Sunday, July 15, 2018


Praytell begrudgingly but not without snark, tells us about a great upcoming Society for Catholic Liturgy Conference to be held in Miami, Florida, the hotbed of the "reform of the reform" movement.

It is good news that Cardinal Muller is the keynote speaker. But more importantly the motorcycle riding Archbishop of Miami is to celebrate a Pontifical High Mass in the Extraordinary Form as a part of the conference, a must see to say the least. Will he ride is motorcycle down the main aisle? NO! I said it was an EF Mass not an OF Mass!

It is stated that the EF Mass is the pre-Conciliar rite which is only partically true. Since 2007 it is also the post-Conciliar rite (you can pick whatever ecumenical council you wish).

But poor old and I mean old (he has to be my age or older, and thus ancient) is so upset that the EF generation (like the Pepsi generation) and thus a very youthful generation has highjacked his "society" and brought the "reform of the reform" agenda to his "society."  But I call it not "reform of the reform" but "reform in continuity" which is what Pope Benedict desired.

Cardinal Müller to keynote at Society for Catholic Liturgy conference

The Society for Catholic Liturgy has announced that its 2018 conference will be held September 27–29 at the Cathedral of St. Mary in Miami, Florida. The theme is the centenary of the publication of Romano Guardini’s Spirit of the Liturgy  in 2018.
Guardini was a leader in the 20th-century liturgical movement. He was especially concerned that the laity understand and participate in the liturgy. In the 1920s he involved students in singing the Latin chant of the liturgy, although he also wrote early on in favor of a spoken liturgy because “the somewhat sophisticated Gregorain chant is ever the possession of only a certain number; by contrast, the word is accessible to all.” (Ruff, Sacred Music and Liturgical Reform, 229)
The conference of the Society for Catholic Liturgy will feature a keynote addresses by Cardinal Gerhard Müller, “Lex orandi – lex credendi.” Cardinal Müller was prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith 2012-2017, at which point Pope Francis did not renew his term. He is known for a positive appreciate of liberation theology, but also for his conservative stance on the question of communion for the divorced and remarried or for Protestant spouses of Catholics in Germany. He is said to have been less than supportive of a reconciliation with Rome of the Lefebrvrist Society of St. Pius X, which does not accept all the teachings of the Second Vatican Council on religious liberty, ecumenism, and liturgicalreform.
The conference will also have addresses by Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami and a representative of the the Secretariat of the USCCB’s Committee on Divine Worship.
Cardinal Müller will celebrate a solemn Mass in the post-conciliar form, and Archbishop Wenski will celebrate a solemn pontifical Mass in the pre-conciliar “extraordinary form.”
A list of speakers and papers to be delivered can be found at the conference website.
The Society for Catholic Liturgy was founded by Msgr. M. Francis Mannion in 1995. Mannion has since expressed his “disappointment” that “the agenda of the ‘reform of the reform’ has taken over” the society and that “some elements of Tridentine restorationism have crept i


Anonymous said...

The above led me to reread a chapter of Christopher Sykes' biography of Evelyn Waugh, eg: from pp- 507-509:

"(1950s) .....the new service retained much of the beauty of the old, and the overwhelmingly impressive Maundy Thursday Mass, the 'Altar of Repose', the night offices of Tenebrae, and the liturgical masterpiece, the Good Friday 'Mass of the Presanctified', remained intact. Not for long. The belief grew that the celebration of Holy Week would be more valuable, would compel a greater corporate sense in the Church, if it was expressed in ceremonies which did not involve a keen sense of symbolism, if they were more easily understood by ordinary people and invited more 'mass participation' in the form of community singing; if they appealed less to the sense of awe, they avoided the accusation of meretricious aestheticism, above all of excessive indulgence of the sense of the past. Nowhere did the notion of a 'Century of the Common Man' exert more fascination than on certain Roman Catholic clergy. The entire edifice of the Holy Week Liturgy was swept away as being over-elaborate, and it was substituted by services of a more everyday kind. This was the beginning of a movement which was to reduce all Roman Catholic ceremonial to commonplace and to abolish the traditional order of the Mass in favour of a prayer-meeting in which only essential vestiges of the traditional celebration were retained."

Victor said...

Anonymous @8:43
The common thread in all these liturgical reforms was to water down the liturgy, to deform it, to get more people participation. The liturgy is the worship of God, and yet the people came first in these reforms, not God. The presupposition of the Liturgical Movement (LM) in all this was that people were too stupid to participate in the old liturgy, that the old liturgy was over the heads of the people to ever be able to participate in. This condescending attitude towards the people is the hallmark of the Novus Ordo. Unlike Dom Gueranger the precursor of the LM, the LM did not consider the possibility of instructing the people on the liturgy or of the people instructing themselves if they so desired. (Actually, most people wished just to be left alone to do their duty, and pray directly to God at the liturgy.)

I keep recalling to mind here what Dom Gregory Murray once wrote, which summarises the entire attitude of the liturgical deformers: "The plea that the laity as a body do not want liturgical change, whether in rite or in language, is, I submit, quite beside the point. … (it is) not a question of what people want; it is a question of what is good for them.” There may have been much dislike of the new liturgy in whole or in part, but this condescending attitude certainly was the major cause of people stopping to go the Mass and eventually leaving the Church. The Old Mass was judged bad for the people, and the people had no say in this, being the pawns of an intellectual elite.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your comments above.

Maybe you or others may also be interested in the following from the Sykes biography of Evelyn Waugh:

Shortly before his death in 1966, Waugh stated:

"I will NEVER be an apostate. But I am not going to show solidarity. No more subscriptions to Catholic causes. And as for attendance at Church, I will do the MINIMUM."

Sykes (in 1975) :

"Waugh's dislike of the reform movement was not merely an expression of his conservatism, nor of aesthetic preferences. It was based on deeper things. He believed that in its long history the Church had developed a liturgy which enabled an ordinary, sensual man (as opposed to a saint who is outside generalization) to approach God and be aware of sanctity and the divine. To abolish all this for the sake of up-to-dateness seemed to him not only silly but dangerous.......he actually could not bear the thought of modernized liturgy. "Untune that string", he felt, and loss of faith would follow.....whether his fears were justified or not only 'the unerring sentence of time' can show."

Has there not been a loss of faith for tens of millions since the above was written ?

By the way, at the end of his life Waugh was seriously contemplating becoming a member of the Greek Uniat Church, a communion under papal authority but unaffected so far by the 50s and 60s liturgical "reforms".

Joseph Johnson said...

Maybe Mannion needs to summon some reinforcements from the
Association of U.S. Catholic Priests (AUSCP)!

John Nolan said...

Interesting that 'restoration' has become a term of abuse in progressive circles. It even has an -ism attached to it, a clear indication of its pejorative character.

Fifty years ago it was a buzz-word among liturgical progressives, to the extent that every innovation was trumpeted as a 'restoration'.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Evelyn Waugh (From Selina Hastings' biography of Waugh):

" 'Active participation' does not necessarily mean making a noise. Only God knows who are participating. People can pray loudly like the Pharisee and not be heard while the silent publican is......Multa obstant Noli imprimere.....

The word 'vernacular' is almost meaningless. If they intend to have versions of the liturgy in the everyday speech of everyone they will have to have thousands of versions....

And further on the is natural to the Germans to make a row. The torchlit, vociferous assemblies of the Hitler Youth expressed a national passion. It is well that this should be canalised into the life of the Church. But it is essentially un-English. We seek no 'Sieg Heils'. We pray in silence. 'Participation' in the Mass does not mean hearing our own voices. It means God hearing our compare small things with great, that I 'participate' in a great work of art when I study and love it silently. No need to shout......Anyone who has taken part in a play knows that he can rant on the stage with his mind elsewhere. If some want to be noisy, let them. But why should they disturb our devotions ?"

At Easter shortly before his death Waugh traveled overseas "to avoid the horrors of the new English liturgy" also saying "In her inspired wisdom the Church will come right, but not in our time."

Victor said...

Anonymous @ 11:05
Thank you for this. Evelyn Waugh had more insight into right liturgy than Paul VI's entire Consilium for liturgical reform. Sadly, this Consilium was a male clique composed of the old boy network who thought themselves educated in matters liturgical, ignoring what Kierkegard once noticed, that the simple "ignorant" peasant is the one whose Faith can be the purest and most sincere, perhaps having some of the best insights in matters of worship.

There were other insightful people at the time of Waugh, some of whom were in fact true scholars but they were barred from the Consilium clique. As Fr Hunwicke has recently reminded us,* some of the finest "liturgists" at the time were women. But women could not be part of the "educated" class of old boys in the Consilium because they were dismissed as having little capacity for intelligent thought. Had "dumb" women such as Christine Mohrmann not been ignored by the old boy clique, the fake liturgical reform would have gone in a very different direction.


John Nolan said...

To be fair to Dr Mannion, he is critical of many aspects of present-day liturgy, in particular the sloppy 'ars celebrandi' and the 'very poor standard' of liturgical music written since Vatican II. He suggests that with a bit of effort, and without changing one word or rubric, parish liturgy could be improved 1000% (his figure). I cannot but agree with him.

However, he is a man of his time (ordained three years after the Novus Ordo was brought in). He wants translations to be left to what he calls 'local churches', which would give rise to a plethora of English texts of variable quality and accuracy. He is critical of 'Reform of the Reform' although some aspects of it are essential if his aims are to be realized. For example, it is difficult to see how music can be improved without some restoration of chant.

Most telling are his comments on the Tridentine Mass, which on the occasions he attends leaves him with the impression that the ritual is being worshipped and not God - a form of idolatry. I attend the EF more frequently than I do the OF, and have never gained that impression - quite the opposite, in fact.

It is not an impression, rather a preconceived response, and erroneous and uncharitable to boot. For someone who prides himself on his scholarship (and aesthetic taste) this sort of prejudice is more than disappointing - it is deplorable.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

As a priest I have never "attended" an EF Mass, although I did as a lay person until the changes in the mid 60's in my parish. I do think that the form of the Mass in any of the many forms can be "worshipped" or elements of the reform such as lat ministries and the watering down of the ordained priesthood.

This "idolatry" though was not an issue until choices and options came to the Church in the aftermath of Vatican II.And for the most radical in the EF community there is a form of idolatry tied to the ancient form of the Mass.

John Nolan said...


Were I to attend the average parish Mass with the preconceived idea that I would see 'the community worshipping itself', then that would be the impression I would take away with me. We see what we want to see.