"Every Form of the Mass: Simply Extraordinary!"
Although said in jest, every word in the video is true. Yet good clergy, such as yourself, will not follow that which you know to be right, and true, because you place fidelity to an expectation of obedience to the Bishop over obedience to the Truth.I do not wish to sound harsh, but I simply do not understand. I mean, it is clear, is it not?
The truth that is not clear in the video is that even the EF Mass can be celebrated facing the people as it always has been in the major basilicas of Rome--there is no law not allowing that just as there is no law not allowing ad orientem in the OF Mass. What you undermine when you go against the bishop of any diocese who is the primary liturgist of the diocese and is in fact the pastor of each parish in a diocese (priests who share in a lesser form of Holy Orders are his delegates) is that you become a Protestant congregationalist with a Catholic veneer. There is more to the Catholic Church and truth than obeying a particular tradition of the Mass as valid as that tradition may be.
To equate liturgical norms to Truth is an error. It is an error both theologically and historically, and such an assertion represents a significant misunderstanding of both.Historically, liturgical norms (or legislation) have changed over time. Truth cannot and does not change over time.Theologically, the Church's liturgical norms are based on our understanding of God. That theological understanding has changed over time.No, "obedience to the Truth" is not a valid argument for supporting one form of the mass, one posture, one style of music, etc., over any other.Kudos to the Good Father for his response.
Since Templar has defended me in the past, I'll defend him now. I believe he is likely addressing the theological problems inherent in the Novus Ordo that go beyond the "cosmetics" of the liturgy. So, in those terms, where the Tridentine Mass so clearly and accurately shows forth the Truth of the Catholic Faith, the obedience is to the Truth inherent in that Mass. I think it is difficult for informed people like Templar and myself to understand why any priest would want to say the Novus Ordo when they are permitted to say the Tridentine Mass (yes, I understand what the recent documents say about this). There is really no comparison between the two... that is to say, the Tridentine Mass is superior not only in beauty and worship to God, but in conveying Truth to the congregation.So, what you are arguing is that priests during the Arian Heresy should have become Arians simply because their bishop bought into that heresy. That is not the definition of Catholic obedience. As Templar points out, our obedience is to the Truth as embodied by the office of the Bishop (or the Pope), not the particular person who happens to hold that position at any given time.Put simply, to the extent those who hold the positions in the hierarchy are expressing Catholic Truth (which is verifiable by reading prior teachings), they are to be obeyed. When they do not do so, our obedience is to the Truth and not their error.
Perhaps you would agree, Templar, that responsibility for the disintegration of the liturgy--as Cardinal Ratzinger called it--lies lies with our bishops rather than with good individual priests like Fr. McMillan.
Marc that would place you in the same position as Martin Luther, John Calvin, other Protestant reformers and the Saint Pius X group, not to mention ultra-traditionalists who believe the papacy is vacant since Pius XII. Extremism, i.e. fanaticism, or even well thought out reformism, get you in trouble. So are we to believe that Pope Benedict and almost every bishop in union with him and priests in union with the college of bishops are in error in celebrating the Ordinary Form of the Mass? Certainly Pope Benedict would have long ago addressed in the most authoritative way these issues and promulgated a major change. He has not so with you reasoning he is an "anti-Pope?"
Ignotus, I am interested in what you mean by our "theological understanding" of God changing over time. Why don't you elaborate a bit. (This should be good...)
Frajm - More basically, Marc and Templar have given into Gnosticism to a dangerous degree. They know the "Truth" while the rest of us are poor slobs who muddle through invalid or, possibly, heretical celebrations of the Sacred Liturgy. THEY don't have to listen to any authority in the Church if THEY decide the authority, from pope to pastor, is wrong. Unless, of course, the authority is sayng somethng THEY agree with, then THEY hold it up as universally binding. That is the heresy of "convenience."
Father, you are quite simply wrong and you have clearly read more into what I've written than is actually there. Do you deny that there have been popes and bishops in the past who have made poor choices? Does that mean that they are not the duly ordained pope or bishop? Even when popes and bishops err, they remain the pope or bishop. So, no I'm not a sedevacantist and, frankly, I'm not too keen on your trying to argue that I am. However, when bishops err (like Arius, for example), the faithful (priests and laity) under his charge have no duty to follow him into that error. We remain faithful by believing that the properly offered Novus Ordo is valid because it contains the "essentials" of a valid Mass. Yet, it is not ideal because it is deeply flawed in its current form - a fact the Holy Father himself has stated numerous times. Moreover, many Novus Ordo Masses are not offered validly because of the innovations of the priest or bishop offering the Mass. Here's a small scale example to illustrate my point: When a member of the lay faithful becomes subject to a parish priest who is in error (due to some heresy or apostacy), that person has a duty to avoid falling into that error personally. Therefore, they must go away from that priest. That is not disobedience - that is the definition of obedience. If you would like to point out to me a Church document that supports your view of the primacy of the person of the bishop or the pope instead of his office, I will gladly read it, consider it, and, if necessary, change my belief to conform to Church teaching. What you are arguing seems more fanatical to my mind - that we should be following a particular person instead of the Holy Church and the hierarchical offices established by Christ.
What I am challenging is your contention that the Ordinary Form of the Mass properly translated from the original Latin is not the Ordinary Form of the Mass and that those who celebrate it are not separating themselves from the Magisterium of the living Church, i.e the living pope and living bishops. I am not disputing that the Ordinary Form of the Mass in many parishes is made into a shambles. This can happen with the EF Mass too. I accept Summorum Pontificum stating precisely which Mass is which in terms of Ordinary and Extraordinary and I'm glad the Pope John Paul II and now Pope Benedict insisted that the translation of the Mass into the vernacular be a literal dynamic and not some concocted dynamic of equivalency. You are simply wrong to say that the nearly 99% of priests and bishops and the Holy Father who celebrate the OF Mass and facing the congregation are in error.
Let me clarify here and say: I pray that situations involving the necessity of being disobedient to the person of the bishop or parish priest in order to be obedient to Truth and Tradition are rare indeed! So, much of what we're discussing in terms of obedience is academic, in my opinion. But, it is an interesting issue nonetheless.
Oh yes, let's all start calling each other heretics, Pater, that's the proper way to engage in discussion. Give me a break!Father McDonald, I'm not sure how much more clearly I can say that I am not arguing that 99% of priests and bishops are in error. I plainly stated the Novus Ordo is a valid Mass when offered properly. So, those who offer it are completely in accord with the Church at this point. My point is this: The Tridentine Mass and the Novus Ordo are radically different Masses. The Tridentine Mass is objectively superior to the Novus Ordo in every way. To argue to the contrary, given the flaws in the Novus Ordo in its original Latin (I'm not saying anything about the English translation here), is to thumb one's nose at the Magesterium of the Church, which is Truth. (Aside: Keep in mind, there are many bishops in the world who have decided Summorum does not apply in their diocese and still restrict the TLM - what of them? Where is their obedience?)Therefore, it is difficult for those of us who have studied this issue to understand why a priest would choose to offer the Novus Ordo when the Tridentine Mass is an option. (I concede, as I did in my original post, that diocesan priests cannot exclusively offer the TLM under the provisions of Summorum Pontificum).
I mean "fides quaerens intellectum." Anselm was good, wasn't he?If there were a time when our "intellectum" was complete, then there would be no development of doctrine. Newman was good, too.But our "intellectum" is never complete. Hence our theological understanding of God has changed over time.
Thank you Marc for your assistance.And yes Henry, I would agree that the fault for the liturgical mess lies with the Bishops for precisely the reason that Father MacDonald states, they are the Chief Liturgist in the Diocese.I have no stated, and do not consider, the OF invalid. However as Marc states, the EF is clearly superior to the OF in conveying the beauty and truth inherent in the way God is presented to us, and how we worship him. If both are valid choices, why would a Priest allow a Bishop to prohibit him from using that what conveys the Truth of the Faith more effectively."because he says so" doesn't fly with me. I am not advocating that a Priest adopt a Heretical Position in defiance of a Bishop, I am talking about exercising a Lawful and Legitimate option, and if a Bishop were to prevent that it would be he failing in his obedience and not the Priest.For me this whole conversation is not really about Priests and Obedience, it is about which form of the Mass do we believe would do a better job at Saving Souls? If you believe that is the EF, why would you say the OF? If you believe it is the OF why would you say the EF?Following orders is understood by me, I am no anarchist. But orders must be Lawful, and to deny that which is Lawful, is inherently unlawful, making that Bishop in error, those removing the requirement of obedience.Know Father that I love you and respect you as a Priest and a Pastor, and do not post these questions to agitate. I simply can not come to the same conclusions you have, and I am willing to concede that I may be limited by my lack of formal eduction on such matters. But my heart tells me I am seeing this correctly.
Many bishops and priests do not share the opinion, and it is an opinion, that the EF is more effective in conveying Truth. Nor do they share the opinion that the EF is "objectively" superior to the OF.And Marc, liturgical legislation is not Divinely Revealed and, therefore, cannot be considered "Truth.""But my heart tells me that I am seeing this correctly" could be a quote from Luther, Pelagius, Marcion, or any other "dissenter" you might care to name.
Pater, unfortunately many priests and bishops are unabashed Modernists. So, I don't expect them to recognize or admit the inherent, objective superiority of the Tridentine Mass. Still others haven't bothered to really consider the matter because they are busy with other things!Also, if liturgical legistlation is not Truth, then it really doesn't matter does it? No matter what position I hold regarding the liturgy, I cannot be espousing error. So, since Truth isn't involved, I can boldly proclaim that the Pope is flat wrong for ever offering the Novus Ordo and so is every priest who has ever offered it. You're bordering on Modernism (particularly indifferentism and formlessness) yourself with your arguments as the Church seems to have strongly disagreed with your opinion throughout her history - that is that mere humans were always hesitant to make changes and, when changes were made, they were made by people later declared Saints. So, generally speaking, modifying the Liturgy is historically the province of Saints (those who did God's will, so we can trust their judgment in those modifications). I suppose we need to more accurately define "liturgical legislation," though. Is inventing a new liturgy from scratch liturgical legislation when it seems to go against the constant teaching of the Church about liturgy. That teaching is a matter of Faith. Therefore, since Faith is based in Truth, liturgical modification necessarily implicates Truth. In our day, we can see an example of this gone awry when we recognize an invented liturgy that was deliberately subjected to Protestant ideas for the sake of an heretical understanding of ecumenism. (Of course, we give glory to God because despite people's attempts to deconstruct and protestantize the Holy Mass, it is still valid - but, again, objectively inferior to the TLM).
Marc - Your understanding is severly flawed. Truth is that, and only that, which is Divinely revealed. The Immaculate Conception, the Real Presence of Christ under the forms of bread and wine, the prohibition against killing innocents in any circumstance - these are Divinely revealed.The EF calendar, for example, is not revealed Truth. To suggest that changing the calendar is a violation of Truth is simply erroneous. The use of a maniple, required in the EF, is not a Divinely revealed truth. By changing the requirement for its use, no one is violating God's Truth.If you hold that altering the calendar or no longer requiring the use of the maniple is an act contrary to Divine revelation, you are wrong.The Church has a right and a duty to establish norms/rubrics for the mass. No one ever suggested these rules are Divine revealtion and, therefore, immutable Truth.The notion that only Saints can change the rubrics for the mass is unheard of. That authority is given to various authorities in the Church, all subject to final approval by the Holy Father. The "Six Protestant Minister" theory of how the Mass of Paul VI came to be is nothing more than an often-repeated urban legend, a hoax cooked up by disgruntled Catholics who needed to concoct a reason to oppose the legitimate liturgical reforms given to us through the Church's authority.
Pater, everytime we have this discussion you start throwing around calendars and maniples! Of course you understand quite well what I'm saying, but you insist on arguing about things that I'm not saying. Therefore, I will merely clarify your errors:(1) Changes/reforms to the liturgy are the province of Saints and Church councils. Look at history and show me one example where I'm wrong. Even Vatican II's proposed reforms, if carried out in accordance with the Council, would have been appropriate reforms because they were set forth in an Ecumenical Council. Instead, we got a Mass created by the spirit of that Council and the spirit of that Council is not infallible. This is pretty much what the Holy Father is trying to counter with his "Reform of the Reform"...(2) Are you seriously contending there was no falsely ecumenical motive behind changes in the Mass in the wake of VII? (I didn't espouse the Protestant minister theory or whatever it is you're talking about, so I'm not going to address that.)The overarching point here is that the Mass conveys theological Truth, i.e. the knowledge of the Divine. The two cannot be divorced. Therefore, the Mass which more accurately and completely conveys that Truth is objectively superior. There is no question that the Novus Ordo is deficient in that regard. If it were not deficient, why would there need to be a Reform of the Reform?
Mom: Yes I readily agree that many Priests and Bishops do not share the opinion I hold, and I respect their right to be wrong. The destruction of the Church and the Crisis which has existed since the promulgation of the NO provide ample evidence in supoprt of my opinion, and I will continue to hold it.Be that as it may, while I recognize the rights of Priests and Bishops to disagree with that opinion, and I therefore recognize their rights to say the OF and even think it superior, I do not recognize the rights of those same Prists and Bishops to deny the Faithful that have asked for the EF (or other lawful options) to be unlawfully denied it (them). While a Priest may not like it, if requested by the Laity it is currently the Law of the Land that it be provided to them, yet where is the dedication to obedience there? Who then is adoptiing the position of the dissenter? Said same Clergy.And more to my point, those Priests who HAVE actually put forth the opinion that the EF (or Ad Orientem, or Communion Kneeling, or fill in the blank on any number of other lawful options) are superior but are denied permission by their Bishop, who then is in the position of the Dissenter? Said same Bishop.Everyone keeps ignoring Marc's questions related to the Arian Heresy. Only the parts that fit your answers get paid attention to in this dialog. But it gets directly to the heart of the matter. By the logic that has been put forth in defense of obedience above al else, St. Athanasius' should have rolled over and we could have all been one big Heretical Church today. Clearly in that situation the Holy Spirit was with Athanasius and not the Pope, and not "the Church". To quote the Great Doctor: "They have the buildings, we have the Faith". If it could happen then it can happen again, and why would blind obedience be treated as a virtue? Where are the Anthanasius' to come from today if even unlawful instructions from the Bishops are not resisted?Every day I am more and more thankful for Archbishop Lefebrve, without his brave acts this conversation would have been impossible, instead the Faith of our Fathers has been preserved, and by the power of the Holy Spirit will someday once again drive the errors of Modernism from our beloved Holy Mother Church.
Marc wrote: "The Tridentine Mass and the Novus Ordo are radically different Masses. The Tridentine Mass is objectively superior to the Novus Ordo in every way."ahem...Marc how can any Catholic say that one form of Mass is 'objectively' superior to another???One can say 'subjectively' superior to reflect one's personal opinion.Does our Lord view one as superior to ther? Does one represent his One Sacrifice more than the other?Perhaps your emotins simply got the better of you for a moment.~SqueekerLamb
Marc - Calendars and maniples are examples that show your argument (that the form of the mass is Divinely revealed) is wrong. The calendar has been changed repeatedly, and not always by Saints. Masses in honor of newly canonized saints have been added. Masses for others have been deleted from the calendar. Some saints are celebrated in some countries and not in others, decisions made without relying on Divine revelation. The idea that God revealed to us that a maniple was necessary for the proper celebration of mass is about as silly an idea as I have ever heard.Yes, there was no false ecumenical motive behind the changes in the mass. Yes, the mass conveys Divine Truth. No, the form of the mass, such as calendars followed of using/not using maniples, is Divine Truth. Divine Truth can be fully communicated in any language. It can be communicated by candlelight, with organs or guitars accompanying the singing, even with females (gasp!) acting as altar sevrers.Temp - you have no basis for arguing that a priest HAS to follow SP. You have already asserted that individual Catholics may judge anything that is not declared De Fide Definita, rejecting what the individual Catholic, on his or her own, decides isn't binding. In your own erroneous reasoning, he is not dissenting at all. He is simply doing what you do.
PI says: "Temp - you have no basis for arguing that a priest HAS to follow SP. You have already asserted that individual Catholics may judge anything that is not declared De Fide Definita, rejecting what the individual Catholic, on his or her own, decides isn't binding. In your own erroneous reasoning, he is not dissenting at all. He is simply doing what you do."1) Once again the weasel shows it's nature by dodging the question it can not answer.2) You Sir, have taken an OATH OF OBEDIENCE. You ARE BOUND. I have no such constraint.3) I can see we're done here. You answer tiny little bits and pieces of my (or Marc's post) and never really engage in the real dialog. Like the Modernist you are you simply deflect, obfuscate and dodge.
Squeek said: "ahem...Marc how can any Catholic say that one form of Mass is 'objectively' superior to another???One can say 'subjectively' superior to reflect one's personal opinion."I would counter that there is plenty of objective evidence to support Marc's statement.1) Mass attendance when the TLM was the standard versus attendance under the NO.2) Use of the Sacrament of Confession pre-NO versus post-NO.3) Percentage of Catholics who believed in the Real Presence Pre-NO versus Post-NO.I can go on but I think you get the picture. No doubt some of Modernist bent would no doubt leap to say you can not make a correlation, and other factors could be at work here. To them I say fine, give us 40 years without the NO and we'll compare it to the previous 40 years under the NO, and then we will have a real comparison. But they don't want to do that, for the same reason they only selective answer bits and pieces of posts. They can not stand the Truth.
Temp - But, none of the comparison points - mass attendance, sacramental confession, belief in the Real Presence - are related to any "objective" superiority of the EF to the OF. They are all, you assert, affects of the EF when compared with the OF. I don't agree, but that's not the point.An "objective" trait comes from the thing being examined, not from the effects that thing might.If your logic were correct, then we could conclude that Heavy Metal rock music is "objectively" better than Mozart's Great G Minor symphony because more people attend Heavy Metal rock concerts than performances of The Great G Minor.I'll take Mozart any day.
But Tony, the purpose of what you are comparing is relevant.The purpose of Rock Music is to entertain and generate money so appealing to popularity is good in so far as it suits that goal. The purpose of Liturgy is to worship God so attendence there is not the goal, but is a sign of success because it is not entertainment. Attendence is a sign of success for the Mass precisely because they want to be there for God and not themselves.
The essence, if you will, of the Mass is the same whether it be the Novus Ordo or the Tridentine: the representation of the Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary. To that extent, they are equal. Where is the divergence that makes the Tridentine Mass objectively superior? One example is the extreme allowance of concelebration in the Novus Ordo, which was not allowed in the Tridentine Mass. This means less Masses are offered each day, which means less graces being poured out upon the people, less souls in Purgatory prayed for, etc. That is an objective difference: the more Masses, the better.Regarding the difference in the Rites themselves, one cannot deny the Mass is more than its essence. It is also catechetical in that it makes the Sacrifice of Christ apparent to the people in attendance. So the Mass that better makes clear the nature of the Mass as propiatory sacrifice is the objectively superior Mass. That is the Tridentine Mass.Moreover, the Mass gives glory to God through the representation of Christ's Sacrifice. So the Mass that is more reverent gives greater glory to God and is the objectively superior Mass. That is the Tridentine Mass.So, no, I did not misspeak when pointing out the Tridentine Mass is objectively superior to the Novus Ordo. I know the difference between the subjective and the objective. There is no question the Tridentine Mass is objectively superior.Also, there are maniples worn at the Tridentine Mass and the 1962 Calendar is better... Oh, and the Tridentine Mass wasn't put together to appease the Protestants... :-)
Here is an example of the basic conundrum that I think Marc is concerned with, and I think it is valid, and I don't think it's been addressed."Pro multis." Are we to _obey_ the Church when it translates this as "for all", in light of the fact that every reading and definition of Latin from time out of mind has held that "multis" doesn't mean "omnes" or universalis"? In short, when the church commands obedience to something that our reason tells us is wrong, what are we to do?Luther claimed that reason trumped Church authority. Yet he also claimed that _his_ reasoned conclusions were superior to Church teachings. He made no allowance for the fact that his reason could be flawed, as the bishop there pointed out (To paraphrase, he asked Luther if he honestly believed that the rest of the band, stretching back 15oo years, was out of step. Luther essentially answered yes.)What if we're faced with a different situation: when the overwhelming weight of data that has nothing to do with faith or morals (in this case, etymology/linguistics regarding a single phrase) indicates that the Church is in error? # 1 If that error is one of faith or morals, then one must conclude that it is wrong to remain a Catholic--that the Church has in fact taught error. This proposition is at the heart of Protestantism, and indeed any formal heresy.# 2 If the error doesn't touch faith or morals, but has (in someone's opinion) a deleterious effect on people's understanding of the faith, or of their duties as Catholics, or on their ability to live out the Catholic faith, then what should one do?I think that # 2 is where marc finds himself (although his arian hypothetical would actually touch on # 1). The new liturgy (so goes the argument) has resulted in catastrophic declines in Mass attendance, celebration of the sacrament of Reconciliation, and priestly as well as religious vocations. (At the very least there is a coincidence in timing.) It is very hard for a devout, concerned, and--yes--faithful Catholic to stand idly by and a) _not_ believe that the Church has gotten something horribly wrong at the non-faith-and-morals level and b) _not_ to want to do something about it (even if it's just to point out the problem.) Even St. Catherine of Siena had the temerity to write to Pope Gregory XI, "So come, come! Delay no longer, so you may soon set up camp against the unbelievers, and so you will not be frustrated in the endeavor by these rotten members who are rebelling against you!"
Anonymous, that is valuable analysis containing a good example. Here is a more concrete example of the problem I have in mind:The Church has always taught certain things about ecumenism in terms of the way the Church and her people interact with other religions, heretics, etc. The Second Vatican Council discussed ecumenism in a less concrete way than the Church had in the past. But, there is no overt or apparent contradiction in the teaching from Vatican II as compared with prior Magesterial teaching.In the wake of Vatican II, members of the Church hierarchy have acted on an understanding of the Church's teaching rooted only in the vagaries of Vatican II without reading it in light of the prior Magesterium.Are those lower in the Church hierarchy bound in obedience to those members of the hierarchy supporting the new understanding/teaching or to the prior teaching of the Church?Compare the recent Popes' actions at Assisi or St. Joseph's upcoming "Interfaith Prayer Service" to Pope Pius XII's Mortalium Animos.
Oops, sorry, should have said Pope Pius XI there in that last paragraph. I went one Pope too far!I love Pope Pius XII so much I was trying to give him the credit!
Have you ever noticed that Fr. McDonald is like Pope Benedict? Just when you think you can put that Traditionalist label on him, he swerves you.
Jody, It's called peripatetic dialogue. That's Greek for head fake.So I'll throw this out: is the Pope an oracle? If so, were reforms executed under the watch of previous Popes executed because they were revealed? If, not, then can the changes made, e.g. Vatican II be more wrong than what was corrected? PI/Mom says Knowledge is incomplete and also that liturgical legislation is not divinely revealed. Agree completely. Isn't the Liturgy of the Mass a compendium, of sorts, of this body of incomplete knowledge? As such, shouldn't the extracts be accurate and effective summaries of the important points, not isolated, but clearly related? As far as completeness goes: what other method of compiling knowledge exists except records? And what is present or newly available in this era that was unavailable in the past? And finally, if our knowledge is to be 'more complete' wouldn't it then be a mistake to remove parts of the knowledge base that are refined artifacts describing those objects? rcg
rcg - you lost me on your Nov 18, 5:24 post...
Compare the recent Popes' actions at Assisi or St. Joseph's upcoming "Interfaith Prayer Service" to Pope Pius XII's Mortalium Animos.Marc, what makes you so certain that Assisi and St. Joseph's Interfaith Thanksgiving Service fall under that which Mortalium Animos condemns? You don't have to think the above events are a good idea, but what MA condemns is the "let's all get along" approach, namely, the notion that it doesn't matter what one believes or which faith one follows. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange once said, “It might be expedient for such to associate commonly with pagans and Jews in order to forward the work of their conversion, at least negatively, by softening of prejudice” (The Theological Virtues: Volume One On Faith, B Herder Book Co , page 417).
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