Kwasniewski instructs @MassimoFaggioli about real “rupture”

Recently Massimo “Beans” Faggioli has attempted to stir up a pingle and, with it, attention for himself, by denigrating our Catholic Tradition – nay, rather – by denigrating the people who desire our Catholic Tradition.

His latest clickbait shtick, which may be more about his frustration, anger, and desire for traffic, involves judgmental and hurtful statements on Twitter about a whole group of people. For example:

And there’s this:

That’s just crazy talk, and it’s intentionally hurtful.  It is so patently contrary to the truth that it must be bubbling up from a place of anxiety and frustration.  He may not be thinking straight when he tweets that stuff.

Who, again, is creating the rupture?   Who is causing division?

In response, Peter Kwasniewski has already issued – in July 2017 – instruction for Beans at NLM.  Peter brough up a point which others have also made: when it comes to “liturgy” (read = Mass), libs sink into the deadly trap of “neoscholastic reductionism”.  In a beanpod, if the bare bones minimum is present for valid consecration of the Eucharist, then everything else in the rite is fair game for change or adaptation according to the whims of those present.  Peter, however, shows that to preserve our rites without rupture, we need to maintain precisely those things which Beans rejects. Beans is the rupturist, not traditional Catholics.

It is useful to review something that Tracey Rowland wrote in 2008 in Ratzinger’s Faith: The Theology of Pope Benedict XVI (US HERE – UK HERE).

The Lercaro—Bugnini inspired liturgical experiments of the last three decades have been based on an overemphasis on baroque sacramental theology and eighteenth-century philosophy, and an obsession with pedagogy. This in turn can be boiled down to a cocktail of scholasticism [NB] (the reduction of sacramental theology to considerations of matter and form) [Thus, Beans!], the Kantian obsession with pedagogical rationalism (the predominance of ethical values over strictly religious ones) [Thus, Beans!]moralism (a notion of Mass attendance as duty parade), [Thus, Beans!] and a Jansenist attitude to beauty (it is irrelevant: the only thing that matters is that the words are doctrinally sound and in the vernacular). [Thus, Beans!] In other words, one has a cocktail of theological and philosophical ingredients which Ratzinger has spent his entire ecclesial life trying to throw out of the pantry. [And that is a major component of his vision and action in implementing Summorum Pontificum.] Anyone wanting to escape the culture of modernity with its lowest-common-denominator mass culture will find it difficult to do so at many contemporary Catholic liturgies based on the Lercaro—Bugnini  [- Beans] principles. As Catherine Pickstock has argued, ‘a genuine liturgical reform would either have to overthrow our anti-ritual modernity, or, that being impossible, devise [or perhaps, develop] a liturgy that refused to be enculturated in our modern habits of thought and speech’.  [I think that we already have that, and it is what Beans pits against continuity.]

In any event, dear readers, I don’t think it is all that profitable to give Beans to much attention.  He is angry and, I suspect, sincerely afraid of what Summorum Pontificum is producing.  It must be awful for him.  This latest path of attack is more than likely his way of both maintaining attention and traffic in Twitter and expressing his frustration.  Hence, his bitter attacks on the people who want tradition, as he did in his hurtful remarks after the article in the NYT.  Stop and say a Memorare for him.

The moderation queue is ON.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Mike says:

    It is difficult to imagine a more effective condemnation of the antics of the Consilium and their “liturgist” successors than Dr. Kwasniewski’s development of the metaphor of “in vitro transubstantiation.”

  2. Benedict Joseph says:

    While prompted to do so by this report, I am not singling out any specific individual, but it is no longer possible to excuse peculiar statements as merely uninformed, misguided or inadequate. Our Church is inhabited by a fair number of malefactors, narcissists and liars and it is unacceptable.
    Years ago when entering professional life to work in a non-profit environment I was warned by a very astute scholar on staff about the nature of the jungle I was about make home away from home. “They don’t work for money, it isn’t here. It’s all about ego. Watch your tail.”
    It is quite apparent there are a multitude of mangled egos in protracted adolescence hanging out in Ecclesia looking for the limelight at anybody’s expense but their own. Most painfully it is at the expense the proper fear of the Lord and souls.
    “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who practice it. His praise endures forever!” Psalm 111:10
    “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” Proverbs 9:10
    This fifty-five yearlong comeuppance is only serving to evaporate the negligible credibility upon which we continue to hold.
    “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men.” Matthew 5:13
    We are in very bad straights. It is way beyond time for an adult wake up call.

  3. Traductora says:

    The whole Faggioli article seems to tie together Ratzinger, Summorum, Trent and the Mortara Affair, when a Jewish child who had been given an emergency baptism by the midwife was taken away from his family in 1858 and brought up in the Vatican. [Which is deeply deceitful.] Some of the actual event had to do with the disputes over the Papal States. But there is, of course, a movie about it to be released soon that is going to make the Church look truly horrible.

    It was such a reach to tie Summorum Pontificum to the Mortara Affair that I hardly knew how he had managed it. But he did, and brace yourselves, because this is going to be the new approach to the Old Rite. That is, anybody who loves and understands the Old Rite is thereby guilty, at least potentially, of heavy-handed and mostly politically motivated things of nearly 200 years ago. Or any time, for that matter.

  4. mysticalrose says:

    Massimo knows that (currently) he is winning and that he has support in high places. The gloves are off and he is free to articulate everything that the progressives think, but that they had kept well-hidden until this pontificate. In this sense, it is instructive.

    [It is instructive. Reading their stuff these days is like going to an autopsy: you get to see what’s up deep inside. However, although they are fully aware that they have raw power on their side, I don’t think they are confident in winning. Quite the opposite. I think they’re soiling themselves because they know that their time is running out.]

  5. Gilbert Fritz says:

    It would help if we traditionalists didn’t always talk about “Novus Ordo Catholics.” We’re all Catholics here. Of course, the loony bin folks would keep ranting anyway, but we should avoid giving them any pretexts.

    And it might help if we started reading the Epistle and proclaiming the Gospel in the vernacular.

    I really can’t understand why the readings should be in Latin. [There’s more to be said about that.] Mass of the Catechumens . . . it has an instructional role. But it is read by the priest in a language the people don’t understand, towards the altar. This has all the hallmarks of a corruption. When a monk said a private low Mass, it was of course much easier to read the Epistle and Gospel from a book on the altar, instead of a lectern. And as Latin gradually became a “dead” language, and for a while the priest’s Latin probably decayed along with that of the people, the readings only gradually became unintelligible. By now, we have folks who come up with fantastic justifications for this mistake, all the while reading the Gospel and Epistle in English from their hand missals! There is a huge difference between hearing the word of God proclaimed and reading it; one has a communal dimension and one an individualist dimension.

    After 500 years, the Mass of Trent probably WAS due for an update; it is just unfortunate that the update was hijacked. After all, 500 years before Trent the Mass was rather different, particularly in Spain (the Christian parts) and England.


  7. Unwilling says:

    People may and can read the Readings and the whole Bible “outside” the Mass. Read, study, discuss, meditate. The annual* cycle of readings [in any languages] can be exactly memorized by most and substantially memorized, even without intention, by almost all. People can prepare for Mass each day. Encountering the Bible as a religious act is a glorious thing. The Readings invite us all to do so. They do not and cannot substitute for such an encounter.

    *The three-year cycle is the worst single change undermining Catholic knowledge and piety.

  8. mithrandirmonk says:

    A remark on “neo-scholastic reductionism.” This certainly happened, and yes, in the early 20th century, there was a kind of zeal for discussions of the essence and “formal constitutive element” of the sacrifice of the Mass. However, even these latter investigations were not all reductionistic as though “essence” were the “I know not what” of Lockean substance. These disquisitions were trying to understand what per se is the constitutive element of the sacrifice so that one could then understand all the properties flowing from that essence. In its best moments, such discussions were undertaking the scientific discipline of theology considered as reflecting on the principles of faith and drawing from that the truths contained therein (under the light of discursive human reasoning, illuminated by faith, which traditionally was termed “virtual revelation” in the Thomist school). This is all in order according to the sane and down-to-earth logic of the Posterior Analytics, whatever may be scoffed by contemporary thinkers.

    Moreover, a consideration of studies such as those of Charles Journet and Anscar Vonier (just to name two) show that, yes, within the traditional Thomist school (i.e., that which took its general historical cues from the line of commentators that included lights such as John Capreolus, Thomas Cajetan, John Poinsot, the Salamanca Carmelites, Charles-René Billuart, Jean-Baptiste Gonet, and others), there was much latitude for reflections that were not reductionalistic “neo-scholasticism.” Likewise, a consideration of the magisterial works of the sacramental theologian Emmanuel Doronzo show an in-depth reflection on the sacraments in themselves, including that of the sacrifice of the Mass. All of this is in addition to the approaches that were often found in moral theology and canonical studies, which undertake their own unique views on the sacraments (not considering, therein, the mysteries themselves, but, instead, in view of their role in sanctification or juridically). Of course, insofar as theology is a unitary science for the Thomists, all these views must be integrated in some manner. The entire repudiation of the Dominican school is one of the great shames of that order from the 20th century. Despite the limitations of the Baroque / Modern Dominicans (and Carmelites), they were quite intelligent theologians in their own right. We are all products of our era, and work is being done to overcome this massive destruction; but as we all know, it’s easier to destroy than it is to build back up.

    In any case, I am always hesitant to throw around the “neo-scholastic” term because it just glazes people over—“Oh yea… those naïve and superficial men who knew nothing of mystery.” There is so much misinformation floating around out there about this period that I think it is totally unfair to use the term at all. While it does apply in some circles (indeed often here in America, given the low quality of academic theology in many circles [not all: one thinks of figures like Doronzo, Fenton, Sheen, and others], especially the theology promoted by the brick-and-mortar bishops), we risk perpetuating the great liberal reformers’ lies by speaking of the “neo-Thomists” in such a derisive manner. Indeed, I should add that the Dominican order should not be called “neo-” Thomist at all. The Thomist school stayed lively up through early 20th century.

    Yes, there are gains after this period—and I tend to be leery of using Thomism as a bludgeoning stick as though theology (merely virtually revealed truths) were matters de fide (formally revealed). And there are many insensitivities in the theology of that period. But, there are insensitivities today as well. If we do not avoid this kind of dismissal of those who come before us, we will end up all dead in a circular firing-squad in which the guns of “being right” are fired at everyone, even allies.

    (Also, myself a Thomist, I still feel bad for the Scotists out there who are rejected without notice! Given Jesuit infidelities, there really are not Suarezins out there. I believe it was Fr. Thomas Joseph, OP White who once surprisingly noted that it is a great loss for us to have lost all the scholae throughout the orders – even the Scotists and Suarezians!)

  9. CharlesRS says:

    I am saddened that Faggioli brings this attention to my alma mater while fine work like this is being largely ignored.

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