Wednesday, February 16, 2011


It rightly has been pointed out that the cappa magna is not a liturgical garment. It was never outlawed outright by Vatican II or any post-Vatican II mandate, but it did fall into disuse for bishops in the New Order of the Mass. It remains as a part of the rubrics for a Pontifical Solemn Sung Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

The actual law addressing the post Vatican II usage is:

It is now rarely used, since the 1969 Instruction on the Dress, Titles and Coats-of-arms of Cardinals, Bishops and Lesser Prelates lays down that:

The cappa magna, always without ermine, is no longer obligatory; it can be used only outside of Rome, in circumstances of very special solemnity. (§ 12)

However, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem still uses the ermine-lined winter cappa, because he is bound by the complex and unalterable rules of the status quo, an 1852 Ottoman firman which regulates the delicate relations between the various religious groups which care for the religious sites in the Holy Land. This anomaly is most evident at the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve in Bethlehem. The cappa magna is also still used among groups using the Tridentine Mass.

However, liturgical garb of the post-Vatican II "spirit" of Vatican II variety still looms out there and no progressives ever blink an eye at it. In fact they encourage it because, well, it is so progressive.

So look at the non-liturgical vesture and the liturgical one and tell me which one is more likely to be seen for the complete celebration of the Mass rather than just at the beginning and the end. Again, of the two, which would you axe?


pinanv525 said...

What's that in his right hand, a joy buzzer? LOL!

Frajm said...

I didn't see that in his hand, I don't know what it is, it must be some sort of wiccan amulet. But at least he's not wearing, God forbid, a lacy, frilly alb!

Anonymous said...

I think both seem a bit extreme ....

Frajm said...

Surely both are extreme to say the least but neither is forbidden.

pinanv525 said...

*In my best Crocodile Dundee voice*
That's not extreme; this is extreme: Exodous 28.

pinanv525 said...

PS The second pic, of the guy in the apron, that is just silly.

Marc said...

Father, why did some Catholic priests become Catholic priests when they clearly don't want anything to do with the traditions (small "t" here) of the Church, but instead seek to promote traditions that smack of Protestantism?

I'm asking this in all sincerity and not to disparage these priests. I just really don't understand people who are Catholic but turn away from the Church's tradition and history. I converted to Catholicism from Atheism because I believe the Catholic Church was founded by Christ - I love the Church's traditions and history.

Perhaps we should bring up the Papal tiara in this discussion as its use seems analogous in some ways to the cappa magna. In both regards we should be mindful of the fact that the bishops are successors of the Apostles and the Pope is the Vicar of Christ. In my opinion, it gives glory to God to have ornate vestments and "non-liturgical wear."

On the other hand, it does not give glory to God when a priest (the representative of the bishop to the local congregation) vests or dresses in such a, for lack of a better word, shabby manner.

These rainbow vestments and other abnormalities are a different, more dangerous form of clericalism than the cappa magna and the Papal tiara. In the case of the former, the priest is seeking attention; whereas, in case of the latter, the Bishops/Pope are seeking to give glory to God.

Frajm said...

For those priests schooled in the spirit of Vatican II, not actually Vatican II, the excesses of personality and individualism is what it is all about.
Certainly there is a great deal of options for the artistic style of the chasuble. There are a variety of styles in fact, from very simple to very ornate, very traditional to very contemporary. So the priest has some wiggle room. With the vesture of a bishop, including the cappa magna, it is prescribed for certain situations and liturgies. I think Cardinal Burke in celebrating a Pontifical Solemn Sung Mass has to do what is prescribed in terms of wearing it. It no longer is prescribed for the Ordinary Form of the Mass, in fact, there is not a "solemn sung" description of the Mass in the new form at all, it is either a Mass with music or some music or no music.
The post I have on Narcissism in the clergy might be best to answer some of your questions. Does the post Vatican II "spirit of Vatican II" enable narcissistic personalities to foist their individualism on the parish and wider Church. That's an important question to ask and answer and if yes, to reform the practice.