Sunday, May 17, 2015



Of course a parish Mass could never celebrate a canonization Mass like this morning's Canonization Mass in Rome with Pope Francis. It is primarily in Latin.

But the Mass itself, with its vestments, altar arrangement, lay ministers,  its chants (all of them to include the Latin Propers) would be possible to one extent or another in most parishes if a concerted effort were made to do this rather than the banal, superficial, hyped-up stuff that is currently done in so many places with "in you face" "want to be showmen" performing as on a stage of entertainment. Put them in the choir loft for God's sake!

The chanting and Sistine Choir are truly improving under Pope Francis and the chants are beautiful:


Archbishop ?????????????  is well known for his outspoken comments and liberal perspectives on various aspects of the contemporary Catholic Church, including that of liturgy. His  article,  is arguably a devastating critique of the current state of the liturgy in the Western Rite of the Catholic Church.

His critique is particularly significant because it comes from one who was in the forefront of implementing in the United States the liturgical reforms that followed Vatican II.

???????? begins his article with the perceptive observation that disputes about the Church's liturgy are such that "something that should be a point of unity in the church, the Eucharist, has now become the most conspicuous point of disagreement and tension". He advocates dialogue between the various factions, which he divides into three broad categories, each of which he then critiques.

 The Archbishop devotes the bulk of his analysis to the category to which he claims membership - "Those seeking to better the reform". This group, he says, believes that the liturgical reforms that have followed Vatican II are the product of and a true expression of the liturgical reforms which the Council called for.

His critique is divided into two sections: "Questions of a Theological Nature," followed by "Other Less Theological Questions". In the latter section, the Archbishop raises problems posed by some celebrants. Now that the vast majority of Masses are said facing the people, many celebrants have fallen into what he describes as "a lifeless rubricism" or have "injected so much of their idiosyncratic mannerisms into the liturgy that it became truly disturbing. Many adopted a kind of colloquial style that was and is unbefitting the liturgical movement".

The archbishop (this was written before the glorious new English translation of the Mass) then acknowledges the divisive nature of the translations of the liturgical texts and seems to concede that many of the translations are defective: "But have these translations consequently fallen into a triteness and at times distorted or made ambiguous the meaning of the [Latin] original?"

The archbishop points to the poor quality of much contemporary Church music: "Unfortunately, most of the new music created for the liturgy has been and continues to be trite in both musical form and text, more fit for the theatre and the pub than for church ... Children learn no consistent repertoire of liturgical music that belongs to the Catholic tradition and that will serve them for their whole lives".

More damning, though, are the archbishop's "Questions of a Theological Nature". He suggests that too many liturgical celebrations emphasize the human element at the expense of the Divine: "Has the reform respected the nature of sacramentality as a free gift from God, as a 'given', or have our people drifted into a more horizontal and purely human activity"? (Sounds like Pope Benedict, no? But it isn't)

The Archbishop argues that this "desacrilisation" is caused partially by "creativity", that is, "do it yourself" prayers, readings, etc, which have created the impression that being as creative as possible, rather than the worship of God, is the focus of the liturgy: "Has the community or parish at times distorted the rite by seeking to do its 'own thing' - as creative as it may have seemed to the assembled group or the specialists who guided it - and thus lost contact with the living tradition of the universal Church itself?" He observes further: "Unfortunately, many of these adaptations  are accompanied by little knowledge of liturgy and its essential nature".

Real Presence

Most striking is his following question: "Has the reform at times led to a diminution of respect for and belief in the real presence in the Eucharist?" He points in particular to "the tendency to stand, not kneel, no more genuflections, the placement of the tabernacle in the church away from the central axis [and] the abuses concerning care for the Eucharist after Mass, and so on".

The Archbishop queries, among other things, the role of the sign of peace when it becomes "a moment for greeting everyone in the church - to the detriment of the symbol and breaking the liturgical moment of preparation for Holy Communion." All too many Novus Ordo celebrations, he concludes, "have reduced the sense of the transcendent and an appreciation for God's presence and role in the liturgy".

Does the Novus Ordo of itself convey a lack of transcendence and appreciation of God's presence, as many of those who argue for a "Reform of the Reform" allege; or is this lack of a sense of the transcendent, as the archbishop argues, merely the by-product of the manner in which the Novus Ordo is celebrated?



Vox Cantoris said...

It was the sodomite who paid nearly half a million dollars of the widow's mite to his lover to shut him up. However that didn't work and he was outed on Good Morning America. He defied the Pope with the destructive wreckovation of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist and to this day, defies the truth and rejoices in his sodomy.

Rembert Weakland!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Vox, don't hold back, in Christian charity tell us what you really think about this poor miserable sinner who was outed.

I guess the Last Judgment will see us all being humiliated by one another as others pick apart our personal sins only to have it boomerang back onto us.

The Jolly Jansenist said...

So, then, Fr, all is permitted…grace covers all. Welcome to the First Baptist Church.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Non capisco! Do we call people by their particular sin when it is exposed and technically should be in the secret of confession? Do we call people birth controllers, condomnites, masturbatorites, and how specific do we get with heterosexuals who are sodomites too, meaning they commit sodomy with a member of the opposite sex and then which sodomy do we illustrate?

In Christian charity, what good does it do just to single out homosexual sodomites when heterosexuals who have an option do it as well with members of the opposite sex?

The Jolly Jansenist said...

Frequenti facit cum multi animalia, saepe cum Obibus seu rara cum Tigris.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Bestialityite? But not tigerite? Cant' we just get along and call us all mortal sinners?

jolly jansenist said...

The Church recognizes degrees of sin, as well as the fact that some sins are worse than others. Protestantism views all sins as equal…even the smallest sin is a stain on the Holiness of God, therefore the more amazing is God's grace and Christ's mercy. In fact, I like this extreme Augustinianism to a point but, carried too far, it leads to universalism and indifferentism.

rcg said...

I suppose the lesson here, if there is one, is that the endorsement or rejection of a particular form of Mass does not mean everything the person does is worth emulating. We called that the "halo effect" in the military.

Today's lesson, the reading form the acts of the apostles, said that we should listen to each other with charity, that it covers a multitude of sins. `

George said...

Vox is being uncharitable, true. At least it can be said of him that he is not engaging in falsehood or detraction. Archbishop Weakland's sin was compounded by the great scandal it caused. We should include him and others like him in our prayers of course.I don't know what the current state of the Archbishop's soul is. Hopefully he is where God wants him to be.
All sexual sins which are not in accord with what God intended and requires of us are serious, whether committed by heterosexuals or homosexuals. At least the heterosexuals can avail themselves of sexual acts which are licit. That is not something homosexuals, if they remain such, can do. So in addition to the sin, scandal for them is always in attendance..

Dialogue said...

Of the several offenses Vox Cantoris mentions, why is only his mention of Sodomy in question? He, after all, is not the one who introduced into public discussion the topic of this wayward bishop.

Vox Cantoris said...

I am guilty of a lack of charity towards Weakland and I have my own sins.

Weakland scandalised the Church and the people of Milwaukee. We have today a bishop that calls Mary Magadalene a Lesbian and an "apostle" gay.

It just continues.

But yes, I indeed was uncharitable.

jolly jansenist said...

Yes, Vox, and many, many more devout Catholics need to begin being uncharitable towards the apostates in our midst.

John Nolan said...


I can't make sense of your Latin. Shouldn't the adverbs be 'frequenter' and 'raro'? Since 'cum' governs the abative, shouldn't you have said 'cum multis animalibus'? 'Animalia' is nominative and accusative plural and 'multi' wouldn't fit anyway. 'Tigris' is the nominative and genitive singular of the Latin word for tiger, not the ablative plural which would follow 'cum'. 'Obibus' I've never heard of - did you mean 'ovibus'? 'Seu' in this context should be 'sed'.

Come to think of it this bears all the hallmarks of Google Translate. Getting three words out of ten right is actually better than their usual effort. Never, ever, use it for Latin.

jolly jansenist said...

No, John, it is from a plaque I saw once on a wall in grad school. Obibus, I believe is sheep. It is supposed to say, "It is frequently done with many animals, often with sheep but rarely with tigers." I am sure it was taken out of context as a smutty little joke. Sorry for the smutty little Latin…I only had two years in HS.

John Nolan said...

'Frequenter cum multis animalibus facitur, saepe cum ovibus sed raro cum tigribus.'

Not exactly Horace I admit, but I hope grammatically correct!

jolly jansenist said...

John, Thank you very much. We must be precise in our allusions to bestiality…LOL.