Rorate Caeli

The Pope meditates.

The several reports on the opinions of the Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Archbishop Ranjith, released in the past few weeks, have been confusing not a few faithful. The common feature both of the Tagespiegel report of May 22 (read excerpt here) and of the I Media remarks of June 22-23, reported by both Le Figaro and CWN, was that the actual answers given by the Archbishop were not given in their entirety.

In its Sunday edition, the semi-official daily of the Church in France, La Croix, published the whole text of the actual interview given by the Archbishop, reporting complete answers. Amidst some well-known thoughts of the Secretary, these excerpts are particularly revealing:

...If the use of the vernacular language is accepted, especially for the Liturgy of the Word, the decree [Sacrosanctum Concilium] details precisely that the use of the Latin language shall be preserved in the Latin Church. On these subjects [language and position relative to the altar], we wait for the Pope to give us his indications.

It is necessary to make clear that this rite, that of the Missal of Saint Pius V, is not an "outlaw". Should it rather be encouraged? It is the Pope who will decide it.


  1. Excellent Post, New Catholic, and very perceptive. I note that Msgr. Ranjith states that one should not lower the Divine to the human level (in the liturgy) and blames a massive secularization in the West for the controversies in the liturgy (including the way the NO was conceived and imposed?). What caught my eye were his words about our role in the liturgy, a fact that goes directly against any iteration of the NO Mass:

    "Hence, the temptation of becoming an [active] player [protagonist] of the divine, of seeking to control it, is strong in a society that divinizes man, such as is done in the Western society. Prayer is a gift: liturgy is not determined by man but by what God causes to be born in him. It [the liturgy] implies an attitude of adoration towards God the Creator."

    Truer words could not be said about the liturgy. Fr. Bryan Houghton, quoted a while back in your blog, stated in his Mitre & Crook and in his biography "Pretre Rejeté" (as quoted in La Nef, a French traditional magazine) that the crisis of the NO liturgy came about precisely because those who were the guardians of the liturgy forgot this, that man is the recipient and not controller of the liturgy. That liturgy is given to us by God and not given to God by man. Had the bishops in V-II remembered this (or believed this), the Mass would have never been reformed the way it was. Only people who think that the liturgy is something that comes from man would change it at will. In short, a crisis in contemplation and prayer, something the Immemorial Mass constantly emphasizes.

    It is interesting that after the words you quoted Msgr. Ranjith goes on to state that a new (not the old foggies out of nostalgia) generation requests or requires an orientation towards the mysterious (mystery), and that this is not a matter of form but of substance. This tells me that the Pope must be thinking of an overhaul of the NO on a (short?/mid?/long?) term basis and an awareness of this need through a wider use of the Immemorial Mass.

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  3. The Archbishop still does not seem to understand the problem.

    As an Anthropologist, I am amused by his opinion that the NO was only problematic in the West on account of the great divided bewteen those who sought to separate themselves from the world and those who wanted to accomodate themselves to it.

    Perhaps he knows of no loss of faith in the Orient, among Catholics? Or that he forgets that a certain high churchman of India, has burned incense before the Hindu Elephant God. I personally know from the testimony of Catholcis in Malaysia and a bishop in Thailand, that there has been a massive loss of faith among Catholcis of both countries since Vatican II and that it is only getting worse.

    However, his insistence that the liturgy needs to be reformed from within the texts and spirit of Sacrosanctum concilium, as well as his statements, that we must wait for the pope to un-outlaw the mass, seem to indicate that he is speaking politically and not theologically.

    Theologically, the principles employed by Bugnini and the neo-modernists like Dom Odo Casel, who highjacked the liturgical movement, are so false and erroneous, that the New Rites are irretrievable comprismiesed, until the Vatican explicitly denouces their errors, and either does away with the NO all together, or so fundamentally alters it that this taint is removed.

    However, it does seem that as far as he is concerned, that the Curia no longer views the NO in practice or in fact, not in need of correction. Which is a big paradigm shift from the pontificate of JP2.

    However, Publican,

    I would point out that it is unjust to say or imply that the Council Fathers forgot or did not believe that the liturgy is given to us by God. Becasue the rites themselves are certainly not given to us by God in their entirety but are the products of the working of the Holy Spirit in the Church. They would never have approved the NO, as is clear from the resounding condemnation of its earliest form in the Synod of 1968 (or was that 67)?.

  4. Relevant observations all. But don't expect a revolution. Expect rather that the Barque of Peter is beginning a slow and inexorable turning towards tradition, one degree at a time, not a precipitous near capsizing that we have barely survived. Recognize, too, that in traditional terms, what may seem inadequate and miniscule gestures to the most yearning, pious, knowledgeable, and (I have no doubt) worthy of traditionalists, such as the slightly hysterical Prof. Perrin of CTNgreg, are in traditional terms large, course altering manifestations of the Church's intention.

    It is, unfortunately for us, our generation's lot to yearn, but we must stay the course, though we may not live to see it. I'm may be only forty-three, and frankly I don't expect to live to see a full restoration, but I do believe that it will happen in time. When I discovered the traditions of the Church here in the ecclesial backwater of San Diego (in about 1988), I must say I NEVER expected us to recover as much as we have in only eighteen years. For that I thank God every day, and unrelentingly put one foot in front of the other in order to build it up for myself and others. Each liturgy is one more than I ever thought I'd get. So don't lose heart, or give way to pessimism. We're on the verge of, if not everything, great things.

  5. Anonymous2:11 AM

    hebdomary - I think you make some very good, level-headed points. I think that any traditionalist who expects a complete 180 from the Vatican on liturgical questions (though, to follow your analogy, no one could say that we still have 180 degrees to go) will be disappointed.

    This is, I think, the way that changes in the Church typically happen, at least the good changes.

  6. Yeah.

    Christ never said either you're with me or against me.

    Everybody knows that's a mistranslation. Or maybe I should say a Miss Translation (see Venezuela).

    Jesus actually said, do what you want. 179º is good enough anytime!

    Besides, Pope? What Pope? What national committee of bishops is going to pay one damn bit of attention?

    You guys'll love it though, which will at least have the advantage of keeping you off the streets at night.

  7. Samizdat, I really hope you don't own any guns. You might be tempted to listen to the voices one day, and take out a diocesan high scool or something. Don't do it, man, fight the urge!!! Take the prozac, find a hobby, ADOPT A DOG, go outside once in a while, pick a flower, help an old lady across the street!!!! It's not too late to get in touch with your inner human. Inside every bitter person there's really just a bottle of Campari struggling to get out. We love you man, big hug, partner, big hug!! Man hug. It's okay to cry. Brothers for life.

  8. The test case for whether B.XVI is going to really do more than settle on a compromise deviding the Church into a High Ecclesia Deites, Broad Church Liberals & Low Church Evangelicals will be whether he rescinds the ruling allowing Protestants to receive communion, "Since the sacraments are both signs of unity and sources of grace (cf. Decree on Ecumenism. n. the Church can for adequate reasons, allow access to those sacraments to a separated brother. This may be permitted in danger of death or in urgent need (during persecutions, in prisons) if the separated brother has no access to a minister of his own communion, and spontaneously asks a Catholic priest for the sacraments—so long as he declares a faith in these sacraments in harmony with that of the Church, and is rightly disposed."

    This has been revised several times. The directory of 1967 stated that an Anglican or Protestant must have no access to a minister of their own communion. In 1972 it was further enacted that this must be 'for a prolonged period'. This allowed Anglicans, for example, to get communion in France but not in England. An adequate spiritual reason was 'a need for a deeper involvement in the mystery of the church and its unity'. In 1980 at the Synod of bishops, cardinal Willebrands asked that this condition be removed as it had little connection with the doctrine of the eucharist. The 1983 code of Canon Law omitted the words 'for a prolonged period'. The Encyclical Ut Unum sint of 1995 omitted all reference to 'no access'. This abolishes the condition completely leaving a new legal situation and apparently a newly conceived Church.

  9. the interview - full text provided by "La Croix", a paper which is reflecting the liberal trend within the Church in France - is going very far in fact.
    A secretary of CDW, so a Curian official in charge of Liturgy, is telling about "a necessary correction" of the post-conciliar reforms (i.e. revolution) ! I cannot recall anything like that before. Cardinal Ratzinger's books and statements were "just" opinions from a private theologian, so at the same level as any Litnik's blabbering or like the recent opinion of fr. Enzo Bianchi, cardinal Sodano gave the honour of the Osservatore Romano.
    Moreover Abp Ranjith Patabendinge Don is striking the neo-liturgism at its very corrupted heart : the very principles of desacralization used by liniks to destroy the Roman rite and all the revised rites are directly condemned by the ... secretary of CDW ! I must say I'm stunned and admirative. Not that any trad or even conscious noe-cons is not well aware, with stats, facts and all, of what the Abp is declaring now. We knew that for a looong time ago. But it was always denied by officials : have a look on the revoltingly stupid article 2 of the recent Synod conclusions, praising the "richness" and marvelling at the post-conciliar "reforms" ...
    Abp Marini, the High Priest of the Bugninist Cult, was recently praising neo-liturgism as demanding from a priest a creative innovation.
    These litniks - in charge everywhere - have systematically destroyed the "mystery", "adoration", they have systematically relied on the "scientific and historical-critical mindsets" i.e. everything that the secretary of CDW is calling "deviations" that demand "a necessary correction" !!!
    Poor Fr. Gy, poor Msgr Jounel, poor dom Vaggagini, poor Annibale, the saint patron of Litniks is crucified a third time.
    I guess Fr. Louis Bouyer is sending his best wishes to Abp Ranjith.

    But now the secretary of CDW will have to face the wrath and twisted maneuvers of the Bugninist Cult ! They will tolerate statements and interviews but they will fight you to death Your Excellency if you try to be faithful to your excellent words.
    It's time to be brave, it's time to be ready to bear your Cross, it's time to act, it's a time for decisions.
    You are not alone Your Excellency ...

  10. Alsaticus, I agree totally about Apb. Patabendinge Don, and I remember, too, that when he was appointed, Perrin on CTNgreg went ballistic, and was saying "Oh great, another Asian syncretist...I'm sure his Asian syncretist theology will get free reign now..." and the like. But there was one German guy, who got on and said, in broken English (and I remember it verbatim, look it up and see if I'm wrong!), "No, no, no!! Best bishop in the Curia! Wait and see!!" For a Roman Curial official who's not even in charge of the department, I'm liking what I'm seeing. I'm thinking that we're looking at Arinze's successor.

    As to the protestants, I'm all for a liberal approach. Traditionalists often cite "Lex orandi, lex credendi" as something working against them, given the changes to the liturgy. But if the liturgy is actually improved, and even if the Tridentine is more freely available, allowing properly disposed Protestants access to our sacraments (in charity) will change THEIR law of prayer, and THEIR mode of belief. What has an effect on the goose has the same effect on the goslings. We will reclaim christianity, one mass a time. Just keep repeating, "Every day, in every way, I'm going to make them more...and more...CATHOLIC!"

  11. hebdomadary said:

    It is, unfortunately for us, our generation's lot to yearn, but we must stay the course, though we may not live to see it. I'm may be only forty-three, and frankly I don't expect to live to see a full restoration, but I do believe that it will happen in time.

    On the other hand, we may live to see the great chastisement that is predicted by Our Lady of Fatima. If you have read the book "Our Lady of Fatima" by William Thomas Walsh (great book!) you will know that Our Lady has already propesied the beginning of WWII and she also said that if Russia were not consecrated to her Immaculate Heart, the pope would have much to suffer and nations would be annihilated. I suggest you read "The Devil's Final Battle" by Fr. Paul Kramer for a very good analysis of our current situation with respect to the message of Fatima. The bottom line is that there is no time for a slow return to tradition. Time is precious and limited. NOW is the time to reform our lives and do penance!

  12. If the course is changing, the events meted out by Hand of God in the next years, will certain drive the point home.

    As for the fight being a long one: most of the liturgical friction will be dead in 20 years, as they die off, the velocity of return will only accelerate.

  13. Hebdomadary:
    re:allowing properly disposed Protestants access to our sacraments

    Properly disposed Protestant is an oxymoron. It's like saying an obedient schismatic, or a righteous heretic. The Eucharist is only effective if the recipient is in a state of grace, otherwise it brings down condemnation on the recipient... and a knowing minister who gives it sacreligiously.

  14. "It's like saying an obedient schismatic... ." Noticed a fair number of those around these parts.

    Sixtus V

  15. Br. Bugnolo,

    You are right. After posting I realized the I had not intended to make an accusation to the Council Fathers at large. I stand corrected. However, Sacrosanctum Concilium already shows evidence of its authors thinking they can tinker with liturgy at will, a fact that calls into question what they understood liturgy to be or perhaps how it came to be what it was at the time and what man's role in it is. Fr. Houghton's point is more to the fact that all these Council Fathers were trained in the good seminaries using the Immemorial Mass and the old theology and philosophy courses that we would love to have back in current seminaries. Even so, they ended up approving the NO eventually. Why? That is what Fr. Houghton answers with similar words as Msgr. Ranjith -- because at bottom they must have forgotten that in the Mass it is Christ who acts and we contemplate, that the priest and bishop is not the owner of the liturgy but its custodian. That is, they must have began to think of the liturgy as something far more human than divine and therefore changeable by man to reflect the changes in the culture of the current times. I guess that was more my initial point.

  16. Hebdomadary:

    You are superb. I don't agree with every jot and tittle, but your humility, modesty and patience are simply inspiring. And wisdom comes in their train. Thanks!

    I remember reading that a cleaning lady, one of Cardinal Ratzinger's co-workers at CDF, said about him, "that one is a real Christian..." (Unlike, I assume many other curial officials she had met.)

    That's the thought that sprang to mind about you as I read your comments.

  17. Anonymous7:13 PM

    "The Eucharist is only effective if the recipient is in a state of grace, otherwise it brings down condemnation on the recipient... and a knowing minister who gives it sacreligiously."

    Well, actually, I think that's not technically true. Unworthily receiving Communion does bring condemnation on the receiver, of course. However, a minister is not supposed to refuse Communion to people who are not public sinners (such as pro-abortion politicians)--thus, Jesus gave Communion even to Judas. Further, according to St. Thomas, even a sinner receiving Communion receives grace from it. It is, after all, still the Body and Blood and Christ.

    That said, I do not know what sacraments hebdomary is referring to when he says they should be opened to Protestants. It would seem to me that the Eucharist and Holy Orders are obviously off-limits for heretics and schismatics. I don't really know enough about the theology of extreme unction and Confirmation, but as Confirmation is typically attended by a profession of faith in the teaching of the Church, I would think at least it is off limits. Most Protestants are already Baptized validly and the validity of their marriages depends on *them* and their attitudes rather than on the offer of the Church. That just leaves Penance which is, of course, wide open to them.

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  19. The issue of allowing non Catholics to take communion is very disturbing. How can you allow heretics to do that? Its unthinkable. We don't do it. This depsite the very annoyed response we get from Catholics who point out that we are allowed to commune in your churches (by your rules, not ours) but refuse communion to Latins.

  20. I shot my inner child as soon as he raised his ugly little head.

    My only other urge is to off innerleckchuls.

    I'm already on Paxil. She Who Must Be Obeyed (aka my wife) insisted because I was becoming so wild.

    Go to my Blog site ( and see my picture. Just 'cause the hat's a Stetson Aussie Outback and the band is a real snake skin with rattle doesn't mean I'm not as benign as I look.

    I'm a cat man.

    I'd rather be right than bitter. (I'd also rather ride my bicycle to school than eat my lunch.)

    I gave up crying for Lent.

    I'd much rather you hug a tree.

    What in the blazing hell did I say that set you off like that. (Uh, do you have to go to a proctologist to get Prozac?)

  21. The Pope might as well stick to masticating. At least he knows how to do that.

    A lot of finely spun erudition on this issue, though, and I'm as impressed as I am humbled.

    My humility is not bigger than a bread box (how many of you are old enough to catch that one?)

  22. Dear Jeff, I'm genuinely flattered. That may be the highest compliment anyone's ever paid me, and the only one that really means anything. Gratias tibi, frater.

    Relative to intercommunion, I'm not really advocating it per se, but the situation reminds me of the lines from Woddy Allen, about being at New York University and cheating on a metaphysics exam. How he got caught looking into the soul of the boy sitting next to him. I often wonder how some of our more devout and pious traditionalists would react if they knew the spiritual state of the person kneeling next to them. Do we really want to play God, sit in judgement all the time? Do we quiz our neighbours on whether they made it to confession, how much they need it and what they did to require it? I don't need to do that. God will sort it out, I can only help to provide a better liturgy for their edification, and the more they see me caring about it, the more seriously they will likely take it. God will do the rest.

    And Samizdat...oh, who cares.

  23. Hey, Hebdo, me cares!

    And some of us, contrary to some others, don't need to reach into the preternatural. We can tell by acts and words and such small deer.

    Who was your masked catechist? I wanted to shoot him.

    "Hypocrite lecteur,—mon semblable,—mon frère!"


  24. Some of the remarks made on this blog here are the very worst examples of false humility, obseqiousness and damned mendacity I have seen in some time.

    They amount to an implicit rejection of the promises made at baptism and confirmation.

    Unable or unwilling to the call evil evil, they believe they can still call good good. They are deceived and deceiving. They are compromised and compromising.

    The more I read of certain bloggers over time, the LESS convinced I am that these people are actually Catholic, that is, they are NOT Catholic at all, but simple provocateurs, or persons with some personal idee fixe, or persons with some task as part of a larger and malign agenda.

  25. Simon-Peter:

    Ussually when people respond exclusively with ad hominem attacks, it's because there own position is completely without merit, would you not agree?

    Physician, heal thyself.

  26. hebdomary:

    "communion for sinners". You are mistaken, the Church interprets Pauls admonition to apply to people in mortal sin, recieving the Eucharist in that state has no positive effect, only negative. Venial sins are cleansed in recieving. Obviously the discussion involves public sinners, and those out of communion with the Catholic Church. In this case, the priest is materially cooperating with the sacrelige. Even if the sin is private, the priest is cooperating if he does not privately correct the sinner regarding the need for confession when in that state.

  27. Matt:

    Well, I would, except I think you're talking about me, in which case, I must disagree, obviously, as I am a very holy man whose humility is exceeded only by his meekness.

    I don't know. I note you say "exclusively."

    I have seen that you do come in for a fair bit of it and I have also observed you tend not to respond in kind.

    I know I have a bad temper, which, I can usually keep under control. However, I have certain buttons which when pushed set off an immediate thermonuclear detonation in my brain, dead bang in the area of the parieto-occipital sulcus, not a happy place.

    I know I have to stop, and it ISN'T that I don't care (about them), but they just get me so bloody frustrated I want to wring their necks: charitably, vous comprenez.

    As to your post about sacrilege (whassat?) I mean yeah, right on daddio, why is it that this is SO HARD to get through to folks?

    ARE they as thick as two short planks, or is it something else?

    Matt, join me for a good German beer tonight, about 6.30pm? I'll have one for you in anycase!

    Oh yes, that reminds me, you said "communion for sinners"...well, some little time ago I was in formation with the local OCDS. Now, ONE of the reasons why I up and left was because of this amazing incident:

    Scene - OCDS diocesan meeting.

    OCDS#1: Well, I don't think it's right not to give communion to them.
    S-P OCDS postulant (ears pricking up): eh, whassat?
    OCDS#2: We've had relatives of people at our church come up, they aren't Catholic.
    OCDS#3: Oh...
    OCDS#2: Oh yes, we always give them communion. I mean, who are we to judge? Who can say?
    OCDS#3: Really? Is that allowed?
    S-P (under breathe): freakin' heretics.
    OCDS#1: Oh sure, I mean, you know, some of these folks -
    OCDS#3: - Aren't they in mortal sin? -
    OCDS#1: Yes but they need it the most.
    S-P (under breathe): it!
    OCDS#2: Oh yes, it happens all the time. Oh yes, it will open them up, they need the graces all the more.
    OCDS#3 (stunned): Ah.
    S-P (blowing top): What graces? Eh, what, what? That's...what, horrible, that is! Sacrilege! Eh, what?

    S-P got in trouble for his outburst, and it wasn't the only one. Like I said, temper!

    Avoid Catholic wimmin and men of a certain age Matt, they are mostly out of their minds. They'll be dead soon enough. Our children will inherit their mess and the opportunities.

  28. S-P:

    I don't mind ad hominem once in a while, if it is entirely deserved, but it is never a substitute for argumentation. I am making a general statement, not an accusation.

    I do find some of your lapses into humility positively sick-making, as they would have put it in the twenties. Do you beer down in Disneyland upon occasion?

    And, do I detect a bit of ageism in some of your remarks? I ask only because yours truly is on the very wrong side of 60.

    I do wish you'd drop your anonymous descriptions and appellations. If statements about someone are true, there's no sense in hiding an accusation, unless scandal applies, which I don't think it does when someone has exposed himself (no pun intended) on a Blog site.

    A German Coast Guard duty officer, lower grade, monitoring the emergency radio frequency at his station, received an SOS from a ship off his coast: "Help! Help! We're sinking!" The Coast Guardsmen got a panicky look, paused while the SOS went on, and then answered in a heavy German accent: "Uh, vat are you sinking about?"

    S-P, [of] whom are you sinking?

  29. Matt, leaving aside Quintillian and classical rhetorical devices, let us look straight at the blatant propganda techniques used by the modernist / novus ordo types:

    "Transfer is a device by which the propagandist carries over the authority, sanction, and prestige of something we respect and revere to something he would have us accept," Institute for Propaganda Analysis 1938.

    Glittering Generalities:
    "was one of the seven main propaganda techniques identified by the Institute for Propaganda Analysis in 1938. It also occurs very often in politics and political propaganda. Glittering generalities are words that have different positive meaning for individual subjects, but are linked to highly valued concepts. When these words are used, they demand approval without thinking, simply because such an important concept is involved."

    "Use attractive, but vague words that make speeches and other communications sound good, but in practice say nothing in particular.
    "Use linguistic patterns such as alliteration, metaphor and reversals that turn your words into poetry that flows and rhymes in hypnotic patterns.
    "Use words that appeal to values, which often themselves are related to triggering of powerful emotions.
    "A common element of glittering generalities are intangible nouns that embody ideals, such as dignity, freedom, fame, integrity, justice, love and respect."
    Clyde Miller, Propaganda Analysis, NY: Institute for Propaganda Analysis, 1937

    Plain Folks technique, aka "the urge from below."
    By using plain folks rhetoric, speakers attempt to convince their audience that they, and their ideas, are "of the people."

    Now, I ask you..."hello spirit of Vatican II"...WHO ASKED FOR IT? Not the plebs in the pews.

    Oh boy, classic Novus Ordo apologist at work.

    Euphemisms / doublespeak:
    Oh boy, classic Novus Ordo apologist at work. Classic Novus Ordo theology...

    "The technique tends to obscure the ethics of the activity at the expense of victory: better to belong to the winning side than be too concerned with the rightness of the means to achieve it."

    Oh hello SSPX people, recognize this one?

    I cannot recommend enough Quintillian, Cicero and Artistotle (Rhetoric, Posterior and Prior [that's a joke there, you know, Pos before Prior....oh, forget it] , and, actually, Plato's dialogues (ALL OF THEM you'll have a blast) if you want to spot what the lying liars who lie lies are up to. You see, I've said it before, but I'll say it again, the hubris of these Novus Ordo SSPX haters is such that they actually believe they are original, they actually believe they can pull the wool.

    Listen, Novus Ordo SSPX / Trad haters, don't try it, you understand don't you, don't you? Well, let me quote my old dad for his practical reason why you shouldn't pick fights:

    "Simon, I'm telling you, you got away with it this time, but if you keep it up, eventually, you'll do it to somebody bigger than you, and don't come crying to me when he beats the living daylights out of you."

    Oh Matt, here is a great link to all Plato's dialogues, fun stuff! No seriously, it really ya think someone has an interest in making regular guys think this stuff is only for egg heads?

    You can find them all over the place in case you don't like Jowett's job.


    ps don't forget the Quintillian, a man for our time.

  30. Sam: they aren't lapses :-), seriously. I have no problem admitting a personal fault, but denying the truth is a different matter, I trust I have never done that. Frankly, you've admitted them on more than one occasion, you just do it differently.

    Ageism: er, well, almost guilty ;-).

    Of whom am I sinking?
    Let the bloggers consciences either excuse or accuse them.

    Peace be unto you, and several others...I think we ought to get Clemensmaria and Petrus Radii to do a double act, VERY funny and astute. More please.

    Anyway, oh yes...

    "During the first world war, according to a hoary old tale, the message was sent from the trenches to the command post behind the main front of the British Army from soldier to soldier. The message was sent as 'Send reinforcements, we're going to advance', but was received as 'Send three and fourpence, we're going to a dance.'

    thanks to John S. Wilkins.

  31. Waiting for the pope to decide? Don't hold your breath. This could be a long one. Collegiality will ensure there is no decision among the bishops. "Holy disobedience" will do the rest.

  32. S-P
    I wasn't complaining about your humility, but the way it was expressed and to/for whom it was directed. There are times when you give off whiffs of sentimentality, and as one of your keepers I must warn you - sentimentality, as opposed to "honest sentiment" (vide Professor Weaver in Ideas Have Consequences) is a deadly thing.

    I keep my humility in a thimble in a box in a safe in a bank, lest I lose it all.

    Faults, yes. Dishonesty never. I would not accuse you of that, nor tolerate anyone accusing me.

    Hell, I was an atheist for 50 years. There ain't no bigger fault than that. I think.

    Loved the anecdote. I should give credit for mine: it was, believe it or not, a Berlitz commercial somebody sent me.

  33. "sentimentality, as opposed to "honest sentiment" (vide Professor Weaver in Ideas Have Consequences) is a deadly thing."

    Now isn't THAT interesting? Because one of MY stock phrases is "Sentimentality? It'll kill yer."

    Yet, I can't deny, I DO exhibit it too. Alas. I think it's the kissing cousin to false charity.

    I'm going to have a look at this Prof. Weaver.

  34. Hebdomadary:

    Your suggestion that allowing properly disposed Protestants access to our sacraments (in charity) will change THEIR law of prayer, and THEIR mode of belief, i.e., the use of intercommunion as a means to Xtian unity so that "We will reclaim christianity, one mass a time" does not stand up in the face of empirical evidence. The Anglicans have been practicing intercommunion between high, broad and low church evangelicals for the past 300 years and they are no more unified than they were when they first began. And even though they keep reducing the conditions of church unity to the lowest possible common denominator, their disunity is apparent to anyone capable of reading the most recent news.

  35. I am amazed at the number of negative comments in this particular thread (no, I'm not really). I think cynicism has come to dominate the mindset of most Catholics today. I know that many, if not all of you, have been let down by the Church since the 1960s and I agree with many of your reservations. However, I don't think you're giving Benedict a fair chance. I hear, via Catholic News Agency, that Benedict is implementing real, liturgical reform in his (October, 2006) Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist. The continual nay-saying and disparagement of any action or personnel change that Benedict makes reveals nothing but cynicism for its own sake. You are not looking for the good, but only seeking another venue for your attacks on the Church.

    As to hebdomadary's notion that we should allow "properly-disposed" Protestants access to our communion "in charity," I think he should know that "in charity" covers a multitude of sins. This phrase is the byword of people like Thomas Groome and Richard McBrien, for whom there is no doctrine and for whom there are no boundaries. We can do many things "in charity," but one thing we cannot do is allow unfettered access to our sacraments. Taking the sacraments seriously means taking Catholic theology and doctrine seriously. One can see, e.g., in the Anglican communion, that simply presiding "in charity" is not enough. When a doctrinal crisis comes to the fore (as the Anglicans have found out), simple "Charity" is not enough. There ARE boundary lines, there are theological markers.

  36. S-P

    I will tell you just a little bit about Professor Richard Weaver. It is the late Professor Weaver, he died at the age of 53 quite some time ago.

    He had a lot of influence on the young WFB and his Ph.D. Thesis became his most famous book: "Ideas Have Consequences." It has been a very long time since I've read it, but I found it impressive. I recall he's a little rough on Mr. Lv Beethoven for ruining the classical mode: as much as I love the German Master, Weaver's point is well taken.

    Another title of his I recall off hand is "The Southern Tradition at Bay."

    I may have known others, but memory eludes and my books are stacked all over the house and not in any particular order.

    Another writer you must look up and read is Thomas Molnar. He's still alive (or was, the last time I looked.) Start with a book titled "Utopia, the Perennial Heresy."

    While I'm at the business of recommending, Eric Voegelin's chapter on gnosticism from his "The New Meaning of Politics" is the most important single document I've ever encountered. It explains the first principals at work in all heresies and all ideologies. It was anthologized in a book put out by Bill Buckley, "American Conservative Thought in the Twentieth Century." A later, fairly recent co-authored "update" has been issued, but I've not examined it, so I don't know if Voegelin's "essay" was retained. The aforementioned anthology also contains Malcolm Muggeridge's "The Great Liberal Death Wish," which is worth reading, as is anything by the late St. Mugg. Some of his stuff isn't too enlightening Christianitywise, but 'tis always a fun read. Well, his "Winter in Moscow" is an exception: well worth reading, but not quite so fun.

    By the way, I've been banned from the Blog site called Catholic Caveman or whatever because I always argue ad hominem and my condition is "sad sad sad sad and sad."

    I dared say that the only famous picture that came out of the WW II Iwo Jima campaign was a cliché. Which statement the Blog site manager managed to construe as an attack on all servicemen who've ever defended this country.

    I made the mistake in rebuttal of quoting Johnny Cashe"s "drunken Indian" (Ira Hayes) bitter sarcasm from the well-know song and that only made matters worse.

    The fact that I had an uncle whose entire battalion was wiped out on Okinawa, and he escaped by catching malaria on Guam (I think) by being hospitalized; the fact that I served in the military during the Viet Nam build-up and went through two crises where guns were loaded, troops were shipped, and I'd have stood a good chance of being shot - none of that, not even the fact that I'd have gone willingly, made a damn bit of difference to my obstinate interlocutor. No matter how dumb it is, he'll stick to it.

    Quite frankly, the bloke in question never answered any argument I made on any subject and he gives ample evidence of being more than just a little on the stupid side.

    It's supposed to be a Catholic Blog site, but it permits, for example, Venezuelan pulchritude of a very dubious kind for such a venue, and a moving (as in "in motion") cartoon one commentator uses for his picture spot, in which an act of copulation, missionary position, is transpiring, preceded by "I love" ("love" using the ubiquitous heart symbol).

    As Tom Wolfe would say: "Righteous stuff."

  37. Ah yes, am aware of that site.
    Best left I think.

    Will take the book recommendations.

    yours crypto-schismatically-factual-heretically, orthodontically-asthmatically,


    Have you ever seen a cess pool? does float to the surface if you give it enough time, it's the gas.

  38. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  39. Your confirmation of my "status" on the Blog site in question was both encouraging and interesting.

    As for cesspool, yes, I grew up on a farm in Idaho where the damn thing would fill up and clog once in a while. The covering grass and dirt would have to be removed, the concrete top taken off, and the wonderful ingredients removed by hand, with a shovel. Fortunately, I was too little to help. I guess that's my problem - still too little to help.

    "yours crypto-schismatically-factual-heretically, orthodontically-asthmatically"

    Exactly, even up to and including the asthma.

    Your new "logo" is quite the thing - was your mother frightened by Shakespeare?

    I hope I'm not repeating myself, but among my book recommendations should have been all the works of the late Alice Thomas Ellis - "chaos and old night" her publisher described her novels - start with "The Sin Eater," which was her first, by the way. Two non-fiction considerations of the state of the Church are "The Serpent on the Rock" and (best of all) "God Does Not Change." Her novels are almost always as funny as they are astute, sort of a cross between Evelyn Waugh, Flannery O' Connor, and Edgar Allan Poe.

    If Professor Marion Montgomery (Mr.) were to write her up, he'd title it "Why Ellis Smoked." Speaking of Montgomery (I don't know if he's still whinnying with us), a little thing he put out titled "The Trouble With You Innerleckchuls" is well worth reading. He did a trilogy on Poe ("Why Poe Drank Liquor"), Hawthorn ("Why Hawthorn Was Melancholy"), and O'Connor (Why Flannery O'Connor Stayed Home") - I didn't read the first; for the last, you'd better be up on your Faulkner, especially "Absolom Absolom."

    Now that I've provided you with what to do with what's left of the rest of your life . . .

  40. Uh, has the Pope finished meditating yet?

    Just asking, in case I've missed something.

    Come to think of it, would that be missing something?

  41. For the benefit of all concerned, an announcement:

    The magnificent Samizdat is now the horrendous ngb. He's a close relation to the Screwtape of which the bloke who runs Caveman-Catholic knows nothing: but then, how would you, spending all your time watching shadows on a cave wall.

    In short, to paraphrase a popular song, "I've looked at Tradition from both sides now" and I prefer the true one.

    But to know the friend, you have to know the enemy - really know him or, as WFB said a long time ago, you'll get eaten alive and never know what hit you. Not to mention a little thing like ending up pouring Wormwood his tipple.

  42. Shouldn't the title of this piece be titled "The Pope gravitates."

    I doubt not that his favorite flower is the primrose, and that he strews his path with les fleurs de mal.
    [Vide Shakespeare, Macbeth, the porter's speech.]

    So what else isn't new since 1959.


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