote” – and (to me) astonishing, given the character of what he wrote: may the writings serve as a check to any such ‘wild growth’ (as they seem well suited to do)!

  42. Unwilling says:

    I was reading Parsch’s Year of Grace nearly 50 years ago, when I was too young to have much truly critical judgement. But I remember it as synthesizing real, especially Eucharistic, piety with intellectual stimulation. So: entirely positive! I add this late note to observe that such a book, guiding and supporting the worshipper to attain enduring depths of spiritual insight, by reading through the year even repeatedly, would be difficult (probably psychologically impossible) in the context of our overly busy 3-year cycle. I judge the 3-year cycle to be the most harmful of all the changes, preventing the formation of habits of piety and the spirit of reverence.

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