Rorate Caeli

Reflections on the Traditional Mass
by the Archbishop of the U.S. Military Ordinariate

Rorate has obtained this interesting and never before published 2008 document of the Archbishop for the Military Services of the United States (the American Military Ordinariate) from a trusted source. (Click for larger images.)



41 comments:

Anonymous said...

When will someone open "tradi-leaks"? We need one!

Rambo

Pedro said...

I have to say His Excellency's comments sound tremendously reasonable. Nobody could accuse him of being 'against' the Traditional Mass, certainly, being as it is that the lack of availabilty of it in his jurisdiction is entirely explainable by the logistics of the matter. But...

This is where I think we should have faith beyond reason, faith that the Lord will actually bless this apparently unadvisable change of replacing Novus Ordo Masses with Traditional ones. All human, demographic considerations tell us to keep easily understable English Masses. Do supernatural considerations tell us otherwise?

Ryan Ellis said...

this is eminently-reasonable. perhaps the fssp can send some of their many seminarians in a couple of years?

you can't save the world if you can't pay the rent.

Anonymous said...

The comment about young single males being out of place is ... interesting. If there is one place any male should feel out of place, it's the typical Sunday Mass at the typical parish, which has had its music (especially singing) feminized.

Anonymous said...

As a former Marine I can tell you that the Extraordinary Form would be well recieved by our faithful servicemen. Marines love tradition. Our whole life in the service is based on it. The EF would fit like a glove.

Marcelino said...

Sounds in deed reasonable but... was the tridentine mass the one thats converts greeks, germans, pagans, indians and so on. The lack of knowledge about liturgy or latin it is not a problem. Sounds like an excuse a reasonable one but an excuse at last

dcs said...

Why the reference to the SSPX in the title? Was His Excellency asked a question about the SSPX that he did not answer directly?

Johnny Domer said...

The Archbishop is being extremely reasonable. The military archdiocese has a a lot of pastoral difficulties for providing the Extraordinary Form that regular dioceses don't have.

I even find the reason that most of his priests are not linguistically/liturgically prepared to be much more of a legitimate excuse in his case than in the case of a normal diocese. The bishop of a normal diocese is responsible for the formation of his seminarians in Latin and in the Church's liturgical rites, but the Archbishop for the Military Services has no seminarians. He just gets priests on loan from other dioceses. He can't oversee their liturgical or seminary formation; further, the Military Archdiocese is extremely stretched for priests, so he's not going to say no to a priest just because he doesn't know Latin. It's a very unfortunate situation for military folks. Archbishop Broglio is hardly an enemy, as far as the struggle for the growth of the Extraordinary Form is concerned.

Anonymous said...

I will repeat...

"Why the reference to the SSPX in the title? Was His Excellency asked a question about the SSPX that he did not answer directly?"

Genevieve

Joe B said...

Tight schedules, overworked priests, don't speak the language, laymen not ready - same whining we hear from any other bishop who doesn't want the TLM. Deployed priests may have a tough life, but most military priests when I served were based at home and were certainly no harder pressed than line officers, most of which pursued higher degrees in spite of a heavy load of responsibilities. But priests learn Latin while serving? No can do.

Has he ever given it a fair try? Not that I am aware of, and it has been requested many, many times.

True, he's got a better excuse than most bishops when he says he doesn't control priest development, so I'll just stop at calling him a whiner (versus most bishops, who are liars), but he does make a case for the return of mandatory Latin in all seminaries. And, of course, he makes a case for the total ban of the Novus Ordo, which fosters liturgical and theological stupidity.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I see no reference or connection to the SSPX however.

Cruise the Groove said...

"Reflections on the Traditional Mass and the SSPX"

Am I losing it or did I miss something here about the FSSPX?

Anonymous said...

I think the Archbishop's response to this question is a breath of fresh air. He seems unafraid to note the poor catechesis that has hobbled the Church in the post-VC2 period, in itself quite an indictment of the effect among the general lay Catholic population of forty years of deprivation of Tradition. I commend him for his sympathetic honesty, and find his reasoning sound.
Tom

Dan Hunter said...

Speaking also as a former Marine I can tell you with absolute certainty that the TLM would have gone over huge with the Catholic Marines I knew in boot camp and in the fleet.
Extremely manly, extremely traditional, extremely sacrificial.

Athanasius said...

this is eminently-reasonable. perhaps the fssp can send some of their many seminarians in a couple of years?

Doubtful, they are already stretched to fill their current commitments, and they have Bishops asking them to take on apostolates that they don't have the priests to staff.

Anonymous said...

I thought he good Archbishop was completely reasonable. He made an excellent point - most young men (and women) entering the service have not been educated in the Faith. Military chaplains, particularly in a time of war as we are today, don't have the means to fix 18 years of neglect on the part of the parents of these young people. The bedrock of the Faith is the home, the local parish, and the local diocese.

Anonymous said...

The truly striking part of this letter is that the bishop says that all priests SHOULD know the TLM and that ALL Catholics SHOULD be familiar with the TLM. I haven't heard of any other bishop besides the Pope and Hoyos, etc. saying anything like this.

Paul Haley said...

Dan Hunter said...

Speaking also as a former Marine I can tell you with absolute certainty that the TLM would have gone over huge with the Catholic Marines I knew in boot camp and in the fleet.
Extremely manly, extremely traditional, extremely sacrificial.


Not only marines would cherish the TLM but other services as well. Having spent 24 yrs in the AF Reserve with a mixture of both active and inactive service, I can readily testify to that fact. Tradition, you see, is part and parcel of military life and it's a shame the resources don't exist for more extensive use of the TLM at military chapels.

It is up to the diocesan bishops and the heads of religious societies to train priests for the TLM and make them available to the military. The fact that they cannot do this is testimony to their intransigence and having drunk the modernist Kool-Aid.

But there will come a time when they shall receive their just deserts. Pray for them that their sentence may be lightened and, I might add, ours as well.

Joe B said...

We're talking about the military here. This is a refusal. Does he have an excuse as to why he doesn't offer the TLM personally while in garrison? I'm sure the D.C. area has quite a few military men who would like it. Surely one could be arranged there, what with all that brass around.

You guys seem unfamiliar with the military culture - a list of excuses like this would get chewed up and spit out by a good general officer. Do one somewhere soon, then two, then three, and then track your progress in numbers and breadth, Archbishop, and report back to me every two weeks.

If the marines operated with his mindset, Australians would be speaking Japanese.

Anonymous said...

Again, the same excuses, which sound reasonable on their face, but are really unreasonable.

The TLM, according to Rome, is a form of the Latin Rite. Therefore it shouldn't matter what "form" of the Latin Rite the faithful get, correct?

So if a priest wants to replace some of these Novus Ordos with TLM's, let him. It sounds like the only way these priests can say TLM's is if they ADD them in addition to all the current Masses. Therein lies the excuse to make sure the TLM will stay a rarity in the military archdiocese.

"Pastoral" whining seems to ALWAYS obviate the need for Tradition.

Can you imagine if directives came from the Pope to create a MORE liberal form of Novus Ordo? The bishops would be bending over backward to implement this "form" ASAP and to Hell with pastoral concerns.

Anonymous said...

Strange comment about "young single males" being out of place at the EF... At the OF Parish where I attended mass for the Feast of the I.C. the priest had no servers for the OF... But for the later EF Missa Cantata the priest had five servers... Go figure?

Joe B said...

As for the shortage of military priests disposed towards offering the TLM (and the shortage of military priests in general), that's a failure of recruitment, which ultimately comes back to this very same Archbishop! The heroic sacrifices of military life should appeal to many good trad Catholic men. Read the life of the Irish military priest of World War I (the name escapes me) and tell me there aren't men willing to march into hell for that holy cause - just encourage and recruit them. Send a good military priest around to trad circles and talk to us. I'm telling you, the bounty is there to be reaped.

By the way, military priests are paid well. They draw officers pay and don't start at the bottom (O-3 pay) and move up fast, with tons of benefits and retirement. Between the advantages of economic independence and a great cause of ministering to soldiers, some men are called to that specific service and will enter the seminaries for that purpose, already agreed to by their diocesan bishop. After all, it won't cost him anything.

If this Archbishop wanted to solve this problem, he could. He doesn't want to. Too much trouble or there is opposition underneath it.

Anonymous said...

Same old excuses: priest shortage, priests and laity are incapable of learning anything new (or old). Heard it all before. If the bishop wants or believe in it, he will find a way to implement it. If he does not want it, he makes excuses.

Kathleen said...

QUOTE:

. . . considering the present level of knowledge among Catholics, especially the younger enlisted with little or no real formation in the faith,
. . .
There is certainly no time to provide the catechesis and practical instruction necessary to positively dispose them [the lay military] to the Extraordinary Form.
. . .
In fact, especially among young single males, many are barely aware of what goes on at the Masses they do attend.

END QUOTE


That just jumps off the pages.

The flat out admission of the complete failure of those responsible for the formation of N. O. Catholic youth is stunning. Not because it's news, far from it. But because there's no attempt to spin it.

And yes he sounds very reasonable and polite.

But he also sounds like a put upon bureaucrat, rather than a shepherd of souls.

He certainly has a lot of bishops ahead of him in line on this failure -- but come judgment day Our Lord is going to demand an accounting of the souls put in his care. Our Lord isn't going to be interested in polite recitations of logistical problems. He is going to hold our bishops responsible, period, for the souls he puts in their care.

They desperately need our prayers.

Anonymous said...

Strange that the Church dealt with the "logistic problems" of the Latin Mass for 20 centuries including having Latin Masses in bombed out churches in WW1 and WW2, many of which my father attended as a serviceman. I agree many serviceman would be attracted by the Tradition of the ExtraOrdinary Rite which is proably the real reason it's being denied to them. Kinda like the secular goverment denies them the vote.

Anonymous said...

"...considering the present level of knowledge among Catholics, especially the younger enlisted with little or no real formation in the faith...many are barely aware of what goes on at the Masses they do attend."

I agree with the above.

Any Catholic who has served in the armed forces and possesses a solid understanding of the Faith —
not that said person necessarily lives a sound Catholic life, but at least has knowledge of the Faith — is aware that he or she is surrounded by Catholics (the younger set, generally) who are devoid of basic Catholic knowledge.

One is able to grasp the frightening and widespread collapse of the Church as one encounters Catholics who hail from here, there and everywhere.

During one tour of duty, I knew a Catholic chaplin faily well.

Following a Mass, I remained to speak with the chaplin.

He walked around the chapel to search for discarded Hosts, which, incredibly, he said that he had found on a frequent basis.

Sacred hosts were found in the pews, on the floor and even in missalettes.

In place of sermons, he played instructional films on the Faith.

He told me that the majority of youth at Mass were so bored and, as a result of today's culture, oriented visually, that a sermon ("just words")would be of little value to those in attendance.

We have a monumental — monumental, monumental, monumental — crisis of Faith on our hands.

Andrew

Anonymous said...

You don't take three pages just to brush off someone you want to ignore. This is a thoughtful, pastoral letter.

A marine platoon is ordered to capture Mt. Suribachi without support. Is the platoon commander a whiny shirker if he warns his superiors not to expect immediate success?

Romulus

Anonymous said...

"...will bring us to the day when all Latin Rite priests are able and WILLING to celebrate the Liturgy reverently, attentively, and devoutly in both forms" (emphasis mine)

I know many priests (FSSP, SSPX, et. al.) would are NOT interested in offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Ordinary Form - ever. I pray that never changes.

Xavier.

A Priest Life said...

I celebrated the EF Missa Cantata at my parish of St Frances de Sales in Benedict, Md, on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception where one of the five men who served the Mass was a Marine in dress uniform who drove hours from a neighboring state to assist at the Liturgy. If we truly want to encourage vocations to the priesthood we will do all that is necessary, including celebrating this Mass at every opportunity that is attractive to young men who love God and will go to such lengths to honor Him.

Anonymous said...

Ouch ! When Catholics know their Rites....Rome should really see this..This letter seems all the more reason to insist on the Extraordinary Form. When people as well as Priests are stretched to their limits where will the learning begin. I think a lifelong lesson to understand Mass in Latin and the Extraordinary Form is often better than the all too understandable,where no one pays attention, and after years of attending Mass in a simplified Form now know nothing about their Rites is ridiculous and dangerous for souls.

Anonymous said...

EXCELLENCY, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM! THE CHURCH HAS THE SOLUTION: THE TRADITIONAL LATIN MASS! My son grew up with the TLM (only) and has about a decade of experience as an altar server, mostly with the SSPX. Recently he joined the Army and filed this report from Ft Benning: "I observed the service for Catholics last Sunday and it was the craziest thing I have ever seen and heard. I also sat in for the Protestant service which was actually just a sermon and more reverent than anything that took place at the Catholic one. I think that is the thing that struck me the most at the Catholic one - its complete lack of reverence." Young men will be inspired by the noble challenge of assisting at the TLM - if you challenge them, Excellency. Each serviceman is either a soldier of Christ, or a follower of the Prince of this world. Do you wish to recruit soldiers of Christ, or leave them in the camp of the Enemy? Of course the Enemy does not make it easy for you, but you will account to God for all the soldiers you could have recruited. Louis

Anonymous said...

So a Mass (Novus Ordo) that is better for the people, more understandable has now rendered the Catholic population "ignorant" of another Catholic Mass. Truly outrageous.

Anonymous said...

Very impressive letter. This is a real pastor in the truest sense of the word.

dcs said...

Young men will be inspired by the noble challenge of assisting at the TLM - if you challenge them, Excellency.

Actually most of them would probably just be alienated.

Paul Haley said...

A Priest Life said...

I celebrated the EF Missa Cantata at my parish of St Frances de Sales in Benedict, Md, on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception where one of the five men who served the Mass was a Marine in dress uniform who drove hours from a neighboring state to assist at the Liturgy. If we truly want to encourage vocations to the priesthood we will do all that is necessary, including celebrating this Mass at every opportunity that is attractive to young men who love God and will go to such lengths to honor Him.


God bless you, Father, and the server who assisted at the Mass. Sometimes, when words fail, example is the prime motivator.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the TLM has been offered at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune by traditioally-minded Navy Chaplain Father Logan for over a year now. However, Father Logan has recently retired. His retirement and the shortage of Navy Chaplains at Camp Lejeune have forced the TLM to "take off" the month of December. My guess is that with Father Logan gone, the TLM will disappear completely at Camp Lejeune.

Stu said...

My guess is that with Father Logan gone, the TLM will disappear completely at Camp Lejeune.
----------
Isn't Father Kersten still down there?

Rick DeLano said...

"If the marines operated with his mindset, Australians would be speaking Japanese."

Give that man a medal.

Pavegs said...

The issue of recruitment is not with the Archbishop of the Military Services, it is with ALL of the bishops. He must rely on borrowing priests from other dioceses, and unfortunately many Bishops say no. There are many willing priests, not many willing bishops. LA for example has 0 priests in the armed forces, this being the largest Archdiocese in the country. We need to pray that bishops will be more generous and that we get more holy priests who will promote vocations from within. I am currently a chaplain candidate (and seminarian) for the Army National Guard, but my bishop wont let me go on active duty. I would gladly offer the TLM.The ad hominem attacks againt the Archbishop are compketely uncalled for and I hope the fools behind them are doing penace and have gone to confession (Joe B especially).

Joe B said...

Glad someone understands me for what I am, especially a priestly man who might include me in his prayers.

But my opinion on this remains the same. This isn't bishoping as usual. This is a call for hero priests, and that type is drawn from the extremes, not the norm. The TLM nurtures these souls like no other. This particular Archbishop and this particular mission beg for a recruiting trip to trad groups and a deal with just one diocesan bishop somewhere in the U.S. who will help the military mission in his seminary. What about Bishop Timlin? Has this Archbishop talked with him about this issue? Bishop Bruskewitz (sorry if I misspelled that)? If the Archbishop can get some seed money for the first few seminarians, and I know he can - that's easy in this case, the graduates will be in a position to pay back their costs, what with the good pay of a military officer, and keep the pipeline flowing.

The point is that there is a bishop somewhere that will help, and this Archbishop could make this happen. As for your case, and God bless you for your willingness, you of all people should see just how workable this is, and how it would probably help you more than most. I suggest you change dioceses, by the way, as any bishop who coldly refuses this type of request may cause you (and the church) a lot more trouble in your future than you have yet experienced.

Any time someone gives you a whole list of reasons why they can't do something this important, you should expect they are making excuses because they don't want to do it, especially a military man. There might be one reason why you CAN'T, but there are rarely several.

Maybe he is a great Archbishop. Maybe I'm just overly sensitive to these particular issues, military support and bishopric support for the TLM (again, why isn't this Archbishop at least offering it himself?). But there are lots of bad bishops around and a lot of seething hatred for the holy and very venerable TLM, and so when I see the same old red flag excuses popping up in addition to the one unique one, and this from from one who's job it is to solve these problems, I'm connecting dots and this is where they lead. I'd rather err on the side of over-defending our military's spiritual needs and the TLM than err on the side of "oh, well ..."

Anonymous said...

I think many are being too hard on Archbishop Broglio.

I recently retired after 24 of active duty with the Air Force and now work as a contractor in the middle east. I have seen military priests in Iraq, Afghanistan and Qatar. Believe me, they are under MUCH pressure.

For commanders, the priests' primary military mission is not their vocation as priests, but as counselors helping to maintain the mental well being of the troops. This frustrated a chaplain who was at a deployed location a couple of years ago. He could not go to all units in search of Catholic souls but had to stick with his assigned unit. If your chaplain is a protestant, tough luck. You won't have a priest come see you. (You can still seek out a priest for confession, though.)

All chaplains also function in the military world, which can often be cutthroat. The same priest I mentioned above was reprimanded for preaching on Bishop Sheen's article on Mary's role in the conversion of Muslims. (Apparently, he ran afoul of the no-proselytizing rule--at mass!) To top it off, he was turned in by a fellow priest.

Finally, with so few military priests, they are in heavy deployment rotations. When in the AOR, they often make their way out to the forward operating bases and smaller locations where Catholics haven't seen a priest in months. In this environment, I believe ministering to souls in mortal danger is a bit more important than learning the EF.

As far as the mass goes, sure there are lots of loopy things going on, but I find the younger priests tend to celebrate mass more reverently. I was blessed to attend mass today with military and civilian Catholics from at least six nations. The American priest started off with Domninus vobiscum in Latin, the Kyrie in Greek, Agnus Dei in Latin and an awesome homily. Sometimes I cringe when we sing the same old lame songs that have no relation to the liturgical season or father chants the doxology beautifully and we respond with the folksy Great Amen, complete with guitar. But, hey, a little charity goes a long way.

I would love to see the EF mass celebrated in the military, but maybe we should let things move in a more natural order. Bring reverence and Latin to the OF and start catechesis during mass (which we had today) first. Eventually, I believe, people in the pews will want the EF. If a group of military desires the EF now, a request to the chaplain is in order. The Archbishop obviously supports that. The priest may or may not celebrate it, but if no one asks, th EF definitely won't be offered. (FWIW, I seem to recall seeing pictures of a Navy chaplain offering the EF on a ship.)

I think as the Holy Father said; it's better to take liturgical changes slowly than try to ramrode them through. We see how well that worked post-VII.

In the meantime, please remember military chaplains and laity in your prayers. They can use all the help they can get.

Miguel