Friday, February 28, 2014

ALMOST ONE YEAR AGO TO THE HOUR, THE CHURCH WAS WITHOUT A POPE


And one year later the National Chismatic Reporter, NCR has a very good, very kind, very Christian story on our beloved Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI. But actually, they simply reprinted something from Religion News Service.

But before you read it, read this from Rorate Caeli:


Abp. Gänswein: "Yes, Francis' and Benedict's liturgical sensibilities are different, it's not an offense to say so."
On the first anniversary of the renunciation of Benedict XVI as Bishop of Rome, the Prefect of the Papal Household, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, who still assists the Pope Emeritus in his new life at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, granted an interview to the daily owned by the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), Avvenire. The most interesting excerpt is the following:
Do the Pope and the Pope emeritus interact frequently?

There is an excellent relationship. The ways in which they interact are various. They telephone, they write, they meet, they eat together. Pope Francis has been a guest for lunch in the monastery several times. Once, after Christmas, the Pope emeritus was also in Santa Marta.

The are some who contrast them.

It is a favorite game, especially for some journalists. Which does not please me. I have the grace of living with one and working with the other. And I can thus allow myself to say that I know both very well. I do not see them as opposed, but as complementary. It is obvious that the style, the gestures, and even the form of government of Pope Francis are different from those of Pope Benedict. But an opposition cannot be established only based on this. Doing things in a different way does not mean doing them in an opposite way. One must always have in mind that which the Pope emeritus wrote to professor Hans Küng and repeated to Andrea Tornielli, when he expressed "identity of views and heartfelt friendship" regarding Pope Francis.

Also in the liturgy the sensibilities are different.

That is true, this is an objective fact, and it is not an offense to say so. But even in this case, I repeat, doing things in a different way does not mean doing them in an opposite way.



A surprising afterlife for Pope Benedict XVI

 | 
Analysis VATICAN CITY -- When Pope Benedict XVI officially left the Vatican in a helicopter a year ago today, becoming the first pontiff in 600 years to resign, many in his conservative fan base were aghast, even angry.

He has betrayed us, said those who thought Benedict’s papacy would be the final triumph of old-school Catholicism. He has undermined the papacy itself, they worried. Lightning even struck the cupola of St. Peter’s Basilica hours after Benedict departed, surely a bad omen.

Rumors that he was suffering from a terminal illness were taken as gospel truth. After all, what else could explain Benedict’s unorthodox decision to abandon the Throne of St. Peter?
Support independent Catholic journalism.

Well, it turns out the emeritus pope is doing just fine, thank you. Yes, he is nearly 87, slightly stooped and walking with a cane. But his overall health is pretty good and his spirits — and his wit, say friends who see him — are as strong as ever.

“His memory is fresh and his eyes are very bright and joyous,” the Rev. Stephan Otto Horn, head of a close-knit circle of Benedict’s former theology students, said after meeting Benedict in June.

Indeed, Benedict receives a regular stream of visitors in a retrofitted Vatican monastery where he passes the days praying but also reading, playing the piano, and corresponding with old friends and intellectual foes, like the Swiss theologian Hans Kung.

Despite initially vowing to remain “hidden from the world,” Benedict made a surprise appearance Feb. 22 at St. Peter’s Basilica as Pope Francis installed his first batch of cardinals — the first time Benedict has appeared at a Vatican liturgy in a year. “When I saw him, I was startled,” said one of the new cardinals, Leopoldo Brenes Solorzano of Nicaragua.

Vatican officials say Benedict is likely to attend the dual canonizations of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII in April. He was seen dedicating a statue with Francis in the Vatican gardens, visiting his older brother in a Rome hospital, and enjoying a piano concert in his honor by Fox News religion correspondent Lauren Green.

Benedict also made headlines last fall when he wrote a lengthy response to an Italian atheist who had critiqued his work, and allowed the letter to be published in a leading newspaper.

All told, it adds up to a gradual, if limited, re-emergence that may augur an unexpected second act for Benedict, though one whose ending is still being written — and maybe rewritten.

The drama is actually not that his greater visibility will renew concerns about diluting Francis’ standing or authority; that fear, often voiced in the days after Benedict stepped down, was a bit of a stretch. Francis himself is clearly not worried, and he periodically consults with his predecessor. “It’s like having a grandfather at home,” as Francis says.

Rather, it is the impact of Benedict’s intellectual legacy that is in play, and how, and whether, it will influence a church undergoing a transformative moment under Francis.

That legacy is embodied in the dozens of pieces that Benedict, formerly known as Joseph Ratzinger, wrote over a remarkable, and controversial, career — first as an expert advising German bishops at the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, then as a cardinal who served for 23 years as the Vatican’s top doctrinal officer under John Paul; and finally as pope for eight years.

“His works will survive the centuries like those of Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas,” Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna, another theology student of Ratzinger’s, said last year.

To advance that cause, Benedict’s writings are currently being compiled and edited into a multivolume set, and some speculate that one day there may be more to add. “I can’t imagine him being alive and not writing,” said the Rev. Joseph Fessio of Ignatius Press, the primary English language publisher of Benedict’s works.

Fessio, also a member of the “Ratzinger Schulerkreis,” or school circle, of former theology students that meets every year to discuss and promote Benedict’s ideas, said he was convinced Benedict would never publish anything while he is alive out of respect for Francis and the papal office. “But I suspect that when he dies there will be some posthumous works,” he said.

At this point, however, the struggle to shape Benedict’s legacy may be out of his hands and part of a larger tug of war over the direction of the current pontificate.

Catholic progressives, who had long seen Ratzinger as a foe of a more open and less conservative church, have highlighted Benedict’s powerful writings on social justice and the environment, noting how much they prefigured and bolster similar statements by Francis. Others lauded him for the radical step of resigning, in part because it served to downsize a papacy that they felt had grown too authoritarian under John Paul and then Benedict.

Conservatives, on the other hand, quickly recovered from the shock of Benedict’s surprising resignation to confront the shock of Francis’ enormous popularity. That popularity, they fear, is rooted in a view of Francis as a harbinger of change and comes at the expense of Benedict and the conservative tradition.

So they are making several counterarguments aimed at elevating Benedict’s reputation while at the same time tempering the acclaim for Francis:
  • Francis, they say, is not the liberal messiah that some believe;
  • The only real difference between Benedict and Francis is a media-generated perception;
  • Benedict is the true reformer because without his pontificate and his decision to retire there would have been no Francis.
“We are all seeing the impact of Pope Francis on the world, not only on the faithful in the church, but on the world; it is a huge impact, and this impact was also facilitated by Pope Benedict in his resignation,” Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, Benedict’s closest aide and a leading promoter of his boss’ legacy, said this month. “He opened up a possibility that until then was not there.”

In this view, Francis is really building Benedict’s church, as one commentator wrote, and Benedict in fact deserved Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” every bit as much as Francis, said another.
So what does Benedict himself make of all the maneuvering?

He is probably rather amused. Those who know him say that his penchant for sarcasm is as sharp as ever, and if he doesn’t agree with everything Francis is doing — Gaenswein himself admitted to some exasperation with the new pope’s populist ways — Benedict has told friends that “theologically he is very much in the same line with Pope Francis.”

Besides, Benedict seems as focused, as he always was, on the larger cultural and spiritual struggle to defend the faith. That’s what an Italian bishop who visited Benedict in early February found, as the retired pope spoke with keen interest about world events and what Benedict saw as “the increasingly virulent attacks” on the church.

“If there is no battle,” Benedict told his visitor, “there is no Christianity.”

THE HOLY FATHER IS ILL; PRAY FOR HIM

Pope’s visit to Rome’s Major Seminary cancelled due to slight fever


Pope Francis
(©EIDON) POPE FRANCIS

Fr. Lombardi said the doctor advised Pope Francis to cancel his scheduled visit and rest. He was supposed to arrive at the Major Seminary at 6pm, answer seminarists’ questions and attend a dinner with them

IACOPO SCARAMUZZIVATICAN CITY
Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s visit to Rome’s Major Seminary, where he was scheduled to be at 6pm this afternoon has been postponed. “Pope Francis will not go to the Roman Seminary because he is not feeling a hundred per cent and has a slight temperature. The doctor has therefore advised him to cancel his scheduled commitment and rest,” Fr. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman said in a statement issued in the late afternoon. Francis was due to visit the Seminary to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Trust and meet with seminarists, accompanied by the Cardinal Vicar Agostino Vallini. Later he was going to answer some questions put to him by the seminarists and have dinner with them, before returning to the Vatican this evening.

ON THE SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE, THE POPE'S DAILY HOMILY TODAY IS POWERFUL AND TRADITIONAL


I hope those pseudo-conservative, traditionalist heterodox Catholics who malign Pope Francis understand that underneath His Holiness pastoral sensitivities and personal simplicity lies a very traditional and orthodox Catholic. He is not a dogmatist but a Papa, the Italian word for Daddy which English mangles into some sort of ecclesiastical title, "Pope." Bishop of Rome is far more formal and ecclesiastical than pope or papa since neither of those terms are formal but are terms of endearment.

What the Holy Father is doing by his particular "reform of the reform" is that he is focusing not so much on the formal liturgies of the Church on the institutional level, but the popular piety of the people in the trenches of life.

Thus he promotes popular piety of all types, because these don't require the institutional Church and help form a strong personal and communal piety of the laity at home and elsewhere, but also in churches after Mass and other formal liturgies.

He continues to uphold the intrinsic necessity for an all male priesthood and the intrinsic necessity of marriage between on man and one woman based not only on orthodoxy, but natural law and how God has designed these two sacraments. Thus the Holy Father refers to the Church exclusively as Holy Mother, she and her. This is anathema for progressives who rid the church of this sort of language in the 60's and 70's in order to prepare the way for female priests and same sex marriage.



Pope Francis: accompany, don't condemn, those who have experience failure in marriage



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta residence in the Vatican this morning. In remarks following the readings of the day, the Holy Father focused on the beauty of marriage and warned that the Church must accompany – not condemn – those who experience failure in married life. He explained that Christ is the Bridegroom of the Church, and therefore you cannot understand one without the Other.

The Holy Father also warned against giving in to the temptation to entertain “special pleading” in questions regarding marriage. The Pharisees, he noted, present Jesus with the problem of divorce. Their method, the Pope said, is always the same: “casuistry,” — “is this licit or not?”

“It is always the small case. And this is the trap, behind casuistry, behind casuistical thought, there is always a trap: against people, against us, and against God, always. ‘But is it licit to do this? To divorce his wife?’ And Jesus answered, asking them what the Law said, and explaining why Moses framed the Law as he did. But He doesn’t stop there. From [the study of the particular case], He goes to the heart of the problem, and here He goes straight to the days of Creation. That reference of the Lord is so beautiful: ‘But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh’.”

Pope Francis went on to say, “The Lord refers to the masterpiece of Creation,” which is precisely the human person, created as male and female. God said He “did not want man to be alone,” He wanted him to be with “his companion along the way.” The moment Adam meets Eve, he said, is a poetic moment: “It is the beginning of love: [a couple] going together as one flesh.” The Lord , he repeated, “always takes casuistic thought and brings it to the beginning of revelation.” On the other hand, he explained, “this masterpiece of the Lord is not finished there, in the days of Creation, because the Lord has chosen this icon to explain the love that He has for His people.” At the very point “when the people is unfaithful,” he said, God speaks to him with words of love”:

“The Lord takes this love of the masterpiece of Creation to explain the love He has for His people. And going further: when Paul needs to explain the mystery of Christ, he does it in a relationship, in reference to His Spouse: because Christ is married, Christ was married, He married the Church, His people. As the Father had married the People of Israel, Christ married His people. This is the love story, this is the history of the masterpiece of Creation – and before this path of love, this icon, casuistry falls and becomes sorrowful. When, however, this leaving one’s father and mother, and joining oneself to a woman, and going forward... when this love fails – because many times it fails – we have to feel the pain of the failure, [we must] accompany those people who have had this failure in their love. Do not condemn. Walk with them – and don’t practice casuistry on their situation.”

Pope Francis also said the Gospel episode encourages us to reflect “about this plan of love, this journey of love in Christian marriage, that God has blessed the masterpiece of His Creation,” a blessing, he said, “that has never been taken away. Not even original sin has destroyed it.” When we thinks of this, we can “see how beautiful love is, how beautiful marriage is, how beautiful the family is, how beautiful this journey is, and how much love we too [must have], how close we must be to our brothers and sisters who in life have had the misfortune of a failure in love.”

Turning again to Saint Paul, Pope Francis emphasized the beauty of “the love Christ has for His bride, the Church”:

“Here too, we must be careful that love should not fail: [it is dangerous] to speak about a bachelor-Christ (It. Cristo troppo scappolo): Christ married the Church. You can’t understand Christ without the Church, and you can’t understand the Church without Christ. This is the great mystery of the masterpiece of Creation. May the Lord give all of us the grace to understand it and also the grace to never fall into these casuistical attitudes of the Pharisees, of the teachers of the law.”



Text from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/02/28/pope_francis:_accompany,_dont_condemn,_those_who_have_experience/en1-777372
of the Vatican Radio website

WHAT IF...AND WHO WOULD NOTICE?

Yes Virginia, this is an Ordinary Form Mass at St. Joseph Church, Macon:

As everyone knows, I have stated that the only way forward liturgically is in three ways:

1. Celebrate the Ordinary Form as it currently is and as it can and should be celebrated and similar to how Pope Francis does and Pope Benedict did  at all the Vatican Masses even if vernacular predominates

2. Hope and pray that Pope Francis, who seems to have already moved in this direction with his approval of a traditional appendix for the Anglican Ordinariate Missal and his locution to the head of the Congregation for Divine Worship, that the traditional elements of the Extraordinary Form Missal may be added to the regular Latin Rite Ordinary Form Missal

3. Allow for the liberal celebration of the 1962 Missal as it is currently under Summorum Pontificum

In other words moving forward means enhancing the Ordinary Form's Mass, even if no major changes are made to it, by making it feel, sound and act more like the 1962 Missal by a recovery of the 1962 Missal's spirituality, reverence, piety and devotion all the while promoting actual participation, firstly by getting Catholics to Mass and secondly through intelligent internal and external participation.

At St. Joseph Church, we began celebrating our 12:10 PM Mass ad orientem for the Liturgy of the Eucharist for nearly two years now. The Introductory and Concluding Rites remain at the chair which is angled toward the altar and of course the Liturgy of the Word is as it is in the Ordinary Form at all our other Masses.

But what if and who would notice if we added some EF elements to our 12:10 Mass? Would it be possible and if we did, would it be illicit and if illicit, who would notice?

Although I was a flaming liberal in the 1980's (not completely but kind of), today I would never do that which is not permitted for Mass by liturgical law. I would respect my bishop in this regard, but what if and who would notice if we did the following at our 12:10 PM Mass?

1.  At the Entrance Procession during the chants, the priest and deacon would stop at the Foot of the Altar while the congregation and choir were singing and say quietly the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar and in Latin!

2. Then while the Entrance Chant continues to be sung, the priest approached the altar quietly saying the devotional prayers of the EF Mass to do this, incenses it, quietly reciting the psalm that accompanies the incensation. And afterward goes to his chair.

3. After the Entrance Chant and at his chair, the priest begins with the Sign of the Cross, Greeting, Penitential Act, Kyrie, Gloria and Collect.

4. The Liturgy of the Word takes place as usual for the Ordinary Form

5. At the chair after the homily the priest leads the saying or chanting of the Credo and the Universal Prayer after which the altar is prepared and the offering presented to the priest from the laity.

6. The Offertory Prayers of the EF Mass are use, prayed quietly and in Latin (this in fact would be valid but illicit, but what if the priest did this and who would notice?)

7. The priest turns to the congregation and says the complete "Pray Brethren.." and the congregation responds as the priest remains facing them. The priest continues the Mass with the Prayer Over the Offerings, Preface Dialogue, Preface, Canon, Pater Noster, etc only to turn toward the Congregation for the "Peace of the Lord be with you all" and the "Exchange of the Kiss of Peace." He turns back to the altar for the Fraction Rite and private prayers for His Holy Communion while the Agnus Dei is sung and after its singing, genuflects and turn to the congregation for the Ecce Agnus Dei and response, turns back to the altar for his Holy Communion.

8. At this point Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion approach the altar and receive Holy Communion and receive their vessels for distributing Holy Communion under both Kinds. 

9. After Holy Communion the priest goes to his chair, observes silence, prays the Post Communion Prayer, makes announcements and then approaches the altar ad orientem to pray quietly the "Placeat Tibi, Sancta Trinitas, then he kisses the altar and turns to the congregation

10. Then the priest says or chants "The Lord be with you" and offers the blessing in simple or solemn form and then the deacon dismisses the congregation

11. Then all listen to the chanted or spoken "Last Gospel" and the recession takes place

At all the Vatican Masses as soon as the deacon dismisses the congregation, things are not quite over, because a Marian Chant according to season is always chanted with Pope Francis facing the Image of Our Lady toward the Gospel side of the Altar.  What is the difference in that and reciting or chanting the Last Gospel? And then a Marian Hymn could accompany the recessional.

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

BOMBSHELL: POPE FRANCIS GIVES THE CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS HIS VISION FOR NEW BISHOPS THEY HELP HIM TO APPOINT


My Comments and a question first: What I have highlighted in red gives us a very clear picture of how Pope Francis is approaching his role as the Bishop of Rome and thus the "papa" (pope in English) of the Church.#6 below is extremely important and a bit of a bombshell.

The other bombshell is what Pope Francis says about the Council of Trent as being very current under #8. I am not sure what needs to be studied in terms of the Council of Trent from what is written, so those of you out there who know, please comment:

Pope Francis says:


6. “Kerygmatic” bishops

"Since faith comes from proclamation we need kerygmatic bishops. ... Men who are guardians of doctrine, not so as as to measure how far the world is from doctrinal truth, but in order to fascinate the world ... with the beauty of love, with the freedom offered by the Gospel. The Church does not need apologists for her causes or crusaders for her battles, but humble and trusting sowers of the truth, who know that it is always given to them anew and trust in its power. Men who are patient men as they know that the weeds will never fill the field".


8. Bishop-Pastors

"May bishops be shepherds, close to the people; 'fathers and brothers, may they be gentle, patient and merciful; may they love poverty, interior poverty, as freedom for the Lord, and exterior poverty, as well as simplicity and a modest lifestyle; may they not have the mindset of “princes”'. Be careful that they are not ambitious, that they are not in quest of the episcopate', that they are espoused to the Church, without constantly seeking another; this is called adultery. May they be overseers of the flock that has been entrusted to them, to take care of everything that is needed to keep it united. ... I wish to emphasize again that the Church needs genuine Pastors ... look at the testament of the Apostle Paul.

 ... He speaks directly to us. He commits the pastors of the Church 'to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance'. Therefore, not masters of the Word, but committed to it, servants of the Word. Only in this way is it possible to edify and obtain the inheritance of the saints. To those who are plagued with questions about their legacy: 'What is the legacy of a bishop, gold or silver?', Paul answers, 'Holiness'. The Church remains when God's holiness spreads to her members. ... Vatican Council II states that the 'pastoral office or the habitual and daily care of their sheep is entrusted” completely to bishops. In our times, regularity and the everyday are often associated with routine and boredom. Therefore we often try to escape to a permanent 'elsewhere'. 

Unfortunately even in the Church we are not exempt from this risk. I think that in this time of meetings and congresses the decree of the Council of Trent is very current, and it would be good for the Congregation for Bishops to write something about this. ... The flock needs to find a place in the heart of its Pastor. If this is not solidly anchored in itself, in Christ and His Church, the bishop will continually be at the mercy of the waves, in search of ephemeral compensations, and will offer no shelter to his flock".

THIS ARTICLE POSTED ON RORATE CAELI IS CERTAINLY A VERY GOOD HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF THE CHANGES IN THE MASS

MY COMMENTS FIRST: I continue to think it is a pipe dream to think the Ordinary Form of the Mass will be abandoned and the 1962 Missal and other liturgies will be mandated. It won't happen.

Neither will there be a grassroots groundswell of Catholics clamoring for the EF Mass. The reason I know this is that in the nearly seven years since SP and the more widespread return of the 1962 Missal, there is no groundswell demanding that this Mass be celebrated by more Catholics.

Thus I will continue to promote two things, and the first being the one that is possible now and the second to come later of which timing I have absolutely no control:

1. Celebrate the Ordinary Form like Pope Francis does at the Vatican Masses, even if more vernacular is used parochially as well as styles of music.

2. The only realistic reform that I see coming from the Vatican through the Congregation for Divine Worship and approved by the pope (AND ALREADY APPROVED FOR THE ORDINARY FORM MISSAL FOR THE ANGLICAN ORDINARIATE) is an appendix addendum to allow the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, a revision of the order of the Introductory Rite when using these, the option of the EF's Offertory Prayers, all of them, the stricter rubrics for the Roman Canon, the last Gospel, the option of kneeling for Holy Communion and celebrating Mass ad orientem as well as a refinement of the Roman Calendar to be like the Anglican Ordinariate.

Of course, we'd still have the freedom to use the 1962 Missal as Pope Benedict allowed in SP.

Here is the very good history of the changes in the Missal from 1965 forward posted on Rorate Caeili:

The Mass of 1965: back to the future?
Why it is not an option

The Psalm Iudica (psalm 42): crossed out in 1965
One reason why many good-hearted people wanted a 'Reform of the Reform' is that some kind of reform was called for by the Second Vatican Council in Sacrosanctum Concilium ('SC'). Now that some of them have given up on the project of tinkering with the Novus Ordo, an alternative would seem to be going back to the 1962 Missal and using the Council's criteria to make the reform again. To undertake the Reform We Should Have Had. Fr Somerville-Knapmann suggests it might look like the transitional Missal of 1965. Fr Mark Kirby says very much the same thing with more detail.

The first thing to note is that this wasn't a new edition of the Missal, but just a set of provisional revisions made by the Instruction Inter Oecumenici. There was another lot in 1967, and then the new Missa Normativa came out in 1969. Inter Oecumenici says about itself that it

authorizes or mandates that those measures that are practicable before revision of the liturgical books go into effect immediately.

Again:

Until reform of the entire Ordo Missae, the points that follow are to be observed: 

The most striking of these 'points' are that the vernacular is allowed for most of Mass (the rest followed two years later), a number of silent prayers are said aloud, the Psalm Iudica in the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, and the Last Gospel (and Leonine Prayers), have gone, and Mass is encouraged facing the people. It is interesting to note that, apart from the 'wider use of the Vernacular', none of these changes find direct support from the Council.

Rubrics erased in 1967


On these changes, what can one say? The animus against silence in the liturgy has undergone a complete reversal since 1965. Pope Benedict pointed out in one of his World Communication Day messages that

It is often in silence, for example, that we observe the most authentic communication taking place...

In the Spirit of the Liturgy he says, of the silent prayers of the Mass,

The number of these priestly prayers has been greatly reduced in the liturgical reform, but, thank God, they do exist.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement of 1965. (And see the FIUV Position Paper.)


Mass versus populum is, perhaps the aspect of on the reform which has come under the most sustained attack by those otherwise committed to the 1970 Missal. Cardinal Ratzinger's critique in The Spirit of the Liturgy is simply blistering. The FIUV Position Paper refers to a remarkable sermon of Cardinal Schönborn, preached to Pope John Paul II, all about the importance of worship 'obviam sponso', facing East: and Schönborn is no trad. Fr Michael Lang's book on the subject, with a foreword by Cardinal Ratzinger, reveals the seriously deficient historical scholarship which was used to support the versus populum position.

The Psalm Iudica and the Last Gospel are now back in the liturgy of the Anglican Ordinariate. The consensus of the 1950s and early 1960s that these were useless accretions to the operative Eucharistic liturgy has collapsed, even in the Congregation for Divine Worship.


On each of these issues the old consensus was based on a functionalist approach to the liturgy. You identify what the liturgy does, and clear out the bits which don't do it. The same era gave us functionalism in other areas of life too: functionalist buildings which eschewed decoration or even elegance, because these things aren't necessary for a building's function of keeping you warm and dry. It wouldn't be such a stupid idea if the theorists didn't have such a narrow view of functions. (Is that really all that buildings do?) But it's old hat now, in any case: it belongs in the history books. Are we really going to live by the discarded theories of the 1960s? Can't we benefit from all the scholarship which has been done since then?

Fr Kirby suggests that at the time the 1965 changes were understood as 'the reform', complete, but this is contradicted by the very text of the document implementing it, and by the fact that no new edition of the Missal was printed. He quotes the then Cardinal Secretary of State Cicognani as saying that: “The singular characteristic and primary importance of this new edition is that it [the revisions of 1965] reflects completely the intent of the Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.” Unless he was being deliberately misleading, or had been misled, Cicognani must surely have meant 'as far as it goes.'


Last Gospel: crossed out in 1965
Indeed, the poor mugs in the pews were deliberately misled by Cardinal Heenan (as he later admitted) to stop them rioting. But in those days ordinary Catholics did not have easy access to the official documents.


Again I have to disagree with Fr Kirby and Fr Somerville-Knapman about 1965's connection with the norms of the Council. As already noted it goes beyond them in some ways; in others it doesn't fulfil them. For example it hadn't caught up with the multi-year lectionary which SC explicitly mentions. Again, changes later justified by reference to the Council's talk of 'noble simplicity' and texts 'not difficult to understand', and the rejection of 'useless repetition', have not been applied in 1965; some came in 1967.

But it is no mystery why. 1965 represents not a purer level of the reform, before the bad people took over. It represents exactly what it says it represents: those changes which were easiest to implement, from a purely practical point of view. It didn't require the printing of a new Missal, the approval of new texts, or the construction of a complicated multi-year lectionary. It just needed few minutes annotating the old Altar Missal with a felt-tip pen. When Inter Oecumenici was issued work on the 'entire Ordo Missae' was already in progress. For example, the principles of the new lectionary were decided at a meeting of the Concilium in April 1964. Fathers! Get out your copies of Bugnini's Reform of the Liturgy and see for yourselves. It is recorded on p410.

-----------------



As I noted at the start of this post, a major motivation for seeking solace in 1965, as with the whole Reform of the Reform movement, is the idea that, because the Council called for liturgical reform, we are obliged to show our loyalty to the Council by having a reform of some kind, even if it not the kind which actually happened. The loyalty to Mother Church here is noble, and I don't want to criticise that. But we must keep in mind two things.

First, the Council's Sacrosanctum Concilium is a compromise between what quite radical reformers wanted, and what the Fathers of the Council would accept. (The radicals were already practicing versus populum, handshakes at the kiss of peace, wide use of the vernacular and so on.) This means that we are never going to establish to everyone's satisfaction what the clear meaning of the document is.

Second, any proposal for reform is necessarily a matter of prudential judgement. The Council Fathers were not stupid, and their advisers were not evil. They were nevertheless subject to all the difficulties involved in hugely complex prudential judgements, where the ultimate consequences of different proposals are impossible to predict. The type of reform envisaged was something, remember, that the Church had never before attempted.

A massacre of signs of the cross in 1967,
and changes to the Words of Consecration
in 1969


In sum, we are not obliged under pain of sin to undertake a reform of the 1962 books because it was called for by the Council. If that were the case, Pope Benedict's Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum would have been impossible. He not only allows us to continue to enjoy the ancient liturgy, but, in the letter accompanying it, he actually places an obligation upon us:

It behoves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place. 

Photos: a mutilated Altar Missal, which I happen to own; there are many such in circulation, sadly unusable for liturgy. The owner tried to keep up with Inter Oecumenici in 1965, and Tres annos abhinc in 1967, and even the changes to the Roman Canon in 1969. The 1967 changes eliminated almost all the genuflections, signs of the cross, and the kissings of the Altar.


[Note: This is a stand-alone version of the concluding post of a series I have done on my personal blog, under this label. Due to its particular relevance in defence of the integrity of the 1962 Missal, it is also published here.]

POPE TO CHRISTIANS: PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH


I believe the multi-national worldwide news and entertainment conglomerate doesn't know how to deal with Pope Francis. They certainly knew how to deal with Pope Benedict and Catholics were nonplussed by the media's denigration of His Holiness because the media knew that Pope Benedict did not receive the same adulation and cult of the personality acclaim as his predecessor, Blessed Pope John Paul II. Now we have a similarly popular pope, whose cult of the personality is at the same time somewhat the same but also somewhat radically different than Blessed Pope John Paul II.

It is not easy for the multi-national news and entertainment media to attack this pope and in fact they have been adoring him but through a sinister manipulation of His Holiness' words and actions and quoting His Holiness out of context.

Is Pope Francis a genius in this regard or is His Holiness simply being himself thus causing this sort of reaction amongst those in the worldwide news and entertainment industry who promote a political and moral agenda completely opposed to the Church's?

I know Pope Francis is a divisive figure for traditionalists but with the stereotypically typical  progressive, heterodox Catholics who rely on emotions to support their perspective and heterodoxy, they are down right giddy, like the liberal press. But they ignore what this Pope actually says and teaches in more formal settings while fixating on the informal things that the Holy Father does that seems to support their agenda, but does it really and just where does the Magisterium of Pope Francis really lie, in the informal or the formal, in the context of both, or in isolated cherry-picking? I report; you decide. Fair and balanced!

 

Pope to Christians: Practice what you preach



(Vatican Radio) The incoherent Christian gives scandal, and scandal kills: those were the very strong words Pope Francis used today in his homily at Mass at the Casa Santa Marta.

The Holy Father took his cue from a Confirmation administered during the Mass. The person who receives this Sacrament, Pope Francis said, “manifested the desire to be a Christian. To be Christian means to bear witness to Jesus Christ.” A Christian is a person who “thinks like a Christian, feels like a Christian and acts like a Christian. And this is coherency in the life of a Christian. Someone can be said to have faith, “but if one of these things is missing, he is not a Christian, there’s something wrong, there’s a certain incoherence. And Christians “who ordinarily, commonly live in incoherence, do so much harm”:

“We heard what the Apostle Saint James says to some incoherent people who boasted of being Christian, but took advantage of their employees. He says, ‘Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.’ The Lord strong. If one hears this, someone might think: ‘But a communist has said this!’ No, no, the Apostle James said it! It is the Word of the Lord. It’s incoherent. And when there is no Christian coherency, and you live with this incoherence, you’re giving scandal. And the Christians that are not coherent are giving scandal.”
Jesus, the Pope said, “speaks so strongly against scandal: Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me,’ even one of these brothers, these sisters that have faith, ‘it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.’” An incoherent Christian, he said, “does so much harm. Scandal kills.” He continued, “So many times we’ve heard ‘But Father, I believe in God, but not in the Church, because you Christians say one thing and do another.’ And also, ‘I believe in God, but not in you.’” This, he said, “Is because of inconsistency:

“If you find yourself in front of – imagine! - in front of an atheist and he tells you he doesn’t believe in God, you can read him a whole library, where it says that God exists and even proving that God exists, and he will not have faith. But if in the presence of this atheist you bear coherent witness of Christian life, something will begin to work in his heart. It will be your witness that that he will bring this restlessness on which the Holy Spirit works. It’s a grace that we all, the whole Church must ask for: ‘Lord, [grant] that we might be coherent.’”

And so, the Pope concludes, we must pray, because to live in a coherent Christian way, prayer is necessary; because Christian coherency is a gift from God and we must ask for it. “Lord, grant that I might be consistent! Lord, grant that I might never cause scandal, that I might be a person who thinks like a Christian, who feels like a Christian, who acts like a Christian.” And when we fall because of our weakness, let us ask for forgiveness:

“We are all sinners, all of us, but we all have the ability to ask for forgiveness. And He never gets tired of forgiving! Have the humility to ask for forgiveness: ‘Lord, I have not been consistent here. Forgive me!’ Go forward in life with Christian coherence, with the witness of one who believes in Jesus Christ, who knows that he is a sinner, but who has the courage to ask for forgiveness when he makes mistakes and who so afraid of giving scandal. May the Lord give this grace to all of us.



Text from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/02/27/pope_to_christians:_practice_what_you_preach/en1-776949
of the Vatican Radio website

HERE'S THE ANTI-CHRIST AGENDA OF THE ENGINEERS OF SOCIAL CHANGE

At the end of this post is a short video clip of Frontline's "Secrets of the Vatican" expose. It will show clearly the agenda of the news and entertainment conglomerate, not to assist the Church in cleaning up immorality, but rather to undercut the Church's teaching on sexual immorality and push the agenda to make moral the immoral lives of the priests showcased in secret so they can become role models for the world and thus promote the homosexual lobby's worldwide agenda.

So much of the social change in our culture, some good, some bad has been engineered by the social media, especially those who control the news and entertainment of the world. This conglomerate is powerful and they know it.

Their power for good can be immense. Their power for evil is even more immense when their agenda opposes the truths of God in the moral realm or there is a cafeteria picking and choosing of what moral agenda they will push. Often times to undercut the opposition to their agenda, they will denigrate those who uphold and teach the opposing view.

And thus it is with the Church, the Holy Catholic Church. The Catholic Church's Head, Jesus Christ, opposes some, not all, of the agenda of this huge worldwide conglomerate that is the news and entertainment multi-national. And worldly they are.

In the clip from Frontline's Ambush Entertainment Show, Secrets of the Vatican, you can see the agenda at work.

At first, you would think that this clip is decrying the moral corruptness of the priests, bishops and cardinals for not living up to what they are vowed or promised to do in the area of celibate chastity--that there is shock and disgust at those who allegedly (with evidence that would not hold up in a court of law because it is hearsay and those who testify are not balanced with those who are morally upright); but no, the moral outrage is that the Church has moral teachings that prevent the immoral priests from living their lives openly and being a role model for others to do so also.

And that's the agenda! PBS's Frontline could care less if all of this immorality were to be approved by the  Church. That homosexual priests could be as promiscuous and corrupt as they please if they could do it openly and without guilt or repercussions. They want the immoral to become moral and to be a role model for others. That is what I glean from this video clip. That's the agenda folks!

Unlike the homosexual lobby in the news and media conglomerate who is pushing their agenda for the acceptance of a lifestyle that is in direct opposition to the teachings of Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and thus anti-Chirst, there is no lobby of adulterers or adulteresses promoting a similar agenda, at least for now.

If they did and those denominations that do not allow their married clergy to be adulterers, could we see a similar piece from Frontline showing moral outrage at those married clergy who uphold fidelity in marriage, yet they themselves live secret lives of adultery. Wouldn't it be better to simply accept adultery and allow them to live it openly and be a role model for others in this regard?

Do you detect the anti-Christ agenda in the PBS Clip (and no the anti-Christ agenda isn't the sin and corruption of some of the clergy, it is the agenda to normalize this sin and corruption to make it moral and a role model):


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

FRONT LINE NEEDS TO BE RENAMED CROSSING THE LINE


I viewed PBS's Frontline show "Secrets of the Vatican" on Tuesday night. Barf! The story from Catholic News Service sums it up. I am not saying that the scandals in the Church shouldn't be fodder for news investigation stories, but when it turns this tragedy into a show for entertainment purposes, skewing good reporting skills, and being fair and balanced, one should call it for what it is, "yellow journalism."

As well, in terms of making it entertainment, the narrator narrated in a "DaVinci Code" sort of voice. I thought I was watching something Opie Taylor produced!

But apart from this yellow journalism used for entertainment purposes and the agenda to continue to use the scandals and sins of the past 50 years and beyond and neglecting entirely the progress that has been made to safeguard our children and teenagers from predators, the bishops of the Church created this mess through their mismanagement of this scandal and the rest of us, clergy and laity have to live with it and the humiliation and denigration it has brought to the Body of Christ. We know what sins does to victims and the Church at large.

As a side note, the day that PBS was at the North American College to interview some of the seminarians there, I was there! In fact I think I am in one quick shot of seminarians and others heading for the Italian dining room for Pranzo (lunch/dinner). I saw a classmate of mine but didn't have enough time to look for yours truly.

Here is Catholic News Service critique of the PBS entertainment show "Frontline":


TV REVIEW Feb-19-2014 (900 words) xxxm

"Secrets of the Vatican" documentary on PBS is sloppy, one-sided

By John Mulderig
Catholic News Service

NEW YORK (CNS) -- The historic resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the headline-grabbing start of his successor's ministry are certainly events worthy of close and careful analysis.

Unfortunately, "Secrets of the Vatican," a PBS documentary purporting to provide just such an examination, turns out to be, in large part, both sloppy and one-sided.

A "Frontline" presentation, Antony Thomas' film premieres Tuesday, Feb. 25, 10-11:30 p.m. EST (check local listings).


The sun colors the sky over the dome of St. Peter's Basilica during sunset at the Vatican. (CNS/Paul Haring)
Thomas identifies three primary causes for Pope Benedict's retirement, all of them scandalous: the plague of clergy sexual abuse, financial shenanigans at the Institute for the Works of Religion, aka the Vatican Bank, and the damaging release of secret documents that has come to be known as "Vatileaks." It's Thomas' treatment of clergy sexual abuse that suffers the most from factual lapses -- and that also displays the most bias.

An early indication that scrupulous attention to detail is not on the agenda here -- and that an appealing Pope Francis is to be implicitly contrasted with his unacceptable predecessor -- comes with the statement that the current pontiff was elected after "one of the shortest conclaves ever." Yet the 2005 gathering of cardinals that selected Pope Benedict was just as brief; in fact, it ended about an hour sooner.

Familiarity with recent church history would suggest, moreover, that quick conclaves have become the norm rather than the exception. Since 1922, none has lasted more than three days.

Along the same lines, the narrative informs us that then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was responsible for disciplinary matters concerning priests for 24 years. Although that was the duration of his tenure as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, that congregation was only explicitly assigned jurisdiction over cases of sexual abuse in 2001.

We also learn that the academically focused Cardinal Ratzinger was an unsuitable choice for the papacy because he had "no pastoral experience." This ignores the fact that the future pope served as archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany, from 1977 to 1982.

Of those interviewed in connection with the terrible crimes committed by some clergy, none speaks on behalf of the church. Instead, all are reliably dogged critics, including lawyer Jeff Anderson, who specializes in bringing suit against the church. Not surprisingly, their outlook is less than balanced.

Much attention is devoted to the monstrous behavior of Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, the Mexican-born founder of the Legionaries of Christ.

Father Maciel's ability to conceal his wrongdoing is attributed to the priest's skill as a fundraiser who put "lots of money in the Vatican's coffers." If anything, Father Maciel's influence within the church more likely stemmed from the fact that his rapidly expanding order was remarkable for its success in nurturing priestly vocations. Though this aspect of the matter is referred to in passing, its significance is downplayed.

By the time Father Maciel's double life finally was revealed, he was 86. Accordingly, instead of being subjected to an ecclesiastical trial, he was removed from all forms of ministry and enjoined -- not, as journalist Robert Mickens would have it, "invited" -- to live a life of penitence and prayer. This, of course, is presented as nothing but a whitewash.

The narrative also overlooks the fact that the Legionaries have acknowledged their founder's crimes and apologized to his victims. They have also been subjected to an apostolic visitation and a fundamental reform designed to purify their order of Father Maciel's influence while maintaining the positive elements of its mission. Instead of this, says Mickens, the Legionaries "should have been disbanded."

If Mickens paints with a broad brush, Anderson trifles with absurdity when he claims, "Every action taken by every bishop, archbishop and cardinal in connection with sexual abuse is effectively orchestrated and controlled by the Vatican." Since there are currently about 3,100 dioceses in the world, such a level of micromanagement would indeed be astounding.

The film also resurrects discredited accusations against Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York who, while archbishop of Milwaukee, assigned substantial funds to a trust for the perpetual care of Catholic cemeteries. This is portrayed as a blatant attempt to shield the money so that it would not have to be paid out to abuse victims. The fact that a court of law subsequently vindicated the cardinal's actions is mentioned, but treated as far from conclusive or dispositive.

Things become somewhat more evenhanded, though only marginally less depressing for Catholic viewers, when Thomas moves on to financial corruption and the Vatileaks revelations.

But a sustained attack on the church's teaching against homosexual acts -- and on its requirement of celibacy for Latin-rite priests -- skews the treatment of the alleged "gay lobby" within the Curia.

And darts continue to be thrown at Pope Benedict. He's accused of "engineering a change in the Catechism (of the Catholic Church)" in order to include in it an assessment of sexual activity between persons of the same gender as "intrinsically disordered." Since the text of the catechism itself accurately attributes this judgment to "tradition" -- a tradition firmly rooted in Scripture, as even a cursory reading of St. Paul's letters would show -- such an intervention seems superfluous as well as unlikely.

"Secrets of the Vatican" represents a squandered opportunity to inform television audiences about the very real problems facing the church and its new leader, a potentially valuable overview blinded by worldly values, preconceptions and prejudices.

- - -

Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service. More reviews are available online at www.usccb.org/movies.

IS IT TIME TO REVISIT THE QUIET DEVOTIONAL PRAYERS OF THE PRIEST AND HIS IMMEDIATE MINISTERS?


The reform of the 1962 Missal brought about in specific ways, with a specific theology, was accomplished through the papal committee of Consilium. Part of this reform was to show forth not only the priesthood of the ordained but also the priesthood of all the baptized. There is nothing new in the doctrine of the priestly character of all the baptized. However, prior to the Council, it was not much discussed or promoted.

For some reason, the designers of the new Mass, went backwards to the early forms of the Mass in the time of the Fathers (a radical form of pre-any ecumenical council). Of course when we go backwards to the early Church, especially when the Church was outlawed and persecuted, we will find a stripped down, underdeveloped form of the Mass. We will find only the nuts and bolts and no organic development that came about both in the east and the west and in differing cultural contexts but on a similar trajectory in terms of adding the ceremonies of the court (state) and making the liturgy more regal, public and distinctive when the Church was freed to worship in the public square.

It was in this period that prayers were added, especially those private, quiet, beautiful devotional prayers of the priest and also books developed to standardize the Mass in various regions of the Church. The Council of Trent ordered the most widespread standardization of the Mass into the Latin Rite Missal that the pope would issue subsequent to that great reforming Council.

This Mass of Trent, that is a culmination of various traditions in the Latin Rite kept a certain healthy "clericalism" in terms of the piety, spirituality, devotion and art of personal prayer of the priest in the Roman Missal itself.

These quiet, clerical prayers, not intended to diminish the laity's dignity, included the following:

The Preparatory devotional prayers of the priest and his immediate ministers at the Foot of the Altar as private devotion prayed publicly prior to  approaching the altar. As this was happening, the norm of the sung Mass had the schola chanting the Entrance Chant, or Introit, which was the actual beginning of the Mass (not the priests private, devotional prayers that he recited with his immediate ministers during this time).

Then the priest enters  approaches the altar, praying quietly, "take away from us our iniquities...that with pure minds we may worthily enter into the Holy of Holies...

Then kissing the altar, the priest says quietly "We beseech thee, O Lord, by the merits of Thy Saints, whose relics are here, and of all the Saints, that Thou wilt deign to pardon me all my sins. Amen." This private, devotional prayer is said silently as the Introit is chanted, it being the actual beginning of the Mass.

So the legitimate question is, why in the name of God and all that is holy, given the position of leadership and sanctity required for the priest for his unique and necessary presence for the celebration of Mass, were these private prayers said quietly but nonetheless publicly opposed by the masters of Consilium? Why do the laity either need to hear and participate in them, or  if Consilium determined these devotional prayers of the priest are not a technical part of the Mass for the laity, then it would be necessary to eliminate these quiet devotional prayers of the priest and his immediate ministers since it was not advisable for the laity to pray these too? What was the point of that other than the  unwholesome false egalitarianism that entered the spirit of those redesigning the Mass and going backwards in time to justify their elimination of these unique, devotional prayers of the priest?

Fortunately no other quiet and devotional prayers are removed (accept the psalm recited quietly if the priest incensed the altar both at the beginning and offertory) until the revision of the Offertory Prayers which now is known as the Preparation of the Offerings.

The Offertory of the Mass was completely redesigned by going backwards to the time of the Fathers to a paring down of this part of the Mass. Consilium seem to think that the Offertory Prayers acted as a sort of duplication of the actual offering that Christ does of Himself during the Canon.

Consilium either did not know or were completely oblivious (or knowingly misrepresented)  that the priest, as a baptized human being and not in persona Christi, offers the bread and wine as bread and wine on behalf of himself and the lay baptized for it to become later in the Canon, not the offertory,  "transubstantiated" meaning the Body and Blood of Christ (brought about not in the offertory which has the priest offering only bread and wine) but in the Canon where Christ, acting sacramentally in the ordained priest beginning with the Epiclesis and words of consecration changes the substance of the bread and wine into His Body and Blood. Then after the Consecration, the High Priest, Jesus Christ, acting in the person of the sacramental priest during the Anemesis, offers Himself as Priest and Victim, but in an unbloody way, in a re-presentation (memorial) of the actual one Sacrifice of our Lord at Calvary, perpetuated eternally in every Mass until the Lord returns at the end of time.

In other words there is a big difference in what is being offered  in the Offertory of the Mass and Who is being offered in the Canon! There is also a huge difference in terms of who is do the offering in the Offertory and Who is offering Himself after the Consecration!

If one understands the difference between the sacramental priest offering ordinary bread and wine to God in order that His Son may then change it later in the Canon of the Mass into Himself, then there is no reason why the traditional Offertory Prayers could not be recovered since these were removed for the wrong reasons. In the Offertory with its traditional calling of the Holy Spirit to bless the bread and wine, not to become Christ, but to prepare these to become Christ, is completely reasonable to retain.

The biblical aspects of the 1962's Missal of the blessing of the water prayer terribly deformed in the revision with the blessing of the water eliminated altogether, should be returned.

The longer lavabo with its biblical imagery should also return. These are devotional in terms of being said quietly as are all of the Offertory Prayers, but that does not negate their importance in terms of retaining them or recovering these.

I think one can make a good case that the Prayer over the Offering (Secret) and the Canon are not devotional prayers of the priest and thus should be spoken in a raised voiced for all to hear.

The other quiet devotional prayers of the priest removed by Consilium for corrupt purposes are the quiet prayers of the priest following the Pater Noster which include:

"Libera Nos..."

"Panen caelestem...I will take the Bread of Heaven and will call upon the name of the Lord.

"Quid retribuam (what return shall I make) prior to the priest receiving from the chalice
the fuller "abultion" private prayers of the priest

Then following the Post Communion Prayer, these private prayers of the priest eliminated in the reform should be restored:

The Placeat Tibi, Sancta Trinitas (May the tribute of my homage...)

All of the above devotional prayers could be added in the Ordinary Form's missal retaining all the other prayers, prefaces, Eucharistic Prayers and new orations.

REALISM AND LITURGICAL RENEWAL

Same Ordinary Form Mass, two valid ways of the "art of celebrating" this form as the Church allows:

I have always cautioned against making the Liturgy, any liturgy, OF, EF, Anglican Ordinariate, Eastern Rite into an idol and turning into an ideology any aspect of the various Masses to the neglect of what these Masses actually are.

God at all the valid Masses, even those that might be illicit, but valid, gathers the baptized people of God including their indispensable ordained priest from their midst and joins them to the Head of His Church, Jesus Christ, Bridegroom and High Priest and makes visible on the parochial level the Church, the Body of Christ with Christ Her Head.

In that context and in the context of prayer and thanksgiving, God makes His Word known to us in the Liturgy of the Word. Following that, God makes present in the ordinary bread and wine the priest offers on his behalf and on behalf all the baptized, the Real Presence of His Glorified crucified and risen Son which occurs after the Epiclesis and consecration of the offerings. Then the offerings become the Offering, Jesus Christ as in an unbloody way Christ Himself offers Himself to the Father as a Sacrifice for our Sins. The One Sacrifice of Calvary is re-presented to us and to the Father as the only means of our salvation. The Father accepts, of course, this one Sacrifice of His beloved Son and in the resurrection return Him to us for our salvation on the third day and in every Mass and ultimately at the Second Coming which the Holy Sacrifice anticipates.

Our communion in the Body and Blood of Christ is God's way of strengthening the bond He created with us through Holy Baptism that made us members of the Body of Christ. We for our part willingly cooperate in God's plan of uniting us to Himself through the Church by being present for the Sacrifice and worthily receiving the Body and Blood of Christ.

We are then sent to live our faith as is our calling at home, work, recreation and in the public square.

The Church gives us the liturgy and we have several forms all of which have laws that govern its proper celebration.

Each Catholic parish and community throughout the world must be faithful to what the Church requires and strive to make the Liturgy as beautiful as possible within the context of the General Instruction of each Missal and its rubrics.

But also the "art of celebrating" the Mass applies specifically to the priest who has the responsibility of assuring that each Mass is beautifully celebrated and that the congregation understands its part in the "art of participating" in the Sacred Mysteries in an actual way.

I doubt there will be any actual changes to the Ordinary Form of the Mass or the Extraordinary Form of the Mass any time soon. We can predict what might change in terms or Order, rubrics and additions or deletions, but none of us really know for sure.

The renewal of the current Ordinary Form of the Mass has more to do with what is in our power and control. This involves the quality of Sacred Chant, Chanting the Mass and its propers and making sure any "filler" Sacred Music is in continuity with the reverence, piety, devotion and spirituality of the Mass handed on to us, especially in the Latin Rite, from the time before the Second Vatican Council.

We can control the choreography of the Mass, the beauty and cleanliness of vestments and others vesture and call everyone to a truly traditional Catholic piety and reverence during the Mass.

We can't, however, change the Order of the Mass, in any form, or the words of the Mass, in any form, or the rubrics and General Instruction of the Mass in any form. We can recommend and speculate about it, but we have now power or control over changing anything to our own sensibilities.

Ultimately, however, the pastor and priests of a parish must be pastoral and not yank the laity around with their own ideosyncrasies. Progressives continually do that and now so too are traditionalists.

The only way to prevent the cult of the personality and the absurdity of treating the Mass as one's own toy in a childish way is the "say the black and do the red." It also means making room for options that allowed in any form of the Mass. This includes kneeling or standing for Holy Communion, Holy Communion either on the hand or in the mouth, under one form or both,  the Mass celebrated facing the congregation or facing the liturgical east and allowing the laity, men and women, boys and girls to participate in the roles of altar server and reader as well as Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. 

Only when an option is banned by the bishop or changed by Rome should we thus eliminate that option or change what the parish's practice is.


IT DOES APPEAR THAT SOMEONE AT THE VATICAN DOES READ CONSPIRACY THEORIES ABOUT POPE BENEDICT'S RESIGNATION AND EVIDENTLY IT IS POPE BENEDICT!

I even posted something on conspiracy theories concerning Pope Benedict yesterday and today His Holiness, himself, responds on the Vatican Radio Internet site! You can hear the Vatican Radio Report HERE or read it below:

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI: Theories surrounding resignation are 'absurd'



(Vatican Radio) The Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI has lamented what he calls “absurd speculations” about his resignation in a letter to Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli, of the newspaper La Stampa. The Pope-emeritus was responding to a question about recent newspaper theories surrounding the validity of his resignation one year ago.

“There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry,” Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI wrote. He said the only condition for the validity of his resignation was the complete freedom of his decision. He called speculation regarding its validity “simply absurd.”

He also clarified he continued to wear the white cassock and kept the name Benedict for “purely practical reasons,” noting that at the moment of his resignation there were no other clothes available.

In any case, he added that he wears the white cassock in a visibly different way to how the reigning Pope wears it. He called questions about his attire another case of “completely unfounded speculation”.

The Pope-emeritus also confirmed the accuracy of media reports about another letter he wrote to a friend. In that letter, he said he is “grateful to be bound by a great identity of views and a heartfelt friendship with Pope Francis”, and sees his “last and final job to support his pontificate with prayer.”



Text from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/02/26/pope-emeritus_benedict_xvi:_theories_surrounding_resignation_are/en1-776540
of the Vatican Radio website