Thursday, August 14, 2014

PAPAL MASSES IN SOUTH KOREA PRIMARILY IN LATIN WITH SOME KOREAN!


The booklet for the various Masses and liturgies of Pope Francis during His Holiness' Korean pilgrimage can be found by PRESSING HERE.

Please note the amount of Latin. Doesn't this tell us something important about Latin as the universal language of the liturgy especially with the globalization of the world? It would seem to me that if Latin had been retained, as Vatican II mandated, with the exception of some vernacular, that this would have been even more important today compared to pre-Vatican II times. Am I missing something, especially given the instant communication of Masses around the world and the amount of travel Catholics do today and the shrinking of the world due to modern transportation and the internet?

36 comments:

Cameron said...

I think it is this way because, whether or not some disbelieve it, Latin is as neutral of a language as exists today in the Church, and it would have made no sense whatsoever to have Italian in these Masses.

Joe Potillor said...

It tells me a. Pope Francis doesn't know Korean (during WYD, recall he used Portugese)....b. Pope Francis can use Latin....c. It was probably requested by the local Bishops.

Henry said...

Joe, the very fact--that Latin provides a common linguistic ground shared liturgically by the pope and the Koreans--is a fine illustration of the universality of Latin in the Church. As such, is not Latin still more important now than in earlier times when popes and others were unlikely to travel to faraway places in the way that nowadays is so common for so many?

JBS said...

Joe Potillor is right, as usually. The pope can't speak Korean, otherwise the whole Mass would have been in Korean.

Joe Potillor said...

Henry, I agree with you Latin is very important (if not more important now)...it's a total demonstration of the universality of Latin (I'm a huge proponent for Latin)...but that said, I'm just noticing how Pope Francis is operating....his comfort with Latin is not like Benedict XVI's (not that Pope Francis isn't comfortable with Latin, he just uses it less often than his predecessor)

Pater Ignotus said...

Do the Koreans attending these masses understand Latin?

If not, this "neutral" language is essentially worthless as a tool to communicate the truths of the faith.

If not, there is no "common linguistic ground" being shared, only a language that does not communicate the truths of the faith.

If not, then Latin is obviously not universal and has no great value to communicate the truths of the faith.

Just Asking said...

Why not have a "multicultural" mass? These Koreans should have had Spanish and Italian so he would feel comfortable. Especially at the prayer of the faithful: one in Korean, English, Italian and Spanish.

JBS said...

Pater Ignotus,

You say Latin is worthless, while Henry says it is more important than ever. Hod do we decide which one of you is right?

Henry said...

"Do the Koreans attending these masses understand Latin?"

According to Church teaching from Vatican II to the present, all Catholics should know the Ordinary of the Mass in Latin. I wouldn't think Koreans would be exempted.

rcg said...

PI, the question is whether or not he Korean priests make and effort to explain it to them and encourage them to learn what the prayers mean.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Sadly since Vatican II and the babel allowed in the Mass, so many, and unfortunately priests and bishops, have become extremely ethnocentric when it comes to language. It really has become divisive to the liturgy and parishes. For example even though Italians and Germans and Poles had their own ethnic parishes in the USA generations ago, the Latin Liturgy was the same (their devotions differed though) Of course the sermon was in their native tongue, but nothing else, so any Catholic in these communities could go to an ethnic parish for Mass and feel at home and united to the other language groups.

Apart from PI's ethnocentricity and desire of divided languages and worshipping communities, the mentality about the Mass prior to Vatican II was completely different and Catholics were expected to know some basic Latin, and it was taught in our schools. Altar boys were taught rudimentary Liturgical Latin.

Of course, the Traditional Latin Mass has a different ethos and spirituality and all of us familiar with it know that the Mass is not an intellectual endeavor in order to learn, but a spiritual/prayerful, worshipful (sacrificial) experience where God touches the soul and according to our receptivity saves us from the fires of Hell. A little education in terms of improving one's quality of life a la Joel Osteen's theology was not and is not a part of the Mass properly understood.

Therein lies the problem for PI and others who pursue the Mass as an intellectual, understandable pursuit, they completely miss the point of the Mass which is summed up in the Fatima prayer:

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.

For the faithful, no matter their ability to comprehend the language of the Mass, they know what the Mass means as summed up by the Fatima Prayer--its that simple for them, but not enough for PI and others of his ideology.

Bill G said...

Pater, if someone cannot read, then do you consider the Bible to be essentially worthless as a tool?

JBS said...

Pater Ignotus,

Would you say we are misunderstanding, or misapplying, the prescriptions of Vatican II and the 2002 Roman Missal concerning liturgical Latin, or do you think these prescriptions need revision? I'm sure you'll understand the confusion it can cause when a good Catholic such as yourself seems to disagree with elements of an ecumenical council and related Vatican directives. This is why I'm asking you for clarification.

Henry said...

"You say Latin is worthless, while Henry says it is more important than ever. Hod do we decide which one of you is right?"

Let Holy Mother Church decide: In her teaching since Vatican II that all Catholics understand the basics of the Mass in Latin. And by canon law, which commands that priests be taught in the seminary not merely knowledge of but proficiency in Latin.

Cameron said...

Is Mass essentially a medium of communicating the truths of faith?

Pater Ignotus said...

Good Father - I do not desire to see divided communities. Our linguistic communities are, in fact, divided. I don't have to desire it - it is a reality. Does this result in or cause a divided Church? Hardly.

On the day of Pentecost, the Spirit did not descend on the Apostles and make them, miraculously, fluent in Latin or some other so-called universal language. He gave them many tongues so that the message of salvation could be proclaimed in languages the people could comprehend.

No, I do not miss the point of the mass, and it is highly presumptuous of you to say such a thing. To reduce the mass with its history, its evolution and development, its multi-layered symbolism to the "Fatima Prayer" is to display almost a contempt for the rich and complex reality that is the mass.

But, of course, you'll just call this intellectual babel, because that's you M.O.

George - The Bible is as useless to an illiterate person as a bicycle is to a fish. However, the message of the Bible when preached, taught, proclaimed has value to every person everywhere.

JBS - I would say that when people ask about the prescriptions of Vatican II, they often overlook that the authority to implement Vatican II was given to various groups or bishops and theologians. To them was given great leeway in matters of language, music, etc.

I'm sure a good Catholic like yourself, who has studied the history of Vatican II extensively, can understand that legitimate authorities made choices based on the directions given them by the highest authorities of the Church.

pater Ignotus said...

Cameron - The mass has two essential goals - offering worship to God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and communicating the saving mysteries of Jesus Christ to the People of God.

JBS said...

Perhaps the Liturgy of the Word should be in the vernacular, and the Liturgy of the Eucharist could be in Latin.

Gene said...

Ignotus must have flunked Latin in school….LOL! He sure as Hell flunked theology.

Gene said...

People who cannot read music still benefit from and enjoy the symphony, and people who do not understand Italian enjoy opera, and people who do not understand astrophysics understand and enjoy hard sic-fi.
The Latin Mass conveys the Mysterium and appeals to the right hemispheric aspects of our psyche. The NO is spoken word oriented, whereas the TLM is Word oriented. Preaching and language is the primary sacrament of protestantism; it is an appeal to the rational and logical. The NO is an effort to mimic this protestant approach and understanding. It removes the Mystery from the Mass and makes it a protestant-like celebration. The Church has lost much through its implementation.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - No, I did not flunk Latin in high school. I got, I think, and A. Thank you Fr. Mario Balbi, SDB. (Since Mario was Brazilian who spoke seven languages, I can't vouch for the accuracy of any accent I may have when speaking Latin.)

No, I didn't flunk theology either. In fact, I had enough credits in theology in College to qualify for claiming it as a minor, which my biology professors thought would confuse the biology grad schools I applied to. It didn't; I got in.


George said...

Pater Ignotus:
You responded to me and I didn't even make a comment. You have now decided to anticipate a response on my part and get at me pre-emptively? My praenomina is George, Not Bill. Oh well, no harm done.

Joe Pollitor @11:38:
You didn't really expect the Holy Father to celebrate the Mass in Korean did you? Now, that would be impressive but I don't think he is out to impress. As far as WYD, Portugese is the primary language in Brazil. Pope Francis is not the polyglot Pope St John Paul II was. He doesn't need to be. hen asked in an interview "Pope Francis: Conversations with Jorge Bergoglio" by Sergio Rubin and Francesca Ambrogetti the Holy Father said besides Italian he used to speak French "rather well" and "got by" with German, but said the lack of practice hurt his current proficiency.

Gene said...

Well, you flunked English, then, "…I got and A."

And, if you passed theology, you have managed to forget anything you might have learned, judging from you roosts on this blog over the years. LOL!

Anonymous said...

One of the most reverent papal masses outside the Vatican. Every one was reverent and majority of the ladies are wearing mantillas.

Joe Potillor said...

George, of course not, I love Latin, I'm happy that Pope Francis used Latin....but if he knew Korean, he would have used it. Spanish and Portugese are similar enough, where I can see how he tried to get by on speaking Portugese for WYD (He should have used Latin, but I digress)

But it is very true, lack of practice, means one loses language skills.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - No, I got all A's in English. Now, if you want to find the lower grades from my report cards, just look to the math courses. Oh, and Organic Chemistry...sigh.

One day I'll go back and ace that one, too!

rcg said...

PI, respectfully, I think you have taken you role as contrarian past your own benefit, or ours. I assume that you do not doubt the Koreans fluency, or even familiarity, with Latin based on their race. Lots of kids learn passingly enough Korean in their martial arts classes to be functional in that limited context. That is because their leader cares enough to teach them the meaning of the term and discriminate it from similar terms that might mislead them.

Which leads to the utility of the bicycle: it has the same utility if someone who knows how to ride carries the person who needs the trip.

The usefulness of Latin is the clarity, as much as can be given, to complex concepts and the consistency of their meaning. The translation can be done by the priest in the homily, or better yet, the meaning in the context of the lesson of that day, feast, or season.

My FSSP pastor, a brilliant man, confessed to me last week he has a hard time writing the homily. "I am an expert in this," and he picks up my missal, " not writing speeches". I told him that was, in many ways, the best outline one could get, build on the lesson; the complexity is so deep we will have years of homilies before it gets boring.

So please give yourself a chance to consider the efficacy of Latin as a tool for your pastoral endeavors. It would be a great help for you as you help your congregation.

Pater Ignotus said...

rcg - Race has nothing to do with my comments. How you could come to that conclusion is beyond me.

A bicycle is of no - zero - use to a fish. You can spend your time teaching a carp to ride a bicycle if you like, but I suggest that there will be little benefit to the fish.

To whom is the "clarity" of Latin useful? To the person or persons who understand the Latin language. If no one in the congregation knows Latin, the Latin text can be exquisitely clear, elegant, and/or consistent. However, there will be no value in that for the congregation.

In a homily I have 10 or 12 or, maybe 15 minutes to connect the Scripture readings with the lives of the people in the congregation. I am not going to use that time to provide translations of collects, prayers over the offerings, prefaces, prayers after communion, etc.

If, in preaching, I make any reference to the proper prayers of the day, it will be barely more than a passing note. "As the opening prayer reminds us..." or "As we will hear in today's preface..."

The efficacy of Latin for a congregation that knows no Latin is nil. It does not make the mass more meaningful, more understandable, more Catholic, more uplifting. It might be called "awesome" by a bunch of high schools boys, but I suspect they would have the same reaction to 4th of July fireworks, a NASCAR race, or a Braves grand slam.

Pastorally, the use of Latin does not benefit the people I serve.

rcg said...

PI, With the most sincere respect, that response is intellectually disappointing.

Gene said...

Ignotus, it isn't your job to "connect the Scripture readings with the lives of the congregation." It is your job to present them in such a way that the people make their own connection. A subtle difference. The homily should point to the Sacrifice and enhance the dignity and power of the Mass.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - As usual, your view is not the view of the Church. And, as usual, I will ignore your view and stick with what the Church says.

"Namely, the homily is not merely to be an explanation of the readings but also should explain the mysteries of faith related to the readings and the liturgy of the day applying them especially to the norms of Christian life (cf. Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy # 52.)"

"Since the purpose of the homily is to enable the gathered congregation to celebrate the liturgy with faith, the preacher does not so much attempt to explain the Scriptures as to interpret the human situation through the Scriptures. In other words, the goal of the liturgical preacher is not to inter­pret a text of the Bible (as would be the case in teaching a Scrip­ture class) as much as to draw on the texts of the Bible as they are presented in the lectionary to interpret peoples’ lives."(Fulfilled in Your Hearing, USCCB, , p. 20).

Gene said...

Ignotus, there is nothing inconsistent between what I said and what you quoted. It all depends upon how you do it. I rather expect you like to hear yourself talk. You probably also spend a lot of time in front of the mirror.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - Yes, your statement is inconsistent with what the Church says homilies are for.

St. Augustine wrote: "It is the duty of the eloquent churchman—when he is trying to persuade the people about something that has to be done—not only to teach, in order to instruct them; not only to delight, in order to hold them; but also to sway, in order to conquer and win them."

"The ultimate goal of proclaiming the Gospel is to lead people into a loving and intimate relationship with the Lord, a relationship that forms the character of their persons and guides them in living out their faith. A good homilist, for example, is able to articulate the mystery of the Incarnation—that the eternal Son of God came to dwell among us as man—in such a manner that his listeners are able to understand more deeply the beauty and truth of this mystery and to see its connections with daily life." (Preaching the Mystery of Faith, USCCB)

And since you have never heard me preach - and have said you never will - you have no idea how I deliver homilies. It is always amazing to me how you "know" what you cannot possibly know . . .

Gene said...

"If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…"

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - And do I enjoy preaching? You bet!

So did St. John Chrysostom: "“Preaching improves me. When I begin to speak, weariness disappears; when I begin to teach, fatigue too disappears. Thus neither sickness itself nor indeed any other obstacle is able to separate me from your love….For just as you are hungry to listen to me, so too I am hungry to preach to you. My congregation is my only glory, and every one of you means more to me than anyone of the city outside….Oftentimes in my dreams I see myself in the pulpit speaking to you.”

Gene said...

Are you comparing yourself to St. John Chrysostom? You are just grandiose enough to do so.