Rorate Caeli

Reform of the Reform of the Reform

"Eucharistic Celebration on the Occasion of the 23rd World Youth Day"

Royal Randwick Racecourse, Randwick, NSW, Australia - July 20, 2008

AP/Andrew Brownbill - Reuters/Mick Tsikas - AFP/William West


  1. Fr Z posted several videos from the first days of His Holiness Australia visit, and there were on each videos fragments showing Aborigenes dancing around Holy Father in quite creepy way, yikes. I have nothing against native Australians, but what is the point of these perfomances???

  2. Anonymous3:15 PM

    but what is the point of these perfomances???

    I would venture that almost everyone there, Aborigeny or otherwise may very well be asking the same question. It may take a little while for the poison introduced by old marini to leave the blood stream.

  3. Anonymous3:21 PM

    as long as this dancing was done outside the liturgy, i don't have a problem with it.

  4. Breviatio manus Domini - as Romano Amerio would have said. This is the failure of persons at the top - the Holy Father, Cardinal Pell, who are otherwise wonderful, wonderful prelates - to exercise discipline and purge the Church bureaucracy of liturgical liberals and other enemies (though not always consciously) of the Gospel.

    I can understand when the Holy Father is unable to sweep recalcitrant cardinals out of the way, but why can he not dictate the form of his own liturgies??

  5. Anonymous3:25 PM


    That's the 64K question! Was this a part of the "liturgy?" If so, proof positive that nothing has really changed.

  6. Anonymous3:27 PM

    This one could have been titled: This is NOT Catholicism.

  7. Yes, it was; look at the NLM's page with pictures of the final Mass - these naked "aborigines" were part of the Gospel procession.

  8. Yes, it was during the "Eucharistic Celebration" (their official name for the ceremony, not ours), as Iosephus has noted and as the post itself made clear.

  9. Anonymous4:01 PM

    This raises the question of what is appropriate inculturation. In my opinion, this way not. However, looking back at past World Youth Days, Pope Benedict is truly progressing forward in his reform. The final Mass had Gregorian chant, beautiful organ music, Mozart, an orchestra, and many parts of the ordinary, as well as the Our Father, said in Latin (Check out NLM for full coverage). This is mind blowing considering what has happened at World Youth Days in the past. While there is much work to do, Pope Benedict is ever gently pushing us more and more towards greater reverence, despite some unfortunate performances. We should be hopeful, patient, and keep praying for the clergy, especially our Holy Father.

  10. Anonymous4:10 PM

    I would have to say iosephus, Cardinal Pell is a liturgical liberal in this country.
    That is precisely how these indigenous dancers came to play such a large role in the whole affair.

    elmwood - The Holy Father is the Vicar of Christ on this Earth and as such would NEVER need pagan ritual to spiritually 'cleanse' the area he about to enter which is what most of those silly dances mean.

    We even had to suffer an aboriginal Simon of Cyrene while the women of Jerusalem looked authentic !

    As an Australian Catholic I was most embarrassed, I doubt the 'true' aboriginies would be impressed either.

  11. Pell is liturgical liberal? But he has done more than a few things with the FSSP, no? It's not impossible that the two would go together in the same prelate, but surprising.

  12. The more I see of these travesties the more I think we need to get all the traditional clergy and bishops together, form an Ecumenical Council, elect a new Pope and let the modernists fry in Hell. Rome simply isn't listening and I know of no other way to prevent such abuses from entering our sacred liturgy.

    Yeah, I know, I've lost it and the main problem is...I forgot where I put it. No, I'm not really suggesting mutiny but when will these abuses end without drastic action on our part?

  13. Anonymous4:32 PM

    Once we start framing the issue in non-apostolic terms of "inculturation," we're already conceding defeat. There's nothing wrong with the word or idea behind inculturation of course, but once we indulge in it, we're no longer talking about "liturgy" as something that is about Christ Jesus. We're fooling ourselves if we think the Mass is somehow so empty as to require adaptation or transparency to surrounding cultural proclivities. If we're going to talk about cultures in the liturgy, let's talk about how the use of token exotic cultures in the Mass like they were some fashion accessory belittles and insults not only those traditional cultures but the Mass itself. The idea that we can throw an exotic dance into the Mass to show off our "diversity" and "inclusiveness" is precisely a figment of postmodern Western Euro-American ethnocentric narcissism and arrogance. The fact that so many Catholics will find it "moving" or "touching" or "inspiring" is just another sign of the pathology in the Western Church. What bothers more than these Marini-isms is the reality that the overwhelming majority of Catholics genuinely love this stuff.

  14. "elect a new pope?"

    I'd permit liturgical dancing long before I'd permit schism.


  15. Anonymous5:05 PM

    thank God for anti-colonialism eh?

  16. Anonymous6:02 PM

    I would like the facts straight please. In your photos, the aboriginal men are dancing. In NLM's they are in procession.

    If they are dancing in the mass, I find it reprehensible; if they are walking in procession in the mass, I find their dress in poor taste, but it is a VERY different thing from dancing. I see nothing objectively wrong with the poorly-dressed men if they are walking reverently. Please clarify this for us, guys, because the rest of the NLM photos are quite beautiful, and while I see people criticizing WYD for a problem here and there, I see no praise from the same people for the good things, such as are mentioned on NLM. Where is the quasi-protestant Fr. Scott when the music has been improved, when there is adoration of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, when the Holy Father explains false idols?

    So again, I ask: clarify the bad stuff before we shoot at it, and let us also recognize the improvements. All of them.

  17. Re: my previous post on forming a council, etc. Let nobody think I am actually serious about such an action for that was hyperbole - a figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect. But, the whole point is when is Rome going to listen to our plea for restoration of the sacred liturgy to pre-Vatican II standards? And, I don’t mean on a piecemeal basis with modernist prelates able to derail any such attempts at restoration.

    I mean when will these abuses stop? When will Rome get the message, if ever? When will we have a worldwide apostolic administration with our own bishops able to exist simultaneously with the NO so that the whole world can see the differences?

    I cannot answer these questions but it seems that the answers are becoming apparent and they do not portend well for the Church that we love.

  18. Last anonymous: pictures are pictures... There really is nothing much that can be done about them: they portray what really took place.

    You also "ask": "clarify the bad stuff"

    The post does not judge what took place as "bad" or "good". If YOU find it reprehensible, then, by all means, ask for all possible clarifications - FROM THE ORGANIZERS of the "Eucharistic Celebration", not from us.

  19. The Pope's final Mass in Australia drew over a half million Catholics. It is duly noted that the transport of the bible that was carried by the 'Islanders' did not enter the Sanctuary. A priest or deacon received it at the foot of the runway leading to the Sanctuary.
    It is a difficult adjustment, but the Catholic umbrella engulfing the entire world is what it is. Unfortunately, western progressives will be encouraged to abuse related to this example. However, this example of inculturation was a profound visual. Within its own context, this limited inclusion of the parishioner gave me pause.
    The Church of the near future will have African and Asian pontiffs.

  20. I suppose if the Holy Father ever ventures to Japan and celebrates Holy Mass there, we can expect the Japanese Bishops -- in their attempt at "adulteration" (oops, I mean [i]inculturation[/i])-- to foist upon the liturgy Shinto virgins dancing with Shinto sacred objects:

    (scroll past the sake celebration at the beginning)

    Culture is fine for continuing traditions and history -- but only in context of that particular country or its diaspora.

    --Guy Power

  21. Anonymous6:41 PM

    You know, in the present times, when there is so much evidence that the homosexuals have infiltrated and dominated the clergy in some contries, to have pratically nude muscle men dance infront of the Pope during the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, mocks not only Christ, but also presents a grave source of continuing scandal to souls.

    Doesn't somebody in Rome understand that if you by your scandalous actions or lack thereof cause a soul to be lost, that you will be damned with him by Christ in the moment of your particular judgment?

  22. Anonymous6:52 PM

    I am in full sympathy with those who object to the presence of dance in a liturgy inspired by the ancient Roman mass. It is not part of that tradition This differs from the ancient tradition of Ethiopia. Dancing of course appeared in extra-liturgical rites in Europr but the general tendency towards porfanation in European society called a halt to this practice early on.
    We must remember that Europe is the most advanced society in casting out the sacred for the profane. Other ancient societys are sacral through and through, even if they are not Xtian. Many of our practices probably had a pagan past. E.g., the lustrations attending the Asperges carried out at high mass on Sundays. The association of water with the purgation of sin, of course, comes with baptism. Yet, in other ancient rites of the Church purgation is associated with incense during the liturgy. But the lustration was evidently part of the temple ritual in Rome. Then there is the whole issue of 25 December. Whatever the case, the pagan roots are now thoroughly submerged.

    Australia is new to Xtianity and just as it was difficult for Romans, Celts and Germans to leave their ancient expressions of the sacred , it is difficult for the aboriginal peoples of Australia to leave dance. I did not personally find the dance lacking in a sacred character. Just as in the Roman mass, there are hand gestures bearing symbol meaning, the gestures of the dancers like were symbolic: constant repetitions of the sign of the cross. To me the Gospel procession was one of the high points of the liturgy because its participants communicated an intensity of faith and lack of self-absorption difficult to achieve in Western performances of Mozart for example. The ideal would have been to maintain the gospel procession and have had the entire mass sung to Gregorian chant.

  23. "Australia is new to Xtianity and just as it was difficult for Romans, Celts and Germans to leave their ancient expressions of the sacred , it is difficult for the aboriginal peoples of Australia to leave dance."

    Let us be clear: this was not a "new Eucharistic Celebration" in an Aboriginal village outside Alice Springs... This is Sydney, the largest metropolis in the nation, a thoroughly civilized conurbation where, if any honest "inculturation" were to take place, it would have to include surfboards or cricket bats...

    I will only add the following: in the previous two long-distance visits of this Pontificate, the Pope celebrated open-air "Eucharistic Celebrations" in the largest cities of nations with ancient and still quite numerous native tribes: in Sao Paulo, Brazil (Campo de Marte), and in New York (Yankee Stadium).

    In none of them were there Indian dancers anywhere during the large Masses of Paul VI, even though, in the first one, the Master of Pontifical Liturgical Ceremonies was still Abp. Piero Marini. It had seemed that the Church had moved on from such pseudo-indigenous manifestations in large open-air Masses.

    Now, in the largest Australian city, the native dancers are brought back during the Mass of Paul VI...

  24. Anonymous7:34 PM

    Here is a video of the Mass in Sydney. The Gospel procession begins at the 38:00 minute Mark.

  25. Anonymous7:40 PM

    The above link is incomplete. The video of the final WYD Mass in Sydney can be found here:

    Click on part I of the Mass, then go to 38:00 for the Gospel procession

  26. Anonymous8:39 PM

    The only thing I can say is: The Office of liturgy of my diocese (Brazil) will be very happy with that mass.
    Oh...I Can see (more) problems with the restoration of the sacred in our dioceses. It is one step up and ten steps down; the reform of the reform was damaged here (there...Australia).
    I cant believe how the young and very silent Guido let this happen. He is so careful with the liturgical details. Well, maybe the shadow of Piero Marini is too powerful or Guido was, well I don't know, trying to compete with the memory of the old Marini. Do you remember Mexican-native dancers, with John Paul II?
    I hope not, but maybe the formula is Guido Marini = Piero Marini, after all.

  27. Anonymous9:13 PM


  28. Anonymous9:39 PM

    Things still improving: at least, I don't see bare breasted women in the picture...

  29. Anonymous10:12 PM

    This talk about the legacy of JP2 and Marini senior needing more time to come out of the wash is ludicrous.

    Friends, consider how easy it is even for the politically astute. The aboriginal dances and other cultural shows to honour the Holy Father will be conducted at an event that does no involve the Sacrifice of the Mass. It could be an event hosted by Australian and aboriginal leaders (not clerics). Wonderful, than you all for the entertaining kulturfest. At another time and location, we'll all sombre up and worship at a Holy Mass.

    The whole concept of needing to incorporate cultural events with the Mass is the problem. Separating them immediately can be done tactfully without causing any offence whatsoever.

    How many young women, men struggling with physical insecurities and those who simply are hoping to focus on Christ crucified during the Mass were edified by these naked men prancing around? How many of the naked dancers, in the thick of such a physical workout, were able to contemplate Christ crucified?

    How for the love of God and souls will weak prelates continue to allow or promote these scandals and to what end??


    Toronto, Ontario

  30. Anonymous11:56 PM

    Inculturation is a tricky animal. I think in my studies so far, I have concluded that classical Greek/Roman/European civilization is as sacred as how the Hindus, Muslims, and aborigines consider their culture. One cannot separate culture from religion, just as the Muslims don't read the Koran in the mosque in any other language other than Arabic.

    Over the Cross, three languages were written over the head of Our Lord: Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. It is arguable that these are the only real sacred languages. Latin Americans, Filipinos, certain parts of India and other places took Catholic doctrine and practices and made them their own, without having to sacrficie their own culture. Buddhism is an Indian doctrine, but Zen Buddhists in Japan don't accuse it of cultural imperialism. The idea of inculturation is something that I find quite confused when I consider these things. There is nothing wrong with an African or Asian praying like a European; that is just the way of world religions, and people shouldn't consider it as something odd. Cultures are fairly resilient and transform themselves when they encounter other cultures.

    I thus don't see anything wrong with Kenyans singing Gregorian chant, or Chinese saying the rosary, or Aymara Indians carrying a statue of St. Anthony in procession. European Christendom is a sacred civilization, or rather, the sacred civilization par excellence. Other cultures will find way to make it their own without having to adulterate it.

  31. Anonymous12:07 AM

    Isn't the old liturgical "MC" in charge of these international events now?

    My guess, from the direction the Pope has been heading, is that this is the last we will see of this kind of thing in a Mass, if it it was. I wonder, in fact, if he was giving the man a chance to change his ways so that he could "replace" him not for past sins committed under different leadership, but for present decisions made after his mistakes were abundantly clear.

    I feel very confident about this Pope's wisdom.

  32. Anonymous1:28 AM

    Inculturation to the extent seen in Australia this past week is very rare especially when world leaders and overseas dignitaries visit.

    This was a deliberate attempt to paganise what could have been a very dignified week for Catholicism in Australia.

    Look at those silly vestments with some sort of aboriginal bird on the back, even worn by our Cardinal !

    What hope do we have ?

    The 'liberal church' in this country would be cheering quietly to themselves that they managed to stay in the lime light.

  33. "I feel very confident about this Pope's wisdom."

    Same here.

    I still remember those atrocious tie-tyde vestments in Austria. The Catholic blogosphere was dismayed as to why the Holy Father didn't just simply command that he be given new vestments. But shortly after, if you guys recall, Marini was replaced. And now we have the added features of the seven altar candles with crucifix at the center; together with the traditional vestments and thorns, and until recently, communion kneeling.

    All this in retrospect - I would have never dreamed of seeing these things anytime soon back in 2005 (a span of just three years!).

    This Pope, therefore, seems to me to be a very patient man. If we know anything about his liturgical views and character, this inculturation was merely tolerated by his Holiness, until he can find a perfect opportunity to graciously throw it away.

  34. Anonymous3:48 AM

    It would seem most words that are worth writing on this topic have already been written. Suffice it to say that Catholics should NOT be complacent about such things occurring at a Mass of the chief priest of the Church and Vicar of Our Lord. The procession was both grossly immodest (now that I see the loin-cloth wearing gentlemen) but also a violation of basic norms in the GIRM regarding dancing, etc. Such an event has no place in Mass, either Pius V or Paul VI. The fact that it consistenly finds itself occurring in large scale papal Masses (or 'Eucharistic Celebrations') over the last 30 years is disturbing. If we can drop the immodest and pagan dancing if we give up the Gregorian chant as a concession, I could live with that. St Gregory the Great, I suspect, would rather lose that patrimony temporarily than scandalize any more of the faithful, especially the 'youth' present at this event. Not to say of St. Augustine, St Maria Goretti or St Paul, whom I ask to pray for our Holy Father that he puts an IMMEDIATE end to this nonsense for the good of the Church. JBrown

  35. Anonymous3:56 AM

    I cannot believe that Guido was informed of or was responsible for allowing the dance sacred to the Aboriginals.
    Obviously our faithful is not prepared to live with continued shocks that are nothing but evil distractions at best and sheer scandal at worst.
    On this point and on "inculturation" I wish to say that mixing what was sacred to temple prostitution is NOT sacred to Christianity.
    The Aboriginals need to be informed and enlightened before allowing them to mix in with our Christian culture. Their dance of sacred to them may remain sacred only in their own environment and for their own people. Do not our "brilliant" inculturationists know the meaning of the warning of Christ:

  36. For those who constantly fantasise about the pope and the bishops not knowing what is going on they are denying an objective reality. The hierarchy certainly know everything and in advance. They are complicit in this & many other forms of illicit liturgical behaviour. Some go as far as to support invalidating liturgical form, matter and intention. The same hierarchs stand with Lutheran women pastors in ecumenical meetings; they give the NO host to protestants; they hand out the same to child first communicants; they propagate the neomodernist notion of triune papacy; they do nothing active about the rank corruption and subversion perpetrated by their fellow episcopal abettors. They have only a few words of empathy for those whose lives have been ruined by their clergy but do not punish the offenders. Indeed not, they reward them with immunity to prosecution, career development and promotion.

    This is not a traditional papacy and never will be because, and it has been stated before with loud but unjustified rebuke, pope Benedict XVI is a modernist of the conciliar persuasion. Moreover, he does not have a plan to restore the church but rather it is to transform and synthesise it. This he is achieving with a little tradition; mostly with the modernist post-conciliar novelties we have hitherto witnessed and all of this admixed, of course, with even more novel ideas. It is categorised under the phenomenological classifications of hermeneutical continuity and living tradition.

    It is time to awake from sleep and stop the denial. A few dalmatics and the odd bit of Latin do not make a true restoration of all things in Our Blessed Lord. The only difference between this papacy and the last is that many applauding neo-conservatives have joined the bandwagon of liturgical pluralism and "living doctrinal tradition". Those who attend approve.

    Such is the state of compromise in the modern church. It is in such a context we behold bishop against bishop and cardinal against cardinal - the confusion and the division are the hallmarks of the post-conciliar pastoral experience. The loss of The Faith is blinding.

  37. Anonymous4:51 AM

    Indigenous liturgical dancing at Woodstock, err, World Youth Day? Why am I not surprised?

  38. Anonymous4:52 AM

    When I was assigned to the Peacekeeping mission in Sinai I saw a similar event by the Kiwi Contingent's Maori soldiers. The Aborigines seemed to have acted in a manner as the Kiwis in their formal ceremonies: to act as guardians of something important (i.e. The Book of Gospels).

    I find all the talk of liturgical dance on this blog to be a bit off. The decision to bring forth the Gospel book in such a fashion is imprudent, but not the same as a Piero Marini freakshow as many seem to be entertaining here.

    The spectacle does seem to support a good reason why national bishops councils are completely unneccesary.

    Perhaps I am rambling, but I am more concerned with the USCCB failing to approve translations and put their feet down against politicians violating Canon 915 than some imprudent Aboriginal dance.


  39. Anonymous3:19 PM

    New Catholic:
    I do not disagree with you. I am opposed to inculturation in principle. Unfortunately I have had to watch and see the Church self destruct using it as an excuse to make profane that which is in essence holy. No other religion that I know including that of the pagan aborigines has taken that step. Otherwise, they would not have been able to offer their expression of the sacred which we witnessed the other day.
    Still though you offer the comparison with Sao Paulo, Brazil (Campo de Marte) you neglect the canonization of San Juan Diego in Mexico City where reproductions of Aztec dance were introduced.
    I was offering a subjective opinion about a situation that reflected perhaps wrongly my tendency to try to capture things in a positive light. I do not like what is happening in the Church one bit. But it will not change in my life time and perhaps not in the life time of Pope Benedict XVI—May he have many more years! However, the WYD in Australia was so superior to what happened in Cologne that I am reluctant to complain too much. That is could have been better by clinging to the liturgical traditions of the Roman Church, I have no doubt.

  40. I speak of the CURRENT pontificate. The canonization of Juan Diego took place in the previous pontificate.

    Both the Sao Paulo and the New York visits took place in this pontificate, and did not include Brazilian or American Indian dances within the liturgy.

  41. The thing to have done, of course, would have been to cancel, or
    infinitely delay or "merge" with something else "World Youth Day" in
    the first place. The Vatican has centuries of practice at this sort of
    thing and could have pulled it off quite nicely without a lot of fuss.

    The very concept of a "World Youth Day" is patronizing and has an
    uncatholic and un-Catholic ring to it and as it must be centered
    around either high or low church variations of the Novus Ordo and
    presided over by generally liberal bishops and bureaucrats and lay
    kooks and liturgical crackpots the question is not whether it will do
    harm to the faith and to souls but how much. Until the clergy and the
    are sufficiently reformed in large part through the return of the
    traditional liturgy to its rightful place such gatherings should be
    avoided at all costs.

  42. "However, the WYD in Australia was so superior to what happened in Cologne"..

    The problem is that if one is not careful one becomes so accustomed to this experiential, neo-paganised, rock-cultured, mass-manipulated un-Catholic representation of The Faith that such relative statements hide the fact that it is totally unacceptable because it is conformism to the popular spirit of the age. While some minority consolation may be gleaned from Juventutem, if one is absolutely honest about it, the rest is abominable.

  43. Anonymous11:32 PM

    Although He means well, and some of his directions have been at restoration of Catholic tradition, I relaly do think Pope Benedict XVI is too weak and timid to put an end to all this junk.
    I'd be very surprised if He'd initiate anything along the line of banning liturgical dance, altar girls, etc.

  44. It is asked: When will these abuses come to and end? I believe that no real, substantial change will happen until after the chastisement promised by Our Lady at Fatima.

  45. Anonymous3:34 AM

    Wheat and tares.

  46. Anonymous5:55 AM

    I believe the dancing men at the closing Mass were from Figi. I wish it didn't happen. I hope that in Madrid WYD and future WYD's are void of all these theatrical displays. I would love to go the next one in Madrid with my daughter but be part of the Latin Mass youth organization that attends.

  47. Dear New Catholic

    I have tried twice to post a comment on this thread, to the effect that the comments were all rather bleak ('cursing the darkness').

    I note also the significant number of comments whihc malign the Holy Father.

    So if what I proffered has been considered inappropriate and censored, I must ask how these other comments are nevertheless considered worthy.

    Peter from Australia

  48. We have, for centuries, allowed secular or militaristic elements to co-exist with and within the liturgy of the Mass - soldiers with swords drawn clicking to attention during the consecration, colour parties in the sanctuary, lowering colours during the gospel and the consecration, processions of local councillors, not to mention military orders of Knights of Malta or of the Holy Sepulchre. What possible harm can a procession, or even stylized dance, of Aboriginees - third or fourth generation modern Australians, by the way, proud to bring their heritage before the altar of God - do that the secular and military elements, sanctified by long usage, did not do? Or are the condemnatory comments a pavlovian backlash against the, admittedly o.t.t. style permitted by the late Holy Father? Proportion in all things.

  49. One aspect of Whirled Youth Day that ought to be considered is the negative effect that all this might be having on the mind of the Holy Father. It is not a good or a healthy thing for Peter to be treated like a rock star. It might just go to his head. I strongly suspect that such treatment had a very bad influence on John Paul II much to the detriment of the whole Church. He obviously came to revel in it, and I believe it fed a kind of egoism that made his mediocre papacy a real travesty towards the end. I'm sorry but I still believe that attempting to add a new mystery to the Holy Rosary is one of the most shocking thing any pope has ever done, a consequence of papal egotism run amok, about on the level of coming up with an 11th commandment or discovering a Fourth Person of the Holy Trinity (Elvis perhaps?). Let us pray that Pope Benedict will not be corrupted by what one might call Palm Sunday writ large and repeated again and again and keep in mind that the way of the world is that some of the hands that are tossing the palms today will be throwing stones a few days hence.

  50. This comment has been removed by the author.

  51. Rich, you make some good points, and I agree with you about the dangers of treating a Pope like a rock star. However, you are absolutely in error to compare the Rosary to matters of divine revelation such as the Most Holy Trinity and the Commandments. No Catholic is obliged to pray the Rosary, but all Catholics must believe in one God in Three Persons and must obey the Commandments. Nor was John Paul II’s addition of the entirely optional Five Luminous Mysteries to the Rosary devotion particularly egotistical. The Successor of St. Peter is entirely within his rights to propose a new prayer devotion or to modify previously existing devotions. (And I’m entirely within my rights not to use the new Mysteries, which I don’t.) After all, the rosary itself is not mandatory, nor even a part of the Church’s liturgy, but is “paraliturgical,” a recommended, honored, and effective devotion. For some perspective, recall that the addition of the Five Luminous Mysteries doesn’t remotely approach the unprecedented, pastorally disastrous, and ill-advised wholesale reform of the Roman Rite instituted by Paul VI, who never went to a single World Youth Day and certainly was never treated like a rock star.

  52. Londiniensis asks, what's the harm? This sort of response, I fear, can only emanate from someone so acclimated to the aliturgical ethos of the post-Vatican II innovations that there is almost no common baseline as point of reference.

    I watched the video. The Fijian men in native costumes processed and danced their way to the base of the Sanctuary. Thence, the Gospel was carried to the lecturn by way of traditional procession, yet with the Fijians continuing their gyrations to the rhythm of native percussion instruments. This continued until the Gospel reached the lecturn. Then, in a segue breathtaking for its disjunctive force, the lector broke out into traditional chant for the proclamation of the Gospel.

    My question for Londiniensis is this: Where was the focus of your attention throughout this whole affair? Was there anything about it that conduced to the elevation of your thoughts to Christ, as opposed to drawing your attention to itself? This is the problem I have generally in the celebration of Novus Ordo Masses. Here it is only thrown into sharp relief. As Martin Mosebach says, I go to Church to see Christ, and I come out a theater critic. This should not be.

  53. Dr. Blosser (Pertinacious Papist), I second your comment entirely.

  54. There is a parallel to the Novus Ordo liturgical putsch and the addition to the rosary. In both cases change had always been organic, the Holy Spirit acting in the Church down through history. The Vatican's role was to guide and to certify that changes were authentically of the Holy Spirit and then in both cases for the first time in history the Vatican became the agent of change, in effect asking us to believe that it, not the whole Church, but it alone was speaking, in effect, with the voice of the Spirit. When the Vatican does this it oversteps its bounds.

    No, I disagree, I don't think the pope was "within his rights" to lay hands on the Holy Rosary, a "popular" devotion, you know "popular"as in "of the people"., not unless he had a personal revelation on the order of Leo XIII receiving the St. Michael prayer and no such claim was made. You need something of this magnitude when you put yourself in the position of claiming not just to be guided by the Spirit but to be acting as the Spirit's stenographer. And, no, comrades, nice try but just google forth to some of the rosary websites and you will see that the Vatican-generated Luminous Mysteries were put forth and received as legitimate and permanent additions to the canon of the holy rosary, not as something optional. My prediction is that this "popular" devotion will be reclaimed by the people and gradually and without a lot of fuss and fanfare the "Luminous" mysteries of the not-quite-so-luminous-after-all-now-was-it? papacy of John Paul II forgotten as one day will be the vast panoply of Novus Ordo variations ever multiplying.

  55. Rich

    You have a keen sense for the negative egoistical psychological effects crowd manipulation and mass euphoria have on those being adulated and admired.

    Furthermore, you are correct about alterations to The Rosary - Holy Fathers such as Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical "Fidentem piumque" was against any change of form. It is only the phenomenological papal predecessor who was mistaken enough to imagine that he could "improve" on the Rosary. All other Holy Fathers have never done this. The rhythm of The Most Holy Rosary given by Our Blessed Lady Herself was perfect in itself and did not require any changes. However, as the observer notes on a daily basis, the post-conciliar church is addicted to novelty and change as some form of stimulating substance. Nothing has remained untouched - The Holy Mass, Stations of The Cross, The Holy Rosary, The Sacred Scriptures and so on have all submitted to the modernist liberal assault.

    The addition of so-called mysteries only destroys the ambience of the prayer and makes daily recitation of it more difficult. The powerful symbols of numbers 3 and 150 are destroyed also. It implies inappropriately the opus of Our Blessed Lady is in some manner insufficient. Moreover, it has done nothing to promote its recitation but evidence available suggests the contrary.

    Many great Holy Fathers such as Urban IV, John XXII, Sixtus V, St Pius V, St Pius X, Leo XIII, Pius XI and Pius XII lauded this most marvellous of prayers and encouraged its frequent recitation & restoration. Significantly they never sought to alter it. The very idea would have appeared alien to them, had it ever occurred to them to do so which is doubtful.

    I give the final word on it to Pope Leo XIII: “We are pleased to point out and strongly recommend the holy Rosary. To this manner of prayer was given, in common language, the name of ‘crown,’ because it recalls to our minds, in an opportune sequence, the great mysteries of Jesus and Mary: their joys, sorrows and triumphs.” [Octobri mense, Leo XIII]

  56. Thanks Paul, you make my case for me much better than I ever could have done. Like a rose the Rosary has a perfection of form. Any additions to either are in truth subtractions.

    Re the danger to the mind of the Holy Father involved in World Youth Day and all the other papal excursions, one begins to suspect that the isolation of popes within the Vatican for all those years was not such a bad thing after all. Let us pray that Benedict will not succumb to the siren song of the adoring throng and begin to confuse himself with the deity.

  57. The Pertinacious Papist is the last person with whom I wish to cross swords. My "what harm" should be read in the context of the very long sentence which precededed it.

    Simply, we have already sanctified by long usage many other secular accretions at "celebratory" Masses which slip under our radar because we are culturally more attuned to them. The soldier in eighteenth century ceremonial dress uniform performing elaborate drill with a sword is as anomalous liturgically as a grass skirted warrior raising a spear. We are happy seeing the former during the consecration, we are not happy seeing the other during the gospel procession. Why? (Rhetorical)

    I tried to be dispassionate in both what I have written above and in my original post. I am disappointed that Dr Blosser felt he had to increase the force of his argument by attacking me personally. On the basis of what I had written, I had offered him no logical grounds for doing so.

  58. Anonymous6:15 PM

    In addition to what LeonG said "The powerful symbols of numbers 3 and 150 are destroyed also." I am amazed, although I think coincidental, that God reminds us of who often is behind altering forms in Catholic Tradition. I am told that Our Lady asked us at Fatima to pray one-third of the 15 mysteries a day. That's 15 divided by 3 equals 5 mysteries. If you add the additonal 5 Luminus Mysteries, you get a very different number.

  59. I am disappointed that Dr Blosser felt he had to increase the force of his argument by attacking me personally.

    I do not see any personal attack in Dr. Blosser’s comments, nor can I imagine he could have intended his comments to be taken as a personal attack. He seems rather to have been asking you to share your experience for the sake of discussion and understanding.

  60. I don't think the pope was "within his rights" to lay hands on the Holy Rosary, a "popular" devotion, you know "popular" as in "of the people", not unless he had a personal revelation on the order of Leo XIII receiving the St. Michael prayer and no such claim was made.

    Pius XII in Mediator Dei disagrees with you. Your opinion is wrong and is contrary to the teachings of the Holy Roman Pontiffs. The notions that popular devotions are outside of the Successor of St. Peter’s universal and immediate jurisdiction, or that a Pope needs a private revelation to justify altering a devotion as popular as the Rosary, are incompatible with the Faith and/or unfounded. The Rosary, and chaplets like it, arose during the Middle Ages --- history shows that it developed and changed over the centuries and that the Church did not fix it in its traditional form of three groups of five mysteries until rather late. The later pious legend that it was personally revealed by the Blessed Virgin herself has no basis, nor can we affirm the legend that St. Dominic originated Our Lady’s Psalter. As the old Catholic Encyclopedia says, “we have positive evidence that both the invention of the beads as a counting apparatus and also the practice of repeating a hundred and fifty Aves cannot be due to St. Dominic, because they are both notably older than his time. Further, we are assured that the meditating upon the mysteries was not introduced until two hundred years after his death” (significantly, by another Dominic, Dominic the Prussian).

    You need something of this magnitude when you put yourself in the position of claiming not just to be guided by the Spirit but to be acting as the Spirit's stenographer.

    John Paul II did not act as the Holy Spirit’s stenographer, nor did he claim to be, when he proposed the Five Luminous Mysteries. You seem to be under the impression that the Holy Rosary is divinely inspired or an indispensable element of Catholic faith and practice. Such is not a teaching or belief of the Catholic faith.

    And, no, comrades, nice try but just google forth to some of the rosary websites and you will see that the Vatican-generated Luminous Mysteries were put forth and received as legitimate and permanent additions to the canon of the holy rosary, not as something optional.

    Of course they are legitimate additions, but the fact remains that John Paul II said they were optional, and so they are optional, just as praying the Rosary is optional even though strongly recommended. As the Holy Father wrote in Rosarium Virginis Mariae (2002): “Of the many mysteries of Christ's life, only a few are indicated by the Rosary in the form that has become generally established with the seal of the Church's approval. The selection was determined by the origin of the prayer, which was based on the number 150, the number of the Psalms in the Psalter. I believe, however, that to bring out fully the Christological depth of the Rosary it would be suitable to make an addition to the traditional pattern which, while left to the freedom of individuals and communities, could broaden it to include the mysteries of Christ's public ministry between his Baptism and his Passion.”

    It is only the phenomenological papal predecessor who was mistaken enough to imagine that he could "improve" on the Rosary.

    Phenomenology has nothing to do with John Paul II’s proposal of five new mysteries.

    All other Holy Fathers have never done this.

    Most of the Popes knew nothing of the Rosary.

    The rhythm of The Most Holy Rosary given by Our Blessed Lady Herself was perfect in itself and did not require any changes.

    Our Lady’s Psalter was not given by the Mother of God, and as for perfect rhythm, this is why privately I have continued to pray the Rosary without the Luminous Mysteries. Two or three times I’ve prayed them with a group at church, but for my own devotion, I appreciate the ancient link to the 150 psalms and do not wish to depart from it.

    Nothing has remained untouched - The Holy Mass, Stations of The Cross, The Holy Rosary, The Sacred Scriptures and so on have all submitted to the modernist liberal assault.

    There is not the slightest trace of Modernism or Liberalism about the proposal of five additional mysteries. The intention was to increase the Rosary’s christocentrism, an impulse contrary to the modernist liberal impulse and agenda.

    Moreover, it has done nothing to promote its recitation but evidence available suggests the contrary.

    I’m aware of no evidence that the Five Luminous Mysteries have influenced people to pray the Rosary less.

    Significantly they never sought to alter it. The very idea would have appeared alien to them, had it ever occurred to them to do so which is doubtful.

    The Rosary is a popular devotion, so we shouldn’t expect the Popes to propose modifications very often if at all, but others have proposed additional mysteries before John Paul II did. We can’t expect that popular Catholic devotions and customs will remain forever unchanged --- especially in the case of the Rosary, which has changed so much during its history --- whether those changes come through popular modifications arising from outside the Magisterium or through private revelation (such as the Fatima prayer) or through suggestions made directly by the Pope.