Sunday, December 28, 2014


This is St.Teresa of Avila's new Church in Augusta, GA:

Twenty miles away in Aiken, South Carolina, there is the new St. Mary Help of Christians being built even as I write:

Then there is this church being built about 100 miles outside of Augusta near Greenville, South Carolina, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary:

Then about 10 miles south of Savannah in Richmond Hill, Georgia, there is this building program and new church at St. Anne's:

And then, of course, is the newly restored altar railing at St. Joseph Church, Macon:

My final comment: There must be something in the water in the Dioceses of Savannah and Charleston!


Anonymous said...

Yikes.....McChurches. "Would you like to supersize that?"

Juden said...

If we build it, they will come. (?)

Anonymous said...

Wonderful to see tasteful architecture is still possible. If I have to choose between supersizing and trying to keep the cows in the barn I'll always supersize.


Anonymous in Archdiocese of Detroit said...

Father, please send some of that water to Archbishop Vigneron in the Archdiocese of Detroit!

Cletus Ordo said...

These are indeed beautiful churches and their size obviously anticipates growing numbers of Catholics-- perhaps the Hispanic community?

However, the photos from St. Joseph belie a huge difference between your gem from the past and the new churches: the altar rail or communion rail.

There was never any mandate or law to remove these rails from our churches. It is all based on faulty interpretations of Vatican II and a deep hatred of the Traditional Mass. The absence of these rails reinforces the error that there is no difference between the ordained priesthood and the priesthood of the baptized. It invites the laity into the sanctuary, where they seldom have any need to be. It invites a blurring of the distinction between the ordained and the laity.

To build, restore or maintain the rail means a recognition of Summorum Pontificum, which is a recognition that the Old Rite of the Mass was never abrogated. To build one in a new church building is an admission that in the future the Older Rite might be used.

So, the powers that be lull us into complacency. They give us the traditional cruciform buildings we long for. They give as baldacchinos and reredos. They give us beautiful stained glass windows and stations of the cross that are actually discernible from infantile scribbling. They let us think that our traditions are faithfully restored while quietly holding the most important Tradition, our liturgical Tradition, in contempt.

I will not call these churches traditional churches. They are beautiful, nice reminders of what we have jettisoned, but they also mask what we are continuing to suppress at our own peril: The Traditional Roman Rite. Until we see the complete return of church building to full tradition which includes the rail, I will refer to these churches as COMPROMISE architecture.

Listen ye laity: Your right to the full patrimony of your Church is still being suppressed. They are merely "throwing you a bone."

Listen ye bishops, pastors and liturgical consultants. Some of us are wide awake. You're not fooling us.

Fr. MIchael J. Kavanaugh said...

Cletus - the old rite of the mass was abrogated.

“Mass, whether in Latin or the vernacular, may be celebrated lawfully only according to the rite of the Roman Missal promulgated 3 April 1969 by authority of Pope Paul VI.” The emphasis on the word “only” (tantummodo) is found in the original. “Ordinaries must ensure that all priests and people of the Roman Rite, “notwithstanding the pretense of any custom, even immemorial custom, duly accept the Order of Mass in the Roman Missal.”
“Conferentia Episcopalium” (Oct. 28, 1974).

Also, I celebrate the Ordinary Form. It is the Traditional Roman Rite, every bit as traditional as the Extraordinary Form.

What is not traditional, not "organic" and not "continuous" is having "two forms" of the one Roman rite.

Anonymous said...

Holy mackerel....Listen ye are some kind of a piece of work....

"The Powers That Be"

Cletus Ordo said...

OK, fine. So you realize what you are, de facto, stating about Pope Benedict?

Cletus Ordo said...

"As for the use of the 1962 Missal as a Forma extraordinaria of the liturgy of the Mass, I would like to draw attention to the fact that this Missal was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted."


"Let all everywhere adopt and observe what has been handed down by the Holy Roman Church, the Mother and Teacher of the other churches, and let Masses not be sung or read according to any other formula than that of this Missal published by Us. This ordinance applies henceforth, now, and forever, throughout all the provinces of the Christian world, to all patriarchs, cathedral churches, collegiate and parish churches, be they secular or religious, both of men and of women - even of military orders - and of churches or chapels without a specific congregation in which conventual Masses are sung aloud in choir or read privately in accord with the rites and customs of the Roman Church. This Missal is to be used by all churches, even by those which in their authorization are made exempt, whether by Apostolic indult, custom, or privilege, or even if by oath or official confirmation of the Holy See, or have their rights and faculties guaranteed to them by any other manner whatsoever.

"This new rite alone is to be used unless approval of the practice of saying Mass differently was given at the very time of the institution and confirmation of the church by Apostolic See at least 200 years ago, or unless there has prevailed a custom of a similar kind which has been continuously followed for a period of not less than 200 years, in which most cases We in no wise rescind their above-mentioned prerogative or custom. However, if this Missal, which we have seen fit to publish, be more agreeable to these latter, We grant them permission to celebrate Mass according to its rite, provided they have the consent of their bishop or prelate or of their whole Chapter, everything else to the contrary notwithstanding.

"All other of the churches referred to above, however, are hereby denied the use of other missals, which are to be discontinued entirely and absolutely; whereas, by this present Constitution, which will be valid henceforth, now, and forever, We order and enjoin that nothing must be added to Our recently published Missal, nothing omitted from it, nor anything whatsoever be changed within it under the penalty of Our displeasure.

"We specifically command each and every patriarch, administrator, and all other persons or whatever ecclesiastical dignity they may be, be they even cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, or possessed of any other rank or pre-eminence, and We order them in virtue of holy obedience to chant or to read the Mass according to the rite and manner and norm herewith laid down by Us and, hereafter, to discontinue and completely discard all other rubrics and rites of other missals, however ancient, which they have customarily followed; and they must not in celebrating Mass presume to introduce any ceremonies or recite any prayers other than those contained in this Missal."

Pope St. Pius V - July 14, 1570

OK--now, I get it. Pope St. Pius V and Pope Benedict XVI were just backwards. Or is it they were just stupid? Or perhaps liars? Or maybe they lacked the authority of their office?

John Nolan said...

So Father Kavanaugh knows better than the Cardinatial Commission appointed by Pope John Paul II which ruled that the Old Rite was never abrogated; he knows better than the Sovereign Pontiff Benedict XVI who reiterated in a Motu Proprio which has juridical force that the Old Rite was never abrogated; he knows better than Annibale Bugnini who, knowing that it had not been abrogated tried (and failed) to get it formally abrogated. No-one has denied that Paul VI was within his rights to order that everyone use his new Missal (although it can be argued that he acted dictatorially in doing so - even Pius V exempted existing rites with a provenance of a mere two centuries).

As for two 'forms' of the Roman Rite, Fr Kavanaugh might take some comfort from the fact that most liturgical scholars agree that the Novus Ordo is to all intents and purposes a separate rite. And since the Roman Church has never insisted on ritual uniformity the existence of two or more rites is perfectly consonant with tradition. Pope Benedict used 'forma' rather than 'ritus' or 'usus' for prudential reasons.

Anonymous said...

John Nolan has spoken.

The matter is settled.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

John - I don't know better than the Commission. I simply refer to the authoritative 1974 statement and wonder how the Commission came to its conclusion.

And "most liturgical scholars" is about the most useless of sources to cite. It is nearly on a par with "Everyone knows that...."

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Frmjk, I know change is hard for one on his 50's, but of course SP did change the liturgical paradigm . You need to get with it, change not static is a constant, we no longer live in an exclusively OF world. I feel your pain but change is inevitable.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Cletus - Quo Primum states: "This ordinance applies henceforth, now, and forever, throughout all the provinces of the Christian world, to all patriarchs, cathedral churches, collegiate and parish churches, be they secular or religious, both of men and of women..."

But did it apply "forever"? No, most certainly it did not.

In "Did the Pope Intend to Bind His Successors from Changing the Tridentine Mass? Jeffrey Mirus writes, "The confusion is on two points. The first, which we have already dealt with, is the confusion about the difference between policy and dogma (or between discipline and doctrine). Liturgical directives are disciplinary and, therefore, subject to change. No theologian in the entire history of the Church, I think, has ever maintained the contrary position, and certainly the Church has never taught the contrary position which is, in any case, absurd on its face.

The second is the confusion about the binding force of Quo Primum. That is, whom did the Pope intend to bind? Clearly, from the text itself, we see that he intended to do exactly what we would expect (with a proper understanding of papal authority and the disciplinary character of liturgical law). That is, with some exceptions, he intended to bind the Church to his liturgical policy until such time as it was changed by competent (i.e., papal) authority, and therefore "in perpetuity" if it was never changed."

For his whole commentary, go to

George said...

Different Rites

Roman Rite
Tridentine Mass (continued use of the 1962 version is authorized for continued use; some traditionalist Catholics use earlier versions)
Mass of Paul VI (1969 revision), Anglican Use (in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, the United States, formerly Anglican congregations, though any Catholic priest can celebrate it), Zaire Use

Western Rites of "Gallican" type
Ambrosian Rite (in Milan, Italy and nearby areas)
(The Ambrosian Rite survived, and was reformed, after the Second Vatican Council partly because then-Pope Paul VI belonged to the Ambrosian "rite")
Bragan Rite
Mozarabic Rite (Toledo and Salamanca, Spain)

Catholic Order Rites
Carmelite Rite (only by some communities or members of the order)
Dominican Rite (only by some communities or members of the order)
Carthusian Rite (a western rite of "Gallican" type)
Benedictine Rite
Cistercian Rite
Premonstratensian Rite

Sarum Rite(almost non-existent)

John Nolan said...

Fr Kavanaugh

Interesting that the passage you quote concerning Conferentia Episcopalium 1974 is taken from an article by the sedevacantist Fr Anthony Cekada, who is at pains to point out that the Old Rite was indeed juridically abrogated by Paul VI, since it supports his (Cekada's) contention that Paul VI was neither pope nor Catholic.

In 1998, twelve years after the Commission had ruled that the Old Rite had not been abrogated, and ten years after the motu proprio Ecclesia Dei, Cardinal Ratzinger in an address to pilgrims had this to say: 'It is good to recall here what Cardinal Newman observed, that the Church throughout her history has never abolished nor forbidden orthodox liturgical forms, which would be quite alien to the Spirit of the Church.' He referred explicitly to 'two rites'.

Since Ratzinger was on the 1986 Commission this might give you a clue as to why they came to the conclusion they did, and why JP II concurred.

'Abrogare' in Latin means 'to abolish'. If, as you claim, the 1974 Notification confirms that the Old Rite had been abolished, how come it was celebrated in 1975 and 1976 at my local parish church, with the permission of the bishop? Why have cardinals celebrated it in St Peter's and St Mary Major? Why do so many younger priests want to celebrate it if it no longer exists?

In England we abolished the death penalty in 1965. Since then no-one has been hanged. In 1971 we introduced decimal currency. Overnight the time-honoured system of pounds, shillings and pence ceased to be legal tender. One can hardly argue that the classic Roman Rite, or 'Vetus Ordo' as Pope Francis calls it, is in an analogous position.

Anonymous said...

John Nolan has spoken.

The matter is settled.

John Nolan said...

Before 'Quo Primum' (1570) no pope or Council had seen the need to legislate on what constituted the Roman Rite or how it was to be celebrated. The challenge posed by the Protestant reformers who were devising their own experimental liturgies made it necessary for the Council of Trent to define dogmatically the nature and purpose of the Mass and to ask for a 'definitive' edition of the Roman Rite. In 'Quo Primum' Pius V reinforced immemorial custom with positive law. Any of his successors was of course entitled to derogate (repeal partially) or even abrogate (repeal wholly or abolish) this law.

Immemorial custom is what defined the Roman Rite and the other rites and uses which had developed over the centuries and which displayed a marked similarity. The same cannot be said for the Pauline Missal of 1970; indeed in the Consistorial Allocutions of 1976 Paul VI said that 'the New Order was promulgated to replace the Old'.

An immemorial custom (and it should be remembered that if we are talking about the Mass the laity who attend it share the same rights to it as do the clergy who celebrate it) can be abrogated in two ways - by a solemn pronouncement of the Sovereign Pontiff that its continuation is contrary to the common good, or by a customary right falling into desuetude (since if the custom ceases, the right to it disappears).

When it became clear that the second condition was not going to be fulfilled Bugnini wanted to apply for a de jure abrogation but was refused permission by the Secretary of State on the grounds that it would 'cast odium on the liturgical tradition' (10 June 1974).

dominic1955 said...

"Also, I celebrate the Ordinary Form. It is the Traditional Roman Rite, every bit as traditional as the Extraordinary Form."

Well, that is nice to know that the English language now means whatever you want it to mean.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

dominic - No, English words have particular meaning(s). Words known as capitonyms can change their pronunciation and/or the meaning when capitalized.

The words Tradition and tradition, while pronounced the same way, have different meanings.

There is much in the mass that is Traditional (that which is revealed by God and unchanging) and there is much that is traditional (subject to change).

John - Celebration according to the old rite, not the rite itself, was abrogated. If some bishop gave approval for the celebration not in accord with Pope Paul VI's legislation, that bishop was acting disobediently, no?

Much of what may be considered "immemorial" (beyond the limits of memory or tradition or recorded history) probably isn't. As you are often at pains to point out, there is a great deal of recorded history as concerns the various forms of celebrating the mass. While we don't know when the maniple was first used, for example, we probably know when its use was codified...?

George - Yes, there are many Rites - no one disputes that. But having two "forms" of the Roman Rite seems to be an historical anomaly, a break with continuity, and difficult to rationalize if "organic development" is the guiding principle for change.

When in Toledo, Spain, last October, I missed the chance to attend the Mozarabic Rite mass offered in the cathedral there. DRAT! Our bus departure took precedence.

John Nolan said...

dominic 1955

Indeed. Fr Kavanaugh should now post under the name 'Humpty Dumpty': 'When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less'.

In his lexicon 'authoritative' (a word he uses often) means 'something I agree with'.

Unknown said...

For what it's worth, there technically are two forms of the Byzantine Rite if you speak about the Divine Liturgy itself, those two forms being the Liturgy of John Chrysostom (the 'ordinary form') and the Liturgy of St. Basil (the extraordinary form).

The Basil liturgy is usually reserved for certain feast days, with 1 January being the main feast day it's used on (in the East, 1 Jan is the Circumcision of the Lord, as well as the feast of St. Basil).

The Office, on the other hand, has only one form in the Byzantine Rite.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Thank you FH. For FrMJK to say that it is abnormal for the Latin Rite to have more than one form of the liturgy is simply nonsensical and non historical.

Prior to Vatican II there were several rites in the Latin Rite and each with a distinctive way of chant, order of Mass and so on.

After Vatican II these all but disappeared into some uniform amalgamation with the only difference being the vernacular that was chosen.

No having the EF and OF is healthy and a turn back towards the tradition of the Latin Rite. The only problem is that the OF is contrived, but that will be remedied one day.

John Nolan said...

Fr Kavanaugh

'Celebration according to the old rite, not the rite itself, was abrogated'. Hallelujah! Having told Cletus 'the old rite was abrogated' you have actually listened to the arguments and retracted your earlier statement. There's hope for you yet.

Celebration of a particular rite can be declared illicit or forbidden, but 'abrogation' is not the correct word for this. The Masses I attended in the 1970s were celebrated in accordance with an indult granted by Paul VI in 1971 to Cardinal Heenan following a petition signed by many people prominent in the arts, many of them non-Catholic. The initiative for this came from lay people, which is significant.

The 'break with continuity' occurred when a 'new order' of Mass was imposed on the Church by papal fiat. That is why there are currently two orders, or forms, or rites, or what you will. If you don't like the situation, then logically you should be arguing for the abrogation of the Novus Ordo which owes its legitimacy to positive law and could be legislated away at the stroke of a pen.

Blaming the Old Rite for breaking with continuity is absurd; surely even you can see that.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

John - I have not retracted, I have adjusted my earlier statement.

Yes, there's a difference between saying "This Road May Not Be Used By Cars" and actually tearing up the pavement and returning the roadbed to it's natural, pre-pavement state. But, in terms of driving on the road, the effect is pretty much the same.

When you asked, "If, as you claim, the 1974 Notification confirms that the Old Rite had been abolished, how come it was celebrated in 1975 and 1976 at my local parish church, with the permission of the bishop?" it seems you pretty much knew the answer...

I don't agree that the New Order is a break with continuity - and this is the kernel of our perpetual and, dare I say it, immemorial disagreement. I would only be arguing for the abolition of the NO if I agreed with your assessment. Surely you can see that.

Flav, the Byzantine Rite can have as many forms as Byzantines might want, as might befit their name. I spoke of the Roman Rite.

Gene said...

"the Byzantine Rite can have as many forms as Byzantines might want, as might befit their name…."
LOL! Now, that's funny, Ignotus. First time I have laughed at something you have said in humor rather than cynicism.

Unknown said...

Flav, the Byzantine Rite can have as many forms as Byzantines might want, as might befit their name. I spoke of the Roman Rite.

Yes, Ignotus. I am able to read. I was only providing a point I thought was a little interesting.

Maybe that was lost on you; alternatively, maybe I wrote my initial post in a language that looks like English, but isn't actually English, and so you've somehow misinterpreted it.

That said, what source says the Roman Rite must have only one form? Just because 'it's the way we've been doing it' doesn't mean there should continue being only one form. You yourself love arguing this particular train of thought.

That said, what Catholics do with their worship is no business of mine.

John Nolan said...

Fr Kavanaugh

Regarding capitonyms, there is a case for differentiating Mass (the liturgical service) from mass (weight, bulk) yet you do not do so. Yet you make the distinction between Tradition and tradition. Can you explain this apparent inconsistency?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

John - As our own, self-proclaimed non-philistine, you are most certainly aware that capitalization isn't the only thing that gives a word its proper meaning. Context, I think, does more to clarify the meaning of a word in a sentence than capitalization.

At a jazz concert one might hear, "That saxophonist is one cool cat." Now, does anyone think a tabby or a Manx was part of the musical ensemble?

I doubt that when someone types, "The music at mass was gawd awful", that there is some chance that the meaning of the word "mass" in that sentence would be misunderstood.

"The music at weight was gawd awful." "The music at bulk was gawd awful." I think not.

The word "tradition" though is more problematic, especially since it is so commonly misused. Maniples are traditional, they are not Traditional.

Incorrect: "Using maniples at mass is Traditional, therefore, this Tradition cannot be changed."

Correct: "Using maniples at mass is traditional, therefore this tradition can be changed."

No inconsistency.

Gene said...

Re: Music at Mass (mass). I understand that Oppenheimer played music in the lab at Los Alamos. So, while working around the U235 stack (a near critical mass) one might have said, "Damn, the music at mass was hot today…or was that just all those neutrons being grabbed…"

Gene said...

This pure, unadulterated BS about Traditional vs traditional is nothing more than a liberal/progressivist red herring. It is garbage.

Православный физик said...

Well, Fr K is indeed part right, I will destroy my students who capitalize mass. (Physics teacher here)...mass is of course the measure of a body's inertia...and Mass is obviously the One Sacrifice of Calvary re-presented in an unbloody manner :p...but to penalize due to capitalisation when everyone here understands what one is referring to...probably a bit much.

As for Liturgical Pluralism, I support this idea, and perhaps one of the mistakes of the Council of Trent was the imposition of the Roman Rite on virtually everyone (save the Dominicans and a few others)...but that's an argument for another day.

May everyone have a blessed New Year. Pax Vobis

Gene said...

Hey, how about at Hiroshima…"Wow, boys, that was really a critical mass today!" LOL!