Rorate Caeli

Vatican erects new Traditional Institute

(via Le Forum Catholique -- Details in English: see end of article; also read AP release, in English, in the International Herald Tribune; on the Communiqué of Cardinal Ricard: read here; for the Communiqué of the FSSPX, read here.)

Vatican - Agence I.MEDIA - 8 septembre 2006 - 7600 signes

Rome érige une nouvelle fraternité traditionaliste accueillant d’anciens prêtres et séminaristes de la Fraternité saint Pie X.

La Congrégation pour le clergé a érigé, le 8 septembre 2006, un nouvel institut religieux, ‘le Bon pasteur’, accueillant en son sein d’anciens prêtres et séminaristes de la Fraternité saint Pie X séparée de Rome depuis 1988, selon des informations recueillies par I.MEDIA. Le siège de cette nouvelle fraternité où les prêtres célébreront exclusivement selon le rite liturgique traditionnel de saint Pie V pourrait être à Bordeaux (France), à l’église Saint-Eloi.

Dans la matinée du 8 septembre 2006, jour de la fête de la Nativité de la Vierge, le cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, préfet de la Congrégation pour le clergé et chargé de la Commission Ecclesia Dei, a signé le décret d’érection de l’institut de droit pontifical du ‘Bon pasteur’. Il s’agit d’une société de vie apostolique dépendant à la fois de la Commission Ecclesia Dei et de la Congrégation pour les instituts de vie consacrée et les sociétés de vie apostolique. Dans ce décret, le cardinal Hoyos a approuvé les statuts du nouvel institut qui a pour supérieur général un prêtre exclu de la Fraternité saint Pie X, le bouillonnant abbé Philippe Laguérie.

De sources vaticanes, la nouveauté réside dans le fait que “Benoît XVI lui-même ait souhaité cette démarche“ dans laquelle “le missel traditionnel de saint Pie V n’est pas un missel à part, mais bien une forme extraordinaire de l’unique rite romain“. Au Vatican, comme parmi les membres du nouvel institut, on insiste pour dire que “cet accord correspond aux requêtes faites autrefois par Mgr Lefebvre“, séparé de Rome en 1988.

La nouvelle fraternité compte dans ses rangs, outre cinq prêtres, plusieurs séminaristes dont certains devraient être prochainement ordonnés. Le cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos s’est engagé à célébrer ces premières ordinations. Les responsables de la fraternité tablent aussi sur le fait que des prêtres de la Fraternité saint Pie X choisiront de les suivre et qu’ils pourront fonder, dans divers diocèses, des ‘paroisses personnelles’. A Bordeaux, Paris et ailleurs, ces prêtres sont suivis par un certain nombre de fidèles attachés au missel de saint Pie V, rite liturgique en vigueur avant la réforme liturgique de 1969.

Avec ce nouvel institut, Rome a choisi de négocier avec des exclus de la Fraternité fondée par Mgr Lefebvre plutôt qu’avec la fraternité elle-même. L’accueil d’anciens prêtres intégristes ne se fera pas sans mal dans l’Eglise de France. La Fraternité Saint-Pierre, fondée en 1988 pour accueillir prêtres, séminaristes et fidèles voulant rester rattachés à Rome dans le respect de la tradition liturgique, devrait aussi souffrir de cette nouvelle création. D’autant que certains de ses membres semblent prêts à rejoindre ‘l’Institut du Bon pasteur’.

Le cardinal Ricard, archevêque de Bordeaux, membre de la Commission Ecclesia Dei, pourrait accepter que l’église Saint-Eloi devienne le siège de la fondation du Bon pasteur. Il ‘récupèrerait’ ainsi une église du diocèse de Bordeaux occupée depuis janvier 2002 par l’abbé Laguérie, alors membre de la Fraternité saint Pie X, avec le soutien du conseil municipal de la ville.

L’accueil de prêtres exclus de la Fraternité saint Pie X séparée de Rome a lieu alors que plusieurs évêques ordonnés par Mgr Lefebvre en 1988 continuent de durcir le ton face au Saint-Siège. Mgr Bernard Fellay, reçu en audience par Benoît XVI en août 2005 à Castel Gandolfo, et confirmé par ses pairs en juillet dernier à la tête de la Fraternité Saint Pie X, a présenté “la liberté entière et sans conditions pour la messe tridentine et le retrait du décret d’excommunication des quatre évêques“ ordonnés en 1988 par Mgr Lefebvre comme préalable à toute négociation avec Rome. Depuis, il a lancé une initiative appelée “bouquet d’un million de chapelets“ avec laquelle il invite à prier pour “obtenir du ciel la force nécessaire à Benoît XVI pour libérer la messe dite de saint Pie V“.

En mars 2006, l’abbé Philippe Laguérie déclarait déjà qu’un “accord avec Rome“ était “une évidence telle qu’on se demande comment elle a pu sortir de la tête et du cœur de beaucoup“ car “c’est la constitution même de l’Eglise qui l’exige“. Cet accord, écrivait-il, ne suppose pas d’avoir “d’abord, au préalable, aplani toutes les difficultés doctrinales“. Il invitait aussi ses fidèles à “scruter les signes, les manifestations, les possibilités d’une bonne volonté des Romains d’en finir avec le délire doctrinal et les scandales des années 1960-2000“. Il demandait “une liberté totale de la liturgie, et sur des raisons de fond, ainsi qu’une liberté totale de recevoir le Concile pour ce qu’il est“, notant que “le document du pape à la curie (22 décembre) (…) indique bien que l’esprit du Concile est mauvais“.

En avril 2006, à Lourdes, le cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard déclarait devant l’ensemble des évêques de France que “la question des relations avec la Fraternité saint Pie X“ méritait “un traitement particulier“. “Nous savons que le pape Benoît XVI en porte le souci“, expliquait-il, ajoutant que, “dans les semaines ou les mois qui viennent, il devrait donner des directives pour faciliter le chemin vers un retour possible à une pleine communion“. “Nous les accueillerons dans la foi et les mettrons en œuvre fidèlement“, lançait encore le cardinal Ricard aux évêques.

Les prêtres qui composent la nouvelle institution traditionnelle ont été tour à tour exclus de la Fraternité saint Pie X. L’abbé Paul Aulagnier, longtemps supérieur général en France de la Fraternité (1976-1994), a été exclu en 2003 pour avoir défendu les accords dits ‘de Campos’. En 2002, le Saint-Siège avait ainsi accordé à la fraternité brésilienne saint Jean-Marie Vianney de célébrer la messe selon le missel tridentin à condition de reconnaître le Concile Vatican II interprété “à la lumière de la tradition“ et la validité du missel de Paul VI. Paul Aulagnier a été autorisé à exercer par le diocèse de Clermont, sans recevoir mission particulière en 2004. Il a aussi fondé une maison d’accueil dans le diocèse de Chartres.

Particulièrement médiatique, l’abbé Philippe Laguérie a été exclu en août 2004 après avoir affirmé que la Fraternité saint Pie X rencontrait de graves problèmes liés à un découragement de vocations sacerdotales dans ses différents séminaires. Il a fait l’objet d'une mutation disciplinaire au Mexique, sanction qu’il a refusée avant d’être exclu. Avant cela, au sein de la fraternité fondée par Mgr Lefebvre, il avait été curé de l’église parisienne de Saint-Nicolas- du-Chardonnet, occupée par les fidèles traditionalistes depuis 1977. En 1993, il avait tenté d’occuper une autre église parisienne, Saint- Germain-l’Auxerrois. Il a réussi l’opération à Bordeaux en obtenant du Conseil municipal de la ville, mais pas de l’archevêché, d’occuper l’église Saint-Eloi, en janvier 2002.

L’abbé Christophe Héry a été exclu pour avoir soutenu l’abbé Laguérie, tout comme l’abbé Guillaume de Tanoüarn. Ce dernier a fondé à Paris l’association cultuelle Saint-Marcel et le centre Saint-Paul. Un cinquième prêtre, en poste à Bordeaux, l’abbé Henri Forestier, fait partie des premiers membres de l’institut, avec un diacre, prochainement ordonné prêtre, l’abbé Claude Prieur.

La Commission Ecclesia Dei instituée par Jean-Paul II en juillet 1988, avait été créée afin de “faciliter la pleine communion ecclésiale des prêtres, des séminaristes, des communautés religieuses ou des religieux individuels ayant eu jusqu’à présent des liens avec la fraternité fondée par Mgr Lefebvre et qui désirent rester unis au successeur de Pierre dans l'Eglise catholique en conservant leurs traditions spirituelles et liturgiques“. AMI

http://www.imedia-info.org/imedia/public_html/

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P.S.

Here is the gist of it:

Today, the 8th of September, the Vatican created a religious institute of pontifical right (The Institute "Good Shepherd"), to accommodate 5 priests who had been expelled from the SSPX (such as Fr. Laguérie) and a few seminarians.

Of more general import, is that, according to the piece, the Holy Father wishes to establish that the Traditional Missal is not a separate missal, but as a mere variation of the Roman Rite.

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P.S. 2 (by New Catholic)

Translation of the whole text by Father Zuhlsdorf; see Decree (in French) and further comments (in English) here.

44 comments:

Jordan Potter said...

Is an English translation available yet? Sorry, I don't read or speak French.

Jordan Potter said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Al Trovato said...

Le Monde is also spreading the news:

http://tinyurl.co.uk/zhti

Al Trovato said...

Here is the gist of it:

Today, the 8th of September, the Vatican has created a religious institute of pontifical right (The Institute "Good Shepperd"), to accommodate 5 priests who had been expelled from the SSPX (such as Fr. Laguérie) and a few seminarians.

Of more general import, is that, according to the piece, the Holy Father wishes to establish that the Traditional Missal is not a separate missal, but a a mere variation of the Roman Rite.

Malcolm said...

So, now we have a new version of ICK and FSSP... very interesting. I hope that the SSPX will see this as the Holy See "taking steps" towards reconciliation. This is good news. It shows that the Vatican hasn't forgotten us.

The Book Burner said...

Are they saying that the Tridentine Mass and the Novus Ordo are essentially the same missal?

Long-Skirts said...

Malcolm said...
So, now we have a new version of ICK and FSSP... I hope that the SSPX will see this as the Holy See "taking steps" towards reconciliation....It shows that the Vatican hasn't forgotten us.

Al Trovato said...
... the Traditional Missal is not a separate missal, but a a mere variation of the Roman Rite.


"That the Vatican hasn't forgotten us"??!
"...the Traditional Missal is ....but a mere variation"??

No they don't forget you they use you to set up "a rival good, to God's good" as "a mere variation" for shame!!!

It has never been JUST about the Tridentine Mass but about the WHOLE ROMAN CATHOLIC FAITH!! From the True Mass are fruits, i.e., schools, seminaries, retreat houses, monasteries, convents, etc. culminating in a Catholic Culture.

Since the Fraternity of St. Peters started in the U.S., early 90's they have produced only ONE school, St. Gregory's in Pennsylvania and ONLY for boys.

WHERE ARE THE SCHOOLS?? Yes, they give you a Mass cut off from reproducing the spiritual fruits...
They are allowed the True Mass but kept sterile, no schools, especially for our Catholic families!!

Just pay your indulgences, (8% of other Latin/Indult Masses go to the Diocese) and keep quiet about what the flawed men are doing to our Holy Mother Church and her children. As long as you have yours, "Mums" the word.

The SSPX Priests are feeding their sheep, are loyal to the Pope on Church teaching and ALL Popes in the past and provide all else that Christ wanted and especially schools where the Priests bring the children the DAILY Sacraments!!

VATICAN II PLUS TWO =

And where are the schools?
The daily Mass,
Lines to confess,
A uniformed lass?

And where are the schools?
The Latin class,
Cassocked priest,
Candles in brass?

And where are the schools?
To strengthen souls,
Shape their wills,
Set the goals?

And where are the schools?
The altar boy,
Assisting priest,
Like Christ, their joy?

And where are the schools?
Oh, time you lied,
Two generations
Have gone and died.

And where are the schools?
Which don’t derive,
That two plus two
Are sometimes five?

S – S – P – X,
They’re found in large,
Where struggling families
Let priest take charge.

For the good of the whole,
Priests’ lives are laid,
So many may come,
Not be afraid.

And win the Faith,
From Christ-like hand…
St. Pie the Tenth
Two and two are grand!!

Francis Regis said...
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Francis Regis said...

There are actually a few more schools than just one. The FSSP apostolate in Marble Hill, KS runs a school, and Holy Rosary in Indianapolis runs the Lumen Christi school. Our Lady of Fatima in Pequannock, NJ, I know also has (or had?) an academy, but that may have been established before the FSSP came. These are all for boys and girls. There may be more, but those are the ones I thought of off the top of my head.

Jeff Culbreath said...

And the FSSP apostolate in Sacramento is also starting a school, for girls and boys initially. The FSSP has produced plenty of good fruit for those with eyes to see.

With respect to the old rite being perceived as a "mere variation" of the NO by the Vatican, this is actually excellent news, and if enforced on the ground, is MUCH better than a universal indult.

Lex Orandi said...

Of more general import, is that, according to the piece, the Holy Father wishes to establish that the Traditional Missal is not a separate missal, but a a mere variation of the Roman Rite.

The Novus Ordo is alot more than a "mere variation" as over 70% of the prayers were changed or removed. It is a major overhall. One that includes many Masonic objectives and protestant ideas. The very words of Jesus Christ's consecration have been changed in most if not all vernacular translations. The changes in the words of consecration reflect the idea of "universal salvation" that you can be saved in any religion. This implicitly denies Jesus Christ's own words

(John 14:6) "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me."

The Novus Ordo Mass if anyone does a little research and thinking will understand it is not simply a "mere variation" but quite possibly dangerous to the faithful.

"Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi" a Catholic maxium that means what you pray determines what you believe. So if you pray the Novus Ordo Mass do you believe in universal salvation?

Jeff Culbreath said...

"The Novus Ordo is alot more than a 'mere variation' as over 70% of the prayers were changed or removed."

Of course you are correct, in substance, but that is completely beside the point. The point is that the status of the traditional rite - if this report is true - may be on the way to canonical normalization, requiring no indults or dispensations.

Mike said...

"The Novus Ordo is alot more than a "mere variation" as over 70% of the prayers were changed or removed."

And in addition to Jeff's comments, this argument does not make sense if applied to the liturgies of the Eastern Rites.

Arguments "against" the NO should be made by pointing to exact language to which one objects, not merely on deviations from the 1962 Missal.

Mike said...

lex orandi,

I misread your comments - I conflated the "70%" with the "being bad", where I think you meant to make two distinct points: it's bad, and it's not a "variation" because of the large number of differences.

Gregg said...

Keep in mind that the post says that it's a variation of the Roman Rite, not of the Novus Ordo.

James said...

The blood of Jesus Christ WAS shed for all. Of course, not all choose to receive its graces. I never understood this criticism of the Novus Ordo. It's not a change of theology, really, just emphasis.

I myself prefer the old rite and do not like much the Novus Ordo, but schismatic sniping is uncharitable and uncatholic. Recognize its weaknesses, but to deny its validity is sheer disobedience. I hardly think millions of Catholics across the world are weekly (or daily) committing idolatry on bread and wine. The Lord will provide, and I believe He does, even in an inferior rite.

With Peter said...

More to expand than to disagree with James' comment. I think the "new order" is better described as more superficial, simplistic and less contemplative than as inferior.

As a person advances in spirituality and liturgical formation, they will inevitably grow fonder of the "traditional order," which requires greater maturity to appreciate. The "new order" is baby food, which can have greater appeal to those who have not attained this maturity. If it is celebrated well and properly catechized, it is superior to the "traditional order" at introducing people of this world into authentic Catholicism.

All of you certainly have experience of fine young persons in traditionalist communities, who progressed through the new order into the traditional, which is unquestionably involves a much richer spiritual and mystical experience to those with eyes to see.

The new order is an adolescent liturgy for adolescent Catholics, but it is necessary to go through adolescence in order to arrive at adulthood.

El Sacristán said...

It is important to notice that Fr. Aulagnier, the first superior general of the FSSPX in France (1976-1994), is also a member of the new Institute.

Three of the four priests that were the first tier of the FSSPX in the early 80's are now in perfect communion with Rome (Bisig, Aulagnier, Laguérie)

LAUS DEO VIRGINIQUE MATRI!

Gregg said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tim said...

James, no one here questioned the Novus Ordo's validity, you're reading too much into what people say, as I've noticed some people love to cavalierly toss around words like 'schismatic'. It is not correct to say that criticism of the new Mass is "schismatic sniping" and "uncharitable and uncatholic". There is a time for silence and a time for protest. The Novus Ordo as commonly celebrated does not fully or adequately express the Catholic faith, and it's change of 'emphasis' has misled countless souls to believe things which are contrary to the faith, such as universal salvation, that the Mass is about the people, not about Christ. I cannot presume to speak for our Lord, but I don't see how this could be pleasing to Him in any way, as what is pleasing to God in the Traditional Mass has been so minimized in expression in the Novus Ordo. This euphamistically-named change of emphasis must be described as insufficient for the faithful and deficient in its expression of the Catholic faith and the Holy Sacrifice that is the Mass; the two rites are not equal, even if both valid.

To address another point made here, countless souls lived from cradle to grave without ever hearing of the Novus Ordo, a time in which the faith was much more universally understood and taught to both children and adults, a time in which Catholic culture still permeated society. Not a perfect time however, but through, in part, a Mass which perfectly expressed the Catholic faith and the meaning of the Eucharist.

With Peter said...

The way that the new order is commonly celebrated is not necessarily the way that it ought to be celebrated. Anyone familiar with the Magisterial documents of the past forty years is perfectly aware that this has been the view of Paul VI, John Paul II and now Benedict XVI. Gregg, your description of this is perfect: "ambiguous doctrine, modernist music and an overly touchy-feely atmosphere." This is perhaps common, but it is definitely not the way the liturgy is supposed to be offered. You have to go to a Mass by Opus Dei, Miles Jesu, Legionnaires, Christendom or even Franciscan University (although they're a bit more charismatic and their chapel is a disaster) in order to see the liturgy properly celebrated. Some dioceses (Lincoln NB) are better than others (Los-Cough-Angelos). But there are many randomly located parishes even in these dioceses that are very good. But even when the new order is celebrated well, it remains an adolescent liturgy with only a fragment of the spiritual richness of the traditional order. Actually, truth be told, it is ONLY when it is celebrated well that it attains to the dignity of an adolescent liturgy.

My experience is that the greater material participation of the new order is more capable of converting most people in our over-stimulated generation, who are utterly lost, confused and bored by the more sublime participation of the traditional order. Gregg, you seem to speak as one of the fine young persons of whom I spoke and I respect your opinion greatly, but let me ask a question and make a suggestion:

Would you have been prepared to appreciate the Traditional Mass before you had walked through the new order’s middle ground between the profane and the truly sacred? For your consideration I suggest that when the new order is done properly it is substantively different from a gradual elevation through a serious of less and less false beliefs (e.g. from Mormon to Evangelical to Orthodox to Catholic). In other words, when the new order is done properly it is to the traditional order what a lesser saint is to a greater. They are not necessarily "equal" but they are good. And if St. Anthony of Padua reaches a person in the way that St. Francis cannot, well, you see what I am saying...

Tim- I have heard men both holier and in higher positions in the Church than any of us criticize aspects of the reformed liturgy, so I agree with you entirely. At the same time I believe that to interpret the chaos of the 1960s until now as a result of the Council or the liturgical reforms is to make a scapegoat for the social and cultural upheavals of the past century. The traditional mass was commonly celebrated extremely poorly in the 1950s. Priests mumbled the words, many churches were run down, people attended mass with very little devotion. The heat of a fire is determined by the dryness of the wood, and in those days, the wood was very dry. Nowadays, the traditional Mass is only celebrated by those with a profound understanding and love for it and it gives people—especially young people—a mistaken notion of the actual situation, when it was celebrated by the descendents of people who are now singing "Gather Us In."

Where the new order has been celebrated properly, it has been a blessing for the Church.

sacerdos15 said...

With Peter is correct.We cannot blame all the problems in the church on the novus ordo but as Muggeridge's daughter in law wrote in her book some of the substantial problem can.But evn before the novus ordo the mass was being tinkered with.Remember the movie "Change of Habit" with Elvis Presley.It ends with a priest saying mass ad orientem while music is sung by a rock group.I was in the seminary before the novus ordo (ordained 1971) and fled the seminary's liturgy and went to the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (across the street) or to St.Matthew's cathedral.I simply got tired of walking out of mass at the seminary when abuses occurred (the 1965 missal was in use)such as omitting the scripturereadings and replacing them with zen readings,slide shows during the homily etc. When I first came to CUA as a lay student I sang in the small student choir at the high mass in one of the chapels.Even then (1962 missal) there were problems eg.standing during the Canon including the consecration.They also stood for communion which seemed to be gathering momentum in some areas for Cardinal O'Boyle had forbidden it.Even then the celebrant gave me a dirty look when I insisted on kneeling as did most of the choir.And we were accused of being divisive! The protest movements of the 60's could not help but seep into the church.We also had a dancing guitarist who sang of "children dying in segregated schools".I still have not been able to figure that one out.

Long-Skirts said...

Gregg said:

"I would be positively embarassed about some aspect: whether it be the priest preaching ambiguous doctrine, modernist music, or an overly touchy-feely atmosphere, especially at the sign of peace."

...and you SHOULD have been ebarassed, you are like the little boy crying, "The Emperor is naked!" Saints get their heads cut off for that.

AMBIGUITY

One day animist,
The next day Latin.
One day Renew,
Some use a paten.

Some let ministers,
Eucharistic-chick,
Hand out Our Lord,
So you can have your pick.

Sometimes bongos,
Assembly on their feet,
Holding hands in the air,
Kneelers obsolete.

One, Holy, Catholic,
Apostolic, Church,
Good for some, let others run
In circles, as they search.

But we have ours,
Don't rock the boat,
Like those who show
Souls how to float.

St. Thomas revealed,
He could have had all,
Private Latin Masses
Behind purpled wall.

But instead, the scaffold,
Where truth and lie collide ,

Heads are cut,

Entrails, gut -

But dry blood of ambiguity can no longer hide!

With Peter said...

When art is used instead of didactic logic to address a point of controversy, it becomes cheap propaganda (i.e. a political cartoon), inevitably caricaturing the opposing opinion with exaggerated misrepresentations.

Which is a shame, Long-skirts, because you have not a little poetic talent.

James said...

Look at the funeral of Pope John Paul II. The Novus Ordo can be reverent if done properly. I think there is a future for the Novus Ordo once the "reform of the reform" is complete, some elements restored, some novelties removed, better handle on liturgical abuses (including of music; many parishes are clearly violating the Vatican II directive on sacred music). I would love the vernacular Novus Ordo to be modeled on the High Anglican liturgy. I went to an Anglican Use Catholic parish and saw how reverent a vernacular liturgy can be. Perhaps it's because the Anglicans did their own "Novus Ordo" in the 16th century, a time not buffeted by the 1960s social revolution. It is a more faithful, profound adaptation of the Roman rite.

tubby015 said...

Perhaps it's because the Anglicans did their own "Novus Ordo" in the 16th century

To my knowledge the Anglicans could do their own Novus Ordo because they were & still are True Schismatics. As for tastefully done, anything can be tastefully done if you dress it up. Fact is the Novus Ordo will never compare to the Tridentine Latin Mass because it degrades the very person offering it, the Priest.

With Peter said...

The new order does not degrade the priest. This assertion is unjustified and tendentious. Half the time, critics complain that the priest "celebrant" has been elevated too high and made too central.

The indisputable fact is that the quality of the priest makes a far greater difference in the experience of the liturgy in the new order than in the traditional.

Reasonable people can oppose one another in evaluating whether this is good thing or a bad thing, but it is absurd to say that the priest has been degraded by the new order. It's sheer propaganda.

ClemensMaria said...

with Peter wrote:


The traditional mass was commonly celebrated extremely poorly in the 1950s. Priests mumbled the words, many churches were run down, people attended mass with very little devotion. The heat of a fire is determined by the dryness of the wood, and in those days, the wood was very dry. Nowadays, the traditional Mass is only celebrated by those with a profound understanding and love for it and it gives people—especially young people—a mistaken notion of the actual situation, when it was celebrated by the descendents of people who are now singing "Gather Us In."


I don't have the reference on hand right now but I recall that according to Jones' Index of Leading Catholic Indicators, the Church in the USA was thriving in the 1950s. Statistically speaking it was in great shape. What is the basis for your characterization of the Church above? What do you mean by "commonly". Are you saying that it was the norm for the Mass to be said poorly? Or do you mean that 10% of the priests celebrated the Mass poorly? Or what?

Also, you are most certainly wrong in your assertion above that nowadays the Traditional Mass is "only celebrated by those with a profound understanding and love for it". You are wrong because the indult which I attend in New England is a mixed bag. We have a rotation of priests at least one of whom has made no secret of his great distaste for the Traditional Mass. The only reason he celebrates it is because the Bishop asked him to do it. Some of the other priests are 80+ years old and they often forget or intentionally leave out some of the rubrics. One of the priests fits your discription because he is well-trained, enthusiastic and relatively young (40s) but he only says the Mass once a month. I have also attended a Mass said by an FSSP priest (now ex-FSSP) who was effeminate and overly theatrical. Yet even the worst TLM I ever attended was still more profound and awe-inspiring than the best most reverent NO Mass I have ever seen. And I have experienced some very reverent NO Masses (including ones said entirely in Latin except for the readings).

Furthermore, it can certainly be argued without absurdity that the NO priest is degraded. Why? Because he is made to look like he is the center of attention of a communal meal despite the fact that in reality he is the alter christus who as an instrument of Our Lord performs the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. At his words, Our Lord obeys and comes into his hands. And yet, according to a Gallup poll done in the 90s, more than 70% of Catholics do not believe in the Real Presence. Lex orandi, lex credendi. I doubt very much that a good catechetical program will be able to overcome the poverty of the NO rite. The ritual is a much more powerful teacher than moms teaching CCD on Wednesdays.

To be degraded is to be made to be lower (or even to appear to be lower) physically or morally. Well, when women and scandalously dressed altar girls are scurrying about the sanctuary (if there is one) and a crowd of extroardinary eucharistic ministers is gathered about the altar for the Agnus Dei and nearly everyone is matter-of-factly handling the Sacred Species, what are we to conclude? Does the priest have a special dignity above that of a layman? Apparently not. But please read St. Alphonsus' Dignity and Duties of the Priest to understand in what high esteem the priest was held not all that long ago. Nowhere above have I mentioned anything about abuses. All these things are canonically legitimate. Yet the priest not only appears to be no more than an executive of the community but he is treated as such. This is what is meant by degradation. It is not an absurd claim. It is a reality in the Church today.

James said...

And I certainly agree. I went to a NO this evening, complete with glass chalice, priestly improvisations, altar girls, female "eucharistic ministers" passing out Hosts from a wicker basket like cookies, groups of loudly chatting people before and after mass. Not a spiritually uplifting experience at all; in fact, a wince-inducing one (of course, my Baptist father, who came with me, thought it was great!). But I would not go so far as to say that a NO mass with the correct words of consecration is invalid. God looks down upon it with sorrow, and those responsible for such irreverence will not go unpunished, but I believe Christ will still come and show up amid the irreverent din.

My hope is to see the rite according to the 1962 missal co-exist with a Novus Ordo that has been reformed.

Long-Skirts said...

With Peter said...

"When art is used instead of didactic logic to address a point of controversy, it becomes cheap propaganda (i.e. a political cartoon), inevitably caricaturing the opposing opinion with exaggerated misrepresentations."

Say, WHAT???!!!!!!

There are many ways to know, convey and reveal the truth besides "didactic logic". That's why Holy Mother Church has always built magnificent edifices like her Cathedrals filled with statues, mosaics, icons, stained glass windows and illuminated manuscripts by the Monks. Then there was that guy, what was his name, oh, yes, Dave, no, David...ummmmmm...he wrote some Psalms and you know what, I think they were POETRY!!!

If you can't refute the point then attack the method, huh??!!!!

With Peter ALSO said:

"Which is a shame, Long-skirts, because you have not a little poetic talent."

Why thank you, sir, it's all from God! :-)

With Peter said...

I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, Long-skirts, but I truly enjoy you. Thank you for blessing me with a wonderfully didactic and logical way of stating your point (with which I still disagree). As art is made to communicate beauty, so logic is made to communicate truth and this is why, when it comes to a dispute about truth, logic should take precedence over art. Where there is agreement, art should take precedence. As to the original point, there isn’t much to refute: As I hope this shows, I believe in clarity over ambiguity--and I certainly don’t believe that kneelers are obsolete--which is why I took issue with directing your ambiguous Ambiguity poem at me. Nevertheless, this disagreement not withstanding, I enjoy your poems.

Clemensmaria, speaking in generalizations means that statements will be largely anecdotal and will admit of exceptions. I certainly didn’t mean that every Tridentine Mass said today is said with greater piety and devotion than every Tridentine Mass said before the liturgical reforms. And I certainly did not expect ANYONE to interpret my statement about today’s celebration of the traditional order to be a metaphysical absolute, admitting of no possible exceptions.

All I meant was that today, priests and laity usually must make a very conscious decision involving some personal sacrifice in order to celebrate the traditional order (whereas it was quite different in the past).

From the nation’s founding until 1965 the Catholic Church grew exponentially in America and since then has maintained its size. This growth was largely founded on immigration, the quality of its educational system and its impressive charitable infrastructure. Following the Second World War, however, with the ascension of more liberal prelates and the condemnation of Father Feeney, religious orders were increasingly given to believe that great changes were underfoot in the Church. What is more, the baby boom introduced unprecedented class sizes, placing tremendous strain on the educational system. The Baltimore Catechism became used for pure memorization rather than for the more dynamic catechetical instruction for which it had been previously used. In the late 1960s and early 1970s it became clear that these changes were not going to happen and there was a flight from convents and rectories. And the outwardly educated but inwardly ignorant Catholic youth became swept away by the trends of popular culture.

The Baltimore Catechism was then abandoned for a feeling and experience based catechesis that was utterly devoid of the content of faith. With the loss of the Baltimore Catechism, what was previously a failure to inculcate Fides Qua became also a failure to inculcate Fides Quae. You were left with Fides Vacante. This utter catechetical breakdown explains the phenomenon were 70 percent of polled Catholics do not believe in the Real Presence. It is easy to just say “Lex orandi, lex credendi” and forget the catechetical formation that must precede liturgical participation. Forgive me if I am wrong, but I surmise that you are a fairly young man (I simply have a hard time imagining an older person, conservative or liberal, taking issue with this account). If you doubt the narrative I have given you, just start talking to American Catholics over the age of 50. I have to warn you ahead of time that many of them still have great antipathy for the traditional mass and the Baltimore Catechism (neither of which they have ever understood).

Your description of the new order reveals that you do not understand the nature or symbolism of the new order, which in all the above ways (except female altar servers, which if the new order is properly celebrated are not scandalously dressed) reflects practices common in the early era of the Church and in Eastern rites. Your words express a Tridentine absolutism that is foreign to the Church’s traditional doctrine on the liturgy, which has always expressed an appreciation for appropriate diversity. I will agree that the traditional order holds the priest in higher esteem—it holds everything in higher esteem—than either the primitive order or the new order, but this does not mean that the priest or mysteries are “degraded.” I refer you to my previous posts which speak of the nature, purpose and value of the new order when it is properly celebrated. When it is properly celebrated and accompanied by orthodox catechesis, lex orandi-lex credendi are very much intact.

chrysogonus said...

The relative merits of either Missal, the current or the J23 one, are only and can only ever be private opinions. The liturgy is the property of the Church, and the Church has spoken here -the objectivity here is defined by the Church, not by our own opinions and personal preferences. To say one rite is more "acceptable" or pleasing to God is nothing but arrogance and hubris, and lacks the very humility which lies at the core of the Mass. IF one prefers the old Mass - fine, if they prefer the current Mass - fine, but please exercise due caution in making any comparisons here, and clearly delineate between private opinion and objective fact. The Church regards all rites as equal in dignity and worth - it is the only statement that really counts here, not what we may personally feel about the whole situation.

With Peter said...

Chrysongonus there may be more Catholic teaching on this subject than you are aware. Paul VI gave a series of catecheses that support the notion that the traditional order is a mystically deeper liturgy and that the new order is more primative and apostolic.

Authority aside, this observation corresponds to the witness of experience.

chrysogonus said...

With Peter - thanks for your comments. Firstly, one's own personal experience is not necessarily truth and is purely subjective. It applies to you, but not
necessarily to others - the truth though applies to all.

I was never suggesting there weren't many differences in the two Missals, and there obviously are, but the fundamental fact remains, both are the Mass and equal in dignity and worth i.e. objectively, regardless of one's own personal experience here. I am not aware of Paul VI stating the old liturgy was overall mystically deeper than the current liturgy - perhaps you can give me your precise source here where this is clearly stated?

With Peter said...

Chrysogonus- All knowledge is mediated through experience and what one perceives is always a matter of objective factual truth inasmuch as he perceives it. Now if a person misconstrues his perceptions to mean something they don't, well, that must be demonstrated by presenting the true meaning of his perceptions. You must explain why what appears to be water on the horizon is actually a mirage, not a lake. You can't just write it off as subjective and therefore untrue.

On to Paul VI. Here is one such quote I had in mind:

"We are losing the idiom of the Christian ages; we become like profane intruders into the literary sanctuary of sacred language; we shall lose a large portion of that wonderful and incomperable, artistic and spiritual reality, Gregorian chant. We indeed have reason for sadness and perhaps even for bewilderment. What shall we put in place of this angelic language? We are sacrificing a priceless treasure. For what reason? What is worth more than these sublime values of the Church? The answer may seem trite and prosaic, but it is sound because is both human and apostolic. Our understanding of prayer is worth more than the previous, ancient garments in which it has been regally clad. Of more value too, is the participation of the people, of modern people who are surrounded by clear, intelligible language, translutable into their ordinary conversation. If our sacred Latin should, like a thick curtain, close off from the world of children and young people, of work and the business of everyday, then would we, fishers of men, be wise to allow it exclusive dominion over the speech of religion of prayer" (Audience of Nov. 26, 1969).

This passage does not clearly "state," but it lends clear "support" for the notion that old liturgy is mystically deeper. This was my point.

chrysogonus said...

With Peter - thanks for your response. I'm not quite sure if I even understand your first paragraph, or whether you understand what objective means - it means "not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased" However even given this, it would seem from your comments that the onus is indeed on you to prove the validity of such "observations" e.g. the old Mass is "mystically deeper". As I stated in my original article, this is simply not your call, but the Church's.

AS for the quote - I see absolutely no reference to such a claim about the old Mass at all - in fact quite the opposite. There is a comment on gregorian chant, which was in fact advocated as the example, par excellence of liturgical music by VII more strongly than in any other previous Church document in history. Chant is not peculiar to the old Mass, and is and can be sung at modern Masses. As for language, (especially the last sentence) he is clearly advocating the use of english, and not exclusively latin in our prayers.

With Peter said...

If a person says, "I see a lake," it is objectively true that he perceives a lake. Whether this perception corresponds to an actual lake is another question. My point is that knowledge requires a knowing subject, who attains truth through experience and reason. Even the data provided faith comes through the experience of hearing and the intellectual decision to give credibility to the one speaking to you. In our conversation this is important because you used the fact of experience as a reason to reject the witness of experience. This is invalid because it ends up producing a division between faith and reason.

Clearly the Chruch alone has the authority to definitively decide whether the old order is mystically deeper than the new. But the question is an open one, which means that Catholics are free to answer it employ their faculties of faith and reason in order to answer it, as long as they remain submissive to the Church's authority.

At the ultimate level, both are as mystically deep as the Eucharist itself, which is deeper than man's capacity. The question then is a human one: What level of conversion does each liturgy require in order to be accessible.

The old order was the fruit of a millennial organic development. The new order was a conscientious attempt to recover the primitive spirit of the liturgy.

The quote of Paul VI applies especially to the transition to the vernacular and the setting aside of Gregorian chant, but it also applies to the renewal itself. He speaks of opening up the Mass for the needs of "modern people." He speaks of the changes as a "profane intrusion." The implication is that because of the needs of modern people, it is apostolicly advantageous to desacralize aspects of the liturgy. This means that the traditional order was more "sacral."

I am well acquainted with the two liturgies. In order to access each, I must set my disposition according to the nature and symbolism of each liturgy. The traditional is quieter, more methodical. It requires greater concentration. It makes more wonderful use of silence and of gestures. It is a complex and interwoven symphany.

The new order is simple and direct. It is loud, active and extraverted. Singing and following the readings in your missalette will improve your experience of the Mass. The personality and catechetical talent of the priest will also have a much more profound effect on your experience than in the traditional order.

At the same time, the nature and symbolism of each liturgy requires you to guard against certain temptations. In the new order, one is tempted to just "go through the motions" without digesting anything. In the old order, one is tempted to twiddling his thumbs without digesting anything.

I'm not sure, Chrysogonus, why you take issue with calling the old order more mystical and calling the new order more apostolic.

chrysogonus said...

I'm simply saying the statement is your opinion, and impossible to prove, sincethe criteria is the Church's, not yours to appropriate. Unless the Church makes a specific statement, it can only be in the realm of opinion, not objective fact. If the Church does make a statement in the future and it agrees with your current opinion, then your opinion does coincide with the truth, otherwise its impossible to say whether its true or not. I'm not saying one Mass isn't more mystical or less mystical than the other, only that any statement to either
effect is opinion, until (if) the Church addresses the issue.

AS for the old order being the fruits of organic development, the the new Mass being a junp - I'm not sure (too long to discuss that here) - evidently those stating this, have never seen a caterpillar organically and naturally turn into a butterfly.

With Peter said...

Well, I don't necessarily disagree with you, but it is certainly clear to me that the reformers wanted to restore primitive aspects of the litugy. It seems that their intention was to get the butterfly to turn back into a caterpillar.

I'm not saying that I think this was a bad idea. As the world has become dechristianized, I think its necessary for the Chruch to restore aspects that enabled the first great evangelization.

With Peter said...

An "opinion" is a belief that is controversial, but it is not necessarily unknowable or unprovable. An opinion is always either true or false. Depending on the accuracy of one's inductions and the validity of one's deductions, it is true, knowable and provable. The reason I say this is because, Chrysogonus, you seem to be expressing a false opinion about opinions! In other words, you are saying that simply because the Church has issued no definition, it must be taken to be unknowable. This is false: The Church has issued no definition on the color of bananas, but this doesn't make it unknowable.

In the case of referring to the mystical old order and the apostolic new order, my inductions rely on a mixture of experience and authority. Authority: The saints, doctors and popes have left a wealth of teaching on the peculiar aspects of the old order, all of which point to its mystical richness. There has alsow been a wealth of teaching on the new order, all of which points to the accessibility, conscious participation and simplicity of the liturgy. It is a faster, louder, more active liturgy than the traditional, which is softer, more methodical and contemplative.

I don't think this last sentence can be denied by anyone with the least experience of both liturgies. Even those who have the most exaggerated affection for one and the most exaggerated contempt for the other can admit to this much.

So yes, if the Church wants to issue a declaration contradicting this obviously apparent fact, I will submit to the Church whole heartedly. I believe that a consecrated wafer is God because the Church tells me so. I have no problem submitting my intellect to Peter because I know he is the guardian and steward of ultimate truth.

But all the evidence provided by the Church points to the truth of the "opinion" that the old order is more mystical and the new order is more apostolic. Likewise it all points to the falsehood of the negation of this "opinion." Therefore I find absolutely no reason to doubt the proposition, which is determined not by me, but by the real distinction between the two orders. I am an observer, not a determiner.

chrysogonus said...

Firstly, to an observer: I am not saying it is unknowable, and you can't have read my previous post if you say that - I simply say that the truth is not determined by you but by the Church and its teachings. So, it is unknown (as the Church at this point in time sees no need to comment) but definitely not unknowable - there is a world of
difference between these two situations.

Secondly, the new Mass is not louder?! How on earth do you work that out? I go to both rites regularly - more is spoken aloud in the New Mass, but that doesn't make it louder? The net volume of sound would be greater, but that's not loudness. Is is faster? I've been 20 minute Low Masses in the old rite with the priest literally speed-reading the Mass! By what criteria is it faster? It is shorter but surely not faster. More active? Well, yes, I would agree with that - there is far less time for private prayers in the New Mass (and this was a very deliberate decision to reduce those praying privately or praying the Rosary
etc in the old Mass, when they should've been concentrating on the liturgy). In the New Mass, I feel there is also greater unity - in the sense everyone is doing and praying the same thing at the same time, where as Solemn Mass in the 1962 rite can have choir/priest/congregation all at different
points in the liturgy etc That's not necessarily bad, nor good, its just different, but I would argue (and only in my opinion) that that reduces unity of prayer.
Returning to your first paragraph - the Church has not issued a statement that the New MAss is shorter for example, since it doesn't need to - it is self-evident - however, the mystical character of the rites is not something anyone on the street can objectively affirm, but requires the Church to step in and make a statement - it hasn't.

The doctors/popes/saints cannot possibly say the old Mass is more mystical, only that it
is mystical - your argument simply doesn't hold up since the New Mass did not even exist at the time!
The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, and to close this discussion here, I repeat my original statement which you seem to have great problems with - all rites are equal in dignity and worth - which implies equal in their "heavenly", hence mystical, character. I'd just accept it, despite what your own personal experience may tell you.

With Peter said...

Chrysogonus- Of course I accept the equal dignity of all rites. I never implied otherwise. This equality is derived from the one and the same Eucharist. All rites unite heaven and earth in the re-presentation of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. I don’t know why you would infer from my assertion (traditional-mystical, new-apostolic) that I believe the older rite is of greater dignity. Maybe you misunderstand what I mean by “mystical”? I mean that the distinctive characteristics of the traditional order are more oriented toward what is secret and hidden (from the Greek, mysterion). One must undergo a more extensive initiation in order to comprehend the prayers, language and gestures. Greater decorum is expected, there is greater expectation of silence in the church, only a select few may enter the sanctuary. Virtually every distinguishing accident fuels a sense of mystery and sacredness. Not one of these words or concepts depends on my personality.

Now, to judge the new order on the criteria of the traditional order is not fair. The new order sets aside mystical aspects in order to make the liturgy more accessible to people of today. Beginning with Pius X (Motu Proprio Abhinc Duos Annos), “full, conscious and active participation of the faithful” became the Church’s primary criterion in evaluating and reforming the liturgy. This change in emphasis doesn’t degrade the dignity of the liturgy, but it is a change in emphasis. “We are sacrificing a priceless treasure. For what reason? What is worth more than these sublime values of the Church? The answer may seem trite and prosaic, but it is sound because is. . .apostolic.”

Chrsyogonus, I respect you a great deal and your fidelity to the Church, but I take issue with your positivistic approach to the Magisterium. Certainly we agree that the Church’s teaching requires a submissive response of intellect and will. To dissent to the Church’s teaching is unacceptable. But this does not mean that the Church must issue a statement in order for “anyone on the street” to objectively affirm something with regard to the faith. The faith is revealed through Scripture and Tradition, sources which all are free to penetrate according to their own ability. Read the dogmatic constitutions of Vatican II (i.e. Dei Verbum and Lumen Gentium), I think you will find that your approach to the Magisterium is NOT the same as the Magisterium’s approach to the Magisterium.

What you wrote in your last post was that my opinion was “impossible to prove.” You didn’t say that I hadn’t proven my opinion, you said that I couldn’t prove my opinion. If you misspoke, I understand entirely, but you will understand why I inferred that you believed the matter in question was unknowable.

With Peter said...

As to "loudness," I will leave it to you do define the term. I'm pretty sure I can demonstrate to you that the new order is louder by any definition. So come up with a definition and I'll show you why the new order is louder.

Faster: I am speaking not of how long the liturgy takes, but its pace. Because individual prayers are longer and there is more repetition in the traditional order, I call it slower. I'm not saying its better to be faster or slower. These words are not synonomous with good and evil.

chrysogonus said...

Firstly, since I go to both rites and in the same Church, I can assure you, in my case, that the new Mass is not louder using the standard,conventional, legal and scientific definition of loudness (i.e. level of decibels)- both priests preach a sermon, speak into a microphone at that point, the congregation recite a creed in the New Mass, and sing it in the old Mass - I see no evidence to support one is louder at all - there are more spoken words in the new Mass, but that's about all - as I said, that does not equate to loudness.

I do agree the new Mass is in some ways more apostolic and have no issue with you on that, however I do not agree with your definition of mystical - mysterious yes, but not mystical. That the rubrics are cloaked in more examples of symbolism, every gesture has some implicit meaning and is more precise and nuanced,
simply means it is more complex, not necessarily more mystical. However, I'm prepared to concede that you believe it is more mystical, and we should leave it at that. The ultimate mysteries of the Mass which far transcend anything on the "rubrical" level are exactly the same in both rites - I think this is the most important point in all this. The new liturgy has not been a disaster at all - its partially because the actual Missal is not adhered to, because the express wishes of the Council Fathers have been ignored, that we experience so many liturgical abuses these days. Fortunately the % of Catholics in the world hasn't changed in the last 40 years, perhaps suggesting the Holy Spirit prefers to work on a global scale, rather than the local diocesian one!