Thursday, June 26, 2014

WE NEED THE EXTRAORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS MORE THAN EVER FOR WITHOUT IT WE RISK SLIPPING INTO ECCLESIAL IDOLATRY

Why do so many in the Church despise this form of the Liturgy and want to forget about it altogether and are embarrassed by the authentic history of the Liturgy? Those who want to forget this and are embarrassed by it ARE NOT TRUE CHRISTIANS, TRUE CATHOLICS, THEY SLIP INTO IDOLATRY!

Shortly after Pentecost at a daily Mass, Pope Francis said the following: 

"The Holy Spirit helps Christians remember the history of our faith and the gifts we have received from God. Without this grace, we risk slipping into idolatry.

A Christian without memory is not a true Christian: he or she is a prisoner of circumstance, of the moment, a man or woman who has no history. He or she does have a history, but does not know how to enter into history. It is the Spirit that teaches us how to enter into history."

My comments: Is not this loss of history, but even worse, the despising of our history as Catholics caused us to become idolaters of the Second Vatican Council interpreted as a breach and rupture of history?

Is this not what Pope Benedict XVI tried to overcome in his papacy, the interpretation of the Council as a rupture form history and for those who promoted this rupture, a despising of our history, liturgical ecclesiological and morally?

In the years after Vatican II have we not despised our history on the Liturgy, on the Sacraments, on the all male priesthood, on the femininity of the Church, on our Blessed Mother, on our popular devotions? Have we not made the Second Vatican Council an idol completely disconnected from our history, our Church culture and what it means to be a ROMAN Catholic?

Let me focus on liturgy and how so many people, especially clergy and religious whose heyday was in the 1970's and who still are going strong in 2014, absolutely despised and continue to despise the Liturgy as it was celebrated prior to the Council (they despise almost everything prior to the Council).

For them it was a great shock that Saint Pope John Paul II allowed the EF Mass in a limited way, but which opened the door to Pope Benedict's complete release of this imprisoned liturgy to the masses of the Catholic Church. What had this liturgy done wrong that it would have been imprisoned by the wrong interpretation of Vatican II? It was of our history, of our European, Roman culture, of our sense of majesty from that culture and the images of the court, the king, the queen, the splendor of the monarchy, not of its banalities but of its best which pointed to the Kingdom of heaven, a parable of sorts, if you will. The Church's liturgy and the signs, symbols, decor, decorum and vesture point to the KINGDOM, human monarchy redeemed.

Pope Benedict recaptured much of this in his papacy and especially in his liturgies. Keep in mind he never celebrated a public EF Mass after SP, although he did when he was cardinal. But his style of the OF Papal Mass was in continuity with the EF Mass.

Pope Benedict did not forget the history of our faith and the gifts we have received from God. Without this grace, [he knew] we risked slipping into idolatry.

Pope Benedict was not a Christian without memory who is not a true Christian: he was not a prisoner of circumstance.

This rediscovery and admiration of our history is Pope Benedict's gift to us. As time marches on, may we appreciate the great gift of memory that Pope Benedict XVI returned to us. 

17 comments:

Gene said...

Fr, you baffle me. Your obvious love for the EF and your disdain for the abuses of Vat II and the OF are in sharp contrast to your contortions defending of the Pope and your rationalization regarding the OF and liturgical abuses. You celebrate the OF with such dignity and reverence that it amazes me you can turn around and rationalize some of its abuses. Help me out here...

Flavius Hesychius said...

Why do so many in the Church despise this form of the Liturgy and want to forget about it altogether and are embarrassed by the authentic history of the Liturgy?

According to Pater Ignotus, the EF is 'litugical silliness'... whatever that means.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

You forget Gene, (and your forgetfulness leads to your idolatry as Pope Francis indicates and Pope Benedict modeled) that the hermeneutic of continuity or reform in continuity advocated by both these popes as it regards Vatican II means a profound respect for the papacy and the Magisterium with no hint of uncharitableness to either and the pride that one exhibits when one thinks one's own history and opinion is higher than that of the pope and Magisterium in the areas of faith, morals and church law.

Joseph Johnson said...

Well said.

Those who "do not understand this Traditional Latin Mass thing" accuse those of us who favor it with artificially forcing things to look like they did 60 years ago. Some of these things are tied to our beliefs in what the Mass is and what the Eucharist is (eg. ad orientem and the handling and reception of the Blessed Sacrament as it was, and is, done in the Tridentine, or EF, Mass).

Many of us know that a lot of what happened with the Mass after VII was deliberately forced change brought on by ideoligically motivated liturgists and clergy. It was not something that the larger Catholic culture asked for at the time--it was not a natural or organic cultural change. People went along with many of these forced changes out of a misinformed sense of obedience or because they had (and often still have) no choice (especially in places with only one Catholic church for miles). We were captives to all these forced changes (many of which have nothing to do with the requirements of SC in VII).

In my view of things, because many of these changes were wrongfully and artificially created and forced (and not mandated by VII--though most people still do no know this and many have grown up since that time not knowing how the Mass was celebrated before VII) we need a liturgical "reset." We are not forcing anything on anybody. The whole "Traditional Latin Mass thing" is about liturgical RESET. It is about exposing (but not forcing) people to our liturgical heritage and causing them to think and inform themselves further about liturgy. It is not about nostalgia or trying to re-enact the past the way American Civil War buffs sometimes do. It is about picking up where we left off before illegitimate artificial change was forced on us and, then, continuing down the road to the liturgical present and future, better aware of our heritage that was wrongfully taken from us.

It is also about spiritual renewal because the benefits that come from the older understanding of the Mass as sacrifice offered to God and the humble manner of handling and receiving the Eucharist. The "Traditional Latin Mass thing" is about living life as a Catholic TODAY--not about re-enacting the past in some kind of superficial and shallow way!

Flavius Hesychius said...

Father, I understand what you're saying; however, the same Magisterium that promotes (rightfully so) the idea of V2 being in continuity with the other 1900 years of Church history do nothing to the worst offenders on the 'V2 is the only valid Church council ever' side. Both sides (anti-V2 and V2-exclusivists) deny the same thing, but only one side is ever really punished or reprimanded for it (and it isn't the V2-exclusivists).

Marc said...

Tsk, tsk, Gene. You're a borderline schismatic and now an idolator as well.

In my schismatic world, our priests don't call us names. But calling people names is in perfect harmony with Francis, so I guess its to be suspected over there in "full communion"-land.

Gene said...

FR. throws the words "schismatic" and "idolater" around far too freely and carelessly…sort of like his use of "bombshell." I believe the obsessive worship of Vatican II and the defense of the indefensible is also idolatrous.

Carol H. said...

I enjoyed this post and fully agree with Joseph Johnson's comment.

Marc said...

I agree with Joseph. I would add, though, that the whole "thing" is about more than a restoration of liturgical forms. This is a battle of correct doctrine against heresy. The liturgical form is a manifestation of correct doctrine. From the correct doctrine and the correct liturgical manifestation comes correct piety and correct living. This is far from superficial, as Joseph says.

One does not travel many hours for Mass because it is "prettier". One who does this is not making the liturgy an idol. One wouldn't make this sacrifice for superficial reasons.

On the other hand, one who sees mere aesthetics as important in liturgics is on the path to making the liturgy a superficial idol.

Gene said...

I agree with Joseph, Carol, and Marc. Fix the Liturgy, Fix the Church.

John Nolan said...

It's strange. The beauty and dignity of the classic Roman Rite, and the incomparable music which accompanies it (I sing Gregorian Chant, and apart from its being the fons et origo of all western music, it is an astonishing achievement in itself) surely speak for themselves.

The Calibans who despise this are beyond comprehension. There is, however, a secular parallel in those who are in some respects cultured but whose musical horizons don't extend beyond the popular. They tend to disparage serious music without making the effort to understand it, and instead resort to a sort of cultural relativism which says that Mozart is only great because you think he is. This was prevalent over 40 years ago when I was an undergraduate and it has certainly carried over into the liturgy.









JBS said...

John Nolan,

The philosophy that's proper to the West seeks emotional moderation as a setting for right judgement and well-oriented contemplation. This philosophy, informed as it by the best of Greek thought, and cultivated by the Gospel, naturally produces musical and other artistic forms that direct our emotions, without over-exciting them.

Modern music and other art forms, however, seek to be judged on the basis of their capacity to send emotions to extremes. As this approach passes like a fever through the Church, it provokes us to fashion liturgical experiences that are geared to emotional extremes. Calm contemplation can only be viewed as evidence of failure in this mistaken view. Laughter, tears and applause are judged to be signs of success.

George said...

Some people seek to be "moved ", to be "moved by the spirit", to "to be caught up in the spirit". Many find this at popular music or rock concerts and so they desire this at a religious service. This "spirit" that is moving them though is not the "Holy Spirit". (Sometimes it's the distilled variety)

Joe Potillor said...

One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is self-control (temperance), as such it seems being drunk in the spirit, makes no logical sense...

Joseph and Marc are dead on.

Dolorosa said...

My favorite book on the subject is: http://www.alteringliturgy.com/ "The false impression was created throughout almost all the world by very high Vatican officials (at times even including Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II) that by virtue of holy obedience all priests after 1969 had to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to the Novus Ordo Missae – the new rite of the Mass." Fr. Paul Kramer

Anon friend said...

Dolorosa, thanks for the link. Very interesting reading. Interesting, too, that Fr. Kramer was ordained in 1980, at the near-pinnacle of the "progressive" liturgical experimentation that influenced the formation so many clergy like Pater and others. It takes courage to "go against the flow" and I feel sure he has suffered for it...

Aonymous 2 said...

John:

Even if that is true about philosophy and the musical and other artistic forms that may be related to this philosophy, wasn't the Greek psyche a little more complex -- Apollo and Dionysius and all that? I am not yet taking a normative position here, just raising a descriptive question.