Rorate Caeli
Updates:

1. Thomas Woods reminds readers in his most recent article (and it is a duty in Justice; it must not be denied nor forgotten!): "For several decades, not only the Catholic left but also the 'orthodox' Catholic right condemned supporters of the 1962 Missal as disobedient, wicked, schismatic – you name it – because they believed that what was beautiful and venerable yesterday could not cease to be beautiful and venerable today. They likewise found it hard to believe that they were considered a little bit crazy, perhaps even in need of counseling, because they longed for the traditional Mass, the very thing they had been taught their whole lives to venerate."

We believe we will quote these words often in the future...

2. Do not forget that great idea, now permanently linked in our sidebar:

The International Summorum Pontificum Contact Database, now covering Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, United Kingdom, India, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, and the United States.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

How true this is. I have a friend who was in the seminary not 1 year ago at Good Shepherd Seminary in Sydney Australia. He is greatly devoted to the 1962 missal. I welcome the motu proprio. Our Rector who is also an Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney Julian Porteous told him he would never be able to say Tredentine Mass. The rector/bishop brought the Emmanuel community to Sydney. He forces seminarians to take part I parish mission dominated by this group. Seminarians being forced to wear mission T shirts like groupies for a rock band. Forced to knock door to door like a Jehovah’s Witnesses. Walking the streets strumming guitars, like some wondering religious crackpots. We were asked to go into supermarkets, annoy people in the street, and giving out pamphlets in an intrusive way. Knocking on doors univited, then asking to enter their homes to do chores but more usually causing fear. (Servant Evangelism) Being forced to attend miming classes given by Antioch member so we would be able to be “kewl”. Forced to attend “mercy evening” with seminarians being obliged to give sensational personal testimonies. (Confession in the church was offered at no other time during the mission). Seminarians having to hold hands during Mass. Being expected to get into group huddles and hugs with "let do it for the spirit!".
Of course I was unhappy as it goes against my whole Faith. Because he looked sad and could notI go along he was told to withdraw from the seminary. My question is. Will the motu proprio help someone like hime? I think it might afford some protection however seminarians will be vetted according to their ability to conform. That means those who want to use of the 1962 liturgy will be will be excluded.

Anonymous said...

How true this is. I have a friend who was in the seminary not 1 year ago at Good Shepherd Seminary in Sydney Australia. He is greatly devoted to the 1962 missal. It was the Old Mass that led him to the seminary. I welcome the motu proprio. The Rector who is also an Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney Julian Porteous told him he would never be able to say Tridentine Mass. The rector/bishop brought the Emmanuel community to Sydney. He forces seminarians to take part I parish mission dominated by this group. Seminarians being forced to wear mission T shirts like groupies for a rock band. Forced to knock door to door like a Jehovah’s Witnesses. Walking the streets strumming guitars, like some wondering religious crackpots. We were asked to go into supermarkets, annoy people in the street, and giving out pamphlets in an intrusive way. Knocking on doors univited, then asking to enter their homes to do chores but more usually causing fear. (Servant Evangelism) Being forced to attend miming classes given by Antioch member so we would be able to be “kewl”. Forced to attend “mercy evening” with seminarians being obliged to give sensational personal testimonies. (Confession in the church was offered at no other time during the mission). Seminarians having to hold hands during Mass. Being expected to get into group huddles and hugs with "let do it for the spirit!".
Of course I was unhappy as it goes against my whole Faith. Because he looked sad and could notI go along he was told to withdraw from the seminary. My question is. Will the motu proprio help someone like hime? I think it might afford some protection however seminarians will be vetted according to their ability to conform. That means those who want to use of the 1962 liturgy will be will be excluded.

Jordan Potter said...

"For several decades, not only the Catholic left but also the 'orthodox' Catholic right condemned supporters of the 1962 Missal as disobedient, wicked, schismatic – you name it – because they believed that what was beautiful and venerable yesterday could not cease to be beautiful and venerable today."

That's all true of the "Catholic left," but as far as I can tell, the "Catholic right" only objected (and still objects) to those supporters of the 1962 Missal who assisted at illicit Tridentine Masses, and did so because of their schism or near-schism, not "because they believed that what was beautiful and venerable yesterday could not cease to be beautiful and venerable today." It's not their adherence to the old form of the Roman Rite that's the problem, it's their involvement at chapels not affiliated with or authorised by the Catholic Church.

dcs said...

as far as I can tell, the "Catholic right" only objected (and still objects) to those supporters of the 1962 Missal who assisted at illicit Tridentine Masses

You evidently did not read the articles in The Wanderer attacking The Remnant (whose editor attends an Indult Mass) and The Latin Mass.

TomW said...

The contempt absolutely was not limited to people at independent chapels. I won't mention names, but countless "orthodox" groups and periodicals treated the 1962 Missal as if it were radioactive. In fact, part of what's so glorious about what's happening is that we can now freely say, on the air and in print, what until recently was considered vaguely suspect.

New Catholic said...

Dear Mr. Potter,

This is probably my first public disagreement with you. Your comment only applies to a handful (a minute minority) of those in the "Catholic right" identified by Dr. Woods. Their number has certainly increased in the past few years as they have seen the wind direction slowly change; yet most of them never uttered a SINGLE word in favor of the Traditional Mass, nothing... and wrote "rivers of ink" in favor of positions we know are absurd (and the Supreme Legislator now tells us so) in order to downplay the relevance of the matter.

Now they intend to be the official interpreters of the law...

Anonymous said...

It's not profitable to dwell on past grievances, exposing oneself to bitterness and triumphalism. It impedes forgiveness and reconciliation. This is a time to offer past suffering in a sacrificial spirit, to give thanks for present blessings, and to look to the future.

Romulus

Mornac said...

Aucune mention de Michael Davies? Dommage.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Romulus that now is not a time for trimuphalism, but rather a time to give thanks. However, given the fact that it is now clear the Old Mass was never abrogated and that every priest in the Roman Rite has always had the right to say the Old Mass, couldn't the argument be made that those priests who said Mass at independent chapels because the local ordinary would not allow them to say the Old Mass in diocesan chapels were justified in their "disobedience" of an unjust law that forbade them from saying a Mass to which they had the right to say? Aren't these priests who said Mass at independent chapels some of today's heros for preserving the Old Mass and being an impetus for this Motu Proprio and for nourishing the faithful who longed for the rich tradition and graces of the Old Mass?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Romulus. Justice has been done. But the temptation to stop and savour it and look for reparation for past injustices can only damage the aims that we all hope for in implementing the mp.

Jordan Potter said...

"You evidently did not read the articles in The Wanderer attacking The Remnant (whose editor attends an Indult Mass) and The Latin Mass."

You're right, I didn't read them (and, well, I did say "as far as I can tell" -- often enough I can't tell very far, and apparently this is one of those times). I'm really not a big fan of those three publications and don't read them often (Remnant hardly ever), though they all have helpful articles from time to time -- I guess it's mainly the tone or attitude that I perceive from them, though I certainly have had substantive disagreements with thing they've published too. I think I'm also psychologically predisposed, having come out of an anti-Catholic fundamentalistic sect with a "remnant" mentality, to be wary of a publication calling itself "Remnant." To me, it indicates a belief that they alone are the only remaining orthodox Catholics on earth. (In that regard, I also note in these comments the scare quotes around the word orthodox in reference to the Catholic right, suggesting one believes they are heretics.) So that would be the reason I'm not as informed in these matters as you are.

Hence, I would retract this:

"It's not their adherence to the old form of the Roman Rite that's the problem, it's their involvement at chapels not affiliated with or authorised by the Catholic Church."

Because, even being insufficiently informed, I still knew there was a good deal more to it than that.

New Catholic said...

Romulus, I tend to agree with you.

Yet, one must not - must not - forget the past, especially the lessons of the past. The abuse of episcopal power in the reception and interpretation of Summorum Pontificum in several areas around the world is already apparent, and the lessons of the past (for instance, the rejection of hypocritical calls for "unity" from Bishops who willingly wish to misinterpret the motu proprio - as shameless as the calls for "unity" of the past, uttered while relentless persecution was effected) will remain useful.

Al Trovato said...

Romulus said:

"It's not profitable to dwell on past grievances, exposing oneself to bitterness and triumphalism..."

You are assuming triumph when all we can look forward to are more battles.

The bishops are not going to make nice and go on. Most of them are looking for ways to undermine what the Holy Father is trying to do.

The point here is merely to call attention to the fact that people like Father Neuhaus, Patrick Madrid, Father Fessio, Catholic Answers, Cardinal Dulles, etc., never cried "INJUSTICE!".

They never tried to see that -- as a matter of justice -- the Traditional Mass was NEVER abolished! They saw us being kicked around, and they called us names,they will keep calling us names.

Why? because -- in conscience --we feel forced to protect our families from crazy confessions, where we are told that in the end everyone is going to heaven; from masses where women wear miniskirts and men wear shorts; from masses where the Holy Eucharist is handled like a cookie.

Or do any of you think that those people have suddenly seen the INJUSTICE that has been done?

They will continue attending their fundraisers, drinking Veuve, and making fun of our antiquated wives that wear their ABROGATED veils to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Jordan Potter said...

"The point here is merely to call attention to the fact that people like Father Neuhaus, Patrick Madrid, Father Fessio, Catholic Answers, Cardinal Dulles, etc., never cried 'INJUSTICE!'."

But they aren't in the traditionalist camp and never have been -- they share a lot of the same concerns as traditionalists, but they're firmly "reform of the reform" Catholics, like Benedict XVI is.

"They never tried to see that -- as a matter of justice -- the Traditional Mass was NEVER abolished!"

It's hardly just to hold against them the fact that they did not hold a position that the Catholic Church only officially adopted on Saturday. After all, it sure looked like the Traditional Mass had been abolished.

TomW said...

Did you read my article? I am not being mean or unreasonable, or shoving the m.p. in anyone's face. But I am making an essential point that HAS TO BE MADE: it was absolutely, 100% acceptable for us to have longed for and supported the return of the old rite -- a point they absolutely did not concede. I'm not saying we need to remind our former opponents of this at every opportunity. Let's let bygones be bygones, absolutely. But we would be insane, after all we've been through, not to make this point at least once for heaven's sake!

Simon-Peter Vickers-Buckley said...

Anon:

look, in a VERY limited sense, the priesthood is a question of self-selection.

If your friend wants to be a priest, if he is convinced that is what Jesus wants, then contact the Diocese of Raleigh.

He can stay at my house (we have lots of room and a spare bedroom) for as long as it takes to talk to the Bishop here in person (and it will be) for the sum of $1 per week (which includes bread and water) and other valuable consideration, transportation provided too. The new diocesan director of vocations has just taken up residence in my parish...

Find my blog, profile, email, if he is interested. I can provide contact details and see what happens.

If he gets his skates on he could be here by September...I just got satelite TV so I can watch the Rugby World Cup...

JMJ.

Jordan:

Read "The Great Facade" by Ferrara and Woods. Even if one disagrees with their conculusions (I don't), it is the "how" to think that is as important. About a month ago I posted on my blog a permanent link to a pdf file that I uploaded.

This pdf file is a complete essay by Chris Ferrara done after The Great Facade. I admit I have been very upset by the small numbers who have taken the trouble to download this essay. It is a devastating critique of a particular mindset, of a way of thinking. It took quite a bit of trouble to get it uploaded (the person who was scanning it for me took off to Rome for two weeks! and then did it in a pdf version that I didn't want) but I REALLY wish folks would read it.

NC is EXACTLY right. For months I have been biting on my own blog and others at those who "stick their finger in the air" and are now in the process of pretending they are and always were friends of tradition whose sensus catholicus does not change with the wind. THIS is one of the points raised in the essay by Chris Ferrara. Lest I be accused of trawling for blog hits (like I care and / or make money) here is the url for the essay. Download, save, read, and be aware of the new "friends".

Triumphalism? Justice! Triumphalism is exactly what the progressives and spineless middle have engaged in, conservatives who conserve nothing, conservatives who are nothing more than liberals in slow motion: They were damn well wrong and they'd damn well better apologize to Jesus. I've been slandered and caluminated to my face more times than I could shake a stick at. I don't want apologies, I want an admission of error directed toward Jesus for the good of the soul of the person admitting same. I am sick and tired of being lectured about doing the will of God by people who do violence to same.

Here is the link to the Ferrara essay:

Neo-Catholic Heresy?

Clemens Maria said...

Thank you Dr. Woods and New Catholic for expressing the joy, relief, and gratitude of traditionalists everywhere. Never mind the nitpickers, naysayers and ninkenpoops who want to rain on our parade.

Anonymous said...

Before this all gets out of hand (not that it will, with the excellent and prudent new catholic around! excellent web-site!) can I just add that I have great sympathy with the position that feels the need for an apology from *someone* for all those people who have, under a rain of invective and threatened sanction, put themselves through over the last 40 years, to preserve the Holy Mass and all that goes with it - to offer Holy Mass as a priest and to be summarily dealt with by often heterodox bishops, to get children to Holy Mass as a parent over long distances Sunday after Sunday (and on Holydays) and seek to bring them as Catholics when the Catholic schools were teaching heresy, &c., There has been much heroism, not least by my own parents, and while I understand the calls to rejoice, I *know* that the opposition we faced in the past had only been partially undermined, and that those upon whom such opprobrium was cast in the past, for clinging to Catholic truths in doctrine and in praxis, will probably never fully recover from feeling that they are despised and not trusted by those who should have been their shepherds and pastors.

Mike Hennessy

New Catholic said...

Thank you for the kind words, Mr. Hennessy.

Thank you all for the thoughtful comments.

I believe most aspects of the debate have been covered in the comments; and, before the discussion gets out of hand, I will close the thread -- but I will reopen it tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Well the attacks have started. Read what this idiot has written in theb Tablet

Father Mark Francis (Viatorian)

The long-expected motu proprio of Pope Benedict XVI, permitting a wider use of the 1962 edition of the "Missal of Pius V" - the so-called Tridentine Mass - has finally been published, containing elements that are sure to displease traditionalists and progressives alike.

Understandably, the majority of Catholics "in the middle" may wonder what the fuss is all about since only a small minority has voiced an ardent desire to return to the old rite. It is very unlikely that Catholics will flock en masse to their local parishes to demand that altars be turned back to the wall and that money be set aside for the purchase of new baroque chasubles with matching maniples, pax boards, and the reinstallation of communion rails.

Nevertheless, publication of "Summorum Pontificum" is troubling. Given the negative reaction that the possibility of this motu proprio provoked among many bishops - especially in France - and despite Benedict XVI's repeated statements in support of collegiality, it is disappointing that he seems to have given greater weight to a small group of advisers (and perhaps to his own personal piety) rather than to bishops who are more in touch with the pastoral life of the church.

Until now, the Pope, who is not a trained liturgist, has shown interest and sensitivity in liturgical matters. The motu proprio, though, seems to betray a real misunderstanding of liturgy's role in the life of the Church. It is ironic that, given the Pope's often-voiced antipathy toward relativism as both the bane of modern life and a threat to the integrity of the faith, he himself seems to have succumbed to the very relativism that he has so often denounced. It is legitimate to wonder, given liturgical history, theology, canon law, and pastoral practicalities, whether the liturgy is being taken seriously by this motu proprio or being treated as just another choice available in the "Catholic cafeteria".

A logical place to start any discussion is the designation of the Tridentine Rite in the apostolic letter as the "extraordinary Roman Rite". Such a designation has no precedent in the liturgical history of the Church and is based on the debatable presumption that the use of the Tridentine Rite was not abrogated by the publication of the liturgical books mandated by Vatican II.

From 1970, when the Missal of Paul VI was promulgated, to 1984 when the Congregation for Divine Worship issued an indult to allow a local bishop to permit celebrations of the old rite, the abrogation of the Tridentine Missal was taken for granted. In 1988 Pope John Paul II's apostolic letter Ecclesia Dei adflicta called for a "generous application of the directives" already stipulated in the 1984 indult. Again it emphasised that permission to use the old rite is a pastoral concession to those spiritually unable to adapt themselves to the new rite, provided that this did not imply a rejection of the Second Vatican Council or the validity of the liturgical reform. The use of the old rite was not presented in either of these documents as "normative" in any way.

In the context of this rather ambiguous disciplinary situation, it is helpful to reflect on the nature of a "rite" within the Church. The Roman Rite is one of 23 recognised "rites" of the Catholic Church. The term "rite" encompasses not only the Order of Mass and - at least traditionally speaking - is a way to describe how a given group of Christians expresses their faith in life and worship. It goes beyond issues of language, rubrics or ceremonial directives of the Mass to differences in designating liturgical time, the assignment of particular saints' days, the particular style of liturgical prayer employed in all of the sacramental rites, along with distinctive gestures and movements used in these liturgical celebrations.

The adoption of a new calendar that altered the liturgical year and modified the relative importance of certain feasts and memorials, the removal of saints from sanctoral cycle that were deemed unhistorical, the revision of the celebration of funerals, the re-introduction of the adult catechumenate, all significantly changed the liturgy, no matter how much the Pope may argue for continuity between the old and new Roman Rites.

Historical precedent also demonstrates that the "Tridentine Rite" was meant to be abrogated in 1970. It simply cannot be argued, for example, that after the sixteenth century there were two officially recognised ways of celebrating the Roman Rite. Designating the old and new rites "uses" within the same rite is an attempt at canonical sleight of hand and does not solve the problem. While it is true that when the "Missal of Pius V" was promulgated, there were local medieval "usages" in France, such as the rite of the City of Lyon, these were permitted as a concession to centuries-old territorial custom. Nor can it be reasonably argued that the "Tridentine Rite" ought to be accorded the same status as one of the Oriental rites, since the ancient rites of the Eastern Churches are the expression of Christianity lived over centuries by a given nation or ethnic group within a limited geographical territory.

It also seems clear that Pope Paul VI intended to replace the previous Missal and wanted to restore the liturgy by returning "to the original norm of the holy Fathers" (general introduction to the 1970 Roman Missal). The sixteenth-century framers of the "Missal of Pius V", which dates from 1570, were unable to do so because they lacked adequate historical resources, for they were unable to refer to manuscripts dating earlier than the pontificate of Innocent III, around 1216. As a result much of the Tridentine Rite is a hybrid of medieval Franco-Germanic elements fused to a Roman core that dates from the late sixth century.

That is why Paul VI's novus ordo is closer to "the original norm of the holy Fathers" than the Tridentine Rite. Article Six of the Preamble to the General Instruction of the "Missal of Paul VI" implies as much by stating that there was something that was incomplete about the old missal since "the older Roman Missal [that of Pius V] is brought to fulfilment in the new" [that of Paul VI].

As a product of the sixteenth century and compiled during the height of the Reformation, the "Missal of Pius V" reflects the Church's antagonistic relationship to a larger world that was seen as opposing its authority and traditions. This can be easily seen in some of the Ad diversa Mass formulas which maintain earlier, medieval texts - for example, a Mass "Against the Pagans".

Perhaps the most problematic aspect of the "Tridentine Rite" is its treatment of Judaism. While the adjective "perfidious" describing the Jews was removed from the 1962 edition of the Missal there are still prayers that call for their conversion in direct contradiction to Vatican II's "Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions" (see Nostra Aetate 4). In much the same vein, the Missal refers to Christians of other Churches as heretics and schismatics - descriptions of fellow Christians that are unlikely to promote much ecumenical dialogue. And since the lectionary attached to this Missal proposes practically no readings from the Old Testament it represents a deficient liturgical presentation of God's Word - a problem that the Council fathers sought to remedy (see Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy 51).

The ecclesiology expressed by the old rite reflects the very limited liturgical attention the Counter-Reformation Church gave to the baptised faithful. It was the role of the ordained that was highlighted, and the gathered assembly is not even mentioned in the introductory material and rubrics of the "Missal of Pius V", thereby reducing their role to mute spectators.

In addition to the ecclesiological problems, another weakness of the "Tridentine Rite" is its anaemic pneumatology - or theology of the Holy Spirit. While the faith of the Church expressed in the liturgy is in the Triune God - we pray to the Father, with the Son, in the Holy Spirit - try as you may, it is difficult to discern an epiclesis (an invocation of the Holy Spirit over the gifts and people) in the Roman Canon; an element commonly agreed in East and West to be as an important element for a theologically complete Eucharistic Prayer.

All of the new Eucharistic Prayers composed for the "Missal of Paul VI" have such an invocation. Reverting to a pneumatologically weak formulation of the central act of the Church's worship (the Roman Canon being the only Eucharistic Prayer in the "Missal of Pius V") clearly impoverishes the worship of those who would exclusively use this Missal.

While the theological problems of the "Tridentine Rite" are at odds with the teachings of the Council, the pastoral difficulties that will accompany the implementation of this motu proprio may prove to be an even greater problem, starting with the priests themselves. Where will competent priests, willing to celebrate the Mass and other sacraments according to the old rite, come from? Are we now to offer Latin and liturgy courses in seminaries to train our new priests to offer the Rite of Mass and the sacraments of the Medieval Rite on demand along with the liturgical rites mandated by Vatican II?

The official proclamation that this medieval rite is "extraordinary" compromises the coherence of the Church's self-understanding and threatens to reduce the liturgy to a simple matter of individual "taste" rather than what it is meant to be: an accurate reflection of what we believe as Catholic Christians who live in the twenty-first century. Although cited several times in the document, the hallowed patristic axiom lex orandi, lex credendi (how we pray, so we believe) has been seriously ignored in this motu proprio.

In short, "Summorum Pontificum" weakens the unity of the Church by failing to support the foundational insights of the Second Vatican Council.