Friday, November 11, 2016


In a new interview, a portion of which is below, poorly translated by google, the pope says this about the so called reform of the reform and the Extraordinary Rite:

The Extraordinary Rite

(As you read this, keep in mind this first paragraph is a supposed question to Pope Francis. But in fact it is a diatribe showing a profound prejudice in order to bait Pope Francis and provoke a controversial response! But Pope Francis response isn't controversial nor does he take the bait!):

Father Spadaro: "The simplicity of children evokes, with adults, a direct rite, in which everyone participates, it evokes to me parochial masses in which one experiences such piety. It comes to mind proposals to push the priests to turn their backs on the faithful, to rethink Vatican II, to use Latin. And this not only for small groups but for all."

Pope's reply: "Pope Benedict XVI made a just and magnanimous gesture to meet a certain mentality present in certain groups and among people who, nostalgic, have moved away. But that is an exception. This is why we speak of "extraordinary" rites. The ordinary mass is not that. One must go to meet those who are linked to a certain way of praying, one must be magnanimous. But the ordinary is not that. Vatican II and Sacrosanctum Consilium must be applied as is. Talking about the "reform of the reform" is a mistake. "

My comments: Pope Francis remarks about Pope Benedict are spot on. Pope Benedict made clear that the Extraordinary Form is precisely that, extraordinary, out of the ordinary, but clearly allowed and dependent upon the local pastor to determine freely when it can be celebrated for a stable group, extraordinary group, who request it. Nothing new here. Pope Francis is in continuity with Pope Benedict!

The Ordinary Form is precisely that, ordinary, regular and the normal Mass of a parish which could have a small or large a minority who desire the extraordinary form, which they should not be deprived. 

Keep in mind that Pope Francis has not suppressed Summorum Pontificum one bit and the extraordinary form of the Mass continues and in new places such as St. Patrick Cathedral in New York.

More problematic is Pope Francis' comments on the "reform of the reform." But this is interpreted by Pope Francis from the statement of Fr. Spadaro which is a statement to bait the Pope: Spadaro says, "It comes to mind proposals to push the priests to turn their backs on the faithful, to rethink Vatican II, to use Latin. And this not only for small groups but for all!"

Thus Pope Francis is using "reform of the reform" in the context of the bait of Fr. Spadaro, meaning that we go back exclusively to the Extraordinary Form, not just for a small group or for the SSPX, but for everyone.

That is not what "reform of the reform" means as Pope Benedict may have used it. And in fact Pope Benedict did not use it but rather the term "Reform in Continuity." This means doing exactly what Pope Francis says in the same paragraph:

"Sacrosanctum Consilium must be applied as is!

Most of us who desire "reform in continuity" do not want to go back to the Extraordinary Form completely! We want Sacrosanctum Concilium applied as is! This is what "reform in continuity" means, not turning the clock back before Vatican II or ignoring Sacrosanctum Consilium.

Finally, Pope Francis says nothing about the baited statement of the priest turning his back on the people as Spadaro states it in his prejudicial opening baited question!

Pope Francis has celebrated Mass with his back to the people many times and he is going to make the SSPX a personal prelature! He approved the Ordinariate's Missal which is very much more in line with applying Sacrosanctum Concilium as is! It allows explicitly for ad orientem!

So we really have nothing new here just more confusion caused by Spadaro and it appears intentionally!


Anonymous said...

"... in order to BATE Pope Francis and..."

Oh, this is delicious. MORE PLEASE!

rcg said...

You are right about the argumentative nature of the question. The short answer should have been, "when I was a child I spoke as a child...". Another would have involved a discussion of potty training.

Rood Screen said...

Bless his heart, but Pope Francis is just inept on liturgical matters. SC does not require suppression of Latin or Gregorian Chant or a common direction of liturgical prayer. But if, somehow, Pope Francis is right and Pope Emeritus Benedict is wrong, and SC does indeed demand this suppression, then he should explain how he arrived at such a surprising interpretation.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

but dialogue, it isn't Pope Francis saying this but Fr. Spadaro! Pope Francis answer in no way negates the option of ad orientem, Gregorian chant or Latin. He is opposed, as was Pope Benedict,to suppressing Vatican II in general and Sacrosanctum Concilium in particular. Pope Benedict wanted it implemented as is not in some vague "spirit" of reform. It appears Pope Francis is on the same page.

Tony V said...

It took the Vatican how many centuries to admit that they messed up with Galileo. How long will it take before they can admit that Vatican II was a failure? We don't do this in the business world: imagine if Coca Cola were still insisting New Coke was the way of the future (despite the fact that everyone deserted the brand)? But then CEOs don't cover themselves with the mantle of infallibility. That's why I always say that Vatican II couldn't have happened without Vatican I.

Anonymous said...

A special thank you to Pope Francis for helping Mr. Trump become elected to the presidency. It was our humble pope's non-judgmental statement that Donald Trump "isn't a Christian" that helped Mr. Trump surge back in popularity when he was starting to slip. So thanks again to the humblest pope everrrrrrr! Keep up the good work.

Mark Thomas said...

Father McDonald said..."Keep in mind that Pope Francis has not suppressed Summorum Pontificum one bit and the extraordinary form of the Mass continues and in new places such as St. Patrick Cathedral in New York."

Father McDonald, that can't be true. Leading "traditional" Catholic bloggers assured us that His Holiness Pope Francis not only hated the TLM, but would "outlaw" the TLM. Pope Francis also hates SSPX. He will excommunicate the Society.

Come on, Father!

By the way, George Soros forced Pope Benedict XVI from the Throne of Saint Peter. George Soros runs the St. Gallen "mafia", which, in turn, conspired to elect Cardinal Bergoglio as Pope. That is what Rorate Caeli and countless "traditional" Catholic bloggers claim. Therefore, that information must be true.

Summorum Pontificum has not been suppressed? Oh, please! We will be told next that Pope Francis has promoted Confession. Yeah. Right.


Mark Thomas

Rood Screen said...

Father McDonald,

If the Holy Father saw error in Spadaro's remark, then surely he would have said so. Further, the Lombardi's clarification last summer made it clear that Francis links liturgical reform with the EF. It seems obvious enough to me that the pope sees any attempt to reform the liturgy as a bad move towards the EF, and that he understands SC to have suppressed Latin, Gregorian Chant, and other elements that reformers, like Benedict, advocate.

For reasons which are unclear to me, Pope Francis despises fidelity and reverence, but accepts and embraces immorality and irreverence. What does he hope to achieve with this pastoral approach, apart from bolstering his own popularity?

Rood Screen said...

Tony V,

Galileo correctly supported the Copernican view, but did so in opposition to the scientific consensus of his day, and without providing any convincing scientific evidence. It was only years later that science proved Copernicus right, using scientific means to do so. The Vatican was right to demand that he provide evidence for his claims, but wrong to confine him to house arrest.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Dialogue, Those words are Spadaro's not Pope Francis. I have concelebrated at least three Masses with Pope Francis in St. Peter Square and have seen others at St. Peter's Basilica. Gregorian Chant continues to be used. The Benedictine altar arrangement is still used and the pope celebrates Mass in a very austere, detached way very similar to Pope Benedict (without his chanting). In fact, like Pope Benedict, Pope Francis celebrates Mass facing the people but in an ad orientem sort of way.

He has celebrated Mass many times publicly facing the altar both at side altars in St. Peter's and in the Sistine Chapel. So he is not completely opposed to it although I suspect he prefers facing the people.

It is wrong and against the laws of charity to accuse Pope Francis of a lack of fidelity and reverence and worse it is a calumny to say he embraces immorality and irreverence.

Anonymous said...

"It is wrong and against the laws of charity to accuse Pope Francis of a lack of fidelity and reverence and worse it is a calumny to say he embraces immorality and irreverence."

But you continue to post and make no such comment regarding Gene's racist remarks...

Ceile De said...

Detraction, Father, at worst, detraction, not calumny.

Tony V said...

@Dialogue: 'The Vatican was ... wrong to confine him to house arrest.'
And it took them how long to admit that? And then there's Savonarola and a host of others. The Vatican clearly finds it difficult to acknowledge when it makes mistakes, and that's been compounded by the 19th century declaration of papal infallibility. Yet anyone with an ounce of common sense can see that Vatican II was a complete flop.

Rood Screen said...

Tony V,

The Church certainly acknowledged the veracity of the Copernican view as soon as it was established scientifically, which was after Galileo was dead and buried. I'm not sure what papal infallibility has to do with that, or what Vatican II has to do with either.

Rood Screen said...

Father McDonald,

Thank you for your response. It is the Holy Father's opposition to reforming celebrations of the Mass that leads me to conclude that he prefers the present state of irreverence that has become usual. He also insists that those persons in adulterous or fruitless unions are welcome in the Church, without need of repentance, which shows his ambivalence towards immorality. He clearly wishes to make everyone feel welcome, which is good, but irreverence and immorality are not things that concern him. There's no point pretending he's something that he is not. If he was opposed to immorality and irreverence, then the "conservative" Catholics would be fond of him.

John Nolan said...

We've heard this before from Francis. SP was a 'magnanimous gesture' to people of 'a certain mentality' who are motivated by 'nostalgia'. As long as they don't rock the boat, we can tolerate their eccentricity.

He just doesn't get it. Since the Roman Rite was never abrogated, it is not offered as a concession. Most of those who are devoted to it don't remember it first time round, so nostalgia hardly comes into it. When Francis was elected, the bien-pensants over at PrayTell predicted (and hoped) that SP would become a 'dead letter'. They didn't get it either.

What Benedict intended is obvious from everything he has written concerning the liturgy.

Anonymous said...

One need not berate those living in sin to be opposed to sin. And opposing sin does not require berating the sinner.

There is no requirement in the policy of the Church that sinners be made to stand apart, to be cast out, to be excluded. Yes, sinner are welcome in the Church, and every time they are there they hear the same scriptures that call all to repentance and conversion of heart and life.

And every time they are there they are part of what we know is the source and summit of our Christian lives.

Anonymous said...

Having attended a Mass recently at our cathedral which was closer to The Voice than a Mass, I won't be going back there. More parishes closing and Masses being replaced by a liturgy. The Ordinary form of the Mass is set to die out. Those who don't believe that are living in their own bubble, much like the Democrats who have been stunned by the election of Donald Trump - actually believed their own polls which over-sampled Democrats and didn't face the reality of what was happening. Thankfully the Catholic vote went pro-life and it is great to see that there is a strong pro-life Catholic population in America. That augurs well for the future and hopefully will influence other countries to uphold life from conception to natural death.


Anonymous said...

The Pope may have good intentions but remarks hurtful to good Catholics make no sense whatsoever. I am afraid a significant part of the Church are being aligned by ideologically tainted words.

Anonymous said...

After the Church in England was made into the Church of England it did not take very long for its hierarchy become corrupted. Its liturgy was all over the place, high church - low church. Not unlike whet exists in the Catholic Church today. A number of the clergy were openly questioning even the divinity of Jesus. The Novus Ordo as practiced today is completely anthropocentric because its casual presentation fails to suggest the sacred.

The mistakes of our recent past are due to arrogance and pride. Prior to the 16th c. reformation the Vatican needed to be reformed also and many inside the Church urged reforms. However, the Popes then cared more about enriching their families than the needs of the Church. Today it is more difficult to pinpoint the reasons for inaction. One has a vague conviction it must be due to weakening of faith. Lack of courage to taken on the secular world plagues lay and clerical alike. Preoccupation with environmental concerns displace moral issues and God centered worship. Clearly, corruption is gradually being introduced or seeps in because those who raise the alarm about what is happening are subjected to name calling and their ones detractors get promoted to be supervisors.

Even so, I believe, the small Church predicted by Benedict XVI will prevail in the end.

TJM said...

So much for the"mercy"Pope. What a condescending statement - a certain mentality! Typical liberal. He's the one that needs to get a clue as the Novus Ordo Church continues its collapse. Can't wait for this disastrous papacy to end.

Rood Screen said...

The "certain mentality" of which he speaks is love of our Eucharistic Lord. The EF movement is not about turning back the clock or even the aesthetics of "smells and bells", but about a deep desire to worship God instead of the priest. I personally prefer the OF Mass offered very simply, but I sympathize with all those EF Catholics desperate for shepherds who will lead them to to Christ, rather than to themselves.

Anonymous said...

Bless his Jesuit heart.

Pope Francis who never meet an immoral act he didn't ignore or justify.
Never missed an opportunity to make snide comments about Catholic doctrine and Tradition.

A man who shows his contempt for the Catholic Faith at every turn while reveling in causing confusion and chaos.

The truth is he descends more and more into madness with each day and nothing is being done to help him. Remaining silent in the face of all the nonsensical things he says, and down right heresy isn't helping him or the Church. His soul and the souls of millions are in jeopardy because of his imprudence, arrogance, deliberate distortions of scripture and Church history etc. The man needs prayers and intense psychiatric help. And probably help with an alcohol problem. You can see the signs. Help the man, put down the cameras and turn off the spotlights and get him some help.

Victor said...

I have said it before, and will say it again. Pope Franncis may be well meaning, but as pope he is incompetent, and needs our prayers. It bothers me that he is so judgmental about people, in this case about those who practise the virtue of fortitude which he calls "rigid". How can he judge people who prefer the Mass of St Gregory, who are more than just trying to find God, but trying to love Him in the best way that they can in public worship?
I fear that this pope is living in the cultural Marxism of the 1970's and simply does not understand 2016. This even says something more about the college of Cardinals who elected him.
I also fear that as the traditional Mass of St Gergory grows in popularity among our young, Summorum Pontificum may be suppressed and the Church leaders will have fallen into heresy, becoming an apostacy. The Council of Trent declared solemnly that the Mass of St Gregory is to be said in perpetuity, and no one, not even a bishop, can prevent a priest from saying it until the end of time. Pope Benedict knew that and gave us SP as a result, but some popes, bishops, and priests fell into heresy trying to suppress it, as do some priests and bishops today preventing others from saying it. This does not mean that the Novus Ordo is in any way invalid. It just means that, while the traditional Mass cannot be suppressed, the Novus Ordo, or any other valid Ordo, can co-exist with it.

Anonymous said...

"The Council of Trent declared solemnly that the Mass of St Gregory is to be said in perpetuity, and no one, not even a bishop, can prevent a priest from saying it until the end of time."

Incorrect. Liturgical regulations - and this is a liturgical regulation - cannot be thought or understood to be perpetual. Yes, the Church under the leadership of the bishops in communion with the pope CAN determine which forms of which rites are celebrated - or not.

Liturgical regulations - all of them - are subject to change and adjustment by the Church under the leadership of the bishops in communion with the pope.

Rood Screen said...


It is the official view that the OF Mass is indeed a developed form of the Mass of Gregory the Great (i.e. the Roman Mass).

George said...


" This does not mean that the Novus Ordo is in any way invalid. It just means that, while the traditional Mass cannot be suppressed, the Novus Ordo,

or any other valid Ordo, can co-exist with it. "

I agree. Can anything other that that be said, or any other position be fairly, rightly, and jusifiably taken about the validity of new form of the Mass?
The Sacrifice of Calvary is present at every validly celebrated Mass, with the necessary conditions being met. Certainly there have been abuses in its celebration. And this is a problem which should certainly be addressed. It is true that there have been instances when the necessary solemnity has not been observed. It is incumbent on the faithful to be properly disposed, with the necessary spiritual disposition and condition of soul, and for the Church to help them in this regard. A proper and solemn celebration is necessary to this end. There are those who prefer the Extraordinary form and there is nothing at all wrong with that. This is due in no small part to how that form of the Mass is celebrated and the spiritual attitude of those who participate in it. Anything which is of help to us in entering into the mystery of the Holy Mass is right and good. Let us be thankful that both forms available to us. If, as some contend, the Extraordinary form over time will displace the Novus Ordo and become the predominent one sometime in the future, so be it. What is important is that the Mass will still be celebrated.

John Nolan said...

In point of fact, papal or episcopal interference with the liturgy is a comparatively recent phenomenon. There was no Sacred Congregation of Rites until 1588, and serious meddling is a 20th century phenomenon, which reached its apogee in the 1960s when papal authority was invoked to dismantle the Roman Rite and replace it with something substantially different, and then to mandate its exclusive use. No medieval bishop would have attempted to change or regulate the liturgy in his diocese - before the advent of printed books this would not have been a practical proposition in any case.

However, although certain Rites and Uses may fall into desuetude, the Church does not suppress any orthodox and valid Rite. The pope (as Joseph Ratzinger reminded us less than twenty years ago) is the servant and guardian of Tradition, of which liturgy is a part. It will be remembered that Bugnini petitioned to have the older Rite juridically abrogated and was informed by the then Secretary of State that to do so would be obnoxious to liturgical tradition.

Pope Francis can be as rude as he likes to people who prefer the Roman Rite to the Novus Ordo; he can sideline Cardinal Sarah (his own appointee) and pack the CDWDS with 1970s has-beens; he can say the 'reform of the reform' is dead and the 2002 MR is to be preserved as it were in aspic (highly unlikely) - it will not make a hap'orth of difference to the growing number of bishops, priests and laypeople who know the Church's liturgical life is in dire straits and are resolved to do something about it.

Anonymous said...

The Church does not suppress an orthodox and valid rite.

The Church does regulate the use of rites.

The Church is a servant of Tradition, and that Tradition gives the Church the right to regulate the use of rites, to change, amend, and adjust them as the Church sees fit in a given time.

This has been the tradition of the Church since rites were established and codified.

Victor said...

The question is not so simple as one of rites. The reason why Trent needed to address the liturgy was because it was a matter of Catholic faith. The Church believes as She prays: Lex orandi est lex credendi. Trent saw in the traditional Roman liturgy the faith of the Apostles being expressed, and wanted to make sure that this continued. It is why liturgies going back 200 years were suppressed since many of them, such as those influenced by the Protestants, did not exprsss that Catholic faith anymore. Liturgy, in other words, is a matter of faith.
Perhaps this is not the place to bring it up, but all this raises a question about the new liturgy. We sometimes hear about how the post VII liturgy expresses a new "ecclesiology". If one digs deeply into this question, is it a matter of something vague called "ecclesiology" or is it actually a matter of faith? The Protestants tried to go back to the sources for thier liturgies, just as the VII reformers did for the Catholic Mass. Both threw out a lot of the logical theological developments since Carolingian times that the liturgy of St Gregory made manifest, replacing them with often romanticised dreams of early Christian practice. The idea of Sacrifice of the Mass was toned down, as evidenced by the removing of the great "Suscipe Sancte Pater" of the offertory, and generally with a re-editing of the lectionary that presents a different doctrine of the Catholic Faith, such as with the removal of St Paul's condemnation passage in the Epistle of Holy Thursday, an act that either questions the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist or posits a belief in Universalism. In other words, the new Mass is a Protestantisation of the Catholic faith, and this has not been seriously addressed in the past 45 years of Ecumenism.

George said...


You touch on something which is of critical importance today and that is the crisis in faith and belief. The Wellspring of Grace which is the Sacrifice of the Mass is of some benefit to whomever attends. How much greater is the benefit to the person who is properly disposed with the necessary spiritual disposition and condition of soul. All living plants benefit to some extent from the light and warmth of the sun. How much more is this true of those plants which are sufficiently watered and properly nourished, and grown in fertile, well-cultivated soil. There are stories in the media today of the development of human-like robots. No matter how human -like they become, they could never benefit form the graces available at our Masses because they have no soul.There is also the problem of so many in the our existence today being affected by the noise of secular culture and the demands and distractions of modern life and how these things can and do impose on the spiritual life. So the problem is not just one of a poorly celebrated liturgy.

John Nolan said...

The anonymous comment at 8:19 (and it is so redolent of Fr Kavanaugh's take on liturgy that I find it hard to believe he is not the author of it) fails to address the main point, which was that 'the Church', which I take to mean the centralized authority of the same, only started regulating liturgical practice in the second half of the second millennium, and only deemed itself competent to make radical changes and impose them willy-nilly in the twentieth century.

To attempt to justify this in the name of Tradition is to stand both truth and logic on their respective heads.

Anonymous said...

If 'the Church' has the authority - and She does - then it does not matter whether that authority is exercised in 65, 1065, or 1965.

Are we to understand that there was no regulation of liturgical practice until the second half of the second millennium?

No regulation until then?

John Nolan said...


I don't know what you have been told by those who tried to defend the imposed liturgical revolution of the 1960s by suggesting it had historical precedent, but you were (probably deliberately) misinformed.

If you have evidence to the contrary, I, for one, would be interested to see it.