More on Desisdeede – Desiderio desideravi. This time through a particularly vicious lens that might be at the core of the document.

Today at Le Crock… sorry… Le Croix… there is a piece by one Gregory Solari.  Who?  I asked the same question.  I found this link.  Involvement with McGill in Montreal.  French, I think, maybe Swiss. Interested in Newman.  Seems to be instrumentalizing Newman in support of “synodality” (“walking together”).  Hence, he is on that side of the spectrum.  There is not much of a reason to know about him.

He penned a brutally vicious piece for Le Crock, as is consistent with those who work for Le Crock, and one that is especially insulting to Benedict XVI (see previous observation) and all those who desire traditional liturgical worship.

As I have been moving through Desideedee, with its changing voices, changing quality of thought, I had gotten down to a section on the “Paschal Mystery” which, properly understood is fascinating and which, inadequately understood is disaster for anything and everything liturgical.

Skipping that part for now, I use this following translation from French of the piece by Solari, to clue you in to what I suppose is the thought of Desideedee 27-29, about post-modernism.  NB: He also cites the DD paragraphs about “Paschal Mystery”.  This is the hook, I think, that they are hanging everything on.

What follows is pretty nasty.

It effectively says that if the Church doesn’t back a rite, then you wind up in nothingness, nihilism.  Hence, all the people who are strongly attached to the TLM are incapable of true prayer (according the the ancient Jewish Kabbalistic notions of prayer Solari tweaks at the end), and their efforts have resulted in nothingness.

But, as he asserts, “it is not a question of ‘banning the Mass in Latin'”.  Rather, it is a question of “arranging the conditions which will make possible what was the authentic intention of Summorum Pontificum.”   Note the whiff of Gnosticism.

Solari, therefore, compares Summorum Pontificum – and this piece was published today, on the anniversary of Summorum – and its misdirection to a “avortement pastoral… pastoral abortion”.

You might find that this smacks of word salad in some places, and you would be right.   One theologian I shared it with, someone serious and of international repute, called it “utter gibberish”.    It is not, however, gibberish in its intent.  It may be that we are getting to the core of Desideedee and its ghostwriters intentions.

As you begin, keep this is mind.

Reject the premise: Out in the real world of those who desire the TLM, apart from certain fringes, there is not an “exclusive attachment to the ‘Tridentine Rite.  Instead, what there is on the part of those in power is a proclaimed and in fact brutally imposed “attachment” to the modern rite absurdly defined as the sole expression of the Roman rite.  Absurdly because, there is no Roman rite outside tradition and continuity.   If they hit you with this, dare them to show you how the Novus Ordo is truly reflective of the text of Sacrosanctum Concilium.  Dare them to show you how often any given NO mass is celebrated according to its own rubrics.  It is they who have an exclusive attachment, that is, to destroying the Roman liturgy in the name of an ever elusive “Spirit the Council” found in the “emanations and penumbras” of the Council, and not in its letter.

“Pope Francis suggests that attachment to the Tridentine Rite is a product of nihilism”

Grégory Solari sheds light on the reading of the Pope’s Apostolic Letter on the liturgy in the light of the question of nihilism. The formalist attachment to the Tridentine Rite would be a way for some to resort to “tradition” to compensate for the symbolic deficit that characterizes postmodernity. By forgetting that the rite is nothing if there is not the Church behind it.

Could attachment to the Tridentine Rite be a product of nihilism? This is indirectly implied by the Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis on the liturgical formation Desiderio desideravi. By nihilism, we must understand a phenomenon that affects the question of value in a differentiated way. In the configuration of nihilism, the Pope further explains, “man feels lost, without references of any kind, deprived of values ??because they have become indifferent, orphaned by everything, in a fragmentation where a horizon of meaning seems impossible – (an epoch) still charged with the heavy heritage left to us by the previous epoch” (n. 28). We must not pass too quickly over this horizon of nihilism. It is this, I believe, which constitutes a posteriori the hermeneutic key of Traditionis custodes. We know that the essence of nihilism consists in the phenomenon of devaluation. After the dissolution of the link between the Name of God (revealed) and the attributes projected on him by men (“death of God”), no more criteria guarantee valorization. The dissolution of the link between God and his attributes has cracked the relationship between man and his own productions, creating a gap that nothing can fill anymore – or rather: only one thing fills: “nothing” precisely. From then on, nothing has any real value, and what is still valued is only ever valued on the basis of criteria external to the object (economic, political, aesthetic, sociological criteria, etc.), and not without being affected by an arbitrariness.

Liturgy and nihilism

The strength of Francis’ analysis resides first of all in his lucidity: the Pope, like the Council before him on which he bases his reflection, does not avoid the reality of nihilism. No. 29 explicitly inscribes the question of the liturgy and its reform in this horizon of postmodernity: “It is with this reality of the modern world that the Church, gathered in the Council, wanted to confront itself, by reaffirming its awareness of being the sacrament of Christ, (…), and it is no coincidence that this immense effort of reflection by the Ecumenical Council began with a reflection on the Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium). What the liturgy provides is the possibility of a (temporary) exit from nihilism. But not automatically, nor without the relation to a ritual form suffering the effect of the loss of any formally “absolute” criterion. As happens in the case of an exclusive attachment to the Tridentine missal.

While the “desert grows” (Nietzsche), one can indeed understand the reflex that resorts to “tradition” to compensate for the symbolic deficit that characterizes postmodernity. But what you have to see is that this reflex, because it confuses tradition with the past, does not contain the surrounding nihilism, on the contrary, it feeds it. In the absence of an authentic criteriology, all valuation rests on the “will to power” (always subjective and arbitrary). If Francis insists on the link between the lex orandi and the lex credendi, it is because there is no gap between the Church and the liturgy – there is no vacuum: Christ’s love fills everything and is therefore revealed as the only criterion of valorization. While at a distance from the Church which receives and constitutes itself in the celebration of the Paschal Mystery (cf. n. 24-26), every liturgical form tends to be transformed into formalism. Any style, in stylization. All reality, in artifice. “Neo” becomes the other name for nothingness.

The only ecclesial criterion

This does not mean that the Tridentine rite is deprived of “value”. Simply, what must be remembered from the Apostolic Letter on this point is that nothing except the reference to the life of the community guarantees that a valuation is not in one way or another arbitrary. Why ? Because among all the “institutional greatnesses” (Pascal) only the Church has always been deprived of any “constitutional” power over itself. The ecclesial institution only exists in the act by which it receives its existence from Christ. Not once, but continually, in the donation of the Body of Christ which in turn constitutes it as a “body”. In short, from beginning to end and without ceasing, it is on the desire of Christ, and on him alone, that the Church rests (as an event and as an institution). And therefore also the liturgy, whose rites must be understood as expressions of the response that the community has given and is giving to this continual “Christic donation”. This is why, especially in the time of nihilism, but not only, there is no other criterion for valuing the liturgy except the Church itself. Only the Church, as the “sacrament” of the Paschal Mystery, resists the subtle corrosion of nihilism.

The exclusive attachment to the Tridentine rite has reduced to nothing the purpose of the Motu Proprio of 2007 (“mutual enrichment” of the two missals). As Abraham Heschel already said, “it is not the rite that is sick, it is the intentionality of our heart” – what our Jewish brothers call kavana, the condition of all authentic prayer. Faced with this pastoral abortion [avortement], the pope, with Desiderio desideravi, joins and prolongs what was the initial impulse of the liturgical movement: recovering the kavana of Christian prayer. It is not a question of “banning the Mass in Latin”, but of arranging the conditions which will make possible what was the authentic intention of Summorum Pontificum. The “Ecclesia Dei” generation could have contributed to this. For now, its experience unfortunately counts as “nothing”.

So, you are sick in the heart and your all your efforts are a betrayal ending in nothing.  All of this has been a “pastoral abortion”.

Remember: it is not just the Traditional Latin Mass that they hate.  They hate the people who want it.  They hate the people.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Sometimes I wish these old men would have the audacity to insult me and my family to my face. Instead, they hide behind their tutti frutti word salad and their layers of bureaucracy and lob insults hither and yon without any attempt to “seek to understand.”

    They are no better than loser keyboard warriors trolling people on the internet from the comfort of their mom’s basement. In fact, they are much worse because the damage they do is considerable and they have no excuse for their ignorance and their cowardice. Given how many people pray for them every day (including me) and the graces they’ve received through their vocations, they truly and unequivocally have no excuse whatsoever.

    Meanwhile, how ’bout another photo op with Pelosi and maybe Biden, too? I’m sure that will look great on the final job performance evaluation.

  2. WVC says:

    And the statement of the internationally reputed theologian is correct – this is absolute gibberish. Because the Church has been “deprived of Constitutional power” she gains her value from the desire of Christ which is why the liturgy can only have any real value when it is given value by the Church because it is the “response” given by the “community” to this “Christic Donation.”

    It’s sheer gobbledy-gook. There’s no logical coherence. There’s no understanding of any of the theological or dogmatic teaching of the previous thousands of years – no conception of objective Sacramental Grace, no comprehension of the priest as Alter Christus . . . it’s like it was written by crude AI.

    These people are very, very, very high on their own supply.

  3. Not says:

    Wow, What has this guy been smoking and what has he been reading? Sounds like he is suffering from alvi dietiones of the cerebrum. Diarrhea of the brain. P.S. My Latin may not be the best.

  4. Lurker 59 says:

    Do they not think that the Christian East (both Catholic and Orthodox) are watching?

    “whose rites must be understood as expressions of the response that the community has given and is giving to this continual….”

    Look, right here, exactly the falsehood that I was talking about in my previous comment. This is Protestant liturgy 101 — it isn’t Catholic. The Divine LIturgy is not man’s response to God’s action, it is God’s Divine Action.

    What they hate is that God acts. What they want is this little safe space where God is over there, but also hidden enough that God doesn’t really have an impact upon lives other than functioning as a general political principle to motivate NGO activity. Liturgy then becomes this nebulous sign-symbol response of the community to a nebulous political principle and a means for fostering in-group mentality and behavior.

    If you believe that God loves you and demonstratively acts to show that love, you will see TLM / The Divine Liturgy as the absolute act of God of love and you would never ever jump up and down upon it because that would be tantamount to spitting on God in the face. Even if TLM isn’t your cup of tea, you would never do it. Your love for God and desire for His action would make it utterly abhorrent.

  5. cajunpower says:

    I’m not learned in these matters, but it seems that the nihilism on display is that which would allow the Church to say ‘what was sacred for +1,500 years is no longer sacred (and in fact dreadful),’ or that “2+2=5.”

  6. mburduck says:

    Bravo, WVC!

  7. ex seaxe says:

    “The exclusive attachment to the Tridentine rite has reduced to nothing the purpose of the Motu Proprio of 2007 (“mutual enrichment” of the two missals).”
    It is my impression that CDDWDS has been very firm, vociferous even, on banning any ‘mutual enrichment’. Despite Cdl. Sarah’s personal advocacy for ad orientem no document emerged with even a description of what he sought (as far as I know).

  8. teomatteo says:

    This Flint-oid didnt understand this but all I know is if P.F. is for it I’m head’n the other way….fast!

  9. Benedict Joseph says:

    “Remember: it is not just the Traditional Latin Mass that they hate. They hate the people who want it. They hate the people.”
    For a long time I have conjectured that above all they hate the Faith.
    The brutality of Gregory Solari’s analysis of “Desiderio Desideravi” is mind numbing. Given all that has transpired and is transpiring it is difficult to believe that his is not an accurate reading of the intent of the document. It is heartbreaking.

  10. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Lurker 59 well asks, “Do they not think that the Christian East (both Catholic and Orthodox) are watching?” – including the Byzantine and all the many other Rites of the Catholic East.

    This seems dismissive of them in various ways – including, I suspect, an implicit assurance that each and every one of their ‘confusions of “tradition with the past”‘ is going to be replaced by its own Novus Ordo (if not merely the ‘Latin’ one). The “community” of institutional office-holding Nietzschean Supermen who constitute ‘the Church’ will see to that by their transvaluation of liturgical ‘values’.

    Though one can faithfully imagine that the actual results will not merely follow their neo-Nietzschean prescription.

  11. Brian64 says:

    He states his objection to “The exclusive attachment to the Tridentine rite…” They are wrong because the Church tells us they are wrong and he adds that they are “sick of heart”. At least he grants that the Tridentine Rite is not without “value”. The addition of quotes makes it seem condescending, at the very least.
    And what about people who have an exclusive attachment to the new rite? They are good, because the Church tells us they are good?

  12. Chrisc says:

    This is warmed over Derrida deconstructionism. ‘See, words really mean the opposite of what they are’. ‘The strength of Francis is his lucidity.’ Oh really? Francis embodies summorum pontificum. Why? Well, because he speaks for the church. And the church is never in need of liturgy as ‘there can be no separation…between Christ and the liturgical action.’

    So how can there be multiple rites in the Church? Are we to believe that the Gregorian mass was the expression of the faith of the community on Nov 30, 1969. But as midnight clocked in around the world, the consciousness of the church community all changed instantaneously to the expression of the novus ordo? Well, except for those Eastern churches, I suppose. And in Zaire.
    And what about when churches around the world banned the liturgy, was there no separation there from the faith community? Or is mass really just the friends we made along the way?

    This is the kind of stupidity only a Rahnerian can propose.

  13. Francisco excludes people.
    Francisco builds walls.
    Francisco proselytizes.

    Francisco has basically excommunicated everyone who wants the Latin mass and given us no way forward with him. If there is a schism it will be because Francisco lacks charity and doesn’t care about the poor.

  14. mo7 says:

    This is all beyond my understanding.
    However, it occurred to me today that the Holy Father’s lack of enthusiasm re the overturning of Roe and his violent opposition to tradition are quite telling in this way: Back during the church revolt of the 60’s, legal abortion was what they were after even though they were silent about it. As if they were playing their part in a grand scheme. I’m not given to conspiracies, but it sure feels like it’s all been revealed. You can’t blame a Catholic for putting these together: the sacrament of the devil and watered down faith.

  15. TheCavalierHatherly says:

    A “news article” on this, or anything that Pope Francis publishes disparaging tradition and wondering why it exists, reminds me about the bit from the Simpsons where the news headline runs “Old Man Yells At Cloud” with a picture at the left of Grandpa Simpson shaking his fist at the sky.

    Quare fremuerunt gentes, et populi meditati sunt inania ?

    Also, with tribute to Chrisc, I think “Derrida Deconstructiva” or something along those lines would be a great name for the latest modernist mad lib.

  16. TonyO says:

    Holy cow, “utter gibberish” is actually being nice. It’s really much worse than that.

    And Chrisc above is also correct: this idiot took the nihilism and the deconstructionism of modernism (and post-modernism), and projected that onto Trads, and came up with “you guys and your liturgy are nihilist”. When it’s EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE that’s true: the modernists were the nihilists trying to denude “liturgy” of all meaning and all value, and the Trads are the ones saying “No, there is eternal value here in the TLM”. Now that they have the upper hand (at least in the visible Church, not in the ultimate sense), they can SAY “the Vetus Ordo is no longer good”, but only by simply contradicting what the Church said for centuries, and said quite definitively just before the Council (and which Benedict said only 15 years ago). There isn’t a gram of sense to the claims by this guy, so he keeps throwing up word salads to obscure the lack of meaning. It ends up just confused idiocy, that’s all.

    The fact that there are many Rites in the Church, and that there were for many centuries several different Masses in the Latin Rite is proof positive, and proof definitive, that no one Mass form is the SOLE lex orandi. The Pope’s own word salad in TC about the Novus Ordo’s unique status is pure bunk, wrong from start to finish. ALL of the Church’s approved Rites amd Masses are valid expressions of the Church’s faith, though each emphasizes a slightly different aspect of the faith. (There is no such thing as “the lex orandi of the Roman Rite” – uniquely different from that of the other Rites – unless the Latin Rite is a Rite of a different Church (with a different faith) than the Church and faith of the Eastern Rites. The “lex orandi” is of the Church, and all true Rites share it.)

    You probably would come closer to the truth by turning every statement by Solari on its head – if such were possible. Or by erasing everything he said altogether. The guy insults language by using it.

  17. Discipula says:

    This Solari character, if he actually believes what he wrote (which should not be a given) is possibly insane. At least reading that drivel deprived me of a measure of my sanity. I have talked to people who hated the Church with a blinding passion. They would agree with this clap trap, not because they believe it, but because it is destructive. I agree with Lurker 59, the Mass is God’s action, not mans, and they hate it because they want to diminish God. If they did not want to diminish God’s action in our lives they wouldn’t care what Mass you attended and they would be far more active in preventing/punishing liturgical abuses instead of slyly winking while pretending not to notice.

  18. JabbaPapa says:

    It’s actually even more absurd in the original French.

    The heart of it seems to be that “Traditionalists” supposedly associate the TLM with “the past” (which is pure projection), and supposedly “create” a void between the Holy Mass and the Church as such, which again is to accuse others of one’s own defects.

    Apart from that, whilst I heartily concur with the theologian’s opinion that this is “gibberish”, there’s also a destructive, indeed nihilistic, attempt in the article to define the Mass solely through its formalism, in attitudes of the body and the intellect, forgetting Christ in His Real Presence in Eucharist (BTW not even mentioned in the article), as if the Church were primarily a collection of customs and political views.

    It is a Satanic attack on the Mass, seeking to divorce it from Christ, and to divorce us from Him, as well as an attempt to tar others with one’s own brush.

    The Mass is the Mass is the Mass. This is the core teaching of Summorum Pontificum, not this gibberish from those who hate the Traditions of Holy Church.

  19. JonPatrick says:

    “all the people who are strongly attached to the TLM are incapable of true prayer”. Does this mean that all Catholics from the time of Jesus to just before the First Sunday in Advent 1969 were incapable of true prayer? Or does it mean that they were capable of true prayer until the First Sunday in Advent 1969 when they suddenly became incapable of true prayer unless they switched to the Novus Ordo? Sort of like how a fetus is just a clump of cells and then suddenly becomes a human life when it exits the birth canal?

  20. hilltop says:

    This is, indeed, postmodernist writing, replete with sly suggestiveness offered as serious argument. The opening line establishes (while concealing) the method of argument:

    “Pope Francis suggests that attachment to the Tridentine Rite is a product of nihilism.”

    Well, not quite. Rather, it is the author, Solari, who uses this opening sentence to suggest what Francis suggests. See? And then every following thought of Solari’s is imputed to Francis. Voila, Solari is an authority – a serious papal scholar – smarter than, and able to explain, Francis.
    (And that’s just the first part of the opening sentence. The last part is Solari’s two-word LIE: “product of”. Replace those with the two-word TRUTH: “response to”, and Solari’s premise is utterly undone.

  21. hilltop says:

    With postmodernists always attack the premise. It’s where they are wrong.

  22. JabbaPapa says:

    Excellent comment, TonyO.

  23. Sportsfan says:

    I must be smarter than I had been giving myself credit. I came to the exact same conclusion as an internationally reputed theologian.

  24. ChiaraDiAssisi says:

    Hilltop and TonyO, great comments! Also, I can’t read the article without feeling ill.

  25. Uniaux says:

    Adam West’s Batman’s reasoning in solving the Riddler’s riddles is significantly more coherent than the line of reasoning used by this Solari guy. Completely unreadable.

    [HA! Made me chuckle.]

    [Co-starring Fr. Gerry Murray as Commissioner Gordon.]

  26. PeterN says:

    I suspect a couple of things going on here.

    One is the sort of positivism that Heinrich Rommen writes about in opposition to the Natural Law. It is an assumption that we can simply reshape law however we want, because the General Will (which “we,” of course, are the representatives of) says so. It never works out well, in the end.

    The other is the typical leftist projection. Sort of like the Soviets making “imperialism” a byword when they were rolling tanks into Hungary.

  27. Athelstan says:

    The exclusive attachment to the Tridentine rite has reduced to nothing the purpose of the Motu Proprio of 2007 (“mutual enrichment” of the two missals).

    This rings hollow given how many of Solari’s favorite bishops – to say nothing of CDW itself under its present prefect – are working so diligently to stamp out all forms of enrichment of the modern rite.

  28. The Vicar says:

    I think of lot of Catholics, including those solidly N.O. In their liturgical thinking, recognize something is wrong with the rhetoric that accompanies these official pronouncements and the subsequent opinion making that follows.

    I think it is the work of the Holy Spirit, who exposes untruth for what it is, even if it takes several decades due to our own stubbornness or innattention.

    Arianism took a while to stamp out.

    Patience, Skywalker.

  29. TonyO says:

    [Co-starring Fr. Gerry Murray as Commissioner Gordon.]

    Hahaha! That’s perfect!

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