Thursday, September 3, 2015


Praytell, which has become very, very boring and with few comments on its boring posts (most commenters that provoked interesting comments are now banned including yours truly) has an interesting post on "The Painful Liturgies of Pope Francis." You can read the whole thing there.

Here's an excerpt:

The painfulness of the Holy Father’s liturgies, I think, arises not from the character or celebration of the Mass itself, but from the clear lack of affection that Pope Francis maintains for the finer points of liturgical precision and splendor. It goes without saying that each of the pope’s Masses has been valid, undeniably reverent, and probably more visibly beautiful than all but a handful of Masses throughout the world. There is noticeably absent, however, the positive liturgical zeal of Benedict—that which many already (wrongly) construe as a negative and destructive force in itself.

These are the comments so far and very, very few, but Charles Culbreth's is precious and hits them between the eyes (be sure to hit the link he posts!). I print these now before his is deleted by the Praytell censor gestapo:

  • #1 by Fr. Edward Seton Fittin, OSB on September 2, 2015 - 3:28 pm

    Agreed! It seems when the pope celebrants Mass he’s intensely praying! Hardly joylessness! The criticism is unfair. That the pope is detached from some of the liturgical foppery many of us enjoy (including me) inspires me to focus more on what I’m doing & less on the more theatrical aspects of liturgy. As a liturgical planner & veteran MC I’m well served by the pope’s example. Joy need not be expressed with smells & bells. He sure seems joyful during his homily!
  • #2 by John Mann on September 2, 2015 - 6:31 pm

    Wow, Andrew Haines managed to perfectly capture my feelings. Both in how we perceive Pope Francis as loving interacting with people and totally uninterested in liturgical matters and also in perceiving within ourselves a dangerous temptation to revere the liturgy more than service outside of it.
  • #3 by Charles Culbreth on September 2, 2015 - 8:29 pm

    Quote: "One area is not treated: liturgy. It’s a difficult one to take up – just what does Francis think about liturgy? He is surely a man of Vatican II who supports the reformed liturgy and doesn’t seem interested in a “reform of the reform” or making the liturgy look more traditionally “pre-Vatican II.” But at the same time, he is generous in spirit toward liturgical traditionalists and seems to want to make place for them in the post-conciliar church."
    Will this do as explanatory?


John Nolan said...

When Pope Francis was elected the usual suspects at PTB could hardly contain their glee. One opined that Summorum Pontificum would rapidly become a 'dead letter' (precisely how this would come about was not specified). There were speculations about women deacons, even women cardinals. What they referred to as Reform2 would be buried along with the revised translation (which they confusingly refer to as MR3, although the Missale Romanum, Editio Typica Tertia dates from 2002 and is in Latin).

Three-and-a-half years later the EF, far from being impeded by the bishops, is actually encouraged; three historic churches in England have been given to societies which celebrate exclusively the older form (two ICKSP, one FSSP); the new bishop of Portsmouth, formerly a hotbed of liberalism, has ordered that the EF be celebrated every Sunday in his cathedral; the new bishop of East Anglia has celebrated a Pontifical Solemn Mass in his. The Oratorians, Dominicans and Norbertines are recruiting young men of impeccable orthodoxy.

Green shoots perhaps, but encouraging. G. Marini remains as papal MC; Müller as CDF Prefect, and the CDW goes to Sarah with a mandate to continue the Benedict reform. The shrinking of the PTB combox is probably due to the fact that many of the usual suspects have taken refuge in their own cave of Adullam.

Fr Martin Fox said...

I noted the condescension in one comment -- so common among ivory tower progressives: the pope, while a bishop in Buenos Aries, celebrated Mass in the slums, so there was no opportunity for "finer trappings" of liturgy amidst "chaos." What tripe!

I've visited parishes in slums in Mexico. They aren't fancy, but they aren't "chaos." And in several cases, these poor churches showed more "extravagant" care for their churches, and liturgies, than in many, many more affluent, suburban U.S. parishes I've visited. When the bishop visits, his MC takes time to guide the altar servers. Does this PrayTell snob think poor kids can't be diligent altar servers? Their parishioners can't be good lectors? The bishop usually brings his own vestments; and in my diocese, parishes frequently borrow vestments from the cathedral, precisely in situations like a visit from the bishop. But in Buenos Aries, those poor slobs can't even do that, according to this prig. You have to be comfortable, middle class to appreciate the "finer trappings." How arrogant!

Rood Screen said...

In the Holy Mass, Christ offers us to the Father. Therefore, liturgical reform should be aimed at helping us better appreciate this, rather than trying to make us more progressive or more traditional or more comfortable or more excited or more intellectual.

What, then, is the value of evaluating the liturgical preferences of various popes?