Sunday, May 8, 2016

STAYING FOCUSED ON SOUND TRADITION DESPITE AMBIGUITY IN OTHER AREAS

There is so much negativity out there toward Pope Francis from a small minority of bloggers and commeters on blogs that one fails to see the good that is coming from this pontificate.

For the most part, I think the reactionaries could have been neutralized by this pope if His Holiness had not appeared as such a bleak break from Pope Benedict. I think many saw his first actions from the moment Pope Francis stepped out onto the balcony and into his first week as a repudiation of the rebuilding of Catholic tradition by Pope Benedict. This has created anger and division in the traditional community that could have been and should have been avoided.

But with that said, let's focus on the things that Pope Francis has promoted that are traditional and bode well for the future of local parishes if bishops, priests, deacons and religious, not to mention the laity take the ball and run with it.

I would say the number one thing that Pope Francis is recovering is the popular use of the Sacrament of Confession. He has emphasized it over and over and over again and has modeled going to confession himself and publicly as well as hearing confessions as any priest would do.

One has to keep in mind that the 1970's brand of progressive theologians were happy to see this Sacrament fall into decline as it was a stumbling block for the ecumenical reunification of the Church movement. They promote absolution during general confession within the penitential act of the Mass or a General Absolution in a communal celebration of the Sacrament without auricular confession.

Pope Francis has completely ignored the General Absolution ideology! 

With Pope Francis new emphasis and leadership in auricular Confession one cannot go to confession if one does not know what to confess. All priests know from personal experience and from hearing about it that most people have habitual sins they seem not to be able to avoid or overcome quickly. We counsel them to bring these to confession frequently and not wait until they have conquered them to once and for all finish with confessing that sin.

If mortal sin is mortal sin, shouldn't we cut people slack who are in irregular situations and cannot or will not for whatever reason overcome these quickly but nonetheless bring their sins to confession?

And the Holy Father has given confessors a second way--to be compassionate and understanding in the confession with those in "public" sin and when it is not possible to offer absolution, instead to offer a blessing. To be honest with you, until Pope Francis recommended this, I had never thought about this second option. At least it keeps the person connected in a non-sacramental way to the Sacrament of Confession and who knows what graces this will bring even when absolution is replaced with a blessing. I suspect a priest could use the non-sacramental absolution from the Mass itself. But more importantly the priest can offer spiritual and moral guidance within the context of a non-sacramental confession.

Number two, of course, is the recovery of popular devotions. I remember very well how progressives in the Church wanted to end all devotions even to the Blessed Virgin May because most popular devotions to the saints and the Blessed Sacrament offended Protestants and thus would be a stumbling block to ecumenism and eventual Church reunification. Of course we had to sacrifice our spirituality and devotional life for a Protestantized Catholicism to please the ecumenical movement of the 1960's and 70's.

Pope Francis who embraces much of the 1970's theology in other areas, does not embrace this form of ecumenism that waters down Catholic piety one IOTA.

Thirdly, Pope Francis also speaks frequently about the devil and his ungodly influence and about hell. He does not rule out the possibility of hell despite ambiguous statements to the contrary. This too would be anathema to certain progressive theologians of the 1970's mentality.

And finally, Pope Francis has not radically broken from the style of Mass at the Vatican that Pope Benedict recovered under his good and faithful servant Msgr. Guido Marini.

Pope Francis has offered several olive branches to the SSPX and the irony of all ironies, is that this liberal pope will be the one who allows them to return to a normal canonical status in the Church as either a personal prelature or ordinariate, maybe similar to the Anglican Ordinariate--but more numerous than they are.

And for the Holy Father to allow the SSPX to reject some of the pastoral theology of the Second Vatican Council, especially as it concerns a particular style of ecumenism, religious liberty, interfaith dialogue and dialogue with non believers and the secular culture is a bombshell to say the least.

Furthermore to allow them to forego the celebration of the Ordinary Form Mass is another bombshell step. I believe the agreement of Pope St. John Paul II with the FSSP which was to be a counterpoint to the SSPX was that the FSSP had to be able to celebrate the Novos Ordo Mass too. Correct me if I am wrong.

Furthermore, on the liturgical front which impacts the general Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite is the approval of the Ordinariate's new Missal which incorporates not only Anglican liturgical sensibilities compatible with Catholic liturgical doctrine, but also the EF elements it allows as options in the appendix. I think this is a bombshell too and too many are ignoring the advances of tradition in this missal altogether especially traditionalists.

For the Ordinary Form Mass to have EF elements even in the vernacular would appear to me be be what Sacrosanctum Concilium actually desired for a revised Mass as it envisioned, not what Pope Paul's committee did which ignored the wishes of the Council Fathers and replaced it with a Protestantized Mass that ignored Sacrosanctum Concilium altogether. 

48 comments:

Marc said...

The FSSP do not celebrate the Novus Ordo, and they cannot be made to do so by bishops. I have reason to believe that the opinion of many FSSP priests on issues like Vatican II and the Novus Ordo are just the same as the SSPX. And FSSP priests tend to take strong positions against the current issues in the hierarchy in their preaching and discussions -- they are much more vocal about these things at the local FSSP parish than at the local SSPX parish, for example.

Dialogue said...

Our Catholic impulse should certainly be to view all of this in continuity with the Apostolic Tradition, and to be open to new pastoral methods of bearing fruit for Christ. But I think one thing that worries some is that Paul VI, who also spoke openly against the Devil and in favor of popular piety, nevertheless seems, on the whole, to have presided over a debacle. That experience understandably feeds to concerns many have today.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"One has to keep in mind that the 1970's brand of progressive theologians were happy to see this Sacrament fall into decline as it was a stumbling block for the ecumenical reunification of the Church movement."

Can you offer some support for your assertion regarding "ecumenical reunification"?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I have ample evidence from the academic theologians who taught us in St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland that confession as we practiced it was a stumbling block and the Holy Spirit was seeing to it that the decline in use of this sacrament as traditionally celebrated prior to the Council was an act of God to open a new door such as general absolution either during the Rite of Mass or at a General Absolution Liturgy. I think the Episcopal model was foreseen.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I was at Saint Mary's from 1976 to 80. But the theologians there were pure 1960's rebels.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

And that evidence is...?

Anonymous said...

What do you mean let's focus on the traditional things promoted by Francis? The man is permitting and encouraging chaos in the Church. Chaos and confusion is of the Devil not the Holy Spirit.

Francis said in that document AL, that people in objective immoral situations are still receiving sanctifying grace from God. That's heresy.

He also said by way of Cardinal Schonborn as an example of "mercy" that a woman living in adultery, who had an abortion, should be able to go to confession receive absolution for the abortion but never confessing or abandoning the adultery. That is called sacralige.

Archbishop Forte just came out publicly stating that Francis has no problem with people in mortal sin receiving communion but can't come out and just acknowledge it because of the blow back from the bishops. All of this behaviour is beyond scandalous it's evil.

I don't care how many statues Francis kisses that doesn't negate the fact that he is promoting sacralige. Notice all of the scandalous acts from Francis have to do with disrespect to Our Lord in the Eucharist and the sacrament of marriage. Marriage, THE sacrament which most clearly reflects the relationship of love of the Trinity on earth. Our Lord's Real Precense in the Eucharist which Francis will not kneel before yet he will crawl on the floor at the feet of Muslims. Think about it.

This quote from Roberto De Mattei pretty much sums up the situation. "The Barque of the Church seems as if it’s being engulfed by waves, and the Lord seems to be asleep, [in a way] similar to that day of the tempest on Lake Tiberias. Let’s then turn to Him, saying, Exsurge, quare obdormis Domine? Exsurge (Ps. 42, 23). Arise, Lord. Why is it you appear to be like one asleep? "

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

my seminary professors is what you are seeking and have found and also they didn't like the use of the term Catholic and felt that the name Christian Church would suffice for the reunification.

Mark Thomas said...

Father McDonald said..."And for the Holy Father to allow the SSPX to reject some of the pastoral theology of the Second Vatican Council, especially as it concerns a particular style of ecumenism, religious liberty, interfaith dialogue and dialogue with non believers and the secular culture is a bombshell to say the least."

Father, that is beyond mere bombshell status. What we're talking about is nuclear bombs that will vaporize the Council. We are also talking about something that goes way beyond the SSPX.

That is, if the SSPX is not required to accept Vatican II, then nobody is required to accept Vatican II. The SSPX does not consist of "special" Catholics who alone are not required to accept Vatican II.

On May 1, 2016 A.D., Bishop Fellay offered the following during a sermon:

"And in our relations with Rome, there are even more astonishing things that seem to result from this chaotic situation. Recently, for the very first time, we were told in Rome that we are no longer required to accept the Council. Do you realize?

"This is huge! We were told: “You have the right to uphold this opinion.” It is not yet: “We were wrong,” it is not yet: “the Council was bad”, but it is: “the Council cannot be obligatory.” We cannot oblige someone to accept the Council in order to be Catholic. And yet that was what they had been telling us until now.

"Until two years ago, it was: “If you wish to be Catholic, you have to accept the Council, you have to accept the goodness of the new Mass.” And now they are telling us: “No, you do not have to, because it does not have that degree of obligation;” they use terms that are not precise enough.

"They tell us: “It is not doctrinal, it is pastoral.” Which is what we have been saying ourselves: “This Council is pastoral and did not wish to be obligatory.” And suddenly now they are granting us this: “It is true, this Council did not wish to be obligatory.”

"We are living at a time that I believe to be a pivoting point in the history of the Church, in the history of this time in which we are living, we might even say in the history of this Council. This is the first time we have been told – and they say it openly – that the non-acceptance of religious freedom, ecumenism, and the new liturgy is not a criterion for rejection by the Catholic Church. No one has the right to say that someone who does not agree with Nostra Aetate, the relations with non-Christian religions, ecumenism, and religious freedom is no longer Catholic. This is the first time in 50 years we have heard that!"

That is not a bombshell. That is nuclear war against Vatican II, which has been declared by Rome. It is Rome...ROME...who has acknowledged that Catholics are not bound to Vatican II's pastoral declarations.

Rome has just vaporized Vatican II's "Super Council" status.

That is beyond being a mere bombshell.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

George said...

The Ascension

God, though He has the power to raise life out of stones, chose to come into our humanity according to the proper order and the nature of things He had created. In keeping with God's ordained plan,It was necessary for His Son to take on our human nature in order to redeem mankind. The flesh and blood through which God would redeem mankind came from one of His creatures. He descended down to us in order to raise us up to Him. God, having all Power and being the Source of all, could exist in any part of His creation and not just in the Eternal Heaven. Being God, He could descend into His own creation, but we as mere creatures could not physically exist outside of that creation.
Now God did not desire that we as His creatures, endowed with our full human capacity to know, love, and serve Him, should in our physical nature come into existence, subsist, and then pass away into just our spiritual soul. If this were so then why would He come down into our flesh to suffer and die for our benefit and thereby sanctify our physical nature He had taken on?
It is in our faith in the imperishable God that is the hope that our corrupt and perishable flesh will be re-constituted and re-vivified. Christ took on our flesh, suffered and died in it, and then at His resurrection, glorified it. Now Christ, being God, did not need our flesh since He transcends physical existence, but this glorification of the body resulting from the inseparable unity of the Divine and human natures redounds to our benefit. When Christ ascended into Heaven, because of the inseparable unity of both His natures, His human body also ascended since it was now glorified and could exist outside our physical reality. Likewise, because of the benefit of what he had accomplished, the Blessed Virgin Mary was assumed, body and soul, into the Heavenly realm.
In the Glorified Body of Christ with which He ascended to the Eternal Heaven is the hope and promise that is ours, if we conform our will to His, and persevere in loving and serving Him through obedience to His Holy precepts, faithfully incorporated into His One, Holy, and True Church

Henry said...

"I believe the agreement of Pope St. John Paul II with the FSSP which was to be a counterpoint to the SSPX was that the FSSP had to be able to celebrate the Novos Ordo Mass too. Correct me if I am wrong."

This is indeed wrong. All of the foundation documents of the FSSP can be consulted at http://www.fssp.org/en/documents.htm

I have never know of an FSSP priest to celebrate the Novus Ordo Mass. Other on isolated occasions when one has attended as a concelebrant the Chrism Mass with the bishop and other priests of his diocese.

I recall one FSSP priest stating that he had no problem with the Novus Ordo, except that every single time he himself offered Holy Mass, he wanted to offer to God the very most perfect sacrifice he could, and this was the Roman rite in its venerable and ancient form.

northernhermit said...

I did notice that the penitential part of the Mass ( I confess to you that I have sinned...) was eliminated from most of the Masses I have attended over the past year. I particularly noticed its absence throughout Lent, and during that season I was looking to see if it was eliminated. It was, and I attributed that to either a new Bishop and then a new Parish. I did not realize that it was the work of Pope Francis. If it was, I applaud that effort. #Bring Back the Confessional is as important as #Bring Back the TLM. I sincerely hope I see the traditional confessionals return. The 1970's version of confession has been awkward at best, like so many of the Church reforms of that era. Particularly for the travelers, when they approach a church they never no what to do or expect.

Dialogue said...

There's no way to know how far back Pope Francis is setting the liturgical movement of P.E. Benedict XVI, but hope for bringing reverence back into the Roman Mass in our lifetime has all but evaporated. Perhaps God is forcing His faithful remnant to stop depending upon men, however ecclesiastical, and instead turn only to Him as our true Reformer.

Anonymous said...

"... he wanted to offer to God the very most perfect sacrifice he could..."

Therein lies the false understanding of the liturgy.

The "venerable and ancient form" of the Mass is not the "most perfect." Were that the case, the venerable and ancient form would not have undergone the hundreds of changes, additions, deletions that have marked the development of the Roman rite through the years. How can "perfection" be changed?

The "very most perfect" sacrifice is that of Christ who offered Himself on the altar of the cross. In the Sacrifice of the Mass, we represent in an unbloody manner the Sacrifice of the Cross. This perfect sacrifice is completely and totally made present whether the form is the venerable and ancient form of the Roman Rite or the venerable and ancient Novus Ordo of the Roman Rite.

One is not better than the other.

Were THAT the case, then the Eastern Rites, equally venerable and ancient, would have to be judged less than "very most perfect" since they are not, by definition, the Roman rite that "one FSSP" priest offers. This "one FSSP" priest needs to rethink his reasoning and re-learn his theology and liturgical history.

Marc said...

I would believe one FSSP priest's opinion, based on his training in theology and liturgical history, over the opinion of one anonymous blog commenter.

Jan said...

The "venerable and ancient form" of the Mass developed organically over centuries whereas the new Mass was cobbled together by a group - including the infamous Bugnini - who worked to make the Mass more palatable to protestants. It has certainly done that. The only thing that enriches the new Mass is Eucharistic Prayer 1 and I think it should be mandated as the only Eucharistic Prayer. It is beautiful and, despite all the other weaknesses that can be found in the new Mass, that alone lifts the mind and heart to God as the "venerable and ancient form" does at every Mass. It is not surprising that Eucharistic Prayer 1 is rarely said because it contemplates the Sacrifice of the Mass more than any of the other Eucharistic Prayers. There is mention of the soul, the intercession that we be delivered from eternal damnation, it is an offering, asking that our sins not be weighed but that we be granted pardon and reference to: this pure victim,
this holy victim, this spotless victim,the holy Bread of eternal life
and the chalice of everlasting salvation. In short, Eucharistic Prayer I is too Catholic and is the closest to the Roman Canon in the venerable and ancient form.

Jan said...

"If mortal sin is mortal sin, shouldn't we cut people slack who are in irregular situations and cannot or will not for whatever reason overcome these quickly but nonetheless bring their sins to confession?"

Father, how can you make this comment when the prerequisite for absolution is sorrow for sin and a firm amendment not to commit that sin again? If someone is living in an irregular situation, even if they are sorry about it, how can they receive absolution in order to receiving Holy Communion if they plan to continue to live in that irregular situation? That is not true repentance, is it?

Imagine someone punching you in the face and they come to you afterwards and say, "I'm very sorry for what I did, forgive me, but I plan to punch you in the face tomorrow and the day after and the day after that". What would you say to that? Would you believe they were truly sorry? Would you forgive them, knowing you were going to be punched in the face again tomorrow?

Gene said...

Kavanaugh, the evidence is the state of the Church and liturgy now. I was there at major seminaries and divinity schools in the 70's and saw it all, too. Try the documents of COCU.

Dialogue said...

Anonymous,

We are meant to add ourselves to the Sacrifice of the Cross, and there are some who discover that they can offer themselves in this way more fully with the older rite of Mass. Other elements, such as music, quality of vestments, etc., are also contributions to Christ's Sacrifice. We must strive to make our participation as perfect as possible.

Gene said...

Face it, folks...the Church and the Liturgy are a wreck. There is absolutely nothing on the horizon, outside of SSPX and FSSP who are both very small factions, that indicates that this progressive movement is slowing down or weakening. The Church is completely submerged in culture as far as practice is concerned. Doctrine is like those Confederate statues in downtown Macon...nice to look at, but devoid of any connection to what actually goes on in the culture. This is forcing the faith and practice of many Catholics to become a personal devotional kind of thing that is increasingly disconnected from the Body of Christ, which many of the Church's Priests and theologians believe is still mouldering in a tomb somewhere in the Middle East. We are seeing Martin Luther and John Calvin have the last laugh. All the lame defenses of this Pope and the Post Vat II Church are disgusting, disingenuous, and increasingly silly.

Anonymous said...

Marc - If that is the case, then you base your judgment on personality, not reality. When you add to that that the "one FSSP" priest cited is also anonymous, your judgment is based on bias, not theology.

Evidence - You make no response to the facts in the earlier statement, only to the anonymity of the poster and the FSSP priest.

Marc said...

Anonymous, there is no use in my engaging your argument, which you incorrectly call "facts." I am not going to change your erroneous opinion just as you are not going to change my correct opinion. For us to dialogue about it would be a waste of time.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

COCU documents are not Catholic Church documents and are not, I suggest, evidence for Catholic teaching.

"The state of the liturgy and the Church now" is also not evidence for Fr. McDonald's assertion that, "progressive theologians were happy to see this Sacrament fall into decline as it was a stumbling block for the ecumenical reunification of the Church movement."


Domingo said...

I agree with what marc said. I have always been a traditional Catholic and never been a novus ordo Catholic and I assist at masses all over the world. The FSSP does not do novus ordo. Back when the issue of the 16 rebel priests occurred, the former SSPX rebel priests (only one or two) went to a chrism mass in France and it was concelebrated, so from then on the enemies of the FSSP spread the rumor that the FSSP is bi ritual. The FSSP does not go to concelebrations. For those who are not in a FSSP or other traditional order parish, what happens is the priests show up after the novus mass and retrieve the oils. Of course the Catholics in Campos have a traditional Bishop so they can attend the EF chrism mass. The rebel priest issue was a one time occurrence probably 15 to 20 years ago. All 16 of them left the FSSP and became traditional diocesan priests in France. The Catholic teaching is that the higher forms of mass are more pleasing to God. A mass on a jeep in a battlefield is of infinite value, so it is not degrading to a low mass or even a novus mass to say this. It is been said many many many times in my life that a traditional mass is more pleasing to God than a novus mass. As a pontifical mass is more pleasing than a missa cantata, which is more pleasing than a low mass. All because one is better that doesn't mean that the others are bad.

Jusadbellum said...

If we accept the spin that AL grants men who have abandoned their sacramentally valid wives to go off and civilly marry women and thus enter into an objective state of adultery, the 'right' to receive communion as though their on-going 'structure of sin' is merely a venial matter solved by the penitential rite of the Mass, we will have de-facto crafted not "mercy" but POLYGAMY into the praxis of the Church.

In the name of mercy, we will be saying that the Lord Jesus' words in the Gospel were not as merciful and humane as us hip, cool, smart theologians of the 21st century. We will be declaring that a validly married man may leave his wife and marry another woman and be considered by all to publicly be "OK" - thus causing scandal. Scandal is not an emotional "getting the vapors". It's the normalization of evil that thus draws the innocent into believing that something evil is OK.

Thus if we causally ignore racist remarks, or "the N" word, we cause scandal by sending the message to children that racist attitudes are OK.

If we causally demand witchhunts and public shaming on anyone who dares call Bruce Jenner an insane man rather than a woman, we promote the idea that sex and gender have no objective meaning but that all is in flux when it's not.

If we treat the adulterous who have abandoned spouses and children as though they are not different than anyone else in the Church, we will be saying with our actions and omissions that adultery is "no big deal" and not a sin to be avoided.

Most will pragmatically conclude by how we react to put more weight on the FEELINGS of men than on the reality of a breeched vow, a broken covenant, a wounded marriage and abandoned children.

I'm all for being kind and gentle with 'broken reeds and smoldering wicks". But we cannot be equivocal and give the idea that any power on earth can rupture the sacrament of marriage in a unilateral way.

Because if we can, then we will be establishing in a defacto fashion more than just some 'fix' of a contemporary problem of 'irregularities'. We will open the door to question the very reality of ANY permanent vow, ANY permanent state of life. We will be declaring that marriage is not until 'death do us part', that a man may have more than one wife at a time. There's no alternative: either divorce and remarriage is OK, or polygamy is OK.

But Our Lord rejected both polygamy and divorce and remarriage. We cannot be more merciful than the Lord and remain in the Lord.

rcg said...

Domingo makes several good points. It is important to know that if you can do better, you should do better. IIRC the Holy Family made the sacrifice of doves at the synagogue. It was all they could afford but they did all they could. This applies to the forgivness of sins, as well. my biggest beef with the NO is that so many people are trying to see how much, or little, they can get away with. Like eating meat on Friday. Not only do we eat it, we encourage it with "Steak Fry" at the local Knights of Columbus. We seek excuses to avoid appearing to be Catholic.

Jan said...

Anonymous 5.45 pm - the SSPX has the following commentary about why the Novus Ordo as to whether it is a fitting rite for the Sacrifice of the Mass and may answer your question:

What is wrong with the Novus Ordo Missae?

A. Preliminary remarks

A criticism of the New Rite cannot be a criticism of the Mass in itself, for this is the very sacrifice of Our Lord bequeathed to His Church, but it is an examination, whether it is a fit rite for embodying and enacting this august Sacrifice.


It is difficult for those who have known nothing other than the Novus Ordo Missae to understand of what they have been deprived, and attending a “Latin Mass” often just seems alien. To see clearly what it is all about, it is necessary to have a clear understanding of the defined truths of our Faith on the Mass (principles 11-18 are some of them). Only in the light of these can the “new rite” of Mass be evaluated.

B. What is the Novus Ordo Missae?

Let us answer this by looking at its four causes, as the philosophers would say:

What are the elements that make up the New Rite? Some are Catholic:

a priest,

bread and wine,

genuflections,

signs of the Cross, etc.,

but some are Protestant:

a table,

common-place utensils,

communion under both kinds and in the hand, etc.

Now, the Novus Ordo Missae assumes these heterodox elements alongside the Catholic ones to form a liturgy for a modernist religion which would marry the Church and the world, Catholicism and Protestantism, light and darkness. Indeed, the Novus Ordo Missae presents itself as:

a meal (vs. principle 11). This is shown by its use of a table around which the people of God gather to offer bread and wine (vs. principle 18) and to communicate from rather common-place utensils, often under both kinds (vs. principle 15), and usually in the hand (vs. principle 16). (Note too the almost complete deletion of references to sacrifice).

a narrative of a past event (vs. principle 12). This told out loud by the one presiding (vs. principle 14), who recounts Our Lord’s words as read in Scripture (rather than pronouncing a sacramental formula) and who makes no pause until he has shown the Host to the people.

a community gathering, (vs. principle 13). Christ is perhaps considered to be morally present but ignored in his Sacramental Presence (vs. principles 16 & 17).

Notice also the numerous rubrical changes:

the celebrant facing the people from where the tabernacle was formerly kept.

just after the consecration, all acclaim He “will come again.”

sacred vessels are no longer gilt.

Sacred Particles are ignored (vs. principle 15)

the priest no longer joins thumb and forefinger after the consecration.

the vessels are not purified as they used to be.

Communion is most frequently given in the hand.

genuflections on the part of the priest and kneeling on the part of the faithful are much reduced.

the people take over much of what the priest formerly did.

Moreover, the Novus Ordo Missae defined itself this way:

The Lord’s Supper, or Mass, is a sacred synaxis, or assembly of the people of God gathered together under the presidency of the priest to celebrate the memorial of the Lord. (Pope Paul VI, Institutio Generalis, §7, 1969 version)

What is the aim of the Novus Ordo Missae as a rite?

...the intention of Pope Paul VI with regard to what is commonly called the Mass, was to reform the Catholic liturgy in such a way that it should almost coincide with the Protestant liturgy... there was with Pope Paul VI an ecumenical intention to remove, or at least to correct, or at least to relax, what was too Catholic, in the traditional sense, in the Mass and, I repeat, to get the Catholic Mass closer to the Calvinist mass..."

Anonymous said...

Marc - Sorry, but facts are facts and your declaring to be otherwise doesn't change a thing. If the EF is the "very most perfect" form of the Mass, then any other form is, somehow, not, including the ancient and venerable Eastern Rites which, obviously, "one FFSP priest" forgot about.

This notion is utter nonsense.

Jan said...

Anonymous, 7.32 pm, an FSSP priest could only be expected to be commenting on the Mass of the Latin rite in which he states that the Extraordinary Form is the "very most perfect". No doubt the eastern rites are in themselves beautiful but we are of the Latin rite Church and that is where our considerations lie.

Domingo said...

Jan is correct, Latin Rite Catholics are in the West. If an Eastern Catholic loves an Eastern Rite that is great, he does NO harm to me nor does he degrade the Latin Mass at all. The Pope is the Patriarch of the west remember. We have lost our senus catholicus since 1970.

Henry said...

Jan,

In his recorded reflections on his first Mass celebrated as a newly ordained priest, the now very well-known FSSP priest—originator of iMass and LiveMass.org, chaplain of the Los Angelus apostolate of the FSSP, the priest shown in the illustrations in the St. Edmund Campion Missal for the TLM, etc.—did not say that the TLM is the “very most perfect” form of Mass that exists (though he very well may believe this).

As I quoted him, he said simply “that every single time he himself offered Holy Mass, he wanted to offer to God the very most perfect sacrifice he [himself] could [offer] and this was the Roman rite in its venerable and ancient form” (he himself presumably not being prepared or authorized to celebrate one of the similarly ancient and venerable Eastern rites).

Both the traditional Roman rite and the Eastern rites have been perfected and hallowed by centuries of celebration and close to two millenia of organic development under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (and no doubt will continue to be). Perhaps fifteen centuries hence will find the Novus Ordo similarly perfected and hallowed, even if its first half-century of chaos and disintegration in liturgical praxis may not yet seem to offer the best foundation for its continued development into a mature Catholic rite.

Anonymous said...

"Both the traditional Roman rite and the Eastern rites have been perfected..."

This is not correct. That which is perfect is not subject to changes, alterations, additions, and subtractions. The EF, through the centuries, has had changes, alterations, additions, and subtractions. Hence, it is not perfected - nor can it ever be.

He (himself) could offer the Mass in an Easter Rite if he (himself) chose to do so and was authorized by his superior/bishop to do so. I suspect he made his comments without thinking of the Eastern Rites. Their Rites are equally "very most perfect," but not because of the language or the rubrics or the spatial orientation of the priest. They are "very most perfect," as if the Novus Ordo, because of what is done in the Mass - the sacrificial offering of the Lamb of God to the Father in propitiation for our sins.

Latin Rite Catholics are not "in the west." There are Latin Rite and Easter Rite Catholics in virtually every part of the world.

Domingo, "VATICAN CITY, MARCH 22, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI has renounced the title “Patriarch of the West” since it has become obsolete, the Holy See announced. A communiqué issued today by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity clarifies that with this renouncement, the Pope hopes to promote ecumenical dialogue. News of the omission of the title “Patriarch of the West” in the 2006 Pontifical Yearbook was published Feb. 19 by journalist Arcangelo Paglialunga in the Gazzetino di Venezia."

Flavius Hesychius said...

In a moment of delicious irony, B16 giving up the title 'Patriarch of the West' has pretty much proved to the Orthodox that Rome has no real intention of pursuing any real course of ecumenism.

Anonymous said...

While it might not have been the course preferred by the Orthodox, B16 certainly pursued real ecumenism.

Jan said...

Anonymous 5:41, Domingo is technically correct that the Latin Rite Church pertains to the west just as the eastern rite is in the east and of course Latin rite Catholics can attend Latin Rite churches if they live in that part of the world and vice versa, but they are still regarded as members of the rite that they were baptised into and have to go through a process if they wish to change rites permanently.

Also, if you check you will find that, no, an FSSP priest could not celebrate an Eastern Rite Mass without obtaining the permission of an Eastern Rite bishop and vice versa and apparently it is easier for an Eastern Rite priest to obtain permission to celebrate a Latin Rite Mass than it is for a Latin Rite priest to offer an Eastern Rite Mass.

George has clarified what he said and that sounds perfect to me ...

Dialogue said...

Jan,

In 1968, Pope Paul VI professed, "We believe that the Mass...is the sacrifice of Calvary rendered sacramentally present on our altars". Earlier, in his 1965 encyclical on the Holy Mass, he noted that, "the Fathers of the Council [VCII] decided, in the course of reaffirming the doctrine that the Church has always held and taught and that was solemnly defined by the Council of Trent", to reaffirm the truth that, "at the Last Supper, on the night when He was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of His Body and Blood. He did this in order to perpetuate the Sacrifice of the Cross..."

Whatever the problems with the new order of Mass, and there are certainly many such problems, it is not fair to suggest that the Holy Father intended it to be a departure from the Apostolic Tradition. Granted, it had that effect, but that was clearly not what he intended.

Marc said...

Dialogue, there is some basis for the suggestion that Pope Paul VI intended to depart from the Apostolic Tradition. That basis is found in the original GIRM at paragraph 7, which the pope approved. This deals with an inaccuracy regarding the very nature of the Mass.

Anonymous said...

"7. The older Missal belongs to the difficult period of attacks against Catholic teaching on the sacrificial nature of the Mass, the ministerial priesthood, and the real and permanent presence of Christ under the eucharistic elements. St. Pius V was therefore especially concerned with preserving the relatively recent developments in the Church's tradition, then unjustly being assailed, and introduced only very slight changes into the sacred rites. In fact, the Roman Missal of 1570 differs very little from the first printed edition of 1474, which in turn faithfully follows the Missal used at the time of Pope Innocent III (1198-1216). Manuscripts in the Vatican Library provided some verbal emendations, but they seldom allowed research into "ancient and approved authors" to extend beyond the examination of a few liturgical commentaries of the Middle Ages."

And how does this reveal that Pope Paul intended to depart from Apostolic Tradition?

Marc said...

Wrong paragraph 7.

"7. The Lord's Supper, or Mass, is the sacred meeting or congregation of the people of God assembled, the priest presiding, to celebrate the memorial of the Lord. For this reason, Christ's promise applies eminently to such a local gathering of holy Church: 'Where two or three come together in my name, there am I in their midst' (Mt. 18:20)."

Anonymous said...

And how does this reveal that Pope Paul intended to depart from Apostolic Tradition?

Dialogue said...

Marc,

The wording of that paragraph was certainly heretical, and undoubtedly composed by a man or men of little faith. That Paul VI promulgated that missal makes him responsible for its errors, but it must be noted that the error in question has since been removed.

Marc said...

(1) The Mass is not "The Lord's Supper."

(2) The Mass is not "the congregation of the people of God."

(3) The priest does not "preside" at the Mass.

(4) The quotation from the Gospel of St. Matthew is misplaced in the context of the Real Presence since it is not the gathering of the people that make Christ present, but the words of consecration said by a validly ordained priest.

So the conception of the Mass in this paragraph from the 1969 GIRM, which was removed in the subsequent revisions to the GIRM, is essentially Protestant. That is, no Protestant could disagree with this paragraph's statement about the Mass. In itself, of course, that is not problematic. It is problematic that this understanding is wholly deficient with regard to the true nature of the Mass -- none of which is mentioned here. Namely, the Mass is the unbloody re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary for the propitiation of our sins, the action of which takes place through the ordained priest acting in persona Christi.

This does not reveal that Pope Paul VI intended to depart from Apostolic Tradition, but it provides some basis for that suggestion given the magnitude of the omissions and misstatements in this original version. Thankfully, those omissions and errors were recognized and a new GIRM was issued just a few years later.

Anonymous said...

The Mass is the Lord's Supper.

The Church teaches: Catechism 1329 "The Lord's Supper, because of its connection with the supper which the Lord took with his disciples on the eve of his Passion and because it anticipates the wedding feast of the Lamb in the heavenly Jerusalem.143 (Cf. 1 Cor 11:20; Rev 19:9.)

Also, Catechism 1323 "At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood." This He did in the presence of his disciples - the first congregation at Mass.

The priest does preside at Mass.

As priest, he presides over the celebration of the Mass and offers sacrifice, the latter being unique to his status as one who is ordained.

GIRM 7 does not say or suggest that the gathering of the people makes Christ present in the Eucharistic species.

You err in thinking the quotation from Matthew is only made in reference to the Real Presence. Christ is present in many ways including His Eucharistic Presence when "two or three" are gathered in his name.

There is nothing in GIRM 7 that indicates that Pope Paul VI intended to depart from Apostolic Tradition. There is nothing "heretical" there.

Marc said...

Cool story, Anonymous. Your opinion means a lot to me.

Anonymous said...

The Catechism is what matters. That you base your judgments of the Church and Her popes on the opinions of others is what is problematic.

Marc said...

Thank you, O wise Anonymous. You know me so well. Without you, I'm nothing.

Anonymous said...

I know what the Church teaches; I do not know you. I know that it is foolish to rely on opinions, especially when those opinions are contrary to the Church's teaching.

Whether or not you are "nothing" is hardly my call. When your opinions do not reflect the Church's doctrine, well, then, you will be called out.

It's that simple.

Jan said...

Dialogue, the arguments against the changes to the Mass are well documented in the Ottivani Intervention and can be found online. While I accept that the Novus Ordo Mass is valid, there has nevertheless been a watering down of the Mass from being a sacrifice to a meal and only Eucharistic Prayer 1 comes close to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. The emphasis now is certainly on a meal - many people no longer believe in the real presence and see it as a memorial of the Last Supper and merely a celebration where they appear to come together to meet up with friends and to socialize.

There is no doubt that the Church is split down the middle between those who prefer to attend the EF of the Mass and those who prefer the OF of the Mass. So liberals and conservatives are together on one side and the traditionalists are on the other. But at the moment the liberals are winning the battle for the Novus Ordo Mass, particularly so since the election of Pope Francis. I would say in the last couple of years I have seen the most change I have seen in decades and none of it for the good. The only thing that is growing is the attendance at the EF Masses as more and more people are being driven from the Novus Ordo Mass. I feel very much for conservative priests because they are caught in the middle of all of this. They want good liturgy but they are now at the mercy of their bishops who seem to want to please lay people at any cost and are reverting to the 1970s. We have lost our one very good bishop who died a few months ago, and now there is no one on the Bishops Conference to stand up for orthodoxy.

I have resisted going to the SSPX and have hoped that I could hold out until they are reconciled but, as there is no traditional Mass in my diocese and things are worsening virtually every week, there is beginning to be little choice as I can't travel two hours every Sunday to a neighboring diocese. The availability of confessions has also been cut back.

To say that I and many others I know feel very demoralised is an understatement but of course we have our Faith embedded in our hearts and that cannot be taken from us ...