Wednesday, June 29, 2022
POPE FRANCIS EXHORTATION ON THE LITURGY AND HIS DESIRE FOR THE LATIN RITE TO RETURN EXCLUSIVELY TO UNITY OF THE REFORMED ROMAN MISSAL OF POPES/SAINTS PAUL VI AND JOHN PAUL II
MY COMMENTS FIRST: This is not a horrible document and it certainly gives some good pointers towards improving the celebration of the Modern Roman Missal. But not enough words are said about that and how simply following what is prescribed for this Roman Missal and options that can be chosen, while others eliminated or ignored, could enhance this form of the Mass which would lead to the astonishment we all should have for what God has accomplished for us through His Most Beloved Son, Jesus Christ and the Paschal Mystery.
Many carry no missal for the vernacular translations of the changing parts of the Mass as they don’t care to know what is being prayed on their behalf in Latin by the priest or schola.
Finally, this document makes abundantly clear the the older form of the Mass is to disappear over time.
23. Let us be clear here: every aspect of the celebration must be carefully tended to (space, time, gestures, words, objects, vestments, song, music…) and every rubric must be observed. Such attention would be enough to prevent robbing from the assembly what is owed to it; namely, the paschal mystery celebrated according to the ritual that the Church sets down. But even if the quality and the proper action of the celebration were guaranteed, that would not be enough to make our participation full.
31. In this letter I cannot dwell with you on the richness of this passage’s various expressions, which I recommend to your own meditation. If the liturgy is “the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed, and at the same time the font from which all her power flows,” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 10), well then, we can understand what is at stake in the liturgical question. It would be trivial to read the tensions, unfortunately present around the celebration, as a simple divergence between different tastes concerning a particular ritual form. The problematic is primarily ecclesiological. I do not see how it is possible to say that one recognizes the validity of the Council — though it amazes me that a Catholic might presume not to do so — and at the same time not accept the liturgical reform born out of Sacrosanctum Concilium, a document that expresses the reality of the Liturgy intimately joined to the vision of Church so admirably described in Lumen gentium. For this reason, as I already expressed in my letter to all the bishops, I have felt it my duty to affirm that “The liturgical books promulgated by Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, are the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.” (Motu Proprio Traditionis custodes, art 1)
The non-acceptance of the liturgical reform, as also a superficial understanding of it, distracts us from the obligation of finding responses to the question that I come back to repeating: how can we grow in our capacity to live in full the liturgical action? How do we continue to let ourselves be amazed at what happens in the celebration under our very eyes? We are in need of a serious and dynamic liturgical formation.
54. If it is true that the ars celebrandi is required of the entire assembly that celebrates, it is likewise true that ordained ministers must have a very particular concern for it. In visiting Christian communities, I have noticed that their way of living the liturgical celebration is conditioned — for better or, unfortunately, for worse — by the way in which their pastor presides in the assembly. We could say that there are different “models” of presiding. Here is a possible list of approaches, which even though opposed to each other, characterize a way of presiding that is certainly inadequate: rigid austerity or an exasperating creativity, a spiritualizing mysticism or a practical functionalism, a rushed briskness or an overemphasized slowness, a sloppy carelessness or an excessive finickiness, a superabundant friendliness or priestly impassibility. Granted the wide range of these examples, I think that the inadequacy of these models of presiding have a common root: a heightened personalism of the celebrating style which at times expresses a poorly concealed mania to be the centre of attention. Often this becomes more evident when our celebrations are transmitted over the air or online, something not always opportune and that needs further reflection. Be sure you understand me: these are not the most widespread behaviours, but still, not infrequently assemblies suffer from being thus abused.
61. In this letter I have wanted simply to share some reflections which most certainly do not exhaust the immense treasure of the celebration of the holy mysteries. I ask all the bishops, priests, and deacons, the formators in seminaries, the instructors in theological faculties and schools of theology, and all catechists to help the holy people of God to draw from what is the first wellspring of Christian spirituality. We are called continually to rediscover the richness of the general principles exposed in the first numbers of Sacrosanctum Concilium,grasping the intimate bond between this first of the Council’s constitutions and all the others. For this reason we cannot go back to that ritual form which the Council fathers, cum Petro et sub Petro, felt the need to reform, approving, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and following their conscience as pastors, the principles from which was born the reform. The holy pontiffs St. Paul VI and St. John Paul II, approving the reformed liturgical books ex decreto Sacrosancti Œcumenici Concilii Vaticani II, have guaranteed the fidelity of the reform of the Council. For this reason I wrote Traditionis custodes, so that the Church may lift up, in the variety of so many languages, one and the same prayer capable of expressing her unity.
As I have already written, I intend that this unity be re-established in the whole Church of the Roman Rite.
LORD HAVE MERCY! CHRIST HAVE MERCY! THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WITH THE MODERN ROMAN MISSAL AND THE OPTIONS TO AD LIB HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE
One of the reasons Catholics like the 1962 Roman Missal is because it does not allow for this kind of ad libbing nonsense.
Creativity during the Mass can be active or passive aggression. It become a political meme. It becomes an opinion piece. It becomes, how shall I say this, RIDICULOUS!
I copy this from the Deacon’s Bench. Listen to the video if you dare:
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
AD ORIENTEM ENHANCES THE BEAUTY OF THE MASS AND ELIMINATES THE DISTRACTIONS OF FACIAL CONTORTIONS AND QUESTIONABLE LOOKS…
This first photo could greatly be enhanced by beauty, mystery and awe if the orientation of the priests were such as we couldn’t see their faces, difficulty reading words and grimaces. A little attention to the details of choreography would help too!
Let’s pretend this photo is of the exact same Mass with the exact same facial expressions and other antics as the one above. How much more beautiful this makes that Mass look, no?
THOSE HORRIBLE MALE DOMINATED CATHOLIC INSTITUTIONS, WILL GOD EVER DELIVER US FROM THEM AND THEIR PATRIARCHY?
My last photo with my staff at St. Anne’s. Going from me to right, Jody DeLiguori, Music Director, Kathy Zdunich, youth director, Fr. Robert Philips, Parochial Vicar, also being transferred, Renee Singleton, Coordinator of Relgious Education, Tanja Ortiz, Office Manager and Michelle Bryant, Administrative Assistant. Not pictured, Shannon GaNunn, our bulletin editor and Patricia Byler our keeper of the master calendar and wedding coordinator.
Monday, June 27, 2022
A priest is never retired, but he does retire from administration and begging for time, talent and treasure. And yes a retired priest might find a vocation within a vocation as a beach 🏖 bum. I have retired to the south end of Hilton Head Island, what I call paradise…
Friday, June 24, 2022
LESSON TO POLITICAL PROGRESSIVES, GOD CAN WORK THROUGH IMPERFECT PEOPLE, EVEN AN IMPERFECT PRESIDENT
Make no mistake, Divine Providence worked through President Donald Trump to bring this day about. Divine Providence also worked through all the prayers offered for the overturning of Roe V. Wade. Alleluia!
And make no mistake, it is no mistake that this decision is made today, on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus!
Do I hear an AMEN?
Went out to eat with parishioners at a coastal seafood restaurant, Sunbury in Midway. Spectacular scenic location near Richmond Hill. We arrived at high tide.
And what are the odds of this. My parishioners who took me out to this restaurant on Thursday evening moved to Albany, Georgia from Augusta, Georgia around 1983 or so when I was associate pastor of Saint Teresa's Church there (1980-85). In 1984 the wife was hired by our pastor to coordinate our social outreach programs to the poor called "Neighbors in Need". After many years there and a few children, they moved to the New York area and then Pennsylvania. In 2016 they moved to Richmond Hill to retire arriving around the same time I came. And now I am retiring effective June 30 although this Sunday is my last day.
Oh, and she is also very good friends with a family that lived close to my family and me in Augusta beginning in 1960!
ARE YOU A CHASTE PERSON BUT LIVING THAT LIFE IN THE CLOSET? MAKE TODAY YOUR COMING OUT OF THE CLOSET DAY!
Fox and Friends this morning just had a segment on LBGTQ+++ person. (Yes, Fox and Friends, you read that correctly!) The segment was about a man who works in the country music industry and said he knew he was gay his entire life but having been brought up as a conservative Christian in South Carolina and then as an adult converting to Mormonism, in his desire to show he was a heterosexual (when he wasn’t) he married a woman and had two children with her.
But then he decided to come out to his wife, whom he said was very supportive, and then went public and was amazed at the acceptance of so many in the entertainment world and otherwise. Of course he divorced his wife and is planning now to marry his boyfriend. He says that he and his wife are still friends and he and his boyfriend even vacation with her and his children.
The Church has lost its narrative in the public forum as it concerns human sexuality. Maybe it is now time for Holy Mother Church to flex her muscles and make herself a part of the sexual narrative as it concerns God’s call to everyone to be chaste depending on their state in life. And that God’s law trumps social mores and developments.
Perhaps the Catholic Church needs to have a meaningful witness to chastity and those who are chaste but live in the closet and pretend not to be chaste. How damaging is that to their psyche?
The Catholic Church has certainly capitulated to the secularism of sexuality and that anything and everything goes. But chastity, in their minds, is a no, no and should remain in the closet. But how fair is that and isn’t it hypocritical?
Maybe the LGBTQ+ community should add another letter to their + size name, that of C for Chaste. What do you think?
(I googled “chastity” for the photo above and now I want to pull my eyes out! Do it if you dare! Lord, have mercy!)
Thursday, June 23, 2022
The two photos posted below come from an article in the Liturgical Arts Journal. I think these are from two different times, as the first one has a rather plain altar in front of the old high altar and the second one seems to have a nicer free-standing altar, although obscured by all the flowers placed too close to it.
And thus my point:
1. The freestanding altar is placed on the same level as the old high altar/table and thus makes it look like a single altar unit rather than an altar in front of an altar with the free-standing altar below the high altar that overwhelms the one that is actually used. (Our cathedral-basilica has that problem).
2. But the placement of Christmas Flowers or excessively decorated liturgical seasons, in front of the free standing altar obscures the primary symbol of the sanctuary, the altar. The flowers should be used in moderation (noble simplicity, please) and never near the front of the altar. The reredos should be the flower stand and in proportion to the reredos so as not to obscure it.
So kudos to the free standing altar (especially the newer one) being placed in such a way to make the reredos and old altar look like one unit.
But thumbs down to all the floral decorations that overwhelm and hide the freestanding altar and the steps leading to it?
PROGRESSIVE CARDINAL KASPER TORPEDOS THE SYNODAL WAY OF GERMANY, A SIGN OF HOPE IN A CHURCH GOING CRAZY?
If Cardinal Kasper is concerned, and make no mistake, his comments are strong and what is implied is that the pope needs to be as strong with his words as well about what is happening in Germany:
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
My comment first: I am not a “rad trad” or a restorationist. I am a middle of the road Catholic priest who leans toward tradition and not novelty. I like Latin but prefer the vernacular for most of the Mass. I like religious life that is distinctive, wears habits, etc. I think parishes should have social outreach to the poor and disenfranchised and those on the margins.
I completely endorse Pope Benedict’s Christmas elocution to the cardinals of the Curia on the proper way to interpret the Second Vatican Council, within continuity with what preceded, not in rupture or put more plainly “reform in continuity.
I am not opposed to the older form of the Mass and fully thought the art of trying to allow these two forms to coexist in a parish was very “catholic”. I had hoped for a third Roman Missal to replace both the 1962 and 1970 versions, one that is a synthesis of the two maintaining the good, reverent and holy in both.
Pope Benedict once stated in this very sane analysis of Catholicism:
Tuesday, June 21, 2022
This is a quote from Tuesday’s Crux about what was thought to be an act of terrorism near the Vatican on Sunday:
“Nako’s motive for his rampage is still unclear, but it is believed to be the result of narcotics and a possible psychiatric episode, rather than tourism.”
Of course they meant to write “terrorism” not “tourism”! Funny, no?
FATHER Z LINKS AN ARTICLE TO CRISIS MAGAZINE THAT RESONATES WITH MY EXPERIENCE AND HITS THE NAIL ON THE HEAD AND IT IS QUITE HISTORICALLY ACCURATE!
At Crisis there is a must read piece by Anthony Esolen.
Monday, June 20, 2022
Corpus Christi Procession on Sunday beginning from our main church following the 10:30 Mass and concluding with Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament at the entrance to our Martha and Mary Chapel. Not in proper order as dang blogger mixes it up although I input it in proper order—oh the humanity and divinity of it all:
HERE YOU HAVE IT; THE PROBLEM WITH THE MODERN, PROGRESSIVE MENTALITY ABOUT THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS AND THUS THE MOST HOLY EUCHARIST
This is a comment by Paul Inwood at a Praytell post:
I believe we need to understand that the liturgy will not and cannot stand still, but must always be changing, developing, adapting itself to the different peoples and eras who use it to come closer to God.
Some sixty years after Vatican II in the USA we have about 90% of Catholics who do not attend Mass.
And of the ones who do attend Mass, they do not believe in the Real Presence as the Church teaches. Rather they see it as a comforting symbol. While an atheist would not be comforted by that symbol, they too would, nonetheless, believe it is a symbol because it is, like the flag is a symbol of the USA. The most ardent enemy of the USA believes that too, that’s why they burn it.
How can we get back to liturgical sanity that Pope Benedict pursued?
Saturday, June 18, 2022
Protestantism tends to emphasize individualism and individualism is often used to describe the American experience.
Thus, I wonder just how horrible, how bad, how mortally sinful individualism is. In fact, I don’t believe that at all unless it causes people pain, suffering and death, such as abortion does. The abortion debate is an exercise in the worst case scenario of individualism, “my body, my choice!”
But, liturgically speaking, does it cause pain, suffering and death to the worshipping people of God?
The liturgy most associated with individualism isn’t the Mass now called “Antecedent” but the one that is called the normative Modern or novel Mass of the Latin Rite. This Mass can be used, abused and manipulated to the various tastes of individuals, of parishes, and of dioceses, not to mention nations or regions of the world, like the Amazon.
As it regards the priest, unless a liturgy committee makes the decisions, he can choose this, that or the other option based upon his individualism and individual preferences. Which ad libbing, which greeting, which form of the penitential act or replacing it with the Asperges, which Eucharistic prayer, which acclamation to the Eucharistic prayer. You get the picture.
And then the whole debacle of inculturation raises individualism to a high art. Who decides inculturation? The priest, the bishop, the congregation or the individuals at Mass?
The modern Missal promotes individualism to a high art, indeed. Is that any worse than the individualism that having two forms of the one Latin Rite has created where there are those who prefer the Mass of the Ages and those who prefer the more individualized Modern Mass what some call, “the Mass of Individualism?”
Oh, did I mention styles of music that individuals can choose for the modern Mass?
Individualism isn’t so bad as long as the choice isn’t the Mass of the Ages as an individual’s personal preference.
Here’s a good secular article on the value of individualism:
Friday, June 17, 2022
WAS THE HOLY SPIRIT WRONG AT TRENT AND CORRECT AT VATICAN II AND WAS THE HOLY SPIRIT WRONG IN THE BIBLE CONCERNING SEXUAL IMMORALITY AND NOW IS WORKING THROUGH CARDINAL HOLLERICH TO NEGATE THE SCRIPTURES AND TRADITION OF THE CHURCH?
Cardinal Hollerich, the archbishop of Luxembourg and president of the EU Bishops’ Commission (COMECE), said that Catholic teaching on the sinfulness of homosexual relations is mistaken and needs to be updated.
"I believe that the sociological-scientific foundation of this teaching is no longer correct,” Hollerich said, while calling for a fundamental revision of the teaching.
The Catholic Church teaches that same-sex attraction is “is objectively disordered.”
“Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered,’” states the Catholic Catechism, adding that under no circumstances “can they be approved.”
“I know that I have homosexuals among my priests,” Hollerich told KNA. “I have homosexual women and men among the laity. And they know they have a home in the Church.”
And then this from Cardinal Elect Roche:
What the Cardinal and Cardinal designate have in common is Biblical, doctrinal and historical amnesia.
They also seem to have in common a neo-gnosticism that what they or someone else believes, if they believe it as hard as can be, makes it true as though they have a direct pipeline from God on the truth not known to others in the Church, like the sensus fidelium (the sense of the faithful (not the unfaithful, btw).