My spidey-sense tells me that Card. Sarah’s speech marks a turning point.

LatinMassOn 5 July 2016, in London, Robert Card. Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, gave a powerful address at a conference on liturgy.   Card. Sarah appealed to priests to say Mass ad orientem. Let’s call it the… Sarah Appeal™.

I fully expect that there will soon be a tremendous backlash unleashed on all who support the Cardinal’s proposal.

Frankly, when the other day I saw in the Bolletino that Card. Sarah had been granted an audience with Pope Francis, I wondered if the Cardinal might not have in his stars the same lot as Card. Burke.  Francis wanted a different direction for the Signatura so he moved Card. Burke to be the Patron of the Knights of Malta.  Now that Card. O’Brien is over 75 and has, therefore, no doubt offered his resignation to His Holiness as Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher, that group of Knights might be opening up.  Who knows?  In a light-hearted exchange with a priest friend it was quipped that if the Holy Sepulcher isn’t a possibility, perhaps the Knights Who Say “Ni!” are available.

You’ve gotta look for some humor in life in the Church these days, friends.  That’s how you know that you not a liberal.  But I digress.

It is early to tell, very early, but my spidey-sense tells me that Card. Sarah’s speech marks a turning point.

Through history, there have been short speeches with long effects.  Sometimes they are delivered to small crowds, such as the Gettysburg Address. Sometimes they are broadcast to many, as in Churchill’s 13 May 1940 radio call-to-arms.  Sometimes they are given by the famous, as in Martin Luther King’s 28 August 1963 speech at the Lincoln Memorial. Sometimes the speech-maker is relatively unknown, as in Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I A Woman?” speech at the Women’s Convention, Akron, Ohio.   You can make your own list of short history-changing oratory.

Every once in a while, a Cardinal makes an important speech that both reveals the state of the Church and the speech leaves an enduring mark.

For example, on 12 May 1879, John Henry Card. Newman gave his formal “Biglietto” Speech, when he was given the red hat.   He spoke about liberalism in religion.  “Liberalism in religion is the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion.”  He talked about the replacement of revelation by natural virtues as “a great apostasia.”

On 3 August 1941 Clemens Card. von Galen gave a speech, a sermon, in the Cathedral of Münster against the Nazi euthanasia program.  As a result, Hitler suspended the program which had already killed a hundred thousand people.  Hitler couldn’t touch von Galen physically, but he retaliated by having three priests beheaded. They had distributed von Galen’s sermon. Von Galen gave three sermons against Nazism.

On 18 April 2005, Joseph Card. Ratzinger delivered a sermon at Mass “pro eligendo Romano Pontifice, which probably was a major factor that catapulted him in to the See of Peter.  This is the sermon in which he said:  “Today, having a clear faith based on the Creed of the Church is often labeled as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, that is, letting oneself be “tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine”, seems the only attitude that can cope with modern times. We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires.”

You can probably come up with examples of your own.

It seems to me that Card. Sarah’s London ad orientem appeal will prove to be a catalyst that will set in motion significant change.  As often happens with catalysis, however, violent reactions can occur.  And, if I remember my college chemistry rightly, catalysts remain even after the reaction occurs, so that reactions can keep on occurring down the line.  Catalysts have an enduring effect.

Each priest who takes up Card. Sarah’s catalytic call will in turn become a catalyst in his parish or wherever he serves.  The way priests say Mass has a knock-on effect in congregations.

Carefully review what Card. Sarah said (read the whole this HERE).  In part:

I want to make an appeal to all priests. You may have read my article in L’Osservatore Romano one year ago (12 June 2015) or my interview with the journal Famille Chrétienne in May of this year. On both occasions I said that I believe that it is very important that we return as soon as possible to a common orientation, of priests and the faithful turned together in the same direction—Eastwards or at least towards the apse—to the Lord who comes, in those parts of the liturgical rites when we are addressing God. This practice is permitted by current liturgical legislation. It is perfectly legitimate in the modern rite. Indeed, I think it is a very important step in ensuring that in our celebrations the Lord is truly at the centre.

And so, dear Fathers, I humbly and fraternally ask you to implement this practice wherever possible, with prudence and with the necessary catechesis, certainly, but also with a pastor’s confidence that this is something good for the Church, something good for our people. Your own pastoral judgement will determine how and when this is possible, but perhaps beginning this on the first Sunday of Advent this year, when we attend ‘the Lord who will come’ and ‘who will not delay’ (see: Introit, Mass of Wednesday of the first week of Advent) may be a very good time to do this. Dear Fathers, we should listen again to the lament of God proclaimed by the prophet Jeremiah: “they have turned their backs to me and not their faces” (2:27). Let us turn again towards the Lord! Since the day of his Baptism, the Christian knows only one direction: the Orient. “You entered to confront your enemy, for you intended to renounce him to his face. You turned toward the East (ad Orientem), [NB] for one who renounces the devil turns towards Christ and fixes his gaze directly on Him” (From the beginning of the Treatise on the Mysteries by Saint Ambrose, Bishop of Milan). [De mysteriis 2,7 – Ingressus igitur, ut adversarium tuum cerneres, cui renuntiandum in os putaris, ad orientem converteris; qui enim renuntiat diabolo, ad Christum convertitur, illum directo cernit obtutu.

I very humbly and fraternally would like to appeal also to my brother bishops: please lead your priests and people towards the Lord in this way, particularly at large celebrations in your dioceses and in your cathedral. Please form your seminarians in the reality that we are not called to the priesthood to be at the centre of liturgical worship ourselves, but to lead Christ’s faithful to him as fellow worshippers united in the one same act of adoration. Please facilitate this simple but profound reform in your dioceses, your cathedrals, your parishes and your seminaries.

We bishops have a great responsibility, and one day we shall have to answer to the Lord for our stewardship. We are the owners of nothing! Nothing belongs to us! As St Paul teaches, we are merely “the servants of Christ and the stewards of the mysteries of God. Now it is of course required of stewards that they be found trustworthy” (1 Cor. 4:1-2). We are responsible to ensure that the sacred realities of the liturgy are respected in our dioceses and that our priests and deacons not only observe the liturgical laws, but know the spirit and power of the liturgy from which they emerge. I was very encouraged to read the presentation on “The Bishop: Governor, Promoter and Guardian of the Liturgical Life of the Diocese” made to the 2013 Sacra Liturgia conference in Rome by Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland in Oregon in the USA, and I fraternally encourage my brother bishops to study his considerations carefully.

All liturgical ministers should make a examination of conscience periodically. For this I recommend part II of the Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis of Benedict XVI (22 February 2007), “The Eucharist, a Mystery to be Celebrated.” It is almost ten years since this Exhortation was published as the collegial fruit of the 2005 Synod of Bishops. How much progress have we made in that time? What more do we need to do? We must ask ourselves these questions before the Lord, each of us according to our responsibility, and then do what we can and what we must to achieve the vision outlined by Pope Benedict.

At this point I repeat what I have said elsewhere, that Pope Francis has asked me to continue the extraordinary liturgical work Pope Benedict began (see: Message to Sacra Liturgia USA 2015, New York City). Just because we have a new pope does not mean that his predecessor’s vision is now invalid. On the contrary, as we know, our Holy Father Pope Francis has the greatest respect for the liturgical vision and measures Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI implemented in utter fidelity to the intentions and aims of the Council Fathers.

Card. Sarah put his finger directly on a huge wound that must be dealt with before true renewal can take place: Holy Church’s all important liturgical worship.  He identified something that would be a great contribution to that renewal: ad orientem worship.

That means that he must be attacked, discredited.  Those who support his proposal must be intimidated, silenced, crushed.  They must not be allowed to create effective, enduring changes.

One of the reasons why I think there will be an attack on priests who support the Sarah Appeal™ is because the liberal elite hear in it a criticism of their projects perpetrated in the name of the reforms called for by the Council Fathers in Sacrosanctum Concilium.  They think the suggestion that, perhaps, we could say Mass as our forebears did for so long is an accusation that they were wrong all along.  In fact, the versus populum thing was built precisely on a sandy foundation of incorrect scholarship which experts such as Louis Bouyer and Joseph Jungmann eventually repudiated.  However, by the time they did that, the fix was in.

Another reason why there will be harsh blow-back for anyone who supports the Sarah Appeal™ is because ad orientem worship is an invitation to conversion.  In another post, I alerted you to a priest who touched on the moral dimension that ad orientem invokes.  HERE Ad orientem worship is itself an implicit call to right conduct.  That’s certainly a reason for Satan to hate it, to move his agents to stomp it and those who support it into the dust whence Adam came.  That’s why the Enemy will move his pawns, bishops and … queens… into action.  NB again what Card. Sarah quoted, above, from St. Ambrose De mysteriis.

Speaking of “mysteries”, another reason why ad orientem worship will be ferociously resisted is because it is yet another corrective toward producing during Holy Mass the apophatic conditions in which the worshiper might have an encounter with Mystery.  This encounter is both alluring and frightening.  It is alluring because we who are in the image and likeness of God are restless to be with God, who in this life is utterly mysterious, whom we can only glimpse darkly, as if in a glass or perhaps through the crack in the rock as He passes on the other side. It is frightening because it moves us to deal with the reality of death, the knowledge that one day we will cross over.  Holy Mass must prepare us for death.   But if we are too afraid to deal with this, then we fill our liturgical worship with myriad distractions.  We eliminate silence.  We reduce music and ornament to the lowest sort of thing.  We banalize the language and eliminate anything too challenging.  We do all that we can to eliminate the difficult, challenging apophatic conditions that are the necessary propaedeutic for that alluringly frightening encounter.  If Holy Mass is not helping you to get ready for your own death, it isn’t fulfilling one of its most important purposes.

Card. Sarah placed his finger directly on a huge wound.  His speech will some day be recognized as an important turning point, a healing point.  But remember that, as Augustine once pointed out, the doctor doesn’t stop cutting just because the patient screams for him to stop.  Things will get mighty noisy and ugly before this is over, my friends.

Therefore, clean your house.

Examine your consciences, look over your vocation and your duties, and GO TO CONFESSION!

And please, I beg you, pray for me.  I can feel it on the horizon.  Pray for all priests and bishops.  Pray that their minds and hearts be opened and that their actions reflect a loving balance of prudence and courage.

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68 Responses to My spidey-sense tells me that Card. Sarah’s speech marks a turning point.

  1. EeJay says:

    Absolutely. I’ve always believed the ad orientem issue was the crux of the whole Novus Ordo problem. Now Cardinal Sarah (God bless him loads) has said it, the genie is out of the bottle. Now we clearly see where everyone stands (or we are beginning to see). This was a cry to spiritual arms.

  2. Adaquano says:

    I have had some very open wonderful conversations on Facebook about this, and it seems there is an openness by some towards this. There are many akeptical, but I believe good instruction would ease the concerns of many. I think the biggest obstacle for someone is not a move backward, but enriching Vatican II and not a full embrace of the Traditional Rite. I say this too as a regular attendee of the NO.

  3. wmeyer says:

    I pray always for our priests and bishops, and especially for those priests who stand tall in the face of intimidation and persecution.

  4. dbonneville says:

    Fr. Z kudos to Fr. Z on this post.

    This is the best Fr. Z post I have ever read, and one of the best Catholic blog posts I have ever read, period. Thank you, Fr. Z!

    To simply state the vision, the idea, that Cdl. Sarah’s request was a catalyst is in itself catalytic. The true vision of the faithful clergy and the faithful laity will win, because it’s the truth, and the truth is always the better idea. All other ideas have feet of clay, like the absurd notions that some people extrapolate from the GIRM about the direction of the priest. Cdl. Sarah has forced the liberal fundamentalists (who are always bad at truth but great at gymnastics) to show their hand but their essentially apoplectic response. As I said elsewhere, this is an opening, an opportunity.

    I should say that this is post is the “bestest, most fwuffiest post, evuh”, in true Fr. Z. style.

  5. doreilly says:

    In addition to Praying for our Priests and Bishops, I would also encourage everyone to write a politely worded letter to your priests and Bishops expressing support for such a decision.
    I think there are many priests and Bishops that would support this change but fear the backlash from the “church ladies” (men too but you know the type) who have happy made the Mass their own these past 50 years. It is important for them to know that they have the support of their diocese and parish when going into the breach.

  6. Inigo says:

    A TURNING point? I see what you did there ;)

  7. majuscule says:

    I believe Cardinal Sarah’s speech was inspired bu the Holy Spirit.

  8. RobertK says:

    Father you may want to look into the various eastern Liturgies, the exception being the Maronite Liturgy. Let’s see the importance of ad orientum in the Divine Liturgies of St’s John Chrysostom and Basil. The Liturgies of the Copts, Syro Malankara, Malabar, and Chaldeans. How ad orientum in the Mass is in perfect continuity to the eastern Liturgies. This could be a strong defense to the nay sayers who cringe at ad orientum worship. Do the Orthodox and Eastern Catholics have it wrong ??. Is the focus on God who is present in the tabernacle or the people centered in a circle. I agree that there will be strong resistance, but it must be manifested. We need eastern Christians to come to our defense. Why is ad orientum important in those liturgies and not ours. Why don’t the nay sayers condemn the Byzantines and their use of an Iconostasis to separate the clergy and the laity. Why do they “turn their back to the people”. Why can their traditions stand and ours cannot. Why must we change and not them?. We need to show the flaw in the nay sayers thinking. Is the Liturgical assembly in California every year a “personal preference” as Cardinal Nichols called ad orientum worship. Are they not “innovations”?. Does the GIRM mention liturgical dancing and incense bowls. Why are they not condemned?!. I think we all know whats going on in Rome. The nay sayers want Protestant practice and theology to flourish in the Roman Catholic Church. the rest of us just want the Roman Catholic Church, in all it’s beauty!. All points to ponder and reflect on!.

  9. Phil_NL says:

    For the sake of completeness (and not to detract from the main message!) I would add that in 1941, Clemens August von Galen was not yet a cardinal; he was elevated directly after the war. No doubt Pius XII named him because of his heroic efforts during the war, which would have cost him his life save for the belief among the nazis that if they killed Von Galen, North-western Germany would rise against them. So they waited, Germany was defeated, and Von Galen lived to become a cardinal. Though barely, as upon his return from Rome he quickly succumbed to neglected appendicitis.

    I personally regard that as a ‘job done, welcome home’ kind of Divine intervention.

    BTW, his cappa magna can be seen in Münster, and a great sight it is (he was also physically an imposing man, and somehow, in ravished Germany of 1946, they found a way to acquire one even bigger than normal)

  10. TWF says:

    I’ve always found it odd… A Latin Cardinal (e.g. Burke) wears beautiful, elaborate vestments worthy of the holy sacrifice and the liberals do their best to crucify him. Orthodox, or even Eastern Catholic, bishops vest like a Byzantine Emperor in all his splendor and no one says a thing (they’re just exotic). Latin priests celebrate Mass ad Orientem and the liberals seek to crucify them. Eastern priests celebrate the Eucharistic not only ad orientem but behind CLOSED doors (the Royal doors are closed during the consecration which is hidden from the congregation’s view in the Byzantine rite, and the sanctuary veil is closed in the Syriac rite) and no one says a thing.

  11. russlem says:

    For what it’s worth, Fr. Z, last Friday, while my family was in St. Peter’s during a tour, we noticed that the priest celebrating mass at a side chapel was facing the altar.

  12. Akita says:

    Beautiful post, Father Z.

    Padre Pio pray for Cardinal Sarah and Father Zulsdorf.

    Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman,
    pray for Cardinal Sarah and Father Zulsdorf.

    Blessed Clemens Cardinal von Galen pray for Cardinal Sarah and Father Zulsdorf.

    All Holy Priest Martyrs, pray for Cardinal Sarah and Father Zulsdorf.

  13. Henry Edwards says:

    Cardinal Sarah’s was a great address, and this is a great WDTPRS post. Thank him, and thank you.

  14. anilwang says:

    I don’t know if this speech marks a turning point, but Pope Francis has crossed the rubicon with his swift slap down of Cardinal Sarah’s non-binding appeal at a liturgical conference of like minded bishops.

    Up until now, it was possible for the typical faithful but nervous Catholic to tolerate the Holy Father’s ambiguity and love of mess as personal failings and patiently wait for a successor to clean up the mess. Respect Traditional Cardinals and even Bishop Fellay have stated that Pope Francis loves people and doesn’t want anything standing in their way of returning to the Church…even if his methods are misguided and in severe error. But one can’t do that now. Pope Francis is perfectly able to be clear and non-binding or not we know how he views the Catholic Faith. Anyone asking for him to clarify Amoris Laetitia needs to be ready for a clarification that they will not like to hear.

    IMO, this was a huge mistake for Pope Francis. If he had said nothing after speaking with Cardinal Sarah, Cardinal Sarah’s appeal would likely be as successful as Pope Benedict XVI’s repeated appeals to turn ad orientem (i.e. limited) and the nervous Catholic could keep his patience and constantly appealing even if it falls on deaf ears. He could continue on as he had, slowly replacing orthodox cardinals with liberal ones around the world until the Church was in his image. But no more.

    I don’t know what the fall out will be. Push Pope Francis too far for clarity and we will have to deal with the theoretical “what ifs” raised at Vatican I. But the harmful parts of Amoris Laetitia and further innovations cannot go unresisted. It’s typical for a resistance to have a concrete rallying sign. Will ad orientem become that rallying sign? One can only hope.

  15. benedetta says:

    Yeah, the bullies who have employed vicious torture of innocents to get their way don’t get to win on telling everyone how they must worship for all time.

    In a time of black Masses and violence and persecution, abuse, even from within the Church, the bullies and the loud mouths who employ harassment in lieu of respect, dignity, discussion, have zero credibility as far as telling everyone else how to worship. Let them fight over their ill-gotten spoils, and let the rest of us who offer what they have done as martyrdom seek God’s face. People who know not charity, Christian love, don’t get to tell decent Christians what they may and may not do for all time. They got their digs in, now let us offer what has happened to the Lord for our salvation.

  16. cl00bie says:

    “They think the suggestion that, perhaps, we could say Mass as our forebears did for so long is an accusation that they were wrong all along.”

    Aren’t we called as Catholics to periodically evaluate the state of our soul, and convert (turn toward), repent, and avail ourselves of the sacrament of Confession?

    Isn’t holding onto a modern deficient practice because you believe that it is better than the Mass of the ages an example of the same sin of Pride that got Satan his warm new digs?

  17. Kathleen10 says:

    Well put, Fr. Z., and if implemented this would be a very great thing.
    The opponents are going to fight it like dogs in the street, of course. They have their day, and they have shown they are ruthless in their pursuits. The laity need to talk up the Sarah Appeal, further it by discussing it online and in comboxes and to their bishops. We need to keep it alive, not allow it to be buried in an avalanche of demotions and Cardinals being suddenly appointed to Siberia, or priests who get “transferred”. We might want to watch for those and make noise if it appears it may happen as retribution. There are times when we are called to protect our protectors, and even helping to bring things to public scrutiny is something we could do. It’s easier for them if they can act without that scrutiny, and we can help with that without much trouble at all.
    In this battle the laity is potentially influential and even powerful, as God allows us, we have no position to be taken away, nothing those in power can take away from us or use to silence us. God help us and our faithful priests, Bishops, and Cardinals, as we do our part.

  18. Henry Edwards says:

    National Catholic Reporter:

    If Francis does nothing to make such structural and juridical changes, it is not inconceivable that when the overwhelmingly conservative College of Cardinals elects his successor — and most likely in the not too distant future — the new pope would reverse the movement for reform that’s currently underway.”

    By “reform that’s currently underway” he apparently means Pope Francis’ attempt to fundamentally transform the Church.

    NCR: “And if it were a Pope Cyprian I or Pius XIII (also known as Cardinal Robert Sarah), the reversal would be swift and uncompromising.”

    Please, God, let it be!

    NCR: “Of course, they’d have to tear down the walls of our churches to prevent people from crushing each other in the mass exodus that might cause.”

    Can these folks really believe this?

  19. TNCath says:

    Indeed. This is only the beginning. Every time I read something about Cardinal Sarah and his proposal for priests to offer Mass ad oriented, I am reminded of two things:

    1. Lex orandi, lex credendi. I can’t help but conclude that those who are so vociferously opposed to ad orientem worship are also intent on altering the “lex credendi” of the Church.

    2. An interview with Msgr. Guido Marini in the National Catholic Register in 2012 regarding Pope Benedict XVI’s approach to (re)introducing practices in the liturgy such as kneeling for Holy Communion and ad orientem worship:

    NCRegister: When he celebrates Mass, the Pope insists on communicants receiving Communion while kneeling. Is this something he wants for the universal Church?

    Msgr. Marini: The Holy Father explained this gesture in his interview in Light of the World. When the interviewer asked him about this practice, he said he felt the need for a strong gesture to recall the sense of the Real Presence of the Eucharist. This is so we can live this great sacrament, and this gesture is also necessary in adoration, to live this in front of the Eucharist. At this time, the Holy Father wants it for his own liturgical celebrations, but it’s clear it is an exemplary gesture for all, and we are invited to reflect on it. Above all, it’s an indication, because in whichever way a priest says the Eucharist today, in ways that are licit and ways the Church allows, one mustn’t lose sight of the adoring disposition that a living faith expresses in the presence of the Lord. If the Pope were to desire this to become common practice, he would say it in an explicit way; but, at the moment, he hasn’t expressed this point of view.

    NCRegister: Would he also prefer to see priests celebrating Mass ad orientem, facing east, and have this liturgical practice for the whole Church?

    Msgr. Marini: Certainly, the question of orientation of the prayer is an aspect of the liturgy that’s very close to the Pope’s heart. The Pope has spoken and written about it as cardinal, as a theologian, and it’s an argument that he’s returned to during his pontificate. He has also made this clear in his own liturgical practice, which he’s made particularly visible, because the crucifix is now placed at the center of the altar to recall the coordination of liturgical prayer during the great Eucharistic prayer. He’s pleased if, once in a while, his proposal will be received and become practice for many.

    NCRegister: And included in this is the direction in which the priest celebrates Mass?

    Msgr. Marini: Yes, in effect the first Christians found themselves oriented towards the east. Because it was the place of the Resurrection, it became a symbol of the risen Christ, who comes to visit his Church. So not for nothing the ancient Church was constructed towards the east. Then, in the course of history, this coordination towards the east was no longer realized for many reasons. But the Church has never lost this orientation; it’s been expressed in other ways, constructing great apses or great crucifixes that have become central to worship. So this orientation of prayer has historically often been expressed in many ways, but has never ceased. It’s really always been an element central to Christian prayer. This is why the Pope, in his heart, hasn’t ever lost sight of this aspect and proposes a way in which everyone can find prayer oriented towards the Lord.

    Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/serving-at-the-holy-fathers-side/#ixzz4EOvCEXKP

  20. Mike says:

    “Of course, they’d have to tear down the walls of our churches to prevent people from crushing each other in the mass exodus that might cause.”

    On the other hand, apropos Fr. Z’s experience as a seminarian, if we leave the doors open so people can see and hear the reverential awe with which God can rightfully be worshiped, there might just be a mass influx. Of course, to the chagrin of Modernist disaster-mongers, the risk of people crushing each other in that event would probably be negligible.

  21. Joseph-Mary says:

    Bishops and ‘queens’, oh my!

    But if some American bishops such as Conley and some others will do this ‘turning’, there will be priests who will have the courage to do so also. I already know of one petition in a diocese that went to a bishop and the pastor. The pastor stated clearly that the laity was out of order and nothing will ever be done unless the bishop asked for it; perhaps few priests have the courage to face the ire of a bishop who hates that ‘turning’.

  22. QuietContemplative says:

    I would like to pen a letter to the local bishop expressing my support for Cardinal Sarah. I’ve no idea where he falls in regards to these “reforms of the reforms,” though. Any suggestions on points to include or topics to focus on/avoid to increase my chances of it actually being read?

  23. majuscule says:

    NCR: “Of course, they’d have to tear down the walls of our churches to prevent people from crushing each other in the mass exodus that might cause.”

    Can these folks really believe this?

    Note the wording “our” churches. From reading combox comments over the years I would say that there may be some churches where that might occur. Apparently many Fishwrap readers happily attend them.

    If there was a mass exodus, in that case I don’t think it would be a bad thing!

  24. HighMass says:

    wonderful comments….sad to say ALL the statements about the tactics of the liberals is true.
    look at bugnini…..when Pope Benedict was Pope we stood a chance….sad to say as of March 2013, that “chance” or hope has gone away…….

    Liberal tactics as spoke of have what we have seen since the great Vatican II, in getting there agenda to happen.

    it is long overdue for Ad Orientem for the N.O. Lets Pray or next Pope is Cardinal Sarah or Burke….or a Cardinal who is orthodox.

  25. Scott Woltze says:

    The only thing that disappoints me about Cardinal Sarah is that he approvingly quotes my bishop, Archbishop Sample. Now when the good cardinal is pope, he will promote Archbishop Sample right out of Portland. Nooooooooooo!!!

  26. Tony Phillips says:

    I don’t think your average Catholic in the pew has any idea that this brouhaha has been going on. Cardinal Sarah–who’s that? Fr Lombardi–huh? So I’m not so sure how much of a watershed this will really be.

    I’m not going to post on the NCR article linked above as it’s already >400 comments, but one phrase from the article caught my eye: Francis must now accelerate his ongoing reform and development of the Synod of Bishops so that, by law, it becomes the primary structure to assist the Bishop of Rome in his ministry of universal governance. This, to me, is the problem with modern Catholicism. The pope doesn’t have a ‘ministry of universal governance.’ This is the fruit of Ultramontanism–that a pope can do whatever he wants, even chuck out the liturgy of ages and substitute a new one of his own (or his deputy’s) devising.

    The problem isn’t just Vatican II. It’s Vatican I. And if we’re serious about the reunion of Christians, as Jesus bade us be, then we need to face up to that.

  27. Michael_Thoma says:

    Should an orthodox faithful or cleric bring up ‘ad orientem’ to one of these hater Liturgists or Bishops, you may see an up-front award-winning performance of the “Slowly I Turned” routine. Happened to me on the parish search for our wedding. I spoke to one at a local Latin parish who was real friendly until I asked if the altar could be accommodated to celebrate an Eastern Liturgy, with the priest standing in front, the same direction leading the congregation. She replies “you mean with his back to the people?” I replied, “no not really, he turns to the people for most of the blessings, the Gospel, his homily, presenting the gifts, etc.. but he does face the same direction as the people for much of the Eucharistic prayers.” She was quick to say “oh, sorry, we can’t fit you in”. I said “we haven’t fixed a date yet so when do you have availability?”. . she replies, “oh sorry, our pastor only allows registered members to use our church for weddings.” Then why did we continue this 10 minute conversation after I said I’m not a member and an Eastern Catholic in the beginning?

  28. Aquinas Gal says:

    Recently I went to Mass in the EF with a millennial, and she told me that experiencing ad orientem worship was what first opened her mind to truly understanding the Mass.

  29. Clinton R. says:

    You always have my prayers, Father. Thank you for the good you do for men’s souls. May God bless you. May the Virgin May pray for you. May St. John Vianney pray for you. May all the angels and saints in the Church Triumphant pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests. May the seminarians be taught well and be guided by God to the day of their ordination. +JMJ+

  30. doreilly says:

    “I don’t think your average Catholic in the pew has any idea that this brouhaha has been going on. Cardinal Sarah–who’s that? Fr Lombardi–huh?”

    I here that, I would add that most are Ad Orentem? what’s that? Even those that work closely in the churches. Extraordinary ministers and those folks.

    It is the Year of Mercy though and high time we started kicking in the second spiritual work of mercy and casting away some of the ignorance that the last 50 years has left us in abundance.

  31. doreilly says:

    ignorance like typing “here” instead of “hear”

  32. Joseph-Mary says: I already know of one petition in a diocese that went to a bishop and the pastor. The pastor stated clearly that the laity was out of order and nothing will ever be done unless the bishop asked for it; perhaps few priests have the courage to face the ire of a bishop who hates that ‘turning’.

    Gee…I thought this was the Golden Age of the Laity.

  33. Mike says:

    Prayers ascending. Masses, too: for you, Fr. Z, and for Cardinal Sarah and for a local de-wreckovating priest who is apt to encounter some of the anti-Sarah blowback.

  34. jdt2 says:

    Thank you, Father, for the post and for introducing me to this holy man. I just downloaded the entire text, and will talk about him and this topic to people in my circle.

    God bless.

  35. TimG says:

    Fr Z, be assured my family is including you and all priests in our daily prayers and Rosary.

  36. Matt Robare says:

    Interestingly, Cardinal Sarah was just admitted to the Knights of Malta: https://www.orderofmalta.int/2016/06/10/cardinal-sarah-admitted-to-order-of-malta-with-the-rank-of-bailiff-knight-grand-cross-of-honour-and-devotion/

    You know, I was reading Evelyn Waugh’s biography of St Edmund Campion recently and in the introduction, he pointed out that the martyrdom of Bl Miguel Pro was very similar to that of Campion and he said something like “Recent events have shown that the increased tolerance of the last century was not a change, but merely a short truce in a much longer war . . . ”

    St Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us.

  37. zebedee says:

    Speaking of the eastern churches (and those Anglicans and Lutherans who also worship Ad Orientem)perhaps we should also be promoting Ad Orientem worshipo on the grounds that it would further ecumenical relations with other Christians. What’s the liberal rejoinder to that?

  38. Matthew Gaul says:

    Three reasons, in my opinion:

    – the lefties parents weren’t Byzantine, so they don’t feel the need to “fight the (Byzantine) power,” and

    – to outward appearance, the Eastern churches are “on the margins,” (even though they are spiritual giants). Liberals love to flatter the margins, but the earthly power and NGO cash all flows through the Latin Church, and

    – even if the lefties gave the Byzantines a hard time, most of the latter couldn’t care less.

  39. benedetta says:

    Funny I heard a well known priest on Catholic radio this afternoon speak with some exasperation about being asked to celebrate Mass ad orientem, and he refused to do it, because, he explained, laughingly as well, that “Jesus didn’t celebrate Mass with the apostles that way”. Which was interesting. He did go on to say that if people liked the EF that they should “go for it” and that they “had a right” to prefer that rite. That non ad orientem celebration was “preferred”.

    It does indeed sound as if those of us who express support for something we like liturgically which is 100% legit, valid, and good for the Church are going to have to expect continued beatdowns until we submit or just croak.

  40. benedetta says:

    If some people can do what they do, in the Church (and no, I’m not talking about Professional Dissenters and Propagandists and Personalities) such as harassment/torture/abuse/stalking of those whose prolife positions they cannot brook or tolerate, for the phobia, the animus, and the hatreds, then, surely many of us are entitled, at the very least, to say proudly that we like ad orientem worship, it’s not at all about backsides, thanks, and please show your charity/respect for we are in the communion as well as yourself though you’ve got all that power.

  41. anilwang says:

    zebedee says: “Speaking of the eastern churches (and those Anglicans and Lutherans who also worship Ad Orientem)perhaps we should also be promoting Ad Orientem worshipo on the grounds that it would further ecumenical relations with other Christians. “

    Actually, it’s more ecumenical than you think. Jews also celebrate “ad orientem” as do Muslims (though their “liturgical east” are defined as Jerusalem and Mecca). Furthermore, Jews direct their worship towards the tabernacle which contains the word of God (i.e. the Torah).

    So in addition to the reasons given by Cardinal Sarah, the Catholic Church must immediately celebrate ad orientem and the tabernacle must be returned behind the altar in parishes where they have been pushed off to the side. To fail to do so, not only violates Sacrosanctum Concilium, it also violated Nostra Aetate, and consequently the “Spirit of Vatican II” itself. After all, we wouldn’t want to offend Jews and Muslims and high church Lutherans and Anglicans, would we?
    ;-)

  42. Fr. Kelly says:

    An important point to remember, as we pray for and support Cardinal Sarah is this. While it may very well be true that he was speaking in his private capacity when he spoke at the Sacra Liturgia Conference in London last week asking all priests who can do so to catechize their people and begin celebrating Mass ad orientem, this is clearly not the case for his previous statement in Famille Chretienne when he asserted the truth that priests do not need any special permission to celebrate ad orientem.
    There he clearly states that he is speaking in his official capacity as the prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments. This is not merely an opinion. It is a declaration of the magisterium of the church. Any suggestions like the ones that we have been seeing that he is acting on his own and expressing his own personal opinion or preference is just plain wrong.

    Also, all the comments being made about the comparison of the EF and the OF in this regard are off the point. What the Cardinal is speaking of is celebration of the OF ad orientem. The EF is of course never celebrated versus populum.

  43. Fr. Kelly says:

    Bennedetta said:
    Funny I heard a well known priest on Catholic radio this afternoon speak with some exasperation about being asked to celebrate Mass ad orientem, and he refused to do it, because, he explained, laughingly as well, that “Jesus didn’t celebrate Mass with the apostles that way”.

    I have been hearing things like this too, and I have two immediate responses: First, how does that priest know what direction Jesus faced when He celebrated Mass with His apostles? Was he there?
    and Second, Jesus is facing Himself whatever direction He looks, so He is always ad orientem. Even if, somehow we could know which way Jesus faced, it would have no relevance to determining the direction of the (merely human) priest who is making His Sacrifice present on the altar.

  44. JARay says:

    I am delighted to have read this posting Fr. Z.. I do remember serving Mass as a boy when the priest said the Mass in the Lady Chapel. In that particular church the Lady Chapel was on the side of the church which actually was pointing North so I see the urge for Mass to be said “ad Orientem” really means that Mass is said with both the priest and the congregation facing the same way. This I understand completely and I welcome this.

  45. cathgrl says:

    To expound on Fr. Kelly’s point of 4:44 pm, if He is always ad orientem, the question shouldn’t be whether Jesus was facing the Apostles at the Last Supper. The question should be whether the Apostles, who were ordained Priests during the Last Supper, were facing God.

  46. jeanne says:

    I love what Card Sarah had to say. Here in the SouthEast Corner of ND, 3 of the 4 parishes in our county celebrate Mass Ad Orientem. Father A told me that the first time he said Mass facing the Tabernacle, he said it felt so very right to do it that way. We are also working on getting some of the former decor back that was removed in the 70’s.

  47. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Bibliographical query for any helpful soul: Is Uwe Michael Lang’s Turning Towards the Lord (Ignatius, 2004) simply a translation of his Conversi ad dominum: Zu Geschichte und Theologie der christlichen Gebetsrichtung (Johannes, 2003), or a revised version in English, or a distinct work?

    I still have not ordered a copy of one or the other, and wondered if there were reasons to choose the English title, beyond ease of reading and of quoting in discussion?

  48. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    RobertK (at 9:43 AM) adds a fine biritual (and, indeed, multiritual) accent to this excellent post – which (as he notes) is ecumenical as well (“Many of them rejoice in the episcopate, celebrate the Holy Eucharist and cultivate devotion toward the Virgin Mother of God”, Lumen gentium 15; “celebrate the Holy Eucharist” – how? ad orientem, among other things!).

    Is not the Holy Father biritual? Join him in rejoicing – in practice – in this common feature!

  49. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Fr. Z,

    Thank you in particular, too, for enabling us so easily and conveniently to “read the whole” (and for supplying the Latin of St. Ambrose in your quotation)!

    When and as convenient (for you or another), it would good to have the footnotes, as well – especially where Cardinal Sarah’s warm recommendation of “the presentation on ‘The Bishop: Governor, Promoter and Guardian of the Liturgical Life of the Diocese’ made to the 2013 Sacra Liturgia conference in Rome by Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland” is concerned. Is that, by any chance, also already available online? (I confess I have not yet searched for it…)

  50. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    benedetta notes a priest who said, “Jesus didn’t celebrate Mass with the apostles that way”, upon which Fr.Kelly comments thoughtfully. In his 1910 Catholic Encyclopedia article, “Jerusalem (A.D. 71-1099)”, Adrian Fortescue writes of “the house of John Mark and his mother Mary” that it “was apparently in this house that was the Upper Room, the scene of the Last Supper and of the assembly on Pentecost. Epiphanius (d. 403) says that when the Emperor Hadrian came to Jerusalem in 130 he found the Temple and the whole city destroyed save for a few houses, among them the one where the Apostles had received the Holy Ghost. This house, says Epiphanius, is ‘in that part of Sion which was spared when the city was destroyed’ — therefore in the ‘upper part’ (“De mens. et pond.”, cap. xiv). From the time of Cyril of Jerusalem, who speaks of ‘the upper Church of the Apostles, where the Holy Ghost came down upon them’ (Catech., ii, 6; P.G., XXXIII), there are abundant witnesses of the place. A great basilica was built over the spot in the fourth century; the crusaders built another church when the older one had been destroyed by Hakim in 1010. It is the famous Coenaculum or Cenacle — now a Moslem shrine — near the Gate of David, and supposed to be David’s tomb (Nebi Daud)”, and “During the first Christian centuries the church at this place was the centre of Christianity in Jerusalem, ‘Holy and glorious Sion, mother of all churches’ (Intercession in “St. James’ Liturgy”, ed. Brightman, p. 54). Certainly no spot in Christendom can be more venerable than the place of the Last Supper, which became the first Christian church”: “From this Coenaculum the first Christian bishops ruled the Church of Jerusalem.”

    The Wikipedia “Cenacle” article on it says, “The Cenacle was either repaired or enclosed by the Crusader church, occupying a portion of two aisles on the right (southern) side of the altar” and that “Christians were not officially allowed to return until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.” And via the Wikimedia Commons on it, one can arrive at this article, illustrated with diagrams:

    http://www.centuryone.org/apospg31.html

    Insofar as one can tell anything about anything, it all seems always to have been ‘oriented’ to pretty exactly actual east.

  51. The Masked Chicken says:

    “First, how does that priest know what direction Jesus faced when He celebrated Mass with His apostles?”

    This comment by the priest is a non-starter for two reasons:

    1. The history of the Jewish Passover meal structure during the time of the Passion suggests that Christ and his apostles reclined on pillows around the table (remember that St. John leaned against Jesus’s chest), so Da Vinci’s depiction is wrong. Thus, Christ is facing up as much as outward and in no particular orientation to his apostles who were reclining all around the table.

    2. We face East on account of the Resurrection, which hadn’t happened on Holy Thursday, yet, so the sign would have been premature on that night. Indeed, if it would have been a necessary sign on that night, Scripture would, surely, not have been silent about it. Facing East to celebrate Mass is a decision of the Post-Resurrection Church, just like changing the Sabbath to Sunday.

    The Chicken

  52. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    anilwang speaks of the Holy Father’s “swift slap down of Cardinal Sarah’s non-binding appeal at a liturgical conference of like minded bishops.” But all that has been publicly reported was an audience in which they expressed mutual agreement.

    It was indeed publicly reported in an clumsily-phrased and (so far as I can see) to a certain extent, error-laden statement, but I do not see any reason to believe that what was mutually agreed was anything different from what Cardinal Sarah is quoted above as having said not so long before: “Pope Francis has asked me to continue the extraordinary liturgical work Pope Benedict began (see: Message to Sacra Liturgia USA 2015, New York City). Just because we have a new pope does not mean that his predecessor’s vision is now invalid. On the contrary, as we know, our Holy Father Pope Francis has the greatest respect for the liturgical vision and measures Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI implemented in utter fidelity to the intentions and aims of the Council Fathers.”

    But, by all means let any recording(s) of the audience and a convenient full transcription (accurately translated into several languages) be released, so that all can see what Fr. Lombardi’s jumbly report was so clumsily based upon. Indeed, let us not cease politely but firmly to request that!

  53. Fr. Kelly says:

    Between Bennedetta, cathgirl, and the Masked Chicken, I think we have spent more thought and care into the nameless priest’s comment perhaps than he did.

    The fact is the Mass is oriented to God and so the priest ought to be facing Him — especially at those times when he is addressing God on behalf of himself, the people and the whole Church. This true orientation to God is underscored by the occasions in which it is interrupted ie. when he turns to the people for the _orate fratres_, (when he seeks the prayers of the people to support him in his task of offering the sacrifice of Christ) the _pax domini sit semper vobiscum_ (when he extends the peace of Christ to the people), and the _ecce agnus dei_ (when he Shows the Lord to His people before Holy Communion)

  54. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    In the chapter of Uwe Michael Lang’s Turning Towards the Lord online (kindly linked by The Masked Chicken in a comment to another post), he writes, “The Ritus servandus [that Pope Saint Pius V issued in 1570] deals with the case where the altar is directed to the east and, at the same time, towards the people (altare sit ad orientem, versus populum). This is indeed the state of affairs in the major Roman basilicas with the entrance facing east and the apse facing west.”

    Celebration “versus populum” in any church where similarly “the altar is directed to the east and, at the same time, towards the people (altare sit ad orientem, versus populum)” is a simple carrying out of this same thing.

    Since this is (if I understand correctly) the whole liturgical sense of “versus populum” in all official texts where it occurs, then where the altar is not in fact directed to the east and, at the same time, towards the people, any celebration “versus populum” is in fact directed to ‘litugical east’ in imitation of that in such churches as the major Roman basilicas with the entrance facing east and the apse facing west. If that is so, any priestly, episcopal, or archepiscopal celebrants who do not realize they are facing ‘ad orientem liturgically’ when they are “versus populum” need to learn that.

    Perhaps this was among the things Cardinal Sarah was thinking in his appeal to his “brother bishops: please lead your priests and people towards the Lord in this way, particularly at large celebrations in your dioceses and in your cathedral. Please form your seminarians in the reality that we are not called to the priesthood to be at the centre of liturgical worship ourselves, but to lead Christ’s faithful to him as fellow worshippers united in the one same act of adoration.”

    The historical (changes in) directional disposition of the ‘populus’ during Mass in churches with the entrance facing east and the apse facing west is something I look forward to reading more about. Did they, for example, turn from actual east to altar with the commencement of the Canon?

    And did an orientation of celebrant to a ‘liturgical east’ which was in fact due west ever take place in the major Roman basilicas with the entrance facing east and the apse facing west? In churches with rather restrictive pews, would a common facing ‘liturgical east’ rather than actual east be preferable to a facing of the altar by celebrant and ‘populus’ from opposite directions?

    In any case, it would seem to be only proper catechism to get and keep everyone aware that ‘versus populum’ properly understood is simply and solely one of the versions of ‘ad orientem versus Deum per Iesum Christum’.

  55. robtbrown says:

    The Masked Chicken says:

    2. We face East on account of the Resurrection, which hadn’t happened on Holy Thursday, yet, so the sign would have been premature on that night. Indeed, if it would have been a necessary sign on that night, Scripture would, surely, not have been silent about it. Facing East to celebrate Mass is a decision of the Post-Resurrection Church, just like changing the Sabbath to Sunday.

    Excellent point that the Last Supper happened before* the Resurrection. Someday, God willin’ and the crick don’t rise, I’m going to write an article on the consequence of Christ not celebrating the Last Supper after the Resurrection.

    *His comments also assume the erroneous Protestant notion that the Eucharist is a memorial of the Last Supper.

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  57. Fr. Kelly says:

    Venerator Sti Lot gives some good practical insight about the situation actually in place in St. Peters Basilica in Rome and others, where the circumstances of building prevented the church from being built with the apse facing east. (In the case of St. Peter’s, its position is determined by the desire to have the bones of St. Peter under the main altar.

    As to the question of what was done in ancient days, Klaus Gamber in his watershed book on the liturgy published in the 1990s with Cardinal Ratzinger’s preface, presents evidence that, at the deacon’s prompting, the people would, as a body, turn toward the east with their backs to the altar at the moment of consecration.

    Wherever the people are, and whatever direction they are facing, the priest’s focus should be on god and not on them.

  58. benedetta says:

    Agree with FrKelly’s comment that it’s not really worth belaboring — I think that priest is holy and just attempted to deal with a question in a quick way with his personal take on the idea. He does a lot of excellent and important work in Catholic media. The statement about Jesus is obviously very debatable with respect and reason.

    That said I think it worth noting that bullying, harassment, mockery of others’ piety, these have never served as acceptable means of furthering a “cause” or argument on a point of theology and liturgy, as a good way to approach tradition. It’s been always wrong, and it stays as a wrong approach.

    Therefore, I think it worthy of those who disagree about ad orientem to tweet out reasoned discussion with respect. Anything involving “backsides” and worse, bullying, marginalizing, harassing others, as a means to further some point of disagreement in theology or liturgy is obviously not going to be grounds for furthering theological development, no matter the ultimate direction. Let’s ask this, when a point of disagreement is based upon ridicule Cardinal Sarah and ad orientem worship, or who use bullying and abuse instead of best practices in pastoral approach and ministry or charity and dignity, how valuable, how good, ultimately, how healthy and functional, how synodal and walking together in our communion, are those foundations for the points they advocate, for the long term? It completely discredits even the shreds of arguments in reason that they may have had. One asks, if one had reasonable, good argument, why did one not use those with dialogue and walking together in dignity and respect, in the first place? Resorting to these signals only totalitarianism, fascism, which cannot ever be a secure footing or grounds for development of theology, liturgy, or where we are going in our communion. It seems obvious, however, I think a lot of people have become sold on the notion that whatever means they will use, even abuse and harassment of others, innocents, are fair methods for furthering their “cause”, instead of an open, transparent, reasoned discussion on what exactly their cause is and what in goodness and truth makes it the superior one for going ahead. I think a lot of people may agree with their “causes” but then when they employ abuse obviously they’ve lost the argument in favor of terror and sheer power by blind might. Sad but true.

  59. Semper Gumby says:

    Great posts and comments all week. Prayers for Card. Sarah, the ad orientem appeal, Fr. Z, and all bishops and priests.

  60. dochm13 says:

    +Sarah strikes a blow against the dethroning of God and the deification of man https://nonvenipacem.com/2016/07/16/the-dethroning-of-god-and-the-deification-of-man/

  61. Girolamo says:

    Here’s one more contribution to the discussion (he gives you a hyperlink shout-out towards the beginning):

    https://christianrenaissancemovement.com/2016/07/16/re-turning-towards-the-lord/

    It’s written with all the boldness of a young seminarian. Can we pray for his vocation? I’m sure there are some who would rather him not speak out.

  62. paulineo says:

    Not too long ago, I read a statistic that in Canada, 80% of church-going catholics do NOT believe in the Real Presence.
    As a catechist, I prepare the children for the reception of first confession, Holy Communion and confirmation. I can say that the majority of the confirmation children haven’t the remotest idea what Holy Communion is; they and their parents don’t always go to Mass on Sundays, yet, when they do, they all receive Holy Communion without first having received absolution in confession, because they don’t know that to miss Mass deliberately is a mortal sin. They miss Mass because of baseball or basket ball game, or they have to visit a relative. In Canada, we are supposed to have catholic schools. Unless a child has a really good Catholic teacher, he/she will be taught nothing by way of catechisis!

    The only priests who really “teach” on Sundays, are the wonderful Nigerian priests whom we are privileged to have for a couple of years.

    The celebration of Mass, with the priest facing the congregation has led us to where we are now, with no silence or reverence at all during Mass and a total lack of awareness of what the Mass is. Two weeks ago, just before the consecration, I had to stop a young man who has just proceeded to answer his cell phone! There is no church that I know of, where the church does not resemble “a market place!”

    Our parish priest says and does nothing to correct this. Would you believe it that as recently as May, when we had our March for Life, that he refused to allow us to show a 3-minute pro-March for Life video after all the Masses, because, “there are children in the congregation, and if they hear the word abortion, that will be harmful!!!!!! Weren’t priests saying this 50 years ago?

    With that kind of mentality, how on earth will NON-CATECHISED catholics ever believe that at Mass, we are really present at Calvary. I will pray that Cardinal Sarah’s desire will come true, but we must also pray for the Bishops, who are SUPPOSED to be our shepherds. Our adversary has been really successful in establishing a false Christ and a false church; we must help to defeat him in this Year of Mercy.

    When I heard of Cardinal Sarah’s comments, mine was Hallelujah!

  63. Margaret O says:

    His exhortation on the music in the liturgy was equally important, imo. What we are dished up as ‘music’ in the liturgy is absolutely disgraceful! It is surely time to say “enough!”

  64. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Fr. Kelly,

    Thank you for the detail from Klaus Gamber (whom I have not yet read, but am now more eager to)!

  65. PTK_70 says:

    “You’ve gotta look for some humor in life in the Church these days, friends.”

    I also want to say that this is a characteristic of those tradition-minded Catholics who are making a *positive* contribution in the Church today.

  66. Tom T says:

    One thing can certainly be understood from all this, the Pope can be clear when he wants to be and sow confusion when he wants to do that, furthermore this is proof to me at least that the Church is severely divided and getting worse by a Pope who would rather promote an ideological liberal agenda than shepherd his flock which I have come to wonder lately who that might be. Thank goodness for bishops such as Bishop Conley of Nebraska. http://www.lincolndiocese.org/op-ed/bishop-s-column/3004-looking-to-the-east
    We need more like him however with the recent appointment of Bishop Cupich, I doubt we will see it.

  67. PurdueGuy says:

    I’ll repost what I said on Msgr. Pope’s comments on this on NC Register which I find very relevent here.

    Msgr. Pope,

    I was born after Vatican II but I have the following comment from your statement:

    “If this thing becomes a liturgy war it will be a countersign and is doomed to failure and overreaction.”

    Didn’t the change from Latin to vernacular cause a liturgy war? Didn’t this represent a “countersign”. Didn’t this cause an upheaval in the Church? Why was this “shoved” down people’s throats who were “abhorrent” to the change from what I’ve heard from some people?

    Why is it that when people want to respect the past and tradition that they are the ones who are “overzealous” or “old-fashion” or better yet “not-progressive”? Why is it going back would be blamed to create more of a rift than what has already been done.

    Those who “tolerated” this change has indeed done just that, they have “tolerated” it and not left the Church. It seems that if some masses were to go back to “facing the East” that those who cried for tolerance to the changes will not “tolerate” tradition and they themselves will leave. This is speculation but it seems how it would pan out.

    I spoke with a former Lutheran at the church I attend about singing in Latin. He told me that he “hates Latin”. How does it seem that “converts” have come in and changed the Church instead of the other way around? Maybe I’m ranting or being unfair, but it seems I see a double standard when promoting the “Traditional Latin Mass”.

    I’ve always believed that going to Mass was to commune with the Lord, not go to some community function and give “high-fives” to everyone. I went to one “Catholic Church” where people were told to “greet” your neighbor before Mass. I couldn’t stand it. It shouldn’t have prevented me from going to Mass but it did. I basically tried to get to Mass as late as possible because I was in no mood to “mingle”. I’m there to pray to set my soul right with God.

    Sorry for the rant here Msgr, but why are the ones who want the TLM on the defensive? It’s one thing to get criticized for one’s beliefs from other denominations, it’s another thing to get criticized from within the same walls of faith. Not claiming to be a saint but any stretch of the imagination, but the Saints always got criticized or heckled it seems from within their own order.

    From Isaiah: “Thus says the LORD: Put your house in order,
    for you are about to die; you shall not recover.”

    How can the Catholic Church “evangelize” or spread the “Good News of the Gospel” when within her walls is chaos and no stability.

    St. Joseph pray for us.

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