The contemplative Pope
Thanks for posting this video, Father. Honestly, I don't see indications yet that Pope Francis is even familiar with Pope Benedict's liturgical concerns, or those of the "new liturgical movement" (the actual movement, not just the fine blog!) in general. I think the reason great effort is being made to find a link between Francis and Benedict on liturgical questions is precisely because there is no obvious link. Certain blogs I follow have even re-imagined themselves for this challenging purpose, e.g. Fr. Z's blog. But the closest anyone can come so far is to say, "Francis hasn't completely undone everything Benedict did for the liturgy".
I think many are holding their breath and hoping that Pope Francis will come to appreciate Pope Benedict's appreciation for the Liturgy and won't completely undo everything Pope Benedict restored..
Father, I do think there is reason for optimism, but from a different angle. Pope Francis seems willing to continue his predecessors' dialogue about the role of the papacy within the Church, which could indicate that Francis prefers a more conservative, or cautious, use of papal authority, intervening in local churches only when truly necessary to preserve faith and justice. We'll see.
I recently re-read Malachi Martin's "The Final Conclave" (1978).The first 100+ pages--preceding a fictional account to choose his successor--is a purportedly factual account of Paul VI's machinations to prepare for the conclave to select a successor to accomplish what he, Paul VI, had not been able to accomplish as pope.Together with the discussion in the alleged conclave--by the conclave's liturgically minimalist, morally strict, de-Romanizing candidate, about a poorer Church for the poor from the special South American perspective--may suggest a productive way to view the current situation.Perhaps "Reading Francis through Paul VI" (to coin a catchy phrase)?
I think Francis appreciates the liturgy every bit as much as B16, but in a way that is stylistically, not substantially, different.
Fr. Kavanaugh, I'm not sure if this is beside your point or not. But, I think it's important to remember. Pope Benedict is a liturgical scholar having written tracts on the subject, indicating time spent studying and considering the matter. That, coupled with his lifelong theological studies and writings, makes him markedly different from Pope Francis, who has, as far as I know, written no theological works or anything about the liturgy. On that basis, I conclude Pope Benedict's liturgical sensibilities were shaped from an intense study, whereas Pope Francis's are not. Does that have an effect that goes deeper than style? I suppose its hard to say. After all, for all of Pope Benedict's study, he didn't fix the liturgy or roll back the clock in any meaningful way. The things he did were merely aesthetic, which is the way many seem to be trying to put on over on those who don't have time to study the history and theology of the liturgy in depth.
Style is substance; the two cannot be separated. Style communicates the substance. A slovenly demeanor processing in, accompanied by bad music communicates: this not important. Minimalist liturgies communicate minimally.
" After all, for all of Pope Benedict's study, he didn't fix the liturgy or roll back the clock in any meaningful way."Exactly. As I have been saying here and on my blog for over a year, Pope Benedict's views were hypotheses. His views had no base in anything other than scholarship. It's a start, but it can't even be said that his views are theoretical, because there STILL are no practices which are substantive.We can't look to the revision of the English Sacramentary, because that wasn't a real revision, that was a translation issue. The rubrics and the Mass itself didn't change.As I have said, it wouldn't be B16 to make the changes, but a future pope. As I have also said with Pope Francisci, we're in a holding pattern. He's probably not going to undo anything, but he certainly isn't going to promote anything either. His focus is bringing Satan to the forefront and what we must do to combat him.
Andy, I need to read your blog more, obviously!I like your final thought in your comment about the Pope's focus on bringing the reality of Satan to the fore. I hope he will recognize that one powerful way we have to combat Satan is through the Mass and the traditional Roman Ritual, which includes meaningful prayers against Satan that aren't included in revised versions. I'm thinking particularly here about the blessing of Holy Water and the Rite of Baptism.I would go out of my way to obtain Holy Water blessed in the traditional way for use in my founts at home because the prayer is so different. I believe Fr. Z has discussed this issue at length on his blog. That is how Satan is combatted - by using the tools Holy Mother Church has passed on to us. There's no need to reinvent the wheel!
Marc,I couldn't agree with you more. Interestingly enough (I've also mentioned this before), Fr. Zuhlsdorf is an actual mentor of mine. I lived at St. Agnes at a time in which he frequented the place. He and I are both products of the theological/liturgical philosophy of +Mons. Schuler. It is clear to me that the TLM and the Traditional Roman Ritual are the answer. Those are the tools, much moreso than the Novus Ordo...and even Card. Kasper (that bastion of liberality) says that the the Documents of Vatican Council II were intentionally vague.My wheel may have spokes as opposed to mags, but they still turn smoothly.
Andy,Though as I understand it, during the time you and Father Z were both at St. Agnes, the TLM was never celebrated there, rather the Novus Ordo celebrated in the way (one might argue) the bishops at Vatican II would have envisioned--that is, if they could have envisioned there ever being such a thing as the Novus Ordo.
Style is not substance. A mass celebrated on the hood of a jeep in a battle zone is different in style from mass celebrated with great solemnity in a gothic cathedral, but they are the same in substance. They are exactly the same in substance.Simple and Minimal are not synonyms. The simplicity of ichibana does not communicate minimally - some would say there is far more to see and appreciate in that style of flower arranging than in florid, almost baroque bouquets.I think that B16 was far too European in his liturgical sensibilities. (He took the name Benedict, patron of Europe, with the needs of that continent in mind.) Francis may have, in some ways, a broader (less European) appreciation of the liturgy, one that we are seeing now in his style of celebration.While the liturgy certainly has a European pedigree, that history should not, I think, be determinative for the style of the mass inasmuch as the liturgy is the primary act of worship for the entire Catholic world.
Henry,As a normative rule, that is correct, but the Monsignor never forbade it nor did he stifle it.Fr. Z taught me to serve Mass while I was living there and there were many TLM Masses celebrated, not only by Fr. Z, but also by Fr. Altier, Fr. Zweber, Fr. LeVoir (now Bishop of New Ulm), Fr. Echert, and others.But, you're right...as a rule, it wasn't celebrated there during that time. But he mentality sure was.
Fr. Kavanaugh,"Style is not substance. A mass celebrated on the hood of a jeep in a battle zone is different in style from mass celebrated with great solemnity in a gothic cathedral, but they are the same in substance. They are exactly the same in substance."That is not style. No way. That is circumstance and necessity. I knew several priests who actually celebrated Holy Mass during WWII. (They have since passed)I asked them what it was like to celebrate Holy Mass during combat and they said that Mass was celebrated by necessity and it was not ideal. It was never a style as you put it, but rather it was a product of circumstance. If those priests had their druthers, they would be in a church (of any sort, not just a Gothic cathedral) and not on a jeep hood.To change the premise from necessity to style is a great disservice to what they were doing. Those warrior priests were not celebrating Mass on the hood of a jeep as a matter of style, but rather out of necessity.If you want to argue that those priests who celebrate Holy Mass on a canoe, when they can make the effort to be back in a church by Sunday, then we can argue style. But, to reduce the intention of the priests during WWII to style. You're just wrong."Simple and Minimal are not synonyms."Thank you for making my point I've been speaking about for over a year here and other places. Pope Francis would do well to heed your words.The great Viennese Solemn Masses are simple, when they are celebrated properly. But they are not minimal. On the other hand a four hymn sandwich and no sung propers is minimal when it could easily be sung. Please realize what you just said.
Andy - No, celebrating mass in a battle zone is not ideal - I didn't say or suggest that it was.I read what I just said. You apparently did not.The STYLE of the mass celebrated on the hood of a Jeep is different from the STYLE of the mass celebrated in a gothic cathedral. The SUBSTANCE of the two masses is exactly the same.I did not reduce any chaplain's anything to anything. They celebrated mass as needed, which was right and just. And I don't think that would have preferred to be celebrating mass in a gothic cathedral, but to be celebrating where the mass was needed and where the faithful were present - on the battle field.
Fr. Kavanaugh...."And I don't think that would have preferred to be celebrating mass in a gothic cathedral, but to be celebrating where the mass was needed and where the faithful were present - on the battle field."I was intimating the conversation I had with that priest....those weren't my thoughts, but his. Nice to know you can now read dead priest's minds.And I read exactly what you said and I stand by what I wrote.
Andy - Well, I don't see how on God's green earth a priest who has signed up to be a chaplain to the military, knowing that he would be celebrating mass in post chapels, on long convoys, on ships, on planes, or in the battle fields could "prefer" not to be where he signed up to be.It is for the soldiers, after all, that he is chaplain.
Ignotus, I am sure you do not understand the concept of a Priest feeling called to the battlefield in spite of his own preferences regarding where he would like to say Mass. I doubt, also, that you understand the notion that a Priest might love his country enough to choose to serve in battle in order to minister to soldiers. But, that really happens. Seriously. Look it up.
Fr. Kavanaugh,"Well, I don't see how on God's green earth a priest who has signed up to be a chaplain to the military, knowing that he would be celebrating mass in post chapels, on long convoys, on ships, on planes, or in the battle fields could "prefer" not to be where he signed up to be."With all due respect, you need to open your eyes then. Your pride and arrogance are blinding your view. How can you honestly argue with me about an intimation I took from another priest in direct conversation?Will you really say anything to defend your position?
Andy - So just where, in what locations, did these chaplains THINK they would be celebrating masses for the troops?
Ignotus, They knew damn well where they would be celebrating Mass, and I am sure they would rather have been saying Mass in their own Church at home. They answered a call, Ignotus. They made a sacrifice despite what their preferences might have been. This really happens.
Pin/Gene - "If they had their druthers they would be in a church, not a jeep hood."They had their druthers - they volunteered, answering a call to serve the troops. And they weren't acting when they volunteered, either. (They were actors - with The Lord, the Church, and the Congregation - when they celebrated mass.)It's a little hard to serve the troops on the battlefield when you're in your church at home, don't ya think?
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