Sunday, November 4, 2018



Press for full article: REPOST: Interviewing Liturgical Leaders: Archimandrite Robert Taft, S.J.

As I was reading the above article reposted by Praytell, I didn't realize that the comment section was a repost also. As usual, and at one time, but no more, the comment section at Praytell was far more interesting to read than the main post. 

As I was reading the comments, I thought to myself, maybe Praytell had reverted to their older comment policy that allowed for a diversity of voices rather than the gestapo approach to a single ideology they currently have. 

And I saw old commenters there making such great sense and thought, wow, Praytell is finally getting it and allowing for voices of reason in their comment section. 

Of course there were plenty of the silly progressive comments that are laughable. But that's the other side to open mindedness,  allowing for the silly and the sound.

Then I saw my archnemesis  at Praytell,Bill deHaas, perhaps one of the nastiest commenters there,  who himself it appears more recently has had his wings clipped or is outright banned like me, posting a comment that linked a video I had posted in 2014. He was a voracious reader of my blog. I hope he hasn't died unrepentant of his silly views of the Church and liturgy. He has to be a bit older than me but an unconverted silly progressive.  I was silly one time too, but I underwent authentic renewal and conversion. But I digress.

Then I finally realized what I was reading were comments from 2014, not today. But it is a great study in how praytell became so narrow minded today. 

Bill deHaas says:
@Fritz Bauerschmidt – comment #32:

Deacon – here you go….video of Cassian Folsom:

Sorry, not impressed. Reminded me of watching EWTN’s Faith 2.0 which has nothing to do with faith but lots to do with minor rules, interpretations, etc.

Folsom…..everything is distilled (via careful picking and choosing various quotes to make his case) to *norms*. Fairly clear that the gospel imperatives are not *norms* but a call to conversion; love, relationships, invitation. Really does sound like a version of someone confusing law with faith. Isn’t the faith invite about Jesus Christ (not rules?)

From any serious analysis of faith development, Folsom appeals and articulates a faith development around stage 3 or 4 (if you are using R. Fowler’s study). This is typically the faith stage of someone who is in 7th or 8th grade and whose understanding of religion is based upon fear, pleasing a vengeful God, etc.

Can’t say that Taft’s interview outlined norms – if anything, his ecumenism and understanding of the Eastern half of our church are marks of a faith development that is more like stages 6 or 7.


John Nolan said...

I think PrayTell did Robert Taft a disservice by reposting his 2014 interview in which he came across as glib, ignorant and uncharitable. Many of the commentators picked this up. However, the same site has also republished an address he gave in 1985 which is far more interesting. Taft was no fool, and when it came to liturgy, both Eastern and Western, he knew what he was talking about.

What is interesting about the article is the way that Taft, and his generation of liturgical scholars, approached the question. They tended to work from a theoretical perspective of liturgy (i.e. what it is putatively supposed to do, and how successful it is in achieving these theoretical aims in the community of believers). So, if it doesn't achieve the desired effect, it needs to be changed.

Modern scholars (and Ratzinger's 'Spirit of the Liturgy' appeared on the cusp of the 21st century) tend to see liturgy as more of a 'given' - its historical development, now much better understood, was not simply a question of adaptation to particular circumstances.

This is of course an oversimplification, but it is difficult not to discern a shift in attitudes in the past 30 or so years. Taft and Faggioli epitomize a hermeneutic which is now passé.

Carol H. said...

I ask all priests to please be careful and have security available during Mass. There was an incident at EWTN during the Live Mass at 7:00 am this morning. Michael Warsaw made a statement on Facebook. Thank God that all involved are okay.

St Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle...

TJM said...

John Nolan,

Father Taft was a guest lecturer at a class in Eucharistic Theology I took when I was at Notre Dame in the early 1970s. In fact he was glib and uncharitable (but not ignorant). Ironically, the priest in charge of the class would occasionally celebrate Mass in Latin at the Basilica on campus with a choir singing magnificent chants and polyphony which was indeed a rarity in those dark days.

Fr Martin Fox said...

I didn't realize it was all old stuff, comments included. But so what? I am going to have some fun...

First, I want to note all the grave concern from PrayTell liberals -- in the context of Pope Benedict's encouragement of the older form of Mass -- for lack of uniformity in the liturgy. My reaction, verbatim:




(Long break to get my composure back.)

Ok, so moving on to the next item. Fr. Taft goes on a jihad about bringing the reserved sacrament from the tabernacle to the altar during Mass. I have heard this before. I have tried valiantly to execute this liturgical ideal, until I finally realized it is mostly ridiculous. In some settings, sure, you can do this. But not in any parish I have been in.

Heres the absurdity of this idea: you always make "deposits" -- i.e., to the tabernacle, but make very few "withdrawals." Most parishes -- no, EVERY parish I have been in -- you don't know how many people will come to the next weekend Mass. You will always vary by 20 or 30 every time, nd you never know when, for various reasons, you will have an extra 50 or 100. But, according to the "NEVER go to the tabernacle" crowd, you MUST know this. You must guess the number of hosts to consecrate within a handful.

Sorry, but unless you are in a very special community, this is INSANE.

I tried, for several years. I learned my lesson when I ran out of consecrated Hosts, not once but three times. I finally realized the silliness of this, so typical of progressives, that the "sign" is more importance than actual substance. In the seminary, I was taught to do the fraction rite -- the breKing of the host at the Lamb of God- in the most expressive way possible. Who cares if particles of the Holy Eucharist sprayed everywhere? What mattered was "sign value." Similarly here: it is apparently more important that the tabernacle NEVER be visited, than that everyone actually receive Holy Communion.

No? Well then, I am going to the tabernacle.

(By the way, while I agree Vatican II discouraged going to the tabernacle, it did not forbid it. Again, typical of progressives, they turn a suggestion into the most absolute of laws when it suits them, while ignoring those that don't.)

TJM said...

Bravo, Father Fox. Anyone who attends the Novus Ordo experiences lack of uniformity on a non-stop basis. I told one of my parish parish priests years ago that I came to experience the Latin Rite on Sunday, not the Father "Smith" Rite.

Victor said...

Mr Nolan is quite right. The the job for the so-called reform was assigned to the experts residing in the ivory towers, the close minded elitists who followed only the latest trends of academe, not unlike those at PrayTell today. The givenness of the old liturgy as a gift from God was ignored if not willfully disregarded.

In this connection it is interesting why the old Mass is so attractive to the youth, making Mass worthwhile to go to as a meeting place with God where His grace is given. There is an interesting video on this of a young Canadian Catholic who has quite a Youtube following. It is interesting in the comments section that so many young people have had the same experience with the EF. There are few negative comments, but in those I noticed that the question of understanding often came up.

Understanding is of course the domain of academe and its scholars. I have a problem with this criticism because God is beyond all human understanding. That is why the EF Mass specifically speaks to the supra rational level of the human being. The EF Mass is not a scholarly lecture that the NO tries to be. It is an art form, a heavenly dance, that is beyond verbal description, something experienced by the human heart, not just the human intellect.