Monday, February 29, 2016

WHEREIN FATHER SOUTHERN ORDERS OPINES ON THE CATHOLICITY OF THE MASS IN BOTH FORMS AND THE LOSS OF CATHOLIC IDENTITY AS SHAPED BY THE BANAL CELEBRATION OF THE ORDINARY FORM

Okay, once again in my "bi-ritual" schizophrenia, I celebrated the High EF Mass at our normal 12:10 PM Mass for the Third Sunday of Lent to an almost full church with many young people I did not recognize and young families with many children, visitors that I did not recognize, very devout and serious Catholics I might add.

The readings for the EF Mass, from the Propers to the Epistle and Gospel, I don't think I have ever heard on a Sunday in the Ordinary Form, especially the Epistle which is so needed for so many Catholics who have given into a licentious spirit. It gives so much good advice to our contemporary Catholic culture influenced more by the spirit of the devil than by the Holy Spirit:

EPISTLE
Ephesians 5: 1 - 9

Brethren, Be ye followers of God, as most dear children: and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us and hath delivered Himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God for an odor of sweetness. But fornication, and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becometh saints: or obscenity, or foolish talking, or scurrility, which is to no purpose: but rather giving of thanks. For know you this, and understand, that no fornicator, or unclean, or covetous person, which is a serving of idols, hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the anger of God upon the children of unbelief. Be ye not therefore partakers with them. For you were heretofore darkness: but now light in the Lord. Walk then as children of the light: for the fruit of the light is in all goodness, and justice, and truth.

But between the two Masses I celebrated on Sunday, one a completely sung OF Mass at 5 PM and the other the sung EF Mass at 12:10, I see the stark difference between the spirituality of both which while doctrinally the same in terms of what the Holy Sacrifice effects, "the renewal of the one Sacrifice of Christ at the altar in an unbloody way" the spirituality of both is quite different, one Catholic in a pure way and the other protestantized or cyncretized with protestant sensibilities.


Primarily, the EF Mass is more in tune with the mystical spirituality of the Church of the East, which in fact we have far more in common with both those in the Eastern Church who are in complete union with the Magisterium of the Church and those who are in schism. 

Whereas, the OF Mass is more in tune with the "wordiness, teaching, learning and understanding" spirituality of the Protestant Denominations in their worship. It's spirituality is more Protestant in this regard than eastern or Catholic. 

What I have come to rediscover from my childhood experience of the Ancient Form of the Mass and what most Catholics prior to Vatican II would have understood is that the most important aspect of the liturgical spirituality of the Mass is entering into the Divine Presence of God, being enveloped into Mystery, timelessness and the heavenly experience of the Most Holy Trinity surrounded by the choirs of Angels swinging their censors and chanting Holy, Holy, Holy, Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, and the Church Triumphant in that abode swept up into the eternal beauty of God.

It is here that the intellectual, the illiterate, the child and the adult, the gifted and the intellectually challenged are on an equal worshiping level and become completely one for there is nothing to understand except the overwhelming love of God for us that is the experience of heaven and our overwhelming love for God and neighbor when we are fully integrated into heave after our death and judgment. 

Understanding isn't as important as simply being swept up into the mystery of being in heaven which then gives us Catholics a desire to go to heaven and experience it not in a veiled, sacramental way, but in its overwhelming mystical reality.

Thus, one need not follow a worship aid or hand missal verbatim as the priest, ministers and schola chant and pray their parts. All that is necessary is an understanding of the structure of the Mass and its purpose, a working knowledge of the changing parts of the Mass by looking at these propers and prayers in the vernacular ahead of time and a knowledge of the readings. I would pray that along with the Low EF Mass, the option of having the Epistle and Gospel chanted in the vernacular would be extended officially to the High EF Mass. It is silly to have to repeat these readings prior to the homily as was the case prior to Vatican II at least in the USA. I remember hearing the Gospel again in English, although I don't recall hearing the Epistle in English.

So, the EF's participation in the very active sense, whether it be verbal or not, is deeply rooted in our catholicity of both in the east and the west and both resonate with each other and show our unique spiritual unity even in its diversity.

Whereas the OF's encouragement  of active participation and its spirituality falls more in line with the spirituality of Protestantism based upon the Word of God expounded upon, taught and understood, a far more pedantic or polemical way to approach spirituality, which is in breach with the classical catholicity of the east and west in terms of spirituality, participation and the experience of the mystical especially in  the west in its classical form of the Latin Rite Mass.

Thus, Protestant convert to Catholicism after Vatican II and under the Protestantized form of participation and spirituality of the new Catholic Mass, find the EF Mass and its mystical form of participation and spirituality as alien, odd and befuddling.


Fortunately the genius behind Pope Benedict XVI and his liturgical hermaneutic and liberal allowance of the EF Mass is exposing more Catholics today to the our liturigical, spiritual and mystical heritage which we have in common with the Church of the East, especially its schismatic part and where we both have valid sacraments rooted in a common, united history prior to the Great Schism.

It also shows us how much more we have in common with the irregular situation of our Latin Rite brothers and sisters in the SSPX movement in the Church, far more in common with them than we have with the various forms of the Anglican Communion, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Baptists and other Protestant sects.

My prayer is that we recover the best of our liturgical tradition we share in common with the East and move away from the more banal, pedantic spirituality of wordiness and comprehension as though in a classroom of the OF's ethos in form and practice, based more on Protestant sentiments in this regard than on Catholic sentiments. It is possible to move forward with this and a new revised OF Mass that is more like the EF Mass in language, order and mysticism.
 

WOW! THERE'S A LOT TO UNPACK IN THIS INTERVIEW, NOT ONLY THE REINTEGRATION OF THE SSPX, BUT ALSO THE CORRECT WAY TO READ THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL!

I believe Archbishop Pozzo was the archbishop sitting to the left of Msgr. Guido Marini and looking on in stunned disbelief as Pope Benedict XVI made is abdication speech in Latin three years ago!

There is so much in this interview which I copy from the SSPX Website. But what I find the most fascinating and which resonates with me is the following quote from Abp. Pozzo:

 Even on the issue of the Second Vatican Council, I think that the SSPX must reflect on the distinction ...between the authentic mens of Vatican II, its intentio docendi, as shown by the official Acts of the Council, and that I would call the "para-council", i.e., the set of theological guidelines and practical attitudes which accompanied the course of the Council itself, then pretending to cover themselves with its name, and that the public, thanks to the influence of the media, overlapped often as the true thought of the Council.

Where are we with the SSPX?—Abp. Pozzo

February 26, 2016
Read what Archbishop Pozzo had to say about the SSPX in Zenit on February 26, 2016.

We here present some extracts of Archbishop Pozzo's interview, given to Luca Marcolivio and published today in the Italian online version of Zenit. Archbishop Pozzo has been working on the reconciliation of the SSPX in the Pontifical Comission Ecclesia Dei for some years, especially after having been appointed Secretary, for a second time, in 2013.

It is not always easy to know exactly what Archbishop Pozzo really means to convey to the press when he speaks about the SSPX.

These comments are to be taken in light of the following elements given by Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta in his January conference published today.

On July 2015, Rome made another offer to the SSPX.

The SSPX Superior General’s intention before answering this proposal from the Congregation of the Faith was
to write an exhaustive explanation to make it very clear how we are and how we act, what we preach, what we do, what we do not do, and what we are not ready to do, in order to find out if the Society really is accepted 'as it is'."

About the status of the Society of St. Pius X

The SSPX is still in an irregular position, because it has not received canonical recognition by the Holy See. As long as the Society has no canonical status in the Church, its ministers do not exercise in a legitimate way the ministry and the celebration of the sacraments. According to the formula endeavored by the then Cardinal Bergoglio in Buenos Aires and confirmed by Pope Francis to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, the members of the SSPX are Catholics on the path toward full communion with the Holy See. This full communion will come when there is a canonical recognition of the Society.

What steps has the Holy See taken?

Following the lifting of the excommunications in 2009, a series of meetings were initiated between doctrinal experts appointed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which oversees the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, after the motu proprio of Benedict XVI, Unitatem Ecclesiae (2009), and experts of the SSPX to discuss and exchange views on major doctrinal issues underlying the dispute with the Holy See: the relationship between Tradition and the Magisterium, the questions of ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, religious freedom, and of the liturgical reform, in the context of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council.

We are now at a stage that I believe constructive and oriented to achieve the desired reconciliation. The gesture of Pope Francis to grant to faithful Catholics the opportunity of receiving validly and lawfully the sacraments of reconciliation and anointing of the sick by the bishops and priests of the SSPX during the Holy Year of Mercy is clearly a sign of the will of the Holy Father to favor the path towards a full and stable canonical recognition.

What obstacles remain?

I would distinguish two levels. The proper doctrinal level concerns some differences about individual topics proposed by the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar Magisterium relating to ecumenism, the relationship between Christianity and the world religions, religious freedom, especially in the relationship between Church and State, and some aspects of liturgical reform. There is also the level of mental and psychological attitudes, which is to move from a position of polemical and antagonistic confrontation, to a position of listening and mutual respect, esteem and confidence, as it should be between members of the same Body of Christ, which is the Church. We need to work on both of these levels. I think the rapprochement undertaken has borne some fruit, especially for this change in attitude by both parties and it is worth pursuing that.

Even on the issue of the Second Vatican Council, I think that the SSPX must reflect on the distinction ...between the authentic mens of Vatican II, its intentio docendi, as shown by the official Acts of the Council, and that I would call the "para-council", i.e., the set of theological guidelines and practical attitudes which accompanied the course of the Council itself, then pretending to cover themselves with its name, and that the public, thanks to the influence of the media, overlapped often as the true thought of the Council.

Also as regards the Lefebvrian criticism on religious freedom, at the bottom of the discussion it seems to me that the SSPX position is characterized by the defense of traditional Catholic doctrine against the agnostic secularism of the State and against secularism and ideological relativism but not against the right of the person not to be constricted or obstructed by the State in the exercise of the profession of religious faith. However, these are issues that will be a topic for discussion and clarification even after the full reconciliation.

What appears crucial is to find a full convergence on what is required to be in full communion with the Apostolic See, namely the integrity of the Catholic Creed, the bond of the sacraments and the acceptance of the Supreme Magisterium of the Church. The Magisterium, which is not above the Word of God written and transmitted, but serves it, is the authentic interpreter also of previous texts of the Magisterium, including those of the Second Vatican Council, in the light of the perennial Tradition, which develops in the Church with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, not with a novelty contrary (which would deny Catholic dogma), but with a better understanding of the Deposit of Faith, in the same doctrine, the same sense, and in the same judgment (in eodem scilicet dogmate, eodem sensu et eademque sententia, cf. Vatican Council I, Const. Dogm. Dei Filius, 4). I believe that on these points the agreement with the SSPX is not only possible, but necessary.

I do not think that the SSPX has denied a doctrine of faith or the truth of the Catholic doctrine taught by the Magisterium. The criticisms concern instead statements or claims regarding the renewed pastoral care and ecumenical relations with other religions, and some issues of prudential order in the relationship between Church and society, Church and State. On liturgical reform, I will only mention a statement that Archbishop Lefebvre wrote to Pope John Paul II in a letter dated March 8, 1980:
About the Mass of the Novus Ordo, despite all the reservations that one has to do about it, I never claimed that it is invalid or heretical."
Therefore the reservations about the rite of the Novus Ordo, which are obviously not to be underestimated, do not refer either to the validity of the celebration of the sacrament nor the line of the Catholic Faith. It would therefore be appropriate to continue the discussion and clarification of these reservations.

About the gesture of Pope Francis

The Holy Father encouraged the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei from the start of his pontificate to pursue a less official and less formal [dialogue] with the SSPX. In this context, the soothing and magnanimous gesture of Pope Francis on the occasion of the Year of Mercy has undoubtedly helped to calm further the state of relations with the Society, showing that the Holy See has at heart the rapprochement and reconciliation which will also need a canonical form. I hope and wish that the SSPX shares the same feeling and the same will.

Related articles

Sunday, February 28, 2016

MORAL TEACHINGS OF THE CHURCH CAN NEVER BE DOGMATICALLY DEFINED IN A RIGID WAY IN EVERY SITUATION, BE IT LIFE OR DEATH! AND EVEN THE POPE'S OFF-THE-CUFF REMARKS ON ARTIFICIAL BIRTH CONTROL ARE NOT FORIEGN TO CATHOLIC MORAL THEOLOGY PRE OR POST VATICAN II!


The Church does not need to declare any of the 10 Commandments to be infallible because these are so by virtue of being the 10 Commandments from God.

But is there ever a decision of conscience one can make to kill someone who is innocent? Yes, in a just war situation,which by the way is taught by the Church not as a doctrine but as a theological proposition or theory.  And with an unjust aggressor one has the right to kill in self defense if that is the only recourse to prevent injury or death to the one being attacked. A person may kill himself by jumping on a small bomb to save the lives of others.

When it comes to artificial birth control and abortion, these would seem to be on the surface as binding a the 5th Commandment, thou shalt not kill. But in fact, many conservative Catholics give a more dogmatic spin on these teachings than they do on the 5th Commandment. They allow for no wiggle room or decisions of conscience based upon sound moral principals or theology.

I have been and continue to be critical of Pope Francis reducing his papacy to soundbites and off-the-cuff remarks in interviews. It is unfortunate and we can ask His Holiness in the most respectful ways to stop doing it and to be clearer or unambiguous in his teachings and to be consistent as well. He speaks out of both sides of his mouth in many ways. I suspect there are those among the Cardinals and the College of Bishops who are sounding the alarm bell to His Holiness directly. It is their specific responsibility to do so. Others who have access to the pope can do so as well, directly or by mail. St. Catherine of Siena comes to mind in this regard.

However, despite the non magisterial occasion for these comments aboard a flight back to Italy after a long, exhausting pilgrimage for the pope, what the pope said is not foreign to Catholic moral theology.

Theology tries to explain doctrine, but it isn't doctrine and in pastoral settings a priest must let people to know what their options are in terms of a well formed conscience and how to reach a decision of conscience in very difficult circumstances. The Church is clear about artificial birth control. But there are some women for whom a pregnancy would be a death sentence. She needs to consult with her doctor as well as with the Church and her family. If she chooses sterilization or artificial birth control that does not cause a spontaneous abortion, this is a decision of her conscience and she and she alone will be held responsible by God the just Judge at her particular judgement. The Church should not interfere in that decision of conscience made for clear moral reasons but also because of legal liability if the person gets pregnant and dies and she as she dies or her family says the Church told her not to use artificial birth control or be sterilized despite knowing that if she got pregnant she would die. The family could sue in court and the priest could be charged in some places with "giving a gun to a person to shoot themselves."

The same with abortion. If a mother is diagnosed with a quick moving cancer during pregnancy. She can choose chemotherapy during the pregnancy even though it will indirectly cause a spontaneous abortion. The intent is not to end the pregnancy but cure the cancer.

She could choose, though, to forgo the chemotherapy and die in order to save the baby. That is her decision of conscience, as a Catholic she must make it in consultation with the Church, her doctors and family. She is ultimately the responsible person before God.

This is what the Filipino bishops said and it is sound theology, but not doctrine, but Catholic theology it is:

"Pope Francis is reported to have given a press conference while en route to Rome after his historical trip to Cuba and to Mexico. He was apprised of the Zika virus and the possibility that pregnant women afflicted by the disease would seek abortion.

"The Holy Father was very clear and uncompromising about the evil of abortion. And we, your bishops, reiterate Church teaching: No matter that the child in the womb may be afflicted with some infirmity or deformity, it can never be moral to bring a deliberate end to human life. It is never for us to judge who should live or die!

"He then proffered the view that the evil of contraception was not of the same magnitude as the evil of abortion. Clearly, this was sound moral reasoning. The evil of stealing a few pesos cannot be compared with the evil of plunder.

"The Pope was in no way changing Church teaching on the unacceptability of artificial means of contraception. He however usefully called attention to two important moral precepts.

"First, there may be circumstances that invite a re-evaluation of the judgment on artificial means of contraception. Second, the prodding of conscience should always be heeded, as long as every effort is made to form conscience properly.

"These positions are not in any way new. They have always formed part of Catholic moral theology and belong to the treasury of the Church’s heritage in health-care ethics.

"Once more, the Pope has shown his sensitivity to complex human situations, allowed the world see the merciful face of the Church – the sacrament of a Merciful Lord – as he has remained the faithful steward of the message of the Gospel."

WOW! AND OH HAPPY DAY! PLANNED PARENTHOOD IN AUGUSTA, GEORGIA GOES OUT OF BUSINESS--IS CLOSED BY THE FOR PROFIT DEATH CORPORATION!

When I was pastor of the Church of the Most Holy Trinity in Augusta, I lived on the 300 Block of Broad Street, the residential part of what was once Augusta's most thriving street for commerce. On the 1500 block of Broad Street and on the same side of the street as the rectory was Planned Parenthood which provided thousands of abortions annually to women seek "care".

Catholics and others have peacefully and prayerfully protested that clinic for years and years.

The director of that clinic with an Italian last name, use to exercise right next to me on an elliptical machine in the health club we used. We would exchange good mornings and the like and then I would pray the Holy Rosary for the closure of the clinic and her conversion to become pro-life.

The prayers of so many in Augusta have been answered. I don't know, though, if the abortionist who exercised next to me had a conversion to the truth and love of God for all people, especially the most vulnerable unborn. I continue to pray for her conversion!

From this morning's Augusta Chronicle:

PLANNED PARENTHOOD

Augusta clinic no longer in operation


Planned Parenthood Southeast is no longer providing health care at the Augusta Health Center, 1289 Broad St., it announced on its Web site.

According to a news release, the operation was closed by the agency’s “commitment to fiscally responsible decisions which ensure high quality patient care.”

“In the shifting health care landscape both locally and nationally,” the statement said, “Planned Parenthood must constantly assess operational efficiency and identify how to remain strong, serving as many patients as possible over both the short and the long term. As a result, Planned Parenthood Southeast is redirecting resources to other communities within the established service area.”

The Broad Street office is normally closed on weekends, but there were no signs on its doors Saturday afternoon indicating a change in status.

The Augusta Care Pregnancy Center cheered the closure and said it will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. Monday to respond to the development.

“For 35 years, Augusta Care Pregnancy Center has prayed that Augusta Planned Parenthood would close,” the group said in an e-mail. “Thousands of pregnant mothers have been wounded, some physically and some mentally. God has answered many prayers of the Augusta people.”

My final comment: There remains an abortion facility less than a mile from my deceased mother's townhouse in West Augusta. Time is running out for it as prayer is powerful, but more powerful is God's grace!

AS POPE FRANCIS, YOU ARE DARNED IF YOU DO AND DARNED IF YOU DON'T

I know from my Italian relatives that there is an anti-clericalism streak in many Italians due to the Church's heavy and I mean heavy influence in Italian politics. It has been a lose, lose situation for the Church each time popes, bishops and priests have tried to influence Italy's political processes and it creates division and resentment toward the institutional Church, so much so that many Italians while remaining devotional Catholics and cultural Catholics disengage from the Church and the sacraments. They seldom attend Mass. And this was going on long before the major decline in Church attendance that has occurred in this country.

So, you get Pope Francis appearing to become political as it concern welcoming the stranger and immigrants and finding humane ways to deal with people who are escaping violence and poverty in search of a safer and more productive life even when it is done illegally.

You get pseudo-traditionalists in the Church who are ultra conservative politically castigating the pope for saying anyone who builds walls, like Trump, isn't Christian. Although now we are finding out the Italian that Pope Francis used didn't mean Trump isn't Christian but his desired action. There is a nuanced difference.

Then Pope Francis, although His Holiness has spoken clearly about the ideology of same sex marriage and how wrong it is; that children have a right (not just deserve) to one father and one mother and that in no way can same sex civil unions be called marriage, His Holiness is castigated in this country by the same ultra conservatives and pseudo-traditionalist for not engaging more in the political processes and protests in Italy, which despite is lack of endorsement or active endorsement of the goals of protest group  has led nonetheless to the Italian Parliament endorsing same sex civil unions but falling short of calling this marriage. It would allow for adoption by these couples.

Never mind that previous popes despite their political activism in the politics of Italy and strongly condemned divorce, artificial birth control, abortion and the like failed in their activism and Italy passed laws allowing these immoral things anyway.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

AROUND THE DIOCESE OF SAVANNAH AND FROM THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE'S RELIGION SECTION ON SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27

Vicar at St. Mary on the Hill, Augusta, follows Pope Francis

Trip to Mexican border with pope enlightens locals

Picture
The Rev. Gonzalo Meza took a trip to Mexico with the press corps during Pope Francis’ visit to the country.

When Pope Francis visited Mexico the week of Feb. 11, the Rev Gonzalo Meza was right there with him.

Meza, a parochial vicar at St Mary on the Hill Catholic Church traveled with the press corps as the pope visited several cities in Mexico

“There were so many parts of the visit that struck me,” said Meza, who is originally from Mexico City. “In Juarez, he talked about immigration and violence. His gestures, praying in front of the big cross, putting the altar next to the border fence.”

He said there were about 200,000 people in Juarez and 50,000 in El Paso, Texas, which are separated by several feet and a fence that makes up the U.S. Mexican border. He said that contrary to popular perception, the borders are fluid, not concrete People are constantly driving back and forth on the highway across the border from their homes to work and back again, most legally. Meza said residents of Juarez and El Paso are like one population, divided only by the fence

When the pope celebrated Mass in Juarez, it was celebrated at the same time with the people on the other side the fence in El Paso.

“We were all (worshiping) together in one faith. To me it was very touching,” Meza said.
Meza shared his experiences and the Catholic perspective on immigra tion with those gathered at St. Mary on Wednesday for a Lenten talk and a chili lunch.

He said that during his visit, the pope visited many people on the edges of society. He visited the indigenous people in Chiapas. In Morelia he spoke with youths about turning from the drugs and alcohol that is prevalent around them. In Ecatepec he encouraged the “poorest of the poor.”

“That was a very touching moment,” Meza said.

Meza said that the United States was founded on the value that God is sovereign, that people were created by him and for his purpose, that God endowed people with rights and freedoms to fulfill his purpose for our lives and that government exists to protect these God-given rights.

The Catholic Church’s values are similar, and that those values align with those of other faiths and those with no faith – the basic principles of seeking justice and the common good, defending the innocent, uplifting the weak and promoting the freedom of human dignity of a human being.

“Jesus Christ himself was a refugee forced into exile by the persecution of King Herod,” he said. “The social doctrine of welcoming the refugee comes from the teaching of Jesus. He was the one who commanded us to welcome the stranger.”

Meza said in the Catholic teaching, people have the right to flee their homeland if conditions threaten their lives or prevent them from securing the basic necessities But immigrants also have the obligation to respect the “material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives it,” he said

“They need to understand that wherever they go, they need to respect their laws,” he said.
He said the trip was very intense. For seven days, it was a whirlwind of traveling by plane or by bus, sometimes leaving little time to eat or drink. Occasionally Meza opted to stay in the press room just to rest for a couple of hours.

The talk was part of a series that St Mary is holding at lunchtime during Lent.

The Rev. Jerry Ragan, the pastor of St Mary, said the series focuses on sharing God’s love with all people, including those on the edges of church and society.

“The Lenten series for the Year of Mercy is trying to hear what the Holy Father is asking us to do,” he said.


I LEARNED FROM THE BALTIMORE CATECHISM THAT PROSELYTISM WAS WRONG; YET PSUEDO TRADITIONALISTS GO CRAZY WHEN SOMEONE IN HIGH PLACES, LIKE THE POPE, SAYS IT IS WRONG. DO YOU THINK THESE PSUEDO TRADITIONALISTS ARE CONVERTS FROM EVANGELICAL PROTESTANTISM WHICH SEES PROSELYTISM AS A GOOD THING?

Christians helping migrants should not try to convert them, says cardinal

My comments first: When I was growing up in the pre-Vatican II Church, my very pre-Vatican II, law and order father, did not like being proselytized and taught us not to do so. We should witness to our Catholic Faith by how we live our lives especially in good works (love/charity).

In fact, my father who sent Christmas Cards to everyone, Catholic or not, would not send religiously themed Christmas cards even to Catholics. He didn't want to come across as "holier than thou" or offend people with his Catholic Faith.

So when I read what the Catholic Herald printed below, I thought that Cardinal Müller sounded a lot like my father back in the 1950's!

 

Cardinal Müller says proselytism 'is practically a manipulation of the conscience'

Christians assisting migrants should love them “without hidden intentions” and not try to convert them, the prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith has said.

Cardinal Gerhard Müller said said that proselytism “is practically a manipulation of the conscience” and that the church’s mission is to help mankind relate to and love those escaping war and persecution.

The cardinal was speaking at an international conference at the Vatican organised to reflect on Pope Benedict XVI’s first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, on charity (“God Is Love”) and the relevance of the Christian perspective of love in today’s world.

Cardinal Müller also said that the Church must assist with more than just material needs. He said: “The mission of the church is to give witness to Jesus Christ. It would be a way of despising someone if I said: ‘You only have material needs.”

Jesus’ commandment to love one’s neighbour, he said, is a call for Christians to manifest God’s love to others, particularly through works of charity. However, in addressing the needs of migrants, Christians are called to help “without hidden intentions.”

“We must not use the charity we practice and transform it into an instrument of proselytism,” he said. “An expert Christian knows when it is time to speak about God and when it is best to keep quiet. Sometimes a silent witness is the best witness of the love of God.”

The cardinal noted that in his native Germany, where thousands of migrants from Muslim-majority countries have been received, the authentic witness of love through charity has caused migrants to inquire about the Christian faith without imposing one’s beliefs on them.

“There are among these migrants, the majority of whom are Muslim, who ask, ‘Why are Christians — and not our fellow Muslims — helping us?’ The love of neighbour is a starting point to the love of God because God, through Jesus Christ, is the cause and essence of our love toward our neighbour,” the cardinal said.

The commitment of charity and love toward one’s neighbour, he said, must be sustained by prayer or risks becoming “blind activism and a fanatical desire to reform the world.”

Using religious differences as a pretext to exclude others is contrary to faith because “God does not exclude anyone,” he added. Excluding others “builds a wall that separates us from God; this is the original sin.”

Cardinal Muller said that instead, the church’s mission is “to help overcome these walls” that only serve to exclude humankind “from both God and neighbour.”

DOES HE HAVE BOMBSHELL, SECRET LITURGICAL GOOD NEWS INFORMATION FROM HIGH PLACES? OR IS IT JUST A TEASE OR BOTH?

A famous traditionalist but somewhat moderate Catholic blogger wrote on his blog yesterday the following:

"I just had some super news – truly – about a great development for the New Evangelization.
I can’t say what it is yet because the right people have to make this public.  Still it is exciting enough that I want to say something good happened..."

Of course everyone is wondering what it is all the way from being named a monsignor to the SSPX having a formal recognition by the pope.


Of course the blogger in question has always seen the primary instrument of the New Evangelization to be the proper celebration of the Liturgy in either form but especially the older form and in Latin.
We already have the means by which to celebrate both forms well, but so many priests in priestlyland refuse to use the tools they have properly. They won't even consider the EF and in the OF they continue to celebrate it in a banal way, with banal music, and sloppy techniques inviting active participation in the formal ministries from laity ill trained, ill formed and completely oblivious to the sacredness of the liturgy precisely because what they experience in the liturgy does not appear sacred.

Of course rebuilding a sacred liturgy, especially in the OF, hinges on a recovery of many priests and many parishes also celebrating the EF. Both, though, need to be done by the books, meaning the General Instruction and rubrics, not in a rigid, mechanical, robotic way, but in a way that clearly respects the rules.

What do you think it is that the famous, traditionalist, yet moderate blogger knows that we don't know yet?

My dream is that the following would be added to the current Ordinary Form Missal:

1. An appendix for the substitution of the Penitential Act by the PATFOTA as the Ordinariate's "Divine Worship, the Missal" has to include the EF's version of the Asperges and Vidi Aquam as a prelude to the Mass, and that the Propers of the Mass may never be eliminated but only supplemented by singing another song or hymn, and that the Ordinariate's Roman Calendar be adapted for the entire Latin Rite in the Ordinary Form so it coalesces with the EF Calendar.

2. The first option for the Offertory to be that of the EF's Offertory with the revised one being second and that the "Lord, I am not worthy" may be said three times as in the EF to compliment the three-fold Agnus Dei.

3. The option of the Last Gospel as a postlude to the Mass

4. The rubrics of the EF Mass for the Roman Canon and that the Roman Canon be celebrated on Sundays and Solemnities and the others in the Missal for weekdays only.

5. That the now prescribed and required Propers, as well as, the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Pater Noster and Agnus Dei when chanted be in Latin exclusively (Kyrie, Greek of course).

6. That the optional use of the Ordinariate's Divine Worship, the Missal be extended to the entire English speaking Church throughout the world without exception.

But I suspect it will be a minor bit of exceptional good new for the New Evangelization brick by brick like Pope Francis will celebrate a low Mass in the Extraordinary Form at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter's as a Mass of Thanksgiving for the regularization of the Ordinariate of the SSPX.  But nah.....

Friday, February 26, 2016

SPEAKING OF REQUIEM MASSES, THIS IS SAINT JOSEPH CHURCH'S LITURGY PLANNING FORM FOR FAMILY MEMBERS PLANNING THE REQUIEM


We have a notebook with all the Old Testament Readings and New Testament Readings for family members to choose.

This is the form we fill out with them:



ST. JOSEPH'S CATHOLIC CHURCH * FUNERAL/MEMORIAL MASS PLANNING GUIDE 
                                                                                                                            
Name of deceased:                                                                                    Date of Death:                                               

Family Contact:                              ____________     Relationship:                                    Phone:                               

Funeral Home: ________________________________________________________________________

Wake: Where:                                                                Date:                                                Time:                   ______

___Vigil Prayer Service with Holy Rosary        or       ___Vigil Prayer Service without Holy Rosary

Date of Funeral Mass:                                                      Time:                            _ _______________                          

Burial at:                                                                                     Priest/Deacon:                                               ___

Organist:  __________________________________Cantor: ____________________________________

Mass of Christian Burial/Requiem

Please note: It is now parish policy approved by the pastor and exclusively for funerals at St. Joseph Church, that family members or friends of the deceased may no longer offer a reflection or eulogy during any part of the Funeral Rites of the Church.

However, family or friends may offer these reflections at the “Vigil of the Deceased” (Wake/Visitation) following the Prayer Service after the priest or deacon has offered the final blessing and departed. The Catholic Funeral Rites entrust our beloved faithful departed into the arms of God’s mercy and we pray for the repose of the soul of the faithful departed. We pray for the consolation of those who remain. Therefore the Catholic funeral rites are in no way to be described as a “celebration of life” but rather as prayer to entrust the faithful departed to God and to celebrate what brings about forgiveness, redemption and salvation: the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Any words remembering the deceased must not give scandal by pointing out the deceased person’s sin or glorifying these sins in any way.

Please indicate your choice of liturgical color:  ___ Black____Violet____White 

Order of Celebration
RITE OF ENTRANCE
Prescribed Introit (Sung by Cantor)
Blessing of the Body
Placement of the Pall on the Casket by funeral home assistants:    Yes ____  No               By:                                                                                            
           
PROCESSION - Entrance Hymn: (Please Check One)
ð       Be Still, My Soul - #451
ð       Faith of Our Fathers - #520
ð       Jerusalem, My Happy Home - #454
ð       O God, Our Help in Ages Past - #661
ð       Jesus Lord, Have Mercy- #592
ð       Be Thou My Vision- #452
ð       Lord of All Hopefulness-#622
ð       The King of Love- #784
ð       All You Who Seek a comfort Sure- #422

  LITURGY OF THE WORD
*1st Reading (O.T. or N.T., except during the Easter Season, it must be from the New Testament):           
                                                                           Reader:     ___                                                            
___Responsorial Psalm: ________________________________ (Sung by Cantor)
___In place of the Responsorial Psalm, the Gradual and Tract may be chanted by Cantor, please note handout
___ The optional Sequence, Dies irae, may be chanted in English or Latin after the Responsorial Psalm or Tract.

Funeral Masses at St. Joseph Church normally do not have a second reading.

The Gospel is selected by the priest or deacon who will preach the homily.
 Homily – Priest or Deacon
PRAYERS OF THE FAITHFUL
OFFERTORY -
Offerings of bread and wine presented by:                                                                                                                                                                

or ____already at the altar             
Offertory Song - (Please Check One)
ð       Prescribed Offertory Antiphon only, followed by instrumental (Offertory Antiphon is prescribed, one of the following is  optional ):
ð       Ave Maria (Schubert or Bach/Gounod)
ð       O Sanctissima- #684
ð       Prayer of St. Francis - #724
ð       Merciful Savior, Hear Our Humble Prayer #633
EUCHARISTIC PRAYER: Holy, Holy; Memorial Acclamation; Great Amen
Sanctus in ___Latin or ___English
COMMUNION RITE                       
Our Father in ___Latin or ___English
 Lamb of God (Agnus Dei) in ___Latin or ___English

Communion hymn (Communion Antiphon is required in all Funeral Masses, an additional
 optional hymn may be chosen.)
 (Please Check One)
ð      Instrumental only
ð      Humbly We Adore Thee - #570
ð      My Shepherd Will Supply My Need - #634
ð      Panis angelicus/Jesus, Our Living Bread - #709
ð      Panis angelicus (Franck) – Solo Only
ð      Shepherd of Souls, Refresh and Bless - #746
ð      Lord Who At Thy First Eucharist- #624
ð      Ave Verum- #444
ð      Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All-#593
ð      Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence (except for verse 4)- #609
ð      O Jesus, We Adore Thee- #667
CONCLUDING RITE
Prayer after Communion
             
Final Commendation (These are the official words for these chants and only these may be chosen):

Song of Farewell: (Please Check One)
ð       Song of Farewell:  Come to his/her aid, O saints of God - #755
ð       Saints of God - #340

       

Prayer of Commendation

Procession from the Church: (Sung by cantor) Please Check One

ð       May the Angels Lead You into Paradise (Setting by Steven Janco) 
ð       In Paradisum (Latin chant)

Prepared by:                                                                                                               Date:                                                

Check List:
ð       Deacons
ð       Music Director
ð       Sacristan/Adult Acolyte
ð       Bereavement Ministry
ð       Maintenance (to move the Paschal Candle)
ð       Altar Servers (Three Needed)
ð       Food Tray 
ð       Bulletin

Chants proper to the Requiem Mass

The following are two additional resources in our funeral notebook for families to use:

Introductory Rite

As the priest and ministers process from the Sanctuary (altar area) to the entrance of the church to greet the family and deceased the cantor chants the Introit.

Introit
(Chanted in English or Latin, all stand as the bell is rung)
Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord: and let light perpetual shine upon them.
(Ps) Thou, O God, art praised in Sion, and unto thee shall the vow be performed in Jerusalem: thou that hearest the prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.
Rest eternal…

(Please face the entrance of the church, then all make the Sign of the Cross, and the Priest says or chants the greeting)

Then the coffin or ossuary is sprinkled with Holy Water to recall the deceased baptism into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The coffin is covered with a pall to recall the baptismal garment.. This is done in silence.


The Gradual and Tract in place of the Responsorial Psalm during The Liturgy of the Word:


The Responsorial Psalm is chanted and all are invited to sing the refrain repeating it after the cantor and between each verse of the Psalm.
OR
In place of the Responsorial Psalm, the Gradual may be chanted by the cantor in Latin or English:

Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord: and let light perpetual shine upon them.
V. The righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance: he will not be afraid of any evil tidings.

Or

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death: I will fear no evil, for thou, O Lord, art with me.
V. Thy rod and they staff: they have been my comfort. 

If the Gradual is used, the Tract is next chanted:

Absolve, O Lord, the souls of all the faithful departed: from every bond of sin.
V. And by the succor of thy grace: may they be found worthy to escape the avenging judgment.
V. And enjoy the bliss: of everlasting light.

The optional Sequence, Dies irae, may be chanted in English or Latin after the Responsorial Psalm or Tract.


The Liturgy of the Eucharist

The Offertory
The Offerings of bread and wine may be presented by family members or friends or may already be at the altar beforehand.

The Offertory Chant in English or Latin
(After the prescribed Offertory Chant, an optional additional anthem or hymn may be chanted.)

O Lord Jesus Christ, King of glory, deliver the souls of all the faithful departed from the hand of hell, and from the pit of destruction: deliver them from the lion’s mouth; that the grave devour them not; that they go not down to the realms of darkness. But let Michael, the holy standard-bearer, make speed to restore them to the brightness of glory: which thou didst promise in ages past to Abraham and his seed.
V. Sacrifice and prayer do we offer unto thee, O Lord: do thou accept them for the souls departed, in whose memory we make this oblation: and grant them, O Lord, to pass from death unto life: which thou didst promise in ages past to Abraham and his seed.

Communion Chant in English or Latin:
To them in whose memory the Body and Blood of Christ is received: grant, O Lord, rest everlasting.
V. And let light perpetual shine upon them. To them in whose memory the Blood of Christ is received: grant, O Lord, rest everlasting.
Or
Let light eternal shine, O Lord, upon them: for endless ages with thy blessed ones, for thou art gracious.
V. Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord: and let light perpetual shine upon them. For endless ages with thy blessed ones: for thou art gracious.

One optional Anthem or hymn may be sung after the prescribed Communion Chant.

The optional Sequence known as the Dies irae may be chanted in English or Latin following the Responsorial Psalm or the Tract if it is chosen:

DIES IRAE, AN OPTIONAL SEQUENCE AFTER THE RESPONSORIAL PSALM OR THE TRACT:
One of the most famous melodies of the Gregorian Chant, Dies Irae was traditionally ascribed to Thomas of Celano (d 1260), but now is usually attributed to an unknown Franciscan of that period. The piece is based upon Zep 1:14-16, a reflection upon the final judgment. It is a part of the Mass of the Dead and the Office of the Dead.

The Dies Irae is certainly sobering, but there is a note of hope as well. Judgment, which is eternal, is indeed a fearsome prospect for us sinners, but, as Christians, we also realize we have Christ as our Savior.



DIES irae, dies illa,
solvet saeculum in favilla,
teste David cum Sibylla.
Day of wrath, that dreadful day,
shall heaven and earth in ashes lay,
as David and the Sybil say.
Quantus tremor est futurus,
quando iudex est venturus,
cuncta stricte discussurus!
What horror must invade the mind
when the approaching Judge shall find
and sift the deeds of all mankind!
Tuba mirum spargens sonum
per sepulcra regionum,
coget omnes ante thronum.
The mighty trumpet's wondrous tone
shall rend each tomb's sepulchral stone
and summon all before the Throne.
Mors stupebit et natura,
cum resurget creatura,
iudicanti responsura.
Now death and nature with surprise
behold the trembling sinners rise
to meet the Judge's searching eyes.
Liber scriptus proferetur,
in quo totum continetur,
unde mundus iudicetur.
Then shall with universal dread
the Book of Consciences be read
to judge the lives of all the dead.
Iudex ergo cum sedebit,
quidquid latet apparebit:
nil inultum remanebit.
For now before the Judge severe
all hidden things must plain appear;
no crime can pass unpunished here.
Quid sum miser tunc dicturus?
quem patronum rogaturus?
cum vix iustus sit securus.
O what shall I, so guilty plead?
and who for me will intercede?
when even Saints shall comfort need?
Rex tremendae maiestatis,
qui salvandos salvas gratis,
salva me, fons pietatis.
O King of dreadful majesty!
grace and mercy You grant free;
as Fount of Kindness, save me!
Recordare Iesu pie,
quod sum causa tuae viae:
ne me perdas illa die.
Recall, dear Jesus, for my sake
you did our suffering nature take
then do not now my soul forsake!
Quaerens me, sedisti lassus:
redemisti crucem passus:
tantus labor non sit cassus.
In weariness You sought for me,
and suffering upon the tree!
let not in vain such labor be.
Iuste iudex ultionis,
donum fac remissionis,
ante diem rationis.
O Judge of justice, hear, I pray,
for pity take my sins away
before the dreadful reckoning day.
Ingemisco, tamquam reus:
culpa rubet vultus meus:
supplicanti parce Deus.
You gracious face, O Lord, I seek;
deep shame and grief are on my cheek;
in sighs and tears my sorrows speak.
Qui Mariam absolvisti,
et latronem exaudisti,
mihi quoque spem dedisti.
You Who did Mary's guilt unbind,
and mercy for the robber find,
have filled with hope my anxious mind.
Preces meae non sunt dignae:
sed tu bonus fac benigne,
ne perenni cremer igne.
How worthless are my prayers I know,
yet, Lord forbid that I should go
into the fires of endless woe.
Inter oves locum praesta,
et ab haedis me sequestra,
statuens in parte dextera.
Divorced from the accursed band,
o make me with Your sheep to stand,
as child of grace, at Your right Hand.
Confutatis maledictis,
flammis acribus addictis.
voca me cum benedictis.
When the doomed can no more flee
from the fires of misery
with the chosen call me.
Oro supplex et acclinis,
cor contritum quasi cinis:
gere curam mei finis.
Before You, humbled, Lord, I lie,
my heart like ashes, crushed and dry,
assist me when I die.
Lacrimosa dies illa,
qua resurget ex favilla.
iudicandus homo reus:
huic ergo parce Deus.
Full of tears and full of dread
is that day that wakes the dead,
calling all, with solemn blast
to be judged for all their past.
Pie Iesu Domine,
dona eis requiem. Amen.
Lord, have mercy, Jesus blest,
grant them all Your Light and Rest. Amen.