Rorate Caeli

The Sermon of Cardinal Levada on the occasion of the consecration of the FSSP Seminary Chapel in Denton, Nebraska

Pending the publication of an official transcript of Cardinal Levada's controversial sermon on March 3, 2010, I would like to present my own transcript of the address. CAP.


William Cardinal Levada began by reading a letter from the Cardinal Secretary of State.



From the Vatican, the 28th of February 2010

Your Eminence

The Holy Father has been informed that on the 3rd of March 2010, you will dedicate the chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in the Diocese of Lincoln. He asks you kindly to convey his greetings and warm good wishes to the members of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, the rector, faculty and students and all assembled for the happy occasion.

His Holiness prays that the new chapel will always be respected as a sacred dwelling where Almighty God is glorified in His majesty, a center from which the beauty and richness of the Catholic faith are proclaimed with conviction, and a place where seminarians and teachers alike are inspired to the pursuit of holiness and ever-deeper communion with the Lord and His Church.

He encourages them to strive through the discipline of prayer and study to be conformed to the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5), to discern His will in their lives and to respond generously to His call to serve Him as preachers of His Gospel, ministers of His Sacraments and heralds of His mercy and love for the poor and sinners.

With these sentiments, the Holy Father invokes upon the seminary community and its friends and benefactors the maternal intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and imparts the requested Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of wisdom, joy and peace in the Lord.

I am happy to add my own prayerful good wishes for the occasion.

Yours sincerely in Christ:

Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone

Secretary of State

(After announcing that Bishop Bruskewitz had issued a dispensation from the Divine Office for that day the Cardinal then launched into his sermon.)

Your Excellency, Bishop Bruskewitz,

Dear brother bishops and priests,

Dearly beloved in Christ:

The Sacred Scriptures, read in the course of a celebration like ours today, are always a revelation, divinely-guaranteed, of the deepest meaning of what we are celebrating. And so it is from centuries of long practice that we heard today readings from the Book of Revelation and the Gospel of Luke. The passage from the Book of Revelation is an unfolding of the mystery of this day with exuberant, vivid imagery. The Sacred Liturgy wants us to hear these words and identify them with the beautiful space of this chapel, which we are dedicating today. And so what we see here around us, so beautifully expressed in the arrangements of this chapel, its altar, its tabernacle, its lighting, and the prospect of its beautiful art and windows, is meant to converge for us with the visions that the seer of the Book of Revelations beheld. We see, here, in all that surrounds us, the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, beautiful as a bride adorned to meet her Maker. From this day forward, whenever the sacred liturgy is celebrated herein, we are meant to realize that the community gathered is nothing less than the New Jerusalem, that spotless Bride of Christ.

The liturgy celebrated, is nothing less than an invitation into the liturgy of the Heavenly Jerusalem, that liturgy in which the throne of the Lamb and of God occupy center stage. The slain Lamb that stands forever before the throne of God is the center of the Heavenly Jerusalem and the center of this church, on whose altar the sacrifice of the slain Lamb is continually renewed.

Such lofty, exuberant symbolism contrasts sharply with the dusty, earthy details of the Gospel account we have heard. One can justifiably wonder at first why the Gospel story of Zacchaeus, the short and much-disliked tax collector, should be the pre-eminent Scripture reading of the day of the dedication of a splendid new church. Surely the reason lies in the lines that Jesus addresses to the sinner who He sees eagerly seeking Him from His perch in the sycamore tree. He says, “Zacchaeus, hurry down, for this day I must abide in your house.” These words provide us a beautiful transition from the Zacchaeus scene to the liturgy in which we are involved today, for those firm, determined, magnificent words of Jesus are the same words that He addresses to us, each of us a sinner like Zacchaeus, concerning this house of God. God’s blessings poured out on us in the course of this magnificent liturgy of dedication have in fact this very concrete shape: referring to this new building Jesus says, “this day I must abide in this house.”

Jesus’ simple words and intention help us to keep our bearings in the midst of the more lofty and mystical images of the Book of Revelation. We need them both. For the book of Revelation helps us to remember that in Jesus we are dealing with no one less than the Eternal Son of God, who is in heaven from all eternity. At the same time the Zacchaeus story reminds us that the same Eternal Son is God-with-us, God-with-us on our dusty streets, calling sinners by name, one by one, to have Him as a guest in their home.

Zacchaeus’ reaction to this invitation is meant to indicate our own attitude now, in the course of this celebration. We read, “Zacchaeus made haste and came down and received Him with joy.” Let our sentiments today, and our liturgical action, be an expression with all our hearts of receiving Christ with joy in the midst of this, our house, which Jesus’ presence makes also to be the House of God.

Others will mutter when they see Jesus abundantly granting His gracious presence to people like us. They will say, “He has gone to the house of a sinner.” But Jesus defends us today as He did Zacchaeus. With the graces of this liturgy and of dedication Jesus Himself solemnly pronounces the words “today salvation has come to this house.”

The vision we see in the New Jerusalem and the vision we see in Jesus at table in the home of Zacchaeus, is ultimately a vision of communion. Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, in his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, mentioned that the two forms of the usage of the Roman Rite, the Extraordinary and the Ordinary Forms, can be mutually enriching to each other. As one example he mentioned “the new prefaces can and should be introduced into the old Missal”. In the Missal of Paul VI, there is a beautiful preface to be used on the anniversary of a dedication of a church which can help to enrich our understanding of the celebration today as a vision of communion. Being designated for the anniversary of a dedication, it can indicate to us what we should still be able to pray years from now when we will commemorate today’s dedication.

The second part of a preface, as we know, always states in specific terms the precise motives why it is right and just to give the Father thanks and praise. In this preface the motive states:

For in the visible house that you let us build, you, Father, wonderfully manifest

and accomplish the mystery of your communion with us.

As the new President of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, I want to seize on this phrase, “the mystery of your communion with us”. The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter has a special charism to assist the Holy Father in preserving the unity of the Church for those attached to the traditional form of the Mass, through the implementation of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. The different Rites of the Church in the East and West testify to the diversity of liturgical traditions that have grown up in and with the Church since apostolic times. Yet, as St. Paul insists, there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism. This is why the Holy Father stressed the continuity that we can see between the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms of the Roman Rite. Whenever and wherever the Church celebrates the Eucharist according to whatever Rite or form of that Rite, it is always the same mystery of communion that is being wonderfully manifest and accomplished.

Liturgical diversity is not inconsistent with the unity of the Catholic faith. This has been clear through the centuries through the diversity of Rites, East and West, and it is clear with special relevance to your priestly fraternity in Summorum Pontificum. It is also the same principle that is operative in the new Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, establishing Ordinariates for former Anglicans who desire full communion with the Catholic Church while at the same time preserving some of the richness of their liturgical and spiritual patrimony.

We know that it is, above all, by means of the celebration of the Eucharist that this chapel is now consecrated, and the preface I am citing beautifully reminds us that the Eucharist accomplishes communion, between God and ourselves, and between one part of the Church and another. The generous steps that the Holy Father has taken in his Motu Proprio to grant a more widespread use of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, is a move that he earnestly hopes will both repair and build up a damaged communion in the Church. The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter must always celebrate the Eucharist with this concern and desire of the Holy Father in mind.

The different forms, the Ordinary and Extraordinary, must not be a cause or motive of division in the Church, for the same Eucharist is always and everywhere celebrated. The fact that we are here to dedicate a seminary chapel in honor of SS. Peter and Paul gives me occasion to recall that every priest is ordained for the service of the Church. It is true and perfect worship of the all-holy God, its mission to proclaim the Gospel to every creature, to baptize all in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. It is this service for which we are ordained. In fulfillment of this mission given by Christ to His Church, a mission implying the unity of the whole human family and its destiny to be one with its loving Creator and God, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter has as its special charism to labor lovingly for the unity of Christ’s Church by ensuring that those who follow the Extraordinary Form of the liturgy of the Latin Rite understand that the unity of faith cannot be found outside the testimony of the Apostolic College under its head, the successor of Peter, the Pope. In this way, the tear in the fabric of unity evidenced by those who would reject the Second Vatican Council as the work of the Holy Spirit, must be repaired by the loyal testimony to the living Tradition of the Church in accord with the directives of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.

Dear brothers, dear seminarians, this chapel cannot be just another building in the seminary complex; it is the heart of the seminary. It is the place where, as Pope John Paul II said, seminarians are trained to share in the intimate dispositions which the Eucharist fosters: gratitude for heavenly benefits received (because the Eucharist is thanksgiving), an attitude of self-offering, which will impel them to unite the offering of themselves to the Eucharistic offering of Christ; charity, nourished by a sacrament which is a sign of unity and sharing; the yearning to contemplate and bow in adoration before Christ, who is really present under the Eucharistic species. It is here in this chapel, that we find the true focus and direction of our priestly formation and our priestly lives.

The preface I cited above goes on to say: “For here” -- meaning, in this church – “for here you cause your church scattered throughout the world to be joined together more and more as the Lord’s Body.We know that the communion accomplished by Eucharist is verified in communion with Peter and his successors. Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram, aedificabo ecclesiam meam. My presence here today makes concrete the images of this preface, a Church scattered throughout the world but nonetheless joined more and more together as the Lord’s body precisely by celebrating the mystery of communion in the Lord’s body.

Now, more than ever, we feel the Church groaning – as the preface says – to reach her fullness in the vision of peace. This prayer is clearly inspired by today’s first reading from the Book of Revelation, to which we already referred. So the phrase is completed “to reach her fullness in the vision of peace, the Heavenly City of Jerusalem”.

The seminarians who will be ordained priests from this seminary will be ordained to serve this vision of peace, as instruments of communion. It is the vision we see in the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. It is the vision we see in Jesus at table with sinners in the home of Zacchaeus. It is the vision we see in this new church and in the rites we are celebrating now. Let us all hurry down from whatever high and isolated sycamore we may be occupying, let us hurry down and welcome Christ with joy, in the communion of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, in the Eucharist celebrated here.

May Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of Priests, Mother of the Church, Star of the New Evangelization of the Americas, the intercessor and model for the priests who will be formed here in the likeness of her Son, our true and perfect Priest, Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

100 comments:

Irenaeus of New York said...

I know some hackles will be raised at the notion the traditional mass could be improved. There are two genuine "improvements" which at one time belonged to the traditional mass in times past, which are now manifest only in the NO(pun intended) and other Catholic Rites. 1) A clear and unambiguous epiclesis. 2) Allowing the faithful to receive the Blood of Christ.
.
There is a long history with why these hallmarks are no longer in the traditional Mass. Yes, we have something which we may loosely call the epiclesis, but it is not well defined as Fortescue himself would attest to. Yes, the Body of our Lord is everything, and we need nothing more. But, in times past(medieval), the faithful used to receive under both species until heretics began questioning the sufficiency of one species alone. I think such "improvements" can only be considered organic and if the Council stopped with those two, I think things would have been much better off.

John L said...

This doesn't look good, as it hints that the forthcoming instruction on Summorum Pontificum will include a regulation to the effect that traditionalist priest must agree to celebrate the novus ordo if their bishop tells them to.

Anonymous said...

What his Eminence ignores, and for solid motive, is the fact that the liturgical renewal conducted under Paul VI was based on notions of philosophy and theology which are incompatible with the Catholic faith, some of which were condemned by previous Roman Pontiffs.

To continue to push that "reform" of the Roman Rite which pre-existed it, is sheer impenitence and damnable wilful ignorance.

To make such a statement upon the occasion of consecration of the FSSP church, is in my opinion, a slap in the face to the fraternity and to all Catholics who hold fast to the infallible magisterium.

Ponte said...

I'm not surprised at this sermon. Cardinal Levada was never a fan of the traditional Mass and it's only because of the circumstances of Ratzinger being the pope now and he being put into the prefect of the CDF position that he has to go through the motions and be at a ceremony like that.

Like most of the JP2 neo-cons he is clueless when it comes to the traditional Mass and the traditionalist dynamic, therefore his position is almost as if he is "cornered" and has to lecture (even subtly) the FSSP and those dedicated to the E.F. as if they are not in full union with the Church.

If this is how he and those of that mind treat the FSSP and such Catholics, God help us when Cardinal Levada and others have to interact with and preach at ceremonies when there is a reconciliation with the SSPX.

Again, few prelates in Rome understand the E.F. and also the traditionalist dynamic. Some, such as the Cardinal Canizares and Archbishop DiNoia are doing all they can to be up on these things and serve the Church. Others, such as Cardinal Hoyos have become very committed and astute over the past years and now valiantly work for the good of the Church and her liturgy.

Sadly, Levada is one of not a few prelates who would love to get into a time machine and go back ten years ago when these matters did not need to be dealt with and traditional Catholics could be safely quarantined.

Anonymous said...

What should have been a homily recognizing the vibrancy and growth of Tradition in the Church was instead turned into a scolding reminder that Tradition = only the "EF" Mass, the "EF" Mass is no better than the NO, and in fact should be "enriched" by NO prefaces.

Then the Cardinal managed to get some veiled shots in at the Society and its adherents and anyone else who thinks the TLM is in any way superior.

The FSSP priests and seminarians must have been offering up the pain of listening to this homily for the traditional cause.

Jean said...

"...it hints that the forthcoming instruction on Summorum Pontificum will include a regulation to the effect that traditionalist priest must agree to celebrate the novus ordo if their bishop tells them to."

This is precisely why the SSPX will in all liklihood remain suspicious of the motives of the N.O. church. Such an instruction would be in direct violation of the idea of the individual choice rendered to priests in this matter by Summorum Pontificum. If they have to accede to the wishes of a bishop in that matter, they will also have to refrain from celebrating the EF at all "if their bishop tells them to." Some freedom. So the question remains, is Levada speaking for himself, or is he speaking the intentions of the Holy Father? If the latter, the signs are, indeed, not good. But I'll believe that when I see it. The Holy Father has been consummately responsible throughout this crisis. God bless him.

"There are two genuine "improvements" which at one time belonged to the traditional mass in times past..."

In this case the "health" of the liturgical patient isn't worth the adverse effects of the cure. Everything to do with the N.O. is a disaster. An unmitigated disaster.

Prof. Basto said...

I see no problem with this sermon.

After reading it, it seems to me that all the controversy surrounding it is unjustified.

I don't think that the sermon criticizes the FSSP. It merely points out to the fact that the FSSP has a vocation to be an instrument of ecclesiastical unity in preaching to those that are attached to the usus antiquor. There is no problem in that proposition. At its very founding, the FSSP displayed its attachment to ecclesial unity and to Peter's successor.

LeonG said...

"As one example he mentioned “the new prefaces can and should be introduced into the old Missal.....”

It has to be understood that it is a hybrid which is the underlying intention. There is no change there either. It has been stated before, the objective is convergence across the board. If traditionalists are not watchful change and novelty will be infused into The Latin Mass of All Time. Levada is a papal appointee whose views and policies beforehand are well-known in The Vatican.

WLMS said...

Oh he would've squirmed when he was asked to dedicate that beautiful new chapel. But what a cheek, and on their special day too! I hope his retirement is forth-coming.

Hestor said...

The Fraternity should have learned by now that inviting a prelate from Rome, will almost exclusively mean a sermon berating them for holding fast to Catholic tradition. Remember the Cardinal Hoyos sermon at the FSSP ordinations last year? And he's meant to be not as hostile to the traditional rites as Levada is!

Still the same old drag - diplomacy for everyone except traditionalists, who get a lecturing on how to be in "communion" with Rome. Pathetic.

Andy said...

Irenaeus,

Whenever you recieve Holy Communion under either species you do, in fact, recieve both the Body and Blood of our Lord. I'm sure you are aware of that, though your post did not indicate as much.

Anonymous said...

It really pained me to listen to him lecturing on this beautiful occasion. I agree with previous comments that this was slap in the face and wondered how this man with his history in Oregon and California got so far. But then it occurred to me that perhaps his position is a punishment of sorts, a purgatory. He comes across as a man with a strong dislike for this Mass, the Extraordinary Form, perhaps even hatred. I have to wonder if his past mistakes have placed him in this "leadership" role where he is forced to obey what he truly dislikes most. Hopefully he is on a tight leash or under constant scrutiny. I am hopeful that the Mass and practicing obedience will bring about a deep conversion. We all need to pray for him.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

Over there at Fr. Z's blog, someone posted this comment:

"Out of a homily which was 18 and a half minutes long, about 9 minutes were dedicated to an exegesis of the story of Zacchaeus. At the 9 minute mark, he makes reference to Summorum Pontificum and the “mutually enriching” phrase—there is no statement of the “equivalence” of the Ordinary Form to the Extraordinary Form.
The Cardinal’s statement is made in order to speak of the new preface for the anniversary of a church’s dedication, and to give an exegesis of the preface and its connection to the reading from St. John’s Apocalypse. This is a perfectly acceptable transition. After expounding on the Gospel he wishes to expound on the scripture passage from the Apocalypse.
The second part of the homily expounds on the “vision of communion” which is brought to us in the Apocalypse and which is made real in the sacred liturgy of the Church. Levada repeats that the heavenly Father is praised in the OF Mass preface for the “mystery of your communion with us”. He states that this is a central reality to think of as we dedicate a church building, for the building/chapel represents the Communion of Saints—a central article of the Apostles’ Creed and of the traditional Faith.
Again, the Fraternity of St. Peter is never insulted, put down, or somehow presented as of restricted importance. The Cardinal mentions that there is a “diversity” of rites in the Church. At the 11 minute mark there is a return to Summorum Pontificum, and the Pope’s teaching that there is a “continuity” between the EF and the OF. But no where does Levada tell the FSSP that the Mass of Paul VI is “equivalent” to the EF Mass.
There is a statement that wherever the liturgy is celebrated in “whatever rite or form of a rite” the same mystery of communion is accomplished. If anything, this is a defense and apologetic for the FSSP’s existence, for it contradicts the conventional wisdom that they are not needed, or that the Novus Ordo alone is sufficient and valid for expressing the communion of the Church. In fact, says the Cardinal, even the Anglican use liturgy can be used since diversity of rites and forms is not going to divide the Church.
Levada then states at 12.45 that the EF was freed by the Holy Father in the hopes that its use will help to “repair” and “build up” the Church, a mission entrusted to the FSSP (the SSPX have always emphasized that the two forms must be at war with each other, disqualifying them from a unique role in this mission). Perhaps I am missing something, but stating that the freeing of the EF Mass is for “repair” and building up of the Church are not phrases of apathy or neutrality. The FSSP hold a special place in the mission of repairing the Church by offering that form which will contribute to the repair.
What would be helpful for me is for you or others to quote from the Cardinal those phrases which are supposed to arouse indignation. I am not finding them. And if we are going to criticize the Cardinal, there should actually be a concrete reason for doing so from his actual words, not from our feelings or impressions. From my point of view, the many clergy and bishops who do not like the FSSP would not have been happy at all with this homily. If anything, it presents the FSSP as having a special role in the Church of unique importance to the Holy Father."

C. said...

The text of Summorum Pontificum, i.e. "never abrogated", appears to allow for eternal resistance against the hybridization that so many wicked people lust for.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

I see this homily as being directed, not at the FSSP, but at the public at large (the ceremony was broadcast over EWTN, keep that in mind). If anything it is the liberal liturgical establishment that should feel apoplectic about this speech. The first half of the address is a frontal attack on the "liturgics" that has dominated the Church for the past 40 years.

At the same time I think that the indirect attack on the SSPX is counterproductive, and the statement that "In this way, the tear in the fabric of unity evidenced by those who would reject the Second Vatican Council as the work of the Holy Spirit..." would seem to be condemnatory not just of the SSPX, but of many "mainstream" Catholics who are by no means Traditionalists at all. For one thing, many Catholics who do accept the Second Vatican Council, do not necessarily believe that it was a good idea, much less inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Anonymous said...

FYI - The unclear word in your transcript is "beautifully."

Anonymous said...

The Liturgy, NO or EF, in the minds of the various debaters, IMHO, is about much more than either version of the Mass. The argument is about who Christ was and what it means to be Christian, particularly Catholic.

Cardinal Levayda represents the minimalist branch of the Magisterium who dare not say, yet, what they beleive but hope to have a Pope elected in the next 10-20 years. Then they hope to consolidate a Church that is slightly left of the Anglicans of today.

Anonymous said...

The Holy Ghost prevented V2 from attempting any dogmatic definititions. Louis

LeonG said...

"The different forms, the Ordinary and Extraordinary, must not be a cause or motive of division in the Church.."

The Cardinal does not understand that it is a source of division because the NO uses vernacular languages & has encouraged countless variations in its theatrical productions. Only The Latin Mass does not do this but if he has his way, it soon will.

PreVat2 said...

My heart continues to go out to the FSSP for what they must put up with. But this is another reason why I choose to remain with the Society of St. Pius X, the Marine Corps of Catholicism.

Semper Fi

Paul Haley said...

It is the "mutually enriching" part that bothers most of us and the intimation that the FSSP is correct and laudatory while the FSSPX is not. The Cardinal knows that both the FSSP and the FSSPX came from the same roots, and let's face it, that root is Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and Holy Tradition.

Putting all talk of conflict aside, priests of both Fraternities are not at war with each other as some would have us believe. Priest of both Fraternities are in communion with Christ as He is in communion with us. They decided on different paths to restore Tradition - that's all there is to the story.

Cardinal Levada did not have to bring this "mutually enriching" business up at this Mass for when will that "enriching" stop? And who is to say what is enriching and what is not? But, you all know how I feel about changes made to the Liturgy since 1962 so I won't bore you with continuing this post. Let's just say the sly digs at the FSSPX and the TLM were uncalled for and leave it at that. To put it mildly, Cardinal levada was the "elephant in the room".

LeonG said...

"Liturgical diversity", " living Tradition" & "special charism" etc.

The language of the liberal thinking cardinal is replete with post-conciliar terminology which is ambiguous by its very nature and equivocal in its intention. These are expressions that attempt to camouflage the drive towards convergence among diverse often anti-pathetic groups both within the church and outside of it, claiming it as a movement for peace and communion. However, it can only be gained by making immense compromises on matters of principle: a factor often neglected at best & despised at worst by free-thinking minds.

LeonG said...

"the tear in the fabric of unity .."

A not so subtle swipe at the SSPX, no doubt. However,the "tear" is not as negligible as one might be lead to believe.Statistically, at least, it has become a very considerable chasm.

Flambeaux said...

I see nothing wrong or problematic for anyone who takes the Holy Father's exhortation to a Hermeneutic of Continuity seriously.

I'm now wondering what all the fuss yesterday was about.

bobd said...

I think the SSPX is saying among themselves--"you say Le vay da--we say Le vah da. Let's call the whole thing off"

Anonymous said...

Any notion that change of any sort in the Ef amounts to "hybridization" is patently ridiculous. The Roman liturgy was never changeless, and unless it is treated like a museum relic rather than a living tradition, it will continue to change.

Anonymous said...

Any notion that any change whatsoever in the EF amounts "hybridization" is patently ridiculous. The Roman Rite was never without change, and unless you want it treated like a museum relic rather than the living Tradition, it will continue to develop. The Pope has the right understanding in this.

Jordanes said...

Every sensible person understands what Cardinal Levada meant

Of course they do. After all, your statement is a tautology -- sensible people should be expected to understand what people mean. You, of course, mean that anybody who disagrees with your opinion is not sensible.

and it was not only out of place but also rude of him to play troublemaker on such an occasion.

His wanting to draw appropriate lessons from a Pauline preface wasn't out of place, but was specifically relevant to the occasion. There are no grounds for seeing him as "playing troublemaker." Only a tendentious reading of his homily would lead to that conclusion.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote:

"Any notion that change of any sort in the Ef amounts to "hybridization" is patently ridiculous. The Roman liturgy was never changeless, and unless it is treated like a museum relic rather than a living tradition, it will continue to change."

You ignore the fact that historically, prior to Pius XII, the liturgy changed according to catholic principles.

After that it did not.

You cannot demand change, but demand no adherence to catholic principles.

To demand change of that kind heretical.

What Vatican II was cited as allowing was withiout a doubt heresy in practice, whether you regard the Council to have actually wanted such.

That's not to say the council was heretical, but its entire spirit was anti-discipline, and it attempted to make that anti-discipline a rule...

The result was disaster in the church, were goodness and virtue and the rule of Catholic principles is distained, feared, berated and persecuted.

That is nothing less than a diabolical reorientation...what the Fathers of the Church called, the spirit of the Anti-Christ.

Br. Alexis Bugnolo

jasoncpetty said...

Thanks, Mr. Palad, for posting that comment from WDTPRS. I agree that someone, somewhere, probably only half-paying attention during the broadcast, has fabricated offense over this whole thing.

I was anxious to read the transcript to see for myself what offense might have been given, implicitly or explicitly. Having done so, I see only a positive encouragement of the mission of the FSSP.

I think too many people on "our side" are far too used to reading Drudge headlines or hearing Rush soundbites and immediately go into the reactionary, knee-jerk, ten-minutes hate as they've been conditioned to do whenever some polemical blogger purports to tell them what really happened, transcript be damned. We should all be thanking His Eminence for (1) showing up and lending credibility to the solemn occasion and (2) his highly reflective praise for the FSSP.

I've got a new opinion of the man.

M. A. said...

"'If anything, it presents the FSSP as having a special role in the Church of unique importance to the Holy Father.'"

Yes, I would say so. I think this mission would be comparable to the mission entrusted to Fr. Fox to discredit the work of Fr. Gruner. Set one priest against another, and the upper hierarchy doesn't have to get dirty hands.

Ultimately, God holds the vicar of Christ responsible. The Holy Father has IN HIS PERSON, THE CHARISMA for the unity of the Church. One word from him, and the world shakes. Why is he afraid to use his authority?

As the Abbe de Nantes said, all the Holy Father has to do, is infallibly declare what in the documents of VII are binding, and all Catholics of good will, will give assent. We don't want opinions; we want to hear the voice of God through his charisma of infallibility. We all know what divides us as Catholics, and that is the various interpretations of Vatican II due to ambiguous texts.

He is relegating a responsibility to others which God has placed on His shoulders. He is setting brother against brother, and this is totally despicable.

wheat4paradise said...

I agree with jasoncpetty's comment 100%. I, too, have a new opinion of Cardinal Levada. There is much in his homily for us to reflect upon, if we can get out of reaction-mode.

David

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile back at the ranch, on the ground locally (in my town) the FSSP are second class citizens pushed around by the parish priest - insisting that all new converts take the RCIA, constantly provoking, wanting novelties, etc. etc.

The laity are not given a choice. The FSSP are not allowed to repair and build up.

The NO sucks, I hope it dies out quickly.

Anonymous said...

Anoin 17:32

Watch your language!

Other than that, I agree with what you wrote, and I will say this again here what I once wrote long ago:

TIS BETTER TO HAVE YOUR LATIN MASS COMMUNITY IN A SHED THAN SHARE IT WITH THE NOVUS CROWD.

All this shows is that nothing has really changed in novus ordo-ville. Same old nonsense with a traditional facade.

Delphina

Dan Hunter said...

Anon,
I am very sorry to hear that the FSSP is treated like the one legged step-child in your diocese.
Not Christlike.

But
At least you have the FSSP in your diocese.
They are not allowed in the one I live in.

"discredit the work of Fr. Gruner. Set one priest against another, and the upper hierarchy doesn't have to get dirty hands"

M.A
Why exactly does Father Gruners work have to be discredited?
What exactly did he teach that is opposed to the Deposit of the Faith? I am curious.
I assume that you are condemning the unChristian act of setting one Catholic priest against another Catholic priest.
So where does the "upper heirarchy" dirtying its hands fit in to Charity?

wheat4paradise said...

He is setting brother against brother, and this is totally despicable.

That is a totally unfair and inaccurate characterization of the Holy Father.

David

wheat4paradise said...

The NO sucks ...

Is that something that a Catholic says about any rite of Mass?

David

wheat4paradise said...

Cardinal Levada:

Whenever and wherever the Church celebrates the Eucharist according to whatever Rite or form of that Rite, it is always the same mystery of communion that is being wonderfully manifest and accomplished.

Blog commentator:

The NO sucks ...

Which of the above pleases the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ?

Stéphane said...

wheat4paradise, the problem is precisely that the NOM is not a rite. It is a non-rite in the form of a rite.

Father Anthony Cekada said...

Very interesting and significant comments from Cardinal Levada.

They reinforce the Vatican line since the 1984 Indult: The motive for choosing the traditional Mass over the Mass of Paul VI is merely a matter of merely a matter of taste, aesthetics or preference. It has nothing to do with Catholic doctrine or reverence -- the issues that trads raised from the beginning as reasons for rejecting the Mass of Paul VI.

It would be interesting to learn how many priests and seminarians of FSSP REALLY believe the issue boils down to nothing more than preference.

Dan Hunter said...

Yes,
The Novus Ordo is legal and of course therefore it satisfys the Sunday and Holy Day Obligation, and it is obviously NOT a sin to assist at one, but this does not make it extrinsically equal to the Traditional Mass.
Al you need are "eyes to see and ears to hear" to figure this out.

Paul Haley said...

Contrast the following with the homily given by Cardinal Levada:

We all know that, in the movement led by Archbishop Lefebvre, fidelity to the old missal became an external mark of identity; the reasons for the break, which arose over this, however, were at a deeper level. Many people who clearly accepted the binding character of the Second Vatican Council, and were faithful to the pope and the bishops, nonetheless also desired to recover the form of the sacred liturgy that was dear to them. This occurred above all because in many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new missal, but the latter actually was understood as authorizing or even requiring creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear. I am speaking from experience, since I, too, lived through that period with all its hopes and its confusion. And I have seen how arbitrary deformations of the liturgy caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the faith of the church.

The italicized remarks above are taken from the letter to bishops which accompanied the Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, of Pope Benedict XVI. Deeper level? Hmmmmmn. Could that possibly relate to doctrinal factors under the concept lex orandi; lex credendi? Deformations... that were hard to bear? And, still more deformations coming, you say, by "enriching" the TLM via NO texts into what Fr. Faber called the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven? What St. Pius V said: "Nor shall bishops, administrators, canons, chaplains and other secular priests, or religious of whatsoever Order or by whatsoever title designated, be obliged to celebrate Mass otherwise than enjoined by Us. We likewise order and declare that no one whosoever shall be forced or coerced into altering this Missal; and this present Constitution can never be revoked or modified, but shall forever remain valid"...

Oh, I see, we really have two religions, don't we - the one before Vatican II and the one after Vatican II. We have the Holy Father saying that deformations were hard to bear and caused real pain to those of us totally rooted in the Faith of the Church. And we have a holy Pope, a Saint, saying do not change the sacred liturgy. Then, we have Cardinal Levada saying it would be wise to incorporate NO prefaces into the TLM to a Fraternity whose charism or mission is to preserve the ancient liturgy at one of their most emotional celebrations of that same liturgy, the consecration of a new chapel which took much labor, time and money to erect.

Doesn't sound like they're reading from the same page, at least not to me. But, then, there are those who believe that 2+2 can equal 5 after all as long as a member of the Hierarchy says it does.

Anonymous said...

Is Rome acting in good faith in their talks with the SSPX?

Jordanes said...

We likewise order and declare that no one whosoever shall be forced or coerced into altering this Missal;

That clause referred to attempts to get printers to introduce illicit changes into the authorised text of the missal. It is not permission to resist or reject changes that the Church herself lawfully introduces.

wheat4paradise said...

wheat4paradise, the problem is precisely that the NOM is not a rite. It is a non-rite in the form of a rite.

And you make that fascinating assertion on precisely what authority?

wheat4paradise said...

Paul Haley,

The Holy Father has affirmed Pope St. Pius V. The Gregorian Rite is forever valid, lawful, and to be celebrated with holy awe. No one can take the Mass of Ages away from us. Pope Benedict XVI affirms these things. So does Cardinal Levada.

The mere existence of the Mass of Paul VI does not invalidate the decree of Pope St. Pius V.

David

Dan the Old Rite Man. said...

"That clause referred to attempts to get printers to introduce illicit changes into the authorised text of the missal."

Jordanes,

Can you please prove this?

craig said...

1. "Many people who clearly accepted the binding character of the Second Vatican Council, and were faithful to the pope and the bishops, nonetheless also desired to recover the form of the sacred liturgy that was dear to them." (emphasis mine)

It seems to me that Benedict is speaking of a second group here; in other words, he leaves open whether the followers of Lefebvre believe likewise, but less clearly.

2. What is one pope's authority relative to another's? A pope can, exercising Peter's charism, define doctrine that his successors cannot repudiate (although they can refine or restrict it using the same charism). But can a pope bind his successors canonically or juridically? It is not at all clear whether Pius V even had the authority to order as he did.

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Reading the sermon in full, made me change my mind about my initial reaction. The way it sounded just came off wrong, but after reading it's much better than I thought.

Anonymous said...

"who clearly accepted the binding character of the Second Vatican Council and were faithful to the pope and the bishops"

.....what choice did we have? He talks like we did something special. And what did anyone know or suspect back then? This was B.I. ("before internet").

M. A. said...

M.A
"Why exactly does Father Gruners work have to be discredited?"
______________________________

Dan,

I was referring to the fact that by his own admission, Fr. Fox was asked to separate from the Blue Army and to start his own Fatima apostolate. Thereafter, he was the instrument to voice the propaganda that the Consecration of Russia had been properly done, this contrary to the facts which Fr. Gruner has has consistently and openly printed in his publications. Silence from the pope himself on the subject, while brothers fight it out. That is what I meant.


"What exactly did he teach that is opposed to the Deposit of the Faith? I am curious."
__________________________
Fr. Gruner has taught nothing contrary to the Deposit of Faith. Considering the obstacles, and the persecution he has endured, the work that he has been able to accomplish for our Lady cannot be purely human. He has the divine assistance.

"I assume that you are condemning the unChristian act of setting one Catholic priest against another Catholic priest."
_______________________________
Yes, very much so. It is despicable. Look around and we can see that the real enemy is NOT the FSSPX, not Fr. Gruner.

"So where does the "upper heirarchy" dirtying its hands fit in to Charity?"
______________________________
Look at it this way: Suppose in a household, two siblings were constantly at odds. What would you think of the father who from a distance sees the fighting, but refuses to intervene to settle once and for all their differences, while knowing full well that one word from him would restore peace to the household? Instead, he conveys messages to one or the other to continue to work to restore the unity and peace of the house, this to the scandal of the rest of the family, and the entire neighborhood.

You could call it a lack of charity; you could call it dereliction of duty.

Doesn't it remind you of what our Lady of Akita said?

Father Anthony Cekada said...

Dan Hunter said...

The Novus Ordo is legal and of course therefore it satisfys the Sunday and Holy Day Obligation, and it is obviously NOT a sin to assist at one, but this does not make it extrinsically equal to the Traditional Mass.

Al you need are "eyes to see and ears to hear" to figure this out.

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

Well, Summorum Pontificum says the Novus Ordo and the old Mass are fundamentally the same "lex orandi" embodying the same "lex credendi."

I think that this is (at least implicitly) the cardinal's point -- and that what you choose, old Mass or new, is therefore merely a matter of taste.

Most old time trads don't really believe that that's all there is to it -- that doctrine and reverence are the real issue. And I suspect that most members of FSSP and ICK feel the same way.

Father Anthony Cekada said...

And while I'm at it:

-----------

Craig said:

2. What is one pope's authority relative to another's? A pope can, exercising Peter's charism, define doctrine that his successors cannot repudiate (although they can refine or restrict it using the same charism). But can a pope bind his successors canonically or juridically? It is not at all clear whether Pius V even had the authority to order as he did.

---------

One of the great myths of the trad movement was that Quo Primum "canonized" the old Mass, and a canonization cannot be undone, ergo.

However, while a later pope cannot "undefine" a dogma proclaimed by a previous pope, he can indeed change ecclesiastical laws promulgated by his predecessor.

The underlying principle in law is that "An equal has no authority over an equal."

Quo Primum was merely an ecclesiastical law, so a subsequent pope would therefore have the power to revoke it.

Paul Haley said...

wheat4paradise said...

Paul Haley,

The Holy Father has affirmed Pope St. Pius V. The Gregorian Rite is forever valid, lawful, and to be celebrated with holy awe. No one can take the Mass of Ages away from us. Pope Benedict XVI affirms these things. So does Cardinal Levada.

The mere existence of the Mass of Paul VI does not invalidate the decree of Pope St. Pius V.

David

We're not talking about invalidating the decree of Pope St. Pius V, we're talking about whether changes should be made to the Missal he promulgated saying it should not be changed and remains valid forever. Some believe that changes should be made like the current Holy Father and Cardinal Levada by incorporating texts from the Missal of Paul VI. And we all know who was responsible for that Missal, don't we?

I do not agree that changes should be made but I concede that the Holy Father has that authority. What I am saying is how does one stop changes once changes are made? How does one preserve the Lex credendi part of the Lex orandi?

But, even more to the point, why does one have to talk about changes to the ancient liturgy before the very Fraternity the Holy See has established to protect and conserve that Liturgy, at the very Mass at which that Liturgy is being celebrated. It just doesn't make any sense to me. But as I said, I believe that 2+2=4, not 5.

Jordanes said...

It is not at all clear whether Pius V even had the authority to order as he did.

The "in perpetuity" language was just the usual enacting terminology of that time. As has been pointed out here several times, St. Pius V used the same language in promulgating a reformed breviary -- but his successor did not hesitate to revise the breviary further, and subsequent popes revised the breviary even more. None of them thought St. Pius V's use of the customary church legalese was to be taken in a hyperliteral sense banning the Church from ever making a single change to the breviary for the rest of time.

"That clause referred to attempts to get printers to introduce illicit changes into the authorised text of the missal."

Jordanes,

Can you please prove this?


An equivalent clause was included in Quod a nobis of 1568 which promulgated the reformed Breviary. Quigley's "The Divine Office: A Study of the Roman Breviary," says on page 28 that that clause was a "Prohibition, under pain of excommunication . . . against those who print, distribute or receive copies of this Breviary without lawful authority." The same prohibition was made in the case of the Roman Missal. It is an unintelligible interpretation to say those clauses are official permission for individual Catholics to resist or reject changes that the Church herself lawfully makes in the Roman Missal and Roman Breviary. That would give the private individual final authority over the liturgy rather than the Roman Pontiff.

John McFarland said...

Let my offer a few thoughts suggested by Father Cekada's remarks.

To his credit, the Pope has finally discarded the contemptible fantasy -- which he himself had gone along with for nearly twenty years after everyone at the Vatican knew its falsity -- that offering the traditional Mass is something that requires permission.

But as the Holy Father has made abundantly clear, the reason for this is the "attachment" of some people to the traditional Mass.

He has been at pains not to characterize or explain that attachment, or to make any comparisons between what he describes as two "forms" of the same "rite" (an assertion that he is prudent enough not to try to justify).

But he has also been at pains to insist that Vatican II is non-negotiable.

So: it would seem to follow that the FSSP is (or should be)an organization of men merely "attached" to the traditional Mass, accepting Vatican II, and ministering to those faithful that are (or should be) merely "attached" to the traditional Mass and accept Vatican II?

And if it is, is it not a positive moral obligation of the FSSP's members to teach their faithful the nonnegotiable doctrine of Vatican II, and root out any bases for attending the traditional Mass other than mere "attachment," and thereby guarantee to their faithful the ripe and savory fruits of the Council, which we can see all about us?

And if it is, do the members of the FSSP accept that obligation?

Or are some or many or all of them just crypto-Lefebvrists (or possibly even crypto-sedevacantists), hypocritically taking advantage of the Vatican's implicit don't ask, don't tell policy as regards their actual convictions?

And is the Vatican not sooner or later bound to root out those hypocrites?

Anonymous said...

People see his comments in the worst light because that is the safest and most rational way to see them. Most people associated with traditional Catholicism are afraid, whether they admit it or not, that we are one heartbeat away from seeing all the gains made under Benedict XVI swept away. Then we will return to the leadership that suppressed tradition, protected child molesters, and compromised the Faith. Please God grant the Holy Father good health and long life.

Jonh F. said...

Please promote this event: http://www.canons-regular.org/go/news/read/extraordianary-form-conference-in-portugal/

Portugal is a country in which the Motu Proprio does not actually enforced will be greatly beneficiadoi by this initiative of the Canons Regular of Saint John Cantius.

Thanks!

Jonh F.

Alexander said...

wheat4paradise wrote:


Which of the above pleases the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ?


Neither.

While bearing the same grace in the Eucharist the TLM is superior in externals, prayer and ritual. Rendering it more suitable and proper to God, thus yielding more graces apart from the Eucharist under the same dispositions.

M. A. said...

"While bearing the same grace in the Eucharist the TLM is superior in externals, prayer and ritual. Rendering it more suitable and proper to God, thus yielding more graces apart from the Eucharist under the same dispositions."

And therefore, I might add, more easily conducive to attaining holiness. You'd think everyone would be for that!

BTW, wheat4paradies, we all do despicable things at one time or another, even popes. Peter, out of fear denied Christ three times, but are we to believe that our post-conciliar popes are above reproach? that fears could never drive them to also deny Christ?

I do love our present Holy Father, and pray for him, but perhaps he has a fear of the wolves???

Anonymous said...

Wheaties4Breakfast (smiley face) comments on the distasteful 'NO ****" comment but takes it out of context and ignores the posters references to the reality of the praxis.

I for one think that Our Lord is not very pleased with the NO as a mass, the lack of discipline and all the other reasons Trads have been griping about for 40 plus years.

When I left the NO for the TLM it took awhile to get used to the TLM discipline but I hung in there and sure as ***** found that Mass and Rite to be unquestionable Catholic, unquestionably pleasing to God...and good for man (namely me - smiley face).

I recently left a FSSP parish to the FSSPX because the two forms simply don't mix and I got tired of interference from the blenders and novelty people. I truly wonder if they are even Catholic?

Stéphane said...

wheat4paradise, on the basis of facts. If you don't see that the NO is not an order, is not a rite, you are blind. In that case, please have someone read to you "Die Häresie der Formlosigkeit" (The Heresy of Formlessness), by M. Mosebach.
However, I do not claim Mosebach as an authority to prove the point I am making; he is merely a clear and well-explained confirmation of something that is obvious.

It only takes reading the IGMR to see the hundreds variants that are left to the discretion of the celebrating priest. How can a shapeless, formless thing be called a rite?
Let us face facts.

LeonG said...

"It would be interesting to learn how many priests and seminarians of FSSP REALLY believe the issue boils down to nothing more than preference."

Indeed, Fr Cekada, I have heard FSSP priests give homilies on the importance of a Latin liturgy & why use of the vernacular is inferior. When all is said and done, by implication they prefer The Latin Mass of All Times.

Anonymous said...

The NO, from its inception, has been exploited by heterodox interests and by just plain liturgical lunatics for selfish ends.

In fact, in its relatively short history, the rite has been turned into a symbol of disobedience and controversies!

Some even argue that it was still born because the authors subverted the Council's intent for liturgical reform.

As a result, for many, the NO Mass cannot be a source of unity with the Church. Many leave the Church, others seek out EF Masses many miles from home, still others attend the NO but their hearts are not in it.

Jesus told the Samaritan women that true worship is "in spirit and in truth." If the form, the rite, cannot lead to such worship or make that difficult it has no future. That is where we are now.

In sum, the NO is part of the present culture, it embraces its relativistic features [anythings goes], consequently it will become irrelevant without its secular culture underpinigs.

Benedict XVI has already positioned the Church for such a time by liberating the EF. It cannot come too soon for me!

Father Anthony Cekada said...

John McFarland said...

Let my offer a few thoughts suggested by Father Cekada's remarks.

[Benedict XVI] has been at pains not to characterize or explain that attachment, or to make any comparisons between what he describes as two "forms" of the same "rite" (an assertion that he is prudent enough not to try to justify).

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

I would disagree. Before his election, he characterized the difference as one of "spiritual and theological emphases … that richness which pertained to the same single Catholic faith."

In Summorum, Benedict XVI spoke of the old Mass as a “mark of identity… a form of encounter” for many Catholics that is “particularly suited to them.” The old rite possesses “a sacrality which attracts many people,” who adhere to it because of “attachment,” “affection,” “culture,” “personal familiarity,” etc.

This reduces opting for the old Mass as nothing more than a matter taste and preference -- not a question of Catholic doctrine and piety.

Again, I think Cardinal Levada's sermon was a reminder that FSSP, etc. are obliged to buy into the preference approach.

But I doubt that, if pressed, most of them would say that they do.

Paul Haley said...

An ecclesiastical law can be changed by a succeeding pope but the real crux of the matter is: "We don't want it and we never asked for it. The changes, to us formed in the Traditonal Liturgy, is anathema and bespeaks an desire to please protestants and schismatics under the guise that these changes are meant to be "pastoral" for us. So, were these pastoral initiatives really helpful? You've got to be kidding!

Anybody who is the least bit familiar with how the faith was practiced by ordinary Catholics before the changes and how it is practiced today would take issue with that supposedly pastoral intent. I'm talking about ordinary Catholics not some priests who would celebrate the Mass like they had to rush to breakfast with not even a modicum of piety.

To say that we have achieved a "new springtime" with these changes would be equivalent to laying down funds to buy the Brooklyn Bridge. We didn't ask for these changes and we don't want them; it's really as simple as that. Let the modernists celebrate their banal concoction 'til the cows come home but leave our Traditonal Mass alone!

biggus_headdus said...

I recently left a FSSP parish to the FSSPX because the two forms simply don't mix and I got tired of interference from the blenders and novelty people. I truly wonder if they are even Catholic?

Anonymous, care to elaborate on that? I go to both FSSP and SSPX but have a pretty extensive experience with the FSSP and have never seen any 'blending' (mix & match would seem contrary to their mission.) So if you have any examples I would be interested in hearing them.

thx,

Sean said...

Cardinal Levada, when he was the chairman of the Doctrinal Committee of the USCCB, attempted to have censured by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith an article written by an FSSP priest arguing for the superiority of the traditional Mass over the Mass of Paul VI. Interestingly, nothing came of this effort by Cardinal Levada (though I believe he was one of the bishops on the CDF at the time). The address to the Fraternity was, in the artfully delicate language of Romanita, the getting of his pound of flesh.

Given the attitude of a surprising number of comments on this blog, perhaps a bit of exegesis of Cardinal Levada’s sermon might be of some assistance.

(1) Promoting the hybridization of the traditional Roman Missal during this ceremony was an exquisite example of Romanita. Remember, he did not simply cite the Preface for the Concecration of a Church from the Pauline Missal; he introduced the remark by noting that “Summorum Pontificum” makes the point “that the two forms of the usage of the Roman Rite, the Extraordinary and the Ordinary Forms, can be mutually enriching to each other.” In the very next sentence he states: “As one example he [the Holy Father] mentioned the new prefaces can and should be introduced into the old Missal.” Wouldn’t one expect, given the society for which he was consecrating the seminary chapel, that he should have reciprocally suggested – at some point – an example of the EF informing the OF? You Americans simply do not understand subtlety.

(2) Cardinal Levada then proceeds to remark, “[A]s St. Paul insists, there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism. This is why the Holy Father stressed the continuity that we can see between the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms of the Roman Rite.” The second sentence of that quote is a contentious claim of the motu proprio for many Catholics devoted to the traditional Mass. The FSSP was necessitated by the conviction of many (and certainly many of the priests and seminarians present) that such continuity does not exist. He knows this – but verbally insists on articulating the view of the Holy See that it is a matter of mere liturgical preference. The complete omission of any doctrinal issues (i.e. the minimalization of sacrificial references of the new vs. the traditional rite – to mention only one) was at odds with the convictions of many of the traditional priests and seminarians in that chapel – and His Eminence knew it. Exquisite Romanita.

CONTINUED IN NEW COMMENT BOX

Sean said...

(3) Cardinal Levada makes reference to the damaged communion of the Church which Pope Benedict hopes that his motu proprio will heal and that the FSSP must always “celebrate the Eucharist with this concern and desire of the Holy Father in mind.” Remember, he’s addressing a society which in the autumn of 1999 had its Superior General and the Rectors of its two seminaries removed for suspicion of promoting a spirit antithetical to communion by the Prefect of the Ecclesia Dei Commission (which Levada now heads). Coincidental? Only to those unschooled in the ways of Romanita.


(4) Cardinal Levada’s closing remark, “The seminarians who will be ordained priests from this seminary will be ordained to serve this vision of peace, as instruments of communion.” There is nothing technically amiss with these words. However, of all the commissions he may have mentioned the selection of two words – “peace” and “communion”: in the context of the actions taken against them in 1999, it is nothing less than the repetition of a veiled reminder – utilizing the niceties of Romanita, of course.

The Cardinal’s statement that the two forms of the Mass must not be a cause of division would be laughable were he not perfectly serious. As stated, it was an insult to all present in the seminary chapel. The fabricated Mass of Paul VI (the present Holy Father’s words) is and has been for 40 years the most visible cause of division within the Church. His implicit denial of this is part and parcel of the fantasy land that he and his fellow notorious episcopal alumni of St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California have created for themselves. The fact that he attempted to enfold the assembled traditional priests and seminarians into this flight into delusion -- especially given the occasion -- is unfortunate.

wheat4paradise said...

I truly wonder if they are even Catholic?

Perhaps you should worry more about yourself, Anon 3:32. Ask yourself if a truly holy person would ask such a question about a fellow Catholic. Look at the example of the saints. They always tried to see the best even in the worst of people. Besides, how bad, truly, are these "blenders" and "novelty people" of whom you speak so disparagingly? Are they so much worse than you, brother sinner? Perhaps some of those people are indeed holy. Do you know them? Do you live with them? Perhaps some of those "novelty people" keep a stricter Lenten fast than you. Perhaps some of them have deep devotion to the Passion of Jesus Christ and feel intense sorrow for their sins. Yet their most grievous sin, in your eyes, apparently, is their attachment to the Mass of Paul VI. Perhaps some of those people think that it's ok take certain liberties with the liturgy. I don't agree with them and neither does the Pope. Yet should I on that account question their basic membership in the Church? Is that Catholic?

Sometimes I wonder if the TLM is necessarily a breeding ground for holiness, as so often claimed. The TLM is holy indeed, yet that holiness doesn't always seem to rub off on those attached to the ancient rite.

David

wheat4paradise said...

What I see here are a number of people who insist on maintaining a fundamental split between "Traditional Catholics" and "Conciliar Catholics" (aka "blenders" and "novelty people"), even as the Pope labors to fulfill Our Lord's wish that "they all be one". On the one side we have the Pope who wants to pull everyone onto the ark; on the other side, we have those who think that they alone belong on the ark and are busy kicking the "undesirables" overboard. Distasteful.

John McFarland said...

wheat4paradise,

The saints did not find themselves ruled in the Faith by those whose faith is at best deficient and adulterated.

This is not to condone intemperateness, but it is to suggest that it is among the lesser of our problems.

Jordanes said...

The saints did not find themselves ruled in the Faith by those whose faith is at best deficient and adulterated.

Looking at those past eras when so many bishops and priests and even popes were ignorant and immoral (the Church at one time even had to crack down on the problem of bishops who didn't know how to read or write), I find it impossible to believe that the saints of the past never found themselves ruled in the Faith by those with a deficient and adulterated faith.

wheat4paradise said...

No, John, I think that when self-styled Traditional Catholics feel free during the holy season of Lent to engage in intemperate online bashing of a high ranking Cardinal (whose faith is surely not deficient or adulterated), that is a bigger problem than the subtle liturgical matters up for discussion here.

Besides, I dare say that many of the saints have had to put up with much worse than the likes of Cardinal Levada.

David

Neal said...

To those who would judge the true meaning of the sermon based on mass-% ratio of text, may I recommend a reading of Memoriale Domini while pondering its consequences?

http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDWMEMOR.HTM

John McFarland said...

Sean,

You have given a very fine (ahem) exegesis of Cardinal Levada's talk.

But I'm afraid I must demur from your characterizing it as "subtle." To swipe a phrase from The Communist Manifesto, His Eminence's address scorns to conceals its aims.

It is only subtle to those who believe that the Pope is On Our Side, and refuse to recognize the impossibility of being in good faith both a member of the FSSP and a genuine traditionalist.

What Cardinal Levada is saying is the stance of those in authority in the Church, and in particular that of the Pope. So those who consider themselves obliged to accept the pronouncements of that authority always and everywhere should also consider themselves bound, in letter and spirit, to the program that Cardinal Levada has outlined yet another time.

Father Cekada accepts the principle of down-the-line obedience; but since he doesn't think there's been a Pope than longer than many of you have been alive, it's not a problem for him.

Nor is it a problem for the SSPX and those of us who follow its lead in this regard.

But it is a problem for the "motuists." In particular, it's a problem for the FSSP. As near as I can see, its members have no principled basis for not following Cardinal Levada's injunctions pretty much to the letter.

What he says is clearly the mind and will of the Holy Father, the vicar of Christ on earth. To argue that the traditional Mass is superior to the new Mass in anything more than production values is to put oneself at odds with the Pope. A fortiori, to refuse to say the new Mass is to put oneself at odds with the Pope.

So what will it be? Will motuists continue to deny the obvious truth? Or will they recognize the obvious truth, and figure out whether they want to stand with the Vatican, the SSPX or the sedevacantists?

Dan the Old Rite Man. said...

"...and figure out whether they want to stand with the Vatican, the SSPX or the sedevacantists?"

Catholics stand where the Church is and where Peter is so is the Church.
The FSSP believe this.
The FSSPX believe this.
All other Traditional societies in communion with the Holy Father believe this.
And I will always believe this.

Enoch said...

A closing remark from cardinal Levada:

"The seminarians who will be ordained priests from this seminary will be ordained to serve this vision of peace, as instruments of communion."

Hmm....I thought that seminarians are ordained priests so that they can:

1) offer Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which includes the power to change bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ; and

2) to forgive sins.

Other powers of the priesthood are to preach with authority, administer other sacraments, and to bless people and objects.

I have never heard of priests being ordained so that they can serve as intstuments of "peace."

wheat4paradise said...

What, really, is a "motuist"? Is it someone who supports the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum and defers to the Pope in the resolution of contentious matters of liturgy and doctrine? Is not such a person simply a Catholic?

M.J. Ernst-Sandoval said...

I'm surprised no one has brought up the fact that in the Missal of 1962 there is the option of using the old Gallican Prefaces, which includes one for the Dedication of a Church, and it may also be used for its Anniversary of Dedication.

Here are the English translations of both prefaces. (I've changed 'you' to 'thou' in the Novus Ordo preface to level the playing field a bit.)

Missal of 1962 (option of using Gallican Prefaces):

“It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, almighty Father, eternal God: Who, being the Giver of all good things, dost dwell in this house of prayer, which we have built, and dost sanctify through unceasing operation Thy Church, which Thou Thyself hast founded. For this indeed is a house of prayer, expressed in the semblance of visible buildings, a temple for the indwelling of Thy glory, the unchangeable seat of truth, the sanctuary of eternal charity. This is the ark that leads us, snatched from the deluge of the world, into the port of salvation. This is the beloved and only Spouse, whom Christ bought by His own Blood, whom He quickeneth with His Spirit: in whose bosom we are reborn through Thy grace, nursed with the milk of Thy Word, strengthened with the Bread of Life, and warmed by the aid of Thy mercy. She fighteth faithfully on earth, assisted by her Spouse, and crowned by Hum, doth gain everlasting victory in heaven. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominions, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing a hymn to Thy glory, evermore saying:”


Missal of 1970:

“Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give Thee thanks. Thy house is a house of prayer, and Thy presence makes it a place of blessing. Thou givest us grace upon grace to build the temple of Thy Spirit, creating its beauty from the holiness of our lives. Thy house of prayer is also the promise of the Church in heaven. Here Thy love is always at work, preparing the Church on earth for its heavenly glory as the sinless bride of Christ, the joyful mother of a great company of saints. Now, with the saints and all the angels we praise Thee for ever:”

What's great is that the much more beautiful Gallican preface was sung at this Mass. I wonder if the irony of it all was noticed by anyone in attendance.

Sean said...

David (wheat4paradise),

I have no desire to cross swords with you. From your web site you seem to be a fervent Catholic devoted to the Passion of Christ. I have no disagreement with your hypothetical assertion that there are Catholics devoted to the Ordinary Form of the Mass who are more deeply spiritual than those committed to the traditional Mass. Points concerning the necessity of humility should always be welcomed.

However, I don’t know your reason for coming to a blog whose adherents overwhelmingly are devoted to the Extraordinary Form of Holy Mass and decide to berate. As an example, the following comment by you: “I think that when self-styled Traditional Catholics feel free during the holy season of Lent to engage in intemperate online bashing of a high ranking Cardinal (whose faith is surely not deficient or adulterated), that is a bigger problem than the subtle liturgical matters up for discussion here.”

Perhaps a better term for us is “Catholic committed to tradition.” The Cardinal who you claim some of us are bashing is the one who articulated the points we’re criticizing. I’ve tried to provide an historical context for why he said what he said in the way he said it. You disagree. That’s you’re right. However, to then attack those of us who don’t agree with you, well, how about taking a dose of some of that humility that you’ve rightfully offered to others?

To be committed to the Passion of Christ does not give you a monopoly on what constitutes a sharing in that Passion. Some of those on this board have suffered greatly for their point of view. They continue to hold it their point of view because of what has caused the pain to themselves and to their families. Their participation in the Passion of Christ is to cling to their faith for themselves and others despite the constant reminder that they are treated as outcasts in their own Church. You have a beautiful quote from St. Alphonsus Liguori on your web page. But where do you find his advice to confessors practiced in the confessionals of the Church? VERY seldom in the “reconciliation rooms” of the new rite. Most often in the confessionals of priests committed to the tradition Faith (priests who often have been marginalized and even exiled by bishops like Cardinal Levada).

I always don’t practice what I preach here. I have and can be contentious and curt. But as you so rightfully have pointed out, perhaps Lent is a time to take stock and make the effort to disagree with charity. Just remember: charity always struggles with argument (ask St. Jerome). But struggle we must.

Anonymous said...

Big Head,
The FSSP are orthodox and they are under pressure from the NO - the NO are trying to impose their style of worship on the TLM and do not want to 'dialogue' and understand why the Tridentine mass and discipline isn't up for their kind of worship.

The poor FSSP priests are treated as second class by the senior priest, and bishop; parish staff won't lift a finger to help them - rather they put up road blocks - so the TLM laity help out.

After the NO mass they hang out at the back of the Church with the NO priest and talk loudly while the TLM community gather to pray silently and the Rosary. A few feet away is a hallway to the concourse meeting areas, we have asked that they 'talk' there instead but nope somehow that is against the community spirit of V2.

The NO senior pastor is forever asking, suggesting, introducing, conniving ways to supplant the TLM. He has an agenda to blend and water down. He is despicable.
- - - -
Wheatie says I am being uncharitable - all I can say is to wake up. Yup there are good Catholics with the attachment to the NO. Nonetheless, I sometimes do wonder if they are Catholic. I mean I did the NO thing for decades - you could say that I am one of those pious NO Catholics you described - and I can't say I got much out of it.

Some of those holy pious ones you speak of are the most against the TLM. I guess they can't read the SP and their pastor certainly won't tell them.

Lent is about fasting, prayer, penance and alms giving. False charity is evil.

I wish you all a holy and happy Lent.

Father Anthony Cekada said...

But whether one regards his comments as "subtle" (Sean) or "scornful" (Mr, McFarland), it was nevertheless Cardinal Levada's way of putting the boot in (or perhaps, the pontifical buskin and sandal…)

Anonymous said...

Wheat

Tone it down and it might go down better. As it is, it sounds like you've overdosed on cotton candy.

Delphina

M. A. said...

"So what will it be? Will motuists continue to deny the obvious truth? Or will they recognize the obvious truth, and figure out whether they want to stand with the Vatican, the SSPX or the sedevacantists?"
____________________________

Are those the only three choices you give us, John?

A. The Vatican is just the machinery, the human element of an ecclesial bureaucracy.

B. The SSPX are merely a society of priests hanging on to the old faith, but it is not the Church. Although I am not advocating attendance at the N.O. I do keep in mind that Sr. Lucia had no choice but to do so; yet, I believe she will someday be canonized, not for being a "Novus Ordonian" but for courageously, heroically keeping the the Faith and fulfilling her mission where Divine Providence placed her.

C. That's a dirty word.

Clerical Observer said...

Here again the (nervous?) genuflection to VCII as a "work of the Holy Spirit."
Might I say that there is a real distinction between a legitimately convoked and concluded Ecumenical council (hence might say loosely a "work of the Holy Spirit") and a successful, or even, beneficial one?
How many today would say that "Lateran V" was a "work of the Holy Spirit"? Convoked by Julius II at the beginning of the 16th century as a "reform Council" it went nowhere, accomplished nothing, and a few years later Luther was nailing his 95 Theses to the Wittenberg church door.
The Council of Florence was called to heal the schism between Latin and Greek Churches. In this it failed almost immediately; but left us some useful documents still important today.
Whatever the Blessed John XXIII had in mind for his Council; we got neither a "new Pentecost" nor "Christian Unity."
In my opinion, VCII was the "Latern V" of our day.

M. A. said...

"The TLM is holy indeed, yet that holiness doesn't always seem to rub off on those attached to the ancient rite."

I wonder what your perception of holiness is, Wheat.. You seem to think that holiness means embracing the whole, entire world with one big smile, having everybody love you because you will not offend anyone.

A saint will inevitably cause division, draw the world's hatred upon himself, be ostracized - all because he prefers Truth over lies.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone other than me believe there is much more to "Quo Primum" than ecclesiastical law that can be changed by any pope? Pope Paul VI didn't attempt to strike it when he granted the Agatha Christie Indult nor did Pope John Paul II when he granted his 1984 Indult? They had to know the problems it caused with Traditionals. It is still there in every altar missal authorized by Pope Benedict XVI for the Traditional Mass.

A.M. La Pietra

LeonG said...

Sean

Thank you for your explicitly detailed post on Levada relative to this issue. We certainly do need to evaluate this sermon & its significations because it camouflages many of his personal perspectives & preferences. We also need to know more about what he has stood for throughout his career as a priest, bishop & cardinal. It is also reasonable to suggest he is doing some open thinking on behalf of the pope too.

LeonG said...

A.M. La Pietra

Read "The Suicide of Altering The Faith in The Liturgy", by Fr Paul Kramer.

As Fr Patrick perez writes, Fr Paul Kramer's book should be read and re-read.

This would help to lift the post-conciliar fog on such a tremendously important subject.

Pope St Pius V's formulae of words at a time of immense crisis in The Church cannot be taken so lightly today either - nor should they be.

* “Si quis dixerit, receptos et approbatos Ecclesiae catholicae ritus in sollemni sacramentorum administratione adhiberi consuetos aut contemni, aut sine peccato a ministries pro libito ommitti, aut in novos alios per quemcumque ecclesiarum pastorem mutari posse: anathema sit.” (D.S. 1613)

Anonymous said...

"In my opinion, VCII was the "Latern V" of our day." (Clerical Observer)

Yes there is an interesting comparison to be made between Vatican II and Lateran V.
Indeed both are valid councils, both had nearly the same goals : Lateran V was summoned to reform the Church from the top to the bottom, bluntly ; VII goal was less radical as exposed by John XXIII.

However the differences are clear : Lateran V did NOT reform the Church - by the way, Luther nailed his 95 thesis just a few months (not years) after the end of the Council in 1517.
But Vatican II DID reform and revise or launched a movement of radical reforms of 20 years. That makes a big difference.
You can blame Lateran V to have failed its mission, you can criticize Vatican II - and above all Paul VI, his Curia and the College of bishops after 1965 - on the ways they conduct the reforms.

However some of the material discussed at Lateran V was then used at ... Trent. Can we say that "the reform of the (bad) reform" - from liturgy to several other matters - could be the second chance of Vatican II like Trent was for Lateran V ?

Alsaticus

wheat4paradise said...

Sean,

Your points are well taken and I do not disagree with you. By the way, I'm no stranger to this blog. In the past, I have been a staunch defender of the Traditionalist position. I do not mean to berate "Catholics committed to Tradition", because I'd like to think that I'm still one of them, to a certain extent. Believe me, I understand what's at stake in the struggle for the Faith in the wake of Vatican II. What bothers me -- and what has led me away from the "Trad camp" -- is the prevailing condemnatory attitude of many (not all) Trads toward those who are attached to the Mass of Paul IV. That's what I'm reacting against. I apologize if my reactions have been uncharitable in tone. By the way, I'm "attached" to the Mass of Paul VI for purely practical reasons, i.e., keeping peace in my family. I would be among the first to applaud the Pope if he restored the TLM as the Ordinary Form of Mass. Moreover, I sympathize with those who have suffered in their own families on account of their commitment to the Mass of Ages. I'm fully aware that many "Novus Ordo" Catholic have and continue to be harsh and condemnatory toward Catholics committed to Tradition.

Delphina,

Your comment is amusing in view of my past history, which, of course, you have no way of knowing.

M.A.,

Your characterization of what constitutes my view of holiness is too silly to merit a response.

David

wheat4paradise said...

I should add that when I was a "self-styled Trad", I could be very arrogant and nasty in my tone. I've posted many venomous remarks against Cardinal Levada and other "modernist" prelates in my day. I've shown great public scorn toward the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. In other words, I have much atoning to do. Of course, none of that excuses a nasty attitude toward former allies. Truly, I should practice what I preach.

David

wheat4paradise said...

Returning to the substance of this thread, I think that Cardinal Levada's homily must be seen in light of its central theme (which is also the theme of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum): Catholic unity.

In this way, the tear in the fabric of unity evidenced by those who would reject the Second Vatican Council as the work of the Holy Spirit, must be repaired by the loyal testimony to the living Tradition of the Church in accord with the directives of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.

Why can't we take Cardinal Levada's words at face value? Why must we read some nefarious intention into them? So he stopped the publication of an article by a FSSP priest comparing the Novus Ordo unfavorably to the TLM. Could it be that his sole concern was to repair the "tear in the fabric of unity" (let's forget who might or might not be to blame for that tear), not to squash the TLM or bridle the FSSP?

Here's a question to ponder. Where exactly does a "right to criticize" the lawful rites of the Catholic Church fit into the priestly mission of the FSSP? Where does it fit into the mission of the priest in general?

David

Clerical Observer said...

Yes, perhaps some of the documents of Vatican II will serve as a springboardfor future reforms: tho' to be honest I fail to see what "reforms" that were beneficial actually issued from Vatican II. The reference to Paul VI ( in every way what Michael Davies called him: "that unhappy Pope") and the Curia and episcopate highlights the immediate "high jacking" of the Council into somwething nearly unrecognizable from what the Church had been before.
Was there anything more craven than Paul VI's caving-in to disobedience in the matter of "Communion in the hand" which was nowhere found in the Conucil's documents?

Anonymous said...

Alsaticus,
I hope the doctrinal discussions with the FSSPX provide the frame work for such a redemptive council post V2.

John McFarland said...

M.A.,

I have no other choices. Do you?

There is, of course, what I suppose is the current most common choice among the members of the FSSP: take advantage of the opportunity to say the traditional Mass, and of the Vatican's implicit "don't ask, don't tell" policy, and refuse to recognize the fact that this is against the spirit and letter of the Pope's view of the two "forms," which Cardinal Levada faithfully conveys. It's hard to conceive that more than a tiny handful of real space cadets would join the FSSP in order to carry out the Benedicto-Levadan program of mutual enrichment based on the nonnegotiable principles of Vatican II.

Leon G,

As noted above and before, Cardinal Levada is, in all respects of any consequence, the faithful messenger of the Pope's liturgical convictions and intentions. The Pope is very big on mutual enrichment. Indeed, he even believes very strongly, and has said so in as many words, in the mutual enrichment of godless secular society and the Church, and of the Church and the other religions. So it would be very odd indeed if he was prepared to let the traditional "form" and the conciliar "form" stand pat.

John McFarland said...

Mr. La Pietra,

I can't speak to the reformability of Quo primum as a juridical matter, but I can say the following. It would have been the easiest thing in the world for Pope Paul to have declared the traditional Mass superseded, subject to the indults. But he didn't do it, although he pretended that he had. John Paul II kept up the pretense, but broadened the "indult," although there was no particular reason for him to do this. Pope Benedict jettisoned the pretense, which effectively liberated the traditional Mass; but also liberated the traditional sacraments and Divine Office, although there was no particular reason for him to do so -- indeed, he hadn't even been asked to. Now his clear intent is to deal with the two "forms" with his one-size-fits-all solution: mutual enrichment (ME). But only the just-give-us-the-Mass/liturgical hobbyist wing of traditionalism is likely to take the bait; and ME certainly won't be effectively forced on anyone unless and until the SSPX sells out, which seems a pretty unlikely happenstance. The SSPX's view of the conciliar magisterium is that it is a gnostic cult, and so reconciliation without conversion of the Vatican would make Bishop Fellay a close third to Judas and Bishop Rifan in the eyes of virtually the entirety of the Society and its faithful.

I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet; nor am I a betting man. But if I had to bet, I'd bet that the Lord our God has no interest in the modification of Quo primum.

Anonymous said...

Wheatie,
The Bishops forbade communion on the tongue in the TLM based on weak argument of spreading of HINI. The FSSP said they will not give communion on the tongue because it is not allowed in the TLM. Crazy Bishop shuts down the TLM in an effort to scare FSSP priest and congregation.

Ponder that.

St. John Chrysostom said it is a sin not to speak out for the truth. There are injustices being done here, the 'unity' people want unity but not necessarily the truth.

M. A. said...

"I have no other choices. Do you?"

Well, John, yes.

You might deduce from my postings that I have been greatly influenced by the Abbe de Nantes, but I must add, not to the point of being blindly or slavishly attached to his every word.

His way made the most sense to me: neither off the bark of Peter from the left, nor from the right, but attached to the Faith according to the maxim of St. Vincent Lerins; a filial child of the Church with its popes as Heads, but cognizant of their shortcomings, betrayals and dereliction of duty, so as not to be led into apostasy; attached to Our Lady of Fatima and her messages.

This is how I maintain the Faith, sometimes attending the FSSP Masses, sometimes ICK, sometimes the diocesan, once when traveling, the SSPX.

I cannot accept the mentality that outside the SSPX there is no salvation.