Sunday, August 7, 2016


It strikes me as a bit pathological. Liberal, aka, progressives in the Church enjoy disturbing the peace of orthodox Catholics. They seem to hate orthodox Catholics and when it comes to the sentiments of orthodox Catholics, progressives when in power persecute them in the harshest of ways. What are they afraid of?

All one needs to do is to remember the 1960's and 70's to know what liberals did to the Church and how orthodox Catholics had their peace of mind disturbed by them to the extent that many of them lost their faith over it.

But then, thanks be to God, Pope Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict slowly but surely returned the Church to some sanity and orthodoxy began to take root. Pride in things Catholic, the culture of pre-Vatican II as well as pride in a strong Catholic identity was returning. There was palpable excitement not a feeling of doom and gloom although there was recognition that this stronger but small Church would have to be a mustard seed in the soil of a corrupt secular culture that is more effective in gaining converts, especially Catholic converts than Holy Mother Church is.

 But there is still a cabal of churchmen and women who are nostalgic for the 1960's and the polarization of that period. They do not want unity but chaos. They still love disturbing the peace and reducing Catholic identity to mush.

And they are narrow minded and think that the Church's apex of effectiveness is the last 50 years of iconoclasm with the liturgy--that is why they think 50 years of the Mass facing the people, in the vernacular, filled with banalities and music that is trendy is better than the 1,600 years of Mass ad orientem with the progressive development of a variety of styles of Latin chant. They have the audacity to suggest that Mass facing the people is in fact the priest praying to the people since Christ is in their midst--what rubbish.

We had a priest in our diocese write in our most recent edition of our diocesan newspaper such rubbish and it goes unchallenged.  Rather than insist that ad orientem as well as facing the people are both valid ways of celebrating the Mass in either form, he states that just because his last 50 years as a Catholic (he's a convert) the Mass was always celebrated facing the congregation and as a priest for 40 years, that's the only way he's celebrated it, then that 50 years trumps 1600 years of ad orientem. That's how ridiculously silly progressives are. They can't be taken seriously in their narrow mindedness.

Thus it is striking that Cardinal Christoph Schönborn Archbishop of Vienna gave an interview to Der Standard newspaper, in which he spoke opposition "strong and significant", while "active" and "vociferous" which is inside the Church against the Pope.

He also states the obvious which begs the question, why?
"...while the pope has been well received by those who do not have much to do with the Church, "in the Church there is a polarization "of views on the reforms that the pontiff has been trying to undertake."

What has caused this opposition or serious polarization? 

In my most humble opinion, from the papacy of Pope Paul VI there was polarization on externals. Pope Paul tried to defend the Church from the liberals of that period who wanted to change immutable Church doctrine and dogma. He was successful with Humanae Vitae. But the liberals had so poisoned rank and file Catholics that they did not accept immutable truths any longer but the gibberish of the liberals who wanted Catholic doctrine and dogma in faith and morals to change and for natural law to be tossed since it stood in the way of liberal heterodoxy.  

Under Pope Francis there is a real fear that natural law will be tossed and the doctrines of the Faith will be changed to accommodate the heterodox or homodox sinfulness of men and women with it comes to marriage, divorce or simply cohabitating. 

Pope Francis, of course, continues the iconoclasm of cultural Catholicism but this time applied to the papacy and His Holiness has done so from the moment he stepped out onto the loggia of Saint Peters.

Why this return to the failed policies and ideologies of the 1960's with its crass iconoclasm that tried to destroy the cultural identity of Catholicism as well as its orthodox faith and morals. What's the point?

The point can only be that there is a cabal of churchmen and women who enjoy being iconoclastic and disturbing the peace. But then I must ask once again, "what's the point?"


Billy the Kid said...

Liberals? Why does the Pope enjoy it?

Anonymous said...

Here is something to ponder: Pope Francis and Donald Trump and very similar.

Both men never stop talking.

Both men say things that at times are down right stupid.

Both men demean people they don't like by using the most disgraceful language.

Both men are incredibly judgemental of others.

Both men understand that their imprudent words and actions are causing problems and neither man seems willing to do anything to correct themselves.

Both men seems willing to do almost anything to achieve their goals.

Trump doesn't bother me as much because he isn't the Vicar of Christ and because he will surround himself with prudent and knowledgable and he will be constrained by law. While Francis is also bound to follow Tradition and doctrine he speaks out of both sides of his mouth with no consequence. Hopefully when Francis is dead a future pope will amend Canon Law to address in concrete ways any future pope that goes off the rails like Francis is doing. But I am a realist and the reality is the next pope will be worse than this one. Can you imagine the chaos that will be caused if someone like Cardinal Tagle or Dew were to be elected. You might as well just turn off the lights and close the door. I think it is safe to say that for the foreseeable future we just have to ignore whatever the bishop of Rome says or does and just follow the Catholic Faith as it has always been taught.

Catechist Kev said...

"But then I must ask once again, "what's the point?" "

The point?

It is the same point that the Call to Action type Catholics (i.e. dissenters/liberals/progressives etc. etc.) have wanted *since* the 60s and 70s.

That is to say it is contained in their axiom: "Keep the Faith, Change the Church"

*That* is the point, Father.

Catechist Kev

Rood Screen said...

I don't think there is much fear that the Holy Father will change doctrines, but there is an obvious trend, promoted by him, of minimizing the very significance of doctrine. JPII and BXVI, on the other hand, believed that promotion of doctrine was the way to strengthen the Church and to carry out evangelization. I've never been able to make heads or tails out of whatever it was Paul VI was trying to do.

Joseph Johnson said...

A historical question:

I have always understood that we had 1,600 years with a Latin Mass which provided the basis for the later codified Tridentine or EF Mass. What about ad orientem apart from the Latin Mass? I would be inclined to believe that (apart from the basilican exceptions) that ad orientem is older than 1,600 years and that, at a minimum, it may have co-existed with versus populum during the first three or four centuries of the Church. Obviously, ad orientem won out over time (for liberals, one of those pesky accreted traditions!) but the resourcement liberals insisted on focusing on the early Church situations with versus populum (eg. basilican) and selling it as the desirable "norm" which must be imposed for the new Mass. Am I correct about the period prior to the last 1,600 years?

anon-1 said...

The problem with liberal Catholics is that they are more Liberals than Catholics. In other words, the secular catechesis was and is the filter that modernist, Liberal Catholics, use to decide what is acceptable Catholic teaching. It is a new religion. One of the most anti-Catholic, anti-Christian principle: relativism is a cornerstone liberal political concept that has been incorporated in Vatican 2 documents thereby confounding the meaning of clear biblical teachings.

Liberalism and relativism is the universal solvent of truth that if not checked will in the future alter Catholic Catechesis even more drastically in a negative way than what we see today. Very few Catholics practice their faith in a comprehensive way. Only the so called "Catholic One Percent", do not cohabit before marriage, practice birth control, abort their babies, or vote for prochoice political candidates.

Those who read this and other Catholic inspired blogs know all this. Our hierarchy knows these facts as well. We are all captives of culture and changes for the better will come slowly if ever. The reason, in my opinion, is because the present power relationships favor the entrenched hierarchy which either lacks the know-how or the will to change. Original sin, I-want-to-do-what-I-what-want-to-doand-I-do-not-want-reprecussions, is the definition of modernity. We Catholics should know tis better than any other people the best.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

In defense of the Holy Father, I think His Holiness has admitted to talking too much and that it is a trait of some Italians. I can confirm that with my mother. It is a cultural thing. But nonetheless I would agree that His Holiness should become more circumspect out of respect for his high office that transcends him.

I also would defend the Holy Father from the accusation that he is like Donald Trump, although it is true, but the Holy Father's negative comments or name calling are not mean-spirited or simply pejorative as in Donald Trump's case.

You must understand the Italian the Holy Father speaks, which is the "vulgar" version of it, not its formal version as Pope Benedict used. He speaks like ordinary Italians speak and his sense of humor is very Italian. Thus when he uses negative terms, it is done so in a kind, humorous way, although there is a critique even in the humor. But it isn't mean spirited at all and Italians relish the way he speaks since it is as they speak Italian. Facial expressions are extremely important in this regard as are hand gestures. You don't get any of that when what he says is written.

Rood Screen said...

Joseph Johnson,

It is my understanding that there is no evidence to suggest that Christians of the Apostolic or Patristic ages ever worshiped any direction other than east. The Dura Europos house-church is evidence of this. It was only when Christians began worshiping in pre-existing Roman buildings, or constructing churches over pre-existing graves of martyrs, that exceptions emerged.

The one thing that had been consistent up until the Sixties was the common focal point for worship, whether it was Jerusalem, the rising sun or the altar cross (n.b.: the tabernacle for the blessed sacrament is irrelevant to this topic). The idea of the priest or the congregation being the focal point of worship is an unprecedented novelty.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Fr. MacDonald for defending the pope. For those who say the pope is similar to Donald Trump I can't imagine that thinking.

Anonymous said...

I believe that there are two Catholic Churches today. One Church before Vat11 and one Church after Vatll. The problem is that people born prior to 1960 are over 60 years old. They grew up in a different world. (especially the women) The pre Vatll church has had little influence on the younger generation. The reason for this is because the standards cannot be maintained in the modern world with certain Catholic Teachings. People can no longer follow all Catholic rules and Live. Here is an example: My brother and sister in law are devout Catholics. They live in a modest home. They both work two jobs because they value a Catholic education for their children. The cost of a Catholic education for this family is $18,000 a year and will increase as the children enter high school. My brother and sister in law cannot afford to have another child. Should my sister in law expect another baby she could not work two jobs and continue to have her children in Catholic schools. Young people have to make serious choices today and it has little to do with the love for God or disrespect for the church teachings. Even with grandparents helping this couple they simply cannot afford another child. The Catholic church only offers a slight reduction in tuition for these children. The young are not being disrespectful to the church. They are trying to live good lives, love their church, and educate their children. If the old cannot understand that then there is no hope for the Church.

Anonymous said...

My parents were Catholic. They had 6 children. My mother stayed home with the children. All of the children graduated from Catholic Schools. My father was a banker. We were not rich. We had a nice home with a swimming pool. Each child was college educated. What scholarships did not pay for my parents had money saved. Today with my husband and I both working (and we have professional jobs) we could not even afford the home that my parents owned. We could never educate 6 children with a Catholic Education. The times have changed.

TJM said...

This brings back bad memories. Even when young, I spoke my peace. When my lefty pastor was throwing out gorgeous vestments to replace them with burlap chasubles (spending lots of money and committing waste so he would appear virtuous) I protested that it was a shame to throw out perfectly fine vestments. He then berated me for focusing on externals. I shot back, what do you think you are doing? He was madder than a hornet. That's when I first learned that there was a lot of hypocrisy in liberalism.

Anonymous said...

Answer: Because they have an undisclosed agenda, and the polarization helps to advance their cause.

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

I sometimes ponder the word "progressive" both in politics and the Church. It suggests movement towards something good, namely, Progress. Progress would I suppose to most people means improved conditions, but I fear what it really means to Progressives is something else. Much in the way "pro-choice" means not Choice really, but the right to kill a child in the womb, progressive has come to mean, in my opinion, both in society and the Church, a throwing out of the old order and the institution of a new order of things - the destruction of a solid, tried and true way of doing things that produces a good desired result, and replacement of it with a new power structure that takes over the control and direction of the organization.

And isn't that what the premise of Marxism is? That the "structures" embed evil, and the goal is to destroy the current structures and replace them with ... well, something that gives Marxists the power instead.

"Progressivism" is really Marxism, and the promoters of it use non-threatening and even positive terms (like using the word "Choice" with regards to abortion) to spin the issue, and make what they want to do sound oh, so good.

So you should not be surprised Fr. McD, that the old timey Progressives are still a force in the Church, for they will work to their dying breath to destroy the "structures" of the Church, which they believe embed evil (such as calling people who do not keep the 10 Commandments sinners ... and won't let women say Mass ... things like that.) They bought the pap hook, line, and sinker way back in their youth, and they are more devoted to that ideology than to Jesus Christ Himself.

You see, they made such "progress" getting the Mass changed: facing the people, at a table not an altar, and eliminating the idea of Sacrifice and replacing it with a the idea of a meal, like Jesus at the Last Supper, right? ... and making the handshake of peace the central part of the Mass, and creating a casual dinner theater atmosphere in Church. And it's always nice and cool with that great central air conditioning humming in the background. Now some idiots want to resurrect the old ways of saying Mass? NOT ON YOUR LIFE, PAL (they would say). They made such progress. And the thing about progress is that it's uni-directional - toward the goal, onward always toward the goal...

God bless you Fr. McD.,

Joseph Johnson said...

Unfortunately, I can't escape the nagging feeling that the 1960's ARE the new Apostolic or Patristic ages (in the minds of many clergy and bishops)!

Anonymous said...

Excuse me. This is such a laugh. Liberal Catholics are somehow dividing the Church and bullying people. I grew up with conservative EWTN Catholics and have become liberal. As child, my mother was gossiped about because she only had one child. I have been bullied because I am an unmarried professional woman. I have been to parishes where conservatives whine about contemporary music or a sermon or the parish externals. That is why I left that subculutre.

And yet it is somehow the liberals who are dividing the Catholic Church. Please look in the mirror before you decide to judge others. Perhaps as a priest you could do this or is that too much to ask? I certainly would not want to have to attend your parish as an evil

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

When I celebrate mass versus populum, the focal point of worship is not the priest or the congregation, but the altar of sacrifice and the Lamb of Sacrifice thereupon.

Anonymous said...

TJM you should try speaking your piece (not peace) next time. If that doesn't achieve your desired result, the hold your peace.

Marye said...

I did some reading today online from a Catholic Newspaper. I learned a lot about Pope Francis that I had never heard before. I was in love with him and thought him to be a breath of fresh air. It really concerned me that so many traditional Catholics call him a "bad Pope" I did not really understand. I learned that Pope Francis says things like "Catholics should not breed like rabbits" and yet in the same breath he does nothing to support a change in the birth control teachings. I also read that he talks to woman's groups about possibly having more active roles (deacons) for women in the church and then in the next moment he seems upset that some would misunderstand his comments. So I have to agree with many posters here that there is indeed frustration with the Pope. Personally I had hoped he would make changes. From what I read I think all the traditional orthodox catholics in the church should like the man very much. Im glad I educated myself.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 6:52 I feel your pain. I understand exactly how you are thinking.

TJM said...

Anonymous at 5:05. You live in an alternative universe of reality. No one is more judgmental than a liberal. If you don't adhere to their notions about global warming, gay marriage, etc., they become wild, angry, and dismissive and insist that because you do not subscribe to their belief system that you are an intellectual inferior.

Rood Screen said...


It seems that your generation created a new religion devoid of the Cross. But some of us still wish to follow the One who said, "If anyone will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it."

John Nolan said...

Fr Kavanaugh

I concur with your comment.

I would prefer a common orientation for the LOTE in the Novus Ordo Mass for a number of reasons. However, I used to attend Mass regularly at my (then) diocesan cathedral where the altar is at the crossing and usually sat in the (liturgically)north transept, i.e. at right angles to the altar. It occurred to me then that whichever side of the altar the celebrant stood at, the aspect would have been the same. I was also facing those seated in the south transept with the altar in between, but this was immaterial.

I remember attending the same cathedral (designed by AWN Pugin but altered many times over the last 170 years) as a child and being frustrated because I could never see what was happening at the altar, then situated at the east end of the choir. That the congregation should focus on the altar of sacrifice is not a 20th century fad; it was implicit in the Tridentine reforms. A fixed altar which allows celebration in either orientation would seem to be the ideal.

But let's not make orientation an ideological issue and a cause of yet further division.

Rood Screen said...

There is room in the Church for liberals and conservatives, provided these two terms apply only to prudential matters. But when groups start publicly rejecting particular doctrines, we are no longer dealing with liberals and conservatives, but with heretics.

Anonymous said...

TJM, a would-be traditionalist/conservative, opines, "You (liberal) live in an alternative universe of reality. No one is more judgmental than a liberal."

And then he has the nerve to say it is the liberals who are, "wild, angry, and dismissive and insist that because you do not subscribe to their belief system that you are an intellectual inferior."


Anonymous said...

Joseph Johnson,

Let me recommend Fr. Michael Lang's Turning Towards the Lord (2010), which summarizes the more recent research that pretty thoroughly debunks the claim bruited about in the 1960s, that Mass was frequently celebrated versus populum in the early centuries. No actual historical evidence has been unearth to suggest any significant instances of versus populum anywhere at any time in the apostolic or patristic eras. Thus, versus populum celebration is strictly a 20th century innovation.

Rood Screen said...

John Nolan,

It's kind of you to concur with the reverend father, but he knows very well that congregations do usually look at the priest, rather than at the altar or its cross, during the prayers. They even begin to think the priest is speaking to them during the Eucharistic Prayer, perhaps recounting for them details about the Last Supper.

Critical Reader said...

John Nolan,

Re your "But let's not make orientation an ideological issue and a cause of yet further division": Too late. Modernists did that when they forced the versus populum innovation upon us and in the same breath said "What difference does it make?" and "Don't you dare go back to ad orientem." If it makes no difference, why change and why effectively ban ad orientem? They can't even get their stories straight.

Mods will be in denial about this, but what I experienced at their hands in the '70s did great and lasting harm to my spiritual and psychological development (and I can't believe I'm the only one who can say this). They can argue all they want about theology and coctrine and how they're the ones who are really Catholic and the Trads are a bunch of schismatic rebels. (I'm trying hard to teach myself not to engage them because, being fundamentally irrational, they can't be engaged via rational discourse.) But they can't argue that they know the state of my psyche and soul (and the impact of modernist ways on them) better than I do.

Bill Hobbs said...

Luke 6:42

Catholic Mission said...

Liberals can get away since Catholics cannot do not Vatican Council II without the Archbishop Lefebvre error.He supported the liberals.
We need to tell everyone, liberals and pro-SSPX supporters, that Vatican Council II is non negotiable.
Vatican Council II interpreted in line with EENS, and without the Lefebvre error, is Catholic.
We Catholics are not obliged to accept an interpretation of the Council II based on hypothethical cases being defacto and known in 2016.

The two liberal popes interpret Vatican Council II with hypothetical LG 16, LG 8, UR 3 etc as being visible when for me they are invisible.
Invisible for us LG 16, LG 8, UR 3, NA 2 etc is the rational option Catholics have in interpreting the Council.
Presently Catholics are confused with the writings of Archbishop Lefebvre, Chris Ferrara, Fr. Nicholas Gruner, John Vennari and others.
Their version of Vatican Council II is now obsolete.Since it was based upon a false premise.
Vox Cantoris, Louie Verrecchio, John Salza and Chris Ferrara are past tense on doctrine.They follow Archbishop Lefebvre whose theology is based upon a false premise i.e 1)there are visible cases of the baptism of desire in the present times and 2)in principle hypothetical cases are explicit in 2016.So they conclude that there are objective exceptions to the Catholic dogmatic teaching on exclusive salvation in the Chruch( extra ecclesiam nulla salus(EENS).
Catholics are now aware of a Vatican Council II( Feeneyite) and an EENS ( Feeneyite) and technically no one has been able to show me where I am wrong doctrinally.
So until Catholics are informed about all this, the liberals still get away with the deception.-Lionel Andrades

Servimus Unum Deum said...

Father Kavanaugh, Deo Gratias! While I know you've often been the counterpoint to Fr AJM and the many of the other commentators here, I am thankful that you, as a Priest of Christ, understand the meaning behind the Holy Mass. You give a somewhat still young buck like me hope! May the Lord watch over you and may St Michael protect you in your sacred ministry. I'll pray for you too.

TJM said...

Anonymous @ 7:54, you don't need to take my word for it, look at Pew Research (hardly conservative) which statistically documents the incivility of so-called modern liberals.

John Nolan said...

My plea not to make orientation an ideological issue was directed at those who insist on versus populum at all costs. The common orientation is far more authoritative given a near-universal provenance getting on for two millennia.

I'm also aware that the idea of the presider/priest eyeballing the assembly at every stage, even when he is delegating functions (e.g. readings) to others is not only ludicrous and reprehensible but is contrary to the tradition of the Roman Rite.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

At some point we shall have to discuss how liturgical traditions are understood to be normative.

I'm not one to throw it all out and make it up as we go along - I certainly believe in a sort of liturgical "stare decisis." But there also has to be some understanding and appreciation of liturgical development and change. I don't believe that change for the sake of change is, in most circumstances, a valid principle. I also don't believe that the Seven Last Words of Liturgy - "We've Never Done It That Way Before" - are a valid principle for not changing.

John Nolan and others, it seems, are disturbed by the rapidity of changes that we have seen in the last 50 to 75 years. There is validity that, but we live in a time of rapid change in just about every aspect of human existence, at least in the West.

TJM said...

Father Kavanaugh

If you believe in a liturgical "stare decisis" (let the decision stand) then we never should have gone through the liturgical upheaval we did in the 60s and 70s. I think aging "progressives" would naturally go for "stare decisis" because it canonizes and keeps their terrible decision making in place.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

TJM - Courts do overturn previous decisions. Stare decisis is not "No Changes - Ever."

Rood Screen said...

Father Kavanaugh,

You're consistently saying reasonable and considerate things today. I, for one, appreciate that.

John Nolan said...

Fr Kavanaugh

'At some point we shall have to discuss how liturgical traditions are understood to be normative.'

We've been discussing precisely that on this blog for years.

As for rapid change, it has occurred at many points in history. Yet only in the 1960s was it deemed necessary to recast 'from top to bottom and in a few months an entire liturgy it had taken twenty centuries to develop.' (Louis Bouyer)

TJM said...

Fr. Kavanaugh, you are now arguing the other side of the case. Thanks for the laugh. You're so transparent. I see you're firmly in "if you like your 1960s changes in the Mass, you get to keep your 1960s changes in the Mass."

Joseph Johnson said...

Today I received my copy of the August 4th edition of the "Southern Cross," (the official newspaper of the Diocese of Savannah, Ga.) A look at the letters to the editor section shows that yet another of our long-time priests of the Savannah Diocese has shared his thoughts regarding a recent full-page article on the Extraordinary Form Mass in the Diocese of Savannah.

I am now 55 years old and I have known the priest who wrote this most recent letter for most of my life (almost 50 years). He has said Mass at our parish on several occasions going back to my childhood and he used to visit our Catholic school every year to promote the Diocesan summer camp we once had called "Camp Villa Marie."

Unfortunately, Father wrote that he attended the Tridentine Mass for the first 21 years of his life and he doesn't recall being very inspired by it. He goes on to say that "the rest of Mass was what you endured to get the ultimate blessing of Catholicism, Jesus with in the consecrated host." It makes you wonder why he ever answered the Call to be a priest if he felt that way about Mass as a young man!

So much of the divide of liturgical opinion, as I see it, seems to be generational (but there are always exceptions!). I can remember a mostly now deceased generation of priests who used to speak of the pre-Vatican II liturgy that they once celebrated as young priests with great fondness and longing as well as older lay people (my grandparents' generation) who felt the same way. These are all folks who would be over 100 years old if they were still now alive.

Now, many of us who were barely old enough to remember the full-fledged pre-1965 Latin Mass (I was 4 in 1965) and an even greater number of lay people and priests who weren't even born in the 1960's (or 70's) desire to reclaim and appreciate a liturgy (or, at least, many of its practices) which was cast aside more than 50 years ago. An older generation can't understand why we would want to return to something that they didn't seem to fully understand and gladly (apparently) cast aside as "uninspiring." Those of us my age and younger have a hard time understanding why they would have us be cut off from and denied something we find deeply inspiring! We're all entitled to our opinions but I feel that clergy have a special obligation not to dishearten and scandalize the laypeople in their care by speaking in an unfavorable way about a lawful and venerable Rite of Mass.

There is interest in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass in the Diocese of Savannah and it's not confined to Savannah, Macon and Augusta and it's not only found in the very elderly lay population. Our bishop and his priests need to recognize this and take it to heart that the offering of this Mass should be more available in our Diocese. If training of our priests to celebrate this Mass properly is required then so be it . .

TJM said...

Diologue, no Father Kavanaugh says inconsistent things in support of his ideology. Don't be fooled but his genial manner.

johnnyc said...

What has caused this opposition or serious polarization?

Weak clergy.....especially Bishops.

TJM said...

johnny c, exactly. Look no further than Biden, Pelosi, etc. and the bishops and priests cowardly and supine conduct in regard to these apostates. They make me ill, literally.

Anonymous said...

Well-said Joseph Johnson, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Joseph Johnson,

I'm one who attended the pre-Vatican II TLM as a youth/young adult, and remember well the the young Catholics who attended it. The beauty and reverence of the very first TLM that I (virtually by chance) attended as a college student (then a sincere young Methodist) set my course toward conversion, during which I was inspired not only by the Mass itself but also by the intense and conspicuous devotion of so many of the young Catholics I came to know. Any suggestion of comparable devotion among a similar number of Catholic youth today is ludicrous--apart from the small minority attending the TLM--and any older priest who says otherwise is either senile or blinded by ideology.

Catholic Mission said...

johnnyc said...
What has caused this opposition or serious polarization?

Christopher Ferrara, John Vennari and Fr.Nicholas Gruner express the new theology on Vatican Council II : it has a factual error, an objective mistake

TJM said...

Joseph Johnson,

Bingo. You focused on the heart of the issue. Why would a young man choose the priesthood if he found the very source of our Faith, i.e. the Mass, burdensome, etc. I do not believe him and think the old boy is engaging in revisionist history to make him appear "cool", otherwise, he would have been a bit crazy to choose the priesthood. It is a generational issue, although there are exceptions like Father McDonald, who had the courage and the brains to revisit his approach to the Mass when he clearly saw the OF, as celebrated in most parishes, is not inspiring (and even counter-productive to the nourishing of the Faith). It takes an, honest, perceptive and humble man to do that. I suspect other members of his generation are just doubling down on failure and lack the same insights he has acquired from his ministry. Or they are simply lazy and are just running out the clock on their public ministry. Fortunately the younger generation of priests are willing to revisit the liturgy to let it once again be the source of inspiration and grace for the Faithful. I see this all the time and rejoice that I have lived to see this day. Deo Gratias

John Nolan said...

Had there been a moderate reform of the Roman Rite after V2 (and Marcel Lefebvre was in favour of it) then no-one would be interested in using the 1962 books. Papal meddling with the liturgy goes back to the beginning of the 20th century and Pius X and Pius XII were both guilty of it.

However, under Paul VI the Roman Rite was not reformed; it was replaced by a new rite whose text and praxis represented, and was intended to represent, a break with the past. Had this not been so, there would have been no argument about whether the classic Roman Rite had been abrogated or not (in fact it wasn't, nor could it have been) since we would now be celebrating a modified Roman Rite, with options for a limited use of the vernacular.

Ironically, the rupture has served to preserve the Roman Rite, albeit in a form (that of 1962) which is not ideal but does at least demonstrate a continuity with tradition.

Anonymous said...

The "Roman Rite" was not abrogated, but use of it was, with rare exceptions.

TJM said...

John Nolan,

As always, the voice of reason. How Paul VI could be up for sainthood is beyond me. He was the most destructive pope in centuries.

Anonymous said...

I would not now advocate returning from the 1962 missal to the 1965 missal, which we (including our bishops) thought then to be the final liturgical fruit of Vatican II. Indeed, I think the 1962 revision--by a consilium in which Msgr. Bugnini played a prominent role--went too far in its pruning, and am hopeful of experiencing a pre-1955 sacred triduum next year. However, having been there when the 1965 missal was introduced--with its truncated prayers at the foot of the altar and elimination of the Final Gospel, the offertory rite not yet gutted, some dignified vernacular English but much Latin (including the canon) remaining--I believe that if the 1965 had remained the "Missal of Vatican II" as was stated on its title page, then we would not now suffer a dichotomy between a banal OF and a pristine EF.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

John Nolan - I don't think we have discussed "how liturgical traditions are understood to be normative."

We understand that they are, but we've never discussed why or how this historicity became normative or to what extent it is normative.

Along with the rapidity of change, we might look into the secular influences on liturgy and other practices. These might include the switch g=from Greek to Latin, the secular influences on the liturgy, the aversion to vernacular languages in the "traditional" Roman Rite, etc.

Again, I am not a fan or making things up on the fly, but I am also not a fan of Opposition to Change for the Sake of Opposition.

TJM said...

Father Kavanaugh, you've pretty much exposed yourself. You should quit while you're ahead.You want to canonize the lies and deceits of the 1960s "reforms" instead of looking at Sacrosanctum Concilium honestly and admit what Joseph Ratzinger finally had the courage to point out, that the OF was made up on the fly by a bunch of malevolent amateurs. Give it a rest. It's getting beyond boring.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

TJM - If you find my posts boring, I suggest you stop reading them. Because, I have no intention whatsoever of "giving it a rest."

TJM said...

Father Kavanaugh, one last comment. Your posts are patently intelletually dishonest and like the troll on Father Z's cite, Frjim234, you NEVER respond to the substance when caught in pedaling such nonsense, like your "stare decisis." We get it: it is your opinion, thus it is a fact,

John Nolan said...

Fr Kavanaugh

The word 'normative' did not enter the English language until about 1880. Although it is sometimes used descriptively to refer to an existing norm, or pattern, or rule, its main use is prescriptive - a normative statement, unlike a positive statement, deals with what ought to happen in order to achieve a desirable end or norm. The new Mass, unveiled in 1967 in the Sistine Chapel in the presence of a Synod of bishops (who gave it a mixed reception) was originally called 'Missa Normativa'. It was not the Mass which was universally celebrated in 1967 (although that already differed from the Roman Rite in many respects, and in some countries there was an epidemic of unauthorized liturgical experimentation). It was the Mass of the future, not of the past or present. It was therefore normative.

'Normativus' is modern Latin (post-1500) but when it first appeared it meant roughly the same as the modern English word 'normal', since the Latin adjective 'normalis' is not used figuratively. ('Norma' was a carpenter's square; 'angulus normalis' is a right angle.)

Can tradition, by its nature, be normative in the way that word is usually understood? I would submit that it cannot, and we have to apply different criteria to it (and for that matter to liturgy itself).

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

John Nolan - I'm quite happy to use the word "normative" when referring to "how liturgical traditions are understood to be normative."

Normative: establishing a standard (Chamber's Twentieth Century Dictionary)

TJM - "Stare decisis" isn't mine. It's a very common legal term meaning "the legal principle of determining points in litigation according to precedent."

Legal precedents, as you know, are, from time to time, set aside, overturned, redefined. "Stare decisis" doesn't mean, as you seem to think, "No Changes, Ever."

Joseph Johnson said...

Ok, so "normative" means "establishing a standard" or, in other words, establishing what "ought" to happen in order to achieve desirable end or norm. Maybe I'm not getting it but is appears that Fr. Kavanaugh and John Nolan may have some agreement as to the general meaning of the word, "normative."

So, as John suggests, how can tradition (which would be an already long established standard--in my understanding) be "normative?" Something that is still being established cannot be tradition (tradition is something already established for a long period of time--a path that has been long "tread" by others).

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

JJ - Actually, I think you've uncovered an essential element of tradition as we understand it and, more importantly, live it in the Catholic Church.

Our normative liturgical tradition is "Something that is still being established."

The liturgy is never "finished." I don't mean this in the mystical sense of the mass being offered every second of every day all over the world, but in the developmental sense. Rather, what we have received, with multiple, multiple additions, deletions, etc., is a living thing, as all tradition is.

There are elements that cannot be changed; there are many that can.

TJM said...

Father Kavanaugh,

You continue to run away from your own words and are bobbing and weaving and spinning your own words:

"I'm not one to throw it all out and make it up as we go along - I certainly believe in a sort of liturgical "stare decisis." But there also has to be some understanding and appreciation of liturgical development and change. I don't believe that change for the sake of change is, in most circumstances, a valid principle. I also don't believe that the Seven Last Words of Liturgy - "We've Never Done It That Way Before" - are a valid principle for not changing."

Now you're saying, well "stare decisis" is the way to go, so long as its my "stare decisis" , i.e. the failed Novus Ordo. Logically, the old Liturgy should have been stare decisis, unless as Sacrosanctum Concilium says that any change must be for the good of the Church. Well the wholesale re-ordering of the Mass by the malevolent Bugnini Consilium doesn't pass that test at all.

johnnyc said...

I'm thinking that liberal clergy tend to skip over 2 Timothy 4:1-5 much like protestants avoid John 6.....

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths. As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry.

Liberal 'catholics' like Biden and Pelosi are of course the poster examples but indeed any liberal would not have to search long to find 'teachers' that suit their own likings and lead them into myths.

John Nolan said...

Fr Kavanaugh

It was not I who used the legal term 'stare decisis', still less did I suggest that it meant 'No Changes, Ever', an absurd proposition. Once again you have chosen to accuse me of holding opinions which I do not hold, nor ever have held, because I happen to fit your stereotype of an obscurantist traditionalist.

Since I am the only person on this blog who actually engages with what you have to say, rather than condemning you outright, I think you owe me the courtesy of making some attempt to understand what I am actually saying, which understanding should also encompass the fact that the arguments I advance are not simply my personal opinion.

Unless and until you are prepared to engage on this level then no real discussion is possible and I would (sadly) have to conclude that Gene and others are right about you.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

TJM - You misunderstand Stare decisis as I pointed out earlier. Stare decisis does not mean "no changes ever."

John, I accused TJM, not you, of holding a "No Changes Ever" understanding of the liturgical stare decisis.

Please read again what I wrote.

NOTE WHO IS ADDRESSED HERE: "TJM - "Stare decisis" isn't mine. It's a very common legal term meaning "the legal principle of determining points in litigation according to precedent."

Legal precedents, as you (TJM) know, are, from time to time, set aside, overturned, redefined. "Stare decisis" doesn't mean, as you (TJM) seem to think, "No Changes, Ever."

Are we clear?

TJM said...

Fr. Kavanaugh, I am an attorney and fully understand its meaning. You intentionally are walking away from your statement, id est:

"I'm not one to throw it all out and make it up as we go along - I certainly believe in a sort of liturgical "stare decisis." But there also has to be some understanding and appreciation of liturgical development and change. I don't believe that change for the sake of change is, in most circumstances, a valid principle. I also don't believe that the Seven Last Words of Liturgy - "We've Never Done It That Way Before" - are a valid principle for not changing."

Your first sentence really undercuts the Novus Ordo, completely. THEN, when you realized the context in which the sentient amongst us would understand that phrase(and we began to rejoice thinking that you were liturgically sane) you did an about face. I then realized you were fine with "stare decisis" so long as it would maintain and canonize a terrible liturgy, concocted on the fly by a bunch of malevolent loons. Nice try, but I think John Nolan and I are basically on the same page, and you are out in left field trying to defend the indefensible. I think Pope Benedict was right and Paul VI, dead wrong on liturgy. Paul VI left the Church in a terrible condition and his signature disaster was the Novus Ordo.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Lawyer TJM - No, I did not realize that you might rejoice, nor did I do a 180 degree turn.

The NO is not undercut by my statement - as if anything I said could do that - when one understands that stare decisis is not "No Change, Ever."

Liturgical stare decisis includes, as it must, development and change. The same is true for legal stare decisis.

There is no "rupture" between the EF and the NO. They are both expressions of the same faith. They are both inclusive of the essential elements of the mass. They are both unbloody representations of the sacrifice of Calvary. They are both the "immemorial" mass. (Hence the term "form" in Ordinary Form and Extraordinary Form.)

Now, you choose to see it otherwise. I will stand with the Church and the "malevolent loons" - Roger Tory Petersen would take umbrage - rather than with you. And standing with the Church is always the wise choice.

TJM said...

Fr. Kavanaugh, intellectually dishonest to the end, I see. Stare decicis, which I understand far better than you do, would have applied to the 1965 Missal, but not the hodge podge that the Bugnini Consilium, an evil group of people, concocted. There is a terrible rupture between the OF and EF and they are NOT both the same expressions of the same Faith. I believe Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, former head of the Holy Office, and Cardinal Bacci, Supreme Latinist in the Church, had far superior intellectual and theological training than Paul VI, or you or I. Their words were prophetic, that the OF was an incalcuble error, and we have seen the bitter fruit born from this error foisted on the Faithful, in haste, in 1969. So let's drop stare decisis crap. You have no respect for the concept. Like a typical liberal, you aspire to power, the people and their Faith be damned. In the US 80% of Catholics went to Mass on Sunday prior to the "reforms" while a mere 20% go now, with this so-calledi new and improved Mass, the "Edsel" of our time. Your devotion to failure is perplexing. But Deo Gratias, younger priests, after you and I are gone, will undo the damage of the past 50 years and will either reform the OF in continuity with the EF or consign the OF to the ashbin of history. The Consilium abandoned the concept of Mass as the unbloody sacrifice of Calvary and subverted it for the "holy meal." So you can lie to yourself, but you are fooling no one but yourself. At least Father McDonald has the humility, honesty, and introspection to admit the deficiencies of the OF and has tried to right the ship,something that Pope Benedict in his gentle way, laid the foundation for with Summorum Pontificum.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Lawyer TJM - Has no legal decision ever been overturned? Has no long-standing legal principle been set aside? Have no changes ever occurred in the celebration of the mass?

You see, as much as you claim to understand stare decisis "far better" than I, I don't think that is the case.

Stare decisis does not mean, "No Change, Ever." It never has and it never will. Liturgy, legal principles, legal practice, evolve and develop, changing over time.

No, I do no aspire to power. Come to think of it, that's something I don't think I've ever been accused of.

Harry Stack Sullivan said...

Kavanaugh, your lying, prevaricating, denial, and double-speak are all forms of control...the need to control others through interpersonal ambiguity and intellectual dishonesty. It is a common phenomenon in sociopathic character disorders such as you exhibit. You seek power over others in these ways because you cannot have it in any other.

TJM said...

Father Kavanaugh, if it comforts you in your old age to deny the plain meaning of your own words, then have at it. You used stare decisis in a way which suggests, just like in the law, that the status quo doesn't change other than for compelling reasons. The wholesale overhaul of the Liturgy by Paul VI clearly violates the plain meaning and spirit of that term as applied to liturgy. You are now dishonestly using that term to canonize a spiritually bankrupt liturgy. You would be the first to squeal like a pig if the Pope exercised today the same high handed tactics of Paul VI and re-imposed the EF on all parishes or demanded only Roman Canon 1 be used and that it be said in Latin.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Harry - I'd challenge you to give examples of my "lying, prevaricating, denial, and double-speak."

I'd also like to see the names of some of those I have "controlled."

TJM - AH! You have discovered the meaning of stare decisis. It includes "change for compelling reasons." I attempted to argue that change for compelling reasons is a good idea.

Now, if you want to discover the compelling reasons, begin with Sacrosanctum Concilium, especially:

Para 1 which includes, "to adapt more suitably to the needs of our own times those institutions which are subject to change,..."

Para 21 which includes, "For the liturgy is made up of immutable elements divinely instituted, and of elements subject to change. These not only may but ought to be changed with the passage of time if they have suffered from the intrusion of anything out of harmony with the inner nature of the liturgy or have become unsuited to it."

Para 62 in toto, "With the passage of time, however, there have crept into the rites of the sacraments and sacramentals certain features which have rendered their nature and purpose far from clear to the people of today; hence some changes have become necessary to adapt them to the needs of our own times. For this reason the sacred Council decrees as follows concerning their revision."

Para 93 which includes, "To whatever extent may seem desirable, the hymns are to be restored to their original form, and whatever smacks of mythology or ill accords with Christian piety is to be removed or changed."

Long before Vatican II, changes were deemed to be necessary for compelling reasons: "In 1903 St. Pius X called a commission for the general reform of the liturgy: Music, calendar, observance of Sunday, age and frequency of communion and he coined the phrase “active participation."

And there's quite a bit more about compelling reasons for changes in the liturgy available for your inspection.

John Nolan said...

Michael Davies called for the Old Rite to be given 'parity of esteem' with the New. Although he didn't live to see it, this is the juridical position since Summorum Pontificum. It is clear from his writings that Benedict saw the EF and OF as being distinct Rites, and this is also the consensus of liturgists; the present Holy Father implicitly recognized this when he referred to the 'Vetus Ordo' and the 'Novus Ordo'. 'Two forms of the one Rite' is a rather neat piece of legal fiction, meant to sweeten what was for Modernist bishops a bitter pill.

It is unlikely that anyone in the foreseeable future will want to tinker with the Roman Rite; but the Novus Ordo, with a recent and dubious provenance is certainly open to improvement. After all, it claims to be 'normative', with all that that implies. The Latin Church has always been able to accommodate a number of different Rites and Uses. If you look at the Visigothic Rite you will see no Roman Canon and even a few features that the creators of the NO plundered (the new liturgy is a cut-and-paste job par excellence)!

I not infrequently attend the NO where it is sung in Latin; it's not ideal but is authentically Catholic, and although there is a nearer EF Low Mass, I miss the music. I've sung Vespers in both forms and find the older form superior. The new Roman Ritual is horrid and I will not have it inflicted on me in articulo mortis. Likewise the new funeral rites which are truly appalling.

Bouyer, writing in the late 1980s, hoped that some of the better features of the new Rite - he called them 'scattered pearls' - would be salvaged in a future reform which he regarded as inevitable; however, his view on the new liturgy is damning: 'L'avorton que nous produisîmes'.

Jusadbellum said...

I would just like to continue to point out that "the times" is always shorthand for "the opinion of people deemed the elite".

The "times" have changed and so divorce on demand was suddenly something which had to be allowed.

The times changed again to allow for contraception and then abortion and then gay-everything.

But what really changed but the moral lives of the elites/rulers of society?

And forgive me for not holding secularists or non-Catholics as MY leaders or even my intellectual or moral superiors sight unseen.

I'll accept that aristocracy has never fully ceased to be the default mode of government the world over. And I accept that consequently, membership in the elite does grant someone a title of nobility (de facto) which allows them to be governed by an entirely different set of codes and rules than the rest of us (serfs) are governed by.

But I can't accept these nobles as truly my nobles.

TJM said...

Father Kavanaugh,

There was no compelling reason to overturn a rite that had nourished the Church for well over a millenia. And you are cherry-picking passages from the documents of Vatican II which have nothing to do with the Mass itself. SS also mandated that the Latin Mass be preserved,that Gregorian chant and the organ have pride of place and that pastors, meaning YOU, must teach the faithful to sing the parts of the Mass in Latin,proper to them. Have you implemented that in your parish? Ever? I get that you're an old lefty, doubling down on failure and lack the humility to admit you are wrong. But your generation is dying off and the younger clergy have none of the hang ups you have with restoring the sacred liturgy to its former splendor for the Glory of God. After all, the Mass is about praising and worshipping the Lord and not you and our little politburo

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

TJM - No, I am not cherry picking the documents. We are discussing stare decisis and how, at long last, you have discovered that stare decisis doesn't mean "No Change, Ever," but means, in your words, "change for compelling reasons."

So, when I cited SC, I cited passages that refer to change. This isn't cherry picking, it is discussion of a topic.

Now, if you want to CHANGE the topic under discussion, have at it.

You say "There was no compelling reason" to change the mass. I say that when the Fathers of the Council voted on SC, two thousand, one hundred, and forty-seven (2,147) bishops disagreed with you. Four (4) voted against adoption of SC.

And, as I always do, I will side with the Bishops and the Church against your faulty judgment that there was no compelling reason to change the mass.

Would you say that in 1903 Pius X had "no compelling reason" to change the liturgy? That might make an interesting discussion . . .

John Nolan said...

Pius X made changes to the breviary and calendar (whether or not they were felicitous is still a matter of controversy). He did not make any substantive changes to the Mass.

SC certainly asked for changes which on the face of it had more radical implications than anything that had happened in the last 500 years, since it proposed changes to the Mass Ordinary as it appeared in the Roman Missal (there are of course variations in other Missals, such as the Dominican). However, it seemed to set the bar for change fairly high, saying in effect that there had to be no change without compelling reasons, which is not the same as saying that there were compelling reasons for change.

Few of the bishops who voted for SC thought that they were voting for the dismantling of the Roman Rite and its replacement with something radically different, or the removal, within a few years, of any vestige of Latin in most places. They could not possibly have foreseen this, and in any case SC appeared to guarantee that this would not happen.

It's always interesting to observe how revolutions, once embarked on, tend to run away with themselves and go to extremes. By 1970 many progressive liturgists envisioned a 'permanent revolution' on the Maoist model. Ironically, the fact that the 3rd edition of the Pauline Missal (2002) hardly differs from the 1st edition of more than 30 years previously is a sign of the reaction that revolutions almost inevitably provoke.

Other signs of reaction or counter-revolution are Summorum Pontificum and the 2011 English translation of the definitive Latin text. The assumptions which underlay the rejected 1998 Sacramentary (dynamic equivalence, locally-produced texts, so-called 'inclusive language') seem already to belong to a previous century (which of course they do)!

TJM said...

Father K,

You used stare decisis in a deceitful way, because you used it to bolster the Novus Ordo, frozen in time. Pius X did NOT change the Mass, if so, please cite what he changed, other than fostering and encouraging that Gregorian chant, in Latin, be taught to the people. I bet you haven't done that yet with your parishioners as encouraged by Pius X and mandated by CC

The bishops did not vote for the Novus Ordo and you know it. They voted to retain Latin, Gregorian Chant. They were expecting relatively minor changes which the 1965 Missal reflects. And it has been well reported that a group of bishops when they saw a sample of the Novus Ordo at the Sistine in 1967 they rejected it handily.

And you still haven't answered this. If Pope Francis tomorrow re-imposed the EF on all parishes or that Canon I (aka the Roman Canon )be used at every Mass and said in Latin, what would you do? I bet you'd sqeal like a pig and spout off about papal usurpation. You old liberals are a source of great amusement

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

TJM - I did not use stare decisis to bolster the NO, but as an example of how the development of liturgy has worked through the centuries. Change is built on the past.

Whenever a new missal is promulgated, it is the result of decades or centuries of development, evolution, change, and growth.

Yes, I know the bishops did not vote for the NO, and I did not say that they did. What I said was, "I say that when the Fathers of the Council voted on SC, two thousand, one hundred, and forty-seven (2,147) bishops disagreed with you."

SC is Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.

The referenced passages about the "compelling need for change" refute your claim that change was not needed or wanted.

John Nolan said...


The trialling of the Missa Normativa in 1967 before the Synod of Bishops is well documented. It was celebrated in the Sistine Chapel in Italian by Bugnini himself, and lasted 55 minutes. The bishops were asked to vote on certain details, and finally on the Mass as a whole.

It should be remembered that by this date (October 1967) the choice was not between the classic Roman Mass and the Novus Ordo; the Mass as celebrated in most places was in the vernacular, with the Canon spoken aloud (the English translation being basically that used up to 2011) and with the Propers replaced by vernacular hymns and songs. Most of the rubrical gestures had been suppressed and the Communion rite was as it is in the Novus Ordo (see Tres Abhinc Annos).

The final vote was as follows: placet 71, non placet 43, placet juxta modum 62.

Thus only a minority approved without reservations. Apologists for the new Mass point out that 'juxta modum' is a positive vote, but this is disingenuous since however many reservations one might have, they have to modify 'placet'; they can hardly modify 'non placet'.

You are perhaps being too hard on Fr Kavanaugh; since he was born in 1958 (the year I received first Holy Communion) he has no memory of the pre-Conciliar Church. Priests rarely attend a Mass celebrated by someone else, and if a priest tells me his congregation has no interest in hearing anything in Latin, or singing anything written before 1965, I can well believe him. But this is far from being a universal rule. The WYD closing Mass in Cracow had to be mostly in Latin since the Pope cannot speak Polish. There was no requirement for the young choir and congregation to sing their part of the Ordinary in Latin; yet they did it, and with gusto.

When I attend Masses with sung Latin in London, Oxford and elsewhere the bulk of the congregation is under 40. Nor are they all middle-class intellectual types - in London especially many of them are immigrants. To suggest that when they sing the Gloria or Credo they don't know what they are singing since they have no qualifications in Latin (as Fr K has done on more than one occasion) is the ultimate in narrow-minded snobbery and condescension.

TJM said...

Father Kavanaugh, Pope Benedict himself said the Novus Ordo was a hodge podge and was a severe rupture with the past. Tiny changes occured in the Roman Mass like when Pope John XXIII added St.Joseph to the Canon. Since you stand with the Church on SC and I imagine all of the other papal pronouncements on the Liturgy you will finally conform your practice and that of your congregation so they begin to sing the parts of the Mass proper to them in Latin. Also don't tamper with the texts, because that is expressly forbidden by SC.

John Nolan, you and I are the same vintage and I have had the great privilege of attending Mass at the Brompton Oratory whenever I am in London. If the OF were celebrated like that univerally, I would complain far less. THe OF as routinely celebrated is boring, banal, and many of the priests who celebrate the OF of a certain vintage, frankly act like jackasses. They are the star of the show. I frankly believe the OF will be reformed substantially or will continue to attract less and less people to Church

John Nolan said...


Two years ago I was at a Solemn Latin NO Mass (I won't name the church, but it wasn't Brompton) and since the Canon is said audibly I heard the celebrant say 'una cum famulo tuo papa nostro Benedicto'. I mentioned it afterwards to the twenty-something priest and he said 'Did I really? I don't recall doing so. Still, one can but dream.'

The first Easter Vigil I ever attended was at Brompton Oratory, sometime in the 1970s. The church was darkened right up to the point where the celebrant intones 'Gloria in excelsis Deo' at which moment all the lights came on, the organ thundered out, at least a dozen bells were rung, and the violet veil which covered the large picture of St Philip behind the high altar was slowly lowered on invisible wires. The choir then sang a Haydn Gloria while sacristans with tapers lit all the candles on all the altars. Dramatic? It was mind-blowing.

The centenary Mass in 1984 was presided over by the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster with the then Apostolic Pro-nuncio, Archbishop Bruno Heim in the sanctuary wearing cappa magna. A full orchestra accompanied Beethoven's C Major Mass. Five years later I was browsing in a Catholic bookshop and found a glossy booklet aimed at young people which featured a photograph of this event - but as an example of how NOT to do liturgy; the facing page showed the correct way, with people gathered around a table/altar strumming guitars. I had to chuckle. Telling the Oratorians that they can't do liturgy is akin to telling the Brigade of Guards at nearby Wellington Barracks that they can't do foot drill.

John Nolan said...

Joseph Ratzinger did not criticize the Novus Ordo per se, rather the way in which it is commonly celebrated. 'A fabricated liturgy, a banal on-the-spot product' refers to the tendency of many priests to alter the texts to suit themselves. He spoke of a 'hermeneutic' of rupture rather than an actual rupture.

His 'Spirit of the Liturgy' does question the assumptions of at least some of those who put together the new Mass as well as those who implemented it in practice, so there is an implied criticism here.

Sacrosanctum Concilium was the blueprint for a future reform of the liturgy. It is not an instruction for individual priests or bishops on how Mass should be celebrated. So strictly speaking neither progressives nor conservatives should cite it in their defence.

TJM said...

John Nolan,

The Brompton Oratory is in a class by itself and should serve as a universal model for how Mass should be celebrated. I agree with your interpretation of SC. I use it to show lefties how far off they are in their liturgical practice. In reading SC, you would never conceive that its blueprint would end up fostering the Novus Ordo. A long deceased priest friend of mine who was a peritus at the Council said the sense he got out of SC at the time, that it would encourage the Missa Dialoga, chanting of the Mass by priest and people (our parish was already doing this), and perhaps some of the non propers and Ordinary parts of the Mass might be permitted to be in the vernacular on non solemn occasions. If that had happened, we might have not had the ensuing liturgical wars. Also, the death of John XXIII was tragic because he evidenced a true love of the EF.When he died his last words were "Ut unum sint." Well the Novus Ordo has had the opposite effect.