Rorate Caeli

On the state of the Traditional Roman Rite in Latin America -- a liberal's report

Fr Matias Augé CMF (born in 1936) is a well-known figure in the liberal establishment of liturgical scholars, having being a disciple of the late Abp Bugnini (to whom he even administered the last rites) and a long-time professor at the Pontifical Institute of Liturgical Studies in Rome. On his blog (one of several "progressivist" liturgical blogs that have arisen in response to the dominance of Traditionalist and pro-Reform of the Reform blogs), he champions the superiority of the Novus Ordo and takes issue with Fr Nicola Bux or other exponents of the "reform of the reform" (without directly attacking the Pope).
The following is a translation of the report that he posted yesterday, September 7, on the situation of the Traditional Latin Mass and of the Reform of the Reform in Latin America, based on a survey of his Claretian confreres. The report is informative not so much on the movement (or lack of it) towards liturgical restoration in Latin America, as on the sheer hostility that continues to face it there (perhaps accounting for the lack of progress) and the insistence of liberals that this movement has right-wing political undertones. This vicious accusation is particularly dangerous to tradition-minded Catholics, given Latin America's past with dictatorships and its current swing to the Left.
It is pleasant to note that the Heralds of the Gospel -- better known for their devotion to the solemn celebration of the Novus Ordo -- is also helping to establish the Missal of 1962 in this continent. CAP.
From August 12 to September 6 the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Claretians), to which Institute I belong, celebrated in Rome their XXIVth General Chapter. As our Institute is present in almost all Latin American republics I got the idea of making an "informal" survey of the liturgical situation in Latin America. The following report is the result of my conversations with the heads of the chapters (i capitolari), delegates from the various Geographical areas of the South American continent.

CENTRAL AMERICA (Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, El Salvador…)
Here there are no special problems regarding the acceptance of the Mass of Pope Paul VI. There are small groups in Panama whose members celebrate using the Missal of 1962. In El Salvador it is the Heralds of the Gospel who celebrate according to this missal, but they are an insignificant group.

ARGENTINA
It is a well-known fact that we have here a Lefebvrist seminary, today led by Mons. Alfonso de Galarreta. For the rest, there are no particular requests in this country for the Missal of 1962. The Cardinal of Buenos Aires has given the permission to celebrate a Sunday mass in the extraordinary form, in which participates a reduced group of around 20 persons. This is the situation in almost all the other dioceses. The eventuality of a Reform of the Reform is viewed by many priests with great concern (con grande preoccupazione). They are of the opinion that this might disturb liturgical peace, which they consider to be well consolidated in their country.
(There have been reports that the Sunday TLM in Buenos Aires is celebrated facing the people. If those reports are true, the small size of the congregation wouldn't be surprising. CAP)

BOLIVIA
The representative from Bolivia gave me the following answer: "Padre, we have other problems. The Missal of Pope Paul VI is not part of these problems". (Perhaps what is meant is that there is little movement in Bolivia to question or critique the Pauline Missal – CAP)

BRAZIL
The two bishops of Lefebvrist tendency, Geraldo Sigaud and Antonio de Castro Mayer, died a long time ago. There exists a pro-Missal 1962 group but as a whole, it does not represent a relevant movement. The Holy See has given the Church in Brazil the permission to introduce into the Mass of Paul VI some elements typical of it, or inculturation. (It should be noted that while Archbishop Geraldo de Proenca Sigaud of Diamantina was one of the most prominent members of the Coetus Internationalis Patrum in Vatican II, he did not actively support the resistance versus the imposition of the new Missal in 1969-1970 – CAP)

COLOMBIA
Here we have liturgical peace, even if we have some groups “promoting” the Missal of 1962, for example the Heralds of the Gospel in Medellin. In the pastoral meetings the priests do not lend much importance to this phenomenon and they consider a reform of the reform to be impractical.

CHILE
The use of the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite is seen as something irrelevant. Unfortunately, here and there we find a liaison between this extraordinary form and extreme right-wing tendencies of political nature. Then there is a certain malaise regarding the translation of the Missal of Pope Paul VI into the special kind of Spanish spoken in Chile.

CUBA, PORTO RICO , DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AND HAITI
In Puerto Rico there are a few individual priests who are for the return of the pre-Vatican II liturgy, but it is certain that groups of this kind are not of any relevance in any of these republics.

MEXICO
As a whole, we have to affirm that the liturgical books of the last Reform have been well received. Here and there we find small groups who adhere to the pre-Vatican II books. However, these are groups that politically stand near the extreme right.

PERU
The celebration according to the extraordinary form of the Roman rite is to be found in small groups that refer themselves to determined ecclesial movements, but who do not constitute a significant pastoral phenomenon.
URUGAY
The situation is similar to the one in Argentina. There are no special tensions in this respect.

VENEZUELA
There is no wish to come back [i.e. to the preconciliar era] and the Reform of Paul VI is not discussed. On the contrary, in some circles there is the wish to have more up-to-date texts, texts nearer to the sensibility of the people. What some people would wish is a Reform of the Reform which goes further than the one that came after Vatican II. (We can only imagine what that will be like -- CAP)

I repeat what I said in the beginning: the facts that I have gathered here are not the result of a survey conducted according to scientific criteria. However, I believe that as a whole they give a correct picture, showing that the Latin American Catholicity (representing almost half of the Catholics of the world) does not concern itself with the problem of a Reform of the Reform. This does not mean that in those countries everything runs smoothly. We know that there are abuses in how the Mass is celebrated, abuses that are to be eliminated with firmness and pastoral sagacity.
H/t to Zoltan Rihmer of Capitulum Laicorum S. Michaelis Archangeli in Budapest for alerting me to this post and for providing the information of Fr. Auge.

44 comments:

Pedro said...

In Chile we have at least:
- 4 parishes with weekly Mass;
- 1 Una Voce sponsored weekly Mass;
- An IBP (Institute of the Good Shepherd) oratory with daily Masses;
- Two SSPX Priories (Santiago and Viña del Mar) with daily Masses;
- A Cathedral with a monthly Mass (San Bernardo)
- A University with a monthly Mass (in Concepción)
- A Hospital with a weekly Mass (in Viña del Mar)

And most, if not all, well-attended. How is that "irrelevant"?

Anonymous said...

All I can see in these reports is general references to "insignificance". It is this report itself which is irrelevant.

The only datum I see is the number twenty as those attending the Mass in Buenos Aires.

But there is truth in this report and we must face facts. The fact is that demands for the old Mass are not very emphatic anywhere, with the possible exception of France and South-West Germany.

So we must distinguish between preferences and demands. There are few demands for the old Mass. Does this mean that that the New Mass is preferred? No, one cannot draw that inference. We can only say that enthusiasm for the ancient Mass is not popular. One reason is that more conservative faithful have given up: they don't expect much after forty years of abuse. Another is that most faithful are simply unaware of S.P.

Consider the situation. After forty years of being persecuted and suppressed, along comes Benedict XVI, who says that all this persecution was illegal. Whoops! Most faithful hear that and figure that there's no hope with this lot. Others don't hear it in the first place.

In the end, Rome will have to lead the flock back to the pasture. All the sheep have gone astray, every one his own way. And they have come to expect the new fields. They are comforted, if not pleased, by returning week after week to what they've come to expect.

P.K.T.P.

Hebdomadary said...

Well, compared to him they do stand to the extreme right. But then, theologically speaking, his liberalism stands - historically speaking - to the left of the left, and has its own fascistic tendencies. So we come round in the end not to "Either AND", but to "Either or else." So this little episcopal pot is calling the antique (but ever new) kettle black. Communist Socialism...National Socialism...same method of enforcement.

Hebdomadary said...

Oh, I see he's not a Bishop. Well, that's a plus.

Anonymous said...

Who would expect modernists to admit any failure (except not liberalizing the liturgy and theology enough) if they are still firmly in control?

A said...

"insignificant group"
"disturb liturgical peace" HUH???
"impractical"
"does not represent a relevant movement"
"extreme right-wing tenancies"
"do not constitute a significant pastoral phenomenon"
"texts nearer to the sensibility of the people"

Father sounds like a bureaucrat from Atlas Shrugged.

Jason said...

"...there are abuses in how the Mass is celebrated, abuses that are to be eliminated with firmness and pastoral sagacity."

Whether it be TLM or Novus Ordo, I think the above quote focuses on what is most important: the pastoral role of the clergy in eliminating abuses.

Et Expecto said...

No mention of the Diocese of Campos!

LeonG said...

Judging by the loss of The Faith, demonstrated in leading indicators in Latin America generally and the characteristic liberal/socialist stereotyping of traditional liturgy with fascism, "liturgical peace" claimed to here represents a typically subjective euphemism for burying heads in the sand while the region sinks into revolutionary socialism. The NO liturgy with all its incorporated abuses has assisted alongside the modernism of the post-conciliar church with the decline of South America into gradual apostasy. With talk of inculturated liturgical praxis circulating (as we overheard with Asia) there can only be one consequence to this which will be even more liturgical vandalism.

The man in question only sees what he is capable of seeing.

Prof. Carlos Ramalhete said...

Here in Brazil, I think the main obstacle is still the Bishops. The Brazilian people obeys its pastors, and unless the Bishop tells otherwise, people will just keep going to the N.O. Mass. As a matter of fact, that is what happened in Campos: Msgr. Castro Mayer told his clergy and people to keep the Traditional Mass, and they did.
Very few people are aware that the Pope allows the celebration of the Traditional Mass, or even that there is such a thing as a guitar-less Mass. Unless the parish priest and the Bishop openly tell people about it, it will remain a virtual secret.
CNBB (The Brazilian Bishops' Conference) is still pretty much in the hands of old Liberation Theology hippies, as are the publishing houses that sell (widely-used) Mass leaflets.
Most priests have little or no theological formation, and disagreeing with the priest in liturgical or theological matters would never cross the average Brazilian's mind.
There are a few celebrations of the Extraordinary form in some places, but they are still attended almost only by an exceedingly small internet-savvy English-speaking intellectual elite.
On the other hand, the youngest priests are increasingly more orthodox, and some very good Bishops have been nominated. The latter cannot do much, as they usually inherited a very poorly-formed clergy, but in time the situation will reverse.
Just as the Brazilian people accepted guitar Masses and ugly liturgy because they were told to, they will accept Tradition as soon as it becomes mainstream again. I trust the new generation of priests to perform this change.
What must be kept in mind, though, is that the Brazilian people is an obedient people, and will never do anything against the will of their immediate superiors (parish priests and Bishops). No grassroots revolutions here, thanks, be it for or against Tradition.
Liberation Theology seemed to rule for a few decades, but as soon as the L.T. clergy started to dwindle (mostly due to old age, as they never had many vocations to start with), it virtually vanished. Now the main actor is Charismaticism, and it can in a way be preparing the path for a return to Tradition, as the sensitive experience is very highly held among them and the attraction of beauty in the Traditional liturgy cannot be overestimated. They only need to be introduced to Tradition by their local Church authorities, and will certainly embrace it wholeheartedly.
Let us pray for good clergy in Brazil: Ave Maria...

pinoycatholic said...

Insignificant report from a soon-to-be out of job liturgist

Peter said...

The TLM stands for a different theology and different faith. How can there be significant demand for a liturgy that is incompatible to the faith? Either people and clergy change their faith to traditional Catholicism, or the TLM will always be evanescent.

Anonymous said...

"the facts that I have gathered here are not the result of a survey conducted according to scientific criteria." (Fr. Augé)

For sure, merely impressionist remarks.
One fact which shows how superficial are the responses of these Claretians to their brother :
they have nothing to report for Brazil ! Campos and its P.A.A. is not mentioned, and not a single place where TLM is celebrated.
Obviously they have no idea of the situation of TLM in Brazil, at least.

However, Fr Augé has a point : the litnik bishops and the bugninist lobby have been successful, so far, to put a strong brake upon TLM growth in Latin America, and prevent any Adoremus-like movement also.
Fr Augé is also keen to notice the weight of Latin America on the present and future of Catholicism ; these observations can also be valid for Africa.

TLM and the "Ratzingerian" reform of N.OM. have been, so far, mainly a "Western" movement : trads have to keep in mind Latin America, Africa and Asia where litniks have consolidated their grip on "abuses".

For Jason : you miss the major point. When a litnik speaks of "abuses", it is void of any meaning, it's just air. Inculturation - Fr. Augé is praising it - means developping ... abuses, precisely. His conclusion is 100% hypocrisy.

Alsaticus

Juancho said...

The information about Argentina is not complete.

This is a partial list of TLM (not including FSSPX), probably other Argentine readers may complete or ammend it.

-------------------------

1) Buenos Aires.

Officially (and presumably to put a stop on pressures), Mons Bergoglio hurried to settle a TLM with a priest which is not devote of it and performs it more as a duty.

This is the mass attended by 20 persons.

There´s also another parish in Buenos Aires offering 1 TLM (Nuestra Señora de la Merced) Sunday afternoons.

Another initiatives with priests with a felling for TLM have been discouraged.

2) Arquidiocesis de Cordoba
1 Weekly TLM approved with official decree by Mons Ñanez.

3) Diocese of San Justo
1 Weekly mass in parish
There´s a community of the Franciscans of the Inmaculate, presumably they also offer TLM.

4) Dioceses of Mar del Plata
Eventually TLM (may be weekly, someone may confirm)

5) Arquidiocesis de Mercedes-Lujan
1 weekly mass in Maschwitz

-------------------------

There are also individual letters to bishops asking for TLM but with negative or no responses.

Juan Martín.

Paulo Ghetti Frade said...

I agree with most of what Prof. Carlos Ramalhete said. I also want to add that there are currently 68 Tridentine Masses in Brazil as we can see here http://www.missatridentina.com.br and I know at least 2 priests who are afraid to celebrate in the Old Rite because their bishops have strictly forbidden priest in their respective dioceses to do so. At least one of these 2 priests will start celebrating in the Gregorian Rite next month (he is currently "underground" learning how to celebrate it with an experienced altar server). There is a good chance that once he starts celebrating he will be reassigned to a remote parish/chapel as a "punishment" for implementing the Motu Proprio in his diocese but this priest is willing to take his chances.
Please pray for him and the many other priests in Brazil who are willing to offer the Mass in the Tridentine Rite but are currently being persecuted by their own bishops.

Anonymous said...

Except our Cardinal´s heretic mix of novus ordo and queer-tlm like "mass", we have many other Parices where TLM is celebrated. I know four at least, and many Priests are celebrating the TLM in secret. A great number of seminarians and young Priests are studying TLM in secret, but with a prosecution headed by our Cardinal (Mons. Jorge Mario Bergoglio). What can this ugly "claretian" say about this situation?

We have a policial episcopal control against any attempt of restoration and "official efforts" are an insult: A gay priest with two lovers (male)as acolytes, singing and telling what he want in the mass, readings of the novus ordo, etc.

We are better and worst than any report of the "claretian" brother. In the inner, really better, outer really worst.

May the St. Fr. Claret intercede for his conversion and the TLM restorarion in South America!

Santo Domingo

Anonymous said...

In Mar del Plata, Argentina, TLM are being celebrated twice a month more or less.
www.juventutem.com.ar reports on this every time.

Anonymous said...

In Buenos Aires the TLM is celebrated in Nuestra Señora del Carmen not Nuestra Señora de la Merced.

Anonymous said...

He's right. There is no large movement for the TLM or Tradition on any significant scale. 99% of Catholics are happy with the NO and the theology we currently have.

The TLM will exist for a while until its novelty wears off, but it will never make any great inroads into the Church. It is a relic that was done away with for a reason.

The TLM served its purpose. Its time has now passed and it is irrelevant to our modern culture. The Holy Spirit guided us through Vatican II and to the Novus Ordo for a reason. Traditionalists are simply blind to this fact and stuck in a reality that no longer exists.

Ghetto Catholicism ended with the 50's, yet Traditionalists want to go back to hide in their chapels and their outdated Masses which are no longer relevant to any modern audience.

The Holy Spirit has moved on, it's high time Traditionalists follow His lead.

Paul Haley said...

This is typical of the modernists' attempt to marginalize and classify as insignificant the desire of many to have the TLM celebrated at least as often as the NO. But, even more importantly, it obfuscates the real issue of which Mass corresponds to what the Church has always held, taught and professed to be true or, to put it another way, which Mass worships God rather than the cult of man.

It seems like the Holy Father agrees that we have to return to worshiping God in our liturgy and his "Reform of the Reform" is his way of achieving that objective. His statement that "what was once held as sacred remains sacred for us as well" tells it all and his motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum, demonstrates his respect for the TLM if not his outright preference for it. The problem? The bishops, dear friends, and people like Fr Matias Augé CMF, are obstructionists and are unwilling to accept that they made a huge mistake mandating the NO as the normative Mass of the Latin Rite.

Woody Jones said...

Interesting reference to the Heralds in countries other than Brazil, where they have their principal seminary, if I am not mistaken. I presume the Heralds are celebrating the TLM in Brazil, too?

BTW, if anyone knows, I would be interested to know which version of the Office they use. Their English language web sites are not clear on this, although noting they sing the Office, evidently as a significant aspect of their spirituality.

Jordanes said...

There is no large movement for the TLM or Tradition on any significant scale. 99% of Catholics are happy with the NO and the theology we currently have.

True, but irrelevant. There wasn't any large movement for the complete reshaping of the Latin liturgy during the 1960s, and yet that is exactly what a handful of liturgical theorists gave us. 99% of Catholics were happy with the Mass before the Bugnini reforms, but we have seen how that did not enter at all into the considerations of Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Bugnini. They thought the reforms were needed and would be good for the Church (though they were sadly mistaken). If the Holy See finds that the Church needs the traditional Mass, the fact that most Catholics are happy with the Pauline liturgy won't be an obtacle to efforts to make the traditional Mass more available.

The TLM will exist for a while until its novelty wears off

It has existed for about 1,500 years. When do you think its novelty will wear off?

but it will never make any great inroads into the Church. It is a relic that was done away with for a reason.

You need to get in tune with where the Holy Spirit is leading the Church at this time. Try reading Summorum Pontificum. The traditional Mass is no relic, and was never done away with (though that was attempted).

The TLM served its purpose. Its time has now passed and it is irrelevant to our modern culture.

I think it's more relevant now than ever. The Pauline liturgy seems less and less relevant to our modern culture -- but that's what you'd expect of a liturgy that was virtually manufactured like a modern product. Made by and for 20th century Catholics, it feels timebound and culturebound, fixed in the passing moment, while the traditional Mass, like anything that has stood the test of time, seems more attuned to different times and places and cultures. It is in fact misguided to seek a "relevant" liturgy. Worshipping God is not to be made to seem or feel "relevant" -- we, rather, ought to become "relevant" to the worship of God.

The Holy Spirit guided us through Vatican II and to the Novus Ordo for a reason.

That reason may not necessarily be what you think it is.

Traditionalists are simply blind to this fact and stuck in a reality that no longer exists.

Some of them may be. Perhaps many of them. But in time those who are attached to the reformed Missal also will seem to be "stuck in a reality that no longer exists."

Ghetto Catholicism ended with the 50's, yet Traditionalists want to go back to hide in their chapels and their outdated Masses which are no longer relevant to any modern audience.

That's nothing more than a stereotype. In addition, you would do well to remember the old saying, "Those who marry the spirit of this age will find themselves widows in the next." Finally, you again talk of the "relevance to a modern audience," as if the Eucharist were something that has to prove itself worthy of us instead of the other way around. Your choice of the term "audience" is also telling, and is suggestive of a non-Catholic approach to liturgy.

The Holy Spirit has moved on, it's high time Traditionalists follow His lead.

No, I would say that those who think the traditional Mass is a relic to be put away in some warehouse seem not to have noticed that the Holy Spirit has moved on, and it's high time for them to follow His lead.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes,

The theological and liturgical movement in the Church at VII came from the Holy Spirit working through a Council and the Pope.

Do you think that our heavenly Father would intentionally lead his Church in the wrong direction for going on 50 years now?

A change was needed quickly in the 60's because the Holy Spirit knew the drastic societal changes that were to come. He did not leave us trapped in a medieval vision of the Church so we could fall into complete marginalization and irrelevance in the modern age.

Do you honestly see the Holy See banning the Pauline Mass and mandating the TLM? Have you looked at 99% of the parishes in the West? The charismatic movement? The youth movement? The faith and the liturgy are not one size fits all. After the Council the people have more paths in the Church to lead them to God. Traditionalists would strip these all away and provide one path built for a different time and a different people.

Summorum Pontificum was an act of charity of the Holy Father to give Traditionalists more access to a legitimate means of traveling their preferred path and thereby hopefully removing them from illicit chapels, etc.

He has no plans to do away with the Pauline Mass nor to move the Church towards a TLM only vision. He himself does not even say the TLM.

Traditionalists are stuck in an outdated and outmoded vision of the Church. They would place a straitjacket on God's grace and plans to fit their own flawed viewpoint.

The result is that many of them live quasi reclusive lives disconnected from their local parish and diocese catastrophizing about an almost hopeless world and a Church headed down the drain.

The only way to change the world for the better is to engage with the world and to talk their language; not lock ourselves in our chapels and homes condemning the world and Church from afar.

Joe B said...

"Its time has now passed and it is irrelevant to our modern culture."

There is a link between the mass and the priesthood. The worthy priest absolutely needs a deeply enriching mass to nourish his soul, the kind of mass that cannot be constructed by aging adolescents. So, with the decline of the TLM came the decline of the priesthood. Does this mean the Holy Spirit has moved on from both?

The decline of the priesthood is the guillotine of the Novus Ordo mass, regardless of lay participation.

And who is surveying all those laymen who now frequent protestant services? Were they satisfied with the Novus Ordo?

Emilio said...

As a Nicaraguan-American young adult I have witnessed numerous abuses of the Novus Ordo during my frequent visits to the land of my birth. These abuses occur more by fault of poor priestly formation, simple ignorance and misinformation than through any malicious intentions or agenda-driven practices. Unfortunately I can say that in the case of Nicaragua at least, the immense socio-economic problems faced by the local Church is overwhelming, and many bishops and priests do not consider authentic liturgical renewal and restoration an immediate priority, regardless of their own individual orthodoxy and fidelity to the doctrine of the Church. This is quite lamentable for sure, since Holy Mother Church assures us that it is precisely in the Liturgy that we find the SOURCE and SUMMIT of ALL Christian life, including its social and economic realities. Especially in Latin America, a restoration of orthodox liturgical praxis would offer our peoples the most genuine and authentic icon of the order and beauty desired by Almighty God for His entire creation. In my native 500 year old diocese of León de Nicaragua, I am aware of two priests who are very interested in offering the Extraordinary Form, at least privately at first. Unfortunately resources and training are virtually non-existent, and financial resources to travel to any workshops abroad are very few. I applaud the work of the Heralds of the Gospel, and thank the Lord for their presence, albeit small in numbers, in my country. Individual devotion and love for the Faith is too vast to quantify in Nicaragua, and the traditional Mass, with the proper catechesis and preparation, would fall on fertile soil if it is ever regularly celebrated again upon Nicaraguan altars. May our beloved Virgin of Guadalupe, Empress of the Americas, be our fervent intercessor before the throne of her Son in hopes that the Mass of the Ages may be fruitfully restored to regular use in each of our lands.

Jordanes said...

The theological and liturgical movement in the Church at VII came from the Holy Spirit working through a Council and the Pope.

That sounds like you think they are divinely inspired or something. That's not a Catholic view of how the Holy Spirit works through Councils and Popes. The Spirit guides and safeguards the actions and teachings of Popes and Councils to ensure that the deposit of faith is preserved and authentically explicated, but not everything a Pope or Council says or does is a move of the Holy Spirit, nor necessarily something for the good of the Church.

Do you think that our heavenly Father would intentionally lead his Church in the wrong direction for going on 50 years now?

Of course not. But you're assuming that the post-conciliar liturgical reform is directly and immediately our heavenly Father's unadulterated will.

A change was needed quickly in the 60's because the Holy Spirit knew the drastic societal changes that were to come. He did not leave us trapped in a medieval vision of the Church so we could fall into complete marginalization and irrelevance in the modern age.

Seems to me that modern society increasingly sees the Church as marginal and irrelevant. If Vatican II was to keep that from happening, what went wrong?

Many observers have said that a large part of what went wrong is that Vatican II's efforts were rendered largely impotent by the drastic societal changes of the 1960s.

Jordanes said...

Do you honestly see the Holy See banning the Pauline Mass and mandating the TLM?

No, I don't, nor did I suggest any kind of program. Some traditionalists may desire that, but it's not going to happen, and wouldn't be good for anyone.

Have you looked at 99% of the parishes in the West? The charismatic movement? The youth movement?

From what I've read of them, and seeing the parishes I've visited in my diocese and neighboring dioceses, I am inclined to agree that the reports of the poor spiritual health of the Church in the U.S. are well founded. The liturgy is in sorry shape in most of them.

The faith and the liturgy are not one size fits all. After the Council the people have more paths in the Church to lead them to God.

And yet a lot fewer people are walking these paths now than were walking the one path before the Council. Why is that?

Traditionalists would strip these all away and provide one path built for a different time and a different people.

No, I'd say it sounds more like you would strip the traditionalist path away and provide just one path built for one time and one kind of Catholic.

Summorum Pontificum was an act of charity of the Holy Father to give Traditionalists more access to a legitimate means of traveling their preferred path and thereby hopefully removing them from illicit chapels, etc.

It was that, but the Holy Father said it's more than that.

He has no plans to do away with the Pauline Mass nor to move the Church towards a TLM only vision.

True, but he also has no plans to try to abolish the traditional Mass.

Face it, Anonymous, the traditional Mass is never going away.

He himself does not even say the TLM.

Publically he doesn't. But maybe we'll eventually see him celebrate a traditional Pontifical Mass at St. Peter's.

Traditionalists are stuck in an outdated and outmoded vision of the Church.

So are plenty of non-traditionalists, including those attached to the Pauline Missal -- their vision, however, is only about 40 years old, while the traditionalists usually have a vision that is rather older than that.

They would place a straitjacket on God's grace and plans to fit their own flawed viewpoint.

And you wouldn't?

The result is that many of them live quasi reclusive lives disconnected from their local parish and diocese catastrophizing about an almost hopeless world and a Church headed down the drain.

Yeah, there are traditionalists like that. But again, you're stereotyping.

The only way to change the world for the better is to engage with the world and to talk their language; not lock ourselves in our chapels and homes condemning the world and Church from afar.

What do you mean by "engage with the world and talk their language"?

nazareth priest said...

As a monastic priest in the upper Midwestern United States among a high Catholic population but in a rural setting, I find little interest in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite that our community offers. But there are many reasons for this. I believe God wants this expression of Catholic Faith, Tradition and culture to be a means of "enriching" and influencing Catholic worship in the Ordinary Form and to be a means of holiness for the world. Even though the numbers are small, we persevere.
The times of the Arian Crisis in the Church where a small group of Catholics kept the faith, as well as the countless numbers of faithful behind the former "Iron Curtain", the English recusants, and the Irish faithful under persecution give me strength and confidence in these most troubling days. Praise be Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

Stu said...

Father Augé's report comes across to me as an attempt to hide his own fear.

Jordanes said...

Petrus Radii: Archbishop Bugnini died of natural causes at the Pius XI Clinic in Rome. The tale in Coomaraswamy's book is imaginary. Do not repeat it here again.

Louis E. said...

If people in the USA want to keep track of those striving for a "Catholicism" that is uniformly licentious and Protestant,they could do worse than search for "American Catholic Council" (both for the americancatholiccouncil.org site of a group struggling to promote a gathering in 2011 to spur such goals and those it links to,and for those who look to and link to them).

Anonymous said...

The Problem is not limited to Latin America. The Archbishop of Eger, Hungary recently (9/12)prevented an already scheduled TLM in the second largest city (Miskolc) of Hungary. The Archbishop's name is Csaba Ternyak, a for former Vatican official.

Anonymous said...

This report is completely biased.
It only serves the purpose to combat the Tridentine Mass.
In Brazil, the bishops are threatening the priests and faithfull that want to celebrate the Tridentine Mass.
This happening is the vast majority of dioceses.
Whenever there is a Tridentine Mass celebrated according to the rubrics it atracts a lot of faithfull.
Not the case , for example, of the Mass being celebrated in the Diocese of Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul: a " hybrid mass".
In Santa Maria, the priest celebrates one mas in Latinb, and in parallel the faithfull celebrates another mass( Novus Ordo) in Portuguese.Two masses in parallel at the same time at the same church. No wonder there is little attendance.
Luiz

Paul Haley said...

What we have here, folks, with certain Anonymous comments posted here is "a failure to communicate". Take, for example, the list of reasons why there is still a state of necessity, almost an understatement in itself, that appears on my webpage at http://phaley.faithweb.com should anyone wish to refresh his/her memory on the subject. Now, modernists would read that article and no doubt applaud some of the items listed whereas traditional Catholics would no doubt abhor those very same items.

It is the diabolical disorientation that Sr. Lucy spoke of and it is the primary reason for the devastation chronicled by E. Michael Jones in various articles at http://www.culturewars.com/Archives.html and the fact that according to more than one poll only about 30% of practicing Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

So, one side sees devastation; the other sees a "new springtime." Our Holy Father himself in his attempts to "Reform the Reform" evidently feels there is something missing. One can only hope that the modernists can be convinced as well.

Anonymous said...

For up to date information about Latin America and world Latin Masses search in WikkiMissa.

Gregorius said...

Is there a Traditional Latin Mass in Caracas, Venezuela?

Does anyone know about this?

Anonymous said...

Jordanes,

You, as most Traditionalists, seem to believe in a God who is asleep at the wheel. He somehow took a nap at VCII and hasn't woken up since John XXIII reigned.

Of course the Holy Spirit works through general Councils and the actions of the Supreme Pontiff. Traditional schizophrenia would have us believe that God, apparent game player that He is, simply protected VCII from outright heresy, but nevertheless its entire direction was completely 180 degrees against His will. And who decides what parts of it were in accord with His will and which were not? You? Me? That's not a Catholic viewpoint.

The Church is currently still very relevant and a sign of contradiction to an increasingly hostile culture. Our Lord saved the Church through VCII. If he had not, the Church at large would most likely be s irrelevant to the world as the SSPX is today.

The reason people left the Church had a little something to do with the 60's revolution and societal, moral, political upheavals of the time. God allowed His Church, through VCII and the New Mass to bend during this secular Hurricane but not break.

Had VCII never happened, and the Church stuck to its rigid and more negative medieval view of the Faith it would have alienated many more over time and become a living relic.

If your theory were correct we would have expected to see the Eastern Rites and Orthodox booming in the US or holding steady, but they did not fare significantly differently than the Roman Rite Catholics during the 60's. The church attendance of almost all denominations declined in the US during that period.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes,

I see that you think doing away with the Pauline Mass would not be good for anyone. Does this mean you see merit and value in the Pauline Mass?

Despite its problems the US is in much better spiritual shape than Europe. I agree there is a lot of work to be done and a lot of lukewarm parishes in the US, but I don't think this is because of the Mass.

I'm not out to strip away any Traditional path to God. I'm all for allowing the TLM as the Holy Father has done to keep people o the right path and that is following the Holy Father and the Church. It seems it is the Traditionalists are the ones claiming that there's is the only legitimate path. For instance, do you see the Charismatic movement in the Catholic Church as a legitimate path to God? The Holy Father does.

I agree with you that there are many left-over "children of the 60's" priests and congregations but these types are slowly fading away with age. Younger Catholics in the US tend to be more orthodox.

I absolutely would not place a straitjacket on grace as I've already said that Traditional Catholicism is a legitimate path and graces flow there. The Traditionalists are the one who claim their path is superior.

You asked what I mean by "engage with the world and talk their language". By that I mean that we make no progress hurling anathemas at modern culture and isolating ourselves from it. I think, to make a difference, we need to be able to reach people who are far from the Church, mired in the filth of our society/ culture etc. We need to be able to relate to these people in their own terms and experiences and this is what VCII was all about. To, like St. Paul said, be all things to all men. To not simply offer them strict medieval sin focused Catholicism but to present the faith to them in a myriad of ways they can relate to on a personal level.

Jordanes said...

Someone said: You, as most Traditionalists, seem to believe in a God who is asleep at the wheel. He somehow took a nap at VCII and hasn't woken up since John XXIII reigned.

What rubbish. Yours is hardly a serious response to my comments -- and who said I was a traditionalist?

Of course the Holy Spirit works through general Councils and the actions of the Supreme Pontiff.

Sure He does -- just not in a way that the Councils or the Pontiff's actions/teachings are divinely inspired and inerrant. At best they are infallible, protected from formal doctrinal error.

Do you believe that it was the same Holy Spirit working in earlier councils, such as Lateran II or Florence or Trent, as was working in Vatican II?

Traditional schizophrenia would have us believe that God, apparent game player that He is, simply protected VCII from outright heresy, but nevertheless its entire direction was completely 180 degrees against His will.

Keeping in mind the Church's own self-understanding, that scenario would not at all be impossible, though unlikely.

And who decides what parts of it were in accord with His will and which were not?

The Church, obviously, and in particular the Holy See.

The Church is currently still very relevant and a sign of contradiction to an increasingly hostile culture.

Always has been, always will be. The Church can never be irrelevant, because she is the Church.

Our Lord saved the Church through VCII.

Balderdash. Our Lord saved the Church on Calvary. You have a completely un-Catholic view of the role, significance, and authority of Vatican II, and of Oecumenical Councils. By all markers, the Church was spiritually in far better health in 1962 than she was by 1970. And as I said, to most people today, indeed to most baptised Catholics, the Church is entirely or almost entirely irrelevant to them. That certainly wasn't the case before Vatican II. The council can't be blamed for all that has gone wrong in the Church since 1965, but neither can the council be wholly exonerated.

The reason people left the Church had a little something to do with the 60's revolution and societal, moral, political upheavals of the time. God allowed His Church, through VCII and the New Mass to bend during this secular Hurricane but not break.

Christ's promises assure us that the Church would never have broken, regardless of whether or not Vatican II had even been convened. You're deluding yourself if you think the Church's unprecedented reforms didn't shake the faith of many Catholics, leading them (especially priests and religious) to question and even deny the faith. An institution that changes only very slowly and ponderously can't suddenly institute massive changes nearly across the board and its members not take a major psychological and spiritual hit. Vatican II and the post-conciliar liturgical reform were a collosal pastoral muck-up, probably unprecedented in the Church's history.

Jordanes said...

Had VCII never happened, and the Church stuck to its rigid and more negative medieval view of the Faith it would have alienated many more over time and become a living relic.

That "more negative medieval view" prevailed throughout all centuries of the Church, LONG before the so-called medieval era. It has served the Church well throughout her history. There's no reason whatsoever to believe that it can't continue to serve her, or that it's better to downplay or suppress the "negative" aspects of the Faith.

If your theory were correct we would have expected to see the Eastern Rites and Orthodox booming in the US or holding steady, but they did not fare significantly differently than the Roman Rite Catholics during the 60's. The church attendance of almost all denominations declined in the US during that period.

The Eastern Catholic Churches were not unaffected by the upheaval that struck the Church during the 1960s. Look at the numbers, though, and you're not going to find that the Eastern Churches or the Orthodox were hit with massive defections of clergy, religious, and laity in the latter half of the 1960s the way the Latin Church was hit.

Jordanes said...

I see that you think doing away with the Pauline Mass would not be good for anyone. Does this mean you see merit and value in the Pauline Mass?

Of course. The traditional Roman Rite is unquestionably superior to the Pauline Missal, a fuller and more balanced expression of the lex orandi, but that doesn't mean there isn't merit and value in the Roman Church's new rites.

I agree there is a lot of work to be done and a lot of lukewarm parishes in the US, but I don't think this is because of the Mass.

How we pray affects how we live out the Faith. Liturgical abuses are both a cause and a symptom of the problems afflicting the Church today.

I'm not out to strip away any Traditional path to God.

I'm glad to hear it -- but you arrived here with declarations that the traditional Roman Rite is a relic, is irrelevant, will linger for a bit until the novelty wears off. You clearly don't like the traditional Roman Rite and hope it will disappear.

It seems it is the Traditionalists are the ones claiming that there's is the only legitimate path.

Yes, a lot of traditionalists claim that, but the Church has never agreed with that notion.

For instance, do you see the Charismatic movement in the Catholic Church as a legitimate path to God?

So long as it is kept free of excesses and liturgical and devotional abuses, Charismaticism can be a legitimate expression of the Catholic faith.

You asked what I mean by "engage with the world and talk their language". By that I mean that we make no progress hurling anathemas at modern culture and isolating ourselves from it.

Okay -- but neither do we make progress by fearing or avoiding the anathema. It's not enough to just say what is good -- there are times when you have to clearly say, "This is bad, this is wrong, stay away from it."

I think, to make a difference, we need to be able to reach people who are far from the Church, mired in the filth of our society/ culture etc. We need to be able to relate to these people in their own terms and experiences and this is what VCII was all about.

Fine, but it can't stop there: we relate to them in their own terms so that they can be brought to relate to God on His terms, and to the Church on her terms.

To, like St. Paul said, be all things to all men.

Of course that's the same St. Paul who bequeathed to the Church the gift of the "anathema."

To not simply offer them strict medieval sin focused Catholicism but to present the faith to them in a myriad of ways they can relate to on a personal level.

"Medieval sin focused Catholicism." Do you even know what medieval Catholicism was really like?

Anonymous said...

Jordanes,

It is a very serious response as the sleeping analogy categorizes your view of the Council quite well. Our Lord only protects against outright error being promulgated but allows His Church to take a 180 degree turn for the worst? This is a loving Father? The typical Traditionalist view of God in this case is neither Catholic nor realistic.

The Church does not later decide which parts of Her own Council were in accord with God's will and which were not so that we are somehow left in a limbo state after every Council wondering whether it was from God. This is the skeptical and incorrect approach Traditionalists would take with VCII.

Of course the modern Church is relevant today. It is you who said that modern society and most baptized Catholics see the Church as marginal and irrelevant.

The same Holy Spirit worked in all Church Councils. He provides the guidance and graces to the Church for the age the Church is in and the missions She needs to carry out. The Traditionalists are the ones who cause skepticism to be spread about the Holy Spirit's stamp of approval on the last council.

This attitude leads to skepticism, followed by schismatic tendencies, followed by loss of faith as we have seen time and again in the Traditionalist camp.

Our Lord redeemed mankind at Calvary, He did not "save" His Church at Calvary. He had not even instituted the Church until after the Resurrection. The Church provides us with the means of salvation merited by Christ's death and resurrection.

Our Lord saves the Church from irrelevance and marginalization in the world through human means and in the 1960's that means was VCII.

Society and the devil are the ones who delivered a massive hit to the Church, not VCII.

As for Church history, the Holy Spirit gives the Church the approach She needs for each age. The Church was not static for 1960 years.

You state that the TLM is "unquestionably superior to the Pauline Missal", yet you are not a Traditionalist? On this point you are out of step with the Holy Father and the Church for the Church nowhere states this position and instead claims we have two different forms of the one Roman Rite.

Of course how we pray affects how we live out the faith and of course liturgical abuses should be stopped but that is not what Traditionalists are calling for. They go further.

Please do not judge my intentions and put words in my mouth. I do not hope the TLM will "disappear" nor do I "dislike it". I conveyed earlier that I simply do not think it will gain widespread popularity or be a panacea for the Church's ills as a lot of Traditionalists posit.

Of course we use fraternal correction on our brothers in the world in charity, Catholic or not. But what good is that if you have no credibility with them or if you are out of touch with them? For the correction to be credible we need to understand modern man, his problems, and the particular situation of people today and speak their language.

Jordanes said...

It is a very serious response as the sleeping analogy categorizes your view of the Council quite well.

No, it isn't, and no it doesn't. It doesn't remotely approximate my view of the Second Vatican Council, which was neither the glorious thing that achieved salvation for the Church in the modern age as you claim it was, nor the malignant cancer that traditionalists tend to claim it was..

Our Lord only protects against outright error being promulgated but allows His Church to take a 180 degree turn for the worst? This is a loving Father? The typical Traditionalist view of God in this case is neither Catholic nor realistic.

The understanding that Church Councils aren't divinely inspired, or even always infallible or irreformable, IS the Catholic view. It's your view that is of dubious orthodoxy. If you will take a look at Church history, you will notice that the Church has taken a turn for the worst several times in her history. Do you think it was the will of the Holy Spirit that secular princes nominate and invest bishops? For centuries that is exactly what was done -- even the Pope himself was invested by the Christian Emperor. You obviously have very little regard for "medieval" Catholic faith, and yet by your view God allowed the Church to languish in that benighted sort of faith for well over a thousand years, with Church Councils confirming that faith. How do you reconcile that with your view that each and every thing that was said at and after Vatican II had its source in and endorsement from the Holy Spirit?

Consider the medieval Council of Vienne, every much an Oecumenical Council as Vatican II. What did Vienne accomplish for the good of the Church, or that was of lasting value. Vienne issued no new dogmatic definitions, making only a few modest disciplinary canonical modifications -- the chief thing Vienne did was erroneously and unjustly suppress the Templars. Practically speaking, there is little if anything that Vienne did that edified the Church.

The Church does not later decide which parts of Her own Council were in accord with God's will and which were not so that we are somehow left in a limbo state after every Council wondering whether it was from God.

Not as rule, no she doesn't. But she does at times clarify or correct a Council's teaching if it was unclear or incomplete. That's what Pius XII did with the Oecumenical Council of Florence's teaching on the form and matter of Holy Orders.

Of course the modern Church is relevant today. It is you who said that modern society and most baptized Catholics see the Church as marginal and irrelevant.

That's what I said, and I stand by it. Somehow Vatican II has failed to save the Church from irrelevancy as you claim the Holy Spirit intended the Council to do.

The same Holy Spirit worked in all Church Councils. He provides the guidance and graces to the Church for the age the Church is in and the missions She needs to carry out. The Traditionalists are the ones who cause skepticism to be spread about the Holy Spirit's stamp of approval on the last council.

Vatican II was a valid and authentic Oecumenical Council of the Church, issuing authoritative teachings and canonical and liturgical rules and regulations. But that doesn't make Vatican II divinely inspired, or put the Spirit's stamp of approval on how the Council worded its documents, nor on which documents the Council issued, nor on all that was done after the Council in the way of implementing it.

Jordanes said...

This attitude leads to skepticism, followed by schismatic tendencies, followed by loss of faith as we have seen time and again in the Traditionalist camp.

Traditionalists haven't been the only ones to tend toward loss of faith and schism. Plenty of Vatican II's fans have been going that route as well, and they probably far outnumber those Catholics who identify themselves as traditionalists.

Our Lord redeemed mankind at Calvary, He did not "save" His Church at Calvary. He had not even instituted the Church until after the Resurrection.

Redemption and salvation cannot be separated. In addition, the Lamb of God is slain from the foundation of the world. The Church was instituted at a moment in time, but the reality of the Church is a mystery not bound by time and space. It is contrary to the Catholic faith to say that Jesus did not save His Church at Calvary. By your logic, you would have to reject the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

Our Lord saves the Church from irrelevance and marginalization in the world through human means

True, so far as that goes.

and in the 1960's that means was VCII.

So you say. The fact is, however, that if Vatican II was intended to save the Church from irrelevance and marginalisation, it has failed. But Papa Ratzinger has observed that not every Council has been a success, and in some cases it can be said that a Council might even on balance have been a waste of time.

You state that the TLM is "unquestionably superior to the Pauline Missal", yet you are not a Traditionalist?

Yes. I doubt very many traditionalists would say that I am a traditionalist, nor do I see myself as one.

On this point you are out of step with the Holy Father and the Church for the Church nowhere states this position and instead claims we have two different forms of the one Roman Rite.

It's okay to be out of step with the Holy Father in matters where the Church grants liberty to not walk in lockstep with him. Nowhere does the Church insist that one not hold the opinion that one form of the Roman Rite is superior to the other form. The Church allows her children to study and reach conclusions about the course and shape of the development of the liturgy and the comparative effectiveness of its various forms and usages in different contexts.

Please do not judge my intentions and put words in my mouth. I do not hope the TLM will "disappear" nor do I "dislike it".

You obviously dislike it, or else you wouldn't have used pejoratives to describe it such as "relic" and "medieval."

I conveyed earlier that I simply do not think it will gain widespread popularity or be a panacea for the Church's ills as a lot of Traditionalists posit.

It probably isn't going to gain widespread popularity, not at least in the short run, nor will it be a panacea for the Church's ills. It will definitely help, though.