Tuesday, January 21, 2014

UNDOING VATICAN II, WHO IS THE CULPRIT? AND MY CLAIRVOYANT PREDICTION THAT POPE FRANCIS WILL VISIT AN FSSP PARISH AND CELEBRATE WITH THEM THE EXTRAORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS

 Pope Francis prepares one day to celebrate or preside at the EF Mass?

Those of us prepared for the priesthood in the 1970's know that the so-called "hermeneutic of discontinuity" was a powerful forced in our preparation for the priesthood. Progressive faculty at our seminaries had a complete disdain for the pre-Vatican II Church, especially her liturgy and the culture from which she emerged. To challenge their thinking and prejudice in this would mean one would have a difficult time in that seminary, be marginalized or even asked to live as being a "rigid" pre-Vatican II Catholic. I've said it before and I'll say it again, being labeled as pre-Vatican II in those days was like using the "n" word and quite an insulting use of the word.

So much of what was happening in the Church of this period was far from what Vatican II taught even by using the term "spirit of Vatican II" since the spirit that was used to justify so much that was truly damaging to the Church called into question what the documents of Vatican II actually taught. What was being promoted in the seminary at that time, in terms of liturgy, theology and devotion was the beginning of the progressivist agenda that would undermine the Council itself.

Today, though, there are those who think that Pope Benedict is the culprit in undermining Vatican II simply by being pastorally inclined toward those who desire the Mass of that period. To them Vatican II is a breach with what preceded it and they disdain this talk about the hermeneutic of continuity.

They believe Pope Francis is on their side. But is he really? They think he is on their side because of Pope Francis simplicity. After all he is the first pope in quite some time to be a Religious vowed to poverty. Most religious orders take a vow of poverty which secular or diocesan priests and bishops do not.

Yet, Pope Francis, despite his simplicity and calls for poverty and disdain for the papal court and the accroutrements that bishops wear that make them look like rich princes (at least in his mind, but certainly a sentiment shared by many, even very conservative minded Catholics) he continues to do the following:

1. Demand obedience to the Pope and the Magisterium of the Church in the areas of Faith and Morals through fidelity to the DEPOSIT OF FAITH

2. Promotes the sound theology of the femininity of the Church as Holy Mother and Bride of Christ and referring to her with feminine pronouns (this is anathema to real progressives who want gender neutral terms of God and Church as the feminine and masculine pronouns and images calls into question their promotion of heterodox theologies that allow for female ordination and same sex marriage.)

3. Promotes in a way not seen since before Vatican II a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary during the Mass and in popular devotions

4. Makes clear that the devil and his evil spirits are real and influence us negatively to our detriment

5. Continues the pre-Vatican II altar arrangement for all his Vatican Masses and has celebrated Mass in the true ad orientem way in two different venues

Where Pope Francis is different from Pope Benedict is that he is:

1. Of South American upbringing but very much imbued with his Italian ancestry and ethos of his parents and grandparents. There is no escaping this dual influence in his Catholic life.

2. He is not an academic theologian and has a antipathy toward academics in the Church because they sometimes complicate the message of the Church with their academics that goes over the heads of too many Catholics

3. He is pastorally progressive or liberal--he cares for people and understands the messes that their lives are; he has not lived in the ivory tower of the academic world and in some sense sees what is happening in Catholic academia and one of the culprits that have damaged the Church and her children in the post-VAtican II period.

My final comments: Because Pope Francis is so pastorally minded, he will find ways to bring people back to Holy Mother Church, especially those in irregular situations. But he will not be unfaithful to the Magisterium of the Church and the Deposit of Faith in doing so.

He will allow for a variety of liturgical expressions if these bring people closer to God and keep them in the fold of Holy Mother Church.

And now for my BOMBSHELL clairvoyant prediction: This is based upon Pope Francis pastoral concern for people and keeping them close to the Church. He will eventually seek to heal the schism in the Church between the so-called and perhaps inaccurately classified (neo) Pelegians and Gnostics!

He will actually go to an FSSP parish which ministers to the existential periphery by serving the needs of the poor and celebrate an EF Mass either personally or simply by presiding and in choir dress!

21 comments:

Gene said...

Um, and yesterday the Pope said that, "whether Christian with the Bible or Muslim with the Quoran, the faith your parents instilled will help you move on."
What a nice piece of religious/cultural equivalence. So much for" preaching the Gospel to all nations."

Does no one else see anything wrong here? Sheesh...

John Nolan said...

The Pope has not worn choir dress since his election. If he does not do so at the forthcoming consistory (where all the Cardinals-elect will be in choir dress) it can be safely assumed that he has no intention of ever doing so.

Left alone, the TLM will make slow but steady progress. No doubt the trendies would like him to get rid of SP so that the traddies will all decamp to the SSPX and leave them ruling the roost - but it ain't going to happen.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Even in preVatican 2 times we were taught not to proselytize and our hospitals and other institutions were never used for proselytizing ever! What is said is Classically Catholic but certainly not Calvinist!

Anonymous said...

Father, I'm sorry but have you fallen and hit your head or something? There is no way that Pope Francis will visit a FSSP parish and no chance he will attend or offer a Tridentine Mass. If he does they got another imposter "pope" from the same shop they got one to imitate Paul VI. Before anyone has a tizzy, that's a joke. But the real joke is to even think that Francis would do any of this. Impossible, never will happen. Just rest Father, you'll be okay.

Anonymous said...

If Pope Francis wears choir dress Anonymous 2 will have an apoplectic fit. Break out the smelling salts.

Anonymous 7.01.^r5

rcg said...

The idea of not proselytizing was very difficult for me to grasp. Several years ago I ran into this concept in execution in the Philippines and disagreed strongly. The situation was a region that is contested with very aggressive Muslims. I have come to understand and agree with the wisdom of the approach, but feel it is blunted somewhat by the chummy presentation of the Liturgy in the NO. believe it or not people appreciate respect and, in turn, respect those who show it, especially toward God.

Anonymous said...

Francis could enter St Peter's on the sedia wearing the papal tiara and it would mean nothing. Too little to late. He hates Tradition/tradition and anything he might do would be for show. If it talks like a duck, walks like a duck it's a duck. He is a tradition hating liberal.

John Nolan said...

Anonymous, I beg to disagree. When his election was announced my first reaction was "Oh no. A Jesuit, and a South American to boot. Would the last person to leave the Church please turn the lights out".

Whatever he might have been as Archbishop of Buenos Aires (capital of a banana republic which I seem to recall we had to travel 8000 miles in 1982 to put in its place) he is now the Roman Pontiff. He is a good man. He is a far better man than I am. That is not difficult. Both Father McDonald and Father Kavanaugh are better men than I am.

The pope in defence of whose authority St Thomas More went to the scaffold (Clement VII) was not the most praiseworthy figure to have occupied the Chair of Peter.

Evelyn Waugh has a salient phrase which runs throughout the last novel of his "Sword of Honour" trilogy and was written by the elder and dying Crouchback to his son, concerning what he refers to as the mystical Body, the Church: "Quantitative judgements don't apply". I think an acknowledged literary genius has something to teach us here.

Steven Surrency said...

I agree Father. Pope Francis is likely to assist at a Traditional Latin Mass. This is why he said Mass ad orientem. He is over the liturgy wars. He is ready to move on. The liturgy is very important because it brings us Christ. However, we must focus on Christ more than the minutia of the Liturgy (and I am a liturgist). The minutia should be a means to an end- never an end in themselves. Francis has picked up on much of Benedict's message- use of Latin, altar arrangement, chanting introit- and lets some asside (use of traditional vestments to emphasize continuity). However, he is trying to do what he can to make liturgy less of a topic and Christ more of a topic.

Anonymous said...

Can't y'all get over what people wear? Clothes don't make the man...or the church. With the possible exception of the few (291...make that 290) members here, the world (and I would include Jesus in that) doesn't give a hoot whether the Pope wears choir dress or a prom dress or a Denver Broncos football jersey.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I don't think liturgical protocol or any protocol should be dispensed at will by anyone but certainly the Holy Father has that authority. But in terms of choir dress, I have seen him on only one occasion thus far place the "surplice" (not sure of the official name for the pope's) and then stole and cope for Benediction at one of the outdoor extravaganza's that had adoration and then Benediction. Prior to this part, he was simply in the papal cassock, then went behind to altar to vest for Benediction and had the surplice in place of the alb.

Anonymous said...

2.Rochet (Eccl) A linen garment resembling the surplise, but with narrower sleeves, also without sleeves, worn by bishops, and by some other ecclesiastical dignitaries, in certain religious ceremonies.

"They see no difference between an idler with a hat and national cockade, and an idler in a cowl or in a rochet."

In the Roman Catholic Church the rochet is worn by bishops and abbots, usually under a manteletta, and, as a choir vestment, by some canons

Anonymous 2 said...

Oh dear, Anonymous (#1),

Wrong again. Check the record (oh sorry, I forgot, you don’t do that) – I support the re-introduction of the TLM, choir dress and all, and believe that the TLM should never have been eliminated. Doing so was a big mistake. I also support the OF Mass, and even the OF with reverent folk music (on this point Father McDonald and I differ). I am a liturgical pluralist in this respect. I do not understand the “ultra-traddies” who want to do away with the OF and I do not understand the “ultra-trendies” who want to do away with the EF. I want to be an orthodox Catholic who will not put God in a little box and believe I am following the magisterium in this.

rcg said...

A@12:35 - actually He doesn't compare the dress but clearly expected people to clean up and wear the best they had that was appropriate.

Henry said...

Back on topic (more or less) Fr. Hunwicke's "Mutual Enrichment" blog yesterday had a post speculating on the possibility that Pope Francis might regularize the SSPX. What says your crystal ball about this one, Fr. McDonald?

http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/sspx-is-it-ecumenism-or-is-it-not-2.html

"I can think of one, massive, reason why Francis is the man to conclude this episode. ... [read it there] ...

"It is open to the Holy Father to solve the SSPX 'problem' within days. The Roman Pontiff regularly grants an audience, I think on Friday evenings, to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Next Friday, he could give Archbishop Mueller his orders. During the next audience, he could sign the documents*. The following Wednesday, at his General Audience, in between kissing the babies and hugging the cripples, he could embrace in public His Excellency Mgr Fellay and the other Reverend and Right Reverend leaders of the SSPX, in front of all the world's cameras and all its head-scratching journalists. And, just as he electrified the world by his choice of the feet to be washed and kissed on his first Maundy Thursday, Francis could use a dozen young clerics of the Society in his second Maundy Thursday pedilavium. . . . . ... humility ... you know it makes sense ... )

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Henry, this morning my clairvoyance was telling me as I wrote this post, but I thought it too far fetched, but I really don't think so, that Pope Francis will eventually end up regularizing the SSPX. I don't think he is going to allow them to sell out Vatican II, so I think there will be some conditions in terms of fidelity to the Holy Father, any pope's Magisterium and to the authority of Vatican II. But let's face it, apart from revealed doctrine and dogma which any Council would reiterate, Vatican II made no new doctrines or dogmas and changed no official teachings of the Church that are immutable. It did change pastoral practice and certain ideologies associated with the Reformation Mentality as it concerns Protestants and it opened the Church to dialogue with other religions and with no religions and with the world. But this is hardly new doctrine or infallible, immutable truths that each and every Catholic has to believe or appreciate. I do think however, that they must accept the validity of liturgical reforms even of those they don't like, but again, what so infallible about those?

So yes, my clairvoyance tells me that SSPX will be made regular with the Church by Pope Francis himself and maybe under the FSSP or an Ordinariate similar to the Anglican one.

Anonymous said...

The latest comments evince a great misunderstanding of the SSPX position, history, and mission.

Anonymous said...

Choir dress, I don't know if he knows what choir dress is. And he made Guido Marini lose the lace!!!

George said...

"Vatican II made no new doctrines or dogmas and changed no official teachings of the Church that are immutable."

I read somewhere that Pope John XXIII made it one of the conditions that nothing infallible was to come out of the Council. Perhaps someone with more knowledge about this can provide something further.

Anonymous said...

Infallible inshmallible....

Gene said...

Vatican Two Shmatican Two…!